Selling a product on ebay can be difficult, especially if nobody wants to buy your product. This was not the case for Keith Obadike, who sold his blackness on the auction site, or for John Freyer, who practically put his entire life collection up for bid. Obadike posts a symbolic possession, contrasting Freyer's more materialistic auctions, yet each seller has a certain point to get across and a mission to accomplish. Whether that goal is achieved or not, we learn through their controversial auction, or eventful journey. We see that in Obadike's posting of his Blackness that he is merely trying to create awareness and express his dislike for the way his blackness is used, and not put a price tag on a trait of his that has much controversy. With ebay being a very popular website, it is sure that many web surfers would come across this posting.
[...] Although Freyer's auctioning began as a way of making money and moving, it is very similar to Obadike's ebay post in that they are both moral texts as opposed to literal. However, the main difference is that Obadike is expressing his thoughts on an issue, while Freyer learns from experience. Obadike's text is more straight-forward, while Freyer's is a progressive story. His story has the engaging fact that he extends the simple buy-and-sell concept of ebay to creating personal relationships with people thousands of miles away, all because of something as simple as a saltshaker. [...]
[...] It seems as if the negative examples given by Obadike are a way in which he is expressing his disgust for the “possession” of his Blackness for 28 years and he wants to give it up. This could be an explanation for using the ebay medium, which is where people come to pass things on and get rid of them in a return for a sum of money. It could show that while trying to rid himself of the Blackness, he can receive something valuable for it in return for once in his life. It also seems as if by selling his identity, he is creating a new person in himself. [...]
[...] Using ebay as his medium, Obadike is restricted to a much shorter description of his history as opposed to Freyer, who writes more than five pages in his text. The ability to write a short story grants the author possibilities not available in an online auction site, which requires just a simple description. Freyer did not have to write just about one item, but was able to do so of multiple items, while Obadike is restricted to his one. This can also be an advantage however, allowing him to focus on one thing and exhibit its importance without straying to something else. [...]
[...] In contrast to Obadike's ebay posting, Freyer's My Life for Sale” is a long journey as opposed to a single auction. While Obadike puts up his entire life figuratively, Freyer does it in a more literal manner. His selling adventure begins with a material cause and ends with a moral. Freyer is trying to make money to leave Iowa and return to New York. But in the end Freyer decides that he needs to stop starting his life over and try to settle in one spot. [...]
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