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Prejudice In Literature

Updated November 1, 2018

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Prejudice In Literature essay

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Toni Morrisons, The Bluest Eye, Alice Walkers , The Color Purple , and Richard Wrights autobiography , Black Boy , all represent prejudicy . The preceding novels show the characters were typical victims, not understading the division of power amongst races. The Bluest Eye , a heart breaking story of a little back girl living in Lorain, Ohio during the 1930s, manifest the longing of Pecola Breedloves obsession for love. In order to achieve love she would have to deny herself of her true identity and surrender to what is thought to be beautiful and superior: little white girls “gifted” with blond hair and blue eyes. The novel procalaims the nations love for little white girls. Sadly, Pecola wishes every night to abolish her ugliness: her blackness.

If she could only become “beautiful” she would be loved , rather then become the subject of hatred ranging fom people like her mother tro her teachers to her classmates. Recounting the story of a black girls hardships in the world of prejudice, Alice Walkers , The Color Purple presents a moving story of love, ill-treatment, and growth. Celie, the main character, advances toward inner growth changing from a abused and submissive wife to an independent and confident black women. The story is written in Celies journal addressed to God.

This is because the only person she thinks she can trust is God I with her secrets. From Celies journal the reader finds out about other characters in the novel such as Alfonso, Mr._____, Shug, Nettie, and Harpo. The theme of the novel is straightforward and simple. Like many of the other novels devoted to the mistreatment of blacks and black women especially. Much of the novel reflect points in the authors life. The novel is derived from Alice Walkers own personal experience, growing up in the rural south as an abused and uneducated child.

Black Boy is an autobiography about Richard Wright. He was born in the rural Mississippi, the grandson of slaves. Richard Wright overcame every social obstacle including poverty, racism and limited education to achieve the regonition as the creator of Americas most powerful literature. Black Boy, Richard Wright’s autobiography, covers his childhood and early adulthood. It opens with four-year-old Richard’s rebellion against authority. In order to occupy his time Richard accidently burns down his grandfathers house.

“My idea was growing. Now I was wondering how the long fluffy curatians would look if I held the burning straws under them( pg 11).” All throughout the entire novel Richard has some type of hunger. His hunger gets him into trouble. At the time, Richard was and resentful of his mother’s command of silence. After his mother determined that he was unharmed, she beat him so badly that he lost consciousness. When Richard and his brother were very young, Nathan Wright, their father, a sharecropper , abandoned the family, plunging them into poverty.

Richard’s constant hunger made him extremely bitter toward his father. Over the next few years, Ella, Richard’s mother, would desperately attempt to feed, clothe, and shelter her children. Her long hours of work often meant leaving her children with little supervision. When Richard was six years old, he began begging drinks in a nearby saloon where the customers plied him with nickels if he would repeat various curse words and offensive phrases.

When beatings didnt work helpfully with his growing obsession with alcohol, Ella engaged the babysitting services of an older black woman in the neighborhood who watched every move. Ella moved in with her sister, Maggie, and Maggie’s husband, Silas Hoskins. Hoskins was the owner of a successful saloon, so there was always more than enough food to eat. Nevertheless, Richard was unable to lose the fear that his hunger would return anew, so he hoarded food all over the house. Unfortunately, the newly found stableness was not destined to last. The local whites were jealous of Hoskins’s profitable business, so they murdered him and threatened to kill the rest of his family.

Maggie and Ella fled with the two boys to live in another town. Maggie and Ella’s combined wages proved adequate to feed and clothe Richard and his brother, but Maggie became involved with “Professor” Matthews, a wanted man. Matthews, being a wanted man gave the children valued things and a puppy.Shortly after Richard desired to sell the dog for money to sooth his hunger. The lady only having 97 cents was denied new ownership of the puppy. A week later the dog was run over and killed. Ella and the children fled to the North after Mathews killed a white woman; Ella once again had to work alone to provide for herself and her children.

Ella’s health began to deteriorate. Because she didnt have money for rent she and her sons were forced to move several times. A paralytic stroke disabled her, so Richard was forced to write to his grandmother for help. Ella’s siblings gave hat help they could, but none of them could take on the responsibility for both of her children. Richard’s grandmother took on the responsibility for caring for Ella.

Maggie took Richard’s younger brother to raise in Detroit, while Richard chose to live with his Uncle Clark, who lived close to Richard’s grandmother. However, Richard ultimately could not get along with Clark and his wife Jody, so he returned to Jackson to live with his mother in his grandparents’ home. Richard’s grandmother was a strict Seventh Day Adventist, but Richard was an atheist from an early age. He also had a yearning to be a writer, a profession that his grandmother distrusted as “wrldly.” His relationship with his grandmother was therefore a never-ending battle. His Aunt Addie eventually joined the crusade to save his soul, and Richard was enrolled in the religious school where she taught.

One day, she beat Richard in class for an offense that he did not commit. He was accused of eating in school. She tried to beat him again after school, but Richard fought her off with a knife. In the following years, Richard would have to defend himself against the violence of various members of his family. Despite his random schooling, Richard managed to graduate from the ninth grade. He tried to work to save money in order to move to the North, but he found himself unable to assume the role of humble inferior to his white employers and co-workers.

During this time, he suffered numerous frightening, often violent confrontations with white racism. He moved to Memphis where the atmosphere was less dangerous. He insulted the attempts of his kindly landlady, Mrs. Moss, to marry him to her daughter, Bess. Meanwhile, he began saving for his escape to the North. His mother, brother, and Aunt Maggie joined him in Memphis, and later moved with him to Chicago.

Chicago urged new desires and dreams in Richard, but he was still too afraid to fully acknowledge them. Mired in the sadness and chaos of the great depression, Richard found an ideology that appealed to him in Communism. He felt that he could aid the Communists in spreading their message via his writing, but to his horror and dismay, he soon discovered that petty rivalries and paranoia ran deep among his peers. He found himself he object of suspicion and distrust because he was branded an “intellectual.” After a series of political battles and a great deal of persecution, Richard became like an alien from the Party. He was ousted by several Communist when he tried to march in a May Day parade, but he did not let this rejection defeat him. Instead, he resolved to find his own forms of expression and self-realization through his writing.

One of the factors that influenced the novels was the setting. The Color Purple takes place in the south during the early 1900s. It is not usual that predjudicy against women and blacks took place. The Bluest Eye also takes place during the early 1900s in Lorain , Ohio. Similar to the Color Purple black boy takes place in the south; arond the 1930s in Mississipi.

This time in civilization is ideal for predjudicy. This was the time during the civil war. Black were not slave but they were still treated with little respect. Racist whites were extremely hostile to black literacy, and even more so to black Americans who wanted to make writing a carreer. During these times blacks were highly mistreated.

Without the setting it would be doubtful for the plot in the novel to take place. All of the novels portray prejudicy toward the characters. The theme of the Color purple is straightforward and simple. Like many other novels devoted to the mistreatment of blacks and black women espescially, The color purple is dedicated to black womens’ rights.

Much of the narrative in Walker’s novel is derived from her own experience, growing up in the rural south as an abused and uneducated child. Richard seems to be a mere reflection to Alice Walker, in his autobiography, Black Boy. Similarly to Richard and Alice Walker, Pecola is a little black girl who is also abused. Pecola’s dreams represented the all American dream.

In Pecola’s eyes hiteness represents beauty, middle-class affluence, popularity, and happiness. Throughout the novel, lines from Dick and Jane preface several chapters. The perfect white world of the reading contrasts sharply with the poverty and suffering of the black characters in the novel. A pattern of rebellion and punishment last all throughout Black Boy. After searching and searching Richard refused to give up his individuality to prove his loyalty to himself and others. He decide, as he always had, to go his own way.

The characters in The Bluest Eye, Black Boy, and The Color Purple are victims of social obstacles such as being the vistims of racism, poverty and poor education. The characters deal with their obstacles differently. Pecola hides away wishing everyday to terminate her blackness. Soon later, due to herself and people around, she goes mad thinking she is actually gifted with blue eyes more beautiful than anyone elses.

Celia stays a submissive wife until Shug comes along to boost her self-esteem to where it has never gone before. At first Richard , in Black Boy, does not understand any of his obstacles. Therefore that was his hunger to go searching for more knowledge.

Prejudice In Literature essay

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Prejudice In Literature. (2018, Nov 18). Retrieved from