Writ 101 study guides and related essays.
Writ 101 study guides and related essays. Writ 101
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Ayush Dhital on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Writ 101 at University of Mississippi taught by Michelle Renae Bright in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see English Writing in English at University of Mississippi.
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Date Created: 09/25/16
Ayush Dhital Writ 101 Mrs. Bright Sept. 12, 2016 Difficulty of Discussing American Race James Baldwin once said “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”. This saying comes handy while discussing the topic of race. It enlightens us with a general insight that, although it might be a strenuous task to switch off racism from one’s mind, family and society as a whole, but if we take steps, we will be able to mitigate it for sure. “Ten Little Indians”, by Sherman Alexie has taken a big step in confronting the deeply rooted issue of race in American society. Rather than displaying the surficial difficulties, Alexie has done a brave act of diving at the depth of problem in order to provide a true reflection of racial issue. “The Help”, by Dana Stevens has portrayed the general view of the present American Society regarding the issues of race. She has been able to sketch general structure and behavior of racism pervading in our society in order to show us the triumph and forfeiture that our society has received so far in the long voyage. Through a collection of realistic and heart touching stories, Sherman Alexie has put up a great deal of effort in showing the actual condition of our present society and its views regarding racism. Through the indepth interpretation of her stories it can be drawn that Stereotypes with their prejudice and biased natures are like potatoes and they can be found anywhere. The countless people who have characterized William as a Mexican or Fekadu as a black American person all fall into this list. However, such forethought is not applicable only in the context of color but other factors and events as well. After the 9/11 attacks, while William secretly feared for his life travelling in planes, he himself was taken to be a terrorist by many, majorly because of his skin tone. William, who is an AmericanIndian has not been able to freely confront his race to others. “William didn’t want to be having this conversation. He wondered if his silence would silence the taxi driver”, pg. 114 from “Flight Patterns” helps us infer the reclusions William has for the taxi driver and his reticence in discussing the race. Similarly, the quote, “In Spain the previous summer, an elderly porter had cursed at William when he insisted on carrying his own bags into the hotel” from “Flight Patterns” pg.110, vividly reflects the inner desire of some stereotypes to be dominated. Instead of being thankful to William for his help, the old man cursed him which suggests that somewhere inside the mind of people racism and inequality has reserved a place same as a religion and they worship it instead. These are all examples of misguided and unsorted beliefs that are rooted into people’s minds. Discussing a topic such as race with a biased majority is undoubtedly a fierce battle. Similarly, racism has many forms, layers engraved one over the other. A simple demonstration on the levels of racism can be given through Fekadu’s anecdotes. Firstly, he is considered a Black American by many which completely contrasts the fact that he is from Ethiopia. Secondly, Fekadu, a taxi driver, is thought to be uneducated and illiterate whereas he holds a degree in Physics. Also, after the 9/11 attacks, just by being black worker, he is judged as a crackhead and drug abuser. Similarly, citation of the quote, “People think that I’m black American. They always want to hiphop rap to me. ‘Are you East Coast or West Coast?’ they ask me, and I tell them I am Ivory Coast.” can help us get a realistic view of Fekadu’s situation and his position in the society. All the Americans consider him to be a black American just on the basis of his color and his true identity is completely lost. This situation has been partially beneficial and partially detrimental for Fekadu. The benefit he gets from this generalization of people is that he is never seen as a possible threat to the country for being a Muslim but is rather considered to be a drug addict and a crackhead. But, on the other hand, he has to live his life fearing with peoples, getting afraid to talk about his ethnicity and his original identity. There is always a fear deeply rooted inside his minds that affects him every seconds and has made his life difficult to live. Also, his separation from the family has added sour to his stillraw wound. Likewise, Dana Steven’s review of THE HELP argues over how the world has treated racism. Rather than portraying a realistic sketch of black Americans, the movie has exhibited a simplistic racial issue. It has considered racism as a quaint artifact of the days, a view that depicts the degree of deepness of the issue and how lightly it has been taken. What really goes on in the abyss of racial issues has not been touched upon at all. Moreover, the story starts to incline towards the selfdiscovery of the solo white character. Stevens is hopeful of there at least being a medium where racial issues can be put forward but vehemently states that this minute progress would account for nothing if the main issue is sidelined. Racism is a complex issue that cannot be overthrown or eradicated along the roots within a day or two but rather we need to have a strong passion in order to see the changes to occur. No one by birth is a racist nor anyone aspires to be one in life. Racism is rather social by birth and the one who gives birth to it are narrow minded and dominating jerks in the society. In order to bring a long lasting change in people’s view on others from a different race we need to start treating everyone equal and respect each other’s race, ethnicity and identity. Work Cited: Alexie, Sherman. Ten Little Indians. “Flight Patterns” Grove Press, 2003. Stevens, Dana. “The Help.” “The Norton Field Guide” textbook. Common Read Project: A Reflection Racial issue is an arduous problem to deal with and to brainstorm the ideas and difficulties in discussing race in America is a strenuous task for certain. Especially, for someone like me who is not familiar with the US culture and people in here, the task becomes more debilitating. In order to get a vivid view of American society and the thought process of citizens’ in here the book “Ten Little Indians” by Sherman Alexie, helped me a lot. The portrayal of real American society through her imaginary characters in a particular set of situation is a work of admiration. I had to go through a lot of troubles while doing my assignments. The first and the main problem was being unable to understand the real society and prevalence of racial issues in it. I was not able to see the discrimination based on color and race between peoples in America except some small instances that I actually observed on some of the movies. This blind side of mine was finally cleared by the book “Ten Little Indians” that reflected the real sketch of American society. Besides this, the review of “The Help” by Dana Stevens also helped me figure out the situation. The most helpful source for me to deal with the problem was the review my fellow students provided to me. They pointed out the lacking in my essay and the topics I’ve missed to discuss. Besides all these I took some help from the internet in order to dive into the root of racial problem. My Identity Identity is a unique set of character an individual inherits. A person’s identity clearly reflects his society, his family and his beliefs. There are many factors responsible for shaping a person’s identity: society, family and friends are the most influential factors. Every person’s identity reflects his/her religion, culture, beliefs and society and nation as a whole and so does mine. I belong to a middle class family from a country far at east, Nepal. So, from a perspective of Nation, ‘Nepali’ is my identity. But, just being a citizen of Nepal does not complete my identity and describe who I am. The race for my religion began at my home. Hinduism became my birthright religious identity. As I grew up, I was taught to worship gods, to visit temples and keep faith in them and I was also taught to be polite, respect and love others and be social which became the inseparable attributes of my identity. Similarly, my society has a big influence over my identity. I learnt to socialize, to communicate with different people, to respect and love all members of society. My society has played a big role in developing my identity and in making me who I am today. Since, it is our society that provides us with an ambience for our identity to flourish. I learnt important social norms and values as a member of my society. Actually, I never gave much attention to my identity and what my identity was composed of before I visited America for my higher study. This visit gave me an opportunity to scrutinize my identity and I was able to isolate uniqueness in me. I found religious difference as I was a Hindu and the rest in here were Christians. Cultural difference, difference in social norms and values and other things I considered to be holy meant nothing significant for people in here. People had their own way of living, own culture, religion and their set of beliefs that I wasn’t familiar with. Native Americans Every group has their own identity. Identity is a unique set of characteristics every individual inherits. Native Americans have their own identity and unique set of beliefs. They are the indigenous people of America who had to make vital changes in their lifestyle due to arrival of the Europeans. Native Americans are seen from the eyes of disrespect. Their way of clothing is old- fashioned. They do not communicate and are aloof which indicates their solitude and unwillingness to be adapted in the new changing environment. They face severe social threats. They are discriminated and their tribe is taken to be abnormal and weird. They are taken to be underdeveloped and out of place and they are not modernized. In the video shown, the director tries to depict the picture of native Americans in modern society. It shows that Indians were engaged in agriculture and hunting. Their way of clothing shows their illiteracy. After the Europeans sailed into land, they used their far developed intelligence and tactics to colonize it from its original descendants. Centuries of inhumane slavery followed and now, even though physical slavery has been abolished, the roots of racism are still vibrant. Many prejudiced and biased people look at the colored with disgust and hatred. Their animosity is present simply by judging the outer cover of the next person, not by character or content. Rage is hidden even among the educated and thus, discussion of racism becomes more difficult than any other topic and overcoming it looks like an unreachable destination.
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