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Actions, And Emotions Of People I.E. Human Psychology

2436 words - 10 pages

The relationship between perception and reality is an intriguing one. Usually it is assumed that perceptions of people are based on the reality of there actions. In other words, how a person is characterized by others stems from the reality of how he chooses to live his lives. It is important to note, however, that in issues of race, this normal relationship between perception and reality is convoluted. Often in cases of race, people may enter into the judgment or the characterization of others with preconceived perceptions that are not always based on the reality of an individual's actions. Furthermore, these perceptions, often misperceptions form the basis of reality. In The Outsider and Uncle Tom's Children, by Richard Wright, the destiny of the characters is based upon how they are perceived by others. In order to understand how perception forms identity, it is important to focus upon central characters in each novel. In The Outsider, the main character Cross Damon is alienated by society and depends solely upon himself. In Uncle Tom's Children, Big Boy tries to fit the perception of himself and eventually goes too far, leading to a tragic fate. Although it is true in both characters case that perception is derived from reality, each was subject to unfair reputations. Both Cross and Big Boy, shared a similar dilemma in which two misunderstood characters suffered a tragic life.In The Outsider, Cross is viewed by other, including his friends and family, as an outsider, someone who has no motivation to connect with anyone else and chooses to live life as a loner. Although throughout the novel he is very cool to his family members and friends, it is clear that society has a pre-determined opinion of him. His ex-wife Gladys, girlfriend Dot, and even his own mother feel that Cross is totally uninterested in anyone else but himself. Cross's friends see him as more friendly, however, they still form the same opinion of Cross. His mother is one character who unfortunately makes it known how she feels about her son.Son, can't you deny yourself sometimes and not hurt others?" You're destroying yourself. I know you believe only in your own pleasure, but must you hurt other people? If you feel that you can't master yourself, then take your problem to God (The Outsider, 29).This quote by Cross's mother is proof that she finds him selfish and that his only salvation is in God. The more Cross hears negative remarks about himself, the more he believes they are true. His wife Gladys is also guilty of destroying Cross's self-confidence. After they break up, she refuses to divorce him and instead holds him as a moral slave. She does this by not divorcing and legally receiving the house, car, and money because they are still married.Cross, understand this: so far as I'm concerned you're through! I'm squeezing you like a lemon. You are scum of the earth and you will be treated that way! That's how things stand between us, Cross (The Outsider, 87).This quote by...

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