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Judgment In The House Of Sand And Fog By Andre Dubus

1520 words - 6 pages

People place judgment on one another every day based on differences. Sometimes it is done subconsciously; sometimes it is done on purpose. In the book The House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III, two different cultures were represented; Kathy represented the culture of the western civilization, whereas Behrani represented the culture of Persians. People judge one another based on unimportant things, and get judged based on those same things as well. Two cultures were used to amplify how different their cultures were from one another. Throughout the book cultures vocalized what they did not like about the other cultures by placing judgment on people based on ethnicity, appearance, and status; despite how different the cultures were, they had something in common, negative judgment. In a world where there is so much diversity, the only way for all cultures to get along is to place judgments aside and accept the differences.
The book is introduced with Behrani placing judgment on the people he works with. He is judging the other people based on their race, and their status. Behrani refers to the men he works with as if they don't deserve to even be in his presence. "He is goh, the shit of life. They are all goh," (pg 16). Even though many of the men he works with do not deserve to be regarded so low, Behrani judges them as he would if he still maintained the position he had in Iran as a colonel. Behrani and his family also judge Kathy for being American. When Behrani explains to his son the situation their family is now a part of he explains it in a way that is judging of Americans. He says, "Remember what I have told you of so many Americans: they are not disciplined and have not the courage to take responsibility for their actions… [t]hey are like little children," (pg. 172), Behrani is teaching his child the negative stereotypes that he uses to judge Americans. Kathy Nicolo and Lester Burdon are no better than Behrani. Lester, while attempting to scare the Behrani family out of the house says, "I understand your friend the Shah used to make a real habit of it," (pg. 167). Lester judged Behrani's morals and his past based on the fact that Behrani was an ethnic man, a Persian man, photographed with a man who has a bad history. He also threatened to have the INS check out the Behrani family, and "pull strings" if necessary to get the Behranis out of the house, even though the Behrani family had full U.S. citizenship at that point. These judgments passed out by both cultures show that all cultures function using judgment. In the reading The Case for Contamination, Appiah states that some people like and some people don't like that certain cultures have accepted being "able to get a discussion going about Ronaldo, Mike Tyson or Tupac," and being able to "find a bottle of Guinness or Coca-Cola," (paragraph 9). Many people judge people who have accepted western civilizations, considering their identities threatened.
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