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Prejudice And Discrimination In Texts Essay

1905 words - 8 pages

This essay outlines the presence and nature of prejudice and discrimination, exploring their causes and effects in the texts "The Green Mile", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Bend it Like Beckham".Prejudice and Discrimination In TextsIn the film The Green Mile and the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which display racial prejudice, and the film Bend It Like Beckham that addresses sexism, authors have drawn the conclusions that prejudice and discrimination can be caused by stereotyping and the need to conform to a socially accepted view. This often results in marginalisation, division and isolation of the victim. This has been done in the contexts of novel and film, using narrative and cinematic techniques appropriate to the various texts.The novel To Kill A Mockingbird set in the deep south of America during the depression and published in the 1960's during the emergence of the Civil rights Movement. It was written for Negroes to raise awareness and change attitudes from prejudice to tolerance.In To Kill A Mockingbird, all Negroes are viewed collectively, as inferior savages without use, rights or feelings. They are all seen as dangerous and violent. Mr Ewell shows this when he uses language reserved for animals to talk about Negroes in the courtroom "I seen that black nigger ... ruttin on my Mayella!" (p190) and again with "...lived down yonder in that nigger-nest..."They are viewed as less than people, displayed when Scout consoles Dill who is upset with the injustice in the courtroom by saying that "...after all [Tom is] just a Negro..." This quote too shows the insidious nature of the prejudice, as it has infected Scout and Dill, innocent children.The prejudiced attitudes of the townspeople are further displayed through characters acting as foils to one another. When the composer pits Lula and Calpurina against each other at the "nigger church" (p131-132), the responder is immediately exposed to the division that has occurred in this community. The attitudes and behaviour of all people in the community are based on stereotype. When Calpurina takes Jem and Scout to her church, predominated by Negroes, Jem and Scout are immediately separated from the usual congregation and are seen not as other people, but as "white chillun'" as opposed to "niggers" as they refer to themselves. Lula and Cal act as foils to each other with Lula's attack of cal that, "[she] ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here - they got their church, we got our'n." When Cal responds with "It's the same God, ain't it?" the reader is able to recognise her as the superior character. Lula is resentful that Negroes have been excluded and hence wants to retaliate by excluding. She is depicted as narrow minded, conservative and prejudiced. Alternatively, Calpurina is viewed as tolerant, liberal, forgiving, adaptable and accepting of her circumstances. In doing this the composer is able to show the reader which character is more appealing and therefore which characteristics should...

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