The Danger Of Misconceptions Essay

986 words - 4 pages

Misconceptions are false ideas or beliefs that often root from pre-mature assumptions, or inherited point of views. These misconceptions exist, and will be eternally present. Misconceptions can be formed about topics such as race, gender, politics, and culture. The results of minor misconceptions could be harmless. However, misconceptions can be dangerous when they are major or widespread. After performing a subject analysis on A Lesson Before Dying, Persepolis, and “Exploring the Negative Consequences of Stereotyping”; I conclude that when an individual person or party is subjected to a misconception, they will react negatively.
Stereotypes are one form of misconceptions. A stereotype is an “unfair belief that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same” (Merriam-Webster). In Ernest J. Gaines’ novel A Lesson Before Dying, racial stereotypes are plentiful. The white men are under the misconception that all black people are uneducated and inferior. This misconception can be categorized as a racial stereotype because; it is associating the trait of being uneducated and inferior with the entirety of the black population. The first sign of this misconceptions’ existence arrived during Jefferson’s trial when his defense said, “Look at him. Do you see a man sitting here? ... Do you see a modicum of intelligence? Do you see anyone here who could plan a murder, a robbery, can plan–can plan-can plan anything? … Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this.”(Gaines 7-8). The defense is simply stating that Jefferson is not worthy of being deemed a human. Instead he compares Jefferson to an impulsive and wild animal such as a hog. The defense’s degrading words towards Jefferson’s worth troubled Miss Emma. She told Grant “Called him a hog”, “I know he was just trying to get him off. But they didn’t pay that no mind. Still gave him death”, “I don’t want them to kill no hog”, “I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet” (Gaines 13). Miss Emma’s reaction to the racial stereotype that all blacks are inferior is portrayed through this series of quotes. Further proof of my claim’s validity can be found within the following quote taken from Sam and Grant’s conversation, “You’re smart. Maybe you’re just a little too smart for your own good … I don’t like it” (Gaines 49). This quote displays an example of denial to the possibility of intelligent African Americans. Sam Guidry acknowledges Grant’s intelligence; however, he also conveys that he does not approve of it. Jefferson’s defense and Sam Guidry are perfect examples of the common white person’s mindset during the 1940’s. Both examples given represent instances in which racial stereotypes are present and how they affect the people subjected to them. Obviously, as the given support shows, the parties who are subjected to these stereotypes react negatively.
In Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis, a common misconception...

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