Tower Of Babel. A Look At Robert Louis Stevenson's Work

916 words - 4 pages

Racialism--a doctrine or teaching, without scientific support, that claims to find racial differences in character, intelligence, etc., that asserts the superiority of one race over another or others. Throughout time, conflicts between contrasting races and cultures have been apparent. From the racial tension between blacks and whites to the persecution of the Jewish by the Nazis, one common ideal has been sought after over and over from the beginning to the end of time. This goal can be summed up into one phrase, 'Why can't we all just get along?' In much of literature, many authors have addressed this issue of racialism, and with persistence and much sweat, it has been realized that these practices of racism are morally incorrect, and that the mentality of the public must be subjugated to reprogramming. Robert Louis Stevenson is one of these authors who revealed to the public its moral and cultural disrespect towards other human beings that are equal and parallel in all ways except beliefs. In doing so, he created the novel Kidnapped. In the novel Kidnapped, Stevenson carefully molds his theme of duality and character's personal and cultural conflicts to narrate a story about a kidnapped boy, named David, who, through his growing cultural tolerance and open-mindedness, matures from a naive adolescent to a young man capable of dealing with crisis and accepting his role in the culturally divided world.Despite extensive cultural differences, the Highlanders and Lowlanders represent two halves of a society that must intermingle in order to reach their summit of individual and group possibilities. These two definitive cultures of Highlanders and Lowlanders are represented respectively by Alan and David. In the story, David is frequently portrayed as one who dislike Highlanders, and his adventures show why. His first guide tries to cheat him, with the belief that all Lowlanders are easy targets. The second guide believing too, that Lowlanders are easy targets, questioned David extensively with 'Where I came from, whether I was rich, whether I could change a five shilling piece' (Stevenson 102-103). Perhaps the worst fault shown by Stevenson in the Highlanders is the treachery and murderousness in much that they do.Despite David's personal conflicts between the two cultures, much of his own attitudes change. For through these cultural conflicts, he learns not to be judgmental and realizes the virtues of the corresponding faults that the Highlanders possess, thus paving the way to an everlasting friendship. David realizes that although they tried to cheat him as a stranger, they help him unhesitatingly, refusing to take any money at all, once he is under Alan's protection. Their treachery is also an intrepid resistance to superior...

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