All Quiet On The Western Front: A Literary Analysis

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High school gossip can be tough to navigate around for many people, and in small, private schools such as Convent & Stuart Hall, rumors spread like wildfire. The rumors stem from an individual whose single story reverberates everywhere. Othello by William Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque show the dangers of a single story. The novels all follow very different plotlines but share the common literary aspect of a single story or rumor. Just as in real life, the stories or rumors take on a life of their own inside the heads of each character. Since there is a lack of opposing evidence, the single story tricks the mind into believing that it must be true. The single story…show more content…
In To Kill a Mockingbird, the racism of the time nullifies the argument of the black Tom Robinson and makes the story of white Mayella Ewell the only feasible story. When there was a trial in the 1930s in the American south, the whites always one. When Mayella Ewell accuses Tom Robinson of raping her, the accusation still stood, despite the lack of any incriminating evidence against Tom. In the courtroom, the white jury never question Mayella’s words, even when she disrespects them. Mayella says, “That nigger yonder took advantage of me an' if you fine fancy gentlemen don't wanta do nothin' about it then you're all yellow stinkin' cowards, stinkin' cowards, the lot of you” (251). Racism is so prominent that going against the grain is unheard of and shameful. Mayella’s story is the only one which people are listening to. She and her story are single-handedly ruining Tom’s life, all because he is black. His conviction only reaffirms the racism. The danger of a single story is that people will use their position of power to overcome their inferiors. By not realizing that all people have an equal voice, only a single story is heard, and a single story in court will ruin people’s
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