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Analysis Of Angie Thomas 'The Hate U Give'

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Starr Carter, the protagonist of Angie Thomas’s young adult novel, The Hate U Give, epitomizes the subversion of cultural racial oppression through the development of an identity that encompasses multiple consciousnesses. As an African American teenage girl raised in a middle-class family attending a high school with primarily White upper-class students, Starr finds the need to prove her belongingness to both communities in Garden Heights and at Williamson Prep. Unlike her White upper-class counterparts at Williamson and African American middle-to-low-class counterparts in Garden Heights, Starr’s identity is multifaceted. She must act and interact with her peers with respect to her location, in other words, utilize double consciousness. However,…show more content…
Starr explains, “I just have to be normal Starr at normal Williamson and have a normal day. That means flipping the switch in my brain so I’m Williamson Starr. Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang… Slang makes them cool. Slang makes her ‘hood.’ Williamson Starr holds her tongue when people piss her off so nobody will think she’s the ‘angry black girl.’ Williamson Starr is approachable… Williamson Star is nonconfrontational. Basically, Williamson Star doesn’t give any reason to call her ghetto” (71). Rather than internalizing the racism, she acknowledges the racial stereotypes and sacrifices the expression of her cultural background and unified identity to achieve inclusion and disprove the notion that all African Americans act a certain way. Starr code-switches as a means to discredit beliefs that certain characteristics are fixed and inborn to particular groups, including the implied notions that African Americans are more violent, unruly, and not safe to be around, ideas that are commonly portrayed through mainstream media. She also attempts to subvert the association of minority cultures with disorder, primitiveness, backwardness, and violence. Starr’s double consciousness risks the likelihood of her to express a unified identity, demonstrating a…show more content…
Her personas differ by the community she interacts with, whether it be Garden Heights or Williamson Prep; she must adjust accordingly to the social norms. By constantly performing double consciousness in attempts to prove her belongingness to both communities, Starr sacrifices her unified identity to achieve social inclusion. Unlike her White upper-class counterparts at Williamson and African American middle to low-class counterparts in Garden Heights, Starr’s identity is multifaceted. Starr utilizes double consciousness so often to the point where Williamson Starr and Garden Heights Starr and two designated people with different personalities, speech patterns, as well as musical and fashionable interests. Though some may argue that it deems unnecessary to perform double consciousness on a daily basis, Starr utilizes double consciousness to counteract the cultural racial oppression, or to disprove the essentialist notions involving her background, symbolizing the corrupt race-based system that restricts minorities from expressing their own cultural
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