Oppression In Today's Society

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“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” - Steven Biko. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of the word oppression is “prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control” or “the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control” and even “mental pressure or distress”. The oppressed mind can be considered to be in the hands of the oppressor if the oppressed conform to the oppressor. Today’s society could be considered oppressed by itself in a way. People allow the societal norms to rule their lives, trying to dress and act as the society wants them to as opposed to what they feel like dressing or acting. In the past, however, the oppression had a more prominent effect. In post-World War…show more content…
On page 82 he says to his mother, Lena Younger, “-it was always about money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.” He puts money above all else because of his belief that money would open the pathway to happiness for him and his family. This belief could be seen as control of the oppressor, in this case society, over the mind of an oppressed individual. The society made Walter Lee believe that there are certain things like house, car, education that he and his family need in order to be happy, and all of them could be achieved only with money. His inability to provide these things for the family made him feel inferior towards rich and predominantly white…show more content…
Once in the play, he mentioned to Lena how envious he was of the white, rich boys, “…sometimes when I’m downtown and I pass them cool, quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking about things…sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars…sometimes I see guys don’t look much older than me-” (74). He talks about these boys with such longing that a reader has to assume that Walter Lee wants to be in their place. But it wasn’t only white people that made Walter Lee envious.
At one point in the play the readers are introduced to a character by the name George Murchison, who could be considered Walter’s foil because George represents everything that Walter Lee ever wanted for himself and his family, money and success. Walter Lee tries to gain George’s respect, even resorting to lies. On page 82 the following conversation ensues, “GEORGE: Oh-you’ve been [to New York]? WALTER: Plenty of times. RUTH: (Shocked at the lie) Walter Lee Younger!” Walter Lee tries to appear more successful than he actually is, even when it is obvious to an outsider because of his living
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