Stereotypes In The Dark Monk

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t the values that society has taught is since a young age, the values that have turned into standard stereotypes, are not an actuality. However, many are not strong enough to go against the set natural boundaries. They are not willing to be the “outsiders” within the society they live in. One of the reasons for such fear is due to the strict hierarchy chain followed in the community. The novels by Pötzsch are set in 17th century Germany, where a hierarchical class order existed. The physician and town clerk were at the top of this chain and the peasants and Hangmen were at the bottom, known as “the scum of the city” (The Dark Monk 293). In both novels, though the ways many side characters act, it is clear that the hierarchical chain is strictly …show more content…

This repetition, no matter how absurd the idea, instills in people that this standard is an absolute fact. This makes breaking down the stereotypes very difficult. As a graduate student said “it was not until she [the doctoral student in the discussion] had entered college that she learned that many stereotypes about her and those who looked like her were not true” (Ward 2013). Since there is no opposing view presented, people feel like everything but that one standard is wrong. Similar to the doctoral student, most of the female characters in The Dark Monk strongly followed such values of society, Instead of sticking together in the face of oppression by the males of society, they formed standards amongst themselves, similar to what happened in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. In this novel, African Americans were discriminated against by the whites of society. However, instead of supporting each other within the African American community, class divisions formed, with those of lighter skin placing themselves in higher positions than those with darker skin (The Bluest Eye). In The Dark Monk, based on the role their husband or guarding male figure held in the community, women created a social hierarchy. In fact, they considered one of their own, the daughter of the Hangman as bad luck ,saying, “A hangman in the house brings misfortune” (The Dark Monk 17). The women become too fearful of speaking out, afraid of the repercussions and consequences. They began “begin to internalize both the negative and the positive stereotypes” (Ward 2013). The false belief as well as the threat to their livelihood makes the stereotype seem more real that it actually is. The lack of courage in standing up for their individual uniqueness again reinforces

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