In “On The Subway,” Sharon Olds depicts an affluent white narrator’s initial description of the blatant differences between her and a poor black boy seated on the opposite side of the subway car. The narrator’s external observation then shifts into an introspection of the subtle similarities shared between the two individuals despite their socioeconomic differences. Through juxtapositioning the physical differences between the narrator and the boy, allusions and comparisons of the boy to slavery, Olds asserts that white individuals achieve false superiority through their racist act of discrimination and oppression of the not-so-different African Americans. Old’s repeated allusions to slavery and racism demonstrates that even in modern day, …show more content…
When first describing the boy, the narrator states, “I look at his raw face, he looks at my fur coat.” The word raw is defined as an area of the body that is red and painful; therefore, the raw face of the boy represents the harsh struggles that the boy must endure due to his impoverished environment. On the other hand, the narrator’s fur coat—an object that is both rare and expensive—symbolizes her wealth. Through the narrator’s donning of the fur coat, one is able to infer that the poem sets during the winter. Therefore, the redness of the boy’s skin is most likely due to the inability of his thin clothing in protecting him from the coldness of the weather. The white narrator, however, is able to fare well due to the protect of her thick, dark fur garment. These two symbols place the narrator and the boy on contrasting poles on the socioeconomic spectrum. Furthermore, in regards to the boy, the narrator also directly remarks, “And he is black and I am white.” By explicitly labelling the boy as black and herself as white, the narrator furthers the vast divide between herself and the boy—separating the two of them onto opposite extremes of the color spectrum. Lastly, the narrator also mentions that she and the boy “are stuck on opposite sides of the car.” The word “stuck” represents an immovable state; therefore, the word implies that the boy and the narrator are unable to change their socioeconomic conditions from the current status quo. However, although they are on opposite ends of the subway car, the narrator and the boy still are seated face to face—representing that despite being socioeconomically opposite individuals, both the narrator and the boy are still similar as they both belong to the group of human
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When examining “Crash” and “7 Seconds in the Bronx” we observe the injustice the injustice individuals face resulting in unforgivable offenses. When examining both stories it becomes apparent that between stereotypes, authoritative discrimination, and economic hierarchy, it is tough to be of a minority background. Stereotypes are an unfair representation that has been developed about a person or a race. In “Crash” we see the struggle of being a minority. We see this in the beginning of the story when Anthony and Peter, both young adults of colour, could see Jean clenched onto her husband and purse when passing them in the streets as she pre disclosed the assumption they
Abigayle always had known that her skin complexion was much darker than her peers, however she never in her life thought it made a difference. That is until she came in contact with a white kid at her school’s playground. Abigayle
It all began with nine young-adult boys on a train, searching for work in the cities around them. Bumming on the same train were two young women, Ruby Bates and Victoria Price- lower class girls from poor families, also looking for work. After getting into a fight, the boys found police waiting for them upon arrival. Little did they know, they were about to begin an uphill battle for their lives, freedom, and justice. Price and Bates didn’t hesitate to accuse the boys, knowing it was an easy story to convince an all white jury of.
Moreover, demonstrate consequences are taken to oppress racial and ethnic minorities to keep them in a subservient position. Overall, this film has provided me with a visual depiction of how stereotypes are a mental tool that enforces racial segregation and self-hate. The label of “White” became a necessity for Sarah Jane to achieve in society. To attain it she needed to move to a new city, change her name and deny her mother.
In Barbara Lazear Ascher’s essay “On Compassion” she analyzes the idea of compassion primarily through the way society treats the homeless/less fortunate. Using anecdotal narratives and rhetorical questions, she contemplates on the true motives behind compassion and encourages her audience to ponder on this same situation. * Ascher begins her essay with an anecdote about a homeless man approaching a mother and her baby using eloquent, high-level language. As she begins to describe the man, she states that his “carefully plaited dreadlocks bespeak a better time” (paragraph 1).
Introduction Subway is an American fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells sandwiches andsalads. It is owned and operated by Doctor 's Associates Inc. Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world, with 44,280 restaurants in 110 countries and territories as of September 18, 2015. ] It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator in the world.
This chapter focuses on the depiction of prejudice, oppression and brutality in the novel under study. By analyzing the content of Black Boy we come to know about the different types of hardships and discrimination as experienced by the Richard Wright. 3.1 POVERTY AND HUNGER The text throws light on the neediness and the starvation as experienced by the black characters that are monetarily disempowered by the afflictions of racial segregation. The black population is deprived the right for equivalent work prospects.
It’s been 53 years since President Lyndon Johnson enforced the Civils Rights Act of 1964, but racism is still an ongoing issue to this day, whether it’s intentionally or inadvertently caused by the people in our society. Cornelius Eady evaluates the concept of racism through his poem, “The Cab Driver Who Ripped Me Off,” which focuses on the views of a prejudiced cab driver. Eady’s literary works focuses largely on the issue of racism within our society, centering on the trials that African Americans face in the United States. “The Cab Driver Who Ripped Me Off” from Autobiography of a Jukebox is an influential poem that successfully challenges the problems associated with racism, which is a touchy, yet prevalent problem that needs to be addressed.
Where do we draw the lines between adoration and mockery, influence and appropriation, and individuality and stereotyping? Accordingly, the racial subject has always been a touchy topic to discuss, but with the lasting effects that the black minstrelsy has left in the society, we most definitely need to deal with the racial subject. Only this way can the American society move forward both as a nation and as a species, and through such efforts, only then can we ensure that such history can never repeat
In the contemporary era, the issue of race remains a prevalent topic in public discussion. Thus, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is meaningful as it explores the legacy of racial injustice in the United States and its consequences in today’s society. In his development of the underground railroad as a literal and physical vehicle to freedom, Whitehead is able to candidly detail the ubiquitous nature of racial prejudice and the horrors associated with it. Over the course of his novel, the author utilizes a variety of rhetorical devices in order to further explore the many hardships that ‘freedom’ inevitably entails.
“On the Subway,” written by Sharon Olds, is written from the perspective of what is presumed to be an upper class white woman, who finds herself on a subway with a lower class black boy. In “On the Subway”, Olds focuses on the controversial issue of racial conflict, and the theme of White v. Black. She does so by use of contrast between whites and blacks, by using harsh enjambments, powerful imagery, and by using the tone to convey the purpose. A major strategy used by Olds throughout the poem is contrast; in this case, the contrast between blacks and whites.
The discrimination against the white race begins with a gradual distinct treatment of the African Americans who appear to have a trace of the white race. Helene proves to have a more formal dialect as she asks for “the bathroom” (23) and the black woman cannot understand until Helene finally refers to it as “the toilet” (23). The difference in word choice distinct Helene from the African Americans in the Bottom. The fact that Helene also has fairer skin than the African Americans gives the black woman a reason to believe Helene has a trace of white. Therefore, when Helene approaches the black woman on the train, “[the woman fastens her eyes]…on the thick velvet, the fair skin, [and] the high tone voice” (23), as if surprised and shocked to see an African American women appear in such a manner.
In the autobiography “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, Richard learns that racism is prevalent not only in his Southern community, and he now becomes “unsure of the entire world” when he realizes he “had been unwittingly an agent for pro-Ku Klux Klan literature” by delivering a Klan newspaper. He is now aware of the fact that even though “Negroes were fleeing by the thousands” to Chicago and the rest of the North, life there was no better and African Americans were not treated as equals to whites. This incident is meaningful both in the context of his own life story and in the context of broader African American culture as well. At the most basic level, it reveals Richard’s naïveté in his belief that racism could never flourish in the North. When
Afro-American women writers present how racism permeates the innermost recesses of the mind and heart of the blacks and affects even the most intimate human relationships. While depicting the corrosive impact of racism from social as well as psychological perspectives, they highlight the human cost black people have to pay in terms of their personal relationships, particularly the one between mother and daughter. Women novelists’ treatment of motherhood brings out black mothers’ pressures and challenges for survival and also reveals their different strategies and mechanisms to deal with these challenges. Along with this, the challenges black mothers have to face in dealing with their adolescent daughters, who suffer due to racism and are heavily influenced by the dominant value system, are also underlined by these writers. They portray how a black mother teaches her daughter to negotiate the hostile, wider world, and prepares her to face the problems and challenges boldly and confidently.
The story represents the culmination of Wright’s passionate desire to observe and reflect upon the racist world around him. Racism is so insidious that it prevents Richard from interacting normally, even with the whites who do treat him with a semblance of respect or with fellow blacks. For Richard, the true problem of racism is not simply that it exists, but that its roots in American culture are so deep it is doubtful whether these roots can be destroyed without destroying the culture itself. “It might have been that my tardiness in learning to sense white people as "white" people came from the fact that many of my relatives were "white"-looking people. My grandmother, who was white as any "white" person, had never looked "white" to me” (Wright 23).