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Racism In Modern Literature
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TITLE (EDIT)
Racism In Modern Literature
DESCRIPTION
-
[704 words]
AUTHOR
Christian Obermanns
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[March 2002]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
New Beginnings (Novels) A story for english. [2,544 words]
Once Upon A Midnight Snacking (Poetry) A Parody of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". [366 words]
Racism In Modern Literature
Christian Obermanns


Comparison Essay

Racism is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as the notion that one’s own ethnic stock is superior. It is the belief, or theology, if you will, that one race is better than another. The hatred and harsh emotions caused by racism have inspired great leaders, and has driven people to the psychological edge. Both Michael Chrichton and Alex Haley, great authors of their respective times, have described racism in their books. Roots, by Haley, describes the saga of an American slave family from generation to generation. Rising Sun, by Chrichton, tells the story of a young detective caught in the middle of a racist corporation murder. The themes behind these popular books are similar in the fact that they both show instances of racism.

The horrid accounts of slavery in the Americas date to the early 1700’s, when Africans were taken from their villages and forced into bondage. They were beaten, tortured, and driven to the brink of madness, all because of the color of their skin. In the book Roots, the main character’s foot was cut off simply because he disobeyed a white man. Early Americans shunned the African beliefs, calling them witchcraft. Blacks were though as stupid, lifeless buffoons, unfit for all civilized things but work. Michael Chrichton describes similar things in his book. Rising Sun starts with the murder of a young Japanese woman, presumably a racial crime. This woman was a prostitute, and was most likely used because of her racial upbringing. The Japanese men think nothing of “Snuffing out the life of a local whore”(100). The book also describes how racist big Japanese corporate bosses are. Right now, in the real world, Japanese corporations are buying America out from under our noses. The fact is they believe American businessmen are not doing a good enough job running our own economy. “Sunday meetings,” as they are called, are Japanese conglomerate meetings to decide how they would control the U.S economy. It is only then that the true realities of corporate Japanese beliefs come to play. The book goes to great depths about how native Japanese dislike Americans, and think of them incapable of running normal businesses. Several Los Angeles gang fights break out over police investigation. A young, Caucasian man finds himself in the middle of bigotry and assault. Gang wars break out solely because of a single racist incident. A Japanese gang is also convicted of killing three white men. The hardships he faces along his investigation describe in detail the racial stereotypes that are so typical of modern day people.

In Rising Sun, a young Japanese-American model is strangled to death at a corporate party. The Japanese pretend to cover it up, but the detectives working for the Los Angeles Police Department finally find out it was actually a premeditated murder. The Japanese businessmen made the Americans feel degraded and stupid. Even Japanese-Americans are disliked to the native Japanese population. The book also goes into great depth about the Japanese hatred of disfigured and different colored people of America. Kunta is also biased on account of his race in Roots. Even fellow slaves are disliked on account of their level of “Blackness.” For example, native-born Africans were regarded more “stupid” and unloyal than the generations of American born slave children, solely because of their lighter skin due to crossbreeding. A first generation African-American says of Africans, “’Dem African N- be stupid as dirt”(178). Mixed races due to owner relations are also called “mistakes of god”. One of the characters in Roots, George, is looked down upon because his master is really his father. In Rising Sun, one of the main characters is from a mix of African and Japanese backgrounds. She is also missing her right arm due to birth defects. Killers target the woman solely because of her mixed race and disfigurement.

Both Roots by Alex Haley and Rising Sun by Michael Chrichton account for feelings of racial hatred. Kunta Kinte was hated for his skin and customs, while in Rising Sun; the detectives were racially biased on their intellectual and physical appearance. Even though settings of the books are hundreds of years apart, they still describe bigotry and racism today.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (2)
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"CHRISTIAN: WHILE I UNDERSTAND YOUR ESSAY TIME CONSTRAINT, I'D LIKE TO ADD A FEW FACTS. AFRICAN PROVIDENTIAL KINGS FREELY SOLD THEIR PEOPLE. YET, AMERICA, ENGLAND, PORTUGAL AND OTHER COUNTRIES WERE WRONG TO PARTICIPATE. EVENTUALLY, OUR COUNTRY PAID THE PRICE WITH THE LOST OF 50,000 INNOCENT LIVES. PERTAINING TO THE ASIANS: AS WITH ALL NATIONS WHO LOST THEIR INITIATED PHYSICAL WAR CAMPAIGN, THE ASIANS HAVE ALSO TRIED AND FAILED TO INHERIT THE EARTH THROUGH FINANCIAL DOMINANCE. I ALSO WOULD'VE ENJOYED READING ABOUT THE ALLEGED PLIGHT OF TODAYS NATIVE INDIANS. I SAY ALLEGED BECAUSE THE INDIANS HAVE NO ILL WILL AGAINST MEXICO AND SPAIN, BUT ONLY AGAINST AMERICA. WHY? THE INDIANS DEFEATED THE MEXICAN AND SPANIARD ARMIES, BUT LOST TO THE AMERICAN COLONY. TALK ABOUT SORE LOSERS. AND IF THE INDIANS WERE SUCH PEACE LOVING PEOPLE, THEN WHY WERE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT TRIBES. ALL COUNTRIES PAST AND PRESENT HAVE A KING OF THE HILL MENTALITY. BUT, AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN, ALL EMPIRES EVENTUALLY SELF-DESTRUCT. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT BECAUSE OF THE MIXING OF THE RACES, WE MAY SEE GLOBAL UNITY IN FUTURE GENERATIONS. " -- JOHN D. GALYON, JR., MANCHESTER, NH, USA.
"while you laid out your essay pretty well, concentrating on two books, the writing was confusing. i could not figure out what your point was as the examples were all intermingled. overall sentence construction was bad. but, hey good try. " -- sunny, dc, usa.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2002 Christian Obermanns
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
2656
 

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