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Comparing Prejudice Within 2 Stories

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Comparative Essay

 Comparing Prejudice Within 2 Stories

        Prejudice is a multi-headed beast and can be a destructive force in people’s lives. “Prejudice is a hostile opinion about some person or class of people. It is socially learned and usually grounded in misconception, misunderstanding and inflexible generalizations.” In society today, African Americans have been prejudiced on social, economic and political levels. In the short stories, “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and “Revelation”, written by Flannery O’ Connor, we see not only African Americans prejudiced but the lower class caucasians prejudiced as well both  on a social level. Both the stories take place at a time where black people are being integrated and accepted into society.

The main character and protagonist in the story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, is a elderly white lady, who lives with her son,  Julian. She puts herself above the black population. In this family’s neighbourhood, integration with the blacks had just started and Julian’s mother did not agree with this change. She would not take a bus alone. She would insist that her son accompany her. She considered herself so much superiour than the black race to the point that she was scared to ride alone on the same bus as them. Julian’s mother’s stance on black people was probably influenced by her ancestors as her grandfather owned 200 slaves back in the day. When Julian point out how times have changed and there is no longer slaves, she responds with, “They were better off when there were,”. This shows how Julian’s mother is still stuck in the past and hasn't accepted the rise of the black population. She was on a bus with Julian, with a black boy and his mother. Julian and his mother got off at the same stop as the black family and as they walked off Julian’s mother handed the black boy a penny. She may have been just trying to be nice to a little boy but it is clear that this was a gesture of superiority. She being superior to black people. It was evident that the little boy’s mother saw it as an act of prejudice and therefore reacted the way she did, by hitting the woman.This is the kind of behaviour of a prejudice women.

Mrs. Turpin, the main character and protagonist in the story, “Revelation”, is also an elderly lady who is married to her husband Claud. Mrs. Turpin believes she is better than most people and likes to look at society in different classes. She being in the class of “home and land owners”, with only one class above hers but below she placed, “home owners only” and then last she put “the blacks and the white trash”. In the story, Mrs. Turpin finds herself in a waiting room with Claud, where she instantly starts placing everyone in their correct class. She makes very prejudice thoughts. The narrator says, “She could tell by the way they sat - kind of vacant and white trash…Her dirty yellow hair was tied behind with a little piece of red paper ribbon. worse than niggers any day, Mrs. Turpin thought.”. This is clear prejudice thoughts towards blacks and even her own race. Mrs. Turpin mentions how niggers should be working for you and says “ I sure am tired of buttering up niggers, but you got to love em if you want em to work for you.”. This shows how Mrs. Turpin is fake to them so that they stay working for her.

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