The Effect Of Stereotypes Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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him slow to accept and react on the truth. Only after Charlie points out the truth is he certain enough to act upon it.. Gavin?s stereotype blinded him from looking past Lucas? color to the truth that Lucas, and eventually Charlie, knew. Twain shows an identical situation when he depicts the Grangerfords feuding with the Shepardsons. When Buck describes the feud to Huck, the Grangerfords? stereotype of the Shepardsons surfaces. “?a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man?s brother kills him?But it?s kind of slow, and takes a long time.” (Twain 111). When Huck asks how long this feud has been going on, Buck cannot give a straight answer, instead, he says “It started thirty years ago, or som?ers along there. There was trouble

?bout something?” (Twain 111). These remarks show how Buck blindly clings to the stereotypes that have become part of his life. He does not know what they feud is about or how it started, he just fights the Shepardsons because his family has done so for years. This ignorant stereotype led to the explosion of the feud when Miss Sophia, a Grangerford, ran off to marry Haney Shepardson. Both families, seeing this as intolerable, renewed the fight with new tenacity. Twain uses pathos to show how this incites the downfall of both families. “?then I covered up their faces, and got away as quick as I could. I cried a little when I was covering up Buck?s face, for he was mighty good to me,” (Twain 118). Huck covers up the face of his friend who dies because he could not look past

the stereotypes of his elders. The stereotype that said the Shepardsons were the enemies of the Grangerfords prevented them from realizing that there was no reason for both families to fight as they did. Faulkner shows the theme of stereotypes resulting in the inability to see the big picture in the character of Mr. Lilly. Mr. Lilly stereotypes that a black man such as Lucas found in the given situation must be guilty. Mr. Lilly?s attitude falls short of the American ideal that a person “is innocent until proven guilty.” This stereotype prohibits him from seeing that Lucas did not commit the murder. He responds to the possibility of a lynching, by saying “That sonofab____ ought to have thought of that before he taken to killing white men?” (Faulkner 49). Mr. Lilly shows

here how he views the situation. He immediately assumes Lucas as guilty and feels that he has no one to blame but himself if the Gowries lynch him. Mr. Lilly thinks Lucas executed the murder solely for the reason that he is black and Vinson is white. Gavin responds to this by speaking how Mr. Lilly probably does not even hate Negroes. He then explains how Mr. Lilly would be among the first to donate money to Lucas? widow and children if he had them (Faulkner 49). Mr. Lilly?s stereotype prevents him from looking past the obvious, and from seeing the bigger, more important, picture. Faulkner sums this idea this when he says “?no man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors” (Faulkner 49). As seen in these two novels, that stereotypes

that a person possesses can prevent him from seeing the larger picture. When a person holds the stereotypes of his ancestors, there comes a time when these must be questioned to see if they apply to the individual at all times, and in all situations. William Faulkner and Mark Twain both place their characters in these situations in their books. When placed in these situations, the characters are forced to step back and reexamine their stereotypes through internal conflict. Twain shows his protagonist, Huck, fighting this internal conflict in two instances. First, two men that are looking for runaway slaves confront Huck on the river. The men ask Huck if anyone else is on the raft, and if so what color is he. Huck hesitates with an answer because he feels loyalty to Jim but also

because the “right” thing to do is to turn in Jim. This hesitation becomes apparent when Huck says, “I didn?t answer up promptly. I tried to, but the words wouldn?t come. I tried for a second or two to brace up and out with it, but I warn?t man enough – hadn?t the spunk of a rabbit. I see I was weakening; so I just give up trying, and up and says: ?He?s white?” (Twain 94). Huck?s stereotype tells him that allowing Jim to escape is the wrong thing to do, resulting in his hesitation. When he returns to the raft after the two men leave, Huck shows his frustration with himself for not doing the right thing. “?feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong?” (Twain 95). Due to the stereotype of Huck?s upbringing that said all Negroes should be enslaved,