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The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Transcript of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Modern racism has evolved from an aggressive prejudicial behaviour to a more subtle prejudicial behaviour. This type of subtle prejudicial behaviour is often felt as micro-aggressions by individuals while growing up or in their day to day activities. Modern racism is the mindset that certain races are better or worse with specific innate abilities or weaknesses. For example, black athletes are often regarded as naturally athletic while white athletes are often seen as being unable to run fast or jump high. Whites are often regarded as naturally rational, fair and caring while blacks are often regarded as criminal, untrustworthy and irrational. Asians are often seen as intelligent, while Hispanics are regarded as unintelligent. All of these myths are seen as innate manifestations that are embedded in our subconscious belief systems. Many of these beliefs are perpetuated by a media which show these stereotypes in different forms over and over again (movies, cartoons, music videos, sitcoms, newspapers etc.). Stereotypes are also further reinforced by our school system in the curriculum that is covered and not covered (e.g. the invisibility of Native Americans). The socialization we receive while growing up in our families also contributes greatly to our beliefs in inferiority and superiority of certain individual groups.
Overview of racism and the impact it’s had on society over time.
Definition of racism
A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
Without any given dates racism has been an issue throughout history. Racism has been shown through world wars the Bore War, Vietnam War, the erection of the Great Wall of China, the conflict between North and South Korea and Gallipoli, not to mention the Jewish Holocaust and issues within the United Kingdom, just to mention a few examples.
In Australia society today, although it is multicultural, there are ongoing issues of racism in regards to not only legal immigrants but also “boat people”.
Unfortunately, much of society is willing to accept the many different cultures and religions, there will always be the minority who do not accept others into their community.
How racism is explored in the novel
Racism is explored throughout the novel, but in particularly where the father of Bruno describes the Jews in huts as not people at all.
Bruno thought about his question, wanting to phrase it exactly right this time, just in case it came out as being rude or unco-operative. ‘Who are all those people outside?’ he said finally.
Father tilted his head to the left, looking a little confused by the question. ‘Soldiers, Bruno,’ he said. ‘And secretaries. Staff workers, you’ve seen them all before, of course.’
‘No, not them,’ said Bruno. ‘The people I see from my window. In the huts, in the distance. They’re all dressed the same.’
‘Ah, those people,’ said father, nodding his head and smiling slightly. ‘Those people…well; they’re not people at all, Bruno.’
This quote is an example of racism by signifying the Jews as they are not people by Bruno’s father directly criticises the Jewish race.
Racism has been influenced to Bruno from his father without Bruno actually knowing what his father is meaning.
How racism is relevant to society today
It’s very unfair to assume that the last 50 years of evolution would simply wash away the scars of the past. Racism has become institutionalized. Racial inequality continues within society today, in which the level of external racist arrogances and laws have been switched with an unequal sharing of wealth, a lack of job openings, uneven educational systems and ineffective government programs. Most of the characters in charge of government and economic institutions are white wealthy men. Although these men may not spout racist jargon, they offer opportunities for occupation and power to those they can relate to, often other white wealthy men.
Characters, Language And Themes
The father’s character is portrayed as a very intolerant man. In a position of high authority he looks down upon anyone a lesser rank than him eg soldier, servants. However the Jewish people in his eyes are the lowest of low. He is also portrayed as believing that Jewish people hold no place in society. The language is very calm but derogatory without Bruno actually knowing. As the father is looked up to by society of that time, the racism against Jews is also strongly carried by all other characters. Within his family unit he is a dominant man who belittled his wife and does not value her opinion on any matter. It is not until he comes to the realization that his son has been mistaken as a Jew that he realizes all people are the same no matter what their beliefs.
How racism is relevant to society today
Growing up in a society in which the face of racial discrimination is often masked and ignored by social media, it is hard to see where and how we still need to change. Some may argue that we do not need to change and that racism does not exist today.
Sure there are the fading generations of racists that still dwell within small areas of our nation, but we, as a majority, have grown and changed beyond the racist conventions that polluted our society in the past. People are no longer judged based on the colour of their skin or their ethnic background. As Martin Luther King, Jr. had hoped, people are now judged by the content of their character. Sadly, this outlook is not yet a reality.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Examples of racism in the media and in popular cultures
In the face of such horrendous stereotypes and clichés, one wonders what could possibly be worse. Even though circumstances have improved and people are more likely to disapprove of racism, incorrect marketing tactics still have found their way into the public area.
In 1979, Levy’s campaign slogan was “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.” This marketing agency shows that racist attitudes are still current today in our society.
The boy in the striped pyjamas- John Boyne April 2004 page 55
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_concentration_camps- this page was last modified on 7 January 2014 at 22:13.
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Jewish concentration camps