Passive Voice/ Transitive Verbs
Part of an old paper I wrote for multicultural lit…
The concept of otherness has been a huge theme throughout the second half of the semester. The actual dictionary.com definition for “otherness” is the state or fact of being different or distinct. These characters feel like the other, because they are comparing themselves to other people and feel that if they are of a different race, gender, class, religion, ethnic group or sexuality then they are very different and distinct in that social environment. If being different is based on this, then everyone must be considered an “other”, it just depends on where you go. Specifically, in the text that we have read in this half of the semester, race and culture seem to be the prominent traits of otherness. In the Bluest Eye, for example, the little African American girls wanted to be blonde haired and blue eyed so they could finally call themselves beautiful. In Sherman Alexie’s short stories, he was treated differently by the white people because he was Native American, and in The Woman Warrior, the main characters were treated differently in America because of their Chinese culture. These people were regarded as “other” because they had a different skin color or come from a different culture than white Americans. The characters from the short stories, Woman Warrior, and the Bluest Eye were mainly treated with disrespect and not treated like everyone else mostly because of things out of their control.
In the Woman Warrior Chinese culture is explained, and Chinese American culture is exemplified. When the main character’s aunt gets pregnant out of wedlock, she gets persecuted and definitely treated like the other, buy the people in her Chinese village. When they finally move to America, I think that the Chinese Americans actually treat the white people as others, and seclude them from their lives. Even though the main character is educated, she feels like she’s not good enough, and feels like an “other” in that scenario also.
In conclusion, all of these stories exemplify the definition of otherness, by being different. I think that our society in general, treat “others” like an untouchable creature that they’re scared of, but in all actuality they are the same as everyone else. In our society, most people want to be individualistic and different, so then why do we treat someone who is that way so harshly, and judge them so severely? The way our country constructs the other is not in a positive light, and I think that creates barriers between different cultures, because no one is open to anything different. All in all I think that our country is a melting pot for different cultures, it’s just an underestimated, impervious pot.
“Otherness” has been a reoccurring theme in the novels that we read for the second half of the semester. The characters feel like others because they compare themselves to other people and find that they are different. In the Bluest Eye, Sherman Alexie’s short stories, and The Woman Warrior, race and culture were the reason the characters were regarded as “other”. These characters were treated with disrespect because of their race and culture—things that they couldn’t control.
In the Woman Warrior Chinese culture is explained, and Chinese American culture is exemplified. The Chinese culture is very strict, and when a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, she was disrespected and persecuted by the people in her village. The Chinese Americans treated the Caucasians as others. The main character is educated, but feels like she’s not good enough—so she’s an “other” also.
These stories exemplify “otherness” by being different. Society epitomizes individuality, but when someone different comes along, they are judged harshly. American society constructs the “other” in a negative light, which creates barriers between different cultures. Our country is a melting pot for different cultures; it’s just an underestimated, impervious pot.
446 words to 193!