Thursday, March 11, 2010
This reminded me of the “one drop” mentality in Iola Leroy. Although the racial discrimination has been removed from the majority of our society it still matters what group you identify with. Iola, like Miss Longoria, even after being raised to think, act, and identify with a group of people, in an instant of revelation questions identity. I am certain that if genetic testing existed during the days of the civil war it would have been used to marginalize people even more.
One interesting fact on people’s mentality is changed for the better is with those who did not discover any “ethnic” heritage. In Steven Colbert’s “pie chart” he was shown that he was one hundred percent “white man” and he was disappointed. He was hoping for some form of ethnic descent. This would not have been the case in the days of Iola Leroy, I am glad that time and equality has changed this fact.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Gunner’s mother sees that he thinks he is white and moves their family to the “ghetto” so he can learn who he is. Gunner experiences a lot of anxiety when faced with the “reality” of who he is and what he is expected to do as a “black man”. He is forced into sports stereotypically associated with African Americans, and little by little his “White Boy Shuffle” is conditioned out of him.
Contrasting that with Chambers, who after discovering he is not a slave is forced into the life of a white heir. There is not a lot of detail with how his life ends up, but Twain does make mention of the difficulties he faces with his new life, and how unhappy he is for the rest of his life.
The comparison between these two men is very similar, even though they are in opposite situations. The fragments of racism and stereotypes are exposed through the paradoxes and irony Twain and Beatty use in their novels.