Watch Out For Them, They're All the Same

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"Mrs. Shortley had the sudden intuition that the Gobblehooks, like rats with typhoid fleas, could have carried all those murderous ways over the water with them directly to this place." (O‘Connor 198)

Mrs. Shortley knew that the Polish family had been vicitims of the Holocaust that were at the time of the story currently going on. However, she still related the images of murder to the family simply because they had witnessed it. Because the family had witnessed and suffered so much horror in Europe, Mrs. Shortley assumes that they will carry out the same acts on the farm. Doesn't this sound slightly familiar?

Take September 11 for example. Is everyone who is from the middle east a terrorist? Of course not, but remember how those of middle eastern decent were treated in our country after the 9/11 attacks? Even today, I often witness the same sterotype being applied. Just because some people have a slight connection with something that is bad, whether their race, religion, homeland or beliefs, others assume that they will act in a simliar fashion. Another example of this type of sterotyping is happening with Senator Obama. I've heard too often that people refuse to vote for him because he's a Muslim and "Why elect one of them after they just attacked our country?". The them and they generalization is similar to Mrs. Shortley's fear about the Polish family.

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1 Comments

Jessie Farine said:

I commented on the same passage and reflected upon the same idea. I was disgusted with the ignorant xenophobia that was rampant in the story, and I'm disgusted with the ignorant xenophobia that plagues our society today. It's with anyone that is different, not just Muslims. I witness that even the views expressed about Europeans in the story are still expressed today. I hear constantly that they are inferior to us great Americans, just like everyone else.

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