The Hunger Of Sesame Street Children Essay

The Hunger Of Sesame Street Children Essay

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“Hey, look it’s the Grouch!” uttered a child on Sesame Street children’s program (“The Grouch”). This character, the Grouch, is green, smelly, and lives in a garbage can on the side of the road. Many viewers see the Grouch as a homeless individual on Sesame Street. On the show, this character has an ill nature and seems to be upset at everyone (“The Grouch”). Many of the characters on the show criticize the Grouch for his rude behavior and some avoid him due to fear. The Grouch does not work nor does he have a stable family. He lives his days in an old garbage can alone and miserable. Many viewers see him as homeless and by popular belief feel that the Grouch is lazy and unmotivated to change his lifestyle. This type of message that the homeless are lazy is synonymous with homeless stereotypes found in the American culture. Many Americans view the members of the homeless community as addicts, outrageous drunks, and inadaptable to adjust to society due to the lack of motivation. There have been countless media portrayals of homeless people as dangerous to society and viral images degrading the homeless population. Such American media portrayals have contributed significantly to the stereotypes of homeless people in America.
World-renowned comedian, author, and director Dave Chappelle regularly pokes fun at homeless individuals in his comedy routines. In his show titled Chappelle’s Show, Chappelle performed a sketch about an instance where he had seen a homeless man sitting at the bus stop and compared that homeless man to the Grouch from Sesame Street (“Chappelle at the Bus Stop”). In his routine Chappelle emphasized how homeless people are grouchy, cranky, and “lazy old bums that cannot do much” (“Chappelle at the Bus Stop”). For...


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...meless Man Falls”). Through this social experiment, one can easily see and foretell how negative stereotypes portrayed in media shape and influence the pedestrians’ view of the homeless man.
With the prevalence of media’s image of homeless people, everyday Americans have rationalized homeless people as lazy, unmotivated, and “grouchy” individuals. American television shows targeted to young children such as Sesame Street have incorporated stereotypical dialogue regarding homeless individuals such as “grouch”. Furthermore, politicians see homeless people as dead-end citizens that cannot be changed. Overall, the stereotypes regarding homeless people paint a picture of individuals as being hopeless, lazy, and incompetent members of society. The contributing factors for such stereotypes come from historical events that illustrate the origins of homelessness in America.

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