Essay on Prejudice, By Charlotte Bronte

Essay on Prejudice, By Charlotte Bronte

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Charlotte Bronte wrote in her famous novel, Jane Eyre,“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones. Although her book was published in 1847, prejudice was as prevalent back then as it is today. For centuries, prejudice has been defined as a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Prejudice is actually much more, as it is a rash, firmly established hatred for others that stems from ignorant ideas and lack of education. When the parallels of human history and the present world are examined, it is clear what Charlotte Brontë meant when she wrote prejudice grows, “firm as weeds among stones.”
Even in its Latin form, prejudice always had a negative connotation. The Oxford English Dictionary shows that it has evolved from the Latin legal term praeiudicium, with prae- meaning “in advance” and -iudicium meaning “judgement.” As time passed, praeiudicium morphed into praejudicium. This may seem like a slight change, but the definition changed from a neutral “prior judgement” to the bitter “injustice.” By the mid-fourteenth century, it possessed two different meanings. One definition remained a legal expression meaning “detriment or damage caused by the violation of a legal right,” but the other showed how varied a word’s definition could become. When used in context of the body, prejudice meant “physical harm or injury.” Instead of discussing a legal predicament, its usage now expressed bodily abuse. Despite the fact that we use it more as a sociological condition today, prejudice’s meaning was in its last stage by the end of the fourteenth century. Around 1400, prejudice...

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...e many wars are caused by prejudice, wars can be also catalysts of prejudice. They are mixtures of paranoia, hatred, and ignorance, a perfect breeding ground for discrimination. Different ethnic or social groups blame each other for being the cause the war. For instance, after September 11, 2001, Muslims became America 's’ new enemy, even though some Muslims were Americans themselves. In recent years, the prejudice caused by such a phobia has spread and become more prominent due to the rise of ISIS. Whispers can be heard and hateful looks can be seen when a woman in a hijab appears in public, especially in the Midwest. Racial profiling is on the rise in airport security, and it typically targets Muslims. If the terrorist attacks never happened, fear would be able to blind people no longer. Instead of prejudice seeping out of our hearts, it is slowly creeping back in.

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