Racism in Literature Essay

Racism in Literature Essay

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Literature Analysis

Most literature authors write stories on different genres like poems, stories, and plays. These works are written using a variety of elements of literature for instance setting, themes, conflict, and characters. The following essay discusses the element of racism as a theme in Margaret Laurence’s short story “The Loons,” Langston Hughes’ poem, I Too, Sing America, and W.E.B Du Bois’ book, “The Souls of Black Folk.”
“The Loons” is a short story that was done by Margaret Laurence together with other stories in the sequence “A bird in the House” and was published in 1970. The story centers on the narrator and the main character Vanessa McLeod, a white girl and her youth days in a fictional town known as Manawaka, Manitoba in Canada (Laurence, 2001). From Vanessa’s eyes, the audience is able to see the alienation and racism that Piquette Tonerre, a girl of Métis origin faces in society. The story has been set just before Vanessa’s father passes on and it helps her to open her eyes and see the suffering, cultural alienation, and racial discrimination of the Métis people a subgroup of the Canadian Aborigines.
In the first part, Vanessa finds the Métis to be people who do not fit in the society due to their unknown descent. Her grandmother describes the Métis to be people of “…neither flesh, fowl nor good salt herring” (Laurence, 2001). This statement describes the people who are French half-breeds and their language is neither French nor Cree. These people do not belong to the Creoles who live on the mountains and neither to the French. They are a people who society alienates and discriminates because they do not belong. Grandmother McLeod does not want anything to do with Piquette. At one point, the McLe...

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...r ideals. Fredrick insisted on “total assimilation through self assertion and nothing more.” Du Bois argued that the Negro could not progress if he is not educated, given freedom to vote, economically empowered and legal superiority (Du Bois, 1996). This book highlights the problem of racism in America in the 20th and 21st century. Du Bois set the pace for other black writers and civil rights activists like Dr Martin Luther King.
This may not have been exactly out of the book, but it was the best that I could come up with and still make everything work the way I wanted it too.

Du Bois, W.E.B. (1996). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Penguin Books.
Langston H. (1932). The Dream Keeper and Other Poems. New York: Knopf Publishers.
Laurence, M (2001). “The Loons.” Literature: An Introduction to Writing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2001.

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