Essay about The Role of Ethnicity in Literature

Essay about The Role of Ethnicity in Literature

Length: 887 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Though it has become less of an issue in recent times, distrust of foreigners has always been an issue. This can be easily observed in Willa Cather’s My Ántonia. Within the first few pages, a statement is made about ‘alienating foreigners’. Jake, a friend and fellow traveler, tells the main character, Jim, that while Ántonia Shimerda has “pretty brown eyes…”, he points out that you are “…likely to get diseases from foreigners.” Jim’s first impression of the Bohemians is that they are illiterate, uneducated, disease-carrying people. Even after Jim learns to accept the Bohemians’ culture, the society around him continues to look down upon the immigrants, proving throughout the book that a culture with outsiders will always scorn those outsiders until they accept the same values and morals.
For instance, on page 16, Otto Fuchs, an Austrian friend, tells Jim’s grandmother that due to politics, “Bohemians has a natural distrust of Austrians”, regarding, of course, the distinct conflict that began WWI. When the Burdens finally meet the Shimerdas at their run-down home, everyone is surprised by Ántonia’s eagerness and impulsiveness. While the Shimerdas are accepting of each other, the Nebraskan-Americans are taken aback by the strange culture with which they’re now living. Even Ántonia notices and tells Jim that while life will “be easy for [him]… [It] will be hard for us,” because the Shimerdas are immigrants. Ántonia even sees that as a young girl, people will not be accepting of her family or herself just because they come from a different culture.
As she ages, Tony Shimerda begins to accept more and more of the “American Way”, even going so far as to change her name from “Ántonia” to “Tony”, a less Czech-sounding name. I...

... middle of paper ...

...uld have sold organs on the black market. However, the fact that they were Jewish seemed to play a vital role in the story for many people. Although it isn’t fair to bring up religion or nationality when the topic at hand is regarding something completely different such as illegal activity or a fatherless baby, human nature seems to prey upon it.
That is, regardless of what people see, they can always find something to dislike in a foreigner solely because their idea of a model citizen is different than their own. When Tony works hard on a farm to help her family, people see her as a ‘man-like woman’. When she plays the part of a girl, people see her as unhelpful. Though she finally ends with an affectionate and happy family, her memories that she shares with Jim all show that the society she lives in has much different morals and values than her own heritage.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Race, Ethnicity, Art and Film Essay

- This paper tries to analyze race relations, ethnicity and how art and film relates to these social issues in their cultural context. Art and film have played vital roles in advocating for a society free of ethnicity and racism. Using vivid descriptions and evidence of both text and a movie this paper seeks to relate accordingly the concerned issues and factors affecting these social vices. It will demonstrate race and ethnic tendencies in diverse cultural contexts. As a demographic phenomenon, ethnicity is belonging to a specific ethnic group possessing distinct culture and common origin....   [tags: Film Studies]

Better Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity on a Child Essay

- The socioeconomic status of a family and their ethnicity has a substantial effect on their child’s early learning and determines how much their child will accomplish through life. Life events from before birth to three years old will have significant impact on brain development (Nelson, 1999). Socioeconomic status limits how much a family could provide to aid a child’s development. Middle-class families can better prepare their children with opportunities for success than families with low household income....   [tags: family, academic achievement, behavior]

Better Essays
1527 words (4.4 pages)

The Leader, Authentic Leadership, And Race Ethnicity And Gender Social Identity

- Servant Leadership, Authentic Leadership, and Race-Ethnicity and Gender Social Identity Effective leadership, commonly regarded as both a learned skill and innate ability, is an essential characteristic of successful organizations (Northouse, 2016). Great leaders are said to define purpose, create a vision for the future, set high ethical standards, and guide their organizations through many circumstances and into new directions (Morrill, 2007; Parris & Peachey, 2012). Leadership is also described as complex – it can mean different things to different people....   [tags: Leadership, Gender, Gender role, Gender identity]

Better Essays
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Role of Multicultural Literature

- ... In addition, Rosenblatt indicates that it is impossible for a reader to fully comprehend a text except through “seeing, memories and association”(Rosenblatt,1978). The meaning that the reader constructs from the text is called the poem. The poem is vital to how a reader’s attitude toward reading and writing is developed, which ultimately affects their literacy skills and academic grades. By using multicultural literature, it allows the reader to “ receive affirmation of themselves and their culture through literature” (Bieger, 1995/1996), and create a connection with the text using their background knowledge (Norton 1978)....   [tags: English as a second language]

Better Essays
1209 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Literature Review : ' Double System Theory '

- LITERATURE REVIEW AND FEMINISIT THEORY Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, fictional or philosophical dissertation. It helps to explain the main nature of gender inequality. It further explains the social roles of women in the society such as education, communication, philosophy, sociology and so on (Chodrow, Nancy 1991). Feminist theory helps to analyze gender inequality and its themes which are discrimination, sexual objectification, oppression, stereotyping and so on....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Feminism, Sociology]

Better Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Decolonization, Nationalism, Imagining and Representing Communities: A review of Post-Colonial Literature

- In the course of Colonization, the world was divided into binary categories of the colonizer and colonized. These binary groups were based on a division of class, gender, race, ethnicity and the oppression of cultural traditions. Traditions of language, religion, labor, and social values were based on theologies of the colonizers, enforced upon the colonized. These binaries can be associated with the Manichean binaries discussed by Frantz Fanon in his book entitled The Wretched of the Earth. In Post-Coloniality, societies gain independence either through diplomatic political transitions or violent revolutions against the occupying force....   [tags: Literature Review]

Better Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Cultural Diversity in Early America Essay

- When studying the stories about the lives of early Americans, the discovery of just how culturally diverse they were cannot be missed. Such richness and history in the making, yet such sadness as we read the powerful lines that tell their story. With the great influential writers such as Bryant, Irving and Cooper, whom set stage for all during the Romantic Period between 1830-1865 to the young brilliant novelists who followed with such stamina, passion and strength, such as Hawthorn, Simms and Melvin; how could one not explode with great learning, as their souls were laid out for us to bear....   [tags: religion, ethnicity, gender]

Better Essays
868 words (2.5 pages)

Psy A633 Tests And Measures Assignment 3a Brief Clinical Assessment Questionnaire

- PSY A633 Tests and Measures Assignment 3A Brief Clinical Assessment Questionnaire MEIM The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) by Phinney (1992) was originally published in the following article: The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure: A new scale for use with adolescents and young adults from diverse groups. The reason for original development was to produce a scale that could be used with diverse samples of adolescents and young adults and that would permit assessment and comparison of ethnic identity and its correlates both within and across groups....   [tags: Ethnic group, Race, Nation, Ethnicity]

Better Essays
1267 words (3.6 pages)

The Role Of Gender And Gender Roles Essay

- The Role of Gender Although women still confront many leadership-related challenges, recent research articles try to present leadership as a phenomenon that is primarily gender neutral. This can be accounted to the way researchers operationalize gender by observing the behavior of men or women or by the self-report of their subjects. They call this aspect of gender sociodemographic gender. However, gender is much more than sociodemographic gender, it is a multidimensional and multilevel phenomenon which has intrapsychic aspects like “gender schemas and stereotypes, gender-role identity, and gender-role traits, attitudes, values” to include the manner “men and women interact” (Ayman & Korabik...   [tags: Leadership, Gender, Sociology, Geert Hofstede]

Better Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Managing Diversity Essay

- Managing Diversity As we enter the new millenium, diversity in the workforce is rapidly increasing. Businesses and organizations are living up to the great melting pot image the United States has always been popular for. Employees now reflect a diversity of cultural perspectives, ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, physical abilities, and levels of education. This wave of multiculturalism is here to stay and cannot be ignored. It is in need of attention in order to uphold the well-being and success of businesses and organizations all over the country....   [tags: Ethnicity Racial Races Papers]

Better Essays
2550 words (7.3 pages)