Reflections Of Racism As Portrayed In Short Stories

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Reflections of Racism as Portrayed in Short Stories Racism, especially against black people, has been a tragic part of American history. It shaped the events of the past, and has molded the world in which we live in today. Not only is it evident in history, but also in the literature that we read. Novels and short stories have reflected the racism of its time.

Racism is a historical fact of American life, and its early basis was the continuing attempt by one race to deny power to another race. The stories "Desiree's Baby,"� "A Worn Path,"� and "King of the Bingo Game"� illustrate how power for African-Americans was non-existent at the time of "Desiree's Baby"� (pre-Civil War), but very slowly increased over time until the 1940's, blacks had at least the illusion of a chance at power.

"Desiree's Baby"� is a short story that was written in 1893, and is about a man, Armond, who is angry because the baby his wife, Deseree, has given him, is part black.

He takes this as an "impurity"� in his upper class bloodline, and tells Deseree to leave his life and take the baby with her. Armond is "the product of a patriarchal and racist culture, (he) insists upon a wide gap between positions of power and powerlessness"� (Miner).

Armond has had a so-called white upper class upbringing, and the way he treats his slaves shows that he is very prejudiced. He is very wrong in his belief, and because of him, his entire family was to suffer. Armond's ignorance fits the stereotypical view of black people of the time.

The author associates the colors black and white with characters in the story. Desiree has long, silky brown hair with gray eyes, while Armond has dark skin. She...

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