Kewauna And Marita Comparison Essay Essay

Kewauna And Marita Comparison Essay Essay.

Ambitious Bargains

Have you ever wanted to prove somebody or even yourself that you could do better? Have you ever wanted to prove that you were better than what you were or where you came from? That’s what two girls named Kewauna and Marita wanted to do. Kewauna wanted to better her life with the OneGoal program, she took full advantage of her education by getting to know her professors and making them remember her, and anything she struggled with she made sure to study and pay extra attention to.

Marita also wanted to take advantage of her education instead of telling her mom that she couldn’t handle the KIPP Academy she toughed through it, even with a 10 hour school day she will go home and study more leaving her with no social life at all, she also goes to school on Saturdays and goes to school during the summer so she can go onto high school. Kewauna and Marita are similar because they are both very ambitious, they both went to successful preparatory schools, and they both come from troubled backgrounds.

Kewauna and Marita are both ambitious because they give up a part of their lives in order to break the stereotype that children from poverty and bad situations can be just as successful as rich kids already given that opportunity. One example of Kewauna being ambitious is when she said “No matter how overwhelming it is, no matter how exhausting it is, I’m not going to give up.” Another example of the two being ambitious is when Marita was telling the interviewer about her schedule like it was something a normal kid would have and she had a completely calm demeanor about the whole thing. Another example for Marita is when she is doing her homework as soon as she gets home from school she goes straight to her homework and doesn’t really want to take a break from it, not even to eat.

Another comparison you can make between Marita and Kewauna is that they both went to strict prep schools. Kewauna went to a preparatory school by the name OneGoal, it was dedicated to turning extremely struggling students into college ready scholars. “Of the 128 students, including Kewauna, who started OneGoal as juniors at six Chicago high schools in the fall of 2009, ninety-six were enrolled in four-year colleges as of March 2012.” This proves that OneGoal is a fairly successful prep school. Marita went to a school called KIPP Academy where richer kids automatically had the upper hand because of the amount of money and lifestyle they were born into. The school was known for its ascendancy in math, and that may have caused Marita to major in Accounting now that she is in college.

The final comparison you can make between the two is that they both came from troubled backgrounds, poor families, and bad neighborhoods with little to no opportunities before KIPP and OneGoal. Kewauna had a very troubling childhood until OneGoal, she was arrested at 15 for punching a police officer and she was also homeless for a time in her life. She decided to change her life for the better and start doing better in school after a family intervention about her behavior. There is the only slight difference between Kewauna and Marita, Marita was not a problematic child like Kawauna she just is one of the unfortunate people born in a not-so-nice neighborhood which lessened her chances of being successful significantly. Luckily, for both of Marita and Kewauna they have beaten that stereotype to pieces and they both enrolled in higher education.

In conclusion, Marita and Kewauna can practically be twins. But in all seriousness, the two are strikingly similar in the way they have come up from practically nothing. They both went through some sort of program to help prepare them for their bright and shining future (KIPP and OneGoal). The two came up from the bottom and are on their way to the top of the top. Marita and Kewauna are role models for young girls in poverty and troubled homes that are constantly being reminded that they will never amount to anything. They tell them that if you are ambitious like me and you have plenty of work ethic you can get anywhere, you can do anything, you are unstoppable.

Kewauna And Marita Comparison Essay Essay

Overcoming Obstacles Essay

Overcoming Obstacles Essay.

In our daily lives, too often do we judge others based solely on their appearance; whether it’s by the clothes that a person is wearing or even the color of their skin. The essence of Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue and Peter Marin’s Helping and Hating the Homeless is that in society, we are quick to judge others, categorizing them based upon pre-assumptions which are hardly true. Chinese American novelist Amy Tan shares her most intimate experiences of growing up with a mother who did not speak fluent English, and how she witnessed first hand how this shaped the treatment her mother received from others.

Marin discusses the contradictory views that society has on the homeless, immediately dismissing the negative stereotypes about the homeless. These negative stereotypes are portrayed by the American society, as well as the media, who consistently portray people as they wish.

Throughout Amy Tan’s essay, she describes living at home with a “private” or “limited” English, while using a “different” or “standard” English in public, even though she never noticed a difference most of her life.

While most people would say they understand little to none of her mother’s English, Tan claims, “to me my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It’s my mother’s tongue,” (Tan 62). Although most people- including herself- would call her mother’s English “broken” or “limited”, she strongly dislikes these terms and feels as if these terms directly reflect the way people perceive her mother. She recalls a time when her mother took a CT scan which revealed a brain tumor.

During another visit to the hospital , her mother received the results, in which the hospital claimed they lost it and had sympathy for her. Her mother stated “she said she would not leave until the doctor called her daughter…….lo and behold- we had assurances that the CAT scan would be found, promises that a conference call on Monday would be held, and apologies for any suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake” (Tan 63). This is a perfect example of how people mistreat others, especially if they do not speak “standard” english. As a result, the doctors don’t believe Tan’s mother to be as smart as they are, when in reality she “reads the _Forbes_ report, listens to _Wall Street Week,_ and converses daily with her stockbroker” (Tan 62).

Peter Marin discusses the negative stereotypes that society places on the homeless, and how contradictory their perceptions are. He recalls a time when he was in Santa Barbara for a council meeting, and remembers how astounded he was at the fear he could sense in the council’s voices. “One by one they filed to the microphone to curse the council and castigate the homeless. Drinking, doping, loitering, panhandling, defecating, urinating, molesting, stealing- the litany went on and on, was repeated over and over, accompanied by the fantasies of disaster: the barbarian hordes at the gates, civilization ended” (Marin 168). Again, Marin emphasizes the fear, confusion, indifference and anger that the people had towards the homeless, but then realized the problem begins with the term homeless itself. He explains how the term is so abstract, and applies to various different people with different stories, yet society simply generalizes the homeless and forces them all into one category. With all of the negative stereotypes that it instills fear into the people.

However, according to Marin what most people do not realize is that before many of the homeless were actually homeless, they lived normal lives just like ourselves, many coming from the working or middle class. We do not understand this because they are so marginalized that we just dismiss them as being lazy, and assume that it is their own fault that they are homeless. Instead of judging them, we should try to reflect, since they were either forced into homeless by society, or simply by choice. Either way it is society’s fault, because if they chose to be homeless, that means they felt like they did not belong in society.

One of Marin’s students interviewed a woman who was looking around a dumpster, who to his surprise, was a former school teacher from Chicago. Her name was Alice, and she lived a normal life until she was raped, resulting in her being institutionalized and eventually leading her to spiral out of control. “Even more disturbing is the fact that it is often our supposed sources of support-family, friends, government organizations- that have caused the problem in the first place…..Her homelessness can be seen as flight, as failure of will or nerve, even, perhaps as a disease. But it can also be seen as a mute, furious refusal, or self-imposed exile far less appealing to the rest of us than ordinary life, but _better_, in Alice’s terms.” (Marin 171). Although Alice is homeless now, she indeed lived a normal life but was traumatized by a catastrophic event, leading her to be more comfortable in a homeless lifestyle where she feels that she can assert more control over herself. Alice’s story is a strong one, showing that you can never judge a book by its cover.

Both Amy Tan and Peter Marin discuss stories which emphasize looking beyond judging a person’s exterior, beyond the stereotypes that are often portrayed in the media and American mainstream. In many popular T.V. shows and movies, both homeless people and non-fluent English speakers are portrayed in negative aspects. MAD T.V’s “Ms. Swan” portrays a Chinese-American woman who speaks “broken English”, and her character is often confused, misled, or

temperamental in the skits. The audience laughs when they see that Ms. Swan does not understand what is going on, or how to work an ATM machine. These negative portrayals not only affect Asian-Americans, but other people who do not speak English fluently as well. It gives America the idea that non-fluent English speakers are not as intelligent, and can easily be taken advantage of. Negative portrayals of homeless people are seen in the media as well, and the scariest part is that the very first portrayal that most people will see in their lives is when they are children. The notorious “Oscar the Grouch” from _Sesame Street_ has to be the most famous homeless character in the media. He is filthy, grouchy, lazy, and lives in a trashcan. If these stereotypes are instilled in the minds of children, it becomes a direct correlation with homeless people they see and most likely perceive them in a negative way.

These children do not know that many homeless people were once normal like their parents, but because nobody ever talks about that, it frightens them. It is such a frightening thought because having such commonalities with a marginalized group gives the idea that it can _happen to anybody_; which indeed, it can. Of course, children aren’t thinking of all of this when they see the funny green monster on television, and the audience of MAD TV isn’t thinking that non-fluent English speakers are dumb at the time they are watching these shows. However, people subconsciously soak all of it in, and it affects the way they perceive others in their everyday lives;whether they realize it or not. It is clear that the media is at fault for such prejudice thinking in American society.

I have witnessed such prejudices over countless times, and I blame stereotypes and the media for perpetuating such destructive thinking in American society. At first glance, most people mistake me for being white, when in reality I have Mexican, Spaniard, and Chumash Indian blood pumping through my veins. My father speaks fluent Spanish, but his light skin and blue eyes often mislead others, just as my light complected features do the same. I recall a time in high school when I was hanging out with the “popular” kids on the weekend at a restaurant, and our waiter spoke very poor English.

When the waiter left, one of the caucasian boys began making fun of the waiter, saying things like “He should go back to his country where they understand his language”. I was so disgusted and repulsed by his comment, that he was shocked and nervous when I called him out on his racial slur. I was offended because many of my family members don’t speak perfect English either, but they are just as smart as those who do speak perfect English. A few of the other kids sided with me, and those were the ones I continued to hangout with. I refuse to surround myself with ignorant people who don’t think for themselves and are quick to judge others.

In order to overcome these obstacles of prejudice and false misconceptions about others, we must educate ourselves and become socially aware. One must look past the silly things they watch on television, and instead see the world and others through their own; not the preprogrammed American mainstream one. We must stop judging others based on their appearance, and acknowledge the fact that they are human beings too, just as much as we ourselves are. Both Amy Tan and Peter Marin went into great depth on the misconceptions we have of others, providing personal experiences they have had to help us see the bigger picture. In Mother Tongues, Amy recalls the times when her mother was mistreated due to her inability to speak “standard” English, others confused her accent and did not believe she was as smart as they were.

In Helping and Hating the Homeless, Peter Marin provides insightful personal stories of homeless people to show us that they don’t fit the awful stereotypes that American society often projects upon them. The American society is clearly at fault for these misconceptions about people, perpetuating a system of prejudice and ignorance through the media. In order to overcome this, we must learn about each other rather than lazily categorizing others. Instead of looking at what makes us different, we should try and see what makes us more alike instead, getting to know one another before making any hasty judgements.

Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue”. Beyond Borders: A Cultural Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.

Marin, Peter. “Helping and Hating the Homeless”. Beyond Borders: A Cultural Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.

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Overcoming Obstacles Essay

“Devil in a Blue Dress” By Walter Mosley Essay

“Devil in a Blue Dress” By Walter Mosley Essay.

When will it end? Racial stereotypes have been around since the 19th century and its presence is the United States is still felt; this ideology has been portrayed in all types of mediums where semiotics influence a person’s thought process. The influence of racial stereotyping has molded how a person judges another person by the basis of their race. Walter Mosley, the author of Devil in a Blue Dress, takes advantage of existing racial stereotypes to inform his readers of the enormous issue still facing society today.

Mosley has incorporated the issues of ethnic discrimination noticed in media and advertisements in Western Culture while mass advertisements from the media has led the battle for racial stereotyping.

A common stereotype portrays all African-Americans to speak “ghetto” also known as Ebonics. The Hip-Hop and media industry are two of the main mediums that has effectively influenced popular culture. M.T.V (Music Television) liberally broadcasts programs to its viewers African Americans people speaking words such as “y’all and n’ah mean” are just the tip of the iceberg for this dialect of English.

The effect of portraying all black people in television talking “ghetto” significantly demeans their image of knowledge and their ability to communicate proficiently with society. If one just watched M.T.V all of their life, he or she they would assume all African-Americans people speak another dialect of English. The effect of the Ebonic stereotype has carried over into English literature.

Walter Mosley incorporates the stereotype of African-Americans speaking Ebonics to give his readers a sense of why black people talk in “ghetto”. Easy, one of the main characters in Devil in a Blue Dress, states “I always tried to speak proper English in my life, the kind of English they taught in school, but I found over the years that I could only truly express myself in the natural, “uneducated” dialect of my upbringing.” The significance of this passage demonstrates black people who use Ebonics know how to speak proper English but they choose not to because they ultimately decide to speak in Ebonics to express their ideas more accurately. It is human nature for one to do an action or develop a habit that makes them feel comfortable. Although people are misled to think that black people are not literate enough to speak proper English maybe they just do not want to. However, Black people haven’t only been the target of racial stereotyping.

White people have been portrayed by media, advertisements, and magazines to be rich and successful. For example, a Caucasian person is usually featured on the cover of Forbes magazine. To be featured on the cover of the business magazine one must be successful and witty in their business endeavors. There are people from every race that have been successful in the business world, but it is white people who are represented the most. How come Forbes magazine do not like to feature other ethnicities more often or why not add Ebonics to the cover of the magazine? Television ads such as the Cingular commercial boasting their national coverage depicts two white male business partners communicating with each other from far distances. These usages of media to convey racial stereotyping are effective. The mass stereotyping in the media has caused society to develop messages of white people being the “supreme’ being and the most intelligent opposed to African Americans who are portrayed to be illiterate and unable to speak English properly.

The history between white and black people has created a grudge filled with pain and guilt that kept both of them intolerable of each other’s values. A large void characterized by the pride and ego of both races has made it difficult for society to integrate a healthy relationship between the two ethnicthicies. According to Demoit, solving the problem of their relationship would mean we as an individual would have to “scrub off the dirt of ill will.” Although the media can depict the two ethnicities living happy ever after, the goal of reaching a agreement between the two races will be very difficult For instance, the explicit show Southpark features only one African American child among a Caucasian dominated population. Token, the name of the child, suggests that he is the token black friend among his group of white friends. Therefore, television is emanating wide void between black and white relationships.

Mosley incorporates the stereotyping of the “supreme” white male in Devil in A Blue Dress. Dewitt Albright, a rich businessman, symbolizes as the epitome of the successful white male who has many connections that the ordinary person would not have. From the beginning to the end of the novel Mosley explicitly describes Albright to be well dressed in a white suit complemented with white silk socks. One of the passages in the novel after an unknown person knocks out Easy has a concerned Primo trying to figure out the situation.

Primo states, “What happened, Amigo? You have a fight with your friends?” a delusional Easy asks “What friends?” Primo replies “Joppy and the white man in the white suit.” The white man in the white suit Primo describes is Dewitt Albright. The significance of Dewitt Albright wearing this white suit throughout the entire novel creates an image of an individual radiating success from his body. Albright, one of the more notable characters in the novel, is not the only white character in the novel; Mosley explicitly describes all the white characters in the novel to wear fashionable clothing while the black character’s appearance depict a less affluent individual.

The psychological effect of mass advertisements has helped develop racial stereotypes. Mass consumerism has given rise to mass advertisements, which has the power to influence large portions of society (Twitchell 204). Since large portions of the populations in the United States have televisions in their household society is constantly fed information from the media. The images of sex, alcohol, and racism have a profound effect on society that is non-promiscuous to its viewers.

Works Cited:

Demott, Benajamin. “Put on a Happy Face: Masking the Differences Between Blacks and Whites.” Signs of Life: in the United States 5 (2006): 1-805.

Mosley, Walter. Devil in a Blue Dress. New York: Washington Square P, 2002. 1-261.

Twitchell, James B. “What We are to Advertisers.” Signs of Life: in the United States 5 (2006): 203-207.

“Devil in a Blue Dress” By Walter Mosley Essay

Camping in Malay Essay

Camping in Malay Essay.

People’s perceptions often cloud their judgments. As one lives his life, he notices the character of people and naturally tends to associate their character with a generalized group that they belong to. For example, one may have noticed that a tall man is good at basketball because he sees tall men play on professional basketball teams. He then assumes that tall men are naturally good at basketball and therefore tall men must play basketball. This generalization is untrue however because there are many tall men who are not skilled at basketball and therefore would prove his generalization incorrect.

The misperceptions that we naturally have need to be analyzed thoroughly because it is nearly impossible to accurately generalize a whole group of people. Generalizations are made about black and white people in the short story Episode in Malay Camp by Peter Abrahams, by the main character Xuma. “This is like the white people’s place” (5), said Xuma when he was referring to a place that was nice to live in.

Dr. Mini quickly corrected him, “No, Xuma, not like the white people’s place. Just a comfortable place. You are not copying the white man when you live in a place like this.

This is the sort of place a man should live in because it is good for him. Whether he is white or black does not matter. A place like this is good for him” (5). Xuma had lived his life with prejudices of what white people and black people are like, how they are different and what kind of living each one of them deserves. Dr. Mini corrected Xuma’s misperceptions by explaining that just because you belong to a certain culture or group does not make you a certain way. Similarly to Xuma, I, too, am guilty of prejudging people based on their appearance. The most recent case in which I had incorrect perceptions of someone is when I met Ms. Rivera.

Normally, seeing someone with dyed red hair and a lot of tattoos puts a certain idea of what that person could be like in one’s head. Honestly, I had negative ideas about what this tattooed person could be like just because I have been conditioned to believe that way. Often times you see the villains in movies have tattoos and piercings and that picture becomes embedded in your mind when you look at other people who happen to enjoy tattoos and piercings. Luckily, I was pleasantly wrong about Ms. Rivera because she is nothing like what I would expect a tattooed person to be.

She proves my misperceptions of tattooed people wrong, and since then I look at people with a more open mind. During one’s childhood one is exposed to a variety of different medias. From these medias, perceptions about certain people, cultures, groups, etc. are embedded into his mind. As one grows up the perceptions embedded in his mind at early ages are used to judge people without ever meeting them. Additionally, from my experience, I have noticed that usually a large portion of certain groups and cultures tend to fit the stereotypes that they are labeled with. For example, there is a stereotype that Jewish people are cheap.

In some way this is true and in some ways it is not. I have noticed that a lot of Jewish people tend to consider purchases more before making them, and may sometimes choose not spend money on things others would. However, I am Jewish and I would consider myself less cheap than my non-Jewish friends. There are more times that I offer to pay for my friends than they do for me. This just proves that you cannot always stereotype people accurately. As a society we are conditioned to perceive specific things about various groups and cultures that may or may not be true.

These types of perceptions are often considered stereotypes. Stereotyping can be accurate sometimes but because there are times where it is inaccurate it is a good idea not to stereotype people because you never know if you could be completely wrong about the person being stereotyped. Additionally, the mere idea of the possibility of not meeting your new best friend because you stereotyped them incorrectly is enough to make stereotyping not worth it. It is always best to judge people based on their personal character when you meet them rather than judging based on the generalities embedded in your mind.

Camping in Malay Essay