7 May 2012
The saying, “do not judge a book by its cover” is a commonly used saying throughout the years. However, what does the saying really mean? Of course an individual should not be choosing the novel they wish to read just based on the cover of the book. Figuratively speaking, the saying means that one should not prejudge the value of someone just by their physical appearance alone. For many people, the root of their anxiety stems from the fear of others judging or evaluating them because of they way they look or act. The short stories “Am I Blue?” by Bruce Coville and “Hum” by Naomi Shihab Nye both illustrate the uselessness of judging a book by its cover. In the short story “Am I Blue?” by Bruce Coville, Vince, the main character, discovers that people are not always what them seem. In this story Vince, who is questioning his sexuality, is the main target for harassment because his classmates think he is gay. When Vince receives his very own fairy godfather, he makes a wish that turns everyone who is gay the color blue. Vince is surprised when he sees that many people turn even the slightest shade of blue. The darker the shade, the more gay they are. Vince’s fairy godfather tells him, “my friends and I called each other ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ for the same reason so many black folks call each other ‘nigger’ –to take the words away from the people who want to use them to hurt us” (Coville 10). People who are gay often say words such as, “faggot” and “queer” to mask themselves or make those words less hurtful to them. As Vince walks around town, he sees all sorts of people who are all different shades of blue. Vince says that “it was like seeing the world though new eyes. Most of the people looked just the same as always, of course. But Mr. Alwain, the fat guy at the grocery store, looked like a giant blueberry—which surprised me, because he was married and had three kids” (Coville 12). When Vince returns home and turns on the...
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