Marginalization: Then and Now
Everybody has been an outsider at some point of their lives. However, most likely the discrimination was only aimed at an individual person. In our past and even today, marginalization was aimed at an entire race or group of people. African Americans and the elderly were some of the main groups marginalized in the past. The main groups segregated today are people of Middle Eastern origins and people in the gay and lesbian community. Many works of literature have addressed this issue of marginalization, including Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. In the past, marginalization was a large part of society. First off, African Americans were a prime target, seeing as there were many laws made specifically to keep them out of society. The character Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird is an example of this. He was accused of raping a white woman, even though he is crippled with a permanently damaged arm. Even though his defense in court is incredibly strong against the “victim’s” story and the evidence is in his favor, he is found guilty by an all white jury, although the woman was the one who tried to make a move on Tom and cried “rape” when he resisted and ran away. The evidence provided was incredibly strong in his favor and a modern jury would have found Tom innocent, however he was found guilty simply due to him being a black man. Also, the elderly received the short end of the stick when applying for jobs, for they were much capable of other tasks but were given the jobs that nobody else wanted. Candy from Of Mice and Men is an old, crippled man with only one hand. He is able to perform other jobs like work in the fields with the other workers, but the ranch owner would have it and gave him the job of janitor. Because of his frail state, he is seen as a useless employee who cannot do the simplest tasks except the jobs that nobody else wants to do. In summation, marginalization played a very...
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