Stereotypes and Prejudices
Everyone uses stereotypes in one way or another. (CX) People tend to judge from their first impressions, but prejudices do not get very dangerous until they lead to stereotyping and discrimination. The victims of prejudices and stereotypes may lose their own individual personalities, and they retreat into their own groups. Both Chopin, in “Désirée’s Baby,” and Piercy, who writes “Barbie Doll,” bring up this problem in their writings. Chopin and Piercy write about stereotypes and prejudices because they want people to think about the devastating effects of stereotypes and prejudices. To develop their theme, they write about the victims of prejudice, how they are treated differently, and how they end up in life.
(S) Appearances influence many people. One day, when Desirée stands “against the stone pillar,” Armand “ride[s] by and see[s] her there,” and he soon falls in love with her (Chopin 346). (CC) Not knowing much about her characteristics, Armand falls in love with Désirée, and he marries her not long after that, which can be seen by the fast transition in Chopin’s story. Similarly, the “girl child” in “Barbie Doll” is described by her classmate as having “a great big nose and fat legs” (Piercy 352). Piercy writes that although she “[is] healthy and tests intelligent,” she keeps “[going] to and fro apologizing” for her body (352). People care about how she looks more than what she has in her heart. Being victims of prejudices, the characters in Chopin’s and Piercy’s works are treated differently.
The way that Désirée, her baby, and the girl child have to face prejudice is not identical. While talking to her daughter, Madame Valmondé does not stop looking at the child; in addition, she “[lifts] it and [walks] with it over the window that [is] lightest,” and she “[replaces] it beside its mother” (Chopin 346). No one uses “it” to call a baby, and Désirée’s son is regarded as an animal because he is not white. From being the...
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