top-rated free essay

Noughts and Crosses

By JessicaSitorus1 Sep 13, 2013 502 Words
Sephy and Callum are the best of friends. They grew up together and despite the animosity between their families now, they continue to see each other in secret. But as they grow older and the world encroaches on their friendship, they can deny no longer the big glaring barrier between them: Sephy is a Cross, Callum is a nought. Society, the world, their families, will never accept them. Sephy is the daughter of Kamal Hadley, a successful and important politician who's manoeuvring his way to the top seat in parliament while his society wife drinks herself to oblivion. She goes to a posh school by chauffeur-driven car and doesn't really understand the discrimination and prejudice the noughts endure. Callum knows all too well. From being constantly suspected of every possible crime and assumed the worst of, to being denied an education and treated like he's not just stupid but incapable of learning the skills the Crosses have - every day he faces the fact that he's lower than second-class because of one arbitrary fact he has no control over: the colour of his skin. Yes, Callum is white and he's suffered all his life for it.

Blackman has taken our own history and flipped it around - but it's not an exact mirror-image: the situation of the noughts is far worse in legal terms than what non-whites suffer today in most developed countries (I want to stress the word "legal" here - in Noughts & Crosses, the law doesn't protect the noughts but takes the guilty before proven innocent stance - we have at least moved away from that, though it doesn't change what goes through people's heads still). Blackman isn't trying to make dark-skinned people look bad and white people sympathetic; she's highlighting how arbitrary and ridiculous racial prejudice is, and how easily it could have been the other way around. She wrecks havoc on the age-old belief that people of one particular skin colour are naturally more intelligent and talented than others - it may not be scientifically supported anymore but the belief is still there, in some places, amongst some people. Noughts & Crosses is written alternately in the voices of Sephy and Callum, in short chapters that grant the two differing perspectives. There's pain and tension here, and anger - it's a mature book, and doesn't shy away from the worst of human nature. It's well written, with both Sephy and Callum growing older, more mature, more disillusioned. For a book that's not set anywhere in particular, about a world that doesn't literally exist, it's a very real story because it pokes right at the heart of so many of our problems and makes no apologies for forcing us to look at ourselves. I would have loved this book had I read it as a teenager, I know that for sure. As an adult, I found the chapters a little brief, a bit hurried, a tad too unsubtle. Which would be fine for an adolescent’s attention span?

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Noughts and Crosses Analysis

    ...Noughts and Crosses Analysis Novels help authors to explore a range of important issues in society, which Malorie Blackman clearly portrays through Noughts and Crosses. This novel follows the lives and experiences of two characters, Callum and Sephy. Throughout the book Blackman deals with a number of key issues including racism and prejudice...

    Read More
  • Noughts&Crosses

    ...Racism is a severe problem in 21st century multicultural societies. A novel which deals with the serious aspect is ‘Noughts & Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman. This essay will investigate how the writer uses characterisation, theme, structure and the setting of a fictional dystopia to explore racism from both points of view. The story is set ...

    Read More
  • noughts and crosses

    ...“Noughts and Crosses” by Malorie Blackman The book is called Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. The beginning is set on a private beach. The two main characters which are also the first characters to be introduced in Chapter 1 are called Callum and Sephy. In this book, Crosses (black people) and Noughts (white people) aren’t ...

    Read More
  • noughts and crosses

    ...noughts and crosses is a book written by Malorie Blackman. It is about a friendship between Sephy hadley, a cross and daughter of important cross, and Callum McGregor, a nought. This novel describes an alternative histoiry where humans evolved while Pangae was still intact. Without the barriers to exchange of domesticable animals, among other f...

    Read More
  • Noughts and Crosses

    ... NOUGHTS AND CROSSES Teacher’s Pack By Frances Gregory CONTENTS Introduction 3 Overview for Scheme of Work 4 Navigator 5–6 Lesson Plans, WS 7–45 Assessment 46 INTRODUCTION English teachers don’t need to be told the enormous value and pleasure of reading whole texts as class read...

    Read More
  • Noughts and Crosses

    ...with pointy edges she would find it hard to talk and be in extreme pain. So she was also suffering from these symptoms what she was trying to say was not easy for her. The use of similes and metaphors effectively describe the feelings of Callum and Stephy. This is further shown when These language techniques influences the reader to pity the Nou...

    Read More
  • Noughts and Crosses

    ...Callum McGregor is one of the main characters in the novel Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. It is an action packed novel based on a society that has been practicing segregation for decades. The novel is set in a fictional country called Pangaea during the 21st century. Callum deals with many issues including relationships, friendships, ...

    Read More
  • Noughts and Crosses

    ...Title- Noughts and Crosses Genre-Novel Author- Malorie Blackman Date finished- 6/10/2013 The story was about white and black people who were called noughts and crosses. I had trouble finding out what noughts and crosses are, but I found that out in prologue after a bit of reading as the pace of the book was very slow. I also kind of had ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.