A Pessimistic View

Topics: Race, Discrimination, Black people Pages: 2 (831 words) Published: June 14, 2012
The human race has been cruel and hateful towards different races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds since the birth of man. Detestation, discrimination and prejudice have all been displayed in our society at one point in history, and have been continued, causing me to be pessimistic of it to be stopped from continuing to the present. Several pieces of literature contain these types of prejudices and expose the deeply flawed and discriminatory society. The pieces of literature indicate that prejudice and racism were and continue to be present in our society. Through reading Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and watching the film The Pianist, I realize that events like these are timely. The stereotyping of Jews during the renaissance, the discrimination of blacks in Southern Alabama, and the persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust display ignorance and unjustified cruelty, that is still existent in examples today. Firstly, The Merchant of Venice was believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598 during the renaissance in Italy. It explores the treatment of Jews, by making a character Shylock a very stereotypical version of a Jew. The portrayal from this book and time period of all Jews was that they were concerned with money (ducats), blood-thirsty, greedy, and physically ugly. Jews at the time during the renaissance were treated differently, by being placed in ghettos and told to make a living. Most Jews placed interest rates on their lending of money, making the Christians look down on them and calling them filthy. The treatment and events throughout the novel, for example when Antonio spits on Shylock, show the ways in which the Jews in that time period were actually discriminated against. The same intolerant behaviour is evident in today’s society, as people still have stereotypical views to Jews as "cheap" and "greedy" ,and as we view Jews to contain a certain look. Just as we view Jews to contain a certain...
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