In today’s society, our natural reaction is to put people into a specific class that we feel they fit into upon our first impression. When we were in high school, they were called clicks. There were your jocks and your cheerleaders, who were usually the most popular students. Along with stoners, nerds, and then the people who really didn’t fit into any crowd, they were just there. When we were in high school, all of us wanted to be in the “cool crowd”. As described in When I was growing Up by Nellie Wong, “I discovered the rich white girls…imported cotton dresses…and thought that I too should have what these lucky girls had…” In stereotyping people, we perhaps have ruined some great minds.
However, when high school was over and the real world came true, high school jocks and cheerleaders didn’t have much of a lead on the rest of us. Their popularity became nothing after high school. Our stereotyping of each other could have been very harmful. Some students were intelligent but never given a chance to prove it because of the way they dressed or because they smoked. We could see it in our teachers eyes, and our own, when a student walked in with glasses and a pocket protector we assumed that he was smart and way above the intellect of the class. Same as when we saw a person dressed in all black leather with chains walking in; we think that they will never make anything out of themselves.
Now as adults, we work with all types of people. Most of us probably don’t realize that all the people we used to make fun of in high school for studying hard or getting good grades are now the potential leaders of our nation. That jokes on us. However, wha…
… middle of paper …
…ave ruined some great authors, engineers, doctors or even presidents because of our cruel stereotypes.
It’s hard for society to realize that their simple classification of a person without knowing them directly could have such an effect. If we were to understand that just because we choose to where certain clothes or play sports, that it doesn’t mean this is the only thing we know. Society itself is full of plenty of intelligent people, however, most of them will never get a chance to prove this because, either we won’t give them a chance anymore, or they have just given up. Why should anyone try to prove their importance to us if we aren’t willing to believe them? We’ve never cared about them, so why should they care about us? As a stereotyping society from as early as childhood, we have set ourselves up for problems, which might never be resolved.
The Third Bank of the River
The Third Bank of the River
Confusion, embarrassment, and guilt can all be found throughout João Guimarães Rosa’s short story “The Third Bank of the River.” Rosa forces the reader to analyze his words and delve deeply into the hidden meanings behind them. Upon first glance, a story unfolds of a father who seemingly abandons his family and chooses to live out the remainder of his life rowing a small boat back and forth along a river. There are circumstances leading up to this behavior, which new insight to the author’s psychological meaning.
The story develops through the narration of one of the children in the family. His recollection of the days which lead to his father’s absence brings a clear image of the family structure he knew when he was a child. The narrator describes his father as “dutiful, orderly,” and “straightforward”(200). He is quick to point out, however, who has the final say in the household: “It was mother, not father, who ruled the house” (200). When the father decides to order a boat, made specifically for him, the mother “carriedon plenty about it” (200). When the boat arrives, the father says goodbye to all, and the children expect their mother to carry on about this, but her reaction is mixed. The effectiveness of her orders to her husband, “If you go away, stay away. Don’t ever come back,” is weakened as she bites her lip and turns very pale. Her authority is reduced further when her son follows his father to the river, feeling “bold and exhilarated” because he risks the wrath of his mother and wins (200). The child feels so vindicated by his rebellious actions that he asks to accompany his father in the boat. However, his father gestures to him to return, and r…
… middle of paper …
…the son, the father is nothing, and without the father, the son is nothing.
A riverbank can be found where two worlds, earth and water, connect. Any river will have two banks, one on either side of the water. Rosa has created a character who has found a “third bank on the river,” a third way to separate land from the sea. This bank belongs to an entirely different world. Rosa has found a way for the father to exist, yet not exist, within the family. He is connected to his family and weighs heavily upon their minds even though he is a part of an entirely different world. He has discovered this link by establishing a “third bank of the river.”
Rosa, João Gumarães. “The Third Bank of the River.” Trans. William Grossman. Angles of Vision. Ed. Arthur W. Biddle and Toby Fulwiler. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992. 200-203.