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Handmaid Tale

  • Date Submitted: 04/29/2014 03:07 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.9 
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Samantha Pinto
English Comp 102
Professor Burke
3/27/13
In the short story, “Brownies,” the author puts forth the notion that prejudice is developed through the inferiorities and fear of individuals. Author, Vincent N. Parrillo, explains this notion in his book Causes of Prejudice. Parillo notes the cognitive level of prejudice “encompasses a person’s beliefs and perceptions of a group as threatening or nonthreatening, inferior or equal…” (578).  In “Brownies,” the audience sees the young African American girls have such an envious and hatred feeling towards Caucasian girls. For example, on the first day of camp when the caucasian girls stepped out of the bus, the African American girls described them as “a blend of ice cream: strawberry, vanilla” and how the came out of the bus with their “rolled up sleeping bags chromatized with Disney characters… or the generic ones cheap parents bought: washed out rainbows, unicorns…” (Packer 1). According to Parillo, the girls are acting this way due to self justification. The African American girls describe the white girls with a dry humor, which may indicate that they are envious of them because they have disney sleeping bags or even the “cheap ones;” unicorns or rainbows. In addition, the African American girls begin to use the term “Caucasian” as somewhat of  a negative and derogatory term (4). This illustrates a cognitive level of prejudice. Their use of this term, “Caucasian,” depicted their attempt to make fun or infuriate the white population. Also, Arnetta describe a Caucasians’ hair as “long shampoo-commercial hair straight as spaghetti” (5). Her sarcastic comment illustrated “envy and hatred” (5). According to Parillo, the reason why the African American girls were acting this way because of self-justification and the socialization process. The African American girls feel inferior towards Caucasians and to hide their inferiorities they make the Caucasian girls a target for their humor. In addition, the media...

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