The Artificial Nigger: Truths Behind Racism

1469 words - 6 pages

In O'Connor's "The Artificial Nigger" the essences of prejudice and degradation are captured to a great extent. Reality shows us with needless consistency people in a need to feel better about themselves only achieve it by being better than someone else. Therefore every opportunity at hand, including racism, is taken advantage as a form of gratification. Mr. Head, the grandfather, is an example of one of these people. He is in competition with seemingly everyone he encounters while in a day trip to the City.

Racism is just one of the ways he utilizes to demean others while elevating his own self-image. O'Connor's depiction of a Southern, and close-minded person goes into the extreme depths of what constitutes as well as produces an imprudent racist. Mr. Head, a self-proclaimed missionary, plans on taking his grandson, Nelson, to Atlanta city. Intending to introduce Nelson to the focal point of his racist teachings. However, Mr.

Head's subconscious motives are to have Nelson believe his grandfather's existence in his life is indispensable. He hopes Nelson dependency upon him increases. Doing so would not only make his own self feel superior but also satisfy his own dependency needs. He's content with the thought that once Nelson has had the opportunity in experiencing the city. He will "be content to stay at home for the rest of his life"(251). His only comforting thoughts, as he laid to sleep before the day of the trip, were not of turning Nelson into a racist however, of "thinking how the boy would at last find out that he was not as smart as he thought he was"(251).

Degrading anyone, including his own grandson, is another way by which Mr. Head can feel satisfied with himself. He welcomes and anticipates the point at which Nelson questions his own intelligence. Towards the beginning of the story Mr.

Head belittles Nelson rationalizing once arriving in the city "he will've been there twict"(250). Considering Atlanta was his place of birth Nelson believed it to be true. Logically Nelson made sense nevertheless, "Mr. Head had contradicted him" (250). Irony is first present here as Mr. Head continuously accuses Nelson of being ignorant, yet Mr.

Head is the one displaying ignorance in every spoken.From the beginning of the story Mr. Head is seen as a character extremely selfish and only concerned with one self. O'Connor reveals Mr. Heads way of thinking to better understand his persona. Her characters are seemingly study cases and in reading thoughts we first begin to see personality disorders. Many such disorders are responsible for unreasoned thinking.

I believe mental conditions are a definite underlying factor if not contributor to racial prejudices. Waiting for the train to stop for them, the day of the trip, Mr. Head secretly fears it will not do so, "which case, he knew Nelson would say, " I never thought no train would stop for you,"(252). The fears Mr. Head had...

Find Another Essay On The Artificial Nigger: Truths Behind Racism

Comparing the Loss of Innocence in Cullen's Incident and Naylor’s Mommy, What Does Nigger Mean?

1192 words - 5 pages and racism at a young age. The word "nigger" does not exist in white children’s vocabulary at birth. Rather, their parents and community teach them the word and pass down the legacy of racism as if it is an essential part of "American culture." A racist community conditions children to be racist, and a racist community conditions children to leave their "color"-less views of the world behind. Cullen portrays the racist conditioning in his poem

The Geranium and Judgment Day Essay

2604 words - 10 pages . “Many of my ardent admirers would be roundly shocked and disturbed if they realized that everything I believe is thoroughly moral, thoroughly Catholic, and that it is these beliefs that give my work its chief characteristics” (O'Connor Habit 147–8).She showed this narrowness repeatedly by her choice of themes, styles and views, and included them in stories such as “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” “The Geranium,” “The Artificial Nigger

Why Not to Ban Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1317 words - 5 pages To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been challenged/banned countless times since it’s original publication in 1960. The reasoning people could have behind banning it is that they feel that the racism, language and subject matter in the book is offensive, inappropriate, immoral and that it encourages and condones such things. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, a small town in Alabama, during the depression from 1935-1937, and is

Huckleberry Finn ( Huck Finn ) - Racism

584 words - 2 pages . In chapter 32, Aunt Sally and Huck discuss a steamboat explosion: “Good Gracious! Anyone hurt?” asks Aunt Sally. “ No’m. Killed a nigger.” “ Well it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.” This passage highlights Twain’s use of satire. On the surface, it could easily be interpreted as dehumanizing and bigoted, but Twain only uses it to reveal the cold truths of white attitudes in the 1800’s. It also presents the fact

lucas karz

2054 words - 9 pages acknowledges racism and ridicules the african american culture. The continued use of the word “nigger” flusters most readers. As for mostly a girl named Raquel Panton who says that, “ The word nigger makes her feel self conscious about her self. In ways she feels demeaned, and disrespected by other students” (Panton). As Raquel Panton argument continues to change the minds of people to censor the novel, people are also concluding on reasons of why the

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1107 words - 4 pages From the moment it was first published by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has caused controversy. It challenged authority, made light of religion, and brought up the issue of slavery and racism. Now, 125 years later, Mark Twain’s story is still making the news. Recently the word “nigger” has been completely removed from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The decision to remove this word is unnecessary because, based on Mark

Racial Tensions in Wide Sargasso Sea

1172 words - 5 pages mixing of blame and culture in Jamaica, she uses the citizens to show her readers a firsthand view of how the racism worked with them using terms such as “white nigger” and “black Englishman”. The terms put together two opposites to create a nastier whole, juxtaposing two unlikely things to create something more harmful. But through this action, the readers are shown how connected the two different races are and Rhys uses this to meld the

"Mark Twain" on the racism

1714 words - 7 pages which the slavery was a great topic of debating. So, huckleberry finn was analyzed in both sides who were those claim it is a racist or anti-racist/a satire on racism. If we look at the language Twain used such a language going beyond the satire which is disturbing and disdaining. He showed us them as objects and perpetuates stereotypes, mark twain holds the belief that some races are inherently better than others. The word "nigger" ,for

Nigger: Historical and Current Use

3541 words - 14 pages ) argue that this word cannot be used by whites. It does not matter what the context is unless it is being used in the context of an apology for its use; that’s it! The history behind the word nigger and its use by white people is so deeply rooted in American history that I do not see how having everyone using the word can possibly disable it. In fact, many white people agree with me on this. For instance, in an interview dated April 10, 2002

Heart of Darkness: Critical Responses

2371 words - 9 pages -imperialist point. In this letter, Conrad states that, “[My] idea behind the novella was ‘the criminality of the inefficiency and pure selfishness when tackling the civilizing work in Africa’” (Svensson, 2010, pg. 5). However, Morgan Svensson reminds us that the trustworthiness in the intentions of authors is often low. An important facet in the debate of racism is the complicated relationship between Joseph Conrad and Marlow, the protagonist of

Huckleberry Finn Analysis Essay

1909 words - 8 pages in Huck’s years. Mark Twain would introduce satire in the novel to exaggerate the people’s attitudes and social customs with their community. He brought out racism against blacks and how slaves were defined as. Twain spreads through out the book on Huck’s hero’s journey and how it helped him find out truths about society including Jim and himself in conceiving his true destiny in life.

Similar Essays

The Behavior Behind Racism Essay

2737 words - 11 pages Racism is something something we've all witnessed. Many people fail to believe that race isn’t a biological category, but an artificial classification of people with no scientifically variable facts. In other words, the distinction we make between races has nothing to do with genetic characteristics. Race was created socially, primarily by how people perceive ideas and faces we are not quite used to. The definition of race all depends on where

An Analysis Of The First Paragraph Of O’connor’s The Artificial Nigger

1059 words - 4 pages An Analysis of the First Paragraph of O’Connor’s The Artificial Nigger ?In “The Artificial Nigger,” Flannery O’Connor commingles characteristic Christian imagery with themes evocative of her Southern setting. In this essay, a close reading of the first paragraph of this story elucidates the subtle ways in which O’Connor sets up these basic themes of redemption and forgiveness. An additional paragraph will examine the ramifications of

Role Of Parents In Morrison's Recitatif And O'connor's The Artificial Nigger

1269 words - 5 pages Artificial Nigger" a mother and a grandfather, respectively, with too much responsibility seek to alter the lives of two children for the worst. Roberta Fisk and Nelson Head receive introductions to the concept of racism from people with a great deal of control over their lives. Morrison's piece illustrates the part of racism involving feelings of contempt. When Roberta introduces her mother to her roommate Twyla and Twyla's mother

Racism: The Artificial Category Of Race

1791 words - 7 pages Racism: The Artificial Category of Race THESIS: Scientists and other intellectuals recognize the modern concept of "race" as an artificial category that developed over the past five centuries due to encounters with non-European people. Even though people still attempt to organize humans into categories according to their race, these categories have been shown to have no scientific basis. The term "race" is a modern concept. It's