Prejudice and Racism
in “The Grass is singing” written by Doris Lessing
and “Doubt, a parable” written by John Patrick Shanley
Prejudice and racism are strongly interrelated in these literaryworks as their genre could be termed as social realism. They deal with modern issues, specifically Rhodesian white culture with its racist and prejudiced attitudes and, on the other hand a Catholicschool-parish in which a priest is accused of having committed abuse to an altar boy in the school, who happens to be the first and only black student.
Lessing´s novel presents the basic conflicts ofwhite colonialism in African culture and the reader is prompted to question its values. Prejudice is not limited to the native Africans. There is a strong sense of necessary bonding between the whitepopulation, something which Mary and Dick are not part of. They lived in very basic conditions and were despised by the rest of the community because "they did not recognize the need for esprit decorps." This attitude was prevalent in the relationships between the Turners and their black workers, particularly the one with the Mission boy and servant Moses which depicts the relationships betweenblacks and whites in the South Africa of the time. These relationships in turn were founded upon hatred and resentment on both sides, reluctant need on the side of the whites, and increasing frustrationand resentment on the side of the blacks. Mary, like most Rhodesian women, is overtly racist, believing that whites should be masters over the native blacks. Dick and Mary both often complain aboutthe lack of work ethic among the natives that work on their farm. While Dick is rarely cruel to the workers that work for them, Mary is quite cruel. She treats herself as their master and superior. Sheshows contempt for the natives, and finds them disgusting and animal-like. This worker, named Moses, comes to be a very important person in Mary's life, when he is taken to be a servant for the...
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