Thursday, October 20, 2011


A main theme which seems to appear in every novel we have read so far in class, is the idea of perception. How do the other characters view each other? In The Blithedale Romance, Hollingsworth, Priscilla, Coverdale, and especially Zenobia are almost to a point of obsession in concerns with perception, whether it was good or bad. The same can be send about the characters in Moby Dick, especially with Ahab and Stubbs. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is the same, except with the focus on race and stereotypes. The author leaves the color of the race a mystery until the dinner, which allows the reader to come to their own conclusion on who he is and what he looks like. It also helps create a connection to the reader, which was very important when the book first came out and certain readers would be less included to buy and read the book. The reader's perception controls the perception of every character and when the race is finally revealed, the perception of the woman, who segregates him and makes him feel less than everyone else around him, is one of hatefulness and disgust. Since the goal of the book is to make the protagonist pitiable and mistreated, writing it they way the author has creates a successful perception where the "bad" people or the people of low morals are the ones who promote and follow the idea of segregation. If the book were written differently or from another perspective would it be as successful at persuading the reader into believing that everyone is equal and should not be separated or considered lesser?

1 comment:

  1. Good ideas, Kristin. Perception is a key feature in all these novels, as you say.