Stereotyping can be termed as an adopted practice or behavior depicted by specific people or a group. Theories and concepts have been formulated in an attempt to explain the whole process through a psychological perspective. Some of the stereotypic notions held occur in reality. Stereotypic notions are expressed in literature sources and film relating to real life situations. The reason behind the use of stereotyping is that the audience can familiarize with that type of reality. It is through these forms of expression, which mainly reflect on the life of an individual that one can deduce instances of stereotypes. Being a word derived from the Greek language, it translates to a solid impression. Over the years, the meaning has changed into a more comprehensive definition that is a constant image or behavior over a long period. Stereotyping has been linked to discrimination. However, the two behaviors tend to be acted out independently with stereotypes considered to occur subconsciously. It is often seen as a misconception as the dynamics of the stereotyped group are not clearly evaluated. The major point that forms the basis of stereotyping is one’s profession, the socio-economic background, country and state of origin and physical appearance of an individual. Some of the literature and films produced shall shed light on how stereotyping is expressed subconsciously, its effects on those subjected to it and the world’s perspective on this form of expression.


The Color Purple

The film is about the life of the colored women living in American South. There are many stereotypic scenarios and notions, which are brought out from the film. The first case is where the black men use their dominance to rule over their women in an attempt to make them submit. The main character that portrays this is Celie who experiences beatings from both her father and husband. The father goes to an extent of raping her. Harpo, Celie’s stepson, feels like a failure for not instilling adequate dominance over his wife Sofia. He feels emasculated. The second stereotypic portrayal of the Black American men was their polygamy and incapability to commit to one woman. This notion is once again portrayed by Celie when her father forces himself on her yet his wife is still alive. The next case is when Celie’s husband admits to fathering the children of his mistress, Shrug. He even takes her to his matrimonial home, where Celie nurses her back to health after ailing from a serious disease.

            A Voice in Every Wind

A Voice in Every Wind is one of the collections of short stories written by Qun Wang, which originates from the Asian community. The stories are focused on depicting the life experience of Chinese exchange students in the United States. They clearly illustrate the outstanding differences between the American culture and that of the Asian community. The experiences range from good and bad with recurring themes, which revolve around gender, relationships, culture, sex and evolving values in the American community. It is seen as an awakening to these foreign students who are used to a more different lifestyle as compared to that offered in the United States. The students are stereotyped by the American populous. There is a stereotypic view that most Asian foreign students, especially those of Chinese origin, major in sciences and mathematics. This view is seen in the narration when one of the records belonging to a Chinese student cannot be found in the school’s database, only to realize that the desk worker in charge of looking into the records was searching into the math and science department instead of the English section. Another stereotypic view illustrated in the book is that the Chinese people are very reserved in terms of their culture and self-image. The book proves that some of the stereotypic attitudes and behaviors are usually correct as the aforementioned view held on their reserved nature.

            Come See the Paradise

Come See the Paradise is a film directed by Alan Parker. The starring characters in the movie are Tamlyn Tomita and Dennis Quaid. Alan Parker, who happens to be the writer of the script, uses the World War 2 setting in the film, which depicts the sort of treatment the American citizens who originated from Japan received from the Native Americans. These events followed the destruction of Pearl Harbor, which saw the death of many American soldiers. It tells a story of a biracial couple of an American man and American-Japanese woman, who are prohibited from marrying each other due to the tension and the animosity present between the two races after the Pearl Harbor attack. After eloping to a new state, Seattle, Jack gets into some legal trouble and is forced to join the military while his wife, Lily is forced to live in a camp with poor living conditions, meager paying jobs and alienated from her husband and culture. The stereotypic aspect is brought by the change of the American attitude towards the Japanese after the bombing of the Pearl Harbor. As characteristic of stereotyping, the actions of a small group can lead to the generalization of an entire race. The internment camps were a means by the Americans to oppress the Japanese citizens in the state after it lost its trust of Japan.

            The crash

            The crash is also a film that illustrates a stereotypic view held by groups and individuals. The film consist of characters that range from a black detective who has a younger brother involved in gang activities, a racially biased white police officer working together with a younger more open minded officer who finds his racial nature disgusting and warranting reprimand. An African American couple encounters the two officers, the same case applies to a Hispanic family working in the locksmith business and a Persian farmer, an immigrants lining in America. The white officer displays stereotypic tendencies when he fails to secure insurance for his ailing and terminally ill father. He later blames it on the black Americans who were able to maintain their jobs, unlike his father. This stereotype is actually incorrect as the main concern would be the inability of his father to qualify for the health insurance. The next incident is when the District Attorney and his wife encounter group of young black teenagers. On seeing them approach, the wife clings onto her husband’s arm. The teenagers question her act terming it as stereotypic, which in the end happens to be correct as they eventually steal from them.

            After the robbery incident, the Attorney General’s wife implores her husband to have the locks to the house changed again. The reasoning behind this request is because she believes that the Mexican locksmith might give one of his friends the key, which would lead to another robbery. The thought that prompts to her place such an accusation is because the locksmith has tattoos allover his body. This is a popular stereotypic belief with the notion that Mexican foreigners with tattoos on their bodies have an affiliation to a gang or involved with criminals. This view is also proved wrong, as the locksmith is a loving husband and father who works to earn a living to sustain his family. A saddening event based on stereotypic behavior and reasoning occurs when the young open-minded police officer requests to work alone, as he is disgusted by his partner’s racial remarks and behavior. During his patrol, he comes across one of the black teenagers involved in the robbery and picks them up. He shoots the teenager when he reaches out to his pocket as he assumes he is pulling out a gun.

            10 things I Hate about You

10 things I Hate about You is also a stereotypic movie, which revolves around a teenage boy by the name Cameron who falls in love with the most popular girl in his new school. Their affair is prohibited by her father, who in a ploy to prevent them from seeing each other devices a rule where he commands that the love stricken Bianca can only date after her anti-social sister does the same. She selects a bad boy outcast named Patrick whom she pays to date her sister. Patrick eventually falls in love with Kat but the two separate after she finds out he was paid to date her. Eventually, the movie end with both the couples reunited. The stereotypic view of this film is the existence of groups within the high school system, where there are the pretty and the popular, the unpopular nerds, jocks, outcast’s etcetera. There are many stereotypic notions in the movie. These include the bad-boy attitude by Patrick, the nerdy best friend to Bianca and the happy conclusion that finalizes the film.

            When living was a Labor Camp

When living was a Labor Camp is also a compilation of the poem written by Dana Garcia to tell about herb experiences in the California’s San Joaquin Valley, where the labor camps where situated. She also tells of her experiences in the camp in terms of her womanhood and racism. The poem depicts her as a proud Latina who is faced with many life challenges in the camp. The Latinos who are usually stereotyped are the focus in the poems with the main persona being Dana Garcia. She rejects the stereotypic notion held by majority by embracing her race fully.

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