Politics: Discrimination and World War I . Essay

Submitted By grilloto
Words: 675
Pages: 3

The 19th century saw a hardening of institutionalized racism and legal discrimination against citizens of African descent in the United States. Although technically able to vote, poll taxes, acts of terror (often perpetuated by groups like the KKK) and discriminatory laws kept African Americans disenfranchised, particularly in the South.
During this time, segregation, racial discrimination and expressions of white supremacy all increased, as did anti-black violence such as lynching and race riots.
Racism, which had been viewed primarily as a problem in the Southern states, burst onto the national consciousness following the Great Migration, the relocation of millions of African Americans from their roots in the Southern states to the industrial centers of the North after World War I. This took place particularly in cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York (Harlem). In northern cities, racial tensions exploded most violently in Chicagao

Referring to the hat she just paid seven dollars for, Julian’s mother frequently states, "maybe I shouldn’t have paid that for it. No, I shouldn’t have," even though the hat is very important to her, as it is a symbol of her dignity; it represents her southern pride. The story’s main focus is on her pretentiousness, her bigotry, her prejudice against the negro, and ironically, her struggle to maintain her dignity through it all. Of the blacks, in the bus, she states, "most of them in it are not our kind of people, but I can be gracious to anybody. I know who I am." There is irony in this statement, since she is in constant need of reassurance from Julian of the loveliness of her heart. This, and the repetition of the quote above ( I know who I am) serves to indicate that she is either unconsciously insecure, or, she is consciously attempting to mask her awareness of her bigotry and prejudice and appease her conscience. She knows she is prejudiced, and to counteract her feeling of dissonance, she finds gratification for her statement by saying, "but I can be gracious to anybody. I know who I am." She is hoping for her son, whom she considers her hero, to reinforce her statement, and ease her conscience. I believe that Flannery O’Connor has #

The story exemplifies her ability to expose human weakness and explore important moral questions through everyday situations

O’Connor utilizes biting irony to expose the blindness and ignorance of her characters. The story’s title refers to an underlying religious message that is central to her work: she aims to expose the sinful nature of humanity that often goes unrecognized in the modern