Our Cruel World

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Lori Argetsinger

Professor Meier

English 244

October 16, 2010

Our Cruel World

Our world can be a very unforgiving place to live. Assimilation is a part of everyday life. Each society has a specific idea of what is acceptable and correct versus what is unacceptable or seems incorrect. In the writings of Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye and Sherman Alexie’s The Toughest Indian in the World, the idea of how assimilation can and does affect us can be seen. Society can be cruel and helps lead to feelings of rejection and self-worthlessness.

In The Bluest Eye, many times the felling of self-worthlessness is present. She writes, “There can’t be anyone, I am sure, who doesn’t know what it feels like to be disliked, even rejected, momentarily or for sustained periods of time (Morrison, Foreward). This statement is a powerful one as it speaks the truth; one can see it at a store, gas station, church, and school. Morrison continues on saying, “… hated for things we have no control over and cannot change (Morrison, Foreward). Writing this she is showing us that no matter if we are young/old, male/female, black/white everyone feels at one point or another some form of rejection in life, even if this rejection is simply for just a moment. Some of this rejection can be very hard to handle. It comes from society, and their ideas of acceptability and what is not acceptable. This; is sometimes an uncontrollable thing like skin color or heritage that the dislike cannot change. For the people of the early 1940’s it was hard just to survive and try to raise a family. Times were tough and the minorities. They felt as though they were outcasts and considered to be of the lower class of society. This is evident when Morrison writes “being of a minority in both caste and class, we moved about anyway on the hem of life, struggling to consolidate our weakness and hang on, …Our peripheral existence, however, was something we had learned to deal with probably because it was abstract...