After You, My Dear Alphonse Essay Sample
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After You, My Dear Alphonse Essay Sample
Racism is being prejudiced towards another group of people who are distinguished differently to you. The most common way to spot the differences between to races is by the colour of the skin. The story “After You My Dear Alphonse” is written by Shirley Jackson. They story shows us how in the 1940’s racist attitudes were influenced by children’s parents, and how stereotypical their view was regarding and towards African American’s. The setting of “After you, my dear Alphonse” is purely submissive. They story takes place in The Wilson’s house. We don’t know which country or city that the story takes place, but we can assume that the story takes place in a small –town community. Johnny is a happy boy, whose goal is to have as much as possible, which is relevant since he is only a child. Jonny and Boyd have a really good relationship and they love to play together. Johnny view upon Boyd is really innocent and he doesn’t view Boyd as a poor black boy, but as a human being, as himself. Johnny does not share the prejudices and the narrow-minded view that his mother has towards African American people. For him Boyd is a really good friend and the colour of the skin doesn’t matter at all. Johnny does not ask questions about Boyd’s family like his mother, because in his opinion there are no differences in the family situation. When Boyd refuses the clothes offer from Mrs Wilson and is told, “Don’t think I’m angry Boyd.
I’m just disappointed in you that’s all” (l. 97 p. 3), he is confused and doesn’t understand that he did to upset her. This implies that at a really young age, Boyd and Johnny had not yet conformed to the society’s way of thinking and stereotypical negative way of life. Their main interest is being good friend with each other and having fun. This demonstrates and suggests that racism is not something you are born with but something that you are taught. It’s an idea passed down and brainwashed by your parents and especially influenced by society. Once Mrs. Wilson notices Boyd’s appearance she starts acting all weird. She starts asking him questions about his family’s work and level of poverty and generally judges him because of his black race but in an indirect kind of way, an example from the text could be, “Doesn’t eat tomatoes, Johnny. And just because you don’t like them, don’t say that about Boyd. Boyd will anything” (l.43-44 p. 2). She has these prejudice that he must be poor because his is black. She also tires to donate some of the Wilson family’s own and old clothing to his family, “Boyd, Johnny has some suits that are a little to small for him, and a winter coast. It’s not new, of course but there’s lots of wear in it still” (l. 80-81 p. 2), but ends up getting rejected by a confused Boyd who tells her that he has plenty of clothes (l. 87 p. 3). She also thinks that Boyd has a lot of siblings (l. 68-70 p. 2).
Mrs Wilson’s behaviour towards Boyd is very judgemental and she is not able to neither accept that her imagination of black families is not right. She divides all the people into different categories and doesn’t want to see the people or person as an individual. Mrs Wilson shows us that she is full of prejudice and that she always thinks that some people have certain attributes. “After You, My Dear Alphonse” is a third person narrative. The reason why it’s a third person narrative is because the story is told about someone else; the narrator is not involved, and you can also tell that this perceptive uses proper names as well as “he”, “she” and “they”. The effect that it has on they story, is that it build a tension for the reader who wants to know more about the characters in the story. The third person perceptive maintain a balance between revealing and hiding information about the characters and their actions which makes the audience engaged and interest in the story’s development. In “After You, My Dear Alphonse”, we don’t gets to read the characters thoughts and the story is kind of a conversation between Mrs Wilson, Boyd and Johnny. In my opinion this effect makes the story a bit boring because we don’t get to feel they tension in the story.
The story ends with that Mrs Wilson gets bitter when Boyd refuse to accept some of the Wilson family’s old clothes. She grabs the rest of the gingerbread from the table just as Boyd was about to grab another piece, and tells him that she is not angry but just disappointed by his attitude, “There are many little boys like you, Boyd who would be grateful for the clothes someone was kind enough to give them” (l 94-95 p. 3). They boys go out and play again, both Johnny and Boyd oblivious to Mrs Wilson’s ulterior motives, although they both think it’s a bit weird and they both wondering about it and feeling a little bit uncomfortable. It does though, in no way stop them from continuing their playing. One of the main themes in this story is after my opinion prejudices, because Mrs Wilson is really judgemental towards Boyd just because his black. She thinks that he comes from a poor family because he has black heritage in him. Mrs Wilson represents a racist person although she tires to make herself look as a helpful person that is helping the “poor” black boy by offering him things and sticking out her hand to the needy, but she really in fact just have a lot of prejudices.