Browsing Senior Honors Theses by Subject "Human Rights"
Now showing items 1-2 of 2
Dehumanization in Silko’s CeremonySince European explorers first came into contact with the indigenous people of the New World, they created two opposing images of “The Indian” based on their own white values. Through their very natures these contrary images, the Noble Savage and the barbaric heathen, dehumanize Native Americans through shallow stereotypes. Yet, these images persisted throughout history, lasting even to the modern day. In this essay, I argue that Leslie Marmon Silko responds to these stereotypes in her novel Ceremony by dehumanizing and rehumanizing her characters. The main character, Tayo, struggles to understand what it means to be human, but eventually reclaims his humanity when he immerses himself in Laguna culture. In this way, Silko rejects white expectations and legitimizes Native American definitions of humanity.
Homeland Security: The Modern Day Red Scare Perceptions of Modern Islam in American SocietyOver two hundred years ago before the United States was officially formed, a unique American culture different from that of mother-land England had began to emerge. Starting with John Winthrop?s idea of creating a society that would be “a city upon a hill” through a government created based on the ideas of Enlightenment thinkers, and through the civil rights era, America has prided itself on being a forward-thinking, civil rights champion and a role model for other societies. The Statue of Liberty warmly welcomes refugees from other countries, and we have often times referred to ourselves as the melting pot of the world. This unique American culture that has so proudly announced its acceptance of diversity, has actually used diversity in a negative way to unite American people against a common enemy. In times of chaos and fear, American people have often looked to point the finger at a certain group, religion, or idea that far extends pass just women and African-Americans. American society continuously looks to blame others- a phenomenon the government actually uses to gain power and unite Americans. We will first look to history to see how the public and influential leaders during the Salem Witch trials, Japanese Internment, and McCarthyism all have placed blame on a minority under the leadership of the government as a way to answer social problems and as a way for the government to gain power. We will then look at the modern issue of how in the grand scheme of things, this continues today with the making of Muslim-Americans and terrorists to be synonymous and the role the government has played in uniting the American people against a common enemy. In a country that was supposed to be the land of freedom for those being persecuted, our society and government continues to persecute others.