Accepting Oneself Essay

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Accepting Oneself In the short story “Red Dirt Don’t Wash” by Roger Mais, Mais uses characterization to lead the main character, Adrian, to accept himself and where he comes from. The character Miranda views herself as better than Adrian because of their different backgrounds. For some time Adrian is convinced of the same assumptions; however, he learns otherwise. The contrast in characters is reflected through the cleanliness and dirt depicted in the story, and resolves in Adrian accepting himself and his culture. Throughout the passage, Miranda’s condescending ways and Adrian’s view of Miranda make Adrian feel as if he were inferior to her. Adrian’s outlook of Miranda as being clean becomes apparent when he sees “all [of] her loveliness… [making] him aware of his own grossness, his own inferiority” (Mais 63). Just by seeing Miranda, Adrian looked at himself to be less important, valuable, and worthy because she was “cleaner” than him. Later Adrian tries to change himself by buying shoes to impress Miranda, but finds out his efforts have fallen short because as Miranda sees the shoes she states, “Do you think I’m going to go out with you in them?” (Mais 68). Adrian feels as if no matter how hard he tries to change his “dirty” ways of life, such as not wearing shoes, Miranda will always be superior to him. Through Miranda’s statements she unknowingly negatively affected Adrian’s views of himself. In contrast, by the end of the story Adrian not only is able to accept himself but also the community he comes from. As Adrian sat to himself after being turned down by Miranda, he came to the conclusion that “back there he belonged, where there was red dirt everywhere” (Mais 69). Adrian finally was able to accept that the red dirt mountains are his home and he isn’t ashamed of them. In addition, while reflecting on his life Adrian thinks to himself, “it was
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