Character Essay

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Racism has been a major factor in the human history of Canada. Despite the existence of racism, there were many great leaders who fought for the rights of others. Not only did those great leaders fight for racism, but these great leaders also tried to stop this issue. In the novel “Bifocal”, written by Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters, we are introduced to the protagonists, Jay and Haroon. The story unfolds with a school lockdown which was caused by the police thinking there was a bomb in the school. The police suspected different cultural groups in the school, and one of their first suspects were the group of Muslim students. Further on, the police suspected different groups of the school based on their culture, which was racist, and because of the bomb case, different students in the school were attacked with racist comments and judgements. Racism in the novel “Bifocal” affects society and schools by separating people into groups according to their physical and cultural appearances which are supported by the characters, symbol and conflicts in the book. Characters in the novel begin to illustrate racism by forming groups of their own based on similar skin tone and culture. This racist act started affecting many of the excluded students negatively. For example, when these groups of students found out that there is the presence of a possible terrorist act in the school, the group of students started making fun of kids that might look like a terrorist or who are Muslim. For example: “Hey! Look at me! I’m Osama Bin Laden” (Ellis 27), were the comments made by the group of white ninth graders. The group started bullying the Muslim kids and started rumours that the group was connected to Osama Bin Laden since their background was Pakistani or Muslim. Furthermore, Haroon, the protagonist and Azeem’s best friend, started to think that Azeem was part of the terrorist group

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