Essay 3

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In the poem “Incident” by Countee Cullen, as well as in the short story “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, there are examples of racial distress felt by the prejudices of others. In the poem the youngster felt the stinging words of racial prejudices. While in the story the author details a biased rejection to the child. Thus, the authors were endeavoring to bring to the reader’s attention the feelings of others who have been judged unmercifully by their physical appearance. The poem imparts the feelings of sadness as it described the memories of a child being subjected to the cruel words of another child. I was able to sense how the youngster must have felt after being “called (a) Nigger” (Cullen line 8) and how that one inexcusable word remained with this child forever. The fond memories, as the writer described his “heart filled…with glee” of being in Baltimore” (Cullen 5,) were forever clouded by the stinging words of another. I can only imagine how this must have felt: the shock, the embarrassment and the idea that someone would verbally attack with the one word that would strike deep within the heart and soul. In the poem we are told of an incident which happened in what may have been considered a more racially tolerant area of the country, Baltimore (Cullen 1), unlike what I might expect in a southern town during this era. The poem also tells us how two youngsters were involved in the incident. Yet the events of that day, remained forever etched in the mind of this young child. This is one example of how prejudices, like a disease, can begin at an early age and continue into adulthood. If permitted to grow, the consequences of racism can infect the mind and character. Like poison that runs through the veins, prejudices can and does destroy many countries. Wars have been fought from the results of someone “hating” another because of their

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