The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #140865   Message #3239992
Posted By: Little Hawk
16-Oct-11 - 09:34 PM
Thread Name: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
You got it covered well there, 999. Yup, stereotypes can be used either to raise the consciousness of people about prejudice...or to promote prejudice. It depends how you use them and with what intention.

I find Chongo a fascinating character, because he is "every-ape". All the issues that get Chongo worked up are the same issues we find humans getting worked up over, and for the same reasons. He wants respect. He wants equality. He wants security, protection under the law, and a means to earn a good living. He wants to treated as an individual, not a stereotype....and yet....he is NOT entirely free of prejudice himself! Matter of fact, he has a number of pretty noticeable prejudices. So he is not only everyape...he's everyman...but in a form we can all feel relatively comfortable with, since it is one step removed from the stuff we actually have to deal with in our real daily lives.

As for Shane, I find the guy kind of likable...mainly because he is so innocent. He really doesn't get how irresponsible and dumb (though basically trivial) his behaviour is. He thinks he's on the fast track to being a really cool and successful dude, when nothing could be farther from the truth. This protects Shane, in a way, because if he could see himself as most others see him, the poor guy would just be destroyed by it. His innocence is his armour against the many disappoints in life. Let us hope it gets him through "the glory years" of his youth. If he's lucky, he'll die still relatively young in some incredibly stupid way before inevitable old age and disillusionment bring him crashing down to hard reality.