Race In Hurston's Conscience Of The Court

960 words - 4 pages

Race In Zora Neale Hurston's, "The Conscience of the Court", it is clearly shown that Laura Lee Kimble has at least some awareness of the impact of class and gender in her life. But she does not recognize race and racism as factors that shape her environment and determine her individual identity. For Laura Lee Kimble it is people of color who live racially structured lives.Race is described as body type, ancestry, cultural differences, biological subspecies, actual social stratification and the normative social stratification. Race according to Michael Masse is: "Body type differences primarily skin color, ancestry as in the U.S., membership in a racial group is defined by the continent in ...view middle of the document...

This shows that a superior race can blame a minority or smaller race for the crimes it commits. Michael Masse describes this as individual harm: "Some people argue that harm can happen only to individuals, not groups. On this view, a harm or injustice inflicted on someone is made more objectionable because it has a racist motive. A racist lynching against an individual is wrong because it is considered a racist motive but if it is done to a group it is made ok, for then it is not considered racist" (Michael Masse: Concepts of Race and Social groups, 17).This shows that when a single person, of a different race, is blamed for a bad action which he or she did not commit, it is considered bad or racist unless it is blamed on a group of people. By saying different race it means that it is the minority or smaller race that is being blamed for the bad action, just like Laura Lee Kimble is being blamed in the story. Through her characterization of Laura Lee Kimble, Hurston demonstrates that race is not important to many people. She shows that skin color does not matter to Laura Lee Kimble because she thinks that everybody is created equal, despite his or her race. Hurston proves this by telling us a lot about Laura Lee Kimble's background, especially how her childhood had gone by. She shows that Laura Lee Kimble's parents were slaves, yet Laura Lee Kimble herself was not considered a slave because she was too young. She shows that her parent's...

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