Maliciously, individuals may outcast others in response to not fitting within the social norm. In pieces of literature as “Tableau”, “Theology”, and Frankenstein, segregation is displayed through the characters and their response to individuality in culture. This can include isolation for those of separate race, actions, and appearance. Segregation has for years been a social obstacle and can be resolved if individuals were not to condemn others for the decisions they make. Attending meditation class on a weekly basis, I have come to focus on how importance should be focused on bettering oneself and not passing judgment on others. It may always be a social dilemma that occurs in life, but by truly accepting others for who they are, many negative outcomes can transform into positive ones.
In “Tableau”, by Countee Cullen, the principle of segregation is dominant through the relationship of the interracial couple. Segregation of race has been an issue that historically has brought an immense amount of obstacles for many people. Blacks and Whites were separated for years and lived separate lifestyles from one another. The slight interaction was enough to raise eyebrows from any witness. The thought of different races actually dating was something that was unheard of and certainly not done often. Of course times have changed however, these racial tensions can still be present in our everyday lives. This poem expresses how segregation may be even subtle at times but is in fact present. As the interracial couple carries on hand in hand, those who cannot accept their love are, “indignant that these two should dare in unison to walk”. These critical individuals strikingly glare at the couple as if they are not acceptable to be a part of society. Just the thought of the rejecting stares is a form of segregation that may not physically harm anyone but can leave severe mental scars of not being accepted by others.
In the poem “Theology”, by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the idea of segregation is shown in a different way as the first poem. Not only may different races be criticized or looked down upon, but our actions may also segregate us from one another. Our actions may direct others as to where we will end up in our lives. The poem expresses a message in which the speaker seems to view others in a condescending way. He starts off with acceptance by suggesting that there is a heaven in which his soul tells him so. However, he contradicts his own statement by then arguing that there is also a hell where he believes his neighbors will end up. This remark holds a critical connotation and leaves the reader to believe that the speaker is in extreme disagreement with the lives led by his neighbors. The reader is not included to know why the speaker holds such resentment towards his neighbors however; one can infer that segregation is a factor due to the separate category the speaker places himself in.
Intentionally passing judgment on another individual because of their appearance and unique behavior is another form of isolationism that may occur. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, this form of segregation is shown through the character of the Creature in the novel. The Creature was brought into the novel by the character of Victor Frankenstein who longed to use his science skills to create another human being. In belief that this human could potentially become his friend, Victor created this Creature with such great enthusiasm. However, the end result was not what was to be expected. The Creature had a disturbing appearance and did not communicate the same as the average human did. Victor wanted nothing to do with this outcast creation and abandoned the Creature leaving him to fend for himself. This led the Creature to become resentful and angry because he never had anyone to accept him since the moment he came into the world. Victor selfishly allowed the uniqueness of his creation to keep him from accepting it. The Creature continued his path of anger and even resorted to murder. However, had Victor been there for the Creature from the start he could have put an end to the isolation as well as the terror the Creature had caused.
Segregation is purely a human reaction of not accepting something that may be out of the norm. It is vital to become at peace with the decisions others make because one cannot choose the lifestyle of another human being. Despite our differences in this world, you can meditate to achieve harmony within oneself. Once you have this harmony you tend to be open to however it is others choose to carry out their own lives.