All human beings judge other people based on who they are. People judge others because they are somewhat different from them. Being judgmental is the basis part of human nature. Despite our flaw as human beings, Barbara Jordan comments on the collection “Ourselves and Others” that, “We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.” This quote plays out in the texts “Texas v. Johnson Majority Opinion” by William J. Brennan, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “My So-Called Enemy” by Lisa Gossels. The characters in these texts deal differently toward those who are different from them. As the authors portray their characters’ views on acceptance, the authors’ views on acceptance are also revealed to the readers. While some show acceptance toward others, some have a harder time accepting and choose to discriminate. For this reason, the quote by Barbara Jordan plays out varyingly in the texts chosen from the collection.
The people in the text, Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion, are accepting of those different from them. The characters in the text express their own opinions through their actions. One of the characters, Judge Brennan, shows what he think is right by supporting the 1st Amendment. The U.S Supreme Court claimed that the man’s expression of burning the flag is protected and legal according to the U.S constitution. As said on line 3-5, “To say that the government has an interest in encouraging proper treatment of the flag, however it is not to say to punish a person for burning a flag as means of the 1st Amendment.”
The Supreme Court discriminated Gregory Johnson by arresting him without the consent of the 1st Amendment. They discriminated him due to the fact that his actions were cruel to think that he had violated a state law, which is said to be illegal to destroy the items that should be respected. In addition, Justice Brennan showed how he thinks it is right to not violate the flag burner through the support of the constitution. Based on the Supreme Court’s final decision, Justice Brennan showed acceptance toward the flag burner.
On the other hand, in the second text, “The Lottery”, the characters aren’t as accepting as those of the people in “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion”. A character in the story, Mrs. Delacroix, does not show acceptance toward Tessie Hutchinson. As shown on line 315, “ Mrs. Delacroix selected a stone so large and had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar “come on” she said “Hurry up”. Mrs. Delacroix and Tessie Hutchinson were good friends as shown in line 108-110, “Clean forgot what day it was, she said to Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her, and they both laughed softly.”
Even though both were such good friends, Mrs. Delacroix ends up killing Tessie Hutchinson by throwing stones at her. Mrs. Delacroix showed her true self through the tradition of the lottery. This shows how Mrs. Delacroix does not accept Tessie Hutchinson because she was chosen as the lottery winner. “The Lottery” is written differently compared to “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion”. They are different in the way Justice Brennan shows acceptance to those who are different, but Mrs. Delacroix does not.
Like the text Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion, the characters in the text, “My So-Called Enemy”, are not judgmental to those different from them. In the video, girls from different backgrounds are found to be enemies toward one another but end up accepting each other based on who they are as people. Inas, who is Palestinian, says “when I see the Jewish girls as individuals, I love them and all of them are my friends. We talk everyday and we eat together, we dance together, and we see the movies together.” Even though the girls are very diverse because of their different nationalities, Inas thinks of the others like her own friends. She is willing to accept others who are different from her. As said on the screen text, the six girls, who are taught to be enemies, are given 10 days to fight for something better. In the video, all of the girls hang out in the bowling alley and scream Girls! Girls! Girls! It is rational to think that they have changed and became closer through their bonding.
Furthermore, Gal (Israeli) said, “my friendship with Rezan is one of the most important thing for me in the world. And I’m afraid that something like the army is going to conquer it.” In the times that they were together, they have had a closer relationship, which makes them accept each other no matter who they are. Compared to “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion”, both shows acceptance to those who are different. However, the “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion” is different from “The Lottery” because they do not accept those who are different just because of a specific ritual that needs to be followed. In addition, the girls in “My So Called Enemy”, conquer to strive for what is right based on accepting those around them.
Comparing the three texts, the characters of “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion, “The Lottery” and “My So Called Enemy” have different views on accepting others. In “Texas V. Johnson Majority Opinion”, the people show acceptance by being able accept those who have different opinions. However, in “The Lottery” one of the characters does not show acceptance to those who are different from them in the village. Inversely, “My So Called Enemy” shows that people should accept those who are different from them. By reading the three texts from the collection “Ourselves And Others”, we learn that we should accept others and not judge those different from us. Instead, we should learn to acknowledge and accept their differences.
Courtney from Study Moose
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