Essay, Pages 5 (1090 words)
This paper discusses the concept of diversity using several books written during WWII as examples.
Diveristy Diversity is an attribute that is seen among people, situations and cultures. Everyone has encountered different situations at one time or more during their lives that has either been pleasant or upsetting. Certain novels written in the 1950’s to the present show signs of multiformity very clearly. In regards to culture, people are placed in unusual situations where their diversity is shown. Throughout the novella, “Good-bye, Columbus,” written by Philip Roth, conflicts are seen as far as social status among families.
This novella was not diverse in the written aspect, in fact I thought of it as easy reading. “Sure, I should serve four different meals at once…. I should jump up and down twenty different times? What am I, a workhorse?” (Roth 4) The reactions in Brenda’s house differ because they have a maid and Brenda’s Mom doesn’t have to pick up a finger.
Neal and Brenda’s families are obviously placed in different social brackets and this adds to the conflict that the relationship is not equal. From the readers point of view, the tie that Neil feels toward Brenda is one of physical attraction. “She dove beautifully and a moment later she was swimming back to the side of the pool, her head of shortclipped auburn hair held up, straight ahead of her, as though it were a rose on a long stem.” (Roth 3) He sees her only as a beautiful woman and allows that to get in the way of actually realizing the true reasons for her actions.
Brenda on the other hand is using him to be her “slave.” This is seen with all her actions that show that she honestly does not care about his feelings, his wants or desires. “‘We’ll be right back,’ Brenda said to me. ‘You have to sit with Julie. Carlota’s off.'”(Roth 13) She finds Neil very accommodating in fulfilling her needs. Neil is constantly being thrown into predicaments for the first time, such as Brenda’s country club, where Neil is viably not accustomed to being. “My next question was prompted by a desire to sound interested and thereby regain civility; it didn’t quite come out as I’d expected- I said it too loud.” (Pynchon 13) This couple has a strange relationship in how it functions throughout situations where other characters are constantly commenting on the social differences between two families. Even though the difficulties, ironically, the social differences are not the reason for their break-up at the end of the novella. The Crying of Lot 49, written by Thomas Pynchon has a similar theme running through it regarding the social aspect of diversity. The characters in the novel have unique names in that they have different meanings. For example on page 85 there is the introduction of the character named Koteks, which can be thought of as a feminine products. Oedipa has a conflict with how she approaches the situation she is placed in when she is informed that she is the executor of her ex-boyfriend Pierce’s will. Her life follows a ver sequential set of events in the beginning. Then, after Oedipa attempts to locate the attorney who is supervising the will, her life takes a different turn of events. She finds herself in this alternate society where nothing is how she remembers life as being. “Last night, she might have wondered what undergrounds apart from the couple she knew of communicated by WASTE system. By sunrise she could legitimately ask what undergrounds didn’t.” (Pynchon 124) This is extremely different world can be thought of as factitious. The diversity in The Crying of Lot 49, is a slightly different form, it is seen as an entirely different world as the one we think of on a regular basis. The underground mail system functions on its own without anyone knowing anything about it. This proposes the question of whether it is completely a solipsism in Oedipa’s mind. She is an outcast in her society and is trying to investigate about the underground mail system. Her diverse world that she lives in is completely not as society tends to portray daily activities. Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale, My Father Bleeds History, written by Art Speigelman, creates a society that a present generation has never been exposed to. The novel itself is not diverse in its reading but extremely diverse in its presentation. The Holocaust forced an alternate way of living that ran parallel to an average lifestyle that may have been taking place in another part of the world. The diversity that is evident throughout the Holocaust can not be compared to any other situation. The horrendous lifestyle that people who lived through the Holocaust are familiar with is very vividly animated in the art that was drawn in the book. “The Germans intend to make an example of them! The next day I walked over to Modrzejowska Street and I saw them. They hanged there one full week.” (Spiegelman 83) The images are graphic but the words have more of an impact. It is a revelation to any reader who did not live through the period or ever hear stories about the difficulties that people suffered in order to save their own lives. “Therefore I arranged for us a very good hiding spot- in our cellar where it was coal storage.” (Spiegelman 110) The diversity in the style of presentation that Art Spiegelman chose to relay his father’s story attracts the attention and can relate to a reader of any age. There were several different types characters and they were expressed throughout the novel as animals. The Jews were mice, Germans were cats, Polish were pigs, and the French were frogs. The comic book style shows the reader in many ways, how the characters react, feel and also sets the scenes extrodinaraly well. The sketches depict the exactness of the bunkers and chambers that became the homes of those who fought for their lives. The author can tell an entire story in few words but with the same detailed structure as any novel. These novels all portray life and life’s struggles in different ways. They all pose different situations, resolutions and meanings to the reader. Even though all the situations were different, ironically they all were written during the time period after World War II. The novels can all be tied together in some way as the protagonist struggles to solve his or her own problem, as diverse as the problems may be.