William Styron’s: “Sophie’s Choice” - A Study of Racial Discrimination
Racism means a condition in society in which a dominant racial group benefits from the oppression of others whether they want such benefits or not. Racism is an outcome of the complex interaction in a given society of a race- based worldview with prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Racism is present in social practices, actions and political systems that support the expression of prejudice or aversion in discriminatory practices. The theory underlying racist practices includes the idea that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups that are different in their social behavior and inherent capacities and that can be ranked as inferior or superior. Racial discrimination and racism are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis. William Styron’s Sophie’s choice is an example of literature that deals with the theme of racism and social oppression during that period. After the Second World War, the concentration camps (Auschwitz), the sadistic treatment of the Jews, great depression and American dream have become the theme of many literary works. William Styron’s novels mostly deal with race, ethnicity, oppression, guilt, sin and salvation. This paper deals with the racial discrimination faced by the characters in William Styron’s Sophie’s choice.
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