Across The Barricades Analysis

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Prejudice
NB: Across the Barricades was purchased in book format; not certain about play vs book differences
Prejudice (literally, pre-judgment) is a judgment formed of a person, based on a feature which that person has. One example of this was prejudice against African Americans during the nineteenth and twentieth century. White Americans considered African Americans to be inferior to white people. Some considered that the Bible said that African Americans were condemned to be slaves forever. Most white people, especially in the South of the United States, wanted nothing to do with slaves, and treated them like animals. This can be compared to the prejudice faced in Northern Ireland for many years between the two predominant groups there,
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African Americans were considered to be almost inhuman; some even thought that they felt things less than white people! This is seen in how Mr. Haley says ‘These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right.’ This is a rather extreme example of racism and white supremacy; Mr. Haley, the slave trader, considers that the human beings through which he makes his living do not feel things as much as white people. Also note how he refers to African Americans as ‘critters’: ie creatures! He obviously considers them to be like animals. In another part of the book, a lady says ‘We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class of persons”, which, although to a lesser extent, demonstrates the prevalent viewpoint that African Americans were different and inferior to white people. Even the northern people, which were predominantly against slavery, had a prejudice against African Americans; they wanted to help them, but they didn’t really like interacting with them at a personal level. This is demonstrated when Miss Ophelia says, “Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I wouldn't have anything hurt; but as to kissing –

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