Racism And Sexism In The Illegal By Lawrence Hill

Decent Essays
Although it is 2017, racism and sexism are major issues that are still present all around the world. Unfortunately, it is because of the underlying stereotypes and barriers within society, that make it easy for people to discriminate others. In The Illegal by Lawrence Hill, multiple characters fight for freedom as they are limited to do as they wish, due to the difference of their race or sex. Hill demonstrates the obstacles that a black woman in Freedom State generally goes through, in order to achieve her goals. Overall, he uses character to reveal that individuals who are discriminated against, are at a disadvantage, and try harder to ensure their goals are not affected by the systematic barriers that exist in society.
To start off, Candace
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In the text, it says that she “might never have” done these things without the social worker. The word “never” is definite and absolute, displaying that she did not think it was possible for her to do any of these things on her own. Therefore, this reveals that she is aware of the many disadvantages she has because of being a black woman. In addition, her simple accomplishments are listed in fragmented sentences. The structure shows Candace realizing how horrible the circumstances of these limitations were for her, growing up. Moreover, she believes that the main reason she has a job as a police officer is because she makes the police force look “multicultural”. She also imitates the police officers when they brag about having her on the force. This imitation creates a sense of mockery to present Candace’s view of how desperate the force was, to have a good reputation. Although they provide her with a job, their main intention is to use her for their own …show more content…
For example, when she sees Keita being zip-cuffed by another police officer, Devlin, Candace immediately stands up for Keita, as he did nothing wrong. As she does her job, “she could see that she had made a permanent enemy of [Devlin], pulling rank in front of a civilian. Some guys [could not] take being outranked by a woman” (335). In order for anyone to listen to Candace like any regular cop, she has to pull rank. In society, a black woman in Freedom State is a lot lesser than a white man. Therefore, Devlin continues to arrest Keita, without listening to Candace, until she reminds him that she has power over him. She is aware that due to society’s systematic barriers, she is not easily able to get what she wants. Candace must put extra force into her commands as a higher-ranking officer, so her goal of saving Keita, in this case, is fulfilled.
Viola also faces discrimination because of her race and her sex, but ignores it in order to follow her dreams. She aspires to investigate and report about important news stories rather than writing for the sports section of the newspaper. One day, she heads toward a mob that is created by the people who are concerned about foreigners entering Freedom State. There is a passage of dialogue, which reveals how Viola is treated by the people at the

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