Overcoming An Oppressive Force In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

Throughout the history of civilization, leaders have risen to power to control the masses. Some of these leaders have taken their power too far and became an oppressive force. Fortunately, with every oppressive force there has been an opposing force to rival the oppression and overcome it. This has been shown through the works of literature that were read and analyzed over the year in class, such as Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, The Ladder for Booker T. Washington by Martin Puryear, Back to Africa by Marcus Garvey, and Harlem Riot of 1943 article. The first example of rivaling an oppressive force is in the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. The examples of rivaling an oppressive force within this piece of literature are metaphorical. The first …show more content…
Washington. The sculpture is of a yellow ladder that is wide at the bottom and thins out at the top to show depth. Strings connected to the ceiling suspend the ladder. The ladder has jagged and crooked edges all throughout. The ladder also casts three shadows. How the ladder is displayed, is as if the sculpture is in an open pit and propped against the wall of the pit. The ladder also would not reach the before said opening of the pit. Each descriptor of the sculpture is metaphorical for overcoming an oppressive force. The ladder being displayed as if it is in an open pit represents that whoever put the person who made the ladder in the pit is the oppressive force. This being put in context with the title of the sculpture means that Booker T. Washington is the oppressed and the oppressor would be society in the United States in the mid to the early 20th century. The jagged edges of the ladder represent that the creator of the ladder did not have the proper know how or the proper tools to create this ladder while in the pit. This aspect puts into context represents that after the emancipation and the abolition slavery in the United States that African Americans were not given proper know how or skills to get out of the pit of poverty that they were put in by United States society. The three shadows that are cast from the sculpture represent the souls of …show more content…
In late July of 1943, a Black World War II veteran was shot in the shoulder by a White New York City police officer for defending a woman from an unlawful arrest. The man was put into the hospital because of the severity of the beatings. After word of this broke out crowds of Black people assembled in front of the hospital were the man checked in at, the hotel at which the incident happened and in front of the 28th police precinct. The riots occurred on the first of August after a rumor went around that the man had died. The rioters started to destroy places of business, looting stores and creating chaos throughout Harlem. By the morning of August second Harlem was in almost complete ruin. 6,600 Police officers and 8,000 state guardsmen were deployed to subdue the rioters. Police killed five people and injured four hundred in the process of subduing the riot. Five hundred people were taken into police custody and the estimated damages dealt to Harlem was about five million dollars. In this case, the oppressed were the citizens of Harlem and the oppressor was the New York City Police Department. The Harlem citizens realized what had happened to one of their own was wrong and they opposed the oppressive NYPD, whom has a long infamous history of brutality. The citizens saw a way of opposing the oppressor by starting a riot to show that they do not want to be oppressed and brutalized

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