Through the movie Zootopia and the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros many forms of harmful stereotyping can be seen. These harmful connotations of stereotyping are dividing groups of people and are usually very discriminatory to a race or sex of people. Society should not be so quick to judge or generalize a group of people and everyone should stick to their own opinions and not let others influence them. Harmful stereotyping can break bonds and trust between a group of people which is very damaging and needs to be stopped.
An example of a racial stereotype in Zootopia is the tiger and a bunny train scene. In this scene there is the predator who is the tiger and the prey who is the bunny. The tiger decides to peacefully take a seat beside the bunnies. With the current division among the predator and the prey, the mother rabbit decides to move herself and her child away from the tiger for absolutely no reason, and the tiger had not even said a word to the bunnies. This stereotype is very significant because the discrimination against the tiger who had done absolutely nothing is a result of the attempt to separate prey and predators. Also the rabbit is teaching her child that they should be in fear of those not categorized as pray and shouldn’t trust those that are different. This causes the child to judge all predators as something they are not, because of what few have done. This stereotype is very harmful because it is related to the generalization that all Muslims are terrorists. In recent years a large majority of the Muslim population has been made to be feared because of a few individuals that have chosen to cause terror. While many Muslims have voiced out that they disagree with the actions that were taken, but because stereotypes are created by fear and ignorance, people are in the mindset that if one Muslim is bad then all Muslims must be the same.
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Another example that can be seen as stereotyping against a particular race is everyone thinks that the foxes are predators and cannot be good. When Nick Wilde was just a little fox the other animals around him would not accept him because he was a fox, even though he had not done anything wrong. This can be very harmful to those who fall into a specific stereotype even though they haven’t done anything wrong. This made Nick feel worthless and not want to try anymore to be good. A simple stereotype can affect one’s rest of their life because they are scared to act out and don’t want to be bullied. Our society needs to come together as one and accept all and don’t exclude anyone just because of what they look like or the past of their race.
In the House on Mango Street the vignette titled “Marin”, there is a young girl who is going to get married to her boyfriend in Puerto Rico. She thinks being beautiful and young will change all of her problems. In the last paragraph Esperanza says about Marin “ Marin is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life.”(Cisneros 27). This shows the stereotype of women depending mostly on men. The quote also says that Marian is making her limited possibilities even smaller by waiting for a man to rescue her. Esperanza later in the story mentions that she will not be the ordinary and be ordered to marry someone particular, but she will be independent and make her own life decisions without anyone else’s approval. She’s going to succeed in show everyone else wrong. This action by Esperanza shows how she is ending a stereotype and making an action to stop it all by herself. Even with the many stereotypes facing Esperanza and her culture, she is determined to make a difference and won’t let anything stop her.
With all of the harmful stereotypes shown in Zootopia and the House on Mango Street, it is clear that stereotypes can be very harmful to a group of people and there needs to be action to stop it at the source so that no one feels discriminated on and people can act freely without being judged on. Esperanza is being very brave and independent in trying to stop the stereotypes forced on her but she needs the help of society to stop it all.
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