Friday, February 10, 2017

Racism and Stereotypes in books (Forum Friday #2)

Welcome to my second Forum Friday! Today I'm going to discuss racism and stereotypes in books. In the past few weeks I've seen a lot of posts hating on Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth and the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas which surprised me as I liked Carve The Mark and Throne of Glass is one of my favourite series. After a little thinking and searching for what exactly others's issues with these books are, I realised a lot of it tied into white supremacy and how in Carve The Mark, the people with darker skin are classed as brutes.

I've seen racism a lot and experienced it often myself, being a Chinese girl living in New Zealand. But I've never really thought about it in books. When I read, I picture the characters in my head, but pay less attention to their physical appearance and more to their personality. I'm a speed reader and often accidentally skip paragraphs of books without noticing. My brain seems to have subconsciously decided that the information I should miss is description, generally relating to appearance of landscapes and physical features.

As for stereotypes, I tend to miss them in books but when I read others' reviews, "too much like the typical YA novel" comes up very often. So I pose to you another question: what is the stereotype? Girl meets boy, they fall in love but they're enemies, the girl is a warrior, ends on a happy note with a love triangle, or something else? The character archetypes number many, and it's impossible for a book not to include one, or a few of them.

I class personality above looks because personality takes time to develop while looks can be explained in a few words. I pay less attention to stereotypes because in reality there are still stereotypes and I don't wish to hate a character just because they act in a recognised way.

What are your thoughts on these above issues? Comment below!

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