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Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

Created: 04/30/12

Replies: 15

Posted Apr. 30, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

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Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

The psychiatrist tells Grace the solution to her problem is a husband. Were you surprised at how hidebound America was at the time or do you think in many ways –- race, religion, gender, sex -- we have not changed as much as we think?


Posted May. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

To help with this question, the definition of "hidebound" is:

"Stubbornly prejudiced, narrow-minded, or inflexible." - Merriam-Webster


Posted May. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I wasn't surprised! And although many of the topics that were never discussed openly then, today are all over our world/media etc. I don't believe we have changed a lot! Well -- some of us have!! But -- all we have to do is take a minute to listen the political hype for descriptions of "stubbornly, prejudiced,narrow-minded" thinking! The gridlock in Washington DC is a good example.

It seems anything and everything can be openly discussed --laying open the taboos that were so carefully unspoken or unacknowledged in the past. Now, all those issues that revolve around core values we hold. I
think secrets unspoken can be more damaging -- I am curious to see how others feel about this issue.


Posted May. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
EileenL

Join Date: 02/02/12

Posts: 8

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

Not surprised but sad. While these days we profess to be more tolerant and enlightened it seems we keep backsliding. Vulnerable members of society still find themselves at the mercy of those who have more power and predjudices.


Posted May. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I live in the Chicago suburbs and my kids are in a mixed-race, though primarily white, school district. I grew up in rural Illinois, in an all-white district. Neither I nor my kids have seen any real race-related issues in our narrow experiences. We hear about them, of course, but the real problem here is centered on drugs and alcohol (not like the inner city but the school is checked by drug-sniffing dogs on a regular basis).

Being native southern, though, I know a lot about racial clashes between blacks and whites. Within my own family I've heard some of the most shocking, prejudicial statements. A lot of it is sheer ignorance and/or picking up the prejudices you grew up with and unconsciously mimicking them.

I'm not surprised how prejudiced the general public was in the era of the book's setting. This is pre-Civil Rights. The Civil War had happened less than 100 years ago so there were survivors who fought in or lived through it. Prejudice was still rampant and the scars still fresh.

In a nutshell, I hate to sound like a downer but I don't believe human nature will ever allow humanity to be 100% without racial prejudice. Our species seems to be hard-wired to discriminate against people who are different. In my belief it's a throw back to "survival of the fittest" and the fight for the most fertile land with the most wild game, etc. People tend to band together with those like them, much like tribes from the beginning of time.

We can educate, yes, and I think in many ways we're getting better but I don't foresee a time without any sort of racial/ethnic prejudice. Hate gives people a reason to rally, to flex their muscles against a common enemy. None of this surprises me at all.


Posted May. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

Yes -- I think you are right. It is interesting that in studies done with young children we have learned that they are unaware of color differences in their playmates. The literature on the topic shows that children learn the prejudices at home and then their perception changes. I do believe there is some hope for coming generations as we as a society become more tolerant of those folk who are different in some way. Perhaps the key is to teach not act on our prejudices (because you are right - we all have some!) but we don't have to discriminate.
Our freedom as people only extends to the point where we don't limit the freedom of others.


Posted May. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Hulananni

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 19

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

The collective American psyche has perhaps changed but not enough. Hidebound? The question begins with what our parents taught/showed us....and that continues today.


Posted May. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

Another area in which there are huge clashes centers on political affiliation. Religious, too. It's not all ethnic/racial. I've seen two people of different political affiliations really go at it and I'm not sure there isn't some prejudice underlying that, too. It's my way that's right and you're wrong! I can't see the parties drawing together, just like I can't see the races doing the same.

It's just so important to be right, or to feel like you are, just as humankind struggles to feel superior in any way, shape or form they can.

I'm really not optimistic about human nature, am I?!


Posted May. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 121

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I was not surprised at the prejudices shown in the book. That's how it was then. We have advanced somewhat since then but not as far as I myself would like. In my work I have traveled the world and worked with many cultures. I have also lived in different regions of the US. Everywhere I go I see people as people. Yet there does exist nearly everywhere the tendency to always need to feel better then someone else...there must always be an inferior class of people. This is taught to the children. Children do not know why one group of people is inferior...they just are. Yet, it is with the young that this begins to change.


Posted May. 15, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I think many of us have changed and for the better but there are still many, many narrow minded people and I doubt that most of them will change. I live in Calif. where I think people are more open to listening but I could be wrong.

raynat


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted May. 22, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 38

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I was not surprised by the attitudes of the time. There are other books that recently deal with this. I was surprised at Babe's actions remembering her past. I liked the way the author integrated historical events such as the Till case.


Pegh
Posted May. 22, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 38

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I was not surprised by the attitudes of the time. There are other books that recently deal with this. I was surprised at Babe's actions remembering her past. I liked the way the author integrated historical events such as the Till case.


Pegh
Posted May. 22, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

Peggy H, I agree. Integrating real history into a novel helps ground a book, reminding the reader what world events were happening and how those related to the action in the book.


Posted May. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
naomib

Join Date: 05/02/12

Posts: 3

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I am not surprised at all. As a Jew growing up in the '50's and '60's, I had similar experiences. Even now, I am surprised at how many times people unintentionally say something antisemitic,not knowing I'm Jewish.


Posted Jun. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I feel somewhat out of touch being white bread American, with roots extending back centuries in this country. I wonder sometimes if this country is truly the great melting pot which is our ideal. Thoughts, anyone?


Posted Jun. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pschulze

Join Date: 08/08/11

Posts: 5

RE: Were you surprised at how hidebound America was a this time? Since then, have we changed as much as we think?

I was born in 1941 so much of this is the era I grew up in when women could be teachers, nu4ses, or secretaries. We lived close to Sioux city where B24pilots, including my uncle, trained. He flew out of Italy and another uncle was s medic in the navy in the Pacific. My mother was from the south and I remember trips to my grandparents and being shocked at the treatment of African Americans. When I went to college in the late fifties I was exposed to the segregated Fraternities and Sororities for Jews and Gentiles. While laws have changed I am not so sure attitudes have. I confronted a close friend last week for making an anti-Jewish comment.


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