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When She Woke
"Jordan blends hot-button issues such as separation of Church and State,...
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Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Created: 10/21/12

Replies: 19

Posted Oct. 21, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

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Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?


Posted Oct. 23, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Certainly! Color is an easy way to group people and make assumptions. Historically, if you have always lived in certain areas of our country or larger cities, you might have preconceived notions about groups of people that if you expanded your field of vision, you would realize are not necessarily the case. I would hope we are getting beyond that, but in reality, I think a good many of our population will always group people by color and race without getting to know them individually. It would seem that Chroming would just entrench that tendency and the society in this book has gone to the extreme right in declaring intolerance of everyone not "like" the greater majority. Most Talibanish! We decry the extremes of the Taliban but extremes of all religions and cultures indulge these views and intolerance of human differences.


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 121

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

well said, janeh. I was immediately struck by the use of color as a means of defining prejudice, in this case prejudice against those who commit crimes, much as its been a means of defining racism for centuries


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ylhoff

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 14

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I agree that not only are there similarities, but it's an accurate description of how things are today, and have always been since man joined history. Putting people in boxes or categories is a natural human way to make sense of the world we live in. The boxes are not nice, but there will never be a time when it's not that way. We should get better at acceptance and tolerance, but it's in our DNA.


Posted Oct. 24, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 385

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Ah, the old nature versus nurture question! I agree with ylhoff that prejudice is in our DNA to the extent that the evidence suggests that humans have lived in tribal groups for a very long time, and I think most would agree that in order to function in a pack you have to feel an affinity to the group - and, thus, by extension, a distrust of outsiders.

But as ylhoff says, we should never just accept the status quote - nurture, aka education and life experiences, can go a long way to breaking these prejudices down, especially if we actually get to know people who fit into the boxes that we feel unsure about - which is why I just love the concept of the Living Library http://www.bookbrowse.com/blogs/editor/index.cfm/2008/12/9/Check-out-a-prejudice-from-the-Living-Library


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 27

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I could not help but be reminded of how skin color has played such a role in US history. All society's usually fear what is different and like usually attracts like. Hannah's journey to "freedom" resounded of The Underground Railroad during the Civil War. By chroming individuals a color according to their crime, society is supposed to shun these individuals; an extension of their punishment. I recently read Russell Banks, "Lost Memory of Skin". this novel is also about the outcasts of our society, sex offenders, and where do they go after prison and what does society do about them.


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 385

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Paml's recommendation of "Lost Memory of Skin" is a great one, especially for anyone who thinks that there's a one size fits all solution to crimes such as sex offenses. We reviewed the book when it published: http://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/2627/lost-memory-of-skin, and also explored the backstory to its setting: http://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/2627/lost-memory-of-skin#btb


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I am an appellate attorney in New York and I find a lot of similarities between the way that the chromes are treated and the way some of my clients who are sex offenders are treated. This is especially the case with those subject to Mental Hygiene Law Article 10, which provides for a sex offender who has been characterized as mentally ill to be locked in a mental institution for an indefinite period of time.
The fact that the chromes are subject to tracking also reminds of the manner in which sex offenders can be tracked by the information posted about them on the internet .


Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

The obvious parallel is racial prejudice. I thought it was interesting that the transition to being a chrome seemed to be much more difficult for Hannah, who was white, than it was for Kayla, who was black (or mixed race--I wasn't quite sure). Hannah had been a member of the majority all her life, whereas Kayla was already accustomed to prejudice--to being judged by the color of her skin.


Posted Oct. 26, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrap

Join Date: 10/26/12

Posts: 14

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Absolutely!!! The color of skin is a huge discriminating factor in our society. I agree with terrio that it is interesting to see that Kayla made the transition to chrome easier than Hannah. It is about one's "framing story" or how they formed their world view from childhood. Kayla, seemed to have a very narrow view of the world because of her sheltered and gaurded childhood.


Posted Oct. 26, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I think the closest paralell today is the identification and tracking of sex offenders.


Posted Oct. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I agree, the color of one's skin plays a major part in how a person is perceived and treated. There is no difference in this book. Elizabethm makes reference to the way chroms are treated in the book and how sex offenders are treated in our society, it is a good correlation. People are quick to judge someone by the color of their skin, this chroming as a punishment just makes it easier to discriminate against the person.


Posted Oct. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 32

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I agree that how the chromes were treated is related to racism and sex offenders, although ALL ex- offenders suffer from discrimination if their criminal background is discovered. Perhaps when the chroming is reversed, that might not be true in this society. I wonder though, how formerly chromed people react when returning to society. How will they be changed by the rampant discrimination they have endured? It is obvious that Hannah and Kayla are changed people.
People of color in our society have no hope of "de-chroming" and can only hope society itself changes.
I was struck by the chromes who aided and helped Hannah. The various colors had an affinity for others no matter what their color was. It was surprising to see this "color prejudice" through Hannah's eyes when she was more fearful of some colors. Is that a reflection of our society -- Are we more fearful of the darkest skin rather than the lighter "dark" skins?


Posted Oct. 27, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 63

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I would agree with those who see similarities between the treatment of the Chromes and those who are "different" in our society of today. It can be color of skin, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation..........anything that sets us apart from the majority in a particular area. And what that majority is can change from one locale to another. It sometimes can be nothing more than living or being from a particular geographic area. But, we, as humans, tend to be pack animals and to gravitate towards those with whom we feel most comfortable. How sad that is sometimes as we shut out others who would be wonderful friends if we just opened up and allowed ourselves to know others as individuals rather than part of an unknown group. The author of When She Woke pointed this out to her readers so very well and I hope that each of us takes away a better understanding of what prejudice really is.


Posted Nov. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Lea Ann, I would add poverty to you list. In this last election cycle and since Citizen's United has gone into affect there has been a great divide between those who may need assistance, the middle class, and the very wealthy. So we have the 99% movement. Wealthy people have been put into a stereotypical box and so have those who live at the lower end. As the division gets larger the distrust grows.


Posted Nov. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Good points, Navy Mom. And your "title/name" jogged my memory to 1953 and an experience my then husband and I had in Hutchinson, KS. He was stationed at the Navy Air Base there and the Navy housing was full. We went house to house looking for a place to rent. At several we were turned away because he was in the Navy. Now how about that for prejudice and stereotyping? We did finally find a place to rent in a big, old house that had been converted into apartments. The owner, a widow who lived in the main part of the house with her sister, could not have been kinder to my husband and me. We even went back there to show off our baby son in 1955 when visited OK from our home in Seattle, but being turned away from a home because of my husband's work made a lasting impression on me.


Posted Nov. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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viviant

Join Date: 10/26/11

Posts: 9

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

Janeh and terrio both make very valid points. And yes the obvious correlation is to prejudice based on race or ethnicity. Regrettably we live in a society that still judges people based on appearances, whether it is skin color, style of dress, or even hair styles. As an African-American, that also happens to be Muslim, I can recall my grandmother telling me back in the 70s that I'll always be judged by my appearance: neat, clean and ironed clothing; how neat my hair is; and whether my shoes were clean or not. Although I don't have to worry about the hair anymore due to the head-scarf, I'm still prejudged based on appearance (something I've had to deal with my entire life so no big surprise at this point). Preconceived judgments and prejudices are still a large part of our society and I doubt if these will ever be completely eradicated...just transferred to new minority groups.


aka The Book Diva
Posted Nov. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

One of my greatest pleasures as editor of BookBrowse all these years is to have corresponded with a great many people and, in some cases, getting to know them as friends, without having any idea of their skin color, accent, age, body type and so forth - and even in a few cases, their gender. I've been able to hear their thoughts directly from one brain to another, without having to overlay all the other assumptions that normally come with meeting a person. It's been a salutary experience to realize how much my responses to people that I meet are colored by such irrelevances as I listed earlier, even if it is in the effort to "not" allow myself to react in a certain way.


Posted Nov. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lyddysue

Join Date: 06/16/12

Posts: 1

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

The obvious answer to this question is a resounding "yes." What I find interesting is that most of the focus of the discussion is on skin color. While, sadly, this is still so prevalent in our society, what about religious and sexual discrimination? You would think over centuries of war based on religion, we would have learned something by now. And the treatment of the gay and lesbian communities in our country today by certain groups is, indeed, appalling. I agree that we, as humans, have a natural tendency to fit people into boxes in an attempt to order our personal worlds. That said, realizing that we do this, our awareness should cause us to examine the boxes we have created and discard and adjust as needed. Thanks to all who have posted such relevant and insightful comments on this terrific book. (This is my first post :::-)::)


Posted Nov. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jknapp

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Are there similarities between the way Chromes are treated to the way some in our own society have been treated, both historically and in the present day?

I think that the focus might have been on "color" since that is the obvious sign of difference between Hannah and the others who have been chromed. I remember once what my former father-in- law said who was an amputee as a result of being injured during a shelling of a a beach during World War II. He said the greatest disability or difference a person has is not the outward differences but those in the mind and heart that keep us "handicapped". This was such a disturbing part of the book, but yet was thought provoking. Many have posted comments about gender discrimination, racial and religious discrimination but the poor and the physically and mentally challenged often feel the same prejudice because they don't fit in.


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