Free «Multiculturalism in Literature» Essay

Multiculturalism in Literature

In their argument about current multicultural studies, Hayn and Sherril argue, “teaching of multicultural literature featuring female protagonists is vital” (Hayn and Sherril). They give one sensible explanation of their argument that most multiculturalism texts only feature males. The authors present this statement with the knowledge that multiculturalism dominates in most world societies. The classroom is the best place that young students can be given a chance to understand and cope with the demands of their environment. In the process, gender equality should be considered since female students are exposed to the same multiculturalism environment as their male counterparts. In response to these pleas, a study of Cassie, the female protagonist in Roll of Thunder by Mildred Taylor will help in understanding multiculturalism experiences of the female protagonist and the way she can impact the image and self-esteem of young multicultural readers.

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Cassie, who is the protagonist in Taylor’s book, is only nine years old, and the story is told from her perspective. Although the story revolves around her family members and their interactions with others in the society, readers also learn about Cassie. To start with, Cassie can be described as a child who has a high self-esteem, and self-image. She is not afraid to speak her mind even when she is being punished. The girl easily speaks about the racial slur that she notices in her school, and although adults are more likely to cover and shrug it, she is not indifferent to the issue. Cassie is not afraid to note the name used to refer to black since the books sent to school have the word ‘nigger’ in them. She is also not afraid to note that their school only receives books because they are no longer needed by the schools with white children. And a closer investigation of her self-image shows that it comes from her mother, who is not like the rest of the people in the society who unlike her are afraid to stand for what is right (Taylor).

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Cassie’s experience, when taught in school, can be used to make multicultural students realize that frustrations and success they experience are similar. Others are also likely to face the same embarrassing situations when growing up (Hayn and Sherril). They are likely to face the same problem as Cassie and sometimes are bullied considering the place they live. The protagonist’s experiences are also likely to teach young multicultural readers on matters related to self-esteem. They learn that allowing situations where one’s self-esteem is being lowered is not good. They also learn to hold their head high even when the situations are tough. Another thing is that they learn to stand up for what is right and ethical, and what brings harmony in the society.

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Young multicultural students also learn that self-respect is necessary. Self-esteem cannot be created or cannot be upheld with low self-respect. It is seen in Cassie’s life as it has taken her long to understand her parent’s teachings on the same. She only learns this from T.J.’s experience since from T.J.’s lack of self-respect Cassie learns that it can make him vulnerable and lead to his death (Taylor). Although it takes much time for Cassie to learn, young multicultural students can learn from this book’s experiences without having to go through the same in real life.

In conclusion, multiculturalism dominates in most world societies, and since most texts only feature males, there should be an increased emphasis on female multiculturalism for all young adults to learn from these experiences. Taylor’s book Roll of Thunder is one of the texts that can be used to educate young multicultural students because the young protagonist in this story is a girl. From this book, students can learn the importance of self-esteem and can also learn about some of the experiences they pass through and the ways to deal with them.

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