Analyzing abstract Concepts
by Joi Benton (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
Denotation, Connotation, and Association.
Denotation of the word racism: the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Connotation of the word racism: worthless
Association with the word racism: prejudice, early 1900s
Denotation of the words low self-esteem: feeling unworthy, incapable, and incompetent
Connotation of the words low self-esteem: Not good enough
Association with the word low self-esteem: No self worth
Denotation of the word sexism: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
Connotation of the word sexism: Less of a person
Association with the word sexism: Prejudice
What does these concepts mean to me?
Racism to me means that people feel like they are of a higher power than you or something, They feel as if their race is the best, so they begin to treat other races as if they're nothing.
Low self esteem to me is what little girls and/or boys do not receive enough attention from others so they feel as if they aren't worth the attention. Having low self esteem can really destroy your personality, and you begin to let little boys and girls take advantage of you, if they give you the attention you've never seen before.
Sexism is just on the same course as racism is to me, only instead of feeling superior to another ace, you feel superior to another gender. Its all dumb to me, and I honestly can't believe some people think that, but hey, that the way the world goes.
What does these concepts look like in my novel?
Low Self-Esteem in the book is what Maya had all through her childhood, since she was told she was ugly all her adolescent life. Having low self-esteem led Maya to believe that Mr. Freeman actually lobed her when he tried to rape her the first time, and he held her after he did hs business on her.
Sexism in the book is what Maya encounters constantly throughout the book. One for being a female, and two for being an African American female. Her rape shows the sexism in her childhood pretty well, because I don't believe if Maya was a male, Mr. Freeman would not have done that to her.
What does these concepts look like in society?
Low Self-Esteem in our society is most common in our girls of this generation. In society girls with little self-esteem tend to let little boys do whatever it is they wanna do to them, and get disrespected for the attention they want. Then we see the pregnancy rate go up because the little boys tell them they love them, and don't use any protection when they do take advantage of them.
Sexism in our society also is common against most females. I guess the male figure thinks the woman isn't good enough but to be in the kitchen and the bedroom, and is not strong enough to stand up for herself. So we see lots of women getting abused, and treated poorly because of this stupid mindset.