Paper - It was Alexander Chase who once said"All...

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It was Alexander Chase who once said, “All generalizations are false, including this one”. In many ways, Chase’s comedic spin to a serious statement rings very true. My grandfather always told me that stereotypes don’t rise out of thin air, and that there is always a bit of truth behind each and every stereotype out there. The point my grandfather fails to recognize, however, is that stereotyping leads to over generalizing, and that kind of thought process often times has negative repercussions. These often times harsh repercussions are clearly demonstrated within Andre Dubus’s House of Sand and Fog . In this piece of prose, the reader is introduced to two unique and completely polar opposite individuals; Colonel Behrani and Kathy Nicolo throughout the novel, the reader sees them grow as individuals, and is able to empathize with their saddened situations. While we know both sides of the story, both Kathy and Behrani not only are isolated from one another, but also use generalizations and stereotypes based on culture in order to assess the jaded situation individually. By using stereotypes as a premise for judgment, both Kathy Nicolo and Colonel Behrani are ultimately responsible for their own dénouement. While some may generalize that stereotypes often hold some validity, for the purpose of this paper we must only assess and evaluate those generalizations presented within the novel itself. From the very onset of the novel, the reader is subtly bombarded with different characters and the stereotypes that they have about one another. The very first line of the novel demonstrates how stereotypical everyone is. Behrani states, “The fat one, the radish Torez, he calls me camel because I am Persian…”(15). By opening the novel with the demonstration of stereotypes and degradation, Dubus undoubtedly sets the tone for the rest of the book.
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The first instance of assumption and cultural generalization is by Kathy towards the beginning of the prose.
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  • Spring '08
  • Johns
  • Kathy, Kathy Nicolo, Behrani

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