Negron_commentson_Thumaty - Mary Thumaty Professor Tejada...

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Mary Thumaty Professor Tejada Eng 1102 12 October, 2009 Ethnic Differences The ideas of ethnic differences are so inherent in society’s understanding of the world that oftentimes it becomes a subtext or simply the norm. Such divides exist not only in the present society but also in the history of mankind. Ben-Hur illustrates the ethnic divide between Romans and the people of their empire who were not Roman especially between Romans and Judeans. Messala and Judah, a Roman and a Judean respectively, begin as friends but because of their stubbornness and loyalty to their own cultural beliefs they end up bitter enemies. The destruction of their friendship exemplifies how powerful ethnic tensions can be even over the closest of friendships. The first scene in which the protagonist, Judah Ben-Hur, appears the primary focus is the strength of Judah’s and Messala’s friendship in spite of their different backgrounds. However, their friendship cannot stay intact because they cannot overcome their differences which are a result of their ethnic loyalties.
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In their first on-screen encounter the pair alludes to how they met; Messala had saved Judah’s life, which was surprising because Messala was a Roman and Judah was a Jew. Messala treats Judah with more respect than most Jews because of his friendship and because Judah is a wealthy, respected Jewish man. Messala still feels himself better than
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Negron_commentson_Thumaty - Mary Thumaty Professor Tejada...

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