Touch of Class: What to Learn on Privilege and OppressionSeptember 04, 2019

You have looked at the list of modules that you must study during your second year, and one topic would pique your curiosity. It’s a study on race, gender, and oppression. You have too much of literature's emotional lessons (or so you thought). How does this module differ from the rest? You wouldn't find it interesting if you haven't read the short description a number of times.

The history of Australia includes unpleasant episodes that happened during the colonial period, but you hardly relate to it. You're not the insensitive type, yet you would see a similar theme in the inspiring stories of Charles Dickens. And you hardly relate to it. You're thinking of your itinerary in Wales while your mother describes what the neighbours in Westminster Abbey would look like to her younger self. Oliver Twist didn't ring a bell, not even a planned remake (starring Eddie Redmayne and Adele). Your mindset changed after your new mate, who is pursuing a degree in Asian Studies, invite you (and your coursemate) to a different kind of viewing experience.

You know Korea, but you never expected "Parasite" to reveal the great divide between the privileged class and the people serving them. You like the opening shot of socks hanging above a bed, the inhabitants already used to its smell. The same odour would revolt the people whom they work for, who thinks that lots of money would turn people into saints. Dickens might be too cynical to believe in such a thing, and the bright (Aussie) sun might have blinded you, but "Parasite" should give you a clue on how you must analyse a text that discusses race, gender, and oppression. It wouldn't lead to the triumph of the working class, albeit in a violent manner. (This is the climax that turns your new mate into a huge fan of Claude Chabrol.) This would put this subject in a different light, which prompts you to have a change of mind.

This new lesson would remind you of "Lord of the Flies", which you find disturbing up to now. You won't attempt to find a link between William Golding's masterpiece and your (soon-to-be) study on race, gender, and oppression. There are many concepts that need to be differentiated from one another, and you don't have to wait for the first week of the term. An advanced study would help you in understanding the subject more.

3 Theories That Would Impress (or Challenge) University Students

Define victimization. Film may not be part of your curriculum, but you think about “Parasite” for hours. You even read about “The Ceremony”, which your coursemate would recall (while watching the movie). You could identify Piggy’s case (in “Lord of the Flies”) as (a case of) powerlessness. After all, the uncertain elements of Mother Nature would unleash his school mates’ primal side, which he had sensed hours after their arrival on the island. In the case of the young lads (in Dickens’s tales), it would be marginalization. The premise of “Parasite” would present cultural dominance, which may lead to extreme violence. In other words, the film’s climax isn’t a product of a devious mind thinking of uncanny situations. You’re unable to relate to any of these things, but your knowledge of current events should help you in writing a persuasive essay. If it’s not good enough, you must brush up on your history lessons. You should set aside more time on reading other books that are not included in the module. Break a leg.

Does agreeing make for oppression? Bullying would come to mind, which is a good start on this discussion. Any form of oppression wouldn’t happen if there won’t be any resistance. You have learned that lesson while you sympathise with the plight of the leading lads (in Dickens’s novels). Alas, you can’t make that jump from fiction to reality. You’ have a sunny personality, which makes you struggle in putting yourself in the character’s shoes. You might mislead your professor after describing a historical event (and linking it to the story). You must settle with a limited view on this topic, which is fine. If you’re earnest in your thoughts, then there’s no reason for your professor for not giving you a high mark (for clarity). Questioning the author’s motives would be better, though.

How does fear of violence differ from actual violence? The question should give you a hint that violence is a loose word. If you’re having problems on defining it, don’t hesitate to approach your tutor and discuss it with him (or her). You need an expert on this subject (and your tutor is an email away). You may be tempted to settle with general ideas especially when you’re reminded of upcoming deadlines (to your assignments). You can have time for anything if you manage your schedule well. Keep in mind that you have lots of reading to do here. It should help you make direct statements (in the shortest time).

The Best App for Studying Race, Gender, and Oppression

There’s no app to help you in discussing a Jane Austen novel, even help you in how to write an essay on a D.H. Lawrence. Both are samples from Modern literature, and there are other genres that you must study during the term and next. It would be fun, but the stress might break your back (so to speak). Think of something else, if not distract yourself from doing something different. A new insight awaits you, but you might have to think twice about literature’s emotional lessons.

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