Stereotyping Our Surroundings

In chapter 20, Inspector Borlu describes his walk through the projects and into “the streetscape of Ul Qoma, and Beszel” (p. 214).

In this passage, Inspector Borlu describes the project he was walking through to be filled with cars, bins, graffiti, and children’s playgrounds. After leaving the project or what Borlu calls “cul-de-sac land”, he breathes out a little with relief as he walks along side other pedestrians. While walking through the project, he viewed himself as “the only purposeful figure in sight”.

Inspector Borlu is stereotyping the project he walked through. He sees the project as trashy and poor. He also sees the people as lazy when he calls himself “the only purposeful figure in sight”. He might have also thought that he was going to get mugged because he breathes out with relief as he leaves. Stereotyping people or places can be hard to stop because we are surrounded by people and media who stereotype certain groups of people or places constantly. Everyone has a choice to believe in these stereotypes or not. I believe that everyone has already made up opinions on a person. They already think they know who this person is and what this person’s personality is like without even getting to know that person. This is an issue in today’s society. People would rather stereotype each other rather than get to know each other. We need to stop stereotyping each other because it will only lead to prejudice and hate crimes.

Certain people view people who live in the projects to be lazy, drug addicts, criminals, abusive parents, and gang members. The media is mainly responsible for why people view people who live in the projects to be this way. Some of this stereotyping may be true but there are a number of families who live in the projects that work hard to provide for their kids. Being thought of as a drug addict or an abusive parent just because you live in a poor environment is wrong. This is extremely disrespectful to parents and people who live in the projects that work day and night to provide for themselves and for their families.

I chose this passage because it is a good example of someone stereotyping the people and place that he is surrounded with. I see many hate crimes and prejudice in our society today. People are treated unfairly because of their skin color, religion, or the group that they surround themselves with. Even though Borlu does not say anything bad to anyone living in the projects, I still think that it is wrong to be stereotyping the people that live there.


3 thoughts on “Stereotyping Our Surroundings

  1. I absolutely agree with everything you have just stated. Stereotyping is something our society lives by, yet we don’t see it. I think the author, China, expressed BorlĂș’s thoughts the exact way people in today’s society do. I am most positive that if the people living in the projects had an option, they would not choose to live there. The families living there are doing everything they can to make ends meet, and to hear others say negative things about them is most certainly degrading. I have seen many people that have lived in the projects work so hard to get to where they are just to break the stereotype standards they were placed in. The projects is a foundation, where these people start to build themselves up and really make something out of their life.

  2. I wonder … it may depend on how we take his comment. Suppose I walked by a park where people where lounging, relaxing, not doing much of anything. Suppose that I’m heading to a work meeting and walk through the park with a purpose. I might say, “I’m the only purposeful figure in sight.” He may be describing his own intense purpose more than stereotyping others. But, I may be wrong. Interesting interpretation.

  3. I agree, stereotyping is a major issue when it comes to our lives on a daily basis. People tend to judge you before they even get to know you, they look at the clothes you wear, where you live and the people that you may spend most of your time with and automatically formulate some type of opinion on you regardless if it’s good or not. Our media doesn’t always show the information that we should and need to know, the media covers news that they want to and have a type of bias when it comes to different issues so we are not exactly exposed to all crimes and stereotypical cases in more than one perspective.

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