The essay “Lord of the Lies” addresses the discrimination issues, building up on the famous experiment of Jane Elliott. The thesis statement is clearly identifiable just after the brief outline of “A Class Divided”, narrowing and sharpening the essay’s scope. According to the author, “The root of the racism/prejudice found in our society … is a higher authority” (“Lord of the Lies” 1). It is an exceptionally concise and clear statement, a solid thesis that shapes the essay’s form and content.
The thesis suggests that people and state institutions in a position of power are solely responsible for all the prejudice resulting in discrimination phenomena. A reader would expect real-life examples following the statement in order to substantiate the author’s point of view. Based on the thesis statement and the fact that it was made just after the brief reference to the Frontline episode, it would be natural to anticipate the movie’s analysis with regard to the authorities abusing their position.
In general, such expectations are fulfilled. There is an example of black people, their enslavement, and the blatant racism that lasted for centuries. Author provides a short historic survey on how people of color were persecuted by the US authorities. The negative public attitude toward Muslims in connection with 9/11 goes to show that modern society can be easily manipulated as well, even without explicit accusations coming from the state. Finally, the homosexuality issue is brought to the scene in order to emphasize the continuity of discrimination. The Christian authorities are blamed for the hardships suffered by gay people. Throughout the essay, author consistently develops the evidence on behalf of the initial thesis statement.
However, the reference to experimental class of Jane Elliott is rather perfunctory. True, she never dealt with Muslims and lesbians, but her discoveries could have been paralleled with these issues as well. The behavior of discriminated group, the influence of a bad example, and the people’s dormant desire for superior position – all of it could have been incorporated in order to intensify the main idea. There is the limitation imposed by thesis statement: author cannot refer to the abusive authorities and “A Class Divided” simultaneously. Same limitations prevent the exploration of other discrimination’s types, based on sex or age prejudices.
Some essay’s fragments are particularly interesting. There is a point that addresses perception issues with regard to propaganda: “…the people took the information they were given from a higher authority and ran with it, which proves a point that the people who are given the information are the ones who control how far they take it (“Lord of the Lies” 2). Indeed, people rarely pause to think and critically evaluate the information they receive. Somehow, human beings tend to accept even weirdest twists as truth, making farfetched conclusions that lead to the prejudice. There is no way to restrict or categorize the information flow in modern society. The only defense possible is a critical attitude toward all sorts of propaganda.
The essay could be improved in a way of emphasizing the distinction between the religions in general and abusive demeanor of religious clerks in particular. Author mentions Muslims and how they suffer from the discrimination. However, the information on state media that revealed the attacks’ origin did not concern the religion of Islam, being rather focused on the group of extremists whose Muslim faith is nothing more than a camouflage. Likewise, Christian authorities blaming gay people are no more concerned with God’s worshipping than extremists. However, their attitude stigmatizes Christian values, already diminished in modern society. Thus, the essay’s accents would become more accurate if arrogant church clerks will be distanced from the religion as a whole.
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