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Breaking down a comparative paragraph

Prue Richards

Both texts convey that it is difficult to belong when you are different. Thomas and Grant reveal that the colour of a person’s skin can limit their ability to feel as though they are accepted by society. This idea is explored in THUG by the two worlds that exist, ‘Williamson is one world and Garden Heights is another’. The protagonist, Starr Carter is black and grew up in Garden Heights but attends predominantly white school Williamson Prep where she finds it difficult to belong because of the colour of her skin. She has to ‘keep [the two worlds] separate’ in order to fit into both. At Williamson Prep she doesn’t use slang because ‘it makes her ‘hood’’ while for white people slang ‘makes them cool’. In order to belong in this ‘white’ world Starr ‘holds her tongue’ even if people ‘piss her off’ because she want to appear ‘approachable’ and not the ‘angry black girl’. In this way she avoids the stereotypes people make up about black people just in order to belong. In Grant’s documentary, The Australian Dream he mirrors the notion that belonging is made more difficult due to one’s race or skin colour. Like Starr, Adam Goodes feels as though he doesn’t belong due to the colour of his skin. He ‘knew [he] was different’ and recalls that he always felt like he was ‘that black kid’ and that this was what defined him. While both Starr and Goodes ‘just wanted to fit in’ because of their difference they were both the victim of racial stereotypes. While Starr did not initially speak out to avoid such stereotypes, Adam Goodes did speak out and was quickly labeled and criticized for being the ‘angry Aboriginal’. While he had found a place to belong through his beloved AFL, Goodes in speaking out against racism was quickly attacked and excluded from society and this resulted in him no longer feeling as though he belonged to the game he loved. While Starr’s approach was different in that she didn’t speak out in order to belong, both her character and the real life experience of Goodes show that due to their skin colour being different to the majority, fitting in would always be a struggle.