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“The Story of My Body”

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In the story “The Story of My Body”, Cofer narrates different prejudices she received from the society. Cofer was a Puerto Rican girl who moved to America at a young age. The interaction with different people prompts Cofer to understand how people can make judgments on a person, despite having scanty information on that person: in what epitomes prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.

Cofer witnessed different prejudices in her life. The tender age, at which ignorant Cofer learns prejudice, brings out the interesting part of the story. According to Cofer, the first color discriminatory act hit her from the storekeeper in a supermarket in New Jersey. Because of the dark complexion, the man branded Cofer with contempt as dirty (325). This made Cofer clean herself up when she got home, but remain with her complexion in the end (326). In her school life, Cofer discrimination on size bars her from playing with her colleagues. Cofer wrote, “…the big girls were grabbed…the little brown tadpole, was ignored” (327). Prejudice of look or appearance is also common in the society, as Cofer narrates. The perception from looks often turns out as discriminatory, since until one knows the personality of a person, it is hard to tell the potential of that person. Despite being chosen by principal for her neatness, the boys in the school prejudice Cofer because of how she looked as one boy once said, “Her face is okay...but…toothpick legs.” (329). In addition, the white women were more highly regarded than the Puerto Rican or black girls. This represents discrimination on class. Prejudices that Cofer experienced, had impacts on full exploitation of the potentials in the respective areas of life.

The religious prejudice remains in the minds of some people in the world. With unspoken code, people of different religions still hold perceptions and stereotypes about other religions. Ahmed has lived with us harmoniously since his migration from Pakistan in the late nineties. Ahmed became a close friend, since the first time they came to our neighborhood, and has since learnt that he is very caring and humble. Since he is a quiet person, many middle-level school students confused Ahmed to be antisocial. During one of the school hiking activities, some of our colleagues expressed his contempt on Ahmed. Ahmed always carried his leather bag, but on that trip one boy shouted, “Hey watch out Ahmed carried a grenade in his bag and is about to sacrifice to Allah.” Other students laughed, but Ahmed, as he later told me, felt discriminated right into the heart. His religion was mimicked, and his personality put to test by that statement.

In conclusion, Cofer story is a reflection of what takes place in the society. Prejudice affects the way people relate in a negative way as explicitly seen from Cofer’s and Ahmed’s story.

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