Isolation in a Cultural Sense
Culture is one of the most important aspects of human life. It is a byproduct of thousands of years of history, politics, art, and tradition. It defines every individual human. The most beautiful part of culture is how unique each one is and how much each one has to offer. The United States is often referred to as a cultural melting pot since so many people from different cultures and backgrounds live here. The sad truth is that from such a plethora of cultural differences comes a lack of tolerance and an overabundance of ignorance, causing the cultures to become isolated from one another. Such isolation is the cause, as well as the product, of racism and prejudice.
Paul Haggis’ 2004 drama, Crash, explores individual prejudices through an array of characters living in L.A. Anthony, a young African American auto thief, is constantly telling his friend, Peter, the different ways in which he feels society isolates the black population. He points out a passerby who spots them walking along and quickly grabs hold of her husband. Anthony’s feelings of isolation are legitimate, yet ironically his actions only help to incite such stereotypes that he speaks out against. Farhad, an elderly man of Persian decent, constantly gets in heated disputes because he feels he is getting cheated by Americans. This isolation which Farhad experiences leads him dangerously close to committing a heinous crime. Officer John Ryan’s father is elderly and has what the doctor says is a urinary tract infection, but seems like something more serious. John stays up nights trying to help his father, and with no other family around to help him, is isolated in his situation. This isolation frustrates John, who in turn lashes out towards African Americans. The film illustrates the roots of prejudices and stereotypes that appear in the real world.
Away from the silver screen, a much harsher reality awaits in which isolation has and still does cause racism. Langston...