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Higher Learning; Gift and a Curse Higher Learning is a book made into a film which carries deep social and cultural issues that has plagued America since the time of its establishment. In this book, the author John Singleton sheds light on the never ending issues of education, racist, sexual abuse; social class, gender, and sexual orientation are faced head on.
As a collection of freshman college students from all different walks of life they all come as one at Columbus University having to clash with stereotypes and prejudice in a new atmosphere.
For illustration in the book, a ordinary white teenager from Idaho has a culture shock at his new school joins a Nazi bunch of criminals because they are the first friends he made, which let him exaggerate the angry he felt against different races of people for violating his social norms.
As an end result he shoots up the school and murders a number of people then himself. This movie shows us how only through tragedy can people learn lessons of life and come together as human beings.
Education is stressed in this novel, arriving at Columbus University these freshmen had to learn to cope with the struggle of trying to financially support themselves throughout school and to survive the tough rigorous class work.
A superstar black freshman track runner named Malik gets a surprise when he finds out he’s only on partial scholarship for track and it pressures him to nearly abandon his dreams of a college degree.
Kristen is a white teenager from Orange County, California who deals with intragenerational social mobility, is a change in a social position occurring during a persons lifetime,(Blau and Duncan 1967) when her rich father becomes bankrupt and the lose every thing which leaves her with the only option to get a job. Grade inflation discussed in chapter 20 states that more students receive higher and higher grades for average work, this handicapped the freshman when they arrived in a different type of learning environment like college, they might have had it easy in high school but there new professor Dr.
Phipps challenges them think on a higher level hence the title of the movie. Kristen also has to encounter deviance was she gets rape after a party by Billy. Billy and Kristen like each other so Kristen decides to sleep with him and goes to his frat house, rape occurred when she asked Billy to stop and put on a condom. He didn’t stop and she started to scream and she finally kicks him off of her and runs. Like most cases of rape she did not report because of fear of humiliation, 67% of date rape situation are committed by people who know one another (U.
S. Bureau of justice Statistics, 2005). Singleton made gender stratification a clear point he want to call attention to in the book. The name gender stratification means the unequal distribution or wealth, power and privilege between woman and men. The author uses gender to portrait woman where are weak and low on self-esteem. Singleton shows Kristen as a fragile, powerless female unable to protect herself. To be honest, Singleton made all the woman in the film look frail and helpless against a male figure.
Gender roles where clearly defined is this picture from Kristen being raped but is too scared to tell the police to Monet having Fudge fight Billy for calling her a “black bitch” . It seems as though Singleton wants it to look as if the men have all of the power, nevertheless things have change I think this movie open up a lot of eyes because today woman don’t need men for anything. Racism is the belief that one racial group is inherently superior or second-rate to another.
The majority of this way of thinking towards another of a different skin color is deeply embedded in our minds from previous generations. Remmy’s prejudice fell under the scapegoat theory. During the chapter 5, Singleton illustrates Remmy as a loser who says out of place things at the wrong occasions When problems occur, people do not like to blame themselves thus actively seek scapegoats onto whom we can displace our aggression minorities are often used. Remmy decided to blame everyone else for the mistakes he was making, distancing him away from school and his peers.
What he did was a major act of terrorism showing no mercy on a fellow human being, gunning them down in broad daylight. It is time and again we see a pathetic person who has committed a major crime against humanity often commit suicide to avoid prosecution and disgrace from his family members, and to avoid the chilling faces of the family of the victims. Kristen seemed to lack confidence and self-awareness; however, after joining the feminist group her confidence seemed to grow as did her self-awareness.
Kristen starts hanging out wit Taryn the leader of the feminist group and also a lesbian, and she finds herself becoming attracted to her. There’s a directness in the way Taryn hugs Kristen, when Kristen tells her about the rape that tells you her soothing is thoroughly genuine and there’s no sexual gratification to the act. Before Kristen met Taryn she felt like she could not trust anyone. Many curious young woman are exploring there sexuality because deficient adult identities caused by lack of interactions with good male adults. Consequently, Billy has alienated Kristen away from her cultural mores.
The book explains intense sociological issues that plagued America in the 90’s which obviously author John Singleton wanted to shed light on which was great for someone to try and tackle these issues, he did so much that the book seems ludicrous. It is really hard to take this movie serious when stereotypes are over played in the film instead of providing positive roles. On the other hand the book was entertaining and did make me want to read more with its over dramatic scenes and young cast This book makes minorities, woman, homosexuals and white Americans look foolish.
I would recommend this book if you want feel sorry about today’s youth other than that the book is pointless to read. I don’t recommend it if you are somehow trying to be enlightened about solutions to all of the issues represented in the book. In conclusion the book may have a different meaning to anyone who watches it because we are all from different cultures but one thing for sure America as made major improvements to our sociobiology.