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Compare and Contrast 'Overcoat' By Ghulam Abbas and 'The Blue Donkey' By Suniti Namjoshi - Which Are about Societies Attitude to People Based Upon Their Appearances

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Compare and Contrast 'Overcoat' By Ghulam Abbas and 'The Blue Donkey' By Suniti Namjoshi. Which Are about Societies Attitude to People Based Upon Their Appearances. The 'Overcoat' and 'The Blue Donkey' are about how people tend to stereotype people by their outward appearance; societies see the outer shell of people and immediately make a judgement without looking deeper. People are rejected because of their appearance; both stories are about how appearances can be misleading. The story 'Overcoat' is about a young man who dresses smartly, neatly and is well groomed in order to conform with the society. In contrast, 'The Blue Donkey' is about a blue donkey that lives in the neighbourhood of the Red Bridge Society, where she is rejected because of her bright blue skin. We can recognize 'Overcoat' is a fable since the characters in 'Overcoat' do not have names, only the names of the street are mentioned. For instance, 'Charing Cross, Lawrence Garden, Mc Leod Road' etc, are used to make it sound more like a true story. The young man is walking through some Asian city, we can recognize this by the people n the story such as, Tonga-wallas, Pan wallas etc and the money used in India and Pakistan is 'Anna'. ...read more.


The shoes and the socks had to come off now. The shoes were old but were polished clean. As for the socks, they were different in colour and pattern from each other. There were holes in the socks from which the filth could be seen. Before the clothes had been taken off, his face was toward the ceiling but slowly it had turned toward the wall as his clothes had been taken off as if in shame for what he really was under his mask. 'Was it perhaps for the shame of this dual nakedness of body and soul that now he dared not face his fellow beings?' The story ends pathetically with the few items in the young man's pocket, 'A small black comb, a handkerchief, six annas and a few pies, a half smoked cigarette, a little diary in which the names and addresses of a few people were noted, a list of gramophone records and a few handbills which distributors had thrust upon him during his evening promenade.' In contrast, 'The Blue Donkey' starts negatively and ends positively. Both parties first reject her. Her skin colour was different and so they rejected her. ...read more.


Societies should not judge people for what they look like on top without looking deeper, like the people in 'Overcoat' who judged the young man to be wealthy as in the end he was a pauper who just wore an overcoat so he could fit in with the society and so he would not be rejected. I think this story resembles the saying, 'All that glitters isn't gold' The young man in 'Overcoat' deceives himself by judging others by their outward appearance when he is covering his true self just like the society around him, 'It was their clothes rather than their faces that attracted his attention.' The donkey in the story represents old aged pensioners, disabled people, ethnic minorities, poor people, foreigners, coloured people as the story is about prejudice and the refusal to accept people for what they really are. In the end the blue donkey is accepted, she did not mind looking different from the society. She didn't do what the society said but she did what she thought was good for her. I think this story resembles the saying, 'Don't judge a book by its cover.' Like the red bridge society, we tend to jump to conclusions and stereotype. People are too quick to judge and reject anyone who is different. This discrimination and intolerance can easily lead to war. Asma ...read more.

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