Dead Until Dark, Analysis

Topics: United States, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Historical definitions of race Pages: 2 (681 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Maurice McKelley 1 May 2013
Professor HarperLE 300
Reading Response # 4
“Social Grouping”
Since man’s creation we have been grouping things, trying to make sense of the world around us. We have grouped and classified all known flora and fauna in this world. The French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck classified over 1,634 species of marine animals. Carolus Linnaeus, often called the Father of Taxonomy believed through classification of plants and animals we would come closer to understanding the divine order. Johann German naturalist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, offered his contributions to taxonomy by subdividing humans into five distinct categories: the Caucasoid race, Mongoloid race, Ethiopian race (later termed the Negroid race), American Indian race, and Malayan race, but he did not propose any hierarchy among the races (Wikipedia). The problem with the idea of classifying humans is the instinctive pride in each of us that boils over into competition. This leads to members in each group having a sense of superiority over the others. This social segregation amongst the races has led to some of the most horrifying times in world history. Charlene Harris argues that we practice exclusionism while preaching equality in her novel Dead Until Dark.

Harris addresses exclusionism by introducing a new group of beings into the already troubled society of the rural southern United States. Harris introduces vampires as the new minority group to the world, but more especially the state of Louisiana. Many will identify the vampire’s struggle for equality with that of gays in America, but I feel that this would be selfish and too narrow a scope, because any minority group that has ever challenged the social views of the majority rulers of these United States would fit comfortably in their situation. Harris demonstrates the attraction of people to things they don’t understand. She does this with the main...

Cited: " Johann Friedrich Blumenbach." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 April 2013 at 21:21. Web. 5 May 2013.
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