Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The novel “The Hate U Give “ by Angie Thomas, tells the story of a young girl named Starr who internally and physically is switching worlds, between her native low-income neighborhood and her elite prep school. The struggles she faces is from living a double life and having to act differently in certain places and situations in a world that she can’t control. The reader can relate to the main character of the novel due to the overbearing battle of not fitting in a struggle that every teenager had dealt with some time in high school, but in Stars instance, she is in the middle of a biased situation between two worlds she can not control. Starr Carter’s life is immediately turned upside down when she faced with trouble her father always cautioned her about police violence. Starr is lost and confounded as she observes the sad turned upside down This young girl is lost and confused as she watches the tragic death of one of her best friends as a result of systemic inequality Within the novel; author Angie Thomas brings attention to the violence of unarmed African American victims killed by police. The title “The Hate U Give” leads out the meaning of how African American (minorities) communities feel about the police due to the recent controversy of police brutality and systematic inequality of eviction. Overall, however, this purpose signifies that Thomas wrote the novel to understand the world to see the issue and impact it has caused in families and communities across the nation. A series of events Starr encounters the guide her to find that inner voice that motivates her to become an advocate/voice for the unheard
“When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me. One was the usual birds and bees…The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me…Momma fussed and told Daddy I was too young for that. He argued that I wasn’t too young to get arrested or shot” (Thomas 2018 20). In the first half of the novel we are introduced to the theme of violence when Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil, is shot by a cop after pulled over due to a broken headlight, as Starr is caught in the middle. The theme of violence, deepens the narrative as it faces the inner demons and comes face to face with Starr reaction. When Starr is faced with violence and a traumatic situation, she ends up concealing her actual character from her friends at her prep school and comes up with inner excuses for why she won’t fight for Khalil’s justice. Since Starr had become a victim of the event, she has only cared solely about one thing, her image to the rest of the world. Her experience at the police station opens Starr eyes to realize that the investigation will not be reasonable or unbiased.
“Fifteen minutes later, I leave the police station with my mom. Both of us know the same thing: this is gonna be some bullshit” (Thomas 2018 103) In Starr’s case, she soon overcomes the fear of not fitting in as she promises to advocating for Khalil’s injustice even if it means losing her friends or that impact of her reputation. Although she did not succeed at first, she encouraged others to help make a change in society. Thomas intentions are reflected in that actions of the main characters. Throughout the event, it is clear that the author’s intent is to encourage young people in today’s generation to take a stance in what one believes in whether underlying concerns may be present (gossip/ intimidation) Leading to say that although you may not succeed knowing you advocated for yourself regardless of the outcome indeed shows your character and beliefs parallel as the voice of Starr develops into advocating for the unheard.
The author draws close attention to the two different societies that Starr is a part of and the social injustices that occur as the individuals within the community communicate as a whole unit — challenging the status quo and stereotypes in today’s society. In the novel, Star’s best friend Maya Yang an Asian American, is targeted by racial comments of her ethnicity by Hailey Grant. This is one of the first steps that Maya takes on standing up to prejudice comments. Starr’s and Hailey relationship endures several strains and conclusively ends, in part n view of Haily’s insensitivity toward issues of racism. “Holy shit, Starr! Seriously? After everything we’ve been through, you think I’m a racist? Really” (Thomas 2018 112)? Showing how Hailey refuses to grasp that people who do not mean to be intentionally racist can still say racist comments, or at the very least culturally insensitive. Furthermore, Hailey refuses to communicate with Hailey or Maya concerning why her remarks were offensive to them. She is blinded towards her own mistakes by acting defensive and to the underlying fear of being called a racist. While Maya, for instance, listens to Starr and understands why her support in the Williamson protest was offensive, Hailey refuses to accept Starr’s argument and dismisses the ordeal(Thomas 2018 112). The author intertwines a current issue through Starr challenging others perception and someone own words can be perceived, especially one so-called “jokes” In today’s society, we have formed an anonymous agreement to where one cannot be attacked because of who they are. This is seen especially on social media where others are appraised for stating these so-called “jokes,” although it’s not considered racist because it’s been anonymously agreed. The novel allows the conversation of how we treat others differently depending on skin color to be a topic of discussion and that allows for young people to take a step back and realize how they may have been profiled or have profiled someone else.
As the novel progresses, Starr finds her inner voice to fight for justice. Starr is contacted by Ms. Ofrah, an activist for the organization “Just Us for Justice” and offers Starr legal representation from her. In Garden Heights, riots begin. Starr continues to advocate for Khalil by going on TV in an anonymous interview about the shooting. “But Ms. Ofrah said this interview is the way I fight. When you fight, you put yourself out there, not caring who you hurt or if you’ll get hurt. So I throw one more blow, right at One-Fifteen. ‘I’d ask him if he wished he shot me too” (Thomas 2018 290). Starr’s nationally televised interview is a pivotal moment in her transformation from being too reluctant to speak up for Khalil, to coordinating the protests against his unjust death within the streets of Garden Heights. Starr doesn’t condone violent manners, such as rioting and looting, despite the fact that she comprehends the outrage that such viciousness originates from. Rather, as Ms. Ofrah brings up, Starr’s voice is the most effective weapon she has in battling injustice. Starr utilizes the national stage she never imagined to advocate for Khalil, but also for African Americans all over the place (Thomas 2018).
In the comparison of the book and real life, it shows that they are both similar and different on how the situation goes for police brutality. In the novel, the policeman was less likely to be convicted of murder due to the lack of evidence during the crime scene allowing an officer to be freed from any consequences or reprucsations. Where we see the ugly side in manipulation and lies spread across the news, for example, Starr sees an interview on TV with the police officer’s father, one with many false statements. Starr testifies in front of a grand jury and tells the story of the night of Khalil’s shooting. Following weeks of waiting, the jury decides not to prosecute the officer in correlation to the death of Khalil. This depicts how the police department would do anything to get out of trouble to stray from headlines or national news, even if it means losing credibility and integrity. A real-life situation occurs when security camera footage arises showing the discredibility of the officer and police department showcasing the unmanned actions taken of the officer. Starr is unsettled and is alluded to a riot where she protests. These powerful lines occur at the end of the novel“Others are fighting too, even in the Garden, where sometimes it feels like there’s not a lot worth fighting for. People are realizing and shouting and marching and demanding. They’re not forgetting. I think that’s the most important part” (Thomas 2018 443), and ends with both of Starr’s worlds colliding- her friends get to know Garden Heights. Starr learns who her real friends are, the ones that can handle both sides of her life. The collision is not a disaster, and Starr becomes more familiar with her identity. Although they didn’t get justice for Khalil, Starr is hopeful that one-day justice will be served, and she keeps fighting. Encapsulating her character and the lesson she has learned of the significance of speaking up and utilizing her voice to battle for what she believes is right. Although she did not succeed, she realizes that hope is essential to fight the cycle of violence and prejudice to minorities.
Overall, one of the most significant impacts that this novel discusses in today society is the everyday issue of racism. This prevalent every day, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Especially in the United States is that is known to be a melting pot for many cultures and a ground to improve living and live the “American dream.” This can be a beautiful thing but also a challenging situation because then it is hard to find common ground with all backgrounds and not feel out of place due to discrimination. I, like many others, struggle with this because I am a first generation Mexican-American. It can be a challenge to adapt to new cultural ways here, but also trying to preserve some of my cultural tradition. While reading this book, I related to Star, for example, when she expresses how she felt like two different people living in two different lives. Star explains in the book that while she is in school, she acts as the “white” version of Star, but while she is in her neighborhood, she acts like a completely different person and her cultural way. At a certain point, it is hard for her to differentiate who she is most like to because she switches between these two personalities so quickly that leads to personality crisis. “If I face the truth, as ugly as it is, she’s right. I was ashamed of Garden Heights and everything in it. It seems stupid now, though. I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me? That’s like being ashamed of myself” (Thomas 2018 441). She is soon called out by Kenya stars friend in Garden heights whom she shares a brother with. Kenya has always recognized this deception, calling Starr out for claiming to be somebody that she isn’t. It takes the vast majority of the novel for Starr to come to a similar realization. She acknowledges that she can’t change her encounters, and she questions why she would even want to. Her family and background, and each occasion that has happened in her life have formed her into the individual she is today, so to be embarrassed about those occasions would liken to being embarrassed about herself— a challenge many first-generation students face today, especially those in the Las Vegas valley.
In conclusion, the novel “The Hate U Give,” written by Angie Thomas is a fascinating novel that perfectly transfers the messages of criminalization of black people, different racial tensions, and advocate. The novel demonstrates the current struggle and mistrust between police and black people, a struggle that is caused because of the problem of police brutality. Within the novel, it can be hard for minorities like Starr and myself to finally realize that we don’t live to please others and our voice means so much to creating a better place in our world. Thomas manages to raise awareness of the problem of police brutality while making the reader feel deeply moved by the story, and eventually feel hopeful for a better ending. Through the unique point of view of Starr, the reader can find a way to connect with the story, no matter what their racial background is and how through a series of events Starr finds her voice to advocate for the unheard.