Social Acceptance In Flannery O Connor's Snow White

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Snow White is a short story that portrays a fragment of a girl named Mary’s life, and her trouble with having albino skin. The story starts with Mary indirectly explaining about the problems caused by albino skin. She describes her parents’ self-blame and apparent guiltiness for their daughter’s race, and her brothers’ protectiveness and support in respect to this aspect of her life. Because of her race, Mary has a very unsociable life at school and only has one friend, Karen. The story proceeds by showing the nature of Mary’s relationships with these characters, and her life and thoughts leading up to Karen’s Halloween party. At the party, Mary is dressed up as a cheerleader and she is having a good time – she feels as if she has been reborn,…show more content…
One of the most evident ones is the theme of social acceptance. Most of Mary’s problems revolve around her albino skin – kids teased her when she was young, and even as a teenager, “kids have learned to be mean in that silent, adult way,” (p. 205). Social injustice is an issue that people of all ages face in society – the racism that Mary faces on an everyday basis is completely prejudiced. These views reflect on Mary, ultimately affecting her self-confidence and her perception of herself. Even she considers her Albino skin to be a problem, and wants to be rid of it. That is the symbolism of her costume, which changed her identity, in a way. The moment she is “no longer albino” in peoples’ eyes, “everyone [is] surprisingly nice,” (p. 208). This clearly depicts how superficial society can be in regards to peoples’ exteriors. When she is peeling off her “new identity” after the 2 boys came in dressed as her, mocking her albino skin, she states, “I had let myself believe I had found the magic solution, a panacea in a two-dollar bottle of hair dye,” (p. 209). Even Mary feels the same way as those around her, and wants to be “reborn” without albino skin. This leads to the moral of the story: one should not live to be accepted by others, one should live on one’s own terms and appreciate those who do not treat you based off shallow

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