„Demon Koperherd“ Barbara Kingsolver

 

Za Book Hub piše: Ana Lilić

U romanu “Dejmon Koperhed” Barbare Kingsolver, društvena hijerarhija između gradskog i seoskog stanovništva zauzima važnu ulogu za Dejmona i njegove prijatelje dok pokušavaju da opstanu u okeanu stereotipa koji prikazuju njihovu ruralnu regiju kao zanemareni zaboravljeni kutak Amerike. Roman istražuje kontrastne perspektive likova, osvetljavajući različita nerazumevanja i predrasude koje još uvek postoje između onih koji žive u mirnoj unutrašnjosti i onih u živopisnim gradskim centrima.


Dejmon, Tomi, Angus i drugi stanovnici takozvanog zapostavljenog dela Amerike, nalaze se na meti stereotipa koji se često povezuju sa ruralnim područjima – često ih nazivaju seljacima i neinteligentnim ljudima koji ne uspevaju da razumeju složenost savremenog života. Na primer, pre nego što se Tomi i njegova devojka prvi put sastanu uživo, on se boji da će se njeni roditelji protiviti vezi zbog njegovih korena i činjenice da živi na selu. Takođe, on napominje da bi roditelji devojke mogli verovatno naterati devojku da raskine vezu kako bi bila sa nekim iz svog društvenog sloja.
Dejmon se i sam takođe suočava sa mnogo predrasuda. Tokom rehabilitacije, živi sa nekoliko mladića, od kojih je jedan iz grada. Iako Dejmon, Gizmo i Viking pokušavaju da pomognu Čartreinu na sve moguće načine, on ih i dalje naziva pogrdnim imenima i sprda se činjenicom da zaboravljaju da zaključaju svaki put kada izađu.
Još interesantnije, čak i Angus se suočava sa predrasudama, iako je najpametnija studentkinja na svom fakultetu koja osvaja brojne nagrade. Njen akcenat je ono što je najvažnije njenim kolegama, i kako je opisano u romanu, njen intelekt i ideje često su zanemarene.
S druge strane, seosko stanovništvo takođe ima svoje predrasude o urbanoj kulturi. Kada Dejmon prvi put vidi grad Noksvil –pa sve do kraja romana, Dejmon prezire grad i čezne za jednostavnim životom koji ima u okrugu Li. Njegova veza sa prirodom je ono što ga drži povezanim sa životom. Očigledno je da nalazi utehu i mudrost u rustičnom okruženju i ne može da shvati privlačnost i šarm urbanih sredina. U jednom trenutku tokom svog boravka u gradu, čak pominje da mora da razmišlja o tome koje je godišnje doba. Tvrdi da su oni koji žive u urbanim okruženjima odvojeni od prirode, a njihova jedina izloženost prirodi ograničena je na odeljak sa voćem i povrćem u supermarketu.
Pored toga, Demon se upoznaje sa novom vrstom siromaštva. Nakon više diskusija sa Čartreinom, Dejmon shvata da siromašni ljudi iz grada pate na drugačiji način od siromašnih ljudi sa sela. Za njih, novac je jednak hrani. Kada su gladni, ne idu u šumu da bi upucali životinju, već pljačkaju prodavnicu alkohola. Dejmon, iako se oseća kao da je video što su sve siromašni sposobni da učine da bi preživeli, šokiran je ovim novim saznanjem.
Dihotomija između likova okrenutih ka prirodi i onih odvojenih od nje stvara ključnu temu za ceo roman. Stavovi likova na jednoj ili drugoj strani oblikuju kako njihov identitet tako i izbore u životu, ističući otpornost potrebnu da bi se izdržala osuda društva. Raspravljajući o ovim razlikama među likovima, Kingsolver donosi čitaocima nove perspektive, izaziva čitaoce da razmisle o stereotipima, svojim sopstvenim mislima i očekivanjima od drugih i od sebe.

Social Hierarchy of America – City vs. Country Folk

In Barbara Kingsolver’s ’Demon Copperhead’, the social hierarchy between the city and country folk takes an important role for Demon and his friends as they try to stay afloat in the ocean of stereotypes that paint their rural region as the overlooked ’dog of America’. The novel delves into the contrasting perspectives of the characters, shedding light on the various misunderstandings and prejudices that still exist between those living in the quiet countryside and those in the buzzing urban centers.
Demon, Tommy, Angus and other inhabitants of the so-called neglected part of America, find themselves on the receiving end of stereotypes commonly associated with rural areas – they are often called hillbillies and unintelligent people who fail to understand the complexity of modern life. For example, before Tommy and his girlfriend meet in person for the first time, he is scared that her family would disapprove of him due to his roots and the fact that he resides in the countryside. Additionally, he mentions that the girl’s parents would probably make her end the relationship so that she could be with someone of her own social class.
Demon faces a lot of prejudice on his end as well. During rehab, he lives with several young men, one of which is from the city. Although Demon, Gizmo and Viking all try to help out Chartrain in any way possible, he still calls them names and makes fun of the fact that they forget to lock up every time they go out.
More interestingly, even Angus faces prejudice, despite being the smartest student at her college, receiving multiple awards. Her accent is what matters most to her fellow classmates, and, as was described in the novel, her brains and ideas are often overlooked.
On the other hand, the country folk also have their own stereotypes about the urban lifestyle. From the very first time he sees the city of Knoxville and all the way to the end of the novel, Demon despises the city and longs for the art of simple life that he has in Lee County. His connection to nature is what keeps him associated to life. It is obvious that he finds solace and wisdom in the rustic surroundings and fails to comprehend the lure and charm of urban life. At one point during his life in the city, he even mentions that he needs to think which season of the year it is. He argues that those living in urban environments are out of touch with nature, their only exposure to it limited to the produce section of a supermarket.
On top of that, Demon is introduced to a new type of poverty. After multiple discussions with Chartrain, Demon realizes that poor people from the city suffer in a different way than poor people from the country. For them, money is equated with food. When they are hungry, they do not go to the forest to shoot an animal, they rob a liquor store. Demon, despite feeling like he’d seen everything the poor are capable of doing to survive, is shocked by this new knowledge.
The dichotomy between the characters immersed in the nature and those disconnected from it creates a crucial theme for the entire novel. The characters’ stance on one side or the other shapes both their identity and choices in life, highlighting the resilience required to withstand the judgments of society. By arguing these differences among the characters, Kingsolver brings the readers new perspectives, challenges stereotypes and invites the readers to reflect on their own thoughts and expectations from others and from themselves.

U saradnji sa Američkim kutkom iz Niša

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