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The Conflict Of Race In Ivanhoe Essay, Research Paper

The Conflict of Race in IvanhoeSir Walter Scott in his novel Ivanhoe uses race as his central conflict. The races are those of the conquered Saxons and their ruling lords, the Normans. Scott introduces the conflict by focusing on a dialogue between two men of the lowest class, Saxon thralls. Next he presents the other side of the conflict through two arrogant Norman churchman, a group who s status should make them neutral in their prejudices. Scott then misxes the Saxons and Normans of all ranks and degrees so that the reader may judge through their internaction which is the victim and which is the figure. Using the characters Gurth and Wamba, two Saxon thralls, Scott is able to show the specific conflict of Norman vs Saxon slave, for instance, when Gurth s dog s feet are amputated by a Norman. The guilty party of this crime uses the excuse that the dog was chasing deer in the woods to chop off the dogs front toes. This shows how the life of a Saxon slave is made more difficult by the Normans. The next conflict presented occurs when the Priot Aymer And Gliber are introduced as two arrogant churchman searching for the House of Sedric. Aymer but mostly Gilber give the Saxon slaves Wamba and Gurth hell when they won t coroperate willingly. Gurth chooses to use fear to insult the Normans. The tormented Saxon slave Gurth is forced into a battle of honor after Gilbert insults his rank and possition of power. Before blood can be spilled the battle is disolved by the Prior Aymer. Wamba on the other hand, chooses deception to defeat their foes by misleading them. The truth of the conflict is revealed when these two Norman churchman, supposedly not prejudice, treat the Saxon thralls like scum.

There is yet another type of conflict between the Norman and Saxon. When the two churchman impede at Sedric s domocile, a new type of battle is released. One not with violence or swears, but one containing jelously and the need to impress the other race. The arrogent churchman Aymer and Gilbert do this a few times, but one time in particular is when they change into very royal and expensive cloths before arriving at the House of Sedric. Sedric on the other hand, uses words to make his huge feast seem like a petty meal, making his status appear higher. From these results, the victory and the victorlyless is obviously clear. It is a stale mate. Both races succeeded in intimidating the other race. The only diffrence between the two races is the fact that the Normans out number the Saxons greatly, yet both races still preserve their honor.


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