Narrative of the Captivity of a Stereotype Privileged Person by a less-Privileged Person

And now I must part with what little company I had. I had parted with my BFF Tiffany (whom I never saw again till I saw her in Clovis, returned from juvenile), and from every other civil person who could afford decent highlights. Lord only knows what happened to her, sentenced to community service in Fresno with a fine. These people around me, I was nothing like them. I’d only tried to rip off a single Gucci bag from the mall. These thugs around me looked like they could beat me senseless. The animals they called guards are brutal. They’re so rude and they barely treat me like a human being. This was my second court date. I’d been in lock up due to the crowded detention centers for months. This cold, desolate place was hardly fit for someone of my stature and social standing. I’d only needed that purse because the woman at the counter had so unfairly denied my request for a discount. If she knew who I was, she would have begged for my business. In my time here, I didn’t cry a single tear. I watched as children were prodded around like cattle. Those “behavioural issues” these guards talked about were nothing but the true reactions of scared children. Most of them I’d seen grow up. The other inmates I saw had been mostly from the lower income side of Fresno. Not unlike the guards, those hooligans were animalistic themselves. Their smoke-leadened cries of desperation were pathetic. If it had been up to me, I would have sentenced them to the fullest form of punishment. Anything from shoplifting chips to armed robbery would have a life sentence from me. Anything to keep that riff-raff from growing into a full-blown criminal.

I don’t belong here. This cruel injustice, being mixed with people who couldn’t afford to breathe in the same school ground as I walk on from day to day, it is unacceptable. As soon as my parents return to the country, I will be released into their custody and they will find a way to fix all of this. No amount of therapy will ever be enough to cleanse the thoughts of these horrible people. How dare they silence me, an American citizen. I have god-given rights to this country. How could they lump me with the trash that pollutes our nation? My family has been on the top of many food chains for generations? Can half of the people in this hellish place claim that? I doubt half of them even speak the language, let alone possess the ability or knowledge to speak of their worth. Which, if I did say so myself, was not much. I felt pity for those who had potential to be greater simply based on their heritage. They wasted their potential. Now, like those people who lived from welfare check to welfare check, they rotted in here. All I could think of was how sweet it would be to be rid of myself from this awful place. I didn’t belong here. It was only a matter of time before they saw how unjust I was being treated. I was there for seven days.

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I chose to parody The Fourth Remove of Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson by Mary Rowlandson. I thought it would be interesting to take a concept of someone who was dramatizing such a horrible experience but twist it to victimize herself completely. In this parody I greatly emphasized the nature of someone who was far more privileged than perhaps most of the people in my community as a whole or even the community (Clovis) that I chose reference. The satirical emphasis on the degradation of lower socioeconomic position was an aesthetic choice showing that even when the “victim” was clearly at fault, much like the settlers of Rowlandson’s time, they could still set themselves above the rest. Though I preserved the proper and “high-class” tone of Rowlandson’s piece, I chose not to choose religion as the narrator’s salvation but rather social class. I wanted to sneak in subtle hints of just how privileged this girl was, not just in wealth but in social aspects as well. Her parents are clearly wealthy, having been travelling outside of the country presumably for leisure or even business and foreign business trips are often the results of a high-paying career in general. I think most people agreed, within the class as well as amongst historical writers such as William Apess (who wrote his own parody piece), Rowlandson was making a very biased judgement of the natives of her time based on her religion and her race. Even though her people were technically the invaders of that land, they saw the property as their own and the inhabitants as pests and animals. I chose to parody this frame of mind by mimicking the animal analogies as well as casting a light on how she turned a merciful eye on those kids (presumably younger students) who were in the narrator’s social circle. I specifically made a casual mention of therapy in the narrator’s speech to further separate her from the other (minorities? Lower income kids?) inmates who no-doubt felt fear to some extent or even had no remorse but nonetheless would probably never have the opportunity to receive proper counseling.

-Asia Reyna

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