Segregation has been brought out in most of the books and movies that we have watched in class. It is majorly depicted in the movie, “District 9” and the book, “Night” by Elsie Wiesel. Social segregation is a situation whereby different societies, especially the societies with power look down on the less privileged societies. In the book, “Night”, social segregation has been depicted whereby; prejudice against the human beings in the past exists. In this book, there is war, which was unleashed by the Nazis on the Jews and the other races who were not well recognized in the society. In the movie, “District 9”, social segregation is illustrated where; the aliens who lived in the ghetto guarded by the military in Johannesburg are later after a period of twenty years, fought against by the US militants in Johannesburg. Social segregation was inseparable from the communities, which could not welcome and accommodate the visitors from different communities.
In the book, “Night” there is social segregation where the Nazi party, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler fought the Jews and the other less fortunate communities in South Africa. The war between the Germans and the Jews ended after the last solution was made. This end solution was the terrible absorption and the demise camps of the communities, which were led by the Nazi. The end results of the war were deaths of a large number of the people who participated in the war from the Jews society and the military of the German. The war which was referred to as the Holocaust started in the year 1933. This was after the Nazi party ruled. The Hitler’s battle against the Jews started when the “Nuremberg laws” had to be adhered to. These laws meant that the Jewish community was good as past tense. The mentioned laws, which were to be followed, resulted into the segregation between the two communities.
In the movie “District 9”, the same issue of social segregation has been discussed where the military union aimed at evicting the alien society by constructing their own community where no humans lived. This community was called the district 9. The district 9 where the aliens lived was guarded by the military to ensure that they did not interact with the rest of the people who lived in Johannesburg. After a period of twenty years, the people who guarded the aliens had enough of them and decided to live on their own. After the aliens were left all alone, their community turned into a ghetto as there was no government to take care of them. This led to lack of funds to maintain their community. In this movie also, segregation has been depicted by Wiku who was made to be in charge of the aliens. After he was exposed to a substance which turned him into an alien, he was rejected by his own people. The director of the movie, “District 9” was inspired by the past events that took place in South Africa where social segregation and apartheid took place.
From these two books, it is evident that they are correlated in the fact that they were all based on social segregation. Segregation is known to have taken place in the past. This is because people were not used to the idea of assimilating the cultures and traditions of other communities, and especially the less fortunate ones (Peach, 1975). Racism contributed so much in the social segregation that existed in different communities. This was experienced by the people who went to the countries of the whites. The whites had the mentality that the blacks were not enlightened and there was no way they could interact with them and fit to their class. Segregation was also experienced by the people who are very new in a different country. This was as a result of the veterans of that specific country or community not being interested in interacting with the visitors who come to their country. As a result, the situation ends up being, the visitors live on their own and the veterans continue living on their own. This is evident from the movie, “District 9” where after the arrival of the aliens, the government of South Africa went on, and constructed the aliens a community which they called the district nine.
It is also evident that social segregation may result into the development of slums in a community. This is because the people who are known to be the less fortunate in a society end up being neglected (Peach, 1975). As a result, their economic growth deteriorates and due to lack of enough resources, they end up living in these slums for they can not afford the life that is led by the veterans. This is evident from the movie, “District 9” whereby after the abandonment of the aliens by the military, they lived on their own and the district 9 grew into a slum. This was because; they lacked funds to maintain their community as it was maintained by the military army in South Africa. The issue of segregation can lead into conflicts between two communities. These conflicts can eventually result into mass deaths of people. This is evident from both the book, “Night” and the movie “District 9”.
In the book, “Night”, the war which was facilitated by Adolf Hitler resulted to deaths of so many people. This is a war which was between two societies, the Germans who had dominated Johannesburg and the Jews who had moved to Johannesburg. Since the Germans wanted to evict the Jews from Johannesburg, they formed a party which unleashed war against the Jews. This war resulted into many deaths of both the Jews and the Germans. Similarly, in the movie, “District 9”, war was illustrated where there was a fight between the aliens and the military of Johannesburg as they tried to eject them from Johannesburg. It is also depicted after the appointed leader of the aliens was rejected by his people. This was after he came into contact with a substance, which transformed him into an alien. The people from Johannesburg not only wanted to reject him, but they went to an extent of wanting to kill him.
In this case, social segregation is not all about the status of the community but it also involved the physical appearance of an individual. This is because the people from Johannesburg could not stand the presence of their own person, after he was transformed into an alien. In these two books, the leaders of the wars were the people who initiated and ignited the wars. In the book,” Night”, Adolf Hitler was the one who ignited the fight against the Jews and with his absence there were chances that these wars would not have happened. In the movie, “District 9” also, the major who was from the military ignited the war between the aliens and the military as he made a small issue appear like a big deal which resulted into cycle of wars.
Social segregation is a situation where people who are less fortunate are exposed to more difficult situations (Peach, 1975). This is as a result of the selfish interest that the dominating community has. This is evident from the movie, “District 9”, where despite the fact that they did not have any clue on where to go to after the eviction from South Africa, the military were not human to the extend of moving them out of their community to go to a place they did not know. The people from the military went on finding ways to move the aliens to a place with no inhabitants. This was very cruel of them by making such a mean suggestion.
Generally, social segregation took place in the past. This is evident from the books and movies read and watched in class. This is evident from the book, “Night”. This talks about a Jewish boy who describes his terrible story about his experience in Johannesburg under the leadership of Adolf Hitler from German. The Nazis, who were the administration party, were against the Jewish society back in the twentieth century. There are clear similarities of the book, “Night”, and the movie “District 9”, as in both set ups, the less fortunate community live in ghettos. The movie, “District 9”, is evident that it is based on the past because it talks about the crushing of the alien’s ship in South Africa during the colonial period. This is because we find the people of South Africa under the governance of the militants whose origin was the United States.
Social segregation entails the dominant group looking down upon the other communities (Peach, 1975). This is evident from the movie, “District 9”, where the US militant looking down on the country South Africa as they preferred that the alien’s ship crushed in their own country. They have also looked down on the aliens by suggesting that they had to be moved to a land far away from home a they claimed that they were not worth living in Johannesburg. Most of the segregated communities end up uniting and find a way to deal with their opponents. In the book, “Night”, the Jews united and fought against the Germans under the leadership of Adolf and they end up tallying in the war with the same number of deaths from the same communities. Similarly, in the movie, “District 9”, the aliens finds a way on how to move out of South Africa. This is whereby one of the aliens looks for fuel to fill their ship so that they could move back to their planet.
In conclusion, social segregation was brought out in most of the books that were covered in class. These books and movies showed how most of the African countries were colonized by other countries who took charge. This is depicted in both the movie, “District 9”, and the book, “Night”. They also depict how the less fortunate societies are mistreated by the fortunate societies. This is where most of the foreign communities in a new country are clustered in slums where the living conditions are very poor. In addition to all these, social segregation results into wars which lead into massive deaths of communities, in both the dominating and the less fortunate community. The authors of these books and the directors of the movies were inspired by the social segregation and apartheid that took place in the colonial era. In their articles they illustrate how social segregation had negative effects resulting in massive deaths.
Peach, C., (1975), urban social segregation, Davis, California: Longman.