Newfoundland Stereotypes Essay

1003 words - 4 pages

Newfoundlanders are from the province of Newfoundland and they are just like most Canadians, they are good-hearted, hard working and friendly. One main difference separates Newfoundlanders from the rest of Canada. Newfoundlanders are engulfed in stereotypes and tasteless jokes. This paper will discuss the Newfoundland stereotypes, how Newfoundlanders feel about these stereotypes and also how Newfoundlanders feel about being depicted the way they were in the novel The Shipping News.Newfoundland stereotypes are plentiful. Newfoundlanders are stereotyped as being slow witted and talking in an accent. A stereotype is defined as a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment. People often think that Newfoundlanders are slow witted just because of common "Newfie" jokes that they hear. They judge Newfoundlanders, in most cases, without even meeting a Newfoundlander in real life. As Winston Churchill put it "A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on" (Winston Churchill, http://historyq.freeservers.com/quote.htm). This has a great significance because it shows that a lie can be well known while the truth is known to few people and hard to convince that the truth is in actuality the truth. It also shows that a simple "Newfie" joke can do more harm than people realize just because it spreads throughout the world. Some common misconceptions about Newfoundlanders are that they are slow witted. How can people say that a whole province is slow witted? Another misconception about Newfoundlanders is that they talk in a slang and use made-up words. Not all Newfoundlanders talk in slang or use made up words. For example, Americans are stereotyped as knowing nothing about Canada, by a show called Rick Mercer Talking To Americans, but how many people asked every American about Canada. Chances are that there are many American who know a lot about Canada. This same statement can be made towards Newfoundland stereotypes. Newfoundlanders are also stereotyped as all being fishermen. This is completely false due to the fact that there are businesses to run and there must be people to run these businesses. Newfoundlanders are stereotyped, by some people, as being excessive drinkers. This stereotype was depicted in the book when a drunken mob tore apart Nutbeem's boat. "'Ar!' he shouted. 'Wants to takes 'is leave, do 'e? Us'll 'ave 'im 'ere. Come along, b'ys, axe 'is bo't. Got yer chain saw Neddie?'"(Proulx, 279). This shows the stereotype that Newfoundlanders like to drink because they are a drunken mod ready to tear apart Nutbeem's boat. It also shows the stereotype that Newfoundlanders talk in slang by dropping letters and pronunciation. Newfoundlanders are very upset with these stereotypes.Newfoundlanders are, for the most part, very offended by how people think they act. For good reason too, with jokes like...

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