Is there bias in the story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the most evident example of bias in the novel is the demonizing of the shark.  In the narrative, the shark is presented as a pure force of malevolence, destroying and killing nearly everything that is in its path.  There is a definite bias of humans conquering nature and humans being pitted against nature.  There is little in way of ecological balance, transforming an element of nature into an adversarial one between it and human beings.  I think that there is some bias in this respect, failing to depict the natural world as one in which humans are a part of some larger ecological structure.  Rather, there is a clearer demarcation in which humans represent one side of the equation and the forces of nature is on another side, representing the binary opposition between both.  In this, there is a collision, in which the natural world, embodied by the shark, is an existential threat to the world of the human beings.  Chief Brody and the other humans are presented as individuals fulfilling some sense of duty in protecting all of humanity from this demonic shark, a force that is depicted as driven to destroy all of humanity.  In this, I would sense some level of bias present.


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