I definitely agree on Kevin’s post of “Race Relations in ‘the Comet’ .” As Kevin, I noticed that the author of the work, Du Bois, is a civil righter for the black. So I became to read the Comet more thoroughly in terms of the race theme. As Kevin felt, I also felt that it is interesting to put the radical two characters, Jim and Julia, in the main stream. Jim is the black whom at first Julia thought of as a ‘nigger.’ His family lives in Harlem in NY. And Julia is a white woman. These two dinstinctive black and white characters are left in NY by themselves. They think that they are the only survivors among the world. But afterwards, it revealed that it was just the New York that was attacked by the comet so nobody but them are saved only in New York.
At this point, I want to put little bit more my observations of this story in addition to Kevin’s thoughts. As I read, I was little bit surprised that when Julia first encountered Jim, she felt kind of uneasiness toward him. Because he was a ‘black’ ‘man.’ Julia has been taught to consider black people as an inferior race. Moreover, Jim was a black guy. So at first she avoided him. But Jim, in the contrast, tried to give her help. Jim thought her as a ‘human,’ not as a ‘white woman.’ For that aspect, I thought that Jim, as a black man, has a generous mind and represents his race as a good one, not as an evil one. Also, perhaps that was the purpose of the author, as well.
It was interesting that the authour puts this sort of serious race problems and messages in the genre of science fiction. Du Bois set this situation and depicted Jim and Julia’s process of surviving and making a journey. So he chose these characters as significant ones, who represents each race. The situation of the only two characters being left among the world(after, it revealed that only New York was damaged, though.) could be possible only in science fiction genre. There can be a disaster(as a comet hit here.) so then the circumstances can be made.
And after Julia’s father and her fiance come to them, Jim is abandoned again. He just becomes to return to his previous position in the world. The whites just avoid him or just consider him as an evil race. Even Julia, who got lots of help from Jim, doesn’t look back him again. That is what Kevin made about at the end of his post. And I think that strikes the readers a lot-the difficulties of solving these kinds of race problems. So complicated! Also, it was impressed that the author did not put a victory of the black, but rather put the reality of what it was to be as before at conclusion of the story. Seem so gloomy as well…
Anyway, this is what I thought through Kevin’s post and this story made me think quite seriously on racial problem in our world.