The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

by

Dashka Slater

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The 57 Bus: Part 4: Binary Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Slater includes another poem. This poem is several lines long, and the line, “There are two kinds of people in the world,” is repeated three times throughout. In between this repeated line, Slater writes several contrasting terms. “Male and Female. / Gay and Straight. / Black and White. / Normal and Weird. / Cis and Trans.” She continues, “Victims and Villains. / Cruel and Kind. / Guilty and Innocent.” Slater repeats the line again and writes, “Just two. / Just two. / Only two.”
Slater’s poem highlights the problematic nature of binary thought. Sasha, as well as Richard, cannot be defined by either/or categories, and this poem draws attention to this. While Richard’s attack on Sasha was certainly cruel, Richard is still kind in many ways, and while he certainly behaved as a villain that day on the bus, he is still the victim of a racist legal system. Clearly, there are more than two kinds of people in the world, and Slater argues for all to be equally represented within language and society.
Themes
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Binary Thought and Inclusive Language Theme Icon
Discrimination and Social Justice Theme Icon