Study Guide

Snow Crash Prejudice

By Neal Stephenson


People seem drawn to creating stereotypes. Every ethnic group makes fun of its neighbors; each religion rags on non-believers; and sexist stereotypes abound. This is evident in Snow Crash, where characters make flash judgments about one another, grumble about perceived differences, and selectively notice violence against certain groups. Maybe prejudice is as much a part of human nature as viruses apparently are. Or maybe someday people will outgrow all this hoopla and learn to not judge each other. Ha. Right.

Questions About Prejudice

  1. Which gender gets more of a raw deal in the book? Provide examples. 
  2. Of the ethnic groups presented, which seem the most foreign to you? Why is that? 
  3. Hiro and Y.T. both deal with prejudice; what are their strategies for navigating its effects? 
  4.  Which characters seem the most prejudiced? How do they express their prejudices?

Chew on This

America has institutionalized prejudice to the point where there's no chance for true equality for everyone.

Prejudice isn't such a bad thing as long as you keep it to yourself.