The central theme around this week’s reading is immigration and how immigrants feel and survive/live after having to uproot from the home they to start and build a new home. There can be different effects on one who endures this kind of change, for an example emotional effect and social culture effects. In the story of “My Son the Fanatic” you can see the shift of Ali’s behavior after making that transition. In this particular story we see a very worried Father as he saw this new society contains much more Freedom than the society they left from. He begins to see his son take advantage of that freedom by insulting religion. Ali strays away from what was once he. This change of immigration causes him to change a lot he abuses alcohol and respect.
Introspect based upon other readings of immigration and assimilation novels, its in fact extremely hard for all types of people to change or get accustom to a different lifestyle. It’s even harder to want to adapt to these changes and try not to lose sight of where you came from and what that lifestyle meant to you. Different societies and place often put pressure of trying to fit in, not necessarily on purpose by just not accepting people as who they are. So in a sense those who are being faced in a new society often feel isolated and the pressure to fit in is overwhelming.
I personally could not fathom what it would be like to endure that monstrous lifestyle change and completely forget what I have been accustoming to know my whole life. Not that I would have to forget what I once had known my life to be but so many stories show us that you get lost in trying to fit in or adapt that it just happens. Also to focus on the pressure and isolation that comes with it all too.
What a Powerful and Meaning story that comes with a lot emotional pulls at the heart. The backstory and the connection that I make with this story I think is what is most fascinating. As an English Literature major reading books and connecting with different stories is a main focus I have done throughout my college years. I would say that all these books have important value, story and where lots of rich words lay. When can sort of relate to Eddie experience, starting off with his appreciation and connection with his Father’s books after he pass away. For me stories like these show the passion, someone’s words and ideas really can come to life for the person reading those words. The deep connection that a person makes when reading, writitng and interrupting words in the world of literature can be also very painful when those words get taken away. A way that could be explained better is taking your favorite book in the whole wide world that gives you such great joy, that would be like taking way Eddie’s words from his father. Books are just book, they are so much more than. I believe this story can rely that message in way that is good for the soul.
Not everyone can have the same positive reaction to people’s words and stories they write or tell. For some it can be a very traumatizing memory or experience. Like Eddie’s mother for an example, her experience with her husband words only left the continuous pain she had endured throughout her life with her husband. She suffered from his abuse over and over, year after year. Those words and stories he wrote only kept that memory alive for her.
Words and stories can be both negative and positive. Words and stories can be impactful at the same time unbearable. It all comes down to who is reading the story and where they are in their life at the time they are reading that story, which I found the most rewarding about literature.
"Heart of Darkness" written by Joseph Conrad is a story of a conflict. The conflict that arises throughout this story is the diverse humanity in the world. This text focuses on the differences when people are migrating from country to country. The story quotes on the problems that can arise when certain types of different people migrate to different civilized countries other than their own. The text shows the differences in the cities of Congo and London. The mystery we see in this novel is of Africa, the black man possession (captives) VS white man ideal.
Conrad shows and addresses a very important issue in the early 20th racial discrimination between whites and blacks. He brings up the qualities that define the differences between two people in which we based their race upon. What is the desire to control in this story? What is the desire to need to civilize to the people whom are living during this time?
Conrad also introduces the idea colonialism and imperialism and this notion of what people tend to call “the law of the forbidden.” I was most intrigued with the phrase of “the law of the forbidden.” Aware of what the phrase meant its point and connection to the story. By definition the phrase mean “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed, is constitutional principle of English law—an essential freedom of the ordinary citizen or subject” Essentially in context to this story we can interpret the freedom of the black men living in Africa. Is domination of civilization occur and does it come from the natives of the land?
Where is the line drawn between communication and privacy? Clarissa struggles with this idea within her marriage. It said she believes it is important to have own secrets but often finds it weird that her husband does not know much about her. “And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa, watching him open the door; for one would not part with it oneself, or take it, against his will, from one’s husband, without losing one’s independence, one self-respect---something, after all priceless.”
In a relationship what do we keep private to ourselves and what do we share with our significant others? Where does one draw that line? Clarissa clearly feels a certain way of her husband not knowing everything about her (or what she wants him to know). At the same time does she not tell him husband everything because she is fearful of what he might found out?
Taking it a step further with the notion between communications vs. privacy what’s the difference with the outside world. Clarissa goes as far as to throw party in her pathway of struggling with communication. I believe that one thing that Clarissa finds with when struggling with her secrets is that her husband does not know about how Peter wanted to marry her. She feels that is a secret but others in the town knew and let her husband know about how Peter was in love with her. So even that outside world knowing and inviting that invitation of other’s into your home “privacy” evolves into the that communication.
Do we communicate everything to everyone? Or should some things be left within us? How does that notion affect our close-knit relationships? Can and will our secrets destroy us; in which is why we don’t communicate our private matters? But constitutes as private?
The many different historical references that this poem presents, makes for many historical images placed in my mind. Yeats wrote this poem during the aftermath of War World 1 and the Russian Revolution, I couldn’t help to believe that he pulls what is happening during this time and places it into his writing. The thoughts I had were what exactly is this “Second Coming” that Yeats is referring too. Necessarily we can infer it could be spiritual of Jesus Christ or is another spiritual being that is mentioned?
Today our society is evolving around this idea of apocalyptic world. Is Yeats hinting at this idea in his Poem? Does “The Second Coming” reference the end is near vast image of human race will be just a memory? In today’s world there are many different controversial topics and ideals of the making of the world we are living in or going to be living in the future sense. The makers of TV entertainment are feeding of this apocalyptic view and turning it into TV shows, movies and more. What is most interesting is the idea between the apocalyptic viewpoints of what our society has in our mind VS what view point Yeats was describing in his poem. Obviously speaking they are very similar in the same sense that the human existence is no longer. He even quotes in the end of the poem “And what rough beast, its hour come around at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? In this apocalyptic world does Jesus reborn? I think believe the reference isn’t necessarily Jesus himself but another beast. I think that Yeat’s was just using historical notion to describe this new coming of an apocalyptic world.
I think it’s also very important to note the phrase “gyre” the meaning that it has, Yeats purpose of the word and my perception of how I took his meaning of using the word. The word gyre means a spiraling motion in the shape of a cone. Yeats use of the word is a spiraling motion to the end of the human existence. He is in fact relating back to his apocalyptic world after the math of this war.
Yeats, William. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed., E, W.W. Norton, 2018.
The character Algernon is a very interesting, intriguing and complicated. My first weird encounter was during his dialogue with his servant/maiden. “Why is it that at a bachelor’s establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne? I ask merely for information.” – Algernon. “I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir. I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first rate brand.” – Lane. “Good Heavens! Is marriage so demoralizing as that?”- Algernon. Merely after reading this first dialogue I am shocked by his response and extremely confused. Here was when I start to pick up what type of character he is and represents. As the story continue we find that he is not just your typical average male. Algernon is very dominant, wealthy, and definitely not the marrying type. Later on we will look into a little more of his viewpoints on marriage and romanticism. Lane extends herself by continuing to talk to Algernon about her experience with marriage where then Algernon not interested in her viewpoints at all. Responds to himself with, “Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don’t set is a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility?” – Algernon. Woah! Woah! Response was like come on. What does the author want to do with this character? What is his purpose in the story? He as a character I feel like he dehumanizes marriage, romantic and now the lower class. I guess I am shocked because I didn’t think that this is something that could have occurred within this time frame. Of course anything can happen and everyone has the right to live the life they want to live. I just felt as a society looking at this story/piece of writing it’s not what I imagined. Later on in a different dialogue with an acquaintance named Ernest (Jack). Jack is speaking of proposing to Algernon cousin Gwendolen. “I thought you had come up for pleasure?.... I call that business.” – Algernon. Even Jack Ernest responds the same as I felt he should, “How utterly unromantic you are!” – Ernest. To rest my case on the character of Algernon he responds with something I would have imagined him to say after the first few encounters with him. Now I don’t want people to think that I think this piece of writing is awful. I very much enjoyed it. I liked the complexity of Algernon character and how he was written.
The reading this week, I felt was very interesting to look into with a deeper scope. The passage I felt drawn to and really understood the best was “Maids, not to you my mind doth change.” In just a short and little poem is a poem filled rich underling and strategic meaning. The poem presents this unique twist of power along with struggling within society. Dealing with society constantly pressuring to be a certain way, act a certain way and love a certain way show this meaning behind what that really is within this poem. The summary of this poem is two lovers who happen to be lesbians living and dealing with complications of being in love with one another in their current society. When the couple would be out and about is where the scrutiny lies within their torment. In the poem I see this battle of weary from the verse “Between us is no thought of pain,/Peril, satiety. When the two women are alone they face known of the stress/concerns VS when they go out into the town. Another verse in the poem I felt had strong meaning “And if care frets ye come to me/As fresh as nymph from stream or tree,/And with your soft vitality/My weary bosom fill.” The nymph which I believe represents the nature, brings out some great symbolism here in the poem. I believe the nymph/nature is an escape goat for the couple. It’s their safe place for on other when the pressures of societies norms are compacted upon them. The first verse I mentioned along with the second lines of I mentioned essentially bring out the whole moral of the poem. The two women are faced with underlying pressure/stress of being lovers from their society but when they are away from the society they have no pressure or stress. The women do not have to comply to the societal norms that are being portrayed during this time.
Field, Michael. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed., E, W.W. Norton, 2018.
The reading for this week was not necessarily relative in a sense that we can relate within ourselves to what we read. However the reading for this week maybe for some of us heard stories about from loved ones or in past classes to where these topics are not necessarily new for us. During the Victorian Age women faced different social/feminist archetype in their current society. Women were often patronized for going outside of what their current idealistic roles were during this time. A workingwomen was so uncommon where others would look down upon them and criticized those who did not wish to live the life that society had chosen for them. The most interesting part that I gather while reading the readings is the question of “Would we be the women we are today with the opportunities we have today if it were not for the women who a chose to change the image of what women should do or should be or what is expected from us?” Now I know not all women were out to change their image or path that was given to them. So women then and now still chosen to be the stay at home mother carry out this idealistic view of women like we see during the Victorian Age. I believe that there is nothing wrong with either viewpoint. I merely think we just have the right to choose the path we want; the path that best fits our own situation and life.
The passage or reading I felt most drawn to over the course of this week is “The “Woman Question” The Victorian Debate About Gender”. This particular part I found most intriguing for myself was “The greatest social difficulty in England today is the relationship between men and women. The principal difference between ourselves and our ancestors is that they took society as they found it while we are self-conscious and perplexed.” (Norton Anthology, 653). Looking at the passage seeing how it applies within our society today. For me I see that the ancestors this story is speaking of took society as they found but never really implanted changes to where as later on throughout this reading and other readings changes started to begin. Then here we have our society today where we make every little decision very precisely and very self-conscious.
Greenblatt, Stephen, and Catherine Robson. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed., E, W.W. Norton, 2018.