All posts by Jackson G

Reflection on The Awakening

Chopin’s The Awakening showcases individuality compared to society’s conventions. Edna Pontellier, who the main character of this book. She is trying to break away from society’s standard conventions of the time in order to find reason and individuality rather than listening to what others find proper or correct, instead of making decisions on her own and only letting her define who she really is.

Society when this was written was extremely strict in what women could do and what their actions meant. Edna is an upper-class woman married to a profitable hardworking man who seems to view her just as a status symbol rather than someone who he loves. Some people wonder why she wouldn’t just get a divorce and find somebody who actually loves her for who she is, and she does the same too. Once women became divorced back then she is looked at as a used car as if it’s worthless. Therefore, women were pretty much forced to stay within these unhealthy marriages in order to keep value and respect to their names. Edna rebels against the rules of society and leaves home and moves into a new house down the street. When Mr.Pontellier learns of what Edna’s plans are, he puts their house under renovations to make it look like there was a reason for Edna to leave the house. Mr. Pontellier was never thinking of his relationship with his wife, “he was simply thinking of his financial integrity. It might get noised about that the Pontellier’s had met reverses and were forced to conduct their Menage on a humbler scale than heretofore.” (P. 110) Edna to Mr. Pontellier is just a symbol of their status. He only cares about how their family looks to the rest of the world rather than accepting the other person for who they are.

Edna, we see throughout the book become a woman who is independent who does not rely on others or belong to others. She chooses what she wants and focuses on her needs like she never has before. “I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, ‘here Robert takes her and be happy; I should laugh at you both.” Edna’s relationship with Mr. Pontellier has become meaningless and she does not see him as her husband who should control what she does anymore. This shows her becoming more aware of what she could do on her own without having to be dependant. Lower-class people constantly have to wake up every day and go to work in order to survive and have a hope that one day they will be able to retire happily. Middle-class women in the same stuck position as Edna, have lots of time to wonder what their purpose is, what they want to achieve, what goals do they have. Society sadly seemed to put a cap on the potential of women by locking them into boxes which they could which should never be done to anyone.

The question of what killed Edna Is interesting. You could say her husband or Robert but, I find that society killed her. Another view I considered was money. Edna was a middle-class woman who had all of these conventions of society created from money breathing down her neck. If you’re a middle- or upper-class person you have to look act and talk a certain way. We see this questioned in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, Elsa a flower girl is changed into what Mr. Higgins considers a woman then, she goes to the embassy ball filled with people of high status and fits in perfectly. Money changes the way people look at anything just as Mr. Pontellier renovated his house only to protect his financial integrity since his wife had decided to leave the house.

The awakening Is an incredibly eye-opening book about women’s rights then and now. The story does a good job of lifting up characters rather than keeping them as only a protagonist or antagonist. This helped me see different views of each character and each character’s traits. The book also is a great representation that we should never put women in boxes that limits them to what they are able to achieve. I hope that we have moved on from this time and find it important to analyze this book.

 

Pygmalion Reflection

Pygmalion by George Bernard is a play where we can see differences in levels of wealth and how looks and impressions impact our social status. Eliza in this play experiences firsthand how all it takes to become upper class is to change her voice and clothes, she attempts to lose her natural accent and general mannerisms, in hopes to attend the Embassy ball. Higgins sees this as being an experiment and does not even seem to see Eliza as a person and instead of a test subject. He does not attempt at all to learn about who Eliza is, and instead just immediately starts trying to fix her vocabulary and the sound of her voice.

Language is the main focus it seems when it came to Higgins transforming Eliza from a “Flower Girl” to what he thought a woman should look and be heard as. Judging someone by the way they use their language is still relevant in today’s society, people will assume your intelligence and views on subjects immediately, even sometimes from only hearing the tone of your voice and not even your usage of the language that you speak. We see this in the movie when Eliza is at the Embassy Ball and she speaks to a man who seems to be an expert of the English language, he tells his friends after speaking with Eliza that she is not speaking pure English, he thinks it is too good to be true and proceeds to call her a fake. The play shows us this judgment of class through language at the Embassy Ball, which is a very high-class event and people are judged incredibly hard. If the movie were put in the setting of say a high school, you would find them similar. We don’t look at how people really are and judge the surface looks and sound rather what’s actually under the surface just as Higgin’s did with Eliza though he was too much more of an extent.

Language is a massive part of how we see people, add a few intelligent words to your vocabulary and you will sound much more intelligent sometimes even a different person. When I look at Eliza it made me realize how little the barrier can be between upper-class and lower-class people in looks and sound. The lower class may have less money compared to the upper class but could fit in just great if they spoke a little different and dressed in a suit or dress every day, then you wouldn’t be able to tell whatsoever who is lower and who is upper class. Just because someone speaks differently than what you are used to does not mean that they are incapable of anything you can do.

Act 3: A Dolls House PR

Ibsen’s a Doll’s House was not what I expected or was hoping for it to be. I was expecting a book showing women’s rights and feminist ideas being presented that was not very excepted at the time by society. I was thinking there would be a strong female with no choice but to behave in certain ways in order to get her there way but fight against this and become an individual. We only get this in the last ten pages of the book which originally confused me and frustrated me in a way. Throughout the majority of the book, we can see Nora behaving as if she was a child while being called names of a small frivolous figure such as “Little Songbird, Little Squirrel, Skylark and little dove.” We see Nora except these names, and it is incredibly frustrating to watch, I found the urge to just want her to stand up for herself and truly speak out of her own opinion. I did not understand why Ibsen didn’t write the play in order to show how strong Nora could be and how women should not be treated as pets and as people with the same feelings as men.

I disliked Nora’s character at the beginning of this book, but towards the end of Act three, her character began to make sense to me. At the beginning of the book, Nora’s spoiled attitude towards everything was annoying, for example when Mrs. Linde comes back into Nora’s life for the first time in years, she has had a rough ten years up to this point and explains it to Nora. Nora realizing this has an incredibly rude reaction, saying. “To be so utterly alone. What a heavy sadness that must be for you. I have three lovely children. Though you can’t see them at the moment, they’re out with their nanny. But now you must tell me everything.” (P. 116) This quote to me shows how clueless Nora is to how society is, she seems to think that everyone is just like her with plenty of money, kids, and a big warm house to live comfortably in with your family. She has been sheltered so much that these things do not occur to her in conversation and make her character come off as uneducated and ignorant. Ibsen Redeems Nora’s character in the book but does not do it until the last ten pages! Nora realizes after Torvald is finished being angry with her about the Loan that he is not the man that she in love with. She takes it into her own hands to then Leave her family and find herself in the world and how society actually is instead of living the masked version of life as she has been. This was the turning point in the book that I had been waiting for the whole time. Nora finally realizes the way she has been living and becomes an individual who makes her own decisions and this to me redeemed Nora’s character.

This book made me think about we as humans are able to make life barrable to continue waking up every day with something to work towards. Nora had no work to feel accomplished about or to work towards. Don’t get me wrong being a mother comes with lots of work on its own, but Nora did not do this work, the maids did the hard work of taking care of the kids. What I’m trying to say is, when a person is living comfortably with nothing to work towards since everything you have is fed to you, you begin to think about what your purpose is and what you are doing in life. Work is a necessary part of living it helps to have something to live for and a purpose. This reminds me of Brave new world in the sense that people cannot live a masked version of life constantly. Instead, they need to become conscious of what the real world is like, in Brave new world the people live constantly on the drug Soma just to consistently stay happy and not have worries about anything as if they were robots. Mrs. Linde also shows this when talking to Krogstad “I have to work if I am to endure this life. Every waking day, as far back as I can remember, I’ve worked and it’s been my only and greatest joy.” (P.167) Mrs. line needs work in order to survive and to her is her only joy. In order to stay content as a society, we need work to help motivate us to get up in the mornings and continue living.

The Merchant Of Venice, Does Money Corrupt Us?

Does money automatically corrupt us, is there a way to be wealthy/rich without changing for the money. Why does money tempt us to do things that we wouldn’t if it was not involved? How much control do we have over our own decisions with money implanted within our lives 24/7? Is it possible to stay the same person with a clear open mindset or do our minds become diluted with numbers and status? The Merchant of Venice’ has examples of this question throughout the book.

It is a well-known fact that people naturally change their behavior when put in certain situations, these situations could be from stress, popularity and of course what I will be talking about, MONEY. We see the theme of money and love being put together throughout this book and I found it interesting to see how much money meant, and what people would do for it. Bassanio gives an example of it almost immediately after getting engaged to Portia the wealthy beautiful princess. He says “When I told you My state was nothing, I should have told you that I was worse than nothing; for indeed I have Engaged myself to a dear friend, Engaged my friend to his mere enemy, To feed my means.”   (Act 3, Scene 2, L 256) Bassanio reveals that he is indeed in debt and needs help from Portia’s wealth. Portia’s wealth is the driving factor for Bassanio to make the trip to her in order to marry her so that he could use her wealth to solve his issues he has seemed to help stir up involving his dear friend Antonio. Bassanio changes for the money and in the long run, it almost ends up costing his friend’s life. This to me is Someone acting for someone they do not care much for in order to inhabit their riches which is changing for the money. In the merchant of Venice this act does not Completely corrupt Bassanio, but it seems to me as though he was spared.

Some people are not able to stay mentally sane with vast amounts of money. With money comes people and people bring issues, it seems harsh but, everyone has an opinion that they want to have heard. It’s a lot of work to try not to mess up anything and only do good things for people or whatever it is. Portia In this Play does seem to be able to handle her wealth mindfully and does not seem to do anything wrong, she seems like the perfect woman to marry for a man back then. But does Portia use her wealth for good or bad? When she goes to the trial to help Bassanio save his friend Antonio, she does end up proving Shylock’s wrong, who wants Antonio dead. But she does not only prove him wrong she destroys him by tearing away have of what he owns. Is this good or bad is a question I still ask. Should she have given shylock some mercy?

Money influences us inevitably it seems. Sometimes worse than others. The money will not always corrupt you but will raise new problems that will be needed to be solved. If the problems are not solved money can corrupt you. The difference between good and bad have a very fine line. It seems impossible to keep someone happy without keeping others angry just like shylock and Bassanio after the Trial.

 

 

 

Letter to Langston Hughes

Dear Langston Hughes

throughout reading some pieces of your work, I have enjoyed learning about your style of writing and the creative and impactful ways you link your work with other references. Compared to other poems your vocabulary that you use in your poems is mostly very simple and easy to understand, but yet you are still able to convey points with deep context behind them, the fact that you can do this to me is impressive compared to other poets who use vocabulary from space.

The poems that we have read convey passion through your writing about racism and justice. All the poems I found relate to chasing the dream of having freedom throughout the early 19 hundred’s as a black person. Although I did not experience the south or racism you do an amazing job of painting a picture for the reader when reading your poems.

One of the poems that stuck out to me that made me think was Dream Boogie, this poem shows how slavery was and how black people had no choice but to pretend to be happy or they would be in trouble as if they were dogs on a leash  

 

Listen to it closely:

aint you heard

something underneath

like a–

What did I say?

sure

I’m happy!

Take it away !

in-class we came to the conclusion that this represents a slave talking about something that may be a complaint. he then decides to act as though he did not say anything to avoid trouble. This shows the amount of power the white people had over the blacks, equality was far from existent and it’s hard to think about. Writing about this must have been hard having the feeling as though equality with people of color would never happen. Did you ever think that there would be? I wonder if you would be happy with how far society has gotten with equality or disappointed?

your poems mostly all have the similarity of justice and chasing the dream of equality and it is well conveyed and is impactful to read. thankyou for your writing and showing what the world should look like one day, hopefully without racism of people of a different colour.

 

 

 

 

Personal Response To Candide

Candide, by Voltaire, touches on the subject of happiness. We meet and follow characters who believe that happiness is always achievable and others who find it impossible to find. Wealth and society impact the way people look at happiness and if happiness even is achievable.

Society and wealth play a big role in how we interact with people we meet, and the people we know. Class and wealth can give a person power socially over a person with your average salary If they were in the same room together. This, therefore, leads us all to believe that becoming rich and upper class, will change us for the better or take care of all our problems. Voltaire’s Candide shows how money really is not everything there is to live and what we really need in life to be somewhat happy.

Class and wealth do not give you permanent happiness. As humans, we get bored of what we once were once driven to receive or see but soon want more, something bigger and better, just like a little kid and how they will get a new toy then need the newest one tomorrow. Most people I find know this is not true that wealth will fix your problems but, when they are put into the actual situation of being around or being offered large amounts of money, they’re way of thinking disappears and it’s all about the money, regular taking is thrown out the window caution doesn’t matter just the money. Money in Candide is everything, everyone wants it and is trying to gain more of it. Even within the book when Candide asks for a boat ride to Venice it costs him 10 thousand, the sailor realizes how easy it was to get the money out of Candide and asked for 20 thousand, then 30. Candide is desperate and forks over the money foolishly. The sailor then takes off before

Candide is even on the ship along with his money. Money can disappear quickly anyone can take it at any given moment in time. We see an example of this when Candide met the six dethroned kings. They may not be poor but are unhappy and tired. Once your class and wealth are gone it leaves you feeling like nothing since you have become used to these luxuries.

Money is still able to even bore someone, even if you have all the money and wealth you can become bored. For example (P 100) “Don’t you see that everything he poses disgusts him?” Martin replied “Plato said a long time ago that the best stomachs are not the ones that reject food” Martin is saying how people in need would beg to be in the situation that the man they have met is in, yet men like him become spoiled and don’t know what pleasure is anymore. Therefore, these kinds of people are the ones rejecting the food ignorantly.

Without struggle, humans will lose their perception of what makes them happy since they will have already been there done that if life was harmless and always happy. We need to feel sadness and struggle to keep life interesting. Without struggle or work, we end up having nothing to look forward to each day it all just becomes a blend of nothingness. towards the end of the book, Candide meets a gentleman who invites him into his house. The gentlemen explain how does not know about anything of what is going on around him and just focuses on his own life, minding his own business. (P.118) “work keeps three great evils at bay: boredom, vice and want” This man is perfectly happy as far as we can tell and just pays attention to taking care of himself while working away. This shows Candide and the readers how there can be happiness without ridiculous wealth and class.

Work keeps us content with how life may be going on around us. Without it, we would have nothing to work towards. It is a necessary part of our lives and we cannot just get rid of it by creating a utopia of some sort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antigone, “Who Is The Tragic Hero”

Sophocles’ Antigone focusses on the conflict between Creon a great almighty king, with all the power to do basically whatever wants. All of this against one willingly girl Antigone. Antigone’ is fighting for the “higher law “and does not abide or believe in Creon’s overpowering laws. Now, this issue of visibility in many examples of politics in history and modern-day history. There will always be the issue of someone having a higher bracket, influence, or just plain power over others.

For most people their preconceived idea of what a hero is our strong individual who overcomes a problem. Although the truth is heroes don’t always have to be courageous, strong, and always find justice. For example, Martin Luther King’ fought for black rights and got shot in the process, yet he still made a massive impact on society then and today.

when I read his play personally, I find it obvious who the hero could be yet still have trouble putting it into words. Mostly everyone in this play worships Creon because of fear. For example, at the beginning of the play (P1, L28) Ismene says “they mean a great deal to me, but I have no strength to break the laws made for the public good.” You can see in this quote how much Creon has almost brainwashed the public citizens. Everyone in they’re right mind would never question Creon’s laws, understandably.

Antigone to me in this play is immediately a hero in this play to me showing how she would rather die a martyr then ignore it.

“If you say so, you will make me hate you, and the hatred of the dead, by all rights, will haunt you night and day . But leave me to my own absurdity, leave me to suffer this dreadful thing. I will suffer nothing as great as death without glory.”  (Antigone P 64)

Antigone expresses through this quote how she feels it is more necessary to honor her brother, then to die without glory knowing what she could have done. The fact th=at she wet up against the insane law and fought for what she thought was right was very hero-like. maybe she didn’t get to carry on her life, but she died in glory as a martyr and stood up for hat she believes. I’m sure others in the city of Thebes realized how sickening the laws were. you can see the effect of Antigone’s decisions through the death of Eteocles and healed who both realized how cruel these laws were.

I believe Antigone was a strong individual who stood up for what she believed in until the very end as a tragic hero.