Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" Wright

This was certainly an interesting story to read about the personal struggles of Richard during younger years. These types stories are difficult for me to read because for some reason I just can't seem to imagine how the white folks back then could have really acted that way an been able to feel good about themselves. Richard learned some valuable lessons about Jim Crow laws and he was probably lucky in someways not to be hurt worse or even lynched by some of those morons he worked around. I admired the fact that he was able to keep his composure during those difficult situations he faced. I thought it was interesting how the black folks in his communities seem okay with the status quo and Richard just couldn't believe the things he saw or experienced himself. I can appreciate Richards desire to educate himself through constant reading and he was lucky to befriend a white guy who was willing to let him use a library card. What was interesting was the part about subjects that were taboo from the white man's point of view. Sadly, all these years later some of those same subjects are still taboo to a white man's point of view because of narrow minded thinking.

"Sweat" Hurston

An interesting read despite the dialect was difficult to understand at times. It's ashamed that Delia was married to such a a-hole, but I guess that's just the way it is sometimes in marriages. She clearly was a hardworking lady who was proud of her home an the fact that she earned it honestly. Apparently there were no children involved because there was no mention of others in the household. It took a great deal of courage for her to finally stand up to Sykes after all the abuse for so many years. She must have been respected by others in the community because they felt bad for her being married to such a sorry individual who must have been like a hustler or roughneck of some sort because he never earned an honest living. I imagine he had several affairs with other women during those 15 years and I think the story made some references towards that too. I know it must have been difficult for Sykes from a pride perspective that his wife earned a living from washing clothes for white folks, but at least it put food on the table. That was just low down with him bringing a rattlesnake in the house knowing how much they scared her. She should have probably just bowed up an just whooped the piss out of him somehow many years earlier.Good for her that she ran him off at the end because she clearly deserved better. There is just no excuse for domestic violence no matter the circumstances.

Langston Hughes

He was a very interesting poet because he seemed to be diverse in his writing styles with the ability to connect with a variety of readers. It was clear he was a talented writer able to write some creative works like some in the form of ballads or songs. I didn't know he was so beloved, but after reading his works I can understand why even though the extreme right wing groups didn't approve of his work. I can understand how his critics would consider his works to be filled with racial aggression; therefore like his peers I think he was just writing with the same purpose as his fellow black poets in hopes exposing the political and social injustices that the black Americans had experienced for so many years. After all during his lifetime American went through some dramatic political and social changes for most everyone regardless of race or ethnic background. Even though it wasn't one of the readings assigned I thought "Let America Be America Again" was inspiring kind of poem.

Claude McKay

After reading his works it felt like most of the poems were written based on race relations in America especially because of the race riots in Harlem. I don't think he was writing with the pure intent of hatred toward whites, but for equality for Black Americans. Even though slavery was long since over during this time of course there was still a great deal of oppression in the black communities. It seemed like the mission of his works were to inspire the black Americans not to give up and succumb to the white man's ways without a fight in hopes that one day justice and equality will come for them. I suppose "Look Within" was probably the one that I liked the best because it was a terrible situation for the young black men who were asked to go fight in WWII to help free the nations of Europe from Hitler's tyranny only to come home to oppression themselves. After all they were fighting for a country which at that time didn't allow them a proper sense of justice and prosperity as citizens upon there return home.

James Weldon Johnson

Weldon appeared to be a religious individual I thought from the tone of his works. In "O Black and Unknown Bards" I thought he was not only displaying religious aspects, but perhaps recollecting the sacrifices his slave ancestors made for him and other fellow African Americans. I thought this poem was his way of paying respect to slave ancestors especially when he mentioned the old slave song "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" which to my understanding was a traditional slave song. The best line I thought was when he said "O black slave singers, gone, forgot, unfamed, You-you alone, of all the long, long line Of those who've sung untaught, unknown, unnamed, Have stretched out upward, seeking the divene".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wallace Stevens

He was an interesting poet because he used an expanded amount of vocabulary and precision in writing his poems. During my research project I learned that according to his critics sometimes he was considered a difficult poet. One interesting thing I learned that about him was that poetry was more less a hobby than a profession because he actually was an insurance executive. He basically wrote poems just for enjoyment not realizing he would be able to make some money.He was already consistently good writer it just wasn't his primary job. His poems were unique some were rather crazy as well as charming and entertaining. Some of his critics believed he also tended to push the envelop a bit with some of the subjects he wrote about.

Robert Frost

Out of the selections from Frost I like "The Need to be Versed in Country Things" the best. I think it sent a message that despite the fact that their burned they still had each other and they would simply rebuild. I also thought there was some comparison's of how nature rebuilds and comes back stronger despite hard times. Even though it hard to get over a fire burning down your home you still have to move on and put the pieces back together and be thankful for friends and family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

This was an interesting yet kind of weird story, but Faulkner new what he was doing I'm sure. Apparently, the people in Emily's community thought both her and the family were kind of strange in the way they conducted themselves in society. She must have been lonely I'm sure since no one wanted to associate with her except her hired hand. I never was quite sure about Homer Barron that was a bizarre situation I mean were they married or not and did he perhaps die in the bed. She would grow old, but how long did Homer really live who knows maybe when he passed she just left the body in bed for some extensive and perhaps the smell is what made people want her gone. A truly sad story of a women who was so lonely and probably insane too what a miserable life that would be for someone to experience.

"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway

Interesting story looks like Hemingway was at it again with delivering another good one. At first I wasn't sure which direction the story going, but as the story progressed I understood the message more clearly.I'm not sure if I had the correct idea about what was happening, but it seems with the references to the bead curtain they may have been at some kind of place where abortions are performed. In the conversation between the two I gathered that maybe she has become pregant and perhaps he is trying to convince her that a child would interfer with their travels, but he did say he would support her if though it probably wasn't sincere. I guess with the train leaving shortly she had a difficult decision to make, but I'm sure she grew up some in the process.