Langston Hughes Thank You, Mám displays to us a unique interaction between a lady and a young boy who attempted to steal her purse. Hughes shows us a rather different reaction that centralizes around the sympathy for the character stealing the purse, rather than the lady being robbed. In Richard Hague’s Directions for Resisting the SAT’s a stronger meaning is embedded in the poem than what the title may suggest. Hague informs us that one test does not necessarily define you as a person, and you are always free to be whatever or whoever you choose. Gary Gildner’s First Practice conveys to us the dialogue from a coach who is striving to get the most out of his team and see them perform at their full potential. These three works of literature all orbit around the central idea of looking out for another person and trying to get the best out of each individual. These works of literature each preach to us to be the best that we can be and that we all need guidance along the way to achieve this.
“I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son- Neither tell God, if he didn’t already know,” is the line that best depicts how this relation works due to the fact that the lady has been in the exact situation as the boy (Hughes 508). This relationship of having been in his shoes makes the reader understand why the lady is doing this for the boy and how the boy now sees her as a role model. This puts emphasis on the central theme of all three works of literature. The lady is trying to get the best person out of the boy by letting him know that he does not have to live this way and that she has done some bad things in her life but has ultimately changed to become who she is today. After learning this information about the ladies past, the reader learns why lady is doing what she is doing and can infer that perhaps someone did the same thing to her when she was young. Hughes poem tells us that sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction, from the correct person in order to change your life.
Rich Hague’s poem Directions for Resisting the SAT’s is another work of literature that revolves around the theme of helping others. In this poem Hague tells us to “Follow no directions, Listen to no one. Make your mark on everything.” Ultimately Hague is taking the pressure off this test and letting us know that one test does not decide your life. You still have a chance to make your mark on the world despite the outcome of this test. Hague tells us to get rid of everything we think we know, and that just being ourselves is enough in this world.
Gary Gildner’s poem First Practice displays the dialogue from a coach to his players. Once again it is an example of someone that is seen as a role model, trying to get the best results out of others. Gildner builds up the credentials and intimidation factor in the first stanza which allows us to see how much the man is looked up to and what makes him a viable role model. Ultimately the coach’s true desire is to help motivate these kids to achieve their goals.
The theme of these three works of literature that relate to the idea of helping other people tie into the event I went to last week, which was the Colin Powell Hanway Lecture. In this lecture General Powell discussed our need to continue to help each other and the need to look out for all people in this country. This includes making healthcare available to all people and that no one should be denied healthcare. While he said that we may all have varying opinions on “Obamacare”, universal healthcare is an important step that this nation must take in order to help those less fortunate than us. General Powell also stressed the importance of the government’s duty to look out for the American people and the disgrace of not being able to pass a budget. This does not help the American people which is what our elected officials were put in office to do. Ultimately, General Powell’s lecture best connects with the idea of “being yourself” in Hague’s poem, when the General quotes “Find something you love. Do it well. Find satisfaction every single day”.