Professor Juniper Ellis
16 October 2013
The Times They Are a-Changin’
A reoccurring theme in Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s “Theology”, Countee Cullen’s “Tableau” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, is inequality. Both “Theology” and “Tableau” speak about a person who is African American and is being treated with inequality. “Theology” speaks about a person who is a slave and is talking about his neighbors who he does not explicitly say are white. In “Tableau” it speaks about how people view a young black boy and a young white boy who are good friends. Throughout the era in which “Theology” and “Tableau” were written, inequality and slavery played an enormous role in day to day life.
In Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s “Theology”, the speaker is giving the reader a firsthand view from the perspective of a slave. He discusses the possibility of a “heaven” and a “hell”. The speaker says “There is a hell, I’m quite as sure; for pray, If there were not, where would my neighbors go?” The speaker is describing his hate and hostility towards his neighbor and how he knows that they are going to hell for what they have done. The speaker shows a sense of longing for equality with his neighbors.
In Countee Cullen’s “Tableau” It describes a friendship between two young boys that people think should not be. The poem starts with “Locked arm in arm they cross the way, The black boy and the white”. They already have shown inequality be describing race. The speaker goes on to say “From lowered blinds the dark folk stare”, which shows that the people who are not approving of this friendship are in fact the African American community. It shows that the African American community still had animosity towards white people especially since segregation played a major role in the south during the early 1900’s. The speaker discusses how the two young kids were “Oblivious to look and word they pass, and see no wonder”. It shows that they young kids saw nothing wrong with what they were doing and how their friendship was important to them.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the monster that was created felt out of place. He explained to Viktor how he felt like he did not belong in this world and how he was confused about whom he was. The speaker wanted the readers to feel bad for the monster and to feel his pain of not being equal. It shows how not being equal affects the monster. All the monster wanted was to feel a sense of comfort and to know that he belonged.
I attended a speech about the Messina project. A topic the resonated throughout the speakers there was equality. They spoke about the Jesuit education and how it aims to educate the whole body. It gives each student an equal opportunity to better their education and to further their knowledge of themselves and the world around them. I feel this is important for everyone to have an equal opportunity of education and for each person to receive the same treatment.
The overall theme was equality. In today’s world equality is still important factor in life and I think should continue being important. People are created equal and therefore should be treated equal.