Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Event Analysis 4

Patrick Donohue
Dr. Ellis
Understanding Literature
16 October 2013

Searching For Acceptance
The works of Shelly, Dunbar and Cullen although of different time periods and inspirations portray the same ideal.  “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley involves a monster searching for acceptance of other humans and to find a home.  “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar is an epigram, short in nature, is written about the contrasting ideas of heaven and hell.  And finally the work of Countee Cullen “Tableau” depicts two boys walking together, one white the other black, in time of segregation in the United States.  All the above poems and novel encompass the idea that the characters are searching for equality and acceptance of their peers and those in society
The first work “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley depicts a young man who attends the University of Ingolstadt, where he becomes infatuated with the idea of life and creation. He goes into seclusion and creates a monster.  This monster then runs away out of fright.  The novel goes onto follow the main protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, for several more months.  The reader later learns of the story of the monster and his search for acceptance.  The monster is unable to find human company because of his freakish nature.  Individuals run from him in fright.  The monsters strive for acceptance knows no bounds where he quickly begins to try to assimilate as best as possible into society.  He knows the best way to do this is learn how to communicate with others.  He spends his time outside a cabin where he can listen to others speak.  Through learning of language he finds that the family has troubles with money, grateful that the monster was able to learn language he tries as best he can to help the family out.  The monster states “ I thought (foolish wretch!) that it might be in in my power to restore happiness to these deserving people.”(Shelley 95)  The Monster’s strive for knowledge and acceptance is evident in his actions of helping the cottagers. 
“Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a short poem known as an epigram.  The poems gives one idea and halfway through switches to an opposing idea.  The speaker of the poem explains how there must be a heaven as his soul tells him.  The speaker implies that he is surrounded by evil by the lines “There is a hell, I’m quite sure; for pray, If there were not, where would my neighbors go?”(Dunbar 252) The speaker is expressing the idea of acceptance of others.  He must tell himself there is a Heaven; a heaven he knows must be there.  He wishes for a heaven to be there, for after his death he will again be apart of something and be accepted unlike his neighbors who he implies must have gone to hell. 
The final work “Tableau” by Countee Cullen depicts two boys walking down a street in unison.  The boys walk together and from either side receive glares from both white and dark persons.  The speaker of the poem gives a depiction of what the future should be like.  The line “ They pass, and see no wonder/ That lightning brilliant as a sword/ should blaze the path of thunder.”
(Cullen 489)  The speaker relates the two boys walking together as this great big lightning strike that will pave the future for both persons of black and white.  The boys receive stares, but do not care as they walk along the street.  These two boys depicted in this poem is a pure example of strive that individuals expressed for equality and acceptance in society for the black community during the first half of the 20th century. 
The event that I attended last week was a lecture given by a guest speaker John O’Malley, SJ.  The presentation was geared toward the first-year class and was intended to explain the reasoning behind the first-year program, Messina.  Fr. O’Malley spoke of the historical background of the Society of Jesus and he gave reasoning behind why the name of Messina fit so well with the program.  Messina was the first school that the Jesuits funded and provided a different type of education known as humanistic education. 
All of these above works can be seen as a yearning for acceptance in society.  Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” portrays a monster searching to become part of society but it is society that is not ready to see him as equal.  Countee Cullen’s poem shows that equality is achievable through ignoring past notion of societal norms.  And in “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar the speaker wishes to be accepted into Heaven and not into Hell as his neighbors before him had most likely gone. 

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York, New York: New American Library, 1963. Print.
 Cullen, Countee. Poetry: An Introduction.  Ed. Michael Meyer.
Boston-New York: BedFord/ St. Martins. 2013. 489. Print.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Poetry: An Introduction.  Ed. Michael Meyer.

Boston-New York: BedFord/ St. Martins. 2013. 489. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment