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The Values of Old
Books and stories can reveal much about the author who wrote them and the period at which they lived. Whether it be their dialect or actions, characters tend to reflect how people were during that time. In the poem Beowulf, one can learn the values of the Anglo-Saxon society. For example, the main hero Beowulf and others show strong characteristics of bravery, loyalty, and faithfulness to God.
Punitive Parallels — The Genocide of Neighbors
The world has witnessed many atrocities... some worse than others. The Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust are two of the most horrific and devastating. These two acts of genocide differed in the manners by which the killings were accomplished and because of the ideologies motivating the factions. The Germans were obsessed with ridding the earth of what they believed to be substandard humans. The Hutus were out for revenge (Lemarchand). No matter the situation, the overwhelming victimization of cultures ties these events together. Although the details of the genocides do not mirror one another, each were backed by political interests with the intention to dehumanize and completely wipe out a specific group of people.
As Madness Grows, The Death Bell Ever Tolls
Hamlet, like many of Shakespeare’s notable plays, is a classic tragedy, intertwined with death and darkness. In The Embassy of Death: An Essay on Hamlet, G. Wilson Knight claims that the main theme of this somber story is death, demonstrated by “subsidiary incidents, persons, and detailed suggestion throughout.” Knight highlights this, citing the actions and characteristics of Hamlet and Claudius.
Monster or Misconstrued Mate
In Milhauser’s criticism of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he provides evidence of the literary description of the noble savage. Milhauser believed that a reader's first thoughts about the book would be that it was a supernatural horror story, filled with Shelley’s “macabre and pseudo-scientific sensationalism.” Once the audience took more time to consider the actions and plotlines, they would see how deep each character really is and what he or she represents.
Hysterika on the Run
“All and all it’s just another brick in the wall” (Waters). For every burdensome thought or idea that weighs on one’s shoulders, the mind adds another brick to its wall of defenses. Mental illnesses manifest themselves in many ways. The mind tries to protect itself against undesirable thoughts. More often than not this onslaught of thoughts becomes too much for the mind and its walls come crumbling down. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” loses this decisive battle within her subconscious. When applying a psychoanalytic lens to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator’s mental issues become evident, and her delusions can be explained by theories on psychological projection, postpartum depression, and early misconstrued beliefs pertaining to women’s mental illnesses and treatments.
An American Dream
I looked around the nice restaurant. There were not many people here, just a few couples scattered around the room immersed in their own conversations. I could not remember the last time I had been in a city bigger than my hometown. My cousin, Christina, had moved to New York City a few years back. I rarely left my small home in rural Massachusetts. She convinced me to come and visit her. When I arrived, and we had caught up with each other; Christina told me that she knew a man that I should meet. I was not too anxious to meet a man. I had some unsavory encounters in the past. She believed that I was too shy. To make her happy I agreed to go on the blind date. Christina told me that he was a poet and that she had met him at one of his readings. I guessed that since he wrote, too, at least we would have something to talk about.
Indentured: Trapped In Chains
Throughout history, there has always been a "master" and "slave." This is present in all walks of life, for example, the Russian boyars and serfs, the French bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and the American plantation owners and their African slaves. Comparably, the American colonists could be considered slaves to the British Monarchy, their master. In the musical Hamilton, Miranda’s choice of actors, with the Founding Fathers as people of color and King George as white, brings to light the struggle the colonists faced against Britain, the fight to establish their rights, and the uphill battle toward independence.