Thanksgiving makes me feel warm. When family comes around you get into a positive mood because you know you are about to be surrounded by people you love. Sometimes you can feel isolated and lonely because all your family members are busy working, and you do not hang around as much as when you were kids. That’s what makes holiday breaks so great. A chance to eat some homemade food that you know your aunty put her all into and crack jokes with your favorite uncle. It’s these special moments that lift you up and keep you going.
Thanksgiving as a kid meant eating turkey and learning about Native Americans sharing a meal with Pilgrims, but now as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that not just that simple. The basis of this holiday brings up centuries-old unhealed wounds for many people on this land. Spending time with your family is great, but it is important that we remember, listen to, and uplift our indigenous people during celebrations with this kind of deep negative meaning behind it. We as citizens may not be able to make much change, but we can show our deepest regrets and appreciations for those who deserve it.
I would describe my body of work this semester as a challenge I needed. Whether, it was a success or a failure, it was something I know I will grow from. What stands out to me is my actual interest in these stories. I found myself able to relate to a few characters and authors we read about. The characters and I do not have the exact same lives or upbringings, but there were some events that happened in their lives that reminded me I experienced something similar. The feminist stories where something that naturally stood out to me being that I share a common interest. Though I feel like my writing skills may not have progressed, I have discovered new writing styles that I can use to practice bettering my skills. I realized that I like creative writings like scripts and poems more than formal writing like research essays. My journey over these 15 weeks has been daring and eye-opening.
The erasure poem is the piece I’m most proud of. Its the first time I’ve expressed the personal issues I go through publicly. Although the poem may be hard to understand, I know what it means to me and how good it felt to put those emotions into writing. My experience while crafting the poem was liberating and meaningful. I gathered words that I knew explained my journey best, and the poem developed into something that made it easy for me to share.
This semester I can say I struggle with time management. Between work and school there was a unbalanced distribution of my time. My hardest class was public speaking. The work wasn’t necessarily difficult, but it was the fear of presenting that really affected me. I felt like my anxiety would take over and I couldn’t produce the high quality performance that I would have liked to and know that I was capable of doing.
Overall, this class and this semester was an experience worth having. I interacted with people, which hasn’t happened a lot since covid, and I engaged in my classes to the best of my ability. I will always constantly try to push myself. Life isn’t an easy road but its still a road worth taking.
Marriage proposals are big moments in people’s lives but can be loosely used. People are often blinded by the emotions that come with first getting to know somebody that forget that they do not fully know them enough to spend the rest of their lives together. In the case of “The marriage proposal” by Chekov, the Lomov wants to propose to a woman that he clearly does not agree with. Not only do they not agree but the women he wants to propose to clearly has no regard for his heart condition. While he is weeping in pain, she continues to argue with him knowing that the stress of the argument is triggering his pain. It makes you question why he is so excited to propose to her when he knows that she does not care for him. The other character, Natayla also knows that she cannot get along with someone who is allegedly calling her a lair but when she hears word of him wanting to propose she quickly is regretting her statements towards him so he can continue with the proposal. This play shows that proposals can be theatrical with no true meaning or desire behind the intent of marriage. Proposals like this are still present in today’s times. People propose from pressure, fear, and validations of one’s ego.
There is a lack of morals in this play. All the characters are hurt people looking for validation from the same system that hurt them. They are worried about being “team players” when the team they are playing for will never honor them if they win. This play does not depict morals criticisms rather, it rattles the emotions of people who feel undervalued and appreciated. It will make ignore those feelings and bend to the command of the oppressor.
“Mine eyes have seen” by Alice Dunbar Nelson shows how easily you can manipulate a person’s way of thinking. How you can convince someone that your way of seeing things is the right way. In the play Dan believes that America does not deserve his service and his brother Chris is trying to convince him that his fight is to make black people in America look good. But what does impressing people matter when you are looked as less than human? It shows how fragile the human brain is and how we can become delusional.
I define the story of Frankenstein and his creation as possibly reflecting criticism of how slaves were treated. Frankenstein knew the body parts of the corpses were dead, yet he still knew he could bring them back to life. They considered slaves as not humans, yet they had them doing human labor. Something you could not get any other living thing to do the way a HUMAN would understand to do. Calling slaves unhuman was their way of offsetting the guilt and the inhumanness they knew they were doing to slaves. In the book it explained that the monster learned how to read, write, and communicate. With that came the development of thoughts, emotions, and desires for the monster. This explains why slave masters did not want slaves to read and write because they did not want them to be able to think and form opinions for themselves like thoughts of liberation and freedom.
The people in the book did not want to bother with the monster because of the way he looked. It reflects the discrimination slaves endured because of their skin color and being called non-human. The blind character in the book spoke with the monster because he had nothing to judge him by, being that he could not see. The monsters killing reflect the pain that slaves went through. Because of how the author was described as someone who opposed slavery, the book reflects how people mistreated and degraded other humans (slaves) for the selfish benefit of themselves and for the fact of just being evil.
In “THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO SAY PHOENIX, ARIZONA” by Sherman Alexie, Victor does not have a job and must rely on counsel for the little funding they have. The counsel not having the funding shows how much his native tribe is dealing with lack of fun to maintain native traditions. It messes with his identity because he cannot provide his father with a proper ceremony due to lack of funds. The people in victors’ life must deal with their traditions being stripped away from them by colonialization. This can cause substance abuse to cope with and further divide families.
In Higuchi Ichiyo’s story “The Thirteenth Night” the female characters represent the lives of women in Japan from the time period Higuchi Ichiyo lived in. The story shows how at the time, education was not prioritized for women and that women’s lives were centered around the needs of men. In the story female character, Oseki represents a woman who in those times would want to value her happiness over the necessity to stay with her husband for financial reasons. A woman who had to endure the rife of her husband in order to stay in her child’s life. A time when women had zero say in the development of themselves financially, as individual or as a creative.
In those times women were seen as only mothers and wives. They were deemed to have zero value outside of that. They did not have much power but some rebel by vocalizing their distaste for these society norms. In the story Oseki’s mother represents women from those times who were fed up with the way men were allowed to treat women and Oseki’s mother was willing to leave everything that Oseki’s husband provided for the family behind to save her daughter from unhappiness.
When Oseki met Roku again it reminded her of the fair life she once imagined having with Roku. She could have had a life where she could bond with someone without feeling inferior. Her relationship with her husband shows that because she came from an unwealthy family, and she was undereducated it caused her to struggle to keep up with her husband’s lifestyle. It made her feel left out in settings where he socialized with his friends and their wives. It made it hard to retain her husband’s desire for her. That allowed her husband to unfairly loathe and bully her repeatedly. With the benefits she received from her husband toward caring for her family, she knows she cannot stand up for herself or she will fail her family. Oseki is constantly battling being poor or remaining supported finically by her belittling husband. She feels trapped and devalued in her relationship. I feel like Oseki realized that wealth does not equate to happiness. In a Marxist theory view Oseki learned that she became his wife to serve him and not to be his loving partner, and if she married in her class, she might not have necessarily felt that way.
The race of the writer will always matter when the narrative deals with the issue of race. The reader must know the race of the writer in order to understand the perspective of the writing. Readers need to know if the writing comes from a place of experience or from one’s assumption of how the issue of race may have gone. The details of someone’s experience with racial issues will always be more meaningful than from someone else’s view on it. The person writing from an outside looking in view may downplay the profundity of the issue of race. There is an exception if learning and teaching about race issues is your life’s work. If you’ve spent years studying and interviewing people so that you can bring their experiences to an audience because it is hard for their voices to be heard, then I think that it is plausible. I believe that is the impact Kate Chopin has had with her writings. Bringing the voice of minorities as well as her own to the forefront.
I think writing can still be a viable means of activism but it won’t be the most used because of today’s advancement in technology such as social media. We live in a very fast paced society where we can gather information quickly without having to read as much. We also live in a time where most people are in a rush with little freetime. With activism, the goal is to reach as many people as possible, so an activist knows that a one minute video clip or news report is going to attract people more than a writing piece will. Marches can also be more effective because it grabs a lot of attention and sends a strong message. An example is the impact of the George Floyd protest and how the protests really helped bring justice to him being how massive those marches were. Marches also draw more fear to leaders because those leaders see the amount of people fighting for their rights and threaten their power. I think writing is a cherishable element of activism and liberation but wont grab an audience in today’s society the way other new outlets will.