The story from Equiano was sad, yet had a good ending. Through all of the changes he
faced, most of them horrible, he managed to learn a lot from them. When he is
kidnapped everything he knew as his reality changed into something he had never
thought to endure. Several times he compared the way of life from his present places
to the place he knew as home, Eboe. I can only imagine the difficulty of living out
his life after being treated differently and inhumane during his time of captivity.
However, he may have thought it somewhat worth it in the end because through his
travels and torture, his life changed. In the end, (pages 96,97), he tells of some of the
new things he experienced. He saw snow for the first time. He also found his love of
books when he saw his master and Dick reading. That moment, those books, began
his journey to education and not only learning to write, but becoming a wellestablished and eventually well respected writer. I learned from his story that even
though some things we face are so difficult to endure, some of our worse times can
often change who we are for the best. I believe that may be the point he is trying to
get out to his reader.
Ode on Imitations of Immortality
In this text, Wordsworth is describing the change in becoming an adult from
childhood. One part I found very interesting is lines 107 and 108. “as if his whole
vocation were endless imitation”. The word I pick out of that is “imitation”. Our
children are innocent at birth. They do not know right from wrong. However, they
learn by what they see. I have personally experienced this with my own children.
They are quicker to imitate what they see going on rather than to do what they are
told when I talk to them about things. The changes in their lives and who they
become are greatly influenced by what they see in the adults who are around, because
they will imitate those behaviors, morals, etc.
He also mentions in lines 182-185 that we cannot get back those moments we have
left behind. The innocence of our childhood, or any other moments we had growing
up. However, we can draw strength from the things we have learned throughout our
lives. I believe he wants us to t,kwf0hink about our childhood and the changes we
have experienced while growing up. Maybe he even wants us to analyze it and draw
strength from the changes we have endured.
The World is Too Much with Us
I am having a hard time fully understanding this text. However, the part that jumps
out to me regarding change is found in lines 7 and 8. He refers to people (I think) as
sleeping flowers and says we are out of tune. I think what he is saying is that other
things took over human minds and they left behind the more important things.
I had a hard time with this one too trying to determine the relation to change.
However, I think he is suggesting that his love for his lady, is as unchangeable as the
star in the sky. In line 9, he mentions that (as far as I understand) the stars gaze is
“still steadfast, still unchangeable”. Maybe his poem is more so speaking of
unchangeable love rather than changes taking place.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
I believe in this text, Keats is showing us the changing of times through an artistic
point of view. Looking at the picture on the urn he sees a story rather than just a
picture that he describes in such detail. He describes in part IV that those times are
gone. In lines 37-40, he talks about how the town and streets will be silent and that it
can never return. I believe he is curious. He wants to know more about the times
surrounding the moment captured in the art. However, even art leaves more
questions than answers about the historical moments we want to capture.
Equiano prefaces “From the Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah” with a
sincere letter addressing the Lords and Gentlemen of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal of the Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain. In his letter he explains
that the miseries of the slave trade should one day be reconsidered. Through his
acquired education of the written word, he takes us through the many hardships and
cruelty that he himself was subjected to and some of what he witnessed others
endure. He pleads for “the God of heaven to inspire your heart with peculiar
benevolence on that important day when the question of Abolition is to be discussed,
when thousands, in consequence of your Determination, are to look for Happiness or
Misery!” He pleads for change, to end the unnecessary suffering. Specifically, in
chapter II he gives just one example of the added suffering the slaves are subjected to
by being separated from their families and loved ones. He brings light to the fact that
this separation just “aggravates the distress and adds horrors even to the wretchedness
of slavery.” He hopes that future changes would inflict less suffering on those bound
Wordsworth’s sonnet “The World is Too Much With Us” is pointing out the
deterioration of the day’s priorities and the lack of connection with nature. He
believes that people have exchanged their hearts for money and material things. He
wrote “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” Meaning they spent too
much time working and acquiring “things” and not enough time appreciating the
importance of nature and people. Similarly, in “Ode on Intimations of
Immortality” Wordsworth expresses his concerns that as our youth grow older they
lose sight of the important things in life. “At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day” speaks of once youth is gone and he grows
into manhood, the true beauty and meaning of life is lost.
In Keats’ “Bright Star” he speaks of his comparison of the reliable beauty of stars in
the night sky, the oceans and the various beauties found in nature with his longing of
a steady lasting feeling and companionship with his love. He prefers to “Awaken
forever in a sweet unrest” “or else swoon to death.” In his work, “Ode on a Grecian
Urn” he reflects on the scenes upon an urn, and how they are forever frozen in time.
The lovers will not grow old, they are forever in their youth, pictured in the bliss of
that moment in time. Keat is suggesting that we should cherish the important things
in life, such as love and nature while we can. In today’s terms the message here would
be to “take time to smell the roses before it’s too late.”
There is somewhat of a common thread in all of these works. The writters are each
hoping for change, a better quality of life for future generations.
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