Forum post replies

Anonymous
timer Asked: Feb 5th, 2019
account_balance_wallet $10

Question Description

Answer them as if you were me. Each must be at least 150 words and cite work if need be.

1. Jill

Part 1: Take a look at the Literary Timeline in Lessons. Choose any work that we have read in this class and examine some of the historical events preceding its publication, according to the timeline. Discuss how one or more historical event that takes place no more than 20 years before the publication of the work might be seen as influencing the theme or overall message of the work.

The literary work that I chose was Langston Hughes’s poem “The Negros Speak of Rivers”. The historical event that precedes this poem was the Chicago Race Riots of 1919. This 1921 poem was influenced by the oppression and violence that white Americans inflicted upon African Americans. The catalyst for the Chicago race riots was due to a drowning in Lake Michigan. A group of black young men were swimming in the lake and a white man was throwing rocks at them. One of the black men was stoned by a white man because the black man was swimming on the white side of the unofficially segregated Lake Michigan. The chaos and violence that ensued lasted for days and many whites and blacks died. That summer was nick named “the Red Summer”. Voogd writes “during the early decades of the 20th century, and particularly the Red Summer of 1919, race riots most often were events in which white mobs inflicted violence on a group of black people” (13). The poem “The Negros Speak of Rivers”, was written two years after the riots, while America was still dealing with civil unrest. The theme of the poem is the symbolic use of water to represent African civilization from the beginning of time to present time. The author writes “I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.” The writer goes on to describe the centuries long journey of Africans from the Euphrates all the way to slaveries in Louisiana. The journey is humbling. I think that the historical event of the racial unrest and violence inspired Hughes to write this sobering poem about the African heritage.

Reference

Voogd, Jan. Race Riots and Resistance: the Red summer of 1919. Vol. 18. Peter Lang, 2008. books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=3DI4Wi4aL4IC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=red+summer+race+riot&ots=mLeImETi6s&sig=xanm5qIJNbB4rdsGv-rqEBOl3Io#v=snippet&q=white%20mobs&f=false

y worked throughout Central America as a writer. Having been in contact with Booker T. Washington, he made his way into the United States in 1919 and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

Part 2: "Yet Do I Marvel" contains many classical references. Look up the meaning of one of them. Explain what that reference contributes to your understanding of the poem. How does it relate to the overall message?

The classical reference in “Yet Do I Marvel” that interested me was the mention of the Greek character, Tantalus. Tantalus was a son of the Greek God, Zeus. Tantalus is described as spending eternity “standing neck deep in a pool of water which ever receded as he sought to drink, while a wind tossed out of his reach the fruits that hung above his head” (Bunker, 159). In other words, Tantalus was being tortured for eternity by being teased by food and water and is never able to reach it. Cullen writes “Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus is baited by the fickle fruit”, meaning “God, explain to me why you would allow Tantalus to be tortured”. The speaker wants an answer. After reading the whole poem and going back to Tantalus, this sentence takes on a meaning of a mystery of why this black poet is given such a gift for writing but feels held back by the racial inequalities of the time period. Cullen writes “Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing”. There were limited opportunities for African American’s and Cullen likely felt disadvantaged. He likely felt shocked by a God who would give the gift of writing, but make it difficult to execute.

Reference

Bunker, Henry Alden. "Tantalus: A Preoedipal Figure of Myth." The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 22.2 (1953): 159-173.

Part 3: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" also connects a people to a symbol that is timeless and 'of the earth'. This is not the first work we've seen that discusses rivers. Water is a symbol in many works. Discuss how it appears in Hughes's poem and in two other works we've read this term; what does water seem to represent in these works?

The “Negro Speaks of Rivers” is a poem that speaks to the history and soul of people of African ancestry. Hughes is speaking in first person about the African people. He is reminiscing on rivers that are old as the world and old as the flow of blood in human veins. The rivers in this context symbolize the souls of the African people. The writer is telling us the heritage of African people extending all the way back to the beginning of time. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers” writes Hughes. The African peoples’ souls are as old and deep as the water they traveled on.

The rest of the poem describes the journey that Africans made all the way to American civilization. He “bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young” (the beginning of time). He “built a hut near the Congo and the river lulled him to sleep”. Built pyramids in ancient Egyptian times. The people witnessed Abe Lincoln watch as slaves were being bought and sold on the Mississippi. The rivers (souls) have been present for centuries and throughout all of African history.

Water represents naturalism and tragedy in the story “The Open Boat”. In “The Open Boat”, the water (environment) controls the four men in the boat. No matter what they did, they were powerless in the storm. Crane writes:

A particular danger of the sea is the fact that after successfully getting through one wave, you discover that there is another behind it. The next wave is just as nervously anxious and purposeful to overturn boats. As each gray wall of water approached, it shut all else from the view of the men in the boat. It was not difficult to imagine that this particular wave was the final outburst of the ocean, the last effort of the determined water. (2)

Water is the enemy and completely controlling the boat and the men’s lives.

Water, snow, and ice are represented in the form of naturalism in the story “To Build a Fire”. A man sets off on a journey to meet up with a group of men on the Yukon Trail in 50 below zero weather. The man is a newcomer and not used to the Yukon winters. The water becomes a character when we learn that there are hidden springs bubbling out of the hillsides that are hidden by snow. This creates a hazard to people traveling because they can fall in and succumb to hypothermia. The story reads “He knew that the coldest snaps never froze these springs, and he knew likewise their danger. They were traps. They hid pools of water under the snow that might be three inches deep, or three feet” (London, 4). The naturalism shown in this story shows the struggle for survival against the natural force of water (snow, ice, water) which causes the main character to react.


2. Matthew

Part 1: Take a look at the Literary Timeline in Lessons. Choose any work that we have read in this class and examine some of the historical events preceding its publication, according to the timeline. Discuss how one or more historical event that takes place no more than 20 years before the publication of the work might be seen as influencing the theme or overall message of the work.

The poem I want to use to discuss a historical event is “I, Too” by Langston Hughes which was published in 1926. The event that can be used as influencing the theme is The Chicago Race Riot of 1919. In the Poem, “I, Too”, it focuses on African American Identity within a predominantly white culture that was in America. The Chicago Race riots focused on the unofficial segregation of Chicago’s beaches which only made the African American Identity and even stronger point in the poem. The poem shows a very positive note that the speaker is not upset when getting sent to the kitchen, but only uses that to further their excitement over how the next day they will be eating with everyone else at the table. The speaker explains that they are America, land of the free and equality which, at this time in history wasn’t as equal as it reads. The Chicago Race Riot stirred up so much violence on segregation and only made tension so much bigger. Even if the vibe from both the poem and riots were opposite, I saw it in a way that shows how segregation is and was wrong and the culture of a white America in that time period was cruel and how there should be regrets of the Chicago Race Riot as it didn’t create justice for the boy who was killed.

Part 2: "Yet Do I Marvel" contains many classical references. Look up the meaning of one of them. Explain what that reference contributes to your understanding of the poem. How does it relate to the overall message?

The reference I will use in “Yet Do I Marvel”, I looked into who Sisyphus was. The Greek King who was punished to push a rock up a steep hill and every time he got it to the top, it would come back down making him push it up again. I think this poem has a lot to do with having persistence and not giving up no matter how weak you may seem. Sisyphus continually pushed the rock back up the hill time and time again as it fell. The poem seems to talk about the struggles and disadvantages in life and how being a black poet at the end of the poem is the icing on a nasty cake. It is important to fight against the odds in life and keep your head up even if you feel you were dealt a bad hand. In the time period this poem was made, segregation was a thing and the white cultured America would think nothing of a black poet compared to a white one. So, having a black poet try to make a come up in a world to the speaker is their disadvantage and they wonder why God would make them suffer so much in this way.

Part 3: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" also connects a people to a symbol that is timeless and 'of the earth'. This is not the first work we've seen that discusses rivers. Water is a symbol in many works. Discuss how it appears in Hughes's poem and in two other works we've read this term; what does water seem to represent in these works?

In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, water can be seen to appear as souls of the ancestors of the speaker. This very descriptive poem depicts water as the people who laid the foundation for the speaker and how much history is in culture of the black slave times.

In a previous reading, “The Open Boat” it is easy to point out water in this story, as it is completely about water. The water is the one thing keeping the crew alive and also keeping in potential danger. Water is the antagonist in this story.

The only other reading that spoke out to me about water as a symbol would be in, “To Build A Fire”. The weather being below zero and water is in the ice, snow, and puddles all in this story. Water is everywhere and as essential it is in life, it is quite the opposite in this story as it presents a danger to the man in his trek.

3. Timothy

Part 1: Take a look at the Literary Timeline in Lessons. Choose any work that we have read in this class and examine some of the historical events preceding its publication, according to the timeline. Discuss how one or more historical event that takes place no more than 20 years before the publication of the work might be seen as influencing the theme or overall message of the work.

For this I chose “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain because when we initially read this story back in week 2, I did some research at that time only to find out that it wasn’t published until after his death. Mark Twain wrote the story due to the Philippine-American War that occurred from 1899 to 1902, because the Filipino leader’s refusal to recognize the Treaty of Paris that declared the Philippines under United States control (Britannica). Mark Twain was attempting to open the eyes of the American people by saying “If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! Lest without intent you invoke a curse upon your neighbor at the same time” (Twain 4).

In 1905 Mark Twain’s request to publicize his work was denied and it wasn’t until 1923 that it finally went into publication (diplomatmagazine). I think Mark Twain was trying to bring realism to what war really represented, which was death on both sides of the field no matter who was fighting who. Maybe he felt like the Philippine-American War was unjust and we should have not been involved in the killing of people over a land dispute not on United States soil.

Works cited

Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/event/Philippine-American-War viewed on 20190205

Retrieved from: http://www.diplomatmagazine.nl/2014/09/07/war-prayer-mark-twain/ viewed on 20190205

Part 2: "Yet Do I Marvel" contains many classical references. Look up the meaning of one of them. Explain what that reference contributes to your understanding of the poem. How does it relate to the overall message?

I must admit that this poem took numerous reads before I could understand somewhat of the intent from the author. It has a lot of comparisons without being to straight forward toward the overall meaning, from what I could understand at least. The classical reference that I looked up was Tantalus who is in the Greek mythology as the son of Zeus and was punished for giving the nectar of the gods to mortals. His punishment was standing in water to which he couldn’t drink and having fruit above his head that he couldn’t reach, giving way to the word tantalize (Britannica). I think the author’s use of Tantalus was to reference how he might have been treated in the way that he wasn’t being heard or appreciated due to his race.

Works cited

Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tantalus viewed on 20190205

Part 3: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" also connects a people to a symbol that is timeless and 'of the earth'. This is not the first work we've seen that discusses rivers. Water is a symbol in many works. Discuss how it appears in Hughes's poem and in two other works we've read this term; what does water seem to represent in these works?

Langston Hughes describes many rivers in his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” like he has actually been to all of them, but after reading it a few times it seems like he is retelling rivers that his relatives/ancestors have visited. Especially when he say’s “Ancient, dusky rivers” meaning rivers well before he was around, but all connected through history of his people.

Other stories we have read that contain water in a symbolic way are, “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane and Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”. In “The Open Boat”, water represents both life and death and the crew experiences both with one dying due to exhaustion and the other three living because they were able to swim to safety. All four were at the mercy of the ocean and all of them could have possibly survived if they had worked together. In the story “To Build a Fire”, water represents certain death due to the temperature of the water and the fact that it was partially frozen. If the man in the story had heeded the warning of others, he wouldn’t have been out in the freezing cold and would not have fallen through the ice.

One story water represents life and history of people, while water in the other two stores represented either life or death.

4. Olumide

Part 1: Take a look at the Literary Timeline in Lessons. Choose any work that we have read in this class and examine some of the historical events preceding its publication, according to the timeline. Discuss how one or more historical event that takes place no more than 20 years before the publication of the work might be seen as influencing the theme or overall message of the work.

Glancing back at one of the exercises we have perused is Ernest Hemingway the " Big Two-Hearted River" he discusses the result of men who served during the WWI. The story is huge to me since it clarifies how the war can harm individuals mind with PTSD. The primary reason I was so near to this story is on the grounds that I have comrades in the military that battle with PTSD and discovered a pathway to manage it. Likewise, a few people don't comprehend the internal battle soldiers need to overcome after any significant war such as Iraqi or Afghanistan War, especially when one is battling demons and reintegrating back to normal day-to-day life.

Part 2: "Yet Do I Marvel" contains many classical references. Look up the meaning of one of them. Explain what that reference contributes to your understanding of the poem. How does it relate to the overall message?

In the particular poem, the line that stuck to me as I read it was "Make plain the tortured Tantalus

Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare " on Greek Mythology, he took ambrosia and nectar to take it back to hide individuals to make them godlike, yet he got captured and thrown out of Olympus and inflict the penalty on him for endless hunger for life. On this line, this poem states that god has the ability to stop the never-ending appetite of this man yet deciding not to do it as a result of his behavior.

Part 3: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" also connects a people to a symbol that is timeless and 'of the earth'. This is not the first work we've seen that discusses rivers. Water is a symbol in many works. Discuss how it appears in Hughes's poem and in two other works we've read this term; what does water seem to represent in these works?

I trust water speak to the life of a man and establishing out who he truly is. He additionally visited numerous waterways around the globe, and they are a crucial piece of individuals life for survival. One of the works was "The Open Boat" which water spoke to that, occasionally individuals need. Another poem is the " Big Two-Hearted River" to me that spoke to a protected place for a man battling with his disorder. The river was a piece of this man life and told him the best way to overlook terrible encounters and have the capacity to concentrate on what's to come in his future.


Tutor Answer

Paujona
School: Duke University

At...

flag Report DMCA
Review

Anonymous
awesome work thanks

Similar Questions
Hot Questions
Related Tags
Study Guides

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors