Replies to Forum Posts: Before I Leave the Stag and American Literature

Anonymous
timer Asked: Feb 26th, 2019
account_balance_wallet $10

Question Description

Respond to them as if you were me.

Matthew

Part I: Identify the reading from this week which resonated the most with you. Discuss your reaction or connection to the piece.

The one piece I think I had a good connection with this week would be, “Before I Leave the Stag” by Alice Walker. To me, this reading sounds like before you die, you will put your impact into life in some way. I feel like before I die, I will have made some sort of difference in the world. No matter how big or how small, I fully want that impact on someone knowing I have lived my life. I want to continue to make my family proud of all I have done so far in my life and continue to push my limits of who I am. Every day I wake up wanting to be someone better than the day before. I don’t have the most adventurous lifestyle and live a very plain life, but I can still wake up and go to work putting my feet forward and doing the best I can to make someone else’s job just a little bit easier. So, I have to say, this poem stuck out with me well. It speaks more words than just what is written.

Part II: Based on all the readings done up to this point, what, in your opinion, are the most important characteristics that distinguish American literature? Do you think that our literature is a good representation of 'American Identity'?

In my opinion the characteristics that distinguish American Literature would have to be how literature is history speaking itself in different tones. In each poem you read throughout our time, you get a piece of someone else’s history. As we spoke about last week, many of these readings resonate with the author as they are putting themselves in some of these stories but changing names or not directly putting themselves into the story. I feel like I was going through a history lesson as well as a literature lesson in this class and it helped me learn something new each week that I may not have known before. To me, literature is a good representation of American Identity. These authors put their whole lives into their works that they worked so hard on, to tell others their story and what they have crafted in their minds. You learn so much about a person based on how they write.

Part III: What contemporary author do you think will represent the early 21st century in an American literature class of the future? What do you think this writer brings to the table that is representative of American life or that shows a distinct and important cultural trend or message/theme that is worth studying?

I did a lot of googling around to figure out what my answer would be to this question. I am not the type of person to divulge myself into a book or just read in general. One person that stood out to me is Junot Diaz. Junot Diaz’s writing style is one to many as being “real”. His characters in his stories have their faults and moments of embarrassments. He is very outspoken and in interviews has said that as an artist he is not there to comfort anybody. He likes to point out things that most don’t like to and isn’t afraid to speak out against the majority. He claims himself as ant politician sand actively trying to make the country better. To me, he sounds like the exact person I would want to look more into on the importance of cultural trend and American literature. He says it like it is and isn’t not afraid to talk about his past and bring about a better future.

Jill

Part I: Identify the reading from this week which resonated the most with you. Discuss your reaction or connection to the piece.

Sherman Alexie’s short story, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” resonated with me the most. My mother is Navajo Indian and was abandoned on the Navajo reservation by alcoholic parents. She was adopted to a white family. Her biological family still lives on a reservation and many of them battle alcohol addiction. Alexie’s story of Jackson, the Spokane Indian boy, is common. It does not matter what Indian tribe is being discussed. They all seem to battle poverty, diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, domestic violence, and lack education and healthcare resources. The way Alexie develops Jackson’s character is really right on the money. The Indians that I have been around are generally fun loving and positive to a fault. Their alcoholism is not hidden in shame. It is a medical disorder just like diabetes is, unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding it. Jackson thought if he got his grandmother’s regalia/dancing dress back, it would someone forgive some of the bad decisions he made in his life. Unfortunately, we know that it won’t, and he will likely get it stolen away. I am half Indian and I have never been exposed to tribal life. What I can see from the outside makes me want to run the opposite way from them because I don’t want to get sucked in like Jackson was.

Part II: Based on all the readings done up to this point, what, in your opinion, are the most important characteristics that distinguish American literature? Do you think that our literature is a good representation of 'American Identity'?

One of the most important characteristics is the way the authors get their inspiration from the political and social landscape. They use their work to make a stand and bring awareness to a subject like mental health, before mental health was an “issue”. An example is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Historical events helped shape authors works and bring awareness and attention. The attention to subjects that some may not know about is valuable to bring change. For example, Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, which was written in the 20’s would have brought awareness to all people, the plight of the African people. That knowledge can open eyes and perhaps assist in change. I think that our literature is a great representation of “American Identity”. What we have read thus far in class is that America is shaped by the political powers that be, money, family, values, and people. If all I had read was the required readings in this class with no knowledge of the historical references, I would have been able to know how war was defined, class structure described, and racial inequalities revealed. Just by reading literature!

Part III: What contemporary author do you think will represent the early 21st century in an American literature class of the future? What do you think this writer brings to the table that is representative of American life or that shows a distinct and important cultural trend or message/theme that is worth studying?

I think that Jodi Picoult would be a good representative of the 21st century in an American Literature class of the future. Her story, “My Sister’s Keeper”, is about medical emancipation. A 13-year-old girl named Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation when she learns that they plan on taking one of her kidneys to donate to her sick older sister. Anna is a “savior sister”, meaning they conceived her so she could save their older daughter’s life. The story paints a picture of the parent’s desperate attempt to save the older daughter, even at the expense of putting their younger daughter through surgery. It’s a heartbreaking and unfair story. Hot topics and current events such as this are why I think Jodi Picoult will be discussed in the future. She is on trend as far as current events go. Another story she wrote is called “The Pact”. It is about two teenagers who are in love and make a suicide pact. One of them is killed. I think that the most important cultural trend that Picoult brings is that she stays on trend. She writes about 21st century issues which in turn bring awareness to the readers.

Tim

For Part One of my forum topic discussion I looked at writings by Alice Walker. Life Lessons by Alice Walker is a piece of work that she did that appeared in a magazine in the Middle East, or at least my resource states so. I think that "The Answer Is: Live Happily!" is a nice way to think and guide readers to relax and simply enjoy life. I think that the attitude is refreshing when so many works about dreary subject matter.

I'm not sure I have a strong opinion on the important characteristics that make American literature unique, even after the last seven weeks. Most of the time these readings have gone way over my head! But there were a few writings that I could read and see my own small town where I grew up. Obviously the works by Mark Twain is full of late 1800s Americana. I guess what makes the writings represent America are that the values of Americans are slightly different than other cultures and we've also gone through different types of adversities during our infancy as a country.

I don't think that there's any telling of what American author will represent the 21st century of American authors. It's a little funny to think about but so impossible to try and say who will. American life and values are changing almost every five years, it seems like, and I'm not sure it would even be possible to be the "next" Mark Twain. I think that right now our society is really obsessed with nostalgia, so maybe most authors today are going to be over looked, not to mention, if they don't fit a certain agenda, will have their works shadow-banned by evil corporations.

Joshua

Part I: Identify the reading from this week which resonated the most with you. Discuss your reaction or connection to the piece.

The reading that resonated the most with me this week was Alice Walker’s “Before I leave the Stage”. I liked and felt connected to this one because it is about life. A stage has been compared to life numerous times, probably the most well known being from “Seven Ages of Man” by William Shakespeare. “Before I leave” uses imagery, symbolism and punctuation to convey the importance of being oneself, doing and saying what matters and living life to the fullest. The capitalization of “I AM”, “WE ARE”, is the author showing the importance of us and those we love. I really like the line “I love Us with every drop / of our blood”. The imagery is so detailed and vivid. And I think the use of mentioning blood shows the seriousness of it. The symbolism is the title, “Before I Leave the Stage” where the stage is life and before you leave it, as in before you are gone or dead from this life. I like this piece because it is so true an reminds us what is really important.

Part II: Based on all the readings done up to this point, what, in your opinion, are the most important characteristics that distinguish American literature? Do you think that our literature is a good representation of 'American Identity'?

This is an interesting question, because we have read quite the variety of pieces and having not studies works of other countries to determine their style, topics of interest, etc. I think it is a little difficult to determine what makes American literature, just by reviewing American literature. But from the works we have read, authors tend to discuss what is going on in our country/how it affects the world and their views on that, write about what they know / life experiences. I think American literature is very diverse with feminism, political views of the time and life lessons it’s very diverse where authors can express their thoughts and feeling regarding their past or current events. I think this does represent American Identity, because we are all about freedom of speech and identity.

Part III: What contemporary author do you think will represent the early 21st century in an American literature class of the future? What do you think this writer brings to the table that is representative of American life or that shows a distinct and important cultural trend or message/theme that is worth studying?

I’m not really sure if I can pinpoint one in the current time. I don’t have a ton of free time to immerse myself in stories and often listen to books on tape. Though, most of those are historical and biographical. I do think nonfiction authors might be more representative to the early 21stcentury, as it seems these kind of books are more common, books that talk about history or self help, etc. I remember a prior literature teacher mentioning her dislike for the shift of nonfiction being more desirable than fiction. She said it was because people claim they don’t have a lot of time anymore so if they are going to read, they want to learn something (either about history or psychology, how to lose weight, etc). And she said, people are overlooking the fact that you still learn things by reading fiction, by connecting to characters and how those characters evolve and act.

Tutor Answer

Gilmore
School: UCLA

Here you go! Let me know if you need any edits or have any questions

Running head: FORUM REPLIES

1

Replies to Forum Posts
Name
Institution Affiliation:
Date:

FORUM REPLIES

2
Matthew

Part I:
Mathew chose “Before I Leave the Stag” by Alice Walker as the reading that liked. It
sounds like before you die, you will put your impact into life in some way. He felt like before he
dies, he will have made some sort of difference in the world as a fulfillment that he would have
touched someone’s life. Additionally, he wants to continue to make his family proud of all the
things he has achieved and those that he dreams to achieve. Mathew is motivated by wanting to be
a better person than he was before. Despite the fact that he doesn’t have the most adventurous
lifestyle and lives a very plain life, he stills wakes up and goes to work putting his feet forward
and doing the best he can to make someone else’s job just a little bit easier. The poem resonates
well with him in those aspects. He has articulated the specific reasons why he liked the poem and
that has been well explained. I like his style if the presentation and connecting the poem that he
chose to the aspects of his life. I support the views that Mathew has highlighted in the question.
Part II:
I like the way Mathew has handled this question. In his opinion, the characteristics that
distinguish American Literature would have to be how literature is history speaking itself in
different tones. He gives examples of poems that we read which are full of pieces of someone
else’s history. Many of these readings resonate with the authors as they put themselves in some of
these stories but change their names in order to narrate their stories through literature. The lessons
helped him to learn a bit of history and literature at the same time. To him, literature is a good
representation of American Identity. The authors put their whole lives into their works that they
worked so hard on, to tell others their story and what they have crafted in their minds. You learn
so much about a person based on how they write. I completely agree with Mathew’s views.

FORUM REPLIES

3

Part III:
I agree with Mathew’s analysis of the question and he has presented the qualities that make
him think that Junot Diaz is the author th...

flag Report DMCA
Review

Anonymous
Goes above and beyond expectations !

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