Enriching ideas

Please also respond to a minimum of  3 of your classmates’ initial posts and bring together pieces of the discussion and take those ideas further.  These responses should be at least 150 words.

Student # 1

Has asked you the following question.

Did you see echoes of “Spunk” in other pieces?

Student # 2

Stephen Summerall

When reading literature, it is important to remember the time in which the author decided to create the work. For instance, reading poetry is so much more than just reading words. It tells a story of the era when it was written, the environment and helps paint a picture of society. Langston Hughes was a well-known author during the early 1900s. One of his writings, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, was created during a time when African-Americans did not have the same rights as their white population. However, it was through writing the Hughes was able to express himself and provide a boost to the African-American community. During this time, this race experienced injustice, hate and inequality. However, this is not stop him as he created this piece which is known as one of his most famous.

Another amazing thing about poetry is the references that are embedded in the words. Other classmates have mentioned the references of Greek mythology but I find it to stand out so I will explain as well. One would wonder why a poet would reference other work in their own. However, in “Yet Do I Marvel” this happens during the writing. In the Greek mythology, Sisyphus and Tanalus are symbols of struggle. As I read this poem, I often wondered why relate these? After some consideration, I think it is because of the struggles that black Americans faced. African Americans also dealt with a large amount of struggles and discrimination and hate was not anything new.

I often have a tough time reading about the struggles of slaves for many reasons. For one, I cannot wrap my head around the amount of hate that was placed upon people simply for their skin color. Secondly, I struggle because this history was not that long ago and we still feel the reminisce of it to this day. Water is symbolic for many reasons. It is the basic need of life, it is ever changing and can take multiple physical forms. Additionally, it is always a resource that will be around. Often times when we struggle, we can find comfort in the things that don’t disappear. I believe this is what the author was going for.

Student # 3

Christopher Reyes

For part one of my forum, I decided to write about Babylon revisited and connected an event in history that could have cause this short story to be written. Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited” was wrote in 1930, and later published in 1931. The event I found that could be connected was in 1921, where immigration was regulated to limit the number of immigrants coming to the United States. The takeaway from Babylon Revisited that I saw, was Charlie never being able to be comfortable with his travels. Just like immigration, this character Charlie decides to leave his home and to pursue a life in Prague with his daughter. My assumption is that he wanted a fresh start with his child and wished to pursue a better life for her. This is case with many immigrants who seek employment opportunities as well with an overall better lifestyle. Another link from the story is, Charlie returns home but feels as if he is a stranger to this home. I can only imagine that people who are deported, or who return home after years of changes feel the same way.

“When flesh that mirrors Him must day die.” I feel that this line is the one of the greatest lines of this poem, and one that must be remembered even in today’s society. At the end of this poem, it is revealed that the Author is black. This line helps me understand that no matter the color of our skin/ our race, we all die in the end. “Him” is in relation to God, the creator. The bible says that we are all created in his image and Author hit this head on, and it really opens your eyes to understand the rest of the poem.

To myself, the poem is using water as a symbol of life. We have known that all things that all living things must use water as a means of survival. It also may mean that life is always flowing, even when we’re gone the river will still flow. Another reading that references water is “Open Boat. This symbol of the ocean is used to describe a beautiful body of water, that can either sail us to our paradise or we can sink to the depths. This to me stands for life and death.

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