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The Love Song of J Alfred Prudock

I can definitely understand how some would find it unpleasurable to read T.S Eliot’s poem. The whole idea of the poem is very sad and there never really seems to be a resolution to the problem at hand.It seems as though he keeps contemplating the action of finally approaching the one he is in love with and revealing his heart to her.However, he never does. The poem is spent wondering what could be if the risk was taken, and of course as Eliot writes “Would it have been worth it,after all?”.

On the surface, he seems like he’s just a big chicken. It would be easy for someone  to tell him to just take the risk. To simply  go on and tell this woman how he feels, but I don’t necessarily believe that it is that easy for him. It is his feelings for this woman that causes an insecurity within himself. I think it is the fear of the opening up of his heart to this woman and the fear that she might reject it that keeps him from carrying out his intentions. Fear is not an easy emotion to overcome. Especially in matters of the heart.

So in the end, we are left wondering what potentially could have been, but wasn’t. Again, it’s easy to be frustrated. As a reader of poetry there is no satisfaction in the end., nor is there any resolution to his conflict. It’s almost like a story unfinished.

Among School Children

I found this poem interesting because I feel that Yeats is “questioning” the aging process. In the first stanza it seems as though he is in some kind of a school setting, where upon seeing the school children he is reminded (most likely) of Maude Gonne. I feel like Yeats uses language such as “youthful teacher”, “old clothes upon old sticks” and “youthful sympathy” to elaborate on this idea.I also think this poem is interesting because it seems to portray the idea of the “life not lived”…. meaning, it seems as though being in the school children environment reminds Yeats of his aging, which causes him to think about his unsuccessful advances towards Maude Gonne, and the fact that he’s getting older with a life unfulfilled because of it.

Response to Achebe

Achebe’s “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness'” was definitely an eye-opening read. I found myself noticing things about “Heart of Darkness”  from Achebe’s point of view that I didn’t necessarily think about while I was reading the text. For example, the actions and demeanor of the “savages”. I think that Achebe is correct in his proclamation that in the history of our world (and even in today’s world) there is still a stigma or an ignorance that exists when the customs and practices of the people of Africa are addressed. It is also the people of these countries that are a product of this ignorance. Such as the man described in the beginning of the Achebe’s article. It seemed like the man didn’t have any doubts about the history of Africa, that there simply wasn’t any (or any worth learning about) and that was it. It is also more than likely that this man has never been to Africa, therefore would have to rely on others accounts (i.e Heart of Darkness) to understand. I think Achebe is correct in saying that this is the problem. The surrounding cultures project Africa as an uncivilized environment,dark, and inhumane. Rather than exploring the humanity that does exist there, they let their own ignorance and the ignorance that they’ve been conditioned in their society to have taint their point of view.Sadly, I think this is an idea that still goes on today.

The Transformation of Mr Kurtz

In the first two parts of “Heart of Darkness”, there is much praise and gratitude aimed towards the elusive Mr. Kurtz, a man who is described as being “remarkable”.Throughout most of the story, Marlow’s narration of accounts from the people he speaks to in Africa shows that the idealistic idea of Mr Kurtz’s identity is based on pure heresay. It is only when Marlow finally comes face to face with Mr. Kurtz that this idealism fades and transforms into the  true identity of Mr. Kurtz.

Mr Kurtz’s final words:  “The Horror, The Horror”  somewhat accurately sum up the content of his true character. The transformation begins in the midst of the exchange between Marlow and the Russian trader. The Russian trader reveals the immoral facet of Mr Kurtz, and it’s one that will stop at nothing in order to acquire more ivory.It becomes clear that by his forceful, unrelenting search for ivory, he is disconnected from humanity. The transformation is also  made further as Marlow begins to spend more time with the ailing, dying Mr. Kurtz. Marlow learns that as soon as Mr Kurtz acquired power upon arriving in Africa, he also acquired his appetite for materialism, in relation to his quest for ivory and other desires.

My Life As A Reader

I have always been an avid reader.I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and my mother used to say that while it was “pulling teeth” trying to get them to open a book, she never had that problem with me. I remember being thrilled when I graduated from picture books to chapter books, where there was much less of a presence of illustration, most times not even at all.As a kid with a wild imagination, it opened up a whole new world.Now suddenly I could imagine myself what that castle in the magic kingdom looked like in “Sleeping Beauty” , or how fast the pirate ships really were in “Peter Pan”.This led to drawing, where I would spend hours on end going through countless pieces of construction paper with my “”illustrations” on them.

As I got older reading became more and more apart of my life. It is easy for reading to be seen as a chore, especially in terms of academics (I have yet to meet anyone who loves to “read for school”) but that is where imagination should come into play.I think for me , reading keeps the imagination and creativity that lies within myself alive. It resurrects my ability to create and imagine how certain situations play out in my mind. Just like when I was younger and would imagine the magic castle or the pirate ships, I now get to create and imagine a whole new world of endless possibilities.

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