Monday, May 23, 2011
Among all of the beauty on this earth, there is also darkness. With that darkness comes the menaces and creators of these evil times. Now, the creatures that stop those dark, menacing times sacrifice everything just to fight for what is right. What really is 'the right thing to do?' Is there ever really something right in a situation that is so wrong? In the book "Water for Elephants," a young man named Jacob Jankowski puts his life on the line just to save the two things most important to him: his forbidden and married soul mate, Marlena Rosenbluth, and the animals that he has a passion for helping. In the story, Jacob is running from a town of depression and despair which leads him out of fate onto a train heading for a world-famous circus. This circus teaches him about what his morals really are in life and what he will do to fight for what he believes in. Not only does this circus help him sacrifice all that he has, but it also brings beauty, sadness, and temptation to him. As the story continues on, he gives into temptation and goes for the married Marlena to find out that her husband is his boss, the owner of the circus. Even though he could lose his life and job to this dangerous man, he still follows his heart to chase after this girl. I believe that anyone in life can relate to this. How many times in life do people risk everything they have and drive through a red light, knowing it is wrong, but continuing to do it because it is what they want to do. As big of a risk it is, people make these types of choices everyday. A huge sacrifice that our country makes even if people don't agree with and it might not be right is sending our American Troops across the world to fight for our country. Many might question this decisions because it is so violent and gruesome, but others know deep in their hearts that it is the right thing to do.
Now what major sacrifice is known around the world today no matter what religion one is? It is the sacrifice that Jesus made for all humanity; he was crucified and tortured for days. He was humiliated and wounded for us. Jesus died so that we wouldn't have to. His father, God, knew the pain that it would cause him, but since it was better for humans, he still did it. A major symbol for this crucification is the cross to represent the pain that Jesus had to go through hanging on it by nails, suffering for multiple days just for us. For the blood he shed, there is a thorn crown that is a representative. For his body, there is bread and for his blood, there is wine. Symbolism in the inspirational story "Water for Elephants," symbolism in sacrifice is everywhere. In the story, the symbol of the circus is used for society. Jacob Jankowski escaped to a place full of desire, only later to find out that it had evil behind it. It was so deceiving because all he wanted out of the entire circus was to help animals and be with the one he truly loved. Isn't that what everyone wants in life? To have someone to grow old with?
Now, weather or not this story seemed amazing to someone, it definitely impacted my life. Sacrificing everything you have just to do good is such a challenge, but anyone in this twisted world has that ability. So through the symbolism and life lessons, did the train pick him or did he pick that train?
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
My name is Elizabeth Van Lew and before that flag had been reunited with our side of the country, I have served as a spy. My journey to bind this country back together has gotten me through so much that I just had to wave that flag and stand my ground which I swore to myself that I would do. It happened and because it did, I am thought of to be a traitor, a spy, an evil spirit, but most importantly, a federal. I had promised myself that I would follow my heart and do what is right for not only the slaves, but for the country also. So on that day when my feet planted on that roof and my hands clenched to that crisp flag, I performed the unexpected even though I went against my home land. My actions I shall be responsible for, but my promises to free the slaves will not be broken.
Over the years, I have served my duty posing as a confederate, but really I have served my way with secrecy in helping the north. Mainly, my mother and I would help the soldiers that were held captive in the Libby Prison. I cannot bear to see the people that fight for freedom be held inside a prison cell, for this should be recognized as an act of kindness not frowned upon.
The guards of Libby Prison let me come deliver what they thought to be innocent gift baskets for the soldiers. Following up with my actions as helping the north, I am in danger constantly and I am quite aware of that. I have to see things that I shouldn’t see, hear things that shouldn’t be told, and do things that will sacrifice my sanity and my label as a spy. The prison guard that let me in was such a pig. Oh, the things that he made me do just to deliver a simple basket. And the bastard was married too! Once the war is over, I swear to deliver a very special gift basket directly to him. The basket that I delivered to the soldiers was actually quite helpful. At first, they would just be innocent items such as food, blankets, and books. Further along into my process of helping the north, I set up a secret code that was found in the books. Certain words or letters would be circled or underlined to later be decoded. The idiotic guards were far too uneducated to realize what was really going on.
I was gifted of the nickname “Crazy Bet” because of my disguise. Little did they know that the way I would dress and the image I have created for myself would be ones of a spy. It is ironic that spies would try and keep their profile low which is why I would purposely attract attention to myself to erase the suspicion of me being n activist for the north. I walk down the streets talking to myself, but even though it may seem silly to some people, it creates new plans for myself.
So as those four years passed along, my duties of helping the north truly paid off. They finally won the war. Richmond will never think of Elizabeth Van Lew as the sweet innocent girl that lives in the beautiful house on top of the hill. Never again shall Richmond be able to have slaves. For once in four years, that flag was more beautiful than ever, even through the hatred and the flames of the town. Forever shall this town have peace because of that crisp, clean flag.
In the story titled "The Hundredth Dove," a very loyal fowler that devoted his life to serve his king was disrupted from his true morals in a risky situation. He was beginning to believe in the king more than he believes in himself, blinded by the king’s demands. As the king ordered the fowler, he set off on a five day journey to find 100 doves for the king's wedding feast. The fowler must kill all of the birds for the king. He knew it was wrong, but he continued to go against his heart and serve the king. When the fowler was almost finished retrieving all of the doves with only one to go, he began seeing the last dove which was the whitest and most beautiful of them all. It was the last one he needed, and also the hardest to catch. Once he caught it, the bird’s neck was snapped for the king. After the first dove that was killed to serve the king, the fowler just couldn't do it anymore; he realized that his morals were worth more to him than the kings wants. In life, I believe that the king relates to the government and the citizens of the United States represent the fowler. Government is essentially controlling the United States and many citizens just tend to go along with it because they will be thought of differently if they don't. Just recently, citizens of the Madison, Wisconsin area finally stood up for their true opinions and protested either for our governor, Scott Walker, or against him. Even though these protesters created a ruckus, they still related to this story because they followed their instincts and finally put their say into what happens in their community.
Symbolism in this story was greatly expressed in many different ways that all connect to each other. As the king demanded something that would fulfill his wants, I believe that this symbolizes the government while the fowler represents citizens. In the government’s eyes, they have a great idea that will have effectiveness, but it also will have flaws. What naïve people don’t know is that the government has the ability to hide these flaws in a manipulative way to make you want to be for the thought rather than against it. Another symbol that was expressed in this story was the last dove, the whitest dove of them all. White symbolizes purity and kindness. This dove was so innocent and beautiful but once again, the fowler was blinded by the beauty of this creature by the king’s demands.
In the short tale titled "The Hundredth Dove," it taught very important lessons and morals that could be broken down and related to our daily lives. It showed how someone can be so blinded by a higher power or good idea in the fact that the king could relate to government. It taught that innocence and purity is beautiful so we should cherish that in our lives, not violence or the bad. Either way, this story really made you think and walk away from how beautiful your own decisions can really be.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
A beautiful, talented woman swiftly sweeps across the hard wood floor like rain undulating down a window. Her movements amaze your eyes. She is so endowed, and yet she only dances for herself; not trying to impress anyone but her. As I continue down the street, I see a nearby craft shop turn their lights on as their opening hours begin. A shorter man is sitting on a wobbling wood stool with his left hand on his leg, and a dirty paint brush in the other. What’s on his canvas leaves me in awe, for his talent for art is just fantastic. Still strolling down the path of these small shops, I notice a dingy, worn out store on the end of the street. Quickly looking into the window, there is a young girl sitting on a chair looking in the opposite direction. Somewhat slouched over, she is reading some form of news paper, or magazine maybe. As she straightens her body up, the most beautiful sound comes out of her mouth; the song she spills out sings a note that could overpower an entire room of people. All of these strangers are so amazing, even though I don’t know anything about them. I look down at my legs, lying there, numb and leaning on an angle against the left handle of my wheelchair. What can I do that is talented in this world? Why can’t I be like these awesome strangers? Why me? I ask myself these questions, but I never get an answer. I just want to be more like them. In the short story titled “Harrison Bergeron,” equality portrays a very important role in these citizen’s lives and it teaches how looks and power leads to an evil way of lust in everyday life.
It is quite obvious that people in this world get jealous of each other or wonder what it would be like to “live their life.” Yes, everyone has that thought sooner or later no matter how rich or beautiful one is—it’s human nature. With these thoughts, you can either act upon them, or just gaze on the thought of living the life of someone else. In the short story titled “Harrison Bergeron,” this action was displayed in a very discriminating way. Just like it happens in everyday life, a leader that had a vision of making all humans equal separated the pretty from the ugly, the rich from the poor, and the talented from the disabled. Once this cruel hearted lady did this, she mixed and matched which later created a new brand of humans that were all equal due to many devices that would stop them from being themselves and more of someone they’re not by lowering their brain, social, and athletic abilities. Sometimes in life we see this also because of what society has done to us; we learn to be skinny like the girls in the billboards, and we learn to be mean just like the cool kid in that new movie. It is immensely sad how different our generation has become, especially since we are soon to become adults and people of the country already. As this book pointed out, we shouldn’t try and focus on what we don’t have: we should focus on all that we do and use that to our ability. A beautiful, young dancer shouldn’t be punished for her skills; she should be flaunting them across the stage. A gorgeous young artist shouldn’t have his paints taken away for how amazing his pieces turn out; he should be continuing to inspire his audience. A quiet, little girl shouldn’t stay silenced; she should keep up her loud and courageous singing. A lonely girl in a wheelchair shouldn’t let anything get in her way. In the story, a main character, George, states a very good point as he says “The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?” Obviously, whatever laws that get thrown at you, some people will obey them, and then there will be the others that won’t. With these desired actions of disobeying laws, society becomes a train wreck because these so called “role models” are humans that younger audiences look up to because they have awesome fighting moves.
It is so sad to see how the relation of the leader of the race of equals was in the book as it is to real life. I believe that the main piece of symbolism in this book would be the leader that wanted everyone to be handicapped except her so all humans were equal. To me, she represents the government because of the way they think that every idea they have can be effective and nothing will go wrong, but in reality, it doesn’t turn out that way. I guess everyone can be like that sometime or another, but to me the most reasonable person in power from that book represents the branches of our country’s leaders. The holocaust was a perfect example because the citizens were blinded and persuaded by the great leader, therefore leaving no time to realize what is really happening to these innocent families. Another symbol that the author hid in the story were the chains. By this, he meant that it was holding people back from their abilities. The chains were stopping the passage of great potential from these citizens that the dictator heartlessly added. This is something that also happens in life because of an accident or some sort of fatal injury that leads one to be disabled, also known as not being able to share their talents and abilities. Yes, this is a tragedy but what has society really done to us?
Around the world, power is taken advantage of. Power leads to lust, and lust can be lethal. What really came out of the story “Harrison Bergeron?” Was it just nonsense about fake hearing aids and people dressing up like clowns? No, this is much more. This tale teaches acts of how mainly citizens can fall for foolish ideas in sometimes deadly and manipulative ways. Society has a great role in these manipulative, inspirational acts. Now that generations are changing and more and more people are getting self conscious and protective, humans are just tearing themselves apart. Wanting to be like that skinny girl in Vogue seems innocent, but what really goes on inside the body, or in the mind can be horrific. “Harrison Bergeron” really shows how misleading things can be when people are disguised and held away from their true talents. Never let anything get in your way of being the best you can be; that would be the best lesson from the short story titled “Harrison Bergeron.”
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Friday, December 17, 2010
In the valley of death,
No one can hear your screams.
Black skin is used as an excuse smother dreams,
A white flag is used to represent what is on the other side:
Why isn't it used this way?
If only this hopeless and hate filled world would join hands with those of different color
If only the hate would wither away
If only love would melt the spirits that lie within the outer shell
If only you knew what fists clenched so tight in anguish felt like
If only this white flag was split evenly with black
Well then, the world would be nice.