As explained in class, we spoke about the importance of African Literature and exactly, what is the definition of African Literature? Overmore, shall we let the English language dominate this culture? Language has always been seen as a means of communication for people throughout the world. It shows character in a means of culture, heritage, or in this case, a new beginning of entering a new world for Africans. This can be shown, for example, in situations of “In a Heart of Darkness,” “Things Fall Apart,” and so on. Of course, Achebe’s interpretation/perspective of African Literature VS English is also enlightening because of how he stands for yet against this very idea. Achebe’s approach on African Literature and how it can utilize English to its advantage is very interesting. In quote, “African writers should utilize English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience,” (854.) His readers can determine that although he is not too fond of the idea in which English is an uneasy, forceful domination, it can still be well balanced in terms with African literature. Authors of African literature just have to know how to bring out their point without changing it. Achebe’s stance on African authors in which they have to use English can be seen as a “pragmatic optimism.” This means that, they must make the best of everything although they hate it entirely. True authors, I believe, can still achieve success using the English language. If someone loves literature as a passion(or anything for that matter) – in a means to writing, reading, and educating, they will do so. They will still hold their talent of writing and share it to the world; it is not such a negative idea to learn about another language. For example, I, myself, is studying Spanish – its culture, history, and so on. This is very fascinating to me because I get to share speaking Spanish with my co-workers; it makes me look more intelligent. But of course, in this case, it is understandable because the Africans were forced to.
Invisible cities? How can one see anything “invisible” in “Invisible Cities” for the ever so graceful Italo Calvino paints such a bleak picture of something so beautiful? Calvino, being in the postmodernism movement, his stories were extremely swayed by the modernism world. While his writing is slightly different (weird,) it draws the readers because of how unique it is. This captivating story with its bizarre scenery and ideas twisted with words, reels in all readers besides those whom thirst for adventure or plots. He is very poetic. For example, in the city of Moriana, it quotes, “Its alabaster gates transparent in the sunlight, its coral columns supporting pediments encrusted with serpentine, its villas all of glass like aquariums where the shadows of dancing girls with silvery scales swim beneath the medusa-shaped chandeliers,” details every aspect of how beautiful the city is. I’m not quite sure whom would ever have such a creative mind such as this. How one can feel the sunlight shining through the glass, want desirable womens’ silhouettes casting away with their shiny outfits, and glamorous chandeliers dangling from the ceiling. It was stories within stories (which reminded me of how interested I become when I see actors acting in movies or television shows) in which these tales are visited by Marco Polo and told to Kublai Khan. Interestingly enough though, the two men do not actually comprehend one another. The two didn’t speak the same language! I feel as though this could be in comparison as to the quote “What you see isn’t always what you get.” Primarily, meaning that Calvino’s tales are extremely more than just what meets the eyes (a certain beauty–) there’s an underlying statement behind it in which it makes the reader dig beneath his text to take them back into a memory, or places they’ve never even dreamt of before..
As defined by the Dictionary of Human Geography, Imperalism is “the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination.” Prime example? The German Nazis. Indeed, “A Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad exemplifies the complications of Imperialism in such undesirable passion that I, as an audience/reader, am filled with disgust. This novella goes beyond and deeper than just blatant racism, it’s pure ignorance and evil. As Marlow begins his journey travelling out from the Outer Station and finally up the river, he witnesses the cruelty, torture, and slavery in which the British take advantage of the natives. It is a bleak picture painted by Conrad of the ignorance of the men who colonized Africa (The British.)
It can be also be debated that this story partakes majorly in non-whites in such a way that is menancing that it’s hard to comprehend of how one can do such terrible things. For example, Kurts openly is proud about his abuses towards the Africans. He is the chief example of what Adolf Hitler represented: ruling through violence by manipulation and intimidation while having Marlow as a naïve pet. He does not trade but rather takes ivory by force, and he describes his own treatment of the natives with the words “suppression” and “extermination.”
.This type of demoralizing and dehumanization is harder to grasp than violence or open racism. Heart of Darkness offers great criticism of the deceitful operations of imperialism and it presents a set of issues surrounding race that is concerning.
How sad that this story reminds me of the Holocaust in which I am so passionate about. My heart broke for the Jews, the ones whom suffered the Holocaust, the ones whom fell victim to Hitler’s and the Nazi’s evil hands. It’s absolutely insane how one man could turn civilians into such a wicked and violent army that killed millions of people through manipulation by blaming their problems on a specific race…
Metamorphosis. First thing that comes to mind….what would happen if I turned into a bug? I would be totally freaked out.
- Real blog:
Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” is a complete mind-boggling, twisted, and upsetting story. It begins by Gregor Samsa whom suddenly discovers himself transformed into a giant bug and throughout the story, he has to slowly copes with the negative interactions, responses, and acceptance from his “beloved” family and loses humanity all itself. After his transformation he stays almost exclusively in his room with his door closed referring to it as an “imprisonment.” He is unable to speak, and consequently he has no way of communicating with other people. He barely even stays in touch with his sister, Grete, whom he unconditionally adores. Over the course of the story, this feeling of separation actually preceded his transformation. Gregor reflects on his life as a traveling salesman, noting how insincere and temporary his relationships are. Later, Gregor recalls how his initial pride at being able to support his family faded once his parents began to expect that support, and how he felt emotionally distant from them as a result (they are ungrateful.) There is also no mention in the story of any close friends or intimate relationships outside his family. Gregor’s metamorphosis literally separates him from the human race as it makes him no longer human. In fact, the alienation caused by Gregor’s metamorphosis can be viewed as an extension of the alienation he already felt as a person.
In Henrik Ibsen’s controversial and dramatic tragedy, A Doll’s House depicts the image of women as a prisoner in marriage norms, a girl that needs to be given directions to, and mainly, portray her such as a “silly girl,” as said by Torvald. A Doll’s House, the title itself is a metaphor. When I was younger, I recall playing with my barbies, dolls, and enacting these toys to be a certain character just as Torvald treats his wife. As I grow older and realize, this image is all false and flawed because nothing can define a perfect human being. Nora is that character for she acts like a child-like wife dedicated to her husband, and before that a child-like daughter to her father. “I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald. That’s how I’ve survived. You wanted it like that. You and Papa have done me a great wrong. It’s because of you I’ve made nothing of my life,” (Act 3.) She recognizes that her life has been largely a performance as the truth slowly unfolds. She has made “nothing” of her life because she has existed only to please men and they treated her like a “doll” to be played with and admired.This 1879 play sets a mouthful throughout Europe for exploration of Nora’s struggle with the traditional roles of wife and mother and her own need for self which results in her walking out from a seemingly “perfect” marriage.
Isn’t it fantastic how Kate Chopin could portray the importance of race in, “Desiree’s Baby.” Before the civil war, the 13th amendment which abolished slavery, and of course, the Jim Crow laws, Whites dominated the world. They took over civilizations, created their own governments, and made slavery as to what its out to be. In this story, it speaks of how Armand finds out that his baby whom belongs to Désirée, is actually mixed. Désirée herself is in complete shock when she discovers this “horrible” news for she swears that she is White then to make matters worse, Armand no longer wants to be apart of her life. Little did he know, he was the one whom was not pure. This has got to be irony at its best. If one was to be put in that situation, how would one act to this “unmoral” act? This “unmoral” act would have never been accepted. For one, Armand already owned slaves of his own and for two, he would’ve had two choices: to give the baby away or become one of “them.” I believe, that he would’ve have given his baby away just as he disowned his wife without any second thoughts even though I’d believe, giving your baby away would be more demolishing. He will never own up to the fact that he is mixed for he will mean what slaves mean to him – nothing. Also, for him to live with this conflicting reality, he’ll probably be the one whom ends up suicidal. This just shows how dominant race played back in the days and furthermore and how it will affect a person’s life. It doesn’t matter what you love, it’s all about status… and sadly, ethnicity had to do with 99% of that back then.
In the 18th century, it was all based on the idea of Enlightenment but as Kant implies, it will take growth and progress for this idea to come alive for it is still “immature.” It didn’t take philosophers to realize this, however, for civilians themselves, the idea was chilling and should be carried out upon on the Church. Civilians were no longer going to be taken advantage of and saw the light. (I.E: French Revolution.) As realism is defined, “Interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract,” (Webster,) this gives us a certain perspective on how realism affected the 19th century. Realists saw to it that these historical changes didn’t only affect the government, but it actually applies to everyday life. If the government is in the wrong, what about the people themselves? What are their “morals” or “ethics” of life? Realists didn’t agree with this, either and they dug deep into the core of what is the root of mainly all problems.