Comparative study of the Neighbors in Mending Wall and The Ax-Helve by Robert Frost

Human interaction is the focal point of the poems Mending Wall and Ax-Helve. What makes for good neighborly relations  In Mending Wall the neighbor insists Good fences make good neighbors. In Ax-Helve, Baptiste, the French neighbor does not subscribe to this view and is overjoyed (if overjoyed he was) at having got his neighbor into his house.  So does that make the neighborly interaction different  Yes and No.

In both poems there is an undercurrent of suspicion about the neighbor. In Mending Wall the narrator does not see any reason why they should keep building the wall between the two properties. There is a sense of social alienation created by the wall in the former poem and a sense of alienation caused by being French in a Yankee world and not being able to spick too much Henglish.

In Mending Wall the narrator is the gregarious neighbor who wants to bring the barriers downin this case the physical wall.  He asks his neighbor the logic of it for There were it is we do not need a wall. Nature too, seems to be in agreement with him and the wall is demolished again and again by Something there is that doesnt love a wall and he must adjure the stones Stay where you are until our backs are turned  Yet the neighbor is insistent that the wall should remain between the two properties because He will not go behind his fathers saying,  And he likes having though of it so well  He says again Good fences make good neighbors.

In Ax-Helve, the narrator is suspicious of his neighbor. It is the neighbor who is trying to bring down barriersthe barriers of language and culture.  When the man comes over, on a slight pretext of providing him with a better Ax-Helve, the narrator is wary.  He says I didnt know him well enough to know  What it was all about. The thought that flashes into his mind is that There might be something  he had in mind to say to a bad neighbor  He might prefer to say to him disarmed. Later when he realizes that the neighbor is just finding a pretext to get him to visit, he is slightly amused and says Beyond an over-warmth of kitchen stove  My welcome differed from no other welcome.  Baptiste knew best why I was where I was,  So long as he would leave enough unsaid.  He also realizes that the neighbor is making an overture to him because he wants to fit in with the community in which he finds himself and wants to be accepted as human being. He says For nothing in the measure of a neighbor,  Hard if, though cast away for life mid Yankees,  A Frenchman couldnt get his human rating  

Yet, a subtle underlying irony that pervades the poem seems to reinforce the barriers. In Mending Wall the narrator is the person who is assiduous in seeing that the wall does not come down. He fixes a day with his neighbor for the checking and also walks along the wall on other days for checking and repairing the wall.  Seen in this light, his questions to his neighbor seem to be an effort to assuage his conscience about his own behavior. The narrator in reality is no different from his neighbor.  In Ax-Helve the narrator to the end remains fully conscious of the French-ness of his neighbor. When the axe helve has been made and stood up erect, the narrator notes the appearance of his neighborTop heavy with heaviness in his short,  Thick hand made light of, steel blue chin drawn down  And a little a French touch in that
From a reading of the above two poems of Robert Frost, it is clear, that he is not a grim philosopher.  He does not baulk at judging his fellow men with tolerant amusement and realistic understanding.

Racial Relationships in William Faulkners Writing

Racism is a subject that is more than often avoided by almost all seasoned authors, it is almost equally treated as an aspect of sex,sadism or any other theme that appear to be treated as personal. In general approach, racism pertains to the aspects of discrimination due to color or ethnicity. It is paramount to aver that, the dawn of civilization brought the concept of this social anarchy. Hence, William Faulkners Writing candidly explores and exposes this social ill with unmatched authority. Examining the ground prepared in the all round novel Absolom Absolom Evidently, the novel captures the uncompromised decay of humanity where titillating aspects of slavery and other forms of abuse are absolutely witnessed.

The novel offers a well articulated platform on which the author clearly presents a mind boggling picture of the magnitude of how fellow human beings treated others as unequal due to color dissimilarity. With a precision of a surgeon, the novel strikes out the destruction linked to the civil war, more so, in regard to aspects of racism, the characters employed are depicted as ever searching for the core explanations of the deteriorating social structures in their society. Examining the core aspects exposed in this work, it is apparent that, Faulkner approached the concept of slavery by presenting the essence of racism in such a way that, the interrelationship of the characters depicts how the portrayed society treated others as inferior or less human. This approach is equally reinforced by the plot line of the other Faulkners writing The Sound and the Fury. Examining the diverse aspects injected in this novel, the apparent details significantly exposes the moral decay evident in Mississippi where the once affluent Compsons family dwelt. In a profound depiction, the book provides a strange twist of how social and moral decay catapulted the aspects of sins which translated to prejudice and racism.

The Sound and the Fury  too, explores Faulkners themes from previous works allied to the demur of the American South, including diverse issues pertaining to morality, sin, and redemption, even if one could precisely dispute that his overarching apprehension was with the temperament of human existence. These last perceptions are weaved into a intricate embroidery of race and class-perception and internecine fight back as the Compsons compete with the interconnected dynamics of ancestors honor and female virtue inside the milieu of social tolerability, lifes apparent order, and the aspect of time.

Comparing the content of the novel Absolom Absalom, with immediate aspects of The Sound and the Fury, it is evident that the characters expose a profound distaste of other people who in essence were perceived as inferior. This developed into a powerful current of racism. Though the segregated or rather the discriminated community or individuals played a significant role in reinforcing both social and economic aspects of the whites, it is critically plain that, the relationship remained confined to the slave-master dynamics. Hence, as the narration of the two novels unfolds, it becomes apparent that, the narrator presents a story of declining family despite the fact that, the focal point remains anchored of the impact of blacks on whites and especially the black maids, who, though powerless by principle of color and social ranking, remained a force to reckon with. Equally on the same path comes Go Down Moses descriptively this novel attempts to engage the reader on the various aspects of racism that shaped the black-white relationship within the southern region. More so, from a close examination of this works, it is evident that, social decay which was a resultant factor of racism affected the manner Faulkner depicted the entire community. It should be noted that, along the lines of writing he painted a picture of a man who disliked any iota of social instability.

Thus using well balanced metaphors he managed to move from the conventional wisdom of prose writing, and quite frankly presented the raw image of how the diverse ethnic entities integrated though harshly. For instance, by delving into the appendix of The Sound and the Fury which concludes with an account of the black family that had tirelessly served the Compsons,their relationship with this family is told with unique and omniscient perspective, translating to a simple reference, hence the final entry is made up of two words They endured (Jones 62).

Perhaps, this is one of the many indicators of how racism was rooted within the said communities. Whites viewed the blacks negatively, treating them with impunity even without having in consideration in regard to their future. More so, whites trusted the blacks with their children, though, their relations often rotated within the axis of master-servant dialogue. But it is evident that The Sound and the Fury, the author presents a more cohesive and varied analysis of how the whites and the blacks carried off. Consider the fact that, the elements of racism as Faulkner presents them are in one way or the other more profoundly exposed by a black maid named Disley who used to work for a white man. Hence, in order to drive his point regarding racism Faulkner often narrated his tales through the use of multiple narratives, each with its individual comforts and biases, which permits us to piece collectively the true conditions of the story, not as inklings in an obscurity. The finale provides a key to accepting the broad scenery encompassing the essential episodes in a manner that conventional linear narratives basically are incapable to accomplish.

Therefore, this infers that, Absalom, Absalom, and As I lay Dying, exemplifies, as well involves the communal and cultural subjects of legacy including the sociopsychological fables of white superiority and Negro inadequacy. Also, The Unvanquished equally extols the concepts of racism whereby, Faulkner uses an unadulterated condensation of words, in fact formless, but premeditated to carry a more personal and fundamental portrayal of characters and subject matter in a novel.

Therefore, he seems to argue on the ground of   American allegories of race--white pre-eminence and black lowliness preserving a living existence and influence that is still, though extreme subterranean and is also present in modern American culture. Hence, in Absalom, Absalom, The obliteration of the father is seen to be passed down to his offspring. The calamity that ensue Henry Sutpen, the tolerable son, is that he is incapable to surpass his fathers ethical blindness (Jones 44). The acknowledgment of the wreckage of racial inequity is unthinkable to Henry, because he had it bored into his mind that his race and ethnicity including his gender are superior and supreme. In fact, his slaying of Charles Bon is founded far on Charles mixed blood than in the distaste of incest. However, the articulation of this theme is more and austerely explored in The Reivers.

In the novel, the author presents a crisp picture of how Lucius, a little boy learns of diverse aspects which negatively impacted on the society, some of these aspects includedsexim, corruption as well as racism.
 This exposed him also to a myriad of challenges that engulfed the relationship between the whites with the blacks. Despite such an observation, it would be instrumental to aver that, other factors that he came to face included learning of how to develop morality, self respect and equally dignity. Thus, comparing this observation with other Faulkners works which includes Absalom, Absalom , The Sound and the Fury and Go Down Moses all presents a pure analogy of how the author understood and got influenced by the aspects of racism in the south. Hence, through out this novel, some characters tend to display unending traits of both aspects of action and racism as well as prejudice. Though there are some instances where the elements of racism are seen to be negated, but it is vital to realise that, the southern region had lagged behind despite the fact that, the northern region was advancing in both governance and civilization. For instance, Butch Lovemaiden, , is racist in both thinking and action, as he time and again refers to  the black subjects niggers, calling  them only to query their aptitude, honor, status, integrity, or morality (Jones 55). Even Mr. Poleymus, who is somehow depicted as kind and decent man, demonstrates racism as he clearly argues his displeasure of Lucius living with a black family.

The scheme of the novels centres on so many susceptible circumstances that the narrative seems more or less too thrilling to be true. Nevertheless, every theme in Faulkners magnum opus has subsisted in human culture all through history. In the aforementioned novels, Faulkner involves himself with the duty of dealing with lust, insatiability, incest, miscegenation, prejudice, slavery, and massacre, all of which encompass aspects of sins and have in one way or the other caused public upheavals. Hence, Faulkners characters acknowledge espousing the perceptions set out for a Southern civilization nevertheless they picture Southern civilization as a place of duplicity. Jefferson, Mississippi, as an agent of the South in common, emerges as a region where those folks who went to war in order to form an ostentatious society did so by carrying out atrocious crimes against humankind and thus deceived the very standards they struggled to uphold by sustaining slavery and racism.        

One of the insincerities exposed in the Faulkner novels indicates that Southern people professed to have strong moral value regarding all aspects of family, yet they forfeited family willingly in favor of safeguarding some prearranged social arrangement. Pertaining to what Faulkner penned, it is apparent that, he presented a situation where the white community allowed their racist standards ruled their philosophy and demoralized their view for human opinion and this resulted in their hate for blacks. This is well illustrated in one of the novels where an individual named Henry was enthusiastic to disregard incest, yet he killed to avert miscegenation, and this exposes the personality of this social constitution as one founded on odium and demonstrates Faulkners staunch disparagement of the separation and prejudice that saturated Southern society throughout the Civil War period. To reinforce how racism had developed root within the southern region, Faulkner presented a scenario where Sutpen, who maintained to be a Southern guy, rejects his own blood so as to execute his atrocious design. Hence, his son, Charles Bon failed to fit into the plan due to the fact that he was part black. In essence, the novels portend that, image was more significant than family, and decency, forbearance, and even human compassion basically got in the system of forming a perfect civilization or a perfect aim.

In principal, these novels present a candid opinion of how Faulkner viewed the aspects of racism. More importantly, they presented how the relationship between the whites and the blacks evolved to be brutal and catastrophic. This can be linked to the fact that, the whites viewed the blacks as less perfect and treated them as heathens. Thus, the elaborate narration presented by Faulkner precisely portrays what the southern region depicted black to be. Hence, the overall relationship of the two races flourished on the anvil of hatred and misery and the whites assumed the upper hand by depicting themselves as more superior than the blacks (Jones 44).

Basically, it can be said that, Faulkner was compelled by the injustices which prevailed in the south hence this prompted him to write about the ever unstable relationship of the whites and the blacks. It is instrumental to assert that, cultural disparity, as well as ethnic dissimilarity played a paramount role in as far as the concepts of racism is concerned. Therefore, due to the diverse challenges which engulfed the southern region, diverse factors which revolved around the economic, political and social concern foresaw the raise of racism and slavery within the borders of the south.

In conclusion, I am not alleging Faulkner to be a racist in any simple meaning of that phrase. I am asserting that in his novels, and habitually in his life, racial fables seem to be deeply rooted in his deliberation. His efforts to tackle racism and assuage it in The Sound and the Fury would move on unabated in his tough glance at the cost of miscegenation in Absalom, Absalom  As well as in Go Down, Moses.

Title of the Essay

Stagnation and the ultimate desire to break free from the rut of factory work are the key themes of David Dominguez poetic narrative Work Done Right. Unlike other books, the story unfolds in verses and meter rather than the usual paragraphs and chapters. However, the method used still captures the essence of the main characters personal journey from being stuck at a Sausage processing plant and finally striking it out in the world which was triggered by the death of his only friend Guillermo. Also the use of poetry as chapters allows more vivid images. It allows the readers to supply the unspoken words in the story with their own ideas of work, freedom and growth. By the use of poetry and stanzas Abrahams day to day struggle in the factory and the constant wish to get out become more felt. In the end, the decision to quit the job is felt as a major turning point in his life as well as an epiphany of sorts, where after several poems about the dangers of using big machines, the boredom in industry work and the routine lifestyle, is magnified for the reader to actually feel good about freedom.

There are many important elements in the entire narrative. There is death, friendship, hardship, menial labor, the plight of workers as modern day slaves, love and most importantly growth, search for ones identity and liberation. Abraham, the main voice in the story, can be likened to an apprentice or a young lad who still has high spirits about the world and who finds everything interesting. Abraham, the great-grandson of Alberto, a Mexican soldier who crouched below a shrub of honey mesquite and buried in his uniform (Between Magnolia and Ash, 3), descends from a line of immigrants. The history Alberto, his great grandfather, is shown in the first poem where it is told that he was caught ravaging a young woman which was the reason why he was perhaps banished from the land. This story begins what can be called hardship because from estate owner, the Alberto clan became poor with nothing but a cart and a young mare to their name (4).

The second poem would explain the present condition of Abraham. Like all high-spirited youths, he means to travel the world with his second-hand pickup truck with nothing but two pairs of jeans, a few T-shirts, and a pair of work boots (Mi Historia, 7). What can be seen here is that Abraham has become independent and is out looking for a job. He does not like to have a dead-end life because it feels like that his liking for the road speaks of his wish to go on and on in a journey for himself. In the same poem, it is revealed that Abraham wants to right his own historynot the history of men, of earth or of anyone else but his own. Again, he does not want to get stuck at becoming some stereotype and it is felt that he is hell bent on making sure that he makes a namea history for himself which is a grand ambition for a young teen.

Following this brief history of Abrahams life, the author now zooms in to the main setting of the story which is the Galdini Sausage factory. Abraham applies for the job perhaps eager to earn money to pay for his needs now that he is on his own. He is a newcomer to the factory but settles in quite easily because of the welcoming factory workers who helped him out. However, his senses are assaulted by the overwhelming stench of raw pork meat. He notes that pork gripped the men and was everywhere, in the form of blood, in the form of fat, and in pink meat stuck to the workers shoes (Pig, 11). The title of the poem chapter captures the lingering stench of raw material and thoughts of hours of hard work along with the overwhelming sense of industrial slavery if not stagnation. Put differently, the smell of pig and the fact that bits and pieces of raw meat are stuck everywhere immediately gives to the readers a feeling of being trapped.

The pervasiveness of pig meat is a powerful imagery that it brings up the emotion of hopelessness and desperation. Abraham even observes that one man stood straight up into the sky, closed his eyes, and with his thumb and forefinger worked out bits of meat from his eyelashes (ibid.). This only goes to show that the workers there have dedicated their lives to their work so much so that parts of their work turn up in different places in their bodies and clothes. Still, Abraham attempts to work in the factory. Despite the dirty job involve he pushes on determined perhaps to make some money and become an adult.

He starts work with strange men who are his co-workers. The scene is a little bit hostile because Abraham does not yet know how to use the machine and how to cut the links. He is at once intimidated by a co-worker who they call Mamas who is able to cut links with precision for hours on end. As if by way of comparison, he notices that his job was Womans work and he feels that his nicked-up knuckles began to burn and fray with blood, while Mamas move her hands with grace (Contigo 13). The image that is shown is one of a newcomer trying to keep at pace with a veteran in the factory. Yet the differences in their skills do not deter Abraham from taking on the job, but only reminds him of distant memories form the past of another woman with the same slender hands (ibid.).

It is important to point out that at the very first day of his work Abrahams thoughts begin to wander around. He is physically manning the grinder but his mind is elsewhere. This is indicative of the fact that he is the type of person who will not like to be tied down to one place or to one activity. Immediately after watching his co-workers work, his thoughts take him back to memories of his grandfather, to empanadas and to other days when he was still a young child. He compares the life of an adult filled with so many problems and responsibilities to a child who is carefree and is free from any obligation.

There are other instances where Abraham tries to escape the drudgery of routine work. His hands automatically cut off sausages while he remembers the happiest moments of his life. Eventually he turns his interest to his only friend in the factory Guillermo. Guillermo, like Mamas, has been working the factory for so long. Guillermo was a man who came to work on time, a man who always smelled like aftershave and the lotion he used to comb his hair (Rise Like a Moon Above Industrial Sol, 29). His (Guillermo) hands calloused by the amount of hours trying to process meat to sausages and chorizos. His mind fully attuned to the buzz of the machines and the grinders. Consequently, Guillermo was the personification of wisdom, old age and the idea of stagnation to the mind of Abraham. In other words, Abraham saw himself in Guillermo several years down the road.

However, Guillermo was also a friend outside of work. Like the title of the poem chapter, Abraham see a glimmer in the line of his work in Guillermo like a Moon above industrial Sol, because he is at peace when he watches Guillermo and is fascinated by the confident manner in which Guillermo attended to his work We finished the pallet in silence, morning moved slowly toward noon, and when the pallet was empty, we clocked out, and tried to leave our thoughts of pork for some other day (30). Put in other words, Abraham felt that his days moved faster and the thoughts of pork kept at bay when he is with Guillermo.

This friendship between Abraham and Guillermo is one of apprenticeship and learning. Abraham learns the ropes of his work as much as he discovers how adults deal with life. When Abraham comments that this is not the way to live (referring to the work at the Sausage factory), Guillermo replies by dipping his hands into a box line with wax, used his hand like a wooden ladle, filled his palm with warm blood, and he held it very still as if blood might reveal lost memory or a life that he had yet to live (Club Las Palmas, 31). The deft motions and the silent reply only highlights the idea that Guillermo has found his place he can call home which is the sausage factory which would ultimately be the place where dies.

Guillermo had dedicated his life to the work at the sausage factory in ways that Abraham could not even begin to imagine. To Abrahams mind, the work in the factory was supposed to be only temporary and should not substitute his big ideas of the future. His mind is still young and his maturity level does not equal Guillermo but he has a vision of a life that does not involve working the machines in cramped places and with the stench of pigs meat. He does not want to stagnate the way that Guillermo stagnates in the factory. Instead, Abraham believes that a man must do more than sell roses where the bums go and beg--he must keep something holy. He must breathe the winds that rustle the orchards of the valley where the white almond blooms replenish with their soft scent (Oxtail Stew, 33). And the only way out of the factory was to get off the bus, have his red pickup truck fixed, quit his job and drive away.

At first, Abraham is hesitant to quit his job. His friendship with Guillermo has convinced him that there is something to look forward to even if one is only a sausage factory worker. He puts off several times his attempt at quitting the job. However, when Guillermo figures in an accident and died while at work, the question in Abrahams mind is decided with finality.  In the ninth poem of the final part, Guillermo does work right but meets his demise when the grinder fell down on him and split his head (When the Machines Stopped at Galdini Sausage, 62). The death of Guillermo ended whatever fascination Abraham still has about work and about the factory. While Guillermo was alive, Abraham ignored the stench of the pigs, the striking workers and the itch to leave. However, when Guillermo dies because of his work, it was easy for Abraham to just leave everything behind and ride his truck to nowhere until he discovers his identity as a person and what his history should be in the days to come Abraham Tovar, nineteen years old and no longer up at dawn to work at Galdini Sausage...father of nations and strong like a bull (The Perseid Showers, 65).


William Faulkner was a writer from the Deep South who told his stories about the people and events that surrounded him from birth in the year before the Spanish-American War and ending his observations, when he died in 1962, with a widespread and increasingly-energized movement for Negro Civil Rights. He wrote with a keen eye and sensibility, and what he saw and recorded was the immersion of Southern life in racism, touching every fiber of every being and every nuance of every event. Whether Faulkner was racist is not the topic here, but his reactions to it, through his words and images, in The Sound and the Fury.

As with a wide brush, many critics label Faulkner as racist for his use of certain words or expressions, or for his portrayal of black characters as simpler and less complex than white characters. As Cooley (303) notes Faulkners black characters were not written purely from personal contact and observation of life in the environs of Jefferson, Mississippi. His intertextuality alludes to and perpetuates well-established myths and stereotypes pertaining to the nature of black identity and culture. But a problem with stereotypes is that they are often true, which is why they become stereotypes. To say that the average black person in the Deep South throughout the first half off the 20th century (Faulkners childhood to late middle age) was somewhat subservient to whites and had limited educational and occupational options is merely the reporting of fact, not a smear or lazy use of characterization.

Racism complicated the relationships between whites and blacks precisely because the relationships were originated and thus defined by racism, by the forceful imposition of slavery of one on another under the guise of superiority. As Kinney (268) states, concerning the activities of Dilsey, the servant at the center of the Compsons life and survival she hauls in firewood, toils up the stairs with a hot water bottle, scolds her grandson and feeds the thirty-three-year-old suffering from Downs Syndrome, her every gesture remains that of the traditional mammy her outreach is imprisoned in duties dictated by past legacy. Her glory is to serve, but she serves not the Lord in this novel but the deteriorating Compson family in their rotting house. She evokes for us, then, a kind of fatality that seems both to sadden and to undermine any claim she may have on our sense of heroism. She invokes enormous pity but insufficient terror. The racism which Faulkner exhibits here is, I think, profoundly subtle and profoundly deep, and wholly unintended.

The terror Kinney refers to was the basis for much of the evils so energetically imposed on blacks the fear that they would rise up and do unto whites what had been done unto them. For whites, blacks were mysterious, separate, with the separation forced between them and maintained out of self-preservation. That chasm could almost never be crossed or bridged, even when the need was great. In another essay, Kinney (261) says that ...(I)n every observation of dress, speech, and behavior and attitude, Dilsey is the stereotypical, mythical--Bell would say archetypal--black Mammy and how this severely restricts her function in the novel as a moral norm or as a hope for the Compson family she serves or the emerging twentieth-century South of which she is a part. Even when the Compsons need Dilsey to survive, they cannot truly make her a part of themselves and thus overcome their own failures racism dooms them.

Because racism is and will remain a touchy subject, those who bring light to it, as Faulkner did, are often misunderstood. Brumm (101) notes that

It is interesting to discover that major critics of the fifties and sixties had no trouble to discern in Dilsey the representative of the ethical norm (Olga Vickery), or The ethical norm of Christian humanism (Robert J. Griffin). On the other hand, without reference to her race, Vickery considered her--very wrongly I think-- almost as inarticulate as Benjy and David Minter in a strangely contradictory statement Judged Though her understanding is small, her wisdom and love are large. Perhaps the statements were made because at this time these were tacitly considered racial characteristics, even if no mammy-stereotype was involved.

At the risk of repeating the point, describing what is doesnt necessarily make the description racist or even prejudiced. When anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote about the peoples she was living with, much of her writing was straightforward description, and if the subject matter was odd, repulsive or even abhorrent to us, that was merely our reaction to the facts and not a deliberate intent by Mead to impose her judgment or bias on what she was observing.

But familiarity breeds understanding, and with understanding comes the dawning of respect and even admiration. In Dilsey Faulkner harks back to his childhood mammy, a woman who most certainly influenced him with her attentions and affections more than anyone else in his tender years. What a childs heart understands is never lost. Returning to Kinneys earlier quote, Faulkner may have been exhibiting an unintentional and unconscious racism in his portrayal of Dilsey, but whether he did or not, there is a simple and unarguable observation to the contrary But Faulkners admiration for Dilsey betrays him (269).

Faulkner, if he was a racist, was probably more so because he grew up and absorbed the tenor of his times and though he may have made a concerted effort to overcome it and regain his natural moral balance, it was nevertheless a chain around his mind. It is worth noting that the only character that clearly rises above his chains, self-imposed or hung upon by others, is the Reverend Sheegog, who propels himself through simplistic faith to a greater world beyond, a black man reaching personal heights others can only belittle or pray for.

To link Dilsey and Benjy as so many do because they are both less capable or innocent or in some tortured way pure is more racism than criticism, it is more a rejection of the other than an embrace of what is shared. Faulkner wrote about a mentally-challenged child who was cared for by a black woman not because he wanted to pair them up as equals, but because he wanted to show how both of them were trapped by external circumstances, but free from the personal ones. The white characters in Faulkners novel are trapped and tortured by their own fears, needs and wants Dilsey accepts and moves on, neither rushing nor falling behind. She cares for Benjy because only she can, for she is the only one who can love him as he is and tend to his needs. Dilsey, like the white characters, is not happy, but she is more content than they are, more in tune with herself and the world and thus more worthy of our attention and sympathy than the others. Faulkner makes her so with his words and images because she was real, she was important and she was, beyond the binds of illogic, fear and cruelty that underlie racism, the one character that Faulkner could respect and admire and make us feel naturally the same for her.

Shays Perspective of Allison Healing Process

Experiences hone different individuals. Through the life experiences people learn to react and realize certain matters regarding themselves as well as their personal lives. Moreover, the importance of experiences truly provides an important aspect of person in his or her psychological state. During times of war, it is important to note that people are mostly psychologically affected. Moreover, wars are events which do not only affect different countries but as well as the people who see and experience wars. Therefore, the psychological impacts of wars become a very difficult experience. Furthermore another difficult experience is abuse. The concept of abuse is vast in many regions in the world. In the society, abuse is often at hand. The saddest part of this type of abuse is the ignorance of people regarding different kinds of factors in the society. Looking at these situations of abuse and psychological effects of violence in the society, the question of turning the effects from such type of situation is at hand.

In the book written by Dorothy Allison Two to Three Things I Know for Sure it is evident that the society becomes very abusive for people who are poor. Moreover, the importance of social class and the ability become economically normal is an important matter in the community which had been discussed in the book. Furthermore, it is very important to view that the book is providing a story which highlights social class as the ability to be empowered and be abused. Hence people who are seen as poor are often judged and abused in order for higher social classes to be much empowered and feel better about them selves. These problems are creating different issues with regards, to separation of various classes in the society. Moreover, such kind of criticisms towards other people is very important in the psychological perspectives of these people. Hence, the writing of Jonathan Shay is presenting an important aspect concept in the societal perspective. Shay stated that the society plays a great role in the perspective of a person. For the society has its unstated norms, people tend to critique individuals. Shay utilized soldiers in different wars in order to justify his claim.

Furthermore, it was stated that people from the war are very sensitive in terms of their achievements and experiences. People whom are unable to go home to the United States with success are often criticized by the community. Similar to the Korean War where in soldiers are seen as individuals who are weaker then other soldiers put to war.  On the other hand, there are soldiers in the Vietnam War which were persecuted by the people when they came home. The persecution of soldiers in the Vietnam War was caused by the many deaths of the people as well as little children. Although the United States become triumphant in the wars, the number of people who had died in the war is important. Hence, soldiers are seen as monsters and killers of people. Such kind of judgments and experiences lead to huge psychological issues in the personal lives of soldiers. Through this, most soldiers becomes untrusting with other people (154-155).

The written work of Allison is also similar to the experiences of the soldiers. Many individuals see the importance of what kinds of activities people are able to do (Alisson 35). However, being judgmental and critical of different people leads to the aspect of distrust and removing oneself from the society. It is very evident that the book written by Allison is similar to the facts stated by the Shay. The main character of the book is often yearning to have a place where in she is able to be herself without any qualms. Through travelling and walking in different areas outside of her community, it is clear that her exploration somehow meant freedom in her perspective. Through the stories she makes up, the character becomes free. Unlike moments where in she is within their home or their subdivision, the girl feels free to talk to anyone and experience everything for no one knows her.

Hence, healing is similar to accepting reality. Though past experiences are important in the present, accepting former actions is important to attain freedom at the current times. Similar to the statement of Shay, where in he stated that there are different methodologies in purifying soldiers who just recently came from war. Thus, different doctors are being met by the soldiers in order to relieve them from the trauma that they all had. The case of PTSD (149) is an important matter for different individuals. A huge change of a person in terms of decision making or reaction is also affecting an individuals perspective of life and the likes. Hence, there are moments in which a soldier or a veteran bursts out from his peacefulness and disrupts the silence of the community. Moreover, such aspect is what most individuals are preventing. There are instances that certain issues are over magnified by people who had experienced such terror. In the story Gun Crazy, it is very clear that there are cases in which a person could go ballistic due to simple reasons. Hence, PTSD patients move towards extreme situations which could affect individuals. The paranoia of people affected by this psychological disease is paranoid and helpless regarding their emotions. Furthermore, impulsive reactions to situations tend to result into an violent and negative results.

Healing is an important matter to be learned by any people. Though experiences are all composes the personality of a person. Certain disturbances and irregularities must be faced in order to heal a person from different kinds of psychological issues at hand. In the book provided by Allison it is very clear that she wrote for people who are affected by certain emotional or physical violence of other individuals. Through the long endurance in such situations of abuse, people also become vulnerable which could lead to violence. Hence, it was suggested by Shay that there must be a purification process (244) after the battle. The purification is attaining religious and self connection which is important to clear the bad experiences of a person. Through the realization that people need help, the aspect of trust and paranoia shall be healed. Furthermore, being home is the only suggestion provided by Shay  Be at Home. For a person who does not trust and have faith during certain situations, it is important to be in a place where an individual is contented and calm.

Furthermore, acceptance is also an important to the steps of healing and forgiveness. A person must be willing to accept that experiences have reason and such reasons could only rely to the future. Also, it is important for a person to gain respect to one another. Upon cases of psychological issues, certain individuals hate themselves because they are what they are. However it is through respect that individuals are able to see the other side. Hence, people who had experience violence are mostly shattered. Wars are not simple acts of little boys who wants to play it is a sacrifice of their own lives. It is to live by the principles of certain groups in order to attain acceptance.

Discovering an Identity in Words Andre Lorde s Coal

In his poem  Coal,  poet Andre Lorde uses a combination of simple images, metaphors and similes to express the freedoms and restrictions of language and how it helps us see the world. Using the natural imagery of minerals such as diamonds and coal, Lorde paints a picture that likens race and how its constructed by language. More importantly, Lorde uses the comparisons and descriptions to illustrate the immensity and limitations of words in expressing the experience of being black.

Race plays a central role in the poem from the beginning of the poem with the introduction of the speaker as  total black  (ll.2) , implying that it is he who is the coal that the poem is titled after. Also in the final stanza of the poem he once again identifies himself as black but this time capitalizing the word,  I am Black  (ll.24). With the capitalization of the letter B, the word black goes from being a color to an identity, something to claim as oneself rather than just a way to describe or simplify race. This last point is important because it is the underlying reason for the switch from black as descriptive to proper name. At the beginning of the poem, Lorde has been simplified by a society that just sees his black skin. They do not see beneath his surface or into the complexities of both who he is and what he is trying to express. By the end of the poem
Some words are open life a diamond on glass windows singing out within the crash of sun (ll.8-10).

While Lorde plays on the word black itself to show the fight for individuality, he questions how words themselves are so varied as to represent different ideas and feelings. Some words are  like stapled wages in a perforated book come whatever will all chances the stub remains an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge  (ll.11-14). These are the words that hurt a person and leave them feeling exposed to the world. They are like the spot that you cant stop picking at because you are always aware they are there. Other words stay buried inside of people, these words Lorde describes as  live in my throat breeding like adders  (ll.15-16). These are the words we  always want to say the protests against oppression or even just the ideas or feelings express. More importantly they represent the parts of ourselves that stay hidden from the world, they cannot be used against us to judge and define but neither can we truly claim them as our own. Imagination and the power of self-identity is found in the last kind of words described,  Other know sun seeking like gypsies over my tongue to explode through lips like young sparrows bursting from shell  (ll.16-18). It the last part of this passage, with the  young sparrows  Lorde is describing the act of finding yourself and your freedom within words.

Hedged in by the definitions and views of society, Lorde is pushing himself out of the ground where hes been forced to grow. However, in being discriminated against because of his color, he was able to find through words and experience a feeling of himself. He becomes in his use of language not just a color but a multi-faceted jewel,  As the diamond comes into a know of flame I am Black because I come from the earth s inside Now take my word for jewel in the open light  (ll.22-24). His words have been created through his experience and can show something beyond the ideas of the racist society.

Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twains classic novel, Huckleberry Finn, is a story that tackles many complicated themes and takes a long, hard look at the nature of the South in the middle part of the nineteenth century. Though it appears to be little more than just a story of a young boy on the surface, the novel digs into themes of racism, slavery, and the transitions that take place across the South during that period of time. Specially, Twain touches on how the region and its people were constantly changing in an effort to keep up with the times, and how they were constantly looking for new ways to combat the changes that they did not want to endure. As one reads the book, it is hard not to notice the importance of the Mississippi River as it relates to the characters and to the overall picture of the South during that time. In many ways, the river is a metaphor for life in the mid-nineteenth century South. Always flowing and changing, the river charges toward an eventual destination, just as life in the South did during the middle part of the nineteenth century.

The Mississippi River charges on toward its eventual destination, and its relentless nature is something that cannot be denied. Much in the same way, the South, as depicted by Twain, is a place that is headed toward an eventual destination. Set in the time of slavery, this book discusses some of the ways that racism and slavery impact society during that time. Though the world around was quickly changing, rushing toward a time when slavery would no longer exist, the South continued to hold out for as long as possible. Slavery was a way of life in the region, and the people there could not begin to imagine what life would be like without slavery. This insistence on keeping slavery alive and well is something that can be seen in many of the political agreements made during the 1850s. With the United States expanding toward the West, it was clear that some things had to be defined and others had to change. New states would be entering the Union, so agreements had to be struck on the nature of those states. The Compromise of 1850 was a very important event that illustrates just how stubborn the South was during a time when the eventual direction of life in the United States was apparent. indicates that this was one of the turning points, and further indicates the obvious nature of the nations direction. That sites says of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the Union as the 16th free state. In exchange, the south was guaranteed that no federal restrictions on slavery would be placed on Utah or New Mexico. Texas lost its boundary claims in New Mexico, but the Congress compensated Texas with 10 million. Slavery was maintained in the nations capital, but the slave trade was prohibited. Finally, and most controversially, a Fugitive Slave Law was passed, requiring northerners to return runaway slaves to their owners under penalty of law ( The site goes on to note that the Compromise of 1850 was a win for the free states, giving them power in the Senate and setting the stage for legislation in the future. Still, the South was holding on and grasping at straws, attempting feebly to protect its way of life. This way of life in the South was changing, though, and nothing was going to stop it as it charged forward toward eventual emancipation. Just as the river could not be stopped, the eventual changes in Southern culture could not be stopped.

One of the interesting literary techniques that the book uses is symbolism with the Mississippi River. The role of the river changes over the course of the book, as well. It represents freedom in the beginning, as it is the method that Jim and Huck use to get out of the society they both loathe. Over time, the role of the river evolves, and once again represents a metaphor for what life in the South was like during that time. Eventually, the river becomes a dangerous place, where twists and turns lie around every bend. The river was always changing and it took on a life of its own. This is similar to what happened in the South during the middle part of the nineteenth century. Times were changing, and Southern leaders were well versed in how to adapt to those changes. As the movement to end slavery began to pick up steam, Southern leaders postured in Congress to stop the movement. Even more importantly than that is the fact that after slaves were granted some freedoms, life in the South modified to disallow these freedoms once again. Just as the river constantly shifted to provide new challenges and dangers, life in the South shifted to provide new obstacles for freed slaves to overcome.

One of the most important themes that Twain touches on in the work is the role of Jim Crow laws, which were the official genesis of the discrimination effort against newly freed blacks. It was something that would sustain itself for decades to come, as the South continually reinvented itself in an effort to stop its eventual direction. According to, the South took the law into its own hands, asserting that if the Union would not allow slavery legally, the South would do everything in its power to collectively intimidate and shut out blacks. On that site, Dr. Ronald L. F. Davis writes, Segregation and disfranchisement laws were often supported, moreover, by brutal acts of ceremonial and ritualized mob violence (lynchings) against southern blacks. Indeed, from 1889 to 1930, over 3,700 men and women were reported lynched in the United States--most of whom were southern blacks. Hundreds of other lynchings and acts of mob terror aimed at brutalizing blacks occurred throughout the era but went unreported in the press (Davis).

As the University of Dayton indicates, these laws could be very heinous or simply annoying, depending upon the situation. That universitys site lists one Alabama law as being, It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment (University of Dayton). In these items, one can see a clear representation of how Twain used the river to denote Southern society during that time. As the story goes along, the river grows to have a life of its own, just as the treatment of blacks in Southern society took on a life of its own. Slavery could be one stretch of the river, and as soon as Jim and Huck make it through a difficult stretch, something else was waiting once again. Much in the same way, just as Southern society was forced to change to accommodate free blacks, it modified itself to ensure that they were not totally free.

Twain uses this work to touch on some very human themes in a most simplistic way. Using literary techniques like symbolism, metaphors, and powerful imagery, he paints the picture of a time in the South when things were constantly changing. He discusses the historical impact of slavery, and notes how life in the South was something that was very twisted. Much like the Mississippi River had its twists and turns, life in the South was something of an adventure. People who would normally be considered good by moral standards were even standing by the wayside, not doing anything about the terrible instances of racism and slavery that they encountered on a day to day basis. It was a world where few truly good people existed, as even those folks who might earn this distinction were guilty of not stopping the heinous acts that were such a major part of the society at large.

Though the book might seem simple and it might read like an adventure tale on the surface, it truly does evaluate some deeper, more important themes. Racism and slavery were rampant in Southern society, and the more important them is the constant evolution of Southern society to help counter the changes that were forced upon it. Twain uniquely and skillfully uses the Mississippi River as a metaphor for this Southern life, even modifying the way in which the river represents Southern life as the story goes along.


In the book Shiloh, written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, one of the prevalent
themes that is developed from the very beginning is that of trust. This is shown when the
boy first sees Shiloh emerge from the woods as he is taking a walk. The dog cowers,
acting as if someone has beaten him in the past. What is interesting about the scene is that
the dog seems to sense the boys gentle nature towards animals and his reluctance to be
cruel in any way. This is clear when the young man says, Theres a broken branch
hanging from a limb out over the water, and Im wondering if I can bring it down with
one shot. I raise my gun, and then I think how the sound might scare the dog off. I decide
I dont want to shoot my gun much that day.

His focus is not on what he wants to do, but what is best for the dog. He also
instinctively knows that the dog wants to walk with him. When his father takes him over
to Judds house to return the dog, the boy holds onto to Shiloh and tells the man not to
kick at him. He tries to protect Shiloh the best he can from the abuse the man hands out,
and the dog knows who the better person is in this case. He readily goes to the boy when
he whistles, and trusts him over the cruel owner.

Throughout this story the author draws on the deep empathy between Shiloh and
the boy, showing the gentle trust that builds between the two from the first moment that
they meet. The small moments that define this trust are woven into the tale with ease,
building the relationship into one that is clearly based on a deep connection between
the two.

The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party is considered to be an iconic act of defiance of the American colonists against the oppressive authority of the British. On December 16, 1773, a band of Bostonians disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians and raided three ships that were full of tea crates at the Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of the crates into the sea. It is generally thought that when the British raised the price of tea, many Americans were outraged and there were widespread protests, the Boston Tea Party being one of the more dramatic ones. But the real story behind this famous event in the American struggle for independence is rather different.

Essentially, the Boston Tea Party occurred not because the British hiked the price of tea, but because the tea prices were lowered by the British East India Company and this was affecting the profits of American merchants. It was not so much a patriotic action as it was an act motivated by commercial interests of the patriots who would have lost a good deal of money if loads of cheap British tea were dumped into the markets of American colonies. Furthermore it was not a spontaneous act of rebellion as is generally thought but an operation planned well ahead. Although this event fortuitously rose to great historical prominence, it was not such a unique, landmark event as it is generally depicted to be. There were tea protests both before and after the Boston event at many places New York harbor, Philadelphia, Greenwich in Connecticut, Charleston in South Carolina  all the main tea markets. In Annapolis of Maryland, a more dramatic one took place when an entire ship was put to fire (Ayres, 208).

The great conflict over tea began when the British East India Company originally increased its prices to make up for the tax increases imposed by the British government. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, the issue of tax increasingly became a source of great friction between the ruling British and the colonial Americans. Taxation was, albeit indirectly, one of the major reasons for the uprising of the colonies. Americans were technically regarded as English citizens, and they were proud and content to be so for a long time. However, the colonists were not allowed to vote and did not have any representation in the British Parliament. Now, the money that was spent by the British government, over the years, in developing and protecting the 13 colonies went on piling up and in order to offset these expenses the British parliament began to levy increased taxation on the colonies.

The colonists were not against the increased taxation, but they demanded that they have representation in the British Parliament so that they could be sure that the revenues from the taxes were spent justifiably. No taxation without representation was their slogan. Therefore at issue was not taxation per se, but the authority of a British Parliament  devoid of elected American leaders  over the American colonies. The colonists were asked to pay extra for all sorts of things like stamps, sugar and so on. Though such taxation could be considered exorbitant, Americans would still have had no problem with it if they had the confidence that the extra money they were paying was being put to use in an accountable manner. But this did not happen. Americans therefore took a stand that they could be taxed only by Americans, in the colonial assemblies.

Friction between Americans and the British government erupted in regard to the Stamp Act and it was repealed in 1765. But fearing that it was ceding to too much power to the Americans, the British Parliament grew stubborn and passed a Declaratory Act in 1766 which asserted the absolute right of the Parliament to legislate for the colonies as it deemed fit. Immediately thereafter, the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767 began imposing a series of new taxes, including on tea.

Americans led by a group of patriots called Whigs began organizing a spate of protests and boycotts. Merchants formed into coalitions and abided by a non-importation agreement, while in the colonies toward north they tried to import tea from Canada. Abstaining from British tea became a gesture of patriotism among the colonists. Smuggling was afoot in the major centers such as New York and Philadelphia, while British dutied tea too continued to be imported. Finally, in 1770, the British Parliament yielded to the pressure of American protests and repealed the Townshend taxes  except for the tea tax.  The tea tax was retained by the British as a matter o f principle, so that they do not appear as if they were completely yielding to the demanding of the colonists. The British wanted to assert their authority to some extent or other.

As a result, the black market for tea continued to thrive in the colonies. Americans were smuggling in tea from the Netherlands and were selling it at much cheaper prices in comparison to British tea. Even some of the notable names of American Independence struggle were possibly involved in this illicit trade.

As Americans increasingly went for the contraband tea, it severely dented the revenues of East India Company. At one stage, there was seven year supply of tea lying in the warehouses of the Company. At this point the British government intervened and introduced the Tea Act of 1773 in a bid to save the floundering East India Company. The Act granted official monopoly to the Company to import and sell tea in the colonies. More importantly, the British government made an arrangement which allowed the Company to sell tea to the colonists at prices lower than those of the smuggled varieties.

The crucial point here is that the tea taxes were retained by the British mainly as a symbolic gesture of authority, and not to draw revenues. The new arrangement in the framework of the Tea Act allowed the East India Company to keep the prices lower even after the addition of taxes. This meant that 1) the British need not step back on the issue of tea tax, 2) the East India Company is in a competitive position to sell tea, and 3) the American consumer should be happy buying legal tea at affordable prices. Every one stood to gain  except for the traders who dealt in the smuggled tea and making quick money. These merchants and the leaders associated with them spearheaded the movement against the large influx of East India Companys tea into the colonies, under various pretexts. One of the chief pretexts was that if monopoly could be imposed on sale of tea, it could be imposed on various other products as well. Yet another argument was that the British were stubbornly retaining the taxes even if they did not stand to benefit from them in any way, just as a matter of principle, and therefore they ought to be opposed too as a matter of principle. Lowering of the tea prices was actually seen as a bribe or reward for the colonists in return for their willingness to be taxed. Earlier on, the colonists were opposing the taxes on a matter of principle  no taxation without representation. Now if they started paying taxes willingly by buying the cheap tea, they could appear soft and opportunistic. Although these are rather legitimate concerns and fears, they were fanned by the smuggled tea merchants who are the only group who stood to lose financially by the Tea Act. The colonists felt that they were being manipulated by the British, but they were also being manipulated by their own black marketers who organized numerous protests. Much brouhaha was created in especially in the colony of Massachusetts.  

In late November, 1773 the Companys vessel Dartmouth arrived in Boston harbor carrying a huge cargo of Darjeeling tea ( Activists led by Samuel Adams were keen to send away these ships. These people participated in agitations and threatened violence if Dartmouth did not return to England. However, Governor Thomas Hutchinson was equally adamant on not yielding to the demands of the radicals. Meanwhile, two more Companys vessels landed at the Boston harbor carrying large consignments of tea. The consignments of the three ships had to be officially taxed on or before December 16, after which they could be released into the markets. All this time, Samuel Adams and others was holding public meetings and inciting the masses to join in bigger rallies.

On December 16, a crowd of 8,000  about half the population of Boston  showed up at Adams anti-tea rally. During this gathering, Adams received the word that the cargo vessels would be unloaded soon. As Adams meeting was going on, simultaneously another meeting was arranged at the home of Boston merchant Benjamin Edes. Some 50 men in addition to several leaders of the local chapter of Committee of Correspondence were present at the meeting. They were getting ready to carry out an assault on the tea ships. Before they set out on their mission, however, they drank strong rum concoctions to their hearts fill. As Adams led his crowd to the wharf, the men from the Edes party too arrived there and boarded the ships to the cheers of the crowds, while the British onlookers stood staring helplessly. It took over three hours for the intruders and a number of other activists who joined them to dump the tea cargoes overboard.
  The British officials in England were particularly outraged by this act. Additional troops were stationed in Boston. The harbor was closed. Until Bostonians compensated for the tea that had been destroyed, many new restrictions limiting self-rule in Boston would be in place.

The Boston Tea Party would not have had so much significance for American history, if not for the strong retaliatory measures it provoked from the British. The British reaction ended by intensifying the colonial rebellion and led to the inevitable armed conflict.

Foreign Born American Writers

American literature has changed and evolved from the early colonial days to develop characteristics that are unique and which identify it from other literary works. Several writers have contributed to the development of American literature. Some of these writers immigrated into the United States and their works were accepted into the American literary canon. Some of the notable foreign born American writers include Vladimir Nabokov, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Czes aw Mi osz (CzesBaw MiBosz).

Vladimir Nabokov was born in Russia in 1899 and moved to the United States in 1940 together with his family. Nabokov produced both fiction and non-fiction works including novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and some translations. Among his works is his 13th novel titled Pnin published in 1957 and built around the life of a Russian professor who moves into the US as a refugee and the challenges that the professor encounters in a new world (Boyd 271-287).

Isaac Singer was a Jewish American author born in Poland and was the 1978 Nobel Prize winner in literature. Among his many collections is Gimpel the Fool and other Stories published in 1960. It has twelve short stories with a mix of contemporary and folk legend aspects and heavily based on Jewish life in Poland (Kirkus).

Born in 1911 Poland, CzesBaw MiBosz became an American citizen in 1970. MiBosz is known for his poetry, essays, prose, and translations. He was the Nobel Prize winner in 1980 for his literary works. His A Magic Mountain poem reflects his personal experiences of living in Berkeley, CA (Kirkus).

The three writers have received various recognitions for their contribution to the American literature. Each of the writers has written about his life experiences in the US depicting the differences and the challenges of adapting to a new world.

The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but thats no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

All of us have dreams, but not all of us have the capacity to turn our dreams into reality. Alexander the Great had a dream to conqueror the world  one which he could fulfill, and therefore he has come to be known as the Great. Jay Gatsby, on the other hand, did not have a great and ambitious dream, he was by no means a world conqueror though perhaps he could have been one. His aspirations were much more modest. Like a typical enterprising young man of a progressive society, Gatsby simply wanted to become rich and live the good life. He succeeds in achieving his dream at a very young age, rather like Alexander. And again like the great world conqueror, Gatsby too dies young. Since Gatsby achieved his dreams, he too is great in a way. Author F Scott Fitzgerald, however, did not really want to convey the greatness of Gatsby through his novel but the emptiness of pursuing the American dream, especially when the pursuit is carried out by resorting to unfair or illegal means.

The stories of both Alexander and Gatsby show the futility of it all in the end. Legend goes that when Alexander was about to die, he told his caretakers to keep both his empty hands hanging out of the casket so that the world could see that he was not carrying anything with him to the grave. Alexander was a kind of criminal, he had to kill thousands of innocent people by way of realizing his ambitions. Gatsby too is possibly a criminal, although the nature of his underworld activities is not confirmed by indulging in bootlegging and other criminal activities, he may have brought sorrow and ruin to many families. However, just like Alexander he has no interest in the moral side of his actions. Gatsby seems to be essentially concerned only with his wealth, power and position in the society, besides the woman he loves. He is on the track of rising fast in his stature in the society and claiming for himself all the privileges of the aristocrats, but his premature death puts an end to his ambitions as well as to his love. For Gatsby, the great American dream has been realized too soon, but it is also all over all too soon, as the great achiever sinks back into oblivion.

Gatsby somehow formed a very grandiose conception of his destiny, one which is the polar opposite of his actual origins. At a very young age, Gatsby became a man on a mission, we can even call it a divine mission. The allusions that Carraway, the narrator of the story and Gatsbys friend, makes about Jesus Christ while outlining Gatsbys past are not very concealed. Like Alexander or Jesus Christ or some other great figure of history, Gatsbys mind was made up at an early stage in his adolescence. He knew he was born to fulfill some great destiny and realize some great dream. However, unlike these towering personalities of history, Gatsby was not concerned with the wider world. Jesus wanted to save the whole mankind from sin, Alexander wanted to conqueror the whole earth and unite humanity under the banner of Greek civilization. Gatsby had high ambitions but he did not have noble purposes such as those which motivated many great personalities in history. Jesus became the Christ, Alexander became the Great, and Gatsby too was made into a great by the author of the story, but there is something very ironical about Gatsbys greatness.

This is so because Gatsbys dreams did not have a wider scope to them. Certain thoughts never occurred to him, thoughts such as how to make the country wealthier and how to contribute to the progress of humanity. For a person to have this kind of deep concern with something much bigger than himself or his own life is an essential requisite of greatness, and Gatsby did not possess this quality at all. This is the fundamental flaw of his character, and this is a basic deficiency in the so-called American dream itself. Gatsby eventually realizes the American dream, for all practical purposes his tragedy is not that he did not realize the American dream, Gatsbys tragedy arises from the fact that the American dream itself is deeply flawed. Fitzgeralds novel is obviously a critique of the American dream, and not a championing of it.

Gatsby had the intelligence and imagination to see that life is meant for some greater purpose. He never could imagine himself doing some regular job and leading a mediocre existence. But he did not have the vision to see himself as being a part of the greater humanity and as a part of the long history of humanity. Jesus, Alexander and other great persons of history could do this, but such a conception was something simply beyond the mental reach of Gatsby. We must always keep in mind that Gatsby is simply a representative of the American dream, and therefore the deficiencies in Gatsby are deficiencies in the American dream and the whole way of life it stood for.

The fundamental fault of Gatsby is, to use Carraways phrase, his overwhelming self-absorption  and this is the fault of the 1920s as such, the decade in which the novel was set. This is the fault with the American dream itself it provides a lot of fuel, drive, ambition, but it does not provide a greater vision and a greater arena in which to play out the ambition. This is the reason why America is a great country, and yet it could not fulfill the real potential of its greatness.

If we look at Gatsbys character closely, he is an achiever, not an enjoyer. For example, he keeps throwing most lavish parties, but these parties are not meant for fun and enjoyment for himself. They are not ends in themselves, they are simply means to elevate his status in society, and to attract the attention of Daisy who is now married to another man. A majority of men live for the sake of experiencing pleasure and happiness for themselves. We can regard such people as consumers, they believe in taking as much enjoyment as possible from life. But Gatsby is not a consumer, he is a producer. A producer lives for creating something and achieving something. All the great people of the world have emerged only from this latter category, a consumer-type can never be great. Gatsby had so much potential to produce something, to contribute something to the world, however he did not have the vision to understand his possible role in the world.

For so many years, he simply wanted to be wealthy and pass off for an aristocrat and he wanted the girl he is fixated upon. And now he had them both. It is true that Daisy was still wavering, and seemed to favor her husband over Gatsby. But this was really a temporary hitch, the girl was now practically his. And even if this was not so, Gatsby may have begun to see that Daisy was not worth craving for. Either way, deep down Gatsby did not have a strong reason to live further. Therefore he was promptly killed. He died a glory-less and pointless death, shot by a cuckolded husband who was acting under a misapprehension. He is hardly mourned for and nobody misses him much.

The greatness of Gatsby is that he could achieve and live the American dream, even if only for a brief period, and even if only by illegal means. But what is tragic about him is that he could not see beyond the American dream, he was simply stuck there. Gatsby may have resorted to various illegal activities in order to become rich quickly, but he is not really a criminal, just in the way Alexander was not a sadistic monster. Alexander killed innocent people only when it served some purpose, and not simply for the pleasure of doing so. Similarly, Gatsby took to the route of crime only because he had no alternative to realize the American dream. Once he made himself wealthy, however, he could have harnessed his genius and used his wealth for positive purposes which could have benefitted himself and the society. However, contributing to society is not part of the American dream.

People may or may not contribute to the society in realizing the American dream, the concept of American dream does not lay any stress on altruistic or noble values. Some people invent things and become rich and realize the American dream, some others steal and become rich and realize the American dream. As a concept, the American dream is neutral about the means employed, fair or foul the end becomes all important. This is the problem with it. And once the riches are achieved, what further The American dream does not have an answer. Jay Gatsby simply squanders his money, sinks into decadence, wastes his life in trivial pursuits, and dies. His death may have been an accident, but he really did not have a reason to live further. Great men live for a dream, and Gatsby did not have any dream anymore.

Gatsbys father regrets that had his son lived, he would have been a really great man If hed of lived hed of been a great man. A man like James J. Hill. Hed of helped build up the country. But perhaps his father is mistaken. Or perhaps Gatsby could have changed himself and his ways of thinking had he lived, and then worked to create something which made a difference to the world. We cannot say for sure. We can only be certain that Gatsby had greatness in him, but failed to bring it out in any good measure. Amassing so much wealth, even if only through illegal means, is a feat in itself but it does not equate to greatness. Gatsby realized the American dream, but missed true greatness.

Entering the World Of Feminism And Postmodernism Through Beloved And Don Quixote Which was a Dream

Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of Literature o Literatureliterature and of the methods for analyzing literature. However literary scholarship since the nineteenth century often includes in addition to, or even instead of literary theory in the strict sense considering intellectual history, moral philosophy, social prophecy, and other interdisciplinary themes which are of relevance to the way humans interpret meaning. In the Humanitieshumanities, the latter style of scholarship is often called simply theory. As a consequence, the word theory has become an umbrella term for a variety of scholarly approaches to reading texts. Most of these approaches are informed by various strands of Continental philosophycultural philosophy. Nevertheless this approach renders a new dimension to the texts. However before plunging into the thematic journey of the texts it is quite evident to put forward certain aspects from the genres of cultural discourses under which these texts are to be discussed upon.

Postmodernism is a complicated term, or set of ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-1980s. Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology. Its hard to locate it temporally or historically, because it is not clear exactly when postmodernism begins. Perhaps the easiest way to start thinking about postmodernism is by thinking about modernism, the movement from which postmodernism seems to grow or emerge. Everything that the modernists had thus championed was turned on its head. While the modernist seeks order, organization, objective reasoning and the very foundations of the truth of life the post-modernist accepted anarchy, subjectivity, and a complete rejection of abstract truth. To the post-modernists, the world created by humans can only be self-referential and thus can only be understood through the analysis of self-reference. The text in post-modernism thus allowed for the opening of the text to interpretation emphasizing the importance of the reader, viewer, and audience in their own subjective readings of the text. In modernism this was not the case. The reader was irrelevant and was not dependent to the meaning of a text since it existed in and for itself. The meaning was thus independent of interpretation. Through its emphasis on subjectivity however, post-modernist thought allows the reader to reconstitute the text on every reading.
Literary theories, cultural discourses are intangible orders, which can not be perceived as numeric units. They are rather psychological or philosophical outlooks which govern the rationalities of human senses and society.

It is our society that is incorporated in literature. As our society in certain cultural discourse, is being fragmented into two divisions the male and the female. Hence to subvert the male discourse an alternative cultural discourse has been ratified, which is known as Feminism. However there is no unified body of knowledge that may be labeled feminism. Even if one uses the term in the plural one cannot do justice to all the different strands and ways of thinking that the term encompasses.Panja, 2002, 59 In a simple understanding it can be said that feminism is the alter ego or rather a strong voice embodied by women in order to ratify and justify their social conditions. The most straightforward definition of feminism says that is a movement for social, cultural, political and economic equality of men and women. It is a campaign against gender inequalities and it strives for equal rights for women. Feminism can be also defined as the right to enough information available to every single woman so that she can make a choice to live a life which is not discriminatory and which works within the principles of social, cultural, political and economic equality and independence. Feminism can be also defined as a global phenomenon which addresses various issues related to women across the world in a specific manner as applicable to a particular culture or society. Though the issues related to feminism may differ for different societies and culture but they are broadly tied together with the underlying philosophy of achieving equality of gender in every sphere of life. So feminism cannot be tied to any narrow definitions based on a particular class, race or religion.

Beloved by Toni Morrison and Don Quixote Which was a Dream, by Kathy Acker both these books are of twentieth century. In these books both the author tried to uphold the current prevailing conditions of the society where women are the sufferer in a world of male rather mannerism of the society. Both of these writers raised their voice in order to subvert the society rules and to make a separate world of their own, far away from every kinds of social, cultural, racial and gender oppression. Making a separate world with such a society has been an ideology of what Virginia Woolf tried to justify in her book A room of ones own. In contrast to the pragmatic approach taken by liberal feminism, radical feminism aimed to reshape society and restructure its institutions, which they saw as inherently patriarchal. Providing the core theory for modern feminism, radicals argued that womens subservient role in society was too closely woven into the social fabric to be unraveled without a revolutionary revamping of society.

When hearing about Toni Morrisons novel Beloved, one thinks for Sure it is another story about a slaves life. This is of course, exactly right. Beloved does tell the tales of many slaves. It tells of whippings, rape, hard work, and escape. But, while portraying this historical story of enslavement and black culture, Morrison also tells the personal tales of a few very strong female slaves. Morrisons novel focuses mainly on the female characters, Sethe, Baby Suggs, Beloved, and their relationships. If one defines feminism, as a major movement in western thinking since the 1960s, which puts particular emphasis upon the importance of womens experiences. Beloved can be seen as a feminist novel. One of the primary themes of Beloved is the issue of race and effects of slavery. Much of the novel focuses on a community of ex-slaves and how they manage to get on track with their lives. The novel questions, through the eyes of schoolteacher, what the difference is between a man and an animal. In its vivid portrayal of the Negro community, complete with their desires and troubles, the novel shows that a colored man is like any other man. The novel also addresses the concern of whether it is better to endure the injustices of an unfeeling people or to fight against them. Closely tied to the theme of race is that of the past. Each of the characters had endured a furious past, complete with the worst horrors imaginable. Sethe has been raped and forced to murder, Paul D has been imprisoned in a cube in a ditch, Stamp Paid was forced to give his wife away to be a sex toy, and the list goes on and on. Many of these men and women have chosen, like Sethe and Paul D, to repress the past. Others worked actively against it, like Stamp Paid.

However, no sort of resolution occurs for any of the characters until each learns to accept and deal with the past (which is very alive in the present). Only then can a future be found. Another theme in Beloved is that of the banality of evil. Slavery is not just an institution it is a philosophy and mindset which is far-reaching in its consequences. The Garners treated their slaves well, and consequently were respected by such people as Sethe and Paul D. Moral ambiguity, of course, plays a large role in the novel. The question of the murder was right or wrong, crops up many times in the book. The answer finally reached is that it was the right thing to do, but Sethe didnt have the right to do it. Had she not murdered Beloved, she and all the children would have been sold back into slavery. Yet, when she committed the murder, she was shunned by an entire community and placed at the mercy of a vengeful spirit. The concept of family also pervades the novel. Most of the slaves have been torn apart from their families at an early age, and there is little hope in discovering what is left of their families. The consequences of this type of separation can be seen in Sethe, who is possessive of her children, and Paul D, who is determined not to love anything too much.

Very few readers will miss the experimental structure of Beloved. It is not a linear tale, told from beginning to end. It is a story encompassing levels of past, from the slave ship to Sweet home, as well as the present. Sometimes the past is told in flashbacks, sometimes in stories, and sometimes it is plainly told, as if it were happening in the present. The novel is, in essence, written in fragments, pieces shattered and left for the reader to place together. The juxtaposition of past with present serves to reinforce the idea that the past is alive in the present, and by giving us fragments to work with Morrison melds the entire story into one un-separable piece to be gazed at. Apart from this Morrison has designed certain symbolism which clearly shows the depiction of the character in the story. Such as, Instead of using the words remember and forget, Sethe uses the words rememory- I used to think it was my rememory . . . .

But its not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, its gone, but the place-the picture of it-stays, and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world. Morrison, 1987, 36 (Both a noun and a verb here) and disremember. To Sethe, the past is alive in the present, and thus the word remember is substituted with the more organic rememory, reminding us that everything is held in memory. Similarly, the word forget lacks the conscious effort that the characters must employ to commit such an act. Thus, they disremember things, with the implication that they force them to the back of their minds. Morrisons investments in agency, presence, and the resurrection of authentic history, seem to make the novel incompatible with poststructuralist ideas at the root of postmodernism. Morrison herself has spoken out against a postmodernism that she associates with Jamesons terms. However, Morrisons treatment of history bears some similarity to Hutcheons postmodern historiographic meta-fiction, but her relationship to this discourse is affected by her aim to write black-topic texts. Morrison acknowledges that history is always fictional, always a representation, yet she is also committed to the project of recording African American history in order to heal her readers. Instead of playful exercise in deconstructing history, Morrisons Beloved, attempts to affect the contemporary world of the real. While the novel should not simply be assimilated into the canon of postmodernism, Morrisons work should be recognized as contributing a fresh voice to the debates about postmodern history, a voice that challenges the centrism and elitism of much of postmodern theory. Beloved reminds us that history is not over for African Americans, who are still struggling to write the genealogies of their people and to keep a historical consciousness alive.

A controversial avant-garde writer and cult figure of the punk movement, Kathy Acker is considered among the most significant proponents of radical feminism and the postmodern literary aesthetic. Associated with the discordant, irreverent music of punk rock, Ackers iconoclastic meta-fiction, a chaotic amalgam of extreme profanity, violence, graphic sex, autobiography, fragmented narrative, and plagiarized texts rejects conventional morality and traditional modes of literary expression. Ackers Don Quixote Which was a Dream (1986), feature female protagonists whose psychosexual misadventures, involving rape, incest, suicide, and abortion, underscore their individual struggles to discover meaning and identity in deconstructed patriarchal language and sexual masochism. A well-versed literary theorist and sophisticated experimenter, Ackers provocative fiction offers a serious challenge to established literary forms and the possibility of human understanding in a nihilistic, de-centered world. In Don Quixote Which was a Dream, Kathy Acker obsessively confronts the problematic of the interface between sexuality and power, and her persistence contradicts the apparent nihilism of her findings. She also uses radical narrative methods that locate the trauma of this confrontation in the form of the text itself. In this book, physical pain produces delirium through which the narrator gains access to the truths underlying her experiences in a series of deluded and delusional cultures. Moving through worlds where cultural horrors are visited on the body and learning from the saints who passionately embrace such experiences, she finds an identity in the momentary conjunction of passion and death. The intensity of her masochistic climaxes burns up the duality of gender. Consequently, it is paradoxically through the body that Ackers narrator escapes the biological femaleness that always threatens to engulf her.

What may be at once the most conventional and the most transgressive of the many strange narratives contained in this book, recounting of a fragmented love story. Or perhaps it might be more accurate to say that it performs a postmortem on one, as befits a tale that begins with an abortion. But who are the lovers The novels characters change name and form as they momentarily inhabit the large number of texts that Acker plagiarizes. For instance, the convergence of Lulu, Pygmalion, Wuthering Heights, Paradise Lost, Godzilla, Waiting for Godot, and Don Quixote repeatedly transforms the protagonist so that she may speak disruptively from within numerous discourses. However, two characters remain, if not stable or consistent, at least identifiable as the main actors in the novel Don Quixote and St Simeon. His omnipresence in the novel acts as the catalyst for the novels meditations on love and sadomasochism. Don Quixotes First Battle against America begins with her recognition that she cannot own anything. Her recognition that she cannot possess even her slave, her dog is gradually transformed from a source of tragedy to a source of joy, as it helps her to let go of a too constricting understand of love as an exchange in which whatever one invests must be paid back by the other. Archaic saintly practices oppose the current fusion, in the name of sanity, of capitalist, religious, and feminist values like those argued for in Dworkins Pornography Men Possessing Women where the regulation of sexual expression is urged in order that women may own themselves. Again Don Quixotes concern with the politics of its times is obvious.

The novel is not only filled with commentary on contemporary issues such as the rise of multinational corporations, environmental pollution, and the nuclear arms race. Acker marks Cervantess Don Quixote as the pretext, in both senses of the word, for her novel. But considering other versions of Quixotes story that directly precede hers helps illuminate how she situates her tale in relation to contemporary political debates. It is difficult to say whether Ackers Don Quixote was directly influenced by Foucaults discussion of the book in Madness and Civilization, as she left no doubt of her interest in his work. In Madness and Civilization, Foucault posits an opposition between art and psychology. Foucault reads literary texts not as affirming psychologys vision of human thought, emotion, and behavior, but as calling it into question. He sees the transgressive writings of authors like Artaud as especially apt to serve this function. Yet it is in the name of feminism and demonized sexualities that Butler, along with other less famous and influential theorists, calls for the augmentation of Foucauldian theory with psychoanalytic concepts. Examining Ackers readings of Foucault on madness and Don Quixote reveals the complexity of her opposition to psychoanalysis as generative of the master narrative of sexuality and gender identification, and thus offers a defense of the antip sychoanalytic Foucauldian method.

It is not only Toni Morrison and Kathy Acker who raises their voices in order to restore a proper order within the society, through the cultural discourse of feminism and postmodernism. Cultural discourse is not only applicable in literary genre it is applicable to any from of art. Hence we can find an adaptation incorporating the vocative voice of feminism and postmodernism in movie like Paris Is Burning, by Jennie Livingston.
Paris is Burning by Jennnie Livingston deals with the culture of drag in New York in the 1980s,  which was shown in the Ball competitions wherein men who impersonate, or better yet try to live as women walks and are judged based on their dancing ability, the beauty of their dresses and the authenticity of their impersonation. Each contestant represents a specific house and whenever they win their respective houses gain a legendary status. The film was presented by showing alternate footages between the ball competition and interviews with the contestants.

Although a very notable film, Paris is Burning is also highly criticized especially by feminists. In watching the film, you will see how the contestants try to portray how women look like basing on stereotypical identities or those greatly based on what men would like in a woman physically, making her the subject of desire. It failed to show the other characteristics and essence of women such as their social roles, the drags just focused on the aspects that perpetuate mens hierarchy.

It further undermines women by interpreting that being a woman makes one powerless which manifested in one of the interviews wherein one of the drags say that he will never become a woman because having the female genitalia does not necessarily mean that life would be great. Thus, many saw that this film as a mocking or women.

On the other hand, the film succeeded in the presentation of yet another marginalized culture which is that of the gay. It was able to put their character at the centre of the film and elaborated on their culture. It was able to shed light on the often misunderstood third gender and was able to present their side of the story. Then again, as was said earlier, it was done so by challenging the essence of women, which would make us think if it was able to resolve any issues at all. Thus we ask, was the film really an exposure of the drag culture or a celebration of the patriarchal society.

Hunger as Ideology

Societys views on conventional roles of women when it comes to preparing and serving food have shifted, more than they have changed over the last twenty years.  Women have been raised to prepare meals for their families, and to ensure that all have been served the meal before preparing their own plate.

More women are employed and seeking careers other than the role of homemaker.  While there are still children to be raised and fed, the markets are filled with new foods being produced which target families with working moms.  These new foods typically have everything included for a complete and nutritious meal, only needing to add meat.  They can be found in your grocers freezer.

If you would have told society fifty years ago that men would be responsible for preparing and cooking their own meals and that women were going to be less than enthusiastic about hanging out in a kitchen, cooking a meal, and serving the meal to their family, you would have been viewed as mentally incapacitated.   The womans role as homemaker was thought to be necessary in finding balance between men and women.
The increase over the years of women taking on careers caused an even greater upset to that balance.  This was a great opportunity to the food industry as it ensured women could still prepare and serve food at home.  This makes women feel better about them-selves, in not feeling as if they are neglecting their families for their own selfish gain.  Food markets have established the convenience of easy preparation after a hard days work, which restores balance in having a meal to eat, but not healthy eating by itself.  Men also benefit from todays types of meals that can be prepared in as little as 5  10 minutes from start to finish.

This is a long way from the days of old when everything we ate was made from scratch.  Fresh baked bread, cake, and pie.  Homemade egg noodles and biscuits.  More people are taking vitamins and supplements as a response to contemporary eating habits due to the lack of proper dietary consumption with the shift in conventional meal preparation and serving by women.

Packaged foods or dining out is the wave of the times as everyone is too busy to eat properly.  It is much more convenient to grab something to eat at a nearby restaurant, or store deli, and let us not forget McDonalds, Burger King, and Arbys, to name a few fast food restaurants.  

Conventionally it was the woman who made sure that meals were nutritious and that the helpings placed on a plate were of an amount that would be satisfactory in meeting daily requirements for vitamins, and minerals.  It was how society deemed the roles of women in being the weaker of the sexes yet the more organized in facilitating home life, with a husband, and children.  The era of male chauvinism was born.

With contemporary shifting, women had come to terms with their sexuality, and the want of a career.  This caused an upset in societys patterns that over time would prove not to be the last.  The word oppression would come to be used many times in the years to come, as both women, and blacks would seek equality in being human.  During these times, there was a change in the way men viewed food.  Most acclimated to the patterns set by the woman, whether dating them or being married.  Many learned to cook for them-selves and some turned out to have quite a talent for cooking.  An interesting fact is there are quite a few men who tend to lean toward gourmet cooking vs. comfort food.  Men found out they enjoyed cooking, and women found out they enjoyed sports, besides many other changes that occurred in the roles of men and women.

The downfall to this age of contemporary eating habits is that focus on dietary substance took a backseat to the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life.  People were being so pushed by life that it was expressed there was not enough time to eat right.  For those who would claim to have the time, they would complain that food prices, especially fresh fruits and vegetables were too expensive, and this made eating right impossibility.

Some things remain the same as in romantic dinners.  This conventional practice is still alive and thriving.  The only difference is that more couples go out for a romantic dinner vs. those who prepare it at home.  This has nothing to do with the food, which would have been made at home.  The reason is more to the factor of doing something together in spending quality time, and in proving that the man has a chivalrous nature and cares enough to shoulder the expense.  In this manner the conventional way of courting has not changed much today.

Women are obsessed with body image.  This fact has increased over time.  Technology is so advanced that a woman can have any type of body she chooses.   Both men and women alike can now gorge them-selves if they want to, knowing that if they become obese, they can opt for liposuction.  The same holds true for men.   It would seem that more men, than women, actually love the art of preparing meals, and as far as serving food, there is a higher impact of men serving foods in a restaurant than there are women.

The trends involving eating have a lot to do with weight, and health.  There are health conscious individuals who refrain from any junk food in their diets.  The age of juicers, and smoothies were born as individuals felt compelled to eat healthy and stay healthy.  This motivation was driven by the awareness that women were no longer chained to their kitchens, resulting in a need for men to branch out and explore all of their nutrition possibilities.

Women having shaken off the chains of primarily being homemakers and in doing this they have become even more concerned with their weight.  They feel that a conventional home cooked meal is the road to obesity.  The truth is that dining out packs on the pounds.  Dining out and a decrease or lack of exercise.  This is another trend, men and women alike are joining health clubs, going to the gym and working out in order to stay fit.

Commercials on television remind women that they are overweight, and need to do something about it, while other commercials tempt and tantalize.  Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are well known companies that promise weight loss.   These two programs are not cheap, with Jenny Craig requiring large sign up fees upfront.   Weight Watchers is not any cheaper however, they do allow low monthly payments.

An old quote the way to a mans heart is through his stomach (Popik, 2009) This saying was a motivator for women to prepare and serve food to their potential mates.  This conventional way of thinking has crossed over into a contemporary outlook, yet, it is not said as often as it once was.  In fact, women worry that they may not be able to prepare an adequate meal.  This may be due to the decrease of women who find time to cook these days.

Conventional ways of eating for women in alignment with contemporary society have invoked feelings of guilt.  Guilt at not feeding families right, guilt of overeating, and then again, not eating at all in keeping up with fashion and in being conscious of how much one weighs.  It is all about image these days and the same holds true for men.  Many will forego meals in an effort to stay thin.

Lost are the ways of practicality in bestowing good eating habits on our young.  Many youth are overweight a product of bad eating habits.  This new age of dealing with hunger is not a healthy answer for what is viewed as lifes ups, and downs.  Young women are obsessing over being thin, as they develop eating disorders such as Bulimia, and Anorexia.  Again, it is about body image, except for those with these types of disorders they envision that they are obese and stress over losing the weight.  Ultimately, they starve themselves, damaging their hearts and other organs.  Many lose their lives in this battle (Bordo 191)

In conclusion
Conventional times were built on the family unit.  Men and women had designated roles.  Women were considered the weaker of the sexes and it was thought (by men) they were better suited to keep house, cook, and tend to the children.  Men considered this type of lifestyle easy, and a way of living women could do easily.  So began a lifelong endurance of being a type of indentured slave for many women.  Also began the existence of stereotyping.

The world has come a long way in looking at the roles of men and women.  The mighty efforts brought forth by women evoked a change in, and put a stop to, what was considered male chauvinism.  Men could not understand why women complained about their role in society. Women were taking a stand in being able to express them-selves.  They had hopes and dreams that they wanted to pursue, and so, womens liberation came into being (German 1994)

The days of conventional family units, which produced well-fed, healthy individuals were gone.  The contemporary ways of families consist of many failed marriages, affecting both men and women.  Children are probably hardest hit when changes in society occur.  The eating habits of most are inadequate and the fear of gaining weight has caused even more problems when it comes to proper diets.  Not only for women, but for men as well.