Orientalism in the World Today

Orientalism is basically, the negative thought of people’s of the Middle and Near East. Given the name “Oriental” or “other” sets them apart from the superior West. Through Europe’s many years of dominance in this part of the world, we have seen years and years of racism against these people, and it really has sprouted again recently

We have all heard our President refer to our global pandemic as the “Chinese Virus.” This gives leeway to the now many xenophobic ideas in the country today. Hotlines have been set up in order to stop these, but that hasn’t helped all that much.

These ideas have stemmed from the numerous years of the theory of Orientalism. Right away being given the name “other” already sets you apart from the rest of the world, and we are seeing this manifest today in every day life. By having our President refer to it as he did, he gives others grounds to do the same and make irrational claims about a country as a whole.

What Does the Title Even Mean?

God of Small Things is a very interesting title, with an even better explanation. The book itself is very magical to go along with a magical title. In my opinion, the “God” they are referring to most closely refers to Velutha, though it can also have many broader meanings. Take this quote for example,

Even later, on the thirteen nights that followed this one, instinctively they stuck to the Small Things. The Big Things ever lurked inside. They knew that there was nowhere for them to go. They had nothing. No future. So they stuck to the small things.

Here we can see the characters thoughts on small and big things. Velutha makes Ammu realize that while during the course of a person’s life they may want strive to obtain the big things, it’s really the small things that a person can surround themselves into to make them happy.

A story of Hope

“1-800-273-8255” is a 2017 hit song by artist Logic from the album with the same name. While the name of the song may be confusing to some, it’s actually the number for the suicide prevention hotline. The song is all about having hope through difficult times and realizing your worth. Here is the link to the lyrics 1-800-273-8255.

When having to defend this song as poetry, the lyrics speak for themselves. The meaning of the song runs very deep. To start with the title would juts be the start. The song title is never mentioned in the song but is there instead to encourage people to use it and call if you ever have negative thoughts. When moving into the actual song, Logic brakes it down into three parts. The person calling the hotline, to the person receiving the call, back to the person who called now with renewed hope. The song is one big line to never give up. Logic is trying to tell those in pain that it does get better and there is no reason to believe it doesn’t

Logic achieves this meaning through some poetic devices. He uses a plethora of devices, and specifically uses metaphor to compare this newfound hope to drowning and taking the first breath after being rescued.

It’s the very first breath
When your head’s been drowning underwater
And it’s the lightness in the air
When you’re there
Chest to chest with a lover

Through this metaphor, the listener who might not have these thoughts are given an idea of what they might feel like.

Logic poses a rhetorical question in every chorus. He asks ” Who can relate?” While not expecting an answer, who wants people to know they are not in this alone. Just by asking these three words, Logic is able to bring a shimmer of hope, which he uses to build on throughout the whole song.

 

Walking to Life in Beloved

Throughout all of Beloved, we see tons of motifs that have strong symbolic meaning in the book. One in particular that stands out to be is the motif of feet. Feet are quietly a very important aspect throughout the entire book.

Feet, in my opinion, are the symbol for life and death. Every time we see feet used in the text, it’s either to compare it to life and death or use it as a segue to talk about the subject. On page 42 of the book, Amy says to Sethe that “anything dead coming back to life hurts” when she is massaging her feet. A clear example of the motif, feet are the physical representation of life and death in the book.

Another example where we see this is when Beloved arrives at 124. Her feet are “soft and new” as she is revived from her past life. As she continues to experience this second life, her feet continue to grow and get fatter, as Sethe’s feet grow smaller. As Sethe approaches the end of her life, Morrison shows this with the description of her feet.

 

Exit West and What it says about Immigration

Exit West is an incredible novel by author Mohsin Hamid. A somewhat love story of two people desperate to get out of a country on the brink of civil war. Through magical doors, the title characters Saeed and Nadia are able to leave their old lives behind and start a new life together in three different locations.

While it seems like getting out of their country will serve to benefit them, it almost seems like everywhere they go is much of the same. In just about every country they go to, they are on the outside looking in. From the locals scorning them, to the government constantly spying or attacking, it seems that Saeed and Nadia are not wanted anywhere. We see this within our own society as well.

The United States was built on immigration from a vast amount of countries. But these days, it seems as if we have forgotten that. In the case of Saeed and Nadia, all they want to do is show the people of whatever country it is they may be in that they want to contribute to the society the locals have built, and that they are just here to help. We see this manifest in our own country, with hundreds of people being denied everyday.