Humble and Kind

I always listen to the song “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw in his album Damn Country Music, but I never noticed all the poetic devices in the stanzas of the song. The simplicity is something I find really intriguing about it. It was actually written by Lori McKenna, who was trying to portray a message to her five children about the things she wanted them to know. It is basic expectations for children and things they should follow in their childhood. There is a direct audience to children. It was written to be told to kids to teach them morals and things that will help them in life. The speaker is a parent or guardian giving advice to their children. There is no specific occasion in the song, though I would imagine a parent singing this song to their kid in their house. It is a simple song that broadens the importance of morals and doing the right thing.

Right off the bat, we see an example of a hyperbole in the first stanza.

When childhood stars shine,
I know you got mountains to climb
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’

These are examples of a hyperbole because they are exaggerations. Bitterness doesn’t really keep you from flying. Also, you can’t fly. You don’t really have mountains to climb, this is saying that you are going to have to overcome challenges in life. You don’t have stars that shine when you are a child,this is saying that when you are doing great in life and showing everybody what you can do, you will stand out to people.

The line “I know you got mountains to climb” is also an example of allusion. The line really means you will have goals to accomplish, which is an example of allusion because it is saying something but means something else. We see that many times in this song, which gives the song dimension by getting a point across without saying it clearly.

Another thing seen in this song is the use of symbolism. We see this in the second stanza of the song.

Go to Church ’cause your mama says to

Visit grandpa every chance that you can

It wont be wasted time

Always stay humble kind

This example of symbolism uses life situations like going to church and visiting your grandpa to represent doing the right thing in life. This adds to the meaning of the song by making children relate and think about doing the small things in life and how that will get them very far.

Personification is presented in this song as well. We see it in a couple of lines throughout the song.

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you


Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

These are examples of personification because it is giving non-human things human characteristics. Dreams cannot really come to you and love cannot give you life. This makes the poem interesting by underlying things in life that can help you but not literally help you. These lines also dd to the theme of morals because they are pieces of advice for kids to take with them in life.

People Will Help You Get By

In the book Beloved a central theme of community is brought upon the reader when reading the book. Sethe finds a sense of self through her black community when escaping slavery. Baby Suggs comes into the equation by being such a vital part of this community, making her a main character in the book. As African Americans, Sethe and Baby Suggs feel isolated from many different communities in their lives. Creating this community allowed both of them to feel like they had a place somewhere and could not feel so isolated anymore. Even when Sethe is facing charges, her community helps her through the situation, provides her with a sense of relief. This makes me think about how the different communities in our lives can make us feel a sense of relief. Whether that be a community of playing a sport or attending some type of religious meeting, people can create communities that can help change peoples lives and perspectives. With community also comes power, which is seen when the community is rescuing Sethe. As a community builds, it gains power in some way, whether that is within that community or that power is brought outside of it, something is to be said about the things a community can create.

Why I “Trust” that these characters are similar.

When first watching the film Trust, I walked out of the lecture hall confused but in wonder of what would happen next. I then started to see patterns of how Matthew’s character related to Mersault. The part that really set off this idea in my head at first was when Matthew had the hand grenade with him at all times. I saw his view of life from the eyes of Mersault who also had a perspective of an existentialist.

But what really stood out to me in the film was the use of language and just overall how the movie was foreseen. I really thought of this movie as confusing, because the situations were things that would happen in real life, but how they were carried out seemed different to me. I especially thought conversations between Maria and Matthew were interesting. I noticed them interrupting each other and just when I didn’t think they had a strong connection, they were kissing and Matthew was proposing to Maria. Existentialism in the movie came towards the end when Matthew was going to blow up part of the factory and commit suicide. This showed that Matthew was impulsive like Mersault was. Both characters had their own flaws which it seemed they would both dwell on, therefore causing them to think of life negatively. Even though these characters are similar, the overall language of the two stories is very different, the book being more straight forward versus the movie keeping you guessing and in wonder of what exactly was going on.

The Beginning of The Book

At the beginning of the book, it was interesting how Mersault reacted to his mothers death. Looking back on the first chapter in the story, Mersault described how he felt a lot in his surroundings. It was rather weird when Mersault also did not want his mothers casket to be opened. Even though this is something that not all people do, Mersault acts differently in this situation, and gets annoyed when the caretaker will not leave the room. When someone asked Mersault how old his mom was, he answers vaguely because he does not know her exact age. I find this interesting because it brings up questions on their relationship before her death. I think from all of this in the beginning of the story we can see that Mersault is indifferent ti his emotions. It does not seem like he is sad or happy about his mothers death, but that he is indifferent to the situation at hand.

This creates confusion to me about Mersault and the way he acts in the rest of the book. I almost see all of this as foreshadowing. When first reading the book, I knew we were in for a ride with Mersault, because of the way he acted and interpreted the situation.

Hidden Under the Mask

In the story “A Secret Woman” by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, it is clear that there is a disconnect in the relationship between the husband and wife. When first reading the story, I was lead to believe that they had a solid relationship. This idea was created by the playful tone of the first few paragraphs in the story when the two are discussing the ball.

Soon after, a shift in tone occurs and we find out that the husband is under the impression that his wife is having an affair, “She’s here for someone, with someone. In less than an hour I’ll know everything.” (144). When the husband observes his wife further, he learns that she is going around and kissing multiple men.

While this gives a plot twist to the story, the thing that shocked me most was the way the husband described his wife at the end. He described her as having “a monstrous pleasure being alone, free, honest in her crude, naive state, of being the unknown woman.” (146). This brings up a lot of questions. Is he acting out of jealousy? Why would she want to be kissing other men in the first place?

He also hesitated and did not stop her when she was kissing the other man. It makes the reader wonder why he would not want to intrude, and if he was simply mad at her or was okay with letting her have her night of “freedom”. Through all of this, it is seen that the husband and wife have something wrong in their relationship, and it pulls you in and leaves you wondering what their background is as a couple.