A Nasty Woman is a Heroic Man

It’s almost second nature that when a woman in society gains power or influence over others, it is considered distasteful, ugly, and appalling. So too are the characters Goneril and Regan, King Lear’s daughters in William Shakespeare’s tragic play King Lear. They are considered evil, obsessed with power, and want to overthrow their father as King of England. Whereas most readers find this appalling and would align more with the younger sister Cordelia’s character, maybe one should look at this as impressive? The theme of gender roles is a large topic throughout the play. Goneril and Regan are given a negative connotation for wanting the same power as their father. I think many woman in todays society want the same thing. Therefore, Goneril and Regan’s quest maybe is inspiring. Nothing would stop them from their goal even if this meant scheming against their elderly father who they thought was no fit for the thrown. However, if these were brothers they would be viewed as strong, powerful and intelligent characters who were acting in the best interest for the kingdom probably considered a hero. This gender battle probably will never end but if you look at the sisters actions through a different lens the whole story would be altered.

Rivers and Roads

As our time in high school comes to an end and all seniors begin to set eyes on the next chapter of life, The Head and the Heart song “Rivers and Roads” off the album The Head and the Heart, tells a story and displays emotions that many may be feeling at graduation. A somber tone sets the mood for the head singer to tell a story about missing loved ones and doing whatever it takes to see them again. As humans we all crave love; it’s a feeling that gives us purpose and passion. Therefore, when our lives take us in separate directions from those who make us feel that indescribable sense, an emptiness takes over.

A year from now, we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they’re goin’ to better places
But our friends will be gone away

The opening lines make the theme clear, and to me, it’s all in the in-exact repetition of the second line. A person is coming to the conclusion that a chapter in their life is coming to an end; it may be moving to a different state or going to college. Although this change might be for the best, the simple pleasure of hanging out with friends will no longer be possible and that presents an inevitable tsunami of sadness on the horizon.

Nothin’ is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell

The next two lines display a similar somber tone; however, now it is from a different perspective. The first verse is the speaker thinking about the glooming future and then it switches to the present moment of the speaker having gone through the change and reflecting on what he misses. This POV change is sudden and speeds up the storyline of the song. It also emphasizes how painful the situation is. It wasn’t necessary for the writer to include the first verse but by doing so it deepens the overall sadness. They have already been feeling misery for a year and that probably won’t end any time soon.

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers ’til I reach you

Lastly, these lines are repeated throughout the song. At first glance, one would envision that rivers and roads are very similar. They are in some respects both long and large ways to travel. However, thinking more about it, this analogy is more complex than one may think. A road is a man-made structure meant to get you from point A to point B directly as fast as possible. A river is a naturally winding, sometimes rapid, and sometimes slow body of water that cuts across the world. Notice the writer doesn’t say roads ’til I reach you, he says rivers. Meaning it wouldn’t be a simple trip to rekindle their relationship, it might take years to see their old friends again.

Wise Woman

Hamid writes,

She learned how to dress for self-protection, how best to deal with aggressive men and with the police, and with aggressive men who were the police, and always to trust her instincts about situations to avoid or to exit immediately.


After reading this sentence I was utterly drawn to the character, Nadia. She is a brave individual that defies social norms by moving out of her family’s house before getting married. She learned how to be independent and flourish in a world where women are taken advantage of. She reminds me of women today; people who know the odds are against them but don’t let that stop their ambition.

Naive Country People

After reading this story I believe Flannery O’Connor created the bible salesman to show Mrs. Hopewell’s character or mindset of thinking she is superior to everyone else makes her naive. At first, this man seemed religious, salt of the earth, hard working and kind: however, we learn that he wasn’t what he seemed. He was the exact opposite. Mrs. Hopewell believes that she is a good judge of character and that she knows what is and what isn’t good. She believes good country people are simple and even beneath her. She describes the bible salesman “Lord she said, he bored me to death but he was so sincere and genuine I couldn’t be rude to him. He was just good country people, you know,” she said, “just the salt of the earth.” She thinks that because the man said he was selling bibles to makes ends meet she believes she was better than him. This mindset caused her to not really see his true character and instead they were taken advantage of.

Applying Jessica Benjamin’s Theory From Bonds of Love to the Real World

Benjamin’s theory makes clear what I always knew was there. I always knew there were relationships like teacher and student, man and woman, adult and child but now Benjamin’s theory is making me realize that these are binaries and there is more behind it than I thought. She says that in order for someone to have power over another, someone has to submit therefore, there needs to be domination and submission. For example teacher and student. The dominating role is the teacher and the submissive role is the student. With good grades or gaining knowledge as an incentive, students will listen and do what their teachers say. Teachers technically can’t tell the student exactly what to do but the students choose to listen because they know it will benefit them. This gives overwhelming control to teachers and can dictate a lot in students’ lives. Benjamin’s point is important to understand because there have been many times in my life that I have unknowingly submitted to power which is not necessarily a bad thing but sometimes these relationships can turn harmful. Therefore understanding this concept I can choose to not submit if it is unhealthy, causes me harm or is unnecessary for me to succeed.