After reading Beloved I was prompted to go see the movie Harriet in theaters, and it was spectacular. I enjoyed the movie and the book for different reasons. The movie centered around Harriet Tubman who was a runaway slave who helped free slaves through the under ground rail road system. The movie had an overall positive vibe to it as it centered around a heroic black woman who refused to allow slavery to win. Beloved on the other hand, had a much more direct focus on the evils of slavery, and had no real light side to it. It left me feeling dark at the end of it as opposed to the movie Harriet, which had a much more against all odds “success story” vibe to it. With that said, the book was not worse because of its different tone. It brought up a low point in American history and offered a slave perspective that was not rags to riches, but rather rags to rags with a hint of paranormal activity. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movie and would recommend them to audiences wanting an empowering true story, or a new perspective.
While reading Exit West, I could not get over how oddly similar the idea of the magical doorways was to the Disney movie, Monster’s Inc. In Exit West, the immigrants are seen as these so called “others” who come through these doors and reek havoc and bring chaos. In the movie Monster’s Inc, the Monster’s are seen as scary entities on the other sides of the doors. In both cases, the predispositions about both the immigrants and the monsters are false. In both cases assumptions are made beforehand, and are not backed by evidence. Saeed and Nadia are very similar to Mike and Sully. Saeed and Nadia are misunderstood by the people who want them out of the mansion. Mike and Sully on the other hand both want to fit in in a world that does not like monsters, while at the same time balancing an impending energy crisis. The magical doors appear in both stories. They are meant to be doors to a new world and new experiences in both stories. With that said, All characters still have a connection to their sides of the doors. Nadia and Saeed both miss their country, and Mike and Sully want to find a solution in the human world to bring back to their side.
The problem with existentialism in my mind is the idea that all life is that nothing matters except for the fact that life is innately valuable. I strongly disagree with this premise as there are gaping holes in such an argument. Surely the life of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. has more value than the life of Osama Bin Laden, or any of the most recent school shooters. If life is deemed valuable for the sake of being a life there is no morality, and with out morals we are no different from animals.
Our yearn to build is what makes us human, and the need to do it together is what puts us above other species. It is the friendships and relationships we form over time that make life worth living, and it is existentialism that deems all of that worthless.
Upon reading “The Secret Woman,” the main question that came to mind for me is was it better or worse that she was not at the party for someone specific. In class, a majority of people were saying that it would have been worse if she was meeting a certain person due to the emotional connection she clearly finds more desirable compared to her husband.
While I do understand this rationale, I couldn’t help but to think that at least in a scenario where the woman is there for someone in particular, the husband knows that her feelings for him were triumphed by feelings for another. I would argue that the scenario portrayed where the woman is simply there for the pleasure of being there, is much worse than an affair. This is, in my mind, due to the fact that clearly her husband is not satisfying her enough anymore, and she is bored. At least in an affair, the woman may still have feelings present. What is happening in the story in my mind with her attendance to the “party” is that she is in need of a pleasure no longer provided by her husband.