Losing Lear

In Shakespeare’s play King Lear, the main character King Lear struggles to find his identity. At the beginning of the novel, we see King Lear as a powerful ruler over his kingdom. As the story progresses Lear begins to lose his grasp on his power and this causes his perspective to shift. Previously, Lear lacked the understanding of his own power and class, but as he begins to lose the respect of others, only the Fool is left to support him. The Fool serves as an opportunity for Lear to see someone of a different class as a human and therefore acknowledge the parallels between himself and those of a lower class. By seeing these parallels, Lear realizes the inequality and unfairness he has promoted during his reign.

Moving On

At first glance of Ariana Grandes song “thank u, next” you would not think it had any poetic resemblance and just think it was another pop song about boys. As you take a deeper dive into the song you realize that it is much more than that. In Ariana grandes song she says thank you to all of her exes and explains all that she has learned from them and the positive take aways.

In her song Ariana repeats the lyrics

Thank U, next

The use of this repetition throughout the song shows the importance of moving on. Most pop culture songs fixate on how they didn’t love you back or how obsessed you are with a person. Ariana Grande goes against this and says thank you but it didn’t work out and I moved on and am fine.

Grande then reiterates her point of the song by saying how she now thinks of their relationships

Thought I’d end up with Sean
But he wasn’t a match
Wrote some songs about Ricky
Now I listen and laugh
Even almost got married
And for Pete, I’m so thankful
Wish I could say “thank you” to Malcolm
‘Cause he was an angel

The fact that Grande can thank these people and say something nice about them shows a lot about her character and how strong she is. When the song came out Ariana had just just lost Mac miller and whom she loved very much. When she says the like wish I could say thank you to Malcolm cuz he was an angel she is referring to Mac miller who’s lyrics where also poetic. I think that Grande purposely made the lines in this song poetic to convey her love for him and as a way to remember him through song.

After Grande says thank you and positive things about people she says all she has learned from them

One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I’m so amazing

In Ariana Grande’s song she appreciates all they have taught her love, patience, and pain and the gives this credit to being the person she is today. The way that Ariana Grande was able to turn something sad like heart break into an upbeat song thanking people is amazing. “Thank U, Next” is a song you can listen to when you want to be brought up and happy or when you want to feel comforted. This Song can make you feel so many different emotions and has so much depth to it.

The Other is Everywhere

Throughout the novel Exit West, Nadia and Saeed both encounter the other and become the other themselves. Each time the two pass through a door, they find themselves in a new location amongst people they have never met. In these circumstances they feel very uncomfortable because they are viewing the people around them as “the other”. For example, when they are living in the house predominantly occupied by Nigerians, Saeed feels so uncomfortable, and even scared, that he tries to convince Nadia to move to another house. “Saeed was grateful for Nadia’s presence, for the way in which she altered the silences that descended on the apartment, not necessarily filling them with words, but making them less bleak in their muteness” (82)

This dynamic was interesting to me because when I thought about the story from the perspectives of different characters, it’s clear that all the migrants view each other as “the other” or “different”, while simultaneously the natives are looking at them as “the other” as well. As the story continues, this outlook shifts a little. Saeed grows to accept his roommates as almost equals rather than as strangers, and they reach a sense of mutual recognition. 

I think the hesitation Saeed had in these situations largely comes from the way the media portrays the global other. In social media, the news, and TV shows, we are sometimes taught that people from other countries are strange and weird or we are only shown the bad parts of their countries such as violence and war. This leads us to have an uneducated opinion on other people and places. 

Why Love

In the stranger we find a man named Meursault, who has very little emotions and feels very little in the way of love. In the story he is dating a women and she asked him if he loves her and if he would marry her and he just shrugs off this question and doesn’t really care. This makes us question why the character is like this. Is love a social construct created to cover up the fact that everyone hates each other and all life is is death and pain? I personally think that if people did not love as much as they would not feel as much pain. I think that a lot of the reason that people create so much pain for others is because they love so much for what/who they believe in. I do not think that love was created to mask the fact that everyone hates everyone. I think life is meant to be lived with love and happiness and passion and that jealousy, hate, and pain happen as a result of all of the love that there is.

The Lesson Learned in The Lesson

The “Lesson”, by Toni Cade Bambara, is a short story about a young black girl named Sylvia, who goes on a field trip with her class. Ms. Moore, the teacher of the class, takes the students to a toy store. The customers in the store are mostly white and the students are all shocked by how expensive the toys are. One toy that the students were looking at was a “hand crafted sailboat of fiberglass at one thousand on hundred ninety-five dollars.” The students were so surprised by this high price because their families would never be able to afford something of this price. They thought about how the same amount of money could buy some families food for a whole year, whereas wealthy white families are able to spend such a significant amount of money on a single toy. This was very profound because it emphasized the economic gap between white people and minority groups and the unfairness in society.

Jeff Has Compassion

In the story Escape from Spiderhead by George sanders Jeff finds himself falling in love then falling out of love with two different women in the span of a few hours. Jeff then has to torture these women that he had once loved and now has no feelings left for them. Jeff who is there because he killed a person now has to watch these two women get tortured. First he watches Heather get tortured and she then ends up dead. Then Abnesti is making him do the same thing to Rachel. The thing is Abnesti won’t go ahead and start the torture with out Jeff saying “acknowledge”. We hear Jeffs internal struggle with letting this torture happen to someone that Jeff has no hard feeling about. So Jeff decides to to take his life instead of torturing Rachael to her death. I think this says a lot about Jeff because he is sacrificing himself to save Rachel and at the end you hear that Jeff is finally at peace when he says “for the first time I’m at ease ..” Jeff is a compassionate person at the end and in the end he stood up to the oppression from Abnesti and realizes that he can make positive decisions that will make an impact for the better.