My chosen song is “LOVEHAPPY” by THE CARTERS (Beyoncé and Jay-Z) on their joint album EVERYTHING IS LOVE. The central theme of this song is forgiveness as well as working to improve on your happiness. Although in the song it is applied to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s personal relationship, I believe this song can easily be applicable to our relationships with others or even ourselves.

One major part of the song consists of Beyoncé emphasizing how in a time of darkness, it did not seem like they would be able to escape. ‘Beach’ is used as a metaphor for their relationship, which for some time wasn’t the paradis everyone believe it was. Despite this, eventually, their ‘nightmare’ was over and they were led into a new kind of happiness, enhancing the general theme of the song. These lines are clear towards the end of the chorus.

Sometimes, I thought we’d never see the light

We went through hell with heaven on our side

This beach ain’t always been no paradise

But nightmares only last one night

This one section of the song I found can be very uplifting in times of struggle. Right now with everything with Coronavirus occurring and all of us missing out on the senior year we had imagined for ourselves, this song is simply a reminder that yes, things may be hard for some time but there is light in the future that will always come.

The song ends on a bright note, talking about how they eventually conquered their struggles and now they are happy and in love together. The repetition of ‘we’ puts emphasis as well as an image in your head about how they are a team and better together than they ever were before.

We came, and we saw, and we conquered it all

We came, and we conquered, now we’re happy in love

Orientalism in The God of Small Things and Heart of Darkness

In a close reading of chapter 2, Pappachi’s Moth, in Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things, I noticed an allusion Roy included when Chacko was explaining the definition of Anglophile and Estes and Rahel describe a man who lived in a house across the river, Kari Saipu. He known as “An Englishman who had ‘gone native’” (Roy 51). This man is compared to a fictional character named Kurtz, apart of novel by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

When I researched this book as well as the character Kurtz, it was extremely interesting to see that in the novel, Conrad apparently depicts the living styles of Africans as uncivilized, and Kurtz as one who desires to be almost a divine ruler over the native people.

Saipu is also described as a man “who spoke Malayalam and wore mundus. Ayemenem’s own Kurtz. Ayemenem his private Hear of Darkness” (Roy 51). This allusion to orientalism in another piece of literature (Kurtz versus Them) helped me as a reader draw the connection between Conrad’s character Kurtz, Kari Saipu in The God of Small Things and the significance of orientalism all at once.

“Ayemenem’s own Kurtz. Ayemenem his private Hear of Darkness”

(Roy 51)

“Love You Too Much”

Released as the only single on his debut album Painted, in April 2019, “Love You Too Much“, Lucky Daye’s near-8 minute single details the pain one goes through when their love is not reciprocated. “Love You Too Much” is a song that has various interpretations and can be applied to life in more than one area.

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The song begins with a minute and 30 second intro of the artist speaking; admitting that he has been hurt and is currently in a pain that has been messing with his head and is inescapable. As the song begins, its meaning is revealed, Lucky Daye is feeling regret for even allowing someone into his heart to the point where they could hurt him.

You make my heart beat for you

I almost cry too often (Too often)

But I put too much in your hands

So much regret in the end

During the chorus Lucky Daye discloses this meaning and the listener is left to picture his situation. Often he ends up crying because he has reached a point where he has given his all to someone, even his heart, and now it’s too late for him to change it. He regrets leading with his heart and believing he could never get hurt. Through the song’s slow but intense rhythm and Lucky Daye’s passionate sing and strong diction portraying his emotions, we are left to picture a time in our lives when we gave something or someone our all, and ended up in a place of regret.

In the third verse, Lucky Daye asks two rhetorical questions, aimed towards whoever hurt him.

How you f***in’ lie with a straight face?

How can you and I find a safe place?

By, raising these questions, he invokes emotions in the listener that they once again can relate to. He is torn because his trust in who is speaking to has been lost, and he does not know how they will recover from this.

It’s a shame for you, it’s a shame for me

Is the blame on you? I can say the same for me

Finally, through his use of another rhetorical question and rhyme, Lucky Daye establishes that all of this is a shame, and he primarily blames himself for allowing this to happen. If he did not give so much of himself, he would not be in the same position. He trusted that love would not hurt him, but now regrets his choice.

An Act of Love

When it is revealed that Sethe killed her own child in order to keep all of her children from entering slavery, the reader has mixed emotions on how to feel. After all, she did murder her own baby, how could a person do that. But Sethe’s act, as horrid and appalling as it was, was one out of love. She loved her children so much, she could not bare to see them in the grasp of slavery in their lifetime.

Under the institution of slavery, Sethe as a mother decides to express her love for her children by in her own way, protecting them from the many destructive aspects that come from slavery. If we look through Sethe’s eyes and into her situation, would we do the same? Because of her act, Denver and her 2 brothers grew up free. Was the price of one child worth the three lives it saved?

By making us consider this, Morrison is finding ways to make the reader really place themselves in Beloved and the necessities that were felt back then. As an African American woman in 2019, I could not fathom having to make a choice like Sethe. Although her choice was one that will forever haunt her dreams, Sethe’s bravery to even consider something like that in order to save her children is what I admire.

Saeed’s Perspective on American Nativeness in Exit West and the Current World

“Many others considered themselves natives to this country…It seemed to Saeed that the people who advocated this position most strongly, who claimed the rights of nativeness most forcefully, tended to be drawn from the ranks of those with light skin who looked most like the natives of Britain” (Hamid 197-198).

During this section of the chapter, Saeed begins talking about the few natives in Marin, and then transitions to compare the people in America considering themselves natives to the people in Britain who feared their land being overtaken by migrants.

This passage reminded me of the mindset of many Americans today when it comes to immigration. They are angered and feel as if they are being invaded. It’s interesting to see how Hamid has imputed the real point of views of many Americans when it comes to being considered native or not while also giving the reader insight to Saeed’s opinion on the matter.

One more noticeable aspect of this passage is Hamid’s word choice. He details that the people who claim the rights of nativeness most forcefully are those with “light skin”. This part was important because it one again connects to the world we are living in today. Native Americans were truly the natives/first people here but now many white people are the first to claim nativeness to this land, even though it was not originally theirs.

Existentialism in Groundhog Day

All throughout Camus’ book, The Stranger, the main character Meursault has an outlook on life that stuns everyone he comes across, whether it be his girlfriend Marie or his lawyer when he is in prison. Despite how society views Meursault as a person, he refuses to change any of his beliefs, even when it ultimately leads to his death.

After reading the stranger, I began thinking of whether I have seen any examples of this kind of existentialism in other works. I was reminded of the movie Groundhog Day, where the main character, Phil Connors, is forced to repeat the same day over in a town that he mocks for celebrating Groundhog Day. Eventually after a while, Phil views time as a pointless construct that is just a repeated thing, day, and idea.

Further into the movie, Phil goes on to develop an existentialist point of view that is very similar to Meursault’s. He feels as if life itself is just repetitive, so as an individual he can do what he thinks. By the end of this movie though, Phil escapes the loop and finds love in a woman named Rita. This shift in the movie is what specifically contrasts with Meursault’s views on love and life. In The Stranger, Meursault simply just does not believe in loving Marie because it did not mean anything.

Although Phil Connors and Meursault have similar views at one point, they both end their stories going in two different directions, one being finding love through others and the other being that things like love and death are essentially meaningless.