All of Me is a contemporary romantic song by singer John Legend, in part of the Love in the Future album. The song is an emotional ballad that expresses deep love and devotion, as well as vulnerability and fear of losing your loved one. The speaker in the song is John Legend himself, who addresses his then-fiance, Chrissy Teigen with heartfelt and vulnerable lyrics. The audience for the song is not only his lover but likely anyone who has experienced the highs and lows of being in love, as the song’s themes are universal and relatable. The occasion for the song is a personal expression of love from John Legend to his partner. The song employs a range of literary techniques to convey its emotional impact. For example, it uses vivid imagery, such as “smart mouth,” “curvy roads,” and “perfect imperfections,” to paint a picture of the speaker’s love for his partner. The use of repetition, such as the phrase “all of me,” emphasizes the speaker’s willingness to give himself completely to his beloved. The song also uses metaphors, such as “my head’s underwater,” to convey the feeling of being consumed by love. Overall, “All of Me” is a powerful and emotive love song that resonates with audiences due to its universal themes and relatable lyrics.
Author: Nyah O
White Women Tears
In the funny fake commercial called “Entitled White Women’s tears”, viewers see the harsh reality of how some white women take no ownership over their actions. The phrase, “white women tears” is essentially how white women can’t own up to their privilege of being white, as they are part of an oppressed group, being women. There’s also a stereotype that white women’s tears will get them out of any situation. If they are confronted with any unethical acts that they got away with because of their privilege, they can simply cry and now society must feel bad for them, excusing them from their actions. In our society, people of color, especially women, face immense challenges in their day to day. When white women are confronted with this uncomfortable environment that they often create, they feel attacked, and the “white women tears” come out. This leads to them taking no accountability for the actions they make. This commercial is a satirical play on this and while it’s hilarious, it brings attention to this issue.
At the beginning of the commercial, the narrator introduces the audience (white women) to a solution to always being the victim in every situation. That solution is a bottle of Entitled White Women’s Tears. After introducing the product, the camera pans to a “real life customer “, Cindy (an absolute Becky) who talks about how before Entitled White Women’s Tears, she had to actually listen to women of color when they spoke about real issues and even had to change her racist behavior when asked. But now, with Entitled White Women’s Tears, she can tell women of color how they should be “approaching their own activism” and take their concerns as a personal attack when she’s getting called out for her behavior. The commercial shows a woman of color explaining her concerns with Cindy’s behavior and instead of addressing the issue, Cindy cries and calls the woman of color “mean” as well as showing the men who overhear the conversation asking the woman of color to leave the room for making Cindy cry. Unfortunately, this is very accurate, as women of color talking about their experiences are always looked down on and viewed as overly emotional. Oftentimes, Black women can be painted as “angry Black women” when they talk about their frustrations with oppression or show any emotion at all, yet white women can hear the horrors women of color face and make it about themselves. The next “real-life customer” we see is Amy (a total Karen) who talks about how she used to exhibit “socially acceptable behavior” but thanks to Entitled White Women’s Tears, she realized her time is more valuable than everyone else’s. She’s now able to abuse service staff and is seen calling the police even when she’s the one at fault. We see too many examples in real life of white women calling the police specifically on young Black men because they “looked suspicious” doing simple acts such as walking in their own neighborhood. Later, the commercial offers an in-depth explanation of what Entitled White Women’s Tears offers to customers, including Most Advanced Privilege Properties and Princess Syndrome, so white women can “weaponize crying whenever and wherever”. And a special mention is that Entitled White Women’s Tears is bottled in the “fear of a power dynamic that has rendered white women prone to legitimate criticism”. Many white women cannot admit that they systematically hold more privilege and power than women of color. So, when being criticized for participating in oppressive acts, they deny it because they don’t want to believe that they are a part of this power dynamic. This mindset is extremely dangerous. The commercial ends with telling white women to buy the product and never let someone hold them accountable for bad behavior again. The way the commercial was made is a way to show white women how ridiculous they sound when they act as the white women in the commercials do. This may just be good acting, but these things do happen. I think with a commercial like this, when the target audience is reached, it is hoped that they can reflect on how silly the women in the commercial look to ensure that they don’t act like this themselves.
Tokarczuk’s Unique Use of Literary Techniques
Two Literary techniques that Tokarczuk uses throughout the book is the capitalization and imagery. For my group’s presentation, I didn’t get to dive as deep into how powerful these two techniques are to the whole book but specifically in chapters one through six. Starting with capitalization, Tokarczuk uses the capitalization of unproper nouns to emphasize the ideas Janina brings to the books as well as to add value to the things Janina cares about most. For example, Tokarczuk capitalizes on almost every single animal when referred to in the book. Such as the deer head found in Big Foot’s home or Oddball’s dog. Tokarczuk capitalizes the names of animals to show the reader how Janina believes animals to be of equal importance to humans and to form a deeper connection between the readers and the animals in the story. I think we usually feel that we should care more about humans than animals, but the use of capitalization sort of breaks that idea and makes us care more about them, as well as understand how much Janina values animals. In other instances when things are capitalized, the author wants us to really understand the importance of what’s happening and to notice when something is being emphasized. For example, at the beginning of chapter 5, Janina is yelling at these hunters to stop shooting the birds. She’s obviously extremely angry but with the use of capitalization, we can see her anger more clearly. At the bottom of page 63, it says “At that point I felt a surge or Anger, genuine, not to say Divine Anger.” Anger being capitalized really emphasized how strong that anger is. In this sentence, Janina is saying that she didn’t feel “Divine Anger, but regular anger. The capitalization of Divine, again emphasizes how strong of a feeling Divine Anger would be and helps readers see the rage through her eyes.
Another style of writing seen in the book is imagery. In the scene where Janina and Oddball are in Big Foot’s house after discovering his body, it says “There we stood in the cold damp room, in the frosty vacuum prevailing at this dull, gray time of night…” Now obviously no author would describe the room by simply stating that it is cold. But the amount of details in Tokarczuk’s writing truly makes you feel like you’re there. You can feel the cold, you can feel the heaviness of what’s happening. We like to associate bad things and death with coldness and grayness so I feel like her imagery there really helped emphasize the gravity of the situation. The second example of imagery is from a passage we’ve kind of already talked about and it’s on page 65. Janina is describing her ailments and she says “ There’s no hiding from this pain, there are no pills or injections for it. It must hurt, just as a river must flow and fire must burn. It spitefully reminds me that I consist of physical particles, which are slipping away by the second. Perhaps one could get used to it? Learn to live with it, just as people live in the cities of Auschwitz. or Hiroshima, without ever thinking about what happened there in the past. They simply live their lives.” Comparing her pain to the two cities was an interesting use of imagery. She’s saying that the atrocities that have occurred there don’t stop people from continuing to live their lives in peace and that even though she’s in pain, she should also be able to live her life in peace. When she says “it must hurt, just as a river must flow and a fire must burn”, it goes along with the point that things keep moving and going and you have to keep moving with the times and through your pain. The imagery was really specific and detailed to where you know exactly what her mindset is and you understand because the readers know these cities and their history, just like we know a river flows and fire burns. So her imagery really helped convey Janina’s pain. Tokarczuk’s use of capitalization and imagery truly makes for a detailed and unique read.
women and other animals
A theme surrounding King Lear is that of women in power. Throughout the play, when either Regan, Goneril, or Cordelia was in power or undermined the power of men, they were characterized as animals or monsters. Thought to be too emotional or just evil in general. Yet men in power were simply viewed as powerful, intelligent, and good. Even when Edmund betrayed both his brother and father, he still gained positive attention from Goneril and Regan who enjoyed his sort of “bad guy” behavior. This pattern is very familiar as still women in power are a taboo topic in most societies. Still viewed as too emotional to rule/lead. This doesn’t have to relate to extreme positions of power necessarily either such as president or queen, but a mother leading her household or a woman as manager. This is a persistent motif in the story, perhaps to show who is deserving of authority and power. And when the women in the story end up powerless/dead it reinforces that they are too corrupt or emotional for that power.
So Far Gone
Time after time again, Brent Faiyaz has created music that truly feels like a dream. So Far Gone, from his album Sonder Son, stands out most though. Faiyaz writes the story of how during his teenage years, he disregarded his family and school and the effect that, that had on his family. The beginning of his song starts with the perspective of his mother:
You say you trust us
But don’t pick the phone up
Act like we mean something to you
I know you doing you
I called your brother on the land-line
He said you ain’t never got no down time
You always working so late
Hope that you safe
Your family been missing you, you come ‘gon back this way?
Faiyaz then uses a switch to his perspective to show how he understands his mother’s concerns but that he feels lost in his life. The perspective changes really help show this experience because the listeners get to hear how his teenage years truly were, not just from the mind of a high school kid.
But out here baby boy’s so far gone
Lord knows I ain’t been home in so long
Game so deep and the drinks so strong
And I don’t trust no one at all
This stanza shows Faiyaz almost responding to what his mother had said previously. The first line shows him recognizing his mother’s concerns as he is her “baby boy”. In the second and third lines, he acknowledges how he hasn’t been home in a while but that the life he has now won’t allow it. Then in the last line, he refers to her saying that he’d said he trusted them (his family) and he admits that he doesn’t trust anyone at all.
Faiyaz’s mother’s perspective is shown once again in part two of the song. This time, it’s her speaking to him, almost warning him that they don’t have much time left and that it’s up to him to reconnect with his family.
It won’t be too long
Till I’m not here to say how much you mean to me
I won’t be too long
I want you to stay strong
Cause it won’t be too long
Faiyaz repeats “it won’t be too long” to reiterate his mother’s warning to him. For me, it also provided a lot of imagery because you can really picture his mom in a kind of calm desperation of just wanting to see her son while also wanting the best for him.
This one’s for my child, my child
I’ll see you in your dreams tonight
This one here for my child, my child
I’ll see you in your dreams tonight…
At the end of the song, Faiyaz leaves listeners questioning what happened next. The aspect of his mother seeing him in his dreams could be alluding to death or that Faiyaz was simply too far gone…
Brent Faiyaz always manages to create poetic music. It’s undeniable that “So Far Gone/Fast Life Bluez” could be compared to any poem if not be considered a poem itself. He used imagery, repetition, and change in perspective, similar to techniques that “normal” poets use to convey their writing. In addition, his writing style and flow throughout the song make an extreme impression. “So Far Gone” is definitely my favorite poem!