The Other Day

Yesterday” from the album Help!, by The Beatles is considered to be one of, if not the greatest pop song of all time. The opening verse utilizes personification in the lyric, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,” to set the theme of the song that represents desiring better times. They personify one’s troubles, as being a distant event that won’t negatively effect a person’s life at that moment. This creates the façade where they can reminiscence of the time their lives contained bliss and peace. Although The Beatles released this song in 1965, the message of the song still resonates with the listener 55 years later. Especially in the current state of our country. With lockdowns and quarantine, everyone longs for a better and happier time.

The metaphor written in the song, “Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be/There’s a shadow hanging over me,” compares a literal shadow eclipsing a person engulfing them in darkness, to a metaphorical shadow that darkens one’s mind into a state of despair. The metaphor allows the listener to remember a time or certain experience where they had that same metaphorical shadow cast over them, and how in that moment they wanted nothing more than to reside in a different time.

Throughout the song the artist repeats the word, “Yesterday,” in order to reinforce and strengthen the main message of the song. Every time the word “Yesterday” is repeated, the listener is reminded of a time period in their life where they existed without strife or trouble.

Not The Stranger but The Other

The stories of global others aren’t told by the proclaimed other. Instead reporters and journalists have mere glimpses into their worlds and come to form their own conclusions on what they believe to be happening. It is rare that the voice of those experiencing these events is the one that is broadcasted when delivering us international news. The majority of the information given by the media does not offer the perspective of the civilian but instead from an outsider perspective simply stating the effect on the particular population as a whole.

Wide groups of people are also viewed specifically as the other due to the way they are depicted in the film and entertainment industry. In many western films, the main character travels to a country outside the United States, and often times these countries are made out to be recognized by the audience as “third world countries.” They depict these arrival scenes with views of streets that are extremely crowded along with people that have raggedy appearances, or dirty street markets that contain beggars on every corner. The different races and religions in these movies are shown wearing specific stereotypical outfits, even though, in reality those depicted often wear brands or types of clothing the same as you or I. The religions represented in these films tend to not represent how diverse the entire population truly is. In conclusion, those we deem as global others are not given the proper platform to share their stories and experiences. The film and entertainment industry holds them down even more so, whether intentionally or not, by creating large generalizations of entire populations for people to base their judgment upon.

Baby Don’t Hurt Me

“What is Love?” Last week in class we touched on the extremely messy topic of “The Meaning of Life.” The first thought for many to an answer for this complex question was love. However the point was made that love, is simply an illusion. This poses the question, “What is Love?” Most people have one of two stances, either it is indeed an illusion that means nothing, or it’s one of the most powerful emotions we have. I argue that there is a gray area in between these two opposite ends of the spectrum. First, to understand “love,” we must acknowledge its counter, “hate.” I think most everyone can think of one person they hate. Whether it be a political figure or someone they have interacted with in the past. There are a lot of reasons people hate, the most common would be the constant disagreement with the actions one makes. Therefore, if you can grow to “hate” someone based on their actions, you certainly can grow to “love” someone based on their actions. The feeling of love is extremely powerful just like that of hate. Neither of these connections is fake, however, certain actions are required to build them into something meaningful. Whether or not you want to label this particular connection with the title of love is up to you.

Like Mother Like Daughter

In Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” Hulga strives for independence from her mother. Mrs. Hopewell still sees her 32 year old daughter, Joy, as a child. “She thought of her still as a child because it tore her heart to think instead of the poor stout girl in her thirties who had never danced a step or had any normal good times. (2) Hulga recognizes this and begins to attempt to distance herself from her mother. Hulga changes her given name, Joy, to Hulga as a first step. She’s proud of this victory with her thought being, “One of her major triumphs was that her mother had not been able to turn her dust into Joy, but the greater one was that she had been able to turn it herself into Hulga.” (2) Mrs. Hopewell wishes to improve her daughter, ” If she would only keep herself up a little, she wouldn’t be so bad looking.” (3) Hulga recognizes her mother’s wish for her to better herself, and instead she decides to present herself poorly against her mother’s wish. For example, she decides to dress in, “a six-year-old skirt and a yellow sweat shirt with a faded cowboy on a horse embossed on it.” (3) Hulga decides to act this particular way due to her condition not allowing her to be physical independent from her mother. “if it had not been for this condition, she would be far from these red hills and good country people.” (3)

Selfless Jeff

Abnesti tries to dehumanize Rachel in order to prompt Jeff to administer the Darkenfloxx to her. However, Jeff resists up to the point where Abnesti decides to call in Docilryde that will not give him a choice in administering the Darkenfloxx, but instead make him obey. When it is apparent to him that the Darkenfloxx will be administered whether he likes it or not, he takes his own life rather than take another’s. After he does so he says, “I was happy, so happy, because for the first time in years, and forevermore, I had not killed, and never would,”(81). I believe this to be the ultimate act of selflessness and sacrifice, since he did not deem his life any more important than another’s.