Storytelling through both space and time in Beloved

While flashbacks are often used in storytelling, Toni Morrison really takes it to the next level and utilizes it to enhance both the characters and story. Beloved is a story that is fixated on the past. So much so that a central character is a literal representation of the main characters’ past.

Toni Morrison is able to move seamlessly between the past and present in order to provide background and context to important events in the characters’ lives. Memories are often told in great detail and from multiple points of view. Providing several points of view can help understand how each character was affected or shaped by that memory.

For example, Sethe’s wedding day is first told from her perspective. However, it soon becomes apparent that we can’t trust just her take on that day to be reliable. While she thinks that nobody knew she and Halle had sex in the cornfields, Paul D. and the others were quite aware. This is just one example, although these types of situations occur several times throughout the book.

How Exist West Humanizes Refugees

Exist west provides a very important perspective on the refugee crisis. Often the media portrays them as numbers rather than humans. Due to this, it’s easy to lose sight of what refugees really are: humans.

Before the fighting in Saeed and Nadia’s city broke out, they lived lives quite similar to ours. They went to work, went on dates, used social media, listened to music, and had good educations. People in western countries usually don’t put themselves in their shoes. They never think what it is like to have their entire lives uprooted in a matter of weeks.

Imagine if all of a sudden an intense radical group started terrorizing our towns to the point where they are no longer safely habitable. We would most likely do the exact same thing: take who and what we can with us and try to find somewhere safe to live.

While I don’t think simply looking at the refugee crisis from their perspective will spark any major change, I do believe it will at least make people have more sympathy to those trying to find a safer home. They didn’t just choose to move from their homes, they were forced out. They aren’t looking to steal our jobs or cause terrorism, they just need a place to go. Maybe once more people start considering that there will be less hostility toward refugees.

Camu’s Reason to Live

Camu is well known for his bold question about philosophy. He believed that the most important question was wether one should kill oneself. Is life worth living once people recognize it’s meaninglessness? This is where Camu’s essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” comes into play. Camu invites us all to put ourselves in the shoes of Sisyphus. To pretend we are going on in a meaningless existence, completing the same monotonous tasks for our entire lives. If that were the case, why live? That is when consciousness enters the picture.

Camu is able to argue that Sisyphus’s consciousness, while being the basis of his punishment, frees him. In that same way, our own consciousness can free us from the absurdity and meaninglessness of our own lives. Camu was not like other, dreary existentialists of his time. He was a very lively actually. In his time, he was almost an icon of youth and fashion. He was the type of man to win nobel prizes in literature, and appear on the cover of Vogue. He enjoyed life very much, and found most simple pleasures to give meaning to life.

Camu believed that while constructs like friends, family, and love, could still be enjoyed through an existentialist lense. He also believed one should simple, immediate pleasures. These could include, music, sport, sex, and many other immediate pleasures. Enjoying these simple pleasures is almost laughing in the face of the gods. Learning to simply enjoy oneself in the face of emptiness is true freedom. It is also why, in Camu’s opinion, life is worth living.

How “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” Draws Parallels to Modern Media

In this story, when the angel is first discovered, it quickly becomes the center of the town’s attention. People come from all over to view this angel, marveling at its absurdity. However, the second people caught word of a girl with a spider-head, the angel became old news. While people forgot about him, he was very much still there. Suffering all the same in a broken shed.

Upon reading this, it feels oddly familiar. It seems today that any story or event in the media is quickly forgotten after its 15 seconds of fame. However, that almost never means that it disappeared. When a story first breaks, media outlets cover it nonstop, like the angel. Then, as if the original event never happened, the media moves on to the next thing.

Take for example a recent string of media stories. First, Epstein commits suicide in prison, then the Amazon is burning, then Greta Thunburg yells at the U.N, etc… While all these events, at some point, were the main talking point of the country. Now most of them have fallen into irrelevancy. While these events didn’t disappeared, they may as well have. While the angel never disappeared, he may as well have.