The Evil Villian- A Strong Woman

Due to the circumstances of the patriarchal society that has been present in society for hundreds if not thousands of years, gender roles have always been a prominent underlying issue throughout history. Gender roles are prevalent in literature and are expressed in many different ways. Shakespeare explores the theme of gender roles throughout King Lear regarding women in power. The main idea of his argument is that women are incapable of achieving control on their own. When they do receive power, it will corrupt their judgment and ultimately bring their downfall as a person. So basically, women are not able to handle the responsibilities of leadership as well as men can. Shakespeare challenges the traditional gender roles of women in society while at the same time sticks to the societal norm in King Lear. He gives them power, whereas, in many novels, women aren’t even the chance to possess any ability. Still, once the power is given to the women of the story, he makes failure imminent for them, which causes him to fall back into the traditional norms of gender roles for women in power.

As seen in Shakespeares’ play, King Lear, Reagan, more so than Goneril, loses her morals while in a blood lust search for power. This can be seen when she orders to have Kent put into the stocks or orders to have Gloucester’s eyes ripped out. These events show her lack of morals as a woman in power, which furthers the theme that women cannot handle power. However, Regan’s actions also promote a feminist ideology. Reagan opposes the usual gender roles by representing a more independent and cruel female role.

The feminist theme is also seen at the beginning of the play when his two daughters, who later turn evil and turn against him, Goneril and Reagan, profess their love to Lear. While his third daughter, Cordelia, refuses to fuel his ego. Shakespeare’s action and character challenge gender roles, specifically during the period in which the play was written by having Cordelia disobey her father, therefore giving her independence. Her power furthers when she gets married and becomes the queen of France. Her other two sisters gain power from marriage as well by marrying the dukes of Albany and Cornwall. While this growth of authority for the women supports the feminist ideology, it also supports a misogynistic view. For the women to gain power, they had to get married and receive power from their husbands.

Shakespeare builds on gender roles throughout the play, supporting both the feminist view and the patriarchal view with examples throughout The Tragedy of King Lear. 

“Dear Today” A Day in the Life for All

“Dear Today” is the eleventh song on Luke Comb’s third studio album, What You See is What You Get. This song, somber and heartbroken at first, changes its tone to encouraging and inspiring through the message Combs conveys through his lyrics. He first debuted this song before it was officially released at a benefit concert in September 2019 to connect with the audience through human mistakes he has made too in his life. Although Combs is new to the music scene is undoubtedly knows how to convey meaning and create poetry with his music.

This song is written from Combs’ point of view; he is writing a letter to his future self. In the form of this song, the letter he wrote himself is to remind himself to fix any mistakes he’s made with those he loves and to live each moment to the fullest.

The song starts with the introduction:

If I know you, hell, you’re too busy
To do damn near anything that you ought to
Guess what I’m sayin’ is, is if you don’t change
Boy, you’ll be kickin’ yourself one of these days

Luke Combs “Dear Today”

Combs is prefacing his letter with his reasoning for writing in these first couple lines from the song. He is telling himself that now that he is famous and gained popularity, he is busy all the time. He is so busy that he doesn’t have the time to do the important things involving his friends and family. Then he proceeds to give himself an ultimatum if he does not change the way he is currently acting in the long run, and in the future, he will regret the decisions he made in the past. Combs confirms this message stating in 2019, “When I started doing this, I got real busy and started putting things off that I needed to do. This song is to remind myself that I need to do the stuff that is important to me, my friends, my family and my life. It’s a letter from tomorrow to today.”

Combs follows this verse up with another important message:

And remember every second I got’s borrowed

Luke Combs “Dear Today”

This line of the song is compelling because it goes out as a reminder to himself and those listening to the music. In this line, he says that time doesn’t belong to him, and it runs out fast, so don’t waste it on the superficial things in life.

“Dear Today” can be argued as poetry because of the theme it purveys through the personification of time and the foreshadowing of his future and the listener’s future if they are in the same position he is in. It can also be argued as poetry because the lyrics in this song bring the listener a new sense and perception of life. They widen the listener’s contact with existence. Chances are many of the people listening to this song can relate in some way or another to what combs is singing about; his words can widen and change the listener’s perception of life and possibly even lead to them changing their actions. Lastly, in a similar fashion, the listener can also gain greater awareness and understanding of their world. The listener of this song was not aware of their detrimental actions before listening to the song, however after listening to the lyrics of “Dear Today,” they can gain awareness of what they are doing and change.

Why Accpeting Refugees is a Win for All

Refugees are an often disputed topic around the United States during a non-pandemic year. Whether to let them in or not. Hotly debated, many want to let refugees in, but just as many want to keep them out. However, despite what many refugee opposers believe, refugees are not a burden to the United States, but they are crucial to helping the country grow in many ways. Accepting, protecting, and empowering refugees is beneficial to the refugees and this country.

The United States allowing refugees in is a win for the refugees for apparent reasons. The earlier a state commits to protecting refugees, the earlier they can move forward with their lives without uncertainty blocking the way. Most importantly, accepting them into the country defends the most precious right of all, the right to live. Turning backs on the refugees in many cases could be fatal for them. Thus, accepting refugees and providing the most basic protection could be lifesaving.

Accepting refugees is also a win for the receiving country, such as the United States, and the communities that host them. By providing them with the right to work, health, and education, refugees can start productive lives in their host countries. The faster they can integrate into the labor force, the faster they can become productive members of society.
The origin countries also benefit from this cycle of migration. The nations of origin benefit from creating business networks between them and the countries where the refugees resettled. For countries overcoming conflict, the flow of new income and investment could be crucial for recovery. In addition to these business relationships, refugees can significantly transfer technologies and knowledge back to their home countries, which creates more competitive and diversified economies.

Lastly, much of the concern with refugees immigrating to a new country is job opportunities for citizens. However, that should not be a concern. Migration economists agree that more foreigners in the labor force do not hurt natives. Mostly because natives and foreigners typically have different skills and compete for other jobs. Foreigners are also more inclined to take the jobs native citizens do not want.

In the end, although there is opposition on whether or not to let refugees in, it should not be under debate. It is beneficial to all sides, and it can change someone’s life forever.

Rethinking What Really Matters

Life is short so it is important to focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t. The most important things in life are not our phones, TVs, new cars or big impressive houses and they can not be found at the bank. In reality the most important things in life are on a very short list. The most important things in life are our purpose, time, health and our relationships with others. You can have many material things in life and be a millionaire but nothing will fulfill you like those four things.

Purpose is our why. It was controls and fuels our actions. It causes us to be passionate about things. And it is involved in everything you do in life; work, relationships and our approach to living our lifes. It means living your life in an intentional way and it gives you extra meaning and a deeper sense of self.

Next is time. Everyone has the same amount of time in their day; twenty-four hours. But some people run around stressed complaining that they do not have enough time while others approach life in a relaxed state but still seem to get just as much done. Many people make poor choices when it comes to time management on a daily basis. Each time you say yes to doing something for someone else, you are saying no to doing somthing for yourself. Time is a fleeting resource, once it is spent you cannot get it back so it is very important to be selective with the time you have. This is difficult if you are spending your entire day doing school work for different classes or working multiple jobs. What you can do is find small pockets of time to invest in passions, projects and self care. Though your job may be to care for someone else, it is so necessary to care for yourself along the way.

Third is health. Many people take their health for granted until they have a reason not to. Many neglect to exercise and then find themselves wonderingwhy the struggle to climb up a flight of stairs. It is important to take care of one of the most important things in your life because anything could happen at any moment and take it away.

Lastly, in my opinion the most important aspect of life is your relationships. Many people lead very busy lives which causes them to think they don’thave enough time for relationships. However, that busyness is created by yourself. That means it is important to step away from it and focus on the relationships you are neglecting. Your friends, family and loved ones are what add meaning to your life. You MUST make time for these relationships. Being busy is fine if your busy with the most essential things in your life like your relationships.

Purpose, time, health and loved ones. These are the things that make life more complete so it is important to treat them accordinly

When The Emperor Was Divine and Negative Binaries

In Julie Otsuka’s heartwrenching story When the Emperor was Divine, she compiles five stories from the persepctives of five different members of a family. The novel tells the tales of a Japanese American family living in Berkely, California before World War II, their experience of being sent away to the internment camps during the war and what it was like coming home when the war was over. The stories she told were loosely based on events that happened to her own family. The experience Otsuka elaborates on while narrating the stories connect greatly to Freud’s theory of otherness and that one can only recognize themselves when they realize their differences from another person. Freud’s theory coinsides with how the Japanese Americans were treated during the war. Japanese Americans were isolated from the rest of the country and treated as prisoners and slaves because of their differences from Americans. Additionally, in the novel Otsuka furthers the U.S’s use of philosophical theories when explaining why the Japanese were put in interment camps from the forefront of America’s involvemnt of the war. The U.S loosely went along the guidelines of Benjamin’s theory of mutal recognition as well. Government officals as well as citizens of the U.S recognized the physical similarities between Japanese Americans and people living in Japan and grouped them into one whole. Giving them the ability to make the assumption that just because Japanese Americans originated from Japan they were presumed to be dangerous and spies of war. While at the same time they created the binaries of Japanese/American to give them the ability and the mindset that it was acceptable to control and oppress another group. Otsuka’s story opens the eyes to a lot of things many people are not educated enough on and it shows the importance of learning about the countries mistakes as well as triumphs.

Actions Don’t Always Define The Person

In the short story “Escape from Spiderhead” it details the experiences and decisions of a former jail inmate. In one of the pertinenet moments of the story Jeff has to choose between giving the Darkenfloxx to either Heather or Rachel, the two girls he formerly had relationships with. Before the second trial was held with Rachel, the head of Spiderhead, Abnesti, gives Jeff the details of why Rachel was also in the testing facility to make it easier for him to hurt her. She too was there because her extensive involvement of drugs and the murder of three different people. After Abnesti informed Jeff of her actions he thinks to himself, “But I still didn’t want to kill her” (75). Jeff’s thought to himself resonates to the theme that actions do not always define the person. In Jeff’s mind although Rachel had done horrible things to many people in her life, it didn’t effect Jeff’s decision to not want to hurt Rachel; because the actions of others do not always effect morals. Additionally, Jeff’s former actions also do not change his ultimate decision. Closer to the end of the story Jeff explains why he was also in the testing facility. Jeff too commited a murder and by most or all people he would be considered a bad person for killing an innocent human. However, although he too had killed someone he did not want to hurt Rachel or anyone in the facility. He knows that it is the worng thing to do and it makes him feel pain. Therefore, this section of the story relays the messege to the reader that although Jeff had done terrible things in his past it doesn’t mean that that is who he is as a person and that he would ever want to hurt someone again. It also informs the reader that someone elses bad actions doesn’t make it morally right to do wrong back to them.