The Struggle of Being a Woman

Back in Shakespearean times, being a noble woman carried a lot of weight. Males sexualized us. We would have to look and dress a certain way. Our mannerisms mattered (even if they were not authentic). And last but not least, we were expected to be docile and follow the lead of the men in our life, especially our fathers.

The struggle of being a woman is very present in the play, King Lear, by William Shakespeare. In the play, King Lear’s daughters, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia are expected to proclaim their love for their father in order to receive their inheritance. Regan and Goneril overexaggerate their love for their father, while Cordelia remains true to herself and does not blanket her father compliments in order to gain his favor. Because of this, she receives none of his power or inheritance, despite her authentic love for her father being more than her sisters’. This is just the first of many examples in the play, where the struggle of being a woman is very real. Non-submissiveness results in great consequences, as seen with Cordelia. “Fortunately” for her, the King of France decides to court and marry her, which means she will remain in nobility. This further exemplifies how difficult it is to be a woman because she must marry someone in order to remain above water. Without a noble man, she would have been nothing.

Later in the play, the portrayal of Goneril and Regan is quite dramatic due to the power that they hold. When Goneril requests that Lear downsizes the amount of knights that he brings, Lear exclaims that Goneril has a “wolfish visage” (1.4.325). In the play, women of power are frequently described as rabid animals. In this case, because Goneril was exerting her authority over her father, who distributed all of his power, she was bashed and described to be a wolf. Moreover, after abandoning their father. the Duke of Albany condemns Goneril and Regan when he states, “Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed?”(4.2.49). By describing them as tigers, he is emphasizing that they are acting wild and animalistic.

Even more, the fact that the females in the story act out of control when in power plays on to a theme that we as women cannot hold power without being ruthless. In reality, women can act and rule in a very normal way. The chaos in King Lear does not serve as a proper example of women in power, but does emphasize the many bad perceptions of women. In this modern day and age, ruling as a female is still quite difficult. It is nice to think that progress is still happening. With Kamala Harris as the first female vice president of the USA, we can clearly see change and understand that females are very capable of leading. There is still hope for future women in power.

Is “Bad Guy” Good Poetry?

18 year old artist, Billie Eilish sings a variety of music that ranges from electro pop to goth pop. In her album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Eilish’s songs encompass a dark undertone that highlight dark features in the world that are not often discussed. One song featured in this album is “Bad Guy“, which exemplifies a strong piece of poetry. The theme of this song is that in the world people pretend to be something they are not. For example, bad guys, don’t go around saying that they are bad, instead, they show how they are bad through their actions. This causes the listener to reflect on their actions and evaluate how they portray themselves vs who they actually are.

White shirt now red, my bloody nose
Sleepin', you're on your tippy toes
Creepin' around like no one knows

The song begins with the lines “white shirt now red, my bloody nose / Sleepin’ you’re on your tippy toes”, which give imagery to scene being portrayed. By starting off the song with blood being spilled, Eilish sets a dark undertone and dramatizes the lyrics. Even more, when the person is described as being on their “tippy toes” Eilish invokes a creepiness/nervousness to the song. This relates to the theme because in life, posers creep around and hope that nobody sees who they truly are.

There is also a meter in the lines above. The lines in the verse are each 8 syllables, which add rhythm to the the song and help with its flow. Many poems have meter and this is why the song can also be considered a poem.

Finally, the phrase, “chest always so puffed” drills the theme into the listener’s head with another image. A lot of men like to appear broad and fit because that is how society depicts how men “should” be. In this case, Eilish identifies the facade and pokes a hole in it. She knows that people often desire to come across in a way that will will ensure that they are accepted into society, and through her eccentric music she defies these standards.

You Can’t Run From Change

In Mohsin Hamid’s novel, Exit West, Hamid gives the reader perspective on the life of migrants and their assimilation to the places that they migrate to. By focusing on the actual assimilation into their new homes, rather than the journey, Hamid humanizes the migrants and helps the audience understand that they desire normal lives and to fit into society as much as any other citizen.

Throughout the novel, Hamid shows through many of the different character perspectives that change is inevitable. For the migrants, the change that they endure is very drastic. Moving to a new a country, learning a new language, working new jobs, and learning to socialize with new people are just a few examples of the changes that migrants go through. While migrants endure the changes of moving to a new place, the natives have to accept the change and fact that new people (migrants) are moving in. Some natives are heavily against migration. This is demonstrated in the novel when Nadia and Saeed face a mob of natives in London: “The mob looked to Nadia like a strange and violent tribe, intent on their destruction, some armed with iron bars or knives, and she and Saeed turned and ran” (134). In this situation, the anti-migrant natives physically attacked migrants, which emphasizes how much they were against embracing and changing how things were. While this is the case, even more migrants continued to move to London and workplaces for migrants were soon established, which demonstrates that even while a person or group of people may be against change, it will still occur.

Meursault’s Indifference To Anything and Everything

In the The Stranger, by Albert Camus, Meursault appears to be indifferent to many situations he faces throughout this story. Does this mean he truly does not care?

An example of this indifference is present when Meursault overhears Raymond beating his wife, while accompanying Marie: “Marie said it was terrible and I didn’t say anything” (36). Another example from the story is when Raymond asks how Meursault expected him to react to the cop, and Meusault replies, “I wasn’t expecting anything” (37).

It appears that Meursault’s indifference is present when he does not say, do, or think “anything” regarding a subject. I think that it is interesting how Meursault does not care about anything and wonder if it is him actually not caring, or him hiding or burying his true feelings because he is content with everything that he has. Part 1 briefly describes that Mersault grew less ambitious after he gave up his studies. It leads to reader to wonder why he gave up his studies and question whether there is a chance that his ambitions may reoccur and cause him to care again.

The Lurking White Woman

In the short story, “A Conversation About Bread” Eldwin has to complete an assignment for class, which includes writing a story based off a story of what Brian (Eldwin’s classmate) gives. Brian grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and Eldwin writes his story on Brian’s Southern experience. We are given a glimpse of the story Eldwin writes and Brian thinks that it is a bit stereotypical and compares Eldwin to a white anthropologist.

Throughout the story, we catch glimpses a white woman near them reacting to their conversation. The white woman appears to be listening intently and reacting to the different stories that Brian recounts. Near the end of the story, we are told that the white woman took out, “a little notebook with a pink cat on the cover” (Thompson 181). The story then closes describing the white woman and stating that, “She may have been an anthropologist too” (Thompson 183).

I believe that the lurking white woman represents what Brian wants Eldwin to avoid in his writing. He does not want for piece of writing to be stereotypical and depict all black people as one being or one characteristic. Brian wants to show how there are cultural differences and different types of black people.

Jeff’s Priorities

“Do you want me to say that your Fridays are at risk?”(71).

When Jeff refuses to “Acknowledge” the Darkenfloxx drip and cause Heather to suffer, Abnesti threatens his skype sessions with his mother. His initial failed compliance is overturned after this threat because his time with his mom is highly treasured.

After Heather is given the Darkenfloxx drip and dies, Jeff shifts his priorities. He values Rachel’s life and does not want what happened to Heather to happen to Rachel. He decides to give himself the Darkenfloxx drip so that his actions are not responsible for Rachel’s death. He prioritizes her life over his.