A “Modified” Gender Switch

In the play King Lear, gender roles are a concurrent issue or theme that takes place within the play as Shakespeare believes that women are completely incapable of achieving power and they display power that is eventually turned into a judgement that’s corrupt.  Initially, Shakespeare alters society by giving Lear’s daughters equal distribution of his power as he can no longer control the kingdom smoothly.  Whilst challenging gender roles in society, Shakespeare makes their failure under power almost immediate as he believes women can’t control large quantities of power without guaranteed corruption of some sort.  When Goneril reduces the quantity of knights Lear can uphold at once Lear states in a tone of complaint “I’ll tell thee. To Goneril. Life and death! I am ashamed That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus, That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee! Th’ untented woundings of a father’s curse Pierce every sense about thee!” (1.4.311-318).”  This part of the act exemplifies the despair in King Lear’s mind after his own daughters took his own power to use against him which also shows Goneril losing morals in her blood lust hunt for power.  More so than Goneril, Regan through time actually grows more off the ledge as her abuse towards her power is more frequent such as when she ordered for Kent to be put in stocks to reduce the power of her growing mentally ill father in order to overrule and destroy him.  All in all the gender roles that Shakespeare uses in the play go against society as females are the head of the house or the castle.  With this, Shakespeare believes that with all this enormous power distributed to the daughters, the sisters lose a sense of their own morals, striving for more power than they need which then leads to eventual corruption and destruction of the kingdom and the characters themselves.  Shakespeare believed that a quantity of power distributed within a world where gender roles differ from societies, that chaos is created with time, as he believes that too much power can conflict a women’s mental and causes nothing but their own individual downfall.  

J. Cole vs Social Justice

New York born and raised artist J. Cole’s 2016 album 4 Your Eyez Only, featured song “Immortal” is one of many poetic songs in the album.  The album is inscripted with stories about the stars coming up and a close friend he’s lost which he formally calls James for the sake of his privacy.  Coming from the projects of New York, growing up wasn’t easy and J. Cole wrote about the constant experiences he withstood during his young life through illegal hussle and activity.  The song Immortal comes from the perspective of Cole at the age of 17, a quite optimistic child, but only because he sells crack to escape poverty even though the risks accumulate when dealing is your side hustle.  He talks about how African Americans are given 3 options from where he’s from to make ends meet in order to succeed and flee from the projects and how black men are only legends for drug dealing, sports, and music.  Cole resents the way this idea and perspective is enforced on society for a young black male.  This resentment was to primarily tackle the social justice system and the issues inside of it coming from the point of view of a black male.

J. Cole turns the underlying theme of the deepening song into a form of poetry, enhancing appeal towards his audience with his usage of eye catching diction and sensual feeling from the explicit song.  He’s own questioning as he reminisces and looks back on what he’s witnessed engages the listener who listens to his cleverness carefully, the contrast he makes when he states, 

Have you ever seen a fiend cook crack on the spoon? 
Have you ever seen a n***a that was black on the moon?

This really makes a listener who hasn’t seen the same question the unjust perspective a young black male has to go through in order to hustle to survive and escape from poverty.  The word “fiend” can be seen as a daily person in the street for some, or it can be used as an addict who has a wicked personality, emphasizing a contradiction between areas and multidimensional language. In addition the first verse right off the bat stating

Now I was barely seventeen with a pocket full of hope.  
Screamin' "dollar and a dream" with my closet lookin' broke.

And my ni***s lookin’ clean, gettin’ caught up with that dope. Have you ever served a fiend with a pocket full of soap?

With this, this exemplifies a setting, in a place where a broke young male fears poverty so much illegal activity is irrelevant, as nothing matches a broke man or a dead man in the projects which turns his diction into poetry, as he can tie his thematic concept into his own perspectives throughout his life.  The imagery J. Cole can paint all in all explains why rapping is poetry as you can clearly picture his facial expressions, his fatigue, and his situation in the projects in his last bar when he states,

And so I hustle like my ni***s in Virgini-A, 
They tellin' ni***s, "sell dope, rap or go to NBA.”
In that order, it's that sort of thinkin'
That been keepin' ni***s chained at the bottom and hanged.
The strangest fruit that you ever seen, ripe with pain, listen.”

The word “chained” can be seen as a confinement of being chained from the life of dealing drugs Cole lived, or as security in the social justice system he as a black man can’t escape from, exemplifying multidimensional language as a poet.  All in all emphasizing that J. Cole is a poet due to his intellectual diction, and the sensual and emotional connection listeners get from the imagery his music paints.

Exit West: The Migration Station

Throughout the novel Exit West, Saeed and Nadia travel constantly and move from open border to open border. Exit West puts the philosophical theory of immigration within America into a perspective, as many other people around the world such as Dubai, etc portray liberalism, granting freedom universally. Many other countries recognize migration, extending beyond the narrow ethnic or political group of citizens who stay in that country as a resident. In the sense of migration, we flip the script and tell the exact opposite of what countries with open border tell, as our president (Trump) tended not to respect the freedoms of those who needed to enter America to benefit their lives. As an immigrant one can not choose politics for self benefit, as they are moving so frequently just to seek improvement on normalized casualties of life. Unlike most places, we as Americans tend to tell a different story. As a wealthier country we tend to get more senseless about our surroundings and our equity is placed through laws that are made within our social justice system. Essentially this portrays America as an executive whole as communitarian towards migration and immigration. As a war is taking place in the novel, migration is eye open to an American like myself as if freedom to migrate in need of benefit was practically the reason why Nadia and Saeed survived. If they didn’t migrate from place to place they probably died to warfare which is why I believe Europe and Asia seem to almost globalize migration. They unify themselves to exemplify that each individual even surrounding their country in most places in these areas respects and sets equal freedoms to the next country over. As Exit West had me note the generosity that comes from migration, I believe America should be more open to migration too.

Is it called human condition or Sisyphus?

As Camus made Sisyphus’s condition from his punishment contradict and compare to the condition of a human, I agree over the implied conclusions Camus made over the human condition within his argument.  Humans go throughout their lives working vigorously while struggling pointlessly to achieve something as they visualize a version of success that a specific individual aspires to obtain.  Many humans set goals that all in all have value in order to seek benefits in life, bringing individual success.  Sisyphus being forced to attempt to push a stone to the top of a mountain has no value if he were or weren’t to complete the task as the stone would stay on the mountain for eternity.  This compares a human condition we tend to call failure, as there are times humans work vigorously towards success but aren’t completely accomplished.  Sometimes the struggle in order to get to success doesn’t pertain towards anything significant within life making the struggle humans go through pointless.  This human condition is what makes a human or Sisyphus’s life absurd as the confrontation we have between ourselves as individuals who strive for success is absurd compared to the struggle and hardship we withstand to grow closer to success even when the success is completely meaningless.  All in all, I agree with the reading of the myth and the conclusions implied about the human condition as Sisyphus is struggling to a point where it’s pointless just as humans do when they set goals, making Sisyphus an exemplar to the human condition.

Significance of Bread

I believe “A Conversation About Bread” is personally the best story I’ve read from the short story packet to date. The connection between racial socioeconomic status within the story was tied to a simple essay about bread. In the perspective of someone who is white, most likely your class economically is higher, and I think this leaves whites to question blacks just because they are so engaged with someone that’s “so different” to themselves. This person within the story was the librarian, as whenever one of the children said a big word or even as the time of the conversation grew, she grew more and more engaged with what they were talking about. When the kids were talking about croissants the librarian thought the kids were humorous when in fact croissants are something these kids don’t see often. Blacks constantly carry a double consciousness with them and I feel as if the story exemplifies this especially Brian, who is incredibly cautious because he is a man of color while also being disabled. The huge factor though is that Brian said HE’S MORE AFRAID OF BEING BLACK THEN DISABLED. That really pinpoints the double consciousness these people carry throughout daily life. I thought the story tying an essay about bread to a true issue in modern society was fantastic and it really appealed to me as a reader.

Escape from Darkenfloxx

Mutual recognition is something I really thought about throughout the reading. Between the scientists and the inmates, I feel as if no mutual recognition was actually given, and by holding the inmates accountable to their past is what brings the scientists so much additional power. In the story, when Heather is drugged which Darkenfloxx, she passes due to an unbelievably high dosage. While Jeff is crying after having to watch Heather fight death, while Abnesti doesn’t even seem phased. Abnesti responds to Jeff’s reaction of the incident saying “Look, Jeff, these things happen. This is science” (35). This portrays that the inmates actually have no value to Abnesti besides collective data, showing that he is not giving mutual recognition to the inmates.