Damaris

  • Living is Lagos is not an easy life. Graceland proves this to us by showing us how hard it is for Elvis to make a living as well as simply just trying to survive. Elvis has a resume of odd jobs such as […]

    • Hi Damaris, I think trying to answer your first question is difficult because it means considering a reality we can never know. For instance, if Elvis was still in Afikpo would that mean that his mother was still alive? If his mother was still alive would his father be in more control of himself and able to support his family? If his father was still able to support his family would Elvis need to be worrying about money, or would he still be in school? The answer to even one of these questions would completely change the tragectory of Elvis’ life and so really complicates things. But I think you’re looking at the complications of this novel, so that’s not a bad thing. The choice between Redemption and Caesar is very similar, for Elvis they represent the difference between money and a form of security, and possibly doing with less but staying a good and responsible person. Living in the kind of poverty Elvis and the rest of these characters do, again, complicates that choice and removes the black or white, good or bad choices and forces Elvis to exist in the grey areas.

    • Demaris, I enjoyed reading your post because it is also something I noticed while reading the book. Elvis is stuck between two people who want the better for him. While I was reading p, I didn’t know who to believe or who Elvis should even listen to. It’s hard to move away from Redemption because Elvis needs money, however his way of earning money isn’t safe/good for Elvis. On the other side we have the King of beggars, who himself is a beggar, so how can he help Elvis earn a living. To answer your second discussion question, I think it is difficult for Elvis to choose beacuse he wants money, but he needs to think about the long run and what will happen if he continues to listen to redemption.

    • Hey Damaris, I like your title because the Redemption we see in Graceland and the word redemption means two completely different things. You would think that Redemption, Elvis friend, would lead him through a path of righteousness however, he’s doing the complete opposite. You’re absolutely right that “a person’s actions does not affect just them but those around them as well” which we see in the nightclub where redemption introduce Elvis to the Lebanese women who almost got him killed by the solider. Redemption is allowing Elvis to partake in his lifestyle, while Elvis has no idea how dangerous it is. Even after being approached by the two soldiers in the alley Elvis was still confused as to why he would be killed for something that was unintentional. I have no idea if his life would have turned out different if he was to stay in Afikpo, because his father would have still lost his job and his mother would still be dead. I think the living arrangements and circumstances that Elvis is in will shape him to become a better man.

    • Hey! Without a doubt, his life would’ve been different had he stayed in Afikpo, as we know it was a safer city and economically thrived much more than Lagos. In that sense, we can assume that life would’ve been easier, his mother still would’ve died because she had a terminal illness, and his father still would have mourned accordingly but at least Sunday would’ve had better employment opportunities. Elvis’ chances of interacting with gangsters or people of poor influence let’s assume would have been less, as his environment would’ve been different also. There is always a chance of his life being totally different if he and his family had stayed, the circumstances in which he encountered could completely reshape his life paths. But that applies to everyone, and in terms of this book and Elvis I think that doesn’t really matter or apply. I think it is difficult for Elvis to choose because of a few things. One, Elvis and Redemption have an established friendship and there is a sense of loyalty each have for one another. Redemption has always been there for Elvis, and Elvis, as we know looks up to Redemption. They have a brotherly dynamic, and although Redemption’s choices are leading them in a downward spiral neither know any better as you do what you need to in order to survive. While Caesar, although has made an impression on Elvis, is also kind of hard to take seriously as he is a beggar himself. I find it interesting that Caesar takes this moral high ground or spouts words of wisdom while still carrying the title “King of Beggars”.

    • Hey Damaris, I liked how you talked about the contrast between Redemdption and Caesar. I feel like Redemption is Elvis’s “bad angel” on one shoulder and Ceaser is his “good angel” on the other. While reading the book, Ceaser reminds me of a walking book full of life quotes. I believe the quote ( “When a car hits a dog, its puppy is never far behind”) from Ceaser is foreshadowing what is going to happen in the book. Like you stated, ” if Redemption is caught for his criminal activities, Elvis will go down with him because he is partaking in it.” So in this instance, Redemption would be the dog and Elvis would be his puppy.

      To answer your first question I think if Elvis stayed in Afrikpo his life wouldn’t be much different. He still would have been dealing with a alcoholic father and he still would be mourning the lost of his mother. The nurturing aspect of his environment wouldn’t change but the “nature” would be different.

    • to answer your first question, I don’t think Elvis would have been any different if he remained at Afikpo. The lost of his mother would have still lead his father into becoming a drunkie, his father would have still lost his job, I think it is highly likely Elvis would have grown up the same if he were to live in Lagos.
      There are many reasons as to why it is difficult for Elvis to choose between the king and Redemption, for one reason, Redemption actions have provided Elvis with answers. When I say answers I mean money and learning to survive. Money has always been an issue in Lagos, it’s hard to come by and Redemption has offered Elvis the chance to make some, as for survival, Redemption has shown Elvis the ropes of Lagos and how to avoid trouble.
      As for the king, well the king has proven to have an interest in saving Elvis. His opinions and course of actions are to protect Elvis from becoming a criminal, like Redemption. I think that is why it is difficult for Elvis to choose.

  • In the Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates brings us a compelling argument that the idea of reparations for all of the enslavement, terrorism, brutality, deceit and much more that African Americans have been […]

    • Hi Damaris, this is a really well done blog, very informative. In response to your questions, I think the government has a number of ways in which they could provide forms of reparation, though admittedly they probably would not be easy or fast solutions. I think the idea of just providng monetary reparations is both impractical, how could we possibly calculate how much would be “enough” for generation after generation of wrongs? At the same time you could argue it would also be the simplest for the government because once that imaginery sum was paid, I think we could all see how the government could then pretend the problem was solved. Although it was fictional, I’m reminded of an episode of a show called “The West Wing” where this specific converstion about reparations took place. The character in favor of these reparations made the point that the African American community understood a monetary solution might not be realistic and would instead take reparations in various forms for example college grants, tax credits, and so forth. I think to boil down the injustices against African Americans to just a money issue ignores the progress, opportunity, and success that was stripped from their potential. I think part of the solution has to allow that potential to be fully realised in the ways that were taken from generations before. Of course none of this would be easy, in no large part because people as a whole don’t like to admit their wrongdoings, and this is the source of so many, but just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean that it should and must be attempted.

    • Hey damaris. I too liked your blog post because it was very informative. You were for precise in summarizing Ta-Nehasi Coates article and I appreciate that because you made clear what I had a bit of difficulty understanding throughout some parts of this text. Overall, great job.

    • Hello Damaris,

      I like how you have laid out your blog, the details you provide are helpful. I especially appreciated when you wrote, “He means that while this country was founded on Africans Americans being robbed, of their bodies, their families, their hard work and their FREEDOM, democracy was created for White Americans,” in response to the quote by Coates; This statement accurately portrays the truth of the inhumane state of African Americans for centuries in the United States, and also sheds much needed light on the grid-locked system of “democracy,” specifically designed to favor the already privileged classes, and continually keep the struggling classes underneath. To strategically place more liquor stores, reduced funding for education, under-maintained public housing, high unemployment rates in some neighborhoods significantly more than others, denying mortgage loans, are all examples of modern day Red-lining.

    • Hi Damaris,
      I love your post and the layout you provided to portray the issues African Americans faced financially brought to light in The Case For Reparations. To answer your first question, the government can provide money to those who have suffered including: possible tax exemptions. providing better school systems in areas where its most lacking, after school programs/activities. Answering your second question: I think reparations would be costly to pride.

    • In regards to your first question, our government can provide reparations by giving free food, Heath care, housing, and tuition to African American folks with and without jobs. Welfare helps those who are poor but, those who are lower-middle class , and middle class still have to work hard to maintain their circumstances. Also, there’s way too many homeless black folks so, the government should give them the same reparations plus a job to keep them sustained. This goes for foster care homes and shelter homes and this goes outside of just black folks, latino’s deserve it too. These reparations will cost America to reshape their ideals on money, racism and profiling. The stereotypes that are attached to black folks have been given to them and, their struggles have been shaped for them. As you stated about redlining, “impossible. In Coates piece, he gives us this cool interactive map that literally shows how redlining worked in chicago. The FHA created a system where they rated several neighborhoods from A-D, D being where black people lived”. Redlining was created so that, black people can struggle in providing a home for their family. Also, based of Coates reading, we can assume that this system was also designed to diminish the black family. As you stated, black husbands had to work day and night just to maintain their house. This stopped them from being with their children resulting in, their children not gaining a relationship with their dad. The black wife had a lot on her plate as well, having to play the mom and the dad within the household. It seems that life for black folks, haven’t improved on a wide scale because they’re different forms of slavery ever since slavery. Why? Wel, America wouldn’t be America without it…

    • Your post was so well inform! In regards to the first question, the government should compensate for their damages by paying back the worth of the homes that were taken. Yet this isn’t enough to make up for the damages, possibly offer tax exemption and improving their local surroundings. In terms of public parks, school facilities and recreation places.
      In response to the second question, it is obvious that it will be costly in terms off money. However, I think as a whole the government will definitely feel embarrass. I think our country has difficulty admitting to their faults, and for such a thing to admit their wrong is a slap to their face (pride).

  • After 58 years, A Raisin in the Sun continues to impact people all around the world. If Lorraine Hansberry’s goal was to reach as many people as she can with this play, then it is safe to say she has no doubt s […]

  • Hello Everyone, my name is Damaris Castro and I am an English Major. I have an addiction, yes an addiction to reading. I love learning and sharing that knowledge with everyone. My goal is to one day become an […]