Hi Shereece, to be honest I was a little confused sometimes while reading your blog about when you were talking about redeption the idea and when you meant Redemption the person. If however I followed you correctly, I think my answer to your first question in my opinion is that Elvis didn’t require redemption but rather opportunity. Or perhaps…[Read more]
It’s completely natural for Elvis to see violence different from the way we do considering where he lives. The slums create an environment where violence is a means of survival, it’s a kind of existence that we can’t know. Considering how vastly removed our way of living is from the lives of those in Lagos, it’s as if we don’t exist in the same…[Read more]
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…[Read more]
Chris Abani’s novel, GraceLand begins by introducing us to the kola nut and its importance, “The Igbo hold the kola nut to be sacred, offering it at every gathering and to every visitor, as a blessing, as ref […]
I agree with when you say “Apparently, you can’t even escape this annoyance in the slums of Nigeria.” Because it’s true, this is a story about Nigeria so no matter what is looked at we will be reminded of it. I also believe that the author does this purposely to connect Elvis more to his roots rather than pushing him away from it. I don’t think that Elvis is becoming “materialistic”, I feel more as if he is definitely following his roots. He shows that he admires Elvis Presley where it says “His fascination with movies and Elvis Presley aside, he wasn’t really sure he liked America. Now that the people he cared about were going there, he felt more ambivalent than ever.” (56) However, just because he is fascinated by Elvis Presley, he still doesn’t want anything to do with America or a new tradition instead he feels uncertain knowing that his people were going there.
Ah I see what you did there with your title. I like that. When I read the novel, I didn’t think it would have any undertones relating to religion. In fact I couldn’t make an assumption on what this novel would be about at all from just reading the blurb. I honestly thought it would just be a story about the culture in Nigeria, but this story kind of reminds me of “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. The culture that is strong and then it is being taken over by the white man and the culture is lost. It’s a stretch, but it reminds me of it. The way I see the spiritual tones playing out is that the characters will come to understand themselves on an emotional level through the help of spirituality.
This point that you make in your first paragraph where you say, “-describing the writing as a “psalm” turns the journal into a kind of holy book for Elvis”. You hit the nail on the head; this is his “holy book”. As a religious person has a certain attachment to their bible, he has an attachment to this journal. Which I love that you connected the writing in the journal with your title.
“In one such flashback Oye tells young Elvis how the wild trees in their village are the result of criminals being killed by driving flowering stakes through their skulls.-” There should be a comma here, not really sure where, sorry.
I see what you mean by the novel pointing towards religion as being an aide to the main character’s life. It’s definitely prominent in the way that his best friend is Redemption. It’s as though it is another chance for this character.
Great close reading and digging for the connections to religion.
Hi Vanessa, well done blog! Like you said yourself, when I first looked at the painting I didn’t notice the lone leg coming out of the water in the corner of the picture. When I saw that section isolated and blown up on the next page, I had to go back to the original and look for it. In the isolated image, the chained leg reaching above the waves…[Read more]
Hi Dana, well done blog, the personal angle you use is incredibly effective. We happen to live in the same neighborhood and my two best friends are Guyanese and often talk about the struggle you describe of not being the “right kind” of Guyanese or not looking the right way. My only points of reference are insignificant compared to the racism…[Read more]
Hi Brittnay, great blog, you come at it from a really interesting angle. In regards to your first question, I agree and disagree with your idea that we live in a black and white world. I disagree only because I think we WISH we lived in a black and white world, meaning I think we wish that there were always clear cut right and wrongs and obvious…[Read more]
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…[Read more]
Kate commented on the post, Lorraine Hansberry & Raisin in the Sun ; Comparison, on the site The Arts of Dissent 5 months, 1 week ago
Jasmina, I really liked your blog and in particular the video you provided at the end. I think getting to hear Lorraine Hansberry’s words, unfiltered through characters or analysis from a second writer, gives an even greater insight into the ideas she wove into her play. The most poignant idea she vocalized, to my mind is that though she was and…[Read more]
Hi Brittany, I found your blog very interesting and insightful. I also chose a more recent production of the play, though ten years previous to your own and outside of the Broadway sphere. I agree that the more recent productions do hint at somewhat of a softening of Walter’s character. I agree that though there have been adjustments to…[Read more]
This New York Times review by Anita Gates, takes a look at a Hartfort, Connecticut production of A Raisin in the Sun from 2004. The review makes mention of Sidney Poitier in the role of Walter in both the ori […]
Kelley presents a very optimistic view of how social change can and should occur, a view he recognizes is not shared by all, “I did not write this book for those traditional leftists who have traded in their […]
To answer your first question, I do think that young people are fighting against ideas. In regards to politics, there are many “ideas” that have been already created, whether they are morally right or wrong. Young people of this generation are fighting for these ideas to be not in affect. Going back to your post I definitely agree with you when you say, “it seems we must fight against wrongs we see being committed”. Some of the same issues that people were fighting about 50 years ago, seems like we still have to fight for today.
Although I found the preface and first chapter to be really well written at times it I found myself drifting because it tended to get overly wordy, or Kelly’s points lingered on when it could’ve been condensed. Regardless the message was still poignant in that the overall reminder of todays political and intellectual landscape and the lack of real assertion by younger peoples to create the type of social movement that pulls on the heart strings on humanity. I perceived his writing and message firstly of interiority, to look inward at myself and ask of myself the same questions and concerns he prosed. I felt challenged when to really analyze, when Kelly and in your blog asked “What are today’s young activist dreaming about? We know what they are fighting against, but what are they fighting for?” (Kelly, pg 7-8). Then he continued his thoughts when also asking why the youth like to differentiate activism with intellectual work and why there can not be or why there is a lack of cohesion between the ideals that encompasses both groups. Again, I thought to myself I’ve definitely been apart of both groups in terms of constantly having an inward battle in trying to figure out the appropriate channels to implement real change. School, or real world experiences? Does it have to either or? Can it be both? Anyway when you ask are young people fighting against or for ideas, I think its best to define what those ideas are. I know as a young(er) person I am appalled by the current political climate, political parties (both left and right) and the constant necessary dialogue of issues of race and identity. Kelly speaks of self transformation/actualization and references Askia M. Toure’s ideology, an idea I most definitely fight for “changing the way we think, live, love and handle pain…” (Kelly, pg. 11). I also appreciate Kelly’s attitude in “calling out” the liberal left, as not so “liberal” and I agree with his sentiments whole heatedly. As liberals (and I feel this mostly with the older generation) they are stuck in the past, what was radical thinking then has evolved into more complex issues and their positions haven’t changed and their ideals are rooted in their experiences from twenty or thirty years ago instead of whats happening now. They are capitalist (to a fault) and are just as materialistic as conservatives and out of touch when it comes to implementing the kind of change necessary to uplift and enlighten a generation that feels abandoned and underserved.
Pushing back, keeping clear, and fighting against ideas seems to be the norm of the world today-that is, the land in which we are currently occupying. Although speaking for the masses may feel a bit unnatural and awkward I am merely voicing one opinion. When considering Kelly’s banishment of the “traditional leftists”, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that this act will force-as you stated-a new form of division. But perhaps this was done intentionally, to grab a readers attention and guide that reader to a different vantage point and see themselves in a new light. But as far as change goes, I see no change in the near or distant future. I guess that I can place myself within the “hopeless” bunch. I wish that I envisioned it differently-perhaps some day I will-but the utopian ideal is an ideal that stands-to me, at least for now-as the unattainable.
Kate commented on the post, Lissette Perez – “A Raisin in the Sun” Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1, on the site The Arts of Dissent 5 months, 3 weeks ago
Despite the decades separating the family of the play and our current times, a number of the tensions you touch on are ones families are still struggling with. Each of the characters in the play could easily be found, if not in our own families, then definitely in people we know. Mama clearly represents the older generation who was the sold the…[Read more]
I agree with your assessment of Prospero and Miranda’s relationship, even though Prospero is willing to torment and punish others he mantains a vulnerability with Miranda consistently. The purity that we see in Miranda and that her father feels she embodies, as you rightly point out, is the maifestation in Shakepeare’s time that both virginity and…[Read more]
I agree it’s right to question the intentions of Prospero and whether his claim that everything he does is only for Miranda, who seems to have no inkling of the life she would have had off their island previously. If in fact Prospero was doing everything for her he wouldn’t focus so much on the wrongs that have been done to him. He seems to desire…[Read more]
Hi, my name is Kate and like many of you I’m an English major though not with the intention of teaching. I’m currently looking into the publishing world as a career because I think being a part of shaping and […]