Shereece

  • Keep in mind that Chris Abani left us with these last words on page 321 that says “Yes, this is redemption” and I believe it was intentional because after all the hardship Elvis has encountered he is finally […]

    • 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 freedom is a better word. I feel like the word redemption has the connotation that the person recieving or seeking it is in someway, as you defined it, evil or sinful. I don’t believe Elvis is those things, but rather that the violent poverty he was forced into living within deprived him of his means for opportunity. We’ve been discussing in class the pointed ways in which wealth has been kept away from the people of Nigeria to the point that many means of honest progress is taken away from them. I think for most of the novel Elvis is living in a kind of survivor mode and finally catches a break at the end. You leave this novel feeling like Lagos and Maroko are filled with Elvises, people who have their potential snatched from them at the turn of every corner. Unless they get their lucky break.

    • I was satisfied with the way the novel ended because Elvis was able to make it. Throughout the entire novel he talks about getting to America and he has various chances but doesn’t make it. Finally when Redemption gives him his chance to leave he takes it. If he wouldn’t have taken it I think I would’ve been upset because then there really would be no point to the story. His goal to make it to America is what keeps the story going. So i think he definitely finds redemption because he is saved from Lagos.

    • Great Blog post! I love how you summarized the whole book and added all the main characters in a brief paragraph. You explained clearly what had happened throughout the book and what the purpose of it was. I enjoyed reading this blog post 🙂
      I do believe Elvis has found redemption because he was finally able to go to America to start a new life. Where he lived; it was just extremely poor in society, economically, physically and it was mentally hard to be there. Even though Elvis did sometimes see the good in all the bad, he’s seen a lot of things that damaged him emotionally and mentally. So I am glad he went to live with his aunt in America to try a new life and try to start fresh.
      im happy with the way the novel ended i feel like it gave a good conclusion to the whole story.
      Good Job as a last blog post of the semester! 🙂

    • I think Elvis finds redemption when he goes to America. He idolized Elvis and is a exceptional dancer, so America will provide him with way more opportunities that don’t involve infringing other people’s rights. I find it interesting how Albani named the criminal mastermind Redemption and the wisdom, paternal figure The King of Beggars. It only makes Elvis more conflicted because their names don’t match up with their moral compass. I think he uses a lot of those negative feelings from his turbulent childhood and serves political purposes that are higher than himself like the protests against the government in his neighborhood.

    • Living in a third world country has it ups and its downs but for the most part its who we are. Living in Lagos may have been difficult for Elvis, but I think it will benefit him in the future. I think the chance that he got to come to America is redemption for him. Elvis would have a strong sense of who he is because America is a new life for him. America is another opportunity for Elvis to make some gains in his life. He is able to progress a little better because coming to America may have inspired him. Elvis was a character that I enjoyed reading about. Graceland is a book that provides culture. The ending of the novel provides hope so I like how it ends.

    • Hi Shereece!
      Great blog post! I can agree with a few other students on her that Elvis did in fact find redemption in America. In the novel there was constant emphasis on the hardships, violence, and poverty Elvis faced. So when he finally ends up living with his Aunt in America, I think it is the start of a new life almost, an all around renewal for Elvis. I think the ending was satisfactory after all he’s been through it’s nice to see Elvis content and getting closer to representing his name.

    • In my opinion, the word “redemption” is defined as: the act, process, or an instance of redeeming. It is my belief that this is how Abani wishes to present its use. Elvis is in a state of flux throughout the novel. He does not fully understand the world and how it truly works. For this reason, when the path to America is presented to him at the end of his telling, the path that he chose will inevitably (hopefully) lead him to redeeming himself. This will most likely come in the form of letting go of any and all inner demons, grief, pain, and baggage that resides on his shoulders. By the novels close, redemption is not found, but rather, a brighter path to this goal is definitely presented. Given the novel’s closing sentences I believe that redemption will be accomplished. The brightness associated with the final chapter does give a positive outlook, and leaves the reader (me) hopeful and confident of Elvis’ future. All in all, like “Graceland”, your post was a great read. I look forward to your presentation.

      See you in class,

      Christian

    • Hey! I really enjoyed reading your blog. I think you did an excellent job at really summarizing everything in the text. I specifically liked then you said “As the readers, we were introduced to many characters in this novel with names that are the complete opposite from their original definition. These three characters, comfort, redemption, and blessing have showed me that the people Elvis has encountered were all apart of Abani’s plan to guide him throughout the Novel.” because this reminded me of our class discussion a little while ago when I mentioned the song “Redemption” by Bob Marley. One of the lines from the song goes “Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom cause all I ever have.
      Redemption songs. Redemption songs.” This reminded me a lot of the novel because Elvis is looking for redemption/freedom to be able to leave his country and start a new fresh life. To answer your question, I was satisfied with the ending because I think it’s pretty clear that he’s finally getting a chance at redemption.

    • I enjoyed reading your blog Shereece. When we first started reading this book, I remember as a class we discussed the characteristic of Redemption and how he was the total opposite of what the word “Redemption” means. We also discussed if we thought Redemption would be a bad influence on Elvis. I think it is ironic how Redemption gave Elvis the opportunity to forget his life in Lagos and “redeem” himself. So the influence Redemption had on Elvis life turned out to be a good one because he believed in Elvis’s potential to be greater than the life he was giving.

      When you stated ” None of the women in Elvis’s life stays permanently”, it made me reflect on all the women we meet in the book. In my opinion, I think none of the women stay in his life because it shows that his life in Lagos wasn’t going to be permanent. All the women in Elvis’s life impacted him and shaped him into the man he became. If his mom was still alive or if he found his cousin Efra then I think his attachment to them would cause him to stay in Nigeria.

    • Hey Shereece, I love how you focused on the impact of the characters names, in Elvis’s life. It’s evident that blessing was truly Elvis’s blessing because she shaped him up mentally, spiritually and physically so that, he can have the hope needed for his trip to America. We can all agree that Elvis went through a long journey of trials and tribulations but, as you stated, ” Without her nurturing him he would have probably died”. I truly agree and it’s essential to know that with our blessings and our curses we are building our strength as individuals. That’s a key part to take away from this novel and to realize that without through redemption we won’t be saved from our troubles s How ironic is it that, Elvis has the chance to start a new life in America because of his friend named Redemption? This brings me to your first question, yes I do believe that Elvis has found redemption because now, he’s able to change his experience for the better. Growing up in Lagos has been very difficult and gruesome for all within the slums so, a chance for a better life is a great ending for the novel. We can finish reading it with a sense of relief because Elvis can finally live his dream and depart from his fatal nightmares in Lagos. I feel that all of his experiences have shaped him for a better future in America.

    • Hey sheerece!

      I kind of got lost reading your blog post but got back in track eventually. I wanted to stick more with what you said about the meaning of redemption and how this connects to Elvis. When I think of the word “redemption” I think of it as redeeming yourself, as in making amends with something that you’ve experienced or done. In relation to Elvis, I feel that like you said “it was intentional because after all the hardship that Elvis had encountered, he is finally receiving the chance to make a new life for himself in America.” After everything Elvis had been through, going to America, away from the past, is a way of Elvis redeeming himself, Hence, calling himself Redemption, not only because it was his friends name and passport, but perhaps because this is who Elvis himself, as a person, felt he had come to define himself and experiences as. So yes I do believe he has found redemption and I am happy with the way the novel ended because nobody deserves to go through the things that Elvis has so to get a second chance in life, is something Elvis deserves to live out.

      Overall,

      Great post!

    • I think in a way Elvis found Redemption however, I think what suits his situation was, him being offered an opportunity. If you think about it, Elvis was offered a chance to improve his life by, Redemption. You might ask yourself, what does this opportunity offer? Well, for starters a passport, the passport offers him the chance to come to America and possibly the opportunity to pursue his dream. I believe it wasn’t redemption that was found, but the chance to escape Lagos.
      As for the way the book ended, I was happy for Elvis. Finally, the guy gets some sunshine in his life. As a reader, just reading the tragedy he has gone through one feels the need to sympathize with him. so yes I love the way it ended and being left with the thought, what will life be like for Elvis in America? who knows?

  • Shereece commented on the post, Elvis, on the site The Arts of Dissent 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hey David,
    While reading this disturbing part of the book, I came to a conclusion that Abani is trying to evoke something in his readers that females aren’t the only ones subjected to rape. This scene shows how the innocence of a child can be taken away and if he/she dares to talk about it to an adult they would be looked upon as liars and bad…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Hey Anastazia,
    I loved your blog, especially the part where you use your definition of “Sunday” and Chris Abani’s character Sunday to show the difference of both representations. I can agree with your definition of Sunday because that’s how I was taught to spend my Sundays. It’s always a happy day where you give thanks to god and sit down to h…[Read more]

  • Hey Vanessa, when I first saw the painting, my eyes immediately stared at the sunset and the white light that’s in the middle. After realizing that they were people in the water I began to think about Slave ships, and the many African Americans that died during slavery. After reading your post I now know why the slaves are in the water and the…[Read more]

  • Hey T’yana, I LOVE your post. I think I read it over five times, and each time I get a better understanding of what you’re saying. You asked “Who do you see when you look into the mirror? Yourself or, America’s version of you?” and sometimes I ask myself this question. Being African American we face adversity as soon as we walk out of our front…[Read more]

  • Hey Dana,
    I really enjoyed your blog post. I’m Jamaican and I do use the word “coolie” when referring to a Guyanese or Trinidadian person and I never thought of that word to be offensive until now. I just thought “coolie” was someone with mixtures of both ethnicity, either Indian and Guyanese or Indian and Jamaican etc. The quote from Citizen t…[Read more]

  • I enjoy reading Claudia Rankine’s Citizen because she shows how relevant racism is. As a parent, I understand that your responsibility is to protect your child from dangerous situations. Another duty as a parent is to teach your child right from wrong. In this case this was a perfect time for that mother to educate her twelve year old child on how…[Read more]

  • I have no idea why i said she was twelve. I was probably thinking of something else, sorry. Hopefully you get my point

  • African Americans during both slavery and the civil rights movement NEVER had FREEDOM. The definition of FREEDOM is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Furthermore I would like to answer your second question. I would say it’s the housing market issue is Same thing as being a slave. African…[Read more]

  • Hey Dana, I love how you picked up on the word “veil” and defined its meaning then, broke it down to incorporate what you have to say in your post. I read that paragraph so fast it didn’t appeal to me about the concept of what wearing a veil might mean. You’re right, that as an African American man, there are things that Ms. Hansberry’s ex-husban…[Read more]

  • In Ginia Bellafante, New York Times review of the 2008 film of “A Raisin in the sun” Bellafante describes the film as “a noble enterprise never dulled by its good intentions.” The film was aired Monday night o […]

  • Hey Nakia. I agree that Mama was acting too impetuous by giving Walter the money. Her guilt and emotions got the best of her in this scene. I can understand a mothers disappointment in herself for the outcome of an unstable and absentminded child. On page 106 the talk with Mama and Walter was extremely emotional. I felt the pain in Mama’s voice as…[Read more]

  • Christian, you said that Walter is “seeking out an attempt to regain his masculinity” and he wants to “seek strength and control over his existence and over the Younger household” and I agree with your statement, because we see in Act ii how aggressive Walter has gotten over the money that Mama has just inherited. His frustration of not being w…[Read more]

  • I’ve never read the book before, however I do know what the book is about from friends who have read the book and watched the movie. By reading Act one scene one I get the sense of lost dreams and hope. Seeing Walter talk so passionately about owning the liquor store makes me think of how determined Walter is of make something of himself. Walter…[Read more]

  • After reading Acts IV and V I’ve taken notice to the only innocent person of the entire play who is Miranda. If there is one good thing to be said about Prospero, it would be his unconditional love for his d […]

    • Sm replied 8 months ago

      I liked your analysis of the human side of Prospero. Prospero is an interesting character, and at times he can come off as being inhumane. But moments with his daughter really show that he is just a human being like everyone else, it’s just his methods are a bit twisted. Wanting the best for their child is what makes a good parent. And as a father, Prospero is very good to Miranda. As for your questions. I think the ending of the play is satisfying, although a little fourth wall breaking.

      Your second question is a personal one. Well, the past will always come back to haunt us. The past does not just reside in our memories of events, but in people as well. A bad person from the past can also come back to haunt you and make you remember all the bad times. My past has come back at the most inopportune times. But time doesn’t care. That’s how it is.

    • I completely agree with you on how Miranda is considered to be the most innocent of all the characters in the play simply because she is a virgin. Prospero’s attitude towards Ferdinand’s proposal is positive yet he still is concerned with throwing a tradition wedding because he wants Miranda to carry through with tradition. I think is interesting that you take into consideration Prospero’s more sensative and caring side. Throughout most of the play, we see him as this powerful sorcerer who has enslaved Caliban and Ariel but, behind the scenes, Prospero only wants what is best for his daughter. I really liked seeing Prospero in this way because it shows a more human and vulnerable side to him and allows us to see through him more as a person. After reading the play, I didn’t entirely dislike Prospero as much as I had throughout most of the play. Yet, I still did not feel complete sympathy for him in the end because of his enslavement and treatment of his servants and his never ending hunger for complete power. I really liked your connection to Prospero aand Miranda’s relationship to the film, “A Walk to Remember.” Connecting Shakesepeare to modern-day situactions can help us better understand what we are reading and understand the situaction. The scene you mentioned from the film is excellent example of how Prospero only wants what is best for his daughter and makes sure the future husband-in-law is someone who is worthy of marrying.

    • I absolutely LOVED the way you analyzed act IV and V. I love how you separated the connection between Prospero and Miranda from the two acts. I do agree with you that Prospero is self centered and sometimes untrustworthy throughout the whole play but the love he has for his daughter Miranda is something else. I really loved the way you were comparing them to the movie “A walk to Remember” and showed a comparison with the girl in the movie and Miranda in the play. They both are very religious and would love to stay virgins until they are properly married off, religiously. The girls father in the movie is similar to Prospero because they both dont let anyone take advantage of each of their daughters.

      Honestly, i do believe in Karma. But, i also do believe that people should own up to their own mistakes before the consequences get worse or even before Karma hits them. Even though it may be scary to own up to your own mistakes because you dont know the outcome of it but at the end of the day you will know that you got a load off your shoulders and that you will know you wont have to deal with it sometime later in life.

    • Hello Shereece 🙂 I agree with you in various points you have made throughout your post. I also feel that Miranda is the only innocent and pure character in the play and indeed Prospero shows to be very protective over her. It’s interesting to see Prospero’s caring side being that he is always self-centered. These two acts truly allow for this softer side of Prospero to be easily visible to the reader, especially with Prospero making sure that Miranda is respected by Ferdinand. I loved how you related Act IV to the movie “A Walk to Remember” because this is a movie that shows the same father to future husband situation, where the father only wants the best for his little girl and wants them to be married first before anything. Great post!

    • I loved your connection to the movie, “A Walk to Remember”. I haven’t really thought about it in that perspective before. I can see how the father figure is very protective of his daughter, and may even come across as being the bad guy. Just as Jamie’s father wanted her to have the best life possible, (because she was sick and dying), but also treated with respect by her high school boyfriend, much like Prospero wants his daughter to be treated with respect, and wants her to have her dream wedding to her dream husband, which is exactly how it was in the movie as well. I can’t say I’m totally happy about the ending only because even though it ends well, I don’t see Prospero’s actions as being totally justifiable. His thirst for power and control are a little too much. I do think the bad things that people have done in their life will catch up to them. It’s all in a matter of time.

    • I have a deep understanding of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” As I was reading it struck me, that the language used here is special. At one point, I kept reading seeing where it would lead me and it took me to a place of serenity and honor. Prospero does think of himself and he wants something special for his daughter. At another point I noticed that Iris and Ceres were talking and I was, to not say shock, amazed because as I was reading I kind of liked the flow. It was easy ready. The ending was something I was expecting from the beginning. It ended in something that was big and great. It left me, the reader, in a sense of making a better tomorrow for myself. I think if you believe in something that made you a better person, that past won’t catch up to you. It will only make you better.

    • I turned out to be partly satisfied because to me it seemed as if Prospero knew he had been doing things wrong before. Now he decides to help save his daughters virginity and get her married to Ferdinand. Although this was all somewhat apart of his plan from the beginning, he starts to actually care about certain things. I definitely do believe that bad things catch up to people. This is because you can’t do all bad to people and receive good back. People eventually catch on and do bad back.

    • I really enjoyed how you compared the “Tempest” with the movie “A Walk to Remember” as sometimes these Shakespearean plays and characters are a little hard to envision let alone relate to. Aligning it with a more contemporary film helped give me a better perception on Prospero. The reader was able to see a more vulnerable side to him, one thats showed his innate paternal instincts to want to protect his daughter and ensure she’s allotted the wedding she so rightfully deserves. To that I can most definitely say I was satisfied with the play because we are able to see the characters come full circle, the importance of any good story is for the author to show the characters range and growth and the end of this play gave me that. To the second question, I’m not one to believe in karma, I do believe as an individual living in this world I strive to do good and be the best that I can and to that end whatever wrongs I made or bad I did I have already made peace with those mistakes and learned from each one. So no I don’t believe those things will catch up with me because I left them in the past and moved on.

    • Hey there! to begin with answering your first question, yes. I was very happy with how the play ended especially because of the fact that comparing prospero from act I to act VI, you are seen comparing two completely different people. Atleast from what I got from it. In the beginning of the play I thought he was this man who only seeked out revenge on those who were involved in overthrowing him. Yet, he was plotting all along, to simply bring “sense” as he states to those in which he basically lured to the island which he called home for 12 years. Forgiving them, was a major twist and I thought that it was much more like prospero to do, especially after all that he had been through. I always had the feeling that he was never “the bad guy” after all. To quickly touch upon what you stated about Miranda, I think that is a beautiful evaluation. I didn’t realize this until you mentioned t actually that she truly is the most innocent and purest of all the characters. What made me fully realize that was when she first saw Alonso and the others for the first time. She states in awe “O wonder! how many godly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t.” (Act VI, I) this got my attention and I thought it was just amazing how she looked at these men, specifically “mankind” as she mentions in this way. To answer the last question, I very much believe in “you reap what you sow…” so yes.

    • 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 beauty equated to goodness. Miranda could mantain her sweet nature and untainted goodness for as long as she remained “untainted”.

      In regards to your question of satisfaction, I think “The Tempest” like a number of Shakespeare’s plays falls into somewhat of a predictable formula. We know that “The Tempest” is a tragicomedy, as our Professor said, and so we know, in the end, everything will be alright and everyone will get a happily ever after. Prospero’s somewhat sudden shift in temperment and disposition towards others (other than Miranda) is satisfying in that it follows what we know should happen but is a little frustrating in that it’s such a departure from the Prospero we engaged with through the majority of the play. I think your actions do catch up to you, whether immediately or not. Whether you call it karma or not, I think the way that you engage with others and the world as a whole dictates the results you suffer or enjoy.

    • I really loved the comparison to a Walk to Remember. I didn’t think of it from that perspective before. Now that you’ve said it reminds you of it, I can see the similarities. I agree with your assessment of Prospero and his daughter. He’s very consistent with her and treats her well. He only wants the best for her.

      To answer your questions I am very happy with how the play ended. I love seeing the changes in Prosperos character from Act I to Act V. It was great to see the progress.

      Your past will only catch up to you if you are running from it.

    • Nice post ! Yes, towards the end of the play I realized how Miranda was the only innocent character of The Tempest. Her innocence can reflect light and how darkness is never a permanent factor in our lives. There’s always going to be light from darkness and, Prospero definitely embraced his daughters light. That’s why I was very satisfied with the end of The Tempest because it showed the balance. We all have or moments in life when we’re at our worst but, we always grow out of it. The ending of this play was very relatable and gave Prospero human characteristics. He didn’t seem as monsterous, once he revealed his feelings, on his daughters innocence being at is last days. He reflects on his life and develops enough courage to deminish the very thing that gives him power: his magic book. I believe everything we do in life will come back to show us a lesson. Whether it’s in this life time or, in our children’s life time. That’s why I feel it was important for Shakespeare to have Prospero ask for forgiveness. It shows that no matter what change can come through whomever, at whatever time.

  • I do agree that the plot thickens in Act iii. And to answer your question I don’t believe that there is a hero in this play because it seems as though everyone is out for something and is willing to do anything to get what they want. I believe the scene with Miranda and Ferdinand is one of the purest scene’s we’ve seen in the play because there is…[Read more]

  • After reading Acts one and two I can see that Prospero and Antonio have similar traits, because their both manipulative and have cruel intentions. I don’t think we can trust Prospero because he’s still holding a grudge on his brother for over 12 years. Prospero thrives on getting his revenge on his brother and he’s willing to lie to his daughter…[Read more]

  • I’m happy that someone else can see my point of view regarding educating our youth. Also that was the same reaction I had while watching his performance. He gave me chills. Thank you for commenting T’yana.

  • Shereece commented on the post, Intro, on the site The Arts of Dissent 8 months, 2 weeks ago

    I completely agree with your post. I also don’t agree with the terms and conditions that trump has displayed after becoming so powerful (I refuse to use the other ‘P” word). I believe that everyone has is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs, such as religion and political views. HOWEVER Listening to this video one of the speakers said that…[Read more]

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