One of the main themes of ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’ is the difficulty of communication. The main miscommunication explored in the story is miscommunication that is prevalent in loveless marriages. In this short story, both Mrs. Das and Mr. Kapasi are in loveless marriages and the short story explores some sort of chemistry between the two. The description of the sun temple in pages 21 and 22 explores this theme and topic of the story. The sun temple is filled with naked figures of women and these are used by the author to highlight the plight of Mr. Kapasi. “Though Mr. Kapasi had been to the temple countless times, it occurred to him, as he, too, gazed at the topless women, that he had never seen his own wife fully naked. Even when they had made love she kept the panels of her blouse hooked together, the string of her petticoat knotted around her waist.” This direct quotation from page 22 further enhances the loneliness felt by Mr. Kapasi in his marriage and cements his unhappiness in the reader’s mind. The author uses this to further discuss this topic in the short story.
Through ‘Brokeback Mountain’, the author Annie Proulx tries to educate her readers on many different issues that haunt the society we currently live in. One of these issues that is in the center of the story is the idea of love and how it is defined in our society. By having two gay men in the epicenter of this story, Proulx openly and distinctly challenges our society’s definition and constraints on love. She explores the idea of forbidden love with the help of the characters Jack and and Ennis. Furthermore, Proulx ties in our society’s emphasis on masculinity into her idea of forbidden live. She purposely chooses the setting and character descriptions of the gay lovers to challenge these stereotypes. Cowboys, who are often displayed as the poster boys of masculinity, are made to be homosexuals in this story. The story even takes place in the extremely conservative state of Wyoming where homosexuality is shunned. Through the events of the story, the author is trying to educate the masses regarding the unfair prejudices that we hold against homosexuality. “You and me can’t hardly be decent together if what happened back there”—he jerked his head in the direction of the apartment—”grabs on us like that. We do that in the wrong place we’ll be dead. There’s no reins on this one. It scares the piss out a me.” (70) By challenging society’s judgmental outlook on love, Proulx is pleading society to divert from it’s harsh and unfair constraints.
While I do believe that the morals spoken about in Cinderella are important for children, I do not believe that from a story telling perspective, it is a story that is suitable for children. The main reason for this I believe is the objectification of women through Cinderella. I believe that Cinderella’s kindness and purity are her best features. These personality traits are what make Cinderella so unique and likable. However, the prince marries her based solely on her looks, her beautiful dress, and the precious garments she wore to the ball. In a way, the prince was attracted to Cinderella based solely on materialistic and lustful reasons. Because of this, girls are taught from a young age that these things matter greatly. Cinderella’s kindness is completely overshadowed by her beauty. Therefore, the most important moral of this story, which is the importance of always being kind, is forever lost on these children.
I grew up watching the Disney version of Cinderella. Hence, it is only natural that it is the Disney version of the story that I incline towards. However, it was through this very course that I was enlightened to the fact that the 1950 Disney movie was actually inspired by the tale of Cinderella written by Charles Perrault. One of the reasons why fairy tales are told to children when they are young is that most of them have important life lessons and morals that are important for the positive nurturing of children. Cinderella is no exception to this. Most of these morals are relevant in all of the telling of the story except perhaps the Roald Dahl version which takes a more cynical approach to the story. These morals include the importance of being kind, constant belief in yourself, and to stay strong no matter what setbacks you face in life. I think that these morals apply especially in today’s modern day and age where people have forgot the importance of being nice to each other. Selflessness has become a trait that is rare to spot in people nowadays. We need to take inspiration from such fairy tales and implement some of these learning into our own lives.
We all are in search of continual bliss,
Itching to find so many reasons to smile.
Is it money and wealth or a lover’s kiss,
That keeps us merry and happy for a while?
But to be in a state of peace and zen,
People start to worship gods and praise an idol.
Some look at the sweet release of narcotics now and then,
While others are charitable to seem gracious and noble.
But after all the laughter and joy subsides,
What is this gaping hole in my heart i wonder,
That nothing in this world simply can hide,
Roaring in my mind and soul like wild thunder.
Is the idea of continual bliss an endless road,
As we strive to find the end while we slowly erode?
I will be looking at the use of the moon by Archibald Macleish in his poem ‘Ars Poetica’. The second verse of this poem talks about the moon in every line and even repeats the line “A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs,” twice in the verse. I think Macleish has used the moon to help define his understanding of what exactly poetry means to him. Macleish believes that poetry is something that should be universal and pure of creation. He uses the moon in similes throughout the second verse to talk about this idea. “A poem should be motionless in time” talks about the universality of poetry. Macleish believes that poetry should be an emotional extension of the writer as emotions are universal. Anyone, anywhere, at any time should be able to understand the emotions being conveyed in a poem. The poet also talks about the cycles of the moon and how we do not see the moon change during these cycles. This is a further exploration of the purity of human emotions and how we do not need to be aware of them for them to exist.
Why do we seek value and meaning in literature?
Literature has often been a form of emotional catharsis for writers. Through their literary works, writers try and convey their feelings about a particular matter at hand or some personal issue. However, sometimes writers try and educate readers regarding the wrong doings of society as a whole. This is why I think we seek value and meaning in literature. We as a race have become so immune to the pressures and confines of society that we follow a set pattern or routine that has been laid in front of us without ever questioning it. I think that some writers recognize these societal flaws and try and isolate themselves from such confines. Through their works, they try and educate readers. Those who seek meaning and value in literature realize these societal constraints and want to break away from them. Literature provides the escape that they look for in search of their own truth on the matter.
The beauty of ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ isn’t in it’s setting or characters, but is in its portrayal of human hypocrisy which is universal by nature. Hence, it does not matter where the play really takes place as that element is present throughout the ages in every region of the world. However, it would be quite interesting to see ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ being played out in 14th century China when the Chinese aristocratic society was on the rise. One of the themes of this play is also marriage so it would be interesting to see the cultural differences and ways that marriage proposals had to be done in different aristocratic societies. Furthermore, it would be intriguing to see the acceptable wealth and definition of wealth to marry in that society. The adaptability and transference of ideas of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is what makes this play a timeless classic.
Movie adaptations are always insightful when trying to analyze a literary piece. The movie adaptation of ‘Importance of being Earnest’ is no exception to that. Oscar Wilde tries to convey the hypocrisy that ran rampant in British society during the Victorian period. While the play is sufficient enough to understand that message, the movie helps refine and reinforce that message. The reason for that being the descriptive and detailed scenes added in the movie by the director. Furthermore, the actors do a brilliant job of bringing alive the characters and clearing the lines of hypocrisy. The movie even adds a few scenes that helps bring out the theme of the play even more. One such scene is when there are thugs chasing Algy because he did not pay his debts but in the very next scene he gives a speech to Jack regarding morals. While there are some purists who claim that such changes should not be encouraged in movies, one must understand that different adaptations have different interpretations of literary pieces and they should be appreciated for trying to shine a different light on Wilde’s work. After all, literature is all about one’s interpretations and understanding.
I think that through this poem, Yeats is criticising the way poets and writers approach literature in the modern age. This poem addresses writers as ‘scholars’, men who study the art of writing and understanding literature. While technical mastery of any subject is important, literature is something that cannot be confined within a set of rules. Yeats describes these scholars as bald, old, and learned who keep editing their work in order to find art that is perfect.Yeats also describes these scholars as men who are confined in their studies and try their best to keep improving their work. I believe that this very aspect of modern literature is what Yeats is criticising. Literature is something that comes with experience and with emotion. Literature should be an intimate form of emotional catharsis for writers instead of technical storytelling. By claiming that the great romantic poet Catullus was the inspiration of many writers, Yeats is telling writers to pursue the art of literature the way Catullus did; free-flowing and for one’s own soul.