Transcendence

 

The picture below relates to the mad mother in that at first it seems depressing and sad but the more you think about it the more it seems to tell a tale of hope. In this picture it seems to be depressing and ominous but there is light in the window that signifies hope and hints that once there could have been a great castle or something there but time has taken its toll. There is a cross and what appears to be graves and so the building may have once been a place of worship. Just like in the mad mother where she says

“Dread not their taunts, my little life!
I am thy father’s wedded wife;
And underneath the spreading tree
We two will live in honesty.
If his sweet boy he could forsake,
With me he never would have stay’d:
From him no harm my babe can take,
But he, poor man! is wretched made,
And every day we two will pray
For him that’s gone and far away.”

She too was once worshiped and now forgotten, and the nature of this poem is sad in itself but it gives hope just like the light in the window. She left her husband and the baby may be dead (not clear) but she wants to for a new life and change from the past. Like the light in the window her baby is her only hope in such a sad and depressing time.

 

 

 

  • Haley H

Heavy Metal Disguised as Poetry

When reading the prompt for this weeks blog post I was filled with questions. I simply couldn’t think of ways the poem “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, In Seven Parts” and the heavy metal version “The Rime of Ancient Marinere” by Samuel Taylor would have any real connections. I was without a doubt wrong, they both capture the full effect of the poem and I claim the song actually helps bring the poem to life. When first reading the poem without listening to the song I did notice certain shifts and rhythms but the song only help emphasize this points. In particular the lines 57-68 “The Ice was here, the Ice was there, / The Ice was all around: / It crack’s and growl’d , and roar’s and how’ld– / Like noises of a swound. / At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the Fog it came; / And an it were a Christian Soul, We hail’d it in God’sw name. / The Marineres gave it biscuit-worms, And round anad round it flew: / The Ice did split with a Thunder-fit; The Helmsman steer’s us thro. ” These lines became much more intense when rereading them after listening to the song. The song also help emphasis the rhythm and iambic pentameter meter in the poem. The poem also became much easier to follow since the song also has these qualities. The heavy metal also fits into the language of the poetry which heavy words such as “grorl’d” and “roar’s”. The song also helped illuminate the intensity of the way Christianity is mentioned. Though it may not seem like it this poem is very heavy metal even when talking about God.

-Alondra Morales Aguilar

“Out of Focus”

 

 

“How comes it that all the white men on board who can read and write, and observe the sun, and know all things, yet swear, lie, and get drunk, only excepting yourself?”(188).  This passage while a rational question to ask, implicitly exposes the contradiction and hypocrisy that an Indian chief’s son witnesses and points out to Equiano amidst the Englishmen.  The young man, though seen as a “poor heathen” -as described in Equiano’s words, appears not be fooled by the fog of Christian rhetoric that they use to control natives and slaves.The young man’s clear point of view is, essentially illustrated,  within Robert Cruickshank’s anti-abolitionist cartoon.

Being that Equiano had tried to Christianize the young man, even to refer to the English author John Fox’s work Book of Martyrs, the young man became extremely confused with was being preached to him versus the corruption that was being displayed before his eyes.  Cruickshank’s cartoon is, too, confusing and hypocritical.  The red herrings found within that cartoon were cleverly placed there as propaganda to deter people from seeing the ugly truth about slavery -to continue to nurture the ignorance that caused people to go with the status quo of pro-slavery, in the first place.

The biggest conflict and contradiction is Equiano’s sense of allegiance in believing he must help the young man’s disbelief of Christianity.  Just like Cruickshank has attempted to persuade the people from not believing that slavery is even happening, Equiano is doing the same toward the young man’s state of mind about corruption in religion.  

While Cruickshank’s behavior cannot be excused, the conclusion to his way of thinking can only be sheer ignorance.  Equiano’s, on the other hand, is reprehensible as he knows first hand the experience of being enslaved, as well, the act of his cries going unheard -or worse, ignored.  

Cruickshank has skewed the focus on the lens for the audience who he knew he could bamboozle, and Equiano tried to do same with the young man, but failed.  Still, it did not affect Equiano much as he carried on with more undertakings and more missions, all while taking on his own slaves to help build plantations he’d come to own.  Thus, there is not much of a difference between the lies that are placed in the cartoon to the lies Equiano lived.

-Maricela (Marcy) Martinez

 

The bigger Picture in Equiano’s narrative

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In the picture above the first thing that catches the reader’s eye is the quaker looking man holding a picture directly into the telescope which is directed at a merry black tribe. Beneath that picture is a man that seems to be in charge of picking out the pictures for ‘Negro Slavery’. The contradictory nature  of a quaker holding a picture of slaves being between paralleled with a nice calm looking village (even the weather is calmers and brighter over there), demonstrates a pro-slavery propaganda type of picture. As the quakers are holding their anti-slavery posters (they disagree with slavery) there are poor Irishmen and children on the streets. This Quaker holding the large sign in the middle saying “buy only West India Company Sugar” but also has a ‘East India Company’ tag in his back pocket also indicates he may be payed off and dishonest. The point of this picture may be to demonstrate that those who are against slavery are a bunch of hypocrites because as they preach to have anti-slavery they have white men on the streets (although Irish) and their children signing forms probably against their will. This relates to Olaudah Equiano’s narrative when ‘Equiano’ states

“ I was so enraged with the Governor, that I could have wished to have seen him tied fast to a tree and flogged for his behaviour; but I had not people enough to cope with his party. I therefore thought of a stratagem to appease the riot. Recollecting a passage I had read in the life of Columbus, when he was amongst the Indians in Mexico or Peru, where, on some occasion, he frightened them, by telling them of certain events in the heavens, I had recourse to the same expedient; and it succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. When I had formed my determination, I went in the midst of them; and, taking hold of the Governor, I pointed up to the heavens. I menaced him and the rest: I told them God lived there, and that he was angry with them, and they must not quarrel so; that they were all brothers, and if they did not leave off, and go away quietly, I would take the book (pointing to the Bible), read, and tell God to make them dead. This was something like magic. The clamour immediately ceased, and I gave them some rum and a few other things; after which they went away peaceably; and the Governor afterwards gave our neighbour, who was called Captain Plasmyah, his hat again.” (Equiano 2875).

This demonstrates that while Equiano may be scrutinizing the whites for their position on slavery and they treat him, he too also is focusing too much on the smaller picture than the larger one. In this case Equiano is trying so hard to be like the British (mentioning someone they would know of and talking sophisticatedly while tricking people)  that he fails to see he too does everything he hates. Right before this passage he went to help pick out slaves from his village, choosing the ones from his village because they ‘would’ be the best workers, although he just sentenced them to be slaves. The point being in both of these scenarios the person being depicted is failing to see their part in helping the encourage slavery and not abolish it.

 

-Haley H.

Anti-Slavery or Not?

From the first part of the image i see indications of anti-slavery. There is propoganda going on, specifically the man holding an image in front of the telescope,  that demonstrates the visual this man dressed in black wants his audience to see. The image he holds displays what seems to be a slave being whipped by a white man. To have that image obscure an Island of foreigners is a form of controlling the audience into what should be percieved from said Island. It’s been known, at least within stories like Hartly House, where Europeans go into an indegenious land and take over said land and that can be a possible reason as to why the telescope is being obstructed. However, does the rest of the image lean towards anti-slavery?

In fact this is where i get confused, and why political cartoons are not my fortay in deconstructing, because there’s other people in the image being protrayed as inferior without realizing it. First you have two “poor pats” sitting on the ground looking filthy and miserable. This is a way to demonstrate the Irish people who were once seen as slaves. To bring awareness to this issue is an indication that even in this time period eurocentrism was at large; globally. The display of children signing a petition to abolish slavery is also a way to criticize those individuals’ ideologies. Ultimately, this type of obscurness makes it so European people, specifically British slave owners, remain dominant in society and to do so by keeping the truth away from their slaves.

-Kristy Frausto

Conversion for a second

In Phebe Gibbes Hartly House, Calcutta we encounter the repetition of great English writers that influence the transition of the English language in their own time; they are presented by Sophia who is herself presented at a transition point in her life; entering adulthood at age 16. While at the same time explores far outside the horizon of her English cultural world. She sets foot in a forbidden world, being a part of a family that owned the East India company; she was able to travel outside of England. Letter XXVI, Sophia begins to complain to Arabella about religion “ashamed of the manners of modern Christianity… I am become a convert to the Gentoo faith” (190-1). This seems all in attempt to persuade Arabella that she is in fact learning something about the Indian people, such as their religion and how they seem to be more humble than those that are in the Christian believe. Although she is somewhat of a hypocrite, and ignorantly uses the word Gentoo, which is somewhat of a slang at this time period. But does a sudden shift in a talk about going to a theater and expressing the fact that she wished to be back in England.

English is a powerful tool, in one instance it seems that Sophia attacks the Christian faith but as soon as politics kick in (which was seem to be influenced by the theater as talked about in lecture) she reverted back to her state of national pride which proofs to be stronger than her religious beliefs “politics again!…in a country where so large a number of its inhabitants dare to deny her soul… o how I at this moment wish my self in England!” (195). Because it seems that the Indian people don’t seem to appreciate the or enjoy the theater the way she does.

In letter XXVII, Sofia continues to express how privileged she is to be attending the theater and vainly say’s it “will be honoured with [her] presence” (195). She holds herself in a high pedalstone This alone is She continues to add that the theater and how the whole event will be present with European culture, exhausting the English culture after the admiration parade she threw for the Indian religious beliefs.

Sophia is blinded by the England culture of the English language, that just like she holds herself high, she holds the English language at a high standard vaguely references John Milton’s Paradise Lost “Not of themselves the gay beauties can please/ We only can taste, when the heart is at ease” (196). It is ironic that Sophia uses the works of John Milton who was an elitist and promoting the English language to be sacred, not only to knowledge but to religion. Sophia is blinded by her arrogance to be right on both sides of the cultural spectrums baffles the reader but also makes her comical yet in a paradoxical way, sophisticated as she proofs to have knowledge of the greats writer John Milton, who made his own contribution to the English language. In this letter she is showing her true colors. Although she wants to show sympathy for the people of India and their culture, she is taken a bite out of the apple of sin.

Enrique Ramos

Not About Genocide

Rowlandson’s captivity narrative is by no means an exemplification of suffrage through genocide. Neither is it an attempt to justify the actions acted by the English colonists upon the indigenous people. She portrays an unrealistic reaction to the dreadful event, showing no signs of fear despite the loss of loved ones and being separated from the rest of her people. The language she uses suggests her lack of remorse as she is traveling with her captors, looking up to God for savior with hope as strong as ever. In an event like this, the natural response is fear of death and yet, Rowlandson remains calm unlike the fear the ingenious people showed when they were massacred and their land were taken over by the English men. This makes Rowlandson’s narrative difficult to read and to sympathize for her. The repetitiveness of “wonderful goodness of God…” and other variations of that phrase, became a little annoying in all honesty. To say that after witnessing something gruesome makes me question what Rowlandson was really trying to say.

Perhaps, her narrative was an act of spreading God’s words, spreading Christianity, and her excessive use of biblical references prove so. In the fourth remove, she witnesses her land stripped down to the little details as they had done to the indigenous people. Instead of showing anger, frustration or fear, she is optimistic. It is hard for anyone to remain that optimistic as a human but she does so through Christ. God became an overarching theme to show his powers. The idea of faith is risen. I admire her optimism through her crisis, but her narrative becomes frustrating as it progresses. It is clear to the readers that she was a strong believer in Christ, but referencing the bible in almost every remove leaves no room to express real feelings which the readers look for in order to sympathize for her. I may have been a lot more moved by the narrative without the abundance of biblical references.

Her captivity is her punishment for the sin she and her people committed and her actions suggests she is accepting that fact. This follows John Locke’s idea that “if anyone may punish someone for something bad that he has done, then everyone may do so. . .” Rowlandson implicitly claims it is okay for her and her people to be taken captive for their sins. She, at times, refer to her captors as human beings making it clear that she understands they are their own individual people. I believe no form of torture, evil, or death is ever good, whether for the sake of killing or revenge. The English colonization was bad but that was in the past, and although with the impact it has had in our history, it does not make it just for the roles to be reversed as an act of revenge. The Indians are essentially committing the same crime, and by Locke’s words that they may be punished for the bad they have done, it becomes an endless cycle. The only way to stop it is literally to just stop.

-Van Vang

Mary Rowlandson Political Influence

What Mary Rowlandson writing was unethical despite the fact that some may feel sympathetic towards her. Although Mary’s grief may have led her to such extreme actions, which she believed to be justifiable under the eyes of GOD, her addition to the history of intolerance to others and this genocide were not ok. Although the tragedy she suffered in which she lost her children due to an act of violence from the native Americans who killed her children while in her arms is sad, it can, later on, be seen as how this moment in her life became a scapegoat for her actions. Upon hearing this sad story of her children dying before her, Rowlandson becomes an image of distraught and anguish that cries out for sympathy and here is also where we begin to see justification of her acts due to sympathy towards a woman (who was clearly a part of a movement to establish colonies in the name of Christianity) that looked emotionally and mentally abused. However despite looking like a fragile woman whose only intentions was to help the Native Americans let go of such gruesome lifestyles and actions by showing them the way of God, some claim despite the tragedy that occurred, it is not justifiable to sympathize with this women and the loss of her children due to the fact extreme acts of violence and her true underlying intentions.

As one sympathizes with her it is important to also keep in mind the white colonialist/ imperialist voice that asked for the voice of her people but not; where was the voice of the native Americans in all of this? Did the women in the Indians side not lose children due to the wars as well? But the fact of the matter is that women did have political influence caused by sympathy that reflected from one of the most “weakest” members of their society as well as the use of religion. Religion, Christianity is the key factor, to the type of power and influence it can have no matter what gender one may be. For instance, Thomas invites the comparison of both Anne Hutchinson and Winthrop’s feud: “Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, ‘You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.’” Anne Hutchinson was able to argue with Winthrop over religious beliefs by using religion against him thus proving that in a free and development an integration between the natives and the colonist, the woman also had a saying in the movement.

Mary is not so different, her works became propaganda to millions of puritans/or colonist to justify the murdering of people do to Indian retaliation.

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Sure women did not have authority the same way man did, but they were really influential through writing,(as we can see with the case of Hutchinson v. Winthrop) because writing erases gender; that is if people do not view the name of the woman on a piece of literature; or if the woman writer uses a fake name to publish her stuff, as it was done around these times; or more unethically, the man in charge, allow for works like Mary to be spread around to gain “sympathy” and be justifiable of their actions to their own people, without even considering the fact that there is another side of the story, resulting in the justification to wipe the Native Americans which I theorize, might have been the beginning of the separation between the colonist, politically and ethically. Thus, fast-forwarding to the present, the creation of both political parties: Republicans and Democrats.  In short, although Mary Rowlandson may not have written her piece as a means of political involvement, it seems that maybe it was politically manipulated and pushed the religious ideas to back up the colonist view of the native Americans to be nothing but cruel people and savages.

Enrique Ramos

Objective Captive Narration or Biased Propaganda

I believe that Rowlandson’s narrative confirms the history of intolerance and genocide because her narrative portrayed her struggles as a captive. One thing I noticed about the narrative was that Rowlandson wrote this as a memoir and through the first person point of view so there was bias in her entire story. This also means that she already knew the outcome of the story, that she would eventually end up free. She tries to portray her story as objective as she can, but she still tells us her emotions, thoughts, motivations, which as an outsider the reader wouldn’t know, making the story subjective. Since she already knows that she’ll eventually be freed, there’s a lingering hope throughout the entire story which threw me off course a bit. It left me wondering how could she be so hopeful when things do not seem to be going her way at all. She talked about God an awful amount of the time, saying that God got her through the entire ordeal of being a captive. It seemed a bit preachy to me. There was no moment where she just lost all belief that she would never leave captivity? Her intolerance for the Native Americans is evident because she calls them savages and frowns upon their actions. Her main goal is to return to civilization without succumbing to their savage ways, which she will do with the help of a bible she is given and her devotion to the lord. Rowlandson is a perfect example of Puritan intolerance and religious superiority according to Thomas’s post. Rowlandson would read her bible every moment she could, she would read it with other captives, she retrieved the book when one of the Indian woman tossed it out, and she even tried to get out of doing work because it was the Sabbath.

By Locke’s logic, the Native Americans had the right to attack and kill the colonists because they were in a state of war. The colonists had indirectly declared war on the Indians when they started taking their land and resources. In the state of war, the victim has the right to kill the aggressor and is encouraged to kill the aggressor in order to survive. That is what the Native American were trying to do, survive. Rowlandson was trying to do the same exact thing, but because they were in a state of war, she became a captive. There is so much Christian imagery in the story that it does sound like propaganda. Her story of hardship and constant danger calls you to action until you realize that the Native Americans were doing their best to survive because they were being forced out of their homes and land so the Puritans could create their City Upon a Hill. Her story is one that seems like it would anger many at the Native Americans and gather support for more attacks on the Native Americans. There is an inadvertent call to action/ call to arms motif in her narration. She basically said here is everything I ent through just to survive, no one should have to go through this, so lets wipe out the Native Americans once and for all.

-Andres Quezada

Limiting Science Language for Cultural Assimilation

Francis Bacon, Thomas Sprat and Isaac Newton were one of the first most influential leaders of the Royal Society; their main goal was to expand science as a unique field of studies that would match their vision of a perfect society; a utopian society to be exact.Each had their own individual role in contributing the growth of this organization, but Sprat, I would say, had the most important role in for the Royal Society. He was the first major voice that shaped what the society has become today a field of study that follows strict outlines/protocols in engaging in scientific studies. But he was successful because he was specifically handpicked for the purpose that matched the anxiety of a society as a whole “the [royal society] had chosen [Sprat} not for his knowledge of science but for his status as a divine and for his skill as a rhetorician” (2176). Knowing this, his contribution to the Royal Society, seems to be a contribution of a political figure. He in  way feels threaten by the way literature or the language has been used to fight on another in what he calls a “beautiful deceit” because anyone that is involved in the intellect world attack one another; supposedly him, with no other means of pushing or extending the knowledge or tools to better the lives of people like science will do (Sprat 2176). His purpose was to convince other of the vision the Royal Society had in mind, being a person with a strong rhetoric language, we can straight away see that even the title “The History of the Royal Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge” is not really a “historical” scripture is not really a history lesson, but a persuasive piece of literature.

The persuasiveness text shows how he had anxiety about a certain use of the English language should not be used as others have in different fields of study. He’s against the way language is used creatively and expresses this anxiety as being defective “the ill effects of this superfluity of talking have already overwhelmed most other arts and professions, insomuch that then when I consider the means of happy living and the cause of their corruption, I can hardly forbear recanting what I said before and conclude that eloquence ought to be banished out of all civil societies as a thing fatal to peace and good manners” (Sprat 2177). Sprat claims that the way this “eloquent” writing style that many have adapted to in arts and professions have somehow corrupted people in a way for speaking possibly out of context from one specific topic. This anxiety rises as he may observe that the culture in writing has turned people against each other creating chaos dealing with religion. And in a way, using their new science study And method of removing the style of writing clear and more straight forward they will be uniting the England cultural assimilation of enhancing the way they all live and can compete against other countries in Europe. 

Thus there is a separation of ideals that can be seen today diving the science and the arts. Sprat’s claim that the eloquent writing separates people because they miss use the language to shape the ideas of Christianity; although science to has had its own impact on conflict of ethics and forcing it’s views on the world as well. This topic is probably religion related, for example, the Christian religion. Thus this anxiety is present in his rhetorical historical lesson of the royal society, he does not want it to be tainted with “eloquent” language/talk, limiting the way in which science should be focused only on exploring the physical world without the interruption of “superfluity talk.”  Which he failed to see, there is no way around a cause that language in general does, it is in its nature; to create different points of views as well as different interpertations. In the end it is really ironic, as he has to use very metaphorical wordings to describe the use of the same type of lanaguage he is trying to get rid off.