A Hopeful Harp

While looking at Dear Harp of My Country by Thomas Moore we can see how Moore creates a strong bond between the speaker and the harp showing the importance it held not only to himself but the symbol it held to his country. Moore twice states in his work “Dear harp of my country…” allowing readers to really grasp the idea that the harp held an important significance to those in his country.

Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee...”

The first time around this phrase is used it is showing readers the beauty of the harp and its significance to those who which played it as well as heard its song. Not only that but it gives the harp the light at the end of the tunnel feeling. Moore gives the harp in this first line alone a feeling of salvation of hope.

Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers

The second time around it feels like a final farewell, almost like an obituary towards a loved one. By creating this Moore shows the emotions and pride the harp brings to his people as well as the sadness it brings to see that the harp is not once seen as how it used to be. And being that his history is one of a musician, we can see how musicians hold certain instruments dear to their harps as they were a part of the creation of some of their pieces. And even though Moore shows and makes the harp feel like a loved one we lost he also manages to show readers how the harp was a symbol of hope to those who played and those who listened.

-Diana Moreno

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The Harp Was Born Irish

In the poem written by Thomas Moore “Dear Harp of my Country” we see the Irish pride shine through. The poem has a sad tone throughout, but one can try to read between the lines and better analyze its meaning. Within the first stanza of the poem we see “The cold chain of silence had hung/o’er thee long;” and this is most likely talking about how the English had suppressed the Irish culture and people so much so that they no longer had a voice of their own. Within the same stanza though we get the feeling that Moore is releasing the Irish people from those “Chains”. Moore proclaims “And gave all thy chords to light,/ freedom and song!” as if to say that they are now free. The second stanza is lighter but it still carries with it a sense of sadness. It almost feels like a goodbye to who they once were as a people, so the freedom that he mentions isn’t the kind of freedom one would hope for. His hands are “unworthy” could mean that he is no longer worthy because he plays for the English aristocracy instead of the music the harp was made for in Ireland.

Karla Nichols

Merced

I wander through each lonely street

Near by where Bear Creek flows

And mark on every face I meet

Marks of despair, marks of sorrow

In every cry of every creature

In every students cry of fear

In every voice in even pictures

The pleading cries for help I hear

How the Students bawl

Every TA disappointed but unsurprised

And the professor whose seen it all

Allows all the chaos and havoc to rise

The silence you hear at midnight

How the older ones regret everything

And the younger ones want to fight

And perhaps graduation gives all these warriors some light

Diana Moreno

Tranquility Comes From Death

Wordsworth’s poem tititled “Old Man Travelling; Animal Tranquility and Decay, A Sketch” reminds me of this picture because the kind of tranquility that wordsworth describes in his poem reminds me of death.

“A man who does not move with pain, but moves

With thought- He is insensibly subdued

To settled quiet: he is one by whom

Long patience now doth seem a thing, off which

He hath no need. He is by nature led

To peace so perfect , that the young behold

With envy, what the old man hardly feels.” (Wordsworth 137)

In the first two lines that I quoted one can see what the intention is, to make one feel that this is a good this. That the Idea of an old man who should feel pain doesn’t feel pain because he is so focused on his own thoughts that he can ignore the body and that to me is more spiritual and reminds me of the kind of peace and calm and nothingness one hopes to get with death. In lines three, four and five I get the sense that he has lived a long life and he is at the end of his life and that he is just waiting to die or has accepted death. Lines six and seven describes that nothingness again, the kind of nothingness every young person hopes for because we are all dealing with stress and the struggles of life that envy is natural when one thinks about being that carefree.

-Karla Nichols

The Good Word of The Lord

Now the bible was my only companion and comfort; I prized it much, with many thanks to God that I could read it for myself, and was not left to be tossed about or led by man’s devices and notions.” (Chapter 10)

In Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative readers can see Equiano quote various works of literature from numerous scholars. As a reader of Equiano’s work at first glance we are left to pur own devices to understand why it is he brings up all these works time and time again, especially pieces from the Bible. And as we can see him mention thanks to the fact that he has learned to read he is able to take it upon himself his learning and understanding of readings and works (in this particular quote the Bible) and does not have to just rely on someone to convey on him these works or interpret to him their meaning. He has his own ability to make out what they mean to him and how he chooses to interpret them. Not only that but by bringing up the Bible in particular throughout his work shows his readers at the time that he was a believer in Christ. It sets the mood with other fellow Christians reading his work showing that like them he has read the word of the Lord and he, get this, understands it. Not just that but he understands that this could be considered almost law to al, believes and nonbelievers. By being able to gain readers trust in interpreting and displaying different works we see how Equiano uses it to his advantage to not just paint away from the fact that he is different from them and he has gone through slavery but to show them that under the word of the Bible and other works they are not much different but rather very much the same. And when the day comes everyone meets their end only one person will judge and not see color of skin but rather the actions taken by one they will see that they are all one and the same.

Diana Moreno

Why Can’t I Just Blend In

Throughout Equiano’s impactful and crucial narrative, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” one of the most noted elements is his usage and quotation of prominent English figures of his time. He uses several passages from different works like poetry, speeches, narratives, novels, etc., in order to enhance his argument for abolition, artistically describe his *horrid* experiences, and to improve his credibility. I believe Equiano incorporated several quotes from great English figures within his work in order to demonstrate to his targeted audience – the individuals engaging in the slave trade  – that like them, he too was highly educated, advanced, and elegant. If Equiano demonstrated to the audience that he was up to par with them in terms of education and understanding of English literature, then it would allow for them to pay his work the time of day and prove he too was an Englishman – further demonstrating his identity crises as well.

In chapter V, Equiano details his experience of being on board of a ship heading to Portsmouth where he would be granted a new master and stray away further from his freedom. As he reaches land, Equiano uses a passage from John Milton’s Paradise Lost to describe the horrid “sight of this land of bondage” which states:

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace

And rest can rarely dwell. Hope never comes

That comes to all, but torture without end

Still urges.

By the use of this quote, however, one interprets the horrible scenes in a very artistic and not so gruesome manner. What we know about history lets us imagine that what he saw and experienced was horrendous but his use of poetry excludes the gory image. In a sense, I think Equiano used Milton’s poem to romanticize his experience for his audience in order to mimic and reflect English works which he so greatly admired. However, the use of Milton’s quote goes beyond that.

John Milton, one of the most prominent, respected, and significant English authors of the 17th century happens to be one of the authors excessively quoted throughout The Interesting Narrative by Equiano. I think that this quote, along with the several others he incorporates from Milton, are a clear representation of his need to prove his ability to use and understand English literature and language. By incorporating one of the greatest works in the English language, he proves his education was just as relevant and sophisticated. John Milton and his epic-poem also acted as Equiano’s direct link between the African community – by helping him explain what he saw, heard, and experienced in a romanticized manner – and the British oppressors. The main reason why I believe Equiano quoted John Milton quite repeatedly, and incorporated several other important English figures, is due to him being caught in an identity/nationality dilemma. I believe that Olaudah Equiano wanted to prove he was capable of being an Englishman and his need to showcase his education was a way to manifest his capability of nonchalantly fitting into English society. But because he also identified as African, he knew he was never going to be granted that opportunity which is also why he referenced many English figures and displayed his Literature knowledge excessively throughout the work.

  • Beverly Miranda-Galindo

Bullying Is Bullying

One thing is safe to say, people can be cruel. Regardless of the form of attack an attack is an attack. Which is what we can see Alexander Pope’s work The Dunciad do, as Pope criticizes writers to which he believes and considers to be dull, stupid, and corrupt to name a few. And while Pope decides to attack writers by using words we can see people fight back through images. As we can see in Image #2, fellow attackers have decided to ridicule and attack Pope by giving him what seems to be a mix of a rat and an ape like body hunched over some books. Now while neither party has anything nice to say about the other that doesn’t stop them from their right of free speech. However these actions of publically attacking one another made me think of the following line from Pope’s work,

My sons! (she answer’d) both have done your parts:
Live happy both, and long promote our arts.
But hear a Mother, when she recommends
To your fraternal care, our sleeping friends. [440]

Pope is praising the idea that people should live in the arts and share it but do it in a mindful manner where one is caring, considering that perhaps those you are addressing will not be aware of the work and those who publish the work are not aware how the person the work is addressed to will feel/react. To me, this is ironic considering his very work is attacking his, “sleeping friends” instead of caring for them. And although we see his “friends” attacking and ridiculing Pope through an image where not only they display him as a strange animal but they also poke fun at his health, in this case the hunchback he has due to illness at a young age we also see them attacking his literary ability by displaying his works and a look of confusion on his face almost like as if he himself were not to understand what he is writing or just literature in general. Regardless of how they are attacking each other both parties are attacking each others literate capabilities as well as moral ones. Going down to the lowest attack being personal looks and health, Pope and his “bullies” seem to not care about any boundaries as long as they get their point across on how and why one is worse than the other. Regardless of how you look at it, to me both are equally as guilty for bullying, although one perhaps plays the victim card better than the other.

-Diana Moreno

These Strangers Like Me

Being people of habits we do not fail to look and compare that which we know to what we do not know. We judge and want to intervene, but it is hard to make a stand when you are, in a sense. someone’s prisoner. We can see Gulliver judge and compare his fellow captors lifestyle to his own in Part One, Chapter Six (VI) where we watch Gulliver comment on their laws and how they were very like his own. Not just that, but like Rowlandson, Gulliver is placed in a scenario where he is having dinner with the majesty. Both captives are sitting with their captors having a formal dinner, which is odd considering the situation but at the same time, this showed both Rowlandson and Gulliver that their captors are not much different from them. This dinner scene, although is very like Rowlandson, only reiterates the idea that despite the fact that their captors have them with limited freedom, they are not treated inhumanly, and not just that but that they are viewed by their captors by something much more than just mere prisoners. Although both Gulliver and Rowlandson are poking and comparing the way their captors are to the way in which they live their way of life, both basically saying they are like me but not like me, Rowlandson took it in her hands to still consider them in a way, less than her. Through this scene, Swift uses his craft to not only mimic Rowlandson’s dinner scene, but to show how there are strangers like us who if perhaps we took a damn minute to really analyze and try to understand them we could see they are not much different than we would like to pin them down to be.

Swift pokes fun

This story told by swift is a “Narrative” about his voyages but its definitely just Swift making fun of the narratives of his time, like that of Mary Rowlandson’s “Captivity Narrative”. When swift is recounting his time in these fictional places he does so in the style of narratives of his time, very serious and without much expression from himself.

“This diversion is only practiced by those persons who are candidates for great employments, and high favour at court. They are trained in this art from their youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal education. When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office.”

The Emperor of liliput uses this for people who want to get a really good job in the government, the person who jumps the highest gets the job. This is making fun of the government because someone who is doing something completely unrelated to the job itself will get the job. The liliputian symbolize what is wrong in Swifts society at the time and he uses comedy to express what he considers to be ridiculous. Gulliver is afraid of being seen or portrayed in a certain way, his imagine means a lot to him because that is what is important in the society that Swift lives in and it goes for Mary Rowlandson too, she acted like she was not feeling any kind feeling for her captors when she continued to regard the Indians as barbarians and savages when they had treated her well.

By Karla Nichols

The Vices and Monkey Business in Babies

Samantha Shapiro

In a parallel similar to the usage of monkeys in painting subgenres depicted in the niche of Singeries, the monkey scene in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels serves to quite literally infantilize Lemuel Gulliver and further degrade him to satirize not only enlarge the world around him but to also highlight the absurdity of his own self-centered, egocentric world-view.

Apen op School, David Teniers the Younger, 1660

The usage of monkeys to comment on human behavior isn’t a new idea; current idioms like ‘monkeying around’ and ‘monkey business’ find their roots from the “German *moneke or Middle Dutch *monnekijn” in the 17th and 18th centuries. A lot of the connotation has been focused more so on the light-hearted, playful and comedic nature of monkeys, but have an underlying way of degrading human behavior. In art, we can see this with singeries, a subgenre in paintings popularized in the 16th to 17th centuries, in which monkeys were depicted with human mannerisms and sophisticated etiquette. These monkeys typically carried themselves in high esteem, their dress usually in a middle- and upper-class European style to convey position in tunics, feathered hats, and at times, really cute boots; of which managed to paint a picture satirizing societal behavior or even the way noblemen of the time carried themselves.

Officers and Sergeants of the St George Civic Guard Company by Frans Hals, 1639

The actions of these monkeys were comedic and humanlike to show not only a form of “social satire” but in doing so, showed the vices of human lifestyle.

Monkeys Drinking and Smoking by David Teniers the Younger

Similarly, in Gulliver’s Travels, the monkey is used as a theme in the end of Chapter 5 to not only belittle Gulliver, but to also show the vice of the English egocentrism. From the beginning of the passage, the readers get a taste of the “greatest [terror] [he had] ever underwent in that kingdom[: a] monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen.” This absurd, yet at the same time entertaining premise starts off to begin satirizing the travel narrative through a situational use of irony. The entire scene itself is conveyed as an entertaining chase scene, the aforementioned monkey kidnapping him and sending the palace on a wild goose chase (or in this instance, a domesticated monkey chase). The monkey does so in a manner, alleged by Gulliver, confusing him for a “young one of his own species, by his often stroking [Gulliver’s] face very gently with his paw.” His phrasing, combined with the mentioning of a retreated path, a struggle, and a submission from Gulliver, add to a sense of infantilization or degradation, playing with a small kitten or young infant. This infantilization or degradation is used to break down Gulliver’s heightened egocentric view further and force him into this degraded position to highlight the inflated court mannerisms by turning it into a comedy. This is furthered with Gulliver remembering the monkey taking him up with his “right fore-foot and held [him] as a nurse does a child she is going to suckle,” to the purpose of Swift continuing an established nurse-child relationship theme but in doing so, dehumanizes the nurse to satirize and mock Gulliver’s position. In continuing to infantilize Gulliver, he is made a fool of for entertainment and compared to a baby monkey to further an absurdist mood.

Monkeys arresting a cat by Abraham Teniers