Tommy

a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

The Waste Land Pt. 2

After reading The Waste Land a first time, i was confused beyond my wildest beliefs. Then i did a little research on the poem and gave it another go. This time i was better prepared to try and understand the poem. This poem is really just about death. In the first section, the man is talking to Stetson who is a ghost. The second section has the depressing lines, ” I think we are in rats’ alley/ Where the dead men lost their bones.” Not the happiest of thoughts.  The fourth section is about Philabes who apparently drowned and his body is now decaying. That section is really about considering your life and the fact you will eventually die and decay like Philabes. The last section just helps gets the point across that we are going to die. “He who was living is now dead/We who were living are now dying”

So you want to know how i feel after reading this poem a second time? Sad. I think id rather be confused then think about death as much as Elliot does in this poem.

The Waste Land

Before i started reading this poem, i quickly checked how long it was and my god, i knew i was in for a tough reading. This poem is longer then half the books i was assigned to read this year. Also, i’ve read some TS Elliot before and he isnt the easiest poet to understand at least in my experiences with him. He is the reason that we have teachers.

I have no idea what is going on or what Elliot is saying. You want to know how this experience was? ABSOLUTE TORTURE. Given i might not be the brightest person on earth but this poem really made me feel stupid for my lack of understanding. If Elliots goal was to make me feel dumb then he did an excellent job. This was definitely a top 10 worst experience of my life and i kind of dont even want to go out anymore. My self confidence is shot, i feel like Prufrock. I hate you TS Elliot.

And would it have been worth it, after all

This line is a question to the reader. Do you think that it would have been worth it for Prufrock to try and talk to one of the women rather then worry about the fear of rejection? Yes I do. Prufrock lives a sad life, even he wonders why he has not done more to better himself. Then when he’s by the women talking about Michaelangelo he gets all scared and convinces himself not to talk to any of them. Prufrock needs to stop thinking because in the end, it would have been worth it to talk to them. Even if he made an ass of himself (which probably would have been the case because I don’t think Prufrock is too smooth) he still wouldn’t have any regrets. At least he tried and gave it his best shot, what else could he ask from himself. He really is just a sad man with no self confidence.

The poem gets tough to read because at least in my experience, I got sick of Prufrocks whining and poor attitude. He has to be in some sort of depression to have such negative thoughts about himself. It would have been worth it Prufrock. Sometimes in life you have to take chances. Sometimes you fail, sometimes you succeed but at least you gave it your best shot and nobody could take that away from you.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

This poem interested me from when i saw it on the list of poems and read the title. It seems to be about a irish pilot who is knows he is about to die. I’d later read that this poem was dedicated to Major Gregory who was a pilot in World War I who died. The concept of a man thinking about his life right before he dies is interesting in a sad way because it’s a situation that few would want to be in. Speaking for myself, I’d rather have death sneak up on me and be very quick rather then have to wait and go a little crazy. The pilot in the story isnt fighting for anything. He’s not proud of who he fights for and he really doesnt hate those who he fights against so that made me wonder what the hell this guy is doing being a fighter pilot because he wasnt forced. That’s when this poem gave me a good laugh. The guy is a fighter pilot for the simple fact he enjoys flying. Such an innocent reason. After making me laugh, Yeats then makes me feel bad because he says to think of the future is a waste of breath since he’s about to die and thinking about the past is also a waste of breath. His mind is set in the present and how he is about to die.

This is a sad poem but it really does interest me. It sheds light on an experience i pray to never have and the pilot seems like a good, innocent man who should not have been fighting in the war. But i guess if that’s the only way he could get his hands on a plane, it’s worth risking your life right?

No.

Racism in Heart of darkness

Whether racism exists in “Heart of Darkness” or not is a tough call that only Joseph Conrad could answer. Unfortunately, he is dead and nobody ever asked him so now I will try my best and attempt to answer this question for him.

I do not feel that there is intended racism in “Heart of Darkness” and by intended racism I mean that Marlow in the story isn’t trying to be racist. What he says and his thoughts are not meant to be racist because he hates African Americans. Instead, he can be compared to a little kid. Little kids have no filter on their mouths and when they see something, they will talk about it. Marlow is like a little kid in that this is something new to his eyes and he is simply describing what he sees. Yes the way he describes the African Americans might be racist but I don’t think his intent is to be racist. He is really just describing what he sees, for better or worse. The African Americans to him in the story don’t really have human characteristics because from what Marlow sees, they really aren’t treated like humans or act in the European way he is used to. I think this quote from Conrad really shows you that the African Americans really lose their human characteristics, “Brought from all the recesses of the coast in all the legality of time contracts, lost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.” Unfortunately when I read this, I would never think that it was about people. This was a time period where African Americans were used and abused. When a person such as Marlow sees them, they don’t appear to be very humanlike anymore.

This is a sad period in time when groups of people could be exploited for other peoples gain. All Conrad does in his book is try to give people a first hand look at what went on. If anything, I feel Conrad does a good job showing people what African Americans had to deal with.

What happened to Kurtz?

Kurtz was put on this earth to do one thing, get ivory. If you told Kurtz he had to make a choice between ivory and breathing, he would take a big deep breath and get to work. But the jungle and his ivory fetish began to loosen up the screws in his head.

Before Kurtz began this job, i picture the front of his house having a nice green lawn with some flowers and maybe a tree with a swing that Kurtz would play on. Now Kurtz lives in the jungle and rather then plant some flowers or make his hut next to a tree and put up a new swing, he decides that putting peoples heads on spears would be the perfect lawn ornaments. In all seriousness, this was done because the power of being treated and called a god had gotten to his head. This was a way he showed just who the hell he was. He really became a monster from everything. Kurtz literally lost his mind.  But i mean you send me to a place where the people love me and call me a God, im throwing a couple heads on spears too. Who wouldnt?  The answer is a normal person wouldnt and if you agreed that throwing heads on spears was a good idea, you should probably seek help.

Kurtz let the jungle get the best of him. His soul became diseased and he lost his mind. The power got to him. He was like Scarface except he wasnt blowing down lines of cocaine, Kurtz took lines of ivory. As Kurtz would say, “A good ivory hunter has ivory in him.” He never said that but he defiantly was thinking it. The man was a genius and just like most genius’s, he was nuts. This is why i love the fact im not too bright.

my life as a reader

I am new to the world of reading books. When I was young , my mom would take my sisters and I to the library to rent movies because it was free and they had quite the selection. While I was in High School,  my goal was to do as little work possible and see if I could succeed so to sit down and actually read a book assigned never happened. Instead, I’d rent the movie or hop on spark notes. This is probably why I only made salutatorian in high school.

Books came into my life my first year of college which was also my first year living in  my own apartment. Since I am technologically handicapped, any minor problems I had with my laptop or television would go unfixed until a friend came by and plugged it back in. During one of these crisis, I went to the shopping center and somehow found myself in Barnes and Noble. There was a book that just jumped out at me called “Inside the Crips”. I figured how could a book about a gang member not have tons of excitement. I finished the book in four days. Ever since I read that book, I started going to the library for books because apparently they have those too.

I love reading, mostly nonfiction because when something’s real it just makes it that much better. I started off an accounting major until I realized that accounting sucked so I became an English major. I’m not going to lie and say every book assigned is amazing because some of them really suck. But when a teacher assigns a story or book to you and it actually is good, well then it doesn’t really seem like im doing school work anymore and instead just reading a great book that I might not have found otherwise.

Books are great. I haven’t watched television in three years. That’s a lie, im watching it right now. And if you actually believed I was salutatorian in high school, unfortunately that was also a lie. I should have been though but politics got in the way.


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