The burning hot sun shines bright upon her face as she carries a bag filled with all her personal items packed from home. She holds tightly the hand of her daughter as they both walk together across the dry landscape. Their shoes burn from the earth around them as they continue to walk through the dry oasis. Their feet covered with bloody blisters; scars from their long travel. It’s been a week now since their journey began and they have almost reached the border where Mexico and the United States meet. She desires the freedom and opportunity to fulfill her dreams and the dreams she has for daughter. She searches for a sanctuary away from the violence and deaths that surrounded them each day. Dead bodies lying on the streets, prostitution around each corner, and drugs surrounding their home, the horrific images that she did not wish for her daughter to ever see. The horrific realities of the life she is fleeing from that she hopes her daughter never has to endure.
Time has escaped the two slowly, and as the mother walks, with each step she takes forward, she reminds herself of what she has left behind. Her family, her life all left behind. She is reminded constantly of what she is letting go and giving up in order to achieve this dream. It is hard for her to keep walking but the smile of her daughter gives her the strength to push through it all. She closes her eyes for just a second and sees all the faces that have been left behind. A tear starts to come down her face as she continues to walk. She regrets leaving them all with out saying a word to any of them. Her loved ones, left with a note saying where they were headed and had gone to live life. Constant memories of her home, glimpse through her head as the heat beats down on her. She is covered with sweat, and stops for a drink of water that she shares with her daughter. She kneels towards her daughter and gently says, “We are very close, everything is going to be alright baby,” as she holds the jug of water up for her to drink. She looks into her daughter’s eyes and is reminded of her dream. Seeing her daughter go to school and graduate from college or university as a professional. Too be able to see her daughter not struggle through life like she has had to. She dreams that her daughter can be able to live life with ease and not worry about the financial things in life. America is the land of freedom and she hopes to fulfill the dream of her daughter succeeding in life as an individual.
She hopes one day that her daughter can understand the reason of why they left their home. The reason behind why they had to adopt a whole different culture and leave everything behind. She will never tell her the nasty part of life that they had to endure back home. Before she can continue her thought process, she sees in the distance a barb wired fence, knowing the future is near, she puts her head up ready to take on this new adventure.
He Got Game” is a 90’s film about a young black high school basketball player, who’s father murdered his mother, and is the number one prospect for his recruiting year. The film produced and directed by Spike Lee caught my attention because it showed a lot of examples where African American Criticism could be implemented.
The film stars Denzel Washington (Jake Shuttlesworth) and Ray Allen (Jesus Shuttlesworth); who are the two main characters of the story. Jake Shuttlesworth is the father of Jesus Shuttlesworth, the number one prospect in the nation for basketball. Jake is currently serving a long sentence over the murder of his wife, which happened 10 years prior. News comes out that Jake is the father of Jesus and the Governor contacts the warden of the Jail to settle a deal with Jake. The governor being a huge Big State University fan, agrees that if Jake is able to convince his son to commit to Big State University that his sentenced would be reduced. Jake agrees and is released for a week under surveillance of two cops. Jake tries to reconnect with the family but has a hard time talking with his son. His son Jesus, neglects Jake on ever being his father and gives him a hard time in returning back to his life. Jesus has a week to decide where he wants to go and through out that time, he meets a lot of people that try to take advantage of him and his talent. His father is there with him the whole time and teaches Jesus to always remember where he comes from.
Jesus was made out to be a stereotypical African American when people in his town told him that he wasn’t ever going to leave his hometown and go anywhere in life. The internalized racism in his community is seen through out the movie with image of Jesus being seen as a dumb negro who isn’t worthy in getting into college. Spike Lee is stereotypical with Jesus’s father by putting him in jail for killing his wife, because of how people associate African Americans with crime. Towards the end of the movie Jake also tells his son Jesus, “Son, don’t be a n***** like me, be someone else, be Jesus”. The stereotype of African Americans being criminals is implanted in the quote because of his father being a convict. There is also a huge presence of interest convergence in the film with Jake and the warden. At the end of the movie, when Jesus decides to go to Big State University, the warden ends up not having the power to grant Jake his early sentence. By the deal being done by closed doors, the warden was able to get what he wanted without delivering what he promised. Simply, because Jake is an ignorant African American convicted felon who has no power over his oppressors. Another good example is that, many of the African American characters in the movie aren’t well educated allowing many of them to be taken advantage, like Jake. The everyday racism is also apparent in the film, Jesus is constantly held down from everyone, and everyone in the school he attends that is African American is projected to fail. Spike Lee using basketball or a sport for Jesus to get into college also allows Jesus to fall under another African American stereotype made by white privileged america. He Got Game is a great film and shows a lot of the obstacles that African American culture goes through and the reality behind it as well.
During the class discussion we talked about how Religion was seen in a Marxist way of thinking and their basic Ideology over the topic. One point that I think we didn’t go in to depth was the whole concept of how religion is interpreted as a whole by Marxist Critics. Tyson in the book explains how religion is and has been used to keep the rich, rich and the poor, poor. Which is why Karl Marx believed religion to be “the opium of the people”. Marx believed that religion has been used by the elite to give the working class a false hope for millennia and rejected religion in all totality.
A sense of good hope and a belief of going on to a better place after death, is something most people believe in. Not too long ago I saw a documentary on similar idealism on religion, a film named Religulous by Bill Maher, which argued how religion doesn’t exist in actuality. Through out the film various people were interviewed and somewhat made of fun in their explanation on why they follow religion. One point that they hit that I feel belongs with the Marxist Critics, is that people believe and take things literal in religious text when it benefits them. No one wants to talk about all the bloodshed and harsh things said in the bible, only the comforting ones.
In some ways I can understand Karl Marx and how he feels about religion being “the opium of the people”. Things in religion I feel are interpreted differently then what it is initially intended to be used for. Something that I think Karl Marx agreed with and believed in. One example in the film was of slaves, and how in the bible it allowed slavery to be done. This reasoning is an example that Tyson also gave, which I found interesting because it is true partially. Most people back then didn’t really know how to read, and Preachers were able to accommodate things into their institutions of their religion with that of slaves. Karl Marx in this part is true about giving the people a false hope, because the same people being enslaved believed in a similar god. Marxist Critics could say religion is a distraction to the lower class which again is somewhat true. The only thing that I think Karl Marx or Marxist idealists are wrong about religion is that it is a motivation for people to work and become successful. People without religion wouldn’t have that drive. I bring this up because communist parties established in being a atheist state and failed. Religion is something that it is in our human nature, and it’s a drive for living.
If there wasn’t religion then what would be the people’s purpose in living and dying? In a Marxist view what is the motivation in life w
Reading the Great Gatsby for the second time gave me a different perspective of how I felt about the book. It was strange, on how different I felt this second time reading it, then before. I remember the first time reading it, and having this anger towards Daisy because of her walking away from everything that Gatsby worked hard to achieve with her. In all honestly I enjoyed The Great Gatsby so much more this second time reading it, simply because I picked up on more stuff in the book. Judgement, morals, trust, and friendship are vital in the story, and are shown from the beginning.
In the beginning of the book when Nick speaks out about how he isn’t a judgmental person, he explains how it is no mans place to judge others. Although, Nick through out the book judges peoples character and morals. Not only does Nick Judge in the book, but in a way everyone is judgmental about what each person does. The eyes on the ad for J.D. Eckelenberg symbolizes how god is always watching everyone and that he in the end judges all. The irony of the book starts from the beginning with judgement and is seen through out the whole story.
It was interesting in the Richter reading how the author compared the time periods and how those time periods affected the ideology of the people. For example, the way the author explained how in the conservative era, people didn’t openly express their ideals and beliefs. For instance, people weren’t openly gay and out in the open as they are now, simply because people had different ideologies on those topics.
In addition to the author speaking about the relationship between time periods and ideologies, the author also incorporated personal experiences in which I was able to relate to. Like the author, in my hometown reading is something that most people don’t do, simply because thats how it is. I never really enjoyed reading, until this summer, when I actually picked up a book. I also am a minority so I understand what the author says when he stepped into an advanced english class and most of the people in the class were caucasian. That’s happened to me through out my whole school career. The ideologies in people and the understanding of those ideologies allow us to understand what the message is behind certain literature. This reading does a good job of helping the reader understand a broad concept of how literature has changed and adapted to be what it is now.