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Guissi Honors English 2 September 11, 2011 Short Story/Angle of Repose/Black Boy Comparison/Contrast Essay Parents and guardians have a great impact on their children as they mature. They are the stepping stones to their children’s future, their map to guide them in life. The parents are the primary reason for the development of their children. The book “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence proves how mothers are to blame for the death and unhappiness of their children. As written in the story “There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck. She married for love, and the love turned to dust. She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them. . . . There were a boy and two little girls. They lived in a pleasant house, with a garden, and they had discreet servants, and felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighborhood” (Lawrence 146). Accordingly, the mother could not love her children. This results that the son does not receive proper guidance and attention from his mother, which results in his death. The mother, if she had loved his son dearly, could have stopped him from his gambling and what not. The boy was born with all the advantages in the world, a pleasant house with discreet servants, yet he could not live without one thing, his mothers care. In the book “Winter Night” by Kay Boyle, the absence of Felicia’s mother leaves Felicia lonely, with no one who really takes care of her. She has care takers, but they do
Bautista-Dizon nothing other than sit and supervise Felicia. Felicia’s constant question to the cook is “Is mama coming home early tonight?” and the answer is always no. The mother is always working late nights and receiving the money to pay the rent for the apartment they live in.
As “Winter Night” develops, there is one care taker who comes and really listens to Felicia and really gets to know her, creating a relationship with Felicia. She replaces Felicia’s mother in a way, since the care taker is the first person to ever pay attention to Felicia. At the end of the story, the mother comes home and sees that Felicia and the care taker and sleeping together, with the care takers arms wrapped around her. In the short story “Sixteen” by Jessamyn West, the unhappiness of Crest is her own doing. Crest is unhappy for two reasons: One being that she did not want to visit her grandpa and two because she realized how much she loved her grandpa after he had passed. In the short story, Cress is thinking “Why were they calling her home to watch Grandpa die, she thought, angrily and rebelliously. An old man, past eighty. He’d never been truly alive for her, never more than a rough, hot hand, a scraggly mustache that repelled her when he kissed her” (West 50). She enjoys the college life along with her boyfriend, and she sees no reason to visit an old timer like her grandpa. She does not see the point of visiting a dead person who has not really influenced her in her life; however, she realizes how her grandpa has always been a kind spirit. Cress is a rebellious character, who never tries to look at the good and bad of her decisions, she only looks at the bad things. In the book Black Boy by Richard Wright, Richard has many reasons to be unhappy, one involving his mother. Richard was born in the south, in a time of discrimination and segregation. Whenever he did something wrong, he was punished for it. For example, when Richard burned down his house, he immediately received a beating
Bautista-Dizon from his mother. She did not bother talking to him and discussing what had happened, she
just headed straight for the beating. There is a distant relationship between Richard and his mom. He and his mom do not communicate. The only communication is Richards’s moms hand across his face. Richards’s mom should take the time to help Richard and guide him so he knows what he should do and not do, before he gets himself into trouble with some discriminatory people. B. How does the absence of parents love and protection affect the children? In the short story” Flight” by John Steinbeck, the absence the mother protection had allowed Pepé to embark on a journey to manhood, which eventually led to his death. As the mother said “A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed” (Steinbeck 134). In the story, the mother did not follow that statement. Pepe was not needed for any specific use. She had let him go on a journey because he wanted to become a man. However, when he returns back from his journey, he will continue to be a boy again since he is never needed to be a man. In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, there is love by the parent, but there is the question of protection. Mama raised money to send her daughter to school, but she could not protect her in a way so that she doesn’t change or become someone different. “Hakim-a-barber said, ‘I accept some of their doctrines, but farming and raising cattle is not my style.’ They didn’t tell me, and I didn’t ask, whether Wangero [Dee] had really gone and married him” (Walker 29). It is the mother’s lack of protection which allowed her daughter to end up marrying a man that she does not approve of. The mother should always look out for her daughter and continue to influence her, even if she is not at home anymore.
Bautista-Dizon In the short story “Battle Royal” by Ralph Ellison, explains the impact that grandparents have on their grand kids, being that the words of the older people are wiser than anyone else’s. Their words have an affect on us since they often true. “On my graduation day I delivered an oration in which I showed that humility was the secret, indeed the very essence of progress. (Not that I believed this – how could I, remembering my grandfather)” (Ellison 149). His grandfather’s words have always surrounded the narrator in everything he has been doing. For example at the end of the book when it says “Keep this Nigger-Boy running” the narrator can hear his grandfather’s laughter. Parents and guardians have a great impact on the way their children’s lives are formed. It may be because of the mothers that their children are unhappy, or their lack of protection that affects them in the future. Perhaps children’s grandparents have an impact on their grandkids. Parents and guardians are the one main reason for the maturing of their children.
Long famous as a political, social, and cultural gadfly, journalist and essayist H. L. Mencken was unafraid to speak his mind on controversial topics and to express his views
Bautista-Dizon in a deliberately provocative manner.
Mencken was prolific; much of his best work lies buried in the newspapers and magazines in which it originally appeared. Mencken's America is a sampling of this uncollected work, arranged to present the wide-ranging treatise on American culture that Mencken himself never wrote. The core of the book is a series of six articles on “The American” published in the Smart Set in 1913-14. Never before reprinted, they embody the essence of Mencken's views on the deficiencies of his countrymen. What was the problem with America? For Mencken, it could be summed up in one word: Puritanism. Puritanism accounted for much that was wrong with American culture: the prevalence of “militant morality” represented by Prohibition, by campaigns against prostitution, and by religious fundamentalism. American hostility toward the fine arts led to furious attempts to suppress any work of art that was thought to contravene conventional morality-attempts that Mencken chronicles with impressive scholarship in the essay “Puritanism as a Literary Force.” Mencken reserved his greatest scorn for American political institutions. Opposed to the very principle of democracy and universal suffrage, he maintained that, in the absence of an educated electorate, all politicians are compelled to become demagogues. Bracing, infuriating, and pungent, H. L. Mencken's writings retain their relevance even after the passage of nearly a hundred years, cogently discussing issues with which Americans of the twenty-first century are still wrestling. Sagaciously edited by S. T. Joshi, one of the country's foremost Mencken scholars, Mencken's America is a superb example of America's turning the looking glass on itself.
• • • • • Mencken struck Wright with particular force Wright wanted to know why Southerners hated him He began to read his books such as A Book of Prefaces and Prejudices A Book of Prefaces: H. L. Mencken's 1917 collection of essays criticizing American culture, authors, and movements "[Mencken] leaps from the saddle with saber flashing, stables his horse in the church, shoots the priest, hangs three professors, exiles the Academy, burns the library and the university, and amid smoking ashes, erects a new school of criticism on modern German principles." – Stuart Sherman- a professor who critiques Mencken’s work. He was personally criticized in A Book of Prefaces
Subtopic: Mencken’s book
Recently I’ve been thinking about someone whose name is attached to an organization I’m currently president of, H.L. Mencken (1880-1956). For years I’ve tried to understand why the Baltimore Sage has been branded, mostly recently in The Weekly Standard (see here and here) and in a voluminous biography by Terry Teachout, as anti-Semitic and anti-Black. The closest I could come to documenting these charges is that Mencken joked in his diary about the bad table manners of an obviously Jewish diner in a club that he frequented. He also said in a moment of levity that “an anti-Semite is someone who dislikes Jews more than is absolutely necessary.” This, as everybody who knew him was aware of, was a quip that Murray Rothbard was fond of repeating. As for Mencken’s supposed revulsion for Blacks, I can’t find any evidence of it, although he may not have used “African-American,” or whatever is the now fashionable PC term in referring to the minority in question. We know that Mencken criticized segregation in his native city of Baltimore. He also never tired of attacking lower class White Southerners of the kind who wanted to keep Blacks segregated. Indeed if I were going after Mencken for his intolerance, I would have to notice his invectives against Southern Fundamentalists rather than his scattered, insignificant jokes about Jews and Blacks. That said, however, White Southerners don’t count as victims in their own eyes or in anyone else’s. In fact their politicians and journalists seem quite happy to view them as onetime racial victimizers, who were redeemed by civil rights legislation. In any case, it seems to me that the recent attacks on Mencken have nothing to do with his prejudices. Liberals and neocons hate him for taking stands that don’t have much to do with the accusations made against him. One, Mencken opposed America’s entry into both World Wars, and during the First World War, he was expressly pro-German. (He was after all a German-American.) His predilection for the Central Powers in 1914 elicited a bitter tirade from Fred Siegel in (where else?) The Weekly Standard (January 30, 2006), a screed that charges the “horrid” Mencken with being a lifelong enemy of democracy and decency. Supposedly Mencken’s fondness for Nietzsche (about whom he produced a not very useful or scholarly biography) shows for all to see that he worshipped the “will to power” and saw this incarnated in the Teutonic enemy of Anglo-American democratic civilization. Someone who took such reprehensible positions in foreign affairs, we have to infer from Siegel’s remarks, must also have been against Jews, who represent all that is good and radiant in the West and (lest we forget) Israel. Two, Mencken expressed anti-egalitarian views that are now unfashionable, and he never missed a chance to cast ridicule on the democratic welfare state. There are more than a few of Mencken’s unseasonable remarks that would cause blood to surge to the head of David Brooks, the New York Times’s “resident conservative,” who has just written about “national greatness” and the role to be assigned to the federal welfare state in making us all “great”: the most famous are “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard” and “every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
And how about this one for the fans of public administration: “I believe all government is evil and that trying to improve it is a waste of time.” And this for the devotees of judicial activism: “A judge is a law student who grades his own examination papers.” Not all politically incorrect figures have suffered humiliation at the hands of our academics and journalists. For example, the Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who helped build the foundations of our gargantuan administrative state and advocated a “crusade to make the world safe for democracy,” is given a fairly wide berth, despite the facts that he kicked Blacks out of the civil service and promoted “scientific racism.” And if Wilson, whom Mencken despised, railed against Jews, that too was forgivable. After all, didn’t Wilson agree to a Jewish political entity in the Middle East, while making war on the Germans and Austrians, who were later ruled by Hitler? Moreover, it hardly seems that the “Great Emancipator” qualifies as the racial egalitarian that he is now depicted as. That honor devolved on our 16th president because he freed slaves in seceded states, as a military measure. And then many decades later Lincoln became identified with a civil rights movement that represented positions that were not at all his. But Mencken was not as useful as Lincoln or Wilson. He did not write or do much that would please our present rulers. Except for his rants against Christianity, this satirist did not leave behind the sorts of slogans that would suggest that he was politically progressive. In fact, if Mencken had gotten what he wanted, most of our political class would lose their public financing and be forced to become gainfully employed.
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