The Unlawful Pursuits of Man and War

Since the beginning of time, mankind has always relied on a few certainties to guide them through life. One of these certainties is one of his country, whether it be a tribe of ten or a country of ten million, the human existence has always strived to be a whole with a group of people. Another of these certainties is a pursuit of happiness. Mankind has always strived for happiness and strived to achieve inner goals. In the works of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” and William Godwin’s “Of the Causes of War” we see both of these displayed very clearly. The works of “Frankentstein” and “Of the Causes of War” both offer multiple parallels in perspective of the stance of human mistakes and the inevitable flaws of mankind. 

In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein she speaks of the unlawful pursuit of knowledge that weakens one’s affections and destroys taste for simple pleasures in life(Page 50). She expresses the thought that if someone is chasing a study that dulls their life or destroys the things that they love they are doing a disservice to themselves that can be seen as unlawful and inhumane. The argument is also made that if this rule had never been broken some of the major events would not have happened in history such as Greece would not have been enslaved or Caesar would have spared his country. This very simple law can be applied anywhere from one person to countries where people pursuit what makes them happy and makes them enjoy the simple pleasures, whereas some may pursue what they seem as valuable when in reality it is not what they want at all and is destroying the little happiness they have.

In William Godwins Of the Causes of War he argues that a man is loyal to his country. A country being the place where he resides but also many different other things. A man’s country can be the ideas that he protects or where he finds his happiness. He is willing to fight for his country because it is what matters to him( NAEL 743). Godwin also presents the point of view that since man is always liable to error and in most cases biased toward self improvement, the causes of war fall back on these main reasons of the inevitable error of man and the growing obsession of land and war. 

These two works both seem to find a common ground in a problem with mankind and unlawful ways in which man decides to go about life. Whether it be from government in a war to a study in a classroom. These foundations stage a devastating yet undeniable fact that mankind is not perfect and never will be. Humans go after what they see fit and not always what is desirable or needed. This unlawful pursuit can cause a disaster of downfall. The glorious imperfections of man not only keep them from a utopian society where war and unlawful pursuits of knowledge can be avoided, but it keeps a willing and open minded look to life and how it can be improved throughout the future.

Frankenstein’s Heaven and Hell

Image result for the marriage of heaven and hell
Plate 1, Copy D, of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake, 1790-93/W.W. Norton

The painting The Marriage of Heaven and Hell decipits the lighthearted imagery of heaven and trees without leaves while you look to towards the bottom it shows the vast fire and devastating love between the two seperate eternities. The two seemingly genderless beings at the bottom with each other and the seemingly angels at the top gives the viewer a point of view of how different yet the same Heaven and Hell are. Frankenstein has a goal to make a monster that would be his heaven but makes a hell for himself at the same time making a monster that he does not know how to control. These two works just prove the point of how the two are intertwined in a marriage of love and hate.

Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein. 1818, 1831. Introduction and Notes by Karen Karbiener. Barnes and Noble, 2003.

Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The Romantic Period. 10th ed. Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. W.W. Norton, 2017. p. C3.

Looking Back

My time in English 111 has felt like a breath of fresh air. It was here, it was a refreshing experience, and it is coming to a close. During this spring semester I have not only furthered my vocabulary tremendously, but I have learned how to build phrases and words to make them have as much meaning as possible. I have done this purely by writing and becoming familiar with my type of writing. This process yet has been different in a few ways.

The writing process before this class was write, look over for grammatical errors, and turn in. The writing process now has turned into write, rewrite as you revise, and then check for grammatical errors and such. This new process was something new for me to experience. I was used to writing and never looking back. But when I look back, I see things that an “earlier” me might not have seen. My brain analyzes my own writing and makes it better in its present state.

The most personal part of this class for me was writing the letters. I wrote to multiple people who mean something to me. This process of going back and thinking of the person you’re writing to makes you appreciate them so much more. Being able to think about what you want to say and maybe being able to make their day a little bit brighter with a letter is astonishing. Just taking a little bit of time out of your day to send a letter to someone can make them happier, but also start a spark in them to write and send a letter. This chain reaction is just a way to see how much a single letter can impact a person. It even impacted me. In one of my letters I used the phrase, “You’ve always been there for me, and you need to know that I will do the same” (Jenkins). This made me feel appreciated as much as I hoped the other person did. Just being able to say that about a persona and knowing that they have my back and I have theirs, it was special.

The most interactive part of this class for me was definitely scrabble. Scrabble gave me the chance to challenge my brain in multiple ways. It was thinking of words you could make with the letters you have, but also placing them in the way that gives you the most points. For example, the word “not” may play for six points, but you may be able to play “hit” for twenty. It was a strategy plan and a brain scramble to find a word to play without taking twenty minutes.

Writing longhand for me was a difficult task at first. It was difficult because I like to just type what I want to say and just keep flowing with what I am writing. Longhand forced me to slow down, relax, and take my time getting my ideas on the page. This was hard for me due to the fact that I like to get into a flow and just run with the wind. As the semester went on, I became fond on longhand. Longhand forced me to slow down and actually think about what I was writing, and I liked that.

My time in English 111 has been amazing, it has been eye-opening to my potential as a writer in class and out of class, even if my grade doesn’t completely show it. My time in this class has been as in many classes. You have to struggle, then comes the work, and then prevail. Although this has been a fairly short class, and we do not meet everyday, I don’t think I will forget this class and how it has helped me become a better writer.

The Upper Class Cat Call

According to the big italicized lettering in quotations, “With Sophistication, Style, and Southern Charm” is the sense with which LRU welcomes you. Attracting the viewers attention with bright colors and a beautiful day, three independent students seem to be having a nice conversation. Matching in almost a uniform fashion gives the viewer a sense of unity and strength in the college. The difference in these students shows the diversity and variety the college has. It emphasizes the equality between overall between studies and friends you may make at the college. Solidifying the viewers sight of the colleges persistence to bring students in. Merely glancing at this advertisement, it is just a normal college ad, but this advertisement has much more to it than just some southern charm.

At first glance the viewer gets a view of things such as prestigious studies, treats everyone like family, and a beautiful campus. Just within the phrase, “With Sophistication, Style, and Southern Charm… “ attaches a wonderful picture to the college in every person that sees this advertisement. Digging deeper into this ad, we find that LR is targeting a specific audience that isn’t who you would think. The words sophistication and style are often used to describe higher classes that hold themselves superior. These two words are eliminating most of the class surrounding the college itself. They aren’t trying to reach the kids from the middle of nowhere with dreams of becoming an engineer. They are reaching towards the higher class system of money and status to bring attention to the school. This appalling discovery reveals so much more about the flawed ad.

Focusing in more on the three “prestigious” students in the middle of the ad, the viewer can see so much more about the college. These three students are representing the college and what they stand for. The viewer sees three diverse students wearing higher class clothes on a summer day just relaxing and having fun. For some lower class teens, this gives a vision of what they want to reach, but to most this becomes an unreachable goal. This crippling thought of equality through every single person tears down the ideology of the ad itself. These three students represent the unity and the segregation not of race but of social classes all at the same time.

This advertisement rips apart everything it stands for. The sophistication and style that it welcomes you with is not shown throughout the entire ad. It shows about how much the students are “dappered” out in suits and skirts, but not how the school itself is clothing itself in a cloth of lies and deceit. Appealing to the higher classes opens a door to the schools sights and goals to be seen as a upper social class school instead of welcoming everyone it welcomes the select group of upper class that we have in this area. This advertisement shows the corrupt and heinous system that colleges put students through just to come out with debt they may not be able to pay off.

For the Love of Reading

I distinctly remember the smell of old books and Cheez-its every day for the entire school year. That classroom would become a major factor in my education. Entering eighth grade, I did not have a very distinct love of reading. I would read every now and again, but it was very rare.

Through my elementary education, I had loved books. I read and read.It was one of my two main hobbies.  I was either reading or playing a sport. I flourished in baseball and football, playing basketball in between the two sports. Going into middle school the books changed from my beloved Dr. Seuss books to reading passages that bored the mind all day. I lost the love for books that had once fueled my imagination. In our sixth grade AIG class, we read literature that just was not in my range of fascination such as: “Peter Pan” and “The Wind in the Willows”. These books were very dull to me. At some point, I decided all books were like this and stopped reading altogether.

If I think hard enough I can remember that eighth-grade classroom. Bright colors all over the place, a wall full of books on a shelf starting to lean with the years of use, an exuberant mood filled the room every day, reading and writing were encouraged, reading books that had been banned were encouraged to be read, the classroom became a second home to every student. Every day we read for twenty minutes. It was a custom, if there was a day where we had to get a major test or assignment done we would make up for it the next day. The teacher, Mrs. J, always made sure we were intrigued by the book we were reading. She would say, “What’s the point in reading a book that you have no interest in?” She introduced us to new and exciting books every Monday. She would grab the new books, stand at the front, and give us a brief description of the book and if anyone wanted it they could read it. The one book that I will never forget reading is “Winger” by Andrew Smith. This book is about a teenage boy that is starting a private high school. He goes through troubles such as football players bashing heads with the rugby team which he is on. This book is about his adventures throughout his year and how he changes as a person and overcomes obstacles. When I first started reading this book I was interested in the comedy and light-heartedness of it. As I began to indulge in this book it occurred to me that I enjoyed reading it. In the end, one of the main characters gets tied to a tree and beaten to death for being gay. This is oddly enough when I found my love for reading. I felt for the book. Even though it did not happen to me, I felt the sadness in the book and the feelings of the characters. After reading this book reading just became like second nature again. I was always reading, it was like a trip back to childhood. I could feel the little boy inside of me joyful at my newfound love.