December 01, 2004

Why John Henry?

Why does society choose a person like John Henry to represent thier morals, values, and work ethics? Is a legend or person like John Henry the ideal? I think the legend of John Henry represents how our society got to be where it is today. He represents the hard work and labor that formed the instrustrial revolution and developed steel, and cut through mountains to make railroads. However I do not think John Henry would be the ideal model for our new moderate times. An ideal figure today would be an athlete, a corporate executive, an actor/actress, a rock star or singer, or pretty much anyone who lives beyond the boundaries of the norm. John Henry stood for a class of people who were happy just getting by, being in a free country, and were proud to live and work for what they had. Our standards today have sky rocketing from such a simple expectation. He have progressed into a society that sets their standards on material things and income rather than pride and honesty. Cosmo and Maxim can tell you who they think makes the ideal person (male and female), but do those figures represent our morals and values as a soceity? We have abandoned our sense of working hard for something, both physically and mentally. I don't know to many people who work really hard (blood, sweat, tears, back aches, feet hurt, tired kind of thing) for a living. Mentally, we don't have to do much work at all, computers, calculators, cell phones, and all sorts of things think for us. Truth be told I could have copied and pasted this whole blog entry from somewhere else and wouldn't have had to think for more than 5 minutes. I didn't but I could have.
So who is John Henry? Whether he's real or not, he's not just a legend but he represents how we started this country. John Henry also holds true to the many reasons why we should regress back to those hard working time periods and realize what matters. What our ideals should be and the values that we hold close as a society.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 12:40 PM | Comments (1)

Who was Robinson?

Robinson raised many questions for me. If anyone read any of my other blogs you would read that initially I didn't like Robinson for the way his poems ended with cliffhangers. Then after discussing Robinson's wordiness with Trisha I came to realize that the cliffhangers were a good aspect of his poetry. The cliffhaner endings gave the reader the control to determine the fate of the poem. To me Robinson had a creative way of writing, which is why I would like to research him further and find some of his other poems. The website that I looked at was the American poetry.com. What I found was that Robinson came from a well to do family around the late civil war times. He had two older brothers who mainly recieved all the attention. It was said that Robinson felt like an outcast from his family and society, which he often alienated himself from. I believe Robinson reflects this alienation in his characters. As a young adult Robinson attended Harvard where he was also alone, and eventually moved from place to place. All the while he had his poetry being published. It wasn't until around World War I that Robinson was finally recieving the credit he deserved. At this time Robinson was a well read poet and was influencing new poets like Robert Frost.
In regard to Robinson's character, I believe they reflect pieces of Edwin himself. The stories and characters that we read about in class were mainly lonely, alienated, odd people. After reading about Robinson I have come to believe those characters were aspects of him and the way he saw himself in regards to society. Richard Cory was a rich, educated, and respected man who was polite as pie. In all actuality he was not a happy as he appeared and I think that exemplifies who Robinson was.
Some other poems by Robinson that I liked was, Octaves , Supremacy, and Haunted House. There were others, but these were the ones I liked. Maybe I will do one for the poetry slam. What I like about Robinson's poetry is that it is sometimes like Poe's poetry. It can be somewhat dark, cold, coneptual, puzzling, and leaves the reader wondering 'what the heck.' Those kinds of stories and poetry keeps my attention.

Posted by JessicaZelenak at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)