“I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”

In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave,” Douglass says a intellectually moving statement about what it means to be enslaved. In the quote, Douglass brings light to the to different ways one can handle being a slave. Douglass talks about mental states, the handling of physical and psychological enslavement. To be a slave in form is how he was viewed, by law, by society, and these views happen naturally when a large group comes to together and agrees to the same theories. But, what happens when someone doesn’t agree, and that was Douglass. To be not be a slave in fact, for Douglass, was to free in his mind. The mind has always been considered a place of freedom along with educations. You can be liberated by your own thoughts and theories with the ability to absorb knowledge. Knowledge is important in this case, knowledge was restricted to slaves because it was liberating to have thought. With thought, one has power.

Douglass’s access to education is what enlightened him to the idea of being free in the mind. Although he was enslaved by law, he was still free psychologically because of his educations.

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The Whitman Yawp

Towards the end of the poem “Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman, the poem that I bought on ibooks because it was a dollar, Whitman exclaims “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”

Firstly, I had to define yawp. I found a clip from the movie “The Dead Poets Society,” that talks a little bit about Whitman’s barbaric yawp. According to the film clip, yap can be defined as a loud cry or a yell. That fits well because before Whitman starts to yell he’s talking about a hawk that’s tired of his laziness, and he tells the hawk “I too am not a bit tamed….I too am untranslatable.” Being untranslatable is the very last step of becoming detached. Whitman has made it to the finish line in terms of becoming one with the earth. Our worldly treasures include language and being able to translate each other and now Whitman is yelling untranslatable like a barbarian and we see that with the hawk and other animals. Whitman is an animal and later on in his lifetime he looks a bit like on with his beard and hair.

His barbaric-ness adds to the rest of the poem as his only goal was to stray from modern society: stuffy houses, criminals, women birthing, overfed and half starved people, police, and suicide, racism, and such. Whitman feels free on the grass without his clothes with the animals, where there is room enough for things like barbaric yawps.

I’m looking forward to reading Howl because I think it’s a yawp text.

The Un-American Sentence

No doubt, Emerson’s “The American Scholar,” reads difficult. I wanted to choose, not a sentence that is difficult linguistically, but difficult in theory. I chose a sentence in Emerson’s piece that brings forth a difficult concept, something that I wanted to disagree upon(Although, secretly, I wished I was discussion Poe). Emerson brings to light many, many little ideas as sub-ideas to his bigger idea. It was hard to choose a sentence because he says a lot of things I can readily disagree about, but, I settled on the most un-American sentence. Un-American in regards to religion, moral, and culture.

Emerson talks about God a lot, and the American religion is Christianity, you know, since we’re all “under god.” At one point in the essay, he brings up a little science, a little Newton, and a little spirituality, but the ancient kind, the “everything is connected, we are trees, the moon pulls the tides…and our emotions!” kind. It’s: That principal of Undulation in nature, that shows itself in the inspiring and expiring breath; in desire and satiety; in the ebb and flow of every atom and every fluid, is know to us under the name of Polarity,-these “fits of easy transmission and reflection,” as Newton called them, are the law of nature because they are the law of spirit. Firstly, I disagree upon Emerson’s choice in metaphor, not the theory, because it simply doesn’t fit. At least, that’s what I think. He mostly talks about God and the ideas of “man” based on biblical moral and basically: CHRISTIANITY. It’s yelling at the reader. I’m scared. Then, he dabbles on to this sentence like he just can, as if the head of the illuminati can go dabble on angels in heaven.

The definition of the law of spirit, I think, is what’s naturally happening, natural beliefs, such as earthly things are spherical because it mocks the spherical shape of the cosmos, you can see where the galaxies are being mimicked in our eyes, or, polarity, like the quote says, because think of the moon pulling the tides, and more. His morals are parallel to those of the bible and natural moral opposes that of the bible, because in the bible God created man, and deer, and whatever random animal is listed and every idea is a preexisting idea floating around God or something like that. Then, God dishes it out on a silver platter, which he made of course, and thus the earth was made. Then, here comes Adam and eve and they single-handedly  birthed the ENTIRE world. You better get ready for one hell of a family reunion.

Onwardly, Emerson’s “The American Scholar” seems to have many contradicting beliefs, morals, and cultures, but, it appears to be okay for him to do such a thing and it only makes me wonder: What is Emerson’s personal religious beliefs?

Who is Bonita?

I am Bonita Tindle. Bonita is my real name and, thanks, I do know what it means in Spanish. Can you believe everyone I meet asks: “Do you know what it means in Spanish?” as if I haven’t had my name for 21 years and no one has thought to tell me. I have this thing about names. Names are immensely important and special and one thing I do not like are those moments in class, during roll call and the teacher calls out: “Dominic! (Dom-mih-nick), is it (Dom-mih-nick) or (Dom-mih-neek)?” The student says: “Either is fine.”

What?

I don’t understand. Either can’t be fine. You have one name, your parents or guardian gave you one pronunciation of your name. I know I don’t like to be called (Buh-nee-tah) or (Buh-nee-duh) or (Boh-nee-duh). My name is (Boh-Nee-TAH).

In Russian culture, the people take names seriously. I read Tolstoy and the characters had more than one name (not pronunciation) that is used during different emotional times. The difference in names will be a abbreviated version or longer version, but each version has a different emotional meaning. Take for example the name, my name, Bonita. In Russia, being called by my whole name could indicate status, my whole name may be used by my peers and boss. My nickname, Bita, would be used only by my family. Another form of my name, Bonitata, could indicate anger by whoever is calling me. Nita, could be the name used by only my lover or people who have tenderness towards me. 

You have learned my pet peeve and one thing I enjoy.