As I was reading the end of Home, I came across the quote that I knew I would pick as the one that meant the most to me from the novel. The quote struck me because it not only has a lot of significance to the book, but also to the overall topics that we are discussing in class. The quote I chose was a popular one; several other people also chose it (or at least a part of it) and I think that goes to show just how significant it is.
Continue reading “What does it mean to be “healed?””
Many families have their own types of ways to heal any sick person that enters their house. From grandmas special soup, to the poultice that your great-great-great grandmother made that is sure to cure a fever. In some communities that are so close that when someone that everybody knows is desperately sick or in trouble, the neighbors band together to help out. In Modern time, it isn’t as common for someone with a serious illness to stay home and not go to professional help; but pre-1970s, African Americans sometimes did not have the option to go to a hospital for serious ailments, and had to rely on the medicines used by their ancestors. Even if they did go to the hospital designated for African Americans, since there was the common practice of racial desegregation in hospitals up to the 20th century, the care there was of low quality and subpar (Hospitals). This is no different than what happened in Home when Frank brought his sister Cee back after rescuing her from the Doctor that caused her. What happened to Cee was caused by a doctor, and even if they took her to a hospital, she was African and they were unlikely to admit her to their care, and try to cure her.
In this case, Cee was in need of the women of the small town of Lotus to heal her from the experimental damage caused to her by her boss, because Cee thought that what he was doing was great work and saw no harm in it being done to her. ‘And they knew how to repair what an educated bandit doctor had plundered’ (page 129, Home). The methods they had to heal Cee back to her somewhat former glory, was unorthodox, and for modern times they would seem like hogwash, but they worked to heal Cee, with the unfortunate side effect of her never being able to have kids. The crux of the matter here though, is that the doctor, who was educated and helped so many others, had experimented on Cee, with her approval, and almost killed her. But these women who watched her grow up, banded together to heal her of this sickness that was threatening her. Without any medical training, such as Dr. Beau had, they healed Cee and now she can live and learn from her mistakes.
As my first blog post, I want to write about the question that Dr. McCoy asked us to think about after this week’s class. In Home, by Toni Morrison, during Frank Money’s time in North Korea, we were left with the mysterious question as to who shot the Korean child and why? Throughout the book, Morrison slowly reveals who Frank is as a person, and allowing the reader to come up with their own conclusions.
Before Frank went to war, he had negative feelings towards his hometown, Lotus, Georgia. Frank was curious of the unknown, and wanted more out of his life. He felt he would be able to fill in those gaps, by leaving town and joining the army. Although Frank was able to experience new things, it came at cost of losing his self-identity. At first Frank lies to the narrator about who killed the little Korean girl, blaming the murder on a guard. It was not until later in the book, when the truth of who shot the child was finally revealed. Sadly, it was Frank.
Throughout the book, as the reader we have noticed Morrison’s deliberate attempt at brevity. Allowing us to organize our thoughts and interpret the story for ourselves. Particularly about the shooting of the little Korean girl, which was inspired by Frank’s illicit sexual desire to the child. There could have been so much more Frank could have said about this. So why did he do it? After Frank confesses to killing the little girl, I believe it is because he was afraid of the possibility of what he is capable of doing. Thus, in order to prevent himself from ever acting on those desires, he eliminates it completely out of his life. It also saddens me to look at the situation through the little girl’s perspective. The fact that she was willing to give up her body, at such young age, in order to survive, tells us a lot about how she was raised. After returning to the USA, Frank carries this shame and it affects his relationship with his sister, Cee.
In Tony Morrison’s Home, he creates a connection in the beginning of his book to the end of his book. In the beginning of the book Morrison writes, “They were so beautiful. So brutal. And they stood like men.” (Pg. 5). This was in reference to the horses that Frank spotted after him and his sister Cee witnessed the burial of a man. Morrison later on connects that quote by writing, “Here Stands A Man.” (Pg 145). This was in reference to Frank and Cee reburying the body of the man from the start of the book. I found this quote to be ironic because the man they buried is clearly not standing for he is dead. The simile made in the beginning of the novel is symbolic in many ways. Horses are known to be strong, majestic creatures. I decided to do research on the symbolic meaning of claiming a horse as a spirit animal. I discovered that a horse is symbolic for war, service to others, fertility, and power of mind, body and spirit. Each of these symbols are reoccurring themes that are presented in the book Home.
War is represented in that Frank served in the army and fought in the war. During the war Frank felt as if he was alive.
Service to others was present in that Frank has witnessed various deaths of his friends in war, such as his friend Mike and Stuff. When Frank discovered that Cee was in danger, he feared that he would not be able to save Cee as well. Frank was the saving grace in Cee’s childhood. He loved and protected her when all the adults were either too busy or too bitter to care. But he protected her so well that she never learned to take care of herself.
Fertility was evident after Cee being unable to bare a child. Although it is the opposite of being fertile, this part in the book was critical in further developing Cee’s character. Cee had to come to terms with being unable to get pregnant. She later picked up making quilts. Frank convinces Cee to use her first quilt in aiding in the burial of the unnamed man. I interpreted them burying Cee’s first quilt as putting the past behind them and beginning a new life.
Power of mind, body and spirit was distinguished through Frank’s PTSD. In the book Frank is faced with the difficult decision of letting a little Korean girl live with the pain of being mentally and physically abused or killing her. Frank chose to kill her because not only is it saving her from the traumatizing experience, it is saving Frank from having to live with the guilt. The story of the Korean girl was never mentioned in the book after the first time it was brought up, and I believe this is because it is triggering to Frank and due to his PTSD he attempts to repress this memory.
When presented with the chance to do research on Morrison, and specifically her connections to Dante, I was thrilled; it felt as if I was getting the chance to do real things in terms of literary analysis in a new, more professional atmosphere. But I found myself easily frustrated and overwhelmed because I simply wasn’t sure where to start.
Continue reading “A bit of a research breakthrough”
In this blog post, I would like to get into a technical aspect of reading literature and talk about how form can make a lasting impact on how you understand and interpret what you read. Form can be defined as “the manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result, as in literary or musical composition” according to dictionary.com, therefore, the way a piece of literature is physically structured can make an impact on how we perceive it. Specifically, I want to talk about the effectiveness and importance of a line break. Although this is more prominently used within poetry, it can be just as effective in many other types of literature. By using a line break, it creates a emphasis on the following line, leading the reader to pay a little more attention to it. In this post, I would like to talk about an instance where this happens within Fortune’s Bones that really stood out to me.
Continue reading “The Impact of A Fresh Start”
In PhD Alonda Nelson’s The Long Duree of Black Lives Matter, she explains that immediately after the Emancipation Proclamation freed African slaves throughout America, there was a tremendous spike in lynchings and also police violence against Africans, a problem which persists today. While I would never denigrate all police officers with a broad brush, especially considering the proliferation of illegal guns in poor, often predominately black communities in America, there is undoubtedly an epidemic of police brutality against Africans in the form of excessive force, racial profiling and even shooting unarmed civilians because of a perceived threat based on racial biases. In response to abolition, whites who lost their free labor spurred a counter movement aimed at suppressing the liberties and literal existence of Africans in America. This manifested itself through occupational and educational discrimination, redlining and extrajudicial murders but even more sadistically and methodically through mass sterilization by doctors who blacks had no choice but to trust.
In the article, Nelson describes what Fanne Lou Hemer experienced, calling it the “Mississippi appendectomy.” This referred to a method of sterilizing poor African women in her home state, an injustice she herself experienced at the hands of a white doctor in 1961. In chapter 12 of Toni Morrison’s Home, which takes place years after the Korean War during the same time period Nelson was actually victimized, Frank discovers Cee unconscious at Dr. Scott’s office with blood around her genital area. Earlier in the novel, Cee admired Dr. Scott for helping poor, underprivileged blacks out of what she presumed was the kindness of his heart. What she did not notice was his books on eugenics. In chapter 12 when Frank arrives at the doctors office, Dr. Scott is so scared that Frank has come to exact revenge on him that he tries to shoot Frank, but fails because he is out of bullets. To him, Cee was dispensable and he therefore didn’t feel guilty about experimenting on he r or sterilizing her, but was instead only fearful for his own life. Dr. Scott was a fraud like so many doctors must have been at the time. For people to summarily dismiss Black Lives Matter as either fringe or unnecessary in modern times, they must ask themselves if medical professionals in their parents’ generations had drugged someone they knew unconscious and sterilized them and people like you or them on a systematic level if you would feel like people cared about your life.
When BLM protests in the streets on behalf of current, prevalent police brutality and murdering of black people, people say they are themselves the problem and should organize and protest respectfully and totally nonviolently. Yet when Colin Kaepernick of the NFL took a knee during the national anthem (he was the first to do so), he was ultimately fired and essentially blacklisted by all teams. He vocalized that he was protesting racial inequality in America and received minimal support. It was only when President Donald Trump actually called the NFL players who protested “sons of bitches” while saying they should “be fired” that NFL owners supported the protest during the national anthem. Before Trump had called out the NFL brand, only the players, many of whom are black, supported the protest and it wasn’t until after his comments that the billionaire owners supported the movement. This support is not because they wish to fight racial inequality, but rather to preserve a profitable brand which takes young men and swallows them to feed the beast in exchange for temporary fame and fortune, almost always causing the individual permanent physical injury in the process. The article writes about Fred Hampton, a Black Panther’s Party leader who was killed in his sleep by law enforcement ultimately for spouting ideas like “policing the police” and endorsing wider social justice. Kaepernick is a more mild, modern equivalent martyr in the sense that he compromised his promising, lucrative career as an NFL quarterback in order to stand up for his inconvenient beliefs (ironically by kneeling).
The more one looks into racism, the more prevalent it appears. From investigating racism further in this class, I was astonished at the profound effect it has on many disciplines. Its integration into literature and the English language in particular is astonishing. Max’s description in class of the field of gynecology being “dark” sparked my further investigation into terms in English that have racist backgrounds. When I looked up the word “dark”, I found various definitions: “gloomily pessimistic”, “a situation characterized by tragedy, unhappiness, or unpleasantness”, and “not fair in complexion” (Merriam-Webster). Continue reading “Dark Usage of the English Language”
In brainstorming potential collective course statements, I saw repetition of a common idea: increasing knowledge is essential. Grace, Jennifer, Sabrina, Emma, myself, and other classmates all emphasized that a vital takeaway from this course is that we should increase learning to create societal change. This necessary increase in knowledge is overwhelming. Faced with the impossible task of attempting to learn everything conflicts with the common saying–“ignorance is bliss”. Is ignorance bliss? Or is knowledge power? Continue reading “Ignorance vs. Knowledge”
I want to write this blog post in response to the question Dr. McCoy asked us to think about last class, as I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways in which the Clay’s Ark enclave might be better or worse than the outside world and the real world around us. I was unable to attend class today, so I’m not sure if this topic was discussed/what was said about it; my apologies if I repeat anything that has already been discussed, but I wanted to explore this topic and perhaps I will bring up something new along the way.
Continue reading “Compulsion and Consent”