Original Post by Jenna Lawson: http://morrison.sunygeneseoenglish.org/2017/04/07/mr-blandings-dream-house-and-aunt-jemima/#more-1288
From your blog post this sentence, “I think sanitized versions of American history relate strongly to the American housing crisis, especially in neighborhoods that have retained racial homogeneity in the present without making any attempts to integrate”, stands out to me because it reminds me of my mention earlier today in class about Levittown. During 12th grade I took a class to learn about NY state’s history; of course during the class my teacher discussed the history of Long Island. One of our discussion was based on Levittown and how racist the town used to be and still, as you said, “retains racial homogeneity in the present without making any attempts to integrate.
Some history on Levittown is that it was created after WWII when many soldiers were trying to find their own home outside NYC. William J. Levitt decided to buy land on Long Island and created 5 types of houses that were extremely similar, but gave the buyer the idea of individuality (this was the first mass produced suburb). To buy the house, like any house today, the owners needed to sign a contract. Part of this contract stated that “the property could not be used or rented by any individuals other than those of the Caucasian race”. This contract was in accordance with the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) at the time (<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown,_New_York>).
During my teachers discussion he told us of how he had a friend, who is African American, and refuses to drive through Levittown because of its history, and some people on Long Island nicknamed the area “Racist Levittown”.
I thought something really interesting about the beginning of “Dominion”, at least the parts that we read Tuesday, was that it reminded of the holiday Passover. I am not sure if I would have made the connection without Passover being on my mind right now because the holiday begins this Monday. For anyone who doesn’t know what Passover is; it is, in simplest terms, the story of how the Jewish people left Egypt after being an enslaved people for hundreds of years with the help of Moses and G-d.
Part of what made me think of this section as the story of Passover was when Jasper got rid of Ould Lowe by making him sink to the bottom of the body of water. For me this reminded me of the part of the Passover story where Moses, with G-d’s help, was able to split the sea and led the Jewish people away from the approaching Egyptian army. When the Jewish people were safely across Moses let the sea become one again, trapping the soldiers underneath the sea and killing them.
When Jasper killed Ould Lowe he was able to truly start his new life, just like once the Egyptian soldiers were gone the Jewish people could begin their new lives for the first time without being an enslaved people.
For anyone who wants to read more about the story of Passover here is a link: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/1827/jewish/The-Passover-Story-in-a-Nutshell.htm
During class on Friday we discussed how King Lear was “obviously” egocentric. I kept thinking about what other reasons besides him being egocentric would contribute to him wanting to hear his daughters declare their love for him. One of the reasons I came up with was that King Lear is a king. As a king he always has to double guess what people say to him and that can make a person paranoid and insecure in themselves. Could King Lear have wanted to hear his daughters explain how much they loved because he thought that his own family wouldn’t lie to him. When Cordelia did not give a good enough answer he might have felt embarrassed by what she said in front of so many people and decided that she needed to be punished.
If this was a reason why he wanted to hear his daughters declare their love for him then it clearly backfired as we find out in Act I that his two oldest start plotting to remove his left over respect and power.
Do you think King Lear could have been insecure in himself, is he just an egocentric king that always wants to be flattered, or is he both?