Once I overcame that obstacle, I noticed something about those familial relationships – that regardless of whether they were related or not, some family members treated others just like they would treat a stranger. Nepotism certainly was not a major influence in any part of the play thus far. I noticed it at first when King Richard was giving the sentences to both Mowbray and Bolingbroke. He ends up banishing Mowbray for life and Bolingbroke, who is his cousin, for six years. Yes, it appears that he gave Bolingbroke (who was originally given ten years) the better end of the deal. However, Bolingbroke’s father and King Richard’s uncle, John of Gaunt, is old and will most likely die before his son returns. By shortening the time, I feel that King Richard did not truly pity his uncle because if he did he would have made it significantly shorter, so that he would be alive when Bolingbroke was to return. Another instance where I noticed a lack of care for each other is when King Richard hears that John of Gaunt is dying. One would assume that this would sadden the King, but for his own selfish reasons, he finds happiness in his uncle’s death. He plans to take all of John’s belongings and use them to fund the war in Ireland. Yet another interesting relationship was that of Bolingbroke and his uncle, the Duke of York. Bolingbroke addresses the Duke with respect, but the Duke of York is extremely displeased with Bolingbroke’s return to England, prior to the completion of his six years. The Duke says “I am no traitor’s uncle, and that word ‘grace’/In an ungracious mouth is but profane./ Why have those banished and forbidden legs/ Dared once to touch a dust of England’s ground?” (2. 3. 92-95). Although they are related, the Duke of York has no problem with scolding him for what he has done.
The family dynamic displayed in Richard II is not the kind that I am used to reading about, which is probably why these particular parts bothered me. I guess I will have to keep reading to see if my opinion changes!
I believe that what Don Juan was doing was extremely wrong and that he did deserve to be punished. Not only was he hurting those around him but he was doing it while benefiting from it. He was given fair warning that it was wrong, and he chose to continue on the path of women and lust anyway, but hey, to each his own.
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s relationship was that of love, friendship, happiness, pain, and great passion – for each other and the arts. At the onset of Just Kids, Patti Smith spoke about Mapplethorpe in such a manner that anyone could tell that he was someone special. Even as I read the Foreword, I could clearly see that there were feelings present in her writing that go way deeper than what was put on paper. He was her knight in shining armor since day one.
In my opinion, one of the things that makes Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s connection stand out among others that I’ve read about is how it began. Not often do you learn of Prince Charming showing up at the right place just in time to save the Princess from something terrible that is about to happen. Upon reading, I felt as if it almost seemed too good to be true, as if all of this love was being built up just so it could slowly fall…
As Robert grew quiet and distant, it became evident that this was exactly what I had been waiting for. The relationship that once seemed so perfect and untouchable was now coming to an end. How could two individuals who were so happy together and had so much in common go their separate ways? What happened after Patti’s return from Paris is another, in my opinion, extraordinary aspect of their relationship – that no matter what happened between them, they managed to find their way back to each other. They made a vow that until they were each able to be independent, they would never leave each other again. Even after his death, I believe that he will always be with Patti Smith, because he impacted her life in such a huge way.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free The wretched refuse of your teeming shore Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The poem, written in 1883, was a result of the inspiration that Lazarus received from the Statue of Liberty. In her opinion, the statue was “The New Colossus” (The Old Colossus is the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and a statue of the Greek Titan Helios that stood at the entrance of the harbor of the island Rhodes). She saw Lady Liberty as a motherly figure that welcomed the immigrants – those who were tired and poor – to the New World. As they entered in the hopes of finding a better life filled with more opportunities, Lazarus says that the Statue of Liberty lifted her torch to guide them and reassure them that the world they left behind is nothing compared to what lies ahead.
I couldn’t help but notice a similarity in the Colossus of Rhodes and “The New Colossus” to Tan’s illustration of the immigrants reaching the harbor that I have appropriately named “The Newer Colossus.” In the picture, there is a structure at the entrance to the city of what appears to be two men leaning in to greet each other with a handshake. They have different hats on, are holding different animals, and are carrying different structures in the boats that they are on, but they have still managed to come together to shake each others hand. This brotherhood and togetherness is what made that new city so appealing to the man in The Arrival, and what makes America so appealing to immigrants from all over the world. In the story, the man has trouble at first with understanding the new world that he has been thrown into. Fortunately, with the help of the young girl, the family, and the elderly man that he meets, he is able to adjust and learn more about the city’s way of life. They all had their own unique stories to tell, just like Americans who come from different backgrounds, but those differences did not and still do not affect the ability to unite and help each other. It is this constant dependency on each other to succeed and be protected that makes the immigration process to America and the New World in The Arrival unlike any other. For what would life be without our brothers and sisters?
In the case of 9/11, most New Yorkers will agree that they will never forget about what happened on that sunny Tuesday morning. It is because of that tragedy that security has become stricter in airports, racial tensions have increased, and a great wave of patriotism has resurfaced among Americans. How could an event that produced such effects and changed the lives of millions simply be forgotten? In his essay, Rieff mentions a quote from George Santayana that states, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” If we are doomed to a future where no one understands what it is like to see our nation at its most vulnerable, I believe that it is possible that the national security could again be threatened. If what Rieff is saying is valid, and 9/11 will indeed eventually be forgotten like Pearl Harbor in this generation, then individuals in the future will lead normal lives, security may go back to the way it was before the Twin Towers came down, and no one would even entertain the idea of something like that happening again. Take Pearl Harbor, for example. The idea that tomorrow the Japanese could bomb Hawaii does not make sense to any of us. All of what we know about the 1940’s is what we’ve heard from history textbooks and our ancestors. The same is true, I believe, for 9/11 and the future American citizens.
It is of paramount importance that we continue to remember by participating in memorials, sharing our experiences with each other, and keeping the spirit of America alive. This sense of community and togetherness brought about by something as terrible as 9/11 is what makes so unsusceptible to the enemy. It is what builds an impenetrable wall of safety around the U.S. We cannot forget, because although Rieff believes that to remember is to harbor vengeance and anger, to remember is also to remain strong and unified. And that is what being an American is all about.