How does the poet bear witness to tragedy or more difficult aspects of human life? (Amichai)

Amichai’s piece “The Diameter of the Bomb” and “God has pity on Kindergarten Children” talk about hardship and sorrow. In the “Diameter of the Bomb”, a small bomb with a small radius doesn’t only affect the radius in which it detonated in, it affects everyone in the world. The radius of the bomb is really the entire world, affecting the person across the world who is mourning for someone who was killed by the initial detonation.  In his work “God has pity on Kindergarten Children”, he explains how children do not experience hardship and there is somewhat of a supernatural influence on them which protects. However, with adults, there is none of it and all the hardship falls on the adults due to the burden of responsibility. No matter what goes wrong or any tragedy which ensues in an individual’s life, only happiness may protect them. The poet emphasizes tragedy in his work which can be seen as tragedies that occur to all of us and affects everyone, but it is the approach that seems to matter.

“The Second Coming” is arguably an apocalyptic poem, but people tend to get confused about apocalypses not always having to be bad; they could simply be times of great change (one world ending and another beginning and so on and so forth). It could be interesting to consider apocalypses as a genre and whether you think this is an apocalyptic poem and if so, how and why or not?

The Second Coming by the name is apocalyptic in its’ own right. The second coming of Jesus, meant by the name is a major change which can be effective for hundreds of years. In the poem, much of the poem can be described in a negative, feral light. A lion’s body with a head of human is illustrated as well as desert birds. Common association could be wasteland and turmoil given the portrayal and words in the poem such as “darkness”, “vex”, “blood-dimmed”. I believe since there is a major change happening and the author’s descriptive uses of words, that this is an apocalyptic poem.

How does one reconcile Gurov’s apparent misogyny with his newfound of love of Anna Sergeyevna?

Anna is different and by being so she strikes a chord in Gurov. Gurov sees purity in Anna. He sees naivety and innocence. He made a reference to some of Anna’s actions to the lessons his own daughter did. Gurov throughout the text compared Anna with the previous women he has been with. He described the previous women, some being careless, some being neutral, some being cold. His feeling towards these women was hatred. At first impression, Gurov secretly thought negatively of Anna and was somewhat scared of her. But, as the story progresses we find out he feels differently about Anna. At one point when he saw her his heart contracted, something which didn’t happen in past experiences with women. Anna was different in a way to Gurov, something that broke the cycle of the same types of women. He only realizes that he loves her at the end in Moscow.

How and why does Hurston use dialect in the story? Note that the characters’ speech and the narrator’s are in different dialects, with the former being Southern African-American speech and the latter being more traditionally grammatical American English, and so the story has two registers of diction.

Hurston changed between dialects in the story to help add an important aspect at the time which was the community’s geographical difference in the way they speak. The use of different dialects also helps visualization. The way the characters are seen to the audience is very different compared to the way the characters would be understood as if they were simply described as having the southern dialect. Since there is much conversation in the story, the use of the exact way people speak draws a clearer image in the setting as well as personifies the writing.

How is his work a commentary on the mores, religious temperament, and society in which he lived in late eighteenth century England? What aspects of this commentary are still relevant today?

William Blake in his writing describes how while walking around London, he hears many things deemed at negative in the society at the time. As he brings up crying infants, marriage quarrels, nagging prostitutes, and even chimney-sweepers, there is much more to what each person is doing which contributes to the idea of individualism during the enlightenment. “And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.” from The Chimney Sweeper showcases the religious importance in the society at the time, because people were looking to religion for hope in times of hardship; it points to all the “misery” from all that is heard in the streets of London. All of Blake’s writing contributes to society in England at the time as a whole, although not perfect, makes up a society. We see some of the aspects of his society in ours as well in terms of hardship. In the streets of New York, we might see and hear the same things that could have been heard before.