A Class of Their Own: Empowerment through literature in Coates’ Between the World and Me, Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Shelly’s Frankenstein
By Alexander Fardy
Education offers empowerment. To know more about the world, the people in it, and how they respond to the hardship around them is to prepare for life as an independent adult. It would seem, then, that an adolescent hoping to find their way in an openly hostile world could look to the opportunity afforded to them by traditional schooling with great enthusiasm, as they receive the knowledge that they will need to survive their oppression.
Same Racists, Different Experiences: Comparing Race, Assimilation, and Identity through Literature
By Natalie Sparrow
In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King writes that “somebody once told me that racism hurts everyone. Perhaps in the broader sense of community, this is true. All I know is that it seems to hurt some much more than others” (King 185). This statement raises three challenging questions: What is race? What is racism? And can the effects of racism on an individual and their community be compared to another?
Not Simply Black and White: Whiteness as a Matter of Belief in Coates’ Between the World and Me
By Sophie Konrad
The scale, intensity and longevity of inequality is especially unique and unprecedented in America. This is because, as Ta-Nehisi Coates argues in Between the World and Me, American identity is essentially founded upon oppression, and thus economic inequality is anchored in racial inequality.
Lucretius: The Risk and Rage of the Joys and Despairs of Love
By Maya Thulin
Sex, love, and relationships are compelling universal topics that have been the subject of countless musings and explorations. In his didactic poem, On the Nature of Things, Lucretius discusses all three, guided by his valuing of the Epicurean principle of pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: How the Psychological Afflictions of Plath’s Esther Greenwood and Shakespeare’s Ophelia are products of binary worlds in The Bell Jar and Hamlet
By Joseph DelBigio
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet were written hundreds of years apart, but certain characters in the two works seem to have their lives controlled by similar conditions. Both Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar and Ophelia in Hamlet live in worlds characterized by extreme political unrest and misogyny.
The Karamazov Brothers and their Discontents: A Freudian Reading of Pain and Pleasure, Aggression and Confession in Dostoevsky’s Classic Novel
By Alexandra Lamb
While Sigmund Freud came to be known as one of the most (in)famous psychologists of all time, and while Fyodor Dostoevsky established himself as one of the great psychologists of world literature, some modern scientists might point out the close similarity between ‘Freud’ and ‘fraud,’ and no professor would assign The Double as required reading on schizophrenia. While one was primarily considered a psychologist, and the other primarily an author, the speculative features of both author’s writings have resulted in works that modern readers would recognize as resembling each other’s more than they resemble contemporary psychology.
By Aiza Bragg
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the characters of Victor and his creature parallel each other as they both face injustice and suffering and both resort to violent revenge. The creature is a manifestation of Victor’s own flaws and motivations, as Victor calls him “my own spirit let loose from the grave […] forced to destroy all that was dear to me” (100), and he expresses Victor’s need for revenge, companionship, and power.
I’m Talking to You: Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
By Manya Kapur
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States of America has emerged as an unmatched superpower in the international arena. With its supremacy in the global economy and monopoly over mass media, the West stands at the forefront in shaping not only world culture and our accepted history, but the attitudes and ideals of the anglophone world.
I am Not Your Stepping Stone: An Analysis of Ethnocentric Bias in Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
By Emily Que
In a world shocked by the horror of death and calamity that came from 9/11, Mohsin Hamid allows us to listen to the voice of a Pakistani-American during this tumultuous time. While many novels about the terrorist attacks of September 11 occupy themselves in exploring the aftermath and traumatic effects on the white population, The Reluctant Fundamentalist’s story circulates around the critical stance of a Pakistani-American who momentarily fell victim to the powerful and imperialistic American system.
A Faux Confession
By Ila Iverson
Mohsin Hamid’s casual yet powerful writing style communicates the biographical story of a Pakistani Muslim’s enchantment and disenchantment with America while maintaining a degree of uncertainty regarding the character and intention of the narrator and protagonist, Changez. The Reluctant Fundamentalistintrigues and involves the reader with unique stylistic decisions. Presented as a one-sided conversation, or as a monologue, the text brims with realism and ambiguity.