James Kain wrote the essay “Why Literature” and from reading that, I got the various opinions about Literature from a Literature professor’s point of view. I really liked the quote "Students always ask why they have to read this stuff. I understand their position; they have been brought up in a culture that values eternal youth in a material world” (Kain). Throughout my years in school, I have never heard any teacher or professor that understands our pains and suffering of reading, analyzing and learning Literature. Literature class is not my best choice of a class but Prof. Kain made Literature fun and exciting for me.
I am so happy that I got the chance to take his Literature class because he really made it fun for us. In the way that I see it, movies, stories and poems are all the same. One is on the screen and the other two are on paper. And they both have the same motive to express feelings, stories and problems. Throughout the essay by Mr. Kain, he wrote many things that really stood out to me. “The stuff of poetry, story and drama, written by a master of the language, helps us explore our own lives and destinies” (Kain). This quote really made me think about all of the wonderful works of words that we have read in this class.
What this quote means is that certain stories, poems and types of drama makes me think of our own lives and what our dreams are. Another quote that really stood out to me is “The works of poets and storytellers differ from other writings because they expose questions, emotions, doubts and fears; they illuminate the writer’s inner life, and they vitalize our language – that is, they give life and meaning to words we normally take for granted” (Kain). When I read this, it reminded me of the poem that we read by Theodore Roethke My Papa’s Waltz. In that poem, the ordinary words that we would be using in our daily lives really came to life.
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That poem had a lot of inner emotions from the poet’s personal life since it was about his father who he wished had a better relationship with. The third and final quote from this that I really liked was: “Writers of literature help us do this. They give us the story of their own struggle with this noisy, marvelous, frustrating God-blessed troublesome world. They show us views of life that we could never experience by ourselves” (Kain). Poets and authors give us another look on life with their works. We may have our own issues and problems but no everyone has the same problems as us.
The problems that the poets and authors give us can be so much worse than what we are facing. Always remember that everyone has their own issues and problems and they are not the same as you. In my earlier paragraphs, I mentioned the poem by Theodore Roethke My Papa’s Waltz. I really liked this poem a lot because it was the type of poem that really stood out to you and you would never forget it. By reading the title alone, you would think that the poem would be a nice happy one but after the first stanza, that all changes. The words in that poem were not used in the ordinary way that we would use them in our daily lives.
The one line from the poem: You beat time on my head with a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed still clinging to your shirt makes you think of the use of words that are in this stanza and what they mean in the context of the sentence. The short stories section of this class was not my best. I like to read stories but analyzing is not something that I can do at the top of my head. I really have to think about the story, plot and characters really deeply in order to finally come up with a conclusion on the analysis of the whole story. The one story that really got to me is The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe.
This was the type of story that was so unreal and very disturbing. After reading the part about when the cat was making the noise inside the wall even though his owner killed him; it really sent chills down my spine. This is the type of story you can easily tell to people on Halloween and they would really spooked out. This type of story really let the emotions out to the reader. That is what I like about when I read certain stories and poems; I want the author or poet to expose emotions in the words so I can feel the same way as the author or poet feels.
I am pretty sure that for everyone in the class, the movie The Dead Poet’s Society was by far the best thing that we have done in this class. The movie did a good job in expressing the types of freedom, wishes and desires for each of the characters. The tragic ending for one of the main characters Neal Perry was definitely an eye opening for everyone. I am sure that no one really expected that to happen. Neal had a lot of pressure from his father; going to a good school, getting the highest grades than anyone else and getting into Yale or Harvard. Neal wanted to be a free bird but it was his Dad that was holding him back.
His main passion was acting and he still went on with it even though he knew of the consequences that would follow. This type of emotion made me think of me because I know I have a lot of pressure from my parents especially since I am a Nursing major and after getting my degree here at Neumann University, they want me to get my Masters and become a Nurse Practitioner. I feel like all students in high school and college get a lot of pressure from their parents and the main reason for that is that their parents love them and want what is best for them.
This was the type of drama that really expressed emotions of every one of the characters and that is whole main idea of Literature. In conclusion, I really liked this Literature class and I am really happy that I got the chance to take it with Prof. James Kain. He really knows what Literature is and he really makes it fun for us students. Literature is not that bad; you can like many stories and poems if you like movies because basically movies are like the same as stories and poems. The only difference is that movies are on the screen, stories and poems are on paper.
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