Thursday, November 8, 2007

In Rudolfo Anaya’s “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca”, Stephanie Shapiro’s “Serving up Hope”, and Phillis Levin’s “End of April”, the act of overcoming is a central theme. To overcome means to conquer, defeat, or rise above something that was once restricting. Usually when we speak of overcoming we think of fear. In our society we are able to use fear as fuel to make the world better.

In the short story, “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca”, the narrator, a writer, has to overcome his writer’s block. Mexico for him is the place for him to do this. From the people to the rich history in the air, for the narrator, everything feels better in Mexico. Despite being in the ideal location he has not come up with a story. He realizes to overcome his writer’s block he has to trust. He has to use his fear of the unknown to fuel his desire to create a story. The narrator is reluctant to follow Justino, the gardener. He is afraid that Justino will lead him into a dead end, that he will waste his time and not even have a good story. He learns that he must trust those around him because people are "the source of life".

In the Baltimore Sun Article, “Serving up Hope” the people in the story have to overcome old habits. The owners of the store, the Sampsons, previously had things going well for them. They could have kept on doing the same old thing but they changed it up. Not only did they take a chance on a new beginning, the also took a chance on drug users. Drug users are people that most are afraid to work with for fear that the will not do a good job, they will steal to get drugs, or they will relapse. The Sampsons turn their fear into hope and trust in the pure goodness in people, and it paid off. Similarly the people who worked for them had to not only trust the people they worked for but overcome their drug addictions.

In the poem “End of April” the speaker had to overcome a broken heart. Love is interesting in that if it is true it will never go away. The speaker may be over the love she lost however the pain she feels from losing true love will always be with her. She must learn to healthily deal with the pain when it comes. She can love again if she allows herself. The poem is her struggle with letting go, and overcoming her fear of never loving again.

In each work someone had to overcome something. Sometimes we must relinquish our fears, and let go and let God. Each work shows an example of this. Letting go and letting God, and thus overcoming a fear. The Jesuits believe that you must trust eachother and trust God. If we can do this we can be better writers, better employees and better lovers and the world will be better because we trusted.

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