Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Olivia Bell-Reading Analysis 11/7/07

Olivia Bell
Understanding Literature
Dr. Ellis
November 7, 2007

Reading Analysis

While doing the reading for this week I could not help but to think of one main Jesuit ideal. In the short story ”B. Traven Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca” by Rudolfo Anaya, the poem “End of April” by Phillis Levin, and the article “Serving up Hope”, I was constantly reminded of just how important it is to make do with all you have and not to get caught up on the things you lack.
In Rudolfo Anaya’s short story “B. Traven Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca,” there was one point that stuck out in my mind. When I first read that Don Francisco murdered many people just because he found himself to be superior, I didn’t think much would be done. I felt like no one would do anything to stop him and he would continue to get away with his killings. As I continued to read I realized that Don Francisco was not allowed to touch his fortune. Even though he killed all of those people and hid their wealth, in the long run he was not able to do anything with it. This idea may be a bit of a stretch from that of the Jesuit ideal but I feel as though it could still relate. Don Francisco was not satisfied with his own fortunes so he began to take from others. By doing so, he was the one that suffered in the end by not being able to get his hands on them. Had he not been so worried about all of the things he didn’t have, he could have had a much more enjoyable life.
In Phillis Levin’s poem “End of April,” the speaker finds a robin’s egg lying on the ground under a cherry tree. Much to his surprise it is broken and hollow inside. Unlike many people, the speaker stops to marvel at the broken egg and realizes that even though it is broken, it still holds beauty. Just like that of the Jesuits, the speaker in this poem made the best of what he had. Although something was missing inside that probably reminded him of something big in his life, the speaker was still fascinated by the shell off the egg.
Finally, in the essay “Serving up Hope,” the Sampson family made the best of what they had to open up a restaurant. I noticed that many of their employees were former drug users and instead of looking for people with better backgrounds, they welcomed the drug addicts. They treated them with an immense amount of respect and in return they got wonderful work out of their employees. By using the things they had, both the Sampson’s and the employees benefited. Never once did they wish it was any other way.
In all three of these works, the idea of being happy with what you have is expressed. In the poem and the article the characters are satisfied and live a rather happy life. On the contrary, the man in the short story suffers a great deal because he is more interested in gaining the things that he lacks instead of being fortunate for everything he has. I can now see why this Jesuit ideal is so important to everyday life and I feel like I will no longer take the things I have for granted.

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