Monthly Archives: October 2016

Toni Morrison Explains Hillary Hatred

The rage against Hillary Clinton is probably the result of primal male fears. Toni Morrison captures such male fear and rage in her novel “Paradise.”

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Shakespeare Does Halloween

Shakespeare does Halloween very well. Some of it was to entertain James I, who was fascinated by the supernatural (to the sorrow of many women, who were executed as witches during his reign).

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American Gods & Roadside Attractions

Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” is a whacky look at religion that ends up making some pretty good points.

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College Girl Novels Explore Transsexuality

College girl novels of the late 19th century explored transsexuality in ways that anticipate today’s debates.

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Oppression’s Walls Will Have To Go

Langston Hughes’s poem “I Look at the World” describes a coming to consciousness of the walls that fence us in. Once we acknowledge the walls, we can begin seeing our way through them.

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Trump, Macduff, and “Untimely Ripped”

Donald Trump’s characterization of late-term abortions as “ripping” harken back to a verb used in “Macbeth.” Most people, however, would argue that both Trump and Macduff are describing caesarians.

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Climate Scientists, Our Cassandras

Our climate scientists must feel like modern day Cassandras, as she appears in Aeschylus’s “Agamemnon” or Robinson Jeffers’s “Cassandra.” The prophetess knew what would happen but no one believed her. As a result, Troy fell.

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Lit Opens Minds to Suffering of the Other

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that literature is essential for creating good citizens in a diverse society, turning to Sophocles’s “Philoctetes” and Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” to make her point.

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Light a Land Whose Children Shall Be Free

Phoebe Cary’s 1849 poem about a bountiful harvest turns sour as she considers slaves who are not harvesting a bounty for themselves. Her Christian imagery anticipates the way Christian beliefs would bolster those fighting against slavery twelve years later.

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