Towards the end of chapter seven in The Scarlet Letter, the theme of beauty is especially evident. When Hester and Pearl visit the governors mansion, they are surrounded with the beauty of his house, which is a strong contrast to their own home. Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates the beauty found in this house when he describes the furniture that is “elaborately carved with wreaths of oaken flowers” (508), and a statue that was “so highly burnished as to glow with white radiance” (508). The light and natural beauty which is unlike anything Hester and Pearl are used to, is explicitly addressed when Hester says “we shall see flowers there; more beautiful ones than we find in the woods” (509), about the garden at the governors home. This unfamiliar setting puts even more of focal point on Hester’s scarlet A. The letter has been there for a while, but her new surroundings particularly highlight it, which is evident when Pearl notices that the scarlet A completely consumes her mothers reflection in a gleaming mirror. Hawthorne describes how the exaggerated reflection of the letter was “to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance” (508). The prominence of the letter and how it stands out against the beauty of the governors mansion, in this specific part of the book also further reveals Hester’s loss of her own identity because of her sin. This is conveyed when Hester notices that “In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it” (508), when looking at how the letter dominates her reflection in the mirror. The theme of beauty, which is so apparent in this particular part of the book, consequently reveals many other important themes including Hester’s loss of identity.
World War II ended in September of 1995, but the United States military was still active in Japan especially, for years to follow. As with any war, the day that one side claims a victory, is not necessarily the day that all military activity is completely stopped and this was true after the end of World War II. Since my grandfather was born in 1927, he was rejected from the military during the war because he was too young, but he was stationed on a ship off the coast of Japan during the late 1940’s after the end of World War II. During his time in the military, he was issued a side arm sword by the U.S. Military. Although the war was over, the Allied Powers were still actively trying to permanently demilitarize certain areas to prevent those nations ability to continue fighting. This was why my grandfather was given this small sword to defend himself with, while he was active in the military. The second World War was a very important war in many ways, but especially the military weapons that were used, which is one of many reasons why this artifact represents such significance to American history.
World War II, and many other wars and events, can connect to a large recurring theme of American history which is the United State’s desire for expansion and control. This connects well to the topic of the frontier according to Frederick Jackson Turner, which we talked about in depth in our American Studies Class. Turner’s paper on the frontier explains the American desire for expansion into a land that we essentially stole from the Native American Indians, when settlers first came to the United States. Over 300 years after the arrival of these settlers, something similar came up in the end of World War II. After the war ended, the United States continued to control Japan and this was very alike to what Turner reflects on, as well as many other similar situations throughout American History. This directly relates to my artifact because of my grandfathers role in the United States Military, which was evident only after the Allied Powers had successfully defeated Japan.
In November of 1979, more than 50 Americans were taken hostage in the US Embassy in Iran. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution, the United States was lead by President Jimmy Carter. At this same time many of the people of Iran were strongly against the Shah, which is why these people became infuriated when President Carter allowed the Shah into the United States to receive treatment for an illness. This was an especially difficult time for the leader of the United States because the instability in Iran tested the United States foreign policies. The hostage crisis was a direct result of the peoples anger with the United States for seemingly supporting the Shah, who was so strongly disliked in Iran. The hostages were kept until January of 1981, almost immediately after a new president of the United States was sworn in; Ronald Reagan. This event was an important event in American history, especially because of the amount of media coverage surrounding the crisis.
Quote 1) It was recalled how much of a difference could be made between Reagan’s approach to rescuing the hostages versus Carter’s approach.
“The reality was Carter tried to use diplomacy and negotiate with them and that just didn’t work, and then Reagan came in and his whole philosophy was one of military strength.” (3:30-3:43)
Quote 2) The amount of media coverage reflected the vast importance of this crisis, which was translated through the nightly news.
“Every night that was all the news was; it was about the hostages, and maybe nothing even happened that day but that was the focus.” (4:52-5:00)
Many traditions throughout the cultures of the world involve food in some way. We often associate specific foods with holidays that are a large part of certain countries cultures, individual places in the world, or the people of different cultures. Following this idea, food is definitely a large part of American culture. To explore something that we thought of as American culture, two of my friends and I went to the Villa, which is a restaurant in Charlottesville that is well known for their breakfast. Eggs, biscuits, hash browns, American bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes are some of many common breakfast foods which envelop the typical Saturday or Sunday morning for people of all ages in America. The food itself is not the only aspect of American culture that we experienced going to the Villa this past weekend either. The atmosphere that people feel anywhere is also unique to the culture they are experiencing. Which is why, in my opinion, the atmosphere in the Villa also reflects American culture. This is especially true for restaurants all around the world. The busy atmosphere that we experienced in the this small but packed diner late Saturday morning was one of the many unique cultural aspects to life in America.
This magazine cover shows the common controversial topic of breastfeeding and its social acceptance. One way to look at this picture, which is an often way to conceive breastfeeding in public places, is that it makes people feel uncomfortable and exposes too much of a woman’s body. Another way to perceive this picture is that breastfeeding is a natural part of being a mother to a young child. The question of whether or not breastfeeding should be acceptable in public ties into feminist culture, and brings up how different ideologies can play into this picture.
“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life…” (2)
What causes Nick to immediately create such an idealistic view of Gatsby?