Literature and Community
Prof. Katie Newbanks
March 29, 2010
When we read literature the perceptions, interpretations, and elements within a story allow us to be able to identify some part of the story to instances we may have in our own lives. In our lives we experience a multitude of situations, whether they are beneficial or unpleasant, but it is what we do with that experience that matters. For us, as human beings with a sense of morality and commitment we must remain conscious, compassionate, authentic, and able to connect to those around us. Openness and honesty about the society in which we live in is only one small portion in the fabric of transparency that we should pursue within our culture. The most nurturing transparency occurs in the community of our circle of friends, but one may have observed many of our community cultures are less than forthcoming, trustworthy, and encouraging to their members. Instead, they are an immoral acceptance filled with hearsay, spitefulness, bickering, and positioning. The stories that will be discussed, based on the previous week’s readings, are those of Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Shiloh” (Di Yanni, 2007, pp. 67-76) and Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” (Di Yanni, 2007, pp. 611-641) in which both stories depict a sense of morality and loyalty within the family structure.
In Mason’s “Shiloh,” The story starts out in a particularly mundane way, as some relationships tend to become, whereby Norma Jean’s doing her daily exercise routine and Leroy discussing with her muscle tone differences. Mason then describes Leroy as someone just trying to keep busy, through hobbies, while rehabilitating from a leg injury. From this point in the story, Mason explains in an indirect way the love he still feels for his wife when Leroy wants to build a log cabin because of a promise he had made to his wife, by one day building her a new home. One of the ways he tries to convey to her that he loves her is “at Christmas,...