Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Balance and Acceptance

Throughout the poems, Frankenstein, and in the psychology event the common themes of accepted by others and the need of balance became apparent. In the poem Theology by Paul Laurence Dunbar the speaker talks about heaven and hell as well as himself and those around him. In Tableau, written in 1925, the speaker talks about seeing two young boys of different races crossing the street together. Frankenstein is the story of a created “monster” that learns to feel and is constantly plagued with rapidly changing emotions. At the psychology event two speakers talked about their struggles with, diagnosis of, and treatment of their bi-polar disorders.
In the poem Theology the speaker wants to be accepted by others. He is an African American and is writing the poem in 1896 long before the civil rights movement and while segregation and discrimination are extremely prevalent. In the poem he talks of heaven and says “The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so.” This appears to mean that he is longing for his place in heaven where he will be accepted and equal to others. The man also talks about hell and asks that if there was none where would his neighbors go. This may tell us that his neighbors are racist and will not try to integrate African Americans into their community and would prefer to push them away. Tableau was also written well before the civil rights movement and displays acceptance in spite of the culture of the day. In the poem two young children one white the other black walk together. Being children this represents the base desire to feel accepted while also showing that these children are innocent of the social-cultural rift between the races. The bystanders are looking on and can not believe that these children would do this feeling that it is a disgrace. Showing that these bystanders are all guilty of prejudice. The two speakers at the psychology event made it known that the need for acceptance is a large part of coping with mental disease. One of the speakers refused initial treatment because he chose not to believe that he had a problem out of the fear that his family and others would treat him differently if they knew he had the disease. Both of the speaker also mentioned that one of the hardest things to coup with is people who will not accept the existence of the disease and believe that they could just control themselves like any one else.
In Frankenstein the monster himself has problems with a disease of sorts and not being able to be accepted. The monster has the affliction of being horrendously ugly and frightening to the point that everyone who sees him runs away from him. The monster is abandoned by his creator, Victor Frankenstein, and this along with the responses of other people lead to the monster's quickly changing emotions. In one incident the monster is trying to find acceptance but when the boy, Frankenstein's younger brother, reacts negatively to him the monster becomes enraged and kills him. In another incident the monster is stealing food from a poor family and when he realizes the negative impact on the family he feels extremely regretful and then proceeds to aid the family.
The monsters emotions make it seem as though it has bi-polar disorder because of the extreme emotions the monster jumps between and how easily the monster is provoked to jump from one to another. Those effected by bi-polar disorder have to attempt to balance their emotions between two extremes that can be easily subject to change. The monster tries to balance his actions whenever he commits a harmful act because he feels sorry for what he has done and wants to make it right. The monster also starts out as a dumb but extremely strong creature but soon balances this out by becoming intellectual as well. These examples show the aspects of balance in Frankenstein. In the poem Theology the balance is represented thorough heaven and hell and the speaker versus the neighbors. In the poem Tableau balance is shown in the opposite race children, the two sets of bystanders, and the positive views of the situation against the negative.
The very human need for acceptance by others is represented in both of the poems and in Frankenstein. The psychology event shows the importance of this need as taking precedence over the need for treatment of a psychological disorder when patients believe it is one or the other. Balance is another important aspect in our lives. People naturally seek balance in their lives, such as between work and play. Balance in literature then allows the reader to feel more comfortable while reading and aids in the creation of suspenseful story because you are always expecting the balancing response to a previous event.

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