October 17. 2013
Discovery and Equality
The literary works “Theology” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, “Tableau” by Countee Cullen and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly all focuses on the idea of cultural differences and a sense of discovery that may occur. Although the poems of Dunbar and Cullen are short, they address larger meanings of how equality may create a type of anxiety in society, while novel by Shelly displays a sense of discomfort when the characters creation does not “fit it” with the rest of society. The literary works also show a sense of discovery. A connection of equality and discovery was made during another session of Zen Meditation because we are able since we are able to discover ourselves and we realize that there should be equality for all human beings.
In “Theology,” Dunbar discusses a sense of equality. In the poem, the speaker believes in the existence of heaven and hell, but in order to reach heaven, one needs to be a better person in society. The speaker realizes that no matter how good or bad you are in the world today, there is a place for you in the afterlife. It is important to understand that although everyone has a place to go in the afterlife, we have to discover what type of person to be in today’s world. We are able to choose to be good human beings who try to live good lives or we can choose to sin and stay away from a moral life.
In Countee Cullen’s “Tableau,” there is a sense of equality. In the poem, the speaker discusses a friendship between an African American boy and a white boy walking together as equals. At the time the poem was written, there was much segregation among races in society. There is equality between the boys because they are walking side-by-side in a segregated time period. The speaker may understand that it is critical recognize that although many believed in segregation, others believed in human equality between ones race. It is important for all to discover that there should be equality between humans, especially because it would make the world a much better place.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly also discusses equality. In the story, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster who he wants to be equal with other human beings and over time, the monsters slowly begins to develop human qualities. After some observation, the monster tries to communicate with humans but is quickly rejected due to his frightening appearance. The monster may be a genuine, kind being, but because of his external appearance, he is believed to be an outcast. It is important to understand that although everyone is born equal, only nature can create equal human beings.
When comparing these readings to the Zen Meditation session, there were immediate similarities between them. The three readings centers on the ideas of equality and discovery. During Zen Meditation, one takes time to reflect on life and try to discover what could happen in the future. Meditation allows one to learn from the mistakes that were made and to ask for forgiveness. In meditation, it is important to recognize that all humans are equal, not matter the differences in others.