Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Going Back to Simpler Times

These three pieces, “Liberty”, “Suburban”, and “The Cask of Amontillado”, all related to the theme of simplicity. In Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty”, the speaker wishes to revert back to how things used to be and the simpler times of life. John Ciardi’s poem “Suburban” suggests that the easier way to go about a confrontation is just to use a little bit of humor and to do things outside the convention made by society. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” brings a dark veil over simplicity since Fortunato’s death could have simply been avoided if he did not insult Montressor. These three pieces reflect on the universality that comes with simplicity whether is be simpler times, the simplicity of humor and irony, or just how simple it is to seek revenge.
In Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty”, the theme of simplicity is shown through the need and wants to go back to a simpler life. The speaker has a need to be free from constrains of todays society hence why he chooses to urinate outside his house. To go back to simpler times means to be going back to a time that the outside world and being one with this world would be what counts the most. Although modern times has provided us with easier and more convenient ways to go about things, such as the whole bathroom situation, the speaker still chooses to revert back to the way things were. This is because Lynch is implying that the easier way things have been made for us may not always necessarily be the way we are to go about them. The fact that men will revert back to this simple-ness and urinate outside by the end of the poem shows that people are still able to do these things but more out of convenience.
John Ciardi’s poem “Suburban” alludes to the mistakes that people make when people come to wrong conclusions and just how simply a problem can be solved by using just a little humor. Mrs. Friar wrongly accuses Mr. Ciardi of not cleaning up after his dog since, in the poems setting of a suburb, this would be one of the societally accepted forms of acting. Ciardi shows that the neighbor’s ignorance could be solved with sarcastic remarks and one simple gesture of moving the dog’s poo from her petunias to his. Mrs. Friar was clearly ready to make the situation difficult and to make a seen with him but by choosing to simply end the quarrel, everything was easily solved. Ciardi is able to find and easy way out of a confrontation by choosing to use the simple tactic of humor. The poem plays out with a sort of irony alluding to a total satire of the whole situation because, instead of just picking up the poo and getting rid of it, he chooses to put it on his property instead.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor is desperately in need of seeking revenge on Fortunato for insulting him. Here it almost as if Montresor is trying to convince the reader that it would have been so much simpler and all this could have been avoided if Fortunato had not hurt him; but obviously it is to late to turn back now. Montressor manipulates Fortunato to his death with the simple act of intoxicating him. By telling the story fifty years after the fact the reader must wonder why Montressor would want to write this piece since it was obviously not out of remorse. Poe’s underlying theme of this story may just be to watch out with whomever you do wrong because you never know how they will be able to “repay you”. This short story puts a dark veil over simplicity because of the fact that revenge can be brutal and horrible yet the act of getting revenge on someone could be so simple and easy.
Going to a real Zen Meditation class this week as apposed to the introductory class I went to before was a real eye opener for me. The class very much encourages simplicity with the simple act of counting the breaths one takes and nothing more. Rather than wanting to revert back to simpler times like the speaker wants in “Liberty”, meditation encourages simplicity in a way that is much more effortless. To be told not to think about anything from the stresses that are happening in one’s daily life to the itch that you cannot dare to scratch or else you are just letting your body win. There is an internal simplicity that is generated by just being still both physically and mentally. This ease of not going with the flow of one’s urges whether it is to have ones mind wander or to move from the place he or she is meditation is a skill that implies that simplicity is a skill that must be learned and practiced.

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