Dr. Juniper Ellis
Hope and Its Affect On Us
In the literary works by Paul Dunbar, Mary Shelley and Countee Cullen they explore the feeling of hope, and wish fullness in our society. In Theology, Dunbar explores the relationship people have with belief and how it affects us. Cullen in his poem Tableau talks about the hope we have for equality and understanding that all people are equal no matter the color of their skin. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, she explains how the hope that victor had was strong and powerful enough to lead him to do great things.
Dunbars poem “theology” is short and to the point. The poem is humorous and serious at the same time as it pokes fun at the idea of his neighbors going to hell and explaining his beliefs. He talks about heaven and hell and our beliefs in a higher power that we don’t fully understand. He has a strong hope that there is a heaven above us, and he feels confident because his soul tells him he is correct. Hope gives him his belief and that keeps his intentions good and his heart clear, hope is a very powerful emotion.
In “Tableau”, Dunbar explores peoples views on equality and how people reacted to others who would stand up for what they believe in. Dunbar explains that the courage of those two boys went un accepted by those against equality and under appreciated by those who supported it. He explains that the people that support equality “pass, and see no wonder” but really they should see this small action of defiance as a brilliant sword of hope that things are going to change for the better. The hope he has for change is almost palpable, and Dunbar knows that the beginning must start with the children before they get corrupted with the prejudices their parents once had.
In Frankenstein, Shelley talks about the hope Victor has of achieving his life’s work and truly doing the right thing. This relates to the Zen Meditation class I attended, where afterwards I talked to another student about the hope it gave him to do the best he could in life. He stated that he always felt motivated by the Meditations and how it gave him hope that life would turn out exactly how he wanted it and he would be able to complete his goals. In a way his is like Victor, always working and never giving up when the task seems hard. I can see how the Zen Meditation relates to the different ideas of hope that these poems present to us, from acceptance of everyone no matter what and hope of a place we can rest afterlife. All of these ideas relate to hope which is one of the strongest emotions and ideas we can have because with hope you can keep fighting on, and not give up when the going gets rough. As put best by Martin Luther King Jr. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” as a people hope is what keeps us invating and living the right and just way.