14th February 2013
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe is the story of one mans biased revenge. After being greatly insulted by Fortunato, the narrator, Montresor plots to have his revenge against Fortunato in a controlled way that would not put him in danger or at risk. After much planning, Montresor lures Fortunato into his wine vault during the Carnival season to have him taste-test a wine that is strikingly similar to that of Amontillado, a delicious brand of sherry. After a few drinks courtesy of Montresor, Fortunato is sufficiently intoxicated and is then easily chained by the foot to a stone in his vault. Montresor then begins to build Fortunato a stone tomb covering up the entrance leaving him to die along with his ancestors. This poem’s main theme is that of revenge and justice. The speaker, Montresor, desires to bring his foe Fortunato to ruin by plotting his revenge giving him the ultimate justice for Fortunato’s insults towards him. By leaving Fortunato to die in the vault, Montresor’s plan comes to fruition and he obtains the justice and self-satisfaction he longed for.
Liberty by Thomas Lynch is a poem depicting one mans yearning to express his freedom. The way he does so, however, is rather odd though symbolic. By urinating on the front lawn rather than in the toilet like a normal person would, the speaker of the poem is expressing how he comes from a “fierce bloodline of men who made their water the old way” meaning they weren’t constricted to the standards of their time and they lived the way they wanted to live. The speaker then goes on to recall a time when his great-grandfather bargained with tinkers to purchase whitehorn which was what Christ’s crown was made out of. After buying it, he gave it to his wife who buried it in the backyard between the house and the garden, which eventually grew into a “holy tree” for men to visit and pay their homage. This poem illustrates another case of over exaggeration to a seemingly insignificant event. The speaker’s ex-wife asks him why he must uriniate outside instead of inside like the rest of mankind. The speaker feels as though his esx-wife is envious or jealous of his ability to go wherever he pleases, while she is confided to the indoor facilities. The speaker’s telling of the story regarding his great-grandfather and grandmother burying the whitehorn in their backyard suggests that he longs to return to a time of liberty where there were no “crowns, no crappers, and no ex-wives”.
The final poem of the week titled Suburban by John Ciardi is a short poem about a woman calling the speaker, Mr. Ciardi, in regards to a “large repulsive object” left in her petunias by Mr. Ciardi’s dog. Although Mr. Ciardi’s dog was in Vermont with his son, he kindly removed the “large repulsive object” from her petunias and proceeded to bury it amongst his own petunias. This poem, along with the other two readings, illustrates the theme of justice and liberty. Mr. Ciardi’s neighbor, Mrs. Friar, makes a rather large deal out of having a dog defecate in her flowers but she won’t refer to the dog’s feces as anything but “large repulsive object” which is quite ironic. The speaker of the poem, Mr. Ciardi kindly obliges to her request to remove the “large repulsive object” from her petunias and buries it within his own garden awaiting for it to be the fertilizer to help his garden grow beautifully and fully past the point when the residents of the suburban are dead. Although the feces was not that of his dogs, Mr. Ciardi takes advantage of such an opportunity to enhance his own personal garden thereby obtaining his own justice.
After reading these 3 literary works and attending my third Zen Meditation session, I noticed once striking similar amongst them. The 3 literary works addressed the idea of justice and perhaps even self-satisfaction, though in vastly different ways. Zen Meditation is a way for us to obtain our own internal justice, liberty, and self-satisfaction by slowing down our busy lives and learning to connect our mind, body, and spirit. By doing so, we come to be at peace with our lives and have the ability to live happier lives as a result.