Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Deception and Regret

Event/service Blog 3
Mitch Washburn
            I find it interesting that this selection of literature be comprised of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty,” and John Ciardi’s “Suburban”. The two poems are short witty, humorous poems while the short story by Poe is deeper and dark. “Liberty” and “Suburban” both start out in a crude description of the speaker wanting to commit some sort of crude action. This encourages the reader to identify the poem as humorous but eventually, in both cases, the humor is turned on its head as use for deeper meaning. Both speakers are critical of their surroundings and both live in the suburbs of cities. Fortunately the speakers come to a common conclusion that they are stuck where they are and there is hardly a thing they can do about it. I think they would both believe that the suburbs are not an easy place to live because of all the judgment and many times your neighbor (or ex-wife) can be critical when you are the focus of their lives.

            This past weekend I had the pleasure of viewing the play Fiddler on the Roof and I found it fascinating. The story follows the main character Tevye, a jewish man living in soviet Russia, and his family as he struggles to find suitable husbands for his daughters. Tevye is a man of principle and always does, “as the good book says” even if he is just making up his quotations of the good book. Tevye’s is a peaceful man but the soldiers of the land are ordered to stir up trouble and eventually drive the Jews out of their homes. I can compare Tevye to one of the characters in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” Fortunato. In the story, Fortunato is taken prisoner by the main character under the pretences that there is a wine that needs tasting deep in the wine cellar. Unfortunately, his love of wine and belief that he is the best wine taster is his downfall. Fortunato is sealed in his own grave by the mason (the narrator). Likewise, Tevye is blinded by his traditions. Throughout the play he is forced into seeing new, worldly views. He ends up dancing with his wife and letting his daughters marry for love to the men they choose. All of these go against his traditions. However, this is too little, too late as his town is overrun with soldiers and his family is forced to flee.

            I learned much from these selections of literature and theater; all of which were fascinating in their own ways. Overall I believe there lies power in deception and also taking advantage of another’s weaknesses. This is not the best option as defined by these selections; it only leads to long-term heartbreak and misery, despite the instantaneous gratification.  

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