“Tableau” by Countee Cullen, “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and ‘Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley all relate to our society today and how we as human beings treat each other. Each reading teaches a different lesson, but nonetheless, an important that the leaders at Acts4Youth are trying to teach to the boys to help them with their life skills.
“Tableau” by Countee Cullen shows the how two boys are able to completely over look the racial line set by people before them and this will hopefully be a point the boys at Acts4Youth will be able to pick up too. The two boys in the poem are “Locked arm in arm they cross the way, The black boy and the white.” (Pg. 489) The two boys, one who is white and the other black, are seen walking down the street together. We realize though, that this is not accepted behavior in the society they live in. “From lowered blinds the dark folk stare, And here the fair folk talk,” (Pg. 489) the black people hide behind the blinds and stare at the two boys, while the white people gossip about what they are seeing. Even though this is all happening, the boys continue to walk, “oblivious to look and work, they pass and see no wonder,” (Pg. 489) They have no idea what is happening around them and continue on as if it is only just the two of them. These two boys are able to break they racial barrier that is ever present in society and this is something that the leaders in Acts4Youth are trying to show to their students. They are teaching their students too look past what is shown on the outside and what society is trying to beat down on the youth. The hope is for the boys to create and keep relationships with people even if they do not look the same or share the same culture. They hope to break the barriers set by those before us and like in the poem, be oblivious to what judgments others are putting out and have connections with people on a deeper level than just appearance.
“Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar shows religion portrayed in a humorous and relaxed view and though religion is something you should take seriously and many people are very strict about their religion. Dunbar is able to loosen the regular view on religion and this relaxation is taught to the boys in Acts4Youth. The poem makes fun of religion in notable but subtle way. Most people take religion very seriously and Dunbar is able to give a breath of fresh air by adding a comic affect to this poem. It is almost like he is trying to tell the religious communities to lighten up a little bit and learn how to take a joke, which is very important for the boys in Acts4Youth to learn. Taking what other people say too seriously plays a big factor as to why the students become angry. I have seen this happen when I am at the Guilford school. One student will say something to another, and even though it is a joke, it still stirs up emotions in the student and causes issues between the boys. They are still young and learning, but this will play a big part in their lives once they move to middle school and have to deal with older and meaner students.
In “ Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, appearance plays a large role in what happens to the characters of the novel and relates to society now and how we treat each other. The monster is a classic example of someone being shunned out of society because of his or her appearances. The poor monster, which was created by Victor, has feelings and just wants to be accepted and loved. This is something we see now more than ever and we see how judgmental everyone in our society has become. At Acts4Youth, they teach the boys to treat everyone the way they would want to be treated and accept people even if they are different. Just because someone acts or looks different does not mean they are unequal to you. They hope the boys will learn to be open to building friendships with those of different cultures and races.