Writing   Assignment:
Answer the following prompt. Your response should be approximately 1-1 ½ pages
(5-7 sentences per paragraph). Include a thesis statement, provide examples,
include 1-2 quotes, and ensure that your response is free of grammatical

Writing Assignment 1: Write a 1 page response (250-300 words) with 1-2 quotes.
Choose one of the following prompts:
  1. Support  or refute Plato’s claims that human beings are often reluctant to confront   unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Include    
    examples to support your statements and include a minimum of two quotes   from  the text.

 2. Write on your associations, images, or   concepts of freedom in relation to 2-3 of the texts we have read thus far.    To what extent is freedom related to ethnicity? Include a minimum of two  quotes from the text.

3. Write an   analytical response to one of this week’s reading selections. How does language impact the tone of the literary work? What is the purpose of the literary text? Include a minimum of two quotes from the text. 

Heather Dixon :)
02/05/2013 14:34

Write an analytical response to one of this week’s reading selections. How does language impact the tone of the literary work? What is the purpose of the literary text?

In Robert Hayden’s’ poem “Runagate Runagate”, he writes a poem that is told in 3 P.O.V’s; a narrator, slave, and slave owner. The narrator tells of how the slaves go across the American lands (dead, alive, rich poor, happy, sad). The slave owner p.o.v is of a man asking if anyone has found his 2 runaway slaves, and that they are very resourceful (can fight back) if met head on. With the slave’s p.o.v he is telling the story of him running for freedom, and escaping slavery. Hayden doesn’t use any poetic structure in the slave’s p.o.v stanzas. No comas are used; which leaves you with the feeling of no stopping, as there at no pauses in the stanza. An example is lines 1-3, which start off “Runs falls rises stumbles on from darkness into darkness and the darkness thicketed with shapes of terror and…”; the stanza goes on, which helps create the atmosphere of the slave running away, not stopping for even a breath. Language impacts the tone of the literary work by setting the ‘mood’ of it. In “Runagate Runagate”, Hayden repeats the work ‘Runagate’ 3x’s to enforce the word into us. He also uses the structure of his writing to impact the reader with the sense of movement of ‘running’ across the page with those same words to further impact the literary work with the language. An example is:
Runagate” (line 8-10)
The purpose of this literary text it to tell the story of the slave who is running for their freedom, the slave owner searching for his 2 runaway slaves, and of the narrator who helps complete this narration of this poem.

Word Count: 278

Marisa Nannariello
02/06/2013 09:16

In response to Heather Dixon

I loved all the strong points you hit on. i read that poem a couple of times and i never even noticed that there were no comas when the slave was speaking. after reading your response i went back and read that part. i could imagine the slave running and not stopping, not letting anything get in their way. this was probably one of my favorite poems we read due to the way it was written with the three point of views. I also love how the poem is written in a way that gives the reader the image of the slaves running. I really enjoyed reading your response on this poem!

02/06/2013 22:54

great paper i agree will the facts

Yosbel Perez
02/19/2013 09:15

Good job on the analysis of the poem "Runagate Runagate". I myself have a difficult time interpreting poems , maybe I don't have an artistic eye. Although after reading your interpretation I noticed that my understanding of the literature grew immensely. I did not catch on to the tempo of the poem. I like how you helped me understand the significance of the author not using commas to illustrate the running of the slave without any hesitation. As a reader I felt the immersion of my mind into the poem, almost as if I was the slave who was running through the book.

Kristen Letcher
02/05/2013 16:46

Do you agree with Plato that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them? Include examples to support or refuse his point of view and include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

I agree with Plato that humans are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Plato’s thought, after he had been exposed to the real world, was that it was an awful way to live, in the darkness, and not confront the world or problems faced, to face them and move on. I think it all depends on the person as to how they will take on the world. For example my brother, he would rather live in the cave and not know what’s out there for him, than try and face the world. He is a strong person and has it in him, but does not care prove it to him self. He lives at home with our father and does not do anything for himself. He cannot hold a job nor does he care to do so. He would rather party and live the crazy life, than face the world and his addictions. He avoids conflict at all costs. As Plato says, “Better to be a poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner.” Which is probably why my brother and I butt heads because it is harder for me to relate to him because, I am more like Plato. I would rather suffer in the real world and know reality then hide “ in a cave” and be scared of what is considered reality. Plato also says “And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated?” Which relates to my bother. When he has tried to face his addiction before he is very reluctant and claims it’s too much for him to handle. He has always relapsed because he feels his fantasy is much better than our world’s reality.

Heather Dixon :)
02/05/2013 18:11

In response to Kristen Letcher
I agree with you in that some people would rather live in the ‘darkness’ and be shielded from the reality of the world because they done like the truth that the world has to offer them. Some people want to live in their little cozy little make believe world so they don’t have to face what’s really out there, but one needs to in order to be able to truly live and experience the world and all that it has to offer them. I can see how people opt out of facing the world and its reality by doing drugs, or living in denial. I have only witnessed this through t.v by watching “Intervention” (A&E) or “Teen Trouble” (Lifetime) how people avoid the world around them. I don’t know how you can stand to have your brother waste his life away because he doesn’t want to face the reality before him. I guess it takes someone strong, such as you and I to resist the evils of the world that is constantly surrounding us (drugs, crimes….reality tv). I hope you and your family can get through to your brother and save him. If not then then I guess he will have to learn the hard way. Thanks for sharing your personal story.
Word Count: 215

Trecie Wilson
02/20/2013 19:35

I like the poem Allegory of the caves its amazing the way these people live in those days with darkness and not knowing whats happening on the ouside of the cave, even in todays society they are people who prefer to stay in their home and not socialize with the rest of the world.

Bonnie Posey
02/06/2013 15:01

I enjoyed your essay and appreciated your personal example. I also agree with Plato that humans are reluctant to deal with unpleasant realities. It is much easier to be an ostrich with its head in the sand. I know that I am guilty of doing that myself. The "real world" can be quite harsh and it takes a lot of courage to face it. It is part of the spiritual journey and it is not always pleasant. The slaves in" Runagate Runagate" and the freed slave "Frederich Douglass "showed tremendous courage in order to make a change, not only in their lives but in others as well.

Tasha Urena-Arredondo
02/26/2013 08:57

I agree with you Bonnie on facing the truth about realities. Your statement about Its much easier to be an ostrich with its head in the sand. is dead on. We are all guitly of it. Its better to live in a land far far away then to deal with our realities of true responsibilities and kindness that we do owe one another.

Nicole Nichols
02/06/2013 18:14

Hello Kristen,
I enjoyed reading your post. Each person has his or her own way of dealing with life. He should be thankful to have a sister who, obviously, cares so much for him. It sounds like you are loving without enabling and that is all we can really do in these situations.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find him making baby steps towards the light on his own one day. Your example just might light the way.
Regards, Nicole

Alexandra Geller
02/07/2013 20:30

I totally agree with all of your points. I wrote on the same topic as you and actually used a similar example in my paper. I agree that people with substance abuse problems are the prime example of the point Plato is trying to get across with his metaphor of the cave; that people avoid the harshness of reality.
Good job :)

Marisa Nannariello
02/06/2013 09:05

Do you agree with Plato that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them? Include examples to support or refuse his point of view and include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” he uses a cave to represent a prison or a darkness. He shows how people in the cave only believe what they see or hear. They are close minded. I do believe people are still like that today. People would rather avoid unpleasant realities instead of just face them. For example, my grandmother and uncle had lived in the same place their entire life. For years my mom had tried to get them to move, to see the world. The two of them lived in this fantasy that where they were was perfect, when in reality it wasn't. They lived in a bad neighborhood in New York. My mother had left a long time ago and she tried to open their eyes to life off of 216 St. As Plato says “men would say that he went up and came back down without his eyes.” When my mom would speak to my grandmother and uncle, they just couldn't understand how she could say that life somewhere else could be better. My mother was born and raised in that neighborhood, in that house, she used to be in that same darkness. I also believe that many times people have false identities of themselves. People sometimes look in the mirror and see what they want to see but not what’s really there. For example, someone may look in the mirror and believe they are too fat or too skinny. They think they have to live up to some standard created by society and they lose who they really are. Sometimes trying finding yourself can be an unpleasant reality. As said by Plato “last of all he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place,and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is,” I think this quote is very important to anyone who is under the impression they aren't good enough, thin enough, smart enough. The day that person can look in the mirror and see who they really are, that’s the day they are one step closer to enlightenment.

Kodi Mirabelli
02/06/2013 18:04

The statements and points in your essay correlated quite well with Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." I agree with you, sometimes people can not see what is staring them in the face because they are afraid of change. Your grandmother and uncle seem to be set in their ways much like the prisoners in the cave. Your mom is described as enlightened and full of helpfulness towards your grandmother and uncle.

Tiffany Misiano
02/06/2013 20:01

Marisa i think your paper is very well written. I can relate to the story about your grandparents, mine were the same exact way. Especially my grandmother, you couldn't tell her anything. I also like how you not only gave a personal experience, but at the end you talked about, how people don't think they are good enough. I completely agree with you and think that its very sad. Great paper Marisa.

Bonnie Posey
02/06/2013 13:53

Write an analytical response to one of this week's reading selections. How does language impact the tone of the literary work? What is the purpose of the literary text? Include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

Robert Hayden's Poem "Runagate Runagate" is told by three persons; a slave, slave master and the narrator. It portrays the underground railroad which assisted slaves to escape the south and find freedom in the North. It took place in 1800s and was led by Harriet Tubman who was a tough woman that would not tolerate fear. The slaves had to travel at night for fear of being seen. They relied on the stars for navigation. Robert Hayden refers to the Big Dipper as "the drinking gourd." Escaping was extremely dangerous, but those who were willing to take the chance did not feel like they had anything to lose because they already felt dead. However, it was not an easy journey and many were tempted to turn back, but Harriet Tubman stepped in and prodded them back into action. The zigzag way the poem is written gives the reader the sense of running. The title " Runagate Runagate"does not have any commas which also represents frantic movement. Not all slaves made it to freedom which the poem makes clear in lines, " some go weeping, some go rejoicing," and " some in coffins and some in carriages." Harriet Tubman was considered dangerous to the slave owners due to her involvement and was referred to as "alias The General, alias Moses, stealer of slaves." Her role in this secret network was dangerous and Robert Hayden makes reference to this with the lines," Armed and known to be Dangerous," and "Wanted Reward Dead or Alive." Since the slaves could only travel at night, many references to the dark are made. Two examples are " hoot-owl calling in the ghosted air, " and "moon so bright and no place to hide." Runagate Runagate" is a powerful literary piece. The imagery has the reader experience the fear, darkness and determination of the slaves who risked everything to live free.

02/06/2013 16:41

I love your paper. It's so nice. And then your paper give me something new proposal. They can help me finish my paper."Runagate Runagate" is my love poem. I also agree your idea.

Nicole Nichols
02/06/2013 18:06

Support or refute Plato’s claims that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Include examples to support your statements and include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

I support Plato's position that human being are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Many people hope the bad thing just will not happen. 'Hope springs eternal' in our bosom. We are practiced at hiding the broken glass or putting the stained shirt at the bottom of the dirty clothes basket from childhood. Often, the offense is forgiven, item replaced and we apologize.

This approach has no reason not to work in our adult lives, right? “But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort” (Plato, 340 B.C., p. 68). Hiding one's mistakes seldom works. Discovery is an unnecessary risk to a person's character.

Mrs. Bell, an older lady on my childhood street, would play the lottery consistently. She played several times a week hoping to win money to pay her bills. She worried about the state of her bills while handing over cash for lottery tickets. Her ongoing situation became a neighborhood joke. Her reality was not based in her personal truth. She never hit that big jackpot but did spend untold thousands of dollars trying.

“The glare will distress him and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him that what he saw before was an illusion” (Plato, 340 B.C., p. 67) Becoming enlightened requires humility. One must be able to accept that there are many ways to complete any number of tasks. I find learning how to live in a different country, state or neighborhood requires a dose of humility and patience. Other cultures have splendid ways of dealing with everyday situations. Who am I to judge?

Word count: 296

Brianna Willie
02/06/2013 21:10

I agree with you. People would say that they prefer to know the truth, but in reality prefer to live in denial or never try to search for the truth. I believe it’s because change is a scary thing to humans. The idea of straying away from our culture, religion, or even our childhood neighborhood can be terrifying to us. So we rather live in the dark not knowing, what if?

Kristen Letcher
02/06/2013 18:10

In response to Marisa Nannariello..

I enjoyed reading everyones writings that were posted so far :). I completely agree with you Marisa. Many people get into a comfort zone and are afraid of what else is out there in the world. They there is not any better then what they already have, because its comfortable to them and thats what they know. Society has created images and most people think thats what beauty really is and how people should live their lives.

02/06/2013 20:05

Support or refute Plato’s claims that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Include examples to support your statements and include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

You wake up one day and find yourself in darkness. By your side are people as lost and perplexed as you. You are told that it is a prison in the underworld. The only way for you to be freed from the cave is to climb up along the rugged wall, which, according to many people, is impossible. Nobody has ever succeeded. You may fall off and break your neck. Will you choose to wait for death without struggle like everyone else?

People are inclined to stay away from new lifestyles or novel ideas, as is indicated in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. The prisoners won’t have faith in your words when you tell them that a promising life is ahead as long as they get away from the cave. They have become accustomed to the cave and they only believe in what they see. Nowadays, people still treat their life similarly. “Real life” sometimes disturbs people’s eyes, as what they expect is actually illusion rather than reality. Take myself as an example. I’m a Chinese man with an intense desire to join the army. Whenever I see the soldier-recruitment notice, I feel my desire flaming and burning within the body. It is my life goal to become an excellent soldier. However, quite a number of friends kindly remind me that the reality is not as what I have thought. Life in the army is nothing like what is shown in the picture. You may encounter some bad guys who will lead you astray. When you are taught how to operate all kinds of weapons to kill and how to be a real soldier, you will find yourself unaccustomed to a tranquil life. It is likely that you feel insecure when walking in the crowd as you have already got used to dangers and threats. You have already got used to an environment where people either kill or be killed. Illusion looks better than reality after all, thus we are reluctant to face the unpleasant reality. However, just like Plato said, we must face it. For a prisoner, darkness is good. Whereas he finds light, he will be confused at first, yet he will gradually get accustomed to it and accept the new reality. Nowadays, people are just like the prisoners in the cave who indulge themselves in illusion, refusing to embrace the reality. Only when you accept the reality and endeavor to change yourself can your spiritual world experience sublimation.

Brianna Willie
02/06/2013 21:00

Write an analytical response to one of this week’s reading selections. How does language impact the tone of the literary work? What is the purpose of the literary text? Include a minimum of two quotes from the text.
Robert Hayden poem titled “Fredrick Douglass” is stating Fredrick Douglass’s hardships as a slave and his dreams for the future. The speaker (Robert Hayden) tone of voice introduces Douglas with great honor as he says “this man, this Douglass” (line 7). In my opinion this poem can be seen as a mini biography for Douglass, because it tells us of his past, what he became and what he stand for and dreamed would come to past. If I had no idea who Fredrick Douglass was, after reading this poem I would know that he overcame great obstacles of being “beaten to his knees” (line 8) as a slave, but still became a man “superb in love and logic” (line 10).
The poem spoke of freedom as a battle that must be won, that is essential to human life, “Needful to man as air” (line 2). Freedom will not be truly won until it is more than just the words spoken. Fredrick Douglass wanted some type of action to be taken not only by the countries politicians but by everyone.
The speaker does not want Fredrick Douglass to be remembered just by idols of worldly possessions, such as “statues’ rhetoric, not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,” (line 11-12) but by the life he lived and the true freedom he dreamed of and knew was a human right.
The purpose of the text was to commemorate Fredrick Douglass and inspire others by telling the reader of his struggles and accomplishments.

Alex Alexis
02/06/2013 22:52

Robert Hayden" Runagate Runagate" what this story has put in my image is a the key word freedom being free in my own image doesnt mean to just have equal rights it also means to let people know how you feel about the topic.Because we can say we are free but are we really free.In our everyday lives freedom plays a big role to me its the hugest thing that can change everyone who lives on this earth. what made me see the image of freedom in this story "Runagate Runagate" is when it said many thousands rise and many thosands crossing over.thats a human making a chocie of freedom if we want to really be free we must do whatever it takes to be free Robert Hayden in "Rungate Runagate" showed the meaning of freedom if we can't have our freedom we might as well no longer be a slave and just be buried. I believe freedom is not a right its a choice but everyone should be free no matter of there past.

De Hui SUN
02/07/2013 04:56

Write an analytical response to one of this week’s reading selections. How does language impact the tone of the literary work? What is the purpose of the literary text? Include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

“Those Winter Sundays” is a short poem by Robert Hayden. The short poem embodies the love of a father who has gone through the vicissitudes of life. The opening lines of the poem depict the father as a strict yet responsible person, as the word “father” is not as amiable as the orally used word “dad”. Then why does the father with a strong sense of responsibility get up so early on Sunday mornings? Waking up, the author finds that the weather is bitter cold, as is described by the blueblack color, splintering and breaking sound. Father’s hands are cracked by the cold. Nevertheless, the author notices that his father is making the fire to warm up the little house. Though there is not further description in the poem, we know that the author did not enjoy a favorable social status by then. He could not land a decent job, thus the family suffered from poverty. It would obviously be embarrassing for the family to live together, in such a poor condition. The father rises on the cold Sunday to build the fire for his son, yet no one ever thanked him. A sense of guilt arises within the author. In the last part, the author conceals his lament amidst the short lines. The love of a father is so pure. He is devoted to his son, enduring all the laborious work and solitude. Sometimes the hardship of life wears us out. Sometimes the role we play only makes us feel helpless. However, it is our duty to live up to our role so as to pass on the sense of responsibility from generation to generation and at the same time learn to extend gratitude before it’s too late.

Alexandra Geller
02/07/2013 05:46

Prompt: Support or refute Plato’s claims that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Include examples to support your statements and include a minimum of two quotes from the text.

Plato’s teacher and mentor, Socrates, was put to death by the Athenian government for forcing Athenian citizens to face the unpleasant realities of their ignorance. It is very clear that the aversion that the Athenians had to confronting the truth (namely that of their own ignorance) is still a sentiment that is alive in modern times. One example where this type of behavior is seen is in people who deny the holocaust. As Plato says, these people seem to feel that it “was better to not even think of ascending” (Plato, 340 B.C.). In other words, these people may feel that it is better not accept the truth that the holocaust happened, so they block that truth out. Furthermore, “…if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.” (Plato, 340 B.C.). An example of this would be holocaust deniers becoming angry when shown proof that the holocaust did in fact happen, such as being shown a concentration camp today. Similarly, people with substance abuse problems, are often in denial of their addiction. These people avoid seeking help and admitting that they have an addiction problem because denial is easier than confronting the harsh reality that they do, in fact, have a problem. Just as Plato says that people leaving the cave would be “dazzled by excess of light.” (Plato, 340 B.C.), those with substance abuse problems are afraid to seek help because the journey to overcoming addiction can be overwhelming, frustrating, and frightening.
As Plato noted, it is a part of human nature for people for people to avoid confronting unpleasant realities; that is, in part, the reason why society has created such distractions as movies, plays, and alcohol; to distract from people’s problems and the harshness of reality.

sandy strauss
02/09/2013 09:01

I enjoyed reading your description. I liked how you used modern examples of Platos theories to convey your point. Reading your paper actually makes me want to read more about Platos theory on human beings often being reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Great job in your delivery, and your ability to be so articulated with your words. I actually would have enjoyed reading more of your perception of Plato. Your ideas were exact and to the point, But I think you had alot more creative ideas on Platos theory than which you wrote about. Again, great job!

02/09/2013 09:06

the format didnt copy properly. sorry. a little difficult to read

yosbel perez
02/07/2013 06:29

Yosbel Perez
Writing Assignment 1
I most certainly agree with Plato’s idea that humans avoid the harsh reality of life by fantasizing. It is what makes us human, to dream and succeed. We have the instinct of adventure in our veins. Daily struggles make us think of what could be next, or how things could be different. To come from the ground up, dreaming and trying to achieve.
In Plato’s story “The Allegory of the Cave” he describes how “humans living at the bottom of a cave live a different reality then the ones who see the light.” This was a way of the humans dealing with their problematic situation. They only grew to interpret what they saw on a daily basis into their own words. If they saw a flower they would probably call it a car, because that is what they would only know.
As the person leaves the darkness, and raises to the light figuratively speaking. The person educates themselves; they learn what the world has to offer. As they grow intuitive they lose a little of what they used to be though. They cannot adapt back to the darkness as quick. Plato stated “ the soul of a man accustomed to the dark will be unable to see once exposed to the light.” The darkness and light are metaphors for the enlightenment or ignorance of people.

Sandy Strauss
02/09/2013 09:02

I had an emotional response to Elie Wiesel's "The Watch." The tone in which the author wrote this story was eloquent, yet simple. He used descriptive words to engage the

reader to feel emotions from his past. The internal and external struggles of his past are effective in enabling the reader to imagine what he has been through. The conflict within Wiesel's

decisions within the story, were intriguing as a reader.
Weisel writes about a painful and delicate past involving the Holocaust. He gives the reader accounts of what it must have been like through the eyes of a child. He survived

the Holocaust, but his memories kept him hostage for twenty years. The intimate descriptions of his experiences, help the reader to imagine the weight that his left behind watch must have

carried. The pictured scenario of a family scrambling to bury their most prized possessions is difficult. The author allows the reader to feel the dispair that the family might have felt at that

very moment. The author is a child at the time he watched every member of his family, burying their treasures inside the ground.
The author writes, "My only possession was my watch. It meant alot to me." He goes on to detail how he doesnt understand why his sister would have anything to bury. How

could she possibly have anything of enough value? I can picture the family believing that they would be returning for their hidden belongings. It saddened me to know the final outcome of

the families fate. Wiesel returning to the scene, was a heartbreaking task internally. He didnt try to unearth other items buried by his family. The one object of his focus would be the

memorable watch. The one gift his parents had ever given him was the watch.
The author depicts going back to recover the watch twenty years after the Holocaust. The watch, I believe, symbolizes a painful past. A constant memory from his childhood

is signified by the watch. When Wiesel finds that the watch is still there, buried in the cold, wet dirt; he begins to feel a flood of raw emotions from the past. The obvious changes in the

watches appearance may signify the way he has changed over the years. Just like Wiesel's memories, the watch is not a shining token of what once was. It has tarnished over the years,

and realizes that his watch is somehow a survivor of the Holocaust as well. Wiesel explains, "Feverishly, furiously, my hands claw the earth, impervious to the cold, fatigue, and pain."
Time has no real occurance in this very moment. Twenty years has fluttered in his mind when he digs up the watch. The decision to re-bury the watch was a way to have

closure on the painful past. The decision to recover the watch was never about the actual momento. It was a symbol of the past, which needed to be laid to rest. Twenty years of

remembering the watch, was now eased by the fact that the watch had survived as well. Wiesel felt like the watch now belonged to the earth where it had rested. In his memories, the

town was a painful part of the past. The watch, in a way, now belonged to the town left behind.

Alex Alexis
02/20/2013 18:43

The Negro Speaks of Rivers Langston Hughes wants us to understand how he has know rivers for a long time he uses Abe Lincon as a example of going down rivers his tone is very touching. and makes you understand his allusions and he speaks about how the past and how golden represent freedom and opporuntity.Also in runagate runagate its a perfect comparsion to how freedom was fought due to slaves wanting to be free from slavry and the poem speaks loud to us and gives us a image of how the slave owner asks if you find the slaves. the slave says before i'll be a slave i'll be in my grave. The speakers want to show how the slave at this point rather die the suffer from slavry. and he goes on to say thousands and thousands rise and go over crossing over to run for freedom these two poems show how much freedom we can have when you see the valve of yourself as a human being. The speakers purpose was to show the reader how slave where running away from slavry no matter what it took. the negro speaks rivers the speakers makes his point across about how and why he has know rivers. and how his soul has grown with the rivers. he finds freedom in the rivers. he repeats this twice to make sure we understand his soul is with the rivers and has never left the past being with rivers so he relates back to us with repeating himself. and uses literary text to infrom us to get his reason across same with runagate runagate it almost feels like repeating the past back to what the slave saying they rather not be a slave but be dead in their grave. Runagate runagate also has allsion and visual image of leaving the darkness and entering the light by fleeing for freedom, And leaves you to think about Harriet Tubman not just leading the way but also being a women to do what was right for others to get their freedom.

Marco Martin
02/20/2013 21:09

i can tell that you really understand this poem. You know the underlying meaning of it as well i can tell because of the fact that you stated his allusion of the "golden representation of freedom"

Tasha Urena-Arredondo
02/26/2013 07:05

I agree with what Plato on the Allegory of The Cave that human beings are often reluctant to confront unpleasant realities and prefer to fantasize and avoid them. Plato says about facing reality: “And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take refuge in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?” It’s easier to believe a fable then to believe in reality.
We live in a society where everything has to “perfect” and politically correct. Everything has to be rosy and peachy and great. The reality is that it is not a perfect society; it is not rosy and peachy and great. The realities of our society today is resolved with “happy pills” instead of us dealing with it appropriately by educating ourselves and dealing with the harsh realities head on. Plato said “And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up the steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.” We believe what we are told. We believe in it because we do not want to go any deeper than the first layer of the surface because we are afraid that it may be painful.


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    About Professor Barletta....
    I have taught at the secondary and post-secondary level for ten years. I have a Master of Arts with a major in English and an ABD in Higher Education. I am the English and Communications Program Director at Keiser University and also work with Service Learning. In addition to teaching, I am currently completing my dissertation at Nova Southeastern University.  


    January 2012