Monday, September 27, 2010

Challenge and Opportunity

In this reading analysis, we read “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” by John Milton, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun” by William Shakespeare and “One Word” by Elizabeth Gilbert. “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” is a sonnet about John Milton’s relationship with God and how he can strengthen that relationship. “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun” is a sonnet about Shakespeare’s love and passion for his mistress, even if her physical characteristics differ from the exact appearance of nature. “One Word” is a story about a woman who makes an attempt to define herself through one word to keep the status quo of a city.

Throughout John Milton’s sonnet, he asks for God’s reassurance of his place on earth and in heaven. He does not question God; he merely just wants to know whether or not he is achieving the things in life he was meant to achieve. The author states, “I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent” (line 8). He indicates that the primary focus of this sonnet is his relationship with God and his abilities to create a stronger bond with Him. He seeks approval only from the Lord just as he did throughout his working life. The second half of the sonnet is a calm response from God. God assures Milton that as long as he carries the power of God within himself, than he is doing God’s work. In the end, the time has come for John Milton to enjoy a peaceful life until God calls him home. The rhyme scheme of this sonnet is ABBAABBAC CDECDE and features a lot of enjambment.

Throughout Shakespeare’s sonnet, he describes his mistress’ appearance and his passionate love for her. He explains that her eyes are very different from the sun, but still sees her true beauty. The author states, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (Line 1). Though the sonnet may appear to be negative, it has positive words towards the end. In the second half of the poem, he simplifies the idea that although reality can be different from our ambitions and goals, he knows that his love for his mistress is very strong. Though her eyes are nothing like the sun, it is of no consequence because he knows that his love for her is a rarity. He prefers to show his affection for her through his actions, instead of using false wording. The rhyme scheme of this sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “One Word” is a story about a word used to represent a group of people or an individual. The main character travels to Rome where she encounters a taxi driver to escort her to her next destination. Their conversation concerned Rome and the one word that is used to describe the city. The author states, “And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don’t really belong there.” The taxi driver stated that Rome’s word was “sex”. The woman decides to make an attempt to find a word that embodies herself. She comes to the conclusion that “sex” is definitely not the one word that she symbolizes nor does she feel like she belongs in Rome. However, she does say that she has been buying lingerie for no one’s pleasure but herself, and cannot help but realize that Rome may have transformed her into a woman that is defined by one word, “sex”.

These two sonnets and one short story could easily be related to anyone. Milton’s sonnet shows the mindset of many people who question their faith and wonder whether or not they are accomplishing God’s tasks. I think that Loyola challenges its students to do their best in doing God’s work by serving in the community. Shakespeare’s sonnet can be applied to people who are extremely passionate for someone and are able to show their love through their actions. Loyola enables its students to become passionate about clubs, sports, and other activities that are provided for them. Gilbert’s story represents many people who try and become something that they may not be, in order to conform with the status of society. Loyola stresses diversity and allows students of different ethnic backgrounds and religions to strive in our community, even if they are seen as “different”.

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