Reflection on Humanity

Access: LimitedShow Details
  • This Doc can be read by: Anyone
  • This Doc can be edited by: The Doc author only
  • Comments are visible to: Anyone
  • Comments can be posted by: Logged-in Users
  • History can be viewed by: Anyone
Hide Details

As a human, I am aware of my own mortality and can communicate my awareness in complex forms. Humans, In communicating the conditions of our awareness and mortality, prescribe meaning to our lives. My awareness is subject to change, the ability to record those changes so my thoughts could be understood by others is paramount to my humanity. The abilities of authors to communicate their awareness through short stories like Shiloh and opinion pieces like “No Thanks for Thanksgiving” represent how humanity extends beyond just Homo-sapiens.

Bobby Ann Mason’s, Shiloh gave us two characters reflecting on their relationship together, and how both perceive; life, mortality and the meaning behind them. Through Leeroy’s perspective, life’s meaning begins and ends at his ability to provide for Norma Jean. His ability to provide practical support as well as emotional support is constantly being undermined by his inability to express himself to Norma Jean. His reckless behavior and weed use are his coping methods for his inability to express frustration. By the end of the story, Norma Jean can no longer take the pressure from her mother and watching Leeroy him spiral while being the source of his sadness so she asks for a divorce. A married couple’s ability to express themselves around one another contributes to the success of a relationship, ergo the ability to be human in each others presence. Bobby Ann Mason’s short story about the problems of this married couple outlines what the humanities are and why they are necessary, communicating who we are is good for ourselves as well as those around us.

Robert Jensen’s “No Thanks for Thanksgiving” offers a practical view of what the humanities are and what they can do. In this article he outlines; his position on Thanksgiving, evidence that supports his position, counter-arguments, and alternate solutions to fix the problem he originally states. Aside from all of the factual evidence he presents, from quotes of former presidents and historical facts the article shows us how he arrived at his conclusion through personal opinion and emotional expression. In order to convince his readers why Thanksgiving as a holiday should be changed goes to his feelings about this country and how it’s alienated him. His observations about how our society revises history goes to the core of his argument, that history should respect diverse prospectives to create a well-rounded awareness of our identity. Knowledge of our history and our account of it can have long-term effects on self-image and to create a more inclusive image we must express our wrongdoings as well as our successes.

The humanities seemed like a vague subject to me when I first applied to this class. I was only aware that the humanities had less to do with science or mathematics and more to do with the English language and the arts but this class also expanded my ideas about what they could include. While fictional literature certainly played a role in the class, how we analyzed fictional work taught me a little more about how the humanities could be applied. From non-fictional works, I learned where I could apply my own thoughts and views and how to organize them.