The O.G. Frederick Douglass

If you have never read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, then stop what you’re doing and go read it NOW. We talk about #thestruggle when we miss the bus to class on occasion, but that is nothing compared to what this guy went through. Let’s break down one of the most powerful quotes in the text.

” . . . and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”

This is a serious case of mind over matter. When Douglass says this, he is still a captive slave, but this is his realization that although his body is captive, his mind does not have to be. He was always accepting of his position in society; he was a slave, that’s just how life was. This is his turning point. This is him deciding not to be accepting of his place in life and realizing that he could be more. His mind was free while his body was still a slave. He no longer considered himself a slave, despite his physical circumstances. This had to be such a liberating moment for our OG, and it echoes in his writings from this point on.

What can we learn from Douglass’ freedom of mind experience: society may put you in a category in which they think you belong, but you can accept this box they put you in or defy it and work towards redefining yourself. #inspired Thanks Frederick D!

And that’s what I think.

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The Barbaric Yawp: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself

Hi friends! Let us first point out the obvious about this text: our author is a weird dude. Like, a really weird dude. But hey, to each his own. The part of this “poem” that I want to break down for you is this guy’s “barbaric yawp.” What does that even mean, you might ask? Well, let’s start from the beginning. The definition of barbaric is “without civilizing influences; uncivilized; primitive.” This is a perfect description of what our weird author wants to be. He wants to get rid of this tidy little box that humans have developed to place themselves in; square houses with uptight, fully clothed owners who have clean thoughts and clean kitchens. They don’t think about rolling around in grass or getting naked in the woods; they are restricted by the rules of conduct that society has invented. This barbaric yawp celebrates the bare human, without clothes, without proprieties, without rules. It echoes this desire to return to a caveman-like state of living that is 100% all-natural. This sound that he describes as barbaric is really the sound that the entire poem would make if he didn’t have words to describe his longing to ditch society and return to nature. This guy hates the mainstream (so hipster); he is all about being bare in body and in mind. Like I said, to each his own.

And that’s what I think.

Welcome to what camille thinks

 

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Hey! I’m Camille and I have lots of thoughts. That’s why this exists. As a dedicated book nerd, I have read so many fascinating tales of adventure and fantasy and all kinds of things! So this is where I shall criticize all that I read. But like, the way I criticize things. Take, for example, the Divergent trilogy. I don’t want to give anything away for anyone who may still be reading, but basically Tris DIES! Um, excuse me?! I didn’t sign up for a tragedy! You aren’t Shakespeare, author of Divergent trilogy! You can’t just kill off the PROTAGONIST!

Anywayyy you get the point. My criticism and reflection are unique but obviously the best. Sooo, a tad about me: I’m a student at this pretty lame college called SF State, but it’s totally worth it because I live in San Francisco!! It’s a blast! I enjoy reading, obviously, and I am a dedicated Harry Potter fan. #always I hope to one day become a big time author a la J.K. Rowling or an editor in chief for a big magazine a la Anna Wintour. We’ll see what life does.

Enough about me! I’m fabulous, clearly. So stay tuned for my next post that will either praise or trash some “acclaimed” work of literature.

And that’s what I think.