Literary Course Reflection Essay

Literary Course Reflection Essay

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During the course of this class, I have had the opportunity to read literature from authors who come from different backgrounds and places in the world. Some of the stories and poetry we read were straight forward while others were confusing and sometimes required a second look. But one thing is clear, it changed the way I think about literature in a few ways that I wasn’t expecting. Three works in particular stand out in my mind. “ I Wont Let You Go” by Rabindranath Tagore, “To New York” by Leopold Senghor, and Pedro Peramo by Juan Rulfo all had an impact on my thinking for similar yet different reasons. They all incorporate their cultural backgrounds into their work through the setting of their pieces. They also compose their pieces in a way that makes you want to research their history to find the deeper meaning. Finally, a couple of the authors write about things they are emotionally connected to. Some of the examples we will look at, really opened my eyes to going beyond a superficial understanding of literature.
In “To New York”, Senghor talks about the importance of black culture in New York and how cultures need to intermingle and work together in order to create a stronger society. He recognized that Harlem, a city within a city, was somehow alienated because of white cultural dominance in New York City. He felt that Harlem had many things that offered a positive contribution to the cultural unity of the city that were going unnoticed because of the ongoing Civil Rights struggles of that time period. Instead of pushing the message of revolt or fighting back, Senghor wanted people to recognize the importance of diversity and embrace their black cultural heritage, which was a functional part of New York city ...


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...elieve in, I was still able to keep an open mind to those concepts because there is a larger group of people in this world where those beliefs are preached every day. Even though I have a superficial understanding of the Catholic religion, I learned a lot about how different cultures can take that religion and add their specific beliefs onto it, without making it universally accepted as a practice.
To me, its always interesting to see how sometimes, people from different cultures and across different continents can be writing about the same issues regarding people and life. It probably sounds simple, but sometimes language and culture create barriers to those who don’t take the time to look for a way to understand it. It is through that breakdown that people can miss out on a lot of the common understandings that they have and only focus on their differences.

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