Final Thoughts…

After all the presentations and discussions the problem I found very complex is poverty and struggles of the people facing poverty. In both the books, poverty was a common theme and the struggles were clearly shown. I was just thinking how can we even solve such problem and I realized it’s just the way our society is made. I feel like even if we want to try to solve the problem of poverty, it’s almost impossible to find a long-term solution to this complex issue. To me, poverty is really important because almost half of Earth’s population is facing poverty today. Not only that, poverty can also cause prostitution, separation from family, no job, no good education etc.

Society should definitely change the way they address the problem of poverty because poverty today is increasing. If a problem is increasing it means we aren’t taking the right steps we should be taking. In a world of selfish people this problem seems impossible to fix, but talking and discussing about it definitely made me think of the struggles faced by people who don’t have opportunities like we do. Also, in our discussion we discussed about how the rich takes advantage of the poor knowingly. They know it will be really hard for the poor person and yet they still cheat them just for their benefits. This really upsets me because we know there are people who take advantage of the poor knowing that they don’t have any other option.

This has really inspired me to change the way I think about our society. People are really selfish and they can go to any extent for their own benefits. I’m more aware of the struggles people in poverty face.

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The Power of HOPE

Novel

In the novel, Nectar in a Sievehope was one of the main focus throughout the novel. Throughout the novel hope was seen variety of times especially through Rukmani and Nathan. Rukmani has always had hope in harvesting, she sold vegetables so that her family could fulfill their daily necessities. Rukmani was all for her family, she wanted her daughter to get married and her sons to help her with harvest. Rukmani only wants her family happy in the future, and this was most important for Rukmani. But life isn’t really that easy, everyone faces struggles in their lives. Rukmani’s struggle arose when she didn’t have money to pay for the  rent, she convinced the owner and tried to do whatever she could. She sold almost everything at her home and used that money to pay for half of the rent. At least she had hope and didn’t give up. Her main hope was that the harvest will help save money that they can use to pay the rent/debts.

Personal Opinion

In my opinion, having hope can allow us to move towards our goal. If we don’t have any hope we are most likely to give up and not accomplish our goals. I feel like having hope builds up the confidence in us to do whatever we can to reach our goals. Even if your future is uncertain, having hope can build strength and allow you to be confident in yourself. I think you need hope to truly reach your goal. I think hope can be either good or bad because it depends on the person and their intentions. Hope doesn’t necessary has to work all the time, it’s not always reliable. Relying heavily on hope can be dangerous.

Holocaust Survivor : Iby Knill

Iby Knill grew up in an educated family, she went to a German school and was excluded because she was Jewish. Back then Jewish people were not allowed to sit in public transport and were always the last to be served at shops. Also Jewish students were not allowed to study after age 16. Iby was also forced to wear a yellow star but she covered it with her scarf.

Iby’s family was forced out of their apartment, which was assigned to a German family. Her family was given a very small house where she had to sleep in the kitchen.

One day, she received a call for volunteer nurses to go with a slave labor. She didn’t know if it was real or fake, she had to risk it. This was when the war was going bad for Germans. In the dying stages of the war, Iby and some other women were taken on  a forced march to Bergen Belsen. People who were lagging behind were shot. Iby had an infection on her hip and her friends carried her or else she wouldn’t have been able to survive. After a stay in hospital she got a job as a translator for the Military Govt. She then got married, had kids, and a successful career.

The friendship between her and her friends is what made this story powerful and memorable. She had hip infection, and knowing that her friends decided to carry her and run so she doesn’t get shot. If she didn’t have her friends helping her in this situation she might have not been able to make it. They even saw American tanks, and they were finally liberated on Easter Sunday in 1945.

WWII POETRY

The War in the Air

By: Howard Nemerov

For a saving grace, we didn’t see our dead,
Who rarely bothered coming home to die
But simply stayed away out there
In the clean war, the war in the air.
Seldom the ghosts come back bearing their tales
Of hitting the earth, the incompressible sea,
But stayed up there in the relative wind,
Shades fading in the mind,
Who had no graves but only epitaphs
Where never so many spoke for never so few:
Per ardua, said the partisans of Mars,
Per aspera, to the stars.
That was the good war, the war we won
As if there was no death, for goodness’s sake.
With the help of the losers we left out there
In the air, in the empty air.
To me this poem sounds very deep, but I really love the meaning behind it.
We know for a fact that war can’t really be avoided, but my question is why wars even happen in the first place. In this poem Nemerov is trying to tell why wars happen and what’s the benefit of a war.
As mentioned in line 2 “who rarely bothered coming home to die”, the soldier never even came home to die. Nemerov feels bad for the soldiers who died and those who won a battle but lost a war. In line 1 “we didn’t see our dead” basically tells how they can’t really see the soldiers who died on the battlefield. There are people who died on the battlefield and who on air.  I think soldiers who died in the air basically refers to their struggles.
In all the stanzas Nemerov talks about something that is unlimited or something you can’t really imagine like the air, stars, wind. I feel like we who have never seen a war can never really imagine what it is like. We have no idea what all the soldiers go through in a war. The soldiers who did survive didn’t get to see the dead soldiers or the bombing. The author also talks about “clean war” and “the good war” maybe he doesn’t like being violent.
This poem uses symbolism like using stars, air to describe how war is actually unimaginable. Also uses, ground and air to describe the deaths.
I’m actually astonished to see how soldiers risk their lives for war even though they don’t really get anything out of it, they fight for their country.

Nationalism…

Nationalism can be both good and bad, it depends on how the leaders lead the country. Good because nationalism in a country can unite the citizens, but it becomes bad when there’s violence.

I think nationalism as pride and unity but seeing how it can cause wars kind of makes me think as there’s no use of pride or unity if everything becomes a mess. Hitler makes me want to think nationalism is bad, he killed a million Jews for what? Not only Hitler, but there are countries who are biased towards other races or nationalities.

Even though countries are working together to show strong unity, they do somewhere discriminate. Some countries discriminate to the level of violence –> war. People just love their own country so much that they don’t really seem to care about any other countries. For example, there are several countries who look at a Muslim and think they are terrorists. You can’t really generalize the whole nation based on one group or the past.

I think nationalism is an important element for a nation and it is good as long as it doesn’t exceed the limit. By exceeding the limit I mean as long as no other group/nation is being hurt by your actions or words.

FrEeDoM?!

Religious fundamentalism can be very dangerous sometimes. I wouldn’t say religious fundamentalism is wrong, but it’s just that you can’t rule over other people’s life. I’m saying it’s not wrong to believe in Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism etc. its their action and behavior that concerns people.

I believe that we all should have the freedom to believe in what we want to believe in and not be forced to follow a religion. There’s no point forcing someone to believe in a religion because they won’t be themselves and would just follow the rituals for formality. We all have our own choice and no one else chooses for us.

We can’t really question what the fundamentalists believe in , but we can try and stop their actions (violence). I feel like violence shouldn’t be tolerated and no one has the right to harm a person just because you aren’t following what they want you to follow. I think everyone should stand for themselves and not be forced.

Rebellious Teens !

Teenage is that time in your life when you start observing your surroundings and you try to fit in. You just want to explore and try things you have never done before. I feel like teenage years is when you start thinking about yourself, and don’t care what other’s say. I think we all are rebellious at some point because let’s face the truth we are a bunch of curious human beings.

When we were kids we had no idea what was happening around us because we weren’t old enough (obviously!). When we do come into our teen years our parents start sharing a lot of things with us because they think we should be aware. I remember my parents telling me how to save money when I was like 13 because I used to spend a lot of money buying unnecessary items. They thought I needed to start realizing that money is very precious, and hard to make. But guess what? I still spent a lot of money even after my parents had the “money talk” with me. Slowly, I start to realize what my parents said was actually true because when I went out I saw people begging, people sweating selling in the sun and a lot of other things people were doing to get money. That’s what made me realize and it scared me a little, but today I’m a bit more careful when spending money.

Teenage rebellion is completely unavoidable! Even if your parents say this isn’t right, you will still do that because you think it’s right. The more boundaries your parents add the more rebellious you will get. I feel like if parents are strict on certain rules, but the kid wants to try they would lie about it. I feel like parents should add few boundaries but not too much that your child starts lying to you. Rebelling isn’t wrong, but being honest with your parents, peers is important. We shouldn’t go too far.