Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's about Finding That Connection

Tiaira Walker
It’s about Finding That Connection
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and my experience working with my father are things that were written in the past, literally and figuratively, that correlate to present-day situations. Over time, everything can change. In a more modernized society, you would think that women are no longer courted like they use to, people are less naïve, and that money didn’t determine who you married. Shockingly, time has not altered this completely. The most interesting thing I have learned in my English course is the connection older texts we have read have with recent films. “She’s the Man” is an up to date representation of Twelfth Night and “Hancock” is basically a representation of Shane. The creators of these films have incorporated and modernized every aspect of the texts. I have witnessed the static nature of these certain aspects and my personal experiences.  My childhood consisted of going to work every day afterschool with my dad who does construction. When I was younger, I never thought that it would help me in the future. I currently do service with Habitat for Humanity and we are building a house. Needless to say, what I learned working with my dad has helped me a lot! Finding this past connection has made service worthwhile for me. There is an understanding gained when we can make present day connections with things from the past.
Twelfth night is a tale with prominent themes of love, deception, and class. A love web is created when Viola fails to profess her love to Count Orsino, as well as with the Counts failure to directly court Olivia. Viola disguises herself to get closer to him and he sends messengers to relay his love to Olivia. Love is misinterpreted by Olivia who takes a liking for Cesario, who is Viola disguised and sent as messenger by Count Orsino. To win ones way, the characters in the text go to extremes of deception, the disguise, the letter, and the manipulation of the less wise. Viola takes on a role that she cannot escape and it causes a heap of trouble. Malvolio is turned mad by a letter that he thought was written by Olivia to express her love, when in fact it was written by Maria for a good laugh. Malvolio, of a different class, dares to believe that there can be something between him and Master Olivia. Orsino upholds class distinction when he tries to court Olivia. These distinctions are crossed in the text when Olivia believes she has fallen in love with a servant and when the Count decides to marry Viola. The historical tone is evident with talk of counts, masters, and servants. It is possible that despite the time it was set in, love deception, and class can play a role in present-day situations.
Films in popular culture have the ability to draw on the past and make a hit. I found it really interesting how “She’s the Man” was based on the Twelfth Night; I had no idea and I’ve watched the movie numerous times. The teenage like qualities of the characters in the film are exactly like the personalities presented in the text. I was even urged to watch the movie again as soon as I found out because I was so excited to see these similarities now that I know its correlation. The names used, the location of the setting, the presence of the love triangle, the deception, and social distinctions contribute to how they have modernized the same aspects of such an old tale. At first I was weary reading the Twelfth Night because I didn’t understand some of the language used, but after realizing the movie was the same I read it with enthusiasm. The same excitement was instilled after noticing the similarities Shane had with “Hancock.” The way the mysterious man was accepted into the family, his superhero-like qualities to the son, and how the more he cared for the family the more he hurt them draw a striking resemblance to what occurred in the film.  
When I was younger I despised going to work with my dad, almost like how I despised reading Shakespeare because of the confusing language. We cleaned out houses, tore down walls, used power tools, and put up framework. I never thought that I’d use any of these skills again because I had no interest entering the construction business. Little did I know, I embarked on a chance to work with Habitat for Humanity. Doing what? Building houses of course. I love that Habitat for Humanity are renovating abandoned houses in Baltimore. The abundance of vacant houses and homeless people in the city make me sick. Ever since I moved here I’ve had such a problem with this. I literally hate it; people are living on the streets when there are houses, right there! Being able o help on this project has brought me great enjoyment and peace at mind knowing that I can do my part and help end homelessness. This has also made me appreciate all the hard work my dad mad me engage in as a child.
Finding a connection, be it in literature or in real life, helps a lot with understanding the purpose of something. The present can make you really appreciate the past. I now truly understand Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night thanks to the modernized “She’s the Man.” I now truly understand why my dad made me go to work with him despite my protest. I can enthusiastically help a greater a cause because of all the knowledge I have in the field and this brings me much content.

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