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Wilson writes, “… for the city is in a constant process of change… This continual flux and change is one of the most disquieting aspects of the modern city” (3).  This quote is reminiscent of “Gangs of New York”, when Amsterdam comes back to the Five Points after being away for almost his entire life.  He comes back to see that everything, including the people and the social structure, has changed.  Bill is now an even more feared and powerful man.  The people who once fought alongside Amsterdam’s father have become almost unrecognizable.  Happy Jack, for example, once stood by Priest Vallon’s side in the battle at Paradise Square but now abuses people and serves the rotten Bill.  It’s unnerving and disturbing for Amsterdam to see all the change wrought in people.

Wilson also writes about women’s role in the city.  She says, “…it almost seems as though to be a woman… in the city, is to become a prostitute…” (8).  In “Gangs of New York”, that promiscuous woman is Jenny.  She is a pickpocket and a flirt; she uses her looks and gender to get what she needs to survive (such as when she is intimate with Bill).  Jenny is not the only promiscuous woman in the Five Points, however.  The entire city is brewing with promiscuity and is filled with prostitutes.  It is like the promiscuity of the labyrinth that Wilson writes about.

I found it interesting when Wilson called the city a carnival (10).  “Gangs of New York” features scenes in the city that are much like a carnival (and not the joyous one filled with music, lights, and cotton candy).  During the performance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, for example, the audience erupted in an uproar over what was being performed in the play.  While the poor actor was dangling from the ceiling, trying to say his lines, the audience was throwing fruit and other objects at him.  The high point of this carnival came when everyone in the audience just started fighting with one another. After a failed attempt to kill him, Bill announced, “Intermission is over”, and all of a sudden, the fighting ceased.  I just couldn’t believe that this violence was “intermission”.  The crowds and the carnival aspect of the city are also explored in the bloody fights that pit man against man.  Everyone in the audience watches, cheers, and places bets, as the two men at the center of the show beat, literally beat, each other to a bloody pulp.

I see a carnival as a place of games and fun music.  In “Gangs of New York”, the carnival is a place where violence is the game and people’s roaring is the music.

Women in Into the Labyrinth

In her essay, “Into the Labyrinth”, which is supposed to be provide a feminist point of view, Wilson states that “Women have become an irruption in the city, a symptom of disorder, and a problem: the Sphinx in the city.”  When I read this quote and it was further explained in class, I realized that Wilson wants to tell people what it is like to be a woman in the city.  She wants to tell the readers that woman’s presence in the city is so problematic because women represent the sexual adventure that is so forbidden.  Women were once allowed to mainly stay in their homes or only allowed to go out in public under certain circumstances.  The city was a place for men and when women began to come to the city, they interrupted that zone.  They were a discomfort to others, and this created a problem for women in the city as well.

“Into the Labyrinth” brings up two very important ideas, the idea of a comfort zone and the idea of the labyrinth.

To be in the comfort zone is to be in the zone of predictability and certainty.  To be in the labyrinth is to be anything but certain.  After all, a labyrinth is defined as “an intricate combination of passages through which it is hard to find an exit” (Dictionary).  It is hard to be certain while one is stuck in a passage and blindly trying to find an exit.  The comfort zone provides this certainty, even though it is accompanied by dullness.  More importantly, however, it is accompanied by control.

The park is one of the best examples of this control.  The park is a place that the bourgeoisie frequent.  It is a place where nature is tamed and controlled to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. “The flowers… appear as a luxury fabric set against the urban sky” and the green vista is lined by trees in “faultless perspective” (2).  In the unpredictable urban life that comes with the city, the park is the one place of control that is reminiscent of the rural life.

he park is also a place that segregates the bourgeoisie from the lower classes.  In this way the comfort zone becomes homogenous.  Only people who fit within a certain characteristic and mold are welcome within the homogenous comfort zone.  It is within the labyrinth that people can become a heterogeneous society.  In the labyrinth, the bourgeoisie and other masses can walk side by side.  In the comfort zone, a fixed order is drawn up and the lines cannot be blurred in any way.

The comfort zone is also a place of formality.  Think of the narrator’s mother, for example.  She went to the city dressed up like it was a special occasion.  She had “her hat tipped… with her little veil in place” and “her corsage of soft suede anemones pinned against the navy crepe of her dress…” (2) Despite her delicate and meticulous dress, she was still crushed in the sea of sweaty, insolent people who paid no mind to this respectable lady.  She left her comfort zone to go to the city and was met with vulnerability.  Even though this woman wore her formal attire as a shield to protect herself, she was still vulnerable to the promiscuity around her and so the crowd just pressed itself upon her until she became lost and insignificant, just like everyone else.  She became an ambiguous being in the city, as is characteristic of a labyrinth.

Despite the fact that the labyrinth offers such vulnerability and ambiguity, it is still a place that is captivating.  It is a place that is nightmarish and disorderly and alluring at the same time.  Maybe it is the taboo pleasures to be enjoyed and forbidden impulses to be acted upon that draw people to the labyrinth.  People can visit the zoo in the labyrinth and “stare at whatever exotic spectacle is on offer”.  From the infant gorillas to the huge snakes on display, people can resist their impulse to not look and give in to their otherwise forbidden impulses.  It is for this reason that the bourgeoisie come to the labyrinth.  They are able to find what does not exist in the comfort zone.

Review from : Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times

Title:  The Panic in Needle Park

“The Panic in Needle Park” is not a movie about drug addiction.  It explores the compulsions that accompany drug addiction, of course, and subjects viewers to close-up shots of needles penetrating the skin.  The use of such shots is excessive, however, and rather than creating a shocking effect, takes away from the viewers’ connection to the characters.  In the original ads for this movie, 20th-century Fox focused on such elements of shock and horror in the film and navigated away from what makes this a “special” and at times even “extraordinary” film.  What makes this film “special”, according to Ebert, is the love story within it.

Although “The Panic in Needle Park” explores drug addiction, it is nevertheless a love story.  More accurately, it is a “carefully observed portrait” of two human beings.  Who are these two human beings? They are Helen and Bobby.  Helen is a small town girl from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  She comes to New York, innocent but tough, conflicted by love and the desire to protect herself.  As Ebert points out, these two do not often go hand in hand and Helen probably learns this when she meets Bobby.  Bobby is a kid who was busted for the first time when he was nine and has not been up to any good since then.  The two fall in love and the relationship that forms between them is fascinating to watch.  No effort is made to clearly explain why Helen falls for Bobby, but her eyes say it all about her love for Bobby.  She is drawn by his confidence (albeit, a little too much confidence) and his unwillingness to bend to the rules, something that she is probably not used to seeing in Indiana.

Despite the fascinating relationship that ensues between Helen and Bobby, there are scenes between the two that can be described as nothing else besides distasteful.  One such scene is when Helen and Bobby go out to the country on a ferry and buy a puppy.  On the way back, while the two are getting a fix in the bathroom, the puppy jumps overboard and drowns.  According to Ebert, this scene should have been cut.  This scene and others are also flawed in that they raise the question of how Helen and Bobby are always getting the good stuff, when it is available in a limited supply for everyone else.

Despite it’s flaws, “The Panic in Needle Park” “lives and moves”.  It achieves its point.  We are introduced to the characters and we are shown what their world is like.  Most importantly, we get to see the relationship between Helen and Bobby.

Link to review:  http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19710101/REVIEWS/101010323/1023

From the beginning of Gorky’s piece, he is clearly against New York City.  As the immigrants travel to New York City, Gorky writes that they are essentially walking into the belly of the beast.  “…the city seems like a vast jaw, with uneven black teeth… Entering the city is like getting into … a stomach that has swallowed several million people and is grinding and digesting them” (9).  New York City is like a monster that eats you alive, Gorky writes.  He also writes that aesthetically speaking, the city is not any better.  “Square, lacking in any desire to be beautiful, the bulky ponderous buildings tower gloomily and drearily… its ugliness is felt in each house.  There are no windows and no children to be seen” (8).   Even Coney Island, which offers cheap entertainment for people, does not impress Gorky.  He does not find the white buildings there beautiful at all, and writes that “They are made of wood, covered with peeling white paint, and all seem to be suffering from the same skin disease” (21).   As you can see, Gorky is not particularly bashful about revealing his ugly feelings about the big, towering buildings that some people so admire about New York.  He has taken a stance against New York City.  I looked up the word “neutral” in the thesaurus and because Gorky’s stance is the complete opposite of neutral, I look for antonyms of that word.  What I found was the word biased.  I would say that Gorky has a bias against New York because he unyieldingly thinks that is a city composed of greedy people who lose their humanity on their hopes of becoming rich.   He aims his observations at his readers, using strong imagery to move his readers to pity and disgust at the poverty and greed of the working people.

Gorky does not only harbor negative feelings about New York City, however, but about it’s inhabitants as well.  The obsession that overcomes people as they chase after gold horrifies Gorky.  It also horrifies the heroes who founded the nation, the “bronze people” who “once glowed with love for their country” but are now just “filled with the dust of the city” (9).  These forgotten heroes are moved to the point of warning people, “Stop! This is not life, this is madness…” (10) The madness is that people have become so focused on attainting gold, or the yellow devil, that they have become enslaved by it.  In the process of chasing after gold, they have become lifeless and dreamless and thoughtless.   After working from dawn to dusk, it has become impossible for “thoughts to weave their beautiful bold lace patterns, impossible for a living, daring dream to be born” (11).  The people who chase after wealth have lost all ambition to strive for anything beyond gold.  In doing so, they have stooped down to inhumanity.

Gorky’s voice as he views this inhumanity is dismayed and disgusted.  He is especially disgusted by the activities people engage in as a result of their boredom.  He portrays these people as inhumane as they poke animals in cages and provoke them to violence just for amusement and satisfaction.  When animals refuse to react violently, people walk away disappointed, saying that the animal is “no fun”.  Something that I found interesting about Gorky’s writing here is that he writes about the animals as having thoughts and feelings as if they are more humane than the humans themselves.  A bear for example, becomes critical of the humans and think, “But if people sincerely believe that all this is amusing, I have no more faith in their mental powers!” (29).  I think that Gorky’s use of language in such a way gives him a voice similar to that of a preacher.  Gorky is a bit more slick about his preaching, however, because instead of coming out and just screaming his ideas to his readers, he uses imagery and biased language to stir pity within his readers hearts.  In this way, he gets his readers to feel the way he wants them to feel without seeming like he is forcing them to feel that way.  This reminds me of Disponzio’s piece, where even though Disponzio did not force his ideas upon his readers, his account of the Segal sculpture was written in such a way that I, as a reader, felt the same way that Disponzio probably wanted me to feel.

Gorky’s voice is also dismayed when he talks about the poverty that he sees surrounding New York City inhabitants.  He writes that he has seen poverty before, but that he has never seen it so clearly as he does in New York.  His description of the mother who cannot even breast feed her baby is especially haunting and left me feeling sickened.  “The baby screams, scratching at the mother’s jaded, hungry flesh, nuzzles her, making sucking sounds, then after a moment’s silence, bursts into louder wailing, beating and kicking the mother’s breast… the woman lives on memories of food eaten yesterday” (14).  Gorky is especially successful here in revealing the level of poverty people live in; he touches upon the heartbreak of a mother not even being able to feed her own child.

Based on all this, Gorky’s thesis seems to be in New York City, like a leech, greed for gold sucks the life, the humanity, and the feeling of community out of people.  It sucks the life out of people because after work is done, they simply stop thinking and dreaming.  “Their thinking belongs to their boss, what is there to think about themselves.” Gorky writes (15).  It sucks the humanity out of people to the point that even animals are justified in judging human beings and looking down on them.  Lastly, it sucks the feeling of community out of people.  People in poverty are forced to fight like animals over a scrap of food.  Men lash out like wolves at anyone who tries to come near them.  A group of men, referred to as the Mob, also stares enviously at the wealthy women and children passing them and criticize their own families.  Gorky uses “emotionally charged examples” such as these  (Davison), combined with “vivid descriptions” (Davison) to convey his thesis.  For example, in order to emphasize that the air in New York City is unclean he talks about how the air stinks and “chokes” people.

By using such techniques, Gorky is able to show that ultimately, the greed for gold leads to a “broken people” and “disbanded people” (41).

Luc Sante Piece

Luc Sante’s Low Life offers an interesting view of New York City.  When I was reading this article, I connected to the idea of change from Colson Whitehead’s “Brooklyn Bridge”.  In “Brooklyn Bridge”, New York City and it’s people are always changing.  People are getting lost in the crowd, and new tenants and curtains are replacing old tenants and curtains.  This change is something that is talked about in Sante’s “Low Life”.  From the beginning, Sante says that his book covers the eighty years of the city’s transition from adolescence to adulthood.  This implies change and progress to me.  Sante also says “In the midst of all this upheaval… as I noticed one landmark or another being obliterated by what passed for progress, I began for the first time to wonder what had gone on before, who had lived in these tenements when they were first built”.  Sante writes, “what passed for progress”, meaning that he doesn’t really see the change as a positive progress.  This reminds me of my own feelings about unique, old, and spacious family houses that are now more and more often bulldozed down so that small, bland, and cramped apartment houses can be put up in their place.  This is not the kind of change that I envision for New York and this article reminds me that as more and more people move here, this just may become more and more prevalent.

post review

HW- After we view the film, the rest of the class will comment on these posted review summaries.

Carol’s film review:  This is a very good and accurate movie review.  Your first paragraph accurately sums up what the basic storyline of “The Age of Innocence” is and reveals the love triangle (I guess you can call it that) that the movie focuses on.  Now that I think about it, it’s interesting to see how light and romantic this movie feels compared to Scorsese’s other movies.  I’ve only seen two other movies that he’s directed- “Taxi Driver” and “Shutter Island” and both movies had a dark, depressing, or foreboding feel to it.  It’s as your summary mentions, Scorsese’s other films are more harsh and violent.  Your summary also mentions that “The Age of Innocence” is similar to Scorsese’s other films, such as “Raging Bull”.  I’ve been trying to understand what your summary states is the similarity between “The Age of Innocence” and Scorsese’s other films and what I can come up with is that Newland Archer feels such a powerful frustration and oppression inside him that the only way for him to release it would be if he became like Jake LaMotta and punched something (kind of like when you shake a soda can and open the top, only to have it all slam in your face).  in your last paragraph, you mentioned the lighting and scenery in the film.  Going back to your point about how it all puts the viewer in the place of the observer, I especially felt that way when Newland was walking through all the fancy hallways to get to the ballroom.  Everything he passed and glimpsed- the people, the paintings, the flowers- I also felt like I was glimpsing and then just continuing on my way to the ballroom.

Janine’s film review:  The comment made in the last paragraph of your movie review summary, “…this movie is not in Scorsese’s repertoire”, is something that seems to be showing up in the other movie reviews as well.  Even though he probably took a risk by doing that, the general opinion seems to be that he succeeded.  Also, the idea of the “elite’s ‘ruthlessness’ in keeping their lineage free from any stains” is something that I definitely noticed in the movie.  It was almost sad and surprising to see the mindset of these people.  I also never finished watching the movie, so I was surprised to read about the ending in your summary.  I agree that Newland, after so many years, probably just wanted to keep the perfect vision of Ellen in his memory, and that’s probably why he never went up to see her.  It may have been too much for him to see her again, anyway.

Samantha’s film review: This summary included a quote by Michelle Pfeiffer.  Pfeiffer calls this film “timeless” and says the film is so because it shows how people “play charades” and “wear masks”.  This is something that I realized about the movie especially after learning about the ending.  May seemed like an innocent, ignorant rich girl but she turned out to be a conniving rich girl when she found a way to keep Newland and Ellen from being together, even though she knew that Newland did not love her.  Pfeiffer also mentions making sacrifices and this is something that Newland does a lot in the film.  He sacrificed his time when May kept postponing announcing their engagement, he sacrificed his happiness by marrying May when he loved Ellen, and he sacrificed his happiness again when he stayed with May, instead of chasing after Ellen in Europe, once he found out that May was pregnant.

Peter’s film review:  I like how this review talks about why Ellen was attracted to Newland.  Newland treated her with respect and actually saw past all the drama in her life.  He also bothered to listen to her and consider her feelings, whereas no one else really did that.  Since I’ve mentioned so much of what I have to say in my other comments, I will also say that the actors did a good job in portraying their characters.  I felt that Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer’s performances were particularly strong when they were demonstrating their yearning to be with each other and their frustration with all of society’s rules.

Outline for Motif Essay

Motif: Journey

Supporting Texts:  “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”- Walt Whitman

“Brooklyn Bridge”- Colson Whitehead

“Crossing Brooklyn Bridge”- Lewis Mumford

Thesis: A journey can hold different promises for different people and ultimately lead to different roads of realization.

First text discussed:  Lewis Mumford’s “Crossing Brooklyn Bridge”

  • show how a journey can change based on the mode of transportation used.  Compare journey on a ferry to journey on a car. Explain that this can create a different experience for the person on the journey.
  • show how journey can inspire.  Provide quote that discusses poets “hurtling” on a plane to show how artists can create differently based on their journey.
  • switch to Brooklyn Bridge.  Talk about Mumford’s epiphany and how being on the bridge helped him have that epiphany.  Lay out the setting of that moment and the journey that he took as he walked across the Bridge.

Second text discussed:  Colson Whitehead’s “Brooklyn Bridge”

  • show how the female character is walking away from her home and comfort.  She is taking a risk and may face hardships.  Use quote that describes her first stepping on the Bridge. 
  • Talk about refugees on the Bridge.  Show that the refugees represent people whose journey to Manhattan has not been successful and that the female character may not find what she wants when she reaches Manhattan.
  • Switch to the journey of immigrants, which is also faced with hardships. Focus on quote about spit hitting a tourist and the perfect movie set skyline.
  • Middle of the woman’s journey.  Show that she has to make a decision to either forge on or go back.  Use quote of man pitching a tent to show that you cannot just stay in the middle.
  • End of the woman’s journey- she reaches Manhattan and her journey ends with disappointment.  However, she is not going to give up and will continue on her journey.

Third text used: Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”

  • show how Whitman uses the journey to connect himself to people in the future.  His journey on the ferry is the same as theirs, with the same sights and same crowds.  Use quote where he compares himself to the future generations.

Conclusion: Sum everything up, mention all three texts again.

One motif that is present in Lewis Mumford’s piece, “The Brooklyn Bridge” is “the journey”.  On page 840 of his article, Mumford writes, “Everywhere the wholesale commitment to bridges and tunnels across and under the rivers and bays, for the sake of speed alone, is depriving us…” Here, Mumford writes that choosing certain modes of transportation (such as cars) for their speed alone deprives people of certain experiences. (These experiences include the various adventures that cannot be gained by riding in a car). For Mumford, speed alone is not the most important aspect of a person’s journey. Perhaps, the adventure is.
Mumford writes on page 841, “Even the short trips to Jersey City from downtown New York provided a touch of uncertainty and adventure, allowing for the tide, dodging other boats and ships, all with a closeness to the sea and the sky and the wide sweep of the city itself that no other form of locomotion could boast”. The importance of the slow, turtle-like journey on the ferry to Mumford is the adventure that it provides him with. No one who has ridden inside a car can successfully boast of “salt spray tingling in one’s nostrils” (841) as one may with a ferry. To Mumford, it is this, and the awareness of the city and nature around oneself, that makes the journey on the ferry so special and unique.
Something else that makes the journey on the ferry so unique is the inspiration that it provides. On page 841, Mumford writes, “No poet, hurtling by a plane even as far as Cathay, has yet written a poem comparable to ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”; no painter has come back with a picture comparable to John Sloan’s ‘Ferryboat Ride’…” The beauty of the slow journey on the ferry to Mumford is the contemplation, creativity, and passion that it incites within it’s riders. No poet or author, says Mumford, could create such beautiful masterpieces as “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” and “Ferryboat Ride” if one was “hurtling” through the air on a plane. The journey would simply not be the same. It would simply not inspire or stir within oneself the inspiration to create a masterpiece.
The ferry is not the only mode of getting a memorable journey. So is the Brooklyn Bridge. Mumford recounts with particular nostalgia his moment of epiphany on the Brooklyn Bridge. “… one memory stands out above all others: a twilight hour in early spring- it was March, I think- when, starting from the Brooklyn end, I faced into the west wind…” (843). “Finally, as I reached the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, the sunlight spread across the sky… Three-quarters of the way across the Bridge I saw the skyscrapers in the deepening darkness become slowly honeycombed with lights…” “The world, at that moment, opened before me, challenging me, beckoning me, demanding something of me…” (844). While walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, somewhere on his journey of advancing from the beginning of the Bridge, to halfway across the Bridge, to three-quarters of the way across the Bridge, Mumford faces a moment of epiphany and emerges into his own. This moment is something that Mumford tries to recapture by repeatedly walking on the Bridge on other occasions. However, the moment is lost. Mumford would probably say that he would have missed out on this moment of epiphany, had he decided to ride a car or hail a taxi across the Bridge that wondrous March day.
The journey is a motif that Mumford presents in his piece, “The Brooklyn Bridge”. This motif is present on Mumford’s journey on water on the ferry and on level ground on the Brooklyn Bridge. In both instances, the significance of Mumford’s journey is that it provides a closer connection to nature, to oneself, and to the world in general.

Comparing Mumford and Whitehead

I will be honest.  I am terribly confused by Mumford’s article.  My head is spinning after reading it, in no small part to all the pronouns, like “he”, “she”, “her”, and “they” that are used! However, I will do my best to explain my interpretation of this article.

Whitehead’s speaks with a hopeless voice in his article.  He describes things so negatively, that at times, I felt down just reading them.  For example, Whitehead writes, “At junctions emergency boxes offer aid but there’s no way help would arrive in time.  Break down in the middle of the desert.  Pop a gasket here and you’re on your own.  Broken police call boxes report to nowhere.  Pick up the receiver to reach a precinct that burned down years go” (102).  I have never felt such a degree of negativity and hopelessness from reading that these lines make me feel.  Not only is Whitehead saying that you can’t call for help if you need it, he’s saying that even if you do manage to place a call, it will go unheard. 

Whitehead brings up this hopelessness again in his article when he writes, “And no one to stop you from tracing a beam to the edge and leaping into space and water… Traffic slows to a rubberneck, other walkers cheer or dissuade, but no preventing hands” (102).  Here, Whitehead compares a suicide to a spectacle.  He says that if one tries to commit suicide on the Brooklyn Bridge, no bystander would try to prevent it.  People would be too busy reveling in the suspense of the moment.  I think that Whitehead is commenting on his views of other people in the world here.  He is criticizing other people for being more interested in a spectacle than in helping a fellow human being.  This reminds me of an article that I read earlier this year about a homeless man bleeding to death on the street and people just walked by him for half an hour before someone bothered to call the police.  Maybe Whitehead wasn’t so far off on his criticism after all.

One thing that I noticed about Whitehead’s article is how casually he writes.   Whitehead uses slang, like “pop a gasket” throughout his article.  He also writes incomplete sentences, like “Break down in the middle of the desert” (102).   Whitehead’s casual voice, combined with the way he throws around incomplete sentences, makes for one confusing read sometimes. 

In contrast to Whitehead’s hopelessness and poor grammar, Mumford’s article is more optimistic and poetic. “The world, at that moment, opened before me, challenging me, beckoning me, demanding something of me that it would take more than a lifetime to give, but raising all my energies by it’s own vivid promise to a higher pitch”.  Mumford is very colorful and poetic in his descriptions.  Here, he portrays his emergence from a youth to manhood, who holds the entire world in the palm of his hands.  This optimism is almost innocent because Mumford later implies that the world did not turn out as he expected it would in this moment.  I think that this is something that happens in real life to a lot of people.  People dream of grand things when they are young, but they lose all that as they grow up and settle in for the “real world”.

One motif that is present in both Mumford and Whitehead’s articles is the sense of yearning.  In Whitehead’s article this sense of yearning is noticeable in the beginning.  “It’s over there, that striated island, cut up carved out and waiting.  Pick your favorite cuts and gorge… You’re hungry, admit it.  Grab your forks and knives to get your piece of it”.  In these first few sentences, Whitehead writes as if the occasion is a lavish Thanksgiving feast and the island is the delicious roasted turkey that everyone has been looking forward to “gorging” all day long.  I noticed this yearning later on again, when Whitehead writes about a man watching a woman journey across the Brooklyn Bridge.  “Each time she stops, he tries to figure out what she is looking at, thinking of.  To be with her, her companion across this thing” (102).  In this excerpt, Whitehead describes a man who is disconnected from the woman on the bridge.  However, this man yearns to be closer to this woman.  I can relate a bit to this piece because sometimes I think about people who are far away from me and wonder what their lives are like.  Sometimes, I think about my own family members in other countries and wonder what they might be doing in that moment.  Maybe it is just human nature to want to understand others and be closer to others.

A sense of yearning is also a motif that is present in Mumford’s article.  In Mumford’s article, this yearning is a yearning for adventure, from the perspective of a youth on the verge of manhood.  “We all had a sense that we were on the verge of translation into a new world, a quite magical translation, in which the best hopes… would all be simultaneously filled”, Mumford writes.  Mumford’s sense of adventure is shown here through the eyes of a young boy who is optimistic and anticipating great things for his future and for the world in general.

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