The Crucible

In
The Crucible, the love between John and Abigail is a bright miracle in itself. Through the chaos of this society, their love remained strong. They were willing to hold on to their morals and put total faith in their love, even when it came to their deaths. In difficult situations, love is hard to find and maintain. John committed adultery, they were both charged for witchcraft, and through a miracle, their love remained until the end. Together, no one could be trusted and they experienced turbulent times, yet at the decisions to determine the rest of their lives, Elizabeth cries to John, “Forgive me, forgive me, John – I never knew such goodness in the world!” (Miller Act 4, 137). She has an appreciation and unique love for this man that surpasses the surrounding environment; it transcends time. Any love this genuine during any time period truly is a miracle.


The Village

The whole idea of miracles seems to be absent from this movie, but in fact it can carry an important role in the background of this video. The elders of this society suffered a great and terrible loss of a close family member or friend. Through these events, they never managed to get over the grief of the deaths, so they channeled this sadness and other accumulated thoughts into an alternate society locked out from the rest of the world to attempt to create a place without sadness. In no way is death necessarily a miracle, but after time and contemplation, many people can see a light at the end of the tunnel; sometimes it is simply the fact that they have grown to live life to the fullest and to take every chance seriously. In even deeper situations, people become stronger people and ultimately can celebrate the life of that person, rather than dwell on the grief. But the elders of the town could not get past the sadness from these deaths, so instead they wanted to escape. They did not take these happenings and grow from them, but chose to run. While watching the trailer for this movie, it demonstrates the world the elders created to hide from reality.



The elders caused the members of their society to suffer, as the fear and horror is shown in the video. Through their feelings and decisions to view life, "as though nothing is a miracle", they tried to escape. Taking a deep look into the minds of these characters, I feel that they do not view the happenings of their lives as miracles, and in the core of the story, if this deep, almost depression, had been left behind with the deaths, this society would not have been formed and the story would have changed entirely.

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water


Taking a look into the lives of these women, they had little happiness but much hardship. Each one of these characters had to endure extreme amounts of unfortunate events and adversity. The life of Rayona, although difficult, became a reflecting miracle. Christine could not support, physically and emotionally, her daughter. Through an odd stream of events Rayona made it into better hands and a happier life. Every one of the difficult realities she had to deal with, such as her mother leaving and trying to create a life of her own, created the path she needed to have a better life that she deserved. Looking through the rear-view mirror, the events that led Rayona’s life were miracles in disguise. Because of those events, she made it in the company of Sky and Evelyn. Here she found a job for state park maintenance. This is not ideal and not where her success will end, but these drastic changes allow for her to grow. Rayona now seems to find a new happiness she hadn’t had before. When Rayona meets up with her mom again, much time has passed and anger stirred but they rekindle a fresh relationship. Her mom is dying, but over their time apart and the difficulties they had to deal with, a fresh friendship could begin. Michael Dorris found a distinctive way of formatting a miracle. All of these events were less than ideal, but constructed a unique vision fitting into the situations of these character’s lives.

"William Wilson"

In the gothic pieces of Edgar Allen Poe, the word miracle is not necessarily associated with the deep dark stories Poe creates. Even I would not necessarily pair the word miracle or words of the like with "William Wilson", but I can find great positives in the seemingly dark story. The narrator spends his life running from William Wilson, but in the end, it turns out this "alter ego" is entirely himself, according to my interpretations. The narrator runs to places around the world attempting to rid himself of Wilson who knows everything about him, who seems to ruin every situation. The narrator did not lead a virtuous life, and William always seemed to intervene at the right moment to stop his evil deeds. The narrator states that, "Years flew, while I experienced no relief. Villan!- at Rome, with how untimely, yet with how spectrical officiousness, stepped he in between me and my ambition! At Vienna, too- at Berlin-and Moscow!"(Poe). To every place he traveled, William followed. The narrator was about to wipe a wealthy man clean in a round of gambling when William intervened and told of the narrator's hidden deceits. The narrator continues through the story feeling threatened by this odd man, and his life falls apart. But, this story carries a higher importance. In a way, Poe may be communicating the fact that no one can ever escape the true problems of our hearts, they can only be pushed under the rug until someone notices the bump. William Wilson became a sort of hero, an odd miracle, the narrator's conscience. When the narrator was about to commit a sort of "crime", Wilson would always show up to end his reign. The narrator was never given a chance to follow through with his potentially evil intensions because William Wilson always beat him to the punch line. Although the narrator is greatly troubled by William, he never realizes that in a way, William may be a miracle, keeping his life on track and eliminating the trouble he may have reached.


"The Minister's Black Veil"

Nathaniel Hawthorne created a penetrating plot through "The Minister's Black Veil". Many readers find this story some what confusing and do not understand the true meaning, but this story has a sort of beautiful symbolism that resonates through real life situations. The black veil is not a miracle in any sense, but there is great power to the situation in this story and the lessons it can teach. The veil is seen as a demon influence; the members of this town grow to hate it and the minister becomes shunned. The mystery associated with the veil greatly bothers the society and not a single person takes the time to understand the meaning and potential message that could be conveyed. I am not even sure the minister understood the reason for the veil, but he was strongly compelled to make a point. The minister suffered greatly because of this veil, and before his death, he proclaims, "'Why do you tremble at me alone?' cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. 'Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best beloved; when a man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me and lo! on every visage a Black Veil!'"(Hawthorne). The minister finally reveals the weight he has carried around his heart through his existence. He has finally proclaimed to the community that he may have a harmless, physical veil upon his face, but everyone around him also has a Black Veil. Without the power of this minister, many of the members of this society would not have learned of this dark truth, of the face that people hide and the lies that are suppressed in one's soul. Although, many people may have taken his outburst as that of a crazy man, he revealed a truth about society that no one else had known or was able to understand. The minister became a sort of miracle to the members of this town. He was willing to bare the burden to make that point. As we look into history, this idea of a "scapegoat", a miracle in my mind, is extremely relevant. Gandhi experienced great hardship to help free India, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated for his attempts, and the many persecuted by Hitler and the Nazis had to carry a unique cross of this time. All of them, in an interesting view, became a light, a miracle to the rest of the society, making way for a new path.

Romantic Poetry


Romantic poetry is a beautiful form of writing that has an easiness and smoothness that other forms of literature lack. The specific definition of romantic poetry goes as follows: "a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century. . . an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms". Romanticism takes a look at nature, beauty, and what can be. This poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow directly reflects romantic poetry in a striking way.

A Psalm of Life


Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solenm main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

This poem talks about making the best out of everything, making the best out of our lives. There is no reason to live just to die, but to create a colorful story book. Through this poem, Longfellow also brings in the idea of the sublime.


The sublime is. . .
"1. Characterized by nobility; majestic.

2. Of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth.
3. Inspiring awe; impressive.
4. An ultimate example"


The sublime is greatness that cannot be compared, beyond limitations. Longfellow discusses, "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime". He points out that we can make our lives majestic and powerful; we can add incredible meaning. All of these principle ideas relate wonderfully with the idea of miracles. To make the most of ourselves, to grow and to view the happenings of our lives as miracles, to become in touch with the beauties around us and in nature are all central ideas to romanticism. I personally feel the sublime cannot be described without the word miracle tacked on, they both go hand in hand. Romantic poetry finds a way of communicating the powers of miracles through poetry in metaphorical ways.

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism is a branch of romanticism and the transcendentalists are people that attempt to transcend the modern barriers and walls created. They sought an ideal spiritual and emotional state. I would say that transcendentalists had realistic romantic ideas. Famous transcendentalists include Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson; both had great ideas about life and modern society. A quote from Thoreau states that, "Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head". Through this line, Thoreau completely understands the importance of miracles. They are not out of reach, as many people seem to believe, but if we take the time to look, they are right "over your head". Although miracles are not a focus of transcendentalists, the knowledge and importance is still relevant in their ideas and works. In order to transcend the accommodations of society and to not conform, a person must be happy and comfortable within themselves; they must find what their heart truly desires and lose the boundaries of common life. Part of this confidence includes noticing the good aspects of life and recognizing the miracles. Chris McCandless may not have called himself a transcendentalist, but he spent his life leaving society to fulfill his dreams and desires. Below is a video clip slightly describing Chris McCandless' adventure.



Chris McCandless was no ordinary man. He spent his life doing all that he could to be as happy as he could. He abandoned regular life and created his own map. Although he passed away in a rather sad death, his parting note wrote, "I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!" Chris was successful at living a life he loved, and he had the opportunity to do so. Chris viewed every moment of his life as a miracle, even his slow death. No matter what others may think of him or the situation he created, Chris was happy and loved his life, and that is all that really matters. His life was a miracle, maybe only to himself.

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

This story of an American slave who over rides the slave system is a true reflection of the power of miracles. The slaves during the 1800's expericanced extreme hardships and harsh punishments; they were treated like animals. For many of these slaves, to over come the chains of slavery, they had to find a certain personal strength that most people will never find.

The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald writes this book in a way that lends itself to a tragic ending, but there is a true light of miracles shining through the plot. Gatsby, the main character symbolizes the power to overcome the road blocks of our lives, and even though he dies alone with no one, the narrator sums up his life with this; "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year receded before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...And one fine morning -" (Fitzgerald 189). Although Gatsby dies a tragic death of murder, he is rejected by his true love, and is left with few actual friends, "Gatsby believed in the green light", he had a hope and he lived to find what his heart truly desired. His life is a sign that there are miracles, and through his example, he made a way for people to "run faster, strecth out our arms farther". Although to the common eye, his life is seen as tragic and unhappy, he becomes an example of hope.