The common theme that seems to appear in “The Cask of Amontillado”, “My Papa’s Waltz”, and “Cincinnati” is loving some particular thing so much can eventually make you look like a fool. In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, the love, and some could call it an obsession, is for Amontillado. This love ends up having Fortunato seen as foolish because he disappears due to the monster, presumably dead. His friend tried to stop him from going on multiple times but he was too in love with Amontillado that he had to go find and eventually be killed by it. In “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, the love is for the speaker’s father for which they love to waltz with. The speaker looks like a fool because they continuously hit their ear on their father’s belt while dancing and they cling to his shirt even when it is time to stop dancing, they even say at one point that they hang on like death. This is foolish because the speaker knows that eventually the waltz will have to end but they do not want to realize that and they just want to stay in the moment. In “Cincinnati” by Mitsuye Yamada, the speaker of the poem loves Cincinnati, and her chance to start a new life where no one knew her. She ends up looking like a fool because she dropped her handkerchief on the ground. Not only did she drop her handkerchief, she dropped her freshly bleached handkerchief into the dirty street where people tossed their chewed gum and trash, and everyone saw her do it.
In my meditation with Dr. Davis we discussed a similar topic to loving something so much it makes you look like a fool. We discussed how to keep the mind still and how keeping the mind still will help you be able to focus better on the task you are doing and it will try to help and rid you of obsessions. This relates very much so with the readings because every story/ poem has something to do with obsession at some point. The most obvious obsession is in “The Cask of Amontillado” because Fortunato will not give up until he is up against the Amontillado. In this situation, meditation would say to quiet your mind and not to think but only count your breaths. Try to make your body as still as possible and focus on breathing in and breathing out. This method could have helped and maybe even saved Fortunato from his death. All he needed to do was to try not to focus on one thing but rather focus on everything around him and become more aware of the situation in which we was in.
From “My Papa’s Waltz” the speaker could have used meditation because they have a lot of energy and the goal of the father waltzing with this child was to tire them out. The speaker, who is the child does not get tired out by the act of waltzing it actually makes them more awake and more aware of their surroundings, they notice everything. If the speaker was using meditation they would not be as hyperactive and they would be able to go to bed without having to be dragged there every night. If the child was to meditate and have their mind be still, they would not have to cling to their father, they would only have to realize the situation in which they are in, and then go to sleep.
In “Cincinnati”, the speaker clearly gets overwhelmed with their new situation and they become emotional about it. If the speaker was to practice meditation and practice focusing on keeping the mind still, her emotions would not have been as extreme and she would not have made a fool of herself. By practicing breathing exercises, the speaker would have been able to control her mind and keep her emotions from spilling out. If her emotions do not spill out she does not have to get out a handkerchief to clean her tears and ultimately she does not end up dropping her handkerchief, and she does not make a fool of herself.
Overall meditation and breathing exercises that go with meditation really help control strong emotions like love, joy, and obsession. When these emotions get out of hand it is easy to do whatever you want and blame the emotions. But when it comes down to it, everyone is able to control their emotions with enough focus. It really just depends on the person and how much they want or do not want their emotions to show.