Each of the literary works by Cullen, Dunbar, and Shelley present the monster of self-recognition and finding truth in understanding ones identity. This is something that every person goes through during his or her lifetime. Learning about how the world sees you and how you see yourself is a fundamental process that people from all parts of life continuously go through. The process is unveiled in the 5th grade classroom at Tunbridge and in the literary works introduced this past week.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley depicts the acceptance or apprehension of self-image. In chapter 11, the monster explains to Victor how he felt post creation. The monster begins his journey alone; he experiences the world without the viewpoints of others and therefore is unaware of the concept of self-image. In search of essentials to survive the monster makes his first encounter with humanity and is awakened to the idea of self-perception. He interacts with an old man and who runs away out of fear and people from a village react the same way shortly after. The monster then stays away from humans and develops a self-image because he understands that his presence causes a negative interaction.
In “Tableau” by Countee Cullen, the relationship between two boys who overcome and look past racial separation and the world is described. The boys are unaware of the separation that society demands, for example “From lowered blinds the dark folk star “ and “In unison to walk”. In the first line, Cullen shows the disapproval of society. In the second line the image of the boys continuously walking side by side ignoring the disapproval of society is shown. They are aware of their self-image relating to enjoying themselves as kids without the twisted viewpoints of society during their time. The self-image kids have at a young age is priceless because in most cases the demands and ideas of society are not the biggest influence. Reflecting on my last visit at Tunbridge, most of the kids were very social. Without having much knowledge of the true development of self-image in a 5th grader my assessment is purely from a few observations. Peers and teachers heavily influence the self-image developed in a 5th grader. There are a few “class clowns” who call out during silent reading to obtain attention and quiet giggles from those sitting across from them in petite desks. They also gain the audible correction of Mrs. Hazle who looks sharply in their direction with a stern demeanor. The Social acceptance of those around them molds the self-image these children are developing. Some of the children identify as comical, smart, or athletic. I believe most of the children label themselves in a simple context.
In “Theology” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, religion is viewed in a somewhat comical perspective. The poem is very straightforward in the beginning and then adds a comical punch at the end, “If there were not, where would my neighbours go”. Self-image can also be identified in religion and in the poem the speaker seems to take religion lightly and could seemingly have an easy going and relaxed persona. During my time at Tunbridge, religion has not been a firm theme and none of the children have discussed anything of a sort. But some of the children are easy going and comical which does relate to the way the reader perceives the speaker at the end of the poem.
Overall, self-image is something that can be obtained from many places. In most cases those around you have the deepest effect on how you perceive yourself.