The event One Question had an impactful message concerning intellectual and developmental disabilities with a direct correlation to the idea of persevering through adversity. One Question and “Frederick Douglas: 1817-1895” by Langston Hughes both have the message of taking the first step and persevering in common.
One Question started with a direct message addressed as, “What would you change?” When asked to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the answer is not what is expected. The common answer was to change their appearance or to be happy. The same exact things we find ourselves saying. This revealed how even though we are so quick to judge and assume they are not able to the same things as us, more often than not they can. These people push through adversity in their everyday life that the average man or woman cannot imagine, yet they have the same desires and wants as everyone else.
This clearly relates with Hughes’s poem in several ways. It shows a direct correlation with pushing through adversity, taking the first step, and living life boldly. People with these disadvantages as well as people without them need to take the step and realize how capable they are, as well as being bold and not living timidly. For there to be any progress towards the correct treatment of people with disadvantages the moves have to be decisive and firm.
The common theme within “Cincinnati”, “My Papa’s Waltz”, and the “Cask of Amontillado” is the hidden fear or evil in what seems an apparent good. Although there is a similarity in a theme of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as well ‘”, the poem “Frederick Douglas: 1816-1895” contrasts with the themes in these three narratives.
“Cincinnati” by Mitsuye Yamada goes through this revelation in a serious tone. This initial impression is a new exciting country and yet the speaker finds herself under the effect of racism. The idea of being somewhere to be your own person, “Freedom at last…. In a real city, where, no one knew me” (Yamada 1-8) and yet finding out you are known by the words, “dirty jap, warm spittle on my cheek” (Yamada 11-12) Finding a new place and feeling elation with the idea of having the freedom to be anyone, and then finding yourself being degraded and spit on is a jerking transition. Yet in Hughes’s poem Douglas is already in this evil situation, and breaks free from it rather than thinking its good and finding that in actuality it is bad.
“My Papa’s Waltz” and “God’s Grandeur” have contrasting themes with some similar imagery. Roethke’s poem reflects on a father who is drunk after work and is dancing with his son making a ruckus. Though he is strong he lacks grace in contrast with Hopkins’ poem which displays a loving, graceful God. Though the line, “With a palm caked by dirt,” (Roethke 14) has nature imagery of a man who works with his hands outside, and “God’s Grandeur” is filled with nature imagery.
Finally, in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” there is what seems initially like revenge but with a connotation of justice, but at the end of the story it is clear that the revenge served is unjust. The wrong done by Fortunato is never expanded upon even, which clearly shows the lack of balance between the two wrong doings. And yet the persecutor seems justified, similarly to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” where a similar unbalanced transaction of a small wrong resulting in death. Although both Antagonist who commit the murder feel as though they were right in their actions, it is clear they are not.