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By Dr. Heather Harwood, Classics Department Head
The Future Is Female
The women’s movement in America informed much of my development from a girl to a woman and has defined my identity as more than any other social or cultural event. Growing up in the 1970’s I watched and listened with a child’s wondering eyes and ears as the role of women in society blossomed and evolved all around me. I was exposed to children’s programs like Free to Be You and Me, a musical entertainment project that promoted radical gender and racial equality. I also remember watching the television program Mary Tyler Moore with my parents, a show considered progressive at the time, that followed the life of a young single woman making her way in the traditionally male dominated world of television journalism. In high school, I chose topics for research papers on women’s issues, from the Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffragist Movement to Roe Vs. Wade to the Equal Rights Amendment. (more…)
By Selina Wu, IV Form
《Indigènes》–– Le Miroir de La Réalité
Editor’s Note: The assignment for this essay–Write a 2-4 page analytical essay that discusses themes from the chosen content (Selina chose this film). Present themes and analysis using support from the chosen content and end by opening up a new question, which Selina does by asking: “As global citizens, how can we understand ongoing conflicts of race and religion.”
Le film 《Indigènes》raconte une histoire des soldats algériens pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Malgré le fait que les soldats viennent d’Algérie, ils vont à la guerre pour la
France à cause de la colonisation française. Le film montre la séparation des femmes et des hommes, les conflits entre les religions différentes, et l’inégalité des races.
Un des thèmes les plus importants est les rôles différents des hommes et des femmes pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Dans le film, les hommes et les femmes n’ont pas beaucoup d’interactions. Quand les hommes sont partis pour les combats, les femmes sont “devenues « chefs de famille » par la force des choses, pour pallier l’absence de l’homme” (Kristjánsdóttir 16). Dans le film, les soldats sont demandés de protéger un village français. Il y a seulement des femmes et des enfants dans le village parce que les hommes sont tous dans la guerre. Les rôles des femmes ont beaucoup changé après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. La distinction entre les occupations des hommes et des femmes est clairement présentée dans le film. (more…)
By Charlotte Wood, V Form
A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’t Passing
W.E.B. Dubois wrote that “all Art is propaganda and ever must be…” He thought that artists and writers should try to make the world a better place through their work. Nella Larsen, the author of Passing, would not agree. Her novel centers on two light-skinned black women, Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield, and their respective decisions to pass as white or not. I believe she wrote this novel not to persuade the reader of something or to convince them to enact change, but rather to reflect the world how she sees it. The book is a reaction to society, not something for society to react to. Passing itself is portrayed as something that simply is, not wholly good or wholly bad. Both characters participate in it, and so the reader is not meant to side with one over the other. The relative passivity of its message is reflected in the passivity of its main character, Irene. Because she is not active, the intention of the novel is not active. Lastly, the ambiguity of the ending leaves the reader, like Irene, with more questions than answers. (more…)
By Gabriel Xu, V Form
Make Peace With the Day to Enjoy the Evening: Remains of the Day
There’s an old Chinese idiom that roughly translates to, “The person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clearly”. Surely, this applies to the case of Mr. Stevens. As the aged butler in Remains of the Day travels farther away from the house he has been in service of for decades, he starts to see the truth of his former employer more clearly — a truth so dark and ugly that Stevens has tried very hard to escape. Although Mr. Stevens is forced to learn the tragic truth about his former lord and consequently his own small, yet undeniable contribution as butler to the evildoing his master was conducting, the meeting with Ms. Kenton, a former housekeeper, allows him to see value in his decades of service, to make peace with his past, and eventually to move forward into a hopeful future. (more…)
By Eric Zhang, V Form
(Editors’ Note: In Ms. Matthews’ American Literature class, this assignment prompted students to create a 10th chapter of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, utilizing Nick Caraway’s melancholic tone and including some type of closure for the characters)
It had been five years since the funeral, and I finally returned to this city that I once thought was haunted. Everything was so depressing. There were no sounds of the orchestra playing or shimmering sights of the girls wearing fancy dresses with decorations on their shoes. The city of New York had changed since that October in 1929, what was later called Black October. I wandered the streets of New York, and ultimately, I was pulled back to the Eggs and Gatsby’s mansion. What was once a (more…)
By Sarah Robertson, VI Form
The History of Coeducation in America and at St. Mark’s
Gender inequality has been an enduring issue in America. In 1848, there was a call to end discrimination when women signed the Declaration of Sentiments at the the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. But, it was not until 1920, seventy-two years later, voters ratified the 19th Amendment, the right for women to vote. In 1972, Congress passed Title IX, prohibiting discrimination, exclusion, and denial of benefits based on sex in all federally funded education programs. It took until 1972 for coeducation, for the government to protect education of students of both sexes together. Though these strides were positive, they were certainly drawn out. The progression towards coeducation, both in the United States as a whole and at St. Mark’s School in particular, was similar: slow, always a step behind. However, both America and St. Mark’s ultimately have become strong, healthy, coeducational environments.