Reading Log: “Struggle of Acceptance”
The Lost City by Alan Ehrenhalt, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, and “My Two Lives” by Jhumpa Lahiri, are all great stories that have a connecting theme of “struggle of acceptance”. The short excerpt from The Lost City is about the past of an African-American neighborhood, called Bronzeville, during the 1950’s. Alan Ehrenhalt explains that the people in the neighborhood were close and worked together in order to endure all of the struggles that ascended in their lives from segregation, prejudice, and poverty. The literary piece goes on to tell that after segregation ended, Bronzeville completely changed and the people in the community had to learn to survive independently. The theme, “struggle of acceptance”, is evident in Ehrenhalt’s story because the African-Americans had to work diligently to find acceptance in a world that was unfamiliar to them. The churches, the businesses, and the houses in the newly integrated society were all different from those in Bronzeville. Ehrenhalt developed the theme by explaining what life was like for the African-Americans who lived in Bronzeville during segregation, and how they had to learn to adjust to the integrated society. For instance, the African-Americans had to become more independent and the churches from the old Bronzeville community decreased their focus on sin. In The Lost City, Ehrenhalt clearly demonstrates how all of the African-Americans struggled with acceptance in the integrated society.
Furthermore, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is about an aging, single man, who desires to find a woman and fit into society. The only hindrances are that the man does not understand women, and he does not know how to blend in with other individuals. The theme, “struggle of acceptance” correlates with Eliot’s story because the main character struggles with being accepted by women and the overall society. Eliot develops the theme of “struggle of acceptance” by showing how the main character’s age and very unusual personality hinders him from forming an intimate relationship with a woman and interacting with others in his society. The man feels like people judge him because of his age and his uniqueness. He also feels that women are very mysterious and that none of them will ever accept him as anything more than an acquaintance. The man’s conflicts leave him depressed and almost hopeless.
“My Two Lives” is about Jhumpa Lahiri, who has a strong Indian heritage, was born in London, and moved to the United States at the young age of two. Lahiri has a difficult time trying to find who she is, and how to perfectly fit into both the American and the Indian culture. Eventually she learns to accept and appreciate both cultures, and she decides to officially identify herself as an Indian-American. Lahiri’s story relates with the theme, “struggle of acceptance” because the literary work explains how she has a difficult time discovering how to be accepted...