Fatal Attraction: The Violent Closing of a Closet Door in A Separate Peace (A Personal Reflection)

Anyone who has ever set foot in a men’s locker room knows that within those walls, safely out of the public eye, the line between hetero- and homosexuality is dramatically blurred, if not completely erased. In that context, and very few others, the idea of heteronormity yields to reality—the process of settling individual identity often … Continue reading Fatal Attraction: The Violent Closing of a Closet Door in A Separate Peace (A Personal Reflection)

Ghost Stories: Reclaiming the Past Through Its ‘Telling’ as Reflected in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Trauma, especially as it relates to the violent loss of a child, can have a transformative effect on its victims. The resulting transformation can negatively affect not only the sufferers, but also their family, friends, and community. In Toni Morrison’s, Beloved, Sethe is plagued by the memory of past trauma at the hands of slave … Continue reading Ghost Stories: Reclaiming the Past Through Its ‘Telling’ as Reflected in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Narrative Narcissism: Holden Caulfield and the Art of Self-Preservation

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most enduring works in all of American Literature and, arguably, one of the most influential. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist and narrator, chronicles his efforts, not so much to understand himself or other people, but to ridicule their “phoniness” and insulate himself from becoming one … Continue reading Narrative Narcissism: Holden Caulfield and the Art of Self-Preservation

Rich Man, Poor Man: A Short Reflection on Thoreau’s “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”

In "Where I Lived and What I Lived For," Thoreau teaches us a great lesson on the importance of contentedness. While he is always moving--sauntering, as it were--he is never doing so in search of wealth; at least not monetary wealth. Instead, his constant forward movement is in search of purpose and higher understanding of … Continue reading Rich Man, Poor Man: A Short Reflection on Thoreau’s “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”

Thoreau’s Honest Man: A Short Reflection on “Civil Disobedience”

Last week I remarked to a friend that it saddened me to think that simple honesty, what I view as the most basic of human virtues, is now so uncommon that it is applauded as a great achievement. It seems absurd to me that we should celebrate something that should be so common among men … Continue reading Thoreau’s Honest Man: A Short Reflection on “Civil Disobedience”