Alexis Blanco

ENG 190


May 1, 2018

Reflective Essay

The concept of literature being full of depth and intrinsic themes was something that was presented to me in high school, but I took for granted. I did not think I would ever need to visit back passages and literary themes because in my mind, I was seeking to go into psychology. I wanted to help people physically and understand the complexity that lives within their minds. I did not realize that I was going to do that until I started delving more into literature and understanding its themes.

Although one states that usually college is the place to start talking about literature, but I remember the first time I truly felt connected to a text was when I read Sandra Cisneros’ A House on Mango Street. The last anecdote was something that I connected with as it states that one must go away and then come back for those who cannot leave. As a minority I have always carried that to heart as I have always felt that being a college educated individual does not give me privilege or power beyond those others who have not been able to obtain it. I did not want this college education to cloud my judgment, it told me to keep close to my roots and continue to keep close to those around my communities. They are still people, some of which who have not been able to escape their conditions and I should not allow myself to become corrupted by knowledge.

This shaped my experience throughout my college experience as I kept trying to educate myself remembering the last part of that anecdote about returning to ones roots. I started having a class with Trevor Jackson, a class that got me in the path to understanding the importance of short stories. I felt at home and it only took some time to adjust to this new idea that I wanted to become an English major. It made me seek out authors and others who were more than ready to be my teachers and talk to me about the problems with society. In fact, it was not until Enlightenment where I started to see the darkness within humanity and how this darkness was created to challenge what was established. This darkness was meant to illuminate the problems in society, a juxtaposition that William Blake would agree with. He sees opposition as true friendship.

Literature is complex and like humanity it speaks volumes about society allowing for readers to understand a deeper connection to it. I feel like literature makes us better people as they help to understand our problems through a lens that does not necessarily reflect us. We see ourselves in the reflections of others, or so I have hear from other people. In other words the narratives that we read only reflect our societal issues in order to open up and allow conversation about it rather than just take things as is. I felt challenged the deeper I delved into literature and my original perception about it of being open doors to new worlds was right. I was being taken to new time periods and new authors that talked about one subject and then others who talked about another, ultimately catching us up to everything that is occurring.

I started to write myself, using my skills as a writer to comment on different authors and themes that kept coming up, obviously for the grade but it put me in a position to understand humanity. It made me self-reflect because by writing, again I mention the grade, we place a piece of ourselves in the writing. We are shaping an idea from our thoughts and putting our own stance on it in order to give it life. It becomes public and places a foot in the door that allows us to enter a larger conversation of the topic. In the end  we stand by what we say and back it up from what we have experienced to keep this conversation going.

Being an English major, I hope to return home and finish up the ideas that Sandra Cisneros has taught me. Yet now she is not the only one I have who has mentored me, in fact I have other authors like Toni Morrison, William Blake, Gloria Anzaldua, William Shakespeare, and the list can go on, who have helped me to understand the world I live in. I do not want to stay ignorant to my world, I want to bring my knowledge to my community and teach them what I have learned in hopes of being inspired to also take this journey. For this is what this has been, a journey into an endless cycle of wisdom that only continues to grow with time. I can sit here and type out my thoughts but in the end I need to let others undergo this journey because it can only happen by doing. I am not done and others are not done so lets hope they can keep going. It is important to go through this journey of self discovery because the self is important to try and seek understanding.