The Power of Education and its Economic Impact

After reading “The Worm Against the Word” regarding Jonah’s Gourd Vine, what I found most compelling about the article was how reading and writing were treated as such valuable skills during that period. More specifically, they were used as a way for men to try and “woo” females and show them they are worthy of their attention. When reading the article, there is a powerful quote that reads “Since Lucy is the word of words for John, he fittingly woos her through both reading and writing. John studies his lessons to impress Lucy. And he is pleased to join her in a duet on the last night of school because it will demonstrate his mastery of the text” (123). Evident from this quote, it is clear John intends to try and show Lucy how intelligent he is and use it to his advantage. Although he does it as a way to make connections between Lucy and himself, John also knows that Lucy will be more attracted to him if he shows he is educated and destined for future success.

Seeing this trend in the article makes me draw comparisons to relationships seen in society nowadays. In my opinion, I believe people take the concept of education for granted and look at relationships mainly for physical attraction. Examples can be seen in present-day Hollywood where movies are centered around the physical aspects of relationships rather than traditional romance or love stories. I think that education should be valued now like it was in the article mainly because that is what creates a successful economy. Individuals who are motivated to work hard and achieve their full potential is what in the end will support a well-functioning society.

In conclusion, I found the idea of reading and writing to be the most compelling aspect of this article because it made me reflect on my life as well as the global population. The power of education is undisputed because it allows people to achieve what they want whether that is measured in monetary success or a steady relationship. People are attracted to individuals who work hard and want success, and seeing this trend in the novel is what pushes me to maximize my education to the highest level.

Music Brings People Together Regardless of Social Injustice

After watching King Vidor’s film Hallelujah, it is clear that music was the main way that the creators were able to accurately represent what African American culture was like in the early twentieth century. This movie recreated my view of black culture, as the film went into great detail showing the daily lives and life activities of these individuals. The main character, commonly referred to as Zeke, was featured commonly in the movie going through stressful situations. One instance was at a social gathering where he was pressured to gamble his money and was wrongfully scammed by both Chick and Hotshot. Although this was only one small part of the film, this instance highlights the large forms of inequality that African Americans experience on a daily basis. With all the tragedy that this movie highlighted, music was constantly used as a way of bring people back together.

The image above highlights a group of people gathered around Zeke’s speeches.

Evident from reading J.H. Howard’s article “Hallelujah!: Transformation in Film”, she also firmly agreed that the various use of music is what allowed the film to accurately portray African American ethnic groups. One quote from the reading I found particularly interesting is when Howard claims that “Within the film, this dynamic operates at the level of narrative, musical number, and music, resolving the contradictions identified by Dyer” (441). This quote highlights just how revolutionary this film was, mainly because of the different types of music that are conveyed. The contrast between religion, folk music, as well as instruments is what allow the movie creators to portray the film in an accurate light. As a result, Hallelujah served as an accurate representation of African American culture and was able to cast light on social issues that are still being discussed to this day.