Tim O’Brien “The ThingsThey Carried.” Annotated bibliography

Wright, Jordan. &quotThere`s a Moral Here: Emerging Ethics in TheThings They Carried.&quot (2015).

In this paper, Wright opines that all Vietnamese War veterans weredamaged irreparably during their time of service in that war. Hepoints out that Tim O’Brien analyzes the war and appears to agreewith that mentality. From the novel he particularly focuses on thetheme of race, by examining the character played by Kiowa in thenovel. Because of his native origins, he is discriminated by hisfellow soldiers, but digging further into the story, Kiowa is lovedand respected by the other men, and the experiences in the fieldsduring the war has helped bridge the racial barriers. The Vietnamesewar demanded moral choice from the participating soldiers, and Jordanfinds out that the characters in the story made wrong decisions,because they become desensitized into these acts. He concludes that,despite the dark war, O’Brien still leaves traces of humankindness. It implies that despite being in a war, the soldiers didnot abandon their morality, rather they develop a much broader andbetter perspective of it, which is part and parcel of their roles asmembers of the U.S Army.

His work is paramount in the development of my literacy skills. Hedevelops a thesis and urges it out well about the story. The pointshe uses are very clear and direct from the text this helps me a lotas a writer to read deeper into the texts identifying hiddencharacteristics that need concentration. His interpretation is basedon support from other sources, and this can also be very useful to meas a writer of literature in drawing comparisons.

Based on his credentials as a university student,Wright articulates issues from experience and also from hisintensive digestion of similar works. He justifies his points usingthe novel, showing that he possesses the mastery of the content ofthe book. His arguments are rock solid, for he draws some of theexamples from the real situations and recorded histories based on thebiography of the person writing the novel as in the case of O’Brien.

Weil, Joseph P. &quotFemale Representations in ContemporaryPostmodern War Novels of Spain and the United States: Women as Toolsof Modern Catharsis in the Works of Javier Cercas and Tim O`Brien.&quot(2015).

The author examines the notion of women being used as tools of moderncatharsis by comparing the works of O’Brien and Javier Cercus.Though the two novels originate from different regions, and that eachpersona’s choice of character is different, he evaluates the uniquetreatment of war, verisimilitude, and memory. Applying the feministtheory, he examines the interpretation of the silent characters inthe novel. He tries to bring to light the problems that come whenrepresenting women, as created by the authors who write novels withan egalitarian message of healing deliberately. He points out that,sexism still dominates among the authors who write novels of war, andthat the texts they use for healing are used to misrepresent thefeminine individuals intentionally. They misrepresent women and usemale catharsis as their stylistic elements. In the modern era, theyconsciously attempt to reconcile the past using these war novels, andthey achieve catharsis through the recovery of a memory initiallytraumatized. As the reader is trying to understand the describedtrauma, it inflates catharsis, and he/she expresses pity and sympathyin the process to the affected characters. One of the fundamentalways of making a war novel reparative in this modern era is usingwomen as tools of catharsis.

The thesis of Weil is rather uncommon,and most people do not recognize its importance in the literarytexts. However, the way he develops his thesis is based on carefulexamination of the story written by the author. Using his work, I canbe able to develop a thesis that does not directly point out theestablished them created by the author. Rather, I would focus more,on identifying sub-themes that are building blocks of the majorthemes. It becomes a better way of understanding the work of thatauthor, and it opens up the mind for minor information which mightflip through the minds of other readers.

Weil’s work is identifying a well-educated individual who hasmastery of literature and experience in literacy works. The majorityof readers and reviewers of books such as these are not keen toidentify the building blocks of a major theme in the novel. Weilis exceptional for he has a deeper understanding of literatureand how to interpret stories. His arguments are very subtle, and hebrings them out from the texts citing examples. His arguments becomevalidated by the fact that he justifies whatever he writes, throughcareful examination. Based on his knowledge, his augmentative powersare profound, and they reflect his broad knowledge and experience onsocial issues.

Bonney, Sarah. &quotMorality and Pleasure in Tim O`Brien`s TheThings They Carried.&quot Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism9.1 (2016): 4.

The article examines how the representation of pleasure in O’Brien’snovel establish new codes of morality during their service asmilitary men in Vietnam. According to Sarah, the civilians have abasic understanding of both acceptable and unacceptable behavior inthe society. The soldiers, on the other hand, must carry out immoralacts so as to serve in an honorable manner as expected by their homecountries. Soldiers are constantly carrying out violent acts while inservice, and therefore, they have to come up with the newunderstanding of morality based on their circumstances to ensure thatthey feel the pleasure even as the war continues. Pleasure in war isnot a reward for good behavior or a byproduct of moral living.However, it is a perceived benefit of increased safety and control.The construction of the new moral system and the resultingcorrelation with pleasure with violence becomes redefinedt suit the least harmful means of resolving conflict, and inthe Warfield, violence is a form of conflict resolution, as depictedin the novel.

Bonney introduces the issue of substitution of morality to attainpleasure in circumstances where abiding to morality can be difficult.This aids me a lot in expanding my thinking especially, in furtherunderstanding of O’Brien’s novel. Here soldiers at Vietnamese warindicate that morality was not a choice for survival in thebattlefield. This gives me a wider perspective in the interpretationof the novel as well as understanding the social dilemmas in thesociety.

Bonney is a sociologist who knows the moral dimensions of thesociety. To a lay person, the acts of the soldiers in the battlefieldseem ruthless and unjustifiable, but she goes ahead and explains thereasons behind their actions based on O’Brian’s novel. Moralitysometimes is an option, especially on the battlefield. This is anotion we can get from her works. She carefully examines every pieceof the novel and ties it together to bring out the plight ofsoldiers. She argues out that, in as much as soldiers envy the lifeof the civilians, their duty does not permit them to conform tomorality, and therefore they decide to find pleasurable things thatcan make them cope better with circumstances.

Ferguson,Lisa. &quot“Dumb Coozes” And Damaged Men: Female Stereotypes,Male Victimization, And Manipulative Narration in The Things TheyCarried and In The Lake Of The Woods.&quot Journal of Research InGender Studies 6.1 (2016): 76-120.

Inthis study, Ferguson proposes that what sustained the relationshipswith the American War soldiers in Vietnam was the resentment they hadtowards women, especially the American women during the conflict andmuch later after the war ended. Tom O’Brien illustrates in hisnovel that what makes the male soldiers bond to their colleagues waspowered by the rejection they had towards their lover or girlfriend.This is firmly illustrated and repeatedly appears in characters inthe representation of the American Woman, especially during the fullnarration of the Vietnam War. The character, Jimmy Cross is depictedas a victim of their lover’s lack of sympathy towards them and alsothe trauma they are going through. The destructive effect of theunsympathetic woman has emphasized in this research and the effect ithas on the soldier in the process especially regarding his stabilityand masculinity. It depicts the inappropriate merging of the love andthe violence that emerges due to woman’s rejection. O’Brien triesto put it in his readers by manipulating them through coercivenarration that, the excuse of his character’s behavior was due tothe failure of the lover/girlfriend to understand the war. He alsotries to bring out the notion that the women insensitive, and henceare to blame for the soldier’s bad acts after the war.

Thisstudy by Lisa Ferguson is an important argument especially in thesocial aspects of pre- and post-soldier relationships women have withwar soldiers. Her thesis brings out both sides of the argument, butshe finally settles for the fact that the experience of war cantransform a man’s character. Her thesis is well developed and urgedout in a very articulate manner. Examining and studying her workhelps me, in critical evaluation of arguments before jumping into aconclusion.

Fergusonhas a deep understanding of gender roles, military policies,victimology and studies in violence and power. Her knowledge of thesedisciplines helps her on how to develop arguments based on thecontext of the author. O’Brien’s novel is pretty easy tounderstand and to pick up various themes. But urging them out the wayshe puts it can be challenging. It requires an experienced mind tohave a clear understanding of this issue.


Student’s Last Name 4



Fencesis a play that involves the life of a man who is 53 years old and isstruggling to provide for his family. The name is Troy Maxson. AugustWilson, the playwright, was keen to givedetails of a mixed society on a theme of relations betweenraces involving an African American family (Mays,Kelly). In this regard,Troy Maxson is the character of choice for comparison, regardingthe differences and similarities, with my personal traits.


Troyis shown to be hard working in the play (Mays,Kelly). Just like Troy,I also have aninborn urgealwaysto be workingextra hard for me to achieve my dreams in life. Ido not remember any time in my lifethat I have never been engaged in struggles. Right fromkindergarten, through lower grade to high school, I have worked hard.I feel that this character is the same as that of Troy. While inprison, he kept on practicing baseball and developed that talentpretty well. It is not the same as other scenarios where people whoarejailed give upin life and decide to live miserably. Also, he works as a collectorof trash and through this he managesto feed hisfamily that includes his brother Gabriel, the wife, Rose, and the soncalled Cory. Again, during that period, racism was practiced,and like Troy’s case, the drivers of trash lorries were notsupposed to be African Americans. At this point, the play tries tochange that cultureof racism by allowing Troy to work his ways out until he manages tobe a driver instead of just a collector (Mays,Kelly).

Another similarity betweenTroyand me is thecharacter of being loving. I love my family and friends,and anything that tries to hurt them will face me. Thefamily isimportant to me because they are always there in times of happinessand sorrow. Likewise, Troy loves his family until he has developed afearfor his son Cory on racial discrimination because he has faced ithimself. It occurs when Cory tells him that he wants to play football(Mays, Kelly).Also, Troy loves his brother Gabriel such that hehas moved in with him after he wasinjured during awar. Again, he has a daughter called Raynell from an affair outsideof marriage and he does not run away from responsibility. His wife,Rose agrees to take the girl and raise her, but does not want to staywith Troy anymore (Mays,Kelly).

Being secretive is mycharacter,and it is shared with Troy too (Mays,Kelly). I like beingsecretive with everything I do so that if it is not likely to impresspeople, they will not even notice it in the first place. Troy hasanother affair with Alberta,but nobody realizes it until Alberta dies. It means he kept it tohimself. Heis also keen and intelligent. Iam an intelligent guywho assesses anything before I do it, just like Troy, as he managesto fight problems like racism (Mays,Kelly).


Onthe other hand, Troy has some characteristics that are different frommine. He is a pretender,but I am not. Heis strict with his family to live agood andresponsible life and yet he goes ahead and develops a secret affairwith Alberta (Mays,Kelly). Thismeans that he isjust acting to be holy.

Also, Troy always thinksabout negative things while I do not. He thinks that because he wasabused and denied to play baseball during his time in prison,so his son will also pass through the same problems. Heis so unhappy until he kicks Cory out of the house. It means he isserious that he does not want Cory toreally play football.He also tells Corry’s coach that he will not be playing anymore. Ido not like to think about negative things because they will block mymind to do other important things (Mays,Kelly).

I am not a betrayer likeTroy. He has a wife called Rose, she loves him and has given himchildren,but he does not appreciate that. He still goes ahead and getsAlberta. Unlike me, Troy is a betrayer to his spouse. I cannot betrayanyone because it will hurt me when it is too late to get them back.Also, Troy does not allow his son Cory to play football. Instead ofleaving him to decide for himself, he even tells Cory’s coach a liethat he will not play anymore. Thisis a fatherbetraying a son and it is not rightfor a family. Again, Troy refuses to tell his friend Bono aboutAlberta and yet he knows it is true there is an affair. He betraysthe concern of his friend by lying (Mays,Kelly).

In conclusion, Troy is theperson I chose to compare myselfwith. Thesimilarities we have includebeing hardworking, secretive, and loving. The differences are that heis a pretender, a negative thinker,and a betrayer, but I am not any of them. Also, the play changes theculture of that time by making Troy fightracism,and he even wins to be a driver of trash lorries. Apparently, AugustWilson wrote an educative play.

Work Cited

Mays, Kelly. TheNorton introduction to literature.12th ed., 2016,


Student’s Last Name 4


Drug Analysis Paper on SingerWhitney Houston

A look at the drug culture inAmerica shows that a significant portion of the country’spopulation engage in drug or substance abuse in a manner that impactstheir lives in negative or adverse ways (Goode, 2). This paper offersa drug analysis based on the case of American superstar and singer,the late Whitney Houston. The singer died of a drug overdose in 2012,but her stories of drug abuse were nothing short of ubiquitous in thecountry’s media platforms during earlier times, beginning in the1990s (Corley). The paper also offers an analysis of the singer’shit single, “I Will Always Love You,” which was recorded andproduced back in 1992.

  1. Background Information of The Pop Artiste

Whitney Houston was born in1963 in New Jersey, United States she grew up in a family that wascharacterized by love for music. Her father, Cissy Houston was asuccessful backup singer who engaged the genre of rhythm-and-bluesher mother was also a backup singer as well. In her adult life, thestar recorded high levels of success not only as a singer, but alsoas a fashion model and an actress. She started singing in the churchchoir at a tender age. As soon as she reached eleven, Whitney nolonger desired the position of a backup singer as she desired to singsolo before the church gathering. She continued to follow her heartand soon became one of the most successful female singers in thehistory of the United States and the world in general. One cannotdecline to note that Whitney was loved and admired by members ofcommunities, which she loved to aid to via charitable efforts. Shemade some notable contributions to community entities like theChildren’s Diabetes Fund, United Negro College Fund, St. Jude’sChildren’s Hospital, and organizations working withHIV/AIDS-related issues (Parish).

Whitney got married to anothersinger, Bobby Brown in 1992, with whom she had a daughter, BobbiKristina Brown in 1993. Soon after, in the 1990s, she started to showsigns of drug abuse. Undeniably, the singer started to skip or misspreplanned shows and performances. She was repeatedly late forscheduled interviews and talk shows. It is important to note thatBobby Brown had brought with him some baggage into theirrelationship he had three other children that he had out of wedlock.At some point, she was even confronted by the authorities for beingin possession of illegal drugs while being shoulder to shoulder withBobby Brown. Clearly, Whitney was suffering from drug addiction.

Again, it was clear that shewas losing weight drastically. Later on, she confessed of this senseof suffering and desperation and even opted to join a rehabilitationorganization in 2004. She admitted that she abused alcohol,marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. During the time, however, Whitneycontinued to profess her undying love for her husband, who continuedto promote her abuse of illegal drugs (Staff). Undeniably, this showsa completely different side of the singer, a person who was willingto fight the challenges that life threw at her. In order to protecther family, she even denied drug usage and challenges in hermarriage. It is appalling to note that by the time Whitney acceptedthat she needed professional help she had suffered some serious anddetrimental consequences of drug abuse. The singer then divorcedBrown in 2007 after going through very hard times with him. It is sounfortunate to note that despite her efforts to quit drug abuse, thesinger suffered a relapse that took her life in 2012 owing to a drugoverdose. Overall, the singer was brave in making her story of thechallenge of drug abuse known to the public as a testimony. Thisshows that even though people might make mistakes in life, they canstill gather courage for a turnaround and realize their innate dreamsin life.

B. Lyrical Analysis of thesong “I Will Always Love You,”

In this song, the singerattempts to convey a personal and emotional message to the audience.The song, which became the best-selling single by a female artist inhistory and won a Record of the Year Grammy Award, is highly regardedas Whitney’s signature song. A rendition of the lyrics in theverses shows that it is all about a situation of a breakup betweentwo lovers. Throughout the verses, the singer offers messages offarewell to a lover, a longtime partner, with whom they are partingways. Whitney attempts to imply to the audience that romanticrelationships need not to end with bitterness and bad feelings for anex-lover. At the beginning she indicates, “If I should stay/ Iwould only be in your way/ So I`ll go but I know/ I`ll think of youevery step of the way.” Such implies that she really adores theperson, and she is leaving him with an understanding that it would bethe correct thing or action of safeguarding his interests. In thesecond verse, the signer indicates that, “I hope life treats youkind/ And I hope you have all you`ve dreamed of/ And I wish you joyand happiness/ But above all this I wish you love.” In other words,despite the fact that she is leaving, she is still in love with herpartner, and hopes that he does great without her. Clearly, it is nother wish to leave her partner but the situation they are facing hasforced her to do so in a reluctant and unwilling manner that makesher full of pain.

In conclusion, the subjectmatter of drug abuse is one of great concern in the United States aswell as in other places of the world. It is so unfortunate that manyfail to realize their dreams and full potential in life owing to thevice. The case of Whitney Houston is a saddening one as itdemonstrates how the challenges of life can make one to succumb todrug abuse.

Works Cited

Corley, Maria. “Who killedWhitney Houston? Or: Straight talk about drug addiction.” 2012. Web

Goode, Erich. Drugsin American Society.McGraw-Hill Education. 2014. Print.

Parish, Robert.&nbspWhitneyHouston 1963-2012: We Will Always Love You.John Blake Publishing, 2012. Print.

Staff, Radar. “Dr. Judy:Whitney Houston Died at The Right Time.” 2012. Web



Vegetariansare people who do not consume meat, including fish and animalproducts for various reasons such as health and religious beliefs.They are divided into various groups such as the ovolactarians,lactarians and vegans. Ovolactarians consume dairy products,including eggs but they do not consume meat. In contrast, lactariansdo not consume eggs and meat, but they take other dairy products.Vegans, on the other hand, strictly do not take any animal products.In addition, they do not eat honey or wear clothes made from animalproducts like wool and leather (Francis, 2015).

Thefirst self-proclaimed group of vegetarians came up in the 6thcentury, and it was known as Pythagoreans. The name originatedPythagoras, the Greek philosopher, who also created the Pythagorastheorem in mathematics. It is believed that he was a vegetarian sincehis usual breakfast was honey while his dinner consisted of breadmade from barley and some vegetables. He taught morality that waspopularly known as Pythagorean ethics, in which he emphasized on hisfollowers to refrain from killing animals for food, as well as eatinganimal flesh. His admirers embraced his eating habits because theybelieved the dieting habit would be beneficial to increasing theirlongevity.

Althoughsome people abstained from eating meat even earlier before Pythagorastime, the most significant increase in vegetarianism occurred in theclassical period. The first society of vegetarians was founded in1847 in Ramsgate, England. It had two branches, one in Manchester andanother one in London. Three years later, a similar group was formedin New York City, U.S.A, which was known as the American VegetarianSociety. The first international union of vegetarians was formed in1908 in Dresdan (Andrew, 2012).

Inthe U.S, the movement expanded rapidly through the influence ofseveral prominent people like Upton Sinclair who depicted theunsanitary nature in meat packaging industries, as well as influencedmany people to stop taking animal protein. In 1947, a political partythat was called American Vegetarian Party was created and even had acandidate for the presidential elections in 1948. Although thecandidate was unsuccessful, the party still fielded candidates insubsequent presidential elections up to 1964 (Andrew, 2012).

Therewas also an explosion of cooking books that were dedicated tovegetarian diets in the late 19thand early in the20thcenturies. The books contained many recipes on the vegetarian dietssuch as TheVegetarian Cookbook,by E.G Fulton’s that was published in 1910. During the same period,the research in plant nutrition increased substantially (Andrew,2012). The investigators intended to identify the beneficial effectsof a vegetarian nutrition in increasing non-communicable illnesses atthat time.

Today,the number of vegetarians has greatly increased mainly due to thecurrent health issues such as obesity. Moreover, the movements havesupporters from various fields such as arts, sports, and sciences. Inaddition to the increasing number of vegetarians, many people havedecreased the quantity of meat they consume.

Thereis a promising future of vegetarianism as a result of increasedscandals in the food industry, particularly, for products derivedfrom animals. This has led to many people losing confidence in theanimal protein products. Besides, there is increased awareness of thepositive health benefits associated with vegetarian lifestyle. Withthe vegetarian population on the rise, many restaurants have nowstarted to include the dishes in their menus (Francis, 2015).Groceries have also expanded their vegetarian products, which alsoreflect the large market for the diets.


Andrew,A. (2012) Vegetarianismand evolutionor,what is a vegetarian.London: Printed for the Author by Millington Bros., 25 &amp 27 St.John Street, West Smithfield, E.C.

Francis,A. (2015). Vegetarianism.FarmingtonHills: Mich: Greenhaven Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning.


Student’s Last Name 6



No longeris it a secret that faith and the world are always in constantconflict. Humanity has produced some of the best books that do notconcur with God’s will(Mann, Isabel Roome).Some defy biblical teachings others promote evil activities likeconflict and war and even hatred. Many scholars have written thatChristians ought to read secular literature in order to change theirway of living and for some other good reasons like enhancingdiscernment, cultural integration, that it is God’s grace foreverybody and we should not judge others, and that it has manylessons (Mann,Isabel Roome).However, some do not believe that it is of any benefit for theChristians to peruse secular pages. This is an argumentative subjectin the world of the contemporary practice of religion. In my opinion,reading secular literature is not important for us as Christians,more so, it does more harm than good to our spiritual and Christianslife (Mann,Isabel Roome).In support ofthis view, I will explore some available works of literature withquotations and substantiation using personal reasons and experiences.

First off,Christians who read secular content are at risk of getting sucked into the context of the source(Mann, Isabel Roome).Writers of literature have a tendency of convincing the reader to buytheir idea. They may propose a given point of view and give reasonsas to why it was the best. For instance, in her poem Possibilities,WisławaSzymborska talks about the preference of things that are ungodly. Shewants the reader to get convinced that endurance and goodliving has nothing to do with God but still mentions good things likemorals, liking people, movies, and cats, among others. She says “Iprefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. Iprefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky…”(Wisława).Although she talks about things that are real, she is notacknowledging the existence of God by saying she prefers the havingin mind that there is a possibility of existencehaving its reasons for being there. These are nothing but feelings ofdoubt that can affect the mind of a true Christian. Yes, it is truethat we canidentify what is right and emulate, and leave the wrong, but how manypeople can stand against temptation? Manystories tellus how Christians have fallen for wickedness, harmfulbehavior,and have turned to be the worst foes of religion. It is because ofsecular content, movies, soap operas, romantic novels, newspapers,magazines among others. I prefer to develop my Christian life withstrictly Godly literature. If you want to talk about the evilthat is happening around us, then the Bible,for example, has all the answers. In secondJohn, chapter one, verse ten to eleven, the Biblesays that if anyone does not teach Christ’s truth, then do notencourage or invite them into your home (Mann,Isabel Roome).It further prompts that when you do, then you are a partner in theirwork of evil. In this regard, anything is the secular literature thatteaches about evil, that acknowledges not the teachings of the Bible,and God. Further in second Timothy 2:16, the Biblesays that we should avoid empty and worldly chatter for it willaggravate ungodliness (Mann,Isabel Roome).Therefore, Christians have to avoid secular content at all costs.

Christianscan still practice discernment and honestliving without consulting secular content(Mann, Isabel Roome).Manyscholars who have written on this topicsay that we canimprove our spiritual lives through discernment that can betriggeredby reading worldly literature. Thisisa fixing statement that only gives excuses because discernmentis inherent, a gift that God bestowed unto us to improve our living.We are already living in atemptingworld and evil walks with us everywhere. Thus, there is no need ofreading about what you see daily. I believe that the devil has manyways of getting at Christians, and secular literature is among them.Literatureis used to twist biblical facts and lures many people into believingthat sometimes the Bibleis wrong. In Lot’sWife, WisławaSzymborska talks about the biblical Lot and his wife. She has herpersonal interpretations of what might have triggered the wifeto look back before turning intostone.In part, the poem says “They say I looked back out of curiosity.However,Icould have had other reasons. I looked back mourning my silver bowl.Carelessly,while tying my sandal strap.So I wouldnothave to keep staring at the righteous nape of my husband Lot’sneck……”(Wisława).Imagine of a child reading this piece.Theywill doubt the integrity of the Bible,a thing no Christian should do. How can a poem like this help indiscernment? All it does is triggering your subconscious mind intohaving some second view of biblical recordings,and this might just hold water for a young Christian who has notgrown in faith. Ultimately, they might fall back to the life of sin(Mann, Isabel Roome).

Christiansshould not read secular literature because most of its themes revolvearound romance, warfare, crime, technology, and other worldly things(Levine, Madeline G. etal.).In other words, much concentration deviates from Christianity andreligion. The reason is that most of the authors of these piecesfocus on what is around them, what can be seen. They do not writemuch about Christianity because it involves much of spiritual workand convictions that cannot be seen. Scholars acknowledge that mostauthors write about issues that have happened in their lives, eitherby experiencing it or having witnessed. For instance, WisławaSzymborskawrites mostly about warfare, love, human troubles, leadership, andothers. She does not talk about God in most of her works. In AmongThe Multitudes, shesays “Icould have differentancestors,after all,Icould have flutteredfromanother nestorcrawledfromunder another tree.”(Wisława).This poem is all about Wisławasearching for her identity. In another one, TheConsolation, shesays “hence the indispensable silver lining, the lovers reunited,the families reconciled….”(Wisława)Itis about troubles of people who fell out and now have reconciled.Ranging from Clouds,Children of our Age, Birthday, Advertisement, A Great Man’s Houseandothers, Wisławadoes not talk about God or religion. Any Christian who reads suchpieces will shortly forget about the Bible,and in the long run, they will sink into the secular world(Levine, Madeline G. etal.).Moreover, devoted Christians do not cease to be humans. It means thatanything that can overpower their individualprinciples and convictions in life may make them fall. Some of thesewritingsare very tempting, for instance, if a Christian reads about aromantic piece and realizes he or she can associate in a similarmanner with the opposite gender, then they ultimately developinterest and a sudden change of behavior. Another example is readingarguments of an atheist, these people capitalize on small mattersthat they consider loopholes to mislead people and you never know, aChristian who has undergone many life problems could reconsider theirbelief in God and ultimately change to the ways of the world.

Inconclusion, manyreasons warrantChristians not to read secular literature. Christians may get suckedinto living the secularlife if they readthose topics. Again, they can still reap the good in Christianitywithout understandingthe secular contexts, for instance, they can practice discernmentwithout having to read evil sources. Moreover, most of the secularthemes do not involve religion and they, in no way, improve the faithof a Christian. For instance, reading pieces of arguments fromatheists may be more harmful to the beliefs of the Christian becausesome doubts will beplantedin his mind. Other purported benefits of reading secular literaturelike promotingcultural integration can still beexercisedwithout indulging in secular issues. Christians are raised just likeany other person in the normalcultural setting so they can just understand it without readingsecular literature. Therefore, it is of no use for Christians toread secular literature.

Works Cited

Wisława,Szymborska.&nbspPoemsNew and Collected. Mariner Books,2000. Print.

Levine,Madeline G. et al. &quotSounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems ByWislawa Szymborska.&quot.&nbspSlavicReview, vol 41, no. 3, 2012, p.586.&nbspJSTOR,doi:10.2307/2497070.

Mann,Isabel Roome. &quotWhat Literature Should We Read?&quot.&nbspTheEnglish Journal, vol 41, no. 9,2013, p. 484.&nbspJSTOR,doi:10.2307/809474.


Movingfrom Medieval to Modern

Montaigneis best known among philosophers for his scepticism. He best drawshis suspicion from his studies on ancient philosophers. Philosophersdescribe Montaigne as a Pyrrhonian philosopher. These are thephilosophers that hold their judgment upon coming across opposingbeliefs. By suspending their judgment, they can have peace of mind(La Charité, 16). Montaigne holds his judgment concerningtheoretical issues ranging from the divine argument to the veracityof perception.

IfMontaigne lived in a different community

Montaignewould conform to the alternative culture since choosing not to wouldmean that he came to the judgement that Catholicism is better.Deciding which culture is better as a source of knowledge is a matterof opinion. Different cultures have different opinions and thus meansthere is no correct opinion to decide which authority is the best toconform to.

Howcan one be sure that his/her choice of how to live is the right one?

Ifone considers to conform to Montaigne’s arguments, it would beimpossible to choose which ways to follow. Reserving judgement isclose to impossible because one may also face a decision, such aswhether to follow religion or not. Perhaps one could use otherethical theories to use to make judgement of actions.

Afterreflecting on the questions above, what do you think of hisscepticism? If scepticism implies mere conformism, is that a reasonto reject it? But if he is right to reject authority, the senses,science, and reason as reliable sources of the truth, how then shouldone live?

Montaignewithholds judgments by using sceptical arguments even when concerningpractical matters. Man cannot arrive at any judgment regarding anypractical matters better than he can arrive at theoretical matters.Sextus argues that Pyrrhonists cannot suffer practical paralysissince they allow themselves to be guided by things as they are. Theyare guided by the nature of things, the laws and customs passed, andnecessity of feelings. Montaigne claims that the only reason he isCatholic is because he was raised a Catholic and has no reason toabandon his culture (Cave 93).

Byaccepting to remain unchanged because he was raised in a certainculture, Montaigne implies that scepticism and conformity go hand inhand. However, one may argue that by conforming to tradition, he hasalready made a choice. If he was raised in a different community,perhaps different religion, then he would still have to abide by it.Since he believed that one should act based on necessity, the factthat it is possible to be in another culture contradicts it, since hedoes not need to be Catholic (Edelman, 31).

Regardlessof his arguments, man cannot fail to make a choice. He or she has tochoose what to believe in (Mack, 61). When presented with facts, onehas to weigh and pick a side. However, one may also say thatconformity does not necessarily imply belief.

Ido agree with the argument that Montaigne would conform to whateverculture that he was brought in. We all should strive to embracecultural relativism and shun ethnocentrism (Vázquez, 53). There isno superior culture, and coercing or persuading one to change from acertain culture so as to conform to another is absurd. No oneculture should be looked down upon.


Cave,Terrence. How to Read Montaigne. London: Granta Books, 2011. Print

Edelman,Christopher. &quotOn Montaigne`s Skepticism.&quot (2011).

LaCharité, Raymond C. The concept of judgment in Montaigne. Springer,2012.

Mack,Peter. &quotMontaigne on reading.&quot (2016).

Vázquez,Manuel Ignacio Bermúdez. The Skepticism of Michel de Montaigne.Springer, 2015.