Sunday, May 16, 2010

Term Paper 2

The Wife of His Youth: Reconnecting The African-American Family

The Post-Bellum period was a time of adjustment in American history. The Civil War divided the nation, but another effect of the Civil War was that African-American families were divided and displaced as well. Combine the effects of the Civil War with the institution of slavery, the African-American family was fractured in many ways: literal separation of families was a common occurrence; an inherent hierarchy between the house slaves and field slaves existed; the mixing of races created intra-racial bias between lighter skinned and darker skinned blacks; as well as other various influences that fractured the African-American family structure. The family has long been regarded as a source of strength among human beings. It is customary to apply the general term family to describe a collective group of people, which transcends blood ties and refers to the group as a whole. Therefore, for the survival and prosperity of African-Americans in the Post-Bellum period it was imperative that the family be reconstructed and reconnected. Charles W. Chesnutt’s story “The Wife of His Youth” is an attempt to reconnect the African-American family. The struggle and conflict of the story is one that Karl Marx would state as a class struggle. The acknowledgement of the slave marriage between the central characters Mr. Ryder and Liza Jane is a symbolic unity of the African-American family and all disparate facets of African-American culture and conquering of the class struggle. Charles Duncan states, regarding Chesnutt’s fictional works, that “his fictions, especially the works collected in “The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, repeatedly concentrate in the individual families struggling to preserve or, more often, to remake themselves in the turbulent end-of-the-century American milieu” (1). Chesnutt accomplishes this familial unity in multiple ways. One such way you can perceive this feat in “The Wife of His Youth” is that in this narrative he constructs an elite social circle of lighter skinned blacks called the Blue Vein society, which can be considered a metaphorical disconnect of Afro-American culture within the family. The art of storytelling is another medium in which Chesnutt unifies the African-American family. In “The Wife of His Youth” storytelling is a pivotal motif because it connects the teller and listener of the story to the story itself. Essentially the story serves as a self-identification process and an acknowledgment of the past. Finally, one can examine Chesnutt’s motives for writing, his attitudes toward race, and the place and time in which he wrote to aid in further analysis.

The Blue Vein society is an elite social group of light skinned blacks -- nearly white -- who considered their purpose “was to establish and maintain correct social standards among a people whose social condition presented almost unlimited room for improvement” (147). The term “among a people” is an exclusionary reference to mean the “people” of the group as those with lighter skin, which referencing their skin tone being their “social condition.” Solely those belonging to this group are the ones who have “unlimited room for improvement,” as opposed to the excluded darker skinned brethren’s room for improvement being limited, if any room exists at all. A Marxist critique can interpret this as a class struggle. Regarding the aforementioned quoted sentence, Lorne Fienberg writes “Chesnutt evokes the ongoing process of judging the social elite in a single dazzling sentence which itself enacts the process of crossing over the Blue Vein’ lines of exclusion” (4). In the narrator’s description of the Blue Veins, Chesnutt sets up a need that both lighter skinned and darker skinned blacks need to come together in order to rejoin the disconnected African-American family.

Mr. Ryder is considered “the dean of the Blue Veins” (147). The story begins with his intentions to host a ball in honor of Molly Dixon, at which he planned to propose to her. By all intents and purposes Ms. Dixon is literally the belle of the ball. She has very light skin, even “whiter” than Mr. Ryder. The union of Mr. Ryder and Ms. Dixon is a favorable one, especially from the prospects of Mr. Ryder. At this point in the story Mr. Ryder aspirations are to be close to white as possible as gleaned from his inner thoughts: “I have no race prejudice…but we people of mixed blood are ground between the upper and the nether millstone. Our fate lies between absorption by the white race and extinction in the black” (148-149). He continues to theorize that, “the one doesn’t want us yet, but may take us in time. The other would welcome us, but it would be for us a backward step” (149). Here the reader observes a blatant disconnect in the African-American family. Although one may be of mixed race, according to social prejudices and the laws of the state at that time, a person is considered non-white if he possess even an eighth of “Negro blood.”

Ms. Molly Dixon, who is the proposed future wife of Mr. Ryder, is the polar opposite of Mr. Ryder’s past wife Liza Jane: As fair as Ms. Dixon is Liza Jane is dark; as educated as Mrs. Dixon is Liza Jane is ignorant; as young as Ms. Dixon is Liza Jane is old; as articulate as Ms. Dixon is Liza Jane converses in dialect. Liza Jane is described as “old,” “her face was crossed and recrossed with a hundred wrinkles,” her hair is depicted as “short gray wool,” “ she was very black, -- so black that her toothless gums, revealed when she opened her mouth to speak, were not red, but blue” (150). In Mr. Ryder’s life, Liza Jane represents the acknowledgment of the past as Ms. Dixon represents aspirations of the future. Therefore, Mr. Ryder’s decision to acknowledge his slave marriage to Liza Jane, especially since he was not required by any decree of law or circumstance, is a reconnection of the Afro-American family to acknowledge the past and moving on toward the future as an interconnected family unit.

Storytelling was an essential part of African-American life. Slavery demanded an institutionalized illiteracy; therefore, story telling among the slaves was an important aspect to their culture in many ways. The narrative was used to teach, entertain, as well as aid those who chose to escape slavery. In “The Wife of His Youth” storytelling plays a key role in the plot development. Lorne Fienberg focuses on the art of storytelling in her literary evaluation of Charles Chesnutt’s “The Wife of His Youth.” Fienberg concentrates on the narration of the tale analyzing the narrator’s tone and choice of words. Within the story an ex-slave character Liza Jane, contrasting the sophisticated tone of both the narrator and Mr. Ryder, tells another story. Mr. Ryder then retells the story to the Blue Veins, but in the retelling of the story he mimics the dialect “that came readily to his lips,” (153) as Chesnutt writes. The retelling of the story “had awakened a responsive thrill in many hearts” (153). The people present, who were of this elite social gathering, were all too familiar with this tale; they have an attachment to this tale, which they avoid acknowledging within themselves. This circle’s aspiration is to assimilate toward white culture and leave black culture behind. Fienberg argues that each retelling of the story is a “critical act of self-identification” (219). Her position is that the telling of the story is not an act of entertainment or passing time idly, but more of an acknowledgement of the past. I view the telling and retelling of the story as a shared suffering. Analyzing “The Wife of His Youth” the reader can perceive the narration as a coming together of black culture exemplified at the end by the acknowledgment of the marriage between Mr. Ryder and Liza Jane.

Charles Duncan suggest that the stories in Charles Chesnutt’s collection The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line represent Mr. Chesnutt’s attempts to ponder and revisit the American family’s ability to resist and transcend racial and social pressures. Duncan gives examples using three of the stories in Chesnutt’s collection illustrating that the families in the stories come close to achieving such a transcendence; however, “Chesnutt seems finally to conclude that the very cure for racial ills – an understanding of, or a coming to terms with, the past – constitutes a sort if poison pill” (281). Duncan further elaborates that the Chesnutt characters’ past sustains but at the same time overwhelms them as they attempt to create an identity construction for themselves, a sort of reformation and affirmation of assimilation.
Charles W. Chesnutt is considered a Negro intellectual in Post-Bellum America. He his one of the first Afro-American authors to get his works published, and the first African-American author to be published in a white reading journal. His reading audience was primarily white. Lynchings were prominent in the Southern states; racial prejudice was widespread. Such was the time and space Chesnutt occupied. Cynthia Lehman writes, “the period within which [Chesnutt] wrote was a critical time for African Americans as they had only recently received economic and political opportunities” (1). She continues to state, “Chestnutt believed that literature was the best means available to change people’s attitudes, because he could shape their interpretations and understanding of African Americans without the majority of his readers realizing his true intentions” (2). “The Wife of His Youth,” viewed in the manner of using literature as a means to shape interpretations, could suggest the acknowledgment of the slave marriage as a metaphor of reconnecting all the aspects of Afro-American culture. However, Ryan Jay Friedman thinks that Chesnutt’s views on race don’t necessarily translate to his fiction works. I disagree with Friedman’s assertion. I believe an author’s personal views will find its way into the author’s works.

Based on the views of Mr. Ryder and the Blue Vein society at the beginning of the story and their acknowledgement of the slave marriage by the end the reader can observe a transcendence. This transcendence is the reconnection of the African-American family. The art of storytelling aids in the transcendence, which leads to only one right conclusion. Mr. Ryder must acknowledge his first marriage. By acknowledging his first marriage, Mr. Ryder is acknowledging his past and bringing together disparate aspects of African-American cultures. Being a pioneer in the nascent genre of African-American literature, Charles W. Chesnutt is using literature as an influence of culture. During his life America was reconstructing itself as a nation. The general perceptions of African-Americans among whites were a low one. Intra-racial prejudice existed among blacks as well. Chesnutt believed African-American culture needed to come together during this time in American history. The marriage in “The Wife of His Youth” is symbolic of African-American culture uniting as one.

Works Cited
Chesnutt, Charles W. “The Wife of His Youth.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature: Volume C, Late Ninteenth Century: 1965-1910. Fifth Edition. Weir, Suzanne Phelps. MA & NY: Houghton Mifflin Company 2006. 147-154

Duncan, Charles. “Telling Genealogy: Notions of the Family in The Wife of His Youth.” Critical Essays on Charles W. Chesnutt. Ed. Joseph R. McElrath Jr. New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co., 1999. 281-296

Fienberg, Lorne. “Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Wife of His Youth: The Unveiling of the black storyteller.” ATQ; September 1990, Volume 4 Issue 3, pp. 219-236.

Lehman, Cynthia L. “The Social and Political Views if Charles Chesnutt: Reflections on His Major Writings.” Journal of Black Studies; January 1996, Volume 26. No. 3, pp. 274-286.

Works Referenced
Friedman, Ryan Jay. “Between Absorption and Extinction: Charles Chesnutt and Biopolitical Racism.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture and Theory 63.4 (2007): 39-62

Term Paper 1

Satan As Id

In 1923, Sigmund Freud laid out a groundbreaking tripartite pattern of describing the human personality. The three basic parts are the id, ego, and superego. When analyzing John Milton’s Paradise Lost one can break down the characters of Satan, the Son, and God by using the three basic parts as a blueprint for character assessment. Obviously, not knowing, but Freud would say subconsciously, Milton used archetypal qualities that define the id, ego, and superego in his verbal molding of the characters -- breathing life into them on paper. Satan is the id, the Son has characteristics of the ego, and God possesses the qualities of the superego. Following I will showcase Satan’s id behavioral traits.

The id is the hedonistic, animal nature that Satan embodies throughout the epic. The animalistic nature of Satan is especially apparent in book IV as Majorie Nicolson takes note in her book A Readers Guide to John Milton saying, “the analogies [Milton uses for Satan] are largely animal-imagery” (p. 188). She further notes, “When comparisons are with birds, they are with the cormorant or the vulture, which far off seem grand and magnificent, but which are carrion birds of prey” (p. 188). As Satan makes his way toward Eden, Milton describes him “As a prowling wolf, / whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey” (IV.183-184). To spy on Adam and Eve Satan takes on the form of a lion and then morphs into a tiger. Satan’s final shape is that of the infamous wily serpent. That is the form he contorts into in order to tempt Eve, and consequently it is also the form he is to forever remain punished in.

The id is the innate part of the human personality. After the fall of Adam and Eve the hedonistic and animalistic ways of Satan are now and always innate in Man. By eating from the Tree of Knowledge, falling to Satan’s temptation, Adam and Eve are conversant with evil. They are no longer ignorant of pride, lust, sloth, envy, greed, gluttony, and wrath. After the fall of Man the seven deadly sins have become inherent qualities in man which must be kept in check for one to regain paradise, therefore, at this point paradise has been lost.

The id only seeks immediate gratification, it does not know right from wrong, and has no understanding of what behavior is possible in the real world. Satan displays his ineptitude of behavioral comprehension by falsely thinking he can outshine God in a battle of wits by wiling Man with base artifice. Satan says to himself of how he will fool Man,
I will excite their minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with gods; aspiring to be such,
They taste and die…
(IV. 522-27).

The id is also irrational, lacks inhibitions, and its only concern is pleasure. It operates according to the pleasure principle, and is not concerned with reality or what is realistically possible. Somehow, Satan has convinced himself that he can beat the Omnipotent in war or out smart the Omniscient – not realistically possible.

The id is part of the three levels of consciousness, but it is the unconscious, that embodies all of the natural drives of sexual aggressive tendencies. In society the sexual and aggressive drives are deemed taboo and therefore lead to conflict. The nuptial intimacy that Adam and Eve shared was not taboo according to Milton:

Whatever hypocrites austerely talk
Of purity and place and innocence,
Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
But our destroyer, foe to God and man
(IV. 744-49).

However, the aggressive passion they shared inspired by Satan, after they tasted the fruit was a taboo; it was lust incarnate:

Carnal desire inflaming, he on Eve
Began to cast lascivious eyes, she him
As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn
Till Adam this ‘gan Eve to dalliance move:
(IX. 1012-16).

After acting upon id aggressive and sexual impulses the human personality may feel guilt. Satan’s aggressive impulse is to challenge God, yet at certain times in Milton’s epic, he shows signs of remorse for deviating from God’s heavenly design and regrets his intention to tempt God’s new creation. In retrospect for warring with “Heavens matchless King” Satan says,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owe not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharge; what burden then?

O had his powerful destiny ordained
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
(IV. 54-61).

For a brief moment Satan praises Adam and Eve before he represses his thoughts and gets started on his plan:

Whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured.
(IV. 362-65).

When Adam and Eve have sex in lust, rather in nuptial love, after their disobedience, Milton describes an emerging guilt burgeoning in their lives. He says,

Innocence, that as a veil
Had shadowed them from knowing ill was gone,
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honor from about them, naked left
To guilty shame…
(IX. 1055-59).

Immediately following their lascivious act Adam laments to Eve during their argument that,
How shall I behold the face
Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy
And rapture so oft beheld?

(IX. 1018-20).

Adam’s guilt for reacting to his id impulses is overwhelming and has grown full ripe, but unlike that sweet tasting fruit, it is a bitter after taste that is left in his soul.
As I previously mentioned, id is the unconscious. Milton brilliantly describes Satan’s voyage as a quest through the dark abyss. The unconscious part of the mind is a dark abyss that only reveals itself when humans have no way of knowing or controlling it. The dark abyss is a metaphor of the unconscious. Hell is bound in “three folds” of “brass, three iron, and three adamantine rock.” Better words could not have been used to describe the unconscious in a metaphoric sense and Milton did it without knowing. With the assistance of Sin, who forever opens up the gates of Hell, Satan breaks free from Hell’s restraints and wanders through Chaos and Night before he finally reaches Eden. He tempts Man and brings the Hell in Adam and Eve, who previously lived blissfully in ignorance before Satan slithered his way in on the scene.
Milton was aware of the human psyche, but not in the terms Freud had described. He shaped Paradise Lost using the three characteristic traits. Patrick Cook said of Satan in his book, Milton, Spencer and the Epic Tradition, “Even though [Satan] is bragging or vaunting aloud, he is inwardly racked with the pain which his evil causes him. His motives are those most elemental but also most childish: pride, envy, and revenge” (p. 46). The id is considered the child aspect of human personality; it is the only part of the personality that is present at birth. Considering the epic begins in medias res, our first impression of Satan is that of a defiant child. Whatever Satan is told to do he aspires to do the opposite action. He brings Sin into Heaven, rebel against God, and introduces Hell to Man. The Satan of Paradise Lost is the epitome of the Freudian id.

Works Cited

Abrams, M.H. et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors/Seventh Edition. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. Milton, John. Paradise Lost pp. 722-853

Cook, Patrick J. Milton, Spencer and the Epic Tradition. Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1996

Nicolson, Marjorie H. A Reader’s Guide to John Milton. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Photo Story

Here is a man enjoying a cigarette as he takes a break from the hard days work of a cowboy. I guess you can consider him an American icon of sorts. This is the face that represented "cool" in that time period as shown from his leaned posture to the cowboy hat and denim jacket. This is a man who lives outdoors, so no oppressive office enviroment will suffice for him. He has his laso around his knee staring intensely out yonder, one with his thoughts. Relaxation emanates from this photo. If we call be so lucky as this character with our Marlboro cigarettes.
Viewing the photo as a structurualist intepretation, this photo is to used as a persuassion to get people to buy Marlboro cigarettes. All the signs are indicators of cool, which is to say "if you smoke Marlboro than you too will be cool." The signs of cool: cowboy image, posture, and an outdoor enviroment. To help the viewer be aware of the signs of cool the photo focuses on the man in the foreground. All other aspects of the photo is blurred into the background. The color scheme of the ad is red, white, and blue, which symbolizes American as does the American cowboy symbolizes as well. The symbols of cool were important to Marlboro to appeal to men because before this advertisment came out Marlboro was known mainly as a female cigarrette. This is the advertisement that catapulted the brand as the number one cigarrette worldwide. Maybe that wasn't a structuralist interpretation, but more of a historical anaylsis, but as explains why the signs of cool were significant in this advertisement campaign.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sublime is in the "Eye of the Beholder" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE-R60QPh_g

A "sublime" experience is something that forces you to take a double take at reality. It has the ability to question your thoughts and perception. As Longinus states, "If an intelligent well-read man can hear a passage several times, and it does not either touch his spirit with a sense of grandeur or leave more food for reflection in his mind than the mere words convey, but with long and careful examination loses more and more of its effectiveness, then it cannot be an example of true sublimity -- certainly not unless it can outlive a single hearing" (120). Whenever I watch "The Twilight Zone" episode Eye of the Beholder is a sublime experience for me. It has permanence in the sense that every time you watch it provokes the question of true beauty.

Being that our modern day world is fixated on the concept of beauty and all it's accoutrements it's a sublime experience watching this episode. Between the stark imagery, dialogue, eerie music, and the repeated utterance of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" this episode is dripping with sublimity throughout to the point that describing it in mere words will not accomplish much; it has to be watched. However, I will attempt with words to help you understand why it is sublime. The main character wants to conform so bad to what her society deems as beautiful that she seeks the aid of cosmetic surgery -- does this sound familiar. Her attempt is very desperate, but even more desperate is the fact that she states she would rather be killed, or "put away" as she phrases it, instead of going on being "terribly ugly."

The set up of the scene is great. The music plays in the background as her bandages are unwrapped and the reaction of the doctor and nurse is one of shock and awe. At this moment what the viewer sees what we would label a beautiful blond women. The very definition of American beauty in that time of American society. The camera then pans to the doctor and nurses in the room who look downright hideous with their pig-like noses and slits for mouth. However, the Twilight Zone has recreated an alternative world where what the viewer perceives as beautiful is complete ugliness that one would rather die than look like that. The viewer's perception of beauty is treated as a deformity and a separate village is set aside for the so called deformed. "Eye of the Beholder"is an excellent example of sublimity because it forces one to question the essence of beauty every time it's watched as it did 50 years ago and will do so 50 years from now. I believe Longinus would agree that this episode has a sense of grandeur and leaves more food for reflection each time it is watched.

Longinus. "On The Sublime." Classical Literary Theory. Ed. Penolope Murray. Penguin Classics: London, England, 2004. 113-166.

test 2



Our group's presentation was based in Greek Antiquity literary criticism. Our group consisted of Manuel, Alex, Brenda, Ron, Charlie, Morgan, & myself. We were the first group to present, so it was a bit straining on the nerves to figure out how to complete our task. However, I felt pretty good because on the day we were assigned the project, which gave us a week to work on it, we came up with a road map to see the course through. We stayed a few minutes after class to talk about what we were going to do. Alex, Morgan, and me through out some ideas. Per the assignment, we had to create a 30 minute-class discussion on Greek Antiquity, but not as a lecture, and we had to design a classroom activity.

Alex thought maybe we can take a current song and post the lyrics and see what the class; thoughts are on it; Morgan posited we can possible recreate Plato's cave, and I threw out maybe we could take a film of a Hollywood birth and juxtapose that with a clip of an actual birth. I mentioned that everybody would email at least one idea to the group by Friday (2 days) and we can collectively decide what we would present. We all exchanged emails and decided that we would do that. I was getting a little bit worried because by Saturday night I hadn't received any emails from anybody, but who I am to say anything because I didn't check my email until Saturday night. So I proposed my idea and hear from Brenda and Morgan the next day. We decided by Monday that we would go with my birth idea.

The birth idea was a good way to initiate a class discussion and create a classroom exercise. however, by Tuesday we still haven't talked or come up with any presentation ideas, so now I was getting really worried. So on my lunch break from work on Tuesday afternoon I called everybody to try to schedule a meet. Thank goodness everybody was available to meet before class Wednesday. We meet in an empty classroom. Brenda and Manual were searching like crazy on their lap tops to find some video we could use. I searched for some video throughout the weekend, but it was a bit difficult to find what I wanted. More on that later. We were finally able to find the clips we wanted. Out of nowhere Manual shouts out Rachel's birth and looked for it. We were lucky enough to find the "Friends" clip available for view as our Hollywood rendtion of birth. Brenda found some clips from MTV's show "Teen Mom." We also had found a home video of a real birth. We discussed if it would be to graphic to show the class, but decided that the graphic nature of the video is perfect to elicit a reaction from the class, so we went with it.

I explained what I was thinking we would do is show the Hollywood birth to the clas first and have them write down their reactions and emotions to the video and then show them the real graphic video and have the class complete the same exercise. We then would juxtapose those emotions and reactions and incorporate Plato's theory of mimetic to Aristotles theory of the mimetic. It was a great exercise and everybody contributed to the project. One of the best things was working closely with classmates I got to know that I might not otherwise have gotten the chance to know.

A post thought here: I found it interesting that all the videos I searched for our Hollywood rendition of birth was comical. Even the video we used was comical. I was hoping to find a great dramatic scene of a birth, but it seems that labor is a funny thing that you can always count on a laugh with it. I just thought I mentioned that because I found that quite interesting as I was doing this project. I wouldn't have realized it otherwise.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bed or Step Ladder

Plato’s theory on poetry is formed on the basis of mimesis. He states poetry is thrice removed from reality and dwells in the realm of appearances. In his text The Republic Plato writes “All poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, unless as an antidote they possess the knowledge of the true nature of the original.” The Modes of being Plato is inferring is to his notion of Ideas. For Plato Ideas are universal and Knowing is particular. Thus, Plato’s foundation of categorizing poetry is in the realm of the particular, which is the realm of appearances. Hence, poetry is a mimetic practice.
There are a few weaknesses in Plato’s argument. The main weakness deals with the form of this text. First, this text is coming to me as a translation from a distant language. In translation a text loses certain nuances and subtleties.

The next weakness of form deals with the purpose of The Republic. The purpose of this text is to teach those in power how to rule; hence, its title The Republic. It may be that this is a metaphor for how society should act. However, it lacks to be a criticism about art since its defined purpose and motives are other than the basis of creating art. Albeit, this text is stating art should make its audience cultured, and to engender culture should lead one to create art. Beyond the fact that culture is a relative term defined by those in a position to have their definition be the dominant opinion in society, Plato goes about in rather lengthy and circuitous manner criticizing art as something that should engender its audience to being cultured.

Another weakness in the form concerns how the arguments are delivered. Other than Socrates the interlocutors don’t offer opposing opinions for the arguments to be expanded and debated in any depth beyond the dominant one expressed by Socrates. At one point Glaucon indicates that he would be too shy to explain any views he did have in front of Socrates.

Another criticism I have about Plato’s The Republic. Plato comments that there is an original bed and an idea of a bed. The maker of the bed copies the idea of the bed. I suppose this holds true for a step ladder as well. However, Plato is talking about a thing first being wholly original unto itself, but it’s not about a thing. While making me a bed the bed maker may be making me a step ladder if I use my bed to boost me up to elevate my reach in order to change a light bulb. Now am I’m standing on the idea of a bed or am I standing on the idea of a ridiculous step ladder? Even yet what if I’m standing on a bed using it as a step ladder while at the same time someone else is lying asleep on the bed? What is it at that moment? Is it the Idea of a bed or the Idea of a step ladder? A bed could be used for many other purposes other than reclining in and sleeping. These are just a couple of thoughts that ran through my head as I was reading the text.

Both the bed and the step ladder are essentially serving the purpose and idea, but as you can see, one clearly isn't the other.