Comparison and Criticism
Countee Cullen is one of the best acclaimed African-American poets who has won added arcane prizes and recognitions than any atramentous American has anytime won before. He came into bulge absolutely aboriginal in his life. Becoming absolutely acclaimed already in the aerial academy he has been accustomed as an outstanding artist afore he was 25 back he appear such balladry as "I Accept a Rendezvous with Life” and “The Ballad of the Brown Girl” (Johnson). So, “The Medea” and “The Absent Zoo” which I am activity to analyze and criticize in this cardboard are during his backward aeon (in the age of 37 and 31 respectively).
I am activity to altercate that both balladry are still admired today because of their academic nature. By autograph them Cullen attempted to accurate and somehow abridge his account of that what is acceptable and what is bad, as able-bodied as about behavior and able behavior. They are all accounting for children, alike if those accouchement accept themselves to be adults. Since 1934 Cullen accomplished English and French at the Frederick Douglas Junior Aerial School. He has been offered a position of a academician at the Fisk University in Nashville which he declined. Thus he has called a career of a teacher, not a academician and scientist.
His absorption to assignment with accouchement and autograph for accouchement afterwards acutely appear back he wrote “The Absent Zoo”, yet it can be traced already in the “Medea and alternative poems”. Why amid abundant Greek tragedies has Cullen called to construe absolutely “The Medea”, and why has the adaptation been accompanied by a set of Cullen’s own verses? The answers can be begin afterwards account this balladry accumulating and comparing its capacity and motifs to the ones of Euripides. The aboriginal allegory of Medea, as it has been told by Euripides, is a adventure of an afflicted woman who has been apprenticed to a adverse aisle by her affection and despair.
Cullen provided a avant-garde adaptation of Euripides adventure (Corti 202) and the alternative balladry included to the accumulating can be beheld as Cullen’s annotation to the problem. Medea’s fate is reflected in “The Magnets” in which Cullen writes of “The straight, the swift, the debonair” who “are targets on the thoroughfare”. This access can be beheld as a claimed reflection, yet in the ablaze of “Scottsboro, Too, Is Worth Its Song”, addition Cullen’s poem, it can be interpreted in a broader amusing context, as a eyes of an absolute nation apprenticed to the amiss pass.
Cullen begins the composition by apperception poets who will sing and their cries “Their cries go ample Like claret and tears”. The aeon back Cullen wrote this composition was apparent by a abysmal airy crisis afterward the Great Depression, so Cullen observes that in the apple “Is all abasement And ballsy wrong” and wonders why the poets accept not eventually risen their choir adjoin this wrong. This balladry is to put a address catechism but not to accord an answer. Cullen attempts to accomplish his readers themselves anxious with the moral descent, to activate their own minds and conscience.
Otherwise they are acceptable to echo Medea’s mistake. This was Cullen’s teaching method: he has not especially developed own aesthetics and adopted to advise through parallels and allegory (Nelson 91). It can be empiric that Cullen’s teaching and moralization is not alone for children, but for adults as well, conceivably added for adults than children. His “The Absent Zoo” appear in 1940 is for the “young but not too young”. Although this autograph may assume childish, in it Cullen already afresh (after “Black Christ”) rises to the Biblical heights in his balladry (Nelson 90).
In “The Absent Zoo” Cullen tells tales of animals that for some affidavit could not get assimilate Noah’s Arc thusly teaching his readers assertive activity acquaint (Silvey 3). Squilililigee’s adventure is a admonishing both adjoin affliction and adjoin boundless susceptibility, while the adventure of a Snake-That-Walked-Upon-His-Tale is a admonishing adjoin airs and apocryphal vanity (See: Cullen, Pinknee 1991). In fact, neither of the absent animals was blighted and anniversary of them could be adored in case they themselves behaved in a able way. The conduct of the absent animals charcoal them because they attack to be that what they are not. This is a archetypal aberration of all times.
Cullen is a man of his time, yet his verses are of accepted abiding value. They are contemporary in our canicule aforementioned as in the canicule of Cullen. Back Cullen wrote both “Medea” and “The Absent Zoo” he played a role of a abecedary rather than a artist and he was able to advise not alone accouchement but adults as well. Human passions never change, and so Cullen’s balladry will never lose their importance, aloof like “Medea” by Euripide and the Biblical adventure of an Arc accept not absent theirs. Anniversary bearing understands and interprets them in their own address aloof as Cullen interpreted the Bible and Medea. Works Cited: 1. Cullen Countee. The Medea and Some Poems.
New York: Harper & Bros. , 1935; 2. Cullen, Countee; Pinknee, Brian J. The Absent Zoo. Silver Burdett Pr. , 1991; 3. Corti, Lillian. The Allegory of Medea and the Murder of Children. Greenwood Press, 1998; 4. Nelson, Emmanuel Sampath. African American authors, 1745-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000; 5. Silvey, Anita. The capital adviser to children's books and their creators, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002; 6. Johnson, Clifton H. About Countee Cullen's Activity and Career. 27 May 2009 http://www. english. illinois. edu/MAPS/poets/a_f/cullen/life. htm 7. Countee Cullen 27 May 2009 http://www. harvardsquarelibrary. org/poets/cullen. php
Order a unique copy of this paper