This week’s assignments, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Walt Whitman’s “One’s-Self I Sing” and “I Sing the Body Electric” all had a common theme of body. All of the authors discussed different aspects of the creation of human beings and individuality. While on Care-A-Van, I see a variety of different people and their personalities. They prove that even if they are similar in the way that they are materially poor or hungry, they all have different methods of dealing with their situation.
In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley writes about a man who creates a monster from corpse pieces and sews them together. When Victor Frankenstein’s creation awakes, he is incredibly shocked and does not believe that he made such a horrible thing. Shelley tries to tell readers that playing God and playing with fate is not a good idea. People often encounter unmovable obstacles in their life they have to overcome. Victor’s main obstacle is his monster and because he tried to outsmart God, he needs to find the monster and confront it.
The people who come to receive sandwiches and drinks have many obstacles in their lives. One of which is hunger and the need for food. Although I assume none of them have created a monster from various corpses, they still need to overcome the obstacles presented to them in order to survive. It is hard for me to tell people who ask for seconds no because we need to serve other people who come later. I know some people struggle to put food in their systems because they simply do not have money to buy it or if they need to spend their extra change on medicine or other necessities.
Walt Whitman’s “One’s-Self I Sing” is about how many individuals forms a community of people. “En-masse” in the second line is means all together. Each person brings something different to the plate and others can learn from him or her and influence each other in different ways. “I Sing the Body Electric” is a poem more about the individual and shows the more complex side of humans. Walt Whitman literally lists a multitude of what makes up a body, which are mostly physical body parts. Even though he includes physical parts, he also includes emotional ties such as “Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman” (lines 23-24). The incorporation of the physical and emotional elements is what connects the body to the soul.
Sometimes when I pass out the food, I can see personalities and the way the people are dealing with their situation more clearly than others through how they say thank you or through the conversations we have. A couple of times I have gotten, “God bless you for what you are doing. I truly appreciate that you take time out of you schedule” or sometimes I receive a simple thank you. Either one is fine with me, and frankly nothing at all is okay with me. I understand some people just do not want to talk or they had an especially rough day. There is no one personalities I encounter on Care-A-Van and am always pleasantly surprised at the abundance of information or knowledge people give me over time.