We’ve got teen angst, a eulogy and of course, Tom Jones to round out the week.
Excerpt from the eulogy of Susan B. Anthony
Read by Diane Havens
Susan B. Anthony (1890-1906). Her name is synonymous with women’s suffrage in the US. The 19th amendment, and hard won, by many courageous women. Perhaps her most famous quote is included in this short excerpt taken from the beautiful eulogy delivered by the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, “Failure is impossible.”
The Lost Girls
Read by Xe Sands
My girl wrote this poem, beautiful, talented young woman that she is. She’s always had this gift that I completely lack – the ability to put the thoughts/feelings/inner landscape experience into words, whether in song or poems or short stories.
However, so many of her generation don’t really believe that that they have anything to offer. They move in a world of judgment (of others, of themselves) that always pits them against those around them. My daughter and I often talk about how cruel women are to other women, and how unfairly they treat themselves.
Our girls start out completely oblivious to pressure or cellulite or cup size or popularity. And then, sometime around sixth grade, there is a shift – a mantle of judgment drifts by, they grab the insidious thing and drape it around themselves. Judgement is a poison that they breathe in. It permeates them like a cancer, slowly eroding all sense of potential, until, as in the poem, they become hollowed out – the “lost girls,” devoid of anything save a feeling of loss, of failure.
What I wouldn’t give to strip away that film of falsity that somehow settles on them in middle school…that veil they see through without knowing it’s there. The veil that makes everyone else seems beautiful, talented – exceptional, while shriveling the one behind it with words of recrimination, loathing, judgment.
Licensed via Creative Commons 3.0 Share Alike
Recorded with permission from the author
Tom Jones – Book 5, Chapter 8, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 5 Chapter 8 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
This week’s chapter contains a death in the family, but not the one we’ve been expecting.
But first, we get a whole lot of grousing from Mrs. Deborah about not being singled out among the servants for a bigger cut of Allworthy’s fortune. Then, we meet up with Thwackum and Square, who are upset at being treated equal in Allworthy’s eyes. Yes, there’s nothing like being treated utterly fairly to upset the ignoble. The doctor then joins them in a comic scene where he takes their plaintive tone to mean that Allworthy has taken a turn for the worse.
Finally, young Blifil comes on the scene to reveal the news that the messenger brought, that was teased at the end of the previous chapter. It turns out that his mother, Mrs. Bridget has died while abroad.
I really like Fielding’s turn of phrase at the reaction of Square and of Blifil in this case, “The one advised him to bear [it] like a man. The other like a Christian.” Blifil then decides to tell Allworthy of his sister’s death, against the doctor’s orders, and that the shock could put allworthy over the edge. He claims that he’s doing it in the name of honesty, but I somehow doubt his motives.
When they return to Allworthy’s room, they find that he’s completely better, that his illness wasn’t so bad to begin with.