Showing 881 - 889 of 889 annotations tagged with the keyword "Empathy"

Aghwee the Sky Monster

Oe, Kenzaburo

Last Updated: Mar-18-1996
Annotated by:
Taylor, Nancy

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

A college student takes a job as companion to a young composer who is considered crazy. The composer believes the ghost (Aghwee the Sky Monster) of his son visits him because his soul cannot rest; it cannot because the father allowed the child to die by agreeing to have it fed only sugar water. The composer dies when he thinks he's saving his son from being struck by a truck. The narrator, ten years later, recounts the composer's story because he connects it in his mind with an important event in his own life.

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Medicine

Walker, Alice

Last Updated: Nov-11-1994
Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An adult tells a very simple story about her elderly grandparents. In the morning the speaker wakes the sleeping couple observing that Grandpa, who is ill and in pain, gains comfort from the old woman in bed beside him. In fact the grandmother IS medicine that "stops the pain" during the night, a medicine contained "in her unbraided hair." Grandma's act of crawling into bed with loosened hair sustains him; it is an act of compassion, of love and an oblique reference to conjugal union.

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Annotated by:
Moore, Pamela

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This is the story of a woodman who hates the sound of the nightingale. The song unites all the other creatures of the forest. The bird’s music "shook forth the dull oblivion / Out of their dreams; harmony became love / In every soul but one." Every soul except the woodman’s is united by the emotion evoked by the nightingale. The woodman spends his days chopping down trees, each of which contains the soul of a wood nymph and provides beauty and shelter to the world. The world is full, says Shelley, of people like the Woodman who "expel / Love’s gentle Dryads from the haunts of life, / And vex the nightingales in every dell."

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Suffering

Holub, Miroslav

Last Updated: Jun-24-1994
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This is a powerful poem about the "ugly, grunting . . . disgusting creatures" the poet sees through his microscope. We know the creatures are dead, we know the creatures are sliced, we know they’re splayed on the pathologist’s slides. Are they microbes? Are they "bits of animals"? Are they cancer cells? No one asks "whether these creatures wouldn’t have preferred" to live "their disgusting life / in bogs / and canals" or to eat one another. No one asks any questions, "because it’s all quite useless . . . like everything else in this world," a world in which the poet meets "a lonely girl," a general, a rat, even "my own self at every step."

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Late Poem to My Father

Olds, Sharon

Last Updated: Feb-09-1994
Annotated by:
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The narrator has experienced an epiphany in which she can understand objectively, even forgive, her father’s abusive behavior toward her. She has seen in her mind’s eye her father as a child, in the bleak household where "something was / not given to you, or something was / taken from you . . . "; she wishes that the love she feels for her father now could have nurtured him as a child and saved him from becoming an alcoholic adult who mistreated his family.

 

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Waste Sonata

Olds, Sharon

Last Updated: Feb-09-1994
Annotated by:
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A powerful lament over a father’s wasted life, and the "purgatory" of living in a household dominated by alcoholism and marital discord. Strong and graphic language weaves a complex web of conflicting emotions: hatred and self-hatred, scorn and pity, condemnation and forgiveness.

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Katherine

Fishbein, Julie Deane

Last Updated: Aug-01-1993
Annotated by:
Chen, Irene
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The narrator is a physician who has just saved an elderly woman from a "natural death" only to lead her to an "ungraceful one" as her life is maintained and monitored by machines. Images of a distant farm are conjured as the doctor wishes instead for his patient's spirit to rest peacefully at home.

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Lullaby

Mukand, Jon Arun

Last Updated: Aug-01-1993
Annotated by:
Chen, Irene
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A physician caring for a failing patient feels that he can do no more for him than "check / Your tubes, feel your pulse, listen / to your heartbeat." He wishes a swift deliverance for this patient, and would like lovingly to transform him into a compilation of facts within a medical chart: "Let me lift you in my arms / And lay you down / In the cradle of a clean manila folder."

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The Accusation

Van Duyn, Mona

Last Updated: Aug-01-1993
Annotated by:
Chen, Irene
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The poem begins by describing how the "uncaring earth" can destroy millions of organisms "en masse" (i.e., grasses, bacilli). The author applies this analogy to humans: how easy it is to perceive that "the more lost, the less each is worth." The author then argues the value of each individual, and how irreplaceable one is, ending with another analogy: as minute details in nature are appreciated, so should individual lives be valued.

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