My Dreams And The Good Man Essay

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During the mid-1900s, Christian faith inspired both oppressors and supporters of the African-American struggle to attain equal rights. Christians almost universally support natural law, which deems all people created equally under God, but many Christians inconsistently espouse racism as well. Yet, those fighting for rights identified with Biblical figures, their conviction invigorated by faith. The black poet Gwendolyn Brooks did not believe in Christianity. Yet, in her works My Dreams, My Works Must Wait Till After Hell and The Good Man, Brooks proposes the existence of two contrasting Christianities; one a pure faith concerned with universal liberation, and the other an oppressive religion corrupted by society’s restrictions. Hence, Brooks …show more content…
To conclude The Good Man, Brooks stresses the Christian’s moral obligation to “renew/stance, testament” (23-24) to once again allude to the New Testament, which sought to complete the conflict started in the Old Testament. Similarly, in My Dreams, My Works, Brooks calls humanity “incomplete” (5), further labeling the modern religion as faulty. How can society truly nurture its faith? In The Good Man, Brooks highlights the necessity of people to “Put hand in hand land over” (17) to resurrect peaceful faith. The internal rhyme between hand and land interacts with the allusory nature of The Good Man’s title, as both reference the Good Samaritan parable, a story told by Jesus with the moral of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. Hence, both emphasize the complete importance of following this principle. The speaker in My Dreams, My Works furthers this proposal; as one of Brooks’ soldier sonnets, she employs a nameless soldier as its speaker. In a war, thousands of soldiers must work together to win a battle. Hence, when the soldier alludes to the crucifixion of Jesus by saying he will, “[resume] on such legs as are left me, in such heart/As I can manage” (11-12) to reclaim the world’s beauty, Brooks instructs people embrace humanistic faith in unison. Through the combined message of these two poems, Brooks communicates that change can only occur with the birth of a sacrificial movement, inspired by Jesus sacrificing his life for man’s well

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