Summer Reading

Topics: Abraham Joshua Heschel, United States, Volcano Pages: 3 (756 words) Published: February 18, 2014

Summer Reading
1. Capturing the Main Point of Essays
I chose three essays from The Signet Book of American Essays based on the sections that appealed to my interests. In “The Meaning of This Hour,” Abraham Joshua Heschel claims that the world is a world living inhumanely because there is a lack of God’s presence and glory. George Plimpton’s “Desperately Seeking Humor” describes the great lengths a group of comedians and writers went through to put a humor section in an edition of a magazine, as they all believed that comedy was an important part of society. Erma Bombeck argues in “Warning: Families May Be Dangerous to Your Health” that while it is believed the American family is at its downfall, she feels there are actually many traits that give the American family potential, such as education and the pride of parents. 2. A Worthy Quote From my Fiction Choice

“For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn’t taken our humanity. No, we’d given that up on our own” (Mullin 344). After the super volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park erupted, covering a vast majority of the United States with several feet of ash, pandemonium broke loose. The ash destroyed food, supplies, and possessions of the American citizens, forcing many of them to travel across the nation in search of food, water, clothes and shelter. While the initial intentions of people who sought refuge and supplies had been reasonable, many of them turned to dishonesty, stealing, and even murder to get what they wanted. The volcanic eruption did not cause the American society to give up on humanity and morality; the public had given up their humanity themselves.

The idea of a lack of humanity in the book relates to the song “Humanity” by Scorpions, which is communicated in the following lyrics: Run and hide there's fire in the sky.
(Stay inside)
The water's gonna rise and pull you under.

Cited: Bombeck, Erma. “Warning: Families May Be Dangerous to Your Health.” 1971. The Signet Book of American Essays. Eds. M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss. New York: Signet Classics, 2006. 295-301. Print.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua. “The Meaning of this Hour.” 1943. The Signet Book of American Essays. Eds. M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss. New York: Signet Classics, 2006. 112- 7. Print.
Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. Print.
Masciotra, David. "How America 's 'Culture of Hustling ' Is Dark and Empty - David Masciotra – The Atlantic." The Atlantic — News and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international, and life – The Atlantic, 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 8 Sept. 2013. .
Mullin, Mike. Ashfall. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood, 2011. Print.
Plimpton, George. “Desperately Seeking Humor.” 1996. The Signet Book of American Essays. Eds. M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss. New York: Signet Classics, 2006. 281-90. Print.
Scorpions. “Humanity”. Humanity – Hour 1. BMG, 2007. CD
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