Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sot Weed Factor

Ebenezer Cook is the protagonist of this narrative poem describing his coming to live in the newly discovered country: America. Instead of being a happy go lucky writing about living the dream, Cook is disillusioned by what he comes to find in the new world. It was described as having "plagues worse than fill'd Pandora's Box" alluding to the dark side of what was happening in the colonies while they were beginning to form. Women went to work in their "linnen blue" as slaves or working on the farm and ended up prostituting themselves to make a living and have nice things.
 The writing also displayed the duplicitous nature of the people who arrived in America such as that of the "ambodexter quack" who was an apothecary and attorney. It was very easy to become whoever one wanted to be because modes of communication were not as encompassing as they are today. People did not have a way of knowing who others said they were because the records were new if not nonexistent at the time The thing is that in those times a person did not have to have a diploma or any form of certification to show for their skills so they could assert to be someone that they are not. Cook really began to see life in America as it was and did not seem to like it. 
As I was reading this poem, it reminded me of the people who immigrate today. In Hispanic culture, the United States is looked at like the land of opportunity and some people really think that the roads are filled with money all over, paved with gold. They think that if they come everything will be easy to do and they could help the family's financial problems go away. But, just like The Sot Weed Factor it is not a reality. People may immigrate from different countries expecting it all to be so easy but they struggle finding jobs and may even resort to those that are less than glamorous just to get by. Indeed it is a disillusion but it is just what they grow up to be. When you ask a young man from Latin America what he wants to do when he grows up it will be to go to the US and send money to his family. Unfortunately, sometimes it is better to have stayed where they were.
1) Did Cook end up getting the land he inherited or did he go back to London?

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