In Mary Rose O’Reilley’s essay she says that, “ I believe that the literature classroom should be, in a certain sense, dangerous”(109). I don’t think our class could have said it any better considering the books we have read this semester. Evaluating and discussing as a group, topics such as war, racism, gender inequality, and more generally moral and ethical issues, we are dangerous. By unpacking these issues, our class is attempting to understand different views, opinions and angles to these difficult and complex human issues. As Dr. Ellis suggested to the class earlier in the semester, what are we as humans doing now, that in one hundred years, people will look back and say, “What were they thinking!?”. I believe that through the process of writing and discussing these incredibly complex issues has provided each of us with new ways of looking at old problems.
Our class has successfully found ways to talk about each of these topics with sincerity, compassion, understanding and empathy; attempting to uncover different aspects of these “hot topics” layer by layer. As the semester has progressed, it has become increasingly clear, as we have all gotten to know one another more and more, that we all have different backgrounds, and different ways in which we see social and political issues. As a class we have all expressed those views with respect, and demonstrated courage in expressing our own views out for everyone else to see. For me, this process of uncovering different facets of literature is what makes being an English major valuable. We, as English students, have learned not to judge too rashly and respect one another’s ideas although we may not agree with them. For me, this makes everyone of us even more dangerous, in having the ability to sit and listen to one another, even though we may not agree. Not only are we dangerous in the literature we discuss, but the way in which we discuss that literature with respect for one another.