February 2008 Archives
So one of the most profound lines I found was "PICTURE A FAT PERSON'S HELL, AND I DON'T MEAN A PLACE WITH NO food" (Ehrenreich Nickel an Dimed 29).
Ok so everybody is a critic and I'm no exception. I found this book to be boring, dry in many places and borderlined fraudulent. I mean she takes money out of her own former life bank account to help her get by. If you're going to do a job, do it the whole way! I mean a person could argue that she accomplished her goal of realizing how hard it is to live off of the salaries of these low-income jobs and how physically draining they are. She proves that something is wrong and that we should be more polite to theses workers but I just don't like the way she does it. But hey, my opinion really doesn't count and obviously a lot of people liked this book being that it is a New York Times Bestseller. Honestly though, one of the things that I did like about this book is Ehrenreich's use of humor. She does manage to keep the reader interested sometimes because she can use comedy effectively. This quote is a great little metaphor comparing Jerry's to hell. What I did find peculiar, however, is how the word "food" is not capitalized. Why would that be? A typo? Does it have meaning? Did she just forget to capitalize it because it is on the next line? Honestly I have no clue...and I don't even feel at liberty to take a stab at it because it would be complete BS. Anybody know?
"In these charming set pieces, the hard-to-reach student is invariably reached; the cold and unfeeling administration is confronted with the errors of their ways; the kids who deserve As get them; the class is, finally, appriciative of all the teacher's efforts; and all discover that somewhere between the assignments and the papers and the grades, they must remember the most important thing, love" (Lemire 18-19).
I was actually kind of angry about this quote because earlier in the text Lemire mentioned The Emperor's Club. I watched this movie in my Connections class. Lemire's quote said that these movies basically romanticized the teaching profession, however, The Emperor's Club did not do this at all. In the end, Sedgewick, the "hard-to-reach student," does not appriciate the teacher's hard work and the teacher realizes he failed. Sedgewick turned out to be a horrible person despite Mr Hundert's efforts to rescue him from "the dark side." (The student who desirved recognition in the Julius Caesar competition did not get it.)
This is my transition to my second thought. (Very creative.) sarcasm intended here
Under the section "How Do I Increase My Value to a Newspaper?" There is a comment that really makes sense to me. "Diversify your subjects and writing style" (Lemire 85).
This statement ties in to what people have been saying ever since I got to college. Dr. Jerz said one time that you are not going to like everything you read and that doesn't matter. You read everything for a reason. Somehow it demonstrates a specific skill, presents a different subject and makes you react. And just today when Mr. Sims came to visit he said something about how he always writes and talks about things that he might not know anything about but he researches and learns! By the time everything is all said and done, he becomes a bit of an expert on whatever it is and he no longer feels like a fraud. He also told us to create a list of our accomplishments so we can demonstrate what we've accomplished.
By writing about different subjects in different ways we can accomplish so much. We can learn our strengths and weaknesses. Maybe by trying to write with humor you would discover you have the incredible talent of being able to make people laugh just through writing. You also have the chance for self growth. The more you know, the more you grow. Also, the more you diversify what you write, the more people you can reach. If you only write about the Civil War you are kind of a one trick pony but say you move on to other subjects, you'll reach more people who have an interest in say...the Revolutionary War.
"Atmosphere, a term taken from meteorology, means the predominant mood or TONE in all or part of a literary work, which may, for example, be joyeous, tranquil, melancholy, eerie, tense, or ominous...For example, Shakespeare's Macbeth begins with the following stage direction: Thunder and lighting. Enter three WITCHES" (Hamilton 89).
I think that Hamilton does a really great job of picking an example of atmosphere. I remember when I read these lines I got a chill. Ok...not really but these lines could possibly be chill-inducing. The atmosphere of a story is very important. Wait...I just thought of an example that may be equally as great as the Macbeth example. Say it with me people, "Once upon a midnight dreary,/ While I pondered weak and weary" from Poe's The Raven. You obviously know we aren't going to be talking about fluffy pink ponies and bubble gum unless the poem were about an ax murderer who has an affinity for chewing bubble bum while he kills cute things.
Angela on imagery
"Oh Lord!" he prayed. "Break forth and wash the slime from this earth!" (O'Connor "The Life You Save Might Be Your Own" 62).
This line made me so mad! Mr. Shiftlet talks so much about how he has "'a moral intelligence'" (53) and he feels "that a man with a car had a responsibility to others and he kept his eye out for a hitch-hiker." What the heck!?! He just abandoned his wife! It is amazing how people could see only what they want to see. People are just so selfish sometimes.
I'd like to take this opportunity to humble myself and admit the fact that I don't quite understand the meaning of the title. My interpretation of this title would be the mother who pretends to care so much for her deaf daughter actually sees her as a burden. She is so willing to get rid of her daughter that she pays a drifter to take her off of her hands. She saves her own life because now she is free to do what she wants without having to worry about that child who held her back for so long. She bequeathed her responsibility to someone else so she doesn't have to worry about her anymore. When Shiftlet drove away from The Hot Soup, he severs his ties with that horrible burden that was his wife and "saves his own life." Anyone else have thoughts about what the title means?
Warning! What you are about to re-read (or read for the first time if you actually didn't read this) may (re)shock you! (Or not)
"The major types of irony are verbal, structural, dramatic, tragic, and cosmic" (Hamilton Essential Literary Terms pg 44).
I admit that this line isn't that insightful. The reason I decided to blog about this particular line is because I'd been told from 7th through 12th grade that there are three kinds of irony: verbal, dramatic, situational. The first two are in the book but where is situational? And where did these other kinds of irony come from? According to wikipedia, situational irony is "a discrepancy between the expected result and actual results when enlivened by 'perverse appropriateness'." Where was this in our book? Wikipedia even has another kind of irony (not mentioned in our book) called comic irony. For the rest of my fellow classmates, did this come as a surprise to you? Dr. Jerz, what are the kinds of irony because I have a conflict on my hands? lol. Anybody else reading this, tell me what you think.
So I learned before I read this Flannery O'Connor story to prepare myself for a shocking and upsetting ending. I was not expecting it in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" but this time I was prepared. I picked one of the many quotes that forshadow the outcome of the story.
"His face was all bone and the red light reflected from the river" (O'Connor "The River" pg. 33)
Gosh if this isn't a hint at what's to come, I don't know what is. As soon as I read this I thought, "Aww...geez another one of these upsetting stories. I just want my bunnies and rainbows." Just kidding, I like reading things that aren't happy sometimes. The preacher's bone face reminds me of Death himself. It is ironic that the man that introduces this child to "life" and its true meaning also introduces the child to his own death which is why I think that O'Connor didn't make the preacher a fat and jolly man. The thing that really struck me about this passage is the fact that the river reflected "red light." I knew something bad was to come because earlier when describing the sun, O'Connor said it was white. Therefore, in my head I figured that for her to deviate from her chosen color scheme, there had to be a good reason. I figured that the red was more than Christ's blood although that had a part in it. There were several more places in the story where the river appears as red but I won't point them all out. The child's unfortunate ending was really upsetting to me though because he never got to experience a good family. His own family was too self absorbed to really care about him and what he was doing. Poor, poor little Harry.
For this entry, I chose to choose a pair of quotes from The Merry Wives of Windsor instead of just a single quote to prove my point:
Evans: By Jeshu, I think the 'oman is a witch indeed. I
like not when a 'oman has a great peard; I spy a great
peard under his muffler (IV.ii.180-182).
Ford: Let it be so. Sir John,
To Master Brooke you yet shall hold your word;
For he tonight shall lie with Mistress Ford (V.V.242-244).
I chose the first quote to show that Ford is incredibly oblivious. He is looking for Falstaff but in the process, lets a bearded, or shall I say "pearded," lady escape his own home. Evans who is portrayed as stupid because of his bad English is smart enough to realize that the lady is in fact a man but Ford doesn't. It is amazing how he thinks that he is so clever for creating Brooke to fool Falstaff with, but in the meantime, he is fooled with what sounds to be a poorly disguised Falstaff. The second quote upholds my claim that he thinks that he is clever because in these last three lines of the play, Ford reveals to Flastaff he has been duped the whole time and he is Brooke. He says it is such a way that is cocky and clever.
These two are pitted against each other from the very beginning, but what they both fail to realize is that they are two in the same. Both of the men have huge egos. Falstaff thinks that he is the strongest and most handsome buck in the woods and Ford thinks that he is so very clever for tricking Falstaff and knowing the true intentions of his wife. These two characters are almost interchangeable. Maybe that's why their names start with the same first letter? It could just be a coincidence, though.
Ok...so this isn't your traditional blog entry. I just watched Austin Powers Goldmember and I couldn't help but notice a few scenes that reminded me of "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Yes, I guess you could call me a bit of an English geek, but I'm alright with that.
There is a scene where Beyonce...I mean Foxxy Cleopatra, was pushing Austin in a laundry bin while she was in disguise. A character from the movie that I will call "Fat Illegitamate Child" threw his soiled sumo diaper on Austin and I couldn't help but think of Falstaff being smuggled away undetected by Ford in the dirty clothes. Unlike Falstaff, Austin freaks out and jumps out of the laundry bin with several diapers on his head. lol. Because this movie makes fun of popular culture, I wonder if they didn't put a little bit of Shakespeare in on purpose.
The many different accents of Mike Myers in the film also reminds me of the quirky characters Cauis and Evans who speak bad English. The Host takes no time in making fun of them. In Goldmember, the character that bears the film's name (and isn't Austin) is ridiculed for his bad English. His pronunciation of the word "father" as "fawsha" is quite funny.
First, I will start off, by saying that I'm in a bad mood so this entry may sound a little angry. Ye be warned. And here be me quote (It's early in the morning people, humor me!)
"The parallel between the two poems, then, seems so close that, rather than simply an allusion used for contrast, Donne's seventeenth-century "Song" may be a source of Eliot's twentieth-century "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (Blythe and Sweet).
This is balderdash! Ok, not really but I could definately make a case that his plagarism was unintensional. Throughout history, many billions of people have lived. One person's ideas are not entirely original because someone else has probably thought them before. Even though these stories are close, and maybe it was a source, it is definately possible that this all was a big coincidence. Wow that wasn't as angry as I had at first imagined....The mind is a strange thing.
Hello! My name is Angela Palumbo. I am a student at Seton Hill University. I am currently taking an Introduction to Literature (EL150) course here taught by Dr. Jerz. Almost every day, we have to create a blog entry on what we've read. If you haven't already run across my blog entries, I feel bad for you. Just kidding. Seriously, I am really proud of my work. I have turned all of my blogging in on time (24 hours before class) and all my entries are linked back to the course website which may describe in greater depth what I'm blogging about. I have learned that I am not completely computer illiterate by blogging every day. I have also gotten to know some of my classmates better. Some of my blog entries are obviously better than others but I tried as hard as I could to make good connections and give my point of view. You don't have to agree with me and if you don't, just say something. We could get a good debate started.
I have broken my entries down into categories:
- If Emily Dickinson were alive today, she'd definately be on Prozac. demonstrates how I can effectively link my blog to the course webpage.
- Welcome to The Twilight Zone! is yet another example of how I properly linked my blog to the course webpage.
Timeliness: (Like I said, I turned everything in on time but here is an example.)
- I'd like to buy Dickinson a pair of Rose-colored Glasses is just one of the many examples of my blogging being turned in (at least) 24 hours before class.
- In Balderdash! I point out what I think is a coincidence in a similar story-line. Several people agree and some disagree. I even responded to one of my comments.
- Nobody can talk smack on Death like John Donne is an entry in which Jeanine and I debate over what the true meaning of Donne's poem is.
- Death is what? Did she just say KIND!? sparked many people to comment.
- Disney loves Shakespeare is just more of me posting and getting a good reaction.
- In Awww...Billiam Shakespeare. I do love thee. I give a more in depth analysis of Falstaff's character to reveal that he isn't as big of an idiot as some people may think.
- The Dead Bird demonstrates my ability to take things that I learned from Foster and apply them to other course material.
- Conformity is for weaklings shows my ability to notice subtle hints that the author leaves for us.
- In Pushing Up Daisies I talk about the literary meaning of the name Daisy, applied it to a book that I read in the past (The Great Gatsby) as well as my own life.
- These guys are goofs! demonstrates an interaction that my classmates had with me. I then linked that page to a response I had to a classmate's blog.
- Jeanine's entry Hello Ugly! You're looking beautiful today. I responded to her comment about her boyfriend with a comparison to my own boyfriend. I linked her page and my page to one another. This could also easily fit in my coverage section.
- On Erica's entry, Life, Death, and Poetry, I left a lengthy comment to assert my opinion.
- On Angelica's blog, Eagles and Robins, I had a possible interpretation for lines in Emily Dickinson's poem "Victory Comes Late."
Just for fun check this one out: The Merry Wives of Austin Powers
It was really hard to choose one specific event or group of lines from Acts II and III of The Merry Wives of Windsor. I thought about blogging all the funny sexual innuendos (II.i.45-46) or (II.i.86-87). There were several other things I thought about but none of them seemed as appealing to write about as this comment from Falstaff:
"Mistress Ford? I have had ford enough; I was thrown into the ford; I have my belly full of ford" (III.v.34-35).
I thought that this was very clever. Falstaff is portrayed as an idiot who does not cover his tracks (sending the same letter to two women who were close friends) but this line does show that he does have some intellect. Possibly he is one of those smart, dumb people. We all know them. This is the boy or girl who can do a difficult calculus problem in a matter of moments when it takes the majority several minutes, but yet he dresses in sweatpants and a hoodie when it is 90 degrees outside. Anyways, for those of you who were wondering why this is clever it because Falstaff makes the connection between Mistress Ford's name and the definition for a ford which according to my Oxford dictionary is a shallow water crossing, as in a river. He is saying here that he realizes she made a fool out of him (she drown him) "I was thrown into the ford" and now he is drinking because he realizes this "I have my belly full of ford." Good old Billiam Shakespeare is a sly fox.
Bard: Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences-
Evans: It is his five senses. Fie, what the ignorance is! (The Merry Wives of Windsor Shakespeare I.i.178-181)
I thought that this scene was funny. Some of these guys are imbeciles. They use the wrong words and do things of the like. If you can actually figure out what they're trying to say, it's hilarious. The play would be boring without their follies.
By the way, I can relate anything to Pirates of the Caribbean. Check out Jessie's blog to see what I mean.
"One short sleep past, we wake eternally,/ And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die" ("Holy Sonnets:Death, be no proud" by Donne).
I'll admit the first few times I read this poem I thought, "I don't get it. So this person's talking smack on Death." The more I read it over, the more I understood what he is talking about and why this is one of the "Holy Sonnets." Once I finally understood that the narrator is telling Death that he will have eternal life in heaven but Death will eventually happen no longer after the second coming of Jesus, everything made perfect sense. In fact, I found the poem quite empowering. I really enjoy the thought of conquering something that seems unconquerable, Death being one of them. Yes, one day I will die and it may suck but I will move on it is my belief and Death will, indeed, eventually die. What a poem! What a Message! This has become one of my favorite poems (along with the other poem we had to read for tonight coincidently.)
I have to admit that the first time that I read this poem I thought that it was so mean. Then my English teacher explained that the speaker is telling his mistress that he loves her despite her flaws. That is beautiful and so very honest. This line in particular emphasizes his sweetness and honesty almost better than any other line. He says that, yes she has a nice voice, but I can't lie, music sounds much sweeter. The poem itself is almost like a giant back-handed compliment. His mistress would have either been really flattered or really mad.
Can't get enough of me? Hear what I have to say about Jeanine's comment on this poem.
This line just struck me so hard I had to write about it. What struck me is how it starts off sounding it will end well and end the poem on a more positive note and then everything just crashes down with the poor little creatures starving! It also impacted me because I love animals so the image of creatures that I love starving just breaks my heart. If Emily Dickinson were alive today, she'd definately be on Prozac.
"'Victory comes late' expresses Dickinson's quiet bitterness toward a God who promises so much to his people, and yet distributes merely crumbs allowing them just a glimpse of real joy" (Monteiro, "Dickinson's 'Victory Comes Late'.")
Wow! If this is really what Dickinson meant by this poem, I feel bad for her. I can understand that it is in human nature to doubt and wonder why does God allows these things to happen but at the same time you have to remember that God gives us all free will. It is our own free will that is the downfall. Obviously, another person's free will can negatively impact you but God doesn't have anything to do with that. As a fellow Christian, I don't understand Dickinson's attitude that God owes her something. He died for her, he owes her nothing more.
I memorized Shakespeare's sonnet 130 for my boyfriend, Joe. Even though it is about a woman, I thought that it was appropriate because the speaker is saying that he loves his mistress, despite her flaws. To think that you are flawed and someone loves you anyhow is, in a weird way, even more flattering than if they just said that you are perfect. You can also love a person's for their flaws. Think, you wouldn't want to date someone who is perfect because we, as humans, are competitive in nature.
After I finished the last lines, "And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/ As any she belied with false compare." He stared at me with open eyes. He was shocked at my memorization (I have a bad memory and as it goes, after I said it, I forgot the poem). He gave me a big hug because he knew that it had taken me some time. He then jokingly added, "You know, you're not perfect either."
"The few pages of this chapter have taken you a few minutes to read; they have taken me, I'm sorry to say, days and days to write" (How to Read Literature Like a Professor Foster pg. 85).
This is a funny thing to have read. After reading so much, at least for me, I lost some of the realization of what it takes to write. I just read things and think about the story-line and the last thing that would come to my mind is how long it took the author to write this. It isn't that I don't know this, it's just that sometimes you need a little reminder to say, "Hey! You see this. Somebody took a lot of time to do this." And then my brain says, "Oh yeah, I forgot but thanks for reminding me." Wow...I probably shouldn't say any more.
"In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo" (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S. Eliot).
This line didn't seem to fit in the first time I had to read this poem but this time, it is how out there it is that makes it fit in. Prufrock is so worried about all these different things "overwhelming question[s]," aging "bald spot in the middle of my hair," and the unknown ("mermaids" are symbols of this). The women on the other hand are not concerned with things like Prufrock. They are more concerned with Michelangelo who painted perfection. This line, I believe, is in here in order to contrast our main character to the women and everyone else. This helps show how different Prufrock is.
"West Side Story famously reworks Romeo and Juliet, which resurfaces again in the 1990s, in a movie featuring contemporary teen culture and automatic pistols...Hamlet comes out as a new film every couple of years, it seems" (How to Read Literature Like a Professor Foster pg 39).
This quote reminds me of my two favorite Disney movies. Everyone knows by now that The Lion King is undoubtably supposed to be like Hamlet with young Simba playing the troubled prince himself. The day I discovered this, I was shocked that the story that I grew up with was so close to the classic Shakespearean tale. The lesser known but equally as good The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride tells yet another classic Shakespeare tale. Kiara, Simba's daughter, falls for Scar's hand chosen sucessor from another pride. The two prides are distanced and enemies. Disney just loves to rip off classical story lines but I don't blame them because they are just that good.
"In order to develop a living, breathing, multi faceted character, it is important to know way more about the character than you will ever use in the story" (Short Stories:10 Tips for Novice Creative Writers).
This makes perfect sense. The characters cannot speak for themselves so the writer has to speak for them. This quote also calls to attention that you don't let the reader know everything about your character. If they know everything, what is there left for them to think about, not to mention, in a short story, you don't have enough room to tell everything.What would the character want the reader to know about him/her? The reader does not need to know that when the character was six she put a bead in her ear because she thought it would fall out her other ear unless that is necessary to the plot.
"The short story shares with the novel several characteristics of fiction, but its more concentrated form results in some crucial differences: a smaller cast of characters, often focusing on the PROTAGONIST; a simpler plot, usually centered on a single major conflict; a limited depiction of setting; and a more concentrated format, with descriptive details and DIALOGUE selected for maximum significance and effect" (Essential Literary Terms by Hamilton pg. 11).
This is very true to what we were talking about in class today, specifically about the crazy theory we had that in "Trifles" the murderer wasn't Mrs. Wright, it was Mr. Hale. He wanted to get that party line, we argued, and Mrs. Wright, Mr. Hale and Mrs. Hale could have conspired to make it look like the murderer escaped. Dr. Jerz said that it was a good theory but there was too much detail that wasn't necessary then if that was true. Hamilton's statement above supports his claim. Too many details are unneeded for this to be true. If this were a novel, the theory would be more plausible though because there is more room for character, setting and plot development.
"In any case, once you pay attention to the name game, you pretty much know things will end badly, since dasies can't flourish in the winter, and things do" (How to Read Like a Professor by Foster pg. 178)
When I read this quote about the name Daisy, I was a bit disturbed. The reason for this is personal. My lovely German shepherd -lab mix's name is Daisy. To think that Daisy carries that meaning in literature was discouraging because I think that it is a lovely name. All personal connections aside, I can understand what is meant by naming a character this. One of my favorite books came to mind after I thought about my dog. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, his love interest's name is Daisy, Daisy Buchanan. She, like the flower and like the book describes, is pretty but eventually suffers because of her husband's infidelity. I would have never thought that her name would be any indication to the type of life that she would lead! I find reading Foster's book exhilerating because it gives me new takes on books that I have read. It is exciting that the author leaves little clues about people and events before they happen.
Wow, what a statement! This whole story is very involved in the category of vampirism that we had to read for today in Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Chapter 3). By diasecting this sentence a person can see that Minnie Foster, a.k.a. Mrs. Wright, used to be a vivacious person before something happened, in this case, her marriage to Mr. (not) Wright. He said to have been a "hard man" by Mrs. Hale.
This man had an effect on more than just Minnie. He had an effect on the dead bird (which symbolized Minnie's free spirit) and the integritiy of the two women who find probable cause that Minne did in fact murder him. The women feel somewhat responsible for what she did so they compromise their honesty to help Minnie out.
I also really enjoyed the different meanings of the word "trifles." It can mean "to pass or spend (time) idly or frivolously" like the women were doing while waiting for their husbands. By doing so they obviously found "an article or thing of very little value" that would prove Mrs. Wright guilty. It is also a "a kind of pewter of medium hardness" like Mr. Wright himself. It was said that he was both "hard to live with" and "a good man" so he was kind of in the middle, but still enough to throw Minnie over the edge.
"Using other people to get what we want. Denying someone else's right to live in the face of our overwhelming demands. Placing our desires, particularly our uglier ones, above the needs of another." (Foster 21)
Unfornately, I've meet many people in life that act this way. They're willing to step on others in order to get where they want to be. People will pretend to like someone just so they can exploit that person's talents in order to advance themselves. Sound familiar? The most famous people who do this are . . . POLITICIANS. They go to events, shake hands, kiss babies and pretend to love it. All this so they can get a little extra money to support their campaigns and make necessary connections for self advancement. People stop caring about one important thing that distinguishes humans from other animals...feelings. We should be more attentive to other's feelings because feelings are what allow us to make connections with others. Without them, we are nothing.
"'I've decided,' began Bernice without preliminaries, ' that maybe you're right about things--possibly not. But if you'll tell me why your friends aren't--aren't interested in me I'll see if I can do what you want me to.'"
Here Bernice reveals her obvious lack of self-confidence. She does not think that she is good enough to fit in with the rest of society, however she is wrong. By asking her cousin what to do to make others like her, she makes the decision to give up her identity and change who she is. Immediately when I read this, I became disappointed because berNICE seems like such a NICE person. By the end of the story, she becomes just like her cousin. The shedding of her hair is like the shedding of her innocence and individuality and by the end, she stoops down to Majority's (opps...I meant Majorie's) level and seeks revenge.