Blogging Portfolio II

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Well here we are two months later, and the time has flown by. Here I will present to you my work that I have done in the second part of the semester for American Literature.

Coverage
includes all of the blogs I have done since portfolio I. I have posted all but one blog that we were assigned.
Preachin' Again
Hearts in Gran Torino
A Bit Young To Have Children
My Papa's "Waltz"
Daddy Daddy
Frost- One Upset Man
"New and Improved" American Dream
Peace Be With You
Rain Means Sadness and Hope
More Human- Less Invisible
Staying in the Now
Everything- but nothing- is sex
A Holy Glow


Timliness
Here are all of the blogs I got done by Friday, noon, before the next class. This half of the semester was a little messier than the first half, as you can see.
Peace Be With You
Rain Means Sadness and Hope
A Bit Young To Have Children
Preachin' Again

Interaction
This still proves to be my weak spot. Here is where I attempted to stir up some conversation, but still did not reply back before the book was done being discussed.
More Human- Less Invisible
Staying in the Now

Depth
Here are a few blogs that I went above and beyond with, not just putting a quote down and writing what I thought about it, but maybe comparing it to a movie.
Hearts in Gran Torino
My Papa's "Waltz"
Staying in the Now

Discussion
Here are the blogs that I joined into a discussion with before class.
Chelsie Bitner on Resurrection Blues
Chelsie Bitner on Time Traveler's Wife
Jennifer Prex on the Future

Extra Effort
For our exercise four projects, Chelsie Bitner, Ashley Pascoe and I created Facebook pages for Brother Jack, The Invisible Man, and Tod Clfiton. We all joined them together in a group called "The Brotherhood"

We ran into a problem naming them, so we had to come up with names that sounded ¿real? instead of naming them 'Brother Jack' and 'Invisible Man'

Here are their facebook pages and the group:
Jack Broth as Brother Jack   
Narrator Man as Invisible Man  
Tod Clifton as himself
The Brotherhood 







a Holy glow

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the use of light and dark in this play is a huge amount of symbolism that would mean a whole lot if we were to see this in production. not only on the cover (because it is a book- not meant to be a book- but the glare makes a cross, which was not a mistake.)

the opening scene begins on the dark stage with Jeanine, a downplayed character until the second act, who feels that the only reason she is living is because this man, who is the son of 'God'-  not 'god' (because it seems that the playright made it a point to not capitalize when the non-believers said God.

Her belief in Him keeps her alive. Many times throughout the book, He changes his name, and it is noted that He never actually talks to anyone, and it seems that only people who believe really see him through a sort of light.

 

 

Everything is sex, but nothing is

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"Drives you crazy, doesn't it? When they're writing about other things, they really mean sex, and when they write about sex, they really mean something else. If they write about sex, and mean strictly sex, we have a word for that. Pornography."

How much more confusing can you get, Foster? Is Naked Lunch by Augusten Burroughs really considered porn? I think that when we're at the stage that we turn everything into a sexual innuendo, it can either be the best or the worst time to be reading literature. In one instance, we can see everything as representing sex, and since symbols can mean more than one thing, sometimes more than others we'll be right in some aspect, but this can also be over-kill and we will just be called peverts. In some cases, this will be rightfully so. It's just frustrating to no end that Foster will say, in essense, everything is sex, and then turn around and say nothing is.

 

Staying in the Now

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"...and we laugh, and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment." (241)

There is somewhere in themselves, a love so strong that holds them together through all of the rough times and even over time periods, and simple times like these keep them together. a little later in the book Henry is explaining to the doctor how the present is just pulling at him because they have such a strong bond that is keeping them here. When they begin to fight, that force seems to let him go, but when their lives are perfect it just seems like nothing can go wrong and it keeps him in the present with her.

throughout the book, one thing that bothers me is that it skips these mass amounts of time and I feel like I am missing out on so much. another thing that is odd is that they miss out on so much with each other and that he knows when people die. When people are asked, 'would you ever want to know when you would die?' some answer yes, because it would give them an idea of how much more fun they could have, they would be able to live like to the fullest more,  but more so than not, they answer no, because it would make them depressed.

it makes me think of the Bucket List, the men in the movie knew they only had a certain about of time to live, and lived it to the fullest instead of moping around.

More Human- Less Invisible

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"....becoming aware that there were two of me: the old self that slept a few hours a night and dreamed sometimes of my grandfather and Bledsoe and Brockway and Mary, the self that flew without wings and plunged from great heights; and the new public self that spoke for the Brotherhood and was becoming so much more important than the other that I seemed to run a foot race against myself..." (380)


This is one of many times in the novel that our narrator realizes he has changed so much.
The fight with Ras makes him reflect back to his fight in the first chapter of the novel, and every so often he becomes wary and asks himself if another person is going to steer him wrong again like he has been so many other times.

A bit earlier he says that he is becoming 'more human' and even shocks himself by saying this..

" 'More human'... Did I mean that I became less of what I was, less a Negro, or that I was becoming less a being apart... But this is all negative. To become less- in order to become more?"

in my opinion,  he naturally feels more accepted now, more human and less invisible because he is accepted by the people.

Other Thoughts

Peace Be With You

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"Around me the students move with faces frozen in solemn masks, and I seem to hear already voices mechanically raised in songs the visitors loved. (Loved? Demanded. Sung? Al ultimatum accepted and ritualized an allegiance recited for the peace it imparted, and for that perhaps loved. Loved as the defeated come to love the symbols of their conquerors. A gesture of acceptance, of terms laid down and reluctantly approved.)"


When we talked in Dr. Brennan's class about faith development, we discussed actually understanding the words in the prayers that we as Christians say. In the Christian faith, in fact, I know that a lot of members just mutter the words of the Hail Mary and The Lord's Prayer, not even thinking of the words that are included. However, when a priest speaks these words with great passion, or sings a church hymn with great passion and we as a congregation join in, we feel the energy coming from that priest. ultimately, we can tell if he means it, we can tell if he is passionate about it, and we can tell if he wants us to believe it or if he's just doing it because we have to. In this passage, though, it does not quite matter so much that they mean it, it matters the latter, that it brings peace to the congregation.


Other Students' thoughts On The Invisible Man

A 'New and Improved' American Dream

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    This article was hard to understand and my mind jumping around wondering, what? while I read it, but I settled on these few quotes to analyze.

    "The flooding that climaxes the novel is thematically situated to provide maximum counterpoint to the drought which originally forced the Joads to migrate west... Their survival has come to depend on shelter from the elements rather than the elements themselves." (Cassuto)

    Cassuto points out here that the very thing they depended on (the water) turns on them when they migrate (when the flood hits) and they are forced to find shelter and their lives are theatened. He also says earlier in the article that, "Instead of abandoning the American Dream, the dream itself underwent and ideological shift."

     This is because in the 1920's, (When Gatsby was set,) the American dream was to have a white house, a nice family, a white-picket fence, the mother not having to work, oh and don't forget the dog. The family lived happily ever after. Now, (during The Grapes of Wrath, I mean,) the American dream is working. -Imagine that.

    Wait. Something sounds familiar. too familiar, doesn't it?.... we see that this is repeating itself as we enter our own recession in the twenty-first century. People are losing their jobs left and right. Even doctors are getting laid off. I'm just bringing this example to light because this is real.

More thought here

Frost; One Upset Man

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to me, this poem represented loneliness in Frost's life. Through slight research I cannot find if Frost and Lowell knew each other or not. However, you can tell through this poetic work that Lowell imagined them to have a sort of connection.

Robert Frost at midnight, the audience gone
to vapor, the great act laid on the shelf in mothballs,
his voice is musical and raw- he writes in the flyleaf:
For Robert from Robert, his friend in the art.
"Sometimes I feel too full of myself," I say.
And he, misunderstanding, "When I am low,
I stray away. My son wasn't your kind. The night
we told him Merrill More would come to treat him,
he said, 'I'll kill him first.' One of my daughters thought
   things,
thought every male she met was out to make her;
the way she dressed, she couldn't make a whorehouse." 
was he saying here that his girl was ugly and tried to be a whore? or too good for a whorehouse and though she tried to get the boys?

And I, "Sometimes I'm so happy I can't stand myself."
Lowell- so happy it makes him insane
And he, "When I am too full of joy, I think
how little good my health did anyone near me."
uses joy and good life as irony because the poem actually has a very morose feeling.

more thoughts on Lowell here


Daddy Daddy

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Daddy by Silvia Plath was written in 1962 by Silvia Plath. it seemed to use the Holocaust as a metaphor to her life with her father. Her father, who I found out was a German immigrant, was weighing her down.
"...black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo..."

"...The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene"
'Ich' means I in German.
In the war, every German looked alike, and the German language is obscene. for example, Ich liebe dich = I love you.


"...An engine, an engine,/Chuffing me off like a Jew./A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen./I began to talk like a Jew./I think I may well be a Jew."
The engine is her father damaging her mind.
She was not part Jew, but the way he treated her made her feel like it.
She compared him to Hitler.


"...And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man,..."
Found on a paper discussing images in Mein Kamf;
"Panzer-man" (l. 45) implies her father was like one of the most feared military machines, an armored tank producing a mind-chilling sound when approaching its target. She also says he is "not God but a swastika" 

"...If I've killed one man, I've killed two---
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.  "
Hitler had many impersonators, but unless she was talking directly about Hitler, I'm pretty confused by this.




My Papa's 'Waltz'

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Roethke's poem My Papa's Waltz was the one that caught my eye easiest by his saying waltzing, I got 'child abuse' out of it.
This threw a red flag at me, because I am going to be teaching K-3rd grade and though people like to be blind to the subject, it does happen.
This poem is found on page 13.
The poem begins with a common rhyme scheme of A B A B and continues on to not exactly rhyme every-other-line, but rolls off the tongue easily.

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy
First off- alcohol is usually a common cause of child abuse. The fact that it is making the boy 'dizzy' and he had to hang on 'like death' is another thing that makes the whole situation unsettling.

W
e romped until the pans

Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.
romped is usually a word used with animals. they were acting as animals. and his mother was unhappy, but apparently could not stop it.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.
His father's hand is holding his wrist so he doesn't move, and is battered possibly because of physical harm that the fist has done. If he stumbles, messes up, he gets punished more

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt."
This is, to me, the most alarming stanza of the poem. literally it is saying because the child was around all day and is up too late (maybe?), the father has had enough of his nonsense (when the father needs some parenting advice himself...) is again abusing him and dragging him off to bed.


Other students' takes on Roethke

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