March 2009 Archives

The Invisible Man?

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I must admit that as soon as I was told I had to read "Invisible Man," my first thought was about the super hero.  However, as I read I found that what I had assumed was completely wrong.  The narrator is far from a super hero. The book in fact did not catch my attention and I found that I had a difficult time reading as much as I did. 

Perhaps I set the standard of this book too high. I guess the moral of the story would be not to compare a simple man to a super hero.  

Farm Machines

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"As farmers were forced more and more to mistreat their holdings, they degraded it further to sexual plaything and chattel. This ideological evolution progressed naturally from the dominant myths.9 As industrialism began to dominate the West, the accompanying mindset fit a unique niche in the American dream of rugged individualism and merit-based achievement."
-Turning wine into waterWater as privileged signifier in The Grapes of Wrath. David Cassut

Out of the entire essay this quote really stood out to me the most.  Not because of the sexual playthings, but because it is, to be honest, one of the only sections of the essay that I understood.  I recall talking about this in class and thinking that everyone was crazy to think that a farm machine could be considered sexual.  But as I reread the whole section of the book and this part of the essay, it was made more clear to me that the parts were sexual in nature.  Crazy?  Maybe a little.  

The tractors came, and as stated in chapter 5 on page 33, "One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families.  Py him a wage and take all the crop." This is how industrialism started to rear its ugly head, forcing families to lose their money, their homes, and eventually almost everything.  

The mindset the article talks about is that is industrialism, I believe.  Everyone at first was so reluctant to replace people with machines but in the end that is exactly what happened and people were not so happy with it.  However, everyone had to come to accept it and realize that machines were now a scary reality.  


True Intentions

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"It seems to me that if we want to get the most out of our reading, as far as is reasonable, we have to try to take the works as they are intended to be taken."
-228, Foster

This means, you can't read a work that was written in the 1800's and relate it completely to right now.  Everything would be different.  No one had electricity or cars.  No one treated people back then like people are treated now.  There really wasn't any offense meant when someone said something that could be taken wrongly now.  The works were meant to be read as though they, the reader, were set in that time period.  


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"Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks..."

When I picture a child's room, I imagine the yellow ducks on the border around the room and brilliant bright pastels drenching everything in the room.  I imagine a mother looking her new child in the eye and seeing the reflection of the room in the baby's eye.  It's truly a beautiful vision.  I can't say that this is exactly what the author wanted me to imagine but it's what I thought of.  A mother thinks her child is the most beautiful thing in the world and wants nothing more than to surround that child with beautiful things to make him or her happy.  

Broken, Bitter Heart

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"When true love broke my heart in half, 
I took the whiskey from the shelf,
And told my neighbors when to laugh.
I keep a dog, and bark myself.

Ghost cried out to ghost-
But who's afraid of that?
I fear those shadows most
That start from my own feet."
-The Surly One

This poem really stuck out to me because of how well it described the bitterness one feels when they have their heart broken. All I saw when I was reading this was a man with his bottle of whiskey standing on the porch and the neighbors starting at him.  I pictured him telling them to laugh now because later he'd get back at them.  I imagined him yelling along when his dog starts barking.  Everything seems so clearly pictured.  Sadly, he isn't really yelling at anyone in particular.  He's upset at himself.  Maybe he messed up?  Was it something he did?  He fears what he did or what he could do.  He's scared of the shadow of himself.  

Liberal propaganda?

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"Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked out of sight."
-page 47, The Armadillo

At first I imagined some sort of bomb going off on the side of a cliff.  Blowing up a cliff and the surrounding homes.  The animals are running away out of fear because their homes are being destroyed.  However, the third time I read it through the "bombs" seemed more to me like fireworks.  The "flame ran down" is like the fire work falling like a weeping willow and the fire works lighting up the underside of the owls. Everything then made more sense as I read through thinking of the "bombs" as "fireworks." 

Distinctive Voices

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"The eight poets represented here, though they share certain traits and subjects, have voices that are distinctive. They all learned from others-in some cases from one another-but each one gradually transmuted those various sources into a unique style." introduction-xv

This section really stood out to me because I love how writers learn from one another. They can feed off of the other's energy and create something better than what would have been written.  The book refers to music as a perfect example of the type of influences writers have on each other.  It states that when a person listens to a certain song or verse they know who the musician is.  So, when reading a poem or a work of literature one should be able to connect that work with the person who wrote it?  Sure, why not?  I can't do that but if someone has the correct knowledge it would be as simple as listening to a song.  

Portfolio 1

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I will be the first to say that I am probably one of the most computer illiterate people on the face of the earth.  Someone can show me how to do something x-amount of times so I apologize if I didn't do my entries correctly. At first, and sometimes still, I didn't understand why these blogs are so important.  After a while, I did realize that they do help.  I read other's blogs and I recognize that someone noticed something that I didn't.  

Timeliness: these are the blogs that I completed on time.

Depth: these two blogs and the two that I feel I was able to make a good connection to the works.

Interaction: these blogs sparks small conversations

Coverage: I feel that these blogs covered what needed to be covered. I don't think I was trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

Dogs are instinctual swimmers.

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pg 106-107. "Dogs are instinctual swimmers, but not every pup hits the water understanding what to do what that instinct. Reading is like that, too. The more you exercise the symbolic imagination, the better and quicker it works."

This quote took me by surprise. At first, I had no idea where he was going with this statement, until I took a personal interest in it.  I will be the first to admit that I have to struggle until I am about ready to throw my computer through the window to be able to find symbolic meaning in anything.  I can easily pick out a passage that stands out and seems important (similar to "...not every pup hits the water understanding what to do...").  Foster just knows how to put everything that seems so difficult into such a simple analogy.  It surprises me every time.  

Rich get money and the poor have babies.

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Page 92 "The rich get richer and the poor get -- children."

When I read this, I realized how true this statement is.  Those people who have money don't know how to do anything else but make more money.  In The Great Gatsby, it doesn't seem to me that Tom ever will or had any desire to help out anyone in a bad financial situation except his mistress.  And I don't believe he was trying to help her in anyway, he was only using her. Also, I don't believe anyone who is poor is going to make any attempt, in The Great Gatsby, to make more money.  Now, from what Fitzgerald states, he says that all the get is children.  In his mind is that all the poor people do? I guess so.  The more children the people families had, the more help they had.  There were more people to help clean, cook, and care for the other children.  There were more people to go out and work to earn more money.  So I suppose it all works out for both ends of the spectrum.

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