These are my blogs that specifically quotes lines from the text and were blogs about the quotes.
Too Many Ideas
From looking through my blogs, I noticed that most of them did not involve direct quotes. I had a tendency to select overall themes and blog about broader ideas rather than choosing a specific quote and dwelling on it. I'm not sure if that was so bad. I think that in these specific blogs where I did quote the text that I was able to dig up pretty strong analysis. I'm especially proud of my blog about the Avant-Garde because I did a research paper on it in high school and I felt that it was a particularly good find when I discovered the quote.
These blogs are the blogs which I submitted on time. Only those that were up on Friday are listed.
Too Forward? I think so...
Being Marked for Greatness
The Ambiguity of Flight
Too Many Ideas
Here I made yet another discovery. At the beginning my blogs were all on time, and so too at the end. However a section in the middle, around March 21-29, most of my blogs appear on Saturday or Sundays. It appears as though I had a busy few weeks towards the middle of march there. Nevertheless, I also got my blogs up before Monday's class and I feel like even those that were late were still very substantial in the material. I'm also very glad that the trend did not continue and that the last several assignments are all on time once more.
These blogs are the ones which sparked exceptional discussion. Only my blogs with the most comments and with the best discussions are included here.
Being Marked for Greatness
Not what you'd expect
The Ambiguity of Flight
These blogs are the ones in which good discussion were started. I noticed that one or two of them do not actually include responses of mine. This frustrated me somewhat that during that particular week I did not have time to answer my peers. However, they left me very eloquent feedback and I felt compelled to point out their success. I was, however, proud of the over all compilation of this section. I feel like I have a solid amount of blogs with large amounts of comments that one of them even prompted feedback from you. It was very uplifting to have my peers respond in such high amounts to my work.
These blogs are the ones which I am especially proud of. Some of them are included here because of the length, while others are simply average length but a blog in which I feel that I made an especially good or unique point. Some of them are here because I blogged about something that I feel others did not know about.
Too Forward? I think so...
Not what you'd expect
The "Southern Cross" reference
The Ambiguity of Flight
This section was very uplifting because as I reviewed my work I found several blogs to take pride in. Not what you'd expect is what I consider to be a pretty deep first take of My Papa's Waltz. When I consider the fact that our blogs prompted a very heated discussion that week, I believe that the blog counts in the depth section. The "Southern Cross" reference is one that I am very proud of because that line is pivotal to the poem. Without understanding the reference then the setting is not clear to the reader. I was very happy that I could point that out to my peers. I feel that the reason which I did not receive any comments is because there were multiple poems to read and thus my peers commented on different poems. Play on...names? is another blog in which I feel I brought something new to the table. I don't think that many people new about the Ellison Emerson connection and it was fun for me to be able to bring it up. I am just as proud of my prior knowledge as I am of what I learned in this class. Finally, I consider The Ambiguity of Flight to be a very deep analysis of Foster. I took one of his main points and pointed out how it could work just the same but in a different way. I doubt Foster himself even inteded to write it so, but I saw the connection in his work. I think it was pretty deep.
These blogs are not mine, but rather of my peers. Here is where I have left particularly good comments that sparked discussion.
The Little Things
seX, sEX, SEX
I seem to struggle with this section because it is difficult for me to track down my comments. That said, I think that these five represent a pretty good job of commenting. In most of them I don't just leave normal comments, but spark a discussion. People tend to come in later and either argue with me or else build off of what I say and agree with me. Over all I'm pretty content with how well I gave feedback to my peers. I know how much I appreciate receiving comments and so I tried hard to leave good, constructive feedback.
And so that's it. All the books are read. All the blogs are blogged. Everything's all put together except the final. And this, my final portfolio, is my last ditch effort to convince you of how well I've done and how much I've learned. I hope you agree with me that I always tried my very best, and I always brought a new perspective on things. I think I did a good job of bringing in background knowledge to the works and also of analyzing the text present. I tried to also bring something unique to the table so that I wasn't simply giving the same cookie cutter answers.
Over all, I enjoyed blogging very much. Never before have I experienced something like it. It was wonderful to engage in discussions with my peers outside of class and it was nice to "show off" my good work. Sometimes when you discover a new conenction in the text or come up with something pretty smart it can feel nice that you can blog it and get it out there isntead of having to share it in class. I really enjoyed these exercieses.
"He says that Russians have always had more ideas than any other people in history and ended in the pit. The Americans have no ideas and they have one success after another. "
I'm not sure what to make of this quote yet. I think it's extraordinarily funny the way it's been simplified. People have complained about philosophy since it's been a profession. What's the point in sitting around pondering the meaning of life? What good does it bring us?
That said, I don't actually believe this. I'm a huge fan of philosophy and I think it feeds the mind. But as always, everything needs to come in moderation. I think that for someone who is suicidal, it's the perfect advice not to have thoughts. If you really study philosophy, it can get quite depressing. You'll never find a real answer and you constantly find out how crappy the world can be and how short life if. Too many thoughts easily lead to the "what's the point" approach to life.
I'm a tad concerned because I can tell from the first few chapters that the book, by nature, is not as easy a read as I had hoped. Sure the language is simple, the diction is user friendly and won't take long to get through. But the story is much, much more. It is clear that the story is going to capture me emotionally. At times it is going to back track, details will be omitted, and gut wrenching, emotional scenes are going to take place. It might be easy TO read, but that doesn't make it an easy read. I can already tell that the book is going to get slow, get boring, then get wonderfully interesting. It's going to get sad, and get funny, and perhaps most of all, get frustrating at the things that the reader doesn't know or the things that Henry doesn't know.
And yet, I'm so captivated by the story. The very idea is so unique, so new. Time travel must have been done a hundred times. Alternate worlds? Boring! But this?! This is something so new and intriguing that I doubt that I could stop reading if I wanted to. I only worry that I'm ready for this book. It has all the making of am emotionally taxing read.
That being said, major props to Audrey for one of the most unique story ideas that I've ever stumbled across. I can't wait to see how it ends!
I think, especially through the books that we've read so far, this kind of flight has been much more obvious. Whether it was Gatsby and Daisy fleeing from the murder that they committed or the Joads fleeing west. The young woman also attempt to fly from her life and responsibilities.
That said, I don't think that this changes Foster's thesis. Flight still equals freedom, even with the new definition. The Joads think that they are fleeing to a great land where all of their problems can be solved. The young woman thinks that everything will be better if she kills her husband. It seems to me that in much the same way that literal flying frees the characters; so does the act of fleeing. Running from something seems to be just as liberarating as flying. Did Foster mean to present this ambiguity? Probably not, but I can appreciate the double edged side of his statement.
This quote stuck out to me in particular because it is one of the few times throughout the book that the narrator and the author seem to mesh for a moment. The Avant Garde movement was a style of art and especially literature that focused on pushing the norm and breaking tradition. It often involved elaborate sexual tension, homosexuality, or simply topics such as domestic abuse which, although they may have happened often, were always kept behind closed doors.
Simply off the top of my head, I can't think of any other blatent references to literary or artistic movements off of the top of my head. Also, based solely on my knowledge of the narrator, I'm surprised that he would recognize the Avant Garde momenet. After all, he is only semi well educated. Still, it's more surprising because movements are generally named after they are over. People didn't wake up one day and say "Today the middle ages are over and it is now the Renessaince." The fact that Ellison would refer to a movement still going on suprises me.
Ellison clearly comes from two parents who are very well read, well schooled, and well educated. Though his father died at a very early age, Ellison was always raised with the understanding that his father dreamed of Ellison becoming a poet. It is quite apparent that Ellison was, for lack of a better phrase, bread to be a writer. It is in his blood and in his name. And with that backstory, we read Invisible Man.
By the way, to everyone, there is no THE in the title. It is simply Invisible Man. That's how you tell it apart from H.G. Well's novel.
First and foremost, there's the simple fact that the diction made my eyes bleed and the syntax put me to sleep. The author routinely makes up words such as "metamor-phosed" and brings up terms that are often unfamiliar to the reader such as "neo-baconian atlantis"
But still, the real problem with the paper is that he does exactly what Dr. Jerz has taught us not to do. We are supposed to make a claim about the work itself, not use the work to make a claim about history; which is exactly what the author has done. He is using first The Grapes of Wrath and then details about Steinbeck's life and other books to make a claim about poor government decisions in the depression era. A few pages in he leaves the novel behind and starts quoting biograpbhies of Steinbeck or works that are historical analysis.
Overall, as I read te article I got the impression that it was being written by person with the intelligence of a Grad Student but the maturity of a high schooler. The vocabulary is advanced, the idea is thought out and the claim is both mature and well proved. However it simply doesn't relate to the work enough.
That being said, it's possible that Throeau didn't WANT it to relate to the work. It is possible that he simply wanted to write an article that was a historical criticism and used Steinbeck as a main point of focus. If that was his intention, then I apologize to him for my critique. But I got the impression that he was attempting to analyze Steinbec using history, and if that was the case then I'm afraid he did it backwards.
Plath seems to start her poems in a way that directly relates to her title. Her first few lines or even the entire first stanza seems to be quite simple and easy to understand. It makes sense within the context that the title has given you. After that? The metaphors begin. This is where I often got lost. She breaks from lines that directly relate to the title and instead indirectly alludes to the message presented in the title. This made it much more difficult for me to follow because of her syntax. Her lines often move quickly and with a sense of urgency, making the reader need to analyze the meaning in rapid fire mode. Though not impossible, Plath is certainly more frustrating than the other authors we've been covering this week.
However, there was one piece of the poem that I was able to shed light on definitively. The poem makes reference to the lanterns floating between the kite sticks of the southern cross. For those that don't know, the southern cross is the equivalent of the big dipper to us. It is the constellation that harbors the "south star" which never moves in the sky much the way the north star is always fixed for us in the northern hemisphere. Thus, in much the same way that northern navigators were able to manuever themsleves in the open ocean lacking a compass, the southern star enables sailors in the southern hemisphere to do the same. Thus, the constellation of the southern cross (which also looks like a kite, as the poem points out) is extraordinarily important to the southern hemisphere history. In fact, the southern cross even appears on the Australian flag.
The narrator presented a very pleasant image that sharply contrasted my preconceived notion of his poem. He remembers his old man with a very warm fondness. The whiskey is not portrayed as negative in any way. Instead, it seems to loosen the old man and make the experience more fun. The narrator seems to enjoy stumbling about after his fathers missteps. I found it quite refreshing to have the narrator involve alcohol in his poem without making it the focus of the cause of any negativity. Instead the alcohol appears only briefly.