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October 5, 2008

Not a girl - Not yet a woman...only better

I feel like this one is much easier to do a close reading on than the last. But I'm still setting it up the same way.

My feelings:

This website was very interesting; the way that Shelley Jackson wrote made me want to keep clicking and keep learning about her. I liked that the stories didn't go in order of how they happened in her life, which it would have had to if it were a novel. Hypertext makes writing raw, I like it. (When I'm older and bolder I might think of doing something like this as well.)

Close Reading:

In Shelley Jackson's "The Body" she is able to show people a sense of self-acceptance through discovering her own body, instead of comparing her body to those of models and actresses that teenage girls are so often told to emulate.

With the use of hypertext, Jackson is able to let the reader take the first step in where the journey of her body will begin. (I chose the tattoo.) Through reading about that chosen section of her body, the reader is then led to chose another part through the words that seemingly describe a different section of the body, and are led throughout, not only Jackson's changing body, but also through her childhood to womanhood. (Just to note: I hate the word womanhood, lame word, I couldn't think of another word that fit.)

Unlike any other form of writing about the changes that a girl goes through while growing up, Jackson is able to show her readers a way to travel to the different areas of her body and her life by linking to different parts of the body, to let the reader choose their own path. In this way, the reader is able to experience Jackson's experiences as they come, instead of in chronological order.

As the reader is led through Jackson's body and life, they are able to see into a different set of eyes on the issue of how a teenage girl and ultimately how women should look, according to the public's eye. These days, girls are told they have to look and be a certain way and as the reader is on Jackson's journey, those limitations for girls are destroyed by one woman's view of her own body. Through Jackson's ability to accept her shoulders, arms,leg hair, and her lack of hips, along with the rest of her body's unique aspects, she is able to show girls going through the "not pretty enough" struggle that image shouldn't matter. 


It is interesting because the style allows you, the reader, to choose how you watch the narrator grow. You can choose to try and make it chronological, or you can watch it happen literally from head to toe. It is an interesting concept because for so long, the author has had all of the control as to how a story progresses. Not so, anymore.

I loved the way Jackson wrote this hypertext. She made it so easy for her readers (especially females) to identify with her. Whether it was the small anecdotes from her childhood, or just the way she poured her emotions out concerning her acceptance of her own body, Jackson managed to open doors for her readers to actually LOOk at themselves for a change.

Surprisingly, I also wrote, as you say, about how "she is able to show people a sense of self-acceptance through discovering her own body, instead of comparing her body to those of models and actresses that teenage girls are so often told to emulate." Jackson had a willingness of being open that may help other women having constant body image problems know and understand that everyone's body is imperfect, and that's the beauty of a body. The author was not always happy with the her figure, but as she embraced her body, she embraced a new level of self-confidence that every woman wants.
She also explains, though not deliberately, that our bodies are unique. It should be kept that way. Jackson's overall purpose for this story is to prove to the audience that image shouldn't matter. How you carry yourself and your self-confidence is what will make you attractive.

Dena - that's exactly what I meant when I wrote this entry. Thanks for making my idea into a short and sweet comment! But like you said, I really I didn't see Jackson once compare herself in a way that girls seem to be doing all the time today, of course she didn't like every single thing about herself, but she found that she liked herself as a whole better when she was able to except her flaws - making her a beautiful person.

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