October 2009 Archives

Opposites Attract

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"The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting--from nowhere, from the sky" (348).

Miss Brill seems to be very indecisive.  When describing the surroundings, she uses at least two different examples for each object.  The narrator tells the audience that "Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur."  This implies that she had questioned her decision in wearing it in the first place. 

Miss Brill then goes on to describe the fur, which is actually the full body of an animal.  She describes how the nose of the animal has become chipped.  She calls it "Little rogue! Yes, she really felt like that about it.  Little rogue biting its tail just by her left ear" (349).  Again, it seems as though she is questioning herself.  Instead of just draping the fur around her neck, she plays with it and pets it as though it were alive.  Does she want it to be alive?  Possibly, but since she has already bought the animal when it was dead, then she can't bring it back.

The rest of the story kind of goes in the same way because Miss Brill cannot seem to focus on only one thing at a time.  Everything that she observes or does throughout the story is related to multiple actions or observations, "Two young girls in red came by and two young soldiers in blue met them, and they laughed and paired and went off arm-in-arm.  Two peasant women with funny straw hats passed, gravely, leading beautiful smoke-coloured donkeys."

Not only does Katherine Mansfield, the author of Miss Brill, show Miss Brill having multiple observations, all of her observations are contradicting.  The girls and the soldiers are happy and the peasant women are "grave."  Miss Brill's want for a live fur contradicts what a fur is supposed to be used for.

This story shows the way in which opposites can actually fit together.  Opposites are used to describe one another, and Mansfield is able to use that concept in her story.

EL 237

Being Proud of Something You Actually Worked For

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EL 237

"The decision of the Norwegians to award the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is not going to be met with sneering in these quarters. For all that we disagree with the president in respect of policy, Mr. Obama has clearly inspired not only a huge number of Americans but also a huge number of Europeans." 

This statement was made in "A Nobel for Obama," an editorial for the New York Sun.  I figured this would be an editorial about how Obama should NOT have been awarded the nobel peace prize considering until now I have only heard negative remarks. 

However, this editorial discusses how Obama deserved to be awarded the nobel peace prize. I agree with the author and I believe that President Barack Obama does deserve this.  I also agree when the author says that Obama says that, "this is an award for the American people." 

Obama has overcome some major obstacles in his life, and I believe these accomplishments as well as the change that it has brought to America, gives him the ability to be proud of this award.

That's Not My Name

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In my newswriting class at Seton Hill University, I have written a few articles.  Well, more than a few, but it's ok.  Anyways, I have always been terrified of using an anonymous source.  Now I know that it is a little different when I am writing an article for class, but when looking for sources, I will completely avoid those people who will give a quote but they will not let you use their name in your article.

It is dangerous for some people's names to be given out to the society, but if a person does not want to be quoted for a reason other than their safety, then they should have never given you a quote at all.

The public has the right to know who is trash talking who.  Yea, that sounds wrong and unethical, but if you're going to say it, then say it with confidence.  You won't be recognized for an anonymous quote.

 

Catching the Swine Flu

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In "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Figures of speech, metaphorical language, figurative language, figurative devices, and rhetorical figures are terms describing organized patterns of comparison that deepen, broaden, extend, illuminate, and emphasize meaning." This is certainly a statement that shows you the appropriate way to list something. 

Anyways, metaphors and similes are extremely important in writing.  In almost every single one of my English classes, I have discussed the importance of similes and metaphors. 

Metaphors and similes also help people to understand something "unknown."  This can be useful when writers are trying to add fun into their writing as well.  I mean isn't it humorous when you say "catching the swine flu is like hooking up with an overweight person."  Now that's a simile for you.

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Before reading the translation that "Writing about Literature," by Edgar V. Roberts, gives you for a few of the lines in John Keats' poem On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, I assumed that the speaker of the poem was being a bit boastful.  It seems that he is talking about all the riches that he has seen.  However, the Roberts translates the first line to be "the world of great art," rather than "the realms of gold." 

In some ways, art can be considered riches.  However, the way in which this poem describes the art, it seems to be more of an appreciation rather than something of value. 

The rest of the poem supports my theory.  After discussing "goodly states and kingdoms," the speaker of the poem moves on to what I consider to be "the finer things in life," such as "skies," "planets," and mountain peaks.  Like the speaker, I love to watch the sky.

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That's What Friends are For

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In Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30: When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought,"  the speaker's tone seems to be confessional.  Even the title lets readers know that you'll be able to see into his or her "thoughts."  The speaker is allowing readers to see his or her past.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know if I want everyone to know about my past (not that I have done anything bad, but some stuff is just personal).  However, the speaker is actually discussing an old love, which has caused him/ her great grief. 

This poem is very relative to society.  When someone is dealing with a loss, they typically look for a friend to vent to.  The speaker addresses the reader of the poem to be their "dear friend."  A normal person wouldn't tell a stranger about how they miss their love.  Shakespeare is demonstrating the significance of a true friend.

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The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death

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Edgar Allan Poe discusses Prince Prospero's attempt to escape from the "red death," which was a fatal disease that had invaded his lands.  Well, hasn't the swine flu invaded our "lands," and aren't we doing the same kinds of things to avoid the swine flu?  Just this morning I noticed that my roommate had written "locking out the swine flu" on our dry-erase board that hangs on our door.  Now, do you actually think that you can just shut a door and the swine flu won't be able to get to you?

Prince Prospero believes so.  However, he doesn't exactly shut a door.  He enters a "magnificent structure" that is surrounded by a high, iron gate that is welded shut.  Anyone with common sense could see the end to this.  Sorry Prospero, but you don't have common sense.  Neither do the rest of us I guess.  We are all wearing face masks (mask...get it?) to the airport and getting our flu shots. 

I refuse to get my flu shot because if I don't already have the flu, then I am probably not going to get it and I don't want to risk getting sick by trying to prevent it.  Anyways, even though present day society does not have a prince that is locking out half of the country in the attempt to stay healthy, we still avoid those who are unhealthy.  Poe did a good job at showing the selfish side of people.  I know when I hear of someone having the swine flu the first thing I say is "stay away from me."  It's not their fault that they have drawn the short straw, but I don't want to risk being around them.  At Seton Hill, people with swine flu are sent home and their room is "aired out."  I mean it's not like they haven't been walking around for a few days before someone realized they had it, but either way they are sent home to "recuperate," which is fine with me I guess.

When it comes to getting sick, no one wants to do it.  Therefore, people will go to great lengths to avoid it.  I would almost rather just get sick and get it over with than get a shot or wear a mask, but then again all of these options are pretty uncomfortable.

Jessica Orlowski describes her feelings towards Prince Prospero in her blog Dear Prince Prospero, 

Click here to catch the swine flu.

How Much More Can We Learn About Setting?

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Setting has always been a major topic throughout my English classes in high school.  So, it's starting to get slightly repetitive.  However, the use of setting in high school, and the use of setting now is completely different.

For example, I have not ever asociated setting with irony in a work of literature. In Chapter 6 of "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Just as setting may reinforce character and theme, so it may establish expectations that are the opposite of what occurs, not only in fiction but also in plays and poems."

It is interesting to know that setting can change a person's mind frame.  What is even more interesting is that when a person is reading a work of literature, they don't even notice this change.  If Roberts had not pointed out the use of irony to establish setting, I would not have ever noticed its use.

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Just Shut Up and Listen

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In Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists, Robert J. Haiman states, "Finally, and perhaps most important, was the discovery that the public defines fairness much more broadly than most journalists do.  When asked for examples of unfairness, roundtable participants talked about inaccuracy, about reportorial incompetence, about failure to understand the basics of complex issues, about editors and reporters having preconceived notions of the story line, about inadequate space devoted to a story, about institutional reluctance to publish corrections, about unfairness due to what was not in the paper, about rudeness and lack of civility in the reporting process and about the tendency to publish rumors without ascertaining the facts and without attribution to a named source" (5).

Despite the fact that I have no intention of ever becoming a journalist, this statement angers me. This statement was not from Haiman himself, but from the representatives of the public.  I feel that this is a list of complaints from those who have been burned by the news, or those who have been watching too much celebrity television.  I have not ever heard of a journalist being rude or mean to a person that they are interviewing,  There have been times, however, in which I have witnessed the journalist twisting the quotes from a person to change the story.  This is about the only incidence that I have seen the journalist be unfair to the public.  I am not trying to say that these things have all not happened, but I think that journalists are more fair than unfair in real life.  Also, people are bound to make mistakes.  Journalists are a part of the public as well.

Haiman is able to provide readers with tips on what to do if you have been an "unfair" journalist.  He states, "Giving a higher priority to tracking errors , finding out how they occurred and taking steps to reduce and eliminate them begin with the top editor.  Commitment of the senior leadership in the newsroom is essential in establishing that inaccuracy is a serious problem" (9).  Haiman shows that newspapers are dedicated to finding their mistakes.

In reality, the public starts the rumors that the journalists investigate.  So, why is it wrong for the journalis, who is part of the public, to report these rumors?  Well, it is wrong if the rumor is not true, but the only blame that can be placed on the journalist is for being too trusting of the public.  Is it the public who shouldn't trust the news, or is it the journalist who shouldn't trust the public?

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Imagery Can be Intense!

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In Chapter 8 of "Writing About Literature," Roberts writes, "In literature, imagery refers to words that trigger your imagination to recall and recombine images-memories or mental pictures of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations of touch, and motions."  Writers use imagery in order to entertain and interest readers.  It is amazing how words can be used to trigger a sense.  To me, it is most interesting when a writer appeals to taste.  There have been some works that I have read that make me feel as though I can actually taste what the writer is describing.  Without actually seeing or smelling the food, it makes me hungry.  It is almost frustrating because I know I can't actually have the food, but I sure can imagine the taste in my mouth.

"Cargoes," by John Masefield, uses imagery to appeal to readers in many ways.  The poem almost doesn't seem to make sense, but the words that the poet uses still appeal to reader's senses.  "Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir," is the first line of the poem.  Even though I have no clue whatsoever as to what the poet is saying, I picture distant land covered with plant and animal life.  The next four lines give me a more clear picture of this distant land, which he now calls home.  I can see the apes and peacocks and I can feel the warmth of the sun.  Even though I have no clue what the poet is talking about, I can still make sense of the poem just through his use of imagery.

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You Can't Always Get What You Want

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Artie seems to have one focus throughout this book.  The focus is uncovering his mother's story.  He wants to know what happened to his mother in her own words. 

When I discovered that his mother had actually killed herself rather than being killed in the Holocaust, I understood his reason for wanting to know her story.  How can a Jewish person live through the Holocaust and even survive Auschwitz only to commit suicide years later?

I decided to look explore this question and discovered that there is actually a book that describes certain instances of suicide after the Holocaust.  "Suicide and the Holocaust," by David Lester, discusses some of the people that committed suicide after surviving concentration camps.  Also, most of them left no note or explanation for their suicide, much like Anja.

This sense of loss and confusion kind of sums up the whole theme of the book.  Throughout the book, Vladek is constantly getting distracted and side tracked.  The end of the book also ends very abruptly.  Even though this is only part one, I still feel as though I need an explanation. 

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Society Then and Society Today

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Artie: "Was she the first girl you-uh-

Vladek: "Yes...We were more involved. So like the youths here today.

In this part of the book, Vladek is pictured scratching his head.  Regretfully? In the next box, Lucia and Vladek are pictured in bed together as Vladek is buttoning up his shirt, and putting on his shoes. 

Through the dialogue and the illustrations, Spiegelman is able to relate the time of the Holocaust to present society.  He, well technically Vladek, makes a very bold statement about how younger people are more "involved" today than they were then.  However, he does not seem to consider his son a youth, yet his son seems to be the same age as him when he was having er uh relations with Lucia.  Biased much?

Anyways, I think that because Spiegelman relates this idea of the taboo "sex before marriage," it makes the book more relatable.  As a reader, I am able to put myself in the time of the Holocaust as well in the place of a Jewish person at the time of the Holocaust.  The Holocaust becomes more real to me.  Not that it wasn't real before, but it gives me more to associate with.

Spiegelman's illustrations are extremely effective in this portion of the text.  Sex is associated with being naked.  Without actually saying "we were having sex," Vladek is shown buttoning up his shirt. So, for those of us who didn't get it when Vladek said "We were involved," we can all go OOOOOOOHHHHH when looking at the picture. Ok, so most of us did get it, but the picture makes that statement seem a little more obvious.  It also kind of shows Vladek's true feelings of Lucia.  He is turned away and buttoning up his shirt as she is still sprawled on his bed.  For more on illustrations, read Karyssa Blair's blog!

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Portfolio 2

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Coverage: Here is the second list of blogs that I have posted at this time in the semester.

Gender Confusion?-In the parody "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," by Ann-Marie MacDonald, readers discover that there can be so many ways to interpret some of Shakespeare's greatest works.  I have tried to relate to Ann-Marie MacDonald in comparing her parody to everyday gender confusion.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-This blog is my reaction to the realization of the violence behind the "making" of a Disney movie.

Quit Our Books?-In this blog, I discuss the possible effect the poem, "The Tables Turned" by William Wordsworth, could have on an English major.  Is it positive or negative, or just plain fun?

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog covered my reaction to a poem by Robert Frost.  The poem, "Desert Places," along with comments from others, opened my eyes to a new way of thinking.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-This blog discusses Chapter 12 in the book "Writing About Literature."  It explains how causing a problem for yourself can actually be helpful when writing an essay.

Sometimes an Introduction is More than just an Introduction-In this entry, I have talked about the introduction, or the first third, of the book "The Quick and the Dead."  The blog discusses a certain character's importance in the book.

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This entry talks about the significance of a name.  A name can be something other than what you call a person.

Review of a Review of a Review?-In this blog I have analyzed a review of the book "Nineteen Minutes," by Jodi Picoult.

Society Then and Society Today-This entry discusses societal values at the time of the Holocaust compared to the values of society today.  It also discusses how illustration can be effective in showing these values.

Depth: The entries in which I feel that I have made valiant effort.

Gender Confusion?-By relating "Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)" to everyday society, I believe that I have helped myself to better understand Shakespeare's work.  Having already read the plays that were parodied, I was able to understand the humor Ann-Marie MacDonald used.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-I feel that this response to a class discussion was very in depth and appropriate for the class topic.  It sparked a few comments as well as a discussion in the next class.

Quit Our Books?-I think that even though this blog did not get any comments, it still related to a bigger issue. 

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog went in depth into my feelings on a certain poem.  However, I was able to see a bigger picture with the comments in which I received on this blog.  Comments were given on facebook as well as the blog.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-The fact that I did not post the link to this blog on the course website could have been the reason that I did not receive any comments on this.  Whoops, but I do feel that I have asked a few questions that could spark a discussion.  I feel that I have challenged the author's view.

Review of a Review of a Review?-This is one of the longer blogs that I have written.  I feel that this blog really challenges the writer of the review that I read.  I also noticed that another person in my class had read a review by the same person.  This shows me that I have challenged the views of an established (maybe I am not for sure) book reviewer.  I am not claiming that my views are correct, but I understand where the reviewer could have gone wrong in her review.

Society Then and Society Today-I believe that this entry brings up a major issue in the book.  It also relates to different aspects of the book that support this issue.  I feel that I have effectively addressed this issue so that readers of the book will be able to see the significance of it.

Interaction:

OMG DISNEY PRINCESS!!-by Kayla Lesko

Quit Your Books and Grab Your Hippi Skirts-by Carissa Altizer

Places You Will Never Forget-by Gladys Mares

Afflicted with the Frost-by Josie Rush

Once upon a midnight dreary-by Aja Hannah

Not a New Problem-Gladys Mares

Words You NEVER Hear in Arizona Bars-by David Wilbanks

Everyone is Crazy-by Gladys Mares

Umm...I think you know! ;)-by Shellie Polly

Timeliness: These are the blogs that I have posted in a timely fashion.

Gender Confusion?

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

Review of a Review of a Review?

Society Then and Society Today

Discussion:

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This introduced other students to a subject about names and their true meanings.

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-After reading the comments on this blog, I was given a new understanding of what a desert actually is.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-by relating this blog to a class discussion, I was able to spark a few comments that agreed with my point as well as disagreed with it.

Xenoblogging:

Society Then and Society Today-I have linked this blog to Karyssa Blair's blog.

Wildcard:

Review of a Review of a Review?-I enjoyed reading this review, and I feel that I have evaluated it very well.  I wish that I had posted the link on the course website so that I would have been given some feedback on my evaluation, but I believe that this blog will be helpful regardless.

 

Editorial Drama

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"Opinions that the editors express on the editorial page should stay there -- they should not affect the news coverage."

This statement, given by Dr. Jerz, about an editorial helps make the point that even though they are important in newswriting, they are still only an opinion.  Editorials are given negative connotations because they are associated with a complaint.  Although, the complaint is justified by sources and facts.  However, an editorial should not "list complaints" or attack, it should be thoroughly researched and given a single focus.

I have not ever really given credit to editorials.  They are not something that I would pay attention to in a newspaper.  Truthfully, this is the first time that I have ever read one.  I have always just made my own opinion of things and not ever really cared about others.  However, a good editorial can give me an educated point of view.

Greta has given us an easy way of relating to editorials with her chart of the similarities between an academic essay and an editorial.  By finding the simalarities between an editorial and an academic essay, it could help writers to stay focused on their research rather than their complaint.

Newswriting

Review of a Review of a Review?

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When finding a review of a book, no not a review, I found it difficult to find one that was actually credible.  I found a few that made no sense whatsoever, and I found a few that completely criticized every aspect of the book, defeating the whole purpose of a review.  Anyways, I finally found one that would help me to write my very own book review.

"After the Shooting is Over" is a review of "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult, written by Janet Maslin (as if reviewing a review wasn't confusing enough).  Maslin first introduces the plot of the story, which is a school shooting.  A school shooting is a very appealing topic, but Maslin is able to make it even more appealing to the readers of her review by using a quote relating to the title of the book as well as a question that helps readers to understand the focus of her review.

The only issue that I can really find with Janet Maslin's review is that it is more of a summary rather than a review.  She allows readers to see that they can easily relate to the book, but she does not provide them with much insight as to why they should read the book.

Towards the end of her review, she sums up the themes in many of Jodi Picoult's books.  By doing this, she is allowing readers to see that Jodi Picoult has a constant writing style.  Maslin states, "Her stories are more reassuring than disturbing, and their surprise twists pose no threats."  Now that Maslin has let readers know the non-threatening tone of "all" of Jodi Picoult's books, do we really want to read them to find out the happy ending.  Maslin has finally given us some sort of look into the actual books, but I would rather know her exact feelings on "Nineteen Minutes" rather than Picoult's books as a whole.

Realistically, I cannot criticize another's book review because I have been having an extremely difficult time writing my own.  Even though I understand and know what I am discussing as I am writing my book review, I do not think that I am the person that people should go to for a book review.  Like Maslin, I am more apt to give a summary rather than an opinion.  Being positively opinionated and insightful at the same time can prove to be extremely difficult.

Let's review a review of a review about a review with the author of the review of the author of the book.

Portfolio 2

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Coverage:

Societal Value of News-an entry that discusses the location of a news story compared to the size of a community.

Depth and Style vs. Actual News-this entry involves a comparison of two news stories.  Does depth and style really have an effect on the actual story?

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-an entry that compares stories that focus on "the bigger issue," but sometimes "the bigger issue" can end up on a smaller scale.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-is the death of a dog amusing?  This blog discusses the circumstances in which an incident like this could actually be found amusing.

Some News Stories are all about Pictures-Don't you feel like a 6-year-old (correct APA style) when all you look for is the newspaper with the most interesting pictures?  This blogs explains the importance of pictures in the news.

Depth:

Societal Value of News-I took the topic of this blog and researched it.  I linked it to a website that helped to prove the argument in my blog.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-I feel that I took the topic of this blog and explained my opinion of it to my best ability.  This blog also sparked three comments, so I feel that it did bring up a point that other people were able to relate to.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-I disagreed with the author of "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting" in this blog.  I feel that by disagreeing I have brought up a point that not only challenges his book, but also challenges newswriting as a whole.

Interaction/ Discussions:

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-this blog started an interesting discussion in which the people commenting on it actually agreed to its content, for the most part.

Timeliness: The blogs that were submitted on time and ready for some comments.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?

Some News Stories are all about Pictures

Xenoblogging: These are other people's blogs in which I have intellectually commented on and attempted to start discussion.

Ingestion of expired banana pudding causes rapidly escalating liberalism in children under seven-Mike Poiarkoff

Red Tape-Katie Vann

The Art of the Crime Report-Andrew Wichrowski

Story Leads The Body!-Wendy Scott

A Blunt News Article-Derek Tickle

Tone, minus the opinions-Kaitlin Monier

Wildcard:

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-Even though I received zero comments on this blog, I feel that it was the most important one that I have written.  It takes a serious subject, which should actually be funny, and turns it into a somewhat humorous situation.  By disagreeing with the author, I have started a debate with newswriting as a whole.

Back to the newsroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

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In "The Quick and the Dead," Joy Williams writes, "It was supposed to be a dangerous occupation, and here he was fiddling around with kiddie books.  The nameplate above his pocket read 'Darling.'" This observation is alluding to the fact that someone's name can actually be used to interpret their personality.  The character, Ray, makes the assumption that just because the ranger's name is "Darling" and he is reading kiddie books, that being a ranger is no longer "dangerous." 

Due to the standards in society, the author is able to write something like this and receive a reaction from it.  It helps readers to relate to the book.  However, Ray is a very odd character to relate to.

The first third of the book "The Quick and the Dead," by Joy Williams, served as an introduction not only to the book, but also as an introduction to topics such as environmentalism and the loss of a parent.  The character, Alice, is a slightly distorted environmentalist.  While she is an advocate for wolves, she is alluded to being the cause of many missing cats.  Alice, I believe is my favorite character.  I actually do not like her a lot.  I think that she is a negative, closed minded person, but I enjoy being able to see her thoughts and actions.  Joy Williams really exaggerates the nature drama with Alice and even though it is a little over the top, I think that it makes the book a lot more effective. 

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Opposites Attract

"The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting--from nowhere, from the sky" (348).

Miss Brill seems to be very indecisive.  When describing the surroundings, she uses at least two different examples for each object.  The narrator tells the audience that "Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur."  This implies that she had questioned her decision in wearing it in the first place. 

Miss Brill then goes on to describe the fur, which is actually the full body of an animal.  She describes how the nose of the animal has become chipped.  She calls it "Little rogue! Yes, she really felt like that about it.  Little rogue biting its tail just by her left ear" (349).  Again, it seems as though she is questioning herself.  Instead of just draping the fur around her neck, she plays with it and pets it as though it were alive.  Does she want it to be alive?  Possibly, but since she has already bought the animal when it was dead, then she can't bring it back.

The rest of the story kind of goes in the same way because Miss Brill cannot seem to focus on only one thing at a time.  Everything that she observes or does throughout the story is related to multiple actions or observations, "Two young girls in red came by and two young soldiers in blue met them, and they laughed and paired and went off arm-in-arm.  Two peasant women with funny straw hats passed, gravely, leading beautiful smoke-coloured donkeys."

Not only does Katherine Mansfield, the author of Miss Brill, show Miss Brill having multiple observations, all of her observations are contradicting.  The girls and the soldiers are happy and the peasant women are "grave."  Miss Brill's want for a live fur contradicts what a fur is supposed to be used for.

This story shows the way in which opposites can actually fit together.  Opposites are used to describe one another, and Mansfield is able to use that concept in her story.

EL 237

Being Proud of Something You Actually Worked For

EL 237

"The decision of the Norwegians to award the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is not going to be met with sneering in these quarters. For all that we disagree with the president in respect of policy, Mr. Obama has clearly inspired not only a huge number of Americans but also a huge number of Europeans." 

This statement was made in "A Nobel for Obama," an editorial for the New York Sun.  I figured this would be an editorial about how Obama should NOT have been awarded the nobel peace prize considering until now I have only heard negative remarks. 

However, this editorial discusses how Obama deserved to be awarded the nobel peace prize. I agree with the author and I believe that President Barack Obama does deserve this.  I also agree when the author says that Obama says that, "this is an award for the American people." 

Obama has overcome some major obstacles in his life, and I believe these accomplishments as well as the change that it has brought to America, gives him the ability to be proud of this award.

That's Not My Name

In my newswriting class at Seton Hill University, I have written a few articles.  Well, more than a few, but it's ok.  Anyways, I have always been terrified of using an anonymous source.  Now I know that it is a little different when I am writing an article for class, but when looking for sources, I will completely avoid those people who will give a quote but they will not let you use their name in your article.

It is dangerous for some people's names to be given out to the society, but if a person does not want to be quoted for a reason other than their safety, then they should have never given you a quote at all.

The public has the right to know who is trash talking who.  Yea, that sounds wrong and unethical, but if you're going to say it, then say it with confidence.  You won't be recognized for an anonymous quote.

 

Catching the Swine Flu

In "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Figures of speech, metaphorical language, figurative language, figurative devices, and rhetorical figures are terms describing organized patterns of comparison that deepen, broaden, extend, illuminate, and emphasize meaning." This is certainly a statement that shows you the appropriate way to list something. 

Anyways, metaphors and similes are extremely important in writing.  In almost every single one of my English classes, I have discussed the importance of similes and metaphors. 

Metaphors and similes also help people to understand something "unknown."  This can be useful when writers are trying to add fun into their writing as well.  I mean isn't it humorous when you say "catching the swine flu is like hooking up with an overweight person."  Now that's a simile for you.

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Appreciate the Finer Things in Life, and No That Does Not Mean Your Diamond Pinky Ring

Before reading the translation that "Writing about Literature," by Edgar V. Roberts, gives you for a few of the lines in John Keats' poem On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, I assumed that the speaker of the poem was being a bit boastful.  It seems that he is talking about all the riches that he has seen.  However, the Roberts translates the first line to be "the world of great art," rather than "the realms of gold." 

In some ways, art can be considered riches.  However, the way in which this poem describes the art, it seems to be more of an appreciation rather than something of value. 

The rest of the poem supports my theory.  After discussing "goodly states and kingdoms," the speaker of the poem moves on to what I consider to be "the finer things in life," such as "skies," "planets," and mountain peaks.  Like the speaker, I love to watch the sky.

classroom comments

That's What Friends are For

In Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30: When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought,"  the speaker's tone seems to be confessional.  Even the title lets readers know that you'll be able to see into his or her "thoughts."  The speaker is allowing readers to see his or her past.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know if I want everyone to know about my past (not that I have done anything bad, but some stuff is just personal).  However, the speaker is actually discussing an old love, which has caused him/ her great grief. 

This poem is very relative to society.  When someone is dealing with a loss, they typically look for a friend to vent to.  The speaker addresses the reader of the poem to be their "dear friend."  A normal person wouldn't tell a stranger about how they miss their love.  Shakespeare is demonstrating the significance of a true friend.

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The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death

Edgar Allan Poe discusses Prince Prospero's attempt to escape from the "red death," which was a fatal disease that had invaded his lands.  Well, hasn't the swine flu invaded our "lands," and aren't we doing the same kinds of things to avoid the swine flu?  Just this morning I noticed that my roommate had written "locking out the swine flu" on our dry-erase board that hangs on our door.  Now, do you actually think that you can just shut a door and the swine flu won't be able to get to you?

Prince Prospero believes so.  However, he doesn't exactly shut a door.  He enters a "magnificent structure" that is surrounded by a high, iron gate that is welded shut.  Anyone with common sense could see the end to this.  Sorry Prospero, but you don't have common sense.  Neither do the rest of us I guess.  We are all wearing face masks (mask...get it?) to the airport and getting our flu shots. 

I refuse to get my flu shot because if I don't already have the flu, then I am probably not going to get it and I don't want to risk getting sick by trying to prevent it.  Anyways, even though present day society does not have a prince that is locking out half of the country in the attempt to stay healthy, we still avoid those who are unhealthy.  Poe did a good job at showing the selfish side of people.  I know when I hear of someone having the swine flu the first thing I say is "stay away from me."  It's not their fault that they have drawn the short straw, but I don't want to risk being around them.  At Seton Hill, people with swine flu are sent home and their room is "aired out."  I mean it's not like they haven't been walking around for a few days before someone realized they had it, but either way they are sent home to "recuperate," which is fine with me I guess.

When it comes to getting sick, no one wants to do it.  Therefore, people will go to great lengths to avoid it.  I would almost rather just get sick and get it over with than get a shot or wear a mask, but then again all of these options are pretty uncomfortable.

Jessica Orlowski describes her feelings towards Prince Prospero in her blog Dear Prince Prospero, 

Click here to catch the swine flu.

How Much More Can We Learn About Setting?

Setting has always been a major topic throughout my English classes in high school.  So, it's starting to get slightly repetitive.  However, the use of setting in high school, and the use of setting now is completely different.

For example, I have not ever asociated setting with irony in a work of literature. In Chapter 6 of "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Just as setting may reinforce character and theme, so it may establish expectations that are the opposite of what occurs, not only in fiction but also in plays and poems."

It is interesting to know that setting can change a person's mind frame.  What is even more interesting is that when a person is reading a work of literature, they don't even notice this change.  If Roberts had not pointed out the use of irony to establish setting, I would not have ever noticed its use.

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Just Shut Up and Listen

In Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists, Robert J. Haiman states, "Finally, and perhaps most important, was the discovery that the public defines fairness much more broadly than most journalists do.  When asked for examples of unfairness, roundtable participants talked about inaccuracy, about reportorial incompetence, about failure to understand the basics of complex issues, about editors and reporters having preconceived notions of the story line, about inadequate space devoted to a story, about institutional reluctance to publish corrections, about unfairness due to what was not in the paper, about rudeness and lack of civility in the reporting process and about the tendency to publish rumors without ascertaining the facts and without attribution to a named source" (5).

Despite the fact that I have no intention of ever becoming a journalist, this statement angers me. This statement was not from Haiman himself, but from the representatives of the public.  I feel that this is a list of complaints from those who have been burned by the news, or those who have been watching too much celebrity television.  I have not ever heard of a journalist being rude or mean to a person that they are interviewing,  There have been times, however, in which I have witnessed the journalist twisting the quotes from a person to change the story.  This is about the only incidence that I have seen the journalist be unfair to the public.  I am not trying to say that these things have all not happened, but I think that journalists are more fair than unfair in real life.  Also, people are bound to make mistakes.  Journalists are a part of the public as well.

Haiman is able to provide readers with tips on what to do if you have been an "unfair" journalist.  He states, "Giving a higher priority to tracking errors , finding out how they occurred and taking steps to reduce and eliminate them begin with the top editor.  Commitment of the senior leadership in the newsroom is essential in establishing that inaccuracy is a serious problem" (9).  Haiman shows that newspapers are dedicated to finding their mistakes.

In reality, the public starts the rumors that the journalists investigate.  So, why is it wrong for the journalis, who is part of the public, to report these rumors?  Well, it is wrong if the rumor is not true, but the only blame that can be placed on the journalist is for being too trusting of the public.  Is it the public who shouldn't trust the news, or is it the journalist who shouldn't trust the public?

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Imagery Can be Intense!

In Chapter 8 of "Writing About Literature," Roberts writes, "In literature, imagery refers to words that trigger your imagination to recall and recombine images-memories or mental pictures of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations of touch, and motions."  Writers use imagery in order to entertain and interest readers.  It is amazing how words can be used to trigger a sense.  To me, it is most interesting when a writer appeals to taste.  There have been some works that I have read that make me feel as though I can actually taste what the writer is describing.  Without actually seeing or smelling the food, it makes me hungry.  It is almost frustrating because I know I can't actually have the food, but I sure can imagine the taste in my mouth.

"Cargoes," by John Masefield, uses imagery to appeal to readers in many ways.  The poem almost doesn't seem to make sense, but the words that the poet uses still appeal to reader's senses.  "Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir," is the first line of the poem.  Even though I have no clue whatsoever as to what the poet is saying, I picture distant land covered with plant and animal life.  The next four lines give me a more clear picture of this distant land, which he now calls home.  I can see the apes and peacocks and I can feel the warmth of the sun.  Even though I have no clue what the poet is talking about, I can still make sense of the poem just through his use of imagery.

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You Can't Always Get What You Want

Artie seems to have one focus throughout this book.  The focus is uncovering his mother's story.  He wants to know what happened to his mother in her own words. 

When I discovered that his mother had actually killed herself rather than being killed in the Holocaust, I understood his reason for wanting to know her story.  How can a Jewish person live through the Holocaust and even survive Auschwitz only to commit suicide years later?

I decided to look explore this question and discovered that there is actually a book that describes certain instances of suicide after the Holocaust.  "Suicide and the Holocaust," by David Lester, discusses some of the people that committed suicide after surviving concentration camps.  Also, most of them left no note or explanation for their suicide, much like Anja.

This sense of loss and confusion kind of sums up the whole theme of the book.  Throughout the book, Vladek is constantly getting distracted and side tracked.  The end of the book also ends very abruptly.  Even though this is only part one, I still feel as though I need an explanation. 

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Society Then and Society Today

Artie: "Was she the first girl you-uh-

Vladek: "Yes...We were more involved. So like the youths here today.

In this part of the book, Vladek is pictured scratching his head.  Regretfully? In the next box, Lucia and Vladek are pictured in bed together as Vladek is buttoning up his shirt, and putting on his shoes. 

Through the dialogue and the illustrations, Spiegelman is able to relate the time of the Holocaust to present society.  He, well technically Vladek, makes a very bold statement about how younger people are more "involved" today than they were then.  However, he does not seem to consider his son a youth, yet his son seems to be the same age as him when he was having er uh relations with Lucia.  Biased much?

Anyways, I think that because Spiegelman relates this idea of the taboo "sex before marriage," it makes the book more relatable.  As a reader, I am able to put myself in the time of the Holocaust as well in the place of a Jewish person at the time of the Holocaust.  The Holocaust becomes more real to me.  Not that it wasn't real before, but it gives me more to associate with.

Spiegelman's illustrations are extremely effective in this portion of the text.  Sex is associated with being naked.  Without actually saying "we were having sex," Vladek is shown buttoning up his shirt. So, for those of us who didn't get it when Vladek said "We were involved," we can all go OOOOOOOHHHHH when looking at the picture. Ok, so most of us did get it, but the picture makes that statement seem a little more obvious.  It also kind of shows Vladek's true feelings of Lucia.  He is turned away and buttoning up his shirt as she is still sprawled on his bed.  For more on illustrations, read Karyssa Blair's blog!

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Portfolio 2

Coverage: Here is the second list of blogs that I have posted at this time in the semester.

Gender Confusion?-In the parody "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," by Ann-Marie MacDonald, readers discover that there can be so many ways to interpret some of Shakespeare's greatest works.  I have tried to relate to Ann-Marie MacDonald in comparing her parody to everyday gender confusion.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-This blog is my reaction to the realization of the violence behind the "making" of a Disney movie.

Quit Our Books?-In this blog, I discuss the possible effect the poem, "The Tables Turned" by William Wordsworth, could have on an English major.  Is it positive or negative, or just plain fun?

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog covered my reaction to a poem by Robert Frost.  The poem, "Desert Places," along with comments from others, opened my eyes to a new way of thinking.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-This blog discusses Chapter 12 in the book "Writing About Literature."  It explains how causing a problem for yourself can actually be helpful when writing an essay.

Sometimes an Introduction is More than just an Introduction-In this entry, I have talked about the introduction, or the first third, of the book "The Quick and the Dead."  The blog discusses a certain character's importance in the book.

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This entry talks about the significance of a name.  A name can be something other than what you call a person.

Review of a Review of a Review?-In this blog I have analyzed a review of the book "Nineteen Minutes," by Jodi Picoult.

Society Then and Society Today-This entry discusses societal values at the time of the Holocaust compared to the values of society today.  It also discusses how illustration can be effective in showing these values.

Depth: The entries in which I feel that I have made valiant effort.

Gender Confusion?-By relating "Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)" to everyday society, I believe that I have helped myself to better understand Shakespeare's work.  Having already read the plays that were parodied, I was able to understand the humor Ann-Marie MacDonald used.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-I feel that this response to a class discussion was very in depth and appropriate for the class topic.  It sparked a few comments as well as a discussion in the next class.

Quit Our Books?-I think that even though this blog did not get any comments, it still related to a bigger issue. 

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog went in depth into my feelings on a certain poem.  However, I was able to see a bigger picture with the comments in which I received on this blog.  Comments were given on facebook as well as the blog.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-The fact that I did not post the link to this blog on the course website could have been the reason that I did not receive any comments on this.  Whoops, but I do feel that I have asked a few questions that could spark a discussion.  I feel that I have challenged the author's view.

Review of a Review of a Review?-This is one of the longer blogs that I have written.  I feel that this blog really challenges the writer of the review that I read.  I also noticed that another person in my class had read a review by the same person.  This shows me that I have challenged the views of an established (maybe I am not for sure) book reviewer.  I am not claiming that my views are correct, but I understand where the reviewer could have gone wrong in her review.

Society Then and Society Today-I believe that this entry brings up a major issue in the book.  It also relates to different aspects of the book that support this issue.  I feel that I have effectively addressed this issue so that readers of the book will be able to see the significance of it.

Interaction:

OMG DISNEY PRINCESS!!-by Kayla Lesko

Quit Your Books and Grab Your Hippi Skirts-by Carissa Altizer

Places You Will Never Forget-by Gladys Mares

Afflicted with the Frost-by Josie Rush

Once upon a midnight dreary-by Aja Hannah

Not a New Problem-Gladys Mares

Words You NEVER Hear in Arizona Bars-by David Wilbanks

Everyone is Crazy-by Gladys Mares

Umm...I think you know! ;)-by Shellie Polly

Timeliness: These are the blogs that I have posted in a timely fashion.

Gender Confusion?

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

Review of a Review of a Review?

Society Then and Society Today

Discussion:

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This introduced other students to a subject about names and their true meanings.

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-After reading the comments on this blog, I was given a new understanding of what a desert actually is.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-by relating this blog to a class discussion, I was able to spark a few comments that agreed with my point as well as disagreed with it.

Xenoblogging:

Society Then and Society Today-I have linked this blog to Karyssa Blair's blog.

Wildcard:

Review of a Review of a Review?-I enjoyed reading this review, and I feel that I have evaluated it very well.  I wish that I had posted the link on the course website so that I would have been given some feedback on my evaluation, but I believe that this blog will be helpful regardless.

 

Editorial Drama

"Opinions that the editors express on the editorial page should stay there -- they should not affect the news coverage."

This statement, given by Dr. Jerz, about an editorial helps make the point that even though they are important in newswriting, they are still only an opinion.  Editorials are given negative connotations because they are associated with a complaint.  Although, the complaint is justified by sources and facts.  However, an editorial should not "list complaints" or attack, it should be thoroughly researched and given a single focus.

I have not ever really given credit to editorials.  They are not something that I would pay attention to in a newspaper.  Truthfully, this is the first time that I have ever read one.  I have always just made my own opinion of things and not ever really cared about others.  However, a good editorial can give me an educated point of view.

Greta has given us an easy way of relating to editorials with her chart of the similarities between an academic essay and an editorial.  By finding the simalarities between an editorial and an academic essay, it could help writers to stay focused on their research rather than their complaint.

Newswriting

Review of a Review of a Review?

When finding a review of a book, no not a review, I found it difficult to find one that was actually credible.  I found a few that made no sense whatsoever, and I found a few that completely criticized every aspect of the book, defeating the whole purpose of a review.  Anyways, I finally found one that would help me to write my very own book review.

"After the Shooting is Over" is a review of "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult, written by Janet Maslin (as if reviewing a review wasn't confusing enough).  Maslin first introduces the plot of the story, which is a school shooting.  A school shooting is a very appealing topic, but Maslin is able to make it even more appealing to the readers of her review by using a quote relating to the title of the book as well as a question that helps readers to understand the focus of her review.

The only issue that I can really find with Janet Maslin's review is that it is more of a summary rather than a review.  She allows readers to see that they can easily relate to the book, but she does not provide them with much insight as to why they should read the book.

Towards the end of her review, she sums up the themes in many of Jodi Picoult's books.  By doing this, she is allowing readers to see that Jodi Picoult has a constant writing style.  Maslin states, "Her stories are more reassuring than disturbing, and their surprise twists pose no threats."  Now that Maslin has let readers know the non-threatening tone of "all" of Jodi Picoult's books, do we really want to read them to find out the happy ending.  Maslin has finally given us some sort of look into the actual books, but I would rather know her exact feelings on "Nineteen Minutes" rather than Picoult's books as a whole.

Realistically, I cannot criticize another's book review because I have been having an extremely difficult time writing my own.  Even though I understand and know what I am discussing as I am writing my book review, I do not think that I am the person that people should go to for a book review.  Like Maslin, I am more apt to give a summary rather than an opinion.  Being positively opinionated and insightful at the same time can prove to be extremely difficult.

Let's review a review of a review about a review with the author of the review of the author of the book.

Portfolio 2

Coverage:

Societal Value of News-an entry that discusses the location of a news story compared to the size of a community.

Depth and Style vs. Actual News-this entry involves a comparison of two news stories.  Does depth and style really have an effect on the actual story?

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-an entry that compares stories that focus on "the bigger issue," but sometimes "the bigger issue" can end up on a smaller scale.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-is the death of a dog amusing?  This blog discusses the circumstances in which an incident like this could actually be found amusing.

Some News Stories are all about Pictures-Don't you feel like a 6-year-old (correct APA style) when all you look for is the newspaper with the most interesting pictures?  This blogs explains the importance of pictures in the news.

Depth:

Societal Value of News-I took the topic of this blog and researched it.  I linked it to a website that helped to prove the argument in my blog.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-I feel that I took the topic of this blog and explained my opinion of it to my best ability.  This blog also sparked three comments, so I feel that it did bring up a point that other people were able to relate to.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-I disagreed with the author of "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting" in this blog.  I feel that by disagreeing I have brought up a point that not only challenges his book, but also challenges newswriting as a whole.

Interaction/ Discussions:

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-this blog started an interesting discussion in which the people commenting on it actually agreed to its content, for the most part.

Timeliness: The blogs that were submitted on time and ready for some comments.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?

Some News Stories are all about Pictures

Xenoblogging: These are other people's blogs in which I have intellectually commented on and attempted to start discussion.

Ingestion of expired banana pudding causes rapidly escalating liberalism in children under seven-Mike Poiarkoff

Red Tape-Katie Vann

The Art of the Crime Report-Andrew Wichrowski

Story Leads The Body!-Wendy Scott

A Blunt News Article-Derek Tickle

Tone, minus the opinions-Kaitlin Monier

Wildcard:

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-Even though I received zero comments on this blog, I feel that it was the most important one that I have written.  It takes a serious subject, which should actually be funny, and turns it into a somewhat humorous situation.  By disagreeing with the author, I have started a debate with newswriting as a whole.

Back to the newsroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

In "The Quick and the Dead," Joy Williams writes, "It was supposed to be a dangerous occupation, and here he was fiddling around with kiddie books.  The nameplate above his pocket read 'Darling.'" This observation is alluding to the fact that someone's name can actually be used to interpret their personality.  The character, Ray, makes the assumption that just because the ranger's name is "Darling" and he is reading kiddie books, that being a ranger is no longer "dangerous." 

Due to the standards in society, the author is able to write something like this and receive a reaction from it.  It helps readers to relate to the book.  However, Ray is a very odd character to relate to.

Sometimes an Introduction is More than just an Introduction

The first third of the book "The Quick and the Dead," by Joy Williams, served as an introduction not only to the book, but also as an introduction to topics such as environmentalism and the loss of a parent.  The character, Alice, is a slightly distorted environmentalist.  While she is an advocate for wolves, she is alluded to being the cause of many missing cats.  Alice, I believe is my favorite character.  I actually do not like her a lot.  I think that she is a negative, closed minded person, but I enjoy being able to see her thoughts and actions.  Joy Williams really exaggerates the nature drama with Alice and even though it is a little over the top, I think that it makes the book a lot more effective. 

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