December 06, 2005

Farewell to Blogs...not forever:Portfolio 3

Coverage: I covered alot of information on my DuBois and Booker T blogs because there was more to discuss than just racial tension, but the art of persuasion and their "fighting styles."

Depth: I went in-depth in almost all of my Huck and Jim and John Henry entries because there were such great class discussions and opposing views

Discussion: I had great discussions with Quinn and Michelle as usual. Quinn always helps me express what I really mean more clearly and Michelle always offers funny comments and new ideas.

Timliness: I must pat myself on the back for this one because I had the crazy idea that this was due in November and did one way back then, so you have to give me credit for extra time and effort :) My Dubois and Booker blogs as well as Tom and Huck's were often done before others, so I didn't even get discussions going till much later.

Comment Primo: I am usually the first to comment on Michelle, Quinn, and Dee's blogs.

Comment Grande: I just posted a big one in response to Jay's question on beauty in a good Girl discussion.

Xenoblogging: Michelle actually thanked me for helping her get into and understand Huck and Jim. Imagine, me who didn't even know what a blog was?!

Reflection: We've had the most entertaining discussions in this Lit class by far, so I'm glad I learned to use what I've learned and even become a somewhat functionable member of the blogsphere. These assignments helped and this is the best finished product I can offer.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

This Girl's got spunk

"I bet if a road agent come in here, I could offer him a drink an' he'd treat me like a perfect lady."
This story really appealed to me because I have to admit I'm a fan of the Western cowboy thing and I love the fact that this Johnson whose a red-meat eating, tough guy becomes a puddle of mush for the Girl just as quickly as all the rest do. During this time when women weren't in charge of much of anything, I think that the Girl had to have grit to be able to put up with drunken "vaqueros" all day. She is before her time just as Hestor was, but in different ways. The Girl can rough house and trash talk with the best of him but becomes an eyelash-battering twit around her Johnson towards the end. To me, I think this melodramatic approach is what makes a couple great. If they a can make eachother act in ways they never have before, it shows that they have a great power over eachother and that's hard to find. I think the beauty question of Jay's was a good one because it really is so open-ended and it really is in the eye of the beholder. What draws me to someone is if they can change their emotions but still remain consistent. I really admired the Girl for the way that she had her "spunk" but could still be girly and not get made fun of for it. I can really relate to her and thus, I find the alpha male who can blush and be dorky to be just right for me.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

The Atlanta Exposition Address

"Say what we will, there is something in human nature which we cannot blot out, which makes one man, in the end, recognize and reward merit in another, regardless of colour or race." I find this to be so true because although some people will make stereotypical comments, but then one when someone of another race helps them, they always compliment them. We are all different perhaps so that we can each bring something different to the table. Whether its musical talent, comedy, wisdom, or strength to do a tough job, people need to encourage one another. Even during a time like this, when the South was still racist, the President ran to shake Washington's hand because I believe no one can go against human nature no matter how racist. This is a pleasant change and truly marks the progress from the time of Huckleberry Finn when African Americans were just made fun of and still seen as inferior even though they were free. This seems to really mark the beginning of freedom because I think knowledge really is the only thing that can free someone's mind no matter what the circumstances.

Posted by ErinWaite at 02:10 PM | Comments (2)

Two thousand miles for a five minute speech

"I said that any individual who learned to do something better than anybody else—learned to do a common thing in an uncommon manner—had solved his problem, regardless of the colour of his skin, and that in proportion as the Negro learned to produce what other people wanted and must have, in the same proportion would he be respected." I think that Washington spoke to both races and made excellent points in that we can help eachother. I think he got so much respect from even from past southern slave owners, because he didn't simply make it about race. He didn't say that white people were a bunch of predjudiced jerks, but instead he tried to understand where they were coming from. He explained it seemed that we all reap what we sow and that African American people should be able to reap the benefits of hard work and a good education. In that way it seemed, there would be a balance. I really enjoyed this reading because it was one of the first ways of combatting racism without violence or pointing fingers at one particular party, but more like Uncle Remus stories in saying that we all need to come together and get along to achieve.What a difference five minutes made.

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)

American Lit Blogging Portfolio Nov. 11

Coverage: I covered the most on a single topic when I wrote about Thoreau's Walden. I really wanted to learn more about him because I had a bias and I wanted to fix it. He is not cynical, but a genius in my opinion because I love his thoughts on the importance of escaping and the simple life.

Depth: I went into depth in my entry about Huckleberry Finn 1-24 because I made good points about Huck and Jim's reactions and Michelle Koss said that my blogs helped her enjoy and understand the book more.

Discussions: I got into a good discussion with Dr. Jerz and Quinn Kerno about John Henry lyrics. I had a point that I was trying to make and Quinn helped me to clarify it. I also got into discussions with Neha Bawa about racism and Huck and Jim's attitudes about it. She left me some compliments and good points.

Timeliness: My blogs on Huckleberry Finn were up always days ahead and this this probably one of the only blog entries that I've put up on Monday, they are usually up by Saturday at the latest. I really have improved on my timeliness because I am always blogging now. I respond to people's comments quick enough that I've gotten into several discussions this time.

Comment Primo: I am usually always first to post on Quinn, Michelle, and Meredith's blogs because they all bring up their own original intelligent blogs that make me see things that I didn't previously know about the text.

Comment Grande: I think my big comment was when I was discussing John Henry, because although it took me awhile to get it right, I had a very strong feeling about the message of the text.

Reflection: I think this is my best portfolio yet, because I've finally learned the discussion aspect of it and people will actually approach me in and out of class with questions about how I interpreted something or will just say that my blogs always make them laugh. I'm having fun with this.

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2005

John Henry song lyrics

The early version and the construction crew song are two of the most similar. In the first version though, the woman's name is Pollie Ann. In the second, her name is Lucy and not only is her dress blue, but also her eyes. He even named his hammer after her. In the first version, she takes the train to his death site, while in the second one, his woman is right there. The second is much more in dialect with words like "lissen," etc. The second one seems more like a tall tale because it goes into more detail about his strength and that the white man was his friend. I think that it wasn't really a tall tale though, because the way he is described on the website makes him seem alot more real than Paul Bunyan. He gives a good social commentary in the song, though. He talks about how being free is still like being enslaved when you're a steel driver because you are doing the physical labor while the whites bark orders still. His tale was often changed over time, I'm sure and if they made a Disney version of it, you know it wasn't all true. The second version was alot longer and surprisingly gave much more detail, which shows how stories grow through word of mouth. This song was also inspirational to many who feel oppressed. If even people on the chain gang are singing it, there must be some value to it.

Posted by ErinWaite at 05:48 PM | Comments (7)

October 31, 2005

"There's More Honor"

"According to Marx, to avoid the pain of the ending that would logically have developed (presumably, Huck hanged and Jim sold down the river), Twain has Tom Sawyer re-enter the narrative and assume command. Tom, a representative of romanticized Southern society, is responsible for subjugating Huck and subjecting Jim to farcically inhumane treatment. It is an ending, Marx argues, that betrays Huck and Jim and exposes Twain's "glaring lapse of moral imagination" (435)."
I didn't understand why Clemens ended the book this way at first and why it was such a disappointment, but because Tom and Huck butchered things up that they were trying to help, the ending wouldn't have been happy. Clemens seems to have thought at the last minute, "wait that would make all of Huck's wonderful contemporary views for his time be in vain" and decided to just throw in that last chapter. According to Hemingway,the book should've stopped before ch.31. I also agree with Scott's views that Tom "romanticizes" Jim's plight and ends up screwing him over in the end and he is also depicted as a mockery of the southern mind, which I find very interesting. Overall, this criticism is excellent and gave me an idea more of what the book was really about and how to better make my own.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2005

AHF Introduction: These guys are a barrelful of monkies compared to crazy wallpaper lady

I love how Concord Library referred to this as the "veriest trash," but it has been declared by even more people as one of the greatest literary works ever. I'm in the middle about this one. As a lover of crude humor and someone who has the attention span of a 2 year old, unless I am truly entertained and enlightened by a book I will just skim through it. This was a book that I actually wanted to read because of the strong moral voice in it and the touching relationship between Huck and Jim. The intro takes a look at the way Tom and Huck represent the two views of slavery and freedom. Tom repeatedly mocks Jim, who turns out to be wiser and kinder than he in many instances (325) and Huck says he'd "go to hell" for Jim. Twain really didn't know much about Ohio and he put Duke and King in to drive Jim and Huck from their insecurities (Ch. 19). My favorite part of this was the metaphors of the shore being like slavery and the river representing freedom. Mr. Trilling best describes Huck and Jim's adventures as "modern imagination of autonomy and delight, of surprise and elevation, of selves concieved in opposition of the general culture." They bring laughter and go against the grain so much that I have to admire them. I relate to them better than I did to another woman such as Hestor or the crazy wallpaper lady.

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2005

Agenda Items for ch. 1-24 Huckleberry Finn

"The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is--a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness." I thought this quote was interesting because people often feel safe mocking and even assaulting others in a crowd and you hardly ever see anyone hit another person when their alone or without a laughing audience. At the same time, Clemens seems to touch on the fact that every group needs a ring leader to give the group a motivation and even protect and inspire other group members. I think the man who acts alone is the bravest personally because he is using his own thoughts and not the morals of others to guide him.

"We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."
this reminds me of Thoreau because every man needs an escape and a chance to get away once in awhile to help in creativity and maintain sanity.

Posted by ErinWaite at 05:49 PM | Comments (2)

Huckleberry Finn up to ch. 24

I read Tom Sawyer when I was younger and fell in love with Clemens' style of writing. This has become the unknown half of that story to me,so it's a revisit into something I've wanted to finish since I was younger. Ernest Hemingway said, “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.... All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before." I think he meant that this style of writing although considered by some schools today "racist" was one of the first books that had a young hero that seemed (to me) to more human. Huck has flaws, he curses, runs away, and is seen as deviant but all for a good cause. To me he is focused.
"It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened." Huck never had this kind of "comfort", which is another big theme and he never had that with his father and it's an escape from reality for both of them." "We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft." This allows the reader to feel that it is important for everyone to feel free and unsmothered in life. I think it's good to get away and it even relates back to Thoreau's need for the simple life, free of the drama that holds us in at times.
"The average man don't like trouble and danger." I think Huck and Jim don't want trouble, but because of their lifestyle and the fact that Huck and Tom have always been known for their mischief, it's hard for people to see them any other way. In society today, we are still marked often not by the good things we do, but by the bad things. I think this book attempts to do more than just glance at Huck's life but to learn from it when it comes to appreciating our own "freedom" and "comfort." It also offers comedic relief in contrast to the usual literature we read.


Posted by ErinWaite at 05:11 PM | Comments (2)

October 20, 2005

Poe and Dickinson Poetry Slam/D'Elormie discovered

I think that the poetry slam was fun and not as scary as I thought because everyone was a little nervous and it was cool that every student had something different to offer. It also gave us a chance to cover alot of poems that we wouldn't have looked over otherwise. I found out that D'Elormie is an old deceased architect that built ancient buildings somewhere in Europe. I found it after searching hundreds of websites. I found it at http://www.emule.com/2poetry/phorum/index.php?0. She married him because she thought he was just as great as this guy, according to this groups online discussion but I could be wrong. I still have more research I could do on that one ;) Based on the peer reviews that I got back, I think I read my poems well and did a very good mark up. I felt that I answered the questions fine too. Ian said that I "sparked Jerz's interest" so I guess that was good and that he liked that I chose something a little darker. Overall, I think the whole class was really well prepared, but Quinn's toad won the prize.

Posted by ErinWaite at 05:17 PM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2005

Thoreau’s Conclusion

“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” (18, 5)
Thoreau demonstrates the need not only to have dreams, but to rid the mind of all clutter and begin to simplify life to achieve them. “The universe is wider than our views of it.” (18, 1). People may fall into a “beaten path” or routine of conformity, but to best succeed, new ones must be made.
“Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense?” (18, 7). It is easy to look at anything whether human or nature, and claim it to be one simple thing. Each person has their own perception of what is “common sense” and what their priorities are. To reach them, instead of cutting down on themselves for going against the grain, Thoreau wants people to be the “biggest pygmy,” (18, 9) or simply the best they can be through their own means. His escape to Walden Pond allowed him to see this through everyday simplicity.
He became the best person he could be, by isolating himself from all the white noise of the world and became completely self-sufficient, without specifically planning to do so, but by looking to the “castles in the air” that he had already built. For days he enjoyed the beauty of bubbles and enthralled himself in each minor detail. He had not been able to do this before. He absorbed such noise as crickets at night and almost found dread in the sound of a train whistle. This reminded him of going back to the conformity and back into society where ideas and longings are pushed onto the buyer of whatever goods the train may haul and it appeared as a symbol of all that he went against. When he chopped wood and cleaned each brick painstakingly to maintain his life, he found the utmost pleasure. If he hadn’t worked so hard for his survival would he appreciate it?
He tells the story of a man who made no compromise with time and he, himself in a sense became that man at Walden’s.
“As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way.” He approached his daily tasks with that same single-mindedness and allowed nothing to stand in his way, which points back to his conclusion that learning to stray from the path and working from the “air” down to the very foundations that will meet them, will eventually lead to the dreams that were always there.
“Moreover, if you are restricted in your range by poverty, if you cannot buy books and newspapers, for instance, you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences…It is life near the bone where it is the sweetest…Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.” (18, 13) He exemplifies this in the woods by being self-sufficient, though he has no words in papers and from the outside to world to live by, he is creating his own “foundations.” Being able to live without the distractions of the outside world allows the dreams that have been circling to stick, because the attention is focused on getting by as opposed to “how much can I get?”, “how much does it cost?” or “how much time will it take, because I’m on a schedule?”
“A goose is still a goose, dress it as you will,” (8, 14). No matter how much time a person wastes getting themselves the right job, money, or the right amount of time to achieve all of this, they can never change. Each person is born with a destiny and the Bible, it is said that God has a plan for each one. Instead of fighting against the tide, it is better to follow whatever path the mind takes, because that is where the person is meant to go. Thoreau believes that man cannot reach his dreams without laying the groundwork to make the transition from trying to be something that doesn’t exist to simply being what already does.
“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction—a work which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse. So will help you God, and so only.” (18, 14) Hard work must be done to lay the right foundations. Thoreau wants to share that through his experience; he has learned that hard work will give the greatest satisfaction at the end of the day and not just following the same routine day after day. Not only does building castles in the air call for hard work, but for the truth. This truth can be one of two things. The literal truth, such things normally referred to as “common sense” and the Truth, which is each human being’s own values and the ways in which they find meaning in life. Once Truth is balanced with the longing to venture from the path, people begin to lay their real foundations. Thoreau found what was most important to him in life and took it literally.
Moving into isolation, to live a life of the “simple pleasures,” he layed out a new path that others could choose to follow or stray from and come to their own discoveries. Great men of wisdom, like Einstein and Plato, knew that they might not always get it right the first time, but upon making mistakes, they would find ways to bridge the gaps between what they were striving for and what foundations that they had already laid.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." (Einstein, http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html). It took Thoreau hardships and pushing himself out of a pattern of “common sense” thinking that the world pushed upon him, but he made his foundations. He found his wisdom simply by not trying to analyze life, which is similar to Einstein’s ways. His castles were a higher awareness and appreciation for life, whatever a person’s castles may be; they must find their own way to get rid of whatever is holding them back. For some it is time, for others it is money, and for most it is the “common sense” that has been drilled into them from they day they were born. Thoreau attempts to put to rest the oppression that people put sometimes on themselves and almost give a mirror image that will show what the human is and reflect back, what perhaps, he can be.
Many are content in the way their lives are and Thoreau is not criticizing this, but perhaps trying to enlighten. He scoffs at the way people live only because he realizes that he was once the same way and that all humans fall prey to routine because they have not seen other ways of getting by. Each person has their own castles to build and how they build their foundations are based on their own choice.
“I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more to day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” (18, 19). Thoreau demonstrates that humans need to look closer at what appears to be simple things, because from there, is where the stairways to castles begin.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2005

Society

"Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone."
Agenda Item: This intrigues me because it seems as though she is a person who focuses all of her passions into one thing and neglects what society things and i've always admired people who do so.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

Silence

"There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —
Body and soul." I love this line because it depicts that silence has two meanings for a person. Your body or you alone may appear to be silent but sometimes your soul is full of worries, anger, and can be very loud. Other times, those who are always noisy and talking have the least to say and aren't very smart. A silent soul usually means you are at peace with yourself. Sometimes people are noisy just to distract themselves from a silence that frightens them.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

FairyLand

"And this ray is a fairy ray —
Did you not say so, Isabel?
How fantastically it fell
With a spiral twist and a swell,
And over the wet grass rippled away
With a tinkling like a bell!"
I chose this because it is the most light-hearted of Poe's works I've read and I love these lines because the bell part reminds me almost of Tinkerbell. It sounds like he almost set a standard for what fairies should really be like. It had a dream-like the quality that intrigued me and for once Poe found a woman that made him seem happy instead of morbid.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:32 AM | Comments (1)

The Raven

" She shall press, ah nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite -- respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;"

Did the raven say she shall press or is this what the narrator is finally realizing? He is coming to terms with Lenore's death and it seems that this bird is taunting him, not with just a learned voice, but a voice that is demon-like to him. I love the morbid feel to this and all of Poe's writing.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2005

Walden Agenda and Essay 1

Agenda Item:"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly."
I find this quote to be true because people tend to do better when they are praised and motivational speakers like norman peale have even written books on postive thinking that relate to following the golden rule.He talks all about Jesus' preachings on preserving your soul then takes a very negative turn and says:
" It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay" as though no one has morals and we all simply thrive off of others like vultures. Is this simply to explain to us why he's fleeing to Walden's pond? Will he get use the skills of getting the 4 necessities that he already has and gain spiritual growth as he intends?

Thoreau: A cynical bastard, or is he on to something? “Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages.”
Thoreau seems to be trying to tell us that if we stay imprisoned within our own minds, it is impossible to get a full picture of all opportunities, opinions, and pleasures that the world has to offer. If no one ever communicated through written word or even if cavemen hadn’t drawn on their walls, we wouldn’t have documented history. If we didn’t have history, teachers wouldn’t have jobs and the world would seem very narrow.
Besides written word, speaking is also vital. If people couldn’t even make guttural cries, many of our population would’ve died when the dinosaurs came. What I find most fascinating about Walden is that Thoreau wants us to “get off of our high horse” and take a look at the world through someone else’s eyes. This is an old cliché and many still feel its important. If we lived in all the ages, he explains, we would have a better understanding of mythology (thanks, Greece), philosophy (thanks again Greece), and how to really survive on our own. With the Internet, Sheetz, and Wal-Mart we are the fattest, most spoiled, and not to mention a dense, (c’mon we have a President who waved at the blind Stevie Wonder) country in the world. I’m greatful for this, but Thoreau has a point, if we all went back in time or at least got to spend time without our luxuries, we would learn to be self-sufficient in getting Thoreau’s version of our 4 basic needs and become more kind-hearted. I hope Thoreau’s own quest for spiritual growth works because he is one “cynical bastard(which is one of my favorite Jerz’s dirty words although he wasn’t talking about Thoreau at the time).” It’s still only the beginning, the woods will make him a tree-hugger perhaps, or at least a little more relaxed.

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:20 AM | Comments (4)

September 28, 2005

Ist week poems

I never realized that Francis Scott Key saw so much worse than what we imagine the freedom fighting for our country to be. Our soldiers go to war to risk their lives so we can bitch about gas prices while we slap "Support Our Troops" ribbons on our minivans and stuff our faces with hotdogs as Roseanne made a mockery of such a powerful song. The class discussion helped me realize the significance of the war then and now. Michael Moore is now no longer my only source of political statements now. The poem about everyone's songs throughout our daily life helped me see that we are all in-sync, one way or another and it reminded me that some people still have an appreciation to a hard days work. Our country is so diverse, but we all share some longing for the "American Dream" but each have different ways of achieving it.

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005

The Yellow Wallpaper Agenda Item and Essay

Agenda Item:
“According to Lanser (author on http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/wohlpart/alra/gilman.htm website), the color in Gilman’s cultural era “applied not only to the Chinese, Japanese, and the light-skinned African-Americans but also to Jews, Poles, Hungarians, Italians, and even the Irish” and symbolized “inferiority, strangeness, cowardice, ugliness, and backwardness.” I found this website after reading the text and feel that the sheer insanity of the poor woman could be caused by what we now refer to as post-partum depression that a woman can experience after pregnancy.
This book was written in 1892, when women were repressed still and couldn’t just go do some “retail therapy” or tell her husband that she wanted some anti-depressants. This seen to reflect the society’s values at the times that women were inferior and any attempt that they had of thinking on their own was wasteful and they were “nuts” to complain when they had it so good.
I find the fact that wall paper is yellow, which is the color of neutrality when a woman has a baby shower and doesn’t know the sex of the baby. Her husband John approaches the woman with a neutral assumption that makes her crazy because he just keeps encouraging “cod-liver oil” and promises to changer room colors if it makes her happy. He just wants to shut her up.
In the text, she says “There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don't like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” She eventually peels back the paper and tells John that he can no longer hold her in. Anyone who feels trapped, whether it is in thoughts or daily routines can go crazy, this story reflects that feeling in my opinion.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

Bartleby agenda item and essay

"Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!" Are we all really as apathetic as Bartleby?
This resigned quote from the narrator made me think about how easily we give up nowadays and how many college students(myself especially) have taken the "I'd rather not" approach to work and sometimes life in general. I could compare this story to what a day in the life of as a hostess at a family diner consists of (which I'd rather not be, but something must pay for the books I won't even be using this semester). When a guest walks in the door we play the "Not it " game. This consists of I know them, I hate them, or I'd rather be running to the bathroom for a smoke than waiting on them. Whoever says "not it" last is stuck seating the customer. We also express our apathy by offering irritating customers a free pie to stop their irritating complaints of "my bun was soggy" or there's a straw wrapper on the floor, so I want a free meal" complaints we get from customers who "hate" the restaurant but come in at the same time everyday. They themselves are so bored with their own jobs or are chain-smoking coffee-guzzling college students tapping away on their laptops, who are blogging, even though they'd "rather not." We even have our own version of Turkey, who comes in late almost every Sunday mornings due to hitting the bar and who gets a wake-up call from my manager. We even have our own Nibbles. She seems to have discovered a different disease every day and enjoys regaling us with tales of them even as we struggle through sandwiches on break. If a customer makes a mistake of asking how she's doing, you'll hear about every bout of indigestion she's had. Bartleby continued to haunt his place of work,though he is a ghost, because although we are unhappy or wouldn't like to work, we become comfortable and it's hard not to haunt what you've become accustomed to. I believe this story also highlights the fact that people are constantly switching from optimist to pessimist in a split second, without really looking at their options in life. The movie Office Space, hits the nail on the head with the overall feel of "apathetic" workers trapped in their cubicles even better than I can with my own analogies.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:22 PM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2005

Custom House

In the beginning you know Hawthorne kinda sounds like some of the guys I went to high school with (not you Lou if you read this. He's unemployed and was living at home till mom died. He describes the Custom House to be as not living up to Puritan standards like,just as Hester wasn't. He describes the "vixen eagle" and the harbor vividly in what he calls Romance. I read online that his description of the employees of Custom House were angered and people thought he was conterversial enough. This boring intro actually helped sell more copies.

Posted by ErinWaite at 02:58 AM | Comments (2)

September 21, 2005

The Scarlet Letter Ch. 14-21

“And, mother, he has his hand over his heart! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book the Black Man set his mark in that place? But why does he not wear it outside his bosom as thou dost mother?"
Even little Pearl (who is proving to be quite preceptive) is aware of the minister’s anxiety in coming to terms with the truth. I am at ch.17 right now, but am doing my first entry on this because I want to know: will the minister take Hestor and Pearl with him to another country to escape this? Will someone find out the truth before Dimmesdale admits it? Hester has told him about her husband. Will this drive him more insane or cause him to become jealous almost? I guess I’ll find out and discuss this in my next entry.

Posted by ErinWaite at 02:18 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2005

Scarlet Letter Ch. 1-7

"Hast thou enticed me into a bond that will prove the ruin of thy soul?" Hestor asked the physician. "No thy soul," the physician, later referred to as the Black Man to the Minister and Pearl replied. I found this to stick out from the beginning because throughout these chapters, you begin to see that the scarlet letter is almost a "fertility" because she is seen as almost Virgin mother-like when she stands alone for hours and you can tell that the people who are ridiculing her about her indiscretions have their own dark secrets. When they see that she is charitable and a great seamstress none the less, it irks them more because she wears her badge proudly. I think this is because she now has confronted her sin and has the freedom to admit it and move on. This is rare in the Puritan times because they seem bitter and burdened because they feel that they have to hold their sin in to be accepted.

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:49 AM | Comments (2)