February 28, 2006

American Literature Blog Portfolio 1

The following portfolio consists of all the blogging that I have done over the past five to six weeks. I hope you enjoy the collection, because there is good critical analyses in these entries. There is a lot of weblog entries that show all five of the dimensions of what needed to be covered. I was a little disappointed with the lack of discussion, but I did get some responses. Here is the First Weblog Portfolio:


This Wall Needs Mending
Deeply Spoken
You Don't Know What You Have, Until It's Gone
Close Reading and Writing
The Society Behind Trifles
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Characters and People
Zero: What a Prefect Name
"A Negro Woman"
Vacancy in the Park
Symbolism: A Personal Favorite
The Great Gatsby: FINALLY!!!!


Sarah Lodzsun's Find a Reason...
Melissa Lupari's Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Sean Runt's Judith Oster's "On Desert Places"
Shanelle Kapusta's Character Actions
Matthew Hampton's What if Mrs. Hale is Wrong?
Chris Ulicne's Close Reading...But Not Too Close
Terra Stumpf's Mending Wall Blog
Jennifer Difulvio's Time is Not on His Side


This wildcard entry was not required, but I really wanted to discuss the society in the 1920's. I was excited about this particular time in history, and I felt like I couldn't discuss it enough, based on other parts of the stories written in the time period. I wanted to strictly focus on both genders in the 1920's, and I hope that you enjoy it. Here is the Wildcard entry:

Value of Women and Men through F. Scott Fitzgerald

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:31 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2006

The Great Gatsby: FINALLY!!!!

First let me say that I am more than excited to finally be reading this story again. I had great enjoyment out of it, and look forward to discussing it in class. Now, on to the agenda item:

"The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose...But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground." (Chapter 2).

The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg really seem to symbolize the author's point of view of the lifestyle that the people in New York. F. Scott Fitzgerald really seems to be frowning upon the lifestyle of the "Roaring 20's." Before the 1920's the sign of Dr. Eckleburg was bright and colorful. After the 20's came into play, with a lavish lifestyle and a disgusting point of view of what people need display this sign as worn down, and not as bright as it once was. The society really seems to reflect an ethical wasteland filled with useless necessities to make the people feel better about themselves.

Which leaves me to Gatsby. Gatsby is a confusing character, mainly because he is a part of this society, but he seems to have a deeper meaning to him that no one finds. This is why the green light on the water is so significant. No one understands it, or him for that matter. There is something completely hidden behind this man that the rest of the society is somewhat baffled by, including his new neighbor Nick Carraway. Don't worry, everyone will get a great taste of Gatsby later in the novel...or else it wouldn't be called The Great Gatsby.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:17 PM | Comments (5)

February 13, 2006

Symbolism: A Personal Favorite

Symbolism is a representation to a deeper meaning in poetry, literature, and actually everyday life. People always look for symbolism in literature (which there's always something deeper in literature), but remember that symbolism isn't something that came out of the air. Personal experiences drive us to believe that when something occurs, that it happens for a reason. Thus symbolism was created. I absolutely love symbolism, and I actually search for it, and find myself asking questions. I hope that everyone might be able to agree with me, and if not, I'd really like to hear why.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:28 PM | Comments (2)

Vacancy in the Park

I am not doing Wallace Stevens for the poetry slam, but here is what I said after a complete and through reading of "Vacancy in the Park."

Wallace Stevens’ “Vacancy in the Park” is a poem that represents loss and loneliness. There are not really any specifics as to what the narrator has lost, but a woman appears to be the closest idea as to why he is alone. Whenever Stevens writes “It is like a guitar left on a table by a woman, who has forgotten it,” it shows that he is grieving over something that is creating an emptiness. Stevens never says exactly what it is that is making him feel alone, but he comes up with four analogies to express his feelings of purposelessness.

I looked up what a rustic arbor is, and it is a wooden archway, which could symbolize marriage, love, or companionship. The vines smothering this rustic arbor, represents that it has been left alone for a long time, which also shows Stevens emotions as well. The four winds blowing, seemed to be the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. Also, the four winds represents a bitter, cold wind that does not set a good tone for the poem. Also, the narrator is wandering in the snow for a long time. This poem is very dreary, and very sad, and the analogies express this somber mood.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2006

"A Negro Woman"

William Carlos Williams -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

I would like to do "A Negro Woman."

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)

February 8, 2006

Zero: What a Perfect Name

Rice, The Adding Machine (1923) -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

ZERO: What a Perfect Name

"An' I thought all the time you was sore. That's why I took my arm away. I thought if I moved up you'd holler and then I'd be in a jam, like you read in the paper all the time abot guys gettin pulled in for annoyin women." (Rice 101)

This is exactly what I love about Melodramas. You do not have to look really deep to find an answer. I remember reading "The Girl of the Golden West last semester, and I really enjoyed it.

We can't empathise with Zero; he is whiney and uninteresting, not to mention, a racist, a shovenist, and just a rude individual But we can't hate him either. He's trapped in a small world, burdened by worthless responsibilities and completely incapable of escape. He is full of self-blame and loathing, but far too dependent on the narrow avenues he walks down for a sense of identity to be able to make a choice that could in anyway liberate him. I personally have to like him a little bit, because of his blunt way of talking to people. I really can not stand his closemindedness, and that is why I can not have any sympathy for him. Let me know how you feel.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:27 PM | Comments (3)

February 7, 2006

Value of Women and Men through F. Scott Fitzgerald

I personally cannot wait to read The Great Gatsby. Soon everyone will realize how much status plays a role in this time period. Right before the Great Depression, and just after World War I, showed a time period to which people lived as lavishly as they could. As we discussed, the value of women could be attained by how many men cut in to dance with them (which seems silly, but those were the times). I felt like had to say something, because men did have a value, and their value was their accomplishments, and their possessions. Men who had a nice car, had a good status. Men who had a Harvard Law Degree, also acheived a high status. Through this story and The Great Gatsby, we will see how much Fitzgerald utilizes these social classes to create a dimension this particular lifestyle of the 1920's.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

February 6, 2006

Characters and People

"What characters do is our best clue to understanding what they are"

Well maybe not what they are, but how about "what they are meant to be?" I think that it is obvious that characters have certain traits, and that is why we as the readers feel that we can relate to them, especially if the traits are comparable to our daily living. Although her character is completely different from me, I still feel that Bernice and I have some relation. We both get somewhat envious, and both seek attention at times. The traits are some of the most vital part of understanding not only a character, but a story as well. Reading Huckleberry Finn last semester, showed me that Jim was not just a character, he was a representation of what the society was like in the mid-1800's (although it was through Huck Finn's eyes). Characters are so complex, but they serve such a simple purpose. To find some relation to the reader.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:15 PM | Comments (0)

Bernice Bobs Her Hair

"Then Bernice winced as Marjorie tossed her own hair over her shoulders and began to twist it slowly into two long blond braids until in her cream-colored negligée she looked like a delicate painting of some Saxon princess. Fascinated, Bernice watched the braids grow. Heavy and luxurious they were, moving under the supple fingers like restive snakes--and to Bernice remained this relic and the curling-iron and a to-morrow full of eyes."

Man, the Roaring 20's was a time like no other. People in the society had a very loose living attitude, and bodily features and wealth became the two most important attributes. After World War I, many people were spending their money wildly, throwing parties and setting up many gatherings. The women were to look superb, and the two words that come to mind are "heavy" and "luxurious". Only in this period would you really emphasize on those two words to describe braids of hair. Looks were everything in the 20's and people would do whatever they could to be more luxurious than another. That is why Bernice clipped Marjorie's hair at the end of the story, because Marjorie would never be looked at in the same way again.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:11 PM | Comments (1)

February 1, 2006

The Society Behind Trifles

"No, Peters, it's all perfectly clear except a reason for doing it. But you know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing. Something to show -- something to make a story about -- a thing that would connect up with this strange way of doing it..." (28)

I hope that everyone remembered the discussion about making a clear distinction between our time period, and the time period that a piece of literature was written. If not, there are going to be some very angry ladies tomorrow. We would look at the treatment of the women in this poem as unnecessary and cruel. But this is a completely different time period and a completely different opinion needs to be taken from this.

The time period in which a piece of literature is cast plays a huge role behind the meaning of the writing. Values, ideals, and attitudes of people change with this time and these circumstances. To understand this element of setting is crucial to the interpretation of action in literature. Trifles was published in 1916 and is set during the latter half of the 19th century. During this time, women in the United States had not been granted the right to vote and also could not sit on juries. Males dominated all aspects of life at this time, except for caring of the home and children. It is quite obvious that the men in the play consider themselves intellectually superior in their attempt to solve the murder mystery.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:08 AM | Comments (1)

Close Reading and Writing

"Suppose...that the passage is fatually descriptive or that it introduces a major character or raises a major idea." (55).

After reading this section of the "Writing for Literature" book, I have come to realize that essays, not only of Close Reading Assignments but overall, need structure. Structure is absolutely critical to writing a solid paper. Three parts of this structure are mandatory: Introduction, Body, Conclusion. The introduction MUST have a thesis of some sort, the body must support it, and the conclusion has to explain what was covered in the thesis.

This structure sets up order, and I use it in every paper I write. The basic structure is very important, and the body should be broken up into the support concepts to the main idea. That is how I structure my paper. Close Reading is basically unraveling a work, by completely looking at every word, every sentence, and finding a meaning behind it. At least that's me...what about you?

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:05 AM | Comments (0)