September 27, 2005

Newswriting - Fever Pitch

Writing for Homecoming is going to be mutually beneficial for the students of Newswriting:

-if we are already involved in events, it is something to write on plus earn a grade for attending and on the flip side

-if we are not involved in events, it is almost a call to action.

Pitching around ideas, wouldn't it be interesting to cover the court, Family weekend, feature alum...etc.

This gives us a chance to expand our horizons, and gage the reactions of Setonians, past and present.

Though, Homecoming fervor might not have hit anyone in full swing, yet, it is still our school, and we have to support it....

Choices will come later. Until then, let's focus on all the fun and exciting events surrounding SHU's homecoming.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2005

Newswriting Blog

Newswriting has been more of a challenge to blog for; however, we must perservere. The events that we've covered, the articles we've written, and the readings we've completed all contribute to this blog.

It is how these separate parts combine and function together that makes all of our blogs unique. It is interesting to trace the development of the Newswriting blog compared to the Drama blog: it seems so much easier to blog for Drama because as a Literature major - writing comes more naturally. This condense, condense, condense business really is a challenge. However, my goal is to keep all the Newswriting entries brief and packing quick bursts of knowledge - just like news articles should be written.

So, without further hestitation....

Here is Blogging Portfolio # 1:

Coverage:


Spot News Differences

Tribune Review, Review

How to Report the News

DeChantal Opening

Ashley Welker: Uncovered


Depth:


Spot News Differences

Ashley Welker: Uncovered

Interaction:

How to Report the News

Discussions:

Spot News Differences

How to Report the News Jenna O'Brocto agrees, and we ponder when we will get such professional freedoms....


Timeliness:

this is something we talked about in class - the differences in Spot News

Ashley Welker: Uncovered Dr. Jerz definitely cautioned us not to open the way I opened this (if we were sports writers, that is...)

Xenoblogging:


Jenna O'Brocto points out TV/Trib differences

Jenna covers the finer points of clarity

Katie Lambert and I attended the same function

Encouraging Johanna

Wild Card:


Everyman

This might sound like a strange entry to pick - however, I feel as though lately all I do is work, work, work....I even have a giant calendar in my room counting down the weeks. It is bittersweet that this is the senior year: I want to move on to grad school; at the same time, I am enjoying the challenge of having all these literature classes at once. In Everyman, although friends might be fleeting in our lives, I've learned an important lesson here at Seton Hill - these friends are the ones that are here to get us through....and I just want to thank all of you - especially the senior English majors. I am looking forward to graduating with you all :) It is really wonderful to be in classes with all of you, everyday and to be greeted with warm and smiling faces. You've helped me keep on track with this crazy schedule, and I couldn't ask for better people to share my time here at Seton Hill. So here is to our senior year: may it be the best ever!

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

Blogging Portfolio #1

This is my favorite way to complete a cover page - it is more organized, more functional. However, this time I was having some trouble with some of the Track Back links, so beware - this is by no means perfect. Forgive me.

According to dictionary.com, a blog is "a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user." Dictionary.com also offers this definition of the word portfolio, "a portable case for holding material, such as loose papers, photographs, or drawings. The materials collected in such a case, especially when representative of a person's work: a photographer's portfolio; an artist's portfolio of drawings." In this case, a blogging portfolio is the collection of blogged posts that can be linked electronically for added convenience to the reader. The goal of this portfolio is to unite the works we have studied in class with our personal thoughts and analysis. We would also like to illustrate the engaging discussion with our classmates, and others, we are making through the use of blogs.

Explanation of the Collection/Coverage:
This portion of the portfolio contains the representative information that we have studied, it is inclusive of all the entries which are important to demonstrate understanding of the material studied. This portion of the portfolio also represents how the class engages in an electronic conversation by posting responses/comments to the blogs.

This page links to Heart in the Ground, Trifles, Catholic Social Teaching, A Doll House (Acts 1 and 2), The Importance of Being Earnest, Machinal (All), The Jeweler's Shop, Dead Man Walking, Oedipus Rex (All), and Everyman.

Interaction:
This portion of the portfolio is used to illustrate the ongoing use of weblogs as a medium to interact with classmates.

Dead Man Walking - Gina/Katie Knowing the thoughts of these ladies made my interpretation more interesting.


Reflections on the Informal Oral Presentation It is nice to know what is going on in other groups.

Machinal

Discussions:
This section of the blog serves to function as a tool which sparks further examination of the piece of literature at hand.

Machinal sparked a great deal of activity on my blog

Click on the comments posted under "Machinal 1-5" - Katie Lambert and I discussed this as a feminist work.

Dr. Jerz talks about applications of Foster's food theory.

Xenoblogging:
This portion of the portfolio examines the different styles of comments one can post on their peers webblogs. The categories are: the comment primo (first person to comment on one's blog and leave insight), the comment grande (an explanation of thoughts on one's blog entry complete with other URL links), the comment informative (offering a more detailed explanation to a classmate), and the link gracious (giving credit to a classmate who sparked the creative/the cognitive process for you.)

Here, I comment on Chera Pupi's insight into the Catholic Social Teaching as applied to Sister Prejean.

Here, I am the first to ask Kayla Sawyer about the name change in Machinal.

Lorin Schumacher proved to have a wonderful analysis of Oedipus's character flaw.

I asked Andy LoNigro about the difference in town and country - a matter later discussed.

Wildcard:

Though, traditionally, a Wildcard entry should be on one's own personal blog space, I want to post a little conversation that Katie Lambert (this is coming from Katie's blog), and I had about the wonderful freshmen in this class. Katie and I went into class not knowing what was going to happen: it could be odd, we are the only seniors! But, you all have been so wonderful, so full of ideas, and so pleasant to get to know. And, of course, as always, Gina, you are a great person to take literature classes with because you have a good attitude and willingly share insights. :0)

This is my blogging portfolio. Perhaps it will enlighten you, the reader, to the wide world of blogging and the ongoing conversation webblogs can create.

Posted by KatieAikins at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005

Everyman

Anonymous, ''Everyman'' -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

GOD: I perceive, here in my majesty,
How that all creatures be to me unkind,
Living without dread in worldly prosperity:
Of ghostly sight the people be so blind,
They use the seven deadly sins damnable,
As pride, covetise, wrath, and lechery
Now in the world be made commendable;
Every man liveth so after his own pleasure,
The worse they be from year to year.
They thank not me for the pleasure that I to them meant,
Nor yet for their being that I have them lent.
They be so cumbered with worldly riches
That needs on them I must do justice,
On every man living without fear.
Where art thou, Death, thou mighty messenger?

These opening lines from God are indicative of the inevitable: death is inescapable for every man. At some point, we all share a common history: we are all born and we all die. From the moment we begin to breath, we begin to die. At the time we die, we are all faced with a recollection of the pasts – it is a time for God to make a judgment on the quality of our lives: it is almost as if we are revisiting our past sins in order to segue into the future: our life eternal. All men suffer the same temptations in life, as well as succumb to the same sins. No man can escape death, or this day of judgment. Perhaps in the play form, the lines are delivered as more of a warning: don’t succumb to vice: practice virtue.

Death is not absent in the stratified classes, death does not heed pay offs, death does not go unreckoned: it forces the life from every person, but every person is responsible for accounting for one’s own life and one’s own works. The work also rectifies the value of people and the value of riches in life: friends, as well as goods, are fleeting and only belonging to our mortal lives. In George Strait’s “You’ll Be There,” he sings, “I ain’t ever seen a Hurst with a luggage rack.” Much like Everyman, the rationalization comes that in life, you can be a slave to your possessions, but they will not enter into the heavenly realm – or tomb, with you upon death. One might work work work for certain things, but investing time and interest in these earthly things yields no profitable returns. It is made evident to Everyman the important components of a life well lived: strength, discretion, beauty, knowledge – for these are seemingly the main ingredients in a recipe for a happy life. However, in death these qualities flee the mortal body. In order to have a life of value to present to God, it is good deeds that are imperative to Everyman. Good deeds speak louder than any earthly vanity of man.


Posted by KatieAikins at 8:06 PM | Comments (5)

Oedipus Rex Finish

Sophocles, Oedipus the King (Finish) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Oedipus: Death take the man who unbound my feet on that hillside and delivered me from death to life! What life? If only I had died, this weight of monstrous doom could not have dragged me and my darlings down.

Choragos: I would have wished the same.

Oedipus: Oh never to have come here with my father’s blood upon me! Never to have been the man they call his mother’s husband! Oh accurst! Oh child of evil, to have entered that wretched bed – the selfsame one!

Oedipus’s final lament indicates how he is overcome with emotion attached to his realization that he is the one that brings ruination to the city of Thebes. He also seems to realize how terribly tragic his pride has been for the situation to come this far.

Had he only believed in the beginning, instead of brushing people away, perhaps this whole situation could have been prevented. However, the Fates had already prescribed the future of this doomed hero. There was no way around the tragedy. At the very least, Creon proves to be a true enough friend to care for Oedipus’s daughters.

Posted by KatieAikins at 8:03 PM | Comments (2)

Oedipus Rex

TEIRESIAS: ….The damned man, the murderer of Laios, That man is in Thebes. To your mind he is foreignborn, But it will soon be shown that he is a Theban, A revelation that will fail to please. A blind man, who has his eyes now; a penniless man, who is rich now; to the children with whom he lives now he will be brother and father – the very same…

Teiresias’s speech is indicative of what is to come. His foreshadowing plants the seeds of doubt in the heads of Oedipus as well as some others. This prediction seems to be in line with some of the play different ideologies: those of violence, family, loyalty, and the past. It is interesting that this prediction comes so early in the play.

It is also interesting to note, that prior to Teiresias’s confession, Oedipus damns his infantile predictions and calls it “abracadabra.” However, Oedipus is starting to realize the magnitude this prediction could carry.

Posted by KatieAikins at 6:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2005

Reflections on the Informal Presentation

As a veteran presenter of these sorts of presentations, it is still refreshing to deliver pre-paper ideas before classmates in order to get a grasp on where one is going with their thoughts. Overall, I think my group responded positively to the ideas I had for my later paper. I am still waiting to see their suggestions on paper, because they did not really share too many – they just complimented my idea. Hopefully, with paper in hand, I will be able to get a better grasp on the harder issues they want me to re-examine.
Particularly helpful in this class is the fact that the majority of the class is filled with freshmen. These young minds have fresh ideas, new ways of thinking, and often times, are not afraid to contribute to what they think might build a better foundation for one to launch one’s paper from: they are considerate and reflective. From their presentations, I learned many new approaches for themes that I had never considered or connected in the past. For instance, Chera Pupi heavily focused on the CST in Machinal – where Chera saw the CST, I never even thought about it. Kayla Sawyer noted the mistreatment of women in jail/death sentences as compared to men in some of the works we’ve studied. What these ladies pay attention to, and what I pay attention to are drastically different. It is always nice to hear fresh perspectives, and over all, this experience exposed me to new classmates with fresh voices.

Posted by KatieAikins at 1:18 PM | Comments (1)

NewsWriting: Spot News Differences

The Setonian's article about DeChantal Hall's opening was more focused on DeChantal herself: it called to light her education, her service, and an anecdote about how she earned the nickname "Dish." Then, a partial column was dedicated to student thoughts on the actual building.

The spotnews exercise I wrote focused primarily on the actual hall, and left out the education and anedotal stories.

The student comment in the publication was interesting because it served two functions: to grab and capture a student voice, as well as relay facts about the new Hall.

This article allows me to re-examine my article and perhaps include aspects such as anecdote.

If space would permit in the student publication, it would have been nice to see a feature on the Sister and then, the story on the Hall. Alas space is costly and operating budgets are small....if one reads the front page headline, perhaps there is a place The Setonian and other small, liberal arts factions could turn to for a slice of a larger budget.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:58 PM | Comments (4)

September 22, 2005

Presentation

Ex 1-2a: Informal Oral Presentation -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

A DOLL HOUSE:
HELMER: My little songbird mustn’t droop her wings. What’s this? Is little squirrel sulking?

In Ibsen’s A Doll House, Nora seemingly experiences a transformation from a kindly little girl persona to a take charge, I-am-leaving-woman. Nora’s character comes full-circle, or is a dynamic character. But, is her take charge persona buried underneath her act the entire time?

Theme:
People can not be happy under the guises of demeanors pleasing to others, and not oneself. It is more important to examine and know oneself, rather than live out a mold created by another.

Character Development and Evidence:

Excitable – the instances with the macaroons
Charming – she puts on an act for her husband, she dances for him

This same evidence is also indicative of her other character traits:

The instances with the macaroons – proves she can be Deceptive
Nora dances the Tarantella for Torvald – she is literally spinning him into her web of Deceit

And at the same time the audience gets this evidence, the audience also gets foreshadowing about Nora’s looming leave from Dr. Rank:

Shortly after Rank delivers his diatribe on moral corrupt, Krogstad blackmails Nora.

Dr. Rank leaves business cards with black crosses announcing his coming death, then Nora leaves Torvald.

MACHINAL:
“A 1928 Broadway hit, Machinal is a modern age tragedy of isolation turned to murder. The play, Sophie Treadwell said, is about "a young woman, ready, eager for life, for love...but deadened, squeezed, crushed by the machine like quality of the life surrounding." Loosely based on the sensational 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Treadwell uses this scenario as a springboard for her own speculations about what circumstances might drive a seemingly harmless stenographer to commit murder.”
Taken from: http://www.the-hypocrites.com/machinalhistory.asp
Like Ibsen’s A Doll House, Treadwell’s Machinal examines the life of a Young Woman. However, the Young Woman in Machinal does not come full circle, rather she is a static character.
In the beginning, the Young Woman searches for someone or somebody – but never finds that someone or somebody by the end of the play. Even her romantic interlude with the Mexican murderer is brief and fleeting – the fact that he betrays her also clarifies his thoughts on his relations with her. She did not matter to him.
All her life, she seemed to please other people: her co-workers, her mother, George Jones – but never herself. The Young Woman lived the mold, whereas Nora broke the mold.
By examining Ibsen’s dynamic and Treadwell’s static characters, readers are able to realize the detrimental effects of never breaking the mold: the Young Woman died because she was never comfortable enough to just be who she was. Nora got freedom.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Newswriting - Tribune Review, Review

After reading September 20th's issue, and discussing it in class, I was struck by the lack of reader awareness we sometimes have. Jenna O'Brocto shares the same view point; the North Korean article was a bit confusing because readers mightn't know the complete situation, some of the acronyms, the geography/history of the area, etc. It would be nice if international articles were perhaps more thorough. The article did strive to report both sides, however, it was still confusing to less enlightened people.

So this morning I am looking at electronic media, or The Tribune Review online, reading about what may happen to the gas prices. Now, I know it is important for readers to know that gas prices may be on the rise - especially since most people drive gasoline powered cars; however, I would like to see an article someday about diesel fuel. My car runs on diesel, so that would interest me. Major trucks that transport our goods run on diesel, and there could be a trickle down effect in the prices consumers pay for off the shelf items - due to the rising cost of fuel. I could go to the local Mobil station everyday and check, but that wouldn't be efficient. I am wondering why papers don't do complementary pieces - or do they think it is just safe to assume with gas prices rising, diesel will go up, too?

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2005

Newswriting - How to Report the news

Ochs wanted "to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of the party, sect, or interests involved."

All the reading made very convincing arguments: be objective, report the news even if it isn't favorable for a sponsor, cater to the audience - they are the ones journalists are serving. However, I can't help but noticing the divorced reality between the text and what goes on in the world. It seems as though these upstanding values can be advocated, preached, but nothing gets done because journalists are out to turn a dollar: whether by unearthing the latest scandal or failing to uncover a newsworthy scandal. The news business is very political: even papers are named with the party they favor: The Tribune Democrat, for instance. It is a challenge to remain objective, fair, and bias-free. We're humans, we have shortcomings. If we followed this book to a tee, a news story would suddenly become a list or a collection of facts.

Posted by KatieAikins at 3:34 PM | Comments (3)

Robbins and Prejean, Dead Man Walking: The Shooting Script -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

He is pointing to the sign nailed high up in the tree.

Prejean: Do not despair, you will soon be there.

Hilton: Somebody knows this road real, real well.

Perhaps the most poignant moment in the script is when Prejean and Hilton address the sign in the tree. On so many levels, they are talking about the events surrounding why they are together that day, and they are talking about the road of life. Robbins did not make this script a rally cry against the death penalty, or an obvious protest. Rather Robbins asks his audience to think about the consequences that accompany said crime, as well as how the death penalty affects all parties involved. He portrays the inmates, the guards, and the opposing families, as well as Prejean. The emotional toll for supporters and dissenters runs high and causes tensions to swell in the community. This scene is indicative of the trouble to follow, and the way that people look at life – like a long and winding road.

It is borderline cliché that he chooses a road to symbolize life, but at the same time, it is applicable to the situation because the criminals make a wrong in committing the crimes they committed. It seems as though Matt has a compassionate mother, but somewhere along the line got involved in a series of terrible things that led to his subsequent death. The sign indicates the coming of the end, as well as perhaps the forgiveness Matt needs to have in his life. The sign also invites the audience to forgive their enemies because we will all soon be there. Everyone has a day of judgment, and it is up to the self to choose how it will be reckoned.

Posted by KatieAikins at 3:32 PM | Comments (3)

September 18, 2005

The Jeweller’s Shop

A CHANCE INTERLOCUTER

I saw that woman her for the second time. She was passing by the old jeweller’s shop. The shutters were already lowered, the door padlocked. The jeweler finishes his work at seven and leaves. Working all day long, he may not realize how deeply his craft penetrates a man’s life. I talked to him once about that. The shop’s door was open and the jeweler was standing on the threshold, watching the passers-by, casually it seemed. The sun was shining, so the street was full of brightness, making people blink. Men and women were putting on their dark glasses to avoid being dazzled by the blaze. Through dark spectacles you do not see the colour of eyes, which sink in the dark as if in a well. And yet from behind such glasses you see everything (though peculiarly tinted), without blinking.

These lines are particularly poignant because they highlight the jeweler’s occupation: all day long he gazes at dazzling gemstones. When he blends to the rest of the world, the sun shines so brightly on the passers by they start to take on the rich hues of the stones. Though one mightn’t be able to see their electric eyes through their darkened glasses, they can see out beyond their tinted lenses.

Applying an artifice, such as tinted glass, seemingly does not alter our perception of the world – it just darkens the usually bright colors. However, the passers by still see everything; they are still able to see the sparkle that remains in their fellow walkers. This is almost reminiscent of the Teresa and Andrew’s differences in the first scene. Andrews tries everything in his power to not like, or to not think about Teresa. He even torments her in his thoughts – though she is his number one torment. He asks her to be his life companion and she contemplates it for ten minutes. It seems as though this is a hostile beginning, but they manage to see the gems, the brightness, within one another.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

The Jeweller’s Shop

A CHANCE INTERLOCUTER

I saw that woman her for the second time. She was passing by the old jeweller’s shop. The shutters were already lowered, the door padlocked. The jeweler finishes his work at seven and leaves. Working all day long, he may not realize how deeply his craft penetrates a man’s life. I talked to him once about that. The shop’s door was open and the jeweler was standing on the threshold, watching the passers-by, casually it seemed. The sun was shining, so the street was full of brightness, making people blink. Men and women were putting on their dark glasses to avoid being dazzled by the blaze. Through dark spectacles you do not see the colour of eyes, which sink in the dark as if in a well. And yet from behind such glasses you see everything (though peculiarly tinted), without blinking.

These lines are particularly poignant because they highlight the jeweler’s occupation: all day long he gazes at dazzling gemstones. When he blends to the rest of the world, the sun shines so brightly on the passers by they start to take on the rich hues of the stones. Though one mightn’t be able to see their electric eyes through their darkened glasses, they can see out beyond their tinted lenses.

Applying an artifice, such as tinted glass, seemingly does not alter our perception of the world – it just darkens the usually bright colors. However, the passers by still see everything; they are still able to see the sparkle that remains in their fellow walkers. This is almost reminiscent of the Teresa and Andrew’s differences in the first scene. Andrews tries everything in his power to not like, or to not think about Teresa. He even torments her in his thoughts – though she is his number one torment. He asks her to be his life companion and she contemplates it for ten minutes. It seems as though this is a hostile beginning, but they manage to see the gems, the brightness, within one another.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2005

Machinal (Finish)

Treadwell, Machinal (Finish) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Machinal – Finish

HUSBAND: The property’s mine. I’ll put a first mortgage. I’ll put a second mortgage and the property’s mine. Happy?
YOUNGWOMAN: (by rote). Happy.
HUSBAND: (going to her). The property’s mine! It’s not all that’s mine! (Pinching her cheek – happy and playful) I got a first mortgage on her – I got a second mortgage on her – and she’s mine.
YOUNGWOMAN: (pulls away swiftly)
HUSBAND: What’s the matter?
YOUNGWOMAN: Nothing – what?
HUSBAND: You flinched when I touched you.

The husband indicates that he just purchased a property. He calls the property ‘her,’ and jokes that the property is not the only thing that belongs to him. He implies that his wife, the young woman, also belongs to him. This certain seeming need for ownership illustrates the dichotomy between the pair: the husband views himself as the owner, the possessor of not only things, but of the physical entity that is his wife. However, the young woman, who flinches when her husband touches her, recognizes that her husband gravitates towards this idea of ownership and she wants to break from it. She is not someone to be owned – she longs to be her own person, or at least, to be unbothered by her husband’s long to possess her.

Her disgust, or disturbance, is evident to her husband when she replies in rote, that she is ‘happy,’ when indeed, she is anything but glad. Her husband acts as though that money is what is needed to own anything and anyone. He repeats the words first and second mortgage for times within two lines of his delivery; this repetition elucidates his view point: money makes him the owner, money makes him own her. However, the young woman seems disturbed by his casual attitude about buying love and finds it so distasteful, she is physical upset. This scene is critical to the events to follow.

Posted by KatieAikins at 3:36 PM | Comments (5)

September 13, 2005

DeChantal Opening

Being a first year resident myself, it was nice to escape the daily grind of work and see the new Residence Hall. The article sort of flowed from me when I got back to my own dorm room because I was thrilled at the sight of all the elderly women in their hats and gloves. Sometimes I long for that era that is so long gone. They were so proud of their Seton Hill ties and so respectful of themselves. We should be more mindful of that generation: they have so much indispense knowledge, we must get to know them better.

DeChantal is fresh, and the residents are certain to love it. But, if you want an unbiased opinion - you'll have to read my article Friday.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:08 PM | Comments (2)

September 12, 2005

Machinal 1-5

“I've spent a lifetime looking for you
Single bars and good time lovers, never true
Playing a fools game, hoping to win
Telling those sweet lies and losing again.

I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I'm dreaming of...
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin' for love

When I was alone then, no love in sight
And I did everything I could to get me through the night
Don't know where it started or where it might end
I turn to a stranger, just like a friend

I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I'm dreaming of...
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin' for love”
-Waylon Jennings

Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 drama Machinal is a sensational tale of murder, mischief, and man-hating. First and foremost, the sensation of the work isn’t the murder, nor the mischief: it is the man-hating. The work centers on the life of a young woman, Helen Jones, who is desperate to escape her nag mother and more desperate to marry. Her desperation is not what drags her into her loveless marriage – it is her isolation. In certain parts of the play, the Young Woman delivers long monologues that sound utterly senseless but are imperative to understand the nature of her thoughts. This stream of consciousness delivery is indicative to the interworkings of the troubled mind. She is burdened by a nagging mother and anxious to find a man to love and take her away from her problems. Once she finds a man, though not the prince she sought, and is married, she can not tolerate him. She has a child to him, and does not even want to hold the child. A child was a person she once talked about wanting, a boy with curls on his head. She got a girl, and was not satisfied. Finally, one evening she took a lover. The lover, also a rock-filled-bottle-murderer, turned her world upside down for days and made her feel happy. She wanted to go with him, but could not because of the circumstances: marriage, the child, etc.. In the end, the lover gave her a lily and fond memories of times not monotonous, or filled with the fat hands of her husband It was the lover’s testimony in the end that helped seal her fate when she was on trial for the murder of her husband, Mr. Jones. Perhaps it was the guilt she felt at the moment for killing her husband that made her confess, or perhaps it was the longing she felt for the only man that had ever made her feel complete that made her come clean of her crimes. The world will never know. However, all through the work, whenever Helen Jones got what she thought she wanted, she grew angrier and more alone.
It is interesting to note that on pages 9, 26, 80, and 83, Helen Jones is always asking for “someone,” “something,” or “somebody.” It is this constant quest that is weighing her down and ruining her experience as a human. She is never quite fulfilled by what she has, but can not transcend the present realities of life or accept her life as it is. Though, around her, she sees people that are seemingly satisfied. The girl in her office is comfortable living her promiscuous lifestyle, men in the bars are comfortable cheating on their wives, and the gay man in the bar is comfortable seducing a young boy: all these people are looking for a sort of acceptance through their sexual misadventures, perhaps what they are looking for is love.
Parts of the play are reminiscent to the writings of Hemingway: the scene in the bar when the young couple is discussing whether to “have the rather simple procedure” or not, is similar to the conversation the American and Jig have in Hemingway’s work “Hills Like White Elephants.” It is interesting to note, the couple uses almost the exact phraseology to talk about the operation as the American and Jig use in Hemingway’s work.
It is also interesting to note, in the script she reads as Young Woman. Men in the play constantly address her as girl, and associate her with chaste-filled ways. Even when she does have a semi-scandalous affair, the music playing in the background is “Little Heaven,” and her lover calls her, “angel.”

YOUNG WOMAN: (crying out) Ma! Ma! I want my mother.
HUSBAND: I thought you were glad to get away from her.
YOUNG WOMAN: I want her now – I want somebody.
HUSBAND: You got me, haven’t you?
YOUNG WOMAN: Somebody – somebody -
HUSBAND: There’s nothing to cry about. There’s nothing to cry about.

The young woman is about to consummate her newly minted marriage. All through out the opening scenes of the book, the young woman is searching for ‘somebody.’ Finally, she marries somebody – but he is not someone enough to satisfy her yearning.

When she tells her new husband she wants her mom, he reacts in a semi – surprised manner; the entire time (until this point), the young woman wants to escape her mother’s home and live as a wife. This conversation indicates one of the play’s many themes: the young woman’s unfilled desire and youthful confusion about what she wants. The young woman knows what life looks like – or what other peoples’ lives look like, yet she can not make her life fit into any mold that suits her.

The husband fulfills his husbandly – humanly – duties: he comforts her and reassures her that he’s there for her, despite her incessant need for someone else. This scene also foreshadows the later problems this duo will face.

“Somebody” proves an interesting word choice: on pages 9 and 80, the young woman wants ‘somebody.’ Her want goes unfulfilled; even when she is about to be put to death, she continues to want. It is a terrible way to live – always wanting. Perhaps Treadwell is making a statement about the humdrum, monotonous lull lives can fall into when one starts to work and continues the same pattern daily. Maybe the playwright is commenting on the changing needs of women in society. However, there’s a higher appeal here: the appeal asks us to behave more humanely. If someone is struggling on their search for somebody, then others should help them by showing love rather than apathy as the young woman’s co-workers and mother show in the work. A resolve to make a person’s life more comfortable in the long run is indeed profitable to the other part, as well as to the self.


Posted by KatieAikins at 2:55 PM | Comments (2)

September 11, 2005

Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

According to The Importance of Being Earnest – Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Importance_of_Being_Earnest,

“Algernon, a wealthy young Londoner, pretends to have a friend named Bunbury who lives in the country and frequently is in ill health. Whenever Algernon wants to avoid an unwelcome social obligation, or just get away for the weekend, he makes an ostensible visit to his "sick friend." In this way Algernon can feign piety and dedication, while having the perfect excuse to get out of town. He calls this practice "Bunburying." (The role of Algernon stands as one of the wittiest and most charming characters in English Literature.)
Algernon's real-life best friend lives in the country but makes frequent visits to London. This friend's name is Ernest...or so Algernon thinks. "Ernest" discloses that his visits to the city are also examples of "Bunburying." In the country, "Ernest" goes by his real name, Jack, and pretends that he has a wastrel brother named Ernest, who lives in London. When Jack comes to the city, he assumes the name of Ernest and tells everyone he has a brother Jack who lives in the country.
Jack wishes to marry Gwendolyn, who is Algernon's cousin, but runs into a few problems. First, Gwendolyn seems to love him only because she believes his name is Ernest, which she thinks is the most beautiful name in the world. Second, Gwendolyn's mother is the terrifying Lady Bracknell. Lady Bracknell is horrified when she learns that Jack is a foundling who was discovered in a handbag at a railway station.
Algernon gets the idea to visit Jack in the country, pretending that he is the mysterious brother "Ernest." Unfortunately, unknown to Algernon, Jack has decided to give up his Bunburying, and to do this he has announced the tragic death of Ernest.
A hilarious series of comic misunderstandings follows, as Algernon-as-Ernest visits the country (as a dead man, as far as the hosts are aware), and Jack shows up in his mourning clothes. There he encounters Jack's ward, Cecily, who believes herself in love with Ernest - the non-existent brother she has never met. The play contains many examples of Wilde's famous wit.
It has a small cast, which is as follows:
• Jack Worthing
• Algernon Moncrieff
• Lady Bracknell
• Cecily Cardew
• Gwendolen Fairfax
• Miss Prism
• Dr. Chasuble
• Lane
• Merriman
Notice that none of the cast is called Ernest: although Jack pretends to be and turns out to be Ernest, Algernon also pretends to be Ernest.
The comedy has been successful even when performed in translation. The title being almost untranslatable, it is then usually staged under the title Bunbury -referring to deceit in general.
Exceptions to this are Germany and The Netherlands. In Germany the reprint of the play and the 2002 movie are called "Ernst sein ist alles" (literally Being Earnest is all), keeping the pun of the original title. (Ernst being both a first name and a synonym for being serious in German). In The Netherlands it has been translated as Het belang van Ernst, in which the pun is also fully functional.
It is sometimes erroneously suggested that some of the expressions in the play have their origins in homosexual subculture of the 1890s. Thus, it is claimed that "Earnest" was used as a euphemism for homosexual, and "Bunburying" meant the art of living a secret homosexual life while appearing to be heterosexual to the outside world: the use of such terms in such a manner is unattested before the date of publication.”
Wikipedia spells out the bare bones of the plot for us, but there are many elements that need to be examined individually to understand a greater part of the comedy at hand.
First, the dedication of the play made to Robert Baldwin Ross. Wilde called Ross, ‘the Mirror of Perfect Friendship.’ One has to wonder if this is a semi-anecdotal work. Or if the dedication is just that, a dedication.

Also, there are issues of religion all through out the work: issues with being baptized with the proper name, Ernest; “manna in the wilderness,” sent from God to the Isrealites after escaping Egypt (Exodus 16); and issues about what “a man sows, so let him reap” (Galatians 6:7). It is interesting to note, that two of the aforementioned deal with the nature of escape or change. Algy and Jack wanted to be baptized in the Catholic church as men named Ernest because that is what their female admirers so longed. Chasuble prepares a sermon about the escape of the Isrealites from Egypt, in which God provides for them. Many of the characters in the story are trying to escape themselves, but eventually return full circle to realize what they are escaping in the fiber of their being. They learn lessons on moral character, which is something they repeatedly reference in the work. In all actually, they learn the importance of being earnest.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2005

Hitting the Links and Tearing Up the Books: Ashley Welker Uncovered -Newswriting


Ashley Welker’s teed off. And not just about the lack of parking or overcrowded cafeteria at Seton Hill – though those do top Ashley’s list of concerns.
“It bothers me: Seton Hill has so much land – and puts in a football field. What about a golf greens for the already established women’s golf team?” said Welker. Golf, along with Pez dispenser collecting, following hockey “because it’s violent,” and being Madonna’s premier fan, fulfills Ashley’s list of hobbies. “If I could start over good, I could make major money,” Welker commented.
Possibly, Welker could trade her chalk and board for spikes and clubs but English education runs through her veins since her mom taught. Ashley models her career move after her mother. “My mother died of breast cancer on August 28, 1993; it is a date I will never forget. It was the saddest moment in my life,” said Ashley. Some of her hard work ethics also comes from her step mother, who works for iSqFt, a construction company, as a manager. “It is refreshing –and an inspiration, to see a woman in a traditionally male dominated field,” stated Welker.
Ashley’s long time confidant, Sarah Rosenberg said, “Ashley will make a great English teacher. She has a zest for learning and can often be found in her room with a book. Sometimes it is a science fiction or fantasy novel, rather than our Shakespeare homework.”
As a teacher, Ashley wants, “to impact children’s lives via mentoring and also encourage them to have fun in what they do. And if I become a club pro, I want to be decent.” This vision spills into her long term goal to be married with two children, traveling, and owning a hairless or a Siamese cat. “I’d like to spend some time in England because it is rich with history of English literature,” Welker commented.
As for a future husband, Ashley’s quiet. Though, she expressed, “The happiest moment in my life? There’s no one specific date – but all my two and a half years with Bradon: he’s the picture of happiness.”
Bradon replied, “I can’t say I disagree. Being with Ashley offers me a whole new perspective on life.”

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:17 PM | Comments (0)

Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor Intro through p. 22 -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Foster’s Foodstuffs Applied to Hill’s “Heart in the Ground”

In a society where meals on the go are commonplace, it is necessary to observe and respect the sacredness of shared meals. In How to Read Literature Like A Professor, Thomas C. Foster likens mealtime to communion, but not necessarily of the Christian nature: “Nearly every religion has some liturgical or social ritual involving the coming together of the faithful to share substance” (8). Hill’s “Heart in the Ground” provides the needed evidence to support Foster’s claim. A mealtime episode does take place in the play; however, it seems as though Karen preoccupies herself with the harvest of corn. The moon raises “that corn right out of the ground” (10). This is the same corn in the same dirt that Karen knows if “you put a seed in good, rich dirt, you can grow anything” (3). Coincidentally, Karen wants to bury her seed, Catherine, in the cornfield so the can be pulled by the moon “right out of the ground” (10). Catherine will get a chance to flourish among the corn – the chance she missed at human life. Catherine will be harvested annually, in the form of corn: it is a cycle of rebirth. Behold the power of corn.

Posted by KatieAikins at 3:52 PM | Comments (3)

The Importance of Being Earnest

ALGERNON: Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you.

LANE: Thank you, sir.

[LANE goes out.]

ALGERNON: Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.

By definition, ‘earnest’ means, “Marked by or showing deep sincerity or seriousness; With a purposeful or sincere intent.” Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest showcases witty characters who have no regard for their namesake’s meaning: being sincere. The character dupe women and foil friends. In no way are they being honest with one another, or with the ones they love.

They even use bombastically pretentious speech, like Algernon’s comments on classes. Lane, who had been married once – a mistake, serves Algernon. Unfortunately, Algernon can not readily accept Lane’s admitted mistaken marriage – he faults Lane’s entire class of people as having no sense of moral responsibility. Though, later in the work, it is Algernon and his comrade who prove to have no sense of moral obligation to be honest, or earnest, with the women they supposedly love.

This exchange proves to be a foreshadowing to the events that follow. However, it is more than that: it also seemingly illustrates the opinion held by the upper echelon on the morals of the servile class at the time. Later, the work holds that it is the upper class that deviates from shared, known social mores at the time. Algernon and Lane are class and moral foils to one another. Is Wilde trying to comment on the nature of the human species? Despite class, on may have rank moral standards and try to act superior to another. Or is Wilde just illustrating the face of the time? In this, and later exchanges, these questions come to call.

Posted by KatieAikins at 7:36 AM | Comments (2)

September 6, 2005

Ibsen, A Doll House, Act 2

NORA: Yes, it’s true now, Torvald. When I lived at home with Papa, he told me all his opinions, so I had the same ones too; or if they were different I hid them, since he wouldn’t have cared for that. He used to call me his doll-child, and he played with me the way I played with my dolls. Then I came into your house-
HELMER: How can you speak of our marriage like that?
NORA: (unperturbed) I mean, then I went from Papa’s hands into yours. You arranged everything to your own taste, and so I got the same taste as you – or I pretended to; I can’t remember. I guess a little of both, first one, then the other. Now when I look back, it seems as if I’d lived here like a beggar – just from hand to mouth. I’ve lived by doing tricks for you, Torvald. But that’s the way you wanted it. It’s a great sin what you and Papa did to me. You’re to blame that nothing’s become of me.

This is the breaking point of the couple’s relationship. Nora admits that she feels as though both Torvald and her father have played with her for her entire life. All through out the play, Torvald calls Nora his doll child and other cutesy comments, rather than honoring her as his wife. However, there are several moments through out the play where he references her getting her way with him and making him look bad in front of other men. Torvald values the opinions of other men – rather than that of his own wife.

At this point, Nora faces her feelings head on and lays them on the table for Torvald to understand. She transitions from the house of her father who seemingly programs her to agree with his opinions, and thus have only those opinions, to Torvald’s house – where she will adopt and use his viewpoints as her own. She almost compares herself to a puppet on a string, with Torvald as the master. Or a trick toy that Torvald makes work for his own personal pleasure. She goes as far as to place the blame of the fact nothing has become to her on her husband. It is interesting that Ibsen uses a more feminist prospective to write this play which is unusual for a turn of the century, male writer.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:07 AM | Comments (4)

September 2, 2005

Entry Number One for Journalism

Newswriting should prove fruitfull. This semester, besides the 18 other English credits, there are grad school applications to be completed. The more words that flow from my brain, the better. Thus far, the semester is going well and classes seem interesting. Inquire in four weeks....

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)

September 1, 2005

A Doll House

Isn't it interesting that a man wrote this feminist play near the turn of the 20th century? Did the ending surprise anyone? How does the ending work for you, the viewer?

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House experiments with new and never before publicized ideas for the end of the nineteenth century. This 1879 work toys with themes of feminism coupled with the thematic undercurrent of inherited sexually transmitted disease – which surely is a taboo subject for the time.
Ibsen cleverly uses feminine hero Nora to appear as subservient, fawning, and vulnerable to her husband Torvald. However, it is Nora who concocts a plan: borrowing money from Krogstad in order to finance Torvald’s recovery retreat. All the while, Nora lies to Torvald; she tells him the money came from her now deceased father. In life, Nora is passed from the home of her father to the home of Torvald, much like a doll is shared between playmates. To Torvald, the only players in the game of life who are worth vesting interest into are men. Torvald sees Nora as a, “little lark,” “my squirrel,” “my darling,” “my secret,” “trembling young beauty,” “frightened little songbird,” “a hunted dove,” “bewildered helpless thing,” and a “blind, incompetent child.” All the qualities he associates with Nora are qualities one might asses as childlike, or childish: he even says she is a child. Torvald sees Nora as someone to protect, to work for, to supply, to shelter, to feed, to clothe, to play with, to be in love with, but not someone he can sit down and have a serious discussion with about problems with because she “…couldn’t possibly help me” (271). When Nora asks to be included in the problem solving process, Torvald argues, “what good would that ever do you?” (272). He demeans her intelligence by not letting her express her ideas. Nora, who may not be as knowledgeable about the law, for instance, relies on her emotions – but at times, this shows a higher level of thought. She borrowed money from a lender in order to provide a trip to make Torvald feel better. Nora sees the value in motive – the motive being love, and how it should affect the long term processes doled out by the law.
Ibsen’s work also lightly deals with the syphilitic disease: Doctor Rank often talks about his sickness that is slowly decaying his body. He mentions that this comes from years of watching the infidelities on his father’s part. Clearly, while Rank calls this disease something equivalent to tuberculosis, viewers can deduce that the inherited disease is one of a sexually transmitted nature. Parental misdoing, as well as venereal disease then become other themes to examine.
In his “On Ibsen’s A Doll’s House,” Ian Johnson makes the following imperative points about the nature of society and its role in the play,

“The cruelty of that society is not simply economic, although that is the most obvious manifestation of what happens to outsiders, as we learn through Krogstad's situation. There is an important emotional component to their distress as well, for the isolation they must endure can leave them unable to create for themselves a meaningful relationship, to derive human significance from their interactions with others (the basis of Kristine's troubles). Those of whom society disapproves or who don't have a secure middle-class status are thus frozen out, literally frozen in that they have to fight for a subsistence, but also figuratively frozen by the impossibility of realizing a rich social existence. Kristine's experience here is important because when we first meet her she has what Nora chooses at the end of the play--independence from any immediate social responsibility--and she finds in it no satisfying living purpose. She wants to get back into the society. Her experience on the fringes has taught her that she must, if possible, live her life in society.” (http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/introser/ibsen.htm)

A Doll’s House is an intricately painted picture of turn of the century feminism. Perhaps what is most intriguing is the fact that it was written by a man.

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:18 PM | Comments (4)

Traction

How do you feel about the excessive use of expletives in this play? Is this sort of language necessary to convey the message of the play? Or does it distract from your viewing?

ELMORE: Fuckin' I wish. He was sneakin' glue home in his lunchbox. One night his wife wakes up and he's not in bed so she goes into the living room and there's Barney Flintstone all splayed out naked--covered an inch thick and shiny like he'd been lacquered, you know, shellacked, like they do to bar tops so beers will slide easy on 'em... The paramedics had to cut him out of the carpet like he was gingerbread.
MIKEY: [Pause.] This is different.
ELMORE: Don't tell me you've forgot what a stinky fuckin' monkey your ass was until I got you promoted to the ovens.... And I promise you this: anybody who fucks up in front of OSHA tomorrow is gonna get fuckin' killed. I fuckin' promise you that... [Elmore picks up his tire iron and brandishes it.] I'll fuckin' bash his head in right now if I have to. I fuckin'-fuckin' promise you that.
MIKEY: Stop, look, and listen man. That's all I'm sayin'. Stop-- look-- and listen. I will speak no more on this topic. I need not. I shit you not.
ELMORE: [Pause.] What the fuck are you sayin'? I mean watch what the fuck you're sayin'.... Brandon and me were in the Guard together. In the Gulf. Understand? Our cots was end to end, man, in a tiny fuckin' tent in the fuckin' sand. End to end...... Understand? He was my squad leader. He kept my ass and my head in proper alignment. We shook scorpions from our boots together every rise-and-shine!
The language Ramsey chooses to use in this exchange is relevant to the severity and rawness of the subject matter. Elmore talks about the conditions he and Brandon faced in the Gulf War: extreme heat, dryness, sand storms, lethal scorpions, etc. The use of repeated profanity, especially the degree of the words, is paramount to the adverse conditions faced in the Gulf War.

It is also interesting that Elmore compares a glue huff-er to Barney Flintstone, when the character was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Perhaps, it is more ironic he reverses the first names because the glue abuser is left in a rubble like pile. Elmore even compares his shine to that of bar tops. It seems as though through his speech, Elmore is blue collar, hard working, day laborer type of person. This is reinforced through out the work through his admission, as well as through his speech patterns. He seeks advancement, yet at the same time seems to be stuck in this brutish mentality that prohibits him from progressing beyond the use of the f-word, comparisons to swilling at bars, his violent threats, and the cartoon character mishaps.

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:16 PM | Comments (1)

Trifles

Did anyone ever read the story form of this play, "A Jury of Her Peers"? It is short and a good read.

MRS. PETERS. (in a whisper). When I was a girl--my kitten--there was a boy took a hatchet, and before my eyes--and before I could get there--(Covers her face an instant.) If they hadn't held me back, I would have-- (Catches herself, looks upstairs, where steps are heard, falters weakly.)--hurt him.
MRS. HALE (with a slow look around her.) I wonder how it would seem never to have had any children around. (Pause.) No, Wright wouldn't like the bird--a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too.
MRS. PETERS (moving uneasily). We don't know who killed the bird.

Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale reflect on the nature of the relationship between animals and their masters. Mrs. Peters, who has suffered the loss of an animal at the hands of another, can relate to Mrs. Wright’s loss of her beloved song bird. Mrs. Peters claims the pair does not know who has killed the bird, and in a way, Mrs. Peters implies that the pair should not place blame where blame is unknown.
By the stage directions, it is apparent that Mrs. Peters is moved by the death of her kitten. Glaspell uses instructions, such as, “whisper,” “covers…face,” and “catches herself…falters weakly,” to indicate the motion of Mrs. Peters body as she delivers her diatribe about her murdered feline. This method of delivery leaves room for Mrs. Peters to later understand and recognize the reasons why, perhaps, Minnie Wright off-ed her husband. However, it is Mrs. Peters who also, at the time, quickly and “uneasily,” says, “We don’t know who killed the bird.” Clearly, Mrs. Peters does not feel comfortable about the situation that the pair is involved in, but she also has a sense of fairness towards Mr. Wright – who Mrs. Hale knows, “…wouldn’t like the bird.” Mrs. Hale’s comment is seemingly implicit of Mr. Wright’s guilt in the bird’s murder. She paints him as a character that doesn’t like singing, which is something Mrs. Wright clearly enjoyed. This conversation exchange sets up a sort of implies understanding between the women that underlies their later conversation-less understanding about what they find in the sewing box.

This dialogue calls to question the nature of the friendship of women, or the silent bond shared between ladies. How do women, or friends in general, know and decide when to keep a secret – especially of this magnitude? Especially, without exchanging words?
Glaspell examines the nature of the female bond, but without making a Lifetime like cry for feminism or flouncing the supposed, Mr. Wright-was-a-strong-silent-old-fashioned-sort-of-fellow-who-killed-his-wife’s-beloved-song-bird-that-he-thought-too-noisy,-he-really-didn’t-talk-to-her-or-let-her-communicate-with-the-outside-world-so-all-she-could-work-with-was-fruit-she-had-to-kill-him sort of drama which with modern day readers/viewers are accustomed. It is interesting to note their intimacy of thought and shared bond over the goings on at the Wright household. Does it seem as though Glaspell was making a radical cry for feminism or is she making a statement about loveless marriages? Was their marriage loveless? The pair hardly talked – but does not talking support a reason to take one’s life? What sort of message does this work send?

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:14 PM | Comments (2)

Heart in the Ground

Dr. Jerz mentioned some interesting topics he scoped out in the play: knives and containers. Can any one names some containers in the play besides the rooms of the house, the earth in which Catherine was buried, etc.?

LEE: Karen, it's not loaded. And I hid the shells.
KAREN: [Nodding her head.] In with the Christmas decorations. I know. [Pause.] Remember last March? Around Easter time? When the ground was soft and starting to warm up? It rained so much there at the end that everything was just soaked through with water? Seemed like we were there in the mud with everything else. Just heavy and wet. Waiting for Catherine to be born. I walked around barefoot outside in the mud and I remember the earth grabbing my feet and not wanting to let go. [Beat.] Right now I feel like a bone the wind's blown across the yard and no one even notices. Don't you feel like that? [Beat.] Maybe you don't. If you could feel the earth underneath you, you'd see what I'm saying.
LEE: Maybe we should . . . Wouldn't it be enough to go visit every day? We could both go. Whenever you needed. I'd go with you. If you want.
Both characters share a common feeling of loss and sadness over the death of their baby, Catherine. However, Karen is more apt to express outwardly the inner angst she feels over the loss of the child. Karen waves a shotgun in the air as in an intermittent threat not only on Lee’s life, but also on their shared history. Karen reminisces about the months she carried the child; coincidentally, these months were in the spring. Spring usually signifies a guarantee of new life, vitality, and rebirthing of the self. Instead of producing new life, Karen is drug down into the mud – literally. After the baby vacates its home – the womb, Karen is left empty and alone. It is at this point in conversation that Lee realizes the severity of despair his wife feels about their child’s passing.

Their conversation is reminiscent of Sylvia Plath’s poem “Metaphors.” The speaker talks about her pregnancy in direct juxtaposition with her mental condition; she feels as though “there is no getting off the train” that is pregnancy. Perhaps the mere thought of raising children is too much for some women; however, Karen wants to be the ideal mother because she has already suffered through the loss of another child at the tender age of fourteen. This pregnancy, Karen is in the ideal condition: she is married, she is 22, she is ready to make a home for a baby – but when the baby dies, so does Karen’s hope.

This is a turning point in the play, perhaps the climax. Lee actualizes Karen’s tragedy and wants to help her to overcome the struggle of losing a baby. Lee readies himself to do anything, anytime to assist Karen to get better. Lee even furthers his understanding of her suffering by saying he will not meddle in her personal matters: he will go with her, only if she wants. This is moment in the play is pivotal to the proceeding action.

This moment is when the characters realize their shared love for the deceased child, as well as their love for one another – and emphasis on the importance of one another’s feelings.

Posted by KatieAikins at 4:09 PM | Comments (0)