March 16, 2005

Lotsa ?s about Streetcar

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): A Streetcar Named Desire

Obviously the one thing about Streetcar that stuck out in my mind was Blanche and her lies and not only her lies, her appearance. What is up with her face, she doesn't want to be looked at in the light? Does she just think she is old and ugly or does she really have some kind of slight disfigurement? Then there is Stanley who doesn't really seem all that bad at first, then he hits his wife and then he has his way with her sister. Also I know that the metaphor between the streetcar named Desire and the street being called Elysian Fields and all that but what does all that really add up to in terms of the play? Are the Elysian Fields a reference to heaven or paradise? If someone knows can you explain.

Do Stanley's redeeming qualities justify his behavior towards women? Obviously his wife thinks so.

Posted by MaryAnderson at 3:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lotsa ?s about Streetcar

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): A Streetcar Named Desire

Obviously the one thing about Streetcar that stuck out in my mind was Blanche and her lies and not only her lies, her appearance. What is up with her face, she doesn't want to be looked at in the light? Does she just think she is old and ugly or does she really have some kind of slight disfigurement? Then there is Stanley who doesn't really seem all that bad at first, then he hits his wife and then he has his way with her sister. Also I know that the metaphor between the streetcar named Desire and the street being called Elysian Fields and all that but what does all that really add up to in terms of the play? Are the Elysian Fields a reference to heaven or paradise? If someone knows can you explain.

Do Stanley's redeeming qualities justify his behavior towards women? Obviously his wife thinks so.

Posted by MaryAnderson at 3:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

Blogging Portfolio

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Portfolio 1

I have to say that at the beginning of the semester I wasn't real into the idea of blogging. I never blogged before and didn't really get it. Although it's still not my favorite thing in the world I can appreciate the educational value blogging has to offer. Some of the earlier entires were not very long or deep. It wasn't until we started reading the Great Gatsby that I began to delve deeper into the texts. I ended up writing my close reading about references to flowers in the Great Gatsby because I started thinking about this symbolism. ALso, this blog entry got others thinking about the flower references that they hadn't picked up on.

The poetry unit really gave me the chance to interact with my peers on an intellectual level. Plath's "Daddy" and "Judith" are examples of this. I also was the first to comment on Gina's blog several times offering help and comments about the poems.

Upon reading Machinal I almost dismissed it as i dismissed the Adding Machine as pessimistic and not worthy of much intellectual thought on my part but instead I learned to look deeper into the play even though I personally didn't care for it.

My favorite blog entry is mine on "Judith" "Never Again Would Birds Songs Be the Same" and "Daddy". In this entry I made connections between the poems regarding the role of women in each poem. I feel that it was well done even though it is not the longest of my blog entries

Blogging has helped me develop my critical thinking skills and apply them to books, plays, poems and even movies that I watch.

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March 3, 2005

I have a question about my thesis

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Paper 1 Worksheet: Pre-writing for Paper 1 (2%)

I have been having a hard time thinking of a thesis. I thought of something but I am not sure if this is appropriate for this assignment. My idea was for Machinal, about the young woman's vanity being more important to her than anythign else. (her obsession with hair, hands, etc.) Can anyone help me? Is this good, bad, stupid, not really what we are supposed to do?

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March 2, 2005

"Judith"

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Ransom, ''Judith of Bethulia''

I think one of the interesting ties between "Judith", "Daddy" and "BIrds" is the changing role of the women. In "Judith" she is a hero, one of the elders. She did what a man cuold not do, her beauty was her sword. A man could not defeat Holophernes, only a beautiful woman was able. In "Daddy" Plath is woman tortured by her father's death in her child hood which is unreconciled in her mind and (as i read on Kayla's blog) her cheating husband. She is powerless and alone, defeated.

In "Birds", it is interesting that the focus is on Eve, not Adam. Birds tend to personify freedom. Humanity was free until Eve sinned. We are now held captive by our sins until our salvation is at hand. "Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed" We once sang a song of freedom as birds do, they sing because they are free and happy to be birds, but humans no longer sing happily and freely. We sing a constant song of sorrow. This clashes with birds. Once we sang in harmony with birds but not anymore. Because the birds "heard the daylong voice of Eve" and sang along with her "tone of meaning but without the words" (humans are separate from animals in our use of language) when she changed her tune, the birds didn't know what to do, they were freaked out. Now birds are skiddish and afraid of humans, you can't get too near a wild bird and they always seem to be so nervous. But imagine being able to walk around like you were in a Disney movie singing along with birds and birds not being afraid of you. I think basically the message here is that we have lost our harmony with nature and the animal world that would have existed in Eden at the time of our creation.

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"Daddy"

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Plath, ''Daddy''

I have never read Plath before and all I really knew about her was that she wrote the "Bell Jar" and that she committed suicide. In the poem where she says
"If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now."
Could she mean that another man who was not her father but pretended to be, a step father or something? possibly molested her or somethign like that. Just the language used in those lines makes me sort of think that way. I think that the poem is sort of about her "killing" her father in her own mind. Kind of like getting over the things she went through and killing the memory of her father. It was not enough that he died, she had to mentally sever herself from him in her own mind. It seems to me that Sylvia Plath is infatuated with death, I just now read her poem Last Words in our poetry book and it is about her own death soon to come.

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"To Brooklyn Bridge"

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Crane, ''To Brooklyn Bridge''

This poem is an ode to a man made structure, a bridge. I felt that it was a sort of celebration of man's achievement in building such a huge, magnificent structure. It's like saying to God "Beat That" ("lend a myth to God") or maybe saying that it's so great that it's hard to believe it was created by wretched mankind. I don't know, it was very rich in imagery, comparing the bridge to so many different things. Describing it was curving, shadowing, eternity. It is interesting to compare this with the World Trade Center poem in which the author is not overjoyed with the twin towers but doesn't like them until the end of the poem when he suddenly decides they aren't that bad. He spend the whole poem talking about how ugly they are as opposed to the one about Brooklyn Bridge where he praises it to no end.

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"In the Old Age of the Soul"

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Pound, ''In the Old Age of the Soul''

When I read this poem of thought of the movie Gladiator for some reason. Anyway, I think the poem is about a person looking back on their life and all its struggles and feeling as if none of it really got them anything but older and more worn out. Like when he says about the "sword hilt and the war-worn wonted helmet / Brings momentary life and long feld cunning" Fighting for our lives, warring, may prolong life for a short time but we all die anyway and is it really worth the fight? Young men are full of "might for action" and even though he may not be physically old he feels that way in his soul because of all that he has already gone through in his life.

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March 1, 2005

Machinal

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Treadwell, Machinal

One of the more interesting things about this play is in the end this woman submits to everything but when they want to shave her head she puts up a fight and "won't submit" anymore. Did anyone else think that this was interesting? What it is about this woman and her hair? It also says she has a trick of arranging her hair over her ears and even does this right before being executed. "is nothing mine?
The hair on my head! The very hair on my head-" I consider this play to be expressionism. It is a lot like the Adding Machine and honestly I don't really like either one of them but when I read the ADding Machine I made the mistake in thinking that the entire play was pessimistic which most of it was but The Adding Machine and Machinal both have a ray of hope at the end. The author is trying to teach a lesson about life by making you read this terrible play. The preist says " YOur life has been hell to you, daughter, because you have never known GOd" This couldn't be more true. I do not sympathize with this woman whatsoever. She didn't have to marry this man. Even if she lost her job, she could have found another one. It certainly wasn't worth going through life with an unhappy marriage. It wasn't liek this man was abusive or cheated on her. They just weren't in love. This woman created her own hell and she thought killing her husband would solve everything. Maybe she should have thought about that before she married him.

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