September 28, 2005
Well since the blogging wasn't up and running when we read the first set of poems I am going to catch up and do that now.
The first poem by Poe enititled, "Sonne: To Science" seems to be to be talking about time. It also seems to be giving me the impression of real vs myth. Science is a great and amazing thing....far too difficult for us humans to understand all there is to know. Often I wonder about the world how science...how things work, how things come to exist and this poem seems to represent that to me.
The second poem by Whitman called, "I hear America Singing" gives me great joy. The way the poem presents all the people singing harmoniously is a way of saying "We are all in this together and let's stick together!" I think this poem means that everyone has the same song no matter what each one of us does for a living or where we live, or what we do with our lives...we are all people.
Out of the Dickinson poems I would like to discuss "Success." This poem also gives me a feeling of joy and accomplishment. Even though the man is dying he still has a great sense of meaning and triumph. It says...."We all die, when we do not know, but die not something that you believe in."
The last Poem by Poe, called "Conqueror Worm" is one completely opposite of Dickinson's poem "Success." The ending of this poem is sadness, darkness, and defeat. It leaves me with a feeling of nothingness. This poem says to me that anything man can do will not help us, because we are not strong enough. This poem is quite depressing and of course it's by Poe!
Well here it is....my portfolio!!
Overall I have enjoyed blogging. It is just the time it takes to do it, but once I get on here it gets fun (yes i said it...fun).
My favorite blog that I have written so far is The Scarlet Letter ch22-end. This entry asked questions and started a discussion with my peers. It gave me a chance to really think about forgiveness. It also was posted well before class to initate a discussion.
Another entry i would like to discuss is The Yellow Wallpaper. This entry was also posted is due time and I used a link to research that I had to do to understand the time period this short story was written.
I have also contibuted to other's blogs. An example of when I was the first to comment on someone's blog is on Dee's blog. Another example of my contributions is on Erin's blog. And yet one more example is on Neha's blog.
Well I am still learning on how to do this blog thing and I am working on it, but I think I am doing alright so far. I couldn't remember what blogs I commented on and I tried to search my name to find where I did, but it didn't return anything. So, I tried to remember some that I did and I know I am forgeting some good comments.
I was greatly struggling through reading "The Custom-House" until I came upon where he finds the scarlet letter.
After describing the details of the letter it states, "Certainly, there was some deep meaning in it, mostly of interpretation , and which, as it were, streamed forth from the mystic symbol, subtly communicating itself to my sensibilities, but evading the analysis of my mind." I could not help but imagine myself finding such an important and interesting part of history. What I would give to have found something like that of my own. He knows that this letter had some sort of meaning; some sort of power about it.
The author goes on to say, "I experienced a sensation not altogether physical, yet almost so, as of burning heat; and as if the letter were not of red cloth, but red-hot iron." This is a very interesting thought.....not knowing anything about what this scarlet letter stood for, but that it gave a vibe of an almost evil spirit. Just how cool would that be to hold that in yours hands....ahhhh history.
September 26, 2005
"The Yellow Wallpaper"
This story was a very easy, enjoyable read. I love the way the author wrote as if we were reading a secret diary. It gets us behind the scenes of what is really going on.
In the second entry it states, "I used to lie awake as a child and get more entertainment and terror out of blank walls and plain furniture than most children could find in a toy-story." This amused me greatly since (I will share this with everyone) I did the exact same thing when i was a child. I remember this one creature that really freaked me out on my ceiling...man...scarey! So, maybe i am a little crazy or i just like to imagine things.
Well anyway, this story surprised me with the time period that it was written. I wasn't sure what was going on in the world of feminism at that time, so i did some research and found that there probably was some pretty good activity going on at the time. Women were becoming more independant.
I was also surprised that the husband was so kind and caring. HA! Only with his words. She wasn't allowed to do anything and she never got what she wanted. I really don't know what to think of him. It makes me mad that someone could be so controlling. See how far we have come.
Back to the images that the woman saw.....she had such great imagination!! She loved to write and create. These creative capabilities have to be released. A person cannot be deprived of this as her husband did. Who would tell someone that they cannot write....crazy i tell you...crazy. In "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper" the author tells us that a physician actually perscribed this. Things have changed....now someone would say write, write, and write til you can't write anymore.
"Bartleby, the Scrivener"
Well this was quite an interesting short story. Well we were asked to look at the feminist issues and I didn't really seem to find much at all. In paragraph 85 it states, "One was kept by a woman residing in the attic, which person weekly scrubbed and daily swept and dusted my apartments." This is the typical stereotype of what a woman does. Here is a link to a page about the stereotypes of women stereotypes of women.
This story was interesting to compare the lawyer to Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter. Although quite different in their hearts....Roger being evil....the lawyer being sympathetic there is a great similarity between them. Roger gets completley obsessed with Dimmesdale and the same thing happens with the lawyer getting obsessed with Bartleby. Throughout the story the lawyer becomes more and more perplexed by Bartleby until his mind is always thinking about the man. He goes away for a while just to get Bartleby off his mind. It is also interesting that Roger was a man of medicine and science and the lawyer is a man of law. These types of people in my mind are alike in a lot of ways. They are very detailed and work oriented. They also are quite obsessed with their jobs..........I guess maybe they find a person in their life to become obsessed with too.
September 21, 2005
"The Scarlet Letter" Ch 22-the end
In "The revelation of the scarlet letter," it talks about Dimmesdale's speech saying, "Never, on New England soil, had stood the man so honoured by his mortal brethren as the preacher!" and also goes onto say, "Were there not the brilliant particles of a halo in the air about his head!" Dimmesdale has finally forgiven himself and is about to reveal his sin to the world. Once he finally forgave himself he was able to be stronger than he ever was. This entire book is about forgiveness and what is truley in your heart. All the weight that was once on him was finally released and he was able to be new, to forget, but learn a lesson of great pain. Well this really suck out to me in the story since all we need to do in our lives and for other people is forgive, but don't forget.
But once he fianlly does proounce his sin, he dies. He does not become a new soul with a new filled life. All the life is completely drawn out of him. Why? Is there no other reason for him to live? Some feeback please...thank you.
September 19, 2005
"The Scarlet Letter" ch 14-21
Something that intrigued me in chapter 14 was Roger Chillingworth's realization that he is wrong. He says, "Was I not though you might deem me cold, nevertheless a man thoughtful for others, craving little for himself - kind, true, just, and of constant, if not warm affections?" He then goes onto say, "I have already told thee what I am! A fiend!" This part of the story surprised me in that i didn't expect him to admit it and i also thought well maybe now that he knows he will change his ways. But he is so far deep into his hatred that he cannot forgive or walk away from his evil doing.
Another thing that i found interesting is that Hester is getting more outwardly emotional. In chapter 15 she is bitter towards Roger and yes says to herself, "I hate him!" Before this moment Hester has been quite "calm" in her emotions towards others. She is beggining to feel a passion of hate for that man. When before they had some kind of argreement and left each other alone.
The forest is also fascinating that it is a theme in the book. There are a lot of references to the forest and towards the climax of the book a huge change occurs here. Hester and Dimmesdale both make big changes. In "A Flood of Sunshine" Hester takes off her cap and releases her hair down. She also strips the Scarlet Letter. This change brings about a younger, more womanly Hester. Although when she leaves the forest she goes back to her former self this still makes a great impact on her. Dimmesdale changes his personality greatly in the forest. It states, "It was the same town as heretofore; but the same minister returned not from the forest." He regains pyhsical energy and also seems to be more tempted by the devil. This forest scene creates a dark place for these changes to happen and Hawthorne shows it well.
September 14, 2005
"The Scarlet Letter" Ch 8-13
There was a similarity in these chapters that I saw in "Young Goodman Brown." The part where Hester and Pearl are leaving Governor Bellingham's at the end of chapter 8 and his sister yells out, "Wilt thou go with us tonight? There will be a merry company in the forest; and I well-nigh promised the Black Man that comley Hester Prynne should make one." This talks about going into the forest and in "Young Goodman Brown the story takes on the same idea of the forest. They thought that the forest was some kind of dark spiritual place where the Devil could take your soul.
Another interesting part of this story is at the end of chapter 10 it compares Roger Chillensworth to the Devil. I have been debating in my mind if Roger is a decent worthy man or if he has become crazy from his mission to find the father of Hester's baby. He has become a great minipulator. This is an evil wrong thing to do to someone. He is picking Dimmesdale apart like Satan would do. But at the end of chapter 10 it states, "But what distinguished the physician's ecstasy from Satan's was the trait of wonder in it!" So the author is trying to convey that Roger is a decent, respectable man and he is in the right place to tear apart Dimmesdale. This is confusing to me.
September 13, 2005
"The Scarlet Letter" 1-7
The first personality trait that is shocking to me about Hester's character is her overwhelming strength. If I put myself into her position or anyone in her position they would be depressed, saddened, and going through an emotional roller coaster. But Hester has strenght and power in her soul. At first I was thinking maybe she does not feel the guilt of the sin she committed. Then later throughout the story I see that her sin eats her up inside, but she stays strong on the outside.
One of the themes I am noticing in the scarlet letter is that there seems to be a negative attitude towards women being sinners. In the chapter entitled, "The Market Place" in paragraph 8 it states, "Is there no virtue in women." This gives me the idea that the Puritians held a lot against women, maybe even leading back to Adam and Eve in the Bible. Eve is the one that took the forbidden fruit first. She was the first sinner and lead the man into sin.
Another aspect that lead me to believe that Hester was not ashamed of her sin is that she embellishes her letter she must was for her entire life. She does not try to hide it, but boasts it. After reading deeper into the story I have realized that she must have put so much time and energy into the letter, because it eats her up inside. That is her only thought and she took that thought and created something physical with her hands. Not only has she created this letter to remind her everyday of her life that she has committed a great sin, but then she also has Pearl. The biggest reminder that she cannot escape.
September 07, 2005
"The Masque of the Red Death," Poe
The last sentence states, "And Darkness and Decay and the red Death held illimitable dominion over all." This is the end....Death. There is no hope. All the people are ignorant about what is going on in their world. Although sometimes they can feel something that scares them and they know deep inside that not everything is right in their perfect world, they are mostly naive. Then all the sudden their world is turned upside down when reality sets in. This reality is all the crime, sickness, disater, and pain that is in the world. Once the "Red Death" or reality is brought to attention there is no going back to the happiness that once was. It takes over their souls and destroys everything that was once great. Poe does not leave room for hope. At the end there is death and nothing else.
Is Poe saying that we must stop this ignorance now before the world is completely engolfed? Can people escape after the Red Daeth appears? This is not a hopeful, optomistic outlook. It is disturbing to me and I take this story as someone who thinks that we should do something about the suffering in our world before it is too late. We need to pay attention to the realities in the world, instead of pretending that everything is alright.
"Young Goodman Brown," Nathaniel Hawthorne
This short story grabed my attention from the beggining when Hawthorne used the word "Faith" as the name of the wife. There was something about the way he used this word saying, "And Faith, as the wife was aptly named" that made me highlight the word every time the word faith was used in the story. This name was very symbolic to me. Would he lose Faith??(in both meanings)
The words used in the begining of the story for example, "Wind," "Pretty," and "Pink" created an image of happiness and delight, although I thought it wouldn't last for long. The story then leads into darkness quickly. Words used like "Dreary," "Darkened," "gloomiest," and "solitude" paint an image of hurt and pain.
There is a great battle going on in this story. A man is searching for hope, but sees none. So, he goes into the woods; which I understand at that time the woods was thought to hold the devil and people did not go into the woods at night....ever. When he is there he is fighting and fighting, but in the end gives up his faith. With no faith in his life he becomes a hard-hearted. The desciption at the end of Goodman Brown struck me hard. The way the author descibed his family, the way he acted in church, and towards his wife was discouraging. Hawthorne wrote, "A Stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperste man did he become, from the night of that fearful dream."