September 27, 2004

Reflection on Poetry Presentation

My reflection is on Edgar Allan Poe's "Dreamland" presentation. There are both positive and negative comments for my performance. Some of the positive comments include using the commas and periods well, when I read the poem, good articulation, good pace, emphasizing certain words, and raising and lowering my voice. However, there are some points that I have to focus on for next time. Some of my weaker points include: standing still, looking nervous, not enough gestures, and to show more emotion. When I practiced the poem at home, I didn’t think I performed well. I didn’t use any hand gestures at all and had a monotone voice. However, when I presented in class, I thought to myself that I did pretty well, with exception of some errors. I thought that I added more voice changes to the character and I added two hand gestures that was relevant to the poem. I agree on using more body movement, because I just stood still in one position.

I have marked out the script well enough to understand the point of the poem. When Dr. Jerz asked me the question, “What does the word Titan mean.?” I was looking frantically at my script to find out what this word means. I didn’t know, because it was the only word that I didn’t write the definition down. Now, I have looked up the word. The word Titan has three definitions:

1. One of a family of giants, the children of Uranus and Gaea, who sought to rule heaven and were overthrown and supplanted by the family of Zeus.

2. One of prodigious size, strength, or achievement:

3. The largest satellite of Saturn and the 11th in distance from the planet. It is the second largest satellite in the solar system.

In my opinion, when the author stated, “And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods...” This applies to the first definition. This poem deals with nature and in Greek mythology, the children of Uranus and Gaea ruled heaven, until they were overthrown by Zeus’ family.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 9:33 PM | Comments (1)

September 20, 2004

"Dreamland" by Edgar Allan Poe

The title of this poem is "Dreamland." It is written by Edgar Allan Poe. It was published in 1844. I chose this poem because it was beautifully written by Poe. It illustrates his depth thinking of nature and connecting it with the afterlife.

When I was researching poems, I came across this one. It was the perfect length and it was appealing to me. I didn't understand some of the text. I defined all the words that I didn't know. Then, I connected it with the poem. I interpreted this poem to be about how a person feels lonely after his loved ones died. Everything to him is upsetting, and even nature is quiet. He is feeling emptyness in his life and it seems that everything in the world has stopped.

My accomplishments for this poem would be to understand how nature reacts with the narrator's emotions. How both ideas are combined together, so the reader can get more feeling of how serious the situation is occurring. I noticed how the narrator feels when he is comparing to nature; for example; he states "bottomless vales and boundless floods, thier lone waters, lone and dead." These lines are giving a clue of how he is alone in the world, and his loved ones do not exist anymore.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 10:14 PM | Comments (2)

Scarlet Letter II

(Conclusion to Scarlet Letter)

When I finished reading the book, I enjoyed reading it. As the story progressed, it was more interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed the symbolism, in the last few chapters. When Governor Winhrop dies, there was a meteor in the sky that resembled the letter "A." People thought it meant angel, since that's where the Governor will be in the afterlife. However, the author has a double-meaning to this symbol. It can mean Hester's scarlet letter, which means "Adultress." This is what the minister is thinking in his mind when he was placed upon the scaffold. This situation happened in Chapter 12 on page 145. "But did your reverence hear of the portent that was seen last night?-a great red letter in the sky, the the letter A, which we interpret to stand for Angel. For, as our good Governor Winthrop was made an angle this past night, it was doubtless held fit that ther should be some notice thereof?"

It was a relieve when the governor finally revealed that he was a sinner. He admitted that he was a sinner on the day he gave his speech. He stood by Hester and Pearl as he confessed. When Dimmesdale died, the people didn't know what was the cause of his death. They didn't understand what he was trying to say. People thought that he died because of Chillingworth's poisonous drugs. Hawthorn created a situation in this story that the readers know what was the cause of Dimmesdale's death, but the public did not know.

The quote that I thought that was well in context clues is in Chapter 16 on page 168. "Mother," said little Pearl, "the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom." This is emphasizing Hester's letter A on her breast and of the sin she has committed. Even nature, doesn't approve of Hester's action.

Hester stayed in her cottage and did her charity work. Pearl grew up and got married. When Hester died, she was put next to Dimmesdale, but not too close. People thought it wasn't proper to place both of them together, even in the grave, since it is not legal. Even Dimmedale says to Hester that it is up to God, whether or not the both of them will be together in the afterlife.

In my opinion, I think it is interesting how two lovers didn't run away in the beginning of the story. Dimmesdale felt guilty of what he did. I think he shouldn't even commit this act, since he is a minister. That is morally wrong. Dimmesdale only punished himself because his conscious didn't let him rest. He wanted to have a pure heart, so confessed his sin in front of the public. Eventually, he died and he might have thought by giving himself the ultimate punishment of suffering and guilt, God would forgive his sin. Getting involved with Hester and having a child, while being not married is not proper, and it is worse that Hester was married to Chillingworth during that time.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 9:25 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2004

Relationship Between Hester and Pearl

When I was done reading this book, I wanted to write the relationship between Hester and Pearl. Pearl is an important element in this story. Hawthorne made Pearl an important symbol for Hester. Pearl is a sort of living version of her mother’s scarlet letter. Yet, even as a reminder of Hester’s “sin,” Pearl is more than a mere punishment to her mother: she is also a blessing. She represents not only “sin”, but also the vital spirit of that sin. Thus, Pearl’s existence gives her mother reason to live, bolstering her spirits when she is tempted to give up. It is only after Dimmesdale is revealed to be Pearl’s father that Pearl can become fully “human.”

Hester named her child Pearl because it is her only "treasure". Pearl has resembled Hester in many ways; for example, moodiness, passion, and especially causing mischief. In Chapter VI, Hester tries to teach Pearl about God. She says that the Heavenly Father has brought Pearl to Earth. Pearl replys, " I have no Heavenly Father." Pearl is not like other Christian children. She doesn't understand the religion. Pearl's only companion is her mother, and she has no father figure in her life.

In Chapter 7, Hester and Pearl are attacked by a group of children, who try to fling mud at them. Pearl becomes angry and frightens the children off. She throws rocks at them. She doesn't know why the children are making fun of her and her mother. The only thing left for her to do was to throw something at them to make the village children go away. Pearl cares for her mother and she doesn't want anyone to hurt her.

In Chapter 15, Hester and Pearl were walking along the beaches. Pearl dressed up as a mermaid and placed a green seaweed on her breast. It took the shape of the letter "A". Hester thought that Pearl was too young to understand what the scarlet letter means. In the meantime, Pearl was persistent, when she kept asking her mother about scarlet letter and why the minister clutches his hand over his heart.

In Chapter 16, Hester and Pearl were walking in the forest. Pearl wanted to know about the "Black Man." As Dimmesdale was approaching them, Pearl shouted, "It's the "Black Man !" Hester stated, that's not the Black Man, it's the minister. Pearl then wondered if the minister clutches his heart because the “Black Man” has left a mark there too. "The Black Man" represents sin and evil. Pearl is relating it to the minister because he always clutches his heart, and it has left a mark inside of him. Pearl thinks and says her thoughts without realizing how she is connecting them in a way that it reveals Dimmesdale's true identity.

In Chapter 19, Hester wants Pearl to join Dimmesdale and her on the other side of the brook. Pearl doesn't listen to Hester because she has thrown the scarlet letter away and she let her hair down. Pearl doesn't recognize her mother. Hester had to put the letter back on her breast and put her hair up. That's when Pearl went to the other side of the brook to join her and Dimmesdale.

In my opinion, I believe Pearl doesn't care whether Hester has been walking around with the scarlet letter as a symbol of shame. Pearl is happy with the way she is. It doesn't matter to her what other's say about Hester. She just wants her mother to be happy and to be herself. Pearl doesn't want her mother to change in any way. In conclusion, if Hester wants Pearl to like Dimmesdale, then she will, since her mother said so. If Dimmesdale makes Hester happy, then Pearl is also happy. Even in the beginning of the story, Pearl had this bond with Dimmesdale, even when she didn't know that it was her father. I believe that Pearl is misunderstood and I don't think that she is a "devil-child". She is full of mischief because she doesn't know how to socialize with people. A good quality of Pearl would be that she loves Hester and shares a special mother-daughter relationship.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 10:01 PM | Comments (6)

September 13, 2004

An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce's story ( "An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge") is about a man named Peyton. He was a spy who tried to help the North instead of the South. His punishment was death by hanging from a bridge. He didn't die when he fell into the water, and when he ran in the forest. Also, he didn't die when the cannons tried to kill him. He dodged every thing that came his way. It was a miracle that he was alive. However; he died when he came back home to his wife. As he was walking towards her, he got shot in the neck and died.

I didn't like this story, because it did not have a happy ending. It shows how he survived from cannon shots, hitting the water, and suffocation from the rope. He was close to reach his home, but suddenly the author decided to kill him off out of nowhere. If the ending was changed, then it would have been a better story. The character in the story just died after escaping all those dangerous obstacles, if I wanted the character to die, then I would say that he died during a couragous effort to save his family and children. There should be a purpose of him dying either in combat or an attempt to save someone.

In my opinion, I think the author was trying to have the audience react in a different way. He might have known that the audience will react negatively, because no one really likes a sad ending. The purpose of the story might have been to have other readers suggest a new ending for the story. Instead, of just reading the story, and not thinking about it, Bierce wanted people to discuss the story.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 10:52 PM | Comments (4)

"The Scarlet Letter" (Chapters 1 through 9)

Some parts of the book were well thought out; for example, there are many symbols throughout the book that were relatively important. One example might be the rosebush that was located outside the prison door. People wondered how this rosebush survived all these years. This is referring to Hester. How can Hester Prynne survived all this time with the scarlet letter on her breast? The rosebush is beautiful, but yet it is covered with thorns. The thorns represent evil and sin. This is referring that deep inside Hester's heart, there lies sin and evil that she has committed. The rosebush outside is beautiful, and this refers to Hester. Her physical features are beautiful.

There are several symbols throughout the chapter that describe the characters and the Scarlet Letter. It is a clever way how Hawthorne relates certain objects to the characters.

I liked how Nathaniel Hawthorne described the characters, but he shouldn't get into so much details. It makes the reader bored and can get lost in the story. The author allows a vivid description of the setting and the reader can picture it in his or her mind.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2004

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Herman Melville's short story on "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street", is a story about a man who hires Bartleby as a copyist. Bartleby does not do any work and the only response he says is "I would prefer not to". I don't understand how a man can not fire Bartleby, but instead feels sorry for him. When I read the story, I came upon the three names: Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger-Nut. I thought to myself, "Why did the narrator pick these names?" I thought it was funny. Bartleby was placed in jail because he was occupying the office, even after he was dismissed. I believe at the end of the story, Bartleby died in the prison cell, because he refused to do anything. It was a sad ending for Bartleby. He was a nice guy, but very stubborn. I give credit to Bartleby's employer. Eventhough, Bartleby didn't do any of his work, the employer treated him with compassion and respect. I don't know why, but I give him credit to put up with such a person.

I never realized, but there is some connection with food in this story, as noted by Melissa Hagg in her blog. One of the characters named Ginger-Nut, always ate little spicy cakes. I guess by working in the office, food is always comforting and makes a person feel more relaxed. The more food they consume, the more better the characters can perform their work.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 4:32 PM | Comments (2)

"The Raven"

"The Raven" is an interesting story that has significant meanings behind the text. It is a story about a man who misses Lenore, and while thinks about her, he hears a tapping sound on the door. It turns out to be a black raven. The man asks the raven numerous questions, but all the raven could say is "Nevermore". In my opinion, I think the man is trying to forget Lenore because he feels guilty. He may have murdered her and it is on his guilty conscience. The raven makes the man go insane by repeating the same phase over and over again. I think the raven is an important symbol of the story that represents guilt and sin.

In Trisha's blog, she mentions the color purple was mentioned several times throughout the poem. Poe had creativity in choosing this color to represent dark, dreary, hallucinations, twistedness, etc. The purple color is not pleasant or bright; it usually represents something bad. The color purple is an important symbol that takes place in the poem. It is describing the atmosphere of the story, so the reader gets the feeling of the character.

I couldn't find the perfect website to symbolize the color purple, and by luck Jessica Zelenak responded to my blog, and she found a very good website describing the symbolism of the purple color.

Posted by NabilaUddin at 3:58 PM | Comments (3)