September 2010 Archives

John Henry Today



John Henry Today

John Henry became a legend when he died in vain proving he could out work the steam drill to save the jobs of of the driving crew he worked with. Although his story is from the 19th century, it's not much different from today where we see progress in technology taking the place of the American working class, only on a larger scale.

Thinking ahead

| No Comments

Chapter VII, Spirit
Emerson's idea of man and nature creating a bond where wisdom and power lie...

"The golden key

Which opes the palace of eternity,"

If we are at one with ourselves and nature through God, we have our place in heaven.

The same, yet different

In podcast 8 Dickinson and Emerson are referred to as similar in their poetry. True, but it appears Dickinson never intended to be published unlike Emerson. Their "nature" poems give the reader the ability to look further than just the words written on paper. There is inspiration and understanding that allow us to become part of their world. With Dickinson it is a world of her own, but Emerson it is the world we all are part of, it just depends on how we are inspired.

A charming landscape

| 1 Comment
In Emerson's Nature, Chapter I, he talks about a "charming landscape" he saw one morning. Even though he was looking at farms owned by different people, he says "But none of them owns the landscape."  The beauty of nature is something that can be seen, enjoyed and appreciated, but will never be owned by any one person.

Living, "I would prefer not to."

| No Comments

Bartleby, The Scrivener

It seems Bartleby is a man without emotion or ambition. He "would prefer not to"was his way of  life, or removing himself from it a little at a time, until he "would prefer not to" live any longer.

It was rumored not long after his death that Bartleby had been employed as a clerk in the Dead Letter Office, but a sudden change in administration removed him from the position.  Bartleby "would prefer not to" adjust to life after the Dead Letter Office and eventually removed himself from life. Much like people who can't go on after a major crisis in their own lives, he gave up without a fighting even though he had every opportunity not to.

Symbolism...more than one thing

| No Comments

How to Read Literature Like a Professor   Chapter 12

"Here's the problem with symbols: people expect them to mean something."

Symbolism is more than one thing that's cut and dry in a story, it provides meaning beyond what is written.

"It's Greek to Me"

| No Comments

How to Read Literature Like a Professor 

Chapter 9 in How to Read Literature Like a Professor tells us that whether a story is fact or fiction, (myths) "we're chiefly concerned with how that story functions as material for literary creators..." Myths can be Shakespearean, biblical and folk/fairy tale and are all foundations for literature. We can recognize in the body of a story the "myth" and that makes for a richer more meaningful experience in literature.

"A narrow fellow in the grass....."

This poem speaks of a "narrow fellow" that rides through the grass. Emily never refers to the "fellow" as a snake, but eludes to it with her descriptions. The way the "grass divides, closes as your feet then opens further on" describes the motion as a snake may be slithering through the grass as well as the "whip-lash" and "unbraiding in the sun."  Snakes love to sun themselves and the movement of their tail can be whip like. She goes on to say that she knows several of nature's people and they know her on a cordial basis, but when it comes to meeting "this fellow" whether alone or with others, she is always taken back with fear. Could it be she's really referring to a man she may have known all of her life?

Emily's Life Through Poetry

| 1 Comment

It's too bad Emily didn't get the recognition she deserved before she died. I believe she was born with this talent, instead of gaining it through schooling. She did have a privileged upbringing, but lived her life as she chose, mostly within herself, as seen through her poems. I wonder if she really meant for all of her works to be published.

Hester's salvation

| 1 Comment
Hester is only human. She feels like many of us would in her position. Pearl is her salvation. Under stress she thinks maybe Pearl would be better of in "heaven," but haven't we all been there at some point in our lives thinking we'd be better off......? But because of Pearl Hester keeps from going off the deep end.

Vengence for Chillingworth?


Chapter 14 - Hester and the Physician

This unhappy person had effected such a transformation by devoting himself, for seven years, to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, ......

It seems obvious at this point that Chillingworth is seeking revenge on Dimmesdale for what has happened, although he has forgiven Hester. Along with revenge, Chillingworth also seems to take great satisfaction in Dimmesdale's tormented life. This seems to be a fate worse than death for Dimmesdale, as Hester states, "Better he had died at once!"

Don't I know you?

| No Comments

"Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?" Chapter 5, How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

"There's no such thing as a wholly original work of literature....." How true that is if you are an avid reader. It's easy to find someone or something familiar in almost everything you read.

Enough Already Dimmesdale.....

| 1 Comment

.....just admit it, you are Pearl's father.

Chapter 12
"A pure hand needs no glove to cover it!"

Chillingworth is obviously mocking Dimmesdale with this statement as Dimmesdale accepts the glove from him and he doesn't even realize it.

Mother of Pearl


"But she named the infant "Pearl," as being of great price-purchased with all she had,-her mother's only treasure!" Chapter 6

Hester paid the price for her "sin." Naming her child Pearl seems ironic, This is Hester's way of letting everyone know although she admits to her sin, she is also not ashamed but proud of it.


Goodman Brown, What the hell were you thinking?

| 1 Comment

"....... and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven."


Goodman Brown knew from the start what he had planned for that evening was wrong, so why did he leave? Faith's comment about being troubled with dreams was a warning to him but he didn't listen and paid the price of misery in the end. Did Faith know what he was up to? Maybe she did and was giving him a last chance to stop. Whether it was a dream or not, Goodman Brown suffered for his mistake until the day he died.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.