Puritans, Vampires and Wallpaper....oh my?

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....and now for a quick explaination of what that title means. It has to do with some topics I've blogged about so far in American Literature 1800-1915, which looks at a variety of American literature, and also looks at techniques for writing about literature (also, we're going to read The Wizard of Oz later). For this reason, the entries that will be referenced here are a blend of responses to text-book chapters, and responses to various works of literature, though much of it is dominated by Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.

This portfolio is designed simply to showcase the work I've done so far. To begin with, I'd like to present a few blogs that I feel are reasonably well written, in terms of addressing the literature, and providing insight about the material. One entries, entitled The Masque of the Red Realism/Romantic Death, offers an in-depth examination of Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death," though I admittedly failed to make any sense of the meanings behind the room colors, and thus left them out of the discussion. Slippery Slope and Action v. Intention, both relate to the Scarlet Letter, and are the place where I first came up with some of the ideas for my paper on that book. 

 The reason we blog, rather than write lots of little essays, is that they offer a chance for discussion. Blogs are an online conversation, rather than a work of writing. These next few are blogs of mine that show some interaction and discussion with my peers. My blog, Real Vampires Don't Sparkle was about a section on the vampire in literature in our text-book, How to Read Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. It inspired a lot of debate on Twilight by Stephanie Meyers.Ah, the slow descent into madness..... , which discusses Gillman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper" got a comment (I expect more as I recently posted it). My blog on Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," which mentions some ideas that I used in writing my first close reading for the class, also got a couple Why does Hawthorne always beat the reader over the head with meaning?,

With any communication, it is necessary for it to go both ways. Thus, it would be remiss of me to not mention other people's blogs that I participated in discussions on. I participated in discussions of "The Yellow Wallpaper" on Kayla Lesko's blog What's Up, Doc?. and Peaches Ostalaza's blog Scared and Confused!?!. I also talked at length about Strangeness and Familiarity in literature, in Katie Lantz's blog by that title. 

 To increase the chances for communication, it is important that my blogs are done early enough that others get a chance to comment on them. Why does Hawthorne always beat the reader over the head with meaning? Real Vampires Don't Sparkle, Slippery Slope and Action v. Intention were all posted at least two days before class.


We were asked to pick a favorite blog, and it need not even be related to this class. I selected a blog on some poetry by Billy Collins that we read in another class, Writing About Literature, entitled The Abuse of Poetry.

To sum everything up, here is a list, in order, of every blog required for the class so far:

 Why does Hawthorne always beat the reader over the head with meaning?  on Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"

Real Vampires Don't Sparkle on the concept of the vampire, from Foster

The Masque of the Red Realism/Romantic Death on Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"

Shakespeare is everywhere on allusions to Shakespeare, from Foster

Apparently cowardice is NOT a sin on Dimmesdale in the first part of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.

Hey man, nice shot on Hawthorne's take on religion in The Scarlet Letter

Oh, yeah, this IS reading for a lit. class on the use of familiar stories, from Foster

Slippery Slope on the change in Dimmesdale in the last part of The Scarlet Letter

Action v. Intentions on Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter

The Weasel Under the Cocktail Cabinet on symbolism, from Foster

Ah, the slow descent into madness..... on Gilman's :"The Yellow Wall Paper"

I'd Prefer Not To on Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener"

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