April 2009 Archives

Term Project Update

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Below you will find updated information regarding Jenna’s and my term project. 


What We Have Done:

o                   Completed preliminary hihstorical and critical research on Jane Austen’s  

            Pride and Prejudice

o                   Read Pride and Prejudice

o                   Watched and taken notes on two of the three movies we wish to use

o                   Organized our plan for the first portion of presentation

·        We will use mainly Author Intent criticism to suggest that Jane Austen was creating a social commentary on financial stability for her time period rather than a romance novel only for women.  We will employ historical, intertextual (of novels during her time period, novels today, and film today), cultural criticism, and mimetic criticism to prove our argument.

o                   Begun to plan the second portion of our presentation that will involve the

filming of our own film segment in order to show the class the variations that modern day directors and/or authors place on the original purpose of the story. 


What We Still Have to Do:

o                   Complete research on Austen’s novel, the films, and the other novels we

            will use within the intertextual criticism section

o                   Watch and take notes on the third movie

o                   Prepare a script, costumes, and props for our film (actors have been


o                   Film movie and edit

o                   Possibly place the movie on YouTube or on a website for feedback

o                   Create apresentation for the class

Con-texts in Context

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From Francis Barker and Peter Hulme’s essay “Nymphs and Reapers Heavily Vanish: The Discursive Con-texts of The Tempest” from Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism:


“In order to speak of the Shakespearean text as an historical utterance, it is necessary to read it with and within series of con-texts. These cont-texts are the precondition of the plays’ historical and political signification, although literary criticism has operated systematically to close down that signification by a continual process of occlusion” (444).


I thought this term was really interesting because it makes a lot of sense to me, for really strange reasons.  First, “con” in Spanish means “with,” so I can remember that this word means historical and political texts that go along with the original text.  I also think of pros and cons, so here, con would mean the negative aspects, or the texts that do not seem to support the original text.  This is the definition of the word really- any cultural, political, or historical texts that would be existing in conjunction (here it is again) with the original story that may or may not support the cultural, political, and historical messages within the text itself.  I think this concept alone from this essay has helped me to better understand new historicism.  


See what others have to say about Barker and Hulme’s essay.


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From Julie Bares Dock's essay with Daphne Ryan Allen, Jennifer Palais, and Kristen Tracy " 'But One Expects That': Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and the Shifting Light of Scholarship" in Donald Keesey's Contexts for Criticism:

“Indeed, it has become the Feminist Press’s ‘all-time best-seller,’ with over 2000,000 copies sold (Feminist Press 16)” (471-472). 

In this essay, I was pleasantly surprised by many of the author’s comments, the first of which is the one given above.  I have never actually heard of "The Yellow Wallpaper" before this class, but I have heard of many other feminist authors and their works.  Aside from this simple surprise, it was interesting to find an essay on “The Yellow Wallpaper” that I enjoyed, mainly because this one seemed to bring up so many ideas that the feminist critics did not address in the essays we have read so far.  Dock discusses issues in the transfer of text (printing mistakes) that coud have affected feminist reading (just like the hyphens in the word "wallpaper" that we discussed in class), double meanings or interpretations within the text that, if read a certain way, could lead to a feminist reading, she questions prior discrepancies within academic criticism and how these have now been aligned under a general scholarly idea rather than a traditional feminist one, she discusses the genre and differences in interpretation that could result from genre placement, she identifies possible purposes for the story, and, in general, warns modern critics against following the critical conventions of past critics.  This is, of course, where new historicism and the study of culture come into play.  I found this essay to be really fascinating in that it was able to prove a point while still offering many sides of the critical issues surrounding "The Yellow Wallpaper."  It seems that by continually looking at the prior critical ideas and working with new schools, we can gain new insight into these over-read texts.


See what others have to say about this essay.   

Some Answers (for me) and Some Questions (for you)

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From Marjorie Garson’s “Bodily Harm” Keats’s Figures in the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism:

“As the speaker interrogates the urn, we interrogate the poem: his questions serve as our answers.[ …]The only question that emerges for the reader at the end of the last stanza-‘What is going on here?’- direct attention toward the urn, not away from it into its historical context. […]It is clear by the end of the first stanza that the speaker knows, if not all he needs to know, at least all he is ever going to know about the urn, given the kinds of questions he is choosing to ask: they remain questions for us only because he has not yet unfolded their answers” (456). 

I liked this article because, like Belsey’s, it allowed me to make a lot of connections between our class discussions, our readings, and my own beliefs and experiences concerning literary criticism.  For instance, in one of my recent casebooks, I talked about this idea of Garson’s that the reader is questioning the urn as much as the speaker appears to (it would have been nice to have read this before so that I could incorporate it).  Also, like Garson, I suggested that the scene on the urn is not as historically accurate as some people suggest by their criticism of the poem.  I took a different approach, not really addressing the questions, but rather promoting the idea that the urn depicts a fictional scene.  Through this article, I can see how Poststructuralism and New Historicism and Political Criticism can all be incorporated into one coherent thesis and paper that supports it. 

I also really like that in the above quote Garson says that the reader questions the urn because I feel that this is just what every good critic or reader should do: question the work that is being read.  I know that I do this no matter what I am reading.  I especially question, as Garson promotes, what has been left out of what I am reading to make this poem what it is.

  I think out of all of the essays we have read, I have enjoyed this one most because, not only could I relate it to other readings and discussions, but also to the understanding of other subjects when I am reading and to the advice to question well all that I read.

But I am curious to know what others thought of the essay, especially what was thought of the title.  I'm still wondering exactly what she was talking about when she writes "bodily." Does anyone have any ideas? 


See what others have to think about Garson's essay.


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From Catherine Belsey’s “Literature, History, Politics” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism:

“The intertextual relations of the text are never purely literary.  Fiction draws not only on other fiction but on the know ledges of its period, discourses in circulation which are themselves sites of power and the contest for power “(433).


I really enjoyed the connections that this essay made between literature, politics, and history, because I have felt that all of these subjects were so closely related that they are barely separable.   I also really like that this article talks about a variety of schools of criticism that we have already discussed, including intertextuality.   This article has really helped me to focus my approach for my final research essay because I had wanted to include intertexuality and politics, but was unsure how to combine the two.  Now, however, I see that they can be incorporated together and that political structure can apply to books that are within the same genre, etc., effectively.

See what others have to say about Belsey's essay.  

Some Surprises

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From Stephen Greenblatt’s essay “Culture” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism, page 439


“Art is an important agent then in the transmission of culture.  It is one of the ways in which the roles by which men and women are expected to pattern their lives are communicated and passes from generation to generation” (439).


“The current structure of liberal arts education often places obstacles in the way of such an analysis by separating the study of history from the study of literature, as if the two were entirely distinct enterprises, but historians have become increasingly sensitive to the symbolic dimensions of social practice, while literary critics have in recent years turned with growing interest to the social and historical dimensions of symbolic practice” (440).


I was surprised to find this first idea concerning art and culture in a literary essay.  I personally consider literature an art form, but I have found that many people do not feel this way.  I also think that it is important to point out that not only is art important in the continuance or dispersal of cultures, but it is probably the only way in which this is done, for other methods of cultural diffusion, such as trade, war, and oral traditions, still involve the art itself.  


I was also surprised to find the second quote above in this essay, for I feel that many of my courses are attentive to the importance of history.  Every single one of my classes has at some time or another touched upon the history of the subject, even the somewhat more practical math, science, and education courses.  However, Greenblatt does mention that this trend is being replaced with one that recognizes the importance of history, and considering the fact that the essay was written more than ten years ago, it would make sense that colleges and universities would attend to this issue.  


Finally, I was surprised by the style of this essay, in that Greenblatt seems to bounce from one subject or literary piece to the next so quickly and without any true conclusion, at least for me, at the end of the essay. 


Although some of these surprises were informative or interesting, the last one disappointed me because I really enjoy and value new Historical Criticism, or Cultural Poetics according to Greenblatt, and would have liked to see some sort of conclusion from this writer who had so many great ideas about many of the works we have read.   


See what others have to say about Greenblatt.

"Political Criticism": A Disappointment

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From Terry Eagleton’s chapter “Conclusion: Political Criticism” in his Literary Theory: An Introduction, page 175


“Literary theorists, critics and teachers, then, are not so much purveyors of doctrine as custodians of a discourse.  Their task is to preserve this discourse, extend and elaborate it as necessary, defend it from other forms of discourse, initiate newcomers into it and determine whether or not they have successfully mastered it.”


I had many mixed feelings about his text.  When he began with his statistics of all the problems in the world and talked about the question as to why literary criticism is important while all of this is going on, I cannot deny that I hoped he would say that we could apply literary criticism to help alleviate or even solve these problems.  I have been thinking how I myself will apply the information I have learned in this class when I am teaching preschoolers or kindergarteners, and this was sort of the idealistic vision I came up with: something kind of like what Ender’s bother and sister do through their online political criticism in Ender’s Game, except I would apply it to education or any other area that I felt I had some intelligent criticism or explanation to help understanding.  Even when I read the above quote, I was, perhaps naively, optimistic that he was creating a defense that would say that learning about literary criticism will help us to make a worthwhile difference in our world.  


However, the end of the quotation above shows that Eagleton is really concerned with ensuring that the study of literature, literary theory, and literary criticism does not die out due to any number of reasons, but, quite possibly, due to more practical issues that need to be addressed.  Yes, Eagleton includes new political areas where literary criticism has proved to be important or is proving to be important, including “the women’s movement,” “minority” equality, and the “working-class writing” movement (187-188), and we have also briefly discussed the rising importance of eco-criticism in class, but Eagleton seems more concerned with the continuation of any critical literary theory, rather than one that is needed.  Eagleton may hope to prevent literature from being lost, but in doing so I think he is unnecessarily confining his readers to reworking the classics rather than contributing to innovative critical thought.


See what others have to say about Eagleton's conclusion.

From Donald Kessey’s Chapter 7 Introduction “Historical Criticism II: Culture as Context” in Contexts for Criticism, page 410


“But deconstruction has also offered a more direct challenge to historical criticism.  By calling into question the very concepts of origin, telos, and cause, deconstruction has threatened to deconstruct the historian’s as well as the metaphysician’s enterprise.”


I found this thought to be laughable, not because I think this is impossible, but because of the idea that it puts forth.  We are, through criticism, trying to better, or even correctly, explain a literary text, yet one form of criticism can not only be based on or can be a reaction to another (i.e. structuralism and poststructuralism), but it can tear it apart so that it is no longer valid.  If critics of every school suggest that their way is the correct way to evaluate a text, then how can one school tear apart another?  Yes, there can and should be inconsistencies, but the above idea would seem to suggest that deconstruction/poststructuralism is “better” than historical criticism because it can tear apart its logic.  Perhaps this is the reason that many deconstructivists/poststructuralists write a sort of disclaimer somewhere in their essays, basically refuting their own work, ensuring that they are not targets of their own thought.   


Yet here, Kessey says that the new historical critics have ideas that “they have taken over formalism, structuralism, and poststucturalism” (410).  By incorporating the ideas that can tear apart their theories, they can now hold their own against other popular critical schools today, almost like takeovers courtesy of the Romans.  Not that there is anything completely wrong with this idea, but it just validates what all of us have been saying since we began this class-none of the critical schools can really be separated.


See what others have to say about Keesey's introduction to Cultural Criticism.

From Richard Feldstein’s “Reader, Text, and Ambiguous Referentiality in ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism, page 405:


“Until recently, critics have not distinguished between the protagonist who stops writing in her journal and the narrator who produces that journal, which becomes our narrative, an effective example of the counter discourse with political implications for feminists.  If the protagonist and the narrator are one character, the narrator’s journal poses a contradiction to the theory that the protagonist stopped writing when she regressed from the linguistic to the imaginary level of articulation."


I think this article brings up a lot of interesting questions, especially ones concerning the above quote.  As Feldstein points out in his essay, there is much confusion for the reader, and perhaps even the author, as to whether or not there is separation between the narrator and the protagonist.  I also thought it was really interesting that Feldstein compared his reading/the meaning of the text to the text itself, including the ambiguity of the narrator, protagonist and author, of protagonist and woman in the wall, and of the spelling of the word “wallpaper” or “wall paper” or “wall-paper.”  This article created a lot of questions for me that I think might be interesting to pursue in the research paper for this class.


See what others have to say about Feldstein's essay.

Reading the Work and What Is Being Read Within It

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From Barbara Jones Guetti’s “Resisting the Aesthetic” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism, page 386.


“Virtually no critics have thought of reading the questions Keats addresses to the urn literally—that is, not as rhetorical exclamations, but as sincere and urgent demands for information—and therefore it has not occurred to anyone that Keats is, as de Man would put it, attempting to read, rather than to imagine, the urn.”


I really liked Guetti’s article because of her forward and somewhat sarcastic style (at least it seemed that way to me) and because of her critical approach to Keats’s poem.  Although I do not think her idea is as innovative as she claims (I remember a few classmates discussing this idea on their blogs and in class when we first read Keats’s poem), it is definitely interesting.  She suggests that we not only should be reading the work itself, but also what is being considered by the author or characters within the work.


This idea reminded me of the Writing of Fiction class that I took.  We often talked about how every detail in a work is significant and should be put there for a reason that relates to the rest of the story because each reader may interpret the work differently based on various details.  Guetti brings up this idea in that she suggests that when she read the poem, she saw literal, not rhetorical, questions.  This very simple detail (a question mark) makes all the difference.  We learned that some books punctuate these last few lines differently, which could change the entire meaning of the poem, as suggested in other formalist articles we read. 


However, Guetti goes further to explain that the literal treatment of these questions allows the poststructuralist to see that, “The words in the poem ‘tease’ us” (389).  New questions in the poem create more unanswerable questions until, like most poststructuralist essays I have read, we are left with more questions than answers.


Yet from this questionable essay, I have been able to understand de Man’s essay a bit better, especially the ideas of rhetoric and grammar: how these are the same, how they are different, and how the poststructuralist can use these ideas against one another to deconstruct a text.


See what others have to say about Guetti's essay.

I Spy More Than Poststructuralism

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From Stephen J. Miko's essay "Tempest" in Donald Keesey's Contexts for Criticism, page 381:


“The main point, to which I think Shakespeare consistently returns, is that attempts to match words and things, wishes and realities, inevitable leave disjunctions, especially for those who insist on neatness and univocality. “



As I was reading Miko’s essay, I found myself unsure as to where the poststructuralist ideas came into play.  It seemed to me that he wrote so much about whether or not the characters are “real” or who or what the characters represent that I was lost.  However, this line, and Greta’s response to the article helped me a lot.


First, Greta said that Miko compares Caliban to a human, or even to “Us,” (Miko 381) the readers or audience, in order for us to understand our own relationship to the characters in the work he is critiquing.  This idea helped me to appreciate Miko’s argument.  Many of the other critics seem to write from a lofty place both intellectually and stylistically, but Miko seems to want his reader to understand his writing, while still writing in an intellectually rigorous and stylistically advanced manner.  


Greta goes on to talk about the fact that Miko discusses the ideas of good vs. evil, a topic that, upon my reading of the essay, seemed to revolve around character analysis and comparisons to real humans, rather poststructuralism.  However, when I read the above line, I see that Miko is successfully using the poststructuralist thought in that he has reversed good versus evil and deconstructed both until he can say that neither exists as a complete and separate idea.  The ideas of good and evil are so complex and varied, as Greta points out, that they cannot be reduced to each being defined by only one word.


Despite this successful use of poststructuralism that I find myself agreeing with completely, I do think that Miko has relied on other forms of criticism in order to support his poststructuralist claim.  Without his use of the reader-response theory, structuralism, and the conventions of intertextuality (although he does not compare the play to other authors, he talks about it in terms of Shakespeare’s other plays) he would not be able to prove his idea that there is neither complete good, nor complete evil.   Because of the influence of these other modes of criticism, I find myself thinking that perhaps this essay was placed in the wrong section of the book.  Yes, the above quote insists that poststructuralism is used, but I feel that the other forms of criticism form more of the backbone of the critique than does the poststructuralist viewpoint.  


Do I think that Miko’s essay is helpful and successful criticism that helps me to better understand the text?  Absolutely, but I do not think that the poststructuralist ideas stand out enough for this essay to be defined as a poststructuralist essay.  


See what others have to say about Miko's essay.

Literature: Reliable or Unreliable?

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From Paul de Man’s essay “Semiology and Rhetoric” in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism, page 373:


“Literature as well as criticism—the difference between them being delusive—are condemned (or privileged) to be forever the most rigorous and, consequently, the most unreliable language in terms of which man names and modifies himself.”



Although this final line in the article is probably the sort of disclaimer that deconstructivists usually provide in order to uphold their own theories, I think that it is somewhat untrue.  Yes, literature and criticism are “rigorous;” however, I do not see how this causes either to be unreliable.  I would instead say that multiple interpretations of the same work would cause it to be unreliable.


Learning and changing oneself based on literature may be unreliable at times, but it can also be very successful.  People learn from the past, which is of course recorded in literature, people get through difficult times in their lives through self-help or religious literature, people read books about hiking, diving, etc. to help them to complete these activities in their own lives, children read textbooks in order to learn almost everything learned in school today, people read critical essays in order to understand how to critically evaluate works themselves-- the list continues forever. It is a simple fact that people learn more about themselves, about what they hope or have to accomplish, and about other people from reading literature and criticism, so to say that it is unreliable is a gross generalization.  I’m sure that every literate person in the world has been in some way positively influenced by a piece of written literature or criticism, and I also bet that most of the illiterate people in the world have been influenced by literature or criticism that has been presented orally.  


And, if literature and criticism is “the most unreliable language” for people to sometimes rely for self-modification, then what language is reliable?  And if it does not have this purpose, what then is its purpose? 


See what others have to say about de Man's essay.

               Even after our various readings, presentations, and discussions concerning poststructuralism and deconstruction, and even after Ellen’s wonderful presentation on Derrida’s essay “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” I still find these types of criticism to be mostly baffling.  The idea of reducing a work to its opposites by relying on what is within the work itself is mystifying and probably above my limited ability to comprehend and evaluate such heady ideas.  Also, with the small amount that I did understand, I found disagreement with some of the readings and ideas we discussed, especially with Derrida’s idea of the fiction of the transcendental signifier.  However, after researching these two types of criticism, I found that poststructuralism extends far beyond Derrida and includes other ideas that I find to be more easily interpreted and even, surprisingly, funny and interesting.

                The first website that I encountered was the most helpful in that it provides a definition of poststructuralism.  This site, called Introduction to Modern Literary Theory was compiled by Dr. Kristi Siegel, director of the English Graduate Program at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  On her site, she not only provides definitions of poststructuralism and deconstruction, but she also includes links to the definitions of other types of criticism that we have and have not studied this semester.  Although she talks about Derrida and Eagleton, both of whom we read ourselves, she puts both of these authors into perspective and summarizes what we have already discussed in a plain and simple manner.  Siegel even talks about the “negative” and “positive” views of this type of criticism, and how Derrida can be more closely associated with deconstruction rather than poststructuralism; the two types of literary criticism that I had thought were two names for the same type of criticism are actually different.

However, Siegel also goes beyond Derrida and Eagleton to include other critics who left their own imprints on poststructuralism, including Foucault, Barthes, Baudrillard, Cixous, de Man, Miller, Lacan, and Johnson, many of whom helped to form poststructuralism before Derrida.  Siegel also includes the definitions of terms that we did not go over in Literary Criticism: terms such as “Aporia,” or textual contradictions, “Différance,” or the idea that words are always defined by other words , “Erasure,” or a lack of one correct meaning, Logocentrism, or the idea that, like our government, law, politics, literature, etc., is based on one universal set of ideas, “Supplement,” or the enhancer of a complete idea that is not a complete idea in itself, “Trace,” or the idea that a word is not only what it is, but also “traces” of what it is not, and “Transcendental Signifier,” or the one idea set at the heart of logocentrism—terms that can be helpful when completing our casebooks professionally. 

As for the topic of deconstruction, Jack M. Balkin of Yale University provides an accessible explanation of this type of criticism’s origin in Europe with Derrida and its further development in the United States and in Europe.  He discusses the idea that deconstruction allows the critic to make “texts mean whatever a person wants them to mean,” an idea that, according to him, is especially prevalent in the United States.  If not within the United States, then certainly within our class, for when we first began to study this form of criticism along with poststructuralism, we were, and may still find ourselves to be skeptics. 

Balkin goes on to suggest that deconstruction is now used in many areas other than in literary criticism.  He, for instance, uses deconstruction while examining legal texts and even cases.  Because he is involved with this type of criticism in this way, he writes:

Deconstruction does not show that all texts are meaningless, but rather that they are overflowing with multiple and often conflicting meanings. Similarly, deconstruction does not claim that concepts have no boundaries, but that their boundaries can be parsed in many different ways as they are inserted into new contexts of judgment.”

In other words, he uses deconstruction to help him win a case, prove a law is unconstitutional, help out his client, and do his job.  This text helped to show me that deconstruction is now used by some in a practical manner.  This idea reminds me of the movie Liar, Liar, in which the protagonist, who is a lawyer, cannot tell a lie for a day, but must help his client to win a divorce case.  In the end, he realizes that she was married to her husband illegally, and therefore should be entitled to the money and is able to keep their children, even though she is a terrible mother and the children would rather stay with their father.  This example can be looked at from two different angles, both of which can be proven by evidence.   When deconstructed the husband and wife can be seen as good vs. evil if the husband is supported, but when the law is taken into consideration, the roles flip. Because the world around us is so complex, we sometimes need to look at it in the equally complex manner that can be found within the realm of deconstruction.



However, as interesting and possibly practical as these two types of criticism are, I do not think that I can really believe in them.  On one of my previous blogs, I wrote that as I began to think about the idea of the “transcendental signifier,” my first impulse was to disagree with it, and I knew the reason I disagreed with it was because the lack of a transcendental signifier would basically imply that God does not exist.  Of course, this sort of idea can be expected in a theory that is so entrenched in philosophy, as Jack M. Balkin of Yale University suggests in his essay entitled “Deconstruction,” since philosophy is a subject that requires a person to question society’s beliefs in every area, not just religious ones.  Greta also brings up opposition to Post-modernism for similar reasons.  On my previous blog, I mentioned the idea that all healthy newborns are able to utter every sound in every language.  Although I could not find an online academic source to prove this idea, I did discuss this in child development courses.  However, I instead found other proof that indirectly suggests the existence of a transcendental signifier.  In a study entitled The Role of Early Language Experience in the Development of Speech Perception and Language Processing Abilities in Children with Hearing Loss” by Susan Nittrouer and Lisa Thuente Burton, the authors discuss the idea that deaf children can also develop speech.  Although the authors believed that deaf children would not be able to develop speech, they write in their abstract, “Contrary to predictions, however, the performance of roughly half the children was comparable to that of the children with normal hearing.”  They write that only “mature speech” was delayed.  Other studies suggest similar ideas, while others (type in something like “speech development in infants” into EBSCOhost and you will see what I mean) suggest that these studies are inconclusive.  Just as no one can prove the absence of a transcendental signifier, no one can prove the reality of one either.  However, I find it fascinating that science, law, philosophy, and literature can be so closely intertwined with one another as to prove, disprove, and aid in the understanding of one another.

I hope that the Siegel website was helpful in expanding your understanding of poststructuralism and deconstruction, and I hope that the other sources were helpful in unhelpfully creating more questions for you than you had before.  I think that the more we think about these difficult subjects in new ways, and the more we question them or even refute them, the better we are able to understand them and even gain an appreciation for them.




Blogging Portfolio II

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Welcome to my second Blogging Portfolio for EL312: Literary Criticism for the spring semester, 2009!  Once again, I have organized my blogs for easy reading and have included blogs that I think best show my progress, conversation with peers, and understanding of the readings during the past month.

 I do have to say that I slacked a bit in my blogging as compared to my last portfolio.   I still completed all of the blogs, but I commented on fewer of my peers blogs.  I think I was focusing so much on the critical essays required every week that I lost sight of the valuable information I obtain through reading the viewpoints and insights of my classmates.  I will definitely work on this for the next portfolio.

I do, however, feel that my blogs are very good and were even helpful to my classmates.  Without further ado, here are some of the best examples of my blogging over the past month.  Enjoy!

Coverage:  These are just some of the blogs that were done in a timely manner and are well done, yet did not really fall into any of the other categories below.  Despite this fact, I think most of them are very interesting and all are worth reading.

·         “Free Thinkers and Divine Monarchs-How Do They Get Along?”

·         “More Evidence for the Monomyth, Plus I Really Understand Intertextuality!”

·         “What Is a Diptych?”

·         “I Don’t Like Scrambled Eggs, but I Do Like Eagleton’s Essay”

·         “Help with Signifier and Signified”


·         “It Might Be a Poor Critique of the Literature, but a Good Mimetic Evaluation”- In this blog I discuss my personal and academic feelings of Gilbert and Gubar’s essay “The Yellow Wallpaper.”  Although I did not do outside research, I already knew much about the three authors Gilbert and Gubar discussed and used my knowledge of this information.

·         “Synesthesia-Imagery with All the Senses”- Here, I looked up a literary terms that was not in Hamilton and found that it pertained to medicine as well.

·         “A Road to Help you Through Frye’s ‘The Critical Path’”-This blog goes along with a class presentation.  It provides an in depth summary of the essay, as well as other helpful links to important quotes and terms.  If you have to read this essay by Frye, I would definitely take a look at this blog.

Blog Carnival:


·         “Actors or Actresses-It Makes All the Difference”- Sue and I discuss the roles of female characters and how they might be viewed by English and Spanish audiences.  Although we don’t come up with any real answers, we do both hope we will be able to research this more in the future.

·         “Poststructuralism- Is It Really Its Own School?”-This blog on Donald Keesey’s Poststructuralism Chapter in Contexts for Criticism features my opinions of Poststructuralism and a conversation between Greta and I that leads to some slight difference in opinion that is thought provoking nonetheless. 

·         “Understanding Poststructuralism- At Least I Think”-On this blog, I posted a simple example to explain the difference between Poststructuralism and Structuralism, and Greta posted an example to further provide help to others.  It actually helped Ellen for her presentation too, so I think this is a great example of a successful interaction between us through our blogs.


·         “Some Themes for You to Think about”- In this blog, I listed some of the major themes in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  A few people commented on liking the ones I included, but they also added a few of their own, which is an excellent example of academic exchange.

·         “A Little Different, but Still Valuable”- In this blog about mimetic criticism and psychological criticism, Greta, Angela, and I have a short, but academic discussion concerning whether or not characters in literature should be or can be considered real people. 

·         “The Feminists Are Making Me Angry”- I disagree with another author’s (Josephine Donovan) feminist interpretations.  This blog shows academic discussion because, although none of us disagree with one another, we do wholeheartedly disagree with the approach of a published author.  Perhaps feminism has just taken a new turn with our generation, but you should definitely read what we have to say.

Timeliness: Although almost all of my blogs were posted on time, I have included a few thoughtful ones that I posted especially early.

·         “A Road to Help you Through Frye’s ‘The Critical Path’”-This blog goes along with a class presentation.  It includes a thorough summary, links to pages that define unknown terms, and a link to a list of important quotes from the essay.

·         “The Feminists Are Making Me Angry”- In this blog I discuss my disagreement with the opinions of various feminist essayists we have read so far. 

·         “What Is a Diptych?”-  This blog defines this literary device and poses a question concerning Shakespeare and the diptych. 



·         “A Really Great Crtiical Piece and…Maybe We Are Getting This Stuff!”- In this blog, I discussed Charles Swann’s helpful essay “Whodunnit? OR Who Did What? ‘Denito Cereno’ and the Politics of Narative” and linked my blog to Greta’s blog on the same essay. 


Take a look at my classmates’ blogging portfolios.  They are making great progress!

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