November 21, 2004

Lighten Up!

The Devil's Dictionary was impossible to read without laughing. I think that it was funny - it was very rude at times but I could not take it personally even if I wanted to. For instance the definition of Wedding - A ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable. I found that just delightful. Another good word was Woman, An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary sceptibility to domestication...The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the American variety (felis pugnans), is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk. I mean for him to write things like this - you have to know that he is nuts and not take him seriously.

I can definitely see how people can get their feelings hurt by reading such harsh definitions for his interpretations of the words meanings, but I just think that his definitions are so off the wall that it is amusing. There was no peronal hatred towards any group which is why I think it should be dismissed. Read it for fun, he made fun of everything and anyone so it should not be interpreted as Bierce is a women hater or man hater. He basically hates everyone and doesn't care who knows. I think it would be delightful to sit down with him and actually have a discussion with him because he would be absolutely off the wall, but in a good way! I think people should be a lot less uptight when reading this because I think he just wrote it to cause a great commotion and I guess it did- We're still assigned to be reading it!

Posted by GinaBurgese at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2004

Existent or Non-Existent

You can have two opinions on John Henry - you either believe he existed or you believe that he did not. There are many different versions of where John Henry came from and the life that he lived. Whether or not you belive in him is going to be based on your own opinion- because you will never be able to get concrete facts to support your belief. When I think of the legend of John Henry I think it is something that people want to believe in. It gives man hope and great confidence that he can do whatever he choses. It also shows America being connected by railroad tracks, which made it possible to go from ocean to ocen in under a week. I know it sounds silly to us Americans now, but back in the late 1800's it gave the nation a sense of hope.

John Henry was known to the world as a man who who worked on railroads from six in the morning until five at night. He was determined to beat the steel driving machine so he would save his job and the job of his future co-workers. He chose to make an offer to his boss to beat the steel driving machine so he would be able to continue to work. He does indeed beat the steel hammer but it had such a strain on his body that he suffered a heart attack and died. It taught a lesson to everyone who heard the story. never give up on any of your dreams.

People that believe in John Henry wnat to belivee in hime because of his values and beliefs. I personally look up to John Henry as a hero because of his strong will and determination. He stood up for what he believe in and in the end it was unfortunate because he worked himself to death, but atleast he died with dignity - he accomplished his dream. Even if John Henry never existed I think it was a story created by men who wanted to give the world a new sense of hope. In a way, I think it probably is what helped alot of people to continue with their lives and work harder for success instead of having people feel lost and tarpped with no way out.

Posted by GinaBurgese at 08:38 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2004

Crazy Horse

Out of all of the Native AMerican Oral Literature I found Crazy Horse to be the one I chose to talk about. It kind of reminded me of the Legend of John Henry because the both were strong, determined men. I think that Crazy Horse was used as an example to never back away from your fears because you won't ever be able to forgive yourself for not doing something that you think you should of. Both in the end John Henry and CXrazy Horse died doing something that they thought would be the best for them. John Henry thought that he would of been able to keep his job and help safe others from losing their jobs also. And Crazy Horse insisted that he thought they would be safer if they went to his Uncle's house. In the end, both of them men died because they thought wrong.

It still gives you the feeling that both of the men died in dignity and were amzingly strong characters who fought for what they believed in. I think that I can realate to Crazy Horse better because as I was reading it I couldn't help thinking of the war in Iraq. I am sure that both Americans and Iraqis are getting tricked into doing soemthing that will end with their lives destroyed.

Posted by GinaBurgese at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2004

The Girl

Everyone wanted The Girl. She was beautiful, flirty and most of all smart. She had enough brains to run a bar and was a teacher at an Academy, but I wonder how she was able to accomplish this all during the late 1800's? Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development. Women’s God-given role, it stated, was as wife and mother, keeper of the household, guardian of the moral purity of all who lived therein. But in this story The Girl shows many characteristics that only men are supposed to possess. Men listen to her and respect her. Throughout the play, The Girl demonstrated a strong sense of who she was. She seemed like she knew what she wanted and knew how to get it. She had much character and charm. But why? I was thinking and then I came up with this conclusion. Maybe Belasco created "The Girl" because he wanted people to realize that women were able to do things on there own? Or He wanted women to take a stand and fight for equal rights?

There are many different reasons that I can come up with as to why Belasco wrote this play. He created "The Girl" who he knew was completely different then all of the women that were actually living in the late 1800's. I think maybe it was "The Girl" that gave women the confidence and determination to have a right and be treated fairly. The town that the play took place in was called. "Cloudy, California." Maybe he chose a make believe town to set an example as to how "cloudy" women were being characterized as?

But then I came up with another problem. Belasco painted "The Girl" to be out of place (like he did) and then he made her fit into the story. I may be confusing you, but just listen or read... : ) In the beginning of the story "The Girl" was very independent and everyone loved her and she turned down many people to marry because she wanted to run the Polka herself. She had a very strong connection with the guys that hung in the saloon like Handsome Charlie and Nick and Rance and Sonora and she made it very clear that she loved them. She seemed very happy with who she was. But then Johnson comes along and messes everything up. She gives up the Saloon and leaves her friends and "The Girl" is non-existent.

I thought that was a good way to end the play there. Belasco put the out of place girl in her place and the story ended.

Do you think the story ended that way because Belasco wanted to paint the perfect women and did but then he knew it would never be reality so made her fit in?

Posted by GinaBurgese at 01:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2004

Yellow Wallpaper

when I read this story it brought up many different ideas. I think people can have mixed feelings when it comes to The Yellow Wallpaper. People will either agree with john or disagree with john. Some people show pity for the woman and others don't show one bit of sympathy for the woman. In this book there were many problems that stood out to me. The first was how Jane seemed depressed. She often suffered hallucinations and was scared of what john was going to say if he found out sertain things that she was doing. She was not allowed to write in her journal and it was forbidden in the house to do so. She was completely depended on john and his sister.

Gradually, Jane got worse and worse until finally she had a nervous breakdown. There is no conclusion to the end of the story and I think it was meant to be that way. I think this story was written because it shined light on women that were in that same situation. Years later we have found out that the Jane most likely suffered from post partum depression, which is because she had recently gave birth.

I find no reason to criticize john's behavior in this story because in the late 1800's that is how men behaved towards women. He did at times treat Jane as if she was his child and showed childish actions towards her. The world was different back then and john's behavior was accepted. He worked hard and supported his family so I also assume that john was praised for how he helped his wife. He tried to make her better, he rented out a summer house so she could recuperate and treated her with the medicine that he thought would help her best, he asked his sister jenny if she would help out with the baby and he did this all for jane.

Yes, sometimes John did dismiss the ideas that jane had. He would not let her switch rooms, he would not let her write in her journal and he did not permit jane to go outside. All of these rules probably did help jane's condition get worse, but john was nothing other then a typical male of his time. I do not think that jane felt like she was being treated unfairly and she was the one who had to deal with john's rules. In my opinion, this was simply a story told because the author had suffered post partum depression and she thought it would give light to the audience that read this short story.

Posted by GinaBurgese at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2004

Huck Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a very fun book. I like how we had to read it during the middle of the semester because it was a simple, easy book to read. When I first read Huck Finn the main situation that pointed out to me was not racism, but the friendship between Huck and Jim. At the beginning Huck made fun of Jim when he and Tom got together - they almost thought of tying him up to a tree! On Katie's Blog she gives a very detailed description of the story, which I do agree with. hse brought up many interesting points.

I also took notice of how the author used "nigger" in this story. It was very frequent at the beginning when Huck referred to Jim as Miss Watson's nigger. He was simply a piece of property into the minds of the people that bought him. But as I read deeper into the story Huck referred to Jim as Jim and used nigger occasionally. This story is so out of place because of the time frame that it was written in. Jim an dHuck had an amazing friendship at the end of the story. They both had risked their lives to help eachother and save eachother from things that they could be harmed by.

Posted by GinaBurgese at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)