April 26, 2007


Garson, 'Bodily Harm" Keats's Figures in the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Apostrophe is an address to the absent as if present, the inanimate as if animate; a rhetorical question is one which no answer is expected. These are figures of power" (453).

Garson pays close attention to the grammer in Keats's poem. She takes all of the punctuation and somehow brings up a good argument. At times, she seems to both praise and negatively criticize Keat's poem. She also tried to claim that "the ode arouses two kinds of generic expectations..." I def. agree that the two she listed do exist but I feel the ode may arouse many more expectations...

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Hidden Clues

Garson, 'Bodily Harm" Keats's Figures in the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Apostrophe is an address to the absent as if present, the inanimate as if animate; a rhetorical question is one which no answer is expected. These are figures of power" (453).

Garson pays close attention to the grammer in Keats's poem. She takes all of the punctuation and somehow brings up a good argument. At times, she seems to both praise and negatively criticize Keat's poem. She also tried to claim that "the ode arouses two kinds of generic expectations..." I def. agree that the two she listed do exist but I feel the ode may arouse many more expectations...

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History Has To Be Studied

Barker and Hulme, ''Nymphs and Reapers Heavily Vanish'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Our essay too must engage in the discursive struggle that determines the history within which the Shakespearean texts will be located and red: it matters what kind of history that is" (449).

This quote was meaningful to me because Hulme and Barker's essay was based upon their study of The Tempest. I have spent much time studying The Tempest and I think their criticism of The Tempest . They had brought up many valid points and it is crucial to understand Shakespeare's time and the history of his culture because it will allow us to better understand our past and future history.

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April 19, 2007

Ideal Viewers of Children's Cartoons

Term Project -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Kids today are born into a media-saturated environment, so they're starting young with screen time"

Iser’s theory of the implied (ideal) reader “is a transcendental model which makes it possible for the structured effects of literary texts to be described” (Keesey 147). He goes on to claim that the “concept of the implies (ideal) reader offers a means of describing the process whereby textual structures are transmuted through ideational activities into personal experiences. So if we were to try and create an implied (ideal) viewer for children’s television where would one start. I imagine that the personal experiences would not come from the viewers themselves. There would not be enough prior knowledge for the viewer to try and understand in order to comprehend the material playing out before them. Instead, this idea would come from the creators of the shows. They would be this idea of an implied (ideal) viewer. They would have to use their own experiences to create the viewer themselves. This would be completely subconscious. There are times in all programming where the material seems to go over the heads of the child and fall into the lap of the adult. Through their use of intertextuality the material may seem beyond the intended viewer; though this may be a way to open the viewers mind to new topics. If the implied(ideal) viewer is infact the subconscious of the creators then of course there is going to that moment where the material may seem a bit mature, or too much for the actual audience, but that is just the reflection of the implied(ideal) viewer.

This idea of an ideal viewer would be proposed from the standpoint of the creatures of the programming. This leads us to a more mature adult standpoint, not the innocent point of view of a child. Which leads to the question then, is the ideal viewer really the ideal viewer for children’s programming. (We) state no. Look at the popular children’s shows of today - Blues clues: a grown man who talks to tables, salt and pepper and a dog. He is trying to figure out the clues by following the directions of the audience(children) but does a poor job of doing so, since it takes 2-3 times for him to finally understand what the children is saying.

Children cartoon creators are very well aware of the fact that adults and children are going to be watching their programs. They have a very hard job because they somehow have to keep both the parents and the children entertained. There is no doubt cartoons like, Tom and Jerry are targeted to young children, but they also included adult references that would go over a child’s head.

“So the various kinds of reader-response critics find much to argue about. But they agree on one main point: since the “poem” exists only when the reader (however defined) encounters the text, literary criticism must focus on that encounter” (Keesey 138). Since we are not reading literature, but rather watching it we will make the claim that: Children cartoon creators have the intention to keep both the child and the parent entertained. Should cartoon creators be held responsible for everything that they include in their episode? Are they teaching your children or are you? Children could only get so much out of what they are watching because they do not have the awareness that they need to make everything become understandable. Sometimes, parents and adults seem to get that confused because they are not looking at the cartoon through a child’s eyes. It is important to note that we can not protect our children from everything and we should prepare them for the future and alert them of some problems that they may become faced with during their childhood.

For example, in August 2006, Turner Broadcasting announced that they were reviewing thousands of old Hanna-Barbara cartoons, which include The Flintstones, Tom and Jerry, the Jetsons, and Scooby-Doo, to delete any scene that glamorized smoking. We note that in, Tom and Jerry, smoking usually appears in a stylized manner and is frequently not condoned” (Riedemann). This seems a bit extreme because they are trying to erase history. Children need to also understand that people learn from their mistakes. Can companies like Turner Broadcasting censor out every violent act as they plan on doing to the scenes filled with smoking? We have to have a limit and realize that we can not protect our children from everything! If a cartoon has a sexual reference or a derogatory statement that they can not understand – maybe the cartoon creators put it in for the parents, so you do not get bored. “When watching Tom and Jerry, expect to be entertained. Dating from an era of active media censorship, the series is clever, daring, and filled with unlimited subliminal messages -- grown-up viewers will definitely enjoy looking back and finally grasping all the references they missed as kids” (Sheppard)

Examples of Today’s Cartoons:

Dora and Diego are young children left alone in the forest by themselves. They can not even figure out how to follow directions by looking at a map in front of them. These shows do have some positive aspects to them, but there overall structure should be a little alarming to the parents of the children who watch them. The fact that both the shows rely on the help of the audience can be both positive and negative. Positive in they allow the child viewing the program to feel apart of the show but negative because it doesn’t allow for wrong responses. It just assumes the child is responding correctly. There is no explanation as to why the answers are right or wrong.

Then looking at the Wonder Pets you get a show about animals that go out to help other(s) animals. The show stresses the importance of team work, cooper5ation, and problem solving. They do not rely on outside sources (the viewer) to help them, but they do explain why the make the decisions they make. The big difference between the 2 shows mentioned first and the 2 shows we mentioned last are the way the shows deliver their message. The first 2 don’t explain enough and they take their audience for granted. That is one of the problems with children’s shows period. The creators don’t take the audience into account enough. They assume too little or too much of the audience. Where the second 2 shows don’t take too much for granted, they open the door for further discussion between the audience (children) and their parents. These shows take their audience seriously enough to project smart entertaining material.

When you switch to shows like the Backyardagins and the Wonder Pets you get a more functional child program. You have 5 children who live next door, who go on grand explorations all over the world/galaxy/and time periods. But they do it through their own imagination; they never leave the protection of the families. They learn how to share and how to construct ideas with the help of one another. They do not allow the fact they some of their yards are fenced in to stop them from playing with one another. They do not talk to imaginary objects, or rely on the audience to pull them out of trouble. They tackle the task at hand. This show also opens the door to discuss new ideas with your child, Shakespeare.

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April 12, 2007

Miko's Ideas on The Tempest

Miko, ''Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

The meaning of Miko’s essay was to explore the interpretations that critics were able to draw upon using the words of the text in The Tempest. Miko acknowledges the interpretations and then goes on to say “the multiplicity and possible deliberate inconclusiveness of Shakespeare’s last plays.” The Tempest is a play that is “neither tragic, nor comic; it is skeptical, yet genial” (376).
Miko is going to give us his theory on what Shakespeare possibly did or did not intend to mean when he was writing his play. He believes that many critics fill the gaps in Shakespeare’s play with religious theories. They want to find the answers and at times, draw upon any moral or ethical references to support their ideas and answer the questions that have been raised.
Miko pays an awful lot of attention to the magic that the magician is using in order to create a “new world.” It may be possible that Shakespeare made the family’s location deliberate. He also claims that Shakespeare’s play can not be read as just a play because there are entirely too many symbolic references. Shakespeare meant, according to Miko, to experiment and demonstrate the limits of poetic justice, symbolic neatness, and “resolved” endings for plays.
Miko believes that The Tempest has loose ends, which is a valid argument. It seems to me that the reason why Miko finds examples of loose ends in the characters reflections or the characters call for help or forgiveness. When the reader is able to see deeper into the character is causes a slight contradiction of the character. Loose ends occurred because “the art and the magic of playmaking questions both its matter (the themes) and its own power, affirming only in understood, limited ways” (376). Miko states it is because nature wouldn’t is why it happens to be one of the plays loose ends.
Now, on to a new subject – Prospero. Prospero is in charge of this play. The magic behind Prospero is somewhat intriguing and disturbing. He uses his magic to manipulate the characters in the play itself and the people who are watching or reading The Tempest. He can control anything and everything except for the internal feelings of the other characters. With this being the case, Miko states that it leaves questions such as, What effect can Prospero’s external powers have on internal sates (moral and spiritual)” (377)? Miko believes that Prospero magic defines moral limits by illustrating physiological stubbornness, which occurs when Prospero refuses to leave his island.
Caliban is also another interesting character. Miko believes that he should be transformed from natural man to Us. He acknowledges that some of Caliban’s actions do not imitate us but for the most part we share similarities. Evil lives in all of us and in all of the characters in the play, which is why we all strive to rid the evil and become better people, which is something that most of the characters have felt and attempted to accomplish.
Shakespeare has one intent and that is to attempt to match words and things, wishes and realities, inevitably leave disjunctions, especially for those who insist on neatness, which is the exact opposite of what this play demonstrated. He explains life as we know it should indeed be messy because we are in control of it, not some inhuman person.

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April 9, 2007

Cinema Study

Every television show or movie that you watch somehow is influenced by literature. Mitch and I are going to focus on literature and how it affects the children shows that are being produced.
We were aked to look at "cinema studies" and the reports that have been done on this topic. Although, Mitch and I are going to be focusing our project on children cartoons and we will be able to take information that experts have gathered on cinema studies and use the information to make our case.

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April 7, 2007

The Meanings That Never End...They Just Go On & On My Friend....

Feldstein, ''Reader, Text, and Ambiguous Referentiality in 'The Yellow Wallpaper''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

After reading yet another way to look at "The Yellow Wallpaper" I am exhausted! Yes, Feldstein allowed to reader to look at "The Yellow Wallpaper" in a different light, and i appreciated it but....

I wonder how all of these theories and different critcisms are supposed to make me felel?

I mean, if I seriously try to apply each criticism to one text, I would drive myself crazy and I don't really think any story or novel that I read would have any closure...

So then I thought....

Maybe this book is supposed to make me knowledgeable of the different criticisms and pick the theory that makes the most sense to me and I liked that idea...so I'm sticking to it...

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Society Dictates Our Life

Eagleton, ''Literature and History'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Moreover, men are not free to choose their social relations; they are constrained into them by material necessity- by the nature and stage of development of their mode aof economic production." (421)

I chose the passage above because I took a course about Shakespeare and Eagleton and my professors made me realize how much society shaped the ways Shakespeare composed his plays. He had to think about everything, the people, the places, the costumes....his plays had to meet the demands made by society, by the people as a whole.

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Kessey, My Wise Friend

Keesey, Ch 7 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Well, I was pretty impressed with the way Keesey acknowledged that most of the theories that he mentioned and explained, in some form were similar to each one he discussed. That fact that he realized the theories were similiar made me trust his opinions and it allowed me to open up to the other theories and ideas that he mentioned.

"This turn to history, then, includes, a large and diverse group of critics. But they share several concerns, and often the things that untie them are the things they have taken over from formalism, structuralism, and postructuralism...They agree that no text can offer a transparent window to historical fact." (410)

After reading Keesey's introduction, I felt that he somehow linked every theory that we have learned about and all tied them together, trying to explain that we can get a deeper understanding by learning and taking from the previous theories. And this is why, I finally learned to like Keesey because he finally made sense.

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