September 2009 Archives

Open invitation

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In regard to my previous entry entitled "Question: What if anything would you die for?"  I would like to extend an open invitation to everyone to attend the next SHU Gay-Straight Alliance meeting.  It will be this coming Wednesday (the 30th) at 9 pm in Admin 207. Also this Tuesday (the 29th) there is an SHU safe zone training session from 8 to 1030 am in Reeves Theatre.  If you are interested in becoming a part of safe zone please REGISTER to attend by contacting Mrs. Terri Bassi-Cook at bassi@setonhill.edu.  There is no registration for the GSA meeting so you can just show up but please be sure to REGISTER to attend the safe zone training, if in fact you want to attend in the first place. hahaha.  Thanks.

Blog Portfolio 1

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Coverage: I have provided a blog entry for all of the readings.  For the first week of the blogging I was unclear as to how to use them but posted my responses on the comments page for Foster, Hawthorne, and Poe.

Depth:  In the following responses I went into great depth on these readings:

Bartelby the Scrivener

Scarlet Letter Ch. 19-24

Scarlet Letter Ch. 7-13

Masque of the Red Death

Scarlet letter Ch, 14-21

Foster Interlude, 11 and 12

Interaction:  In the following blogs I commented on my peer's blogs as well as replied to those left on my own.

Scarlet Letter Ch. 14-21 

Scarlet Letter Ch. 1-6

Real Vampires Don't Sparkle

A Demon Child Always Makes For a Great Story

Enough Already

Discussions:

Scarlet Letter 14-21

Scarlet Letter 1-6

Real Vampire Don't Sparkle

A Demon Child Always Makes for a Good Story 

Enough Already

Timeliness: The following response where posted on time:

Young Goodman Brown

Masque of the Red Death 

Foster Intro-3

Foster 8,9,10

Scarlet Letter 14-21

Scarlet Letter 19-24

Scarlet Letter 7-13

Scarlet Letter 1-6

Foster 5-7

Xenoblogging: In these following entries I demonstrate my contribution to the online clas community.

Scarlet Letter 14-21

Scarlet Letter 1-6

Real Vampire Don't Sparkle

A Demon Child Always Makes for a Good Story 

Enough Already

Wildcard:  For my wildcard entry I chose something that is extremely important to me.  I took this opportunity to voice my opinions as well as asked my fellow students to join in the discussion.

What, if anything, would you die for?

 

 

 

 

Question: What, if anything, would you die for?

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Last year while attending WCCC (Westmoreland County Community College) I was asked to do a speech for a public speaking class.  The speech had to be twelve minutes in length and I couldn't think of anything to talk about for that amount of time.  My teacher asked, "What, if anything, would you die for?"  She went on to explain that whatever the answer was would be a good topic for the aforementioned speech.  Without hesitation I thought, "Well a cigarette would be nice...."  Not very profound I admit but the class was three hours long gimme a break.  As I puffed my long awaited cigarette I pondered her question and I found my answer.  Gay rights.  I would absolutely put my life on the line for that.  I am a proud member of the LGBTQ community and every day in this "free" country our rights our blatantly denied in regard to marriage, adoption, military service, and employment discrimination.  In addition, the number of hate crimes committed against members of the LGBTQ community have risen in the last few years, and that both saddens and disgusts me.  Its 2009 and the members of my community have to face the very real possibilty that one day their lives could be cut short by a hateful lunatic, and for what?  Because they lived their lives out and proud and unafraid rather than cowering hopeless and afraid in the closet.  According to the National School Climate Survey in 2007 60% of gay students felt unsafe because of their peers views on sexual orientation, identity, and expression.  The aforementioned statistics no doubt attribute to the fact that LGBTQ teens are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.  We are told on a fairly regular basis that we are "less than" every one else, we are less deserving of our rights because of who we are and if I may speak plainly it pisses me off.  This is an issue that I feel more than passionate bout, it is the most important thing in my life.  So I ask you, "What, if anything, would you die for?"

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

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"Violence is one of the most personal and even intimate acts between human beings,but it can also be cultural and societal in its implications." (Foster 88)

If you've ever read Shakespeare or seen a Martin Scorcese film you already know the use of violence as a creative tool.  It can be used to incite sadness at the loss of a great hero or it can be the elation felt after the bad guy gets whats coming to him.  Violence is perhaps the most sure-fire way to incite an emotional response in the reader.  However an act of violence can also be symbolic of something far greater then simply one character beating another to a bloody pulp, it could be a particular character collapsing under terrible pressures and lossing his or her reason or it could be a culmination of a series of trying or tragic events.  Violence is one of the most useful tools in any writer's arsenal. 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/foster_how_to_read_literature_3/

Electro-Shock Anyone?

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The front pattern does move--and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! (Gilman)

I really enjoyed this story.  Wallpaper, really? Wow....not as creepy as a beating heart under the floorboards but thats inconsequential I suppose.  The real story here is the progression from "a tad off" to "whack-job".  I really liked how we got to see her progression through her writing; the isolation, the paranoia and the obsession all played big parts it doesn't matter if the object of her pain and fury is a bit, well, silly in fact in the end this might make it even more disturbing that something so begnin had her so obsessed beyond reason. 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/gilman_the_yell/

Arrogance Before Reason

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 "As I walked home in a pensive mood, my vanity got the better of my pity. I could not but highly plume myself on my masterly management in getting rid of Bartleby. Masterly I call it, and such it must appear to any dispassionate thinker." (Melville)

In this passage his arrogance is profoundly evident.  He describes his removal of Bartelby as "masterly" even though he has taken no measure to discipline or repremand Bartelby for his insubordination.  He pleads with Bartelby and with every encounter he behaves meekly and when he finally asks him to leave he gives him nearly triple what he is owed.  I just found that funny, I found quite a few things funny in this story actually.  I love the way Melville implies something without actually saying it.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/melville_bartle/

I Just Wish it Would Rain

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"For now, though, one does well to remember, as one starts reading a poem or story, to check the weather." (Foster 81)

Weather, whether it be snow, rain, or a warm soft breeze can be used to set the tone of a story or poem.  But setting the tone is just the beginning.  As Foster says it can also be used as a symbol for something else such as a cleansing rain which may change the character somehow.  I had been previously aware of the parallels between weather and the tone of a story but was not in regard to its possible use as a symbol, something that I found very interesting. 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/foster_how_to_read_literature_2/

Witchy Woman

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"Whether the witch had read the minister's thoughts or no, she came to a full stop, looked shrewdly into his face, smiled craftily, and-though little given to converse with clergymen-began a conversation." (Hawthorne 202)

We haven't seen much of Mistress Hibbins throughout the story however, each time we do see her she is speaking of her dark dealings in the nearby woods, an act of great sin.  And each time she speaks in this story it is to someone who has also committed great sin (Hester and Dimmesdale).  Perhaps she can seek out sin more so acutley than most being that sinful unspeakable acts are as ubiquitous to her as propriety and piety are to others in the town.  Perhaps she is to represent the temptation of sin in regard to her inquiring of both Hester and Dimmedale if they will join her in the woods for one of her sinful nights.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/hawthorne_sl4/#comment-16241

Suffering In Silence

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"More misery, Hester!-only the more misery!" answered the clergyman, with a bitter smile. (Hawthorne 175)

Rev. Dimmesdale feels that the people's reverence of him, and their trust in him is more a punishment than a comfort.  He readily acknowledes his sin and feels tremendous guilt in regard to it and when the people of his congregation refer to him as saintly and holy it disturbs him even more because he must continue on with his lie.  Even when he tells them that no, he is not holy and that he is wicked they see it as being yet another act of humility on his part rather than as the confession of a sinner and thus causes him to suffer all the more.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/hawthorne_the_s_2/

 

 

Scarlet Letter 7-13

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"Hester looked, by way of humoring the child; and she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it." (Hawthorne 97)

This loathsome punishment, this scarlet letter has begun to consume Hester, to eclipse her.  She is no longer seen as beautiful or talented for her needlework or anything other than her sin to herself or anyone else.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/hawthorne_the_scarlet_letter_c/

Scarlet Letter 1-6

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"O Father in Heaven,-If Thou art still my Father,-what is this being which I have brought into the world!"

Hester is overcome by guilt and shame at her actions, the child (Pearl) the result of them, is a constant reminder of her sin, (more so than the scarlet letter) and vile scourned reputation among the citizens of her home.

 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/09/hawthorne_sl1/ 

Another brick in the wall...

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"It's always been going on and it's everywhere around us and every story you've ever heard or read or watched is part of it." (Foster 32)

This I think illustrates the concept of intertextuality expressed by Foster very very well.  Everything we read is connected to a thousand other stories, events or personal experiences of the author. And as we read more and more our palates for literature grow more seasoned and we can begin to recognize instances of intertextuality more readily, and become cogniscent of the patterns of plot and character that can be found therein.