« August 2009 | Main | October 2009 »

September 28, 2009

EL 266 Thoreau Ch. 13 & 18 Water as a human means to an end

"The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it, and flood the parched uplands; even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats. It was not always dry land where we dwell." (Thoreau) 18

I liked the comparison to life being like water. Yes I do agree that the more we, humans, become familiarized with our inner-selves, the more we know. Like a river becoming filled with rain. The more water it receives, the more strength it builds. That is essential to humans as well. The more knowledge gained, the stronger the mind becomes.
Once at capacity, the only thing left to do is flood. The mind as well as a river can only take in so much in. When a flood occurs also in the mind. It can then be expelled onto others. We take our knowledge, and display that wisdom to others, much like a professor or any other type of educator.
The term muskrat is used as a negative connotation. Muskrats are river rats. They do serve as a purpose for food and fur, but for the most part they are pests. By "drown"-ing them out, that is a way of getting rid of all the negative energy in the mind and the flood replenishing it.
That last part of the quotation about not always being dry land. I would figure that to mean that life is not always easy. If it were, we would have nothing to worry about. Life would always be simple as Thoreau stated in the latter chapters.

EL 266 Foster Ch. 13-15 Flight for fantasy

"No doubt about it, airplanes and blimps and helicopters and autogiros have changed the way we perceive flight, but for almost all of human history, we've been earthbound." (Foster) p.125

I would have to say that Foster does have a valid point. When I hear the mention of an airplane, a kite, or parachute, I think of flight. But when I hear or read the words: superhero or angel, I think of fantasy. Society has set the standards for what terms are these certain ways, fact or fiction.
In literature, flight can take on so many more definitions. They can be metaphors or symbols for something else. They can also represent dreams.
Using flight leads the reader to use their imagination. To create a world or environment that we are not normally absorbed into.

EL 266-Thoreau Ch. 2&4 I hear, but cannot speak of it

What I saw as the difference between Ch. 2 & 4 were of sound and silence. Chapter 2 more or less deals with nature uninterrupted. He observes different objects such as a farmhouse, land, trees, and a dog barking. Thoreau is saying that we, society, needs to become familiar with nature before we can become comfortable with ourselves. Nature is the true essence of being.
Ch. 4 is more set on sounds. Suddenly nature is interrupted. I think that Thoreau has a habit of comparing nature to human life. Just as nature brings out the beauty of life so does the train. It brings people into life.
Also, using the word "nature" the first thing I think of is eternity. Using railroad tracks is a way of defining mankind to be eternal. We, human beings, will also be on the earth. When our generation dies, another one will follow behind. Just as nature, when and if nature destroys itself, another for of nature will emerge.

September 27, 2009

EL 266-Ch. 2 Thoreau; The silence of the woods

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion." [17]

I think that Thoreau given a brief explanation of his life feels that we are to consumed with material growth. We as a consumer-goods based driven society take off more than we can chew. I f we just simplify, we can learn of what is important in nature. This will then justify the means of a regulated society. There is, in nature, so much to absorb and see. If we tend to ignore these things, we will never realize the beauty of them. Living a simple life is sometimes best. There is less stress and tension. Our expectations are never exceeded.
Minimalism is a characteristic that mankind tends to ignore. The existence of such a trait makes me feel that I have overlooked such a simplistic way of life. That's because I have been to consumed by everything else that is going on in society and the material goods that it has to offer.
Comparing man to a calculator is interesting because man is prone to error, calculators aren't. Man is a simple being. A calculator is made up of a wiring system and other technologies that make it what it is, error proof.

September 24, 2009

G-20 Vomit

I just watched a short video broadcast on the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. It's so funny that the Summit was based in Pittsburgh for its rivers and scenery, but all I saw were bare streets and boarded up buildings. How do you think world leaders look upon that?
Police action prevailed as college and out of work twenty-somethings roamed the streets broadcasting their opinions. How do you think we look to world leaders?
The final thing that got me was a man holding up a replica of the Stanley Cup wearing shorts that were to small for him and a beer gut that slipped out of his shirt when he walked. I feel bad for the city I love. It has been enslaved by rednecks and opinionated ass wipes.
Leave the politics to educated people.

EL 266 Wildcard-My thoughts on Am. Lit

American Literature is not something I feel is a disease, but rather words that are absorbed into the mind. Eventually these words are translated into an analysis of sorts. Basically, I am trying to say that a book is nothing to be afraid of. Reading it for entertainment purposes is a great pastime, but to really get some type of meaning out of it takes a close eye. America Literature EL 266 was a course I was hesitant on taking. I am an English major,but more into the journalism/new media aspect of it.
Hawthorne, in my opinion, is interesting, as he is also long winded. I feel that the Scarlet Letter lingered in many parts. The story could have been summed up in less chapters. Young Goodman Brown, on the other hand, was a really good short story. I like the concept of making choices in life.
Poe is awesome. I love reading stories on the macabre. He was a talented story teller. Poe has a distinct way of startling his audience. The element of shock is really prevelant in his works.
Foster, in my opinion, is just that, to opinionated. I feel that he is whiny and I do not agree with him on many levels. I am not a big fan of How to read literature like a professor.
American Literature, EL 266, has thus far taught me how to look at things, literature and short stories, from outside tha box, and carefully, acdemically critique them. I'm not saying that I am not opinionated sometimes, but for the most part I put my education to work for me.

September 21, 2009

EL 266 Foster-Ch 11 Violence as a means of literature

"Violence in literature, though, while it is literal, is usually something else." (Foster) p.88

Violence can be construed as physical, but in the literary world, the word is more symbolic. I think the word always, no matter the means, ends up in a tragedy. Getting your nose punched in a bar would constitute violence, but in literary terms, getting your nose punched may mean that one of the character's senses has given out on them. There is always some sort of hurt or loss involved, rather physically or metaphorically.

EL 266 The Power of Yellow Wallpaper

"There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down." (Gilman)

Rather disturbing that something as so inanimate drove the narrator insane. The way she describes the cottage and the grounds so elegantly, but the wallpaper so atrocious. Isolation can have those affects on a person, especially in her condition.
The wallpaper served as a community to her. She was able to communicate with it, and watch its everchanging patterns.
Just like her husband and his sister. They were at the cottage to care for the narrator, but so did the wallpaer. It just happened to consume her moreso than the latter two. She watched the innocence of it, and the beautiful patterns that swirled around her. She wanted to become part of that, in which she did.
I looked up what yellow symbolizes. It just so happens that the color has many definitions. Which could relate to this story. One of them being mourning, cowardly, jealousy, deceit, and quarantine. Just as the narrator was, quarantined.

September 20, 2009

EL 266 Melville-Lonliness of an empty Sunday

"What miserable friendlessness and loneliness are here revealed! His poverty is great; but his solitude, how horrible! Think of it. Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is an emptiness. This building too, which of week-days hums with industry and life, at nightfall echoes with sheer vacancy, and all through Sunday is forlorn. And here Bartleby makes his home; sole spectator of a solitude which he has seen all populous—a sort of innocent and transformed Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage!" (Melville) 88 stanza

I thought that these lines, by the narrator, in the stanza were of the utmost importance of the short story. Upon Bartleby getting a job in the office, the workers and narrator want him gone for his eccentric values. But they get used to him being around saying "I prefer not to." The tone definitely changes from the hard-nosed statements made earlier-“Think of it?” roared Turkey; “I think I’ll just step behind his screen, and black his eyes for him!” 61
Melville writes this odd character rather descriptively. As I, the reader, continued on, I felt bad for the man. He works hard, hardly eats, and is prompt. He is just a bit of a weirdo. That's all.
The narrator fells bad for his as well. "For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam." 89 Here it is, a Sunday, and Bartleby is overcome by the emptiness in his life. Isolating himself in the Wall Street building, with nobody to care for him, but himself.
The narrator became so consumed with Bartleby that it eventually drove him mad. The story takes on a ghostly kind of effect. Great tactic!
That's the thing, we, most of us, hold down jobs that we do on a weekly basis. We tend to work with others who we may not always know about. We work with these people, side by side, and do we ever really know them? Their personal lives, personalities, heartaches, and heartbreaks. We just do not take the time to know one another anymore. I live in a neighborhood, but I really do not know my neighbors; and I have lived in it for over five years.

September 18, 2009

Portfolio 1: EL 266 Literature and Conversation








EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (xenoblogging)

Xenoblogging-Written about anything that relates to the course or Seton Hill University (SHU)

I, Jeremy Barrick, have been blogging for four years now. When I first heard the word, blog, I shuddered to think of how complicated it would be. Now, four years later, I do it in my free time. Blogging, to me,is a way to get my opinions and other random thoughts out, over the web.
Working for the Setonian let me obtain the expressiveness that I longed for all along in life. I am able to write on whichever subject I feel that best fits within the criteria of the newspaper. Blogging falls upon those same lines. Both have helped me to become a better writer. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to write for a living.
As the online editor of the Setonian, I publish the paper each month using the blogging software Movable Type. With this, I cut and paste the printed articles into the electronic version. This goes the same with posting pictures online.
Blogging, I feel, is rather new to the 21st century. When I was in high school, blogging was not even considered. Now, it has gotten to the point where blogging has begun to take over the Internet, much like television being overtaken by reality shows. Blogging is a way to cast news, events, and opinions rather quickly online.
In summary, I have learned quite a lot from taking a Dr. Jerz course. Especially blogging and journalism, to be specific. I feel prepared to go out into the career world and obtain a position in the New Media field, from what I have learned this far.

EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (timeliness)

Timeliness- Written early enough so that others could comment on my blog.

-Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

-Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

-Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (discussions)

Discussions- The following blog entries have sparked discussion in the class room.

-Poe: The Masque of the Red Death

-Hawthorne: Young Goodman Brown

-Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (interaction)

Interaction- The following entries I have left comments on my course mate's blogs.

-Katie Lantz on the Masque of the Red Death

-Jamie Grace on Young Goodman Brown

-Katie Lantz on The Scarlet Letter Ch-7-14

-Katie Lantz on The Scarlet Letter Ch-14-21

-Jamie Grace on The Scarlet Letter Ch-19-24

EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (Depth)

Depth-The following entries are ones I feel I had gone into depth with. Pertinent comments were made on my entries from other course mates.

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch-7-13

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch 14-21

-How to read literature (Foster) Ch-8,9,10

EL 266 Blogging portfolio-Literary; Poe, Foster, & Hawthorne (Coverage)

Coverage- This section is dedicated to all the blogs I have written thus far, on the assigned readings.

-Masque of the Red Death (Poe)

-Young Goodman Brown (Hawthorne)

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch-1-6

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch-7-13

-How to read literature (Foster) Ch-5-7

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch-14-21

-The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Ch-19-24

-How to read literature (Foster) Ch-8,9,10

September 14, 2009

EL 266 Foster-Repetitiveness

"Here's what I think we do: we want strangeness in our stories, but we want familiarity, too." (Foster) 63.

Strangeness in our stories leads the reader into the imagination. Creating worlds and characters that have never been read about before.
That, I feel, breaks up the monotony. Repetitiveness only makes me, the reader, bored and want to put the book down, and possibly find another one that stimulates me.
If one is famaliarized with a story, then it makes it much easier to realize what one is getting into.
All of these characteristics combined make a book worth picking up. Yes, Star Wars was not something new, but yet it was inventive for the time, just as well as Harry Potter.
It brought the old and combined it with something new and familiarized.

EL 266 A kiss is but a kiss

"The minister-painfully embarrassed, but hoping that a kiss might prove a talisman to admit him into the child's kindlier regards-bent forward, and impressed one on her brow." (Hawthorne) p.194

All Dimmsdale wants is the accptance of little Pearl. He already has Hesters. Pearl pulls away from his kiss and runs towards the brook to wash it off. I feel that Pearl sees, now that she is much older, of what her mother has done, and why they are not accepted in the community without hassle.
Pearl wants a normal childhood which she cannot obtain. With Hester and Dimmsdale being teamed together, that only will bring more trouble for Pearl in the future.
I do like the reference to Pearl being a spirit of sorts. She may be wanting to be emancipated from her mother so that she can be herself. I do not think that Pearl has a chance unless she leaves the flock.

EL 266 The Letter A has diferent connotations

"It lies not in the pleasure of the magistrate to take off this badge, " "Were I worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak a different purport." (Hawthorne) p.155

Hester is basically owning the letter-A. She becomes engulfed in it and its definition. That is how she is individualized in the community. Other women may just be true wives to their husbands in the colony, but Hester stands above all of them with the distinct characteristic of the letter on her breast.
It seems that her and Dimmsdale glorify their faults. The Scarlet Letter is definitive of who she is. Hester, in my opinion, feels that while she owns the letter, she is imprisoned by it as well. Cutting it off her breast would only bring it back again, possibly, one day.

September 9, 2009

EL 266 Foster- Reused words

"There's no such thing as a wholly original work of literature." (Foster 29)

Not always true. Take poetry for example. Writers of the art did not copy other artisan's work. They wrote their own from personal experiences or thoughts. As far as literature goes, I guess I have to buy that quote for now. I have nothing that can back it up with. Like music, literature has influenced many others to do, almost, the same. Does that go for the English language as well? There are no original thoughts nor ideas any more because someone else has already said or thunk them.
That is a really tough quote.

September 7, 2009

EL 266 CH 7-13 Pearl's Flower

"Pearl, seeing the rose bushes, began to cry for a red rose, and would not be pacified." (Hawthorne) p.98

Pearl, now being older, I think, is becoming more aware of what is going on around her. She is the daughter of an adulteress, and a bastard child. Hester and Pearl are being demonized throughout the colony by its inhabitants.
In this particular chapter, Hester brings Pearl to the governor's mansion. As they enter, they are in awe of what riches surround them, as Hawthorne explains in detail. It is ironic that Hester, looked down upon by everyone in the land, goes to see the governor ensconced in his wealth. Much the contrast.
As Pearl enters the gardens, she notices roses. Red roses. Immediately she wants one, but her mother will not permit her to do so.
I feel that Pearl is becoming exhausted of being looked down on. The rose is to signify love, as it is red. Red is a symbol of love. Pearl may feel that she is not loved by anyone at this point in time. She is searching for it, but cannot obtain it as her mother will not let her pick it.
[Picking the rose may also resemble another illegal act. Hester may feel that by picking it could have consequences much like she has done already. It seems that Hester walks on eggshells in the colony which she resides.

EL 266: CH. 1-6 Pearl's eye

"Once, this freakish, elfish cast came into the child's eyes, while Hester was looking at her own image in them, as mothers are fond of doing; and, suddenly, -for women in solitude, and with troubled hearts, are pestered with unaccountable delusions,-that she beheld, not on her own minature portrait, but another face, in the small black mirror of Pearl's eye." (Hawthorne)p.89
Hester saw within her child a person as herself. Hester could never break the stigma that has ousted her from society. Her child now suffering the same. Innocense overcome by sin.
The eyes are the window to one's soul:Looking into Pearl's eyes saddened her mother. Pearl now has to endure all that her mother has, due to her shame. But was it shame? Maybe in a society where adultery is deemed unacceptable. In the eyes of the church.
Hawthorne makes the connection of Hester's adultery to her daughter-Pearl.
She bore the baby out of wedlock, which Hawthorne makes obvious. The blame seems to be put on Pearl. Hawthorne then has a way of placing innocense on Hester. In a Puritan driven colony, there is no forgiveness. Chapter 6 Pearl really puts this in perspective.