A Reflection on Blogging

| | Comments (0)

As of now, I feel like I can claim that I truly am a blogger. At the beginning of this class, I definitely never thought I would ever like blogging or want to blog. But it's actually a release for me. I like writing, or blogging, about what we read. It helps me get my thoughts out. I see why it has become so popular lately; it's actually kind of fun. Although I cannot say I have enjoyed every assignment, I can say that I have become a better communicator by relaying my thoughts to my classmates through intelligent and informed entries. I can also say I've learned time management and the value of doing the work before it's due to avoid stress.

Overall, blogging has been a positive experience. There have been times I wished the blogs.setonhill.edu site would just shut down, but it really has helped me in many ways. Its nice to get feedback from classmates and have discussions over interesting topics that we all write about. I will probably keep blogging or start a journal of some sort after this class to keep track of my thoughts in a clear, concise way. Who knows, maybe my blog will be famous someday... but for now, I'll stick with my setonhill blog.

Portfolio 3

| | Comments (0)

This my second portfolio (Portfolio 3) of blogs at Seton Hill for EL 266: American Literature 1800-1915. The links below will take you to my writing.


Coverage: Below are links to my blogs about the assigned readings.

Clemens - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Ch36-43) - New Cruelty

Mallioux - The Bad Boy Boom (pg:43-50) - Mature Readers Only

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch23-24) - this heart, it beats, beats for only you

Scott, Kevin Michael - "'There's more honor': Reinterpreting Tom and The Evasion in Huckleberry Finn" - Boy-play world

Smith, D.L. - Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse - Life-changing Manipulation

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch25-26) - Isn't It Ironic?

Traditional, "John Henry" - A Tale of Hope

Washington - Address of Booker T. Washington - Give Credit for Good

Du Bois - "The Souls of Black Folk" - A Look Into Education 

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Envoi) - A New Way of Thinking

Baum - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - A New Look Into Something Old


Depth: The entries below are the ones I feel that I went into depth with, or sparked a conversation.

Clemens - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Ch36-43) - I gave my analysis of the character of Tom.

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch23-24) - I went into depth about the metaphor of heart disease.

Traditional, "John Henry" - I fully answered every question posed and gave my own insight on John Henry.

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Envoi) - I gave my take on literature coding.


Interaction: Below are blogs from my classmates in EL266 that I have commented on.






Discussion: The following blogs have been included in class/group discussion or comments.

Clemens - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Ch36-43) - This sparked discussion with classmates, and we also talked about Tom's character in class.

Mallioux - The Bad Boy Boom (pg:43-50) - We talked about the intended age of the reader in small groups during class.

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch23-24)  - This blog sparked discussion and comments from my classmates.

Smith, D.L. - Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse - We talked about Jim's claim to fame in class.

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Envoi) - We discussed this in class, and it also intrigued classmates.


Timeliness: The blogs below were posted with enough time to give my classmates a chance to comment.

Clemens - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Ch36-43) - New Cruelty

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch23-24) - this heart, it beats, beats for only you

Washington - Address of Booker T. Washington - Give Credit for Good

Du Bois - "The Souls of Black Folk" - A Look Into Education 

Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Envoi) - A New Way of Thinking


Xenoblogging: Below are a few blogs that I commented on and gave further insight to.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JessicaApitsch/2009/10/disappointment_in_the_characte.html - I gave my insight on Huck and Tom.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MeaganGemperlein/2009/10/self-gratification_or_survival.html - I shared my views on Tom's persona.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/HeatherMourick/2009/11/friends_or_foes.html - I shared my foil theory for Huck and Tom.

Wildcard: A blog about my overall experience with blogging for this class.

A Reflection on Blogging

A New Look Into Something Old

| | Comments (0)

Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1905)

"'I shall take the heart,' returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world." (Chapter 5)

I really liked this quote. It was nice to read The Wizard of Oz again. I remember watching the movie and being in the play in elementary school, but I have never looked into it in much depth. From the above quote, it is easy to see why The Wizard of Oz is still popular today: it is a timeless classic. It is full of characters at different levels of life who are all after the one thing they feel will complete them. Obviously, anyone can relate to this. Everyone, at one point in their lives, has searched for something or wanted it dearly. Also, the story is a great outlet for escape into a fantasy world with a little dog and a magical floating house.

When analyzing the quote I chose, I found it interesting that the Tin Woodman would say that brains are not sufficient for happiness. A brain is indeed what his traveling partner, the Scarecrow, was searching for to be complete. I wonder how the Scarecrow felt when this quote was uttered, considering his desperation for a brain. But all readers can agree that happiness is the best thing in the world, and happiness is almost always a bi-product of love, thus the need for a heart.

A New Way of Thinking

| | Comments (2)

"What this book represents is not a database of all the cultural codes by which writers create and readers understand the products of that creation, but a template, a pattern, a grammar of sorts from which you can learn to look for those codes on your own." (pg: 280)

What an interesting take on his writings. I really enjoyed reading this book - I now see that it is a template for codes. It really helped me see all kinds of literature in a different light. I never thought about the symbolism of certain things, or reoccurring themes before reading this book. With every chapter, a new "code" is added to your brain. Like, take for instance the symbolism of drowning. The next time you read about a character drowning in a work of literature, you are bound to think of it differently, and maybe connect the water to some other deeper meaning stated in this book. The template, or pattern, is set in your brain. Basically, the template changes your way of thinking, whether you like it or not. Envoi!

A Look Into Education

| | Comments (0)

"To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires; to flout their striving idly is to welcome a harvest of brutish crime and shameless lethargy in our very laps. The guiding of thought and the deft coördination of deed is at once the path of honor and humanity." (paragraph 6, Of the Training of Black Men)

I picked this quote because of the vivid language. I thought Du Bois worded this very exquisitely and well. He is saying that once we educate all, we will achieve a path of honor. I find this to be true; education is essential to avoid a "harvest" described above. 

"So far as white men are concerned, this fact is to-day being recognized in the South, and a happy renaissance of university education seems imminent. But the very voices that cry hail to this good work are, strange to relate, largely silent or antagonistic to the higher education of the Negro." (paragraph 24, Of the Training of Black Men)

Oh, an ode to the hypocrites. Of course, in every situation, there will be those who are skeptical to new ideas. But this development is necessary. Du Bois presents the debate with excellent points and evidence concluding that higher education will be beneficial to everyone. We must give equal education to all to become a united front. 

Overall, both articles had really beautiful language and great evidence and structure of  points. I sometimes found myself re-reading passages because of the wording - it's very intricate and can sometimes be confusing, but definitely states exactly what Du Bois intended to say. 

Give Credit for Good

| | Comments (3)

"I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert an individual by abusing him, and that this is more often accomplished by giving credit for all the praiseworthy actions performed than by calling attention alone to all the evil done." (paragraph 9 of Two Thousand Miles for a Five Minute Speech)

Very insightful, Mr. Washington. It seems as though this statement is why he was so successful in his speeches and reaching people from different cultural backgrounds. If you attack those you're trying to reach, you will never reach them. He made himself neutral, and praised all the good being done instead of the bad. By doing so, Washington created a positive receptive audience who was eager to hear his message. When giving his big speech, it was in front of a large group of people, those for and opposed to him. Through stating the positive and never attacking anyone, he reached everyone! This is an excellent read for anyone, especially in this aspect. 

A Tale of Hope

| | Comments (0)

In what ways is the John Henry story a tall-tale? How is it social commentary? Is it primarily a story about technology, or about race? Is it too simplistic to say "both"?

Obviously, John Henry's story is a tall-tale in many ways. To define, a tall-tale is a story with unbelievable elements made to look factual or true. John Henry is told to be almost superhuman... he is extremely strong and capable of almost anything, making him extremely unrealistic. He could hammer through mountains or steamboats until death. In this respect, he  kind of seems like a non-green hulk. 

John Henry's story is also one of social commentary. This means that it is a story expressing an opinion on the nature of society. I think that by the use of John Henry, whether accurate or not, a sense of hope was established in that society at that time. No mountain was too big for him, no task too much. Perhaps the use of this story was to elevate a society that needed a hero.

Now, it is definitely too simplistic to say that John Henry is just a tale of technology and race. Yes, these are two important aspects, but there is so much more that goes into the story. Family dynamics are described. Ambitions, hopes, and dreams are mentioned. Also, John was a symbol and hero for the African American race. He wasn't treated as a slave and was recognized for his work. 

Also, I compared "An Early Version" with "A Folk Version of the Ballad." The Folk Version is just a lyrical version of John's life, telling the main parts of the story. The Early Version is more of a commentary - it has John's dialogue. There are many similarities in the two versions story-wise, but the Folk Version is a lot longer. One difference is that in the end, the Early Version claims that only John's wife went to his grave, while the Folk Version states that all of the women in the West came, along with his "liddle mother." The Early Version is much easier to read than the Folk Version because of the language; The Early Version uses modern english while the Folk Version uses vernacular of that time. 

Isn't It Ironic?

| | Comments (0)
Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Ch25&26)

"Irony trumps everything." (pg: 235)

This rings true in a lot of situations. Most people thrive for ironic situations, and like to share and tell about them later. It is the same type of situation for works of literature. The book's example of "The Importance of Being Earnest" is a great example. It says that the statement "her hair has gone quite gold from grief" works because we expect stress to turn hair white. Someone becoming blonde or golden in grief suggests that they have not suffered as much, or the situation isn't what it seems, which makes it ironic. Its interesting to find the ironies in stories and decode them to find the true meaning. Irony is a key part of any work of literature.

Personally, I always enjoy the ironies of life and picking them out in the things we read. I always read into things, maybe too far, but certainly enough for personal enjoyment. My friends and I always share the ironies we find in our daily lives and laugh about it later. Maybe we can do so with literature too...

Life-changing Manipulation

| | Comments (0)

"Regardless of whether we credit Jim forethought in this matter, it is undeniable that he turns Tom's attempt to humiliate him into a major personal triumph." (pg: 364)

I never really thought of this either. Jim seems so goodhearted, yet when "Tom gives him an inch, he takes an ell." He totally fabricated Tom's prank for publicity and fame in the slave world. Like the book suggests, he does use this fame to elevate himself from his slave status. Because he had a crazy witch experience, he isn't just an ordinary slave - he is special. 

The book states, "by becoming, in effect, an author, Jim writes himself a new destiny." I agree, since because he is so popular and people travel to hear his stories, his whole life will be altered.  Also, Jim would not be able to complete this transformation if he wasn't intelligent. His wit is the key to his success.

Boy-play world

| | Comments (0)

"Tom's visions are, of course, youthful versions of the bad faith mechanisms adults use in his community every day. He does not actually see the case-knife, but he must act consistently as though he does in order to maintain the coherence of his boy-play world." (pg:4)

I found this quote to be interesting. I never thought of Tom's actions as his interpretation of the evil he sees in his surrounding adult world. But, it does make sense. Children learn from their surroundings, and Tom was responding to those surroundings and the stories supplied to him. The statement "he must act consistently" suggests that Tom's world would fall apart without his play world. 

In fact, I wonder what Tom's world would be like without his fanciful play world. Everything he knows would be challenged - he would be forced to face the reality and quite possibly (gasp) grow up! 

Recent Comments

Katie Lantz on Give Credit for Good: I agree that Washington was a
Michelle Siard on A New Way of Thinking: Your right, till I read this c
Jennifer Prex on Give Credit for Good: I agree that that is most like
Jessica Apitsch on Give Credit for Good: Your point was one of mine as
Kayla Lesko on A New Way of Thinking: It seems that a good bit of pe
Jessica Pierce on this heart, it beats, beats for only you: Thanks Heather! I'm glad to sh
Jessica Pierce on New Cruelty: It's just amazing that a young
Jennifer Prex on New Cruelty: I agree that Tom was definitel
Heather Mourick on New Cruelty: I think our hate for Tom is ne
Heather Mourick on this heart, it beats, beats for only you: I never really saw it like tha