Portfolio 2 - Blogging my ideals

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The blogging has certainly been a good experience this semester. It is time consuming and tedious, but I found that it really did spark conversation in class that was helpful. Since we had to blog I feel that everyone came to class with something insightful to share. It kind of forced my to prepare myself for class every week. This was helpful because in a once a week night class there is always the tendency to put everything off and not think about the class at all until the night before. 
Blogging has also shown me exactly what I did all semester and hopefully it will be helpful in studying for the final!
Overall I would say that I have provided some detailed blogs that have been thought provoking. I did not just do it to get it done, I really took advantage of the Internet to share my ideas.


Almost all of my blogs were posted on thursday or friday (or on monday with the poem selections that weren't due until monday) The only exceptions were one on invisible man and one on foster. I guess I just dropped the ball that time. Overall I would say that I kept up with the blogging on time.


For the most part all of my blogs concentrated on a specific quote and I expanded on what I thought of it. Usually this expansion related to the work as a whole or some personal opinion.  


These are my entries where I think I put some extra time and effort into blogging. The ideas that I gave may not be that impressive but I feel that I spent some time and thought on them.


I didnt really get that much peer feedback on my blogs, this might be because I posted my entries later in the day so they were lower on the list, or maybe my entries werent clever enough for others to comment on. Regardless I still generated some good comments on my blogs. Most notably on What is going on where I had 7 comments and good conversation going. I think that I generated more physical conversations in class by referring to specific blogs than i did on the actual blogs themselves. Again I think this probably had to do with this being the first class that I had to blog in, as well as the workload of having to read so much and comment.

Rosalind Blair - Free Will VS Determinism
Chelsie Bitner - seX, sEX, SEX
Alicia Campbell - This Concept has Staying Power - Unfortunately

Again I feel that I provided more valuable insights to people's ideas in class but there were still blogs that I feel I helped get the conversation moving and provided some good questions/answers on my peers blogs. I think I did better on this, this time around. 

Course Page!


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"Felix: I dont know why everybody's being so fucking stupid!" (Miller 100).

I find this quote particularly ironic because Felix seems to be the one in this scene who is being stubborn. The whole idea about crucifying "charley" seems to have its pros and cons. Yet Felix is only seeing the Money that would come to the government from advertising. He is not seeing the other side that maybe people would not take to kindly to the second murder of Jesus. But "charley" actually wants to be crucified for the people much like Jesus knew he HAD to be crucified to forgive the sins of all people, yet "Charley" chooses not too. Why is that? 

The whole idea that Felix isnt sure about all stems (obviously...) from materialism which is something quite different than the society during biblical times. Im not sure that the primary focus during the time of Jesus was on wealth and materialism as miller seems show is the focus in the play. Right after Felix makes this statement Stanley goes on to talk about the property values and all the merchandise that would follow if the crucification actually happened. I think that perhaps "Charley" saw that society was too wrapped up in money and wealth instead of focusing on living life and being righteous and just to each other. Since the people didnt really need the hero, they need the materialistic things that would follow the death of the "hero," he chose not to come down.

However there is another side to the argument. One could probably argue that wealth and more specifically the power associated with it played a major factor in the biblical crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus knew what was going to happen and he knew that it had to happen. I think he eve told Judas that he must betray him? Im not really that up to speed on my sunday school knowledge so if anyone has another opinion on this that wold be great. Why do you think that "Charley" decide not to come down in the end? And how does that relate to the biblical crucifixion of Jesus?

Who were you talking to on the phone? Me.

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"Me. it was me. I'm down in the Monroe Street Parking Garage, no clothes, fifteen degrees below zero. God I hope the car starts." p 449

Contrasting this scene with the one that we see from "our henry" (as ill call him) is really interesting. Obviously this scene is a huge foreshadowing of what happens later in the book but when I read it the first time i had no idea how serious it was. I thought they were going to save him, or at least he wouldn't be out there that long. 
I personally think that It is weird how he time travelled like that because up to this point he has never been in that serious of danger as a result. He had trouble with the law, and fights but he never was in tha kind of danger. He even would time travel away before the cops could ever actually book him and when he was younger he time traveled just a little bit to save his own life in the car. I just found it intriguing that this particular time travel was so devastating to him. I seemed like it was out of no where. (Not really counting the cage in the library...)

I didnt actually say anything particularly clever about the story, but I just found this interesting. I mean it kind of made me mad... Why are you doing this to my favorite character... I mean the book wouldnt have been the same, but still...

This is more of a personal reaction to the story, but it is something that i pondered. Are there any interesting things that came to your mind about the story or things that happened that sparked some emotion? (like everything from this page on...)


Sexy Symbols

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I had a teacher in high school who told us that symbols in books could always relate sex. This is a little unorthodox probably for a high school teacher but he was rather unorthodox. While this certainly got a rise out of the general populace of the classroom, but we found that in general it was true. Basically we broke down stories like red riding hood and talked about how they related to sex. The wolf eating them, the red on her cape, ect. Essentially this chapter just reminded me of that. 
The part that i really found interesting was the reference to the quest for the holy grail. Again we see the typical insertion of "this symbol means this" that anyone can argue with, but it certainly the viewpoint has merit. I never thought of the quest for the holy grail in these terms. The lance, the grail, a pure knightly man, i mean really. This is what we have been saying in class with regards to Foster pretty much all semester. We see what he is saying, its pretty obvious, yet we cant quite place our finger on it with out his help, and we also cant help but argue with his opinions.

Norton and Ellison

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"Later, when the protagonist promises to read Emerson, Norton describes his own sense of subjection to an abiding "destiny" or "fate," which for him seems always connected in some way to Emerson's philosophical legacy: "Very good. Self-reliance is a most worthy virtue. I shall look forward with the greatest of interest to learning your contribution to my fate" (Ellison 1981, 108)." (82)

This part is ironic and the article really helped me to notice it. The fact that the narrators life is shaped by Norton in a negative way and Norton wants to make his mark with the Narrator (not specifically). The fact is the Narrator ends up contributing to his fate in a way that is very different from what Norton expects or intends. Norton makes very specific references to Emerson and Norton is the reason that the Narrator is expelled from the college. Essentially the connection with Emerson is supposed to be a negative one. This is something that I never really noticed before yet it is important to note because of the Narrators change in character throughout the novel.

seeing and believing

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"With this, i thought, I should be seen even in a snowstorm -- only they'd think i was someone else." (Ellison 484)

This is when the narrator goes into the hat store after being mistaken for Rinehart. He is mistaken for him by a women who mentions that he didnt have his hat on. It is interesting that our invisible narrator is trying to be seen now, but as someone else entirely. He can be seen, but only as a different person. On the next page (485) he says "they see the hat, not me." Basically the hat, which is very large and obvious, makes him invisible as himself. Even in the bar he is called pops or poppa-stopper, something that never happened when he was just him. WHat other things could the hat signify for our invisible narrator?


Smoking reefer cigarettes.

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"I havent smoked a reefer since, however; not becasue they're illegal, but because to see around corners is enough (that is not unusual when you are invisible)" (Ellison 13).

I decided to talk about this particular quote because I found it very interesting. (Isnt that why we look at specific quotes?) That the narrator describes how he felt when he was under the influence of this substance and how he liked it but it was too much, is specifically what I found interesting. 
In being invisible the narrator is used to seeing things that others miss. He conveys the idea that he is particularly clever and observant throughout the prologue, and i think that this is what the reader is supposed to get. When smoking reefer he got the sense that he could hear around corners as well. He could really hear what Louis Armstrong was saying, but he lost motivation to  care like he normally would.
The narrator says the drug destroys ones perception of time and as such it influences the ability to act, something that the narrator believes very strongly in. The prologue sets up a very interesting character who is mature and intelligent then we move to the first chapter start to see where he came from and why he can understand himself so well.


A copy of a copy of a copy

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"Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed." (204)

I chose to look at the poem by Plath entitled Insomniac. While reading this poem I was reminded of a novel that was made into a rather popular movie called fight club. While the movie fight club has the charming Brad Pitt and Edward Norton it retains a lot of the message behind the book. There is a scene that is in the book and in the movie where we see the main character have this problem with insomnia. 
The thing is that this insomnia gives rise to a plan that is essentially the revolution of the proletariat. The character that has insomnia sees the world for what it truly is and tries to fix it. 
As I read the poem I saw these parallels where the insomniac can almost see things more clearly when they are the ones who are kind of going crazy.
The pills of all the colors and drugs that dont work leading up to the lines of people with trivial repetitions. 
Then finally the ending quote which almost summarizes the idea in fight club.

Dancing with the stars

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I think this poem is quite obviously about child abuse and not about a small boy dancing with his father. While this seems fairly obvious I might try and back up my claim from the text.

First "The whiskey on your breath" this shows that the father was drunk and everyone knows the story of a drunken father coming home and slapping his family around.

This whole stanza, talking about a small boy, hanging on like death, and waltzing not being easy  tells a story. This is when the boy is young and has a sense of innocence which makes things worse. He hangs on like death might mean that he wishes for death because he is beat so bad, or that he feels like death. The waltzing is almost in a plural sense here so we might assume that it isnt a once in a while thing.
Battered on one knuckle might suggest that the father is angry and punches things.
Things breaking in the kitchen and mother being upset could signify the mother not really being able to do anything about it.
Finally taking the time on his head and his hands being cracked with dirt could mean that the father is a strong working man and he is beating his son.

Then again could the poem just be about a boy and his father dancing when he is drunk - being merry and accidently knocking things off in the kitchen - the dad lightly taps the boy on the head for rhythm and moves a little too rough in his drunken state and scratches his sons ear?

Symbolism Embolism

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Is that a Symbol? (Foster 97).

Since re-reading this chapter I again am inclined to share my opinions about the topic of symbolism. It seems that many people go into a work looking for very specific symbols and they have to mean a certain thing. However I think it is important to do what foster says and ask yourself what does it mean to me? 

Although the author might include specific symbols in a work that are supposed to hold a particular meaning but if the reader doesnt get those meanings then it doesnt matter. What matters at that point is what the reader did get out of the work. If an apple is in a work and supposed to represent the fruit from eden - but a person who grew up around an apple orchard will probably see a different meaning first, something personal that others may not get.

That is the beauty to literature. While there are some right answers there are probably just as many answers that are right to the person who is reading the literature.

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April Minerd on Who were you talking to on the phone? Me.: I see your point, up until the
Joshua wilks on seeing and believing: That is an interesting point o
Robert Zanni on seeing and believing: I also found this confusing as
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Joshua WIlks on Symbolism Embolism: exactly! that is what i meant
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