September 2009 Archives


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I already had a concussion, you know? LOL Prepare for major... CAPSLOCK

Chapter 12 of Roberts had nothing new for me, but I still have to pick a quote so...

"Your major purpose is to convince your reader that your solution is a good one" (175).

I've heard this SO MANY TIMES. I know it's good to remember, but I think I get the point. Show evidence, make a thesis, blah blah blah.

The example essay was well thought out, something better than I would've done, since I'm not a big fan of poems (OH CRAP, THAT'S PRETTY MUCH ALL WE'VE READ, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE 6-8 PAGES ON THAT?!). I really don't remember how my teachers in high school went about essays and that, I just remember the stuff from college.

I Can't Seem to Escape this Guy

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Seriously, Robert Frost seems to follow me EVERYWHERE! This is about "Desert Places."

"I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places" (lines 15-16)

Why go somewhere to feel lonely when you can do it at home? The only reason people get lonely is pretty much their own doing: avoiding people, acting such a way that people would dislike you, etc. I probably sound heartless right now, but I also realize that loneliness can also be caused by forces we can't control.

I Believe I Can Fly

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Before I start talking about whatever, I'd like to share a tip for the next portfolio. Gathering all those links was a pain in the butt so now whenever I make an entry or comment on someone else's, I save the links in a Word file with a description of what the entry is about. Just thought I'd share that.

This is for Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

"In general, flying is freedom, we might say, freedom not only from specific circumstances but from those more general burdens that tie us down" (127).

Hayao Miyazaki's (known for Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke along with other films) films always have the theme of flight in them. I could do a whole entry on that, maybe I will in a different one.

Flying can also be related to huris aka pride. When someone can fly, they are literally and figuratively above everyone else. As they fly overhead, the people below them appear like insects on the sidewalk. If humanity ever did find a way to fly without the use of an airplane, blimp, etc., we probably wouldn't emphasis it as much.

Fire is Your Friend

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This is in reference to Ch. 13: House-Warming in Thoreau's Walden.

"Cooking was then, for the most part, no longer a poetic, but a chemic process" (para. 19).

I never thought of cooking as a poetic process, just something that's necessary. I think it would be cool to learn how to cook a variety of things because I haven't been exposed to many exotic dishes throughout my life. This doesn't sound very thought provoking, so let me change that...

With technology constantly getting better, old ways are slowly becoming obsolete. Take handwriting for example. Most people have terrible handwriting nowadays because mostly everything is typed on a computer. Now, I don't think handwriting will die out anytime soon, but who wants to read chicken scratch?

Now on to Ch. 18: Conclusion

"Things do not change; we change" (para. 13).

I love this quote because it's so true. One moment, we'll like something and then the next, we can't believe we liked it in the first place. Basically, we get bored and move on to something else or we change the thing we already like into something better (according to some). 


I Think I Read Something Similar to This

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And that was Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. *twitches* Don't even get me started on that book.

Anyway, I actually kind of enjoyed Thoreau's Walden. My quote is from Chapter 2: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.

"If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter--we never need read of another" (para. 19).

When I read this quote, I immediately agreed. Our society seems to thrive on bad news. In my high school social studies class, we had to do current events; writing down different news articles. It was pretty pointless and most of the time, people made something up because like the above quote says, we've already seen something like it.

And now for Chapter 4: Sounds

""The rays which stream through the shudder will be no longer remembered when the shutter is wholly removed" (para. 1).

I think this quote fits well with human nature, we tend to forget things or not notice them when they're gone. We just go about our daily lives like nothing changed.

Two Dudes Who Wrote Poetry

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I've read a few of William Wordsworth's poems before, like She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways and I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. I liked them and I also like the other poems we had to read. I'll be taking a closer look at The World is Too Much for Us

"Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" (lines 4-5)

Wordsworth is lamenting the fact that people (in his time) don't really pay that much attention to nature and occupy themselves with other things. It's interesting that he uses 'boon' after 'sordid' because 'boon' means to be thankful for something while 'sordid' means vile or nasty. Very contradictory if you ask me.

Next is William Butler Yeats and even though it's not the correct way to pronouce his name, I like to refer to him as the Yeast Man. I have a weird sense of humor, okay? Anyhoo, this is my first time reading anything from the Yeast... I mean Yeats and I enjoyed it. My list of poets I like is slowly growing. YAY!

I'm going to focus on Adam's Curse.

"That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
as weary-hearted as that hollow moon" (38-39).

Yeats uses A LOT of Christian smbolism in his poems. So that got me thinking (quite a scary thing actually), "What does the title mean in relation to the poem?" In the creation story, Adam's love for Eve caused him to take the apple, hence his curse in kicking kicked out of Eden. In the poem, the narrator (presumably Yeats) is lamenting that his attempting to make his love life like a paradise has failed. 

American Lit: 1800-1915 Portfolio 1

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Round 2 with the blogging portfolio except for a different class.

Coverage: Everything that I've posted for the class so far.
Poe's "Sonnet: To Science
Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown"
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death"
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 7-13 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 5-7 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Ch. 14-21of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 8-10 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Interlude and Ch.11-12 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall-Street."

Depth: Entries where I put on my close reading cap.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown"
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death"
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 14-21of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall-Street."

Interaction: Classmates blogs I've commented on.
Katie Lantz:
Interlude, Ch11-12 of How to Read Literature Like a Proffesor
Ch.8-10 of How to Read Literature Like a Proffesor
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Ch.19-24 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death"

Heather Mourick:
Interlude, Ch11-12 of How to Read Literature Like a Proffesor
Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall-Street."
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"

David Wilbanks:
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor

Discussions: Entries that people commented on.
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall-Street."

Timeliness: Entries that sparked a discussion before class.
Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall-Street."

Xenoblogging: Classmates entries where I said something discussion worthy or was the first person to comment.
Sarah made this entry after reading my post about Ch. 1-6 of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" I'm counting it.
Interlude, Ch11-12 of How to Read Literature Like a Proffesor
Ch. 1-3 of How to Read Literature like a Professor

Wildcard: Random entries. The first one had a good conversation going and the second is thrown in because more people seem to be doing it.






It's Poefect (Sorry, couldn't help myself)

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Yeah... This was supposed to be the very first blog entry for my American Lit. class. I FORGOT. This is about Poe's poem "Sonnet: To Science."

"Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart"

In the poem, Poe laments how science is changing the way people look at things. At the time he wrote it, some common knowledge that we know today was just being discovered. Instead of using imagination to explain things, science has to find an answer for everthing. Poe claims that it's destroying the poet's way of life.

Which is It?

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Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street."

"Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small" (para. 1).

To me, the relationship between the narrator and Bartleby was a love/hate one, at least on the narrator's part. His curiousity of Bartleby overpowers all other feelings. The fact that he knows nothing about this mysterious man causes him to use exotic descriptions.

What's Up, Doc?

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper."

"He said I was his darling and his comfort and all he had, and that I must take care of myself for his sake, and keep well" (5).

It seemed to me that John treated the narrator as more of a patient/child than his wife. He constantly giving her medicine and even refers to her as "little girl" (5). Besides the wallpaper, how John treated her (in the emotional sense) caused the narrator's insanity. He wouldn't take her seriously or let her do anything.

Survey Says...

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The interlude and Ch. 11-12 from How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

"Here's the problem with symbols: people expect them to mean something" (97).

Another problem I find is that when a person decodes a symbol, they refuse to acknowledge that it might mean something else. Theirs is the only answer. I admit that I can be close minded, but if something has more than one meaning I'd like to hear what it is. The more I hear, the more likely I'll be able to come to deeper conclusions about other things.


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Yeah... so Dr. Jerz mentioned Disney princesses and how they are all stereotyped, but I have an example one one princess that has a flaw: Belle. Now, like other princesses, she does daydream about having a different life, but never does anything about it except read. HOWEVER, after the Beast saves her from the wolves, she was going to leave him there and head home. I'm not making this up, go watch the movie if you don't believe me. As she goes to get on the saddle of her horse, she realizes that he just saved her life and takes him back to the castle. Most princesses are perfect in every way, but the fact that for a moment, Belle was acting just like anyone else (okay, maybe not everyone) makes her more human.

Oh, guess I should say something else about "Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet" huh? I realized even before Jerz said that there would be other readings that I may not end up liking. With me, it's "What the heck was this?" first then "This is why I didn't like it..." later. It's a process.

Writing About Literature Portfolio 1

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This entry has lots and lots of links.

Coverage: These are all the entries I've made so far.

My first blog entry talking about Chapter 1 of Writing About Literature.

Me talking about the French short story "The Necklace."

My thoughts on Mark Twain's short story "Luck."

Thomas Hardy's poem "The Man He Killed."

Chapter 2 of Writing About Literature and why I'm not a big fan of poems.

Chapter 3 of Writing About Literature and why I want to minor in Psychology.

Susan Glaspell's play "Trifles."

My thoughts on a poem I actually like by Billy Collins called "On Turning Ten."

Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrance at Owl Creek."

Chapter 4 of Writing About Literature and why I don't like second person POV.

Chapter 5 of Writing About Literature and how an author can ruin a good story.

Thomas Hardy's short story "The Three Strangers."

On why I suck at reading Shakespeare poems.

On Sylvia Plath's poem "Lady Lazarus."

My reaction to a play called "Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet."


Depth: Entries where I muse about things read in class.


Interaction: Classmates blogs I've commented on.

Karyssa Blair:

Me saying how at points Thomas Hardy's "The Three Strangers" was obvious.

Writing an explication on a poem.

Twix's NUFF SAID. Just kidding! What I think the dashes mean in Thomas Hardy's "The Man He Killed."


Brooke Kuehn:

I discover that I may be the only one who doesn't like the play "Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet."


Jessica Orlowski:

Joining Jessica on her trip down memory lane.

Me being blown away by Jessica talking about writing her own eulogy.


Josie Rush:

Me commenting on how people just have to find something in every poem they read.

My close reading skills are put to shame.

Me wondering why we can't undestand something the first time we read it.


Melissa Schwenk:

Me commenting on why Billy Collins "On Turning Ten" is depressing.


Discussions: Posts that people deemed worthy to comment on.


Timeliness: Entries posted before class that started discussion.


Xenoblogging: Classmates entries that I contributed insight to (okay, maybe not that much).


Wildcard: Too bad I'm not playing Uno... Anyhoo, some random entries. The first link is my favorite entry and the second link is my thoughts on blogging. *runs for cover*



And So it Comes to This...

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No offense to anyone, but I'm not really into this whole blogging about literature thing. Don't get me wrong, I like reading and blogging (LJ), but it's not really all that great when I HAVE to do it. It sucks up time and I mostly have nothing to say on another person's entry. Sometimes I have nothing to say for my own entries and I have to go back and think of something. I do make an attempt but I just can't really get into it. Sorry.


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See that in the title? That was my expression while reading this.

Ann-Marie Macdonald: Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

The play has a good concept, but other than that, I thought it was ridiculous. Some woman gets magically transported into two of Shakespeare's plays and can magically start speaking like the plays. The characters don't really react to the fact that this woman randomly appeared. I do admit though that the part where Romeo and Juliet turn into crossdressers is amusing, but still left me with a O_o feeling.

This is MYTH!!!!!!

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Can anyone guess what movie I'm parodying in the title? It's not hard.

Foster: Ch. 9

"Greek and Roman myth is so much a part of the fabric of our consciousness, of our unconsciousness really, that we scarely notice" (66).

It's no wonder, those myths are classic stuff. They're even used in anime (sorry, I had to mention that). Even though the Romans kind of got their ideas from the Greeks, it's still interesting. At least every person that I've talked to knows at least one of these myths.

Dude, This is Some Serious Stuff

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I was told by a friend that if I like Poe, I would like Plath and she was somewhat correct. Poe's the man, 'nuff said.

Sylvia Plath: Lady Lazarus

"Herr God, Herr Lucifer,

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air" (lines 79-84)

Earlier in the poem, the narrator said how she was like a cat with nine lives in the fact that she has cheated death so many times. The narrator mentions God and Lucifer because one of the two will have your soul after you die and since she cheated death, she is in a sense immortal and ever present.


Freedom if Only for a Time...

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The Scarlet Letter: Ch. 14-21

""So speaking, she undid the clasp that fastened the scarlet letter, and, taking it from her bosom, threw it a distance among the withered leaves" (182).

I actually had to read this sentence twice because I couldn't believe she did it. I like how Hawthorne wrote that it fell among the leaves. All leaves are on a tree only for a time, but then it is time for them to fall to make way for new ones to grow. Hester was throwing her last "leaf" away in order to make a new life for herself. Too bad Pearl started freaking out.

Some Experience May Be Required

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Shakespeare: Sonnet 73 I forgot to blog about this. ^^;

I've read stuff from Shakespeare before, mostly his plays. I guess I need to read more of his poems so I can get a hang of the language being used. I had to read Chaucer for another class and it was difficult at first, but after I read for a while, I didn't have any problem whatsoever.

How Dumb Do You Think I Am?

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Thomas Hardy's short story "The Three Strangers."

At no point in this story was I in the dark about what was happening. Hardy was just too obvious in certain parts such as when the second stranger said, "True; but the oddity of my trade is that, instead of setting a mark upon me, it sets a mark upon my customers" (333). As soon as I read this, I know he was an executioner. Maybe Hardy did this purposely because sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to figure out.

Oops... Did I Do That?

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Roberts Ch. 5

"In a good work of fiction, nothing is irrelevant or accidental; everything is related and causative" (93).

There have been times when I've read something and it starts out really good, but when the climax comes, it's like someone spilled a full glass and the person looks around wondering what to do. I can't remember any titles or quotes to go along with this, but hopefully you get my point. To me, a good story is strong in all of it's parts. One weak spot can unravel the whole thing.

Do People Actually Use This?

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Roberts: Chapter 4 

"The second-person point of view, the least common of the points of view, and the most difficult for authors to manage, offers two major possibilities" (82).

Personally, I never use this viewpoint and I don't see it done very much. The only time I do see it is in fanfiction when a person wants to write about an encounter with a character that everyone likes. Seriously people, don't you have anything better to do than fantasize about a fictional character?

An Out of Body Experience of Sorts

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I'm a slacker on this blogging stuff. Actually, it's usually the last thing on my mind. Anyhoo...

Ambrose Bierce: "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"

"Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek Bridge" (322).

I'm suprised that people thought he was going to live. Bierce was good at fooling readers. I like the change of viewpoints in the story, it makes it more interresting. We go from a random person being hanged to an actual character.

Recycling May Not Help You

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I'm talking about recycling in relation to plots, concepts, etc. Sorry, I like coming up with titles.

Foster Ch. 5-7

"As you read, it may pay to remember this; there's no such thing as a wholly original work of literature" (29).

I know this, but that doesn't change the fact that I really don't care for today's literature. I think it was reading Lord of the Rings that did it. Took me FOREVER to finish but well worth it. When I read Eragon (apologies to people who liked the book), I was reminded of LoR and of all things, Star Wars. I know that many of today's fantasy literature is modeled after Tolkien, but some of them are badly written (in regards to sentence structure and all that jazz) and that just decreases the enjoyable factor.

Are You Serious?

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The Scarlet Letter Ch. 7-13

"It was none the less a fact, however, that, in the eyes of the very men who spoke thus, the scarlet letter had the effect of the cross on a nun's bosom" (147).

The fact that the townspeople come to respect Hester was kind of a surprise for me. I guess they admire her for putting up with all the suffering. I don't think she would be able to just forget about what she went through and live a normal life. The fact that she sinned was beat into her brain and most likely won't be able to fix itself.

Enough Already

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The Scarlet Letter Ch. 1-6

"But she named the infant "Pearl" as being of great price, -purchased with all she had,- her mother's only treasure" (81).

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting sick of how much Hawthorne writes how guilty Hester feels. This isn't really helped by the fact that Hester seems to think of her own child in a more negative than positive light. Always wondering whether or not she's human or referring to her as the "scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (93). I know I just quoted from the other half of our reading, but I think it helps get my point across. Hester sees Pearl as part of her punishment and therefore thinks of her in negative terms.

This has Peter Pan Vibes All Through It

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I can't stop myself from coming up with goofy titles, it's a habit from LJ. Most importantly... I ACTUALLY LIKED THESE POEMS! Anyhoo... On to Billy Collins and his poem "On Turning Ten."

"But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed" (lines 31-32).

As we grow older and learn more about the world, we lose our innocence. We learn the difference between right and wrong and that inbetween black and white, there's a gray area. Our lives aren't so simple anymore. As the title of this entry suggests, I was reminded of Wendy's dilemma on deciding whether or not to grow up. We really don't a choice, it's just something that we have to do.

All the Small Things (No, Not the Blink 182 Song)

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While I have your attention, I'd like to put out that Eye Contact is now taking submissions. It can be a story, poem, or maybe even a picture. There's no theme for this issue, so be creative! Submission can be sent to: eyecontact[at]setonhill[dot]edu SO HAVE AT IT!

Today's post is about Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles"

"Well, women are used to worrying over trifles" (page 394). As we all find out later in the play, sometimes it's the small things that matter. Actually it's kind of like the process of close reading. You have to look for something that someone else may not have noticed and try and come to a conclusion about it. A trifle to someone else may be something important for another person.

One of Poe's Best

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Masque of the Red Death is one of my favorite Poe stories. I think there's going to be a movie about some of his short stories.

"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all" (pg 10).

As humans, we are terrified of death so we do anything we possibly can to ward it off. Death is always made out to be the villain. The simple fact is that in the end, death ends up being the winner. It doesn't matter what we do, death will come whether we like it or not as evidenced in the story.

I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

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Dr. Jerz pointed out to me that I haven't been properly labeing my entries, so I apologize for the MAJOR FAIL.

Roberts Chapter 3 was a big review for me, but the most interesting thing for me was at the beginning of the chapter: "Under the influences of such pioneers as Freud, Jung, and Skinner, the science of psychology has influenced both the creation and the study of literature" (pg. 64).

This reminds me of a conversation with my advisor last year during registration for this semester's classes. I told her that I wanted to minor in psychology.

Advisor: How does that tie in with your Creative Writing major?
Me: I think that it will help my write characters better because I'll be able to get into their heads.
Advisor: *pauses* That's a good reason.

Characters are very important to me because if I have to be exposed to them throughout a story, I want thme to be interesting. There have been a few times where I have liked a concept for a story, but the characters totally ruined it for me and I didn't want anything more to do with it.

Oh, and here's a link back to the course website:

A Vampire that Doesn't Suck Blood

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"That's what this figure really comes down to, whether in Elizabethan, Victorian, or more modern incarnations: exploitation in its many forms" (pg 21).

Vampire stories show that even the most pure person can succumb to darkness, but this is the appeal of these types of stories. We see someone who is pure brought down to the almost worst possible level. For more, this seems more realistic than someone who was already in the middle of the spectrum. Someone who was pure would have a harder time trying to resist since they may not now any better.


This Should be a Movie

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Okay, for some reason my first time posting this screwed up and no entry appeared, so hopefully this works...

"The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man" (page 8).

This is very true. It's also a little unsettling because when a random creature, goes on a rampage, people will obviously fear it. However, when a human being does the same thing, the feeling is increased because suddenly we have someone that we can possibly identify with and no one likes to admit that they can be capable of something like that.