Kayla Lesko: October 2009 Archives

What a Fancy Way to Say You Like Reading

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John Keats' poem "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer."

"Much I have travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen:
Round many western islands have I been" (lines 1-3)

I really like these lines because it shows how wonderful a poem can be and also a good metaphor. I thought Keats picked a perfect metaphor for writing a poem about reading a translated version of The Odyssey, which is also about a journey.

More thoughts here...

 

Whatever Works for You

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Ch. 18 of Writing About Literature defintely had some good points, but I'd like to focus on one thing.

"As you take down notes, you will be aqcuiring your own observations and thoughts. Do not push these aside in your mind, on the chance of remembering them later, but write them down immediately" (268).

When I was new to doing research papers, I did exactly what Roberts says not to do. I would take notes, highlight, whatever, but I wouldn't write down my thoughts that went with them. Thankfully, I quickly corrected this bad habit and began writing down my thoughts and how I would organize the source into my paper. I'm not a big fan of note cards. Instead, I write or highlight the quote on a regular piece of paper, then I put a number by it indicating what paragraph it's going to appear in. But in order for this to work, I need to make an outline of the paper first.

More research methods here...

Denial isn't just a River, it's a State of Mind

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This is for Katherine Mansfield's short story "Miss Brill."

"On her way home she usually bought a slice of honeycake at the baker's. It was her Sunday treat. Sometimes there was an almond in her slice, sometimes not. It made a great difference" (351).

I can't help but think Miss Brill has this ritual of sorts so that she could make herself believe that she had a life. Let me explain... When one is settled into things, they have a routine that they follow daily, weekly, etc. It's a normal part of life, so Miss Brill develops this routine besides reading the paper to the old man. Also, the fact that finding one small almond in a cake makes her happy shows how little else she has to look forward to in her life. From listening to the young couple, she realizes that she has a shadow of a life and therefore no longer sees any point in doing a routine.

Miss Brill thoughts here...

Knock Knock, it's Death Again

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I blogged about Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" for my American Lit class, but that's okay, there's a good bit I can say about this story.

"But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious" (357). It seems that when most people read this story, they think Prospero likes to party and nothing else. He does, but there's more to him than that. Sagacious means keen or insightful. He designed the fortress so that no one could in or out and designed the hallways to have many twists and turns like a maze. He's described as bizarre, which certainly fits. However, his sagacious nature comes into play when the masked figure comes when he's "convulsed in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but in the next, his brow reddened with rage" (359). He doesn't know who/what the stranger is, but it must be something unnatural if it was able to get in.

More thoughts...

 

 

Character Depth? Where?

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Ch. 6 of Writing About Literature.

"Setting may intersect with character as a means by which authors underscore the influence of place, circumstance, and time on human growth and change" (111).

In most of the stories I've read, setting plays a major part with character. Take the Scarlet Letter for example. The town itself is like a character because helps tell about the discrimination Hester had to go through. There are other examples, but you get the idea right? In order to tell more about a character, a writer can tailor an environment around his/her traits.

This way...

Metaphors Be With You...

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My high school English teacher has a poster that said that and since Ch. 9 of Writing About Literature just happens to be about metaphors I had to use it as the title for the entry.

"Although metaphorical language is sometimes called 'ornate,' as though it was unnecessarily decorative, it is not uncommon in conversational speech, and is essential in literary thought and expression" (138).

I couldn't agree more. Metaphors make it possible for authors to get their meaning across to readers (like Roberts pretty much said) and it works so well that many metaphors are repeated over and over again. Being a writer myself, I've made a few metaphors but I don't think any of them are as good as the classics.

Ch.9 thoughts...

Being Emo Shakespeare Style

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I'm talking about Shakespeare's sonnet #30. Now that I have a little more experience with his sonnets, I can do a better close reading.

"But if the while I think on thee (dear friend)
All losses are restored, and sorrows end" (lines 13-14)

The beginning of the poem involves the narrator being very depressed and remembering all the terrible things about his life. For that reason, I can't help but picture a gray and rainy day. The two lines above end the sonnet on a happy note and so the rain has stopped and things are looking better.

Classmates thoughts on #30...

American Lit Portfolio 2

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My second portfolio for American Lit.

Coverage: Entries I've posted about things read in class.

I Think I Read Something Similar to This-Ch. 2 and 4 of Thoreau's Walden

Fire is Your Friend-Ch. 13 and 18 of Thoreau's Walden

I Believe I Can Fly- Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Poe Post 1-Poe's "The Raven"

Poe Post 2-More stuff from Poe

Dickerson... I Mean Dickinson Post 1-Stuff from Emily Dickinson

Dickinson Post 2-Do I even need to explain what this is?

What Season are you Talking About?-Ch. 18-20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Life as a Multiple Choice Question-Huckleberry Finn (up to Ch. 10)

Your Scar is Showing-Interlude and Ch.21-22 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Holy Excalmation Points Batman!-Uncle Tom's Cabin (the play)

Your Logic Amazes Me-Ch. 11-35 of Huckleberry Finn

What Happened to your Train of Thought? -Introduction essay to Huckleberry Finn by Henry Nash Smith

Depth: Entries where I had meaningful to say

I Think I Read Something Similar to This-Ch. 2 and 4 of Thoreau's Walden

Fire is Your Friend-Ch. 13 and 18 of Thoreau's Walden

I Believe I Can Fly- Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Poe Post 2-More stuff from Poe

Dickinson Post 2-Do I even need to explain what this is?

Your Scar is Showing-Interlude and Ch.21-22 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Holy Excalmation Points Batman!-Uncle Tom's Cabin (the play)

Your Logic Amazes Me-Ch. 11-35 of Huckleberry Finn

Interaction: Other blogs I've commented on. I was having health problems, so blogging was the last thing on my mind.

Jamie Grace:

More Color-Ch. 13 and 18 of Thoreau's Walden

Heather Mourick:

Roadrunner Wins Again-Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Let's Fly to Never, Neverland-Stuff from Poe

April Showers Bring May Flowers-Ch. 18-20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

A Little Simplicity Never Hurt-Dickinson Poems

Meagan Gemperlein:

Finding Jesus-Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Katie Lantz:

The Raven: Good or Bad?-Poe's "The Raven"

Geography is Everything-Ch. 18-20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Jeremy Barrick:

Drown, Dead, Rebirth-Ch. 18-20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Jessica Apitsch:

Some Unanswered Questions-Dickinson Poems

Jennifer Prex:

Telling Details-Huckleberry Finn (up to Ch. 10)

Discussions: Entries that sparked a conversation.

I Think I Read Something Similar to This-Ch. 2 and 4 of Thoreau's Walden

Poe Post 1-Poe's "The Raven"

Your Scar is Showing-Interlude and Ch.21-22 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Timeliness: (Same as Discussions) What?

Xenoblogging: Classmates posts where I was helpful or the first to comment.

More Color-Ch. 13 and 18 of Thoreau's Walden

Finding Jesus-Ch. 13-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Telling Details-Huckleberry Finn (up to Ch. 10)

Wildcard: Randomness.

And So it Comes to this... The Sequel!

Other portfolios here...

 

 

What Happened to your Train of Thought?

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Was anyone else confused at how Henry Nash Smith wrote his essay? I'm saying the content was bad, it was very good, but the structure of the essay seemed very random at points. Wait, I just commented on the structure of an essay... You know what? I'm not even going to make a comment on that.

"And at the last moment it is revealed that Jim was freed two months earlier before through the highly implausible deathbed repentance of his owner, Miss Watson" (324).

This was a lengthy essay, but I couldn't help coming back to this quote. Writers aren't perfect, but it doesn't soften the blow when even a minor plot point is resolved in a sloppy fashion. A character has to go through so much crap to get something resolved, only to discover it was already resolved. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Class Site...

 

Your Logic Amazes Me

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Ch. 11-35 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

"It was pretty ornery preaching-all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked over it going home" (171). There was more to the sentence, but I thought this much was enough.

The irony of the subject of the sermon actually made me laugh a little, mostly because the Grangerfords had such strong feelings about it. Obviously, Huck doesn't process how ironic it is. This quote shows how human nature can be sometimes. We say that we believe (I'm not talking religion) in one thing, but it always changes. Huck doesn't understand what a feud is at first, but after watching Buck die, he most likely has a good idea what it is.

Classmates thoughts here...

Time to Get My Nerdiness On

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Before I go into Maus I, I'd like to point out another thing comic related that talks about the Holocaust (although very briefly), and that would be the Marvel comic book character Magneto. Now I'm sure you're probably thinking, "Why does this girl always reference random things?" My answer is that I'm a nerd, geek, whatever.

Anyhoo, if you've seen the first live action X-Men movie, there's a scene in the beginning with a young Magneto walking with his parents about to go in the concentration camps. The fact that writers gave him a history of being a victim of the Holocaust is in part why he views humanity the way he does in present comics. He already saw one race almost be exterminated and the fact the the same thing is happening with mutants terrifies him. Okay, I'm done being a nerd now. If I sparked your interest, magnetowasright.com is a good site to check out for more info.

Now on to the actual assignment.

"The Gestapo never even came to my house. I just panicked for nothing. Please come back again" (146 panel 8(?)).

This is said by Mrs. Motonowa after she sees Vladek. When I read it, I was completely surprised that she said this and that she felt guilty for driving them out. She was willing to take on the risk of hiding them again, even though she knew that her husband would through her out if he ever found out she was hiding Jews. Despite this, Vladek still pays her, but to me, it didn't seem that outrageous since she seems to have good intentions.

Other blogs... 

And So it Comes to This... The Sequel

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That's right folks, THERE'S A SEQUEL!  Anyhoo... my thoughts on blogging sort of changed this time. It went from, "WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS?" to "*Sigh* I'll just do it." Entry here, entry there, comment here, comment there. It's still a long process. There's some times when I just want to put O_o, -____-, or WTF and call it an entry, but that would be... not very literary. Well, I already did that for Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet, but at least I said why I didn't like it. I was going to put a picture in this entry, but I'll save that for the last portfolio. So this entry is kinda sorta positive about blogging.

Portfolio Part Duex

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Be ready for lots of links!

Coverage: Entries on readings for class.

O_o???-My thoughts on the play Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet

Two Dudes Who Wrote Poetry-On poems by Wordsworth and Yeats

OMG Disney Princesses-Reacting to a class where we talked about Disney princesses

I Can't Seem to Escape This Guy-Robert Frost's "Desert Places"

How Many Times Is This Going to be Beaten into My Brain?-Ch. 12 of Writing About Literature

Um... What?-First 100 pages of The Quick and the Dead

What is with the People in this Town?-2nd part of The Quick and the Dead

Thank God that's Over With-Last part of The Quick and the Dead

It's Book Review Time -Review of a review on Gene Wilder's memoir Kiss Me Like a Stranger

Cats are the Bad Guys, What a Surprise-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Pick a Sense, Any Sense-Ch. 8  of Writing About Literature

What are you Looking At?-John Masefield's poem "Cargoes"

Depth: Where my mad reading skills (not really) are put to work.

Two Dudes Who Wrote Poetry-On poems by Wordsworth and Yeats

OMG Disney Princesses-Reacting to a class where we talked about Disney princesses. What? It counts because I point out that Belle has human qualities.

I Can't Seem to Escape this Guy-Robert Frost's "Desert Places"

Um... What?-First 100 pages of The Quick and the Dead

Thank God that's Over With-Last part of The Quick and the Dead

Interaction: Classmates blogs that I commented on.

Josie Rush

Who Saw that Coming... We Did-2nd part of The Quick and the Dead

Juxtaposition Dancing Daffodil-On poems by Wordsworth and Yeats

The Black and White, Cat and Mouse, Jew and German Truth-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Jessica Krehlik

Characters Really Make the Story-First 100 pages of The Quick and the Dead

Melissa Schwenk

Picking Daisies, Falling into Chasms-2nd part of The Quick and the Dead

Karyssa Blair

Symbolism Abounds-Last part of The Quick and the Dead

Must have More Historical Graphic Novels-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Discussions: Entries of mine that got people talking.

OMG Disney Princesses-Reacting to a class where we talked about Disney princesses. IT SPARKED DISCUSSION, IT COUNTS.

Um... What?-First 100 pages of The Quick and the Dead

What is With the People in this Town?-2nd part of The Quick and the Dead

Cats are the Bad Guys, What a Surprise-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Timeliness: Entries posted before class that sparked a discussion.

OMG Disney Princesses-Reacting to a class where we talked about Disney princesses. IT SPARKED DISCUSSION, IT COUNTS.

Um... What?-First 100 pages of The Quick and the Dead

What is With the People in this Town?-2nd part of The Quick and the Dead

Cats are the Bad Guys, What a Surprise-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Xenoblogging: Classmates entries where I say something somewhat meaningful or was the first one to comment.

The Black and White, Cat and Mouse, Jew and German Truth-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Must have More Historical Graphic Novels-Ch. 1-4 of Maus I

Symbolism Abounds-Last part of The Quick and the Dead

Wildcard: Entries that I feel like adding.

OMG Disney Princesses

And So it Come to This... The Sequel-Do I even need to explain this?

What Are You Looking At?

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John Masefield's poem "Cargoes."

"Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores" (lines 6-10)

The poem was rather short, but I liked these lines the most. Masefield really wants us to visualize all the things that are on the boat. I pictured that it would be a sunny day so that the light would reflect off the jewels. So yeah, another poem to put on my Like list.

Pick a Sense, Any Sense

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Ch. 8 of Writing About Literature.

"Imagery is therefore one of the strongest modes of literary expression because it provides a channel to your active imagination, and along this channel, writers bring their works directly to you and into your consciousness" (129).

I couldn't agree more with this quote. When I read something, I like to picture the place, people, etc in my mind. I never read something where the author hasn't accomplished this. Some do it well, others don't. Good imagery gets you into the story more.

Cats are the Bad Guys, What a Surprise

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Instead of focusing on a quote from Maus I, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman which is about his father's experiences during the Holocaust, I'd like to focus on the artwork. I'm not artistic in any way, but I'm used to reading comics in black and white because I read manga (Japanese comics read from right to left). Overall, I thought the artwork in Maus was very good, but there were some scenes such as the one on page 61 where the Nazis are executing Jews in the woods and the black and white don't seem to balance out. It took me a few seconds to be able to tell what was happening. Manga can have these kind of problems too and since manga has a lot of action sequences, it makes it difficult to figure out what's happening. Maus is by no means about action sequences, it's about the story, all I'm saying is that sometimes Spiegelman's artwork is hard to make out.

Link to other blogs

Holy Exclamation Points Batman!

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In case you haven't noticed, I like coming up with titles. I think the title fits, since there's an exclamation point in almost every line that's said. This entry is on Uncle Tom's Cabin (the play).

"That's you Christians, all over. You'll get up a society, and get
some poor missionary to spend all his days among just such heathen; but let me
see one of you that would take one into your house with you, and take the labor
of their conversion upon yourselves" (91). -St. Clare

A few months ago, I read the novel, so I couldn't help but compare the two just a little bit. There's a few changes here and there, but the message is still the same. It's interesting how much hypocrisy goes on throughout both works. Take the quote above as an example. St. Clare says it to his cousin Ophelia who's against slavery, but wants nothing to do with them. Even after the quote is said, she takes on the task of educating Topsy out of duty.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/aiken_uncle_toms_cabin/

It's Book Review Time

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Okay, I'm not really into books that were written recently unless they're about a famous person or a history book. With that being said, my review is a review on Gene Wilder's memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger.

Official Review from the NY Times

Janet Maslin starts off the review by saying how awkward the title sounds, but quickly adds that it was from Gilda Radner, Wilder's third wife. The title never struck me as awkward, I actually think it's a good title for a memoir. Maslin goes on to say that the book is a mixture of the Gene Wilder we all know and love, but with a serious side to it. Like any other review, it includes a brief summary of the book, touching only on certain points which include most of the films Wilder has been in. Overall, I find that the review does the job of sparking an interest in the reader.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/10/ex_4_review/

 

 

Your Scar is Showing

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor really amuses me sometimes.

"Beyond these cautionary elements, though, the real monster is Victor, the monster's maker" (200). I love Frankenstein, so I couldn't pass up a quote about it.

If you want a GOOD adaption, watch Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with Robert De Niro as the Monster. It actually follows the book, but diverges a bit toward the end. Just putting it out there.

The main thing people seem to forget about is that the Monster is in fact very human. The real monster is Victor's ego and it doesn't really help that he doesn't take responsibility for the being he creates.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/foster_how_to_read_literature_7/


Life as a Multiple Choice Question

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I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was younger, but it's nice to read it again with the knowledge I have now.

"Two months or more run along, and my clothes got to be all rags and dirt, and I didn't see how I'd ever got to like it so well at the widow's..." (90).

Huck seems to have a "go with the flow" type of attitude. He doesn't seem to like change, but quickly adapts to his current situation. According to him, whatever way is the easiest is the best which means pleasing everyone which isn't surprising considering how Pap Finn is.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/clemens_adventures_of_hucklebe/

Thank God that's Over With

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You have no idea how happy I am that I'm done with The Quick & and the Dead.

"Ginger had never allowed Annabel to put out the candles and in fact hadn't spoken to the child for an entire week when somehow the beehive candle snuffer had found its way into the play yard and Annabel had flattened it with her tricycle" (215).

I ALMOST feel sorry for Annabel because of how much denial she's in about Ginger. Carter and even Ginger herself comment on how much denial Annabel is in. However, Annabel does say that "I don't think Mommy ever liked me. She was in love with Daddy" (241). So she eventually realizes that she's in denial thanks to Alice's seemingly heartless act of blowing her nose in the napkin that was supposedly in Ginger's purse.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/10/williams_the_quick_and_the_dea_2/











What Season are You Talking About?

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Chapters 18-20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

"For about as long as anyone's been writing anything, the seasons have stood for the same set of meanings" (178). I realize that Meagan already posted about this quote, but my thoughts are entirely different.

Winter isn't a dreary season to me. In fact, I view it as a spiritual thing. Instead of death, we're waiting for a rebirth. In order for rebirth there has to be death. Without winter, spring would'nt be so important to us. I realize that Foster said something along these lines in the chapter, but I felt like expanding it.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/foster_how_to_read_literature_6/

Dickinson Post 2

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Hey look, it's more Dickerson poems!

"Stop--docile and omnipotent--
At its own stable door" (XVII The Railway Train)

Dickinson describes the train as if it were an actual animal. I think there's an actual word for this and I tried looking online but no luck. It doesn't seem that she's describing it as one animal, but many. I was thinking it was only a horse at first, but horses don't crawl or hoot so that idea went out the window.

"Perhaps the kingdom of Heaven's changed!
I hope the children there
Won't be new-fashioned when I come" (XX Old-Fashioned)

There seems to be a fear of change going on here. So bad to the point that the narrator thinks that Heaven's changed too. It could just be that the narrator is so set in his/her ways that he/she doesn't want to change.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/emily_dickinson/

Dickerson... I Mean Dickinson Post 1

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Even after all these years, Dickinson's poems leave me in a state of O_o.

"His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own" (X: In a Library)

As soon as I read this, I thought of someone taking me by the hand to show me an amazing place. That's what a book is supposed to do, it's the cheapest way to travel. I'd rather read a book (not just any book, it has to be a good one) than go outside and enjoy the scenery.

"I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given" (XVII)

The overall feel that I got from this poem was that even if we never saw something with our own eyes, we'd still know what it was. Up until last year, I never went to the beach, but I still knew what it looked like. Everyone's perception of something can be different, but for Heaven I don't know how much different it can get.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/emily_dickinson/

Poe Post 2

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More stuff from Poe, I can never get tired of his stuff.

"But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate" ("The Haunted Palace")

In the beginning of the poem, Poe presents us with images of a magnificent palace with "Banners yellow, glorious, golden" and "with pearl and ruby glowing was fair the palace door." Then comes the quote I started the entry with and the poem turns into classic Poe. The "spirits moving musically" to "vast forms, that move fantastically." The change is sudden (at least to me anyway) like a part in a movie where everyone is dancing to music, but then it abruptly stops when some terrible secret is revealed.

"There is a two-fold Silence--sea and shore--
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places" ("Silence")

There are two kinds of silence: peaceful and lonely (or whatever word you prefer). Everyone needs to have quiet time, but the second type of silence can be depressing. For the second type of silence, you realize that you're alone or it can perhaps make you go insane.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/edgar_allen_poe/

Poe Post 1

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Poe is one of the only poets I like and The Raven is one of my favorites! It's quote time.

"Quoth the Raven "Eat my shorts!" You really think I was going to miss the chance to use this? I actually have a bookmark that says this and it glows in the dark. OOOH SPOOKY. Now on to the actual quote...

"Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door--Perched, and sat, and nothing more" (lines 41-42).

As it said in the foot note, Pallas aka Athena, is the Greek goddess of wisdom. All the times I've read this, I've always wondered why Poe had the Raven land on the goddess of wisdom. It's kind of ironic, since the narrator is being illogical because of his grieving for Lenore.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/edgar_allen_poe/

What is with the People in This Place?

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There should be a giant sign that says: CAUTION: LIVING HERE MAY COST YOU YOUR SANITY. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

If you can't tell, the second part of The Quick & the Dead hasn't made the book any better. Anyhoo, it's quote time.

"You are such an old lady, Emily, honestly" (184).

I find this quote interesting because Emily, even though she's only eight, definitely acts more of an adult than Alice does. Alice is described as being childlike even though she's fifteen. She tries to act mature with all her environmental talk but she's really not.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/10/williams_the_quick_and_the_dea_1/




Um.......... WHAT?!

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The only thing that kept me reading was, "It has to get better." I had no opinion of what The Quick & the Dead would be like before I read it, but as of now... if I ever saw any of the characters in real life, I'd call the happy bus.

"Cats are accustomed to making their own decisions and implementing them out of their owner's sight" (73).

This is from Alice's discussion with the piano player. Alice claims to love all animals, but she hates cats and I think this quote reveals why. She is like a cat, so if she kills one, it's almost like killing herself.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/10/williams_the_quick_and_the_dea/