February 2008 Archives

Angels at wayside diners and devils walkin' the roads


""She looks like an angel of Gawd,' he murmured. 'Hitch-hiker,' Mr. Shiftlet explained. 'I can't wait. I got to make Tuscaloosa.'" (O'Connor, pg. 60)

Why would you leave an angel alone at a roadside diner, even if she was simple in the head, turn around and pick up another hitch-hiker that would ultimately scar you? Sometimes we fail to realize the good things that are right in front of us because we're too busy focused on a point far ahead. Mr. Shiftlet never realized just how good a deal he had while living with the old woman and her daughter. All he could think about was that car, the item that would take him to somewhere better, at least he thought. He left Lucynell asleep at a foreign diner, left, and picked up a boy on down the road. "He felt too that a man with a car had a responsibility to others and he kept his eye out for a hitch-hiker." (pg. 60) What about the people that started out in the car with you? Well, things didn't turn out so well for Mr. Shiftlet in the end. His illusions were shattered as he was yelled at by a boy who obviously had a terrible mother (at least from his point of view). It is shortly after this that Mr. Shiftlet cries out to God to wash the slime from the earth (meaning the boy) and instead is chased by a rain cloud that we don't even know if he ever escaped. It just goes to show that you should be careful what ya wish for 'cause it might turn out the way you expect it to and that you should be thankful for what you've now, not what you may have one day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm afraid that this concludes our virtual tour. So, if you would please click HERE to return to the home page!

"Analogy: a comparison of a subject to something that is similar to it in order to clarify the subject's nature, purpose, or function." (Hamilton, pg. 76)

"Imagery: a widely used term that has several distinctive meanings. All, however, refer to the CONCRETE, rather than the ABSTRACT, aspects of a literary work. In a narrow sense, imagery means a visual description of an object or a scene-an image or picture of it, especially one that is particularly detailed and vivid." (Hamilton, pg. 83)

Analogies can be funny as well as serious, but one genuine fact remains...they're ultimately supposed to make ya learn somthin'. That's right everyone, you're missing the point if you just laugh at something funny when you don't understand it. The beautiful thing about analogies is that it's relatively easy to immerse an analogy in imagery. After all, you're expected to gain new information from the analogy that was previously incomprehensible to you beforehand. The use of imagery can help you to envision a more detailed picture in your mind of the situation, assignment, etc. I have to say though, some people really do have brains that are just plain wired differently. You'll never believe some of the analogies I sound while surfing the net, and all too many of them utilize imagery to put a laughing stitch in your side! I entirely encourage you to go and check out some of these wacky writings at WritingEnglish.WordPress.com! This list only goes to show that our English teachers really do have immense amounts of fun at our expense and this is one of the places where they've gathered the 25 funniest, wackiest analogies! I've listed some of my new found favorites below:

  • "She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef."
  • "The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t."
  • "McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup."
  • "He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River."
  • "The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while."
  • "He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up."

For all of you who'd like to return to the ship now, please step up on the transporter and repeat after me: Beam Me Up Scotty!

Riddling Morons Hidden Away in Amphoras! Wait-What?!

  • "Oxymoron: is a compressed paradox that closely links two seemingly contradictory elements in a way that, on further consideration, turns out to make good sense." (Hamilton, pg. 57)
  • "Litotes: is a figure of thought in which a point is affirmed by negating its opposite." (Hamilton, pg. 57)
  • "Anaphora: is the intentional repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of successive lines, stanzas, sentences, or paragraphs. (Hamilton, pg. 64)

Everyone's heard of those famous oxymoron's, usually when the government has done something we think is stupid...again. We spout out the common suspects of "Military Intelligence," "Civil War," "Defensive Strike," "Disaster Relief," and "Peacekeeper Missile?!" The thing about these are that there's tons more where they came from! Some simply contradict each other by the very definitions of the words while with others (like Military Intelligence) have earned moronic connotations. For that matter, I never knew that Sophomore means both "wise" as well as "foolish." Most of us will be that next year, someone please remind me how that seems familiar...oh, yeah, WE WERE ALL (or still are) TEENAGERS who think that we know best! Well, if you'd like to check out a neat list of governmental oxymoronic words, check out Oxymorons.info.

Who loves understatements? Well, all the sarcastic people for one, but that's beside the point. I'm no fool, I know that average readers dislike reading Old English because of litotes. They often have the ability to confuse unless you actually sit, think them over, then have a good laugh at the characters expense! It's a good thing that litotes are not uncommon and that we have come to dislike double negatives! Just remember, The Queen is not amused, and so by extension are we. If you'd like to check out a few examples of litotes, check out Grammar.about.com.

For starters, I'll give anyone an imaginary cookie if ya can tell me what an amphora is right off the top of your head without looking it up. The best thing about this imaginary confection is the fact that no one's allergic to it! Well, almost...my computer now has a cookie fetish, but I've enrolled her in a program so it's all good. Anyways, anaphors are quite common in the Bible in addition to being extremely helpful to those individuals who wish to drive home a point, like a pile-driver. "I will not clean my room. / I will not use the ratty broom. / I will not duct tape my roommate. / I will not put up that gate!"

If you'd like a drop of rum after (hopefully) laughing so much, please click this WAY.

Even rocks can float and water monsters mourn small losses in Paradise


"Finally, far downstream, the old man rose like some ancient water monster and stood empty-handed, staring with his dull eyes as far down the river line as he could see." (O'Connor, "The River," pg. 46)

Mr. Paradise. A name that many would no doubt wish to have if only a name encompassed all that they envisioned their paradise to be. Well, paradise in this story is described as dull, rock-like, and cynical of the world as well as the people that inhabit it. He's ancient with an ancient gray automobile and fishes everyday with a rod that has no bait on it. Everyone wishes to discover the Kingdom of Heaven, a greater realm than the world that exists here on earth, but Mr. Paradise seems to take one day at a time, blending into the background and enjoying life as it is. Harry was so determined to reach the Kingdom of Heaven by following the river that he never thought to look at what bit of paradise he had around him. Mr. Paradise tried to rescue the boy, but Harry only ran farther into the river, to his doom. "Then he heard a shout and turned his head and saw something like a giant pig bounding after him, shaking a red and white club and shouting." (pg. 45) Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our fears propel us into even more danger than we were in to begin with.

Harry was greatly unsatisfied with his lot in life; parents that neglected him, they never gave him any rules by which to follow. He was a character that you could pity, want to scoop up into your arms and make everything right, but have to spank at the same time for stealing, lying, and talking back. He never stopped to think about the freedom and chances that his circumstances allowed him. He could've gone out into the world on countless adventures because of the fact that no one kept track of him. He had the means to explore all around the city and neighboring lands, but he chose to look past his own slice of happiness, searching for the supposed greatest kingdom of all. Even rocks, monsters, and shades of gray have a use: rocks hold us steady, monsters show us what we have to be thankful for, and shades of gray are ever present in all things, no matter what. Rivers continue to flow and so will paradise continue to exist in its own unique, elusive way.

Now if you'd all please step into the river, dunk yerselfs down, and not breath, we'll be on our way BACK!

My Fair Lady - Welshman Style!

Ford: "I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English." (MWW, pg. 103)

Marriage is built on a foundation of many traits, but without trust, its only a matter of time before it all comes toppling down. Master Ford had been so convinced of his wife's adultery or weakness concerning Falstaff, that he sought to catch her in the act by dressing as another suitor! However, Mistresses Ford and Page wanted to teach Falstaff a lesson, while still maintaining their honor. The comment above was said to Evans, the Welshman who carves up the English language like a bloody, inexperienced apprentice to a butcher. He's lucky anyone can understand the gist of what he's trying to say the first time around! It's unlikely that he'll ever truly lose his heavy accent, despite the fact that he's the school teacher, because no one will take the time to correct his every sentence. Nobody would dare do that either now that Ford's promised to trust his lady for a goodly while. This might just mean that Ford's notorious jealousy will take a much needed vacation! Trust is the builder of foundations for marriages as well as families. This is represented by the Page family in how Page and Mistress Page never trusted Anne enough to ask her who she wanted to marry. Without trust, everything stops. After all, we trust that the sun will rise again in the East tomorrow and that we will go on living, but the latter could change at any point. Oh well, how gullible can we be?!

Now, if you would all direct your mice points here, we can start the test...I mean the return trip home! Yeah! Riiiiiiiight THERE. *Insert maniacal laugh here*

"Things do not change; we change." ~ Henry David Thoreau

The following is a portfolio comprised of my personal blogs in response to assignments for the class EL 150: Introduction to Literary Study. This particular portfolio will feature the many blogs written that display a variety of characteristics. This class has deepened my understanding of literature. We have correctly learned to demonstrate close reading of a literary work, interpret poetry and short stories, in addition to starting to cover Shakespeare's play, "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Read this way please:

Coverage: Everyone needs to have their bases covered in case of an emergency, so here's an example of how I typically include a direct quote, identify what work that it cam from, as well as providing a link back to the page posting the original assignment.

Timeliness: Information that is received too late won't do you a bit o' good. It's always best to be well-informed in all situations without killing ourself to meet the deadline before it's even been announced. The below links tell when the blog was posted as to when the assignment was due.

Interaction: Humans are social creatures, though different people interact in differing manners and amounts admittedly. The entries below received comments from numerous peers.

Depth: And no, I'm not writing about the depths of the sea or even the depths of the human soul. Some items can be explained in only a few words or sentences. However, in order to to fully communicate a subject, depth within a blog is needed. Take the blogs below:

Discussion: Okay, so there's a little more to interaction than just you simply talking at another breathing human being (at least, let's hope they're still breathing when you're done!) Should you follow the links below you be able to read comments that I left on fellow classmate's blogs.

Light at the end of the tunnel: The links below are the assignments that weren't included under a specific title.

My heart screams YES! even as my mind sighs a mournful No...

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"One part of the courtly lover yearns to believe in female virtue; he desires to 'ride ten thousand days and nights' (12) and on that sweet pilgrimage find one who is true. The more worldly self, however, rejects such a possibility for fear of disappointment." (Blythe & Sweet)

It's the oldest trick in the book, mostly. Everyone wants something that they can't have (or seem like they can't have). Then comes the next problem, the one where the heart is desperately pleading it's case to go and have faith or hope, while the mind is firmly holding back, pleading rationality based on fear. It's human nature to wage war within oneself, no matter what subject it may be. However, finding the perfect mate often brings these feelings into sharp repose. Wouldn't you ride to the ends of the Earth if you could find your other half? But, just as you started to answer, there was that inkling that it's too good to be true. Just like when Donne writes "Such a pilgrimage were sweet;/Yet do not, I would not go," from the poem, "Song." It's an eternal battle that will more than likely never have a clear winner, at least, not while we still have free will.

1. Quote the main claim or argument (the thesis) that Blythe and Sweet set out to prove.

“The parallel between the two poems, then, seems so close that, rather than simply an allusion used for contrast, Donne's seventeenth-century "Song" may be a source of Eliot's twentieth-century ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.” (Blythe&Sweet)

2. Quote at least one important piece of evidence the authors use to support their claim.

“One part of the courtly lover yearns to believe in female virtue; he desires to "ride ten thousand days and nights" (12) and on that sweet pilgrimage find one who is true. The more worldly self, however, rejects such a possibility for fear of disappointment. At the poem's conclusion, the worldly self wins the debate; his view of the unfaithfulness of women triumphs.” (Blythe&Sweet)

3. • What do Blythe and Sweet spend their time talking about? 

- Blythe and Sweetspend their time talking about the possible contributing sources to both Donne’s “Song” and Eliot’s “Love Song of Alfred Prufrock” in addition to drawing significant parallels between both works.

• How do they work their own opinions into their article? 

- They work their own opinions into the article by presenting the possible contributing sources that the authors may have used. It is their opinion that Donne and Eliot drew upon these proposed works.

• How do they communicate the idea that their claim is worth arguing -- that it's not so obvious that everyone would automatically see it their way?

- They communicate that their claim is worth arguing over and that it is not so obvious by drawing sublte parallels and themes between both poems.

Oooh! Look at the Mermaids! Mmm...pretty. What's that? We're goin' where?!

Mock-vater + Clapper-de-claw = an irate Frenchman lead on a leash


"Caius: Mock-vater? What is that?
Host: Mock-wter in our tongue, is valor, bully.
Caius: By gar, den, I have as much mock-vater as de Englishman." (MWW, Shakespeare, Act 2 sc.3, pg. 45)

There's nothing quite like a Frenchman who's so worked up for a fight and is then being insulted by those that never even tried to talk him out of his rash decision. And it's all over a woman to boot! By the awesome power of the footnotes, mock-water means a possible corruption of muck-water or make-water, with an allusion to urine analysis. So, that sputtering Frenchman who has a hard time of speaking English to begin with, has been insulted by Host despite the fact that Host made it sound like a compliment when he asked. This is just too much! Especially when it goes to poor Caius' head and he thinks that he's actually going to slice up this priest as if he were on Caius' operating table. Not a big fan of the Hippocratic oath I see. The comedy really shows through in this scene where Host keeps egging Caius on and then says, "He will clapperclaw thee tightly, bully." Which basically means that the priest's gonna win and the Frenchman's going to be eating dirt (or worse). If the two had actually went at each other, there's no telling what would've happened, but one thing's for sure...Anne would have had at least one of her suitors out of the way!

Town Crier: Hear ye, hear ye!! All ye who wisheth to returneth to bonny lands click Here!

Nothin' like gettin' hitched, especially when ya don't want to!


Slender: "I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance when we are married and have more occasion to know one another. I hope familiarity will grow more contempt. But if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely." (MWW, Act 1, pg.12)

Gee, he's really excited about getting married! Why, if I didn't know better, I think he'd be jumpin' fer joy about gettin' married. But that's a different kind o' thinkin' I guess. That's right. Today we mary for love while some of us marry for money (we've all heard about those gold-diggers in Hollywood and such). In olden days though, people in the cities and especially royalty, married in order to advance themselves in society. Everyone wanted to marry up the social ladder, nobody wanted to take on the impossible task of actually trying to climb it. So, it's not hard to believe that Shallow would want to marry two young people without them even knowing each other. It's been said that familiarity breeds contempt, but as is also true in most other things, anonymity breeds contempt. If Slender were to marry Anne, both would likely resent the other in years to come because it took the two of them in order to get married, while simply not knowing each other at this time has led to a bit of contemptible reluctance to marry. But I must write...at least the two would have a definitive bloke to blame!

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"And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare." (Shakespeare, Sonnet CXXX)

You shouldn't love someone despite their faults, you should love them because of said faults. Being able to forgive a good many shortcomings is certainly helpful, but if you don't find them at times endearing in your partner, then why stay with 'em? In this sonnet Shakespeare lists all the things that his lady is not. She's not as radiant as the sun, her lips are extremely pale, she's got a tan, and she sounds like a twisted barbie doll when he writes that she has wires coming out of her head! There's nothing like listening to nails on a chalkboard though when Shakespeare writes, "I love to hear her speak, yet will I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound." Wonder what it was like when she nagged him. However, despite all of these failures/shortcomings on his lady's part, Shakespeare still loves her as he writes, "And yet, by heaven I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare." Maybe he liked her tromping around, pale facade, and raspy voice. It's not like everyone had a daily bath back then!

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Oh, see how the mighty themselves are chained!


"Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men," (John Donne, Death, be not proud)

I've heard it said that death is more universal than life. After all, everyone dies while not everyone can be said to have truly lived. All are slave to their own desires or occupations if you look at it in a certain manner. It's Death's job to gather the souls of the dead and so it is chained to each and every being. You can meet it in a drug-induced stupor or rest your fate upon whispered charms. You can also meet it it through more violent means, but we all stay dead. So what happens when we all die? "One short sleep past, we wake eternally," as Donne writes. The ancient Greeks believed the underworld to merely be another life, one without death since they'd already fulfilled that task. If we all awake in an eternal realm after death, what's Death gonna do when we're all there and making faces at him through the glass? In the words of Donne, "Death, thou shalt die." If Death has no purpose, he'll simply fade away. However, that's more than likely going to a long time comin' so you shouldn't plan on livin' forever!

Ready to go home now Totto?

"No matter who wins the battle or the war, the victory means nothing to the dead." (Monteiro on Emily Dickinson's poem Victory)

There is no doubt that for many, reading this poem drew a direct correlation to the war in Iraq today. I recently learned that my uncle would soon be joining the soldiers already stationed there. I thought that we were pulling out of that place, setting up the stablest government that we could and then just look over their shoulders every once in a while. As it stands, we seem to have won the war there; even if we never found a few of the things on our "Dangerous Items No Third World Country (with possible terrorists) Should Have" list. Thousands of people have stood in Emily Dickinson's place as they watch those they've known for a goodly amount of time march off and come back with a flag over them. Individuals die all the same, but lost in a fight that they will never live to see the end of cuts a blow to those still alive. “Victory became a spiritual condition.” (Monteiro) If you think on most religions, they see the road to their final resting place as something to be earned/bought/maintained to some degree. Everyone wants to succeed in something in life, but who knows what we can achieve when we're dead? No one definitively knows and until someone manages to come back from Death's arms, we'll never know. Then again...are we truly meant to?

Click to return to the Twilight Zone!

Bittersweet victory where the small fly and the great plummet

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"Victory comes late, and is held low to freezing lips too rapt with frost to take it." (Victory comes late, Dickinson)

Those wayward sparrows that die on the battlefield know how to survive with hunger and little crumbs, but any victory they had would have come too late. No matter how high we strive, we will never sit at the divine table, at least not 'til our death. Those individuals who learn to live on the crumbs fallen from above will still have rough patches in their life, but they will be taken care of all the same. "God keeps his oath to sparrows, who of little love know how to starve!" The great ones who believe themselves to be above the rest, eagles feasting on small birds, will not always have it so easy. "The eagle's golden breakfast strangles them." People often seek to fly with the majesty of an eagle's wings, but it is the sparrow that is far more common. Smaller and seen as unimportant, the sparrow will continue to survive on little while the eagle is on the Endangered Species List.

Jury's still out on Immortality, but it rides beside Death all the same


"The carriage held but just ourselves and Immortality." (Because I could not stop for Death, Dickinson)

Emily Dickinson portrayed a very different version of Death than the popular interpretation of bones in a black robe wielding a scythe. In this poem he is portrayed in almost a gentlemanly fashion. "And I had put away my labor, and my leisure too, for his civility." Death offers her a ride in a carriage instead of slicing off her head or cutting out her heart. Dying is suggested as a journey, a trip to be taken without haste and merely enjoying the figures that pass. This leads to Immortality and his good sense of eternity. When alive, people often wish to become immortal, but don't always think of the repercussions of such a wish. To outlive all of your friends and see those you hold most dear to you die and pass on, you would eventually begin to wish for death. However, when Immortality comes to you side by side with Death, you never have to worry about losing anything else because you're already dead.

Lateral thinking...kinda like skidding on the ice, only sideways!

"And lateral thinking is what we're really discussing: the way writers can keep their eye on the target, whether it be the plot of the play or the ending of the novel or the argument of the poem, and at the same time bring in a great deal of at least tangentially related material." (Foster, Interlude, pg. 85)

It's often overwhelming when you're told to read something and then gut it like a fish in order to find every discernible symbol or every nugget of important parallel. Sometimes there's nothing to see, while at other times, there's everything to see. "The few pages of this chapter have taken you a few minutes to read; they have taken me, I'm sorry to say, days and days to write." (Foster, pg. 85) The author has a greater amount of time to flesh out, add, subtract, and import hidden meanings into their story for readers to find than the general reader is going to look for. Reading a text once doesn't automatically mean that you've found the deeper meaning, maybe there is no deeper meaning (heaven forbid!). It's the difference between watching a five minute movie clip and actually creating that five minute movie clip. It's all in the work, the ins and outs, and looking high and low through a hedge-field that the author has created for us to work our way through.

The end is only the beginning

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"In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse." (Eliot lines 47-48)

From lines 23 to 48, Eliot uses the words "there will be time" on numerous occasions. This suggests that there will be time for everything that needs to be done. No worries about never having time to murder or create, answer nagging questions, or time to spend with the one you hold dear. Yet, time is a fickle thing and in a minute there can rest eternity. Within the next two stanzas, Eliot lists things that he already knows. "For I have known them all already, known them all;" So, nothing is new even as you have all the time in the world. All in all, the author knows everything and anything, yet time both stretches out before him as well as ending a centimeter from his big toe. Everyone's had those moments when time seems to stand still, while others fly by in an instant. There are times in our lives when we feel as if we know everything. However, there is only one thing that remains constant: death. "Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives." quoted by A. Sachs.

Myths, legends, and dragons...Oh MY!


"Every community has its own body of story that matters." (Foster pg. 65)

Earlier on in his book, Foster told of relating history to a story. That in fact, there is no one single story as to be called original. This quote appears in chapter nine when discussing myths. By Foster's definition: "...myth is a body of story that matters." Now, most myths involve moral choices or at least contains a situation that we are to learn from. We're supposed to come away with the feeling: guess I shouldn't do that or my karma accounts gonna go down the drain! Before the eruption of big cities, each little village held its own myths. Most of those pertaining to religion were the same, but it could be counted upon that every village had some local myth/legend about children being eaten in the forest or some such tale.

Foster goes into symbols in chapter twelve stating, "Here's the problem with symbols: people expect them to mean something. Not just any something, but one something in particular." (Foster pg. 97) Granted, there are some symbols to be sifted through in the text and found like the green light at the end of the harbor in the Great Gatsby. Green means go or at least that's what honking drivers in rush hour traffic are always screamin'. At other times though, the writer might just write a symbol in there because they wish too. not because it's a clue to the all important treasure at the end of the book.

What's bad is good and what's good is bad


"I remember the day you could go off and leave your screen door unlatched. Not no more." ~ Red Sammy (A Good Man is Hard to Find, O'Connor)

Society is degrading. Going down the tubes; at least it sometimes seems. Those who smile like angels can have the tongues of snakes and those who are entitled to a complimentary paper bag to wear have the purest hearts of all. Then again, not everything is so black and white. There's good with the bad, but you have to look past the cover in order to read the pages within. Red Sammy can almost be called white trash for all he's described: "His khaki trousers reached just to his hip bones and his stomach hung over them like a sack of meal swaying under his shirt." He runs a run-down gas station and BBQ place too. But it was Sammy who was good enough to give gas to two guys on credit. They ripped him off and never paid. "Good afternoon," he said. "I see you all had you a little spill." Now, these seem like the words of a gentleman. Certainly not those of a serial killer call The Misfit. However, it is The Misfit that kills the entire family, a scholarly looking fellow and not the weight-challenged grease monkey.

Comic Satyrs. Whatever could they be up to?


Comedy: a light tone where "the main effects are to engage and amuse the audience, the situations and characters tend to be drawn from ordinary daily life, as opposed to world-shaking events and noble characters, and the resolution is happy, at least for the major characters." (Hamilton pg. 3)

I've heard it said that laughter is its own form of medicine. It clears away the dust of everyday living. Comedy can make people smile or simply amused, like the "Jabberwocky" written by Luis Carroll. All of the various forms of comedy: High comedy, Low comedy, Farce, and Romantic comedy, are all aimed at making the chosen audience laugh. Then again, this poem does aim at teaching a lesson, it can't clearly be perceived by a single glance.

Satire: "a genre of comedy that is directed at ridiculing human foibles and vices, such as vanity, hypocrisy, stupidity, and greed." (Hamilton pg. 21)

The point of satire is to effectively teach the audience about human shortcomings while still managing to make said audience laugh. The indirect form of satire can be perceived in the poem "A Book" by Emily Dickinson. Dickinson doesn't come right out and say that she is criticizing the illiterate or a human's soul can be extremely cheap, but the point is conveyed all the same.

For those who wish to return to Oz, click here and ye be gone!

Married to a man or a the law a man upholds?


"COUNTY ATTORNEY:For that matter, a sheriff's wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way, Mrs. Peters?

MRS. PETERS. Not--just that way." (Trifles)

Mrs. Peters is the Sheriff's wife and it is she who ultimately ends up hiding the motivation behind Mrs. Wright's murder of her husband, John Wright. So, maybe doing the right thing doesn't always involve following the law. Mrs. Peters was a woman and so a sympathizer of Mrs. Wright, but even so, why hide evidence? Her guilt would have started to eat at her before the party had arrived at the Wright's home and would have been enough to give her sufficient motivation. From all of Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale's conversation, it can be determined that Wright was a dour man who lived without joy in his life. In this manner he suffocated Minnie Wright until she finally snapped with the death of her bird. Wright wouldn't have been able to stand something that sang, a canary, joy on wings. Without children and now without a pet bird, it's easy to see Mrs. Wright killing her husband after he had killed everything inside her. Women would naturally stick together at times, as read when Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale entered the Wright's farmhouse, but perhaps there are times when justice has already been served to the guilty party. Nothing can change what happened, but what course was left to Mrs. Wright? It was a small act of mercy Mrs. Peters performed while seeming faultless to her husband and the county attorney.

Those Cossacks sure ran them Frenchies out into the cold non?

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"Why didn't Napoleon conquer Russia? Geography. He ran into two forces he couldn't overcome: a ferocious Russian winter and a people whose toughness and tenacity in defending their homeland matched the merciless elements." (Foster, pg. 165)

As soon as I read this, I couldn't help but recall some of the dialogue examples on our latest workbook. Such sentences and their dialogue can make the reader think that a character is from the south, English, or even a Pittsburger! Foster made the point that the harsh elements of Russia made the people who lived their fierce in their determination to resist Napoleon. Think about it though, Russians have to be tough simply to live in Russia. It's not exactly a sunshine and rainbows over there. Geography has a major impact on how you live. If you live in a concrete jungle, you're a pro at navigating the subway, calling taxis, and weaving your way through a crowded sidewalk. But if you're from the country, you probably know how to drive a tractor, ride an ATV, and at least have some idea of how to dress appropriately for camping. All of these are generalizations of course. Geography was the main factor in teaching people these skills and if you switched a person from the city and one from the country...well, let's just say it that chances are good that it wouldn't be pretty. Geography plays a major role in writing whether we realize it or not, so I think it's time that we try and did.

From ant hills to shadowed grottos


"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." ~ sec. 2

This quote was taken from the bottom page of section two of "Bernice Bobs Her Hair". Marjorie was currently debating on whether or not she should attempt to convince Mrs. Harvey (her mother) of the fact that Bernice was dull and socially awkward. From the sentence written just before this one, it can be deduced that Mrs. Harvey is over the age of 40, more likely 45. Marjorie stands so assured in her beliefs, utterly unwilling to listen to whatever her mother might say. Marjorie is more than willing to shout from the top of her little hill and shout out her convictions pertaining to Bernice. Why wouldn't she? It seems that simply because she's popular with the boys she believes that her every thought and action has been validated by her success.

Marjorie's mother however, speaks with years of experience. This woman may not know exactly what is "in" with the popular crowd now, but she's been around the block of Life a time or two. She knows that in a few days or weeks no one will remember the trivialities of who danced with whom or the number of boys that came calling for a single girl in an afternoon. Put all of it together and the author could be saying that what seems most important in life now, really won't matter later on down the road. The inner strength (or insanity) exhibited by Bernice at the end of the story is something that will stick with her throughout her life. So, boys may come and go, confidantes and cousin's may shame or embarrass you, but you will always have your own will. Sure, you can plant yourself on your self-made mole hill and scream until your voice is gone, but you can always be knocked off that perch and sent rolling to the ground below, pelted by the elements all the while. Though if you set up camp in a cave, you'll have steady ground beneath your feet and you'll have shelter from the storms outside.

Flashing neon lights and nagging phone salesmen on shrouded corners

"Instead the mind flashes bits and pieces of childhood experience, past reading, every movie the writer/creator has ever seen, last week's argument with a phone solicitor - in short everything that lurks in the recesses of the mind." pg. 30

It's just like Foster wrote, whether you realize it or not, information from whatever you're reading is seeping into your mind. Surely you've read a book or watched a movie and been straight away able to point out the evil-doer and the famed hero. Have you ever been able to think ahead and know exactly what's coming? You could perform such a psychic feat by realizing that you'd heard the story line or plot somewhere before. I know that I've read numerous books and thought, that'd be perfect for my such and such as of yet to be created character! Or, my word; that was such a superman-like move!

I wholeheartedly agree with Foster when he writes that there is only one story, even if it is a bucket full of squirming eels. It is entirely possible for only a single story to exist, because everyone adds to it. It really is the never-ending story, poem, song. History is also a story when you think about it. People learn from the past, both the good and the bad, and they will never cease. History can communicate morals just as well as fables and gingerbread crumbs. What villain doesn't resemble the grinning, grandmother-eating wolf from old or that little blond trollop that decided she was entitled to everything in our house?

Just as these characters are still with us today, so too are the words that we only wished we could have muttered into the phone when that last annoying tele-marketer phoned. Or maybe you've just thought up a great comeback to a taunt that's preceded your scathing masterpiece by hours. Everyone's had such moments. Those times when we wanted most to say something witty or sarcastic, but suddenly our brain stopped short and we looked like a gaping fish. All this and more lies deep in our mind, writing a story that may never be read aloud, but shall exist all the same.

Don't touch that button!!!!

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EL 150 Shackner Reflection: When I read Melissa Kaufold’s comment about blogging, I could not help but sympathize. Before last semester, my thoughts almost mirrored her own. I also recall the first time that Dr. Jerz told these several particular anecdotes in class when lecturing to us on the dos and don’ts of blogging. After reading this article, it’s easy to see that many another students has sought to abuse their blogs, thinking that they could get away with it all scot-free, only to realize just how deep they have dug their own hole. Kaufold mentions that she was shocked that the author responded to a student’s blog, especially one that criticized his work. I can only agree with her sentiments here as well. Then again, were I an accomplished author, I would certainly like to gain the perspective of those who are using my book in order to see if something might be improved upon. After left semester, I no longer think of blogs as an outlet for those who wish to publish self-works, keep an online version of a journal, or just a way for some people to gain a bit of attention in the world. Blogs are new, creative forms of education that have numerous uses that are unfortunately, that can sometimes be double-edged weapons.

Foster's home for teachers and professors (its a big house)

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EL 150 Foster Intro. Reflection: I thought that Angelica made a very good point by pointing out the fact that English professors and English teachers have different criteria that they are expected to pass on to their students as well as a different variety of materials available to them. Teachers will have the benefit of knowing their chosen texts backwards and forwards. They’ve been asked every question there is too asked by those overachieving Valedictorians, and they’ve been told exactly what skills their students need to know in order for them to pass the state exams. Professors on the other hand, have the option of choosing different texts, teaching other classes with other forms of criteria, and not always being held to so rigid a standard as teachers. It might be said that professors often have the chance to further develop their skills with new texts, but teachers are stuck in a rut with nowhere to go. In my opinion, Guzzo made an excellent point in differentiating between the limitations of teachers and those of professors.