Portfolio 2: My Goodbye to Blogging?

| | Comments (1)
This is a portfolio entry is reviewing my final progress on my blog in the course American Literature: 1915 to Present.  Like my previous portfolio, my entries have been separated into the categories coverage, timeliness, interaction, depth, and discussion.  I'll admit right away that while I have found blogging to be a useful tool in examining and discussing each work, I fell behind in my blogging for the second half of the semester.  Each week I was able to read some of my peers blogs, but I did not always post my own blog each week.  I have caught up now with all of my own entries so that a complete collection of the blogs required for the second half of this semester can be found in this portfolio.  I am a biology major so this is probably the last blog entry I will be writing, at least for academic reasons anyway.  I do not know that I can say I am sad to say goodbye to the end of my blogging experience, but I do think it has been instrumental in helping me express my thoughts on literature.

Coverage
As in all of my previous entries, I have again included a direct quote and a link back to the course web page in all of my entries, however these are just a few examples.

Namelessness Gives Flexibility

Invisibility and Namelessness

What's It All About
All About Nature


Timeliness

As I mentioned in my introduction, unfortunately I fell behind in my blogging for the second half of the semester.  However, these are a few examples of the blogs that I was able to post on time.


Insomniac...the story of my life
From Fire Balloons to Armadillos

Writing At All Ages

Hidden Sex
Keeping in Mind the Big Picture


Interaction
At the point when I began the blogs for this portfolio, I had good intentions of writing back to comments my blogs received and really interacting with my peers.  However, due to the lateness of many of blogs, I received few comments.  This is one blog that did receive comments though.

Keeping in Mind the Big Picture


Depth

I think that always put a fair level of effort into my blog entries, however, I do think that these entries have more substance to them than some of my other ones do.

Words Are Our Identity

Hidden Sex
A Happy Waltz

Blind to the Truth

Writing At All Ages



Discussion

As mentioned in my introduction, while I had difficulty keeping up with my own blogs, I always managed to comment on my peers' blogs on time in order to be aware of topics of discussion.  These are a few of the comments I left as part of a discussion on my peers' blogs.


Chelsie Bitner: The Time Traveler's Wife

Jennifer Prex: Identity Crisis

Julianne Banda: Less dry.

Sue Myers: Sex is not written well?


Namelessness Gives Flexibility

| | Comments (0)

The new suit imparted a newness to me. I was the new clothes and the new name and the circumstances. It was a newness too subtle to put into thought, but there it was. I was becoming someone else." (Ellison 335)


I picked this quote because I think through his speeches our narrator is creating a new person in himself. While the namelessness of the narrator may seem somewhat bothersome to us as readers, I think it is important because it allows the character to assume this new identity with a lot of ease. Throughout the novel, the narrator is constantly taking on a new role of who he is, usually depending on the audience he is trying to please. He fights and makes the speech the scholarship people want to hear and later on he says the speeches that the Brotherhood wants him to make. Without having a name, the narrator has the flexibility to take on these new identities.


Read other students' thoughts

Words Are Our Identity

| | Comments (0)

Refering to Emerson's "Self-Reliance":

"the burden of speech is precisely the burden of speaking oneself into existence" (pg 77)


I think this quote is important because it defines how the protagonist becomes more visible though his speech even though it is not his true identity but really the one he has taken on through the Brotherhood. By giving the speeches the Brotherhood wants him to make, he is portraying this identity the Brotherhood imparted on him. This shows how our words can give us an identity and can define us more than just a name can. This seen through how the antagonist takes on new identities with the different speeches he makes at different points in the novel.


Read other students' thoughts

Invisibility and Namelessness

| | Comments (0)

"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." (Ellison 1)


I think that the opening paragraph of the prologue was an excellent way to begin this novel. I think it really grabs the reader because we can all relate to it. At some point in our lives, we have all felt invisible, and this opening paragraph relates this sense of invisibility that we have all felt. This idea of invisibility relates to the antagonist's namelessness because by going unnoticed and unknown, a name does not matter. If people are just looking through you, why would they notice a name?


Read other students' thoughts

A Happy Waltz

| | Comments (0)

"We romped until the pans/ Slid from the kitchen shelf;/ My mother's countenance/ Could not unfrown itself." (Roethke 13)


There has been much debate over whether this poem portrays a boy enjoying a waltz and some playtime with his father or if the poem depicts an abusive situation. While some of the words do have a negative connotation, I think that overall the poem has a positive theme. I think this because the father being described here would be a physical laborer so he would be a little bit more rough around the edges and therefore possibly not as tender with his child. Just because his actions are rough though does not make him abusive; it is just in his nature to act in this manner. I think the words "romp" and "waltz" are specific keys in identifying the positive theme of this poem. They both have very light-hearted ideas behind them. I do like how Roethke has written this poem though that it could really go either way. I think it makes it a more personal experience for each reader to interpret the poem as he or she understands it.


Other students' thoughts

All About Nature

| | Comments (0)

"Water's primacy as both commodity and signifier in the Southwest arose through a combination of it scarcity and utility." (Cassuto 2)


Overall I did not like this article very much. I found it hard to follow, and I found myself getting lost constantly as I was trying to reading it. Also, it seemed like there was more of a focus on nature than the Grapes of Wrath. When the Grapes of Wrath was mentioned, it seemed like the book was being used to validate how things happened in history, as if the book were non-fiction. Instead it seemed like the events in the novel should have been discussed using history rather than being used to back up history.


Read other students' thoughts

Blind to the Truth

| | Comments (0)

"In other words, the author has created a minor constellation of difficulties for himself by introducing a blind character into the work, so something important must be at stake when blindness pops up in a story. Clearly the author wants to emphasize other levels of sight and blindness beyond the physical." (Foster 202)


I found this chapter particularly interesting because of it how much it used Oedipus Rex to relate the topic. I read part of Oedipus Rex a couple years ago in an English class so I found it easy to relate to what Foster was describing in this chapter. One of the points that I really liked that Foster made was how an author must take special care when putting in a blind character. That blindness must always be a present factor in the character even when the character is doing simple things because face it, being blind would affect all aspects of your life. There is a different sense to a story when the character you are reading about is impaired. Furthermore, I like how Foster points out blindness in a story may often refer to something more than physical blindness. From reading Oedipus Rex, I know entirely what Foster means by this. It seems that the truth is always there staring Oedipus in the face but he never manages to see it. In the end when he sees the light, he blinds himself physically replacing his blind mentality.


Read other students' thoughts

What's It All About

| | Comments (0)

SABINA: I can't invent any words for this play, and I'm glad I can't. I hate this play and every word in it. As for me, I don't understand a single word of it, anyway, -all about the troubles the human race has gone through, there's a subject for you. (Wilder 10-11)


Overall I have found this entire play to be rather odd. I liked this quote because, especially at this point, I joined in with Sabina's thought of not understanding this play. I think that the play was rather entertaining, but it was also kind of difficult to follow at times. Another thing I liked about this quote is how Sabina is directly addressing the audience. Throughout this play there is direct interaction with the audience. I think that this aspect would make this an enjoyable play to watch because you would become part of it. I think that viewing this play would overall help get me into it more.



Read other students' thoughts

A Humane Race?

| | Comments (0)
"EMILY: Tell me Henri, as a truth-loving philosopher- wouldn't you gladly resign from the human race if only there was another one to belong to?
HENRI: Oh, of course.  But are we sure it would be any better?"  (56)

I don't know what I was really expecting this play to be about, but once I caught onto what the focus of the play was, I was shocked.  Felix and Henri began discussing the crucifixion, and it seemed that Felix's big argument for the crucifixion was that it would bring money to the country.  I understand that this is supposed to be a very poor third world country, but it is still crazy to think someone would let a crucifixion be filmed just to get money.  Realistically though, there are some people in the world like that.  That's why I really liked this quote.  The things that humans do to one another is horrible.  It's hard for me to understand how it doesn't bother people to hurt others.  Still, as Henri points out, do we really know that another race would be better?  We don't really know if we're alone in this universe, but if we aren't, while it's a possibility that we're the most inhumane race, isn't it equally possible that we're the most humane race?  Sometimes things seem bad, but we have to remember it could always be worse.
Read other students' thoughts

Hidden Sex

| | Comments (0)

"Tall buildings? Male sexuality. Rolling landscapes? Female sexuality. Stairs? Sexual Intercourse. Falling down stairs? Oh my." (135-136)



I think this chapter It's All About Sex... was actually very interesting. Face it; we're in college. Sex is all around us. How often do you hear a "that's what she said" joke? I'm used to people making sexual innuendos, and I usually pick up on them. However, when Foster was talking about some of the symbols used for sex and sexuality in this chapter, I was completely surprised. For instance, his rocking horse example- in the context of this chapter I had some idea where he was going with it, but if I just read that on my own I never would have thought that way. I find that when I'm watching movies and there's that curtain blowing in the breeze scene I wonder- well did they? I don't think I've ever really had that thought with waves crashing on a beach though. Relating to Foster's next chapter though, I think that these subtle images of sex are more effective than trying to write out some sexual scene. I've found that when reading, trying to put words to it just takes away from the scene somehow. Instead, when it's just lightly implied, the scene doesn't take away from the story at all. Also, I like how Foster mentioned that putting sex in more subtle terms protects the innocent. Have you ever watched a Disney movie or some other kids movie when you were younger and then watched it now years later? I know I have, and there's definitely some things I didn't pick up on when I was younger. Now though I notice them, and I'm almost amazed they're in a kids movie. These sexual implications are depicted in such a way though that children don't notice, but mom and dad maybe aren't as bored with the movie.


Other students' thoughts