May 2009 Archives

Portfolio 2: My Goodbye to Blogging?

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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

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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.


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Words Are Our Identity

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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.


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Invisibility and Namelessness

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"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?


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A Happy Waltz

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"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.


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All About Nature

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"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.


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Blind to the Truth

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"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.


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What's It All About

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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.



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Dennis G. Jerz on Portfolio 2: My Goodbye to Blogging?: A few years ago, a SHU biology
Georgia Speer on Keeping in Mind the Big Picture: Marie, after reading you blog
Dennis G. Jerz on Portfolio 1: Reflecting and Taking a Closer Look: Good work, Marie, both on your
Jennifer Prex on First Signs of Humanity: It is possible. I had never th
Nikita McClellan on First Signs of Humanity: You bring up quite an interest
Jessica Bitar on Symbolism Becomes Personal: I also liked this quote. I ag
Rebecca Marrie on Young Woman Gets Biblical: I think that this quote, as we
Jessica Bitar on One Story to Rule Them All (Foster): I agree with you that there is
Rachael Sarver on Daisy = Paris? (Gatsby): Really good point! Your analo
Dennis G. Jerz on Daisy = Paris? (Gatsby): That's an interesting observat