March 2009 Archives

Cleansing?

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"And why does no rain fall through my recollections, sound through my memories, soak through the hard dry crust of the still so recent past?" Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Page 36.

I am impressed with the imagery of this book so far. Even though some of the scenes may not be something I particularly would want to picture, Ellison does do quite a good job portraying. I can picture every single detail so vividly. 
I chose this quote however not only because of the imagery but because it seems so poetic to me. It is so emotional; it really makes you feel what the narrator is talking about. 
To me, it seems that the narrator needs a bit of cleansing in his life. Could that be a possible reason for the mentioning of rain? His memories cannot come back to life for him and maybe a good cleansing would bring all that back for the narrator. Though at the same time, the memories that he does share thus far seem to be disturbing enough that many would not want to recall them at all. Does he possibly need cleansing to free his burdened mind? What do you think?




Primal Instincts

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"Western land barons relied on irrigation to accomplish the impossible and ignored or destroyed anyone or anything that interfered with their pursuit of that grail." Cassuto, David. "Turning wine into water: Water as privileged signifier in The Grapes of Wrath."    Papers on Language & Literature. 29:1 (1993) 67-95. Page 85

This quote really put this article into perspective for me.  The grail, being water, is all that the people wanted in The Grapes of Wrath. The drought was what made them have to move in the first place. It was all in search of water more than anything.

This quote made the idea interesting to me because it made me realize how barbaric people can act when faced with something that they all need. Humans by nature return to natural animal instincts when times are hard. As the quote said, they "destroyed anyone or anything that interfered" with the chance of claiming water rich land. Since resources were so scarce, it became every person for him or herself. Many lost the value of sharing and sticking together. Essentially, society unravels and becomes uncivilized.

Child innocence

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"Your clear eye is the one absolute beautiful thing." Sylvia Plath "Child" on page 216.
Plath gives me the idea that a child is so pure and she wants to give that child everything that is good. The only thing is, a lot of things in life are not so pure. The child as it stand at the moment is still pure its "clear eye" has not seem corruption. And that is what is beautiful to Plath. 
She wants everything for this child it would seem to me but she will be unable to do everything. Unfortunately the child will grow and see both good and evil and the eye will no longer be clear. It will be filled with knowledge and no longer innocence. 


Will the real Roethke please stand up!

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"Which I is I?" Theodore Roethke "In a Dark Time" on page 27.
With the history that is stated in the introduction to the section on Roethke, it leads me to believe that this poem was mentioning his disorder. Having had people in my life that were manic depressive and others with schizophrenia, I can understand this poem in a way. It seems to me that he is talking about be in and out of touch with reality. The line "Which I is I" makes me believe this the most. I have heard many times that when a person with a mental disorder goes in and out of episodes, they can feel like they do not know themselves anymore. It seems to me that Roethke could have very well felt this way and this poem was expressing that.


With out Manners

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I found it interesting how different manners are considered for today's society. I never gave this much thought until I read Elizabeth Bishop's poem titled "Manners" on page 48. To always speak to everyone you meet contradicts our idea of not talking to strangers. To "always offer everyone a ride" could get you killed. It is shocking to realize that society changes so quickly. As the poem says at the beginning "For a child of 1918"; the poem really does give you the insight of how it would be to learn manner as a young child of that time. 
It is interesting to think that by the poems standards, we are rude and without manners.



Throw away everything you learned.

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"The rain is neither ironic nor not ironic; it's simply rain. That simple rain, however, is placed in a context where its conventional associations are upended." How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster chapter 26 page 239
When I first read this line, I was utterly shocked. I am used to Foster contradicting himself quite a bit but I had thought that he had completely gone nuts. How could everything that he had been trying to explain about symbols and signs all of a sudden be thrown out of the window? 
As I kept reading the chapter, I began to find it interesting that the more irony there is in a story, the more Fosters whole entire book is basically useless. The fact that he even acknowledges the fact made it even better: "In other words, every chapter in this boo goes out the window when irony comes in the door. " I would have never thought of something like that. It almost makes me think that all the stuff that was previously learned was a joke to a point. If irony can wipe out of Fosters teachings, then what else can?


Evil or just a threat?

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Henry: "I'm not going to be a part of any peacetime of yours. I'm going a long way from here and make my own world that's fit for a man to live in. Where a man can be free, and have a chance, and do what he wants to do in his own way." The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder. Page 110
Throughout this book it is obvious that references are made to a corrupt society as well as a society that is confined. Henry especially seems to feel this way as he shows in the quote above. He does not want to be any part of the life his father has set up. He does not feel free in the society and would rather move on and create his own way of life. 
Though what I cannot understand why Henry is considered the Enemy. The only thing I can figure is that he threatens their way of life with the type of life he wants to live. Though is also known as Cain at the beginning of the play which makes me wonder if he is possibly just a very evil person. 


Disease for emotion

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"Even knowing how disease is transmitted, we remain largely superstitious. And since illness is so much a part of life, so too is it a part of literature." How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. Page 215. 
I found this particular quote very interesting because it seemed so true to me. Disease is the main tragedy that inflicts all humans daily lives but I never thought of exactly how much so until I read this. I began to think over some of the books I have read in my lifetime and it is quite true that many of them a death and disease somewhere in them. 
Disease is something that is so relatable. Many people are lost every day to such unfortunate tragedies as cancer. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to any type of disease can tell you how much of an emotional experience it can be. Making a book with such a disease can make a book emotionally compelling for the reader. A reader can relate to the characters who lost the person that was close to them. 


Learning to Read.... Again

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I feel that these blogs give an insight into what I have learned in this class thus far. This portfolio shows my efforts to respond to the texts and give an insight into how my close reading improves. Before this class, I never did a close reading. It is a very different experience for and will be something that I plan to improve upon. 

Coverage
I made sure to do every blog that was assigned in this class and I did quite successful with this. This is a list of all of my blogs since the beginning of the semester:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 
After Apple Picking by Robert Frost 
How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
Not so creative are we?
Oh Mrs. Myrtle Why so Weary?
Judge Literature like a Painting
No Sympathy Here
Is that a FACT Mr. Foster?
Insight into the Past
Animals

Timeliness
Most of my assignments were on time. Unfortunately, sometimes unpreventable scenarios occur that make timeliness a bit of a task. Here are the entries that I have turned in on time:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
The Road Not taken by Robert Frost

After Apple Picking but Robert Frost 

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Not so creative are we?
Oh Mrs. Myrtle Why so Weary?
Is that a FACT Mr. Foster?
Insight into the Past
Animals

Interaction
I had only a few blogs that I responded back to a person who wrote a comment. I do have a goal for the next portfolio to make sure more of mt blogs can be put under this category. 

No Sympathy Here This blog was my best one when it comes to interaction. I responded to two people in it.
These other two did not spark as much interest for a complete response, but I did still respond to the comments:
Judge Literature Like a Painting 
Animals

Depth
The blogs in this category are the ones that I really took the time to really question the text. I had many questions to brings about as well as many opinions and I brought them about in these two blogs:
Is that a FACT Mr. Foster?
Oh Mrs. Myrtle Why so Weary?

Discussion
These are some of the student's blogs that I commented on. Although none of them seemed to spark a great deal of conversation, I feel that I made a good point on these ones:
Andrew Adams:One Story? C'mon
April Minerd: Flexibility 
Alicia Campbell: Out of Options... That were never there


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