March 2009 Archives

You got the wright stuff

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"Post-structuralist criticism undermines the notion that the text contains a stable meaning" (Wright 393).
Ok, so I probably shouldn't have started with this quote but it is the first thing I underlined and I figured I would throw this out there now. I'm not really sure what this statement is saying or what it means. Can anyone explain what exactly a stable meaning means?

"and Melville's Benito Cereno have been much praised for their ambiguity" (Wright 393).
After having to look up ambiguity (which will be in my literary terms section) I found that this statement made a lot of sense. Melville obviously wanted different reactions from the reader, he wanted to be missinterpreted because the reader was supposed to be lead down different paths.

"The uncanny force of the shaving scene resides in the slave's actions being both signifier of his good intentions to Delano, the new master, and at the same time, signifier of his bad ones to Cereno, his old master whose death is the moment he anticipates." (Wright 396)
Oh I have to say that I wish we would have read this article right after or even during the time we read Benito Cereno because I think it helped it to make more sense. I really liked this reading because it seemed to bring a lot of stuff to attention. Anyways, I thought this statement made a lot of sense, and I never even thought of it like this before. Yeah when we read the story we thought Babo is just using the shaving incident as a way to get him to keep quiet, to warn him. But it makes more sense that not only was he warning him but he was also implying that we would have loved to have killed Cereno and while he was in that postion he could have succeded easily. Later in the paragraph Wright mentions the oakum pickers. If you look at them in this new light of how we are now looking at Babo, they really wanted to kill as well especially since they were having a good old time sharpening their weapons.

"Delano's refusal to see difference is grounded in an idealization of another incompleteness: he loves Babo's naivete" (Wright 396).
This is another quote that helped me to see Benito Cereno differently. I never really thought that Babo could have been naive in Delano's eyes. I guess it kind of make sense since Babo was pretending to be slave or Cereno who was willing to do anything. I think what makes this statement for interesting is that Delano is the one that is really naive.

"For by his own act of cannibalism, the incorperation of the father's remains in a grotesque corperation of the father's remains in grotesque totemic feast" (Wright 397).
Ok so when I read Benito Cereno twice I never even thought about cannibalism, but I had wondered how they did what they did to the body and skeleton of Don Alexandro. If you think about it, it make sense. But do you think they ate him? I did a little research, I"m not linking anything just because I was a little grossed out and decided not to do so. But anyways, a lot of tribes did practice (and still do) cannibalism. In some ways this make sense that this was there ultimate way of getting back at Alexandro. The other thing that makes me believe that they really did eat him was something that Wright mentioned from the story. "Yan was the man who, by Babo's command, willing prepared the skeleton of Don Alexandro, in a way the Negroes afterwards told the deponent, but which he, so long as reason left him, can never divulge" (Wright) Eating a person is not exacly something that you want to tell people that you did, on purpose.

"At the level of the spanish sailor's gesteral utterance the knot is an image for words not being interpreted" (Wright 398)
I hadn't understood what this scene when I read it both times. I couldn't figure out what the sailor was trying to get Delano to do. But now it makes sense. Of course the sailor wanted Delano to unravel the mess and figure it out so that they could get out of there without getting killed or eaten.

Wright Blogs

Starting at the beginning

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"If language is our insturment of thought, as it is certainly our instrument of expression," (Keeley 342).
I figured I would start out with this quote because I really liked it. It's an obvious statement that rings true. We use language whether it's through writing or speaking every day to some how express ourselves. I love that so many writers have made some kind of statement through their works even though some of them got in trouble for it. In most of those cases though those outward statements brought about some kind of change in the world.

"Further more, elements that would be irrelevant and distracting in conversation or in a laboratory report - such as rhythm, ryme, meter, image, metaphor, and symbol - all combine in the poem to form meaning." (Keesey 342)
I was thinking about this quote and I realized that it is so true. It's fun to read poetry especially if there is some kind of rhyme scheme. But how distracting would that be if someone spoke like that all the time. The part I disagree with is the section about using metaphors and symbols. I think we do use these things in our speech, I just think that when we are speaking with someone we aren't think/focusing on whether they used a metaphor or not, although maybe if we really did speak in a rhyme scheme our metaphors and symbosl would be more obvious.

"The Sick Rose is a poem in English. It would mean little to a highly competent reader of Friench poetry who knew no English. But it would also mean little too a native speaker of Engish who knew nothing about poetry and who happened to be in search of gardening instruction." (Keesey 344).
First I have to come out and say this but once again I am offended by Keesey. Every time I read one of his intro chapters I am surprised by home much he seems to enjoy putting down people for different reasons without considering that is statement is completely false.
Anyways, with that said moving on. This whole gardening thing threw me off. First, why in the world would someone use the sick rose as a reliable gardening source. Even if someone was an inexperienced poetry reader I think they would realize something wasn't right as soon as they read this poem. I would think most people would be able to figure out the rose stands for something else, maybe they won't know exactly whats wrong but I think it's more obvious then what Keesey is trying to apply.

"We say that English listeners structure the sounds they hear, but only to the extent that those sounds conform to the independent and impersonal structure of English." (Keesey 345).
Can anyone answer this, would this above quote explain accents? I mean that kind of makes sense. The way that we grow up hearing words is the way we will grow up to speak those words. If we learn english in our own way how is the structure of english impersonal? How we learn to speak and use words is a part of who we are.

"In the case of speech and writing, for example, the paradoxical position that writing is prior to speech becomes more understandable when we notice that by writing" (Keesey/Derrida 347).
I was thinking about this and I don't this this statement is true at all. Ok, so I thought of this as learning a language. First I have heard from many people that if you go to a different country you learn the quickest by listening to other people. I think that when we start looking at the words themselves it changes everything. A lot of times words don't even look the same as they sound. I know when I went to France not long ago words look so different from what they sound like, I always felt confused after I would look at my language dictionary. The language made more sense when I learned words verbally through the family I stayed with.

Keesey Blogs


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"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." (Ellison 3).

When I read this I immediately identified with it. First I have to say that feeling invisible or important is not just a race thing. I think it's something that a lot of people, including myself, deal with. As soon as I started reading the book I identified with the narrater. I am going to be a little personal here, just explain why this quote struck me so much. Like the narrarter I have always felt invisible to people, I mean people just don't really notice or care that I"m around. I even had a couple invisible incidents this week, which didn't really assist in my crappy week. So here goes:

So, on wednesday I really just didn't want to hang out in my room because it gets a little lonely, actually I don't like being in there at all, I do most of my work elsewhere. But anyways, I thought I would head down to the lounge and hangout. There wasn't anyone in there so I sat down in front of the tv and began working on a paper. As I was sitting there a group of girls walked in and sat on the couches. It seemed kind of weird but hey, I have walked in and sat down when other people were watching tv just. So I continued to attempt to watch tv and do my paper but it became difficult when these said girls begane to talk over the tv. As I was trying to watch the tv more people came in and sat down, which seemed kind of weird and I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Then one person speaks up and says, "hey why isn't the pens game on?" (now remember I was there first, there wasn't anyone else even in the lounge when I got there). Now I"m think oh my gosh what is going on here. Next a girl (one of the original group that walked in) got up and started changing the channels. I finally stood up and said loudly, "hey, I'm watching that! What you are doing is rude!" I packed my stuff up in my book bag and walked out super angry. I cannnot believe how rudely these people are, you don't just walk in and start changing channels and stuff when someone else is watching the tv first. It would have been one thing if they would asked me if they could watch something else or if I was even watching the tv. I felt like they didn't even see there, or they just figured since I was one person they could just come in as a group and gang up on me.

Then yesterday I went to a meeting and saw some so called friends (I'm quickly learning that they really aren't true and great friends, maybe to each other but def. not to me). I was sitting there when one of these said people asked me something. Actually it was about this book, Invisible Man (I was at the meeting early and I was reading while I was waiting) as I started to respond this said person just completely ignored me and started talking to someone else (why even ask about the book or even talk to me if you aren't even that interested anyway?). What makes it even more interesting is that I was going to explain the invisible thing which I thought was interesting because I identified with it and I was ignored, treated like I was invisible.

Ok, so this became a blog about Invisible Man and a rant, but I thought it all connected together. Has anyone else ever felt this way or identified with the narrater in some way?

Oh, p.s. This is going to be a weird question but did anyone think Mr. Norton could have possibly had some kind of incident with his daughter like Mr. Trueblood did. I was kind of getting that reaction from his reactions to Trueblood.

Other Invisible Blogs

Back to the Past

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"This story was published in 1957, using the best information Baldwin had at the time, and it is meant as a study of relations between brothers, not as a treatsie on addiction. It's about redemption, not reconver. If you read it as the latter, that is, if you don't akjust your eyes and mind to transport you from contemporary reality to Baldwin's 1957, whatever the ending has to offer will be pretty well lost on you." (Foster 228)

I really liked this chapter because what Foster wrote was so true. This is something that I see happen in my english classes all the time, meaning we will be reading something from some time in the past and everyone will get all worked up about an issue and addressing it to today which doesn't work because the story or whatever you are reading is based in a different time. Whenever this happens it drives me nuts. I know I struggled with this myself for a long time and then one day a friend and I, another fellow english major, talked about it and she made a good point that we shouldn't judge Chaucer or Fitzgerald in todays standards.

It totally makes sense that in this instance, when you are judging a book by todays standards you aren't really just reading with your eyes, you are reading with your head because you are thinking way too much when you are reading.


A Dry Flood

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"The flooding that climaxes the novel is thematically situated to provide maximum counterpoint to the drought which originally forced the Joads to migrate west. Disenfranchised and dehumanized, the Joads can only curse the rising floodwaters even as they once prayed for a deluge to feed their parched crops." (Cassuto 2).

This quote really bugged me a lot. The crops were their livlihood, they needed the rain so that they could have money to feed and take care of their families. Eventually in the story picking crops, mostly fruit became their livlihood, the rain and flood kept them from making money to provide for their families but they were in a different situation by this time.

In some ways I thought this article was really interesting. Ever since we read The Grapes of Wrath I have been curious abut the dust bowl, mostly how and why it happend. I felt like I learned a lot and had quite a few of my questions answered, such as how the farmers treated the land, they pretty much destroyed it.


A whole lot of words!

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As I said in a previous blog, I did a whole lot of research this week. I wasn't sure of a lot of words, after I looked everything up I found that I understood things a little better. I figured I would put them all up here in case there was anyone else was wondering about these words as well but just didn't post them. Also I used The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms by Ross Murfin and Supryia M Ray for all of these words, (it is the book we used for the previous time I attempted to take this class and then dropped it case anyone was wondering). Also, all of these words were found through out the readings, most of them were found in Keesey Chapter 5.

Intertextuality: The condition of interconnectedness amoung texts, or the concept that any text is an amalgam of others, either because it exibits signs of influence or because its language inevitably contains common points of reference with other texts through such things as allusions, quotations, genre, style, and even revision.

Archetypal Criticism: A type of literary criticism that emerged in the 1930s that focuses on those patterns in a particular literary work that commonly recur in other literary works.

Archtype: Generally, the original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story pattern that according to the swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung, are universally shared by people across cultures

Myth Critics, they look for and analyze certain recurrent images, character types, and story lines under the assumption that their persistence in literature indicates their presense in the memories of the collective unconscious.

Convention: A literary device, usage, style, stiuation, or form so widely employed that it has become accepted and even expected by knowledgeable readers in order to function.

Pastoral Conventions: generally opening with an invocation that is followed by a statement of the poet's great grief and asubsequent description of a procession of mourners.

Postoral elegy: A serious formal poem in which a poet grieves the loss of a dead friend (often another poet)

Allusion: An indirect reference to a person event, statemnt or theme found in literature, the other arts, history, myths, religion, or popular culture.

Other Words

Revenge is innocent?

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I have to admit I thought this article was interesting, I think I actually liked this section the most so far, it seems like it was the most understandable. I also wish there was more info about Shakespeare out there. So I just discovered that I somehow managed to read the wrong Tempest article, I read the one that was written by Paris. At least now I will know why people probably won't respond to this blog because you will have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry about the crazy mess up, don't know how I botched that one up.

"The Tempest is above all a fantasy of innocent revenge. The revenge is Prospero's, but the fantasy is Shakespeare's, whose conflicting needs are similar to those of his protaginist" (Paris 237).

First of all, how is revenge innocent? I don't think I could ever think of a situation where plottting revenge on someone is innocent, to any degree. Yes Caliban's revenge is different, he plots to kill Prospero whereas Prospero just wants to teach the other characters a little lesson. In both cases each man knows exactly what's going on, they have a plan in how they will seek their revenge. Innocent means: free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil - Prospero knew exactly what he was doing.

The author also focuses on the fact that Prospero's actions somehow relate to Shakespeare's life. As I said before I wish there was more info about Shakespeare out there. I have heard in the past that this play may have been the last play that he ever wrote, and there is a possiblilty that it's not really a finished play. "The Tempest is often read as Shakespeare's farewell to the theater" (Paris 241).

Since I read the wrong reading I will end it here, I will try to go back by the time second portfolio is due and add a blog about the actual article.

Blogs on the actually reading we were supposed to do, don't know how I missed it.

Women = Other

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Before I get into my quotes and things I have to say that I find feminist criticism interesting but I disagreed with this article quite a bit. I also think this article is outdated, I mean it even mentions that its focus is on what was going on in the 70s, obviously things have changed since then. So anyways, to the rest of my blog........

"Women in literature written by men are for the most part seen as Other, as ojects, of interest only insofar as they serve or detract from the goals of the male protagonist" (Donovan 225).
Going back to what I said in the paragraph above, this article is from the 70s. I wonder if this person is still even doing feminist criticism because she must not be catching male writers creating strong female characters. When I read this part I automatically thought of some of my favorite authors, well male authors. James Patterson is known for writting strong male and female characters. He has a series called Women's Murder Club. The four main characters are women, all strong roles. James Patterson also has another series with a strong female role as the main character, Maximum Ride. I really don't think it is true to say anymore that women are just portrayed as "other". I know there are a lot of other male writers who creat strong female roles. Even Donovan admited herself that Shakespeare created strong women characters who tend to help others find themselves. When i checked out some other blogs earlier Ellen had some great thoughts in the Shakespeare area.

I also want to note that yes, you will find women as others in historical fiction. (Someone else commented on this but I couldn't find the blog when i went back to look for it, so def. say something if you read this). First, it's mostly women that are writing this (at least the historical fiction that i have read). As someone else said, writers of the past are going to write what they know and have experienced. Writers of today want us to relive the past so they are going to try to give us the past. It makes me angry that Donovan never even looks at this aspect.

"Any text which does not recognize the fundamental moral reality of women is sexist" (Donovan 226).
I'm sorry but have to say this, what a load of crap! Once again I must tap back into my American Lit discussions. Recently in class we talked about The Great Gatsby and F.Scott Fitzgerald. Quite a few people said that he was a sexist (because of his portrayal of Daisy mostly). First of all, we don't know the author's intent (going back to Lit Crit) and as we learned in class, writers don't always write what they are feeling or what their true reactions to the subject really is. Second, it's just a story, something that the writer created, a story doesn't always have to reflect a writers thoughts and feelings. As I used Dr. Arnzen before in another blog I will use him again as my example. For those of you who might not know, Dr. Arnzen writes horror things (poetry, short stories, etc). I have had him once for class and he seems like a pretty nice guy, even though I know he writes some pretty crazy stuff (some interesting as well), I'm pretty sure that he isn't a crazy ax murderer. Here is one of my favorite poems that he wrote.

"In other words, women characters in film are usually presented as objects or as Other to the male protagonist and for the pleasure of the male viewer." (Donovan 226). First of all I thought it was interesting that not only did she pick on female characters in books but female characters in movies as well. I'm honestly beginning to wonder if she intentionally goes to movies that she knows are going to portray women in a bad light. Second, like some other people said she never even seems to look at the bright side of things, she never even tries to show us examples of good portrayals of women. If I didn't know any better I would think she wants us to think all men (especially male writers) are bad and they only look down on women and only see them as objects. As I mentioned before I agreed whole heartedly with Ellen's blog, I don't understand why she is trying to make us feel sorry for female writers and characters. Judging by other blogs, instead of gaining sympathy from her readers she has only found anger. Although, I do have to wonder if there were or are people out there who do agree with these articles.

"Under the category of the good woman stereotypes, that is, those who serve the interests of the hero, are the patient wife, the other/martyr, and the lady. In the bad or evil category are deviants who reject or do not properly serve men or his interets: the old maid/career woman, the witch/lesbian, the shrew or domineering mother/wife." (Donovan 228)
In some ways I think this statement is true. The respectful housewife carrying around a baby is usually seen as good in most books. And on the other side a woman who is trying to make something of herself, or at least support herself (at least in historical fiction) is looked down upon. It bothers me that Donovan seems to only go out of the way to find the things that support her ideas, that all women are treated badly in literary works, she never considers looking closer. When I read this I was really interested in the gender roles in the works that we have read already. I found that in two of our works it is the men who are evil and sinister and the women who are good, and these works weren't even written in the present day. I wonder what Donovan would think of that.

I'm really hoping all of that made sense, I kind of feel like I blathered on and on and didn't make sense.

Other Blogs

Can't explain everything

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"No literary facts can be explained by anything except a literary theory" (Frye 287).

I think this is such an interesting quote, especially since literary critics everywhere try to explain things about literature through their theories. What is the point of a literary theory if we can't use it to explain things about the literature that we are reading?

"literature is everywhere much alike.....does not keep bringing the student back to similar points, but to the same point, to the sense of an identitiy in literary experience" (Frye 286). I think this statement is true. I keep talking about american lit and lit crit and their comparisons. I find that I am learning the same points over and over again, as I learn about a new aspect of the point things become clearer.

I think these were the only two quotes I really understood from this article. I don't know about everyone else but I found it very hard to understand.

Other Blogs

I'm starting to truely believe that every single literary criticism and literature class ties into each other, each of these things just can't seem to survive on it's own.

"The three possible minds to which the psychological critic customarily refers are the author's mind, a character's mind, and the audence's mind." (Paris 216).

"Character study is not legitimate when as in most psycological criticism, it talks about literary characters as though they are real people" (Paris 216).

"Most literary critics do not - any more - treat liteary characters as real people" (Paris 216).

Firstly, I laughed out loud when I read this (and this is where lit crit once again ties back into American Lit). Recently we did a close reading exercise. A few of the people did a close reading on characters of the book that we were reading at the time. Dr. Jerz kept stressing that you can't do a close reading or analysis on a character in a book because they are not real, (but you can do this in a research paper). Whe we do research papers we are looking into what other people thought a certain character was portraying. Basically literary critics never look at characters as real people, but why does the audience see characters as real people? I have a friend who honestly thinks Edward Cullen of the Twilight Series is real. She has told me that on a sunny day Edward probably won't be out and about. Over the years my friends and I have had crushes on book characters. Why do we do this? I also think that this isn't limited to literary works either, it extends to tv characters as well. Back when Friends was around I remember talking with friends about Joey and Rachel's relationship, some people wanted them to get together and others didn't. I guess when we feel we can relate to certain characters they be come real to us. I think this quote kind of backs that idea up. "When we are immersed in the indomitable mental reality of a character we adopt his perspective and experience his feelings as though they were our own." (Paris 221).

Other blogs

It took me forever to get through this chapter over break. I kept stopping to research, well look up words that I wasn't quite sure about or just wanted to have a better understanding in general. I feel like I learned a lot from this chapter (and I think I may post several quotes just to get out my thoughts), well I learned a lot from my research. I don't want to put all of my definitions in here, I will put them in the literary terms blogs even though there are several.

"Our understanding of a particular work is an analogical process by which we measure its conformity to the linguistic and literary conventions we know.......Yet, if the work were truely unizue, if it used no conventions we knew, it would be simply unintelligible." (Keesey 266).
First I have to say that when I first read this I wasn't even sure what a convention was, so I looked it up and found that a convention is something that the writer uses, something familiar, something that everyone would know or understand without having to do research. For example, Shakespeare used conventions, people always expect a fool or a comic person. If Shakespeare had written a play that didn't give us a comic character I'm sure most people would be surprised. Second thing, I don't know if I totally agree with the second part of this quote. Yeah there are conventions in a lot of writers work that everyone recognize but I don't think a piece of writing will fall apart because a writer decides to do something out of the ordinary. But then again as readers we probably stick to conventions or writers that we are familiar with. I guess people won't get thrown off by unfamiliar conventions if they are willing learn and know about new ideas and thoughts. Don't we encounter new conventions when we start reading a book by an author that we have never considered before?

"A poem is best read in the light of all the other poems ever written. We read A the better to read B, (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something out of A. Progress is not the aim, but circulation." (Keesey 267)
The first thing I thought when I read this was the importance of rereading. As the above quote says, eventually you are going to go back and read A again because that's really the only way you are going to eventually understand it. I also think it makes sense that we would read other poems to help us understand the original poem that we were reading. The first thing that came to mind was Shakespeare's sonnets, specifically the dark lady sonnets (127-152). You read the first one and end up reading the rest to try to figure out what is going on (who she is and what Shakespeare's relationship was with her). As you read about the dark lady you start to wonder who the fair youth is and how he adds into all of this (was he just Shakespeare's friend or lover?). So to get to the point, Keesey is right in saying that we just end up in one big reading circle.

"Recently modern critical theory has tended to play down the rose of convention" (Keesey 269)
"Yeats, like Blake before him, tried to solve the problem by making his own poems an interlocking set of images and symbols, a sounding box in which the individual poem may resonate." (Keesey 269).
Ok, so writers use conventions in their work, obviously things that we are supposed to be familiar with before we read the work, I agree with Keesey because even in a series of books many authors have begun to write each book in the series so that a reader can start anywhere, they don't have to start at the very beginning. So do we have to be aware of all of the works a writer created to understand one specific work? For example I will use an author I really like. Back awhile ago I read a book called Hard Truth by Mariah Stewart. After I read it I found that this was the second book in the series, so I ended up reading the first book, Cold Truth, and then the third book, Dark Truth, and then I read the last book (I recommend all of the books), Final Truth. I also found out that there are some books that come before this series but you don't have to read them in order because Mariah Stewart was careful to keep her conventions within one book, the reader is able to pick up any of these books and enjoy any of these books by itsself without ever knowing that its part of a series.
Sorry to ramble on there. I was also interested in the second part of the above Keesey quote. I'm not really sure if Keats really ever escapes using conventions, the poem seems like it is just one big convention.

"People who have read a lot of poetry can genearlly interpret a given poem better than people who have not" (Keesey 270).
I had to put this in here because I thought Keesey's comment was so obvious. Of course if we had read poems before we will probably understand other poems. As I started thinking about this quote I realized that I don't completely agree with Keesey. I like to read poetry, I have read plenty of it, but I have a hard time interpreting it, almost every single time. Usually I don't get it or I get the opposite oppinion of what everyone else got on the poem. I also think that its better to go into a poem without priar knowledge, if you don't have priar knowledge you can't be biased.
I have to say that I'm proud of myself for finally understanding some of this stuff, I never realized how much help those literary terms can be.

So, those are a few of my thoughts and here are a few other thoughts and blogs.

Azar Nafisi Lecture

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I went into this lecture not really knowing what I was going to hear, I just knew that I had to go. I'm really glad that I got to hear this amazing speaker. I thought she had a lot of great things to say. I do have to agree with Bethany that it was encouraging to hear someone encourage people to read and write. Bethany is right when she says that this stuff is usually looked down upon, especially among us english majors.
It's so hard to just pick one thing that stuck out in my mind. "One good thing about books are the connections that they make." I think this is so true. I think a lot of books whether it's fiction or non fiction, help us to connect to things that have happend in our lives, other people's lives, or just different situations and circumstances. Not only do books give us connections but they give us knowledge as well, I love that she came out and said this. I really think that people need to be encouraged to read, it's not always a bad thing.

Other Thoughts

"How many stories do you know in which the hero is different from everyone else in some way, and how many times is that difference physically visible?" (Foster 195)

I think this is the best chaper in the Foster book so far. I think this quote rings true in almost every book I have ever read. I really think that if the hero wasn't different the reader wouldn't be able to relate. I also think that this physical difference makes the reader really care about the character as well. If you read a book at portrays a character that is totally perfect you aren't going to give a hoot what happens to them because they have it all already, in fact if the hero is perfect the reader has no reason to like the hero.

I also think that characters tend to have physical or emotional problems because the author wants them to go through something that involves their physical problem and defeat it, usually learning something about themselves or others. I really don't think physical and emotional scars are ever just something that is there. I also agree with Foster that scars or other deformities or whatever the problem is, holds other symbols as well. "These character markings stand as indicators of the damage life inflicts." (Foster 195).
"But even the other bear signs illustrating the way life marks all who pass through it" (Foster 195). Foster used Harry Potter as an example so I'm going to stick with that. Harry Potter has a scar on his forehead, there are good things about the scar, it shows that Harry is the chosen one that he's different and that he's the good guy but it also shows us sadness. Because the scar exits Harry's parents are dead, and the bad guy is after him. To make it more clear, Harry was literally marked for something bad that happend. Now in other books the character isn't always marked because of a situation that happend but it represents something bad happend in society, something that effects every character, usually the person who has the scar is the one that is able to pull through some kind of bad situation.

Other Blogs

"We realize that the human race is perpetually caught in crises, but also perpetually surviving," (Vogel forward)

This play was so weird and depressing and I honestly believe that Wilder wanted us to be depressed when we saw or read the play. Somehow this one family manages to survive the world ending (or a crisis, however you want to look at it) three different times. I think the quote kind of somes all of this up. Sometimes it seems like we are going from one crisis to the next. I know quite a few people who are just trying to survive this life. I have to wonder if this is what thornton Wilder was trying to say as well.

I also disagree with this quote as well, infact I find it kind of irritating. Yeah, we have crisises that come and go in our lives, but I really don't think we are always just surviving. Wilder doesn't even seem to try to show the audience/reader that people need to make the most out of their lives. Wilder makes this play so depressing, I mean this family has been living a dismal life for five hundred years. I actually want to know why this weird disfunctional family has even been living and surviving so long when there doesn't really seem to be any hope in any of the characters.

After reading some other blogs, I realized that I probably took this play to seriously, I mean I thought it was depressing and all. I really think that Julianne made some really great comments and she reminded me that I shouldn't take this play so seriously.

Other Thoughts

I saw Life's a Dream this past Saturday night. It was really great, I'm actually really glad that I saw the play first, usually I read and then go to the play. For one thing, I knew Clarin was supposed to be funny. I also noticed and actually remembered that quite a few of the lines were different (not a lot but things were just said in a different way, obviously since we used a different translation. I have always enjoyed Seton Hill's productions, so since I'm graduating it is kind of sad that this is one of the last shows that I will see here. Anyways, I think the actors did a really great job. I look forward to the next show later this semester.

Ok, so I hope it's ok that I'm doing my Life's a Dream stuff all in one blog. So I was sitting in my room reading the play and I realized something, and hopefully it's not totally off. But anyways, I was thinking how mimetics is imitation and it's based off of some things that Plato talked about, I totally related this to Plato's cave allegory. In Plato's cave allegory the prisoners who are in the lowest part of the cave are the ones who are the furthest from understanding the true reality of things outside of the cave. At first I thought that Life is a dream is supposed to be an imitation of the cave allegory, but it's not, and here's why. Although Segismundo is a prisioner, has been a prisoner his whole life, he has a knowledge of reality. The prisioners of the allegory are uneducated, they are taking wild guess about the shadows that they see one the wall. Segismundo is educated by his jailor. "I have studied political science, instructed by the beasts, informed by the birds, and have measured the orbits of the gentle heavenly bodies." (Barca 17).
Ok, I just had another realization, yes Life is a Dream doesn't imitate entirely. Segismundo is not exactly like the prisoners who are trapped in the lowest part of the cave looking at the shadows. As the play continues he follows Plato's cave allegory. As he is prince for the day (the prisoner leaves the cave) he begins to see the reality in what has really been going on, finding out that he was locked up by his own father and learns that he is supposed to be a prince, not some kind of monster. (the prisoner realizes that the shadows on the wall are really just people walking around) Once Segismundo returns to the prison (the prisoner goes back to the cave) he realizes the true realiy of everything. He realizes that it's not ok to throw people out of windows just because they may make him angry, he can't take advantage of every woman he likes. He knows that if he had the chance to be a prince again, and he does, that he has to be a nice person. The cave allegory focus's on (ok so this is what Dr. Martino said, I love that I totally applied something I learned from my philosophy class last semester, shout out to Dr M ) one prisoner leaving the deepest part of the cave, knowing nothing about the true reality of what was outside of the cave, they journey through the cave learning through, when they leave the cave they understand what was truely going on outside of the cave and understand where they once were. Segismundo goes through the same thing, if that makes any sense. I think I just had an ah ha moment. I don't know if this is even right but I'm totally writing this for my case book.

Class thoughts on Life is a Dream

I guess I'm picking the most obvious word or I'm just the dumb one that didn't know what this ment, but whatever the case here it is.

Mimetic Criticism: A type of criticism started by Plato. It assumes literary works to be reflections or representations of life and the world in general.

Mimesis (told me to look up imitation, which makes sense now that I think about it): A greek term used by literary critics to refer to the representation of reality in literature.

Other words

"Every woman he sees, he wants, and he scatters commands without regard to their appropriateness" (Sears 3)
"Basilio, in other words, should have known that to raise a man in savage conditions will make of him a savage, for he will know nothing else." (Sears 4)

I thought a lot about this when I saw the play, and I'm really glad that Sears said this. I think it's interesting that Segismundo was locked up from the time he was small until the present of the story/play. He says continually that he's some kind of beast or monster, of course he would that that because thats all he has ever known. On top of that the king thought Segismundo would come out and treat everyone fairly and just be a good prince in general, but of course he won't because he has never been taught that he has to be kind and fair to others, he can't grab at women whenever he thinks one is pretty or whatever. It just surprises me that all of the characters are so surprised that he acts so badly at first.

Other opinions

Trying to escape

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"Dramatizations of imprisonment and escape are so all-pervasive in nineteenth-century literature by women that we believe they represent a uniquely female tradition in this period." (Gilbert and Gubar 260).

Ok, so I never really thought much about this before. I mean I noticed that the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper wanted to escape. If you think about it, many women wanted to express their views (not just writers, the writers were the ones that were able to pull it off to some extent) politically, religiously, in a lot of other ways but were repressed my men. I did a little research, it's obvious that gender roles back then were quite different back then. I think it would be interesting to find out what men thought of these type stories like The Yellow Wallpaper, i doubt they even noticed that women felt trapped at that time.

Other blogs

Plato hated poetry?

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"he also objected to poetry on the affective grounds that it feeds and water the gives us a false view of the world" (Keesey 206)

Maybe Plato is right to some extent. Do you ever think about your emotional responses to poetry? I used to think I would swoon if a guy came to me and quoted how do I love thee, let me count the ways. As Plato said, this obviously gave me a false view of the world, for a long time I thought some guy was going to come in and sweep me of my feet and recite wonderful poetry. Poetry and even books help the reader to escape to some far off fantasy land.
Then this is where I become confused. First Keesey tells us that Plato thought that poetry stirs up passions and causes people to view the world the wrong way, which can be true because sometimes poetry causes us (we when read it, not necessarily when we write it) to be romantic or want to be romantic. I'm just using this as an example, I'm sure that some poetry stirs up anger or some other emotion. But anyways, Keesey later tells us that poetry is for us to relate to. Poetry is written for the true reader. Yes sometimes I do relate to poetry or a story that I read, but which one is it? Does poetry make us see the world in the wrong view or does it help us to see the world as it really is and then we relate to it?

Other thoughts

Portfolio 1 for EL 267

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This is the first blog for American Lit. Fortunately for this class I have all of my blogs in and will have this portfolio in ahead of time. I have been commenting on fellow peer blogs but do to complications with my own blog people have not been commenting on my blog.

These are links to blogs that I had to do for homework. Most of my blogs are fairly short but they are still thoughtful.

Foster at the dinner table with Gatsby
There can't be just one

These are blogs I had in on time, I don't have any comments on them due to complications with my own blogs. I'm not even sure people are even reading my blog.

The Great Gatsby and Racism?
Fire and Ice and everything nice? or not?

Even though for awhile there no one was able to write on my blog I commented on several classmates blogs because I either agreed with them or found their blog to be interesting or I learned something from them.

A Turtle in disguise
A western point of view

As I said before I don't have super long blogs but I do have a few even though they are a little short I did put some thought into them.

Sometimes machines don't make sense
Home is where the heart is

I really don't think any of my comments sparked any discussion among my peers but I did comment and hopefully those comments will be insightful to someone, even to myself in some way. I did comment on Nikita's blog and Aja's blog but for some reason it is not showing up.

Racism and Sex

Other portfolios

"A big swift car whisked, near, tires squealed. The dog dodged helplessly, and with a shriek, cut off in the middle, went under the wheels. The big car slowed for a moment and faces looked back, and then it gathered speed and disappeared." (Steinbeck 130)

First, I have to say I was completely shocked by how the dog was run down. Actually I can't believe how all animals in this book are intentionally killed or people try to kill them. I also think there is a lot of stuff going on here that Steinbeck is trying to tell us. When I read this passage I couldn't believe that the people that killed the dog never really stopped and said anything to the Joads, they didn't even say that they were sorry. I think that this shows that the people in this book are only thinking of themselves, because if they tried to help everyone else people would either take advantage of them or they would starve/ lose everything. I'm really glad that I'm not the only one who was interested in the animal symbolism in this book. Nikita had some interesting views as well.

Other views

Portfolio 1 for EL 312

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This is the first Portfolio for EL 312. Unfortunately it's late. I think I learned a lesson just from this portfolio. I was trying to post entrys for all of other stuff I hadn't blogged about. Now that I am finished I can finally write up my portfolio. Because of the frustrations of this week I realized that if I keep up to date the portolio won't be so much work (like my EL 267 portfolio due tomorrow because I have everything up to date. So here's my portfolio.

These are the entry that I needed to do for homework, most of my entries are short but there are other entries that I put more thought into.

Caliban and the Tempest

As I said above, most of my entries are short. Even though they are short they still have thought into them. For a few of the blogs I did a little research.

American Lit and Lit Crit Go Hand in Hand
Read it Again, it won't be the same

Due to problems with my blog, I haven't been able to communicate very much through my blog with my peers. I did communicate some with my peers through their blogs.

Is Reader-Response Criticism One School or Four?
Real or Hypothetical?
There is no meaning of any work of literature

Once again, because of problems with my blog, I have been unable to communicate through my blog with my peers until now, my most recent blogs are the ones that actually have any kind of commentage.

Literature isn't Personal?
Contradiction is my name, reader response is my game

Ok, so I will be honest and say all but this past batch of blogs were late. I felt frustrated because my blog wasn't working and figured what was the point? Now that my blog is working things will hopefully be different. I do think I have some good blogs even though they were late.

Manifestations in the Wallpaper
Locked in a Box
The Form of a Poem

Xeno Blogging
I don't have anything for this. I don't think anyone has been reading my blog as of late, and so I don't think anyone as gotten any ideas from me. I have agreed with many of my peers but I didn't get any great ideas from them to use for my case book.

I have been connecting Lit Crit with American Lit a lot lately, so I have been writing a little about it in my blogs. I used both of these blogs previous links
American lit and Crit Lit go hand in hand
Read it again, it won't be the same

Other Portfolios

Understanding the text

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"A Text cannot be made to speak to us until what it says has been understood" (Hirsch 18)

I totally agree that any kind of text is going to speak to us if we understand it. Obviously we are going to dismiss what we have read if we haven't totally understood it. I have another issue though. How do we know our opinions are right in the first place? Poems could say one thing to one person and something else to another person. Do we have to understand a text a certain way to really have us speak to us? For example in class I thought I totally understood what one of the critics was saying, (that the writer could be writing certain things to escape the current emotions of the moment) and Dr. Jerz made sure to tell me in front of everyone that I was obviously wrong. Even when we are wrong and we think we understand the text, the text still speaks to us.

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