February 2008 Archives

""A body and a spirit. The body, lady, is like a house: it don't go anywhere; but the spirit, lady, is like an automobile: always on the move, always..." (O'Connor 57).

Not only does this quote present foreshadowing, but it also again represents the Catholic teachings that O'Connor uses in the norm. A body is like a house, it doesn't go anywhere. It is also taught that a body is a temple, which Mr. Shiftlet points out. [He is hypocrit and liar--Another story]. the spirit is always on the move, for it is the object that lives on after death. O'Connor's use of the body and soul is literal and yet in a sense, biblical and symbolic. It is symbolic of Mr. Shiftlet's own beliefs as well as representing the truth in the bible. This one quote means so much that I could write an essay on it....[Don't get any ideas, Dr. Jerz]. :)
When Mr. Shiftlet says this, little do we know that he actually is a "spirit," always on the move. This is open to so much interpretation that Mr. Shiftlet could be a spirit, a ghost, a figment of their imagination, an angel, perhaps God himself. Or he could be the devil, for leaving poor, helpless Lucynell in the diner.
Wow, I can't settle on one interpretation, but I believe it is symbolic of the Catholic teachings which is common for O'Connor to display.

Peace on Earth? Just a Pitt Stop

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"He intended not to fool with preachers any more but to Baptize himself and to keep on going this time until he found the Kingdom of Christ in ther river" (O'Connor 45).

Well making a reference to the Catholic teachings and beliefs here, the only way you're going to find the Kingdom of Christ is after death. When you're done here on earth, the Catholic belief here is you're granted eternity in Heaven-Kingdom of Christ. So do you say the boy was fortunate or unfortunate to have found the Kingdom? Sure O'Connor wants you to believe he is at peace right now, but he had a long life ahead of him on earth as well. I think O'Connor's message is deeply involved in the Catholic teaching, because here on earth, it doesn't matter how long we exist, it is the Heavens in which we find eternal happiness. O'Connor's use a small boy emphasizes her religious beliefs because it is just time passing on earth. It doesn't matter how old you really are. The message would not be as effective if an elderly man or woman was the one who drown. I believe she really emphasizes the time on earth is strictly a "pit stop" before our lives begin.

Even through all of Shakespeare's work, he managed to write about topics that will never fade in debate or discussion. Smart man...way to be a legend. In the Merry Wives of Windsor, trust is a big issue, just as Maddie and Greta pointed out. The characters battle with trust issues and plot revenge. Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford in themselves cannot be trustworthy considering they are "playing the field" with Falstaff. It is an ironic spin-off not targeting one character.
We can still debate about trustworthiness in common day society. Like..."A Good Man is Hard to Find," deals with trust with the grandma and the Misfit.

For Introduction to Literary Study (EL150) at Seton Hill University, our class collected their blog entries to organize into a portfolio. This portfolio displays how well we interact with one another outside of the classroom and how well we learn together. This is only part of the numerous ideas and topics discussed inside and outside of the classroom. Although this is my first portfolio of 2008, here are links to my previous portfolios.
October 2006 (Writing for the Internet)
November 2006 (Writing for the Internet)
October 2007 (Newswriting)
November 2007 (Newswriting)
December 2007 (Newswriting)
December 2007 (Media Lab)


This is the newest portfolio!
Coverage
These blogs are the typical blogs, linking to the main website, citing our work mixed in with thoughts and conclusions.
Blythe and Sweet--Song and Song
Windsor and Wisteria Lane?
Shakespeare's True Infatuation
He is "Donne" with Death
Please Just Drop a Littlllleeee Bit!
Race for Death
The World is Round for a Reason.....Squeeze It!
Athena, Minerva, Adam, Eve, Grendel, Beowulf
Back in the Day
Murder She Wrote
Lit Like a Professor, Come on Now
Jabberwocky

Timeliness
Timeliness blogs are posted at least 24 hours before class allowing the opportunity for classmates to form discussions.
Lemire 1-11
Jabberwocky
Freedom of Speech
Please Just Drop a Littlllleeee Bit!
Race for Death
I see Foreshadowing
Shakespeare's True Infatuation
He is "Donne" with Death

Interaction
These blogs have attracted classmates' interest and comments to start discussions outside of class.
Shakespeare's True Infatuation
Please Just Drop a Littlllleeee Bit!
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?
Windsor and Wisteria Lane?
Back in the Day


Depth
Writing in depth shows using previous learned knowledge and skills to make a comparison or conclusion in the blog. Also linking to referenced ideas helps make these blogs easier to understand.
Freedom of Speech
Lit Like a Professor, Come on Now
Blythe and Sweet--Song and Song
Athena, Minerva, Adam, Eve, Grendel, Beowulf
Back in the Day
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?


Discussion
These are my blogs that have started discussion and those of my classmates' who I have commented on to spark discussion.
William "Shakes" It Up
Murder She Wrote
Lit Like a Professor, Come on Now
Freedom of Speech
In Kaitlin's blog, I shared my thoughts about original ideas.
In Ethan's blog, several of us joined in a discussion about the gluttony of Shakespeare.
In Angelica's blog, I expressed my thoughts on the meaning of O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
In Stephanie's blog, a few of my peers and I discussed Shakespeare's creativity.

Blythe and Sweet--Song and Song

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Blythe and Sweet conclude, “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.” Both poems show allusions and reference to other works.
“Donne’s use of the mermaid image to suggest the danger women pose to men most probably alludes to The Odyssey…..” (Blythe and Sweet).
“….So he leaves the party to walk alone on the beach—for Prufrock, too, the mermaids’ singing is impossible” (Blythe and Sweet).
Each allusion and symbol that is mentioned in both poems either is similar or different. For example, the mermaids in both poems represent a nuisance and danger. Donne’s poem is claimed to be a source for Eliot’s poem, which would explain the similar objects and symbols.
In the paragraph that begins with “A remarkable likeness in the method of narration employed by Donne and Eliot undergirds the similarity in situation and theme in the two poems,” Blythe and Sweet state their topic then quote each poem to support their claim. Blythe and Sweet opinionate their claims yet have enough evidence to support it. This makes it perusable and debatable because there is an opposition.

Windsor or Wisteria Lane?

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Mrs. Ford: "How shall I be revenged on him? I think the best way ewere to entertain him with hoope till the widcked fire of lust have melted in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?" Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene i)

Here is the point where you just have to laugh to yourself thinking of these two women plotting revenge. It is not like Hamlet where he plots revenge against his uncle in order to gain back power, but comical trickery that is unusual in Shakespeare's famous writings. This play so far reminds me of Desperate Housewives and the women's plots and schemes. The tv show deals with risky schemes and consequences with a satirical angle to it that is hilarious. Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford are on their way to plot their revenge and lead him on but nothing too scandalous of course to ruin their reputation. These sneaky sneaky wives of Windsor may as well live on Wisteria Lane.....

Shakespeares true infatuation

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"But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight" (Shakespeare 6-7-My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing like the Sun)

The speaker's infatuation of this woman, is that of an infatuation. He thought he loved her but with a closer look, he sees her flaws.
The two lines that jumped out at me first was "But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight"
To me, these two lines are the epiphany in which the speaker realizes he really doesn't care about the woman. Her cheeks are pale and something so unnatural like perfume is more delightful than her.
This was my initial thought when I first read the poem, that Shakespeare just didn't like this girl, but after reading Erica's blog, I put her thoughts into perspective. She said:

"Then and now, a lady wants her love to tell her that she is perfect, even when they both know she is not."
Which made me think, maybe the speaker did love his lady, and was just writing about her imperfections which were intended to be private. Either way, Erica is right, Shakespeare would probably not be hired by Hallmark.

He is "Donne" with Death

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"Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me" (Death be not Prouud, Donne 4)

In Donne's poem, "Death" is capitalized like a proper noun. Donne uses "Death" as a character instead of a typical noun or natural occurrence. The speaker is directing their thoughts towards "Death," the person. We usually do not look at death like it is a monster, but a natural occurence. Donne has created a character out of people's fear. Seeing 'Death" as a person makes it seem less scary, because people are not immortal nor do they have special powers. The speaker in the poem is just relating to another enemy that can be defeated in his eyes. By the way Donne uses Death as a proper noun shows a brave perspective of death in which we are not familiar with. He makes it look so easy to defeat death and treat it the typical bully or enemy.

"How sweet it would have tasted,
Just a drop!" (Dickinson, 5-6)

These two lines remind me so much of that desirable temptation that we all want but never have. How you yearn for it and maybe MAYBE you would feel better if you had a DROP or CRUMB or HALF of what you really really want. By the rest of the poem, it seems as if they were too late. Too late to get what they wanted and had the opportunity. Victory does come late and sometimes never at all.

Race for Death

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"I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity (Dickinson 19-20"
The two ending lines are very powerful to this poem. Dickinson talks about the cycle of life and stages within it, but at the very end, it's like she shows the end of the race, the "horses' heads" are what cross the finish line first as they head for the finish line or "toward eternity."
It seems ironic that Dickinson would compare the path to death to a race. There aren't too many people who want to willingly race to death. That is an unusual perception.

Wow! Let's just say this poem contains allegories, historical references, metaphors, and emotions all coming together to make a statement of one man's life. Michelango, Lazarus, Hamlet, Chaucer and John Donne's works all influenced this poem. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock has 3 lines that left an impression on me (90-92).

"Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball"

This shows one's full regret. It contains such strong metaphors to an emotion that we relate to everyday. Everyone regrets something they have done or not done in their life. Everyone has felt like they wanted to "squeeze the unvierse into a ball." This is no far-fetched idea. However knowing that other people can feel the way you have, can make you realize there is time to make up regrets or to live and make no more. Only three lines of a poem can give you an entirely new perspective on your life.

That was philosophical.....:)

"Here's the problem with symbols: people expect them to mean something. Not just any something, but one something in particular" (Foster 97).
100% true statement. Symbols have different meanings to different people. One pet peeve of mine is when someone tells me I am not right because of their sdifferent perception of the same symbol. If I have evidence to support and they have evidence to support, there is no reason one of us is wrong. Clearly if the author is good, a symbol can have multiple meanings so it reaches a unique audience, not just targeting one genre.
Symbols often make a story worth reading. They wouldn't be symbols if it meant exactly one thing. The writer might as well just specify and TELL what it means instead of leaving it open to interpretation and discussion.

I see Foreshadowing

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"They passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island" A Good Man is Hard to Find 6).
This sentence in the book foreshadows the family's ultimate fate. The way the grandmother describes the graveyard to the children is eerie and the plantation family's eternal resting place is together in that field. Just miles down the road, the traveling family will meet their fate together. I have read this story before, but reading it a second time, I was able to pick up more closely on the foreshadowing and symbolism of the story.
Not only was I finding those elements but I was able to carefully read the characters better than before. The grandmother really does mean more to this story than I had thought. She is witty and humorous, but she is the key of foreshadowing. Who plans their outfit to make a statement incase they are found dead? She is the ssource of foreshadowing. There are hints of the family's fate, which makes the story more exciting especially the second time around.

William "Shakes" it up

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"He is everywhere, in every literary form you can think of" (Foster 38).
Shakespeare. He is everywhere! And not just in literary form. My 12-year-old cousin was randomly saying, "To be or not to be, that is the question," (Foster 41). She did not even know where it was from, or what it meant, but she had seen it on a cartoon. Cartoons are even quoting Shakespeare, and that either means people are just out of material, or he has made the greatest impact in the history of Literature. I am going with the second one....

In Ethan's blog, he said, "Western society always uphold Shakespeare as some god-like figure in literature." His thoughts differ from mine, however we have the same idea. Shakespeare should be held high above a pedistal. He has amazing great works and we would not be quoting them if they did not have some impact in history.

Ohhhhh!!!!! Epic Poetryyy!!! Let me just define that for you off of the top of my head. An epic poem is a long narrative poem with a larger than life hero which represents the society in which he lives. That same definition was drilled into my head for 3 years (Since my English teachers were BFFs). When I saw epic poetry, I had to read it.

So as Essential Literary Terms states, "They combine legend, oral histroy, and moral exemplum to inspire and guide future generations."

Each epic poem I have read has had all of the characteristics but told very different stories. From Beowulf battling the monster Grendel to save his community (and yet he had the ability to swim for 7 days straight....). In the "Illiad" and the "Aenied" Romans and Greeks fought alongside the powerful gods. Poor Achilles :(
And "Paradise Lost" involved God, Satan, Adam, and Eve battling a spiritual battle.

Each epic has a hero with unusual powers and characteristics trying to defend or fight within their society. I like epic poems because they are stories which mostly spread by word of mouth. Over years, stories have changed but once they were written down, that is now the official tale. Epics are neat, they are creative and If I were ever challenged to a contest to define an epic poem.....I'd spit it out and win in a heart beat... :)

Back in the day....

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Back in the day, as a youngin, before I started to read a book, I would always read the first and last line of the book. Why? I don't know...It made me feel like I knew what was going on in the book already. Even though it was only two sentences, but in two significant places in the book. So as I was reading, 10 Tips for Novice Creative Writers, the "resolving the conflict" section appealed to me the most. A possible ending for a book,
"Brendan's eyes looked away from the priest and up to the mountains," signifies that the mountains symbolize much more than emphasized at the end of the book. They have deeper meaning throughout the book that you won't know until you read it. Perhaps Brendan is having doubts about marrying the girl he doesn't love at the current moment. These possibilites are endless, but you have strong evidence to support that the mountains symbolize something or the search for something else has begun. All of that power is within the last line of a novel. The last line is suppose to leave the reader with a heavy impact. For me the last line could start the reader with endless possibilities of a beginning. it all matters how the reader looks at it.

When you read a book, you do want to know every detail. Was the setting in Chicago? Was the setting in a mountainous region in Europe? Knowing where a story takes place....can determine how you relate to a story.

"Who can say how much of us comes from our physical surroundings? Writers can, at least in their own works, for their own purposes" (Foster 166).

As a reader, if I can relate to the setting, I may choose whether or not to read it. In my opinion, if a novel takes place in a small town, I would choose that over a story taking place in ancient Mesopotamia. Even though we are told time and time again not to judge a book by the cover....or in this case geography, it is going to happen. By omitting something as important as the setting could cause the reader to lose interest. It is almost like not having an imagination because a novel is not realistic without a time and place.

Now when an author does not present a season or season changes througout a novel, that can cause a decrease in significant symbolism. Each season can mean something different.

"The seasons are the same in literature, and yet always different" (Foster 181).

For example, Spring is often known as rebirth or renewal. Or Fall and winter can symbolize death or loss. Those prove to be parts of a novel that SHOW instead of TELL. There ya go....we can apply what we learn! For me, the season changes in "To Kill a Mockingbird," show how much Jem and Scout torment poor Boo Radley. During the summers they are always prancing around the house in curiousity, but things calm down during the winter and so forth. So seasons do not necessarily have to symbolize a strong meaning, they can just be references. In other words they are important for the reader' conscience.

Murder She Wrote

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From "Trifles" by GlaspellMRS. HALE (her hand against her pocket).

"We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson."


This line lands at the very end of the story summing up the entire feminist perspective in which Glaspell expressed. This story begins with the Sheriff and Country Attorney investigating a murder scene with women at their side (or in this case behind them). The womens' anticipation to enter such a creepy place was pretty much unwanted. As the story progresses, the women connect the dots better than the macho men who marched right into the crime scene at the beginning.
The quote above is very strong in terms of leaving the reader with the main point. "We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson" just screams WE=The Women know the answer despite the fact the macho men believe that preserving fruit is the only thing the women are good for or even care about.
Erica's blog has a similar response to "Trifles" about feminism.
Also, I enjoy how the stereotype of women not being able to keep a secret has been broken. If a female can cover up a murder, that is just sneaky sneaky.

Get into the mind of the character

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"Bernice stood on the curb and looked at the sign, Sevier Barber-Shop. It was a guillotine indeed, and the hangman was the first barber, who, attired in a white coat and smoking a cigarette, leaned nonchalantly against the first chair. He must have heard of her; he must have been waiting all week, smoking eternal cigarettes beside that portentous, too-often-mentioned first chair. Would they blindfold her? No, but they would tie a white cloth round her neck lest any of her blood--nonsense--hair--should get on her clothes (Fitzgerald 4-53). "

After reading this quote, I began to realize the inner-thoughts in Bernice and her personality. In the dialogue and text you were told about her flaws and attitude but getting into the mind of a character is a strong style of writing. Even though her thoughts are spread throughout the text, this is the first time it really hit me and I began to see how the style of writing came together. Story telling can be right to the point telling by the narrator, but thoughts that run through characters' heads place the reader into the story. The reader is in the characters' shoes and brings the story together and lifelike.

Bad Ghosts and Good Ghosts

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In Foster's chapter 3, "Ghosts and vampires are never only about ghosts and vampires" (17). I liked this quote because it is a fun way to express symbolism which I like....I know call me a nerd. In literature, hardly anything is literal. There is a deeper meaning to it all. Ghosts could symbolize a life lost (clearly) or Hamlet's father's ghost can come with a forewarning and wishing to harm no one. Everything has a different meaning and as long as there is some evidence to support the claim, it is open to interpretations. Having different interpretations to symbolism can determine how you percieve the story.
Some people just want one answer and facts to support it. With literature, it is just the opposite. Analyzing and breaking objects apart to find symbolism is half the fun. I consider English majors creative and more interesting. To many a ghost is a spirit that haunts the living. Period. End of discussion. To others, A ghost may not actually exist but a figment of one's imagination that symbolizes something more.

Or the ghosts in Maura Hall are real and prevent the residents from sleeping at night.
I pick this one ^^

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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