Sunday, December 4, 2011

Feed--Part IV: Slumberland

The last section consist of Violet dying out slowly. Her feed is no longer responding correctly and the companies won't pay for a new feed. She is left to fend for herself and tries to hold on to all that she has for as long as possible. She sends memory clips and messages pages long to Titus, but he is so overwhelmed by the whole situation that he just ignores the messages and deletes her memories. Titus uses the fact that Violet isn't able to get out anymore so he can go off his own way. He goes out with another girl and hangs with his friends and doesn't bother to check on Violet.
Violet is still trying to fight the feed till the very end, but even then her feed is still able to say what she likes and doesn't like. She feels like all her struggles and hard work haven't really worked other than for her rejection because her ability to not make up her mind ruined her possibilities of getting help. In the last few episodes, Titus finally goes to her house because she is right at the end. He sees what she has become which is just a pale boney girl that lays on a bed unable to move anymore. Titus even says that when she cries it makes her even uglier. He stays to listen and talk to her for a while, but then leaves back home. Once he arrives at home he is mad at the fact that he had to go through with this happening to Violet. I think he really did like her still, but just didn't know how to cope with the situation. At the very end, Violet is at the last hour of life and just laid in her bed motionless. Titus goes to see her one last time and just sits there crying beside her after telling her stories that he knew. He even mentions that it is the first time ever that he truly cried which could mean that he finally understood what Violet was trying to tell him all along.
The ending to me really sucked because Violet dies and Titus could possibly go on to be with some other random girl!! Violet was just trying to be different and show everyone that things shouldn't be the way that they were. I liked her character, but sometimes she over did the whole "wanting to fight the feed" idea. Titus should have stuck by her side till the end, not just back out because he was scared. I understood most of the concepts that were talked about in the book and really hope that we don't end up getting feeds too!!!

Feed--Part III: Utopia

This third part is when the gang is back at their homes and are starting to get back to their "normal" lives. They forget about the Moon and don't bother to ask what truly happen to the man that attacked them. Titus and Violet seem to become closer.
This is the part when Violet truly tries to tell Titus that she wants to fight against the feed. She takes him to their mall and goes around acting like she doesn't know what she wants and makes her feed go nuts. She keeps trying to tell Titus that the feed is only making them fit one shape in society and she doesn't want to lose her old self. At one point when they are talking to a sales person, they are told about all the cockroaches that are living on the domes. This goes to show how the Earth has been completely trashed and is gone down the drain. Titus just sort of tags along and doesn't really process what Violet is trying to show him.
They later go into a discussion about how many people don't have feeds. Violet goes on to talk about how she was around 7 years old when she got her for the first time. Titus is kind of confused at why and doesn't understand the bigger picture of the feeds in Violets perspective. Also, Violet feels like Titus will never understand her way of being because his family has it "all". Titus' parents buy him a car and he only thinks about what his friends will think about it. Violet tries to fit in with all his friends, but her feed starts to mess up and that brings on more issues between them.
Once Titus finds out about Violets feed not working, he tries to help her by just doing whatever she likes, like going to the country side. He feels like he should experience new things with her and he sort of likes the new and fresh ideas that she comes up with. When Titus and Violet hang-out with the gang, many issues arise because Violet says "weird" things and just doesn't fit in. This puts pressure on the couple especially Violet because she isn't able to control her feed anymore. She goes in to several seizures in this section and Titus' friends start to not want Violet around anymore.

Feed--Part II: Eden

After being on the Moon and being attacked they all get transferred to a hospital where their feeds are temporarily turned off. They experience what it is like to not have a feed, something that is completely new to them but not to Violet. They are all together in the same room and try to make time fly by playing games and talking about the random things that they can remember. Violet and Titus become friends and have a special connection by the end. Titus’ dad goes to see how he is and this seems completely normal to him and wonders why Violets parents haven’t visited her yet.
Violet shows Titus that she is completely different from everyone else, which pulls him even more to her. She can read and write and doesn’t like all the same things that the other girls like. This seems strange to Titus but he doesn’t care because he finally feels like he is experiencing something different.
Violet, Titus and the gang all get sent back home after their feeds are turned back on and Titus speaks of how he just felt all the information of the feed flow in his head unlike before. He felt like he had missed out on so much just in a few days that his fee was off. 

Feed--Part I: The Moon

Having a feed is a typical normal thing that is described throughout the whole book of Feed. A feed is like having a chip of all the Worlds information in your head. It can tell if your mad or having a bad day and is an everyday part of the people’s lives.
In this first part of the book, the speaker, Titus talks about how he goes on an “adventure” with all his friends to the Moon. He seems to be tired of his “normal” days and wants to experience something different. Once they arrive at the Moon, they see things that they wouldn’t have expected like all the ugly destroyed streets. They roam around and try to get alcohol, getting into a college part and just to have some fun. They finally go into a bar where they think that they are going to have fun. They dance around, throw a few things around and just talk among themselves.  In this place they also meet a girl named Violet. She seems very quiet and unlike any other girl. Titus is really intrigued by this girl and wants to make a good impression on her, but he and his friends get attacked by a man screaming weird things like “We enter a time of calamity!” They all are confused about what is going on and they have no control over what this man has done to them. They all get “shut-off” by the police and they fall asleep.

EB White excerpt from Charlotte's Web

In this small excerpt from Charlotte's Web the characters have much to say about the people of today's society. They each have their own style and way of being. Charlotte is seen as the spider that is the nice person of the whole story. She also is the one that helps everyone else, like Wilbur. At this point of the story she is very sick and at the point of death, which worries her because her children are at the risk of dying along with her. Wilbur is with her in a barn house and is pleading to not leave him. He says that she is the only friend that he has and doesn't want to lose her. He makes the choice of saving her children since he can't save her. In order for him to save the children, he runs to plead to the rat, Templeton, for help.
Templeton does not seem to want to cooperate because he feels like no one really appreciates him and tells Wilbur he will not help him save Charlottes' children. Wilbur full of despair, pleads for Templeton's help and makes the decision of offering his food to the rat in exchange for his help. With this offer, Templeton runs to help the two friends. He makes it just in time before the people come to pick-up Wilbur. As Wilbur is being taken, he turns back to see his old friend one last time and then feels like it will all be okay because he at least has her children with him. Back at home, things seem to be just like before when Charlotte was still around, and Wilbur is at peace with it all.
Wilbur in this story is sort of like a contradiction in itself because he "helps" his friend, but is also helping himself along in the process. He seems to want to not be alone again so he chooses to save Charlottes' children instead. He also knows that Charlotte won't be around anymore, but conforms to having her children instead. Also, Wilbur sacrificed his own food in order to get the eggs to safety which wasn't too selfish on his part.
Templeton on the other hand doesn't think about anyone else but himself in this situation. He uses the situation to his own advantage as well. He could be seen as the typical person today that will only give if he is given something in exchange. He could have been moved by the emotional part behind this task, but instead he forgets about everyone else and centers it all on himself. I didn't really like Templeton in this section because he showed no compassion for what Charlotte was going through.

"The Red Convertible"--Louise Erdrich

Erdrich starts this story in a very unexpected manner. He starts with the speaker talking in third person which makes it more interesting. The speaker is a young boy named Lyman that lives in a reservation for Indians. He speaks of how he becomes the owner of a local cafe after long hours of working as a waiter, manager and cook. He then talks about when his business was destroyed and had to sell it. The money that he gets out of his business, he uses it for a car that he liked. The car was a red convertible that was bought between himself and his brother, Henry. They both love to be together and have fun so one day they decide to go off on a never ending trip.
They head out to different states and make it all the way to Alaska after meeting a young girl on the side of the road. She welcomes them to her family's home and they all become good friends. Once the two brothers decide to go back home, Henry is drafted into the war. This puts on a big stress for Lyman because he isn't used to living without his brother.
Once Henry comes back from the war, Lyman notices many changes in him and is worried for his brother. Henry at this point seems very distant and uneasy. His mind is filled with many thoughts that he doesn't share anymore with his brother. His whole family notices the drastic change in him, but is too scared to confront him, except for Lyman. Lyman had already finished fixing the convertible, but decided to trash it completely in order for his brother to have some type of motivation to do something.
Henry see's the broken down convertible and decides to fix it up. He takes days to fix it and then the confrontation between the two brothers finally occurs. They both finally go for a ride in the convertible. Then drive up to the river and have a good time while drinking. They finally talk about what happened while Henry was off at war and Henry admits that he is not well. They fight about who is to keep the car and with this Henry makes a decision that changes the whole story. He jumps in the water and seems to just be having fun, but he never comes back out. Lyman then also drives the convertible into the river and walks away from the whole thing.
This story makes it all seem like the typical life that a soldier goes through because many people that go off to war don't come back home the same way as they left. Much stress is put on them and their family. Henry was just a boy that was at the wrong place at the wrong time and didn't have the same luck as his brother. I think that Lyman blamed himself for not being able to help his brother, but he knew that nothing could really be done anymore.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"From Blossoms" by Li-Young Lee

Lee starts out this poem by talking about some peaches that were bought on the side of the road. He goes on to say that these peaches mean more than just the skin and dirt that are on them. He also speaks of how they are picked and delivered to his hands. They seem to bring back memories of his summer days, which he then goes on to talk about.
The way that he starts makes it seem like a memory because of the paper bag and the kid that is selling the peaches. It seems like a summer day that he spent with his wife/lover that got interrupted by the sign saying peaches. When he just says that they turn towards the sign that he saw, it also seems like it wasn't expected in his day to go and buy peaches. Then he starts to talk about those hands that have brought the succulent peaches to his mouth and how they aren't just peaches, but peaches that are real with all that is life to him.
Lee also starts to talk about how he appreciates every bit of the peach that he is eating because it is all good to him. He seems to be taking every part of the "peach" very seriously because he speaks of the shade, the days, and the hands that have all been part of the growing of this great fruit.
At the end, Lee speaks of "all the days that we live as if death were nowhere", and makes it seem as if even the moment of eating a peach can mean so much to his life. He also makes it seem like he wants to enjoy every possible moment in his life because he wants no impossible.
I think that the whole poem was a memory of his youth because he makes it seem like he is enjoying this day of "peach eating" with the women that he loves. Also, the wording that he uses implies that he could be a young man. Living as if death were nowhere near seems like a line from a teen that wants to live his life to the fullest and stops to think of nothing. This poem could have just been a reflection of one of the speakers summer evenings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contemporary Poetry

This poem seemed like a run on about everything, but it seemed alright. Hope you enjoy!:)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Flash Fiction

This story was about a guy having a prosthetic arm and how he does all this silly things with it. It was sort of funny and so I thought you guys might like it!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Donald Barthelme--"The School"

This short story starts out by talking about how a class of children are planting their orange trees at school. The teacher states that he feels like the children really aren't gonna learn anything because the trees are going to die and that will be it for that story. He also goes on to talk more about all the projects that he has for his class. For example, he talks of all the animals that have died like the fish, snake and even a puppy. He doesn't seem to be faced with all that has died and doesn't seem very worried about what the children might think. When they get the puppy, which was by total accident, he allows the children to keep it, but he knows deep down inside that the puppy will die too. When the puppy does pass away, he just tries to push that whole dilemma to the side and doesn't let the kids worry about his death.
When the children so start to ask about all the deaths that have gone on, the teacher has no reply. This is where I thought that maybe the teacher wanted the kids to wonder about what it means to live, but at the same time he was maybe sheltering them from the reality. The children come up with an awesome answer about death, but the teacher just doesn't want to say "yes! This is how things work out in life." This could be the typical story of infant sheltering.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Harrison Bergeron"--by Kert Vonnegut Jr.

This story is about George and Hazel living in a Utopian type world. They are set in a setting where they are sitting in their living room just trying to enjoy the tv, when all of a sudden something happens.
The speaker describes what it is like for this couple to live with all the rules and regulations such as the weights that are on George's neck. They are meant to slow him down and to make him just like everyone else. Also, the high pitch sounds coming from the ear piece in George's ear make him forget and not want to think. I think that the noise's are meant to stop them from actually thinking about what is going on in their lives and so they won't have "evil" thoughts about the government.
When they are watching TV, they hear an announcement about a man that has fled from prison, and he just happens to be their son. This man is described as a violent, horrible monster that needs to be imprisoned again. George and Hazel just sit and watch without any type of emotion, except for feeling sorry for the anchor man that couldn't read the message!
The man, Harrison, then appears in the TV set covered in metal pieces demanding for everyone to obey him. He says that he no longer wants to see the dancers dance a horrible dance and that he will demonstrate what is true dance. He also makes the people present to take off their ear piece so they can play "true" music. He seems to be having a good time enjoying the dance, but then the Handicapper General arrives and shoots the dancer and Harrison down. Meanwhile Hazel has witnessed the whole event and is crying at home, but can't ever remember why.
This to me seems like a fixed world in where people are not meant to have a mind of their own and they all have to be in the same category. Also, being smart is seen as bad and not acceptable. I would NOT like to see society fall into this type of scenario, but people now look at others that are not at their same level as if they are less and unimportant, which is NOT GOOD!!

"The Short Happy Life of Francis MaComber"

Francis MaComber is supposed to be a man with high riches and much power from England. He and his wife decide to take a trip to the wild side of Africa. They are set in a location that is meant for travelers that want to experience the hunting styles of the traditional Africans. At the very beginning, the story starts out with a feel of guilt and agony. The wife and her husband sit with Wilson, which is the man that is in charge of the couple, and they are talking about the hunt of the day and how it went terribly wrong for Francis.
Francis from the beginning seems intimidated by Wilson and he seems to not like letting his wife down. As the night goes through, Francis continues to think about how he didn't do well in his first hunting trip and lets the bad get to him. He has dreams and starts to hear a lions cry from a distance. The next day when they all get ready for their new adventure, Francis is nervous and can't control himself. They head out and he still feels that what happened on the first day will repeat itself. When they arrive at their hunting spot, Francis takes his shot, but misses a direct blow. With this, he puts himself down again and feels even more embarrassed. His wife after seeing his failure makes a decision of cheating on her husband with Wilson. Francis doesn't really take this well and is furious at the fact that he isn't being treated with respect.
The next day after their last hunting failure, they head out again to hunt buffalo. Francis is determined to do his best and hopes for the best. Once they get to their location, Francis can't control himself and shoots from his car. Wilson see's this as being bad for him and stops the car to warn Francis that he shouldn't shoot from the car. So they get down, and walk towards the buffalo so they can complete their hunt, but the buffalo attacks them instead. With this going on, Francis' wife shoots him in the head, supposedly trying to only help.
I honestly don't think that the wife was trying to help her husband because she was always trying to put him down. Also, Francis had started to feel more secure of himself and this made the wife very uneasy because she knew that he could leave her whenever he wanted to. This was just the perfect moment for her to kill him and be able to get away with it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"A Good Man is Hard to Find"--Flannery O'Connor

This short story is based on a trip that a "typical" American family is about to make. The family consists of a grandmother, her son and her son's wife and three children. They all live in the same home and have decided to take a trip to Florida. From the beginning, the grandmother does not agree with the location that they have chosen, but she still sticks along with her son. They start out the trip perfectly fine and try to keep a good timing of all their events. Along the way the grandmother chats away about all her past adventures and seems to be super happy. The family then decided to stop at a local barbecue/ gas station for lunch. They keep their visit short and head on to their destination. Once they were on the road again, the grandmother tells the two older kids about a secret compartment in a home that she once knew about and causes the kids to go crazy of the excitement. All the commotion and crying of the kids forces the dad to agree to their demands; so he took the dirt road that lead to the mystery house. Once they were on their way to the mystery home, the grandmother's cat awakes and jumps onto Bailey, the son, and causes the car to flip over. Once they recover from the accident, they see a car off at a distance and the grandmother calls for help.
The car heads their way and makes it to them just in time, but the grandmother becomes uneasy about who she sees getting out of the car. There were three men in the car and they were all run away's. The grandmother confronts the criminals by saying that she knows who they are. The criminals seem to not even be faced by the old ladies comments and proceed to "help" the family. They take the family one by one to the woods and are shot to death, except the grandmother that is left alone to talk to the head criminal called Misfit. She begs for her life, but Misfit has no mercy and ends up shooting her as well.
The whole time, this story seemed very typical because of the mommy's boy and the wife that never spoke up. Also, the sad thing about it is that there really are families like the one described in today's society. The mother could have just kept to herself and maybe things could have been different. Also, the children were the biggest BRATS that I could imagine! They were disrespectful and didn't mind to themselves. The children were also a big cause of the whole murder scene because the pushed their father to his breaking point. The wife in the story could represent all the typical daughter-in-laws that would rather stay quite then to hear their husbands mother fuss at them for stupid reasons, but she too didn't even speak up to her children when they misbehaved. The whole family didn't have communication which ended with their lives. 

Langston Hughes--"Harlem"

     Harlem, or also known as A Dream Deferred, is short and to the point, but the statements made in it are as bold as can be. Hughes starts out by asking a question of "What happens to a dream deferred?". I think that the line spacing that Hughes leaves after his first question is sort of like a gap for people to think about it before going on to read the next lines. Also, this question seems to have endless amount of answers so Hughes doesn't answer it, but instead puts out thoughts of his own onto the poem. 
     The lines that say," Does it dry up/ like a raisin in the sun?' seem to me like he is saying, is the dream that we dream vanished away just like when a raisin sits in the sun to shrivel up? Maybe it could be that that dream no longer can be maintained because of certain other reasons. 
     The next lines "Or fester like a sore— /And then run?" seem very vivid and gross! A festered sore is not something that anyone would like and maybe Hughes connection with this is to say that we might have that dream that sometimes gets very overbearing and in the end we would rather drop it before it gets even worse. 
     Towards the end he says," Does it stink like rotten meat?/ Or crust and sugar over—/like a syrupy sweet?", which to me is just the same or even worse than a festered sore! As he finishes up with his question, Hughes gets very vivid and imaginative with his response and maybe that has to do with the fact that when is anything sweet and perfect when it comes to dreams??? Hughes could be trying to just look at a reality that many others try to avoid just like when they avoid rotten meat or crusted sweets. 
     Lastly, Hughes says,"Maybe it just sags /like a heavy load./Or does it explode?" The heavy load that he is talking about maybe just means all the struggles that we have to go through in order to achieve what we want and sometimes things may not go right so that could be the explosion that Hughes speaks of. The whole poem from beginning to end seems very pessimistic and as if Hughes had no higher hopes or something went terribly wrong for him.  

Langston Hughes--"Theme for English B"

The story starts out by talking about an assignment that the speaker has to do for his class. He then goes on to describe himself and where he lives. He even goes in to detail about where exactly he lives which seems to be in a rural type area. Once he arrives to his home, he starts to think about what he is going to write about. He deliberates on what is true about him. For example, he questions what is an American??
With this question, he goes on to say that his teacher wants for his students to speak the truth about themselves, but he finds it hard to do because he would like to identify himself with his classmates or teachers, but sort of feels a restraint. He makes a list of things that he likes, but he then says that the "true American" also likes the same things, but they don't like to relate themselves with him or people like him.
I think that this story was trying to say that we all sometimes try to alienate each other , but that we are all somewhat alike in some points. Also, when Hughes says," You are white---/yet a part of me, as I am a part of you." , I get the feeling that he was trying to speak out and say that everyone is EQUAL! Maybe he was also saying that whether the typical American liked it or not, they were always going to have some type of tie with the "colored" race.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Yet do I Marvel"--Countee Cullen

I think that this poem is kind of a contradiction because Cullen starts out by saying that he doesn't doubt God is good, but then he makes a list of certain events that say otherwise. He brings up  events like that of Tantalus and Sisyphus which were Greek characters that got eternal punishments. With these, he maybe was trying to say that how did God allow the punishment of these people and why didn't he do anything to stop it? In the third to the last line, he says "What awful brain compels His awful hand." and with this said he kind of makes the statement that how could God have the mind that he has and also the power that lies in his hands.
Cullen also mentions at the end that God made him both black and a poet which to him where bad things. This could be seen as him saying that he still felt that being colored was bad and that it was even worse because people didn't like when they spoke their mind in poetry. This really shows how alienation was very big during this time period, which must have been really tough for many rising poets.

"Heritage"--Countee Cullen

This poem started out by describing an Africa that seemed perfect, such as the copper sun or scarlet sea, but once Cullen starts describing it further on, his true vision of Africa comes out. I think that he wants to describe Africa as a good humble place, but at the same time he can't because he hasn't ever been there. Like in the third section, he says that Africa is only a book that he looks through, which to me seemed like he only would read about this country, but since he was torn from it he never truly found out what it was like.
Also, throughout the poem he makes himself seem like he has been "Americanized" because he names things like birds being barbaric. Also,he doesn't feel like he can identify himself with Africa because he doesn't have an emotional tie to it. Like in the third stanza towards the end he says, "What is last years snow to me,/ Last years anything?" With these lines, he tries to say that he doesn't belong to Africa, but he doesn't belong to America either. He is sort of caught dead in the middle of the two countries he knows.
Cullen also mentions that he wishes that God could have been of his color so that He could have related to him easier. This could also show that even in religion, colored people didn't really have  a choice in what they believed in because everything was already set down in rules and customs. He also dares to question whether God has done right with all the things of the world and he also doubts himself towards God. To me he seems very segregated from everyone even when slavery had been done away with already. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

T.S. Eliot--The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock

The poem starts out by the narrators imagination of how things could be with his lover. I think that he is in love, but the woman doesn't respond with the same feelings. Also, I get the impression that the man doesn't have the courage to confess his love because he doubts himself in many instances. For example, in lines 38 and 39 he says
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
. Also I think that he holds himself back because he doesn't feel worthy of his love, as described in lines 40-45. I also think that he describes his past "loves" and compares them to the one he has present and finds no comparison because his present love is like no other.
I don't really understand the lines in between 100-110, maybe they are more background details??? 
Towards the end again he brings up the fact that he is getting older and may never have the chance to be with his love. The lines that I found saddening were line 124 and 125 where he says: 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
Eliot's poems seem very depressing and full of mixed emotions and they are pretty tough to understand!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

T.S. Eliot--The Waste Land

The Burial of the Dead--
At the beginning, it starts out by talking of the memories that Marie has as a child. She describes that she goes off to have coffee with her cousin. In the lines 20-30, it talks about a shadow under a red rock. This could be a temptation that has come across her and she takes decides to take it because in line 40, she says "living nor dead and i knew nothing" which I think she was maybe depressed and didn't want to live anymore.
The paragraph after, speaks of a woman that is the best at fortune telling and of how she reads Marie's future. I think that she probably tells her that she must be careful because she see's her death coming. Then in the last paragraph, I think they find Marie dead and they have her funeral. Everyone morns her death, but she still speaks as if she was there. Maybe her spirit is still roaming because she tries to speak to her brother about a corpse he planted.

A Game of Chess--
In the second part, the scene is described as a woman sitting by a window that is rich and in a room full of strange synthetic perfumes. She seems to be thinking of her past and starts to speak to herself. She says that her nerves are bad and this could probably be that she's going nuts or something!
Afterwords, he starts speaking about a woman that is waiting for her husbands return. She is scared and doesn't know how he will take the fact that she didn't buy her teeth like she had promised, but instead she used it for drugs. Also, I think that she had an affair and doesn't know how he will take her disloyalty.

The Fire Sermon--
This part sort of got me to think that Eliot was describing the narrator as being in a solitaire graveyard. Also, he says that he speaks not loud or long but still hears the rattle of bones and chuckles, which could just be his conscience getting the best of him.
Around line 215, he starts talking about the encounter of two lovers. The woman awaits in her hotel room for this man, which makes it seem like they are having an affair of some kind. In line 240-243, he says "exploring hands encounter no defense; His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference; with these lines, it seems to me that the woman is no longer in love and feels like its just an obligation to have this encounter with the man.

Death By Water--
This part describes the death of Phlebas. Phlebas finds his death at sea, but is described as having lived his life. The whirlpool could signify the way that life is and of how it brings good and bad to one's life.

What the Thunder Said--
I didn't really understand this last part because it speaks of rocks and water, but isn't very clear. The rocks could signify life and the water could be the good things of life. He says that if there were rock and water then there could be  a pool among the rock which could mean tranquility. Also, when he talks about the third person walking, does he try to say its death? The conversation at the end is also very confusing and not clear at ALL!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The War Prayer by Mark Twain

Mark Twain start out The War Prayer by setting the towns people in a church where they are praying for the protection of their soldiers. Everyone is wishing the best for all the soldiers and they hope to win the war against their enemies. The emotions of everyone seem to be flying everywhere and they are just full of excitement because they all want to experience the war with a positive outlook.
The sermon was being given to the people when all of a sudden a man interrupts the whole church. He is a man that claims to a messenger from God, and the says to have a message for everyone. His message starts out by saying that everyone should be happy for their husbands and sons that are going to be at was because they are fighting for a freedom that they have. Also, he says that their nations glory and happiness will only come at the expense of another nations misery and pain. He also mentions that why should they worry of children are left parent less or if a mother is left to suffer for herself and her family.
He also says that God is only answering their prayers because that is what they ask for and that is what they shall receive from Him. Their prayers are asking for a blessing for themselves, but at the same time they are asking for a curse for their fellow neighbors. To me, this makes a lot of sense because why should we all ask for what is only best for us? Shouldn't the people stop and think that maybe they are helping themselves, but at the same time they are hurting many others? Like in any war, the people will want victory for themselves, but they never see the other side of the coin.

Huck Finn

Huck Finn is a novel written by Mark Twain that tells the adventures of Huck and Jim as they travel to the free states. Huck is a young boy that comes across a large sum of money with his friend Tom.The money that they come across, is what causes Huck much agony and suffering. After being placed under the guardianship of the Widow, Huck starts the process of being "civilized". He is sent to school, church, and is obligated to dress properly, which he doesn't like. He finds time to sneak out and go on adventures with his friend Tom, but gets himself into trouble.
After a night of fun and laughter with his friends, he goes back home, but finds his father waiting for him in his room. His father had been away for a while and was the towns drunk. Huck feels fear and anger towards his father and tries to avoid contact with him. After seeing that he can no longer run from his father, he is taken by him and they hide in the woods. After several days of being with his father in a cabin, Huck decided to make a run for it, but forever. He plays out a murder scene and escapes with everything his father has, hoping that he will never have to see him again.
Huck makes his escape easily and makes his way up the river, but along the way he finds Jim. Jim is the slave of the Widow, but has also decided to run away. He feared that he would be sold and would never get to see his family again and so he decided to take the risk of fleeing. Huck and Jim stick together and decide to help each other get to the free states. Along the way, they come across many difficulties such as sickness, storms, and people. The people of many towns have already been informed of Jim's escape, so everyone is now on the look out for Jim. This makes it more difficult for their travel, but they continue their path.
At the end of their trip, they make it to Tom's aunts home, but Jim is trapped and thought to still be a slave and Huck has to play the role of Tom. Once Tom arrives at the home, he helps Huck free Jim, but he already knows that Jim was a free man. Tom makes an elaborate plan for the rescue of Jim, but ends up getting hurt himself. Jim shows that he is a person with a heart and decided to stay and help his friend, even though he puts himself at risk as well. The whole mix-up gets cleared up and Jim is finally set free. Huck then decides to go to the Indian Territory where he wants to start a new life.

Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau's first line "That government is best which governs least" is to me the most significant line in Civil Disobedience. It is straight forth and to the point because the government at this time was trying to control many aspects, if not all, of the society and Thoreau comments on the many ways the government could change.
He speaks of the people not being ready for a government that rules everyone as a whole and that the people have their own ways of living, which can not be controlled by anyone. This comment pulls out many questions of how the government could possibly benefit everyone. For example, he says that the country could have gotten farther in their settling or in their education if it wasn't for the government that got in the way. The controlling of where and how to move just wasn't in Thoreau's mind, which makes me believe that he really did not like the government as a whole.
Around paragraph 3 part one, he says that he doesn't want no government, but instead a better government; a government that will take into consideration the thoughts and wishes of everyone. He supports this statement by saying that the government already works for the people and that the people are the one's that should hold the majority of the power and say of the government. Also, it wouldn't hurt for the government to let the people have a say because after all, they are the strongest ones for the job.
I could agree with Thoreau in many aspects of his writing because the people should get what benefits them as a whole. Also, I think that the people were willing to cooperate with the government if only they started to see change in their country.

Frederick Douglass- What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

The 4th of July to the Early America was very important. It signified the many years that they had had of freedom and of all the sacrifices they had made in order to get their freedom. Frederick Douglass was the main speaker at an assemble that he was invited to and he got the opportunity to say what the 4th of July really meant to him.
He starts out by commenting on how proud all Americans should be of the liberty that they have and of how they are so joyful when it comes to this festivity. Also, mentions that they should be proud of their 76 year old country because it has brought many great things to them. Through out the beginning, he never mentions that the American country was his as well and this was made very obvious by Douglass.
He later gets in to the fact that slavery is still being held as an honest and rightful act of the Americans. He says that since this still continues, America only belongs to those that are free, which excluded the slaves and himself. He feels that when the 4th of July comes, the slaves have a remembrance of the freedom that they wish to have and maybe never receive. Also, it brings back the memories of how much they have already suffered.
I found interesting when he speaks of the hypocrisy that the nation has because he points out that the they all have fought many wars against different countries and people and that they still live in a society were not everyone is seen as a person. This caught my attention because in a way I would have agreed with him. How could the Nation say that they are free and have equality when they still held slaves under their power? Even Douglass being a free man, he still felt like he was under the same category of the slaves, but the only difference was that he was educated.

100% American

Ralph Linton starts out on commenting how a typical American starts out their day. He tells of all the materialistic things that we depend on in order to get ready for our day. Also, he comments on the different customs that we have grabbed from others such as shaving from the Sumer or Ancient Egypt.
Afterwards, he comments from the clothing that an American uses to where he gets it from. A chair from southern Europe, garments from the skin clothing of the nomads of the Asiatic steppes, and a tie worn by the 17th century Croatians are all examples of how he describes the way Americans have said to be unique, but that at the same time they have borrowed customs from others.
Linton even comments on the food and money that the Americans use. He continues to show the life of an American and how it is full of hypocritical ideas and creations. I think that Linton was only trying to make people look at their reality. Also, he might have just wanted to make other realize that they should maybe give credit to others for the things that have made their lives easier.
When he says at the end that the American man claims to be 100 percent American, he makes the Americans seem like they are playing a joke on themselves and that they rather cover the fact that they are not original than to say that they have taken everyone else's ideas.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet's layout of The Two Alters is basically that the stories are divided into two parts. They each tell of the stories of two families that go through a difficult time.
The first story talks of liberty. There is a young boy and his sister that are on their way collect wood chips and the young boy gets caught up in wanting to play. He claims that he is only trying to do the same that his father is doing in the war, which is place the American flag on a hill top. He does this and then goes back home where he comes to find out that the family must send items to the soldiers. The whole family is devastated, but happy at the same time because the man of their family is helping fight the war. They all collect stockings and blankets so that they will be sent off to the soldiers.
This shows the patriotism and loyalty that the people had for their country at the time. The mother could be seen as a hero herself because she has to sacrifice her husband and maybe even her sons because of the war. The children do not understand what is truly going on, but they think that they must follow what their parents have done because it will bring great things for them as well.
In the second alter of the story it starts out with a colored family getting ready to receive their father in their happy home. They have prepared a great and luxurious dinner and wait anxiously. Once the father, George, arrives at the home, they all sit and talk about how well they are doing economically and emotionally. They have dinner and make plans for the family's future, but it all gets interrupted by an unexpected visit of the police. The police take George away and only say that he is a run away slave that is going to be taken back and sold to slavery. The family is dumbfounded and only say that George has been free for ten years, but its not enough for the police men that take no consideration for them.
The family gets split apart as well as all their dreams and plans. The story itself shows how the people still maintained their hatred towards the colored people and how no one ever had true consideration for them. The two alters are a complete contradiction of each other and they show both sides of the reality that the people had to live through in the late 70's.
Having to be placed in either situation could have been very difficult, but in the first alter, I think that the family placed themselves in that situation and had it easier on them when compared to the family of the second alter. Every story had their twist to them, but I think Stowe was trying to show everyone that not everything in society is morally right.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne starts out his story by describing what the government is like. He tells of all the governors and what has happened to them. Afterwords he starts to get into the story line of a young man, Robin, of about 18 years of age and his journey to find his beloved uncle, Major Molineux. As he goes through the city in which he arrives, he comes across many people that just laugh and poke fun at him. For instance, as he is walking he finds a young girl that is in her "home" and she says that the Major lives upstairs. He seems not to believe the young girl and decides to walk away, not thinking that the young girl could possibly be a "street worker".  He goes all night trying to find Moineux, but has no luck until he comes to a church. An old man tells him that he will soon see his uncle down the street, but Robin is completely confused and tired. When he finally sees what his uncle has become, he is disappointed, but at the same time amazed.
His uncle is basically the towns laughing stock. He had become an old, grey haired man that was; in the eyes of Robin, a shame but at the same time a sign of adventure. After finding his uncle and seeing what his future held for him, I think that Robin will let his life roam freely and without a second thought because he was so used to being held in one place and living a certain way and when he was exposed to this new lifestyle he liked it. Also, he is a prime example of what teens his age had to go through during this time period and of what kind of decisions they had to make.

Harriet Jacobs- "The Life of a Slave Girl"

The narrative of Harriet Jacobs tells of her life as she experienced slavery. She tells of all the significant events that occurred to her while under the power of her owners.
She starts out by commenting on how her master speaks evil words to her ear and is scared to tell anyone of what is happening. This seems normal due to the fact that during slavery, the slaves had no right or couldn't be protected by anyone other than their owners. As her story goes on, she tells of several times in which she would have rather been dead than alive in order to stop all the bad done to her. She also mentions that she one day was caught learning how to write. This was extremely rare during this time due to the bad treatment that slaves received which caused me to wonder if her master truly cared for her.
Her master always protected her and never let anyone mistreat her which I thought was odd. What also struck me was that the doctor's wife had hatred towards Linda, but never did anything to stop her husband's abuse. The wife knew that her husband had 9 children with the slave women, but she never put an end to anything. During this time period I could understand that the wife was always under the husband's orders, but in the situation that Mrs. Flint was in, it was just too much. No women should have been allowed to be treated in that manner no matter what. Also, Mrs. Flint always took her anger out on the slaves because she could have possibly been jealous of them, which was also a contradictory dilemma.
The one line that caught my attention was that of around pg140 where she say's, " Truly the colored race are the most cheerful and forgiving people on the face of the Earth." This line goes to prove that society wasn't at its best and that the slaves did truly go through a lot of pain and suffering.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elizabeth Stanton-Women's Rights

Elizabeth Stanton attended the convention at Seneca Falls in order to discuss the right and wrongs of the women during the mid 80's. She describes of how she sees no improvement in the way that women are being treated and also that she does not agree with how women are allowing themselves to be suppressed in this manner. She also lists a couple of women that have already made a name for themselves, such as Caroline Herschel and Mary Summerville, and she says that they have an advantage over many people because they are educated and have made something out of themselves. Stanton also mentions that even though men are believed to be in a higher mental state, women can still show what they are made of and they can also show that God made this world for everyone, not just for men.
When she states that the government claims to be equal, supportive, and unjust, she shows the contrary. Rights such as the right to take land or imprison their wives where just some of the few points that she makes in order to demonstrate how society has allowed all the "evil" to occur.
The line that really caught my attention was when she says, "We met....To uplift woman's fallen divinity Upon an even pedestal with men...". This was the line that symbolized all the hard work that women were willing to do in order to get what they deserved from men. I thought it was very unjust and couldn't even imagine why these women allowed their husbands to mistreat them. When she also says that the men obligated the women to do work that was harsh, like plowing the fields, it just blew my mind because who could have thought that men at this time allowed women out of the home to do "men's" work?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The SotWeed Factor

     In the Sot-Weed Factor by Cook he goes on to tell his experiences as he is going to the new world. He first starts out by telling of why he must go, which was because he needed to make something out of himself and he wanted to have a better life. He also comments that he is starting with nothing and hopes for the best.
      As he progresses in his trip, he confronts many issues such as a heavy storm while still at sea and having no food or shelter. Cook then mentions that a woman stops him and confronts him thinking that he is a run-away. This offends him greatly, but takes the help that she is offering. Once he is in her home, he sees that she lives with many people and he describes their home as a being part of the "Indian Country".
     The way that he reacts to all the events that go on in his voyage sort of surprise me and make me think that he is not used to seeing such things. He makes it seem like he is not worthy of going through such filth and troubles. Also, when he is in the home of the lady, he encounters a young girl that is probably a slave girl. She speaks to him of all the evil she has to go through and of how she feels lonely. I wouldn't have thought that he would have seen this girl because not all the slaves were allowed to sleep in their masters homes. This was unusual to me because of the time period, but then again it wasn't a total surprise.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anti-Federalist #1

Unlike the federalist, the Anti-Federalist seemed to be targeting the lower and mid class people of America. The language that they used was a little more understandable, possibly because Yates was part of the lower class at that time. As I read the article, the main point that was made was that all the states should stay with their own powers and that the nation as a whole shouldn't intervene with the states. Yates wanted for everyone to have a government that would only defend the nation from foreign powers and he explains this in paragraph 8. He mentions this because he thinks that the government will always want to control everything for their own convenience.
In the very beginning, he warns that the government should be careful who they give power to because not everyone always uses the power that they have for the benefit of all, but instead use it for their own advantage. He continues throughout addressing the same idea which then leads him to say that the states should appoint people to represent them when it comes to discussing national issues. He suggested that the people shouldn't trust having a large government that governs all because then their voices will not be heard and then the people could be suppressed.
At the very end, when he comments, "I will hold my peace", this makes it seem like he is giving up when the battle has just started. He makes it also seem like no matter what he says or does, the Federalist will always win their way. This shows how the minority classes have always been manipulated to think that they can not succeed in what they want to have.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Federalist Papers #51

While reading this document, my first impression of it was that they really had to have a good enough reason to be writing in such detail. Every sentence was used to support the idea of having a controlled government. They believed that  the people did not have the sufficient responsibility to control and rule themselves. For example, they wanted for every part of the government to have their own duties and powers and for no one from the outside to have a say in their affairs.
One of the lines that really caught my attention was the one in the tenth paragraph that said, "Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.". With this line, I interpreted that they wanted to have a government that wouldn't be perfect because if it was then nothing could be done. Also, they might be trying to get the point across to the people that they need to change the way that they live in order to progress as a nation. Many could have thought that the Federalist only wanted control, but they also wanted a uniform government in order for their nation to run smoothly.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Autobiography of Peter Cartwright

Cartwright starts off by commenting about his own life. He tells about how poor his family is and of how his father works to death in order to provide for him. He then mentions that he is soon to leave for Kentucky, where there are many more possibilities for his father. On his way there, he encounters several events of things he hasn't seen before, like the death of travelers. Once he arrives, he takes time to explain what path he decided to take concerning his life. He tells of how he wants nothing to do with praising God and going to church even if it is a common event for everyone else.
Once he turns 16, he confronts the reality of how his life is going. He goes months without peace because he hasn't taken the time before to repent or the time to praise God. Once he starts explaining all the struggles that he went through, I didn't really understand why was it that he all of a sudden started to feel like that? Even though he later explains that he wanted a better life because he was tired of all his old habits, it still doesn't clarify what exactly triggered the urge for change.
At the moment that he feels liberated and forgiven, he goes into detail about the church and of all the meetings that they hold. He tells of all the beliefs that his church has such as slavery being evil. He makes it a clear point that the church doesn't approve the evil of slavery, but that they can not do anything about it other than not follow the footsteps of others. He also explains of how the church would like to see the states all united so that once and for all everyone can be together and can follow the word of God.
In reading this autobiography, it opened my eyes to the religion of the Methodist, but it also showed how the people where so gullible because of all the trust that they put into the people that praised in their church. When some of the people would go and stay weeks at a time at the campsites, it made me question whether the people really followed the church because they were doing good or just because they wanted to "secure" themselves a spot in heaven?

Ben Franklin

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin starts out with him trying to tell his son about what his life was like. He explains of how he came from England to the New World in order to make a name for himself. Also, Ben mentions that he has some parts of his life that he wishes he could change and this makes me believe that he must have taken the wrong path at a certain time. Along the beginning he also mentions God and how he only hopes He brings good things for him.
As Ben progresses in his trip, more of how he truly is comes out. He starts to show how arrogant and how holy he thinks he is. He sees everyone as being under him and thinks that everything will work out the way he wants because he is educated and well dressed. In the second chapter, he sees a woman that he calls his "soon to be wife" and this makes him seem more of an arrogant. Whether he was just foreshadowing for his son or just wanting to make a joke, these lines about his wife put doubts in my mind of what he truly was trying to say.
At the end of it all he still is trying to make the point that he is better than many others by including the letters from people that he knows. These letters only show that maybe people appreciated what he did or just admired him, but he tries to convert them to "praises" toward him. Also, the list of virtues that he thought everyone should follow was pretty foolish because he also mentions that he sometimes failed at certain one's and tried to follow only what was convenient for him.
Whether Ben was a great man or not in his time, his autobiography demonstrates that he was a dedicated man and did really want better things for himself. The only thing that I still question is that if he truly did all the good for the benefit of others or just to make his reputation higher and to make himself feel noticed?