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?