Tuesday, December 13, 2011

exam study guide part 3

Harrison Bergeron-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.- Themes: government control, american identity, conformity, total equality

This story is set in the future.  Every one looks the same and has the same intelligence level.  This society is controlled by the government.  This story plays with the idea of total physical and mental equality.  Harrison Bergeron is determined not to conform and he gets killed for it.

"George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains."

"She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous."

These two sections of the story shows you how the government was controlling people.  George is Harrisons father. The second quote is talking about the ballerina. 

Allen Ginsberg- Howl- themes- Mental illness, american identity, alienation/isolation

this poem is very dark.  Electrotherapy was mentioned specifically.  the poem talks about how patients were tortured using electrotherapy.  the first line of the poem reads:

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
              madness, starving hysterical naked,
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
              looking for an angry fix"

This poem is about a mental hospital.  Ginsberg says in the first line that the he saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness.  I think he is saying that the people in the mental hospital are smarter than everybody else. 

"who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall"

this quote gives you a negative image in your head.  I got the idea that someone was going crazy because why would you burn your own money in wastebaskets.   

Friday, December 9, 2011

exam study guide part 2

Langston Hughes-Theme for English B- Themes: American identity, education, aleination/isolation

"I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class".
this section of the poem says that he is 22 years old , goes to college above Harlem and the only colored person in his class.  Going to college on the hill literaly means he has to walk up that hill to get to their.  This symbolizes that college is above or better than Harlem.  Being the only black guy in his class was probably not uncommon at this time but this section of the poem gives me a sence of a young, black man experiancing the world. 

"You are white---
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American".
These 3 lines are probably the most important part of the poem.  It talks about american identity.  I am a part of you as you are a part of me.  It does not matter what skin color you have in america. 

Langston Hughes-Harlem- Themes: Dreams, Racism

"What happens to a dream deferred?"

this is the first line of the poem.  It's a good question that tells you what the rest of poem is about.

"Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?"

Langston Hughes puts negative images in your mind. He uses images like rotton meat and a festering sore to describe a dream deferred.  Since Hughes is a black man during this time period, I would guess that he had a dream that was crushed by a racist society.

Flannery O'Connor- A Good Man is Hard to Find- Themes: Alienation/isolation, traditional family roles

This short story just makes you want to kill the grandmother.  Throughout the story the grandma hides the cat from everyone in the car which causes Bailey to wreck the car and the shortcut she tells everyone to take leads them to their graves.  Blurting out the misfits real name is got to be the biggest mistake.  In this story the children are protrayed as brats. They always fight, yell and show no respect. This goes against the traditional family roles.

"The children were thrown to the floor and their mother, clutching the baby, was thrown out the door onto the ground; the old lady was thrown into the front seat. The car turned over once and landed right-side-up in a gulch off the side of the road. Bailey remained in the driver's seat with the cat gray-striped with a broad white face and an orange nose clinging to his neck like a caterpillar.
As soon as the children saw they could move their arms and legs, they scrambled out of the car, shouting, We've had an ACCIDENT!"

this section is when the cat scared everyone, causing the accident.  Then the Misfit and his friends arrived with guns.  They started bossing the family around.  I think the grandmother is in denial because she says "Listen," the grandmother almost screamed, "I know you're a good man. You don't look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people!".  Just another reason to root for the gun shots. 

"His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother's head cleared for an instant. She saw the man's face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, "Why you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children !" She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest. Then he put his gun down on the ground and took off his glasses and began to clean them".

this section shows you alienation/isolation.  When the grandmother finally has her moment of clariety, she reaches out and touches the misfits shoulder.  The first sign of human connection in this entire story and the grandmother is killed for it. 

The entire family goes along with whatever the grandmother says.  No one stands up for what they think is right.  They should have told the grandmother to shut up a long time ago. 

Ernest Hemmingway-Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber- themes: Death, betrayel, cowardness, alienation/isolation, Power

This story is about Macomber and his wife Margot on an african safari to rekindle their marriage.  you find out that they are both very rich.  Their safari guide, Robert Wilson, is protrayed as a manly hunter.  Macomber shows his cowardness and unmasculine side when Margot kisses Wilson right in front of Macomber.  another way Macomber shows his cowardness is when he wounded a lion while hunting.  Macomber is "trembling . . . a pitiful look on his face."  It was clear that Macomber did not want to kill anything.  Throughout the story Macomber changes into a dominant hunter without fear.  Towards the end of the story, Macomber sees a water buffalo and without fear, he gets a fine kill.  Macomber describes the felling "like a dam bursting . . . pure excitement."  He is called a "ruddy fire eater" in the story.  Margot is the one who is "very afraid of something."  She is losing psychological control over Macomber and she values that power.  Margot is so afraid of losing this power that she shoots and kills Macomber. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

exam final study guide part 1

This posts is a review for the final exam:

T.S Eliot- The Waste Land-  Major theme: alienation/isolation, chaos/absuridty, Multiple sexual encounters, and death.  Very depressing poem.  this poem was written during a time of war.

Line 345-350- Chaos/absurdity- "
If there were water
And no rock

If there were rock

And also water

And water

A spring

alienation/isolation- line 140-170- A man is coming home from war and he gave his wife money to fix her teeth but she spent the money on an aborsion instead.  This is a married women hanging out in a bar at night.  This section tells you that a womans job back then was to look good for her man.

 "What you get married for if you don’t want children?"  this quote tells me that women were only meant to have children and nothing else.

T.S Eliot-The love song of Alfred J Prufrock- themes: mental health of society, enviornment,
this was written during the industrial revolution and this time period was suppose to be a great time in american history.  Eliot tells us otherwise.  Line 15-22, Eliot talks about yellow smoke rubbing the windows and slides along the streets.  The yellow smoke is pollution in his society. 

Countee Colleen- Heritage- Conformity is a big theme- Colleen starts out by questioning what africa looks like.  She says "three generations removed" which tells me that she has never been to Africa but her heritage is from Africa.  Colleen is caught between two cultures.  the culture she lives in currently is forcing her to conform and go against her african heritage. 

Line 16-20- Colleen is saying that she this culture she lives in was forced upon her and she feels trapted in a net.  Her African heritage is pulsing in her blood. 
"With the dark blood damned within
Like great pulsing tides of wine
That, I fear, must burst the fine
channels of the chafing net
Where they surge and foam and fret".

Countee Colleen- Yet Do I Marvel- Colleen expresses doubt in god for making him black and a poet.  Look at the end of the poem.

"What awful brain compels His awful hand.  
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:   
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!"
Colleen uses the word "awful" to describe his brain and hand. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Black eye peas

I know we did not spend time talking about this in class but at least we listened to it.  I thought it described our generation very well.  I hated the song itself but if you think about it, this song was perfect for our generation.  The "now generation".  We don't like to wait for anything.  We gotta have it now.  I thought of myself as a fairly patient person, but this song made me think about it and I realized that I'm not patient at all.  I won't wait more than 5 seconds for a webpage to load before I close it out.  If I was not able to blog using my Iphone then I probably would not have half as many posts because my phone is more conveinent.  Our generation is all about easy, conveinence, and quick. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Feed- after class

During class, in our discussion groups, we discussed the themes within this book such as conformity, education, alienation/ isolation and many more.

Alienation/isolation was a very important theme seen in "Feed". The way people talk to each other is a good example. The dialect used by the characters shows that they have a hard time communicating. The feed implanted in there brain Controls there thoughts and feelings so when the hacker sets Titus free he does not know how to tell violet how he feels.

Education was also a big theme. It goes with government control. The feed in there brain does everything for them so writing and reading books are not a necessity in this society. Dumb people are easier to control.

Feed- after class

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feed- M.T. Anderson

this story takes place in the future, within a society just like our own in many ways.  There society is dominated by advertisments and technology telling people to buy, buy and buy.  Wheather they need anything or not is irrelavaunt.  Our society and Feed's society is consumer based.  Advertisments run constantly on the T.V, Newspaper, internet, magazines, ect.  telling people to spend money.  The only difference is that in our society we don't have a chip implanted in our brains when we are born so the government can't monitor our thoughts and force us to do anything.  We still have a choice to get away from technology.  It's kinda scary how much our society resembles "Feed's". 

In my opinion we should get away from technology more often.  We depend on technology so much its unbelievable.  When I'm walking to class I see more people with their head buried in a phone then actually paying attention to where they are going. Whats the point of having a beautiful, clean campus.  I admit, I like to check emails or text while walking from place to place but we are too dependent on techology and we need to fix that.  Try leaving your cell phone at home one day and pay attention to all the things you have forgotten about. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (poetry)

This poem is about the author standing in the woods at a fork in the road. He is deciding what path to take. He mentions that each path is equally worn and "grassy". Also he mentions the fact that no step leads back once you start down a path. Then the author chooses a path and hopes to have the oppertunity to come back and try the other path one day. The author knows he probably won't be able to because he says "I doubted if I should ever come back". The last two lines were my favorite part of this poem. The author says he took the path less traveled by and that made all the difference.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flash fiction

The flash fiction I found was titled "ghost Bike" by Thomas Cooper. It's about a guy working on his bike in the garage while his wife is upstairs in the bedroom. After he finishes the bike he stumbles up stairs because it would have been time to put his Daughter to sleep. Once his wife see's the paint in his hands she gets dressed and they head to a diner. I get a sence that he has lost his daughter or his whole family in some accident. Maybe he is just imagining his wife. This story just seems dark to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

 Louise Erdrich “The Red Convertible”

This short story was not one of my favorites. It's a narrative by Lyman, who is a member of the Chippewa tribe. The story takes place in 1974. Lyman and his brother buy a red convertible and decide to drive around the world with no specific place in mind. They come across a hitchhiker who is heading to her home in Alaska. They all share some good times together before Henery, the older brother, Has to report for his military duties.

The main theme I got from this story was brotherhood. It's clear that both brothers have a close relationship with each other and there actions prove it. Before Henery left for the war he wanted to give Lyman the red convertible.

Since this story is from Lyman's point of view, why would he want to share this story? I think it's because he Cared for his brother. Maybe he wants to Perserve his brothers memory.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Charlottes web

This was one of my favorite movies growing up. I remember watching it in school a few times as well. This is a story of friendship between a pig and a spider. Charlotte, the spider, is very ill and can't hang on very long. Wilbur, the pig, wants to help charlotte but does not know how to save her so he decides to save her children. Wilbur makes a deal with a rat who is a friend of his, and they are able to bring charlottes babies back to the farm. The ending was my favorite part of this story because it gives me a peaceful feeling. How the author reflects on Wilbur's triumph, and mentions that Wilbur was "well taken care of" proves this.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Li-Young Lee “From Blossoms

This was a very short poem but I had trouble analyzing what the author was trying to say. By looking at the first stanza it seems like the author is buying peaches from a boy. The next stanza I got the idea that the author was eating the peaches because she say "peaches we devour, dusty skin and all". The third stanza I think the author is comparing summer to eating peaches. Im probably wrong on that one but what else could the peach stand for?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

 Donald Barthelme “The School”

This is the weirdest story I've ever read. Everything from parents to puppies to salamanders all died and I don't know why. The end of the story when the class ask the teacher to make love with Helen, I did not see that coming. But afterwards a gerbil walked in so maybe the idea is that showing love can create life. If someone undrstands this story please feel free to tell me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

 “A Silver Dish” by Saul Bellow

The first thing I notice is that death seems to be his favorite subject weather it's The death of a father fighting old age or terriorist excuting prisoners. The author mentions that "the papers give it to you". He means all of the fighting and Murdurs that occur in the world are brought to you by newspaper and television. It usually becomes a Dinner conversation later. That is very true about today's society as well. I would even say that there is a bigger influence of death in the news today. I can't remember the last time I turned on the news or read a paper with no killing or hostile situations. Can anyone else remember?

Monday, October 31, 2011


This poem was very hard to understand. I noticed a lot of drug references and psychology. It purposes this in a negative way. The imagery is very dark in my opinion. I got the idea that mental illnesses were a big discussion topic. Electrotherapy was talked about specifically. The author is clearly against it but this topic is very interesting to me. The way this was written I think this Poem was meant for a select group of people and not the general public.

I do have questions, one being, what does "Moloch" mean? It is mentioned in the second section before every line.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Harrison after class

In class we talked about how much control should the government have. This writing made me think about what kind of rules the government has put in place to promote total equality. Is that even possiable? Do we want total equality? I think it is not possiable because everyone is different. I may be more athletic than some people but there is always someone else who is faster or stronger than me. The quote that we talked about "everyone makes the team" is a bad thing in my opinion. If everyone gets a metal for participating then what's the point of working hard to win. Treating everyone equal kills the desire to workhard and goes against what being an American is all about. America is suppose to be the land of oppertunity. In todays society they tell you if you work hard you will be successful and achieve your goals. But does the government really believe that? I don't think they do. Look at our educational system.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harrison Bergerson by Kurt Vonnegut jr.

This story was extremly interesting to read in my opinion.  the first paragraph caught my attention when I read that everybody looked the same and no one was smarter than anyone else.  In this story Harrison represents the part of america that still wants trys hard, flaunt his talents, and show what he can do.  I imagine I'd do the same if I was a 7 foot tall, 14 year old with unbelievable strength.  However, the america of 2081 is not a pleasent place to flaunt your talents.  The government tries everything to knock Harrison down like making him wear headphones to so he can't think, glasses so he can't see, 300 pounds of metal to weigh him down.  Not even jail time can stop Harrison because his will to live as a full human being is too strong.  Harrison wants to overthrow the government and live free.  He plans on fathering many superior children. When Harrison was dancing and managed to defy gravit by jumping 30 feet to the ceiling, where he kisses her.  I think the author is trying to say that Harrison is kinda like a sexual superman.  Before Harrison can overthrow the government he is murdured which shows that anyone brave enough to show off there talents and be different will not be allowed to live or have kids. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hemingway- short happy life of Macomber

This story is based on these main characters: Macomber, Margot and Wilson Macomber and his wife are trying to rekindle there marriage by going on a African safari. This story reminded me of the last story we read because both characters had a moment of clarity. Hemingway protrays Margot as a necessary evil. She is cruel, unfaithful, and possible murderous. Why does Macomber put up with her. The only question I have is did Margot want to kill Macomber?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

O'conner (after class)

From our class disscussion I learned a few thing about what was going on in 1955 when this was published. Traditional roles of the family were dominant. The mom cooks and cleans, the dad works and the son is a momma's boy. It's the idea of a perfect family. O'conner displays the kids as brats that makes you root for the gun shots which goes against the "perfect family". No one stood up to the grandma and told her to shut up like they should have. The idea of isolation plays a big role in this story. Towards the end of the story when the grandma has her moment of clearity the misfit shot her because she reached out to him and touched his shoulder. That's kinda the reaction we have in today's society.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

O'conner- good man is hard to find

In this short story an escaped convict Murdurs a family because of a lot of mistakes by the grandmother. The escaped convict in this story is called "misfit". I'm guessing it's because he doesent really fit in with society but I could be wrong. The way the "misfit" talks its obvious that he is uneducated. Why does the grandmother blurt out the "misfits" real name? That has got to be the biggest mistake she made. What was the point of the grandmother hiding the cat from everyone? Baily drove off the road because the cat scared him. The detour the grandmother says to take lead everyone to there graves. As you can see I think the grandmother is pretty dumb.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Langston Hughes- Harlem (after class)

In class we mentioned that the poem "Harlem" was written about the Harlem renaissance. The first line says "what happens to dreams deferred". When you read the rest of Langstons poem he talks about festering wounds which was common back then but it gives you a nasty image in your head. Langston is comparing this festering wound to a dream defferred. It constantly eats at you and bothers you to have a dream crushed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lagston Hughes- English B

This poem, titled English B, was interesting to say the least. I had to read it several times before I got an idea of what the author is saying.

Hughes tells you that He is 22 years old, attending college in Harlem above the hill and the only colored person in her class. This tells me that during this time period college students were dominatly white. Then he talks about Harlem. "Harlem, I hear you". This is when I started getting confused. Towards the end of the poem, line 31-32, caught my attention. It sounded very powerful to me. I doubt that this kind of thinking was really accepted back then.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Countee Cullen poems after class

After discussing both of these poems in class I discovered that I completely misunderstood what Cullen was saying.

In "yet do I Marvel" the beginning of the poem should show that cullen has doubt in god. the words that Cullen choose tells you this. Cullens ideas are very suddle. The author also compares being a black poet to eternal torture. I don't fully understand why but it was mentioned in class. If someone could explain that to me I'd appreciate it.

The poem "heritage" starts out by Cullen questioning what Africa looks like. Cullen says "3 generations removed" in the first stanza which should be a clue. This poem does remind me a lot of t.s Eliot because the poem gave me a sence of absurdity and chaos.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Culleen- heritage

This poem was much more interesting to read than "yet do I marvel". Colleen explains what Africa means to her and I think it's a great poem. From her writing I can get a sence of what Africa is like. The 6th stanza was my favorite to read. It reminded me of "yet do I marvel" because she talks about god. The very last line when she mentions human greed asks god to forgive her caught my attention. She seems to be comparing a good and evil part of herself throughout the stanza.

Yet do I marvel- culleen

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this poem Was the fact that it was very religious. The first line mentions that god is "good, well meanany, kind". The author did confuse me when she mentioned "tortured Tantalus" but I can assume it is biblical reference. I am also confused about the awful brain that compels an awful hand.

comment- Emily Sharpe

I tried to comment on Emily Sharpe's Prufrock post but I could not get it to post so here it is:

I agree with you that Eliot want to be understood but I'm not sure if he is actually frightened by it. the yellow fog stumped me too at first.  I would have never guessed he was talking about pollution

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eliot- prufrock

This poem by Eliot was just as difficult to understand as the last one. I Noticed the poem began with a quote written in Latin I think.

The first part of the poem talks about women coming and going, talking to michelangelo. I'm assuming their in a hotel or some kind of inn. I was stummped when Eliot mentions yellow smoke and fog. Then he talks about losing his hair. I think he is trying to look good for someone but he is getting old. Maybe this is a poem about getting older in life and trying not to have any regrets. Eliot seems to be reflecting on his life asking "was it worth it" throughout the poem.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

T.S Eliot- wasteland

The Wasteland by T.S Eliot was by far the most difficult poem I have ever tried to read. The first time I read through it I had no idea what to blog about. It was obvious that this poem is very dark, almost depression and I can understand that since WWI had just ended when this was published. This poem is so chaotic I can't keep up.

After our class discussion I learned a lot and somewhat understood Eliots writing. The purpose of this poem was to get the reader to have a sence of chaos. Eliot was a existentialism which means the study of your own existence. He wants the reader to question there own existence.

I was confused about all of the sexual episodes Eliot wrote about. Why would he write these things? I guess it did give us a sence of American life. For example: line 140 when the two low class girls were talking about not having teeth or getting an aborstion. You can see that the duty of a women back then was to look good for her man and have children.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

War prayer 2

In our class discussion about the war prayer we pointed out this writing is very sinicle. When you read this it is very obvious. This writing tells a story about praying to win the war but it also gives you another dark perspective. When u pray to win the battle you are also praying for the destruction of other people. Mark twain tells you about the fatherless kids and the widows that are consequences of war. I thought this was interesting because I never thought about it this way.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

the war prayer

I really liked this writing by Mark Twain.  It is very clear and straight to the point.  this writing seems to be about the feelings of a town in a time of war.  It shows that churches played a big role.  From this writing you can see that church and religion gave pelople a sense of security much like it does in todays society. 

the paragraph that starts with "I came from the throne" is my favorite section of this entire writing.  Mark Twains examples are very clear and his point is easy to understand.  Mark Twain says "If you pray for the blessing of rain on your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse on some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it".  He wants you to think before you pray. Know the whole situation and full consequences of your prayer. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Huck Finn 2

After our class discussion on Wednesday I realized some things that I dident catch while I read. The first thing was how Mark Twain compared superstition and religion. Jim is a slave and obviously very poor. He is very superstitious throughout the story. Huck is in the middle. He show some superstition when he kills the spider accidentally but then Huck makes fun of Jim a lot as well for being superstitious. Tom on the other hand doesn't believe in superstition. He calls it being religious. The higher class you are the less superstitious you become.

Another thing we pointed out in class was that Tom doesn't see Jim as a real person. All of Toms adventures don't consider Jim. You can see that the society that Tom has grown up in thinks that blacks are not real People. I think a quote from the book is: "They can't care for their son the same way a white person can".

Monday, September 26, 2011

Huck Finn

In class we talked about Huck Finn today.  I remember reading this book in High school.  This is a wounderful comeing of age story.  The main charaters are Huck, Tom, and Jim.  Huck is a 13 year old boy who comes from a poor, broken family. Also Huck's dad is a drunk who disappears for months at a time.  Tom is Huck's best friend who comes from a well off family. Tom see's the world differently than Huck.  He reads a lot of adventure books and wants to experiance that kind of adventure first hand.  Jim is a slave who accompanies Huck on his travels. 

The first part of this novel I want to talk about is how jim kinda becomes that father figure to Huck.  As the story progresses Jim shows that he cares for huck and vice versa.  Huck actually lies to slave hunters about an outbreak of small pox to save Jim. Also they both are running away to gain freedom so they have something in common. 

I noticed as the story progressed that Huck seemed to learn how the world really works.  Since he is only 13 years old he only knows what he has been told by other people.  Huck learns that black people are not like what others have told him.  Also Huck started making his own rules for how the world works. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

  Douglass, Frederick

I know a little bit about this from reading Frederick Douglas in highschool. He was an African American abolitionist who escaped slavery if im not mistaken. Fredricks writing was very powerful in my Opinion. The first few paragraphs were really boring because he was talking about the past, mainly about the fact that America was young. He says that America being young was a consolation to make up for slavery I think. Since America was a young country we have time to correct our mistakes and abolish slavery. I think thats what he means. Once he started talking about the present situation (slavery) his writing got interesting. He makes some powerful comparisons. He uses the bible a few times as well. Fredrick says that we as a nation are stepping on the bible by allowing slavery.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Harriet Beecher Stowe

The first part of this short story is set in new England. I think in 1776. The parts that I found interesting was when she had to explain to her children why there father was away. Mrs. Ward says Mr. Ward has gone to fight because "Rebels would not be slaves to the British crown". This first part gives you an idea of how passionate they were about gaining there freedom. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for Mrs. Ward. She gave everything for freedom. The very last line of part one shows you this.

Part two of this short story is about a black man returning home to his family. They become very happy. Then the man gets arrested for being a fugitive or runaway slave I think. The very last line of this story I found interesting. I'm not sure Excatly what the author means but this line seemed to jump out at me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Civil disobedience 2

I went back and re-read civil disobedience several times hoping it would start to make sence. I picked up on a lot I missed the first time. I noticed a biblical reference toward the ending. I think This referance was important because it backed up what the author is saying. It strengthing his argument tremendously in my opinion.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Civil Disobedience

This writing is all about how he hates government.  The very first line says "That government is best which governs least".  This writing is very political and hard for me to understand because of that.  The author says many quotes that i think are very interesting.  In the first part of "Civil Disobedience" the author says "all voting is a sort of gaming".  He compares voting to playing checkers.  I think he is saying that voting is pointless but I'm not sure. 

The main point of this writing is to bash government i think.  He does talk a lot about right and wrong through out his writing. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady

this writing is all about womens rights.  the author talks alot about how women are like slaves.  Elizabeth says "I am a slave, a favoured slave At best to share his pleasure and seem very blest".  She goes on to compare womens rights in america to womens rights in Europe and womens rights in France.  There are several points she makes within this writing that challenges the reasons why women are treated so poorley in america. Elizabeth talks about physical and intellectual supiriority and what that really means.  She gives some reasons why women are equal to men.  It's clear Elizabeth wants to be able to vote and have a voice in this government. 

This writing made me realize just how bad women were treated back then.  We've came a long way in today's society.  I bet there are still some people who are prejudice against women but I don't think it's as bad as being a slave. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life of a slave girl

In this writing you get to see a glimpse of what life was like for a slave girl. Linda, the slave, is stuck in a dangerous situation between mr. Flint and mrs. Flint. Mr. Flint uses his daughter to get Linda to sleep in his room with him. Mrs. Flint Is very insecure and worried about this. Mrs. Flint takes out her frustration on Linda. Later on in the story Linda meets a white lawyer named mr sands. In order to get away from mr flint she decides to have a sexual relationship with mr. Sands and she gets pregnant. I want to point out that Linda expresses guilt for what she had done in this chapter. How can you Blame her? In Her situation she is powerless. The theme or message I got from ch. 11 was The fact that black people, slaves or free, were helpless to protect loved ones.

I thought this writing was really interesting and sad. I learned a lot from this writing. One thing I found interesting was the fact that Linda was able to baptize her two children.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Walt Whitman

The first section of this poem states that he is 37 years old in good health and wants to celebrate his life until he dies.  In section two I think Whitman is introducing the idea of individualism. When he says "Houses and rooms are full of perfumes". I think he is talking about other people and how he is determined to maintain his individuality.  I was really confused about section 6 of this poem when a child asks the question "What is the grass"?  the author never gives a real answer or I missed it while reading.  How does that question relate to this poem at all?  In the next few sections the author lists all that the poet sees.  For example: both sexes, animals, all ages.  In different walks of life the poet sees them.  What does he mean by sees?

This poem was really confusing.  It reminds me of emerson a little because they both speak of individualism.

Emerson (after class)

After our class discussion on Emerson a lot of ethical questions came up.  If you and a few friends are trapted on an island with no food.  Is cannobolism ok? how could you choose who's eaten and who lives?
To me cannobolism is never ok.  I would die rather than kill and eat another person.  I wouldent be able to live with myself if I ate another person anyway. 

Are humans inhearitly evil or good?  that was the second question that come up in our discussion.  I believe that humans are born with a blank slate.  Babies don't know how to hurt someone or lie or do anything really.  How could they be evil?  I think we, as humans, learn from what we are exposed to on TV or at school and society has a lot to do with shaping our behavior.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Emerson- Self reliance

Emerson's writing titled "Self Reliance" is the best work we have read in class so far.  I would enjoy reading more of Emersons work.  Throughout Emersons writing he expresses his thoughts on individualism and its clear how he feels.  If you think about today's society, we kinda contradict ourselfs.  We say that being different is great and expressing yourself is a great thing but when someone actually does it we ridicule them until they conform to what we think of as normal.

Emerson starts his writing by defining genius as "believing your own thought".  He says that every educated man will realize eventually that being jelous of someone is just showing ignorance.  Be true to yourself because god made you that way for a reason.  One important line I want to point out is when Emerson says that you should seek silence to hear your thoughts because society, by nature, forces people to conform.  I think their is truth to that statement.  As I mentioned above, In todays society if someone is different they are teased or made fun of just for going against the norm.  Another section of Emersons writing I enjoyed reading was when he talked about self worth.  Up to this point Emerson has stated that individuals have a right and responsibility to think for themselves.  Don't be discouraged by what society thinks.  Emerson says that if you "trust thyself" you should consider yourself to be equal to the great men of history. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Venture smith (after class)

After our class disscussion I learned a lot about Venture Smith.  For example:  when Venture Smith got into a fight and he grabed a pichfork to defend himself or when Smith said he was married.  I did not know slaves were given the freedom to get married or defend themselfs so this was shocking to me.  We pointed out in class that this writing was signed by four white men at the bottem of the page.  It is meant to signify that this story really did happen and those signitures prove the story.

Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist (after class)

After our discussion in class the federalist and anti-federalist papers really made more sence.  All of my questions were answered and I found out some interesting information.  Also I learned a little background information about what was going on at this time.

From reading and disscussing these papers you can tell that the Anti-federalist put a lot more detail into their paper compared to the federalist.  The federalist papers were straight to the point and easier to read.  In my opinion the anti-federalist paper supported their claims a lot better.  I think the audience that each paper is trying to reach has a lot to do with why the federalist were straight to the point and the anti federalist explained everything. 
Also I just wanna point out, my favorite quote from this reading is "If men were angels, no government would be needed".  When I read this it just stood out.  Their is a lot of truth to this statement and it is a very powerful line in these papers. 

Hawthorne- my kinsmen

I thought this short story by Hawthorne was pretty good. The story takes place in new England. Robin wants to make a name for himself but he is the second born son to a rich farmer. I'm
Assuming that robin left home because he wasn't going to inherit anything from family. Robin decides to leave home and find his uncle, major molineux, who is a British official. When robin arrives in a forign town he finds out that the town was about to cast off British rule. This whole story is focused Around robin finding his uncle before the town mob gets him first.

The very first paragraph, I thought was weired. It reminded me of a play because this paragraph set the scene. Also, I can see this as being a coming of age story for robin because he leaves home and takes care of himself.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Anti federalist paper vs. Federalist paper

In the Beginning of the Anti-federalist papers the importance of this decision about a constitution is expressed.  The papers states "this country never saw so critical a period in their political concerns."  the first concern the paper talks about is the distrubution of power. Basically the paper says that once a person has power they don't give it up willingly so be careful about how you distrubute that power.  After going into details about the constitution and how the power is distributed between the judicial, legislative, and executive branch this paper says that the constitution should not be adopted for several reasons.  I think one of the reasons why America should not adopt the constitution is because the author says it will destroy liberty. 

The Federalist paper number 51 is all about the checks and balances system of government.  This paper mentions two considerations that are important to this idea of one republic.  First, power given to the government is divided into distinct and separate departments of the government.  Also it mentions double security to the rights of the people because one government could keep the other section government in line through checks and balances.  Second, guard one part of society from the crimes of another. 

I have to admit I had a hard time understanding the language of this paper so I have many questions about the middle paragraphs.  There were multiple sentences where I had to read over and over. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Peter Cartwright

This autobiography starts out by giving a little background information such as where he was born, when he was born, and some things about his parents.  This background information really helped me understand the rest of Peter's autobiography. 
Peter mentions moving to Kentucky shortly after the colonies gained their independance but he also says that Kentucky was a dangerous place.  Kentucky was surrounded by indians and a lot of bloody battles were fought in this new state.  Not to mention that a lot of criminals would flee to this state to escape being punished for their crimes.  Then peter mentions meeting Jacob Lurton, a traveling preacher.  Peter's mom seemed to be very religious since she rearly missed one of Lurtons classes.  Later on Peter talks about a paticular night when he reflected on the manner in which he spent his day.  He felt ashamed and guilty.  Peter made a promise to the lord that he would seek and serve him and thats what he did.  He jonined the church in june of 1801 and says that he never regrets it.  Most of this autobiography talks about the religious revivial that started in 1799.  The amount of traveling preachers and members of the church grows esponentially. 

If you compare this to today's life, I think we are moving in the opposite direction.  Less and less people are joining the church. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Venture Smith

The opening paragraph of this narritive caught my attention because of how it leaves you asking questions.  I wanted to know what was gonna happen to Venture Smith and his mom.  It was a very good opening in my opinion.  The next paragraph I was kinda confused because I could not understand why Venture Smith's mom would leave her son with a stranger.  Even if the stranger was a rich farmer how can you trust him.  After Smith's mom leaves Smith was put in charge of tending sheep.  Smith starts to recall a time when he was attacked by a dog which lacerated his arm pretty bad.  Then his biological father sent for him to return home where he is reunited with his mom and dad.  A few days later invaders had come to destroy their land unless Smith's dad follow the invaders orders.  As it turns out the invaders where not very honerable and planned on attacking anyway. Later on, after Smith and his village was captured, Smith watched someone get tortured to death by the invaders but I'm not sure who it was.  I think it was the king because they spoke of money.  Smith was forced to do work by these invaders that caused him a lot of pain.  Needless to say he was a slave.  Once Smith was sold, his new master employed him carding wool and other household business.  Smith had been living with his master now for about 13 years.  Smith was about 20 years old and he got married to another slave named meg.  Smith's current master pawned him to a guy named Daniel Edwards who used Smith as a cup bearer and waiter.  the next couple paragraphs were hard for me to understand.  I could not figure out who bought or sold Smith. 

The ending of the narative shows that Smith, age 69, finally earned his freedom and lives very well off. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Benjamin Franklin

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was very interesting at times and boring at others.  The first four paragraphs were the most boring to me but I did learn a few things I did not know like Benjamin Franklin wrote this for his son.  I was surprised to read that Benjamin Franklin thanked god for the happiness of his past life.  I never really thought about wheather or not Benjamin Franklin was a religious man. 

In chapter two Benjamin Franklin seems to be far from home for two reason; the baker did not understand the expression "three penny loaf" and while he was walking past the door of Mr. Read, Benjamin Franklin says " she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance".  Once Benjamin Franklin changed his clothing he started making some friends with people that love to read.  I did not fully understand why Benjamin Franklin was trying to forget Bosten or the entire 8th paragraph of chapter two honestly.

Chapter 6 talks a lot about virtues such as order, silence, sincerity, and justice.  Benjamin Franklin list 13 total virtues in this chapter.  Benjamin Franklin tried to acquire all of these traits and he explains his plan on how to do so.

Ralph Linton's "100% American"

Ralph Linton's "100% American" was a fun to read in my opinion.  How he described america was perfect.  Everything that makes up america originated somewhere else and since were known as the melting pot that would make sence.  For example: using plates for breakfeast which is form of pottery that originated in china or using a knife made of steel that was first made in southern India.  America is a mixture of many different races and ethnic groups and in my opinion Ralph Linton described this very well.