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.