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.