Friday, April 21, 2006

Soldier's Home

At the end of "Soldier's Home", Krebs decides that he will take up a job in the city, but first he goes to see his little sister play in the park. I was confused as to why he chose to go see Helen and not meet with his father at his office. At first I thought it was only because he did not really want to get a job, but he was going to, but just the same he didn't want to talk to his father about it. The more I thought about it, however, I thought that maybe he was in love with his little sister. The way he feels sick when he tells his mother that he loves her does not happen when he tells Helen the same. Also, Helen calls him her "beau", and he agrees with it, and again doesn't feel sick like he has lied. I think that he goes to the park to say goodbye to the one person he really cared about before he let himself become what society expects of him.

A Rose For Emily

Although this story was confusing a lot of the time due to Faulkner's use of "stream of consciousness", I feel the end of the story really illuminates why Faulkner chose to write the rest of it the way he did. The story line sometimes seems to skip around, and time becomes somewhat confusing throughout the story, but knowing that Homer was killed helps to understand the order of events, and how they happened and why. For instance, the smell coming from Miss Emily's house makes no sense in the story unless you understand that Homer is dead inside her house. The same goes with the arsenic that Miss Emily buys. She is very nervous when buying it, and it would appear she meant to use it for something other than its true purpose, but this is not illuminated until the very end. I think Faulkner does a very good job of creating a surprising cliax at the end of the story to illumate the rest of the story.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

somewhere i have never travelled

This poem reminds me of the topic of my ALIS paper, especially the second, third, and fourth stanzas. My paper was about how the love conflicts with social life and norms, and how the strong emotions that arise from love cause people to make poor decisions in the eyes of their peers. The second and third stanzas talk about how love takes over that person's thought process, and how often when one is in love, they will do anything for their partner. This is shown when Cummings writes," or if your wish be to close me, i and/ my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,". The narrator says that he would give up his very life for his love if she but wished him to do it. Also, the fourth stanza shows the exultation of love and the idea that no other experience in the human repertoir is so great as love. This demonstrates why people become so obsessed with love and are willing to do anything for it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

This poem confused me quite a bit. At first I thought that the narrator was talking about going to heaven with the one he loved, especially when he says,"Time to turn back and descend the stair", but somehow that idea doesn't fit into the way he talks about "the yellow fog", almost like a hound. As the poem progressed, however, I came to think differently about the poem. I thought of the narrator more as an old and wise man who has come to understand the disillusionment of mankind, but in his indecision keeps this insight to himself. In this way, the "yellow fog" transformed into the ethereal representation of that disillusionment, causing a haze to distort the true meaning of life for the women who "come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo." In the end, the man seems to come to something of a conclusion that this disillusionment is the inevitable path of life, and there is nothing his little insight can do to change that inevitability.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Nothing Gold Can Stay

In this poem, I think Robert Frost is not only talking about the loss of innocence of Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit and were cast from Eden. In class we talked about modern poems and writing dealing with disillusionment, and I think this poem is a good example of that. When people find something good in life, they see its beauty, but often times take it for granted. Almost inevitably, though, the "golden" things in life are lost sometime or another, and it often leaves people wondering how they could have taken something so great for granted. I think this shows the disillusionment of Adam and Eve as well. They took the garden of Eden for granted after a while, and thought that God would forgive them for eating the fruit. Adam forgot his warning and gave in to temptation.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Owl Creek

This piece of writing was somewhat confusing toward the end. Reading through it, I thought that the man was actually going to make it through the experience and come home to his wife and kids; however when he approached his wife and she wasn't worried or anything, simply happy to see him, I started to wonder if he was really escaping his executioners. I think that the mad ticking of his watch presages the fact that the man begins to hallucinate.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My First Lie and How I Got Out Of It

But let us be judicious and let somebody else begin.

I like Mark Twain's way of thinking when he talks about the big lie that we as a nation " silently assert" to ignore. He claims that we should fight against this lie, but at the same time he says he is happy with this lie and wishes for it to remain. To me, this is part of the humor of this essay. At points he writes seriously, but then he adds in other ideas that contradict himself so much that it inspires humor. Even so, I think he touches on a good point. After reading this, it seems to me that humans sometimes ignore things they don't wish to confront in order to feel happy or good about themselves. We let those things that would be too hurtful to think about or too hard to do slip away from our attentions and fake that we understand everything in our lives. Is happiness just an illusion, painted by our minds to keep us sane in the face of the daunting troubles of our world? If everyone were to confront their ignored lies and do something about them, would the world be a better place or would everyone go crazy with the stress of doing what is right?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Black Boy

Although we have talked about the different points of view both in writing and in politcal views of Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright in class, I don't think I fully realized how opposite the writers are in many ways. For instance, while Hurston touches very little on the idea of violence and fear as part of black heritage in Their Eyes Were Watching God, this is the main driving force in the thinking and actions of Wright in his early years, which he writes about in Black Boy. For instance, Wright depicts the troubles of living in a poverty stricken Memphis as a young black boy and having to beat his peers in order to gain the "right" to the Memphis streets. Perhaps Hurston's picture of life is a better depiction for the black woman in the 1930's than Wright's would be for a woman, but I find myself considering Janie's life rather fictionalized when reading Wright's depiction of hunger and fear. Although Janie struggles withing herself throughout the novel, her deepest struggles are those of loneliness and loss, never being physically hungry or in want of anything but love. Then again, I could almost consider my life as untroubled and unsuffering as Janie in comparison to many other white people who have lived through poverty, hunger, and fear. There is a broad spectrum of people and situations out there, especially in the U.S., and I suppose it's very hard to make generalizations about one race or culture strictly by those guidelines alone.