Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Report on Essay

"A man adores his wife who is the mother of children, and she, in turn, loves another man. They are all spending an idle summer together, and when matters have come to such a crisis that the man who has won the love of his friend's wife, tells her of it, and then goes far awake, she, one morning, walks far out into the sea, and never returns alive. It would be difficult to say for what purpose such a book is written, or what inspiration there is to produce such tales of morbid life."
The St. Paul Globe Sunday, June 18, 1899

"The heroin Edna Pontellier is an impulsive, passionate, and somewhat self-centered Southern girl...the case, the agency of the 'awakening' is a man, Robert Le Brun, whom she suddenly discovers that she lives. He, on his part, recognizing the nature of the abruptly  leaves her and goes to Mexico...Whether the book was worth writing or not is a question which the public will settle. That it is well written is beyond doubt. It is the inner history of one of those women who, in modern days, figure in divorce suits; two centuries ago they would have figured in grim and horrible tragedies. It is a psychological dissection of such a woman's soul; and most people will not understand the woman herself. "
The Times, Washington, Sunday June 24, 1899

"Leonce Pontellier maries a beautiful Kentuckian and grows jealous of her for cause. She has married him to crush from her heart a fancied love of her girlhood, but she finds neither marriage nor motherhood cause enough in their holiness to keep her in the paths of virtue. The awakening is full of tragedy, for unrepentant, she finds oblivion in the waters f the gulf. The story is vulgar, but the style in which it is handled refined and graceful."
The San Francisco Call, Sunday July2, 1899

“that the author herself would probably like…to tear…to pieces by criticism if only some other person had written it” (139).
Peer- Review Journal “Gender and Literary Valorization: The Awakening of Canonical Novels” quotes The St. Louis Daily GlobeDemocrat in 1899

The Pair of Silk Stockings
Woman goes to town to bargain shop for her family but ends up buying things for herself.

Story of an Hour
Woman finds out her husband has died and is excited.

Parallel of Edna and Kate Chopin
Edna is how Kate Chopin wishes she could act.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Extra Blog Post

At the beginning of this blog I had two other partners...both dropped the class and I became a single partner. Although it was a bit tedious at the beginning, it turned out quite well. I enjoyed having the blog all to myself. I didn't have to rely on other partners to do the work. I was able to make the blog what I wanted.

This blog was extremely useful, I thought, with the class. It allowed me to think through concepts after the previous class. It allowed me to think through concepts I had thought when I was reading on my own. I’ve always been a believer that when you write something out, your ideas become clear. You start writing and all of these thoughts that you didn’t even know you had bottled up come rushing out. That is what this blog was for me. It allowed me to think of concepts in class, then go to the blog and figure out what I truly thought about a piece of text.

I did not end up following the blog manifesto at all. I planned to . . . but I found that I ended up wanting to write about the books we were reading. I didn’t want to write about the author’s subconscious like we had originally planned. I preferred writing whatever struck me that day. Whether it be about themes, characters, or the author, I found that just writing what came to mind helped me understand the concepts a lot more. I was able to form my own point of view on the class rather than trying to manipulate my blog to fit a specific criteria.

For me, what I most enjoyed about the blog was when I was writing the Sherlock Holmes post. I don’t think it made much sense, but for me I had just gone to the extra credit thing and felt like I needed to write what I thought. I was in awe from how similar but also unlike the movie and short story were. I had remembered watching the Sherlock episode on Netflix when it had come out, but on that day I saw it in a different view. It made me want to read the other books or short stories that went along with the Sherlock episodes on Netflix and do the same thing. I most likely will over Thanksgiving or Christmas break…let’s be honest.

Overall, I was happy to do the blog on my own and honestly preferred it. It gave me a place to think through the lessons and was a helpful tool with understanding the material for the rest of the class.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blog 10 The Awakening

The Awakening is a book that I could see why the audience in that time would see it as shocking. Although now it wouldn’t be a huge surprise for a woman to not be much of a mother as well as someone that wants a divorce from her husband. But in those times that was not normal. Edna had been awakened by finding someone that she actually loved and had never felt that way before. She also friended Reisz who promoted her to be an independent woman and I think helped Edna to see that what she was doing (straying from the social norms of women) was what was best for her. While reading, one of the things I noticed was the symbol of color.

                Colors are described constantly throughout the book. Blue, yellow, white, and black seemed to be the main colors that I noticed. I can’t explain if I noticed the colors because I was looking for them, or if it was during a significant time in the book. I thought it was interesting in class how a group brought up that Adele was white, Reisz was black, and Edna was in the middle. Usually, black means bad and white means good, but in this book that doesn’t seem to be in this case. Reisz is where Edna is striving to be and in a way I think the author may be saying that’s where woman should try to be. Kate Chopin though seemed like a woman that was like Adele. She loved her 6 children and had married Oscar. Does the use of colors show that from the outside, the white (Adele) seems like the right choice and the black (Reisz) seems like the wrong choice. But I also do not think she is trying to say that being the middle is good either—Edna ends up killing herself and is unhappy. I think this shows the difference between being independent and being dependent. Adele depends on her husband and her children while Reisz only has herself. But while Edna has her husband her children to depend on she starts to shift and wants to not be dependent on anyone. She wants to be her own person…but at the end I have noticed she doesn’t seem to want that either. She wants to be able to decide for herself, but she is used to having people and strives to keep that. She still feels as if she needs people. She goes and visits Reisz constantly because she needs that company. She wants Robert and only Robert, and when she knows she probably will never have him she kills herself. She goes to the water. She thought she didn’t need people but she really did.

In the book blue and white were seen as innocent and pure colors. It was interesting that these two colors were seen as pure colors as they are the colors I think of when I think of the ocean. The foam and bubbles are white while the water is seen as blue. The ocean was referenced a lot in this book. It was explained as this place that looks like it is never ending. The ocean is where Edna was awakened, but also closed the book where Edna kills herself. Edna saw the ocean as this never ending place and was so captivated by it. And the fact that she was both awakened by the ocean and ended her life there shows that the ocean does have never ending features. I don’t know what the colors symbolize by having the pure colors as the ocean, but I think it shows that it was where Edna was able to clean herself of the burden of being a wife and mother and be independent, and in the end clean herself of her troubles.

I’m excited to learn more about what the colors symbolized in the book in class tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sherlock Holmes

After watching "A Scandal in Belgravia", I had to write my post before my comparisons between the BBC version and the short story weren't as fresh. While watching the BBC version, I noticed how almost every aspect of the short story was used in the episode, just in a more modern way. Sherlock for instance had Watson punch him and pretended to be a priest to get into her house instead of using the fake paint and pretending to be dying. Having someone punch you so it looks like you got mugged is a more modern way of getting into situations as seen in many films and tv shows now a days. Another example was the picture. In the short story, Sherlock wanted a picture to remember "the woman" by, but in the BBC version, he wanted her phone. Instead of having a simple picture that could be damaged, in the BBC version of Sherlock he wanted the phone which is now how everyone has their pictures. Last (there were more examples these three I found the most interesting and paid the most attention to) is Sherlock being outwitted by a woman. In the short story it was the only thing that Sherlock cared about--he got outwitted. In the BBC version--contradictory to the conventions of Detective Fiction--there seemed to be a romantic interest between Sherlock and "The Woman". Was he interested in her? I think he was interested in her, although you can never tell with Sherlock, mainly because of how she outwitted him. She kept him on his toes and was difficult to figure out. The romantic-ish interest between Sherlock and "the woman" was also a more modern touch because modern films and TV shows seem to need a romantic interest to keep the watchers interested. I do not think it took away from the plot of the detective fiction, but it was interesting to have just learned that in detective fiction they don't have a romantic interest so to not distract from the main purpose of the story, but in today's detective shows they seem to need to have that.
Overall, I was very glad we had the extra credit opportunity to watch the BBC version of Sherlock after just reading the short story that parallels it. I have watched the BBC series before but I never would have read the short stories before watching it if it wasn't for this class. It makes me want to look into what short stories parallel the BBC shows so I can read them then rewatch the show.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pudd'nhead Wilson

What I have noticed with Pudd'nhead Wilson was the contrast between nature versus nurture, but also the effect this had on black versus white. From our discussion in class today, I do believe that Mark Twain had these contrasts to show the hypocrisy in the power of whites over blacks.

When Tom and Chambers were babies, the only thing that made it so people could tell one was white and the other was black was what they were wearing. Then, when Roxy changes them they are raised by people that were either higher or lower than the other. No one could tell that the babies had been switched and they didn’t act any different. They were seen as the role that they were in. For me, this showed that nurture is superior to nature. Fake Tom was raised white and by his aunt and uncle who gave him everything he wanted and he turned out bad. But Fake Chambers was raised by Roxy and ended up fine (he wasn’t too big of a character though). The nurturing aspect of their lives took over. Fake Tom saw himself as superior and acted as such. He didn’t feel a moment of his “blackness”, until he was told he was 1/32 black. When Fake Tom found out, he somehow felt it in him all of a sudden—like it was a disease. This shows the theme identity. He all of a sudden felt like he lost his identity and was so confused about who he was that he could only identify as black because from the way the town has brought him up has made him see the one drop rule as crucial. Crucial to Roxy’s existence and now crucial to his. He lost his identity. Mark Twain, I believe, is showing how ridiculous it is that someone who is only a part black can all of a sudden see himself as so low when a second before he felt superior.

This hypocrisy with race and seeing themselves as above or below someone relates back to the dog joke. Pudd’nhead Wilson says that he wish he owned half the dog so he could kill it. We talked in class how this relates to the idea that we can’t have a nation that is split up between free and constrained and slaves and master. We can’t survive with a society that see’s some as below or someone as above…it doesn’t work. If Fake Tom hadn’t had that confusion with his identity or if he hadn’t cared about whether he was black or white or both than he wouldn’t have lost his form of self and started killing people. He was shot in one part of him and the rest died along with him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Blog 7

After our lesson on Tuesday, I now understand why my brain was so scattered when I was drawing my vision of Kubla Khan. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was high on Opium when he wrote it. His poem wasn't something he was trying to explain, but something created by the figment of his imagination. When I was drawing my vision of what Coleridge was explaining, I kept getting caught up on where different things would be and if it made sense--because it constantly wasn't making sense. I'd start by drawing the trees, the garden, and the clouds...then realize that wasn't the main purpose of the piece. So I ended up starting over. But when I started over I found that I started working on the fountain and the dark rocks and the rest of my drawing wasn't going to make sense. I started focusing on the garden because I viewed it as Alice in Wonderland when she is in the garden at home thinking and reading. But then that section of the poem shifted so fast that I started looking for what else stood out because I realized that wasn't what Coleridge wanted us to focus on. That wasn't the mystical part of his poem. I ended up focusing on something that stood out to me--the ice. Every time I hear or read the poem, the line "A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!" (Coleridge, 36).  This part seemed the most beautiful and just picturing the place, that's where I wanted to visit. I wanted to visit  a cave made out of ice where I could see the sun beating down and have a fountain near by that I pictured as warm...even though we were surrounded by ice.
With Coleridge's poem I think because it was so creative and so fictitious, it allows its readers to go to a place they can only dream about and have always wanted to go. This was shown with all of us picking different poems to draw. Even in the small class, no ones drawings were the same. We all had a part of the poem stand out to us. I think it was probably the place we most want to visit and would be our place of escape. That is why the words stand out to us--its a place we've either been or where we want to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The White Heron

I loved the story of A White Heron. At the beginning of the story I was worried what was going to happen to Sylvia because it seemed like they were setting her up to get raped by the stranger. She seemed scared of him and I was worried about her fate. The books progression showed this wasn't the case and was a cute story. For Sylvia she is used to living in the city, but since she has been at her Grandmas in the woods she feels at home and at peace. She has found where she belongs. Everyday is a new adventure for her and the more she's there the more with nature she becomes. This was shown when the stranger comes and is looking for the heron. Although Sylvia has seen the heron before she doesn't tell the stranger. Instead she goes out and looks for the heron; she goes to the tallest tree--a tree she has been admiring for a while--and decides to climb it. Because she had said how she has been admiring it for me showed that everything with nature she finds she is amazed by. She can find no wrong with nature, she can only find wrong with the people that want to control it (The stranger wanting to control and kill the heron). When Sylvia climbs the tree she is in awe by nature. She sees the sails from the ships out at sea, she sees the pink and purple of the far away sky, and she sees the white heron in it's nest. This part reminded me of the movie Pocahontas when Pocahontas sees the sails from the ships that arrived from England and she thought they were "strange clouds". Sylvia saw the world differently and she was loved it. This is similar to Pocahontas because she had never seen the world like that before, the sails and ships were something new for her and she was in awe. Sylvia's connection with nature and how she goes against her grandmother and the stranger to save the heron brings in that similarities the story has to a Fairy Tale. The way it reads is like a Fairy Tale and how the heroin goes against the "law" (grandmother) to save something for me reminds me of a Fairy Tale. That is probably why I loved the story so much... I'm a sucker for a good fairy tale. Especially one that reminds me of Pocahontas.

-Rachel Roloff