Monday, May 27, 2013

Three Best Posts

( Hero's Journey Odysseus)

( Allegory of the Cave)

(Kite Runner Lit Analysis)

All my Lit Term definitions are also highly viewed on my blog.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Practice Essay 4

Prompt: In the two poems below, Keats and Longfellow reflect on similar concerns. Read the poems carefully. Then write an essay in which you compare and contrast the two poems, analyzing the poetic techniques each writer uses to explore his particular situation.

            "What is death but a passage to life."  Travis M. Farnsworth

       Although both poems, When I Have Fears by John Keats and Just Before Leaving for Home by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, talk about the short time they have left to really live their lives they take a surprising turn when they both take a different approach in their conclusions. Although Longfellow sees his past "half-way up the hill" and sees it vanishing he fears seems to fear death that is thundering above him. Keats on the other hand feels that he will never get to live up to what he wanted to do in life. At the end of the poem he also seems to give up and mention that either way love and fame will be nothing when he's gone.
        Both poets approach the coming of the end with love and the feeling of sorrow through their poems. "That I shall never look upon thee more", Keats mentions to fear he has to never see this love again. He does mention it to be love because in the last line he mentions love deteriorating to nothing in the end. Longfellow approaches love by saying, "Of restless passion that would not be stilled" which kind of makes it sound as is Longfellow feels he has been wasting time in life with worthless love. Both authors seem to regret a lot of their past because they do not seem to want the end to come so soon. With words like "fears", "not fulfilled", and "death" there is a feeling that these poets have a very similar view on the fact that they see and know death is coming but they wish they had longer time to not just end up with what they have experienced so far.
        Although very similar in one way both poets in their poems in very different ways. Keats takes a very low key and not very exciting ending. On the other hand Longfellow takes on the approach of full imagery and a very interesting ending ("The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights"). Keats throughout his poem talks about wishing for being more then he is and loving but in the end has no hope and reveals that he feels no matter what those things will go away so why bother dealing with them. Longfellow on the other hand talks about the love he has wasted through the years and is closing his past in the twilight but still is more apprehensive about the life he has before death then Keats. Longfellow is still climbing the hill he is talking about during his poem but Keats seems to be done.
          Although both poems carry very similar messages about the end to come, these poets have taken very different approaches to the way they have lived life. They both carry sad messages but Longfellow seems to be a wanting to see ahead more the Keats. Through the diction and syntax used by both poets we are able to make an analysis on the contrasting views that can only be seen when read and analyzed carefully. Both poets honestly making death a realization that no matter what it will happen.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Practice Essay Day 3

        "It did everything it could to discourage the people walking along the street." In this excerpt from Ann Petry's The Street we are introduced to an urban setting that starts as windy day, however through the use of imagery, personification, and figurative language we explore a different relationship the wind carries with the character Lutie Johnson. Even though the relationship with the wind is not established until a couple paragraphs later in the passage, we come to be more acquainted with the "personality" of the wind before the connection is made. Through the extended personification and vivid imagery we begin to see the true relationship Lutie Johnson will carry with this Urban Setting.
            "Fingering its way along the curb,..." through extended personification as an audience we begin to fill the wind taking on a very human like form. Setting the tone to how vicious the wind is and how inconvenient it is for the people walking in the streets. All the people want to do is get out of the way so that the wind does not take over them as they are walking by. The personification and the vivid imagery provided when we first meet the character Lutie Johnson provides a meeting of what seems like two enemy's. Lutie Johnson does not seem to fond of the wind moving the sign she is trying to read, however at the same time she does not seem phased by the gusts of wind that are lifting her hair and making her feel naked in the back of the neck. The fact that not only was Lutie Johnson trying to take refuge but what seemed like actual move into the city she encountered the wind in tells us as an audience that the wind does not become such a big problem to her.
             The sudden meeting of the wind with Lutie Johnson seems very unkind and unwanted as set up by the imagery and extended personification in this excerpt. Without any verbal exchange to what seems like two characters the setting for Lutie Johnson is set in the first encounter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Practice Essay Day two

It's finally up....Sorry life got in the way.. >.< (one day behind on all practice essays)

       Desire creeps into us, makes us only want more and forget the true happiness we can get when we have self fulfillment. In the poem "Thou Blind Man's Mark" by Sir Philip Sidney we explore complex views on desire through a speaker that seems to have grown to despise desire. A speaker who feels that desire has taken over him mentally and done nothing by waste his time. "Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare". Through diction and the flow of parts to the poem as an audience we realize that desire can basically drive a person mad.
           Since the beginning of the poem we see words like "worthless", "ruin", and "kill" giving the overall feeling of the poem a dark and angry tone. Those words help portray the big idea that the speaker really does not like desire as it has carried on. Through the line "Desire, desire ! I have too dearly bought,..." we come to realize that the author seems to be speaking from personal experience. The feelings he expresses come from the bad experience he has had with desire. The speaker tells us that even though desire took him far he still did not achieve what he wanted and therefore all the hard work he put in was nothing but a big waste of time. Comparing desire to a web with no end the speakers attitude is clearly defined as a frustration that he feels with desire.
          From the beginning to the last line, where he has said he will kill death, the speaker expresses  through each stanza the points of madness that desire has brought to him. Starting with the first couple of lines we are given a few examples as to the fact that desire makes people make stupid decisions and act upon them. We are also given to understand that the "blind man" referred to is the speaker, and those who do not realize what desire has done to them. In the middle of the poem we realize that the experience he has makes him feel that desire is nothing but a waste of time that he deeply regrets falling into. Leading us into the conclusion of the poem where the speaker wants to end desire completely and all he wants is to seek for fulfillment within himself.
           In this poem we explore the wonders of the speaker through his experience with desire. The unwillingness to continue trapped with desire but to continue on to seek for reason within himself. Through the whole poem we come to the realization as an audience that desire does nothing but drive a person mad as it starts to draw you in. Although the speaker does not say what it is he desires, the concept of desire in itself is something unwanted.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Practice Essay Day 1

(40min timed essay w/ Ming through skype!)
Choose a novel or play in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well organized essay in which you analyze how surrounding affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole.
(I chose No Exit because I feel I carry the most knowledge on that title)

Not that great of an essay but an attempt was given.^.^


Saturday, April 27, 2013

At Least Two Essays


[1994] Poems: “To Helen” (Edgar Allan Poe) and “Helen” (H.D.)
Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

            The beauty Helen carried was undeniably near perfection, however looked upon differently through many eyes. In the poems "To Helen" by Edgar Allan Poe and "Helen" by H.D. we are given opposite views of Helen through imagery, diction, and symbolism. While to Poe Helen is a beauty that draws him closer, to H.D. Helen is deceiving beauty that has caused tragedy to strike in Greece and left only bad traces behind. Using certain elements the authors are able to portray a certain message that gives the reader a clear view on the point of view the narrator has towards Helen.
            In the poem "To Helen" Poe does nothing but praise the beauty that Helen has and makes her to be close to flawless. Just beginning with the title we are given the feeling that this is a love letter to Helen from the narrator. Also in the first line we are given the first person perspective reinforcing the love letter idea. Through the diction of Poe we are given direct characterization as to the beauty of Helen "Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,..." Also this makes Poe's poem very different because it makes Helen a character who was very graceful and elegant. The imagery and symbolism of the fleets of boats leads into the image that Helen has lead him (the speaker) into the greatest civilizations of antiquity, Greece and Rome. All this poetic affection of flawless beauty puts Helen to be up on a high pedestal and basically untouchable for the speaker.
             On the contrary in H.D.'s poem "Helen" the tone carries a lot of anger and resentment towards Helen and all the beauty she has. The fact that her beauty led to the Trojan war and the bad in Greece seems to make the speaker very angry. With diction like "hate" and "revile" not only is the idea of the speaker hating her given but all of Greece. Even though her beauty is given in detail here as well it is said that her beauty is the downfall of everything. The imagery of Helen becoming paler and seems to be withering away through the poem makes it to be as if Helen is very bad and even her beauty begins to fade and go away. This poem completely takes Helen off of the pedestal set up by Por in his poem. Even though through the whole poem Helen's beauty is recognized no matter what, the anger carried stands out no matter what. 
             A love letter and hate mail are what I think after reading these two wonderful poems "To Helen" and  "Helen". Through the imagery portrayed of gracefulness and pale beauty we are given different views on Helen. The fact that one loved Helen and that the other despised Helen for her beauty and what it caused in Greece is given to us through all the literary elements used by the authors. 

1989 Poem: “The Great Scarf of Birds” (John Updike)
Prompt: Write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the poem's organization, diction, and figurative language prepare the reader for the speaker's concluding response.

(Now that my internet is back here it is)
On a 40 min time frame this is what I got. Pretty bad after I read it when I was done. Still working on how I can better my understanding of the poem.


       In the poem "The Great Scarf of Birds" by John Updike we experience the beauty of nature through elements like imagery, diction, and organization. Throughout the poem the speaker reveals all of his emotions through the detailed descriptions the tree, and birds in nature. We don't really get a sense however of the speakers overall feelings until the end of the poem. Using the elements mentioned above the author reveals the true meaning of his comparisons and observations.
       The main point of the poem was the flock of birds that hovered over the speaker and covered the light. When the birds fly over he says,  "Long had it been since my heart  had been lifted as it was by the lifting of that great scarf."(line 50) revealing to us this is the first time in a long time he has felt this kind of joy. This gives the poem the overall feeling that as humans we don't really appreciate nature as much as we should. Although we see nature everyday we don't really take a long breathe and look into nature. Through the imagery given by the author for example, "Ripe apples were caught like red fish in the nets of their branches" we are made to think about nature and focus on creating a lovely scenery in our head that brings us to the realization the author came to. Those examples given through the speaker makes it to be as if you were in the speakers shoes taking a step back to view the world.
      Through the literary elements the author has expressed to us the longing he has to feel the release of burdens he carried and be able to breath deeply as he did when his heart was lifted. Through the textual examples we are able to see the lack of appreciation for the beauty of nature we sometimes have and for the fact we don't step back a lot of the time to realize our surroundings.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Group Think

This conversation was by far the most interesting I have had on takes of poetry. Ming and myself analyzed two poems. One was Insomnia by Elizabeth Bishop and the other was Exit by Rita Dove. Both of these poems seem to be straightforward when first read but as we went back and analyzed the poems together we realized how different our interpretations of the poems actually are.

For Insomnia I was focusing on the night being personified as a woman and played through fantasy and reality while Ming approached it as an actual woman and the mirror reflection being the main points. Having both of these ideas in mind we came to a conclusion that her focal points of fantasy and reality came in the switch at the third stanza of the poem. We both agreed that the night however was being personified.

We were going to do the same analysis on Exit however do to limited time in class and the time we spent on our other conversation we just read an analysis done on that poem by someone else and continued our discussion. Overall a very productive and interesting period.