Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reflective Essay

Now looking back at the beginning of the school year, I remember being excited to begin the new year with an A and end it with an A. Truthfully I thought what more can I learn about English, every year is like another year, you analyze it and then you move on to the next book. But then that was me being naive because this year was my last year and every class and every book I read should have a meaning to. I wouldn’t think teachers or who ever pick the books for no reason, unless it could impact us in some sort of way. After reading all these books and being able to reflect on it, I now gain a motive and understanding of the meaning of life. And I think this class did that for me. I guess I started the year as a very motivated student. But this year only made me better and progress as a student, mentally. I know most seniors want to get this year over and done with, but this is our last year to gather all information we can get for free, and prepare us for our next chapter in life.

I’ve realized that all the things we read from poems to books was written by an author who, himself/herself was striving for some sort meaning in life either through the character or the authors background, which usually intertwine the similarities or events that actually happen within the authors’ life and with the character in the book. I remember when we began to read “The Stranger”, I thought it was boring but the storyline got even more interesting especially the climax. I remember the night before it was due I was rushing to write that paper, it was intense. From then I’ve learned not to procrastinate and when writing a paper, because one you don’t get enough sleep and two it’s stressful. That’s why I started working on my time management skills.

I’ve learn that I should not have the mentality that everything I read should interest me rather than bore me to death but expand my mind by reading other books. It’s like a grown man watching cartoon all day, and doesn’t expand his mind by watching the news and understanding the state of the county. If I stick to reading the things I like I would not progress and become a well rounded student. And I do think that “The Stranger” by Albert Camus affected me, because of Meursault’s personality as a character. Meursault basically describes living through life without any hopes or ambition, but the idea that Camus use of absurdity where in the end Meursault is in jail and realizes the truth about his life. This is someone that I don’t want to be. This character taught me that we are human and that all human have needs and wants to spur that ambition. As for Meursault he never new what he was living for until it is too late. He was always living in his comfort zone. When you’re a child many parents let their children have second chances, but the truth is not everyone or everything get that second chance, just like death, when you’re dead your dead there is no second chance to that.

When we read “A Portrait as an artist as a Young Man”, it blew my mind away. This book was filled with so many symbolisms, religion, and everything you can think of. This was where I began to brainstorm and try to analyze like everyone else did. It was such an interesting book. The fact that you could analyze in a psychoanalytical way and a feminist way was interesting. That’s what this class taught me, to be a critical thinker and analyze things in anyways as I can. And then that’s when the explications became almost fun to write, except for the whole procrastination. I think the hardest part about this class is constant workload but this is a good practice for college. Also when we read this book and had class the next day, every one had a lot of good points and theories. And it forces us to state our opinion and give the fact which is reason that’s something that everyone should have. A skill that will help us through life. This year has far exceeded my expectations, I’ve learned and gain so much. And I’m most definitely glad that we have to do this reflection paper because through out this whole process I’ve realize that I’ve learned so many things. Thanks Mr. G!

Myth and the Modern World Test

In Passage one, relates to the modernist thinking because it describes the improvement of life in finding the truth. The first passage basically talks about two roads one of which we achieve our goal which when leaving it would leave us in "endless despair". The second road is one where it's unpredictable, like how do we know if this road will lead us to where we want to get to. Sometimes "perhaps never and we drift in doubt" which describes The Stranger by Albert Camus, where Meursault basically describes live through life without any hopes or ambition, but the idea that Camus use of absurdity where in the end Meursault is in jail and realizes the truth about his life. That is the "inconceivably beautiful diversity". Which is the steps and experiences that it takes to get to the meaning or goals. Modernist thinkers are progressive thinkers, their purpose was to improve, control, reshape the meaning of life. the re-examine every aspect of life. So the steps that Meursault takes is the progression of his life.
In the passage where it says the "inconceivably beautiful diversity" also describes Aristotles definition of tragedy, it means to arouse pity to the audience with a purged or cleanse. And in Borge case he says "Blindness has not been a total misfortune; it should not be a pathetic way of living, it should be a way of living". Which basically means that, although blindness is the experience that he's faced along the way but that obstacle leads him to create his own literary world of mythology. "The accomplishment of hopes remains an always unexpected miracle" means that getting to that goal is always unpredictable, but leading into the ending of the passage that "in compensation, the miracle remains forever possible". In other words, yes the miracle is unexpected and you won't know when you'll ever reach it but in contrast to that the miracle will always be there. For example in " The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus says that Sisyphus punishment is to ceaselessly roll rocks over hills but for some strange reason the gods thinks that its a futile punishment. But the moments that Sisyphus roll the rocks over the hill he has the hope that one day his punishment will end which is that unexpected miracle but that miracle will be possible in his mind.
In conclusion modernism is all about the improvement, control and reshaping life. Its all about re-examining every aspect. The steps obstacles that every character of the text face is the improvement steps of achieving or finding the meaning of life, like modernism.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Phillips' A Humument

On page 191 of Tom
Phillips' A Humument, Phillips suggests that in any person’s life there is always hope even through the bad by the various color, shading, shape and text of the composition.

In Phillip’s drawing the object shapes out to be a lifeless tree that grows in a barren land. The tree has the color of green, red, blue, and yellow, but all the colors except for yellow is shaded to black meaning that it’s almost lifeless and the ground is colored brown with tints of purple creating a dead color. In this drawing the tree is a symbol of life. It is here where it’s ironic that in such a barren place, a tree can sprung from the ground. It seems like the ground gets little to no water and the tree is lifeless because of the dark shadings. But it is in times like this where it seems that nothing is valued in such place that life can withhold through such a harsh obstacle. This is the tree of hope. The ground can symbolize a person who is lifeless and have nothing to live for but from this person’s mind springs hope, which is the tree. Their hope is having something to live for. That’s why the text says “Can it be in my barren garden that you flower?” implying that garden is the ground and the flower is the tree.

Another interpretation of this drawing is that the lifeless tree symbolizes a person’s mind. The shape of the tree is almost molded like a human brain, it seems soft and squishy. Also there are a many words written in the blobs almost like the human mind thinking about different things. Think of it as a person growing in a harsh environment, which is the barren ground where the tree gets very little water from. This is the root of the tree/person where there were many obstacles already surrounded the person. And yet this tree/person struggles to grow with all the source that they have which is the small amount of water and sunshine. Knowing that the tree is shaped like a human brain, the person’s brain is covered with different blobs with words in them with the colors green, blue, red and yellow. But yet the colors is shaded over by the darkness of the black which can symbolize that the person is unhappy or depress with the way things are going in their life that it’s slowly taking over the good memories. This signifies that the person is changing, which is into the dead tree. But within the tree or the persons mind there is something that lights it up. It is the yellow blobs that pop in the tree. The first thing that Phillip draws the attention to is the brightest color on the page, which is the yellow. The yellow represents hope. In this person’s mind springs out a feeling of hope, the yellow is the only thing alive in this picture it is the “flower” in the barren garden that the text talks about.

On the trunk of the tree says Chapter XIX, this could possibly be the title of the picture because the tree represents life. It could possibly mean the beginning of a new chapter where a person who went through many downfalls has strength and hope to move on because they see that there is something there to hold on to. And that’s why Phillip suggests that in any person’s life there is always hope even through the bad by the various color, shading, shape and text of the composition.

Brueghel post (Haymaking)

In the series of painting by Pieter Brueghel the paintings share a common theme. Instead of creating a center of attention he diverts our attention to the objects around it, by getting us to look at the painting overall. In the poem Haymaking, the poet William Carlos Williams suggests that people are still in the process of looking for the meaning of the human world.

William Carlos Williams creates the meaning of the poem with his many strong choices of word, tone, and punctuation. In the first stanza of the poem the speaker diverts our attention to the main topic by saying “the living quality of/ the man’s mind/ stands out” (1-3), he chooses his words wisely to catch our attention because the tone is almost given out like a statement of which is people are interested in the capability of how their minds work. Then he says that “its covert assertions/ for art, art, art! /painting” (4-6). He infers that people are interested in finding out the hidden force or if there’s a higher being is connected to the human mind. The exclamation mark is being used to exclaim that people are excited to understand the art or painting of their human minds. The speaker then uses a reference to further his meaning and that was the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time of revival through art, literature, and learning in Europe during the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, where the people advanced forward also known as the medieval to the modern world. The speaker says “that the Renaissance/ tried to absorbed” (7-8) the understanding of the human world. Then he infers to the field of wheat in the wind that only touches the surface of it but hasn’t grasped the roots, or depth in understanding of the human world. Williams then takes us to the actual painting of Brueghel’s Haymaking. He starts to describe the painting of the workers working in the field trying to find a deeper meaning just as how the people during the renaissance would have.

And that is how William Carlos Williams suggests that people are still in the process of looking for the meaning of the human world.

Hamlet D.J

Ophelia & Polonius:

Ophelia is Polonius's daughter. Polonius seems mean to Ophelia because he accuses her about the news between her and Hamlet being true than she isn't restraining herself and so he asks "give me up the truth"(98) Ophelia says that Hamlet offered a lot of affection to her and Polonius says "Affection! Pooh, you speak like a green girl, unsifted in such perilous circumstances " (101-102). He seems to mock her by saying affection and that she's not a little girl who doesn't understand the way of the world. He even tells her to "think yourself a baby" for believing in the offer. And though Polonius is temperamental and Ophelia is obedient because she listens to what he says. Polonius is unreasonable because he didn't have anything to back it up but only use his feeling to express why she should leave Hamlet.

Blogs on Mrs. Dalloway!

I agree with you Emily! I was expecting it to be fun and easy too, but that’s why they say “don’t judge a book by its cover”. In order for me to pick up this book to read was much more painful than I thought. Maybe I just need to get use to the style. Anyways, when I started to read this novel, I thought it was hard because of the language and style of writing. It was helpful for me to look up the history of post-war society because that the whole book itself takes place at that era. But I want to start by answering Faedra’s first question of why Woolf writes so that we are able to understand the life of each character by having the key to their thoughts. Mr. G mentioned in class that it was a style referred to as a stream of consciousness. Woolf writes the book based on a single day in post–World War I London. She goes back and forth between the past and the present within a single day through Mrs. Dalloway. I think she is trying to emphasize basically on our conscious (which reminds me of watching Polis is this, where Mr. G said pay attention to your attention). I was researching some things about her and it mention that she believed that the writing style should reflect the variety and complexity of everyday life. So lets just say every moment counts. Because the plot basically traces the footsteps and thoughts of Clarissa Dalloway, as she prepares for a party she is holding that evening. Woolf’s style of writing seems very complex to me because she’s writing according to how our conscious works. I mean I can’t even keep track of my conscious. But it is a unique style that’s probably why it’s hard for me to read.

December 3, 2007 6:17 PM

In the beginning of the story Mrs. Dalloway and Miss Pym hears the violent explosion from the motor car. What is the purpose of having the car there when in the end no one knows exactly who it is? Well my theory is that there is a connection to her fear of death because previously when she was walking to the flower shop, she reads the quote “Fear no more the heat o’ the sun nor the furious winter’s rages”(9), she contemplates about death and Woolf decides to add another element, which is the cars sound to emphasize how weak and scared she can be on a such a small matter when comparing it to death it is something that she’s deathly scarred of. Another theory of mine is Woolf uses the car to transfer to Septimus POV. She shows not only Mrs Dalloways perspective of the car but Septimus too. There’s a parallel world between Mrs. Dalloway and Septimus because they some what reacts differently to the event. And though they’re there at the same place and time they do not see each other. Septimus was also scarred by the sound of the car, Septimus thought that “this gradual drawing together of everything to one centre before his eyes, as if some horror had come almost to the surface and was about to burst into flames”(15) While everyone is wondering about who’s in the car, Septimus thinks of something insane. Also I thought every one who witness the car and thought it was one of the royals had a sense of patriotism in them. For instance, after the “car had gone, it had left a slight ripple which flowed through glove shops and hat shops…for thirty seconds all heads were inclined the same way”(17). Everyone had a million things running through their mind of which royal it was. And then she talks about a small crowd gathering at the gates if Buckingham Palace.

And Emily I do agree with you about how in the Portrait and Mrs. Dalloway there is this stream of consciousness and self-awareness. I remember reading somewhere that Woolf praise the James Joyces style of writing. Maybe she was influenced by him.

December 8, 2007 8:50 PM

Inde book Synopsis, Sailing to Capri

First of all, I'd like to say that I recommend this book, and second this entire project was my favorite!

Yorkshire tycoon Sir Robert Waldo Hardwick has mysteriously died from a car crash. He leaves a fortune and letters behind to his beloved friend/assistant, Daisy Keane and private investigator, Harry Montana. The letter contains the name of 6 suspects that Hardwick have thought could possibly be his murderer. So journey on an adventure with Daisy Kean and Harry Montana on a Mediterranean cruise in search for the murderer. As the Blue Boat set sail and the conflicts arises, each suspect begins to show their true personality. On the last day of the cruise the boat will stop at their destination, Villa Belkiss of Capri where Hardwick’s will is read to everyone and the mysterious killer is found.