Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 15: 12/8-12/14

Song of Soloman

Last Paragraphs:
Milkman started out as a egotistical, self-centered brat, but through the book, he changes. He becomes compassionate and he finally knows himself by the end of the novel. One of the biggest things I got out of Milkman's dynamic characterization is the importance of letting go and dealing with the cards you were given. For Milkman letting go was the only way he was able to fly. And if you take out the metaphors of this simply, one must let go and be true to themselves in order to truly be free in their own life.

Does Milkman really fly at the end?:
Whether Milkman actually flies or not at the end is left up for the reader to decide and personally, I don't think he actually flies. I think he dies truly knowing himself and what he believes in. So in this case he is truly free when he dies and thats why he is able to "fly" now.

On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eigbner
Initial reaction:
When I first saw the title of this reading I didn't think it would literally be about someone dumpster diving but I was surprised when it really kept my attention. I like how the author not only used humor, but also gave a lot of real life situations that are very relatable. The one that stuck out most to me was his part on trash from college campuses. He said college campus dumpsters are usually the best because college students mindlessly get rid of things that can still be used. This is very relevant because it calls college students out for how wasteful we can be. He also added a funny side note that says, "I am horrified to discover the kind of paper that now merits an A in an undergraduate course."

Personal aspect of going through someones trash:
This was one of my favorite lines in the reading, "But my strongest reservation about going through individual garbage cans is that this seems to me a very personal kind of invasion to which I would object if I were a householder." I never thought about how personal trash can be. You would think it wouldn't matter if someone went through the things you are discarding, but why does this make one uneasy? I think it the judgement we think will come out of it. Judgement isn't something easy to take from others and if they are going through your stuff it will only be that much easier for them. I also think this can be very personal because they will be able to make assumptions about what kind of person you are.
Another thought I had was just the act of wasting can be very personal. I always consciously have environmental needs in mind, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect. When I'm studying for a test and have endless amounts of scrap paper, I always recycle it, but if someone was to go through my trash they would probably think I'm a crazy person from all the scribbles. Not only things I write, but also what I eat is very personal to me. If I knew someone was going through my trash, I would be more conscious of what I eat just purely based on my wanting others to think I eat healthy all the time and my own desire to always be healthy. If someone went through my trash now they would see that I have eaten way to many oranges that a normal person and that chocolate is a daily food for me.

This reading made me think of a blog I read a while ago about the idea of being a minimalist in all aspects of your life. The reading touch one the fact that one could live off of what they find by dumpster diving. This would be living off whatever people throw away. You virtually make non of your own trash and live off the bare minimum. The idea of being a minimalist is something I think everyone should strive for, but in this consumerism world we live in, it can be really difficult. I for one am always one to clean out my closet and room of the stuff I don't want and donate it, but I'm definitely not living a minimalist life because I like fashion too much to limit my wardrobe. I don't think I could ever live a truly minimalist life, but its something to always keep in mind and try to limit the clutter that can so easily consume your life.

After thinking about being a minimalist and the dumpster diving reading, I thought about Milkmans character and the "shit" he had to give up to "fly." We talk about this a lot in class, but thinking more about clutter vs. a "free" lifestyle made me revisit Milkman. Not only does he lose material goods like the idea of being a minimalist, but he becomes a minimalist in his thoughts too. He gives up his toxic friendship with Guitar, his mis-shappen love with Hagard, and his obsession with what he deserves. When he loses these things, he is finally able to fly and be completely free.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 14: 12/1-12/7

Song of Soloman

Balance: Seven days (154)
"I help keep the numbers the same" (154).
This line definitely stuck out to me while reading. This kind of thinking is really hard to understand, but when I really look at it from Guitar and the Seven Days perspective it makes sense. In a way they have been brainwashed to hard white people. All the horrific acts they have witnessed white people do definitely make their mindsets more understandable. In this section Guitar talks about how for every black person a white man kills they will kill a white man to keep the balance. The ethics of this in modern times is really easy to say this is wrong, but back in this time period could you really say its wrong? I definitely have more sympathy for this situation when I put myself in this day and age. If so much negative energy and actions were around me I would have a hard time not thinking exactly like Guitar. To go along with that, this quote, "It doesn't matter who did it. Each and every one of them could do it" (155). Also brings up a very similar ethical question and I have the same response of it being wring, but if I really put myself in the situation I don't hate Guitar for acting like he does.

"there is no one thing one man wont do to another"
We talked about this quote in class and it really made me think. I still cant decide if I think this quote is true or false because I see both in it. When I think about others or the hangings that we watching in a video, I think this quote is true because there are just so many horrible things that have happened and in desperate times I do think people can go against their values/morals and be truly ruthless. But on the other end of the spectrum, I think this is false because when I think of the world I want to believe their are truly good people out there and I want to think this of myself. I try to hold myself to a high moral standard and I could never think of doing a violent act to another person but if it came down to life of death I don't really know exactly how I would react in a time of desperation. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this, but I do think its important to think about both sides and how they impact each individual.

Without Sanctuary Video
This video was about postcards that showed pictures of hangings. It was a really hard video to watch and even comprehend. Not living during these times detaches me from the horror of it all. I think the worst part about these photos are the bystanders. The mass crowds at these hangings is gross to me. Families are supporting and watching killings. It baffles me to think, how was their not one person to be horrified by the killing of another human to stand up and just walk away. The hangings look like a sport with all the spectators and I don't know why it has so many fans.
Another part of that adds to this video is the fact that these photos aren't just photos but are on postcards. They have made this horrific act into art. When I think of art I think of beauty and this is not something beautiful or to be made into art. I can't understand why someone would want to share the killing of another human. This concept is crazy to me and I really don't understand how this could ever happen.

Week 13: 11/24

Song of Soloman

The love thats been shown this far in the novel has been untrue. None of it seems legit and it will be interesting to see how these different loves progress. So far I think the love between Milkman and Hagar has been most substantial and I'm can see it either not working out or hopefully turning in a more honest type of love. I think the misshapen love shown in this novel really goes with the race dynamics in this novel. The tension and hate between the two races is kinda mimicked in the love shown. Even though the relationships haven't been between two races, the ever so present tension is still symbolized in these relationships. 

Emmett Till:
Emmett Till was a African-American teen who was lynched after "flirting with a white women." His mother made his funeral an open casket to show how horrific his lynching was. His face was extremely mutilated and just showed how inhuman this killing was. I had never heard of this specific lynching before but I thought it was really interesting to read about. The strength his mother had to be brave enough to show he sons body like that was a huge statement on how wrong this was. It is a big statement towards the white power structure and how wrong peoples mindsets were (and some still are today.) The small act of flirting with someone of the opposite race was enough for someone to kill Till. A completely innocent act that cost him his life. This is no way to live. Being scared for every action you make because it could be a life or death matter. I can't imagine having to watch every little action because thats not a way to truly live life.

Different length legs:
"By the time Milkman was fourteen he had noticed that one of his legs was shorter than the other" (62). When I read this the first time, I didn't pay much attention to it and just thought it was something else to know about Milkman and that maybe this would be one of his flaws in the end of the book. We talk about how it couples with his characteristics. It shows how he feels discomfort to be on the ground. He is definitely an individual and this weird limp he has can portray how he walks though life differently than most. His discomfort on the ground can be juxtaposed with his want to be able to fly.

The theme of flight is very present in this novel. What I find interesting about it is knowing whether or not this is literally referring to flight of just the idea of flight. Literally flight is magical and something outside of a humans possibilities. Figuratively, this flight theme is a theme that means this journey will be like taking flight. Starting on the ground and slowly becoming free and realizing the truths.
Pilate is a character that embodies this theme. Obviously a pilate (or pilot) relates to flight and this is exactly what her character is. For her character, her literal flight is her independence and the way she carries her life. Figuratively her flight can be related to how she is portrayed as a Christ figure. For one she makes wine for a living. She had a very abnormal birth, she crawled out of the womb and doesn't have a bellybutton. She is a character who is very concerned with the truth and this is something you could related to a Christ figure. 

Week 12: 11/17-11/23

"Song of the Open Road" by Walt Whitman

We started of class with learning about some of the background of Walt Whitman's poetry style and this really helped me understand his poem just that much more. Our sub told us about Whitmans use of "I", "myself" and how these subject words are very important parts of him poems. Another thing that helped me understand the poem more was how Whitman is called a, "poet of America." Meaning he is a 'democratic poet' and uses the theme of equality.

In the second section of the poem, it touches on the idea of democracy. When I first read this section, I was really intrigued by his uses of juxtaposition between all the different types of people he listed, from the rich person's carriage to the beggar's tramp. After discussing this theme of democracy, I understand further what Whitman was trying to portray. This theme makes this plethora of people all on a level playing field. Whitman is saying that no man is above another and that we are all equal. Not only does he say everyone equal, but this section is where the journey of the main character really begins. He is now on the road and say how the road makes one realize everyone is equal. The road will accept everyone no matter what characteristics they possess.
Equality is definitely something I support, but I didn't think about how radical it was for Whitman to portray this theme in the time period he was in. Not only do I think poetry is the perfect art form to portray these kind of ideas, but I also think it was very brave of him to go against the normal mindset of this time.

'Radical Man'
We looked at a photo of Whitman in class and I thought this was very telling of Whitmans character. In this photo, he showed his cocky persona. It really explained his label of being a 'radical man'. He has his hand on his hip, his face is very serious, his hat is tipped, and his shirt is unbuttoned. Now a days some of these things are seen as normal, but bad then these were against the grain showing his radicalness against the norms of the time.
I'm really glad we looked at this photo in class because I don think I would have thought to look up what he looks like. Seeing someone physically to go along with a name can be very telling. Even though you shouldn't judge based on appearance, I think you can learn a lot about someone just by looking at them and what kind of attitude they give off.
Section 9:
In section 9, they had a theme that really stuck out to me and just some lines that I really loved. The line, "I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell." I just thought this line was beautifully put. It's just one of those inspirations quotes that I could use every once in a while in my life. It reminds me to appreciate my surroundings, but also to remember that if I'm going through a hard time, that their is always something beautiful waiting for me to come.

Comfort zones:
In another line it says, "However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here / ... we must not anchor here." This brought up the theme of not staying in ones comfort zone. And it really related to my new adventure her at Gonzaga. It related to my current endeavor or being a recruit for AKPsi. Its something I never imagined myself joining, but stepping out of my comfort zone has really be the best thing possible for me and AKPsi has truly been one of my favorite things I've been apart of here at Gonzaga.


Point of view (1st, 2nd, 3rd; objective, limited omniscient, omniscient)
  • 1st person: narrator is referring to him or herself (I, me, my, mine)
  • 2nd person: addressing the reader (you, your, yours)
  • 3rd person: observer's perspective (she, he, her, his, their, theirs)
  • Objective: when the observer remains detached from the character
  • Limited Omniscient: when the narrator has limited knowledge to one character
  • Omniscient: narrator knows all thoughts, feelings and actions of all characters
Setting (historical, geographical, physical)
  • Historical: a setting that helps the reader understand a story or event
  • Geographical: Specific place were a story is taking place
  • Physical: where a story takes place, the surroundings
character (flat, round, static, dynamic)

  • Flat: uncomplicated, two dimensional, don't change throughout a course of work 
  • Round: complex, undergo development
  • Static: undergoes little or no inner change
  • Dynamic: undergoes an important inner change
plot: used to describe the events that make up a story in a sequential order
exposition: insertion of important background information in a story
rising action: series of events that leads to the point of greatest interest
climax: the turning point of the story, the point were the rising action reaches the falling action
stream of consciousness: a persons thoughts and conscious reactions to events in a continuos flow
central consciousness: the story is told through the view of only how the main protagonist sees and experiences it
unreliable narrator: when a narrators credibility has been compromised
epiphany: moment in the story where a character achieves a realization, awareness or a feeling of knowledge
motif: an element of subject that is constantly presented through the whole work
“unlike gesture” in O’Connor: some gesture of a character that is unlike any previous gesture in the story, the action is both right but unexpected, one that indicated where the true heart of the story lies, ex- when the grandmother is faced by the Misfit alone in "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
novel: fictitious prose narrative, describes fictional characters and events with a degree of realism
foreshadowing: indication of a future event
abstract diction: language that describes qualities that cannot be perceived with the five senses
alliteration: occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words
allusion: indirectly calling something to mind without actually saying what it is
apostrophe: when the speaker directs speech to a third party
approximate rhyme: rhyme where sounds are similar but not exactly the same
archetypes: constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature
assonance: repetition of the same sound of vowel
blank verse: poem with no rhyme but has iambic pentameter
cacophony: harshness in sound of words or phrases
caesura: break between words within a metrical foot
closed form: structure of poetry characterized by regularity and constant poem elements
concrete diction: words that stimulate some kind of sensory response to reader
connotation: idea or feeling that a words invokes 
consonance: agreement or compatibility between opinions or actions
denotation: direct meaning from a word or expression
diction: the choice and use of words and phrases
dimeter: metrical line of verse with two feet
dramatic irony: drama that is understood by the audience but not characters in story
dramatic poetry: any dramatic work written in lines of verse
elegy: a poem of reflection, typically a lament for the dead
end rhyme: when the words at the end of a poems lines rhyme
end-stopped line: when a line of poetry ends with a definite punctuation mark
enjambment: continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet or stanza
epic: long poem, typically concerning a serious subject with heroic deeds and events significant to a culture of nation
epigram: short poem, typically with a witty or ingenious ending
epigraph: short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, usually suggests a theme
essay (essai): short piece of writing on a particular subject
euphony: quality of being pleasing to the ear, harmonious combination of words
figures of speech: word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force to a spoken or written work
form: arrangement of the elements in a composition
free verse: a poem without rhyme or regular meter
haiku: poem from the Japanese origin, seventeen syllables, 3 lines: 5, 7, 5 syllables. Usually evokes images of nature
half rhyme: when the stressed syllables of ending consonants match but the preceding vowel sounds don't match
hyperbole: exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally
imagery: visually or figuratively descriptive language
imperfect rhyme: rhyme with only partial matching of sounds
internal rhyme: rhyme that occurs within a line of a verse 
irony: expression of ones meaning by using the opposite, used for humorous effect
lyric poetry: short, songlike poem 
masculine rhyme: rhyme on a single stressed syllable at the end of a line of poetry
meditation: written or spoken discourse expressing thoughts on a subject
metaphor: figure of speech that compares two unlike things with a common characteristic, usually something compared to an object or thing 
meter: unit of rhythm in poetry, the pattern of the beats, also called a foot
metonymy: substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant
narrative poetry: poetry that tells a story, makes use of the voices of a narrator and character, usually written in metered verse
near rhyme: words that sound the same but do not rhyme perfectly
octave: poem or stanza of 8 lines
ode: lyric poem that addresses a particular person or thing
open form: reject classic organization and structure of a poem and impose your own rules to your poem
pastoral: portraying idyllically the life of shepherds or of the country 
pentameter: line consisting of five meters
persona: aspect of someones character that is presented to or perceived by others
personification: attribution of a personal nature or human characteristic to something non-human or the representation of an abstract quality in human form
Petrarchan sonnet: sonnet form consisting of an octave with the rhyme scheme abbabba and of a sestet with either cdecde or cdcdcd
prose poem: piece of writing in prose having obvious poetic qualities (i.e. intensity, compactness, prominent rhymes, imagery)
quatrain: stanza with 4 lines
rhyme: when sounds between words correspond together
rhyme scheme: ordered patter of rhymes at the end of lines of a poem or verse
rhythm: strong, regular, repeted patter of movement or sound
run on line: (enjambment)- incomplete syntax at the end of a line of poetry
scansion: process of determining and graphically representing the metrical character of a line of verse
Shakespearean sonnet: written in iambic pentameter, 3 quatrains and a final couplet with the rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg 
slant rhyme: rhyme with words of similar sounds but not identical
simile: figure of speech comparing two unlike things, without like or as
speaker: narrative voice in a poem
stanza: grouping of lines in a poem
symbol: something that represents something else, usually something material representing something abstract
synecdoche: figure of speech where part is made to represent the whole
synesthesia: technique used to present ideas, character, places in a manner that appeals to the senses
tone: attitude of a piece of writing, situation, place
understatement: figure of speech used to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is
whole rhyme: when the stressed vowel sound and subsequent sounds are identical in two words
quest: long/arduous search for something
grotesque: comically or repulsively ugly or distorted, usually characters who induce both empathy and disgust
Beat Generation: group of authors whose literature explored and influenced American culture in the post-World War II era. Most work was published in the 1950s
“Howl”: poem by Allen Ginsberg in 1955 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 11: 11/10-11/16

Readings this week: 
Shiloh by Bobby Ann Mason, Claiming An Education by Adrienne Rich

Both of these readings supported gender equality and how to support women as equals to men. I didn't really like Shiloh because it was a short story that didn't really keep my attention. It did support a strong women who can speak her mind, but I didn't love the story. On the other hand, I really enjoyed "Claiming an Education." When we read it in class, it didn't really hit me, but reading it again I got a better sense of what Rich was trying to convey. My favorite quote from this speech is, "Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way." This line doesn't state how one gender is superior to the other, but it empowers everyone to be committed to themselves and not be okay with being passive. I do believe theres a inferiority associated with women, but I don't think putting men down is the way to improve gender equality. As a women, I have noticed how women, including myself, can be quite passive and that's why this quote really stuck out to me to give everyone the strength the say their thoughts and not be passive to others who are loud about their views.

Reading Journal Assignment: 11/12/15

The "open road" I decided to go on was going to the Jundt Art Museum. I have been wanting to go so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see what it had to offer. When I first got there, I walked through the gallery for about 15 minutes. The pieces are beautiful, but I'm not someone that can just stare at art for hours and hours. I kinda just admire and see which pieces really jump out at me. I've noticed that I'm really attracted to pieces with texture. My favorite pieces were the ones texture that makes you want to reach out and touch it. I also really enjoyed the pieces with warmer tones and gradient colors. I feel as though this "open road" wasn't really that much of a new experience, but I think my favorite part about going to the Jundt Art Museum was the new spot I found.

I didn't really know what to do after I look at the museum so I sat in the open window room that looks out onto the Centennial Trail. In college, I've realized being alone isn't really a thing. Although I love to be in the company of others, sometimes I just need some time for myself. I decided to sit in this room until I had to leave for my next class and it was really nice. I loved feeling like I could just sit and think to myself. I watched the people walk, run and bike by on the trail and I just felt at ease. There's so much stress that comes with college and just having time to myself with no obligations was a great little escape from my everyday college life.

I've always been one who likes to go out and see what my surroundings has to offer, so I really enjoyed this assignment. Although I didn't go very far, it was something new to me and I found a place I think I'll be visiting more often.

Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

In one of your emails, you posed the question to relate the journey of "Song of the Open Road" to other works of literature we have read in class and put a passage from the ODYSSEY. It talked about the theme of having "IT" in On the Road can be related to "Song of the Open Road." It made me start thinking how someone obtains "IT" and I feel like I have a little more of an answer to this indefinite question now. In all of our readings about people going on journeys, I believe they are all in search of "IT" the "IT" that is missing from their lives. In all of our stories, I feel like the people discover their "IT" on their journeys. I think this is an important idea to keep in mind because the motives of people who go on journeys is really interesting, but I think it can be explained by they are all in search of "IT."

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 10: 11/3-11/9


Critic #2:
In my week 9 journal, I wrote about a positive critic of this book, but after having class on Tuesday, I wanted to explore the more critical review of the book. Although this book received a lot of praise, it also has a lot of hate. I decided to read the blog, "I Hate Cheryl Strayed," that you put up in class. Talking about it in class and just reading the title of the blog was a shock, but actually going through some of the blog posted left me thinking a lot about this book and how someone could hate this book and Cheryl so much. First of all, whoever writes this blog is so dedicated to it. It's kinda crazy how much effort has gone into hating on a single person and book.

Even though I've read and we talked about all the hate, I still enjoy the book. After hearing about the flaws, it does kinda ruin some of the detail of the book because I stop and think they could be lies, but I still got a lot of insight. Much like for the Book of Wanderings, I related to Stayed's need to just get out of her comfort zone. I don't think I'll ever do a backpacking trip as crazy as this, but I definitely relate to her need to run away from life for a bit so she can get a hold of her life. In a little way, I do this by just taking a days/time for myself. Usually, I just go for a walk or to a coffee shop and just sit and be alone for a while. I do this just to think and escape from all the busyness around me. In Strayed's Ted Talk, she talked about her "greatest sufferings" and the lessons she learned from it. The one lesson that stuck out to me to most was when she said she learned the, "power in simplicity." I really made me think about my life. I've always been that girl to look up ways to be more happy or more productive and simplicity is a common theme that comes up. Stayed's talk just reminded me of this and it was really the perfect time for me to hear this in college. College is a crazy time. I'm always busy and constantly feel like there is more to be finished. This theme of simplicity just reminded me to think about everything I'm grateful for instead of complaining about being too busy. I really enjoyed her talk but, the one thing that really suck with me was that I need to remember to appreciate all the simple things I have to be grateful for.

Strayed's Epiphany:
The critic brought a lot of doubt about this book to me. In class, I felt like my perspective was completely changed, but thinking about it more, I still enjoy this book. Even thought their may be some false details, I don't think it takes away from Strayed's epiphany and how it effects the reader. Through her epiphany, I got that everyone has an internal strength they need to find. Everyone finds it in a different way, but it's always there. I loved this book because of the little things it reminded me about my life.  I think if someone can get meaning or a new perspective from this story, it's meaningful no matter what the circumstances of the details are.

Final Thoughts:
We talked a lot about the message we got from this book and if it was credible or not. But how I see it is even if it's not 100% truthful, if you can take something away from it, it is an impactful book. Yes, it would be nice to know all of Strayed's experiences were truthful, but I really don't think it should impact what you take away. I personally really enjoyed reading this book because it made me internalize my own life.  For example, in my last journal, I wrote about all the different ME's I have been and this really got me thinking about all the possibilities there are for me. As a college student, I still have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I just switched majors and the possibility of switching is always an option. This book eased my nervous about having one ME I need to become. For me this was one of the biggest revelations I had from this book. I have so many possibilities and the thought of this now excites me because who know what I will do next with my life and whatever I do, the experience is always worth it.

Week 9: 10/27-11/2

Initial reaction:

This is definitely my favorite book we've read so far. In a weird way, I would say I connect with the reader. Of course her life experiences are way different from me, but the way she talks about life to herself really connects with me. I was immediately drawn into this book because I'm from Oregon and the PTC runs through Oregon, but also because this summer I was really into doing day hikes, and the Bridge of the Gods (where she says is her final destination is), is a place I went by a lot. I went to this little town after my hike to get something to eat before heading home, but I never realized that this place I was going was such a landmark. Now, when I go home I'm really interested to find and go on the trails that are a part of the PTC.

How I would write page 5--Who am I?

...And why not? I'd been so many things already. A daughter. An over achieving high-schooler who always wanted to be the best at everything. A supportive teammate who was in love with the game of soccer. A loving friend that would be there for the good and the bad. An ambitious dreamer with no thoughts of failure. I was the daughter of two loving parents who just wanted to see me be happy. As a teen, I disregarded the importance of home. I took the comfort of home for granted. In spite of this, I'm learning from my ungraciousness. I'm attending Gonzaga University in search of my passions. Everyday, I remember why I am here and how lucky I am to be doing what I am with all the support I have.

I didn't really recognize the importance of this passage my first time reading, but I think because you made us re-write it to correlate it to our own lives,  I found a little deeper meaning. Because Strayed has had a lot more life experience than I, I was surprised how easy it was for me to write this. Thinking about all the different ME's, I have been was an interesting take on my life. By examining all the things I have been, I was surprised how in this short paragraph I could portray how I've grown so easily.

The Dream of Common Language:
Strayed mentions this book a lot because its one she chooses to bring on her journey. On page 60, she mentions the poem "Power" from the book and I wanted to look into it further for my reading journal.

by Adrienne Rich

Living in the earth-deposits of our history
Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.
Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil
She died a famous woman denying
her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power.

Strayed says, "...but, The Dream of Common Language was my religion." This is a very bold statement and I wanted to see why she held this book of poems so holy. After reading this poem a couple time, I realized that Strayed related to this women that is described in the poem. Although I don't know anything about whats in the rest of the book, I can see how Strayed may have related to the women described. It's most apparent in the last stanza when she talks of wounds. Strayed's whole story is basically about coming to terms with the wound of loosing her mother and looking into the last line, "her wounds came from he same source as her power," really made me examine Strayed's character more. I think this line related to Strayed in the sense of how she came to find her inner strength from the wound of her mother.

Response to Critic:

I choose to look of the review that went with, "Vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring account of the life unraveling and of the journey that put it back together." -The Wall Street Journal

This critic was more like a little summary of the book. It take the most important feelings you get from the book, like Strayed's honesty throughout. I felt like this was a very positive critic and I thought it was good that although they gave her lots of praise, they also mentioned that their has been a plethora of other novice hiking book. Although I do think this was a genuine critic, I thought it would have been nice if the critic had questioned the book. Because it was such a positive critic, the critic's argument probably wasn't as convincing as it cold have been. I already love Wild even from the little amount we've read, so I didn't take too much convincing from the critic.

Week 8: 10/20-10-26

As I Lay Dying

Bitter or Triumphant?
We talked briefly on if this book was bitter or a triumphant novel in the end. I can definitely see both sides, but without really thinking about it, I would say this is a bitter novel. I decided to think on this idea of how it was a triumphant novel for my reading journal. 
When I look the many ways human nature is portrayed, I could say this was a successful book. Faulkner made it really easy for the reader to see mankind as just cruel based on how everyone in the family seemed to have ulterior motives and how they treated Addie. But on the opposite side, I think this book was also able to show the dynamics of a family bond. Although it was a very extreme family, the connect between certain characters was very interesting for example, Darl with everyone. Darl taunted both Jewel and Dewey Dell a lot and I thought Darl had relationships with a lot of tension. Because of this the act of him being taken to Jackson wasn't seen as something the family did against him, but more as something they were doing to stop this negativity in the family. 

Ulterior Motives:
Ulterior motives was a theme that definitely changed how I read this book. They didn't really stand out to me because I was so confused with how everyones perspectives worked in the book, but after I saw them, I related it to the question if this was a bitter or triumphant novel. Even though I really want to see it as triumphant, because of all the ulterior motives in the book, I cant get myself to get over how bitter it is. The use of ulterior motives shows how everyone is only looking out for themselves in life and that in general, humans only do things to benefit ones self.  

List of ulterior motives-
Anse: teeth
Dewey Dell: abortion
Cash: machine
Vardaman: toy train
I also think its interesting that the one family member that doesn't have a ulterior motive of going to town is Darl. This is ironic because Darl gets taken to a mental institution at the end the book. When they are finally burring Addie, he is taken away. This is ironic because even thought Darl wasn't one of Addies favorite children, I think his love for her may have been the most truthful. He was always yearning to be love by her but never got it.

As I Lay Dying Movie Response:

The movie was extremely dramatic; it was almost comical to me. The whole family was crazy at to a whole new level than the book. It was hard for me to watch because of how all the characters talked and how horrible some of the scenes were. Especially when they cut off Cash’s leg. I could barely watch and I would have been so lost if I hadn’t read the book. Most of the movie was split screen and I didn’t really like it. I get why Franco decided to do it, but I thought it took away from the story.
A lot of the scenes in the movie were interpreted differently than I had in the book. I wouldn’t say Franco portrayed them wrong, just different. The first time I noticed this was when Darl and Jewel went to get wood because it meant $3. In the movie, Jewel seemed like he was fine going to get the wood for the three dollars. In the book, I interpreted it as Darl was the one that wanted to go and Jewel was forced to help him. Darl knows Addie will be dead by the time they get back, but Jewel seems to think they will make it back in time. In the book, I thought Jewel knew Addie was going to die, but he was still forced to go.
On thing I thought the book portrayed very well was how Darl would taunt Jewel and Dewey Dell. Darl taunted Jewel about not fitting in the family and Dewey Dell about being pregnant. I didn’t really notice it much in the book until was talked about it in class, but I thought it was a really important detail in the movie and added to the relationships between Darl had with his siblings. I also thought the movie intensified the relationships Darl had with all the characters. For example, Darl held Vardamans hand while they walked behind the wagon and before he got taken to Jackson, he gave Vardaman a loving goodbye hug. This affection between then wasn’t a big thing in the book for me.
Another scene that was interesting to me was, when Anse has is moment with Addie after she dies. He says the line about getting his teeth, but it seemed like saying he could get his teeth was a way of coping with Addies death instead of something rude to say after he died. The movie made it a lot sadder for me. In the book, I thought Anse was heartless and move on from her death the instant she was gone, but the movie portrayed this differently and I liked its interpretation better.
The movie also made me think about the reason Addie was buried in her wedding dress. It made me think more that it was the nicest piece of clothing she owned. Anse says, “she loved that dress,” and the movie made me think less of a modern extravagant dress and more of a nice piece of clothing which was rare for the Bundren family.
The scene that was completely different from the book, was when Whitfield was at the house when everyone was there to say goodbye to Addie. In the book, Whitfield is traveling to confess his sin to Addie, but turns around because someone tells him Addie has already passed. I thought it was a good scene in the movie because it would have been hard to portray this important fact from the book in the movie without Whitfield making it to see Addie even though she had already passed.