Archive for September, 2010

Sep 30 2010

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The Waste Land

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As I read The Waste Land I found myself very confused, the more I read the less sense the poem made. The poem actually made me think of the black plague caused by the rats and the dead bodies that are described. I thought of the plague when I first read “White bodies naked on the low damp ground/ And bones cast in a little low dry garret,/ Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.”(192-195) the poem seemed very depressing and morbid. I think it was hard to understand the poem because it is broken into parts. I also tried to look up the poem and used the website http://eliotswasteland.tripod.com/ the site was informative but also added to the poem, making it more complicated to understand.  Sure I want to say the poem was good but I wasn’t sure what was going on and I didn’t get the full impact of the poem because I was so lost.

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Sep 28 2010

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“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

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9/28   “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

“And would it have been worth it, after all” (line 99) could be interpreted many different ways. At first I believe Prufrock is generally referring to life and asking if his life was worth living. This line could also be referring to Prufrock’s interaction with the women he drinks tea with. He has joined these women for tea on multiple occasions. He never asked them the “overwhelming question” (line 6) which he repeats in line 93. Prufrock is questioning; his efforts on whether he should engage in contact with these women. But his low self esteem is his barrier. Even if he did socialize with the women, would it be worth it. Based on the whole poem Prufrock is referring to the outcome of socializing.  Would he have a friend, acquaintance, simple conversation or even sexual relations? Or would he be a fool and would they point of his flaws like his thinning hair and his thinning arms and legs.

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Sep 28 2010

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9/23 W.B. Yeats

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  9/23 W.B. Yeats

I personally enjoyed reading the poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” because many of the lines could be read quiet literally. The lines still maintained such powerful meaning. The line “those that I fight I do not hate/those that I guard I do not love.”Based on these lines I get the impression that the Airman (Major Gregory) did not believe in the cause nor that the war was worth fighting. I also found different interpretations of the poem, Major Gregory took part in the war in order to fly. Through the poem we understand he was not recruited. He wasn’t interested in the “cheering crowds” or the honor that he would receive. He fought on “a lonely impulse of delight/ drove to this tumult in the clouds” even though Major Gregory would die, a chance to fly among the clouds seemed to be the equal price. Being among the clouds also can be interpreted as a heavenly out of body experience. On the journey before death he found a form of serenity.  This view was different from my first impression because I thought Yeats was wounded by losing   Major Gregory. Yeats may have believed many fought and lost their lives for a fight they did not stand by.

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Sep 20 2010

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“An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness'”

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“An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness'”. Through the text Achebe says Conrad has painted the wrong image of African Americans and calls him a racist. African Americans are supposed to be seen from the European standpoint as uncivilized savages. Conrad describes African Americans many times. Later into the novel he dehumanizes the African American in his description. He describes one and says “A black figure stood up, strode on long black legs, waving long black arms, across the glow. It has horn–antelope horns, I think–on its head.” (Conrad) Marlow emphasizes on how black and dark the person is. The human is describes as “it”, and is given animal horns. This gives the impression that the African American is not human. Earlier in the novel another encounter with the African Americans is made. This time they are related to the phantoms. What the Europeans and Marlow hear and see is described as “a burst of yells, a whirl of black limbs, a mass of hands clapping, of feet stamping, of bodies swaying, of eyes rolling, under the droop of heavy and motionless foliage.”(Conrad) Again I feel the African Americans are dehumanized. Conrad purposely makes them blend in with the unknown forest symbolizing that they are misunderstood. Achebe calls Conrad the racist. I think Achebe focuses too much on the author. He lets his interpretation be fully based on Conrad.” He disagrees with the amount of times Conrad mentions the blackness of the African and the word “nigger”. I agree with Achebe the way the African tribal people are described it dehumanizing. The darkness, limbs, shadows and whiteness of their eyes is emphasized at all times when being described. I just question whether Conrad degrades them knowingly or is he simply writing.

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Sep 11 2010

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Repost: Mr.Kurtz transformation & What reading means to me

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Mr.Kurtz transformation

As I read Heart of Darkness I questioned whether Mr.Kurtz lost his mind on his journey through the Congo. Marlow informs us that Kurtz was quite sane, he says “Believe me or not, his intelligence was perfectly clear…But his soul was mad.” After reading these lines I believe Kurtz is the reason for his own transformation. There is an internal battle of the “original Kurtz” and the “mad soul”. The mad soul is strengthened by the fact that he obtains such great amounts of ivory. Back home he would have been praised for this. In the Congo Kurtz is yet again praised by the natives because the Russian says “he came to them with thunder and lightning”. Even in this foreign place Kurtz obtains prestige. The transformation is caused by all the power he obtains and the greed that exist within him.  

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What reading means to me

My relationship with reading originally wasn’t the greatest I guess you could even say I hated reading. In the beginning when I was being taught how to read I felt like I was being punished. I didn’t grasp the concept of reading as quickly as the other students. But later on I realized reading surrounded us in every part of our life so I had to learn and I ended up enjoying it a lot. I don’t mean to sound cliché but every time I read a book it opens up a door way. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you can travel to these places that sometimes don’t even exist. A journey or mystery unravels itself within the simple text. I love reading because I am able to become the characters and learn and live through them.

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Sep 07 2010

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