Wednesday, March 3, 2010


is one crazy book. There was twist and turns I was totally not expecting. I thought one thing would happen, but no the total opposite happens. It's interesting that you get each characters background story. These stories all play into the final product of the book. It is like each small detail is linked to the big picture. I liked the book, but honestly, in the end I did not know what to think. I knew Beloved had to go, and she did. I just do not honestly get the point of the story. It was a good and interesting read, but what? I'm not sure exactly what I learned here. I'm also not sure what Morrison's message was that she was trying to get across. I hope I get these answers cleared up in class tonight!


In the end, I think family is really important in this book. Denver's character really made me realize this. She loves her mother and even Beloved enough to face her fears and go outside of 124. She finally realizes that Beloved is a bad thing that is possessing her mother and making her weaker by the day. She seems to have to same realization her mother did 18 years before, in that, to make a better life for her family she must take action. I think she knows deep down Beloved must go and not stay at 124 anymore. It amazes me that the townspeople after hating Sethe for so long, finally rise up to help her. They finally realize that what she did was out of a mother's love and not because she was crazy. They in the end help her. It makes me think about people in society. How far would people go to help their family? Would you put aside your differences for the great good?

A Mother's Love...

I was really shocked when Sethe killed "Beloved."...but then again I wasn't. A mother's love for her children is so deep, that you would do anything to help your children. In her mind, logical or not, she though that if she killed her children she was in a way saving them. She didn't want them to have the life that she had at Sweet Home. She wanted better for them. In this case, better meant death. Sethe gave up her life of friends and neighbors at 124 to provide a "better" life for her children. After Beloved was dead, no one came by. She was a murderer and that's as far as people were willing to see. No one sees her deep love for her children and the real reason she did it. This makes me question what other parents would do in this situation. Would you go as far as to kill your children so they do not have to have the life you had?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beloved 1

In beginning this book I had one thought: crazyness. I really didn't understand the book in the first inital chapters. It took me a long time to really get into and understand the book. I was confused because it kept jumping from past to present and I could not get it straight. Then I realized that this was one of Morrisons plans in the book. It confused me at first, but later it kept me guessing. I began to slowly put the pieces together and understand why she was doing this. As the book goes on I tend to question myself and the hidden meaning...will I find it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sea Oak....

was interesting, if not a little confusing. The family lives in a Sea Oak, and are basically described as white trash. They really didn't realize how much they appreciated Aunt Bernie until she was gone. Bernie seemed to be their motivator and what kept them going. That's why she came back as a ghost I guess. She wanted to teach them that they deserved better then this life that they had. It seems to be an inspirational story.


This story really hit a nerve with me. I had a friend a few years ago, die in a car accident...after leaving my house. The look on his parents faces I will never forget. Boyle relates to what is like to loose a child. It is like their is no reason for living anymore, because everything is gone. He relates this to an asteroid striking our planet. There would be no more sun, clouds, grass, or people. Everything is gone...and that is how a parent feels when they loose a child. They did not loose the child by choice, just an accident something that happened. It's like loosing your complete world, and everything you live for. I can't even begin to imagine the pain.


I find interesting...but I'm not sure I quite get everything he is saying. "The Skull Beneath the Skin of a Mango" struck me. When I see this, I see a scene of chaos taking place. Like everyone is trying to savage all they can. People are running, yelling, there is no order to this place. Everyone seems to be grabbing the mango fruits. A reporter accidentally kicks a human skull on the ground. He seems to notice that it looks much like a mango. He wonders how many of these have been sent to market. This creeps me out. I do not want to eat a skull!...but then I wonder what is this symbolizing and I'm really drawing a blank here. Is it when people are desperate they will take what they can get however unethical? I'm just not sure..but I would like to find out.


I found "Without Words" very interesting. It really reminded me of how an alcoholic might think. "The liquid is pure and irrestible we have nothing to live for, nothing to die for." It is like they do not have anything to do but drink. It clearly states that in America, you do not have a reason to drink. So why would they not drink if it tastes so good to them? Alcohol makes you forget the past the present, and have a good time...usually. But isn't this thirst killing our country? Its like drinking is all this person has, so that is what they do. It does not matter who or what came before them, all that matters is that sip of alcohol in that moment....and that's okay in America...right?


"Parable of the Hostages" really stuck with me out of all of his poems. It made me really think about what is going on in all the soldiers minds. It really reminded me of Vietnam and the hatred people had for our soldiers then, so much hatred in fact that they would spit on them. Soldiers wonder when they come home will they receive a warm welcome or will they be dismissed like that have not risked their life for our freedom? War is exciting and unpredictable, but now they are going back to the lives they once knew. Will these lives be the same?...or will they be different? I could see this thought going through many soldiers heads day by day. They do not know if their life will go back to normal. This is a scary thought, since stability and security is one of our primal needs.

All I have to say about Alexie is...

wow. He really puts the truth out there for everyone to see. He does not sugarcoat what we, the white people, did to the Indians. This was so long ago, but obviously many Indian cultures are still angry....rightfully so. Evolution is what really got me. It is like the Indians gave all they had to the white man and it still was not enough. The comparison here is that the Indians helped the white people all they could and were friendly(starting up Buffalo Bills business), but then we took advantage of that. All we did was take and take from them, until they had nothing left. Once we realized we couldn't use them anymore we took all they had left, their land. The last line is particularly disturbing, because the heart is a simple of life. To me, it means we took the life right out of them, like they weren't even human beings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Love and what it means is different to everyone. This can be clearly seen in the story. The man beat her, and Terri sees this as a sign of love. However, Mel does not see any love in this. I see this as a sign of love. The fact that he killed himself because he could not live without her. Haven't we ever heard of dying of a broken heart? You feel as though half of you is gone, and their is nothing to live for because you lost the one you love. This turns people crazy. Mel sees love like the old couple. The man is depressed because he couldn't see his wife. He does not see beating someone as love, understandable. He also says he could go on without Terri. It is interesting the view presented in this story on love. Which one do you choose? I tend to side with Terri actually.


I really like Adrienne Rich poetry. She is a powerful woman in a society dominated by men. She was one of the leaders of the feminist movement. I really like her poem Power. It's like Marie Curie was trying to better mankind and in the end did end up hurting herself. She worked endless hours to help everyone and make a name for herself in the male dominated world. "She died a famous woman denying her wounds denying her wounds came from the same source as her power." She got all these wounds from the thing that made her powerful.


is interesting. I love the language he uses throughout his poems. "To be lost among the thirteen million pillars of grass:" It is interesting in his poem They Dream Only of America" because it seems to change point of view. They is in the title while he is later on in the poem. Is he dreaming of what America will be like?...But then he sees that harsh reality of it? "For our liberation, except wait in horror for it." Is he realizing America is not as equal and as fair as it looks to everyone around the world?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I along with it seems many people of this class did not get this story. Maybe it was over my head...or I just wasn't opening my mind to it. Could someone explain at least the idea to me? If not class should be interesting!


I liked reading A&P because of all the detail. The plot did not keep me that interested, but the vivid details of everything did. It was so interesting how he gave everything in the entire store such interesting qualities. For instance, the top of the girl. Her shoulders were bare, but he made something that was so little and normal into something so imaginative. Reading this, I really had a good picture in my mind of what everything looked liked. It was noble of him to stand up for the girls, but in the end, he realizes he overreacted. Now he is jobless.... I think most people his age do this. It's like you make a big deal out of something, that really wasn't a big deal. Oh well everyone lives and learns....


I really enjoyed her poem "And One for My Dame." The title was what really interested me after reading the poems. It is like the two main men in her life get to travel everywhere around the country while she sits at home looking at places she will never go. Every place they go they say "and one for my dame" it is like their bringing her back something. This little constellation prizes are nothing to the real thing of visiting the places they are going. This really speaks about a woman's role in the household at this time. Though post WWII women had made strides in the workforce, they still mainly stayed at home. This speaks to the limits to what a woman and a man could do. Men are supposed to be the breadwinners while the woman sits at home and has dinner ready. Thankfully, this stereotype though still present is slowly going away.


I feel Plath really wants to give the woman's point of view in a man's world. Tulips is a depressing poem for me. Its like she's in pain and just wants to be left alone, utterly alone, but everyone seems to be bothering her. "Nobody watched me before, now I am watched." It is like no one cared before, but now that she is in the hospital they do. It is like her life is slowly slipping away from her. She has no control over it anymore. I could imagine that this would be a scary thing for anyone. "I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight." She is loosing the life she once she sits in this hospital bed day after day.


I really like this poem, because I feel like it relates to small town America. I happen to be from one of those 200 person towns so this poem really struck me. It's like everything the town was special for is going away. It's going away for new improved things...from a small town to a growing metropolis. This is actually what is happening to my town. We now have a grocery store and two mini malls if you will. My grandparents hate it actually. They see our traditions going out the window with every new thing that gets built. This poem really mirrors their feelings. The statue that was once a town motivator is going to be gone. Its kind of like the values and morals are getting torn down more and more each day as a new building goes up. It's a bittersweet poem in the end. He's happy for new things, but the memories of the old way of life will be missed. I understand exactly how he feels here.


These selections to me remind me of that show criminal minds. They profile serial killers, psychopaths etc. I feel like that's what I'm reading the diary of a crazy person. I also read his bio and it seemed that his father's death had a big impact on him as it would anyone. As the lines go on, it seems he is getting crazier and crazier. "but never did Henry, as he thought he did, end anyone and hacks her body up." This is so morbid and creepy...but at the same time interesting. It makes me wonder what was really going on in Berryman's mind as he was writing this. Was he in such great turmoil that this was his only way of expressing it? The numbers on top also made me curious. What do they mean? There seems to be no logical order on them. I wonder if he wrote the poem in parts. He starts with lower numbers and works his way up. Maybe that's how many days it took?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Stand Here Ironing

I do know, I liked this story but then again I did not. I'm not exactly sure why I did not. I feel like the mother is just letting time pass when she could have been more involved in her daughters life. She was a busy mom trying to provide for her family, but if your struggling why are you having more children? I'm not the oldest child but I could see how I my sister would say I was treated differently from her. Most older siblings think that in general and tend to disagree more with the younger child. This mother tried to give Emily all she could, but Emily becomes withdrawn. I think Emily gets the feeling that her mother really does not like her. As the man says to the mother.."you should smile at Emily more." Emily does not realize how much her mother loves her. So in turn she pushes her away. She is a typical girl who analyzes herself based on other people. She compares herself to other people to determine her worth. It is not until she is older and wins the talent show that she really takes off. It is like you see a different person emerging from what she one was. She now has dreams and is not that shy girl she once was. She realizes that just because her mother cannot give her everything, that she can go after it and get everything she wants.


This resonates a lot with the conformity of people to society's ideals and not being their own person with their own thoughts. It's like a person is to afraid of what society will think or do to them if they have their own thoughts and feelings. "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." The generation of conformity has driven the people to madness. Were so concerned with everyone else, that it has literally driven us insane. "who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes" People get expelled from universities for thinking outside the societies norm, and making people really think. It is like were a brainwashed society. We cannot think on our own. The poem goes through crazy act of people that are trying to not be conformed to society. I wonder is this not somewhat true of our society right now. Do we not get shunned for going against the crowd?...Questions to think about.

One Art

I think Bishop is trying to say that loss is not a big deal in life. It's like she is trying to convince herself that losing things is not all that disastrous. She takes losing as a skill and you have to master it. It is like she is learning to become numb to losing things, or even people. The poem starts out with her losing mundane things such as "lost door keys...mother's watch." These are material things that you can live without. As the poem progresses she losses things that are of greater and greater significance to her, but still she brushes it off. The last stanza is probably the most important one. "Even losing you(the joking voice, a gesture I love)...It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) disaster." She lost someone she loves, and she's struggling with the pain of it. It's like she is trying to rationalize the pain she is feeling by saying the other things I have lost were not a big deal so this is not either. In reality, she's hurting inside so much and really feels lost without this person. Loosing people is not the same as loosing your mother's watch.


Today was written in 1950 just after the war was over. It's like he's grouping random things together in the beginning. These things have always been their before the war, but maybe they are more exciting now that the war is over. People were heavily rationed during the war, so maybe now, today they are appreciating the little things in life, or the luxuries of life again. It then seems to have a more serious vibe when alluding to beachheads and biers. Beachheads being common places to fight during WWII. The meaning is never clear, he could be linking these things that could potentially be in his next poem. He leaves it largely up to the reader to find the meaning of the poem.

My Papa's Waltz

This poem also could mean different things. I think it depends on who you are what and what decade you were brought up in. In our decade I see child abuse. With words like battered and death he leads me to believe it is child abuse. Child abuse is common these days, unlike back then. If you grew up in an earlier time period I believe you see a father coming home after a long day at work. Back then the man worked long twelve hour shifts unlike the typical eight today. He probably stopped by the bar and had a few drinks. The father is drunk so he is clumsy knocking over kitchen shelves. His right ear scarping the belt buckle does not have to be a sign of abuse. This could be a comparison of height from father and son. The boy does not have to enjoy the waltz but he enjoys his fathers attention. As he goes off to bed he is still clinging to his father's shirt. As if he doesn't want the time with his father to end. There's not a clear meaning to this poem, I think it really depends on who you are and what time period you grew up in.

of De Wii Williams on his way to Lincoln Cemetery

The poem gives the first image as a plain black boy, but then as it progresses it is like a funeral fit for a king. "Don't forget the Dance Halls...Where he picked his women, where he drank his liquid joy." It goes from the image of just a plain insignificant man to someone that was very high standing and important. He goes from picking in the fields to drinking in a club. It is like he broke out of the limits imposed by other people. He started out a plain black boy, but made something of himself. He broke the limits others set for him. He could be a rich man or a poor man it is not really clear. I think this is what Brooks was going for. To be able to see something both ways...he could be this or he could be this. You do not really know. Lines such as "Where he picked his women" could be a throwback to living on the plantation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Man Who was Almost a Man

Wrights short story is mainly about a 17 year old boy who wants so bad to be a man. He thinks he will become a man by getting a gun. He eventually gets one and accidentally shots his bosses mule while working. In this scene he goes back to being a boy who is crying to his mother. The towns people are laughing at him for a mistake only a boy could make. He really is tormented by the image of people laughing and calling him a boy and not a man. He later goes to find the gun that night and hops the train to Illinois. The gun is still in his pocket. Illinois to him means freedom and that he can be a man. He's hoping to find a place where he's not labeled a boy but a real man. I think this story deals a lot with African Americans of the the time and their fight for true freedom. Their fight to not be called "boy" and to be their own person with their own life. I think that is just what Dave is looking for.


This story is about a woman who has been married 15 years and is very unhappy. Her husband beats her and is now cheating on her. All the towns people know all of this because her husband parades around with his new lover all through town. Delia has begun to establish a hate for her husband and does not even want to be in the same room as him. Her fear of snakes is something her husband plays into one day when he brings one home. He keeps the snake just outside the house just so she is scared everyday. Eventually, he gets bit by the snake and she sees him die. She could have taken him somewhere to save him but she does not. This leads us as readers to believe that she let him die. This poses the questions of should she have helped him, and also was it better that he die then her taking the abuse anymore? These are common questions today, and this speaks a lot of domestic violence. Does the person deserve to die because they are abusive? Do you save them? I'm interested to see what different people would answer to this question.

The White Witch

Though not clearly stated Johnson seems to be talking about relations between a black man and a white woman. The woman is perceived as an evil witch but not as a typical witch that is ugly this witch is very beautiful. It seems that a black man is warning his brothers to stay clear of the white woman and not fall for her tricks. It really speaks of race relations that are still present today. It plays into that illusion that white women are not supposed to be with black men.


Negro by Langston Hughes is probably one of my favorite poems. Throughout he compares how he was a somewhere far off but how he is still a slave in America. "The Belgians cut off my hands in Congo. They lynch me still in Mississippi." It's really crazy how something was happening in Africa, which most Americans think of as an uncivilized land, but basically the same thing is happening here in America. Hughes wants the American people to know that they go on the same boat as people from Africa. "Under my hand the pyramids arose. I made mortar for the Woolworth Building." He compares how in Egypt he made the pyramids but still here he works for the white man constructing a building. It actually compares well with "Look Within" by Claude McKay where we need to analyze ourselves before criticizing other countries or areas.

Look Within

I must say I loved this poem. Mckay really says we should look at ourselves before criticizing other countries or other areas. He relates it to America during WWII but this can also be taken on a small scale. "For setting up Fascist way of might While fifteen million Negroes on their needs" It's like here we are fighting the Fascist regime when back in America we are doing the same thing in a different way. We still had high discrimination at this in America. "We bathe our lies in vapors of sweet myrrh, and close our eyes not to perceive the fact!" Here it's like we cannot see the truth that we are corrupt here too and it's not just the countries in Europe and Japan. We do not see the true facts, just what we want to see.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Rose For Emily

A Rose For Emily is for me how people perceive someone versus how that person really is. "held themselves to high for what they really were." They were looked at as a prominent family at one point. Her father turned away every suitor she ever had because he was not good enough for her. We then find out later that she poisoned her only lover and kept him at her house with him. She would lay with him at night even years and years after his death. I feel as though Emily wanted to keep him with her always, so he could never leave her like everyone else in her life had. Her father left her, the towns people had left her and so on. Like many people today, Emily is just desperate to be loved, desperate enough to even kill. Though all this is horrible, her pride and strength of purpose tend to lessen her horrible act.

Hills Like White Elephants

This story deals with an issue that many people still deal with today: abortion. The couple in this story are trying to decide if they want to have an abortion or not. The man says "It is perfectly simple" and "We'll be fine afterward,just like we were before." The man tries to convince her it is a good idea. The girl does not seem so sure. When she says the hills all look like white elephants she is referring to her unborn child. The white symbolizes the innocence and purity of her unborn child. They talk of the heat, and the train and it only goes two ways. This seems to mean the pressure their under and that theirs no going back now. She then turns to the other side of the station and it's bare landscape. This seems to symbolize her body after the abortion sterile and barren. The story then ends with them about to catch the train. Hemingway lets the reader decided what they think will be next. You decide if they get an abortion or not. What would you do?

The Study of Two Pears

In this poem Stevens is observing pears. He thinks he knows what they are and tries to fit that into his preconceived image. However, he has a very hard time doing this. "They are yellow form composed of curves....They are not flat surfaces having curved outlines." He tries and tries to will the pear into becoming what he wants, but it will not. The last stanza to me is the most important. The pears are not seen As the observer wills." I think this relates to truth. There is truth but we cannot fully capture it. As soon as we think we fully know what it is, it then eludes us once more. I believe this means there is always more to learn and you can never stop learning. As we try and force our idea of truth on it, it will continue to refuse to be limited.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

What I like about this poem is that it can be interpreted many different ways. Stevens did not make it clear which way to interpret it and left that largely up to the leader. He did not intend for there to be a right answer like so many other modernist writers of the time. For instance in stanza 8 which was my favorite he states " I know noble accents and lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know too, That the blackbird is involved In what I know." One way that many people have interpreted it is that the noble accents are Steven's boss and the lucid inescapable rhythms are that of the office. This is related to the blackbirds and their very literal "pecking order" when they are setting up their territory and making it noble. Also in this stanza he could simply be talking about the seasons. He could be talking about the blackbirds migrations and life cycle. What I like about Wallace Stevens here is that their is not a clear right answer. He leaves the interpretation of the poems largely up to you as the reader. You construct the meaning on your own and take what you want out of it.

The Need of Being Versed in Country Things

I believe has a lot to do with the differences between humans and nature. The farmhouse has burned down and only the chimney stands. As humans we mourn the loss of the farmhouse, but nature does not. "The birds that came to it through the air at the broken windows and flew out and in....lilac renewed its leave the aged elm, though touched with fire." Human loss does not effect nature. Nature is still savage and remains unemotional. Unlike nature, "the fence post carried a strand of wire." We mourn and nature does not. Nature rebuilds itself as if nothing has happened. Despite what has happened the birds are still flying around and the elm is still growing strong.

Journey of the Magi

This poem gives us an inside look at the three wise men journey to see the newborn baby Jesus. I believe people think it was such an easy and a happy trip, but Eliot takes a different approach to this. He tells of "the dead of winter and the camels galled sore-footed, refractory." It was a hard journey for the wise men. It talks of how they miss their palaces and there easy life. "And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly and the villages dirty and charging high prices." This all paints a very different picture then what is assumed. It forces the reader to think outside the box of what is thought of when concerning baby Jesus. At last they arrive to the place and consider it satisfactory. Eventually they return to their kingdoms "but no longer at ease here, with alien people clutching their Gods. The had seen the true God and now there palaces are not enough.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I find this poem interesting and something that many men go through. He finds his life not worthwhile, that he does the same thing day in and day out. There is no variety in his life. "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." This shows he has planned his life and measured out every last second. He seems to be at a social gathering by the lines "In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo." He is timid and afraid to talk to them, thinking he is not good enough for him. He feels they will judge him on his own shortcomings. Prufrock then starts to analyze if he should talk to this woman at the party. "Do I dare?" He says he has a bald spot, his necktie rich and modest but asserted by a simple pen" He thinks they will say "how his arm and legs are thin" He believes here there will be other times to talk to women and once he makes a decision he reverses it. He has seen the looks the women are given him before and describes it by being a pinned insect on display. " I have known the arms already know them all"...He has seen these type of women before, they have no substance. He doesn't like that he is thinking about them and chalks it up to the smell of their perfume. The last part I thought interesting was that last few stanzas of the poem. Prufrock realizes that he is growing older. "I have heard mermaids singing.." This most likely is an allusion to the Odyssey and the sirens. Here though, they are not singing to him.