After reading the three poems “Disillusionment of 10 o’clock”, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”, and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I’ve come to notice that they can connect to one general theme in one way or another. In the poem “Disillusionment of 10 o’clock” the author seems to talk about sorrow or loneliness since he says that the house is being haunted by white night-gowns. When I first read this, my original thought was that the white gowns reminded the person about something that happened in the past and they feel alone as time goes on. I feel like the person is using their imagination and dreams at nighttime to distract them from the reality that they can not face on their own. This poem was the easiest for me to translate by reading it first then reading the other two, I realized that they also follow the same theme just not exactly. I view the poem “anyone lived in a pretty town” mainly about a man, who doesn’t receive the same love he tries to give to everyone else, walking through his whole life all alone. This theme of loneliness ties into the poem by Wallace Stephens when they both have no one to lean on during their hard times of life and pretty much in at anytime. During class when we read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” we also broke it down to understand more deeply what the author is trying to write to us. The poem talks about time but mainly focuses on the character being alone. How the character is at a fancy party and he is seen more of a outsider, just watching and listening as everyone else around him at the event are talking with one another. The person feels lonely, even at such a time where people are surrounding him, and he begins to think of how he is a “fool” and compare his life to others which brings him down even more. These poems all connect with one another with the way they all show themes and actions of loneliness and time. The one that I find most applicable to today is “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” because I feel many people in society often find themselves looking at their own life’s then someone else’s and saying “I wish I had that” or “That should be me”, or anything along those lines. We envy others of things we don’t have that they do. The poem I hated the most overall would be “anyone lived in a pretty town” because it took more decoding for me to understand that poem compared to the other two, even though this poem was much shorter.
The book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, is a story which jungles hard topics and/or themes such as racism, religion, identity, and others. Overall, this book wasn’t as bad as I anticipated yet it wasn’t my favorite. So in other words I guess I could view it as just average, but better than some of the other things we’ve read in this class. It definitely accomplished it’s job of covering and allowing the audience to understand the themes. Of course reading it by myself, I kind if had a hint of what Twain was trying to say but I didn’t grasp the full concept until we discussed it together as a class. This novel wasn’t the best I ever read yet I enjoyed how at moments it kept me wanting to read the next chapter, mostly when our teacher told us not to. When I think about it, I’m just not a big novel fan so maybe that could be playing a key role in my opinion on how I feel about this as a whole. I’m not sure why either but I enjoy short stories more than novels. For me personally, I did not like the end of the book, if I were to change one thing it would be that Tom was not as stupid as Mark Twain made him to be. Huck needs a better role model because this guy just did a 180 on him and turned his back on him. He’s officially put in the trash in my mind right now. Something important I think a modern day reader should take from this is the value of friendship and the things you should do to protect your loved ones. This novel stills applies to our society today greatly. Mostly because we have a lot of controversy over topics like racism or religion which are the main themes in this book. Our Huck Finn project is similar to the game “Cards against Humanity” but NOT for kids!! We picked this project because it was fun and simply to understand for the class while we present it. I expect that we get a good grade on it of course, but I also hope that our group can come together to put lots of thought and effort into it. I would really like to finish this quarter off with a good grade form this project but teamwork is key.
The author I chose for this assignment was Shirley Jackson. She’s an American writer mostly known for her written books of horror and mystery, which interested me to want to know more about her and her writing. Her wide variety of work goes from short stories, to memoirs, and to novels. But with writing over 200 short stories, this is her main form of work she published. This helps me know that she’s extremely creative, determined, and has a passion for writing by publishing so many. Some of her most interesting pieces of work are “The Lottery and other Stories”, “The Haunting of Hill House”, and “Life Among the Savages”. What interests me the most about “The Lottery and other Stories” is that it’s a collection of stories fit into one book. This series of twenty-four different stories and a excerpt was a huge success for Jackson, it’s now known for being one of her most popular books. And she even gives credit for her children who edited the book and I found that to be pretty stinking cool. “The Haunting of Hill House” interests me because it was considered one of the best literary ghost stories in the 20th century, but also the fact that it mainly contains terror rather than horror and that helps keeps the book suspenseful. This piece of writing was also made into two feature films and a play on top of that! The final book that grabbed my attention was “Life Among the Savages” which along with “The Lottery” is a collection of stories within a book. The book mainly revolves around the plot of the complication between children and parents with a mixture of humor added to the chaos. I hope I can read this book sometime in the future because I’ve seen a lot of good reviews including the sequel. I honestly don’t know too much information on Shirley Jackson, but after doing some searching around on the internet I’ve come to find out a few cool facts about her and her life. One thing that made me do a double take was when I found out she was a practicing witch which really creeped me out. Along with the fact that she sang to her children every night a chilling song. Not weird at all, no way.
The book “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, is about a boy who runs away with a fleeing slave. I’ve only read up to chapter five but it’s gotten pretty good so far and honestly I enjoy it. In my opinion it’s much better than expected, as I stated in my last blog I didn’t have high expectations for it at all because of the stuff students told me from the year before when they read it. So I was picturing this book to be total trash immediately. But I’ve only just got started so maybe it will be as bad as I expected it to be? Or maybe it will be the direct opposite of those thoughts? Only time could tell I suppose. This book is interesting to say at the least, mostly because of the way the characters think, act, talk, etc. It’s much different in comparison to the way people are today in the world. The thing that left me the most shocked was when Tom’s Robber Gang said they would kill their families if they were to ever disobey the oath… like they are only kids and it shocked me even more just to see Huck throw Miss Watson under the bus to be killed instead of his family. I feel sorry for her. It also shocked me in chapter six, when Pap kidnaps Huck and is extremely drunk and begins to chase after Huck with a knife because he was dreaming of the angel of death coming after him. This particular event grabbed my attention because I saw how dangerous Pap was when he was intoxicated, not only was he abusive towards Huck but life threatening as well. And this also made me worry for Huck because this was the person who kidnapped him and even though he managed to escape, something could have happened to him while no one was there to help save him. I like the overall story in this book and how interesting the plot is. It involves tense moments with family and has complicated moments to when Huck tries to escape his problems. The book is exciting and although people in our town or in general cannot relate to it, it’s a very intriguing story and manages to keep you reading.
Reading the short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, it opened my eyes more to the use of satire that is used in writing and showing a new way you can present a story. To be honest, the way the story was written confused me a lot because of all the connections, from the narrator to Simone Wheeler to Leonidas W. Smiley. It would have felt less complicated to me if it was Wheeler telling the story about Smiley, or simply just Smiley talking about himself to the narrator because I had to rethink everything while reading to understand who was talking. So it was differently written than most stories, it wasn’t 10/10 for me though because I had to break down the story and read out loud to myself, but I like how Mark Twain made it unique. On the other hand, I did like his use of satire throughout the story, even in times when I did not want to laugh (I’m talking about when he mentioned how the one dog lost two of his legs) I knew it was dark humor. And thankfully not true. He made plenty of jokes picking a people and I think that’s one thing I really enjoyed in this short story because it kept me still continuing to read. The way we handled independent reading this quarter was a roller coaster.. it was a smooth ride most of the time though so it’s okay. I didn’t hate it honestly, I felt it was really manageable with the other things I had to accomplish this quarter and that’s why I liked it so much. The book trailer wasn’t as bad as I expected either so that was surprising/interesting to say the least. It affected the way I read my book because I knew I had to pay attention to the details in the story and not just skim it over, I actually had to understand the plot and everything that intertwines with it to present a book trailer for it. After reading a chapter of Huck Finn, I am confident it will be about Huck and a slave. I am nervous to read towards the end though because many people told me that it’s not as simply as it seems originally. But ignoring the that fact, I feel this story will be good yet new since we do talk nothing like how the characters in the book do.
I never really noticed that I have had plenty of experience with satire and humor until learning about it in class. When I think about it, I know I have read satire in comics, newspapers, watched on television shows, and more. Other than that I can’t think of specific times to when I had experience with satire in general or maybe I’m still not certain I have an idea of what it is to know, “Oh hey this ia an example of satire, but this is not!” The humor I enjoy the most is the giggles because it shows uncontrollable laughter and that’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, I also enjoy ingratiating laughter which is kind of weird so I’m not too sure why I find that humorous. Probably because it’s something we all relate to in awkward situations. An example of ingratiating laughter can be laughing at your boss’s or dad’s jokes even though they are nowhere close to being funny. Or also we find ourselves laughing out of politeness and not even realize it. The only thing I know about Mark Twain, is that he’s an author and I’ve heard nothing but good thoughts and reviews on him so I know that if I read anything from him in the future, I’ll have high expectations. I also know that Mark Twain has a very humorous way of writing or as my research found, “broad and often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain’s writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression”. After doing some research on the author, I found out his real birth name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens and this fact interests me because I have no idea as to how he got that name and then later on became Mark Twain. It’s a big jump I’d say.
Halfway through the film “Vertigo”, I don’t have any major reaction or feeling towards it. It’s an alright movie so far, including some twists and turns here and there, but it’s nothing that has me with my jaw to the floor or anything along those lines. I like how it’s not a typical movie where you can guess what’s going to happen next or predict future events. I can’t stand movies like that. But I don’t like how the film noises are not correctly aligned with the actors talking or with what they’re doing, even though I guess it’s not the actual film but just the way it’s presented to us. I don’t like how the characters act very strangely towards each other, I’m not sure if it’s bad acting or if I’m thinking this myself but regardless I don’t like it. Okay I just stated how I liked how I couldn’t predict what will happen next in this movie and now you’re asking me to do just that. Great. Well, I predict that something bad is going to happen with the Madeleine and Scottie, can’t give you a specific answer on what it is or when it will happen, but I’m getting that bad feeling when something is approaching vibe. I’m hoping I’m wrong honestly because my only goal while watching a movie, reading a book, listening to a story or anything is to be taken by surprised. That kind of stuff just keeps me interested, unless everyone eventually dies in the story because then I’ll be mad that I just wasted my time to give the author my attention and have them disappoint me. In my opinion, this film has been successful so far, it hasn’t let me down or been straight up awful so I still give it a thumbs up unless my mind is changed at the end of the film.
The poem “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman made me feel a variety of ways with all the discussions that took place the past few days. Reading it the first time I thought I had an idea of what it was talking about, but I was completely wrong. I don’t hate this poem as much as the others though. After finally understanding it, I partially enjoy this poem and I like all the metaphors included. The section I found most interesting to me is section four because it talks in the beginning about the way your life is and the way you present yourself. Things we care about with social interactions. What society has programmed us to worry about and that trips us up also. This poem can relate to society today in a variety of ways. Throughout the poem, Whitman talks about finding who you are, self, happiness, people becoming distractions, life not being easy, and other thins people relate to. Many people in today’s world are very stuck in situations and don’t know how to get out of them, or they simply or so in love with life and want to be a leader for this generation and that’s why I think this poem can be seen from anyone’s point of view. I love how this poem has many metaphors, as I stated before, but I feel like since he used a lot of these it helped to analyze it, so a thought I have is to thank Whitman for helping me understand this poem faster than I do with most and making it creative at the same time. The only question I have for this poem is what made him what to use grass as a metaphor for society? I feel like he could use plenty of different examples to represent society. I mean we have a whole world of different people, places, objects, ideas, etc and he choose grass. I would love get an explanation of why this is. Overall, I give this poem a rating of eight out of ten. Not too bad, but also not the greatest because I hate poetry and I’m not sure if I can give anything a higher rate than that.
After reading the excerpt, “Civil Obedience” repeatedly over the past two days and having multiple discussions in class about it, I found myself seeing eye to eye with Thoreau and some of his thoughts on contemporary society. I agree with his point of view when he wrote “that government is best when governs least” because I think the more we force a stricter, more harsh government then the more it’ll fall apart for our country. I do believe that if the government forces you to do things, or make you be a “follower” by obeying rules, it can affect who you are as a person. It can make you think and/or believe that it’s okay to just follow what someone in higher power says, regardless on if it’s right or not. The role of government is to establish justice and keep the country in line and successful. When Thoreau states, “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it…” it helped me think that the government that commands our respect is one that is respectful to it’s citizens. Where they care about the voice of the country, but also care to do the right thing and try to compromise to make everyone happy. The role of civil disobedience today is disobeying laws based on moral or political views. It is effective because many people will stand up for what they believe in and not follow rules because of these views, especially in society today. Often we see on news, in towns, newspapers, and more of people protesting or standing up to fight for what they want. Most of these events happen from differing opinions and morals that are being brought up in government. Situations like this also happened in the past, some of the most famous figures who took after Thoreau’s excerpt are Gandi and Martin Luther King who are major influences today to people who are urged to protest. This proves to show the civil disobedience is still effective and known throughout the world today by people taking inspiration by them.
After reading Thoreau’s excerpt, it’s obvious to know his views compared to Emerson’s are extremely similar. A connection I found between them is that they both believe and write that your life comes from your decisions and urge you to enjoy everything with life, regardless on if it’s big or small. As you read you start to see that both of these people are very appreciative of even living in a simple manner, and encourage their readers/audience to be grateful for what you receive in life. The main idea of the first portion of the excerpt “Where I Lived and What I Lived For?”, was living a simple life. When you finally come to living a simple life, you begin to come into touch, have a good mindset on loving your life, and learn to not compare and/or wish you had it differently. Or in other words be content and happy for the little things. In the excerpt, “The Conclusion”, the main point is having confidence or pride in the actions you have taken. Pretty much the same idea you get from reading “Self-Reliance”, and I believe these two pieces of writings are very alike in many ways. There would be a big amount both sides of pros and cons to Thoreau’s leaving behind society to live in the woods experiment. The benefits of it would be such as getting time to yourself and your own thoughts, no worldly distractions, being in touch with nature, finding yourself, learning new things, finding your path, and a plenty of other things many people strive to achieve during their lifetime. Living in the woods however who make you miss a lot of things, especially in our generation when we are connected and attached to technology. We would find ourselves missing phones, social media, television, radio and/or music, human contact -that is if we are by ourselves- and other simply daily life things like getting food at a grocery store and more. For me personally, no I could not do it. Mainly because I can not stand the thought of having to kill an animal on my own, with my bare hands to get food, but also because I’m attached to my phone (even though I know I shouldn’t be) and I would cry every minute since I hate being alone. But I do think a modern reader should take out some things we’ve read in Transcendentalism to learn and understand new life lessons our society wasn’t born to know.