I think “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is actually kind of good right now. I am intrigued by how the story line got my attention and how developed it is or purposely underdeveloped it is with the characters. I did not by any means like the story at first because of how it is written and my eyeballs and brain hurt so bad after a period of reading it. I did not expect there to be any dark parts as I believe there is a child adaptation of Huck Finn and I did not know if it is close to the original version or not. For example, Pap Finn is an awful man and it is shown vigorously throughout the story so far. The fact that Pap Finn beats up Huck so much and his disappointment in Huck because Huck was actually learning and Pap could not stand the thought of someone being smarter than him. Let alone the fact that he is an alcoholic. Another part that had me thinking was how Pap Finn does so much physical and mental damage to Huck and Huck had a gun at Pap’s head but could not pull the trigger simply because it was his father. I like how relevant the plot and elements stay to society today. Twain points out many things that people would not have the courage to talk about or change. It satirically takes on the law, slavery, flaws and custody mistakes that judges make, and political views which I do not notice until I read it over 2 or 3 times. Back to the characters, I like how we get to know a lot about Huck and his personality and thoughts on many topics and not know much about other important characters that play a major role in the story. I like how Pap Finn and Miss Watson are so easily disliked because then it just makes us root for Huck even more.
I thought that the short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was actually kinda good. The more I read it and think about it, it was actually really well written. Although the words were somewhat weird to me, they made the storytelling that much more authentic and it gave a fuller understanding of how Simon Wheeler talked. At first I thought he was a complete idiot but after reading through his weird dialect I came to realize he is actually a very intelligent individual. The only downside to realizing this is that he actually just wasted the Narrator’s time and is making fun of him just to also realize we are idiots who were also fooled into reading his unrealistic and unnecessary story. After reading through all of this, it is easy to tell that this story was well written even with the weird language used to depict it. The use of satire and humor throughout this story is very effective. It made us realize that you should not judge others on how they look, where they are from, or their given education for they may just be smart enough to fool you for judging them in the first place.
I personally do not think that the independent reading project was difficult, we as students just made it difficult because we procrastinate and I myself am really trying to fix that. I got the project done in about 15 minutes and had no problem with it and I was stressing about it for weeks. I found this project to be unique but somewhat pointless as in the fact that you do not even need to read the book to do the trailer on it because you can not give away the important information anyways. I am still reading my book all the way through and I love it. GO READ READY PLAYER ONE. IT IS SO GOOD. I like the concept of trying to get people to read it but as to making the kids suffer and making them want to read someone else’s book, this project gets a 2/10.
I think Huckleberry Finn will be a humorous book to read but it will take me a few read overs to fully understand what is going on. My mind really wants to auto correct the dialect used and that makes it extremely hard for me to understand the plot. I think the story will be about Finn trying to get used to another world he isn’t used to and he will have many eye opening experiences along the way.
From what I have seen, I have not really paid attention to Saturday Night Live skits enough to realize that they are making fun of politics a lot. Obviously I know when they are making fun of Trump but when I was looking up certain skits, I realized how dumb I am to not notice the humor against politicians. Humor is my middle name. I remember every line from Dumb & Dumber and I dare anyone to test me on it. I will choose Dumb & Dumber over an Oscar-nominated movie any day because I love humor that much. I will honestly laugh at any kind of humor. I can not find a YouTube video because the school wants their students to suffer and block every video except the Alphabet Song videos. One thing I found interesting about Mark Twain is how he speaks his mind through his works and his many pen names.
I like the Vertigo movie a lot. I think it is ahead of its time with the filming and the angles taken to make the scenes more dramatic. I like the concept of the film. It seems simple but there is more complexity to it than meets the eye. I like to critique films on how repetitive they get and unnecessary some things are but this film does not have those problems. Obviously since it was made in the 1950s, the acting is not the eighth wonder of the world, but it seems like it could compete with some movies of our time. Some of them… It’s acting seemed obviously above average for the 1950s and that is what caught my eye at first. One thing that drops my rating on this movie is when he is stalking Maddie from about 20 feet away and she does not seem to think he is there. Scottie is practically smelling Maddie’s perfume and she would not bat an eye at the creep. The “love” between the two seems very artificial and when he takes Judy clothes shopping…that is actually very creepy. He is dressing her like Maddie and it seems like a very serial killer thing to do. Another thing I do not like is that I feel like I am grasping the concept but I can tell I am missing out on so much of what this film has to offer. Mr. McGarry even said how he picks up on things or notices other details every time he watches it and he also said he saw it over 60 times and I am getting worried that I actually know nothing. I feel like Judy is going to end up killing herself for real and Scottie is going to go into a depressive state and kill himself. No happy ending here. I feel like the movie is carrying itself very well and that the real ending will be one to remember.
After getting a more in depth look into Walt Whitman’s mind, I still have not completely realized what he is saying…but I am getting there. I have always wanted to analyze a piece of literature and try to figure out it’s deeper meaning but this is way more complicated than I thought…and Whitman is supposed to be one of the easier authors to understand! From what I could process in my fragile brain was that this work was powerful and meaningful. Whitman gave the simplest lines a deeper meaning that someone who is skimming his work would completely miss and be dumbfounded (a.k.a. me). Section 14 stood out to me because it’s meaning can relate to the past, present, and future about how humans are all the same and that we are made up of the same things. It also says how we all follow the same laws of nature and by becoming or knowing a certain aspect of nature can help us grow as a person. Also stated was that trying to become a better person was a risky gesture but what he got in return was well worth the gamble. I can see why this poem has been called the most influential poem of American literature. Its meaning can live on and not die out or become outdated. When Whitman refers to trippers and askers in the poem, he says how people always question somebody for their actions or viewpoint of something and always try to knock you off of your path. You will either get better or worse from the confrontation and the way you handle it is what will define you and reflect on you as a person. You and only you can change your outcome in life and decide if you will become a better person or not. I do not have questions because I do not completely understand what is happening myself and I do not know what to ask. If I HAD to rate this poem I would give it a 8.5/10 for beginners because it is somewhat easy unless you are just starting but it is still not a hard piece of literature to somewhat understand. For an experienced reader I would give this a 7.5/10 just because it is fairly easy for an experienced person but it is still very impacting and completely necessary to read.
I do not really agree with the idea that “that government is best which governs least.” This statement gives the idea that people can fully take care of themselves and that they would keep the peace and do the right thing even without laws in effect. Nobody is perfect which can lead to people doing things that would cause the government to step in but not if they don’t govern. A role of the government is to punish those who do wrong to keep them in line. If we didn’t have this structure in our live then all hell would break loose and people would go around doing whatever they please when they want to do it. They do not have a direct role in relation to an individual citizen, except for telling them the do’s and don’ts.
Thoreau states that “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. . .” Some governments want our respect in order to rule in their own way such as dictatorships and monarchies. They need our respect and fear to operate the way they want to.
I think that the role of civil disobedience today is to influence people to have a voice and stand up to unorthodox or unjust things among the government. It is not meant to give all power to the people but to instead help them speak up. It is still effective especially today because people are becoming a lot more open and protesting more and more every year within the laws. Their protests continually influence the government to change for the good and do the right thing.
After reading/struggling through both excerpts of “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” and “The Conclusion” by Thoreau and excerpts by Emerson, I have found out that they both have the same thoughts/ideas about nature. They both connect on the ideas about nature and the impact they have on people’s lives. They both think that life is what you want it to be which basically means that what you do determines what will happen to you in the future. They both really link on the fact that living with nature can benefit man and bring us closer to God in which would change our lives. They also say how you should go your own path and appreciate everything around you. The main idea of “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” is that you should live your life as simple as you possibly can. Having less stress and just living life gives you the most satisfaction and joy out of it. The main idea of “The Conclusion” is kind of the same as “Self-Reliance”. Thoreau says that you should live on your own terms and be thankful for your life. He also says to not be reliant on what society has to say because then God will notice you staying away from society and its problems. Thoreau’s woods experiment had shown the simple things in life. It seems to be like leaving society and taking a personal day, just focusing on yourself. You then would not have to worry about the problems you face from society like trying to fit in. Everyone needs a personal day to recollect themselves and find themselves a little more because society is blinding us from being able to pay attention to our own mental health and well-being. If everyone kept to themselves and did not care what others say though, I do think that life would be somewhat boring because us as people are geared towards aggravation in some way, shape, or form. We want the drama and the conflict. I do believe people can take some things away from transcendentalism like embracing our own self worth but I do not think we should exclude ourselves from everyone else. With that said, I also do not think we should be worried about pleasing other people in life, but their individuality is what keeps everyone form going insane and it does help us love life a little more.
In my opinion, the purpose of independent reading is for many to gain knowledge in different areas of interest. I think for many it also calms them down and helps people relax. I think we should get more people to read by having them fill out surveys about their interests in books and for every quarter read one or two books and fill out detailed papers on them. You can not really lose knowledge by reading books and it can help you in all aspects of life. For my first book of the 3rd quarter I chose to read “Ready Player One” because there is a movie coming out based on it and the book is almost always better then the movie so I wanted to read it before I go see the movie version. The first chapter of the book gives background on Wade Watts and how his parents are dead. He is found and has to move into another form of a house. He then plays the OASIS. I think the idea of making a trailer for the book is cool but I know it will become a pain in my butt.
When I read the excerpts by Emerson, I did not understand them at all. There were so many big words squeezed into every sentence that it made my head hurt. I had to read everything at least three times…okay I only read it twice but I still needed to read it thoroughly to even get an understanding. Transcendentalism looks like a complicated word because it is. The definition my group came up with was “being unique, improving yourself, learning new things, and trying to become a better person every day”. In smarter terms, rebelling against nature or normal actions of society to understand more of what it is to be human. I liked how Emerson compared nature and man as though they were one in come ways. I believe that transcendentalists beliefs in man being naturally good are somewhat correct. I mean, I can not really argue with something I do not understand all that well. I think that man is good because of society keeping them in check (not saying they are evil) but I do think that society also plays a role in man doing wrong. For example, money can influence a man to seem to have become powerful and go out and do stupid things, or a woman who might tend to keep control over the man and prevent him from living his own life. Nobody comes out of the womb shooting guns and killing people. I do believe that even as adults, men are good at first. Innocent until proven guilty if you will. Society also gives every man their differences in life. It gives them those certain characteristics that distinguish them from the crowd. Society is meant to help us or make us go against the grain but it does not define us 100% and create who we are. Rules are meant to be broken sometimes and having society bear down on some people will cause them to break out and seem different. Society is a big factor in life, it can help you or destroy you. It makes everyone different but exactly the same in a weird metaphorical way.
My thoughts/understanding of arguing has changed a lot but there is still room to improve. I did not realize it until Mr. McGarry said something but we do argue all the time and do not realize it. i am good at that kind of arguing but I am NOT good at debating apparently. Everybody argues all the time because everybody wants to get a point across or to just always wanting to be right. Me personally, if I already know I am right, I get flustered and can not say what I want to say fast enough because I am thinking faster than my lips are moving. Anyways, so I usually let the other person, or persons, say their point and go right to explaining why they are wrong and then hit them with the facts. I argue with many people so I do not really pay attention to how they argue but they usually always want to argue first and that helps me out more. When we were debating, we had to have an opening statement and basically say why we were right and state facts and what not about our topic. When my opponent was going, I was having such a hard time listening and typing out things to use against them. I was getting flustered because of being in front of many people and having to do stuff on the spot. When she was asking me questions I literally froze and did not know what to say. Looking back at it after having time to ponder, I figured out what I should have said. When I had to talk, I pretty much threw away everything I had written down and blurted out whatever came to mind. Again, looking back at it, I did not get to say HALF of the stuff I wanted to say in the first place. I think differently about how to attack my opponent and to listen to their side a lot more than I did and to do a LOT more research for both sides of the argument. Developing a persuasive speech was hard for me because I am not good at typing out what I want because then I overthink and get very flustered very quickly. Overall, my viewpoint on debates and arguing as a whole has changed and hopefully I can come back better prepared for the next debate/argument than my last one.