I thought that for its time this movie was an absolute masterpiece. The cinematography it used was really eye-catching and purposeful which added to the story so much. I didn’t really know what Citizen Kane was all about until we discussed and watched it in class. I guess in my mind citizen Kane was some super long-winded and boring movie about a detective case. You know like how a lot of the shows on the BBC are filled with very long conversations that can be super hard to follow. I was totally wrong though. The emotion in this film portrayed by the actors was pretty amazing and the storyline was very interesting. It was truly a believable story as well. I feel like the whole rosebud thing was the one big thing that bothered me. It felt like a lot of the story didn’t need to be told to know that he missed his childhood the most when he died. So even though I understand the idea that the directors had, it felt like the story was not connected or important enough to the conclusion of the movie. The story was so good though that that did not really bother me all that much.
This film tells the real truth about the American dream. It’s not really “the dream” that everyone says it is. Material wealth will never make you happy. It is the moments with loved ones and the fond memories that make us happy. That is why no matter what, Kane would never be happy. He was ripped away from a fond childhood and had to grow up around cold businessmen who only cared about making money. Also, it seems like Kane is under the impression that he can only rely on himself. Because of this, many times in his life he only does things for himself. He seems to have some sort of complex that he is the most important piece in fixing everything that is wrong with the world. Or maybe he feels by fixing everything he will find happiness. Regardless, being torn from his young carefree life just created Kane’s butterfly effect of unhappiness.
Kane’s first wife did not understand why Kane spent so much time working on his honest newspaper and running for office. She felt that he only spent so little time with her because he was selfish. She holds almost everything against him and towards the end of their marriage, she barely talks to him. The lack of support and general unhappiness that comes from this marriage only gave Kane more stress and sadness with his life. When his wife and child are killed in an automobile accident, that probably just makes things even worse (though they don’t really mention it in the film). For the most part, the second marriage was more about proving a point to everyone that Susan was truly a real singer and a valid woman for him to associate with. Since they weren’t really in love and Kane makes her sing, Susan feels underappreciated. When she leaves him he really loses it. At that point in their marriage, Susan had become more of one of Kane’s possessions than his wife. Kane’s closest associate Leeland makes Kane question his reasoning for what he does and points out a lot of Kane’s flaws which only really seems to elevate Kane’s corruption or make him feel more lost.
All of the poems are comments on society and people’s way of life. anyone who lived in a pretty how town comments on the American way of life and the “cycle” that every “pretty how town” goes through. In a way, this is why they are pretty forgettable. People don’t stop and notice spectacular things as they get older because they become just like everyone else. Disillusionment at 10 o’clock is about not conforming and how we choose to be just like everyone else even when no one is watching. This way of life that we unconsciously or consciously live makes us become boring and lose our creativity. We struggle to have our own thoughts because we don’t let ourselves be ourselves. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a melancholy ode to something that is so relatable to so many people. Trying to gain the confidence to talk to someone you like or really anyone you want to befriend is so hard when there seems to be a social barrier you have to get across. There are always so many unspoken rules and inside agendas that it feels impossible to even open your mouth around that person. Sometimes I feel like rejection is the worst emotion that humans can feel. It hurts a lot and it hurts the most when it’s from something you really care about. That’s why it is so relatable when the poem states, “That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all.”That is what our greatest fear is hearing those words in one form or another. We want so dearly to be accepted but it feels almost impossible. This poem was the most relatable to me because I feel like I go through these emotions a lot because I am terrible at reading people but also I want to be accepted. I pretend that I don’t care but I do. The poem itself put to words emotions that I feel like I can never convey. It made me sad but relieved at the same time to hear something so relatable from someone so long ago and realize yet again that I am truly not alone in my feelings. Disillusionment at 10 o’clock relates most to our society though because of our immense conformity.
I’m going to be honest when I first read The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, I did not really get the satire. It took me reading through it a second time to actually understand it. The beginning description of the friend who wants the narrator to investigate Rev. Smiley is a big part of the satire that I completely forgot about making the story not make sense until I reread it. I thought that it wasn’t really like laugh out loud humor but more humor that made you think about the whole situation and prove a point. That point, of course, was making fun of upper-class people in thinking they are so much better than those lower than them. The whole time the narrator describes Simon Wheeler as a lazy stupid man but in reality, it is the Narrator who is fooled into talking to Wheeler by his friend. The whole long story just makes fun of Southern Romanticism and how they portray people in such a heroic light.
In anticipation of Huck Finn, I would say that I am expecting a lot of mischiefs. A while back I remember watching a video where Huck Finn faked his own death and it was pretty entertaining. I can’t really remember why I was watching it or where it was from but I hope that the book will be just as entertaining. After reading the short story by Mark Twain in class I have pretty high hopes for the book. As we discussed (and the story was further proof of this) Twain is an absolute genius when it comes to portraying different characters and their dialect. He rights a lot about adventures but the subtle jokes he makes really makes you think.
I actually watched iMom a couple of months ago because I love little short film “twilight moony” type of stuff. I was (and still am) totally freaked by the twist ending. The iMom seemed like an angel compared to the real mom who didn’t seem to put a lot of thought into her kids. As she was giving advice to one kid I started to forget that she was a robot but then when I had realized what she had done it made me think about how easily technology can backfire on us without us even realizing it. The satire is honestly just that humans can only make technology as good as they are. There will never a perfect mother because we are imperfect.
I definitely watch a lot of satire humor in my life. Though I think I don’t always put a name to it it is a common theme in the comedy I watch. A lot of it is political such as on SNL but also in The Office of Parks and Rec. I would say while it can be pretty funny sometimes when it gets too real it just gets uncomfortable or upsetting though most comedians no not to take it that far. I also enjoy surreal humor (Monty Python and the coconut horses) or some of the really strange things that Dwight does on the office like hosting a garden party which of course was all a prank by Jim. Another great example of surreal humor is Weird Al parodies which I haven’t really watch in a while but White and Nerdy is a pretty great one. Topical humor can be pretty funny too. A lot of times after I just finished watching a new movie I will go and watch the How It Should Have Ended video on it. If I am being honest some of the more witty jokes take me a second to get them.
I know that Mark Twain liked to make fun of his era of people. As we learned in APUSH he came up with the term the Gilded age which meant that the era he lived in looked great on the outside but underneath things were not going well at all. He wrote a book called The Gilded Age with Charles Dudley Warner which is what that term stemmed from. After doing some reading online I have realized that Mark Twain had a very interesting life. He dropped out of fifth grade, became a steamboat pilot, joined the Confederate army for several weeks, and was friends with Nikola Tesla. Because of his very interesting life and the many famous and influential people in it, I think he was able to have a lot of things to talk about in his books. His life experience helped him to have a wide perspective of the United States at that time.
My biggest critique with this book is that is set one general portray of Chinese people for a long time. It also may have been the cause of some racist ideas of Chinese people. That being said it was very monumental for it’s time in that not many Americans had any idea what China was like and what its people’s lives were like. It also helped raise awareness and somewhat less discrimination against Chinese people in America.
The book itself was an amazing story of life, wealth, family, and sacrifice. It also revealed some of the terrible practices of many Chinese people during that time. The author does a good job portraying Wang Lung’s life through his perspective and describing what he had to do in times of hardship and the difficult decisions he had to make in order to survive poverty. The social differences of wealthy vs poor people in China were also well shown with the way that the Hwang family looked down upon Wang Lung and other peasants. Poor had to treat them like gods and respect whatever they wished. For instance, when Wang Lung marries O-Lan he is expected to come back when she has her first child and show the child to the Lady of the Hwang family. The Lady of the house seems like she could care less that she is losing a slave because they have so so many.
The amount of reliance on the land for life is shown very well in the way that Wang Lung describes the circle of life. The man takes much from the land throughout his life but when he dies his body goes back into the soil. Also, Wang Lung’s perspective in his marriage to O-Lan is very well described and shows a very different way of viewing marriage than what it is like today. Since women where no more than property in China, it was almost like he just went out and bought himself a new horse when he purchased O-Lan for a wife. Despite this, he still wishes to please her and even talks about how self -conscious he feels about his actions towards her at some parts of their early marriage. This shows the human feelings of wanting companionship and acceptance were still there.
The book is a great example of what wealth/greed can do to a family. Wang Lung and his wife cultivate the land and then go through hard times but eventually, they steal money from a well to do family and buy more land and start successfully farming again. They eventually become so rich that Wang Lung doesn’t really have reason to grow anything and starts becoming idle. He finds faults in O-Lan and criticizes her despite all of the work she put into having children, working hard on and off the family land, and raising the children. This is just another example of how little women were thought of during this time in China. She becomes ill eventually dies and Wang Lung regrets the way he treated her. He still is much more greedy now that he is rich but he still believes in hard work and tries to encourage his sons to continue the tradition. They refuse because they have also become lazy with greed and sell the family land and split the money. The amount of trial and tribulation that Wang Lung and O-Lan went through is very in-depth and emotional. Despite the major cultural and historical differences of the setting of the book and now, the reader can still sympathize and relate to the story which makes it a timeless classic. It is a very realistic story too in that it doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending and it doesn’t leave out any of the hardships of the Wang Lung family.
The thing that surprised me the most about this film is how beautiful the cinematography is. The bright colors and beautiful landscapes all blend together and make the whole film look like eye candy (despite it being filmed on a potato). I like the story overall so far. I mean the beginning moved kinda slow but now that we are into the good stuff it really keeps you on your toes. One thing I’m really not a fan off is Scottie’s character. I feel like he doesn’t really have a lot of depth. The only person that he really is close to is Midge and he is just passed off as some ex-detective loner. It seems super unrealistic to me and so a lot of his motives are hard to believe or just don’t really seem like they have much behind them. Like I get the whole Vertigo thing and how he is suffering from fear of heights but that doesn’t dictate his whole being. He had a life before he got Vertigo correct? But he is NOT the only one. Judy’s character also has no depth. I mean so far I mean in a way we have just been introduced to her. But regardless she is all like: oh I decided to help some rando guy (who I seem to have no ties) with murder his wife but I didn’t know that would mean I would fall in love *sniff sniff* with some guy after 2.5 seconds of me PRETENDING to have a mental break down. Like I’m just confused why she would feel all emotional and want to kiss him if the whole mental illness thing was fake. Wanting that dramatic embrace for real doesn’t work if she was faking the breakdown the whole time unless she is just that desperate. The court trial is another thing that is weird. They held it so quickly and I feel like realistically, people would give it a few days to collect evidence. Like yes, Scottie is a trusted cop and everything but they didn’t even really go to the scene of the crime and investigate things first. Overall good movie so far just some weird choices that could probably have to do with the time it was made in.
Song of Myself is very interesting and it gives a lot of profound ideas about life. It just takes some thought to interpret everything so I feel like if I ever read the whole thing it would take me like a year. Our sections in particular talk a lot about nature and how he wants to give all of himself to the world and see what comes back in return. He spends a lot of time observing nature and giving examples of how connected we are to it. To me, this shows he is an extremely humble person who honestly does not want much in life more than to feel content with the world around him. He obviously wants to understand better himself and make himself better but it seems to be in a very humble way. There is no aspect of pride in his endeavors with Transcendentalism. I feel like one of the most important lines is “Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns”. He is saying that he will put out all of him in the balance of the world and to whatever in nature will take him and hopes for much in return. He has a lot he wants to learn from the natural world and because of this, he is willing to give much of himself to the world. The importance he puts on himself and his thoughts is what I think is important. It is a very simple yet complex thing that he refers to. Just himself giving to nature but also his mind and his understanding of everything around him. I am having difficulty fully understand how he is actually acting on a lot of the things he says. Like I am assuming he is working to make things better in the world especially environmentally since that is part of Transcendentalism but a lot of what he says is just theoretical and he doesn’t really explain how he plans to apply it to life. For the time he is writing this, his thoughts on nature and equality to all in the world are very different from the norm of his day.
I somewhat agree with “that government is best which governs least” because I can see that government does tend to get in the way at times but I don’t really think that America is ready for that. This is a very ideological way of thinking. The United States has very differing ideas among its people of what is best for the country. While the government takes a long time to agree on things or a lot of times just doesn’t end up doing much about whatever issue is going on, we need it to keep order. Having a specific way of dealing with our problems leaves less room for contention over what to do. Until we can all agree to be civilized and use compromise to govern ourselves, we need the buffer which is our government the way it is.
I think a government that listens to everyone and works towards equality and a fair chance for everyone in the country to be successful is one that would command my respect. Not one that holds secrets from its people or does anything for self-gain. No government is perfect (people are not perfect) and because of that, a good government must be able to change and be flexible. It also must be able to kick corrupt people out and not support corruption.
The role of civil disobedience today can be seen in any of the peaceful protests that we have such as the March for or Lives in Washington after the Parkland school shooting. Its role is basically a way for any citizen in America to peacefully protest what they may feel is unfair or unjust about their government. Civil Disobedience’s influence is very important even today because it says that we should express our feelings about government because we are the ones who created the government in the first place and many times we allow it to get in our way even though it is our government and it is there for us. While peaceful protest can take a long time to make a difference it has been very effective and still is today.
Thoreau and Emerson both consider nature very important to humankind. They both seem to think that we should be part of nature and not choose to disturb it but rather enjoy it in its state and spend time in it. They also seem to think that we can learn quite a lot from nature if we look at it simplistically and at a level in which we are equal to it. Also, no matter what circumstance you live in you must accept it and live life to the fullest if you want to be successful.
The main idea of the first portion of Thoreau’s attempt is that we should try to live as simply as possible because in reality all of our man-made subjects and technology are just a distraction to a higher level of thinking and understanding of the world around us.
The main idea of the conclusion of Thoreau’s attempt is that if we persevere through our lives with confidence, no matter what circumstances we may be in, we will find success. Society tends to hold us back but we must learn to accomplish our dreams at our own pace and think for ourselves.
Everything around us that we focus on, social media, technology, our jobs, educations, distract us from being ourselves and becoming one with everything around us. We could progress so much farther in our lives if we could not care what others think and become more connected and on the same plan as the natural world. We should not let society tell us what to think but rather think for ourselves. No matter what walk of life we come from we can find some level of contentment and become successful.
This advice is important to us today because we tend to get very caught up in things that don’t matter in our day to day lives. Especially for high schoolers because it matters very much to many of us that we are excepted by everyone which means conforming to what everyone else is doing. Learning to think for ourselves and excepting our weird side can be hard to do with so much pressure to wear the right clothes and have the perfect social media account. Our phones also constantly distract us from what is truly important in our life. The sooner we can work on changing these things, the better.
My perspective on argument has definitely changed a lot. While I have done debates in the past, this was by far the most formal that I have ever prepared for.
I argue with people a good amount in my day to day life and honestly most of those arguments end with no definite winner. I have never really put much thought into this until we began talking about arguments in class the way that we did. I have realized that a lot of my arguments include a good amount of throwing insults back and forth. They are usually about who is right about something or why my parents should let me go hang out with my friends. When my parents argue with me they generally like to point out that I should just listen to them because they are my parents and don’t give actual reasons on why they are right. With my peers (and myself) it tends to be a battle of who can outwit the other person or who made the best choice in the situation that we are discussing. In general most of the arguments I am in don’t have much thought put behind them. Since arguments tend to come out of anger they are generally spur of the moment sort of things and both parties don’t have time to prepare good points or a valid argument.
Developing a valid argument takes a lot of research and analysis. I guess with day to day arguments if you wanted to make one formal you would have to take time to think about what happened for it to occur in the first place to decide whether it is even worth arguing about. I think having this unit has made me realize that a good argument takes time and careful thought. Most of the arguments in my life aren’t really worth the energy put into them because neither side is really well equipt for what is being thrown at them.
For me, the research aspect of writing my argument wasn’t very hard. I actually somewhat enjoyed reading the articles and seeing what information was out there about my subject (even though the drinking age in America is not all that riveting of a topic). Creating a persuasive speech was harder. Parts of it were easy but at times I felt like I ran out of things to say other than stressing my points. Making them attractive and interesting to the audience is hard and it probably would have been even harder if I had to actually debate.