My initial impression and reaction to the work was confusion, nervousness, and doubt because I am never good at analyzing poetry. When we were learning about poetry, everything I thought a poem would mean would either be wrong or there would be a lot more to the poem than I thought there was. So, yeah, I’m nervous to analyze this poem. My initial thoughts on the section our group was assigned was that ours was going to be the hardest to do because they’re the very two last sections and we don’t have time to go through and figure out what every other section means before ours because the presentation is due on Monday. Whitman’s devotion to Transcendentalism affects his writing because obviously if he is devoted to that topic he is going to write about it more. Whether that be a whole poem about it or having little things that connect to it in his poems. That’s what humans do. They either write about things they really like or they write about things that they really dislike, there is usually no in between. I feel like lines 3 through 12 from section 51 are going to be fairly important. Mostly because that section has the only two lines that have parentheses. Also, because during this seems to be the only part where Whitman is talking to the readers. The parentheses are exactly what are group is having trouble with at the moment we know what the parentheses don’t mean, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what they do mean. I also feel like it’s going to be tough to find pictures that add something to the poem and our explanation. It’s really hard for me to analyze poems in general and the fact that we are getting graded on the number of misinterpretations we have is really stressful. It’s even harder because these are the last two sections of the poem and we don’t really have time to get context from all the other sections so, that is also adding to my stress. I just hope that our group does well and that I don’t drag the group down.
In “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, the mangoes and starts to live in the woods on Independence Day. This is the day where the man becomes self-reliant and one of nature’s inhabitants. This can be connected to Emerson’s works “Nature” and “Self-Reliance.” “Self-Reliance” is really easy to connect because the man is going to live by himself in the woods and it becomes even easier to connect because in the story the man moves out on Independence Day. Emerson’s “Nature” is about how nature is important and that man and nature should live together in harmony. This connects to “Where I Lived and What I Lived for” because the man is going out to live in the woods and has to use the nature around him to live. The main idea of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” is about inner fulfillment and living independently. In the first portion of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, the man says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” which is what helped me get to my conclusion. The main point of “The Conclusion” is that you should live your life and be happy about your life. It says things like, “Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights”, which is what made me think that that is the main point of “The Conclusion.” The benefits of Thoreau’s leaving behind society to live in the woods experiment could be that the person learns to become more independent. It could also be that it helps the person find themself. It might even help a person get over a fear of being alone. If I had to do this I would miss just about everything. My house, my family, my friends, dogs, etc. I don’t think I would be able to do this. If I was forced to do it, I would probably end up powering through it, but I just think I would be so mentally exhausted. I am so paranoid. I would be thinking the whole time that something is gonna come and kill me or I’m going to eat something poisonous, etc. I feel like what modern readers should take out what we have been talking about is to be more independent, not just with people but also with things like technology. Also, to take better care of nature and our planet, which is very relevant right now with climate change.
I feel like everyone argues differently based on the environment we are in. Like, when I had to debate in front of the class I was scared out of mind and could barely breathe. The whole class probably just thought that I was really bad at arguing/debating, but that’s not really true. The topic was uncomfortable to talk about, I was debating for the side I don’t agree with, and I was being graded for it. All the pressure just made by debate seem really bad, but if I’m debating for a side I agree with, with my friends, and it’s not for a grade, I am significantly more confident it’s like I’m a different person. I imagine that for some people it’s the same thing, for others they’re able to just fake their confidence, and that some people are just good at debating whenever with whoever. Even though my side really had more arguments about why assisted suicide shouldn’t be legal, it was about religion and I didn’t want to bring religion into my argument because I didn’t think using religion would help convince my audience. Also, considering the fact that my opponent could have simply said: “Well not everyone believes in that religion.” So, I tried to simply just go with facts, things from studies or surveys, but that still didn’t end up working out. My opponent went an ethical and emotional route saying that families could say their goodbyes and how it could stop peoples’ pain. Even though he didn’t have that many facts his rebuttal was great and that’s probably why he won (Not actually sure if he won. I’m just assuming because I was terrible). Now I know that arguing has a lot to do with psychology. It doesn’t matter if you have facts or not. If one person seems more confident than the other person, people are going to think that person one even if the results were close or even the exact same. Developing my speech was hard. I knew that everything I found could be brought down in some way, but I needed an argument that was 3-4 minutes long so I kept things in that I probably shouldn’t have. From watching the other debates, I learned that I am incredibly bad at public speaking. This whole blog is basically just me talking about how bad I am. I don’t know why, but for this debate, in particular, I was significantly more anxious than usual. I mean I could barely breathe for crying out loud. This whole experience for me was like the most horrible and stressful roller coaster. I knew right when I got my topic and side that I was going to lose. Then, I spent forever trying to find stuff that could work. I had several breakdowns over the course of doing this debate. When it got closer to my debate day all I thought was that it doesn’t matter if I lose I just have to not fail and right after I debated I felt like I failed. This was probably the worst project I have had to do in my life and I am NOT exaggerating it was horrible. I think the best debate so far was the one about Free State College Tuition. They both seemed prepared and were calm, both their rebuttals were good, and I really couldn’t tell who won.