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Francesca V.
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During our book club week, or whatever it was, Bernie mentioned feminism in Beloved while we were discussing the themes of motherhood and self-realization and identity. Although I get the concept of reading from a feminist point of view, I really think that in the case of Beloved feminism is just assumed through the emphasis on Baby Suggs' and Sethe's motherhood and self-realization because they're women. At some point, when you examine themes like race and gender, you just start associating the ideas of equality with a black person or a woman out of habit. I suppose that ties back... Continue reading
I just wanted to remark on the writing style of Beloved. We've read so many books this year that have styles so different from other things we've read in school. Faulkner used long almost run-on strings of adjectives and made up words. Conrad used long winded but effectively detailed descriptions of the jungle. Camus was French. Not that that matters. But one of the first things that struck me about Morrison's style was the subtle switches between the point of view of the narrator. Although the narrator is always in the third person, he/she/it describes each character's point of view.... Continue reading
After we read the Chinua Achebe review of HOD I definitely became more aware of the negative light in which Conrad portrays Africa. Then I started writing my comparative essay about Avatar and HOD and the contrast became all the more apparent. SPOILER ALERT Avatar ends with Jake Sully becoming a Na'vi permanently and marrying a native and the movie obviously thinks that's a good thing, seeing as Sully and the Na'vi killed all the American imperialists and live happily ever after. When I first read Achebe's review, I agreed with his argument that Africa was written as a foil... Continue reading
I just noticed that in the descriptive passage about Kurtz' mistress, the native woman with all the ornaments, Marlow compares her to the wild forest quite a few times. He describes her as wild, the embodiment of the dark forest around her. In class we discussed the darkness as the greater, depressing truth about humans that is still alive in the jungle of Congo. Seeing as the woman was compared to the forest, I thought that maybe she is supposed to be the ideal person that embodies this inherent, dark truth about human nature. Does anyone else think that she... Continue reading
This isn't very enlightened, and it's about a week late, but that's ok. Work with me. I just wanted to point out a few allusions from The Mystery of Irma Vep that I caught. I'm sure someone else did, too, but I thought I'd share anyway. Aside from the random quotations from Shakespeare and other writers, there were some plot lines that I recognized. From the outset I recognized the plot of the Hitchcock movie, Rebecca, about the beautiful, perfect wife that dies and the new, common wife that nobody likes as much. And the crazy maid that really hates... Continue reading
I like to explicate poems. I like the essay assignment we have been assigned, and I like talking about the meaning of poems in class. I like picking apart each stanza, line, and word to find the elusive meanings. I like using my analytical skills and being "fully human." One might argue that poetry is meant to be enjoyed, not studied, but I would argue that to really enjoy it you need to study enough to know what it's saying. Perhaps, like Gina said, I am looking too hard, and am therefore susceptible to finding things that aren't there, or... Continue reading
What Happened to the Spanakopita: a spontaneous lunchtime poem by Francesca V. How do you define white food? Food with no heart or soul. Whole Foods is the capital of white food. Whole Foods is saturated with black! But no saturated fats! Saturated is a universal word. Trader oe's is better than Whole Foods, But everything is frozen. Their pot stickers? So good! They have vegetable pot stickers And really good spanakopita. How long has it been sitting there? It's too salty for spanakopita. Kevin probably roophied it. Continue reading
I would just like to commend Shakespeare on his insults, namely in The Tempest because that's what we're reading. Seeing as this is a comedy, I don't feel bad emphasizing the insults as one of THE BEST parts of the play. They're funny, witty, and abundant. Here are a few of them I picked out for your enjoyment in celebration of being DONE with this unit. Hang cur, hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! Hell is empty and all the devils are here. Toads, beetles, bats, light on you. Watch out he's winding the watch of his wit, by and by... Continue reading
We just started out new book, The Tempest, so there's not much to say yet. But as I was reading the intro to The Tempest, the quotation "O, brave new world..." jumped out at me because I read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in sophomore English lit. I don't know anything about The Tempest, its themes, plot, or characters, but now I'm curious to see if it at all relates to Brave New World. We know that Miranda has been stranded on an island most of her life, so considering it is her remark maybe Huxley was comparing the travels... Continue reading
Once I figured out that the debate wasn't purely about wether Vere's decision was right or wrong but about wether morality or justice is more important, it got a lot more interesting. I ended up siding with morality, but I'm not entirely satisfied with simply casting my vote because each side obviously has its merits. And that's my shout out to Sarah Garvey, who argued her point admirably, but I whom I didn't vote for. The main reason for my ambivalence is my desire to believe that justice and morality are on the same side. I think that's one of... Continue reading
As we all felt the world as we knew it crash around us when we discussed existentialism in class, Mr. Heidkamp desperately tried to convince us that it's not necessarily depressing. But the way I see it, "The Stranger" proves that he's wrong. If we accept that Meursault is in fact an existentialist living in the modern world, his story as invented by Camus shows that any practicing existentialist today is doomed. Part I introduced the reader to Meursault and his life. It may have surprised us and taken a while to get used to, but in the end there... Continue reading
One of the only things I could expand on from the first few chapters of The Strangerwas the interesting circumstance that the main character is French, but living in Algiers. Immediately my mind went back to Modern Middle Eastern History last year and I realized that the book must take place during the French occupation/attempted colonization of Algeria. The occupation, or whatever you would like to call it, made life difficult for the native Algerians as the French began to expand their territory. The main conflict was centered in the city Algiers, where The Stranger is set. So far that... Continue reading