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Muda K.
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Just as we began the poetry unit once again in AP College English, I realized I thought it would be only fitting to pursue poetry for a project in my Modern Middle East class. My friend and I decided that we would research the role of poetry in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, Palestine was a mandate of Britain following WWI and up through just after WWII. As Arab and Jewish violence increased, Britain looked to the United Nations to resolve the conflict. Ultimately, Resolution 181 divided Palestine into Jewish (Israel) and Arab (Palestine)... Continue reading
I really find the movie Dead Man rather interesting. Putting aside the respect/bias I already have for Johnny Depp as an exceptional actor, I think that this is one multi-dimensional movie. So far, we have seen the story of William Blake, an accountant from Ohio coming out West for a job opportunity. He arrives as a complete alien, unfamiliar and akward in the western setting. Soon enough, William Blake find himself on the run, wanted for the murder of two individuals, one who is the son of the head honcho for the local industry. A Native American, by the name... Continue reading
Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon has been one of the most interesting books I have ever read. By interesting, I mean to say insightful, engaging, and entertaining. But out of what I have read thus far of the novel, the most "interesting" part was when Hagar confronts Milkman with a butcher knife on page 129-130. The novel as a whole has some confusing elements, but I still do not completely understand the significance of Milkman's thought process and overall attitude in response to a passionate ex-lover with a butcher knife right before him. Milkman thinks, "either she will me or... Continue reading
Well I think most of the previous posts have covered the traumatic and shocking nature of these Chinese workers producing Apple products, a matter that is rather indisputable. I think what is more shocking is how we respond to such appalling news not only as a first world country, but as individuals in our position. I definitely believe that some element of the immediate threat and impact upon our lives determines our response to the matter. If I knew of such working conditions existing geographically close to where I was located, I would be much more inclined to take initiative... Continue reading
During our discussion of Heart of Darkness, I found much potential in the question that concerns Marlow's "devil" and the "enemy" he needs to resist. When I first approached the question, I established what characterized Marlow thus far in the novel. As a narrator, he expresses an obvious sarcastic tone regarding the motives of white men in these new lands. He also sympathizes with and finds comfort in the native blacks. Over the course of Part I, Marlow criticizes the greed of white men and the exploitative nature of this process of entrepreneurship (33). Afterwards, I began to think what... Continue reading
Spoiler: at the end of the Rocky series, the aged Rocky loses to the proud, young Mason Dixon due to split decision. If you did not feel very disheartened or distraught from this ending, you definitely did not follow the movies closely enough. Most of us have seen at least some installment from the Rocky series. For those who started from the beginning, they experienced the exciting, emotional journey of a small time boxer getting a chance to fight for the heavyweight title. As the series progresses, we see Rocky rise to fame following his subsequent victories, defeating the entertaining... Continue reading
After reading through Act II, I thought it might be cool to see what people think about Lear thus far. From the first act, we understood Lear to be an elderly, brash, and rather unreasonable man, even in the eyes of his closest men. Now, following a roller coaster of submissiveness, anger, frustration, and identity struggle, Lear has transformed into a much more interesting character to observe. Essentially, I was wondering how others felt about Lear's recent attitude and his interaction with the people around him. I definitely do not fully comprehend his sudden changes from a disrespected king, to... Continue reading
When the hours of Day are numbered, And the voices of the Night Wake the better soul, that slumbered, To a holy, calm delight; Ere the evening lamps are lighted, And, like phantoms grim and tall, Shadows from the fitful firelight Dance upon the parlor wall; Then the forms of the departed Enter at the open door; The beloved, the true-hearted, Come to visit me once more; He, the young and strong, who cherished Noble longings for the strife, By the roadside fell and perished, Weary with the march of life! They, the holy ones and weakly, Who the cross... Continue reading
While looking through the contemporary poetry at the end of our packet, I found a poem connected to Langston Hughes. I recall reading about Langston Hughes each year in our poetry unit, but never bothered to look up his more influential poetry. While researching Hughes, I stumbled across one of his poems, "Freedom's Plow." If anyone else read the "Dream of Freedom," they probably noticed Hughes's emphasis on the dream of freedom "for all." Hughes writes that "unless [freedom] is shared in common, the dream will die for lack of substance anywhere." We often have heard the rhetoric of Martin... Continue reading
As we are delivering our "unessays" tomorrow, I thought it might be a good idea to open any discussion on our group's topic: blood. When I initially read for the motif of "blood," I found a multitude of instances that connected on a very basic level. As I thought more and more about Faulkner's deliberate use of "blood" or "bloody" when another word could have sufficed, I recognized some deeper complexities in his argument. Even after working with my group on this motif, I have yet to fully understand its implications. After reviewing a handful of encounters, I noticed Faulkner's... Continue reading
After reading over 300 pages of Faulkner, it was a blessing to read the introduction from Benjamin's The Bonds of Love. This engaging preview incorporates elements from Freud, feminist thought, and other sources to truly qualify Benjamin's argument. I really appreciate the relatively moderate appearance of her psychoanalytic argument on this complex topic of "domination." From just the few pages of the introduction, I definitely understand what thoughts/ideas/disciplines Benjamin has considered for her argument and the rational direction of her own analysis. Moreover, I do now recognize the relationship between the gender roles that Benjamin analyzes and an underlying message... Continue reading
We occasionally come across stories or hear about individuals who experienced a great deal of hardship due to the loss of parents or abandonment as a child. Although leaving babies on doorsteps rarely occurs in the modern age, a number of people undoubtedly suffer from absent parents and difficult living conditions. As we read through chapter 7, we go back in history of Joe Christmas, a character whose story included supposed whiskey selling, throat cutting, and pyromaniac behavior thus far. I want to bring to attention Joe's position as of the end of chapter 7. I have yet to continue... Continue reading
After viewing the first fifteen minutes of Trust, I am already beginning to understand why Mr. Heidkamp believes this movie accurately represents Camus's The Stranger. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, I noted the biggest similarity thus far with the novel. The lead actress is already suffering for her indifference and insincerity towards her father's death. Although Meursault was not nagging his mom for some money on her deathbed, his informal and "rude" conduct paralleled the girl's inappropriate clothes and behavior at the funeral. The man who lives with his dad reminds me of Meursault's attitude, particularly towards... Continue reading
As Camus's Stranger comes to a close, we notice some assertive characteristics in Mersault. Although Mersault was renowned for his passive and calm attitude for the majority of this book, he surprises the reader with an unprecedented lecture directed at the chaplain. At the same time, I believe that there exists some deeper relationship between Mersault's thinking and the thought process within every one of us. What I want to draw to attention first is the basis for the judge's conviction of Mersault. The prosecutor utilizes Mersault's unconventional and rather improper behavior since the time of Maman's death. The fact... Continue reading
While the character of Raymond appears far more aggressive than your average anxious ex-boyfriend, I think that his tension with this "Arab" represents something more than a prolonged grudge with a supposed "cheating mistress." We first hear a reference to Arab and Muslim people when Mersault "realized she was Moorish," referring to Raymond's mistress (Camus 32). Although we associate Mersault with simple and direct language, after he realized she was Moorish, he simply "wrote the letter" (32). The word 'Moor" can connotate multiple types of people, but most frequently designate Arabs and descendants of Muslim north Africans. As the story... Continue reading
After reading through Chapter 24 of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, I reflected on the dynamic, significant, and admirable language of Tom Joad in the novel. I will try not to spoil anything monumental if anyone has not read up to this point. From the start, we see the rather rugged, ominous, and confident character of Tom. Fresh out of Macalester in some fresh clothes, he hitches a ride with a truck driver using one of many influential tricks he acquired over the years. Tom's nonchalant, collective attitude in the hot temperatures, conversations with his old Reverend Casy, and encounter with... Continue reading
As we continue to read these so-called "intercalary" chapters from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath every night, I thought I might open up some discussion on one of them. Certain passages from Chapter 7 displayed the negative side to the entire car salesmanship and drew my attention in particular. For example, on page 61, Steinbeck describes the salesmen as "neat, deadly, small intent eyes watching for weaknesses." Other examples appears on the following page, where the salesmen talk about more sales strategies, such as replacing new batteries with "dumb cells", making customers feel guilty about wasting time, and extra "carrying... Continue reading
Throughout history, women found themselves perpetually set back on the public stage. This "stage" in particular included objective disparities in opportunities for secondary education and in the workplace, as women were confined in their "domestic sphere." Within the past century, women have challenged the traditional values of females in America. One of the most significant areas of progress has been the push in educational reform for women. I chose pieces of college mail as representative of the increased presence of women on the intellectual level. College mail displays, in essence, "the American future", and the trends of higher education in... Continue reading Here is a link to the Feministing blog entry "Single Ladies Remix". In this entry, the author addresses the subject of 2011 America plagued with"single women who don't care to get married." We hear that women (and men) complain of their unsuccessful search for a lifetime partner, off and on relationships, etc. But in reality, what is with these women that continually defer the topic of marriage? There is the possible fright of a lifelong contract, but stereotypically, men avoid marriage on this basis. The author also recognizes that the issue of single women has transitioned from a black... Continue reading
As the weekend came to a close, I tackled the essay prompt on modern day feminism. Sometime through my brainstorming, I began questioning the arguments and attempts of feminists today. I later recalled that in American History, women's rights activists divided in debate over the Equal Rights Amendment. Many wonder why these activists would reconsider an attempt at equality. But those in opposition cited the fact that should women gain complete equality, they could no longer push for further progressive reform. Realistically, many feminists today must understand the validity and importance of this rationale. But I believe this argument remains... Continue reading
After reading almost all of the The Great Gatsby, I have come to a monumental conclusion. I believe that Gatsby has transitioned from a simply mysterious yet admirable man into a hysterical figure in American Literature. We already understand the relatively respectable qualities and characteristics of Gatsby. As a successful war veteran and a charming personality, Gatsby grabs the attention of all readers. But by the final parts of chapter seven and into chapter eight, Gatsby appears tangled in his fantasy of Daisy. He boldly defends Daisy and later commands her to assure him that she never loved Tom. Gatsby,... Continue reading
In overview of this past semester, I have come to understand two things. One, that nearly every piece of literature we read seems to connect to some element of individualism. And why not? Individualism is what this great American nation was based on. In Catcher in the Rye, we undoubtedly see a rebellious and maturing character in Holden. What's more original than a white kid not wanting to be like the other white kids? In The Scarlet Letter, Hester truly shows the reader that being an outcast has got its set of perks. Who wants to be gray and wear... Continue reading
As Mr. Heidkamp pointed out the other day, the names of some characters in Frederick Douglassseem to correspond with the personality or principles of that individual. I have seen the technique used by other authors, and Douglass does not fail to display various complexities throughout the narrative. For example, the most blatant one is Mr. Severe. Not only does he "manifest barbarity" according to Douglass, he is a "profane swearer." In other characters, I recognized more subtle references. Upon reading the name Colonel Edward Lloyd, I picture a rather disciplined and wealthy Edward. Edward III actually, of English royal descent.... Continue reading
When Mr. Heidkamp asked us to recount our stories in which we defined ourselves by race, ethnicity, etc., a number of instances popped into my head. Vaishali had a rather funny story where she identified herself as distinctly Indian, so I thought the other brown kid needed a good one too. I was born on May 15, 1994 and grew up in Chicago. My parents migrated in 1986 from Pakistan, with my mom pursuing a tough career in medicine. She reminded me of the value of good work ethic and working hard, even until today. Aside from the typical childhood... Continue reading