Thursday, April 19, 2012

Engl 481 Final Post

So here we are at the final post of the course. The end this micro adventure I would like to discuss the subtle undertones we discussed on Tuesday regarding The Sun Also Rises. As we discussed in lecture, there are themes that parallel a great historical quest in Hemingway's novel. The quest for the holy grail. A trial of spiritual fortitude and physical courage that inspired thousands of allusions and interpretations. We noted some parallels of the grail story to The Sun Also Rises including the sexually injured hero who quests for salvation. The scope of my observation points toward the horizon to the goal of every grail story, the grail itself. For the king the grail was supposedly some kind of cup which would bless water that could heal any ailment. To Dan Brown the grail was a person. What was the grail to Jake in The Sun Also Rises? Two main answers immediately come to mind. The more basic and, to my embarrassment, first answer that came to mind was sex. Simple and biological it may have been that Jake's ultimate goal was just to bang Ashley. More eloquently, Jake desired a cure from his affliction that he might finally be able to demonstrate the depth of his devotion to Ashley. Another thought I had was that the grail may be the fabled, and to this writers humble opinion fictional, relationship without sex. Hard to imagine I know, but Jake needed to hold onto hope for something. While my mind still favors sex I am curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. Sex or Sexless love?   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Engl 481 post 10

So here we find ourselves. The last post for the class. To those of you who have enjoyed reading my posts, I am so very grateful. Sorry about missing two of the posts, but I'm sure you know how easy it can be to forget things sometimes. Thank you for reading all of my odd, random, sporadic thoughts up until now, but I think it's about time we do this thing. For my final post I would like to discuss one of the readings we covered this week.  I'm curious to know what all of you fine people in the land of Blog think about the introductory section to Fitzgerald's "May Day." The mood that is set up in the section does not sound very realistic when compared to the brutality and death of World War I. I find it hard to imagine that  "day by day, the foot-soldiers trod jauntily the highway and all exulted because the young men returning were pure and brave, sound of tooth and pink of cheek, and the young women of the land were virgins and comely both of face and of figure." This is a very idyllic view of how people felt about the war's end; however, it is a complete departure from the reality that that many of these men were not coming home and those that did return bared the heavy scares of the war. Did anyone else notice this inconstancy or see any large significance? All I have left to say is thanks for reading my final blog post and...wait....what...?..we...are you sure...?.. we have another optional blog post...?..well folks, I guess your're all in for a special treat; One more post of my inane ramblings. See you in two weeks. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Engl 481 post 9

Ok so this is post 9 because 7 and 8 feel madly in love and ran away together... Anyway that conveniently leads into my post topic for this week. For our third paper assignment I elected to do the creative option and write my own ghost story drawing upon some of Edith Wharton's themes and style. That, my unsuspecting reader, is where you and this post come in. I've been spending a lot of time working on our third paper and what I would like to do is post the paper here for some ideas, your impressions, ways you would change the story, or just anything you particularly liked about the story. I have already submitted my paper, all of this feedback is for my own benefit of revising the story for my own uses outside of the class. My goal is to expanded and revise it until its a more complete short story.
 Solanum Dulcamara
            In keeping with the guidelines of the assignment I will be writing the account you will shortly read in a style similar to Edith Wharton’s own ghost stories. Specifically, I will begin with a frame story that introduces the characters, the story will be told in the first person past tense, and the narrator will be a passive participant in the frame. It is my deep and sincere hope that the following account will satisfy my reader’s taste for psychological intrigue and suspense.  
            What is the cost of love? Over the course of my prolonged existence I have concluded that it is priceless. Priceless in the sense that in the end, love costs us all we have. It was the culmination of all of my experiences and all of my extrapolations on the subject of love that led me to Len. These were my thoughts as I drifted closer to Len.
             “Len,” I gently asked, “Why don’t we go back to the old estate? Back home you could enjoy so many luxuries and it is the site of so many significant memories.” “I could enjoy luxuries?” Len asked seemingly surprised by my question. “The only luxury I need is you.” If possible I believe I blushed as I wrapped my arms around him and placed my head against his chest listening to the beating of his heart. It was a strange foreign sound that echoed in my head like a rhythmic lullaby. During this serene state a loud pounding broke itself upon the door. Our blissful embrace ended as I followed Len to the source of the disturbance.
  As we approached the threshold, the knocking still had not subsided. Opening the door with chain in place I could see the face of our intruder. “Sally,” Len announced with sheer surprise. “What can I do for you in this late hour?” “You could let me in before I catch cold and freeze Lenard.” Sally said eying the chain on the door. Len was still a moment as if deciding on the proper course of action until he finally closed the door, removed the chain, and allowed Sally to enter. Sally chided Len for his lack of gentlemanly manners as he hung her coat. I laughed quite haughtily at Sally’s audaciousness given the circumstance. Sally was displeased by Len’s lack of manners to open the door during this cold season while Sally herself displayed even less by not introducing herself to me. Sally ignored my laugh which irritated me further then her initial intrusion.
We moved from the door to the living room, Sally took an armchair while Len and I sat together on an adjacent loveseat. “What do you want Sally?” Len asked clearly upset that we had been so rudely interrupted. “Yeah what do you want?” I echoed hoping to make my discomfort with her presence as noticeable as possible. “I was worried Lenard and as your supervisor I have a right to worry when you haven’t come in to work for over a week. We tried to call but…” Sally went silent and I saw her glance over to the end table where the telephone rested. Sally’s eyes traced the cord that should connect to the wall, but instead the cable rested by the receiver, frayed from the force I had exerted in tearing it from its port.
“Where have you been Lenard? You haven’t talked to me since you left for your mother’s house. There is some strange car in your drive way. What happened while you were gone?” “Yes Len why don’t you tell her all about it?” I asked angry that the intimacy of her interruption had escalated beyond a degree I thought possible. “No I really don’t think that’s a good idea.” Len tried to meekly diffuse the situation. I grasped his hand for comfort and support, rubbing my thumb over the star shaped scar forever stigmatized on the back of his hand. “Damn it Len! What the hell is going on here?!” My grip around Len’s arm tightened like a vice and I think Len could sense my animosity for Sally as he quickly changed his tune. “Fine Sally, I’ll tell you what happened. Just do me two favors.” “Name them.” Sally replied like a joyful kitten presented with a ball of yarn. “First you must promise that once I’m done telling you what happened you will leave this house and never come looking for me again; in exchange for that I swear to relay the events of the last week with absolute truth.” “Fine, if that’s what you really want then I promise, so what’s the second stipulation?” Len’s voice went as cold and callous as the winter wind outside when he told Sally his second demand. “Never call me Len, ever again. No one can use that name.”
            “My present state, as you have inferred, is due to the events which occurred over the course of the last week. As you already know, I left work when I received news that my mother had died and her funeral would be held on the premises of the family home the following day. I dreaded my trip not because I felt grief for the woman’s death…in fact I felt nothing. As far back as I could remember I had always hated my mother and the dammed estate where she lived and died. I couldn’t remember why, but ever since I was a child I hated my family’s property. Turns out I had good reason.”
            “The drive into the country was uneventful, but it gave me time to reflect upon what would likely occur when I arrived at the family estate. I would be greeted by the butler who had been the only other resident of the house for nearly fifteen years. He had discovered the body and from the few conversations we had shared over the phone he was quite eager for my return. While pulling into the long gravel driveway that lead up to the house I happened to glance upon a girl waving at me from just off the main road. This stuck out in my mind since ours was the only house for miles. Her hair was black and it went down her back past her shoulders. Her skin was nearly as pale as the white dress she wore. Stuck in her hair was a small purple flower that I could have sworn I recognized.  She couldn’t have been older than twelve, but here she stood in the middle of nowhere. I had scarcely gotten out of my car when the butler rushed toward me with the keys to the estate in hand. Placing the keys in my hand he bowed saying that he was glad he was able to fulfill his final obligation to my mother and then drove off in a great hast.”
            “It was too much to hope for that in the past decade and a half my mother had become a more sensitive and open person. Present for the funeral was the priest, a ditch digger, and myself. The butler had been responsible for contacting friends as, other than myself, there were no other living family members. I wasn’t too surprised by the lack of turnout; I had never known my mother to keep the company of others. I had tried to reconnect once some years ago, but when she answered the phone all that my mother told me was,” “Stay away, you disgust me” “I don’t really hold a grudge against my mother for her words. For me to be angered by them I would have to care even the slightest bit about what she thought. The circumstance of her death was as insignificant as was her lifestyle as I remember it. She had been upstairs and must have leaned against the old decaying banister with a little too much force. From there gravity simply took its course and that was that.”
            “The lack of attendance did bring to mind one very interesting question. I turned to the ditch digger and asked,” “Hey on my way in I saw a little girl playing by the road, is she yours?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about mister, I don’t have any kids.” Sufficed to say I was confused, but I quickly dismissed my curiosity.”
            “Although my mother had hated me she had no one else to will the estate to so the last obstacle preventing my return to my typical meaningless life was to salvage any items in the house that I wanted and arrange for the sale or donation of the rest. My work began by doing a passive inventory of the house room by room. Aside from the typical sense of uneasiness one gets when alone in a big house, I felt especially agitated surrounded by sickening nostalgia. Everything I saw reminded me of a past just on the cusp of remembrance and I hated the feeling. I wanted to take a sledge hammer to the porcelain figurines my mother had treasured. I wanted to burn down the entire estate and scatter its ashes in the wind. To say that I was angry is an understatement, but it was strange, this anger I felt it wasn’t all my own. I felt like I was channeling someone else’s fury. That’s when the voices started.”
            “At first I thought my mind was simply filling in the dead silence of the estate, you know, turning up the volume of my own thoughts. It started as whispers, small things that I barely recognized as sound. As soon as I would strain to hear the voice it would cease. After hearing the voice for a day or so, my interest was piqued to the point of obsession. I followed the voice as it lead me first out of my bedroom, down the hall, into the front room, and finally out the front door. Outside the voice became much clearer. It wasn’t a voice talking, it was a song. I was close to the songs source before I could make out the lyrics being sung by what sounded like a little girl. “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.” The song repeated over and over louder and louder. Unlike the sickening nostalgia that made the estate suffocating, this voice was sweet and pure. I felt at peace and followed the voice in a trance. The song abruptly ended when I arrived at a small hill nearly a mile from the estate.”
            “The hill was unremarkable except for the purple star shaped flowers growing like a field on the hill. Amidst the flowers the young girl I had seen by the road was dancing and humming the tune that she had been singing. “What took you so long Len? I’ve been calling for you since you got here.” The girls tone was full of laughter and excitement. She was overjoyed that I was standing before her. “Who are you?” I asked instantly regretting the question as the air blew violently for a moment then died. It was as if the world itself was holding its breath for fear of upsetting the small child. The girl stopped dancing and stopped smiling. “Oh, my dear sweet Len it won’t do for you not to remember. Don’t worry though you’ll remember soon enough…” The girl paused for what seemed like an eternity before grinning with a sinister devil’s smile “Or I’ll kill you and keep you with me forever.” With these words the girl walked almost skipping over the side of the hill. Tentatively I walked over the hill wanting to keep the girl in sight. On the other side, only a few steps off the hill laid a sheer cliff that lead into a deep dark ravine. The girl had paused at the edge of the precipice and faced me, her heels at the edge. “Remember soon Len. I would hate to kill you, but I’ll do whatever I have to in order to keep you near me.” The girl laughed horribly before letting herself fall backwards into the rift.”
            “By no stretch of the imagination was I a religious or superstitious person, but I was legitimately terrified by my encounter with what I can only fathom to be the ghost of a little girl before she disappeared before my eyes. I decided that instead of heading the words of my tormenting specter I would drive back home as quickly as possible and forget the entire ordeal. I raced back to the house from the hill. On the spot where I had parked my car I found a message carved into the concrete drive way. “You can never leave me again.” I could hear the girl’s voice repeating her message in my head as I read it. Next to her message rested the remains of my car torn into two large pieces set about fifteen feet from one another. There were indents like little hand prints in the places where the steel had been grabbed and twisted.”
            “Defeated and scared, I ran to what little protection I dared to believe the house could provide. Which, as it turns out, was not very much at all. Scarcely after I had retreated to my bedroom the little girls song resumed louder than before. “Jack and Jill went up the hill,” She was in the house. “to fetch a pail of water.” I could hear the light sounds of her foot prints climbing the stairs toward the hallway. “Jack fell down,” She ran a hand along the hallway wall as she walked toward my room. “And broke his crown,” She was standing at the door to my bedroom. “And Jill came tumbling after.” I heard the end of her song not from my doorway but directly behind me. “That was fun.” She laughed and smiled at me. “We never got to play hide and seek before, you were always too scared and hated to be alone.” I moved to step away from her, but she was much faster. Before my brain could process how to move the muscles in my leg her hand was tightly around my shirt, pulling me to the floor.”
            “The force of my impact with the floor knocked the wind from my lungs. Looking around the bedroom I had been hiding in had vanished replaced by darkness. A single light hung from an unseen source outlining the boundaries of this space. I tried to lift my arms and legs, but they felt like they were being crushed under boulders. As the invisible force kept me down, the little girl gingerly hoped over to where I was suspended and gently sat herself on my chest. “Now,” she began “I really wanted you to remember for yourself, but it look as though that will not be happening. You make me sad Len, but it’s not all your fault so just this once I’ll forgive you.” She rubbed my right forearm where the pressure was holding me down. “I know it hurts and I’m sure remembering will be even more painful for you. Just think of how long I suffered. I had to stay here with her and you weren’t here to help me. It took me a long time. First I had to find my way back here which wasn’t so hard compared to everything else I had to go through. After I got back I was here for a long time, but I couldn’t remember why or who I had been when I was alive. Then one day I heard your voice on the other end of a receiver and everything came back to me. Once my memories were back I had to work really hard to become strong enough to interact with the world. You should be proud of me I worked really really hard.” While she talked her eyes darted from mine and then swiftly avoided prolonged contact. She traced her finger on my chest to give her hands something to do as she talked. “I just recently got strong enough, but I had no way of contacting you and I haven’t been able to leave this place since I got here. I tried to get the old lady to talk to you for me and get you to come, but she wouldn’t listen. At first she ignored me then she became mean like she used to be. She said that I was evil and that being away from you was my punishment for our sins. After all the practice I had gone through it was real easy to kill her. I was so happy when I pushed her off that ledge. All I could think about was that you would be here soon. Now it’s time for you to remember.” With those last words the little girl lowered her face to mine and gently touched our lips together.”                    
            “The kiss was key, unlocking a flood of memories that a guilty conscious had kept repressed. Instantly my once heavy body was light as air and I was standing in my bedroom. The room was different from how I remembered. For starters all of the signs of subtle degradation in the fifteen years of neglected maintenance were gone. The other curious change to the room was the presence of a second bed. The sound of running feet and the familiar laugh of the little girl jolted me from my observations. I followed the sounds of laughter down the stairs and out the door. Running toward the hill I could see the little girl running hand in hand with a familiar looking boy. It was myself that I saw, back when I was around the little girl’s age. I followed the two as they climbed the hill and hid together amongst the wheat that naturally grew all over the estate.”
            “Slowly memories were starting to come back. Memories that overwrite the old ones that I had always held as true were taking root in my head. She was always with me, in every memory that was coming back to me, she had always been by my side. My consciousness turned and faded back into my old self until I was not just observing but reliving my long forgotten memories.”
“Once safely hidden amongst the tall wheat of the hill, when we were certain that our mother would not discover us, we shared a kiss, deep and sincere that was far from the kisses of normal siblings. We would hide amongst the wheat for hours content with the pleasure of the others company. For hours we would simply lie in a close embrace sharing words and dreams that most people could never suffer coming to fruition. As twins we were naturally close. In our mother’s womb we began our lives as one person. We may have been children, but we were old enough to understand our feelings and the consequences of our decisions.”          
“Our mother was cruel to us, far crueler than my previous memory could recall. She had never been a satisfied woman; it was as if since her life had not been ideal our mother’s only purpose in life was to pass on her unhappiness. While she never caught us in the act, she was suspicious and disgusted by our closeness. We would always be able to foil her attempts at steering us toward unhappiness because we had each other. The only warm and loving human interaction we received was from one another.”
“As the sun began to set, it was nearing time for us to return to the estate where we would need to be much more cautions in our displays of affection. Standing up I pulled a single purple flower from my pocket and placed it in my sister’s hair. “There,” I said “now that flower is all the more beautiful.” She blushed kissing me for the umpteenth time since our affair had begun before announcing “I’ll race you back.” With her first step, the dirt of the hillside gave way and my sister lost her footing. Grasping wildly at the air I managed to grab her hand just before she fell over the edge.”  
“Lying on my stomach, my shoulders, right arm, and head were over the edge of the ravine holding up my sister. “Hold on!” I yelled as I felt the only person, whose life had any meaning to me in the world, slipping through my fingers. “I’m going to try and pull myself up.” She grabbed for a notch in the cliff, but it crumbled when she tried to lift herself leaving only a jagged rock in her hand. I tried to lift her back up myself, but it was no use. The ground below me began to shift as the cliff was giving way to our weight. “The ground is loose here.” She stated. Looking deep into my panicked eyes my sister told me “You have to let go.” “What?! No! I can’t I won’t let you fall!” “If you don’t let go we are both going to die.” The moments passed like hours and I found myself reflection on the fates of tragic lovers that came before. Resolved, I griped my sister’s hand tighter with the belief that dying together was a far better fate than living without her. “What are you doing? You have to let go.” She must have sensed my intent because she no longer tried to protest. “You may hate me for doing this, but I won’t let you die here. I won’t be the death of the person I love.” Firmly holding the sharp rock in her free hand, my sister bashed the rock into my hand which had been preventing her from falling. As the jagged rock tore through my skin and impacted bone, I felt a sensation far worse than the pain of my injury. I felt my hand let go.”
“My sister fell with a smile on her face, disappearing into the abyss, as I screamed her name. Her name rolled off my tongue, but the sound didn’t reach my ears. The word had a foreign taste, it was sweet yet sad. I knew my sister’s name, but it was as if every fiber of my being wanted to keep it looked away, buried in the bowels of my subconscious. A dark place deep inside where the memories of a guilty past could not ravage my love torn heart. I would not allow my mind to override my heart. In a disorienting swirl of memories I fell to my knees and strained to shout my sister’s name.”          
“Lenalee!” I yelled when I came to in the same dark space that I had been isolated in. Lenalee’s body broken, as it must have been after the fall, rested in my arms. I looked down into the eyes of my sister, the same as I had seen her when we were last together. “Lenalee.” I whispered now like a secret shared between lovers. A smile cracked across her broken bloody face as she heard me say her name. “You remembered, it’s about time. I’m glad you were able to remember before I had to kill you.” A horrid cough let out a spray of blood as the strain of talking collapsed a lung.”
  “Then, for a second time, Lenalee died in my arms. Her body lingered for a moment before fading into the shadows that encircled me. The gap in my memory filled left me emptier than I had ever been before. The space that confined me seemed to collapse in on itself leaving me floating amid a sea of infinite nothingness. As I floated I felt a pressure coil around my neck like a noose. I imagined a noose fashioned from my failings and guilt, but instead of hanging me the pressure pulled me from the darkness. Upon inspecting my neck I found two pale slender arms wrapped tightly, hugging my neck. The flesh of the arms was smooth and didn’t radiate any heat, yet they were undoubtedly solid. Turning around I was face to face with a beautiful woman in her late twenties. The spotless white sundress she wore accentuated her light skin and icy blue eyes, while drawing a sharp contrast to her long black hair. A single purple star shaped bloom of nightshade rested in her hair above her ear. “How…” The breath that formed the word had scarcely left my lips before Lenalee could throw herself at me.”
“Fifteen years of loneliness makes for a long reunion for estranged lovers. Sitting on one of the beds from our childhood, the only furniture that Lenalee had taken the time to conjure into our privet world, I stroked Lenalee’s hair while she rested her head in my lap. A ritualistic exercise we had spent hours enjoying as children. “How did you change?” I asked remembering how startled I had been when Lenalee changed from a child to a woman. “This is how I would look if I had lived. I changed so that we would be the same age.” Lenalee explained it so matter of factly that I had no choice but to quietly accept her transformation. For a time we stayed like this, content in our reunion, but as her head shifted I knew that Lenalee was about to shatter our fragile peace. Lenalee turned her face up toward mine and with woeful hesitation hoped aloud “You still love me don’t you?” “Of course I love you. Why would you even ask?” I questioned fearing my ghostly love would simply evaporate and leave me alone in the world or force me to permanently join her world. “I’m dead and you’re still alive. I thought I would have to kill you to convince you to stay with me.” “I’m sorry,” I lamented “If I had been stronger you wouldn’t have died.” With these words the shadows that had made the walls of our isolated world collapsed back into the bedroom I had been packing up for donations, in what seemed like another lifetime. Lenalee stopped dead and turned around to face me. Instantly she cleared the gap between us by simply materializing; reminding me that she was in fact a ghost capable of ripping cars in half. “Don’t be. Never tell me you’re sorry for what happened. I died for you because I love you. Now I’m strong enough that you don’t have to be. I’m strong enough to hurt anyone that tries to keep you from me.”
“If you are committed, there is one thing we you can do to ensure that we can be together despite what anyone else may think. You have to take this seriously Len, our love demands some sacrifice.”     
Len took a deep breath after his summation of the last week. “And that’s what happened last week. It was a pleasure to see you Sally, but you really should be leaving.” Sally sat quietly for a moment clearly awestruck. Eventually, instead of trying to find the words to express herself, Sally just started laughing hysterically. “You really had me going there for a while Lenard, but you are just so full of shit. No one in their right mind would buy into that crazy story of you hooking up with your dead sister. You promised the truth and I promised to leave and since you lied, I’m staying.” Her flirting was over the top and sloppy. “You really should leave Sally.” Len tried one last time to ensure Sally’s safety. “But, there is still so many questions I have about your story Lenard. What was this big sacrifice you had to commit in order to be with your beloved?” Her sarcastic question made me hate her all the more. “My humanity.” Len coldly responded.  I had expected him to play into Sally’s conversation, claim the story was a lie, and send her on her way. “That seems like a pretty big thing to just throw away.” Sally joked. “Not really. It was utterly insignificant compared with the prospect of losing Lenalee for a third time.” I was glad that Len was so accustomed to his new life. No longer playing coy, Sally moved uncomfortably close to Len. “This sister of yours, is she the jealous type?” “Fiercely.” Was all Len could say before Sally forced her filthy lips onto him.
It made a strange noise. The gruesome pop and crack were nearly as satisfying as the sight of Sally’s head spun around, her lips still in the puckered position of her assault of my Len. My love and lonesomeness had made me strong. I was able to lift and separate Sally’s head from her spine with little effort. I had wanted to kill her since she entered our home and distracted Len from me, but ever since I killed that guy in order to procure Len a ride back from the estate, Len wanted me to behave. Since Len asked me to I held in my passion, but that disgusting rape of my darling Len’s lips was the very last act I could stand to witness. I thought Len would be mad and scold me, but after the fat meat that had been Sally dropped from Len’s arms he slowly walked over to where I was innocently hiding my face with my arms and patted my head like when we were children, ruffling my hair. Len pulled me close and held me tight against his chest. “It’s ok. I’m not mad. This is just one more sacrifice that has to be made for the sake of our love. To keep you by my side I would sacrifice everything and everyone in this world.” We walked into the darkness hand in hand leaving everything but our love for each other rotting on the floor.

If you have made it all the way down here then, wow, good for you. Thanks for actually reading all of my story. Be sure to post any and all feedback you have as it will all be useful. Be sure to jest tell me what you thought of my story. I thrive of praise.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Engl 481 Post 6...?.. Yeah lets go with 6

So it has been a while since my last post and I feel bad about that so for all of you who have enjoyed reading my previous posts, I'll attempt to make this post a good one. Today I would like to discuss the story we reviewed in class. Specifically I want to address the end of Roman Fever and the truth behind Mrs. Ansley's final statement to Mrs. Slade "I had Barbara." It is my belief as a reader equipped with critical analysis that Mrs. Ansley was not lying. The basis of my opinion is founded on the assumption that Mrs. Ansley did not have sufficient time to prepare such a witty and argumentaly devastating refutation. Along the same lines as the initial argument, Mrs. Ansley's claim that Barbara was her daughter, if not true, could only harm Mrs. Ansley's image. The final justification for my belief that Mrs. Ansley is telling the truth is based upon the nature of the story. It is conducive for a story like Roman Fever, with its subtle hints of conflict to end with a mortal wound. Gladiatorial rhetoric aside, it is simply good story telling to end on a high note. For the sake of Roman Fever, the high note is a bomb shell.       

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eng 481 post 5

The reading this week dealt with the issues of racial identity and value. These issues are the topic I would like to discuss this evening. In the case of Chesnutt's The Wife of His Youth the narrator of the story deal with the complex racial identity of being "black" while having fair skin tone. The narrator values his "whiteness" over his African descent. It may be uncouth to say but I believe that, given the circumstances of his time, the narrator properly utilized the assets that his mixed birth had afforded him. Don't get me wrong, the narrator had lived his life as a pretentious ass, but in a culture where being white was considered good and black people were considered subhuman the choice of the narrator seems much more reasonable. On that note I will leave you, whomever you may be, with this thought. If pretending to be someone you weren't afforded you a better lot in life would you? What would be the significance of such a facade? Food for thought.    

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Engl 481 Post 4

So today I think I want to blog about the paper. I was very happy with the paper in terms of guidelines and openness of topic. Due to the freedom of selecting my own topic I was able to make my paper very personal and relevant to my own interests. This paper felt less like an assignment and more like an independent discussion of my own feelings regarding our past readings. I am curious how the rest of you felt about the first paper.    

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Engl 481 Post 3

Mary Wilkins Freeman's The Long Arm is a tale of intrigue and suspense. The deceptive use of false clues and subtle hints, which make much more sense in hindsight, lead to misconceptions and false conclusions. During class today we discussed the story and when we all figured out who had killed the father. My group mates for the most part all accurately guessed the correct murderer by about half-way through the story. I didn't know who the murder was until it was explicitly stated. From this I arrived at two important conclusions. First Freeman used suspense and false clues to great effect within the mystery genre of her story to keep the reader guessing. The second conclusion was that I would make a terrible detective.