Monday, February 22, 2010

Robert Frost

Robert Frost:
I really liked the poem “Home Burial”. The poem was more like a story that I could somewhat relate to. His poetry seems to be a bit more modern (which is natural considering we are moving forward in time). I can relate more to what is being said and actually place myself within this poem. I have two small children and I cannot begin to fathom the grief and lose a mother (or father) would fear if their child had died. I can see from both the man and the woman’s point of view in this poem. She can’t bear to stay in the house and be reminded of the child she lost. He can’t bear for her to leave all the time because he is going through the same thing, and yet he stays. She needs to be alone, where as he wants to be as one and work through it together. That type of reaction is a reaction I would expect in that situation. You will always have two different ways of dealing with the grief of the loss of a loved one.
I also like Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”. This seems like an age-old dilemma to me. Should you take the road that is less taken and has growth around the ages? Or another road that looks like it wants to be walked and worn? There are obstacles on one that has to be fought through to get to where you need to go. It might perilous and rough but it is the one less taken and the glory of having gone that way and finished can be tempting for just that reason. As humans we seek glorification and the spotlight and this road will give us that. But on the other hand you have the safety and comfort of the grassy road that looks like it wants to be walked on. This road will be less perilous and an easier ride. The trip could possibly less time consuming then going through the rough overgrown road. He picks the overgrown road that is less traveled. There is a sadness at the end of the poem because he knows that even though he wants to, he’ll never travel back this way to give the other road a shot. I like how he wants to be fair, instead of looking for glory, or the easy way out.
The last poem of Frost’s that I like is “Fire and Ice”. I actually enjoyed most of his poetry, these three just stuck out for me. I like “Fire and Ice” because it is short and sweet. I like how Frost contrasts between the two, fire and ice, and shows why he likes both. The contrast itself is pretty down because you are dealing with the destruction of Earth. He likes fire for the passion that comes along with it, but also like ice because he know that with passion comes hate. These are pretty strong emotions. This poem is pretty short but conveys so much feeling that I had to read it 2 or 3 times to really get a good grasp on it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Open Boat

The Open Boat
I liked this short story. It was different in way, then what we’ve been reading. In the stories we’ve been reading I saw the relationship between man and woman. In this story you have a relationship between this group of guys and then their relationship with nature. I think that you have this classic man verse nature conflict occurring within the story.
It was neat to see his poem in the story. I had to stop reading and go back to the section of his poems to make sure I was reading right! I mean you have these men, in a boat struggling against nature. They come to a several different realizations within the story. At one point they realize that nature does not have pity for them. It does not care of their situation and will not yield to them just because they are there. Another fact that is reveled in the story is the shift from being individuals to being a group. I think there are only a few lines that comment on this actual shift, but I see it as an important aspect of the story.
It was interesting to see the workers/characters of the boat that crashed take on the same roles in the raft. The Captain, heartbroken over the loss of his ship, took the natural position of steering the raft and delegating. These characters survived by doing what they do best, just on a smaller raft. The death of the oiler at the end is a little off to me. It is strange that he is the one chosen to die. The strangest on the raft is the one to die. This could allude to the fact that death doesn’t have preference. It just chooses whom it wants and it doesn’t matter if you are big or small, if it’s your time, it’s your time. It is a bit ironic as well.


In my effort to understand poetry more I have really dug down and read Crane’s poetry over and over. I still don’t get it. His poetry is very morbid and dark. It is always talking about things that are disturbing and not nice. I guess that is the point to his poetry though, to be mean. There is a sense of detachment (as the introduction said).
My favorite poem of his was poem about the war. The contrast between the maiden and then the actual war was really neat. On the one side you have comfort and allusion. We all know what happens in war, yet the good side is trying to be brought to light anyways. The mask that is being pulled over war itself is apparent in the pother verses of the poem when the reality of war is really seen. The actual word usage is quite interesting. I love how the words bring about a different connotation for the different pictures being painted. It is almost making fun of the maiden for crying. It’s like a fake comfort for the maiden while the author laughs in the background as he really describes war.
The other poem I liked was “Supposing That I Should Have The Courage”. This poem was equally disturbing to me because of the fact that the speaker of the poem lashes out against hope. Even as hope is being offered it still isn’t taken and the speaker decides death is better then hope. There is this sword representing virtue and then his sinful blood, which is to be spilt. It’s as if he is saying no hope will save him from what he’s done to make his blood sinful.
These poems are all difficult to take because of the negative connotation behind each. There is a mocking in most that is irritating. I like that though, that Crane has inspired emotion in me when I read his poems. Usually I just read to get it over with and do whatever needs to be done with the assignment. This kept me somewhat interested and inspired feeling.


The Other Two
This was quite an odd reading for me. I didn’t really understand the concept behind the story. The conflict between the three husbands is an interesting knot woven within the story and the relationships that develop between them is something that was unexpected.
I think that Waythorn comes to realize that the wife could possibly be the one that is angelic. He begins to get to know the other two men that were in her life through situations that can’t be avoided. Waythorn realizes that Haskett is a great father. He cares for his child and has basically given up everything to be with her. He’s moved, given up shares in a company, and not lives in a shabby place just to be able to see her. And then he actually fights for her. He cares enough to run himself through hot coals just to see her. In Waythorn’s eyes this is what makes him admirable and likable. Then as Waythorn is conducting business with Varick he realizes that he likes him as well. Varick is genuinely nice to Waythorn and this helps to develop the relationship between the two. The business has forced one another together and made them trust one another.
I think that the main point of this story is the declining relationship between Mrs. Waythorn and Mr. Waythorn in contrast to the budding relationship between Mr. Waythorn, Varick, and Haskett. You see the “normal” relationship fail while the “odd” relationships flourish.
I really didn’t like this story. It held no interest to me. I feel as if the relationships need more depth to be fully comprehensible to me. It feels as if the story should be longer with a deeper plot to the story. Overall it wasn’t too terrible, just a little short and hurried.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Awakening

The story of Edna is a strange story in itself. I understand her awakening and her new desires but there are things about her new discoveries that bother me. I don’t like how selfish she has become. I can see how she is not happy in her marriage and the life she has, but to abandon your children like that? That doesn’t make sense to me. If she is really that cold and selfish to just let them run off to a family member then she deserves to be alone!
Her relationship with Robert is strange as well. He rekindles all of these feeling and desires within her, but they never act upon it. I honestly expected something to happen between then. Well something physical, rather than just emotional. I wouldn’t want to live the way she lived. To be in a relationship and be just who that person wants you to be is just not right for either person. Her independence is being irresponsible to me. You can still be independent in a relationship. Perhaps not at that time period but she still could have handled things a little better.
I think the end of the novel is suiting. After she moves out and gets her own place she slowly, but surely, comes to the realization that with extreme independence comes loneliness. Robert couldn’t break free from society norms long enough to embrace the feelings he had for Edna, and she him. She didn’t want the life with her family anymore, and she just was plain lonely. Her suicide is cowardly in my book. She could have dealt with everything and moved on. She chose the life she wanted; now she can deal with it. There is a bit of sadness for her though as well. To be stuck in a life that is completely null and void of what you

Yellow Wallpaper

I absolutely love The Yellow Wallpaper. I had to look at this story briefly last semester and I enjoyed it then. It is nice to have the chance to really take the time and read the entire story all the way through.
It really struck me, at the end. I didn’t see her being crazy until more towards the end where it creeps out and you’re like, whoa! The relationship between the wife and the narrator is interesting to me. He treats her as if she is a child. The male is dominating the female and telling her what to do. It is sad in a way, the way he treats her. He refuses to see what is in front of his face when dealing with the narrator. He thinks that if he ignores it, it won’t be so. The shock value at the end when she finally cracks and he faints is in a way satisfying. He finally gets it and he finally sees what really is going on.
I like how at the end the narrator goes from seeing the woman in the yellow wallpaper to being that woman in the wallpaper. This transition for the main character is the point where she finally takes that step from sanity to insanity.
The start of her seeing the woman in the daytime and then women outside creeping around is unsettling. The outside women seem to reflect her fear and paranoia starting to show itself at the surface.
Overall this story is really neat. We go from her hating the wallpaper, to her seeing things move in the wall, then her seeing that woman shaking the wallpaper, and then finally ending with her becoming that woman is a very ingenious way to create this story. I am glad that I was given the chance to look at this story once again

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free Joe

In all honesty, it was very hard to read the two stories by Joe Chandler Harris. I had to really slow down and try to understand what was being said. The old tale of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox reminded me of Disney World in Florida. There is always a lesson behind a story and this one was that the Rabbit outsmarted the fox by telling him not to do what he really wanted to do. I use reverse psychology with my two boys a lot and it really does work.
The other story was just plain sad. Free Joe was an outstanding character. He was so unbelievably humble and the actuality of his life was sad. While the slaves who were captive in their own life danced and sang he, free in his own right, was sad and was treated badly. It was as if he was paying a price for being free. It wasn’t for people like Free Joe, our world could have been very different. Even though he was treated badly he was still the same person and still believed in his freedom. The way his wife and dog were taken from him just tears your heart in two. With them just wanting to live a life together and then having it stripped away was awful. The author makes you feel for Free Joe in a very emotional way. It takes what happened to a free man who was a slave and pushes it in your face to read and swallow it (whether you want to or not).
The first story really didn’t mean much to me. It was very short and I couldn’t really understand it. The second story though was very touching. I like the reality of what the author presented to the reader. It was something you don’t want to read because of the sadness but something that you must read because of the situation of Free Joe.

An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge

I don’t really have that strong of a connection for this story. It was interesting and captivating, yet it didn’t keep my attention as the others did. I like the twist at the end with Farquhar actually being dead and his senses having actually taken him on that journey.
There are a lot of details in the beginning of the book. The guard’s positions are described in detail and everything about the situation is described so the reader gets a sense that they are actually there. It is easy to picture where everything is and how the scenery looks. I felt as if I was sitting hovering a few feet above and in front of the scene.
It was neat how in the middle of the story we cut back and discover how he ended p in that situation. After we cut back from that we start to have hope that he will escape and be free of death. The author takes the time to really make it seem like reality, instead of death coming. The escape he commits and the swim in the water is actually his way of succumbing to death. It is quite ironic that his entrance into death is his escape.
I feel odd towards Farquhar. I want to side with him and see him break free to escape; yet there is a dissonance that I feel towards him. The author makes you feel sorry for him and his family, yet he is of the South and hence has slaves and believes in Slavery. We have been brought up to believe that this is wrong so technically his death should be the right thing to do. Yet the humanity in us never wants another person to have to go through what he is going through. It was interesting to have to deal with that conflict.

Tennessee's Partner

Tennessee’s Partner-
The emotion behind this story was very touching. I really enjoyed the relationship between Tennessee and his partner. You had one that constantly got into trouble. There was never a dull moment, never a fight that couldn’t be fought. On the other hand you have this loyal and caring person who spent almost all of his life taking care of this drunk. The ending was what won me over when reading this novel and made me understand the true point to the story.
The emphasis on Tennessee’s partner makes the reader think that this is the main character of the story and we should be focused on him and what he does. It isn’t until he gets into a whole lot of trouble that you see the focus shift onto Tennessee himself. The partner steals his wife, runs around, gets into fights, and always needs to be rescued from a drunken state. Through all of this madness though, Tennessee sticks be his side and welcomes his with a warm hand shake each time he fumbles back into town. The difference between the two is startling and makes the reader wonder why Tennessee puts up with all of his trouble. I think it hit me when he threw the money on the floor of the room when the partner was about to receive his sentence. This man is a true friend. He is there for his best friend and believes that he is worth taking care of.
Near the end of the story the reader has now come full circle with the friendship. You witness one side of the spectrum and then get to witness the other side of the spectrum. Even at death we see how loyal and true Tennessee is to his friend. If we all could only be that willing to devote ourselves to friendship that way we might all have different lives.


I very much enjoyed the story about Editha. The fact that she always wanted more, even when she had everything she could ever want. The story itself is interesting because you have this man that is doing something that he was raised against for a woman. Someone should have told him that doing something like that never ends well. So he goes and of course ends up dying pretty quickly. It makes you want to say, “I told you so” to Editha. I don’t think that she would have ever been happy with him, no matter what. It was as if she was trying to find things about him and make him do things to fit into the picture she had in her head. She was changing him to fit her mold.
Editha is a young, selfish brat in my eyes. She had it all. He was a lawyer that wanted to take care of her. She would have been provided for and taken care of (in the sense). Yet she sacrificed her “love” to have a hero. I believe that Editha got what was coming to her when George’s mother yelled at her. It is her fault that he left for war. He never had any intentions on going and yet he did, for her. The character angers me most at the end of the book. All she needed was a stranger to take her side, and tell her how “vulgar” George’s mother had been to make her happy again. She has no depth, just the face you see.
I did enjoy the story though. There is a vindictive approach to the narration that gives the reader satisfaction for the anger and frustration felt towards Editha. She only takes into consideration her own wants and needs when pushing other people around. The loss of a young man that is good and sweet in contrast to Editha being selfish and petty keeps this story interesting and emotional.