Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The stress of the end of the semester is very difficult to overcome! Procrastination is getting the best of me and I wish I would have done some things differently.  This is definitely a learning experience to really manage my own time better.  I am almost finished with reading the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and has turned out to be a really good book! At first it was really slow, and it jumped around a lot, but once Kavalier got to New York everything started to make more sense and flow better.  The last essay we have to write has got me really thinking how I can compare myself to the novel and the characters in the story. Kavalier is an all around go-getter. He really just wants what is best for himself and his family, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. He is also very talented and imaginative.  The novel also gives you an insight of how people lived in the 1930's and 1940's. It is surprisingly different than present day. I am excited to finish out this school year as strong as I can in all of my classes!

Friday, April 19, 2013

We Real Cool

Poems are a lot different than every other type of literature.  You have a lot more freedom. You don't have to write complete sentences, paragraphs, and it does not even have to make sense!  Its a way to express your feelings and emotions in however way you wish.  The poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks is a good example of this.  There is only 24 words in the whole poem.  To me it's really hard to understand this poem.  What's the theme? What's the purpose? I think it's about a group of boys who skipped school and just do juvenile things.  However, I can't figure out why the last line says, "we die soon." I feel like it just does not fit in the content of this poem.  But see that's the crazy thing about poems.  It does not have to make sense to other people.  I really like poetry for that reason.  You can tell stories and rhyme and just have fun with your work.

The Cask of Amontillado

The short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," was written by Edgar Allen Poe. The story starts off by Montressor talking about how he has been extremely humiliated by Fortunado.  He is seeking revenge.  During the carnival season, Montressor approaches Fortunado and offers him a taste of a light Spanish sherry (wine). After a few minutes, Fortunado agrees and they head down to the vaults. They continue down the long underground path and Fortunado gets very drunk in the process. Montressor tells him that the wine is in the recess and as Fortunado is walking, Montressor chains him to a stone.  He then begins to make a stone wall to trap Fortunado forever. I find this just a sick story.  Fortunado must have done something unbelievably bad to Montressor for him to react in this way.  I find a lot of Edgar Allen Poe's stories and poems to have this dark, evil twist to them.  He sure did have an imagination.  The story never actually says what Fortunado did, which leaves you guessing and wondering why all of this happened.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hard Rock

In the poem, "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal insane", Hard Rock is looked at as a hero to all of the other inmates.  They always retell the stories about him.  He is taken to a hospital to get treatments such as surgery and shock treatments. They basically turn him into a vegetable. The inmates hope that they will not change him when he comes back.  Everyone became disappointment when his heroic characteristics dissipated. He had emptiness in his eyes. This poem brings up the question, "Can a man become "free" in prison?" Hard Rock symbolizes the black man inside and out of prison that has been broken by society.  Even though Hard Rock was very rebellious, he was still conformed and changed. 

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie was the only play that we read this semester.  It is about a mother and her son and daughter living together.  Tom, the son is an aspiring poet who works in a shoe warehouse to support his sister and mother.  Amanda, the mother came from a very popular southern family. She always talks about her younger years and all of the guys that liked her.  She is disappointed in her daughter, Laura who wheres a brace on her leg and is very shy.  She does not attract any gentlemen callers.  Amanda enrolls Laura into a business college in hopes of her making lots of money. However Laura drops out of every class and spends her days walking around the city.  The family is very dysfunctional and hides a lot from each other.  Tom uses liquor, movies, and literature to deal with the fact that he wants to follow his dreams.  Amanda makes advertisements for Laura in hopes of her being in a marriage to support the family.  In the end, Tom ends up leaving his family. None of them can accept the reality of their situation and make the best of it.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Chrysanthemums

The story "The Chrysanthemums" has a lot of figurative meaning.  You have to really analyze this story to see that. Basically, Henry and Elisa live in a foothill ranch in the valleys in California.  There are two men that show up to their house and talk to Henry about buying some steer. He suggests that they go down town to have dinner and see a movie to celebrate.  Suddenly a wagon appears on the road in the distance.  The man is a tinker who repairs pots and pans.  They begin to discuss Elisa's flowers and ends up giving some to the tinker.  She gives him very careful instructions as to how to take care of them, since they are her most prized possession. After the tinker leaves and Elisa and Henry are on their way to town, she notices that there is a pile of chrysanthemums laying on the side of the road.  She realizes that he only wanted the pot.  She begins to cry, not showing a tear to Henry.  Elisa continues to ask Henry to take her to the boxing matches, however he felt that it was not a place a women should be.  She wants to be equal.  She also has a desire for sexual fulfillment. When talking with the tinker they have a special moment and is very passionate. Henry and Elisa have more of a friendship rather than a relationship.  There are many aspects you can take in this story. I feel like Elisa feels trapped in her boring life and is looking for any way out.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Today we played Taboo in class.  I felt too nervous to play because I didn't want to mess things up for my team.  Our team name was the Ggguuuuhhh!! (Seriously).  We had a lot of fun while at the same time trying to earn extra credit points for our essays we just wrote. I have never played this game in a classroom setting and I feel like it's a good way to focus on vocabulary.  We get very competitive in class but it's all in good fun.  Some of the words we had to guess were hard and some we did not even know what they were.  I wish I would have given it a chance and tried to be the person that gave the guesses to my teammates.  I am proud that I participated in guessing the words and being the person that held the buzzer.  I am also glad that I got 5 extra credit points for a very fun class! Everyone is enjoying this nice weather and trying getting through these last few weeks of classes.