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Discussion Questions [May 01, 2007 12:10am]
My apologies.  I realize these were to be posted on the class website but with everything that has been going on, they got written up on my computer and I just didn't get a chance to copy them onto the discussion board.

Discussion question one is at the bottom of this page so I'll start with question 2.

Question 2:
hyperlink example: Lady in the station...seen by several characters

Question 3: 
Clarissa is so disturbed by the news of Septimus' death because it really awakens her to the idea of her own mortailty, that she, like her friends, has gotten old, and it brings to her awareness the idea that death and dying are inevitable parts of life.  She has spent the day thinking about time and it's importance and how it has passed and changed things.

Question 4:
What is an epiphany?
an epiphany is a sudden realization, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something usually initiated by some simple, homely or commonplace occurance.
Have I ever had one?
I would say probably not. Not in it's true sense.  Sure, I have had a sudden realization but not one that I think would qualify as an epiphany.  The word just sounds like it should be something far more grand than suddenly realizing something.
Overused term?
Indeed I think it is.  Like I said, the word sounds like it should be for someting far grander than just a sudden realization which I think is how most people use it.  I think people often throw the term around, "I had an epiphany that...." when really they just remembered or it clicked.

Question 5:
I particulary like the following lines from Burnt Norton

What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose

I like the image of the footfalls echoing 'in the memory/ Down the passage which we did not take/ Towards the door we never opened..."  For me, it gives a real physical picture to the abstract feeling of a missed opportunity or what it would be like to go back and see the things you've missed out on and could do over again.

Weeks 8 and 9 - Part one and two

Aubade - The most obvious example of an Aubade is Philip Larkin's "Aubade".  An Aubade usually involves a pair of lovers who must part ways before daybreak.  In Larkin's poem, he deconstructs this form in two main ways.  One, the narrator is alone rather than with his lover, and is pondering the meaning of death rather than his love who is leaving or his love for this person.  Secondly, instead of bringing in daybreak with a parting kiss or a reminiscent moment with he lover, he brings in the  morning with the realization that death is not someting that can be escaped.  A total 360 from the original form.

Part B: Walcott usues intertextuality to enrich and strengthen his poem.  Intertextuality also provides emphasis to the point he is trying to make and it ads another layer of meaning to the work.

Week 10:

Blog Entries [May 01, 2007 12:08am]

Blog One:
The quotes lines on page 10 of Mrs.Dalloway are from Shakespeare's comedy, Cymbline.  In Act IV scene ii, a British princess is thought to be dead and is being laid to rest when actually she is just in a deep sleep. The quotes is suggesting that death, like sleep, is a natural part of life.  Clarissa first sees this quote in a bookshop window on her way to picking up flowers for her party.  For Clarissa, it brings about th realization that she is aging and with aging comes death, and that both are natural processes.  Perhaps it also begins to awaken Clarissa from the sort of deep sleep she has been to the reality of her world.  Septimus came to his own realization about death very early inlife while he was at war.  He figured that death would be better than what he had to live through while at war.  One of Wool'f major themes in the novel is death.  It is also one of the binaries she uses throught the novel.

Blog Two:
Virgina Wool plays a lot with binaries in her novel.  She looks at life/death, past/present, real/imaginary, youth/old age, sane/insane to name a few.

I found the past/present binary to be one of the most prominent throughout the novel.  Woolf's style of writing in the novel often makes it hard to differentiate between what is happening and what has already happened, or what is a recolection of a memory.  Though I found this made the novel hard to read at times, I also found that it brought a real life quality to it - the way Woolf has written the novel is the way someone would experience their world, often without punction or a real formal structure.  This binary is one of the things that shapes many of the characters.  For Clarissa, it is her memories of her times at Burton and difficulty with aging.  For Septimus, he has a hard time distinguishing between past and present.  He is constantly struggling with flashbacks from the war.  And for Septimus' wife, she is living in the present but longing for the past.  Woolf deals with the past and present through the passage of time.  Big Ben is a constant reminder of the passing hours, time that is now gone.

Blog Three:
What's it all about?  Wow, that's a difficult question.  As I think I've said, I found Mrs. Dalloway a hard novel to get through and I had to read through a few pages more than once to understand what was going on. So, what is it all about?  I think Woolf's novel is all about time and how it changes some things/people while leaving other things untouched.  Woolf is writing about life and all the things that happen in life.  Missed opportunities, love, war and peace, the reality and inevitability of life and aging.  I think that Mrs. Dalloway is an accurate representation of what many people would have been going through at that time and I don't think it would be hard to liken it to present day times as many of the things Woolf writes about are still very relevant today.  It's a book about the day and life of one person and how people are connected whether they know it or not, and people share very similar experiences.

Blog Four:
"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

This quote is by Stephen Daedalus who is a character in many works by James Joyce. It has been said that  Daedalus is Joyce's alter ego, his literary represenation of himself.  The quote is taken from Ulysses and is from a conversation between Daeduls and a teacher by the name of Mr. Deasy.  I think the quote is saying that the past is unescapeable and cannot (and perhaps should not) be forgotten.

The quote has relevance to Mrs. Dalloway because it is a perfect example of what Septimus goes through - the constant recolection of the horrors of war and what has gone on.  Septimus is reminded of the cruelty and horros of war and that his best friend, along with thousands of others, died during the war.  Ultimately, it is the past that leads him to commit suicide.  It also relates to Clarrisa and the other characters who have flashbacks to times at Burton, and Peter who thinks about times at Burton and times with Clarissa.

The quote relates to the 20th and the 21st Centuries because we have experienced to world wars and many people in the world are still living through the horrors of war.  Many countries honor those who have fought in world wars and other wars of our time through monuments and vetrans organizations and recognition holidays.  This is our way of remembering the past and the history that has come before us.

As it relates to Joyce, both the characters in Araby  and Eveline are trying to escape their histories, they are trying to awake from the nightmares.  The young boy in Araby is trying to escape his childhood and Eveline wants to escape her family and start a new life with Jack but is haunted by her past.

Blog Five:

Time does appear to be a significant topic amongst the four authors - Eliot, Yeats, Joyce and Woolf.  Eliot sees time and history as a part of everday. There is no time without the history and visa versa. With Eliot there does not seem to be a whole lot of time distinction. With “time present and time future / Are both perhaps present in time future” there is no difference between the three as they all do meld together creating one (1-2). History was, at one time or another, current events.  Yeats, well, The Second Coming was a hard poem to understand.  I think that Yeats was trying to warn about time - the affects of the past on the present and the affects of the present on future generations.  Joyce takes a more personal approach to time.  It is something experienced by his characters and something that troubles both the boy in Araby and Eveline.  Woolf's take on time is that it is personal.  It happens to everybody, everybody ages.  Time is constant and inevitable but people experience it differently - ex. Clarissa finding the passage of time slow...when faced with the reality that she and her friends have all aged, it is hard for her to believe.  Or Septimus who is stuck mentally in the past while physically being in the present.

Blog Six:

Time and the passage of time, past and present, seems to be coming up quite a bit in this course.  In Walcott's Ruins of a Great House, darkness to light marks the passing of time.  I think Walcott uses the intertextual references to bring an extra layer of meaning to his work.  You can get a long reading the piece without knowing the references but you get a little bit more out of it by looking into them.  Intertextual references add body and meaning to works.

Death and time appear to be common themes throughout Walcott's work and the intertextual references.  Death is portrayed through various images, lines 16-18 are one good example of the imagery.  The quotation at the beginning, a reference from "Urn Burial"
made me think about how true it is that nothing lasts forever and that things do change, sometimes for the better.

Blog Seven:

Postcolonialism hey?  This question seems like a whole lot of tying things together and it's a brand new theory to me...never heard of this one. So let's see how this goes...
Postcolonialism is a type of literary criticism that deals with the politics and legact of colonialism.  It is often written by or about people who have lived in countries that are or were colonies of other countries.  Similar to postmodernism, postcolonialism seeks to break down authority but in this case, European authority.

Postcolonialism shares some similarities with feminism and they have been thought to be associated with one another.  They are both politically powered views and are against a society ruled and dominated by higher class white males.  They are against a patriarchal, and organized, hierarchical society.  Both challenge the gender roles and gender opression impressed upon people by a primarily patricarchical society.  Key points to keep in mind when looking a postcolonial pieces are, gender roles and comparisons, racial and class differences, and religion.

Blog Eight:
1.) Find one of two significant changes that Carter has made tot he story. What effect or point do you think she was trying to achieve with these changes?

2.) Find out someting about St. Cecilia.  What does knowledgeof this intertextual allusion add to your reading of the story?
Carter's Bloody Chamber and Bluebeard have several differences between them.  Four of the main ones are:
--> Bluebeard was not a character in Cater's story
--> The husband is portayed as the opposite of Bluebeard - he is a younger, attractive man as opposed to being disfigured in some way.
-->  The wife is alone when she searches the room and not in a group like in the original
--> The heroes of the story are different.

The husband being portrayed as the opposite of Bluebeard touches on people's vulnerability and gulibleness in that we tend to be more likely to trust someone who is well dressed and clean looking, in this case attractive, than we are to trust a dirty, poorly dressed, disfigured person.  The wife being alone is the thriller side of the story and is very much like your classic thriller movie - girl alone in the house, always runs up the stairs instead of out the front door (that one's a side note and a pet peeve of mine lol). And finally, the feminist viewpoint is shown in the difference of heroes in the stories.  In Carter's version, it is the women who save the day.

St. Cecilia is the Patron Saint of Music and also a character in Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales. At a young age, she made a vow of chastity to God which was broken by her parents when she was married to a young nobel man.  Later in life she became a martyr for other Christian martyrs and was eventually senteced to death for her actions.  Her virginity was very important to her like the narrorator in Bloody Chamber.  Also, her ability to play music is shared with the narrorator of the short story.

Blog Nine:
Comment on whether (and why or why not) it is moral for Anderson to "borrow" in the manner he does, as well as on whether the result(s) of this "borrowing" are moral (again, include the reasons for this).  Try to incorporate at least two of the "Themes and Plots" questions into your answer.

The play dealt a lot with moral and ethical issues.  What should be done with the paper?  Should the thesis be taken?  Should the family be helped? One's own morals often conflict with other peoples or with authority's and so it can be difficult to decide what to do. Many people go against their own morals in fear of a worse punishment.  In the play, I think in Anderson's point of view, it was moral for him to "borrow" in the manner he did and I think the result of the "borrowing" were also moral.  He was doing so in order to benefit more people than just himself.

Can language ever completely or accurately communicate or represent thoughts or actions?
I'm not sure that language can ever completely or accurately communicate or represent thoughts or actions.  I think even the most elequent person would have trouble communicating a thought clearly enough that other people could understand it.  Language is tough that way.  Many words have different meaning depending on their pronunciation or usuage and so meaning is lost in translation that way.  Also, many languages do not translate well into other languages and again, meaning is lost.  Thoughts and feelings and even actions are very personal and often abstract, making it very difficult to effectively or completely get accross what it is you mean.

Is a professional foul ever acceptable, or right?
I think professional fouls are acceptable in certain conditions and have their own place.  I am not sure that they are completely right as someone is usually left at a disadvantage.  I have played sports for many years and I know in basketball especially, professional fouls can be part of a strategy to give a team a slight advantage in the final minutes of an intense game.  Now, whether or not that makes them acceptable, I'm not sure, but in cases such as sport, they are definately accepted.

Blog Ten:

Four focus questions if you will, are given in the overview for Professional Foul.
Do rules of the state take precedence over individula rights?
Can moral  principles be reversed?
Is a professional foul right or acceptable?

Cobley's article convinced me that the Catastophe theory does do a good job of explaining the action of the play.  The moral issues presented in the play challenges whether or not the right and morally correct way is easy or hard.  The Catastrophe theory can be explained as the unpredictable which mirrors the action of a work.  The unpredictable action was that Anderson put the thesis in the briefcase and the moral issue in the play was whether of not Anderson should help the Hollar family when there was the reality that it would be conflicting with his own morals. But, he was helping a needy friend.

 "Although the theory cannot make moral decisions easier, it can accurately depict their complex nature and thereby discourage action based on oversimplified assessments" (Cobley).  Cobley does a sufficient job of backing up the catastrophe theory as a strong enough explanation for the play's action. 

As a little addition, I really enjoyed the final novel!  It was very interesting and a good read.





Whoops! [April 10, 2007 9:55pm]
Oopsies!  That was my discussion entry NOT my blog entry.  Ok, I will find my papers and sort myself out.  I swear, if my head wasn't attached, it would be rolling away!

Where to start? [April 10, 2007 9:40pm]

Well, this has been a very challenging semester for me. Not only in terms of course work but also my life in general and so, as you can see, I am playing a very large game of catch up with these blog enteries. I have to admit, this course was more challenging than I thought it would be but alas, this is the last week!

I have written most out on real paper so I just have to transfer them here and so, on with the entires I suppose.

Blog One - Part One

Stream of Conciousness...What is it? 

"Stream of Conciousness is a literaly technique which seeks to describe an individuals poing of view by giving the written equivalent of the characters though process. Stream of Conciousness writing is strongly associated with the modernist movement." It is a special form of interiot monologue characterized by associative leaps in syntax and punctions, often making prose hard to follow, tracing a characters fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings. <-- I found this to be the most difficult part of Virgina Woolf!

To be quite honest, I'm not a fan of using/reading Stream of Conciousness.  I found that it made reading the novel difficult, hard to get into, and consequently, hard to enjoy.  I found that the "leaps in syntaz and punctuation" made the characters hard to follow and it made it difficult at time to differentiate who was saying or thinking what.  I think the reason I had trouble with it is two fold.  Firstly, in nature, it is not an easy style to read, and secondly, I am so used to , '"blah blah blah" said so-and-so' that the switch over is challending.  Overall, I found it irritating and distracting.  However, to a certain extent, it does give the reader some freedom with how to interpret the passagfes and what to put empahsis on - I think it is the lack of punctuation that does this.

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