Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Literature Analysis #10

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Is the tale of the struggle between the free spirit Randal McMurphy and the authoritarian Big Nurse, told from the perspective of one of the acquitted, the Chief. McMurphy finds himself immediate at odds against the Big Nurse as his mere presence in the ward promotes change and incites reckless behavior in the ward attendees. In other words, he creates discourse in the Big Nurses otherwise smooth, carefully orchestrated production of a ward. He is ultimately what could be considered by some to be martyred in the attempts to liberate his friends from the firm grasp of the Big Nurse and in the end his friends are indeed capable of sticking up for themselves and what they think is right through the inspiration of their fearless leader's civil and at times not so civil disobedience.

It's too facile to place a theme of good vs evil on Kesey's work, as the struggle between McMurphy and the Big Nurse can be uses the symbolize a multitude of things: man vs woman (Kesey's writing does seem to reflect machismo, sometimes even chauvinistic behavior), the oppression of an easily manipulated masses. The struggle between an authoritative figure and the resistor has almost endless applications symbolically.

Kesey uses the Chief to almost be a metaphoric measurement of the effect of McMurphy's presence in the ward.  Accordingly, as the novel progresses the tone of which the narrator speaks grows from solemn and almost hopeless, to ever increasingly more confident, defiant and noticeable cheerful.

"While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water—laughing at the girl, the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service-station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy."

Kesey makes use of several motifs in Cukoo's Nest, one in particular being the fog in which the Chief often would hide in. The fog itself, which I believe never actually existed, it was only referenced to by the Chief alone and I believe to be a side effect of the fact that he is mentally "not all there", is a symbol for the control held by the Big Nurse and the Combine (also fairly certain didnt exist). The fog which in the beginning was a regular presence was something that rendered him utterly helpless, however through the persistent presence of McMurphy, the fog ceased to appear. Kesey also makes use of foreshadowing in that the many reference to lobotomy in the beginning of the story foreshadowed the ultimate fate of McMurphy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Question 2 The Street

     A person creates a relationship or connection with anything based on how it acts around them. In this passage Ann Petry uses imagery, figurative language, along with her selection of detail to portray Lutie Johnson's relationship to the harsh setting.
      Petry begins the passage utilizing the selection of detail, as she describes everything about the suburb.  "It rattled the tops of garbage cans, sucked windows shades out through the top of the opened windows and set them flapping back against the windows." The imagery is of course very vivid as well, because Petry goes into such great detail. This helps the reader to connect/relate to the urban setting.
     Also, Petry utilizes repetitive figurative language with a surplus of personification. This is where Petry uses what she wrote in lines 1-35 to her advantage, because now her reader already has a feel and connection of what life is like in the suburb so when she drops all this figurative language on the reader, the reader can easily identify and relate to Lutie Johnson. It now becomes easy to see that she sees her surroundings as bothersome and unappreciated.
     "Three rooms, steam heat, parquet floors, respectable tenants, Reasonable." Petry uses this quote to finish off the passage and it lets the reader know that after all these harsh and negative feelings you get from reading, Lutie finally finds a sanctuary and in which you assume she will hastily enter. This provides the reader with a happy ending, which in turn makes you believe that no matter how harsh the environment is, life in the suburb is not completely miserable.
      Lutie's relationship with the urban setting is defined by Petry's visual imagery, personification, and figurative language. These elements help the reader identify with Lutie and her search for shelter.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thou Blind Man's Mark

     "Desiring naught but how to kill desire." Sir Philip Sydney describes the troubles that a blind man has by  using tone, diction, and shift to enhance his message.

     Blindness in a world of such beauty would be tragic to most, and would almost surely have a depressed tone. Sydney's diction emphasizes the fact that he is a depressed blind man by using phrases like "mangled mind" and "worthless ware".

     The poem starts off  with Sydney describing how desire has made his life miserable. We see a change in mood after several  reasons are given and he becomes more accepting to the idea. "But yet in vain thou hast my ruin sought". In this line, the author begins to fuel acceptance for the condition and begins to start a new life.

     Sir Philip Sydney used an overall tone about desire by his use of a shift to separate two feelings and by his use of word choice in creating a better sense of how he feels.

Literature Analysis #9

The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. 

The main plot of the story is the journy he takes when he is drafted into service for the vietnam war.  Each chapter describes a different part of his journy, and he shares the hardships that he is foced to face.  Through his own journy he also tells the story of the men he was with while in the war. 

I think that one of the major themes in this book is to be courageouse.  Not in the sense of charging the battle field with blazzing guns but in the sense of forgiveing yourself for the mistakes you have made and survive what you must in the best way possible.

The authors tone is very relaxed and easy going.  It is like he is telling the story to a friend whom he trusts and respects and knows is willing to listen.  His diction is not very complicated and his style is easy to read.  although he writes the story in this manner, his message is very clear and important.  The stories he shares about the battle field and the horrible things he had to see and experience gives the book a feeling of true reality.  There is no BS comeing from the stories he tells and you can tell as you read about what he has gone through.

Some literary techniques that helped me to further understand the promt was his diction, syntax, , and characterization.  His use of less comples diction helped me to understand what was going on.  he simply explained everything that he needed to in a simple and organized manner.  His syntax was also very clear and easy to understand.  Everything lead into another part of the journy or the nest story he was going to tell about his time in the war.  Lastely his characterization was absolutely perfect.  For each character he provided backgrounds of their lives outside of the military as well as their rolles inside the military.  He talked about what they liked to do, what they prefered to eat, who the girl was they were talking to back at home, and so on and so forth.  Over all a very good book to read.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Question 3

In Brave New World Bernard Marx, an outsider at heart, is put into a society that is forced to engage in self pleasurable activities in order to create a false sense of happiness. It gets to a point where everyone thinks and acts the same way leaving no room for individuality of any sort. For Bernard it is hard but he eventually gives into his culture and becomes like everyone else.

Brave New World's society is based on a social hierarchy and Bernard believes being popular in the top level will make him happy. The author of Brave New World puts Bernard in this "perfect world" where everyone is happy except Bernard, and as he goes around studying other people in his social class they appear to all act the same. The author combines this setting with Bernard’s insecurity.  Everyone thinks he is odd because of his physical appearance and social shyness. Bernard internalizes this and develops his insecurity and he believes he must be popular and accepted to be truly happy. The author conveys this desire with Bernard’s actions and internal monologue. When someone smiles he does his best to smile back and act normal.  On the inside however the audience can read Bernard’s thoughts and they know he is just doing his best to act out fake emotion. Bernard eventually gains the popularity he wanted but in this he loses the part of Bernard that made him different from everyone else. For a while he appears happy but once his popularity left him he was filled with grief and his insecurity returned.

Bernard’s physical oddity convinces him that acceptance from a women will mask that physical error and make him whole. In the author’s society women are seen as property or niches in your belt. The more you get the more popular and successful you are.  The author describes Bernard directly to create an image of a small man that sticks out of a society based off physical perfection, like a sore thumb. Because Bernard is not physically perfect (or at least culturally acceptable) he believes he must get as many women as possible to cover up his imperfection. To prove to himself that he’s not that different after all. Because of this desire for normality Bernard achieves his goal but become like every other man.  He is nothing special any longer.  
Bernard Marx in Brave New world is shaped by his societies’ culture and personal insecurity. He believes he must cover up his oddity and insecurity to be like everyone else. In order to be accepted Bernard loses his individuality and gives in to his cultures desire for entertainment.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

1999 Question 2

        Cormac McCarthy uses tone, imagery, diction, syntax, to help portray the experiences of the main character and convey the message that after death life goes on.

       "He cradled the wolf in his arms and lowered her to the ground..." The main character struggles to overcome a tremendous amount of grief and sorrow which is brought to him by the death of this wolf. The author wants to make it clear that the main character will do anything to make sure he finds a perfect burial site for this wolf that he cared so much about.

       There is a very elaborate imagery portrayed to get the reader to have a sense of where he has stopped for the night. This imagery emphasizes that he is a weary traveler looking for a place to bury this wolf. McCarthy's initial message that the traveler is looking for the perfect place to bury this wolf that meant so much to him, however his mind gets changed when he begins to daydreams and realizes that the wolf is already dead and in a better place (heaven); "he took up her head out of the leaves and held it, or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains."

       The coyotes are very symbolic in this passage because although you do not know whether they are responsible for the wolfs death directly McCarthy's diction implies that they are an annoyance to the traveler and they adding to his pain and sorrow. McCarthy mentions the coyotes over and over again until finally the traveler sees that he no longer needs to feel any more pain. "Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed upon them."

       Death is inevitable, and no matter how much sorrow is caused by death, life will always go on. McCarthy uses multiple literary techniques to get this message across while describing the experiences the traveler had to overcome.

Friday, April 19, 2013

M/C Questions

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

1. How did Eddie's Father die?
   a.In his sleep
   b.Climbing out a window
   c.Heat attack
   d.An a fight with Mickey

2. What was the item Eddie took from his fathers draw

Why did Marguerite come to the racetrack?

4. Which of the following did Eddie meet as one of the five people in heaven?
   c.His Mom

5. Why did the blue man talk to him?

Killed in war
Tried to save little girl
Got lost in the woods

Who did Eddie think he saw in the fire?
   a.His captain
   b.An animal
   c.Little child
   d.His wife

8.What did Eddie learn from the captain?
   d. Hope

9.What did the girl tell Eddie to wash her with?

10.Why did Eddie feel hands when he was about to die?
   b.He was imagining it

11.Why did Eddie's mother not tell Eddie's father about Mickey trying to be with her?
   a.She was scared
   b.She knew he didn't mean it
   c.She had an affair
   d.Just did it for attention

12.Why did Eddie meet Ruby?

13What did the Blue Man teach Eddie?
   a.Not to play with a ball in the middle of the street
   b.That he was not forgiven
   c.He was happy people didn't judge him
   d.All people are connected

14.What was the last person Eddie saw in heaven?
   b.His wife
   d.Blue Man

15.In heaven you are allowed to pick a setting, Which did Marguerite pick?
   a.Place her and Eddie met
   b.Their wedding
   c.Their House
   d.A Mountain