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Blog#5- “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley November 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 1:08 am

Ok, so I am back….Sorry I was having troubles accessing my account. I know this is probably to late to be evalutaed, but I just wanted to post anyways….

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is much deeper than what is portrayed through the modern film versions. I grew up thinking of Frankenstin as a monster that was created for Halloween, never could I have imagined there was so much meaning behind the true story of Frankenstien…

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Portrait of Authour Mary Shelley

First of all, Frankenstein isn’t even the name of the creature….it’s name is… well it doesn’t have one. What does this tell you about its creator? The creature is not as dumb and lethargic as what is portrayed in films; it teaches itself, and becomes aggressive only because of its sense of abandonment and lonlieness. The story is filled with lessons of life and even love. It explores the world of the gothic era with Shelley’s style of writing; capturing the essence of darkness and mystery that is present throughout the entire novel.

Why read this you ask? Well if you want to explore a different aspect of literature, Frankenstein is the way to go…I had never read anything from the gothic era before, and I have to admit, the style of writing is evident and it makes for a very interesting and challenging read. By reading Frankenstein you will develop a new found understanding and appreciation of this monster that we all have grown up with… you will be able to witness the story of the original ‘creature’ before it was ‘hollywoodized’ by our modern day society. When reading the novel you will be presented with a story that will challenge your thoughts and you will rely upon yourself to think outside of what you have already learned about the creature… you will be forced to push aside your misconceptions, and suprisingly enough, even feel pity for the creature.

I believe Frankenstein should be a part of an Intro. to literature course because I think that it is a good example of so many important aspects of literature… it draws in its readers using a dark sense of writing which creates an excellent setting in which the story takes place; it causes the reader to challenge their beliefs of culture, society, life and love and overall it is an excellent introduction to gothic literature.

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Hollywood’s version of the creature

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Blog#4- “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood November 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 12:01 am

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Personally, I believe the setting in a story is very important, a great description of setting can enable you to visualize the scenes, and almost have a sense of being there. In “Death by Landscape” the Canadian wilderness is the setting in which the story takes place, I believe that this contributes to the reading of the story. When I read it I felt like I was actually there, I remember even giving it to my boyfriend to read because I said that “you actually feel like you are out in the wilderness”. Atwood’s detailed description of the scenery sets the mood for the story. Even when watching a film, if there are scenes of wildlife and wilderness you can actually get ‘lost’ in it. (well i can anyway:)) When we read “Death by Landscape” we are able to picture the girls on their campsite, we can envision the wilderness around them, which personally makes it a much more interesting and gives it that effect of realism. Also in the end when the girls go on the canoe trip, I think that the description of the wilderness around them is important because we feel like we are there as well. When Lucy disappeared I found myself ‘looking’ around the wilderness for her. I could picture where her and Lois were, and I looked around the scenery for Lucy as Lois was calling out for her. Overall, the setting of the landscape gives us a sense of actually participating in the story.

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The difference between ‘symbol’ and ‘allegory’ is that a symbol is, something that itself stands for something else; example, a flag is a piece of coloured cloth, but it stands for a country. A symbol is an image that evokes an objective, concrete reality and prompts that reality to suggest another level of meaning. Whereas an Allegory, is when objects, persons, and actions in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. It represents one thing in the disguise of another.

 

Blog#3- “A Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemingway November 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 10:04 pm

 

As far as blindness and awareness goes in the story, I think that Krebs’ Mom is blind. I don’t think she understands her sons emotions and I don’t really think she chooses to either. I saw his Mother as somewhat self centered… she only seemed to be concerned with her own feelings, and what was important to her. She wanted Krebs to make sure that he fulfills his purpose in Gods Kingdom, that purpose she believes is getting married. She compares Krebs to all the other men his age who are settling down, and fullfilling their puposes. These are some of these reasons that I see the Mother as ‘blind’, she does not seem too concerned with what will make Krebs happy, but rather what will make her happy.

Krebs I believe is the more aware of the two of them…. in the end of the story he pretty much tells his Mother that he doesn’t love her, however he then sees that it has hurt her feelings. He is aware that he has hurt his Mother, and reacts by immediately withdrawing his statement, “I was just angry at something. I didn’t mean I didn’t love you” (278). I think that this statement alone reveals to the audience that Krebs’ is aware, he is aware of the affect he has had on his mother. And he is willing to practically beg her for forgiveness, “Please, please, Mother. Please believe me” (278). Krebs’ is pretty much lying here, he is only taking it back so his Mom will feel better, it explains how after he said all of this he felt ‘sick and nauseated’. I believe that the fact that Krebs lies to make his Mom feel better shows how truly aware he really is, whereas his Mother, who I perceive to be ‘blind’, is completely unaware of her sons true emotions.

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Ernest Hemingway, Milan 1918

 

Blog#2- “I Stand Here Ironing” By Tillie Olsen October 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 5:59 pm

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Tillie Olsen, Author of “I Stand Here Ironing”

Personally after reading this story I took the Marxist approach as opposed to the feminist approach. For me it seems as though this story definitely emphasizes what was going on in society at the time; the separations between the rich and the poor, attention to materialistic things, and images of what people and children should look like. The child Emily in the story grows up in a time where only the rich got richer and the poorer got poorer. Her Mother and her do not have a close relationship and she ends up being a quiet, shy child. However in the end of the story Emily finds a new passion for acting and comedy, she finds something she is good at and that can relieve her of her shyness. Overall I can say that I view this story with the Marxist approach, again the struggle in class and the relationship between the self and the demands of the society is what causes me to approach the story in this way.

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Karl Marx, co-founder of Marxism

As far as a critical approach to the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”  I would look at it through the feminist approach. The reason for this is that all through the story the restraints that are put on the main character, who is a woman, are inflicted by men. The story was written in the nineteenth century by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, and is said to be loosely based on her own personal experiences. All throughout the story the woman is told by her husband and her doctor who is also a male that she is ‘mentally ill’, and that she needs to ‘rest’, rest to them meaning for her not to do anything at all, not to write, not to exercise her mind or her body. These restraints eventually lead the character to become worse in her symptoms rather than better. Overall the female character is controlled by men, in both her marriage and her health. The men say what she can and cannot do and the tell her what is good for her and what is bad for her, and they do not listen to what she has to say. Clearly there is a domination of women by men present in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, which is why I personally would take the feminist approach when reading and interpreting this story.

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Blog#1 “The Story of an Hour” By Kate Chopin September 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 7:06 pm

Author Kate Chopin

Author Kate Chopin

After reading Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” I personally believe that the ending of the story is more important than the setting. I think the setting in the story gives a large contribution to the enjoyment of the reader, however it is the surprise ending that captures the audiences attention and makes them stop and really think about what just happened. The ending is what has the biggest impact on the reader. Personally when I think of the story the first thing that comes to my mind is, “Oh, that was the story with the twisted ending.” What does not come to my mind is, “Oh, wow the setting in that story was just spectacular.” However, be reminded this is just my personal opinion. I think that the surprising ending makes the story somewhat more memorable and for me the ending overpowers the setting in the story.

I do not agree with the critic’s that see Chopin “as only a local colourist or the creator of clever plot twists.” The word only in that quote is what I mainly disagree with because it sounds demeaning, it seems as though they are taking intriguing elements of her writing and treating them as though they are not important. Chopin has an ability with her setting to allow the reader to feel the emotions of the characters, we as the audience are able to see and feel the environment in which the characters are in. As far as her ‘clever plot twists,’ these capture the audiences attention and causes them to reflect on what they have just read. It makes the story memorable and creative; being unable to predict an ending in a story makes it much more intriguing and interesting than one in which you can clearly predict. Overall Chopin’s use of setting and clever plot makes for an interesting and exciting read.  If you look deeper into the story however you will see that it has much more to offer, within the lines are lessons of love and life. Personally what I took from her story is to not let life live you by. Live your life to the fullest, Mrs.Mallard was caught up in a life with her husband that she didn’t want to be in, she was actually excited about her husbands death, she felt as she said, “Free, free, free!” This story can make it’s audience reflect on their life, and if they are really happy with what they are making of it.

 

Overall I think that Chopin’s story has more to offer than just colourful setting and a clever plot, it has lessons on life and it makes the audience reflect, which to me is a good story.