Unison

A memorable speech, according to “Poetry as Memorable Speech” by W.H. Auden, this is the simplest and best definition of poetry. Poetry is acknowledged as great and moving when it reaches out to one and is something that provokes everlasting thoughts in one’s mind. However, not only poetry is capable of doing this, but so is art in forms of a sculpture. “Family Group” by Henry Moore is a sculpture depicting what appears to be a family holding infants, but the key detail of this sculpture is that they are all connected and merged as one. This represents unity, peace, and harmony. It provides thoughts and ideas of family being a basis for all unity and love. It creates and bestows the idea of coming together for the better upon an individuals mind. Art such as this I believe is also as equally categorized and labeled likely to that of poetry. The more impactful the better it is.

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Family Group, 1947, Henry Moore

 

The “Perfect” Piece

Art, as simple minded or straight as someone may perceive it there is always someone else with a different view and idea on it. However, the question that remains inside of everyone’s minds after seeing a piece of art is whether the piece is truly great or whether it is senseless and a waste, but what is it that truly defines art as great? According John Ruskin’s “A Definition of Greatness in Art” (384) Art is but a noble and expressive language that by itself is and means nothing. John Ruskin speaks upon how everything in an illustration comes together to form its “value” even the smallest detail. Ruskin states that the art as a whole and its ability to convey to the mind is what makes it “great”. To help understand this idea “The Awakening Conscience” by William Holman Hunt is a piece of art that portrays this very closely. It is full of detail everywhere you look, from the titles of the music sheets on the ground to the reflection through the mirror behind the individuals in the illustration, anywhere you look there is something different to reflect upon and ponder about. This feeling of ideas blossoming in one’s mind and thought-provoking objects in the drawing are what truly make art great. 

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The Awakening Conscience, William Holman Hunt, 1853-54 

Obsession Stricken

Although brought upon differently in each story, both Victor Frankenstein and the Ancient Mariner share the common puzzle and conflict of how obsessing or focusing too much on an idea or interest may cause a grave error leading to disarray and trouble. Throughout the story of “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelley and the excerpt from “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge the characters of Victor Frankenstein and The Ancient Mariner become embellished in an idea of something society around them sees as “different”. Whether it is an obsession of creating artificial life through the means of Alchemy or killing a bird said to bring good luck for the sake of establishing individuality and going against status quo, each character has their own reason for doing what they did, but were unaware of the consequences to follow. 

Victor Frankenstein is a man who is fascinated with the idea of bringing an inanimate object to life or in his case “creating” artificial life. However, by becoming embroidered into the idea and determination of creating this so-called artificial life, Victor’s social life and connections with everyone around him begin to slowly cripple. His family begins to worry about him, and connections are lost. A representation of this can be found in a letter from Elizabeth to Victor and the opening phrase is “My dearest Cousin, You have been ill, very ill, and even the constant letters of dear kind Henry are not sufficient to reassure me on your account. You are forbidden to write—to hold a pen; yet one word from you, dear Victor, is necessary to calm our apprehensions” (Frankenstein, 57). Thus, beginning the story of his isolation from everything around him including nature which is a reoccurring theme of the story. Victor then finishes creating the monster, but later due to self-brought upon reasons the monster runs away and Victor is left alone with the guilt of the monster running away and eventually killing those around him while developing its own sense of “Humanity”. In the end, Victor’s own obsession with creating this “monster” leads to his own mental and physical demise and he has no choice, but to suffer the consequences. 

Much like Victor Frankenstein, The Ancient Mariner is a character who brings his own demise upon himself through his own actions and ideas. Whilst set on sail southward, the Mariner and his crew come upon an albatross which the entire crew is excited to see as it is recognized as a good omen they announced its appearance as so “At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a Christain soul, We hailed It in God’s name.”(Coleridge, 450). However, this quickly comes to an end when the Mariner decides to shoot the albatross with a crossbow and kill it. The crew is furious at the Mariner for killing such a good omen, but noticing that the fair breeze and climate continue even after the death of the albatross the crew’s fury begins to fade away. This comes quickly to an end when the winds stop, and the ship becomes stuck in the middle of the sea. Without much food and water, the crew begins to starve and thirst for water. The crew believes this is all due to the Mariner killing the albatross and decide to hang it around his neck. Following this, a series of unfortunate events bestow upon the Mariner and his crew leaving the crew killed and the Mariner on the brink of insanity. However, just as he is about to reach his peak, he begins to reminisce about killing the albatross and changes his mind set to believing that all creatures should be treated with respect and care and that killing one with no reason is a horrible thing to do and deserves such consequences. Shortly after coming to this realization, the Mariner is suddenly put through events causing his crew to come to life once again and a ship suddenly appearing from the distance and coming to his aid. Through the story of the Ancient Mariner one can understand and view the idea of simple actions being able to have major consequences both bad and good. 

Although the two stories are completely different in their own way and each produce different ideas and thoughts, they are quite parallel in the idea that they both connect through the sense of decision and choice no matter how big or how small. Decisions are made every day and are what makes someone who they are. Victor’s decision to isolate himself and create the monster led him to consequences he never believed would have occurred and the same idea went to that of the Mariner.  

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The Romantic Period.10th ed. Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. W. W. Norton, 2017. pp. 448-64. 

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Introduction and Notes by Karen Karbiener. Barnes and Noble, 2003. 20190326_192118

A Budding Fallacy

William Blake’s The Sick Rose depicts various expressions of possible terror or ecstasy at the term of creation, love, and destruction. In the illustration there is multiple worm eating away at the leaf of a rose whilst all around are several portrayals of women, around the plant and one budding from the rose, that seem to be in despair. The poem within the image expresses that the “invisible” worm and its “dark secret love” is destroying the rose’s life. This message allows relation between the novel FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley and Blake’s The Sick Rose. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein, envelops himself in the obsession of creating an artificial form of life through various methods and with the obsession of solely focusing on creating this life the relationships around him with familiars and friends begin to cripple. Much like that of the worm intruding on the budding rose.

 

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The Sick Rose, William Blake, 1794

La Escuela Del Pensamiento

This blog was written in collaboration with Joseph Hernandez and Isaac Icard

At many times in an individual’s life there are various moments where one may disconnect from reality and completely overlook the objects and actions occurring in front of them. However, when one does focus on reality and view something while simultaneously developing ideas for it, they create what is called a perception. “The School”, a short story by Donald Barthelme, is a visual/physical example of perception. Throughout the entire story many scenarios come up in which the reader is able to interpret the events in his or her own manner and attempt to come up on a conclusion of what is being symbolized and what it is meaning. As an individual is reading, the main objective of the story is to express several inconveniences in the story to keep it comical, but at the same time keep a serious message encrypted behind every word and the job of the reader is to take the writing and create their own base of thoughts according to the structure of the story and the reactions of characters. 

The overall question left unanswered within the short story is what symbolizes what and why it symbolizes what it does. For example, as a reader is going through the story, they may notice the reoccurring them of death, but they might not understand the objective of the repetition and will miss out on the “lesson” that is trying to be explained. When in reality the narrator’s main objective is to express the idea that creation comes as easy as destruction and that the students in his class do not fully comprehend this so instead of a normal class curriculum, the teacher goes out of their way to create a more unusual curriculum, but easily explaining the idea with visual reference. 

Throughout the short story, there are many questions left unanswered due to the story’s open endings and bizarre. The world the children in the story are perceiving is almost surreal to the reader and causes these questions to arise.  However, these are then answered by the reader’s own mind and their own perceptions give the story many possible meanings.  

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Annotated Bibliography 

 

“The School” by Donald Barthelme.” Topics, Sample Papers & Articles Online for  Free, 20 Jul 2016, <https://studymoose.com/the-school-by-donald-barthelme-essay>  

This analysis of “The School” by Donald Barthelme focuses on the overall structure of the essay as well as the overall theme and meaning of the theme. Throughout the short story the reoccurring theme of death is exposed to the reader of the story through various scenarios that students within a classroom setting create by actions and asking questions. The overall idea explained in the analysis is that one should acknowledge the idea that “life can be created as fast as it is destroyed.” (Paragraph 1) and that death cannot be achieved without living first. “The School” is primarily a story about a teacher (Edgar) who teaches his students in unconventional ways about life and death. Throughout the story the classroom becomes lively with various pets that they receive and try to nurture. Some of these are snakes, fish, mice, a salamander, and even a puppy. These are all strange animals to have normally and nonetheless in a classroom setting with kids. Unfortunately, all these animals die very quickly emphasizing the teacher stressing the realization of the idea that death is imminent and inevitable to the students in his class. However, the death of animals is not the only evidence for the idea of life being as easy as death. Within the story, toward the end, the students also asked Edgar to perform the act of procreation so that they may first handedly witness it. Afterwards, a gerbil enters the room and the children cheer because they believe that they just witnessed a new life being created and the story ends there. 

This analysis may be used as a source of a single perception to the interpretation of various symbols throughout the short story. The potential use of this resource is also to be able to compare it to other perceptions of the story and see the similarities and differences to try and find a possible conclusion to what each part of the story signifies. Various perceptions will yield various conclusions and based off what has already been deciphered, an individual, may use this to create stronger and more evidence-based conclusions. 

 

“Short Story Analysis of The School English Literature Essay.” All Answers Ltd. ukessays.com, November 2013. Web. 4 December 2018. <https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-literature/short-story-analysis-of-the-school-english-literature-essay.php?vref=1>. 

This analysis of “The School” by Donald Barthelme, is basically a summary and analysis that illuminates the structure of the short story right down to Barthelme’s word choice.  For example, the writer points out Barthelme’s use of the word “little” many times in the first paragraph of the short story when he says, “own little tree” and “little brown sticks”. This gives the reader the feeling of the children being defenseless and depressed and causes the reader to picture the image of little children standing over their little dead trees. “The word, little, here lends a quality of vulnerability and is altogether depressing when the reader pictures 30 children mourning the loss of their little trees.” (Paragraph 2).  Also, throughout the analysis the writer breaks down every sentence the teacher (Edgar), or narrator, of the short story says.  By doing this, the writer exposes the true meaning of death and that it’s inevitable.  “Next there comes the puppy. The reader cannot help but gasp, knowing that another death is, by now, considered inevitable.” (Paragraph 6).  There had been so many deaths before the death of the puppy that the reader is able to piece together the outcomes of the puppy and the upcoming scenarios in the story. 

This analysis published by the UK Essays website provides a different perspective and shines a new light on the meaning that is buried inside the short story.  The analysis focuses on how the children are reacting to the deaths that they’re experiencing during their school year.  These scenarios progressively get worse throughout the story and the writer notices how this can take a toll on the children and their life experiences.  They progress into the death of two of the children’s childhood friends.  One would think that these events would desensitize the children.  However, in the end the gerbil walks into the classroom and the children cheer wildly which shows the undying spirit of the children because they are willing to take in another living thing to take care of even after all the bad luck that has come their way.   

 

McManus, Dermot. “The School by Donald Barthelme.” The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 8 Oct. 2015. Web. http://sittingbee.com/the-school-donald-barthelme/ 

This article starts off with stating a few of the several themes that The School by Donald Barthelme has. Some of these themes include uncertainty, innocence, mortality, fear, curiosity, and reassurance. The story is quite confusing at the first read, but after you read it a couple times it begins to all come together. It says that the reader may not understand why everything is dying such as the orange trees, the snakes, the dog, the child and several other things. The reader is supposed to take this as death is a part of life and things may die for no apparent reason. You just have to move on and find the silver lining in things. Barthelme also wants to emphasize the point that no one truly understand what happens to a person after the die “Also at no stage is Edgar able to answer or satisfy the curiosity of the children when asked about death rather as the story progresses the reader discovers that Edgar, just like the children remains uncertain as to what may happen an individual when they die (Para 1)”. This shows that many people need reassurance to feel okay about the bad things that happen in life.  

This article highlights much of the symbolism in the short story. It will help the writing of the essay by having the symbolism and meaning behind it outlined and in much depth. It takes the article and goes into a great amount of depth. We will be able to understand the themes in the story at a greater level than before which will help us to be able to create an essay with meaning and thought behind it. It opens your mind into a whole new area of thought and expands your knowledge of what is truly behind the symbolism in the short story “The School”.  

 

“Donald Barthelme – Donald Barthelme American Literature Analysis” Masterpieces of American LiteratureEd. Steven G. Kellman. eNotes.com, Inc. 2006eNotes.com 5 Dec, 2018 <http://www.enotes.com/topics/donald-barthelme/critical-essays#critical-essays-analysis&gt; 

The beginning of this article begins with describing how to understand how Barthelme works and his process of writing. It states the best way to understand it, is to understand what his methods are not. Barthelme’s stories are typically brief and revolve more so around an intellectual idea than an emotional idea and process. To read, enjoy, and thoroughly understand Barthelme’s work you must be open minded and have a formal education. His work is not for everyone and is best suited for people who understand that the western nations language is  below standard “They will probably speak most directly to readers who have noted the debased status of words in Western industrial nations and noticed that the most widely disseminated utterances of the early twenty-first century seem to be the most trivial (Para 3)”. These are the people who will most enjoy reading his work and be able to comprehend the work. The article said that the writers that are like him and have the same type of writing are the authors of the early 20th century.  

This article may be used to help the reader be able to understand how where the symbolism comes from and who will be able to truly understand the form of it. If a person is from one of the several western nations Barthelme refers to then they may not fully understand it because his type of writing is not for them. The symbolism and meaning behind it is not a type that everyone will quite understand and must be though about to be able to grasp the meaning behind it. Once it is fully understood though, it will have a deep meaning, be seen very clearly and be liked by many.

The “Life” of a Word

“A word is dead” is a short poem created by the author Emily Dickinson in which two arguments are presented to decide whether a word is dead once it has been spoken or if it is at that moment that it is said that it begins to live. This poem contrasts two separate ideas within its six line that allows the reader to ponder on a topic that he/she has never thought of before and allow them to create their own theory or opinion on the subject. 

The beginning of this poem presents the first idea in which once a word is said and has been used up it is pronounced dead. The lines state directly address it as “A word is dead / when it is said” (Lines. 1,2). The belief within these lines is that once a word is said it loses its meaning or its influential energy perhaps. The word itself is used up and may never be retrieved again. Perhaps this could be explained with a famous speech such as the “I Have a Dream” speech by the famous African American activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Within this speech each individual word is said with a purpose and with strong energy, thus, leaving a meaningful message and impact. However, those words will never be said the exact same, with so much power and passion, as the speaker, King, used them. This supports the idea of a word dying once it is said by someone because of the way the individual states and uses it. 

On the contrary, Dickinson believes that when an individual says a word that it is at that moment that it begins to live. The last few lines of “A word is dead” introduce this opinion. “I say it just / begins to live / That day.” (Lines 3,4,5) Dickinson decides to take a different route by stating that a word begins its life once said. Returning to the idea of words in speeches, this may also be used as an example of this. A speech is made usually with a goal to change. Whether it be a mindset, a physical structure, or an individual being, a speech is always presented to change the idea of something. Each word stated proposes its own idea to the audience in which it will be imprinted in their thoughts and minds for a long time, if not, perhaps for the rest of their lives. Thus, this brings meaning to the idea of a word beginning its life when it is said. 

Different people will have different opinions about each of these ideas. Some will agree, some will not, and some will even be able to understand both perceptions of a word’s life. Dickinson strives to strike all these thoughts and ideas into the mindset of people. To allow better understanding of things and to allow these opinions to be shared with one another. Because in the end, someone will always perceive something in a different manner than another will. However, this does not necessarily mean that either one can come to understand the other. This is the stricken objective within Dickinson’s poem that this analysis attempts to address. To take multiple perspectives of a subject or, in other words, to take a second look.

Dickinson, Emily. “A word is dead.” The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 4th ed., by Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg, 2016,  p. 8420181113_170032

Deciphering the True Meaning of Self-Evident

In the textual analysis “Our Declaration”, Danielle Allen dissects the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” By comparing it to current-day aspects in society. Through the societal comparison of societal aspects and the Declaration of Independence, Allen, is able to prove the meaning of the word self-evident and its three premises. 

In various instances throughout our lives we are exposed to ideas or objects that are created by a community in which each has a meaning important to the other. Allen introduces the idea of the Catholic Church and its Apostles’ Creed and compares it to the Declaration. Both scriptures introduce similar concepts, but state them differently. The Apostles’ Creed uses the phrase “I believe” to begin the idea that it will present whilst the Declaration uses “We hold these truths to be self-evident”. Allen describes the ways that religion uses a source of belief and inexperience to support an idea while the Declaration uses self-perception and firsthand experience to create a set of reasons. This introduces Allen’s description of the first premise which is to perceive, but not fully understand due to missing pieces. 

Allen continues to explain the premises and how each one overlaps the other to form an overall idea. Such explanation is given by Allen using a human and mortality as an example to how one fits into the other. When one looks at an individual, they immediately perceive the resemblance to themselves and can confirm that the other is a human. Humans are mortal and not everlasting, this is something that we all know; therefore, a human is mortal. So, what Allen uses as an example is how one can confirm that a human being like Bill Gates is mortal using his base of being a human and a human being mortal. Introducing the connection of all human being mortal to Bill Gates being mortal creates the second premise and the third premise. The second being an overall statement of humans which is that they are mortal, and the third premise brings everything together with the conclusion that Bill Gates is human, therefore, he is mortal. 

The Declaration uses people as a base to form a government that they themselves perceive to be truthful. However, this government doesn’t have all power and at any point may be overthrown by the people if the people disagree with the government’s policies. Allen takes the natural rights that humans have by stating “all people have rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” (104); and applies them to the government and its purpose to protect these rights. The government, however, is created by its people so that they know what rights are being ensured to them. This is the self-evident premise in this situation. The people want their rights, so they create their own government the way they want. 

Comparing various similar things throughout our society allows us to better understand what occurs and how every little part of something, in one way or another, overlaps something else and creates a connection between all things. In between all these things are self- evident facts or premises that come up as one begins to draw connections. It is something that is just known and does not necessarily need to be explained or told. Following the construction of Allen and her premises shows us the way this works and where they come up as a conclusion to certain situations. As told by Allen, premises and subjects, such as the Declaration, can be broken down into a puzzle with missing pieces. However, the missing pieces are shown when looked closely enough and with this comes the true meaning of something being self-evident and as she says, “With the missing premise inserted, the Declaration’s truths fit together almost like the pieces of a mathematical equation” (104). Self –evidence is the logic that holds many and every piece of information together with another and although not always clearly shown, it is most certainly there. 

 

Allen, Danielle. “Our Declaration.” The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 4th ed., by Ricard Bullock, Maureen Daly Goggin, and Francine Weinberg, 2016, 2016, pp. 99-105 20180930_195038.jpg

A “Game” Changer to My Life

Video games have always been an important part of my life. Whether I used them to relieve stress or simply to pass time and have fun with my friends, they have been in the entirety of my childhood. I am an extremely competitive person and the competition that is found within all video games has always appealed to me. I am always looking to get better at a game and once I start trying at a game I usually don’t stop until I am satisfied with my level of game play. However, first-hand game play and competition isn’t the only thing that appeals to me within video games. The whole structure and graphic design of various categories of video games has always fascinated me. Whether it be the vast landscape of a free roam world or simply the plot and story of the video game, all of it has always drawn my attention. Ever since I was 5 years old, I have always had the same goal of growing up and becoming a video game developer. I plan to attend an in state college here in North Carolina and study Game Design then later I hope to land a job with a big gaming company and help create some of my childhood favorite games.