Monday, April 29, 2013

In Class Essay #1

Every person is willing to believe the things he/she sees. In “Allegory of a Cave”, a few prisoners are forced to believe in what they see in the shadows on the wall. This way of life has psychologically shaped their minds into believing only what they see and thus hindering the existence of their creativity. This reinforces the meaning of the work because it tells the audience that the things one see shouldn’t always be the first thing one believes in.
            The men in “Allegory of a Cave” believe only what they see; therefore, the prisoners' minds have been molded to fit the expected mindset of the prison keepers. By showing them images of things, the men have become completely narrow minded and refuse to believe anything else. Their sense of individual creativity has been stolen from them.
            The theme in “Allegory of a Cave” is that every person should be more open-minded towards everything he/she does, and this theme illuminates the meaning of the work. A prisoner gets released into reality, and when he comes back to tell the others about it, the other prisoners don’t believe anything that the man tells them. The rest of the prisoners are too closed off to believe in anything else, especially something they have not seen. The shadows on the walls tell them all they need to know, and the prisoners refuse anything else.
            “Allegory of a Cave” shows an instance where prisoners are psychologically forced to believe in only what they see. Because of this, the characters have become really narrow-minded and closed off from any outside thoughts. Even when introduced to a new idea, the prisoners refuse it because they can’t believe what they do not see. This yields a theme and enhances the meaning of “Allegory of a Cave”.

*I know the "Allegory of a Cave" wasn't on the list, but this is the work of literature I chose to write about.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poetry Essays

Prompt number one:
[1994] Poems: “To Helen” (Edgar Allan Poe) and “Helen” (H.D.)
Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

"To Helen" by Edgar Allan Poe conveys a positive feeling about the goddess, Helen. His use of language was different than H.D., who conveyed Helen as a hated figure. Poe uses literary techniques to show that Helen is a goddess, but on the other hand, H.D. uses demeaning language as a way to show that Helen is in fact a figure that all of Greece hate.
In both of the poems, the use of diction and imagery was effective in portraying what the poets wanted to tell about Helen. Poe diction and imagery was very glorifying towards Helen, and he used words such as “holy”, “beauty”, and “grandeur” to describe the goddess. Poe shows the reader of a side of Helen that is beautiful and perfect by saying that Helen compares to the most wonderful things in life. Contrast to Poe, H.D.’s diction in his poem conveys Helen more as a demonic character than a wonderful goddess. H.D. uses words like “white face” and “funeral” to describe Helen. The imagery that H.D. utilizes shows Helen as a dank being. Having the beauty of cold feet and the slenderest knees, Helen is portrayed in a negative sense.
Poe’s tone toward Helen is loving, and the audience can clearly see that Poe’s tone is almost revering of Helen. When Poe uses words like “beauty” and “holy”, it gives Helen a sense of wonder and love. Contrary to Poe, H.D.’s tone towards Helen is more of disgust. Using diction like “cold” and “reviles”, H.D. negatively portrays Helen and gives the goddess a feeling of disdain.
Poe and H.D. both differ greatly in their depictions of Helen. Poe’s “To Helen” gives the goddess a sense of glory and wonder; however, H.D.’s “Helen” makes the goddess an antagonist to Greece. Through the use of diction, tone, and imagery, both poets show Helen in different perspectives. 

1970 Poem: “Elegy for Jane” (Theodore Roethke)
Prompt: Write an essay in which you describe the speaker's attitude toward his former student, Jane.

In “Elegy for Jane”, Roethke’s attitude for his former student Jane is of caring and love. Jane’s death has made Roethke emotional state become unstable. The poem shows how Jane is a subject of Roethke’s care and love, and because of her death, he is emotionally hurt.
            In “Elegy for Jane” Roethke’s attitude towards Jane is one of love. He has fallen in love with his student, and since this is shunned upon in society, his attitude is also slightly angry. Roethke says, “If only I could nudge you from this sleep, my maimed darling, my skittery pigeon. Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love” which shows that Roethke fell in love with his student so much that he would want to bring her back from the dead. But he is angry because he has no rights to that love since he is not a father or a lover. Roethke’s nostalgic memories of Jane show that he cared for Jane, and eventually fell in love with his student.
            “Elegy for Jane” was Roethke’s inner emotions about his former student. His attitude in the poem was love and care for a dead student that he had feelings of love for. However, Roethke also had a slight hatred for her as well because of the fact that he didn’t get to legally love her. Overall the attitude of Roethke towards Jane is love.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Micro AP Test Feedback

The main thing that I got from today's exam was that I am so incredibly slow. I found myself skipping so many questions during the test because I couldn't keep up, and that is something I really need to work on now that I know.

Other than that one problem, I knew the material having read the book so I wasn't banging my head against my desk because I didn't know what I was doing. I'm becoming more comfortable with pressured writing because of the 5phinx.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Responses to Lit Circles (multiple choice)

Slaughterhouse Five
1. d
2. c
3. a
4. b
5. c
6. c
7. b
8. b
9. d
10. a
11. c
12. b
13. c
14. b
15. b
16. c
17. a
18. b
19. c
20. a
21. b
22. d
23. b
24. c
25. c 
26. a
27. d
28. b
29. a
30. b
31. c
32. c
33. b
34. a
35. a
36. c
37. b
38. d
39. a
40. a
41. d
42. b
43. a
44. b
45. a
46. c
47. b
48. a
49. b
50. c

Kafka on the Shore

1. c
2. d
3. a
4. d
5. a
6. c
7. b
8. d
9. d
10. d
11. d
12. c
13. a
14. c
15. d
16. c
17. a
18. c
19. a
20. a
21. d
22. b
23. a
24. c
25. c
26. a
27. a
28. c
29. d
30. a
31. a
32. d
33. c
34. b
35. d
36. b
37. a
38. b
39. b
40. c
41. a
42. a
43. c
44. a
45. b
46. a
47. b
48. b
49. b
50. b

Life of Pi

1. b
2. a
3. c
4. d
5. c
6. a

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Macbeth Act V Active Notes

Scene 1
The doctor and a gentlewoman overhear Lady Macbeth confess to killing the king, and they are shocked because no one should have found out. Lady Macbeth did this in her sleep and sleepwalking.

Scene 2
Malcolm's army is drawing near and Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, and soldiers are going to join Malcolm because at this point, everyone hates Macbeth, the tyrannt. They intend to take down Macbeth along with Malcolm.

Scene 3
Meanwhile in the castle, things are chaotic because war is upon them. Macbeth refuses fear and prepares to fight the thousands of soldiers.

Scene 4
Nothing really critical happened here. A soldier, Malcolm, Menteith, Siward, and Macduff are just discussing what to do and they end up advancing their army forward.

Scene 5
Macbeth is basically doing some sort of siege on the advancing enemy. "Till famine and the ague eat them up"
The Queen died. (assuming murder, but so far unknown cause of death)

Scene 6
Malcolm has made it to the castle and is basically saying "CHARGE!!!"

Scene 7
A young Siward comes in and gets himself killed by Macbeth. Siward called him a tyrannt.
In the next scene... *drumroll* Malcolm vs. Macbeth!

Scene 8
Macduff tells Macbeth to stop the fighting but Macbeth refuses because if he does then Macduff will just make Macbeth into a freak show.
Thus, Macbeth hath been slain
Macduff cuts off the head of Macbeth and celebrates in victory as the evil tyrant is dead.

Macbeth Act IV Notes

Since the thought of taking notes while reading in class didn't cross my mind, I'll give a summary as best as I see it

The witches, along with Hecate, are planning on cursing Macbeth once again because in the past the three witches messed up. Hacate stepped in and, from the sidelines, supervised the witches.

Macbeth is losing respect from the people around him because they think he has gone crazy which leads to suspicion. Without trust, the people around Macbeth don't revere him as much

Lady Macbeth's son gets stabbed. (it happened out of the blue)

Macduff and Malcolm talk about how angry they are at the tyranny of Macbeth. Instead of crying their eyes out and hiding, they are going to take their swords and uphold their honor. Basically revenge.

"Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware of Macduff!"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Macbeth Act II Notes

Scene one:
Banquo seems bothered by the witches but Macbeth doesn't. I find that a little unusual since "thane of cawdor" should make him think. Maybe his ego is just too big?
 Macbeth see a bloody dagger but it is only his imagination. He lied about not thinking of the witches and the prophecy because clearly it is bothering him, and the last lines suggest that he is going to kill his father.

Scene two:
Macbeth hears voices telling him not to sleep anymore but he has "murdered sleep" (what ever that means)

Scene three:
Duncan, the king of Scotland, has been murdered which has put the whole castle in disorder. While all except Donalbain and Malcolm go to investigate, Donalbain and Malcolm think about running away somewhere to be safe.

Scene four:
Since Donalbain and Malcolm fled, they are under the suspicion of killing the king. Because of that, Macbeth has been named the king to replace Duncan. Part of the prophecy has been filled. Though personally I thought Macbeth was going to kill Duncan himself.