Monday, January 14, 2008

The Copper Crown

Treachery and loyalty have different outcomes but they can have the same causes. Illustrate how the author shows both of these actions and how they can be related.

The difference between treachery and loyalty is a big theme of The Copper Crown Patricia Kenealy. Keltic culture and laws are based on good will and loyalty toward all Kelts. But the Keltic traitors were still loyal, just not to the same thing that everyone else was.

One of the traitors was bought with money. His loyalty was the weakest, and he also did the least for the conspiracy. He tried to turn his fellow conspirators in after he was captured. This is the weakest way to earn loyalty or assure treachery. Someone can always offer more money. Those people are also probably more interested in themselves if they took the money in the first place. Loyalty can also be bought, such as the paid Fomori Berserkers. So, the idea is the he is loyal, but only to himself.

Princess Arianeira is a different matter. She hated Aeron because she thought the Aeron had betrayed their friendship. Since she was isolated from the Throne world she had no way of talking to Aeron to find out what had actually happened. When she finally got a chance to talk to Aeron, she discovered that her friend truly still did love her and that she had done all sorts of wrong to her country for no reason. She begs forgiveness from the Ard’rian and sets up the eventual destruction of the invaders. She never lost her loyalty to her friends; she just thought that she no longer had any friends.

The author was trying to show audiences that treachery is still loyalty. Those who were considered treacherous were just loyal to something else. Kynon was loyal to himself and his desires. Arianeira was loyal to her hate but eventually rediscovered her loyalty to the kingdom. Not only can treachery be produced by the same ways as loyalty, it is just loyalty to something else.

Again, I think that the depth of the essay was limited by the question. Although recommended by a teacher, I did not like this authors style or topic. I would give this essay a five, for length, insights and not having a strong central focus.

There eyes were watching god

How did Janie’s ideas about love and life change over the course of her marriages? How did the author use these changes to show the different hardships of women in the early 20th century?

There Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston follows the life of Janie, a black woman in the Deep South. She deals with several hardships over the course of her three marriages. The author used these changes to illuminate the hardships of women in the 1900’s.

Her first marriage was arranged for her. She is young and believes that love will always come to any man and wife. The author uses this arranged marriage to show that traditional ideas about what makes a suitable husband should not apply to modern women. Janie’s grandmother chooses her husband for her. She assumes that a man with some property and the ability to protect his wife will make a good husband. That idea was changing in the thirties. Women wanted something different. They wanted to be loved, but also respected.

When Janie’s grandma dies, she runs off with another man. He is an actual choice of Janie’s. Janie thinks that because he impressed her and she picked him, he would make a better husband, and then she would have a better life. This marriage shows the problem of fitting the old conceptions of a perfect wife onto the contemporary woman. Joe married Janie because she was young and was impressed by his talk of the future. He just wanted her to stay at home or work for him in the store. He wouldn’t let her join any of the social functions around town. This wouldn’t work for Janie, or any other women in the author’s opinion. Janie is portrayed as stifled by her husband. She doesn’t like it, but still has the decency to stay by him and not run off. She eventually does speak up for herself, but it harms her husband’s self image and draws lots of negative feed back from the town. The author uses this stage in Janie’s life to show several things. One is that women were loyal, not stupid. Janie knew she was not being treated the best, but she still stayed with Joe. Another was that women had changed. They didn’t just want to be figure heads or pretty dolls that men put on display. They have brains, and should be treated accordingly.

Now that Janie had a husband that she loved and loved her, it was time for her to also be respected by him. Teacake was almost 15 years younger than her, but he treated her like she was a regular human being. He loved her, and didn’t care that she was old, he wanted her. The author uses this marriage as the perfect portrayal of love, life and women. Janie goes out to work so that she can be with Teacake. She doesn’t mind it. There is also a strong dose of reality thrown into this, which makes it a more perfect show of love. Even though she loves Teacake, she fights with him and she can’t stay with him. He sacrifices himself for her and she has to kill him. Even with this sad ending, Janie doesn’t have any regrets about her life with Teacake. That’s how great it was for her.

The author used Janie’s maturation to illustrate the new women of the 1900’s. Janie had three different husbands, and three very different views about love. Each one was a step in the direction of progress for all women.

This essay would be rated a seven. It follows the question rather well. There are more grammatical errors than there should be. Several insights were offered, but they were limited by the scope of the question. I think that I could have written a better essay to a question someone else wrote.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Most of the time I like using the blog.

No, i don't use blogs in any of my other classes.

I like the excitement of doing something new. I don't like Mr. Hughes being able to give us assignments at any time.

The blog is easy to use. The hardest part was remembering my password and the URL.

I'm glad that no other classes use these blogs.

Yes, I have the internet at home.

I usually post from my house.

I feel that I learn better by handwriting assignments.

The only blog I have is on blogger.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dead Poet Society

Sorry about the lateness of this post, the first time that I had a chance to check my email was at 6:30. I was at the play all weekend.

I would give the movie a ten out of ten. It was an amazing story about teaching and thinking. The characters were dynamic and believable. The situations that the students find themselves in were relevant to teenagers today. The talk about English was kept to a bare minimum. I think the message was also very potent.

I think that there were two ways that this movie was relevant to studying poetry. One is that poetry cannot be defined my graphs or mere relevance. This was seen when the class is told to rip out their intro to poetry.

The other way that it is relevant is that it shows poetry's power to change people's lives. Handersen loses his fear of speaking. Neil confronts his father and follows his dream to be in theater. Osman (i think) uses poetry to help him get the girl of his dreams.

I would argue that if the focus is on poetry that you only show the clips that are relevant. The movie was not all about poetry. It was definitely about the fulfillment of teaching and learning to think for themselves. But i don't think that the whole movie was about poetry.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Poetry promt 1

Both of these poems tell of adults trying to protect the minds of children. Each takes a different view of children. The authors use two different tones and different words to express contrasting views of children.

A Barred Owl by Richard Wilbur shows parents reassuring a young girl. Wilbur uses dark imagery to show how scary the real world is. Words like “stealthy” and “raw” help send a chill down the audience’s spine. The author uses this technique to show his view of children and the world. He says that innocence in children is real and needs to be protected from the world while they are young.

The History Teacher by Billy Collins takes a different approach to children. While Richard Wilbur believes that children are innocent, Billy Collins thinks that kids behave just as bad as Adults. Collins references the Atomic Bomb and the War of the Roses, two common references to Adults being irresponsible. Then the author drops us into an account of childhood bullying. He shows that kids and adults are just the same.

The authors use two very different tones. The History Teacher uses small and common words to make the teacher’s lessons seem absurd. The first two examples also take credibility away from the teacher’s plans. In the first half of A Barred Owl the tone is set by the words “friend” and “odd.” This tone changes dramatically and uses words like “fear.”

The tones of the two poems are used to examine two different perspectives of children. One is of the innocence, the other of cynicism. Hopefully most of the readers still believe in the innocence of childhood.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Can you take it

Can You Take It?

It's easy to be nice, boys
When everything's O.K.
It's easy to be cheerful,
When your having things your way.
But can you hold your head up
And take it on the chin.
When your heart is breaking
And you feel like giving in?

It was easy back in England,
Among the friends and folks.
But now you miss the friendly hand,
The joys, and songs, and jokes.
The road ahead is stormy.
And unless you're strong in mind,
You'll find it isn't long before
You're dragging far behind.

You've got to climb the hill, boys;
It's no use turning back.
There's only one way home, boys,
And it's off the beaten track.
Remember you're American,
And when you reach the crest,
You'll see a valley cool and green,
Our country at its best.

You know there is a saying
That sunshine follows rain,
And sure enough you'll realize
That joy will follow pain.
Let courage be your password,
Make fortitude your guide;
And then instead of grousing,
Just remember those who died.

- Anonymous

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pod cast post

I didn’t really like the song. It felt like a stream of consciousness that was too long. I think that if it was broken into several individual songs it would be amazing. Each time the music changed he uses a different style and tone. The only consistent musical theme is the melancholy overtones and occasional parts of loud anguish. I also didn’t like the author changing the way he sang. Sometimes he would be 50’s and then change to a 70’s style. It just doesn’t seem right to me. That style change was also characteristic of the guitar.

There does not appear to be any rhyme scheme to the lyrics. The author relies too often on repetition and alliterations. This style gets old, especially after forty five minutes.

The time was another bummer for me. After about thirty minutes I stopped listening for the meaning and just tried to get through it so that I could turn this in. It does make good background music while I was writing.

I also don’t like the author’s tone. It seems whiney to me, and I don’t like whiney things or people. There is no benefit to looking at whiners or what they are whining about.

I think that the author addressed too many themes at the same time. He talked about dying and keeping the house clean, all in the same song. Sometimes he talks about how lucky he was to still be alive. Other times he talks about wanting her back so much that he will do all of the things that he never used too. This even includes doing the laundry.

I am definitely not the right audience for this song. It is written for a woman who is not with him anymore. I know that it was also written for a larger audience than just that, but that is who it is addressed too. This perspective loses most of the meaning for me. I have never had anyone break up with me, so I can’t really relate to this man’s experiences. This limits the impact. I think it may have a broader appeal, if it wasn’t so long.

It was incredibly hard to find onomatopoeia in this poem. There were not a lot of similes or metaphors either, which surprised me. This poem was rich with symbols and imagery, but I didn’t trust myself enough to pick that many out, or what they stood for. What was the gold mine of the first or second section? What about the open window or the colors spilling in?

The imagery was easier to pick out. It thought that the writer did a fine job of using everyday objects and describing them in such a way that they take on new meaning and power. The imagery was definitely mixed up in the symbolism.

I don’t understand where the end about dying came from. Is she dead? Is he actually dying? Or is the dying just another symbol?

Mr. Hughes, Was this song very popular? Who was it written by, and when was it written?