Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lit Anal #4

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

1.  The plot of the story is about a sailor named Marlow, who takes a job as a riverboat captain on the Congo. Marlow travels to Africa and then up the river to meet Kurtz, a man of great importance to the Congo. While Marlow travels up river to get to Kurtz he sees all the injustices and horrors that the Belgians committed to the local peoples. Marlow learns of Kurtz becoming deathly ill, and he become very anxious to reach Kurtz faster. Throughout the trip, they have many mechanical problems with the boat and they are also attack at one point by the natives. Marlow finally reaches Kurtz, however Kurtz is on the edge of dying. When they head back down river Kurtz hands Marlow some documents then dies. Marlow soon becomes ill himself but manages to barely survive. Later when he returns to Europe he find Kurtz's fiancĂ©e and gives he some closer by telling her that his last word was her name, when in fact they were "The horror! The horror!"
2. A major theme in the book is madness caused by imperialism and how imperialism causes all the people involved to be come "mad" someway or another.
3. The author's tone is very dark and depressing.

  • "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz's life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. The manager was very placid, he had no vital anxieties now, he took us both in with a comprehensive and satisfied glance: the 'affair' had come off as well as could be wished. I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of 'unsound method.' The pilgrims looked upon me with disfavour. I was, so to speak, numbered with the dead. It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms."
  • "His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines. But I had not much time to give him, because I was helping the engine-driver to take to pieces the leaky cylinders, to straighten a bent connecting-rod, and in other such matters. I lived in an infernal mess of rust, filings, nuts, bolts, spanners, hammers, ratchet drills -- things I abominate, because I don't get on with them. I tended the little forge we fortunately had aboard; I toiled wearily in a wretched scrap-heap -- unless I had the shakes too bad to stand."
  • "The current was more rapid now, the steamer seemed at her last gasp, the stern-wheel flopped languidly, and I caught myself listening on tiptoe for the next beat of the boat, for in sober truth I expected the wretched thing to give up every moment. It was like watching the last flickers of a life."
4.  Five literary techniques that helped me understand the story more are:
Foreshadow- the fog foreshadows something bad is about to happen.
Imagery- the use of imagery lets us really get a picture of the scene.
Metaphor/Simile- gives us a way of relating what is happening or going on to something that we can understand better.
Symbolism- the river in the story symbolizes the white man/ imperialists fighting against the natural order of the Congo.
Syntax- the way the author writes brings out the eeriness of the Congo 
Tone- since the author uses a dark tone it creates a gloomy story.
"Some fifty miles below the Inner Station we came upon a hut of reeds, an inclined and melancholy pole, with the unrecognizable tatters of what had been a flag of some sort flying from it, and a neatly stacked woodpile."
"When the sun rose there was a white fog, very warm and clammy, and more blinding than the night. It did not shift or drive; it was just there, standing all round you like something solid. At eight or nine, perhaps, it lifted as a shutter lifts. We had a glimpse of the towering multitude of trees, of the immense matted jungle, with the blazing little ball of the sun hanging over it -- all perfectly still -- and then the white shutter came down again, smoothly, as if sliding in greased grooves. I ordered the chain, which we had begun to heave in, to be paid out again. Before it stopped running with a muffled rattle, a cry, a very loud cry, as of infinite desolation, soared slowly in the opaque air. It ceased. A complaining clamour, modulated in savage discords, filled our ears. The sheer unexpectedness of it made my hair stir under my cap. I don't know how it struck the others: to me it seemed as though the mist itself had screamed, so suddenly, and apparently from all sides at once, did this tumultuous and mournful uproar arise."
"I flew around like mad to get ready, and before forty-eight hours I was crossing the Channel to snow myself to my employers, and sign the contract."

In class essay #3

Ann Petry - The Street

I feel that I struggle the most with the intro to paragraphs. Once I have them down, the rest is easy by just using textual examples and literary elements to prove my point.

Analyze how Petry establishes Johnson's relationship to the urban setting through the use of imagery, personification, selection of detail, and figuritive language.

Ann Petry clearly shows the reader what she wants them to see in her use of literary devices. Through the portrayal of imagery and personification, she illustrates in our heads the exact weather and surroundings of Lutie Johnson in this urban environment. "She shivered as the cold fingers of the wind touched the back of her neck". Petry does an excellent job at describing how windy and dusty it is ouside with trash flying around. Her selection of detail is very unique; she goes into detail about what type of trash wrappers are flying. She chooses to emphasize the detail of the sign to portray how old it is and that it is so windy, Lutie can not even read the swaying sign. Through the use of these elements, the reader feels fully engaged with the story and we are able to see exactly how the character feels in this certain situation.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lit Anal #3

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  1. Invisible Man begins with the narrator telling us the he is underground writing a story about his life. He calls himself the "invisible man" and he is an African-American. The main part of the story are flash backs on the narrator's life. He was a talented public speaker and was selected to give a speech in order to receive a scholarship. The narrator goes off to college and while he is there he is the driver for the college's trustee, Mr. Norton. Mr. Norton faints after getting a drink and when the college's president, Dr. Bledsoe hears about it he blames and expels the narrator from the school. The narrator goes out into the city of New York to find a job. When he gets one, he ends up getting hurt and he loses his conscience. When he finally wakes up, he is asked by Brother Jack, a member of a brotherhood who heard the narrator's speech, to join his brotherhood. Jack wants the narrator to become the next Booker T. Washington. The narrator works with the brotherhood for several months when a magazine interviews him. The brotherhood calls him out for using the brotherhood for personal gain and force him to work in Harlem for women's rights. After a while a small riot happens and the narrator's friend is shot and killed. The narrator leads a march in Harlem to protest his friend's death. However when he gets back to the brotherhood, they are angry at him for tying the brotherhood with his friend, who they claim to be a traitor to the brotherhood. The narrator leaves the brotherhood and goes to Harlem to speak out and protest. A large riot happens and the narrator falls down a man hole where he has stayed since. The narrator finishes by reflecting on his devotion to the brotherhood and his choice in the end.
  2. The major theme in this novel is find out who you are. 
  3. The author's tone is calm and to the point. He doesn't show anger at the issues in the book.
  4. 5 literary techniques used are -metaphor, allusion, symbolism, simile, and diction

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lit Anal #2

The Iliad- quick overview
1. The Greeks are at war with the Trojans over Helen, who was taken from the King of Sparta. During the conquest of an ally city of Troy, Achilles has a falling out with the Greek leader and refuses to fight. The Greeks advance upon the city of Troy and the gods take sides. Athena, Hera, and Poseidon for the Greeks. Apollo, Ares, and Zeus for the Trojans. The Trojans battle with the Greeks and push the Greeks back to their boats under the leadership of prince Hector, with the help of Zeus who during the course of the battle bans all gods from participating in the battle. Patroclus, Achilles best friend, was killed by Hector. Achilles returns to the fight and kills every Trojan who gets in the way of his hunt for Hector. Hector and Achilles duels, Achilles wins and kills Hector. After some convincing by Zeus, Achilles ransoms Hector's body back to Troy, who then spend the next ten days giving their prince a rightful burial.
2. The theme of the novel is loyalty to friendship and kinship.
3. The author uses a serious tone.
4.The author uses personification, keenings, similies, metaphors, and hyperboles to portray his purpose.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In class essay #2

I feel that I struggle the most with the intro to paragraphs. Once I have them down, the rest is easy by just using textual examples and literary elements to prove my point.

Analyze how the poetic devices help to convey the speaker's complex attitude toward desire.

Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self-chosen snare,
Fond fancy's scum, and dregs of scattered thought 
Band of all evils, cradle of causeless care 
Thou web of will, whose end is never wrought 
Desire, desire !  I have too dearly bought,
With price of mangled mind, thy worthless ware 
Too long, too long, asleep thou hast me brought,
Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare.
But yet in vain thou hast my ruin sought 
In vain thou madest me to vain things aspire 
In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire 
For virtue hath this better lesson taught,—
Within myself to seek my only hire,
Desiring nought but how to kill desire.   

Rhyme, diction, and imagery and alliteration, and metaphors. repetition of desire. 

In the Poem Thou Blind Man's Mark by Sir Philip Sydney, he uses many literary devices to show his complex attitude toward desire. The author incorporated rhyme, diction, imagery, alliteration, repetition, and metaphors in this poem all to show his feelings toward desire. The author is stating that desire drives people mad and it is related to foolishness through the phrases that mention a blind man's mark and fool's self-chosen snare. We cannot get caught up in lust and desire, but instead focus our time on things that are more important. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

In class essay #1

I feel that I struggle the most with the intro to paragraphs. Once I have them down, the rest is easy by just using textual examples and literary elements to prove my point.
I have also been really busy this week and honestly just need to catch up on my essays because I missed a lot of days of school this past week.

Choose a novel or play in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole.

Pride and Prejudice -

Many authors define the characters in their stories by the culture around them. In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, she uses syntax, imagery, and diction to portray the thoughts and ideas of characters throughout the novel. Through the descriptive language and word phrasing, we are able to see how society thinks and how it effects the characters. Mr. Darcy is born and raised from wealth. He has a lot of money and is spoiled. Because of this, he is very materialistic and requires a wife that is "suitable" for him. This means that she must be wealthy just like himself. Society has been telling him this his whole life; so he has trouble breaking the psychological foolishness when he meets Elizabeth. The author did a great job using surroundings in the novel to make the reader connect and make the story line seem believable.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2004B Poem “Crossing the Swamp” (Mary Oliver)

Prompt: Read the following poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the techniques the poet uses to develop the relationship between the speaker and the swamp.

I feel like I only struggle with the intro paragraph in AP tests. So I feel like I just need to practice the intro on each essay prompt to be confident in my essay writing skills for the AP test.

Here is the endless
wet thick
cosmos, the center
of everything—the nugget
of dense sap, branching
vines, the dark burred
faintly belching
bogs. Here
is swamp, here
is struggle,
pathless, seamless,
peerless mud. My bones
knock together at the pale
joints, trying
for foothold, fingerhold,
mindhold over
such slick crossings, deep
hipholes, hummocks
that sink silently
into the black, slack
earthsoup. I feel
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich
and succulent marrows
of earth— a poor
dry stick given
one more chance by the whims
of swamp water— a bough
that still, after all these years,
could take root,
sprout, branch out, bud—
make of its life a breathing
palace of leaves.

In the poem "Crossing the Swamp" by Mary Oliver, the author is telling his story of crossing a swamp, which also relates to his life struggles. Through the use of Imagery in almost every line, figurative language, and his sophisticated diction which uses many strong adjectives, the author shows that he is really dealing with some harsh times in his own life which he compares to the swamp. The author uses the swamp as a symbol of hardship. He needs to cross this endless swamp, and get through this hard time in life. He is stating that he needs to give it everything he has to make this endless crossing attainable. The swamp and his life both need dedication to achieve. The end states the progress made after the hardship and his success.