Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Physical Journey in The Importance Of Being Earnest

      In literary compositions, an idea or theme can be conveyed by a journey, during which the characters experience or are affected by something that is central to the plot of the work. In The Importance Of Being Earnest Both of the major characters Jack and Algernon travel away from the area they most frequently live in, the country and the city, respectively, so that they might live under another name and under false pretenses, so as to escape responsibility that they face at their usual residences.
      The major conflict arises when Jack, who pretends to be named Earnest when visiting with his soon to be fiancee Gwendolen, mentions that she should come to see him, at his home in the country. Algernon, Jacks friend overhears this and secretly decides to go as well, in order to meet Jacks young ward, Cecily. This only all becomes a problem, because Jack pretends to visit his brother Earnest when talking with Cecily, and pretends to be Earnest when talking with Gwendolen, and Algernon visits pretending to be Earnest as well. This becomes an issue, as Cecily falls in love with Algernon who is Earnest, at the same time that Gwendolen is in love with Jack, who is Earnest.
      This all contributes to the social commentary made by Oscar Wilde in regards to the absurdity of the time period, and the ridiculous behavior of the supposed high society. Had any let alone all of the characters been honest or serious in the reasons for doing anything, none of the conflict would have occurred, but they were all so preoccupied with what was fashionable, that rational thought completely passed them by. They wished to constantly travel away from where they were, as an escape from responsibility, and when they all traveled to the wrong place, at the wrong time, it all comes crashing down.
      As the major conflict continues, all of the characters become increasingly pettier, and upset with one another over the most insignificant things, such as muffins. They completely miss the point that they caused the huge problem by lying to get away with traveling where they please. Lest it seem that only the men in this story were so absurd, both women, almost as fast as they agreed to their marriage proposals, rescind them upon finding out that neither man is named Earnest. No character in the text is earnest, none of them show any serious thought or emotion for more than a brief sentence.
      In conclusion, the major theme of the absurdity of the time period, which caused the characters to act as they did in their travels, would have been impossible to express without the journeys of Jack and Algernon, to the city and country, and without the journey of Algernon and Gwendolen to Jacks home. All of this traversing was necessary for the the climax of the convergence of lies and conflicting stories to occur.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poetry Blog

Analysis for Richard Cory by By Edwin Arlington Robinson.
Page 327

This poem depicts the situation of a man who has what some would call everything. Power, wealth and class, he is seen from the view point of the lower class, those who had nothing as somebody who must have everything he could want. He is envied for his status by the starving lower class, who wish that they could be in his place. All of this envy is contradicted when Richard Cory kills himself. This creates an ironic situation, as everyone around him wanted to be him, and yet, as seen from his suicide, he was depressed despite all of the wealth and status. The tone of this poem is one of reality, and a shattering of perceptions of what makes someone value their life. The idea that no one is immune to sadness and depression show how all humans are in essence the same, that rather then the lower class starving people wishing for death, it was the upper class with a comfortable life who would seek their own end. The lower class who envied Richard Cory actually hold onto hope and the wishful idea that their lives could improve. The tone of this poem proves to be a depiction of the great equalizer of humanities general similarities, nobody is immune to apathy or depression.

My personal interpretation of this poem is that it describes human thoughts and interactions through the comparison of success and wealth to poverty and lack of status. In the poem it is clearly represented that depression is not limited by status, and that hope and willingness to go on can be held by someone of any status. I found these to be strong representations of how humans are all, at the most basic level, the same and that while social status can aid in comfortable living, it is still a human construct, and does little to change the tendencies and feelings the human mind experiences.

Analysis for There's a certain slant of light by Emily Dickinson
Page 283

In There's a certain slant of light by Emily Dickinson, a scene is set of the light on a winter day, which acts as a symbol for the coming of death. Dickinson describes this light as "An imperial affliction, sent us of the air." which can be seen as metaphor for ascent to heaven, as the poem describes the light as it comes upon the landscape, as being on the look of death. The symbol of death and the metaphor of the light being a path to heaven are continued by the use of winter afternoons, as winter is a season of dying, and the afternoon being the later part of the day. The poem also states that the light is heavenly hurt, and it speaks of internal difference where meanings are, these could be interpreted to be an explanation of the feelings that those swept up in the death of winter feel, as the lines "where the meanings are" could refer to a search for understanding about the slant of light, or an understanding of death, and heaven.

In my interpretation of this poem, I found there to be a strong feeling of wonder about the inevitability of what can be viewed as a heavenly light, coming to collect from earth for death. I viewed the lines "None may teach it any- 'Tis the seal despair, an imperial affliction sent us of the air" to be a commentary of the unyielding and uncompromising of death, and how no one has anything to do or say that might change it.

Monday, November 4, 2013


   In Yevgeny Zamyatin's a major theme is human emotion and how the lack thereof effects emotion and individuality in society.  This is developed through the lack of control that individuals have over their lives, they live following a table of hours which dictates almost every moment of ones life. The society had a desire to remove all humanity from its citizens, which would ultimately lead to negative repercussions as people began to press back. This resistance to the full loss of humanity came when the citizens who had always been loyal were even hesitant to have their imaginations removed. One-state attempted to hide the fact that emotions were a natural human occurrence, and once they inevitable manifested themselves it caused a massive change int he society, and in the life of the protagonist D-503.
      One passage that I enjoyed, that very clearly and in a concise manner conveyed one of the most significant conflicts in the novel, was the scene in which D-503 is greatly distressed at the knowledge that I-330 was spending time with somebody else. D-503 was acting mad over what it could mean that she was with somebody else, and when he confronted the question of why it bothered him, he could not explain it, and stated, illogically, that it was because he hated her. The conflict that is represented is that life in one-state has made D-503 unable to understand his emotions, or that he even has any, toward I-330. The jealousy he feels about her, due to his infatuation, is completely misunderstood by D-503, and it drives him into believing that he has gone insane, all because of a normal human emotion. This all occurs as a result of one-state removing the knowledge of love from their world, and the refusal to acknowledge its existence, all the while, the natural human emotion still exists, and those afflicted by it, such as D-503, are left with no explanation.

      I found that the novel We stayed mostly consistent with the common idea of the dystopian society, for example a powerful central government or authority figure running the society, the removal of individuality through uniforms and identifying numbers, and a very controlled, regulated scheduled. There was one aspect that I saw which stood out to me from that of other similar novels, was that the protagonist D-503, was not the enlightened one in the society, that could see all that was wrong, in fact he was a model citizen for a long time, and even when in the course of the novel, he strayed from the laws of one-state, he did not feel liberated, but rather ashamed that he had broken the laws of the society he so willingly subscribed to. Contrary to many stories of dystopia, one of the most enlightened characters served as a stark opposite to the protagonist, I-330 broke rules, and could see the negatives of the restriction of emotions, and she at times was D-503's antagonist. I enjoyed We much more than I otherwise would have because of this unique look at this society through the eyes of somebody who truly believed that everything made sense the way it was. It was both interesting and different to read from the point of view of someone who was comforted when they could look out the walls of their glass house, and see everyone doing the same thing.