Saturday, January 30, 2010
After the discussion about, “The White Witch,” I have thought a lot about it. There was a lot of discussion about who the antagonist is. The fact is we know whoever it is, the person(s) is/are white. Maybe it was about white America, but I still think is the white woman. White America was dangerous for the black man. When I read this the first time I did not notice the red, white, and blue in the piece. Not until class did I see that side of “The White Witch.” But, I still think it has to do with the dangers of looking at the white woman. Maybe it was the dangers of looking at the white woman in white America.
Faulkner’s, “Rose for Emily” is a short story full of flashbacks. The story begins with the death of Miss Emily Grierson. I found it so sad that no one had been in her home in ten years except the black man that had worked for her. At the very beginnning I felt sorry for her. I appreciate her fiestiness when she stands firm that she is not going to pay the taxes. There is some forshadowing in the next section. “So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell,” I missed what she was saying the first and second time I read it. I should have picked up on the smell part. Of course, later I did. I have read this story four or five times, and each time I read it, I find something else new. Throughout the story it is said, “Poor Emily.” She had some type of mental illness and the reason I think this is, she could not admit her dad was dead and left him there in their home for several days before she finally had him buried. When she bought the rat poison, people thought she would kill herself with it. This is probably why the man at the store did not what to sell it to her. When she was seen with Homer Barron, people thought it was shameful. After a while Homer disappreared. Emily and the black man grow older. I found it odd when it described her hair it was, “pepper-and-salt iron-gray,” and then described as, “vigorous iron-gray.” What does this mean? I am thinking that until she died she was still firm in who she was. Faulkner really left the reader wanting more by ending the story with Homer dead upstairs after all those years. I wonder if Emily could not accept Homer’s death just as she could not accept her father’s death. I had some confusion about who’s point of view this was written from. On one hand I thought maybe the cousin’s point of view and then on the other hand I thought it could be some of the town’s women. Faulkner did an excellent job keeping my attention.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens
There are so many different ways to view, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” The first thing that I thought about was how this piece did not flow. To me it was in segments that did not relate. Really, I think that was what drew me into it. Sometimes a piece is read without thinking it through because it flows like a river and you just get caught up in it and keep going. With this one you are not on a river, you are stepping on one stone at a time. You have to think about each step. With this piece there are thirteen steps. The reader is able to see Bibical imagery throughout the piece. The ‘eye of the blackbird,” to me meant God as He looks over the mountains. The three minds could be the Trinity. In Four where it mentions the man, woman and bird are one, I’m not exactly sure but this reminds me of the Garden of Eden when Adam, Eve, and God were in the Garden together. The “golden birds,” remind me of idolitry in the Bible. One thing I am wondering is the last sentence, “In the cedar-limbs,” could this be the cross? For some reason I am thinking the cross was made out of cedar. Not sure on that one, but was thinking about it. Stevens did a remarkable job. I don’t think anyone will be able to really pin point exactly what each section is about.
I read several of Robert Frost’s poems and kept seeing a common thread, nature. It is easy to see how much nature meant to this poet. I especially enjoyed reading, “ The Need of Being Versed in Country Things.” The description of the chimney standing after the house had burned down was exceptional. Who would think of a pistal of a flower after the petals fall off, being compared to a lonely chimney after the house is gone. I thought that was a perfect description. This poem made me think of the old barn my family owned. I remember the old barn with it’s rustic personality. The boards were so worn and old. Sometimes I would just stand there and think about what life was like when it was first built. Then one day it was knocked down. It was not the “will of the wind,” but the will of man that brought down our family barn.