Saturday, January 30, 2010


Zora Neale Hurston did a tremendous job with, "Sweat." I felt like I was right there with Delia. Delia went through so much trying to keep a roof over her head. I can imagine what she looked like when she and Sykes got married. Over the years the hard work and the beatings he gave her had robbed her of her youthful beauty. I believe this piece falls into the gender criticism category. Gender played a big part in this piece. Sykes was the antagonist but the snake could have also been the antagonist. Sykes was going to use the snake against Delia but it backfired. Once I started reading this piece, I could not put it down. When I can, I plan to read more of Zora Neale Hurston's works.

After the discussion on, "The White Witch....."

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 "A Rose for Emily"

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

Wallace Stevens

“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.

Robert Frost

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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

White Witch

This was one of the strongest poems I have ever read about black men. They had to be so afraid to even look at a white woman because of the pure hatered some had for them. Black men were treated like savages thought of less than an animal in some cases. In "The White Witch," Johnson is writing about the evils of the white woman. I can not wait to hear the discussion on this one tonight. I thought my post had posted but had not. I lost the whole post so I had to rush to put this in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Book for Middle Grades Harlem Renaissance

At school today I had a friend mention a book about the Harlem Renaissance. The name is Harlem Stomp by Laban Carrick Hill. This is a wonderful book with many pictures and interesting info about that time in Literature. I feel a book like this could be used in English and in Social Studies. It is a great book for not only middle grades but could also be used in high school. I wanted to mention it to you all because I feel this is a book worth having as a resource in the classroom. I plan to purchase a copy for my collection. I have not checked Amazon but plan to this weekend.

Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance is my favorite period of the class. This is the time when African Americans' voices were finally being heard. I love history. There are a number of times in our history that I find extremely hard to understand. How human beings can treat other human beings like they are property is beyond my comprehension. As we look back in history we can see where little by little things were accepted until one day what was once repulsive is now viewed as acceptable. The Harlem Renaissance is a time when blacks were able to use different mediums to voice how they felt about their past treatment and the way they were still being treated. One poem by Langston Hughes, "Negro" describes what life was like for blacks. In "Negro" we see the beginning and the ending of the poem are the same. To me this shows how proud he was to be black. This poem tells us about the slaves building the pyramids. I can not begin to imagine the back breaking job of hauling the stones for the pyramids. Their treatment was at times barbaric. They were victims but throughout it all they were, "Black as the night is black, black like the depths of my Africa."

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway

In reading Hemingway's, "Hills Like White Elephants," I can see there was a very hard decision to be made. I read it several times to see if I could figure out what the decision was. Absinthe is a very strong drink and since she mentioned it, I knew the decision had to be a life changing decision. The man kept saying over and over that the operation was a simple one but then again he also kept saying she did not have to go through it. I think in the girl's mind she felt she would loose the man if she did not go through the abortion. When she said, "Once they take it away you never get it back," was she refering to the baby? There are several things that stand out in this story, the first being the beaded curtain. The other thing that stood out is how she said she was fine at the end of the story. Do you think the abortion took place before the train came. I was thinking with all of the drinking she had done, could she have passed out and woke up and it was all over? What do you think???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

20th Lit

Wonderful day on of class!