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Monday, May 6, 2013

In Class Essay

In Kikongo, the language of the people of Kilanga, the word bängala has three meanings: most precious, most insufferable, or poisonwood. In the Congolese context, opposites are necessarily bound forever in definition; nothing can exist without its antithesis. The righteous and the heathen, the foreign and the familiar, devastation and redemption -- each half is a component of the whole, relevant only by comparison. The Price family, arriving in the Congo in 1959 to fulfill Reverend Nathan Price's evangelical mission, comes to understand that what they hold most dear can also be what they despise the most; the thing closest to their hearts can also be poison.

Through the voices of four sisters and their mother, the story of the Price family's tragic destruction is juxtaposed with the political disintegration of the Congo itself from a colonized territory to an autonomous democracy to a nation run by a CIA- installed dictator. As Nathan's attempts to save both himself and the Congolese "heathens" become all-consuming, the Price women struggle to find their own brand of freedom. Through the hardships suffered at the hands of Africa's powerful natural forces, politicians both in the village and around the world, and even those they hold closest to their hearts, each woman eventually finds her own way to liberation. Much like the Kikongo word bängala, "liberation" for the Price women has multiple -- and contradictory -- meanings. Whether through an outright rejection of the Congolese culture or a redefinition of "home," each ultimately regains the autonomy denied her in her forced relocation to Africa.

Kingsolver depicts the Congolese culture with a measure of respect not often seen in fictional novels written by foreign authors, and sets an important example for today's global community -- a world in which fluid borders and technological advances make intercultural exchanges inevitable. With The Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver has created an intelligent and powerful story about the tensions between love and hate, destruction and redemption, nation and nation, man and woman, and nature and beast -- and the women who learn to understand and embrace these tensions.

1999 Essay Question 3

Life of Pi
The important thing isn't that we can live on love alone, but that life isn’t worth living without it. In the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the author shows that Richard Parker is part of Pi, and is necessary for his survival. This is shown at the end of the novel when Pi reaches Mexico with Richard Parker’s help of survival. However, there are two different versions to Pi’s story, and there is no physical proof of Richard’s existence other than his word. Life isn't worth living without hope, Richard Parker is necessary for Pi’s survival because he gives him a reason to survive, provides companionship, keeps him from feeling hopelessness.
Firstly, Richard Parker is essential for Pi’s survival. He is essential for Pi’s survival because Richard Parker has the strength and viciousness necessary to survive. In the end of the book it is revealed that Richard Parker is Pi. Richard Parker is just a figment of Pi’s imagination a creation of Pi’s mind to help him cope with seeing his mother killed and the rest of the bad experiences he had after the ship sunk. Pi created Richard in order to conjure up those traits that he needs in order to survive; Richard is strong, fierce, and terrifying, whereas Pi is complete opposite. He creates a strong fierce animal with a personality that is capable of doing things he can't, but has to in order to survive. Richard Parker is just Pi’s dark side. He keeps Pi sane, despite of his terrible deeds. In other words, he imagines that the tiger is talking to him, showing that he and Richard share one mind. It is not possible for an animal to talk, thus it is Pi’s collective imagination that manifests this conversation. However, the two share many of the same needs and wants, so therefore their minds are able to collaborate subconsciously.

Question 2 From 1999

In the passage written by Cormac McCarthy in the novel The Crossing, the author expresses the experience of a character as he experienced the loss of a wolf. Cormac described the actions as the young man cared for wolf's corpse as it suffered a bloody, and unfortunate death. McCarthy used elements such as metaphors and personification in order to give the descriptions of the experience more life and more impact to the reader. He also used pathos in order to allow the reader to feel a little for the main character in his loss. McCarthy also used a lot of imagery in order to make the reader most easily picture this dramatic experience

In the passage, the author states, "-he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun's coming as yet had not undone...". This quote proves that the wolf will be missed, as the character reminisces on her life as she knew it. It also shows the negative impact it had on him as he reminisces in mourning, and not in celebration of her continuing life. These flasbacks prove that the loss has had a strong impact on the character as he gets lost in his memories of the wolf, and what her life could have been like had she survived.

In conclusion, the author conveys the impact on the character through the use of flashback and characterization. These elements clearly expressed the negative impact the passing had in this character as he experienced the wolf as a corpse and not a lively creature.

Poetry Essay 2



The Broken Heart, by John Donne, portrays someone’s broken heart from an unequal reply of love. Donne uses varied imagery throughout the poem to reveal the speaker’s attitude toward the nature of love.

Various imagery is used throughout the poem which symbolize the condition of the speakers heart. Images of digestion, such as “devour” (line 4) and “swallows chaws” (line 14), show, how love, takes control over the heart. An image of a fire, such as in line 8, shows the agony of the speaker as his heart was broken day by day. Donne reveals the speaker’s feelings of his heart’s death in line 15, “chain’d shot.” Other images such as “broken glass” (line 29) and “rags” (line 31) reveal the weakness and unwholeness of the speaker’s heart.

Through these images there is an attitude that is revealed about the speaker towards the nature of love. Images of pain, death, and darkness reveal an attitude of sorrow and hopelessness. The sorrowful attitude comes from the pair of a broken heart. However, the hopeless attitude is from knowing if this one person does not return the love the speaker has sent, the speaker will never be able to love another person.

The images represented in this poem are symbols of the condition and feelings of the speaker’s heart. From these images, one can determine the attitude of the speaker toward the nature of love

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poetry Essay Prompt #1

Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

Helen
BY H. D.
All Greece hates 
the still eyes in the white face, 
the lustre as of olives 
where she stands, 
and the white hands. 

All Greece reviles 
the wan face when she smiles, 
hating it deeper still 
when it grows wan and white, 
remembering past enchantments 
and past ills. 

Greece sees unmoved, 
God’s daughter, born of love, 
the beauty of cool feet 
and slenderest knees, 
could love indeed the maid, 
only if she were laid, 
white ash amid funereal cypresses.


To Helen
By Edgar Allan PoeHelen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

Although H.D. and Edgar Allan Poe each wrote a poem with the same name of "Helen", they both demonstrate very opposite esteem for the subject and couldn't be more divergent. In Poe's writing Helen come across as a very beautiful and inviting women, whereas, H.D. downsizes Helen's beauty with the use of simile and imagery.

Poe writes in three stanzas of five lines that have definite rhyming pattern. The first stanza has the pattern a/b/a/b/b. Poe uses a simile to compare his Helen's beauty to that of Helen of troy, who was considered one of the world's most beautiful women. With tone of reverse and imagery Poe portrays Helen like a goddess. Poe uses the simile and alliteration to show compare Helen beauty's to the emotions of a log that is traveling back to its homeland to be reunited.The poem is a tribute to a beautiful woman, held in high regard.

On the other hand, the Helen of H.D.'s poem is hated by all of Greece.In this three stanza poem, a couple of the lines in each stanza rhyme and the stanza length increases by a line as the poem progresses.H.D. contrasts with a tone of abhorrence and imagery that paints the picture of a monster. H.D. uses parallelism in the first two stanzas and anaphora to convey his attitude toward Helen is that of hatred and bitterness towards her beauty. As the poem progresses, Helen is blamed for past tragedies and the description of her appearance changes to the appearance of a pale unmoving form, resembling death. There is no regard or sympathy for the Helen who was so widely accepted as a symbol of beauty and love.

   H.D. and Poe have different views about Helen's beauty, these portrayals of Helen in these two poems are examples of two extreme interpretations of the physical appearance and symbolism of a historic figure.

Poem Analysis (TPCASTT )

'The Road Not Taken'
Title: I believe the title means that there are two different paths to choose from and that one of them, more often than not, isn't taken.
Paraphrase: This poem could literally be about two paths in some type of forest, but I believe its really just about two choices going around in someone's head. Either path leading to the same place but one traveled on every day and the one only once in a while. One may contain a better story to tell at the end of the journey.
Connotation: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by" This means that there were two options in this persons life and they had to make a difficult choice. They chose to go where many don't, probably because it wasn't the easy way out.
Diction: I think the words chosen by Robert Frost were smart and eloquent because this poem can be understood by many because it doesn't have big, scary words that you need a dictionary for. He wanted his message to be clear and heard by all, young and old.
Attitude: The person in the story seemed determined to find whatever he/she was looking for.
Tone: This poem is very calming which I think is needed because it really makes you think about life and which paths you want to pursue.
Shift(s): The person seems to be intrigued by the path that most people take, but in the end he decides to take the one most people avoid, noting how much work may be involved it would be worth it.
Title revisited: The title now seems to explain that there is a path that isn't followed, but it should be and that's what the person in this poem decides.
Theme: The central message I believe is to know every option you have and to pursue the more difficult one because in the end it could change your life.