Harlem is a very short poem written by Langston Hughes during his life time of 1902-1967. To me the poem seems to have absolutely nothing to do with Harlem, it is about what happens to a dream. The poem does actually make you think, and I feel that it represents different kinds of dreams we can have whether it be a night mare, or just a plain average dream. I do not feel that good or sweet dreams are represented in this poem. Mostly we are asked if the dreams are simply dissipating with time or if they swell up and consume us. A good dream would bring us excitement, pleasure, and we would never want to forget it. Unlike those portrayed in the poem that simply dry up, and dissipate over time or, the dreams that fester and become heavy loads. Those are the dreams that drag us down or instill terror through nightmares. If you are not one who believes in dreams then this poem would have little to no meaning to you because I do not think there is anything else you can pull from the poem other than dreams.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The Road Not Taken is a famous poem written by Robert Frost during his life time of 1874-1963. This poem is about the struggle we all face when it comes to either an everyday decision or a life changing event. The character in the poem chose the path less taken and in the final line he states it has made all the difference. From that I feel as though we can take from it that not all the time is societies ideas or path always the right one for us, we must our own individual determination on which path to take. Granted driving over a cliff or taking the bridge is one where we all pretty much obviously would say to take the path over the bridge. My point is that not all the time is the social norm the right path to take, sometimes the path less traveled is better. One other way I feel one can read this poem is with the mind set of believing in God or not believing in Him. Whether it was Frosts intentions or not every time I read this poem I always feel like the path less taken is the one choosing to have faith and believe in God.
Hills Like White Elephants is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway during his life time of 1899- 1961. When I first read this story I found it to be rather vague. The entire story seemed to be about a young girl and an average age man somewhere in the mountains of Barcelona, Spain sitting in a bar next to some railroad tracks, and while waiting for their train they were filling themselves with drinks. Meanwhile they carried on a conversation about something of importance but they never allude to what it is. Discussion in class certainly helped to make the story more understandable but I was still puzzled because apparently the subject of their conversation to which they never mentioned was that the girl needs to have or is going to have an abortion. I assume the child is the man’s but the story is vague on details so we can only assume this. What does not make sense though is if the girl is pregnant why is she drinking so much because we know it is extremely bad for the baby for the mother to drink during her pregnancy. Perhaps the story is set in a time before we had the medical technology to know it was bad to drink during her pregnancy but then the question comes up how prevalent would an abortion have been during that time period.
The Glass Menagerie is a play that was written by Tennessee Williams during his life time of 1911-1983 that debuted in 1944. The play stars four main characters Amanda, Laura, Tom, and Jim O’Connor who are living in St. Louis, during the 1930’s. The whole play is a memory brought to life from the mind of Tom who also narrates the play. Tom is the son of Amanda. He works in a warehouse everyday and struggles with alcohol and the constant hounding of his mother. Amanda is an overly concerned mother who wants the best for her children and, for Laura to find a man to marry. Laura is the daughter of Amanda; she is very shy and self-conscious due mainly to a brace and limp in one of her legs. Jim O’Connor is a coworker of Tom, who becomes a gentleman caller to Laura towards the end of the play. As the play starts off Tom explains the setting and history leading up to the start of the play. Amanda, Tom and Laura all live in the same apartment in St. Louis. Amanda constantly heckles Tom about work and taking care of his sister Laura. Eventually Tom brings home Jim O’Conner a gentlemen caller for Laura to satisfy Amanda. Laura is initially against the idea and refuses to have any interaction with him, but she does eventually warm up to him only to find out that he is already in a relationship with another woman.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a short fictional story written by Sherman Alexie in 1993. The story is about a middle age Indian who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, but despite the odds he rose above the typical stereotype and made it through college. He moved to Seattle to work, and even had a girlfriend; though their relationship was very strained with constant fights, or ridicule. After one nights terrible dream of him and his girlfriend he packed up his things and left to return to the Spokane Indian Reservation where all of his family was. It was to no one’s surprise to see him returning since Indians were meant to make it in the real world, all they were supposed to be good for was living on a reservation, drinking; he was different since he had been to college, he was supposed to make it. For several weeks he did nothing but flip through channels and ignore the help wanted adds his mom would circle and lay on the table for him. He eventually got back into playing basketball like he used to in high school. After the big game he played, he woke up the next morning and found himself picking up the help wanted ads. He found a job he liked and went off to get it, and that he did, he got a job working at the high school exchange program. One day though he received a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, checking up to see how he was doing. They talked for a while and both apologized for their earlier relationship, but the story makes no mention of them getting back together. Immediately following their conversation Alexie ends the story as the Indian concludes how his nights are dark, alone, quiet, and sleepless, but what does he really need sleep for he knows how all his dreams end.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
The yellow wallpaper is a story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in about 1890 during her lifetime of 1860-1935.The yellow wallpaper is about a woman who is diagnosed by her husband as being "sick" or mentally unstable. Her husband John takes her into the country side where they rent a house for three months in the summer in hopes of the fresh air and new surroundings helping her to get better. The room in which they are staying has old ragged yellow wallpaper, all the windows are barred, there is one bed in the room that is nailed to the floor, and it appears as though the room use to be either a child's play room or nursery. The first impression the wife has about the room she is going to be staying in is very negative, she wants all the wallpaper changed, and the windows unbarred. As time goes on though she begins to like the room exactly the way it is. She studies the wallpaper and begins to notice that there are two different patterns, there is a pattern on top and then another behind. The top pattern appears as though it is bars holding in the women that make up the second pattern. Each day she studies the pattern more and more, she begins to lay awake at night studying the pattern and trying to free the women behind it. Month after month she does this and she begins to seem more mentally unstable, but her overall health is better. The story draws to a conclusion as the husband enters home on the last day before their lease is up and for some reason when he enters the house and sees his wife he is stuck in fear, astonishment, or such that he passes out and his wife is left there creeping about the house along the wall searching the wallpaper.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Flannery O’Connor lived from 1925-1964 and in 1955 she wrote the short story A Good Man is Hard to Find. This story portrays a family road trip to Florida gone wrong. As the story starts off the grandmother is in opposition to going on a trip to Florida, she would much rather go to East Tennessee, because there is an escaped convict running loose. She tries to convince her son Bailey, and the family to go, but she fails in her attempt. The family packs up to head to Florida and grandma brings her cat with her so that she does not have to stay by herself for three days while everyone is gone. On their trip grandma remembers an old house she would not mind stopping to visit on the way, and with some persuasion from the kids Bailey agrees to stop and see the house. As they turn down an old dirt road to go visit the house grandma remembers that the house is actually in Tennessee. Her sudden reaction to this remembrance startles the cat who then jumps onto Bailey causing the car to flip and roll off the road. After everyone starts to catch their breath a black vehicle is seen down the road coming towards the family. When the car arrives all is still for a while, and there are three men who get out. One of them whom is recognized by the grandmother as she screams out his identity. In time the two accomplices kill off everyone in the family, and in a fit pleading for her life the escaped convict kills the grandmother as she reaches out to touch him. At this point the story comes to an abrupt end with no more of a conclusion other than a family vacation trip gone wrong ending in the murder of a whole entire family.