Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Sotweed Factor

This was the first reading that we had done and to be completely honest it was one of the most confusing because at this time I still wasn't sure all about what we were reading. But what I had gotten from The Sotweed Factor was that your fate can not be changed if it is cursed and if your friends are mean then you really have no chance. Then the next line I kind of took like your stuck with it no matter what and you will be left with a broken heart and you really don't know if it will be fixed one day. Then he was saying bye to the world and that the heavens would be okay.
     At this point I thought he was talking about maybe leaving the world and committing suicide because he was saying bye to the world. But I was wrong because they had been on a boat for about 3 months and I got that by just reading a little further. During those 3 months there were really bad storms  and they were all happy to get off the boat but they were sick from all the traveling. I believe they got off at Piscato way and they were all dressed in scottish clothing, no shoes, stockings and hats; and thats when the "Sotweed planters" came over to the crew.

   So after class and discussing this I got a little bit of a better perspective of what was going on. The crew had come from England and they were calling the "sotweed" planters this name because they had never seen such people. But these "Strange" people had turned out to be native Americans. ANd they were basically calling them murderers and it was nothing like they thought because this crew thought America would be like England and it was not.


In Stowe's writing there were two young children named Dick Ward and he had a little sister Grace that were out in the woods I believe to put up chips which at the time was a , "wholesome and gracious employment" for the time they were in which was during the war.
     Grace started out being sad because there was ice all over the chips and it hurt her hands as her older brother encouraged her to hurry up and pick them up as he went and hung the Liberty (the flag). He wanted the two of them to play along like they were in the army and Dick was General Washington. I think Dick wanted to play this all the time and act like he was older than he really was because all the male figures in his family except his brother were off to war and he seemed like he wanted to be like them. Just like most boys do to their fathers.
     As Dick and Grace were playing her bonnet flew off of her head and she had got really sad. As where Dick wanted her to let it go since it was "good to give give up everything to liberty" or in other words the people that were off at war and had nothing but the clothing on their backs and the things their families gave them if they were still around. So all in all they ended up leaving the bonnet even thought Grace thought her Aunt Hitty was going to be mad. Then as soon as Grace got back to the house she was questioned by her Aunt of what took them so long, why her hands were so cold and where her bonnet was. Grace then got the snow off her boots  and cried as where Dick was still not home.
     The children's Aunts then figured out why he was still not home and it was because he said he was going looking for Grace's  bonnet but really it was his way to get away and play. He quoted, "picking up chips is a girls work and taking forts and defending the country us a mans work". Again I believe that he thinks all of this because his father is gone and he feels like he needs to be responsible for his family until he gets back and this breaks my heart because in the mothers eyes she knows that her husband may never come home.
     The family had gotten a letter from the father telling them what was going on and how he gave his extra pair of socks to a man who had none. I feel like the family felt proud of him for doing this but at the same time they don't want him to be without things that he needs. So after they read that letter they all got things together to send off to the men at war. And when the children asked their mother what it was that she sent she said, " I gave all i have and that is my children and my husband." I feel for this woman and all the others at this time knowing how hard times were and all their husbands were gone and their children were waiting patiently for them to get home.

   This compared to Dougless; they both start out somewhat happy but then takes a dramatic turn to slaverly and becomes sad. They show abolitionism which is a group of woman that make things and then sell them to abolitionist. And Washington had slaves back then but he said that they were his slaves wives. And once he died he had written down that they must be set free.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


     In chapter 5, Travels of girlhood-The slaves master started out by telling her that she was his property and she must do all that he tells her and by this she is frightened  and scared of the violence, insults or death that could come from this. Right from the start I knew that this story was not going to be happy or any sort of free spirt like in Whitman. In the masters house all the slaves knew that they should not talk about punishments that they are encountered with because punishment for that will be even worse. But she was different, (at this point we do not know her name) but Dr. Flint, her master is not a fan of her grandmother and is pretty much scared of her. At this point I thought the grandmother was dead but at the end I found out that she wasn't.
     In Chapters 6 and 7, The Jealous Mistress and The Lover,It starts out with, "I'd rather my children be half-starved paupers of Ireland than to be the most pampered among slaves in" and "I would rather drudge out my entire life on a cotton field than to live with an unprincipled master." I agree with this, i'd rather have my children have only one meal a day than to be beaten. She started teaching herself to read and her master was mad at first but then he began to write her notes and teach her. A few days after that he got mad at her for being "stubborn" and she told him that she would then turn to her grandmother for protection. So then she started sleeping in the same room as her and her Aunt because the master wanted nothing to do with them. After the master figured all of this out he ordered her to sleep in his room and the mistress was not happy about this. She had gotten so mad that she made the slave girl swear on the bible that she would tell the truth about what had happened between the slave and her husband, Dr. Flint. As the slave explained to her the mistress got every upset and started crying and told the slave that she would protect her but she knew that she wouldn't be able to because the mistress has no say of what goes on with Dr. Flint.
     The slave girls friend then comes into play, they have been friends since they were young and he had finally told her that he wanted to marry her and buy her from her master but she knew Dr. Flint would not have this and she was extremely sad. And she knew the mistress would still be upset because even though the slave girl would be married, her master would always have control over what he wanted to do with her. Then a quote from the book, "a husband of a slave has no power to protect her."
     In my opinion I think slavery is wrong to begin with but then if someone wanted to marry her and take her away then let that happen. Her master should not be able to go and do whatever he wants with her if she has a husband.
     Once the doctor heard what was going on he called her into his office to ask her if she loved this man and he made her tell the truth, she said yes. Then he got angry for her saying that she loved him and started saying that they were "puppies"  and then she went into explanation  of how this man and her were the same so if he was a puppy than so was she. At the moment he stood up and hit her for the first time. He had told her that he wanted to keep her forever and that she was not allowed to get married to this man and if she still wanted to he would put her in jail. And if she talked him, they would both be "cowhide," I think this means whipped and if they saw each other he would be shot. Luckily for this boy, he was off to Savannah to see his Uncles land that he was given and would be back for a while but the slave girl told him it was in his best interest if he did not come back at all.
      Later on in chapters 10 and 11, A Perilous Passage in the Slave Girls Life and The New tie to Life, things got a little more intense. Master started building her a house of her own so they did not have to deal with this mistress hating her anymore but Linda (the slave) wanted nothing to do with this but she was a little pleased with the fact of her having her own home and feeling more like a lady. Linda then starts talking more direct to the readers by saying that this was the most unhappiest part in her life. She knew that master liked her because he usually gets rid of all his slaves and their babies, but not this time. He had built her her very own house and as soon as it was ready she told him that she was about to be a mother and she was not sure of how he was going to react. When she told her grandmother though, she called her a disgrace to her mother and to never to talk to her again and Linda got really sad because that is who she talks to and looks up to.
     When Dr. Flint finally found out that Linda was going to have a baby and got mad but said he would call her tomorrow also that he would never sell her and that it would always be his slave. When she finally had the baby , it was premature and the both the baby and Linda were sick for a very long time and Dr. FLint would check up on them regularly but then he would always remind her that it was his slave baby and Linda feared that most.
     In the last few chapters Linda was not allowed to go into the masters house or this mistress would kill her. And when she found out that she was going to have another child Dr. Flint got even more mad and cut all her hair off and threw her down the stairs so hard that she couldn't move for days. I don't understand why he gets so mad at her if he is the one doing this to her and making her pregnant. After he realizes what he has done he promises her that he will never do this again but she knows that he will forget.
     She ends up having a baby girl and only a few days after he makes her stand there with the baby until she faints. Then again he realized what he had done and feels bad. At this point I'm starting to think that he os bipolar because how can he switch his mood like that. After she starts feeling better a few days later her and the grandmother take the children to the church.

     In class discussion I found out that Mr. Sands bought her and the baby was his, not Dr. Flint. I was so confused about this until we talked about it because the way its written was hard for me to figure our what man had done what. As that in this point in time, hirarchy of genders were in control, for example Dr. Flint. And that white men treated the slaves like were not even people and even the mistress stated that, "the slaves tempted her husband along with all men". This was in no way true and it breaks my hear that one, they would treat people like they did in slavery and also that the mistress would think that the slaves wanted to be with their husbands. Because I am most certain that they didn't want to be anywhere around the,.


Song on Myself-
I tried to write down what I thought after each number so it would make a little more sense. So in the first three Whitman was writing about how he celebrates his life and everything about it. He is 37 years old and is in perfectly good health and everyone in his family has been born in America. Then he continues to talk about how he smells so good. I'm not sure why he is saying he is in love with his mouth but he did say that. Then he says different things about how he loves nature and how its odorless smell makes him feel free and how people should let him read his poems and people would never be the same. He says how life couldn't be anymore "perfect" than it is. When he said, "Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul." I tried to think about this and I can understand why he say clear and sweet is his soul but then why did he say right after that it is not his soul. I also agree with what he says when he tells us that you should take the best and divide it by the worst and knowing that fitness and equammity of things. Its good that he is loving life and into nature and all that he is doing and how much he admires himself and to have that kind of self image because you should take the best of everything and be happy because you never know what could happen one day so live each to the fullest and go from there.
     Paragraphs 4 through 7 talks about the bad things going on in life and how things can go wrong like people getting sick and dying but life goes on and you have to get over it. He thinks that love is the best creation that could have every happen and how "the hand of God is the promise of my own." Once I got to paragraph 6 I got a little confused of what he was talking about when he was talking about hair and why young men and old men are the way they are. Then continues to ask the readers if people think its lucky to be born and if they think so, do they think its lucky to die.
     In paragraph 8 he speaks of a little girl with red hair and i think she was dead because it said something along the lines of the floor was covered in blood and he saw a corpse where there was a pistol next to it. Outside there was snow on the ground and as the police came there were people standing outside and all started leaving when the cops made an arrest.
     The rest of the poem up to paragraph 15 it was about him sitting in the mountains by a fire with is dog and a gun. He meets a boatman and a clam digger early in the morning and then later he sees a wedding and after that a runaway slaves comes to his door stop. He was so generous that he gave the runaway new clothes to wear since the ones he had were not in good condition.
     At the end of the day it basically made him realize that the husband and the wife will sleep in the same bed and he will be happy singing his song. I thought it was a lot easier to read compared to the anti-federalist and federalist papers .

    In class discussion I found out a few of questions that I had had while I was reading. When it was talking about the grass, it meant that his ancestors were in the ground and apart of nature and that they were still here on earth in some sort of way. But these days it's not like that because we use caskets and some people are em-bombed before their bodies are put in the ground or wherever they are put. Another thing that I completely missed was that I had no idea that he was homosexual and that he was trying to get people to know this. Another point made was that this was one of the first "purest".
    And another big topic that I couldnt understand was why the lady never left the house as there was 28 men outside her home. It was because she was a house wife and she was never allowed out and when she saw all those men she was memorized by how beautiful they were. If I was her I would have left when I saw them because I would have been way to bored to be in the house 24/7, even if I knew I wasn't allowed out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ralph Emerson

     Emerson started out in the very beginning by saying, "to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius." Meaning you have to do what you believe in and not other people and that is how all men should be. He continues to say things that show you he believes in what he thinks and of someone else does not agree, he will do it anyways and i believe that is what he is trying to get all the other people to believe in. Then he says, "Infancy conforms to nobody: all conform to it, so that one baby commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it." Here he is saying that when we were all babies we were how we were and we didn't try and get people to like us or go against what we thought." The adults came to us! So like in our last reading Hawthorne, how the towns people were basically a mob, it feels that in this story is it also like that because almost everyone follows everyone else and does not do what their heart tells them to do. In this society, like today, people judge people on what they see and when they see is usually not perfect so then they usually critsize what they don't like.
     "Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs." I compaired this to todays world, people will go out and buy expensive things just because of the name that is on it when in reality, is that necessary?
     He keeps saying things along the line of what he is doing might be wrong to most but it is not wrong to him. He will do what he knows is right and I get this from, "I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways" and also "I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than it be glittering and unsteady." He just seems like a very down to earth man.
     I do not quite understand what he means by, "A man must consider what a blindman's buff is this game os conformity."
     "The foolish face of praise," the forced smile which me put on in company where we do not feel at ease in answer to conversation which does not interest us." I completely agree with this, everyone does this today. We could be walking down  the street and someone might smile at us even though we do not know each other. Then we will give them a half smile because we feel bad and uncomfortable.    
     Everything that he says in here is true, from people following people because they are scared to be themselves and what might happen if they do what they want. To not wanting to feel the disappointment of others if you do something wrong. I think people need to stand up to what they believe and stop doing what other people are telling them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nathaniel Hawthorne

  This story starts out with a boy names Robin that is on a ferry to Massachusetts all by himself, looking for work. He is supposed to meet a man named Major Molineux but seems to have some difficulty along the way. As he got of the ferry he was wearing, "leather, well-shaped limbs, blue yarn stockings and a hat". Robin got to this New England colony and did not picture what he had thought. To sum it up he was pretty scared because there were all there people painted two different colors on their faces and they were not every nice to Robin. One of the man wanted to put him in jail and another started calling him a runaway. He became frighten enough to where he did not want to turn down different streets because he didn't know what was down there.
  He ended up staying at this inn where he thought that the lady working had one of the sweetest voices he has ever heard. A little later on Robin thinks he has found the house me was looking for but the town seemed to be empty and he thought he was the only one left. He was so tired he thought it was seeing people that weren't really there, but there really was a man on the other side and he yelled out from he balcony, "Hallo friend! Must I wait all night for my kinsman, Major Molineux?" 
   Robin and this man have a chat and he seems to find out that the Major will be coming for Robin as soon as he passes on that street. But in the end he never came.


     Romanticism is stated to be the "artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe." It was the start of the industrial Revolution to what I think was the end of the French Revolution which laid the background for both Romanticism and the counter enlightenment emerged. It also started 19th century Realism which is when artists, poets, writers, musicians and political practices started going out on their own.
     Charles Baudelaire said, "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor excite truth, but in the way of feeling". I believe in this because I think things that you choose to do should be off the way you feel , not how someone else feels or if someone else may think that its wrong. You should be able to say and show what you are feeling. This article also stated that its emphasized on intuition, imagination and feeling which is basically what Mr. Baudelaire said.
     Music and the arts; was mostly contemporary, "romantic" and some of the producers in music being; Beethoven and the 5th Symphony. Literature and operas were considered being in the "gothic" times. And some still played today would be Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. A big poet would have been Alexander Pope, literature at this point was starting to become different and in its own individual way than before and more like it was in Europe at the time. This is when it seemed that Americans started breaking free of strict religion and traditions hence Woman authors started evolving more as stated in the article.
    Although I had a little trouble with this since I do not know much about history, i believe I understood this pretty well. From what I got out of this was that this was basically the point in time when Americans started become their own people and started breaking up into different groups and believing what they wanted along with listening to different music and liking arts that were unfamiliar. Much like Europe at the time, I believe Americans may have started enjoying the arts more even thought there were about 4 different wars going on during this time but that is what seems to have started it.