Sunday, December 4, 2011

Feed: Utopia and Slumberland

The group is discharged from the hospital and they return home to earth, a new world full of technology. Violet and Titus become closer and begin to form a relationship. Violet tells Titus of her ideas to fight the feed. Violet is the one true individualistic character in this novel. She is the only one who fights technology. This ultimately leads to her demise. Titus is intrigued and goes along with Violet. They talk of how everyone doesn't have feeds. Feeds are expensive and Violet herself didn't get hers until she was 7.

This section is about Violet dying slowly. Due to her late implantation of the feed, her body is slowly shutting down. She is put in the hospital and Titus wants to be there for her but the burden becomes too much for him. She sends him mass amounts of pictures and videos, and memories, but he doesn't open them.

Feed: The Moon, and Eden

The Moon:
We went to the moon to have fun but the moon turned out to completely suck. The group went to the moon for a spring break adventure. They stay in a swanky hotel. They order room service. You get the sense right away that these kids are wealthy. They decide to go out one night to the Ricochet Club. While there, Titus, the main character sees a pretty girl and decides to go talk to her. Her finds out that her name is Violet and they begin talking all night. Meanwhile, there is a shady character standing in the corner. He walks up to the characters and passes a metal rod over them thus hacking their feeds. They all meltdown and wakeup in the hospital.

The gang is hospitalized for their hacked feeds. The doctors are doing everything they can to reinstate their feeds back to their normal status. While in the hospital, the group realizes just how much they miss their feeds. They are not able to m-chat each other or send each other pictures and videos. All they can think of is the song I wanna sex you in, that was playing in the club when their feeds were hacked. They have to actually speak to communicate with each other, a rare occurance for the characters in this novel. They are constantly m-chatting each other, similar to instant messaging but in their heads. It is realized that many of these characters don't have supportive parents. Titus' father comes to visit and stays maybe five minutes. Violet's father doesn't come to visit either, it is blamed on his having to work, but it is later found out that he couldn't afford for himself to travel to the moon to check on Violet.

Contemporary poem

This poem is called Accepted by Elizabeth Jennings. She basically is talking about a person who has gotten older. They don't stand out based on looks anymore, but they haven't withered away. They don't know all of the latest and greatest things, but they know old things. They aren't rejected, but they are accepted.

Flash Fiction

This story is called "in an old man's lap." In this story, a little girl and her grandmother go to the nursing home to visit the little girls grandfather. Her grandfather is 96 years old. He is seemingly unaware of his surroundings. Jacqueline, the little girl, runs from person to person climbing in anyone's lap who will let her. Colleen, her grandmother, sits there and remembers the time of the Ripper, a serial killer who roamed the streets of London. The nursing home is located in the same location as the insane asylum once stood that he was a patient in. If he had survived, he would be 96 today. Just then, a man named Mr. Kaminski walks up to Jacqeuline. He is covered in scars and has protrusions from his cheeks. Jacqueline is intrigued by this old man. She crawls in his lap. Colleen realizes Mr. Kaminski is 96. So the big question is, Is he the ripper? You decide.

The Red Convertible

The Red Convertible is the story of two brothers, Henry and Lyman. They are American- Indians. They both decide on a whim one day to buy a red oldsmobile convertible. They start working on it together and get it running like new. They decide to take a road trip in it and pick up a girl along the way. Her name is Susy and she lives in Alaska, so they take her home to Alaska. Her family takes right to Henry and Lyman. They love them. When Henry and Lyman return home, Henry enters the army. They joke with Henry that the army only wants him for his Indian nose. He returns from the war around three years later, a completely chagned person. He is no longer the fun loving, carefree Henry that he once was. He just sits and barely speaks. Lyman yearns for the old Henry. He wants his brother back. Lyman feels the only way to get Henry back is through the car. He goes out and ruins the car. He beats it with a bat and ruins the upholstery. Henry is furious. He then spends every waking moment working on the car to get it working like new again. When he does, he and Lyman go on a road trip just like old times. They stop at a river and henry jumps in. He floats down stream, Lyman realizes that this is due to the current not because of Henry swimming. Henry says that his boots are filling with water. Lyman knows there is nothing he can do, so he takes the car and let's it drive into the river. The car fills with water just as Henry's boots did.

Although it is not directly stated in the story, henry is going thorough a great battle with Post Trauamtic Stress Disorder. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include:
Showing little interest in things you once loved
Showing less of your moods
Feeling detached
being unable to concentrate
Henry was clearly suffering from PTSD. He showed no interest in the car when he returned home. He once loved that car so much, that I think he would have done absolutely anything to keep it in perfect running order. He barely speaks to Lyman or anyone in his family. They joked with Henry that he was accepted into the army because of his clearly indian background. Indians are strong, and have little fear according to legends. The idea of strong indians are used in advertisements still . At the left, this indian was used in advertisements nationwide in the 1970's. He sheds a tear because Americans are polluting the environment so much.

Charlotte's Web

This excerpt is one of the saddest excerpts that could be taken from the story. Wilbur has just won his medal and is over joyed. He goes to talk to Charlotte, and asks her what is wrong? She seems so slow these days. Charlotte informs Wilbur that she does not have many days to live. Wilbur is overcome with sadness and determination. He is going to save Charlotte's babies. If Charlotte can't make it back to the barn, her children will. Wilbur wakes Templeton, and instructs him to go cut the egg sack from Charlotte's web. Templeton grunts and groans but he does it. Wilbur puts the egg sack in his mouth, the only safe place to keep it, and leaves Charlotte with a wink. She musters up a goodbye wave and dies alone the next day. Wilbur safely returns the children to the barn, and he is never without friends. They have children and grandchildren. Even though there are all these spiders in the barn, none ever take the place of Charlotte in Wilbur's heart.

This was one of my favorite stories growing up. Everytime I read it, I was always sad when Charlotte died. Charlotte represents a character who has a great heart. She is willing to do anything for her friends. On the outside, she is a scary spider. At first, even Wilbur is scared of her. Once he gets past his fear, he gains one of the best friends he has ever known. Charlotte is a prime example of not judging a book by it's cover. Had Wilbur not gotten past Charlotte's tough exterior, he would not have gained a friend or accomplished the things he accomplished.

Templeton, on the other hand, is an undermining rat. A rat, that is what Templeton is literally and figuratively. When Wilbur wakes him up and tells him that Charlotte is dying, he is not phased. Wilbur asks him to please cut down the egg sack because he can't climb up and get it himself. Templeton then begins with his "me, me, me" rant. He tells Wilbur all of the things that he has done lately. He doesn't think he should have to get the egg sack down. He is more concerned with all of teh things that he has done, instead of helping to save Charlotte's children. Wilbur has to resort to bribing Templeton with the first pick of food forever. Templeton glady climbs his fat belly up the wall at this offer. Selfish, that is what Templeton truly is, a selfish rat.

From Blossoms

From blossoms come peaches. The peaches were sold on a dirt path by a little boy. The peaches were succulent and sweet. That is the basic message of this short poem.

Reading this, I was reminded of my days visiting my grandparents farm. We used to run out in the fields and pick the corn from the stalks, and take the strawberries right off the vines. We would eat them right there, dirty strawberries. They always tasted the best right off the vine, unless the weren't ripe yet. I can hear my grandmother now telling me the strawberries aren't ready to eat, so I better not pick any. I did it anyway, and I always regretted it because there is nothing more bitter tasting than an unripe strawberry.

The author talks about while eating the peach, she is not only eating the peach but also the shade and the days it was grown. There is a lot of hard work that goes into growing a crop of fruit or vegetables. In North Carolina, lots of work goes into growing cotton and tobacco as well. Those hours are spent sowing the ground and planting the seeds. Even to this day, there is not a machiene to do everything. Somethings are still done by hand. My mom tells stories about when she was a little girl and she used to pick tobacco. She said there was nothing better at the end of the long hot day than a pepsi and a honey bun. She and the author of From Blossoms, know the hard work that goes into the growing of crops. My grandparents were the type of people who sold their produce out of the back of the truck on the side of the road, just like the story. They appreciated local consumers, and local consumers appreciated them. They were not interested in going to the grocery store and getting produce when they knew of a better place to get it, probably for cheaper too. When you bite into a piece of dusty fresh produce, remember that a lot of time went into growing that strawberry or that peach. Think about that next time.

The School

So this school, is consumed with death. First the students try to grow some orange trees. They all die. Then there are snakes at the school that are all killed in a strike on the school. The herb garden that the children are growing dies, possibly due to over watering. The class gerbil dies. One student finds a puppy and brings him to school; he is dead just a few weeks later. Matthew and Tony, two of the students, were killed tragically in a construction accident involving wooden beams. Many parents are killed or either kill themselves. On parent is murdered by a masked intruder. The students begin to ask their teacher, Edgar, about it. They ask if death gives meaning to life. He says that no, life is what gives meaning to life. The children are all excited at the end when a new gerbil arrives at the classroom.

I guess the point of this story is death follows us. You can't escape death. There is one absolute certain in everyone's life, you will die one day. This story is tragic. The amount of death that these little children experience is so high. They will probably become numb to the idea of death by the time they are older, if they are not already. This story reminded me of the Final Destination franchise. In these movies, characters survive a freak accident only to be found by death later on in the movie. The idea is the same in the movies and this story. Death is everywhere. Kind of morbid. These children are still young enough that they can be mesmerized by something shiny and new.  This is seen with the gerbil at the end. The children are elated at the sight of the new gerbil. It's like they have forgotten the past deaths they have all experienced. It is said that children bounce back they quickest. They don't dwell on the past. So maybe, these children will all turn out alright despite the large amount of death they have experienced in their short lives.

A Silver Dish

This story deals with death and how to accept. The story is told through the eyes of Woody who's father is terminally ill. He speaks of the good times and bad times with his father, ultimately wanting to remember those good times. The story centers around the stealing of the silver dish. Woody attended a seminary school and he was an ok student. He was expelled for stealing a silver dish, but wait for it, he didn't steal it. It was his father who stole it. Woody was outraged when his father stole the dish; they fought over whether to return it or not. Woody thought he had convinced his father to return the dish, but he was later questioned about the missing dish and was expelled. He went to his father and his father simply told him that he had pawned it. If he wanted it back, then he would have to go buy it back. Saul Bellow then takes the reader back to present day where Woody's father is laying in his death bed. He is fighting the treatments they are giving him with everything he has. He is pulling out tubes and IV's. Woody is so concerned about his father that he lays directly on top of him to restrain him from doing these things. While Woody is holding his father, he dies in his arms.

Did anyone else think of the silver dish as a fountain pen? Death of A Salesman? In DOAS, Biff Loman was the high school football star. Everyone loved him, but he was a bit of a clepto. He was supposed to go to college and play football but was not able to go. He instead goes to interview for a job, and when the interview is not successful Biff steals an expensive fountain pen. In Silver Dish, It was not the disappointing son that stole something, but instead the disappointing father. Both of these stories are centered around the idea that we love people despite their flaws. We are only given one family in this world. Sometimes families don't get along, but they are loved despite this fact. There is a saying blood is thicker than water, meaning you have to stick with your own kind. Those who made you are those who are going to stick with you to the end, even if you steal a pen or a silver dish.

Yet do I marvel/ Heritage

Yet do I Marvel
This poem is fourteen lines long, and it is a sonnet. Cullen uses the images of Tantalus and Sisyphus. Tantalus was welcomed by Zeus to the Greek Gods' table from which he stole ambrosia and nectar. He took this back to his people, and this revealed the secrets of the gods. He was sent to Tartarus in the underworld, which was reserved for the punishment of evildoers. Sisyphus was a king found in Roman mythology. He was punished for eternity to push a bolder up a hill and watch it roll back down again. Both of these characters experienced great struggle in their personal lives, just as Countee Cullen must have. Being a black poet during the civil rights movement could not have been easy, just as pushing a bolder or living in hell must not have been easy.

In Heritage, Cullen takes us back to his ancestors. He talkes about Africa and what it means to him. He uses vivid imagery of cats crouching in the river reeds, and bodies sleek and wet dripping of mingled rain and sweat. Although many people believe that people in olden times were not civilized, Cullen diagrees. He says that you and I are civlized, speaking of modern day and those in previous day Africa.


What happens to a dream deferred? That is the question that Hughes attempts to answer in this short poem. He asks if it dries up like a raisin in the sun. It's like he is saying that your dream is still there, and it is still attainable, but you let it sit out for such a long time that it doesn't look the same now as it did then. Grapes are sweet and delicious. They are either green or purple. Raisins are almost black and look very funny, but they are still edible to most people. He then asks does it fester like a sore and run? Here, he is saying that if you don't go after your dreams they will become a part of you, like a sore. You will carry these unfulfilled dreams around. Does it stink like rotten meat or sugar over like a syrupy sweet? He is playing with the sense of taste again. Meat will spoil just as sweets will, but they spoil in different ways. Meat smells and that stench lingers for a long time. Sweets just wither away quietly. What will your dreams do if you don't reach them? Will they linger and will you be reminded of them everyday? Will you just quietly accept the fact that you will never attain that dream? Maybe it sags like a heavy load, or will it explode. What will one do with that dream. Will they carry it around like a load all of the time? It will be a constant reminder of what they don't have. Will they let it explode? If they do that, then it will be gone and done forever.

Theme for English B

Langston Hughes begins this poem with a student who has an assignment to go home and write. HE speaks of how the narrator has grown up in historically black neighborhoods and he must go home to Harlem which is below his college. He talks about how he is not that different from his white counterparts. He is just as much a part of them as they are a part of him. Although they may not want to be linked sometimes, they are linked because they are both Americans.

This poem was written in 1951. Hello civil rights movement. This was published right at the beginning of the civil rights movement. Seperate water fountains, eating places in restaurants, entrances to buildings, and even assigned seats on buses were all a part of every day life. It was rare for black people to be educated during this time, but Hughes was. Despite the seperation in America, he saw the truth that everyone was linked despite their color. They were all Americans. Hughes says that white people are no better than black people. Everyone is equal, although not as equal as in Harrison Bergeron.

Howl- Ginsberg

Instead of beginning with the summary, I am going to begin this blog with some background on Ginsberg himself. He wrote this poem in 1955 at the urging of his therapist. He had spent some time in a mental institution, and his therapist felt that he would benefit from writing poetry full time. He talks in great lenghts about his friend from the institution, Carl Solomon. He sympathizes with Solomon due to his mothers schizophrenia.

The poem is written in three parts, not titled.

Part 1
He begins by saying that he saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness. He talks vividly about homosexuality, drug use, suicide. These people are all people he encountered in treatment. In this section, Ginsberg uses the base who. Every other line begins with this word

Part 2
Moloch is definitely the base for part 2. Moloch was a God worshipped by the phoenicians who had associations with child sacrifice. In modern english, it is used to refer to a costly sacrifice. Ginsberg uses Moloch as a god for his characters in Part 1 to be sacrificed to.

Part 3
This is a personal address to his dear friend Carl Solomon. The base in this section is Rockland. Ginsberg says that he is with Solomon in Rockland, the fictional name of the mental hospital that they met each other in. Ginsberg says that he will be there with Solomon through the good and the bad.

Reading this poem, I guess because the background of mental illness, i was reminded of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. She wrote that novel in 1963, only 8 years after Ginsberg wrote Howl. Just like Ginsberg, Plath had her own battle with mental illness. Also like Ginsberg, the characters in her story had mental illnesses as well. The Bell Jar centers around Esther Greenwood. She is a nice girl who is battling depression. The Carl to her Allen is a character named Betsy. These characters did not meet in treatment, but while on an internship in New York. Betsy is Esther's only friend. Plath may have taken some of the ideas from Ginsberg and put them into the Bell Jar.

Harrison Bergeron

Harrison bergeron is set in the year 2081. By this time, the governement has mandated that everyone is equal, very equal. Those who are good looking must wear masks, those who are smart must wear earpieces that don't allow them to use their brains, those who have good vision must wear glasses, those who are athletic must wear bags of weight around their neck. George and Hazel Bergeron have a son named harriso who is taken away from them by the handicapper general. While they are watching some ballerinas perform on television, a news bulletin begins stating that Harriso Bergeron has escaped from prison. He is wearing thick glasses and a red rubber nose. They warn people not to attempt to reason with him if they see him. He breaks onto the set of the ballerinas dancing and breaks free of all of his handicapps and begins dancing with one of the ballerinas. He removes her mask to reveal her stunning beauty. They dance and he proclaims himself emperor and the ballerina empress. They dance until Diana Moon Glampers, the handicapper general, catches Harrison and kills him. Hazel is sobbing at the sight of this, but George missed it because he went to get a beer from the kitchen. When he comes back, he asks Hazel what is wrong and she can't remember, something sad. So he tells her to forget sad things.

Is this story "1984" set in 2081 instead? I think so. These are both stories about the future. While this story focuses on the equality of everyone on the planet, 1984 focuses on the technology and how it seperates society. In 1984, the characters can't hide. They have to do things according to what the "Thought police" deem appropriate. In HB, if the characters don't comply with what the handicapper general says, they get killed. Reading these stories makes me wonder what is going to come of our world. Will it even have a future. According to the Mayans, it won't. In December 2012, the world is going to end (so they say). So modern day people won't have to worry about this type of unfair future. We have different types of people today because they are good at different things. Everyone doesn't need to be the same amount of pretty or the same level of smart. That is just ridiculous. Everyone has strenghts. For the government to rob people of that is insane. Let people be individuals.

A Good Man is Hard to Find

In this story, the family is going on a road trip to FLorida. The grandmother is very unhappy with this choice and wants to go to Tennessee instead. She complains to her son Bailey over and over again, but the family chooses to go to Florida anyway. On the way, the family stops to have a meal at a diner called the Tower. While here, the grandmother learns of a serial killer known as "the misfit." She talks to the owner Red Sammy about the killer, and they both agree that a good man is hard to find. When back on the road, the grandmother begins telling the children stories of this house she used to visit when she was a little girl that had secret passageways (shes still trying to deter the family from going to florida). She tells the family that this house is in Georgia and it's right on their way. As she directs her son to turn down a deserted path, she realizes that the house she is thinking of is in fact in Tennessee, not Georgia. Bailey gets into a wreck and his car goes into a nearby ditch. A group of men stop and get out of a truck. They all have guns. The leader of the men instructs his menions to inspect the inside of the car.  The grandmother realizes that he is the misfit and calls him on it. The menions begin murdering the family one by one. While this is happening, the grandmother pleads with misfit and tries to offer him the word of jesus christ. He believes her to be a phony Christian, and muders her (while she is wearing her sunday best, so she died like a lady)

Misfit reminded me somewhat of the character Jigsaw from the 'saw' movies. Misfit killed his own father and then went on a killing rampage to kill others. Jigsaw was diagnosed with some type of cancer and after a failed suicide attempt, he set out to make others apreciate their lives more. He set up "traps" that they had to escape out of, believing that if they did they would appreciate the value of life more. If they didn't, then they would die. The grandmother set a "trap" of her own, attempting to save Misfit. She felt that if she offered him the word of Jesus then he may see the light and not shoot her. While that does not work, he shoots her 3 times, he does remark that she would have been a good woman if there had been someone there to shoot her everyday.

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

Well this story was an interesting read to say the least. The story begins with a rich couple that decides to go on a safari in Africa. Their safari guide, Wilson, is very experienced in his job and has done this for many other couples. Margot and Francis are struggling in their marraige and hope that this safari can revitalize what they once had. Wilson and Macomber go hunting for lions, and Macomber becomes afraid when a lion is spotted and runs away leaving Wilson to fight it. That night, MAcomber apologizes to Wilson for his running away, and Margot, embarrassed of her husbands actions runs away herself. She comes back complaing and carrying on. Macomber knows that his marraige is on the rocks with Margot, but he feels that she will not leave him because he is too rich. (We'll talk about this in a bit) In the latter part of the story, all three characters go out in the car in search of Buffalo. When one comes charging at the car, both Macomber and Wilson are out of the car ready to shoot it, but Margot comes around the back of the car shooting her husband in the back of the head and killing him in cold blood.

So first of all, Margot is a classic gold digger. She is clearly with her husband for money. She has a very affluent lifestyle and she has become accustomed to it. I don't know many couples who are able to afford an African safari when they feel that their marraige is on the rocks. I get the feeling that Margot is very dependent on her looks, and doesn't do much else, almost like she is a trophy wife of sorts. When she kisses Wilson, Macomber doesn't over react, infact he pretty much just sat there and looked out the other window as if he hadn't seen it at all. I also think that in the end when she shot him, it was not an accident. If her husband is dead, then she can have all of his money and he won't have any say over how she spends it.

While reading this, I was reminded slightly of "The Most Dangerous Game." Instead of hunting for animals like macomber and Wilson, the characters in that story are hunting each other. However in the beginning of the story, Sanger is traveling to hunt jaguars. Little does he know that General Zaroff has plans to capture and hunt him. There are some parallels between both stories.

T.S. Eliot The Wasteland

Eliot began his poem, "The Wasteland" with an epigraph that translates to: "I have seen with my own eyes the Sybil hanging in the jar, when the boys asked he what do you want, she answered 'I want to die." What an uplifting way to start your poem!! Just kidding. "The Wasteland" is divided into five sections: 'The Burial of the Dead," "A Game of Chess," "The Fire Sermon," "Death by Water," and " What the Thunder Said." So for this blog I'm just going to take it section by section.

The Burial of the Dead
To begin this section, Eliot talks about the seasons and how they change. He speaks of April and how it is the cruelest month. His speaking of lilacs and showers made me think of the saying we all know, "April Showers bring May flowers." Winter keeps us warm by blanketing the world in a thick snow. I disagree with that but then again, I'm very much a fan of warm weather. When he was talking about the Summer, there were two words that threw me for a complete loop: Starnbergersee and Hofgarten. Upon more reasearch, I found out that the first was a body of water (a sea) near Munich and the second was a court garden, Munich as well. After that, he starts talking about a fortune teller, maybe? I think she is reading tarot cards for him. Apparently, he doesn't draw great cards because he says he needs to be careful these days.

A Game of Chess
I think that Eliot may first be talking about a very rich woman because he mentions that it is a woman. Then he talks about her sparkling jewels and her ivory and coloured glass. I get the sense that this woman is the type that sits on her rumpus and shows off her riches. She seems to have it all, so why not show it off? Then I think Eliot starts talking about some type of bar or pub. The women he mentions here don't strike me as being really pretty either. One doesn't have any teeth. There's a big difference from the rich lady from the beginning of this section. The two women in the bar are talking about the possiblity of one being pregnant and having an abortion. She spent the money that her husband gave her for teeth on a abortion; that's classy. They stay at the bar until last call.

The Fire Sermon
Eliot begins this section talking about a river. The narrator of the poem basically sits thinking of how the world's situation has gone so badly. He sits and muses. Eliot continuously mentions Tiresius throughout this section of the poem. Tiresias was a blind prophet, often mentioned in Greek Mythology. He was famous for his clairvoyance and being transformed into a woman for several years. Knowing the background allows me to make sense of the "old man with wrinkled breasts" line from Eliot. The narrator sees a man and a woman basically hook up and then the man leaves right after they are done. The woman even goes so far to say that she is glad that's done.

Death by Water
This was my favorite section of the poem, because it was hands down the shortest! Eliot talks of Phlebas the phoenician. He apparently died at sea, maybe drowned? The fish and sea creatures pick at his bones and take his posessions to the sea floor. Eliot says to consider his story because he was once handsome and tall. I think Eliot is just making a point not to count your eggs before they hatch because you never know what may happen to you .

What the Thunder Said
Eliot begins this section with images of hot sweaty faces. He talks of fire and hard ground, but there is no water. He says that those who were living were now dead and those who are living are now dying. I get the impression in the first half of this section that there is some type of struggle going on, perhaps some type of battle even. That would explain the dying. He says that there are cracks and reforms in the violet air. Upside down in the air were towers. Again, this sounds like modern day depictions of war. Eliot changes his descriptions to a thunder storm and tells the reader what it is saying.

Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Eliot begins this poem with a quote from Dante which translates to mean: If but I thought that my response were made/ to one perhaps returning the world/ this tongue of flame would sense to flicker/ But since from these depths no one has yet/ returned alive if what I hear is true/ I answer without fear of being shamed. Prufrock, the narrator in this poem, is talking of a woman. You get the sense throughout the poem that Prufrock wants to be with this woman and possibly have a relationship, but he does not have the nerve to ask her. Instead, he sits in room where women are constantly coming and going talking about Michaelangelo. Instead of ever saying anythin, Prufrock just sits and watches. As he sits and watches, he gets older and farther away from the possibility of finding love himself. This poem was written in free verse and had a randomly scattered rhyme scheme.

Eliot used some intersting allusions throughout this poem. One of the ones used frequently was the women talking about Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo was a renaissance painter, most widely known for his painting on the ceiling of the sistine chapel. He was one of the most widely known painters of his time. Eliot mentioned him because of his status. The women are all in love with Michaelangelo, not Prufrock. Another person mentioned in this poem was Lazarus.Lazarus is a character from the bible who is first mentioned in the gospel of John. He was the brother of Mary and Martha. He is famous for being risen from the dead by Jesus Christ himself. I think that Eliot uses the story of Lazarus to tell the readers that Prufrock is the kind of character who may wait around until he dies, but he may not have the chance to be risen again. Lastly, Eliot uses the immagery of Hamlet. We all know the story of Hamlet, the prince who set out to take revenge on his uncle for the murder of his own father. Prufrock says that he is no prince Hamlet. I didn't take this literally to mean that he was going to take revenge on his uncle, but I took it to mean that he doesn't believe himself to be worthy, such as a prince may be. He doesn't hold himself to those high standards that a pince may.

Prufrock was a character who didn't have the confidence in himself to act on any of his whims. Instead, he sat, as he got older, and waited for nothing to happen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The War Prayer

So "The War Prayer" wasn't a bad read at all. It chronicled a small church that had gathered to pray and send their boys to war. They were there showing their patriotism and support for America. A haggard looking old man walks in and whispers to the preacher, and then he tells the congregation that he is a messenger from God. He proceeds to say a prayer himself for these boys going off to war, and then he hobbles back down the aisle. Everyone in the church is confused and doesn't want to believe that he was a real messenger from God, so it is assumed that he is a lunatic.
Messenger from God?
So you know when you are reading something and you just have a picture of it in your head... Well for me I had a clear cut picture of my Grandma's tiny church in my head. This church maybe has a congregation of 100, and the average age is like 75. These people are so set in their ways. It's like pulling teeth to try to get them to believe something new, my grandma included. They will sing and praise the lord, but if you say anything that contradicts what their preacher has said or something that they have learned at a previous time, then you are wrong (and you might even be crazy). And is it bad hat I pictured the messenger as Dumbledore from Harry Potter? I'm not some huge, crazy Harry Potter fan, but I have read all of the books and seen the movies. "An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness." If that doesn't sound like Dumbledore, then I don't know what does.
One of the big themes that has been present throughout most of our reading is conformity. That is definitely present here. This group of people in the story are all showing their support for America. They are supporting the men and women going to war. That's what they are supposed to do. Conformity. Are they wrong to support these men and women? In  my opinion, absolutely not. Anyone who fights for my freedom and my country deserves my support. The messenger comes in and tells everyone who he is; they don't believe him. None of them do. Conformity. They are practicing Christians, and yet they don't believe a man who says he is a messenger from God.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This selection is actually two short stories put together. These were enjoyable reading for me. They kept my attention the entire time... for once.
Short but sweet here's the scoop on these writings:
First story was about a war captain, Captain Ward, going to war to fight against the rebels who don't want to succumb to slavery. Mrs Ward. has to explain his absence to her son and they are inspired by his patriotism.
Second story was about a painter who comes home to his family and is barged in on by some kind of police who arrest him for being fugitive. He is taken to Georgia and sold into slavery.
This story is ironic because the first story is a wealthy white family who's patriarch goes to fight against the protagonist in the second story. While Captain Ward is praised and held in the highest standard by his friends and family, the painter is arrested for nothing other than the color of his skin. Stowe is using her writing to make a point here, just as she did with Uncle Tom's Cabin.
After some research, i found out that this was in response to the fugitive slave law. This law reqwuired that all fugitive slaves be brought back to their masters. It was conroversial because those who did manage to run away were always going to be in fear of being captured.


"Let your life be a counter friction to the machiene."

That quote stuck out to me from watching this video. Unlike reading, i enjoyed watching the video. ( although I'm more a fan of watching than reading). In my last blog, I stated that Thoreau needed to stand up and do something about it. He was just sitting in a chair writing. Silly me believed that this was not doing anything to change anything. I was wrong. By writing civil disobedience, thoreau inspired millions to stand up and do something, to be a counter friction to the machiene. I couple of the things that stuck out to me from the video were the segregation photos. Rosa Parks was seen a couple of times, the greensboro sit ins were featured, and Norman Rockwell's painting "The Problems we all live with" was also featured. Segregation was a big problem in American for so long. The fact that we have overcome (sortof) segregation is amazing. If those people had not taken a stand, then we might still be stuck back in the 1950's. Thinking about segregation triggered me to picture one of my favorite scenes from Remember the Titans... quite possibly my favorite movie. The scene where Coach Boone takes his team to the field where Gettysburg was fought is so powerful. He tells the boys that those men were fighting the same fight that they were during the time of Titans.
He says, If they don't come together on that ground then they will be destroyed. He doesn't care if they like each other, but they WILL respect each other. If everyone lived by that motto today, then the world would be a better place. It doesn't matter if you like someone, but do respect who they are and their beliefs. Whether or not you agree with them.

Civil Disobedience

Reading Thoreau for the second time, I found myself still not interested in what he had to say. In high school, my English teacher got so excited about the Trancendentalism unit, but many of the students did not share his enthusiasm. Many times transcendentalism is full of words and ideas; there are not many actions. Thoreau states his beliefs on government, mainly, in this selection. He feels that "the government which governs best governs least." To a point, I agree with him. One can find many faults with the government today. However, there are also tons of successes. Some of the faults: Although i have my own opinions on it, gay marraige. The fact that some states don't allow some people to get married just based on sexual orientation is wrong. I was raised in a small town and went to a small christian church. Some of the little old ladies would gasp if they heard me say that. I was raised to believe that marraige is between a man and a woman, and I still do believe that. Although, I don't think it is fair or just that gays are not allowed to be married in some states. A victory for the government- repealing Don't Ask Dont' Tell. For so long, gays were not allowed to openly serve in the military. our military numbers are dwindling each year, and the US wanted to turn people away based on sexual orientation. Wow. I feel that it is the right thing that it was lifted.
I loved Thoreau's point on living simply. The more simply he lives, the less he has to lose. So many Americans today live beyond their means... I wonder why everyone is in so much debt??? Maybe if we took a note from Thoreau we could live simpler and probably happier. If there weren't so many material things to focus on, then we could focus on each other and bettering our relationships.
I think that by writing this Thoreau thougth he could get a point across to the legislatures in the government. However, I still think if he wants something done about the government, then he needs to get up and take some action.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Elizabeth Cady Stanton- Seneca Falls Convention Address

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an influential lady in the women's rights movement, gave a speech at the Senaca Falls Convention in 1848. She spoke of the inferiority of women, and she spoke of how women were not begin represented fairly. At the time, men were considered to be intellectually superior and physically superior.
In 1848, when this speech was given, women were virtually housemaids. They were expected to be seen and not heard. Men were smarter than they, stronger than they, and certainly more important than they. This speech was given at the Seneca Falls Convention, a gathering that discussed the roles of women in society. Stanton encouraged women to form their own opinions, and retain their own thoughts (not just think what their husbands thought). At this convention, women's sufferage was discussed, although that did not happen until 1920 when the nineteenth amendment was passed by Congress.
Stanton made the comment, "But in the United States of America6 woman has no right either to hold office, nor to the elective franchise, we stand at this moment, unrepresented in this government—our rights and interests wholly overlooked." This was true. Women were overlooked, seen merely as the housemaids and keeper of the children. They were expected to "obey their husbands." Sidenote** Seriously? This honestly makes me mad. Women should respect their husbands and love them not obey them. Their husbands are not superior to them. A marraige is all about equality. The two partners in it are equal to each other. One can not expect a marraige to last if it is not based on equality.** Most recently the "obey your husband" came up during the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. This being the 21st century, Kate Middleton chose to leave this out of her vows to Prince William. I respect that choice as I feel that (as forementioned) marriage is based on equality.

Harriet Jacobs

Harriet Jacobs tells the story of her life as a slave in this narrative. She tells of being treated well and mistreated. She talks about the trials of having and raising a family.
Jacobs tells this story under pseudonym, Linda. It begins at the right old age of 15. She is owned by a Mr. Flint. Mr. Flint treats her well because he trusts her and likes her as a person. She works hard and does what she is asked to do. However, all of this nice treatment from Mr. Flint does not sit well with his wife, and she becomes jealous. She was many years his junior. Jacobs gives birth to two babies, fathered by a white man (very scandalous for the time), and this outrages Mr. Flint. She chooses to raise those children as slaves, although this would not be the line of work she would optimally choose for her children. As the story progresses, Jacobs begins to take on a heavier workload. Eventually, she becomes outraged by the work and runs away, leaving her children behind.
So after reading this story, I began to think of one of the first slave narratives I ever read, and that was Harriet Tubman's. Tubman lead so many slaves to freedom using the underground railroad, and she, too, ran away from the troubles of slave life. She proved that she had a good strong heart by coming back to free the others from her plantation. Jacobs ran away using similar methods to Tubman. She banked on the kindness of strangers to take her in (regardless of color).
Back in the 1800's racial tension was very strong. Whites and blacks did not mix. The white man was superior to all and the black men, women, and children were his property. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, thus freeing all slaves. This document was meant to be the end of slavery. However, it still dragged on the south. Eventually slavery in America ended altogether, but there was still tension between the blacks and whites. Througout the 1960's in America, Blacks and whites were split up. They couldn't eat in the same room or drink from the same water fountain. This lead to the civil rights movement of the 1960's made famous by Rosa Parks sitting at the front of a bus, a few men sitting at a counter in a diner in Greensboro, NC, and by a little speech given by a man names Martin Luther King Jr. His hopes were that one day blacks and whites could peacefully coexist; that they could sit at a restaurant together. His hopes and dreams were beautiful. While we have come a long way from even the 1960's, we still have racial tension in America that dates back to before Harriet Jacobs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whitman-Song of Myself

Wow... Can I say confusing? I read this story three times and I still have no idea what Whitman is talking about. To me, it seems that this has absolutely no flow. He is jumping leaps and bounds and can't stay on a common topic (or at least warn us with a transition of some description when he was about to switch topics on us) However, I sensed a few common themes throughout. The first one I noticed was family. In line 6, I got the sense that Whitman had stayed around the same area that he had grown up in. I felt that he was saying that many generations of his family had lived in that area. By staying there, Whitman shows a strong sense of pride for his family. First confusion factor- In lines 14-17, Whitman mentions something about distallation. In line 22, he says something about vines. My mind immediately went to alcohol distilleries and wine (since it is made from grapes that grow on a vine). Now, I really can't understand why this would be in a section of "Song of Myself" unless Whitman was a raging alcoholic? (And I seriously doubt that) This is probably not even what Whitman was referring to. I felt a strong connection to Emerson throughout this selection of Song of Myself, particularly when Whitman started referring to young people. In line 41, Whitman says that youth or age is plentiful. Emerson placed such an importance on youth in Self Reliance that I think one took cues from the other. Importance on youth should be a big deal. As I mentioned in a previous blog, youth will run this world one day. There is a young man or woman out there who is learning his or her ABC's today and just a few short years down the road could be the president. In line 39, Whitman said that he did not talk of the beginning or the end. Well we are supposed to mention anything these readings remind us of, and this reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite cheesy movies, Hope Floats. Sandra Bullock says this at the end of the film: " Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will..." Sandra Bullock, or Birdie Pruitt as her character in the movie was named, placed the same values on the middle as Whitman did.
Just a few questions to end the post:
Was Whitman referring to love in section 5?
In section 8, what suicide was Whitman referring to? Was the baby killed?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson- Self Reliance

     So I have just finished Self Reliance, and it was interesting. Emerson was basically talking about ways to live. He spoke in great detail about conformity and non-conformity, the importance of youth in today's culture, virtues, and religion. Quite honestly, I found this essay to be extremely redundant. He made all of his points several times throughout. Had he mentioned things less, it would have been easier to read and probably would have interested more people.
Conformity vs. Nonconformity
     Around line 119, Emerson begins stating his ideas about conformity and non- conformity. He continues these points through line 160. While he was a bit long winded on this topic, I agreed completely with what he had to say. He mentions, "It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." It is so easy to conform to what others are doing, and Emerson makes a great point when he says its easier to be an individual in solitude than in a crowd. One look around ECU's campus and conformity is very evident. One will find many girls wearing black yoga pants to class. Do most of these girls take yoga classes? Probably not. However, these pants are comfortable and many people are wearing them, so why wouldn't every girl own a pair? It's conformity. Most people don't argue that but we are conforming to what someone thought was a great idea for going to class wear. (Not saying that I'm arguing with that, because I wear them all the time) Emerson realized this idea and stresses the importance of being your own self. He says in line 153, " but the sour faces of the multitude, like their sweet faces, have no deep cause, but are put on and off as the wind blows and a newspaper directs." Americans take their cues from the media. We rush out to buy what's "in," and we toss what's "out." It takes a strong person to be yourself and not who others want you to be.
     Emerson spends quite a while stressing the importance of youth to the reader. He says, "Bashful or Bold, then, he will know how to make us seniors very unnecessary." Emerson knew that the youth he was writing about would one day lead this country and take over the world. I think his hopes were that they would do things their way, and not conform. He mentioned that infancy conforms to nobody. The youth are truly individuals. They always speak their mind, and tell you exactly what they want. (Grocery stores are a fine example of this... I want cookies! Mom I want you to buy me that juice! or there's Look at that lady's ugly shoes!) Children don't know to hold in opinions yet; they are very forward and outward with everything they think.
     So I'm pretty sure Emerson was channeling a bit of Ben Franklin when he began talking about virtues. He says virtues are the exception rather than the rule. He talks about it in such a way that when men do good deeds, they almost always expect a handout of some sort. A reward for a job well done. Franklin spent a great deal of time in his autobiography talking about virtues such as temperance and modesty. He was trying to live a certain way, and he didn't always succeed at it.
Religion and God    
     Religion is a touchy subject for most, not for Emerson. He dove right into Self-Reliance with multiple inferences to God, the "ever-blessed ONE," and the "Almighty efforts." As I was reading, I wondered to myself why were there so many religious undertones in this piece of writing? After a little digging, I found out that Emerson was the son of a Unitarian minister. He attended Harvard Divinity School and was employed as a minister for almost three years. After reading this, I understand moreso. His background is very religious, so it makes complete and total sense that his writing would be full of religous undertones.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Kinsman, Major Molineux

Nathaniel Hawthorne begins with the image of a young man on a ferry digging through his pockets for change. He is arriving in a new town in search of his kinsman, major molineux. He is very unfamiliar with this town and the way towns are set up, due to his being from the country. His father is a New England clergyman, and Robin, the young man, felt that since he had reached the age of 18 it was time for him to see the world. As he walked through the town, he looked at the dwellings and deduced that some just weren't big and fancy enough to be his kinsman's home. He stops a man on the street by pulling on his coattails and asks him where his kinsman lives. The man on the street laughed at him. He stopped in at a tavern and asked there and had the same response.He continues to wander around town and stumbles upon an older man who appears to be homeless. He tells him that if he will stay standing there for a while his kinsman will be by shortly. Robin sits patiently and talks to the old man; then he hears loud noises that remind him of a party. When the "party" rounds the corner, he sees his kinsman, major molineux, tarred and feathered. He is embarrassed as is Major Molineux. He decides that he wants to go home and tries to leave, but an older man tells him to give city life one more go and that he may be able to make it in the world without the help of his kinsman.
So let's just say that this story really confused me. One of my biggest questions is, What did Major Molineux do to get tarred and feathered? Is that the reason everyone laughed when Robin inquired as to the whereabouts of Major Molineux? Did the whole town know what was going on and they didn't have the heart to tell him, or did they think it was funny that he had no idea?
My next question is about the ugly man from the tavern. To me it seemed that he was Hawthorne's representation of the devil. He had two bumps on his forehead, a black and red face, and fiery eyes. Did he represent temptaion that Major Molineux gave into. I also wondered about the girl in the scarlet petticoat. Was she a prostitute? Was she the ugly faced man taken into another form? I believe that this man was able to take the form of others and was trying to tempt Robin also. However, Robin was from a good family and had good values and did not give into the temptation. When I thought about this it reminded me of reading 'The Crucible." That entire town was scared of witchcraft and the housekeeper Tituba was hanged for it. The feelings of despair Robin had reflected those of the townspeople in "The Crucible."

Another question... Are the stocks jail? I'm assuming yes, but I really have no idea.

Introduction to Romanticism

In the 18th century, Romanticism bloomed in Europe. It changed the way painters painted, the way authors wrote stories and books, and the way composers made music. It was full of emotion. The article states that it gained steam through the industrial revolution. Because the industrial revolution was a time of booming technology, writers were able to mass produce their books because of the printing press. The books were cheaper and more affordable for most, so reading became popular for people that were not necessarily in the aristocratic class. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson were able to have their ideas reach thousands of people. Music also changed during the time of Romanticism. Composers included more key modulations in their music and incorporated elements of folk music.
The article puts an emphasis on how war affected the romantic writers and composers. These people were experiencing death and destruction all around them from soldiers at war, so they created new worlds of beauty and grace in their writings. These writers personified nature and showed great pride in their country. Because they did not go to war themselves, they showed love for their country through their writings. Women began to write more and more during this time period due to being at home while the men were away at war.

Reading this reminded me of my sophomore English class; It was American Literature. My teacher loved transcendentalism. We spent an entire semester reading Emerson's "Nature," Thoreau's "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience," Whitman's "Leaves of Grass," and various poems by Emily Dickinson. Personally, I didn't really enjoy that particular semester of English, but my teacher was so enthused and excited that we all really learned about it. I remember reading "I heard a fly buzz" by Dickinson and thinking how weird it was. That had to have been one of the craziest things he made us read.
As far as some of the visual arts mentioned, I noticed that there was a painting by Francisco Goya included. It was titled " The Third of May." In high school, we studied spanish painters in my Spanish II and III class. Goya was a very celebrated spanish painter and was very successful. However, later in life he went a little bit crazy and started his phase of "black paintings." They were really dark and hinted towards beliefs in witchcraft. Let's just say that the day that was studied in class was an interesting one!

Monday, September 5, 2011


When the Constitution was signed and approved in 1787, it had to be ratified by the thirteen states that made up America. The Constitution was a drastic improvement over the Articles of Confederation, the first document that attempted to govern America. Basically, each state had to ratify the constitution or they would be independent of the united states entirely. There was a huge debate about whether or not to have one large government overseeing all of the colonies and governing them as one, or to have thirteen seperate governments-one for each state. This created such a rift that the country was divided into two groups the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.
The federalists were made up of wealthy men who were merchants or property owners. These were the men who were instrumental in creating the constitution. Examples of men who were federalists: George Washington, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. The federalists were in favor of one large governing body over all thirteen states.
However, while the land owners and merchants were in favor of one large governing body, there was a group that was in favor of individual governments- The Anti- Federalists. This group included such men as: Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Edmund Randolph. The anti-federalists were less likely to be wealthy and more likely to be tradesmen.
Ultimately the federalists won out. The country became one large governed body. Because these men were instrumental in creating the constitution, that worked to their advantage when arguing for one government at the constitutional convention.
This goes to show that political debates are not just a thing of today. These debates have been going on since America was founded. So many people get so caught up in Politics and don't truly take time to listen to what kinds of things and changes that politicians would like to make. People just hear the republican candidate or the democratic candidate and vote along with whatever party they are registered with. A prime example is in the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Many african americans were so excited to see him as a candidate that they just voted for him without knowing his political platform. I am not saying that is right or wrong, because according to the government established by the federalists, these people have a right to cast their vote in the election- whether they know the political platform of they candidate they vote for or not.

Cartwright and Allen

These narravtives are told from two totally different points of view: the slave's view and the white man's view. In early america, these were two groups of people who didn't mix. The white man believed himself to be superior to any black man, woman, or child. The white man was supreme to all. Reading through these, however, I realized just how similar the white man and the black man are. Both want to care for their families, and both want to earn a respectable living. Both pieces have an emphasis on religion. So both groups believe in a higher power. If they would stop, take a step back and look around, they would realize that they are more similar than they believe.
Racism, today, is a huge issue. My mind immediately went to this because many believe that the strong racism today in rooted in the slavery from early America. My family emmigrated from England many years ago and have been linked to eastern North Carolina for hundreds of years. I have ancestors that did own slaves, and I am not ashamed of that because that was a way of life back then. I have encountered many people who feel that due to my ancestors choices I am a bad person. I didn't choose to have slaves and african americans today are not slaves, so they are not entitled to tell me that I am wrong because of my ancestors choices.

Venture Smith

Venture Smith, a former prince, tells of his experiences as a slave in Rhode Island. After a dangerous time on the coast of Africa, Venture's homeland, his father was killed and he was thrown into the realms of slavery. He tells of how he was one of his first master's most trusted slaves. He did as he was told and didn't disobey orders. Despite his good behavior, he was traded to another master thus being seperated from his friends and his wife and young baby. Venture Smith went through numerous owners and eventually was allowed to go out and work on his own. By doing this and selling possessions, he was able to "buy back" his wife and friends and countless other slaves. He gave them a better life.
The first thing this made me think of was the "American Dream." Albeit twisted, Smith came up from nothing and really made something of himself. He fought through stereotypes and became a trusted slave and an educated black man. (That was unheard of at the time.) His story also reminded me of the story of Frederick Douglass. Douglass was a slave just as Smith was and he became a very smart, educated man. He was educated by his master's wife. She would sneak around behind her husband's back and teach Douglass to read. It was rare for slaves to be educated and know how to read and write at that time. Both of these men eventually had published works. I admired the way Venture Smith worked to get his family back together. Obviously, he had his values straight in life, much unlike Ben Franklin. He had honesty and a strong work ethic. Because of this he was able to help many people have a better life. If more people lived life the way Venture Smith did, then this would be a better world.

Ben Frankiln

Benjamin Franklin is traveling to Philadelphia and trying to find his place and settle down in the first few chapters of his autobiography. He tells the readers of his travels by boat and his search for work. At first, he has no luck finding work at first. Going to two different men, they tell him that they currently do not have room for him to work at their print shops. By the sixth chapter, Franklin has grown as a person ans has established himself as an affluent member of society in Philadelphia. He includes letters from friends and fellowmen and tells of his religious preferences and the various ways he attempts to live his life from day to day.
In the first few chapters, Franklin is a young man looking to start a life. He is humble and appreciative of any and everything that he is given. He has not yet gotten full of himself. By the sixth chaper, he is printing letters of how wonderful others think he is. It seems to me like he is trying to show off, and almost say that he is now better than others. In my opinion, just because someone is willing to say nice things about you does not mean that you should wave them around as if saying, "Look I'm better than you are!" He also details his Presbyterian religion and how he attempts to live his life. He wants to live by such virtues as: temperance, justice, humility, silence, moderation. In my opinion, that's a big fail for Benjamin Franklin. The entire sixth chapter is him bragging about his good attributes. That is not silence. He is not being humble about his beginnings, and he needs to quit tooting his own horn.

The Sot Weed Factor

The first thirty lines of 'The Sot Weed Factor" detail a journey, a journey to America. Cooke's protagonist arrives by boat in Maryland. He tells of the arduous trip: how the waves were extreme in the ocean, how the sails and masts bore extreme wear and tear, and how worried the passengers were.
From what I have read of this poem, it reminds me of the journey of the pilgrims from England. They suffered a long and trying trip over the ocean in order to reach America, "the promised land." They were looking for a better life here, much as I expect Cooke's protagonist and his fellow travelers were. Also similar, both groups were looking to make money in agriculture. The sot weed factor of course is dealing in tobacco. Tobacco was an extremely profittable market in the past and still is today. While the English immigrants take credit for it, they did not originally have that idea. The indians were the first to pick tobacco leaves and smoke them. As I read this, I thought about how scared I would have been if it had been me arriving to a new country where I did not know a soul. I would have been terrified to just start over and have a brand new life the way the protagonist did in this poem. I admire the courage and audacity it took to do something like that.