Book Club Reflection

This was a really interesting project and I think it was a perfect way to end the year. Overall, I initially found this to be challenging. In my mind I going crazy trying to figure out how in the hell a modern book could apply to any of the stories we read in class. However, as I recounted previous lectures and discussion in class, I realized that during my reading I slowly began to understand the concept of American Literature and its evolution. Of course it would be hard to find those core values in No Country for Old Men, but that didn’t mean that they weren’t there, they just evolved in some ways.

My group was fun, smart and responsible. I think that with us losing a member out of nowhere (Will we ever hear from Julian? Who knows?) We really picked up that extra slack and what we were supposed to. Even with different schedules, several work and final conflicts, Claryssa, Tyler, and I really managed our time well enough to come up with a strong presentation. We listened to each other’s ideas, helped each other flesh things out and weren’t afraid to politely mention when something had to be knocked out (for time reasons). I was really happy wit6h the group I got and the novel I chose (though it was more so involuntary decision as the novel I wanted to get in on was full).

Even though I am happy with our group and presentation, I do feel like we could’ve done better in making our main point clear and our evidence stronger. I think it was clear that we needed more time to strengthen how we presented our novel, we could’ve definitely benefited from a meeting a week earlier. However, I refuse to look back. I am happy with how things ended. I am content with how well my group worked together and individually (which is rare because I hate group projects).

I would have looooved some kind of rubric though, that would’ve helped in the beginning. But, I do think our group managed to salvage without one.

My dream grade would probably be a B, it makes the most sense. However, I won’t complain if we receive anything higher.

So there’s my evaluation.

Thank you for a wonderful semester. This was honestly one of my favorite classes I’ve taken since the beginning of my college career and you are one hell of a professor! Hopefully in the future I can take another class of yours.

Happy holidays 🙂

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Douglass,

. . . and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.

To me this line means that while Douglass’ body may hold reminders of being a slave to man,but his mind is free. Because he has grown to educate himself and strengthen his mind, unlike those of his counterparts, which in turn kind of distinguishes him amongst slaves as a man who isn’t a slave. Douglass’ voice is very authoritative. The power he gains is earned because he has escaped the mental abuse of slavery because he has embraced education and the power of knowledge. He has become aware of the wrongdoing and it is that idea that he holds within him that cannot be broken, as opposed to being broken physically.

It is often those who have hope and strength within them that are harder to break. Pulling from modern media, the story of the Hunger Games; in which Katniss is a symbol of hope and while the people she is fighting for, those who live in the lower districts, may not have much force or power to fight the Capital. as long as they have something to believe in they will always fight.

It is in this chapter in which Douglass has been treated the worst and lost so much of his spirit, that the mere regaining of it changes him forever. He is no longer an animal,he refuses to be dehumanized by man much longer and he gains back the control of self, which he knows he can maintain by keeping his mentality strong, by pursuing that desire to learn once more.

It is this mindset that they can have his body, but not his mind that keeps Douglass afloat throughout the narrative; when he starts that school to educate the slaves or when begins to work as an apprentice carpenter and in some sense is given more freedom, just as well more exposure to the outside world enough to trick his “master” and escaping.

In some sense yu can define Douglass’ story to that of an underdog.

I am woman, hear me roar

yawp

yôp/
noun
1.
a harsh or hoarse cry or yelp.
verb
1.
shout or exclaim hoarsely.
Whitman’s poem Song of Myself, kind of reminds me of a that moment when the teacher is deep in lecture, all the students are heavily engaged in learning, and it’s dead silent until someone accidentally enters a classroom. After that, you kind of never go back to successfully being engaged in the lecture and the teacher even seems to be a little off his/her game. The line
 “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world”

This in some sense encompasses the mood of the whole poem. This poem represents an entirety of frustrations regarding politics, sex, etc. that would otherwise be brushed under the rug by fellow writers and yet cannot be contained once more and should just be screamed out. Whitman can represent every poet’s secrets, every poet’s desire and fear and frustration finally let out into the world in the form of  a poem – a very long poem at that.

This line represents the whole poem and the poem in turn is supporting evidence of this one line. From the sexual fantasies of a woman and the twenty something men in the pool, to acting as a safeguard to a black man, or even the innocence that comes with self identifying as not being God but one with God; this one is not a meek and quiet plea for help in a sad or depressed time, it is not a cute little love poem using complicated metaphors and analogies. This was explicit. This was in your face and hard to run or hide from. A yell is not something that can be mistaken. A yell comes from passion, from anger- it is a way of saying “Look at me! I am here! What I am saying matters!” It definitely says something by saying nothing simultaneously.
If we look at the first lines of the stanza
“The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains
Of my gab and my loitering.”
We understand that Walt is being told to be quiet, to stop talking by not  human, but an animal. We then begin to identify just how incorporated Whitman is within nature. Placed into context, the following lines are understood to come from a place of strength and a place of understanding of one’s place in the world. Whitman identifies himself with nature, with the power that nature gives a being and that is the power of freedom.

Whitman.

I am large, I contain multitudes.

I find this line to be the most interesting because there’s so much weight in just six words, in just two sentences that have been fused together to form just one powerful idea. This line makes me think of how I am so much, how much my presence can make an impact on the world. The poem Song of Myself speaks of a lot of things and doesn’t really follow a specific plot line, but there is no denying that the poem is a declaration to one’s self: it is an everlasting uplifting mantra that opens you up to the idea that you are not just some small blip in the world but something so big and so grandeur. Your life is something to cherish. Like the line “Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?/I hasten to tell him or her it is just as lucky to die”.

Your life, your existence is one of the greatest gifts on earth, despite the nasty parts that may come with it.

There are many other lines that connect to this idea of self empowerment and self enjoyment:

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul {section 3}

I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood {section 20}

I exist as I am, that is enough {section 20}

Emerson’s “The American Scholar” does come close to some of the ideas addressed in this poem, including the selected line. The idea that we don’t have to just be one thing and as a person it is up to us to not just learn but to do and to grow, to not conform to one idea and one single description of what is life. This serves as a motto that all should live by.

The Struggle of Emerson

 I will not shut myself out of this globe of action, and transplant an oak into a flower-pot, there to hunger and pine; nor trust the revenue of some single faculty, and exhaust one vein of thought, much like those Savoyards, who, getting their livelihood by carving shepherds, shepherdesses, and smoking Dutchmen, for all Europe, went out one day to the mountain to find stock, and discovered that they had whittled up the last of their pine-trees.

Finding a sentence hard to read and understand throughout Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The American Scholar” could be said to be both an easy and not so easy task. Honestly, every bit of the passage was a bit hard to understand. There’s a lot of description, flowery language, and all types of figurative language that make me want to just slice away unnecessary words until I finally can get to the bottom of the text and truly discover what is being said in the most simplest terms.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy reading it. I actually enjoy reading texts that evoke a sense of patriotism and the explanation of how enriching knowledge is; how it goes beyond a simple “know how”. However, texts similar to Emerson’s “The American Scholar” always involve lengthy sentences with great description; which makes this sentence so hard to actually understand and get through. There is so much that you have to mentally separate them, to understand what he is trying to say.

Just to get an inkling of understanding referring to the second portion of the sentence and “Savoyards”, I had to google the term. Even then, I still didn’t know the actual connection between a Savoyards and smoking Dutchmen. Which is another reason why this sentence is a bit too hard to understand: I was not born of this era. The terms used and the words use within metaphors to explain this and that, not solely in this sentence but also throughout the text would much easily be understood by a fellow counterpart, whether intelligent or not, educated or not because they are bred of that time and muchy easily can convey what is being said because the terms are familiar.

My conclusion was that Emerson meant to present the idea that a Scholar must not remain rooted to his own ideas, but also be sure to branch out and use the vast amount of resources provided by him. As an “oak tree” it would seem improbable to remain confined in a flower pot. While roots are important, a scholar could only prove to grow into a sort of “damaged state” if he is trying to fit in, a place in which he has clearly out grown

Who am I?

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I will probably have to stop myself from writing so much. Though, this might be the only place that you actually hear my voice. Unless, i somehow get over this whole anxiety thing and decide to speak up every now and then. Participation is key to actually learning and actually getting a good grade.

Boring. I think many people find me boring at first.

I like to write and i like to read. I like to laugh and take pictures and find joy in simply staying in bed, eating pizza and watching episode after episode of Law & Order SVU. There. Several meaningless facts and I haven’t even mentioned my name yet. Smart.

 

My name is Kierra – not Kiara like the lion from The Lion King, but like Sierra with a K and since no one seems to ever be able to remember that I like to go by Kay. I am 19 and a sophomore currently an English Education major – who hasn’t even fully committed to the idea of becoming a teacher.

Other than writing and reading and well being practically a cat (both personality and social wise) I think I like to sing, dance, act, and watch movies. I am a typical girl in the fact that I like to shop and take hoards of selfie. I don’t really have a set personality I guess. I change too much and can’t decide who I am and whether I am happy with whom I am just yet. But, well I guess the great thing about living in this time, despite all the bullshit that goes on, is that we don’t have to be set i our ways just yet. It’s okay to grow. And well I am growing every day.

This probably seems jumbled and makes no sense, but I guess that embodies my personality more than anything.