Sunday, November 30, 2008

Final Blog

Of all the readings we have studied this semester, my two favorites have been A Streetcar Named Desire and Atonement. Although I usually don't like reading plays, I found I had a hard time putting down A Streetcar Named Desire. I really enjoyed William's writing style and loved the story line. I also like the plot of Atonement, although I found the story to be kind of sad. I also thought McEwan wrote excellent descriptions.
I did not really enjoy reading the short story Snow and most of the poetry that we read. I could not find a plot in Snow at all, and I am sure there were more interesting stories to read in the Anthology. I also had a hard time understanding the poetry, and I thought it was kind of dull and difficult to analyze. We read so many interesting stories out of the anthology, and I am sure there were some more great stories in there. Instead of reading Snow and some of the poetry, I think we could read other pieces from the anthology book.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Watchmen

My experience reading The Watchmen was similiar to Isabelle Burtan's experience in several ways, although I never would have thought to describe the "experience" like she did. Burtan compared her reading the graphic novel to a girl losing her virginity in the article titled "The Comic Book Virgin Reads Watchmen." I found the article to be humorous and also insightful- I never thought of reading The Watchmen as such a significant experience, although after reading the article, losing my "comic book virginity" definitley seems like a bigger deal than I ever thought!
I knew that reading a graphic novel was very different than reading any other kind of novel, but I did not take time to analyze how it was different, or why it seemed so much more difficult to get through a graphic novel. Part of it is because you have to absorb both graphics and words, and I really related to how Burton simply described that: "At first I read and reread the pages to gather where my eyes should go, not knowing whether to look at the pictures, the words, or both." When reading a graphic novel, I have now learned, the pictures are not just there for enjoyment. They contain information that is significant to the plot and must be looked at closely.
To be honest, I have never really been a big fan of graphic novels and I am still not, although losing my "comic book virginity" to The Watchmen was certainly a positive experience overall. It was definitley different, and it required me to pay close attention to small details which I would not normally do.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


In my opinion, none of the characters in the book Atonement actually achieve atonement. Briony never achieved atonement for what she did, which is obvious at the end of the book. She was not able to get in touch with her sister or with Robbie, although apologizing would probably not have been enough consolation for her to feel less guilty about what she did. Marshall never achieved atonement, because he didn't seem to think he did anything wrong in the first place. His life continued to flourish, while several other lives were completely ruined due to his actions. Lola, who was also responsible for Robbie's conviction, probably thought she was atoning for falsely accusing Robbie by marrying the man who raped her. However, this did not affect Robbie's fate, and making herself unhappy probably did nothing for her guilt.
In the end of the novel, I did feel a little bit bad for Briony. She spent her entire life carrying around the guilt that she ruined a man's life and a romance because of her immaturity. I believe that Briony knew for a while that Marshall was guily of raping Lola, but for selfish reasons, she accused Robbie, and I feel that what she did to him was unforgivable. However, Briony did not commit the real crime in the novel- Marshall did- and it makes me feel sorry for her that she is suffering so much while he is not.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Blog...Post #6

So far in English 215, we have read a variety of different types of short stories and plays. We have discussed many different types of characters, plots, and themes. From what we have recently read, I have really enjoyed the book Sula. The style of writing used is unique, and the book is full of interesting, crazy scenes. The author, Toni Morrison, uses powerful language and imagery, which kept me entertained throughout the book.
I think that it is usually hard to read, or at least enjoy a book if there isn't a likeable character or one that I am able to identify with, and in Sula there was not a character that fit either of those descriptions. However, Morrison developed the characters enough so that I was curious to learn more about them, even if I did not really like or identify with any of them.
I recently read The Bluest Eye because I had enjoyed Sula so much and was interested in reading more of Morrison's work. I thought The Bluest Eye was an easier read than Sula, probably because I liked it more. It may have been because in The Bluest Eye, I felt sorry for one of the characters and developed pity for her. Although things kept getting worse for her, I kept hoping they would get better. The more I read, the more I wanted her life to turn around, even though in the back of my mind I think I knew things would not turn out well.
So, I really enjoyed reading Sula in class, because I found that the writing style and story were both very different than anything I have ever read before. Reading Sula has already led me to discover another book that I really enjoy...I am mailing it to my mom to read next!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

blog 5

I fell like Bartheleme did a great job of getting inside the character's head, although it was difficult to understand what was going on before we discussed the story in detail. A plot I would like to see through the eyes of someone would be about a girl that is reccomended to a doctor because she was suspected of having an eating disorder or a problem with drugs. I think this would be an interesting point of view, because I feel like the character would feel let down and betrayed, although the friend would have had their best interest in mind. The person will feel like the whole world is against her and that she cannot trust anyone, and will see everybody as an enemy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Police- Every Breath You Take

I chose the song "Every Breath You Take" by The Police to represent the Asian man from Margaret Atwood's short story "The Man From Mars." The man in this story was constantly hovering over the girl Christine, sometimes not speaking to her or communicating at all, but just standing behind her, watching her, or following her around. I think the song is about either a stalker or just someone with an obsession, and the lyrics accuratley describe how the Asian man acted towards Christine. Some of the lyrics that seem to relate to the Asian man's actions are the following:
"Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you"

I also thought the picture of the album was interesting in how it relates to the story, because it is very dark and the people are not completely visible. It reminded me of someone watching another person from the shadows.
Below is the link to the youtube video for this song.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I preferred Vivien Leigh acting as Blanche for several reasons, and I felt that she really brought the character of Blanche to life. Leigh was full of energy, which was displayed through all of her sudden movements and motions, whereas the Blanche in the first clip moved more slowly and thoughtfully. I also thought that a big part of Blanche's character was her imagination, and that was very well portrayed in the second clip when she told Stanley a made-up story that she seemed to really believe was true.

I also think that the second actress did a more accurate job in playing the role that Williams described in his famous quote. She was hysterical throughout the clip, especially towards the end. At the very end of the clip, Blanche was terrified and she seemed desperate for help. Overall, Blanche's character was very fragile, which could be seen from her false sense of reality in making up a story to her screaming and running at the end of the scene.