Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Originally I intended to create a remote control hovercraft for my senior project. However that didn't turn out so well. I managed to create a hovercraft but not the remote controlled part, nor was I able to give it forward motion. It just sort of hovered there. So I intend to teach a short lesson on hovercrafts instead and present my "hovercraft" as an example. I just need to devise a little lesson plan.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Essay 4/30/13

     "Thou Blind Man's Mark" by Sir Philip Sidney serves as a stand against desire. Sidney uses literary devices, such as imagery, structure, and diction, to convey to his audience his attitude and views on desire. Through imagery he showed the foolish nature of longing, through structure the fight against it, and through diction the end of desire. Sidney conveys that desire is an evil thing that must be fought against and conquered.
     Sidney begins with several metaphor that helps to illustrate his negative view of desire. Sidney feels that to follow longings are a fool's errand, in fact he even says so, "...thou fool's self-chosen snare...". Not only is one foolish to pursue desire but desire is the "Band of all evils...". Sidney appears to believe that desire is foolish and even evil, and he shows that using imagery and multiple metaphors throughout the poem. 
     The structure of the poem also lends a hand to the show the attitude and views of the author. The poem experiences a shift nearly two-thirds the way through from condemning those who trust in desire to encouraging resistance to it. The poem purposed to convince those who would argue otherwise. Sidney uses the poem to turn others to his way of thinking by presenting an idea in a conflicting light then the poem shifts to rouse action in others.
     The diction of the poem is one of definites. Sidney encourages the people to "kill" desire and the ultimate destruction of longings. The diction is lead to be one that is serious that is definite that would stir action in others. Sidney shows no humor nor hint of light-heartedness, the diction is what is used throughout the poem to create such a somber mood as to bring about the seriousness of the matter. Diction is shows Sidney's attitude through the mood it creates, Sidney wishes to show that this is no joking matter.
      Sidney uses literary elements to show this attitude towards the poem's subject, somber and grim. Sidney wishes to convey the attitude that the subject of desire is a matter that must be taken seriously and something that should be prevented. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Essay 4/29/13

     In the Death of a Salesman, the morals and psychological well being of the main character comes as a result of his cultural surroundings. The character's value of money, life, and family are shaped by the culture of Suburban America. These values, or lack there of, contribute to the theme of the flaws in the American dream and to the ultimate demise of the main character.
     The first moral value to b effected by the culture of Suburban America is the character's value of money. Money is valued above all else and money is what drives life in Suburban America. The main character finds that he lacks the money to fore fill his cultural necessity. Without money you are nothing. This monetary downfall is used by the author to highlight the enormous value that Suburban American culture lives by: the money is always right.
     The next moral value also brings the main character's psychological health into question, the lack of value of human life. In the novel the main character is willing to killing himself for the life insurance money. Not only is he willing to die but he spends nearly all of his life devoted to everything else other than a life worth living. The American dream is that if one works hard enough and gets enough money then you will achieve happiness. The main character is a perfect example of how this cultural idea falls flat, he worked all of his life and in the end it brought him nothing but sorrow and suffering.
     The final cultural value bestowed upon the main character is the lack of value on family. Throughout the novel the characters forgo family and relations in favor of their occupations or advancement in the world. Family is forgotten when jobs are concerned. People lie and pretend to their own family to demand respect in their professional lives. One of what is considered the most misplaced value of the American dream. The value of occupation as opposed to family and relationships.
      Death of a Salesman is a perfect example of the morals of a culture resulting in the morals and psychologic being of a character. This culture shows the flaws of the American dream, the misplaced values of money, life, and family. The culture of Suburban America eventually results in the demise of the character.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

1999 Open Essay Question

     From a novel or play choose a character (not necessarily the protagonist) whose mind is pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires, ambitions, obligations, or influences. Then, in a well-organized essay, identify each of the two conflicting forces and explain how this conflict within one character illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. You may used one of the novels or plays listed below or another novel or play of similar literary quality.

     In Macbeth, Macbeth struggles between ambition and morals. Macbeth is shown the opportunity to achieve great power but finds that it comes at the cost of his morals and friendships. Throughout the play, Macbeth experiences a constant conflict between his quest for power and his internal moral compass, between evil and good, corruption and loyalty, and this conflict is used by the author, Shakespeare, to highlight the constant conflict in human nature and it's corruption.
     One side of this conflict is the morals of Macbeth. Macbeth has a very established moral character, one that is quickly tested over the course of the play. His morals represent the "good" side of his character, questioning his actions and himself throughout the play. Shakespeare uses Macbeth as an archetype for the human character and human nature. Like humanity, the morals of Macbeth are easily corrupted and twisted when power is the prize but only to a point. Macbeth begins to questions his actions before the murder of the king and and even stops himself from killing witnesses. While the morals of humans maybe easily twisted, morals prevent temptation and offer the better side of human nature.
      The other side of the conflict that troubles Macbeth is ambition. Macbeth's ambition leads him to take his chance at power once the opportunity arises. The witches present him his opportunity and he acts on it, killing the king and those who he feels poses a threat to his kingship. Morality acts as the opposition to his quest for power and ambition and morals find themselves in conflict over the duration of the play. Macbeth's ambition and mad quest for power acts as humanities darker side. Shakespeare, again using Macbeth as the archetype for human nature, shows the darker, evil side of humanity that will kill for the slightest chance at power. Macbeth shows the dark side of human nature and our violent quest to out do each other.
       Morality and ambition for the basis of the conflict that wages inside of Macbeth. Ambition lead to murder and death for the slightest bits of power while morality prevents temptation and hold back humans from horrific deeds. The old conflict between good and evil. Macbeth's character, his morals and his ambition, are the means in which the author reflects human nature.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


[1994] Poems: “To Helen” (Edgar Allan Poe) and “Helen” (H.D.)
Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

     Literary elements are key to identifying an author's view of a subject. The most prominent of these elements, diction, imagery, and tone, can be used to compare the work to other works of literature in a cohesive manner. Diction conveys the speaker of the work and in what manner the author wanted the work to be viewed, in what frame of mind the audience should be in. Imagery is a direct communication between author and audience of exactly how the author feels about the subjects of the work, how the author feels about his work. Tone acts much like diction but also has a more persuasive element to it, this is where the author attempts to pass their views onto the audience.
     Diction creates both the speaker of the work and the projects the author's attitude towards the subject. In "To Helen" by Edgar Allan Poe, the diction is reminiscent of old English literature and the nobility of Europe. Words such as "thy" and "yon" makes it seem as if the speaker is a noble gentleman from fifteen hundreds addressing Helen. With references of the "grandeur that was Rome" it would appear that the speaker has a very positive outlook on Helen and therefore Poe has a positive outlook as well. "Helen" by H.D. on the other hand has a very different diction and speaker when it comes to Helen of Troy. H.D. has a more modern wording than Poe, using a less direct method. H.D. creates a speaker that works more as a third-person narrator, pulling away from direct contact with the subject, Helen, of the poem. Instead the speaker is observing Greece as a whole and comments on Helen's affects on it, in this case negative effects. Both speakers appear knowledgeable in ancient history and the legend of Helen of Troy, each holding references to ancient lore. The diction creates speakers that would appear to hold opposite views of Helen of Troy.
     Imagery is a powerful element of literature and is used to directly convey the authors' attitude to their audience. In "To Helen", Poe equates Helen to the beauties of nature, "That gently, o'er a perfumed sea...". Essentially here Poe is telling the audience his views of Helen. It would seem that Poe holds Helen in very high regard with his metaphors and similes being compliments to the beauty of Helen. H.D.'s direct communication with the audience conveys something quite different than Poe's reverence in beauty. H.D. seems cold towards Helen, even maybe to the point of hatred, even suggesting at a point that Helen would have been better off dead. H.D. shows no love for Helen but like Poe she uses imagery to reflect the beauty of Helen as well as her feelings about Helen to the audience.
     Tone represents an author's chance to convince the audience of their view point. The author creates the tone and the audience absorbs it as they read making tone the author's persuasive literary element. For "Helen" the tone is somber, even while describing the beauty of Helen, the tone retains a dark, even resentful, aspect. The tone of "Helen" easily shows no love for Helen, here H.D. is attempting to turn the audience to her view of resentment towards Helen. Similarly Poe uses a positive, awe struck tone to win over his audience. Poe's tone mostly consists of a reverence for the beauty of Helen and little more. The tone was used in similar manners by the authors but to convey two very different views of Helen.
      Authors use many literature elements to convey their views in literature. For Poe he used a praising tone, beauty imagery, and intellectual diction to show his beauty-sruck view of Helen. H.D. used a similar resentful tone, deathly imagery, and modern diction to show her view of a Helen that Greece might have been better off without. The two views of the authors contrast sharply, nearly taking opposite views of Helen of Troy but the way that they conveyed said views were quite similar.

Prompt #2

1974 Poem: “I wonder whether one expects...” (No poet given)
 Prompt: Write a unified essay in which you relate the imagery of the last stanza to the speaker’s view of himself earlier in the poem and to his view of how others see poets.

     Imagery is direct communication between an author and their audience, generally conveying the author's views and values through similes and metaphors. The author sets an early view of poets and himself but offers a deeper insight in the final stanza. The imagery in the final stanza is used to convey views early in the poem but on a deeper more direct manner with his audience. Through the images described by an author the audience is able to view the perspective of the author without the other bits of literature to cloud the message. In the final stanza of the given poem seven characteristics are given as the characteristics of poets and the author himself. 
    The seven characteristics given are as follows: Energy, Laziness, Discipline, "Jaws-of-Death", Error, Routine, and Futility. Each of these are represented as a person. Energy is only half there and struggling to bring itself to full force. Laziness does its best to foul Energy. Discipline is wounded but carries on. Death laughs from afar and is accompanied by Error. And finally Routine and Futility carry a steady beat. These "characters" represent the struggle held by the author to get through life. Characteristics that get in the way of our potential and allow us to fall behind. By offering these characteristics as "characters" the author is able to make a more direct connection to his audience and his view about his true self becomes apparent.
      The "characters" given are the underlying qualities of the author. Combined with the previous stanzas the authors proposes that people live in an illusion of sorts, that we go through the motions of living life day after day. The "characters" are partly at fault and partly the result of the monotony of everyday life. The qualities that are the subject of the final stanza are cause and the effect of the previous stanzas.
      Imagery allows views and ideas to be communicated directly with the audience of a work of literature. In this case imagery is used to show the underlying characteristics that cause the behaviors expressed in the poem. Imagery was used as a deeper direct connection to the audience to ensure that the authors view get across.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


To me the greatest advantage of group conversations are other's opposing views. Nothing makes you rethink your position like a collage's criticism. For me in this instance I heard no strong criticism of my analysis of the sonnets I chose, so the real value in my group discussion was not in the actual discussion. Rather it was the fact that I knew my work was to be discussed, so I got it right the first time and put time into my notes.