#9 ‘As I Lay Dying’ – Film Review

Creative: Imagine yourself as a film critic, you are to write a response to William Faulkner’s Film ‘As I lay dying’ and highlighting two main characters which stood out to you. 

This week I have had the opportunity to view such a highly anticipated recreation of William Faulkner’s novel ‘As I Lay Dying’ through the eyes of the director James Franco. The film translates the strife and disaster that come upon a poor Mississippi family during their trip by horse and wagon to bury their deceased mother and matriarch of their family.  The plot as a whole reflects tensions between what is said and what is left unsaid in their thoughts. This is left for the audience to reflect and manifest who we are and what we think about.

Two characters that struck my attention would be Darl Bundren and Cash Bundren. These two brothers although bounded by blood illustrate completely different personalities on opposite sides of the spectrum. Darl played by James Franco himself was a character who was the most sensitive and articulate, Franco delivered the greatest number of interior monologues in the film revealing such inner disturbed thoughts. Darl’s frustration with the number of encounters the family encompasses leads him to try to end things decisively by lighting a barn on fire which as a result incinerating his dead mother’s coffin. Cash played by Jim Parrak was displayed as a person who lacked emotion and lack heart which the director wanted the audience to see. The character was very disconnected to the other family members. In his words compared to the other characters, we can see that in one way he has more sensical knowledge from the others and through his definitions we can see his vulnerability to the whole situation.

 ‘As I Lay Dying’ forth portrays the demonic views of individuals madness through lack of expression or even a multitude of pain illustrated through acting out. Artistically ‘As I Lay Dying’ reveals to us the horrific events such as the mothers death and the burning down of the barn. This occurs physically, however, emotionally driven events are built up inside each of the characters due to the experiences this family has as they share separate grief over the death of their mother. The film director used a range of art-forms to create a contrast between words and thought through non-verbal ideas in their mind, differing perspectives, and vivid emotions through music and sound.

All in All, ‘As I Lay Dying’ is a tension-filled film which exemplifies the way in which Faulkner’s novel was written. The film exposes the inner persona of each character as well as shows them that through all the negative battles that this journey was meant to happen to develop who they are as people.


Until next time, this is Annaliese Ferraro signing off for this film to be a success!


#7 Peer Review

Hey Josh!,
Firstly, I would like to say what a critical but also creative vibe your blog post has. I really like the fact that in the beginning line you have defined what the quote, “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom… it runs a course of lucky events and ends in the clarification of life.”

You have defined both the transparent and opaque meanings which you can identify from Robert Frost’s quote which allows your readers to have more context and comprehension of Frost’s meaning behind his words. The fact that you were emotionally reminded of such words in ‘Destined to Fly’, revealed your own connection and understanding as well as triggers of going forth with one idea and being completely encompassed with another.

All in all, a great post, however, the addition of an image depicting Frost’s meaning would have been the icing on the cake. As well as, the placement of the first stanza of ‘Destined to Fly’ doesn’t link up with the rest!

– Annaliese


#6 Peer Review

Hi Jackson,

Your blog post, although short and simple has just the right amount of description to eagerly want a continuation of some sort and an ongoing story of an outsider looking into the relationship between Huck and Jim. Personally, your strongest point in this blog is in your introductory paragraph where you lay out the scenery. It is almost like the reader can visualize that in this particular moment the persona is completely dazed and fascinated by his surroundings, the boat, the sun, and most of all the body of water. The “blissful stillness” which you have created is fantastic. Also, the comparison between the two persona’s Huck and Jim illustrate how intense an unknown companionship could be and the beauty behind the adventure for the travelers.

Overall, this is a great entry, however, the addition of an image to capture the scenery would be a perfect finisher to such a well-written blog!

– Annaliese



#8 The many voices of Faulkner

CREATIVE: Using any one of Faulkner’s 15 character voices as a guide, create a paragraph in the voice of a character totally different to yourself. Think about people you might have overheard on the train or bus, or someone you might have seen randomly on a street corner. Invent their life, their consciousness in a paragraph. Who knows it might become the start of a larger work!


Clear as day… the sky,

Something so blue and pure that never can let me down,

A wondrous entity, a mystery, the source of my clarity,

How can this being so still in its own natural habitat be the one constant, which is my reason for waking up,

The simplicity is un-caning; the inner beauty is just striking as the many emotions of one’s self-arises,

Deep blue intertwining with thunderous greys allude to the dark times ahead,

It is like the periods in life that I am finally content are where darkness invites itself to the party of my life,


I enjoy such a guest,

I fail to notice it’s arrival underneath all the bright skies; the charcoal moments are a normality which I do not ever push away.

Annaliese Ferraro 


Faulkner’s ‘As I Lay Dying’ displays a range of voices each different from each other. These voices hold personal opinions; differing tones of voice and even a spark which makes them stand out and be unique.

I created this persona intentionally to introduce someone completely different to myself. However, this voice is the voice of myself that I struggle to address or come to terms with so technically this is foreign. This version of myself isn’t illiterate or finds it difficult to articulate the truth behind all the thought flying in my mind

#7 Burnt Norton V

 Select the one modernist poem or text that you found spoke to you most directly. Quote the text and tell us how the text moved you.

Section V of T.S Elliot’s “Burnt Norton” is the closing of a truly miraclous perspective of the way human beings are able to creare words to allow us to see things that we’re constantly trying to comprehend. The power of the word choice seizes to amaze me “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.”. When we are placed in situation such as arguments, we tend to retaliate in the heat of the moment. In this pice words play a part in the cause and effect of any circumstance, this is the nature of language in human experience. Words are trying to carry some meaning for us, they help us understand.

These words are the powerful concepts that we as human beings create ourseleves, “words move, music moves.” resulting in the ideas on paper being one thing but in life it is powerful experience. However the idea of love, “love is itself unmoving, only the cause of the end of movement” can be seen as a strong element in the development of our words. Religious anaologies are placed in this text as a representation of love, insiting that before time there was love and now the being at the places where we are is the implications of love and it works and flows in a creative way. Words also reach into our core and as such an internal silence, this can be seen as atmospherical silences and this compliments the mood that T.S Elliot is surronded with. 

After reading this piece more than once it has become more aware to me that is surrounding mainly by the theme of time. It’s as if people are stuck in the past and are unable to see the beauty of the present. “Quick, now, here, always– Ridiculous the waste sad time Stretching before and after.”, the finishing words of the text truly spoke to be as it was alluded to be a call to anybody reading this to give into a childlike perspective of life to live in the moment without getting caught up in the rush of life and to see the world for what it really is. 



“Burnt Norton” Part V 

Norton Anthology D – Page 398-399


#5 Peer Review

Hey Biancah,

Your blog this week was a real interpretation on how Mark Twain uses his description of nature to enhance the quality of life and the environment he observes in allowing momentous however simplistic elements to arise! I appreciate that you have included this quote, “a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me”, as it refers to the natural elements of life all having voices in our world which we accidentally may ignore.Twain’s writing is so raw and intuitive that it allows the readers to capture the essence of the being with nature, the stillness of emotional break one is able to be a part of with nature. You’ve done a great job, however,  a little extra description of what you received from reading this novel has done to your perspective of nature would create a better blog.

– Annaliese 🙂


#6 Robert Frost

If possible try to explain in your own words what you understand by this statement. Can you give an example of poem you have read that does just this?

A tradition and experimentalist poet such as Robert Frost clarifies the affect poems have on individual’s thoughts and feelings. “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom..” (Frost) hones in on the opportunity displayed in the word choice, structure, rhyme scheme and comparatively the newfound knowledge an individual can acquire which may, in turn, change their opinion completely or add to the beliefs they already possess.

A poem, which expresses the idea of delight into wisdom, is Neither Out Far Nor In Deep’. Frost eludes to in the first stanza an image of society turning their back on the land and is fixated on the see, All turn and look one way”. The third stanza suggests that they aren’t turning their backs on the land but instead are searching for the truth, which they believe to find in the unchanging ocean. “The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be- the water come ashore, And the people look at the sea.” The motif of the ocean portrays the repetition in its movement and as a result, is more subject to change. The people on the beach are representatives of individuals who can’t help searching for answers that are hard to attain, however, they choose an unlikely source such as the mysterious ocean. What I personally get out of this poem is that we understand that of the human experience, literature changes the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves especially with the help of the unbiased ocean.


“Robert Frost.” 2017, http://williambertrand.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/RobertFrost.jpg.

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep – Robert Frost

Norton Anthology Volume D (Page 247)


#4 Peer Review

Hi Ngaire,

I to choose this blog topic to answer as I believe “Going to meet the man” is such a confronting piece of text which allows for many ideas and outlooks to come out when reading it. The character Jesse as you have described ‘experiences growing up in a racist society’. As a result of this, it reveals the harsh reality that individuals of colour faced as well as being objectified to the power of the white people. I appreciate the fact that you have included certain techniques such as rhetorical’s, imagery and simile in your blog as it alerts readers to be inclusive as well as having an insight into the grotesque events which occur in Baldwin’s text.

My critics are that a picture expressing your opinion or highlighting the key points which you were addressing would have created such a perfect finisher to your blog. As well, I can see that one of your paragraphs are larger than the rest, although that might be the way you’ve typed in the structure of the paragraphs looks a little unbalanced but other than that you’ve done an incredible job with this entry!

– Annaliese



#5 A letter to James Baldwin

Dear Mr. Baldwin,

Firstly, I would like to show my many praises for the writing you have produced. In my honest opinion, the raw and powerful messages opaquely reveal itself through your writing “Going to Meet the Man”. Although, the simplicity of your writing portrays one side when we as readers look deeper into this particular story the gruesome and barbaric words are highlighted even more and as a result of this enlighten your audience with the horrific tone of the time.

I would like to look back on the realization of the character Jesse. He is at a stage where he questions what he observes and how this man has ended up in this position.

“Going to meet the man”, as an overall piece, hones in on the desperation of the white people in that period of time. However, the youth, in this case, Jesse, from a young age is opened to the vindictive violence which was conducted. The passage that has created a visually present moment is where Jesse remembers a time when his father allowed him to see the abuse of the “nigger”.

The language you have used to express this create a momentary initial impact, however, leaving a stained mark on the reader. When Jesse describes his environment the alliteration in “blood bubbling”, illustrates the freshness of the blood and how real this act of violence is for a young boy. As well his description of “the veins of the neck jumped out”, personifies the shock, which occurs, and the humanistic picture which you tried to paint.

You also include the thoughts of the human psyche with use of rhetorical questions and repetition in “What did he do? What did the man do? What did he do? – but he couldn’t ask his father.”. The child has some moments of conscience but instead roles with the events that are occurring. This shows your readers how Jesse as a child is trying to make sense of what he has just witnessed. As he asks himself what did this man do to deserve such gruesome forms of torture. Through this particular line, you have successfully expressed the character’s youth and innocence in question an experience as well as growing up believing that this act is normal. Seeing his father, a role model for him, conducting this act makes it feel believable as well like it has a purpose or validity behind it.

Through the use of your specifically chosen language techniques, you have been able to portray such a moving piece from more than one angle. However, in the eyes of Jesse, this barbaric moment is seen as something that drives him through to his future because he deems it as normal.

This is an incredibly artistic and powerful text, thank you for sharing a slight insight into the incredibly difficult times of the African Americans, I truly am a fan of your work.

Kind Regards,

Annaliese Ferraro

American Literature Student.


Page 434 – “Going to meet the man” – James Baldwin

#3 Peer Review

Hey Raina,

Firstly, this is a great blog, good job!
What a lovely blog describing Dickinson, her poetry and the meaning she professes behind them. I was surprised with the way you expressed her poetry in true fashion to her lifestyle and beliefs. Although your sentences are short and sharp they are straight to the point identifying the reasons why she chose to write the way she did.

Moreover, if I did have anything to critic it might be that I thought your blog lacked a personal opinion. What I mean is although these facts about her are great maybe adding how they make you feel or how it makes readers feel in today’s day and age may add extra quality to an already great piece!

Keep up the great work!

– Annaliese