“It cannot be doubted that each of us can only see part of the picture.”
Paul Kalanithi -When Breath becomes Air

We are closed off to so many parts of this world. It is like we are walking with one eye closed. Almost as if we are missing out on some sort of goldmine. Fortunately, we are only young, we still have the ability to learn, grow, experience and make many mistakes. These features are what connect the missing pieces to a full life, something which we all secretly wish for. Who knows, some of us deserve the challenge, others deserve to cruize, however, don’t underestimate these moments of true bliss. Our bliss is a vital collection, it is something taken for granted. It reveals itself only when one is ready to be exposed to it but we’ll really never know when. When it arrives be kind and generous to it, open your arms to this beautiful gift, appreciate it’s meaning. Then and only then will your picture be completed.


Summative Entry – American Writing

American Literature helps me to expand the boundaries of my own experience. From Native American writings, African American writings, Modernism and Transcendentalism the range of artistic growth that I have endured over the past 12 weeks in learning and indulging in American Literature is astounding. An ongoing element seems to constantly arise, the sense of self. Finding the purpose we have as individuals and how we then fit into society. For many writers, their connection to their truth has been through ideals such as nature.

Our society, although an ever-changing place still has one constant, the kindness and beauty which nature embeds into our lives, which many in this decade have forgotten about or ignorantly, left behind. My personal connection with this idea has been through learning vividly about Transcendentalism but being still left questioning the new information. It is something that is hard to define and decipher known as a philosophical movement in American Literature. We are constantly reminded in all the busyness of life how it could cloud our judgment, our thoughts, our truths. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Nature” reminds us of what has been forgotten, listening to our own opinions and ourselves are the paths that will lead us to the truths in our lives. Emerson looks at his life as “a transparent eye-ball” (Chapter 1), expressing that what we see and the opinions we form is what makes us who we are the unique beings we were purposely created for.

Nevertheless, when looking at Modernism a prominent poet stood out to me having studied a few texts by him before, T.S Eliot. He was known for free verse; I saw this through collectively annotating Section V of T.S Eliot’s “Burnt Norton”. It spoke to me as a reflection of where words have the possibility of taking you such as the aspect of life as it moves in the one direction from start to finish. Each line became more correct than the last in my opinion, I received the message that the power that concepts and ideas have been the ones we create ourselves. Knowing that the thoughts we conjure up are the means for the greatness and power in the focus of an individual and how they take worth of they life is extremely empowering to me, it’s as if we as beings have had all the power all along.

Although in the unit we learned about William Faulkner at the closing half of the semester, his work is the highlight of my time participating in American Literature. Although had never studied him or his works let alone hearing his name, Faulkner is known to be one of the 20th centuries greatest writers and as a result of this, his appeal to my learning was second to none. When especially looking in deep detail of, “As I Lay Dying” both through the text as well as watching a film displayed certain characteristics that shouldn’t normally work but just incredibly do. The way in which he created characters that were extreme polar opposites except were connected through blood Faulkner showed an effort to articulate the inexpressible aspects of individual psychology through each individual character.

As a result, American literature has provided me with literary pathways for my mind to flourish in. In all honesty, some key writers such as T.S Eliot, William Faulkner and Robert Frost have all impacted my way of thinking and have opened many more dimensions of where my mind could travel. I know now that the boundaries are endless and that my experiences in life are only the beginning of the connections I have with my thoughts, words and actions.

Annaliese Ferraro 


#8 Peer Review

Hey Nadia,

Your post regarding Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” and your own personal connection to the human heart forge great moments for the human psyche to expand on ideas which Faulkner brings to the table. First and foremost, the beginning line, “The difficulties, experiences, and the euphoric memories that bring happiness during times in our lives.” feels a bit short and brief maybe you could expand on these feelings and how they may be the sole reason for happiness or even heartache. The metaphor of the human heart is like a “tug of war” is such a good reflection of the heart. When you get to the middle the sentences feel like you have so much to say which makes the sentences feel congested. Having a look at some linking verbs would be a great way to form a relationship between the many ideas you want to discuss.

Overall, I love the concept that you have been able to express from “As I Lay Dying” and Faulkner’s Nobel prize speech, as well as the image/quote of Faulkner’s, is personally one of my favourites!

Keep up the great work!

– Annaliese 🙂


#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 miraculous perspective of the way human beings are able to create 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 a 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 ourselves, “words move, music moves.” resulting in the ideas on paper being one thing but in life, it is a 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 ideologies are placed in this text as a representation of love, insisting 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 surrounded 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 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,

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep – Robert Frost

Norton Anthology Volume D (Page 247)