#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

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#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

https://rainaebrahim.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/blog-3-what-is-significant-about-emily-dickinson/comment-page-1/#comment-12

 

#4 Mark Twain’s description of nature

The opening passage from chapter 8 of Huckleberry Finn defines nature with such vividness and imminence:

 

“The sun was up so high when I waked, that I judged it was after eight o’clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade, thinking about things and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on limb and jabbered at me very friendly.”

Chapter 8

 

Within this snip-it Mark Twain expresses through specifically chosen words which allow for momentous however simplistic elements to arise. The use of the personal pronoun “I” conveys his familiarities and his feelings in that exact moment. This can also be seen at the end of the second line through the words “comfortable and satisfied.”, illustrating his content feelings with what he mentions. Certain word choices can be understood as Huck’s recipe of his environment, “freckled, sifted, satisfied, rested”, each of these is items of the methods which make his beautiful setting.

The picture that Twain paints is through each idea the protagonist observes which the author has envisioned. Each line moves as if it were vectors, from the sun which explains the time element, then seeing the shade from the trees which made him feel comfortable, the leaves on the trees and the “freckled place” sun spot which shone through onto his face. This by far is an instance of clarity and highlights the beauty of the surroundings he is bounded by. The ways sentences are structured confirm the tone of the novel. In this specific paragraph, the sentences are short and sharp but meaningful. Most sentences contain two clauses connected by a comma, Twain uses this to not make his descriptions short and boring instead making them meaningful to the protagonist and the reader. Combined these features all form a depiction of what an amazing life which was around for Huck at the time.

 

 

Mark Twain and Peter Coveney. Huckleberry Finn, Level 3. London, Penguin Classics [Imprint], 2003

#2 Peer Review

Hey Tylah,

I really was impressed by your take on both Emerson and Thoreau’s works.

I feel as though you engaged more with Thoreau’s Walden as it allowed you to question aspects in your life when using the term “eye opener”. Not only for yourself but it makes other readers aware of how materialistically consumed society has become. When you began to address Emerson, you beautifully stated the importance of the metaphor a “transparent eyeball”. This reveals how currently, we are made to see ideas, motions and change through somebody else’s vision and we have forgotten to think for ourselves.

All in all, I really enjoyed your blog and how you truly felt from the works of these poets. Although by adding an image to display what you have written would have been a great feature!

Keep up the great blogs!

– Annaliese

https://tylahfragiadakis.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/emerson-and-thoreau/comment-page-1/#comment-6

 

#3 Dickinson, The Mother of Poetry

Emily Dickinson, an inspiration to all and commonly recognised as “Mother of Poetry”. Dickinson writes in an abstract form, through my eyes a collection of her poems surround personal freedom. Today, I choose to write about a persona who is trapped through society grind. Re-telling in the theme of Dickinson, however, spun with my personal writing style.

I cannot live without you,
She said through all the liquor and wine –
He brought fair speech, however –
We are only made from the Divine.

This lust she speaks of,
is only just that.
Her desire has been manipulated –
from a girl fame wrapped.

Told – ‘Love is a riddle,
cloaked by thirst’,
But maybe it’s just greed
that got to her first.

Her appetite is pleased,
for only a short while –
she starts to grieve
such a quiet denial.

The words “I love you”
are never mentioned through this tidal.

As her mind felt freak-show closes in
So does her true yearning.

The bottle becomes empty,
as the last drop slashes down the aisle.

– Annaliese Ferraro

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#2 Emerson’s ‘Nature’

How has Emerson’s ‘Nature’ given you a clearer sense of what it is you are looking for in your own life?

The idea Transcendentalism came as a shock to me. Not physically but mentally. For years I understood that something of this nature existed but I never had the knowledge the term, which it was related to. Transcendentalism as being repeatedly aware of is a title, which is hard to define and decipher, however, it can be illustrated as a philosophical movement in American Literature. The two main figureheads in literature of this movement are known to be Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau but I would just like to hone lightly on Emerson’s essay “Nature”.

Emerson’s essay “Nature” is mainly about how nature is a way of understanding who we are and being reminded not to let the noise surrounding our lives cloud our judgment on our own thoughts and truths. He does this through the quote “I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a particle of God.” (Chapter 1). It is a way that Emerson can express that what we see is a remarkable part of our being; it is the part that is original and warranted.

Each chapter following has been given separate key messages or ‘sub- messages’ which is portrayed to the reader as each one is interconnected to the main idea of understanding ourselves and to listen to our own opinions. Chapters 2,3 and 4 represent the value of nature through its commodity, beauty, and language. Through these chapters, they create a sense of awakening in my own life especially as these three themes are current issues in today’s day and age that is something that strikes a chord with me personally. Hearing about the longing for a physical possession or society’s value of an image and the way we express ourselves through our language.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay ‘Nature’
Penguin Books ‘Nature’ Cover 

 

#1 Peer Review

Hey Biancah,

For your first entry in the category, American Literature, you have done a tremendous job in capturing the essence of how in this day and age ‘nature ISN’T… the first thought that would come to one’s mind’. Not only have you reflected how symbolic the world around the Native American people is you’ve also created a critical account which is easily accessible to any kind of reader. This is a great strength to possess in your writing style. I also appreciate how you put forward a forethought or idea to your readers in experiencing the great outdoors by removing themselves from a technologically advanced world and fuel processed society to experience the serenity that nature possesses. On top of that, the addition organisation websites are a fantastic finisher to your first blog!

You’ve done a beautiful job! One critic I have is to add maybe one more quote from – I become part of it. !

– Annaliese 🙂

https://biancahnasrblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/nature-in-american-literature/comment-page-1/#comment-60

 

#1 The importance of nature

Can we apply the Native American sense of the importance of nature to make our own lives more whole and meaningful?

In certain ways, the Native American way of living would be foreign to implement in the time of the 21st century as surrounding factors such as our society is an ever-changing place filled with technological disruptions, increasing numbers of polluting vehicles and most importantly the ignorance people in relation to the beauty of nature. Adherents of the sacred bond of nature can be portrayed through the relationship of the Native American Indians and the natural world.
A Native American writer, Oren Lyons encompasses this through his essay, “Our Mother Earth” in the book I become part of it.

According to Lyons, they have proved time and time again that they share a ‘great connection’ with the land. His continuous repetition of the word “great” revives to foresee this unmeasurable understanding of the intensity that a connection between the Native American Indians and the environment share. Furthermore, when one looks at it, they could assume it is inextricable. However, this impossible separation is something the Europeans have fought towards for centuries on end. Though that doesn’t stop the Native American Indians as Lyons states, “We are like a conscience. We are small, but we are not a minority.” As well, Native Americans reveal that nature provides purpose through their sense of who they are; the growth of their identity makes this connection so much more personal and introspective “And among us there are even people with other gifts- a gift of art, or a gift of speech, or a gift of a smile that can make everyone laugh. Whatever it is, each of us was born with a mission.” as it is the development of who they are.

To have a whole and meaningful life is to be complete and to have a purpose and honestly, I believe by through the words and actions the Native American Indians take to profess their adoration towards nature can be sanctified in a material world. By not only acknowledging to appreciating what we have been blessed with but recognising the importance of the natural world as it is the beginning of the life we have all started for ourselves.

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For more insight into Oren Lyons thoughts, it would be best to check out his youtube video “We are part of the Earth.” using this link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSwmqZ272As

Dooling, D. M, and Paul Jordan-Smith. I BECOME PART OF IT ; Our Mother Earth. 1st ed., New York, Harperscollinspaperback, 2002,.
Sacred Land Film Project. “Oren Lyons “We Are Part Of The Earth”.” 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSwmqZ272As.

Summative Blog 19th Century

Throughout the 19th Century, both the Romantic and Victorian age have emerged pivotal concerns, in which we correlate with today’s society. It is through these concerns that in this day and age, we can feel a deeper connection and have meaningful and creative lives as we continually opened to the world who previously experienced the struggles and questions in which we do now.

The women of the Romantic age expressed the way they felt; many authors and poems shared that they were stereotyped and repressed due to social values. It was through this, that a feminist power seized itself into the 19th Century. Women such as Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Wollstonecraft were brought into the light, where women were able to voice their opinions and express their discontent with their own societies. With the strong movement of women’s rights in the 21st Century, we now have been encouraged to speak the perspective of women and so forth be labelled as feminists. This has taken a toll on the way the world is perceived as people who have a more appealing voice in the world such as ‘UN Women Goodwill Ambassador’, Emma Watson, has recently been able to make this happen with her debut and influential UN speech “He for She” in 2014. Likewise, Jane Austen took a similar but dividing route in her novel “Emma”, as she portrayed the protagonist as someone who wanted to control every element of her mundane lifestyle. From this, we now have come to terms with the fact that life forges its own path and we are just along for the ride. A similar experience emerges when Emma tries to match make who she thinks belongs to who. However, she discovers towards the end, she has a deep and uneasy revelation in her life when she realises something she can’t control, her vulnerable and stripped back feelings.

Another author who gauged their audiences in the Victorian Era was Charles Dickens with his novel “Hard Times”. He bases his idea of an ‘Imaginative Freedom’ around a young circus girl named Sissy Jupe. Her role as the protagonist it to optimise the way of freedom, to take risks and live one’s life to the fullest. However, some may say that the antagonist, Mr Gragrind, who was her teacher and later on in the novel her guardian detested everything about her and what she stood for. In the world we live in today, this can be an ongoing theme with people of a higher status or people who believe in the importance of facts and the utilitarian lifestyle. These usefulness factors still stand in today’s society. People who are seen as poor, ‘not normal’, rebel against what they have already been given stand in the place of Sissy Jupe. These people are ones who express their mind on topics some are unwilling to touch. For example, now we have a civilisation were LGBTI’s are free to express their creative minds through makeup, colours, and even who they are in the world.

Art in the 19th Century has made an enormous impact on the way people feel and view the world today. An incredible piece by Eugene Von Guerard “Milford Sound” (1877-1879) reflects the balance that can be created through realistic and non-realistic feelings. This constant essence of being comfortable with nature can be seen through the colour palette. Starting from the top of the painting the lilac and grey sky to the brown and green rocky mountains then gazing into the crystal blue water onto to the pulled back green and brown land. When looking at the feelings artist receive today, it shows them that there is no limit in the way art can be expressed and that the colours they choose to do so display the powerful meaning and feeling they receive from their environment and landscape. Another artwork which reveals the concerns of the time is Frederic Lord Leighton’s piece “Cymon and Iphigenia” (1884). Cymon means beast and foreshadows the idea that this individual is a reckless person, however, seems to be smitten with Iphigenia who reveals herself as a symbol of seduction. In this time images like this were very popular but frowned upon. In the 21st Century, they are increasingly prevalent to express the emotion of the time and how one individual or one experience can change another’s ways.

Finally, one novel in which I truly would recommend to anyone who would want to explore literature would be George Eliot’s “Silas Marner”. Although the story is about Marner, the thing that sprung itself onto me was the character, Godfrey Cass and his relatability to 21st Century. Cass is seen as a harsh persona who is only concerned with his wealth and his image. If that doesn’t sound like the 21st-century stereotype then I don’t know what else could be. Later on in this story, he wants to take his love child back for himself and his new wife and claims that she would be better off with the wealth he has. The mistake that this character has made and that I guess most individuals seems to make is that the infatuation with money has nothing to do with the person and their identity. His biological daughter, Eppie has grown up with a loving step-father (Marner) and has become the loving, caring and generous person she is due to his paternal instincts. This story can be seen as a ‘man in the mirror’ reflection. Cass needs to look at himself and see that money doesn’t solve everything it is the love you have for the people around you and in this case, it’s for his daughter.

As you can probably notice by my summary I really enjoyed learning and diving into the world of 19th Century Literature and Art. I do strongly believe that through the Romantic and Victorian Ages authors, novelists, poets, dramatists and artists highlight concerns in which we as the 21st Century civilisation incur. These forms of literature truly express in more ways than one how our creative and meaningful lives can be truly lived to the fullest and I’m extremely taken back by how much they do this.

Week 7 – Reflection

Today like any other Monday at Prac I helped the classroom teacher with administrative elements of the morning. She said to me, she wouldn’t know what she’d do without my help with roll call, sick/away notes, special homework and spelling because having the extra pair of hands speeds up the work and allows her lesson to plan to go on schedule. Being a part of community engagement has made a big impact on me because I’m starting to understand over the past few weeks how truly draining and how much hard work goes into just one day of teaching.

In today’s lesson the year one student’s were introduced to a new ‘strategy’ called sequencing. As someone who hasn’t gone through elements as basic as this, it was refreshing to once again remember what it was like to be a child and learning the fundamentals in which are so commonly forgotten in my time.

When looking back at a theory i learnt a few weeks back on humanist approaches to learning it corealted with a sitation which occured today. Although these students are still young and unable to fully be applicable to the theory, there was a thought on Abrahan Maslow’s Hierachy of needs.

In his conclusion, he believes that in order to fulfil goodness and wholeness one must reach self actualisation, sequencally. When looking at sequencing in class I thought it would be a great link toa situation that occured today. There are a minor cluster of students who have immigrated here from Lebanon. One student in particular continues to struggle in grasping the language and therefore acts out because of it. By going through Maslows hiearchy anyone can see that there are many limitations to young people, such as what they would be going through at the time. The order of the needs are not catering for his situation. If I was able to swap needs I would say “Safety” and “Self-Esteem” should be combined. In the young boys case, it may with the help of motivational strategies such as positive reinforcement, to allow him to believe in his abilities and be able learn from his mistakes  in the future.