Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poetry Writing Prompt

Philip Larkin, the author of the short poem Here, uses many different techniques to not only get his point across but to convey his attitude towards the poem. He uses words and their denotation to portray the place he is describing. The significance of Larkin's techniques is linked to his attitude which illustrates the picture he gives readers while reading the poem.

The author's attitude toward the poem is always found in the poem itself. Larkin uses several techniques to show the tone of the poem. The diction of Here seems to be somewhat depressing and dark because he often uses words that relate to bad or scary things. He uses words like, solitude, pheasants, mud, dead, slave, grim, isolate, and loneliness that help portray his attitude.

Larkin is also a very descriptive author and uses several alliterations in his poem. He repeats the consonant sounds in many lines. For example in line 3 he says, "Too thin and thistled to be called meadows", or in lines 5 and 6 he says, "swerving to solitude of skies and scarecrows." Ultimately, Larkin keeps the poem moving by using different alliterations which helps to show his attitude. He does not use periods and his phrases are often run-on.

Imagery is another important method Larkin uses to express his attitude towards the poem. The way Larkin uses his imagery throughout the entire poem makes the readers feel as though they are actually in this place. He uses extreme detail in every line to truly describe the place which gives his attitude a truer meaning. Larkin's imagery starts off in the very first line and continues from there on with, "swerving east, from rich industrial shadows and traffic all night north; swerving through fields too thin and thistled to be called meadows".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Metamorphosis Writing Prompt

In the novella The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, the "morphing" of protagonist Gregor Samsa is but one of the serveral changes that occurs in the short story. Gregor's sister, Grete, also undergoes several significant changes throughout the story. While Gregor's metamorphosis may entail more seriousness and importance, grete also displays changes in how she views herself, others, and the world in general, which ultimately, adds momentous meaning to the work.

Before Gregor's transformation into a bug, he views himself as being responsible and has a true effect on his family. However, the attention he receives from his family is very little. After Gregor's metamorphosis, he undergoes changes in his body and mind. He grows multiple legs, has trouble with his vision and hearing, and has trouble speaking. While Gregor still loves his family, he starts to not have any consideration for his family, which causes him to see things differently. He no longer sees himself as a provider for the family, rather a burden for them because of his metamorphosis. He loses his sense of responsibility and views himself as worthless. Gregor also sees his family members differently. Gregor starts to appreciate Grete and respects her for taking care of the family. After a while, Gregor loses hope in everything. He realizes that he is nothing more than a burden and decides that his life no longer matters to himself of his family.

Grete's changes in the story are well known through her attitude towards things. She starts to view herself as an adult and wants to be the new provider for her family. She looks upon Gregor as helpless which causes her to take care of him in the beginning. Her actions, feelings and speech towards Gregor are linked to her growth as a woman, which draws a parallel between her and Gregor's metamorphosis. Before Gregor's transformation, Grete was not looked upon as responsible or providing like Gregor. Soon after Gregor turns into a "monstrous vermin" Grete realizes she must grow up and get a job to help her family. This shows responsibility, which makes her parents proud. Even though Grete seems to be caring towards Gregor in the beginning her feelings toward him change. She longer feels the need to take care of him and in a way he became forgotten to her.

The changes that occur in Gregor and Grete contribute to the overall meaning of the work. Even though Gregor's metamorphosis may be more significant, the metamorphosis of Grete shows how the transformation of Gregor impacted the views of the family and specifically Grete herself. Without the changes in Gretem the story would lack conflict and by making other characters in the story "morph", Kafka made a more complex story. Obviously, the morphing of young Gregor Samsa tells the story of The Metamorphosis and paves the way for other characters in the story to change in similar ways he did. Finally, the changes taking place in Gregor and Grete illustrate the power struggle within the family, which also alters the family's dynamics.

The Metamorphosis not only deals with the transformation of a man into a bug, but also the "morphing" of dynamic characters like Grete, who adds meaning to the story. Ultimately, Gregor's metamorphosis from a man into a giant insect dramatically conveys all the confined frustrations and unresolved issues of both Gregor and his family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Metamorphosis: chp 3 questions

Chapter 3 Questions

3. I do not think they move the furniture in Gregor’s room to kill him faster but to give him more free space to climb on the walls and all around his room.

5. He feels depressed at his family’s reaction toward him because he now views himself as a burden to the family rather than feeling proud because he was trying to work off the debt.

6. It seems like Gregor’s family does not feel sadness at his death, however, they feel sad that Gregor died but not the bug.

8. Gregor’s family gets over Gregor very quickly because ever since he turned into a bug they have not viewed him as Gregor, they have just viewed him as being “gone” so his death does not really have an affect on them.

11. The family is quieter at meal times because they don’t really know what to say or how to react to what has happened to Gregor. They probably want to act like a normal family again but for them, it is hard to get over the fact that Gregor is a bug and so they are speechless at times.

12. Gregor stops eating because he feels extremely depressed and he’s lost his will to survive. He no longer has the support from his sister and never really had any from his parents; therefore, he feels like giving up.

14. Grete doesn’t just all of the sudden start playing her violin, she does it to entertain the 3 lodgers who are staying at their home. She has been playing for a while and her parents even wanted to send her to a violin school.

18. Gregor has been in his room for several months before he dies.

20. Grete did not get a job before because she is only 17 and could not get one. She wants to help the family now so she decides to get a job. She wants to be like Gregor and take responsibility.

21. The maid finds Gregor because none of the other family members want to care for Gregor or go into his room and see him dead. Overall, the family completely ignores Gregor and the affect his death has on them is nothing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Writing Prompt 2 - 9/22/08

In the novel 1984, by George Orwell, the desire for power is found in the party. The party, which is the tyrannical leadership overall, seeks to gain power for it's own well-being. The character, Winston, demonstrates his desire and struggle to free himself of the power hungry party.

Winston, also known as Smith, is not the typical protagonist; however, his actions in the story prove that he is. He is the only character in the story that truly fights against the party. While others may be against the party and its power, they stand back and do nothing. Winston does many things that are against the party's rules. He does not watch the telescreen when it comes on, he writes in a diary, and he has an affair with Julia.

The actions Winston takes in trying to go against the party are part of his struggle. Winston's struggle deals with the fact that he is alone in going against the party, besies Julia who is his lover. He wants to go against the party so bad that he tries to join the Brotherhood but is caught in the end. Another of Winston's struggles shows the importance at the end when he is threatened to be killed by rats. He deeply struggles to maintain hope of bringing down the party, but it is shut off when he realizes he cannot deal with his fear.

The author enhances 1984 through Winston's character by making him the protangonist. In Winston's struggles, the readers see sides of Winston never shown. He displays a true love interest for Julia as well as a making himself a failure at the end. Winston's power struggle gives meaning to the work because he is the lone soldier fighting against the party and therefore, without Winston's character there would never be any struggles just more people being hypnotized by the party.

The author gives more meaning to the work, with Winston's struggles, by making everyone realize how strong the party really is. Winston does make an effort to go against the party, but by the end he is nothing more than the common man and Oceania stays the same.

Winston's character could be viewed as the "hero" for his bravery shown in his struggle against the party. He does not succeed in freeing himself but truly adds meaning to the story.