Research Paper Writing Process

The writing process so far for the research paper has not been smooth sailing but not overly difficult because it usually takes me a while to organize my thoughts and dive into the paper. I usually have to work and take frequent breaks in order to get a long research paper done.  I am confident though that I will be able to produce something I am happy with as long as I put in the amount of effort and research the paper requires, which I think I have done so far. However at the moment, writers block, and questioning if the direction I had previously thought Id go with is the right choice, is making the writing process a bit more arduous. I do feel like I am making progress and I keep reminding myself that my rough draft is not my final and after I apply heavy editing it will turn out the way I would like it to.  At the moment I may be slightly intimidated however I know that I will be just fine because I am going to be working hard at it.

Alice Mini-Series Blog Post

 

The Alice Mini-Series Blog Post

The reinterpretation I chose to research is the two part mini-series called Alice that that came out in 2009. In this version Alice is Alice Hamilton, a woman in her early 20’s who is a martial arts instructor living at home with her mom. She comes off as strong but emotionally cold due to her father disappearing ten years before. It starts with her having her boyfriend Jack over and becomes uncomfortable when he wants to give her a ring and asks her to come meet his family for the weekend. She declines both and he leaves but not before he slips the ring into her pocket.  When she goes after him to return it, sees him being thrown into a van and then is questioned by a white haired man who retrieves the ring from her. She chases him and he jumps into a large mirror in a dark alley.  She falls in the same mirror and is transported to a new world called Wonderland.

Wonderland looks like a futuristically bleak world typically seen in Sci-Fi movies. The special effects are well done for a TV mini-series and even has a Jaberwock that looks just like the one in the book.  The animal characters are mostly human in this version but have the same names as in the book. Some examples of these are the Dodo who is part of a group trying to overthrow the Queen, the Caterpillar a leader in that same group, the White Rabbit who works for the queen and Mad March, a robotic assassin with a rabbit for a head hired by the queen to kill The Hatter. The plot of this version is that the Resistance is trying to overthrow the Queen of Hearts who drains the emotions from people kidnapped from the regular world. She uses their emotions to help run the Queen of Hearts Casino. The ring Alice is given is very important and both groups are after because it controls the portal to Wonderland.

rabbitqueen of heartsalice hatteralice collageThe reason why new versions of Alice are still being created is because the original is so beloved for its imagination and we’ve all grown up on the story. The direction intended for this version is a sci fi adventure with undertones of overcoming emotional traumas and leaving parts of your childhood behind. Due to that it lacked themes of identity and innocence that I thought the novel had. This version also differs because Alice and the Mad Hatter called just Hatter in this one connect romantically. Also most of the dialogue in the novel is found missing and was waiting for Caterpillar to say “Who are you?” to Alice which he did not. He did smoke out of a hookah though while floating in a pool in a canoe. They filmmakers continuously did try to remind viewers of the original such as having the Hatter own a tea shop. Overall this version proves that there will always be interest in the Alice novels, and look forward to a new reimagining.

 

 

 

Voyant tool to analyze Advice from A Caterpillar

Alice in Wonderland Voyant tool Blog Response

The section that I chose to focus on is “Advice from A Caterpillar” from Alice’s Adventures in      Wonderland. I chose that section because I feel like it has a strong theme of identity so I was   curious to see if the word cloud would show signs of this.  This was the first time I’ve ever used           Word Cloud so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I also know that I’ve seen a word cloud before but    did not pay much attention to it. At first it did not seem very complicated to use, all you have to                 do to initially get started is to cut and paste then hit reveal.  At first the word cloud contained a                 lot of what is referred to in elementary schools as sight words such as it, and the word and but        after I used a tool that cut them out it made it slightly more focused.

I supposed the use of this is to give someone who’s never read the chapter a slight glimpse of what it may be about.  I do realize that our main purpose as students is to use this tool to help analyze the text deeper though I am not sure if I am completely sold on it.  Although I realize that I have not spent much time experimenting with it in that regard so I can’t confirm that it isn’t useful.  Artistically I do like the way it looks and if I was able to post pictures with a paper I wrote or used it for a power point presentation then I could see how it could provide use aesthetically at least.

The other tool I experimented with is the tool that tells the frequency of words.  For some reason it already had the word “it” in it’s bank and showed that “it” was very frequently used so that proved to be nor surprise. I put other words such as “afraid”, “think”, “voice” and “understand” because those words are ones that that seemed to come to mind after reading the chapter. The word think had a higher frequency rate then the other words I put in.  Perhaps if I was my research paper contained a section on the use of a certain than this tool could be of greater use.  Personally I think if I was better trained on the word cloud tool then I would be able to be much more successful using it. However I am still open to experiment with it and would like to see if I could discover more use out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice from a Caterpillar

One of the episodes that I found the most interesting was” Advice from a caterpillar”. What stood out to me the most was the image of a caterpillar sitting on top of a mushroom smoking a hookah.  I heard a rumor once when I was on vacation in Europe that Lewis Carroll was taking hallucinogens while he wrote Alice in Wonderland. I have no basis to believe that’s true but can at least understand why someone may think that based on that image alone. I normally am not a big fan of fantasy novels however I enjoyed reading that episode immensely. In the book Alice seems to be very opinionated and a bit of a know-it all like many 7 year olds her age.  What made this scene important was that the caterpillar seemed to disagree with almost everything Alice says.  She finds him very annoying but yet continues speaking to him.

He starts off the episode by smoking his hookah and completely ignoring her.  By working with children I’ve realized that they must have your attention and despise indifference. I feel that his purpose was to let Alice know that she is not the most important thing happening at the moment. An example of this is when he says “You!!!……..Who are you?”.   It causes her to be on her guard and she is amazed how the caterpillar is responding to her. What I found puzzling was the content of the poems that the caterpillar was asking her to recite for the purpose of jogging her memory.

This episode fit the other ones in the way that it continues to put Alice in strange scenarios and requires her to think on her feet and answer questions from characters she would normally not want to talk to.  I feel that Lewis Carroll did a great job of creating a realistic child because even though she is uncomfortable in many of the episodes she still is engaged in conversation and wants the character to believe her.  Another character the challenges her is the pigeon who responds to her with “A likely story indeed” when Alice tells the Pigeon that she is a little girl.  The characters seem to not trust Alice for the most part and again is a challenge to what small children hold value to.

I feel that the lesson of this episode is that it points out although she feels like she knows everything she actually does not. She is very confused because of all the changes she is going through like changing in size but it seems silly that she asks characters that she doesn’t know to tell her who she is. She finishes the episode not sure whether she will keep changing but feeling better that she is at her right size again.  What makes it comical though is that she sees a garden that requires her to be shorter and quickly alters her size yet again.

Trifles

 

Trifles

 

                After I read the play Trifles written by Susan Glaspell, it was very clear that theme of sexist attitudes men had for women was very evident in the play.  The play Trifles has to do with a man named John Wright who was murdered in his own house possibly by his wife Minnie Wright.  His body is discovered the day before by a farmer named Lewis Hale who was coming over to discuss sharing a phone party line with him even though John had not seem interested in doing so in the past. The play consists of the town sheriff and his wife, the farmer and his wife, and the account attorney walking in the house the day after.  The men go up the stairs discussing possible motives, while the women appropriately stay downstairs in the kitchen area.  However the women by being in the kitchen seem to gain a lot of insight in the case that the men are unaware of.

Although I am not sure exactly when this play was written I do know that Susan lived from 1876 to 1948. This was a time period where woman were not thought to be in the same category as men. The dialogue in the play is able to tell us a lot of the view men had for women.  In fact the title Trifles is meant to show that women were concerned with things that weren’t thought of as important.  One example of this is when Lewis Hale says “Well women are used to worrying about trifles” when referring to the mess the fruit preserves made (pg 280).  A continuation of this is when the County Attorney says “Not much of a house cleaner, would you say ladies?” when referring to the messy kitchen to Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters (pg280). The views that are seen in this play are not unheard of in our times now but the play seems to insinuate that men would say things like that without thinking twice. A line that shows that the women in the play feel that women are treated unjustly is when Mrs. Hale says “I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing” pg. 281). Yet another line that was just as important is towards the end of the play when he says “No Peters, it’s all perfectly clear except a reason for doing. But you know juries when it comes to women” (pg. 286). This line shows how the Attorney feels that people will show automatic sympathy towards a women.

Overall I enjoyed this play and felt that it was able to show us a lot in such a short play.

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

In the movie version of The Importance of Being Earnest, the clip of the scene titled “Cigarette Case” works because of the chemistry between the two characters Jack Worthing, played by Colin Firth and Algernon Montcrief played by Rupert Everette. Colin Firth plays Jack appropriately but perhaps plays the character as a bit more high strung than in the play.  An example of this is when Jack is visibly becoming upset and bothered when Algernon starts to question him. In the play it does not say for certain how his facial expression should be and I thought they both could have played it playful while in the movie version, one character does and the other doesn’t.  Rupert Everette however seems to play Algernon pretty faithfully to the play and seems to have fun as he pokes holes at Jack’s claims that he doesn’t know anyone named Cecily. Colin Firth’s Jack seems to be uncomfortable but also a bit more passive as well.

The biggest difference of the movie and the play is that in the movie everything is played out a bit more.  The facial expressions that Rupert Everette makes when he is questioning Jack add life to the scene.  The famous dialog of the cigarette banter has not changed with the exception of the gasps of the now present women. In the play Jack is talking to Algernon while in Algernon’s flat while he is preparing to have his aunt Lady Bracknell and his cousin Gweondolen Fairfax over for cucumber sandwiches.  However actions such Jack attempting to eat the sandwiches that Arganon made for his aunt did change and in the play Algernon offered Jack bread and butter instead while trying to shoo him away after a point.

The director made the choices he did in order add a sex appeal to the movie.  The women in the background give the notion that they are perhaps friends of both characters or are women that they have both slept with before. I feel that the actors did a good job and definitely were given direction on body language and how to take the scene. It leads me to believe that this wasn’t supposed to be an exact interpretation of the play and is not surprising because movies in general don’t have the benefit of a live stage for excitement therefore they have to make up with it with set design and music. The set is beautiful with a lot of vibrant colors like red and gold that appealing to the eye. While piano music is lightly heard in the background making it sound like a mild version of the new Sherlock Holmes movies.  Overall I enjoyed it and think they did a rather good job of creating the scene in the movie.

Wordsworth

 

Wordsworth

 

After reading William Wordsworth’s poem “Resolution and Independence, I immediately had to read it again. The poem’s dense format did not make for an easy poem to read, however it was a worthwhile one.  The beginning of the poem comes off as odd because there is rhyme present, but does not have a regular rhyme scheme.  In the first stanza, the poem has an A,B, A,C, C,D,D pattern. Word’s worth’s first stanza seems to contain a rhythm in certain lines but is erratic in the way some of the other lines rhyme traditionally and others do not.  An example of this when you  hear  line 4 end in “singing in the distant woods;” and then followed by line 5 ending in “of the Stock-dove broods” and In the ending of line 6 “ Magpie chatters” which has a similar syllable count as line 6 “pleasant noise of waters”. However after the first stanza the poem changes to the more consistent pattern of A,B, A,C, A, D,D.  Luckily the odd poetic structure is not the only stand out of this poem.

 

When reading this poem several themes come to mind.  The theme of surviving life’s obstacles is the first to come to mind.  Some of examples of this are in following lines “But how can He expect that others should “(line 40).  “Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all? (line 42)”. The other lines that had an impression made on me were the lines “We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; But thereof come in the end despondency and madness. (lines 48-49)” I particularly found this fascinating because I am a poet as well and took time to let those lines sit in.  Perhaps Wordsworth was commenting on being an idealist poet and by the end of their career they no longer feel the same way about poetry as they once did.  However this line could also be taken as the cynicism and regret that one may feel after going through turmoil and coming out of it feeling jaded.

 

I found this poem fascinating, the images of nature such as “The grass is bright with rain-drops;—on the moors”  (line 10) made for a compelling read.  Wordsworth was a talented writer and was able to blend his philisophical views on life through the story of a leech gatherer. This poem reminds of the novel Walden Pond and will be considered on his great achievements as a writer.

Response to Sonnet 73

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73 serves as an example of a poem whose language is so figurative that it does not need a  complicated rhyme structure to display it.  This sonnet instead relies on rhythm and Anaphora to give it it’s essential flow.  In lines 1, 5, and 9, Anaphora is used to give it it’s repetition. According to the Close Reading textbook, the repeating of lines slightly different each time is used to draw the reader in by having them keep reading to see if the lines will ever fully repeat. (Howe, pg 15). I agree but I also think it helps give the poem it’s rhythm or flow.

In lines 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12, alliteration, imagery, and symbolism are found.  Examples of alliteration are seen in the first line which reads “That time of year thou may’s in me behold”  The words “that” and “thou” as well as may’s and me are great examples of this.( pg 20). In line 5 symbolism can be seen. The line “In me thou see’s the twilight of such day” is a clear example of this. (pg.20)  Though the interpretation of this line can vary from reader to reader.  It is clear enough that Shakespeare wrote specific lines that are meant to have you look at them numerous times to see to try to uncover their true meaning. Finally in line 9 you can see an example of imagery where it says ” In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire”.(pg.20)  Though this line could also be an example of symbolism, the image of a glowing fire adds to this poem.  They all seem pretty affective but I prefer alliteration in poems because I feel if done right they can provide both rythm and a sense of excitement to the poem.

In line 3 you can also notice Assonance in the line “Upon those boughs which shake against the cold”. (pg.20)  Overall this sonnet is perfect for showing figuarative language, and to allow a reader to flex their anylysis muscles.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

-Invisible Man Book Cover-

-Invisible Man Book Cover-

Once upon a time I was 20 years old, and taking an American Literature II elective at Nova Alexandria. At this point in my life, I was living with my parents and confused with life in general.  I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career but knew I had a repressed passion for writing that was slowly starting to come out. I also  thought myself off as odd for various reasons.  Externally because I have a visible birthmark on my right eye. and As a  college student I thought was atypical due to the fact I struggled academically in high-school and at the time listened to large amounts of rap music.

I used to observe the other students in this class and think that I was somewhat of an anomaly. Looking back Ive realized I was a bit naive.  In this class we read All the Kings Men and two other books that I don’t seem to remember very well.  The third book of the semester however was  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  I read this book ten years ago and consider it the best book I’ve ever read.

This book is very heavy in subject matter and can be hard to read. Ellison’s descriptions are at times poetic and at others gut wrenching to the point they are almost hard to believe their taking place.  This book is about a narrator who is living underground and feels invisible to the world. He is an African American male from the South living in 1930’s America and ends up in Harlem at one point. Though this book has very much to do with racism and black and white relations. It also is very much about a man searching for Identity and trying to find a place in this world. Not trying to give to much a way but the Narrator feels betrayed many times throughout the book and struggles with race and his own ideals.

This book stands out through it’s painful but beautifully written descriptions and symbolism found throughout out the book.  Identity is a universal theme and although not everyone suffers through intense racial prejudice, people do change and struggle to find who they are. This fact alone makes it a book everyone should read.