Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reflective Essay, My Final Goodbye

I have sat in this one spot for almost an hour and I cannot come up with anything to say about this past year which to me is amazement because it has truly been a year of challenges in English 12 Honors. I think for me coming up with the right words is hard because I have not yet accepted the fact that my senior year at Malden High School has come to its end. I remember walking into English class freshman year thinking these were going to the longest years of my life when they in fact have become nothing but the best. The struggles I’ve come up against in English class this year I can add to my list of accomplishments because somehow I’ve found myself at the end of this very long road. With coming to the end comes all the growth I’ve formed over the last couple of months. English has been nothing but a challenge and I'm proud to know I’ve stuck them all out to the very end.

My Jim Dine research paper is by far my biggest accomplishment for this year. I never thought in my life I would be able to come up with 13 pages of words and have it all make sense as you read along. The whole time I wrote this paper it never seemed to be a struggle as appose to other papers I’ve written within the year. I think writing about art is what made my job so much more easier because art is something I am really fond of and love like English. I’m so proud of my final product and no matter what my final grade may be to me it is nothing but an A. An A for amazement in how I managed to finish it, amazement in how I even got through it, amazement in how its now all over. Even as I write this all out I can feel in the pit of my stomach this feeling where I can’t believe it’s now the time to write this all out. I would not change a thing about this year, well that could be a slight lie, but for English class I am proud with how far I have come.

Hamlet would be another accomplishment I hold with me as I say goodbye. I remember freshman year when we studied Romeo and Juliet. I loved the story but I never really got to the core about what Shakespeare was telling me. As I read Hamlet this year I could tell I have grown into a much better English student. I never found Shakespear difficult this year, not one single bit. Somehow it all made sense to me which only made the story seem that much more enjoyable to read. I think after a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet would be my second favorite play by Shakespeare.

So perhaps I lied when I said I could not come up with any growth within this past year but I think its because that after taking this course I’ve finally found something I love and would like to peruse as my future career. The books I’ve read throughout this year and the papers I had to struggle through it has come down to the final end. Overall I am proud of the all the work I have done within the past year and could not have asked for more. I’m sad to see it all end but at the same time I know this is just the beginning. High school is just a piece of the puzzle to life and I am going to take all the knowledge and work I have competed this year and add on to it for my future. College is defiantly something I am terrified of but at the same time that is how high school started out for me freshman year. If I take what I know and expand on it I know that in four years it will be the same thing as this essay has done for me, nothing but a look back at my growth as a student, as a writer, and as a person.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Prayer For Owen Meany

In A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving uses the titles of his chapters to signify important events throughout the novel. In Irving’s chapter, “The Dream,” that signifies the dream Owen has about his death. “Owen? It’s just a dream—do you hear me? It’s just a dream (407.” Owen goes a little crazy after he sees his dream. He takes Mary Magdalene and takes her arms and heads off. When John and Dan find him with Reverend Merrill, Owen asks him to say a prayer for him during a service with everyone. “I WANT YOU TO SAY A PRAYER FOR ME,” said Owen Meany. “A p-p-p-prayer-for you?” the Rev. Mr.Merrill shuttered (406).” From this chapter we also learn the meaning of the title in the story.

Irving builds up to this moment from previous chapters, by using the ghost at John’s moms beside, the Angel of Death and also Owen being the Announcing Angel in a Christmas Carol productions Owen has claimed to have seen the Angel of Death at John’s moms bedside which foreshadowed her death by the baseball. “I realize now that he never thought he saw a guardian angel; he was convinced, especially after THAT FATED BASEBALL, that he has interrupted the Angel Of Death (103). Also Irving foreshadows Owens actions in the beginning of the chapter when Owen claims to be “GOD’S INSTUMENT (337).”

Irving uses Owens dream to foreshadow his death in “The Shot.” Irving also depends with the connections between Mary Magdalene and Owen which leads to many answered questions for John in the future.

Colors For A Dine

Jim Dine is one of the most well known and well respected pop artists of our time. Known for his bight colors and abstract pieces, Jim Dine has been pleasing viewers for over the last 40 years. Dine got his bachelors degree in the Fine Arts from Ohio University, soon after he moved to New York and met many different styled pop artists who helped turn his work from abstract expressionism to pop art. Following the pop movement, he began to take everyday objects and put them into his art, driving away from all the cold and impersonal feels pop art was known for at the time (“Jim Dine” Contemporary). In an ARTnews article Jim Dine remarks, “it always felt right to use objects, to talk about that familiarity in the paintings, even before I started painting them” (Macadam). Art In American writer, Vincent Katz illustrates how Jim Dine drives on the desire to cut into human feelings and engage them in stories that run through their minds daily (178). During Dine’s exhibitions most people commented on Dine’s ability to capture and create such excited pieces that demonstrates the world around him (American Artist).

However, what is pop art truly, and does Dine completely agree that he falls into this category of bright colors and photocopied images? The truth is Jim Dine does not consider himself a true pop artist, “Pop art is only one facet of my work, more popular images. I’m interested in personal images…I tie myself to Abstract Expressionism like fathers and sons (Andreae). His work does display the typical norms for everyday pop art, however, most of his images display life and meaning, something pop art is unable to really capture when it comes down to the final piece. What exactly is pop art though? Richard Hamilton, a London painter, commented on pop art as being “popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass
produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and big business (Bryant).” Jim Dine’s work posses some of these qualities but his work is more sentimental than sensual. Pop Art is scandalous and Dines work is more tied to the heart and heartstrings of life. His work is anything but “big business” which is why he does not consider himself to be a true pop artist.

Jim Dine’s work leans more towards abstract genius than general pop art. Jim Dine’s choice in color connects to human emotion and brings life to more then just what is seen on various styles of media. A lot of Dine’s paintings are filled with life and emotion and it is because of the colors Dine chooses to incorporate in his art. “I’m interested in personal images, in making paintings about my studio, my experiences as a painter, about painting itself about color charts. The palette, about elements of the realistic landscape but used differently (Macadam).” The types of media Jim uses also helps flow his entire composition together which catches the viewer’s eye and draws them in emotionally.

“Shellac on a Hand” is one of the first paintings that captures all of the emotion Dine works to create when he works on his pieces. Shellac is defined as a purified lack in form of thin yellow or orange flakes often bleaches white and widely used in varnishes, paints, ink, and sealants (dictionary) which is seen in the foreground and background of the composition. The colors Dine uses are darker then some of his more famous pieces. The outlines and wrinkles of the hand are done with a dark media that shadows in towards the deep red heart in the middle of the piece. The background is a deep dark blue mixed with darker shades of raw sienna which is used for the hand. What’s interesting is at the very bottom right, Dine chooses to leave that part plain white. “I’ve tried to depict…years of joy and pain. In painting, I would not care to illustrate these emotions; I would rather keep looking very hard and see if the paint itself can do the job. Actually I know it can (Andreae)”.
Dine’s colors give off a sense of human life in this particular piece. Where Dine leaves his piece blank it’s almost as if he is saying that as we grow we create our own piece with its own colors. The sienna hand is a symbol of the work we do as human beings with our hands. The background is the symbol of chaos, the struggles humans often face in the real world. The way Dine creates the background leans more to his abstract feel of art. The way Dine uses the colors to collide into one another shows his true nature of creating abstract type works.
The middle of the piece stands out the most. The bright red heart, the meaning of life, the reason why humans come and go daily is placed right in the middle of the composition to catch the viewer of this piece. The affection and comfort of love which keeps us alive in the moments we need it most is blazing from this piece. The way Dine has the wrinkles in his hand bend to the heart is really fascinating for the viewer. This connects to saying that with love and deep emotion we allow ourselves to bend into our desires. The way Dine makes the heart a deep red signifies that our eye is drawn more into vibrant colors, vibrant desires. If Dine wanted to say humans fight emotion he would have taken the wrinkles and allow them to bend away, although no matter where Dine creates his deep lines they will always bend for the viewer because that’s how Dine intended this piece.

This whole composition goes back to the idea of Dine bringing out emotion through his pieces. Here the obvious emotion is love which can be taken in two different ways depending on how the composition is viewed as a whole. Another idea is that with love it creates a color of its own. Love is the strongest emotion known to man and with this piece Dine is saying that with love it can take a plain human being and give them a whole new light in no time. Dine’s work is able to give off the strong emotion to the viewer.

Jim Dine’s “The Sky and Lilies,” is another great piece that uses color to signify human emotion. Dine uses a process called intaglio to create this particular piece which is also associated with the silkscreen process. The silkscreen process is a type of printmaking, which uses mesh cloth stretched over a heavy wooden frame. A design is then painted on the screen and when color is added it squeezes the color through the pores of the mesh and creates a final piece.

The colors Dine puts into his piece are a lot of soft blues, beige, and light pink for the flowers. The light beige at the bottom of the composition catches ones eye first. The color looks almost like sand at the beach and gives off a warm peaceful feeling. The blues in the background can either be reminded of the ocean or the sky. The way Dine creates the background allows the flower to bloom with color. In the foreground the steam and leaf are a dark green, almost a solid black color which pulls itself away from the background. It’s simple to tell that Dine uses a lot of the ink intaglio on the steam of his flower. At the top of the piece and also around the areas of the stem it’s easy to see that the intaglio ink dripped around the piece which adds to the effect of this eerie flower Dine creates. The drips from the leaves correspond with the beige colors in the background towards the bottom of the art piece. The actual flowers themselves are beautiful soft colors, which is ironic because of the dark stem. The pink flower is in the shape of a star but could also be mistaken for a starfish, which is why this piece can connect back to the ocean.

The whole piece represents human growth itself. The flower can be connected to a human because the dark stem represents all of the darkness human’s face throughout their life but the flowers represent the good that can come out of it. Also the way the flower is standing, tall like a human, but weak and beat up, at the end of its life. Dine could be connecting this to the idea of being reborn again. The steam is dark and weak but the flowers and bloomed and gorgeous. Dine could be saying that when humans die and their life is over, new life is created and grows into a healthy strong standing flower. Dine has the ability to pull this out because of his talent for creating abstract pieces. The way the flowers and stem are placed into the foreground creates a wave of colors and emotions because of Dine’s abstract ability to create such emotional pieces.

Jim Dine has more to his work then just bright colors, he is able to use simple colors and still get out the same emotion he uses when he creates more elaborate styled works. “Dine has a restless, searching intellect that leads him to challenge himself constantly (Contemporary).” This is true, especially with his “History of Gardening II” piece which includes four basic colors used to create a magnificent piece. Dine uses some soft etching to start; it’s noticeable that Dine etches out the leaves to use for the piece because if one looks close enough the lines are easily seen. Dine then chooses to use green as one of the brightest colors in the piece. He blends garden green to white and creates a lighter tone of green that really stand out in the composition. The background is the best part of the piece. Dine chooses to paint a sky blue color which is blended with some white to create an illusion of clouds. The stroke he uses flows well together and is such a calm radiance to the entire composition.

The whole piece itself gives off a calm, relaxed feeling, even though the painting represents human growth. Dine seems to follow a pattern of using plants and flowers to symbolize human emotion and human development from a young age to older. The sky is the universe that we strive to live in and the clouds are the build up from all the pressure life puts upon us. This ultimately relaxed piece is filled with busy thoughts that Dine puts into to making this work something unlike any other. “For me, drawing is everything…because it informs everything. It even informs my poetry. It’s the way I begin everything (Dine).” Dine’s explanation about poetry connecting to art goes well with this piece.

The next piece of artwork is something quite extraordinary. Jim Dine came up with his own style of printmaking that he used for all of his printmaking styled pieces. “In this case of his printmaking, Dine started with a basic image. Each time the artist viewed the image before him, he would respond to it by drawing gestural marks and adding bits of color (Tandem Press).” In Jim Dine’s “Yellow Side, Red Side,” Dine’s printmaking technique really makes this piece unlike any of his others.

What looks like the shape of a heart, Dine uses the color ruby red to bring out true shape of abstract love. However with love the shape also resembles that of a strawberry which could prove that Dine was just in the mood for something sweet lead on by the love of food.

Dark charcoal type colors fill the flowers which could mean many different things such as with love comes darkness or obstacles. Or with love, with life, comes growth, beauty, something flowers are known to symbolize. Dine uses a certain art technique which is fascinating because of his known creditability for being a “pop artist.” When he designed his flowers for this particular piece he used the technique known as aquatint and dry point, associated with his own printmaking technique. Its easily noticeable the way he designs the flowers, they are an ink base type medium which is darkly printed over the red background but then fades slightly when printed in the soft yellow background. It’s then interesting how Dine uses Jackson Polacks famous, drip painting technique over his own piece. He uses a dark red, like the heart in the center of the page and drips it all over his piece. He then brushes it out and forms these deep swirls all along his piece, leaving some of it in the style of drip and then the other in his own unique style.

The background is also intriguing just like the rest of the composition. On the left of the page the background is filled with a soft lemon type yellow which brings calmness to the whole thing. Dine has so much going on in the foreground that when the viewer does take notice of the background it brings out calm from the whole storm he has imagined. On the right side is a soft red, more towards baby pink. It’s easily noticeable that Dine mixed his primary colors yellow and red with white to form these soft less distracting colors. Dine could be saying that his main focus on the piece is not these colors but on the busy foreground which he has imagined so well.

Also in the middle of the art work is a dark steam which connects with the flowers to create a dark flow through this piece. Going back to the flowers its interesting how Dine does this with his work. The soft backgrounds and deep foreground would have been enough to follow his typical flow of pop art, but instead he decides to include these dark images to set off the colors. The way his aquatint medium works is it’s a process using flat inks or a wash drawing by etching on a copper plate. It connects with dry point because it’s a technique used to produce a print which connects to a form of printmaking. When closely looked at, Dine printed his image first on the red side, then to the yellow but then there are soft almost none noticeable dark marks not inline with the flowers on the yellow side. It’s also noticeable that the dipping was not apart of printmaking because there is more red on the pink side then on the yellow. It also looks as if Dine dripped his ink onto the yellow side because there are traces of black dots throughout that particular side.

Dine uses these two pictures and puts a soft white background to these colorful pieces. It looks as if they are photographs which could show that this work is something that occurs in everyday life. It’s as if someone photographs a picture of themselves, this piece has a life and heart of its own. It endures the darkness of everyday society but at the same time it also grows and matures, like a tree. The heart is the source of all life, the desire to capture love is something humans live for. Without a heart there is no life, no soul, and no art. Dine steps out of his normal pop art boundaries to form this unique abstract piece.
Dine tends to use his hearts theme in his work constantly. “Four Heart In Silver” is no different from that. This work was done using a lithograph technique which is a slab of stone, marked with a greasy crayon. Water is then rolled onto the stone and loaded with oil-based paint. Since the paint is repelled by the wet stone it adheres to the marks left from the crayon. This can then be printed onto a piece of paper (Ball).

First looking at this work you can tell that the background was done using the lithograph method. Dine then creates the foreground with four complimentary colors. The two hearts at the top of the piece are purple and yellow, complimentary. The purple color is dark but light in this piece. It represents humbleness in love that humans often show towards one another. The yellow on the top right hand corner is a soft, welcoming color that can be used to neutralize peace between all opposing colors. The dark silver colors meshed into the hearts are from Dine using the lithograph. This means that when Dine started his piece he worked from the foreground to background which is different from the usual artist method, background to foreground.

The final two complimentary colors are red and green which sit opposite on another on the color wheel. The color green can represent growth and life whereas the color red can represent love and strength in human life. However these two colors also share a negative side towards life. Green is the color of jealousy and greed where red is more towards anger. It’s interesting how Dine uses colors in his pieces to represent to opposing sides of an issue. With that it just shows that Dine has the ability to bring out all sides to an argument and can influence a person’s thoughts by what they see in color.

How Dine came about in picking the four colors to stand out in the piece is a good choice in his artistic eyes. The color green and yellow sit next to each other on the color wheel, just like how purple and red do the same. Dine is challenging not only how he creates the piece as a whole but the way he chooses to incorporate only these colors. “Color speaks for itself and represents nothing but itself (Ball).” Dine uses this throughout this whole piece. He chooses to use complimentary colors because they are going to do just that to his work, compliment itself. Dine has this way with color and somehow makes it all flow together and it creates a real effect on the entire piece.

Going back to the background, what really draws the viewer’s eye is the way the ink and the white flow together as one. At the top half of the piece the ink is flowing pretty much all over, wrapping all around the hearts until it stops in the middle of the composition. Then the lower half fades into a drip style media. Also some of the ink is meshed with silver that is seen in the hearts. It’s almost as if Dine took a pint brush and smoothed out the bottom half of the piece but left the top busier and eye catching. However Dine put together his piece it really captures all essentials to the human heart. Jim Dine’s colors lead to many assumptions but they all fill into the biggest heart yet, he does a really well job with this piece.
When Dine creates his pieces he uses his life experiences as inspiration for his work. The hearts for instance have been a signature Dine move for over the last thirty years. The image of a bathrobe has also been used a lot because when Dine takes time to make his work it’s usually done in the comfort of his own personal bathrobe. “Jim Dine has kept on returning to these metaphorical images and investing them with his individual vision (Andrea).” However there has been on image Dine has gone back to and recreated into new pieces for quite sometime. The story of Pinocchio has been a favorite of Dine’s since he heard the tale in his early childhood and he has used that story to create a version of his own used through his art. “Dine perceives that this idea of a talking stick becoming a boy, its like a metaphor for art (Contemporary).”

The reason why this wooden boy is important to Dine’s use of color is because Carlo Collodi’s story has been transformed into a colorful tale from Dine’s personal view. In Dine’s “The Red Feather,” his use of color gives this tale a spruce that Collodi was unable to do in his story of the young boy. The story of Pinocchio is about a wooden puppet who goes on a magical journey to become a real boy. Through all his struggles he is rewarded the gift of life and story of torment and despair become that of a real fairy tale. Dine has taken his story and applied it to all types of medias and has had exhibitions with his Pinocchio’s across the world. His Pinocchio’s have really given Dine a name in the art world.

The colors Dine uses for Pinocchio’s clothes are very life like to what young boys would wear today. His pink shirt brings out the faint white in the skin tone Dine chooses to use. The red overalls connect back to young boys and how they wear the colored overalls until they are old enough to understand they don’t need to wear them anymore. The red used for the overalls is also the same color used for the feather on Pinocchio’s hat. The red is a soft red which feels more towards love. If the red were much deeper the interpretation of the portrait would be different, putting Pinocchio back into that sad wooden boy with no color to add to his life.
The way Dine creates Pinocchio’s gloves is extremely important to the entire piece. The hand closes to the viewer is obviously the wooden hand, the way the arm extends out slightly and the way glove folds into five perfect fingers. However the hand on the other side if the boy is more realistic, the way the arm bends more and how Dine incorporates the sienna skin tone into the texture of the glove. The fingers on this glove are more bent to fit a human hand oppose to a wooden one. Its fascinating how Dine puts these little things into his work, they really make the piece all together more real and life like.

The yellow hat perched upon Pinocchio’s head stands out the most in this piece because most of the colors Dine uses which are that of a dark nature. Perhaps he uses these colors because the tale of Pinocchio is a dark one which features a lot of the turmoil’s in life. However what’s the most interesting about the entire piece is that Dine creates Pinocchio with a smile upon his face. Dine takes this story and gives this boy what all little kids are made of when they are young, smiles. He takes Pinocchio out of his element and creates this piece that makes Pinocchio into a real boy. The background blue also makes Pinocchio stand out and it really brings the whole composition together because of the Dine’s choice.

The reason why Pinocchio is so important to Dine’s colors but also Dine’s career is because it is what Dine is truly known for in the world of art. Dine has creates Pinocchio pieces in all shapes, forms, and media’s and he only gains more momentum from doing so. By his creating this piece it shows how creative his mind is and how again he has the ability to bring out such emotions. The colors in this piece truly bring out the love Dine feels for his pieces and for this wooden boy alone. His colors connect from his heart to the viewers and it’s a gift not many artists are able to share with their fans. His work is loud with color and it cannot be shut off because it’s just so in tune. It’s a powerful gift to posse and his colors reek of his genius abilities.

Overall the theory to Dine expressing emotions through his colors is proven true within these works of art. Dine’s most famous emotion is love of course but he connects a lot of struggles and dark emotion to his work also. His work is amazing because of it’s ability to communicate both the good and the bad in just one piece. His colors are what make Jim Dine a name throughout the art community. With his abilities to use all kinds of extraordinary medias and still be able to clearly communicate with his intended audience is that of a pure artist. Dine has come a long way since his early childhood when he began to paint to now when he creates whatever seems perfect in that particular moment. Jim Dine has become an art version of Pinocchio himself, he started out as a stick of wood and has transformed himself into the master of colors and emotion. His work has proven him as an a abstract artist with some flavors of pop art intermixed but Dine just labels himself as a regular artist.

Dine’s colors are the real reason why he is popular in the pop art world, even though his art has proven him a more abstract artist. Dine’s colors bring out so much life and expression from his pieces that it connects with everyone who takes notice. He is able to make people feel a million things just by them looking at his piece. A true genius can only be capable of this and being able to pull it off so well. Dine has become a huge influence and does not plan on stopping anytime soon. Art has become his life and with the help and guidance from his family and friends he will only succeed in the future more then ever. He is an abstract kind of guy; one can only look forward to see what he creates into the future.

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Yellow side, Red Side" by Jim Dine

When one first looks upon Jim Dine’s “Yellow Side, Red Side” immediately the deep reds in the center of the piece catch your eye. What looks like the shape of a heart, Dine uses the color ruby red to bring out true shape of abstract love. However with love the shape also resembles that of a strawberry which could prove that Dine was just in the mood for something sweet lead on by the love of food. Ones eye then notices the shape of flowers next though out the composition. Dark charcoal type colors fill the flowers which could mean many of different things such as with love comes darkness or obstacles. Or with love, with life comes growth, beauty, something flowers are known to symbolize. Dine uses a certain art technique which is fascinating because of his known creditability for being a “pop artist.” When he designed his flowers for this particular piece he used the technique known as aquatint and dry point, or a similar way of calling it printmaking. Its easily noticeable the way he designs the flowers, they are a ink base type medium which is darkly printed over the red background but then fades slightly when printed in the soft yellow background. It’s then interesting how Dine uses Jackson Polacks famous, drip painting technique over his own piece. He uses a dark red, like the heart in the center of the page and drips it all over his piece. He then brushes it out and forms these deep swirls all along his piece, leaving some of it in the style of drip and then the other in his own unique style. The backgrounds are just as intriguing as the piece as a whole. On the left of the page the background is filled with a soft lemon type yellow which brings calm to the whole thing. Dine has so much going on in the foreground that when the viewer does take notice of the background it brings out a calm from the whole storm he has imagined. On the right side is a soft red, more towards baby pink. Its easily noticeable that Dine used mixed his primary colors yellow and red with white to form these soft less distracting colors.

Also in the middle of the art work is a dark steam which connects with the flowers to create a dark flow through this piece. Going back to the flowers its interesting how Dine does this with his work. The soft backgrounds and deep foreground would have been enough to follow his typical flow of pop art, but instead he decides to include these dark images to set off the colors. The way his aquatint medium works is it’s a process using flat inks or a wash drawing by etching on a copper plate. It think connects with dry point because it’s a technique used to produce a print which connects to a form of printmaking. When closely looked at, Dine printed his image first on the red side, then to the yellow but then there are soft almost none noticeable dark marks not inline with the flowers on the yellow side. It looks like Dine reversed his image and lightly stand the opposite side of the image also on the yellow side, but not on the red. Its also noticeable that the dipping was not print made because there is more red on the pink side then on the yellow. It also looks as if Dine got some of the drips of ink onto the yellow side because there is traces of black dots throughout that particular side.

Dine uses these two pictures and puts a soft white background to these colorful pieces. It looks as if they are photographs which could show that this work is something that occurs in everyday life. It’s as if someone photographs a picture of themselves, this piece has a life and heart of its own. It endures the darkness of everyday society but at the same time it also grows and matures, like a tree. The heart, the source of all life, the main focus to humans stands out more then life itself. Without a heart there is no life, so soul, so art. Dine truly steps out of his normal pop art boundaries to form this unique piece of pop art, which is why he is a artist genius in eyes of many.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ewan McGregor - Hamlet
I picked Ewan McGregor to be my Hamlet because first of all he is my favorite actor but at the same time based on his genre of films, which differ almost every movie he stars in, he has the talent to play the crazy Hamlet portrayed in Shakespeare’s play. I think he could really pull off a new spin to Hamlet and it would make the play even more enjoyable.

Kate Winslet – Ophelia
I picked Kate as my Ophelia because I first saw her on the blog in one of the Hamlet clips and ever since then I really think she would play the part the best. Her fiery red hair and perfect features would really add to her performance also. I think she could play the “mad” scene really well because she is an extremely talented actress.

Hayden Christensen – Laertes
I picked Hayden as Laertes because he is an amazing actor and I really think he could pull the heroic stuff after watching him as Darth Vader in Star Wars. I mostly pictured Laertes as a young man, but older then Ophelia but extremely good looking, competition for Hamlet especially when they fight about who loves her the most in Act 5. I think with his boyish charm he could really pull off an amazing performance.

Gwyneth Paltrow – Gertrude
I picked Gwyneth mostly because she has stared in a lot of Shakespeare type movies and I think she could really pull off the stunning, but strong features of the Queen. She is a stunning actress first and foremost and I really think she could blow people away with a performance like this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

These Feel Feel Feeling

In Raymond Barrio’s “The Plum Plum Pickers,” Barrio uses the idea of being a human by using names and religion to symbolize the humane ways of life. The author uses contradictions within his sentences to show how the characters in the story are mechanical in some ways but are still human when it comes to feelings and emotions. Barrio also uses the setting to describe these emotions more throughout the story. The main character at first feels trap, then relaxes only to them feel imprisoned again, all until he sets himself free by removing himself from his own mechanical ways.
In the story, the main characters name is Manuel which symbolically relates to the manual labor he mechanically does every single day of his life. Also the word man can be found within his name which relates to the theme of being human that Borrio stresses throughout the story. The character Roberto Morales is symbolic also because Roberto connects to the idea of being a robber and Morales means morals less. The story also uses a lot of religion references which relates to being human because in most religions God provides life to earth. “smiling in their cool filtered offices, puffing their elegant thin cigars, washed their clean blond bloodless dirtless hands of the whole matter. (par.8)” Connecting to religion is this idea of Pontius Pilot who also can be mistaken for Roberto robs Jesus, or Manuel of his life. Roberto takes away his ability to live life because every day he makes Manuel work picking apricots. The author connects this to the theme of what it means to have a life and be human.
The author uses paragraph two to three to show how once Manuel begins to feel human his machine ways take over and robs him of his life. The author uses words such lines such as “Sandy dreams. Cool nights. Cold drinks. Soft guitar music with Lupe sitting beside him. (par.3)” to describe the little things humans appreciate in life. However he soon contradicts himself by switching back to mechanical ways of life, “Tiredness drained his spirit of will. Exhaustion drained his mind. (par.3).”
The author theme in “The Plum Plum Pickers” is that being human means more then just working in fields all day for a living. At the end of the story, Manuel reclaims his humanity by taking down the machines that corrupted him for too long. “Men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride. Or else they are dead before they die. (par.24)” The author is saying that if men work all their lives like machines they might as well be dead because they miss out on that feeling of pride and honor that every man should experience while he is alive. This connects to Barrio’s theme of what it means to be human, it’s the feelings that we cherish that keep us alive.
Barrio keeps the theme going throughout the entire story until the very last sentence. He uses his characters to demonstrate to the reader that if one works all their life trying achieve something mechanically then that one loses their life. If humans were meant to be machines they would be however humans are giving the ability to feel which Manuel finally learns at the end of the story.

A Humument pg.179

On page 179 of Tom Phillip’s, A Humument, Phillip suggests that when two lovers come together it’s only a natural way of life to explore one other, body and mind and to succumb to those feelings of passion. Phillip uses circular shapes to represent the biology aspects of these passionate feelings but also his words help move the story together and keep this idea fresh in the viewers mind. The tale he sets up for the viewer is that this is a painting between two lovers, past lovers who come with good and bad feelings towards each other. When these are brought together their story of letting go and growing onto one another is nothing but a way of life and Phillip highly states this.

Phillip starts with the word “gent” at the very top of the page. He uses a man’s point of view through the entire painting which is effective because it’s a mans take on love and also how he reacts to heated feelings. One of the first things noticeable in the painting is the deep red and white circular figures in the middle of the piece. This gives off the idea of sexual feelings because it symbolizes the sperm which is apart of all men. “Her arm on his knee explored,” Phillip uses his words to convey the idea of a sexual nature when lovers reunite, or are just together. The dark red uses in between the off white symbolizes the idea of love and how these actions of passion should be shared only when there is love and nothing else. At the time though the red could symbolize the opposite of that, the red means heat and passion, mostly sin in the eyes of the white, God.

Phillip places this large awkward circle in the middle of the painting with the words, “former lovers” in between. This represents the characters in the artwork. However it also states, “started in horror” which is ironic. Horror would never be used to describe lovers, but then again former lovers do come with pasts. Perhaps Phillips tries to explain this to the audience, for us to understand how the story starts. These lovers are in horror because they should not be feeling this way, this moment of wanting to rekindle all that was once before, but even then we can only hold ourselves back for so long until we just let go. The circle represents a women’s egg, which connects to a man’s sperm in this idea of a sexual nature throughout the entire artwork.

The colors purple and green are hard to understand and connect to the idea that the artwork represents. Since these colors are the background to the painting, perhaps Phillips uses them to symbolize the past relationship shared between the two lovers that are the main focus in the foreground. The idea of green can symbolize envy and jealousy but also growth and life which connects to the lovers because perhaps their past was filled with lots of negativity but now is replaced with the foreground idea of creating life and growing an attachment with one another and share this moment. The color purple requires more intense thought however. Red and blue are used to create purple, so connecting this like green Phillip uses the individual colors to create meaning for the background. The color red represents this idea of love, hence former lovers but also the color blue represents this peacefulness which is shown in the painting. When green, blue, and red come together they clash with one other but come together into a typical relationship shared between two people.

The color white is also highly symbolic to the painting. Brought up towards of the beginning, white was noted to be symbolic towards God. However Phillip expands his beliefs beyond that. Phillip uses white to surround the deep red and the purple circle in the middle of the foreground because all of the lover’s intentions are pure. Perhaps the lovers have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot let past mistakes ruin the moment they are about to share. Though they are in the midst of a sinful encounter they love one other which is nothing but pure and real. Phillip uses white to even out the darker shades throughout the painting, even out the bad with the good.

Overall Phillips point is that love leads to new things, whether it’s plain and pure or heated and sinful, love is just love. New lovers create moments that they will always remember even if they break apart in the end and seen in Phillips pg. 179 former lovers can do the same. Take what they know in the past and learn from it to create a better future. Phillip’s painting can be taken in either as a sexual reference or a reference to growing and becoming more then what one thought beforehand. Phillips is able to create this playing off the ideas of colors, shapes, and the symbols they represent to human beings. In this case the lovers are more then just egg Sand sperm, they are more human then ever which is shown throughout the artwork.

Madame Bovary Posts 1-3

Madame Bovary Past One.
I want to go back to Meaghan’s first questions at the end of her post which asks about the significance of the ball and I think Flaubert is using this particular scene to foreshadow possibly what’s to come. The thing that really interested me was when Madame Bovary and the viscount danced the waltz. “They began slowly, then quickened their pace. They whirled and everything whirled around them –lamps, furniture, walls and floor – like a disk on a spindle. As they passed near a door, the hem of Emma’s gown caught on her partner’s trousers; their legs interlocked; he looked down at her, she looked up at him; a kind of torpor came over her and she stopped moving. They began to dance again; drawing her along more swiftly, the viscount led her to a remote corner at the end of the gallery, where, out of breath, she almost fell, and for a moment she rested her head on his chest. (pg.45)”
Madame Bovary talks about wanting more and finding love, I think this is the perfect foreshadow of just that. This paragraph is also very symbolic of a sexual nature. Also the imagery that Flaubert creates makes the reader feel as if they are a witness to this very seen and came feel everything. Also I want to point the part out where Charles is not a witness to this waltz can foreshadow how blind he is to his wife’s true desires.

One thing I also noticed was the way Flaubert incorporates the color green through most of his chapters. For example when Charles found the green silk cigar case with the coat of arms of the cover, I thought it was very ironic. I think the color green is a symbol of envy which Madame Bovary feels already towards people who have a better life then hers but also a foreshadow to Charles soon to be envy towards other suitors who captures his wife’s eyes.

Also when Michelle mentioned about the setting I think she has a great idea going. I think that Flaubert uses the setting to somewhat symbolize Charles and Emma’s marriage. On page 60-61 there is a great description of their new homeland which is written so beautifully. There is a specific line that I would like to point out, “The stream running along the edge of the grass forms a white line which separates the color of the meadow from that of the plowed land, thus making the countryside look like and enormous outspread cloak which has green velvet collar edged with silver braid. (pg.60)”

I think in this passage the white line that separates everything would the marriage itself. Because the beautiful meadow could symbolize Emma and her dreams of great things then the plowed lands gives off kind of a boring not so beautiful place such as Charles who does lead a boring life style. Again the green color could symbolize the envy they somewhat share however the silver braid still confuses me. I think this kind of braid would symbolize a tight bond of marriage which would be ironic because it’s not tight what so ever which could mean why the braid is silver and not white. Its not completely pure.

Why do you think Flaubert describes the setting so much? Do you think its symbolic of something also?

Madame Bovary Post Two

Its taken me a while but I have finally reached the end of part 2 in Madame Bovary. Right now I personally am not sure what to think of Emma and her situations she has put herself into. I’m going to start with Meghan’s question as to if Charles knows about the affair she is having with Rodolphe and I think he does. I mean if the town believes that Emma is having an affair why can he not? I think he chose’s to ignore it or I think Flaubert purposely leaves out exactly what Charles thinks because he does not want us to lose focus of Emma and the life she is living.

When Rodolphe offers Emma the horse, Charles is the one who steps in and tells Emma to take the horse. I think it’s ironic because Charles does love Emma but he sets himself up to get hurt without even noticing it. I feel bad for him but at the same time if he really loves her he should show her more affection then he does. Emma is looking for someone who is willing to devote all his time showing her affection and treating her right by providing her with rich things. However the only person I feel she would have the best relationship with would be Leon. I personally loved Leon’s character and couldn’t help but feel the emotion Flaubert would write about how hard it was for Leon to admit that he was in love with Emma.

I feel Leon was the best match because he knew that Emma was not available. Even though he was in love with her and often wanted to show his affection towards her he actually saw her as a human being, as a woman, and was in love with her because of who she was. There’s a passage “As for Emma, she did not ask herself whether she loved him. Love, she thought must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightnings,—a hurricane of the skies, which sweeps down on life, upsets everything, uproots the will like a leaf and carries away the heart as in an abyss. She did not know that on the terrace of houses the rain makes lakes when the pipes are choked, and she would thus have remained safe in her ignorance when she suddenly discovered a rent in the wall.” Page.87

I think Flaubert is saying that love is not something you can take from a book and apply it in real life. Love is going to “upset everything” which I feel is somewhat foreshadowing a possible upset with Emma since Leon has come back into her life.

I have to go back to Rodolphe and Emma’s affair for a moment actually. I think the only reason Rodolphe was successful in his plan to seduce Emma was because she was on the rebound from Leon. I think because she never did anything about her feelings for Leon she was presented with a straightforward chance to make up for. She let herself get caught up in the moment and then when he left she didn’t know what to do. However at the beginning after Rodolphe confessed his “love” for he, the reason why he left for 6 weeks was because the heart grows founder. I think that the whole affair is a foreshadow of Leon and Emma in part 3, more so I hope that’s what will happen.

I also want to go back to Emma’s daughter Berthe which has been touched on before. I cannot believe how awful Emma is for a mother. She hits her child when shes looking for love from her mother and doesn’t often see her. I think its ironic because when Emma was younger her father gave her all the love in the world and the best of everything. However its terrible how she neglects her child. It makes me question if Emma even knows what love means besides the love she is looking for from a man.

Another thing is when Charles performs the operation for clubfoot which was unsuccessful. I feel that it was symbolic when Emma decided she was going to try to love Charles, it was just as unsuccessful.

What else do you guys have to say about Emma and her affairs?!

Madame Bovary Post 3

So I just finished the book and all I can say is wow that’s not how I thought the story would end. I’m actually kind of upset over the ending I personally think Flaubert could have made it so much more enjoyable, seeing as the story was a good read. I feel he wrote Emma off too easy and then Charles had to die that was sad. Let me start from the beginning of part three.

I was so happy to see Leon come back into Emma’s life. His character is filled with so much passion towards Emma and I was really interested as to see how she would react to her lost love. As they say, absence makes the heart grow founder right? Indeed it did. One part I want to quote is when both lovers take the carriage ride to no where.

“From his seat the driver occasionally cast desperate glances at the taverns he passed. He could not imagine what mania for the movement was keeping these people from ever wanting to stop. He tried now and then, but there was always an immediate outburst of an angry exclamations behind him; he would lash his two sweating nags more vigorously and set off again, paying no attention to bumps in the road and sideswiping things here and there; he was indifferently to everything around him, demoralized and almost weeping from thirst, fatigue and despair.” (pg.211)

I chose this passage because I noticed that it was a little ironic how Leon made the driver just drive wherever and him and Emma not say anything about. This passage gives off a feeling a secret passions rolling around in the back of the carriage. I think symbolically this shows Leon and Emma crossing that line from friends in love to passionate lovers. Flaubert write an amazing chapter with just the descriptions of what they endure in that long carriage ride without actually giving the whole affair away.

However not all good things end in wonderful ways. I think Emma becomes greedy towards her love for Leon. She takes advantage of the way he cares about her just as Rodolphe does to her. It just shows how selfish Emma really is, especially when she becomes indebt she and she asks Leon to take money from his clients to help her out.

“How do you expect me to….”
“You’re acting like a coward!” she cried.
“Things aren’t as bad as you think,” he said stupidly. (pg.257)

How is Leon being a coward? Emma is the one who cannot be honest with her husband about the debt she has put her family into. Her character angers me on how she takes advantage of everyone in her life. She has no respect for her family and especially herself seeing as she has been apart of two different love affairs.
I loved when Emma went to see Monsieur Guillaumin to ask for more money and he basically said the only way she would receive money is if she gave herself to him. I think for Emma it’s a real slap in a face and that pretty much starts the real downfall she suffers leading to her death. It also shows that Emma is not as respected as she once thought, people know she’s involved in all these secret affairs so she is starting to give herself a real low name that she carries until the end.

I also want to point out when Charles finds Rodolphes note in the attics. His reaction, “Maybe they loved each other platonically.” (pg. 296) To the end Charles still refuses to consider the idea of Emma having an affair, even after her death. Either way she loved another man and it doesn’t affect him until he accepts the truth and then dies because of a broken heart. He reminds me of the blind prophet only he saw everything as appose to Charles which is ironic.

Speaking of death at Emma’s funeral I thought it was ironic how there was black coming out of her mouth. She’s in a white wedding dress which is suppose to symbolize the purity of marriage which she lacked most of the time and all of a sudden black emerges from her mouth which represents all the sinful affairs she had throughout the marriage.

I have a few questions I want to point out.
First is why do you think Flaubert ended the story that way he did?
And also what do you think of what happened to Berthe in the end being sent off to work in the cotton mill?

Notebook Entry - From Hamlet Journal

Act3:4 lines 182-188

“Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed, Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse, And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, Or padding in your neck with his damn’d fingers, Make you to revel all this matter out, That I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft.”

Something I have picked up on while reading is that the women are told to trick the men, they are told to use their sexuality. Is Shakespeare saying that women are only necessary when it comes to using their bodies? However in a way he makes it so that they are powerful, being able to influence men so easily – being able to give men a sense of feminism because they are so easily influenced by so. They are powerful; Shakespeare makes them out to be weak because that’s how men see them as, ironic.

Act3:4 lines 34-38

“Peace, sit you down, And let me wring your heart, for so I shall –If it be made of penetrable stuff, If damned custom have not brass’d it so, That it be proof and bulwark against sense.”

I would connect this passage to my strand strumpet. Hamlet uses words such as penetrable, bulwark, and wring. This passage questions Hamlet’s actual relationship with his mother. He insults her by basically wringing her heart of all the pain she has suffered from –if she didn’t have such a cold heart she could show some real feelings. This brings up the idea of why does Hamlet resent women? Or why does he always insult them using their sexual nature? Perhaps it goes back to the Oedipus complex –he truly desires his mother, his maternal bond with his mother –unable to break from it. Also it could be the fact that she can create life, unlike himself going back to Portrait.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hamlet Act 3:1 Soliloquy

Laurence Oliver’s video on Hamlet’s Soliloquy in Act3:1 was the best of the three videos displayed. Even though the film was very old and in black and white it’s as if Oliver directed it trying to achieve that effect. The clip starts out captivating with the sound the ocean playing in the background as the camera does a landscape shot and then zooms in to focus on our actor, Hamlet, about make his most famous speech.
Just as Hamlet is about to speak, the background music becomes very suspenseful, pulling the audience in even more into the story before it has even begun. “To be, or not to be, that is the question. (line55)” Hamlet ponders this as the mist and clouds roll into the foreground as Hamlet sits alone on a rock, delivering his speech. Deep in the thought, the actor ponders this idea of to be or not to be. Hamlet is saying whether one should live or not to live, but also to take action or not to take action. This idea leads us through the entire soliloquy with Hamlet stuck between this idea of taking action which can lead to death or not taking action but dying anyways. “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them. (58-59)” Laurence really uses this line to set the scene, using the ocean waves to show exactly the kind of trouble he is talking about during his soliloquy.
Laurence then brings a dagger into the scene, creating more tension then before. “To die, to sleep, perchance to dream –ay, there’s the rub, for in sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off. (63-66)” The camera focus’s only on Hamlet during this part of the soliloquy, to really focus on the seriousness Hamlet presents. He is talking about this idea of dreams which he brings up throughout the entire play. Hamlet describes dreams as a rub, an obstacle, which he has a hard time trying to get past as the play progresses. He then wonders what dreams would come from permanent sleep, when our soul leaves our trapped body and moves on. Still focused on Hamlet he states, “Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of th’unworthy takes when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin. (70-75)” Hamlet is saying that the opposing force insults the proud man, and to feel the loss of love, the pathetic rulers who delay off lawful rights will soon be gone along with the effects of all these unworthy causes, they will end at with a mere dagger. Laurence uses the dagger to really enhance the scene and to show Hamlet’s characterization during this part of the act. When Hamlet closes his eyes, his speech still continuing, it shows just how deep in thought he really is. It shows that he is serious about taking action, which foreshadows the climax of the play soon to come.
Dark clouds roll into the scene as Hamlet moves from his rock for the first time to keep speaking. “But that the dread of something after death, the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no travelers returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of? (lines77-81)” Death is brought up numerous times during his soliloquy. It could foreshadow not only the death of Claudius but also the death of Hamlet. He speaks of death with such knowledge to as if he has experienced it already, but at the same time knowing he has yet too, it frightens him which is why he struggles about killing Claudius. He states now that when one dies, it’s dreadful not knowing exactly where one might end up, whether it’s in Hades or up in Heaven. With no knowledge of these foreign places it completely baffles him and instead death holds him to all his faults he has experienced in life and then determines the right spot for him. Hamlet in the movie then brings his dagger closer and closer to where his mind is held and continues with his speech. “Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all], and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pitch and moment, with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action. (82-87)” Hamlet keeps with this idea about how humans act when determining their after life fate. He states that one’s conscience will always make one look scared, because everyone is scared of death, it’s only natural. When one underestimates their fear and achieves for something higher they will fall and lose the action they waited for. And that ends his speech however the actor walks toward the cliff and looks over the ocean and then descends down stairs and ends the scene. It looks almost as if he is walking into Hades himself, he has decided to take action and kill for revenge. It’s ironic because Hamlet acts and speaks knowing he is afraid of what comes during the after life. It’s as if he knows he is going to die soon, its going to be over. Laurence really captures that fear as he walks into his hell, and that’s why it was the best out of the three.

Shards Of Music

Track Listing
1. Paramore - Born For This
2. The Romones - Punishment Fits the Crime
3. Anti-Flag - Until It Happens To You
4. Catch 22 - Bloomfield Ave
5. Thursday - War All The Time
6. Jason Mraz - Curbside Prophet
7. Hellogoodbye - Oh, It Is Love
8. Fall Out Boy - You're Crashing But You're No Wave
9. Death Cab For Cutie - Crooked Teeth
10. Coheed & Cambria - Three Evils
11. Cartel - Burn This City
12. Britney Spears - I Love Rock n' Roll
13. Bayside - Devotion & Desire
14. Augustana - Lonley People
15. Journey - Midnight Train
16. The Rocket Summer - So Much Love

For my creative project I chose to research poet and musician, Ed Sanders. He caught my eye during the film because it was mentioned he was known as one of the founders of punk rock music. Music is something that defiantly pulls me in and keeps in interested. Ed Sanders did just that when I began my research process about his life. Not only was he a poet and a musician but was also an active social activist, novelist, and publisher. He was also part of the beat generation that brought the likes of Jack Kerouac who was a fellow writer. In New York City’s Greenwich Village he wrote his first poem inside a jail cell for protesting, the poem was called “Poem from Jail.” He kept a public journal and opened the Peace Eye Bookstore which was a place for fellow radicals. He was apart of a band called The Fugs which lead to the formation of the genre “punk rock” music. He currently lives in Woodstock, New York where he publishes the Woodstock Journal and lives with his wife Miriam.
I went about with this research process by first looking up as much as I could find on the life of Ed Sanders. I wanted to know more about his influence in the music world and also some of his most famous works of literature. It was not easy for me to find much on his writing because most was only found in novels at the library. So I focused mostly on his musical side, which interested me the most. The Fugs produced 8 albums in total on two different record labels. Also Sanders four solo albums he produced. Now in his older ages he designs musical instruments and contraptions fellow musicians can use to better their music.
For my creative project I decided to make a mix album featuring some of the artists that have influenced my life and apply their songs to the life of Sanders and some of the titles of his poems that he wrote. I tried to include some fan favorites such as the Ramones and Catch 22’s. However at the same time I felt I needed to include a song by Anti-Flag which most people would consider punk for today’s generation. Some of my personal favorites such as Fall Out Boy and Augustana were included because they went along with some of the poem titles Sander came up with. Yes Britney Spears was also included because back in Sander’s day, rock n roll was The Fugs, so what’s better then I love rock n roll. Curbside Prophet by Jason Mraz was included because it reminded me of what I think the beat generation would be like, crazy raps that changed the world. Cartel and Death Cab For Cutie were added because I felt that most people from Sander’s could relate the lyrics of the songs which I also thought would tie into the beat generation. Hellogoodbye, The Rocket Summer, and Journey were added because I know during the beat generation love was a big thing for young people, plus Journey is classic. All other artists and songs were added because they related to the topics in Sanders poems and went well with the other songs in the mix.
My piece simply was created to describe the musical side of Sanders life and generation as he tried to write and play music. I wanted to get across my views on his poems and also incorporate some of myself into the creative side. Music is something I love and I though a mix CD would be perfect for this particular man because he is in fact a man who changed the way young people view music today. Punk Rock is one of the most popular genres today and too think that one man and his way with words would capture the attention of future generations to come. He is truly someone I have grown to admire and will remember when I research more in the music field. Maybe one day I will start a genre of my own music thanks to his inspiration in my life.

"His Lips Would Not Bend."

In James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce uses Stephen’s relationships with women throughout the novel to show Stephen’s growth as a character. Joyce mostly focus’s on the relationship between mother and son during the first part of the novel, as Stephen struggles to find out the wrongs and rights when he kisses his mother. The novel then changes to a sexual nature when Stephen tests his innocence with the beautiful Mercedes. Then towards the end he discovers his struggles with letting go when he shares a relationship with a woman as oppose to try and control it for himself. Stephen’s evolution as a character connects mostly to the Oedipus theory and then hits a feministic view. Joyce also use’s symbols to better understand Stephen’s levels of maturity expressed throughout the novel.
Stephen shares a strong relationship with his mother throughout the novel mostly until Wells confronts Stephen one day about this special bond. “Tell us Dedalus, do you kiss your mother every night before you go to bed?”(26) The idea of kissing ones mother connects to the Oedipus complex, when Oedipus removed his eyes because he was so ashamed.
“When they were grown up he was going to marry Eileen. He his under the table. His mother said: --O Stephen will apologize.
Dante said: --O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.
Pull out his eyes, Apologize, Apologize, Pull out his eyes.”(21)

A child of Stephen’s age starts to develop this idea of being a father figure, which is ironic seeing as his mother already has him matched with Eileen. Eileen in a way
symbolizes this idea of being a mother and having that kind of loving relationship Stephen looks for throughout the novel.
Eileen also connects to this idea of being a mother, “Eileen had long white hands. One evening when playing tig she had put her hands over his eyes: long and white and thin and cold and soft. That was ivory: a cold white thing. That was the meaning of Tower of Ivory.”(45) The symbol of hands connects to the idea of castration, keeping Stephen from becoming a man because he can not break from this mother bond he shares with women. The passage also brings up The Blessed Virgin Mary when it mentions “Tower of Ivory” which connects to Stephen because he shares this strong connection with Mary through most of the novel. Stephen’s reaction with his mother however strongly shows his innocence throughout the beginning of the novel which continues for the next few chapters. This innocent idea is brought up in the Psychoanalytical Criticism when they use the symbol of eyes to better understand Stephen’s state of mind about the situation. Oedipus pulls out his eyes for doing more then just kissing his mother, ashamed of all the faces he would have to see when they found out. “The loss of eyes is an image of castration.”(281) Kissing one’s mother shows the loss of also masculinity that Stephen feels in the moment when he cannot answer Well’s question. When Stephen breaks from this idea it’s symbolically shows the leaving from the womb.
“He sprang from bed, the reeking odor pouring down his throat, clogging and revolting his entrails. Air! The air of heaven! He stumbled towards the window, groaning and almost fainting with sickness. At the washstand a convulsion seized him within: and, clasping his cold forehead wildly, he vomited profusely in agony.”(128) The passage goes back to the idea of Stephen coming out of the womb and into a chaotic world. He has to learn to fend for himself in this cold place with the help of no one. This is also another way to show his lose of innocence because it’s the break from his mother and her watch over him. Stephen no longer needs his mother kissing him goodnight, he needs to man up and find a new level of maturity which he reaches just in time to meet the beautiful Mercedes in the garden.
Stephen meets the next woman in his life to help him explore this idea of kissing and more is the beautiful Mercedes, only known to him through dreams.
“As he brooded upon her image, a strange unrest crept into his blood.”(69) Stephen is unknown to this certain sexual feeling he is experiencing inside of him. “The noise of children at play annoyed him,” (69) he’s beginning to change, “he did not want to play.”(69)
This is moment he matures one step further. Stephen, suddenly interested in a mature manner is unable to go back to his childhood. He loses his innocence not only to Mercedes but also to himself. After the kissing his mother incident, Stephen goes into the situation with a mind set that he doesn’t want to be immature and young anymore, he suddenly has a desire to go against everything he believes in to mature.
A wise decision in Joyce’s eyes because he then sets the character to a level where he can start believing and making decisions for himself, “he wanted to meet the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld.”(69) Stephen is finally able to let himself go, and so does Joyce. “They would be alone, surrounded by
darkness and silence: and in that moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured.”(69) Stephen’s innocence “would fall from him,”(69) and so it does.
As Stephen goes on his journey of becoming a man he thinks of another beautiful girl named Emma who exists only in Stephen’s imagination as a “flattering, taunting, searching, exciting his heart”(323) kind of girl. Dreaming up these women shows how Stephen feels uncontrollable when he in a relationship with another person. This leads to why he makes up these women, who only bend for him and nothing else. “Stephen gains symbolic mastery over Emma’s erratic movements.”(323) If Stephen does not have this control he feels ashamed and inferior to the women around him. “He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt he has suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her”(99) This passage shows that even though Stephen loves being in a woman’s arm he still suffers from that stubbornness of not wanting to admit the love he feels. In ways this shows that Stephen is still somewhat innocent and never really does grow up from his immature ways. “Take hands together, my dear children, and you will be happy together and your hearts will love each other.”(111) Stephen builds up this idea that love is a blissful thing that just happens and it can be controlled whenever found however that’s not true. Stephen dreamed up Mercedes and then dreamed up Emma, showing that he cannot accept the fact that these women don’t truly exist and he pulls away from potential real lovers. “Asked me was I writing poems? About whom? I asked her. This confused her more and I felt sorry and mean. Turned off that valve at once,”(223) Stephen thinks he can handle women but in fact he cannot, because he is a man and

thinks he can control women it is keeping him from maturing to the next level.
So Joyce in fact leaves the reader thinking that Stephen has grown from all his mistakes and found himself when truly he is still at a loss to life.
Joyce uses women to show that Stephen has evolved as a character but at the same time he is still a na├»ve boy not sure how to act. The relationships he forms with all of the female characters show Stephen can learn from his mistakes as he does at the end with Davin’s story.
“The words of Davin’s story sang in his memory and the figure of the woman in the story stood forth reflected in other figures of the peasant women whom he had seen standing in the doorways at Clane as the college cars drove by, as a type of her race and his own, a batlike soul waking to the consciousness of itself in the darkness and the secrecy and loneliness and, through the eyes and voice and gesture of a woman without with guile, calling the stranger to her bed.”(165)
Stephen believes that he has finally found that connection he had been looking for with all the women in his life. He thinks he understands the life a prostitute leads, but this is untrue. Going back to his relationship with Emma he believe that anyone can just fall in love and get married, its just that simple but its not. I think the women in Stephen’s life somewhat helped him thought when it comes down to the understanding. More so his relationship with the Virgin Mary who he did look up too when he was lost in his sin and the idea’s of wrong and right in the church.

His mother taught him that as a young man he needs to break away from the innocence he posses with his mother and come out of the womb.
“Like the Court of Monte Cristo, he turns away from Emma in proud abnegation, determined to possess his mistress wholly through art.”(323) Joyce writes as Stephen Dedalus grows into the man he was looking to be and thanks to the women he meets, they help him evolve into something much more, the artist.

Spinning Towards Success

With the stadium lights cascading down on my face, the sound of the cheering crowd behind me adds to the excitement. As we start I let my flag conduct a show of its own with the flow of the music. It leads me through one song to another, set by set as my flag sails through the air tightly in my grasp. By the end of our performance I can feel the rush from the entire ensemble as we clear the field with hopes of scoring well. We wait patiently until the judge announces our first place victory and everyone erupts with joy, all our hard work and dedication pays off.
A year ago I had never had been apart of anything that made me as happy as the as colorguard does. My close friends were apart of the team in the winter and had asked me to join numerous times until I decided to give it a try. I even remember my first practice and everything I felt that night. I would channel all of my nervous emotions into concentration and when the music started I just spun, trying to keep with the pulse. I have dedicated hours of time working to become better.
Being apart of such a team I have also grown to appreciate the sound of music much more then I ever have before. I have always had a love for music since I was in middle school. I attend local concerts every month or so and have met some of my closest friends while doing so. The next coming month I’m attending four shows that are bound to be amazing. With the same kind of passion for music as I do colorguard I hope to one day learn beyond what I know in the field. I would love to write about local musicians aspiring to be something great and inform others of what I think is worth tuning into.
Colorguard has symbolically taught me a lot about my current life and what will soon become. Being apart of such a dedicated team has shown me that even late in the game I can still catch up with a lot of hard work and a few challenges. I also have grown a lot of patience and know that things take time to become perfect. I have also learned to manage a lot of my time and keep an organized schedule which allows me to complete school, job, and team work. I plan using these qualities for the rest of my life, especially through the next couple of years where I know my life is going to completely change. I hope to develop some long lasting ones also in college and beyond that for as long as I live.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Grow From Your Past.

“Slow Dancing”

Here I am at 12:36 am, at a loss for words I cannot hide from my frame.
The air is sour and still, filled without words to keep me from myself, on my way to what I have yet decided streetscape
I drink some water which keeps me going and strong to have such strength keeps me faithful
In. The streets look for something I used to love, I used to trust, or me. They swirl me with touches of tension I once felt many moons ago before the stars clouded my senses, its unfair how they leave me so heavyhearted, why on me, I have only swept
through it, them, as the feeling of sounds and touch being sipped on others now that I have slipped years almost ago, and the man I once known, the man I had once known, gone & telling.
Who would have thought that I’d be here, nothing would have stopped me then, nothing would have come so close, nothing would have kept me too far away, everything would have stopped me though, ideas of emotions would keep me running all the miles in the world and I would never stop, not for you or them, I would be a lost cause.
Up in the sky they saw something more then I saw myself, now more then ever before?
Not that I stopped running I just ran in and saw dark coat eyes penetrating everything I have ever once believed in & used to believe in.
Not that I ever stopped believing, at seventeen, who was going to have to go, careening into life at full speed so.
To think & to think so much keeps ourselves from being happy into the future just imagine so to go.
Not that we or who from the very first meeting I would never & never ask for a chance at emotional connections into the idea of knowing I’m at risk & so demanded
To myself & who will never leave me, not for you, nor you, nor even for the one I allowed to reach the best of me which is
Only our human lot & means more then yourself.
No, not you.
There’s a song. “Bold As Love”, but no, I won’t do that
I am 17. When will I die? Will I never die. I will live to be something better then what I have allowed myself to be, & I will never go away, & you will never escape from me who am always & only a dreamer, despite this occasional, Spirit
Who lives only to her senses.
I’m only human, & I am not afraid to love, & I didn’t risk it all for nothing it meant more then what I could comprehend.
I came into your life to show you there was more then just running and fleeing from oneself
There was the newness of trust
The faith in keeping strong
This & that, and you are my fate, nevertheless
I take one last time to prove
The world’s one slow song that never changes beat unless we allow ourselves to quicken the pace instead.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

testing, one, two, three

hey John Mayer.
john mayer