Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating a Wiki

Creating a wiki for the first time is a very time consuming process. I have taken simple technology classes that teach you to get things done, and to be creative in doing so. This helped me when creating the wiki. Often times when I highlighted text and then clicked the link button the system would not recognize the highlighted text. Because I was linking so many parts of the text I needed an efficient process to get it done quickly. Obviously if the system had recognized the highlighting that I was doing that would be the most efficient process, but in its place I had to highlight, copy, delete, link, then connect to a page, then paste, and click create link. This is a couple extra steps but it did get the job done. The extra work that went into creating the links to the different parts of the text is going to be worth it to those that visit the site. I think having the information in the wiki format is going to be really useful for our visitors.

A wiki is useful because it allows the author of the piece to be more active in what the reader takes in. I am able to give the reader the full text that shows them exactly how takes in. I am able to give the reader the full text that shows them exactly how the quotes I use are seen in the text. There are certain words that I use like nature and nurture that have specific meaning to my project. I like being able to take the reader to a page that gets more specific to what these words mean as pertaining to my project. Overall the wiki has been a good experience and a nice opportunity to learn how these things are put together.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Financial Freedom vs. Debt Cage

Lily would like to have her cake and eat it too. We see through her endeavor that it is impossible for her to achieve the two things that she wants most in life. These two things are financial stability, and a life of morality. She is given a chance to black mail Bertha, regain her social standing, and then marry Rosedale giving her financial stability. Blackmailing Bertha would go against her morals so she doesn’t do it, yet she holds onto the letters. This shows the struggle that is going on within her throughout the novel. In times when she feels trapped by her debt she begins to like the idea of just regaining her social standing and marrying into someone who can give her the finances necessary to achieve the social standing that she wants. But when she frees herself of debt she then begins to think about what would make her happy in a marriage besides the social standing aspect. Seldon is who could make her happy from a relationship standpoint. This is very apparent when Lily is planning on a walk with Gryce (who she plans on marrying and achieving her financial stability). The money is so close all she has to do is take the walk and begin the courting process. But then Seldon pops up, and she decides to take a walk with him. This ruins her chance at financial stability because Gryce feels snubbed and decides not to court her. Soon enough the pressures of the debt she falls into return her think to finding a man with money to marry. She starts talking to Rosedale, and realizes that this is her next chance to achieve a rich marriage. But holds out once again because she feels she can do better. There has to be a man like Seldon but with money. That side of her that wants a relationship pulls her away. It is a never ending spiral until she sees Nettie. Nettie shows her that true happiness comes from the relationship and finances may come as a side dish. But Seldon is to slow to come to her when she most definitely would accept his marriage proposal, and she dies. And thus ends the spiral.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Miss Lily Bart: Unconventional is the first word that comes to mind. We are introduced to her during an unconventional act. She has some time to spare when she runs into Selden. She decides that she will spend the time in Selden’s pad which is very unconventional for her time. People get to talking when you are spending time alone in a bachelors pad. “She still had the art of blushing at the right time.” I love this quote, she is able to add the wisdom of her twenty nine years to her beauty that she has retained. She knows of the implications going to his pad will imply but she wants to but saves face with the blushing gesture. “I’ll take the risk,” she says wishing to make the innocent impression that society expects. Later we see her most unconventional habit: gambling. For a woman to gamble during this time is ludicrous, I really see no reason for her to gamble either. She is not lucky or skilled at the game so it becomes just an expense for her. Expense leads us to the last unconventional idea that we I will speak of. She makes a conscious decision to marry for money. Now most women do not have choices at who they will marry, the men choose who to court and they general accept marriage proposals. But Lily is clever, and beautiful, and she decides that she needs money before love to live happily. I would have guessed that she could have had Gryce but would fall for another and have to choose between money and love. It is interesting that even though she is so beautiful there is a woman that could beat her to Gryce’s money. That is exactly how she sees it when she says, “Why should Percy Gryce’s millions be joined to another great fortune, why should this clumsy girl be put in possession of powers she would never know how to use?” Unconventional is the word when we look at this statement, she sees the power in money but very few women of that time would make this connection and decide to marry into money for the power.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mcteague Movie Versus Text

Watching the movie changes the emphasis that I see. The movie depends more on the characters interpretation and ability to get emotions across without words. It is very interesting how Trina looks from the wedding scene to the scene in her bedroom. The wedding shows her in a prettier more innocent perspective. When we see her greedily hoarding the gold she is much uglier. Her hair is raggedy falling all around her face. She is less innocent with her facial expressions and her pale makeup turns her into a ghoulish greedy creature, lifeless like a corpse walking around. A student mentioned in class feeling sorry for her and looking at the dialogue that could make sense but she is so terrifying looking that I cannot feel sorry for her. In the book I don’t have to deal with the expressions and look of Trina so I can feel sorry for her and her interaction with McTeague, though Norris does give a voice that seems to say that Trina had it coming. Another contrast that we talked about during class was the difference in the two fighting scenes. It is interesting how noticeable the difference is between the acting during the Death Valley scenes and the Mac killing Trina scene. The passion in Marcus is very apparent when he is beating his chest telling the rest of the party that he will pursue Mac by himself. This chest beating is something that Norris would have like I believe as a reoccurring theme in the book is the animal side of men. Marcus is very much like an ape fighting for dominance when we look at this scene. The fight between Marcus and Mac is very much how Norris would have portrayed it as well. I think he would be very happy with the way that scene turned out. Overall I think Norris would have enjoyed the parts of the movie that we saw, but voices would have been an interesting element that would have been necessary for Norris.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Norris Does Not Believe in Love?

Norris seems to be implying that it is not possible for a man and a woman to love each other in the fullest at the same time. That is, a man can love a woman and vice versa to the fullest, but these states will occur at different intervals of the relationship. During this period in literature it is common to see the man see the woman and shortly after fall in love with that which they cannot have. Women are a little more reserved as they are not allowed to choose who courts them. This is one of the reasons that women are not as infatuated with men as early as men are with women. Early in the relationship the man has seen and decided that a certain girl was for them, and then they begin to desire whatever the women withholds from them. McTeague’s love stemmed from this very trait. He desired to hold and kiss Trina while she refused. Once Mac was able to acquire this from her his love slowly dimmed. That is, as he fed the beast inside the beast began to require more and more, and Trina had less and less to give up. While this was going on Trina’s love was just blossoming. Her love requires her to submit those which Mac required. As he submits more and more to him her love for him grows. It seems that Norris is suggesting that on the natural time and growth table of love man and woman will never reach the peak together. During their second kiss Norris notes that this point was the happiest that either would ever be. I believe that this point is the midpoint where Mac’s love on the downfall and Trina’s on the rise were the closest that they would get to one another before again spreading out. I have to say I don’t know much about that time and how men felt but in today’s day in age I believe those few marriages that last only grow with the time.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Twain's Use of Humor

Twain uses comedy for many different reasons. He can hide behind his comedy when talking about issues that are new and society is not ready to hear. He wrote Puddn’head Wilson as a sort of mystery that has a real issue to talk about. He begs the reader to ask what makes race? He shows that genetics cannot because “Chambers” finds out that he is white and rich but cannot function as the rich white people he see’s around him. Twain also uses comedy to keep the reader interested. He uses comic relief through puddn’head being misunderstood or similar situations for nothing more than to entertain the reader. But there is a deeper satirical comedy that the reader can see as well. Like the irony that we see from Roxy going to extreme lengths just so she can keep her son from being sold down the river. She contemplates suicide and murder! It is unreal how far she is willing to go just to escape the loss of her son in the form of being sold down the river. As it turns out Chambers being “Tom” takes her son from the beginning. She is never really able to get that relationship that mothers want. And to wrap it all up Twain sends Chambers down the river anyway, a worse fate then spending life in prison is getting sent down to the mean slave owners down the river. The deep irony makes you smile as you think about it. Roxy was willing to watch her child grow from the window instead of take part as long as she could have, “Chambers” is never sold down the river, and then when all unravels her miserable son gets sent down the river. It is hilarious in a sick sort of way. As long as it doesn’t happen to you, you can sit on the outside and smile.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Different Decisions: Same Happy Outcome

Silas Lapham achieves his fortune through hard work and a little bit of luck, his morals then force him to lose everything, or did he lose everything? Had Lapham gone against his ethics and used a looser sense of business ethics he could have salvaged something money wise but I think his conscience would have paid for the loss in double. Silas’s decision to stay true to his morals gives him more than the money that he would have gained if he had tried to salvage. This is very interesting because his daughter goes against her better judgment and chooses her own happiness. I support this decision because it’s just logical, if she stays away from Tom then he won’t be happy she won’t be happy and Irene won’t be happy. If they are together then only Irene won’t be happy, and as we discussed in class, at 14 (or younger) she is way too young to be heartbroken for more than a week. But it is important to Pen that Irene be happy. If there was a morality scale, Pen giving up Tom would be as far left as you can get but she chooses to get together with Tom, sacrificing her morals. This is different than Mr. Lapham’s very far left decision that he sticks with. That is, Mr. Lapham made a decision that is on the very far left of his morality scale, and he stuck with it not sacrificing his morals just to keep some money to give his family some of the extravagant life that they had. One situation shows a person staying true to their morals and getting to return to their original happy life free of the superficial social ideals that the money brought them. The other situation shows a person choosing against their better judgment and living a happy life as well. Howells is not trying to say whatever decision you make you will be happy but rather, one life will be happier and it’s not always the same type of decision that will get you there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frat Rats vs. Daisy

I felt compelled to talk about the article Sarah wrote as I happened to have read the last couple articles she has written and this latest one, fits so well with what James’s story portrays. I will first speak of their similarities, which are many. Mrs. Walker most closely relates to Sarah’s position, I say this because she seems more to want to help Daisy then Mr. Winterbourne’s Aunt, who seems to want to cut her down more than anything else. Sarah is reaching out to these girls that are putting themselves in situations that are socially unacceptable (even in today’s day in age.) Mrs. Walker just wants Daisy to abide to the rules of the culture she is presently surrounded by. Sarah is speaking to these young girls who are in a new situation that gives them a lot of freedom. Both Daisy and her two accompanying men, and the girl walking down Greek row with her smudged mascara and ruffled party dress are leaving social implications that are worth speaking of to those that witness them. I do believe that Daisy is in a situation where she could be just as innocent as she actually is, though she will not be viewed that way. It is hard for me to see the girl on College Hill and imagine her getting back from a play with her girl friends and being so moved that she had to stay over and talk about it until she fell asleep. When I see those girls I am more likely to believe that they were up late partying, and found intimacy in some way with someone they did not know well enough. The last difference may be the biggest because it may be one of the underlying messages of James’ novel. I believe that James wrote this trying to prove that these implications that people are making are not always correct. Too many times gossip will get out of hand, and an innocent, healthy, relationship like Miss Daisy’s with Mr. Giovonelli turns into some scandalous gossip that ruins Daisy’s reputation without real facts. Maybe this shows us that more of these “frat rats” are just girls heading home from their girlfriends house after a nice play.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jean has proven her arrogant attitude from the start.

Dane Dezellem

Jean is not a character that always makes decisions that we can agree with but I believe that we should have seen that coming very early in the book. Though we know that “I wish I was thirty, but, as I am not, I do my best to look and seem old.” Jean responds to Mrs. Coventry after Mrs. Coventry exclaims how young she is. Jean is a very strong character, and enjoys the power she has over people. This is our first glimpse at her personality, when we find out that she is not 19 but 30, this passage comes directly to mind. She is almost playing a game at these peoples expense, and she is the only one that gets the joke. It is obviously not necessary for her to hint at her real age, when it is so important to her that she be seen as young and accomplished. I understand why she would like to be seen as younger, but flaunting how well she can lie (when she is the only person that can see her flaunting) really shows the kind of attitude she has. Confidence is the first word that comes to mind, but I would venture to say that her confidence expands into arrogance. Taking unnecessary risks, which gain her nothing, prove the arrogance. We get another glimmer of this haughty attitude shortly after when she speaks to Gerald. Gerald is a “cool, indolent man” yet with a sharp look and some sly words she penetrates his walls leaving him defenseless and Lucia with a burning hatred for her. Though these are our first interactions with Jean, we already get the sense of haughty attitude that she is capable of. Late in the book we see the kind of character Jean has, and she is not the most agreeably character, but I argue that we could see this coming from the first time we met her.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3 Words Dane Dezellem

Curious, Selfish, Judgmental: Three words very important to the main character of our story, Coverdale. Coverdale gives us our insight into the depths of each character so his burning curiosity is very useful to us. There is no gain for him in any of the knowledge that he learns of each character, which is different than Westervelt’s reason for knowledge. Coverdale’s curiosity shows is the scene with Westervelt, Zenobia and Priscilla. This is quite comical because he is so offended that she will not allow him to continue his spying once found out. But still necessary because a more private and less curious person would not allow us to see some of the interactions that Coverdale seeks. Selfish plays another large role in our story, Coverdale shows proof of his selfishness when he seeks only to help Moodie if it is convenient to him, and when he finds himself tired of Blithedale so he takes a break from the hard work. I would go as far to say it is selfishness that causes Zenobia’s death! Coverdale admits a love for Priscilla and I believe that selfishness caused him not to act on it. He wanted her to come to him, because he is such a prize, and when she did not his own selfish pride would not allow him to go to her. This leaves room for Hollingsworth to fall for Priscilla and leave Zenobia alone and in enough pain to kill herself. Judgment plays its role through each character but I will focus on Coverdale because he believes that his judgment is the ultimate right and he knows more than everyone else. When speaking with Zenobia about her judgment of Hollingsworth, Coverdale jumps right one her side in agreement that he is a little speculative about Hollingsworth’s character. Yet when he can get out of lending assistance to Moodie, he puts his trust in Hollingsworth. And the whole time holds his true beliefs to himself, though they are no doubt true (in his perspective).

Sunday, January 17, 2010