Wednesday, March 28, 2012

revolt of wallpaper

I think the biggest similarity between the two is the rebellion in general. They both defied their expected gender roles and tradition. Arguably I would say that in the Revolt of 'Mother', mother has more control over her rebellion than that of the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper.
While Sarah is more cunning about her rebellion, there is a sense that she has been driven mad over the promises made to her for the last fourty years. Her lack of concern regarding what other people have to say about her action is very similar to the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper.
The "revolt" in general is what the two characters share.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

representations of freedom

Ralph Waldo Emmerson
"The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul." -This line represents the belief expressed by Emmerson, that freedom of the mind is the most important kind of freedom one is able to achieve.
Walt Whitman
"I resist anything better than my own diversity, and breath the air and leave plenty after me." -Freedom in this sentence from Whitman's Leaves of grass is expressed through the diversity of individuals within the nation. A yin and yang relationship between all people is the best example of a free nation.
Frederick Douglass
"In learning to read, I owe almost as much to the bitter opposition of my master as to the kindly aid of my mistress. I acknowledge the benefit of both." -Douglass expresses the duality of freedom in these lines. Making example of the hardships many have to over come in order to gain freedom in its truest form- the mind.
Emily Dickinson
"Still! Could themself have peeped--" -I feel like this line in the poem 613-They shut me up in Prose expresses the oppression of women that was traditionally accepted during this timer period. A free woman was one who maintained the home and all of the qualities a "good woman" should. What Dickinson is showing in this line is the stifling nature of society at this time while calling for action. Asking the ones requesting her stillness to themselves be still, and see how freeing it is.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I believe that Cornice is the most interesting word in the poem numbered 712 by Emily Dickinson.
It is defined as " A horizontal molded projection that crowns or completes a building or wall", "any structure that branches out from a central support", " an overhanging ledge of snow formed by the wind on the edge of a mountain ridge, cliff, or corrie",and also "a mass of snow, ice, etc., projecting over a mountain ridge".
The multiple definitions of this one word make the word itself stick out even more. The sentence that the word is used in is The Cornice-- in the Ground--, which automatically made me think of a tomb stone.
However what is interesting is that the actual definition of the word joins the two opposing ideas of nature and man made structure. specifically It conjures ideas of the home life by referring to the mantle. Here we have the unbridled chaos of nature versus the security of home life.
The unpredictability and cruelty of nature relates to death and immortality, both concepts explored by Dickinson in this poem. The tidy image of a decorative mantle in a home offers a very interesting juxtaposition. The word links so many of the ideas explored in many of Dickinson's poems with the morbid imagery that is also very prevalent.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Because I could not stop for Death--
Could not stop what? Could Dickinson not stop to observe death or to actually die? Death is capitalized, just like I which makes me wonder if it is being personified.
He kindly stopped for me--
How nice! Did he stop and wait for you to catch up? Also why is death a 'he'?
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
Riding in a carriage with only death. Does the carriage only have room for two or is it only one?
And Immortality
Why does this sentence not have the dashes next to it? If the carriage had room for just Dickinson and death, but Immortality fits as well; then is there some sort of conversation going on between death and immortality?
We slowly drove--He knew no haste
There is no hurry, but is Death or Immortality in the drivers seat? If I had to pick I would say Immortality because there is no end in sight.
And I had put away
I don't find anything particularly interesting about this sentence. Put away what, and where?
My labor and my leisure too,
At a stand still. No work and no play, almost as if you're just standing there.
For His Civility--
Every word is capitalized, this has to have some importance. Suggesting that death is civil, like 'oh how sweet, you came to wait for me'.
We passed the School, where Children strove
Where children used to try? The use of strove implies that this is no longer.
At Recess--in the Ring--
Recess and Ring are both capitalized, which seems somewhat unnecessary. In the ring leads me to assume that they are about to fight almost as a basic characteristic of childhood; similar to recess.
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
What is the grain looking at, or rather where is it looking. This line almost sounds pretty compared to the previous. Must be the nature.
We passed the setting Sun--
This immediately made me think of Greek myths. The setting sun is lower and less bright than that of the rising sun. This implies an end to the journey in my mind.
Or rather--He passed Us--
The sun passed Dickinson, Death and Immortality?
The Dews drew quivering and chill--
I find it interesting that The Dews are the only things capitalized in this line. Im not sure why, but I picture a super cold graveyard.
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
What is a soggamer? Is this gown a sleeping gown? Gossamer and Gown are both capitolized.
My Tippet--only Tulle--
Is a tippet part of the gown, only tulle makes me invision a very undressed lightweight covering.
We paused before a House that seemed
I find it really interesting thast not only does this line just end, without dashes but it also just kind of leaves the reader hanging.
A Swelling of the Ground--
I picture the ground coming alive, like the dead are coming back to life.
The Roof was scarcely visible--
Could she not see the roof from where she was, or does it not exist? Is she possibly the only one that cannot see it?
The Cornice-- in the Ground--
The edge or the decorative part of the ground? Like a head stone?
Since then -- 'tis Centuries -- and yet
Since when? Since centuries ago? Also again, with the abrupt line endings.
Feels shorter than the Day
Like a memory? This reminds me of the cliche, just like yesterday. Like the memory is still fresh in her mind, or as if she were reliving it.
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
This has again a greek mythology imagry. When I read this line it made me think that it was kind of like the first time you realized that death is the end of the road for everyone. There is no such thing as immortality.
Were toward Eternity--
Were and Toward are both capitolized and it seems strange kind of. I pictured the way horses hold their heads up high almost looking to the sun or the above.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Preoccupation with Freedom

"I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one." Frederick Douglass
Although Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldow Emerson, and Walt Whitman described Freedom in different ways, and through different experiences; they all share one common idea. The ultimate freedom is the freedom of the mind. This kind of freedom opens doors to every other kind of freedom that is available to mankind.
If you put the three authors texts in chronological order it sets up the perfect timeline of freedom through the eyes of some of our most valued American authors. In "The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave", Frederick Douglas defines freedom as something that can only be attained by being physically as well as mentally independent. The "thing" standing in his path to freedom is slavery itself.
The path that Emerson paves for his audience is directly built upon this idea of intellectual freedom. In "The American Scholar", Emmerson suggests that freedom is found through being an individual. Creation is the only way the "bookworm" becomes independent. Creating our own knowledge is just as important as acknowledging the value of the scholars and free-thinkers of previous generations(The American Scholar).
Whalt Whitman, seemingly unintentionally, yet poetically took this idea of freedom and found it in everything mundane and ordinary. From grass, to the commute Whitman found the beauty of freedom in everything and everyone. Taking the idea of freedom of the mind to the body, creating the concept of freedom through Unity. Whitman seems to suggest that we already have the knowledge, now we just need to work together to continue this pursuit.
Weather it be slavery, inactive minds, or "motion without movement" the main obstacle of freedom is humanity itself. Physical freedom can only be achieved through, mental freedom and only after we have achieved both of those will we achieve equal freedom.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Journey Narrative

The name of my Journey Narrative is "The history of Love" written by Nicole Krauss. Although there are really 3 plots going on throughout the entire novel; they all become heavily intertwined into one story narrated by Leo Gursky.

The History of Love takes place in modern day New York. The story starts and finishes in the same place but travels to many places in between both geographically and temporally.
The narrative opens up with Leo Gursky discussing what would be written about him in his obituary when he dies, "tomorrow or the next day". This is the first point in which the primary conflict is exposed.
The narrator goes on to struggle with his desire to be indelible vs. his history that has already been lost in the holocaust. The structure of the narrative is obituary1--Leo's history--obituary2. Leo starts the story envisioning his death and goes on to tell the story of doing everything he could in order to be seen and noticed every day of his life.
There is a point in the book in which Leo tells the story of the time his cousin tried to take a photograph of him shortly after he arrived in New York. His cousin attempted three times to take a picture of him and each time nothing showed up. Leo insisting upon proving is was not just an error, sat his cousin down and took a photo of him. After this point Leo describes the countless attempts of capturing a permanent image of himself, until one day he sees a faint outline of his face. What he calls "the opposite of disappearing". This acts as the space of transformation
The analysis of the journey narrative within My kinsman Major Molineux by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the most similar to that of The History of Love . Looking at the journey as Robin getting off the fairy in the new town, the town shaping his transformation, Robin in the new town, is very similar to the journey of Leo. Leo arrives in New York Having lost his history, Leo puts his story together, Leo dies in New York, leaving the history he thought he lost.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My name is Tristen Clements. I was born in Southern Oregon and I moved to California when I was 12ish. I have lived in San Francisco for a little over two years and I work at sephora. I dont actually do make up but I organize it and make sure it is merchandized so well that people buy a whole bunch of it. In my spare time I enjoy distracting myself with music, live or recorded soft and loud. I love to read and I wish that people still liked libraries enough to visit them and employ people like me who would love to work in them. I love bagels.