My creative process was quite simple in writing this poem. When reading Emily Dickinson, I was drawn to her fascination of death and how she portrays her emotions. Even though she is not a modernist writer, I still wanted to talk about how I modeled her form with dashes, which emphasizes the intensity of the emotions I felt when writing this. I also love her work so it was fun to model it.
What does it feel like to be the winner, to claim the trophy
and hold it in your hand?
To see your glorious reflection in the polished metal
and know you have won
To stand on top the losers
and know you have won
O losers, O the poor non victorious
O how you must crave the taste of victory
and know you have won
O let me climb the ranks
O let society loosen its grip on numbers
On gold, silver and bronze
Let us all be one
In this game of life.
I based this poem after reading through Marianne Moore’s “In distrust of Merit’s” I thought about what could be going through her head when she wrote her poem and took those thoughts and rolled them around through my head, to find my own words. After I found them, I simply put them down. I used the repetition of “and know you have won” for emphasis, and to give a bitter taste for the word “won”. I also wanted to make the reader wonder if anything has really been gained by the unseen victory. Moore starts her poem with a question, and I liked how this immediately makes the reader think. I also liked her use of to grab the readers, so I decided to use and anaphora for it.
For the poetry analysis I did the Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot.
When I first started to read this poem, the first line struck me: “we are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men” This creates such and interesting imagery of a sort of soulless breed. The image is haunting and tinged with a satirical tone. As my mind wrapped around this image, I was suddenly struck with the idea of soldiers, possibly pointing towards World War II and Nazi’s who had been brainwashed: “Headpiece filled with straw.” The line “shape without form, shape without color” is very interesting. This presented an image of a mass of soldiers, marching into battle, simply one shape, no individual “form” or “shape” as they march towards “death’s other kingdom”
The Second Paragraph is seemingly layered with what seems an individual soldiers guilt of his victims: “Eyes I dare not meet in dreams.” The second paragraph seems to be referring to a battle and how unearthly it is: “Deaths dream kingdom” as in the remains from the battle is just a feast for death, because so many have died. The Third stanza seems to further the battle scene, but it gives a holier image, one of the dead going to heaven, leaving earth because they gave their lives: “are raised, here they receive. The supplication of a dead man’s hand, Under the twinkle of a fading star” The fourth stanza then left me with the impression that the men who are left behind, to deal with “The broken jaw of our lost kingdom” I asked myself: “Is Eliot saying its better to be dead in the world of war than alive?” and the last line of stanza 5 points to that “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper” This “whimper” presents a pleading sort of tone, as in the person or people are begging for death instead of resisting it “with a bang”
Overall, Elliot chooses strange imagery, but it leaves one with a feeling that it has a several meanings and choices behind each word. This is a stunning technique that leaves the reader haunted but craving for more explanation.
Helen Thomas had an incredible impact on Washington and beyond. Researching her has been fascinating and there is so many ways I could have taken this research paper. After much consideration my thesis was drawn up:
Helen Thomas’ bias lead her to provide a unique insight and shape the portrait that she painted of JFK and LBJ.
I started off this blog post to explain why I was researching an obituary that Mrs. Robertson shared with me. Helen Thomas’ bias was very interesting and looking into her obituaries revealed some of her bias. Ms. Thomas did make some pretty severe anti Semitic comments:, such as “Jews should get the hell out of Palestine.” This bias will be interesting to portray in my analysis of JFK and LBJ. JFK did have some great religious advancement, and Thomas and JFK were very close and had a very healthy relationship, so it is interesting that she never made those comments in the earlier part of her career.
The obituary I read was very reliable because a newspaper is a first rate source. It was also very helpful because it laid out her whole career and how much she really did. It showed how vital her career was, but did not fail to show the true downfall of Helen Thomas and her career, it showed every part of her life and career in a non-bias manor.
Another part of her bias was that Helen Thomas was first and foremost a feminist. She was one of the only women in the white house for a extended period of time, she was always first and always ready. The rest of my research process will be looking into her work and finding that bias and using it to analyze LBJ and JFK.
Stout, David. “50 Years of Tough Questions and ‘Thank You, Mr.
President’.” New York Times [New York] 20 July 2013, Media: n. pag. Print.
Listen up Mr. President by Helen Thomas is a self authored book about her beliefs of what a president should be. The book is split up into ten sections. These all include tips on a proper presidency. This source is reliable because it it purely Helen’s opinions, which is what I want for analysis.
Another piece that was great to read was an article that was sent to me from Mrs. Robertson about Helen Thomas herself and her career. This article showed how influential Helen Thomas actually was for her time and justified why her opinion on presidencies. Helen Thomas was a hard worker and pioneer for women in her career. She was a woman of firsts. This article lead me to wonder if there was a way I could potentially work in how she was a pioneer in her field with women and the press.
There are some holes left in the research process which is that I need to find her articles on the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War to compare to my analysis from Listen up Mr. President. I also need to research her alleged anti-semetic comments which were mentioned in the end of the article listed above.
The film “Thank you Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White house” by Rory Kennedy, sits down Helen Thomas, and asks her all sorts of questions involving her personal life and her relationships to the presidents from JFK to the later Bush.
The source is very reliable because it is Helen Thomas simply replying to questions about her life. It is very interesting because she also offers interpretation on presidents campaigns, their personal lives and the events that happened over the course of their presidency.
Over the course of Helen’s career there have been 9 presidents. 2 of which I will be comparing and contrasting through Helen Thomas’ eyes. Helen Thomas’ relationship with Kennedy and Johnson is looked at in the documentary. Thomas was very close to JFK and they got along very well. “He was very friendly”. She spent lots of time with the presidents: “you really felt that you got to know the person”. President Johnson in her eyes was “very self protected” and he would call for conferences where they would walk around the south lawn and he would talk very quietly, she considered them very “satirical”
The documentary does leave out lots of history for JFK and Johnson, which means I will be needing to do more in depth research. Having more background will help with comparison. I will also need to research how Helen got to her position, what exactly her position was and it what it explicitly entailed. It would also be interesting to research some of her personal life, because she was fired from her job.
Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House. Dir. Rory Kennedy.
HBO Documentary Films, 2008. Film.
When it comes to Jim, Huck has a sort of metaphorical blindfold on. The blindfold, which can we seen as society, blinds Huck from seeing Jim as an equal. But, the blindfold doesn’t cover everything, and Huck can see a little between what is right and what society wants him to believe is right. Because Huck can see through the “blindfold” slightly he is able to gain attachment to Jim: ” ‘Sold him? I says and begun to cry;” (248) It is the next line that shows how the blindfold does blind Huck to some things ” ‘Why he was my nigger’ ” (248) This line can be interpreted as Huck seeing Jim as property. But if diving deeper into the emotion that is layered within the text, one can see that Huck is crying, which shows an expression of sadness at the fact he has lost his friend. Personally, I believe Huck is morning the loss of Jim. “Why he was my nigger” can translate to “he was my friend.”
In my opinion, I believe that this book should still be a great classroom tool to show what was acceptable and what want. But I also think that historical empathy is necessary to posses while reading this “classic”. The truth is that Huck only refers to Jim like that because it was a part of the time period. Layered within what is seen as racism now, is true friendship.
In the first 20 chapters of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, many themes occur. As expected, racism, as defined by today is very present. Huck, the main charecters friend, is a slave named Jim. Jim is a prime example of the role of slaves in Huck’s time. Jim is uneducated, due to white supremacy and paranoia of the saying ” ‘give a nigger an inch and he’ll take and ell’ ” (170) The whites, especially of the south feared an uprising from the slaves, if they gave them the “inch” of education. The whites treated the slaves as animals who if they were given just enough, they would take it all, when really this reflects upon themselves.
Even if Huck considers Jim a friend, he still thinks of himself as higher. This is also due to Jim’s ignorance and the society that Huck grew up in. When Huck hurts Jim’s feelings by using his knowledge to make Jim look foolish. Huck of course feels bad, but “it was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger” (160). Huck’s remorse shows that he does care about Jim, but the pride and white supremacy holds him back from apologizing immediately. This is interesting because Huck views Jim as a friend, but unconsciously does not view Jim as his equal. Huck does take advantage of Jim’s ignorance for his own entertainment, but eventually feels remorse. The remorse shows that Huck does care about Jim, but he cannot undo something that he doesn’t really know exists.
Another theme that occurs is gender roles. When Huck dresses up as a woman to disguise himself from the woman. The first example of gender roles is when the widow refuses to let Huck leave because she doesnt want her to go without her husbands company: “She said she wouldn’t let me go by myself, but her husband would be in by and by, maybe in an hour and a laf, and she’d send him along with me” (142) In Huck’s time women were seen as something that needed to be protected and were basically helpless.
Society in Huck’s time was patriarchal, which means that it was dominated by men. “women not working outside but men did, so men were the moneymakers while women were homemakers and mainly responsible for the family and home” Also, when Huck tries to pick up a needle and thred, he further exposes his lie to the woman. She is immediatly able to see that Huck is a boy due to his looks and the fact that he cannot sew. ” ‘Bless you child when you set out to thread a needle, don’t hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it- thats the way a woman most always does; but a man always does ‘tother way.’ ” (145) This passage can be seen as metaphorical for gender roles. Women and Men have defined ways of doing things that are set by society. Like sewing, women do it a certain way, and men do it the other.
All of these topics relate to mainly immigration and what it brought to the table of young america. The irish famine, which was in 1849-50, was a huge potato famine that completely wiped out the potato crop in ireland. Many of the Irish that moved over to America used the Cunard line. This lead to a huge influx in irish immigration to America. Nativism was a product of this. Nativism is the fear that immigrants would take jobs and change the political and social structure of American life. For example in Lowell, Massachusetts, the multitude of mills relied on yankee women and children to work the mills, but the Irish started to take the jobs from the women and children.
The Erie canal was completed in 1825, it was opened by Samuel Morse, the effect was immediate and dramatic. It was a big change for the history of America with transportation and industry, it’s also resulted a massive population surge in western New York, and opened regions further west to increased settlement.
Dewitt Clinton was the mayor New York City he believed that such a canal was crucial to the advancement of his state and was largely responsible for the construction of the Canal.
The cotton dominated the economy and the Erie Canal and also over canals that were constructed in the same goal as the first canal, being able to transports the goods made the economy of the cotton took a really big place into the economy of America. The most important internal improvement resulting from the American System was the Erie canal because it created a system of interlocking canals that ran from the Hudson River to Erie canal.
The end of the Federalist Party marked the end of America’s elongated attempt to unify the states. You then see the majority of the Federalist party transition into the democratic party that would initiate universal manhood suffrage in the north. The whole nation was attempting to find an identity and also a way to run itself. In 1808, Albert Gallatin, proposed a thorough solution to solve America’s infrastructure problem. Canals and massive roadways would connect the alienated states and assist in building the American system. James Monroe would use utilize these ideas to get elected and promised a better unified state. 1817 marked the beginning of the era of good feelings where it would be driven by President Monroe’s goal to unify the country. The era came to an end in 1823 when slavery tensions began to rise between the states. In 1821 the Tallmadge Amendment was proposed by Missouri to protect slavery and even though they agreed to protect the right of blacks, they would never fulfill that promise. John Adams would follow Monroe as president but only due to the corrupt bargain with Henry Clay. The events that followed the era of good feelings would only foreshadow the problems only to come for the states. -Chris Barry
This portrait is the first thing you see when you walk in my house. The portrait is of my great, great great great aunt. Her name was Margaret Wallace. She was the first Margaret out of five, three who are currently living. I am the fifth Margaret. My mother inherited this portrait from my great great grandmother, who when she died left this behind in her house. I had never seen it before, and when my mother put it in my house, at first I didn’t like looking at good ole Maggie’s face. But over the years, she has kinda grown on me, with her patient stare and pin straight nose.
After looking at Margaret for a little bit, I realized some symbolism lies in her portrait. She is swathed in a white, seamlessly weightless dress. The white seems to highlight her purity. The lighting is also upon her face, everything around her is dark. Her hair is also styled to be pulled up and shows off her neck. The rose also pinned on her left shoulder. The rose not only brings color but natural imagery. She is portrayed as a delicate woman. This made me think of the opposite of a delicate woman from around Margarets time, Susan B. Anthony. Susan was a quaker who was brought up in the early 1800’s with a very unique set of morals and ideals. She became aquatinted with Elizabeth Cady Stantoun. Elizabeth led her to join the women’s suffrage. Susan went against her government for women’s right, in what Thoreau would call a “patriot, martyrs, reformers in the great sense” (Thoreau, 1859). Susan was a reformer for the women all over the US of A She went against what her government thought was right, she used her conscience. Thoreau believes that most of the american people give up their conscience to the government and just live clueless lives. Susan broke out of that and realized that women should have just as many rights as men, especially when it comes to voting.
Thoreau, Henry David. Resistance to Civil Government. Norton Anthology b. New
York, NY: Norton & Company, 2007.