Summative Entry (American Literature)

“American Literature helps me to expand the boundaries of my own experience.”

My experience with American Literature has been broadened greatly as a direct result of this course. On an analytical and creative scale, I as a literature student have felt a much more reinforced view of writings by American authors and composers. From the perspective of my own analytical writing, American composers have provided me a much more elucidated insight towards varied writing styles and contexts. This was effectively present in particular, in my reading and analysis towards the writing style of Mark Twain throughout his almost transcendental and sublime representation of “Huck’s” connection to the landscape alongside also the commentary of the values of racial equality in a post civil-war context, was truly influential towards my understanding of Twain’s agenda and allowed me to further follow his work closely. Likewise, Robert Frost has had a similar effect on my analytical frame of mind. Having to closely read and understand his works in particular the poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” whilst also taking into account and incorporating into the analysis his quote from “The Figure a Poem Makes” to further understand the intentions behind his writing and what has made this particular poem successfully appealing in an imaginary manner a a result of its composure and structure. This insight and view has allowed me an enhanced understanding of the writing style of American composers during their respective contexts and the unique ways they may attempt to communicate through their writing towards their audienceMoreso, American literature has also allowed me to think, in a creative sense more alike to the famous composers of the nation. Present in my creative representation of Walt Whitman’s poem, to truly understand the meaning behind the composers writing, one must delve themselves into the mind and thoughts of the writer. Using what I had learned from Whitman’s writing style, I had attempted to emulate his writing style into my own creative piece and as such the result was the remodelling of his creative insight alongside my written interpretation to create something new. Another similar act is present in my attempt to take the personality of a character from William Faulkner’s work and utilise that into a unique creative piece. Manipulating his character of Darl from “As I Lay Dying”, I created a unique character mimicking the views of the character in particular the selfish and introspective nature of the character whilst demonstrating this through the completely new character of the “Zookeeper in Thailand” which effectively allowed me a plethora of insight and information to help mould and build my own character. Hence, through my developed emulation of the writing style of the above composers as well as the inspiration they have provided me, have greatly allowed me to grasp a much more in-depth understanding of the multiple writing styles which conform to the genre of American literature. Thus, on a creative and analytical level, American composers have undeniably allowed me to tap into a variation of writing styles which have greatly benefitted my own.

 

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Peer Review 10/10

Hi Emily,

Your personal reflection on your emotions towards Ezra Pound’s text is incredibly written. You effectively present quotes and describe intelligently your emotions and thoughts towards them. Could you have provided more devices if possible in your reflection as I feel it would really help your analysis shine.

Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Brandon

 

Emily’s Post:

https://emilyboissezon.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/loving-your-husband-creative-american-lit/comment-page-1/#comment-14

10/10

Using any one of Faulkner’s 15 character voices as a guide, create a paragraph in the voice of a character totally different to yourself. Think about people you might have overheard on the train or bus, or someone you might have seen randomly on a street corner. Invent their life, their consciousness in a paragraph.

Stream of consciousness of a  zookeeper in Thailand. (Note to reader’s lack of grammar and mistakes in sentencing are intentional as to emulate the lower-class and more and possibly less educated aspects of the third-world country)

The animal before me, filthy a decaying orange orang-utan full of flea and dirt. Yet the families and children treat it as if they have struck gold. No gold has been found here, at least not in my eyes. What good are any of these animals to me? All they do is beg, cry, eat and shit, all in a beg of mercy or help. To the tourist, it’s adorable, to me my monthly wage. I am meant to be brushing the Orang-utan until suddenly, it grabs the brush out of my hand and clutches on for dear life. To the tourist this is all a game so they point it out in laughter but to me, this is not doing my job. The pleading eyes of the orang-utan are stare at me gripping tighter to the comb. I am forced to strike it repeatedly, the pleading eyes turn to begging cries, and the crowd in shock as if they care any in he slightest about the animal. I look up as I force the comb out of the creatures hand. I notice a young boy, he looks at me with pleading eyes, tears rolling down his cheeks. This world is harsh and tough, and I am this boys first example of it.

 

Peer Review 03/10

Hi Julena,

Your poem is eloquently written, your use of varied forms of imagery does wonders to immerse the reader within the world you have established within your work. I would like to see you use maybe bit more imagery using the other senses to really tie-in to your work and make it bit more exquisite.

Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Brandon

 

Julena’s Blog:

https://julenaoliva.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/american-lit-blog-6/comment-page-1/#comment-54

03/10

Add to Ezra Pound’s list of Don’ts (342) as they apply to a beginning writer.

 

24. Do not disregard proper grammar and punctuation, as it lowers your reputation, use of grammar is the essential foundations of literature

25. Do use personal stories and reflections to shape your own creative writing and morals, each person’s life is a journey, your story as unique as it is, is also engaging and will provide your writing with a soul

26. Do not attack another writers perspective and views, each persons view is the body and souls prayer written onto paper, all words and sentences have power

27. Thou shalt not use verbose writing as to convolute the work, the jamming of a sentence will disengage your reader, simplicities are a necessity

28. Thou shalt write with passion and strength of a true writer, for without passion is your creative truly creative?

Peer Review 19/9

Hi Jesse, 

Your analysis and interpretation of Robert Frost’s quote was extremely extensive and thoroughly enjoyable to read, your use of external sources in your interpretation is to be commended and your  understanding of the quote is truly insightful. Your post has been composed with significant eloquence.

Keep up the good work!

From,

Brandon

Jesse’s Blog

https://wordsthought.wordpress.com/category/american-literature/critical/

Week 8 Blog

Do you share Robert Frost’s belief that “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom…it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life.” “The Figure a Poem Makes” (250-251)? If possible try to explain in your own words what you understand by this statement. Can you give an example of poem you have read that does just this?

 

The above statement is extremely relevant towards attaining an understanding of the general meaning within poetry. A successful poem will attempt to draw its audience in using strong visualisation and provide the reader with a much stronger moral or perspective on the composers set agenda. Taken for example from Frost’s own “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Frost with utilisation of the imagery of both visual and aural manners almost immerses the audience into the setting played out by Frost using the environment to represent the symbolism for the beginning and progression of life, and his stop being both a metaphorical and physical representation for his own choice to end his life. By the closing stanzas of the poem, the reader is completely aware of the personas intent to end his own life and represent the natural environment falling of the snow and his horse to be the internal conflict within his head in favour of the abrupt conclusion towards his life, addressing to his audience the significance of the landscape in portraying the ending of a life. Thus, Frost himself has portrayed the above idea of not only enticing his audience to further read the poem but also to leave them with a new vision of the life around them

Peer Review 12th September

Hi Erin,

Your contrast between the two members of your family is extremely vivid and highly commendable.  You are able to vividly describe the significant contrasts between the two individuals on a spiritual and culture basis and allows us a strong insight into the members of the family

Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Brandon

 

Erin’s blog post

https://whatalittime.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/black-and-blue/comment-page-1/#comment-5

 

Peer Review Week 5

Hi Christella,

I found your insight into the passage extremely compelling and well planned. Your discussion upon Twain’s use of visual imagery into great detail is commendable and you have effectively used references from the text to elucidate your argument further. 

Keep up the good work!

From,

Brandon

 

 

Christella Bade’s Post:

https://christellabade.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/blog-4-american-literature/comment-page-1/#comment-17

Week 5 Blog

Take any one of the short sections where Mark Twain describes nature with such vividness and immediacy. Quote the passage and then discuss what it is, in the word choice, the use of images and the sentence structure that gives the language such amazing life.

This second night we run between seven and eight hours, with a
current that was making over four mile an hour. We catched fish and
talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It
was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, lay-ing on our
backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud,
and it warn’t often that we laughed—only a little kind of a low

chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and noth-
ing ever happened to us at all—that night, nor the next, nor the next. 

Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hill-
sides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see.

Huckleberry Finn, ch. 12

It is evident through this passage that Twain utilised the childish naivety of “Huck” and his responses to the environment around him including the natural world, to demonstrate his favour towards the more simpler innocence of humanity which is often only possessed by a child when immersing themselves in their surroundings. The scene is a depiction of vastness that “Huck” has found himself in between the skies and the river itself. “Huck” has evidently disconnected from the institutionalised social values in favour of the more wild and untamed landscape of the Mississipi river, which is in particular expressed by the imagery used to depict the darkness from the “black hillsides” of the town which at night would evidently blend between the river and the sky. “Huck”’s narration of the moment the moment details lacking conversation possibly an insight into the awe he feels towards the vastness of his immersed surroundings. This alongside the quote “nothing ever happened to us at all” is a resemblance of the comfort “Huck” may hold in this new found environment alongside his emotion of awe. It is clear that Twain has utilised the perspective of the environment by a child to call towards his readers own spiritual innocence in order to coercee them to view the beauty within the natural landscape.