Friday, July 08, 2005

A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry presents a family situation in 1950’s through her play “A Raisin in the Sun.” Obviously, the writer presents a story of a black family which is normal and they are trying get away from poverty. Walter, which is the main character in this story plays as a negative side of person. He might forget what is a family and how family function, he just wants to care about his own feeling and money pursuing. He forgets what Ruth does in order to make this family run smoothly.

By the way, through out this play, I feel gender discrimination exists. Men in that time were dominating the society, women were the slaves of men. For example, Ruth is the one who takes care of the whole family, and Walter just resposibles for working outside. Walter’s sister wants to be a doctor; however, Walter thought women should get marry and stay at home.

Through out this story, I feel sorry to the women who were living in the era before women’s rights were promoted. However, I also feel respect to them because they could endure and continuou what they were doing.

The Guilty Family

I have read the Chinese version of “Hamlet” before. However, compare to reading in English version, English version has its own feeling which can not be found from Chinese version.

“Hamlet” is one of the most important plays written by William Shakespeare. In this play, Shakespeare uses his excellent writing skills to demonstrate a tragedy which changed the whole family’s destiny. Hamlet, which is the main character and the main victim in this play, was told by a ghost who is identified as his father to revenge on his death. But he still hesitated about whether to kill the king for his father or not. The famous monolog “to be or not to be” comes out because of this situation. The whole family of Hamlet’s lover dies because of Hamlet, and the king and queen die also finally.

Through out this play, Shakespeare discloses the negative face of human being. This play is full of the battle of authority, ambition and betrays; this is a good example to our human being. Before Hamlet dies, he tells his friend to let people know his story in order to prevent this kind of tragedy happen again.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Promiscuous or Not

"What Lips My Lips have Kissed, and Where, and Why," which is a very clear title by Edna Millay. In this piece, Millay presents a woman who is thinking about her past. However, she does not regret about she does not remember how many lovers she had, she just enjoys being free without any obstacles. This is a social problem appear in our modern society.

Connect this piece with "Old Maids," they both got to the same point. Women are no longer need men in our modern era, they are independent. However, when they realize they need to marry with a man. Problem is coming out, for example, many men still have a conservative view of virgin of women. Some men refuse to accept their wives have this experiences. "Old Maids" problem will come out again as a result of this.

Past & Now's Old Maids

"Old Maids" which is by Sandra Cisneros, it tells a story about the narrative and her cousins do not marry and live together. It reflects a social situation that women lost the confidence in men. They do not believe men anymore. They might be hurt by men before and they learnt from the experiences of their families or friends. However, they are spiritual empty because they lack of the basic element of our human being.

Love is a basic element of human being's needs, it can help us to relieve from pressure, especially the love from lover. However, many people can leave without lover's love. They may even live better than other people, such as some of the women who are living in this modern society. They are doing better than men do and have better lives than men have. Therefore, as women become more independent the "Old Maids" is not a matter anymore and this may bring another important social issue -- gay marriage.

Wisdom in Ode

In William Wordsworth's "Ode" excerpt, he presented a clear message to me when I was reading this. If I lose something in the past, I can not get it back. Therefore, as a wise individual, we should not waste our time on something which is not necessary to our lives because time will never come back since it went away silently.

Furthermore, it also states even though I missed something very important in the past, I should not feel sad or bad. I should learn from every failure or loss, because it will help me to prevent the same error from happening and success at last. That reminds me a sentence from Chinese, "When you were born, people around you were smiling, but you was crying. When you are dying, people around you are crying, hopefully you are the one who is smiling." I have to keep working and working to achieve as much as possible, in order to feel no regret at all when my life come to the end.

Idea in "Phenomenal Woman"

In the poetry "Phenomenal Woman," Maya Angelou presents a woman which is highly self-esteem. She told readers that the reason why she is much more attractive than the others. For example, she told the readers that she is not cute or has a model size. However, it does not prevent her from the attack of "Honey Bees," because she is beautiful in her own way, in her personality in her soul.

In my opinion, the reason why Maya Angelou wrote down this poem is trying to encourage other not so good looking women. Normally, men like to stay with the women which have beautiful appearances; however, "inner beautiful" is the most important and powerful factor to a human being. Therefore, Angelou's idea is to tell normal women not to give up, and try to develop and discover the beautiful in other dimensions.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Roses for women are living in conservative era.

"A Rose for Emily" which is a piece reveals a daughter under the situation of over-protecting by her father. This was a tragedy for a woman life, and on the other hand, the story of Emily also represented many women who were living or are living in conservative society. She never enters any marriage, never can feel the love between man and woman which is the basic element of our human lives. Finally, this poor girl lost her sanity and went to become a psycho.

In my point of view, this was not only the fault of her father, but also the fault of this society. Her father should responsible for this mostly because he did not let her daughter to have a positive view of love. As a result, she learnt the other way to possess her love – killing her "lover". Furthermore, the society also has responsibility to this tragedy because they did not try anything to help her out. It reveals the aspect of unconcern of humanity.

Family's Love

In D. H. Lawrence's piece "The Rocking Horse Winner," he presents a relationship between a mother and son. A greedy mother which is always dissatisfies with their family financial situation and she does not feel any love to her children at all. A son who is aspires to have the love from his mother. Therefore, in order to gain attention from his mother, this kid starts to gamble with the tips which are provided by a toy horse.

Unfortunately, this kid never can have his mother love because he dies shortly after he lost his sanity. In my opinion, the purpose of Lawrence wrote this piece is telling parents do not spend much of their time in money pursuing or other things. He hopes parents can spend more time on their children to fulfill their psychological needs. I love this story and I recommend to all parents.

Theme in "Hills Like White Elephants"

In this piece, Ernest Hemingway presents a very sensitive issue which is pro-choice or pro-life to us. Different people have their different view on pro-choice and pro-life. Hemingway sets up three characters in this story. The woman in this piece, known as "Jig," she wants to give birth to her fetus. The man who wants his partner to have an abortion, identify as an American, and the last one the hills. I think that even thought the hills do not say a word to them, but its existence plays an important role in this piece and brings out the main idea of this piece.

White elephants are defined as burdens, something that nobody wants. Hemingway makes people connect it with baby, the fetus in the stomach of the woman. It is obvious that the man is trying to escape from his responsibility, and he keeps saying that he loves "Jig." However, I do not know whether he is really in love with her or not. Perhaps they will over after she had an abortion.

The philosophy of Maupassant's "The Necklace"

"If you are born in this way, you have to accept it." Guy de Maupassant sends me this message through his work "The Necklace." In this piece, there is a wife who believes that she deserves to have luxury things because she is charming and pretty. One day, this wife wants to be outstanding in a ball. She spends some money for her dressing and borrows a diamond necklace from her friend. Unfortunately, she lost the necklace when she is on the way home. She and her husband had been suffered for ten years because of this diamond necklace. However, they were told that the necklace which was lost was a paste one.

The work of Maupassant seems too pessimistic to me. His point of view to life is almost as the same as Daoism (Taoism), which is a philosophy created by Lao Zi, A great philosopher in ancient China. "No one can change their lives, people have to accept nature." For me, I will never agree to it because I believe people can change their lives, their destiny by their hands. Every human being can create their own universe.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My literature experience

My favorite literature is "The color of Water", which is a fiction written by a son of an African American and a Jewish. Through this fiction, I was told how the mind of a son was effected because his parents had different backgrounds; what he felt about when every of his siblings moved out, went to good colleges and developed good careers. What his mother experienced during she was young also plays an important role in this fiction, it displays an unequal image to me how women were treated during earlier in last century. What I am reading is the great story of the prominent African American sisters, "Having Our Says." When I start to read this story, I feel I am inspired by these sisters. Their stories were true Americans stories. These two sisters were living together until they died, they did not marry. They were living for each other. Their stories are so amazing and I was told a lot of American history by this fiction since the 1900's.

Through this class, I want to have more experience of reading English literature. Because I think I did not have much experience in reading literature as much as the others, somehow I can say I hate literature. Therefore, I hope this class can change my point of view to literature.