Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the first person narration is critical in helping the reader to know and understand the main character, Holden Caulfield. Holden, in his narration, relates a flashback of a significant period of his life, three days and nights on his own in New York City. Through his narration, Holden discloses to the reader his innermost thoughts and feelings. He thus provides the reader not only with information of what occurred, but also how he felt about what happened. Holden's thoughts and ideas reveal many of his character traits. One late Saturday night, four days before the beginning of school vacation, Holden is alone, bored and restless, wondering what to do. He decides to leave Pencey, his school, at once and travels to New York by train. He decides that, once in New York, he will stay in a cheap motel until Wednesday, when he is to return home. His plan shows the reader how very impetuous he is and how he acts on a whim. He is unrealistic, thinking that he has a foolproof plan, even though the extent of his plans are to take a room in a hotel.., and just take it easy till Wednesday. Holden's excessive thoughts on death are not typical of most adolescents. His near obsession with death might come from having experienced two deaths in his early life. He constantly dwells on Allie, his brother's, death. From Holden's thoughts, it is obvious that he loves and misses Allie. In order to hold on to his brother and to minimize the pain of his loss, Holden brings Allie's baseball mitt along with him where ever he goes. The mitt has additional meaning and significance for Holden because Allie had written poetry, which Holden reads, on the baseball mitt. Holden's preoccupation with death can be seen in his contemplation of a dead classmate, James Castle. It tells the reader something about Holden that he lends his turtleneck sweater to this classmate, with whom he is not at all close. Holden's feelings about people reveal more of his positive traits. He constantly calls people phonies, even his brother, D.B., who has sold out to Hollywood. Although insulting, his seemingly negative feelings show that Holden is a thinking and analyzing, outspoken individual who values honesty and sincerity. He is unimpressed with people who try to look good in other's eyes. Therefore, since it is obvious that Holden is bright, the reason for his flunking out of school would seem to be from a lack of interest. Holden has strong feelings of love towards children as evidenced through his caring for Phoebe, his little sister. He is protective of her, erasing bad words from the walls in her school and in a museum, in order that she not learn from the graffiti. His fondness for children can be inferred when he tells her that, at some time in the future, he wants to be the only grown-up with all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. He'll stand on the edge of a cliff and catch anybody who starts to fall off the edge of the cliff. He got this image from his misinterpretation of a line from the Robert Burns poem, if a body catch a body comin' through the rye. When situations are described, in person or in a book, they are influenced by the one who describes them, and by his or her perceptions and experiences. Through Holden's expressions of his thoughts and feelings, the reader sees a youth, sensitive to his surroundings, who chooses to deal with life in unique ways. Holden is candid, spontaneous, analytical, thoughtful, and sensitive, as evidenced by his narration. Like most adolescents, feelings about people and relationships are often on his mind. Unfortunately, in Holden's case, he seems to expect the worst, believing that the result of getting close to people is pain. Pain when others reject you or pain when they leave you, such as when a friend walks off or a beloved brother dies. It would not have been possible to feel Holden's feelings or understand his thoughts nearly as well had the book been written in third person.


Words: 712

Carnivalism And Its Effect On Literature

Carnivalization is the term used by Mikhail Bakhtin to describe the shaping effect on literary genres. The idea of carnivalism is the discourse of structuralism. Carnivalism is the opposite of everything deemed normal. Bahktin describes it as: ...the true feast of time, the feasts of becoming, change and renewal. (45) Carnival originated from the Feasts of the Church. The feasts were a serious, formal occasion in which strict patterns were closely followed. Emphasis was placed on social standing. It was considered a consecration of inequality (45). However, during Carnival, everyone was considered equal. The festivities of Carnival were very popular, everything was turned upside down (the smart become stupid, rich become poor, etc.; fantasy and reality become one). The jolly relativity of all things is proclaimed. (45) Carnivalism is evident throughout literature, but it is very noticeable during the Renaissance. The Socratic dialogue is an example of the earliest carnivalised literary forms. Two of the most familiar forms of carnivalism are Alisoun; the Wife of Bath from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Falstaff, from Shakespeare's Henry IV. Alisoun, asserts her own overbearing assessment of the roles of women in society and relationships. The Wife has often been written off as a shrew-like bombast simply sprouting her dissatisfaction. She is the opposite of what women were expected to be in her time. She seems to take pride in being so contradictory to societal ideals. Falstaff, like the Wife; enjoys being the center of attention and shocking people with his outlandish proclamations. He is a con man, coward, and thief. Although people would never admit it, they secretly enjoy hearing the lewd stories told by the Wife and Falstaff. The Wife and Falstaff could be described as grotesque realism. Grotesque realism has no lower level. It is the dark side of society. The term perfectly describes both characters. They represent the subconscious of people- the things and ideas that people are afraid to say or do. Falstaff and the Wife both use apologia to justify their actions. The Wife has her own unique interpretation of the Bible. She asks where in the Bible is virginity commanded. She also questions the traditional moral values of medieval British culture in asking, ... to what end were reproductive organs made, why are people made so perfectly? Falstaff justifies his actions by saying banish plump Jack, banish all the world. In essence, everyone is just like him; the only difference is that he doesn't hide it. Bakhtin's emphasis on carnival goes against the idea that literature must be unified. He suggests that major literary works may be multi-leveled and resistant to unification. (41) In his essay, Discourse of the Novel, he states when someone else's ideological discourse is internally persuasive for us and acknowledged by us, entirely different possibilities open up.(43) This is the case with the Wife and Falstaff. They represent the idea that life does not have to be so rigid, it is o.k. to bend the rules a bit. The Wife of Bath and Falstaff are examples of carnivalism, grotesque realism, and authoritative discourse. The characters appear to be larger than life when they are actually only one side of the coin of society. Heads shows society as it is expected to be, tails shows life as it really is. BibliographyRivkin, Julie and Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc, 1998. Thomas, Michael et al. The Complete Anthology of Literary Theories. London: W.W. Norton and Company, 1979. The Effect of Carnivalism on Literature and Society By Monquita Ransom Literary Theory May 5, 2000 Dr. Lavazzi


Words: 600

Canterbury Tales

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales there are twenty-nine plus one characters. Out of the twenty-nine plus one characters two will be compared and contrasted. The Friar and the Miller have some similarities and at the same time some differences. The Friar and the Miller show a few similarities in Canterbury Tales. They are both very strong and able to head butt things without a problem. The Friar was,” strong enough to butt a bruiser down”(94). The Miller was,” Broad, knotty, and short-shouldered”(109)”he would boast he could heave any door off hinge and post, or take a run and break it with his head”(101). The Friar and the Miller both played musical instruments in Canterbury Tales. The both of them also had a way of cheating people out of their money The are also a few differences the Friar and the Miller show. The Friar, for instance, was part of the church; the Miller was not. Also, the Friar has a name, Hubert. The Miller does not have a name. The instrument the Friar plays isn’t the same as the Miller. The Friar,” played the hurdy-gurdy,”(95) and also the harp. The Miller,” He liked to play his bagpipes…”(101) Even though they had ways of cheating people out of their money they had different ways of doing it. . The Friar would hear confessions from the wealthy for a good price and,” The Friar was also the finest beggar of his hatch”(95). The Miller had,” A thumb of gold, by God, to gauge an oat”(101)! The Miller would press down on the weighing scale to make the oat weight more. Therefore making the oat cost more. In Canterbury Tales there are twenty-nine plus one characters. Out of the twenty-nine plus one characters, the Friar and the Miller are compared and contrasted. Out of this comparison and contrasting the outcome showed how the Friar and the Miller are alike and somewhat different. Even though they do some of the same things like cheat innocent people out of their money, they do it in different ways which make them have differences. Words: 347

Caliban's Nature

Caliban’s Nature When looking at Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” one can find an underlying themes of civilization verses barbarism. The characters that are created represent symbols of nature, and their actions build their symbolism. Through the actions we get a view of Shakespeare’s ideas on civilization and the uncivilized, as well of letting the reader form their own opinions. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, after being removed by his brother, arrives on an island. He frees a spirit named Ariel from a spell and in turn makes the spirit his slave. He also enslaves a native monster named Caliban. These two slaves, Caliban and Ariel represent the theme of nature verses nature. Caliban is considered the illustration of the wild, a beast of nature. During the first meeting, Caliban comes across as very savage and immoral. Prospero, when approaching Caliban’s lair, says disdainfully, “...[he] never/Yields us kind answer,” meaning Caliban never responds with respect. Once Prospero reaches the cave he calls out and Caliban harshly retorts, “There’s wood enough within.” This short reply reveals the bitterness he feels from leading his life as a slave. This attitude makes Caliban appear to be an valueless servant. There is also an extreme anger on the part of Caliban towards Prospero. When he is requested to come forward, Caliban answers, “As wicked dew e’er my mother brushed/With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen/Drop on you both!...And blister you all o’er!” Although his actions may be justified they are still considered improper for a servant. Previous to Prospero’s arrival on the island, Caliban was his own ruler. His mother, Sycorax, left the island to him. Regardless, Prospero took charge of the island and imprisoned Caliban. “...Thou strok’st me...I loved thee...” is a portion of a quote that portrays the relationship Caliban felt towards Prospero prior to be enslaved. Prospero was his teacher, he taught Caliban to speak and in return Caliban showed him the island, “The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place and fertile...” Rightfully so Caliban regrets helping Prospero, near the end of his speech he says, “Cursed be I that did so!” Caliban’s imprisonment his why he feels this way. However, the attempted rape of Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, is the direct cause of the enslavement. This crime appeals to the reader as a good cause for punishment, but Shakespeare also illustrates that Caliban deserves sympathy, instead of disgust. Caliban committed a crime that deserved punishment, but he was not raised in society so therefore did not know what he did wrong. The only way of life he knew was to follow and do what he feels. Caliban does not know right from wrong based on society’s standards. Due this aspect there is a degree of sympathy towards Caliban because he is oppressed due to conduct he could not control. Prospero comments, “A devil, a born devil, on whose nature/Nurture can never stick...” which explains why despite the teachings of Prospero, Caliban reacted on his instincts. Caliban is helpless among the civilized because is a way of life he could never fully understand. Even though Caliban is a man of a nature he should not be considered less honorable than any character from civilization. Citizens of society picture nature as ugly and unrefined, so this is how Shakespeare portrays Caliban, as a hideous beast. His appearance is meant to illustrate the immoral animal nature within him. Despite this immorality, Caliban posses purity and innocence, something that no man of society can claim he has. Caliban does not act to please others, rather his own pleasure is top priority. Shakespeare gives Caliban some fine poetry, “...Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not./Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments...” With this quote Caliban states that nature can be equally as charismatic as society. Caliban portrayed as evil, but he is not as soulless as Antonio, Prospero’s brother. Antonio is from the civilized world, yet he produces corruption and ugliness far worse than that of Caliban’s nature. Basically, Caliban behaves disgustingly in the eyes of civilized society. Nevertheless, his background and environment which he grew up in accounts for these actions and justifies them. Shakespeare uses the character of Caliban to represent nature and to show readers that nature is not as bad as it appears to be at face value. Through Caliban readers can gain an understanding of those individuals who were not raised in the same atmospheres we were. With this awareness, a feeling of great sympathy is inflicted on the readers for those who are less fortunate. Shakespeare show that our perception of others is not always an accurate picture.


Words: 767

Bromden And His Changing Mind

Outline Thesis: In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey, Chief Bromden is a character who has to work his way back to being and acting like a real human after so many years of being “dehumanized” (Porter 49) into a machine created by the evil Nurse Ratched. I. Bromden in the beginning A. Dehumanized by Nurse Ratched 1. structured 2. forbids laughing 3. controlling B. The effect that the Nurse and the ward has on Bromden 1. could not smell 2. thinks of himself as little 3. hides in the fog 4. fears everything 5. sees himself as comic 6. hallucinates II. Bromden in progress A. Gives up deaf and dumb B. Great turn - around C. Begins to smell things D. Regains his laugh E. Loosens up III. Bromden at the end A. Bromden escapes B. Bromden is a hero C. McMurphy is death; Bromden strength D. Bromden becomes big IV. Conclusion A. Modern world; machines destroy B. Nurse Ratched the machine C. Modern world is the combine Bromden and his Changing Mind In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Chief Bromden is a character who has to work his way back to being and acting like a real human after so many years of being “dehumanized” (Porter 49) into a machine created by the evil Nurse Ratched. Bromden begins to change as soon as McMurphy tries to get the guys on the ward to open up and Bromden is the one who gets the most out of Mr. McMurphy’s “therapy” (97). Chief Bromden finally beats the evil nurse Miss Ratched by escaping from the institution. So “Broken men - however frightened, beleaguered, splintered, and dehumanized - can be restored to manhood and wholeness” (95). A six foot seven inch Indian named Chief Bromden pretense to be a deaf mute after he watched his father, Chief Tee Ah Millatoona, get ruined by his white wife. Government agents often came to visit his father about his property. The agents would walk right past Bromden like he was not even there. When people stopped reacting to Bromden, he stopped reacting to the people. At the Combine which was the name for the ward, Bromden underwent treatment for his medical condition. The Combine split the patients into two categories, the Acutes and the Chronics. The Acutes were the patients that had the ability to getting better while the Chronics had no chance of getting better because of how serious their medical condition is. In the Combine everybody definitely considers Bromden as a Chronic. While in there and everybody thinking he is a deaf mute, Bromden hear’s information from other peoples conversations that he is not suppose to hear. Throughout the novel Chief Bromden feels small and he is very easily intimidated. Without the help of the newest guy on the ward, Randel Patrick McMurphy, he would of never been able to gain up enough strength to feel good about himself again and escape the ward like he did in the end of the novel. McMurphy helps Bromden tremendously plus everybody else that is on the ward. He guides everybody to be human. McMurphy says Miss Ratched, the Nurse of the Combine, gains her power by making others feel like they have less. She controls everything they do from when they wake up to when they go to bed. McMurphy rebels against Miss Ratched and tries to get the guys on the ward to stand up for themselves too. The patients on the ward are not aloud to laugh loosely according to Miss Ratched. McMurphy says when a man loses his ability to laugh he is not a man anymore. Most of the patients on the ward are dehumanized by Nurse Ratched controlling and orderly attitude. In the novel Bromden shows the most change from McMurphy’s help. Enough change to come back after escaping and retell the story. In the beginning of the novel Bromden was at the point where he was completely dehumanized by Nurse Ratched. Miss. Ratched was the main cause of his dehumanization, but not the start of it. It began is his early childhood with the conflict between his father, the Indian chief, and his white mother that had control over his father. As it says in the Discovering Authors Modules: “Mrs. Bromden was a domineering women who cared little for her husband’s Indian heritage and was instrumental in selling his land to the government.”. Miss Ratched is in a way just like Bromden’s mother. The way his mother wore down his father by making him feel small and little is the same thing Nurse Ratched is doing to Bromden while on the ward (Wallace 8). After Bromden’s father was dehumanized by his wife it is Bromden’s turn, assuming from Discovering Authors Modules that this “novel is a fictionalized account of his childhood experience” (8). If the story Bromden told us about his early childhood background is true and sit is parrallel to the plot of the novel then we can assume that Bromden is going to get dehumanized by Nurse Ratched. So this is how Bromden starts out the novel, dehumanized and feeling smaller and weaker. While Bromden is feeling dehumanized and small Miss Ratched has the ward well structured and running smooth. She has everything running on time and if something is out of place she will fix it right away because to her there is no such thing as unorganized (Kesey 26). As Porter points out, since Miss Ratched is an ex-army nurse she is used to the high demands on order. Her life was always structured and she expects everybody and everything else to be the same way (48). With structure there comes control, because structure is highly unlikely to exist without some sort of control. If there was no control over the patients on the ward then there definitely would be no structure because that is what the patients are there for, a little structure in their lives. Throughout the beginning of the novel Bromden was always complaining that Nurse Ratched has too much control over things. For example, in the novel, Bromden says Nurse Ratched can speed up time or slow down time depending what she wanted to do (Kesey 73). He also says that she is controlling a fog machine when she sits behind the window at her control panel and sometimes it could last hours on end (75). So with all the control she has over the ward the patients really feel pressured to do what ever she says. The one thing that Nurse Ratched has control of that really hurts the Combine is laughter. As Porter says, everybody sees Miss Ratched as a machine and not as a human. They think she is dehumanized herself along with them. To Bromden the tip of each “finger was the same color as her lips. Funny orange. Like the tip of a sodering iron” (Kesey 4) (49). Bromden and all the other patients on the ward are not thought of as human beings. Miss Ratched thinks of them as just objects or pieces of machinery, so she treated them like pieces of machinery. With structure and control a playing a big part in the daily lives of the men on the ward, Miss Ratched does not see how the pressure of her control and wanting a structured environment had an negative mental effect on the patients. Bromden does not have that free laugh. As with McMurphy, Bromden’s “therapist” he had a laugh with no resistance. Porter says, “The inability to laugh therefore is a gauge of the combine’s pressure ...” (97). The patients on the ward never just laugh loosely because they feel the pressure of Nurse Ratched when she is sitting behind the glass window of her office looking at them. With the resistance to laugh Bromden also could not smell the usual things that normal men can smell. All that he could smell was the oil from the machines and the heated machinery (Porter 30). He could not only smell the machines, he often hallucinated allot about them also. Sometimes he would see machines in his room at night when everybody else was asleep. The chief is a “comic character” who literally sees “microphones in the broom handles, wires in the walls, and pernicious devices in the electric shavers” (Wallace 8). Bromden at this point is not human. Leeds says “the Combine, committed as it is to the supremacy of technology over humanity, extends its influence by dehumanizing men and making them machines” (20). The pressure from Nurse Ratched dehumanized Bromden to where now he begins to see and smell things that a normal human being would not. The final effect that Miss Ratched has on Bromden is his fear of everything. Kesey tries to get the reader to notice real quick that they are dealing with a scared and intimidated character. He also wants to produces the impression of a mind that works oddly Kesey opens up the novel with Bromden saying “They’re out there” (3). All these problems that Bromden has comes from Miss Ratched. If she was not so structured and hung up on control Bromden would not be this weak and dehumanized. In order for Bromden to gain his strength back from Nurse Ratched’s dehumanization, he has to overcome her control. One way to break the control is learning how to laugh. When McMurphy and Bromden were up stairs waiting for there shock treatment McMurphy offered Bromden a piece of gum and he took it then started to laugh. Ronald Wallace said in Discovering Authors Modules said “The chief must regain his laugh before he can regain his speech, and his first words to McMurphy when he has stopped laughing are ‘thank you.’ Having recovered his comic sense Bromden recovers his health” (9). At this point Bromden begins to show signs of sanity because he gives up the deaf and dumb role (Fish 17). As soon as Bromden regains his comic sense and gives up his deaf and dumb role everything else seems to fall right in place. He begins to smell things a man should smell. Tanner say’s Bromden begins to smell different odors. “... not until McMurphy came was there ‘the man smell of dust and dirt from open fields, and sweat, and work’(98).” Bromden is determined not to let Nurse Ratched destroy him with her “soul-destroying method” (ken@hotmail.com 1). Bromden recognizes a picture that he never saw on the wards wall of a fisherman on a mountain stream. He begins imagining the smells that the fisherman would smell (31). The things he is smelling now compared to hot oiled machines are more natural and relaxing. Tanner states that “This reawaked sensitivity to the world of nature, his home environment, is a positive sign that Bromden is developing a resistance to the machine world of the hospital.” (32) which means that Bromden is now beginning to resist Nurse Ratched’s control she has over him. Now that Bromden is creating a resistance to Nurse Ratched he is finding out there is more to life than just the institution, and McMurphy tries to show him this by taking some guys on the ward, plus Bromden, on a fishing trip. On their way they stooped at a gas station and two attendants gave McMurphy a hard time about showing up with a bunch of loonies. The patients in the car got depressed because they know what is going on. McMurphy sees in the car that the guys are getting pretty much ashamed for themselves and wanting to say screw it all and go home. From Discovering Authors Modules Ronald Wallace explained that when McMurphy saw this he helps the inmates gain more pride by freighting the attendants. He tells the attendants what the inmates are in for, describing it with great detail hoping to frighten the attendants into thinking they are so nuts they could flip out and kill them any second. “McMurphy gives him the example of standing up to and occasionally beating the apparently all-powerful Combine” (Macky 4712). Between the black boys and the other patience on the ward Bromden gets picked on right in front of his face just as the two attendants picked on them when they were in the car. McMurphy gave him one example of standing up to that kind of punishment. So no matter how much Bromden was dehumanized by all the punishment the Combine had given him, he did not let that ruin his whole life. Even though he was considered a chronic which meant there was no help for him mentally he is improving as a human being from McMurphy’s help. McMurphy is helping Bromden to improve by giving him a little pride for himself. The end of Bromden “therapy” (Porter 97) McMurphy has brought Bromden back to strength again. The guys on the ward were getting checked and cleaned for crabs (Kesey 260). One of the patients on the ward named George was scared to get cleaned by one of the black aids. McMurphy told the aid just to forget about him and move on to the next guy. When the aid refuses McMurphy starts a fight with him. One of the black aids pin McMurphy down to the floor (261). Right now Bromden sees himself in a different light then he did before. He begins seeing this when McMurphy is pinned on the floor by one of the black aids (McCreadie 505). Bromden joins in the fight to help McMurphy defeat the black boys. After more of the aids got the situation under control, McMurphy and Bromden were sent up stairs to receive shock therapy. After the shock therapy McMurphy through a party for the patients just so they would have some fun before he escapes the next morning. When morning came McMurphy forgot to leave because he fell asleep and later on he finds out that one of the patients had killed themselves (Kesey 304). Nurse Ratched blames his death on the whole ward making everybody fell like it was their fault by them playing God (304). McMurphy gets so angry that he breaks down her door and ripped her shirt off so her big breast would be shown (305). Nurse Ratched then orders for McMurphy to have a lobotomy. The next time the patients see McMurphy is when he is brain dead. At this point Bromden is fully back to strength again. It is symbolically represented when Bromden tries to put McMurphy’s hat on and it does not fit because he has grown to full size. Peter Fish said at the end of the book the chief has switched places with McMurphy (17). This means McMurphy is now becoming weak and he is beginning to lose against the Big Nurse while Bromden is making progress. McMurphy ultimately loses against Nurse Ratched when she gave him a lobotomy. When Bromden saw this he felt that since McMurphy helped him out by teaching him to become more of a human being, he would help him out and not let hum sit there in bed for the rest of his life and suffer. So Bromden smothered McMurphy with his own pillow. Ronald Wallace said in Discovering Authors Modules that Bromden is “comic, and he is also a hero. “I kept getting this notion that I wanted to sign the list. And the more he talked about fishing for Chinook salmonthe more I wanted to go. I knew it was a fool thing to want; if I signed up it’d be the same as coming right out and telling everybody I wasn’t deaf. If I’d been hearing all this talk about boats and fishing it’d show I’d been hearing everything else that’d been said in confidence around me for the past ten years. And if the Big Nurse found out about that, that I’d heard all the scheming and treachery that had gone on when she didn’t think anybody was listening, she’d hunt me down with an electric saw, fix me where she knew I was deaf and dumb. Bad as I wanted to go, it still made me smile a little to think about it: I had to keep on acting deaf if I wanted to hear at all“ (Kesey 197). The quote from the novel above proves since Bromden has written the novel, it is Bromden himself who exposes his own comedy. The plot traces Bromdens growth toward the kind of comic perspective that enables him to write such a novel. When he can turn the combine into a comedy, he has defeated it.” In the novel during the fishing trip Bromden wanted to go, but he had no way of signing up because he did not want to give up his deaf and dumb role. Bromden learns to look at his life as a “comic fiction” and then to “transform that fiction into art.” After Bromden had smothered McMurphy he lifted the control panel which McMurphy tried to lift previously in story. When he picks up the control panel he is overcoming the control that the ward had on him. He is taking all that control they had over him for so many years and he is throwing it out of the window. When Bromden escapes he does not see the dog that has always been around the window, but only the footsteps. Leeds explains that when Bromden escapes, he is associated with the geese that were flying overhead. The dog that was not there, but only the footsteps was associated with McMurphy. He says this means that when Bromden escapes he is really flying over the cuckoo’s nest following in McMurphy’s footsteps (29). So by the end of the story it is evident that Bromden did overcome the control, gained his strength, and returned to his true size. From when McMurphy arrives at the Combine, to when Bromden makes his escape he is changing all the time. He is changing for the better. He started out as a machine that just respond to stimuli in the ward, then he slowly progressed until he had enough strength to make his escape. Bromden defines the combine as a modal of the world. Miss Ratched wants to robotize the men in the ward so when they leave they are an example to society (Leeds 20). So no matter how bad Bromden got dehumanized he succeeded to come back strong. “In the modern world, machines destroy nature, efficiency comes before beauty and robot-like cooperation is more valued then the individual freedom” (15). This is the same thing Nurse Ratched is trying to do to the Combine. She wants everything to run how it is suppose to first, then if there is free time that comes last. People today are the same way. They want everything to run perfect with no error. That is why people now build robots to do the work for us because they realized that people aren’t perfect. Now since the robots are now getting all the jobs allot of people are out of work which means they are now low on money. Without money you can’t do anything in this world because nothing is for free.



Words: 3226

Brave New World

The ideas presented in Huxley’s Brave New World are expressed as fundamental principles of utopia, which could be achieved by classism. However, living in a so-called “utopia,” comes with a price. In this society, every being’s destiny is planned out while they are still in their bottles. Depending on their caste, each person has his or her clearly defined role. Community, Identity and Stability is the motto and prime goal of Huxley’s “utopia.” This goal can only be achieved by having a society divided into five caste social groups, because in such a society it is easier to maintain overall control of the people. Classism is the key to achieving the three goals of “utopia,” because it helps the world controllers have control and power over the people. Every society needs individuals with different talents and capabilities to perform different functions. The class system makes it easier for the world controllers to categorize the people they create. That way, the society isn’t lacking any talents. Mr. Foster said, “I’m working on a wonderful Delta-Minus ovary at this moment.” (6) Due to classism, the “creators” know what kind of people are necessary to fulfill the particular needs of the time. They even have control over how people in each caste think. The director was talking about Deltas when he said, “They’ll grow up with what psychologists used to call and ‘instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers.” (18) Classism is a way of organizing and keeping track of people so that the world controllers are in charge of achieving utopia. The new world maintains community by enforcing classism because each person belongs to a certain caste, which is their community. The lives of the people are organized in a way so that a person is almost never alone. The World State’s motto emphasizes the importance of the group and the subsequent unimportance of the individual. Community stresses the importance attached to the individual as a contributor to society. “Everyone works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons.” (66) This way, the Alpha community is no more important that the Epsilon community. Reference is made to the contribution the individual makes even after death. “Now they recover over ninety-eight percent of it [Phosphorus]. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse. Fine to think that we can go on being socially useful even after death. Making plants grow…” (65) The body is cremated and the phosphorus is obtained equally from every class, thus making each caste equally important. Therefore, a class system provides an organized way of insuring that everyone belongs and is useful to a community in this “perfect” world. Identity is in large part the result of having the ability to create different castes due to genetic engineering. A particular character is often spoken of as a Beta or an Alpha, as a means of identification. People’s castes can also be identified by their job. Alphas invariably rule and Epsilons invariably toil. “ ‘Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines,’ the director ‘s voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm.” (5) From this quote it can be concluded that the director has intelligence and must be an Alpha, while the workers must be either Deltas, Gammas, Epsilons or Morons. If the quote mentioned what kind of uniforms the workers were wearing, one could determine exactly what caste they belonged to. “Eight-month-old babies all exactly alike (a Bokanovsky group, it was evident) and all (since their caste was Delta) dressed in khaki.” (17) Castes are also distinguished by their uniforms. Although there are different ways of identifying people in the society, the true identity is determined by the class they belonged to. Stability means minimizing conflict and classism ensures that people in each caste are conditioned the same, because that way they could understand each other and conflict would be avoided. Since the individuals (according to their caste) had been conditioned physically and psychologically to perform specific tasks, they functioned happily in that capacity. “I’m so glad I am a Beta. Alpha children work much harder than we do because they’re so frightfully clever. I am really awfully glad I’m Beta because I don’t work as hard.” (24) Conditioning definitely programs people of each caste to be in the same state of mind. Since people are the same, they are less likely to argue. “ ‘Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!’ Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole small factory staffed with the products of a single Bokanovsky egg.” (5) The workers will all be compatible, since they are from the same caste, which would provide a happy environment and a stable society. The aim of the “perfect” World State is to have Community, Identity and Stability, and the caste system provides an ordered way of going about reaching that goal. A class system gives the controllers power over the people. It ensures that everyone belongs to a community. It guarantees an important identity for everyone. Finally, it reduces conflict among people and therefore creates a stable society. Reaching these goals should result in “happy people” and a true “utopia.” However, after reading Brave New World, one realizes that the book gives happiness and utopia a bad name! BibliographyI am in grade 12. I live in Canada. I hope this essay is useful!



Words: 885

Bradstreet Feminism

As a female in a highly patriarchal society, Anne Bradstreet uses the reverse psychology technique to prove the point of her belief of unfair and unequal treatment of women in her community. Women who wrote stepped outside their appropriate sphere, and those who actually published their work frequently faced social censure. Compounding this social pressure, many women faced crushing workloads and struggled with lack of leisure for writing. Others suffered from an unequal access to education, while others were dealing with the sense of intellectual inferiority offered to them from virtually every authoritative voice, that voice usually being male. Bradstreet was raised in an influential family, receiving an extensive education with access to private tutors and the Earl of Lincoln's large library. She was part of an influential family who encouraged her writing and circulated it in manuscript with pride. That kind of private support did much to offset the possibility of public disapproval. Bradstreet believed that women in her society were treated unfairly, and that gender should be insignificant. In her Prologue she addresses conflict and struggle, expressing her opinion toward women's rights, implying that gender is unimportant and male dominance is wrong. Bradstreet asserts the rights of women to learning and expression of thought, addressing broad and universal themes. The Prologue has a humble tone with slightly hidden surprises, containing a muted declaration of independence from the past and a challenge to male authority. Bradstreet also uses a rather apologetic tone to draw in the reader so that they will form an interest in her writing despite her gender. In the beginning she refers to wars, captains, and epics, written specifically by male writers, worrying that her poems will shame the art of poetry. Continuing her self-demotion with an apologetic tone she talks about the Great Bartas, admiring his works, and sarcastically admitting that she will never be as talented as he is. The sarcastic tone of these lines cause the typical reader to reconsider that maybe women are not as bad as she portrays them to be, which is exactly what she has schemed for the reader to think. Continuing, Bradstreet mentions regret for her lack of skill, in which she laments the fact that A weak or wounded brain admits no cure (stanza 4, line 24). As the reading progresses, she discusses the prejudice against women, knowing that if she expresses her true feelings, no one will look at her poem. Stanza 5, lines 25-30 implies that she despises anyone who thinks that women are better as housewives, and that if their work proves well, men will say it is stolen or is by chance, explaining unfair treatment of women. Following, she mentions the Greeks as appreciative of women, blaming the current society for the manipulation of women. She laments that the Greeks had fewer arguments on women's rights and were more peaceful, contrasting it with the current values of society, namely that the Greeks are wrong and women are inferior. Bradstreet uses sarcasm to express her emotions toward the male dominant society, saying that men are eternally correct, and women are inferior to them. She sarcastically says that men are better than women, implying the exact opposite, that women are in fact, equal in ability. She ends by stating that she does not think her work is worth a critic's time, telling us that although she thinks women are not inferior, she cannot do anything about it, and that her works making men's glist'ring gold [work] but more to shine. Bradstreet was a very gifted and talented poet, recording early stirrings of female resistance to a social and religious system that was prevalent at the time. She used different tones, moods, and sarcasm to bring her poetry to life, giving a vivid, clearly worded image of what she wants her reader to know, a strikingly radical notion that her writing could be as competent as any male's. Although much of her work was conventional puritan poetry, it shows a sensitivity to beauty that male writers of the time lacked.



Words: 674

Banning Te Novel Huck Finn From School Reading Lists

Banning te novel Huck Finn from school reading lists My essay deals with banning the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from high school reading lists, and why this behavior is inappropriate. Specifically, it addresses the following question: Columnist James J. Kilpatrick wrote that Huck Finn is a fun book for white boys to read… For black children, I have come to realize, it is a brutal slap in the face. He condemns the book because of its use of the word nigger. Many school districts have banned this book for the same reason. What are your views on this subject? Since the Civil War, racism has been a very delicate issue with the American public. Whereas some people have tried to transgress this issue, pretending that race no longer plays a significant role in our country, other people still believe that there are serious racial dilemmas in the United States. I am one these people. However, unlike some, I do not believe this problem can be solved by avoiding or sugarcoating the issue of race, as James L. Kilpatrick and several schools appear to be doing. In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain presents an adventure story filled with deeper meanings and controversial topics, two in particular being slavery and racism. Despite the usage of the word nigger and the stereotypical portrayal of African Americans, I do not think schools have any justification in banning this book from reading lists. Mark Twain wrote Huck Finn during the Reconstruction period in the south, at a time when most Americans wanted to forget all about the institution of slavery and its consequences. However, Twain set the time period of this novel prior to the Civil War when slavery was at its peak. Thus, the racist views he included in the book mirrored the attitudes of most southerners during this time. Those that say that Huck Finn is inappropriate to be read in schools are in effect saying that a portion of United States history should not be taught in the classroom. Although slavery was one of the most horrific periods in our countries history, to make sure nothing of its caliber ever occurs again, we must make sure every high school student is aware of the ramifications of such practices. By banning an important work in U.S. history, these schools are ignoring the racial sentiments of this time period simply because the language in Huck Finn may not be appropriate. In addition, reading this novel hopefully invokes in people a sense of shame for the mistakes of our ancestors. Though the novel’s language may offend some, it is Africans Americans and Caucasians alike who are offended. Nobody likes to look at the word nigger nor hear it used, however, we must accept that this word was at one time considered appropriate language. Reading the novel, I was repulsed by this word and my stomach churned as I read about the ignorance and hate stored within the hearts of characters. However, I enjoyed reading this novel and gained a new perspective of life prior to the Civil War. I think that when schools ban the novel Huck Finn from their curriculum that they are in effect failing their students. Huck Finn is an excellent piece of literature, rich with history, description, and unique perspectives. By not allowing this book to be read in schools is like shutting students out from a valuable learning experience. Yes, they can still read the novel in their spare time, but they are not afforded the privilege to discuss this book openly in class or gain new perspectives into its meaning. In addition, when African Americans refuse to read this novel they are depriving themselves of a experiencing a brilliant piece of literature. I think that until you try something, you can’t attack it, or else you are showing your ignorance and stubborn nature. Twain did not write this novel to belittle the African American race or to promote the institution of slavery. Twain wrote this novel to depict life in the South prior to the Civil War. Along with this depiction are the bias and racist attitudes prevalent in South at this time. For all those school administrators who say that the language and ideology of Twain’s writing is offensive, well, maybe Twain wanted to offend people with this novel. Maybe he wanted to offend them so much that they would come to the realization that individuals should not conform to society’s standards, one of these standards being slavery. Until someone is offended, status quo doesn’t change. Maybe it’s about time that we remove the blindfold from our nation’s youth and stop trying to be politically correct. Maybe it’s about time that kids are exposed to the true horror of racism and prejudice so to detour them from repeating fatal mistakes. High school students are neither na├»ve nor stupid; they can handle the contents of this novel, and hopefully, learn from Twain’s messages.


Words: 828

Away

KRISTY HEWITT 11B “AWAY” ANALYTICAL ESSAY Throughout “Away” many characters go through changes, Gwen changes from a nagging housewife into a sympathetic and more balanced individual. Roy goes from being very insecure about life to knowing how to deal with his problems and live life as it comes. Coral, is also very insecure about life after the death of her son, she is longing for attention and doesn’t know how to be around people. By the end of the play she is at least trying to be social and be around people. At the beginning of the play Gwen is a nagging housewife. She is always right, well she thinks she is anyway. She changes into a more sympathetic and balanced individual. Vic has showed her to put love, not possessions and status, first. She was obsessed with orderliness and comfort because of her deprived childhood. This has ruined her relationships with her husband and Daughter. Towards the end of the play Gwen hears of Tom’s illness (Leukemia) this turns her towards more humane and fitting values. Gwen at the Beginning: Act 2 Scene 2 “Well do you think they’ll pack themselves?” “Do you think holidays happen on their own?” to Gwen at the end: Act 4 Scene 1 “What do you think of me? You must hate me? Why do you still bother?” Roy goes from being in complete denial as he lost his son in the Vietnam War to being a little more caring and understanding toward others. He doesn’t talk to his wife Coral very much except to patronize her and give her lectures about “snapping out of it” his insensitivity extends Coral Grief period beyond what it need be. He threatens her with Electro-compulsive therapy (a physical horror to follow her mental one.) This forces Coral into total isolation and to run away. By the end of the play Roy is seeking for forgiveness, as well as love and reconciliation from Coral. (When he kisses her hands.) Roy at the Beginning: Act1 Scene 3 “ I thought I told you to stay in the car!” to Roy at the end: Act 3 Scene 3 “ Coral? Sweetheart? Come back to the party.” Coral was deep in grief at the beginning of the play, her worldview was distorted by the pain she can not escape. Her husband Roy is of little help, so she turned to others in hope of their willingness to help. The substitute son Rick and to some extent Tom. The play “The stranger on the shore” helps express her predicament and the taking of belief in life that she has found. In the end she is finally reunited with Roy and this changes her life. She begins to over her grief and live life as it comes. Coral at the start: Act 2 Scene 3 “I don’t ignore anyone.” To Coral at the end: Act 3 Scene 3 “ I like to talk.” Everyone goes through changes thoughout their lives some are noticeable and some are not so noticeable. Some changes are drastic and some are only minor. You can never know when someone will change it just happens. We all change at different stages of our lives.


Words: 536

Aristotle's Poetics

From POETICS Aristotle’s Poetics is considered the first work of literary criticism in our tradition. The couple of pages in the book mainly describe tragedy from Aristotle’s point of view. He defines tragedy as being an imitation of an action that is a whole and complete in itself and of a certain magnitude. Aristotle also points out terms such as catharsis, which can be said that is the purification of one’s soul. He argues in his Poetics that catharsis is achieved through emotions of pity or fear, which is created in the audience as they witness the tragedy of a character who suffers unjustly, but is not entirely innocent. Then he moves on to describing the main elements of tragedy. Such elements are: plot, character, language, thought, spectacle, and melody. Then he classifies these in three parts, the media, the manner and the objects. The language and melody constitute the “media”, in which they effect the imitation. Then there is the spectacle, which is the “manner”, and the remaining three, the plot, character and thought are the “objects” that are imitated. Aristotle considers the plot to be the most important of these elements. He describes the plot as not being a unity revolving around one man. Instead, he states that many things happen to one man, which may not always go together, to form a unity. At the same time, he says that among the actions that a character performs there are many that may be irrelevant to one another, but yet they form a unified action. Aristotle continues depicting the plot categorizing it in two manners: simple and complex. In a simple plot, a change of fortune takes place without a reversal or recognition. In contrast, in a complex plot, the change of fortune involves recognition or a reversal or both. To understand these ideas better he defines reversal and recognition for us. Reversal or peripety is a change from one circumstance to its exact opposite. Recognition, is a change from ignorance to knowledge leading either to friendship or hostility depending on whether the character is marked with good fortune or bad. There is a phrase used by Aristotle in Poetics, “from the machine,” which is basically any implausible way of solving complications of the plot. An example would be when Medea escapes from Corinth. She’s solving her situation by escaping in her magic chariot. This “from the machine” phrase should be employed only for events external to the drama, which lie beyond the range of human knowledge, and which require to be reported or foretold. Lastly, Aristotle explains the importance of the chorus in a tragedy. According to him, it should be regarded as one of the actors. Therefore, the chorus should be integrated into performance and be considered as part of the whole.


Words: 467

Arcadia

Throughout the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard there is a distinct difference between the characters who have a science background and those who do not. One of the recurring themes is that those characters and actions of those characters which are against science often lead to conflict and disaster. Even those characters that are of logical thinking for the most part are prone to disaster when they let go of this rational thinking and give in to their irrational side. Bernard is a main character who is not a scientist and has basically no scientific background. From the moment he is introduced, he is portrayed as eccentric and odd. Here Bernard is described for the first time: “Bernard, the visitor, wears a suit and tie. His tendency is to dress flamboyantly but he has damped it down for the occasion, slightly. A peacock-coloured display handkerchief boils over is his breast pocket.” (73) The term flamboyant refers to his ornate and rather bold outfit and personality. He is dressed differently than most other characters and behaves much different as well. He is as well one of the most irrational characters of the play. Bernard and his constant need to be successful and famous lead him to disaster. Throughout the play he acts with little regard to the truth. He rarely looks to proof when coming up with ideas and theories. He feels that if there is the slightest proof that he is correct then he is able to tell everyone it is the truth. He completely disregards the logical way of thinking that theories can be proven wrong. He never takes the time to see if his theories can be proven wrong. Here Hannah shows her dismay with Bernard’s irrational behavior: “You haven’t established it was fought. You haven’t established it was Byron. For God’s sake, Bernard, you haven’t established Byron was even there.” (50) Hannah tries to tell Bernard that he hasn’t discovered enough evidence to publish his theory. Bernard although believes she is incorrect. He feels that all you need is your own instincts to lead you to the truth. Bernard displays this here: “By which I mean belief in yourself. Gut instinct. The part of you which doesn’t reason. The certainty for which there is no back-reference.” (50) Bernard is responding the quote by Hannah above. Here Bernard is exemplifying perfectly his idea about how his theories are founded. He uses the words “gut instinct” and “certainty for which there is not back” which shows how he doesn’t need hard evidence to prove things. He feels his own personal view is enough to make something real. He has no concept of the regular, logical format of backing up theories with evidence. Instead he relies on nothing but himself. And no matter how irrational his ideas are his feeling is that if your gut tells you it’s the truth then you should go with it. He also refers to his way of thinking as “the part of you which doesn’t reason” showing how irrational he really is. He’s admitting that sometimes no reasoning is needed in proving something. To most this seems completely foreign and quite illogical. Bernard, although, finds this to be the normal way of thinking. Later in the play Bernard is shown once again to be completely irrational. After Bernard makes his argument that Mr. Chater was killed in a duel with Lord Byron and this was the reason Byron left. Hannah reacts to this theory by saying, “Bernard, I don’t know why I’m bothering-you’re arrogant, greedy, and reckless. You’ve gone from a glint in your eye to a sure thing in a hop, skip, and a jump.” (59) Hannah reveals her disapproval of Bernard’s attitude and aggressive approach to everything. His attitude is described as “ arrogant and reckless,” proving how little regard for logic he has. She also says, “You’ve left out everything which doesn’t fit.” (59) Hannah describes how Bernard has chosen only information which has helped his case and left all other out. She is saying that Bernard ignores the information which disproves his theory and only focuses on that which does prove it. This is completely unscientific and illogical if you want to have limited doubt in your theory. Also in this scene Valentine shares his opinion, “Actually, Bernard, as a scientist, your theory is incomplete.” (59) Valentine, the main character who has a large scientific background, also states that Bernard does not have enough evidence to proceed in publishing his theory. Valentine tries to tell Bernard that although he does have some evidence that he does not have nearly enough to proceed in publishing. Despite the advice of others Bernard decides to precede with this theory and publish it no matter now much evidence might be out there to prove it wrong. This decision proves to be a big mistake. It is proven wrong just days after it is published. Not only was he proven wrong but it was proven wrong by science as well. It was discovered that Chater did not die in a dual but of a monkey bit in Martinique. Bernard’s haste to be famous caused him to make a mistake which could not be erased. His purposeful carelessness and irrational behavior cost him his credibility forever. Thomasina is another character that shows the dangers of becoming irrational and illogical. Thomasina is 13 years old when the play begins. She is a brilliant young woman especially in the field of mathematics and science. Most of her time is spent working on different problems and theories with her tutor Septimus Hodge. For the most part she is purely scientific with little knowledge of the irrational world. She bases her thoughts and ideas on logical and plausible evidence. She is constantly using logic and other techniques to prove various solutions to theories. She never concludes anything without an explanation. She wasn’t interested in love and didn’t want to study anything that didn’t pertain to mathematics. Septimus asks Thomasina why she hates Cleopatra and her response is, “Everything is turned to love with her. New love, absent love, lost love-I never knew a heroine that makes such noodles of our sex.” (38) Here Thomasina proves how she dislikes those which deal too much with love and emotion. She feels there is more satisfaction in mathematics and science. Towards the end of the play and especially in the last scene Thomasina gives in to her romantic and irrational side. In the last scene Thomasina and Septimus are talking about her theory of how the world is doomed and then they begin to waltz. This shows the mixture of science and pleasure and at the same time rational and irrational thinking. In the beginning they are rationally talking about Thomasina’s theory but by the end they are acting impulsively waltzing and even kissing. This scene we know precedes her death. We learned earlier that she died that night before her seventeenth birthday in a fire. In this scene we get an idea of why the fire started. Thomasina truly gives herself up to irrational behavior. Her self-control is lost and lets herself become the opposite of what she was determined in the beginning to be. This scene give an idea of why an explanation why never found on her theory. “ Take your essay, I have given it an alpha in blind faith. Be careful with the flame.” (96) This suggests that the essay, which could possibly have contained her explanation, was the cause of the fire which took her life. When Thomasina became reckless with her emotions she was doomed. For the most part, Thomasina has always been logical and once she became irrational it turned into a disaster that could never be reversed. Science was the root of the disaster as well. Her essay, which was filled with her scientific explanation, was what in the end what caused her death. It can be suggested that because she deviated from her usual rational behavior that the tragedy occurred. In the play Arcadia there is a distinct split between those characters that act rationally and those who do not. For the most part this split can be seen on the basis of scientific background of each character. Those characters with little science knowledge act more irrationally and those with science background act rationally. It even showed how those characters that usually act rationally can those that rationality with the lose of science.


Words: 1411

Aquarium Set Up

Setting up an aquarium This is a step-by–step instruction for setting up an aquarium. We will discuss pertinent topics such as location, purpose, and setup. There are a several items you will need for your aquarium. I recommend at least a 20-gallon aquarium to start, but the size is up to you. You will need an undergravel filter, gravel (1.5 pounds per gallon). One to two powerheads depending on the size of your aquarium, a heater, stand, and an aquarium hood with light. The first thing you must think about is location. Find a spot that will make the aquarium stand out in the room. Try to keep your aquarium away from windows that receive a lot of sunlight. Too much sunlight throughout the day may create an over abundance of algae in the aquarium. Once you find the right location set up the stand and make sure it is level. You also need to decide what purpose the aquarium is going to serve. Will it be for entertainment? Do you want it to be a living picture? Is it for educational purposes? You will need to know this for the type of fish and filtration system you will need. Before you start to set-up the aquarium or do anything else, you must wash out the aquarium, gravel, and all other equipment being used in the aquarium with regular tap water. After washing place the aquarium on the stand and assemble the undergravel filter. If you look on the box that it came in, it will tell you how to put the filter together. Place the filter on the bottom of the tank and insert the enclosed lift tubes. Once that is done you are ready to start putting in the gravel. Try not to pour all of it in at once, take your time. After all the gravel is put in, smooth it out so that you can have a level surface to put decorations on later. The power heads will go in next. They will be used to direct the water flow in the aquarium by circulating the water through the gravel. Place the powerheads on top of the lift tubes. Make sure you put the suction cups on the powerheads and secure them to the glass on the side of the aquarium. Once all of this is done it is time to add the heater. The heater should be placed in an area where the water will be circulating the most. I always place them in a corner; this is where most currents are the best. The temperature should be around 78-83o F for most fish. Ask your pet store what is the best temperature for the type of fish you will be buying. Do not plug in your heater for about an hour after you have filled up your aquarium with water. Doing so may cause the heater to shatter since the glass is not at the same temperature as the water. Your set-up is almost complete. Now you may start adding water. Place a bowl on the gravel and pour the water into the bowl. This will stop the rock from being pushed around during fill up. Fill up your aquarium till the water level is around two inches from the top. The reason for stopping two inches short is if you add a large rock as a hiding place for the fish, it will take up a lot of the space. Too much space displaced will push the water level up over the sides. Now is the time you want to add any decorations. Now that the aquarium is full of water, plug in your powerheads and add some dechlorinating solution in the water. The rule for dechlorinating solution is one teaspoon for every 10 gallons of water. It is probably still not time to plug in your heater. The last thing you will do is place the aquarium hood on the aquarium. Now you may add your fish. Do not go out and buy a dozen “fish” and throw them all in at once. Start off with two or three fish of a compatible type or same type of inexpensive fish. For now we must seed the aquarium with bacteria. Bacteria is what makes your undergravel filter work by disposing of all waste. After a month you will notice the tank getting cloudy. This is a sign that the bacteria are blooming, which is what we want. Some of the fish dying during this period is normal, remember we bought inexpensive fish. Replace the fish and continue. After another month has passed, you may start to add more fish, two or three fish a week is fine. There are a lot of rules on how many fish you should place in your aquarium. Most people follow the one-inch fish per gallon rule, which is a good rule to follow. But I suggest you do your own research for the type of fish you have and see how they like to live. If you take care of your aquarium and practice a good maintenance regimen, you will be able to enjoy your aquarium for many years to come. Good luck and I hope your aquarium brings you as much happiness as mine does.


Words: 879

Aquarium Set Up

Setting up an aquarium This is a step-by–step instruction for setting up an aquarium. We will discuss pertinent topics such as location, purpose, and setup. There are a several items you will need for your aquarium. I recommend at least a 20-gallon aquarium to start, but the size is up to you. You will need an undergravel filter, gravel (1.5 pounds per gallon). One to two powerheads depending on the size of your aquarium, a heater, stand, and an aquarium hood with light. The first thing you must think about is location. Find a spot that will make the aquarium stand out in the room. Try to keep your aquarium away from windows that receive a lot of sunlight. Too much sunlight throughout the day may create an over abundance of algae in the aquarium. Once you find the right location set up the stand and make sure it is level. You also need to decide what purpose the aquarium is going to serve. Will it be for entertainment? Do you want it to be a living picture? Is it for educational purposes? You will need to know this for the type of fish and filtration system you will need. Before you start to set-up the aquarium or do anything else, you must wash out the aquarium, gravel, and all other equipment being used in the aquarium with regular tap water. After washing place the aquarium on the stand and assemble the undergravel filter. If you look on the box that it came in, it will tell you how to put the filter together. Place the filter on the bottom of the tank and insert the enclosed lift tubes. Once that is done you are ready to start putting in the gravel. Try not to pour all of it in at once, take your time. After all the gravel is put in, smooth it out so that you can have a level surface to put decorations on later. The power heads will go in next. They will be used to direct the water flow in the aquarium by circulating the water through the gravel. Place the powerheads on top of the lift tubes. Make sure you put the suction cups on the powerheads and secure them to the glass on the side of the aquarium. Once all of this is done it is time to add the heater. The heater should be placed in an area where the water will be circulating the most. I always place them in a corner; this is where most currents are the best. The temperature should be around 78-83o F for most fish. Ask your pet store what is the best temperature for the type of fish you will be buying. Do not plug in your heater for about an hour after you have filled up your aquarium with water. Doing so may cause the heater to shatter since the glass is not at the same temperature as the water. Your set-up is almost complete. Now you may start adding water. Place a bowl on the gravel and pour the water into the bowl. This will stop the rock from being pushed around during fill up. Fill up your aquarium till the water level is around two inches from the top. The reason for stopping two inches short is if you add a large rock as a hiding place for the fish, it will take up a lot of the space. Too much space displaced will push the water level up over the sides. Now is the time you want to add any decorations. Now that the aquarium is full of water, plug in your powerheads and add some dechlorinating solution in the water. The rule for dechlorinating solution is one teaspoon for every 10 gallons of water. It is probably still not time to plug in your heater. The last thing you will do is place the aquarium hood on the aquarium. Now you may add your fish. Do not go out and buy a dozen “fish” and throw them all in at once. Start off with two or three fish of a compatible type or same type of inexpensive fish. For now we must seed the aquarium with bacteria. Bacteria is what makes your undergravel filter work by disposing of all waste. After a month you will notice the tank getting cloudy. This is a sign that the bacteria are blooming, which is what we want. Some of the fish dying during this period is normal, remember we bought inexpensive fish. Replace the fish and continue. After another month has passed, you may start to add more fish, two or three fish a week is fine. There are a lot of rules on how many fish you should place in your aquarium. Most people follow the one-inch fish per gallon rule, which is a good rule to follow. But I suggest you do your own research for the type of fish you have and see how they like to live. If you take care of your aquarium and practice a good maintenance regimen, you will be able to enjoy your aquarium for many years to come. Good luck and I hope your aquarium brings you as much happiness as mine does.


Words: 879

Animal Farm

The main purpose of satire is to attack, and intensely criticise the target subject. This is superbly carried out in the classic piece of satire, Animal Farm. The main targets at the brunt of this political satire are the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and the leaders involved in it. George Orwell successfully condemns these targets through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and allegory. The immediate object of attack in Orwell's political satire is the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The events narrated in Animal Farm obviously and continuously refer to events in another story, the history of the Russian Revolution. In other words, Animal Farm is not only a charming fable (A Fairy Story, as Orwell playfully subtitles it) and a bitter political satire; it is also an allegory. The main target of this allegory is Stalin, represented by Napoleon the pig. He represents the human frailties of any revolution. Orwell believed that although socialism is a good ideal, it could never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. For example, although Napoleon seems at first to be a good leader, he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Of course Stalin did too in Russia, leaving the original equality of socialism behind, giving him all the power and living in luxury while the common pheasant suffered. Orwell explains: “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer - except of course for the pigs and the dogs.” The perennial topic of satire is to point out the frailties of the human condition, and this is one of Orwell’s central themes in Animal Farm . That it’s not necessarily the system that is corrupt or faulty, but the individuals in power. Old Major, with all his good intentions, took no note of the crucial fact: whilst his ideals were sound and moral, corrupt individuals found ways and opportunities to exploit those ideals to suit their own purposes. So Orwell successfully points out the frailties of his satirical targets by using the satirical technique of the allegory. Another main satirical technique used to condemn these targets is the use of fable, or storytelling. A fable is a story, usually having a moral – in which beasts talk and act like men and women. Orwell’s characters are both animal and human. The pigs, for example eat mash – real pig food – but with milk in it that they have grabbed and persuaded the other animals to let them keep (a human action). The dogs growl and bite the way real dogs do--but to support Napoleon's drive for political power. Orwell never forgets this delicate balance between how real animals actually behave and what human qualities his animals are supposed to represent. Let’s just say Orwell hadn’t used the technique of storytelling, and had painted an objective picture of the evils he describes. The real picture would probably be very depressing and extremely boring. So instead, he offers us a travesty of the situation. The primary reason for this abstraction was to move readers from the concrete reality. So whilst entertaining us through a fantastic setting, he provides us reader with a critical vision towards his targets. It is written for entertainment, but contains sharp and telling comments on the Russian revolution and it’s leaders, offering `imaginary gardens with real toads in them'. Part of the fable's humorous charm lies in the simplicity with which the characters are drawn. Each animal character is a type, with one human trait, or two at most--traits usually associated with that particular kind of animal. Using animals as types is also Orwell's way of keeping his hatred and anger against exploiters under control. Instead of crying, All political bosses are vicious pigs! he keeps his sense of humour by reporting calmly: In future, all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs. The story of Animal Farm is told in a simple, straightforward style. The sentences are often short and spare: Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. It was a bitter winter. The story follows a single line of action, calmly told, with no digressions. Orwell's style, said one critic, has relentless simplicity and pathetic doggedness of the animals themselves. There is a kind of tension in Animal Farm between the sad story the author has to tell and the lucid, almost light way he tells it. This is very ironic, because the content of the story is so very different from the style. You are expecting the story to be like every other fable you’ve read. Complete with cute characters, predictable plotline, and happy ending. But because of the nature of the content in Animal farm, the content is completely incongruent to the style. Another irony that occurs in Animal Farm is when pig becomes man. In that Old Major at the beginning assumes that man is the only enemy of the animals. He emphasises that animals must never imitate man, especially his vices. Gradually in their life-style and their indifference to the animals, the pigs exploit the animals much more than Jones ever did. This irony particularly depicts how low the pigs had actually become, and how Stalin had made things much worse than it had originally been under the Czar’s rule. This further enhances the satirical aim of condemning the target. Through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and allegory, George Orwell paints a vivid picture of the evils in Stalinist Russia in his book Animal Farm. He is very effective in doing so and condemns his targets through every thread of his book including the characters, the themes, and even the style. He does so simply, yet poignantly, and is very successful in achieving the satirical aim of condemning his targets.

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Andrew Jackson

Guardians of Freedom? The first and truest ideals of democracy were embodied in the political ideas of Andrew Jackson and the Jacksonian democrats. Calling themselves the guardians of the United States Constitution, the Jacksonian politicians engendered wide spread liberty under a government which represented all men, rather than only the upper class. While some policies under the democrats had evident flaws, they were, for the most part, eager social reformers who strived to put the power of government into the hands of the common citizens. The convictions and ideals of the Jacksonian Democrats can be best illustrated through a passage written by George Henry Evans. Evans was an editor with strong democratic principles who created “The Working Men’s Declaration of Independence” (Doc. A). Within the declaration, Evans stresses the importance of establishing democracy. He uses words and phrases from Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” to clarify his points and stress his convictions. Stating the absolute “necessity of the organization of the party,” Evans explains that it will be possible to prevent the upper class from subverting the “indefeasible and fundamental privilege” of liberty. And finally, Evans states that it is the common citizen’s right to use every constitutional means necessary to “reform the abuses” and “provide new guards for future security.” In doing so, he documented the characteristic attitude of the majority of the country in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Evans was only one of the many Jacksonian democrats to contribute to the success of the party and to the reforms that they made. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s opinion in the Supreme Court Case of Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge was a capitalist decision which was a typical response for a Jacksonian democrat (Doc. H). This decision stated that while the Charter of 1785 allowed the Charles River Bridge to be constructed, it did not prohibit any other bridges from being constructed. Therefore, Taney decided that the capitalistic competition would be healthy for the economy of the regions along the Charles River. In doing this, Taney was eliminating the monopolies of the elite and creating equal economic opportunities for all citizens. As a result, Taney contributed to one of the major achievements of the Jacksonian Democrats - to create economic equality. The President of the United States of America and leader of the Democratic party, Andrew Jackson, was perhaps the most outspoken democrat of the time. He used his position as leader of the country to give more power to the common man. Even before his election as president, he succeeded in having the property qualification eliminated, therefore, increasing the voting population tremendously. Jackson became the first president truly elected by the common man, rather than only high society. For the first time in the history of the nation, the middle class received the opportunity to participate in the government that ruled them. Jackson did not stop with the reformation of the election process. Instead, he attacked the Bank of the United States and vetoed the re-charter for the institution. President Jackson explained that the bank’s stock was held by only foreigners and a few hundred rich American citizens. As a result, the bank maintained an “exclusive privilege of banking...” - “a monopoly” (Doc. B). The Democrats believed the bank to be a tool of rich oppression and a dangerous institution because the men in power were of the highest class and utterly “irresponsible to the people.” So, President Jackson vetoed the re-charter and it was closed. The money was dispersed into several state banks and the monopoly was disintegrated. Indeed, the Democrats succeeded in creating a new government for the rule of a society of middle class citizens. And, the middle class began to prosper under the struggle for economic equality. Visiting the United States in 1834, Harriet Martineau reported the prosperity of the country (Doc. D). She discovered “the absence of poverty, gross ignorance, and insolence of manner” as well as towns with newspapers and libraries. She also reported on political debated with common citizens as judges. It is quite clear that the expansion of suffrage, support for individual rights, and advances of democratic society were responsible for the prosperity of the time. However, it would be both irrational and naive to assume that the ideals of Jacksonian democrats were without flaw. And it would be preposterous to conceive a period in American history without its low points. This holds true for the period of 1820 - 1830 as well. A number of middle class citizens misinterpreted democratic reforms as an opportunity to disregard decorum and law. Philip Hone, a Whig politician, wrote descriptions of riots which erupted in Philadelphia and large Eastern cities (Doc. E). Middle class citizens who took advantage of individual rights caused chaos and destruction. Yet, an understanding of human nature is necessary to continue. It must be expected that some people are unable to handle the privileges of individualism, and a crowded city is the most likely place for a riot to break out. Such is the situation even presently. Especially in large cities, violence and rioting is not uncommon. A political party aimed at better the nation can not be justly held responsible for the terrible behavior of a few. The same principle holds true for the Acts and Resolutions of South Carolina in 1835 (Doc. F). While the Jacksonian Democrats believed that the only way to reform society was through constitutional means, South Carolina did not abide by the same convictions. Instead, they used individual liberty to over-rule the government. The South Carolina legislature decided to nullify the Post Office Department (which violated the first amendment to the Constitution) and outlaw abolition movements (thereby denying freedom of speech). Finally, the soon-to-secceed South Carolina decided not to collect taxes on imports and President Jackson decided they had gone too far. He threatened them with war in order to restore rational behavior. Although is possible to show all the positive and constructive reforms initiated by the Jacksonian Democrats, it is impossible to ignore the tragic oppression of the Native Americans by President Jackson. On the Trail of Tears, thousands of lives were senselessly ended en route from Georgia to the western reservations. There can be no justification for the terrible mistreatment the Indians had to endure. However, it is necessary to look at the situation for that time period. While all white man were now considered equal and the middle class was elevated, the Blacks and Native Americans were not included. Even Thomas Jefferson did not intend to include either race when drafting the Declaration of Independence. So, while it can not be excused, it becomes possible to comprehend how such a travesty might occur. Despite several inevitable flaws in the time period, the Democrat’s proclamation as “guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and economic equality” is quite valid. Indeed, the Jacksonian Democrats succeed in the ambitions, and their avid social reforms helped make the United States a more liberated and democratic nation.

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And Then There Were None Themes

Trust, Deceit, & Immorality in And then There Were None And Then There Were None, a mystery novel by Agatha Christie, discusses matters of trust, deceit, and immorality. These two words and intertwined within each chapter, and they come to us in ways that do not meet the eye right away. They require a certain level of thought in order to be understood clearly. It which Agatha Christie hopes to bring out. Trust is a key element of life. We need to choose who we can confide and believe in. If the ten people on the island want to stay alive, they need to be aware of those who are truly loyal, but they need to choose wisely, for one out of the ten is a murderer. Everyone in the house has their suspicions. “One of us... one of us... one of us. Three words, endlessly repeated, dining themselves hour after hour into receptive brains.” (chapter 13, page 239) No matter what the circumstances are, they remain immutable about not trusting each other. Having no trust makes all of them a nervous wreck, making each of them more susceptible of being the next victim of murder. Having no trust only dings us a deeper hole to the inevitable, and when we trust the wrong person, the inevitable happens sooner than expected. Deceit, unfortunately, is also a part of life. Deceit inside And Then there Were None, however, is a part of death. Lombard and Vera face the facts when they appear to be the last ones alive on the island. “So we know where we are don’t we? ...This is the end.” (chapter 16, page 297 & 298) Instead of being the nice man he seemed to be, he turned out to be a miscreant. Lombard fools a lot of people with his act of being paranoid of having the killer looking over his shoulder. It is his self that he needs to guard, and he is not doing a good job of that, because Vera kills him instead. Death comes about in many ways. Murder is one of them. This immorality is the basis of the whole entire book. One by one, each one of the ten people die by someone else’s immoral actions. Even at the end of the book when Vera shoots Lumbard, she had committed a brutal crime. Yes, she was defending herself, but she still chooses to use her hands to take someone else’s life. Immorality plagues society today deeply. We have twisted morals so much that the may think the most wrong action is OK. And Then There Were None is a book that applies lives ways in forms that come to us unconsciously. Trust is something that is so valuable to life, that if we don’t have it, we can fail in something that matters greatly to us. Deceit and immorality are part of lives inauspicious human nature. These words intertwine each chapter just as they intertwine some of our own lives. We need to pick and choose which ones we want to eliminate. Bibliographyand then there were none


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And Then There Were None Chapt. 13 On

By chapter 13 of And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie, half of the ten guests that ventured out to Indian Island are killed. These incidents cause the remaining guests to react in bizarre ways. These reactions are common to most people that are placed in this situation. They protect themselves and react differently around each other. There are also accusations that are made about who may have done the killing of the first five guests, and there are alliances that are made to help find out who the murdered really is. Out of ten guests plus the boat handler, who brought them over to the island, one of them is the murderer. Who is it, and what do the guests do to find out who he or she is? First of all some of the precautions that the guests take is to lock and place furniture in front of all there doors. There were sounds of bolts and locks, and of moving furniture. (pg 155) After the death of Miss Brent, Justice Wargrave advised that all items that may cause danger be place in a safely locked place and that the keys be given to two people so that the stuff will be safe. By the judge's direction, the various drugs were placed in the box and it was locked. The judge then gave the key of the chest to Philip Lombard and the key of the cupboard to Blore. (pg 141) The final way that the guests protected themselves was to keep close together as much as possible. By all means. But in doing so let us be careful to keep together, if we separate, the murderer gets his chance. (pg 142) I think, my dear young lady, we would all prefer to come and watch you make it. (pg 146) The next thing that happened to the guests was the way they started to act around each other. One of the first act was to become testy and aggressive with each other. Each person, with there nerves running on high octane, all reacted in the same manner. They hated each other. You damned pig-headed fool! I tell you it's been stolen from me! (pg 141) He said stiffly, ‘just as you please Miss Brent.' (pg 134) Lombard threw his head back. His teeth showed in what was almost a snarl. (pg 139) The next reaction after testiness was inquisitiveness. The guests all had there worries, so they started to asks questions and started to become suspicious. Four pairs of eyes fastened on him. He braced himself against the deep hostile suspicion of those eyes. (pg 138) That's all very well , but who's to have the key? You, I suppose? (pg 140) Some of the remaining guests even started to become untrusting to one another. There was an unpleasant tone in his voice, the two men eyed each other. (pg 153) I didn't put anything in it. That's what you are getting at, I suppose. (pg 149) Another reaction that occurs naturally in this situation is the tendency to accuse people before they can be proven innocent. Each remaining guest has a different suspicion of who the killer is. William Blore had many suspicions on who did it. One of his suspicions was that Miss Brent did it. We needn't look farther for the author of these deaths than the dining-room at this minute. (pg 135) After the death of Miss Brent he then believed it was Dr Armstrong. Armstrong- eh? So he's our pigeon! (pg 161) Philip Lombard also thought that the culprit was Dr Armstrong. Expected you to pass out through fright! Some people would have, wouldn't they, doctor? (pg 150) Vera Claythorne, along with Blore and Lombard, also thought it was Dr Armstrong. It's Armstrong..........He's a lunatic, escaped from some doctor's house- pretending to be a doctor. (pg 145) Dr Edward Armstrong, on the other hand, thought that the killer was Blore. He said dubiously: H'm tastes alright. (pg 150) Justice Wargrave was the only one who really didn't make any real assumptions on who may have pulled off this amazing murder mystery. He was very quiet and to himself about his thoughts. The final reaction was to make alliances between the remaining guests, so it would be easier to trap the victimizer. Each of the remaining guest all paired up with at least one person. Justice Wargrave and Armstrong paired together and came up with a plan to catch the killer. It didn't work like a charm. Armstrong was keen on the idea. (pg 201) Blore and Lombard also became closer together as time passed on. It would be difficult for either of you to get the key from the other. (pg 141) We'll get him, Blore ... This time, we'll get him! (pg 161) Vera became allies with Lombard after the death of Wargrave and Armstrong. One has got to trust someone... (pg 173) So after the long and gruelling days on the island no one has found out who the murderer is but they had a lot of different reactions to all the different murders that went along with all the other festivities. There was how they protected themselves, and how they reacted towards each other. Then there were all the accusations and finally the alliances that were made. If you ask me I think that the murderer was Mr Justice Wargrave.


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Analysis Of One Perfect Rose

In her poem “One Perfect Rose,” Dorothy Parker misleads the reader throughout the first and second stanzas into believing this poem is a romantic tribute to a tender moment from her past through her word choice and style of writing. However, the tone of the entire poem dramatically changes upon reading the third and final stanza when Parker allows the reader to understand her true intention of the poem, which is a cynical and perhaps bewildered view of the memory. And, with this shift in the tone in the third stanza, there is a shift in the meaning of the entire poem, leading the reader to believe that the first two stanzas were not, in fact, sweet but instead a sarcastic and bitter account of this past moment. In the first stanza, Dorothy Parker uses specific words to create a double meaning. She uses words like “tenderly,” “pure,” and “perfect” to describe both the rose and it’s sender. The words directly influence the reader’s initial reaction to the poem, as does the way in which she writes the poem. The stanza has four lines with every other line rhyming (ABAB format). It is short and sweet with a melodic quality in it’s reading. This musical quality definitely helps to lull the reader into the belief that the poem’s intention is to come across as a romantic recollection. However, in reading the poem through a second time, equipped with the knowledge of it’s true bitter notions, the reader sees what is purposely hidden but directly affects the overall tone. Parker mentions first and foremost the fact that this gentleman sent her “a single flow’r” and ends the stanza with the phrase “one perfect rose.” There is a repetition here that at first the reader passes off as her noting the delicacy of the solitary flower. Upon reading the last stanza, it is realized that she is actually pointing out the fact that the only thing she received was one flower-that’s it. And, although there is a melodic quality to the rhythm to this poem, this rhythm accentuates the abruptness of her speech. She cuts lines off and speaks in short fragmented sentences. This, again, is something that is not noticed in the first read-through, but it does stand out after this initial reading. It almost seems as if Parker could not be bothered to spend too much time on the poem: it’s as if it was not worth the time or the effort. The second stanza is similar in content to the first. There are words Parker uses to deceive the reader at first- “fragile,” “heart,” “love,” and “perfect.” There are again four lines to the stanza with the odd and the even lines rhyming. And, of course, there are those words that the reader misses the first time reading it through. Her use of the word “floweret” is a perfect example of this. She cunningly makes a show of the fact that this is one, single flower by itself, but because the word rhymes with the word “amulet” two lines down, this mocking goes unnoticed. As does her the true meaning of the line “Love long has taken for his amulet”. Using this rose as the unknown gentleman’s call sign at first seems cute. Superman has his “S,” this gentleman has his “One perfect rose.” The reader comes to realize that this symbol is not an honorable one. In the third and final stanza, Parker really shines the light on her true intention for this poem. She continues with the same format as the previous two stanzas, four lines with every other line rhyming and short, fragmented lines. However, her real feelings come out loud and clear in this stanza where they did not in the first two. She did not want that one, singe rose. She wanted more, perhaps “one perfect limousine.” Here not only does she inform us what she wanted; she mocks what she did receive. Each line ends with the line “One perfect rose,” including the last stanza. And. In using the phrase “one perfect limousine” she makes her feeling completely obvious. The rose was unnecessary and unwanted. Using it three time over in the same phrase still did not have the same effect that using the word “limousine” once in the same phrase did. Parker is clearly trying to say that if this gentleman was going to make an effort, he should have made it for something worth her time. And by reading this poem, the reader can assume that a rose is not worthy. This poem is deceptively worded and simple in design. The author, Dorothy Parker, obviously is trying to achieve some shock value for the reader and succeeds in doing so. Her intention is to create an incorrect tone and give the reader a false sense of security in the poem’s initial innocence so that when she does reveal the true tone and persona, the reader will see it immediately and understand it thoroughly. Had she droned on about her cynical and bitter recollection of this memory, the reader would have lost interest in the whining. Instead, she sneaks up on the reader with the true nature of her feelings and it makes the poem and the reader’s understanding of it truly dynamic


Words: 881

Analysis Of Critical Analysis Of Leaves Of Grass By

Alex Perez Perez 1 Mrs. Michels 05/00 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman In the twentieth century, the name Walt Whitman has been synonymous with poetry. Whitman’s most celebrated work, Leaves of Grass, was the only book he ever wrote, and he took a lifetime to write it. A large assortment of poems, it is one of the most widely criticized works in literature, and one of the most loved works as well. Whitman was unmarried and childless, and it has been noted that Leaves of Grass consumed him greatly; James E. Miller Jr. writes: “…he guided his poetic offspring through an uncertain, hesitant childhood, a lusty young manhood, and a serene old age…it is difficult to write the life of Whitman without writing instead of the life and times of his book…Whitman was the kind of parent who lives his life through his child.” (Miller 15) The “poetic offspring” that Miller writes of is of course Leaves of Grass. Whitman poured his soul into the work, as he questioned himself and observed his demeanor through his writing. He “fathered” the tome, as after its initial publishing Whitman went on to release revision after revision as time progressed. Miller goes on to reflect on Whitman’s methods, as he tells the reader of Whitman’s curiosity towards life, particularly curious about his own meaning in the world in which he lived. “Like any individual of depth and complexity, Whitman was continuously curious about who he was…(he had) a lusty enthusiasm, a hearty relish for life lived at all times to its fullest intensity.” (Miller 17) The life Whitman lived “to its fullest intensity” started in West Hills, Long Island, May 31, 1819. He was one of nine children to Walter and Louisa Whitman, his father a farmer and his mother a devout Quaker. Quakerism was the only religious inheritance the Perez 2 family passed on to Walt, and, as Miller notes, could also be seen later in his famous “sea-poem”. “Out of the cradle endlessly rocking, Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle, Out of the Ninth-month midnight… Passage to more than India! Of secret of the earth and sky! Of you o waters of the sea! O winding creeks and rivers!… O day and night, passage to you!’ (Whitman 180-294) …His use of ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ in his poetry, his reference to the months by their sequential number (‘ninth month’ for September), and his instinctive adoption of the inner light—all of these Walt could trace back to his Quaker background.” (Miller 17) This Quakerism also contributed to the style of Leaves, told with certain closeness and a certain emphasis paralleling that of a preacher. Miller comments on this style: “His was a day of evangelism and oratory. As a child he was no doubt frequently exposed to both. The passionate intimacy and pleading of many lines in Leaves of Grass could…have been used by an itinerant preacher…” (Miller 43) Aside from his Quaker traces, Leaves of Grass has been criticized as being an extension of Whitman’s life. Just as Miller described the work as Whitman’s child, John Kinnaird comments on the great level of importance at which Whitman held his masterpiece: “…Leaves of Grass suggests so much of the original existential Whitman that criticism must continue to recover and understand, particularly since this is the first poet who ever insisted that his book was in reality no book.” (Kinnaird 24) Kinnaird reinforces the criticism of Miller Jr. as he emphasizes the autobiographical and introspective nature of Leaves. It seems that Whitman used this work as a release, and Perez 3 had a marvelous interpretation of life in general. He also had a unique estimation of poetry itself. In his introduction to Leaves of Grass he writes: “The power to destroy or remold, is freely used by him (the greatest poet) but never the power of attack. What is past is past. If he does not expose superior models and prove himself by every step he takes he is not what is wanted.” (Whitman 8) The introduction from which the passage was taken is one of great length, with elaborative and expressive sections, in which Whitman further explains the muse behind his book, the “child” he conjured up at the time, as he was without any family of his own. James A. Wright comments on the introduction and his poetic brilliance: “Whitman’s poetry has delicacy of music, of diction, and of form…I mean it to suggest powers of restraint, clarity, and wholeness, all of which taken together embody that deep spiritual inwardness…which I take to be the most beautiful power of Whitman’s poetry…He knows that the past exists, and he knows that, as a poet and a man, he has a right to live. His duty is precisely this: to have the courage to live and to create his own poetry.” (Wright 88) The uncertainty that Wright speaks of is an oft-selected aspect of Whitman’s work. While it has been attributed to Whitman’s childhood and general disposition towards life, John Kinnaird selects a different facet of Whitman’s life, homosexuality. “Whitman’s uncertainty…was always sexual. The biographical evidence, (Leaves of Grass), in itself inconclusive, does seem to confirm what anyone may intuit from the poems: that Whitman was predominantly homosexual in his elementary responses, but never…in overt conduct and perhaps never in private relations.” While Whitman’s homosexuality has been recognized by various other critics, Kinnaird is unique in his explanation of its effect, the “uncertainty” to which he is referring. The Perez 4 homosexual undertone in Leaves has further been discussed by critics, as they have searched for the “explanation” for its writing. Whitman wrote a series of “Calamus” poems, named after the Calamus plant. James Miller interprets this as blatantly phallic, and suggests that the amity from which Leaves stems was with another man. “the ‘Calamus’ poems seemed like a different type of confession…suggesting that Whitman’s central inspiration experience was not a romance but a close male comradeship…ardent, turbulent, and ambivalent…the calamus plant is clearly phallic in its obvious symbolism.” (Miller 46) Perhaps the most cherished single poem within Leaves is “Song of Myself”. It is the opening poem of the work, and is probably the most often recognized poem of Whitman’s writings. It sets the tone as Whitman makes a profound reflective statement: “I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me good belongs to you.” (Whitman 25) With this opening proclamation of his own life’s study, Whitman encompassed the reader into his life’s observation as he answers the question “What is the grass?” using long and descriptive stanzas to interject the feeling of wonder he had about his everyday life. James Miller comments on “Song of Myself”: “By far the best, as well as the longest poem…was the opening ‘Song of Myself.’ Like no other poem in American literature—indeed unlike any poem ever written before anywhere—this long self-centered and prophetic chant…seemed designed to shock and startle, surprise and disturb.” (Miller 47) As other critics have done, Miller describes Whitman and particularly Leaves of Grass as a prophetic work, visionary and predictive. However, critics have also taken the opposite Perez 5 viewpoint on the work. Some take the opinion that Whitman had a desire to be prophetic, but failed. Roy Harvey Pearce writes: “The hard fact—so its seems to me—is that Whitman fails as prophetic poet, precisely because he was such a powerfully humane poet…when he tried to write prophetic poetry, he came eventually to sacrifice man…” (Pearce 66) Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Leaves was Whitman’s style of discourse, as the American people could easily and willingly relate to it. Ezra Pound has described Whitman as “the only one of the conventionally recognized ‘American poets’ who is worth reading”. She goes on to articulate what seems to be the general sentiment among critics: “He (Whitman) is America…entirely free from the renaissance humanist ideal of the complete man of from the Greek idealism, he is content to be what he is, and he is his time and his people. He is genius because he has a vision of what he is and of his function. He knows that he is a beginning and not a classically finished work.” (Pound 8) In essence, Leaves of Grass was an extension of Whitman’s soul. He used his work as a vehicle in which he could convey his opinion of life, and he succeeded. D.H. Lawrence writes: “Whitman’s essential message was the ‘open road’. The leaving of the soul free unto herself, the leaving of his fate to her and to the loom of the open road. Which is the bravest doctrine man has ever proposed to himself.” (Lawrence 20) It is this “brave doctrine” that literary critics seem to be most attracted to, and they give high praise to Whitman for his courage in manufacturing this dogma. Literary criticism Perez 6 has been kind to Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass, hailing his innovation and bravery in attempting to write such a book. Whatever the real reason behind Whitman’s brilliance, the fact remains that he was indeed brilliant. That virtuosity has shone through brightly in his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, making it a classic. “Not bad” for a Quaker from Long Island.


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