Within what we've read what has stuck out to me the most is the power of hating a character.
As I was going through my mind for this prompt, what stuck out to me about the readings we’ve done were the works I remembered the best and really got into were the ones that had characters that arose from me a strong emotion...That strong emotion being hate. And the two specific works that stood out to be were “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare and “Fences” by August Wilson.
Wilson and Shakespeare gave me Troy and Helena, two characters I utterly couldn’t stand. They forced me to do close reading to see what they did next; rather...what the people around them tolerated from them. Every move they made I analyzed, and I sympathized with the people around them who had to deal with them. Why did they have to act that way? These characters behaved, in all honesty, like some people I’ve known in my life. Through close reading and analysis, I realized this.
Take Troy. He’s in-denial of his decisions having actions, has the victim mindset consistently, acts I’m sure like his father despite saying he hated him...And that makes him like my own father. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad. But we butt heads...a lot. He’s impatience and believes the world is out to get him. He’s taken one bold step I'm been alive and when it didn’t pan out how he wanted he spent the rest of his days within and after that decision miserable, because he didn’t believe he could make anyone of it, Yes, there were other factors that came into play...but that trait and act of my father just further my mindset that I don’t want to be like him. Yes, he’s also hardworking like Troy. He’s other faithful unlike Troy (thank God). But all-around, I don’t want to grow up to be him. That’s why when I see Rose putting up with his crap it gets to me so much. Troy’s even worse. I understand his background (my father didn’t exactly have a great upbringing either) and him being a black man during the 1950’s and how that’s not easy. However, that is no excuse to be a crappy human being and not treat the people who love you and stick around like crap. No one has a perfect past and things in life sometimes just happen. But you must pull yourself up. You must move on...lead a better life. Troy did something even worse than not just move on...he hurt those around him in a way that my father did. He cheated. He dug into his temptations and didn’t care about Rose enough to stop. If my father did that to my mother, I know with every fiber of my being I would never talk to him again. Never. I’d hate him. My father has guilted me and made me feel like crap about myself. He used to be a man who I looked up to (and I still somewhat do) and was even really close with when I was a little. That changed when I was thirteen. Troy has done that too. He pushed his son away despite Cory only wanting to please him, make him proud. But nothing he did was ever good enough. Rose was a woman who gave him everything, and who was someone he could confide in. I’m guessing for a few years at least the couple was close...then they weren’t. Then Troy started cheating, thinking he could double dip and do what he wanted. None of this behavior is okay. But what’s amazing about Troy is he’s a character. He’s not a person. I can hate him for every little action; I can blame him fully for his faults. I can analyze him more than sometimes I can people because I’m not afraid to. Hate drew me to this close reading.
Now...let’s go to Helena from MND. She’s far from faultless. However, what boggles and irritates me is she broadcasts their supposed faults, giving her more faults. I empathize with her because I personally have low confidence, and no one ever really complimented me. Some people tore me down, and other times I tore myself down. I still do. But rarely do and did I ever walk around calling myself ugly and begging guys to love me. Never did I blame my friends for being pretty and abuse their trust to get a guy. What’s worse is she’s so stupid and abused that trust for no reason. Hermia (her best friend) told her -despite Lysander not wanting her too- about the wedding out of friendship and trust. The second she left she practically ran to Demetrius so he could see her obedience to him. But the fact is if she had kept her mouth shut maybe eventually, she could’ve won him over. Instead, he went running after Hermia, trying to stop her. This led Helena (quite literally) to run after him. The girl’s just plain dumb. I hate her for not knowing any better and feeling so horrible about herself to shoot even lower and beg a guy for affection...especially a guy who countlessly says to her face she will never have some. Show yourself SOME respect. When I was deeply insecure, I didn’t talk to guys period. I would rather have her do that...watching her get rejected repeatedly is just plain pathetic. I hate society for making her compare her beauty to another's, but I put my hate also towards her because she just takes t with no self-respect. There are other guys...even during those times when people died young. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for me.
As you can see, hate is a motivating factor. Not only did I pay attention, but I close read. I analyzed. I waited for better decisions. I watched the people around those characters. I empathized and begrudgingly felt for them...and hated them. Had the authors not given me this strong emotion from their written characters, I’m not sure how much thought I would’ve put in. And you also know that for a character to make you hate them (especially a written character, whose actions and even facial expressions you can’t see live), the writing must be pretty good at what they do.
*TO THE READER: I enjoyed my reading this semester, and because of the ones you picked, Ms., Kleinschmidt (future, PROFESSOR Kleinschmidt), I not only enjoyed this class (my first class within my major) but look forward to English classes in the future. Who knows...maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have you be my professor again in the future :)?
Throughout 2020, it's been a whirlwind of emotions and it definitely hasn't been all positive..but also not all negative. COVID struck, my senior year was cut, and I found myself within an inbetween when I became no longer a senior but also not a college freshman yet. I was scared. I didn't know what to expect. With COVID, all I knew was that my college experience-like my senior year- wouldn't be what I also pictured in my head. When reading "Greening" I related to the context. There are a lot of lows in life; life sometimes makes it seem like "It never ends,the bruise of being". However, there's also the "greening". As we get older and things become harder "awake, older, you fumble now in the most graceful way", we all work harder and go through pain but we become grateful and more graceful as we learn more and more. It's "almost beautiful how you flounder". We, as a human race, will struggle but "Child, hold fast...greening thing as it erodes and spins" because better IS coming.
I'm quoting a lot, but basically the message to me is that the spekaer may see bad, yet he chooses the good and encourages his child (or audience) to do the same. At the beginning the "bruise" part did talk of pain but it did shift pretty quickly , talking of lessons yet to learn like "we watch you like a kettle learning to whistle". Within that, they're also stating with the watch part that the speaker is protective of his "child", but also wants to let him learn himself. I wonder if he is indeed talking of a child, or future kids...or perhaps to any who may be reading his works.
Within his work, Young uses hyphens and commas often. I believe the hyphens display feelings and surroundings, even considering "messy" as a feeling (in my opinion). For example "-grateful to have seen you" is like a sidenote to give background. It connects the author and reader to the piece; "-this bloom of being. Almost beautiful" is another example. The multitude of commas helps supply rhythm and show his thinking more because there' s a pause within a comma, and with them he just keeps continuing on the sentence further. It shows he's observing a lot and making these thoughts.
Finally, in relation to other poems, the shift in mood in opposite that of "Out,Out" by Robert Frost" becuase instead of a cute memory-like mood at the beginning, it's going from sadness to beauty...not beautiful memories to pain and destitute.
My final thought is just: I wonder about what exactly he was going through and or what circumstances he had gone through to write that poem. What was it's purpose? i find when I right poems like that, it's to give myself hope. Every writer (and everyone) has a story. What's his?
E.E. Cummings is known for being weird and a bit out of the box, but the first poem I ever heard of his wasn't necessarily weird...it just spoke to me. The poem and I have a long history. The first time I heard "Dive for Dreams" it was while watching "Charlie St. Cloud" (I was a BIG Zac Efron fan...then again, who wasn't that's my age?). I googled it and ended up printing it out; taped it to my wall. I got nominated two years in a row for the opportunity that is the Governor's Honors Program, a competitive program in my old school country where you go through forms and interview rounds to try to get to spend a month studying your focused subject/passion at Berry College for free basically, to experience college (and it looks great on college apps). For part of the forms I had to write about a lit piece I connected with (it was my focus) and I wrote about the poem one year. There's a rich history, and I think that's because it encompasses what half the time people are looking for within a poem: inspiration (or at least what I do).
When I think of it, I first think,
"dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you".
Mind you, I haven't thought of this poem in a bit since it's not on my dorm’s wall, but when we brought up Cummings the other day, that poem is immediately where my mind went. It's like "Charge of the Light Brigade" (also on my walls usually) but also not. The metaphors in my opinion aren't as complex. They're like the metaphors I make in my own poems so for me there's a connection...a moment created.
The poem speaks of basically what the title foreshadows: going for what you want out of life, even if it means taking risks and being scared sometimes. That's a goal I try to set in my life. This doesn't have to do with the poem, but I saw this on Instagram and it's true, "don't let fear play a role in your decisions"; that's what Cummings is basically saying. Afterall, "trees are their roots and wind is wind" and we're all going to be alright. We're all going to make it through, and things will be how they are meant to (but still try of course). He continues with "trust your heart and if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward)" which just expresses what humans are constantly conflicting with: to trust your heart or your instincts. However, sometimes our instincts can tell us no for survival reasons, but not for happiness. When he says to "live by love" you can take it in many ways: love within friends or a romantic relationship, or love for yourself and making yourself happy. I read it over many times and depending on my mood I think about different things. Living by love can mean showing love for yourself and "trust[ing] your heart"! We may have gotten burnt in the past too, which is why maybe we're less apt to open up again, risk failure again.
Cummings "cumms" through (get it?) with more advice on that:
"honor your past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death away
at this wedding)
which insinuates that moving on is essential to happiness. Otherwise (and this is an aggressive translation), you might as well be dead. Dead people are unhappy and not the sailors of their lives. They do all of that they need to, but don't want to. It should be a "wedding", a celebration of big moments in your life.
I could go on forever and pull out more quotes, but honestly people just need to read it and connect with it on their own. It's not a complex read, but it's one that sticks (like trees...get it?).
Okay, that was the last dad joke. Seriously, read it. I'm sure most have heard it before.
I chose to do prompt 2 and watched the IPFW’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. This is very broad, but I think by watching the first Act I got to see the characters all-around as livelier. In the book (despite the descriptions by Shakespeare I don’t get to the those that are dramatic, except through actions...not expressions). I cannot just pick one character to discuss, because they’re all fun and interesting to see and analyze.
Like, in the very beginning, I see that fight that led to Theseus “winning the love of Hippolyta”. I didn’t pay much attention to it before in the book, but here you see movement. You see them both genuinely putting up a fight. Then you see Theseus win, and suddenly Hippolyta is his, no questions asked.
I also see the arrogant and dominant Egeus tatter in, trying to get Hermia to marry Demetrius. I see masculinity that Theseus clearly wants to impress to Hermia, about her father’s opinion is her opinion and she should essentially do as she is told. I see how strong Hermia was, standing up for him, even though it was not “her place”. Even her restraining herself after a moment in hopes of her being understood better and listened to showed strength (of which I didn’t consider a characteristic of hers until now). There’s Hippolyta standing in the background, disappointed with Theseus but thinking she cannot say anything...yet she comforts Hermia in her moment of distress when he turns to Lysander instead.
I see Lysander actually wanting to love Hermia authentically, and arguing their case. Demetrius just wants her beauty and thinks he can have her just because Egeus tells him so. Lysander was willing to stand up for himself and own things up (like not having much money) to be with her regardless. And Egeus truly believes he owns Hermia, even having a contract to show before Theseus. Him thinking she’s betrayed him...just by falling in love is an unfathomable idea, because he didn’t orchestrate it. I see Theseus's unfairness when at the end he’s still saying if she doesn’t wed Demetrius, she will be single, a nun, or dead. He goes on to Hippolyta to come to him...but she turns away, showing her disgust, and letting her opinion known. Theseus is truly surprised and baffled by such a deed.
Following, I see Hermia’s fear and trying to distance herself from Lysander briefly after this situation. She’s panicking... at least until he proposes while Egeus and Demetrius are still taking up stuff with Theseus. Now she’s smiling with glee. We see Hermia accidentally tell Helena about the marriage when trying to reassure her she doesn’t want Demetrius. Lysander is upset by this, but still tells her...but I think asks her not to tell (yet she does). You see Hermia have a genuine goodbye to Helena...who turns around (and even though now she has Demetrius to herself and didn’t have to) she tells Demtrius about the plan. Truly dislike her. She’s dumb. I see how polite Lysander is, but also how somewhat anxious he can be. He's a nice guy, even getting embarrassed when Helena sees them kiss. Even wishes her well with Demetrius.
The following scene shows the mechanicals (who honestly prior I did not pay much attention to, and don't fully understand). But now I see how dopey the mechanicals can be, like the seven dwarfs. I see the acting teacher...and Bottom who doesn’t shut up. The acting teacher even starts to get a little annoyed. Bottom is passionate though and goofy. Before, I just thought of his as dumb. But he seems like okay (not a horrid) actor, like when he’s discussing the play and acting out his role. They all clap at the end. He still doesn’t shut up. It continues on to show more of the mechanicals. Francis Goodfellow (“Flute”) is jittery and joyful. Flute’s not happy about playing a girl. Bottom wants his part...and every part I’m sure. Bottom thinks he can play any and every part and it’s a bit rude and over the top, but he means well. The acting teacher is not having it. Mechanicals proceed to argue and at Bottom (lol). Bottom leaves and they follow him. Tell him he must play Pyramus...then says he’ll take it then. Clearly, he is one for the flair of the dramatic.
All around, these are characters alive and well, like you and I. They’re not just words on a page. This production allowed me to see that.
As you may have seen within my email, unfortunately yesterday was rough. I tried uploading for basically half the day, but WiFi started acting iffy...and then complteley went down. I didn't want to have to deal with two late days so last minute I came up with the idea to type it out and email it to you with my less-than-fantastic data because I couldn't get anything to work on my laptop because of the WiFi. Then my data wasn't working and I found out I can't even have a personal hot spot because of my phone plan so i really couldn't send anything from my laptop, since my phone wasn't working. My roomie was gracious enough to let me use her hotspot but I tried to make it quick (and at this point it was slightly after midnight because everything was resfusing to send)-hence the many typos in last night's apology.
Anyways, thank you for even looking at this. If I get two days worth of late points I understand and respect it. If you decide to graciously only give me one because i was trying hard to send it in yesterday i would REALLY appreciate it, but I know that's a low possibility. At least it's done. I feel pretty good about this week's log (there's even some images with commentary).
I hope you enjoy. Let me know if there's any issues opening the link.
Again, technology all around is a struggle lately. The only way i could figure out to make the reading log look nice and insert stuff was through the doc, which was too big to import.