New Gates Open from Thy Meddled Mind
Throughout English 131 I was able to get a different perspective to writing I haven’t learned before. Delving deeper into thought after reading a book and developing an analysis was new to me. Distinguishing the difference from an analysis and summary was difficult for me since it seemed similar. Each assignment that involved planning, drafting, and revising allowed me to focus on the grey areas of my writing that needed help.
It’s hard to distinguish which was is my most significant work since each one is a writing lesson. Personally, I learned the most after reading The Devil in the White City due to it being the lengthiest book and fact-based storyline. It’s easier to analyze an interesting topic and be able to gather information from a book with more details. H.H. Holmes complex mind allowed him to think differently than others say, “I was born with the devil in me,’ [Holmes] wrote. ‘I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.” Erik Larson also gave his opinion on a psychopaths interests saying, “Beside his own person and his own interests, nothing is sacred to the psychopath.”
The snail mail letters are a fun side activity to do and get some points on. I have never sent a letter before, but it was a new experience and enjoyable to write to someone personally. It sends a deeper message to someone when they receive a letter because today’s society use cellular devices to instantly message.
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, Esquire, 5 Oct. 2017, http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a48031/the-falling-man-tom-junod/.
1) The Falling Man, one of the earlier excerpts that we went over as a class together. The significance of reading the excerpt is that it gives many readers a point of view they’ve never seen. The excerpt came from the tragic event that occurred, September 11, 2001, when two planes overtaken by terrorists crashed into the twin towers. In the photo included with excerpt, a photographer captured a moment in time where a man jumped from atop the tower close to the impact zone because the flames left behind were to brutal.
Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004.
2) Erik Larson can make a captivating book that has an elegant way of telling the story of both the Chicago World’s Fair and the serial killer H.H. Holmes. At the beginning there is no mention of the infamous Holmes, but the focus is instead more on the building of the fair. It’s not till after the fair is built and Holmes owns a hotel that things start to get interesting. A hotel murder factory combined with a vast supply of victims gave Holmes just what he needed.
Lucas, Jane. “Through a Glass Darkly: Girl at the Mirror and Grover’s Corners”. 2017
3) Jane Lucas’ “Through a Glass Darkly” is the focus on Norman Rockwell’s painting Girl at the Mirror. Lucas also makes a connection with Our Town and Girl at the Mirror, revealing portraits of American life that are far from idyllic. Lucas also states, “Both Emily and the Girl at the Mirror occupy that awkward space between childhood and adulthood” from the composition of his painting.
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs Term Papers.” NY times, 20 Jan. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/muscling-in-on-the-term-paper-tradition.html.
4) Matt Richtel’s Blogs vs Term Papers is basically interpreted as old versus new. Blogs are faster to do and easier to maintain. Term papers have been effective for many years but the advances in technology and an increasing population it is convenient to use blogs. Richtel includes that there are more necessities needed when using blogs compared to term papers. Blogs require computer, internet, and wi-fi. Term papers only need pen/pencil, paper, and your knowledge.
Schreck, Heidi. Creature. Samuel French, 2011.
5) Heidi Schreck’s Creature is a book taking place in the middle ages. The protagonist is a woman named Margery Kempe who used to be normal. She is seeing visions and believes them to be real. Kempe would have visions from God which would tell her to do things and she obliges. It is hard to say whether the visions she sees is actually real or she is mental since she is the only one having this symptom.
Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. New York Times Bestseller. 2016
6) In Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad”, the main protagonist is a slave girl by the Cora. It’s historical fiction slave story gives it an elaborate structure that is beyond the norm making it more interesting than its predecessors. Cora is a slave girl who is on the run going from state to state trying to reach the North using the Underground Railroad. What’s different from the factual version is that in the book it is literally an Underground Railroad. On the journey of her escape she eludes for a new life but doesn’t know her past childhood is revisited with an unsettling discovery.
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1938. Harper Perennial, 2003.
7) Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-part play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. The story is about a fictional American small-town Grover’s Corners. It takes place between 1901 and 1913. The play is performed without a set on a mostly bare stage. The most memorable character is Emily, since she has an experience that brings her great distraught and sadness along with many joys and happiness.
In the foreword of Our Town, Donald Margulies says, “[I]t’s a Wonderful Life owes a great deal to Our Town” (xi). The statement claims the play has a hand in the success of the film. Observing both works’ history and theme will give great insight behind Margulies’ foreword as to why the film owes Our Town.
Starting with Our Town, the play began in 1938 and created by Thornton Wilder. It swiftly gained fame and notoriety not long after its release. For over seventy years the play is still read upon and acted out since it represents a part of American pastime. Margulies even goes as far as saying Our Town is “[P]ossibly, the great American play (xi).
The importance of Our Town is that it had an impact on It’s a Wonderful Life and one of the reasons for the film’s success over many years. Our Town came out a few years before the film which means Frank Capra could have been influenced by the play. The film and play have similar themes or morals which the success of one leads to the success of the other. Although the film’s initial release did not do well at the box office, it was apart of the American Christmas pastime. The film benefitted from the play for having a similar theme to Our Town, causing it to have a decades long success. The theme most apparent in both works is relatable to the saying, “You don’t know what you had, until you have lost it”, which was portrayed in both the film and play.
An example in Our Town is in Act three of the play, Emily is dead and along with her is Mrs. Gibbs, Simon Stimson, and a few other characters. She misses everything she had and tries to go back into the past when Mrs. Gibbs advised her not to do so. Emily goes anyway back to her twelfth birthday and tries to warn her mother and father about the tragic event in the future, but her parents are oblivious to what she is trying to tell them. She returns to the dead realizing that her actions are futile. She really misses the life she once had.
An example in It’s a Wonderful Life is George not caring about his life. He desperately appeals for a loan and offers his life insurance policy as collateral. George says he is worth more dead than alive and eventually tries to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge. His guardian angel, Clarence then grants George’s wish of him never being born by sending him to an alternate timeline where he doesn’t exist. George seen how the people around him depended on him and he had a big impact on his life. He eventually realizes he loved his life and misses it and accepts Clarence as his guardian angel. George finally learned his lesson that you don’t know what you had, until it is gone.
Since the play was released in 1938, before World War two, the fact that a war occurred over several years after had a role in America feeling the loss of loved ones. This lead to future success for the film and play since America was at a crucial and emotional place due to the effects of war on a country. Our Town will forever be a part of America’s great plays due to its theme and the role it had during the war and after. It is a great possibility that soldiers or women who stayed home came across Our Town which at the time many could relate emotionally from losing someone. The film used the same theme to catch attention the feelings of America(post-war) and launch its success for many years.
• Margulies, Donald. Foreword. Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Harper Perennial, 2003, pp. xi-xx.
• Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1938. Harper Perennial, 2003.
The Embodied Mind of a Psychopath
In the chapter “Modus Operandi”, it is the beginning of Holmes’s killing spree. Many of his employees, mostly female, would mysteriously disappear without notice. Modus Operandi means, a method of doing something in a particular way, which Holmes has plethora.
Holmes’s hotel smells of chemical odors. Most likely used for covering up a crime scene and sedate his victims. In the chapter “Claustrophobia”, starting on page 294, Holmes is seen using one of his methods to kill a woman. Anna thought she was just given a tour of Holmes’ hotel but instead was locked within a vault where her innocent mind was fooled by Holmes. Within the chapter, it states “This was the time he most craved. It brought him a period of sexual release that seemed to last for hours, even though in fact the screams and pleading faded rather quickly.”
The reason he did things in a different way was because he was a bit psychotic. In this chapter, it is believed “Holmes did not kill face to face, as Jack the Ripper had done, gorging himself on warmth and viscera, but he did like proximity”. This chapter gives insight on who Holmes is and how he prefers his victims, as if it were him being served a meal.
Holmes’ also preferred, “being near enough to hear the approach of death in the rising panic of his victims. Although he loves killing this way, Holmes’ psychotic mind prefers a more silent way when his hotel is full of guests. Methods he used to succumb his victims included filling a room with gas while a woman unknowingly dies in her sleep. Another is using a passkey to get into locked rooms at night and using chloroform to easily captivate and sedate his victim.
The character, Holmes, gives his hotel an eerie vibe, even though it looks fine at face value. His hotel serves as his tool to kill and cover his mess upon killing each victim. This reveals that Larson’s book has a secret theme of bad things happening to good people. That is until detective Geyer comes along and becomes the protagonist in stopping Holmes. While Larson uses the World’s Fair to build up the climax in the book, while Holmes is used as the dark entity surrounding the World Fair and using it to fuel his satisfaction. The cross cutting of these two events help reveal the darkness behind the World Fair and within Holmes.
“Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004”
Introduced from the mind of Heidi Shrek, Creature involves the protagonist Margery Kempe who conflicts with herself and those who are around her. The Middle Ages is a dark time full of mysteries and exploration of the unknown. One mystery is the mind of Margery Kempe and her visions from God. They appear only to her making her seen as a woman gone mad or sick. It will cause Margery to conflict with other characters close to her, changing the way she thinks and what she wants.
Some may question that Margery Kempe’s visions are the main source of conflict throughout Creature. Desires change because of the conflict with herself and what she believes versus what others believe. It is as if all the visions that come are the word of God. One of Margery’s visions convinced her to become a saint, leaving her husband John Kempe, stricken by his wife’s choice to become chaste. Clearly it leaves John on the side to conflict with his wife since they have a child and already have had sex, so you could assume John would ask “why now?” John may be her husband but if he knows his wife is acting different, no matter how bad, to keep her safe he wants her to say that none of the visions are real.
Looking deeper into Creature a notable observation is that there is also a love between characters that led to one problem after another. Eliza’s love for John is a common one but she takes it a step further. I think the author might have had this love triangle to give another possibility or explanation of Margery’s visions from Eliza messing with the unkown.
Witnessing both sides of Margery and her husband John it can be inferred that there is a miscommunication between them. John, in the eyes of his wife, looks like he doesn’t trust or believe her visions. He would rather she stay alive than believe her and that’s where the setting or time period is another key element to the play. Many are killed during the middle ages from speculation of unholy things like witchery or possession. Jacob, a young man, who is also Asmodeus in disguise tries methods of deceit to get to Margery. He falls for Margery and believes her, or at least he says he does. She and Jacob would have a little romance between them but this conflicted her marriage even though she desired to be with someone who believes in her. Jacob desired the love of Margery but was conflicted with her marriage to John. To avoid sin against God, cutting ties with someone who is not married to her was the best option.
Some may question what is the point of desire and conflict between Margery and other characters. One can’t happen without the other, with every desire a character has they must meet conflicts. Drama, Mystery, Action, and Resolution makes a play or story all around more enticing to watch or read. The play is full of emotional conflict between characters and some other conflicts involve things they can’t change like the setting of play taking place during the middle ages.
My name is Brian Barnett and this is my very first blog. At the moment I am a freshman at Lenoir-Rhyne University which I intend to major in Exercise Science. The topic weightlifting and exercise didn’t mean much to me until a particular moment in my pre-teen life.
At the age of twelve I was an obese kid weighing about 235 pounds going in to my 7th grade year. Before the school year started I took up the opportunity to try sports, specifically football. I never imagined the difficulties of weightlifting and exercise and its effects on my body over time. Within two years of weightlifting and exercise I weighed about 200 to 205 pounds and the strength gained carried over to other sports like wrestling. I was proud of myself knowing that hard work pays off if you just be patient and stay consistent, which is great advice for almost anything you do.