We keep going 

Hello all! Welcome back to another fabulous writing from Stouffer Productions: so not the frozen food company. If you read my blog last week and the only word that came to mind was what?????? Then I apologize for the confusion. The past two weeks have been pretty rough with family stuff. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. Some days were good and others were not so good. That blog… Obviously… Was made on a not so good day, so that’s why it was just awk. But like my family says, we must keep going. So here I am continuing, one step at a time, with hopefully a decent blog this week. 

Well back to the main point of this post, I want to talk about a particular line from HoD (btw I looooooooooooooooooooooove this book ūüôĆūüôĆūüôĆ. Two thumbs up to you Mrs. Smith!). “No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze” (pg 51 in my book’s version at least). I just thought this was an interesting quote. He talks about how there is a definite point where humans abandon all morals/logic and act purely on instinct. After reading this, I thought it spoke to the theme of HoD as a whole. (the question if people are inherently good or evil). Are these “pilgrims” (as Marlow so poetically describes them) settling here for the good of society, or are they simply driven by the instinctual need to dominate? Do instincts always overcome reasoning or vise versa? Is there a perfect balance between the two? I’m gonna open up these questions to my fellow APers and see what y’all think, so feel free to comment! 

Usually, I end these posts with a witty phrase that I think the authors are trying to teach us. This week, I have decided to end it on a more serious note. This quote has really helped me over the past couple of years, and I wanted to share it with you guys. If at any time you feel that everything is turning into complete crap and you feel like your head is gonna explode, just remember this… 

Winston Churchill lesson of the week: “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. 

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Meh 

So I’m gonna talk about a little poem that we read last week. Wait for it…. Wait for it…. Ozymandias by Percey Shelley! 

I’ve decided to talk about the irony of this poem. Pretty much, we find ourselves in this crazy hot desert place thing. We see the mighty Ozymandias standing aloft his wonderful treasures. Oh wait, what was that? He has nothing?…. Awww how sad. I was really expecting to see some jewels and diamonds and just a whole lot of $$$$$$$$$$, but all I got was meh. Seriously he’s a Kong, so where’s the doe?! 

This king worked so hard to make a name for himself. And well…. He got one. Have a wonderful reign to the King of Nothing. 

Percey Shelley lesson of the week: If you try and make a name for yourself, good luck…. Cuz it just might backfire on you. 

What’s so special about blackberry Picking?

Welcome back my fellow APers. This week, I have decided to take a little break from As I Lay Dying.¬†Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting book, but I’m kind of over it now. And by it, I mean Darl. Frickin’ Darl. I shifted my thoughts from the Bundren family to poetry.

So, we had to read and interpret the poem “Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney. When I first read it, all I could think of was….. ummm okay. He really likes/dislikes blackberries, so what? But then my inner literature conscious kicked in and said.. “come on Amy, dig a little deeper”. So, I did. At the beginning of the poem, the narrator explains how amazing this fruit was. He described its color, texture, and taste with vivid hues and sweet essences. The description of the¬†blackberries was eye candy to the audience. By the end of the poem, Heaney explained how the blackberries turned sour, were stinking up the place, and embodied the true characteristics of nastiness. The narrator brought a tone of sickness while describing the scene. Now, let’s jump into the significance of this. In my interpretation, I saw it as someone who was dreaming about an upcoming event. He thought it would be the most amazing thing he would ever experience, and he even becomes obsessed with it. As soon as he gets the blackberries, things are good, but then he continues to gorge himself with the fruit. Heads up, things start to go downhill from here. He realizes that the fruit has began to ferment (umm ewwww), and the whole thing is spoiled. In life we look forward to things, but once we take those things in, we don’t really know how to stop. Eventually, the event loses its meaning, and we begin to abuse the significance of it. Well, I have no idea if that is what Heaney meant, but that’s the way I saw it. Thoughts? Agreement? Opposition? Feel free to comment below.

Seamus Heaney lesson of the week: If you really like food, don’t go to town and eat everything in sight. You’ll get a tummy ache.

 

Mi madre es un pez?

Sup people! So for those of you who do not speak the wonderful language of spanish (I’m looking at you Annika and Olivia), the title of my blog translates to “my mother is a fish”. You might be wondering: Amy, why wouldn’t you just put the title in english. First of all, I wanted to spice things up a little bit, and second of all, this is my blog post and I do what I want.

Back to the main point of this post, I will be analyzing the rather poetic meaning of Vardaman comparing his mother to a fish. At the beginning of this unit, we numbered the different chapters of As I Lay Dying. When I saw this one chapter, I only had one thought: this book is gonna be trippy!!! As we read further, we understand the true meaning of this comparison. Vardaman is roughly eight years old (I don’t know if that is true or not but I ¬†picture him around there because he is still adorable and not as annoying as a twelve year old) So, we know that Vardaman has never seen anything die before Addie except the fish. The fish was all bloody and stringy and slimy and just straight up nasty. It was a pretty impactful image to him. It would be to any child, because death and the afterlife is such a mature concept to grasp. After the fish died, Cora began to cook it in the skillet. When he sees that the fish is being burned, he imagines his mother experiencing the same pain in her afterlife. All of us look at the situation and can recognize that this is illogical, but this is the only way Vardaman can connect the two scenarios. He took the only information that was given to him, and he made the best deduction out of it. In order to “save” his mother, he drilled holes into her coffin, but he accidentally drilled into her face. Honestly, I giggled a little bit when I read this part, but thats because I love dark humor. Yes, yes I know its morbid but you love me anyway. I just thought it was interesting to view the concept of death through the eyes of an innocent child. I think Faulkner did a fantastic job ¬†representing this complex idea with a simple interpretation of it.

William Faulkner lesson of the week: If you¬†drill holes into someone’s face you may be… a) a psychopath who really needs to be put in a psych ward ASAP b) a little kid trying to save his mother from a cursed afterlife (awwwww Vardaman!!!!!) or c) someone who is just very confused with their life and should ask for some professional help……nah, I tried to put it in a delicate way but you are probably just another psycho

Brother vs brother 

Once again, a week has flown by just like that, and you know what that means…… Another blog post from moi. So I’m here today to talk about a little sibling rivalry. Now, we all know what it’s like to try and outdo our brothers and sisters in becoming the favorite child. It’s the most ultimate bragging right to flaunt over your sibling. To the point, let’s focus on Jewel and Darl in this little competition. 

Now, we know that Jewel is Addie’s golden child thanks to the intriguing insights of Cora. I want to refer back to the scene where Darl narrates his mother’s death. It was quite interesting to have Darl, someone who was not with Addie in her last moments alive, to show the audience how she died. Maybe Darl has an all powerful psychic third eye, that allows him to see the past, present, and future! Although that would be a pretty awesome plot twist, I seriously doubt it, so why would Faulkner choose to use this specific character to narrate her death? Well, I will leave you to ponder on that question, but the one question I want to answer is this: why does Darl continue to tell Jewel that Addie is dead? I mean, when someone tells you that someone in your family has died, you might not believe the news and need it to be repeated a couple of times. But seriously Darl? It’s as if he is torturing Jewel with the news, repeating it over and over and over again. From the novel, the audience can infer that Jewel has a strong relationship with his mother. When he sees her suffering or cannot spend time with her, he lashes out. (Not the best way to deal with the issue but you get the point) On the other hand, Darl shows little to no emotion related to his mother. I mean, he calls her by her first name whenever he talks to or about her! I admit, I’ve called my mom by her first name, but Darl takes it to a whole new level: resentment maybe? So, is he punishing Jewel for being the golden child? Is he getting back at Addie for choosing Jewel over him? I thinks it’s a bit of both, but what do you guys think? Pretty cruel game of sibling rivalry if you ask me. 

William Faulkner lesson of the week: If you want revenge, find your enemy’s weakness aka… Their big red button. Dance around that big red button for a while, and once your opponent is vulnerable, slam the crap out of that big red button. (Thanks Darl for the little tip) 

Misunderstood? 

Hey hey hey! So, I just began our next little adventure of reading As I Lay Daying  by the one and only mister William Faulkner. With all the perspectives being thrown in here and there my brain is pretty much going to implode! That’s right I meant implode. Trust me, I know what I’m trying to say. Anyhoo, I’m only about 30 pages in, so I’m just being introduced to the characters. There is one character who has particularly caught my attention…… Jewel. 

Now apart from the snazzy name and intense personality, Jewel is someone who definitely is not afraid to speak his mind. Based on other characters’ perspectives, I noticed that not a lot of them are team Jewel. In fact, he is called unaffectionate and just darn cold hearted.  I won’t lie. At first all I could think of was “dude…. What’s your problem?” Remember, his mother is dying. 
In chapter 4, Jewel explains how “it would just be me and her on a high hill and me rolling the rocks down the hill at their faces” (15). This is his dream of spending time with his mother in her final days. He has no other choice but to watch his mother wither away, and it tortures him. He can only respond in the only way he know how: anger. 

I don’t know. Like I said, I’m only a small portion into the book. Jewel’s actions aren’t applaudable, but they are understandable. I guess we will have to see what happens, as we continue down this path. Until then my fellow APers… Laters 

William Faulkner lesson of the week: if you wanna make sure that your audience is actually paying attention… Use point of views from about 15 different characters. They will have no choice but to read in depth ALL THE TIME! (Faulkner 1; AP lit 0) 

Dude, Get over yourself

Okie dokie, I will now commence my rant about the one and only Angel babes. Now, at the beginning of the book I was all for team Angel. I’m talking about t-shirts, signs, fan clubs, the whole Shabam. Now, I am left with nothing but complete disappointment for this two faced, cowardly jerkwad. 

A lot of us were saying how he truly loves her, but let me tell you the cold hard truth. He actually loves the “idea of her”. On page 273 he says, ” I repeat, the woman I have been loving is not you”. Then on page 279 he continues his pity party by saying “her heart was not indexed in the honest freshness of her face”. He was in love with the thought of her perfection, but wake up Mr. Clare! No one is completely perfect. One bad thing happens and he immediately cries about his “horrible, cursed life”. Awwwww, poor baby. 

Now, I totally understand that he needs some time to think, but when you love someone, you should be willing to sacrifice your selfish needs for them. You should NOT invite some other girl to go off with you to Brazil, so that you two can cozy up in an inn and bond over your broken hearts. Boo hoo, life is hard, get over it Angel. 

A lot of us are hoping that things are gonna turn around, and it will end in pure happiness filled with rainbows, hugs, unicorns, and candy. Let me remind you again, this is a tragedy. So you will get your unicorn, but then it will most likely get caught in a bear trap…. Aka fate killing the only happiness Tess has ever known.  

Thomas Hardy lesson of the week: No matter how obnoxious Angel may become, never and I repeat NEVER join team Alec. Just don’t do it. That should be a universal rule that everyone should follow, and if you don’t follow this…. Then that means you are also an Alec. Congratulations Alecs of the world. May the bonds of your creepiness never be broken. 

The tables will turn 

Hello again everyone. This week I will be analyzing the rise of Tess. Now if you don’t want any spoilers, then I suggest that you stop reading this right now. We find Tess working in a dairy farm. It’s actually quite sad. She goes to work, doesn’t talk to anyone, and then leaves. This shows us that she has lost her feeling of importance and fulfillment. She is merely existing. Many of us are seeing her characterization like the titanic, going nowhere but down, but she is actually growing. After experiencing a tragedy, she is obviously going to have a dark period. Put yourself in that situation and imagine how hard it be to overcome it. Anyway, she is rising from this gloomy period. We see her interacting with coworkers. She talks to them about her view of life, which is actually very wise for her age. So…. guess who comes into the picture!!!! The man himself… Mr. Angel Clare! She recognizes him, and now finds a new purpose to persevere. 

Thomas Hardy lesson of the week: If you’re sad don’t worry. You and your long lost love will somehow reconnect!!! 

This must be fate

Why hello everybody and welcome back to Stouffer Productions! This week, our class set off on a new adventure reading…. Wait for it…. Tess of D’urbervilles! Now if you saw the cover and thought “wowza! That’s a REALLY big book”,then shame on you.(You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover….) Anyway, I’m hooked. I love Thomas Hardy’s language and themes he explores. To be honest, I’m probably going to finish the whole thing this weekend. 

Back to the point, Hardy dives into some topics dealing with fate. Does everything happen for a reason or are we simply affected by coincidences? He mainly emphasizes this idea through his main character, Tess. Now Tess is this sweet and adorable girl who happens to live in a not so great situation. For one, her parents act like complete fools when they figure out they are related to the mighty D’urberville family. Two, she takes care of her entire family , even though she is only sixteen. Finally number three, her super disturbing cousin now has an unbelievably creepy fling for her. Pretty much, this girl is doomed to have everything bad happen to her. She even says that she lives on a blighted apple, not a splendid one. I mean, this is just becoming super sad and depressing, but remember everyone, this book is a tragedy. (Pull out the tissues and brace yourself for some heartbreak) Now do I believe in fate, I really don’t know, but I’m ready to find out what else fate has in store for Tess. Seriously! I need to know! 

Thomas Hardy lesson of the week: If you get a vibe that your cousin is creepy because…. a) he proclaims his love for you even though you just met and are related… EWWW! b) he secretly watches you from behind the curtains c) his name is Alec Or d) all of the above…. Then run! Run very fast!!! 

Let’s go on an adventure!¬†

On Wednesday, our AP class took a little adventure downtown to watch the play As You Like It. All I have to say is…. Wow! Usually, Shakespeare is a chore to understand, but this performance truly brought his work to life. The actors fully embodied their characters, creating strong impressions that captured the audience. For me, the most entertaining characters were Touchstone and Jaques. 

Let’s start with Touchstone. Seriously, that guy knew how to party. He is extravagant, flamboyant, and just a darn funny guy to be around. He is a person that’s not afraid to be “out there”. Don’t make this dude angry, because he is not afraid to bite his thumb at thee! (See what I did there! You see! Only some of you will get that but whatever… Literature nerds unite!) Basically, if you want to have a good time, you would hang out with this guy. 

 On the other hand, we have Jaques. The level of sass that man has is absolutely amazing! His witty comebacks and sarcasm make him a top notch character. He knows when you make a stupid comment and is not afraid to straight up tell you about your idiocy. Basically, Jaques is QUEEN!!!! 

Overall, I absolutely loved the show. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to have a bunch of laugh out loud moments. 

Shakespeare lesson of the week: If you’re a girl who is in love with a guy but don’t know how to tell him, have no fear! Simply dress like a man, have a couple of bro moments, awkwardly flirt sometimes, and then reveal your true identity at the end! Boom roasted… He’s sure to fall for you.