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My Cover Letter-

Dear Reader,

This blog represents the coursework I have done for my English 170W class that I am currently taking at Queens college. The work on this blog is a variety of different analysis on the readdings we have done in class. A majorite of the pages, posts, and graphic images are related to a short story I have chosen. The other posts and pages are just miscellaneous asssingments on different readings we have done in class.

The process and effort that has been put into this blog can be clearly shown. I have finally grasped how to analyze a story/text from different points of views (New Critic VS Old Critic, Freud, etc.) For example, my chosen short story, “The Use of Force,” by William Carlos Williams, made me focus more on Freud’s point of view. It also made me focus on the historical context of the current time period (the 1900s) and the deadly disease called, “diptheria,” which is the main reason of the story, (or what seems apparent.) I also made clear to note the author’s background and how it affected the story.

A weakness that I must continue working on is writing HTML code. I would also like to improve my “computer skills” fluency, because I am still not 100% confident with my abilities. I would also like to work on citing in MLA styles.

A few strengths I have acquired through this course is identifying relevant literary terms, imager, illusion, etc when doing a close analysis of a text. I also improved on using web search engines, the online QC Library Database, to gather research for my assignments and fully putting it to effective use. I was also able to create a “hover link,” (which I’ve never even heard of before!) Lastly, I was also able to create a “Conference Presentation” link to open up as a movie file so the reader can easily view the work without having to download anything, and watch the movie at their own pace.


A fellow college student

Revising my site

My Investigative Proposal

When I first started off researching words in the Queens College database, I used words such as: ethics, conflict, and consequences. However, after searching each of those specific words, synonyms appeared to give me a better variety and selection. For example:

My old word: ethics
After searching: PROFESSIONAL ethics, MEDICAL ethics, CODES of ethics, LEGAL ethics.

My old word: conflict
After searching: conflict management, social conflict, interpersonal conflict, conflict (psychology)

My old word: consequences
After searching: drinking of alcoholic beverages, mental health, regression analysis, social impact, research, epidemiology

After writing down the list of synonyms, I initiated my first ever research through a database. My first few attempts were quit feeble and I was quickly getting discouraged. No results were appearing, and if they did, it was all about legal doctor issues, which didn’t relate to my story.

My short story, “The Use of Force,” by William Carlos Williams, is basically about a doctor who goes “over and beyond” the necessary procedure to try to force a little girl to open up her mouth, so he can check if she has disease which has been fatal to many others. However, he starts to get pleasure out of it, which leads me to my main theme or question I am trying to answer:

Is it ethical to hurt someone for their own good? What is the psychology behind it? How does power versus submission play into this? Is it morally/professionally ethical to feel pleasure out of someone else’s pain?

The “Orchestral” Method-

The following is my view of an “Orchestral” method: The relationship between “growth” and “structure” can clearly be seen in the case of Rumpelstiltskin. Since we are treating this childhood story as a myth, it’s evident to point out the constant repetition that is played throughout the text. For example, the constant deals the daughter does with Rumpelstiltskin; Necklace for gold, ring for gold, and her future baby for gold. This is not only a duplication, but a triplication and a quadruplication of the same sequence. All these trades lead to happiness- however, happiness can have serious repercussions, as can be clearly seen towards the end of the story, when Rumpelstiltskin splits himself into two. The story shows that every action, has a reaction. Thus, the function of repetition renders the structure of the myth. A common theme throughout myths is to have a “good guy” and a “bad guy” to complete the moral of the story. This adds to the growth of the story as well, because it leads the reader to an ending that justifies the beginning. 

Semiotician Method

1) Examine the words right away in the first line.

2) Look at each individual word and tear apart the text.

3) Define each individual word with a dictionary definition.

4) Figure out each vocabulary words connotation and denotation.

5) Put the text back together and evaluate your findings and interpretations.


Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 65”

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

Web Wednesday 10/19/11

A New Critic would have various opinions on “Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65” annotated paragraph because it conflicts with their rules. Regardless,  it is important that we begin with the root of each significant word and understand how it ties into a bigger, uniformed meaning of text in the end. A New Critic would right away acknowledge the proper usage of breaking down almost each individual word. However, a New Critic would not care for the annotated notes on the historical content of a word. For example, how certain words Shakespeare uses are no longer used today in present time : “Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring day.” These words don’t really exist in modern times, and might affect the reader’s outcome of the poem as a whole, but the New Critics would say to leave your feelings aside and focus on the definition of the word, not of its popularity of usage in current times. I think the New Critic would really enjoy the extensive breakdown of words, although they would probably be against the hover-annotation technique, and prefer the simplicity of just a pen, paper, and dictionary.

Hover Annotation

Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,

Web Wednesday 10/12/11

When looking at Richter’s “Mapping Critical Theories,” one can claim that digital humanities could relate to his theory. Although Richter relies heavily on only three sub categories, (world, author, audience), I feel that digital humanities could have a place amongst those divisions. The internet is now one of the first places people go to when trying to figure out just about anything- especially when dealing with literature. It’s a great way to find out about the author’s background, other published works, and even to see other people’s opinions on the selected text at hand. Using the internet brings people from all over the world together, with just a click of a button. For example, a digital humanities tool one can use is the ngram viewer, which allows one to compare synonyms from millions of printed texts from centuries ago. Such devices as this can help one further analyze literary theory and its components.

Spur of the moment poem from 9/14/11

A girl in the library

She sits by her cubicle,
waiting for motivation to kick in,
but all that comes to mind,
is how to make a rhyme,
so she stares pass her books,
and gives people funny looks,
until she catches a handsome man’s eye,
who dresses nicely, with a tie,
and in her mind springs a conversation,
that would consist of her lacking motivation,
and he would frown and nod his head,
giving her belligerent looks instead,
he’d walk away, with his hands in his pocket,
and she’d stare at him in wonder,
sitting boxed in by her wood painted cubicle,
with dictionaries lined up in front of her,
waiting for motivation to kick in.

A girl on the train.

She sits on the train,
with her legs up on the seat,
staring at her newly purchased white shoes,
when the train makes a stop,
and a shuffle of new people come on,
so she lifts her head up and stares at all the new, foreign faces,
waiting for a sign of recognition,
but all that comes to mind,
is a layer of question marks,
when she gets distracted by the man sitting next to her,
who’s watching a video on his phone,
so she edges over ever so slightly to catch a better glimpse,
but all she sees is the reflection of her shadow,
so she edges back and tries to find another distraction,
and looks up to re-read all the advertisements,
smoking cigarettes kill,
Devry Institution makes people smile way too big,
and the Yankees run New York,
suddenly a woman interrupts her train of thought,
and asks to sit besides her,
she she puts her brand new shoes on the dirty floor,
hoping roaches or rats don’t crawl up her leg,
trying not to breathe too much because the woman smells like body odor,
counting down the stops until her ride is finished,
so she can go on another endless train ride heading to nowhere,
having nothing to look forward to except the presence of others around her.

Reflection on Web Wednesday (10/5/11)

Today we used online tools called “wordle” and “ngram viewers.” These devices were new to me so I was skeptical of how it would work. After getting familiar with the tools however, I learned that it was quite simple and actually gave me information about my short story that I am currently pursuing. I guess you can say that it’s, “a new way of doing old things..” but it is SO much easier to do it this way, than the old fashioned way! If there was no internet, then I would have had to make my “wordle” using construction paper, colored pencils, glue, etc. But now all I have to do is copy and paste! I love the simplicity of it. And the same can be said for the “ngram viewers.” I would have had to go to the library and do so much research comparing the usage of certain words from decades ago. These new tools can definitely improve a writer’s perspective on the wording of their current literature and make it easier for them in the long run.


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