Sunday, September 29, 2013

Are you a thinker or a doer?

Thinking versus doing is the argument to debate about myself. After some contemplation I have determined that I have both qualities of a thinker and qualities of a doer. I am a very analytical person. I analyze the relationships with my family and my friends often. Although I analyze and think about them, I act as well. I confront the problems I have instead of just contemplating them.
Sometimes I do think more than do though. I constantly set goals for myself, yet many of these goals I do not achieve. Some of the goals are unrealistic in the amount of time I want them to be achieved, but that is the only excuse I have. I set goals to be a more peaceful and happy person. I want myself to not get caught up in the little things. I have acted and taken steps to achieve this such as taking deep breaths when I am stressed out and incorporating yoga in my life, but I have not achieved this goal. I have has this goal for about 2 years. Although I have taken steps towards it, I could easily take more. I could try harder to achieve my goal. Instead of thinking about more goals for myself, I could use that time to act of the small goals I have already set for myself.
My conclusion is that I am both a thinker and a doer. Sometimes I think more than I act though. Yet, I am not content with this aspect of myself. I want to act more instead of thinking so much. I know thinking problems through is beneficial with coming up with a solution, yet thinking too much can halt the process of action. Thinking too much can cause someone to continue thinking and never get to the point of action. That is another goal I have for myself, I want to think less and do more. I want to continue thinking, but not thinking over and over to the point where I will never get the action. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Explication of Break of Day by John Donne

          This poem tells a story of a woman who is in love with a busy man. The woman wakes up in the morning with a man by her side. Yet, the man cannot stay because he is busy. The speaker says that business is the disease of love. The theme is that a busy man may put his business above love.
Donne starts the poem by describing the day, “’Tis true, ‘tis day, what though it be?” (1). The woman knows it is the day. She does not yet know what this day will bring though. Will her husband stay or go? Donne presents us with a mindboggling thought next: “Why should we rise because ‘tis light” (3). Why does love have to part when the day breaks? The woman wants to stay with her loved one all day, but that is not what her husband will do.
             Donne contrasts love and light: “Love which in spite of darkness brought us hither/ Should, in despite of light, keep us together” (6). Donne states that just because the sun is up does not mean the couple has to part. The contrasts here are very interesting. Donne uses the words love and darkness together positively because love and darkness brought the couple together. This is against darkness’s usual association with a negative connotation. In the next line light is compared with keeping the couple together. The break of the daylight brings the couple apart because the husband has to go to work. It is an interesting contrast because the light, which is associated with positive words and feelings actually brings the husband and wife apart. While the darkness brings them together again.
                In the next stanza Donne goes into a deeper description of light. He says that it has “no tongue, but is all eye” (7), and “If it could speak […] This were the worst that it could say” (8-9). The husband leaves the love that he and his wife shared in the night. This is the worst that light can say because it takes the couple apart. It is interesting how he first says that light has no tongue, but then he states what light would say. I believe he does this to dramatize that this is the worst thing light can do.

                The man’s business keeps him from staying with his love all day. The speaker calls business “the worst disease of love” (14). He uses disease here to show how business breaks apart love from the inside out. Business seems beneficial in words, but in actuality it slowly breaks down love. The speaker goes so far as saying a mean is business is as “wrong as when a married man doth woo” (18). This is an extreme comparison. The author states that business is as wrong as cheating. He does this to state that since business takes away so much time from love it takes away the unity in the marriage. Business may make a man forget his wife which is compared to what cheating does to a man. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

To be or not to be Debate Twist

To study or not to study--that is the quesiton.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to learn
The ins and the outs of subjects through flashcards,
or to take arms against the sea of notes
And, by opposing, end them. To fail, to sleep--
No more-- and by failing to say we end
The heartache and the stress of the mind
That homework is heir to-- 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished none. To fail, to sleep--
To fail, perchance an unknown entity.
For in that failure of tests what dreams may come,
When we have stopped to study,
Must give us time.

There's the respect
That makes studying beneficial.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of ignorance,
and unintelligence.

Laziness is wrong.
The pangs of Facebook, twitter and the television
Distracts us from making the decision.
The patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself has neglected to study.
Who goes through everyday life,
Without the dread of failing and report cards.

Yet the undiscovered overachiever.
Who takes notes diligently.
His conscience does make cowards of us all.
And thus gives us much to think about.
What is the resolution?

Be all the times I neglected to study remembered.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Appropriate Parental Spying

              In Act II of Hamlet there are two instances of parental spying. I do not believe either of these are appropriate for two reasons. First I believe that parents should confront their kids instead of spying on them because there is a huge chance for miscommunication, and spying is hardly effective in fixing problems. Spying may be appropriate if it is well intended to help the children through something. Also, both of these instances were not done out of care for those being spied on. Yet, in these instances spying was not done out of care for the children.
                Polonius sends a servant Reynaldo to go spy on Laertes while he is in France. Polonius wants Reynaldo to insult Laertes to his acquaintances as a way to get information. I do not know what Polonius is expecting to gain by spying on his son. It seems as though he wants to see Laertes fail at school, and he sets this up by giving Laertes’s friends information that does not look well upon him. Polonius seems jealous of his son at school, and he feels he is in competition with him. This spying would be more appropriate if Polonius had good intentions.

                As Act II continues, Gertrude and Claudius send two of Hamlet’s old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. They want to find out the cause behind Hamlet’s brooding and sorrow. Claudius explains to Hamlet’s friends that he wants to help Hamlet recover from this sorrow from whatever “unknown afflicts him thus” (2.2.17). Claudius is putting on an act here. He wants to keep a close watch on Hamlet so that Hamlet does not find out that Claudius murdered King Hamlet. Claudius wants Hamlet to forget about his father’s death and move on so that Claudius can be king without that threat. The Queen wants Hamlet to return to his old self before she married his uncle. She is not concerned with his emotions, she just wants the tension between Hamlet and Claudius to end. Again this spying is not well intended. Claudius just wants to know what Hamlet is thinking so that he can stay one step ahead of Hamlet. Claudius does not want Hamlet to find out his secret. The Queen seems to be oblivious to this whole situation while she follows the King’s lead. This spying is not appropriate parental spying because Claudius and Gertrude have no motives to help Hamlet through whatever he is dealing with. Claudius simply wants to rid the threat Hamlet poses to his new kingdom.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Analyzing the Balad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall

                The Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall moved me almost to the point of tears.
The speaker is an African American mother who wants to save her child from the violence and death of the protests. The poem is extremely ironic. The mother refuses her child to go to the Freedom March in Birmingham because, “For the dogs are fierce and wild, And the clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren’t good for a little child” (6-9). The mother wants to keep her child away from the dogs which I believe can represent the cops. The cops are fierce and wild against the protesters. She does not want her child to be subjected to that. Also, the mother will not put her daughter in any danger.
                Instead the mother says that the child “may go to church instead And sing in the children’s choir” (15-6). The mother believes that her daughter will be safe in the sacred church. She allows her daughter to go to a safe place in the town that is far away from the cops and the riots. The mother dresses the child in white gloves and white shoes. The author writes that the mother dresses the child in white gloves and shoes because the mother was obeying and hiding from the white community. She refused her daughter to go to the march because she was afraid of the punishment by the white community. Now she dresses her daughter in white to show that she will accept their superiority as long as her child is safe.
               In the next stanza the mother believes her child is safe yet “that was the last smile To come upon her face” (24). This quote foreshadows what will happen in the next stanza. It was awful to read that the loving mother who would do anything to save her daughter is going to lose her daughter because of racial hate. The mother then “heard the explosion” and “Her eyes grew wet and wild” (25-6). Her child getting caught in the bombing of the church is so ironic because the mother sent her to church to keep her safe. The mother made sure she was away from any danger. It is also ironic how the mother’s eyes grew “wet and wild” because the dogs were “fierce and wild” and few stanzas earlier. The loss of her child caused the mother to become fierce and “wild” like the dogs. The burning brought her down on the whites’ level. She no longer will try to play it safe because she suffered the death of her beloved child. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Impressions of Hamlet, King Claudius and Queen Gertrude. Hamlet 1.1-1.3

     The reader is first introduced to King Claudius in Act 1, scene 2. He expresses his grief for the late King Hamlet. In this monologue King Claudius seems genuine, but as the scene continues, his grief and sorrow for his brother’s death can be seen as an act. When Hamlet expresses his extreme grief and annoyance that his mother does not take part in this grief, King Claudius tells Hamlet to move on from his sorrow: “But to persever/ In obstinate condolement is a course/ Of impious stubbornness. ‘Tis unmanly grief” (1.2.96-8). Claudius says it is a natural course to lose a father and that Hamlet should not continue to grieve. He says grieving at this point is stubborn and unmanly. King Claudius is unsympathetic towards Hamlet. He wants Hamlet to forget the death of his father so that the new King can move on with his rule of Denmark. Also, King Claudius refuses to allow Hamlet to go to the university in Wittenberg. Not only is he unsympathetic towards Hamlet, but also he does not allow Hamlet to fitful his wishes because Claudius wants to keep a watch over him. King Claudius is afraid Hamlet will ruin his reign as king. He wants to keep a close watch over Hamlet and ensure Hamlet does wreck his position in power. 
            Queen Gertrude is completely behind her new husband. She marries her late husband’s brother in less than a month. She moved on quickly from the death of her husband and wants Hamlet to follow suit: “Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die,/ Passing through nature to eternity” (1.2.74-5). She wants Hamlet to forget about his father’s death because it was the natural course of life. Like her new husband, she is unsympathetic towards Hamlet’s grief. She seems oblivious and unconcerned of the death of her husband and her new marriage. She evens appears somewhat unemotional in this scene.
            When the reader first meets Hamlet in Act 1 Scene 2, he appears suspicious and resentful towards his new father. Hamlet is uncomfortable with the marriage of his mother and his uncle. He states the relationship as unnatural: “A little more than kin and less than kind” (1.2.67). He believes their relationship, now as father and son, is twisted. He has not yet comes to terms with his late father’s death and the idea that his uncle is now his new father.
In Hamlet’s aside he expresses anger towards his mother for marrying too fast. She married him when King Hamlet was “But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two” (1.2.142). He is angry that she did not grieve and that she married his uncle. Hamlet also believes that his father was “So excellent a king” (1.2.143). He is in despair with his new life. He despises that his uncle is the new king and his new father. Hamlet seems to have the only reaction to this situation. He responds with anger and confusion to his mother marrying his uncle less than two months after his father’s death while Queen Gertrude and King Claudius act like nothing is wrong. Hamlet does not playing along with this strange logic. He shows that this is unnatural. Also, he is angry because none of his family expresses grief of King Hamlet that he is experiencing.