Sunday, January 12, 2014

Metamorphosis p.37-38 AP style close reading

            When Gregor first sees his father after his transformation he first believes there is a dramatic difference in him, yet his father has not changed to such a degree. His father has gotten new clothes and a job, but he is still a weak old man. His father is an extremely dynamic character because he is “furious and happy at the same time” when he sees Gregor (37). He is furious at Gregor and what he has become, yet he is happy because he believes that since he is not the man in the house with the job, he is stronger than his son. In this excerpt there is a contrast between the two sides of his father, the weak and the strong. He wants to show that he is strong, but the old side of him which is weak disables him from doing this completely.
            Gregor notices a huge difference in the mannerisms of his father which he say may be because “he has been so preoccupied by the new sensation of crawling around” (37). He wonders if this is actually the same father would used to “lie wearily, buried in his bed” (37). He father now appears strong and energetic in contrast to the man who was extremely slow when they used to take walks together. Gregor sees a huge difference in the way his father is dressed and the way he is standing. He wears a “high, stiff collared” jacket, but his “pronounced double chin unfurled” (37). He wears this uniform which creates pictures of a strong man going to work, yet his double chin which shows laziness is still pronounced. While Gregor is amazed at this transformation, the lazy father he used to know is still there inside.

            His father wants to fight Gregor because Gregor has become a burden to the family, yet he cannot muster himself to do that showing that he really has not undergone much of a transformation. Although he raises his feet to possibly kick Gregor “he most likely himself had no idea of what he intended to do” (37). As he continues to try to fight Gregor, his old self begins to overcome him. His father becomes extremely short of breath and “for every step his father took he had to execute a number of movements” (38). Although his father wants to fight Gregor and show his strength over the family, his weakness disables him from doing so. In the end he ends up throwing fruit at Gregor. Although the fruit has a detrimental effect on Gregor, his father only threw it weakly. It is a bit comical that he is throwing fruit because that shows absolutely no strength because any human could do that. He father did come close to killing Gregor with the fruit though, and his mother had to “beg[…] him to save Gregor’s life” (38). Although he wounded Gregor and exerts his strength over the family, his weakness that Gregor remembers does not go away. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Explication and Reflection of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer 5
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake. 10
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, 15
And miles to go before I sleep.

Although the woods do not belong to the speaker, the speaker describes how beautiful the woods are when you simply admire them without any purpose. The speaker takes a ride with his horse through the woods that “fill up with snow” (4). These woods are not his though, they are someone who he “think[s] [he] know[s]” (1). The speaker stops “without a farmhouse near” and “between the woods and frozen lake” (6-7). There is no reason to stop in that place. The speaker merely wants to stop there to admire the dense woods fill up with snow.

While his horse questions why the speaker stops in the random place in the woods, the speaker listens to the only other sound “of easy wind and downy flake” (12). The woods are extremely peaceful and quiet which the speaker loves. He wants to stay in these woods and admire the beauty. Unfortunately, he cannot admire the beauty for long because the speaker has obligations and “promises to keep” (14). In addition he has “miles to go before [he] sleep[s]” (15). This sentence is repeated twice which emphasizes the daunting task he must complete. The speaker has to go these miles even though he wants to enjoy the spacious woods.

I chose this poem because it symbolizes how our lives can carry us away from what we truly desire. I believe the speaker and many of us humans take actions that do not lead us to our goals. The speaker wants to stop in the woods and admire it, but he has promises to keep and miles to go before he sleeps. He is unable to enjoy nature because of the obligations of the journey. This relates to many people who forget to enjoy the pleasures in life because they are so caught up in their tasks and jobs, which they many not even like. We have miles to go to complete the daunting tasks that we do not want to complete. Yet, we still complete these daunting, unenjoyable tasks because they are the “right” thing to do. I believe the poem shows that we should enjoy the woods that are “lovely, dark, and deep” instead of keeping these unfulfilling promises. Frost tells us to enjoy nature and your passions before it is too late.