Sunday, December 4, 2011


The Role of Technology in Society

            Feed is a novel by M.T. Anderson that creates a clear image of technology and shows the emphasis we, as a society, place on it. The novel is set in a futuristic time where the world and the thoughts of the individual are controlled by a “feed”.  Each of the characters believes they are in control of their self and have a choice but in reality they are obeying what the Feed Corporation wants. They live in a society that has, for the most part, been brain washed since the day they were born. The writer grabs the reader’s attention by the use of slang and dialogue and is still able to create a strong message. One of the most powerful lines in the novel in support of this topic is “The natural world is so adaptable...So adaptable you wonder what's natural.” (Feed)

            In the beginning the reader’s first impression of the characters is they are your typical young teenager. Their only concern is for their self and having a good time.

            “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

We went on a Friday, because there was shit-all to do at home. It was the beginning of spring break. Everything at home was boring. Link Arwaker was like, “I’m so null,” and Marty was all, “I’m null too, unit,” but I mean we were all pretty null, because for the last like hour we’d been playing with three uninsulated wires that were coming out of the wall. We were trying to ride shocks off them.” (Feed)

            The writer does a great job at developing the characters and showing the reader how they think and feel. They do go to school but only to learn how to use their feeds. They seem to be fully consumed by their feed, their technology. It seems to control them in every aspect and yet they do not seem to realize it. Their feed and the role it plays is natural to them, they know nothing more and do not seem to think beyond it.

            When they are on the moon Titus meets a girl, Violet. It is here where we start to see some change. He could not stop his self from watching her. She seems to have his full attention without even having to speak to him. He is drawn to her because she is different and he is a part of a world where everyone is the same. I think here we see the beginning role that technology can have on a society. We all become one, we lose our individuality. The book has a great example of this, “…It’s like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple. So the corps makes everything even simpler. And it goes on and on.” (Feed) This has been the overall theme in some of the readings that we have done this semester. The idea of “mob mentality” being a follower and not having to be an individual, this way we do not have to be our own person, we can just do what everyone else does. As a society do we do this so we have someone to blame?

            The power of the story is in the relationship of Titus and Violet and how it affects his life. We rely so much, as a society, on technology that the thought of not having it is scary. We rely on technology for everything, and in turn we lose individuality. Because of overuse of technology we have become lazy. If we want something done we create a way to accomplish our overall goal without having to leave our house or get dressed. Childhood obesity and obesity in general has become a huge issue with technology. Kids and adults would rather play games or play on phones or watch TV then going out and playing a game or being active. Cespedes says “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 10 percent of preschool age children and 15 percent of 6- to 19-year olds, can be considered overweight. Twice as many are on the brink of this statistic, making childhood obesity a societal epidemic. In addition to eating more processed, high calorie foods, active play has been supplanted by technology. Parents drive children to school instead of letting them walk. Kids ride motorized cars and scooters rather than pedal bikes. Teens manipulate a joystick instead of a baseball bat. The television has become a constant companion, replacing outside play.” This is something that we need to think about as a society and realize what path we are heading down.
           Verbal communication is almost completely a thing of the past. Things such as email, instant messenger, Facebook and tweeter have taken its place. Computers are used for everything and are everywhere. We can even go to school online and get a degree without ever having to step foot in a college or university. Face to face communication is a completely outdated. If we do not use face to face communication we will lose connections with each other and our world. We will become a part of one big group.

Everything will be put on the internet and we will no longer have need of things like libraries, fast food workers, teachers and many other things. We will be able to have everything computer generated. What happens to things like books? If we stop printing them the copies we have now will not be around in 100 years. Before people had paper they used animal skin and cave walls and things like that to write on. Because those things were able to be preserved we still have some original copies of plays and things that were written many years ago. The pages, paper, that our books are printed on will not hold the ink that long, so what will be left of our century? This can be seen if you keep a receipt long enough the printing will fade and eventually the paper will be blank.  What will the next century find? Will they even use computers or will they then be a thing of the past.

            Technology is not all bad but we must create and maintain other ways of living. Relying only on technology is something that will lead us down a path of destruction in the end. Anderson hints to this idea in the novel.

 It’s the end. It’s the end of the civilization. We’re going down.

No, it’s sure not too attractive. Lenticels.

I just hope my kids don’t live to see the last days. The things burning and people living in cellars.


The only thing worse than the thought it may all come tumbling down is the thought that we may go on like this forever.”

Privacy is a big issue when it comes to technology. If we are putting everything, such as bank information and things such as that online we run a risk of people stealing our information. The same people that can create a website, even if it is a “safe site”, can hack that site for their advantage. There is also the question of who really owns the internet? We have service providers that allow us access to the internet, but who owns the actually space in which our things travel through to reach one site or the other? Does the government have a right to own “space”? Things like this are important to understand and consider when using technology.

There are also a different set of rules and regulations one must follow when using technology. We can give the government more control over us when we place all of our information where it is easily accessed. We become a body and lose every part of the individual we actually are. Even now we are encouraged to think as a group and not the individual. Privacy has become a thing of the past. We seem to be more open to almost anything and everything now because we have had to a just to rules and regulations set up by the government. A great example of this was one I found about surveillance in the workplace.  Surveillance in the workplace opens the door to serious privacy invasion issues that are not only degrading, but unlawful. Surveillance cameras set up in restrooms, employee changing areas and other private areas create a potentially embarrassing situation because employees expect a certain level of privacy in such areas. Having such personal moments documented on film also creates risk that the material will fall into the wrong hands or be otherwise misused in an abusive manner.” (Burbeck, Lynn)

            There is good in everything and with technology there does come some good things. Technology can be used to help education in many ways. Computers can help kids that cannot read or write because of certain disabilities be able to communicate with others. Things like studying can be easier because you “Google” just about anything and get pages and pages of things that pop up on your topic. It also can help with things like the cost of text books, if everything is online there is no longer a need for expensive textbooks. In some ways the use of technology can cut back on our over consumption of resources. Things like paper and pencils will no longer be needed so the overall trash intake should go down.

 Employment can also be effected in a positive way due to technology. People are going to have to operate some of the machines and be able to maintain the machines. People are also going to have to continue to create machines and come up with ideas to make them better. This will allow room for technology to grow but it also opens the door to the destruction of the individual if not done carefully. On a global scale technology can be used to help us as a nation communicate and help other nations around the world.

 Technology can go places that humans may not be able to go. Over time one can save a lot of money with greater technology. The health care industry can benefit a lot from technology. A great example would be “The small, lightweight camera chip, initially developed for recording images in space, incorporates onto one chip all of the electronic controls normally requiring multiple chips. By consolidating the controls onto one chip, the devices are smaller, lighter and use a fraction of the energy of multiple-chip cameras. For patients, this means smaller dosages of radiation-as little as 1 percent the dose of a normal x-ray-and a lower cost.” (NASA)

            The other big problem with a technology based society is we have no use or care for something once a new and better thing is created. We do not care what happens to old product we are only concerned with the new. Feed says is great “We Americans are interested only in the consumption of our products. We have no interest in how they are produced, or what happens to them once we discard them, once we throw them away.” This is a huge problem. What happens to all the stuff we do not want? Where does it go? It is thrown away but some things cannot just be taken care of through the trash system. Some require a lot of attention in disposing of them because they can hurt our environment. Computers and things like that cannot just be thrown in the trash, there is a process in which has to followed to break the machine down so that it will not hurt our environment.

 There is a video on YouTube that shows how big of an effect our technology has on other places. It shows what we do with our trash and old things to make room for the new and better things.  This picture is just a glimpse of what the video shows.

 Scrap computers beinFigure 1Scrap computers being piled up after being unloaded from containers at Ibru warehouse near the port in Lagos. (Image: 4542)© Basel Action Network 2005g

Humans are smart we have not got to where we are today because we are not smart. We want to do well and live a great and easy carefree life and that’s why technology seems so appealing. We start to see a change in the book; he starts to realize that maybe being like everyone else is not what it is all about. Maybe being a thinker and being truly free willed is something that is not dumb but real. “I am messaging you to say that I love you, and that you're completely wrong about me thinking you're stupid. I always thought you could teach me things. I was always waiting. You're not like the others. You say things that no one expects you to. You think you're stupid. You want to be stupid. But you're someone people could learn from.” (Feed) This is a great example of technology and how it clouds our vision sometime but in a society when everything is the same being different means being wrong. There is no wrong or right when it comes to technology and its many advantages and disadvantages. It cannot be one or the other completely. There is the idea that “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” but to say completely one way or the other is not able to be done in this case. It is all about balance, and learning from the mistakes we make.

I like this line from the novel; it does a great job at describing society. “We are the nation of dreams. We are seers. We are wizards. We speak in visions. Our letters are like flocks of doves, released from under our hats. We have only to stretch out our hand and desire, and what we wish for settles like a kerchief in our palm. We are a race of sorcerers, enchanters. We are Atlantis. We are the wizard-isle of Mu.” (Feed) As a society we want what is best and we strive to create a world that is great and error free. Is error free a good thing? Making mistakes often leads to learning if we make something and settle for it being the best, is it truly the best?

 We have become more concerned about fixing certain “problems” that we are missing what is happening right before our eyes. “Problems” for us consists of doing laundry, cleaning the house, doing homework, traveling and much more. These are not the “problems” we should be worried with. We are losing our individuality and becoming this one huge body that can and will be easily controlled if we are not careful. We are all human and while we may mean well the power of being in charge of a huge group, like what we are putting together, can be very dangerous. We can lose rights and freedoms simply because we wanted to make things easier for us.

Just because something is easy does not mean it is good. Technology is a wonderful tool that helps us more and more in our day to day life. It is something that we count on for so much. However technology should not be something that we rely on totally. We still have to live and do things for ourselves; we cannot get caught up in the crazy driven technology world. We must remember the things from this story and learn from them. If all we care about is technology and the next best thing we will lost the freedom of free thought and expression. As we saw from the book having a “feed” can be great in some ways but in others it can be completely controlling.

In conclusion technology is something to think about.  How close are we to this kind of society like from the book? How much more do we need to go in that direction before we become that society? We must wake up and see that while technology is an amazing advancement it can also be the complete downfall of a people. Being able to think and have free will is what makes us the individuals that we are. If we had a chip that did all this for us, we could be controlled completely. The world and everyone in it could be controlled by one person.

 Is it any one person’s right to be able to control that many people? What would happen to the world or even its people if we were all controlled? We would lose all signs of individuality and become one. That is a path that we should not be so willing to go down. We should continue with technology but remember to control it and not let it control the people.

a silver dish

this story was all about power over each other. It was about letting one person control things even when they were wrong and others may have known better.
I think one of the most interesting characters from this story was Pop. He reminding me of some people i know and it allowed me to see into his character a little more then any others.

I think people often forget why we still read things like this today. I think that just like in the story we have people were not using banks a lot. They were keeping their money at home and not using cash and things like that. I think that, that is relevant to today's society because people are not using cash as much anymore. People really rely on debit cards or credit cards and the idea of cash is becoming a thing of the past.

I really enjoyed this story but it was a little different.


The first thing this made me think of was drugs. I feel very lost after reading this and its no certain place, i just feel like this reading was hard to follow and a little difficult.

I think that this was written for his group of friends and if we were on the inside we would understand and know what was going on better. I feel like we are outsiders looking in and that is why it is hard for us to understand what is going on.

I also am not sure what is going on with the idea of shock therapy? i Feel like there is the idea of mental illness in this...

The very end "lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
here O victory forget your underwear we're
I feel like this is a play on the national anthem. I'm not sure what all he is trying to say but i think his word choices were for a reason.

I also feel like this is much like Huck. He was going out to the West to get out of whatever people felt stuck in. This idea is seen in this story as well.

Harrison Bergeron

I really liked this story. This story was about taking everyone and trying to make them "equal".

Can this ever happen?
Reminds me a little of Feed, with its futuristic outlook.

I think that people read this and say "oh my God this is dumb" how far away are we from this today? WE already feel like we have to monitor things and keep things equal when in fact nothing really is all that equal. I think that if everyone was the same this would be a horrible life. We are all different and have something different to "bring to the table"
 and because of that we are where we are today. If we lived like this ,where would we be? Would we be able to do things that we do now?

I think that this is something that everyone should things about and look at. I feel like we all like this idea of equality but what is that really and at what price does it come?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flash Fiction (The Story of an Hour)

The Story of an Hour    Kate Chopin

Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.
It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.
She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.
There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.
She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.
There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.
She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.
She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.
Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will — as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.
She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.
There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.
And yet she had loved him — sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!
“Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.
Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door — you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.”
“Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.
Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.
She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.
Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently
When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease — of the joy that kills.

the red convertable

The Red Convertable is about two brothers that live on a reservation with their family. Lyman tells the story of him and his brother Henry. They get the money to purchase a red convertible and they then go on a trip without any plan or means. This is where they learn about each other and life and death.

“I always had good luck with numbers, and never worried about the draft myself. I never even had to think about what my number was” this was a line i was a little confused about. I think that it means almost to say that the government still has control over them even if they are not supposed to. I feel like he is saying that he got out of doing it when maybe it was like almost not a choice.

I feel like the reader must understand the setting of the story and what a reservation actually is and what the lifestyle is like to live on one. I feel like these people had a different life. They lived close together and everyone was family. But i also feel like this story speaks about race issues and government control.

I like this story and i think that the ending is the biggest topic. I feel like people can argue either way about what truly happens. I personally feel like he kills his self in the end. I do not think it was a accident. I think that he reached a point in life that this was what he thought was his only option.

Another important thing to think or talk about is who story is it really? I guess it can go either way and i guess they story does not have to have a main character (just one) but it is something i kept thinking about while reading.

I also thought about how cool it must have been to be care free and get to travel like they did. I feel like in today's society this is something that most of the time never happens. I think that most people like to follow society, go to school, meet a guy or girl, get married, have babies...but then what? When can we simply be ourselves? Who says that we have to do things in that order or even do those things at all? Why do people find the brothers traveling something crazy to do today?

I think that it has alot to do with how things are now and how people have made things into something that never were even thought about till now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EB White excerpt from Charlotte’s Web

I love this book, it was one of the first ones i remember my mother reading to me. I always cried when mom would tell me the part about Charlotte dying. I never understood why she had to die.

When reading it again at my age now i feel like she was a representation of the circle of life. She dies and Wilbur goes on to live because of her really. She survived her "purpose" in life and was okay with dying. I think that the way it is portrayed in a child's book is not graphic or bad. The book does not go into great detail about her death but i feel like it does play a big role in the making of the story. She was in it for a reason and she was taken out for a reason.

I can relate this to some of what we have been reading because of the circle of life theme. We have seen that in some way in almost everything we have been reading lately. It really surprised me that in rereading this i found new and interesting details that i did not see the first time i read this. I know it does have some to do with my age but it was still nice to re read and think about things in a different light.

The character that i never cared for was Templeton. How he acts in the story can be closely related to how we act as humans. We are all about ourselves and what we want. We do not do things just to do them, we do them so that we can get something out of it. There is a part where Charlotte tells Wilbur that she does all this for him because he is a friend. Is that a good enough? He never really has to work or do much of anything but yet he is getting praised for it all. What does that say about Charlotte?

There is also a part where Templeton turns his back on Charlotte and Wilbur because he chooses fair food over helping Wilbur when Charlotte's babies are born. What does this say about the rat? Is he portrayed as a rat on purpose? Does that have a role in the way his character acts? I think that it does, i think that him being a rat was on purpose.

All and all i feel like death is portrayed a certain way becuse it is a childs book. If it was written for adults i feel like the story would have been much different.

Li-Young Lee “From Blossoms”

This poem appears to be about peaches. However i believe that it can have a deeper meaning and that the text can support it.

This poem makes me think of a older couple or maybe a very young couple looking back or looking forward on life. I feel like the theme of freedom and living for or in the memories is a powerful part of this poem. It was not a plan to go buy the peaches that day, it just happened because they saw the sign. I think about myself and how i have seen signs for fresh vegetables or even a sonic sign advertising a new drink or combo, and how through the sign i am persuaded to pursue the item. I think that this is something that we can all relate to and understand. I also like how the writer gives you senses that help create a real image.
I also like the writers word choices. I think that a peach is somewhat of a sexual fruit and maybe the writer plays with that idea some in this part:

"From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach."
This poem gives me a sense of good feeling and love and happiness. It is a little more up beat when compared to some of the things that we have been reading. But it is fun to read and flowed very easy. I think that you can read it as just simply what it is or you can look at it a little deeper and see what it maybe can mean or become to you. I love that with poetry there is not right and wrong, each reader interprets the work according to what it means to them. This allows for great thought and many different ideas. I think that you may could relate this poem in some ways to some of the things we have done because it is talking about nature. I feel like things tend to happen in the "woods" or in "nature" this to is where this poem takes place. Instead of the "bad" things happening in nature like some of the other works, i feel like here we see a life. It is like a life cycle that we often miss and do not see the real significance behind. What came from the nature is what we so longed for and loved. It is what gives us nourishment and things we need to stay alive.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Donald Barthelme “The School”

 The students in the story “The School,” ask, “Is death that which gives meaning to life?” The teacher answered, “No, life is that which gives meaning to life,” an answer which is impossible to argue against.  This is pretty much the summary of the story. A lot happens but this is the over all question behind what is going on. I think the story has a much deeper meaning then just the underlining one. I am not completely sure i understand it but i am going to give it a try.
Maybe the children in the story represent a group of everyday people and the teachers represent a group of wiser or more intelligent people.  There are a lot of things that start to die in the story and it has the children questioning what is really going on. I think they finally get to a point when everything in their society seems to be gone that they want to know what is the meaning, what happens next? Is there a next? In fear they are brought together. Would they have been brought together if the event was not impacting them all? Does the idea of the group mean anything? I think that this story shows that society can be bad but we all can come together. We all want common goals but how we go about reaching them is very different. I like how through everything the teacher never really answers the question completely. I believe that is done for a reason. In society and life we do not get clear answers, often there are not clear answer to give. We all see things different and go about understanding things different. That does not make one way right or wrong it just makes it different. I think that we do not like to see things from any other way but our own and that is why we are limited today. The story ends just like in life, the cycle just starts over again. If we do not learn the first time we will repeat our history until we do learn. This can be good but it also can be very bad. We could save time and money if we would all things logically and open minded. I think that this story does tie in with a lot of the other stories we have been reading. It does go along with society and man and the individual as well as the group impact. I think this story was a little dark but something that most could read and walk away having understood something from it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

I was not a big fan of this story, i think it was easy to read and understand but it was not my favorite.
The characters were very important in this story. Everyone played a role and supported each other in some way. Bailey is a great example of a mommas boy. If he would have been a man and stood up for himself and for what he believed they would not have ended where they did. The kids were horrible and made it bad to read in some places. I wanted to put myself in the story and knock some sense into them. They would have not acted that way in my family. They had no filter, they said what they wanted without fear of punishment. They did not care about who they were or where they came from, only where they were going. The grandmother was very over powering but was allowed to be. No one really stood up or said much to her. There was No communication in this story between characters. If they would have communicated they would not have ended the way they did.
This is important because we can relate it to today. We are moving more and more away from communication (face to face) and more and more toward computers and machines that do everything for us. Is this good? Does it work in today's time?
Is there ever a point where the characters reach a point where they see what they have done or where they have come because of the choices they made?
I think that we do not see where we are going today, we just keep going and we are hoping that it works out for the good.

Yet Do I Marvel

The poem is a sonnet (14 lines)
It contains 3 quatrains and 1 couplet

I really like this poem it was fun and easy to read. I like the word choices that the writer uses. I feel like he uses them in certain places for a reason. In the beginning he uses the word "doubt" and at the end he uses the word "yet" i think that this was done to reconnect everything at the end. I feel like the writer is saying that while he thinks this way he know that this is actually how it is and he will just go with it. This was written during the Harlem Ren. and was something that many could relate to.

I think that there are a lot of things that can be talked about with this because of the issues that still exist today, but the important thing is to realize that it is literature. It is something that everyone can read and in their own way feel apart of. I feel like making categories makes issues, which then creates problems.


The poem talks about how the speaker does not really know where he sits in life and who he really is. He does not know anything about Africa because he is not from there nor has he been there. But he does not feel he is apart of this world because he has no place as a black slave. He gives the christian God a "dark" physical feature in hope that He (the God) will understand him. This was his hope that she had someone that knew and could see him for who he was. It was a belief that became a faith because he had nothing else.

Where does he fit as a person?
Who can really say?

I think that this can be related to Huck Finn because of the overall theme of nature and civilization. What really is civilization? Can the definition change according to the person and his or her beliefs?

The main point or chorus is in italics because it is something that the writer want to stand out. It is something they believe to be importnat and want to make sure the reader sets that out in his or her mind.

I am not sure who Harold Jackman is other then from the beginning of the poem is says for him. I feel like because of the type of poem it could be a secret lover? I am not sure and will have to look it up but if i had to guess i think it could be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

In this poem the writer talks about the power of pursing a dream. This poem uses great images that help create a very real picture for the reader.

He ask two questions
- the placement of the questions are important, he ask one in the beginning and one at the end. They are made to make the reader think about what they are reading and what it means to them.

Poetry does not have a right or wrong answer it is written for the reader not the writer. The great thing about poetry is it can mean something different to everyone. It allows the reader to use their imagination and come up with what they think or feel.

I think that people do not see the importance of a dream. I think that this poem is meant to shed some light on the importance of the dream.

Theme for English B

This poem was a response to a assignment given by Langston's teacher, in it he discusses the differences between him and his teacher dealing with race. He talks about how he is the only "colored" person in his class and how he is different but in some ways closely related.

I enjoyed the poem, it was easy to read and it made sense. I like how the writers thoughts and ideas were presented. He talks about how he feels and creates emotion.

I think the the writer wanted to show how it was for a "colored" man in this time. He wanted people to see and understand that skin color is just a color and holds no deeper meaning. He wanted people to see that we are all a lot alike in some ways.

Something that people may not know is that Langston did not want white and blacks mixing together. He did not want one influencing the other. Although in this poem he does seem to come to a realization that both influence each other and it may not be a bad thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


The War Prayer is some thing a little different, it makes the reader really take a step back and think about things. It gives all the information to the reader and then allows the reader to think, it does not pick a side but does give the information needed. I think that it is saying we really do not know or understand someone until they are dead and gone. We often fight and get upset over things that at the time we think we know everything, but once we have taken the time to step back and think we soon see that we did not know as much as we thought. I feel like this story does just that. I really liked reading it, it was short and to the point. Twain did not beat around the bush he dove right in and stated how he felt. This piece was not published in his day i do not think because it was a big deal and a very different way of thinking. This shows that sooner or later we see things in different lights it just may take us a little longer which may end up costing us a little or a lot more in the long run.

Huck Finn

The book is about the story of Huck Finn's life. It shows different things he went through and the different stages in his life, that made him who he was. Huck was not the average character, he was different. He thought about things in different ways and was not always honest with himself. I think he knew the limits but followed others because he "thought" they knew best. Huck learns a lot through out the book and even though he did not always do the right thing, in the end he came out a better person then he started off.

I think some themes of this book would be:
slavery-Jim was a slave but yet a father figure to Huck, who was white.
nature-can be seen in the river and how it is like a path of freedom for Huck
independence-Huck did not want to be "civilized" he wanted to be "street smart" and live true to himself
education-can be seen in how Tom was "educated" and how Huck went along with him just because he was educated. It can also be seen with Jim because he was educated just in a different way.

There were lots of other themes that can be talked about but those were some of the major ones that stuck out to me. The beginning of the book had some humor, that maybe not everyone picked up on. I thought it was funny when Huck was telling the widow that if she was going to be in heaven he would rather not go there. He was expressing how he felt about her kind of "civilization" and how against it he really was.

The character of Jim can be seen in several different ways. I feel like he can be used as a image to show a deeper meaning then just what the surface shows. I feel like it was important that this character be a black man and that Huck be young. If these element would have been different i don't know if the story would have worked out the same way. I also feel like Jim as a slave being a father figure speaks loudly! It shows the reader that this white young boy has no true father figure other then that of a drunk and that of a slave. The funny picture is the slave is more of a father then his white father has ever been. It is funny how Huck thought that black men didn't care for their families and yet white people did...he was white (Huck) without a caring father figure. It just goes to show how great of a influence society played on even its young people.

I also thought that some of the things that Tom did were very wrong. He is a character that very quickly the reader sees is not the best of person. He ensures Huck that they are doing things right when in fact they are treating Jim and others very bad. But Huck does go along with it all because he thinks that because Tom is educated he "knows" best. We see that is clearly not the case here.

I think some things that interest me and that i was not 100% on are some of the things that happened to them on the river. And why was Huck a different person around certain people? I feel like he was a strong character but too often followed even when he knew things were wrong. I also feel like the ending shows a lot about Huck and what kind of person after all this he became. I think he was stronger but still not for sure on some things. I feel like when he picks to go out into the unknown rather then return with Tom shows just how much he was against that lifestyle choice. He would rather risk everything then returning to something that was not him.

I really enjoyed this book, i had read it in high school but when rereading found some new things that i did not see the first time. I think that there are deeper meanings behind the story and that they are very important. But i think that the writer allows the reader to see things in their own light and interrupt in the best way they see. I like the emotion behind the story and what some of it stood for. I think we could learn a lot from it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


“Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively, and positively, negatively, and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to bum their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employments for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.”

This reading was about 4th of July to the slave as well as questions for the slave owners and everyone. I think that it was clear and meant to leave a message for people even today. He wanted his reader to have to think, he creates a clear picture for the reader. He asks questions that many would not dare to ask and he makes statements that are bold and vivid.

I put two of my favorite paragraphs at the top. I really like these, I feel like it can almost be seen as a message or sermon. I like that he is a graphic writer. He makes one see what most pretend they do not know. He paints a picture of what is real and does not “sugarcoat” for anyone. He shows what he believes and stands up for it, not worrying about the outcome. I think this speaks of his character, and shows the reader his passion. This is a topic that many people shy away from; the thing we have to understand is that it was a part of our past. It was a part of who we were and how we got to where we are now. We had to learn from our mistake and slavery was a mistake but it was a way of life at one time. If we do not study and learn about these things we could make the same mistakes again. Maybe not a scale this big but understanding through readings like this where it all started and how it works is very important.

He (Douglass) is a very good writer and creates a lot of emotion and questions with his writing. He can make his reader feel things that they did not know they could feel. I think this reading relates to some of the others because it is about making a “name”. He sees the value of a man’s name and his worth. This was important to him and he wanted us to see that.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I really liked this reading. I think that it makes people think about freedom from a side that we too often forget. Is freedom really free? I think here we see that it is nowhere close to free. It is actually very "expensive" or "costly".

I think that this story did a great job at capturing things that most stories like this often leave off. The idea of gender roles was seen and discussed. (Fetching wood chips) Also in the first part when the mother gives up everything. Is this taken literally or just an image? Either way i feel the point is still the same, i feel like we are to see that it is not an easy path. We must give up and lose things in order to get what we want. Even then it is still not promised. I feel like this first part was fun to read and made me think a lot about where i am today and being thankful for what i do have as well as what i do not have.

I think another important issue that we overlook is the power and idea of liberty back when this was written. What do we place importance on now in days? Is liberty truly important to us? I feel like these people early in history worked so hard to create the very government we have today and yet most people have no interest or knowledge of it. But they are all willing to complain when someone is not doing something the way "they would do it". I think that today’s society and especially the youth do not care about these issues like we should. If we did more people would vote in elections and speak up when they did not believe in what was going on. So i feel like we can see a definite change in values with the change in time.

The second part of this reading was talking about slavery and how looking back what it makes us look like. Now in days we would think the idea of selling a man is dumb. (Although to some degree it still happens, and for other reason such as sex) But for the most part we like to think that we are not this and this was such a bad time for the slaves in our history. The truth is it was a part of our culture. At the time it was not seen by everyone or by government to be wrong. It ended up hurting everyone that was involved, not just the slave. People were forever changed by this, history was forever changed. When we hear the story of the runaway slave in the second part, we can only imagine what it must have felt like. Times were hard and people were a different kind.

One question that i have and that i continue to think about, even if it might be a risky question, is how much have we really changed? Are there still slaves today? Not to the degree of back then but it does still happen. What about the men and women today being sold for their bodies or them selling their own bodies for sex? Is this still a form of slavery?

I think that we have learned a lot from our history, but i think that we will soon be repeating some of it because we did not take action. We allowed things to keep going, we do not stand up and fight for things we know to be true and honest. We go with the flow; most of us have become followers. Who will be a leader?


In this writing, Thoreau talks about politics. He is very clear about that he sees America as and he wants the men in the government to see what he sees. In the beginning he talks a lot about what he thinks and feels. He expresses that there can become a time where the government get involved a little too much in people's lives. He does stick to the theme of the last few pieces we have been reading, the idea of being an individual. He basically tells everyone that they need to stand up for what they believe and not sit back and watch because those actions will lead to a destructive nation.

I noticed that in paragraph 10 he makes a biblical reference. Does this mean he is a man of faith or was he doing it to create a sense of validity? I think that most writings from around this same time period did use the bible as a reference much more than it is even used today. I think today we only look at it, the bible, as something that is to be used in churches and things like that. When really there is so much history and things to learn from in the book.

I think that he was very passionate about what he was writing; i think that it was real to him. It is or can be hard for us to understand and read things that were written a while back, but i feel like things like this were so simple yet so important. This writing played a huge role in which we have become today!

I was not sure where he actually stood with some of his morals. The part where he was talking about, not participating in injustice but yet not promoting a more just world? That confuses me. I feel like if you’re doing one of those you’re not doing the other or vice versa. I also was unsure on his direct view of America or the world. Was he hopefully or pessimistic? I feel like in some places he was both. I was not sure on this and it seemed to confuse me a little because i feel like i cannot interpret things correctly if i do not fully understand where he was coming from.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This reading showed how little of role females got to play in this time period. Because of this writing we, females, have rights today.

I like learning about stuff like this because it does relate to me. I am a female and it is hard to believe that there was a time that we had no rights and no say. I think women’s movements started from things like this and we are where we are today because of things like this. We still are not where we should be but we are moving closer and closer in the right direction. Females still do not get the best paying jobs even if they are just as qualified or more qualified then the males applying for the same position. We still do not have as big of a voice as males but we are getting closer.

I think that it is very clear that this is important to our history. We use things like this to learn from our past and to make sure we do not go down the same roads. I feel like this was very hard to write because it was written in a time where it was not acceptable.

I feel like this is a lot like the beginning readings it seems to be based on facts and information more than just story telling.

I feel like this story also reminds me of Douglass, because he was fighting against slavery and for human rights. The ideas behind this book are very much the same. She was fighting for human rights and in greater detail women’s rights.


“Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” is a story that shows a side of slavery that most people do not want to see or hear. It talks about a woman’s experience and the horrors that came along with being a female slave. This story paints a very clear yet very disturbing side of slavery that many people do not want to see. Her story shows her life and what choices she had to make to get to where she wanted to be.

I feel like this reading reminded me of Douglass, which I am reading in another class. In Douglass every time females are mentioned it is in a horrible way. Douglas is much more in detail and holds nothing back. It paints very vivid pictures. Both books talk about beauty being a curse for a slave. This picture is clearly seen in this reading. If you were a pretty slave your owner wanted you and that meant that his wife hated you. This was not easy for females. I can see where what is supposed to be a good thing turns out being a curse.

I had a hard time understanding what she meant in the very beginning about not judging a slave female the same way as a free person. While i do not know where she is coming from as a slave, i still feel like i am not sure about this. I understand the things she was put through were horrible! But I'm not sure what she means by the beginning statements.

I feel like this work also reminds me of Ben Franklin because like he used letters to gain credibility she got some people to say that everything in her story was true. She did this to gain credibility, that way people would be more apt to read and believe what they were reading. It also would show some people a side that most did not want to talk about! This writing also probable made a lot of people upset.
The over all theme of this is the corruption of slavery and what it does to everyone. It does not just hurt the slaves it also has a impact on everyone involved. It can make a person change into something they are not and bring out the worse in all humans. Slavery was bad for everyone involved!

Monday, September 12, 2011


The overall theme of this poem is democracy. The writing expresses his idea that democracy can be not only a political system but also a lifestyle. He talks about how he experiences life through this light, and how for him it seems to work.  He uses different tactics, such as his language and dialects, to really get the reader to see where he is coming from and what he is trying to say.

I think he poem also represents a growing US. During the time the poem was written America was growing at a huge rate.  This is something I am not a 100% sure of, just something that I thought while reading.

I think that it was also important that he talks about the beauty of the individual. This was seen in many of our readings. He still saw everyone coming together but as unique and different individuals. That’s what would make us special and stand out and above the rest. This can even be seen in his title to this work. He talks about how everyone is important, even as just one voice. I think here we see what he is trying to say in his poem. I think he respects and thinks a lot of the individual. But is that how we are today? Would this way of thinking and life work perfectly?

I think that this poem does tie in with everything that we have read even to this point. It expresses ideas and things that make one think even many years after its creator is long gone. This poem still holds value and expresses things in a light that, most of us do not think about.

Something that stood out to me was all the list. I’m not sure it this was done on purpose.  I think this was done to drive his point across and show it in many different forms. Not too sure but that’s what I got from it.

I like this style of writing, I love poetry. I find it easy to read and enjoyable. It is not always clear nor is it meant to be. I think that it does allow the reader to see things in a different light and create a idea of what it means to each different reader. The overall theme may be the same but it will not be interpreted the same every time. This is what makes it unique and different.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



100 years after it happened

My big question is, is all of this a dream? Is this really happening or is he dreaming?

I was very unclear on this. I think it has a lot to do with the style of romanticism, i think this style of writing likes to leave questions ad thoughts that are unclear. In doing this it allows to involve the reader, it allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. It is a very different style then what we have been reading. So far we have been reading stories with a lot of facts. This story was not like that, it allowed the reader to think. I really enjoy this kind of writing a lot better.

I think that the overall theme of this story is a coming of age story. (Bildungsroman) Robins coming of age is the image of the US coming of age. This story reminds me a lot of Ben Franklin. It had a lot in common, such as run-away, being on a boat, going into a new town, and voyage. It almost felt like this story was meant to be seen as Franklin. Maybe the writer did not want to say real names and give it away like that, but several points make the reader think it could have been about him.

Something i was a little unsure of, was who is the two faced man? Is it the devil or a man that really appears to have two faces or what? It will not make or break the story, but i was not very sure on exactly who it really was.

Something i thought was very interesting was how the people dressed as Indians at one point. I think that this was done on purpose; i think the point behind this was that Indians were seen as savages and that’s why the people dressed like this. They knew that what they were doing was savage like.

The mob mentality is a huge thing in this story. Why were they doing what they were doing? Because a group? Were they all just going with the flow? At one point they are not individuals they come together creating a mob. If one does something and others people are around to see it and they say nothing they are in a sense participating in the wrong doing. The people went along with everyone else was doing, they sensed to be individuals.

Back it the story being a lot like Ben Franklin, with the run-away reference. I think that in this story, he does leave home by choice. He was the second born, which is very important, so he was not going to get any of the riches or house or things like that. The only way for him to make a life was for him to start one for himself. If he stayed he would have had to work for his brother.

The issue in this story of the tar and feathering is a crazy idea. It is a very bad form of torture. It can lead to death and it marks you forever. We can see the image created and see that this was something that was very disturbing. This idea was something that people with very sick minds came up with. But for their time and day it was something seen as a type of enforcement of a "law" or idea. This was done to this man because he was working for the British. Here we can see just how they felt about the British. We can see the passion of the people through the degree of the crime they would do to this man. Does it make it right? Is this justified? Who is to say? I think that it is a lot easier to sit where we are sitting now and say this is wrong but we have a government and a system, was this form of system? Was this the best they could come up with?

Another big thing that stood out to me was the use of color in the story. Color can be very important in creating images and helping the reader really understand and see where the writer is coming from, without the writer having to spell it out word for word. The color red was used which is significant because it does remind me of the scarlet letter and how that color represents being a whore or things of that nature.

The story just like the rest does have a play on nature. All "bad" things happen in the woods. In these days what was thought of as "bad" was only portrayed as happening in the woods. This is funny to relate to today, because now we see people that live out in the woods as innocent country people. We have more problems with things in town so to speak. I do not know if I’m in the right direction with this but it was how i interoperated it.

Federalist No.51 and Antifederalist No. 1

These writings express two different sides of what they think about how things should work with the government. Neither is completely wrong or right, both have valid points. These documents are an important part of our history because what they laid out, has led us to where we are now.

18 OCT 1787

State of New York

-Not just to the people then but concern for generations to come. They wanted to establish something that would be a foundation for many years after its establishers were long gone.

The senate can be seen as a good thing for the people for many reasons. Sometimes people need protection from uprising passionate people. Not to say that passionate people are bad or wrong but they can be forceful or strong willed sometimes and this could be dangerous.

These writings say a lot about who we are as Americans. What we hold to be important of valuable. These ties in with everything we have read up to this point by the state of nature. Here we see a majority and minority both speaking about the same thing but with different views. One exalted while the other is below standard. Mostly because of the "class" of who was writing what.

Something that stuck out to me was "if we were all angels we wouldn’t need government" this is very true. I think we often forget we are human and we all make mistakes. Some of us think that we do no wrong or that it’s "our way of the highway". Thinking and expressing ourselves in these manners show and support that we do need some type of government and control. Without anything where would we be? Would we be what we are today? What if these writings were never written?

I feel like the Antifederalist papers were easier to read. I feel like the writing style was different as well as the word choices and the way things were set up. I feel like this was done for a purpose. I think that this writing was done that way to appeal to its audience. Which would have been lower level people, people that didn’t have as much or non-wealthy people. The writing was easier to understand and this was important. If the audience or reader does not understand what is being said then they will not follow or want to follow.

The idea of checks and balances was brought up several times throughout the readings. This can be seen as allowing everyone to have a part or a role. In other words everyone has a job. This is done so that one person does not have to do everything and also to prevent one person from having that much control.

We can see that through all this it does lead to the civil war and the argument of states’ rights. Where are we with this today? Do the smaller people or state have a voice and if they truly have a voice is it the same as the bigger ones? Without going deep into politics, i do not think we are where we need to be. I understand we do not want a "black or white" (wrong or right) government. We do need the gray area but we have to understand that with this comes failure and wrong doing. Not always but because we are human we do make mistakes. We need to see both sides for what they are and come together to solve the same problem.

All and all, not my favorite reading but i understand the importance of reading this and how it does define us today. I also feel that everyone should have to read this. I feel as though one should not be allowed to vote or voice an opinion unless they have some knowledge of what they are talking about. This goes along with complaining about our government as well. Until one understands fully how it works, one should have no reason or right to complain. We need to be educated on these things. If we forget our past we will repeat it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Richard Allen

I think this character was much different from the one in our last reading. I think that this can be seem through not only him saying he believes in something but to take it the next step and actually make a change according to what he believes. He leaves a group to make his own. This was not an easy choice nor was it easy to accomplish. In leaving and making a new anything that does not agree with the popular vote means a risk and often a follow through of hardships. It is not easy to just walk away, because basically it is seen as going against or thinking your better than the popular vote. I like how he says that he did not need the name Methodist they had God and that was all they needed. They stuck up for what they believed right or wrong he took a side and stood behind it fully. No one likes someone that is "lukewarm" most people would prefer everyone to be either "hot" or "cold". In America and our everyday lives we are all about wanting to know whose side your own. If you’re not on our side then you’re against us. There is no in the middle, and i think the writer shows that through his work.

An interesting fact that i never picked up on that the writer brought to my attention was that the Methodist religion was thought to be the best for African Americans because it was easier to understand. It proved to be more simple then any of the others. The others there was so much that went with them that for some of the uneducated people it was hard to understand. I thought this was very interesting because even today most religions are divided in the same ways.

Catholics usually consist of the rich people, Baptist usually consists of the lower and middle class, these are just two examples of how we still divide religion today.

I thought that the writer had a very different way of looking at things and enjoyed the fact that he could take a stand for what he believed. I think that this book is still read in classes today because we can learn so much from people like this. We also need to learn as much about our history as we can through every source we can, because if we are not careful we will repeat our past. History is not just about dates and things found in "History books" but encounters from people who leave us these great works of literature giving us a different view.

Autobiography of Peter Cartwright

1856 (time period)

Right after second great awakening

Some things that i was not sure about in this writing were what were meant by "meetings". I think he is referring to church services kind of like the old camp meeting style. But i am still not completely clear on that.

A funny and interesting thing that stood out to me is when he talked about people "catching the spirit". Here he goes on to say people get the "jerks". I think what he is referring to, is when people become filled with the Holy Spirit. At first he seems to believe it but then moves on to say that most of the people that do this are weak minded and ignorant. He think this "movement" is unnecessary and most of the time a "put on".

I did not really like this character for many reasons. I feel like he talks about how he is against slavery but yet does not stand up for what he believes. He seems to "sit on the fence" about many issues. He blames the Methodist church for slavery basically saying if they were not behind it, it would not be. I think in some ways he has a valid point here. I feel like the church back then greatly influenced society. If the church was against something then most of the time people backed the church and stopped whatever was going against the church. He does in many ways predict a war, which could point to the civil war. But to me he is a weak character. I feel like with him being a preacher and saying he believes in things then not standing up for what me believes makes him a fake. Either you believe in something or you do not. There is no in-between. If you believe in something then you should be willing to stand up and fight for what you "believe" in. To me he was not this person. He wanted people to think he was great but truly he was weak.

This was not my favorite reading because i did not care for the main character. I do think that it is an important reading because many of us are much like this character in today’s society. We say we believe one way but if questioned hard enough we will desert our side to follow society. We look up to so many people that are in all actually worse off than we are. This goes back to the last story and caring about our "name". Do we want to be remembered as someone who deserted our cause or as someone who took a chance and stood up for what they truly believed even if it did not follow the "poplar" cause?

Venture Smith

This writing talks about slavery and what it was like for him growing up. He takes the reader through his life and shows the reader how he was moved around many times growing up. He also talks about the things he was able to accomplish as well as the struggles it took to get to where he was in the end. This story proved to be different then most because he did not start out a slave, his father was a king. His family was taken prisoner and then his life completely changed.

A big question for me throughout the story was did he actually write this himself?

I know that education was not widespread yet and many people were still very uneducated. I think a major theme from this story is much like the last, self-improvement. He knew that he could do anything and would not stop until he could accomplish what he wanted. I also think that he had a strong desire for acceptance into society. The fact that he could not be accepted like he wanted because of his skin color bothered him deeply. He had material success but still was not fully accepted.

I think another thing that stood out was the fact that he did seem well educated. He was very smart at math. He knew how to save and what to do with his money to make it work and last. This is a big deal because even now in 2011 people still do not have this concept. This book is still read today because we can learn a lot from him through how he lived his life.

I do not think his life ended unhappy but better yet hopeful of what was to come later. But who we are now in 2011 is much like how we used to be. We love to see people fail. We love to see them come from nothing and climb the ladder to success and when they get to the top; we want nothing more than to see them fall. This says something about our society; we have not changed as much as we think. We may have actually gone backwards. While we might not have slaves like we used to we still treat people like they are inferior to us.

Both this story and Ben Franklin both were very concerned about being trustworthy. Basically they believed without saying that a "name" is everything. Who you are and what you do with your life defines you. I think this is a virtue that people need to get back today. People are always saying they do not care what others think of them, but the fact is it does matter. We should care about what we do and realize that the things WE do create what people think.

It also was eye opening to some things in slavery that i did not know could happen, like getting married or going to see a judge. I think that when he stuck up for his self while getting a beating surprised me. I feel like this shows what kind of person he truly was and to take it to the next level, having the courage to go see a judge about how he was being treated. I did not know that was even an option for slaves. I understand that most did not speak up because fear of punishment, but his character can be seen when he does.

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin stars off by writing to his son to tell about his life. He tells stories about him traveling to different places and the different people he meets. Franklin explains that he loves his life and would not really change anything. In fact he goes on to be a little vain but in a humorous way. Basically he thinks that by reading these things about his life, he can help others with their life. It is the all American "rags to riches" story.

In this time that the story was written education was not a huge thing. I think that's what makes some of the story unique. We see through his story, how well educated he seemed to be. He tells the reader that he was basically self-educated. This issue to me stood out. I have a great deal of respect for people who are self-educated. In today's world, i think people are too lazy and do not care about learning. Some do and those are the ones that are is school trying their best. There are some that cannot afford school and are teaching their selves but for the most part the people that are sitting at home doing nothing do not even care to learn.

I think another interesting thing that stood out to me, was the different letters included in the work by other people. I think that he put these letters in for a reason. Not only to justify what he was saying but to show others that people thought highly of him. It allowed the reader to see a different point of view. It also created a sense of credibility.

To me the two major themes of this reading were: self-betterment and self-improvement. I feel like these two issues were talked about more than anything. There were many examples of these two things. He did come from nothing and rise to someone who "had it all". (“Rags to riches") But the self-betterment came from him taking himself away to become something better. He worked hard and because of that people started to notice him. He ended up being more successful than some of his bosses and family.

I also think that this writing had some humor hidden in it. When he gives the list of virtues but then follows it by saying that he did not live by all but focused on one to two at a time. He also talks about humility and relates it to being like Christ. The idea behind that is funny because one he did not live up to this at all. Secondly, he picked someone in history that was perfect and disputably the greatest person that has lived. He also seemed to be sarcastic in some places when referring to certain things, almost with a nonchalant attitude.