“Soap Opera” by David Ives

David Ives tells a story of love and companionship in his play “Soap Opera”. Involved are a maypole repairman and a washing machine, yet the humorous part about the play itself is the fact that Manny, the repairman, is actually recounting the events to a local matre de, or host at a restaurant while trying to make reservations for them to eat. I thoroughly enjoyed the play and the way that Ives used personification to really show the female personality of the washing machine.  From the machines wants, needs, and understanding, it gave the story a whole new form of character that was as serious as it was humorous. In the end Manny has to come to the realization that this machine he has come  to adore is not a realistic partner. I would have to say that this is probably my favorite work that we studied and read all semester.  it was the semi-serious love story with a large dose of humor that really made this play worth reading.  I wish we would’ve had more of this type of stuff.

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“Fork” by Simic

Fork is by far one of my favorite literary works that we have read this year.  The way that the fork is taken into a dark realm of symbolism and personification to make it seem very dark in itself is just awesome to me.  The fork which  hyas been refered to as something worn around a cannibals neck, or a bald beak-less bird when being held in the readers hand.  Simic took a very ordinary object and turned it into a dark and demented vision and made you believe the first words in his poem, that this in fact could have been straight out of hell. Simic also lets the reader start to visualize their own image of demonic overtones with the way that he only describes it’s physical appereance, leaving the emotional state for the person reading to attach themselves.  This is why Fork is one of my favorite literary works that we have read all year.

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“Shafro” by Terrance Haynes

Who doesn’t like a poem about afros and Shaft.  This poem much like the others in the hand out were written in a more comical sense, than traditional poetry that our class read in the book.  That’s why i chose to focus on more of these poems for the blog.  the afro in this poem is referred to as a crown that shaft would have known to be pn by shafroud of.  All in all i just find this poem to be hilarious for something that isn’t usually the typical topic of poetry.  The good use of wordplay and refereence is quite sharp, and the falling back on of a hairstyle worn by a cop in the 70’s is just the right push of humor.

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“Sean Penn Anti-Ode” by Dean Young

I enjoy this poem most likely because of it’s basis in topic.  These are the things that i wondered about Sean penn as well.  From the refrence of how he’s squeezing the liquid from a sponge that is his face, to the second dvd that only people with nothing better to do watch.  it only makes sense on the level that if you pay attention to sean penn enough to get the inside jokes involved, and even some of them i don’t get in this poem.  It was mainly written in a humorous stuyle to depict and poke fun at an actor whom the writer probably admires in his own way or rights.  It’s the word play that i appreciate the most and the suttle little jokes inside ofan explanatory joke that Young shows in his work about the actor Sean Penn.

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“Out, Out-” by Robert Frost.

The story that mimics a boy who loses his hand has many personalized characteristics imbedded in it. It tells of a boy who loses not only his hand, but also his life to a careless mistake involving a saw. Yet, in this poem, Frost chooses to state that the saw snarled and rattled, giving it a sense of being a living thing. He also states that it jumps out of the boy’s hand, as if it had a mind of it’s own. By describing the saw as doing these things it creates a feeling of being a dangerful animalistic type of machine, very much operating with a personality all of it’s own.  Of course we know that it was carelessness on the boy’s part, and excitement to run to dinner that costed him his hand, but when read in the lines of the poem the saw very much takes on it’s own life. Actions and reactions were that of an angrey dog who you can only tame with your full attention and concentration, but when you look away for one second and forget the force you are dealing with you have the chance of getting bitten.

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“My Life with the Wave” by Octavio Paz

In this story, the narrator, a man who is seduced by a wave at the beach decides he will take it back home to mexico with him.  In doing this many things unfold emotionally between the two, including love, fear, hate, jealousy and an array of other feelings. The wave is to both adoring and demanding of the man, leading him to acquire fish for the wave, which then leads him to this jealous nature because he feels neglected, and tries to attack the fish and kill them, showing how enraged he is at the turn of emotion. This then leads the man to leave her, and find solice in nature elsewhere. This symbolizes an affair or change of feelings for the wave, a distancing so to speak.  When he decides to return the wave has been subjected to the cold weathers of winter, leaving her as a statue of ice.  this is showing the change in emotion of her as well through the human subjectivity of feminism. All this results in the man finally selling the wave to a waiter friend where he chops her up into ice for drinks, and represents the ending or death of the relationship, the tearing apart of the two, the breaking down of the emotional states of both, the death of the relationship, and the beginning of a new journey for both. Octavio Paz used the wave to express the feminine nature to nuture and support through the situation of the fish and the narrator, and showed the human natures of love vs. jealousy in the story of the narrator. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, seeing more of the emotional transformation that occurs between the two, especially with the symbolism of the wave being the female perspective.

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“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

There is an underlying sense of social order and acceptance in this story, spanning from class, to acceptance and equality among society.  It mimics the thoughts of communism, and socialism with the handicapping of people to create a balance of equalness between them, from intelligence, to beauty, to strength. It shows the struggle to break free from this control, and shedding what are referred to as handicaps to help create  this uniformity among people in the story. After dropping the handicaps, Harrison Bergeron, escapes the tyranical confines to dance with a ballerina he has also freed.  In the end he claims himself emperor and is shot to death. The underlying sense of conformity and social order are challenged by individualism in this story which was very well portrayed.  All in all i enjoyed the story due to the symbolic structure stated in the story.

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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

“At first thought, the title of this story is very misleading, due to us as the american general public thinking it’s meant as a winning situation. It’s not.  The lottery is a ritual of a farming community, where families are to pull slips to find out who will  be sacraficed for the sake of the harvest.  There is  hint of allusion in this story that reflects the stoning of a woman who was tried unfairly in the early 1600’s named Anne Hutchinson, which reflects the protaganist in the story who ends up being stoned, Tessie Hutchinson. They become one in the same in a manner of speaking. The lottery is somewhat of an unfair trial, a hand dealt out of luck of the draw more than who would deserve the punishment of the sacrafice. Even the names of the other towns people are symbolic in a way, as in the case of Delacroix (meaning “of the cross”) and most other names are very standard or generic in case, giving a sense of anonimity to them for the reflection of the vast public.  It shows that this could be any man, any woman, any family, yet the usage of some of the more prominent names are very helpful in developing a sense of feeling and development for the story. In the end Tessie  is stoned to death in the center of town, for a tradition  that had been changed in sense a numerous amount of times, and yet not abandoned as it had been in neighboring towns.  The whole time Tessie is exacting thoughts of unfairness with the lottery for being chosen so randomly, yet had participated in the lottery herself for so long.

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“Sabotuer” by Hai Jin

The ironic plot development of this story shines through in the ending outcome of Hai Jin’s “Sabotuer”.  A newlywed couple trying to wait on a train are hassled by local au is authorities, Which leads to the degredation of the young newlyweds.  After being spilled upon with hot tea, and requesting compensation, the protaganist Mr. Chiu is arrested, basically for inciting a riot. Pretty basic conflict of people that are trying to protect and serve are actually the ones that are inciting the disturbance in the first place. Mr. chiu is taken away, and held captive at the jail, waiting on his lawyer. His Hepatitus growls at him from the inside, and he gets sicker and sicker. When even attempting to be saved by his young lawyer, the lawyer is arrested. This is all a Major injustice and the police just want a confession over something he didn’t do in the first place, and refused to release him without it.  Watching the lawyer be punished for trying to help him makes him finally take a different approach to the outcome. He would eventually sign an already written confession, taking full blame, and leading to both his and his lawyers release. Here is the ironic twist. On the way to leaving the town by train, Mr. Chiu stops and eats and drinks at many different restaurants spreading his hepatitus to the town to exact his revenge to hundreds of people even killing some.  If the police wouldn’t have messed with him in the first place, then refused treatment to him or his release they wouldn’t have had the outbreak of this disease. Irony is trying to protect and serve and actually causing widespread catastrophic consequences to the innocent in the end.

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“Barn Burning” by Faulkner

Through the character of Sarty, Faulkner is trying to set the tone of the ongoing struggle of being a child, trying to decide right from wrong, and  the implications of lying for his father in a court case. Sarty never testifies and the case is dismissed, but the family is expelled from the county.  In a new place though he is once again in the midst of the struggle of dealing with his fathers anti-conformist and anarchist ways. Sarty has a large struggle and inner conflict with this and decides to levy against his father in a way of telling Major DeSpain about his fathers new plans to burn down the Major’s barn due to an altercation over a rug, and the price it would take for Abner (Sarty’s father) to replace it, leading Abner to feel once again wronged. This tone being set is  very much based on right vs. wrong, and the loyalty to oneself over family and society.  What was Sarty to do? Was he destined in a way to be the driving force to make his father stop being a non-conformist one way or another? Is this inner conflict that Sarty has that deeming on his happiness in life?  In the end after Sarty basically rats out his father then flees to him to try to undo his betrayal, in a manner of speaking, He gets ousted on the way by Major DeSpain, and finds refuge in a ditch while hearing two gunshots in the distance, and never knows who is shot. This leads him to make his own way in the world, and start his life by himself, hence the phrase a new day after the darkest of dawns.

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