Category Archives: Literature

Movie Review

Question

many people feel that movie isn;t a success if it doesn’t force viewers to think about an important issue or idea. others argue that movies are successful as long as they entertain us; they don’t have any ideological, political, or social agenda. what is your personal opinion on this topic? is being entertaining enough, or should movies provide more?

Sample paper

Movie Review

The film industry produces movies that revolved around a particular theme. Some of these movies are based on true life stories, while others are purely the work of fiction. Regardless of the nature of movies, they all have an underlying theme, or involve a power struggle between the villain and the superhero. Most movies mirrors life as it occurs in society. They are a reflection of the moral values, beliefs and attitudes held by society. They portray life as it occurs in actuality, or as a conception of the filmmaker. Movies should not only serve to entertain, but also pass an ideological, political, or social agenda to viewers.

Movies are an important part of most people’s lives. People may spend hours watching movies mainly due to their entertainment value. However, most movies have moral values or lessons that they pass along to viewers. Movies present viewers with role models that they can emulate. The superheroes in movies are role models who often portray how people should live in the society. The superheroes are not only entertaining, but depict ideals ways in which people should behave. The villains may also be entertaining, but they usually carry the negative traits. In the end, the villains are punished for their evil deeds. The morality depicted in movies is hedged on filmmaker’s values or what he/she considers right or wrong. This represents the social agenda of movies. Movies should therefore not just entertain but pass important moral values to viewers.

Movies show viewers a particular ideological perspective. This is by depicting certain characters, behaviors, institutions, or motives as appealing. Another set is also depicted as repellent or negative. This is often in line with the society’s values, traditions or beliefs. The entertainment value of movies is closely linked with the ideological perspective. For instance, viewers realize the entertainment value of movies out of the suspense created when the villains and superheroes in the movie confront each other. In the end, it is the superheroes who carries the day. Even though a movie is purely meant to entertain, there are still some underlying ideological perspectives that reflect the moral standing of the filmmaker.

Most movies depict the moral values, beliefs, and ethics in society. Even fictitious movies are based on interaction of characters and conflicts that emanate from this interaction. In fiction movies, conflicting value systems form the basic plot of the play. All societies have a set of beliefs or a particular ideological perspective. The ideological perspective reflects a set of ideas that are either held consciously or unconsciously by individuals in the society. The conscious or unconscious ideas are the ones that make up individuals’ goals, beliefs, motivations, and expectations. Since movies explain life as it occurs in society, they should inherently help to propagate the ideological perspectives to future generations. Movies should help viewers reevaluate their ideological, political, and social standings in society. They should pass a message to viewers along with the ability to keep viewers entertained.

Millions of people spend their free time watching movies. Statistics indicate that the average U.S. child spends more time watching movies than playing with other children or engaging in outdoor activities. Adults also spend much of their time watching movies either at home or in theatres. This impacts the viewers’ view of the world since they spend most of their time assimilating what they are seeing in the movies. Watching movies can impact the individuals understanding of ethics and the manner in which they interpret ethical and moral guidelines (Cotton, 1997). With regard to this, movies should aim at impacting certain values or lessons to intended viewers. They should help viewers to critically reexamine their moral judgment, values, morals, and beliefs they hold as true. Movies should positively impact viewers or inspire them in a particular way.

When making a movie, directors, producers and writers are driven by the need to convey a particular message or idea to viewers. However, the critical question is whether movies pass acceptable ethical values to individuals and especially the young. Parents must ensure that children watch recommended movies to avoid getting the wrong perception about things (Cotton, 1997). Certain movies may lead to confusion or inculcate negative ethical values among children. Parents should interact with children as they watch movies in order to help them understand the deeper meaning of the movie. Movies should help children develop a positive view of the world and above all, develop a positive mindset. Movies should therefore not just entertain but bear an important social agenda.

Movies helps to tell a particular story in a visually compelling manner. Just like published materials such as novels and books, they should bear a particular ideological, political, or social agenda. Print materials such as novels, poems, and plays provide more to readers than just the bear entertainment value. Such materials help readers develop critical thinking and reflection skills. Similarly, movies should help readers develop critical skills in various areas. Movies should thus provide more than bear entertainment.

Reference

Cotton, R. (1997). Movies and morals. Retrieved from             http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/movies.html

Related:

Hunger of Memory

Hunger of Memory

Question

A major theme in the book is that of identity and namely how a person builds his or her identity.

Sample paper

Hunger of Memory

“Hunger of Memory” is an interesting memoir detailing the educational journey of Richard Rodriguez and the challenges he encounters along the journey. Rodriguez is a minority student of a Mexican descent who starts school in Sacramento, California. His poor mastery of the English language makes it difficult for him to socialize with other learners. He develops a shy personality at school due to his inability to communicate and interact with other learners. Six months down the line, nuns from his school visit his parents and manage to convince them to speak English with Rodriguez and the other children in order to boost his understanding. While this improves his mastery of the language, it brings a sense of alienation from his roots, his family, as well as from his culture.

Rodriguez is the main character in the book. He gives a firsthand experience of his educational journey and assimilation into a new culture. Although Rodriguez mentions his parents countless times, he does not reveal their identity in the memoir. His mother is eager to see him succeed in his educational journey. Nonetheless, she feels sad that Rodriguez must go away for further studies. She could not speak fluent English as she had little formal education. Just like his mother, Rodriguez’s father had little formal education. His mastery of English was poor and did menial jobs all his life due to his poor educational background. Rodriguez understands that his parents are pushing him to study hard so that he does not lead a similar life to theirs. Another character is his grandmother, who could only speak Spanish. The setting is in Sacramento, California, a white-dominated neighborhood. The major change presented in the memoir is Rodriguez’ alienation from his culture.

Related: White Biting Dog Play

The author’s main point is about forging an own identity. At the end of Chapter Two, he says, “It would require many more years of schooling … before I turned unafraid to desire the past” (Rodriguez, 73). This indicates a person who is in search of his identity. In the memoir, Rodriguez presents his identity in two distinct ways: the first is as an author in his present self and the second way as a character in the earlier self. While he is now an adult writer, his work indicates an effort to retrace his old roots. This is also an effort to establish where he fits within the two cultures.

Rodriguez attempts to discover his identity by prying into his past and developing connections with the past. This he compares with how the American language and culture transformed him in profound ways, forming much of his larger personality and character. In the first chapter of the memoir, Rodriguez says, “Once upon a time there was a socially disadvantaged child.” He continues to say the story is now “an American story.” This indicates two things: his reflections about the past and the current self as an assimilated man.

The author highlights various factors as playing a critical role in the development of a person’s identity. One of the critical factors is language, which significantly affects the way individuals see themselves and how they interact with others. While Rodriguez feels free conversing with his parents in Spanish, a sense of alienation develops when they start speaking to him using the English language. Another important factor in shaping identity is family. Rodriguez feels attached to his family before joining the school. He drifts away from his family as he learns a new language and immerses himself deeper into studies. Racial background is also fundamental in developing an individual’s identity.

Rodriguez’s memoir was reviewed favorably by Anglo scholars but received huge criticism from Chicano scholars. One of the major criticism by Chicano scholars is that Rodriguez advocates for assimilation in his book, hence viewed as “selling out to Americans” (Duran 95). Chicano scholars largely view Rodriguez as being ‘traitor’ for assimilating into a different culture and forgetting his roots. Rodriguez’s controversial view on affirmative action and bilingual education (he opposes both) is another point of contention by Chicano scholars. In line with this, Chicano scholars argue that his opposition of these policies reduce his autobiography to look like vague political statements rather than a literal work that it ought to be (95). Critics argue that his memoir promotes an individualistic tendency (Garcia 65). In particular, Ramon Saldivar, a Chicano scholar, argues that Rodriguez focuses more on separatism between men and women by prioritizing an “individual private inner self” and hence promoting individualism (65).

His supporters argue that much of what Rodriguez puts across in his memoir has been widely misinterpreted. While Rodriguez arguments center on individualism, some scholars have emphasized that this merely suggests that he is fighting for the “recognition as an individual” (Garcia 67). This is not to mean that he is encouraging an individualistic culture. Duran (96) reviews Rodriguez’s memoir in a positive way, arguing that its ideas are structured in an original way – a departure from the traditional “life-as-a-journey structure.” It is worth noting that Rodriguez’s memoir shifts readers back and forth, enabling them to catch a glimpse of his past as well as his present. Despite the huge criticism, his memoir won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Christopher Award in 1983.

The most important point I have learned from this book is the risk of experiencing an identity crisis due to a mix of cultures. This is likely to happen to immigrants who move and settle in the U.S. as opposed to those born in the U.S. Such individuals are likely to find themselves in predicaments where they are not sure whether they should retain their ethnic culture or adopt the country’s culture. While one may adopt a new culture, questions about own cultural identity continue to linger and influence one’s life or decisions they make. Alienation from one’s culture has significant consequences, the most visible being a weakening of family ties just like in Rodriguez’s case.

Works Cited

Durán, Isabel. “Latino Autobiography, the Aesthetic, and Political Criticism: The Case of            Hunger of Memory.” Journal of Transnational American Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, 2015.

Garcia, Michael N. “THE COMMUNALLY DERIVED ETHNIC SELF in Richard Rodriguez’s   Hunger of Memory.” A/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, pp. 64-85.

Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez.” Nonfiction Classics for Students.             Encyclopedia.com. 14 Nov. 2018<https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez: an            Autobiography. Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2005.

Related: Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants

White Biting Dog Play

Question

Read Judith Thompson’s White Biting Dog.Here are the questions to answer about the play.

  1. What is your initial reaction to the relationship between Cape and Glidden?
  2. Does Cape’s mental state seem ‘stable’ at this point in the play? Did he really have a breakdown? Explain.
  3. How is Pony’s trance experience an example of “magic” realism”?
  4. Describe what you know about Cape and Lomia’s relationship at the end of Act One.
  5. Why does Cape lie to Glidden? Who benefits from this deception?
  6. Cape says things to Pony that are mean, aggressive and hurtful. What is her reaction to the way Cape speaks to her, and what does this tell you about her character?
  7. What does Cape insist that he and Lomia have in common? What is her reaction to this?
  8. From either Act, provide an example of a remark that is discriminatory to homosexuals, an example of a remark that is discriminatory to one or more race, and a remark that is discriminatory towards women. What purpose do these serve in this play?
  9. When Glidden starts talking about Australia, is it an escape from his reality, or something else? Explain.
  10. The blood in the fridge, the dogs in the freezer and even the moss in Glidden’s bed are examples of Thompson’s magic realism. Explain the effect that these all have on the play and the audience.
  11. Did Pony and Glidden both sacrifice themselves? Explain.
  12. Describe each of the characters
  13. How is the theme of “choice” expressed throughout this play? How does Thompson use the script, characterization and stagecraft in order to emphasize this theme throughout?
  14. Describe how the setting for both Acts (using the various scene locations) is significant to the play.
  15. Describe each character’s relationship to the main theme of the play.
  16. How are father-son and father-daughter relationships portrayed in this play? Provide specific examples.
  17. Describe how tension is created for the audience. Use at least one specific example in which tension is meant to be experienced, and explain how Thompson achieves this.
  18. Are all tensions resolved at the end of this play? Explain.

Sample paper

White Biting Dog Play

Question 1

Cape and Glidden seem to have a strong positive relationship. Cape lives with his father, Glidden, and is determined to save him from the unknown disease he is suffering from. This relationship indicates a close-knit family.

Question 2

Although Cape’s mental state seems unstable, he is perfectly normal. However, he is having a nervous breakdown following his recent divorce. This can be supported by the fact that he nearly jumps off the bridge before a white dog appears and talks to him.

Question 3

Pony’s trance experience is a good example of “magic realism.” The author combines the elements of a realistic narrative with fantasy or surreal dream elements. At one moment, Pony is singing and can be said to be normal while at the next moment, she makes a connection with Cape and they both fall into a state of trance.

Question 4

Cape dislikes Lomia for leaving his father. He is also angry at Lomia because she was unfaithful to his father on numerous occasions.

Question 5

Cape lies to Glidden that indeed Lomia has had a change of feelings towards him. Lomia and Pascal benefits from this deception – both are offered a place to sleep and also gives Lomia a cheque.

Question 6

Cape tells Pony that he is incapable of reciprocating her love. After hearing these words, Pony is devastated. To make things worse, she feels she is possessed by evil after she opened up to Cape. Pony’s character shows a vulnerable woman. She falls in love easily and Cape takes advantage of this.

Question 7

Cape and Lomia lack an inner life. They are like impenetrable shields that do not allow anything to pass through. Lomia does not accept Glidden back to her life. Her reaction is negative in that she only pretends to like Glidden.

Question 8

Discriminatory remark to homosexuals: After Pony finds Cape and Pascal in bed, she says to herself: “You are my dog, my doggie dog.” Remark that is discriminatory towards women: Pascal says to Lomia: “YOU MADE ME CRUEL…”Squeeze me harder…, pretend you hate me, that I’m a dirty slut” (39). These remarks helps to make the play more realistic.

Related paper: Mary Gaitskill’s The Girl on the Plane

Question 9

When he talks about Australia, it is a kind of escape from reality. Glidden is fantasizing about how fantastic his life may become if turned around.

Question 10

Magic realism involves alteration of the common reality. In the play, magical realism makes the perceptions of a particular character more marvelous. Magic realism causes readers to be torn between two opposing viewpoints about reality.

Question 11

Both Pony and Glidden sacrificed themselves. Pony sacrifices herself so that Cape can have Pascal who he is determined to get so as to break the bonds between him and his mother. Glidden kills himself after he realizes that Lomia is not in love with him. He sacrifices himself so that Cape can be happy.

Question 12

Cape is melancholic character about to commit suicide. He meets Pony, a psychic and innocent girl whom he seems to have fallen in love with. Lomia is portrayed as uncaring, having abandoned Glidden. Glidden is on his deathbed and seems confused. Pascal is portrayed as disloyal and dishonest. After sometime, he falls to Cape’s charms and abandons Lomia. The dog is portrayed as the savior.

Question 13

The theme of choice is expressed by the various characters’ freedom to choose their final destiny. Glidden is destined to die, while Pony makes the choice to take her life. Lomia chooses Pascal over Glidden. When Glidden and Pony die, Cape and Lomia are affected in different ways. Both choose who they will mourn. This represents stagecraft.                                                                                                                         

Question 14

The use of different scene locations helps Thompson to bring out a number of themes. The house is foreboding of death which haunts Glidden and Pony. The sidewalk indicates how outside forces come and destroy or change the lives of those in the house. The different scenes are also important in helping the play seem realistic to the audience.

Question 15

The main theme in the play is salvation, which entails saving others and saving oneself. The dog saves Cape from committing suicide, and Cape must now save his ailing father. Pony is unable to save herself from a possessive evil that torments her. Lomia and Pascal must guard their love but in the end they are unable to do so, as Pascal ends up sleeping with Cape.

Question 16

Father-son and father-daughter relationships are portrayed as close knit relationships. For example, Cape is determined to set aside his hate towards Lomia and ensure that his father is finally happy by getting back with Lomia. He sleeps with Pascal to ensure that his affair with Lomia ends. After Pony kills herself, she explains to her Dad why she chose to end her life. She claims to have been “invaded”, indicating a close relationship between the two.

Question 17

Tension is created in different ways. For example, the Thomson employs monologue to create tension among the audience. Monologue is employed in the beginning of the play cause tension. Drumming is also used to create a tense atmosphere. In Act One, Cape is about to commit suicide. A “soundtrack” is used to reflect the tense moments as he is just about to jump to his death.

Question 18

Tensions are not resolved at the end of the play. Pony and Glidden face their untimely death. Lomia is left clutching Glidden’s body, and so is Cape clutching to Pony’s body. Cape’s efforts to save his father has failed.  In addition, Pascal left Lomia following a confrontation. Cape and Lomia are left devastated following the deaths. The tensions are thus not resolved, but comes to an end following the deaths of Pony and Glidden.

Work Cited

Thompson, Judith. White Biting Dog & Other Plays. , 2014. Print.

[20pgs]ADVERTISNG VALUE EVALUATION-Dissertation paper

Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants

Question

“Hills Like White Elephants” was written in 1927 by one of America’s most famous writers, Ernest Hemingway. It was published in a larger work called “Men Without Women.”

Synopsis. The story focuses on a conversation between an American man and a girl at a Spanish train station while waiting for a train to Madrid. The girl compares the nearby hills to white elephants. The pair obliquely discuss an “operation” that the man wants the woman to have, which is implied to be an abortion.

 

Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants

Hills Like White Elephants is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. The basis of the story is a conversation between a man and his girlfriend, who are also the main characters in the story. The man prods the girl to get an abortion, claiming it is a simple procedure, but she is adamant to do so. In this case, the man is the antagonist, while the girl is the protagonist. As the story progresses, it becomes evident of the strong rift between the two. None of them seems to understand the other; and the girl becomes visibly angry to the point of requesting that the man cease to talk to her. The story by Hemingway is rich in symbolism, with the most conscious one being the ‘white elephant’. This paper is an evaluation of the symbolism in the story and the critical role it plays in helping the readers develop deeper insights about the characters in the story.

A major symbolism that also forms the title of the story is “hills” that looked “like white elephants” (Hemingway 1). The phrase ‘white elephant’ literary refers to a possession that is troublesome and one that may be costly to maintain. On the other hand, the phrase ‘white elephant’ in the story could also refer to an actual white elephant. In this case, it is important to note, “The actual white elephant is a rarity in nature” (Becnel 1). Being rare in nature, individuals have high reverence of the white elephant. As such, the white elephant receives a lot of guarding or protection. The phrase ‘white elephant’ can also apply in a metaphorical sense, being like the elephant in the room that they should address.

Both definitions of the term ‘white elephant’ are applicable to this story since they describe how the man and the girl feel about the unborn baby, respectively. The man perceives the unborn baby as a burden or something that will deny him of the ability to enjoy life. The man insists that both can live good lives by having the whole world to themselves and touring everywhere. He says to her, “We can have the whole world.” “We can go everywhere.” (Hemingway 3). On the other hand, the unborn baby is like a rare white elephant to the girl. She feels that the baby will be a blessing to them, and thus no need for the operation.

The mention of hills is symbolic in the story. In the beginning of the story, Hemingway describes the hills as “long and white” (1). As the American and the girl settle for drinks, there is a direct comparison between the hills and the country. The comparison says, “They [hills] were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry” (1). This comparison is suggestive of the constraint in the relationship between the American and the girl (Weeks 1). The contrast between the hills and the countryside was akin to the nature of the relationship between the American and the girl, which was different in every aspect. While the American preferred they go ahead with the procedure, the girl was quite reluctant.

Related:  A STREETCAR NAMES DESIRE BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

The bead curtain is also symbolic in the story. The bead curtain separates the American and the girl from the main bar where other travelers are waiting for the train. The bead curtain is symbolic of the separation between the American and the girl. In the first few lines of the story, Hemingway describes the station and the bar, whereby the curtain “hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies” (1). The American man and the girl have sharp divisions over what to do with the unborn baby as well as their future. This is similar to a beaded curtain hanging between them. The pregnancy is also like a curtain between the American and the girl. As the curtain blocks the flies from going into the bar, the pregnancy is also becoming a hindrance between the American and the girl.

The curtain is also symbolic of the communication challenges between the American and the girl. No one seems to understand the other in a perfect way. As soon as they settle down for drinks, the girl remarks that the line of hills in the distant “look like white elephants” to which the American responds, “I’ve never seen one” (Hemingway 1). This represents the serious rift in communication between the two. When the girl looks at the words written on the curtain, she is unable to tell the meaning and has to ask the American. She says, “They’ve painted something on it, … , what does it say?” (1). She has no idea that the writings or drawings on the curtain as she says represent a beer. The two seem to be from different worlds.

The side of the station where the characters are sitting is symbolic in nature.  The description of this side of the station is as follows: “On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun” (Hemingway 1). In addition, flies had to be kept out of the bar using bead curtain. According to Becnel, “such a setting represents barrenness and decay” (2). With regard to barrenness, there are always fears that an abortion may lead to barrenness or infertility in the future. The decay or rot indicates that their relationship is dead. Even if she agrees to have the abortion, there is little chance that things will be the same again between them. Their relationship is already in a state of decay and nothing can save it.

The opposite side of the station is symbolic. Hemingway presents the opposite side of the station as quite different from where the characters sit. Rather than being dry and lacking in vegetation, the opposite side seems full of life. The reader learns that on the opposite side there were “fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro” (Hemingway 3). It was possible to see the river from the station and the lively landscape of grain and trees. According to Evans, the sides of the station where the characters are sitting symbolize “blank sterility” while the opposite side of the station represents “teeming fertility and life” (2). The girl keeps on taking glances at the opposite side of the station where there is grain, trees, and a river. This is symbolic of the direction she needs to take – to either abort the fetus or choose fertility.

The time of arrival of the express train is also symbolically important. There are two major references to time in the story. The first one is at the beginning of the story whereby the author says, “the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes” (Hemingway 1). The second reference to time is where the barwoman informs them that the train is about to arrive, “The train comes in five minutes” (3). The time of arrival of the train symbolizes the quick decision that the American and the girl must make concerning the unborn baby (Eric 2). As the time remaining reduces from forty minutes to five minutes, the couple feels increasing pressure to make a decision. With the added pressure, the couple is yet to make a decision on what next.

There is also the contention that the heavy drinking they engage in is typical of the sensual life they led. According to Evans, he heavy drinking signifies “the life of random sensual pleasure they have been leading up till now” (3). Alcohol abuse is a key theme in the story. The lesson learnt here is that alcohol abuse may lead to early pregnancy and other problems. The last symbolism is the shadow that moves across the fertile field. The story narrator notes, “The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain” (3). This represents foreshadowing of bad events to come. According to Wyche, the cloud shadow is “foreshadowing the death of her unborn child” (2).

In summary, Hills Like White Elephants is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. The author integrates rich symbolism in the story to help the readers think deeper about its meaning. The most prominent symbols are “hills” and “white elephants”. The hills represents the differences between the man and the girl, while the white elephant represents the baby with regard to the man’s and the girl’s perceptions. The man views the baby as a burden, while to the woman the baby is a blessing.

 

Works Cited

Becnel, Kim E. “How to Write about “Hills Like White Elephants”” Bloom’s How to Write about             Ernest Hemingway, Chelsea House, 2017. Bloom’s Literature,             online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/45608?q=Hills Like White Elephants     symbolism. Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.

Weeks, Lewis E. “Hemingway Hills: Symbolism in “Hills Like White Elephants”.” Studies in      Short Fiction, vol. 17, no. 1, 1980, pp. 75.

Evans, Robert C. “”Hills Like White Elephants”” Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American        Writers, Volume 3, Facts On File, 2010. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/481649?q=Symbolism in the story Hills Like White Elephants. Accessed 14 Nov. 2017.

Wyche, David. “Letting the Air into a Relationship: Metaphorical Abortion in `Hills Like White             Elephants.” The Hemingway Review, vol. 22, no. 1, 2002, pp. 56.

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” Mindtap Literature. 2nd ed. N.p.: Cengage,    2016. Web. Video Requirement

 

[20pgs]ADVERTISNG VALUE EVALUATION-Dissertation paper

 

 

A Streetcar Names Desire by Tennessee Williams

What are the characters strengths and weaknesses? What is the plot objective? What is the psychological objective? What is a theme of the play? How is the character connected to the lager theme of the play? Is the character static or dynamic? Is there much to admire? Identify whether the character is a protagonist or antagonist. Identify the character objectives both plot and psychological. Provide textual evidence. Analyze whether the character is static or dynamic. Provide textual evidence. Provide evidence, in the form of specific examples form the text, to support your ideas. Three direct quotes.

 

Paper 3 Drama, Question 1

 

An Analysis of the Play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Thesis Statement: The central theme of the play is desire, which the author depicts as having the ability to ruin one’s life.

A Streetcar Named Desire is an interesting play by Tennessee Williams, which features Blanche DuBois as a tragic character. Blanche faces a desperate situation at Laure, which forces her to move to her sister’s place. On arrival at her sister’s place, she is apprehensive about her husband’s character. A premonition, her fears come real when she realizes that Stanley does not want her presence there.

  1. Is there much to admire in Blanche DuBois

There is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois. The author portrays Blanche as a woman of standards at the beginning of the play. She is openly appalled by squalid conditions her sister Stella is living. This gives the impression that she could have been living at a better place. However, the readers soon realize that Blanche is only putting a fake impression. She does not have money; she lost the family fortune following years of mismanagement; she was fired from her job; she seems emotionally unstable; and she has ruined her reputation at Laure. As such, there is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois.

  1. Blanche DuBois’ strengths and weaknesses

Blanche DuBoi shows various strengths in her character. Blanche appears as an intelligent person. She had been a high school teacher until she was fired for misconduct. She is a cultured woman and is shocked by the appalling conditions her sister lives in. This is because she was used to a refined life at Belle Reve before it came crumbling down. Blanche is quite observant. She notes that Stella has added weight since they last met. In addition, she is able to tell what kind of a person Stanley is after their first meeting. She insists that Stanley is “like an animal” (74). Blanche is resilient. While Stella run away, Blanche stayed by her family amid the struggle. The entire burden of the family was on Blanche’s shoulders. She is quite attached to her family, and it is evident with how she paid for their hospital bills and funeral expenses.

On the other hand, Blanche DuBois has various weaknesses in her character. The first weakness is that she is deceitful. Blanche tells Stanley and Stella that she took a leave of absence from her teaching job. In reality, the school superintended dismissed her for misconduct involving a minor. She does not reveal her weak financial status to Stanley or Stella. Blanche is a snob. She keeps asking Stella and Stanley how she looks. She is a pervert judging by her behavior. At school, she gets into an affair with an underage boy. She also sleeps with men to ease her frustrations of losing her husband. She is delusional and prefers living in an imaginary world with rich men such as Shep Huntleigh.

  • Plot and Psychological Objectives

The plot objective is to show readers that they should accept the reality of life or the situation they find themselves. Blanche lives in imagination and fantasy. At the end of the story, she is delusional. The psychological objective is to show readers that desires or urges can ruin one’s life if not controlled. Blanche has strong desires to engage in promiscuity. An incident where she wants her needs met involves seducing the newspaper deliveryman. She kisses him and then lets go in a bid to protect her reputation. She also has desire for alcohol. Stella leaves with Stanley because she desires a better life away from home.

  1. Theme of the Play

The central theme of the play is desire. The author explores the destructive nature of desire. Blanche’s driving motivations is the desire for sex and alcohol. Her unwavering sexual desire has resulted in her bad reputation at home. Moreover, she was chased out of the home area due to her unrestrained sexual desire. As Stanley says, “…she’s practically told by the mayor to get out of town!” (108). Her self-esteem is tied to her sexual attractiveness. She keeps fishing for compliments from both Stella and Stanley. She desires her youthful looks and attractiveness, which she has already lost bearing in mind that she is over 30 years. She seduces a young delivery boy and ends up giving him a kiss just as Mitch arrives. Desire reigns over Stanley and Stella’s relationship. Stanley has strong sexual desires, which Blanche describes as “animal force” (71). Stella desires comfort and a place to live, which is why she sticks with Stanley even after learning that he raped Blanche. Blanche rides on a taxi named “Desire”, which is a metaphorical of her nature.

  1. Connection of the Character to the Larger Theme of the Play

Blanche DuBois connects strongly to the theme of desire. Blanche has strong sexual desires, which have significantly contributed towards her downfall. She is dismissed from her teaching career after developing an illicit relationship with an underage student. At Laurel, Blanche has ruined her reputation completely. As Stanley says, “She [Blanche] is as famous in Laurel as if she was the President of the United States” (106), adding that this is not a compliment since no one respects her. Blanche falls quickly for Mitch whom he meets on the bathroom door at Stanley’s house. She is hopeful that Mitch will marry her eventually. However, she is not in love with Mitch but she is desperate to move out of Stanley’s house. Blanche seduces a young newspaper delivery boy, telling him that she would love to keep him, only that she has to maintain a good reputation. All these indicate she is full of desire.

  1. Is the Character Static or Dynamic?

Blanche is a dynamic character because she changes throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, readers see Blanche as smart, confident, beautiful, classy, and wealthy woman who has come on a visit to see her sister Stella. As the play progresses, readers get to know her real self. Blanche is not smart, as she seems. She was kicked out of her teaching position after having an affair with an underage student. She does not feel confident about her looks. In fact, it is possible to see that she as self-esteem issues. This is because she keeps begging for complements about her looks. At the beginning of the play, she cannot come to terms with the fact that her sister lives in squalid conditions. This gives the indication that she is a classy woman. However, it becomes apparent that she was living in worse conditions and that she has no money left. Blanche escapes reality by engaging in promiscuity and drinking of alcohol. At the end of the play, she seems delusional. For instance, she claims that she received a telegram from a friend willing to take her on a Caribbean cruise.

  • Whether Blanche is Protagonist or an Antagonist

Blanche is the protagonist in the play. The protagonist is the principle or leading character in a story, around whom events in the story develop. Blanche is a tragic protagonist judging by the life of fantasy she leads and the sexual assault she experiences from Stanley. Her arrival at Stanley’s house triggers the chain of events that occur. The story revolves around her plight, perhaps the author’s attempt to show the hardships that women go through. All events in the play revolve around Blanche, which indicates she is the protagonist. The play revolve her interactions with everyone, including her family members, Stanley, the school where she worked, the local community at Laurel, and her life at her sister’s place.

A Street Named Desire is an interesting play by Tennessee Williams whose central them is desire. The play intends to highlight the destructive nature of desire when individuals fail to tone their desires. The protagonist in the play is Blanche DuBois. She is a tragic protagonist in the play. Blanche faces a desperate situation, which brings her to Stanley’s place. She is looking for somewhere to stay. However, she does not like Stanley and neither does he. This creates tension between the two. In the end, Stanley assaults her, and she seems delusional.

Related: Mary Gaitskill’s The Girl on the Plane

Works Cited

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire.      http://www.metropolitancollege.com/Streetcar.pdf. Accessed 21 April 2017.

Paper 3 Drama, Question 1

An Analysis of the Play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Thesis Statement: The central theme of the play is desire, which the author depicts as having the ability to ruin one’s life.

  1. Introduction
  2. There is nothing much to admire in Blanche DuBois
  3. At the beginning of the play, she is portrayed as a woman of standards.
  4. She puts on a fake impression.
  5. She has gone through a list of misfortunes.
  • Blanche DuBoi shows various strengths in her character.
  1. She is intelligent.
  2. She is cultured.
  3. She is observant.
  4. She is caring.
  5. Blanche DuBois has various weaknesses in her character.
  6. She is deceitful.
  7. She is a snob.
  8. She is delusional.
  9. The plot objective is to show readers that they should accept the reality of life or the situation they find themselves.
  10. She lives in fantasy.
  11. She becomes delusional.
  12. Desires can ruin one’s life.
  13. The central theme of the play is desire.
  14. Author explores destructive nature of desire.
  15. Blanche is promiscuous.
  16. Stella and Stanley are driven by desire.
  • Blanche DuBois connects strongly to the theme of desire.
  1. She has a strong sexual desire.
  2. She falls for Mitch.
  3. She seduces a young man.
  • Blanche is a dynamic character because she changes throughout the play.
  1. Blanche is smart, confident, and full of positivity.
  2. She lacks confidence and is in a desperate situation.
  3. She becomes delusional.
  4. Blanche is the protagonist in the play.
  5. Principle character.
  6. Her arrival at Stanley’s triggers the story.
  7. All events revolve around Blanche.
  8. Conclusion
  9. Central theme.
  10. Her desperateness.

Related: Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

 

  Mary Gaitskill’s The Girl on the Plane

Question

Identify what you think is a main theme of the story. State the theme as your thesis statement

Analyze how the author crates the theme, referring to specific incidents or images in the story. In other words: Explain how you discovered the theme.

Use KEY TERMS (character type, point-of-view, inciting action, conflict-development-resolution, exposition, metaphor, symbol, internal time, recognition, reversal, motif, epiphany, flat character, dynamic character, protagonist, antagonist, ect.) to develop your ideas.

 

  Mary Gaitskill’s The Girl on the Plane

Mary Gaitskill’s “The Girl on the Plane” is a story about John Morton and Lorraine, a woman he meets on the plane by chance. John Motorn is the first on the seat. He seems frustrated and angry that he cannot keep time. Soon, Lorraine joins him in the next seat. She flushes out a copy of People Magazine and becomes engrossed in the stories written on the magazine. Lorraine reminds Morton about a girl he had earlier met. Patty was the name of this girl. They had met at Meadow Community College in Minnesota – and yes, had a romantic relationship with the college girl that ended awry. The conversation between Morton and Lorraine, as well as the numerous flashbacks that the reader goes through helps in highlighting the major contention the story. The main theme of the story is about the complex nature of sexual relations between men and women, and issues on complicity and manipulation in sexual relations. The story explores emotion and desire among men and women, showing how complex it can turn out to be.

Motor is observant and judgmental as well. Soon after Morton settles on his seat, he starts scrutinizing every interesting thing happening on the plane. He notices how the flight attendants put effort to ensure everything is right before takeoff. He takes note of the women lining up to vising the bathroom. It is at this moment that the author introduces the inciting action. Inciting action refers to an incident, usually at the beginning of the play, which sets in motion the entire events of the story. The inciting action is Lorraine’s grand entrance into the plane, which Morton keenly follows. Morton is amazed by Lorraine’s beauty as she walks down the aisle and towards where he is seated. On taking her seat, Morton notices a rueful smile on her face. He attributes the smile to women who have had countless sex with men. He also finds her smile sexy. Morton shows raw sexual desire as he admires Lorraine who is reading a magazine. It is at this point he begins flashbacks about his past sexual encounters with girls.

Gaitskill employs dialogue in the story to bring about different character type. After he boards the plane, a girl takes the next seat and they immediately strike a conversation. Morton is the protagonist in the story. The protagonist is the good character, and often the one facing a particular conflict. The protagonist is the focus of the story. The protagonist should command empathy or involvement from the readers. However, the protagonist is not always admirable. Morton, the protagonist in the story, has feelings of complicity about a rape he participated. As he reveals during the flight, he still has feelings of guilt, after participating in raping Patty, someone he confesses to hold deep admiration. He says, “If you want to talk about mistakes – shit, I raped somebody. Somebody I liked” (135). Morton tries to downplay the situation after realizing the shock on Lorraine. He claims that it was not actually a rape, but something “complicated.” Prior to the said ‘rape’, Patty had made sexual advances at Morton, but he had turned them down claiming she was too drunk. This highlights the complex nature of relationships.

Related: Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

Lorraine reminds Morton of the girls he had sexual encounters with before meeting his wife. She is the round character in the story. A round character is one that shows varied and at times contradictory traits. Round characters can change in the course of the story, highlighting their complex personality. Lorraine admits that she does not own a TV, let alone watching the L.A. Law. This is something that Morton finds quite odd, considering that even his friends who live in the poorest neighborhoods own a TV set. This helps in showing her contradictory personality. In developing the theme of the story, Lorraine seems attracted to Morton at first. After perusing through her magazine, she turns to Morton in a way that “invited conversation” (123). Morton begins reviewing the girls he dated before he met his wife, helping develop the theme about complex nature of sexual relations. Morton ponders about Andrea, a girl who he seems to regret ever having met. He mentally reviews the encounters he had with Patty LaForge, ending up with a rape he feels guilty about even today.

Throughout the story, Morton experiences flashbacks, which help readers in glimpsing the sexual relationships he had over the years. The narrator peers into Morton’s past concerning relationships through flashbacks. A third-person limited point of view helps readers experience the nature of sexual relationships Morton had, and his inner feelings towards them. In the third-person limited point of view, the narrator is only able to describe the thoughts of one character, usually the main character. Morton recalls a girl by the name Andrea, whom he claims, “made an asshole of him” (123). It seems Andrea manipulated Morton for her selfish gains. This is the reason why he still feels hateful towards her. Through the third-limited point of view, readers are led in Morton’s mind, where it is possible to see the confusions he has concerning whether he actually raped Patty. Patty was a loose girl. Nonetheless, he still carries the guilt to this day. Morton also remembers a girl by the name of Layla, whom he longed to get in bed with but never got the chance.

The author depicts relationships as primal affairs, rather than romantic images readers may expect. The connections between individuals involve manipulations and hidden motives among the individuals concerned. This makes relationships quite complex. Morton talks about Layla, a girl he always admired and whom he describes as exuding sexual knowledge and girlish curiosity. At one time, he touched her inappropriately during a Halloween party. The narrator employs a figure of speech, specifically a simile to show how Layla reacted. The author says, “She smiled like a mother of four who worked as a porn model on the side” (125). Morton had a longing to ‘explore’ Layla, but he never got the chance. This highlights the primal nature of relations in that Morton was only longing to have intercourse with Layla as a way of exploring her beauty, with no plans for commitment. Morton enjoyed driving with girls, buying alcohol, and engaging in sexual encounters with them.

Morton and Lorraine have had their share of unhealthy sexual relationships. Lorraine admits that the only mistakes in her life were dating someone named Jerry, and failing to join a band that later became famous. It is ironical that dropping out of school is not on the list of her worst mistakes in life. Morton tries to reaffirm to her that it was not a mistake dropping out of school, while he himself finished college. Lorraine has had many sexual relationships, and she is yet to settle down in marriage. She confesses that while staring at Thorold, she felt she could not fit in. This contributed to low self-esteem, in what she describes as not feeling sexy. This hints to her desire during this period to develop and maintain sexual relationships with men, but she felt unattractive and unwanted. Towards the end, Morton confesses that he has done terrible mistakes in his life – like rape. This is a turn off to Lorraine, who metaphorically drifts away “at the speed of light” (135).

Work Cited

Gaitskill, Mary. The Girl on the Plane.

Related : Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers 

 

 

Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

This paper is ENG 201 American Literature to 1865

Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

The works of Whitman, Dickinson and Longfellow bear many similarities as well as differences in terms of tone and language with that of the early writers. Whitman employs a hopeful tone in most of his writings. His main objective is to give hope to people that they can still receive salvation. For instance in the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider”, Whitman writes: “And you, O my soul, where you stand, surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them…” (Kummings, 2005). p. 327). Early writers such as Jonathan Edwards chose a menacing tone in most of his summons. He threatens followers with damnation using metaphors as in: “The God that holds you over the spit of hell, much as one holds a spider …. Over the fire; His wrath towards you burns like fire …” (Edwards and Frankena, 1960, p. 113).

Related Papers: Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

In majority of his poems, Longfellow used a sentimental tone that appeal to his readers’ emotions. For instance the poem “Pegasus in Pound”, Longfellow employs a sentimental tone throughout the work, similar with other works such as his popular “Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie.” The later is a reflection of fishermen and farmers who lead a mundane life, only to be thrown into disarray after war erupts. Dickinson employs a homiletic tone in most of her works.

A striking similarity between the works of Whitman, Longfellow and Dickinson and earlier American writers is the use imagery and metaphors in both works. Common symbols used in all works include sun, moon, stars, animals, birds, and others. Dickinson usually used images of nature such as the sun, hills and rivers. Having a tinge of purists’ influence in her works, Dickinson used nature in developing imagery as a way of seeking significance with nature – to her, God is manifested through nature.

References

Edwards, J., & Frankena, W. K. (1960). The nature of true virtue. Ann Arbor: Univ. of     Michigan Press.

Kummings, D. (2005). Companion to Walt Whitman. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.

 

Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

The writings by Stowe, Jacobs and the speeches by Lincoln greatly contribute to the understanding of America’s social environment especially during the dark slavery era. The writings by Stowe and Jacobs highlight the oppression and horrors that slaves underwent. In particular, the writings by Harriet Jacobs present readers with a first-hand experience of the exploitation and abuse that woman slaves underwent in the hand of their white owners. Lincoln speeches give readers a sense of the divisions that permeated the entire continent over freedom of Native Americans and slaves, and an understanding of the social iniquities that persisted in a society ironically founded on principles of freedom and equality (Brown, 1990).

Related Papers: Psychological Critical Approach Analyzing change in Hawthorne’s

In her most widely-read book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Stowe exposes to the readers the injustices and horrors that Native Americans and slaves underwent. The novel shows readers how slavery resulted in destruction of family life, and ways in which it was antichristian. For instance in the novel, she says: “This is God’s curse on slavery! … a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing! …”. (Stowe, 2001, p. 36). Harriet Jacobs’ life mirrors that of other African American women who often had to endure sexual exploitation from their masters. In her novel “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, she gives readers a first-hand perspective of the sexual exploitation that African American women underwent. The story is a reflection of the life she lived – a life torn between remaining chaste and falling prey to her master’s sexual advances.

These writings are of great importance to the society today. The writings serve to remind people of the problems that can befall a nation that embraces racial discrimination – mostly conflicts and rebellions. Racial discrimination has remained a hot topic in the United States, although the government has instituted several measures such as grants in education to poor minority students to ensure equality. Racial discrimination results to hate and conflicts and hence must be avoided at all costs.

References

Brown, G. (1990). Domestic Individualism: Imagining Self in Nineteenth Century America.          Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stowe, H. B. (Eds.) (2001). Uncle Tom’s Cabin. New York, NY: Applewood Books.