Saturday, May 14, 2011

Event Blog #4

“The Sweet Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, a short story by Ernest Hemingway, details the excursion of an American couple on a safari in Africa and the assistance of their guide as the man goes hunting for lions. At first, he falters in cowardice, and his wife despises him for it; she shuns him in favor of their safari guide. Francis is inexperienced and timid, and allows his wife to control him because he doesn’t know what else he would do without her. Yet, when he asserts his dominance on the savannah, it’s like a switch is flicked on within him; he is suddenly mature and ready to take life by the horns, so to speak. It is with this peace of mind knowing that he finally has control over his life that he dies, which is the most honorable way a man could kick the bucket: while in complete and utter control of his life, doing something utterly heroic. His death came at the most convenient time, because he may or may not have lost his gumption when he returned to the US, thus Francis died with dignity and honor.

“Tell the truth but tell it slant--” by Emily Dickinson relates to this in that it asserts that we as humans cannot handle the whole truth at once; it must be a gradual build-up, else it could shock us and have dire consequences. This rang true for poor Francis Macomber, who understood everything in one quick moment, and didn’t know how to properly conduct himself afterward; thus, his wife caught on to the idea that he was finally going to assert himself in life, and killed him before he could decide to leave her.

“Success is Counted Sweetest”, another by Dickinson, also rings true for Macomber, because his relatively minor kill of buffalo was his only success for the trip, and yet it was sweet enough to change his entire perspective on life. This poem explains that those who do not experience success as much appreciate it the most when it happens to them. “I heard a Fly buzz--when I died” tells of a death predicted and seen long-coming, which could be related to Macomber in that the tone of the story was too tense for both he and his wife to escape intact; she was far too power hungry for him to walk away from this trip a better man, and her behavior, in a way, foreshadows Macomber’s eventual demise. “Because I could not stop for Death—”, details how Death came to pick up the narrator, who believed she was far too busy for death; this is an odd juxtaposition because the narrator and Death are a calm, collected couple throughout the poem, a direct contrast to the tense power struggle constantly occurring between Mr. and Mrs. Macomber.

For this event, I participated in the student-directed One Acts, the first bill, which consisted of the shows Chalky White Substance, The Problem, and The Dumbwaiter. Chalky White Substance dealt with the issues of betrayal and loved ones, which definitely shares themes with “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. It depicts a scene in the distant future, a snapshot into a gay relationship now that the female population has nearly dwindled to zero as a result of the chalky white substance that now covers the earth killing females. The government is a totalitarian one, and violation of the rules is subject to death; the elder man can sense the younger becoming more cheeky and bold, and rather than go down with him if he got caught (or, in Mrs. Macomber’s case, sticking around to see if Francis kept his newfound cajones upon their return to the US), he reports him to the government (rather than shooting him himself, like Mrs. Macomber). Both works detail scenes of betrayal, though while Francis died at the perfect moment in his life, the younger man in Chalky White Substance still had plenty to live for.

Event #5

For this event, I chose to attend the screening of The Bride of Frankenstein, a sequel to the movie Frankenstein, but not the novel, as the movie ended with Dr. Frankenstein alive as to allow the sequel to be produced. The movie follows the experiences of the monster as he desperately tries to find solace or shelter, yet is rebuked at every turn as a result of his appearance, while Dr. Frankenstein’s former mentor attempts to play God and craft the creature a bride. After speaking with Frankenstein’s mentor, the monster is on board with this plan, and even assists Dr. Pretorius in forcing Dr. Frankenstein to help him create the bride by kidnapping Elizabeth. The bride, however, is repulsed by the monster, and is a menace herself; seeing this, the monster urges Elizabeth and Dr. Frankenstein to escape while he sacrifices himself to make sure that the bride and Dr. Pretorius don’t cause trouble for anyone ever again. It is a moment of pure selflessness in which the monster realizes the abomination that has been created, and what needs to be done to prevent anything from progressing further.

This is similar to the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer; Frankenstein’s monster is a nomad, eventually settling with a kind blind man who teaches him the meaning of friendship, though he is eventually driven away from them. Shane is also a nomad who comes to live with Joe and his family, and also is driven away from them; when he is driven away, however, he makes the ultimate self-sacrifice and gets himself shot in a gunfight that was originally intended for Joe to battle. Both Shane and Frankenstein’s monster die protecting what they have come to cherish: a sense of friendship. Shane also is a loner like the monster, and though he loves Joe’s wife, does not get her in the end; the monster never gets his bride, either, though he deeply loves the idea of a companion and seeks one not only in the novel, but also in the film.

Both Shane and Frankenstein’s monster end up finding fulfillment in other people, though it is implied at the beginning of both pieces that people have hurt them before.

Event Blog #6

William Shakespeare is by and far one of the greatest playwrights of all time, and Twelfth Night is one of his most commonly known and parodied plays. Countless plays, films, and novels have been based off of the premise of this play, which revolves around the idea of true love and identity, and how misleading either of the two can lead to mass confusion. Viola has been separated from her twin brother, Sebastian, and both think the other dead, while the Duke of Orsino is in love with the only other royal in town, Olivia. Viola meets the Duke of Orsino and falls in love with him, though he is not aware of this as she is dressed as a male page and assumes her brother’s identity in order to get closer to him. He sends her to woo Olivia, who had been previously undeterred from her mourning period (she vowed to isolate herself for seven years after her brother’s death), yet Olivia’s poetic way of phrasing the Duke’s love causes Olivia to fall in love with the disguised Viola. Sebastian then happens to come into the equation, and everyone eventually comes clean about their true identities, and Olivia and Sebastian wed as well as the Duke and Viola. Despite the happy ending, the validity of Sebastian and Olivia’s love is still in air; their relationship seems shallow, based solely on appearances and Viola’s words. The Duke and Viola enjoy a slightly more stable relationship, as they got to know each other as friends first before beginning anything romantic (mainly because Viola was in drag for the majority of their relationship).

As an event, I chose to attend the student-written-and-directed musical Now! That’s What I Call a Musical by Brett Messiora. It parodied the high school of 90’s yore, where everyone was a stereotype that you could pick out on a sitcom. It was based on the premise that a new girl arrived to school, only to fall in love with the most popular boy in school, though the nerdy boy was in love with her. As the most popular boy in school had an argument with his girlfriend (predictably, the most popular and snotty girl), he ended it and asked out the new girl to spite his now-ex. The popular girl, realizing that the nerdy guy was in love with the new girl, forcefully adopted him as her new boyfriend. After a series of hilarious miscommunications, the new girl and the nerdy guy end up together, and there’s a lovely musical number to tie it all together.

Both of these pieces involved complications in love as a direct result of dishonesty; yet, in either work, the objects of affection may have been intimidated by an immediate declaration of love (except perhaps in Twelfth Night, where that sort of thing is grounds for a marriage) and things may not have worked out. The general message of these pieces seems to be that eventually, regardless of whatever complications that may arise while you pretend to be someone else in order to woo the love of your life, everything will work out perfectly in the end.

Expectations

“A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee, “Serving up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro, “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner; each of these pieces have one thing in common: they all focus on expectations.

“A Father” by Bharati Mukherjee concentrates on the life of a traditional Indian man and the expectations he has for his daughter; while she excels at these expectations in her career, and is self-sufficient, she utterly fails his expectations socially. She is unattractive and rude, and though she wants a baby, she cannot find a father, so she obtains a sperm donation in order to get pregnant. This violates her father’s expectations of her future in regards to a family, and it ends violently for his daughter and her insolence concerning his expectations.

“Serving Up Hope” by Stephanie Shapiro details the restaurant in Baltimore that provides jobs for recovering drug addicts that are trying to get back on their feet. The couple that runs it defy society’s expectations to treat addicts like pariahs, turning down the idea that they are unfit to even share a street with and allowing them to do something as intimate as preparing food for people every day.

“Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague is an instructive poem on how to, again, turn down society’s expectations to treat the SAT as the most important thing in the world, and rather, not prepare for it. This is an interesting concept, as one of the most common expectations of the general public is to do well in life, the root of which is hinted at being high SAT scores.

“First Practice” by Gary Gildner depicts the first practice with a new coach, during which the coach forms expectations of each player. The first practice is where first impressions are made, and those are the impressions that form the basis for the rest of the entire season.

Event Blog #3

For my third event, I attended Relay for Life at Loyola; it is a massive fundraiser that lasts for weeks and finally culminates in an all-night event during which groups circle a track in order to boost the battle against cancer. It was one of the most depressing events I attended all semester; having lost friends and family to cancer, the different presentations truly hit home. During the vigil in which everyone circled the track at once holding candles in silence, they played a Powerpoint on the wall with different pictures of victims of cancer; just the sheer volume of people there, all struck by the gravity of the disease, was both chilling and heart-warming at the same time. Hundreds of people attended, and it was wonderful to see such an enthusiastic turn-out for such a great cause. It was also a celebration of survivors, however, and a celebration of life in general, which perfectly related both to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and to “One's-Self I Sing,” and “I Sing the Body Electric” by Walt Whitman. Both Whitman poems exalt the idea of humanity, and how glorious we are as human beings. He asserts that life is one of the most precious things one can have, and that we should celebrate everything about it, from the wonder of our bodies to the miracle of the way our minds work. While “I Sing the Body Electric” is the more broadly directed poem, “One’s-Self I Sing” is meant to be a celebration of one’s own body, and how one should truly celebrate their own life before they begin to celebrate others.

Frankenstein, however, evokes deeper questions about life; it details the attempts of a scientist to ascend to the level of God himself and create life, though it is not out of a celebration of this miracle. He succeeds, only to find that his monster, though sentient, is wholly repulsive, and he shudders to think that he had violated nature so. It emphasizes, in this way, the need to celebrate all forms of life, be it beautiful or hideous. Frankenstein’s monster was intelligent, if not a bikini model, and his isolation from society and the disrespect of his life drove him to violate the sanctity of life even further as he turned to senseless murder to gain his revenge.

Dr. Frankenstein neglected his creation, and shunned him, and the results of this were a miserable creature and a miserable existence looming in the future for Frankenstein as the creature attempted to recreate the isolation that it felt in Frankenstein’s life. It is repeatedly emphasized that though Frankenstein’s monster may be an abomination against God and against nature, he is still full of life and deserves all of the same rights as we do.

Event Blog #2

For this week’s event, I saw the Evergreen Players’ production of Our Country’s Good, a play set in Australia during the time it was a prisoner for English convicts. The play features a sympathetic officer who realizes that the prisoners are, for the most part, good people in a poor situation; with tensions rising in the camp as a result of dwindling supplies and no word of shipments from England, he offers to assist the convicts in putting together a play for the entertainment of the officers. It works in the favor of both sides; the officers gain free entertainment in a place where there is little to do, and the prisoners have something to occupy their time other than misery and menial labor. This is similar, in part to Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, which details the journey of a poor family and their spiteful grandmother on an attempt to vacation in Florida, which the grandmother does not desire to go. She manipulates the family into making a detour towards a house she remembers as a child, but realizes she has gotten them lost for no reason as the house is in an entirely different state. The family ends up in an accident, only to be accosted and killed on the side of the road by a group of bandits the grandmother had previously been complaining about. Her mantra throughout the piece is “a good man is hard to find”, which is ironic as she herself is an awful person. The camp in Our Country’s Good, conversely, is filled with people who are supposed to be “bad” men, but are rather excellent people in poor situations, many for which the punishment did not suit the crime.

One of the poems assigned was “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which details the remarkable elasticity of nature and the wonderful powers of God. Regardless of what man does to his environment, its beauty manages to persevere. This also occurs in the convicts in Our Country’s Good; despite all that they have been through, and all that they are forced to endure at the hands of the (at times, cruel) officers, they still manage to be good people. They are fiercely loyal to each other, and have a firm sense of community and righteousness. Even as one of the convicts faced the gallows for refusing to answer whether or not she knew about an escape that had occurred, she still did not sell out her friend.

“Happiness”, a poem by Jane Hirshfield, speaks of a lover who can sense the pressures of society melting away when she is with her loved one. This mimics the love triangle depicted in Our Country’s Good; both the officer in charge of the play and a convict are in love with one of the female convicts, and both praise her for her inherent ability to make them feel as if they were back in England. The officer asserts that she is so lovely she makes him forget his family back home, and how much he misses them, as well as the stress of attempting to keep the peace between the officers and the convicts within the camp, whereas the fellow convict assures her that she makes him feel as if he had never been arrested, and as if there is hope for him to return to England one day.

Milton, Shakespeare and Gilbert

Both masters of the sonnet, John Milton and William Shakespeare are renowned for their different styles of writing; Milton tends to have more religious subjects, whereas Shakespeare more often than not regales the reader with exclamations of his love. In “When I consider how my light is spent” by Milton, he laments the loss of his eyesight in that he feels he can no longer write as well, and writing was his service to God. He is at first puzzled with why God would take away something so crucial to his gift, and give him such obstacles to continue writing for Him, yet finds reasoning in that God does not need John to write, though he does so anyway. He then views his loss as a test, and assesses that his works will now be more valuable to God since it takes more trouble to

create them now.

Shakespeare, on the other hand, chooses to encapsulate his idea of love within the sonnet “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”; in his era, authors were famed for their flowery prose and descriptions of lovers that seemed as if they were divinity personified. Shakespeare utilizes the poem to poke fun at these authors, implying that if they feel the need to build up their lovers to more than they truly are physically, they must not love them as much as Shakespeare loves his “dark lady.” He points out each of her faults in the poem, and realistically compares her physical features to descriptions utilized by many of the more flowery writers, and sums up the sonnet by citing that though his mistress may not be perfect, he loves her unconditionally regardless.

We also read a piece by Elizabeth Gilbert monikered "One Word"; this piece ties together both Gilbert and Shakespeare's views on love and spirituality, and details the struggle to find a balance between the two.

Event Blog #1

For the first event, I attended the Spotlight Players’ production of the play Leaves; it details the recovery of a family composed of a mother, father, and three sisters during the aftermath of the oldest sister’s attempted suicide. Plays have a general tendency to mimic literature in general themes and movements, and more often than not share numerous literary devices. Leaves focused on the repercussions for the eldest daughter as she returns from a failed attempt to kill herself after her first semester at college. She cites pressure as a main cause, and an inability to fit in; this pressure can also be seen in John Donne’s “The Flea”, a poem in which a man struggles to convince his love to sleep with him outside of the bonds of marriage. He maintains that since their blood has already been mixed in a flea that has bitten the both of them, they are already one and the same, and sleeping together would carry no “sin, nor shame.” He compares the flea to their relationship, and argues that in that, they are more intimate than marriage; this is a poor example, however, as fleas have negative connotations, as well as a short life span. Just as the love of the narrator of Donne’s poem suffers from pressure from her lover and his expectations, Lori endures the pressure of her peers and her family’s expectations.

Conversely, his poem “A Valediction, Forbidden Mourning” speaks of a relationship free of pressure, but rather is secure in the belief that they are meant for each other. The narrator speaks of his unconditional love for his beloved, and how he remains devoted to her no matter where she goes. This most closely resembles the role of Lori’s family within Leaves; they remain supportive of her throughout her entire ordeal, and try to be as understanding as they possibly can. They agree to do whatever it takes to make her feel better, or at least return to the happy family they once were. This poem provides a sharp contrast to the love expressed in Donne’s previous poem, as “The Flea” implies that the narrator’s love depends heavily on the physical aspects of his beloved, while “A Valediction, Forbidden Mourning” depicts a love that seems almost entirely based on emotions.

“Fox Trot Fridays” by Rita Dove is yet another love poem, yet hers speaks of a night once a week during which lovers simply love, and allow themselves to be happy within the relationship. This compares to the various points in Leaves when the family would reminisce upon happier times, such as family dinners and vacations. The poem also implies that these moments are sacred, untouchable by troubles or quarrels, untainted by any sort of discord that may be occurring. This also rings true for the fond times recalled by the family in Leaves, as they try to backtrack through the last few years and figure out when exactly Lori began to feel less than content with life. Their motivations cannot stain these moments, however, and the few happy moments within the play occur during these flashbacks of better times.

Conversely to the previous poems, “Memorandum” by Billie Bolton does not express what the author loves in a person, but rather, what she hates; by creating this comparison, she hopes to find someone who does not possess any of these qualities. This is similar to Lori’s numerous outbursts throughout the play, during which she reprimands her helpless family members for the different things they do that bother her, rather than capitalizing on their efforts to make her feel better or the things they do that makes her love them.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Feb. 15

This week we had to read Gerad Manley Hopkin’s poem “God’s Grandeur” and Jane Hirshfiled’s poem “Happiness.” Along with that we had to read the short story written by Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Each reading takes us into a theme of appreciation.

In Gerad Manley Hopkin’s poem “God’s Grandeur” the poem talks about the lack of appreciation we have developed over the years for what God had given us. The beginning of the poem discusses how we as humans no longer appreciate what we have. We take advantage of it, and use up the earth’s resources without thinking of the repercussions.

In Jane Hirshfield’s poem she discusses the storie of St. Francis and how he came about to realize the beauty of the world. The poem talks about how St. Francis used wildlife to teach us lessons and how that’s how God intended it to be. In the long run, the poem is about how we should appreciate nature and that we should live peacefully with it.

In Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the topic of familiy is brought up. The grandmother is stuck in the world she grew up in. She is stuck in the old customs and does not realize that the traditions and the way people act have changed drastically. The grandmother finds it hard to appreciate these things and gets very angry with her family. Then when The Misfits threatened her life, she quickly resorts to complimenting the man and saying that he looks like a good person. She resorts to using her faith and the Misfit states that if people always feared their lives than maybe the world would be a more religious place. We do not appreciate our faith or the life we are given, until the end is very near.

The event I attended was the Student Directed One Acts. Each of the plays, with the exception of a few, have an underlying message that can help people grow in life. One of the plays, A Chalky White Substance, talks about how civilization is a man eat man world. And people will hurt anyone to get the upper hand in society. This relates perfectly with what poems and reading we read today. Because it shows how people don’t appreciate what we have and we are constantly trying to get something better, and by doing this we are ruing civilization.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blog #9: Twelfth Night (Act I and II)

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is the most known play for the theme of mistaken identity and one of the most intricate love complexes. This story has been reused many times after being seen in Shakespeare’s play. It has a very important lesson to learn of just being yourself.

Throughout the play the reader meets many new characters all that basically intertwine with one another. The main character is Viola. She is a girl who has fallen in love the Duke and when she comes to town, decides to dress up as a male to get closer to the Duke. Viola dresses up as Cesario a teenage boy and she quickly becomes one of the favorite servants and becomes an assistant to helping the Duke win over his lover. At the beginning she is hesitant to help him out but then gives in and helps because of her love for him.

The Duke is scheming his plan to win over Olivia. Olivia has just lost her brother and has vowed her self to isolation of love for seven years. She is courted constantly but has made it clear to all of the town that she is not interested in finding love. The Duke was not challenged by this and knew that he could win her over. He sends over Viola to woo Olivia.

However, not according to the plan Olivia falls for someone else. This someone else being the male version of Viola. To show her love, Olivia sends Viola a ring and hopes that she will return the love back. Viola is confused by all of this but knows that she must keep up the act and insist the Duke upon Olivia and take herself off the map.

At the point where we stopped reading, we leave the play in the love triangle. Olivia in love with Viola. Viola in love with Duke. And Duke in love with Olivia. This whole problem would be solved if Viola had not lied about her identity. It must be hardest on Viola because she has to deal with the man that she loves swooning over someone else. And she has to deal with the fact that a woman has fallen in love with her lie.

Blog #10: Twelfth Night (Act III-V) & Final Blog & Event

The second half of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night ties everything together and solves the problem of love triangles and mistaken identities. Before I go into the rest of Twelfth Night, I’d like to discuss my participation in Take Back the Night’s shirt day, where I wore a shirt that said 1 in 4. I bring this up because it fits in perfectly with mistaken identity. Wearing a shirt like that and having people not know why makes them wonder things. I had some people ask me if I was the statistic, mistaken identity. It made me feel awkward because it was such a serious topic and for one to just straight up ask me was really strange. People defiantly looked at me differently. I don’t know if it was just them reading my shirt and wondering or if it was them wondering what I had been through. Wearing this shirt called attention to me, but not in the best light.

This goes right along with the attention being called to Viola even though she would eventually have to come out as not being a man. However, towards the next few scenes her brother who she thought was dead comes back and is constantly being mistaken for Viola. This leads to him being in fights and him falling in love with Olivia. This works out very well for him because Olivia is already in love with Viola and since they are twins, she has no idea that there was ever a change.

On the side of Viola, she finally comes clean about her true identity. The Duke then realizes his feelings for her and they end up in a relationship. Probably one of the most stable relationships that is formed throughout this entire play because of the true relationship and love for each other they had as just friends. Along with those couple, a relationship between Toby and Maria form over their love of practical jokes. Toby has always had a thing for Maria but this common factor brought them together. Thus leaving Malvolio, alone in his misery and powerless.

This semester has been extremely fun. The poems and short stories we read were all very fun to read and defiantly kept me at my attention. Throughout the semester my love for deciphering poems grew. It started out as a hassle but then became like a game or puzzle to me. This class has made my appreciation for poetry go up very much. Before this I had hated poetry because I could never get the right message across but now it’s pretty much a breeze.

The events were fun to attend and connecting them to the readings were also like a puzzle. And it made me dig deeper into the stories and events so that I could find a common denominator. Overall I really enjoyed my time in this class.

Blog #10: Twelfth Night (Act III-V) & Final Blog & Event

The second half of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night ties everything together and solves the problem of love triangles and mistaken identities. Before I go into the rest of Twelfth Night, I’d like to discuss my participation in Take Back the Night’s shirt day, where I wore a shirt that said 1 in 4. I bring this up because it fits in perfectly with mistaken identity. Wearing a shirt like that and having people not know why makes them wonder things. I had some people ask me if I was the statistic, mistaken identity. It made me feel awkward because it was such a serious topic and for one to just straight up ask me was really strange. People defiantly looked at me differently. I don’t know if it was just them reading my shirt and wondering or if it was them wondering what I had been through. Wearing this shirt called attention to me, but not in the best light.

This goes right along with the attention being called to Viola even though she would eventually have to come out as not being a man. However, towards the next few scenes her brother who she thought was dead comes back and is constantly being mistaken for Viola. This leads to him being in fights and him falling in love with Olivia. This works out very well for him because Olivia is already in love with Viola and since they are twins, she has no idea that there was ever a change.

On the side of Viola, she finally comes clean about her true identity. The Duke then realizes his feelings for her and they end up in a relationship. Probably one of the most stable relationships that is formed throughout this entire play because of the true relationship and love for each other they had as just friends. Along with those couple, a relationship between Toby and Maria form over their love of practical jokes. Toby has always had a thing for Maria but this common factor brought them together. Thus leaving Malvolio, alone in his misery and powerless.

This semester has been extremely fun. The poems and short stories we read were all very fun to read and defiantly kept me at my attention. Throughout the semester my love for deciphering poems grew. It started out as a hassle but then became like a game or puzzle to me. This class has made my appreciation for poetry go up very much. Before this I had hated poetry because I could never get the right message across but now it’s pretty much a breeze.

The events were fun to attend and connecting them to the readings were also like a puzzle. And it made me dig deeper into the stories and events so that I could find a common denominator. Overall I really enjoyed my time in this class.

Blog # 8: Shane & Event

Shane by Jack Schaefer is a story about a man who changes a town and a family forever. It takes place in Western United States around the late 19th century. It is focused around a family of three who meet this mysterious man, Shane and welcome him into their home. The story is told from the point of view of the child of the house Bob. He forms a respect for Shane and begins to look up to him.

Bob’s former “idol” was this powerful man named Fletcher who now decides that he wants to take over the town and buy out all the farmlands. Shane decides to live with Bob’s family at this point as a paid to worker. But he also does this because he knows that Fletcher is no match for him and that he can help defend the family against him and his lackeys. He tries to get Shane to leave town but it doesn’t work.

Shane becomes very close with Joe, the father of the house. They bond over the uprooting of a stump and Joe grows very fond of him. Along with Joe’s wife who at first is wary of Shane but then soons to begin having romantic feelings towards him. At one point in the novel Shane takes Joe’s seat at the dinner table and we later find out that it is because he is watching the door and making sure nothing comes in and hurts the family. Shane becomes their protector and he also puts confidence into Joe.

Shane tries to stay out of trouble while in town but eventually gets into a fight with Chris, one of Fletcher’s lackeys. But at the end of the fight he buys Chris a drink and helps him up. Shane soon begins to distance himself from the family knowing that he will have to leave soon.

In a way I relate this to the event that I attended that is a campus wide event, Relay for Life. Relay for Life focuses on those who have suffered and possibly died form Cancer. Relating the novel to this, I can say that cancer patients are my Shane. They have battled fights for everyone and some have helped try to make advances in science and medicine that will benefit all of society one day. Also cancer patients are people that we should look up to because they take control of their life and accept their fate just as Shane did.

Blog # 7: Poetry & Short Story

This weeks readings were Bharati Mukheriee’s “A Father,” Stephanie Shaprio’s “Serving Up Hope” and two poems the first written by Richard Hague known as “Directions for Resisting the SAT” and Gary Gildner’s “First Practice.”

Bharati Mukherelee’s short story focuses around a Indian man who lives in Detroit. He is very religious and follows the Hindu religion. This man is very superstitious sand also has spent his entire life worshiping the God, Kali-Mata. This man is also a push over and spends his life being pushed around by his family. One day he sees his neighbor sneeze and being the superstitious man he is gets frightened because that is a bad omen. So to avoid anything from happening he takes the day off of work and stays at home. While at home he notices that his daughter has not left for work and begins to hear vomiting coming from the bathroom. As the story progresses he learns that his daughter is pregnant from a donar and his wife knew all along. He gets furious at this and at the end of the story he beats her belly with a rolling pin hoping to kill the child.

Next up on our list was an article called “Serving up Hope.” This is an article about cooking and a husband and wife. The article discusses a culinary chef and his wifes formation of a restaurant that serves two purposes. It first off is a place to eat and secondly is place for former drug addicts to learn how to cook so they can go out into the world with the skill of culinary.

Moving onto the poems, we read “Directions for Resisting the SAT” written by Richard Hague. The book is filled with humor and makes fun of the over preparing many people do for the SAT. The poem pokes fun at the numerous books one can buy that tells that what to expect on the SAT. He overall pokes fun at the SAT by saying that this 5 hour test determines whether or not a student gets into the college of their choice. Sounds a bit ridiculous.

The next poem hits home for many people. It was written by Gary Gildner and is called “First Practice.” This poem is about the full throttle you are thrown into when you a join a sports team. The poem describes the intensity that one feels at the first practice. The fear the coach installs into people to make them see that this isn’t a joke. The poem pokes fun at the idea that coaches get so into the idea of winning and loose the fun of playing the game.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the play The Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare’s portrayal of three different forms of love was the reason for the large amount of controversy throughout the play. Parental Love, unconditional love, and lust heavenly influence the main characters of the story and made them react in the way they did. The character’s inability to control their actions due to these different forms of love gives the message that love is the strongest force

Viola is the first character that is introduced in the play. At the beginning of the play parental love is first demonstrated when the reader discovers that Viola has just survived a tragic boat accident and her brother, Sebastian might have died in the process. The thought of the loss of her brother, the last person other than her carrying their family’s title gave Viola the ambition to search for Sebastian as well as a husband in IIIyria that would let her family’s title live on. Sebastian who also demonstrated a large amount of Parental Love for his twin sister, vowed to walk all faces of the earth in order to seek out his sister and fight to keep his family’s name alive. It is this separation between these two twins and the fact that neither one of them are certain that the other is alive that the reader is able to determine that Parental Love is what is keeping them from giving up.

Lady Olivia, a young beautiful woman of royalty was also influenced by parental love for her brother, who had recently died. Her strong devotion towards her brother’s death caused her to isolate herself from the outside world, vowing that it would take seven years for her to gain the strength to once again be a part of society. It is through the actions of Olivia that the reader can come to realize that if it was not for the hope of survival that Viola and Sebastian had for each other, neither one of them would have been able to carry on throughout the story in trying to strengthen their family’s title. Being only concerned towards their family, Olivia, Viola, and Sebastian are very different than the other characters in the play because rather than gaining something, these three characters only wish to experience what they once had.

Lust in addition to the other two forms of love proved to be a large motivation for some of the characters throughout the play. Duke Orsino was the first character of the play to experience this feeling, through his inability to do nothing but listen to love songs and dream of marrying Lady Olivia. Duke Orsino neglected to give up on pursuing Olivia, even with the countless amounts of failed communication attempts that he experienced. It is throughout the story that it is inferred that the Duke was so interested in Olivia because it was the only thing he could not have. It is this thought this information that reader is able to infer that Orsino is experiencing Lust and not Unconditional Love. His inability to give up sending her messages or even personally going to Olivia to show her his true love, shows the large amount of ignorance that Duke Orsino demonstrates.

Mavolio was another character that demonstrated being highly motivated on Lust throughout the play. Being that the Duke as well as Mavolio both demonstrated a large amount self-pride the reader could infer that if both of the characters were not so caught up in themselves, they would be able to realize their wrongs. Mavolio’s false representation of authority and self-confidence was the reason that he was so easily manipulated by the other workers of Olivia. Thinking that he too should rightfully marry Olivia, the reader could instantly come to realize the relation of power and marriage that both Duke Orsino and Mavolio have towards Olivia. It is this strong desire to gain what he wanted that causes Mavolio to be so easily manipulated in being thrown in jail. It is because of the Duke and Movolio’s desire to gain power that caused them to have an interest in Olivia, their pathetic attempts to attract her did not demonstrate the large amount of effort in love that others in the story represent.

Unconditional love or the love that someone has regardless of the loved one’s actions was largely demonstrated in both Viola as well as Antonio’s actions. Viola who was at the beginning of the play alone, fell in love with the conceitedness of Duke Orsino. She even went to the extent of dressing up like a boy in order to see and speak with the Duke Orsino. In addition to dressing like a boy, Viola who was now known as Cesario delivered love messages to Olivia in an effort to be with Duke Orsino. The sacrifice of her appearance and identity to serve the one she secretly loved showed that Viola possessed a form of love that the Duke was far from discovering. Antonio who found and nursed Sebastian back to health also resembled Vila on another level. Taking a strong interest towards Sebastian over a short amount of time, Antonio risked his life so that Sebastian could be reunited with his sister. In an effort to do so he put himself at a risk of getting injured and was thrown in jail for Sebastian. Antonio still cared for Sebastian, even when he thought he was Viola, this shows the reader the extensive amount of unconditional love that Antonio had for Sebastian. Even when Antonio though Sebastian had stolen his purse and left him in jail one could see that he still had love for Sebastian. It is through Viola and Cesario’s representation of unconditional Love that they were soon able to gain the compassion or friendship that they sought out. The fact that they actually were able to accomplish what they sought after demonstrates that their intentions were pure.

After realizing the complexity of this play and being able to place the different forms of love that were represented into three different categories, I could not help but to be surprised. Before taking this course I definitely feel like I was not able to analyze writings as vividly as I am today. I feel that having to analyze a whole Shakespeare play as the last blog is the most challenging of tasks. In addition to being one of the most difficult blogs, I feel like it is definitely a realization of how greatly I improved in analyzing literature. At the beginning of the semester I never thought I would be able to fully analyze poetry, to finally be able to fully understand a Shakespeare play was exciting for me. This class was very inspirational for me and I really hope that I can continue developing my analytical skills in my future years of college.

On Monday April 18th, I went to Dan Misleh’s lecture on Climate Change in McGuire. After going to it I could not help but relate it to love. Being that we all live on this earth together and we are all doing things to harm it; I believe the real issue in climate change is that we as a species are taking advantage of the earth. If we as a race fully embraced the earth and realized how greatly we are hurting the environment, we may be able to make a greater impact on conservation than what we are doing now. Realizing our love for the earth and being able to compromise it for some of the technologies we do not need may be the most important topics that we as a civilization must take into consideration. Global Climate Change will forever be an issue for us; it is our job to prolong this process as best as we can so that future generations can further see the beauty that we see in the earth today.

If it was not for the character’s portrayal of these multiple types of love the play would not have ended as happily as it had. The large amount of confusion that occurred throughout the play gives the reader an ending note that love directs people in the right direction when for the right reason. Showing the difference between love that is pure and love that is based on desire, Shakespeare shows the greater meaning and direction of love.
Anthony Mahfood

April 25,2011

Understanding Literature

Dr Ellis

Happy Ending

In the play Twelfth Night William Shakespeare love betrayal and comedy came together to create an entertaining play. The love triangle in this play is very complex and seemingly never ending. The betrayal is one of the main reasons that the love triangle is so confusing because it adds twists to the relationships of the characters as would happen in real life. To add to the love triangle much humor is sewn into the story with very intense dialogue.

The love triangle consists of Orsino, Olivia and Viola. Orsino is in love with Olivia and she has no interest in being with him. Orsino always send his servants with gifts and messages to give to Olivia but she never seems to be interested and turns them away. One day when Viola is dress up as Cesario, Orsino sends Viola to tell Olivia how much Orsino loves her but that plan backfires when Olivia falls in love with Cesario. When Viola goes back to tell Orsino that Olivia still does love him we find out that Viola is in love with Orsino. In the end Viola and Orsino get married and Olivia marries Violas twin brother Sebastian. This was a very happy ending and put the book together.

The ending of this play reminded me of when I was leaving my community service because when I went to my first day I thought to myself what am I getting my self into. There were young children running around out of control. I wanted to get out of there it was all chaos and felt powerless. What surprised me the most is how close I became to the student I was mentoring and how much they trusted me and could listen to me. Everything came together at the end of the community service just as it did in the end of the play.

In the play there was maybe moment of betrayal especially in the beginning because Sebastian lied to Antonio and Viola lied to everyone. This betrayal causes most of the drama in the love scene. This series of lies makes me realize that although on the outside this story and my life seem so distant and different the problems and situations are very similar to my own. Another scene where there is betrayal is when Maria plays the prank on Malvolio and makes Malvolio believe that Olivia is in love with him. Malvolio starts to dress very weird and act happy. This made people believe that he was going crazy and they locked him in the closet. Even while he was in the close they still played pranks on him.

Overall the main thing I am trying to say is I found it easier to relate to this story than one would imagine. Shakespeare may have been alive hundreds of years ago but the main themes and problems that occur during the story are still prevalent in our daily lives.

Final Blog

In my final blog, I will be discussing the second half of the play “The Twelfth Night” which was written by William Shakespeare. My last hours at serving at Cristo Rey also took place last week which was such a great opportunity. The amount of care and love present in the type of service I was participating in made working with the children so much more enjoyable. However the love that I have fostered when working with these children has also caused me pain, much like the characters of the play. They are in bad situations and I worry that they may never escape.

The last three Acts were in my opinion the best part of the play. Viola, who is still disguised as Cesario, denies Olivia’s passionate love for him (her). Olivia who is now swooning in love with Cesario confessed this to him but in reply he states that no woman will ever be granted access to his heart. Conversely, the Duke still sends his grand love letters to Olivia. In the end, Olivia falls in love with Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who is disguised as yet another person at the time. The Duke realizes that in the end he never really loved Olivia, only the idea of loving someone. Viola reveals herself to the Duke and they realize and admit their true feelings about each other.

There is a lot of love and passion present in this story but although it caused much happiness in the end, it caused more pain in the beginning. Love can be thrilling when it is good to you but when love doesn’t give back, it hurts. This was Olivia, Viola and the Duke’s predicament in the play. They all loved someone who didn’t love them back and that was the cause of their suffering.

Much like at Cristo Rey, love is the cause of my suffering. I wish that I could help these kids more than what I am currently doing. As I left the high school, I wondered if I made a difference. I feel as if my help was only a temporary fix to the problems these kids face in their lives. While I tried to provide guidance inside the classroom, I only wish that I could have helped them as much outside the classroom. Hearing their stories and realizing the tough life that they live, I was beside myself. In the end, I felt as if the only thing I could do was hope and pray that they would do the right thing.

This semester has taught me a lot but if I had to choose one thing of most importance, I would have to say that it has shown me how intricate poetry can be. I never realized that poetry can have so many level of understanding. It’s safe to say that this course has shown me how interesting the art can be. Now that I understand poetry a lot more, I appreciate it in a way I never did before Loyola.

Final Blog!

From early on in the play, it was easy to see that the ending to “The Twelfth Night,” by William Shakespeare, was going to be exciting. The first half of the play had set up so many different problems that I was not sure if it was possible to fit all of the solutions in the other half of the play. “The Twelfth Night” is a play about identity. So many people in this play are misrepresented, but they are exposed at the end. Eventually, the charade comes to a close. However, at the end of the play, all of the main characters have gotten their way. It is a happy ending for everyone except Malvolio.

After receiving the note from Maria, Malvolio begins to act like an idiot in front of Olivia. When he quotes the lines from the letter, Olivia has no idea what he is talking about, and fears that he is insane. Feste, Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew begin to convince Malvalio that he is possessed and crazy. Feste impersonates a priest and convinces Malvalio that he is hallucinating.

While all of this is going on, Olivia is asking Viola to marry her. The ‘love-triangle” is getting more and more complicated by the scene. When Sebastian arrives at Olivia’s house, he is mistaken for Viola. Lady Olivia begs for his hand in marriage. Since Lady Olivia is a beautiful woman, Sebastian happily accepts. He still has no idea that Lady Olivia is in love with his sister. Sebastian also has to fight Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. Sebastian begins to think that everyone around him is insane. The misrepresentation of the characters causes all of their problems. Luckily, in the end of the play, almost all of the characters end up getting what they wanted. Olivia is with Sebastian, Viola is with Orsino, and Sebastian and Viola both know that the other is alive.

This semester went by far too quickly. I cannot believe that it is already coming to a close. I learned a lot about myself in this Understanding Literature class. Before this class, I had always felt completely lost in poetry, and the only novels I enjoyed were war novels. This class helped to open my eyes to the other types of available literature. I feel that it has made me a better-rounded student. Analyzing poetry was not something that I ever thought that I could do before this class, but this class has given me the confidence to examine poems and figure out their deeper meaning. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this class, and I feel that I have learned many great lessons that will help me in the future.

The last two cultural events that I attended this semester were for Invisible Children’s Fund, and “Living Rightly With the Earth.” I have always felt great sympathy for the children in Northern Uganda and in the Congo. In high school, I was the Vice President of the Invisible Children’s Fund Fundraising Club. However, I had never heard a survivor of the attacks speak in person. When Francis (a man from Uganda who survived two rebel attacks) approached the microphone, I was very nervous. I had heard many stories of the horrors in Uganda, but had never heard someone speak about them live. Francis had a soft voice, and told the story of how his family was killed in front of him. Francis’s bravery astonished me. This man has lived through horrible things, and he still has the courage to go on stage every night and tell his story. He said that he wants to change the world, and making those speeches is the best way that he knows how. Francis is an inspiration, and when I was able to go up to him, look him in the eye, and shake his hand, I knew that his hardships are making him stronger. He is channeling all of his energy into trying to fix the horrific situation in Uganda, and will not stop until there is major change.

“Living Rightly With the Earth” was not nearly as grave. Mr. Misleh was explaining the Catholic Church’s updated stance on the climate. He said all of the things that you would expect. He talked about “caring for God’s creatures,” and how we are “stewards of the Earth.” He talked to us about how to pray for the earth and pray for change, but did not give us anything to do about that change. Sure, he talked about turning the lights off when you leave a room, or turning off the sink while brushing your teeth, but I have heard those things hundreds of times. I felt that the presentation was not well put together, and did not put any of the students in a attendance any way to make a difference. I was very disappointed with the way that the presentation was put on, but I am happy that the Church is beginning to weight in on social issues other than stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Last Blog!

As I write this last blog, it’s amazing how fast this semester went by. It feels like only yesterday we were talking about Kahu in The Whale Rider! This semester’s work has all built up to the last big piece we are currently reading, Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. This play stresses what can go wrong when there are mistaken identities. When Viola, the main character, pretends to be a boy, a series of misfortunes takes place, including her falling in love with Duke Orsino and having Countess Olivia fall in love with her. By pretending to be someone she is not, Viola creates this love triangle where everyone is loved by someone but doesn’t want to be with them. Olivia is loved by the Duke, but wants to be with Viola, the Duke is loved by Viola, but wants to be with Olivia, and Viola is loved by Olivia but wants to be with the Duke.

In the first two acts of the play, Viola is able to conceal her identity and help the Duke try to win the affection of the Countess even though she is in love with him. However, by Act III, the readers discover that Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother, is alive and is currently in Illyria. This poses a problem for the main character because if her and her brother ever run into each other, her fa├žade will be ruined and her secret of being a girl will be revealed. By the fourth Act, as Sebastian begins to explore the Illyrian empire, the other characters begin to confuse Viola for her brother. By having the twins dressed exactly the same, it beings to cause many problems for the main character.

This problem becomes apparent when Antonio arrives at Lady Olivia’s home and accuses Viola (who he believes is Sebastian) of being heartless when she does not help him when he is arrested by the Duke’s police force. Then, Viola gets accused of injuring Sir Toby and Sir Andrew, when in actuality it is her brother Sebastian who does this injustice. The craziness of mistaken identities comes to a head when Sebastian secretly marries Lady Olivia. It is here where the reader discovers the extent to what the characters will do for those they love. Viola is willing to lower her social ranking to be a servant in Duke Orsino’s court because she wants to be with him. Olivia, on the other hand, is willing to marry a stranger because she is certain that she is in love with him.

This theme of things appearing to be something they are not was definitely something that I can relate to this semester. At the beginning of the year, I chose to do the service component instead of the events. I originally went in the first day, thinking that this service was only a requirement I had to fulfill in order to pass the class. But, by the end of the first day, I realized that this service opportunity was one I was going to cherish. Nicole, Victoria, and I realized that by coming each week, we were becoming role models to these middle school children. By tutoring them every week, we were able to see the great improvements in their schoolwork. And as the weeks passed by, we formed great friendships with the girls that came each and every week. By the end of last week, they were so proud to show us their report cards and the improvements that they have made throughout the semester. But, by helping these kids out, I learned a great deal about myself as well. By helping these kids improve their grades, it made me realize that there is a great importance in being a role model for kids who don’t have very many positive role models in their lives. By volunteering, I was able to discover my love for helping others who are less fortunate than I am.

Another surprising thing I discovered this semester was my improved understanding of poetry. When I first saw the syllabus at the beginning of the semester, I was nervous because in the past, poetry has not been my strong suit. But as the semester went on, I began to learn that the subject of poetry is not as hard as I thought it was in the past. By the end of the semester, I found myself loving reading each new poem because I was able to easily understand it! Through poetry and service, this semester I have learned a great deal about myself and the strengths I have developed here at Loyola University Maryland.

Mistaken Identity

In the second half of the play, Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, the theme of mistaken identity continues. Viola, who continues to play the role of Cesario faithfully, denies Olivia’s love despites her passionate and sincere confession. She states that no woman will ever enter “his” heart. The Duke, on the other hand, still aimlessly sends love letters to Olivia. Perhaps the most representative example of such theme is Olivia’s marriage to Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who is disguised as yet another guy. She mistakes Sebastian as Cesario and decides to marry him; and they do.
This twist of fate, this irony, and these disguises reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my volunteers regarding service. She was one of our twenty volunteers who serve at Health Leads at the University Of Maryland Medical Center. At our last reflection session, she said something that rather scared us. She started talking about one of her clients. That client is about our age and a new mom. She desires to have a job in retail and thus came to the volunteer. The volunteer said that if her client wants such a job, then she should “go to the mall!”, because that is how she got her job. The interesting thing is that she did not regret what she said but rather seem annoyed with her client’s request. As one of the service coordinators, it is our responsibility to make sure that volunteers do not just serve, but also learn and be able to reflect on their service experiences. We asked her whether she has thought about the reasons why her client came to her instead of looking for the job herself. She shook her head. We asked her whether she has thought that maybe one of the reasons is that her client does not have the means to get to the mall, that public transportation or any kind of transportation poses obstacles. I took a city bus at the beginning of the summer. They do not always come on time and do not always provide a direct route to the destination. Furthermore, if she were to go to the mall herself, who should take care the baby? If she does find a babysitter, perhaps she is intimidated to be interviewed, or perhaps she does not have a good outfit to impress her employer. These are just few obstacles I can think of for her client, the actual client may face many more.
After our conversation, the volunteer looked at us quizzically and said, “oh, I never thought about these things.” I was proud that we were able to convey such important message to the volunteer, that we were able to help our volunteer connect her service experience to social justice issues. After all didn’t the volunteer mistakes the client’s identity? She thought that her client would be able to not only go to the mall but also get a job at retails just as easily as she did. She thought that her client was not being productive based on her seemingly solvable request.
Identities can be very easily misinterpreted in our society. We are human. We judge. We judge on appearances first then other criteria, if we haven’t turned away. Olivia was attracted to Viola’s physical appearance first. It is only after this attraction, she became attracted to her messages. The volunteer judged her client’s physical appearances as well as her social realities first before she thought from the client’s point of view. She thought of her as someone who is a new mom, someone who depended on her help, and someone who is not productive or cannot be due to her so called poor life choices. We are human and we judge. If one thing I have learned from service this year is how not to judge others. How two very different people can be brought together and share a lot of commonalities. How what appears at surface is far different from what it really is. I remember that my first blog is about how this woman challenged and was the opposite of my perception of the urban population. I hope all volunteers would have such a chance to meet diverse people and learn from their experiences.
The most surprising thing I learned about myself this semester through this class is my newly founded love for poetry. Before taking this class, I always associated poems with negative connotations; that they are written by people from centuries ago about lofty subjects in language that is hard if not impossible to decipher. I am glad and proud to say that my perception of poetry has changed for the better since then. Not only did I learn how to read and analyze poems, I also was exposed to a variety of them. From love poems such as “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun” by William Shakespeare, to odes such like “I Sing the Body Electric”, to unconventional poem like E.E.Cummings’ “l(a,”, I realized how much poems express, how much there is to say about them, and how it is truly an art not a drag to read and understand poems.

Final Blog

This final blog is about the second half of the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. I enjoyed reading this play. It was a play about love, trickery and contained a great amount of humor. The second half of this play is very similar yet opposite to the first half in terms of characters and their feelings. It was strange to see Olivia, a women who said she would not love for seven years do to the passing of her brother, falls in love with a 'man' and marries him quickly. This is strange considering that Orsino at the end of the play accepts the fact that Olivia does not love him. It seems that he never truly loved her but loved the idea of loving her and being in love with someone. He then realizes his feelings for Viola who is in love with him.
Another aspect of the play that added a great deal of humor was the way Malvolio acted. After finding the note he acted the way it recommended him too. What was very funny was how Olivia was extremely confused at his actions and thought he was mad. It was a great prank to be pulled on him and it was necessary because he actually thought he should be a king. Malvolio was more worried about the power of being a king rather than being in love with Olivia. He just wanted to boss people around and wondered what that would be like. This play was very interesting. It was filled with love triangles, deception, and humor.
One thing that I learned about myself from this semester is my appreciation for literature. I have taken advanced literature and English classes in high school and never really appreciated what was going on in class. I did not read all the books because many were boring. This semester the readings and poem seemed to interest me. The discussions were a great way to learn about what I was reading. I learned to understand poetry and truly appreciate literature.

Final Blog

For this week’s blog, also the last blog I will be talking about the second half of the play entitled: “The Twelfth Night” written by William Shakespeare. Also for my last event of the semester I completed about two weeks ago was helping out a cause here at Loyola to support and spread the word about sexual abuse. The play focused on love and trickery as two major themes, I related this to the event because it focused on how you should always express your sexual desires with people, and only if you love them and watch out for the people who are just using you.
William Shakespeare a well-known play writer described a party on the Twelfth night celebration incorporating love and trickery into it. We read the last three Acts III – V. These last three acts were in my opinion the climax of the play and the resolution. The play ended with a bang as many people previously who weren’t in love falling in love, or people realizing they were in love with people they should have been with the whole play. The duke finally realized he loves Viola who has been in love with him forever, and in a comedic sense Sebastian and Olivia end up being with each other after Olivia thinks Sebastian, Viola (Cesario) twin brother is actually Cesario.
My favorite and I think most comedic part about the whole play was Malvolio. I believe this because of how stupid he is when he falls right into the prank set for him. He dresses up in yellow pants and smiles all day long, doing the complete opposite of what Olivia actually likes and wants.
I have read some Shakespeare before: Hamlet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, King Lear and now Twelfth Night. I have always struggled to read and understand the meanings of him I believe this time I had a better basis towards reading it. This I believe was because of the amount of reading poems this semester and the amount of Shakespeare I have now read. By no means do I believe Twelfth Night to be the hardest and most eloquent play by him, as I think this to be Hamlet, but with the uncomfortable reading zone with poems and my previous background with Shakespeare I believe I was able to tackle this play and get most of the full meaning out of this time.
A few weeks ago I completed my last event, by doing two in one week it gave me an extra one for a week when I could not complete one. This event was created to spread the word about sexual abuse for men and women throughout there college lives. The statistics were staggering with 1 in 8 men getting sexually abused and 1 in 4 women. This event was very basic but I believe very strong as being volunteers we had to wear a t-shirt showing the statistics and walk around school one day showing people how staggering and raising awareness. I was very skeptical at the beginning of the day because I didn’t think many people would care or even look twice at the shirt but sitting in my classes that day I could see more than just me wearing it and people were actually reading it and realizing that a huge number of people in that room would probably be affected by this one day in their college career. For the soccer team we have 9 freshmen, from these 9 people at least 1 of us according to the statistics will one day experience this and have to deal with it one day. This hit me hard thinking about it throughout the day and it really showed me a new look when I enter every classroom as some days I count how many people are there and think how many of them may have this happen to them.
Because this is my last blog of the semester we are supposed to write something surprising we learned. For me it was the way I was able to step out of my comfort zone and read poetry and as the semester progressed be able to interpret it a little better, not saying I am an expert or anything near it but comparing the first poem to the last I can find out more deeper meanings and see things I never would have seen before.

Final Blog 4/25/11

For this week we had to read the second half of “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. Also, with this being my last blog, I will say what surprised me most about this year.

In Act III scene 1, Viola goes again to see Olivia to deliver another message of love from Orsino. As she is meeting Olivia before Viola can deliver her message, Oliva confesses her love for Viola’s alternate ego, Cesario. Cesario tells her that it is very kind that Olivia feels this way about “him”, but he cannot love her back. Cesario tells Olivia that “no mistress will ever have my heart” and although Olivia seems to take this to heart, she deep down really loves him and begs him to come back. Cesario does this for the sole reason of trying to convince Olivia to love Orsino.

In scene III Antonio and Sebastian finally arrive at Illyria. Antonio shows concern because he is not welcome in Illyria. Orsino has a grudge against Antonio and this bother Antonio and he shows genuine fear of being in Illyria. However, Antonio cares for Sebastian so much that even the most hostile places he will go for him. This is a true friendship and connection the two men have, they will do anything for one another. This seems to be one of the major themes of the book, love in different ways. There is love in passion like Orsino’s love for Olivia and there is love in friendships like that of Sebastian and Antonio.

Scene IV has Olivia very confused. She loves Cesario but cannot have him for reasons unknown to her. As she sends a servant to try and convince Cesario to come back to her, she has a confrontation with Malvolio. Convinced because of the prank that Olivia is in love with him, he wears his ridiculous yellow stockings and quotes the letter that he thought Olivia sent to him. Olivia knows nothing of the prank and is confused and leaves to go see Cesario. Malvolio however, still is sure that Olivia loves him. His stubbornness only adds to the enjoyment of those who have played the prank on him.


Further in the scene, Antonio arrives at Olivia’s. He sees Viola dressed as Cesario and mistakes her for Sebastian, her twin. Once there, since Cesario is supposed to duel Sir Andrew, Antonio volunteers to fight for “Sebastian.” This does not go over well as Antonio is immediately recognized as a wanted man in Illyria. They arrest him and he begs Viola to help him. Viola finds it strange that she speaks of a man named Sebastian and runs off to try and see if he is still alive somewhere, under pure hope that he is in Illyria.

The rest of the book continues with its maze like plot, as Sebastian is taken by Feste the clown to Olivia, with Feste under the impression that this is Cesario who Olivia wanted him to seek out. Thinking this is Cesario, Olivia tells Sebastian how much she loves him and wants to marry him. Seeing no problem in marrying such a beautiful woman, Sebastian agrees and they go off to get married.

In the final Act and Scene, Orsino finally musters up the courage to go to Olivia and confess his love to her in person with Cesario (Olivia). On the way they see Antonio being dragged by the Illyrian soldiers and once again Antonio mistakes Cesario for Sebastian and yells at him for betraying him as a friend. Having no idea what Antonio is talking about, they both continue on their way to Olivia’s. Upon arriving, all hell breaks loose. Sebastian gets into a fight with Sir Andrew and Sir Toby. Sir Andrew arrives and accuses Cesario, but Viola says that she was not responsible. Finally to clear everything up, Sebastian arrives and apologizes for beating both of them up. He then finally sees his sister Viola. They question each other for a while about their birth and realize that they have finally found each other. Discovering that Cesario is actually a girl, Orsino asks her to dress in woman’s clothes so he can see how beautiful she really is. After all is said and done, they have a double wedding and the play ends.

In my opinion, this was a very good play to read/end the year off with. The most surprising thing that I learned this year was that I enjoy reading poetry. I never knew how easy it was for me to understand and comprehend poetry. I plan on reading more poetry more often now because of what I have learned in this class.