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Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

EMILY DICKINSON

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hey guys. So.. I was searching around websites to know more about Emily Dickinson and her background.

I found two websites for it : one is a really looooooooooong articles that contains all information (i guess) about her, and I would recommend to only read the first paragraph. And the rest of them were mostly about her general biography. 

The other one  is this :

 http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/timeline

And I think this is much easier to look at a glance. This is a brief time line for her life. Not only that, I think this website also has lots of information about herself and the poems. So I think it will be good to look about here.  🙂

 

Amanda’s Annotation

In Beloved on December 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm

My annotations was on pages 111-113.

Pgs. 110-111Pgs. 112-113

 

In this scene, Sethe, Beloved, and Denver have gone back into the forest to the Clearing where Baby Suggs’ preaching rock is. Sethe goes back to a place in her mind where she vividly remembers being free. Then, she reflects on the loneliness that she felt when Halle was first gone. I found that these few pages were very personal to Sethe and are very important in order for the reader to better understand the characters.

In the first paragraph of the passage, Sethe remembers the “smell of leaves simmering in the sun, thunderous feet and the shouts that ripped pods off the limbs of the chestnuts.” These two things are mentioned multiple times in Beloved. When chestnuts are always referred to in the book as being ripped from there pods, it is always something strong that has done it; loud noise, excitement,or even a “strong” silence. I find this phrase interesting, seeing it in many places in Beloved where there is something important.

Throughout this passage, we find feelings of freedom. When people were with Baby Suggs, they felt free. Without Baby Suggs they felt lost. The beginning of the passage goes from Sethe feeling free- being able to claim herself, decide for herself, and claiming her own ownership- to losing Baby and feeling lost without her. She went to the Clearing to find Baby Suggs in a time of need because she needed a hopeful word from her. As she was searching for a way to replace her loneliness (possibly with Paul D), she feels even more loneliness than before.

Sethe moves from reflecting on her freedom (a feeling of hope), to her feelings of loneliness, and then, as if these thoughts triggered it, Baby’s fingers begin to strangle her. We know that these are not actually Baby Suggs’ hands, but Beloved’s. I think that Beloved is strangling Sethe because she is angry with her and wants her attention. These pages really show the personal thoughts of Sethe. I think that by knowing her more personal thoughts, we can better understand Sethe and the way she responds to the people in her life.

However, there are still some unanswered questions that I have about this passage. First of all, although I have an idea about the why the chestnuts are ripped from their pods, I still don’t know what they symbolize or represent. Another uncertainty I have is how Paul D would hurt Sethe more by staying. She realizes that he could add something to her life but it seems like she is afraid of committing. Why would she feel this way? Is it because of the past hurt that she’s felt?

Suzie’s annotation

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2012 at 7:04 am

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          My annotation is on page 144 and 145. It talks about the moment when Beloved leads Denver to the cold house and Beloved disappears. Denver is really scared because she cannot see anything nor find Beloved. Beloved just disappears right after they go into the cold house. The passage also contains some Denver’s flashbacks about her past. This is a part of Denver’s identity as Beloved is trying to find her identity.

          In this passage, the author uses third person limited point of view to reveal only Denver’s thoughts and feelings. By emphasizing Denver’s thoughts and feelings, the readers are able to have a close feeling of how dark and cold the room is. Then, we can understand how badly Denver is to want to find Beloved. Hence, we would know what Beloved feels when people like Denver cares about her very much.

          The imagery creates a vivid picture in readers’ minds. The readers can have a better sense of the whole situation (helpless Denver is in the cold room and Beloved disappears in the dark). By emphasizing every single Denver’s movement, the author creates a tense atmosphere. The metaphor “the minnows of light still swim there; they can’t make it down to where she is” vividly compare the sunlight coming outside the house to a moving fish (Morison 144). This creates an image in readers’ minds of moving sunlight. However, as Morison suggests, the room is very dark and dead, which creates a contract between light and dark, moving and dead.

          I did not understand this moment at first. However, after the annotation practice, I understand the reason behind Beloved’s action: she is finding her identification by making Denver look for her because Beloved is used to be ignored by so many people. Her mother left her after her birth; and other people treat her very badly because she is a slave. Beloved does not know who she is because she feels no one cares about her. Hence, by making Denver look for her and call her name over and over again, she feels she is a person who should be cared and remembered by other people.

Megan’s Annotation: Passage 2

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2012 at 12:17 am

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My Annotation: Passage 2 pg. 206-208

 

Passage two was a very interesting passage and one with many reoccurring moments. I chose it because I think it is a good display of many different elements and relationships throughout the book. It is also a passage of discovery of Identity which it what I have been waiting for the whole book!

Throughout the book we have tracked the relationships between Beloved and Sethe, Denver and Beloved and Sethe and Denver. The very first paragraph shows the dynamic of all these relationships through dialogue. For example, Denver asks her mother if they should have some dinner, Sethe immediately says no. In what we can assume was an abrasive tone. When we discussed this passage in class we came to the consensus that Sethe was basically saying “Shut up kid, go to bed”. This indicates the neglect Denver endures throughout the book. After that exchange, Beloved asks her mother is she’s ready for sleep, “Sethe smiled”(206) this demonstrates the vibe and the rapport they have that Denver and Sethe do not. Sethe shows more tenderness and love towards Beloved. I think that this is because deep down Sethe can feel that Beloved is hers. Also, because of the soft quiet obsession Beloved has for Sethe.

Another obsession shown is that of Denver towards Beloved. I underlined “Denver had braided her (Beloved) hair into twenty or thirty plaits” because this shows that Denver is continuing to care for Beloved as she has throughout the book. The obsession Denver has for Beloved is something that I have been tracking since Beloved came into the novel. It is actually quite interesting. I think that the love Denver has for Beloved is very similar to the love Beloved has for Sethe. However, it makes the lack of love between Sethe and Denver much more evident and I think that overall passage two is a great descriptor of all of this.

Aside from those relationships, passage two is also important because it is the moment of “the click” which I highlighted on pages 206-207. This is a huge and very significant moment of realization that leads to the discovery of identity. When Sethe had all of her children, she used to sing them a melody that she made up. “The click” happens when she hears Beloved humming this melody, a melody that Beloved wouldn’t know unless she were her child. When Sethe hears Beloved, she cannot see her face but she still knows. This leads to the thoughts of all the motherly figures that Sethe has had in her lifetime. I underlined an important line in the last paragraph on page 207, which was “ A hobnail casket of jewels found in a tree hollow should be fondled before it is opened.” I think that this is referring to the memories as well as the realization and showing that it is a delicate and special thing. Maybe it is a metaphor used to describe the memory or identity. Regardless, that is a very special line in a very important passage and the book. Through annotating I have discovered more about all of these women

Tessa’s Annotation

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 at 3:59 am

This passage regards the moment in which Denver reaches out to the community to help and the increased deterioration of her home life. Sethe is succumbing to Beloved’s every will, even though she is acting more and more crazily. She is doing this to make up for the guilt of Beloved’s death.

When I annotate I like to look for key themes and interesting ideas, and these two pages were full of them. Points of interest I have found here are included on the pages, and can be easily seen in all 3 large pictures. The major takeaways from this annotation include opinions on why the townspeople now accept/want to help Denver’s family, a comparison between Denver and Beloved, the motif of water, the motif of children/babies, and a slight analysis of the reversal of the mother to child role first initiated by Sethe and then taken by Beloved.

My first thought and original highlighting was the reaction of the townspeople to Denver’s plight, essentially that they helped ensure her family became outcasts and then reversed it when they could take “pleasure… in her soft ‘Thank you.'” (This is seen on both the 1st and 2nd pictures in yellow, underlined with red.) Here I believe that Toni could have meant to show us that the cruelty of the community in its riotousness was only solved through greed. Though the moment of the women coming to save Sethe is beautiful, note that it is more likely that they originally did this to get rid of the devilish Beloved than they did to assist Sethe in and of herself.

Another interesting idea I discovered in this was that the motif of water and that the role reversal (between Beloved and Sethe) theme in this passage combined. Highlighted in orange are areas of the text the can be interpreted as Beloved using water in a way reminiscent of  sexual/birthing actions, while Toni later mentions Sethe “no longer… splashed her face with water.” I drew from this another aspect of the womanhood that Sethe represented being stolen from her. Beloved became the more sexual creature and Sethe became more girlish.

There was a heavy usage of imagery in this passage also, to the point where I did not highlight it all. Instead it was incorporated into the other factors I analyzed, and underlined in the first image were various image related comparisons in blue (metaphors, similes, etc.). This was a very fruitful two pages! 🙂

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Zoe’s Annotation

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

Zoe's Annotation

(Pages 128-129)

This passage is the moment of Paul D’s memory of his time as an inmate, working in the chain gang with other enslaved inmates. It’s directly before his descriptions of their escape.

Many things stood out to me in this passage (which is ultimately why I chose to annotate it). I ended up tracking the violent descriptions, especially having to do with life, community and the slaves’ togetherness, and the role of the rain/water.
While the men’s singing is superficially about past relationships and memories including meals and fishing, there’s an underlying message or encoded in their words. The true meaning behind their singing is dark and has a very hostile outlook towards life. Life is personified, and the men sing of mangling “her,” killing her, just to bring her back to life to start it over. There is almost a pleasure found in the violence towards life. It’s as though, through song, they can do to life what life has done to them, tease them only to bring disappointment and pain. The men actually sing love-songs to “Mr. Death.” Death to them is more desirable than life.
As for community, the men relied on each other just to get by. The perspective throughout the majority of this passage is internal and it follows all of the slave in the chain line. They are forced to be connected physically by the chain. Hence, in a sense they are forced into a community. At the same time though, they choose to be a community, especially through their shared song. Also, because they are connected mainly physically but also mentally, despite their extreme desire to die and leave life behind, they keep themselves alive in order to not risk the others. Community in this sense takes precedence of the individual. The men are son interconnected that when Paul D hears screaming, he can’t even differentiate between his own screams and the screams of others.
When I first read the passage, water didn’t really stand out to me. As I looked back over it though, I saw some less obvious significance in it. The phrase “it rained” is repeated three times on the same page. I think this is to stress just how much rain there was. Then I noticed the order of the effects of the flooding. First it affects the environment. Nature (trees, ground animals) are dropping and miserable. Then we see it affecting the slaves. They are entirely surrounded by water in their boxes . Lastly we see the water actually becoming a part of the men. Paul D feels a tear drop but it is really muddy slime. I think the importance of this is how overwhelming the rain actually was. I think it was the tipping point for the slaves to try and escape. At the same time, it allowed for possible conditions to escape (following pages).

One question that I still have after this annotation process would be Morrison’s intended difference between they “sang” and they “beat.” At first I thought that the singing described what they were outwardly doing while the beating implied the underlying meaning of their singing. I also tossed the idea around that it might be a sort of structured singing. A Singing that they could all participate in at the same time in a certain manner that helped them to get through, helped them to beat on.
These are just a few ideas that i’m not too sure about, so if anyone had differing thoughts or opinions on this (or anything else), please do share!

Hannah’s Video Annotation

In Beloved, Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

Kathy’s Annotation

In Uncategorized on December 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

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I annotated on the page 89 to 90. 

I chose these pages because this is the moment that author compares the characteristics of Denver and Beloved. This is the moment that Beloved is crooked to Denver and discloses who she is. Denver tells a story about Sethe to Beloved and expresses her love toward her sister. By reading this passage, I could see that Beloved is more likely a baby, who stopped to grow since she lost her mother, and Denver is a mother figure who is more mature.

 

First of all, I focused on the dialogue between Denver and Beloved. I highlighted Denver’s words that shows her matureness with blue and highlighted Beloved’s words that shows her stubbornness and obstinateness like a young child with orange. Generally, Denver tries to be nice and friendly to Beloved and Beloved restraints her opinions. Denver’s words are more likely to those of mother. She soothes Beloved with good words, pampers her and expresses affection. Even though Sethe was not a good mother to both Beloved and Denver, Denver acts like a perfect mother: Sethe kills her first daughter and is aloof to her second daughter. Denver is anxious about the possibility of Beloved’s absence. She expresses love that she wanted from her mother to Beloved.

 

On the other hand, Beloved stopped growing since her mother left her behind. Even though she is physically grown up, her mental maturity is still insufficient like that of baby. She repeats words over and over to emphasize what she wants, she speaks without thinking other people’s mind and she obsesses to Sethe, her mother. Also the moment that she asks about Sethe shows the jealousy to her younger sister who was with her mother from the birth to that moment. 

 

I think this passage is a good moment that shows the Denver and Beloved’s different behaviors to each other. Contrast to Denver’s behavior, which is more friendly and nice, Beloved’s behavior is more jealousy and childish. I think this shows that this Beloved is the same person of Sethe’s first daughter. Beloved’s immaturity and obsession to Sethe supported my assumption. 

Katrina’s Annotation

In Beloved, core texts on December 12, 2012 at 7:45 am

I annotated pages 234- 235 where Stamp Paid is leaving 124 after hearing voices on the porch. In this passage he considers the effects of slavery on the blacks and on whites and expresses his thoughts on slavery. I thought this was a very interesting passage because it was from Stamp Paid’s perspective and then shifts to an objective perspective while still mentioning the unspoken thoughts of the women of 124. I tracked the relation of the individual vs. the collective, the effects of slavery on the blacks, the effects of slavery on the whites, and the unique description of each of these groups.

My strategy for annotating was to highlight things I noticed were either repeated or seemed to be related. After that I looked at how the different colored highlights related to each other. I made notices and drew arrows to help me further connect them and see exactly how they were related. This helped me to connect and see the patterns throughout the passage.

What stood out to me the most was the underlying concept of the individual and what that means to a group or the collective. The passage begins with Baby Suggs’ death, but Stamp Paid considers how this relates to the deaths of an entire race. Individual occupations are listed, “the educated colored: the long-school people, the doctors, the teachers, the paper writers and businessmen…”, but even though these are subsets of the general group, educated colored, it still doesn’t arrive to the individual. This list is concluded with saying they “had a hard row to hoe” – implying that even though they may be educated they’re all on the same playing field. It’s interesting that no matter how individualistic one might be Stamp Paid still describes them in a way relating to slavery – being a laborer on a field.

A minor thing I noticed in the passage was Morrison’s choice to combine ‘white’ and ‘people’ to form ‘whitepeople’ and ‘colored’ and ‘people’ together to form ‘coloredpeople’. I interpreted this as these people weren’t simply being described by an adjective as simple as a color – they embodied that color. This further supports the divide between the African Americans and whites. Colors were used as adjectives in a rather unsettling way beginning with “red gums ready for their sweet white blood” and shifting to “the screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own”.

It was interesting to me that the analogy of slavery being like a jungle could be broken down into so many different things within it. The metaphor was a jungle in itself – everything was intertwined, it was impossible to isolate one part of the analogy without relating it to one of the other things I was tracking.

The passage was very poetic to me in the sense that it used an extensive amount of imagery and every word seemed very intentional. I don’t think this passage would have conveyed the same meaning if Morrison had not written it as an analogy. Stamp Paid’s thoughts on the psychological effects of slavery have many different layers to them and each reader will gain something different from the analogy. Not only the reader, but I think Stamp Paid has multiple thoughts towards slavery and this was the best way for him to express the complexity of it – the jungle metaphor works perfectly to represent the entanglement of many different aspects of an entire institution. This passage illustrates the complexity of it.

One of the questions I still had was to what extent does the individual contribute to perpetuating or changing the norm?

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Makana’s Annotation

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 at 6:59 am

I annotated the pages 62 and 63. These pages are when Beloved first appears in front of Denver, Paul D, and Sethe. They were surprised to hear that her name was Beloved, especially Sethe, who had a strong connection toward Beloved.

The effect that Beloved brought with her when she first appeared on the page was really strong. Despite the fact that it was her first time appearing in the passage with the body that Beloved can show them. 

For example, Paul D. recalls about Rochester when he meets with Beloved and the reactions that Denver and Sethe took when they met her. 

Also, this passage talks about the characters 欲望of what they want. The yellow highlighted sentences are the ones that I thought that Toni Morrison was making the characters tell the reader what they want. I personally think that this comes from the innocence of Beloved who just appeared in the book as a person (with a body) to tell the others what she wants to do with her life.

The readers only could figure out what they want to tell the people from what is written on the pages and the flow of the book, but that is all we need to find out what the charters are feeling, too. 

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