Visuals

William Blake Poetry Photo

This is my photo of William Blake’s poem “Night”

The reason why I chose this photo was because in the first line in the poem it says  “The sun descending in the west” and as you can see this photo is of the sun slowly descending.  In the second line, he also says  “The birds are silent in their nest” obviously you cannot hear the photo but during the photo, it was very quiet and peaceful.

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Your head spins slower on your neck, it knows the answers now
Bugs grow thicker through clenched teeth

Faint humming follows you everywhere you go, though you don’t go far
Cold breezes eat away at thoughts

You get up to leave, to escape the heavy void in your living room
The ash grows thicker on your pillow

A young boy turns slowly into a heron, “they can’t touch you if they’re not there”, he whispers before flying off
The shadows are getting tired

You get into your car and drive, there are no roads but somehow you find yourself at a diner
You sit at your table and stare at the walls, a pale waitress brings you tea in heavy silence, but it sizzles and evaporates as it reaches your lips
A sign behind the door reads “please, don’t touch me” before melting into a worm and fading through the walls

You need to leave

You walk past blue lemon trees growing thin clusters of grapes around the branches
You often eat them off the ground to confuse the taste of blood in your mouth

You look to the moon but it won’t look back, it knows what you’ve done
The bruises grow darker on your walls

You turn away

Hollow eyes wander as rusty hatchets drag against the ground
Do you ever stop to look at all the skin you gather?

Cross-stitched mouths shut tight, they look to you and whisper “careful, under her shoes are her feet” before slinking slowly back into their creaky holes

The humming grows louder these days, broken glances flicker between strangers
You can’t throw stones forever.

The Mariner’s trail

Follow the map with the numbers bellow.

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I

 “At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name”

II

“God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus!
Why look’st thou so? With my crossbow
I shot the ALBATROSS.”

III

“The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.”

IV

“One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

V

“Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.”

VI

“Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.

If you see a message in this piece please discuss it in the comments.

Great Depression Commentary

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The pressure is agonizing. Grimy, displeased, malcontent men fill my cabins without the consent of my conductor. They complain about their unemployment and their hopes of obtaining work by travelling to other areas of the country. It’s excruciating to have to transport this parade of disenchantment. They are disdainful of the government’s actions to combat the problem. Yet in actuality they are to blame. They elected to invest their savings in the market, well aware that if it failed they would be destitute. This coupled with the Dust Bowl has provided a breeding ground for poverty. As I cross the country I observe people dying from starvation in shantytowns, unable to anything but beg for a small meal. Now they are here with me, transecting the country hoping against pervasive hopelessness, for a light in the darkness. Perhaps there is none to be found.

Oldmanwillikers

It was a typical Sunday for Oldmanwillikers, begging on the side of the street. Watching the tumbleweeds roll by when a wagon behind a big horse came speeding (as fast as speed was back then) down the road. Oldmanwillikers was astounded as he had never seen anything more amazing.

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The wagon came to a stop right in front of Oldmanwillikers. A man in a trenchcoat came out of the wagon, he walked right up to Oldmanwillikers and said: “You don’t look like you are doing to well for yourself”. Oldmanwillikers asked in a stutter “w…h…h…ho arre you?” The man told him that he didn’t need to know and that all he needed to know that was he was being recruited to the Wild West Food Place (Mcdonald’s of the wild west).

Once they arrived at Wild West Food Place, Oldmanwillikers was told to put on the mandatory food shoes as uniform. Once he was ready, he got to work making cactus burgers on the grill.  He was so happy because he made next to no money begging and now he had a job; and he worked happily ever after.

American Born Chinese and Maus

In this essay I will be illuminating the struggles characters from American Born Chinese and Maus faced from a social perspective. I will also be determining if graphic imagery was the best way to express the points both novels were trying to make. The characters fought through a loss of identity, discrimination and disrespect and abuse from authority figures. The events they endured persisted through the lives of the characters from Maus, haunting them. I feel the utilization of shades of color adds an intriguing nuance to the novel, as one has to think of not only the text, but the background images. Also other subtler images are presented to accompany the text and augment it. In certain scenes this accentuates and evokes powerful emotions that enable the reader to greatly empathize with characters. Going beyond the images, the books represent people conveying their opinions on the world in a forceful manner. In other words propaganda. But that’s the wonder of graphic novels, they’re deceptively complex. Despite their seemingly simple and straightforward nature, the novels require a significant amount of attention, lest subtleties be missed. Or mistook as insignificant as concentration is imperative when reading. As missing subliminal messages can impede the overall understanding of the novel.

 

A key theme in both novels is people losing their identities because of pressure from an outside source. With Vladek in Maus, his Jewish heritage had to be hidden lest he be killed for it. Maus represented this struggle with its black and white shading. In American Born Chinese, the social repression is just as profound although significantly less deadly. Jin, a young Chinese-American boy changes his entire personality and behavioural patterns until he’s warped into an all American white boy called Danny. Also in American Born Chinese The Monkey King wasn’t allowed to join polite society because of his animal nature. Instead of accepting his role as ruler of Flower Fruit Mountain he wanted more and overstepped the capabilities his creator gave him. These characters got caught up in events that blinded them to the importance of their own identity. To the fact that nothing else matters than how you view yourself. All of them did eventually learn their lesson; that you can’t be hurt by people if you’re confident, secure and content with yourself.

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Achieving individualism however is extremely difficult. Even if you have trouble with your self confidence others can compound those beliefs in the most deplorable ways. The Nazis in Maus based their entire political campaign on hating Jewish people. The Nazis treated the Jewish people like they were animals; how would that allow for a free and open expression of your religious and personal values? It doesn’t. In American Born Chinese, the Monkey King exercises his power in a petty childish manner. He forced his subjects to curb their monkey nature by making them wear shoes, which impaired their mobility. All because he was resentful of other creatures mocking his monkey status. Both novels have a different but equally compelling representation of people with power using it for inane, selfish and cruel purposes.

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Humans are always running or cycling from their problems. Sometimes without cause and other times for an exceptionally just cause. Vladek and Anja, the parents of Art from Maus, were survivors of Auschwitz. The atrocities they witnessed there stayed with them throughout their lives. Vladek became closed off to survive. But it took a significant toll on Anjas mental state. This trauma eventually shattered her mind and she committed suicide. The events portrayed show the effects of any humans mental state when confronted with trauma that’s too much to process. Humans have very different ways of rationalizing such grief. Vladek became standoffish and domineering, while his wife was depressed and suicidal. Maus highlights Vladeks problems with the dialogue between Vladek and Art and Vladek’s inability to face the horrors he suffered. He instead tries to rationalize his emotions in other, less productive ways. Such as yelling at people and distancing himself from those close to him.


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The themes that we’ve explored so far have been powerful and intriguing, if somewhat blatant. Maus utilizes color and shades of it to a stunning and profound effect that can in context overshadow the dialogue. American Born Chinese utilizes it also, but to a lesser effect than Maus. The effects were especially prevalent in this scene


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as all of the Nazi soldiers but one are shaded out and the Jews are drawn with vivid detail for emphasis. A distinct parallel to light and dark, good and evil. In American Born Chinese, when Jin changes into Danny, the scene shows him coming out of the darkness and into the light. The images hold power over readers as they emphasize the ideas being conveyed by the author in a way that text can’t. Images elicit profound emotions and thoughts in a way that’s impossible for other literary devices to achieve. The shades of the images are particularly interesting. With a dark overtone one immediately thinks of evil things while white conjures images of valiant knights and other such gallant things. These links created by the author are imperative to readers overall perception of the novels.

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Novels always try to tell a story; be it fantasy or truth. However the usage of literary devices to sway the perception of events of a reader is propaganda. Propaganda isn’t inherently insidious and neither are these novels. Yet they discreetly influence readers to  empathize with the characters, such as Jin with his teenage angst, or Vladek and his attitude. The authors draw on readers personal experiences to link them with the characters. They make readers feel as though they are in the story with the characters. This can lead to a different perception of not only Maus and American Born Chinese, but everyday life. While this practice isn’t nefarious in nature it makes readers ponder how often they’re influenced by novels and if the opinions and thoughts they have are their own or those of other people. Maus and American Born Chinese, while having important messages, represent something greater than either of them; the ability of certain people to influence perception without the people they’re influencing realizing it.

 

This picture subtly implies the struggles that people endure; mountains and valleys. This isa common phrase represented in a different subliminal way.

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The title honeymoon implies a happy joyous time, yet the swastika and gloomy shading bely a somber and depressing atmosphere instead of a happy one.

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In conclusion I believe that graphic imagery did convey the messages of Maus and American Born Chinese in the best possible way. Both novels exercise powerful emotional tools to evoke a keen sense of empathy towards characters. Despite the obvious differences, the symbols and motifs used in both novels try to convey different themes in a similar manner. The characters are portrayed in such a way that readers can sympathize with them and the trials they endure. The writing is done so that readers compare personal experiences; Such as if readers have ever changed themselves to fit into a group, been preyed on by authority figures or not dealt with problems in a logical manner. All of these themes are portrayed with a level of unparalleled artistry that allows comprehension of some incredibly serious world events. Maus and American Born Chinese are fantastic examples of how books can deal with serious issues and convey them in a lighthearted manner. The novels trick readers into delving into issues without the reader knowing what they’re doing. Maus and American Born Chinese are much more than that simple literature, they’re propaganda. They represent the influence that literary devices hold over everyone. Maus and American Born Chinese are educational novels that have a multitude of wonderful lessons to be learned.

 

Preserving Antarctica

I apologize if you’ve received this twice that’s my mistake.

This video is a mesmerizing call to arms with regards to global warming and its effect on Antarctica. It speaks passionately about some of the truly startling effects of global warming on Antarctica and why this makes it so important to preserve the integrity of Antartica. This struck a chord with me as the environment is exceptionally important and the need to protect not only Antarctica, but the world as a whole is also immense. The video spoke about taking up a challenge and not simply standing by indifferent and uncaring. This I believe is of paramount importance because belief shapes the future of the world. It created modern science, society, literature warfare all because people didn’t step aside and remain uninvolved. What would the world be like? If you have any comments please don’t hesitate.

Innovators

When I was looking through twitter I came across this video about innovation. It details the accomplishments of Joi Ito ( the presenter) and numerous other innovators. The video spoke primarily about everyone being able to innovate. When most people think innovation they think about the internet. This isn’t the case any longer though, innovation isn’t limited to  technological wunderkinds in Palo Alta. The internet enables people to create remarkably useful and extremely helpful websites and other such things. However, one can create something in everyday lives, they shouldn’t think it out of reach because someone’s told us it’s impossible. They could cure cancer, design a machine to control the weather or invent a new sport. The days where people were limited are mostly over. The only limit to our creativity is our fears and worries. I believe this video does an amazing job in showing people they can take initiative, that it isn’t something to fear but embrace, to strive for. If you have any comments don’t hesitate.