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A response to Emerson’s “Self Reliance”

May 25th, 2010 No comments

Emerson’s Essay ‘Self-Reliance’ talks about a ‘code’ for living that defies all previous ‘codes’ and encourages a ‘full society’ outlook beyond logic to many minds. He encourages the reader to free himself of conformity and give himself over to his ‘nature’.

His theory is that everything in nature operates on a higher scale, and that by conforming yourself to the conventions of ‘all of society’, man cuts himself of from that rhythm which controls life. The text then proceeds to encourage people to get back to that state. To live in tune with the intuition of the spirit, which he insists, will not mislead you. Can not mislead in fact, because the spirit is inherently attuned to the will of the highest power.

He emphasizes over and over again that in order to gain your own independence, one must first abandon all learned things and seek to accumulate thereafter only the knowledge which one attains firsthand and deems pertinent to be put into your truth. Read more…

A Clean, Well Lighted Place

May 18th, 2010 No comments

“A Clean, Well Lighted Place” was written by Ernest Hemingway in 1933. The short story was based upon a conversation between two waiters in a café in Madrid, Spain at about 2:00 am in the morning. The focus of the conversation was an old man who was sitting in the cafe. Quiet and deaf, the old man drinks at the cafe on a nightly basis. Even though he was quite intoxicated, amazingly he was still quite distinguished. The old man is sitting at a table in the shadows of the tree, formed by the lights of the café. The waiters are keeping a close eye on the old man, because he has been known to leave without paying when he becomes drunk. Throughout the story we see that the waiters have nothing in common, other than they work at the same café. Hemingway uses the old man to demonstrate the waiter’s philosophies and their differences, and outlooks on life.

As the two waiters are watching the old man, the younger waiter is becoming impatient and aggravated due to the time. The younger man mentions that the old man tried to hang himself the week before. But failed in his attempt, because his niece cut him down. The older waiter questions the motives of the old man in his attempt. The younger waiter replies by saying the old man has plenty of money. Maybe the younger waiter believes that there is nothing worse than a shortage of money. And with money comes’ happiness, and that should be more than enough to compensate for loneliness. Read more…

A coming-of-age story

May 14th, 2010 No comments

In literature, there are many themes that we find over and over in many cultures and from many periods in time. One of these reoccurring themes is the “coming-of-age”, when a young person goes through the transition from childhood to adulthood and has a significant life experience. It is clear that these coming of age stories are crucial component of our self-conceptions and representations.

We all know lots of “coming-of-age” stories. We’ve read them in books, seen them at the movies and on TV, and in plays and operas. Usually, these stories are of the heartwarming variety. A young person confronts the frightening prospect of growing older, leaving youth for adulthood, and dealing with a world far more complicated than he or she had thought it was. Sure there’s pain to be encountered along the way, but in most of these stories the person eventually sees maturity as a reward – and painful growth as a passage into a new world filled with prospects and promise.

But what if the new, “grown up” world seems bleaker than the old one? I think, when entering adulthood, instead of grieving over the loss of youth, we should revel in newfound possibilities. The “coming-of-age” story then is not a tragedy, but a heartwarming tale of growth and fulfillment.

One reason for the popularity of this theme is simply that it is a universal experience. Everyone, no matter when or where they were born, has to grow up at some point, and being able to read about someone else’s experience can provide young readers with something that they can relate to, and it provides older readers with memories of the past. Read more…

Dangerous Laceons paper

May 11th, 2010 No comments

I have worked for “Shoe Life” for five years and interviewed numerous shoes, from the downright bizarre- PeeWee Hermann’s shoes to the undeniably stylish- Manolo Blahnik’s from the hit HBO series “Sex and the City ” but rarely have I encountered a shoe with such depth and humor than Denim the shoe I stumbled upon while walking to the local market. The following questions and answers are taken from an excerpt in an interview I had with Denim- the ordinary shoe with an all too interesting life.

Tell me about yourself where are you from and how did you come about?
I am from a shoe factory in Malaysia. I did not have the best start in life; the factory in which I was created was one of horrible conditions. There were hundreds of shoes in the factory and we were all tossed into a box waiting to be sorted out with our pair. Whether it was just bad luck or coincidence I was at the bottom of the box, practically smothered because the weight of the shoes on top of me were too heavy to support. Read more…

Katherine Patterson essay

May 7th, 2010 No comments

Authors who have two Newberry Medals, a Newberry Honor book, a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a host of other award winning books to their credit are indeed rare. Katherine Patterson has delighted adolescents for many years with her books that truly speak to the heart.

Katherine was born in China to missionary parents and moved eighteen times before her 18th birthday. Her family returned to the United States due to World War II and Katherine had difficulty fitting in.

She sought refuge in books. She attended King College in Bristol, Tennessee where she majored in English and American Literature. She taught in a rural school for one year and then traveled to Japan for four years. While studying in New York, she met her husband John, a young Presbyterian minister. Read more…

Sam Spade Vs. Sherlock Holmes

May 5th, 2010 No comments

Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes are alike in many respects. Though they have obvious differences, their similarities are more notable. Spade and Holmes are both fictional characters, detectives by trade, and they use the same basic principles when solving crimes. Their styles are different, but equally effective. Both get the job done in a thrilling and suspenseful manner that keeps the reader wanting more.

Holmes and Spade had a myriad of common traits. Neither slept very much. Holmes’ lack of sleep could have been attributed to his cocaine use, and also to his constant reasoning and thinking. The latter reason would be true for Spade as well. They both used similar means to solve mysteries. Logic, evaluating evidence, and not relying on deathbed confessions, or confessions of any kind for that matter were employed by the two detectives. Also seen in Holmes and Spade is the ability to act above the law in order to preserve justice. Spade was far more concerned with right and wrong than the way of the law and followed a clearly defined moral code, even if the police disagreed. The only time that either detective worked with the local authorities was when it came time to apprehend the criminal. Read more…