26 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. seeking jazz or sex or soup

      listing these three things as if they are synonymous? a need for survival perhaps? Jazz OR soup? sex OR jazz? they are satisfied with any.

    2. who copulated ecstatic and insatiate and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt

      A graphic and vivid commentary on Heterosexuality?

      'Ecstatic and Insatiate' - Having sex often. Thrilling but never satisfied

  2. Nov 2015
    1. the drowned Phoenician Sailor

      The motif of the sailor is one that repeats throughout the entirety of the poem. The Sailor is constantly trying to get ‘home’ but is unable to. He has been exiled. The first occurrence of this motif takes places in the burial of the dead in which we are introduced to the ‘drowned Phoenician sailor’; the tarot card owned by Madame Sosostris (a character created by Aldous Huxley in his novel Crome Yellow). The sailor acts as a figure of fear of death. However, the recurring image of death via water suggests more of just a death, but a banishment. This echoes Ancient Greek mythology in reference to the River Styx. The River Styx is a river that forms a boundary between the Earth and the Underworld, and ruled by Hades. As the sailor ‘enters the whirlpool’, he enters the exiled no man’s land between Earth and this ‘othered’ place. Image Description

      In IV: DEATH BY WATER we are presented with Phlebas in which ‘a current under the sea picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell, He passed the stages of his age and youth’. The character of Phlebas echoes the character presented in Madame Sosostris’ tarot cards. Eliot devotes the entirety of the section to this one moment which suggests enormous significance. The whole section was predicted by Sosostris and consequently suggests an inevitability of exile.

      Furthermore, what the sailor represents is the epitome of exile. There is no ‘here or there’. There is no ‘black n white’. What the sailor embodies is the exile of everything. To be exiled in this way is to have neither nothing, nor everything. This consequently can be read existentially. What does it mean to exist in limbo? You become an ambiguous human living in an inbetween, blank space, banished by society.

    2. Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together

      In this final section of the poem, Eliot conveys the ambiguity and alienation of identity. To be exiled is to be stripped of your humanity. Eliot conveys this idea in several ways; by use of imagery and language techniques.

      Firstly, the image of the 'third walking beside you' is one that is hard to picture due to the lack of description. The 'third' appears almost like a silhouette or a shadow, which in itself creates its own connotations. Is the 'third' a replication of the character walking? or perhaps they are symbolic of the consequences of being exiled. Interestingly, the 'third' is not given a gender, we cannot tell 'whether a man or a woman' and therefore is presented as simply a 'thing'. It is this ambiguity which alienates this figure from what is happening in the poem. Readers cannot connect with the 'third'. However, we are forced to view this ambiguous figure as part of the group due to the use of the word 'third'. They are neither part of nor not a part of the party and therefore are in an inbetween state

      Image Description

      In a poem that is packed with voices and narrations, this 'third' is not given any direct speech. Instead we are introduced to this silhouette through the eyes of a persona. Not only has the 'third' been stripped of identity and gender identity, but also speech, both within the poem and in the explicit words on the page.

      As the speaker walks through the ‘unreal city’ of London in THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD, he comes into contact with ghostly figures. London is populated by the dead. Each man ‘fixed his eyes before his feet’ in a synonymous manner. These men embody the ambiguity shown by the ‘third man’ and represent this sense of exile. Eliot’s use of language heightens this further with the inclusion of ‘dead sound on the final stroke of nine’. What is dead sound? And why is nine the final stroke? His diction choices convey a sense of death and banishment. The poem is ‘haunted’ by these ghosts just as the speaker is haunted by the ‘third man’ in the final section.

  3. Oct 2015
    1. I do not know whether a man or a woman

      The removal of gender (or the ambiguity of which) again acts a removal of identity. This 'other' is not given any direct speech. They are outcast from the situation as depicted and also from the language of the poem itself

    2. Prison and palace and reverberation

      The image of the prison is one that connotes confinement. However the use of reverberation suggests a desire in this isolation. Perhaps the setting in 'The Wasteland' although bleak could be considered better than living in exile.

    3. Who is the third who walks always beside you?

      The ambiguity of who is walking conveys a loss of individuality. to be exiled strips you from your identity entirely and you become almost like a silhouette.

    4. “That corpse you planted last year in your garden, “Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

      Why is the corpse so casual? Why does it sprout/bloom? and why is such a dystopian image presented as a means for possible new life?

    5. Which I am forbidden to see.

      Why is the speaker forbidden to see something that is blank?

  4. Sep 2015
    1. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (1923)

      What is the significance of the rhyme scheme? a,a,b,a etc and why does it change in the final stanza to a, a, a, a ?

    2. And looked down one as far as I could

      What is the significance of distance here?

    1. He raised again the jug regretfully

      Personally, I feel the jug represents Eben Flood's life experiences. The beginning of the poem presents the jug as something 'he had gone so far to fill'. This could represent the build up of experiences he has had over time. Throughout the poem this jug starts to become more futile. The second time the jug appears by his feet 'knowing most things break', representing the frailty of his life in old age. The final time he raises the jug it is 'regretful'. This is Flood accepting that he has outlived his life. He is 'alone' again, his friends have passed and Flood has accepted his fate.

    2. eyes were dim

      There are a lot of light/dark comparisons here. The use of word 'dim' shows a slow progression into darkness rather than a sudden one, which reiterates Flood's age, and the fact his life has been long.

    3. “Mr. Flood’s Party” (1920)

      The poem is written with Iambic Pentameter and each stanza has the same rhyme scheme. (2nd and 4th line rhyme and 6th and 8th line).

      Each stanza uses this pattern which creates a sense of regularity. In light of the poem, this could suggest Mr Flood's long and natural life, and how his feelings of life running thin is in fact a natural progression

    1. There comes John, and I must put this away,—he hates to have me write a word.

      The act of writing represents an act of defiance. Gilman's diction choice here is interesting. The use of 'hate' conveys a more personal tone to the emotion. We are told early on that John's views on the narrators illness stem from his scientific background. He is right because he is a scientist. However, this use of 'hate' breaks down this semi-professional tie. This is John instating dominance over his wife and her activities thereof

    2. I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad.

      This whole passage explores the narrators internalisation and perceptions of authority. Authority is approached by the narrator in both an internal and external way. John is presented as an oppressive force throughout the short story. His presence feels dominant despite the fact we are reading through the woman's perspective. More strikingly however is how John's presence remains even when the narrator is alone. It is almost as if john's commands are always stuck in her head. In doing so, this dynamic is almost symbolic of the mental struggle.

      The way this paragraph is formed is of interest. The first sentence feels as if the narrator has found some solace, or thought of a way of obtaining solace rather. She knows what she wants: 'less oppostion and more society and stimulus', yet the latter half resides back to the dominant figure of John. This battling of expression is one that captivates the frustration of living with mental illness

    1. escape both death and isolation

      This phrase (following on from the phrase 'co-worker' before it) highlights its necessity. As harsh as the term 'co-worker' comes across in the passage, suggesting a more subordinate, inferior cog in the kingdom of cultures wheel. DuBois states how this co-ordination is a means of survival. Interestingly he pairs death and isolation together; to live in isolation is futile, he might as well be dead. The whole sentence sums up what i feel is DuBois' issue with the American culture; that society forces the lives of black people into an inferior position, but yet this position is the only thing aiding their survival.

    2. a veil

      This repetition of the image of the veil is effective as it blurs identity. Imagine someone wearing a veil. You can vaguely grasp their silhouette but nothing else. The image does well to express a feeling of isolation, dissimilar but not completely separate from everyone else.

    1. Adams’s instinct was blighted from babyhood.

      interesting use of the word 'blighted' suggesting infection and spoilage. Spoiled by what? With Adams instinct being harmed from babyhood, is it possible that his judgement is also clouded.

      It is interesting that later in this passage Adams is presented as needing St Gauden's not only for art but also as a final piece in the puzzle to experience 'feeling'

    2. He wrapped himself in vibrations and rays which were new

      Image of wrapping himself in 'new' science suggests a succumbing to technology. The quotation continues to combine Adams scientific approach to emotion in an attempt to find a balance between force, power and the abstract.

    3. supposing one knew what a magnet was, or gravitation, or love.

      Is it possible to place a scientific approach to the abstract concept of love? Is it possible to 'know' love? This adds to the overwhelmed feeling Adams has as he attempts to deduce the power of both Dynamo and Virgin from a scientific perspective.

  5. Aug 2015
    1. The poem reads like an incantation or chant which aids to the power of it. The poem is about anger/pain and the preach like formation of it does well to drive the poem forward to a climactic point as 'they feed they Lion and he comes'

      Each time 'Lion' is mentioned it is capitalised. Perhaps this raises the 'Lion' to an almost biblical level; much like 'God'. This also supports the idea of the poem as a chant/incantation as it provides the incantation with a focal point, a point to direct energy to.

    2. sweet kinks of the fist

      This phrase is an oxymoron. The connotations of fist suggests a fight/struggle and violence, yet the adjective used here is 'sweet'. How is a fist sweet? Perhaps Levine is hinting at the benefits of violence, through violence comes the 'sweet'.

    3. Out of the bones’ need to sharpen

      The bone is personified to an almost grotesque level. The bone has a 'need' to sharpen. By describing this process as a need, Levine gives the impression that natural formation is futile. 'the bones' need' to sharpen in order to better themselves and for 'they lion grow'.

      The image of bone's sharpening is extremely vivid, and creates a savage and primal tone to the piece, yet is presented as necessary in order to progress through the poem. 'Out of the bones' need to sharpen . . . They Lion Grow'. It is a process that is literally needed and presents biological parts of the body as a weapon.