124 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. Howl

      The whole poem seems to be a stream of consciousness, a string of various "screams" or "Howls" as the title says. He is wailing, lamenting for his peers who have been "driven mad;" yet also "scream[ing] with joy" in celebration of these people.

      In Part II the repetition of "Moloch!" and constant exclamation points makes one imagine the speaker passionately screaming over what he is saying as well.

    2. II

      Ginsberg wrote Part II during a peyote-induced vision. Apparently, one night he and his lover took Peyote in San Francisco, and they came across the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, which, to Ginsberg, looked like a monster; this monster inspired him to write about Moloch in his poem. In Part II, Ginsberg's characters from Part I have been sacrificed to Moloch.


    3. They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

      It seems that he thinks that "heaven" is one's earthly experience, rather than some concept in the sky. Rather than Heaven being superior to humanity, or praising false worthless idols like "Moloch" and what Ginsberg has made Moloch stand for, he thinks that people should appreciate their life on earth.

    4. Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!

      Ginsberg uses "Moloch" as a sort of symbol for what he views has destroyed American society. Moloch seems to represent authority, government, capitalism, and those who try to stifle creativity or jeopardize one's freedom to be "different." Moloch, or capitalist/industrialist society, is cold and has no love, no soul, except a mechanical, greedy one.

    5. this actually happened

      I wonder if he is referring to a particular incident here? Much of the poem is dreamlike, or metaphorical disasters, hallucinations...

  2. Nov 2015
    1. These fragments I have shored against my ruins  430 Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

      These lines again convey the fragmented, ruined aspect of them poem. Eliot uses a fragmented, incoherent form—as well as portraying a fragmented reality—in order to symbolize the crumbling of society. The line, “these fragments I have shored against my ruins” is used at the very end of the poem as a sort of verbal sigh—as if to say, “I will carry on through the rubble and ruins”. Within the poem, Eliot speaks of redemption and rising above the desolation and destruction society will experience, but in the end he tells us that life is inherently fragmented, and suggests that we must accept this.

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      The line, “Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe,” is in reference to “The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronymo is Mad Again,” an Elizabethan tragedy by Thomas Kyd (written between 1582 and 1592). In this play, Hieronymo is driven near madness after the murder of his son, and he decides to take revenge by killing the murderers. This is made possible when the murderers ask him to supply a play for the court, and he takes this as an opportunity to kill them. He says, “why then ile fit you,” which means that he will accommodate their wishes. Though, he also means to kill his son’s murderers.

      The reference to this play may suggest that the speaker in The Waste Land sees himself in the role of Hieronymo, driven to madness over the loss of a senseless death. In Eliot’s case, perhaps it is the loss of humanity that drives him near madness. And perhaps these losses themselves are solitary fragmented moments in the characters’ lives—awful things happen, and we cannot make sense of them, which has a profoundly uncomfortable affect on us. Like Eliot’s use of multiple fragmented languages in The Waste Land (often leaving the reader questioning why he chooses to do so), Hieronymo conducts his play in various languages, leaving the actors puzzled. Eliot may believe that fragments are essential for understanding the essence of the whole—we cannot necessarily connect the fragments of life together in a coherent pattern, but we can experience them all in a random sequence. Even the three lines in this annotation don’t clearly connect to one another—they are fragments, references to various notions and various pieces of literature.

      “Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.” means, “give, sympathize, control.” This line in “What The Thunder Said,” is taken from a Hindu fable in the Brihadaranyaka Upianshad, called The Fable of the Meaning of Thunder/The Voice of Thunder. According to the story, thunder makes “Da” sounds, and these three words in Sanskrit are supposed to represent this sound of thunder. One theory proposes that Eliot suggests that the thunder will give us the rainwater we need to help replenish our dead wasteland of a world. “Give, Sympathize, Control,” may be Eliot’s final messages/commands/lessons to his readers. He has shown us through many fragments the ailments of man and suggests a change needs to be made.

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      Perhaps, Eliot ends this dismal poem with a chance of hope, telling us that no matter how much death and destruction the world faces there is always a chance at redemption. Or, perhaps these fragmented last lines—that possibly have no connection to each other—cannot be taken as a true “ending” to the poem. If we think of the entire poem as many fragments, can there be an "ending" an all? Perhaps it is just another fragment, another instance of intertextuality. Hieronymo definitely takes control, but does he show sympathy? Are we left with his “madness,” a feeling of despair, and the meaninglessness of life, yet a possible redemption? Do we even need to make a connection between these last three lines, or is that the point of the fragmentation—we cannot connect everything, but we can gather many separate meanings. We may simply take away a general tone or just an overall reading experience. These three lines don’t seem connected to each other, but they do share a similar fragmented “vibe,” it seems.

      Eliot’s many instances of intertextuality, fragments, stories that don’t connect, relate to the overall idea of a land laid to waste, an apocalyptic, destroyed world where only bits and pieces remain. The fragments might also relate to a sort of dialogism—though the instances of intertextuality aren’t directly connected, Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism says, in a very basic form, that every text is affected by the texts that came before it, and also every text in the future affects all texts from the past. Perhaps this jumbled, fragmented mess of a poem, in part, plays with the idea that although things do not seem connected everything matters. We can never read the same text the same way twice, and our reading of The Waste Land will affect how we view the texts that it references. So despite the disconnected fragments, there is a way that the various fragmented pieces affect one another.

  3. Oct 2015
    1. “My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

      With the line “I never know what you are thinking,” the speaker wants to find connections to their friend/lover/acquaintance. They feel uneasy with whomever they are talking to, since the speaker cannot see the inner workings of their mind. They are realizing that life is fragmented. Additionally, the speech in these lines is fragmented, with the speaker moving from one subject to the next—they are nervous, they want human connection, and they want to know what the other is thinking. For the speaker, physical closeness isn’t enough of a connection—they are uncomfortable with silence. This silence seems to add to their nerves, and perhaps they think that the other person speaking, sharing their thoughts, will quiet their own mind, distract them from their own fragmented thoughts. The speaker feels isolated. There is a sense of urgency and fear, a need to make connections, to solve the puzzle—of life, and of what their friend is thinking.

      Within the poem overall, we get a sense of this fragmentation—the stanzas don’t all necessarily connect. Aside from trying to find any meaning within the poem, as readers we experience this sense of fragmentation. Trying to connect the lines, even within separate sections, is near impossible and can make the reader uneasy. Like the speaker in these lines, we wonder, “what is Eliot thinking here?” Similarly, in Gertrude Stein’s “Sacred Emily,” the reader encounters a fragmented reading experience, where the experience of reading seems more important than any overall connected meaning. The flecks, the broken images presented convey different feelings, and present us with various images. We are uneasy, as readers, that everything doesn’t connect, like the speaker in these lines from Eliot.

      In William Carlos Williams's “To Elsie,” he says that, “it is only in isolate flecks that something is given off.” Like Eliot, Williams believes that meaning can only be found in fragments—we can understand bits and pieces, but cannot always make connections among the flecks. If everything in life only occurs in unconnected, isolated fragments, we feel very little control—like the speaker in these lines.

      With all of the apocalyptic imagery through the poem, the broken society, decaying nature, and impossibility of rationally, logically connecting everything to some greater meaning, it is clear why the speaker’s nerves are bad. They don’t want to feel alone, fragmented—they want to find connections to people, as well as connections within their lives. What this says, perhaps, is that fragmentation, relates to some sort of epistemological/existential crises. Not knowing how to make sense of the bits and pieces leaves one feeling uneasy. For the speaker, silence is not golden—silence here implies that one is busy thinking something secretive and mysterious, and these thoughts are presented as an uncomfortable unknown. The fact that we are never able to know what another person is truly thinking is an unsettling thought. With speech, we at least find comfort in some semblance of connection, but can we ever truly communicate perfectly? Will we ever truly know what another person is thinking? Or can we simply try to grasp small truths, small fragments of meaning in our lives?

      This is a clip from the movie The Rules of Attraction. I think that this scene applies to the concept of fragmentation, and these lines in particular, because it shows the inability of knowing what other people are thinking. The characters in this story all barely ever talk to each other but they formulate the idea that they are in relationships with each other. They grasp onto little fragments, small interactions, and they misinterpret them, trying to find connections when there is none. They are afraid of being alone, of a world where small moments are insignificant and cannot be connected to something greater. They claim to want to know what the other person is thinking, but all are confronted with the fact that, as Lauren says, “What does that mean, know me? Know me. Nobody knows anyone else, ever. You will never, ever know me.” Here, like in The Waste Land, fragmentation creates an existential alienation.

      ![seeking meaning] (https://amnesianaut.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/charlie-brown-3eanuts-paul-tunis.png?w=590)

    1. They cooped you in their kitchens, They penned you in their factories, They gave you the jobs that they were too good for, They tried to guarantee happiness to themselves By shunting dirt and misery to you.

      Brown expresses how African American slaves were truly treated like Animals (especially with words like "cooped up" and "penned"). Brown creates a somber tone, expressing how men could make themselves happier by debasing others, considering these slaves low and worthless, less than human.


      Carl Sandburg was an American poet in the early 1900s, who was a large influence on Brown's writing. Why is he referenced here?

    3. An’ Slim Say, “Peter, I really cain’t tell, The place was Dixie That I took for hell.”

      He is confused because he thinks that Hell looks exactly like the South/Dixie--in fact, he seems to think that he had landed in Dixie, and had never made it to hell. Peter tells him that he isn't smart enough to be in heaven because he misunderstands the situation. It seems that in the poem, Slim does explore hell, but this hell resembled what Sterling Brown says is a hell on earth; Dixie.

    4. Slim [Greer] in Hell” (1933)

      Reading this poem, it is very lyrical, it seems like it could be a folk song

    5. They taught you the religion they disgraced.

      The slaves were taught Christianity, yet the act of slavery, and the horrific treatment of the slaves, went against Christian values. He is pointing out the hypocrisy of the slave-owners

    1. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table When company comes. Nobody’ll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then.

      He is speaking of a future where he is treated as an equal, with respect. The tone sort of implies that "tomorrow," some future date soon, he will be taking a stance, and fighting for this equality. He sees hope for a brighter future.

    2. Harlem

      Is Harlem a land of deferred dreams?

    1. For racial culture the home of a self-styled “high-class” Negro has nothing better to offer.

      at this exact time in history, what was the status of these "high-class" African Americans in the eyes of white America? They were still segregated and not accepted as equals...Hughes almost ignores how hard things still must have been for them, and ignores what must have been a great struggle/urge for them to try and "fit in" with the white mentality, if that makes sense..

    2. But let us look again at the mountain.

      The mountain to climb--the hurdle to overcome? Is Hughes saying that before "the Negro artist can give his racial individuality," others must be willing to read it/experience such art, and accept it as art?

      the following lines describe a "Negro clubwoman in Philadelphia," who doesn't want to listen to black artist singing black folk songs. To Hughes, this clubowner seems to think that this music is lower, too harsh. The clubowner doesn't want to be remotely controversial, or associated with "blackness." So, the "mountain" is getting past these views of black art as lesser, as something cheap, or with too much controversial "shouting." Also, if the club owner wont even pay to listen to black folk artists, she surely won't hire any sing to in her club. So where will these artists perform, and for who? As Hughes says, the road for these folk artists "is most certainly rocky and the mountain is high."

    3. You aren’t black.

      Hughes was of mixed race, which probably created a whole other lever of "doubleness" for him (apparently, in his memoir he wrote, "unfortunately, i am not black," since both of his parents were of mixed races). He wasn't white yet he wasn't wholly black. I wonder if this caused some sort of existential crisis when he was younger--at the time of writing this, although he does acknowledge this doubleness, he seems to fully identify with the lower class Black artist that he speaks of--or, at least, wants to be a champion for the overlooked Black artist. He says, "We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame." In referring to these artists he says "we younger negro artists," and "our individual dark-skinned selves," so he seems to fully identify with this class of people, despite his doubleness.

      From reading this, it seems that he wanted to live among the young black artists with more artistic freedom; but it seems that he would also fit in with the higher-class of African Americans, whom he finds very pretentious.

  4. teaching.lfhanley.net teaching.lfhanley.net
    1. “My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me. “Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.   “What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? “I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
    2. “My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me. “Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.   “What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? “I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
    3. the loitering heirs of city directors
    4. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights.
    5. “That corpse you planted last year in your garden, “Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

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    6. A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many

      Perhaps these people are the living dead? if not literal zombies, then something has made them undone, has made them go through life in a zombie like state.

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    7. breeding Lilacs out of the dead land

      life coming from the dead land. what kind of life can death produce? something gruesome and new, unexplored. not the kind of Lilac we are accustomed to, full of life and health. a zombie flower

    8. Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
    9. He who was living is now dead
    10. Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
    11. Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass
    12. lidless eyes
    13. “Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”
    14. ships

      why the constant reference to the ocean?

      perhaps a fear of the unknown, mysterious waters that man has no power over, which is a quite common thread in literature...?

    15. dead sound

      how does the clock striking nine invoke death?

    16. Mrs. Equitone,

      who is this?

    17. Fear death by water.

      does this relate to the last stanza, where we again see a fear of the mysterious open water? (Oed’ und leer das Meer/desolate and empty is the sea)

    18. Oed’ und leer das Meer

      this means, "Desolate and empty is the sea.” This is also taken from Tristan und Isolde, and apparently is said to Tristan, implying that Isolde's ship is nowhere to be seen.

    19. I could not Speak,

      Why can't he speak? why is this related to him being in the Hyacinth garden?

    20. (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

      who is the "you"? is eliot inviting the reader to "come in" to the confusing world of this poem, to be "shown" something "different"?

    21. the dry stone no sound of water.

      I really like this line, but don't know what it implies. of course the dry stone gives no sound of water. why does eliot associate dry rocks with water?

    1. So great so great Emily. Sew grate sew grate Emily.

      perhaps she is just playing with the fact that these two lines, said aloud, sound exactly the same. yet the words and their meanings are not similar at all.

    2. A blow is delighted

      I would delight in a blow to the head rather than read more Stein. sorry!

      In all seriousness, I'm wondering what everyone takes from this last line...I don't see it being connected to anything else here, other than perhaps "aiming" whatever weapon is being used to deliver the "blow"...?

    3. Do I make faces like that at you.

      one of the first/only coherent sentences i've seen. Which seems worth mentioning, perhaps...

    4. Nevertheless.

      this is repeated a few times. seems to act as a sort of sigh, or signify a change of some sort but i'm not sure what

    5. I do believe it will finish, I do believe it will finish.

      I don't believe that this poem will ever finish at this point...

  5. Sep 2015
    1. This is just to say

      this poem feels like something one would leave on a post-it note in the kitchen, or leave on a refrigerator.

      The title again becomes part of the poem, signifying that the poem is some kind of note that has been left "just to say"/explain what happened to the plums

    2. deer

      what is the significance of the deer?

    3. will throw up a girl so desolate

      is this saying that the interracial marriage will produce a desolate child? at first, it seemed that the girl getting married was the same one destined for working as a maid, but it says she is sent out to work at 15, and probably wouldn't be married at 15, so it feels like she is a product of this marriage...?

    1. apparition

      why are the faces ghostlike or supernatural? what is Pound trying to say about the faces? it is also interesting that she groups the faces together, as one errie unit

    1. I do not think I would.

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    2. I do not think I would.

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      $$ $$

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    3. it is not meat

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    4. nor set the fractured bone;

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    5. I might be driven to sell your love for peace,

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    6. Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.

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    1. And that has made all the difference.

      In a good way, or a negative way? is he full of regret (which it seems, with his "sigh" and "sorrow"), or has it made a somewhat positive/indifferent difference for him?

    2. And sorry I could not travel both

      Why couldn't he change his path mid-way, if he didn't like it? I understand that "way leads to way," as he says, but what stopped him from taking a new path, even the same one that he passed up originally?

    3. But I have promises to keep,

      What are these promises? Why do them keep him so busy, that stopping and admiring nature for a moment is such a luxury?

    4. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.

      is the narrator simply admiring nature, and being alone in nature? He implies that the horse will think it is strange that he stops without "a farmhouse near," without a purpose/destination.

    5. My little horse must think it queer

      why would the horse find it strange to be in the woods? it isn't an unusual place for a horse...what is so eerie about the woods at this moment?

    6. Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though;

      Who is "he"? Why is the narrator stopping to see him?

    7. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:

      So, does he regret his decision? Or saying that if this ends up being the wrong path, he will later tell it with a sigh? He seems full of regret before he has even made a decision...

    8. I took the one less traveled by,

      How does he know if it is the one less traveled by? If both are foreign to him. Though it "wanted wear," they are both "really about the same."

    1. but there they stood, As in the days they dreamed of when young blood Was in their cheeks and women called them fair.

      At one point, his friends had set greater goals for themselves, than being clerks, common workers in their home town.

      He says that their cheeks were full of blood, perhaps that they were more lively and motivated, and had "potential."

      He says, "there they stood, as in the days.." He seems to imply that although they didn't achieve their dreams, they are still standing there, the same people. Perhaps he implies that whatever job you have, whatever role in life, you are still the same person at your core.

    2. And you that ache so much

      One can always want "more," but perhaps this is futile? Everyone, no matter there role, is spinning the same kind of dull web in time. The clerks are just the same men as when they were when they were full of hopes and dreams--wanting "more." Although they don't have "more" they are still just as "good."

    3. Be sure, they met me with an ancient air,— And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhood About them; but the men were just as good, And just as human as they ever were.

      although they are a bit "shop-worn" and rugged from their lives, they are no less good men than they were when they dreamed of greatness. To Robinson, they are still as decent, as "human." They haven't been hardened or embittered by not reaching their goals, the poem seems to imply.

      "ancient air," unless it implies a withered/tired air, might imply a sense of nobility. Although they are "shop-worn" by their lives, there is still a brotherhood, a sense of belonging among them.

    4. descent

      descent implies a downfall. Who is he referencing that experiences a descent?

      At first I assumed this was the poets and kings, who are more respected than the more common clerks. Perhaps, I thought, he is saying that these more noble roles carry an air of pretension.

      But, reading the poem over again, I think that the "you" Robinson is talking to might be people who wish for something other than what they have. The clerks, seem content, and are still good-natured men. They aren't soured from not attaining the dreams of their youth. Robinson says that Kings, poets, clerks, are all just getting through their lives; they are all subject to the same concept of time.

      So perhaps the "you" that "aches so much to be sublime," and "feed[s] yourselves with your descent," are people who, unlike the clerks aren't content with where they are in life. Instead of making the best of their position in life, they "ache" to be something more. This aching is their downfall. They feed into this bitterness of what they do not have, constantly striving to reach something unattainable, and that is their downfall. They fear "time," they fear not being something better than what they are.

      Perhaps this is a stretch...but poetry is rather difficult for me, and this is where I am at right now.

      it doesn't seem like a very "positive" poem, with the "sad" cutting of the cloths, the "dull webs of discontent," so perhaps it is saying we are all doomed to discontent? Sorry, I am going in all sorts of directions with this...

    5. Tiering the same dull webs of discontent,

      There is no reason to be discontent with your position in life, because everyone has to deal with "dull" moments, everyone is "discontent" at times.

      Kings, poets, clerks--all are spinning their own life stories over the years.

    6. What comes of all your visions and your fears?

      Why live in fear, he might be saying. This is not a productive way to live, and will do no good.

    7. alnage

      Alnage is a specific way to measure cloth, needing inspection and certification. According to Wikipedia, the position of the alnager was abolished in 1699. Therefore, this is a very strict, outdated form of measurement. The rules were abolished because over time “the diversity of the wool and the importation of cloths of various sizes from abroad made it impossible to maintain any specific standard of width,” and new standards were formed.

      In part, Robinson uses alnage to invoke Greek mythology, where the Fates would weave out each person’s life.

      Robinson points out that both poets and kings (and all who strive for a sublime, transcendent position in life), are subject to "Time" just like his childhood friends (the clerks who perhaps lead a less sought after life). Kings have their fates woven out, just like these seemingly forgotten friends from his past. Their job may seem insignificant, compared to others, but all people are just living their lives, passing the years by, and "tiering the same dull webs of discontent."

      I'm not sure if the idea of alnage being an outdated form of measurement is relevant, however...

    1. I verily believe she thinks it is the writing which made me sick!

      Yet, it is writing this story about the wallpaper which makes her attempt to "break free," to claw out--symbolically, at least--from the control of her husband.

      Also, the idea of writing making her sick, might be because writing gives her power, a sense of self. Women, it seems, were supposed to be good housewives and housekeepers, and wanting more was wrong.

    2. It is not bad—at first, and very gentle,

      Like her husband, who at first may appear gentle, but is really very controlling and by treating her like a child and a prisoner, causes her to go mad in order to break from his control.

    3. I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard!

      Now she IS the woman in the wall, and she doesn't want to have to go back to her cage. She has freed her mind from the prison her husband was keeping her in, emotionally.

    4. I want to astonish him.

      Maybe she wants to confront him with her truth, that he cannot ignore her depression and show him what his behavior has driven her to.

    5. I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper.

      Is she symbolically breaking free of John/the pattern?

    6. As if I couldn’t see through him!

      in her madness, she finally sees the truth.

      Her writing about the wallpaper has freed her, has let her see her husband for who he is, and she has to hide her true self from him

    7. I don’t want anybody to get that woman out at night but myself.

      SHE wants to go out, to escape this life

    8. John is so queer now

      John changes, like the pattern does

    9. is the pattern that keeps her so still.

      the pattern is confining her; so is the pattern representing her husband?

    10. By daylight she is subdued, quiet

      Just like the narrator, when her husband is around

    11. stern, reproachful look that I could not say another word.

      He seems very threatening here

    12. but you really are better, dear, whether you can see it or not. I am a doctor, dear, and I know

      This is very condescending, again. how does he know? because she is becoming more childlike and obedient, and losing any sense of self?

    13. It is getting to be a great effort for me to think straight

      Foreshadowing. Her seclusion is driving her mad.

    14. John gathered me up in his arms,

      like a child

    15. hates to have me sick.

      he is making her depression worse

    16. Of course I don’t when John is here

      He doesn't like to see her emotions

    17. I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time.

      Though she may not understand why, her crying is surely due to her awful life, being locked away and controlled by her husband. Why wouldn't she cry?

    18. she says he is just like John and my brother

      implying that she would rather not be with her husband

    19. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere

      Not allowed to have an imagination or write (or do anything really), she is crafting a story about the wallpaper. It is coming to life in her eyes, in a gothic, threatening way.

    20. This paper looks to me as if it KNEW what a vicious influence it had!

      gothic. the paper has some sort of essence now.

    21. he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now.

      He is good at convincing her that she NEEDS to be treated like a child. This is incredibly controlling. He doesn't seem to care for her, except as a doll to play with, and doesn't want anyone else to see her either.

    22. has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency.

      Again, we see the power of writing, as she reveals John's fear of her "imagination" and "story-making"

    23. the baby

      not "my" baby, "the" baby. interesting...

    24. burden

      What an awful life to feel like a burden because you are who you are. She is depressed, and this makes her a complete burden who needs to be watched and controlled?

      Really, if he didn't think there was anything wrong with her, why would he be worried about her "condition?" Why would he be monitoring her and keeping her under such strict rules? It is as if he is making her feel guilty, on purpose

    25. I am glad my case is not serious

      this seems sarcastic, as obviously she disagrees with John and feels that her case is more serious than he has decided it is

    26. my dear

      this feels very condescending

    27. He said we came here solely on my account

      She is to blame for how things are, he makes her think.

    28. loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction.

      she is telling herself that he is loving, although everything she says proves that he is controlling and abusive. He "directs" everything she does, which is very creepy and makes this gothic story even more ominous. We can tell that nothing good is going to happen.

    1. And the heart shall be weary and wonder and cry like the sea, All life long crying without avail,

      there is a sense of pain, weariness, and futility within this poem. Maybe Du Bois includes it because of the never-ending struggle toward progress that he describes within his essay.

    2. is it I, is it I?

      Maybe this implies a sort of uncertainty about oneself?

    3. bitter cry

      is this supposed to relate/call back to the (quite redundant) poem at the top of this essay? Also, after re-reading the poem several times, I still have no understanding of it...

    4. In those sombre forests of his striving his own soul rose before him, and he saw himself,—darkly as through a veil; and yet he saw in himself some faint revelation of his power, of his mission. He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another.

      While perhaps talking about a group/community of people here, he seems to be relating his own experience/feelings/journey.

    5. sobering realization of the meaning of progress.

      progress takes time and lots of effort, seems to be one realization here. Even with Emancipation, there was no instant freedom

    6. By the poverty and ignorance of his people, the Negro minister or doctor was tempted toward quackery and demagogy; and by the criticism of the other world, toward ideals that made him ashamed of his lowly tasks. The would-be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice-told tale to his white neighbors,

      History hasn't prepared black people for a bright future. Black people hadn't had experience with being free, successful, educated, etc... Whereas white people had an advantage over them. Was this truly freedom?

    7. husband

      interesting choice of words. he implies that he wants this merging of cultures to be a cooperative relationship, a civil, respectful discourse among equals.

    8. this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

      How can one understand oneself truly, when they are told so many negative things about themselves. He is told by society that he is a "problem," although there is a false ideal of his freedom. Even the strongest individual would be affected by this--feeling that who he is doesn't correlate with how the world sees him.

      So, he wishes to merge his African identity with his American one, but wants neither to take over completely. He wants both cultures to be able to teach things to each other. He wants the possibility of being accepted for his duality, rather than being treated as an "other," perhaps.

    9. t only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.

      He can't see himself or know his true place, because he is constantly told that he is lesser. Through his veil he can more clearly see himself as the "other," which is how white Americans see him. The "double-consciousness" he mentions time and again is a very strange, uncomfortable feeling for him, leaving him walking through the world almost ghost-like, seeing himself only how white people see him. His true identity isn't allowed--he hasn't been allowed to figure out who he is, and it wouldn't change how people saw him anyway. He feels his dual identities as "warring ideals" within his soul.

    10. That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the words I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine. But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them.

      He wanted to prove his worth, and he feels most accepted (rather than being the "other"), when he competed with white schoolmates, and proved that he could do even better than them.

      Then, he seemed to realize that he isn't sure if he wants what they have at all, he doesn't want to full become like them; but he would still try to prove his worth, and that they weren't above him.

    11. blue sky and great wandering shadows

      He feels a "doubleness"

  6. Aug 2015
    1. dynamo was not so human as some

      To Adams, the dynamo is very grand, elevated. Something about it rises above mortals and becomes comparable to how a religious figure is viewed, for him.

    2. parricidal

      parricide=someone who kills his or her parent.

      I suppose this could mean that the "new rays" have helped to do away with previous scientific theories. It is difficult for him to accept that what he thought he knew as truth is not in fact so.

      In regards to the overall piece, this makes me think that perhaps technology is equated to religion because Adams thinks that one believes in it, even if they cannot understand it. Though this new technology does away with old science, people will still believe it as firmly as they believed in their Christian faith.

      Adams writes, "His own rays, with which he had doubled the solar spectrum, were altogether harmless and beneficent; but Radium denied its God–or, what was to Langley the same thing, denied the truths of his Science. The force was wholly new." His "own rays," that he understands, aren't harmless because he has accepted them as true, as something he believed. But these new discoveries "deny" his "truths," but proving that something contrary and new. As if someone has proven to a Christian that god was just a story, or that there was a different god than their own, perhaps is what Adams is getting at?

    3. new forces were anarchical

      new discoveries, Langley feels, are going to change the world, and the established order. At the time, these innovations were completely new, so there was no established way to deal with them. This is very frightening, as it presents a future that is unknown and unpredictable for him.

    4. power of sex

      I am not quite sure how this relates to the dynamo, or any concept of new, hard-to-grasp technology

    5. he began to feel the forty-foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the Cross.

      at this point, I am not sure why the technology is being related to religion. But I don't think that I could possibly understand what the Cross signifies for Christians by googling it, so I'm sure we will discuss this in class.

      At points, he seems to be saying that technology has replaced the Church, or that it holds the same "force" over people--they believe in technology, like they believe in religion

    6. force

      force is repeated many times, and an important concept to Adams. Though, after reading all of this, i am not completely clear on why the force of the Virgin and that of the Dynamo are similar.

      Force, in physics, is the influence that produces a change in physical quantity. it is something with a powerful energy/effect.

    7. automobile, which, since 1893, had become a nightmare at a hundred kilometres an hour, almost as destructive as the electric tram which was only ten years older; and threatening to become as terrible as the locomotive steam-engine itself, which was almost exactly Adams’s own age.

      the use of the words "nightmare," "destructive," "threatening," and "terrible," are very interesting. It implies that this new, foreign, hard-to-understand technology is destructive and dangerous.

    8. Langley

      Professor Samuel P. Langley was an astronomer, physicist, and the third Secretary of the Smithsonian institute.

    9. He would have liked to know how much of it could have been grasped by the best-informed man in the world.

      Adams thinks that even the "best-informed," smartest man in the world would only have been able to "grasp" at this new knowledge and technology presented at the exhibition. To him, it is "chaos," and he is "helpless" to understand it. It is completely foreign to him, and it seems somewhat intimidating to him.

    10. Great Exposition of 1900
      • 57 million visitors from all over the world
      • 7,500 Americans made the joruney to the exhibition (due in part to a new concept among the American Middle Class: "Leisure Time.")
      • many of the exhibitions were looking forward to humanity's future and future technologies. *the location of the exhibition in Paris had been transformed from a "littered, muddy wasteland," into an "array of manicured lawns and colorful flower beds."

      (info found at pbs.org/wgbh/amex/1900/peopleevents/pande29.html)

    11. Adams might as well have stood outside in the night, staring at the Milky Way

      the Exhibition is very mysterious to him

    1. From my five arms and all my hands

      They work so hard it is as if they need five arms. They are each doing too much work for one person and it has mutated them.

    2. ferocity of pig driven to holiness,

      does this imply some sort of false holiness? I am unaware if pigs have any religious/Biblical significance

    3. Out of the gray hills Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride, West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties, Mothers hardening like pounded stumps, out of stumps, Out of the bones’ need to sharpen and the muscles’ to stretch, They Lion grow.

      Mothers, traditionally, are depicted as taking care of the children, and of being nurturing and graceful. Due to the trying times depicted in the poem, these Mothers are hardened by work (presumably, in addition to the fathers). They have sharpened their bones, strengthened their muscles, and possibly work themselves to death at times ("buried aunties").

      Who are the "Lions" in this stanza? Are their children, the products of this hardened environment, the Lions?

    4. acids of rage, the candor of tar,

      he is setting up a very angry, harsh environment. with "candor," he implies that this is a blatantly honest depiction of the scene he is setting up.

    5. They Lion grow.

      At first, I wondered if he is saying that from this toxic landscape, the people are hardening, turning into "Lions." However, by the end, it does seem to be leaning more towards what we were discussing in class on Tuesday, that this landscape and toxic industrialism is creating some sort of dangerous monster. Who/what the monster is, I am not 100% sure.

    6. white sins

      "white sins," to me, questions the degree of these sins. maybe, like a "white lie," he thinks they were inconsequential, or that they were necessary. or, perhaps he feels punished or guilty for things that were out of his control.