28 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. Pallas

      The Raven is, ironically, sitting on the bust of Pallas Athena above the narrator's chamber door. This is symbolic because Athena stood for wisdom and reason; when the raven perched itself upon it, it has now corrupted the narrator's reason.

    2. Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

      The narrator is asking the Raven if Lenore has been accepted into heaven with God.

    3. balm in Gilead?

      Gilead used to be a resin used for healing, and this reference shows that the narrator desparately wants to know if if there is any, perhaps because he wants to heal from his loss of his beloved Lenore.

    4. seraphim

      Merriam-Webster defines a "seraphim" as "one of the 6-winged angels standing in the presence of God." This reference is a good contrast to the darkness brought upon by the raven: light (seraphim) verses dark (raven).

    5. beguiling

      Beguiling, as defined by dictionary.com is "to influence by trickery, flattery, etc.; mislead; delude. to take away from by cheating or deceiving." The raven, in this particular line, tricked the depressed narrator to smile. This is the second time Poe repeats "beguiling" in this way. This instance then makes the narrator wonder more about the ominous raven.

    6. purple

      The color purple stands for "mysterious." This is a good use of foreshadowing by Poe.

    7. Lenore

      Lenore is a Greek name, and it means "light." If the narrator lost Lenore, his light, he is now in a sorrowful depression which is confirmed by the visitation of a ghastly raven.

    8. From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

      It sounds like the narrator is really hung up on this Lenore. He must have loved her so much that he now keeps books, his "surcease of sorrow" to remind him of his lost love.

    9. bleak December

      "Bleak December" is a useful word choice because it helps put the setting into conext; December is a month that symbolizes "death".

    1. Demon or bird!

      Whitman's line here reminds me of the line "And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming," The raven ("The Raven") has eyes like a demon, according to Poe's narrator.

    2. the notes of the bird continuous echoing,

      This line hints at the echoing of the raven in Poe's poem when he continuously says "Nevermore."

    3. fluttering

      "Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter," The fluttering can be connected to the movement of a bird's wings.

    4. blending myself with the shadows,

      "And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; / And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor." Both Whitman and Poe use the shadow as a way to establish a connection between the two narrators in the poems. Whitman's narrator is "blending myself with the shadows", as in, he is blending himself with the darkness. Poe uses the shadow to show the narrator's dark soul that was floating on the floor.

    5. One forenoon the she-bird crouch'd not on the nest,

      "Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— / Perched, and sat, and nothing more." The line about this bird in this poem mirrors how the raven was perched upon the chamber door in the narrator's room.

    6. Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating.

      This line mirrors how Poe's narrator in "The Raven" was viewing the bird.

    7. bird that chanted to me

      Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    8. From those beginning notes of sickness and love,there in the transparent mist,

      The yellow moon that rose late in the transparent mist could mark the beginning note of this sickness the narrator describes. The line is also ironic because it kind of mirrors the one heard during marriage vows "through sickness and in health..."

    9. yellow half-moon

      The color (bright) yellow can symbolize happiness, but in some cases (the dull or somber yellow) it can be a sign of sickness.

    10. Ninth-month midnight

      The mentioning of a "ninth-month" can symbolize the end of a pregnancy when a baby is about to be born. The "midnight" symbolizes the birth of a new day; a new day always begins at midnight. So, the "ninth-month midnight" could possibly signify the birth of someone/something in this poem.

    1. woman’s enlightenment is a man’s millenium.

      Fern uses a strategy of "straight forwardness" to help represent her persona. In this particular sentence that I've chosen to annotate, I get a hint of Fanny being somewhat sarcastic. The sarcasm could make her persona seem a bit more "fiery" and straight forward. Enlightenment, as defined by Merriam-Webster, (in a reference to Buddhism) is "a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering". Fern is basically saying that men can't, don't, and won't see a woman's "absence of desire to be equal to them and suffering from being oppressed for centuries" (enlightenment) in a man's millennium.

    2. Fourth of July. Well—I don’t feel patriotic.

      The Fourth of July is a holiday to celebrate American Independence, and here, Fanny is saying that she does not feel patriotic at all. She does not feel patriotic because she technically is not independent. She can't go out in the evening without a man at her side, and she can't run for office to be the next Governor of Vermont. She lives in the "Land of the free", and yet she has no freedom, therefore Fanny does not feel patriotic. This also seems to be Fanny resisting to the standards of authority men used to have over women.

    1. The poor men seem to be all in confusion and don’t know what to do.

      As the women's right movement continued to burn on in the 19th century, Sojourner Truth made the fire burn brighter. She was an orator, and with all of her speeches and Elizabeth Stanton/Susan B. Anthony's activism for women's right, men started to become worried. They became "confused" as Truth puts in, because women were starting to fight back about injustice. The men were at risk of losing their power (the control they've always had over women for centuries) and they "don't know what to do".<br> The picture I chose to add displays the authority/power men had over women in the 19th century.

    2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

      Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a woman's rights activist, helped organize the very first women's right convention. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony also fought strongly to get women the right to vote. The reference to Stanton is important here because it shows how well known Sojourner Truth was during the 19th century. She managed to get her speech "Ar'nt I a Woman?" published in Stanton's History of Woman Suffrage. Truth's speech being published in the most well known activist's book (Stanton) shows her importance as an abolitionist and as an activist.

  2. Mar 2017
    1. As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger, as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure.

      This is a fantastic metaphor used by Douglass to describe the determination of American men to separate from the King's rule during the Revolutionary War. The anchor, which symbolizes the American men, takes a firmer hold during the storm, which was the war against the King. Despite the war, the Americans took a firm hold and fought against the King. "...the cause of your fathers grow stronger," signifies the determination of the American men that grew throughout the war and eventually won them their independence.

    2. This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. I am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young.

      Douglass' choice of the word "your" is very important for the context of this passage. He uses "your" in these select few instances because slavery would not be abolished for another 13 years, and it was only 1852 when Douglass wrote this letter. He writes that the 4th of July is "...the birthday of your National Independence, and your political freedom" He is addressing the white supremacy and the power of white entitlement. Slaves, during 1852, would be lucky enough to own clothes or even a blanket. It was also preposterous to compare the equality of a white person verses a black person. Douglass' mentioning of the word "your" shows his recognition of a slave's place in the United States (during 1852) and of the power and right a color of skin held over another human being.

    3. placards

      A placard, as described by Merriam-Webster, is a sign that is used in demonstrations that can either be carried or hung somewhere for public display. The signs usually carry short messages and can also have catchy sayings to grab a passerby's attention during a demonstration. Douglass mentions "The papers and the placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July Oration" which suggests that people who likely carried placard signs at any sort of demonstrations wanted Douglass to speak at the oration on the 4th of July.

    1. Old age—even if it blot the page—is honorable.

      "Old age-even if it blot the page- is honorable." is a sentence that mirrors the meaning behind the saying "With age comes wisdom." Wisdom, according to many, is an honorable trait. A person of an older age is seen as having more experiences and interactions with life, therefore they have gained a lot of wisdom in doing so. The sentence could also be a metaphor to an old letter with stains of blotted ink. An older letter, even though stained from ink, could contain a lot of wisdom from its age.

    2. pursy

      Pursy, as defined by Dictionary.com, is an adjective to describe someone who is overweight in a "formal" sort of way. Pursy is also derived from the Old French word "polsif" which is meant to describe someone who has difficultly breathing. The usage of this word is important to the passage because it is a great way to describe Turkey. Turkey also shows off his "fullest beams", which confirms him being as "pursy".