1/24/2013

John Donne's "The Flea"

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“The Flea” is a story of a man trying to convince his lover to surrender her virginity to him, and at the center of his plea is a flea. In this clever poem Donne uses a flea, blood, and the death of the flea as an analogy for the oldest most primal exchange, sex. Donne, through symbolic images, not only questions the validity of coveting virginity but also the importance of sex as it pertains to life. The metaphors in “The Flea” are plentiful, but the symbols repeated throughout the poem are clear, beginning with the most prevalent, the flea. This minute creature is full of symbolic meanings. During the time this poem was written (the Renaissance) the flea was used in many poems about sex. In this particular poem the flea bites is symbolic of the act of sex from the man’s remark in the beginning, “Mark but this flea, and mark in this, how little that which deny’st me is” (886). The flea is small and trivial, and while the man’s lover denies him sex, we see the connection, his comparison of the two as such minute, insignificant things.

Historically speaking, sex in the 17th century was thought of as a mixing of the blood, and so the man begins to rationalize that, in a sense, the flea has mixed the blood of them both, thereby doing what his lover would not.

At this point he argues that since the flea has “mixed their blood”, why shouldnt they? He argues that since their bloods have mingled and are therefore one blood made of two (886), they are essentially of the same flesh and are therefore married! The flea is described as a marriage temple and a carrier of life, but then in the following stanza as something insignificant and small. Donne applies clever duality to the flea and therefore to sex. The metaphor develops more as it relates to the other symbols. Blood is used more than once as a symbol. The speaker talks of the blood reverently and likens it to honor. Blood in this poem is symbolic of life and the soul. The speaker remarks that in the flea his blood and his lover’s blood were mixed, therefore during sex their souls are mingled and become one. This is where the flea becomes a marriage temple. Now, not only has he reinforced his argument for the seduction of his lover, but he has also given a reason not to kill the flea. The flea at this point, at least in the man’s argument, is a symbol of marriage and copulation. Thus he defends it when his lover moves to kill it. He argues that by spilling the mixed blood of both, by killing the flea, she is in a sense committing murder. He also states that she would be guilty of sacrilege by desecrating the holy temple of marriage.

Ultimately when the flea is killed, he twists his argument around and declares that despite the sacred morals he has been preaching, killing the flea did not really denounce his lovers honor and despite the hallowed values she has invoked in refusing to have premarital sex, doing so would not denounce her honor either.

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This is an odd poem, but it shows Donne’s ability to turn unlikely images into detailed symbols of love and romance. Using the image of a flea that has just bitten the two lovers illustrates the bigger issue at hand. “How little that which thou deny’st me is” (886). Donnes insinuation at the erotic without ever directly referring to sex, while at the same time leaving no doubt as to exactly what he means, is as much a source of the poems wit as the ridiculous image of the flea is.



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1/23/2013

adam sandler

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What musician/singer do I think would make a great teacher? I think that Adam Sandler would make a great teacher. For many reasons, most people know him as a comedian and actor. Adam Sandler is also a well-known musician with an interesting background. Adam Sandler was born on September sixth, 166 in Brooklyn, New York. Adam graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of fine arts degree in 11. He has also starred in more than twenty movie roles in less than fifteen years. Adam was also a star on the hit television show Saturday Night Live with many other stars, such as Chris Farley, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Chevy Chase and many others. But In my eye he would be an exquisite teacher because he has a great sense of humor. I would see him teaching a drama class, because I imagine him acting out many parts of plays. But he also has the education to back up his choice on teaching. I would hope to learn the art of acting from him to. But in all I think it would be a privilege just to meet Adam Sandler. He is one of my idols because I love to make people laugh and he has such a great talent at doing what he does. To wrap this up I think that Adam Sandler would make a great teacher. I just hope that I’m not the kid who tries to crack a joke on him, because you know that he would embarrass that kid more than anyone else could.



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The Lottery

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From the beginning of the civilization on earth, people have many different superstitions, or beliefs about life. People believe if they were to do certain things, they would have good luck. Some of these superstitions go on for such long periods of time and people do them so often that they become traditions or rituals. Also, people who conform to old rituals and traditions often lose their minds and commit vicious actions against others out of tradition. For instance, some Hindu communities used to immolate a virgin to satisfy Goddess Kali from their beliefs that this sacrifice would bring luck and prosperity for them. In her short story, “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson is trying to point out that kind of evidences which people do in the name of tradition or ritual by describing a small town where the people have been taught to believe that in order for their crop to be abundant for the year, some individual have to be sacrificed.

The ritualistic characteristics of the lottery reveal through evidences like town people’s commentary on the traditional and modern ways of holding the lottery as well as observation of this gear’s proceedings. In the very beginning of the story, we see people of a small town gathers in the central square on June 7th to celebrate the annual lottery, right before the crop season. Among them there is much excitement and interest as the rituals of the event proceed. Every year the villagers take each persons name, make them to draw slips of paper from the black box. The person, who gets the paper with the mark on in, wins the lottery and gets stoned to death. They justify this dangerous ritual from the belief that “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” which means if they have a lottery before cropping season they will have a good season. This is one of those beliefs, or superstitions, they have that makes to think that their luck is going to become good.

According to old man Warner, who has been attending the lottery for seventy-seven years, villagers would be ‘crazy’ to give up the lottery. When Mr. Adam told old man Warner that the north village was talking about giving up the lottery, old man Warner snorted, “Pack of crazy fools. Listening to young folks, nothing’s good for them.” He then warned the villagers that their work ethics would be destroyed as soon as they gave up the lottery. He commented negative about the people who were talking to give up the lottery that “next thing you know, theyll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while”. Thus, the belief of disrupting the corn season by giving up the lottery and the fear of getting chosen for the lottery made the people of the town to destroy each other instead of working together to destroy the tradition.

As Tessie Hutchinson is getting stoned, someone from her community puts a stone in her sons hand. Even the closest family member participates in the horror. The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davey Hutchinson a few pebbles. (Jackson, The Lottery page 7) This action shows how tradition is being passed on literally from generation to generation. This stoning is the way that the people of the community act out their fear of being singled out, separated from the herd, being the one stoned. In other words, the tradition is so powerful and it has existed so long that no one will challenge it because they fear to change.

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1/22/2013

Wrestling - The Parents Worst Fear

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The average parent might be a little worried when her son says he wants to join the wrestling team. Wrestling is not what one would call the average contact sport. A wrestling match is a test of strength, speed, agility, endurance and above all, the ability to combine these things. Getting hurt is not difficult if the wrestlers do not know what they are doing. While gaining strength, speed, agility and the ability to endure intense exertion of energy for up to seven and a half minutes without stopping is no walk in the park, it is not the hardest part of being a member of a good wrestling team. Achieving family status with perfect strangers is often times the most difficult part of achieving a strong, functional, winning team. Wrestlers compete individually to earn points for their team and it hurts the team when a wrestler forgets that his victory is the team’s victory just as his loss is the team’s loss. As for any sort of team, a wrestling team is only as strong as its weakest link.

The first year I managed the wrestling team at Amherst Regional High School, I felt I could practically play two-square on the line between upperclassmen and underclassmen. The Captain rarely spoke to anyone outside of a match or practice, not even on the bus on the way to a match. The other senior on the team hated every last one of his teammates and let them know. He was a good wrestler, but when it came to helping anyone else, he thought it was a waste of time. He put a damper on the overall attitude of the team, which was never in high spirits anyway because we had to forfeit at least three weight classes (18 points) every match. We had a bunch of guys who liked to throw each other around with some skill, but most of them being underclassmen had limited skill. I would not have even called them a team that year. They had barely achieved tolerance of one another.

As our parents tell us more frequently than we care to hear it, we must learn from our mistakes. The next year the boys tore down the shack they had built themselves into and proceeded to start on the foundation of the powerhouse they are now. Everything starts with the foundation. If there is not a good foundation, the house will crumble as if through a sinkhole. In the past four years, the record for the ARHS wrestling team has ebbed and flowed. They have gone from not even winning half of their matches to a 16- (15- not counting non-division teams) record.

A tricky part of being team captain and maintaining such a strong foundation is making sure the new comers feel welcome and are brought up to speed quickly. Sometimes freshman come up through the middle school program knowing the basic skills and catch on fairly quickly. Others come in not knowing what they are getting themselves in to. They come in with enthusiasm and ambition but with little or no experience. For either type becoming a member of the ARHS wrestling team is not an easy process. The first week of practice is hard for everyone, but especially new wrestlers. They know if they want a varsity spot for the first match, they have to work extremely hard. Before the first match, each wrestler is weighed. If there is more than one wrestler in a weight class, they will have a wrestle-off, where two people wrestle and whoever wins gets the varsity spot.

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Watching the ARHS wrestling team communicate now is much like watching a pride of lions on the Discovery Channel. They are very playful with each other and they take very good care of each other. The littlest one who weighs only 10 pounds will run up and attack the biggest one who is twice his size and then some. The bigger one will accept the challenge but he is very aware of the little one’s limits. On bus rides and at daylong tournaments they laugh and joke at one another’s expense. Sometimes they pool their pocket change together and pay each other to do rather idiotic things. After the Western Mass. Tournament one year when we went to a Chinese buffet, they paid a sophomore six dollars to drink whatever they put into his glass. How he kept it all down I shall never know.

Among all the difficult tasks one has to perform when on a wrestling, maintaining his weight is probably one of the hardest. Wrestling season starts they day the students get back from Thanksgiving break. This means that the wrestlers should not stuff themselves at their holiday feasts because that would only make the first practice harder and get them farther away from their target weight (unless their target weight is more than they already weigh). Fortunately, the wrestling team is like Jenny Craig. One watches what he eats and exercises with a group. In a day, a wrestler might eat a piece of fruit for breakfast, skip lunch or have a few crackers and a bottle of Gatorade or PowerAde, and maybe have a bagel, a salad, or a Powerbar for dinner. If he is under weight, then he can have a sandwich or something that resembles an actual meal for a teenaged boy.

To keep their minds off of food and focused on wrestling, they often talk to each other wrestlers from other teams. They talk right through a match from handshake to handshake. If there is a flaw in the opponent’s stance, technique or overall match, it gets picked up on very quickly. Such analyses are critical at tournaments by the captains. There are only two coaches so they rely on the captains and more experienced wrestlers to show other wrestlers flaws as well as signature moves and tough holds to get out of in their opponents and show them either how to use their opponents’ mistakes against them or to defend against tight holds. Not only do they analyze other wrestlers but they analyze each other at the same time and give each other feedback. All of this is imperative to the structure of the wrestling powerhouse.

Knowing that the powerhouse is strong yet delicate is also critical in maintaining it. Not liking a teammate is no reason not to help him with his match or treat him differently inside the wrestling atmosphere. He is an important part of the team just as any other. Although he may not join in the bus laughter, he should not be made the butt of every joke. He contributes to his team in the ways that are most important.

Joining any wrestling team one has to be aware of some temporary sacrifices such as solid meals, free time and sleeping late on Saturday mornings. All of that is worthwhile when he is standing on the first place block at the Western Mass. Tournament being handed the first place trophy, medal and the poster sized bracket of his weight class.

Being the manager of the team and working so closely with the team without actually being on it, I have had the privilege of seeing what spectators and perhaps the wrestlers themselves have not seen the whole building process. I know my peers come to a match and see a bunch of boys in spandex rolling around on a mat looking like they are inflicting unbelievable amounts pain on each other. Parents come and support their babies. Mothers are particularly funny because they yell out things that have absolutely nothing to do with the sport and then cringe every two seconds because something looks bad even if it is not. The wrestlers see their teammate doing what he’s just been taught in practice growing stronger with every victory. I see something that is probably similar to what the coaches see. I see this powerhouse soaring up into a skyscraper. I see something on the mat that is more than just the result of hard practices and the desire to win. I see a group of boys who have come to know that winning is far from everything in an individual sport. Learning together is everything and together is how to win.

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The Little Prince (english) chapters 1-9

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Chapters I�III

Summary

Chapter I

But [a grown-up] would always answer, Thats a hat. Then I wouldnt talk about boa constrictors or jungles or stars. I would put myself on his level and talk about bridge and golf and politics and neckties. The novels narrator says that when he was six years old, before he became a pilot, he saw in a book a picture of a boa constrictor devouring a wild animal. In the same book, the narrator read that boa constrictors must hibernate for six months after swallowing their prey in order to digest it. Fascinated by this information, the narrator drew his first drawing, which he calls Drawing Number One. The drawing, a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, looked like a lumpy blob with two flat lines tapering off to the left and right. But grown-ups were not frightened by the picture, because they thought it was supposed to be a hat.

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To explain his drawing to adults, the narrator drew Drawing Number Two, an x-ray view of Drawing Number One that showed the elephant inside the snake. Disturbed by this image, grown-ups advised the narrator to give up drawing and pursue geography, arithmetic, and grammar instead. Realizing that grown-ups would always require things to be explained to them, the narrator decided not to be an artist and became a pilot instead. He admits that the geography he learned did prove to be useful for flying.

The narrators opinion of adults never improved. Every time he met a grown-up, he would test him by showing him Drawing Number One. The grown-ups would always think it was a picture of a hat. Consequently, the narrator knew he could talk with the grown-ups only about boring, pragmatic topics like politics and neckties.

Chapter II

The narrator feels lonely his whole life until one day, six years before he tells his story, he crashes his plane in the middle of the Sahara desert. As the situation is beginning to look dire, the pilot is shocked to hear an odd little voice asking him to draw a sheep. He turns to see the little prince. The prince looks like a small, blond child, but he stares intently at the pilot without the fear that a child lost in the desert would have. The pilot does not know how to draw a sheep, so instead he sketches Drawing Number One, and he is astounded when the little prince recognizes it as a picture of an elephant inside a boa constrictor. The little prince rejects Drawing Number One, insisting that he needs a drawing of a sheep. After drawing three different sheep that the prince rejects, the pilot finally draws a box and gives it to the little prince. He says that the box contains exactly the type of sheep for which he is looking. This drawing makes the little prince very happy. The prince wonders if the sheep will have enough grass to eat, explaining that the place where he lives is quite small.

Chapter III

The pilot tries to find out where his mysterious new friend comes from, but the little prince prefers asking questions rather than answering them. He questions the pilot about his plane and what it does, and the pilot tells the little prince that it allows him to fly through the air. The little prince takes comfort in the fact that the pilot also came from the sky, asking him what planet he comes from. The pilot is surprised by this question and tries to find out what planet the little prince comes from. But the little prince ignores the pilots queries and admires the sheep the pilot has drawn for him. The pilot offers to draw a post and a string to tie the sheep to so that it wont get lost, but the little prince laughs. The sheep will not get lost, he says, because he comes from a very small planet.

Chapter IV

From his conversation with the little prince, the narrator realizes that the planet the little prince comes from is only the size of a house. The narrator explains that when astronomers discover new planets, they give them numbers instead of names. The narrator is pretty sure that the little prince lives on Asteroid B-61, which was first sighted by a Turkish astronomer in 10. The astronomers presentation of his discovery was ridiculed at that years International Astronomical Congress because he wore traditional Turkish clothes. After a Turkish dictator ordered all his subjects to begin wearing European clothing, the astronomer presented his report again in 10 and was well received.

The narrator insists that he is telling us these details about the princes planet only to satisfy his grown-up readers. He says that grown-ups can understand only facts and figures; they never wonder about essential qualities like beauty and love. Grown-ups decide what is beautiful by measuring how old a person is or how much a house costs. To believe in the existence of the little prince, grown-ups need more proof than simply being told that the prince asked the narrator to draw him a sheep. They demand further, quantifiable proof of the little princes existence.

The narrator also mentions that he wants his book to be read carefully, as it has been very painful for him to recollect these memories of his little departed friend. The narrator worries that he is growing old, and he writes and illustrates his story so he will not forget the little prince. Drawing the pictures in particular reminds the narrator of what its like to be a child. He acknowledges, however, that he cannot see sheep through the walls of boxes, because like all humans, he has had to grow old.

Chapter V

Each day, the pilot learns a bit more about the little princes home. On the third day of the little princes visit, he finds out that the prince wants the sheep to eat the baobab seedlings that grow on his planet. Baobabs are gigantic trees whose roots could split the princes tiny planet into pieces. The little prince notes that one must be very careful to take care of ones planet. Since all planets have good plants and bad plants, one must remain vigilant and disciplined, uprooting the bad plants as soon as they start to grow. The prince remembers a lazy man who always procrastinated and ignored three small baobab bushes that eventually grew to overtake the mans planet. At the princes instruction, the narrator illustrates the overgrown planet as a warning to children. He adds that the baobabs pose an everyday threat that most people deal with without even being aware of it. The narrator states that the lesson to be learned from the story of the baobabs is so important that he has drawn them more carefully than any other drawing in the book.

Chapter VI

On his fourth day with the little prince, the narrator becomes aware of just how small the little princes planet really is. The little prince is surprised that on Earth, he has to wait for the sun to go down to see a sunset. On his planet, a person can see the end of the day whenever he likes by simply moving a few steps. The prince mentions that one day he saw forty-four sunsets and that sunsets can cheer a person up when he or she is sad. He refuses to tell the narrator, however, whether or not he was sad on the day he saw forty-four sunsets.

Chapter VII

If some one loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, thats enough to make him happy … But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him its as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. On his fifth day in the desert, the little prince wonders if his new sheep will eat both bushes and flowers. The pilot, who is trying to repair his plane, replies that sheep will eat anything, and the little prince asks him what use a flowers thorns are if they dont protect the flower. The pilot, frustrated with his engine and worried by his lack of food and water, yells that he is too busy with serious matters to answer the princes questions. Furious, the little prince accuses the pilot of acting like a grown-up instead of seeing whats really important. The little prince argues that if a truly unique flower exists on a persons planet, nothing is more important than wondering if a sheep will eat that flower. He then bursts into tears. Suddenly realizing that his new friends happiness is the most serious matter of all, the narrator cradles the little prince in his arms and comforts him by assuring the little prince that his flower will be fine. He offers to draw a muzzle for the sheep.

Chapter VIII

The prince tells the narrator all about his flower. One day, the prince notices a mysterious new plant sprouting on his planet. Worried that it might be a new type of baobab, he watches it cautiously at first. The sprout soon grows into a rose, a beautiful but vain creature who constantly demands that the little prince take care of her. The little prince loves the rose very much and is happy to satisfy her requests. He waters her, covers her with a glass globe at night, and puts up a screen to protect her from the wind. One day, however, the little prince catches the rose on the verge of making a minor lie. The rose says to the prince, Where I come from, even though she grew from a seed on the little princes planet and therefore does not come from anywhere. The roses lie makes the prince doubt the sincerity of her love. He grows so unhappy and lonely that he decides to leave his planet. The prince tells the pilot that he would not have left if he had looked at the roses deeds instead of her words. He realizes that the rose actually loves him, but he knows he is too young and inexperienced to know how to love her.

Chapter IX

On the day of the little princes departure from his planet, he cleans out all three of his volcanoes, even the dormant one, and he uproots all the baobab shoots he can find. He waters his rose a final time. As he is about to place the glass globe over the roses head, he feels like crying. He says good-bye to the rose. At first, she refuses to reply, but then she apologizes, assures the little prince that she loves him, and says she no longer needs him to set the globe over her. She says she will be fine without him to take care of her. Urging the little prince to leave, the rose turns away so he will not see her cry.



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