viernes, 3 de diciembre de 2010

Assignment 3: Post-Modernist Literatura

Assignment #3: Post-Modernist Literature
Compare and contrast the 2 Post-modern works with 2 of the other 4 works you have read.
Heart of Darkness (Victorian Literature, Joseph Conrad)
It is a novella written by Joseph Conrad and it is widely regarded as a significant work of English Literature. It exposes the dark side of European Colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters: 1)The darkness of the Congo wilderness; 2)The darkness of the Europeans´cruel treatment of the natives; 3)and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil.
There was spiritual darkness of several characters in this work, this sense of darkness also lends itself to a related theme of obscurity again, in various senses, reflecting the ambiguities in the work. Morality is ambiguous, that which is traditionally placed on the side of light is in darkness and vice versa.
It is a good example of Victorian Literature because the central themes were: 1.- The Hypocrisy of Imperialism 2.- Madness as a Result of Imperialism 3.-The Absurdity of Evil and at those times it was Good or Bad, God or Evil, Lightness or Darkness, it was no middle point in between them.
The Russia House (Post Modern Literature, John le Carré, 1989)
While Post Modernist Era live a process of absolute and total reevaluation and reappraisal of culture, history, identity and language. It had a good impact on Literature because all kind of themes are treated in Post Modern Literature producing a total explosion of colors as the least, emotions, suffering, happiness, death and life. The Russia House is a novel by Jon le Carré published in 1989. The title refers to the nickname given to the portion of the British Secret Intelligence Service that was devoted to spying on the Soviet Union.
The philosophical Barley Blair (protagonist, a middle-aged and heavy-drinking head of a modest family owned British publishing Company) reasons that governments are not the only ones who can manipulate and betray, and some things are more important than the games that spies play with others´lives. (Spy novel). Here we see distrust on theories and ideologies together with a complete rejection of conventional thinking in Post Modern Era.
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”( Allan Poe, USA, 1841-short story) Victorian Literature
In this short story the themes explored by the author were isolation/alienation, lack of communication, pessimism/despair, loss of faith which were central Victorian themes at that time. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” introduces a new genre of short fiction to American literature: the detective story. The detective story emerged from Poe’s long-standing interest in mind games, puzzles, and secret codes called cryptographs, which Poe regularly published and decoded in the pages of the Southern Literary Messenger. He would dare his readers to submit a code he could not decipher. More commonly, though, Poe created fake personalities who would send in puzzles that he solved. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” along with the later story “The Purloined Letter,” allows Poe to sustain a longer narrative in which he presents seemingly unsolvable conundrums that his hero, M. Auguste Dupin, can always ultimately master. Dupin becomes a stand-in for Poe, who constructs and solves an elaborate cryptograph in the form of a bizarre murder case.
Animals In Poe’s murder stories, homicide requires animalistic element. Animals kill, they die, and animal imagery provokes and informs crimes committed between men. Animals signal the absence of human reason and morality, but sometimes humans prove less rational than their beastly counterparts. The joke behind “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is that the Ourang-Outang did it. The savage irrationality of the crime baffles the police, who cannot conceive of a motiveless crime or fathom the brute force involved.
“The Secret Pilgrim” (J. le Carré, Spy Novel, United Kingdom, 1990)
The Secret Pilgrim is a 1990 novel, set within the frame narrative of a series of lectures by John le Carré's George Smiley, famous only within the 'Circus'. The memoirs, narrated by Ned, a former pupil of Smiley's, are, except for the last, triggered by tangential Smiley comments in lectures given at Sarratt, the spy-training college which Ned runs. However, they are primarily accounts of Ned's own experiences rather than of Smiley's. Ned, who does not give his surname, represents himself as the head of the Russia House in The Russia House, disgraced by the defection of Barley Blair and hence condemned to a semi-retirement in charge of Sarratt. In many senses the Secret Pilgrim is a collection of short stories, tied together as Ned's recollection. Many of them are recognisable anecdotes or urban legends within the British Intelligence community.
The Secret Pilgrim examines how people behave under extreme stress (pushing things to the limit). The most dramatic of these episodes is the one in which Ned is tortured by Polish agents. With all his courage he resists giving them what they want. He is beaten and loses teeth; he is tied to a rack and worked over.

viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2010

Assignment 2: Modernist Literature

1.- Which 2 readings did you choose?
I chose the following two readings: 1) Lawrence, T.E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Britain, 1922-autobiography) 2) Witton,G. Scapegoats of the Empire (Australia, 1907-memoir).

2.- Compare (3) and contrast (3) the reading you completed with the ppts. on Modernist culture and literature.
1.- The two World Wars effects on humanity
2.- Historical events described in both books
3.- The influence of Eastern thought and philosophy
1.- At that time came famous the interpretation of dreams but these books showed an excessive individualism.
2.- The readings were not as much pessimistic as they say they are
3.- The Great depression concerning lack of jobs, employments is not a relevant issue on both books.

3.- In your opinion, do you feel the readings you completed are very good or excellent examples of Modernist literature?
I did like best the book “Lawrence of Arabia” because I saw it on T.V. long time ago and the actor who played the role of Lawrence was the best looking man I have ever seen on the screen at that time. I think that both books are excellent examples of Modernist Literature because the themes explored in these books are the ones people used to live at that time of worldwide history.

4.- Would you recommend these readings to your friends and/or family? Why/why not?
Yes, absolutely because they belong to the development of modern literature where it is written the breaking from social forces, historical heritage, external culture and technique of life.

lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Grammar 600 Adverbials or Adverb Phrases in a text


An Indefensible Defense

1It can be hard to distinguish between the Bush administration and the Obama administration when it 2comes to detainee policy. A case the Supreme Court agreed last week to hear, Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, is 3one of those occasions.

4It turns on a principle held sacrosanct since the country’s early days: the government cannot arrest you 5without evidence that you committed a crime. An exception is the material witness law, which allows 6the government to keep a witness from fleeing before testifying about an alleged crime by somebody 7else.

8These principles were horribly twisted when John Ashcroft was President George W. Bush’s attorney 9general. The Justice Department held a former college football player in brutal conditions on the 10pretext that he was a material witness in a case in which he was never called to testify and which fell 11apart at trial.

12The Bush administration’s behavior was disturbing, and so is the Obama administration’s forceful 13defense of this outrageous practice of using a statute intended for one purpose for something very 14different. Judge Milan Smith Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals called it “repugnant to the 15Constitution.”

16The Justice Department arrested Abdullah al-Kidd, known as Lavoni Kidd when he was a star football 17player at the University of Idaho, at Dulles airport in March 2003 before he boarded a plane to Saudi 18Arabia, where he was going to work on his doctorate in Islamic studies. For over two weeks, he was 19treated like an enemy of the state — shackled, held in high-security cells lit 24 hours a day, and 20sometimes humiliated by strip searches. When Mr. Kidd was released, he was ordered to live with his 21wife and in-laws, restrict his travels and report to a probation officer. The restrictions lasted 15 22months.

23The government said Mr. Kidd was a material witness against Sami Omar Hussayen, who was tried for 24supporting an Islamic group that the government said “sought to recruit others to engage in acts of 25violence and terrorism.” A jury acquitted Mr. Hussayen on some charges and didn’t reach a verdict on 26others. Mr. Kidd was not called to testify. Nor was he ever charged with a crime.

27Mr. Kidd sued Mr. Ashcroft personally, saying he unlawfully used the material witness statute as a 28pretext. The former attorney general asserted that he had immunity. In the ruling now being reviewed 29by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit found that he did not.

30To qualify for absolute immunity, the appeals court said, Mr. Ashcroft had to be prosecuting Mr. Kidd, 31not investigating him. When the purpose is “to investigate or pre-emptively detain a suspect,” at most 32a prosecutor is entitled to qualified immunity. Mr. Ashcroft didn’t qualify even for that because Mr. 33Kidd made a plausible case that it was the attorney general’s own strategy that led to misuse of the 34material witness statute.

35The word “plausible” is key. In 2009, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court sided with Mr. Ashcroft 36and others in a lawsuit, because the complaint against them was too vague and the allegations were 37not plausible. The government hasn’t challenged the plausibility of the core allegations in the current 38case.

39Prosecutorial immunity is intended to let prosecutors enforce the law without fear of being held 40personally liable. Protecting that legitimate aim did not require the administration to defend the 41indefensible. In forcefully defending the material witness statute on grounds that curtailing it would 42severely limit its usefulness, it is defending the law as a basis for detention. That leaves the 43disturbing impression that the administration is trying to preserve the option of abusing the statute 44again.

MORALS WITHOUT GOD? grammar 600 homework

October 17, 2010, 5:15 pm

Morals Without God?


1I was born in Den Bosch, the city after which Hieronymus Bosch named himself. [1] This 2obviously does not make me an expert on the Dutch painter, but having grown up with 3his statue on the market square, I have always been fond of his imagery, his symbolism, 4and how it relates to humanity’s place in the universe. This remains relevant today since 5Bosch depicts a society under a waning influence of God.

6His famous triptych with naked figures frolicking around — “The Garden of Earthly 7Delights” — seems a tribute to paradisiacal innocence. The tableau is far too happy and 8relaxed to fit the interpretation of depravity and sin advanced by puritan experts. It 9represents humanity free from guilt and shame either before the Fall or without any Fall 10at all. For a primatologist, like myself, the nudity, references to sex and fertility, the 11plentiful birds and fruits and the moving about in groups are thoroughly familiar and 12hardly require a religious or moral interpretation. Bosch seems to have depicted 13humanity in its natural state, while reserving his moralistic outlook for the right-hand 14panel of the triptych in which he punishes — not the frolickers from the middle panel — 15but monks, nuns, gluttons, gamblers, warriors, and drunkards.

16Five centuries later, we remain embroiled in debates about the role of religion in 17society. As in Bosch’s days, the central theme is morality. Can we envision a world 18without God? Would this world be good? Don’t think for one moment that the current 19battle lines between biology and fundamentalist Christianity turn around evidence. One 20has to be pretty immune to data to doubt evolution, which is why books and 21documentaries aimed at convincing the skeptics are a waste of effort. They are helpful 22for those prepared to listen, but fail to reach their target audience. The debate is less 23about the truth than about how to handle it. For those who believe that morality comes 24straight from God the creator, acceptance of evolution would open a moral abyss.

jueves, 16 de septiembre de 2010

Assignment 1: "Victorian Literature"

01. Which 2 readings did you select from the list?

I selected two books from the list you published

1.- Poe, E.A. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (USA, 1841-short story)

2.- Conrad, J. Heart of Darkness (Britain, 1899-novel)

02. Using these readings, compare (3 examples) and contrast (3 examples) the works with the ppt presentations on Victorian Literature and Culture given in class.

In the book “Heart of Darkness”

1.- Pilgrims and characters seem to be civilized people but they were not civilized at all.

2.- Ambition is the reason why characters get into conflict with the rest of the world.

3.- It is presented the dark side of human life due poverty, bad people.

4.- New views on everything, new inventions and devices.

5. - Conrad´s deterministic thought shaped by the ideas of Darwin in the evolution of the species.

6.- The writer described a person or a place just as you see in a moment, things as they are.

In the book “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

1.- It is shown mystery and terror all through his work.

2.- The grotesque and dark side of life in his work.

3.- Women had a secondary role in society.

4.- Poet was a heavy drinker and gambler. Elements which were forbidden in that period.

5.- Allusion is present in his work.

6.- He is a romantic poet marked by the extermination of Indians. Founder of the detective stories. War against Mexico, America took Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

03. Do you feel that the readings you completed are very good or excellent examples of Victorian Literature? Why/Why not?

Yes, these readings are excellent examples of Victorian Literature because of the themes and symbols shown in each book.

04. Would you recommend these readings to your friends and family? Why/Why not?

I would recommend “The Murders in The Rue Morgue” because It is easy to read and The vocabulary used there is not complicated, you will not get bored reading this short story.

“Heart Of Darkness” Is a cultural novel showing the dark side of slavery, ambition and evil. However is lot more complicated to understand it , Class struggle in opposition to religion(Catholic church) is present in his novel.

martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Assignment : Middle English

1. Approximately when was Middle English spoken?
Middle English was in use between the late 11th century up to appriximately the 16 century
2. What were the major factors which led to the development and the spread of Middle English?

The diversity of forms in written Middle English may signify neither greater variety of spoken forms of English than could be found in pre-Conquest England, nor a faithful representation of contemporary spoken English. This diversity suggests the gradual end of the role of Wessex as a focal point and trend-setter for scribal activity, and the emergence of more distinct local scribal styles and written dialects, and a general pattern of transition of activity over the centuries that follow.

3. Match the following Old English words with their Anglo-Norman equivalent: A. Pig B. Cow C. Wood D. Sheep E. House F. Worthy G. Bold

A. Pig = Pork

B. Cow = Beef

C. Wood = Forest

D. Sheep = Mutton

E. House = Mansion

F. Worthy = Honourable

G. Bold = Courageous

4. Compare & contrast the structure of nouns, pronouns and verbs, between Middle English & Modern English.

The contrast of these kinds of words is that they are simplified , the grammar of Middle English is much closer to that of modern English than that of Old English. Compared to other Germanic languages, it is probably most similar to that of modern Dutch.

5. How is pronunciation different between Middle English and Modern English?

All letters in Middle English words were pronounced. (Silent letters in Modern English come from pronunciation shifts, which means that pronunciation is no longer closely reflected by the written form.) . Therefore 'knight' was pronounced [kniçt] (with a pronounced and the as the in German 'Knecht'), not [naɪt] as in Modern English.

6. What is the Chancery Standard, and how did it come into effect?

Chancery Standard was a written form of English used by government bureaucracy and for other official purposes from the late 15th century. It is believed to have contributed in a significant way to the development of the English language as spoken and written today. Because of the differing dialects of English spoken and written across the country at the time, the government needed a clear and unambiguous form for use in its official documents. Chancery Standard was developed to meet this need.

7. Who wrote the Canterbury Tales?

Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century.

8. Describe the medieval pilgrims who journeyed from Canterbury to London.

The contrast of these kinds of words is that they are simplified , the grammar of Middle English is much closer to that of modern English than that of Old English. Compared to other Germanic languages, it is probably most similar to that of modern Dutch.

9. Why did the pilgrims take this journey?

They wend their way to Canterbury from every shire of England to seek the holy blessed martyr, Thomas Becket, who has helped them when they were sick.

10. It is thought that some of the stories in The Canterbury Tales originated in Italy. What was the name of the Italian book and who wrote it?
The Canterbury Tales were written in Middle English, specifically in a dialect associated with London and spellings associated with the then emergent chancery standard. Although no manuscript of the Tales exists in Chaucer's own hand, two were copied around the time of his death by Adam Pinkhurst. 11. The Canterbury Tales is considered an extremely important book, both in terms of English Literature & in the history of English writing. In your opinion, why is this book so important?

It's important because it gave to the English Language, the main root of words from Old English up to now. Besides that The Canterbury Tales contributed in terms of culture and history.

12. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is: It is a detailed explanation of the proper etiquette & behaviour for all knights in Medieval Europe.
13. Who is Sir Gawain?
He was a knight of King Arthur´s round table.
14. What is the challenge that The Green Knight proposes to the Knights of the Round Table?
The Green Knight offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day.
15. What is the similarity between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Irish tale of Cúchulainn?
In this Irish tale of Cúchulainn parallels Gawain in that, like The Green Knight Cú Chulainn´s antagonist feints three blows with the axe before letting his target depart without injury.
16. What is the importance of the pentagram/pentangle in the poem?
The pentagle symbolizes the virtues to which Gawain aspires such as to be faultless in his five senses; never to fail in his five fingers; to be faithful to the five wounds that Christ received on the cross; to be strengthened by five joys that the Virgin Mary had in Jesus; and to possess brotherly love, courtesy, piety, and chastity.
17. How are numbers used to symbolize events in the poem?
The poet highlights number symbolism to add symmetry and meaning to the poem.
18. What is the significance of Sir Gawain's neck wound?
Gawain´s wound is an outward sign of an internal wound.

19. Which actor played The Green Knight in the film adaptation, Sword of the Valiant?
Tha actor who played The Green Knight in that film was Sean Connery.
20. In many ways this poem is, in the modern sense, a soap opera. Compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with a modern Chilean teleseries. I can compare this poem with Miguel Carrera soap opera which is a Chilean teleserie, fighting for all those values or virtues encountered in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight poem.