Thursday, October 4, 2012

AP Seniors: Friday's COW Work


Hello, seniors. Today you will use the COWs to complete several academic tasks.

1. You will find your high-stakes thesis poem here. I would like this thesis in hard copy form. Proofread, please.

2. Click here for a What is the What Readers' Guide. Use this as a resource. Save a digital copy or print any necessary pages. You may find the character and setting lists useful.

3. Click here to read an  interview with Eggers and Deng. Post a brief paragraph describing facets of the interview that may guide your experience as a reader.

4. If you have headphones, click here to listen to an NPR interview with Eggers. Offer a brief paragraph in the same spirit as prompt 3.

5. Below are links to photographic portfolios from "The Big Picture." Peruse them and offer 3 commentaries regarding 3 images that compel you to do so.

South Sudan Conflict
A New Nation
A Historic Vote
Scenes from Sudan

6. Select one of the works we have covered in class ("Otherwise," "Sonnet XXV," "The Flea," one of the Jigsaw poems, Chapter 1 of What is the What, or the excerpt from Gary Soto). Begin- and complete- a formal analysis of the selected work. You will type and submit it as  a comment to the appropriate post (above) by Friday, October 12. This analysis should represent your best effort toward AP-level writing; take advantage of the luxuries of time and revision while you have it. I will use the rigorous AP rubric to assess these as a test. Obviously, this can have significant pull on your average for term 1. Aim for mastery, which is a reasonable expectation considering the amount of time that you have. Take into consideration all of the analysis, thesis, sentence, and paragraph instruction we have covered. Get started now, and put forth your best effort. The rubric is not kind to strangers*.


*personification

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

3. The interview with Dave Eggers and Valentino was very eye-opening. I am very glad that the pair did something like this to explain to readers that although this is a novel, most things in the story actually happened to an extent. What I found most interesting was the section where Valentino explained that if something sounded incredible or extraordinary, then it was probably more true than what readers might expect. This allows readers to understand the validity of Eggers's novel which is very important when it comes to the overall intended message.

Dan Rafuse

Rachel Anderson said...

Rachel Anderson
3. Eggers and Deng interview:
Understanding the genre, point of view, and historical perspective of the novel enhances reader experience. In the interview,Eggers and Deng specify that the book is fiction,for despite its factual information, many events and characters were condensed and rearranged. Eggers explains how the book was written in the voice of Deng in order to encompass the full impact of the events. The men also discuss the historical perspective, reminding readers that the novel is about one man's experiences, not the experiences of all Sudanese people. This information allows reads of What is the What to grasp the conceptual significance of the novel.

Rachel Anderson said...

Rachel Anderson
3. Eggers and Deng interview:
Understanding the genre, point of view, and historical perspective of the novel enhances reader experience. In the interview,Eggers and Deng specify that the book is fiction,for despite its factual information, many events and characters were condensed and rearranged. Eggers explains how the book was written in the voice of Deng in order to encompass the full impact of the events. The men also discuss the historical perspective, reminding readers that the novel is about one man's experiences, not the experiences of all Sudanese people. This information allows reads of What is the What to grasp the conceptual significance of the novel.

Jillian Allard said...

Jillian Allard

3. In this interview, Eggers and Deng discuss how they met and how the book came to be. Eggers met Deng through his friend, Mar Williams, who worked with the Lost Boys Foundation. Deng initially wanted to write his own book but found that his basic education was not enough to effectively convey his powerful story. Eggers didn’t want to lose Deng’s “voice” by writing the book from the third person perspective so he chose to write as if he was Valentino. The two communicated in person, over the phone and through emails. The work is categorized as a novel because Eggers had to fill in plot holes, compress time and make other small adjustments. All of the things in the book were experienced by Valentino or a large majority of the Lost Boys. Deng wants to use the proceeds of the book to make positive changes in his home country.

4. In this radio interview, a woman with a soft, monotone voice, that one automatically associates with NPR and is one of the reasons why the station has low ratings, asks Eggers and Deng questions in an emotionless, distant voice. When Deng is forced to flee his village and begin walking through the wilderness, he thinks the journey will be short; this is not the case. Deng, a young boy then, sees dead humans, some eaten by animals, and is told by elders that he needs to keep his faith to stay alive. Some of the boys begin acting strange, like a boy who wouldn’t sleep, and his friend, Deng, who complained about missing his family and eventually died in his sleep. Finally, Valentino briefly talks about how he thought America would offer him greater opportunities. Then, Eggers takes over talking for him; apparently so immersed in the Deng persona that he adopted to write the book, Eggers believes that he, a white, privileged male, is better equipped to answer the question. He explains how Deng had to work diligently at a community college for years to get enough credits to attend other colleges. On a complete tangent, Valentino has an intriguing, beautiful accent.

5. Photo number 22 from “Southern Sudan Conflict” is not the most graphic or interesting of shots but struck me the most. This image of a SPLA leader sitting in a plastic chair, his sneakers resting on the dry, cracked ground isn’t the mental image I conjure up when someone says “war.” His casual footwear seems incompatible with his official uniform and the plethora of automatic weapons surrounding him. Also, in the bottom left corner of the image is a soldier wearing flip-flops. The incongruencies show that the chaos in Southern Sudan is not a war between trained soldiers but murder committed by a hastily assembled, glorified mob.
Picture 25 from “Scenes from Sudan” was an action shot that catches the eye but whose implications add more depth. Villagers are swarming around supplies provided by the World Food Program and some have started skirmishes over the items. The sheer desperation that most of these people are experiencing over obtaining small packages of food, things many of us take for granted, is astounding. This one image reveals the most primal, basic of human instincts, self-preservation; when civilization breaks down, social and moral codes degrade.
Another picture from “Scenes from Sudan,” number 32, is an aerial shot of a village in Akobo, Southern Sudan. This image is overwhelming if you imagine an entire nation of people enduring this harsh, barren land. It is one thing to hear about desserts with huts made of straw and mud; it is an entirely different thing to see what the environment is actually like. I can only image what it would be like to actually experience these conditions. Despite the difficulties presented by their climate and location, an entire community flourishes because the people are resilient and knowledgeable of the area.

Jillian Allard said...

Jillian Allard

3. In this interview, Eggers and Deng discuss how they met and how the book came to be. Eggers met Deng through his friend, Mar Williams, who worked with the Lost Boys Foundation. Deng initially wanted to write his own book but found that his basic education was not enough to effectively convey his powerful story. Eggers didn’t want to lose Deng’s “voice” by writing the book from the third person perspective so he chose to write as if he was Valentino. The two communicated in person, over the phone and through emails. The work is categorized as a novel because Eggers had to fill in plot holes, compress time and make other small adjustments. All of the things in the book were experienced by Valentino or a large majority of the Lost Boys. Deng wants to use the proceeds of the book to make positive changes in his home country.

4. In this radio interview, a woman with a soft, monotone voice, that one automatically associates with NPR and is one of the reasons why the station has low ratings, asks Eggers and Deng questions in an emotionless, distant voice. When Deng is forced to flee his village and begin walking through the wilderness, he thinks the journey will be short; this is not the case. Deng, a young boy then, sees dead humans, some eaten by animals, and is told by elders that he needs to keep his faith to stay alive. Some of the boys begin acting strange, like a boy who wouldn’t sleep, and his friend, Deng, who complained about missing his family and eventually died in his sleep. Finally, Valentino briefly talks about how he thought America would offer him greater opportunities. Then, Eggers takes over talking for him; apparently so immersed in the Deng persona that he adopted to write the book, Eggers believes that he, a white, privileged male, is better equipped to answer the question. He explains how Deng had to work diligently at a community college for years to get enough credits to attend other colleges. On a complete tangent, Valentino has an intriguing, beautiful accent.

5. Photo number 22 from “Southern Sudan Conflict” is not the most graphic or interesting of shots but struck me the most. This image of a SPLA leader sitting in a plastic chair, his sneakers resting on the dry, cracked ground isn’t the mental image I conjure up when someone says “war.” His casual footwear seems incompatible with his official uniform and the plethora of automatic weapons surrounding him. Also, in the bottom left corner of the image is a soldier wearing flip-flops. The incongruencies show that the chaos in Southern Sudan is not a war between trained soldiers but murder committed by a hastily assembled, glorified mob.
Picture 25 from “Scenes from Sudan” was an action shot that catches the eye but whose implications add more depth. Villagers are swarming around supplies provided by the World Food Program and some have started skirmishes over the items. The sheer desperation that most of these people are experiencing over obtaining small packages of food, things many of us take for granted, is astounding. This one image reveals the most primal, basic of human instincts, self-preservation; when civilization breaks down, social and moral codes degrade.
Another picture from “Scenes from Sudan,” number 32, is an aerial shot of a village in Akobo, Southern Sudan. This image is overwhelming if you imagine an entire nation of people enduring this harsh, barren land. It is one thing to hear about desserts with huts made of straw and mud; it is an entirely different thing to see what the environment is actually like. I can only image what it would be like to actually experience these conditions. Despite the difficulties presented by their climate and location, an entire community flourishes because the people are resilient and knowledgeable of the area.

Taylor Saltmarsh said...

Taylor Saltmarsh
3.) Dave Eggers and Valentino Interview
In this interview Valentino reveals that some characters have been combined and some things that happen are made up. However, the things that would strike the reader the most are the things that are entirely true. Also the book is classified as fiction because some things that took place in the book differ from what actually happened. Valentino was young when some of the scenes actually took place and all he could describe were certain images.

4.) In this interview we learn that it was very hard for Dave Eggers to fill in the gaps of Valentino’s story. It was also very important for Dave Eggers to capture how exactly Valentino lived, and the constantly changing emotions, thoughts, and confusion. Also, Eggers discusses how hard it was for Valentino to start college and fulfill the dreams he had when he came to the United States of America.

5.) South Sudan Conflict: In this image there is a man on the ground that appears to be in some sort of conflict, but the thing that strikes me the most about him are the way his eyes are looking up at the sky in a hopeful manner.
A New Nation: This picture contains Sudan civilians who are holding up the flag and cheering. All of them look very happy and victorious, because they endured terrible struggles to get to that point.
Scenes from Sudan: In this picture there is a young boy from Sudan who is handing out flags. What strikes me the most about this image is the fact that this child, for being so young, has this look of innocent hope on his face, and even he knows that things so be different, he is passing that message on.

Anonymous said...

#3:
While reading “What is the What” now I can picture Valentino telling the story himself instead of the author telling the story. Dave Eggers purposely wrote in Valentino’s voice to erase his own influence from the story. It is Valentino’s life story, not Dave’s. I respect this deeply.
I am shocked this book took three years to create. I thought it would take shorter because the story was basically already proposed inside of Valentino’s memory. But now I realize that the storyline was harder to produce because of the length of Valentino’s memory. After reading this interview I will appreciate the book much more.

#4:
Valentino’s voice is exactly what I pictured in my head while reading “What is the What”. He seemed to know English well and that surprised me but I guess it shouldn’t be surprising considering he has been in the United States since 2001. Dave Eggers speaks highly of Valentino, calling him “brilliant”, and I thought that was kind and true. The way Valentino spoke you could tell he was not only literate but intelligent. You could also tell that Dave and Valentino knew each other very well. Probably Dave knew Valentino more because he was writing Valentino’s life story but I felt a strong connection between the two of them.

#5:
First picture: #5 in South Sudan Conflict album
This picture captures my attention because of the emotion you can feel when you look at it. It is a picture of a man clenching his fists, with tears in his eyes, close up to the camera. He looks as if he’s been through a lot and there are numerous emotions showing on his face. He seems angry, scared, and as if he wants to seek revenge.
Second picture: #18 in A New Nation
In this picture there seems to be a hopeful tone. The pastor has his hands on the shoulders of two children and around them are other kids. Everyone in the picture is either smiling or appear to be confident. The way the pastor is standing symbolizes hope and the overcoming of struggle.
Third picture: #37 in Scene of Sudan
Portrayed in this image is a woman watching television in a house with bare walls, a dirt floor, and a simple bed. I believe this woman has been through a lot judging by the look of serenity on her face. This picture was taken after the voting and she seems like now peace has finally been brought to her life.

Amanda Ward

Jordan Ledwith said...


3. The reader can take away from this interview that it was a long process in writing the book. Taking this into consideration, the writers have made sure that the story as a good flow and that all of the points that want to be made by the authors are being made. The two are very passionate about the subject and want people to know about Valentino’s story in detail. He would like to separate himself from the other Lost Boys and tell his story. The point of the book, however, is bigger than this. The authors want people to understand the problems that are occurring in Sudan and why this story is so relevant. They want to change, or rather enhance, the American perspective on the Sudan culture.

4. During this NPR interview, Dave Eggars and Valentino are interviewed by a lady with a soft, soothing voice. As they begin to talk about the book, it is apparent how much Valentino had been through in his short lifespan. He had been in the refugee camps for eleven years, and his accounts of the things he had witnessed as a boy were horrifying. He had seen people die, he never knew if he was going to wake up in the morning or where he was. Valentino speaks with careful consideration of the words he chooses to say. This interview gives incredible insight into the book and the world of Valentino.

5. South Sudan Conflict #5
The image depicted in this photo is of a man. Just his face. You can see the pain and anger in his eyes. The marketplace had just been burned down. It is evident in this man’s face that he does not care for those who are letting this happen. Pointing back towards the scene behind him, it is almost as if he is pointing to something he cannot believe happened and is asking the viewer if he or she sees it also.
A New Nation #7
The boy in this photo seems overcome with joy. Surrounded by cattle, it is quite clear that this boy, who seems to have so little, he is barley covered by a cloth around him, seems quite happy and overjoyed. This photo depicts the clear emotions that the Sudan people have while being granted independence. The area around this boy seems bleak and barren, yet this boy looks overcome with excitement and joy.
A Historic Vote #18
People are lined up as far as the eye can see. It is clear that many of the people living in Sudan are taking part in the voting process. Everyone is behind a fence, and a bare tree is present in the center of the picture with a rising sun behind it, clearing a sort of silhouette of the tree, making it seem like it is early in the morning. These people obviously care about their right to vote.

Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller

3.) There were faucets within the interview that may guide my experience as a reader, and they include that the book is mostly a work of nonfiction, and that the events that happened to Valentino happened to a lot of kids in Sudan. Although some aspects are slightly altered and embellished, like the time line, to fit twenty years into a single book. Also, the events and hardships that Valentino underwent happened to several boys in Sudan; others were pursued by the SPLA, struggled to get to the refuge camps, and traveled on foot across the country. Knowing that the book is mostly nonfiction and a shared experience for other Sudanese kids helps in understanding the novel.

4.) From the interview, we are able to listen to the accent of Valentino. We are able to get more of the cultural background by hearing the way that Valentino speaks, and wouldn’t be able to without actually hearing him talk.

5.) 1-Image 16 on Southern Sudan Conflict. It is a picture of a young civilian boy who is badly burnt. The caption states that the boy was burnt during a Southern Sudan airstrike and is being treated at the military hospital. His face is badly burnt, and he looks extremely sad. It is upsetting to see someone that young in that much physical pain.
2-Image 14 on Scenes from Sudan. It is a picture of a young boy, two years old, who is extremely skinny and looks upset. You can see his bones pushing against his skin, and the caption underneath says that 46% of kids under five in Akobo are malnourished, and it says that he is one of them. It says that Akobo is one of the hungriest places on Earth and has suffered a terrible drought.
3-Image 1 on A New Nation. I chose this image because everyone in the picture seems extremely happy and are waving the Sudanese flag. The caption states that Southern Sudan has removed themselves from Northern Sudan to become the World’s newest nation. Everyone in the picture is exhilarated and screaming, no one looks upset, and everyone is celebrating.

Seth Killingbeck said...

3. The various aspects of Egger’s approach to writing What is the What, helps add to the power of the book’s setting and themes. Egger’s story is based around the real life events of Deng, but with a twist. He did so much research into creating this novel. The book created a close bond between him and Deng that makes the book feel more beautiful in that respect. The fact that Egger recreated Deng’s voice by utilizing the tapes at his disposal showcases his talent as an author as it makes the character more authentic. Egger’s voice and Valentino’s are indistinguishable and gives more feeling for the character. Even though some of the stories are fabricated, they feel realistic because these events actually happened in Sudan. Knowing about the realism of these events helps the theme greatly in the novel.

4. The interview with Deng and Egger only furthers how important their connection is in the creation of the novel. Upon Egger’s reading of a passage from his novel, one can feel the connection he’s made to Deng, being able to accurately portray Valentino accurately almost becoming him. Valentino mentions his experiences and how they are very close, but different than what Egger had written. It shows Egger’s devotion to the cause of the lost boys. Any of these events could have and more likely did happen. It aids in the impact of the story hearing a witness to these events as it reduces skepticism and makes it seem more real.
5. Image 21 of the South Sudan conflict captures the state of the nation in one simple gaze. A man, who at some point in his life a simple villager, stares off into a compound at his injured comrades who came from similar backgrounds as him. In his bloodshot eyes one can see glimpses of the tragedies he has witnessed. The man appears weary of the war and just wishes that it would all end and that he could return to his once simple life. This man represents war’s damage not only physically, but emotionally. He in a way, is just as much a casualty as the injured inside the compound.

In stark contrast to the previous image, image 35 under a New Nation portrays a triumphant scene. Citizens of the newly arisen South Sudan are standing together to celebrate their new freedom. They celebrate not only the rise of their nation, but the soldiers who had been slain or wounded in the struggle for independence. Flags decorate the sea of war weary patrons as they cheer for their brothers in arms’ victory. Many of these faces remain solemn in their memory but share the same spirit as their cheering brethren. Liberty at last is in their reach.

Under the Deciding Vote, image 34 is a beautiful depiction of the Sudanese voters. Under their new liberty many of these citizens for the first time are choosing who will lead them. Many are up at the crack of dawn waiting, and waiting for the polls to be open. Their silhouettes against the growing light of democracy rising in the sky create a spectacular portrayal of their newly arisen hope. These people have seen the end of bloody conflict and wait now to see who the next will be to further their great people. They hope to see many more sunrises like this.

Anonymous said...

3. One of the most striking details of this interview is the direct mention that though not all events and specific happenings in the story are true, the most wild and incredible ones are. To me, this is strongly evocative of a critical point Tim O’Brien stresses in his book The Things They Carried regarding the construction of a story. The motives of the two authors are all but identical; both men strive not only to tell the story of extreme hardship and true adventure, but to make the audience feel the story. In order to achieve their goal, both Eggers and O’Brien strategically alter actual events so that the reader develops a true sense of the meaning of the events rather, than a mere timeline. O’Brien suggests that this is how to tell a real war story, and it is a powerful approach that makes the greatest impression upon the audience while preserving the inspiration and core truth of the subject. On a personal note, this was an amazing thing to read because I found O’Brien’s approach extremely engaging and successful, which increased my curiosity and hopeful outlook on What Is The What.

Bry Dague

Anonymous said...

4. In this National Public Radio interview Dave Eggers and Valentino both alluded to the complete and total change in mindset that the Lost Boys underwent on their journey to safety and how, at some points, they wondered if their minds would ever be back to normal. As I read this novel, I am now prompted to search for subtle signs in language or action which suggest such a radical shift in mental processes or well-being. I will be interested to see if there has been a level of psychological healing and adjustment to ‘normal’ life, or if Valentino still harbors the trauma of his past. The novel begins with a fairly well-adjusted young man and the journey to that point that unravels will be interesting, especially the transition of mind that will be necessary for Valentino. This interview has prompted me to scrutinize the words of the pages extra carefully and try to discern if Valentino has, in fact, managed the monumental task of reaching a point of mental comfort and stability after his harrowing journey.

Bry Dague

Anonymous said...

5-1. Under the journal titled “A New Nation” there is an image of a young Sudanese man who is holding up his blood-coated palms to the camera with pride and excitement. The old saying “caught red handed” flashes to mind and then seems particularly peculiar in this context. The connotation of the saying is one of secrecy and shame at being caught in a bad act. However, this person is eager to display his action and to make known the reason for which he is acting in such a manner. The whole situation, with the common-for-us saying in mind reminds me that this man comes from a world which is very different from mine and many things, such as a symbol like red hands, can mean wildly different things for us.
5-2. Under the same journal title, image number 28 is particularly striking. It is not striking due to its violent or graphic nature since it is free from those qualities. Instead, it offers an insight, which borders on comical, into the environment of part of Juba. As a monkey struts across the foreground of the image, many people in working clothes sit on an industrial looking structure and occupy themselves in what appears to be a very corporate way. The juxtaposition of wild incivility and forward thinking western ideas is interesting and poses interesting questions to the viewer about the origin, acceptance, and depth of both the wilderness and civility of the society shown here.
5-3. Under the final journal in the series, Scenes from Sudan, image number 2 is striking to me for yet another reason. This photo depicts a large group of Sudanese people riding, tightly packed, on a truck to a place where they can cast their vote. Though there are millions of people in the United States who are adamant about casting their vote and making their voice heard, there is still a very large number who ignore their right to such a choice. Given that we are faced with a very large election here in America in less than a month, a scene such as the one in this picture helps to remind those of us that we too are able to vote, as well as how easy we really have it. The people in Sudan must go to much greater lengths and expend far more effort to cast their ballot than most of us here, yet they manage to do it. I think that there is a lesson to be learned from this image, and it is to not take for granted the freedoms that we have and to appreciate the relative convenience of voting in the United States. This image should inspire each viewer to take the steps that they must to vote and make their voice heard.

Bry Dague

Anonymous said...

#4

The NPR interview with Dave Eggers and Valentino Deng can be looked at in two ways. One might look at it as a helpful insight into the minds of Valentino and Eggers. It provideded listeners a first hand perspective on what the book was intened to encompass. For instance, when questioned whether or not he remembers much of what happened, Valentino responds by saying much of what is written in the book is completely true. However, I found this interview extrememly relevant because it provides a voice for the text. The book is written in the first person so it is now quite easy to imagine Valentino's voice.

Dan Rafuse

Anonymous said...

#5

South Sudan Conflict

Image 5: This image shows a man reacting to the burning of a market place. I was struck by this particular image because of the amount of emotion this man is clearly feeling. He is extremely upset; he is actually enraged. Nothing is going to make things better for him.

Image 11: Image 11 shows protesters speaking out against the war. The man in the orange shirt has his thumb facing down. To me, this simple gesture is very powerful because of its simple meaning: no.

Image 20: This image struck me significantly. When I first looked at the bullets, I was taken aback. Things of that size obviously have the ability to do serious damage to tanks and soldiers. Unfortunately, I realized that bullets and missiles and flames have the same devastating impact on civilians.

Dan Rafuse

Anonymous said...

3.) When Dave Eggers was contacted by Mary Williams to help Valentino Achak Deng write his story on being a Lost Boy, they instantly had a connection. Through the slow, three year process of writing the book, their friendship helped Eggers see through the eyes of Valentino as he collected recordings to transcribe into words as Eggers would write the book himself, because Valentino’s education did not suffice. And so, Eggers chose to write a fictional autobiography in Valentino’s voice. They had to call the book fiction, because time was compressed and gaps in memory were filled, yet the story still holds true to being an autobiography as the dates and majority of events are true; thus I can better trust the credibility of the story. And just because he was a Lost Boy, does not mean this story is true for all of them, as it is just Valentino’s view—his voice. This voice allows readers to better understand Sudan and its people in hopes to repair them with the profits and help earned, which is important because I no longer look at the novel as a sob story trying to make money, but as an outlook into a different culture.

4.) After hearing the verbal interview between the host, Eggers, and Valentino the above conclusions were reinforced. The hardships Valentino endured can be heard through his voice as he pauses and has a solemn tone, his emotions are especially raw when he talks about his dead friend and his improper burial. This sorrowful context is continued when he would have gaps in his past and an uncertainty to his future as he would feel hopelessly like he has to walk on forever. And this disillusionment continues with his discontent after life in Sudan, as America shocked him and moved too slowly for his expectations as he could not go to college right away. Thus, the struggle for the Lost Boys continues on in life after Sudan. Because of this interview, I can better appreciate the emotions of the text and the skills Egger required to capture them with.

5.) “Southern Sudan Conflict” Photo 14: In this image an SPLA is preparing food in the middle of a barren, cracked desert. The terrain here is rough with wide cracks that can make walking difficult as it is easy to get your ankle caught in the chasms, especially in the dark. The hunger that Sudanese also endure is prevalent as this man has only one small can of soup, yet three big bowls that will never fill up to feed the masses of people. And the fact that these people are, according to the caption, "on the frontline" is shocking, because to me I would think they are at a campsite, but they are not. These people are out in the open, wearing camouflage that does not blend in with their black surroundings, with no protection, and only a gun: they are vulnerable for attack.
“A New Nation” photo 7: In this image a boy is centered in a ring of cattle. The boy himself is gaunt with a partially bloated belly. He is covered in dust and is dirty like the ground. Cattle herding is one of the few occupations for the men in Sudan, and I do not see how. The animals are in a barren wasteland and the boy does not even have enough food for himself, yet alone for all of these poor animals. And it disturbs me that amongst this mess is a poor dog gazing at a coal pile. Yet despite the boy’s bleak surroundings, he is smiling, conveying the hope and optimism of the Sudanese, and especially their youth.
“Scenes from Sudan” photo 6: In this photo people are on the move as they make their great exodus on an endless path out of northern Darfur. These people have no cars, they only have their feet. And what they need to bring with them they carry in their hands and on their backs and heads. And on top of that, they are traveling through a sandstorm. The fact that these people are willing to move shows their obedience, and the fact that they are migrating through a sand storm conveys their tolerability. They are moving forward into the dusty unknown, down an unpaved road that will hopefully lead them to a better future.

Ashley Carlson

Anonymous said...

3.) When Dave Eggers was contacted by Mary Williams to help Valentino Achak Deng write his story on being a Lost Boy, they instantly had a connection. Through the slow, three year process of writing the book, their friendship helped Eggers see through the eyes of Valentino as he collected recordings to transcribe into words as Eggers would write the book himself, because Valentino’s education did not suffice. And so, Eggers chose to write a fictional autobiography in Valentino’s voice. They had to call the book fiction, because time was compressed and gaps in memory were filled, yet the story still holds true to being an autobiography as the dates and majority of events are true; thus I can better trust the credibility of the story. And just because he was a Lost Boy, does not mean this story is true for all of them, as it is just Valentino’s view—his voice. This voice allows readers to better understand Sudan and its people in hopes to repair them with the profits and help earned, which is important because I no longer look at the novel as a sob story trying to make money, but as an outlook into a different culture.

4.) After hearing the verbal interview between the host, Eggers, and Valentino the above conclusions were reinforced. The hardships Valentino endured can be heard through his voice as he pauses and has a solemn tone, his emotions are especially raw when he talks about his dead friend and his improper burial. This sorrowful context is continued when he would have gaps in his past and an uncertainty to his future as he would feel hopelessly like he has to walk on forever. And this disillusionment continues with his discontent after life in Sudan, as America shocked him and moved too slowly for his expectations as he could not go to college right away. Thus, the struggle for the Lost Boys continues on in life after Sudan. Because of this interview, I can better appreciate the emotions of the text and the skills Egger required to capture them with.

5.) “Southern Sudan Conflict” Photo 14: In this image an SPLA is preparing food in the middle of a barren, cracked desert. The terrain here is rough with wide cracks that can make walking difficult as it is easy to get your ankle caught in the chasms, especially in the dark. The hunger that Sudanese also endure is prevalent as this man has only one small can of soup, yet three big bowls that will never fill up to feed the masses of people. And the fact that these people are, according to the caption, "on the frontline" is shocking, because to me I would think they are at a campsite, but they are not. These people are out in the open, wearing camouflage that does not blend in with their black surroundings, with no protection, and only a gun: they are vulnerable for attack.
“A New Nation” photo 7: In this image a boy is centered in a ring of cattle. The boy himself is gaunt with a partially bloated belly. He is covered in dust and is dirty like the ground. Cattle herding is one of the few occupations for the men in Sudan, and I do not see how. The animals are in a barren wasteland and the boy does not even have enough food for himself, yet alone for all of these poor animals. And it disturbs me that amongst this mess is a poor dog gazing at a coal pile. Yet despite the boy’s bleak surroundings, he is smiling, conveying the hope and optimism of the Sudanese, and especially their youth.
“Scenes from Sudan” photo 6: In this photo people are on the move as they make their great exodus on an endless path out of northern Darfur. These people have no cars, they only have their feet. And what they need to bring with them they carry in their hands and on their backs and heads. And on top of that, they are traveling through a sandstorm. The fact that these people are willing to move shows their obedience, and the fact that they are migrating through a sand storm conveys their tolerability. They are moving forward into the dusty unknown, down an unpaved road that will hopefully lead them to a better future.

Ashley Carlson

Colby Sears said...

3. After reading the interview between Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng, I feel as if I will be able to truly gain a proper understanding of the fictionalized autobiography of Deng’s life. It is vitally important to remember that the story Eggers penned for Deng is not entirely factual; Eggers states himself that although not every event or instance or character in the novel actually occurred in Deng’s life, “it all very well might have happened.” It is quite simple for the audience to neglect the true author of the book, considering how effectively Eggers adopts Deng’s educated and cultured voice. This interview reiterates the fact that Valentino is not the author of the story and that the book is not an autobiography but instead an adapted account of Valentino’s tumultuous life.

4. Hearing the voices of Dave Eggers and Valentino Deng elaborate on Deng’s life story provide the audience with another dimension of What is the What that cannot be gained by reading the novel. Deng’s knowledgeable air and unique tone of voice allow the audience to gain a sense of what the novel would sound like if Deng was narrating it himself, almost allowing them to step in his shoes and experience the story at a completely level. Dave Eggers is both learned and supportive, and discusses once again how his novel about Deng is not an actual autobiography. It is clear through their verbal interaction and ease with one another why Eggers was able to so successfully translate Deng’s story onto the page: the pair is extremely comfortable with one another, and with Egger’s literary skill and Deng’s story to tell, the two form a perfectly balanced team.

5. Picture twenty-one from the article “Violence rages in Sudan-South Sudan conflict” immediately caught my attention and had quite an affect on me the longer I took notice of it. The image depicts a Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier looking on his injured companions through the restrictive fence of a hospital. One of the most significant factors of the picture that immediately stands out is the evident pain and suffering encompassed in the eyes of this emotionally damaged man. The events that have happened to him in Sudan and the lives that have been taken away from him will never be forgotten, and it seems as if it is not easy in the slightest for him to let go and move on.
The twenty-third image from “South Sudan: A new nation rises”, although it may not be jarring to look at, deserves attention in its own right. The picture depicts a man carrying home a deceased goat to sell in a market in Juba while sporting a winning smile to match. The things we take for granted in the United States – a bathroom, three meals a day, transportation, etc. – are all things that the Sudanese people are not always guaranteed to be graced with. This small animal will provide this man with enough money to hopefully provide his family with dinner for the night, a luxury that can not always be found in his homeland.
In the article “Scenes from Sudan” the thirty-second picture is instantly visually appealing. The image shows the barren landscape and scarce water resources of the Sudanese landscape that most people in America are entirely unaware of. This proves as one more example as to how vastly different living conditions in the United States are compared to those in Sudan.

Kara said...

3) Post a brief paragraph describing facets of the interview that may guide your experience as a reader.
After reading the interview with Valentino and Dave Eggers, I think that my experience as a reader will be slightly different. For one thing, I have now read an interview in Valentino’s true voice, rather than an imagined one by Eggers. The interview has also increased my knowledge of how the book was created. I now know that the book is mainly fact, though there is fiction, albeit well-researched, thrown in. I am aware of the way that the interviews were constructed and that the book is not verbatim from Valentino’s words, but it is an approximation. Knowing this will enhance my experience as a reader, because I now know how the book was created. I know its backstory.
4) Offer a brief paragraph in the same spirit as prompt 3.
The interview on NPR was not exceptionally full of revelation, but nevertheless increased my knowledge of the story. I thought that it was interesting to hear Eggers’ and Valentino’s voices. Hearing them, I was able to experience their character. While I did not see a video, which would have given me their mannerisms and movements, their voices still reveal a bit about them, and also allow me to read What is the What with Valentino’s voice in my head.
5) Peruse them and offer 3 commentaries regarding 3 images that compel you to do so.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/07/south_sudan_a_new_nation_rises.html#photo15
This photo struck a chord with me because it is a depiction of women. Women in other countries, particularly underdeveloped countries like Sudan, are not granted the same opportunities that women in other parts of the world are. This picture depicts a maternity clinic. The women’s clothes are vastly different from Americans’. Their maternity clinic has dirt floors, and looks to be a somewhat unsturdy setup.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/07/south_sudan_a_new_nation_rises.html#photo18
This photo depicts a religious official standing with children. I am not a churchgoer, but I do respect the fact that churches can be safe places for people in certain circumstances. What interests me most about the scene is that it depicts children, probably all younger than I. Girls and boys alike, these kids live in a world that is vastly different from mine. However, similarities do exist. Their clothing would not look extremely out-of-place in an American town, and though they may live thousands upon thousands of miles away from me, our smiles are still the same.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/07/south_sudan_a_new_nation_rises.html#photo32
This picture depicts a man running and smiling in celebration of South Sudan’s independence. There is a flag around his neck, and a car visible in the background. A couple of other men are in the background with their hands up, also in celebration. I appreciate the image’s joy. If not for the flag, it could be a festival or celebration virtually anywhere. The South Sudanese endured a lot, and they are finally able to celebrate a victory.

Joe Carlin said...

3.After reading the interview between Valentino and Eggers, information such as the fact that it took three years of steady work to finish it was an astounding amount of time to be working on a piece. It guides the experience of any reader who knows this because they are able to take in more quality behind the book, behind its stories, and messages. Another fact that guides the experience of me as a reader is finding out that some details from the book are in fact fictionists. This helps the reader so they can keep in mind that not everything is true but to a degree most things are and are in an accurate placement and description. A final informational piece would be the message that Valentino wants out of the book because it guides the reader to be looking for instances where it is clearly expressed.
4.After listening to the NPR recording, this new information gathered puts the reading into a new light. Hearing the beginning guided the reading to the extreme, finding out the age in which the Valentino’s journey begins puts in perspective what actually happened, how much of it can truly be remembered and over all the message Valentino wanted to express. Once finding out that he originally had thought the journey was not going to be a long one, and in reality it was going to be the longest in his life adds not only a pity factor but a whole new interest to the book, enticing the readers to pay attention. Also hearing that Eggers was able to call and talk to Valentino to make sure that the way things sounded came out how they were supposed to and expressed the ideas that Valentino desired. For example when Eggers would write scenes where Valentino was with his family and trying to express everything that was occurring, Eggers called and read what he wrote to make sure it was all good. Now knowing that, reading the story is more interesting because I now know that what I am reading is in fact what was happening and what was felt at the time.
5.The image entitled “historic vote in Sudan” makes me feel excited for the country finally moving up in society and becoming a democracy. Then, I see the people in the back watching. It makes me remember reading about the protest groups upset about this free election. It makes me feel sad to have to see that because they are ignorant to privilege that they are passing up. Also it reminds me and hopefully others that things are not over yet and people are still watching. Following up with the feelings of not being over, ‘South Sudan: A new nation rises” is an image that would make me believe that everything was ok now and I did, my first comment was “it’s over.” But then I look at “violence rages in Sudan-South Sudan and I realize that it is not in fact over and it won’t be for a while. Seeing the solider on the ground I felt a better connection to the book “What is the What” because I am now able to put faces and background information into reading the story, making everything ten times better.

Anonymous said...

Brent Condon
3. Before reading the interview I thought that they may have exaggerated a lot of the details in order to make it a better selling book. The interview talks about how most of the things mentioned in the book are actual events, but they did add other stories of the other lost boys. I also did not realize the work the author and Valentino put into gathering the information. The book is set up in a similar way of recollecting on the past; which is the same as Valentino talking about his past in the interviews.
4. This interview shows what kind of mindset Valentino had when he was going through the marches. The author mentions how some of the things that happened may have been different because Valentino was only a child at the time of these events. The interview stresses the importance of lost childhood. We are able to put ourselves in his shoes to understand what he was thinking during all of these events.
5. The first portfolio “South Sudan Conflict” really depicts chaos and emptiness of the war in Sudan. A lot of the scenes show backgrounds of very empty surroundings or they show scenes of ruin. The citizens in these pictures are shown to be very worried about what was going on and none of them seemed to show hope for the war. The pictures give us a sense of chaos as we are unsure of which side is just in the war. The pictures do not really show any victories for each side which makes the viewer believe nothing is being accomplished.
The second portfolio “The historic vote” shows the hopes that the Southern Sudan people have for a change in the right direction. A lot of them are really enthusiastic about the right to vote; although, the turnout in some places were low. The surprising part is that women were also given the right to vote which I would not have assumed to be the case. The voting sheets are in multiple languages which shows the variety of the people in South Sudan.
The “Scenes of Sudan” contrast with the scenes we are familiar with in America. The most notable characteristic of the landscape is the amount of dirt and dust. We are used to always having something to look at like roads and trees, but in some scenes there is just a barren wasteland. The scenes show a very rural life with a heavy influence of agriculture. This is the opposite of the urban technological society of America. The culture is very different in the sense that people are very openly religious, whereas most people do not visibly show their religion in America; besides for symbols like a cross or a Star of David. The last this that is completely unseen in these scenes are cars which are a major backbone of American life.

Ashleigh Korona said...

Ashleigh Korona

3. The interview with Eggers and Deng explained the overall purpose to me in a clearer voice than the book has so far. For one thing the interview gave me a clearer insight into the relationship between Eggers and Deng, they are closely bound by this book that they both created through so much time and effort. The explanation of the true purpose of the book from Deng's point of view clearer my perception of why the book was produced, it is an autobiography of one man's life, not of all the lost boys. I didn't fully understand that knowing that this book is not all truly from the life of Deng, but rather there are some pieces of the story that is fabricated by the stories of others, knowing that it is not I understand how these events were easily possible for Deng but by coincidence did not happen, but could have. With a deeper understanding of the creation of the novel I can further understand the message of the story as a whole and the person it is about.
4. Eggers and Deng are an interesting pair to match up to write a book, two people with such different backgrounds and histories come together connected by the common goal of getting their message out. The interview shows the real connection between these two individuals, it tells us how they worked together with a purpose, a purpose that effected thousands of people. I can really understand now why Eggers agreed to write Deng's story, such a powerful story must be told, people need to know what is happening outside of their own little worlds and understand what is going on. Hearing the way these two want to reach out, want to communicate with the people of the world shows one what this book is really about, what is really written in between the lines.
5. The third picture under the first link really shows how the people had to fight for what is there's. The people of Sudan had to fight for their lives as well as a way to live. War tore apart there villages and their families, even if they live through war how can they live when their country is still in flames? The first picture in the third link is a very powerful and meaningful picture. A person getting a say in their government for the first time ever, after years of expression and suffering the people are free and have a say in the way their country, and ultimately their lives are run. The fourth picture also under the third link says a lot about the people of Sudan. The people want their freedom, the need their freedom, they have fought long and hard for it and they intend to keep it that way. In the picture the boy is hanging posters reminding people to vote, this really tells us how much children were effected by the fighting, they understand and want their freedom just as much as anyone else, they deserve it.

Ashleigh Korona said...

Ashleigh Korona

3. The interview with Eggers and Deng explained the overall purpose to me in a clearer voice than the book has so far. For one thing the interview gave me a clearer insight into the relationship between Eggers and Deng, they are closely bound by this book that they both created through so much time and effort. The explanation of the true purpose of the book from Deng's point of view clearer my perception of why the book was produced, it is an autobiography of one man's life, not of all the lost boys. I didn't fully understand that knowing that this book is not all truly from the life of Deng, but rather there are some pieces of the story that is fabricated by the stories of others, knowing that it is not I understand how these events were easily possible for Deng but by coincidence did not happen, but could have. With a deeper understanding of the creation of the novel I can further understand the message of the story as a whole and the person it is about.
4. Eggers and Deng are an interesting pair to match up to write a book, two people with such different backgrounds and histories come together connected by the common goal of getting their message out. The interview shows the real connection between these two individuals, it tells us how they worked together with a purpose, a purpose that effected thousands of people. I can really understand now why Eggers agreed to write Deng's story, such a powerful story must be told, people need to know what is happening outside of their own little worlds and understand what is going on. Hearing the way these two want to reach out, want to communicate with the people of the world shows one what this book is really about, what is really written in between the lines.
5. The third picture under the first link really shows how the people had to fight for what is there's. The people of Sudan had to fight for their lives as well as a way to live. War tore apart there villages and their families, even if they live through war how can they live when their country is still in flames? The first picture in the third link is a very powerful and meaningful picture. A person getting a say in their government for the first time ever, after years of expression and suffering the people are free and have a say in the way their country, and ultimately their lives are run. The fourth picture also under the third link says a lot about the people of Sudan. The people want their freedom, the need their freedom, they have fought long and hard for it and they intend to keep it that way. In the picture the boy is hanging posters reminding people to vote, this really tells us how much children were effected by the fighting, they understand and want their freedom just as much as anyone else, they deserve it.

Ashleigh Korona said...

Ashleigh Korona

3. The interview with Eggers and Deng explained the overall purpose to me in a clearer voice than the book has so far. For one thing the interview gave me a clearer insight into the relationship between Eggers and Deng, they are closely bound by this book that they both created through so much time and effort. The explanation of the true purpose of the book from Deng's point of view clearer my perception of why the book was produced, it is an autobiography of one man's life, not of all the lost boys. I didn't fully understand that knowing that this book is not all truly from the life of Deng, but rather there are some pieces of the story that is fabricated by the stories of others, knowing that it is not I understand how these events were easily possible for Deng but by coincidence did not happen, but could have. With a deeper understanding of the creation of the novel I can further understand the message of the story as a whole and the person it is about.
4. Eggers and Deng are an interesting pair to match up to write a book, two people with such different backgrounds and histories come together connected by the common goal of getting their message out. The interview shows the real connection between these two individuals, it tells us how they worked together with a purpose, a purpose that effected thousands of people. I can really understand now why Eggers agreed to write Deng's story, such a powerful story must be told, people need to know what is happening outside of their own little worlds and understand what is going on. Hearing the way these two want to reach out, want to communicate with the people of the world shows one what this book is really about, what is really written in between the lines.
5. The third picture under the first link really shows how the people had to fight for what is there's. The people of Sudan had to fight for their lives as well as a way to live. War tore apart there villages and their families, even if they live through war how can they live when their country is still in flames? The first picture in the third link is a very powerful and meaningful picture. A person getting a say in their government for the first time ever, after years of expression and suffering the people are free and have a say in the way their country, and ultimately their lives are run. The fourth picture also under the third link says a lot about the people of Sudan. The people want their freedom, the need their freedom, they have fought long and hard for it and they intend to keep it that way. In the picture the boy is hanging posters reminding people to vote, this really tells us how much children were effected by the fighting, they understand and want their freedom just as much as anyone else, they deserve it.

Kayla Lantos said...

One thing I will keep in mind when I read the book is Valentino's comment that "the parts of the book that seem the most incredible are those that are most true." Most of the parts that were added were "fluff," although they happened to other boys, necessary to piece events together and not the main, heart-wrenching events. Even the ones that were fabricated happened to another young boy like Val. It's also comforting to know that when Val read the book, he was impressed by Dave Eggers insight into his thoughts.

Listening to Valentino speak was definitely valuable as it allows me to associate this character I'm reading about even further with the real person. His diction is distinctly African, but his voice oddly has a gentle, calming element to it. Some of his pronunciations may have been comical had he been talking about a different subject. For example, he describes his dead childhood friend as "steef" when he meant stiff. Dave Eggers sounds like a man who is professional but laid-back; someone fit for the task of listening to and interpreting the story of a man's life. It was disturbing to hear him talk about how Val's life had become so turbulent that he forgot what normal was like. However, I was comforted when I learned Val's parents survived!

Picture three from "Violence rages in Sudan" is simple, but meaningful. It is a close up of an SPLA soldier, tears welling up in his eyes as he looks at an injured comrade who is off-screen. This image shows how deeply both sides are affected physically and emotionally.
After learning more about the Dinka from What is the What, I know have a greater appreciation for picture seven of "South Sudan a New Nation Rises." The young boy is filthy and wearing nothing but underwear, but he is grinning. There is a wealth of cows surrounding him, and the cow horns framing his body is aesthetically pleasing.
The last picture displayed in "A Historic Vote in Sudan" shows an older woman holding open a dye-stained finger. The woman has the kind of face, particularly eyes, that say she has seen much struggle and death. Perhaps she never thought this day would come.

Jillian Allard said...

Part 1

Shifting from an average social interaction to a tense confrontation in “Naked Lunch,” Michael Hollinger employs constant symbolism, extensive characterization and subtle irony to communicate that things will always “be like old times” if one is not resolute in their decision for change.

The perpetual symbolism used by Hollinger efficiently shows that circumstances will not change without the determination to follow through on one’s prior judgments by accentuating the incompatibility between the two ex-lovers, Vernon and Lucy. The vase on the table between the two can be either a “small vase with too many lowers in it, or a large vase with too few.” Both of these centerpieces are ascetically unappealing as they have been forced into a mold that doesn’t fit, much like Vernon is trying to force Lucy to obey him. Declaring she is a vegetarian, Lucy makes an arbitrary distinction represents her independent decision for change she has made to improve her quality of life, a notion that doesn’t sit too well with the controlling Vernon. Vernon rambles about a television show involving a crocodile, a powerful, vicious and unintelligent creature that bases its actions off of the most primal needs; this delineation could be applied to him as well. The vase could be changed or emptied, the self-proclaimed vegetarian could refuse to eat things with a face, the crocodile could be trained or ignores. Alas, none of the latter occurs. The personalities of the two lovers are so clearly depicted; it is easy to infer that direct action will never take place.

The considerable characterization of Vernon and Lucy by Hollinger presents the couple as each other’s foil with one stubborn in their decisions and one with a wavering willpower, respectively. Vernon is a pugnacious, rude man whose dialog characterizes him very thoroughly. He interrogates Lucy over her new dietary habits and aggressively demands to know why. In several instances, he makes physical gestures or motions towards her, such as looming over her, thrusting the plate into her face and forcing steak into Lucy’s mouth. The diction used shows Vernon’s true qualities as he “jams” the fork into the steak, “stabs” at the meat, “vigorously devours” his meal. Contrasting this dominant, masculine persona is meek, polite Lucy. She tries to appease her furious companion by changing subjects or giving vague answers. Her responses are instantaneously met with another round of questions, forcing her to reveal information that might upset her volatile host. This young woman “discretely nibbles on her corn,” “puts her hand on his” in a plea for Vernon to calm down, and after every belittling comment is “beat.” The entire dialog of the play, with some ironic twists, is used to contrast the two characters having dinner together.

Jillian Allard said...

Part 2

The verbal exchanges between the dining companions are used by Hollinger to create multiple instances of irony that highlight their incongruency. Vernon, with his aggressive personality, begins to berate Lucy for “categorizing the careless things” he did. In fact, he is the one who started the disagreement by insisting she eat the steak he prepared. He accuses her of being ungrateful and not considering how her actions make him feel. He is so narcissistic and selfish he cannot see beyond his own emotions and desires as he ignores her feelings and wellbeing. Meanwhile, Lucy is repeatedly apologizing, saying she “never meant this to be a big deal” even though it is her lover who initiated the confrontation. She is so compliant and accustomed to his demanding ways that she concedes to his will under all circumstances.

Through these constant symbols, thorough characterization and understated irony Hollinger is emphasizing that contradictory circumstances will be allowed to tensely coexist unless direct action is taken for change. Strength and determination are required if adversity is to be overcome. The struggle to improve one’s quality of life is a basic human instinct. Whether or not the situation is resolved or changed depends on the sheer willpower of the affected.

Anonymous said...

Christine Lattouf

3. The interesting information represented in will guide me throughout my reading in What is the What by Dave Eggers. It is very forming to know that the book took three year to completely finish, which shows that the book took a lot of time and effort to create. Putting in the time helps us understand that Dave Eggers wanted to help Valentino Achak Deng to get his message cross to his readers. It took about twelve hours of tape just to explain the basic story. Eggers struggled for eighteen months trying to figure out whether he should write the novel in first of third person. Finally Eggers decided to write the story as if he was Deng because the believed the reader would benefit from listening to his distinct and unforgettable voice. It is interesting to find out that even though the novel is about Deng’s life it is considered frictional, due to the fact that not everything in the book is accurate to what exactly happened.


Christine Lattouf

4. A lady with a clear monotone voice introduces Valentino Achak Deng and Dave Eggers. The voice of Valentino is not what I had pictured in my mind. The way he speaks, such as the structure as his sentences and the heavy accent is what I did expect. The voice I imaged the narrator to possess is a mix of Valentino and Dave’s voices. Egger explains that he had to fill in the gaps in the novel by imagining what he thinks would have happen to one of the lost boys, and to verify he would call up Valentino. It was sad to hear that one of Valentino’s friends had died and was unable to receive a proper burial, because the Lost Boys had to keep moving until they reached the refugee camp. Valentino had spent eleven years in the refugee camp. Once he came to American he had high expectations, just like the American dream. Promises were broken and it was not until five years after Valentino come to the United States he was allowed to enroll into a college.


Christine Lattouf

5. South Sudan Conflict - Photo number 9:
The people in this photo are pondering. They seem bore and unable to concentrate and give deep thought. Many of them have confused looks on their faces. Some of the people are staring in to the distance and others are looking down and trying to focus. They know that their decision is very important and it can change the lives of many people, so they have to put deep thought into their decision. To take this picture to the next level, I believe it is to show that the government is not helping the people and is not doing anything to stop the civil war. The government seems to be powerless as a whole.
A New Nation - Photo number 1:
The people of Sudan are celebrating with join and raising their country’s flag. They show pride in themselves and pride in their country. If one looks closely in the picture they will realize that there are two men with cellular devices. This shows that the Sudanese people are starting to modernize, and are trying to catch up with rest of the world in technology. They are proud of how far they have come in life. Sudan has become a nation, where the people have been brought together and peace is surrounding them.
Scenes from Sudan – Photo Number 1
The picture depicts a little boy raising the flag of his nation. The boy serves to be the next generation of Sudanese with the ability to vote and stand by his nation. The love for ones country is deep within the heart and mind of a person. A child understanding and respecting his country shows that he is proud to be a Sudanese. The boy seems to have a look of angry on his face and is looking to his right. The nasty look on his face may be for the people who throw his country’s flag on the ground or for the people who did not bother to stop and pick up the flags while they passed them. The boy is tightly grapping the flags and is never going to let his country’s flag touch the ground, which may also represent the fact the boy will not allow for a civil war to occur.

Anonymous said...

Christine Lattouf

3. The interesting information represented in will guide me throughout my reading in What is the What by Dave Eggers. It is very forming to know that the book took three year to completely finish, which shows that the book took a lot of time and effort to create. Putting in the time helps us understand that Dave Eggers wanted to help Valentino Achak Deng to get his message cross to his readers. It took about twelve hours of tape just to explain the basic story. Eggers struggled for eighteen months trying to figure out whether he should write the novel in first of third person. Finally Eggers decided to write the story as if he was Deng because the believed the reader would benefit from listening to his distinct and unforgettable voice. It is interesting to find out that even though the novel is about Deng’s life it is considered frictional, due to the fact that not everything in the book is accurate to what exactly happened.


Christine Lattouf

4. A lady with a clear monotone voice introduces Valentino Achak Deng and Dave Eggers. The voice of Valentino is not what I had pictured in my mind. The way he speaks, such as the structure as his sentences and the heavy accent is what I did expect. The voice I imaged the narrator to possess is a mix of Valentino and Dave’s voices. Egger explains that he had to fill in the gaps in the novel by imagining what he thinks would have happen to one of the lost boys, and to verify he would call up Valentino. It was sad to hear that one of Valentino’s friends had died and was unable to receive a proper burial, because the Lost Boys had to keep moving until they reached the refugee camp. Valentino had spent eleven years in the refugee camp. Once he came to American he had high expectations, just like the American dream. Promises were broken and it was not until five years after Valentino come to the United States he was allowed to enroll into a college.


Christine Lattouf

5. South Sudan Conflict - Photo number 9:
The people in this photo are pondering. They seem bore and unable to concentrate and give deep thought. Many of them have confused looks on their faces. Some of the people are staring in to the distance and others are looking down and trying to focus. They know that their decision is very important and it can change the lives of many people, so they have to put deep thought into their decision. To take this picture to the next level, I believe it is to show that the government is not helping the people and is not doing anything to stop the civil war. The government seems to be powerless as a whole.
A New Nation - Photo number 1:
The people of Sudan are celebrating with join and raising their country’s flag. They show pride in themselves and pride in their country. If one looks closely in the picture they will realize that there are two men with cellular devices. This shows that the Sudanese people are starting to modernize, and are trying to catch up with rest of the world in technology. They are proud of how far they have come in life. Sudan has become a nation, where the people have been brought together and peace is surrounding them.
Scenes from Sudan – Photo Number 1
The picture depicts a little boy raising the flag of his nation. The boy serves to be the next generation of Sudanese with the ability to vote and stand by his nation. The love for ones country is deep within the heart and mind of a person. A child understanding and respecting his country shows that he is proud to be a Sudanese. The boy seems to have a look of angry on his face and is looking to his right. The nasty look on his face may be for the people who throw his country’s flag on the ground or for the people who did not bother to stop and pick up the flags while they passed them. The boy is tightly grapping the flags and is never going to let his country’s flag touch the ground, which may also represent the fact the boy will not allow for a civil war to occur.

Anonymous said...

Dan Rafuse
Class B
October 9, 2012
Analysis
Shifting between feelings of remorse and sinful satisfaction, Gary Soto employs biblical symbolism, internal characterization, and sensual imagery in order to reveal the mental journey of a sinner coming to the realization that “sin is what you take and don’t give back.”
Soto’s use of biblical symbolism can be noted throughout numerous lines within the excerpt. He uses religion as a catalyst towards providing the reader a greater understanding of the mind of a sinner. Soto, the sinner, is satisfied with stealing an apple pie. Unfortunately, he remembered that Eve got in “deep trouble with snakes” for stealing an apple. Soto’s connection to the bible story and his fear of God’s wrath add to the intended message of the piece by implying that God is always within the sinner’s thoughts. Soto also includes an example from the Ten Plagues into this excerpt. After he had finished sinning, Soto returned to his home where “the kitchen was stifling with heat and lunatic flies.” The flies, otherwise looked at as part of the Ten Plagues, could be inferred as God’s way of punishing the boy for the sin he had committed. This use of biblical symbolism simply adds to the defining of Soto’s character.
Because the excerpt is written from the perspective of a boy, internal characterization is extremely important in regards to portraying the emotional roller coaster ride that is this sinner’s life. Soto portrays his six-year-old self as an indecisive thief because that is exactly what he was. His emotions and thoughts can often be seen as sporadic within the piece. Initially, Soto came to the conclusion that “the best things in life came stolen.” He was sure of it. However, this certainty would not last for very long, for guilt would enter the mind of the boy. Everywhere he looked, Soto became skeptical of whether or not those around him knew of his dastardly deed. His neighbor, Mrs. Hancock, “she knew.” Even his mother knew. His initial feelings of satisfaction then his sudden transition into guilt show that Soto’s thoughts are now scattered because of his immoral actions. It is clear that sin has a way of controlling the human mind.
As Soto describes the actual act of the sin, his diction becomes, in a way, suggestive. This use of sensual imagery is meant to be used in order for readers to understand the satisfactions that come with sin. As Soto takes the first bite of his self-given gift, he pushed “it into the cavern of (his) mouth.” This subtle sexual undertone is used to portray the beginning of the indulgences received by the sinner. From here, the sexual diction escalates. After this first, delicious bite, Soto “laid more pieces on (his) tongue, wet finger-dripping pieces.” The wet finger-dripping pieces Soto speaks of represent the audacity of sin. With each bite, the child is entering a darker world of sin and disgrace.
The world is full of sinners and those that possess immoral values. These people cannot be avoided entirely because there is no one on this earth that is neither of these things. Gary Soto’s excerpt from his autobiographical novel is a testament to that. Even as a six-year-old boy, Soto was committing sin and experience the satisfaction and guilt that goes along with it. It simply cannot be avoided because once you sin, you cannot take it back.

Jennifer Golden said...

3. I was very intrigued by some of the facts in the interview with Dave Eggers and Valentino. Those little bits of outside information can really help a reader to better understand the book. For instance, when the work on the book had first begun in the form of interviews, they were not yet sure if the book would be a novel, a nonfiction biography, or an autobiography. One thing they mentioned was the decision to for Dave Eggers to write the entire story in Valentino’s voice. He mentioned how he could not imagine hearing the stories Valentino told from a third person point of view. Despite being only a few chapters into the book, I can already tell that this perspective really adds a deeper layer of meaning and understanding to the book. I also found it especially interesting how Valentino said that the stories that are entirely true to his life are the ones that are the most incredible. I think that statement really exemplifies what will turn out to be a large point to their writing of them book, and how the Valentino’s life is so incredible that it does not need to be embellished just to make his story more effective.
4. The NPR interview with Dave Eggers and Valentino reinforces and adds to the interview addressed in prompt 3. One thing that really adds to it is being able to hear Valentino’s voice. His accent and manner of speaking combine to completely reveal how Eggers captures his character exactly right. He has a heightened formality to his speaking probably due to it being his second language, and as Eggers says, his brilliance. On subject matter, this interview speaks of, like the previous one, how much of these memories were very early in Valentino’s childhood and are filled with large gaps. Dave Eggers explains how he even went to the extend to research then have Valentino read over what he wrote to make sure that even though it may not have happened in that exact way, it very well could have. I found particularly interesting how Dave Eggers talks about children being malleable as they walk through the desert. How they can adjust to this new life since they do not have much of another life behind it, so much so that their life before is a distant memory and it seems as if the present, this long walk, will take over their futures too and never end. Even though, at the beginning they expected it to be short, just a few days, then a few weeks, but it was much longer.

Jennifer Golden said...

5. Image number three of the South Sudan Conflict clearly shows the remains of a market hit by bombs recently. First, in the background some buildings still standing are visible and set the scene showing that where they live is drastically different from an American city. Yet, you can see the people have bonded together and are trying to extinguish the fires that still burn in their market, just as the people of and city would, no matter how advanced the community is. It is difficult to see, but almost appears as if they are smiling as they work to salvage their marketplace. This shows how they understand they cannot change what has happened but can hope to rebuild their market towards a better future through the smoke that still fills the air.
In A New Nation, picture number 32 really exemplifies the emotions the Sudanese are feeling towards their freedom. A man seems to be running forward towards the camera, a flag ties among his neck, and his arms thrown up as if he is flying, as if he is finally free. His mouth is open into a wide smile and his eyes truly convey pure joy to the picture’s viewer. He is so happy to be free, a privilege which many Americans and people of other free countries take for granted. The happiness and excitement on his face reinforce how great freedom is to those of us, for whom it is all we have ever known, while this man has seen much worse and understands the significance of the change.
Number 22 of Scenes from Sudan shows a group of young children attending school at a refugee camp. Their school is not very advanced. They appear not to be in any form of a building, but to be outside with some sort of a roof over them. They are not writing with laptops, nor even pen and paper, but instead hold writing boards. They do not have a beautiful school and expensive technological advances, but they are all smiling widely and clearly love to be in school. Many children do not like to go to school at all, but these children show such an enthusiasm to learn. It is inspiring.

Ashleigh Korona said...

Ashleigh Korona

By using vivid characterizations, aloof symbolism, and savory irony in the play Naked Lunch, by Michael Hollinger, one can see a simple lunch to “the whole nine yards” of the dramatic shift portraying the truth of an abusive relationship.
All plays are focused around characters, they are what brings the play alive, in Naked Lunch the idea remains the same. Vernon and Lucy are the two complex characters that are the center of this piece of literature, they are dynamic characters that reveal themselves, and their true motives, as the plot thickens. Vernon's true character is revealed over time, starting with his nosy quality that one sees as he questions Lucy extensively about her being a vegetarian. One watches him bare down on Lucy, pushing her, then Vernon reveals his true motives of a “naked lunch” with his ex-girlfriend, Lucy, and finally he reveals his nasty, aggressive nature that forces him to make Lucy, against her will with no consideration of her feelings what so ever, and forces her to eat meat even though she is a vegetarian. “I SAID EAT THE MEAT! Chew. Swallow. Good, isn't it. See, nothing to be afraid of.” Just from these lines from Vernon one can clearly see how manipulating and abusive he is, the reason why Lucy came to this lunch at all, because he scares her. Lucy starts out strong, declaring herself a vegetarian, explaining her reasons, but then allows herself to be beaten down by Vernon. She holds herself up against him as long as she can but she soon breaks under his aggressive nature. One can assume Lucy has low self-esteem, people allow themselves to be in abusive relationships because they think that is the love they deserve. These characterizations help one to understand the underlying problems hiding in this “innocent” lunch.

Ashleigh Korona said...

Ashleigh Korona


Hidden within works of literature lurk contemptible symbolism that fulfills the reader's fancy. With in the lunch itself, literally, one will pick up on the symbolism with in the food. The symbolism of the steak and the corn play major roles in this curious play, the steak, representing male violence and abuse, is what is forced upon Lucy in the critical moment that reveals the abuse in their relationship, the corn, representing the feeble female role in an abuse relationship, can not stand up to the steak that forces the corn to be forgotten as Lucy eats the steak. Steak is seen as a masculine food, it's meat, it's tough and primitive. Corn is a more feminine food, a vegetable, weak, feeble and doesn't put meat on your bones to make you strong like steak does. One could also argue the food to be phallic symbols, one could argue that Lucy may be bisexual, the reason she broke up with Vernon, but Vernon forces her to not be bisexual by forcing her to eat the steak, which in this case represents the male preference, and stops her from just eating corn, her female preference, another way that he could be abusing her. The relationship is clearly revealed through the symbolism of the food that Vernon and Lucy eat, further revealing to one their abusive relationship.
The exciting part of every good play is that spicy twists in the plot, this play has all that spicy neatly swirled into place. At first while reading the play, one does not see the couple as two people that have been in a relationship or anything of the kind, it is not until after we learn Lucy is a vegetarian and that she started after they had broken, said by Lucy, that we first feel that tingle of irony, that first click in the reader's head that makes them want to keep reading. Then one sees Vernon's true personality coming out when he asks if he was the reason she made a change in her life but then he immediately turns around and points the finger at Lucy that she was to blame for everything. The irony in Vernon's characterization continues to build as he repeatedly put down Lucy, mocking all of her reasoning and tearing her down maliciously, he goes on to say that he is the victim of her being a vegetarian, but then forces her to convert back from it and eat the steak. The irony of that alone, his entire character and his actions, is crazy, this man really has a problem when he blames others, says he is the victim, and commits terrible acts of abuse, it's criminal.
From an innocent, friendly lunch, to a malicious act of abuse, one sees and understands the frightening shift in the play that goes from bad to worse as the tension escalates into violence, through dramatic characterization, subtle symbolism, and stimulating irony one grasps the criminal acts of abuse in this dangerously abusive relationship that is repeated every day throughout the world, and no one stops it, just like Lucy didn't stop it.

Moonwaves182 said...

Matthew Litchfield

3. Eggers and Deng Interview
The interview between Valentino and Eggers outlines some of the basic planning and writing of the book. Their mutual decision to fictionalize the account of Valentino’s life is as important to keep in mind as the actual events in Valentino’s while reading What is the What; they mentioned that Valentino was really scheduled to immigrate to the US on September 11, 2001, which seems supremely unlikely given the circumstances of his life. In the interview, Eggers spoke of the uniqueness of Valentino’s voice, which Valentino corroborates as accurate. This attention to detail shows that they are trying to respectfully and truthfully tell Valentino’s tale.

4. NPR Interview
This NPR radio interview was slightly different from the previous text interview. The NPR woman was intent on knowing more about the experience of the Lost Boys than the writing of the book. Valentino recounted several of his experiences, including the death of his friend and the impact it had on him. Eggers spoke about the idea that children are subject to their situations, which is significant to all the children we have and will meet while reading What is the What. The interviewer also spoke about Valentino’s disillusionment when he came to America: Eggers and Valentino thought he would be in college within 6 months, but it took up to 5 years for him to build up the credit to do so. This led to the topic that Valentino is a minority: not many Lost Boys tried so hard to succeed in America, which is important information to keep his story in context with the other Lost Boys. The best part of the interview was hearing that Valentino’s parents are still living in his home village, which might or might not be a key resolution in the book.

5. Photograph Commentaries
South Sudan Conflict – Image 9
This image was interesting to me because up until we reached the section of the book where Valentino’s father’s friend is murdered, I had no idea what an MP was. While some of the other images show a clear use of both English and Arabic, I found this image interesting because the MPs seem to operate solely in Arabic. This makes sense, given the cultural divides between South and North Sudan.

A New Nation Rises – Image 21
This image displays a portion of Africa typically unthought-of in context of Africa: green grasslands, water, and grazing animals. This is, of course, a hugely stereotypical idea of Africa from a largely clueless America, but I think it’s a really beautiful scene. The image shows the kind of contrast of what one would expect of Africa with the fertile lands Valentino’s father described in the tale of the creation of the Dinka people.

Scenes from Sudan – Image 11
Image 11 in this set depicts a female radio host – in Sudan – talking about women’s issues in the historic referendum that separated South Sudan from the North. It’s great that the people of South Sudan are progressive enough to recognize women’s issues. The scene is a sharp contrast from Valentino’s home village, which probably didn’t even have a radio. Of course, talking about women’s issues on the radio is probably the subject matter of only the wealthiest Southern Sudanese women, since radio is nearly a luxury there.

Taylor Saltmarsh said...

Taylor Saltmarsh

Transitioning from an individual refection of guilt to an allusive judgment, Gary Soto, utilizes sensual imagery, Biblical symbolism, and extended metaphors to portray the temptations of sin and how “sin is what you took and didn’t give back”.
Being a young child is something that all of us can obviously relate to. The simple life, stress free days, and no worries. Although children who are taught right from wrong have a sense of knowing that they have to face consequences eventually. In this excerpt by Gary Soto the reader gets a sense of what the world looks like through the eyes of a young Soto. In lines 38-49 it describes him eating the pie, and how he knows that it is wrong, yet he does it anyway. The imagery that Soto uses in that paragraph alone is the strongest device in the whole poem, because the boy is eating this pie that he sinned to obtain, and yet it is the most delicious, and savory thing he has ever tasted, his burp even “perfumed the air”.
One of the strongest Biblical symbols in this whole piece is the man standing at the exit whilst young Soto is leaving with the stolen pie. Soto describes the man’s head as “whose forehead shone with a window of light.” This conveys the message to the reader that Soto seeing this man on his way out with the pie symbolized his last chance for redemption. Soto is still in the store, and he can still turn back and return the pie. However, Soto chooses to ignore the light and turn away from salvation and commits the sin after all. Cross-Eyed Johnny is also another strong Biblical symbol. The fact that he is cross-eyed symbolizes that he sees things in a very religious way, yet still wants to take part in eating the stolen pie, therefore enjoying sin. When Cross-Eyed Johnny is watching Soto eat the pie it seems like a judgment is taking place, in that Johnny is looking down on young Soto. Also by Soto referring to Johnny as “Cross-Eyed” creates the sense that Soto thinks that he is better than Johnny, when in fact in the end Soto is the one that committed sin, and not Cross-Eyed Johnny.
The whole entire excerpt itself is an extended metaphor to sin, in particular Adam and Eve. The fact that it was an apple pie that young Soto chooses to steal parallels the forbidden fruit stolen by Eve. Soto knows that what he is doing is wrong, and that he should stop, and he is given many opportunities to redeem himself, yet he continues to eat the pie. The whole entire piece is a metaphor to how sin can not be undone once committed, it can be forgiven, but never forgotten. Once one decides to go down that path there is no going back. Humans have the nature to do things that they are not supposed to, just because of the mere fact that it is forbidden.
“The best things in life come stolen”, is what a young 6 year-old Soto learned form stealing an apple pie. However, once that initial rush and appetite for the pie ran off, his guilt started to sink in. Throughout the whole piece we see a young Gary Soto try to run away from his sin and from his guilt. The shift in tone occurred the moment that he decided to ignore the man with the bald shining head, and turn away from salvation. Soto felt guilty about even thinking of stealing the pies, when he actually stole the pie he started to pass judgment on himself, and assumed that everyone else around him would, naturally, do the same exact thing.

Naomi said...

Naomi Stuffers
10/12/12
Period B
Friday’s COW Work

3. By being able to understand the relationship between Deng, Eggers and this story, I think that we will be able to really see the connections in the book. It’s quite amazing that they worked together for so long that it got to the point where Eggers could completely recreate Deng’s speaking style. Within the interview, Eggers discussed how he planned the layout of the story and how he eventually settled on a fictionalized autobiography. This led him to create a story where certain aspects had to be changed and condensed, but still added to the overall meaning of the novel. The interview ended with Deng speaking about his plans to enhance his hometown, Marial Bai, with the proceeds of the book.

4. In this interview, Eggers and Deng are both interviewed about their book: What is the What? The interview begins with Deng speaking about his hardships as he walked from his hometown, Marial Bai, to Kakuma. There were times when he didn’t know when or if the sun would rise in the morning, and he was constantly met with scenes of death and brutality. Following Deng, Eggers is asked to read an excerpt from the book, and then speaks about the layout of the book and how they chose to fictionalize it. After that, Deng recalls a memory of a childhood friend who had died on their way to Kakuma, and remembers the fact that they “could not bury him” and had to leave him out in the bushes. Finally, both Deng and Eggers elaborate on the fact that the American dream has become a major disappointment to incoming immigrants. It has become harder to make any kind of life when education is limited to those with “credits.”

5. In picture 19 of the South Sudan Conflict gallery, there is what looks like a teenage boy lying down in the middle of dry grass. The caption says that he is taking cover from an air strike by the Sudanese air force. What is completely sad about this picture is the fact that “taking cover” consists of lying face down in the middle of an open field. To me, this picture just shows that no matter where these people go in Sudan, they will always be unprotected and are basically just waiting for their death. It is really sad that these people don’t have anyone to protect them.
In picture 1 of the New Nation gallery, there are about six people all looking up into the sky with triumphant and proud faces. The caption states that these people are celebrating their independence day as the new nation of South Sudan. It is so wonderful to see that these people are finally allowed to feel happy about something and to celebrate with their peers.
In picture 7 of the New Nation gallery, there is an image of a boy surrounded by a huge herd of cattle. The first thought that came to my mind was that all of the cattle had really, really large horns. Then, I finally saw the significance of the picture. It is quite amazing that even after everything they have been through, the South Sudanese people still maintain their respect for cattle. We can see that their value system is still very much intact and thriving.

Kayla said...

3.
Dave Eggers writes What Is The What in the voice of Valentino Achak Deng and artfully mimics the life of one of the many Lost Boys of Sudan, while feeding the world the personality of an amazing human being. When Eggers had first begun on his journey of a novel, Valentino was still “in basic writing at Georgia Perimeter College.” and, therefore, would not have been an adequate choice for the author of his own life story. The personality inside Valentino is magnanimous and deserved to be displayed with its own unique style. The interview, with both Eggers and Valentino, juxtaposes their individuality, yet, Eggers allows the readers to see just what Valentino ignited in him in the novel. This particular interview opens the reader’s eyes to the truth behind Valentino’s personality and reveals the complexity behind Eggers ability to take on the persona of another human so flawlessly.

4.

The audio file allows the readers, of What Is The What, to hear the actual voice behind the novel. The file gives new meaning to Valentino’s background and it focuses the readers on the pronunciation of different words and Valentino’s style of speaking. This style can be heard in the writing, throughout the novel and crystal clearly felt in his tone of voice. The clip gives the audience a chance to hear the way Valentino would say words like situation, which in his dialect sounds more like “sit two wah tion” and like journey, which becomes “your knee”. Besides pronunciation the audio interview hints at further in the book, and manipulates the readers into wanting to read the novel, yet, it is giving some of the secrets away. The giving away of secrets benefits the audience in a way that sparks different emotions when reading any part that the interview speaks about. It could make the reader feel more like one of their own memories are on the page and less like reading that of another memory. It could also make them feel cheated because the file alludes to Valentino’s parents surviving the war.

5.

South Sudan Conflict#11: The man catches my eye first, more specifically, his hand. He is giving a thumbs down and his shirt is a soft pale skin colored one. He stands in a way that disconnects him from the men behind him, yet, connected to them with the intensity of his emotions. Even without a name or a particular sense of exactly what is going on, he entices me and makes me want to dig deeper into why he stands with his thumb down.

A New Nation#1: I feel a sense of pride and of accomplishment in this photo. The valiant expressions on their faces tell it all. Their ash black skin and glorified emotions are enticing and powerful and captivating and genuine.

South Sudan Conflic#21: The fence is blocking the full view of the face, yet, the power of this photo lies in the fence. The fence that separates this man from the one reflected in his eyes. The man in his eyes may not even exist; he may be this man’s future self. A self that is trapped on the other side of a fence. The details of his skin, the folds of his eyes, the largeness of his lips are all visible and we are not fully sure that this is infact a man. All we can see is an extraordinary face behind an ordinary fence.

Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller
PART 1 “The Flea”

Contrasting the desire for a child with the rejection of children through the use of an extended metaphor, John Donne in “The Flea” utilizes animalistic symbolism, first person point of view, and an indignant tone to show that, in some instances, the only way that blood may mix is through the assistance of a flea.
Within “The Flea,” several instances of allusions to the creation of a child are created through utilizing the device and characteristics of a flea. A flea, by nature, is a “blood sucker.” It takes a few drops of blood from any unknowing host, and when it removes blood from multiple hosts, the blood may mix in its stomach. In “The Flea,” this creature takes a drop of blood from the male and a drop of blood from the female narrator, causing the two bloods to be mixed whilst alluding to the creation of a child. “It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee, and in this flea our two bloods mingled be… cannot be said, a sin or shame nor loss of maidenhead” (Donne). Through the vessel of a flea, the seemingly impossible instance of two bloods mixing is created, creating a “child.” It cannot be said that this child is a sin or shame, as it is not wrong to the woman narrator, and I cannot be called the loss of maidenhood, or virginity, as the two never were sexually intimate to create this child. The narrator is proud and happy that this seemingly impossible child was created, while the male is disgusted. “Cruel and sudden, hast thou since, purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?...as this flea’s death took life from thee” (Donne). The male, who did not want nor ever desire to have this child, killed the flea. The blood of innocence, or the blood of the innocent child, stained the nail of the man when he squished the creature beneath his fingers. He did not want this child, while the woman was delighted to have a gift without losing her maidenhood.
Along with the animalistic symbolism of the child-like flea, Donne utilizes the intimate first person point of view to create a more personal telling of the story. Through the eyes of the female narrator, we are able to see her joy at the impossible child, and her anger and disappointment when it is destroyed. Adding to the intensity of the solemn emotions that the story evokes, the female narrator relates her male counterpart as being her readers, utilizing both the second and first point of view. Instances of both points of view include “Though use makes you apt to kill me,” “where we almost, yea, more than married” and “this flea is you and I.” The narrator characterizes her readers as the male who destroys their child, causing the readers to feel more related to the poem as they are forced into the persona of the killer of her child. Through utilizing first point of view and instilling aspects of the second point of view, her narrative strikes more in-depth with her readers and evokes deeper emotions of guilt, grief, and sadness.

Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller
PART 2
Along with multiple and personal points of view, the use of a indignant tone allows Donne to further force his ideal of the contrasting view of children onto his readers. Her tone forces the readers to feel her sadness and grief, and through being characterized as the being that took her child, feels guilt. “Let not to that self-murder added be,” and “sacrilege, three sins killing thee.” The reader was characterized as the murderer, and now is the being at which the narrator’s indignant tone is directed towards. The woman is clearly showing distaste at the murder of the child, and is claiming that it was sacrilege to do such a thing. The indignant tone allows the readers to understand how upset she was at the destruction of the child, and further allow them to see the contrast between the child-desiring woman and the uninterested male. With the use of the indignant tone, the readers are able to further immerse themselves into the poem and understand it at another level.
Within this extended metaphor of a poem, readers are able to see the contrast between the desires of the different individuals in a relationship, and how the event of a child can cause different ideals to emerge and cause a rift in their relationship. When a major event occurs, such as the birth of a child, this difference of ideals can bring out the true nature of one’s partner and show just what they are capable of. When the rift in a relationship is this intense, then the only time that something as intimate as the mixing of blood an occur is in the stomach of a flea.

Anonymous said...

Mike Witoski

6. Recalling the pain of having one’s private creation exposed to the public eye, Anne Bradstreet, in her poem “The Author to Her Book,” uses maternal imagery, troubled characterization, and an external metaphor to express her newfound discomfort towards this idea -- once treasured, now “unfit for light.”
There is seldom a closer connection than that of a mother and her child -- in the traditional model. Bradstreet uses this to represent her emotional outlook on a major event that changed her life -- the release of her book without providing her own consent. This “offspring” of hers, this child of thought, was only meant to remain by her side -- never to see the outside world in any other way. A reclusive child at heart, dressed in rags, a “rambling brat:” a clear sign that the text was never meant to be anything more than personal. The affection she felt towards this idea was never intended to create any form of discontent; Anne never wanted to bother with amending blemishes, “washing” the child’s face, or removing flaws. An idea of this nature is truly one’s child, but not one of her cautionary statements of motherly concern would change the fact that the infant was exposed for one’s own gain -- but not her own.
One may argue that Bradstreet portrays herself as a poor mother; upon seeing her child, she blushes (as if in shame), claims that the child is “unfit for light” and “irksome” in her sight, and points out “defects.” Being unfit for light may suggest the fact that the child was never meant to leave her sight -- the book was hers and hers alone. One may disregard the previous statement’s intention after the child is claimed to give the mother a feeling of weariness or disgust. The fact that Bradstreet goes to great lengths to clear the child of any physical errors would also seem to reaffirm this, but this all gives off a feeling of pity. The mother realizes there is nothing she can do to regain the time in which her child was hidden from public view, so she attempts to prepare the infant for whatever lay ahead of her before sending her “out of door.”
Poetry allows for different outlets; ideas can be expressed in any way possible with very few limitations. In this example, Bradstreet presents an extended metaphor to get her emotions across. If she had come right out and stated what had happened, there would be no impact on the literary world, and her predicament would have no relevance whatsoever. By layering her emotions with the given scene, she allows for people to grasp her initial reactions to the event. One may see the poem as merely a recollection of a mother-child relationship gone awry, but there are clues which suggest much more than just that: the title gives the extended metaphor away, as does “(in print).” The choice to include these two specifications -- which she made -- make it difficult for one to ignore the fact that she intended for this poem to be an extended metaphor, and the inclusion of these two items give the poem, overall, a weakened impact, one could say.
A mother’s grief can be a touchy topic -- usually not an edgy one, but an emotional one. Being a single parent to her idea, Anne Bradstreet felt accomplished, maybe even content with herself. The poem never directly states this (as that would make a weak poem), but the notion is implied through her use of an extended metaphor, troubled characterization, and maternal imagery. This is not to say that the book’s exposure to public view ruined her connection to the idea, but it created a feeling a loss. She felt as if her own imperfections were shown through the text, and that she had no way of repairing what had already been judged by all.

LCerullo said...

3. The primary facets that I took from interview are one: that the book is technically a fictional auto-biographical narrative, two: that despite this fact it is truly a narrative of Valentino’s experiences, and three: that the voice is really Valentino’s not Eggers; a testament to that fact being not only the 3 years spent on the novel but Valentino’s surprised reaction to how well Eggers interpreted his psyche and emotions. Based on Valentino’s opinions of the novel however it is safe to say that the book undoubtedly portrays a very accurate depiction of his journey through Sudan, Kenya, and his immigration to the U.S. with intimate detail paying attention to the emotions he felt as these experiences unraveled. Via these three facets I feel I much more able to interpret and appreciate the novel to a greater extent closer to the way Valentino would want.

4. The interview reiterates the complexity that arose as Eggers fused Valentino’s true experiences with fiction of his own creation. Valentino’s retelling of some of the moments in the novel, add a greater depth to his story and a more potent voice to my own mind as I continue to read the novel. His strong emotions powerfully convey the extremity of the situations he endured from the death of his close friend Deng, to the never-ending pilgrimages they undertook by day and night. Valentino also verbally gives light to difficulties that plagued him with college admission as a result of the faulty credibility regard his transcripts from the Kakuma refugee camp. Holistically, hearing Valentino’s voice gave a much grander perspective to what it was he actually faced in Sudan.

5. A Historic Vote Image #10: This incredibly evoking photo displays a father holding his young son (3-5) in his arms aboard a bus heading to Southern Khartoum for the Independence Referendum. The father’s demeanor as he looks intensely upon his child gives voice to his inner hopes, that his son will be raised in an Independent Sudan free of rebel regimes and warring factions; free of the destruction, agony, and pain the people of Sudan have been forced to endure the past two decades.
South Sudan Conflict Image #21: Embodied within the facial expression of the SPLA soldier in the photo is the culmination of all the tension, hatred, and suffering that has compounded as a result of the civil war. The caption reveals he is looking upon his injured comrades outside a hospital which gives further insight to the swaths of hatred within his eyes. Venting from his eyes alone even without the context of Sudan or the caption, reveals a man: tired, fed up, and stricken by great pain and sorrow.
Scenes from Sudan Image #3: The simplicity of this photo is what makes it so great. How can a single hand holding a piece of plastic mean so much? It is a woman’s hand holding her voter registration card in Sudan. Not only have women been socially restricted for hundreds of years among African countries, for them to be given voting power in the first Sudanese election in almost 30 years is a true gem in regards to the progress of civil rights and social equality in Africa.