Symbolism in The Awakening                  In the first three chapters of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, several symbols are introduced which seem to represent certain characters, relationships, or advance the theme in some way. Admittedly, having not read the entire novel, it is difficult to fully analyze the importance of these symbols, or to fully understand their meanings […]

One thing that is notable about SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy!” skit, as discussed in class, is the lack of female characters. The only time someone female is even mentioned is through Sean Connery’s “your mom” jokes. Because of this, it may seem that the sketch is anti-feminist, or at the very least is not a piece […]

This movie and presentation was really interesting. I would never have thought of the many different ideas that were talked about in the presentation, not to mention how the different theories might connect to it. The ideas of how elements of Greek Tragedy fit into as well as the relationship to modernism and fate is […]

Out of all of the presentations, and to everyone’s surprise (*sarcasm*) I specifically enjoyed the Saturday Night Live and Modern Family clips. Because I had already seen the Californians and the Celebrity Jeopardy multiple times before, I was able to focus more on applying themes that we had discussed in class. Furthermore, since there were […]

Undoubtedly, Of Mice and Men takes on a distinctly modernist point of view as it seeks to reveal the true, dark happenings of reality. Specifically, the story focuses on the theme of death. From the start of the story, we learn of the small death of a mouse that Lennie has been carrying in his […]

The class presentation on the SNL skits “Celebrity Jeopardy” and “The Californians” highlighted a key theme we have discussed this semester- is culture important to study? From a humanist perspective, human nature is unchanging. Themes of identity, family, love, loyalty, conflict, etc. are ones that can be found in almost all great literary works, regardless […]

I thought it was very interesting how the group on Tuesday mentioned euthanasia in their presentation on Of Mice and Men. I had read some of John Steinbeck’s other books for high school English classes, and one thing that always really fascinated me was how he does not sugarcoat the truth, no matter how dark […]

  What is symbolism? The word itself conjures up images of a high school AP Literature class, and brings many the sense of trepidation one might feel when beginning a time-crunching essay. But truly, symbolism is extremely important in literary criticism, and a good understanding of symbolism is essential to a deep understanding of the […]

The presentation on Saturday Night Live was hands down the easiest to relate with and engage in. Comedy has this contagious nature that makes you want to watch, think, and participate. I really like this groups idea to use these skits as a jumping off point to look at the different theories we have discussed […]

While the film No Country for Old Men contains several overlapping storylines and themes, perhaps the most significant and central to the movie – indicated by the title – is that of Sheriff Bell, an aging lawman in West Texas who finds himself on the trail of a ruthless killer. Nearing retirement, he questions his […]

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening shares the same theme found in“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “A Room of One’s Own”: the oppression of women by the constraints of a patriarchal society. Within the first three chapter of The Awakening, Chopin presents a woman, Edna, trapped in an oppressive marriage with no escape. Her husband is free to […]

The discussion questions for our presentation on Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” are as follows: 1.  Who are the different characters, and how to they play into the story? 2.  What is stopping Edna from pursuing a relationship with Robert, if she wants to? 3.  Is there any evidence of an “awakening” happening in these sections? […]

The Saturday Night Live presentation in class on Tuesday was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking one. I was struck by the similarity between the two skits, even though they were performed 15 years apart and had entirely different themes and plot lines. Both had exaggerated humor, encouraging the watcher to find amusement in the altogether […]

Cover Flip: Taste, Gender, and Book Covers

We will be watching the videos in class, but they are posted in the schedule so that you can view them before class as well. Also, you may want to refresh your memory on the characteristics of Liberal Humanism, New (Practical) Criticism, and Critical Theory (specifically Feminist Theory) because we will play a game at the […]

The presentation on Modern Family brought up many interesting ideas about how a new, popular television show connects to concepts studied in class, including liberal humanism, critical theory, and feminism.  In my opinion, the most interesting discussion question that was presented was the last one: “Are there any ways in which the show supports traditional […]

For reference during class tomorrow, here are the discussion questions associated with our presentation. Discussion Questions In which ways can the characters be seen as an example of liberal humanism, in which human nature is thought to be constant? For example, what common values are held by all the characters although they appear very different? […]

              A large portion of literature concerning the Orient centers around the idea of the “other.” That is, the construction of Orientalism “as a sort of surrogate and even underground self” (Said, 1978) aided the construction of a stronger European identity. Differences between Europeans no doubt seemed small when made to believe that there […]

During our trip to the Frist, a piece that stood out to me was a painting entitled “The Pinned Hat,” completed in 1897 by a French artist named Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  Renoir was a noteable painter of the Impressionist movement, well-known for using bright complementary colors and different brush-stroke styles in his paintings, which mainly consisted […]

While at the Frist’s “Looking East” exhibit, two works in particular caught my attention.  Interestingly enough, both are by the same artist, Claude Monet. To those familiar with Monet’s life and works, it is unsurprising that Japanese art would heavily influence some of his paintings. Monet was notably intrigued by ukiyo-e, the popular Japanese art […]