Friday, May 23, 2014

Honors notes 5/23/14



*Make sure to pre-think the quotes and passages that you will use in your essay to support your reasoning over the 3 day weekend*

Next week: Last essay of the year!!!!!

GOW Study guides due next Friday by the end of the day.

Fire: Knowledge along with fire can be dangerous. (Freedom comes with responsibility/ignorance is bliss) Knowledge is power. Represents life, also represents an opportunity to overcome the bounds they are given.

Highly suggested to use the tragic hero pattern in your essay and define it.

Objective Rising Action: Things that are material, the distance and time it takes to get to the creek.

3 varieties of naturalism: No material/ no mind, there is a mind, but it is apart from nature, man is apart of nature (object) but is also apart from nature (subjectivity)

Falling action: Hypothermia (objective), the panic that comes after it (subjective)

Climax: “He should have built the fire under the spruce tree…” (175)

Symbolism: The old man represents second hand knowledge, the dog is a foil because it has instinct and survives but also doesn’t push the boundaries of nature. The man is a symbol for all of humankind. The setting is a symbol of predetermination.

Arete is our hamartia

Point of view is third person omniscient, and we will never understand nature.
We have to see the subjectivity to understand the hamartia.

Third person view is meant to be subjective, but in this story it is objective.

The man is so sure of his subjectivity that his objectivity doesn’t matter.

(According to some naturalists, there is no subjectivity, just nature. According to others, there is subjectivity, and nature doesn't like it / doesn't care. Nature is indifferent. Nature is cold. Hint hint.)

Existence precedes essence. We don’t know what we are here for and have no idea what man’s place is in the universe. Man tries to control nature even though most of the time we cannot.

Mind over matter, but as the hypothermia sets in his mind starts losing the battle over matter.

Dog is a foil. Best to put it in the character paragraph. Represents nature, instinct, and the wild. We don't understand it. It's spooky and mysterious. 

Fire represents knowledge (talk about Prometheus) and technology and power and freedom and all that good stuff. Freedom how? B/c it's a tragedy (maybe). 

Speaking of tragedy: Talk about catharsis. WE learn vicariously through the man's actions. 

Assorted symbols: Tobacco? The cold? (See pg. 172) Hypothermia? The man (he doesn't have a name)? The fire? The dog? The  old man? The setting? 

Remember: Last sentence in introductory paragraph must have the thesis statement. You should have a clever title leading to the hook/thesis opinion/big picture seed. Intro ideas: Maybe talk a little about the author. Define tragic hero pattern? Talk about existentialism? DON'T PLOT REHASH. NEVER PLOT REHASH. 

Story's from the POV of a man, who doesn't know nature.

Existentialism (Aghh)

p. 168 top paragraph: "Creature of temperature" "Man's place in the universe"

But what is man's place in the universe? Out existence precedes our essence. We are here, but we don't know why, unlike, say, a tool. We create a tool to do something. What were we created to do? Probably not pound nails or saw wood. 

Gets its name from "existence precedes essence" 

"A cow can only be a cow." (Or can it?)  Man isn't like that. 

Maybe talk about Robert Frost's "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening"

Literary periods swing from extreme objectivity to extreme subjectivity. (Like Naturalism and Existentialism)

The only thing we cannot doubt is our mind, because in doubting it, we prove it exists. 

What is reality? We never really get out of that dark space behind our eyes. What exists? 

We are both subjective and objective (mind/body dualism) because if our material brain dies, what happens to our nonmaterial mind?

Diction, foreshadowing, yada yada. We know he's gonna die. Last line on pg 168: 3rd person objective narrator says: He was a warm whiskered man with…  eager nose that thrust aggressively into the air" Characterization. Pg 170, middle paragraph: "He was sure of the frost on his cheeks, but it didn't matter much, after all." Subjectivity! He's not connected to his material body.

He forgets he's an object. Mind over matter. "Pain doesn't matter to a man." But this is dangerous because we are objects. And we can be destroyed. WOOOO MIND/BODY DUALISM!

Pg 174: "The wires were pretty well down between him and his finger ends." Mind/body connection failing.

He knows what's happening. BUT HE DOESN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. And this is why he dies. You can't just know something. You have to do something.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homework 22 May

Honours 9: reread To Build a Fire
Grapes Study Guide Chapters 23 to end

Eurolit: Demian ch 7

Honours 9 Notes May 22 2014

Pro: The Man, mankind
Ant: Nature
Setting: Alaska, The Yukon, Winter-
Ext. Conflict Question: Can the man overcome the Yukon (nature) in order to survive?
Int. Conflict Question: Can the man overcome his hubris in order to survive?
(Both conflict questions resolve unsuccessfully!)
Exposition: Man has no imagination, no experience, and is a newcomer.  He has no imagination, has lost most of his instinct.  Should not be travelling alone!  Ignores crucial advice even though he has no experience in the Yukon.

Similarly to Ms Strangeworth, the protagonist thinks he is different from everyone else, and even though he know what he is doing is dangerous and reckless, he believes bad things only happen to other people and that he is somehow a special case.

Complications in the rising action: Traps in the creek, relationship with dog, starting the fire, time, extraordinary distance, etc. are all material! Man v. Nature.

Climax: “He should not have built the fire under the spruce tree…”(175)
Took the easy way out because of his hubris, and his laziness that is inspired by his laziness.  Because of this, he becomes a bit of a popsicle.
Complications in falling action: Hands freeze, Can’t rebuild fire, can’t kill dog, hypothermia, panicàhypothermiaàpanicà etc.
Denouement – Dog does not panic once it notices the man will not be making a fire for the two of them, and sets off for the camp.  Nature moves on, even when we’re gone.  Dog howls at stars once the man is dead, because it is in its nature.  Nature is indifferent to whether or not man lives or dies.  We don’t understand nature, which is why imagination is more important than knowledge.  We mess with nature, even though we don’t understand it; yet, we still have hubris.

Dog is foil to the man.  The dog has its instincts to survive, but the man has to survive off of the fire (knowledge), but he is a newcomer so he does not really have the knowledge to survive. However, the dog relies on the fire of the man.
Both a positive and negative example of the theme, as he had arête; however, due to his hubris, he is a negative example.
Because he chose ignorance and bliss, the man died ignorantly and blissfully (180).
Relied on fire to overcome the cold
To Build a Fire – If you want to survive, you’ve to build a fire
If you are going to stretch the bounds meant for you by a power, in this case, nature, one must not have hubris
Although the man has subjectivity, he is still an object, and nature can kill him.  His objectivity kicks in.  A cycle of panic and hypothermia kicks in, pretty much downing the wires.

Fire – Life, can be power, could be freedom, KNOWLEDGE (Prometheus)! The gift of fire sets humans apart from other animals and makes us closer to gods.
Old Timer – Vicarious knowledge. (Mr Stewart) The man needed to follow the Old Timer’s knowledge, based on the old man’s experience, but doesn’t because of his hubris. Just as the protagonist does not learn vicariously from the old man, and dies, if we do not learn vicariously from this story, we too will fail.
Dog – Nature, “A big native husky…without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf.”(169)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Honors 9 Notes 5/21/14

Flaming Hot Notes

Jack London transcends naturalism. He may be an existentialist.
The old timer advised the man, but wisdom is not communicable (like Siddhartha). Also, the man’s HUBRIS keeps him from following the advice. It’s all about hubris, folks.
Knowledge saves him a few times, but fails since the man does not have enough experience.
The man’s arête could be: to show where his place is in the universe (p168)
Robert Browning: “Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else why is there a heaven?” Creatures evolve by testing limits.
Is the man a negative AND a positive example of the theme?
Theme: Man cannot overcome nature, and we can’t have hubris to coexist with nature. One has to overcome one’s own defects and one’s human nature in order to coexist with nature and survive.
The dog coexists with nature (the dog is designed for the cold, p172: the dog is descended from wolves). The dog obeys nature’s boundaries instinctually.
The dog is a foil for the man. The dog is native, has instincts, knows it shouldn’t be travelling. The dog understands its limits. Perhaps the dog can’t even have arête because it doesn’t have self-consciousness.
To Build a Fire vs. Old Man and the Sea
            Similar theme, both die. Man vs. Nature
However, we see Santiago as a good man and are shown his good traits, but we see the man being “cruel” and arrogant, don’t see him a good man.
Santiago respects nature/is more aware of his circumstances, the man in Fire disrespects it/is arrogant/is ignorant.
Pg 174: “any man who’s a man can travel alone” hubris, way too arrogant and proud
Pg 167: “the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail” arête/hubris/ate/everything (this guy is an idiot), thinks he can forge his own path just fine
Pg 177 “the old man was right” anagnorisis, he realizes that he went too far, knows he’s going to die, but doesn’t accept his death yet
Pg 180 “you were right” the second moment of anagnorisis, he’s dying, accepts it
This story relates to Oedipus as well. Both Oedipus and the man make their fate come true by trying to prove it wrong (won’t kill his dad and marry his mom/can climb the mountain without help).
The man doesn’t respect his own life, he isn’t grateful, is willing to throw it all away to prove the old man wrong.
Pg 180 “then the man dozed off into what seemed….” Nemesis, the man dies! Serves him right, he was an idiot… But he dies blissfully, which is really interesting. Ignorance is bliss, so perhaps some freedom vs “happiness” up in here?

What changes?
The man contracts a serious case of the deads.

What makes it change?
Nature and the cold kill him.
He can’t build a fire and survive.

In what way does it change?
He has too much hubris and doesn’t listen to the old timer’s advice.

Why does Jack London have it change in that way?
To teach us not to have hubris.

Plotty Plot Plot
Protagonist: The man, struggling to survive
Ext Antagonist: Nature
Int Conflict Q: Can he overcome his hubris?

Setting: Yukon in winter (nature at its harshest)

HW 5/21/14

Euro Lit: Read chapter 6 of Demian

Honors 9: Re-read "To Build a Fire" 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Honors 9 English 5/20/14

Fwoosh Fwoosh Fire Notes

Jack London
Died at age 40 with 50 books published. 1876-1916

Or maybe he didn’t die and he’s alive today and he’s B. Traven or, omigod omigod, maybe he’s Mister Stewart and he’s a time-traveler trying to avert a future apocalypse by teaching a generation of high school students how to be individuals and build fires. I mean, the words “Zach Stewart” rearrange into “Watches Ratz,” which clearly alludes to Stewart watching rats scavenge corpses in the future apocalypse. Other anagrams of “Zach Stewart” (you should definitely work these into your conclusion paragraph): “Twas The Czar” (Stewart is the ruler of the Great Radical Unified Empire of Light [G.R.U.E.L] in the future), “What Car Zest” (he drove a zesty car, pretty self-explanatory), and “Za Wart Chest” (also self-explanatory).

London (aka Stewart) was born in poverty in San Francisco, stole oysters and junk. (He was an oyster pirate in San Fran harbor. He'd paddle out to oyster traps in the middle of the night, steal the oysters, and sell them at fisherman's wharf)

He was part of Coxey’s Army, a bunch of unemployed dudes who protested in D.C. during a huge economic depression (not the Great Depression, but a Great Depression)

Moved to NY, Jailed for vagrancy, the lowest he'd even fallen. This changed his life, and he moved to the West Coast to make a better life.

Failed to find gold in Alaskan gold rush and discovered how tough nature is, but still got rich b/c he wrote about all his experiences.
First novel: Call of the wild. He wrote a TON of books about guys and dogs and wolves and stuff. 
First millionaire writer ever. He is a naturalist writer; the majority of his work is man vs. nature.

Built a mansion thingy for the homeless and himself, but it burned down before it was completed (sob)

He was a communist. Loved Carl Marx and Nietzsche (I can’t spell, forgive me). Their philosophies were completely opposed to each other, but London still liked both.

HOWEVER. He was sexist. And racist. And anti-Semitic. So you could come stay at his homeless shelter as long as you were a white male of the same religion as him. 

Meanwhile, more anagrams… Chews Zat Rat, Zac the Straw

Named for Darwin’s evolutionary and natural selection theories in his 1859 Origin of Species.
"That which is best able to survive the environment does survive the environment"
3 veins of Naturalism: Nothing beyond nature, we're just animals. OR Yes, there's something beyond nature, we've transcended that and nature doesn't like it. OR Yes, we've transcended nature, but nature could care less and we're still just objects to it and have to obey natural laws. 
A branch of realism. Man vs Nature.
Man is unable to control nature or, more extremely, nature is out to get us, or, nature simply doesn’t give a rip.

Who’s the Heck Happening What (In other words, 4th period discussion)

We feel angry that the man thought to kill the dog, that he didn’t listen to the old timer, sad that the dog don’t care. Sad that the man couldn’t help himself and the dog didn’t save him. Angry because the man ignores the dog’s instincts and that the man is stupid, reckless, unimaginative, inexperienced, and uninstinctual.
The man thinks he’s invincible. He doesn’t use his imagination because of his hubris (p174 old timers=womanish). He is overconfident of his abilities and his “manliness.”
One needs imagination/experience/instinct to survive. That’s how man is separate from animals (we’ve replaced instinct with imagination).
The man is a tragic hero:
Arête: he wants to go further than other people (p168 he came the roundabout way)
Hubris: he does not admit his weakness (p167 he excuses his pause by looking at his watch) (p175 perhaps the old timer was right)
Ate: he exceeds the bounds meant for him by nature (p167 the man turns off the main trail. He took the road less traveled by…)
Anagnorisis: he realizes the old timer was right (p177, p180)

Nemesis: he be dead (p180)

5th period discussion
How we feel about stuff
Angry b/c the man was going to kill the dog, we feel bad for the dog because the man was a jerk, "The dog goes on to other food providers and other fire providers". Dog could care less about the man. He just wants food and warmth and all that. "There was no keen intimacy between the dog and the man" ORRR maybe we don't feel sorry for the dog b/c it didn't care about the man. Compare the dog in TBAF to the dog in Friendship; they're opposites in terms of goals. Also, we feel disappointed b/c the dude didn't have imagination and he continues to have no imagination, not changing in that way. See quotation at top of first page.