Friday, February 16, 2018
To Build a Fire Notes To Build a Fire – Jack London Naturalism—man is just a thing, just an object A part of= object Apart from = subject “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp…” Robert Browning How do we feel? · Sad—the man died and the dog left him there · Satisfied—man got what he deserved Dog · Foil to the man · Difference between dog and man= dog survives because he has instinct pg. 169 · Does not test the limits of nature What Changes? · The Man was alive and then he died In What way? · Dies of the cold—needs to overcome hubris *Do not bite off more than you can chew…. Tragic Hero!!! · Anagnorisis—Pg. 175 “old timer was right” not pg.175 because he says “perhaps” and this therefore not fully aware that the old man was right · Hubris—“went the long way” like a lunatic · Ate—pg. 1 “turned aside from main trail” like a lunatic (This guy is a lunatic) · Nemesis—dies a the end · Hamartia— his pride · External Q: Can he survive? Existential Ego · External Q: What is man’s place in the universe? · Meant to push the boundaries—that is why we survive · Learn from our mistakes—except, some mistakes are way bad… Nuclear power plants exploding and such. Yikes. Why does he have hubris? · Pg. 169 the man has bad judgment · Not using his instinct Why is his Hamartia? · His ability to build a fire Symbols · Fire= rescue, survival · Prometheus gave people fire to overcome the gods – Zues punished Prometheus out of fear that the humans would overcome him. · Fear of being surpassed Trouble with the man · No imagination – underestimated the cold, cannot imagine he is going to die · “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge” – before the knowledge, you had to imagine something to get the knowledge · His intelligence and subjectivity sets him apart from nature · Wants to self surpass himself Setting · Middle of Alaska in winter… who the heck would do that???? A Lunatic. Plot · Protagonist: The man · Antagonist: Nature, the cold · External Q: Can the man survive? · Internal Q: Can the man avoid hubris? · Setting—harsh and cold, stack odds against man, isolated in space and time · Exposition—not on the main trail, has a dog, new comer, lacks imagination, how far away he is from civilization · Rising action—Got to get to Henderson creek and he is cold and tired · Climax/ internal conflict resolution—pg. 175 “it happened” – built the fire under a tree because it had been easier because he was lazy. · Lacked to imagine the snow would melt of the tree and put out his fire. He is pretty stupid · Falling action—Hypothermia, panic · External conflict resolution and nemesis—drifts into deep sleep Point of View · Third Person Limited – limited to one of the characters. The Man. To Build a Fire “Ya’ll better say hubris or subjectivity a lot.” Subject/ object dichotomy Objectivity= outside the mind Subjectivity= inside the mind ROUGH DRAFT, ROUGH DRAFT, ROUGH DRAFT! (Pre-write!) Existential Hero: Review How do we feel? -Dismayed, Bummed out, Happy Why did the dog howl at the end of the story? -We don’t know -It’s a symbol (action) -How we don’t understand nature. -When we try to push the bounds of nature, Plot -Denouement tied to conclusion is possible Character -The changes -Tragic Hero -P 168 “(…) mans place in the universe.” -We are meant to go to far, this is how we self-surpass -The dog is a foil to the error of the man (3 Ways) -Man dies and the dog survives. -The dog survives because he has instinct. -The dog never pushed the limits. -How do push the limits - -Symbolism -Fire: Knowledge, inventiveness, the ability to surpass nature -The fire is self-consciousness -P 172 We out wit nature with our minds, dog does not do this -Man forgets he’s an object, as he is a mind -On the other hand, he acts as a machine, no mind -Naturalists: We are part of the machine and thus we are machines Plot: -Protagonist: The Man -Eternal Conflict Question -Can He Survive -Can he avoid having too much confidence in his subjectivity does not forget he is a subject being. -Exposition: -Man is alone except dog, Way out in setting, Really cold, That he is a new-comer and is without imagination, the Old Mans advice -External Antagonist: -Nature -Objectivity -Internal Conflict Question: Man Vs. Nature Subjectivity vs. Objectivity -Setting: Cold Tundra, Cold Alaska -Complications in Rising Action -Internal: Thirst, Hunger, Fatigue and HE IS LAZY because of his hubris. -External: Cold of the tundra, Lack of sun, Distance -Climax: P 175 “It Happened” -Complications in falling action: External: The Pain happening with Hypothermia P176 4th line: Subjectivity vs. objectivity (mind vs. Body) -External Conflict Resolution: P180 “(…) the most confortable and satisfying sleep he has ever known.” -Denouement: -Symbolism -Out of shape: excuses it by looking at his watch. Does not see himself as an object -P. 172 “Took his confortable time over a smoke” -He does not view himself as an object, negating it: -“He did not belong with himself anymore (…) his body in the snow” -POV -Third person limited: See into the mans mind to see his hubris etc. Don’t see the dogs due to that we don’t know about Nature. • one word to describe the man - arrogant • how did he die? froze to death because he didn't have a fire (because he's an arrogant, lazy asshole who is mean to his dog) • symbolism ◦ the man is symbolic of humanity ◦ the man is arrogant to teach us a lesson, that we cannot overcome nature ◦ pride will be our downfall (remember Icarus?) ◦ pg 168 "he lacked imagination…" the man cannot understand the significance of 50 below zero, he only knows it as "cold and uncomfortable" (you're gonna die, dude) • what is London saying about subjectivity and objectivity? • when the man is dying, he has an out of body experience - why is this important? ■ remember to look at everything happening in the story, not just that passage • let's talk about the dog • dog symbolizes nature (why?) ■ when the man dies, the dog doesn't give a shit, implying that nature doesn't care about humanity ■ to the dog, the most important thing is survival ■ contrast to the man, who cares about "bragging rights" ■ the dog is a FOIL, shows the man's decisions in a clear way ■ the dog can survive nature, while the man cannot ■ the dog RESPECTS nature, accepts it, doesn't try to fight it ■ the dog has an instinct to obey nature and follows that instinct, while the man resists it ■ the dog coexists with nature, while the man tries to overcome nature • evidence that man is trying to overcome nature? • pg 171 shoves dog forward into the ice, trying to control dog, who symbolizes nature ■ also shows that he thinks he's better than other beings • the man disrespects the dog (pg 172 "no keen intimacy between the dog and the man"), in which he is disrespecting nature (nature and man do not care about each other) • what is the old man's role in the story? ◦ he gives advice, but the man doesn't take it ◦ why? because the man is arrogant ◦ old man functions as the superego of the self-conscious by giving sound advice, voice of society, voice of reason • the man is a tragic hero because in the end, he realized what he did wrong (anagnorisis) ◦ pg 180 "You were right…you were right." realizes that the old man's advice was right, choosing to ignore it was stupid ◦ pg 172 "that man from Sulfur Creek spoke the truth in telling how cold it sometimes got, and he had laughed at him at the time" begins to realize his mistake, not as confident as he was at the start ◦ pg 174 "any man who was a man could travel alone" proves his hubris, that he's still arrogant (and talk about hyper masculine insecurities) • rest of homeric pattern • where does he show arete? pg 168, taking a long route to his destination, thinks he's better than the others • we already have a ton of hubris quotes, pick one or search out another one on your own (there are several) • one quote for arete, hubris, and ate: first sentence of the story!!!! ■ shows arete because he's turning away from the main trail "where the dim and little traveled trail…" ■ shows hubris because he believes he can survive going off on his own on an unknown trail ■ shows ate by going off the main trail - the main trail is the trail meant for him by society and nature, and he defies nature by choosing his own path • aaaand we're back to freedom vs happiness • freedom in a way, because he chose to go off on his own, chose to defy nature, chose to take a risk • however, in the end he chooses "happiness" because his arrogance goes too far, he ignores all the practical advice and basically thinks he is a "god" and he "dies blissfully", he doesn't suffer at all ■ dies because of ignorance (which is "happiness") • what is life symbolic of? • life - man cannot survive without it • knowledge (remember Prometheus?) • civilization, hope (Lord of the Flies) • power - fires gives man power to overcome nature • in "A Man Who Had No Eyes" fire symbolizes destruction ■ Shiva is the Hindu goddess of destruction and creation and is represented by fire - fire can both destroy and create, like how it can help the man survive or kill him by vanishing ■ "Behold Shiva, destroyer of worlds" - quote from the man who created the atom bomb • how is this story similar to "Old Man and the Sea"? ◦ man vs nature ◦ London is a naturalist writer, Hemingway is an existentialist ◦ does this story transcend naturalism? SUBJECTIVITY/OBJECTIVITY NOTES Subjectivity = everything inside the mind Objectivity = everything outside the mind Subjectivity = mind = self-consciousness….. transcends the material world Objectivity = things…. The material world Subjectivity is a presupposition as viewed from Materialists/Realists/Objectivists who believe there is only the material world of things Idealists believe the world of ideas is what constitutes reality (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) Descartes proves that all we know for certain is the one’s mind exists. “I think, therefore I am” If I doubt that my mind exists, the mind is doing the doubting and therefore proves indisputably that it exists. Doubt is a kind of negation. If I cannot know something for certain, I must negate it from certitude of my mind’s existence. Existentialism = that a being’s existence precedes essence Existentialists believe that man has both a subjective and objective existence, although we cannot know the latter for certain. This paradoxical belief leads to the “subjective/objective dichotomy” or “mind/body dualism”. In To Build a Fire when the narrator says, “The wires were pretty well down between him and his finger ends”, him is the man’s subjectivity from which he views his essence, whereas his finger ends is his objective, material existence that he negates as being unessential (“All of which counted for little”) to his true existence (174). Earlier in the story, when the man realized he “…was sure to frost his cheeks… and experienced a pang of regret…” the narrator tells us “…it didn’t matter much after all” (176). Later, when the man tries to eat and is unable to, “He chuckled at his foolishness” that he also had a body that could freeze (172). And at the end of the story, when the man is imagining himself after his death, “He did not belong with himself anymore, for even then he was out of himself, standing with the boys and looking at himself in the snow” (180). It is this disconnect between mind/body or subject/object that eventually causes the man’s death; he does not have the imagination (due to his overconfidence in his mind’s ability to overcome matter) to realize his mind depends on his body, for a man is both a subject and an object. Does the man transcend the philosophy of naturalism in the story? ∑ How do we feel at the end of the story? o Happy - Got what he deserved. o Sad for the Man- Felt pity for him. o Horrified- The dog left the man. ∑ Why does the dog stay? o Dog concerned with survival. o Dog left after man isn’t going to provide survival aspects such as food, care and heat and thus left to find those who would provide. ∑ Thoughts about the man: o Dumb: Doesn’t realize that the surrounding people know about the environment. o Arrogant: Think he has more ability than he does, tries to take advantage of dog, and doesn’t take old mans advice. ∑ Takes the Homeric hero pattern o Arête: “ (…) while he had come the roundabout way to take a look at the possibilities. (…)“ o Hubris: Many places! § He died in the cold because the inability to make a fire. § P.175 Easier to pull trigs from the tree. He was taking the easy way out instead of building the fire out in the open. • He was confident that he could build a fire. o Ate: ∑ Mistakes: o No trail mate due to not listening the advice of the old man.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Poetry Notes Denotative – denote, dictionary definition Connotative – connote, symbol and can mean many things. How to decipher a symbol? With given context. 3 types of Symbolism Universal-true anywhere in the universe Cultural-different meanings in different places Personal- the author using literary technique gives the reader a hint a way that the symbol should be interpreted. Characters are symbols Either a positive example of the theme or a negative example of the theme.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Romeo and Juliet Notes 2-14-17 A is no longer A Analysis (99% of time = character analysis: Ask: • What changes? Family feud ends and Romeo and Juliet die • What makes it change? Romeo and Juliet, their love and the feud • In what way does it change? R and J die rashly • Why does the author have it change that way? To show theme • Protagonist-R and J • Antagonist- the feud • Can Romeo and Juliet overcome the feud to have a successful marriage? Nope. (External conflict question) • Setting- Time/place is connected to theme • Exposition- Background information necessary to understand what’s happening: Prologue says fighting has been renewed and R and J will die. Feud will end after they die, otherwise it would not end. Climax- protag does something that makes the external conflict resolution inevitable. Tybalt dies. • Can R and J overcome rashness and have a successful marriage? No, thereby showing the theme. (Internal conflict question) • Internal/external conflict resolution are directly related • Denouement- tying up of loose strings, the feud ends and they build gold statues for one another. • Die because of the feud. Feud ends because they die. Ironic! • R and J symbolize love • The feud symbolize hate • Theme- Love overcomes hatred at a great cost.