Monday, March 24, 2008

On The Road: Filler Chapter


After we returned the car we weren’t sure how the Cadillac owner would react. I don’t think Dean really cared much anyway. After all, nothing could get in the way of our kicks. Chicago was a grand city with crazy clubs. In the afternoon we decided to sleep for a while and recover from the night before. We were not going to, but we decided to go out for some kicks on our last night in the city. We would get on the road in the morning and take a bus headed east. Eventually we would get to New York. We went to Anita O’Day’s club again and this time we also had many beers.

Out of nowhere Dean shouted, "God has arrived again!" and sure enough there was George Shearing walking into Anita O’Day’s club. George looked tired, but ready to play some music. He played the piano for a long while, with a few choruses and his amazing chords. He kept playing until he couldn’t play anymore. He left the stage and took a seat at the bar. Dean and I went over to have a drink with him. Dean shouted , "Hot Damn!" We were in Chicago, getting our kicks, talking to George Shearing. Chicago was great.


There were the same young bop musicians and an even bigger crowd than the night before. We walked around outside the club and tried to pick up some girls off the street. With no luck we went into the club again and got some whiskey. The music blasting out of the horn and the other instruments made me want to join them. There was skinny Chicago kid again, ready to jump and blow on his trombone. At intermission I went out for some air. The night was young and so was the city. When I went back inside Dean was getting his kicks with some more beer. I told him to come outside with me.

Outside on the sidewalk Dean spotted one of the prettiest young girls we have both ever seen. She was thin and average height with long blonde hair. I told him to go pick her up. "Go talk to her Dean", I said. But he didn't do it. When I asked him why he just said, "I couldn't do it man." It was strange to see Dean scared to approach a girl. It was as if he had fallen in love with her in the five minutes that he was watching her. I decided to go ask her to join us for some drinks. And sure enough she did. We went back inside the club and got some more beers. She was having fun and Dean started easing up. He started talking to her about all kinds of things. I was sure that he would get in with her before the night was over.

While Dean was picking up the young blonde, I decided to look for a girl of my own. I went for a walk. The streets were so alive and lit up. It reminded me of New York and I actually missed the "Big Apple" a little bit. I smoked a few cigarettes and thought about some things. I thought about going back to New York. Our return to New York was really going to be something. I thought about traveling more, to foreign countries like Italy or Mexico. Someday Dean and I could probably make it to South America if the road would allow it. I wondered happily as I stumbled back into the club to hear the loud and crazy music in the club. I sat next to Dean. His girl wasn't there. I wondered what went wrong and so I asked him. He simply said that she would be back later.

We talked about New York and Frisco. The beautiful Frisco and all the ood times there. We talked about Denver and all of our history there. Dean's father was there and he wanted to find him someday. Many memories were in Denver and we wanted to hold on to them. This deep conversation had both Dean and I sweating. We smoked a few cigarettes and had some beers. Dean started talking about Old Bull Lee. We wondered where he was. If he was getting his kicks and if he was with his girl. It was just Dean and I now. I wondered if we would ever see any of our good old friends again. My aunt thought they were all idiots, but I knew that they were all good people. Even good old Dean, the mad-man.

Another intermission and back outside we went. Surprisingly, dean's girl actually came back. She came over and started talking about music and I don't know what else. I wasn't really paying attention. The music started up again and Dean started shouting things like "Yes!" and "Hot Damn". He was sweating and yelling and happy all at once. For a moment I thought Dean was mad again. He started talking about his father and then about Camille. We started musing about Mexico and decided that one day we drive there. Dean shouted, to nobody in particular, "The road can take us anywhere!" Then he said, "C’mon, let’s go man", and off we went.

On The Road: Explication


On the last page of the book On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, there is a very meaningful and important passage. The passage reads: "...all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty." This passage is both very descriptive and powerful. In the passage the author is suggesting that there are things in life that will always be unknown, but there are memories that will never be forgotten. He also displays the fact that every place is different from another.

In the first part of this passage the road is the subject. This part of the passage is very important because the road is a main symbol throughout the book. With these words the author is expressing the feel of the road. The road is always going and can seem endless. It makes up all of America. People dream on this road about life and love and everything. It allows people to feel free to think and wonder. It fascinates those who drive on it because it has them guessing where it will take them next.

The next part of the passage is about Iowa. This part is significant because it shows that all the states are different and unique. The author is trying to express that no two places are the same. In Iowa, "they let the children cry". All places have their own ways that make them unique. Normal is defined differently for all locations. What seems normal in one place can be absurd in another. Kerouac is showing how different everywhere can be.

In the following part of the passage the author refers to God. The stars in the sky tell the reader there is a clear night sky and that it is peaceful on this part of earth. Stars do not appear in busy places like cities. This also refers back to the fact that everywhere is different. The words, "God is Pooh Bear?” can suggest that God is interpreted in many ways because every person can see Him in his own way. Maybe the children are young and innocent and like Pooh Bear, so this is why he is referred to as God. Age and even location can affect personality and nobody is the same as anybody else.

The next part of the passage the night is becoming full. The phrase, "the evening star must be drooping", can represent the sky starting to change. Once the stars are gone the sky becomes darkness. This is when most people sleep. The night can represent peace for everyone, whether they are sleeping or not. The night is unique to every area and comes at different times in different areas too. The author is showing some of the many diversities of the world.

The night is unique to every part of the world. Night and darkness can symbolize old age and death. This last part of the passage expresses thoughts about old age and about memories. Everyone will grow old, but memories are not forgotten. Although close friends may not stay with each other for their whole lives, the times they spent together are never forgotten. This ending shows how close Dean and Sal really were. Sal is thinking of Dean and remembering the times they had together. People go their separate ways and everything eventually comes to an end. Memories make everything more worthwhile and happy to remember when one is close to the end.

All the different lifestyles and places in the world make memories once experienced. Experiencing another ay of living is something one cannot forget. Traveling with friends and making memories out of all the good old times is something one should cherish. Although there is always an end, it can become more pleasant with happy memories to reminisce about. Diversity is beneficial for one to experience. Every person and every place is different and unique in its own way. Kerouac is telling the reader that there are many differences in the world, but that the differences will not hurt a person. Experiencing different things can create memories that should be preserved because everyone must die, but everyone should have fun times, hard times, and best friends to remember.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tom Phillips' Humument



The picture on page 55 of Tom Phillips' Humument is divided into 8 sections. The first thing that catches the eye is the white part of the sixth section that looks like an "x". The "x" sticks out because white catches the eye well. It appears to be covering something yellow with a little bit of blue and red. The next white "x" that catches the eye is in the box below the first "x", the eighth box. This "x" is covering some darker and also bright colors. There is some red in the background and also some dark blue and black. There also appears to be a lighter shade of red. The contrast of dark and bright colors is obscured by the big white "x". The meaning is hard to interpret, but once these words are put together with the others in the picture it may be easier to decode their meaning.

The next section which contains an "x" is the second. This "x" appears to be covering a landscape. There appears to be fields and grass. It also looks like there may be some bushes near the top and some dirt at the bottom. The words mention a location which may be the setting of the landscapes in this picture. There is a grassy knoll in this landscape as well as fields and bushes and trees. The dark color could be the sky. These first two sections that appear to be landscape could be the view a pilot sees from a plane. It makes sense that these could be the views from an airplane because they are landscapes and look small without much detail. The light outlines in the first section could be outlines of trees or they could possibly signify anything else. However the outlines help create a contrast in colors because on one side of the cluster of words the outlines are pink and on the other side the "ground" is solid pink.

The third part of this picture catches the eye well because the yellow sticks out. The yellow looks like it is a cornfield or a plain with dry yellow grass. The green looks like a row of bushes separating pavement and the field. The white part appears to be obscuring a runway or a connecting point to lanes of a runway. The red circles look like they are maybe stop points and checkpoints. The pavement with white spots appears to be lanes for takeoff or it could be lights. I think this landscape could represent an airport.

The next part that catches the eye is next to the third part, "the airport" landscape. This catches the eye because there is a large amount of red. Then there is blue and some grayish purple color in the background. The background could represent the "smoke" described in the words. The red could represent the "red cock" in the words. There are only two other parts of this picture. The fifth part is the next to last to catch the eye. There is orange, blue and brown color in this section. The blue can represent water. Maybe the blue part is a river and the brown could be the riverbed. The orange could be the ground around the river, the dirt. The last part of this picture contains red and orange. It also contains a duller reddish brown color. The orange appears to be the ground and the reddish brown could be the "wall" described by the words. The red could represent a part of this wall or it may be the "cyphers". The red could even be the "ditch". The words on this picture can help describe and show meaning in the pictures.

The first group of words, starting with "above the roofs", indicates that someone is looking down at Grenville from a window. This makes sense because the first two parts of the picture are landscapes. The trees becoming smaller mean that the aircraft is climbing higher into the air. The next group of words tells the viewer that the first few parts of the picture are landscapes. This traveler is flying over Grenville. He is probably passing over on his flight. In the next group of words the aircraft is dipping lower. This “red cock” is the red in the picture. The dwarf is some object that appears very small to the flyer because he is elevated. The “red cock” could be a weathervane on top of a barn. “The sound of whip sensation rocking”, can indicate that there is wind outside the aircraft causing it to rock. The great pop ditch can be represented by the blue in this part of the picture, possibly a river or lake. The last words in the picture indicate that the traveler is getter closer to land. He sees markings on this wall, maybe graffiti (the cyphers). At the end of this traveler’s journey he is close to this wall and that is when he sees the “flower tramp”. The flower tramp may be some symbol of significance to the traveler.

This picture describes what it is like to look down on everything from the sky. From above one’s perspective is much different than looking at something straight on. Being on land and flying are different and make perspectives different. Since the perspectives are different, the interpretations of things are also different. It changes the way one views our world.

My College Essay


When I arrived in North Carolina I thought I was going to hate it. My group and I were in the woods, sleeping on the ground with bugs, and hiking with packs weighing around sixty pounds on our backs. The first few days were difficult for us and it was awkward because we didn't know each other. We soon realized that in order to get things done we must work together. We started bonding and the trip changed. Our positive attitudes helped us to achieve our goals more successfully. Nobody was better than anybody else and we all helped each other out. When you are with a group and they are the only people you will see, with very few exceptions, for three weeks you must bond and try your hardest to be positive. Our group knew that if one person did not cooperate it would bring us all down.

When I was a sophomore in high school I got accepted into a program called Summer Search. Summer Search is a non-profit organization that gives selected students a chance to do things that would not even be dreamed of. Students are sent on two trips, one the summer before junior year and one the summer before senior year. For my first trip I went to North Carolina on a wilderness expedition. I wanted to go to California or Colorado, but those trips were full. I was hesitant about going to North Carolina, but it ended up being one of the most challenging and beneficial experiences in my life. The purpose of my trip was to gain leadership skills and grow as a person. I personally gained both.

On my trip there was a part called "solo". For three days each person in our group had to be separated from each other and live on our own campsite. The instructors would come twice a day to check in on us and we were given a small bag of food and some water. When I arrived at my site I set up camp and settled down to relax. Time passed slowly but it allowed me to think and reflect on my life. I learned and realized things about myself that I never had before. One was: if I try my best I can do anything. After our solos, we went to a new campsite for three days of rock climbing. I am extremely afraid of heights and was dreading climbing. On the first day I was almost forced onto the rock. Tears were in my eyes and I screamed to be taken down. Finally I reached the top and felt so proud of myself. On the last day of climbing I completed a two hundred and fifty feet multi-pitch climb and rappelled down from it. I learned that if I face my fears I can overcome them.

When I first got to North Carolina I didn't think I would like it because I would not be able to do all the things planned for the trip. Being on my own for three days in the woods was extremely scary. Climbing was one of my biggest fears. I accomplished so much and I now know that I can do anything I set my mind to. I know how to survive on my own in the wilderness. I have learned to accept everyone for who they are. I am much more mature and independent since my trip. The best quality that I took home is determination. I am determined to be successful and know that I can do anything I desire.

Life is full of many challenges and obstacles, but it is never impossible to overcome them. Throughout my life I have realized that if I am determined to do something I can succeed. Perseverance is very important to me. Some things in life are going to seem unbearable or worthless, but I know that if I give it a chance it can become worthwhile. If I strive for something I really want, I know I can have it. Just like many other people, I have set goals for myself and I am determined to fulfill them.

Red Shift


In the poem "Red Shift", Ted Berrigan suggests that life can start off good, but end badly because at some point things have to change. Ted Berrigan establishes his point through change in emotion. He shows this by the change in his tone and his different word choices. The title of this poem can be interpreted in many different ways. I believe it refers to the change in the speaker's emotion. The color red signifies anger and the shift represents the change in tone throughout the poem. His emotional change is a red shift.

Specific times are important in poetry because they usually refer to important events. In the first sentence a specific time is mentioned; 8:08. This is the time that the speaker started writing this poem. The speaker goes on to tell us about himself. He has a big build, but he has rhythm. A month is now mentioned, February. February is a month in the middle of winter. Winter is cold, gloomy, depressing, and can symbolize illness or death. A hint is being provided here that the mood will start to change. It also foreshadows upcoming parts where death is mentioned.

There are three different states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. In the next few sentences the speaker mentions all of these. He mentions a streetscape and trees, which are solid. He then talks about drinking his "American poison liquid air", which is Pepsi, a liquid. The smoke is a gas. I believe he leans into the smoke because he is leaning into memory and the break in the line tells us this.

Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg were both poets before Ted Berrigan. The speaker mentions them being looked for among himself. Allen is said to be like a movie because he was really famous at a time, but now he has died out. Frank disappears into thin air because his life shortly fades away as he dies. These men show that death must come sometime. The speaker is implying that he will be the next to die of these 3 poets.
In the next few lines the speaker starts to reminisce about his past. He thinks of where he stands at this point in his life. He thinks about all his accomplishments and what he has. I think the woman he is talking to is his wife. He is telling her how surprised he is that there are no burdens for him and no doubts at this time. They have children, money, a good marriage, and only good things. His life is nice and calm but he wants to know what will happen next.

The speaker mentions a few people in the next part of the poem. First he mentions a young boy on 6th and Bowery. I believe that the boy reminds the speaker of himself when he was younger. Another time is mentioned: 1961. This time period is just after Ted Berrigan joins the army. His perception of life has most likely changed a great deal after his joining. The young and innocent girl is only nineteen but she must die. The harshness of her death is neither expected by her nor by the speaker. The next person is the painter. The painter appears to be someone very close to the speaker. It is someone that will never leave or betray the speaker, unless he or she dies. Death is to come for everyone at one point in life, whether it is expected or not.
“California Dreaming” is a song about leaving California and wanting to come back eventually. The speaker doesn’t want to be like this song because he wonders when he will die. He is not afraid of death and he seeks it out. He is 43 and possibly going through a mid-life crisis. He feels that he should already be dead because he is alone, depressed, and empty.

Anger starts to come from the speaker now as his tone changes. It seems as if he is yelling at someone now. He was supposed to change whoever he is speaking to and he did. I think he changed this person for the worse though. The speaker’s tone indicates to me that he wants this person to suffer for a very long time.The speaker is alone now at the end of the poem. He says he is “alone & crowded”. He feels he is alone but also crowded and suffocating at the same time. Fate is not pleasant but he must die. He leaves the world softly and quietly as his anger tries to follow him. His pain is slowly lifted off as he is finally dying.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Plum Plum Pickers


In The Plum Plum Pickers, Raymond Barrio shows that his view of a human is a person with pride. To be human, one must have honor and pride. The setting of this story has many trees and is very hot. Workers must go through labor for many long hour to pick fruit. The workers are treated like animals. Their breaks are seldom and seem very short. the setting is made to seem almost unbearable.

In the first paragraph Barrio uses descriptive language to show that the main character is treated like an animal and feels trapped. He is controlled and has no freedom. Barrio is showing that the main character is not human and does not have pride. The lunch break that follows is described in only one word because it shows how fast the break feels for workers. All the work that is done receives no appreciation. The workers are viewed as if they are animals which is why the receive no relief.

The next paragraph describes the next part of the workday. The words, "Almost too exhausted to eat," show the reader just how unfairly the workers are treated. Their feelings do not matter. Barrio is saying that the main character feels trapped again. He is trapped in his work and an undesirable environment. When the fruit is spilled the main character feels as if all his work has gone to waste. The fruit symbolizes that no matter how hard the people work, they will receive nothing in return. Their work without appreciation and their lives without pride are a waste.

Another short break follows this and is a short time to relax. "Midafternoon" is described in only one word to signify how short the break feels to the workers. The word can be read in seconds, and that's how the break feels for the workers. In the following paragraph the main character is finally receiving some time to relax, at least a little bit. He feels drained and starts to work slowly. Exhaustion starts to take over but it cannot be avoided because he has no rights, like an animal. Finally the whistle blows and hope for some relief comes as the workday is ended.

Now Roberto Morales comes into the setting. Roberto is a robber and this foreshadows that he will try to steal from the workers. Barrio shows that these workers are treated like animals and he wrote, "The worst kind . To his own people." to show just how badly Roberto treats them. Roberto is compared with white people because he treats the workers as if they are slaves. Barrio stops the paragraph suddenly to signify that something important is coming up.

The next few paragraphs in the story are very significant to the upcoming climax. Barrio now gives the main character a name. This shows that something benefiting the workers will happen because Manuel is going to speak his mind. Manuel is now a person with a name, he matters. His name is Manuel, it reminds one of manual labor. Roberto Morales represents a robber with no morals. Manuel feels frustrated and Barrio shows that because Manuel is does not have his pride yet. Manuel stands up to Roberto and this shows that he wants and deserves his pride. Barrio shows how a man must gain his pride to be human.

The next part is the climax. Manuel stands up to Roberto and gains his pride back. Barrio shows that the workers were treated like animals when he describes them as, "the other exhausted animals". Manuel will not do what Roberto says anymore and the author is showing that pride can be gained if one wants to become a man. Manuel will no longer do his work and manual labor and let Roberto rob him of his pride.

When Roberto says Manuel's last name it shows Manuel that he is more of a man. Now that he has stood up for himself he has the right to a name. Manuel has started to gain pride and he is a human being now. Their other workers want their pride too. They kick over their buckets and at that moment they become human. They all have pride and Roberto is inferior. Barrio is showing that a man needs and wants pride because without it he is nothing.

The last paragraph describes the theme of the story in more depth. Barrio uses this paragraph to go deeper about why pride is so important to a man. Even though there may be benefits and consequences for Manuel, it is most important that he gained his pride. The last sentence of the story says, "Or else they are dead before they die.". Barrio is emphasizing his point that without pride there is nothing. A man is worthless and as well as dead if he has no pride. With pride rights are gained and some respect is gained too.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blind to Truth


In the poem "The Parable of the Blind", William Carlos Williams displays a belief about religion that God cannot always save people. The poem is about blind people but mentions a church. The picture shows blind men walking in a line looking upward and an ending result of them falling into water. In the background of the picture a church is present. The blind men are looking up toward God but are still falling into the water. Looking upward does not save them.

The first part of the poem is describing the painting. The first line, which says "This horrible but superb painting", indicates that the subject of the work is insensitive and perhaps a poor choice but that the artwork is done quite well. The next few lines go on to say that there is no red in the composition. This is because darker tones or colors display a gloomy, hopeless setting. Red is bright, vibrant and full of life and would contradict the setting and mood of the painting. The poet writes these lines to show that the subject is sad and undesirable for one to think about.

The second part is about the blind men; "shows a group/of beggars leading/each other diagonally downward"(4). The word beggars indicates that the blind men are peasants and lower in society's status. These men stay together and lead each other though they cannot see. The poet is saying that the blind men stay together to help one another because they can relate to each other's disability and perhaps this is an indication that misery loves company or that there is safety in numbers.

The third part of the poem is telling the reader to where and what the blind men are leading one another. In the painting the blind men are being led to the right side of the canvas whose ending point is "to stumble finally into a bog"(9). A bog is water and these blind men obviously cannot see it. They will fall into the water because they can't see where they are going. Williams is saying that even though people try to help each other sometimes they lead one another into dangerous and even fatal situations.

The next part of the poem describes the end result of the painting. The blind men start out on one side of the canvas unaware of what awaits them on the other side; "of which no seeing man//is represented"(12). This line tells the reader that the disabled are the only ones in the picture. Only blind men are leading one another, looking up to God or heaven, and they are falling into the bog. This would not happen to people who can see. The reason the poet mentions this is to remind the reader that this type of experience doesn't happen to sighted people. If there were someone sighted there to help the blind beggars they would be saved.

The following lines comment on the appearance of the blind men. They are unshaven because they are not able to see to shave without cutting themselves or doing a thorough job. These men are destitute so they may not even be able to afford to shave even if they could see what they were doing. "The des-/titute with their few//pitiful possessions" (15), refers to the place in society these men occupy. They are poor and tired. They are not seen as important because they are peasants and they are disabled; no one feels inclined to help them because they are viewed as expendable, perhaps even as a drain on society.

Peasants do not own many possessions but the few they do have are important because it's all they have. Their wash basin that is mentioned is essential for washing. Peasants have the same basic need for cleanliness and good health as anyone else does. The church that is seen in the painting represents the need for faith. All people no matter what their status in society or their disability need to believe in something to give their lives purpose and meaning. The church is painted small in the background because while having faith is important the artist is trying to convey that one cannot depend on only faith to have a successful life.

The next part of the poem supports a previous idea that having faith in God is not a guarantee for long life, health, wealth, good social standing or safety. "The faces are raised/as toward the light" (19). The picture is painted in dull earthy colors. This signifies the environment is sorrowful. These men want God to help them. They are looking to Him with eyes that cannot see yet they still believe He is there. The have faith though they cannot see. Ironically the eyes He gave them do not work so they are still going to fall into the bog. Williams is saying that one cannot feel sorry for oneself nor should one depend upon God to save him or fix everything that is wrong in one's life. Those who are sick do not always get cured; those who are disabled do not always get healed; those who are poor do not always become rich.

The last part of the poem tells the reader the outcome. The first few lines are saying that there is no extraneous detail, or no unnecessary detail. This is because the painting is focusing only on the blind men and their surroundings. "One/follows the others stick in/hand triumphant to disaster"(21) are the last lines of this poem. These lines are saying that the men are very confident and are trying hard but will encounter disaster anyway. They look up to god but he cannot save them for their upcoming disaster. The poet is saying that the blind men are destined for this fate. God cannot save everyone them. They have hope that He will but it is useless. They are blind to the truth that God cannot always save people.

This poem describes the picture that goes with it very well. It is very descriptive and has nice expression of the poets analysis of the picture. Compared to the other poems and pictures, this one is quite different. It is about religion and has a meaning that is perhaps deeper than the others. There are no light colors in this picture; no vibrant colors that stand out. It is all earthy and dull tones. There are no normal people in the pictures. All the other poems have normal people in them. However, this does relate to many of the other poems because peasants are mentioned. Its almost as if some of the poems show the negatives and positives of how peasants live. Although there are many struggles for them, they can still have confidence and be happy. This poem shows a great point of view about religion and shows how the author felt about it. Religion cannot always save people..