Category Archives: Homework


Besought (verb) – past and past participle of beseech.

source –

Found on page 37 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen,  ” He spoke of his great admiration for the negro race, no other race in so short a time had made so much progress, but he had urgently besought them to know when and where to stop.”

This word was used to tell the people of Naxos to learn when and where to stay in their place since they were always being mistreated. The author used this word to say the people of Naxos must not rise above white people.

wensday post  “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)” by Junot Diaz.

For this week post I will be discussing about the short reading we did in class “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)” by Junot Diaz.

The narrator in this text uses a very interesting narrative style. He uses “you” which makes it seem like he’s talking to the reader. The text is about him teaching you the reader, and even giving advice on how to date different type of women. He is very opinionated and judgmental of the different women he dates. He talk about how he prefer white girl over brown girl, which is very offensive to many people.

He uses the word “you” alot in the reading which in my opinion is trying to make the reader agree with what he’s saying, another word convincing you to think like him. He even depict the types of women for exam he said he prefer local women over outside women. He’s saying all the bad thing about the brown women but never mention the good thing about them. On the first page quoted  “If the girl’s local, don’t sweat it. She’ll flow over when she’s good and ready.” showing how he categorize different women. “If the girl’s from the Terrace stack the boxes
behind the milk. If she’s from the Park or Society Hill hide the cheese in the cabinet above the oven, way up where she’ll never see. ” this is another quote showing how he judge the women base on their background and where they come from.

It felt like the whole story was basically written on this author personal experience from what we discussed in the class today. I still didn’t like how much bad thing he said about color women. If I can connect this with something else we read in class it would be “Quicksand” by Nella Larsen, the reason why is because i feel like this author Junot Diaz could be one of those people who were criticizing Helga because she is mix race. But both story has the topic about the racism during the 1990. I didn’t like the story, I don’t agree with what he’s saying about brown women, and I would not support this author.

You In America and the theme of race

“You wished you were light-skinned enough to be mistaken for Puerto-Rican, light-skinned enough so that, in the dim light of the Indian restaurant where you both shared samosas with his parents from a centrally placed tray, you would seem almost like them.
His mother told you she loved your braids, asked if those were real cowries strung through them and what female writers you read. His father asked how similar Indian food was to Nigerian food and teased you about paying when the check came. You looked at them and felt grateful that they did not examine you like an exotic trophy, an ivory tusk. ”

In this paragraph the narrator describes the reader’s discomfort with their own race and the effect the parents has on them. In one sentence, the narrator describes how the protagonist wishes they were not as dark skinned and different from the boyfriend and his family, portraying a desire to “belong” in America. In the others the parents are mentioned as taking a legitimate interest in the protagonist and treating them with respect.

This passage serves to illustrate how no matter how much the boyfriend and his family does to make the protagonist feel included and appreciated, they will still feel like an “other”, as though they don’t belong. Firstly, the narrator describes the characters craving to fit in with the other people at the table to an extreme degree. Secondly, the family is described as being nothing but respectful and treating the protagonist as a human, a person, and not as a “foreigner.” These two parts of the passage paint a picture of desperate insecurity within the protagonist.

Another recent story where we encountered this theme of race and belonging is Quicksand. In it, there are frequent scenes where Helga Crane is painfully aware of how she’s different from the people around her and how badly she wants to be accepted by them, but no matter how they act she cannot let her feeling of “otherness” go long enough to feel as though she belongs.

contemporary fiction. You in America. Christelle

“You knew you were abnormal- the way the nasty ones were too nasty and the nice ones too nice. The old white women who muttered and glared at him, the black men who shook their heads at you, the black women whose pitiful eyes bemoaned your lack of self-esteem, your self-loathing. Or the black women who smiled swift, secret solidarity smiles, the black men who tried too hard to forgive you, saying a too obvious hi to him, the white woman who said “what a good looking pair” too brightly, too loudly, as though to prove their own tolerance to themselves.”

The people around the narrator are suspicious and uncomfortable with their relationship. They seem to resent to the pairing of a black woman and white man. It is seemed odd yet none of these people have the audacity to outright reject this pairing. This quotation proves that although legally the segregation of races may be illegal, we still continue to think and operate un-cohesively.


The Shawl By Louise Ercrich

1. “His father’s chest was broad and, although he already spat the tubercular blood that would write the end of his story, he was still a strong man. It would take him many years to die. In those years, the father would tell the boy, who had forgotten this part entirely, that at first when he talked about the shadows the father thought he’d been visited by manidoog. But then, as the boy described the shapes, his father had understood that they were not spirits.”

2.This passage to me is foreshadowing what will happen to the son as well as comparing and contrasting them.The first thing they talk about was how strong his father was.and then talk about how long it would take for his father to die.When he becomes a father he goes through the same thing his father does however does not break as easily.The father only weakens when he physically weakens and he finally tells his son what he believed to be the truth after years if holding it in.The son however is in the same situation and he becomes a drunk and beats his kids.I don’t think this was random there’s too much of a difference in how they react for it to be anything but a comparison between them.

3.I believe that the whole story is about many things.This comparison of weak and strong is also else where in the book.The husband tried to love his wife even though she had a baby with another guy,the wife on the other hand could not get the other guy out of her head and as a result could not appreciate her husband.The daughter more than likely saved her mothers life by jumping to the wolves which takes a certain strength she will die knowing that she did something good,the father knows he tried to love his wife and that she acted selfishly and tore apart their family and as a result their daughter that she wanted so badly died and the mother has to deal with this for the rest of her life if shes still alive.
I think there is an under lying theme of using strength for good and being rewarded in some way.

4.This idea can be found in many passages an books.One of my favorites is the battles that batman and joker have.Batman could easily kill joker if he wanted too.However batman just smashes his plans time and time again and sends him to jail.But why does batman feel as if killing a killer would be wrong? batman says that “Killing a killer does nothing but increase the number of killers in the world.” So it can be said that batman’ reward is being better than those he stops and keeps his peace of mind.

“You” in “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”

When does the narrator create the narrate–that is, where is the “you” addressed, and who is that you that he builds?

(Late post, I apologize)

The narrator creates this relationship/ barrier with the reader by addressing the readers as “you” especially in the beginning of the story. Jackson Jackson in the beginning of the story states “I’m not going to tell you my particular reasons for being homeless, because it’s my secret story, and Indians have to work hard to keep secrets from hungry white folks,” this atomically puts this barrier between the reader and the narrator.  The reader is portrayed as a distant person and as a person who will take advantage of the secret and harm him and his tribe. He starts by building this bad picture of the reader and that we are “hungry white folks” who is looking to harm the Indians. He continues to build this ungrateful and vicious view towards the readers by stating “Maybe you don’t understand the value of a clean bathroom, but I do,” in other words we are ungrateful for things that we feel are common however is a luxury to others and that we won’t ever understand what a clean bathroom is like because he feels that we don’t come across dirty or unclean restrooms. Again he builds this barrier between the reader and himself that the reader will not understand.  In other words its like, I’m just telling you but I don’t expect you to understand how I feel about it. He further develops this barrier by stating “We’re common and boring, and you walk right on by us, with maybe a look of anger or disgust or even sadness at the terrible fate of the noble savage,” Jackson mentions “you” referring to us the reader and says how we see homeless people often and not only do we not care about them but many times we make faces towards them. Sometimes faces that show our anger towards them and sometimes our sympathy towards them.  He makes it clear that we, the reader are these vicious evil people who are not trustworthy, not grateful and are bad guys. We can maybe better understand this by the way many of us see corporate workers and how their ungrateful and corrupt is kind of how the narrator portrays us the reader as.  Jackson builds this image of “you” as a corrupt person.

Humor in What You Pawn I Will Redeem

Where is there humor? to what end?

(For starters, sorry for my late posting)

There is humor present throughout the course of Sherman Alexie’s story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem”, seen through dialog, character’s actions, and even the main character’s name, Jackson Jackson. I believe humor is used as a tool to lighten an otherwise grim situation. For instance in the very beginning the narrator, Jackson Jackson, describes himself as trustworthy after saying he has had two or three wives and two or three kids. Which is ironic, how can someone be considered trustworthy when they do not even know how many children they have fathered. Also he reached the conclusion that he was trustworthy because store owners allow him to use their restrooms. Jackson’s actions are humorous as well because he was given twenty four hours to come up with nine hundred and ninety nine dollars to buy back his grandmother’s regalia that was stolen years prior, from a pawn shop owner. He already had five dollars from begging on the street and the shop owner gave him a twenty dollar head start, Jackson’s first thought was to go to a seven eleven with his fellow homeless friends buy “three bottles of imagination”, and get drunk in an alley. I feel that the humor is essential in this story because a person’s life is full of very traumatic and difficult moments some more than others, this narrator is of Native American decent, a marginalized group of people who have had their heritage taken from them, and many live on reservations. And Jackson specifically is unemployed and homeless. Regardless of this he does not want the audience to feel sorry for him, Jackson jokes about everything in his life and will not give negative aspects of it a second thought like when Junior left. He looks at the positive side of his life and only wants to live life to the fullest. Not starting confrontation with the pawn shop owner for selling his stolen grandmother’s regalia. And sharing what little money he has with others, giving a twenty to the cashier, and buying shots for everyone in the bar.

Reliability of the “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” narrator

“What You Pawn I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie is about the narrator’s , Jackson Jackson, story about his quest on obtaining $1000 in order to buy his grandmother’s long lost ceremonial regalia. What follows is a tale of Jackson’s tendencies at being irresponsible keeping the money he collected and instead ending up spending it on other things.

While I think that most of us will assume or get the hunch that Jackson is bound to fail on his task, he still ended up getting the regalia back anyway. This is because in the eyes of those around him, he’s a reliable man. His encounter with other people in different situations showed his generous and kind personality, which earned their trust, hence why he was successful in the end. For example, after waking up before Junior, Jackson constantly checked if he was still breathing, making sure his friend is alright. He also didn’t want to bring in the police into the situation about stealing of the regalia, he wanted to work hard for it instead. When Jackson won some money from a scratch lottery ticket, he gave twenty dollars as a small token to the clerk, Mary, saying that “When you win, you’re supposed to share with your family.” He also treated his “new friends” and fellow Indians to drinks and bought breakfast for the Aleuts he met at the wharf. Even though Jackson is in a difficult situation himself, he still acted out of goodness to others. His altruistic gestures was reciprocated with other people aiding him back, like the Big Boss giving him free newspapers to sell, when the police officer chipped in thirty bucks to help and ultimately the pawnbroker offering the regalia at no charge.

As a narrator tho, it is difficult to say if Jackson is a credible one, whether his story is true since its authenticity is quiet questionable. Made up stories tend to make the story teller in a positive image. You could say he is a good story teller tho if it were all just fictional events, like he said, “we Indians are great storytellers and liars and mythmakers”. I guess it entirely up to the readers whether to believe Jackson’s story is genuine as can be.

Helga’s Relationships

Throughout the first couple of chapters that I have read I could already see conflicts brewing due to Helga’s race. She is the daughter of a white Danish woman and a African American jazz musician. We don’t really see Helga’s father because he left her and his wife when Helga was born (might be wrong). Due to this she is a mix of both races. She has a hard time expressing her true feelings. Helga has a hard time fitting in society, she does not “feel at home” whether it’s with the black people or the white people. Even at the school that she teaches she cannot really fit in, just because she is a mixed race. In my opinion being a mixed race does not mean that you cannot fit anywhere, it should be the other way around, where you can see and live  the life of both races. Anyway, the biggest dilemma in the story would be whether or not Helga can find a place called home, without there being anyone to judge her because of her mixed race.  In Naxos she had no time to relax or rest from any thoughts ” ever since her arrival, she had striven to keep these ends of the days from the intrusion of irritating thoughts and worries”.  No matter what she does or goes, there will always be a shadow casting down upon her, reminding her that she cannot fit in any group. Although she will face these troubles, I think she will overcome and find a place that she can call home.

—- Do you think Helga will wonder aimlessly without being welcomed anywhere throughout the whole story, or will she be able to cross her racial boundary ?


Belief in Hunger Artist

No, it is not possible to fast for that long and expect to be alive for all of it especially with out water. Any real person cannot survive without food for 3 weeks, so instead what is used is a suspension of belief. What a suspension of belief is when a writer introduces something that can be a little believable and makes it interesting, then it would make the readers forget about reality and just focus on the story. In the version of Cinderella that I read which was “The Little Red Fish And the Golden Clog”. There where many occasions that wasn’t believable at all like a fish that can talk and toxics that can make a person beautiful, but what made it ok was the emotions of Cinderella and how she was being treated a version of suspension of belief. A another example, is a super hero show called the Flash the main character was hit by lighting next to random chemicals. In real life a person would die by the chemicals and the lighting, but it would be entertaining to see a human get super speed and it kind of makes sense. As the watcher you do not know what chemicals that are used and with the way how science is now it is possible. The fact that the chemicals could of fuse with the lighting and in return it gave him powers could be excused.