Writing up the glossary and finding words I don’t know every week really helped me better understand the short stories. I normally skim over the words I do not know and use context clues to figure out the overall meaning of the paragraph rather than the specific meaning of the sentence. This helps me to better understand the sentence, hence helping me understand the overall story a little bit better. The glossary of the entire class brings into context all the stories we have read and all the different themes we have seen.
: special clothes and decorations (such as a crown or scepter) for official ceremonies
b : decorations or insignia indicative of an office or membership
“That’s my grandmother’s powwow regalia in your window,” I said. “Somebody stole it from her fifty years ago, and my family has been searching for it ever since.”
The talk about how to present yourself online was extremely enlightening. They described it as a hiding and showing sort of game on the internet. You need to control what you put on the internet and how you present yourself. You need to edit the profile so that you can control what you want to show on the internet. You present yourself on the internet how you want to be seen by selecting what you want on your website by choosing the visibility you want
E-portfolio is a part of OpenLab where you can customize categories and how it would look to the viewers. You can make it like your own personal profile including education, experience and projects. Some e-portfolios we saw were extremely professional including resumes and objectives.
Others included either biographies or thoughts and feelings in the e-portfolio. You can arrange the e-portfolio however you want creating drop downs of certain links as well as side bars of links as well. You can do whatever you want with these and get creative and playful. Putting yourself out there as an individual is a nice touch. It is kind of like your own website to present yourself.
Something that was extremely interesting from this talk is that this website can literally be a profile of yourself to present yourself whether in a professional setting for finding jobs, educational setting for applying to school, or creative setting for presenting yourself. This is an extremely beneficial and innovative way to express yourself besides just in a boring piece of paper for resume and cover letters.
Dear Professor Rosen,
Something I am extremely proud of for my project #2 is the artwork that I produced. I love the quotes that make up the roots of the tree. It comes to show that slavery is deeply rooted in the world that can not be seen from the naked eye. It comes to show the ugly parts of slavery that is no longer remembered.
The most challenging part of the project is finding the quotes that will support my thesis statement. From the beginning while reading the story I knew I wanted to talk about ‘claiming’ and ‘being claimed’. I had an idea of what quotes I want to use but it was extremely difficult looking for the specific quotes I wanted to use because of the timeline of the story.
Some new skills I acquired with this project is finding the deep rooted meanings behind the story and behind slavery. Sometimes it is a lot easier to just read the book and understand what has happened in the plot. When reading it slowly in order to truly understand the novel and what the author is trying to portray it takes more skills but it also brings a lot more satisfaction.
Something I may want to change about the project is probably focusing more on the artistic part of the project besides just writing the paper. It might be cool to do a presentation on this project instead of on another book that resonates with me.
As a writer, I love digging deep into the meanings of several quotes and finding out the meanings of it not only to myself but also to the author and other readers as well. Although I like to find these meanings and incorporate them in my paper, I have trouble putting my thoughts together in a coherent essay for my readers because I have a lot to write about.
The need for possession is a reoccurring theme in the book Beloved by Toni Morrison that gives readers an insight to the turmoil and pain experienced during the time of slavery. This theme is ironic because as a slave, the characters in the story possessed nothing, being the possession of someone else. There is a need to own something of their own even though they do not even hold possession of themselves. This can be seen in the pivotal passage in Beloved that occurred on pages 192-193 when Paul D finds out what exactly happened in 124 and what Sethe has done in the house. The story of Sethe actually begins with the killing of her own daughter in order to protect them from going back to the Sweet Home under the watch of the schoolteacher. Without this killing, there would not be a haunted house that confined both Sethe and Denver. The ultimate need for possession can be seen with Sethe’s infanticide in order to keep her children for herself.
Sethe justifies her murder by saying, “I stopped him, I took and put my babies where they’d be safe” (Morrison 2004: 193). In this pivotal quote, readers can see that Sethe went to ultimate measures to claim what is hers. She wasn’t willing to give away that claim to the schoolteacher. And now, Beloved will always be hers only, and no one else. Only in Sethe’s possession would her children be safe from the schoolteacher and his nephews. This was a pivotal part of the story because it’s what drives all the events that happens afterwards while also explaining the turmoil of slavery to be in possession of someone else and how this turmoil makes you want to hold on even more to that little bit that you do own.
This sort of possession and love was chastised by Paul D when he says, “your love is too thick” (Morrison 2004: 193). Toni Morrison also explains that, “suddenly he saw what Stamp Paid wanted him to see: more important than what Sethe had done was what she claimed” (Morrison 2004: 193). To claim something is dangerous in the slavery world because their claims are never forever and that is why Paul D calls it too thick. Throughout the story, we see the characters trying to claim something. They could never claim anything because they were slaves, they couldn’t even put a claim on themselves. Paul D, Denver, and Beloved wanted to claim Sethe’s love for themselves. They’ve never known what it feels to hold a claim on something and they each have this thirst to finally claim something.
Another claim that can be seen was Sethe’s continuous claim to her daughter after she has died. Sethe gave “ten minutes for seven letters” (Morrison 2004: 5). This stood out to me a lot because it is the first look at how much she loved her children. It never explicitly tells the reader what exactly this line means. But it is implied that she was willing to give the engraver ten minutes of sexual pleasure in exchange for the 7 letters of ‘Beloved’ to be engraved on her baby daughter’s tombstone. It brings to mind the lack of independence Africans had before and after the Civil War. Names are independent for each individual. When her daughter died, she is only referred to as “Beloved” in the story and never by her actual birth name. I feel that ‘beloved’ is a word of ownership. You have to be someone or something’s ‘beloved’. In this way, her daughter will always be hers and will always stay with her.
The possession Sethe claims of her daughter can also be seen when Paul D complains about Sethe babying Denver. When Sethe apologizes for Denver, Paul D says, “It means she has to take it if she acts up. You can’t protect her every minute. What’s going to happen when you die?” (Morrison 2004: 54). In response, Sethe says “Nothing! I’ll protect her while I’m live and I’ll protect her when I ain’t” (Morrison 2004: 54). In this quote, Sethe explains her claim to Denver and how even if Sethe can’t protect Denver physically in person, she will still be able to protect her. This passage foreshadows Sethe’s claim to Beloved and what measures she will take to protect her children. This is why she exclaims that she will protect her daughters no matter what, dead or alive.
No matter how much Sethe tried to claim what is hers, such as her children, she was still claimed by her past as a slave. Paul D says, “It occurred to him that what she wanted for her children was exactly what was missing in 124: safety” (Morrison 2004: 193). In a way, I feel that the author Toni Morrison is telling the readers that no matter how hard Sethe tried to run from the Sweet Home and cruelty of slavery, she will never be able to be a true free woman. She is still claimed and possessed by her past even though she is no longer a slave. This resonates with the readers when thinking about racism and prejudice in the world today. Even though slavery has ended and people are advocating for equality, there is a chance that it may never be achieved no matter how hard we try. Africans will always be possessed by the turmoil their ancestors must’ve felt in slavery, and probably their own turmoil of racism.
The theme of possession is a struggle that can be seen throughout the story between Sethe’s hold on her children and slavery’s hold on Sethe. Of course the beginning of this turmoil is the beginning of slavery, but when Sethe tries to kill all her children in order to put a claim on them, readers are able to understand the pain and thought process of people in the time of slavery. Infanticide can be seen as an exit to slavery, a sort of blessing or safety for a mother. Sethe believes that death is the only escape for her children to the cruelty of slavery. This allows readers to see the negativity of slavery besides what the naked eye can see such as physical abuse. Slavery is seen as something that is worse than death, something that could affect their kin several generations down. We are still experiencing the aftermath of slavery whether it is racism or prejudices. This brings to mind the question: when will slavery’s possession on civilization ever end?
Slavery is like a tree in that it is rooted in history, and rooted in the lives of everyone in this society. The tree looks big, strong, and even beautiful but what is not seen in the naked eyes is the roots of the tree. Like the tree, the roots of slavery is still around today even though we do not see it. There is still discrimination and prejudice against black people even though slavery is abolished. Like the tree in Beloved, Sethe is ashamed to see the beauty of it even though it represents the tree where the other Sweet Home men may have been lynched.
Some quotes deeply rooted in the history of slavery that resonates with me are those involved in Sethe’s (and other slaves of the time) need to claim something during slavery. She has a strong desire to prevent her children from experiencing what she has experienced in Sweet Home. In order to put her children somewhere safe, the only escape is death. Stories like such are the roots of slavery that will never be erased from history even though we do not actively think about or see it in today’s society. This artwork is trying to bring sight to the roots of slavery and how it will always stay with us no matter how far we have improved since then.
Slavery is seen as something that is worse than death, something that could affect their kin several generations down. We are still experiencing the aftermath of slavery whether it is racism or prejudices. This brings to mind the question: when will slavery’s possession on civilization ever end?
“The Shawl” by Cynthia Ozick Page 517 Paragraph 3
“Rosa gave almost all her food to Magda, Stella gave nothing; Stella was ravenous, a growing child herself, but not growing much.”
I understand that ravenous used here means that as a growing child, Stella was greedy for food and very hungry. She was so hungry that she even looked like she wanted to eat her baby sister Magda.
adjective tu·mul·tu·ous \tu̇–ˈməl-chə-wəs, tyu̇-, tə-, -chəs; –ˈməlch-wəs\
: loud, excited, and emotional
I understand the tumultuous means that when she found out her husband died, she locked herself in the room, she was breathing with confusion, and excitement. She was crying because her husband did die, but also confused because she was excited at the thought of her freedom.