I liked the poetry by Emily Dickinson because reading it out loud and hearing the sounds of her words together is a nice experience. I have friends and family so I’m not really lonely but I do feel like an outsider some of the time. I think that is why I like the poem I’m Nobody. Who are You? from Life so much. The poem is simple but it makes clear how it feels to be ‘nobody’ and how fun it is to find another ‘nobody’ so that you can make a new friend. The second verse explains the positive aspects of solitude in a fun way. She uses a ‘frog’ living in the ‘bog’ as a comparison to popularity. (2)
Emily Dickinson’s The Brain is Wider than the Sky also in Life is a wonderful poem. When I think about how “big is the sky’ I think about how the sky reaches into the universe so that means it must be infinitely big. Dickenson’s poem explains that the brain is bigger than the sky and bigger than the sea (3). The brain can hold an infinite amount of information which makes me feel happy to understand I can learn a lot in my lifetime.
The story by Joyce Carol Oates, Where are you Going, Where Have You Been? is old fashioned but still the teenagers are like people I know, especially the part about the girl who is always looking in mirrors. This was a very suspenseful and scary story because the strange man was so good at convincing Connie to do whatever he told her. At first he was friendly but then he started using threats. I think Connie heard the threat towards her family and was so scared, the man finally convinced her to come with him. (333-334)
On the hand there were three texts that we studied that I did not like at all because the plots and settings were boring. For example, I had a hard time reading the play The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill. The play starts with a lot of different drunken voices talking. The words are old fashioned, so on top of being drunk the people do not make sense to me because of their words. They also use words that are not polite, they are racist. I understand that is because of the point O’Neil wants to make about certain people being ‘hairy apes’ but I still did not enjoy this play. Even today the idea that workers are made into animals is true in some places. (180-209)
The Two Hearted River by Ernest Hemingway seems like a short story by a man for men, I did not enjoy it very much. It is an important story that still has meaning today though. It is about how a veteran feels coming home from war. Now both men and women come home from war as different people. Their homes do not look or feel the same to them because they have been so changed by war. The story is written in very short sentences which makes it boring. (252-264)
The Gentle Lena by Gertrude Stein has a rhythm like a sing-song which made the setting and plot more boring. The descriptions of Lena are often repeated such as that she is a gentle and patient girl, but all the people around her though treat her very badly. There are many passages of nasty quarrelsome ‘scoldings’ towards Lena. The short story displays how racist people were against immigrants and towards vulnerable women. Lena did not have anyone in her life empathize with her, stand by her, or appreciate her. (267-287)
I learned a lot about the people in the United States during this class. I enjoy learning about history from literature because fiction is much more interesting. I can share the feelings the characters are feeling and understand better their emotions. Maybe this is why I like the poetry and the short stories of women writers’ best. I often find the work of men less interesting. The symbolism and the overall messages by male writers may be interesting but it their words do not make me feel something I do not enjoy reading them. I cannot identify with some of the writing especially by Hemingway. I am glad I found out about all the writing and I am sure that I will be reading more of Emily Dickenson’s poetry.
Perkins, B. American Literature since the Civil War. Create edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2011. Print.