Kakos' 6th Hour

Reactions and comments from my sixth hour Honors American Literature class.


My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The ALIS Doctor Is In!

Please post your thesis statement here. Don't get too attached to it--we shall tear it apart tomorrow in class (gently and constructively).


Blogger Olivia C. said...

“And she had died thinking the world a good place, full of loving and harmonious households like her own” (Wharton __). Being a dominate theme throughout society, literature, and entertainment, women’s role has been dictated, restricted, as well as analyzed at different points in history. In past centuries, the female’s role was largely enforced by the patriarchal societies in which the female lived and thrived. However, as the modern female becomes self-serving and dictating of their own individual choices, they are offered more avenues than a woman of a past century was allowed. The evolution of female’s roles in society is portrayed quite accurately through Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, The Bean Trees, as well as Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, as both present historical examples of women blindly living under veils of innocence, as well as the modern female’s ability to remove such a dominative cloak of ignorance and constraint.

2:15 PM  
Blogger matt l said...

Throughout the course of humanity, individuals have always had a need for realization in life. This is what pushes people to keep working hard to achieve a certain goal, or why some are never satisfied with the success they already have encountered. In a way, everyone is in their own “identity search”. Some people are content and suited with their life’s purpose while others simply will never be completely pleased. This is evident in the novels Death of a Salesman and The Catcher in the Rye. The main characters in these books, Willy Loman and Holden Caulfield respectively, epitomize the notion that individuals, regardless of the desire to change, require two main elements: aspiration and opportunity. In these stories, the characters have a metaphorical emptiness in them that yearns for transformation. The novels Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, and The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, portray individuals in search of fulfillment in life in order to communicate the idea that aspiration and seizing opportunities can lead to euphoria in terms of identity search.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Ryan S said...

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, and I, Robot by Isaac Asimov are two science-fiction novels that show what they believe the future will look like. These two stories differ in that in The Martian Chronicles the plot involves are traveling to Mars and dealing with Martians. In I, Robot the plot deals with robots and how they advance throughout history. Whether it’s venturing on a foreign planet or studying robot psychology these books have interesting accounts of what may happen. Although Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot both depict how the future is bright with new technology there is also a dark side we will pay the price of progress by making conflicts with what we invent.

3:05 PM  
Blogger brian k said...

Prejudice dominated the 1930's. With the Great Depression looming around every corner, people were on always on edge and always looking for someone to blame it on. At this time, blacks were not favorably looked upon and were the victims of this blame even though, most of them, were born into this crisis.Maya Angelou in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Richard Wright's Bigger Thomas in Native Son are both forced to change who they want to be in order to fit in to the heat of black racism. An exorbitant amount of predujuce and suppression was placed squarely on the shoulders of these two characters and they are forced to bend until they break.

4:18 PM  
Blogger allison n said...

The mind is a dangerous weapon, and has led to the catastrophic demise of many. Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger are two amazing books that deal with people just trying to find out who they are and with dismal results. Willy Loman, from Death of a Salesman, is a mediocre salesman who feels like he has failed with his family and life. Willy believes that he has nothing more to live for, and takes his own life at the end of this poignant play. Holden Caulfield, in The Catcher in the Rye is a lost teen that criticizes the world around him and cannot find any one person or school to fulfill him. The only things that will make him happy are completely intangible and leave him falling further and further into himself. In Death of a Salesman and The Catcher in the Rye, two men vainly explore their own worth and end up searching for themselves in women and also losing themselves in the past.

5:27 PM  
Blogger nicci c said...

In Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the main characters are young women who constantly fight for their freedom of the oppresion of men in society. Both end up leaving what they had in hopes for something better and no matter how many times they appear to fail, they keep on searching and use what has happened in a positive sort of way. Most of their challenges are against men who are constantly hurting them and are the ones who are screwing up their lives. Though these challenges and hardships would usually bring a person down, these two continue to pursue for something better in life through the people that matter.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Tori S said...

“A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place” (Michele Le Doeuff). Since the beginning of time men were often considered a more superior race over women. Many people believed that women couldn’t live by themselves or fend for themselves without a man around. Fortunately, that is not always the case. There are many strong women today surviving just fine without a man at their side. As Taylor and Holly, young women in The Bean Trees and Breakfast At Tiffany’s respectively, grow up and learn who they are they, find that they don’t need a man to be happy. Authors Truman Capote and Barbara Kingsolver display this idea of strong, independent women searching to find themselves in their books Breakfast At Tiffany’s and The Bean Trees through the characters of Holly, Taylor and LuAnn.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Logan J said...

The environment you place yourself in often manipulates the way you live your live. This proved far too true for Edna Pontellier in The Awakening and Taylor ____ in The Bean Trees when they both fall victim to their society and find themselves trapped within the bounds of society’s expectations. Taylor escapes from her suffocating hometown to find a new life elsewhere while Edna seeks life outside of her marraige. Barbra Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening tell the stories of women who seek to change their unsatisfying lives by rebelling against society’s standards.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Alexandra H said...

The world we live in is full of chaos. Daily, we struggle to overcome obstacles and strive to achieve happiness. By going through these troubles, we learn how to overcome other hurdles when they arise. Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Taylor Greer in The Bean Trees both face problems including the need to rely on unstable things like men and the feeling that nothing is right. In Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees and Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, these two women live in a world full of obstacles that they attempt to overcome by relying on other people and moving around to find happiness.

6:53 PM  
Blogger ryanp said...

There are people around the globe who are persecuted every day simply because of their race, gender, religion, or way of thinking. Many times these individuals or groups of people are born into a family that has been persecuted for ages and they know nothing of true freedom. People like these need reasons to want to succeed and bring their lives out of the pits that they are currently residing. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees and Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street provide epic tales of women attempting to break through the shackles of gender and racial biased societies in order to grant hope and give inspiration to those that remain oppressed in today’s world.

7:09 PM  
Blogger AaronW said...

Racism and economic pressure has always been powerful pressures placed over the African American community. In the 1930s it seemed as if these disadvantages were at a peak, with African Americans everywhere from Illinois to Arkansas feeling the devastating one-two punch of bigotry and poverty. Many people buckled under the pressure, while others flourished. Maya Angelou's I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings and Richard Wright's Native Son perfectly illustrate the aggressive feelings of a '30s African American community and how these emotions can devastate a person's life, or provide a foothold a determination in another's.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Christine D said...

The Best-Seller lists and literary awards, such as The Pulitzer Price, are awarded to literature which goes beyond the usual “good book”. Maya Angelou and Alice Walker are two African American authors that have been awarded for their works. Both of their books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Color purple, evoke images of the lives of black women and children in the South. Marguerite and Cellie, the main characters, face the challenges of living in a society in which a woman can not succeed without a husband, and succeeding is considered keeping a good home for the children and husband. In a society such as this, women struggle to follow their own path and be independent. Even though the main characters in the books were surrounded by this society, both of them had siblings who, through support and leading by example, helped them be independent and follow their own path in life.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Andie R said...

Insanity is defined as “a derangement of the mind” or “unsoundness of the mind”. It may be at times blatantly obvious, but it can also be subtle enough that the sufferer isn’t aware of its presence. If that person refuses, consciously or unconsciously, to acknowledge their mental disintegration, and forces it back, it may end up showing itself in a variety of unexpected ways. They may lash out at those they care about and harm them; usually feeling remorse afterward. That remorse may not be enough to sate their sadistic desires, and so the violent actions get progressively worse and more extreme with each loss of control, before the final downfall. Both the character in Steven King’s “The Shining” and the narrators in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat” and “The Tell- Tale Heart” experience a loss of control due to mental instability that results in innocents close to them being harmed.

7:51 PM  
Blogger brianc said...

Shirley Jackson and William Faulkner both talk about and point out the
negative effects on minorities and outcasts, and how this can often lead to a
negative ending. The authors don't exactly encourage to join the main stream, but
advise it due to the many positives that it can bring. The settings in both
of the stories work to isolate some of the minorities and in some cases lead
to their downfall. Jackson’s isolated house could represent how Eleanor felt, and Faulkner’s time of post reconstruction era shows how hard it was for minorities and immigrants. Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and William
Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury show how the world is filled with bigots
and prejudice, and often can isolate and discriminate against people for
nothing other than their beliefs or background and how it is important to
fight to achieve independence.

8:34 PM  
Blogger LindsayS said...

Finding out what life is and where one’s place in it is one tricky task, and many people never really discover it. In the books I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Breakfast at Tiffany’s the main characters, Maya, a teenage girl from the south, and Holly, a young woman who left home at fourteen, both find out how to cope with society while trying to live their life to the fullest. Maya goes through rough times living in multiple cities having no solid parental figure to guide and ends up pregnant while Holly has lived her own way for so long she seems to think she knows everything until she finds herself in jail with a fiancé that left her. Both characters go through a rough time and yet get what they want from life in the end, they made their journey and came out on top. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote reveal women who learn how squeeze sweet lemonade out of sour lemons and how to stand up and fight for themselves through life’s unexpected challenges.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Thomas_N said...

The novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller and the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien both contain many crucial themes that do not only apply in both stories but also in present time. The books tell the story of a squadron as they try and pass the time through major wars of American involvement. Although the stories are set in different settings, over all they still manage to get the same message across. The major reoccurring themes in the novels written by Joseph Heller and Tim O’Brien concentrate on the power of bureaucracy over others and the uncertainty of death.

8:53 PM  
Blogger anam said...

“ I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together” (Capote 39). In both of the books Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Bean Trees the main characters run away from their hometowns because they became confined in their small-town and the opportunities of success were limited. The books Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver have several parallels between one another: the role of women within society, the adventure of the main character undergoes in order to find themselves, and the hardships that the main characters have to endure in order to have success.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Aubry P. said...

It is almost impossible for one to come to the point in their lives where they truly need no acceptance from others. People need a sense of belonging and want. Many times women have relationships with men to try and find their acceptance but even in relationships they can still be lost. Truman Capote’s main character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly, and Eleanor Vance in The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson are both women that seem lost in the world and are looking for acceptance.

9:04 PM  
Blogger katie_r said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:06 PM  
Blogger katie_r said...

“…she has too long stifled for her husband, family, and society. Slowly, through that fateful summer, Edna changes. Her husband – caring if a bit insensitive – doesn’t understand why more and more his wife is letting her house making duties slip and is increasingly rebellious” (Chopin back cover). Edna Pontellier, from The Awakening, and Holly Golighty, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, are both examples of how women started to become independent from their husbands and other influential men in their lives, and began to think and decide for themselves. It is the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement, as they start to realize that they can have some say in the world, too. Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, show the slight rebellion of women towards men and the norms of society, in order to portray the individuality women needed to have.

9:08 PM  
Blogger corey c said...

ahhhhh! sorry this is after nine, i hope youll accept it:

The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller span poverty and the material wants of humans, they make it appear that money is the one desire of man that brings true happiness to others becuase they were written through the veil of poverty. Both novels are written through eyes of people stricken with poverty and yearning for a better lfe. Both novels gave the feel that money will satisfy all of the human needs and make them truly happy by protraying the life of the poor as horrible and sad. The books used main characters yearning for money, they represented the material wants of people. The books gave valuable insight into the psychological effects of money and its horrible curse.

9:42 PM  
Blogger christineT said...

"If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult" (Angelou 4). Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings illustrates the story of a young woman, Marguerite, who is constantly moved around and is forced to adjust to the changes in her world while trying to find her true self. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan portrays the story of four Chinese women and their daughters on their paths for self-discovery in a new and changing world while still trying to stay true to their roots. In Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, the authors create characters who must confront their relationships with family, friends, rivals, and enemies and who are on the path to self-discovery while making adjustments to their transforming lives.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Hannah S said...

Changes are inescapable but necessary. Changes can happen through people, places, almost everything can alter your life in one way or another. Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Bean Trees” and Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” demonstrate that somebody can change your life through challenges and love.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Amy O. said...

"I think. I am. I will" (Rand 36). The power of one single individual is often far greater than one may believe. Desperation and injustice corrupt the core of mankind. It can be found at any given time in government, businesses, and prejudice of class among society. But there's hope at the end of this dismal tunnel. Ayn Rand's Anthem and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle criticize the oppression of humanity in order to communicate that education and defiance to being dragged down by society is the key to self liberation.

1:41 PM  

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