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Monday, April 29, 2013

Homer and his influence on Western Culture

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Homer and his Influence on Western Culture


Homer influenced Greek values by articulating the value of Archaic Period, otherwise known as Homeric Period. In his two most famous books, The Iliad and The Odyssey, those principles are seen in situations and characters. The Greeks in consider Homer’s two epics as the highest cultural achievement of their people, the defining moment in Greek culture, which set the basic Greek character in stone. These texts occupy a central position in the self-definition of Western culture. They both concern the great defining battle of Greek culture, The Trojan War.


The Iliad is the story of a short event that happened during the ninth year of a so-called ten-year war. There is a clash between the two Greek commanders, Agamemnon and Achilleus. Agamemnon is upset with Achilleus because he blames him for the loss of his concubine. For that Agamemnon revenges for Achilleus’s concubine. Achilleus is angered and departs from the Greek army. This departure leads to the defeat of the Greeks and the killing of Agamemnon by Trojan hero Hector. When this happens Achilleus joins the battle once again and kills Hector.


The Odyssey is the story of the homecoming of another Greek hero Odysseus. Odysseus was not famous for his strength or bravery, but for his ability to deceive and trick. He was not in good terms with the gods so they didn’t let him return home till his tenth year so he could fight off suitors of his wife. It talks about all the difficulties he faced over the course of ten years.


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One of the characteristics of a good story, now as then, is that the audience must be captivated. Homer achieves this using many different techniques. He composed the Odyssey and the Iliad in long lines of six beats each called Dactylic Hexameter, which the ancients thought suited the formality of epic poetry. In every other sense as well, including the nature of the language and the subject, the verse of Homer is poetry. Most significantly, Homers verses were meant to be heard, not read. Its power and beauty come from several effects, chiefly the musicality of the language and the marked rhythm of the line. He uses a lot of metaphors, suspense, and supernatural. Homer has a constant repetition of phrases, whole lines, and even passages that make his writing style very distinctive. This way of composing helps the audience in remembering details of the story. While we may find this merely repetitive, even annoying, the ancient audience was listening, not reading, and enjoying the play of words and language. These repetitions are essential to the oral style of composition called oral-formulaic. In oral-formulaic traditions, generations of poet performers develop a special poetic language that consists of a number of musical phrases and longer story elements out of which long narrative poems are constructed. In the Iliad when he mentions Achilleus it is complemented by the phrase “of the swift feet”. His began many speeches with phrases “Then in answer again spoke…” and “So he spoke.” There are very important words repeatedly used in Homer’s works honor, virtue, and greatness.











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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ira dryfuss summary

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In Ira Dryfuss’ essay, “Boys and girls view risk differently, study finds”, Dryfuss discusses the studies of two different researchers and their findings on how children view risks based on gender.


Professor Morrongiello of University of Guelph in Ontario looked at risk assessments among 0 Ontario schoolchildren, ages 6-10. The studies showed that boys were less likely to see an injury as severe and caused by bad luck, while girls would simply avoid the situation if any potential for injury was present.


Researcher Licette Peterson, a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, tested children with virtual simulations of riding bicycles on the street. Her findings show that girls brake sooner and are more fearful of pain than that of boys.


Some researchers say that the reason boys and girls view risks differently could be a genetic tendency, the result of social conditioning, or a combination of the two, why girls are more fearful is still not known.


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In Ira Dryfuss’ essay, “Boys and girls view risk differently, study finds”, Dryfuss discusses the studies of two different researchers and their findings on how children view risks based on gender.


Professor Morrongiello of University of Guelph in Ontario looked at risk assessments among 0 Ontario schoolchildren, ages 6-10. The studies showed that boys were less likely to see an injury as severe and caused by bad luck, while girls would simply avoid the situation if any potential for injury was present.


Researcher Licette Peterson, a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, tested children with virtual simulations of riding bicycles on the street. Her findings show that girls brake sooner and are more fearful of pain than that of boys.





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Thursday, April 18, 2013

How closely has Mark Herman adapted "little Voice" from Tennesse Williams' "Glass Menagerie"?

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Mark Herman’s Little Voice and Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie are very similar, in many ways yet the two also have their many differences. In both stories, the girl, Laura or LV is searching for freedom, and they live in a one-parent family where the dad either died or ran off a long time ago.


The Glass Menagerie is set in America in the 140’s-150’s. The Wingfield family consists of Amanda Amanda is physically small, full of life, but grasping for another era of gentility or civility that no longer exists, however is also admirable, pitiable and laughable at the same time; Laura is the daughter of Amanda and the brother of tom. She is crippled and walks with a limp and a brace. Laura has retreated into her own fragile world that centers around her collection of glass figurines; Tom is an aspiring poet, and works at the warehouse to support his sister and mother. He can’t take much more of the numbing life he now leads; he plans to make an escape.


The Glass Menagerie is a memory play. Tom is the narrator and it is through his memory that we gain access to the action of the play. He is a struggling poet, working miserably at the shoe warehouse to support his mother (Amanda) and sister (Laura). The father ran away years ago and except for one postcard, he was never heard from again.


The family situation is like a time bomb waiting to go off. Laura is a bashful, modest and reserved creature who has retreated from her world into a world or her own making a collection of glass animals. Amanda is a woman grasping desperately for the elegant fashion of her youth, now non-existent. Although she wants the best for her children, her nagging and intervention are overwhelming. Tom cannot bear this life for much longer, Movies offer him an escape through vicarious adventure, but it is now no longer enough. He feels the urge to follow his father’s footsteps and find adventure of his own.


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Afraid that Laura will end up an unmarried woman, Amanda is obsessed with the idea of a gentleman caller. The drama centers around a visit from one such witting young man, and its disastrous effect on Laura’s fragile universe.


Little Voice is set in the 10’s in England. The main character LV is played by Jane Horrocks, she is in her young 0’s, she has negative traits about herself which are that she is pessimistic and secretive, LV is extremely sensitive in the way that she is na├»ve, has feelings of guilt, self doubt, sad, scared, shy, insecure, and is emotionally vulnerable and insecure. Mari (played by Brenda Blethyn) is LV’s mother. She is in her mid 40’s, and her negative traits are jealousy, she is burned out, unapologetic, domineering, demanding, quick to anger, greedy, cynical, and money angry.


Little Voice is a magical musical comedy chat the power and perils of expression. Little Voice is based on one of London’s most acclaimed hit plays called “ the rise and Fall of Little Voice”. The story follows the mysterious LV, who lives in the dark attic of an untidy disheveled house on a dead end street in a seaside town of Northern England. Ever since her father’s death, LV has been silent, spending her days listening to his incredible, classic record collection and living in the enchanted charm of his favourite singers and performers. Meanwhile, her motor mouthed mother Mari is living it up, continuing on a boozy cruise for exciting lovers.


Then a man struts into Mari’s life Ray Say, a sleazy and spectacularly unsuccessful local talent agent. Meanwhile LV has a revolutionary run-in of her own with a man almost as shy as she is-a telephone repairman named Bill, who isn’t much for vocal communication. It is the first time that anyone other than her father, has paid any attention to her.


LV may not speak, but she does sing, uncannily capturing the legendary inflections and personas of Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Shirley Bassey, and Marilyn Monroe. Just as things were opening up for LV, Ray Say, hears the magical strains of Judy Garland coming from her room, and realizes that that is no ghost, it’s LV. Stunned by her talent, he smells the big time. Desperation and dreams collide as he and Mari stake everything on making the terrified LV into a star. When LV’s private gift becomes a public spectacle, she stands in the crossroads of losing her soul, or finding her own true voice.


In Little Voice there is no Tom. However Tom’s character in Glass Menagerie is made into the character Ray Say’s in Little Voice. Other differences between the two are that in the Glass Menagerie, the father had run away years ago, and in Little Voice, the father had died. In Glass Menagerie, Laura did not sing as in Little voice, however she still listened and loved her fathers records. In both stories, there is a picture hanging from LV’s/Laura’s room, of their father. Although he doesn’t appear in the movie or play, he still plays a major role in the development of LV/ Laura. It is the father figure in Little Voice that makes her into a singing Diva. Before Mari knew that LV could sing as well as she could, Mari paid no attention to her at all, but as soon as she found out that her daughters special talent could earn her money, she did everything to get her up on stage. Finally this got too much for LV, and she blew up at her. She got sick of all that her mother did to treat her like dirt. She yelled and screamed at her, telling her that she was sick of it. This would never of happened in Glass Menagerie because in the 140’s, to yell at ones mother like that would be totally disrespectful. Another difference between the two is that Glass Menagerie is set in the time of poverty, it is clear that the Wingfield family are struggling with their everyday life because of the money aspect. Little Voice seems to have no upfront problems with money.


In both stories, Laura and LV are searching for freedom. Laura in Glass Menagerie is searching for freedom from the constant bickering between Tom, Amanda and herself. LV is searching for freedom from her mother’s promiscuous behaviour. In Little Voice, LV finds love in Bill. Bill is the telephone repairman. Bill and LV can relate to each other because neither Bill nor LV were ones for verbal communication. Bill expresses his emotions and feelings through the love for his pigeons, while LV expresses herself through her singing, mostly towards her father.


There was one stage in Glass Menagerie when Laura though that she could’ve fallen in love. This was with Jim O’Connor. Jim was a star in high school, where he knew both tom and Laura. Now he is a shipping clerk at the warehouse where Tom also works. He is an ordinary guy with a straightforward vision of success. Tom invited him over to dinner after Amanda was worried of Laura ending up a spinster (unmarried woman). Amanda nagged him to bring home someone for Laura to meet. By the end of the night, Jim had really made Laura come out of her shell. However all hopes of love were shattered, when at the end of the night, Jim announced that he was to be married later that year.


Glass Menagerie and Little Voice are very similar in the way that the characters have the same character traits, and the story line is similar, but the two are also very different. Mark Herman adapted his Little Voice from Williams’ Glass Menagerie, very well because it is not too similar and not too different. It had to be different in some ways because of the plagiarism and copyright laws. The two stories are so alike, yet so different which is what made the adaptation from Glass Menagerie to Little Voice so well done.





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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

History Family Traditions

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A change of traditions..


B) My family’s traditions have changed so much since we have moved to America. We don’t cook the same or talk the same or even read the same. I miss speaking Italian I even miss writing it and it is funny to look back and think that one day I would miss writing at all cause I had to write so much in elementary school the whole alphabet and I used to get frustrated but now it comes so easy. I wish we could still do the same things we used to but my Father says that here we have to be normal here we have to be Americans he says this so often that when I close my eyes I can imagine the exact expression that he has on his face while he says it. ( A scrunched up nose and narrowed twinkling eyes and with a big broad fake smile across his face.) ; But I guess I have adjusted , I had to.


G) Everyday at work this BOY walks by he looks like he is about Milo’s age. He is very cute but he appears to be very clumsy because every time he passes he always looks in my direction, and so much that he always tends to trip on something or run into someone or something however I find it kind of funny and well....kind of cute. I wonder if he will ever try to talk to me? I wonder if he is courting anyone? Could I be in love or something wait no I don’t even know this mystery boy but I want to. Maybe sometime I can say something to him. Maybe tomorrow I will try to sell him some fruit. Ohh but I were the fruit taken home with him. He looks Irish he has BRIGHT blue eyes and dark blond hair he is quiet tall too. I think I am going to try to talk to him. Father always said I was too outgoing but he also said he always loved that about me. So maybe other people including this boy will too....hopefully




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