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April 14, 2014

The Hero's Journey and More - Exploring Recurring Tropes in Narrative


Image Source:http://caminocasebook.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/monomyth.jpg

Students,

. . .

. . . enter your work on this text as prescribed in class.

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at April 14, 2014 10:05 AM

Readers' Comments:

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

16 November 2007

Dear Literature Students,

[NOTE: The instructions for this extra-credit assignment applies to (and, is only open to) students who had previously signed the student-teacher contract indicating that they would be participating. If you did not sign-up for the "auto-A" option, you do not need to do this. Also, those who did sign-up but managed to get to the writing center before I withdrew that condition of the assignment, are also excused from republishing on the English-Blog].

If this applies to you, per the terms of your optional, extra-credit assignment (modifications of which were discussed today in class) please share your research from Essay #2 below.

Note that my comments on your paper will be candid, format-focused, and public, so please present your very best effort. Visitors, please feel free to comment on the content of any of these essay contributions.

Rather than going to the writing center (which you are now excused from), please correct, revise, and publish your latest revision on this blog post by copying-and-pasting it into the comment box below. As indicated in class, this extra-credit assignment should reflect your *correction* of Essay #2's most recent version (which I carefully commented on by circling your *issues*).

I’ll extend the deadline to after the holiday (Due by classtime, November 26), giving you much more time to complete the extra credit assignment. This should also give you the additional time you need to work on our final essay for the drama module, although I know that many of you have already been working on it all along (so you won’t have too much to do any outside of a little revision here and there).

Don't forget to carefully put manual breaks between the paragraphs before you click "enter" on the comment box below. For examples of how other students have done this correctly (and some, incorrectly), please see the examples HERE and HERE. The student named "B. Decker" usually gets the formatting right. Since your responses are full essays, they will be longer than the student responses in the examples. Also, you won't be able to "see" the response until I approve the comment.

*IMPORTANT* Don't use your real name in the comment name or in the actual comment box. Since this is public forum, protect your anonymity a bit by using a first initial and last name (or) first name and last initial--but, not both--I have to identify you to record your score. DO be sure to identify your course and section letter.

Stay warm and I’ll see you in class after the holiday.

Travel safely,

Lee Hobbs

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." ~ William Butler Yeats

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

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A. Lacey
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
30 October 2007

The “Monomyth” in “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro

The short story “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro follows the “Hero’s Journey” developed by Joseph Campbell. The main character, Edie, starts out her day like any other then everyone hears a plane unbeknownst to Edie this will change everything she is familiar with. The next thing Edie knows she crosses the first threshold entering the special world. Crossing the return threshold proves to be more difficult for Edie because it causes her inner pain. In the end for Edie to be content and happy the journey had to be completed.

In the first phase, departure, the call to adventure comes for Edie. At the Peebles’ house everyone heard a plane fly overhead and thought it was going to hit the house. Loretta, the neighbor, comes over to say the man with the plane is going to give rides for a dollar at the fairgrounds across the street. Then Mrs. Peebles asks if Edie would like to go up in the plane for a ride. Edie said she did not know; however, she was scared and did not want anyone else to find out. This was the refusal of the call in the “Monomyth”. Edie’s supernatural aid in the story is Mrs. Peebles silk dress and applying her make-up.

The crossing of the first threshold takes place when Edie has the dress and make-up on. While playing dress-up with Mrs. Peebles’ possessions she becomes thirsty and goes to the kitchen to get a drink of ginger ale with ice. As Edie puts the ice cubes away she sees a man looking through the window. The man introduces himself as Chris Walters, the owner of the plane; he wanted to know if he could use the pump outside to get the water. Edie says, “I can get it from the tap and save you pumping” this is because she wanted to impress him since the house had running water (Munro 188). He then questions why she is dressed-up. Edie proceeds to tell his he is the hired help. Chris informs her that she looks very nice. This comment leads into the next part of the “Monomyth”.

Continuing into the “Hero’s Journey” the belly of the whale is entered. Edie continues to think about Chris seeing her in the dress and telling Dr. and Mrs. Peebles about the sight of her dressed-up. So that night when Dr. and Mrs. Peebles went out to the movies Edie puts the children to bed and sneaks over to the fairgrounds to speak with Chris. Edie explains she does not want Chris to mention anything to the Peebles about wearing Mrs. Peebles dress around the house.

Next the initiation phase begins with the road of trials. The first trial begins with Chris asking Edie if she wants to go for a ride in the plane; however, she says, “I’m saving my money” (190). Edie would make sure she was outside doing some type of chore when it was time for Chris to come over and get water so she had the chance to talk. The one day a car pulled into the driveway and Loretta hopped out of the passenger side of the car while another lady exited the drivers’ side. Loretta announces that she found the lady at the hotel inquiring about a man flying a plane. The lady introduced herself as “Alice Kelling, Mr. Walters’ fiancée” (191).

The meeting of the goddess occurs when his fiancée appears. As Edie looks at Alice she looked old and unattractive. Regardless of Alice’s appearance she was an educated woman (191). Alice talks about how she met Chris while working as a nurse at the hospital. At this point Edie begins to feel jealous. Dr. Peebles invites Alice to stay with them instead of going back to the hotel in town.

Conforming with the “Hero’s Journey” the woman as a temptress begins next. The following day Alice, Mrs. Peebles and the two children decided to go on a picnic by the lake since it was such a nice day. Alice wanted to tell Chris she was going to the lake but he was in the air, so Mrs. Peebles told Alice, Edie would go over and tell him. Edie decides to make a cake to take over to Chris. While over at the fairgrounds Chris tells Edie he will not be around much longer and asks what time everyone is coming back because he will be gone before they get back. Then Edie and Chris end up kissing and lying on the cot together. When Edie gets ready to leave Chris holds her face and promises to write her a letter (194).

At dinner time the atonement of the father takes place. Loretta comes over at dinner time and announces Chris has left. Mrs. Peebles then asks Edie if he told her he was leaving when she over at the tent earlier. She said he did. Alice said they must have had a little talk and Edie proceeds to inform everyone she took a cake over. Mrs. Peebles says they did not have a cake and Edie explains how she baked one. Loretta butts in about Edie making the cake and Mrs. Peebles says she did not know they knew each other so well. Alice declares Edie was a promiscuous country girl. Mrs. Peebles asks if she was “intimate with him” (195). Edie affirms she was.

Continuing into the apothesis of the “Hero’s Journey” Alice shouts Edie was a “loose little bitch” (195). Mrs. Peebles maintains she thought Edie’s parents were strict and said she did not want a baby did she? Edie broke down and began acting like a small child. She yells babies do not come from just being intimate. Mrs. Peebles then wants to know what being intimate meant to her and Edie utters kissing. Alice and Loretta were gone when Mrs. Peebles came to talk to Edie. The ultimate boon takes place when Mrs. Peebles decides nothing more will ever be said of the event and the dishes need to be washed.

Finally the return phase begins starting with the refusal of return. There was never any talk of the incident again; however, Mrs. Peebles attitude towards Edie changed. Edie said, “As for me, I put it all out of my mind like a bad dream and concentrated on waiting for my letter” (196). The magic flight took place when Mrs. Peebles was taking her nap because that was the time when the mail arrived. She would go outside when it was time for the mail to come and sit by the mailbox smiling, waiting for the letter.

The next step in the “Hero’s Journey” is rescue from without which takes place while waiting for the mail. Edie recognizes that the mailman has a face that resembles the Carmichaels she knew from back home. So one day she asked him his name and from that day on he would yell to her “You’ve got the smile I’ve been waiting for all day!” (196)

The crossing of the return threshold occurred after getting the mail. One day in early fall while walking back to the house with the mail Edie realized no letter was coming. She made the decision to continue waiting for the mail and smiling for the mailman. Then the most important part of the story takes place the master of the two worlds. The realization over came Edie that people all over the world were waiting for the same type of letter. She thought of growing old and still waiting for the letter; therefore, she “stopped meeting the mailman” (196).

Freedom to live finishes up the “Hero’s Journey”. One night the mailman called the Peebles’ house and asked for Edie, he wanted to know if she wanted to go to the movies because he missed seeing her smiling face waiting for the mail everyday. They dated for two years and he then asked her to marry him. They were engaged for a year and finally got married. Edie’s husband always says, “I went after him by sitting by the mailbox every day,” she says, “naturally I laugh and let him, because I like for people to think what pleases them and makes them happy” (197).

The short story “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro models each part of the “Hero’s Journey” developed by Joseph Campbell. Edie went through a complete cycle of the “Monomyth”. Edie grew up quickly and learned life can change swiftly. Nothing was ever the same for Edie after completing her journey.

Works Cited

Hobbs, Lee. “The “Hero’s Journey: A Summary of the Major Steps in Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth.” Handout. 2007.

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia. Eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. 5th Compact Ed. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2006.

Munro, Alice. “How I Met My Husband.” Kennedy 185-97.

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Thanks A. Lacey. Students, be sure you make the effort to manually put an extra space between paragraphs on the internet edition of your paper (hit return twice). This is the opposite of the rule we use in MLA format. Also, don't try to indent the paragraphs. The comment box will convert all text to flush left, even if you try to indent. I look forward to reading the other papers.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 17, 2007 02:07 PM

J. Carter
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104 (F) Writing about Literature
29 October 2007


A Chinese Hero’s Journey: A Comparison of Ha Jin’s “Saboteur” (169) to Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth Structure

In the exploration of the narrative story, I will be talking about a short story, that was not discussed in class, and will compare it to Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth Structure, also known as “The Hero’s Journey.” This story being compared is that of “Saboteur,” written by Ha Jin (169-176). I will be comparing and contrasting the major stages that take place in a Monomyth as outlined in the summary received in class. While dissecting the literature in this text, it can be shown how the steps relate and how almost every step is present in either a literal or figurative way. After evaluating further, it is clear that “Saboteur” is an excellent example of a hero’s journey.

Mr. Chiu started out in an ordinary day of his life. He and his newlywed wife were in the city of Muji, China eating lunch and waiting on a train to go home from their honeymoon. Although he was not expecting this, Mr. Chiu was about to be called to the special world of adventure. The call to adventure was initiated by a policeman, who clearly threw a bowl of tea on his feet as well as his brides. Mr. Chui did in fact question the policemen right away, but he did not do it in a negative or patronizing manner. You can tell that Mr. Chui resisted being pulled into the special world because of the way he held onto the table when the policemen tried to pull him off, and he also exclaimed, “We have a train to catch. We already bought the tickets” (Jin 171).

Although it would appear that the belly of the whale, or the crossing into the threshold into the “special world,” would have occurred when Mr. Chui was first put in his cell, it did not. This pivotal moment took place when he was taken to the Interrogation Bureau on the second floor of the building. When he walked into this room, there were already a pile of papers that were compiled to prove that his unlawful activity towards the Chinese Police was true. At this point, Mr. Chui, who was an upstanding communist party member, was charged for sabotage. This struck Mr. Chui particularly hard, because he was a teacher and was not known for any acts of misconduct. In turn, the administration agreed to free Mr. Chui if he would write a self-criticism on his wrong-doings. Mr. Chui completely disagreed with his punishment, and decided that he would not twist what he believed to be right into what the police wanted.

The first interrogation represented the crossing of the threshold and a major challenge for Mr. Chui. He also proceeded to go through many more tests and trials. The Road of Trials started with the false accusations. Being falsely accused by eyewitnesses was tough to deal with because he was well educated and a professor at a university. As another trial, Mr. Chui had to battle a continuous aching and uprising relapse of acute hepatitis. He is not offered or allowed to have medication, not to mention that he is living in dirty conditions with a potentially deadly illness.

At first, Mr. Chui did not want to argue with the police force, and he wanted to stay to prove the point that he did nothing wrong to deserve his treatment. The teacher even mentioned that because he had been so busy lately he received a chance to relax while in jail. He “slept quite well” at nights and his days even “turned out to be a restful” (Jin 173-174).

Although everything seemed to be going negatively for Mr. Chui, he did in fact receive a helper, in line with the monomyth structure. In order to help Mr. Chui get out of his predicament Fenjin was sent by Mr. Chui’s bride to rescue him from jailing. Fenjin happened to be a recent Law Department graduate from the Harbin University, where Mr. Chui worked. Although Fenjin was sent to help Mr. Chui, his arrival also led to the supreme ordeal. This ordeal occurred when a police officer accused Fenjin of doing a bad act as well; “He called our boss ‘bandit’” (Jin 174). In return he tied him outside against a tree and allowed the sun to wear him down. This was ultimately the final straw that frustrated Mr. Chui and allowed him to sign the written confession of wrong.

The actual process of crossing back into the normal world took place the moment that Mr. Chui signed his name to a prepared confession of wrong-doing and placed his fingerprint as identification. At this point he was free from any obligation to stay at the jail. He was freed to leave and crossed the threshold back to the ordinary world in the city of Muji as before.

Upon Mr. Chui and Fenjin’s release from the headquarters, Mr. Chui had a feeling of revenge that he felt needed to be expressed. This process just after being released is called the integration process back to society. Mr. Chui showed this need in a very negative and sabotaging way, unlike before where he was not at fault. He even wished that he could “kill all those damn bastards” that worked for the police department (Jin 176). In a way, Mr. Chui did get to kill and get back at those who hurt him. Mr. Chui and Fenjin went to eat at the train station, but instead of eating everything, Mr. Chui took small sips and ordered many different bowls of food. Mr. Chui caused over eight hundred people to get sick and six people to die from his highly contagious illness, because of these actions

It is evident that “Saboteur” is a great example of “A Hero’s Journey” outline. From the ordinary world to the special world and back again, Ha Jin wrote a short story that idealized the Monomyth. However, there are some aspects that could not be found in the story; such as the magic flight, woman as the temptress, and the gift from the gods. Focusing on the different steps and phases that do apply to the adventure in the breakdown and literary analysis of the story prove it to be a fantastic model of the Monomyth Structure.

Works Cited

Jin, Ha. “Saboteur.” Kennedy 169-176.

Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.


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Good job J. Carter! Class, don't forget to use the MLA cross-referencing rule. I see that some of you have still not learned to use it properly. See the handout on WebCT if you still don't understand it.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: J. Carter at November 18, 2007 06:24 PM

A.Collier
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.H Introduction to Literature
24 October 2007

Cosmic Irony in “The Gift of the Magi” and “Dead Men’s Path”

Finding irony in a story can be described many different ways such as, “To notice an irony gives us pleasure. It may move us to laughter, make us feel wonder, or arouse our sympathy” (Kennedy 164). In the short stories “The Gift of the Magi” by William Sydney Porter and “Dead Men’s Path” by Chinua Achebe, there is a particular kind of irony that strikes the reader. Cosmic irony, also called irony of fate, is known to make the reader think and relate to the stories they are reading. These two short stories are comparable not only by their similar ironies, but by their tones, themes, and overall life lessons.

The short story “The Gift of the Magi” is upheld as one of the greatest and most widely known ironic stories ever. It tells the story of two young lovers who struggle to pay for their eight dollar a week rent due to the man’s low paying job. At Christmas time they give up their most valuable possessions, the woman’s hair, and the man’s pocket watch. Little did they know, by giving up their most valuable possession, they each got a gift for the other that relates to what they gave up. The man gave his wife a set of combs that he sold his watch to for, and the woman sold her hair to get her loved one a pocket watch chain. The cosmic irony is displayed greatly in the story.

Chinua Achebe’s “Dead Men’s Path” is a short story that describes the importance of listening to our elders. It tells a story of a man named Michael Obi who was recently named headmaster of Ndume Central School and tells of his great intentions for transforming the school. With the help of his wife and the other teachers he took a rundown school and turned into a great center for learning and one of the most beautiful compounds in the area. One day he discovered a path that was cutting through the compound, and against one of the teachers’ warnings, he put up a barbed-wire fence. He was then visited by a local priest and was told to take it down because it was a path that connected the village shrine and the place of burial. However, he refused. The local villagers and the priests then tore down all of the shrubbery and one of the school buildings after they heard the ancestors were enraged with the fence (Achebe 185). Upon inspection by the Government Education Officer, the school was given a terrible review, and the white inspector was unhappy with the “misguided zeal of the new headmaster” (Achebe 185). The lesson learned by the headmaster and the ironic fate in the story makes this one of the greatest short stories.

The tone in the “Gift of the Magi” changes as the story goes on. Towards the beginning the two lovers are intoxicated with joy when they are able to get their significant other a gift for Christmas, even though the price they will pay is large (Porter 168). The joy is then turned to a striking feeling because their gifts cannot be put to use for a long time. The story then ends with a sense of happiness because they each know that their love is so strong that they are willing to give up their most valuable possession for each other.

“Dead Men’s Path” gives the reader a variety of tones as well. At first Mr. Obi is excited with the new job opportunity and takes it with the highest regard, even though he knows he has to dedicate himself to his work and his wife as well. Towards the end of the story, Mr. Obi shows no regard for the tribal priests’ warnings and pays the price, which changes the tone completely too being angry. When the inspector comes, Mr. Obi is embarrassed to show him his ruined product (Achebe 185).

“The Gift of the Magi” tells the reader, “Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the Magi” (Porter 168). The lesson of love was just not for the characters in the story but for the reader as well. It makes the reader question him or herself if they truly would give up a most valuable possession for a loved one. “Dead Men’s Path” gives a strong lesson to the reader because it shows that even though someone might have more schooling and education it does not mean they are wiser. Being wise and having experience has a higher value than being young and smart. The story shows the reader they should always listen to their elders because they have experience and knowledge. An example of this is when Mr. Obi does not listen to the tribal elder when he warns him of the repercussions of keeping the fence, and he ends up dealing with a bad review from the inspector because of his ignorance (Achebe 184).

Theme is the particular idea that the author is trying to stress to his or her readers. The themes of the two short stories are different in a few ways. The theme of “The Gift of the Magi” is that true love comes before someone’s most favored possession. The story gives great examples of why this is true. One is “I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house” (Porter 168).

The theme of “Dead Men’s Path” is much easier to establish. Achebe’s theme to the story is the older a person gets the wiser they are and the young almost never listen. Mr. Obi shows his ignorance to the village priest when he says, “Dead men do not require footpaths…Our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas” (Achebe 184). The ideas and lessons stressed by both authors are ones that cannot be ignored, because of the importance of the life lessons.

Cosmic irony is known to “render a story more likely to strike us, to affect us, and to be remembered” (Kennedy 164). Both of these stories are complete definitions of being ironies of fate, but they also display great tones, themes, and life lessons. The two authors put their own personal feelings, emotions, and experiences into their short stories which enables the reader to grasp and develop a sense of understanding for the stories.


Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. “Dead Men’s Path.” Kennedy 183-185.

Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 164.

Porter, William Sydney. “The Gift of the Magi.” Kennedy 165-168.

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Thanks A. Collier. A nice discussion of irony and its place in the enjoyment of literature.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: A. Collier at November 18, 2007 11:46 PM

J. Cowan
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104.F: Introduction to Literature
23 October 2007

A Young Boy Goes on His Own Hero’s Journey to a Legendary Bazaar

When Joseph Campbell revealed his concept of the Hero’s Journey, many of his fellow literary colleagues praised his ingenious connection that readers can draw from nearly every epic ever written. This concept that Campbell developed allows readers to relate characters in not only his own short stories, but in others’ as well, to a mythical journey, mostly to benefit the characters’ selves. The Hero’s Journey, which is also known as the monomyth, has many defining phases or characteristics. To begin the cycle, the character starts off his journey by deciding exactly what his intentions are, and then sets forth on his adventure in the departure phase, which eventually results in him crossing the “Threshold of Adventure,” where he encounters many tests, trials, or experiences. Crossing the opposite side of the threshold, the hero is “renewed,” and has become a better person because of his adventures, and returns to his homeland (Hobbs). “Araby,” by James Joyce is an excellent short story that can be compared to the monomyth because it showcases these three stages that Joseph Campbell explained when he developed the concept of the Hero’s Journey (Kennedy 359).

Now that a rough outline of the Hero’s Journey is understood, it is much easier to grasp the meaning of a short story and apply this insight to the monomyth in order to compare the two. While “Araby” describes a young boy’s journey to an admirable bazaar, the story does not contain many mythical elements that the monomyth contains.

James Joyce begins “Araby” by giving the reader a quick background of where the young boy in the story resided and was raised. It can be understood that the setting of the short story is a small Christian neighborhood in Catholic Ireland, as he describes the Christian Brothers’ School that is in the heart of the community (Kennedy 360). Joyce also wastes no time exposing the young boy’s possible love interest, describing the boy’s desperate attempts at getting the girl to notice him. This mysterious girl seemed way too far out of reach for the young boy, and he never even pictured himself speaking to her. But then one day, she did, and the young boy’s life seemed to be changed forever. The girl asked him if he would be going to Araby, because she could not go herself, but the young boy vowed that he would go, and bring the girl something from his return (Kennedy 361). In comparison with the monomyth, this is the point at which the boy gets his call to adventure, because the boy now feels a need to go to the bazaar, in order make the quest for his secret crush (Hobbs).

Now that the boy knows what his quest is, he begins to seek the help of his guardians, his aunt and his uncle, in order to fulfill his mission. While the boy’s aunt was slightly hesitant about taking the boy to the bazaar, he only had to answer a few simple questions about his purpose for going there, and the aunt and uncle reluctantly decided to aid him with his journey (Kennedy 362). After this point, “Araby,” strays slightly from the traditional path of the monomyth. Originally, it was decided that the narrator’s uncle was to go with him to the marketplace, and he waited an entire Saturday with tremendous anxiety and desperation to go to the legendary bazaar. But when the uncle got home that evening, he was far too tired to take the young boy on the trip, and his hopes were almost shattered almost as instantly as the uncle had walked through the door. But the boy was determined, and convinced his aunt to allow him to go by himself, and therefore he set forth on the train ride on his own, with a few coins jingling against each other in his pocket (Kennedy 363). The train ride to Araby can be considered the boy’s “threshold to adventure,” because it is the boy’s gateway to his journey to the valued bazaar of Araby (Hobbs).

Once the narrator gets past the seemingly excruciating train ride and actually gets to his destination or “Special World,” as Campbell puts it, he is overcome with wonder and awe and can barely decide what he should seek first. There is actually a point where the boy forgets exactly why he is at the marketplace. It was this hesitance and naivety that began to cause the boy problems while he was in Araby. The boy perceived the clerks in Araby almost as very ignorant, and did not take him seriously. Therefore, he felt almost threatened and intimidated by the clerks, perceiving them as enemies and fearful to do business with (Kennedy 363). These are the tests, trials, and experiences the boy faced in the “special world” of Araby, much like any protagonist partaking in the hero’s journey (Hobbs).

Finally, as the lights were switched off in the market and it closed down, the boy was left with a valuable lesson as he crossed the threshold out of his adventure. The boy stated, “I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger (Kennedy 363).” This shows that the boy learned a valuable lesson and is a better person because of his trip to Araby, although he was overcome with disappointment and anger because he was unable to get his gifts for his secret crush. One can imagine that the boy learned his lesson by anticipating so much that he forgot to actually strike when he was in the position to
do so. Although the boy did not gain any material prizes for his labors, he realized that in order to fulfill a passion, one must “strike while the iron is hot,” so to speak.

“Araby,” written by James Joyce, is a great story to compare to the hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell used to show each and every part that comprises any story that involves an adventure of some sort. The “call to adventure,” crossing the “threshold to adventure,” as well as the threshold the boy must cross in order to come out, are all parts of the monomyth that can be seen in Joyce’s work. The boy learns valuable lessons during his adventure that he can then use later on in life, but he can also draw a mental picture for others who have not been to Araby, as well as warn them of the inhospitable actions he faced there as he was seen as merely a naïve young boy.

Works Cited

Hobbs, Lee. “Hero’s Journey.” Handout. 2007.

Joyce, James. “Araby.” Kennedy 359.

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

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Thanks J. Cowan. This was a nice engagement with the work of Joyce.

~Lee Hobbs


Posted by: J. Cowan at November 19, 2007 04:01 PM

L. Cicerchi

Professor Hobbs

ENGL104H Introduction to Literature

31 October 2007



The Monomyth of “The Yellow Wallpaper”



The story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a tale written in journal format about a woman’s mental decline in her new home. The narrator of the story (the hero in this case) goes through the monomyth from beginning to end. From beginning to end, the reader of “The Yellow Wallpaper” can see the narrator’s mental decay, as she also goes through the hero’s journey”.



“The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a woman and her husband who move to a big, colonial style house over the summer. She has an illness where she gets very nervous and sees people in the wallpaper. Her husband, a physician, prescribes that she not talk to anyone because that will make her illness worse. She just has to be alone. She thinks that the wallpaper in her favorite room smells and then sees a smudge mark on the paper. The “person” she sees in the wallpaper is someone she believes is trying to get out but is trapped by the wallpaper. She goes crazy and starts to peel, bite, and tear away the paper to try and free this trapped woman. The narrator ends up going insane and thinks that she is the one that is trapped inside the wallpaper. Upon finding out his wife’s adventure, John (the husband) faints in the doorway of the room.



The author of the story, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, suffered from severe depression after childbirth (Kennedy 290). As part of her treatment, her doctor prescribed rest (Kennedy 290). It is believed that this is the basis for the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, as the narrator has the same prescription and possibly the same condition (Kennedy 290).



The monomyth can be clearly seen through the story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The narrator’s call to adventure can be seen as her and her physician husband moving into the colonial house in the countryside. Her physician for a husband can be seen as a “helper” in that he refuses to officially get treatment for the narrator and her condition, and just brushes off her mental anguish as depression. This help, or lack thereof, can be one of the lead causes of her psychological breakdown with the wallpaper.



Along with helpers, the narrator encounters her supreme ordeal whenever she starts to believe that there is a person trapped behind the wallpaper of the room she is in. As she is obviously mad already, this belief drives her even madder since she becomes desperate to get the person behind the paper out. She scratches and bites and peels away the yellow wallpaper, but finds no person in physical form. She then believes it is in fact she that was trapped behind the paper, and thus peels away even more so that she cannot be returned.



The refusal of return for the narrator can be seen as her refusing to open the door for John (her husband). John was pounding on the door shortly before the end of the journey, demanding that the narrator open it. However, she refuses and makes John go downstairs to get the key to open the door. This obviously frustrates John, and can demonstrate the narrator’s transformation in that she no longer submits to her oppressive husband, even though she has disagreed with him all along.



Whenever John enters the room, he faints after he learns that the narrator believed that she was in fact, the “person” trapped behind the wallpaper. She even goes so far as to complain that his unconscious self landed “across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!” (Gilman 301) This stage of the journey can be seen as the crossing of the threshold since, as was previously stated, the narrator is no longer submissive to her husband. Someone can make an argument that the journey is actually the narrator escaping her husband’s power over her, even if she comes off as insane in the process.



The “master of two worlds” phase of the journey could be the narrator being her free self now, though on the surface she looks crazy and delusional. In the beginning of the story, though she disagrees with her husband, she submits to his judgment and follows his treatment of rest and exclusion. Though she is unhappy, she continues on with the treatment prescribed to her. However, at the end of the story, the narrator feels that she is free, and even goes as far as to complain about her husband and the placement of his unconscious body.



“The Yellow Wallpaper” can be seen as a story that symbolically shows a woman overcoming the oppression of her husband. Though he thinks he knows what is good for her, she knows better, and ultimately does so on her own. Seeing herself behind the wallpaper is symbolic of her being freed of her husband’s grasp over her life, and her illness. In the end, the narrator “escapes” from the wallpaper, and escapes the iron hand of her husband.


Works Cited



Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Kennedy. 290.



Hobbs, Lee. “The Hero’s Journey: A Summary of the Major Steps in Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth.” Handout. 2007.



Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 448, 770.

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Thanks L. Cicerchi, nice read. Students, please just use a manual return to space between paragraphs in the comment box rather than adding HTML code. The "br" code, as you can see, adds too many spaces. It's a flaw in the program.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: L. Cicerchi at November 20, 2007 03:09 PM

J. Conrad
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
29 October 2007

The Journey Does Not Always End Happy: The Hero’s Journey Analysis of “Happy Endings,” by Margaret Atwood

Although there is one happy ending presented in the array of endings that Margaret Atwood provides in her short narrative “Happy Endings” (Kennedy 309-12), there are still many situations where the outcome proves to be unfavorable for the main characters. The Hero’s Journey model for “Happy Endings” sets the scene for different characters, in an Ordinary World, who meet and transition into a Special World through a Threshold. In the Special World the couples experience falling in love, love that is not mutual, and near death experiences. These events position a Supreme Ordeal, also known as the Climax, where the couples face a serious problem. An extra character is often introduced to facilitate the Supreme Ordeal. The story must transition out of the Special World and through another Threshold, which sometimes results in a character’s death or end to a relationship. The death or end to the relationship can often start a rebirth, which is a transition into another story with new characters. Margaret Atwood’s short story parallels the Hero’s Journey Model by displaying endings A, B, and C in which the two main characters, John and Mary, live a different life in each ending.

Ending A begins with two people, John and Mary, who meet in the Ordinary World on an Ordinary Day. The first time John and Mary meet would be considered The Call to Adventure. John and Mary fall in love and cross the Threshold into the Special World of the married life. The two newlyweds have profitable jobs which lead them to years of financial security. Having children was the climax of the story. However it did not serve as a challenge for the main characters (310). The climax is facilitated by a helper. In John and Mary’s case this was the live-in help which they received once it became affordable to them. Once the two grow older and go through the transformation into the retired life (310). They then cross back over into the ordinary world by dying. Although John and Mary lived a perfect life in Ending A, Ending B twists the perfect life of the couple into a different model of the Hero’s Journey.

The perfect life of John and Mary is twisted into a different ending that constructs a new Hero’s Journey. Ending B begins in the same way as A until there is a Refusal to the Call to Adventure. This ending shows Mary falling in love with John, however the feelings are not mutual (310). He comes over to her house twice a week to have her cook dinner for him and so that he can have sex with her (310). This is the Special World where Mary is caught up in believing that if she spoils John with sex he will become dependent on her and he will want to get married(310). A later event is foreshadowed when John complains about the food one evening. Another character named Madge steps into the story to act as a helper, or instigator, to the climax. People tell Mary that they have seen John with another woman at a restaurant (310). Mary was not upset that John was with another woman as much as she was upset that he would never have taken her to a restaurant. The climax is reached after this event when Mary gets very upset about the whole situation and kills herself by taking medicine with a half bottle of sherry (310-11). Mary refuses to return to the Ordinary World by the means in which she kills herself. Mary could have easily killed herself in a more effective way but she hoped that John would take her to the hospital when he saw her. A preparation for a new adventure is seen with the new relationship between John and Madge which continues on just like Ending A (311).

The last ending which involves John and Mary, Ending C, starts similar to Ending B. This ending portrays John as an older man who falls in love with Mary even though he is married to Madge (311). Mary is not really in love with John, she is in love with a man named James (311). The fact that Mary is not really in love with John is the Refusal to the Call to Adventure. Ending C enters the Special World when Mary initiates a relationship, out of pity, with John by sleeping with him (311). Mary is faced with a Road of Trials because she is involved with two different men. James, the man who Mary really loves, acts as a helper to spur the Supreme Ordeal. The Supreme Ordeal comes when Mary and James get high and have sex (311). John walks in on them and cannot take in what he sees (311). Due to his shock, John kills Marry, James, and himself with the help of a gun, which in a sense symbolizes the Gift from God (311). These events cause the story to cross into the ordinary world once again where Madge prepares for her next adventure with a new character named Fred.

The Hero’s Journey Model also includes two other endings, D and E, which are not discussed in this particular paper because they do not involve John or Mary. In “Happy Endings” John’s wife Madge, marries a man named Fred in Ending D (311). Ending E is a continuation of the story between Madge and Fred (311). In both Ending D and E Madge and Fred face similar situations that follow their own Hero’s Journey.

Obstructing the normal flow of life can adjust the Hero’s Journey model for a person’s destiny. In “Happy Endings” John and Mary’s lives change from one ending to another. These changes were often dominantly controlled by one character. The endings usually had a helper that spurred a major conflict in the story and to John or Mary’s demise. As a result of the major conflict Mary killed herself in Ending B and John killed Mary, James, and himself in ending C (311). The feelings that overcame John and Mary during these situations come from the jealousy of seeing the one they love with another person. The Threshold is crossed after one of the characters die. The story crosses back into the Ordinary World and will transition into another model of the Hero’s Journey. All of the endings of Atwood’s short narrative conclude with the relationship ceasing in one way or another no matter how the Hero’s Journey is altered.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. “Happy Endings.” Kennedy 309-12.

Hobbs, Lee. “Hero’s Journey.” Handout. 2007.

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2006.

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Nice paper J. Conrad! Students, please remember to alphabetize your entries in the works cited.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: J. Conrad at November 20, 2007 03:56 PM

A. Tercek
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104F Introduction to Literature
27 October 2007

Death is Just the Beginning

Many people believe that there is life after death, no matter how one looks at it. Whether it’s going to a higher place or one’s own nirvana it still leaves one question; is this truly the end of a life journey? Is it not possible to continue the life journey long after death? When someone is living, hero or not, the actions he or she takes affects the people around them sometimes in more ways than they know. This is also true after death. Everything from a person’s lifestyle, wisdom, decisions, and personality can be felt down throughout the generations of years to come. Wouldn’t these affects still fit into Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth” model (Hobbs)? His model consists of three main parts including the “Departure”, “Initiation”, and “Return” (Hobbs). When I speak of a life journey I am referring to how one’s life follows the pattern of Campbell’s myth as a whole. I believe that a person’s life journey doesn’t necessarily have to begin with birth and end with death, but can initially begin with death.

One short story I can best relate my theory to would be a short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez called “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” (Kennedy 329). In a nut shell, this story is about how the death of someone impacts a community as a whole. Just by reading the title, one can tell that there is something different about this man because when speaking of death, the word handsome isn’t commonly used. Perhaps when they first laid eyes upon the man they smiled because of his handsomeness, therefore already continuing his journey by making people smile. In the short story, a man (that was later identified as Esteban) was found dead floating in the tide close to a small hospitable village. The kids of the village were the ones who discovered him. Later, the adults of the village retrieved Esteban’s body from the water and prepared him for burial. Since the beginning of the preparations, Esteban had a hidden effect on the people especially the women. The women along with the rest of the townsfolk admired how big Esteban really was compared to the rest of them. He was enormous in size as well as handsome enough to make the women fall for him even though he was dead.

The story never specifically tells where the body of Esteban came from. Possibly Esteban was forced to walk the old rickety plank of a ship, was killed, and so began his real life journey through death by floating to the nearest village to change the people living there forever. Esteban, being the giant he was, might have been forced out of society causing him to live a boring and in a sense desolate life. Perhaps Esteban was meant to have died and just happened to end up there, therefore begging his journey with death in order to open people’s eyes. One might say that Esteban’s life was his journey, but I believe that his true meaning came long after he died, which many people would consider past his journey. Towards the middle of the story, the plot began to thicken. It was tradition for the women to prepare body for burial and also complete all of the rituals. While they were working on the body they began to fall in love with him and admire his size. Esteban was affecting the people even though he was dead. The women soon realized that he was in fact Esteban. Gabriel Garcia Marquez never told the reader the history or background of Esteban which I believe held the reader to assume he was someone great. Further in the story, the men wanted to know exactly what the women were making a fuss about. As their eyes examined the body they first made it a point that it wasn’t anyone from their town. It soon came to their mind that it was Esteban. Still the reader hadn’t a clue as to the importance of this supposedly great man. He might have been a hero in another land for all the reader knows, but more importantly he might have been a nobody. If in fact he was a hero, the people never acquainted with him personally because it took them time to realize who he was. The villagers made his funeral elaborate. They made it more special than if one of their own had died. By the author not giving the reader a background on him, it gave more importance to him being dead; which in turn reinforces my theory of his death being more important than his life. The story ends by Garcia telling how the townsfolk later made their entrance ways wider, their ceilings higher and even made their floors stronger so in case his memory came back he wouldn’t have a problem anywhere in the town. The talk of his spirit coming back affects the minds and journeys of the townspeople, and also keeps Esteban’s journey going.

Esteban’s journey continues within the souls of the people he met in his life as well as his encounters in death. Campbell’s theory is that every journey, whether it is a journey out shopping or a journey to summarize one’s life begins with a “Departure” (Hobbs). Unlike most journeys Esteban’s departure began with his death and in theory is still living on inside the hearts of everyone that reads “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” (Kennedy 329). A final question one may ask, “If it began with his death, when will his journey ever end?” The only answer I have to this question could be if his name and memory were lost translation. To this day Esteban’s journey is on going in the hearts and souls of everyone that speaks of him.

Works Cited

Hobbs, Lee. “Hero’s Journey.” Handout. 2007.

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.” Kennedy 329.

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Nice paper A. Tercek. Students, please acknowledge what I've stressed about your papers' titles repeatedly in class.

~Lee

Posted by: A.Tercek at November 22, 2007 02:38 PM

Amanda O’Brien
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104H: Introduction to Literature
31 October 2007

The Effects of Paranoia in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”

Paranoia is a mental disease which causes people to act irrationally and unpredictably, to create severe suspicions, and at times experience hallucinations. In both Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrators, who are also the protagonists in the stories, are suffering from paranoia (Gilman 290 ; Poe 279). Both characters admitted to themselves that they were suffering from a disease, one which is never defined as paranoia, but neither felt their condition was extreme.

In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Poe writes of a preoccupied madman, narrating his own story. His tale leads to the very night when he finally built up enough courage to kill the old man who had been giving him nightmares. The madman had loved the old man, who had never wronged him, but yet was the reason for a spree in which he would commit murder. The reasoning is expressed in the middle of the second paragraph, “I think it was his eyes! yes it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it.” He also stated that by killing the old man, it would “…rid myself of the eye forever” (279).

This extreme obsession with the “Evil Eye” caused the maniac to hunt the old man down as if he were prey, break into his house, murder him, dismember the body, and hide the corpse under the floorboards. After hearing a shriek, the neighbors had contacted the police and they later visited the narrator. The policemen found no signs of foul play, and were invited by the storyteller to take a seat and relax.

He did it! He had gotten away with the perfect murder, one in which he will not be punished for. Or so he had thought. The policemen sat, literally on top of the body, and suspected nothing. The madman gave them no reason to suspect fraudulence. However another fixation blindsided him, a pounding heart. Could this noise blow his cover? Well, if he wasn’t suffering from a mental disease, he would have been able to get away with the murder, but his paranoia did him in.

There is a bit of sarcasm in the situation involving the annoying beating. The same noise in which he says, “I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury …” is ironically, the same thing that causes him to confess to the massacring of the innocent old man. In the last sentence of the tale he confesses, “I admit the deed!—tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!” ( Poe 280 ; 282). Irony also appears as the lunatic tries to coerce the reader to believe his actions to be clever, and the manner in which he recounts the story to be calm and healthy. Over and over he asks how a person can even consider him to be mad. No doubt his actions and his unfolding of the murder point right towards insanity.

Symbolism is evident throughout this whole tale. Not only is the eyeball the motive for murder, but also the antagonist of the story. The eye is one of the objects that taunts the madman. The heart corresponds to numerous dimensions of symbolism, and it’s beating is an emblem of everlasting guilt. Even after the old man took his last breathe, his heart continued to pound. Obviously, it didn’t actually beat, but in the murderer’s head the noise will never go away. The heart also symbolizes a rage of fury, which may be what pushed him right over the edge.

Another tale of dramatic obsession is “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Gilman launches the story with a bothered woman contemplating how the cost of her summer home could be so low. She already starts to show evidence of minor paranoia. What could be wrong with this house? Is it haunted? Why was it vacant for so long?

The woman admits to being sick, yet is outraged that neither of her two physicians, her husband and her brother, will believe it. They repetitively tell her she is just suffering from a temporary case of nervous depression, but in reality her suffering is so much deeper. The woman’s insanity begins when her husband John suggests she rest in her room, for a while so her illness can subside. While continually lying in bed, she begins to obsess with the wallpaper. This paper antagonizes her as the hours go on.

The paper is a hideous dirty yellow color, with a revolting pattern. She briefly expresses a minor fixation on the eyes in the paper, which she feels may look her up and down. The woman also says she sees a subpattern in the paper of a human figure. The figure resembles a woman stooping down and creeping throughout the design. She beings to become paranoid about the woman, who she claims walks around her garden, and creeps throughout all of the windows in the house. She seems to think this woman is real. Threats are even made to this imaginary person that if she tried to get out of the paper, she would be tired up with a rope.

Symbolism is also apparent in this tale too. Sometimes she thinks that the patterned woman is shaking to get out like she’s behind bars. This shows the woman trying to seek freedom, as if she’d been living in jail for some time. There’s a wanting to break free, but is forced to be detained. The sick woman is kind of like a captive whose mental illness is holding her back. She wants to live the life she imagines but that kind of existence isn’t in sight for a while. She tries to rip down the paper one day when no one was home; symbolizing the hope that the fixation would eventually disappear. The tearing does nothing except prove how insane this woman has become.

Paranoia is a life changing disease that can physically and mentally affect a person. Warning signs for mental illnesses are evident, but are not noticed until afterwards. Sometimes situations occur that make a person realize how severe someone’s mental condition is, but it’s too late. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” paranoia had caused the madman to commit a grave sin, murder. A life was taken because of this ravaging disease. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” paranoia left the woman in a state of mind that changed her life forever. Unfortunately the outcomes of suffering from mental diseases aren’t fabricated like in these two tales, but it really does affect people everywhere, everyday.

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Kennedy 290.

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Kennedy 279.


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Nice paper A. O'Brien. Students, please remember that in MLA style, unless you are using a block quote, when an in-text parenthetical citation comes at the end of a sentence, the period goes outside the final parenthesis.

~Lee

Posted by: A.O'Brien at November 25, 2007 02:35 PM

K. Weidlich
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104H.Introduction to Literature
2 November 2007

Problem Solving Strategies of Edgar Allan Poe in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Anne Tyler in “Teenage Wasteland”

From a young age, individuals are taught that if there is a problem, it must be solved in order for things to be returned to normal. A problem is defined as something that requires thought and skill for resolution (www.merriamwebster.com). Two stories within the literature book present problems that need to be solved. These stories are “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe (Kennedy 279) and “Teenage Wasteland” by Anne Tyler (Kennedy 36). The two problems presented in these stories are not alike, but still must be resolved. In their own unique way, both Poe and Tyler give their characters a way to solving their problem.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a suspenseful story told by an unexplained “mad” man in the first person. This unexplained man retains a close relationship with this, also, unnamed old man. He possesses no problems with the old man and seeks none of his personal belongings. However, there is one thing about this old man that torments the speaker: the old man’s eye. This eye symbolized obsession and paranoia with the speaker. The speaker stated “for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye.” (Kennedy 279) To deal with this problem of the old man’s eye, the speaker concludes he will have the old man rid of it. He decided he was going to murder this old man because of his so called evil eye. “One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Kennedy 279). The speaker feels this solution could be carried out simply and clean, even though murder is a crime. For a week straight, the speaker would ever so quietly open the man’s door at exactly midnight to see if the eye was open. Every night for this week the eye was closed. However, on the eighth night, it was open, for this time the old man heard the noises of the door. “It was open—wide, wide open—and I grew furious as I gazed up it. I saw it with perfect distinctness—all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damn spot” (Kennedy 280). The speaker then suffocated the man. But what is he to do with the body now? Well, thinking he has the perfect solution to this, he discards the body under the floor panels of the man’s bedroom. And when the police arrived, he felt no pressure. But then some situation irony came into play. After a while with speaking to the police, a guilty conscience grasps him, thinking he can hear the old man’s heart still beating. The speaker caves, revealing to the police the truth about the old man. Maybe the speaker’s so-called perfect solution to his problem wasn’t so perfect after all.

Moving on to Anne Tyler’s “Teenage Wasteland,” this narrative tells of a different problem. This narrative is more up-to-date and the situations associated with it can be related to many teenagers today. The speaker in this is not a character, but rather just a narrator. The main character in the narrative is Donny. Donny possesses many problems like many teenagers. He receives poor grades in school, skips classes occasionally, smoked on school grounds, and on occasion would drink off campus and return. His parents, Matt and Daisy, believe these are due to something they did wrong, but still they remain unsure as to what is causing these problems. “Had she [Daisy] really done all she could have? She longed—she ached—for a time machine. Given one more chance, she’d do it perfectly—hug him more, praise him more, or perhaps praise him less. Oh who can say” (Kennedy 37). They are occasionally called by the school to have meetings about something new their son has done wrong. Upon suggestion by the school, Donny’s parents get a tutor for Donny. The tutor told Donny to call him Cal. Cal seemed to be more relaxed with the kids he tutored rather than strict. This worried Daisy, but she allowed him to be his tutor to see if this would solve any situations that had arouse. Cal suggested to Donny’s parents that he should from now on deal with Donny’s grades and misbehaviors in school. However, this led to another problem. One day a teacher called the mother instead of Cal and, to Daisy’s dismay, informed her that Donny was failing. Apparently this showed Daisy that Cal was not helping in solving Donny’s situations. She blamed his failing on Cal, but Cal blamed Daisy by claiming she is the one who puts Donny down. Not long after this incident, it turned out Donny had been expelled. This caused him to transfer to another school, but this didn’t solve his problems either. He left the school one day and ran away. “The first week in June, during final exams, Donny vanished. He simply didn’t come home one afternoon, and no one at school remembered seeing him” (Kennedy 42). Donny assumed he could run away from his problems if he had no other way of solving them.

Every problem has a solution. Even though the solution may be wrong, as portrayed in “The Tell-Tale Heart”, problems have a way of being resolved. It is better to solve a problem rather than to run away from it like Donny did. To solve a problem is to show strength to get through it. It may be difficult, but in the end, solutions show success.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Giola, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Kennedy 279.

Tyler, Anne. “Teenage Wasteland.” Kennedy 36.

www.merriamwebster.com


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Thanks Kirsten. You need to review the MLA rules on how to properly cite a dictionary entry in MLA format. Otherwise, good job.

~Lee

Posted by: Kirsten Weidlich at November 25, 2007 02:58 PM

C. Kozikowski
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
28 October 2007

The Sibling Rivalry Presented by Wolff and “The Gospel of Luke” 15:11-32

Sibling rivalry has been an issue from the beginning of time. One feels more neglected than the other, less appreciated, or slighted in some way. Or, they could live completely different lives that neither can agree on. “The Rich Brother” by Tobias Wolff (87), the two brothers are divided by materialism and success. They both led different lives and had different values as far as how a person should live. As for “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” from “The Gospel of Luke” 15:11-32 (197), one brother feels as he has been slighted in comparison to his brother and it resulted in jealousy. In the two stories, siblings rival over their materialism, success, and appreciation, unfortunately happiness is not always the result. It leaves the question if blood really is thicker than water.

In “The Rich Brother”, it is apparent that the siblings would naturally rival. They are completely different people. Pete is a successful business man who is married with children, had luxuries, and many friends with similar interests (88). However, “Donald, the younger brother, was still single. He lived alone, painted houses when he found work, and got deeper into debt to Pete when he didn’t” (88). Donald did not live the American dream like his brother, with the family, talent, and success. The two brothers also had different religious beliefs that further diverged them. This is what could account for Donald’s less materialistic life. Donald was very into a Hindu religion that had to do with the soul and simplicity. He often looked at his successful brother and thought that Pete was the one living wrong, wondering to himself,“ ‘Brother, what have you come to’”(88)? Both brothers knew that there was uneasiness between the two of them. Pete was a Christian. And as far as he could see the main difference between himself and his brother was the fact that he had prospered, Donald had not (88). Pete thought that success and happiness was measured by monetary means and luxury.

Donald was yet again in another bind and in need for some money and a place to stay until he got back working and on his feet. Pete always considered himself to be superior to Donald in that he was educated and successful. He often thought of his brother as being dumb and incapable of understanding how real life was and unable to appreciate the nicer things in life. For instance, right after picking up Donald at a gas station, Donald accidentally spills some coffee on Pete’s car seat. Pete says “I just wish you’d be more careful. These seats are made of leather. That stain won’t come out, not to mention the smell. I don’t see why I can’t have leather seats that smell like leather instead of orange pop” (91). Pete talks down on Donald because he implies that Donald is incapable of appreciating the quality of a luxury car with nice seats. The greatest example of how Pete gets annoyed with Donald’s care-free, unappreciative attitude about money is when Pete lends Donald a hundred dollars to get back on his feet. On the way back to Pete’s home the two brothers stop to eat at a restaurant and a man inside needs help, for he was having car trouble and asks Donald if he could catch a ride. Pete, less than willing, gave the guy a ride. After dropping the man off at his desired stop, the two stop for gas. Pete tells Donald to pay with the a hundred dollars that he had given him. Donald does not have the money. He gave it to the man whom they gave a ride to, for the man told them that he had his own gold mine and Donald wanted to invest in it. Pete was outraged. Pete thought that the whole story was a scheme to rob people. Donald, once again, was not a business man, and believed in the story. Pete says to Donald, “‘A hundred dollars. Gone. Just like that. I worked for that money, Donald’” (97). Pete feels that he works hard for his money and then Donald just gives it away irresponsibly towards a “dumb” cause. Donald tells Pete that he will pay him back the $100, but Pete replies, “‘You can’t work, you can’t take care of yourself, you believe anything anyone tells you’”(98). Pete is reinforcing his superiority to Donald by telling him how much of an inferior person he is since he fails to be monetarily successful. After Pete lashed out at Donald for being irresponsible with the money, Donald opted to get out of the car. Pete agreed because he was so angry with him. As Donald left the car, he told Pete that he was not angry with him, nor does he blame him for being upset with him. He almost forgave him for his behavior towards him (98).

Donald was a more developed person when it came to sincerity and compassion. He cared for the well-fare of others and money was not an object. Pete’s world revolved around money. He was better off when it came to comfort and finances. However, after leaving his brother on the side of the road, he had an urge in his heart to go back for him. Possibly it was guilt for yelling at his brother, and instead of Donald yelling back in defense, he forgave him. Maybe Pete envies his brother’s humbleness. All the money, boats, homes, cars, and materialism that was thought to make a person happy still was not fulfilling Pete’s life.

On the contrary, “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” is less about different values, but more about jealousy. There were two brothers that lived on a farm. The younger of the two decided that he wanted to live a better, richer life than that of a farmer. So he asked his father to give him his share their goods (197). He fled the farm in anticipation of a richer, more luxurious life. To his misfortune a famine occurred and he was left with less than he had ever had in his life. After struggling to make it by with what he had and what very little people would give him he knew he had to suck up his pride and go back home for help. He felt bad for what he had done and ashamed. When he arrived home, his father is filled with joy that his son had returned and tells his servants to “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry” (197). The father was compassionate and forgiving. The son left the family, he was an extra hand helping with all the hard work that comes along with a farm, and he left with his greed. Instead of the father disowning him, he throws him a feast. The older son, who had stayed faithful to his family, did his fair share of work helping out, and who never let greed interfere with his judgment, naturally feels slighted and unappreciated. He would not join the feast that was being thrown for his brother he was so angry (197). He tells his father that after all the work and loyalty he has shown throughout the years was never rewarded in anyway. And his brother who let greed get the best of him and even put hardship on the rest of the family was given gift after gift. The father notices his older sons resentment and goes out to explain to him that he should forgive his brother. He also tells him, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine” (198). He tells his son that all his work and loyalty will be rewarded. He will still get the inheritance.

The connection made between the two stories is the siblings have rivalries. They differ as to what they rival about, but they still share the concept of sibling rivalry. The comparisons are such as in “The Rich Brother”, Pete points out the issue that he works harder than his brother. He makes the comment, “You get money by holding out your hand” (97). He implies that his brother never had to work for anything that he ever had, people just gave it to him. He could not appreciate things because he did not know what it meant to truly have to work for something. Pete again tells his brother, “You won’t pay me back. You can’t. You don’t know how. All you’ve ever done is take. All your life” (98). The similarity in “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” is that the father just hands over the profits of the farm. No questions were asked of him. He did not have to work for it or have to do anything extra for it, he just asked and it was given to him. Another similarity is that when the irresponsible characters are given money or fortune, they blow it. Donald was given a hundred dollars from Pete. What happened to it? He blew it on a phony investment. When the younger son was given his share of the fortune, what happened to it? He had to blow it on food because of the famine. Also, there is a similarity in the fact that these characters that are given things without working for them keep getting things without working. Every time Donald gets himself into a bind, his brother Pete is there to help him out. Pete contributes to the problem of Donald not learning responsibility. As for the younger son in the Parable, when he needed help, even after his display of disrespect, his family was right there with open arms.

Overall, the brothers in both stories rivaled. They rivaled over materialism and money as well as values and their ways of life. However, at the end of each story, the brothers were still feeling incomplete. Pete still felt guilty for leaving his brother on the side of the road. The older brother in the Parable still felt jealousy over the respect that was given to his less than deserving younger brother. In the end the siblings got what monetary things they needed to survive and be comfortable, but they still were not happy. They were not happy because of their poor relationship with their family. It is natural to want to have a good relationship with your brothers and sisters. But, it is also just as natural in reality to not. Blood is thicker than water, and that is why it hurts that much more when you rival amongst them.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

“The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” Kennedy 197-198.

Wolff, Tobias. “The Rich Brother”. Kennedy 87-99.


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C. Kozikowski, you forgot to NOT indent for the internet version and to put an extra return between paragraphs. Also, you don't need a period between the author's name and the page numbers when you use the cross-referencing rule (see the MLA handout on our WebCT space). Also, when you end a sentence --in this case, a bibliography citation--with a quotation mark, the period goes INSIDE the quotation mark in MLA style. I've edited your paper for you.

Content: excellent, good work

~Lee

Posted by: C. Kozikowski at November 25, 2007 06:56 PM

D. Dzurko
Professor Hobbs
English 104 H Introduction to Literature
29 October 2007

Dead Men’s Path: A Journey to Behold

Upon simply viewing the title for the short story “Dead Men’s Path,” one can deduce that the story is about some type of journey. While the writing of Mr. Chinua Achebe may literally be about a path, the monomyth journey of course applies to the story. The story “Dead Men’s Path” can be used as a very good example of the monomyth, or quest, since it shows a problem the “hero” faces, displays a call to adventure, and the cross of the threshold.

In the story “Dead Men’s Path,” the hero’s name is Michael Obi. Mr. Obi’s call to adventure is being appointed the headmaster of the Ndume Central School, an unprogressive school in need of new blood. As Michael brings modern methods to the institution, he encounters his supreme ordeal. That ordeal is the use of an old, beaten path through his school’s gardens by villagers. He puts up a fence to try to block usage of the path, however he learns from a village priest that the path is a sacred part of birth and death to villagers. Upon still refusing to tear down the fence, a woman dies during childbirth, thus giving the villagers cause for heavy sacrifice. The villagers totally destroy the school, and its surrounding gardens, thus causing the institution to get terrible marks upon state inspection.

The author of this story, Chinua Achebe, was born in Ogidi, Nigeria in 1930 (Kennedy 182). Although a devout Christian, Achebe would’ve still been exposed to African tribal beliefs and the extreme pull they have on everyday lives of their followers. This exposure most likely helped to contribute to the basis of the story “Dead Men’s Path.”

Symbolism runs rampant in “Dead Men’s Path.” For example, it can obviously be seen that old traditions die hard, as Obi finds the failure of his school after trying to alter the ways of the neighboring village. This confrontation with the religious views of the villagers can be seen as the “supreme ordeal” in Michael’s journey. The supreme ordeal is often viewed as the climax of the story, as it marks the ultimate turning point in the journey. Ultimately, Obi loses this final battle, as his institution is destroyed after he betrays the views of the community. Mr. Obi “crosses the threshold ” whenever he discovers the path through the school gardens, and promptly orders a fence to be built on both ends of the path. After this order, there is no turning back in Obi’s journey.

The very centerpiece of this story, a path, plays a great deal of symbolism not only for general literature but also for a great majority of religions. Religion extremely important role in one way or another in many people’s lives. This is shown by the villagers following the order of their priest and ransacking Mr. Obi’s institution. His decision to prevent the villagers from “making a highway of our school compound” (Kennedy 184) was seen as being extremely disrespectful.

Mr. Obi may have had good intentions as he went about his quest, however his attitude and bull headedness ultimately lead to the demise of his institution and his career as a headmaster. The “misguided zeal of the new headmaster” (Kennedy 185) played a huge role in his decision making. Although he intended to modernize his institution, as well as provide a great education for the young men of the village, Michael failed to take into account the local culture, regardless of how “fantastic” (Kennedy 184) the belief system may have been. Mr. Obi wanted to teach the young men of his institution to “eradicate just such beliefs as that” (Kennedy 184). Though meaning well, Obi refused to see that it was not necessarily the physical path itself that was sacred to the villagers, but the very idea of its history and its importance in the cycle of birth and death. However, Mr. Obi saw its importance after a local woman died during childbirth, thus causing the “tribal-war situation developing between the school and the village” (Kennedy 185).

Mr. Obi may not have changed drastically throughout the story, however it can be assumed by the reader that he learned something and hopefully grew as a person. The most important theme that can be taken from his quest could be that even though one may have good intentions, ignorance to the values of others can prove to be very costly.

As one can see, Michael Obi went through a “hero’s journey” in the story “Dead Men’s Path.” Not many readers would view Mr. Obi as the protagonist, however a case can be made that he wasn’t completely the antagonist of the story, due to his good intentions to educate the young men of the village. This story goes to show that ignorance is not always bliss, as well as good intentions having bad endings if they are misguided.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. “Dead Men’s Path,” Kennedy 182-185.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Bollingen, 1987.

Hobbs, Lee. “Hero’s Journey.” Handout, 2007.

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.

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D. Dzurko, where's your page numbers for the Campbell text? Don't have them, do you? That's why I asked you in class to ONLY use the handout for citing the Campbell data unless you were willing to check out the actual book and look up the page numbers for each and every time you cited from it. Also, unless you are actually citing something from a source in a paper, you don't list a source in your works cited. In no place in your paper can I find a place that you cited from either Campbell or the Hobbs handout. Since you've only cited from Kennedy and Achebe, you only need the Kennedy and Achebe citations, don't you?

Content-wise, this seems to be way under the three-four page minimum. See the length of the papers before you. Needs development.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: D. Dzurko at November 25, 2007 07:33 PM

Brooke Z.
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.H- Introduction to Literature
29 October 2007

Similar Theme of the Meaning of Gifts in Porter’s “The Gift of the Magi” and Tallent’s “No One’s a Mystery.”

The stories “The Gift of the Magi” by William Sydney Porter and “No One’s a Mystery” by Elizabeth Tallent have a similar theme, the meaning of gifts. The gift and the thought of love are both similar concepts in each story. Each story varies with the number of gifts and the underlying meaning of the gift. Each character in the story is dealing with the thought of love and what a gift really means.

In the story, “The Gift of the Magi” a poor couple, Della and Jim, want to buy Christmas gifts for one another, but each of them has only $1.87 to spend on the other (Porter 165). Della decides to sell her most important possession, her hair, so that she is able to buy Jim a wonderful gift that he will love. At the same time, Jim sells his most important possession, his pocket watch, to have more money for Della’s gift. When they reveal their gifts to one another, Della receives beautiful combs for her hair and Jim receives a gold chain for his pocket watch that was in his family for generations. Therefore, each person’s gift cannot be used because they coincide with the items they each gave up for the other person’s gift. Even though they are now unable to use the gifts, they are both very happy with the gift they received because they know the thought was sincere and they both worked very hard to get the gifts.

The theme of this story is that even though the tangible objects they receive cannot be used any longer, it is the thought of the gift that is most important. The thought that tangible objects really are not important is clear throughout the story, the two live in a broken down flat and are unable to live with many luxuries. Even with all of this, they do not mind because they are with one another and that is all that really matters. The gifts really mean nothing, it is the mere thought that the other would give up anything just to make their partner happy.

What the gift is, or how much the gift cost is not the most important thing, it is the meaning of the gift. I do not think Della or Jim would have cared at all if they did not get any gifts for Christmas; they just wanted to make the other happy. They tried to make the other happy by buying them a gift to show how much they truly loved them and how much they cared about them. Even though their gift attempt failed, they are still very happy with each other. I believe that this story really proves that even without luxuries, people can be happy and live enjoyable lives if they are in the company of the one they love. Money or luxuries do not buy happiness; people make their own happiness with loving family.

Things are somewhat different in the story “No One’s a Mystery,” only one tangible gift was given in this story. A young girl and a married man, Jack, are in a love affair that they are trying to keep secret. Jack gives the girl a five-year diary for her eighteenth birthday; this is the only tangible gift in the story. This gift shows that he cares about her, even though he already has a wife. I think the girl’s gift to Jack is her love, she obviously cares about him to put up with all of the things they must do to keep their affair a secret. I also think that Jack is bored with his wife because she is so predictable and this is a reason why he is having the affair. Jack cares about the girl enough to risk his marriage and I think this is proven when he buys her this gift.

Jack predicts what she will write in her diary tonight, a year from now, and five years from now. He says that tonight she will say that she loves him, in a year she will regret being with him, and in two years she will not remember him (Tallent 222). I think that this shows that he is not looking for this affair to last, and although he may care about her, he is not as serious about it as the girl may be. The girl predicts the opposite of Jack, and says tonight that she loves him, in one year, they are married, in two years they have one child, and in three years, they have two children. This obviously shows that she thinks the affair is very serious and she is looking for it to end in Jack getting a divorce and those two getting married.

The gifts in this story are somewhat different from the gifts in “The Gift of the Magi”, in this story the diary that Jack gives the girl is showing that he cares for the girl and I think he chose this type of gift so she does not forget about him, as he predicts she will. This is not like the previous story because they bought each other gifts to make the other happy and to ensure them of their love, on the contrary, this gift is just to ensure that the girl does not completely forget about him.

The gifts are somewhat different in each story but the overall theme is that, it is not the tangible aspect of a gift that counts; it is the meaning behind the giving of the gift. I think that if one gives a gift to someone else, one is just trying to show another that they truly care. Whether the gift is tangible or non-tangible, all gifts mean that one cares and they want to prove it to someone else.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J., and Giola, Dana, eds. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Fifth Compact Edition. New York: Pearson Longman. 2007.

Porter, William Sydney. “The Gift of the Magi.” Kennedy 165.

Tallent, Elizabeth. “No One’s a Mystery.” Kennedy 222.

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Some MLA issues: Kennedy and Giola are editors and this must indicated in your citation (I've corrected it). Also, the second author or editor listed but listed in the first name-then-last name format (unlike the format for the first listed author or editor). A comma goes between the publisher and the year.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: Brooke Z. at November 25, 2007 08:32 PM

Brent Sanders
Professor Hobbs
English 104F Intro to Literature
29 October 2007

The Spirit of Relationship and “The Story of an Hour”

Throughout this paper the concepts of monomyth and hero’s journey will be discussed and cross-referenced with the concepts of relationships. My information will be based on the basis of monomyth that was analyzed in class and the work of Kate Chopin called “The Story of an Hour” (326). Chopin has some beliefs that aren’t believed by everyone and especially not everyone that would read this story. The tone of “The Story of an Hour” was very mysterious at the beginning when the reader is wondering how old lady Mallard was going to take the news of her husband’s death. But then the tone switches to more of a feeling of relief when she realizes that she has the rest of her life to live by herself. The tone of “The Story of an Hour” played a huge role in how Chopin’s points and views come across. The tone of the story ultimately gives the reader the knowledge that Mallard isn’t a terrible wife and that she isn’t being disrespectful to her husband and his passing. Because this would be directly against the views of Chopin and would make women look bad which is completely opposite of what Chopin’s motives in writing are. One of the main reasons that Chopin even began to write was to show people that women have motives and aspirations in life that don’t exactly match up with what women have done historically; because she didn’t need to write to make money or for a living because her and her family had a nice income from her husband’s salary.
Chopin has been a stay at home mom throughout her married life. Thus she has some views of the women’s role in the marriage that may be different than others. “Marriage,” said Chopin’s world, “was the goal of every woman’s life, service to her husband and her children her duties, passionlessness and submission her assumed virtues, selflessness her daily practice, self sacrifice her pleasure.” Chopin really believed all of this and she wasn’t afraid to express her views in a book or two. Chopin was inspired by Walt Whitman for a good deal of her works. He was a transcendentalist, and she exemplifies some of those views in her writing. These two concepts of Chopin’s styles of writing are very evident in “The Story of an Hour” (326).

In “The Story of an Hour” the main character old lady Mallard is faced with somewhat of a tragedy or is she really; well with everyone else it would be a tragedy. Her husband tragically dies in a railroad accident somewhat early in his life. Mallard is faced with this tragedy which takes her out of her normal and comfortable world. Throughout the story there were people that were placed in the story to help Mallard like her sister, and her husband’s friend. The fact that old lady Mallard had heart problems made the fact that her husband died a little worse at the beginning of the story. The reader has a great deal of sympathy for her because her love of her life had just died and she wasn’t in the best condition of her life either. The fact that the news itself of him dying could have possibly killed her was a terrible thing to think about while reading this story. When Mallard is told that her husband has died and she realizes this is true that this would be her crossing of threshold (in) in the Hero’s Journey. During the course of the story Mallard says “Free! Free! Free!”(326) when she said this she felt a bit relieved and reborn to an extent. This I would have to say would be closest to the Initiation phase of the Hero’s Journey.

Furthermore Mallard says “Free! Body and Soul Free!” which in my eyes would be the crossing of the threshold (out) and I believe that this is the part of the story where Mallard realizes that she is completely free of her husband and everything that came with him good and bad. She has the rest of her life to worry about, and not someone else to look after and take care of. The simple aspect of life called independence is back and present in her life again and she feels somewhat like a burden has been lifted from her shoulders. She felt so lifted when she got the news of her husband’s death; this is reminiscent of when you think something tragic has happened to someone that you know and it ends up being someone else that you don’t know. You are extremely excited that it wasn’t the person that you knew but at the same time you are sad and remorse for the person that the accident happened to. This is exactly how Mallard felt when her husband died. She was relieved and excited that she was free from him but on the other hand she was sad and sorrowful at the same time.

Throughout the Chopin’s work “The Story of an Hour,” I saw where she was trying to get her views about the female and her importance in life and that this is a very important thing to Chopin. I also can appreciate how Chopin was able to get her points across while still having it seem like a real story that could of possibly happened in real life and not so much as a statement of views. Chopin’s work was a perfect fit with the theme of Monomyth and Hero’s Journey in all ways and aspects of these themes. That was what I got out of the story when I analyzed it and looked at the story in the approach of the Hero’s Journey and Monomyth.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 326-327.

Hobbs, Lee “Hero’s Journey.” Handout. 2007

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Where is your citation for Chopin's "Story of an Hour" in your works cited? You definitely need some paragraph breaks in your body, particularly the first paragraph. Periods go at the end of bibliography citations. Oh, and thanks for reading the instructions and honoring the anonymity clause I clearly laid out for using your name on the blog.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: Brent Sanders at November 26, 2007 12:29 AM

J. Geisel
Professor Hobbs
English 104.F Intro to Literature
29 October 2007

Death

Just recently I lost someone very dear to me, which I’m sure a lot of us have. I will be sharing with everybody how other people lose somebody close to them through the short story of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and poem “For my Daughter” by Weldon Kees. Also, I will be talking about my loss along with the other two, how they relate, but at the same time be completely different. For instance, one of the three deaths is an everyday, normal, natural occurrence while the other two happen to be out of the ordinary.

It was a couple of weeks ago that I got a call while I was at school from my mother saying I better call my aunt and uncle that live in Colorado; Cal, my uncle, was not doing good anymore. He was diagnosed with leukemia about a year ago and seemed to be doing fine. He went through radiation with the chemotherapy and everything started to look up for the better considering most of it was gone. This all changed when he went for his normal routine check up and found out that the leukemia came back and was worse than before. So I called him after I got off the phone with my mom and my aunt answered with a sorrowful hello. (Mind you she had to hold the phone to his ear so he could listen because he was too weak to hold it himself and he couldn’t talk either.) I was doing my best not to let him know I was ready to break down and cry while I was talking to him and saying my goodbyes and told him how much I loved him. As soon as my aunt June got on the phone I couldn’t hold it in any longer, especially when she told me that he needed to let go because of how much pain he was in. I was so lucky to get to talk to him because within the next couple of days Cal passed away. Unlike the next story/poem, this was a cruel however normal death. I wish this wasn’t true but people die from cancer every day.

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is everything but normal. The setting starts out on a clear sunny day (which would deceive anybody right off the bat letting you think your reading a nice family story; soon enough that would prove that to be wrong) in a village that has some kind of lottery everybody anticipates year after year. However in this specific lottery nobody wants to win or get the piece of paper saying a specific person won. Mr. Summers (who is somewhat the president of this activity) has a black box that contains pieces of paper, one containing a black dot on it. Let’s say somebody does pick the piece of paper with the black dot on it; well you just won a free trip to your death! I don’t really understand why they do this; maybe they don’t want their village to get overpopulated, or maybe it’s some sort of sacrifice they give to forgive everybody of their sins for that year. The short story doesn’t say why they do this but what it does say is that they have been doing this lottery for a long time, since anyone of them can remember. All of the families of the village attend this lottery and wait anxiously to see who picks the piece of paper with the black dot on it.

One of the characters from the book (216), Mr. Hutchinson was the one to pick the black dot for his family. His wife Mrs. Hutchinson complained but regretfully went along with the proceedings that followed. Now they had to do a lottery within the Hutchinson family which included Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson (Bill and Tessie), Bill Jr., Nancy, and little Dave, their kids. After everybody from the family picked a piece of paper, it turned out that Mrs. Hutchinson was the lucky one. People wanted to get it over with so they all hurried around her and picked up stones from the piles of rocks the boys had made earlier. Tessie tried to beg for the villagers to stop what they were going to do but unfortunately nothing she said changed their minds and this was indeed the end of the road for Tessie Hutchinson.

“For my Daughter” by Weldon Kees, is a poem about somebody losing someone else that is like a daughter to them, not necessarily their own kin. Writings like, “Coldest winds have blown this hair, and mesh of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands” (443 lines 4 and 5), makes it seem like this person found a child that might have been drowned or left on its own in the sea. Perhaps a careless mother or somebody that didn’t want to keep the child and thought this was an easy way to get rid of her. Another good context clue is “Lingering death in certain war, the slim green legs” (line 9) which also leads to the conclusion that this innocent life was taken at sea.

At the end of the poem, the readers learn that the person talking doesn’t even have a daughter to call their own. “I have no daughter. I desire none.” (line14) This also makes the readers think that by saying that, it was this person’s daughter they left to drown. Maybe they couldn’t afford an abortion, or maybe they thought they couldn’t support it in the world and was doing both of them favors, or it could be just that the person who did this was mentally ill/ diseased person, the list could go on and on but it does make you think of all the possibilities that come into the picture. Also in saying “Perhaps the cruel bride of a syphilitic fool” (line 12,) that this might be the mother talking. She might think that she saved her daughter from all of the suffering of the disease her husband had. I guess we’ll never really know but interpret our own opinions about it.

So who knows when any of us will die? Death is a curious thing and in these three situations can happen at any point in time. Maybe you’ll die from a disease that overtakes your body, maybe you’ll be stoned (I pray not), or maybe you’ll die from neglect. Take every day as it’s your last; don’t have any regrets or hold and grudges. Most importantly always think, “If I die today would I be proud of myself the way I lived my life.” Think about it and ask yourself if you have because when your time is up we have no re-dos or rewind buttons, so make it a good one.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J. / Dana Gioia. eds. “Literature an Introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and writing. 5th Compact Edition. The Lottery. New York: 2007. Pg 216-222.

Kennedy, X.J. / Dana Gioia. eds. “Literature an Introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and writing. 5th Compact Edition. For My Daughter. New York: 2007. Pg. 443

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First of all, even though it was extra-credit, you have not done the assignment properly. I excused you from visiting the writing center as the final step but, instead, you were instructed to *correct* the last version of the paper that I returned to you (according to my comments) and *then* publish it on English-Blog if you wanted credit for the extra-credit assignment. You clearly haven't done this. What is the "/" slash for in your citation? That's not MLA format. You need to review the rules for "title case" when you write the titles of books. I asked you specifically not to use "we," or "us" in your formal class writings, yet you still have done it anyway. You have not acknowledged the cross-referencing rule at all in your works cited (see handout on WebCT). Your essay's title is beyond weak--Death? It tells me nothing me about your thesis or paper's direction and absolutely nothing about the work(s)/author(s) the essay is focused on. Why is there a "Pg" before your page number in your citations?--non-MLA. Your paper needs work as I indicated on your rough draft. This indicates to me that you totally ignored my previous comments on your paper.

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: J. Geisel at November 26, 2007 12:42 AM

Andrew Kean
Professor Hobbs
English 104H
04 October 2007

Looking Back: A Past Point of View from “Piano” and “Ask Me”

Point of view is a stance on a situation from a certain standpoint. A point of view can be as simple as, a tree is green, or, a tree is bliss. It depends from which point of view people can view these things. In poetry, point of view can be a hint as to what the author or poet wants the reader to look at. By looking at poetry with a certain point of view, people can gather more from the poem rather than trying to put all the pieces in the poem together. In D.H. Lawrence’s “Piano” and William Stafford’s “Ask Me”, the main point of view the poets are trying to describe is that of an outlook on decision making in their pasts, and the outcomes for the choices they have made. (Lawrence, p. 428, Stafford, p. 436)

In Lawrence’s “Piano”, the character in the poem is hearing the sound of the piano, and yearning for the memories of his past. This poem also emphasizes the childhood fun and memories that are absent in adult life. One thing Lawrence did in his childhood was help his mother, the wife of a coal miner. While reading this poem, the reader can come to an understanding that the character in the poem is remembering his childhood past, and wishing he had more time to be “under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings” (Lawrence, p. 428).

With Lawrence reminiscing on his childhood, he seems to wish that he would have spent more time with his mother, rather than just sitting under the piano. While “the glamour of childish days is upon me” (Lawrence, p. 428), seems to make it a happy thought for Lawrence, later on, he describes it as “vain,” that his mother started to sing while playing the piano. From Lawrence’s point of view, it seems to me that he misses his childhood, yet wishes he could make his memories from his past leave his mind. With his manhood “down in the flood of remembrance” (Lawrence, p. 428) he wishes he could drown it in his years, weeping “like a child for the past.” (Lawrence, p. 428)

In William Stafford’s “Ask Me,” the character in the poem is standing near a river and wondering what he has done with his life. He is pondering whether he has helped or hindered, loved, hated, and won or lost the battle of life. He wonders “what difference” (Stafford, p. 436) he has made, and wondered who he has affected in his life. To know the answer, the character in the story says to “turn and look at the silent river and wait.” (Stafford, p. 436). When someone looks at the river, they see the current sweeping down past them, and it’s hard to see the same water twice.

The river part of the poem is that it is hard to keep track of a certain part of the river, and when looking, the character cannot see the same water in the same place twice. When he represents the river’s current as his life, the character in the poem is saying it is hard to remember where and what major events he had helped or hindered in his life. This point of view also relates to the reminiscence and remembrance that I pointed out in the first poem, William Stafford’s “Ask Me.”

With these two poems, both authors describe characters in their poem that are looking back on their pasts and questioning what they did. Some of the remembrance is through reminiscing, and some of the remembrance is questioning. Questioning includes if the decisions they made were right or wrong, if what they have done to help or hinder people, and whether they have loved or hated people are viewpoints they look at themselves through. Point of view is what makes these poems reasonable, so that they can point to the reader the frame of mind they want the reader to find. Through these points of views, the poets display great work on remembrance and reminisce of their pasts.

Works Cited

Lawrence, D.H. “Piano.” Kennedy, p. 428.

Stafford, William. “Ask Me.” Kennedy, p. 436.

X.J., Kennedy, and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.


-------------------

A. Kean, I'm not sure which part of MLA style asks you to put ".p" before the page number. Surely, you've noticed that I've consistently scratched that part of your rough drafts? Also, Kennedy's last name is "Kennedy" not "X. J." Therefore, your Works Cited is not properly alphabetized. Please review the rules for cross-referencing--you've gotten it incorrect here--and please see the note I left for the paper before you about where a period goes after a parenthetical in-text citation (I edited a few but I'm not going to do them all).

~Lee Hobbs

Posted by: A. Kean at November 26, 2007 02:44 AM

B. Sanders
Professor Hobbs
English 104F Intro to Literature
29 October 2007

The Story of an Hour

Throughout this paper the concepts of monomyth and hero’s journey will be discussed and cross-referenced with the concepts of relationships. My information will be based on the basis of monomyth that was analyzed in class and the work of Kate Chopin called “The Story of an Hour” (326). Chopin has some beliefs that aren’t believed by everyone and especially not everyone that would read this story. The tone of “The Story of an Hour” was very mysterious at the beginning when the reader is wondering how old lady Mallard was going to take the news of her husband’s death. But then the tone switches to more of a feeling of relief when she realizes that she has the rest of her life to live by herself. The tone of “The Story of an Hour” played a huge role in how Chopin’s points and views come across.

The tone of the story ultimately gives the reader the knowledge that Mallard isn’t a terrible wife and that she isn’t being disrespectful to her husband and his passing. Because this would be directly against the views of Chopin and would make women look bad which is completely opposite of what Chopin’s motives in writing are. One of the main reasons that Chopin even began to write was to show people that women have motives and aspirations in life that don’t exactly match up with what women have done historically; because she didn’t need to write to make money or for a living because her and her family had a nice income from her husband’s salary.

Chopin has been a stay at home mom throughout her married life. Thus she has some views of the women’s role in the marriage that may be different than others. “Marriage,” said Chopin’s world, “was the goal of every woman’s life, service to her husband and her children her duties, passionlessness and submission her assumed virtues, selflessness her daily practice, self sacrifice her pleasure.” Chopin really believed all of this and she wasn’t afraid to express her views in a book or two. Chopin was inspired by Walt Whitman for a good deal of her works. He was a transcendentalist, and she exemplifies some of those views in her writing. These two concepts of Chopin’s styles of writing are very evident in “The Story of an Hour” (326).

In “The Story of an Hour” the main character old lady Mallard is faced with somewhat of a tragedy or is she really. Well with everyone else it would be a tragedy. Her husband tragically dies in a railroad accident somewhat early in his life. Mallard is faced with this tragedy which takes her out of her normal and comfortable world. Throughout the story there were people that were placed in the story to help Mallard like her sister, and her husband’s friend. The fact that old lady Mallard had heart problems made the fact that her husband died a little worse at the beginning of the story.

The reader has a great deal of sympathy for her because her love of her life had just died and she wasn’t in the best condition of her life either. The fact that the news itself of him dying could have possibly killed her was a terrible thing to think about while reading this story. When Mallard is told that her husband has died and she realizes this is true that this would be her crossing of threshold (in) in the Hero’s Journey. During the course of the story Mallard says “Free! Free! Free!”(326) when she said this she felt a bit relieved and reborn to an extent. This I would have to say would be closest to the Initiation phase of the Hero’s Journey.

Furthermore Mallard says “Free! Body and Soul Free!” which in my eyes would be the crossing of the threshold (out) and I believe that this is the part of the story where Mallard realizes that she is completely free of her husband and everything that came with him good and bad. She has the rest of her life to worry about, and not someone else to look after and take care of. The simple aspect of life called independence is back and present in her life again and she feels somewhat like a burden has been lifted from her shoulders. She felt so lifted when she got the news of her husband’s death; this is reminiscent of when you think something tragic has happened to someone that you know and it ends up being someone else that you don’t know.

You are extremely excited that it wasn’t the person that you knew but at the same time you are sad and remorse for the person that the accident happened to. This is exactly how Mallard felt when her husband died. She was relieved and excited that she was free from him but on the other hand she was sad and sorrowful at the same time.

Throughout the Chopin’s work “The Story of an Hour,” I saw where she was trying to get her views about the female and her importance in life and that this is a very important thing to Chopin. I also can appreciate how Chopin was able to get her points across while still having it seem like a real story that could of possibly happened in real life and not so much as a statement of views. Chopin’s work was a perfect fit with the theme of Monomyth and Hero’s Journey in all ways and aspects of these themes. That was what I got out of the story when I analyzed it and looked at the story in the approach of the Hero’s Journey and Monomyth. 

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 326-327.

Chopin, Kate. “A Story of an Hour.” 326.

Hobbs, Lee. “Hero’s Journey.” Handout. 2007.

Posted by: B. Sanders at November 26, 2007 11:01 AM

K. Bradley
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
26 October 2007

Fear and Curiosity of the Unknown in Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law”
and Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”

In Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” (364) a man spends his whole life trying to get through a door to “the law.” He is dedicated and refuses to leave the door until he is let in, even though this leads him to death while waiting to be admitted. Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” (279) portrays a man who has gone mad because of an old man’s “vulture eye.” Both of these characters, Kafka’s and Poe’s, have become somewhat obsessed with the unknown, an obsession that may have been raised because of fear.

Franz Kafka wrote “Before the Law” about a man who wanted to get through a door, the doorkeeper however, will not let him enter. After this, the man becomes completely infatuated with what lies behind the door. He then waits for the remainder of his life trying to get through the door. During this time, the man studies the doorkeeper, trying to find anything that might help him to be gain admittance through the door; a flaw in the system. When his life finally ends, after years upon years of sitting before the doorkeeper trying to enter the door, he is told by the doorkeeper that the door was meant for only him. “No one but you could have been admitted here, since this entrance was meant for you alone. Now I am going to shut it,” (Kafka 365). It seems ironic that the man was the only one that the door was meant for, yet he waited his entire life to be let in, but never succeeded. Then upon his death, the door is closed. It is never revealed to the reader, or the man for that matter, what is behind the doors. It can only be left up to one’s imagination. Perhaps the only way to get through the doors was to die, and that is why now the doors are being shut because the man will go through upon death. Maybe it is the afterlife for the man; another theory is that the man was never really waiting to get through a real set of doors. Maybe the man had a life threatening disease and was waiting to die, to go through to the other side, if one really exists.

Edgar Alan Poe’s character, the unnamed narrator from “The Tell-Tale Heart,” also had something that he would consider an obstacle. Other than his madness, which he denied, he could not live peacefully under the watchful “vulture eye.” He would sneak into the old man’s room and study him every night at midnight. The eye was unknown to him, not that he didn’t know it existed but he didn’t know why it was how it was; and he feared it enough for it to provoke him to commit murder. This is especially peculiar because he claims to love the old man. “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me an insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this!” (Poe 279). He had no real motive to want to kill the old man, just the fear of the “vulture eye.” The fact that he was mad also had influence on his decision to go along with his murderous plot.

If Poe’s character had been in the same position as Kafka’s, he probably would have been driven crazy by something about the doorkeeper. The man in “Before the Law” states that there are fleas in the collar of the doorkeepers coat, perhaps the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” would have feared this and eventually committed homicide upon that man as well. The character are almost opposite in the actions they take in each of their circumstances, however. The man waiting to get through the door simply waited. He did not attempt to kill the doorkeeper to pass through the door, though this would have been an extreme, he did not really try much of anything. He had no plan other than to wait. On the other hand, Poe’s narrator tells the readers all about how well thought out and precise his plan was. He took action against his fear of the old man’s eye, although it was not a very good action, he did something about it. Perhaps if this man had been waiting to get through the door he would have killed the doorkeeper to get through, and then the story would be completely different. Both characters are scared and curious, the narrator’s curiosity of the heartbeat leads him to confess to the murder, when the police had no idea he had done anything of the sort.

I think that the narrator in Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” imagines the old man’s eye as looking like a vulture. When I think of vultures I think of death, vultures tend to feast on dead animals and rotting corpses. Perhaps this is a symbol of the narrators fear of death; he subconsciously fears that the old man has a connection to death, and wants to rid himself of this threat. In Kafka’s “Before the Law,” the man waiting to get beyond the door also fears death, maybe he is waiting to get into the door to see what is to come of him. Perhaps he thinks this will help him to live longer and peacefully. Both men have different motives for their actions taken in each of these stories, however I think that they both are mainly triggered by fear and curiosity of death and the unknown.

Works Cited

Kafka, Franz. “Before the Law.” Kennedy 364.

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact Ed. New York: Longman, 2006.

Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Kennedy 279.


Posted by: K. Bradley at November 26, 2007 12:00 PM

-----------------

*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment ABOVE has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at November 26, 2007 09:35 PM

Michael Castronuovo, Joe Sears
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
16 April 2014

QUESTION:
Did the hero (Bilbo) master both worlds? Why or why not?

ANSWER:
Bilbo mastered the Shire and himself by leaving the Shire and getting out of his normal routine. While on his journey, he essentially became a hero by bringing home gold, becoming less obsessive about his normal routine, and being more willing to accept new challenges. He is not willing to not be free, and is willing and able to be free.

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at April 16, 2014 02:13 PM

Lydia Beach & Alexa Griffith-Hardy
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA02
16 April 2014

In the Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy is the the hero and she is the one that mastered two worlds. One world is the ordinary world, Kansas. In Kansas Dorothy accepted living on the farm with her aunt and uncle and realized that's where she was going to be. She accepted that she'd rather be around family and people that cared about her than going to a new place alone. The second world is the special world, the Land of Oz. Dorothy mastered the land of Oz by finally being on her own and being independent. She was alone in an unfamiliar place and she had to meet new people to accompany her on her journey. Dorothy must make it to the Emerald City in order to meet the wizard because he is the only one that can get her back to Kansas, but before he will do that, he makes Dorothy bring him the broom from the Wicked Witch of the West.

The freedom to live means that one is able to make his or her own choices and able to what he or she wants to do. It also means taking responsibility for things that happen or consequences one incurs while freely living. In the Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy is sheltered at her home in Kansas. She isn't allowed to go far from the home and her aunt and uncle have to know everything that she is doing. She doesn't have a lot of freedom and the is constantly being told what to do. When Dorothy gets back from the Land of Oz, she realizes life on the farm isn't so bad. She discovers how harsh the outside or unknown world can be. She realizes the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Posted by: Lydia Beach, Alexa Griffith-Hardy at April 16, 2014 02:17 PM

Chantal Bouthillier and McClellan Lowry
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG 220CL On the Preverbal Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
16 April 2014

Who is the hero in the Matrix?

The hero in Matrix is Thomas Anderson AKA Neo.

What is the first world the hero masters?

The first mastered world Thomas Anderson (Neo)
encounters is The Matrix.

What is the second world the hero masters?

The second mastered world that Thomas Anderson(Neo) encounters is The Machine World (the real world).

What is the identification of the hero’s state of not living free?

The identification of the hero’s state of not living free is Neo is living a slave to the Matrix and is blind to the reality of the human enslavement by the machines.

What is the identification of the hero’s state of living free?

The identification of the hero’s state of living free is by the end he is free of the hold of the Matrix and its agents and he is no longer blind to the reality.

Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at April 16, 2014 02:20 PM

Andrew Sherlock
Alex Hoschak
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
16 April 2014

1-D. The master of two worlds/hero is Harry Potter
2-D. Magical
2-E. Non-magical world
3. No, he might not be as worried but Voldemort is still out there and he still has to deal with the Dursleys. He is never really in control of what goes on.
4-C. Living in a closet, he is basically a slave to the Dursleys.
4-D. He was opened up to a world of magic, a world in which he belongs.
4-E. Living in the closet.
4-F. Living in a magical world with friends, purpose, and recognition.

Posted by: Andrew Sherlock at April 16, 2014 03:15 PM

Wilfred Ras & Jesse Robinson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 220 CL
April 16, 2014

In class Activity:

In the discussion about how a character has either become “Master of Two Worlds” we have chosen the text Medea by Euripides. In this text we had different kinds of worlds. In the ordinary world, women and outsiders were oppressed. Medea being both was doubly oppressed. So, Medea going to the second world looking for vengeance masters her skills of deception when she kills her kids. At first, we came to the conclusion that Medea did not master the first world, in which included her being oppressed by society. The reason we came to the conclusion was because Medea’s husband Jason decided to leave. The conversation with Aegeus alludes to Medea possibly going back to the normal world and using her experience to combat the oppression she once experience in the ordinary world.

Posted by: Wilfred Ras at April 16, 2014 03:22 PM

Craig Graves and Nick Heiting
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 313CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
16 April 2014

STORY/MOVIE: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

HERO: Luke Skywalker

MASTERED WORLD 1: Tatooine
MASTERED WORLD 2: Rebel Alliance

MASTERY LEVEL: Luke Skywalker was unable to master the ordinary world of Tatooine because the Empire had destroyed everything that he held dear there. His aunt and uncle were killed, forcing him to leave with Ben Kenobi. Since he had no reason to return to Tatooine, Luke could never have mastered it in his journey. He was able to master the extraordinary world of the Rebel Alliance as they had accepted him as one of their own after her helped them destroy the Death Star.

FREEDOM TO LIVE: Luke had no opportunities to do anything on Tatooine as he spent a lot of his time performing errands for his aunt and uncle and doing chores. It was not until he found R2-D2 and C-3PO before his life and journey truly began. Luke is now able to travel around space and fight to protect the balance of the Force from those who fight with the dark side of the Force.

Posted by: Craig Graves at April 16, 2014 10:51 PM

Neo is the hero in the movie *the matrix*. According to the the master of two worlds stage the first world was the matrix and the second world was the ordinary world that neo was unaware of until meeting trinity and morpheus. He mastered the first world in a way that he becomes stronger than all the agents he encounters in the matrix and he mastered the second world by being able to prove the prophecy of him being the *one* to himself and the others around him in the real world. By being imprisoned inside of the matrix, he was not in a state of living free, however, after escaping the matrix and and purging his disbelief of himself being the one, he overcame his imprisonment and enter a living free state.

Posted by: Jonathan Cruz & Joshua Natonio at April 17, 2014 02:27 AM

Brittany Davie
Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
16.4.2014
Group Activity – The Lion King
In The Lion King, the hero, Simba, runs away from Pride Rock, his original world, after the death of his father. Simba was destined to be king of Pride Rock, however after being framed by his uncle, Scar, for the death of Mufasa (Simba’s father and king of the Pride Lands) Simba runs away from the Pride Lands and into a distant jungle, where he is adopted by a meerkat, Timon, and a warthog, Pumba. With the passing of time Simba has seemed to repress the memory of his past and instead lives his life by Timon and Pumba’s motto; “Hakuna Matata.”
While in the ordinary world of the Pride Lands, Simba was beginning his training to the throne by his father, had Mufasa not been killed Simba would have eventually become king and mastered his ordinary world. However, that was not the case; Simba had to first come to terms with his past, and learn from it, before he could return to the Pride Lands (which had been run and ruined by Scar). Once Simba embraced his past, and learnt from it, with the help of Rafiki, a mandrill who acts as a shaman, he returns to the ordinary world ready to lead it and heal it back to how it used to be before the death of his father.
Having defeated Scar and coming to terms with his past, Simba takes his place as king of the Pride Lands. If Simba not embraced his past and instead chosen to live forever in exile, the Pride Lands would have never healed, breaking the Circle of Life.

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at April 18, 2014 11:36 PM

Kent Wood and John-Wesley Ingraham
Dr. Lee B Hobbs
ENG 220 CL CA01 Journeys in Narrative
19 April 2014

Group Activity:
Our hero for the "master of the two world" was selected from the story Beowulf. Our hero was Beowulf. He became the master of two worlds. One of them being the Ordinary World (he became king upon his return) and the other being the special world (he beat all the beasts and received a necklace for his work). We identified Beowulf's state of not living free was as long as he lived because he was a protector. Our final identification of Beowulf's state of living free was when he accepted death and passes his authority to Wiglaf.

Posted by: Kent Wood and John-Wesley Ingraham at April 19, 2014 10:08 PM

Marssiel Mena & Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
21 April 2014
The Mono myth in Medea:
Medea is the hero in the story. The two worlds are, where she was born and the world she was in with Jason. Medea doesn't master any of the world because, she has to leave both of those worlds. However, it can be inferred that she will master the world Aegeus had for her, since she would be safe and would stay in that world.
"Freedom to live" means being in a place where she/he can live freely the way they want to live. The opposite of this is being restricted on what you can and cannot do, having enemies, being punished for actions, and feeling trapped. She felt trapped by her family, not at first but after she met Jason which is why she did all those things to her family, they were in a way restricting her from seeing Jason. At the end, Medea kills her children and leaves Jason alive to suffer the pain of loosing the people he loves more including his wife. this made Medea feel freer because she got the revenge she wanted.
Identification that Medea is not free is when Creon tells her she must leave, this shows authority, a place with authority has rules they must abide by. Medea is at a state of living free when she kills people and escapes to a place where no one can tell her what to do because she is free. With this being said we can infer that Medea two worlds are actually the world she has with Jason and the world she escapes to after when she gets her revenge. However, since the story does not include information about that world we cannot know for sure if she mastered that world or not.

Posted by: Marssiel Mena at April 21, 2014 10:01 AM

Re-chia Jackson, Michael Adamson, Charles flower
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENg220 cl the proverbial road: Journey of transformation in narrative
21 April 2014

Group work
1. Hero: Beowulf
2. Beowulf- the normal person with the people of Geatland
Beowulf fighting monsters
3. Beowulf mastered both worlds when he was with the people and he wanted to prove his legacy. So Beowulf slayed Grendel and his mother that plagued Denmark. Then he returned home with proof of his greatness, thus cementing his legacy.
4. The people of demark was rewarded freedom, once Beowulf killed the monster Grendel, his mother, and the dragon.
To live in bondage, and be tormented by something.
Before Beowulf went to went to demark he wanted to submit his legacy, but he could do that in Geatland so he ventured to Denmark to prove himself.
Beowulf past his legacy on to Wiglaf, who the bravest of Beowulf soldiers.
Beowulf was not living free when he was in Geatland and wanted to prove himself to the people, so he left and went to Denmark once he heard of this monster name Grendel.
Once he returned back to Geatland and showed the people and his king that he was a mighty warrior.

Posted by: re-chia Jackson Micheal Adamson Charles Flower at April 21, 2014 12:12 PM

Rebecca Maldonado
Jonathan Constant
Dr. B. L. Hobbs
ENG 220: Journey’s in Narrative CA01
21 April 2014

In her normal world, Kansas, Dorothy wanted an escape from her boring farm life. Oz represents the adventurous life Dorothy wishes to have. By facing challenges in the magical world she was then able to appreciate a simple farm life. Dorothy mastered both worlds by defeating not only the evil witch but by showing just how much of a phony the Wizard of Oz actually was. In this way, she defeated both of the greatest powers in Oz and mastered both realms.
Dorothy also felt confined within the routine and mundane farm life she lived. She had a naïve idea about what adventure and magic really meant. Instead of feeling the same confinement upon her return to Kansas after her adventures in Oz, she was able to gain a significant appreciation for the safety of her home. She is freer by the end of the story due to her understanding of both worlds and the ability she had to choose between the magical world and Kansas.

Posted by: Rebecca Maldonado and Jonathan Constant at April 21, 2014 12:23 PM

Jasmine Cedeno
Jacklyn Obrien
Br. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA02 Journeys to Narrative
21 April 2014
In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Dante the character is the Hero of the story. Dante derives from an ordinary world in Florence, Italy and is place into a special world, beginning with Dark Woods leading into the nine circles of hell. Dante is a black Guelph who suffers in the ordinary world with politics, race and religion. He is placed on a journey that ventures into hell so that he may become more away of the religion of hell. He encounters three beast in the very beginning while walking through Dark Wood. He is unable to defeat the beast and meets with the spirit, Virgil, who guides him through the nine circles of hell.
Dante may be considered the Master of Two Worlds because he confronts and conquers two worlds. The Ordinary World in this case would be Dante’s home town of Florence, Italy. Here Dante was able to confront politicians, racist and priest. By confronting these important people in his life he was able to master the Ordinary World. The Special World in which Dante encountered was Hell (Inferno). In hell, Dante’s mission was to learned about the nine circles and learn how to escape from hell. With the help of Virgil, his guide, Dante was able to master The Special World. He completed his journey while entering hell beginning with the Dark Wood, into the first circle of Virtuous Pagans through to the ninth circle of Treachery. Dante was able to learn about all nine circle and escape Satan’s fury.
The expression, “Freedom to Live” means the Hero of the story was able to live free from obstructions by the end of the story. Dante experiences the “Freedom to Live”, as well as, the opposite. In contrary to “Freedom to Live”, the Hero experiences a state of “Not Living Free”. In this state, the Hero experiences feelings of being trapped, confined, restricted or imprisoned in their Ordinary World. Dante experiences the state of “Not Living Free” in his Ordinary World. In Florence, Italy, Dante was unable to live his life like a normal Italian. He felt suppressed because he was of black Italian blood. As a Black Guelph, Dante had trouble with white Italians. During that time, there was a sort of Civil War in Italy that started controversy between black and white Italians. Being a black Italian, Dante was unable to converse with white Italians. He was also unable to find the right politician to represent his point of views. Dante also experience an internal conflict with himself and his religious views. These main problems held Dante back in the Ordinary World.
Once entering Inferno, Dante was able to learn more about the nine circle of hell and why people spent eternal life in them. He was also able to learn how to use his knowledge of the nine circles and relate them to his religious views about God. Once he was able to relate his religious and knowledge of the nine circles to God he became a person who understood the relationship he needed with God in order to enter heaven. He met many people in history and from his past that were stuck in hell. The stories about each person and the information about each circle allowed him to pass through hell. While in hell, Dante encountered Satan and was able to escape hell from the deepest ninth circle. The escape might have led his to be free from hell but the information he learned in his journey led him to the State of Living Free. Dante was able to use his knowledge to master the issues he lived by in the Ordinary World. The issues from the Ordinary World held him back and made him live in a state of “Not Living Free”. The knowledge he acquired answered all of his questions from his confused past. The answers to his questions released him from confinement. He learned what he needed to know in order to feel equal to the white Italians. He also learned the sins of politicians and great men in history. He was able to sympathize with himself in knowing that all men sinned. Dante was also able to answer his questions about his internal relationship with God. The questions he asked about religion in the literature he wrote about as a pot in Florence, Italy were answered. These answers set him free and the information he used to respond set him free.

Posted by: Jasmine Cedeno at April 21, 2014 01:25 PM

Alvaro Rambaldi + Mariana Conveny
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
19 April 2014

Question #113
Gilgamesh on mastering the "Two Worlds"

ANSWER:
When it comes to Gilgamesh and all his adventures we can state that the Epic of Gilgamesh is much more detailed and has more climaxes than the other stories. With that being said there are several "Worlds" in Gilgamesh's story. If we chose the setting of Uruk before Enkidu shows up and fights Gilgamesh and consequently changing everything for the better we can definitely say that he did not master this world because he used every citizen of Uruk be treating them poorly and even sleeping with brides before she got married just because he was stronger than everyone else. As a king of Uruk Gilgamesh should be providing its people with security, mentorship, and good values since people look up to him. This showed that even though the people of Uruk were not free to live their lives the way they wanted, the real person who was trapped was Gilgamesh. All his actions illustrated insecurity and lack of confidence.
On the other hand is Gilgamesh's world, which consists of his first adventure after becoming friends with Enkidu. The battle against Humbaba where they defeated the monster in the woods proved that he was brave enough to kill Humbaba and fight with the help of Enkidu.
The last adventure is when Gilgamesh goes on a journey in order to find immortality. This may seem a little selfish from Gilgamesh's part since he wants to live forever in a world where everyone else dies. However, after he knows that he fails in his quest for immortality he realizes that the city of Uruk in which he built will live forever and no one will be able to destroy that. This statement from Gilgamesh shows that he turned to be a humble person and making him feel fulfilled with everything he has done proving the he has master this last "world" of his.

Posted by: Alvaro Rambaldi at April 21, 2014 01:53 PM

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Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at April 21, 2014 02:50 PM

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