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A Room of One’s Own Essay

March 24th, 2010 No comments

“…I am sorry to break off so abruptly. Are there no men present? Do you promise me that behind the red curtain over there the figure of Sir Chartres Biron is not conclead? We are all women you assure me? Then I may tell you that the next words I read were these- ‘Chloe liked Olivia…’ Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Somtimes women do like women.” -Virgina Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

This quote so interests me because it gets at the views on homosexuality not just of Virgina Woolf’s time, but of the views of many centuries before her. Only recently has the issue of homosexuality been publicly discussed and debated, and even now there are still many who are uncomfortable or against the subject. Therefore, with a subject that is still so adamantly argued today, one can only expect that the ideas were even more narrow-minded concerning homosexuality dating back for centuries.

Historically, the subject of homosexuality has been kept very hidden and private from the public. Obviously the idea and practice of homosexuality has existed for centuries, if not since the caveman, but the degree with which one was free to discuss it has changed dramatically. As reference, for example, we know that Sappho was a lesbian based on her letters and poems to women, but she could never come out and express such an idea openly to the public. The paragraph directly following this quote from A Room of One’s Own begins, “it struck me how immense a change was there. Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature. Cleopatra did not like Olivia.” This demonstrates that in Woolf’s time even the idea of discussing homosexuality in a public forum was revolutionary. As she describes, never before had there been a novel where a girl was in love with a girl or even a man was in love with a man. Additionally, in her preface to the actual discussion of homosexuality in literature, she makes the point of glancing around the metaphorical room of readers in order to ensure that there are no men around. This seems indicative of the ideas of the time, as though some of these ideas were finally able to be discussed in literature, the idea of discussing it with men was still considered taboo. Read more…

Legalizing Drugs Essay

February 11th, 2010 No comments

Through the past years, the question of legalizing drugs has been becoming more popular. There are many different opinions on this subject because of personal beliefs. I believe that these substances should be legal because no matter what law is created, if a person chooses to use them, they will. If it were legalized, the government would gain economical advantages by the changes it would cause. In one year, it is estimated that 1 billion dollars of revenues is spent in the drug market (Andelman, 1994).

One of the big reasons that I believe that it should be legal is because it would bring in more money for our government. This is mostly because we would be able to tax the substances just as we can alcohol and tobacco. This would be allowed because with it becoming legalized, the government is able to set the prices, or at least set a tax on it if it is supplied privately. It is projected that if marijuana alone were to become legalized that the government could make at least 7.8 million dollars a year in taxes. It would also help decrease government funding by being able to reduce the cost of imprisonment and enforcement. In 1992, 58% of inmates in federal prisons were serving for some sort of drug charge (Chambliss, 1994). The government could save billions of dollars each year by not having to support these felons. Read more…

Seamus Heaney Essay

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

“Blackberry-picking,” by Seamus Heaney, can be seen as a multi layered cake. There is the obvious physical attraction of a beautifully written poem as there is a grandly frosted cake, but once tasted, the poem can tell different stories as a cake can reveal different flavors. There is a literal reading of the poem, but the poem can also be read as a struggle between man and nature and the natural mental progression from childhood through adult hood.

Man possesses a preoccupation with opposing and fighting the world in which he lives. In spite of all the good that nature has done unto him, man possesses an inherent force, perhaps stemming from the Freudian id (the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives), which causes him to create conflict with the rest of the universe. (http://www.m-w.com) Throughout literature, humans have tried to oppose nature. Such epics as Beowulf and Gilgamesh contain heroes that fight against nature’s creation but suffer a tragic end and the hands of the universe. In “Blackberry-Picking,” Seamus Heaney grasps this theme of the eternal conflict between nature and man, and impresses this premise into an idea as simple as blackberry-picking. The author reverses the common structure of the words “Picking Blackberries” to “Blackberry-Picking.” This reversal may signify the importance of “Blackberries” from the singular form “Blackberry,” thereby leading the reader to infer that the poem transcends the denotation of picking blackberries. Also, the singular form of the title may serve to emphasize that Heaney focuses the poem on one single theme which pervades the entirety of the poem. Through the physical notion of the action of blackberry-picking, Seamus Heaney employs poetic devices ranging from imagery to metaphor; illuminating his universal theme of the eternal struggle of the force of man versus the force of nature. Read more…

The Great Gatsby Essay

June 4th, 2009 No comments

Fitzgerald decided to employ a narrator who was a participant in the story, but was more an observer than an actor. This creates a complex point of view, which involves us, as readers, in acts of interpretation, which eventually lets us make judgments about the narrator. The qualities that Fitzgerald has given to the narrator, Nick Carraway, are those of a privileged background. But from the advice that was given to him by his father, this makes him aware that some people may not have the same privileges and opportunities as himself, which allows him to make good judgments, for example, “In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments.” So from this the reader can see that he looks at all sides of opinions, and does not make snap decisions, which allows people to tell him their secrets because he is trustworthy, impartial and holds back his judgments. Which is why in the story, so many people open up to him. This impartiality allows the characters in the novel to be open with him, which is a good quality for a narrator, because he has their confidence, “Listen, Nick; let me tell you what is said when she was born. Would you like to hear?” This proves that he is the ideal listener and as such is accepted by the reader. Read more…

The Scarlet Letter Essay

June 4th, 2009 No comments

The Puritans of Boston make a victim of Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter for her sin of adultery by putting her in jail, by publicly condemning her, by forcing her to wear a scarlet on her bosom for the rest of her life, and by out casting her from society.

Hester Prynne’s crime of adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale, the town reverend, depicts a serious crime, worthy of being put in jail, especially in the 1770s, when the people of Massachusetts depicted a very pious group of Puritans. It was a time when you could be punished for committing a minor sin, like not attending church on a Sunday. In Hester’s case, her husband fails to join her in Boston after migrating from Europe and she begins to engage in sexual relations with Reverend Dimmesdale. The author of the book, Nathaniel Hawthorne, commences the book to her first punishment, Hester serving a jail sentence (page 35). If the community wasnТt Puritan, Hester would have been looked down upon; however, she would not have been subjected to punishments worse than her crime. Read more…