In-Class Journal 2/16/10
We have started a new unit this past week that deals with modernistic writing of author's such as William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald. We are currently reading two novels, one by each of the previous mentioned authors. We analyzed poems earlier this week by EE Cummings and William Carlos Williams. One poem that I found to be quite interesting was The Red Wheelbarrow. The poem was so short, maybe 8 lines long at most, yet it was the epitome of modernism, leaving the reader to ponder its meaning and purpose. The poem was written when Williams was at a patients house and looked out the window to see a wheelbarrow just sitting there. He turned over a sheet of paper and jotted down the poem immediately. Ever since then, the poem has been regarded as one of the most famous in American literature. I believe the theme of this poem is that people usually take the simplest things in life for granted. Think about how difficult it would be to move things like dirt without a wheelbarrow. How would you do it? Maybe a shovel full at a time, which would be a very arduous task. People use very simple machines like this to do very simple tasks, yet without such tools, people would fail to realize the difficulty of little tasks. I have sympathetic feelings for this little red wheelbarrow. It jus sits in a corner propped up against a wall and whenever someone needs it, it gets filled up, rolled around, banged up, and then returns to its corner to collect dust. Yet people would never think of a wheelbarrow in that way. A wheelbarrow is a sort of prototype for vehicles. From the wheelbarrow came trailers, then carts, and now a motor driven wheelbarrow that we today call a car.
Enough about the wheelbarrow. I recently started reading As I Lay Dying by Faulkner and I have a few opinions I'd like to share. First off, I can already tell that this book is going to be a difficult read which is good school-wise but for me, I'm dreading the continuation of chapter 2. Scratch that, the book doesn't even have chapters, but only separated 3 page sections with just names. Or at least that is how it has been so far. I think this novel is going to be loaded with symbolism and other difficult rhetorical strategies and Mr. Glenn is going to have a field day quizzing us on the material. The Great Gatsby however is a more relaxing read and so far I have enjoyed just chillin and reading about my boy Nick. I hear that is a pretty good novel so I look forward to reading it.
The assignment that we got on Thursday while Mr. Glenn was absent was very interesting but I liked it. We picked four numbers and they corresponded to different aspects of a poem that we had to write. It was a very different assignment and I think my haiku is amazing.