Friday, September 24, 2010

Inking My Thinking Through Independent Reading

Independent reading book: "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman
(Information is what has been read so far.)

Quester: Richard Mayhew

A place to go: London

Reason to go there: He got a job.

Challenges and trials (so far): Had to make the decision of whether or not to save the girl on the street that was injured. He did and it ruined his relationship with his fiance.

Real reason to go there: Not entirely sure yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Communion and Rebirth

In "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" by Thomas C. Foster, Chapter 2 talks about communion and chapter 18 talks about rebirth.

A few days ago in AP English, we read chapter 8 of "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" by D.H. Lawrence and the book applies perfectly with these two chapters of "How to Read Literature like a Professor."

"Sometimes a meal is just a meal and eating with others is simply eating with others. More often than not, though, it's not. Whenever people eat or drink together, it's communion." In communion, however, some people choose to not participate like Mabel in "The Horse Dealer's Daughter." She was there physically but not apart of the conversation between her brothers. Moreover, it showed that Mabel's brothers did not care about her by the way they talked about her appearance. They said that the "fixity of her face" was that of a bull-dog.

In chapter 18, it talks about people entering water- some never to return and others to survive. "When writer's baptize a character, they mean death, rebirth, or new identity." In "The Horse Dealer's Daughter", Mabel wasn't happy at all. She wanted something new, she wanted to be happy, she wanted a "rebirth", and that is exactly what happened. Almost drowning in the water, she was saved by the doctor and they fell in love. As I said in the post before this, the pond is used as a symbol of rebirth for both characters- a rebirth of love and happiness. They entered the "dead water" and came out with a "relief to be out of the clutches of the pond."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


After reading "The Horse Dealer's Daughter", the English class was asked: The pond is a major symbol in the story. Examine its symbolic value by providing quotations from the story. Discuss whether it always symbolizes the same thing whenever used or whether it is polysemic. What really happens in the pond? Here is my response:

In the story before the scene of the pond and there on after, it shows that the pond symbolizes rebirth and love. Mabel and the doctor catch each other's eyes and then eventually, he'll risk his life to save Marbel who almost drowns in the "motionless water." Mabel purposefully tries to drown herself because she wants to be happy and start something new. The pond is used as a symbol of rebirth for both characters- a rebirth of love and happiness. They entered the "dead water" and came out with a "relief to be out of the clutches of the pond." Seeing that the pond can symbolize rebirth leading to love and happiness, I would say that the pond can be polysemic.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reading Journal Word List


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journal 4: Always determined

In class, we read "A Worn Path."

1. Quester: Phoenix Jackson.
2. Place to go: Town.
3. Reason to go there: Get medicine for her grandson.
4. Challenges and trials: Walking over a log (she closed her eyes because she was so scared), getting caught on a bush (she did not want to rip her dress), coming across a man in the woods telling her to go back home (she does not take no for an answer).
5. Real reason to go there: She remembers that she wanted to buy her child a little windmill.

Phoenix Jackson is very determined throughout the story. Even though she was half blind, she knew she still needed to get to town for her grandson. In the story, you learn that she trusts herself. She comes across challenges, like the ones listed above, and handles them very well.

Phoenix talks to herself and the animals a lot. She does so because she is lonely and/or scared. You can tell that she is practical with her poverty. She finds a nickel in the woods and knows that she cannot rip her dress because she needs to pay for items in town for her grandson.

This short story was very uplifting. It showed how much somebody is willing to suffer for someone they love.

Thesis: Phoenix Jackson's encouraging determination shows that she is loving and dedicated to her grandson by being able to see the many challenges she overcomes throughout her journey.