Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WL Blog #2: Canadian, Mexican, Caribbean, and Puerto Rican Literature, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina


Assigned: Monday, March 23, 2015
Due: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
  • proper grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation will be expected and benchmarked. 
    Check your work (proofread) before submitting.
  • Choose wisely.  If you do not have access to the internet, then do the essay instead.
If done as an essay: You will answer all 6 of 9 questions below.  Use the standard page layout and proper name/class/period information at the top.  This is a formal paper which must be typed, double-spaced, and include at least a ONE paragraph answer for each question.
 Final copy due by: Wednesday, April 1, 2015. 

If done as a blog:  You will choose 3 questions below and 2 student responses.  Begin your blog comment by writing your first name, the first letter of your last name, and your period number (John S. Period 4).  Also, reference the question number at the beginning of each answer. This is a semi-formal assignment written on the classroom blog of at least ONE paragraph per question and TWO minimum responses (3-5 sentences) to two different students.
 Final entry due by: Wednesday, April 1, 2015. 

Tone is the attitude of the author toward his or her subject. 
1.    In the poem “At the Tourist Centre in Boston” (RTW 30-32) by Margaret Atwood, what tone do you identify in the poem?  Who is it directed at?  Why do you think she feels this way?   Explain your answer.
 Theme is the underlying meaning or message in a piece of literature.  It may be stated explicitly by the author’s narration or through his/her characters or it can be implied and require the reader to interpret the universal truth. The theme of a work is usually expressed as a short statement or saying. 
2.    In one sentence, what do you think is the universal truth, the message, the theme of the Canadian short story “Day of the Butterfly” (RTW 33-44) by Alice Munro?  Defend your answer. Identify the acts of cruelty in this story, both deliberate and unintentional.  What do you think is the author’s purpose in using them?  Explain your answer.
Imagery is the use of selected details to describe one thing in terms of another. This helps to suggest additional meanings and feelings within the story and helps to set a mood within the story. Examples of imagery are Hyperbole, Simile, Metaphor, and Personification.
3.    In the Mexican short story “No Dogs Bark” (RTW 46-50) by Juan Rulfo dogs have been barking everywhere, yet Ingacio has not told his father.  Why not?  Explain your answer. Give an example of how imagery in the story creates a specific mood.  Be specific.
A Metaphor is a figure of speech that imaginatively links two objects to each other.  It “is” the object; whereas Simile does the same thing but uses “like” or “as” to describe the comparison.
4.    Give an example of a metaphor in the Mexican poem “Two Bodies” (TRW 51-52) by Octavio Paz.  Explain why the poet used the metaphor; what is it comparing? Explain your answer.
Dramatic Literature occurs when the audience knows something that one or more characters do not know. 
5.    In the play “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville” ( TRW 53-68) by Carlos Solorzano, identify an example of dramatic irony in the play.  What purpose do you think it serves?  Do you agree with the woman when she says; “…there is but one moment to recognize one another, to extend our hands.  One mustn’t let it pass by”?  Explain your answers.
Characterization refers to the ways that an author creates characters.  Writers use repetition to place emphasis on a theme or idea.
6.    In the poem “In Trying Times” (TRW 78-79) by Herberto Padilla, Identify a repeated phrase or grammatical structure in the poem.  In a short paragraph, analyze the impact of the repetition.  Also, give a short interpretation of the title.  Cite passages from the poem to support your interpretation.
The genre of Magic Realism combines elements of realism and fantasy. 
7.    In the story “The Youngest Doll” (TRW 81-87) by Rosario Ferre AND/OR the story "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World"  (TRW 89-95) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, find two or three details that represent realism. Then find at least one detail that represents the magical aspect of the magic realism genre.  What truth does the author express through joining realism with the fantastic?  What action or speech by the aunt do you feel represents her main goal in life?  Explain your answer.
A Symbol is an object used to represent a more abstract or general concept. 
8. In the story "The Third Bank of the River" (TRW 98-103) by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, what do the river and boat symbolize?  explain your answer.  What is the significance of the narrator's comment: "...for nobody is crazy. Or maybe everybody"?
The mood or atmosphere of a story communicates a certain feeling to the reader. 
9. Cite passages from the story that hint at the reason the Book of Sand makes its owners so melancholic and dispirited. Explain your choices.



  1. Angelina C. Period 2
    4) One of the metaphors I the poem “Two Bodies” by Octavio is “Two bodies face to face are at time two roots laced into night.” I think Octavio used this metaphor to descried two lovers lying in bed holding one another with their legs entwined. In this metaphor he compares two people who have deep rooted love for each other to a deep rooted tree with its roots tangled up. I believe this reasoning because I view al plants s symbols of love and longevity.
    6) In the poem “Trying Times” he repeated phrase is “because in trying times nothing is better…” and “… is there anything better…” this repeated phrase makes you think that when you try to do something or accomplish something to keep trying and trying because sometimes some strategies don’t work and others do, hence why the author wrote the repeating phrase. I personally believe it’s a repetitive phrase because what they tried before didn’t work and therefore need more resolutions. Tied into my theory is the fact that the title of the poem is “In Trying Times.” The title represents times of struggle and need. Need for a resolution to chaotic times. I say this because throughout the poem the man is asked repeatedly for things from him to use to help find solutions to their problems.

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    2. I agree with you on your answer for number 4. The whole poem in general is about how two people are in love and how their love will continue to be strong no matter how much they don't agree sometimes. No matter what, they'll always be there holding each other, entwined together through hard times. I definitely agree with you on how they have a deep ' rooted ' love for each other which could symbolize how a trees roots are tangled; which strives for longevity.

    3. In response to number four, I love how you interpreted the two bodies intertwined with one another. I hadn't myself thought about that. I also believe that the poem was truly about love. Well done.

    4. I agree with you to your response for number 4, because it could have been a possibility of the two bodies being lovers but they also could have beenstrangers. Cierra H.

  2. Shakura H. Period 2

    2) I think the universal truth, the message, and the theme of this Canadian short story is that we as people don't care for others often until they're dead or ill. I say this because most of the kids, in fact all of them except 1, didn't talk to her before she was sick. They would make fun of her and chose not to play with her. When the teacher announced she was sick everybody wanted to visit her; which sometimes, is too late. Some acts of cruelty in this short story would be when all of the kids chose not to play with Myra because they felt she was a lame/bum. I think the purpose of using the acts of cruelty in this story is to show how everything can be taken a certain way to different people. If somebody was to say something to me and say the same thing to someone else, it could have two whole different effects on us is what I'm trying to say. So even if something somebody did or said wasn't that cruel towards Myra, no one will never know what effect it actually have on Myra herself.

    4) One example of a metaphor in the Mexican poem "Two Bodies" is " Two bodies face to face are at times like waves and the night is an ocean." The author used this metaphor because it gives the interpretation of a couples relationship flowing in the right direction. Waves goes in one direction together. Maybe its to show that sometimes they stick together and sometimes not as much; which is what I interpret from this poem.

    8) In the short story "The Third Bank of the River" by Joao Guimaraes Rose, the river symbolizes a grave yard and/or death and the boat symbolizes the dads coffin. I say this because it became clear that the father was gone for good, or dead, when it became weeks, months , and even years that the father didn't appear. The significance of the narrator's comment: "...for nobody is crazy. Or maybe everybody" is that maybe he thinks his father was crazy for leaving the way he did. Or is it that he, himself is crazy as well for not following after his fathers actions?

    1. I agree with you on your answer to number 4. That could be the only thing I could think about with the wave quote. This is because when he is talking about two bodies all I think about is love. The way he set the mood in the poem makes me imagine romantic scenery. Waves do flow together like a strong relationship.

    2. I appreciate your take on response number eight. I believe that he actually did feel crazy for not going with his father. It was an interesting take on the boat being the coffin. I hadn't thought about it that way. It was different to read that. Well done.

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  4. Acacia T. Period 2

    5. In the play "Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville" I do not agree with the quote "...there is but one moment to recognize one another, to extend our hands. One mustn't let it pass by." This is simply because not all first impressions are final. If she were to reveal herself there is no guarantee that the man would not still like her. There have been many relationships where the first impression was horrible, but now the people are very happy together. There is always a second chance and the woman does not realize that she can show her true self and still be loved.

    8. In the story "The Third Bank of the River", the river symbolizes the other side and the boat symbolizes the casket. I believe that because when there is a death people believe that the person can see you in heaven. They say they are in a better place watching over them. Therefore, in the story they believed the father was still with them when he passed. The significance of the quote "...for nobody is crazy. Or maybe everybody" is that everybody felt the father was still there but he technically is not, so he felt that everyone was "crazy" because of that thought.

    9. In the story, "The Book of Sand" the book drove its new and old owner crazy. They called the book diabolic because of how infinite it was. "I went to bed but could not sleep. At three or four in the morning, I turned on the light. I took out the impossible book and turned its pages." "I had but few friends left, and those, I stopped seeing. A prisoner of the Book, I hardly left my house..." The book changed him and took him away for his friends or any type of social life. "I showed no one my treasure. To the joy of possession was added the fear that it would be stolen from me, and to that, the suspicion that it might not be truly infinite. Those two points of anxiety aggravated my already habitual misanthropy." He became dispirited and melancholic just from the infinite book.

  5. Adalberto P pd.2
    #7) The realism is expressed in “The Youngest Doll” When every year that one of the aunts nieces got older she made a new doll to fit the new age and looks. Also it is expressed when the dolls had bodies like humans, and when I say that I mean like warm. The magical aspect of the realism genre is that the dolls look more and more like the girls and feels like the girls and feels like them too. I feel that her main goal was to make dolls because the spent all her time making them and she really couldn’t do very much because of her leg. So this is why I say that her goal was to make dolls.
    #8) The River symbolizes death or like the ground, where he planned to die, and the boat symbolizes a casket or coffin. The boat is like a coffin because it is specially made and fitted for him. And he lays in it to be at rest. The river is like the ground, because he (the dad) put himself out there to be dead. The significance of the narrators comment, was that maybe everybody is crazy and it comes out in different ways, but people may not know there crazy until something happens.
    #5) In the play “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville” an example of dramatic irony, is when the lady that the guy is looking for is right in his face and he doesn’t notice that it is her. This is dramatic irony, because he went through a lot of searching and trouble to find this lady and when she was right in front of him he had no clue that is was her, because of her appearance. This serves the purpose of saying basically don’t judge a book by its cover backwards. I say that because he knows this lady an how she feels and he likes her but when she was in front of him he didn’t know. Yes I do agree with the lady, because you only get to meet a person once so you should let that moment pass by even if the circumstances change.

  6. Jaelyn Crawley. Hour 2

    2) The universal message of Day of the Butterfly by Alice Munro would have to be, you never know what will happen so be nice to everyone. In the story, Myra was the “special case”. She was the one who got sick. She had no friends to really help her through it. The cruelty in this story was indeed both deliberate and unintentional. Deliberate because the girls openly mocked Myra. Unintentional because Helen didn’t want to hurt Myra’s feelings but at the same time did not want the other girls to see them together. I believe the author used them to let the readers know, as I said before, you never know what will happen.

    5) A great example of dramatic irony would have to be when the woman, now very old, showed up to the station. The readers all knew that it was the woman that the man had been seeking. However, the man had not known, for he had sought after. The author uses dramatic irony to sort of put a play on the characters intelligence and gives the readers something cool to read. It gives a sense of, “Ah! I see what you did there!” I agree completely with the woman’s statement. You only get one chance to make a first impression. If you let that go, there will always be the lingering thought in the back of your head.

    8) In the story Third Bank from the River by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, the river and the boat represented death and a graveyard. The family constantly called out to the father. The mother cursed at him for leaving the family. The son grew older and finally accepted his own death. His statement was important because he was finally accepting his father’s passing.

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    2. I agree with you on number 2, the story did have both intentional

    3. Your response to number 2 would be the same as mine. I feel that your theme is very good because the little girls felt bad when the girl they would talk bad about is now very ill. It's sad when people are treated bad and have no one there by their side in their last days on Earth. The theme is an ironic theme in all cases.

  7. Bobby
    1,)The short poem “At The Tourist Centre Boston .”The speakers tone sounds disappointing to me, personally. The poem is directed towards tourist and people that don’t know much about Canada and just assume they know what Canada is like based off of rumors and tourist videos. I think she feels that way because the tourist version of Canada leaves out all the mess and imperfections that makes Canada what it is. It basically shows only the good of Canada and not all of how Canada is.

    2,) The theme of the day of the butterfly is children experiences of class difference and social attitudes towards immigrants and girls growing up. One act of unintentional cruelty is when Myra said, ‘please may I take my brother home, he has wet himself.” Everyone in the front seats heard it and laughed , alerting the rest of the class. An act of deliberate cruelty is when Jimmy goes to recess and gets cornered and thrashed with tree branches. I think the author purpose in using deliberate and unintentional cruelty is so the reader can know why some things happen the way they do, its either deliberate or unintentional .

    3,)In the story “ No Dogs Bark” Ingacio didn’t tell his father that dogs were barking because he was dead by the time they got close enough to hear them. I knew that because in the story as the trip went on Ingacio said less and less until he said nothing .” His feet began swinging loosely from side to side. And it seemed to the father that ingacio head was up there shaking as if he was sobbing.” That line gave the story a sad mood and after reading the rest and thinking a little you’ll come to the conclusion that he’s dead.

  8. Cierra U. Hamm
    English Hour: 2
    1. In this poem “At the Tourist Centre in Boston”
    What she looking at is part of Canada, she feels it is unreal and they don’t show the real Canada. In her tone she seems as if she is mad and irritated. She wants to know decided to make this fake picture. They came to have vacation not to see Canada.

    4. “Give example of a metaphor in Mexican poem Two Bodies”
    People use metaphor to give people something to think on and imagine. They are comparing that people can be knives or people that are fighting with knives stabbing. When they say two bodies I feel they are talking about two people with knives and “Two bodies face to face at times two knives and night strikes sparks.”

    9. “The Book of Sand Makes Is Owners so melancholic and dispirited?”
    The pictures in the book disappear, he couldn’t find the beginning or the end, the pages are numbered randomly in weird ways, he was so obsessed with trying to understand the book that he was afraid to get rid of the book. So he took it to the library and hid it far in a book shift, but now he was so afraid to walk past the library.

  9. David W. Period 2
    (1A.) Disappointed is what she felt. She says “who dream is this I would like to know”. She disappointed in the author because they made this fiction painting that they thought made up the people and places in her country.

    (1B.) she’s also probably upset about the painting because, it’s for the tourist to see and it’s not a lot that makes up her country in the painting, so all they see is some made up view the author produced.

    (4.) “Two bodies face to face are at times two waves”. The metaphor I see behind this quote is, two people in a couple that have problems. They have up’s and downs. The reason the poet just didn’t say it flat out like that is because he wants us as the reader to use our imagination.

    (9.) A way The Book of Sam makes it hopeless for people to understand is because the way the pages are set up. They would go from pages 1460 to 999 and you could never find the beginning and the end. Also when you look at a picture in the book you better analyze it well because it would be impossible to find again. The author says “I took note of the page, and closed the book. Immediately I opened again, in vain I searched for the figure of the anchor. Page after page.”

  10. Thank you for your comments. This blog is now officially CLOSED as of May 11th. If you need to submit a comment, please contact Mr. Dawursk BEFORE submission or do it in an essay format for proficiency credit.