In-class group work: Blog Post competition
In groups of five, students will evaluate the three of the select blog posts from this week (listed below) as judges in a game show competition. Each group represents a panel of judges that will decide the winner based on the five guidelines for close reading:
1. Note key words or phrases that repeat in that passage.
2. Look for irony, paradox, ambiguity, and tension.
3. Note those words or phrases that seem odd or out-of-place.
4. Note any important symbols, motifs, and themes.
5. Is there anything missing from the text that should be there?
Each panel of judges that will chose ONE post that most effectively meets these criteria. After the group deliberates for 20 minutes, each student will vote for the winner on the Top Hat survey. The groups will afterwards explain the rationale for their decision.
The winner will be awarded a prize certificate for English 010 signed by its illustrious instructor!!!
Three blog posts:
1. Wendy Gutierrez: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/he-said-he-said/
2. Beverly Miranda-Galindo: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/author/mirandabeverly97/
3. Maria G. Perez: https://english102literaturesurvey.wordpress.com/author/mariaguadalxpe/
In Part 1, “A Voyage to Lilliput” from Gulliver Swift’s travels, he records the words that his captors cry multiple instances, “cried out in a shrill but distinct voice: Hekinah degul,” “he cried out three times, Langro dehul san,” etc. After every instance, he accounts the repetition of the words by his captors. Evidently, Swift’s use of language repetition is a satirization on captivity narratives similar to Rowlandson. In a true captivity narrative, the narrator generally does not record the detailed wording of their captors because it is difficult to remember every particular conversation. Captivity narratives are more personal, delving into the individual’s emotions in comparison to a fictional piece, and Swift’s travels read as fictional. It is indicative in Swift’s selection of language and format, that his tale’s intend to satirize the popular captivity narrative. Through exaggerating the language of his captives with repetition, he causes the language to have a magical perception, similar to magic words, “bippity, bopping, boo.” A completely fictions word that is widely recognized as nonsensical, but used in the connotation of repetition and magic.
By: Carmen Ibarra
Throughout Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative she goes on to discuss the terrible misfortunes the natives have placed upon her life and the lives of others, by killing most of her loved ones. However, the natives keep Rowlandson as their prisoner and she makes a big deal out of how she’s kept up as a prisoner to the natives, such as how kind they have been to her, the thing about this though is she still calls these people savages and other names. In my opinion I feel like Rowlandson attempts to accentuate the way the natives feel about and treat her when in reality they had better things to do than to be worried so much about a single prisoner. In part one of Gulliver’s Travels on page 34-35 Gulliver discusses how the people had taken note of every single object that was in or on Gulliver. “These gentlemen, having pen, ink, and paper about them, made an exact inventory of everything they saw; and when they had done, desired I would set them down, that they might deliver it to the Emperor.”(page 34) After this excerpt Gulliver goes on to read everything these people had written about him. “…In the right Coat-Pocket of the Great Man-Mountain…” (page 35) Although seeing foreign objects can be exciting, nobody has the time or patience to note every single thing that is on a person, they have much more important and interesting things to do.
In part one, “A Voyage to Lilliput” of Gulliver’s Travels written by Jonathan Swift we read about Gulliver’s capture and his experience with the Lilliputians. I specifically found the scene where he discovers he has been captured by these minuscule people. In the scene he wakes up and is unable to move, and soon after discovers that people not even five inches tall are responsible. However, he never seems to really feel in any type of serious danger, mostly because of his sheer size in comparison to the Lilliput peoples’ size. The entire nature of the scene is ironic, although he is much larger than any of the Lilliput‘ she is not able to free himself because of his hair. He becomes their prisoner and even though he is not really trusted, he is treated quite well and grows to have appreciation for his captors.
While reading this it continuously reminded me of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative. Both the captive and captors eventually built a relationship where they did not completely loathe each other. Swift however satirized this relationship because while Rowlandson verbally belittled the natives, Swift literally made them little. The whites captured always felt superior, metaphorically larger and more capable than the natives and Rowlandson made that obvious in her writing. Gulliver is a very large being compared to the five inch natives and is still captured and kept captive. Swift emphasizes the irony of how white’s always thought they were superior but that did not stop them from being captured nor did it make natives less capable. The air of superiority that they walked around with only worked to prove that natives were much more capable beings than given credit for regardless of how belittled they were. Much like demonstrated in Gulliver’s travels, only with literal size differences.
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is a piece of work that functions tirelessly as a critique of the Enlightenment period. He uses satire and parody as a means to illuminate the faults of the captivity and travel narratives that rose as genres at the time. With Bacon’s “New Atlantis,” the projection of a perfect Utopian society allowed for individuals to imagine the possibility of life and space where all things were perfect and everything ran smoothly. While this is a great idea, one that I feel all of us wish were true, Swift not only laughs at the presentation of this idea amongst imperialism, genocide, and booming racism, but he also forces the reader to meet head to head with its’ irony.
In chapter three of part one, he writes:
“I sworn and subscribed to the Articles with great Cheerfulness and Contentment, although some of them were not so honorable as I could have wished;…… Whereupon my Chains were immediately unlocked, and I was at full liberty.” (44)
Swift here presents a passive aggressive tone that strikingly targets the hypocrisy found within Bacon’s suggested Utopian society during a time where freedom for all is not seen as that important than the freedom of some. Swift juxtaposes the words “chains” and “liberty” in the same sentence, sarcastically alluding to the impossibility of being ultimately free while still bound by the chains of authorial oppression. He capitalizes “Cheerfulness” and “Contentment” as a means to heighten these proposals with the purpose of bringing them down to sheer reality. Swift wants the readers to recognize that while these ideas are high and mighty; while you may be seen as an excellent person for proposing these ideas- with no execution in the real world, these ideas mean nothing. Treat here is mirroring reality amongst the reflection of hypocrisy.
Perspective: its how we see our world. True over time it can alter through ways of expanding decreasing or coming to a sharp end. Two ways a persons perspective is regulated without control is the gender that possess at birth. A women and a man can share similar life experiences but view the tragedies or success in completely different ways. In the case of tragedies, becoming another persons slave or prisoner is a tragic scaring event that will mark their life’s in a significant manner. Which is why I find the different writings between Gulliver and Rowlandson to be mostly a result between a mans life and a women’s life, despite the obvious genre differences.
Take in Gullivers first request “the first requested I made after I obtained Liberty, was that I might have License to see Mildendo, the Metropolis;”(part 1, chap4) . The difference I want you to notice is how Mary;s first request was food and water. Whereas in the case of Gulliver he wants to get out see the sights meet the people. Despite one being a fictional comedy and one being nonfictional narrative they were both under the circumstances of foreign land and people. I find it comical how Rowlandson was originally not allowed to be in communion with the Natives, whereas Gulliver literally could not come in “The Lanes and Alleys which I could not enter, but only viewed them as I passed, are from twelve to eighteen inches”(Part1, chap 4). I suppose only or at least a man could only make humor out of captivity. Whereas women suffer death or loss of her husband in captive situations. Furthermore Gullivers misses out on the difficultly of assimilating with new culture, all the struggle of dealing with this new captive was remaining on the captors shoulders and not the other way around. Working to stitch together beds and sheets for his comfort instead of laying on cold hard floors as Rowlandson has done. Our male authors perspective as a man free’s him to make the topic of ship wrecked and captivity funny.
It is in our human nature to question. We are animals that can not face the inevitable. As a unit and rise and make a difference but when we are alone it is harder to achieve justice. It is impossible to make a change as someone else’s prisoner. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift uses humor and irony to help his audience understand his false narrative. Swift’s novel takes key elements from the captivity narrative. Swift is taking a chance by solely relying on faith. In this reading there are multiple themes that appear to be a copy of the style and content that would have been seen in a captivity narrative like Mary Rowlandson’s story of captivity by the Algonquians.
..I would not have dwelt so long upon a circumstance that, perhaps, at first sight, may appear not very momentous, if I had not thought it necessary to justify my character, in point of cleanliness, to the world; which, I am told, some of my malingers have been pleased, upon this and other occasions, to call in question..
Gulliver expressed to his audience that he needs to relax and take stress away. He does this by pointing out his own flaws.
Mary rowland used tobacco to ease her soul of all of her burdens, she too had a small means for escape in her cruel reality.
In part 1 chapter 4 (online version, I know I didn’t listened to you J) when it starts with “But I shall not anticipate the reader with further descriptions of this kind, because…” The way he starts the paragraph feels like he is telling us what he is planning to do with the information gathered. When he does we are completely thinking of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity as he mentions that the description of the empire and people will be revealed through the press. As we mentioned in class we got to see Rowlandson perspective towards the Native American that captured her and how she resided with them. However, Swift mocks this part of her captivity because even though she mentions some sort of “good” aspects and certain details about the Native American characteristics and culture of some sort we don’t get enough. In this paragraph though Gulliver who is the one talking literally states what he saw, learned and understood of the empire during his nine-month stay, “from its first erection, through a long series of princes; with a particular account of their wars and politics, laws, learning, and religion; their plants and animals; their peculiar manners and customs, with other matters very curious and useful (50 O.V) The irony that we see in this passage is that meanwhile, Rowlandson talked about her stay with the Natives only as a captivity, in this paragraph we see that Gulliver does not mentions it as such thing. In fact, he says it in a way that makes it seems as if it is his choice to “residence” there. I feel like the way he talks (pacifically) in a way is stating that a captivity couldn’t have been as bad and that Rowlandson did not really tell us the truth.
In Gullivers Travels Jonathan Swift, describes his captivity by the Lupatian people, although it is evident that his claims are false, Swift experiences mirror those of Mary Rowlandson. Swifts work embodies satire because his comparison of the size of people is very unrealistic and almost kind of funny. From the beginning Gulliver does something similar to what Rowlandson did he stereotypes the natives, “I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back.” When Rowlandson talked about the Native people she called them savages, Gulliver on the other hand calls them “creatures” and says that they have bows and arrows. All three of these stereotypes are something that Native people are tied to in America. This in itself is pretty ironic because both writers conveyed their experience with “honesty” but even then there is blatant racism. Throughout the work Swift satirizes Rowlandson’s because it seems like he is in a sense making fun of her experience. Rowlandson had no choice in her captivity, but it seemed like with he way Gulliver was treated he was allowed to leave. Rowlandson’s entire experience overpowers or even can prove how Gulliver’s was fabricated. Swift also changes what captivity meant in our prior readings, he has power he learns about the Lupatian people and how they’re good at mathematics. He is being treated almost like a citizen despite the fact that he’s been tied up. Rowlandson and Gulliver are also very different because although she seems angry and hateful, Gulliver never seems to hate the natives, although he has show racism in instances he never seems to actually hate those people. Yes, you can say he is bias but I wouldn’t say he embodies the hate that Rowlandson had. I noticed throughout the work that Swift would also use “I” statements a lot to make the experience more personal and in turn satirizing Rowlandson’s work.
In Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the narrator goes through captivity by royalty multiple times, and his narrative is one of awe for both Lilliput and Brobdingnag. On page 125, Gulliver describes an episode during which he expects that the “Opinion of the English Reader” will be lessened in regards to the King of Brobdingnag. This very scene is a harsh criticism upon the human race in Europe for delighting in machines of war and injury. Gulliver, in offering to make gunpowder for the king, is refused in what he calls his “nice unnecessary scruple” that would have made the king the “Master of the Lives, the Liberties, and the Fortunes of his People.” Although the character of Gulliver is aghast at this refusal and believes that any European would never have turned down such an offering, the author in no way believes such a refusal to be the result of “narrow Principles and short Views.” Swift is pointing out the cruel bloodlust and thirst for power that the monarch and nobles of Europe have at this time. Unlike the utopian fiction of the time, Gulliver’s Travels at face value presents England as an utopia in comparison to these fantastical lands, but this interpretation is completely misleading. The complete surprise and disgust of Gulliver when he realizes that the king is faithful to his people and does not wish to have complete power over them is total irony intended to show that Swift is not criticizing the made up country of Brobdingnag, but England itself. When he describes the small minded principles of the king and criticizes his preference of swift justice and mercy opposed to drawn out political scandals, a very clear picture of England’s political problems is presented. Using the ideas of utopian fiction and captivity narratives, Swift completely turns these works of literature upside down and points to the flaws of those in England being awed and upset by the images of so-called savages and barbarians. Describing an, albeit fictional, foreign society in which political games and power plays appear to be crimes is Swift’s way of presenting his readers with a society that is better than their own. Gulliver is the exact type of Englishman Swift despises, and it is his criticisms and small mindedness that our author is warning to be detrimental to society in this passage.