Hartly House, College

iMessage

Yesterday 3:16 AM

Hey Arabella….are you up?

Yeaaah, why?

How is life back home? I miss u! ❤

Awh me too! Are u not having a good time at school?

Well yeah! HONESTLY COLLEGE IS THE BEST THING TO HAVE HAPPENED TO ME OMG

Yeah? How so?

Okayyy everything is soooo different from high school and being back home

I get to just do anything that I want. The campus so beautiful in the fall because it’s packed with autumn leaves. The air is so fresh as if I were at sea. Walking around campus is so peaceful with people walking around trying to get to class or just simply hanging out

Oh but the classes are so fun

Like in one of my classes there is like a gazillion kids, it’s like a frat party but in the day time

Ehhh sounds gross. Everyone being jammed packed like sardines

Yeah but I don’t mind because the are some caaaayute boys in there

Honestly

THESE BOYS

Totally different from high school boys JUST gonna say that

What do u mean?

Like they’re just different. If you were here you could just see the differences. OMG I wish you were here! We could be dorming together and going to parties, but u just had to stay home. U would love college parties, sooo different from high school parties for sure.

Yeahhh…but I had to put off school for bit to help out 😥

It’s just so great here. I know you would have loved it!

Like there’s this guy who lives across my hall and he sooo caaayute and the other day I saw one of his friends and I just know you would like him too!

Yeah that sucks 😦

Yeah I know 😦

College has just been such a good experience

I feel so different, but in a good way

I’m just freer ya know?

There’s just so much information to take in

And so many people to meet

Picking a major

I don’t think you have to worry about that

A lot of people say to worry in ur 3rd year

Everyone knows what they want to do

And they love their major

I just want to like what I do

You’ll find something

If you could pick a major what would it be?

English. I love English!

OHH

I forgot to tell you about this guy

I only remembered because you mentioned English

Well he was an English major

I think a second year

And OMG he was so cute

Like Ezra from Pretty Little Liars, caaayute 

Ooohh that’s so cute!!

What happened?!?!? Are u dating him?

No lol

I’m barely a first year

I just wanna explore

College is about being selfish, ya know?

Yeah I can see that

Hey but ttyl

I have to get back to my assignment

I have a creating project due tomorrow 😥

❤ ❤

Dear Reader,

In Hartly House, College, I attempt to parody Sophia in the contexts of a first year college student. In Hartly House, Sophia addresses her letters to her best friend Arabella who is in Britain. Sophia informs Arabella about her encounters in India and what “that” place is really like. In my version, I changed the format in which Sophia and Arabella are having a back and forth conversation. Instead of sending letters, people send texts, we text everyone, especially our best friend because you would want to be in contact constantly. In this modern representation they would be talking to each other, rather Sophia being the only one talking. However, I still tried to capture and maintain Sophia’s personality throughout the texts. For instance, as seen in Letter II, Sophia starts off the letter by describing the “splendor of the house, as it is modestly styled, is of itself…sufficient to turn the soundest European head” (Gibbes 7). In Hartly House, Calcutta, Sophia had a superiority complex, so college Sophia also feels superior because she is in college while Arabella is home. Also, throughout her letters, Sophia jumps around from thought to thought because she is informing Arabella of the events. I tried to capture that as well with her jumping around subject to subject, such as classes and boys, while still being able to capture a few detailed moments, such as the details of campus. Sophia was also snobby so she would always end up making the conversation about herself and what she is doing at college. If Sophia were a teenager in our time who was entering college, a different environment that is considered to be a different world (like Britain and India); she would be very vague on some of the things she would talk about because she is somewhat naïve. She treats the idea of the “perfect” and stereotypical college experience as if it were common knowledge. For instance, she tells Arabella that “college is about being selfish ya know?”. Here, Sophia comes off as if she knows what she’s talking about in a vague way because she’s not even sure herself, which is why she says, “ya know?”. Although she attempts to appear like she knows it all in comparison to Arabella, Sophia is just a teenager. Thus, Sophia is privileged teenager who is lucky to attend school, which a lot of people can’t do because they don’t have the means due to class status.

 

-Nancy Sanchez

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The Harp of India

In “The Harp of India”, Henry Derozio uses the cultural history of the harp to convey how England has conquered India. However, I find it interesting that he chooses to use the symbol of the harp which is considered to be Irish, rather than using a well known Indian instrument. It seems that Derozio knows how to speak to his audience in a manner that allows others to sympathize and understand what they [India] are going through. Here, Derozio is targeting Ireland and is attempting to gain the solidarity of other nations going through the same thing by writing in English that has permeated other nations as well. For instance, with British imperialism, there is also the imperialism of language. In India the English language was being taught as a prestigious language. Even Derozio himself taught English. So who is to say that the same wouldn’t happen to Ireland.

In his poem, Derozio makes his poem vague enough that others who are suffering from British conquest can sympathize and read this as if it was meant for them. He is garnering sympathy from others, specifically Ireland, just by using the image of the harp in his poem. We can see vagueness of Derozio’s poem that is applicable to others in the last line where the speaker says, “Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!” (Derozio). Here, Derozio does not say, “Harp of India”, he specifically uses “my country”, which gives the reader the opportunity to think about their own country. But, by naming it “Harp of India”, Derozio reminds the reader that India too is a victim of British imperialism. India alone can’t overcome British imperialism, but maybe Ireland and India can?

Furthermore, if we take the title away, I feel that we could have easily concluded that this poem was written by an Irish writer, phrases such as ” thy music once was sweet-who hears it now?” seems to be applicable to the Irish. As we discusses in class, the harp was considered to be a prestigious instrument and after unification, many harpist were left without patrons and thus had to look for new ones.

-Nancy Sanchez

San Francisco, 2017

I talked about the changes in the Mission district in San Francisco that I have felt and noticed throughout the years. When I was growing up, I would spend a lot of time in the Mission because that’s where my mom would do most of her errands and groceries. Growing up, the mission, as I remember was very lively and filled with Latino culture and it always felt like home. I remember taking part in an Cesar Chavez march and everything surrounding me was Aztec murals, panederias, and just Latinos everywhere shouting “Si se puede”. But when I moved away, things seemed to changed. I was working in the city a couple summers ago and I would walk along Mission St. between 24th and 21st street and things looked so different to me. The streets did not seem lively as I remembered, the people looked different. There were so many white people walking down the street, some even smoking a joint and it just seemed so odd to me. There were Canibus clubs and rooftop bars with velets. One day I was walking down the street and saw a protest about gentrification going on in the neighborhood. It made me so mad because people have been living there for years and are being forced to moved out because they can’t afford to live there anymore because it has become a “hip” place to live. Anyways, I tried to show the changes I’ve felt and seen throughout the years from the early 2000’s to now. I attempted to take on Blake’s rhyme scheme of ABAB, which was a bit harder than I expected. I’m no poet, so trying to figure out what I wanted to say while rhyme was a challenging. Just as Blake, I tried to talk about a political issue, such as gentrification that is taking place in San Francisco while in Blake’s case it was industrialization.

I wander ‘round Mission Street

Looking at the colors surrounding me

Where the smell of tacos, pupusas, and urine meet

And people selling CD’s under a tree

 

Walking down Mission Street

Spanish is a necessity

Walking into the El Chico, I ask my mom for a treat

But she’s talking up a lady asking for a recipe

 

When I was little, I saw Latinos everywhere

Now I go and hipsters have taken over

Gentrification here and there

Rent so high you can buy a Range Rover

 

Now the murals are just a matter of aesthetics

Walking down Mission is so confusing

In the corner there’s still a man shouting something prophetic

But it’s not the same, walking down the street is no longer soothing

 

-Nancy Sanchez

Hippies of the 18th century

For me, “The Tables Turned” by William Wordsworth is represented in Théodore Gericault’s Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct. On a superficial level, the painting shows how one should immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the world around them, rather than live their lives through the guidance of books and science as noted by Wordsworth. For instance, in “The Tables Turned”, the speaker says, “Up! Up! My friend, and quit your books” because “Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife”. The speaker notes how living life and learning about life through books is not the right way to gain knowledge, they must “hear the woodland linnet…there’s more of wisdom in it”. It seems that for the reader, learning is an experience that cannot be encompassed through books and science. We must learn from nature, something that has not been interpreted or created by man. We must reach our own interpretations of the world by going out into the world itself rather than reading about what other people have to say about it, for “one impulse from a vernal wood may teach you more of man, of moral evil and of good, than all the sages can”. I feel that the same idea is invoked in Gericault’s painting. The men in the painting do not seem to care about anything that is going on around them, they are just swimming the water naked. They have stripped away from science and knowledge that would find being naked in the wild as something absurd. The one who is clothed, is not fully clothed as if they are the person the speaker of the poem is trying to convince to be one with nature. The color of the sun is very warm, indicating it is a late part of the day that I often find to be the most peaceful time of the day. It seems that time does not exist in the painting, for the people do not even seem to care that the day is almost at an end, they are still enjoying their time outside.

-Nancy Sanchez

Iron Maiden: The New Romantics

Although many did not consider Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem as a romantic poem, I beg to differ. For Coleridge, the Romantics should be breaking away from classical and elaborate styles, such as that of Pope’s. Romantic poetry should be accessible to the common man, whether or not he achieved this is a different story. It should provoke a powerful feeling of human emotion and I feel that Iron Maiden stays true to that idea more than Coleridge actually does. Iron Maiden has evolved and become representative of Romantic poetry in the 20-21st century.

In the first stanza Iron Maiden phrases it as “Hear the rime of the ancient mariner/ See his eye as he stops one of three/ Mesmerizes one of the wedding guests/ Stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea” while Coleridge writes “It is an ancyent Marinere,/ And he stoppeth one of three:/ “By they long grey beard and thy glittering eye/ Now wherefore stoppest me” (Coleridge 51). They both are discussing the same thing, but take different approaches. In using a quote to tell the reader what the mariner says, Coleridge evokes the presence of the mariner that creates a different experience through out the poem. We become a part of the story because it is as if he is speaking to us directly. While Iron Maiden does not quote the mariner, but chooses to just tell us what he’s doing and what is going on. In doing this, Iron Maiden create the sense of oral folklore, as if we were sitting down around a campfire hearing an old sailor tells us the stories told while out at sea. They both portray the experience differently, but they both give us a rich and powerful experience nonetheless.

Iron Maiden’s version, at least to me, is much truer to the statement of romantic poems being universal for everyone. Anyone can understand and relate, which can explain their popularity. They’re use of musical instruments even enhance the experience and human emotion. I don’t need to count the rhyme schemes or anything, I just have to listen. Through the act of listening Iron Maiden take us on a different voyage of human emotions that are stimulated by sound and touch. I know it’s cliche but you feel the music too, you feel your foot shaking, for fingers hitting the desk and your focus on the experience more than anything else, which can’t be replicated by just reading the poem.

-Nancy Sanchez

 

The letter that is used in the beginning of the e-text that is addressed to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain is interesting in the fact that it does not seem to represent Equiano throughout the narrative. There is a huge discrepancy between Equiano’s narrative and the letter, but why? Equiano thought about this book, knowing that the large public does not read anti-slave narratives, Equiano has to find ways in which his narrative does not threatened the power structure. As a free man with an education, Equiano’s peers and “men of reason” are just white males who have slaves. How can he criticize slavery without being penalized? He writes a letter. Similar in the way Dean Mahomet writes about his travels with the East India Company. Like Equiano, his narrative opens up with a letter addressed to Colonel William A Bailie of the East India Company where he apologizes for imperfections and inaccuracies of style because English wasn’t his first language. Although appearing to be submissive, Dean Mahomet’s narrative was questioned and subtly critiqued the EIC. Equiano seems to be doing the same. For instance, Equiano opens the letter with “My Lords and Gentlemen”, which create a sense that Equiano is not their equal and thus he should address them as such. He continues by saying, “permit me” as if he has no right to write his story because it goes against the grain. He notes that he is a “sensible man”, which implies that the only reason he disagrees with slavery is because it was something that personally affected him, as in “you think slavery is great, but from personal experience, I don’t think so, but those are just my personal feelings”. He even takes this notion further by noting that his narrative is “devoid of literary merit”. By doing this, Equiano puts himself in a position that is able to be critical of the dominant ideology in safe manner. He is playing dumb! Political cartoons seem to do that as well. Many consider them to be dumb or insignificant because they are cartoons and should not be taken as literary. But like Equiano, political cartoons try to convey a message whether it is good or bad. For example, the cartoon with the unknown artist portrays slavery as a paternalistic institution that pits Africans as less than. In this cartoon, Africans are portrayed as uneducated from the white people on the left side of the cartoon. One of the African characters says “you eat yam yam you belly full?” while the white people on the other side sound more intellectual in saying “What must an industrious and honest man starve in a country like this”. This cartoon suggest that black people don’t worry about slavery the same way abolitionist worry about slavery because they aren’t smart enough, for “[they] know nothing”. It continues the narrative of the oblivious, docile slaves, which is what Equiano does through the opening letter of his narrative. Although both portray the same image of the docile slave, there seems to be a different purpose to each. The cartoon appears to demean Africans, while Equiano attempts to redeem Africans because throughout the narrative he claims that “the abolition of slavery would be in reality an universal good…I hope the slave trade will be abolished”. But as we know, Equiano ends up buying slaves. So was the docile slave image an act for survival or not? Is he any better than the white abolitionist?

 

-Nancy Sanchez

Back at it again with the imperialism

The English language has changed from the time of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary to Macaulay’s a call for English language in India. Johnson’s standardization seemed to be more technical in trying to find a universal use of the language, while Macaulay uses language to exercise power.

The English language has been more than just words, it has been about power. English holds no power if it were to only be kept among high society or England for that matter. The fact that English has reach most parts of the globe has been a form of verbal imperialism. It’s unbelievable how righteous these people feel that they deem the Indian language as insufficient for the grasp of knowledge. As Macaulay explains, “that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India contain neither literary nor scientific information, and moreover so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them”. There seems to be a negative connotation when people refer to a language as a dialect. When a language is called a “dialect” it sounds as if the language is considered to be untamed and unrefined. As if people of little to no intelligence speak dialects because language is for those who are refined.

Macaulay admits that he “[has] no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic”, but that his decision is well informed because he “[has] done what [he] could to form a correct estimate of their value. [He] has read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works”. That’s like saying, “I’ve only tried Little Caesars’ pizza, so I have a good idea about the quality and value of all pizzas”. The fact that he has only read translated works is not enough to form an opinion about the value of language. He doesn’t seem to consider that works can get lost in translation, especially considering who translated the work. How can he trust that those translations he has read are the best translations? He is reading translations, not the language itself and therefore cannot judge the language. English works translated into other languages do not sound the same, sometimes they even suck or loose the significance they had.

In some way, it seems that Macaulay is criticizing the English language itself without even knowing it. He is judging the “most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works” because of their English translations. Maybe the English language isn’t sophisticated enough to translate the greatness of these texts. Furthermore, in trying to consider English as the greatest language and deemed other languages as less than, Macaulay has impeded the pursuit of knowledge by limiting knowledge as something that is exclusive to the English language.

Nancy Sanchez

They really aren’t that great

Although the Houyhnhnm appear to be rational creatures, I don’t think the world would be better places if it could think and behave the way Houyhnhms do because it is to similar to the way in which humans have taught and behaved in the past. For instance, when Gulliver was learning the language of the Houyhnhnms he was treated as piece to look at because many were “convinced that [he] must be a Yahoo, but [his] teachableness, civility, and cleanliness astonished him; which were qualities altogether opposite to those animals”. The dichotomy between Houyhnhnm and Yahoo is similar to the hierarchal structure of races. The Houyhnhms believe themselves to be better beings than the Yahoos because the Yahoo’s way of living does not coincide with the Houyhnhnms way of life. Also, Gulliver was to refer the Houyhnhnm who take care of him as “master”, which thus created a master and slave relationship between the two. No matter how much Gulliver were to learn the language and communicate with the Houyhnhnm efficiently, Gulliver was still going to be viewed less than due to the fact that he is to call his teacher, “master”. He would never be seen as an intellectual equal of any sort, always as a less than outsider. At times, it seemed that Gulliver was less than the slaves because the slaves would find him so intriguing as well and enjoyed teaching him the things he did not know.

Nancy Sanchez

It’s complicated, but it’s really not

Mary Rowlandson’s narrative complicates the history of intolerance and genocide because of her status as a female and mother within the state. Just by living in the society that she does, and believing its ideologies, Mary enters a state of nature. To some degree, she is not a victim because she chose to be apart of her society and accept its rules, whether they are sexist or racist. Even though women did not have much autonomy, it was a price she seemed willing to pay to be considered a reputable woman. Throughout her narrative Mary chooses to follow the racist narrative set in place by refusing to view the Indians as anything other than black “barbarous creatures”. The little moral agency that Mary has, she throws it away for what she was taught to believe. This blurs the history because Mary is just a production of her society who refuses to question the world that is set before her. Mary Rowlandson, and other women like her in her time live on the border of the state of nature and the state of war. One thing that we can see from Mary Rowlandson’s narrative is how women throughout history have compromised their agency in order to live “comfortably” in their society by following its rules. They become victims of retaliations and used as a reason to justify vengeance. People read Mary’s narrative and think, “wow, those Indians sure are as savage as they said they would be”. Her narrative becomes representative of white women being victims of conquests and why it was “necessary” to conquer Native Americans. It perpetuates the narrative that white women need protection from men of color that continuously is used to this day.

-Nancy Sanchez

Is it the same?

The Royal Society today takes great pride in their history and it appear that it does not divert much from the founders quest for the truth through scientific inquiry. One of the differences that I noticed was the old royal society is more interested in letting others know of the things they have, while today it is more interested in the things it can do, scientifically. For example, throughout his essay, Francis Bacon goes on and on about everything they have such as the “artificial wells and fountains, made in imitation of the natural sources and baths”, the “great and spacious houses”, the “large and various orchards and gardens”, etc (1278). In his essay, Bacon seems more concerned with showing off what they have like “we have these HUGE houses that we sometimes use to look for meteors”. It really does seem that it more of a literal royal society that focuses on its luxuries. Although it seems that the modern royal society is more focused on the science, it also appears to be a bit elitist in the fact that they randomly throw in that generate around 42 million euros (?) a year. It is as if money is one of the main factor that gives their science value because no one would trust science that is being conducted in a basement.

-Nancy Sanchez