The Administration

Somewhere over by what use to be Maryland, near the coast, in the city of B.C.E there lived a man named Beorge Gush. was a simple man. He got up everyday and did the very least of what he was meant to do as his wife nagged him about all his other responsibilities that he already knew about but was too busy watching SNL reruns to really care. One day she sent him to the next city over to pick up some oil she needed to cook and heat up the house. She wasn’t out of gas or anything, she just needed more in case the one she had at home ran out. He reluctantly got up, put on his jacket and walked out the town with a metal jug for oil. He got the oil right away as the people in the next city were easy to take advantage of. Before he got back to town, he stopped under a tree to take a quick nap.
“I dont wana see that deplorable woman anyway” he sighed as he closed his eyes.
 Not long after (something like 10 minutes he wrote once) he woke up and decided to return to the city. He noticed a huge wall standing at the edge of the city that he swore wasn’t there before.  He looked and was shocked as he didn’t recognize anything or anyone. These strange people were dressed like nothing Beorge had seen before!  Their light colored hair was nicely combed to the right and their skin pale and rough. They wore what appeared to be a soldier’s uniform with a particularly red colored helmet and a band on the left side of their arm with a picture of an elephant on it. Beorge watched them as they had huge glasses of beer outside right on the side of a street outside of a tavern laughing and talking loudly echoing through the streets. Beorge tried to walk quickly by them as they watched him with eyes so low you could barely see a sliver of blue coming from their iris and their banter competed with laughter from another group of young men not far away.They didn’t talk to people walking down the street or passing by them, they stayed in their circle of friends and laughed loudly amongst themselves.

Beorge came to what he believed to be his house, but his house was long gone. In place of not only his house but his whole street stood a long wide one floor convenience store. A huge sign over the door read AmeriMart.On the sliding door of the store there was a headshot of a man and underneath it read, SPONSORED BY THE ADMINISTRATION. He leaned in closer to try and get a closer look of who was in the picture but he didn’t recognize him at as he looked like all the young men he saw on the street with nicely combed hair and sparkling blue eyes. “Don’t get your hot breathe all over the Admiral’s image!” someone yelled at Beorge from behind his back. “The Who?” Beorge replied. “THE ADMIRAL!” someone else yelled from the side of the convenience store. “Hes only responsible for you being here! Alive and free in this great city! How did you even get passed the wall?!” Suddenly Beorge began to hear more and more voices surrounding him. The voices yelled “Commie!” “SJW Trash!” “Sinner” and so many other insults Beorge couldn’t keep even decipher what they meant. The crowd continued to surround him. Hands reaching out towards him as he tried to walk back but more hands were there. They got him from the neck and as a team did the deed. 

 

Reasoning: My piece is a parody of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. I wanted to focus on the scene where he comes back and realizes his town is completely different with changes symbolizing the changes in the country during the time. I wanted to do a piece of the current change America is facing. I tried to turn the satire feel of the changing town to the next level and attempt to create allusions and references to keep the comedy element of the satire present with the names of the people and city all refer to something political. It sounds a little weird but I named him Beorge Wush because I wanted to keep it sort of historically relevant and imagining George Bush slept threw Obama’s presidency and arrive in Trumps America made sense to me.  Trying to bring out what I thought of a bit comical in Van Winkle, I attempted to make symbolic connections to the major changes of Van Winkles town. The people changing to mean and extremely political in Van Winkle have turned into nazi looking guys in the parody. As for the form and style, I read over Irvings work and tried to identify key elements of style to try and imitate.  I noticed the ending was very interesting in the way he rushes the action as Van Winkle goes from one scene to another discovering horrible things every turn before he is confronted. I attempted to use this method in the piece to bring the same story telling element seen in Irving’s work and also to keep the short piece eventful and interesting. Overall I was attempting to deliver a similar message Irving was writing about during his time. He focused on the changing political atmosphere and how sudden and serious these changes can be and how easily someone in the right mindset, like an average joe, can be affected.

-Noel Nevarez

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A Harp of Culture

Thomas Moore writes his poem “The Harp of my Country” is written with his patriotism fully present in a poem dedicated to his home country of Ireland. He uses the Harp as a tool throughout his work to represent Ireland as a country and as a cultural symbol. In doing this he represents Ireland’s rebellion and struggle for its loss of power after the passing of the Act of the Union.

Moore uses personification and diction of the Harp in the title and very first line where he addresses it calling it of his country giving it power and importance. He goes on to say in the next to lines of the stanza how “The cold chain of silence had hung o’er thee long,” and how he proudly unchains his “own Island Harp” (Moore, 2-3). The harp, being used for centuries in ireland in religious ceremonies very important to the irish people, holds strong roots in irish culture.  The harp is being used for its culture meaning to the Irish as it remained important and synonymous with Ireland. Thomas Moore is referring to the religious oppression faced by the Irish and culminating in the rebellion. The harp is referred to as being bound by ‘silence’ a contradiction of what a Harp is meant to do. Ireland was unable to fully represent and rule itself with the British parliament denying them right of religious representation in their government. In a country inhabited primarily by Catholics, the restrictions on Catholics in the government denied the majority of the countries people’s representation. Moore also refers to his own harp which represents the inner patriotism he posses. When awakening the harp of the country it in turn allowed the country to fully find itself and act on the silence.

The fourth stanza in the poem takes a turn from admiring the harp to a more somber tone where Moore bids the harp farewell. He says “Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers,/ This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine!” (Moore, 9-10). He’s acknowledging at this point the merger of the two countries upon the Act of Union. The harp that has been declared a symbol of the country of Ireland is playing its last song. In the coming together of the two countries the harp, or the country of ireland and its culture, is once again sealed up and silent. The people of Ireland were ready to gain their voice or music from the harp but it was quickly taken away.

 

-Noel Nevarez

South central LA, 2017

My poem is about South LA formerly known as South Central where I grew up. I wanted to focus on what I feel has been neglect instilled on my community from its own people mostly. It’s not just about the poverty or violence but how other neighbors and cities within Los Angeles that have become more instilled in culture leaves us with nothing to show for but negative stereotypes. Cities in LA like Inglewood and East LA have a lot of culture to show for themselves as they are predominantly Latino or African American. South Central exist where the virgin murals of east LA and the soul food joints of the other neighbor hoods ends. It’s a place where races mix and although they have come to live nicely together, the only product we have to show for is not beautiful art or food, but gangs and drug activity. The poem focuses on the Virgin Mary more specifically the virgen de Guadalupe who is everywhere in East LA on the sides of buildings and as someone who believes in her whole heartily I’m upset south LA Doesn’t have that deep root connection to Latino culture like the virgen de Guadalupe.

Guadalupe, why are you not near?

South LA is empty; he’s wild

on the streets, holding cash, guns and child

He holds on but she screams of fear

time goes on, but the end is not here

but its close. And the time made grievances pile

guns, drugs and violence were cool for a while

You came to us and said our cried you’ll always hear

I know Mary your heart is full of love brighter than the sun

Appeared in that heavenly star studded green for our people

and in that holy ground for you we built a steeple

i know that in the east is where you rest your head

but in the south we pray that are family would stop going up to meet your holy son

but Mary hurry, your people might soon be dead

 

-Noel Nevarez

Lines composed a few miles above an Aqueduct

Théodore Gericault’s Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct is a beautiful landscape painting that uses colors, landscapes, people and buildings to create a romantic scene which connects with Williams Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey.” In Gericault’s painting, we can see the aqueduct leading into a set of buildings on overlooking a cliff. This scene can almost be directly described from one of the opening lines form Wordsworth poem that reads:

—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky
Wordsworth describes these cliffs ass lofty and secluded which very much looks like the painting as there is not very much man made structures present or in focus of the painting besides the aqueduct. Wordsworth also mentions the connection of the landscape with the ‘quiet sky’ and this can be seen in the landscape as well. If we look at the color of the sky on the left side of the painting are similar to those used on the cliffs and fields on the lower right side of the painting using yellows, orange and reds to form this connection with the landscape and the sky above. This can also be seen with the taller mountain behind the cliffs that uses dark green, blue and black to look like the cloudy sky present on the upper right hand corner of the painting.
The Romantic idea of the relationship between man and nature is very much present in both of the works. In Wordsworth, he writes about his experience visiting the same location at different points of his life and how he viewed and experienced the landscape differently and how it stayed with him for all these years. He writes:
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.
Now as he’s older, Wordsworth is explaining how he learned to view the landscape in relation to man and their ‘sad music’ that is not harsh but has enough power. Wordsworth is viewing nature now as it connects to humanity and how we effect it. It’s beautiful to think about a quiet river running through a silent forest but wordsworth still hears the sound of humanity in the background with enough power to transform this place into something else. In the painting we can see this theme as well. The only humans in the image are close to the front of the scene but are tiny in comparison to the mountains and cliffs being portrayed in the background. It’s also interesting to notice how the humans are interacting with nature directly in the image and the man made structures are lonesome and show no human interaction. The aqueduct is also very present in the painting and I believe its importance as a man made structure designed to carry water like a river made it the center and title of the piece. The aqueduct sits high above the natural waters and in relation to the perspective of the image seems to be running opposite or perpendicular to the waters below.
-Noel Nevarez

Poetry and Music

Iron Maiden’s interoperation of the rime of the ancient mariner is perfect in my opinion. The pace and rhythm of the song reflect how the poem creates and shifts moods as the story progresses. Iron Maiden uses a lot of what I would describe as very loud and although it might sound off-putting at first when compared to simple readings of the poem which all sound somber slow, the fast paced rhythm of the song bring the poem into a different light. The Iron Maiden song make the poem sound exciting and gives it this rollercoaster of a story from sped up to slowed down but if we look at the poem, Samuel Taylor Coleridge does in his work using various literary devices like rhyme in the first stanzas to create a sense of a fast paced and exciting story as it’s opening up.

 

-Noel Nevarez

Equiano’s Truth

In Robert Cruikshank image we can see a lot of things going on that can suggest either a pro or anti slavery message. As we get closer into the image we can see a lot of little scenes that illustrate what Cruikshank is trying to say. In the right side of the picture we can see what appears to be an island full of natives who seem to be minding their own business. On the other island or boat we can see what appears to be the europeans discussing and making assumptions about the natives from far away. The island is full of auctions, petitions and images all dealing with the natives while they are primarily concerned with themselves on their own island. I believe the  image isn’t pro or anti slavery rather anti-abolotionism as Cruickshank pokes fun at their ideals as they show illustrations of slaves being whipped and tortured on the walls of the building asking for signatures on a petition to abolish slavery. They are also using these images to obstruct the view from the telescope looking onto the island suggesting that these images are not the truth and the abolitionist are simply obstructing the facts.

Even if the illustration was suggesting that the abolotionist strenchted the truth, there’s enough evidence in Equiano’s narrative to justify abolitionism. People like Cruickshank can argue that conditions are not as bad as they are portrayed to be and claiming that abolotionism is still favoring white abolitionist is absurd. Equiano writes in his narrative about the time he was seperated from his sister:

“It was in vain that we besought them not to part us; she was torn from me, and immediately carried away, while I was left in a state of distraction not to be described. I cried and grieved continually; and for several days I did not eat any thing but what they forced into my mouth.”

No argument made by anti-abolitionist can justify the cruelty that was endured by the slaves. They were seen crying for their families and even committing or attempting suicide but the slave owners continued the practice for their own economic advancement. The illustration critiques abolitionist for their hypocrisy but in people but what the is saying more than that as the illustrator is demonstrating how slave owners were still being incredibly cruel to the natives by stripping them of their families and the land they knew and grew up on. If the argument the illustration is making is simply that torture is not occurring and its a front to abolish slavery, it wouldn’t justify the capture and taking of innocent people from their homeland and the separation and destruction of their families. Equiano’s narrative tells us what actually happened and how someone who went through it actually felt which makes it a much more power primary source  when compared to this illustration from the same period that lacks specific information and solid evidence.

-Noel Nevarez

Gulliver(Sophia) The Second

In the novel Hartly House, the main character Sophia mirrors Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels in my ways. She begins to behave just like his and its a trait that Phoebe Gibbes does not let slide by the reader as Sophia herself admit in letter XXXVII where she states:

“I am undone! I have beheld so brilliant, so divine,a spectac1e— am so rlazzled, and so captivated, and, like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, find all the objects around me so diminutive and so mean”(269).

From looking at this quote we can see that Sophia is clearly making a comparison between her and Gulliver. What is most interesting about this is that both Sophia and Gulliver felt as if they were better than those people back in their home land. Sophia begins to believe she is better than her lifetime friend  Arabella and Gulliver feels as if he is now magically better than the rest of his people back in England simply for ever meeting and being around the Houyhnhnms. The reference used by Sophia is perfect for her situation because she even used the words “brilliant”, “divine”, and “spectacle” which can refer to the wonders of the materialistic thing she also describes in page 271. Sophia is captivated by the materialistic side of the new land while Gulliver admires the Houyhnhnms for their intellect, intelligence and sophistication. Both Sophia and Gulliver become enchanted with the things they discover in their travels and pay no attention to the worlds they came from. Sophia is everything she is criticizing.

It is important to analyze and discover what are the exact things that make them feel this way. Is it that they feel more entitled than the rest of the people they have encountered? That might be possible taking into consideration the harsh way they critique the people they encounter. Gulliver is taken by the cold, intellectual and weird culture of the Houyhnhnms that he forgets they are not human and in fact giant talking horses. Sophia on the other hand writes so focused on the flashy clothes, jewels and processions and shows no interest in the people that she forgets they are humans just like her and that they are are more than just their clothing and jewels.

-Noel Nevarez

The need to standardized English

“Total and sudden transformations of a language seldom happen” thats what Samuel Johnson says in his preface to his english dictionary. Theres reasons that they don’t happen usually because languages aren’t as messed up as the english language was. He argues that he found no order in the language at all and that he struggled to find real grammatical structure and rules. He can say that he wants to write this piece of the purpose of the language and for the betterment of the people and the country but i find it all to be an excuse for his own elitist cause. The problem I believe that he found was that there was no way to distinguish academic, intellectual writing from common writing. There was no way to judge writing and distinguish it as well written or a horrible writer who just happens to be making the right mistakes.

It’s also interesting to look how this transformation of the english language was brought about the same time as imperialism was starting to take off. We’ve seen in the other authors we have studied in this class how they attempt to justify and normalize imperialism with various examples of how the english are enlightened compared to ‘savages’ from other countries. I believe that when colonialism began to spread, so did the attempt to assimilate other cultures into the English way. Johnson and other writers realized that if they were going to spread this idea that English was the sophisticated, enlightened language, they needed a way to teach it and it would have been impossible without clear rules. I don’t think that Samuel Johnson was writing directly for and only in favor of imperialism but the issues of the language arose when it came time to spread it. The english were quick to assert this idea that they needed the spread this enlightened, superior culture but realized that their language was full of faults. The standardization of english was  going to be necessary at one point or other it simply became necessary during the time of expansion and imperialism.

 

-Noel Nevarez

The price of Utopia

The Houyhnhnms are described by Gulliver as a sort of superior, intellectual race of what he describes as talking horses and while Gulliver extensively describes this utopian like society as ideal, I believe Swift was not attempting to show a perfect world we should all be living in, but reflect on our own society and accept the flaws as they come. The citizens are incredibly intellectual, reasoning, philosophical and most notably, emotionless. The first three characteristics without question what people think of when imaging a perfect or utopian society where they are “wholly governed by reason.” Gulliver explains in an incredibly long paragraph how in the Houyhnhnms land there are no pickpockets, robbers, liars, cheaters etc. emphasizing even more how ideal this country is being portrayed as.  However the horses are not perfect and its seen clearly with an intense and arguably . Throughout the reading the Houynhnhnms express dislike towards the yahoos and even talk about exterminating them as they continue to bad mouth the Yahoo’s. These ideas of genocide and war are not something that an ideal sociey would be hung up on but yet all the Houyhnhnms share that quality of disliking Yahoo’s.

But above all the Houyhnhnms main quality seems to be of an emotionless, heartless species focused only on themselves and judging the Yahoo’s for being inferior. I believe that what Swift is trying to tell us about the Houyhnhnms is that its impossible to reach this for several reasons. First he lets us know how the human race could never reach this as this utopian like country is run by horses. Second the horses are too focused on intellect, progress and equality to be distracted by what distracts humans. The horses laugh when Gulliver explains the english parliament and they even go as far as calling the English ‘Animals’ a nicely crafted ironic comparison coming from the horses. Swift was in no way trying to get us to be like the Houyhnhnms as he portrays them as being somewhat too intellectual and we can see how that lead them to this utopian society but even then they are faced with problems and issues that arise from them being emotionless horses and in some ways Swift is telling us than even Utopia (or what Gulliver thinks is utopia)  is not perfect.

 

-Noel Nevarez

 

Consequences of War and Genocide

Mary Rowlandson’s narrative, in my opinion, in no way is justification for genocide or intolerance. I believe that the actions of the native americans can be seen as an act of war and defense and not as simply a malicious or savage-like situation. Mary Rowland and the people around and before her have started this trend of slurs, dehumanization, and genocide of native people wh0 had thrived long before the arrival of invasive people into their land. When colonizers arrived, they found that these native people were not living how English people knew how to live. Immediately the colonizers felt they needed to ‘teach’ and enlighten the natives and for some reason to do this they had to take their land. The front was weak and fake and the real reasons of exploiting land and resources were apparent to the natives as the invaders continually murdered them. Native Americans were not simply going to sit there and let their land, food and people taken from them, they fought back like anyone would in a war.

Throughout History situations like this have not been uncommon. We just discussed last week how central America was colonized and how the spaniards took advantage of the native people. The Aztec Empire had its resources stolen and people killed. The Spanish claimed they were there for exploration and for the betterment of the ‘savages’ but they knew exactly why they were there. The spaniards came in and instigated a war with the natives just how english colonizers treated Native American’s. Both native people were attacked and misplaced by the colonizers.

Mary Rowlandson was a victim of the war going on around here and her views, opinions and ideas were also a victim of said war. Her beliefs and ideas towards the people should not diminish the acts done to her and her family but those acts should also not justify the acts of the colonizers before them.

-Noel Nevarez