Elsewhere in the Grand Canyon State

Girl! Arabella! I have so much to tell you!

There is this state in the United States called Arizona, you know the Grand Canyon State. Along with desert and cacti, there are so many Indian Reservations here, and something was going on with water, but we haven’t had trouble getting water. Of course my father understand how much I need to be hydrated. Anyways it’s so amazing, were staying in Phoenix of course. It’s so hot here, but I can take some credit for that, I mean I am a sight to behold how could the weather not change based on my presence? One day as I was sitting on South Mountain above the city of Phoenix, I spotted by my glorious eyes, my bae. As he stepped out his Jaguar, he was dazzling,  he had on some Ray Bans the aviator ones of course, that black Ralph Lauren shirt I got him a few days ago, and some Versace boots. As I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” How could my bae not be rich, he needs to buy me expensive things, I am a queen and should be treated as such. Of course you are one too, but you know I’m in the U.S. Remember Arabella, “Diamonds are a girls best friend.” Did I tell you he was on the cover of Forbes magazine this month?

Anyways we have already been here for a few days, my dads being going to countless business meetings, he keeps talking about reservations and water. The colossal buildings in downtown Phoenix are truly a sight to behold, I mean besides me. At night the dazzling and flashing lights accommodate my selfies for Snapchat and Instagram, not Facebook cause you know that’s for old people. I don’t want my dad commenting how beautiful I am, I hear it enough on a daily basis. I just want to be a simple girl in the world, you know? Of course Arabella if you ever come down over here, I assure you you must stay on the bright side of Phoenix, you may get lost if you go on the sides with boarded up houses, trash on the streets, it’s so dark there. I don’t understand how hard it is to pick up after yourself, apparently they didn’t have the right resources to get the job done. Truly its such a simple fix. We only drove through to get to the Downtown area.

Oh Arabella, I wish you could feel and see the beauty here. There are countless of glittering, radiant geodes, the luscious lavender color looks gorgeous in the sunlight. The cacti, the crystals, Himalayan salt relaxing lamps, bracelets, and earnings! Oh! and by the way the turquoise looks great on my skin, maybe I’ll send you some.

Remember Arabella, life is always good!


S. G


For my creative assignment, I really wanted to focus on important class and political actions we constantly face in our society. Hartly House, Calcutta is a great representation of many problems that although we may not pay attention to still exist today. As we know the protagonist was very egotistical, I rally wanted to recreate that with a sort of materialism that really demonstrated the class gaps. This past March, I was able to visit my grandpa in Phoenix, Arizona one of the main things I noticed as were passing around the downtown area, is on one side there is a major poverty line, and not the other side there is so much wealth. There is a lot of reservation problems, Native Americans are being persecuted because of their land. Sometimes they aren’t even allowed proper access to water. Phoenix is very popular with the tourist despise the fact there are many dangerous areas. Even though I am not from Phoenix, we visit quite often, and we know how the ropes go as if we already live there. Arizona is well known for its gems and rocks, many times people only go for what they can buy. Hartly House, Calcutta really inspired me to take the route of what is really going on. Just like Sophie I only lightly touched on the problems, but at the end of it leaves one with questions about Native Americans and the water situations. There are more important things to talk about besides materialism. As we seen in Sophie’s letters, she was obsessed with the materialistic world , and always failed to see what was really important. This is so relevant to today, it’s pretty disturbing how much people actually don’t care about others besides themselves.

-Viviana Ojeda


The Sound of Life

As we’ve looked at the history of the harp, it has been an influence not only musically but  has also made an impact in the political world. As stated in its history “The harp was employed as a symbol of English rule in Ireland”, which makes me perceive it as an intruder. The harp ultimately was forced on the Irish by those who weren’t Irish. It is represented as a western intrusion.

There is the same concept illustrated in The Harp Of India, now it can be easy to dismiss  this as having no relation to the Irish community, yet it still resonates with it. In just the title, India is the location the poem is directed towards. India is by far very cultured centered, the foods, the spices, the oils, and so forth is under attack from a foreign nation.

“Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:”

India is described as being treated from a “neglected”, “mute”, and “desolate” harp.  The harp no longer has its sweet melodies but rather has its “mute” sound, a sound that no longer moves those who hear it. The harp is the corruption brought into the nation, where those who are near its sound will be corrupted by it.

The harp is political. It is the westernization of a nation. Just as the British did to the Irish Nation.


-Viviana Ojeda


Parlier, 2017

I’ve decided to imitate, William Blake’s “London”, Blake focuses on the sense of hearing and how things are not always okay. My hometown sometimes seems to be okay, all put together, but the truth is it isn’t. People only chose to be nice when they please, roads are constantly messed up. Since it is an agriculture town, we get to smell pesticides on the daily, we hear gunshots, the trains passing by, fireworks even if it’s not the fourth of July. Blake has challenged me to look at the negative, I’ve never looked at my town in a negative way, but sometimes we need to acknowledge the problems we face on a daily.


Parlier, “A Fine Community”

Where everyone works at Sunwest

Yet, there is countless scrutiny

But it’s okay, our fruit is the best


People ride their bikes for that next high.

Amigo’s Market, Rancho Market, The Purple Plum.

Some don’t realize it could be their last goodbye.

How could you want to be so numb?


The nights are the worst.

Guns, trains, fireworks, and Pesticides.

Would it be easier if it was rehearsed?

Instead, let’s count the homicides.


No! There’s a lifeless dog!

How could one be so cruel?

Never mind, they’ll just go for a jog.

It’s alright, Parlier is still a jewel.


-Viviana Ojeda














A New Beginning

Joseph William Turner’s Buttermere Lake: A Shower, there is a dark ambiance to the painting, yet at the same time it is so bright. As I like to think about it the extremely dark blues and blacks is contrasted to what looks like a bright rainbow. In The Tables Turned, I was reminded of this painting in the third and fourth stanza Woodsworth writes


“Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:

Come, hear the woodland Linnet,

How sweet his music; on my life

There’s more of wisdom in it.


And hark! how blithe the Throstle sings!
And he is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.”

In Turner’s painting, two individuals look like they are traveling by boat towards a lit up city, but are being guided by nature(rainbow and water). In the poem we are told to abandon books and let nature guide us to new knowledge and experience, hence “Let Nature be your teacher”. The misty mountains surround an opening towards the middle of the painting, it looks like a very light blue as if there is more to discover out in the world. Besides reading and looking at books, why not go out into nature and let it guide you to new wonders?

Although the painting is extremely dark, there is an endless feeling of hope. Even in the darkest of places there will always be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.


-Viviana Ojeda



Shall we headbang at the Sea?

Iron Maiden’s rendition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is part of Romantic Poetry.  As we spoke about in the beginning of the week Coleridge describes good poetry as a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, and I think this is exactly what is experienced in Iron Maiden’s rendition. Heavy Metal is no different from romantic poetry, it just may seen so because of the sound of the music. Heavy Metals musical roots have came from the classical, blues and slave music just to name a few. Heavy metal is definitely different than from other genres of music and can be easily tucked under the bed.

In the eleventh stanza of Coleridge’s poem he writes,

“And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he

Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o’ertaking wings,

And chased us south along”

The storm is described as tyrannous and strong, and it is equivalent to the musical aspects of Iron Maiden’s interpretation. It is a strong overpower of feelings, the  electric guitar, heavy drum beats, and high vocals creates and atmosphere where strong feelings are produced. This is the first time I have interacted with this song, and it did stir up emotions. We cannot easily dismiss this song as not being part of romantic poetry because it isn’t just a recitation of the same poem. Rather it is an interpretation from the poem that brings a new life to the descriptions of chaos and sounds.

Viviana Ojeda


How Contradictory…

It all comes down to pro and anti slavery, right? But how can we answer a question where present, are tremendous points of contradiction?  In both of these pictures and in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, as literary analysts we are struck with this very question. In Lean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricatures, there is sarcasm written all over this image. Although it is a little difficult to read the letters, a picture can say a million words right? In the middle of the image there is an overweight man, who looks indignant to the situation he is presenting to the public as he stands in a barrel. On the left side we have a  tax paying white family, who is struggling to have a prosperous life. This white family is illustrated with sadness, you almost want to sympathize with them, but all three are well clothed. On the right side we have an African American family who are living a prosperous and great life. What is particularly interesting about this image, is the way African Americans are illustrated, their lips are enlarged, don’t have shoes on, a savage like look in their eyes, the child isn’t fully clothed, and are illiterate.Yet at the same time are having the time of their lives. The white male in the middle is turning his head towards the white family, but is looking at the African American family like “you guys are more than capable to help them, can’t you see they are struggling!”

I have concluded, this is also a anti-abolitionist view. As there are scattered papers and books on the floor titled “Horrible Punishment”, “Brutal Outrage”, “Slavery!!!”, “Anti- Slavery Reports”, and “Reports”.  Yet, they all look like blank papers, coincidence? I think not. To tie it in with The Narrative of the Life of Olaudah, when Equiano is purchasing slaves, he emphasizes to have a certain kind because they are of his kind and are taught to work hard. It is very similar to this picture, those who are able to help, should because that’s how they were raised, and that’s how they live.

Viviana Ojeda

Is Sophie Just Another Teenager?

Sophia is definitely a young teenager, who clearly doesn’t care to give attention towards the political aspects that are happening on the “sidelines” of her stay in India. We get a sense of “me, me, me”, dare I say monumental ego? In Letter IX, there is still a pretty formal introduction as to what is happening, but it is one of the first times she gets a little more into the politics surrounding her. It shows a great deal of hierarchy, the servants don’t speak in broken English, and she likes that she doesn’t have to fuss with a servant who is English illiterate. As Sophia begins to discuss “The Writer’s Building”, and interacts with George Lyttelton’s poem Advice to a Lady and writes “Her fairest virtues fly from public sight, Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.”(58), I seen it as she understands something political is going on but rather like the lines say, her role in society is to just be a wife. It isn’t okay for a woman to enter into the political spectrum, her duty is to look pretty. Which is why we can see Sophia illustrating herself as a beautiful young woman. Men are meant to be in power, and women are only meant to be in the shadow of men.

George Lyttleton was a member of Parliament from 1735 t0 1756.  In this poem he acknowledges the struggles women have to go through, he acknowledges men are not the best creatures, but in such “women still need to be servants to their husbands”.

Viviana Ojeda

Introducing the Not So English Language

In Samuel Johnson’s preface he states “This uncertainty is most frequent in the vowels, which are so capriciously pronounced, and so differently modified, by accident or affection, not only in every province, but in every mouth, that to them, as is well known to etymologists, little regard is to be shewn in the deduction of one language from another.” As I continued to read this section, I couldn’t help but notice is Johnson talking about immigrants who can’t speak the language “properly”. The “uncertainty” of the “vowels” are “capriciously pronounced”?! He is judging the way other individuals pronounce a vowel, A VOWEL! It seems as though it is an attack on immigrants, those who cannot pronounce a word the way he’d like it to be pronounced. It definitely shows Johnson’s incapability to understand that language will never be spoken one way. Just like today, people from all over the world are capable of comprehending English, yet we all speak it in a different way. I may pronounce a word different from the person who sits next to me. Essentially what Johnson is describing is a melting pot of language and culture in English. English was not only founded on English, like in the history of our language it is derived from Anglo-Saxons, the French and so on. English is so culturally diverse how can one try to perceive it as something it isn’t?

There is no proper way to speak English, although there is still a constant fight as to yes there is a proper way to speak the language. If we are to agree with Johnson’s previous statement above, it is like we are also falling for a higher hierarchic definition of the English language. Ultimately the truth is our English language will always continue to change, as our history has already proven that. The way we pronounce words will always be different, and the way we use the language as individuals will never become unified. We are all of different backgrounds, cultures, social classes, and are even educated at different levels. The language is always going to change, because we are a changing society.

Viviana Ojeda

War, It happens

As Swift suggests “humankind would be happier if it could think and behave the way the Houyhnhnms do” I would havento disagree with this idea.

In part four chapter five on pg. 228, Gulliver has spent a good amount of time describing War to the Master Horse, and “I was going on to more Particulars, when my Master Commanded me Silence. He said, Whoever understood the Nature of Yahoos might easily believe it possible for so vile an animal, to be capable of every Action I had named, if their Strength and Cunning equaled their Malice. But as my Discourse had increased his Abhorrence of the whole species, so he found it gave him a Disturbance in his Mind, to which he was wholly  a Stranger before.”

Shortly after Gulliver smiles at Master Horse’s ignorance, but it is very clear war is not okay. And as Gulliver explains war, it really seems as if he is trying to justify those who have called wars. Yet Master Horse cannot understand why one would want to go to war, there shouldn’t be any reason to hate someone so much you would want to go to war with that individual. And yes I can agree, why would someone want to go to war, if it creates such unwanted chaos among all who are involved and even to those who are not involved. If  we even look on our own history, most of our land and freedom was built because of war.

I like Gulliver’s smile and Master Horse, because it’s a simple remark that has a great meaning. War is something we ultimately can’t escape from, it is bound to happen, we have very little control over it. It is a simple flaw of our human nature, we are naturally competitive with each other, we naturally debate with others who have opposing ideas. His little smirk isn’t out of disrespect, but out of “You really have no idea”.

I also think it’s interesting how the Yahoo’s are constantly described as being animals, the disrespect they are so often given doesn’t justify the Houyhnhnms to think of the Yahoo’s  as such a horrible race that aren’t important, are described as being so “vile”. The Yahoo’s aren’t worthy to be understood as a society, nor do they have any great ideas. As they are constantly described as being evil, and savage. The Houyhnhnms are essentially proposing their way is the only important way to think, to do, their actions are not evil, yet what they are implying is they are the true nation, they are right in all they do. But the reality is is they want a complete Utopia, which essentially is impossible to accomplish. A Utopia would never work because there is too much individuality , too many different ways of thinking, there would never be a way we’re everyone could be under the same system unless it was by a dangerous force, which we can imply by Master Horse. Master Horse’s ignorant view on war is rather disturbing, how could you not know about the dangers of war, or pretend to know of such thing? Ultimately it is impossible to accomplish.

Viviana Ojeda

She Said, I Said, They Said, We Said

It is a sad truth that our nation was primarily built on mass killings of indigenous people, but unfortunately it is a part of our dark history. There is no way to justify someone’s death, even if they are the worst of the worst. Killing another person isn’t okay. As Mary Rowlandson shares her experiences with us in her narrative. I can’t help but think about reader response. How as readers will we respond, how should we respond, or do we respond?  As a reader I have seen how horrible Rowlandson describes her children’s sufferings, as an aunt i can sympathize on the poor innocent life. As expert readers we are taught to look at all the fine details of writing, to try and connect certain pieces together. What we have connected, as previously stated in class is Rowlandson’s life was most likely a typical say at home mother, who was obedient to her husband. We cannot automatically assume Mary was a cold heartless woman, but have we thought about maybe her writings being monitored by her husband? Did she write it to only trigger a certain audience? or was it truly her feelings? We don’t know, and I am not trying to justify her wicked words, just trying to see a different perspective.

In the end we put the blame on “she said, I said, they said, and we said”. All these different perspectives are trying to justify the death, but in the end we need to learn to acknowledge all the death that has happened throughout our history. The Indians, people of color, the racial segregation and tension. What is constantly possessing people to think it is okay to just go and murder, I don’t think we will ever be able to fully answer this question, but in the end we may only receive more questions than answers.

-Viviana Ojeda