The Key to Top-Grade Fitness

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Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

27 April 2014

The Key to Top-Grade Fitness

According to the Fitness statistic page, “More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.” Americans understand that exercise is a necessity, but most are at a loss in regards to the best way to fit the most effective form of exercise into one’s daily life. Although all physical activity is beneficial, there is a certain syllabus to follow that yields maximum results. In his article Fitness For Survival, Munger argues that an assortment of activities done frequently is the most beneficial and efficient way to exercise. Through proper use of time, frequency and form, an active lifestyle can be achieved. Contrary to popular belief, not all exercise is created equal. Some misleading ideas include long and moderate work out sessions, sessions limited to four days a week, and constantly repeating the same exercise routine while expecting continued results. Top-grade fitness results are seen by performing a variety of exercises for a short period of time most days of the week.

It is easy to fall prey to an exercise rut once an ideal routine has been found. Most find it comforting to stick with a routine that is known to produce (at least at one point) specific results. That being said, it is wise to alternate a wide variety of exercises in order to truly optimize your health. It is natural to become less and less enamored with a regular routine and eventually lose interest all together. When a person is bored, time seems to pass in slow motion, which is not helpful during a workout session. By constantly changing length of exercises and varying activities, each exercise is an adventure and something to look forward to. For example, go swimming one day, hit the gym another,

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and spend one day at home performing calisthenic workouts. Variety is important in a fitness program because it allows your body to be challenged on a consistent basis to overcome a plateau. A plateau happens when the body has become accustomed or used to doing the same repeated exercises over and over again. To defeat a plateau, perform a mixture of new exercises which will place fresh demands on the body. The intensity of these additions will help to promote new muscle growth.

Mixing up your routine does more than just beat boredom. When you do the same type of exercise exclusively, your body builds specific strengths. By switching your activity mode, you broaden your physical abilities. Without variety, your body will quickly adapt and the benefits will begin to plateau. According to Hannah Owen, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit owner in Colorado Springs “As soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body”.

Outside of personal profits, such as elapsed time for a busy schedule, shorter and intense workouts provide exercise benefits not achieved by a longer and more lax regimen. It is commonly thought that long workout sessions equal more calories burned or muscle gained. However, more effective exercises can be completed in a third of that time. In her article on a study of various training programs tested on college students, Barfield states the following: “CrossFit group participants showed improvement in all muscular fitness variables and actually showed the greatest gains in lower body muscular endurance”(13). The study concluded that, in general, programs that were short in length and performed with high intensity most days of the week showed the best results.

In an addition of The New York Daily News, interviewed Lashaun Dale, Senior National Group Fitness Creative Manager at Equinox said “Short workouts are effective, but they need to be dense and packed with high-intensity exercises”. CrossFit is excellent example of weaving this theme into workout routine, as a session is made up regiments of constantly varied and functional movements

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performed at high intensity. Although stretching and warming up is added to the time and program, the actual intense workout only lasts from ten to thirty minutes. The main idea of a fast workout is high intensity training, or HIT. Essentially, HIT is progressive resistance or cardiovascular exercise defined by a high level of effort with brief intervals that are relatively easier. This is opposed to typical training methods involving low to moderate levels of effort and longer, more frequent workouts. According to fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go, getting fitness benefits requires working all three types of muscle fibers and their associated energy systems. This cannot be done with traditional long and regulated cardio, as it only activates your red, slow twitch muscles. If your fitness routine doesn’t work your white muscle, you aren’t really working your heart in the most beneficial way.

Although in the past it was common to suggest a minimum weekly number of minutes to exercise, studies are showing that those minutes should be spread out equally over the course of a week, as opposed to cramming it all in a few days. You do not receive the same results and benefits from completing in a few days what should be spaced out throughout a week. As a general goal, aim for at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day. (Bushman 7). If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more and adjust intervals accordingly. You can even split your thirty minute exercise for one day into three separate sets. For example, go for a ten minute run in the morning, do ten minutes of core exercises in the afternoon, and practice some yoga for ten minutes in the evening. This does not mean that the same muscles or activities should be performed daily, such as targeting a specific part of the body, as this can lead to injuries. That being said, it is safe to alternate different types of exercise daily, such as going for a run one day, and perform weight lifting the next. In conclusion, you can work out every day when your definition of workout means some form of physical activity.

There are endless ways to exercise, and while completing some form of it is better than nothing,

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being aware of and integrating the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals will help achieve maximum results. Adding variety will keep a body from plateauing, performing shorter and more intense exercises will achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time, and working out every day will aid in sticking to regimen and maximizing physical fitness. Opposed opinions claim that daily exercise is bad for bodies, as it doesn’t give muscles a day to rest. However, starting back a hundred years ago, our ancestors worked out quite rigorously every day just to survive. And survive and flourish they did. The human body was designed to work out every day. Whether it was hunting, building, commuting or cleaning, our forefathers did not have the option to be lazy. Even though we now have fancy gym equipment, and classify exercise as a workout, our bodies are still made to handle daily activity. Do your body a favor, and strive to incorporate a variety of high-intensity exercises into a daily schedule.

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Works Cited

Barfield, J. P., et al. “Format Of Basic Instruction Program Resistance Training Classes: Effect On Fitness Change In College Students.”Physical Educator 69.4 (2012)”: 325-341. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. < sid=df3b1868-2b30-4896-b8d1-f84e67eb1694%40sessionmgr113&vid=6&hid=128>

Bompa, Tudor. Theory and Methodology of Training: The Key to Athletic Importance. United States of America: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1994. Print.

Bushman, Barbara. Complete Guide to Fitness&Health: Physical Activity and Nutrition Guidelines for Every Age. United States of American: American College of Sports Medicine, 2011. Print.

Campbell, Phil. Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness. United States of America: Pristine Publishers Inc, 2007. Print

Facts and Statistics” Fitness Gov. Retrieved from the web 18 Apr 2014. <;

Hopper, Robert. Stick With Exercise For A Lifetime. United States of America: CreateSpace, 2012. Print.

Munger, Dave. “Fitness For Survival.” Seed Magazine. 6 Oct. 2010. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <>

Owen, Hannah. Personal Isnterview. 18 Apr. 2014.

Unknown, Unknown. “Effects Of Prior Short Multiple-Sprint Exercises With Different Intersprint Recoveries On The Slow Component Of Oxygen Uptake During High-Intensity Exercise.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism 37.6 (2012): 1080-1090. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. < sid=df3b1868-2b30-4896-b8d1-f84e67eb1694%40sessionmgr113&vid=11&hid=128>  

Effective Exercising

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Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

13 April 2014

Effective Exercising

The article Fitness For Survival by Dave Munger talks about three different fitness activities; specifically, in regards to which activities are best and how often you should do them. Although Munger lead off with a brief narration about his long distance running experience, the meat of the article was spent deciphering which exercise was best: long distance running, interval running, or weight lifting. All three had benefits, and it turns out that no particular one is the best. For example, interval trainers developed a stronger capability to use oxygen while exercising, steady runners improved their cholesterol, and strength trainers enhanced muscle mass. (Munger 1). However, for the best body and health results, it was recommended to use all three in variation. After that, the article tackled how much and how often to exercise, and ways to easily incorporate fitness into everyday lifestyles.

The thesis is as follows: A variety of activities done frequently is the most beneficial and efficient way to exercise. Munger supported his thesis partially by using personal examples from his own long-distance running group. He also relied upon experts such as physician Bill Yates, and studies done by research groups. For example, to back his argument that we should do a variety of activities, Munger quoted Yates saying “As Yates points out, the ideal fitness regimen probably involves all three activities—and possibly others as well!” (1). Munger used a down-to-earth writing style to communicate easily with his intended audience; the average American adult. He wrote on a level that was easy for any one with a basic education to read, but still supported his points knowledgeably and sufficiently. The thesis was communicated clearly, supported, and illustrated through quotes and

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personal experience.

It is important in our modern society to be aware of health and fitness. This article showed the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. It also delved further into the types of exercises and their benefits, as well as the frequency they should be performed in. As all exercises have their own benefits, it is best to perform a variety to gain maximum results. This also helps prevent boredom by avoiding repetition, which can lead to less productive work outs.

In regards to how often we should exercise, Munger concluded that “There shouldn’t be a recommended number of minutes, Freedhoff, an obesity expert, says; instead we should use any method we can to get as much exercise in as possible.” (1). This makes exercise seem more obtainable with a busy schedule, as it is easier to fit in smaller and more frequent activities almost daily, than to set aside a large chunk of time every few days.

The author made an interesting point in this article, mentioning that people in our modern world aren’t necessarily lazy, they are just are not living the tough and active lifestyle that was required by our ancestors one hundred years ago. Now everything is made to be easily accessible at our finger tips (Munger 1). It is important for us to make time for our fitness now, as it is relatively avoidable in most American adult lives.

Munger recommended music and companionship for exercise motivation. (Munger 1). Having a companion for workout consistency is a wonderful method, as one is required to stay faithful to the activity for the sake of another. Music was also recommended, with musical style for motivation varying person to person. Exercising outside whenever possible can improve fitness levels as well, as it provides variation from standard gym machines and alleviates boredom by changing scenery.

Over all, this article was soundly backed with expert advice and personal experience. The author was sound in his claim that pristine physical condition requires high variation and frequency of exercises. People need to incorporate more exercises and avoid sticking to one activity. It would also be

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most efficient to perform smaller, more frequent workouts, as opposed to tackling long chunks every

few days. Find the best work out motivator, and stick to it. It is harder in this day and age to maintain an active lifestyle, but it is not impossible.

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Works Cited

Munger, Dave. “Fitness For Survival.” Seed Magazine. 6 Oct. 2010. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <>

Poetry Portfolio

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Bethany Herold

Dr. Elizabeth Davies-Stofka

LIT 115 C11

6 April 2014

Assignment 1:

The Tyger by William Blake, is a poem filled with inquiries. The speaker seeks out the Tyger in the night to further his curiosities. Although the Tyger never responds, by questioning him, the speaker obtains enlightenment. The speaker is ultimately asking who made such a creature and why. How he approaches these questions is somewhat open to interpretation, and can change the outlook of this poem.

When I first read this poem aloud, I attempted a voice in anguish. I chose this first, because there is a sense of torment in this piece. As I read in this voice, I found myself talking more towards the creator than the Tyger. These deep, probing questions are directed at the Tyger as more of a veil; a safe way to question such a mighty being, as I imagine the creator to be. As I continued to read in this voice, with that intention, I found myself and the speaker reaching our utmost courage when he dared to question the “he” instead of the Tyger. “Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”

Another formulation I chose was from a perspective of fear. This is a given, because the Tyger is described as such a powerful and dangerous creature throughout the poem. Reading in this voice, the first stanza seemed almost like a submission and plea to the Tyger. His name is acknowledged twice, before even daring to question further. Approaching the poem this way gives the entire piece a sense of respect. I became very cautious and afraid of both the Tyger and creator, yet, their presence demanded regard as well. I began to see the dialogue as more of a homage to both Tyger and creator, giving them due honor by carefully probing to learn more about their power.

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Remember by Joy Harjo, has an essence derived directly from its title. The poem is spoken by a female, who is very wise and tuned in with the earth. A sense of gratitude is expressed, as well as recognition in regards to remembrance. This poem relied heavily upon repetition to cement its ideas, so that I was truly inclined to reflect and remember.

I couldn’t help but read this poem in a motherly way the first time. A female presence is implied due to the gender of the author. I found myself reciting this poem as an older woman, perhaps a grandmother. I was telling my grandchildren the tales of life next to a campfire, as we lay under the night sky. This connection fit so perfectly, as the family is mentioned specifically in the text. Imagining it being read under the night sky, right in the heart of nature, made the words come alive. As I read this way, I found myself as the grandmother not only teaching the children, but also reminding myself of all these things. It’s as if the speaker wanted to remind herself as well.

One time I read it as if I were an long forgotten spirit; the ancestor of my people. It seemed like bit of a reach at first, but as I continued I found it brought new light to the text. It gave me an omniscient perspective, and as each line touched on a different aspect, I was immediately there. I was able to witness first hand the origins of all things, and this brought a literal sense to the word “Remember”. I was transported to the specific locations mentioned in the poem as I spoke them, such as “The corner of Fourth and Central” and “Iowa City”. I also experienced the natural phenomena of the universe, moon, and stars. Reading it this way made me feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation of the beauty of life and nature.

Although these poems were very different in many ways, I found through this exercise that they both carried a message of respect. I don’t believe that was the main them of both poems, but it was definitely a common idea that they both presented. Both of these poems urge readers to respect our creator, or that of which we come from. Our origins are important, and that source deserves attention and honor.

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Assignment 2:

William Blake was not only a famed English poet, he was also a masterful painter and print maker. Though he is now recognized as a notable artistic figure in the Romantic Period, he was largely unrecognized in his lifetime. Blake was born and raised in London in the mid seventeen hundreds, and spent most of his life in that city. He started out as an engraver, illustrator and a drawing teacher. Blake described his painting technique as “fresco.” It is a form using oil and tempera paints mixed with chalks. Blake would then paint the design onto a flat surface, usually a copperplate or piece of millboard, from which he pulled the prints simply by pressing a sheet of paper against the damp paint. He finished the designs in ink and watercolor, making each, rare, impression unique.

Blake lived in what is known as theRomantic Period. It was a revolt that was directed against an 18th Century society known as Classicism. Romanticism spawned from classicism because it embraced everything classicism omitted – passion, self-expression, spontaneity, inspiration, unrestrained energy, imagination, violence and irregularity, unfamiliarity, and elemental. Romanticism emphasized passion rather than reason. William explored these bounds throughout his poetry and artwork, regardless of the thoughts of others. He was socially persecuted for his beliefs, but today he is highly acclaimed for his opinions.

Later on in his life, William dabbled in poetry and released a first, crude edition called Poetic Sketches. Eventually he crafted his finer works, known a Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. They greatly reflected his mind that was heavily preoccupied with the war at hand, The French Revolution. As he witnessed first-hand the downfall of his beloved London during a battle with France, these poem collections render his disgust with his contemporary society.

He has been said to have prophetic poetry, as much of his works touch on biblical and mystical matters. Although many of his present-day critics found him to be insane, later critics hold his work to a much higher standard. He had many revolutionary religious ideas for the time, as he held the Bible

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reverent, but carried hostile feelings for the Church of England. Blake was also known to have a preoccupation with good and evil. All of this flowed throughout his paintings and poetry, and The Tyger is a perfect example. To fully understand The Tyger, one must read The Lamb as well. Both poems reference each other, and bring about a powerful representation of Blake’s religious ideas.

Blake published nearly all of his own work, and his poems were always tied in with his art. He often etched poems onto copper plates and designed around the words with artwork and decorative images. He also painted images and scenes to go with his poems, and The Tyger has a unique image of the beast to accompany it. A father of the romantic age, William held firm to the belief that reality could only be understood through imagination.

Although known as insane to his contemporary counterparts, modern critics have come to recognize him as an important and influential artistic figure in history. Rejecting the common beliefs of his contemporaries,William greatly opposed dualism, a Western, Neoclassical idea that claims everything is made up of warring opposites. He became obsessed with the fine line between good and evil, striving to communicate that there was no clear, or black and white, distinction between the two. His book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell reasons that a happy existence requires equal amounts of good and evil. These views are also clearly reflected in his poetry, as his poem The Tyger analyzes the evil or dark side of life, while his poem The Lamb symbolizes the good. He was also a strong advocate for equal rights among all genders and races, and looked down upon slavery.

Blake had great concern for children as well. He wanted children to be unrestrained, free to be as God meant them to be: vehicles of imagination. He found that their play and laughter muted the worries of the world. William began to symbolize children with imagination, stating that the products of man’s imagination were to be beloved, cherished and enjoyed as precious children. He put great effort into producing images and poems which would please children and encourage them to continue to see the world through their eyes not with their eyes, as reflections of the heaven from which they

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Although having Christian beliefs, Blake strongly opposed The Church of England. He disagreed with them in regards to several topics. He argued that natural desires need not be repressed. The church thought that natural desires were evil, but Blake thought they were good and that there should be adverse actions, because it is necessary for humans to move from innocence to experience. He also alluded to the idea that The Holy Bible was poetic in form, and the best ever written. People of that time did not like the unfamiliar in regards to religious and scientific beliefs, and as Blake’s claims were somewhat hard to wrap one’s mind around, people frowned upon his ideas.

Joy Harjo was born in 1951 in Oklahoma. Her Muskogee Creek heritage underlies much of her poetry, and her feminist and social concerns arise as well. Harjo graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in poetry in 1976. She then received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa in 1978. Harjo taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Arizona State University, and the University of Colorado, before becoming part of the English department at University of New Mexico in 1990. With much experience in many aspects of art, Harjo weaves Native American myths, symbols, and beliefs into her writing. Her poetry accentuates local nature and landscapes, and echos a need for remembrance and transcendence. In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. In 2002, Harjo received the PEN Open Book Award for A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales.

A critically acclaimed poet in her modern lifetime, Joy is also a notable writer, teacher and saxophonist. She plays with a professional group known as Poetic Justice. She is considered to play an important part in what is now considered the Native American Renaissance, a term coined by critic Kenneth Lincoln. It is a term used to define Native Americans’ reclamation of heritage through literary expression. It includes discovery and reevaluation of early texts by Native American authors and renewed interest in customary tribal artistic expression.

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Harjo is a leading figure in contemporary American poetry. Even though her poetry often reflects her homeland of the Southwest and indicates Creek values, her work has universal relevance due to depth and thematic concerns in her writings. For Native American cultures, storytelling has served as entertainment, as well as to answer questions from curious children about the origins of natural sights and phenomena. Joy’s poetry carries storytelling and lecture reminiscent themes in most of her work.

Joy strongly supports her ancestry, as well as her rights as a woman. In an interview with Helen Jaskoski she stated,

“I believe those so-called ‘womanly’ traits are traits of the warrior. Vulnerability is one, you know. The word, warrior, it applies to women just as well. I don’t see it as exclusive to a male society. Male and female traits are within each human, anyway. I’ve known some of the greatest warriors in my life. They’ve stood up in the face of danger, in the face of hopelessness. They’ve been brave–not in the national headlines, but they’ve been true to themselves, and who they are, and to their families. Their act of bravery could have been to feed their children, to more than survive.”

A common theme in her poetry and writing is the fact that she does not tell her readers how to feel, but instead tells the truth as she sees it. This allows her poetry to become relevant to a larger audience, although some critics claim she is too passive. Harjo’s poetry is also not about being “politically correct”, but instead about continuation and survival. While Native American cultures generally value the powers of memory, Harjo’s poems bring to non-Native American readers an awareness and understanding of the strength of memory. A harmonious balance is attained by the combination of the past and present, and of the mythic and mundane.

Remember is inclusive of all of Harjo’s best qualities. The poem has a flowing, lyrical feel, perhaps reminiscent of her musical inclinations. The piece also seeks to emphasize a common sentiment of hers, that nature is not a part of our lives, but rather, that our lives are a part of nature.

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Assignment 3:

As I read The Tyger by William Blake, I could immediately envision his gleaming, orange eyes-”burning bright,” a metonymy for the eyes of the Tyger- reflecting the moonlight. I pictured a luscious jungle, or forest, alive with the creatures of the night. I then saw a heavenly being “what immortal hand…could frame”. The distant deeps or skies I saw as a unknown and mysterious place, untouched by mankind. The “wings”, again, made me think of a heavenly being. Lines 8-12 all created an image in my mind of the Tyger being this ferocious and feared, yet beautiful creature.

The author raises the question as to what kind of being is capable, and willing, to create such a creature as the Tyger. The hammer and anvil refer to blacksmithing, and I instantly imagined a blacksmith working hard over a fire to create a masterpiece. I envisioned comets and shooting stars contrasting the dark, night sky “stars threw down their spears”, and then a huge rainstorm “water’d heaven…tears”. I pictured the creator smiling down at the Tyger, with its eyes still reflecting the stars and moon in the sky. The reference of the lamb is an innocent an fragile creature. The poem questions if the being who made the gentle and innocent lamb, also made the aggressive and dangerous Tyger. “Dare frame the fearful symmetry” makes me imagine someone even more powerful, beautiful and feared to be capable of creating the Tyger.

The first line of Remember created an image of the Oregon night sky for me, the “sky that (I was) born under”. The star’s stories caused me to think of the things the stars have seen; the history and people that have passed before my time. The moon is portrayed as a woman. Perhaps so common a “woman” that we can find in any place, say, even a bar in Iowa City. The “sun’s birth at dawn” made me think of the beginning of the world. Although not naming a specific deity, it alludes to a “creation” by using words like “birth”. The poem gives me a vivid image birth when it speaks of the mother, and it speaks of grandmothers and other ancestors. The poem completes the strong family picture by adding the father figure. I imagine all the beautiful races of the world “remember the earth whose skin you are:

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red earth, black earth, etc…”, and I pondered their origins. I then saw the possible origins of “plants, trees, animals” and their past lives. I got an image of the earth as whole, in a more pure, wholesome, and original state. I liked the metaphor of all those things being “alive poems”. I again got to picture another natural phenomenon as a “woman”, in regards to the wind. Another specific co-ordinance is listed here “the corner of Fourth and Central”, perhaps alluding to the idea that we an find these women, our ancestors or origins of our roots, at actual places significant to us. Or maybe it is meant to imply that we can find them anywhere. “You are all people…all people are you” seems to be a metaphor stating that we all come from the same roots; that we as humans have a common ground and heritage. It then extends to universe, seemingly claiming that we are apart of something even bigger than ourselves. I get an image that things are constantly progressing and changing (all is in motion). “Language comes from this” could mean a lot of things, but I see it as not just speaking, but everything humans use to express themselves; such as writing, painting, talking, singing, drawing, dancing, poetry, etc. We are encouraged to remember all these things and how they are life. We are given the metaphor at the end of life being a “dance”.

I found both of these poems to be rich in metaphors, metonymys, and images that greatly support and bring life to them. On what wings dare he aspire?”Wings symbolize that (he) the T yger’s creator was so enlightened and inspired it was as if he was soaring on wings. He took a risk and was so creative and thoughtful, as well as risky, to dare form such a creature. The wings are a beautiful and powerful metaphor.

Assignment 4

As I read The Tyger, I heard primitive drums and low voices in the background; nothing else. This poem seems to flow more precisely as a chant, as opposed to a typical song. I envision it as starting out quieter, and then building, slowly reaching a crescendo at the end. Each stanza ends in a

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rhyme, making great use of assonance-identical vowel sounds; “bright” and “night, “art” and “heart”. It falls into place perfectly as a chant when I read it, because the lines are nearly identical in length and they seem to have similar stress patterns. I also pick up on a trochaic pattern, which is greater stress followed by a lesser stress. For example, I read it as “TY-ger, BUR-ning, FOR-ests, etc. The stanzas are also equal in length and incorporate similar rhyming patterns. I felt this poem was made up of harsher, more intense sounds, making a good use of cacophony.

Since the poem has a dark tone as well, violins would greatly ad to the melancholy and eerie feel the words give off.”Twist the sinews of thy heart”, for example, is such a rich phrase. Sinews is another word for tendon or connective tissues. The diction and class in this poem give it an elegant feel that fits perfectly with its rigid structure and rhyming stanzas. It also makes wonderful use of alliteration, which gives the poem a sing-song rhythm. “burning bright”, “what wings”, and “dare its deadly” are all example of Blake’s use of alliteration to create the specific flow of phrasing.

I feel The Tyger stood out from all the other poems in the sets because it was so precise in its construction. William Blake did magnificent job of making the form of his poem tight and constricted, while still allowing it to read fluently and be left open to interpretation.

Remember was opposite The Tyger in many ways. With this poem, I hear melodious nature sounds like water rushing and birds chirping. This poems brings me back to mankind’s’ roots, and reminds me of how musical and beautiful nature is. Perhaps, because I know the author is Native American, I can’t help but feel as though this poem is done its best justice being sung or read with a flute accompanying it. I hear not just a flute, but eventually the addition of tribal drums and cries or chants. This poem is more free and flowing. It doesn’t seem to strictly follow any rhyme patterns. There is much repetition though, as the word “Remember” is read 15 times. Other words such as earth, are also repeated for emphasis; “red earth”, “black earth”, etc.

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This poem had a very pleasing tone to it, and I felt the poet used euphony. She also used Caesura, as this poem had dramatic pauses that created variety and natural rhythms. Contrary to the The Tyger and the other poems in the sets, Remember is a free bodied spirit that seems to dance around the page, ending perfectly in no particular place for each line. Form is used here, and the are hints of rhyme and assonance. However, Harjo uses these tools as more of a garnish on her free form work. I believe this poem used repetition more effectively than all the other poems, and that use made her important and timeless words more memorable.

Assignment 5

The Tyger is told by the speaker as he observes the Tyger. The speaker appears to be a very curious individual. He displays abstract thinking by asking deep questions. He brings things about in a new light, and dares to ask things that others have never even pondered. I get the feeling that the speaker is the daring type too, as he not only ask daring questions, but also ventures out in the forest to seek out the Tyger. He’s searching for something; trying to wrap his mind around the mysteries of life and its origins. This indicates the nature of the speaker’s view of creation and the clear division in his mind between the world of attractive, but fearful, power.

The “bright and “night” imagery echoes this contrast as well, alluding to the tyger’s orange and black markings. The contraries of beauty and terror are combined. The speaker’s state of mind is further suggested in the shift from the repeated ‘dread’ in stanzas three and four to ‘deadly’ in stanza four. The similarity in sound makes it an apparently simple connection. There is, however, an unjustified equation in the speaker’s movement from one to the other. What causes dread or awe is not necessarily also deadly. “Did he smile his work to see?’”, implies the speaker trying to wrap his mind around what creator could be pleased with this creature.

The poem gives off an almost dangerous tone, as the speaker seems to be somewhat at risk

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throughout his questioning. I also get a sense of enlightenment. The speaker appears to be some sort of visionary, and that adds to the tone. The tone in my opinion, is much like the Tyger itself. Very dangerous and yet awe-inspiring.

Remember is told by the speaker in more of a reflective and motherly way. I want to picture her as a wise, older woman. However, the text does not seem to clearly convey the speaker’s age. It does imply that the speaker is giving advice to the less experienced listener. She is clearly very in tuned with the world and all its creations. Family is important to the speaker as well, as several members are specifically mentioned. The tone is very reflective in my mind, as the word “remember” is emphasized throughout the poem. It creates somewhat of a tranquil atmosphere, but encourages deep thought.

Certain phrases in this poem link to images that convey an intended feeling. For example, “Remember your birth” causes a reader to reflect instantly upon their own birth, and be grateful for the struggles their mother went through. On the other hand, “they are alive poems”, gives the entire piece a mystic feel, as though every phrase has an underlying meaning.

In regards to this analysis for persona and tone, I have to say that I identify most with The Tyger. I feel as though I am often searching, questioning, and seeking more. I also love the feelings associated when danger and awe combine.

Assignment 6

The Tyger is a series of intricate questions, skillfully placed illicit thoughts of creation, as well as good and evil. Its deep, dark tones gives way to the evil lurking beneath. As is this poem is clearly structured and organized, it has a resounding and regular power that resonates throughout each stanza. As we see through the eyes of the speaker, we get to witness first hand as he dares to approach both Tyger and creator.

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It begins with a respectful, honorable approach as the speaker bravely addresses this powerful creature. “Burning bright” provides us a specific visual as we can see the creature, and its eyes, gleaming in the darkness of its natural habitat. The “forests of the night” also allude to a proverbial, and possible spiritual forest, as Blake has a fascination with the contrast of good and evil. Blake and the speaker both question what being could create the frighting Tyger, and do it so flawlessly.

The second stanza speaks of a distant, heavenly place. This, combined with William’s self-appointed religious background, confirms the search to find the creator. The “burnt the fire” hints at some sort of hell-like place, a direct contrast from the heavenly comment. The fact that this creator would “dare to aspire” on “wings” to make the Tyger shows that the speaker thinks he supreme being. A vivid image is shown here of a magnificent hand grasping fire to make the Tyger. The next part is a descriptive interrogation of how the high being might have constructed the animal. It creates a feel of the Tyger being crafted, almost like a blacksmith working steel. The speaker has reached the crux of his questioning here as everything begins to boil down. Simply put, he wants to know why this creature was created, how he was created, and for what purpose? The speaker is wrought with uncertainty, unable to grasp how anything good could create something so dark.

The second to last stanza brings in a reference to the beginning of time. Though it can be interpreted several ways, due to Blake’s beliefs, the imagery of the “stars throwing down spears” and “watering heaven with their tears” suggests the biblical creation and fall of the angels. The question of good vs evil was always evident in Blake’s work, and The Tyger is no different. He references another one of his poems here, The Lamb, which is spent analyzing the good and wholesome aspects of the creature. William found it important to compare the two, and bring equal attention to both, to make a point. He believed that in order for life to be balanced and fall into place correctly, we need both good and evil. With this poem, he is exploring the origins of both aspects, and the creator behind such a

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diverse world. The last part of the poem echos the beginning. This repetition is important, and it signifies his most essential question:What immortal dare to balance the world with good and evil, and who can handle such a power?

Remember has the essence of a bedtime story. With motherly like undertones, and sense tingling images, Joy Harjo brings us back to our origins, and causes us to think twice about our future. The repetition begins right away, and puts the reader in a studious and reflective mood, eager to hear the wise words that lay ahead. Birth is mentioned shortly after, and this is important because birth symbolizes beginning of the life cycle; something that is held highly in the Native American culture. The “star’s stories” is possibly relating to the many stories of our ancestors, both living and passed. It’s encouraging us as readers to absorb all of the knowledge we can from those around us, and to pass on our own stories to our children. This is also an important part of the author’s culture; the verbal passing on of histories and stories. There are some actual references throughout the poem that direct us to specific places. I believe these relate directly to Harjo’s own life and memories. However, the idea is that we can find ourselves in average and unseeingly important places.

Harjo spends quite a bit of time speaking of specific family members. We are encouraged to remember and respect those whom have worked so hard to create us; not just our mothers, but their mothers, and their mothers’ mothers. Family is important and something we are told not to take for granted. There’s an implication here too, to that of “Mother Nature” and her “struggle” to create us, or more widely put, the world. A father is mentioned, but only as a minor character, so it conveys a strong feminine presence for the poem. No further reasoning is given, but it’s safe to assume that at the very least, Joy wanted to focus on the feminine aspects of life such as the “moon” and “sun”, which are both female in Native American folklore.

The earth receives special mentioning as well, showing the respect that the earth is due for

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sustaining us all. Particular colors are referenced here, covering the various skin tones and races of the world. A key point is made here explaining that regardless of our color, we are all of the same earth and origins. As Joy is equal rights and feminist supporter, this is a clear claim to the fact that all people are created of the same essence, and therefore equal. Soon after this, we are also told to remember “the plants, animals, trees, etc.”, as they all have their own stories and histories too. All living things share this earth, and we are encouraged to live in harmony as we coexist. We are given a beautiful image as we are told all of earth’s creation is an “alive poem”.

Harjo embodies another natural phenomenon, the wind as woman, here. We are told that the “wind” carries the secrets of the universe, creating a correlation to her idea that nature holds the answers to the origin of life. A symbiont lifestyle is an underlying theme in this poem, and the intended persuasion is that we must remember the fact that we are all one. What one person does affects another, and ultimately, no form of life should be mistreated. Everything is in constant motion, and everyone plays a part in life. Language is something we are told to remember, but not in the literal sense. Instead, it implies all forms of artistic expression and communication. Our music, poems, cooking, books, sewing, dance, hobbies, jobs, languages, and talents all have origins; and a common one at that. All of these things are a “dance”. Life is a dance, a rise and fall of tempos, filled with happy and sour notes. But all these things conspire to create a beautiful symphony.

Both of these poems are filled uniquely in their writing style and meaning in regards to each other. While The Tyger is more uniformed and strict in style, Remember is free and flowing. The former has equally lengthed lines and stanzes filled with ryhmes, and the later has no clear pattern or ryhme form. They are both rich in imagery, however, and seek to answer one of life’s most important questions: Who or what created us and why? Both poems allude to the idea of being created. And the opinion that we are created, not accidental, implores us to value our own lives, as well as those around

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us. We are here for some purpose, and we need to remember others and our origins as we look to our future. Though centuries and oceans apart, William Blake and Joy Harjo have shown us through The Tyger and Remember, that all life is important and everything has a place, purpose, and reason.


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Works Cited

Altizer, Thomas J. J. “The Revolutionary Vision Of William Blake.”Journal Of Religious Ethics 37.1 (2009): 33-38. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Johnson, Robert1. “Inspired Lines: Reading Joy Harjo’s Prose Poems.” American Indian Quarterly 23.3/4 (1999): 13-23.Humanities Source. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Leen, Mary. “An Art Of Saying: Joy Harjo’s Poetry And The Survival Of Storytelling.” American Indian Quarterly 19.1 (1995): 1.Humanities Source. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Miner, Paul. “James Hervey’s Influence On Blake’s ‘Tyger’ Of “Experience”.” Notes & Queries 253.4 (2008): 414-416. Humanities Source. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Rix, Robert W.1. “William Blake’s “The Tyger”: Divine And Beastly Bodies In Eighteenth-Century Children’s Poetry.”Anq 25.4 (2012): 222-227. Humanities Source. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

A Sacrifice

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Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

31 March 2014

A Sacrifice

Are even the kindest marriages a form of oppression? Is a long-term relationship nothing but a constant strain on one’s heart? Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” explores those questions. It is implied in the text that Brently, Louise’s husband, was a kind and loving man “the face that had never looked save with love upon her” (Chopin 2), yet Mrs. Mallard is still overwhelmed with an explicit joy once she fully realizes and processes his death. This brief tale uses the symbol of heart trouble to illustrate the pressures that lack of freedom and independence caused for women in the late eighteen hundreds.

Right from the start, it is mentioned that Louise is “afflicted with a heart trouble” (Chopin 1). This physical ailment is severe enough that extreme news could prove to be detrimental to her health, so much so that Mrs. Mallard’s family members must do everything with in their power to break Brently’s death gently to her. However, she also has a troubled heart in the emotional sense as well. Unlike most women of her time, she receives this news of Mr. Mallard’s death and responds with a more savage approach; a clear indicator that her emotions are as unstable as her physical heart. As I read, I was drawn to this intricate correlation between her physical and emotional heart trouble. Were they somehow linked? What could possibly cause such a severe strain both physical and psychological?

It was typical in Mrs. Mallard’s time, the late eighteen hundreds, for all women to marry. It was crucial for the female to obtain financial comfort,social status, and over-all acceptance through marriage. The ideas of freedom, independence, and self-sufficiency were nothing more than distant

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dreams. Louise, however, dared to ponder these thoughts more than most women, and after receiving the news of her husband’s death, she seeks solitary refuge, locked away, in her private room. We then watch actively as the many thoughts and feelings she’s experiencing cause a see-saw of emotions that put stress on her soul and heart. She loved her husband the story says. Yet, there are many forms of love. She may have had no ill feelings towards him, but the their marriage was an unwanted junction. It is clear that his death brought her new life, as she exclaims, “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin 2).

We get evidence of the emotional to physical correlation throughout the text, for example, Louise is “pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (Chopin 1). She is clearly processing her newly found freedom and independence in the mental sense, “suspension of intelligent thought” (Chopin 1), and this again effects her physically almost instantaneously, “ her bosom rose and fell tumultuously” (Chopin 2). Freedom-this is something she never dreamed she would get to experience. Regardless of the kindness of her late husband, her marriage to Brently was nothing short of a comfortable prison in her eyes. Fully aware of her already weakened state, perhaps due to a sufficient past of physical and emotional heart wrenching thoughts such as this, Louise “was striving to beat it back with her will” (Chopin 2). Based on this text, we now realize the powerful influence her thoughts have on her physical heart, and she fears her excitement and apprehension will prove to be too much.

Her sister, Josephine, knows of Louise’s heart trouble, and is clearly concerned an aware that Louise is doing irreplaceable damage. But Louise is past the point of return by now, and she has embraced release from her oppression. Though risking heart trouble, “she was drinking in a very elixir of life” (Chopin 2). This full embrace of her psychological happiness and freedom leads ultimately to a physical death, as it proves to be too much for her heart.

In light of Mark Cunningham’s analysis, Mrs. Mallard dies prior to actually seeing her assumed

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dead husband. “He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife” (Chopin 3). Based on that passage, you can see that there is no concrete evidence showing that Mrs. Mallard ever saw her husband prior to her death. Furthermore, the doctors claim “she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills” (Chopin 3). which implies the full discovery and understanding of her freedom overworks her weakened heart, and ultimately kills her. It is not the sadness of finding her husband alive, but the joy of fully realizing the drastic change of events that would unfold because of his death. The doctors’ analysis couldn’t have been more accurate, they just assumed the wrong source of her joy.

Given Chopin’s strong feminist background in her life and other writings, this concept and ideal of how the death of Mrs. Mallard’s husband brings inward joy, incorrect expectation, and ultimately death, is fully supported. As sadden as she was by Brently’s death, this was easily over-looked as Loiuse fantasied about all the years she would have to herself. With no husband and children holding her back, she was now allowed to live the life that was all but lost. As selfish as it appears, this was clearly the only way that Mrs. Mallard would ever be able to have this freedom. Was that really so wrong? Given the time and situation, I think not.

Kate Chopin seems to be alluding to a final freedom through Louise’s death. As we eventually learn that Mr. Mallard is still alive, there would have been no hope for Louise. But in her death, she finds an ultimate release and freedom from this, as kind as it may be, oppression. Again, ideas of freedom and independence for women were practically unheard of during Mrs. Mallard’s time, and the combination if these thoughts and feelings mixed with the weakened state of her heart proved to be too much. Louise sacrificed her physical heart for her emotional heart, and ultimately found peace.

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Works Cited


Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” short stories. East of the Web. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.

Cunningham, Mark. “The Autonomous Female Self And The Death Of Louise Mallard In Kate Chopin’s “Story Of An Hour”.” English Language Notes 42.1 (2004): 48-55. Humanities Source. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. 2f63-49c0- 8e6a9ab5c38f8d6%40sessionmgr4003&hid=4214&bd ata=JnNpdGU9ZWhv c3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=hus&AN=509737230

Jamil, S. Selina. “Emotions In The Story Of An Hour.” Explicator 67.3 (2009): 215-220. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

Papke, Mary E. “Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour: A Feminist Reading.” Retrieved 18 Mar. 2014.

Streater, Kathleen M. “Adele Ratignolle: Kate Chopin’s Feminist At Home In “The Awakening”.” Midwest Quarterly 48.3 (2007): 406-416. Humanities Source. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. 

The Plague of Words/Freedom

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Bethany Herold

Dr. Elizabeth Davies-Stofka

LIT 115 C11

8 March 2014

The Plague of Words

The epidemic of speaking without listening is a toxic wedge in relationships that still plagues our society today. In our every day lives, we are often faced with situations which we have already made our minds up about, and in turn, we refuse to acknowledge or even hear out the feelings and opinions of another. A master of writing using true to life characters and situations, Ernest Hemingway shows us a young couple’s struggle in communication as they tackle a heavy and much debated issue. “Hills Like White Elephants” is an upstanding piece of fiction, because the style is clean-cut, the setting has underlying meaning, and the theme is applicable to current issues today.

The story begins at a train station, and we are immediately introduced to an American man and a woman. The couple is clearly drinking alcohol, and involved in a conversation. At first they start off seemingly nonchalant, as they touch on light subjects, such as how the hills look like white elephants. As the story progresses, the conversation becomes more involved. We learn that they are debating an important matter, specifically abortion. We then watch as the man tries to persuade her towards the operation, and the woman tries to weigh all her options. She ultimately agrees to have the abortion, but says she is only agreeing because she no longer cares about herself. He responds by saying he doesn’t want her to have the abortion if she doesn’t want it. After going their separate ways for a few minutes, upon the man’s return, the woman claims “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine. (p.353)” With the distant gaze in her eyes, and clearly much more on her heart, this ending alludes to an unsettling future.

I have always loved the style Hemingway writes in, because it is simple and to the point, but

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still very powerful. He uses a neutral diction that most of his readers will be able to understand. He doesn’t flower the story with unnecessary words, and with the sparsity of his writing you are prone to focus more on the matter at hand. I also found it interesting that he didn’t add a “he said”, “she said” after each dialogue. I found that by doing so, it brought me directly into the story and forced me to dedicate myself to the conversation. The controlled style of his narration is mirrored in the actual dialogue of the characters; perhaps, that was in part because the American and the Girl were discussing controversial topics out in a public place. People today are still somewhat controlled when speaking about sex and abortion in pubic, and in the time and setting of this story, it was even more taboo to speak of such things.

The setting itself took place in the early nineteen-hundreds, at a train station between Barcelona and Madrid. Hemingway cleverly correlated the setting directly to the story. I think the “hills like

white elephants” were in reference to the girl’s pregnant belly, and even more so, the unwanted baby itself. She sees the hills in one light, and he in another. The Girl seems torn between looking out at the hills, and pacing around the present bar of the station. This also implies that she longs for the baby and dreams of what it might be like, but is caught up with the issue of the abortion which is very real and, presently, in front of her. The American gives little regard to the hills, showing us that his only concern is the here and now, and therefore the abortion. He mentions in reference to white elephants “I’ve never seen one. (p.351)”, and she, realizing his lack of awareness to her concerns and feelings, replies “No, you wouldn’t have. (p.351)”. The title also hints at the coined phrase “the elephant in the room”, and implies something no one wants to talk about; the topic of the abortion is exactly that for our characters. The train station is not only a physical crossroad for the American and the Girl on their journey, but an emotional one as well. Making the decision about the abortion was also a turning point for them that could go in many directions.

Although I don’t deny that this story is about an abortion and the turmoil regarding the decision,

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I have feel there is an even bigger idea or theme in light of this short-story. A key element throughout the story is their conversation. As you watch it unfold from the third personal view this story is told in, the American and the Girl both talk a lot, but neither really listens to the other. It becomes evident that they don’t even take the other person’s thoughts or opinions to heart. After beating around the bush for a bit, the American loses his patience and brings up the topic that they had been putting off. He is desperate to receive confirmation from the girl that she will go through with the operation. He also wants her to be willing to do so, and agree with his side on the matter. “I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to (p.352)”. The girl can’t seem to make up her mind on the matter. She is torn as part of her wants the baby and fears the operation itself. However, she also wants the love and support of the man. “And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you will love me? (p.352)”. It becomes clear that she relies on him and fears losing him

due to making the wrong decision. Both characters use drinking as a crutch and means of avoiding the situation. It alludes to the fact that they rarely talk about matters of such great importance, as both must continue drinking to make it through the conversation and ordeal. Because neither of them are truly listening to logic or opinion of the other, their conversation draws to an abrupt and unsettling close. The girl ultimately gives in, it seems, just to shut the American up. “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking? (p.353)”. The American seems to sense this, and to drown out his feelings, takes his time grabbing another drink in the bar before they board the train.

The story’s diction makes is easy to read, but its ideas and themes are very expansive. The topic at hand is something we currently struggle with today. And the theme of communication, or lack thereof, is something that we will always be delving into. That is what sets this short story apart.

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 350-353. Print.

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Bethany Herold

Dr. Elizabeth Davies-Stofka

LIT 115 C11

8 March 2014


Alice Munro did a masterful job in creating the coming of age allegory known as “The Found Boat”. With a powerful theme underlying the discovery of sexual freedom and discrimination regarding gender roles, symbolism abounding, and a vivid narration sprinkled with irony, we get to experience a crucial part of life in new-found light.

The Found Boat is essentially a story about five preteens coming of age and discovering their sexuality. The girls, Carol and Eva, discover a wrecked boat. The boys immediately claim it as their own, and over the next few months repair it. Feeling as though it was their discovery, and therefore their boat as well, the girls stay close by and oversee the repairs. The only help they are allowed to offer is heating up the tar and preparing the food. Eva develops feelings for Clayton throughout this time. They eventually fix the boat that following spring and take it out on the lake. During its first expedition, they discover an abandoned shack with broken glass and crass writings on the walls. This atmosphere leads them to play an increasingly sexual version of truth or dare, which ultimately leads them to all strip down and run out into the water. The story climaxes when Eva, feeling powerful and free, stands in the rushing water, naked from her waist up. Clayton isn’t far away, and in the same stance, he grabs a mouthful of water and spits a bit on each of her breasts. The other two boys notice this, and the three of them start hooting and hollering. At this time, Eva becomes embarrassed and slinks down into the water to hide. Both the girls comment on hating the boys, and hope they don’t tell a soul.

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The theme or main idea in this story is sexual freedom and gender roles. Throughout the story we watch these preteens blossom and discover their sexuality. Feelings develop between Eva and Clayton, and curiosity ultimately takes over all of them during the truth or dare game. However, the boys are constantly demeaning toward the girls throughout this story. They are frequently talked down to “Look at the fat-assed ducks in wading. (p.354)”, and only allowed to help with the “womanly” tasks like preparing and bringing the food. “You can go in and heat this on the stove. (p.355)” Clayton commands, in reference to the tar for the boat. The only other female in this story, Clayton’s mother, is also depicted as only doing household work. The story’s climax, with Eva and Clayton standing equally apart and naked waist up, in my opinion, also shows the boys sexual discrimination. Eva is free and feeling powerful at this time and waits, revealing herself to Clayton. To put her in her place, Clayton spits water onto each of her breasts and calls attention to her naked body by rallying the other boys to show off what he had done.

Set in a small Canadian town that experiences annual flooding, which creates a “lake”, the story starts out during the winter time, when the water is frigid and snow is abundant. It then concludes during late May, a warmer and more fruitful time of year. The progression of the seasons seem to tie in to the blossoming sexuality of the characters. Winter being barren and dry, it eventually turns into something new and fruitful in May; perhaps, associating the seasons with the girls’ menstrual cycles. Discovering the boat, and the different takes on the discovery by each gender, correlates to each gender’s reaction to the discovery of sexuality. The girls find it first, but are not that enamored with it. The boys, however, find it after, but are completely entranced from day one, and spend most of their time taking care of it “She’s caught in two places. You got to be careful not to tear a hole in her bottom. (p.356)”. The girls by stand curiously, but do not participate first hand right away. Later once the boat is repaired, they all ride in the boat and climax their newly discovered sexuality by taking all their

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clothes off during a game.

Although Carol and Clayton have great significance, Eva is understandably the main character of this story. We get to observe her evolution from a girl to a young woman, and watch as her situations and peers influence her transformation. In the beginning of the story Eva is more irritated with the boys, and determined to prove herself as better than them. With her friend, Carol, being more naive, Eva takes on the role of the leader in her small female group. She dares to experiment with her sexual prowess first by sticking her chest out and exclaiming “This is a Viking boat…I am the carving on the front. (p.355)” Eva is intrigued by the boys’ fascination with the newly discovered boat, and perhaps a bit jealous of the care and attention they are giving it. So she rallies Carol to stick with her and they both linger about during the boat’s repair, offering thoughts and ideas on how to fix it, and making sure other children stay away. The boys don’t ask the girls to leave, and this seems to make Eva and Carol feel accepted by the boys for the first time. When Clayton specifically asks Eva to help for the first time by heating up the tar, she is hit with brand new emotions and her first wave of emotional and sexual attraction. Eva rides on those feelings for most of the remaining story, and those feelings compel her to take off her clothes without hesitation. Caught up in the whirlwind of this new experience, Eva doesn’t experience regret and shame until Clayton spits water on her breasts, hooping and hollering while both of them stand naked in the water. Eva then slinks down into the water while the boys hop on the boat and paddle away. Carol tries to get Eva to tell her what happened, but somewhat jaded by the events, Eva declines. They comment that they “hate” the boys and couldn’t care less about the boat. Eva and Carol decided to deny the events if they ever come up. They giggle at the thought of what has happened though, as they have experienced their right of passage. It’s important to note here that Munro’s characters in this story are kept somewhat two-dimensional as if to prevent them from taking away too much from the power of the allegory.

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The point of view is masterfully told in third person narrator. As the narrator is focusing in on one character in particular, Eva, we get to see and understand things from her point of view. This view helps to reinforce the theme by letting us watch first hand as Eva experiences her sexual evolution. As the story is not told directly by Eva herself, you get to objectively watch the events and interactions of characters unfold.

Alice Munro is distinctly involved in her story and narration, filling her work with humor, irony and risk. Her tone has many contrasts, which make the story ironic and entertaining. For one, the story is set a town that is flooded. Floods generally imply ruin, yet the children find adventure and excitement in the wreckage. The narration is very eloquent and descriptive, while the dialogue is more juvenile, and at times crass. The young characters are constantly changing feelings towards the opposite sex, which ties into the roller coaster of emotions you get when discovering puberty and sexuality, and this correlation supports the story’s theme.

All of the literary elements are skilfully woven throughout this story. Through it, Munro allows us to once again experience the emotions, elements, and settings from our own lives and happenings as we look back on discovering our own sexuality. We still experience these thoughts and emotions today, and even in our adult years, the lessons to be learned and reflected upon from “The Found Boat” are essential.

Munro, Alice. “The Found Boat.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 354-360. Print.

The Impact of a Summer

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Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

3 March 2014

The Impact of a Summer

Twelve hours and 350 miles later, I was in St. Marie’s eating a dinner of fresh tomatoes with my grandmother, sitting under the walnut tree in her front yard.”After exhausting her mother’s good graces, D.J. is suddenly packed up and shipped off from the big city to spend the summer with her grandmother. She was clearly at a crossroads with her parents; enough so that they felt sending her away was the only option. Her destination, a small town in Idaho, was quite the opposite of the urban life she was used to living in Seattle. Even more estranged was her grandmother, with her “heavy-lidded eyes and sharp brow”. Just a day after her arrival, the narrator decided to put on a bikini and lay in the sun. Grandmother is determined to put an end to the sunbathing and other delinquencies, so D.J. is immediately told to dress and then sent out to harvest vegetables. This is an important and impacting moment in the passage because this is the first time the narrator realizes that there is something different about this woman. That summer D.J. learned many skills, contributed much to society and took away with her some life-changing lessons.

As this story is told from a first person perspective, I felt I was able to experience everything as if I was right there. I also found the vocabulary to be clear and to the point. The dialogue is very real, and not overdone in any way. There is humor sprinkled throughout this passage, especially with the grandmother’s phrasing in regards to sunbathing; “It’s no good for you to burn your skin like that.” You can tell that this story is very personal to the narrator, and you can feel the emotion and passion in the writing. The story rings true, and is something many people can relate to in one way or another. We have all experienced some form of personal rebellion in our lives, even in a small way, and we have

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hopefully had someone there who impacted us greatly and helped guide us out of that period. It is an

informal passage with a down-to-earth feel, and I believe that aspect only adds to the sincerity of this passage. If it was written more formally it wouldn’t have seemed like such an accurate re-telling, and it would have taken away from the truth of the characters.

This passage was interesting because it’s relevant and meaningful to life. Through it, you learn quite a bit about the narrator and the impact that short summer with the grandmother had on her life. There are many wonderful details in this brief narration that sheds some light on the activities of that summer. We learn of “gardening, canning, sewing, delivering food to shut-ins, and sorting through junk at the thrift store that she (the grandmother) ran”. These little snippets teach us a bit about who her grandmother was, and what was important to her. It was clearly important, in her eyes, that she pass these traits and lessons on to her granddaughter, regardless if she wanted them at the time.

I wonder what kind of conversations they had that summer? Did her grandmother have a lot of wise things to tell her? Great lessons to share? Or did she simply speak through actions instead of word? Was she the silent, guiding type? Whatever she did, it stuck with the narrator. They both appear to have been stubborn women. Evidently, the granddaughter did not like fact that she was shipped off, so to speak, and forced to spend every moment with her grandmother. In turn, the grandmother was not about to put up with the reckless habits of her progeny, and she had no problem putting her foot down to speak her insights.

“But by the time I left, I had embraced her, and I’ve carried that summer with me all my life.” The grandmother has clearly had a huge impact on the narrator’s life. In this brief passage, we get a glimpse into the past to witness the turn of events that have contributed to who the narrator is today.

Lee, D. A Human History in the Wilderness. (2014). Narrative Magazine. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from


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Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

16 February 2014


It was early in February of 2011 when I got a call from an unknown Denver area code number. I answered hesitantly, trying not to get my hopes up. “Hi, is this Bethany?” “Yes?” “My name is Patti. I’m with Radical Artists Agency. We received your resume and were wondering if you would like to come in for an interview next week ?” “Really? I mean, sure!” “Alright, does next Tuesday at 10 am work for you?” “Of course!” I blurted out too soon. Any time would have been fine with me. She gave me a list of things to prepare, and I managed to reign in my excitement for the duration of the call.

After graduating high school, I had moved to Los Angeles to study film acting. I had just completed a year of training when my housing and job situations both fell through. Reluctantly, I returned to Colorado. Not easily defeated, I targeted the most reputable talent agencies in Denver. I was shocked to receive the call, as I only had only my training and theater on my resume.

Tuesday arrived, and although I had prepared to the best of my abilities, the thought of this being a once in a lifetime opportunity was weighing heavily on my nerves. I was trying to relax over lunch when Kathy, Patti’s co-owner, called and said the interview was going to be moved up one hour. I obliged verbally, but inside I cringed at the thought of my plans already going awry. I arrived in Denver twenty minutes early. Toting my binder of headshots and resumes and with all the confidence I could muster, I marched inside. To the wrong building. After frantically searching in vain, I started to panic. In this industry, if you are late for an audition or interview, you might as well not show. Finally, and not a moment too soon, an insurance agent directed me to a building across the courtyard.

I finally arrived, partially out of breath from rushing about. I swung open the door and stepped

Herold 2

inside from the frigged, winter weather. I raced up a flight of stairs and stopped in front of a door marked “Radical Artists Agency.” I took a deep breath, whispered a prayer, and turned the handle.

The waiting room had an artistic, modern edge, and was covered with pictures of successful talent. A women sauntered out, and in a smokey and weathered voice introduced herself as Patti. I was told I had a few minutes, so I excused myself to the bathroom for a feeble attempt to pull myself together. After my introduction to Kathy, I was ushered into the meeting room. Questions were fired relentlessly, and their responses and opinions were not sugar coated in any way. Would I consider print and modeling work? Colorado is not a good location for film opportunities, and I had very little on my resume, so was I planning to further training? I had a small window for success, and in their eyes, it would be in my best interest to get back to Los Angeles as soon as possible.

I was getting ready to throw in the towel when I was suddenly handed a script. I had five minutes to look it over, and then I would perform the commercial and my prepared monologue back to back in front of a camera. I grimaced, as I had been expecting a cold read for an actual scene, not a commercial. In a world all its own, a commercial is all about selling a product as opposed to playing a part; and that was something I wasn’t fond of. Regardless, I quickly recalled everything I could on cold reading, and let myself go. After my performances, their faces were as vague as stone. I was ordered back to the meeting room as they closed the door to talk. I was pleased with myself and felt I had done my best, but was still shocked when I was asked to sing with the agency. In less then one hour, it was official, and I left in the most surreal state of mind.

I stayed with Radical for roughly two years, and had many auditions and several paying jobs. Although life has led me in a new direction, the skills of confidence, determination, and self-expression I learned by pursuing acting are irreplaceable. I will always be a performer.

Los Angeles night sky