Week 14

I have to say I thought it was interesting that Dicksinson saw pulbication as an auction of the mind. The spoke in one poem of rather being the poem than the poet and in another of the wealth of what the poet sees leaving the rest of us to feel we are poor in comparison with what we miss

I chose the poem about death on page 1225 printed from Dickinson's fascicle.
I'm not sure why I was attracted to this particular poem but it was definitely something in the first verse.
The first stanza contains very strong imagery as the "meek members of the Resurection - Rafter of Satin - and Roof of stone" lie. Within their Alabaster chambers they are untouched by nature and time. The lines, to me, speak not only of certainty and equality of death, but perhaps derision of the "meek members" who are awaiting resurrection. The world goes on while they are untouched.

The second stanza speaks to me of the predictability of time as seasons come and go, skies past by, "Diadem" to me has a religious overtone. God's sovereignty perhaps drops and judges "surender". Death has final say.

The additional verses that Dickinson was working with continue with the idea of the world outside the tomb passing by the soundless dots on a "disc of snow". I had to reallly think about that. I may be wrong but I pictured a fresh snow with water dropped on it. The little indentations - they are silent but leave an impression just like the memories we have of people.

The first stanza has slant rhyme in lines 3 and 5. I give her credit for not sacrificing her words for perfect rhyme. Her punctuation tells us how to read with a dramatic emphasis at the end. The second stanza has terrific personification as "Worlds scoop their Arcs - And Firmaments row. The stanza contains the same number of lines as the first verse, but lines 3 and 5 rhyme.

The two revisions, if used, to replace the second stanza would change to 6 lines, rather than 5 with lines 3 and 6 sharing barely there slant rhyme. In both, again the world and time goes on as the remain and her imagerry and personificaiton is immense - "Icicles crawl from polar Caverns". The dead remain held in the marble "refutes the Sun". I wonder if this meant God or was just to show they were locked in darkness.

It's time to look online:
I found this and I like it better. It's softer.

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers --
Untouched my Morning
And untouched by Noon --
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection --
Rafter of satin,
And Roof of stone.

Light laughs the breeze
In her Castle above them --
Babbles the Bee in a stolid Ear,
Pipe the Sweet Birds in ignorant cadence --
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

This blog is VERY good.
Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson

From http://www.unc.edu/~gura/dickinson/index.html
In the spring of 1862 Emily Dickinson initiated a correspondence with the liberal minister and reformer Thomas Wentworth Higginson, whose advice to young authors she recently had read in the Atlantic Monthly and whom she would come to call her "Preceptor." She sent him some of her verse as well, and although he did not rave about her poetry, he clearly found this new writer of considerable interest. Shortly after they began to correspond he evidently asked her to send him a photograph of herself. Her coy reply in July 1862 is justly famous. "Could you believe me--without?" Dickinson asked, for she "had no portrait, now." But, she continued, "[I] am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur--and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the Guest leaves." Believing her description accurate, she asked, "Would this do just as well?"
In the spring of 1862 Emily Dickinson initiated a correspondence with the liberal minister and reformer Thomas Wentworth Higginson, whose advice to young authors she recently had read in the Atlantic Monthly and whom she would come to call her "Preceptor." She sent him some of her verse as well, and although he did not rave about her poetry, he clearly found this new writer of considerable interest. Shortly after they began to correspond he evidently asked her to send him a photograph of herself. Her coy reply in July 1862 is justly famous. "Could you believe me--without?" Dickinson asked, for she "had no portrait, now." But, she continued, "[I] am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur--and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the Guest leaves." Believing her description accurate, she asked, "Would this do just as well?"

Week 13
I chose the poem "Eliza Harris". The poem speak to me of man's inhumanity to man but greater still the love of a mother and the desire for freedom. I found that read quickly the poem had the same rhythm and rhyme (anapest quadrameter) as "The Night Before Christmas" but when read with care given to punctuation and enjambment - oh, the difference! It became dramatic!

The imagery in this simile "Like a fawn from the arrow, startled and wild" that begins the poem is perfect. I saw a picture of an innocent life fearfully leaping to be free. For Eliza, what may have begun with fear and despair, soon turns to undaunted bravery without any thought for herself - "For she is a mother - her child is a slave" and even more indicative of how bad slavery was "And she'll give him his freedom, or find him a grave"! (7,8)

Eliza's innocent face is described as pale and I wondered if that was supposed to indicate fear but I think not. I think it was to tell us she was of mixed race - partly white herself - running from white slaveowners "With the fetters that gall" (12)
What a picture of maternal sacrifice and love as she leaps the yawning chasm with death howling! Such an effective use of personification here to allow me to visualize this scene and feel the living presence of death as one more person on this hunt. The next verse stops to reflect on this scene about the shame this places on our banner (flag) that waves in mockery over the slaves.
The following lines really hit me causing me with anguish for this mother and all slaves:
How say that the lawless (italics mine) may torture and chase
A woman whose crime is the hue of her face? (21,22) Again, I thought - not a dark face.
Heaven led Eliza through this treacherous path to freedom. I reflected on the lines:
So fragile and lovely, so feafully pale,
Like a lily that bends to the breath of the gale. (29,30)
The imagery of this simile was beautiful. I saw a "white" lily bending but not breaking in a storm. I thought of the symbolism of the lily - resurrection, purity, and innocence. And as a mother, I was so touched by the lines "The life of her heart, the child of her breast" (31, 32)
I know this is Eliza's son, but there is a saying that a daughter is a mother's heart walking outside of her. Having a daughter I can say that true. But as a mother of four sons, I can say your son is the hope that he will grow up in a world of violent and agrressive males to only use that passion for righting wrongs. Your heart needs to protect this little man whose mother is his first love and he trusts her to show him the way. And Eliza does.

Eliza is free in a land where again the reader is reminded of the "indelible" stain on our banner. It is right and fitting that the stain be indelible as we can never forget. As we face tough issues in our country where slavery and human trafficking still exists, we can never forget our shame of the past and those who would rather face death than alllow slavery to continue.
The ending was such a scene of tenderness as Eliza kisses her son "with the rapture of love and fullness of bliss" (45) on his brow. It reminded me of how a mother kisses her son at birth with those same feeling. She can bear anything now that her son "is no longer a slave." (48)

I moved on to satisfy my curiousity about Eliza's color and as I had never read Uncle Tom's Cabin, I didn't know about Eliza. I found some interesting background:
Some accounts of this slave say she was a mulatto, others state she was a quadroon, meaning she was one quarter Black, irregardless all accounts claim she was strikingly beautiful, with long flowing black hair, dark eyes and fair skin. An attractive, fair-skinned female slave was a prized commodity on southern plantations. She could be a housekeeper, a servant for the mistress and a concubine to the master.

external image eliza.jpg
Her husband's suffering and dangers, and the danger of her child, all blended in her mind, with a confused and stunning sense of the risk she was running, in leaving the only home she had ever known, and cutting loose from the protection of a friend whom she loved and revered. Then there was the parting from every familiar object, -- the place where she had grown up, the trees under which she had played, the groves where she had walked many an evening in happier days, by the side of her young husband, -- everything, as it lay in the clear, frosty starlight, seemed to speak reproachfully to her, and ask her whither could she go from a home like that?
But stronger than all was maternal love, wrought into a paroxysm of frenzy by the near approach of a fearful danger. Her boy was old enough to have walked by her side, and, in an indifferent case, she would only have led him by the hand; but now the bare thought of putting him out of her arms made her shudder, and she strained him to her bosom with a convulsive grasp, as she went rapidly forward. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA97/riedy/tommos.html
I found this that suprised me:
Though we sympathize with Eliza as readers of the novel, she’s also a little too saccharine for us, honestly. She rarely complains about her lot in life, she always considers herself second to her child, and she always trusts in God. When her husband expresses his doubt in the truth of Christianity, she never fails to reassure him that God is looking out for both of them, despite appearances. Like Uncle Tom, Eliza is more of an ideal type than a rounded character.
I don't find these values as virtuous as action is more valuable than complaining, a parent's duty is to his/her child, and as I do believe in faith despite circumstances. The full essay is interesting. Perhaps the poem would give the essay's author a different opinion of Eliza.

The White House FULL REPORT ON:
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 04, 2010

Presidential Proclamation - National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

The United States was founded on the principle that all people are born with an unalienable right to freedom -- an ideal that has driven the engine of American progress throughout our history. As a Nation, we have known moments of great darkness and greater light; and dim years of chattel slavery illuminated and brought to an end by President Lincoln's actions and a painful Civil War. Yet even today, the darkness and inhumanity of enslavement exists. Millions of people worldwide are held in compelled service, as well as thousands within the United States. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we acknowledge that forms of slavery still exist in the modern era, and we recommit ourselves to stopping the human traffickers who ply this horrific trade.

Week 14 - I lost all my work at 9 PM Sunday night. I will try to post it back by midnight. Joy

Week 13 Gothic
"Ligeia" was a fascinating gothic tale but I chose the classic gothic "The Tell Tale Heart. Done in the first personn, the
speaker inquires as to why the listener would call him mad. And then, describes "the disease" that causes supernatural heightened hearing setting the stage for the murder and mystery that is to come.

The setting and plot is fairly simple but eerie and foreboding. It is the old man's chamber and by the light of the lantern I imagine a dark, "heavy"
room with a large posted wooden bed that Poe tells us has shuttered windows. I can imagine thick plush red drapes.and the smell of musty wood by day and the deep darkness at night. In the stealth of this darkness, the reader waits out the plans and death of the old man hated for his eye (probably a cataract). The killer hides the dismembered body under the floor, but of course the tale continues climaxing with the supernatural hearing and the agitation of the killer when the police sit in the room where the body is.

Poe's use of first person draws in the reader in a very effective way to experience the hunt, the kill, and the confession as the killer hears the heart beat under the floor boards. Poe's choice of words is also effective. He slows the action down as the reader waits in the darkness with the killer. Words and phrases make the reader present in the room waiting, hearing the "groan", seeing the eye "like a thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye." (703) I love the way he sets the reader up with the phrase about the old mans' heart "much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton" for use again after the burial under the floor when the same sound is heard again. Insanity?!

Here's the best - VIncent Price - retelling the tale and I confess the setting is not as I saw it in my mind. There are two parts.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8ZJumpB5YA&feature=relatedy some students.

external image hnk3x_oldMan3X_002.jpg

Week 12

"The Minister's Black Veil" really got me to thinking about a piece of clothing's ability to change our view of someone - to judge them in some way. We often believe that clothes don't make the man, but they, in fact, often do. They are often outward indications of something internal - rebellion, respect, sloth, sensual, etc. In this case, Rev. Hooper's veil changed the way people perceived him and changed him, too. We respond to the way people perceive us. external image The_Ministers_Black_Veil2.jpg

Hooper's belief that his veil was a "type" of what shadows a man this side of heaven whether it be of sin or sorrow. Hooper talks of being afraid alone on his side of the veil. Hooper's dark "veil" caused a sort of "supernatural" change in those he ministered to often bringing out the worst - the dark side, the gloom - but it, also, drew those who needed to repent feeling that he could relate to him. On his deathbed, Hooper makes even clearer what the veil typifies; every person hides their heart in some way from God and those they love. Perhaps Hawthorne was alluding to some biblical passages. One is that when Jesus died the temple veil was split in two giving man intimate access to the "holy of holies" previously reserved for the priest. Man now had an intercessor through Christ for redemption. The second reference may be to the verses that says on earth we see through a darkened glass, but someday clearly face to face with God.

"The Minister's Black Veil" was less clearly gothic than others that we read, but the elements of supernatural and death pervaded this story. We have the corpse that seemed to shudder as Hooper leaned over her for instance,as well as the dark side of nature that the veil contributes to and typifies. I did a little research after I did my above post to see what others said about the genre of this tale. In the end it seems that this story is more of a "dark romantic" genre http://library.thinkquest.org/C0126184/english/litamericandark.htm meaning it is a response to transcendentalism that pessimistially showed man's sinful nature and being prone to sin.

*I found this on Wikipedia! "Hawthorne may have been inspired by a true event. A clergyman named Joseph Moody of York, Maine, nicknamed "Handkerchief Moody", accidentally killed a friend when he was a young man and wore a black veil from the man's funeral until his own death."

*This youtube analysis is interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7e32T2eY5M . It really it's a very obvious commentary.
*This poem is about the masks we all wear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJLl6WqjGmc .

Week 11
I did some analysis of Fuller on my Bb post. For this I'll concentrate on her use of historical references and allusions to writer, the BIble, and mythology. Fullers uses examples from other writings to make her case for intellectual friendship and equality. For example, she alludes to Wordsworth's tributes to his sisters, She uses mythology to discuss the feminine side of masculine and vice versa. No section of her work is devoid of allusion to work that would be commonly familiar to scholars. When discussing the married Howitts (British authors and translators), she writes "A pleasing expression in this kind is afforded by the union of the Howitts. William and Mary Howitt we heard named together for yers supposing them to be broother and sister; the equality of labor and reputation, even so, was auspicious, more so, now we find them man and wife (I wonder why she didn't say "husband and wife"?). (742)

I was intrigued with her idea of woman being represented by a virgin long after being married. I took this to mean being married does not make her possessed by a person but with a "virgin mind with the maternal wisdom and conjugal affections." (747) There was much I agreed with, and some I didn't which I put on my Bb post. I have found for myself a very balanced marriage in a partnership of equals who bring something very much the same and very much different to the table but that doesn't come without considering what parts of traditional roles are beneficial.

I posted one of my favorite writings from Proverbs about wives on my post. I went looking for other related items online. I found:
this quote: If you wish to marry suitably, marry your equal. Ovid
http://melissapierce.com/why-relationships-arent-equal-partnerships/ about equal partnerships
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/02/AR2008080201547.html This is really interesting about a soap opera in Saudi Arabi in which the wife treats his wife as an equal.

Week 10
“To a Waterfowl” resonated with me in a way perhaps different from the poet's intent. (I am not a pantheist but I do find God's nature revealed in nature.) The romantic themes of nature, adventure,and discovering personal identity were meaningful to me. With great imagery touching emotional and spiritual places.

'While glow the heavens with the last steps of day:
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?" (P 479 2-4)

The above lines immediately created for me a rapturous vision of a waterfowl (the reader could use imagination here) silently at the close of day amidst a rosy sunset sky escaping the hunter in the dark painting of the “crimson sky”. The speaker of the poem wonders where the waterfowl will go, but makes it abundantly clear that the Power behind all nature teaches this creature with care and wisdom and provides “illimitable” potential. It wanders alone but is not lost.

I think there may be a couple of ways of looking at the end of the waterfowl’s toil. Some may think it’s the end of its work here – a reunion and rebirth or perhaps it’s the beginning of it’s annual journey to procreate. What struck me as beautiful was the value gained from watching nature. While the literal image of the fowl is gone, the speaker of the poem has learned the lesson that even though he “must tread alone”, God leads his “steps aright”.

Some amazing things about birds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHhFoBlwNsU

My personal reactions:
The speaker is never really “alone” just as the waterfowl was never without the guidance of its Creator.
It reminded me of some verses in the Bible.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
Job 12
7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.

Thinking about nature from a spiritual perspective has meaning to me.
When “the spouses of the [Columbia] crew each were able to pick a song for them to wake up to one of the mornings they're in space. Rick's wife selected "God of Wonders" sung by a Christian artist and personal friend Steve Green. Rick communicated with Mission Control after the song was played. The conversation went something like this: Mission Control - "Good morning. That song was for Rick. It was 'God of Wonders' by Steve Green." Rick - "Good morning. Thank you. We can really appreciate the lyrics of that song up here. We look out the window and see that God truly is a God of wonders!" To hear the celestial song and conversation for yourself, just click on: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/audio/shuttle/sts-107/netshow/fd06red.asf” (This quote is from: http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/cr0303.htm .)

I couldn’t get this to play but here is another link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CBNE25rtnE

And I like this one, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PTvr755V8s&feature=related

When I came to "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man", I had to put my reading on pause along the way to inhale his life and writing. His life story alone makes me gasp in horror and clap in joy to see a young child born into a social position that unfortunately at that time in U.S. history, afforded him little opportunity to the well-spoken, persuasive man he became. Having been brought up as in evangelical Christian, I understood his style, his rhetoric, and his arguments. I was glad he could see beyond the hypocrisies and incongruities of mankind to find faith - one that impacted his world and ours. When I read this, I hear it as an oratory.

Apess very first sentence is compelling and inclusive – “Having a desire to place a few things before my fellow creatures who are traveling with me to the grave, and to that God who is the maker and preserver both of the white man and the Indian, whose abilities are the same and who are to be judged by one God. Who will show no favor to outward appearances but will judge righteousness.”483) To continue his introduction, he launches into a series of searing questions. His ability to state his case by pointing their direction to places and things they may not realize are happening elsewhere is brilliant. The accusations are not pointed necessarily at them leaving them without their defenses up so they can really listen, but he hits hard later. He compliments them by telling them that “a gentleman or lady of integrity and respectability” would be shocked by what was happening in the reservations. He places images in their minds of abuse and neglect as white men take advantage while the Native Americans’ men are away. He addresses the problem of the women being made to feel inferior and how that affects their ability to be productive. When he refers to the alcohol problem, he reminds them that it is a curse that knows no skin color which is important in helping his listeners to not be judgmental.

In a country who has found for individual freedom and release from a tyranny, he has an audience who can understand the injustice of the timber being stolen.
His reasoning is irrefutable. If the Indians are commonly known to be ingenious and talented, (We heard that from Bradford and Franklin.), then why wouldn’t a country especially one who is developing it unique identity, not want to educated and appreciate talented people. I love the way he set out a string of questions that would lead a reasonable person to come to the conclusion on his/her own that these ridiculous flaws belonged to their forefathers so why not just let it go. He challenges them to act in a way that makes sense of the belief that Indians possess ingenuity and talent. I think again he builds them up so they remember the best they have done and said towards the Indians, not the worst, so they will accept his logic as their own.

I loved “I would ask you if you would like to be disfranchised from all you, merely because your skin is white, and for no other crime.” (485) this was so similar to what I used to tell me own children – to hate someone for the color of their skin was as ridiculous as hating them for the color of their eyes. “Jehovah” has made the “skins of color” and “If black or red skins or any other skin of color is disgraceful to God, it appears that he has disgraced himself a great deal – for he has made fifteen colored people to one white and placed them here upon this earth.” (485) Apess ventures towards being a little more pointed when he says “Now let me ask you, white man, if it is a disgrace for to eat, drink, and sleep with the image of God, or sit, or walk and talk, with them?” (485) this must have stung the listeners. At least I hope it did! Apess gets stronger and he is very clear now that he has their attention. He’s not asking a question when he tells them to “Assemble all nations together in your imaginations…” (485) The following picture of a minority of whites amongst all the other skin colors with each skin penned with its national crimes must have made them cringe as they realized the crimes they had inherited.
Apess turns to biblical passages that would have been familiar to them. Recall our readings especially Winthrop’s. I have to admit that I don’t think of Jews as non-whites although I do think of them as God’s chosen people and differently biblically from the Gentiles which sent me searching online as well as the idea that there was a 15:1 ratio of color to white. I wondered what it is today. This was interesting to read especially the century appropriate info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_people . I, also, found that currently 1 in 5 is white according to this answer: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_of_the_world's_population_are_white but elsewhere I read 1 in 10. It doesn’t really matter. The point he is trying to make that anyone familiar with the bible would know is that the “whites” where redeemed by a savior of a different race. I thought the note that Indians were counted as Jews interesting. Read this!! http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history/Modern_History/1700-1914/America_at_the_Turn_of_the_Century/Peddlers_and_Frontier_Judaism/Native_Americans_and_Jews.shtml . If the colonists thought the natives where Jewish, they should have treated them as equals, in fact, as God’s chosen, not them.
Apess’s argument to his listeners that they should respect and love the Indians should have been more than persuasive to a Christian audience. But, God love him, he goes even farther – laws, intermarriages! I was cheering him on at this point! He points the finger that men’s laws have attempted to supersede God’s laws. That must have hit home – they had felt justified to revolt against Britain who attempted to take their God given rights.
When Apess talked about Jesus’s color, I had to smile. He was not backing down in the incongruities being exposed. If the shoe fit, they had to wear itJ. I loved that he told them their principles were “skin-deep”. Then the rhetorical questions hit hard. But he gives them opportunity to not only align themselves with men of fame and reason who are against the injustices, he leaves them with a noble task from God. “Do not get tired, yet noble-hearted…the Lord will reward you…the mantle of prejudice torn from every American heart- then shall peace pervade the Union. (488)

Hi Joy~
Just signed onto the Wiki Page for the first time since we completed our essays and noticed your final comment. Thanks for your compliment about my writing! I love to write so much, so I'm glad it comes across well in most instances.:) I think you are a great writer and great partner as well! Good Luck in the 2nd half of the semester. :)

Joy Locher

I was fascinated by James Otis’s “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved” and wanted to center my essay around it. After looking at the prompts, I found sufficient reason to believe I could use all four of the prompts below to form my essay. My essay will speak to the tone, inspirational quotes, “healthy confusion”, and past events that form this report.

A character’s (or author’s) attempt to recapture the past is important in many plays, novels, poems, and essays. Choose a literary work from the American Revolution in which the tone of the piece views the past with such feelings as reverence, bitterness, or longing. How does the use of literary devices contribute to the tone?
Select a few lines from a specific piece of Revolutionary War literature –lines that you find particularly memorable or inspiring. Write an essay in which you identify the line or the passage, explain its relationship to the work in which it is found, and analyze the reasons for its effectiveness.

A critic has said that one important measure of a superior work of literature is its ability to produce in the reader a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude. Select a text from the Revolutionary War that produces this “healthy confusion.” Write an essay in which you explain the sources of the “pleasure and disquietude” experienced by the readers of the work
In many works of literature, past events can affect, positively or negatively, the present activities, attitudes, or values of an individual. Choose a text in which the author must contend with some aspect of the past, either personal or societal. Then write an essay in which you show how the individual's relationship to the past contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole.

In 1764, ten years before the “American Revolution” began, James Otis wrote “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved” Link: **http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/assert**I think it is interesting to note here the definition of the word assert. While the first def. listed seems to give the best explanation of what Otis did with his piece, I think that all of them are applicable. (Cool!), Good looking this up. I like definition 3 and 4. yet, it is indelibly marked within the annals of Revolutionary literature. (nice sentence! This really places the piece for the reader)is arguing his point. This take on ‘asserted’ would definitely fall under the 2nd definition listed for ‘assert’ in the link above. They are all pretty closely related definitions, and I’m probably reading into it too far, but I just think it’s interesting to note what ‘assert’ means and connect it with how he wrote this piece. clearly using the British government’s history and sovereignty to appeal to its integrity and justice so as to “render it invulnerable and perpetual” which ironically serves as a warning to Britain and a call for Revolution for the colonists. (these last two sentences really set the stage for the piece and show that Otis’s character and intentions were very forward. I can also see the “healthy confusion” in your explanation.)

In order to understand Otis’s tone, it is imperative to understand the historical context of this document. I noticed here, and in the next sentence, that your style in this essay doesn’t only include your viewpoint, it is also helping the reader along in a simple fashion to adopt your standpoint and to show or explain some of the twists in Otis’ piece. I’m happy that your essay was straightforward and clear in this manner. It is important to note that Otis had gained much popularity when he had argued against the Writs of Assistance in 1961. Now, Otis, considering the colonists British citizens, addresses the responsibility of Britain’s government and the duties of the colonies’ citizens as equal to Britain’s residential citizens. After the Sugar and Stamp Acts were enacted, Otis, still pledging loyalty to Britain, employs a tone of reverence and respect for the power of Parliament serving as a means to implore Britain to uphold natural rights and equality internally and externally. (ok, I’m really starting to see how clever this writer was through your explanation. I hadn’t picked up on the dedication to his cause without losing respect for Britain when reading Otis’s work.) Otis sets the stage for his argument using compelling imagery sure does! of creation and nature in Divine and perfect order as a means to explain that God has ordained government to have as it foundation unchangeable laws. The following was my favorite part of Otis’ piece! “ I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the author of nature, who laws never vary. The same omniscient, omnipotent, infinitely good and gracious Creator of the universe,…for the celestial bodies to roll round their axes, dance their orbits and perform their various revolution in that beautiful order and concert, as the dew of Heaven and the soft distilling rain is collected by the all enliv’ning heat of the sun.” (16a) Otis’s use of poetic and religious imagery establishes his tone of veneration for the British government. (maybe eliminate the first ‘poetic?’ or change the word so it doesn’t repeat?) Oh, you’re right!

Otis’s attempt to persuade his respected Parliament again, Here is another representation of his kind of double sided approach-he is careful to respect while even while aiming to persuade and gets close to contradicting…nice wording! is evident throughout the document, but more the inspiration that exists in the underlying revolutionary spirit yes! I didn’t see this until I read it in your essay J is “The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority….Should an act of Parliament be against any of His (God’s) natural laws, which are immutable true, their declaration would be contrary to eternal truth, equity, and justice, and consequently void.” Otis goes on to say that Parliament when convinced of their mistake would right the wrong. Yet another instance in which he brings out their obligations in a subtle way, still keeping respect. But within this way of thinking, comes the idea of revolution. Rebellion exists when disobedience is against a justifiable authority. Revolution exists when the authority is not justified. (good reference to the Revolution vs. Rebellion doc.) Therefore, a government that does not correct its mistake and preserve natural and equal rights with justice and truth is subject to the people’s desire for change.

Otis’s call to Parliament with its slightly cautionary flavor (nice description!) produces “healthy discontent”. He doesn’t question that the “Parliament of Great Britain has an undoubted power and lawful authority to make Acts for the general good, that by naming them, shall and ought to be equally binding, upon the subjects of Great Britain within the realm.” (16b) His appeal must have served to both reassure, yet sow seeds of doubt in both Parliament and those hoping for an independent nation. His title alone, “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved” is cause for mixed reactions by both the British and the colonists. I too, see how this title is also in fact ironic, as Otis claims his dedication to Britain, but also speaks as he and the colonists are on a separate plain. As Otis affirms Parliament’s sovereignty over the colonists as British citizens, he undoubtedly challenges their wisdom as he reminds them of the English Revolution. Clever guy! Do you think that this motive we see through his writing was also his intention, or that he was simply stating what he knew to be right and true without seeing the irony? Otis was a really unusual guy. I think he is working through some things he really believed but when Britain didn’t do what he thought they were morally bound to do became a real Patriot. Historically his life is very strange. Ironically, Otis contributes to the idea of a revolution while simultaneously acknowledging the uncontrollable power of Parliament reminding all of them that disobedience is treason. (I think you ‘hit the nail on the head’ here!) Otis may have caused the independent colonist thinker to wince when he said “There let the Parliament lay what burthens [burdens] they please on us, we must, it is our duty to submit and patiently bear them til they will be pleased to relieve us.” (16a) You have chosen such great quotes here to pull this together. It is almost as if Otis is taunting the British government, or exposing their weaknesses through his respect for them. Weird, huh?

Otis’s assertion, abundant with language I also noticed that he was cunningly wordy that attempts to persuade Parliament of their right to govern preserving natural rights, concludes with a reality check. “…that by this constitution, every man in the dominions is a free man: than no parts of His Majesty’s dominions can be taxed without their consent…” (16c) As he ardently calls attention to the history of government’s authority to rule and the citizen’s duty to obey, both sides can find reasons to feel their positions are waiting on events. This is a great link to the government happenings in the years following Otis’s piece, and to the present day. In 1765, James Otis declared, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlij3bY8KFs**Here is a cute little video about taxation without representation, which, kind of immaturely makes fun of certain republican leaders in the United States, but the idea is the same-telling the story of the pilgrims and fight against Parliament- just thought it was cute. I LOVED THIS! Thanks! The rest is history.
Strong ending//, good point here, definitely supports your idea about how effective Otis’s writing is and shows that its impact can still be felt today. Nice Job!

I think you did an excellent job of sticking to your points throughout the essay, and not straying off topic or including unnecessary information. You addressed each prompt with clear reason and examples, and I found it enjoyable and not at all difficult to read.

Did have a chance to read over this…great background Info!
Cool format for information about what was happening on ‘the scene,’ in Boston hundreds of years ago…I enjoy how the facts are phrased somewhat like a newspaper, to paint a real life picture of the important current events of that decade in the 1700s.

Hi Joy!
Overall, I really enjoyed your essay. It was such a unique approach to use more than one prompt and address each prompt with its own section. This gave your essay an ‘all around’ feeling, and it seems that you were able to explain more of Otis’ meaning using this approach, than if you had only selected one prompt. I especially enjoyed your selection of quotes as well. Your explanations along with the quotes supported your thesis well. I was moved by Otis’ writing as well, and also saw his ‘compelling imagery’ and abundance of language within the piece. I would be intimidated by Otis’ ‘fiery’ approach if I were someone who was reading him back then. This was a great choice of literature on which to compose an essay. Great job J


I posted it on your page :)


3:50PM Sunday
Hi Joy!
Please take your time!!!
I don't even think that part of the assignment includes making revisions to our essays at this point, so you really have all night to get this done. I'm not worried about it, as long as I can read your annotation eventually. Like I said, I think we've been on the right track as partners all along.
I completely feel you about being swamped with homework and stuff, so no worries!! It must be crazy!! Take your time, breathe a bit--just give me a couple of comments and that'll be great. I really feel bad to have stuck you with the extra reading. But like I said, I think if you just skim it, you'll be able to 'get' the point of my essay...
Take Care :)

Following your lead, I have attached my essay, too.

Hi Abby,
I did a slight revision today. I'm not sure how many words qualify as a mini essay. I noted today that the directions said to use 10 sentences per paragraph but my sentences are usually pretty long alone so I think this is okay. If I did 10 sentences each it would not be a mini essay :) My opening paragraph contains my thesis.

The literature that I chose to form my essay around is obviously very different from a story, play, or poem in that it is an assertion of rights to the governement.

I'm looking forward to reading your essay!


Hi Again, Joy~

Just wanted to say thanks for your thoughtful responses to my essay in your annotation. While I unfortunately don't have time to make the revisions now, I have taken your points into consideration and am grateful for your idea to 'go deeper.' I will admit, I wrote this 'essay,' if you can call it that, in kind of a rushed manner, so I didn't take the time to wrap my head around the prompt before beginning my typing frenzy. Your feedback will help immensely with the writing of my mid-term essay!!

Thanks again!
Abby :)

Overall: I enjoyed the idea of the partner annotation as a whole because it gave me a chance to view my writing own writing style through someone else's eyes and to get an idea of where I stand with the construction of this type of essay. The assignment will cause me to look closer at my prompts and responses in the future. -Abby and