45 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. A Law More Nice Than Just

      Works Cited

      Moses, C. “The Domestic Transcendentalism of Fanny Fern”. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 50, no. 1 pp. 90-119. https://doi.org/10.1353/tsl.2008.0003 Accessed 21 April 2017

      Wright, E. “’Joking Isn’t Safe’: Fanny Fern, Irony, and Signifyin(g)”. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 2. pp. 91-111. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3886077 Accessed 21 April 2017

    2. How strange it all seems to me, the more I ponder it, that men can’t, or don’t, or won’t see that woman’s enlightenment is a man’s millenium.

      Fanny Fern has hit the nail on the head. Fear is often the paralyzing factor in social movements; fear that equality will then lead to domination. Women weren't fighting to be in control of men or to govern men-- they still aren't-- only to be equally afforded the same rights that men had and the same opportunities. Some men, and even men that supported the movement, failed to see that.

    3. Is this all life has for me?

      This piece, reflects the more sentimental and sincere side of Fanny Fern. Carole Moses argues that this aspect of Fern's writing is because of her transcendental influences: "[Fern's] sentimentalism [i]s a ploy...she used the feminine stereotype to pave the way for more daring work" (Moses, para. 3). This explains the duality that seems to be found within Fanny Fern; in some pieces she is biting and sarcastic, while in others she is sincere and sentimental.

    4. things which God made for female as well as male eyes to see

      Here, again, Fern is bringing up the idea of natural right or equality. God created nature for men and women; women have a natural right to see the mountains and rivers etc. just as men do.

    5. a right

      In this line, Fern is not only exaggerating the stereotype of women to prove a point, she is also highlighting the idea of a natural right. If women have the natural right to "preserve their bodies", what else do they or should they have the right to do?

    6. Well, Mr. Fern seized his hat, and out we went together.

      It is important to note that, while he initially laughed, Mr. Fern does walk with her and seems to support her excursion in men's clothing. Carole Moses, in her discussion of the "domestic transcendentalism, of Fanny Fern dicusses the sentimatlity that Fern can show even within her social criticisms: "even her sentimental musings are tinged with social conscience" and I think the argument works in the reverse (Moses, para 2). Even in her discussion of women's dress laws, Fern still inserts a supportive and sweet husband that clearly loves his wife. Fern seems to want to point out that not all men are against women's rights, but also is including a sentimental moment.

    7. if I don’t have a nicely-fitting suit of my own to wear rainy evenings, it is because—well, there are difficulties in the way. Who’s the best tailor?

      This is another good example of Wright's concept of "protective irony". Fanny is playing on the stereotype of women during this time: she states that they only reason she doesn't have a nice fitting suit is because she can't decided which taylor to use. This would've been something that women were expected to care about, but ironically that is not the reason she doesn't have a suit. Fern doesn't have a suit because it is illegal for her to wear one in public. This use of irony highlights the female stereotype and the ridiculousness of the law.

    8. vociferous

      According to Webster's dictionary, "vociferous" means an vehement insistant outcry. "Vehement" means with forceful energy : powerful, intensely emotional or impassioned; fervid. Here, the words are being used to describes Mr. Fern's laughter when he sees her dressed as a man. He is laughing so forcefully and emotionally that Fanny is slightly offended. This seems to be a larger metaphor for how men react to women "acting" like men or attempting to work in fields that were typically male.

    9. at least, not till the practice is amended by which a female clerk, who performs her duty equally well with a male clerk, receives less salary, simply because she is a woman.

      This is still something women are fighting for today. While women are allowed to wear pants, they are still not paid equal pay for equal work. Fanny Fern must be rolling over in her grave: the more important concession has not been made even in the 21st Century.

    10. I’ve as good a right to preserve the healthy body God gave me, as if I were not a woman.

      The brass and opinated persona, in some instance, seems to be more a charcter than a person. Fanny Fern is saying out loud all the things every woman in her audience is thinking: this is part of her appeal. Elizabeth Wright, in her artilce "Joking Isn't Safe", argues that Fern creates this persona through the use of "protective irony" and that this technique is what makes her popular with her audience: " Fern's irony allows her to gain a certain amount of control over her audience and societal norm" (Wright, 92). Fern's use of irony is effective and distinctive.

    11. at least, not till the practice is amended by which a female clerk, who performs her duty equally well with a male clerk, receives less salary, simply because she is a woman.

      Fanny Fern was an author way ahead of her time. This is just another example where Fern is addressing an issue, or double-standard toward women that is still around today. Women are still not paid equally for equal work in today's society.It is powerful and a testament to the vision of Fern that she addresses a problem that is still relevant today.

    12. the Coming Man.

      "The Coming Man" may be a reference to Abraham Lincoln, who was just three years from beginning his presidency when Fern wrote this piece. This nickname for Lincoln is referenced in the political cartoon from Harper's Weekly in 1960 that represents Lincoln walking with with an African American man on his shoulders, while carrying a stick marked "Constitution". Here, Fern is referencing the double-standards for women that exist and may be connecting them to the rights of African Americans. http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/civil-war/transition-to-presidency/coming-mans-presidential-career-la-blondin/

    13. vociferous

      This word means "crying out noisily; clamorous" or using vehement speech. While this is clearly a criticism of Fern, the same word could be used to describe a preacher during that time. Fern's father was a Calivinist preacher and they were known for preaching fire and brimstone and focusing on sins and emphasizing the dangers of hell. A Calvinist preacher, like her father, may have been praised for being "vociferous", while Fern is criticized for the same quality because she is a woman.

  2. Mar 2017
    1. Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.

      Douglass is scolding the American people for rubbing salt in the wounds of slaves. How can they rejoice in freedom when they have imprisoned so many? Douglass is reaffirming his shift in argument: it is no longer a question of whether slaves are human. According to Douglass, it is a question of whether the country can keep human beings in slavery while spouting high moral values and not seem hypocritical. Douglass goes further to say that doing so is also "treason most scandalous and shocking". This accusation was especially poignant when connected to the Christian faith. Douglass is not shying away from calling out those that are in the wrong.

    2. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchres of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout — “We have Washington to our father.” — Alas! that it should be so; yet so it is.

      This reference to Biblical history is an extremely powerful metaphor. The Jews had a long history of undoing the blessings that their forefathers had gained them. This idea, and warning, is one that Douglass seems to be stating here. Like the Jews, the Americans' freedoms were won by men generations before. That revolution cost many their lives and those values that founded the country (life, liberty, happiness) are being destroyed by the actions of men today. By keeping slaves and making laws that kept people in bondage, Americans are making the mistakes of the Jews. Douglass wants to open the eyes of Americans to the hypocrisy of what they are doing.

    1. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

      Thoreau put actions to these words when he was imprisoned for not paying his taxes to a government he didn't believe in. This idea that the only place for a just person is prison because the government is unjust, but seems almost Biblical. John the Baptist was imprisoned for calling out the sins of a corrupt ruler and Paul was imprisoned for several years and wrote letters from jail encouraging other Christians. This act by Thoreau is lent legitimacy not only through his obvious conviction, but also from Biblical history: is Thoreau a modern day disciple for what is right?

    2. So is an change for the better, like birth and death which convulse the body.

      This imagery of "change for the better" being a death and birth is a very powerful. Thoreau is reiterating that change itself is destructive and "convulse[s] the body". Death and Birth are both painful, but necessary in the creation of something new. Thoreau seems to be calling for the death of the current government and the birth of a new, better one. He does not call for violence, like some abolitionists openly did, but he is not shying away from the destructiveness of revolution and change. His imagery seems to foreshadow the Civil War that was on the horizon.

    1. How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also

      This statement by Thoreau, that a government that recognizes the legitimacy of slavery, cannot be his government and that anyone who associates with it should feel ashamed, seems to mirror similar statements that Douglass makes in his speech. Douglass, in his description of the "fathers" that succeeded in gaining freedom from England, never associates that freedom with himself, always using the word "your". Especially in lines like "Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success", Douglass is not associating the rights, successes, of benefits of the current government with himself. And why would he? He is an escaped slave and is not considered a citizen. Thoreau seems to be referencing this feeling in African American's at this time by stating that the government sees them only as slaves, so why should they or anyone feel loyalty to it.

  3. Dec 2016
    1. 670
                                    Works Cited 

      ArtUK. Robert Fowler, 2010, http://artuk.org/discover/artists/fowler-robert-18531926. Accessed 21 Nov. 2016.

      Baker C. & Clark D. L. “Literary Sources of Shelley’s The Witch of Atlas”. PMLA. 56:2, 472-494. JSTOR.

      Bio. Mary Shelley Biography, 2016, http://www.biography.com/people/mary-shelley 9481497#related-video-gallery. Accessed 21 Nov. 2016.

      Britton, J. M. “Sympathy in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.” Studies in Romanticism. 48:1 (May, 2009). JSTOR.

      Fleck, P. D. “Shelley’s Notes to Shelley’s Poems and ‘Frankenstein’.” Studies in Romanticism. 6:4 (August, 1987). JSTOR.

      Goulding, C. “Percy Shelley, James Lind, and The Witch of Atlas.” Notes and Queries. 50:3 (September 2016), 309-311. JSTOR.

      Hogle, J. “Metaphor and Metamorphosis in Shelley’s ‘The Witch of Atlas’”. Studies in Romanticism. 19:3 (1990), 327-353. JSTOR.

      Shelley’s Ghost. Shelley, draft of The Witch of Atlas, http://shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/the witch-of-atlas-draft#Description. Accessed 21 Nov. 2016.

      Shelley, M. Frankenstein. 2008. Project Gutenberg’s Frankenstein. Web. 9 December 2016.

    2. visionary rhyme.

      According to Fleck from Boston University, in his article “Mary Shelley’s Notes to Shelley’s Poems”, Mary divided Percy’s poems into two categories for this publication , the purely imaginative and the ones that “spring from the emotions of the heart” saying: “[Mary] Shelley wrote ‘Shelley gave the reins to his fancy, and luxuriated in every idea as it rose…there is a sense of mystery which formed essential portions of his perception of life—a clinging to the subtler inner spirit, rather than to the outward form’…Mary saw in [the Witch of Atlas] Shelley’s preoccupation with the operations of the human mind” (Fleck, p. 229). This “preoccupation” seems obvious through the reading of this poem. Not only is the imagery and description very imaginative, Percy also focuses on the learning power of dreams and sleep as a reflection of mankind and how dreams effect the human mind. His "visionary rhyme" is much more than that.

    3. Then by strange art she kneaded fire and snow Together, tempering the repugnant mass With liquid love -- all things together grow

      This is the Witch's attempt at creation. She uses the elements (fire and snow) and "liquid love" to create her new being. It is beautiful, and graceful, and full of "perfect purity". In stanza XXXVII, the creature is described as having wings and seems to be more angel than demon.

    4. XXIII.

      This stanza highlights the destruction her creatures can cause. While they are beautiful and loyal, they are draining the springs, destroying mountains, and consuming the ocean and the Witch states that this "may not be" and that she cannot keep loving them until they both die. This is her first experience with the disaster of playing god.

    5. The Witch of Atlas

      This poem was published in 1824 in the larger work Posthumous Poems. The first published edition was edited by Percy's wife and fellow author Mary Shelley. Percy Shelley is said to have written the poem in only 3 days, during a journey through Italy. Oxford University has pages of the original draft of this poem, including images of sailors and boats drawn by Shelley. The images may be depictions of the Witch's river journey later in the poem.

    6. And she would write strange dreams upon the brain

      This is another example of the Witch playing god. With specific mortals, she takes them after death and puts them into and type of unaging sleep. She then writes dreams on their brains. They aren't bad dreams; she seems to be righting the wrongs of life in death. One example is, line 623 "The miser in such dreams would rise and shake Into a beggar's lap;". In this line, the Witch seems to be taking from the rich to give to the poor, even if it is just in a dream. Despite her good intentions, is it okay for her to play god?

    7. She called "Hermaphroditus!"

      This, I think, is a reference to her creature. Previously, the creature was described as being "sexless" and containing the gracefulness of both genders. A hermaphrodite is an "an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present" or "an organism, as an earthworm or plant, having normally both the male and female organs of generation" (Dictionary.com).

    8. And she saw princes couched under the glow Of sunlike gems; and round each temple-court In dormitories ranged, row after row, She saw the priests asleep -- all of one sort -- For all were educated to be so. -- The peasants in their huts, and in the port The sailors she saw cradled on the waves, And the dead lulled within their dreamless graves.

      In these lines, like the other descriptions of sleep, Shelley uses where the humans are sleeping to describe them. The Witch sees the princes asleep alone under gems, the priests asleep in rows like "all were educated to be so", and the peasants in their huts, the sailors on the waves, and the dead in "dreamless graves". Shelley, again uses sleep to described the factions of society. We are all the same in sleep, but where we sleep can represent who we are awake. These was some of my favorite lines in the poem.

    9. Mortals subdued in all the shapes of sleep.

      In the following stanzas (LXI, LXII, LXIII, LXIV, and LXV) the Witch, through her journey as a star, sees all "all the shapes of sleep". Shelley, interestingly, represents the varied states of man all through their images of sleep. He represets innocence through the sleeping twins, sadness by the "lone youth" who cries in his sleep, love through the lovers, and the "calm old age". Shelley also represents the dark side of humanity and the Witch describes those as "distortions foul of supernatural awe". By showing the bright side of humanity through examples and only stating the dark, Shelley is showing that the light is stronger and more important to recognize.

    10. Chasing the rapid smiles that would not stay, And drinking the warm tears, and the sweet sighs Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain, They had aroused from that full heart and brain.

      Shelley decides to comment on the intelligence of the "the Image" in line 368: he states, "[the dreams] had aroused [warm tears and sweet sighs] from that full heart and brain". The image or creature, is an intelligent and feeling being. This is an important aspect to note about her creation. This puts the creature more in line with humans than with animals.

    11. The Ocean-nymphs and Hamadryades, Oreads and Naiads, with long weedy locks, Offered to do her bidding through the seas, Under the earth, and in the hollow rocks, 220 And far beneath the matted roots of trees, And in the gnarlèd heart of stubborn oaks, So they might live for ever in the light Of her sweet presence -- each a satellite.

      In these lines, the Witch is likened to Mother Nature. In previous lines, she seems to have control of many elements ("time, earth, and fire") and scrolls of previous ages that most "tremble to ask what secrets they contain" (line 193-200). Describing her this way connects her with an understandable images, but also lends to her mysteriousness. These lines (217-224) lend to the Mother Nature image; she has control over the seas, the rocks, and the trees through her "satellites" or nymphs. All the world is her's and she has given a kingdom to each of her companions. It seems that they only ask to "live for ever in the light of her sweet presence" remaining in her world seems to be payment enough for them to continue their role (line 223-224).

  4. Nov 2016
    1. Wordsworth informs us he was nineteen years

      Shelley references the 19 years it took for Wordsworth to complete his poem Peter Bell. Wordsworth wrote the poem in 1798, but didn't published it until 1819. He spent those years "considering and retouching" the poem with "slow, dull care". He seems to criticize Wordsworth for this, in order to justify the short amount of time it took Shelley to write this poem. In line 36, Shelley writes " but [My Witch] matches Peter, Though he took nineteen years, and she three days In dressing". He wants to equate his poem with Wordsworth, through his equating the main characters of the two. My likening his poem to one that took longer to perfect, Shelley is eliminating the criticism of his poem because of the haste in which he wrote it.

    2. The magic circle of her voice and eyes All savage natures did imparadise.

      Baker, further connect Spenser's Una and Shelley's Witch by describing the characters similar connection with animals: "Over savage beasts Una and the Witch of Atlas are able to exert a mollifying influence" (Baker 473). Una is described to have tamed a lion simply through her gentle presence and through "sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame" (473). This matches closely Shelley's description of the Witch's relationship with animals, saying her voice and eyes made the leopard as "gentle as the dove" (line 102). Both characters have a control over threatening animals, both through their eyes. This is another example of the influence of Spenser on Shelley.

    3. A lovely lady garmented in light From her own beauty -- deep her eyes, as are Two openings of unfathomable night

      According to Carlos Baker and David Lee Clark, scholars writing for the Modern Language Association, two literary influences of Shelley's were Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene and John Milton's L'Allegro. The opening lines (49-56) mirror closely the opening lines of Milton's work. Shelley's description in this stanza of the Witch mirror closely the description of Una by Spenser: "Una is circummured by an aura" (Baker 473). Both are described as being created and encompassed by light. This influence in character description is obvious here in the similarity.

    4. my dear Mary

      The "Mary" that Percy Shelley is referring to is his wife and author Mary Shelley. She is most well known for her novel Frankenstein, but published many other books before her death in 1851.

      Mary was the daughter of philosopher and political writer William Godwin and famed feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, but received no formal education. She taught herself mostly through her fathers library and the visits to her father from famous poets of the time, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Mary published her first poem in 1807.

      Mary and Percy were married in 1816, two years before she published Frankenstein and 8 years before this poem was published. The dedication of this poem (To Mary (On Her Objecting to the Following Poem, Upon the Score of its Containing No Human Interest) indicates the close literary relationship the two had and the importance of each's opinion. Mary Shelley even edited the first edition this poem.

      The rest of this passage seems to indicate that Percy disagrees with Mary's opinion that the poem "tell[s] no story", and even asks her to "this one time" accept the poem as simply a "visionary rhyme" and asks her to be content with that.

    5. The Witch of Atlas

      A notable, and beautiful, rendition of the Witch from this poem was created by the British artist Robert Fowler. While Fowler wasn't born until 1853, more than 25 years after the poem was published, his interpretation and depiction of the Witch are haunting.<br> The painting, created in 1900, is entitled "The Witch of Atlas".

    1. Percy Bysshe Shelley: a poem about a witch who creates her own new life form (an alternative narrative to Frankenstein?): “The Witch of Atlas”


  5. Oct 2016
    1. virtual tautology is much oftener produced by using different words when the meaning is exactly the same.

      This use of "virtual tautology" is shown in his use of colors in the poem. For the color red, alone, he uses "vermilion", "scarlet", and "red" which all seem to evoke the same visual for the reader, but a reoccurring visual that is stuck in the readers mind throughout.

    2. I cannot tell; but some will say 215She hanged her baby on the tree, 216Some say she drowned it in the pond, 217Which is a little step beyond, 218But all and each agree, 219The little babe was buried there,

      In these lines, it seems to me, that Wordsworth is comment on the blurred lines between fact and fiction. The narrator explicitly states that no one knows if the baby was there, or even if there was a baby and he "cannot tell". However, while the method of death is uncertain "all and each agree" that the baby is buried there. As if the agreement of all is equivalent to it it being true. Wordsworth seems to be implying the power of language to create fact; if enough people repeat something and enough believe it then it become true.

    3. vermillion

      Vermilion is a "brilliant red or scarlet pigment originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar". Wordsworth uses vermilion as a descriptor in the mossy hill where the infant is rumored to be buried. It is notable that he specifically chooses vermilion, which is the same color as scarlet, but doesn't use that word. Scarlet is used to describe Martha Rays coat, but the color association is with the hill where she frequents. This may be because Wordsworth is connecting her the the hill itself, or what could be found within the hill. He specifically ties ties Martha, through color, to this location, however doesn't do it explicitly. As if he is hiding the connection; a clue within the poem to the mystery?

    4. a fresh and lovely sight,

      In stark contrast to the "old and grey", "wretched", "poor" Thorn tree from the poems opening lines, Wordsworth weaves in a vision of color and beauty on the hill (that may or may not be the place of an infant's grave)-- with vermilion, olive green, scarlet, red, and white. The tiny foot tall "hill of moss" is the only description of color (besides the woman's cloak) in the poem and stands out because of this. Wordsworth is intentionally drawing attention to this piece of the landscape through the language in order to highlight it's centrality to the mystery of the poem, whether or not their is a grave there.

    5. THE THORN.

      In the footnote for "The Thorn" in our anthology, Wordsworth describes observing a thorn tree on Quantock Hill during a storm that he had never noticed before. He goes on to write that, through this poem, he hoped to "make this Thorn permanently an impressive object as the storm [had]" for him. With this goal in mind, he seems to be making the Thorn "impressive" by associating it with the mystery of Martha Ray. He creates a legend or myth in the poem, connects it with the Thorn, and makes it memorable.

  6. Sep 2016
    1. I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,193Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;194The innocent brightness of a new-born Day195                    Is lovely yet;

      These lines seem to contradict the overall idea of the poem: with age comes wisdom, but also a less innocent and joyful outlook on the world. These talk about a stream that he has learned to love more the longer he has been alive ("even more that when I tripped lightly as they"). He seems to say that some things become better with age, or our love for them grows with age. Age in these lines seems to be a good thing.

    2. Whither is fled the visionary gleam?57Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

      These lines seems to refer back to the first stanza where described children viewing every "common sight" as being "apparelled in celestial light, the glory and the freshness of a dream". Wordsworth is comparing his view now to the one of the child by asking this questions. He is mirroring his descriptions and creates a continuity within the poem that helps with comprehension of his main idea about the effects of age on outlook.

    1. Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)

      This line stood out to me every time I read through the poem, but I wasn't sure why. In the Oxford English dictionary "serene" can be defined as "calm; harmony; at ease with oneself' emotionally balanced" and "brilliant" means "brightly shining, glittering, sparkling, lustrous". This line is physically describing the evening star in the previous line, but also the idea of how wisdom should be. Wisdom should not only be bright and lustrous, but also be in harmony with that person. Wisdom should illuminate the unknown, but also bring peace and harmony. I never thought about wisdom in those terms, but it makes sense. Coleridge is describing wisdom in beautiful way.

    2. For never guiltless may I speak of him,60The Incomprehensible! save when with awe61I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;

      In these three lines Coleridge seems to be transitioning from the sublime (discussing "dangerous" and new ideas that challenge common ideas about God, the soul, and religion) and transitioning to the beautiful, or his frame. These lines represent the times that one would be "allowed" to discuss God (in praise or thanks), and solidify the common thought of God as "incomprehensible" or impossible to define or understand. Coleridge implies that he should fee guilty for speaking outside of the accepted way, but doesn't.

    1. Propitious shines,

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, propitious has a latin origin and means "favorably inclined, or well-disposed". This idea that Venus shines propitiously adds to her description as being sweet, soft, and dewy; very feminine and gentle.