Author Archives: Josh

Week 13

1. What is the relationship between Gregor and his family? What clues in the story suggest that his relationship with his family, particularly his father, is unsatisfactory?

The relationship between Gregor and his family is one that I think is seen more and more in today’s society. Today there are many greedy people and to most of them it doesn’t matter what relationship they have with people they will never really give them the time of day. What I gathered from the story was that he brought everything back to the table. He was the moneymaker in the family; he was the provider. Gregor never seemed to get around to spend quality time with his family, which made the relationships grow weak especially the relationship between him and his father. When things were on the down slid for Gregor, his father didn’t support him let alone even visit him. It is not only his father that doesn’t have a great relationship with him it is also his mother, they didn’t see eye to eye yet there bonded better than him and his father. When Gregors was in the down days of a beetle his sister was the most caring and gave him the most respect. I feel that him and his sister although they didn’t really communicate they had the best relationship. I think that this all comes from the foolishness and selfishness of the whole family because if they all tried a little bit harder to be thankful and respected each other a bit more they would have a stronger bond as a family.

2. Discuss the central events in each of the three sections of The Metamorphoses. In what ways do these events suggest that the weakening of Gregor results in the strengthening of the family as a whole?

Like I said above, Gregor was the provider for the family, he put the bread on the table as they say. The family seriously relied on him and his great supply of money, food, and shelter. Then things go down hill for Gregor. He turns into a roach. His family starts to betray him and forget all the great things he had done for them in their lives.

Gregors change into a human was looking slim and the family shows little desire to even want him around any longer. His sister was the only one that seemed to care but cared only enough to feed her and didn’t try to converse with him. Of course the family begins to fall apart more and more because their provider his lost his abilities to do his work. This is when family really hits Gregor the hardest.

In the last part of the story, Gregor had enough of the hatred and ran into the room that the rest of the family was in and startled them. The family was not to fond of him doing that and had a deep conversation about their health and well being with the roach in the house. In the end it turns out that the family kicks him out of his own house and he is left to die. For the family they are finally able to be peaceful without thinking about the terrible roach they had in their house.

3.  Bow effective do you find Akhmatova’s Requiem as a political protest? Requiem was not published until well after the purges were over and Stalin was dead; is it, then, totally lacking in influence?

Akhmotatova’s poem was a rather interesting way of describing the life of women in that era. This poem seems to speak for all women. I find this poem was pretty effective as a protest as it helped her push through all the bad times with the war and prison. I think that this poem is more of a motivational piece to me because of the perseverance that she showed throughout the war to continue to be a Great Russian poet.

4. How should we interpret the famous command at the end of Archaic Torso of Apollo?

I think this poem is summed up in the end very well with just one verse. “You must change your life.’ (908) What this should be interpreted to is that if one wants to be heard, if one wants to make a difference in life they must change the way the act, feel and behave as a human. If you want to be bright you must act it. You must be the difference, because if you try to do the same things other individuals are doing you will just be average. If you want to stand out you must make the correct changes.


Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

Is Felicite a saint or a simple-minded servant? Or is she both? Or is she neither? Outline your perspective of her character as compared to Mme. Aubain’s. How do they differ?

Felicite was a to me a simple easy going person who didn’t really know much. She was almost oblivious to the outside world it seemed at times. I guess that what happens when there is no way for word to travel. She lived a simple life out on the farm. This is where she learned the ways of the world as she thought they were.

When comparing Felicite to Mme, I find that Felicite is far simpler than Mme. Mme was confusing to me I guess that could just be because of the way I grew up, which was similar to the way that Felicite did in some aspects.

How are women imagined and characterized in the poems you read? What attitude is implied? Is it dual or contradictory? Does Baudelaire give similar weight to the description of men? What definitions of womanliness are depicted, affirmed, or criticized in his work?

 I find these poems rather negative and tough to read for a positive person. He has a condescending tone towards women in his work. There is no real highlighted reason for these negative feelings towards women, yet he still believes they  are nothing and men are ranked way ahead of women.

How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?

 It is obvious that these two characters have a terrible relationship, they fight and show hast towards one another through the whole script. One of the best showings of this is when Chandara was on her death bed and Chidam wanted nothing to do with her and just let her die rather than making an effort to save her.

These two characters share the opposite relationship than that of Rama and Sita. Rama and Sita are truly in love it is seen without a doubt. These two characters are devoted to one another for eternity.

Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.

 The poem “When You Are Old’ was one that really caught my attention. It reminded me of when I was a little kid at my grandparents playing go-fish when my grandma always used to reminisce about the good times her and her old lady friends used to have on Sunday’s after church playing cards and drinking coffee. The poem made me think, “What will my memories be like?’ I think that the message that this poem sent me was that life should be lived and had fun because when you are old and remembering the things you once did you want to enjoy the memories and not wish you would have done something else.

Discussion 11

1.    Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

I would not say that Tartuffe is anti-religious, but rather a indirect, sarcastic way of informal writing towards religious systems. Mainly targeting the corruptions of the religious sectors. Hypocrisy was the main topic, this was found in the main leaders of the church. Just like any system having a hypocrite, as a leader will put the system into shambles. I think what is happening in the script is a true comical reflection of the somewhat growing flawed systems that we have in our society today. I think this sort of like the last one where we talked about politics. It has that same feel to it where it is up in the air and depends on how you perceive the information.

2. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

In Hugo’s Satan I am torn between yes and no because there are both similarities and differences. In Hugo’s Satan it is about an angel who lost its wings and has fallen to the “dark side’ where as in Dante’s Satan it starts from the decent to Hell. They both show characteristics of the “heroic journey’ but do not follow the same paths along the way. When comparing the two stories I will have to say that I have a neutral feeling on Hugo’s Satan being heroic or not.

3. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

In the comparison of the two poems “A Pine is Standing Lonely’ by Heine and “The Infinite’ by Leopardi I found two poems that were full of loneliness and a sense of adventure. In the poem by Leopardi, we find a man who is upon a hill that has treated him well. He is comfortable there yet he looks out to the sky and wants to reach new limits, he wants his “heart on the edge of fear.’ He wants adventure and a new destination. This is also seen in “A Pine is Standing Lonely,’ a sad, cold, snow blanketed, pine tree dreams of a warm sunny place as a new adventure, a new destination where his solitude can continue.

Discussion 10

1. Granted that Machiavelli’s own historical context is remote, how far does his pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities apply today?


Machiavelli’s contrasts between concrete realities and political ideals do seem to apply to the world today. Negative criticism between political campaigners is a great place to start. The terrible things that are said and done to opponents in campaigns are sometimes unbelievable all just to make ones self look better than the opponent. In Machiavelli’s eyes anything bad that was said about someone was a lie. I generally believe that too. There are so many made up things during this time of year that it is sickening. In the story a ruler was to be respectful and was to be respected he was be truthful to his people. It is crazy to see how these things can compare to each other when they are so many years apart, it just goes to show how things can either never change or drastically change. Finding a perfect leader was and never will be an easy task for mankind to tackle. There are too many opinionated people in this world that never seem to be happy with the things that are out there.



  1. Sister Juana de la Cruz cuts off her hair to force herself to learn more quickly, although she knows that among young women, “the natural adornment of one’s hair is held in such high esteem.’ Finally, she enters the convent (where woman had their heads shorn). What other works have you read that emphasize the importance of a woman’s hair? Why does it seem to have so much symbolic value in such a range of cultures and times?



Sister Juana de la Cruz’s choice to cut off her hair was to be a learning tool. In many different cultures there are different forms of symbolic values, in the bible the story of Samson, a man that’s power and strength came from his luscious locks. All cultures are different; many middle eastern cultures find it bad for men to see women’s hair unless she is the wife of the man. This shows a symbol of beauty. All cultures are different and that’s what makes our world diverse and interesting.



  1. Bear in mind that the Aztec warrior’s highest duty is to bring home live captives for sacrifice. Give the Song for Admonishing a careful reading and decide–without researching the entire Cantares Mexicanos–what possible meaning might be assigned to the figurative terms “flower’ and “song.’


I think that the flower and song bring up a good story to the capturing and sacrificing of warriors. I find that the flower is captured warrior and the song is the celebration or the sacrifice for the Lords. I think that the flower and song is a representation of ones life as a warrior.

DeFrance ;Decameron

  1. In the tenth story of the tenth day, I find Gualtieri treated Griselda poorly. Gaultier did this to test her patience. He knew that he was a “hot head’ so to speak. He wanted to make sure that she could withstand his antics because he knew what he would put her through so testing her was the best way to see what kind of patience she really had.
  2. When comparing these two stories there are two different reasons for each tale. They seem to start building up into more and more stories. When the Black Plague was just coming around the in the Decamoron story the people where told to flee to the hills to escape the plague. Struggling through life and death seemed to be the theme of this story. This story is told in the eyes of a women which sets off the vibe that women are more adaptable to harmful situations than men which was not right for the time frame of the story. In “The Thousand and One Nights,’ I find that it is the opposite. Women are not to be treated with any respect what so ever until death is warded off in the process of the story. I feel that the tone of this story showed a better picture of the women in that day and age.
  3. It symbolizes the love between two people, a wife and a knight. When good things come she knows that it is okay to be with him but when bad things arise she is quick to determine that their love can be no more.


I think that Dante learned a lot throughout his journey. He started this journey in the worst place, Hell. He finds out the consequences of living life with sins. Living a sinful life you will find yourself in hell suffering punishment for the different sins that have been committed. I found that Dante learned a new way of life through his journey through the nine stages of hell. He came to realize that the price of living well was far better than the pain of hell. I can’t say that I learned a whole lot more than I had already known. Sometimes I find it hard to think about the life ever after because of all the possibilities in this world but I guess living a sinful life and being a good human being will determine your destiny.

One Thousand and One Nights; The Inferno

 1. How are we to understand Shahrayar’s madness? Does it make sense to you? That is, are male egos in macho societies that frail, or is his a special case?

I felt right away that the theme of the story was far fetched, once I got to the end of the story I looked back at the real theme and the reason why it was exaggerated. Thinking back to all the stories that we have read over the course of the semester I just now realized that every one of these weird stories have had a theme that has been “out there,’ I think the reason for this is so that the reader can fully understand the concept or the meaning of the story. For me it was hard to find his madness right away but going back I found that madness in the start of the story where he learns that his wife has been unfaithful. This makes Shahrayar livid he makes some very stinging remarks in regards to all women. I think the fact the Shahrayar is king it makes him more visible to people and they judge him more they don’t see all the sides of his personality. I’m not sure about all macho kingdoms but I feel that it depends on the person whom we are looking at. Everyone is different and may have different reactions to different situations.

 2. Both the vizier and his daughter, Shahrazad, tell tales that surround their human characters with important animals, but the animals play different roles in the imaginative worlds of father and daughter. Compare and contrast the powers attributed to the animal world in The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey and The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife with those described in The Story of the Merchant and the Demon. How may these differences reflect the contrasting visions of gender relations so central to The Thousand and One Nights?

In The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife it is perceived by me that the merchants wife has him on a “leash,’ when the merchant overhears the dog and the rooster it reminds him that being a male you have much more physical power than a women and you should use that than rather be manipulated by a women. The man should be the manipulator. In The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey, this story is about a helpful friend trying to save someone when really they are unknowingly stealing their spot. This often happens in real life in the workplace or on teams for that matter. The Merchant and the Demon is relevant to that of the Merchant and his Wife, where the demon has great control over the merchant. Drawing these lines makes one feel that dominance comes from within whoever thinks they are in charge. The leaders will prevail and come out on top in the end. Gender doesn’t necessarily matter.


3. Do you believe the penalties suffered are appropriate to the sins committed in Dante’s Inferno? Why or why not?

In a scene, I do believe that most of the penalties were appropriate to the sins that were committed in the Inferno. I see Hell as a place that no one wants to go to. I often feel that when a person does something wrong that should be done back on them so they know how it feels and actually learn from their wrongdoing. So yes in some ways I believe that for the most part the penalties in Dante’s Inferno were appropriate.

Ramayana & then Bhagavad-Gita

1.  I see Rama as a hero to his people because of the way that he lived. Rama lived by the rules of Dharma. I feel that Rama was far more interesting because of the choices and paths that he chose to take. Generally they were the tougher paths, in it seemed as though he was always tempted by the evil ways but he took the high route and went the other way even though the other way may have been easier. Just like real life Rama had to make decisions based on his beliefs. There were a couple instances where Rama showed him working to achieve perfection, but one that stood out most to me was his love for Sita. He went on a wild goose chase to find her, when he finally does he questions her faith. This is comparable to his mother because she does not respect the decisions that his father makes and in the Hindu religion that is not to be accepted.

2. When comparing this story to that of Medea, these two stories are for from the same. To me they are in fact, the opposite of each other. In Medea, the so called “heroes’ wanted to kill people. That to me is not a hero. Arjuna is much more of a hero in my eyes because of his great ability to follow the rules of his leader. We find Arjuna, frantically making decisions to fight or not because he doesn’t want to let his people down, but he doesn’t want to kill his family members. We could also say that Arjuna is not afraid to fight rather, he doesn’t know which code to break, the family code or the warrior code. Ajuna I feel is much like Rama in regards to his decisions of right and wrong and following the right path rather than the evil one, putting him closer too God.

The New Testament; The Koran

1. The Islamic Religion it is a process to make your way up to Heaven. The people of this religion must follow a certain set of procedures and stages to get into Heaven. These people believe that once they get to heaven everything in their life will be fulfilled. The different between Islamic and Christianity is the fact that the Christian people must first believe in God. In order to be blessed with eternal life one must live a faithful life. A person who is sinful their whole life and doesn’t believe in God will be sent to hell and have no eternal life.

2. In the New Testament, there are four different Gospels that tell the story of Jesus. Evidentially Christmas is the Nativity Scene set up to help Pagans transform into Christians. This time of year is made up of thankfulness, giving, and celebration of the rebirth. Then we go onto what is known as Easter. This is the celebration of Jesus’ rise from the dead.

3. In the Christian Religion, one of the most important things is sorrow and forgiveness. Without a doubt every single man is a sinner and must admit it to God for he and only he can forgive people for their sins. This is the gateway to Heaven, through Jesus and his forgiveness. As seen in the Iliad were tasks of good deeds creating a good relationship with God.

Medea & Jobs

Medea was far and way a horrendous person, willingly killing her two kids should take the cake. To me she resembles someone like Satan. She is without a doubt not a hero in my eyes mainly for the soul reason of her disloyal act of killing her own children. She had many thoughts and plans of revenge on many people that makes this decision even easier to make. Looking at Achilles compared to Medea, I feel that they compare in some aspects but not all. Achilles may have done some selfish acts but they were generally in regards to protect his people. Achilles may have been a hero to his people because he was a tremendous warrior but a hero is someone who does good things for a group and I do not see that in Medea. She seems to be all about revenge and that’s not what hero’s are all about.

Job was a God obeying man. He was faithful to God even through all the events that Satan brought up. He believed in God and never lost faith in him. After many questions God reminds Jobs to never lose trust in him.  God then tells Jobs that everything he does is for a reason and everything he does must be done well because he is always watching. I believe that the dialogue is satisfactory, just like Jobs I feel that everything happens for a reason and keeping faith will only help you work through it.