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Case Closed

The case is closed- I have decided that Gulliver is officially a madman. There are so many things that I disagree with Gulliver on. He is- man, I can’t even describe how annoying and hypocritical I find him. I thought I liked the relationship that he had with his “Master,” but then I almost felt like the Master just felt sorry for Gulliver, not that they were actual friends. I don’t know, I almost felt like there were some “maybe I can save him” kind of vibes from the Master towards Gulliver. In the end, the Master and Gulliver thought that Gulliver was unworthy and insignificant compared to the Houyhnhnms. I found the last two paragraphs or so of part 4 so frustrating. I wanted to smack some sense into Gulliver but he was at a point where there was no way anyone could have changed his view of the “yahoos” or normal people in general. A part of me thinks that Gulliver was either brainwashed, or the whole land of the Houyhnhnms was all in his head because something happened to him on his journey. Overall, I was impressed by all of the satire and how much it made my head hurt, but I was not impressed by Gulliver. In a way though, it was almost like I couldn’t look away when Gulliver said crazy things, so I guess you could say it caught my interest.

Now some final thoughts about the end.

This is it my friends. The last required Rampages. I honestly have no idea what to continue writing about but may I just say…

It’s been a great class! I think that Dr. C is one of my favorite English teachers I’ve ever had, and I am so glad to have had him during the difficult times of Covid especially. Although I am sad that this class is almost over, I look forward to my future English classes, given that I switched my major to English. I recently had the English major overview with my advisor, and during that meeting I realized what loving your major feels like. I don’t think I have ever been as excited about classes than I am right now. I’m so excited to continue to learn and grow in my knowledge of the English language and all of the creative and hard work that goes into it. I’m ready for this semester to end, and hopefully I can get some good rest so I can come back stronger than ever!

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Ready for the Turkey

Man oh man am I ready for Thanksgiving Break! By the time it rolls around, I will be done with most of my classes, and I will get five days off from work! I am ready to get my stuff together again and start a new. A lot has changed for me this semester, I changed my major first of all, which is huge for me. English definitely captured my interest more than any other major, so English here I come! I also got my first job which really stresses me out more than I initially thought it would, so we’ll see how long that lasts. Anyway, Thanksgiving I am so ready for you! I can’t wait to go hiking and go out on the new pontoon boat my parents just bought with my family and friends! Although I’m not especially happy where I am right now, I’m getting there, and it’s nice to have something to look forward to.

Okay! If you’re still with me, thanks for reading. Now on to the good stuff. As Paradise Lost came to a close, I will say that I was kinda bummed. Honestly, I could probably take an entire class just on Milton and Paradise Lost. Even though it was a little difficult keeping up with the readings, I found the concepts fascinating. Now, moving on to Gulliver’s Travels, I have never read it before but I’ve heard a lot about it and I’m excited to see what it’s all about. I also have never read the Odyssey- which is funny considering my Grandma gave me a copy of it for Christmas when I was like ten. OOOFF.  But, alas, I never got around to reading it. Bummer. But I promise I will read it some day- maybe over Thanksgiving Break! Hahahaha, yeah probably not, but a girl can dream!

Overall, I would say that the British Literature Class has been one of the most fascinating English classes I’ve had in a while, and I can’t wait to see what awaits in my future of English classes to come.

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The Fall

I find the months of October and November to be magical in the way that the leaves change into every shade of the sun, and the air smells crisp, as if you’ve never been outside before, and are breathing it in for the first time. This to me is the meaning of fall, nature’s beauty in reminding us that change can be a good thing.

Milton on the other hand introduces a different connotation for the meaning of “The Fall.” In the beginning of time, man was tempted by the serpent, which was destined to lead to “The Fall”, which is the knowledge and separation from God. When Milton wrote, “Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,” it was a line that made me stop in my tracks and contemplate my life. The fact that this line suggests that we as humans were made in God’s perfect image, but in order for us to have free will, we had to have the option to fall. We have the option of doing the right thing and following God’s will, but we could also go against him and turn away. In order for God to have his pleasure, we have to freely choose to love and follow him, in other words, have “freely chosen obedience” towards Him. I feel like I understood this, but was never able to put this idea into words, and Milton blew it out of the water without being able to even see his own writing.

The power of words are astonishing to me, and when Dr. C described how words have been used in their power from the beginning, when God said, “Let there be light,” it gave me goosebumps. The idea that it was God’s words that actually set the actions into motion makes my love for words make complete sense. I believe that God created us in his image, so it makes sense that his creations would also love and respect the power of words.

I feel like the past two weeks or so have just been me fangirling and in awe of Milton’s writing in Paradise Lost. Also, this post is kind of everywhere.

Sorry not sorry.

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Lost Amongst the Chaos

Paradise Lost. What a Title.

The symbolism in the meaning and understanding of the written work by John Milton is such a wonder. I never thought I would find myself viewing the Devil as being similar to humans in so many ways. This week we talked about our view of heroism in relation to Satan and the constant struggle between good and evil. The concept of how evil is just the absence of good is hard to wrap my head around. Did Satan really have a choice in whether or not he would be thrown out of heaven if it was all a part of God’s plan? Was he created just for the sole purpose of being someone for God to triumph over? Sometimes I have to remind myself that Paradise Lost isn’t necessarily true. I have found through my readings this semester that I am a very trusting reader. It’s easy for me to believe what I read, so I am constantly fact checking myself. Milton writes in such a way that it’s easy to believe what he says is true, and after a discussion with my family I’ve learned that readers are captivated by truth. Even if there is a hint of fault, as long as there is some truth to the matter, the reader can relate and therefore feels like a part of the story.

My mom told me a story about when she used to be an assistant English teacher at a high school when she was in college, and one time she was reading one of Milton’s works to the class. The class was talking quite a lot, but when she started reading everyone went silent. She said that she was shocked that it had happened that way and she then asked another teacher why it happened. The teacher said that they all got silent because there was truth being spoken.

This again, blew my mind. It is kind of similar to when Dr. C gives his discussions because I find myself in awe of how he explains what Milton is trying to say throughout his work. The truth reaches people’s souls. In a way I think that Satan knew/ felt the truth too, but was so caught up in his own helplessness that he shoved every ounce of truth out of his mind. I think that when Satan was thrown out of heaven and showed up on earth, he planned to destroy everything that God held dear, all while trying to find himself. He was Lost in Paradise.

 

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Oh Othello

The poor guy has not a single clue.

I have to say I was quite disappointed in Othello’s faith in Desdemona’s loyalty. I mean she wanted to see the best of him even after he had shown that he didn’t trust her anymore. Desdemona’s love for him was so apparent that Othello really turned his back on everything that he stood for and believed by not believing her. Jealousy makes people “see green” and it blinds them. Love in Desdemona’s case was blinding as well. She was blinded by her better judgement, to the point where she was willing to allow Othello to kill her and she could have seen the signs but chose to ignore them.

I found this reading to be an interesting take on how a writer can make the audience react and feel such strong emotions towards the events in the reading. One character that I found to be the most infatuating was Iago because of his ability to deceive people into thinking and doing things just by saying the right words to them. His way of seeming clueless just enough to sound trustworthy made me so mad. That’s how you know you shouldn’t trust someone, is when you can’t tell if they are being genuine or not. Iago was such a carefully crafted brilliant villain because you couldn’t predict what he was going to do next. Shakespeare truly was a wonder of a writer. I can’t imagine how people during his time must have felt about him and his plays. Oh to be Othello, a creation of one of the most famous writers in history.

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Defending Eve

In society, women have been seen as below men since the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden. Many people in the past have thought that because Eve, who was a woman, was the first sinner, that makes women the fault of sin. Aemilia Lanyer put that idea on trial in her works by explaining how Pilate was a MAN who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion which was by far the greatest sin, and yet people have the AUDACITY to say that women are to blame.

What I loved about Lanyer was that she set the record straight by explaining how both men and women sinned and therefore neither are more “virtuous” or “better/good” than the other. I liked how Aemilia Lanyer had defense for her claims by using Pilate’s wife as an example of a woman who fought for justice and recognized the injustice that was going on.

On a different note, Aemilia Lanyer’s piece that talked about the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon and their relationship of respect and acceptance of wisdom was beautiful. I loved the line, “Wisdom desires Wisdome to embrace” because it truly describes people’s internal craving to be understood on a level that makes one feel whole. It is one thing to have a good conversation with someone, but a whole other thing when that person is on the same level of intelligence, understanding, experience, and even struggle and when it is something you share together. I loved that the two people of power were friends who respected each other and just enjoyed each other’s company because they were equally “yoked.”

It takes someone very wise and courageous to seek those people that are truly wise. I think that the way that the Queen of Sheba was described made her so fascinating. The fact that she tried to grill King Solomon and test his wisdom by asking difficult questions made me love her even more. She was not going to take any BS about a “super wise” man, she had to test him out herself. She also actively sought out people who were wise and intelligent like her because she had that need to be understood.

 

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Thoughts of the (K)night

The Redcrosse Knight represented the human struggle with truth and fear. Fear, confusion, anger etc, can easily move some people towards a direction that they never saw coming. Although there are all those uncertainties in life, one thing that stays constant is truth. Una represented truth and throughout the entire story, Una was the light or divine entity of the world that kept the Redcrosse Knight focused when he went astray. I think that this story represents the human struggles, and how even through the darkest caverns that we find ourselves in, truth can be there to set us free.

I liked how instead of making a simple lesson story that could have been done and said quickly, Spenser wanted to turn it into something complex and that would blow people’s minds. Spenser wanted people to experience those “Ah Ha” moments and therefore be something that people would remember long after he was gone. Spenser most likely wanted all of the angst and emotions to be brought out to the reader, and he wanted to impress others with his mad ability of language. As a writer, I think that Spenser hit every checkbox to a story that would have a legacy of its own. As someone who has a great admiration of words leaving a mark, I aspire to be as risky as Spenser in his strive for greatness in his writing.

The Faerie Queen, although was confusing at times, was a fascinating story that left me soaking in all the language and thinking about the lessons that I can learn from Una and the Redcrosse Knight. I think that the scene in the Cave of Despair was one of my favorites because Una acts like the boss that she is to save RCK’s life. I also liked the scene when Una meets the lion, and the way the lion’s companionship was described as full on loyalty. I liked how he transformed when he met Una, and it shows that even beasts who were born to be wild can be transformed by the truth.

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Truth’s Companions

It’s a divine deity, truth. It is beautiful not only in the looks, but in the feeling one gets when around truth. Una, who represented truth in The Faerie Queen was someone who although was in constant despair,  chose to seize opportunities as they came her way, and to look on the bright side of things. Throughout Una’s journey, she meets many beings who become her trusting companions. The most loyal companion I think, was the lion because he was willing to die for her.

The lion had spent his life being a natural predator, and sought Una in order to kill her, but then he comes face to face with truth. Truth is what transforms him from being a blood thirsty, aggressive, wild animal, into a loyal guard to Una. I loved the way that Spenser suggests that truth needs companions in life who are truly devoted to her, because other wise the truth means nothing. The lion not only was loyal to Una, but he knew Una on a level where she didn’t have to speak to communicate with him, he just had her eyes as the focus of his attention.

I think that the idea of a companion of truth is an important one because in life I feel that in order to accomplish something or become the person you want to become, it takes focus and devotion. Like the lion in The Faerie Queen, he was locked onto her eyes so that he wouldn’t stray away and also so that he could tell if something was wrong with truth.

I think that everyone should be more like the Lion when it comes to how we should always seek the truth and wisdom of this world and seek to be transformed for the better.

In addition, I think that King Arthur had the greatest affect on Una herself because she was starting to focus on the bad things and how hopeless things were starting to feel. King Arthur used his linguistic ability to get her talking about what was bothering her, and reminded her that things were going to be okay. When she said that she didn’t have the words to confess her grief and that doing so would only make things worse,  King Arthur says in response, “but he, that never would, could never: will to might gives greatest aid.” He says that if she never tries, and is never willing to, she may never know if sharing her thoughts could help her heal. I think this was enlightening for Una because she was supposed to be truth, but I guess even truth can be run down at times. King Arthur was a perfect gentleman and a true knight in the way that he cared about her enough to know that something was wrong with her. Like the lion, King Arthur knew Una in a personal way that only those who look closely can see. Una was truly lucky to have had the companions she had, but I guess those who seek the truth often find it.

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Sidney Siblings Strike Strangely

Not only was he a brilliant poet, he was a brilliant poet who also had a brilliant poet sister. Both Philip and Mary (Sidney) were great influencers in their line of work. Philip with his romantic and dramatic poetry, and Mary with her religious texts and strong girl power ideals.

I think what I love most about the two of them is that Philip tried so hard to be the best poet there ever was, and therefore his work was sometimes over the top. I love that he loved poetry so much, that it was obvious in his work that he maybe tried a little too hard. I think his obsession, or rather, fascination with his “crush” is so funny, and the fact that he wrote in a way that encouraged and showed his appreciation for her mind I think is an amazing gift. As a person who’s love language is words of affirmation, I would have been very impressed if I had someone like Philip writing to me. The fact that Shakespeare used his work as a stepping stone blows my mind. It’s also funny to me how Philip knows that his crush knows how smitten he is with her, and that she actually enjoys seeing him in “pain” over her. That is just so typical of certain women that I can totally imagine how the woman acts towards him. I feel like I can see her look of contempt with his begging. Part of me thinks he’s kind of weak, but for poets, dumping their heart and soul into a piece is just something that they do, and for Philip to have done that so well is mighty impressive.

Mary on the other hand strikes me as a fierce love kind of woman, where she is kind to others and does good things and makes wise choices, but she also isn’t a push over and does what she wants to do. I love that she had inspired many women to become writers, and is still inspiring them today. I imagine that she saw Philip and his writing and how he became more popular and she probably tried to help him at some point and he told her no. Then she started a revolution cause NOBODY tells Mary NO. Then she started campaigns to get women to write what’s on their minds and it became a whole thing. That’s just how I imagined it had happened, of course, but I greatly admire women like Mary because I don’t think I would have had the guts to do such a thing when it hadn’t ever been done before in the past. Women like Mary are the ones who change the world, and women like me are the ones who enjoy reading about it decades later.

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Son of a- Mother?

Julian of Norwich- showing us w(h)ich questions to ask.

Growing up in a christian house hold, I’ve been told many times about the holy trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit which lives inside the believers, but after reading Julian of Norwich, it has broadened my views of what the trinity represents. I had never heard of Jesus being related to a mother before, but I can totally understand the comparisons of him having maternal tendencies when related to his love for us. The way that Julian describes how Jesus went through pain and suffering so that we can have life is a beautiful notion of the relationship Jesus wants with us.

When Julian described the hazelnut as being our universe, and how small we are in relation to God, it was quite humbling in the way that the things that seem like the end of the world is kind of insignificant with this broader view. The fact that she said that it was love that kept the hazelnut from harm, and it was love that made it significant. I found it interesting how my teacher described how love these days seems so here or there, like it has no real meaning, but in terms of what Julian said, love is what is holding everything together. Love is the thing that gives life meaning and is what everything is made of and according to. It was through love that she was given the visions. It was her love and longing to be closer to God that made his love for her influence the giving of the visions. It was because of God’s love that he was willing to give his son to die for our sins so that we can experience that everlasting life and love with him. I grew up with the idea that “loving your neighbor as yourself” is the ultimate commandment and I think that Julian’s idea of love is the essence of what history suggests is the meaning of life, to love one another as God loved us.

Julian suggests that the only thing preventing us from the full love and eternal life with God is the notion of sin. The question of what sin actually is, is one that she suggests is anything that is with the absence of good. The idea that “evil is nothing and good is something” is one that I’ve always been skeptical of. I don’t think that love and sin are things that can actually be described, but it’s something you feel or experience. Julian also gives this idea that sin is simply nothing- it can’t be described, and yet most people can recognize that it exists.

Overall, Julian of Norwich was quite an informative piece of writing that I can understand why it is one of the oldest most famous female works in history. Her description and imagery was brilliant, and it was informative without being harsh. She simply stated what she saw and believed in a way that could leave the reader asking questions that they never had before.