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Today was our last class. We finished notes on “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.”
We read and discussed, taking notes, on Atwood’s, “Disembarking at Quebec.”
We wrote a thesis on Thomas and Dickinson.
We took a class photo, which will be posted soon.
We took home our portfolios and handed in textbooks.
See you at grad mass and prom!
“To seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield.”
Deacon Luyten came by to talk about Wednesday’s field trip. Permisson forms were handed out.
Mrs. Wall went over the final exam and shared some study materials. The exam is June 19th at 12:30pm.
We self-checked our responses to “The Hollow Men” questions with the key posted on the board.
We did a practice worksheet on metonymy andd synecdoche before listen to Dylan Thomas read “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.” “Good Night” is an example of metonymy; the title is also a paradox.
We will continue our notes on this poem on Friday.
We spent the class reading and discussing T.S. Eliot’s Hollow Men., written in 1925.
We started with a discussion of the dramatic and rapid social changes occurring at the time that created a sense of anxiety and uncertainty as well as excitement and anticipation in the people. The optimism of the Victorians was replaced by disillusionment post WWI.
We discussed Eliot’s biography.
We read the poem beginning to end and discussed our initial emotional responses.
We then went through the poem, discussing the sections, and trying to piece the disjointed phrases into some kind of logically meaning. We took notes as we went.
There are a couple ways to read this poem including as a commentary on the war & political collapse AND religious collapse and resulting meaninglessness of life.
Some key discussion points included:
- the repetition of words including: dry/dried, hollow, stuffed, without, kingdom, eyes, stars, dead, stone, shadow, this is the way the world ends
- the epigraphs to Mistah Kurtz and Guy Fawkes, passionate, albeit misguided souls. Eiot sees them as having crossed into death’s other kingdom with direct eyes because they lived with purpose, which is at better than apathy
- the fragmentation of the prayers and the broken statues= loss of faith/ “God is dead” (Nietzsche)
- the paradoxical images: hollow men/stuffed men, shape without form/shade without colour. We are like scarecrows, or ghosts, living in death’s kingdom as living dead, not dead dead. Our souls are dead, but not our bodies.
- the lack of vision (eyes) and voice (whisper, broken jaw)
- “the shadow” (could this be death? vestiges of religious life? hollow space/non-meaning/non-being), like a real shadow, is deliberately unclear. It falls between different examples of one’s potential or essence (ex. the idea, the desire) and how one acts or exists (reality, spasm). The shadow could also be represented by the blank spaces, the lack of text following fragmented phrases (ex. the Lord’s prayer which is reduced to a stutter).
- the “whisper” and “whimper” that book end the poem. The famous ending is pessimistic and suggestive of an apocalyptic end with no new beginnings.
- the parodies of the children’s nursery rhyme, replacing the mulberry (symbol of fertility) with a prickly pear, or cactus (a symbol of sterility)
- the fading star, the dying star, which could be an allusion to the star of Bethlehem
- Christian allusions including Dante’s multifoliate rose from Paradiso, and the damned gathered on the beach in Inferno
- “the hope only”= is faith only a hope OR the only hope?
To end class, some questions on the text were handed out. Please do your best to complete these for next class, at which time we’ll go over them.
We finished our notes on Yeats.
Progress reports and thesis statements were handed back.
We wrote our “hope amid despondency” multi.
We studied Wilfred Owen’s war poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est” with:
a. brief biography
b. introduction to trench warfare
c. oral reading of the text and discussion
d. notes from the board
We read Yeats’, “The Second Coming” (actually Mr. Arruda read it for us).
We discussed Yeats’ view of history and Ezra Pound’s influence on his style.
We discussed the metaphors of the falcon and sphinx. We’ll take notes next class.
Work was handed back, including the unit test.
We read “Song,” discussed and took notes.
We read “Because I could not Stop for Death,” discussed and took notes.
Also, reference notes for both poems were handed out.
We wrote a C&C thesis on “Because I could not Stop for Death” and “Death be not Proud” on the speakers’ attitudes toward death.
An outline for an in-class multi (on Tues. May 30) was handed out. The prompt is “hope amid despondancy.”
Mrs. Wall was at a track meet.
With the TOC you,
- Read Dover Beach with Mrs. Wall’s notes in the margins
- Completed the accompanying questions
- Did the worksheet that encouraged you to make thematic connections between the recently read poems.
Deacon Luyten’s bird watching lesson…