Final Review for American Literature II
Final Review for American Literature II EN 210
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Haley Etheridge on Sunday May 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to EN 210 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Phillip Beidler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 358 views. For similar materials see American Literature II in Foreign Language at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 05/01/16
EN 210-003 Dr. Phillip Beidler Study Guide for Final Below are 48 identification questions. Be able to identify the author, the work, and the literary significance/summary. For the final, 12 out of the 48 will be picked. Final Exam Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 3:30 PM in the normal lecture room 1. “The Pasture” • “The Pasture” is a poem written by Robert Frost. In the poem, Frost is going out to attend to everyday jobs on the farm but he invites us to look at the world through his eyes, the eye of a poet. He is allowing the reader to accompany him while he actively returns purity to his surroundings, suggesting that this purity will also touch the reader. 2. Herr God, Herr Lucifer/Beware. / Out of ash / I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air/ • This is a quote from the poem “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. This poem has a feminist approach. The narrator is telling God and Lucifer to beware of this female empowerment. “Out of ash” symbolizes a vision of the rise of a phoenix, which portrays the narrator as invincible. 3. Nick Carraway • Nick Carraway is a character in the novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nick is the narrator of the novel and custodian of Gatsby story. Nick is also the cousin of Daisy Fay Buchanan and Yale classmate of Tom Buchanan. Nick is a Midwesterner and WWI veteran (like Gatsby), and has come eat in the twenties to work in the Wall Street bond market. By chance, he rents a small cottage next to Gatsby’s mansion in West Egg, Long Island, and becomes friend and confidante of Jay Gatsby. 4. Daisy Fay Buchanan • Daisy is a character in the novel, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. She is Nick Carroway’s cousin, and Gatsby’s former love. Daisy is a rich girl from Louisville, Kentucky, and is married to Tom Buchanan. 5. Dr. T.J. Eckleburg • The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg are a pair of fading bespectacled eyes on an old advertising billboard over the valley of ashes in F. Scot Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. They are located on a billboard in the Valley of Ashes outside of George Wilson’s garage. They may represent God staring down upon and judging American society as a moral wasteland. 6. George Wilson • George Wilson is a character in The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. George Wilson is married to Myrtle Wilson, who is having an affair with Tom Buchanan. George Wilson is a mechanic and garage owner in the Valley of Ashes, and presided over by the billboard with the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. Tom Buchanan tells George that Myrtle was having an affair with Jay Gatsby and that it was Gatsby that ran her over. George shoots Gatsby while he is in the pool, and then kills himself. 7. Brother Jack • Brother Jack is a character in the novel, The Invisible Man, written by Ralph Ellison. Brother Jack is a white leader of “The Brotherhood.” he easily enters the narrator's life and offers him a ton of opportunities off the bat: money, a job, and the chance to represent his community. Brother Jack demands that the narrator renounce his past, focus on the collective, and use abstract jargon and ideology in his speeches. Although he professes to be in favor of racial equality, when the Brotherhood shifts its aims, Brother Jack willingly sacrifices the Harlem community without batting an eyelid. Brother Jack is also missing an eye, which represents the flawed nature of his vision. • Leader of the Brotherhood, a powerful political organization that professes to defend the rights of the poor. He invites the narrator to join the Brotherhood and sets him up as spokesman of the Harlem District, then expels him for being "an opportunist." 8. Tod Clifton • Tod Clifton is a character in the novel, The Invisible Man, written by Ralph Ellison. Tod is a charismatic young leader who splits from The Brotherhood. Brother Clifton is killed by a white policeman who arrests him for selling Sambo dolls on a Harlem street corner. 9. Jim Trueblood • Jim Trueblood is a character in the novel, The Invisible Man, written by Ralph Ellison. Trueblood is a black sharecropper who has impregnated his own daughter. Jim Trueblood is the only true "brother" ("blood") in the novel: He accepts full responsibility for his behavior, makes peace with his God, and fights for himself, his family, and his land. 10.No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood- movie ectoplasms. • This is a quote from the novel, The Invisible Man, written by Ralph Ellison. The speaker of this quote is the narrator. People at the time only saw African-American’s as ghosts let free from Hell who continue to haunt them with their sighs and cries of their past lives. The narrator refers to himself as an "invisible man," but, as he makes clear, he isn't actually invisible: it's just that white people don't see him. They don't seem him for who he is; they see him first and foremost as a black man. 11.Antonia Shimerda • Antonia is a character from My Antonia, written by Willa Cather. Antonia is the remembered Bohemian girl from the childhoods of the opening narrator and Jim Burden. She arrives at the Nebraska prairie the same night that Jim does, and they grow up together as neighbors. Despite many hardships (such as her father’s suicide and getting pregnant and the father bailing) in her life, Ántonia remains vitally alive and never loses hope for the future. 12.Jim Burden • Jim Burden is a character from My Antonia, written by Willa Cather. Jim is a New York railway lawyer, traveling West on business. He eventually brings a manuscript to a New York apartment of the narrator that opened the story. Jim then becomes the first person-narrator, recalling events from boyhood, beginning with a journey from Virginia, where he lost his parents, to his grandparents’ farm near Black Hawk, Nebraska. Jim’s most important relationship in the novel, of course, is his friendship with Ántonia, and the fact that he allows Ántonia to recede in his mind as an abstract symbol of the past is itself a strong illustration of Jim’s introspective mentality. Rather than remaining close to Ántonia through the years, Jim allows himself to drift apart from her, always preserving her special place in his heart by treating her memory with greater and greater nostalgia as the years go by. Though the final segment of the novel—Jim’s reunion with Ántonia after twenty years apart—is not presented as a staggering breakthrough, it nevertheless seems to be a great step forward in Jim’s growth and maturity. He can at last contemplate re-creating a real relationship with Ántonia, acknowledging that she still exists and is still herself even after the past that they shared has ended. 13.“If We Must Die” • “If We Must Die” is a poem by Claude McKay. The poem was published during the Harlem Renaissance. The speaker and his men are fighting against an unknown enemy. The speaker urges his allies not to give up without a fight. The speaker then draws on the emotions of the allies to die honorably. He encourages them to fight back even though they have no chance of winning. The message of this poem is to keep fighting back, even though the chances of winning seem extremely small. 14.“The Negro Speaks of Rivers” • “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is a free-verse poem by Langston Hughes. The speaker introduces himself by telling the reader that he has known rivers and that his soul has come to be as deep as a river. This poem explores the history of African Americans and their suffering. It focuses on the rivers and looks back across history and civilization to track the African American experience to the present day. 15.Janie Mae Crawford • Janie is a character in the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurston. She is the protagonist of the novel, an African-American woman in her early 40s. Janie is depicted in process of personal growth as structured but outgrown through marriage relationships with three men, Logan Killicks, Jody Starks, and Vergible Woods (“Teacake”). 16.Tea Cake • Virgible Woods, or “Teacake”, is a character in the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurtston. Teacake is a young drifter, drinker, and gambler with whom Janie chooses to run away with, first to the Everglades, where they do farm labor together. Then, they go to Jacksonville, where they are married, and then back to “the muck” where they survive 1928 Okechobee Hurricane. During their escape, a rabid dog bites Teacake. Janie shoots him in self-defense. 17.The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God. • This is a quote from the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. This quote takes place when the Okechobee Hurricane is heading towards Janie, Teacake, and their friend Motor Boat. Only when faced with a natural disaster in the magnitude of a hurricane does man feel humbled at his smallness in the face of God. The characters here realize that their free will (their desire to remain in the Everglades despite the hurricane) can’t stand against God’s will (the hurricane). 18.Charlie Wales • Charlie Wales is a character is F. Scot Fitzgerald’s short story, “Babylon Revisited.” The handsome, thirty-five-year-old protagonist of the story. Once worth a small fortune, Charlie spent all his money in Paris during the mid-1920s. An alcoholic, he collapsed along with the stock market in 1929. Since regaining his sobriety and financial footing as a businessman in Prague, Charlie has become ashamed of his past recklessness. He adores his daughter, Honoria, and misses his wife, Helen, for whose death he may bear partial responsibility. 19.Honoria Wales • Honoria is a character is F. Scot Fitzgerald’s short story, “Babylon Revisited.” Charlie’s daughter. Honoria is a sunny, smart nine-year-old. She loves her father dearly and, although she is happy enough with Marion and Lincoln, wants to live with Charlie. A smart girl, she has a rich inner life and thinks about difficult subjects such as money and love. Honoria claims that she misses her mother, but she doesn’t seem to remember her well. Honoria's name signifies that she represents something much more – Charlie's honor. 20.Lincoln Peters • Lincoln Peters is a character is F. Scot Fitzgerald’s short story, “Babylon Revisited.” Marion’s husband and Charlie’s brother-in-law. Lincoln lacks Charlie’s knack for business, but he is a solid, responsible father and husband. He is quieter than his wife and more sympathetic to Charlie’s desire to live with Honoria. Still, his primary loyalty is to Marion, whom he truly loves. He takes Marion’s side whenever he believes that Charlie’s actions are hurting her. 21.Jake Barnes • Jake Barnes is a character from the novel, The Sun Also Rises, written by Ernest Hemingway. He is a disillusioned, hard-drinking, expatriate American journalist in Paris. He is a WWI veteran of the Italian front rendered impotent by war wounds. 22.Lady Brett Ashley • Lady Brett Ashley is a character from the novel, The Sun Also Rises, written by Ernest Hemingway. She is a cynical, hard-drinking, twice-divorced nymphomaniac (obsessed with sex) British aristocrat who has served as volunteer nurse during war and has lost her fiancé in battle. She does have a certain power over men—their feelings for her are so strong that they create conflict. Instead of sticking together, Jake, Cohn, and Mike are set in opposition to each other because of their jealousy and anger over Brett’s infidelities. Engaged to Mike, in love with Jake, disgusted by Cohn, and infatuated with Romero, Brett’s feelings are often masked by her debonair exterior. She often acts as though she has these men and their relationships under control, but the cracks in her shell reveal that she’s just as vulnerable as they are. 23.Robert Cohn • Robert Cohn is a character from the novel, The Sun Also Rises, written by Ernest Hemingway. He is an expatriate Jewish-American literary amateur. He is a non-veteran of war who still holds to romantic illusions about love and art. Robert Cohn is the character that begins the whole plot of the book. It’s his affair with Brett and its fallout that sets off the whole chain of jealous explosions that pepper the novel and fuel its action. 24.Addie Bundren • Addie Bundren is a character from the novel, As I Lay Dying, written by William Faulkner. Addie is the matriarch of the poor-white Bundren clan; the wife of Anse; the mother of Cash, Darl, Jewl, Dewy Dell, and Varadman. The story begins with Addie on her deathbed. The plot becomes the family’s attempt to give her a respectable burial in the county Jefferson. 25.Darl Bundren • Darl Bundren is a character from the novel, As I Lay Dying, written by William Faulkner. Darl is the poetic second son of Addie. He is the most sensitive and articulate of the Bundrens. During the trip to Jefferson with his mothers coffin, the family encounters disaster after disaster. The whole process leads him to burning down a barn they were staying in as a rest stop during the trip. He burns down to barn to try to cremate his mother. Jewel saves the coffin before that could happen. Darl is later committed to an insane asylum for trying to burn Addie’s coffin. 26.Vernon Tull • Vernon Tull is a character from the novel, As I Lay Dying, written by William Faulkner. Vernon and his wife Cora are the Bundren’s wealthy neighbors who try to help them out in their journey. He hires Darl, Jewel, and Cash for odd jobs, and helps the family cross the river in spite of its overt hostility toward him. Tull and his wife Cora, are critical of the Bundrens’ decision to bury Addie’s body in Jefferson. 27.Blanche Dubois • Blanche Dubois is a character in the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. Blanche is Stella’s older sister, who was a high school English teacher in Mississippi until she was forced to leave. Blanche comes to New Orleans to tell Stella about Belle Reve, the DuBois family home, going bankrupt. Blanche avoids reality, preferring to live in her own imagination. Stella’s husband, Stanley, cannot stand Blanche because he sees through her lies. Stanley rapes her and then has her committed to an insane asylum. In the play, Blanche represents the old world, where class and race are still important issues. 28.Willy Loman • Willy Loman is a character from the play, Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller. Willy is an aging traveling salesman who is starting to have problems driving. He suffers from depression and anxiety as a result of his dissipating career, his estranged relationship with his oldest son, Biff, and his guilt over an extramarital affair. As the play progresses, willy loses the ability to distinguish between the present and his memories of the past. 29.Biff Loman • Biff Loman is a character from the play, Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller. Biff is Willy’s athletic, boastful, dishonest, and defeated older son. His kleptomania has gotten him fired from every job that he has held. Biff is the only member of the family that knows about Willy’s affair, and he resents his father bitterly. 30.“Skunk Hour” • “Skunk Hour” is a poem written by Robert Lowell. The title points to the disgusting phase of life that the poet was living when he had lost the courage, desire and purpose of living life. He sees a dirty small animal enjoying life, having the physical, mental and spiritual strength to live on. He realizes by looking at the simple skunk that he was not having the fertile mind, spirit and body to bring up the energies to live actively. 31.“Howl” • “Howl” is a poem written by Allen Ginsberg. In the poem, the speaker tells us that he has been a witness to the destruction of "the best minds" of his generation. The rest of the section is a detailed description of these people – specifically, who they were and what they did. According to the speaker, they are drug users, drop outs, world travelers, bums, musicians, political dissidents, and poets. The second section of the poem tells the reader what destroyed these minds. He says it was “Moloch.” For Ginsberg, Moloch is associated with war, government, capitalism, and mainstream culture, all of which might be summed up by one of the poem's most important concepts: the "machine" or "machinery." Moloch is an inhuman monster that kills youth and love. The third section of the poem is addressed to Ginsberg’s close friend, Carl Soloman. The speaker’s central question for this section is “where?” The speaker uses this question to explore Solomon's existence within the walls of the Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric Institute. The poem ends with the image from the speaker's dreams, in which Solomon is walking from New York to the speaker's "cottage," where they will reunite. 32.“Lady Lazarus” • “Lady Lazarus” is a poem written by Sylvia Plath. In “Lady Lazarus”, Sylvia Plath sings a song of death and rebirth. Lady Lazarus begins by telling us that she has done "it" again. She compares herself to a Holocaust victim, and tell us that's she's only thirty years old, and that she has nine lives, like a cat. We soon figure out that "it" is dying; but, like the cat, she keeps returning to life. She says that dying is a theatrical event, and imagines that people come and see her do it. She compares herself again to Holocaust victims, and imagines that she's been burned to death in a concentration camp crematorium. At the end of the poem, she returns to life from death once again, and she "eat[s] men like air." 33.“Cathedral” • “Cathedral” is a short story by Raymond Carver. The unnamed narrator's unnamed wife used to work for a blind man named Robert. Robert's wife has recently died, and he's coming to visit the narrator and his wife. Apparently, his wife and Robert have been corresponding by audiotape for the past ten years. Robert married Beulah after she came to work for him. They had a great marriage, but then Beulah got cancer and died. When Robert arrives the narrator makes drinks for everybody and they all drink while Robert and the woman talk. Soon they have a big dinner and seem to enjoy eating together. When the woman goes up to change clothes, the narrator rolls two marijuana cigarettes and begins smoking them with Robert, who's never smoked marijuana before. When the woman returns she smokes a little bit too and then falls asleep on the couch between the two men. The narrator wonders if Robert has a good idea of what a cathedral is, and so he asks him. Robert asks him to try to describe a cathedral for him, because he can't picture one. The narrator tries, but he can't find the words to adequately describe what he sees. Robert gets a bright idea and tells the narrator to find paper and a pen. The narrator gathers the requested items and returns to Robert. They sit on the floor. Robert puts his hand on the narrator's hand (the one holding the pen) and tells the narrator to start drawing. The narrator gets into it, and starts drawing the cathedral with Robert's hand on his. After a time Robert examines the drawing with his fingers, and tells the narrator he's on the right track. Then they resume. The woman wakes up and can't understand what they are doing, even though Robert tells her. Then Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes. He does, and he completes the drawing with his eyes closed. The experience feels amazing. Robert tells him to open his eyes, but he doesn't. The narrator doesn't feel like he's "inside anything" now, and he likes the feeling. 34.“This is what it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” • “This is what is Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” is a short story by Sherman Alexie. Victor’s father has died, and Victor needs to get to Phoenix to get the body. Nobody found the father for a week, so he had to be cremated. Victor and his mother are both poor and do not have the money to get there. Victor asks the Tribal Council for money, but they only give him $100, which doesn’t even cover a plane ticket. Victor’s old friend, Thomas, offered him the money but said that he wanted to come along. The two fly to Phoenix, collect Victor’s fathers ashes, and drive back in the father’s truck. 35.Thomas Builds-the-Fire • Thomas Builds-the-Fire is a character from the short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix Arizona” by Sherman Alexie. Thomas was a storyteller that nobody wanted to listen to. He listened to the wind and to his dreams for stories. He predicted that Victor’s father was going to leave, and he knew that the father was dead before Victor told him. Thomas offered Victor money to get to Phoenix. Victor pays Thomas back with half of his father’s ashes. 36.“Diving into the Wreck” • “Diving into the Wreck” is a poem by Adrienne Rich. The speaker is a diver, looking for the wreck of a ship beneath the ocean. She puts on scuba gear, and describes the process of descending to the wreck. First we hear about the trip down the ladder into the water, and then the big, scary, amazing feeling of entering the ocean. The sea and its life are all around, and then the speaker arrives at the wreck. The speaker first flashes a light on the wreck, and then begins to explore, searching through the body of a ship. We go on a tour of the space, seeing the abandoned, waterlogged objects that fill the wreck. It's important to notice that the speaker has many more mysterious things to say about who she is, and what this experience means. For one thing, she addresses books and words, and how they relate to the experience of the dive. This forces us to think about what it means to be reading a poem. All the same, the images of the undersea dive are laid out pretty clearly for us. 37. “Woman Hollering Creek” • “Woman Hollering Creek” is a short story by Sandra Cisneros. Cleofilas marries Juan Pedro Martines Sanches, and they move to Texas. After birth of son, Juan Pedrito, she is frequently abused and beaten by her drunken husband. Pregnant with her second child and promising to hide her most recent bruises, Cleofilas begs her husband to take her to the clinic for a checkup. The physician at the clinic, Graciela, realizes that Cleofilas is an abused woman who speaks no English, is completely cut off from her family, and desperately needs help to escape from her husband. Graciela calls her friend, Felice, who agrees to drive Cleofilas and her baby, Juan Pedrito, to San Antonio where they can get a bus to take them back to her father, Don Serafin, in Mexico. Cleofilas is amazed to learn that Felice drives her own pickup truck and does not have a husband, and she is shocked when, as they cross the bridge over Woman Hollering Creek, Felice opens her mouth and yells “like Tarzan.” 38.“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a poem by T.S. Elliot. This is a modernist poem. The poem is set in a big, dirty city, and the speaker is unhappy and bored. The speaker gives animated descriptions of the settings to make it clear that everything around him affects him in a negative way. The speaker pays attention to these things around him in order to avoid people in the room who are talking about him. The speaker asks himself if he dares to do what one may assume is approach a woman, but is tormented by the thought, and chides himself for almost approaching her. The speaker then presumes to muddle over whether it would have been worth it to approach the woman. The speaker continues by contrasting himself to Hamlet, and describing specific characteristics of his own personality, and claiming that he “almost, at times” resembles a fool. The poem concludes with a series of ambiguous ocean images, for the purpose of the speaker’s emotional distance and acceptance of who he is in this modern world. 39.I grow old… I grow old… / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. • This is a quote from T.S. Elliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Prufrock can no longer hide the fact that he’s getting older and older. He blew his chance to ask the question, and now he’s like the guy who stays at a party too long, except that the party is his own poem. 40.Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? / I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. / I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. / I do not think that they will sing to me. • This is a quote from T.S. Elliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Prufrock’s fire and fury and rage, the most ardent emotions that were present in the last few stanzas, are reduced now to nothing. Once more, he shrinks away from the challenge of speaking his mind, of speaking to the woman, and continues to destroy his own fledgling self-confidence by creating an imagery in the reader’s mind so absurd that we perhaps start to share in his own view of himself. Once more, there’s the presence of women – unattainable women, in this case symbolized by the mermaids, with the power to ruin Prufrock’s entire world (‘till human voices wake us, and we drown’), and there is the imagery of Prufrock viewing himself, now miserable and old, white- flannel trousers, reduced to the inactivity that is rendered throughout the poem in such a way that he wonders ‘do I dare to eat a peach?’ 41.Troy Maxson • Troy Maxson is a character from the play Fences, by August Wilson. Troy is a 53-year-old sanitation worker, former baseball star in Negros Leagues. He has spent time in prison (where he met his friend Bono) for an accidental murder during a robbery. He is hardworking, proud, stubborn, family breadwinner, and patriarch. Troy is husband to Rose, father to Lyons, Cory, and Raynell, and brother to Gabriel. He ruined his son Cory’s football scholarship for college. He made Cory stop playing because he did not want Cory to go through the same racial strife that he experienced in baseball. 42.Jim Bono • Jim Bono is a character from the play Fences, by August Wilson. Bono is a co-worker with Troy and lifelong best friend from prison and baseball days. Bono admires Troy's leadership and responsibility at work. Bono spends every Friday after work drinking beers and telling stories with Troy in the Maxson family's backyard. He is married to a woman named Lucille, who is friends with Rose. Bono is a devoted husband and friend. Bono's concern for Troy's marriage takes precedent over his loyalty to their friendship. Towards the end of the play, Bono and Troy stop hanging out. It is assumed that they stopped hanging out because of Bono is disappointed in Troy’s affair. 43.There is a ladder. / The ladder is always there / hanging innocently / close to the side of the schooner. / We know what it is for, / we who have used it. / Otherwise / it is a piece of maritime floss / some sundry equipment. • This is a quote from the poem “Diving Into the Wreck,” by Adrienne Rich. This poem emphasizes the separation between air and water, between the space above the water and the world below it. The ladder matters because it allows you to cross between two worlds, to move from air to water. Once you have been on a dive, you know that going down the ladder is a major moment. Relying on a thing, even an ordinary thing (like a ladder), brings it to life and makes it special. • The presence of the ladder in this poem reinforces the idea that the diver hopes to achieve progress by looking into the knowledge of the past. By using the ladder, she may come to realize a solution to the larger problems plaguing women in patriarchal society. 44.This is the place. / And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair / streams black, the merman in his armored body. / We circle silently / about the wreck / we dive into the hold. / I am she: I am he • This is a quote from the poem “Diving Into the Wreck,” by Adrienne Rich. Here the diver has been transformed from being a woman, to being simultaneously male and female: androgynous. The mermaid is described by the fluidity of her hair, where the merman is described by the rigid protection of his physical self. Rich seems to be proposing androgyny as a solution to the prejudices women encounter in everyday life. 45.I’m going out to clean the pasture spring; / I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away / (And wait to watch the water clear, I may): / I sha’n’t be gone long. – You come too. • This is a quote from Robtert Frost’s poem, “The Pasture.” The farmer says that he is going out to clean the pasture spring. As a farmer who lives near the pasture, he needs to keep the spring clean because it is the source of fresh water where he and his family depend on. He must stop and to rake the leaves away because the water flow may become blocked by them, and the water freshness can be polluted. The pasture symbolizes the world. To clean the pasture spring means to purify the heart and soul from sin. The leaves symbolize the sins that lie inside the heart. 46.Nautilus Island’s hermit / heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage; / her sheep still graze above the sea. / Her son’s a bishop. Her farmer / is first selectman in our village, / she’s in her dotage. • This is a quote from the beginning of Robert Lowell’s poem, “Skunk Hour.” In the first two lines, Lowell is referring to an heiress hermit that lives in Nautilus Island. This heiress owns some sheep that graze on her property. Her son is a bishop, which is a noble occupation, perhaps something that she is proud of. Her farmer, the man that tends to her land, holds a seat in local government. All of these things hint at the fact that the heiress lives a no-frills life, but she has it pretty good. It doesn’t seem like she has to do a whole lot for herself. To say the heiress is “in her dotage” means she is in the last phase of her life. She’s old, weak, and doesn’t have a lot of time left. This is an interesting shift in the description, because everything before it laid out how fortunate she is. 47.“For the Union Dead” • “For the Union Dead” is a poem by Robert Lowell. The poem's narrator begins at the ruins of the South Boston Aquarium, evoking past memories, then shifts to near-present, a day 'last March.' Attention turns to a fenced excavation for an underground parking garage within Boston Common--adding to numerous such paved parking areas in central Boston, it seems. Construction supports frame the 'tingling' Statehouse in steel girders, while tremors from the work also shakes the Shaw Memorial, reinforced only by a wooden 'plank.' The narrator reflects on the Memorial, which commemorates Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the Union's first black regiment, the Massachusetts 54th. The figures in the sculpture seem to 'breathe' life, issuing a vivid, personal, and disturbing reminder of death and sacrifice: over half the regiment was killed in the first two months of combat. The Memorial hits home in a visceral way that contrasts sharply with its counterparts in 'small-town . . . greens' throughout New England, that seem 'sparse' and sleepy by comparison. The poem reminds/informs the reader that Colonel Shaw, the white commander, was buried in a mass grave, 'a ditch,' along with his black soldiers. This was all the monument Shaw's father wanted. Nor are there more recent war memorials in Boston Common; the closest thing being a photograph celebrating an American- made safe that 'survived' Hiroshima intact. As the poem concludes, the content opens up in ways that challenge the reader and complicate interpretation. It transitions abruptly into current events as viewed on TV, marked by 'the drained faces of Negro school children', then reconnects with Colonel Shaw through images of balloons and bubbles, anticipating an impending rupture. In the final stanza, the poem references the closed aquarium once more, implying that the fish that once fascinated the poem's narrator have been replaced by the 'giant finned cars' that appear 'everywhere', leaving the reader to consider the various implications. 48.If we must die—let it not be like hogs / Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, / While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, / Making their mock at our accursed lot. • This is a quote from the poem, “If We Must Die,” by Claude McKay. If death must occur, the speaker asks that his people die with dignity. Accepting that death is inevitable, the speaker wishes to at least die courageously, and not in the inglorious way that pigs do. The attackers are compared to crazy and starving dogs. The attackers harass in a humiliating way, almost celebrating their dominance over their victims.
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