Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thank you.

I would like to say thank you
For what I see and for what I don't see.
For what I understand and for what I don't understand.
For what I like and for what I don't like.
I am grateful for love.
I thank you for the endless light
so I can be free, healthy and blessed.
I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The following is a short story I wrote for my English class in Fall 2007 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text or picture may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, translating, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Orange Story

All that is gold does not glitter and not every orange that gets passed around in class is lost. Not every orange will have a chance to get old and rotten because most oranges will be eaten before that happens. Not all roots of an orange tree that are deep in the ground are touched by the frost. Not all the branches of an orange tree get broken in the storm. Even the strongest storm shall pass and the sun will shine again. It is the main reason for every orange tree to grow tall and bring up beautiful, healthy oranges. From the distance these oranges look a like, but if taken a closer look, you may notice the differences. On the outside each orange is different in its own special way.
Each of these oranges may have its own scars and marks on the outside. Some of them might be smoother or more round than others. Some are oval and some have lines on the outside. If they are peeled they seem even more a like. You would notice more similarities than you did when observing the oranges on the outside.
Oranges are like humans. On the outside we are all different but on the inside there may be more similarities than we know there are. We might never know it when somewhere deep down inside each orange is actually dreaming about world domination. They might have fooled us. Maybe oranges are evil aliens who have a secret plan to take over the world. 

 Tennessee. October 2002.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Two Creation Stories

The following is my Comparison/Contrast Essay which I wrote for my English class in Spring 2008 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text or picture may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, translating, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Two Views of Creation

           There are countless numbers of cultures in the world. Each one of them has its own ideas of how the world and the humans first came to be. These stories have been passed along through word-of-mouth. Thousands of years later they were written down. These creation stories can start an examination of philosophy and religion of the culture. They bring out ideas of who people are and who they have been. Two of the most interesting creation stories come from China and from the Iroquois of North America. China’s creation story is about the goddess Nu Kwa and the Iroquois creation story talks about Sky People. Both the Nu Kwa story of China and Iroquois creation story have some similarities to compare and also some differences.
           The first difference between these two stories is that China’s creation story is monotheistic, and the Iroquois story is polytheistic. In China’s creation story, the whole theme is focused on the Goddess Nu Kwa. She was the one who created the people, the winds, the waters, and the fish. When the universe was in chaos, she came to the rescue. She set up order in the universe and made sure that the people she created were living in peace. The Iroquois creation story involves more than just one god. They talk about Sky people who existed long before humans. The Sky People lived in the heavens. There was a Sky Chief who married Sky Woman. Sky Woman gave birth to a daughter who grew up fast and gave birth to twins. So in the Iroquois creation story there were many characters in involved.
           The most important similarity between these stories would be that the supreme beings of first creations were female. In China’s creation story, the earth was already there when the Goddess Nu Kwa arrived to create the people. In the Iroquois story, Sky Woman played a big part. When she was pushed to a deep hole, the earth was created for Sky Woman to land on.
           Additionally, animals were important in both creation stories, playing an especially big part in the Iroquois story. In the story of Nu Kwa, the animals killed the people during the time of the chaos in the universe. But when Nu Kwa came to fix the destroyed pillars of the world, she used the great turtle legs as columns at the four corners of the world. In the Iroquois story it was the animals that actually helped to create the world. When the Sky Woman was falling down the hole, the birds broke her fall and carried her down. The sea animals went to the water to look for earth, which the muskrat managed to bring out. That piece of earth was placed on turtle’s back. When Sky Woman landed there was earth with grass and trees.
           Nevertheless, these two stories differ in the origin of the people. In China’s creation story it was the Goddess Nu Kwa who created the first people from golden earth and later by pulling a string through the mud. In the North American story there were twins, Good Twin and Evil Twin, sons that Sky Woman’s daughter gave birth to. These brothers were fighting each other and the Good Twin always won. And it was the Good Twin who created the humans.
           In conclusion, there are several differences between the creation stories of Nu Kwa and the Sky People. There are more differences for contrast that there are similarities. It is also important to notice, that in the Nu Kwa story the land was already there and the humans were the first thing that Goddess Nu Kwa created in this story. But in the Iroquois story of creation the main focus was on the supreme beings, the Sky People and the humans was the last thing created in the story. This part in the Iroquois’ story suggests that people are not as important as the supreme beings. In contrast, Nu Kwa was a lot more caring goddess in the creation story from China, compared to the Sky People in the Iroquois story were humans had a little or no importance whatsoever.

                                Photo: L-K Lepna; October 2002; Fall Creek Falls

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Einstein’s Theory

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class at Pellissippi in February 2008.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text or photo may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, translating, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Einstein’s Theory

           Albert Einstein was and still is world famous scientist. Because of Einstein’s theories the weapon of mass destruction was created. In the article “Religion and Science,” Einstein is presenting philosophical thoughts about both, science and religion. Einstein talks about causal connections that lead humans to believe in a higher force, like God. He writes about three different religious experiences but mostly focuses on cosmic religious feeling, which is also discussed as the law of attraction in another book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
           First Einstein tells the inevitable truth that feeling and desire are the two motivating factors in human behavior. These two factors also are said to control and rule the religious thoughts of ancient people. This is where Einstein brings out religion of fear which is set up as negotiator between the people and the beings they fear.
           Next, Einstein turns to the second religious experience: moral religion. He says that desire for guidance causes people to develop social and moral ideas of God. In moral religions God protects, punishes and loves humankind.
           The third and also the most interesting religious experience is cosmic religious feeling. Einstein is talking about cosmic religious feeling in a very complicated way. Like Einstein says himself in the article, “It is difficult to explain this to any one who is entirely without it.” But then again he clearly explains, “The individual feels the nothingness of human desires…He looks upon individual existence as a prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole.” Also, cosmic religious feeling has no definite notion of a God. Einstein comes down to law of causation. This does not only mean human action where an action causes something, but also human thoughts. It seems like he is trying to make people think further from the religion they have come to know, further from any religion.
           There really should be no argument between religion and science. Scientists can not and will not disprove the existence of God. God can not be understood, only experienced. So therefore it is not about who is wrong or right but it is about people’s personal beliefs.
           Cosmic religious feeling should be easy to understand for those who are not religious but spiritual or those who have ever doubted the existence of God. Besides, religion does not come from God, it comes from people. In The Secret, Rhonda Byrne says,” The law of attraction is the law of creation. Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought.” According to Rhonda, the law of attraction says like attracts like, and as people think a thought, they are attracting like thoughts to them. People can create their entire life in their mind. All they have to do is to think and believe and they will receive what they are thinking. In her book Rhonda has a quotation from Charles Haanel, “[The law of attraction] is an eternal and fundamental principle inherent in all things, in every system of philosophy, in every Religion and in every Science.” Albert Einstein knew The Secret. He knew that asking a question would force people to think and make a choice.
           So when Einstein talks about a person feeling as if in prison and wanting to experience the universe as a single significant whole, he encourages that person to think, to search, to wonder and to yearn for something more than just everyday routine. When Einstein is talking about law of causation, he is talking about the law of attraction. He is basically saying that people can create their own world with their thoughts. People can create what they want to believe in with their thoughts. People should search outside their everyday experiences before searching for God.

 Photo credit: Leelo-Kaja Lepna; Picture taken on October 13, 2002 near Fall Creek Falls in TN.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

The following is my Analysis Essay which I wrote for my English class in Spring 2008 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, translating, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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The butterfly effect

           The people on this planet definitely live in an uncertain world. There are countless cultures and religions and the global population is rising day-by-day. Most people can be divided into two different groups: those who believe that this world is going to hell in a handbasket and those who believe that the best days are still ahead. No one has to be a mastermind to understand what is going on in the world. The media spreads the news about former allies suddenly becoming enemies and there are also news about unshakable economic powerhouses crashing down. In the four articles the reasons were somewhat different explaining what causes the gap between the rich and poor. It seems like Roy and the organization Oxfam lean towards big corporations or the government policies causing the gap, while Annan brings out the lack of opportunities for poor people and Reich says that globalization is causing the gap between the rich and the poor.
           When thinking about how these articles actually link to each other, it can be described as Annan describes the “Butterfly Effect.” There actually seem to be connections between these four articles. If there are people out there who do not see some of the problems discussed in these articles, they should go to an eye doctor and then take another look, or simply learn to read between the lines. This is not rocket science; this is the common knowledge of the world.
           Annan in his article seems to say that the gap between the rich and the poor is that there is a lack of many opportunities for poor people that they do not have. He stands for individual rights. He says, “Only where individual rights are respected can differences be channeled politically and resolved peacefully.” He seems highly concerned about the situation in the third world countries where too many people suffer from poverty. He talks about an Afghanistan girl who may not survive without the help because the conditions in a place where she lives are inhuman. Annan says that poverty begins when one child is denied his or her fundamental right to education. However, the example of apartheid causes the lack of individual rights. He says that these fundamental rights are as necessary to the poor as they are to the rich. He does not seem to agree with others about globalization causing the gap. He does not blame the globalization but human injustice. It is human injustice that keeps the poor people for having equal rights with the rich. Annan says that answering the needs of individual human beings is the mission of the United Nations.
           On this matter Roy agrees with Annan about the injustice, but refers to globalization not individuals. This seems to lead to Roy’s angry article where she is referring to United States as the Empire and talks about it including the corporate globalization as those who make decisions. She talks about corporate globalization, as big corporations and rich countries working together to take over the world in a way that would benefit them more than the middle class people or the third world. Roy says that rich people make decisions that affect them for the better.
           Similarly in the Oxfam’s article the government policies seem to be the cause of the gap between rich and poor. In this article they say that the failure to develop better strategies for global governance is failing the poor. Oxfam’s article says, “The end result is a process of globalization that is redistributing wealth and opportunity in the wrong direction, from the poor to the rich.”
           That is a connection to Reich’s article where he states that globalization is the main factor that determines the gap between the rich and the poor. Reich talks about different level workers in United States and whether they are sinking rapidly, slowly, or rising steadily. He talks about how globalization has let the gap between the rich and the poor take place. Modern technology also has much to do with it. The factory workers will be not needed much anymore since the machinery is doing most of the job, therefore the routine producers would lose their job because they are no longer needed.
           Many people say that these are the darkest times of human kind and the future does not look promising because of the ongoing poverty and ignorance in the world. This is mostly the mindset of many people. It is globalization that lets the rich get what they want. But hopefully even the biggest problems in the world could be eventually solved if countries who put their heads together figure out strategies to help those in need during these uncertain times. A good support network is always important to anyone in need. 

Works Cited

Annan, Kofi. “Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, December 10, 2001.” McLeod, Jarvis and Spear 117-121

Oxfam. “Globalisation.” McLeod, Jarvis and Spear 109-115

Reich, Robert. “Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor Poorer.” McLeod, Jarvis and Spear 123-134

Roy, Arundhati. “Excerpts from War Talk.” McLeod, Jarvis and Spear 155-160

Writing About the World. 3rd ed. Comp. Susan McLeod, John Jarvis, Shelly Spear. Boston: Thompson Wadsworth, 2005.

 Photo: Leelo-Kaja Lepna; Where: Fall Creek Falls; When: October 13, 2002.
Yes, the picture has nothing to do with the writing. It is here merely for illustration.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Analyze This

You may analyze the  following writing. Just don't overthink it or you might create a problem that wasn't there in the first place.

Also, I hope that if you like the movie Accepted, you recognize a familiar scene with the character  Sherman Schrader.

The following is my rewrite of a fairytale, Little Red Cap by Brothers Grimm, followed by an analysis of my own paper, which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2008 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
Any questions? Write a comment.

The Little Red Hat

           Once upon a time there was a teenager, about eighteen or nineteen years of age; her name was Ella. Ella Cinder. She lived with her mother in a big city and was feeling sadness and guilt because her parents had got a divorce a few years ago and she never really got over blaming herself for it. Although Ella loved her mom very much, she was also very fond of her dear grandmother. Ella’s grandma did not live in the city; she lived over the hills and far away, through the woods and over the meadows, in a beautiful countryside. Ella would have rather lived with her grandmother in the country; she hated the big city.
 On one beautiful summer day when Ella was reading fairy tale “Little Red Cap” by the Brothers Grimm, the phone rang and her mom answered it. A few moments later Ella’s mom came to her to say that her grandmother was very sick. She had made pancakes and asked Ella to take them to her grandma. Ella’s mom packed a handbasket with the pancakes and a jar of blueberry jam for Ella to take to her grandma. Then she had to leave. As she was leaving, she stopped on the door and shouted to Ella, “Don’t forget to take that basket to your grandma!” “Yeah, sure, mom. I’ll do it soon,” Ella answered while having her nose still in the book.
A few moments later when she had finished reading the story, Ella finally stood up and walked to the kitchen. She grabbed the handbasket, put it on her right arm and merrily skipped downstairs. She had to take the bus to go to her grandma. After an hour of bus ride the bus stopped at a beautiful countryside and Ella came off the bus. As the bus left, leaving behind a heavy smoke from its exhaust pipe, Ella was feeling guilty of not having a bicycle.
She looked around and truly admired the beautiful blue sky and the bright yellow meadow on one side of the road. She was dreaming of being a bird and spreading her wings to fly over the beautiful yellow. But she had to go through the fir tree forest, which was on the other side of the road. The darkness of the forest grew upon her. But here was a path through the forest that she had to follow.
As she was walking and was about half-way through the forest, she noticed a man ahead. The man was dressed in a hotdog costume. As Ella got closer to him, she started hearing something. The man in a hotdog suit was yelling something out loud. Ella kept on walking and as she got closer she heard it clearly. The man was shouting, “Ask me about my wiener! Ask me about my wiener!” Ella thought that was a bit weird and she decided to ignore the guy the best she can.
But as she started passing the man in a hotdog costume while avoiding eye contact with him, something happened. The man suddenly came closer to her and grabbed her arm, making Ella turn and look at him. Then he said, “Hey, ask me about my wiener.” “No thanks, I’ll pass,” responded Ella as she pulled her arm back. The man started to lose his patience and he did not seem to be friendly at all. He moved closer to Ella. Ella started walking faster. The man was after her. She was walking, and then walking faster. The she started running. Running and then sprinting. Luckily the hotdog man was not able to run so fast in the costume.
Ella got to her grandma’s house. She was really scared and frightened by the hotdog man, and she was banging impatiently on her grandma’s door. Suddenly the door flew open and there was her grandma, holding a kalashnikov, ready to shoot. Ella screamed, and not for joy. As Grandma saw it was Ella, she lowered the riffle. “I’m so sorry sweet pea, I thought someone was trying to break in to my house,” said Grandma apologetically as she put her left arm around Ella while still holding the kalashnikov in the other hand.
Then it was Ella’s turn to apologize to her grandmother, “I am sorry, grandma. I did not mean to scare you. It’s just that, there was this really creepy guy in a hotdog costume in the forest and he was coming after me and I wanted to get inside before he finds me.” Grandma just tapped Ella on her back and said, “It’s going to be OK, my child.”
They went outside where it was warm and sunny and walked towards the well. They sat down and while grandma was pulling water out of the well, Ella spread the blueberry jam over the pancakes. Grandma poured water for both of them.
Ella and Grandma could barely start eating when they heard a noise from the bushes nearby. The hotdog man emerged from the bushes. His eyes were bloody red and there was foam coming out of his mouth. He yelled, “Ask me about my wiener!” Grandma grabbed her kalashnikov and started shooting the hotdog man. Blood was flying all over the place. The man fell into the well. “Darn, there goes my clean water,” complained grandma. Ella and grandma decided not even to finish their pancakes. Grandma had to move to the city with Ella and her mom.
Then Ella woke up. Her head was on the book she had been reading. She walked to the kitchen and saw the handbasket that she had to take to Grandma was still on the table.

“The Little Red Hat” is a rewrite of “Little Red Cap” by the Brothers Grimm. Just like in the Brothers Grimm story, the story makes a clear difference of the safe world of the city, in with Ella lives with her mom, and the dangers of the forest, the outside world. Ella Cinder is the Little Red Ridinghood, the protagonist; and antagonist, the wolf, in this story is the hotdog man. Although, the red hood or hat of the main character is non-existent, the story should be easily recognized as rewrite of “Little Red Ridinghood.” Ella Cinder is on a quest where she meets a wolf who also could be considered a vampire. Also, there are several notable symbols in the story. Metaphors of this story point to the idea of sex which also seem to take a form of rape.
Some of the earliest printed versions of the story had a very strong moral tone. The moral of this story may not be exactly the same. The character of Ella is not off the right path, but she does encounter an unpleasant meeting with a man that she does not enjoy. The moment in the forest with the hotdog man teaches her to be careful.
The red hood or the red hat is supposed to symbolize a young, vibrant woman. The wolf again, may symbolize a man, a woman chaser. Most importantly his behavior, when the hotdog man grabs Ella’s arm is what makes him a sexual predator. Thomas Foster writes in his book “How to Read Literature like a Professor” that other objects and activities can stand in for sexual organs and sex acts (136). That should make it easier to understand for the reader that the hotdog costume is a phallic symbol. Foster writes in his book that since Freud unlocked the sexual potential of the subconscious, many things in literature as well may have a sexual component (136).
Foster says, “Lances and swords and guns [are] phallic symbols, chalices and grails [are] symbols of female sexual organs” (139). So if the hotdog costume is a phallic symbol then the basket that Ella carries is a symbol of her identity as a woman and her sexual being. Now, although the kalashnikov Ella’s grandma has could also be a phallic symbol, Grandma’s way of using the firearm is simply to protect her granddaughter from the sexual predator, the possible rapist, the hotdog-man.
In the chapter about the quest, Foster says, “The quest consists of five things: a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials en route, and a real reason to go there.” (3). Ella is the quester who goes to her grandma’s house to deliver a basket with pancakes. On the way she meets the man in a hotdog suit, which would be her challenge to overcome. But as Foster says, the real reason for the quest is always self-knowledge. Ella was young and inexperienced; she was on this quest to discover the dangers of life that do make her stronger if she survives. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Foster writes, “In the real world, breaking bread together is an act of sharing and peace. [] eating with another is a way of saying, “I’m with you, I like you.”” (8). Towards the end of the story, Ella and her grandma are trying to eat the pancakes together and grandma is pouring the water for both of them. Although they did not get to eat the full mean, because it was interrupted by the hotdog man, the way Grandma and Ella were sitting together with pancakes and blueberry jam is a form of communion.
In his third chapter, Foster discusses vampires. Most often vampires are considered as the living dead who suck out the blood of the living, but even a respectable man has a dark side. Foster says that even in the movies, “Dracula is dangerous, mysterious, and he tends to focus on beautiful, unmarried women.” (16). Although the hotdog man in this particular rewrite story may not have any weird attractiveness to him, he definitely is dangerous and focuses on young and unmarried Ella.
Other important part of the story is the weather. The writer did not describe the weather much but she did mention it once when Ella was with her grandma and when they went outside to eat together that it was warm and sunny. But sunshine in literature should mean good things. Therefore the reader should understand that Ella really felt the sunshine in her heart as well when she was with her beloved grandmother.
Also, the landscape is a symbol. Foster says, “Symbols [] involve a range of possible meaning and interpretations.” (98). When Ella steps off the bus and looks on both sides of the road, she sees two different landscapes on each side. She looks over the beautiful yellow meadow and a blue sky and dreams of being a bird to fly over the meadow. The meadow and blue sky symbolize the pureness of Ella, the innocence of her heart. But as she looks towards the forest with tall dark fir trees she is being frightened by what she might find or see on the way. Foster says that a cave may force a character into contact with the deepest personal fears and anxieties (101). That is exactly what writer of this story lets happen to Ella. Ella sees the forest and is afraid of what lies ahead.
In the fifth chapter, Foster talks about intertextuality. He says, “Intertextuality [is} the ongoing interaction between poems and stories.” (34). The text of this story has many similarities to the Brothers Grimm story. There is the Mother, the protagonist – Ella, the Grandmother and the wolf – the hotdog man. Although the “wolf” never gets to eat Grandma or Ella and there is no hunter, the influence of Brother’s Grimm story seems to be obvious. The only thing that may confuse the reader is the ending where the reader finds out that Ella never left home yet, that she was only dreaming. But Foster comes to help here by saying, “Readers must reconsider characters, situations, events [] Lose the personal details, consider her as a type, and try to think where you’ve seen that type before.” (31).
“The Little Red Hat,” may not be exactly a modern story of Brothers Grimm “Little Red Cap,” but hopefully the reader finds it to have a twist to it. The wolf - scene in this rewrite story was taken from a movie “Accepted.” The writer created this story to entertain the audience. Therefore it had to have a comical moment in it. The writer was trying to create irony and maybe a sense of lostness, considering the ending.

Works Cited
Accepted. Director: Steve Pink. Universal Pictures. 2006.

Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York: HarperCollins, 2003

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. “Little Red Cap.” Kinder- und Hausmärchen, 1st ed. (Berlin, 1812), v. 1, no. 26.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nature of Oppression of American Indians

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2009 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
Any questions? Write a comment.

Nature of Oppression of American Indians

           Native American Indians have been oppressed by the white men since the time Columbus reached this continent. During the past couple centuries the Natives were forced to move into reservations. Most of the Native American nations in the continent of North America are mostly gone. On many occasions even the reservations the Indians resided on were taken over by the white men back in the day. This paper will talk about viewpoints of Bartolome de la Casas, Tecumseh, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin about the oppression of the Native Indians and whether and how these problems between the Natives and white men could be resolved for everyone’s well being.
           One of the first writers who had the courage to side with the Indians, discussed this semester, is Bartolome de la Casas. He wrote about the nature of oppression of the Indians and defended them in his writings. Casas has even said about the event of taking the seven Taino Indians that were taken back to Spain with Columbus was the “first injustice committed to the Indies.” Casas was appointed as the Protector of the Indians in Spain by the government. Casas spoke fiercely about the treatment of the enslaved Indians. His suggestion to fix the situation, however, was controversial. His suggested that to replace the Indians, the Africans should be imported in their stead. Soon enough Casas backed from his earlier suggestion stating that the enslavement of blacks is as unjust as the slavery of the Indians.
           According to an article in the Philological Quarterly in 2006, Casas has said to Prince Philip about the injustice of the Natives, “it would constitute a criminal neglect of my duty to remain silent about the enormous loss of life as well as the infinite number of human souls despatched to Hell in the course of such 'conquests'” (Philological Quarterly). The article says that in his work, “Devastation of the Indies,” Casas lamented “the atrocities committed against the indigenous peoples.” Casas describes the atrocities done by the Spaniards to the Taino Indians saying that the Indians were brutally murdered and tortured. He labeled the acts as “inhuman, ruthless and ferocious” (Norton Anthology, 38). Also, according to Casas, the Spaniards had greed for gold and they also forced the Indians to dive for pearls in freezing cold waters.
           Bartolome de la Casas did not really offer any solutions for the enslavement or brutal treatment of the Indians, he simply described what was done to them by the Spaniards, but as the time progressed, more changes came for the Native Indians in the land of North America as it progressed into the United States and the wiser men such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin tried to reason with the Native locals.
           The most heated clashes between the Native Americans and the white men came to be because the Pilgrims who settled in the New World had relentless demand for the land. The new colonies wanted the Indians to submit to their laws, but this led to Indian resistance. During the times of the creation of the United States as a country, the friendly contact between the Native Americans and the Puritans and the people newly formed colonies often were followed by a bitter conflict due to the differences between the two societies that had to co-exist on the same land.
           The Native American nations had oratorical eloquence within them since the beginning of the times. The Native American tribes had no means of writing down their historical events before the white men arrived. The stories were passed on orally from one generation to another.
           The many Native American chiefs who spoke in front of the United States government often made great speeches and also explained well the nature of oppression of their nation from their viewpoints. For example, Red Jacket, a Seneca orator, gave a speech to the U.S Senate, explaining his concerns about the different believes and understandings of his people and the white men. He said how the land was owned by the forefather’s of his people and how badly they were treated by the white men after giving the whites land and food. Red Jacket blamed the white men for hiring Indians to fight against each other and also for bringing strong liquor to them and forcing their religion on the Indians. By the end of the speech Red Jacket had made it clear that he felt being mistreated by the white men and added, “we do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own” (Norton Anthology, 447).
           According to an essay in the American Indian Quarterly, in 2007, Red Jacket seems “unable or unwilling to broker a solution to prevent the decline of the ensuing two hundred years” (the American Indian Quarterly). Red Jacket was definitely one of the most famous and well known Native American orators of the time. He was well admired by the native nations for his ability of self-determination in speaking for the rights of his own nation.
           Tecumseh was another great speaker and leader who organized a multi-tribal resistance to the Americans. Tecumseh is known for his detriment in Indigenous nationalism. In his speech Tecumseh hyped up quite a many Native tribes against the white men by giving the speech to the brothers that would relate to what he says. He referred to the white people as “poisonous snakes” (Norton Anthology, 448). According to a small article with Tecumseh’s speech to the Choctaws and Chickasaws in 1811, he appears to be much worried of the future of the Native Americans. He says, “Will we calmly suffer the white intruders and tyrants to enslave us?... The annihilation of our race is at hand unless we unite in one common cause against the common foe… assist in the just cause of liberating our race from the grasp of our faithless invaders and heartless oppressors.” (Lapham’s Quarterly). It is evident that Tecumseh wanted a war to push back the Americans who in the Natives eyes did oppress them. In this case his suggestion for freedom of oppression would be war against the opressors. Tecumseh feared for the extinction of his people and of all Native American tribes.
           It is also being said that Thomas Jefferson argues that American Indians were not inferior to the whites who were considered to be more civilized. He also said that Native Americans do have capacity for noble oratory. Jefferson was hoping to achieve peace between the Natives and Americans. An article in the Journal of Southern History says that Jefferson wanted “gradual transfer of tribal lands to small farmers, whether white or Indian, and the transformation of native culture from its traditional communal order that rested on kinship to the modern social arrangements that formed the lives of European settlers.” This article discusses the book Jefferson and the Indians, written by Anthony F. C. Wallace. Sheehan, the author of the article notes that in this book, Jefferson’s actions toward the Native Americans were hypocritical, for he did want the Indians to move westward. If the Indians “resisted or failed to move at a pace [Jefferson] thought necessary, he resorted to methods that in our time are considered repugnant” (Journal of Southern History).
           Benjamin Franklin was a man who helped the government of United States to benefit thanks to the lessons he had learned from the Iroquois. Franklin used the wisdom of the Native Americans for the gain of his new government. Franklin even advocated the one-house legislature resembling the Iroquois Grand Council. According to an article in the Journal of the Early Republic, Franklin was a friend to the Indians and is “the central promoter of a confederated form of government based on his familiarity with the Iroquois League.” Franklin was concerned about the differences between the white people and the Natives. Franklin found the Iroquois to be a great nation who allowed people to participate in their politics and who communicated well with people from different locations. Franklin had the need to balance the nation of people of so many different cultures.
           There really never was any “middle-ground” to be between the interaction and communication of the Native Americans and the white intruders who came to take the land that was rightfully the Indian’s land. De la Casas and Tecumseh may have been able to describe the horrifying events and deeds that were committed by the white people, yet Casas never really had a solution to offer to the problem of the Taino Indians who were tortured by the Spaniards. Tecumseh’s idea was to try to use power and united force of all Native Americans to push back the whites. Surely the Natives were hoping for the whites to leave back where they came from. Franklin and Jefferson may have done their best to try to establish reasonable relationship with the Native American Indians, however, because of the major differences in their culture this would not work out perfectly. Jefferson and Franklin both wanted lands for the new settlers and needed to push back the Indians towards the West. The nature of the oppression of the Natives was that they were expected to behave and live and have the same values as the white Christians from Europe. The only way to the freedom of oppression from the white’s tyranny for the Indians was to accept their offer to live in reservations.

Native American Women and Puritan Women

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2009 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Native American Women and Puritan Women
Native American Women’s importance in their culture and the Puritan Women’s roles during the time of the early settlers in their colonies were different from each other.
The place of woman in Native American cultures was honored. Women were respected and had powerful roles in their community. In many tribes women were historians and kept records of events. They also owned property. It is important to notice that the Native Americans, unlike the early European settlers, did not have a written culture. They valued memory over writing and printing. The Indians often told stories to each other. Native American Indians had capacity for noble oratory. “The business of the women [of the Six Nations] is to take exact notice of what passes, imprint it in their memories (for they have no writing), and communicate it to their children” (Franklin, The Norton Anthology 469).
For example, stories of creation tell the people of a culture how they first came to be. In the Iroquois creation story, the whole world was formed of the Sky Woman. That represents the general cultural outlook of the Iroquois and presents an aspect of the value of women in their culture. The Iroquois creation story has an emphasis on the importance of women. Annlouise Keating writes that the mythic figures of creation stories “provide readers [listeners] with empowering models of female identity.” (Keating).
For the Puritan women, life was much home-bound and they were not allowed to achieve education. Christianity was the religion of the Early Americans but women were not allowed to speak in church. There were a few exceptions, women who did receive education, for example, Anne Bradstreet. She got to go to school thanks to her father who made sure that Anne Bradstreet would receive “education superior to that of most young women of the time” (Bradstreet, 187).
The differences in the early American women and the Native American women are also brought up as comparison in Mary Rowlandson’s captivity Narrative. The Indians that had captured Mary Rowlandson, were Wampanoag Indians who have a matriarchal culture which was much different that of a Puritan’s patriarchal society.
The women of the Wampanoag tribe did have the universal roles common to women, such as cooking for family and caring for children, but they also were included in important cultural events such as storytelling, traditional medicine, music and artwork. Rowlandson even wrote about her mistress being included in a dance presentation, “…getting ready for their dance, which was carried on by eight of them, four men and four squaws. My master and mistress being two” (Rowlandson, 260).
As Rowlandson was captured by the Wampanoag Indians, she was unable to carry out her role as a traditional Puritan woman. The Indians were kind enough to let her read a Bible. However, there was one incident, after her mistress had lost her child and came back from the child’s funeral, as finding Mary reading a Bible, the Indian woman knocked it out of her hands and threw it out. Mrs. Rowlandson was able to retrieve her Bible and keep her mistress from seeing it again. She faced challenges unknown to any Christian woman in the New World. Rowlandson’s writing was a warning of the treatment by the heathens for other Christian women.
Puritan women were judged by their society in the New World by their virtues, domesticity and purity. Mary Gronin writes that women “were judged primarily by their abilities to serve as wives and mothers.” The early American women had to be moral and devoted to their family.
The Iroquois, whose creation story is mentioned before, are much like the Wampanoags. The Iroquois treated women as equals. Besides taking care of their children, cooking and sewing, the Iroquois women took part in many activities that in a patriarchal society like the New England, would be allowed only for men. Iroquois women were allowed to participate in political ceremonies and they were also Medicine Women who had vast knowledge of medication from the nature.
In the early colonial community, women were not much appreciated. There was a belief that nothing that a woman has to say is important to men. The early colonial men of the time were certain that anything that women may have to say would not be important.
Unlike the Puritan women, who had no say in politics, the Iroquois women were able to nominate members of the ruling council. Leadership in many Native American tribes is often shared between men and women. Gender inequality does not show as it does in the Puritan culture. According to an article in Journal of Council and Development, in 2005, “American Indian governance is filled not with the romantic notion of male “chiefs” as wise, supreme, all-knowing…but with tribal councils…consisting of multiple leaders (male and female) holding positions of leadership, most often with a group of elder women holding the ultimate power” (JCD, 2005).
Native American women had great skills in listening and they were also patient. These are the necessary skills to have in order to achieve greatness on a leadership position. Patience and listening skills were something that Puritan women had in common with the Indian women. Although the puritan women did not have any leadership opportunities because of their religion did not allow it, they were patient in their submissiveness to men.
Christopher B. Teuton writes in his article in 2003 that Native American women have been able to participate, alongside with men in “medicine, art, tribal politics, and diplomacy.” Teuton mentions that the Native American culture has been greatly influenced by the early colonial lifestyle and changed their culture.
Most American Indian belief systems have been women centered and emphasize native peoples believes in gender equality. According to Annlouise Keating’s essay about Paula Gunn Allen in Grandmothers of the Light, there is a “sevenfold path of medicine women—the way of the daughter, the householder, the mother, the gatherer, the ritualist, the teacher, and the wise woman” (Allen). Iroquois creation story of the Sky Woman who falls and becomes the world is a big part of women-centered spiritual tradition of the Iroquois culture.
Keating says, that with her works, Allen focuses on the importance of education for women. Although the Native American cultures are women-centered, they have brought great things to the Indian communities. There are several problems in the Early American society because there is no equality between men and women because the Puritan society is mainly patriarchal. Allen’s work is truly remarkable, not only because it points out the differences in the religious worldview of the Natives and the early settlers, but also because the women today, could learn something from the Native Americans. This worldview could provide means for women to challenge gender prejudice even in today’s world.
Storytelling is a unique way for Native Americans to create knowledge of nature and life to their society with presenting through spoken language to establish understanding in their people. According to Allen (in Keating’s article), women can affect both spiritual and material change. The oral tradition through which the Natives present their mythic narratives, summon the contact between the spiritual and natural world in which they live.
The oral narratives of female deities in many Native American cultures challenge the patriarchal believes of women’s place in the Christian world as inferior to men. AnnLouise Keating writes about Allen’s “Grandmother of the Light,” “by emphasizing American Indian women’s centrality in social, political, and religious structures, Allen exposes the ethnocentrism and racism behind stereotypes of native women as beasts of burden, dumb squaws, or traitors to their own people.”
Just like the stories of creation, the Trickster Stories are important part of any Native American culture. Similarly to the Christian believes of right and wrong, the natives had their own believes of right and wrong. Some of these stories are called Trickster Tales. They give important instruction of how one should behave.
According to an article in Discovering Collection, in 2000, “[Trickster Tales] might involve sexual trickery, as when the trickster disguises himself as a woman so that he can marry a man or marries his own daughters while in disguise.” The tricksters’ bad behavior comes from restlessness and from strong urges for earthly pleasures. Such an incident can be noticed in the Winnebago Trickster Story.
The Early settlers who had Christianity as their religion, had made a clear difference between good and evil. They also maintained their dogma of distrust in women’s abilities for excellence in the field of education or politics. The native Americans were looked upon as heathens by the Puritans because the Natives appeared to be uncivilized to them. When Mary Rowlandson was captured by the Wampanoag Indians, she got to see the everyday life of the particular Indian tribe. There were some signs of women’s inferiority as well, such as the Wampanoag women having to carry heavy load on their back and children as they were traveling, while the men went ahead with nothing heavy to carry.
However, Mrs. Rowlandson also noticed that women were included in some events such as dance performance. The Wampanoag men did listen to their squaws when they were speaking. What was against Mary’s believes though was the fact that the Wampanoag Indians were allowed to have multiple squaws. Mary clearly preferred on of them to another, but that was according to how these Indian women treated Mary.
Jaimes Guerrero writes in his article “”Patriarchal Colonialism” and Indigenism” that the Native American Indians have sacred traditions that give their women respect and authority “in matrilineal descendency and matrifocal decision making for traditional gender egalitarianism.” Guerrero adds, “as a result of U. S. colonialism and patriarchal structure, the traditional authority of Native American women has been systematically disempowered up to the present time.”
From Guerrero’s document one can understand that the Native American culture has much changed since the impact with the earliest colonies with their patriarchal ways of life. Before the Europeans started to settle in the New World, the Natives culture was mostly functioning on the matrilineal lines of kinship. He adds, “these communal models of indigenous governance granted women respect and authority; exemplary of the gender egalitarianism practiced by many Native societies is their use of both matrifocal and patrifocal (to use anthropological terms) councils to negotiate consensus and make decisions in times of peace and war.” Indian women were not dependent on men, their role was in balance with men.
The famous early female poet and writer Mary Rowlandson lived in patriarchal colony as well. The men of Rowlandson’s society felt definitely superior to the women. The attitude of women’s inferiority was not affecting only the women of the early colonies but moreover, it had an awful impact on the Native American culture and the patriarchal viewpoints forced to Native women having to deal with both racist and also sexist attitudes. The women of New England society at the time thought of women in the same level with children and slaves. The colonial women were considered as property of men.
Ivy Schweitzer notes in her article, “My body / not to either state inclined,” “colonial European women…used the Bible as a source of what they would consider feminism or female empowerment,
and as an argument for their worth, authority…” Schweitzer adds, “a woman writer had to be "approved" as authentic for public consumption by male authorities.”
Anne Bradstreet, the poet and writer, also lived during the colonial times when women were ridiculed by men. Schweitzer writes, “these male writers position [Anne Bradstreet] as… an exception that proves the rule.” The peers of Bradstreet compared her works with other male writers of the time. In her poem, “In Honor of Queen Elizabeth” Bradstreet writes of Elizabeth who is equal and even better than men in the roles that according to the Christian culture of the time was meant only for men.
When looking into the past and thinking of the oppression of the Native Americans under the iron fist of the New England, one can notice that the settlers believed themselves to be superior to the Indians. The destruction of the Native culture was simply seen as the good taking over the evil, the heathens. It was the patriarchal damage to the gender-balanced Indian culture.

Works Cited

Anne Bradstreet.” Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology American Literature, W. W. Norton and Company, Inc. New York, New York. Seventh addition, 2007. (187-188)

Beloved Women: Nurturing the Sacred Fire of Leadership From an American Indian Perspective.” Journal of Counseling and Development v83 no3 p284-91 Summ 2005

Franklin, Benjamin. “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.” Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology American Literature, W. W. Norton and Company, Inc. New York, New York. Seventh addition, 2007. (468-472)

Gronin, Mary. “Redefining Woman's Sphere New England's Antebellum Female Textile Operatives' Magazines and the Response to the "Cult of True Womanhood."” Journalism History 25 no1 13- 25 Spr 1999

Jaimes*Guerrero, M. A. “Patriarchal Colonialism” and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism. Hypatia 18 no2 Spr 2003

Keating. AnnLouise. “Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman’s Sourcebook.” Masterplots II: Women’s Literature Series © 1995 by Salem Press, Inc. MagillOnLiterature Plus
Rowlandson, Mary. “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology American Literature, W. W. Norton and Company, Inc. New York, New York. Seventh addition, 2007. (236-266)

Schweitzer, Ivy. “My body / not to either state inclined”: Early American Women Challenge Feminist Criticism. Early Am Lit 44 no2 2009

Teuton, Christopher B. “American Indian Women: Nurturing American IndianCultural and Political Continuance.” NWSA J 15 no2 Summ 2003

Winkle Winkle Little Star

Single life suits me just fine.

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2009 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Winkle, Winkle, little star

            It is true that Winkle’s story is a look from the eyes of an ordinary American during, before and after the Revolutionary war. It mostly focuses on the way of seeing what happened before and after the war. What Winkle did during the war remains more mysterious and somewhat foggy. That is the time Winkle slept for twenty years and missed out on “all the fun.” Rip Van Winkle does not merely represent a regular American of the time who is oblivious to the changes in the society, but the story brings out the loved lifestyle of the writer, Washington Irving, who enjoyed his life as a bachelor.
            After the death of Irving’s fiancĂ©, Matilda, he “would remain a life-long bachelor” (951). It is fair to assume, that Irving, just as his character, Rip, enjoyed being away from the hustle-and-bustle of a family life. Rip Van Winkle. Winkle liked spending time in the nature, with his dog named Wolf. The best and most calming effect of the whole story is given in the moments when Winkle spends time in the wilds, “for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons” (955). “In a long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day… From an opening between the trees, he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson…moving on its silent but majestic course…losing itself in the blue highlands” (957).
            There is a saying that a dog is a man’s best friend. Wolf definitely was a great and important sidekick to Winkle. Wolf went with him to his adventures of hunting. And Wolf was also one of the first ones Winkle was wondering about, after waking up from his dream, “Rip’s sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf, who was as much hen-pecked as his master; for Dame Van Winkle regarded them as companions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf with an evil eye, as the cause of his master’s going so often astray” (956).
            The reader may wonder if Rip even likes Wolf more than his wife. The dog felt as unhappy at the house as Winkle himself, “The moment Wolf entered the house his crest fell, his tail drooped to the ground, or curled between his legs, he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many a sidelong glance at Dame Van Winkle” (956). Irving writes about Winkle’s thoughts of his wife, Dame Van Winkle, “he heaved a heavy sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors of Dame Van Winkle” (957). When Winkle wakes up from his long sleep, one of his first thoughts is, ““what excuse shall I make to Dame Van Winkle!”” (959).As Winkle was going back to his old house, he was “expecting every moment to hear the shrill voice of Dame Van Winkle” (960).
            All of these are examples of Winkle either really being afraid of his wife or finding the marriage something absolutely horrible. He disliked the “shrill voice” of his wife and even his poor dog was unhappy at home. No wonder Winkle did not like to be at home. But obviously the more he stayed away from his family, the more upset his wife got. At the end of the story, Winkle even admits that he was happy not having to be married any longer. “Happily that was at an end; he had got his neck out of the yoke of matrimony, and could go in and out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny of Dame Van Winkle. Whenever her name was mentioned, however, he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes; which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance” (964).
            Winkle obviously spent time in the nature to reflect. He was being with his soul and memories and the sounds of nature near the Hudson river. He was doing his own thing, shooting squirrels, he had his own rhythm. When Winkle is in the nature, together with his friend, Wolf, all the existence of everyday life seems to fade for a while. It is not about how Dame Van Winkle sees Rip, but how Winkle himself sees the life of marriage. Just like Irving’s character, Rip Van Winkle, “there are hints that the single life suited Irving just fine” (951).

Works Cited
Irving, Washington. "Rip Van Winkle". The Norton Anthology American Literature. Ed 7. Nina Baym, Franklin, Gura, Krupat. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007. 951-965

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Young Goodman Brown

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2009 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
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Goodman Brown’s Brown World
           When reading the story of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one can always rely on the simple psychology of colors in the story. The story involves several symbols in it, of which the most important to notice is the last name of Young Goodman Brown, which definitely indicates a color of many meanings. The colors, names, place, setting and the time of day play an important role in the story to paint the picture of an epic journey with Young Goodman’s own emotional fight between good and evil.
           Young Goodman Brown has a name that can mean both good and bad. In general, the color brown is a color that shows orderliness and stability. One wearing a clothing of color brown may feel confident and wholesome. However, the color brown can also indicate sadness and hopelessness. The color brown in nature indicates death. For example, during the fall season the colorful leaves that fall off the trees turn brown. For Young Goodman Brown, his name brought him anxiety and loneliness by the end of the story. Young Goodman Brown was “dead inside” long before he actually died.
           After the incident in the woods, which Goodman Brown says he does not know whether it was a dream or not, he grows wary of everyone and everything. He cannot trust anyone anymore because he is certain that everyone is up to no good.
           Another important color to notice in the story is the pink color of the ribbons of Goodman’s wife, “letting the wind play with the pink ribbons on her cap…” (1289). The color pink is a symbol of happiness, hope and faith. Hawthorne explains that thought, “[he] saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons” (1289). Another clear symbol is of the moment when Goodman Brown loses his faith, something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon. "My Faith is gone!" cried he, after one stupefied moment” (1294).
           It is important to know that Hawthorne has set the story to take place in Salem. Salem, which is a town in Massachusetts, is well known internationally as the place of witch trials in 1692. The reader, who sees the name Salem in the first sentence of Hawthorne’s story, may already have assumptions that this story will be about something wicked. The mysterious aura of Young Goodman Brown’s tale comes to show with these words, “goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose” (1289). It is also being said that Hawthorne’s own great-great grandfather was the judge of the witch trials. Hawthorne goes even as far as bringing in one of the names who was considered to be a witch, Martha Carrier.
           Hawthorne’s description of the nature and the time of day in the story also gives a good clue about what Goodman Brown is experiencing. Goodman brown leaves his house at a sunset, which does not have a romantic meaning to it. Sunset symbolizes the end of the day when the world gets darker. And darkness in literature has always something to do with mysterious, evil happenings. Hawthorne describes as Goodman Brown walks from home, “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind” (1289).
           Goodman Brown went on his dark journey which led him to a result of miserable feeling of guilt that he had to live with for the rest of his life. After the incident in the woods, Goodman Brown was suspicious of everything and everyone in his community. He did not trust anyone because his faith in the goodness of human nature. By the end of the journey, Goodman Brown has changed into Not-So-Goodman Brown. It was not that anyone in his society had turned to evil, but it was the evil that had got the best out of him.

Works Cited
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown."  The Norton Anthology American Literature. 7th ed. Ed. NIna Baym. W. W. Norton & Company. New York, NY: 2007. 1289 - 1298. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Black Hawk Down

The following is my essay which I wrote for my English class in Fall 2009 at Pellissippi State.

All rights reserved. No part of the following text may be used for any other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, publishing, transferring, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission by the author.
Any questions? Write a comment.

Black Hawk Down

           Black Hawk was a Sauk Indian chief who refused to recognize the Treaty of St. Louis, in which Fox and Sauk tribes forsake their lands east of the Mississippi. When Andrew Jackson was elected president, an important part of his agenda was the relocation of the Natives to the West of Mississippi River. Before the Cherokees removal to the west, the Trail of Tears, Black Hawk fought the last Indian war in 1832. This war is named after him, Black Hawk War. When it comes to signing a treaty at St. Louis, there appears to be a clear misunderstanding between the Americans and the Sauk nation when the whites wanted the lands to the federal government and Indians believed they are permitted to stay on these lands forever.
           “They did not understand that the document they had signed permitted them to remain only until the government sold or otherwise disposed of those lands” (1253). The Indians clearly seem to have misunderstood the treaty of the Americans. It would be also fair to say that the Indians were lost in translation. Yet, misinterpreting such an important document brought much pain and suffering to them.
           After signing a second treaty to confirm the contents of the first, the Sauk nation was made to move west of the Mississippi. But then in 1832, Black Hawk led a party of about two hundred Sauk warriors and their families to the Rock River back to their homelands in northern Illinois, wanting to reestablish his people there. The white settlers of those lands freaked out and of course complained and called their “brigades of volunteers… to force Black Hawk and his people back across the Mississippi” (1253).
           The whites chased down Black Hawk’s party and were shooting them as they crossed the river, even when Black Hawk himself waved the white flag to surrender. Black Hawk was taken prisoner. Soon after he narrated his life story and had it published.
           In “From Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk,” Black Hawk explains his and his tribes views on how they saw the treaty. “…I touched the goose quill to the treaty-not knowing,,,that by that act, I consented to give away my village” (1254). He adds, “What do we know of the manner of the laws and customs of the white people? They might buy our bodies for dissection, and we would touch the goose quill to confirm it, without knowing what we are doing” (1254). Most importantly Black Hawk says that he believes that land cannot be sold. He goes on blaming the whites for all sorts of horrible deeds that were done to his people when they went back to their lands. However, there should have been better translators at a time of the treaty. If the Sauk Indians would have understood, the document they signed, correctly in first place, there might have been much less violence. But the whites needed the lands and had to get it one way or another.

Works Cited
"Native Americans: Removal and Resistance." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Franklin, Wayne; Gura, Philip F.; Klinkowitz Jerome, Krupat, Arnold; Levine, Robert S.; Loeffelhoz, Mary; Reesman, Jeanne Campbell; Wallace, Patricia B. Ed. Nina Baym. 7th ed. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 1252-1271.