Ode to a Nightingale

Brian Finnerty

9/11/12

“Ode to a Nightingale”

 

 

Before reading  Keat’s poem, “Ode to a Nightingale”, I looked up what the meaning

 

of Nightingale meant. Nightingale is a “small European thrush with brownish plumage. A

 

nightingale is a bird. In the poem the speaker hears of this nightingale singing in a forest.

 

From reading the poem I believe the main theme is life and death and how death will

 

eventually come one day for all of us. I picked up on the distinct relationship between the

 

nightingale and the speaker in the poem. Throughout the entire poem the speaker listens

 

to the nightingale sing away into the night. One hotspot that I find in the poem in the line,

 

“That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest

 

dim”. I believe this line is backing up my statement made about the main theme which

 

happens to be about life and death and being afraid to die. From reading the poem I came

 

to the conclusion that the nightingale is dying and it is perfectly content with it. On the

 

other hand the speaker can not realize this and does not want to face that death will creep

 

up on us at one point for everyone. He turns to drinking to face his problems in the forest.

 

At the end of the poem we as readers detect that the speaker now does not know if he is

 

dreaming or not. “Was it a vision or a walking dream”. I believe Keat is showing the

 

readers that some can face the realization that death is coming and some can not. I agree

 

with his main point and believe that everyone faces their fears a different way.

 

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From the Dark Tower

Brian Finnerty

9/4/12

“From theDarkTower”

 

The poem “From the Dark Tower”, by Countee Cullen, came during theHarlem

 

Renaissance. During this period in the 1920s and 30s African Americans made great

 

strides in the aspects of the music, theater, sports and music world. One person who was

 

part of these strides was Countee Cullen, who wrote poems like “From the Dark Tower”.

 

Upon researching about Countee Cullen’s poem, I found out that theDarkTowerwas

 

actually a location on 136th street inHarlem,New York.

 

The poem starts off with the line “We shall not always plant while others reap”. Just

 

by reading this first line we as readers can see the direction Cullen is going to take in his

 

poem. This line is very strong and admit when it comes to describing the obstacles

 

African Americans have faced during the years of oppression and slavery. I believe

 

Cullen in this line is stating that African Americans are done working for the upper class

 

whites without getting any types of rewards. They deserve to be wealthy and rich like the

 

fruits they plant in the fields and they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.

 

I believe the “hotspot” in this poem is the last stanza where Cullen writes, “So in the

 

dark we hide the heart that bleeds, And wait and tend our agonizing seeds”. This line

 

basically says that the African Americans are saddened by the way things are going and

 

will stick together until they achieve rights that are equal to the whites”. Cullen’s claim

 

on the oppression of African Americans is seen clearly in the poem and I agree with his

 

claim and the images he uses to describe the struggles that the Africans go through on a

 

daily basis. The word brute is a word that comes up in the poem and it was a word that I

 

was not too familiar with. When looking it up in the oxford dictionary I came across the

 

definition of it and to my surprise it went hand in hand with how the African Americans

 

were being treated. The word brute means to struggle for.

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ENGLISH 170W

Brian Finnerty 8/29/11
English 170W Prof. Zino

Barack Obama Interpretation

1) This picture shows our president, Barack Obama, in a distraught manner. He looks confused and worried in this picture.

2) There are many questions that need to be addressed from this picture. First off why does Barack Obama look upset and worried during when this picture was take. Could this picture been taken during the 2008 presidential campaign where stress would lead to someone to look like Obama does in this picture. Second, what does this picture represent and why was it important for this picture to be taken.

3) Some assumptions I am making about this picture of Barack Obama is that he looks very worried and stressed out. I conclude that this picture was probably taken during a stressful or heated moment during Obama’s presidential campaign against John McCain.

4) Many beliefs and worldviews underline my assumption that Barack Obama looks distraught and worn out in the picture that was taken of him. When under stressful times people tend to show their emotion through facial expressions. In this picture of Barack Obama his facial expression shows that he is tired and stressed out due to the responsibilities of a President.

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Final Paper

Brian Finnerty                                                              
                               5/20/11

English 162W                                                                                             
Prof. Zino

 

Paper #3: My Hall of Fame, My Cave, My Room

 

       Every day one
experiences many different literal places that they encounter. These

 

places can be anywhere from a school to an airport. When one
moves, one takes up

 

different places and spaces. The one place that I encounter
every day is my room. It is the

 

place I feel most safe in and it is also the place where I
spend most of my time in. The

 

spaciousness inside my room allows me to be free both
physically and mentally. In

 

many literary pieces one’s room plays an important role in
the theme of the story. This is

 

why authors like Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing  and Charlotte Perkins Gilman use places

 

like the room to create their story.

 

       There were many
literal places that I could have chosen to create my argument for

 

why authors choose places to address their story. However, I
felt that the setting of a

 

room, like a bedroom, would be the best choice to help my
argument. I feel that many

 

authors use rooms as the main setting for their stories
because it helps their main

 

character develop throughout the story. In Kafka’s “The
Metamorphosis”, the bedroom of

 

the main character Gregor Samsa played the most important
role in Samsa’s

 

transformation. Due to his transformation he spent all of
his time in that one room and

 

therefore Kafka had to use Samsa’s bedroom as the main topic
of his story. In Gilman’s

 

“The Yellow Wallpaper”, the bedroom of the narrator played
an important role in her

 

mental breakdown due to the wallpaper that was on her walls.
In Lessing’s “To Room

 

Nineteen”, two bedrooms were shown in the story. The one
bedroom symbolized

 

imprisonment while the other symbolized freedom and
detachment.

 

 

       I choose my
room as the place that I feel would be an exact space to explore for  

 

authors like Kafka, Lessing and Gilman. In a sort of way my
room resembles the way

 

Samsa’s room was set up in “The Metamorphosis”. My room like
Samsa’s has a bed, a

 

desk to write and study on, and a window. Like Samsa, I also
have an alarm clock to

 

wake me up to go to school and work. Unlike Samsa’s room
however, I have many

 

pictures and posters on my wall that help make my room more
colorful. Also unlike

 

Samsa I do not live alone in my room. My brother and I share
our bedroom. Besides

 

some differences in the size and color of our rooms, Samsa’s
and my room are very

 

similar and therefore I feel that my room would be a perfect
space to explore for Kafka.

 

       The room in
“The Yellow Wallpaper” also resembles my room but not as much as

 

the room in “The Metamorphosis” does. The narrator’s room in
“The Yellow Wallpaper”,

 

is surrounded by an “unclean yellow” wallpaper (Gilman 438).
Like the room of mine

 

and Samsa’s the narrator’s room has a window. From the way
the narrator describes her

 

room it seems that the room is more beaten up and unkempt
than my room. The

 

difference between the room of the narrator’s and mine is
that she did not feel

 

comfortable and safe in her room.

 

       The hotel room
in “Too Room Nineteen”, also looks familiar in a sort of way when

 

compared to my room. Even though the “room was hideous”
(Lessing 541) it had a

 

window like my room and a chest of drawers to put clothes
in. The room like any

 

bedroom had a bed and a chair to sit in. Even though the
room was small and nothing

 

compared to her big house in Richmond she felt comfortable in this room.
She also felt

 

free and unchained from the daily problems that faced her
back at the house.

 

       To become more
familiar with my place I wanted to know the history of my room.

 

I asked my parents when we bought our house and when did I
move into my room. I

 

found out that my parents bought our house in Whitestone, Queens  in 1990 a
year before

 

I was born. After a couple of weeks in my parent’s room I
was finally brought into my

 

room which had a crib in it. As I transformed so did the
room and its size. As I became

 

older the crib disappeared and was replaced by a bed. At the
time the bed seemed like a

 

big boat because I was so little. When I became older the
size of my room became

 

smaller. The older I got the more freedom I received also.
As a baby my space was

 

constricted but once the crib went so did my constricted
space. My bedroom however has

 

never really changed since I have been living and sleeping
there for over 19 years.

 

       My bedroom is
characterized by my love for baseball and the New York Mets.

 

Throughout the whole room there are baseballs, baseball
posters and many baseball

 

figurines that my brother and I have. My love for baseball came
from my dad and

 

throughout my time spent in my room he has helped me get
many of these baseball

 

souvenirs. Because the walls in my room were painted white I
put up many of these

 

baseball posters to make the room more appealing and
colorful. When I walk in to my

 

room I feel a sense of happiness when I look at my
collection of baseball related items. I

 

like to look at my room as my own Hall of Fame because of
the amount of balls and bats

 

I have received from attending over 15 games a season throughout
the years with my dad.

 

My room serves as a reminder of the relationship that my dad
and I share and the love for

 

baseball we have. My room also brings up many baseball talks
between my brother and I

 

which also strengthens our baseball knowledge and love for
the game.

 

       My room means a
lot to me because it is the place where I have slept, studied, and

 

walked around in for over 19 years. It is the place where I
spend most of my time in my

 

house. It is the place where I go to sleep and have my
wildest dreams. My room is also

 

where most of the conversations I have had with my brother
occurred in. It is the place

 

where we talk about our day and our fears with each other. Without
the room my whole

 

childhood would be erased because there are so many memories
that have occurred inside

 

that door. My room serves as a vault for those memories and
when I move out from my

 

parent’s house I can go back to this room to rekindle these
memories. My room and how

 

I feel can in someway compare to the way the narrator felt
about her room in “The

 

Yellow Wallpaper”. In some parts of my room there are New
York Football Giant posters

 

that my brother has hanging up on his wall. Just like the
narrator that side of the wall

 

makes me sick. I want to rip down the posters just like the
narrator ripped down the

 

wallpaper but I know the posters have sentimental meaning to
my brother so I don’t.

 

       Inside the
actual place, the bedroom, there are many spaces that I have used over the

 

years. Just like Gregor Samsa I used these spaces inside my
bedroom to my advantage. I

 

used spaces like the space underneath my bed as hiding spots
to hide from my brother

 

and sister while playing hide and go seek. I also used the
space underneath my bed as a

 

child to hide from the scary noises such as loud
thunderstorms. I used the space on

 

my desk to write my school papers and to study for exams.
The space under my covers

 

also served as a protective cover for me from the outside
world. These spaces became a

 

part of me and helped me if I were ever afraid. Just like
Samsa I would hide under my

 

bed if I felt afraid. The bedroom spaces also allowed for
games to be played and new

 

adventures to be held. As I became older however these
spaces eventually disappeared. I

 

could not fit underneath my bed anymore because it was too
small of a space and I

 

outgrew the games that my brother and I used to play. I also
outgrew my fears of the

 

sounds of thunderstorms. Even though these spaces are now
gone they will always be a

 

part of me because they helped me conquer my childhood
fears.

 

       In the short
story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator

 

has had a mental breakdown. Like Samsa she is a prisoner in
her own room because the

 

yellow wallpaper makes her feel uncomfortable. She
eventually rips the wallpaper down

 

because the wallpaper is too much for her to handle anymore.
The short story can relate

 

to Tuan’s chapter “Time in Experiential Space” because in
this chapter we see a

 

connection between time and distance. Tuan states “The
greater the distance the greater

 

the lapse of time” (Tuan 121). “When we stand before a
prospect, our mind is free to

 

roam”. “As we move mentally out to space, we also move
either backward or forward in

 

time”(Tuan 125). By these statements Tuan wants us to see
that the more time we look at

 

a particular object the further we will travel mentally in
space. The more time the narrator

 

spent looking at the yellow wallpaper the more she thought
about it and the more she

 

wanted to rip it down. When I look at my baseball collection
of bats and balls the further

 

I travel back in time where my dad and I used to attend
games at the old Shea Stadium.

 

       In Kafka’s
short story “The Metamorphosis”, the main character of Gregor Samsa

 

goes through a transformation. He has been transformed from
an ordinary salesman to a

 

giant insect. Throughout the whole story Samsa struggles
with his new transformation

 

and his relationship with his parents and sister. To adjust
to his new transformation he

 

uses the spaces inside his room to his advantage. These
spaces such as the space

 

underneath his bed and the walls that he would climb on
would help him hide from his

 

parents. Samsa’s way of using space and how much freedom he
had can relate to the way

 

I used my space and the freedom I had while I was a baby in
my room.

 

       The short story
“To Room Nineteen” by Doris Lessing is about a mother, Susan

 

Rawlings, who does everything for her four children and
husband but becomes

 

overwhelmed with stress and distances herself from the
family. She believes she is a

 

prisoner in the big white house in Richmond. She has no freedom because she has
to take

 

care of her children and deal with a cheating spouse. To
relieve herself from the stress

 

she starts going to hotel rooms to be alone. The hotel rooms
provide freedom for her

 

something she never had at the big white house. “The room
was ordinary and

 

anonymous, and was just what Susan needed” (Lessing 536).
Susan wasn’t looking for a

 

fancy place to stay in. She just wanted a place to free her
mind in and a one beaten down

 

room at a hotel did just the thing for her.

 

       In Tuan’s Space and Place: The Perspective of
Experience
, one chapter which shows

 

why my space is a compelling space to explore for an author
like Fafka is the chapter

 

titled “Spaciousness and Crowding”. In this chapter Tuan
relates the amount of freedom

 

one has to the amount of space one inhabits. Tuan states
that “an infant is unfree, and so

 

are prisoners and the bedridden”(Tuan 52). This statement by
Tuan can relate to the

 

freedom that I had as a baby inside my crib and the freedom
that Gregor Samsa had as a

 

prisoner in his own household. Both a baby and a prisoner do
not take up a lot of spaces

 

and therefore they have little or no freedom.

 

       Throughout
Tuan’s chapters he talks about a sense of attachment to something or

 

someone. In the chapter “Attachment to Homeland”, Tuan
states that “Attachment to the

 

homeland is a common human emotion”(Tuan 158). “The more
ties there are, the

 

stronger is the emotional bond”(Tuan 158). The more time we
spend in a particular place

 

the greater the attachment to that particular place will be.
When that place is taken away

 

from us or we move away from that place we have a sense of
sorrow and grief because

 

that place means so much to us. This chapter and Tuan’s
statements can relate to both the

 

attachment to mine and Gregor’s rooms. When I am away from
my room and sleeping

 

somewhere else such as a hotel I become uncomfortable and
have a hard time falling

 

asleep. Nothing compares to my bed and the sense of freedom
and safety that I get when I

 

am inside my room. The statements by Tuan can also relate to
the way that Gregor Samsa

 

felt about his furniture in his room. After his
transformation occurred all what Samsa had

 

was his bed and desk. He would use the bed and desk to his
advantage because he would

 

hide from his parents. When one day the family decided to
take away his furniture Gregor

 

became even more depressed because he felt that they were
taking away stuff that he had

 

as a child. Gregor’s attachment to the furniture was so
great that when the family tried

 

taking it away from him he used every ounce of strength in his
weak body to prevent

 

them.

 

       Tuan’s
statements in his chapter “Attachment to Homeland”, do not however

 

compare to the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and how
the narrator felt about the

 

setting of her room. Throughout the short story the narrator
confesses her hatred towards

 

the yellow wallpaper. “The color is hideous enough, and
unreliable enough, and

 

infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing” (Gilman
442). She hated the wallpaper

 

because it got in her head. It was all what she could think
of and because of this it

 

eventually led her to rip it down during one of her mental
breakdowns. The statements by

 

Tuan also do not compare to the short story “To Room Nineteen”
because the main

 

character felt like a prisoner at her “homeland”. She felt
like a prisoner at her home in

 

Richmond
because of the responsibilities she had. The big house and the large amounts

 

of money she had did nothing for her. She wanted to be free
and alone and the only way

 

she could have these two were to set herself apart from the
family. She hated her room at

 

the big house because she knew she was sleeping with the man
who cheated on her after

 

ten years of being together. To her the room where she spent
the remaining year of her

 

life, Room 19, was where she felt most happy.

 

       The chapter
titled “Experiential Perspective” is another chapter by Tuan that helps us

 

relate both “The Yellow Wallpaper”, “To Room Nineteen” and
“The Metamorphosis”

 

together. In this chapter the readers learn how “place is a
type of object” and how “places

 

and objects define space” (Tuan 17). By this statement Tuan
is saying that the way one

 

looks at an object defines space. When we look at an object
for just a moment we paint

 

an image of a place. These statements by Tuan can relate to
my room and how I look at it

 

as a place. The spaces that are in my bedroom make it a
place. Without the bed, desk and

 

baseball related items the room would not be called “my
bedroom”. By reading Tuan’s

 

chapter and the three short stories we learn that spaces
create places. Without the spaces

 

in Gregor Samsa’s room, which is considered a place, Samsa
would have never been able

 

to hide from his family. These spaces made Gregor’s transformation
more comfortable. I

 

believe that without the spaces inside hotel room 19 there
would be no “Fred’s Hotel”.

 

From Tuan’s chapter we learn that spaces make the name for a
particular type of place.

 

       In all three
short stories the common theme that the authors address is the feeling of

 

captivity. To show this feeling of captivity that the main
characters have in the stories the

 

authors use the setting of a room. The room, more
specifically the bedroom, in a sort of

 

way is built like a jail cell. With four walls and a door
locking us in from the outside

 

world, a bedroom resembles a jail cell very much. In the
short stories that I read all three

 

authors show how freedom and captivity, whether mentally or
physically, are associated

 

with “the room”. In “The Metamorphosis” Kafka uses the room
of Gregor Samsa to show

 

how his recent transformation has made him into a prisoner
in the Samsa household.

 

Because Samsa can barley move he can not take up space and
therefore according to

 

Tuan he has little freedom. After the transformation
occurred Samsa is subjected to one

 

room in the household just like a prisoner is subjected to
his cell after he commits a

 

crime. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman the main
character and narrator is trapped

 

in captivity both physically and mentally. She is forced to
move into a summer house to

 

cure her problems but being put inside a room where the only
thing on her mind is her

 

hatred for the wallpaper only makes her worse. The room and
the wallpaper show the

 

readers how mentally unstable she really is. In Lessing’s
short story, “To Room

 

Nineteen”, two rooms show the common themes of imprisonment
and freedom. In the

 

room that she lives in at the big white house in Richmond she feels like a
prisoner

 

because of the duties that she has as a mother of four
children. The room at the hotel

 

symbolizes her freedom and uncaring attitude. By using the
room as the main setting in

 

their stories one can clearly see how freedom and captivity
are expressed in the stories.

 

       My room is a
compelling space to explore for authors like Kafka, Lessing and

 

Gilman because I believe my room is characterized in some
way like the rooms that were

 

discussed in the stories. My room is so similar to the rooms
of Samsa, the narrator’s and

 

Rawling’s that I feel the authors would be able to explore
the space in my room in great

 

detail. With my room comes along many stories, customs and
traditions. If an author

 

would to explore my room he or she would have to spend in
great detail talking

 

about these traditions and what they mean to my room.

 

       From the three
short stories and Tuan’s chapters in his book Space and Place: The

 

Perspective of
Experience
we as readers see a connection between the amount of space

one has to one’s freedom. In many short stories the author
uses the setting of a room to

 

address the main theme in the story. The main theme in each
of the three stories that I

 

read is the feeling of being free or being in captivity. The
room was the main focal point

 

for each of the stories and throughout the stories the
“room” helped us see the captivity of

 

the main characters and how far they will go to be free.
Free from embarrassment, free

 

from mental illness and free from stress were all shown in
the short stories. I believe

 

space and place played a great deal in finding out how much
freedom these main

 

characters really had, which was slim to none. By looking at
one’s space and place I

 

could easily relate the setting of my room to the setting of
the rooms that were shown in

 

the stories and I could also see why I call my room my Hall
of Fame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

 

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper” An Introduction to Fiction. eds
X.J.     Kennedy & Dana Gioia

 

 

Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis” An Introduction to Fiction.eds X.J. Kennedy &

Dana Gioia.

 

 

Lessing, Doris. “To Room Nineteen”. New York. 2000. Print.

 

 

Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience.
Minnesota: The University of Minnesota Press, 1977.
Print.

 

 

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“WALKING”

Brian Finnerty                                                                                                       5/3/11

English 162W                                                                                                       Prof.Zino

“Walking”

 

       According to Henery David Thoreau in his short story “Walking”, “if you have paid

your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and you are a free man, then

you are ready to walk”. By this statement I think Thoreau means that once we have

become straight with ourselves and patched up our differences with our neighbors then

and only then we can walk. In Tuan’s chapter “Time and Space”, Tuan relates time and

space. Tuan states that “place is an organized world of meaning” (Tuan 179). From this

chapter we learn that movement in space comes in one direction.

       In the short story by Thoreau, he argues that people like us do not have a strong bond

with nature. Throughout the whole story Thoreau talks about walking and how walking

enables people to have strong bonds with nature. When Thoreau goes on his journeys

through the woods he sees a connection between society with wilderness He also talks

about how age plays into effect when it comes to walking. As you get older the less time

you spend walking states Thoreau. From the short story the readers learn to take

advantage of nature and to not put it aside.

       In Tuan’s chapter the readers learn that “sense of time affects sense of place” (Tuan

186). As one ages past experiences widen states Tuan. As we become older we tend to

forget about past experiences that have happened to us. Tuan offers many suggestions to

help us remember our past. He believes that visits back to our old neighborhood can

trigger our memories from the past. Diaries and old letters and pictures can also bring to

life memories that were once forgotten.

       In both literature pieces we see a connection between time and space. In Thoreau’s

short story we see how distance and time are related when walking. We also see how

when a person walks he connects with nature. In Tuan’s chapter we see how as years go

by our spaces changes and therefore we tend to forget about past spaces. From thischapter we see that time is always moving and it will never stop. We have to takeadvantage of our time spent on earth and the spaces we make.

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Draft Paper #3

Brian Finnerty                                                                                              4/30/11

English 162W                                                                                              Prof. Zino

Draft Paper #3: My Hall of Fame, My Cave, My Room

 

       Every day one experiences many different literal places that they encounter. These

places can be anywhere from a school to an airport. When one moves, one takes up

different places and spaces. The one place that I encounter every day is my room. It is the

place I feel most safe in and it is also the place where I spend most of my time in. In

many literary pieces one’s room plays an important role in the theme of the story. This is

why authors like Franz Kafka use places like the room to create their story.

       There were many literal places that I could have chosen to create my argument for

why authors choose places to address their story. However, I felt that the setting of a

room, like a bedroom, would be the best choice to help my argument. I feel that many

authors use rooms as the main setting for their stories because it helps their main

character develop throughout the story. In Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, the bedroom of

the main character Gregor Samsa played the most important role in Samsa’s

transformation. Due to his transformation he spent all of his time in that one room and

therefore Kafka had to use Samsa’s bedroom as the main topic of his story.

       I choose my room as the place that I feel would be an exact space to explore for an

author like Kafka. In a sort of way my room resembles the way Samsa’s room was set up

in “The Metamorphosis”. My room like Samsa’s has a bed, a desk to write and study on,

and a window. Like Samsa, I also have an alarm clock to wake me up to go to school and

work. Unlike Samsa’s room however, I have many pictures and posters on my wall that

help make my room more colorful. Also unlike Samsa I do not live alone in my room.

My brother and I share our bedroom. Besides some differences in the size and color of

our rooms, Samsa’s and my room are very similar and therefore I feel that my room

would be a perfect space to explore for Kafka.

       To become more familiar with my place I wanted to know the history of my room.

So I asked my parents when we bought our house and when did I move into my room. I

found out that my parents bought our house in Whitestone in 1990 a year before I was

born. After a couple of weeks in my parent’s room I was finally brought into my room

which had a crib in it. As I transformed so did the room and its size. As I became older

the crib disappeared and was replaced by a bed. At the time the bed seemed like a big

boat because I was so little. When I became older the size of my room became smaller.

My bedroom however has never really changed since I have been living and sleeping

there for over 19 years.

       My bedroom is characterized by my love for baseball and the New York Mets.

Throughout the whole room there are baseballs, baseball posters and many baseball

figurines that my brother and I have. My love for baseball came from my dad and

throughout my time spent in my room he has helped me get many of these baseball

souvenirs. Because the walls in my room were painted white I put up many of these

baseball posters to make the room more appealing and colorful. When I walk in to my

room I feel a sense of happiness when I look at my collection of baseball related items. I

like to look at my room as my own Hall of Fame because of the amount of balls and bats

I have received from attending over 15 games a season throughout the years with my dad.

My room serves as a reminder of the relationship that my dad and I share and the love for

baseball we have. My room also brings up many baseball talks between my brother and I

which also strengthens our baseball knowledge and love for the game.

       My room means a lot to me because it is the place where I have slept, studied, and

walked around in for over 19 years. It is the place where I spend most of my time in my

house. It is the place where I go to sleep and have my wildest dreams. It is also the place

where I have had my “time- outs” as a kid. My room is also where most of the

conversations I have had with my brother occurred in. It is the place where we talk about

our day and our fears with each other. Without the room my whole childhood would

be erased because there are so many memories that have occurred inside that door. My

room serves as a vault for those memories and when I move out from my parent’s house I

can go back to this room to rekindle these memories.

       Inside the actual place, the bedroom, there are many spaces that I have used over the

years. Just like Gregor Samsa I used these spaces inside my bedroom to my advantage. I

used spaces like the space underneath my bed as hiding spots to hide from my brother

and sister while playing hide and go seek. I also used the space underneath my bed as a

child to hide from the scary noises such as the loud thunderstorms. I used the space on

my desk to write my school papers and to study for exams. The space under my covers

also served as a protective cover for me from the outside world. These spaces became a

part of me and helped me if I were ever afraid. Just like Samsa I would hide under my

bed if I felt afraid. The bedroom spaces also allowed for games to be played and new

adventures to be held. As I became older however these spaces eventually disappeared. I

could not fit underneath my bed anymore because it was too small of a space and I

outgrew the games that my brother and I used to play. I also outgrew my fears of the

sounds of thunderstorms. Even though these spaces are now gone they will always be a

part of me because they helped me conquer my childhood fears.

       In Tuan’s chapter “Experiential Perspective”, he talks about maturation and how one

 becomes more intelligent. He states that “human beings are mature or immature

depending on whether they have benefited from events”(Tuan 9). By stating this Tuan

believes that one becomes more intelligent through the experiences and obstacles they

face. If we make a mistake we should learn from it and therefore we become smarter and

will not make the same mistake again. From this chapter Tuan also states that “an

experienced man or woman is one to whom much has happened”(Tuan 9). The older

someone is the more that person has experienced suffering.

       From this chapter by Tuan the readers also learn how “place is a type of object” and

how “places and objects define space” (Tuan 17). By this statement Tuan is saying that

the way one looks at an object defines space. When we look at an object for just a

moment we paint an image of a place. These statements by Tuan can relate to my room

and how I look at it as a place. The spaces that are in my bedroom make it a place. The

more mature I got however, the less spaces I inhabited.

       My room is a compelling space to explore for an author like Kafka because my room

is similar to the way he characterized Gregor Samsa’s room in “The Metamorphosis”. I

feel that because my room is so similar to that of the room of Gregor Samsa that Fafka

would be able to explore the space in my room in great detail. I believe my room has

many spaces in it and with my room comes many memories and traditions. Without the

bedroom in the short story “The Metamorphosis”, the transformation and the captivity of

Gregor Samsa would not be shown.

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“The Search For Marvin Gardens”

Brian Finnerty                                                                                                       4/30/11

English 162W                                                                                                       Prof. Zino

“The Search For Marvin Gardens”

 

       In the short story “The Search For Marvin Gardens” by John McPhee the readers

learn the background of the game of Monopoly and how it is played. Throughout the

whole story McPhee discusses different types of cities that appear in Atlantic City and in

the game of Monopoly. In Tuan’s chapter “Visibility: the Creation of Place”, we learn

that “place can be defined in a variety of ways” (Tuan 161). Place is determined by how

one looks at a certain object.

       From the short story we learn that the game of monopoly can take days to play or it

can be finished in minutes. McPhee plays his opponent in one of the jails that are in

Atlantic City. Throughout his matchup with his opponent he becomes frustrated because

the only property he does not have is “Marvin Gardens”. He can not find Marvin Gardens

during his journey through Atlantic City. However, he sees the decay and emptiness that

now fulfills the current surroundings of Atlantic City. Throughout the entire story we are

given a brief history lesson of Atlantic City and how it once was a flourishing part of

New Jersey. At the end of the short story we find out that Marvin Gardens was not part of

Atlantic City, but a “suburb within a suburb”. Marvin Gardens represents the middle

class and the liveliness that Atlantic City does not have.

       In Tuan’s chapter “Visibility: the Creation of Place”, we learn how a person defines a

place due to what they see. Each time we look at a certain object we paint an image of a

place. Tuan also talks about how certain types of places that are named and how other

places which look similar to these places are not named. The places that are named such

as the Mississippi River mean more to a person than an ordinary river because it has a

name. Tuan also states that “art and architecture seek visibility”(Tuan 164). By looking at

a piece of art or a particular object one can become overwhelmed with certain types of

feelings of happiness or sadness.

       From both the short story and the chapter by Tuan we see how one can define a place

by the way they look at a certain object. In Tuan’s chapter “the street where one lives is

part of one’s intimate experience.”(Tuan 170). It is the street where you live and it is the

street that connects you to other places in your neighborhood. In the short story McPhee

travels around Atlantic City searching for Marvin Gardens, the one property he can not

find. By traveling through the city he has an intimate experience because he realizes how

dead Atlantic City has become. He describes the abandon houses and the broken

windows throughout his travel. I feel that McPhee finally realized how bad and “dead”

Atlantic City really was during his travel to find Marvin Gardens. He finally went around

the name of Atlantic City and actually painted an image of a place did not symbolize

Atlantic City anymore.

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“This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”

Brian Finnerty                                                                                                     4/9/11

English 162W                                                                                                      Prof. Zino

“This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”

 

       In the short story “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” and the chapter

by Tuan titled “Attachment to Homeland” the main theme is a sense of attachment to

something or some place. Attachment can be defined as an emotional bond to someone

that is close to you. From both pieces the readers get a feeling that to survive in life one

needs to be attached to something or someone. From the readings by Tuan we learn that

we have a strong attachment to our homes. In the short story by Alexie we learn that the

character in Thomas had a strong attachment in story telling.

       In Alexie’s short story the main theme is a sense of loss and attachment. In the short

story the main character, Victor, has to travel to Phoenix, Arizona where he will attain his

father’s saving account. His father has just died and Victor needs to get money so he can

travel to Phoenix. His old friend, Thomas, has lent him money and goes on the journey

with Victor to get the savings account. Throughout their journey to Phoenix we discover

that Victor really doesn’t like Thomas and at one point during their childhood they got

into a fight. Victor is embarrassed to be around Thomas because all what Thomas does is

repeat stories to everyone he encounters. No one wants to hear these stories including

Victor. As the short story comes to an end the readers see a side of Victor that was not

shown in the beginning. Victor thanks Thomas for the money he lent him and also tells

Thomas he is sorry for beating him up one time during their childhood.

       In Tuan’s chapter “Attachment to Homeland”, Tuan talks about how one’s home is

the center of the world. By reading this chapter I related it to some of the famous quotes

that we hear everyday. “Home is where the heat is” and “There’s no place like home” are

just two quotes that show how important one’s home means to them. If we are away from

our home for a long time or if something may happen to our home we feel that something

is missing. The home is the most important place for us because it’s where we share our

most intimate relationships. It’s also the place where we grow up and make our first

spaces. Tuan states that “attachment to the homeland is a common human emotion”

(Tuan 158). “The more ties there are, the stronger is the emotional bond” (Tuan 158).

This means that the more we become attached to someone in our home the greater the

loss will be for that someone when he or she leaves the house.

       In both the short story and in Tuan’s chapter attachment to something or someone is

shown. In the short story Thomas felt attached to the short stories he would repeat to

everyone he encountered. The stories were all that he had and he kept them with him

wherever he went. At the end of the story both Victor and Thomas are now attached to

Victor’s fathers ashes which they both share now. Because of the attachment to the ashes

both men become more attached when it comes to friendship. In Tuan’s chapter we find

out that one’s greatest attachment should be where they live. The home is the center of

our world states Tuan. It is the home that creates emotional bonds with our family and it

is the home which gives us a sense of security from the outside world.

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Paper #2

Brian Finnerty                                                                                                       4/9/11

English 162W                                                                                                       Prof. Zino

 

Paper #2:“Heaven and Hope”

     Through the use of symbol one can connect the notions of “space” and “place” that

Tuan explains in Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience to the short story “The

Snows of Kilimanjaro”. According to “An Introduction to Fiction”, symbol is “a person,

place, or thing in a narrative that suggests meanings beyond its literal sense”. In

Hemingway’s short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, symbols such as Harry’s wife and

planes help the readers understand the main character’s current situation. Through these

symbols one can see the true meaning of theme in the short story which is death and how

one deals with it. The article from Edward Casey “Mapping the Earth in Works of Art”

furthers our knowledge of the importance of land which we “experience a specific, local

environment”. All three literature pieces show us how landscapes help us find ourselves’.

       In the short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway, the main

character is Harry. His wife and he are stuck on Mount Kilimanjaro. Along with being

stuck on the base of the mountain Harry has gangrene and is on the verge of dying.

Throughout the short story he quarrels with his wife because he is frustrated at himself

for not writing about past experiences he dealt with when he was young. To past the time

while he waits for the rescue plane he has flashbacks about several things that happened

to him in his life. These flashbacks help out Harry in a sort of way because they make

him forget about his pain and current situation on the mountain for just a little bit.

       In Tuan’s chapter “Time in Experiential Space”, Tuan “relates time explicitly to

space”(Tuan 118).  By reading this chapter one can realize why we have a sense of

space and time. According to Tuan, a person can define space because that person can

move. By being able to walk we take up different spaces. As in earlier chapters Tuan

brings up the amount of freedom one has to the amount of distance one can travel.

The more one can travel the more freedom that person has to do what he or she wants.

From Tuan’s chapter we also learn that with more distance comes a greater amount of

time. The amount of distance one travels is equivalent to time. In Hemingway’s short

story the main landscape is the actual mountain in itself. The mountain affects Harry’s

space and time because he is stuck and lost on it. The mountain is too big and he can not

go further due to his gangrene on his leg. By having this injury he can not move and

therefore his space and freedom is limited.

       Tuan’s chapter can relate to the short story and the time that Harry spent wondering

in space when he had his flashbacks. These flashbacks make time go by quick for Harry

but they also help him forget about the pain in his leg. These flashbacks involve Harry’s

past whether in war or his relationships with women and other people he has met in

different countries. “He remembered the good times with them all, and the quarrels”

(Hemingway 13). Harry travels a great distance in space when he has these flashbacks

because some go all the way back to his childhood. Other flashbacks relate to his time

spent on the mountain and how he copes with his pain. In some flashbacks we see Harry

at bars drinking to forget about his past. The flashbacks also show how Harry traveled all

 over the world due to war and other events that made him travel. This reminds the

readers of Harry’s current mobility and how he once was able to move around the world

freely without constraint. From all the flashbacks however, we see the main topic of

despair and regret. In almost every flashback Harry brings up on how he missed several

opportunities to write.

       In Hemingway’s short story there are many symbols that are used to describe his

main characters. These symbols help the readers understand how the landscape of Mount.

Kilimanjaro affected Harry’s situation on the base of the mountain. The two symbols that

I think are most clearly shown in the story is Harry’s wife and the rescue planes. The

symbols of Harry’s wife and the planes represent life and hope. Throughout the whole

story Harry’s wife Helen supported him and told him you will not die. Even after Harry

said to her “I don’t love you”, she was there for him. She represented hope and

perseverance in the story. Another symbol that is easily shown is the rescue planes that

are sent for Harry. Harry and the wife were stuck on the base of the mountain, therefore I

believe that a rescue truck or ambulance could have come and helped them. It wasn’t like

they were on the top of the mountain, than they would have needed an airplane. I feel the

rescue planes were sent from God in the heavens as a way to tell Harry that he is there for

him and that he is not alone. The rescue planes represent life and hope.

       According to “An Introduction to Fiction”, theme is “a generally recurring

subject or idea conspicuously evident in literary work”. In the short story the main theme

that keeps coming up is the realization of death and how in life one must take every day

as it is their last. Harry came to the realization that he was dying and by realizing this he

thinks he has missed a lot of opportunities to write about different events that have

happened to him in his life. The landscape around him affects his well being and how the

mountain itself will eventually lead to his death.

       In Tuan’s chapter and in Casey’s article the main argument for both is how land and

landscape play important roles in the connection between time and place. From Tuan we

find out that “the greater the distance the greater the lapse of time, and the less certain

one can be of what has happened out there”(Tuan 121). The greater the distance we

travel the greater the time will be and the more spaces we will see. This can relate to the

short story and Harry’s mobility when it came to traveling. Harry couldn’t walk and

therefore his wife and he could not travel any further. The more we travel the less likely

we will be familiar with that place. Because we will be that further away from home.

From Tuan we also learn that “when we stand before a prospect, our mind is free to

roam”. “As we move mentally out to space, we also move either backward or forward in

time” (Tuan 125). This statement by Tuan can also relate to the story in how Harry sat in

pain before the mountain and how he thought about his past. As he had his flashbacks

about his life he moved backward and forward in time. These flashbacks allowed him to

focus on his past instead of  focusing on his pain due to the gangrene.

       In Edward Casey’s article “How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch

of Time”, Casey argues the importance of “land”, in which “we experience a specific,

local environment”. From his article we learn that place is posterior to space. We also

learn that place is made from space. The readers learn that without space there is no

place. Without the rocks and snow on the mountain, which are spaces, there is no place in

Mount Kilimanjaro. Casey also argues that “we are not only in places but of them”. Harry

was part of the mountain for the short time he was there. It was also the place where he

shared his last moments alive with his wife. He was part of the mountain as much as the

vultures and coyotes were.

       Through the use of symbols and the connection between landscape, place, and time

one can easily see how death and how one deals with it  is the  main theme in the short

story, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”. Symbols such as Harry’s wife and the rescue planes

allow the reader to understand Harry’s situation on the mountain. In the short story the

main character, is on deaths door. His dead tissue on his leg has gotten worse and when

he realizes this he starts to argue with his wife and regrets not writing on many past

events in his life. Throughout the story Mount Kilimanjaro and its elements are

repeatedly brought up to show the readers the current situation that Harry is facing. The

mountain is described with “big trees” and “sand” (Hemingway 5). As readers we

identify that Harry and his wife are at the base of the mountain. Even at the base of the

mountain Harry can not go anywhere. This shows the extent of his injury and how the

landscape affected him.

       Tuan and Casey both connect landscape, place, and time in their literature pieces. By

connecting the three we can easily see how they can be seen as a theme in “The Snows of

Kilimanjaro”. All three play major roles in Hemingway’s story because they are repeated

throughout the story. The landscape in the story played the biggest role I think because

without the Mountain and its elements I feel that Harry would still be alive. Harry would

have never gotten the gangrene and even if he did help would be easier to get than on a

mountain. The mountain played a role in Harry’s new “space” and “time”. Due to his

injury he could not move and therefore his space was limited and because of this he

wasn’t able to go to a different place. By not being able to move time must have gone

slow for Harry and therefore he had to make ways for time to go faster. By having

flashbacks he thought about his past and by doing this it made him forget about his

current situation on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Works Cited

 

 An Introduction to Fiction. United States: X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, 2010.

Casey, Edward S. Senses of Place . Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1997.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. “Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience”. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis, 1977.

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Paper #2 Draft

Brian Finnerty                                                                                                       3/29/11

English 162W                                                                                                       Prof. Zino

 

Draft Paper #2:“Heaven and Hope”

       Through the use of symbol one can connect the notions of “space” and “place” that

Tuan explains in Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience to the short story “The

Snows of Kilimanjaro”. According to “An Introduction to Fiction”, symbol is “a person,

place, or thing in a narrative that suggests meanings beyond its literal sense”. In

Hemingway’s short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, symbols such as vultures and

planes help the readers understand the main character’s current situation. Through these

symbols one can see the true meaning of theme in the short story. The article from

Edward Casey “Mapping the Earth in Works of Art” furthers our knowledge of the

importance of land which we “experience a specific, local environment”. All three

literature pieces show us how one’s landscape can effect their time and place.

       In the short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Earnest Hemingway, the main

character is Harry. His wife and he are stuck on Mount. Kilimanjaro. Along with being

stuck on the base of the mountain Harry has gangrene and is on the verge of dying.

Throughout the short story he quarrels with his wife because he is frustrated at himself

for not writing on past experiences he dealt with when he was young. To past the time

while he waits for the rescue plane he has flashbacks about several things that happened

to him in his life. These flashbacks help out Harry in a sort of way because they make

him forget about his pain and current situation on the mountain for just a little bit.

       In Tuan’s chapter “Time in Experiential Space”, Tuan “relates time explicitly to

space”. (Tuan 118).  By reading this chapter one can realize why we have a sense of

space and time. According to Tuan, a person can define space because that person can

move. By being able to walk we take up different spaces. As in earlier chapters Tuan

brings up the amount of freedom one has to the amount of distance one can travel.

The more one can travel the more freedom that person has to do what he or she wants.

From Tuan’s chapter we also learn that with more distance comes a greater amount of

time. The amount of distance one travels is equivalent to time.

       In Hemingway’s short story there are many symbols that are used to describe his

main characters. These symbols help the readers understand how the landscape of Mount.

Kilimanjaro affected Harry’s situation on the base of the mountain. The first symbol that

is clearly shown in the story is the alcohol that Harry so desperately asks for. Harry

believes he is dying so to cherish his last couple of hours alive he wants to drink and

relieve his pain inside and outside. I feel that the alcohol represents giving up and

depression. One usually drinks to forget about difficult times in one’s life. One may also

drink to relieve pain from inside, whether depression or sickness. Another symbol that is

shown is the vultures that continue to circle around Harry above in the sky. The vultures

represent the slow process of death and how slowly but surely the gangrene is spreading

on Harry’s leg and will eventually kill him.

      In the short story by Hemingway the symbols he uses are not all about death and

giving up. In fact he uses such symbols as planes and Harry’s wife to describe life and

hope. Throughout the whole story Harry’s wife Helen supported him and told him you

will not die. Even after Harry said to her “I don’t love you”, she was there for him. She

represented hope and perseverance in the story. Another symbol that is easily shown is

the rescue planes that are sent for Harry. Harry and the wife were stuck on the base of the

mountain, therefore I believe that a rescue truck or ambulance could have come and

helped them. It wasn’t like they were on the top of the mountain, than they would have

needed an airplane. I feel the rescue planes were sent from God in the heavens as a way

to tell Harry that he is there for him and that he is not alone. The rescue planes represent

life and hope.

       According to “An Introduction to Fiction”, theme is “a generally recurring

subject or idea conspicuously evident in literary work”. By connecting elements such as

land, time, and space one can see the true meaning of theme in the story. In the short

story the main theme that keeps coming up is the realization of death and how in life one

must take every day as it is their last. Harry came to the realization that he was dying and

by realizing this he thinks he has missed a lot of opportunities to write about different

events that have happened to him in his life. In the short story the main landscape is the

actual mountain in itself. The Mountain affects Harry’s space and time because he is

stuck and lost on it. The Mountain is too big and he can not go further due to his

gangrene on his leg. By having this injury he can not move and therefore his space is

limited.

       In Tuan’s chapter and in Casey’s article the main argument for both is how land and

landscape play important roles in the connection between time and place. From Tuan we

find out that “the greater the distance the greater the lapse of time, and the less certain

one can be of what has happened out there”.(Tuan 121). The greater the distance we

travel the greater the time will be and the more spaces we will see. This can relate to the

short story and Harry’s mobility when it came to traveling. Harry couldn’t walk and

therefore his wife and he could not travel any further. The more we travel

the less likely we will be familiar with that place. Because we will be that further

away from home. From Tuan we also learn that “when we stand before a prospect, our

mind is free to roam”. “As we move mentally out to space, we also move either backward

or forward in time”. (Tuan 125). This statement by Tuan can also relate to the story in

how Harry sat in pain before the mountain and how he thought about his past. As he had

his flashbacks about his life he moved backward and forward in time. These flashbacks

allowed him to focus on his past instead of him focusing on his pain due to the gangrene.

       In Edward Casey’s article “How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch

of Time”, Casey argues the importance of “land”, in which “we experience a specific,

local environment”. From his article we learn that place is posterior to space. We also

learn that place is made from space. The readers learn that without space there is no

place. Without the rocks and snow on the mountain, which are spaces, there is no place in

Mount. Kilimanjaro. Casey also argues that “we are not only in places but of them”. For

example, if we attend a ballgame at Citi Field we are not only in the stadium but we are

also at the stadium. Without us “the fans” there will be no stadium and without the

stadium there will be no fans.

       Through the use of symbols and the connection between landscape, place, and time

one can easily see the main theme in the short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”. The

main theme which is, realizing that death is upon you is shown through symbols such as

vultures and alcohol. These symbols allow the reader to better understand Harry’s

situation and how the process of dying feels like. In the short story Harry, the main

character, is on deaths door. His dead tissue on his leg has gotten worse and when he

realizes this he starts to argue with his wife and regrets not writing on many past events

in his life. By using symbols Hemingway allows the readers to see the pain and despair

that has overcome Harry.

       Tuan and Casey both connect landscape, place, and time in their literature pieces. By

connecting the three we can easily see how they can be seen as a theme in “The Snows of

Kilimanjaro”. All three play major roles in Hemingway’s story because they are repeated

throughout the story. The landscape in the story played the biggest role I think because

without the Mountain and its elements I feel that Harry would still be alive. Harry would

of never gotten the gangrene and even if he did help would be easier to get than on a

mountain. The mountain played a role in Harry’s new “space” and “time”. Due to his

injury he could not move and therefore his space was limited and because of this he

wasn’t able to go to a different place. By not being able to move time must have gone

slow for Harry. Landscape, Time, and Place are all shown in Hemingway’s short story

“The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and all three topics can be the main theme when it comes to

the story.

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