Reviews of Literature
"The Loves of Lady Purple"

What I found most interesting in this story was how the puppet came alive at the end. I was not expecting that at all and then the fact that she sucked her owner’s, the Asiatic Professor’s, blood like a vampire was quite strange as well. I almost expected Lady Purple to want to have sex or something with her owner because that kind of seemed like something that would happen from the literature we have read. Though I do suppose the killing of her master kind of fits with the theme of a lot of the stuff we have read because someone has to die.

Why I found the fact that she came alive to be interesting is what she did after she came alive. She basically recreated the story that the Professor had reenacted with her for every show, like she was still being a puppet while yet being a real, alive person. In the story she seduced her father, then stole all the money, then killed him and her mom, then she burned the house, and then she went to the nearest brothel. When she came alive she seduced the Professor with the kiss, then she sucked his blood, then stole his scarf, then she knocked a lamp off to burn the place down, and then proceeded to the nearest brothel. I see a pretty strong similarity between these two.

"Waiting for Icarus"

In the “Waiting for Icarus” poem by Muriel Rukeyser I thought it to be the perception of Icarus from his lady friend, or lover. She seems to be waiting on him to fly to her with the wings he made of wax with his father to escape prison or something like that, if I remember the Greek tale. She seems to have regretted ever meeting him in the first place because she has all the lines in the beginning starting with “He said…” The tone I perceived was one of annoyance because Icarus made all these promises, but he can’t live up to them. After all of the “He said” lines comes the lines of where she gets embarrassed by her friends for believing and waiting for Icarus because they laugh at her and say that he just wanted to leave her. She also remembers all of the “I told you so” moments that her mother ridiculed her with. They basically sum up to Icarus’s lady being a dummy for ever like this guy who is an inventor because they are just scum. At the end of the poem the gal seems to regret it all herself saying she would have rather been on the wings that Icarus had and died from. I suppose this could also be interpreted as the lady also feeling so devastated at the loss of Icarus because she loved him so, that she would rather be dead than live life without him. My guess is that it is the first option just because of what the rest of the poem says.

"Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power"

Audre Lorde says that women empowered by the erotic are “dangerous” because they are in tune with their senses and strive for excellence. A better description of the erotic in the sense of Lorde is that it is the deepest understanding and knowledge of our desires and of ourselves. It is also the power to feel in tune with everything we do and experience. Then, Lorde says, once we have accomplished this we try to strive for that same excellence in everything we do. This would make anyone who embodied this understanding and meaning unstoppable in all their pursuits.

I think this is “dangerous” to anyone and everyone, but I believe in the context of this essay she has meant this to be against people who support racism, are anti-feminist, and anti-homosexual, being as she is an African American, lesbian, Feminist in a society that shuns and discriminates against all of these. Basically I believe this is “dangerous” to anyone who is opposed to change in society that needs the change. It seems to me the one who uses the erotic effectively and in the right manner should be able to accomplish anything they set their hearts desire on.

"Could Nine - Act Two"

I think the point of Churchill doing that for this play was the fact of trying to show how the family would be in a modern day version of England than in the suppressive colonial times. All of the sexual expressions that weren’t allowed to be shown in the colonial times are able to come out and be seen by everyone, not just in secret. This can be seen by the way Edward is openly gay by living with another man and Victoria experiments with bisexuality with Lin. That would never have been allowed if they still lived in the 1880’s.This can be seen with how they talk about sex, as well as openly engaging in the act as well, especially in public. The scene with the whole proposed orgy was slightly strange with there being hints of incest lingering in there with Victoria and Edward, being that they are bother and sister.

Another reason why I think why Churchill made the second act in the 1980’s is that basically the family can do what it wants in all aspects of their lives. This can be seen with Betty leaving Clive because she doesn’t like him, while in the 1880’s she would just have to grin and bear it. Another example is the fact that Victoria is thinking about taking a job in Manchester, she is currently in London, while her son and husband would stay where they are. I also got that he stays home and takes care of their son as well and that he doesn’t have a job. I’m not sure if that’s true, but that would never happen in the 1880’s. A woman’s place was in the home whether that was ordering servants around to do the chores and take care of the children, or if it was the woman doing it herself.

"Cloud Nine - Act One"

My understanding of colonialism is that the more dominant country, or at least the one that was “colonizing” the other less developed country imposed it’s will and beliefs on it. This can be seen in “Cloud Nine” with the British colonizing Africa and the how the boy Joshua is played by a white actor even though he is actually black and says he his real father and mother are evil people.

Colonialism is related to sexual oppression in this play by the way that colonialism is so oppressive on the peoples that it is colonizing. I think the people in the story are so tired of being oppressed with Mother England’s own strict social regiments and guidelines that they just want to break out of the mold. Everyone in the play is sexually deviant from their socially excepted norms except the baby, Victoria, because she is 2, Maud because she is very old, being Betty’s mother, and Joshua, because he is always the one finding out how everyone is deviating. I also don’t know if it has something to do with the stereotypical stories of living out in the wild or on the frontier where relationships and love is always found. It could be that Churchill is portraying this stereotype while also playing off of all the oppression from the colonialism and turning that into some suppressed sexually desire in all of the characters.

"The Bluest Eye"

The view of Claudia as a child I believe would give the most central view of the story just because it is in the thick of the story and the action. You get to hear/see the story through the eyes of someone who was actually there and witnessed the events first hand. She may not have known much of the back story, but she did know the general gist and gained more knowledge and details by engaging in dialogue with the other people. I could also argue that the omniscient narrator is just as important to the most central view as well. Through the omniscient narrator you gained all of the stories behind the stories. This was also where a lot of the action and the nitty gritty details of the story are told. Through the omniscient narator you find the out the back story on Mrs. Breedlove, Cholly, Soaphead Church, and all the trials and tribulations of Pecola’s life.

Overall I thought this was a very interesting and well written book, but it had a lot of parts like were just very disgusting and disturbing to me, especially the part where Pecola gets raped by her own father.

"Housewife" & "The Truth the Dead Know"

In “The Truth the Dead Know” by Anne Sexton, I got this very dark and morbid feeling right from the start. I mean I realize its a poem about death, hence the title, but it just seemed extremely sinister. It is obvious that Sexton wrote this poem for her parents because she dedicated it to them and in the poem says, “It is June.” June was when her father died and her mother had died 3 months before so it seems like both of their deaths took a really big toll on her.

This seems to be exemplified in the poem when she said she won’t even go to the grave to see the dead be buried and that she also leaves and gets away from it all. I could also she that by the fact that she doesn’t want to see her father get buried, could be that they didn’t get along or maybe that he had something to do with her mothers death. Which then could relate to why the title of the poem is called “The Truth the Dead Know.” The last stanza is one that kind of reinforces the reasoning I just came up with though because Sexton seems to say the dead are just like the stone that they lay in. Meaning that they are resolute about the things they knew when they were alive. The last line I really don’t understand because I am not really sure if it is trying to convey that the dead is guilty of sin, but they refuse to confess 1. because they are dead and they can’t, and 2. because they did something bad and don’t want anyone to know about it?

"The Ache of Marriage" & "Divorcing"

The two poems are similar in the way that they both focus on the pain that can come along with love. In “The Ache of Marriage” Levertov is talking about the how it causes pain psychologically. The line that says “We look for communion/and are turned away…”  is saying how you and your significant other look to each other for support and guidance, but in this case all that has come from the marriage has been pain. The line about joy also references that their marriage is one that is failing and the only joy that can be seen is outside of their marriage.

This leads me to the next poem called, “Divorcing.” In this poem the couple who were married obviously did not work out, and kind of sounds like the couple from the first poem. In this poem, Levertov talks about how the couple were trying to make it work, but were basically dying a slow death. This can be seen in the lines, “Drawn tight, it could choke us,/ yet we loved its scratchy grace,/ our fragrant yoke.” The poem also talks about how the two are scared to separate and go their own ways because they have been together for so long. Levertov makes the comparison of the couple to be Siamese twins and their uncertainty if they would be able to “survive,/ severed.”

"Desiree’s Baby" and "A Respectable Woman"

The common thematic thread I see in these two stories is dishonesty. In the first story by Chopin “Desiree’s Baby”, the man, Armand is dishonest to his wife because he tells her a lie about the fact that she is not white. He tells her to leave and that her and her baby are not white even though she is paler than him. She has to leave because she soiled his name and dishonored his house since she is an “inferior” being.  We then find out he is the one who is not white because of his mothers ethnicity.

In the second story by Chopin “A Respectable Woman” the wife is the dishonest one instead of the man. At first she truly feels that she will just dislike and despise the her Husbands college friend Gouvernail. When he shows up at their house she is then surprisingly shocked to find that she actually really likes the man and can’t find a thing wrong with him. She then becomes so infatuated with him that she wishes he was just like any other ordinary guy. She then tells her husband of the feelings she had towards Gouvernail and how she resisted like any “respectable” woman would. This could be interpreted that she is being truthful or that she is lying and being dishonest to her husband already. The next part though can be taken as her being dishonest for sure when after some time she is delighted to have Gouvernail come stay with them and she says with a laugh, “….This time I shall be very nice to him.”

"Now That I Am Forever With Child & The Lost Baby Poem"

The first poem “Now that I am Forever with Child” by Audre Lorde, is about how the woman’s body changed while she was pregnant and how she felt her child grow inside her. It was also about when she gave birth to this child she was carrying. The second poem “The Lost Baby Poem” by Lucille Clifton, is about how the woman’s baby died and how she is making a promise to the lost baby for her emanate children to come after the one she lost.

In the poem by Lorde, the woman seems happy and excited by the new changes in her body. She remembers how everything inside her grew and changed. In the poem by Clifton, the woman doesn’t really mentioned how her body changed because she seems quite sad and depressed, as one should be if they had a premature birth or an abortion. Clifton talks about how things would have been, like the season and what they would have done together had the baby lived. Lorde talks in her poem more about the development and then talks about what the birth was like. She basically says it was hell and that a new life was born from between her legs. Her experience seems like it was extremely painful physically, but enlightening mentally. Clifton in her poem makes a promise to the baby she lost about the future children she is going to have. She is basically saying she is gonna be stronger for the future children and not let them succumb to the same fate. She also says that if she fails that she will become just like the baby she lost, for she does not deserve to endure “for your never named sake.”