Saturday, March 26, 2016


Throughout Beloved, we see a common presence of ancestry. If you think about it, it isn't that different today. Most people today talk about their grandparents watching over them from heaven and guiding them in the right direction. We have seen this view of ancestry in "Beloved" and in "Things Fall Apart" but views today truly haven't changed that much since then. We believe in the same sort of things as the people in this past do.

Sethe and Denver

The two relationship really interest me, because they don't seem that close. Set he tells stories to Denver, but only bits a piece, which I understand that the stories are probably painful to remember, but I feel that with your kid you could share more. The situation is not only one sided thought, Denver, as well has distanced herself from her mother. Denver is scared and always on the lookout for he mom to snap again. Denver knows that her mother is capable of murder and feels as if it is her duty to make sure it doesn't happen again. I guess I just feel bad for this mother daughter relationship that has been lessened inadvertently by slavery. 

Slavery Worse Than Death

I kind of understand where Sethe was coming from when she killed her children, but I have to argue the other point for the sake of this blog post. Sethe was trying to save her children from slavery by killing them, believing that slavery was far worse than death. However, I don't think it is right that she got to decide the fates of her children for them. A lot of times parents will do what they think is "best" for their children, not realizing that what is "best" is, in fact, not the best. I recognize the fact that parents have more life experience and know more than their children and should make some cautionary decisions to protect their children...but I think the children are entitled to a certain amount of independence like their own life and death, a right that the parent should not be able to take away.

Anti-Rape Underwear

I was on Facebook earlier this week and I came across a video one of my friends shared. The video was for "Anti-Rape Underwear." Seeing this video reminded me of the rape in Beloved. Morrison depicts and alludes to the history of rape and the brutal abuse of slaves. Rape is one of the memories that constantly haunts the characters.

Anyways... I didn't know what to think of this anti-rape underwear. I'm sure the makers had good intentions, but I can't get over the fact that this product had to be made. It's a really sad and disturbing fact--there is a bigger problem in the world if women need to wear anti-rape underwear. Instead, individuals (men and women)  should be taught not to rape. They should not be taught that they need to protect themselves by wearing anti-rape products.
As for another real-world example I came across a text post saying, "I've always been told not to give in to peer pressure but I've never been told not to pressure my peers and I think that shows how dysfunctional society is"...

Here's the link for the video:

Monday, March 21, 2016


As I was making the "senior days left till senior chapel" countdown signs, it made me think about how relative time really is. We sit in class thinking "this is so boring" and wondering "when will this be over" but the next day, when we have a test, we wish we were still in yesterday when we were reviewing. As seniors, we keep counting down the days till we can leave, but in a few months, we will wish we had enjoyed our time in high school more. Just like us, Sethe and the other characters in Beloved revolve around time and especially thinking about the past. Sethe is consumed by the past, and does everything she can to put it out of her mind. However, there are some things that she romanticizes and almost misses - even things that are awful like Sweet Home. She remembers the good things - like Halle, her baby, etc - rather than her rape, her pain from carrying Denver and birthing her in a canoe, and her baby's death. Time is very fickle this way, both for us and for characters in Beloved.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Poor Sethe

Before Sethe runaway from Sweet Home she is beaten and gets he beat milk stolen from her by school teacher and his nephews. After reading this Sethe is much more concerned by he milk being stolen that being beaten while pregnant. I did and maybe a little still don't understand why she is more upset about her milk being stole rather then being beaten and then possibly having a miscarriage, even Paul D agrees. I do understand that what the nephews did was horrible and a molestation, but she does really refer to being violated she is definitely more concerned about the milk being gone. My though is that her body will just make more milk, so personally I would be much more upset about the beating and molestation.


So we have been seeing a lot of trees in Beloved, but what do they mean? At first we see that the trees at Sweet Home are a kind of solitude from slavery and then later Sethe makes a visual of boys hanging form trees, and what the reader could guess means the boys are lynched. We have happy imagery of trees and really gruesome ones. One more tree that we see is the one of Sethe's back, which is not a tree, but a bundle of scars made from a whip. Sethe's scar tree was something horrible but then made into something beautiful by comparing it to a chokecherry tree. So, again what do trees mean? Normally trees symbolize life, in the book they either mean freedom or oppression, but freedom mixed with strife/ oppression is the human life. I think that the trees motif in the book show all the different emotion that human and specifically, for the case of the book, former slaves have to live with.

Life after death in Mulan

As we were talking about the way Africans call upon their ancestors for help in their life issues, this reminded me of the beginning of Mulan when she calls upon her ancestors to help her and her family get through their hardship. The ancestors listen, and send a living embodiment of their willing aid in Mushu, the shrimpy dragon. I found many Similarities in Amistad and Beloved. InAmoatad he calls upon his ancestors to help him through his trials, and in Beloved the spirits either through memory as baby Suggs does, or through physical embodiment, like beloved. It's interesting how many religions have some form of ancestor veneration, yet it's thought of as strange when seen in the Africans. But when you think about it, Mulan and Beloved have many similarities since Mushu helps Mulan through her physical and somewhat emotional journey, while beloved helps serge through her emotional and spiritiual troubles.

Ghost Variety

Cultures all around the world have their own perceptions and ideas of spirits. Ghost stories can be found in ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, India, etc. People in the ancient world had no doubt that souls survived even after the person died. It was common to believe that the dead "lived" on in some other form (I immediately think of belief of reincarnation in Asian religions). The soul's life in the afterlife was dictated by several factors--the specific details varying from each culture. One of the biggest factors, I believe, was how the remains were disposed and how the person's life was celebrated in order to help the soul's spiritual journey after death. I immediately think of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico and the elaborate pyramid burials in Egypt. Whether you personally believe in these concepts or not, I think it is important to respect other cultures' beliefs regarding their respect for caring for the human body and the soul in the afterlife.

Friday, March 18, 2016


The other day in class, we were discussing the idea of memory and everything that it entails. We talked about how generally most people try to block out bad memories and cling on to the good ones or even glorify the better ones. Sophomore year, Ms. Beauvais informed us that when you remember a memory, you actually remember your last remembrance of the memory each time as opposed to the actual memory. That is crazy to me. It makes me think though that when Sethe thinks of her happy memories of Sweet Home, these are memories that have melded over the years. Every time she thinks of these memories she tries to push out the bad ones, therefore the next time she only remembers more and more good aspects and eventually these memories have completely melded from negative to positive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spirits in TFA and Beloved

In Things Fall Apart, spirits are common throughout the novel. For example, everyone thinks Ezinma is "possessed" basically, calling her an Obanje. In Beloved, there are also a multitude of Spirits. Beloved the character, is a human incarnation of a dead person. The reader could view this as a possession, in a sense. Or, the reader could view Beloved as possessing the household or as possessing Sethe (not physically, like the spirits possessed Ezinma, but theoretically. Beloved says she is "only [t]here for Sethe" - that is, to torment her.) Whichever way you look at it, both TFA and Beloved have a multitude of spiritual encounters, though they vary widely.


So I was just researching ghosts after I finished reading what we were assigned for last night. It is interesting that the character "Beloved" comes back to Sethe. She is only there for Sethe, basically to torment her in real life rather than by spirit. I interpreted her as a ghost as still a baby. It made me wonder if ghosts would grow to an adult age, even though they are dead. This is why I was slightly confused when Beloved came back as the age she would have been if she were alive. Most importantly, I was thinking about the name beloved. Spread apart, it is literally "be loved." Sethe wanted nothing more for her baby than for her to be loved. However, the baby ghost feels rejected and hated ("sad" according to Sethe.) She is not being loved, and is reflecting the hatred she feels from her own mother. Sethe is being tortured by the person/thing she truly cares about, trying to give love.


Today in class we went off onto a tangent based upon the creepy spirit in Beloved. We were talking about if ghosts were real or not, and if so, what type of powers do they have and do they have to use them for evil? I personally believe there are ghosts, they can be good or bad, and that they have the power to change temperature and close doors and move objects. I am still not sure if they can directly do any physical harm to a living person, though. I feel like you would have to be alive; with that said, they can still torment people by fear and moving other objects that may cause harm. Here are some interesting article for those of you who are curious in the spirit world, like I was.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I was reflecting upon the concept of chi in the Ibo culture. At first when the chi is presented, Okonkwo makes it seem that he can will his chi to do as he please; all he needs to say is yes and his chi will follow. After reading this part of the text I thought the chi was suppose to be ones drive, kind of like a guardian angle; the angel helps you out but mostly lets you do as you please. Later Okonkwo has a lot of misfortune, and he talks about his chi again and how his chi is not willing him to about to great things. Now I am confused because I thought the chi was more like a nice follower but now it is more like fate. This made me think of fate and free will, maybe the chi is suppose to make the reader pounder on the concept but I thought it was weird on how the chi was represented in the two different parts of the book.

Okonkwo's death

so we talked about Okonkwo's suicide in class, and we came up with multiple reasons to why he took his life. I, personally, think that he took his life so that the last seconds of his life were in his hands. While reading the book we saw that Okonkwo is always a control freak. I see why he would have taken his life, since the commissioner and missionaries were destroying his culture. Okonwo didn't want to have to subdue to their ways so to have his control he took his own life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I feel bad for Okonkwo

Imagine you growing up in a small town and your father is a drunk that never pays anyone back. Since your father is sleeping all the time and not working, you have to be the one to take care of your family at a very young age. When you grow up of course you don't want to be like your dad! You want to be better because you don't want what happened to you to happen to your kids. You take every precaution not to be like your father; you work hard, you are self-sufficient so no one owes you money, and you raise up this amazing family. Every respects you because of the great man you have become and then your gun explodes and a piece of it kills a kid. Flash forward and you get back home and you try and fight for your rights but then no one agrees with you and you feel like you fell back to the bottom where you started. This is how Okonkwo felt. He tried his whole life not to be the slug his father was. Some can argue Okonkwo is too manly and too harsh, but he has a reason to be. He is scared of becoming his father. Everyone knows what it is like to have their parents do something embarrassing in public, what if that was all the time. Okonkwo was embarrassed to claim him as a father. We, as children, are supposed to learn from our parents' mistakes, and that is exactly what Okonkwo did.

Slave: My True Story

Last year for my independent studies book, I read "Slave: My True Story." This book was written by Mende Nazer and it was about her life before, during, and after she was a slave. When she was 12 years old, a woman about to be married in her world, she was taken by men, raped, and put into slavery. The book tells her chilling story about everything she had to endure. She starts the book off talking about her life back home and explaining it in amazing detail. She remembered perfectly what everything looked like and how everything worked. What made me think about her story was when we were reading about Okonkwo and how his housing system was set up. In Things Fall Apart, the book mentions the many different houses on one man's property. There is the main house for the men, separate houses for the wives and daughters, and living quarters for guests. This was just like Mende described her life in her story. One main difference between the two books is that Catholic missionaries are coming into the Igbo people's land when it was Islamic men invading Mende's tribe. I just thought how interesting it was that the two stories were written so far apart yet the housing systems were the exact same.

This is jaclyns blog post about Beyoncé:

The other day in Humanities, we talked about how Beyonce is a feminist and a voice for the black community. (I literally worship Beyonce. #queen) When Ms. King brought her up the other day in class, I thought I would look into it. Her new song “Formation” (which is my favorite jam currently) is a voice for not only women and blacks, but also LGBTQ people. Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley, a well-versed African and African Diaspora Studies associate professor wrote an article (found at about Beyonce’s role. Beyonce is celebrating her formation. Everything that has made her who she is: heritage, her fine form, her politics. According to Tinsley, “While some activists call on African Americans to get militant in response to injustice, Beyonce asks ladies to get in formation, to stand side by side and show everyone we’re still here and ‘we gon’ slay, slay <>.’” The song, then, is all about being a proud African American female. Proud of one’s heritage, body type, natural black hair, and other distinguishing features. The song even has a personal connection to New Orleans, because it features Queen of Bounce Big Freedia (another personal favorite) and the video features an abandoned plantation; Beyonce also says quite literally “Mama Louisiana” and “I Got hotsauce in my bag, swag” since her mother was from Louisiana, and she was raised with southern influences. In conclusion, Beyonce wants to “[unite] dreams, work and power to create a new world—a world where black women own their bodies, pleasures, and possibilities. ‘I dream it, I work hard, I grind ‘til I own it,’ Bey sings, and I believe her.” #SLAYMEBEYONCE #SLAYMEFREEDIA

Monday, March 7, 2016

Okonkwo the Savage

In class today, I was thinking of Achebe's overall goals of this novel. I know that he is trying to portray the true life of the Ibo people as opposed to their stereotypes. However, I think he goes even deeper with this fictional story. I personally believe that Achebe makes Okonkwo represent more of the savage beast that European society think of when they think of Africa. And the rest of the culture is meant to portray the true representation. Generally, the class agrees that Okonkwo is a horrible person and I think Achebe gives us that hatred for him to show the drastic opposition of the likable characters that are the true representation of Ibo society.

Skin Color

In the autobiography that we discussed in class, the man discusses how he lived far from the river when he was a child, so he didn't even know that white people existed. I have experienced this first hand when I went to Haiti last summer. We visited one of the Haitian homes and a fairly young girl started balling crying as soon as she saw us. The family quickly explained that she had never seen white people before and that she was scared. They said not to take it personally, this was her absolute first encounter with white people so she was very shocked at the difference. This is just a crazy concept to me. I can't imagine not knowing of another race for the first few months or years of my life.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Yoruba of the Day

When we were looking at a map of Nigeria the other day with Mrs. Quinet, I noticed "Yoruba" on the map. Eniola's mother speaks yoruba and Eniola went to school to learn it. I wasn't in the class but I know Eniola would put up a "Yoruba of the Day" every day in religion last year. Eniola is a really good friend of mine so I asked her for a phrase so I could make a post about it. She said:
o ko ni pataki ibi ti mo ti emi yoo nigbagbogbo ni re pada
"It doesn't matter where I am, I will always have your back"
I think it is interesting how people with different backgrounds can become so connected--take my friendship with Eniola, for example. I also think it is important to note how strong bonds can be even when you're so far from the other person. This just kind of reminded me of the African family traditions and strong tribal bonds we alluded to when we started talking about Nigeria and TFA.

In God We Trust?

The gods in Things Fall Apart confuse me. It's a strange relationship/trust system between the people and their gods. Usually in religions, it is understood that you are supposed to entirely trust your God no matter what. In the situation with the priestess, they do not fully trust their God. The mother follows the priestess all the way to the cave and then waits outside because she is worried about the child. Okonkwo also shows up and despite what he says I believe that he was also worried about his daughter. If they had had full faith in their gods they wouldn't have worried about the daughter and what the priestess' intentions were.


Tonight, the Madisons and I went to go see the new movie Zootopia. I was pleasantly surprised at how deep the movie turned out to be while still being lighthearted, cute, and funny. Throughout the movie it became apparent that many of the things that were said and many of the plot points could be thought of as direct allusions to the events of racial prejudice that have been occurring lately. (WARNING SPOILERS) The movie followed a bunny who's big dream was to be a cop. Everyone, even her parents told her that it wasn't possible because of who she was, there has never been a bunny cop before. But she worked harder than anyone else and became a cop. When she got on the force, no one took her seriously and wouldn't give her any real jobs. When she finally did get her own case, it ended up that all of the predators (African Americans) were the ones going crazy and hurting people, while the prey (white folks) were completely innocent. There has always been a prejudice between the two, and the bunnys parents even made her carry around pepper spray for predators. But now, it went out of control. The prey outnumbered the predators 9:1 yet they all thought of the predators as bad and scary... And clumped them all into the one stereotype. As it turns out (SUPER SPOILER TWIST ENDING GO WATCH IT YOURSELF ITS REALLY GOOD) the predators were going crazy because a certain faction of the prey were drugging the predators in order to convince all of the other prey to go against the predators. The writers put in a lot of not easily noticeable but extremely smart allusions to recent events. It was extremely well written and an all around worth the watch movie. I found that it fit in nicely with our recent discussions of Europeans stereotypes on Africans found in Things Fall Apart.


The high priestess is interesting to me. The day to day women named Chielo, is the Agbala God but this God is a he, so the god seems to me to have no bounds such as gender; it is neither a she or he. The village people refer to Agbala in the he form but the person "taken over" by the god is a women. 
As a side note I feel like this could play into how Okonwo sees masculinity and how the tribe sees it, thoughts? 


I feel bad for Enzinm. Okonkwo keeps saying he wishes she was a boy and that would some how make her better. I see on the one hand in there society that a father wishing that his daughter if good enough to to be a boy and be his successor would be honorable, but from today's society's perspective it is hurtful. Enzinm, in Okonwo's eyes has all the characteristic to make her the perfect successor. His oldest boy is too much like Okonwo's father to become "great" like him, so Enzinma make the cut, except that her fatal is he gender. 

Are they different

Okonkwo and his father seem very different, expecially since Okonkwo has tried his every waking moment to be the opposite of his father. In the story Unoka is lazy, doesn't know how to farm, and hold no title, on the other hand Okonkwo has the most yams, many wives, many titles, and is over all prosperous. The ideals of the community they live in hold hard work to a high esteem, Unoka did not live up to these ideals. Okonkwo feels as if he has succeeded in being completely different from his father, but I think he is wrong. Okonkwo, like his father doesn't live up fully to his community ideals, which he feels he emulates. He doesn't live up to these ideals because he is a rough and belligerent man. Umuofian's, rather the elders, do not like Okonkwo's quick to anger and it eventually leads to him being banished from the village. Okonkwo should think twice before he says he isn't like his father, because both of them are disgraced. 


I saw this painting last night and it reminded me of all the art we've studied with Mrs. Quinet this year. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of this painting nor do I know the name of the creator of the piece. I looked at this work and thought about how confusing and tricky it was. I wanted to think I saw nude bodies, but the not-so-defined lines threw me off. There is a lot going on in this painting and I don't know what to look at or think about first. I'm curious as to see what everyone else thinks when y'all look at this!

Is Eliot just a complaining old man?

Do you think that Eliot's complaints about modern life are typical of an older person looking down on a younger generation, thinking that it is somehow less thoughtful or intelligent? Without a doubt, WWI had a tremendous impact on British society, but some of Eliot's implications that the modern British were losing touch with their culture and history reminded me of Bauerlein's accusations and gross generalizations in "The Dumbest Generation," where Bauerlein claims that the Internet is making young people mindless and less knowledgeable.

George Orwell once said, “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” While this in itself is a generalization, there are always people in each generation who feel that way. Do you think that Eliot is despising the younger generation in "The Waste Land," or wailing for modern society and culture in general?

This rather long video explains juvenoia (a neologism describing the fear or hostility of a younger generation or youth culture) which I found to be very interesting:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


When it came to the waste land I described the image that popped into my mind. The image I imagined was from the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Well, I'm currently watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and Captain Jack Sparrow just referenced Dante's Inferno. These two men that used to be under his command, a while back, see that he is in jail. They start taunting him and he says "be careful lads, the deepest circle of hell is reserved for traitors and mutiny." I just thought it was very interesting that I just compared the pirate movie to the waste land and here it is referencing Dante! (Anyone who hasn't seen all 4 of these movies needs to do it as soon as possible because they are amazing!)