Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reflexive Essay

Literature has the mysterious power of transforming one into a more analytical and confident reader and writer. At the beginning of my senior year, I considered myself to be a reporter, who reports the fact on the things I see. Now, near the end of the year, I consider myself an analytical writer. Throughout the year, we were asked to analyze and to explicate on whatever pieces of literature we were assigned. At first, everything about the pieces seemed so simple that I felt like there is not much to write about. However, as time pass by, I am able to see more than the images on the picture or the words on the writing. I am able to see beyond what is on the piece of literature.
The most memorable moment was when I have to write an explicative essay for the first time. This was difficult, as I have never done it before. I was assigned to explicate William Carlos Williams’ The Parable of the Blind. He wrote this poem based on Pieter Brueghel’s painting. With the painting and poem, I started my journey on analyzing it. I also attempted to create meaning and relationships between the poem and the painting. In the end, I found a relationship and the purpose and main idea of William Carlos Williams’ poem. Therefore, I wrote about my findings and reported each detail with specific care.
I thought that this was the best analytical piece I’ve done. However, when I received my grade for this assignment, I was shock. I got a low grade and I was disappointed. This is because I was not doing what the assignment asked for. I was supposed to explicate the poem, not analyze it. I asked myself the question: What is the difference between explicating and analyzing? Later, I realize, with the help of fellow students and Mr. Gallagher, the difference between them. When one analyzes, he or she is trying to create meaning out of what they see. And when one explicates, he or she is attempting to tell other people how the artist conveys his idea and main idea. Once I realize their distinction, I am able to write better essays.
This assignment is also interesting because I was asked to choose two pieces of writing, written by fellow students, that I considered the most well written and that are able to explicate the poem really well. I must choose the A’s and the B’s paper. After reading everyone’s writing, I am able to choose two that I believed are the best. The good thing about this is that I was able to gather new ideas about writing from other people and that I could be exposed to various writing techniques and structures.
Another memorable moment is when I wrote a poem that is similar to the Red Shift written by Ted Berrigan. The Red Shift poem is nearly the same as my poem. The only distinction is some of the wordings. I was asked to write a poem by filling in the blanks that were in the Red Shift. Mr. Gallagher created these blanks. I used my creative ideas and simply created a poem based on my experience and thought. It was fun and it sounded nice. It was the only time when I felt proud about writing a poem.
There are other impressive moments in his class. The time we spent in acting out Hamlet is unforgettable. It was fun and entertaining. It helped us in understanding the reading better. Memorizing a twenty-four-lines poem is also a superb memory to me. I will never forget the preparation I had before entering Mr. Gallagher’s classroom at the day of the presentation. However, at the presentation, I did not do well. I stuttered and did not remember the lines, so I walked around the room and created a show-like presentation. This was awkward and was considered funny by fellow students.
I believe that literature can really impact my life. Everything about literature helps me learn and grow and to become who I am today. I take history class because it provides stories of disasters that have occurred in the past due to some mistakes of our ancestor, which will help me in not repeating their mistakes. Similar to the reason in taking history, reading a book, knowing about assorted characters, and understanding the different events can help in making us grow, to take precautions about various activities, and to learn about different writing techniques and skills. This is the basis for me in believing that I have grown plenty during this school year. As a side note, I have never thought about writing a thirteen-page paper. This year, aside from the long research paper and the long research that I did, everything seems inspirational. Writing a three-page paper is no longer a difficult assignment for me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

College Essay

In the past:

Seventeen years ago, on January 22, 1990, my mother gave birth to me. I was born into a low-income family in Hong Kong. I have a mother, a father, and an older brother. I was a happy little girl with a simple mind. Every morning, I walked to school with my brother. We bought our breakfast on our way to school from a vendor on the sidewalk. After school was done, I walked back home with my brother. This was my daily routine. My brother and I were good friends and we took care of each other.
During this time my only concern was my grades in school. My parents were strict about my academic excellence. They wanted me to succeed. By doing so, they believed that our family would advance in life and would be better off and happier. At such a young age, however, I did not understand or know their objective. All I knew was that I must do well in school in order to make them happy and to avoid being hit on the hands with a ruler. Also, by doing well in school, I would be rewarded with little gifts: pencils, erasers, candy, and etcetera.
On May 28, 1998, my family and I were in a plane and we were heading to Logan Airport in Boston. My move from Hong Kong to this new place was not stressful to me at all because I knew that I would be able to make new friends. At that point, everything in my life was perfect. However, this perfect life of mine fell apart one day before we moved to the United States. I do not remember the exact date, but I can still see clearly and vividly in my mind of what happened. It was an incident that changed my entire life and that I will never be able to forget. A woman was lying on my parents’ bed. When I asked my mother about it, and she told me that my father had a mistress. I did not understand what this meant. To me, my mother is a good wife and a responsible mother. Why did my father cheat on her? How could he be so unsatisfied with what he had? This was when my hatred and resentment toward my father sprung.
From that day I kept my eyes on my father; I carefully scrutinized and analyzed his each and every action. I wanted to be sure that my father would not cheat on my mother and hurt her again. In school, I remained the same and continued to try my best to succeed in every subject; I worked very hard. But it’s now clear in my mind that I have something worth fighting for and must be preserved. I wanted to enter a good college, acquire a professional career, be successful, and to ultimately earn a decent living for my mother and my brother. I don’t want anything to threaten my family. As I grew older and gained more life experiences, I could see the precarious position my family was in. My mother is very important to me, and I did not want her to be hurt by my father anymore, but I could only do this by keeping my mother away from my father. But since we depended on my father’s salary to live, we could not leave him until we are able to support ourselves.
As I mature, however, my resentment toward my father diminished. The reason for this was my mother. The most important lesson my mother has taught me is learning how to forgive. She loves my father and that she is used to the life that she is sharing with him. She tells me that she forgave my father a long time ago and that I should forgive him too. Anger is fire that consumes whatever on its path without ever stopping; even if its original fuel had been spent, it would still continue to transfer its destructive rage to other things. I cannot live a happy life with anger and rage always in my heart. I have learned to forgive him and I still love him as much. I learned that real love is not just about sacrifices and sharing joy, but it requires unconditional forgiveness as well. It is blessing to have people who would love me and forgive me for all the mistakes I’ve made and will make. I changed a lot during this time and these changes will make me a more forgiving and understanding person in life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jerry Uelsmann and His Amazing Photographs









JERRY UELSMANN AND HIS AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS

Ping Sum Lui
Mr. Ryan Gallagher
English 12 H Period 6
19 May 2008


Jerry Norman Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 11, 1934. He has been a decisive and determining young man. Uelsmann was able to identify his interest in photography during his early years in Cooley High School. After graduating in 1952, he moved to New York. In 1953, he began his study on photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. There, he learned new ideas about photographs. He was strongly influenced by the ideas of his instructors—Minor White and Ralph Hattersley. He realizes that a camera has more than the ability to record images; it also has the “potential of transcending the initial subject matter” (Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement). To him, transforming an image that was seen into something else using a camera is more important than focusing on the details of the image.
After his graduation from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1957, he married Marylinn Kamischke, whom he met in Detroit. Later in the year, he entered Indiana University to study audio-visual communication. There, he began to work as a graduate assistant in the laboratory, but soon decided that it was not the right field for him. In 1958, he transferred to the art department, where he took intensive studies in the art history.
Henry Holmes Smith was his professor. He taught Uelsmann the same thing Uelsmann had learned from Minor White: the idea that photography is a creative medium and that it is not only for recording purpose. In Smith’s class, he had his life-changing moments. He was determined to become proficient technically when Smith reacted unkindly to his claim on being able to make a photograph better than that of Arthur Segal. In 1960, he graduated from Indiana University and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree.
Soon after graduation, he joined the art department at the University of Florida and began his teaching in photography. In 1962, he helped found the Society for Photographic Education. In 1966, he became an associate professor at the University of Florida and was elected to become a director of the Society for Photographic Education.
Later, he built his home, which includes a darkroom. He refers to the darkroom as his “visual research laboratory,” where he refines his technique. In 1971, he spent his time traveling, delivering lectures, and holding workshops under a faculty development grant from the University of Florida. In 1972, he was granted a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1974, he became a graduate research professor at the University of Florida. In the same year, he divorced Marylinn and married Diane Farris in the following year (Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement).
The occurrences in his life are commonly seen in many other people’s lives. However, he manages to become a unique photographer, who has imaginative and innovative ideas about photography that most people do not have during his time. Influenced by the theories of Freudian psychology, Uelsmann sought to reveal the world of the unconscious, or the “true reality” that he believed existed beyond the physical world. He sought to portray the world of dreams by putting together recognizable objects in unrecognizable relationships in his photographs. By using logic to portray the illogical (Spielvogel), he is able to create images that are aesthetically appealing and complex. He believes that his photographs are appealing because they create an automatic response in human that is “pre-verbal” (Legends Online).
Uelsmann’s photograph combines several negatives to create surreal landscapes that interweave seemingly mutually exclusive images in unexpected ways (Modern Book Gallery). His photographs are made up of polarities because he believes that all realization arise from contrast (Surrealism). He hopes that his photograph can bring new perspectives into his observer’s minds. This is the reason his photographs seem to force the observer to consider the photographs’ implication that the opposites can be from the same source (Chris Maher and Larry Berman).
Jerry Uelsmann is a photographer who has “one camera and many enlargers” (A Gallery for Fine Photography). Photography is noted to bring out the facts in real life. However, he takes an extra step and uses his artistic talent and imagination to create a new type of photography (Profotos). He creates photograph without specific thought of the composition before he began (Bunnell). He just combines the different negatives he took to create a piece of art that he feels comfortable with and that can represent him. His ability to create art out of seemingly unrelated images and to connect them in a new and creative way is very inspirational. His fantasized photographs are noted as “beautiful, lulling, and soothing” (Temin).
In 1983, Jerry Uelsmann created his masterpieces with a variety of symbols and images. Most of these masterpieces showed a compressed space that seemed unbelievable in a real life situation, but at the same time, probable. Overall, his photographs looked realistic and logical, but there was always something absurd about them. His photographs were able to attain his goal of persuading his viewers to believe in the unbelievable. By this time in the history of his career, he was creating his photographs without a specific title. He hoped that his viewers were going to find individual meanings from the images they see in the photograph. The purpose of his photographs had such great range that one could prove almost anything with them (Klindt).
In the start of Jerry Uelsmann’s career, he used titles as an attempt to help the viewer in recognizing his own interpretation of the world’s “inherent strangeness.” These titles were often created after he finished with the piece of photograph because he never began making his photographs with a definite concept. His photographs are all “results of his visual discovery” (Uelsmann Yosemite). His distinctive style and inherent craftsmanship were able to effectively help present and express his ideas (Process and Perception).
Two of Jerry Uelsmann’s 1983 photographs captured my attention with noteworthy force. The contrast found in these photographs is also meaningful (Photosynthesis).
The first of these photographs shows the image of a rectangular room. The room appears to be part of a large church. We can only see three sides—the front, and parts of two sidewalls—of this room. The photograph appears to be divided into two different halves. The top half of the photograph shows the room and the bottom half of the photograph shows a huge, rectangular case. The case appears to make up of wood. It has two see-through glasses on the top, from which eight square boxes are neatly organized (four on each side on the case and under each one of the two glasses). The case can be opened from the bottom; the glass top flips up from the bottom end. There are two small handles that are used to raise the glass top. One handle on each side of the wooden case. There are shapes of a sphere on each end of the handle. These boxes are shallow.
On the front wall, there is a small wooden door. The rectangular door is opened. The door is pushed inward towards the church. The door is in a walk-in compartment that is much higher up than the door. There are two sides to the door, and the door is opened from the middle. Each side of the door is divided into two portions. On the top portion, a square is formed, and it wraps around another square. And on the bottom portion, a rectangle is formed, and it wraps around another rectangle. On the bottom portion of the doors there are three concentric circles. These circles are located in the center of the bottom portion of the door.
After carefully looking at the door, I find something strange about it. The doors do not touch the ground. Unlike doors that we used everyday, the doors on the photograph do not extend their lengths to where the floor is. This means that when the doors are closed, there will be a hole underneath the doors.
Also, on the front wall are two huge windows. They located on either sides of the door. Each window is divided into six portions. The portions are lay out to form six rectangular shapes that form the rims of the window. Each of the two windows is “two portions (on the top and bottom) by three portions (on the side) big.” The top and bottom portions have a longer length than those of the middle portions. Each of the portions at the top is divided into four little squares and two near-squares. The middle portion is divided into four rectangles. The bottom portion is divided into six squares. The top of the window is dome shaped. The windows are in walk-in compartments. These windows are larger than the door.
The two other walls that could be seen partially have see-through cabinets of some sort. The cabinet has a see-through glass on the front that shines and reflects when the sunlight. The cabinet is hanging about two-and-one-half feet above the ground. It is divided up into nine equally sized compartments. It is difficult to see what is placed inside the cabinets.
The floor is tiled and the tiles are placed side way so that they looked more like shapes of diamond than shapes of squares. The pattern formed meets up in the center of the photograph. The tiles’ are rough and are not smooth. The color and shades of the tiles seem like the waves in an ocean.
The eight square boxes that are located inside the wooden case hold butterflies inside them. Each box contains a minimum of seven butterflies. While some boxes have nine butterflies, others have a total of fifteen butterflies. The variation may be due to the difference in the size of the butterflies. After carefully looking at the arrangement of the butterflies, I noticed that the boxes on the left hand side of the case all have butterflies in groups of seven and that the boxes on the right hand side of the case have butterflies in groups of various size. The two sets of two boxes in the center are arranged closely together, side by side. The two sets of two boxes on the side are arranged about half an inch apart from the boxes in the center.
Most of these butterflies are not plainly colored; they contain a variety of colors. Some butterflies have polka dots on them, some have stripes, and there are still others, who have both dots and stripes. A nametag is located below each butterfly. The purpose of this is so that we would not get messed up with which is which. This is related to the moments of uncertainty that are found throughout human lives. They are uncertain about the genuineness of the things they see, so they need nametags or items to distinguish them.
The boxes with the seven butterflies have three butterflies lay out on the top of the box, three on the bottom (with a little curvature to fit the seventh butterfly), and one in the center. The boxes with the nine butterflies have three butterflies arranged neatly in the columns of three rows. The box with the fifteen butterflies has a butterfly on each corner of the photograph. Then, five butterflies are lain out on the top, three butterflies in the center, and three on the bottom. All of them are arranged so that there is only a bit of curvature.
In the center of the top portion of the photograph is a dark image of a young boy walking away from the once-living butterflies and the wooden case. The boy appears to be leaving the church. In front of the boy, the door was opened and a shimmering butterflies flies over his head. The boy appears as if he is reaching for that living butterfly. On the left-hand sidewall, there is a tiny dark figure on top of the cabinet. Also, there are shadowy images of cars outside the church that can be seen from the left hand side window.
After carefully looking at the image in the photographs, I noticed many things that I would not have noticed if I just looked at it briefly. The once living butterflies are placed first inside a square box, and then they are placed inside the wooden case. This is interesting because when people die, they are placed into a casket and then into the ground covered up with dirt. It seems as if the butterflies are connected to the people race in someway.
The fact is that the lives of butterflies closely resemble those of the human race. We born as a baby and we walk on our hands and feet. The butterflies born as caterpillars, and they crawl around. Then as we grow older, we start to walk with two feet. When the caterpillars grew up, they turn into larvae. When we grow even older, we are able to run. This is similar to the way butterfly grow up and be able to fly freely in the air.
Also, by placing these butterflies safely into the boxes and cases, it seems as if they are under some kind of protection from some kind of danger. Like young children, their parents try to protect them from bad influence and hoped that they would stay in the house and stand by their side more often. The boy in the photograph is walking away from these butterflies and chases the fluttering butterfly. The color of the images outside of the door appears shadowy; it seems like it is located in a completely different world from the inside of the church. The patterns on the tiles seem like the waves in an ocean.
There are two important ideas behind this. First, we are able to see how young children hope to move away from the influence of their parents and to move away from their protection. This shows how they all want to seek something new by themselves and how they want to fly away freely and to seek their own future.
Secondly, this shows how young children hope to seek truth and reality. Often, adults and teenagers like to fool themselves and believe in something they know is false. We all understand that the way we dress is just to fool some other people into thinking whom we want them to think us as. However, young children are different. They hope to seek the truth. They do not want to wear something to please other people; they do what they do and wear what they wear to please themselves.
Another example is when adults go to museum exhibits to view the remains or fossils of extinct animals or insects. They are not looking at something that still exists, but still, they look at it and admire it. Young children are different; they would rather go to the park to look at worms under some rock. They seek reality and truth, not something dead, but something alive and meaningful at the moment (Process and Perception). To the young children, the unreal world inside the church is “shaky” and that it will fall apart at any time. Unlike the real world, it is “steady.”
There is something strange about the arrangement of the objects in the room. First, the room can be seen more to the left hand side than the right hand side. When the boy chases the butterfly, he moves his left hand and leg first. The left hand side of the boy lights up. It seems as if things in the left hand side are of higher significance than the things in the right hand side. Then, the light that shines through the door hits the right hand side of the room more than it does on the left. This is as if Jerry Uelsmann attempted to balance the things on the left side with those on the right side, although he favors the left side more than the right.
Then, outside the huge windows, there appears to be a fence of some sort. The fence appears as if it is wrapping the church up and it seems that the boy is trapped inside the church and could not leave. Also, there are seven huge looks in the center of each window. It appears as if the windows are locked up and that they could not be opened by any means. An extra image in the photograph that I noticed is the tiled floor. The intersections and crossing of the tiles appear to be the bars in a dungeon.
This shows the difficulty a boy must goes through in order to seek his freedom and the truth of reality. He is trapped and he must find a way to free himself from the hold of the fence. By looking carefully through the window on the left hand side, I am able to identify two cars. If only the boy has the will to move out of the church, it seems that he will be able to get into the car and to “fly” off to where he wants to be and to seek what he wants to seek.
The second and last of these photographs shows the image of a circular room. The room appears to be the entrance to a maze-like place. We can only see half the room. The floor is made up of cement. It has a geometric pattern.
The pattern is formed by five concentric circles. The outermost circle is the rim of the room. The second to the outermost circle is the outline of the different geometric shapes on the floor. The third to the outmost circle is the outline of the shapes also. The second and third circles together create a border or boundary for the various geometric shapes formed. Five curved trapezoids are formed by these circles. In two of the trapezoids, there are shapes of diamonds. In three of the trapezoids, there are shapes of circles. These trapezoids that contain different shapes follow each other consecutively. The circle, the diamond, and the trapezoids are white. They are rimed by a thick, black outline.
Enclosed between the innermost and second to the innermost concentric circles are two different geometric shapes. One of which is a white kite-shaped figure, with the shorter side pointing inward. There are eight of these figures. Then, there are eight, black triangles that pointed outward with their base on the innermost circle. In the center of the innermost circle is a drain with eight holes that shaped like ovals. The innermost circle and second to innermost circle are black. The rest of the circles are black and white, which form a pattern that seems like the waves in an ocean during a storm.
The reason the photograph appears to be a maze to me is that it has five entrances that leads to five different passageways. Two of these entrances are balconies while three of the entrances are open passageways that lead to different places. The floor in each of the balcony is formed by a white rectangle. A white diamond shaped figure is inside this rectangle. The diamond and the rectangle are rimmed by a thick, black border.
The walls are made up of cement and are covered by wood that form square patterns, like a quilt. At the top of the wall, where it intersects the ceiling is a border that is made up of strange figures. The border consists of two circular objects followed by a rectangular object. The circular object shaped like a baseball and the rectangular object shaped like a grill pan. On top of each of the balcony, hanging on the walls, is a sculpture of human-like figures. On the left hand side, the sculpture shows an image of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love. On the right hand side, he sculpture shows an image of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea. On the balcony, there is a railing made up of metal. The railing has a pattern of three concentric circles intertwining with three other concentric circles (Sellers).
In between the entrances, there are small trees planted in pots. The two pots of trees located next to the center entrance are planted in different kinds of pots than the other two pots of trees in the photograph. And, the trees on the left side of the photograph have fewer leaves than the trees on the right side. By comparing the contrast on the left and right side of the photograph, I am able to see the difference in the shading of the photograph. The left side is brighter than the right side. The entrances on the left hand side and the center entrance have a white background while the entrances on the right hand side have a dark background. Also, there are more trees on the right side than on the left side. On the right hand side, there is a tree behind the center entrance. There is another tree behind the entrance at the far right.
A few inches away from the entrance at the center, there stands a man who is naked. There is a circular object a few inches above his head. The object is darker on the bottom and lighter on the top. The object casts a shadow around the naked man. The man is standing on top of a body of water, without sinking in.
The photograph is not divided by any means if I look at it for a short time. However, after looking at it carefully, I see something special. I see something that cannot happen on a regular basis and in an actual photograph. Since the left side is presented as the brighter side, it appears as if it’s where heaven is. And the right and darker side seems to be hell (Process and Perception). Because of this, the left side seems to be more preferable. Yet, the right side has more trees. As a result, the right side appears to be more preferable. This is a contrasting relationship between the left and the right side of the photograph.
The pot of tree that locate next to the entrance on the far right has been moved a tiny bit to the left. I am able to have such an observation because there is a circular mark on the floor next to the pot of tree that seems as if it’s the shape of the bottom of the soiled pot. This shows that lineation of everything toward moving to the left. The nude also shows this. He is facing the left side of the photograph.
Everything or almost everything about this photograph is Greek-like. The sculptures on the wall present the Greek Goddess of Love and the Greek God of the Sea. The sculpture on the left hand sidewall is Aphrodite. It symbolizes peace, romance, warmth, and love. The sculpture on the right hand sidewall is Poseidon. It symbolizes war, trouble, death, and sadness. I know that the figure on the left is Aphrodite because she is naked and she is presented in a shell. This is a usual image of her. The figure on the right is noted to be Poseidon because he has a pitchfork and a tail. This is a usual image of him (Sellers). The frequent and overly common use of geometric shapes is also related to the Greeks. Greek likes to use geometric shapes to decorate their buildings and to include them in various designs. It is interesting to see an American artist to make photographs that are related to another culture, rather than his own.
As a student, Jerry Uelsmann is outstanding. He is able to follow his teacher’s lesson and to use it throughout his photographic career. Minor White has a dictum: “One should photograph objects, not only for what they are, but for what else they are.” Throughout his career, Uelsmann has tried to create photographs that are not common and that do not stand for what they are. There is always something unique, different, and exciting about Uelsmann’s photographs. They are able to “evoke a half-buried emotion.”
Similar to surrealists, his photographs have the surreal quality of making the absurd believable and making the believable absurd throughout all his photographs (Jerry Uelsmann’s Photos Creates a Surreal Reality). It may appear that some of his photographs are commonly seen. However, after careful analysis, one will notice its difference and its uniqueness. Uelsmann’s frequent use of polarities greatly helped him in uniting his idea and to make his audience think about the different ideas or purposes behind the photograph. Uelsmann is successful throughout his career in being able to complete photographs that are unique and distinguished from those of the others due to its surrealist ideals and polarities.


Works Cited

Bunnell, Peter. Jerry N. Uelsmann. New York City: Aperture, Inc., 1970.

It is a book that shows the photograph of Jerry Uelsmann in a portfolio like fashion. In the beginning of the book, a biography is written about Jerry Uelsmann. It includes details of how a photograph should look like, how it should create surprise in the audience, and how it is able to capture the audience’s attention. Also, it includes information on the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs and reason for his success in the world of photography.

Chris Maher and Larry Berman. “Jerry Uelsmann Interview.” Berman Graphics. 2007. 27 April. 2008 <http://bermangraphics.com/press/jerry-uelsmann.htm>

It is a website in which it provides parts of the interview between Chris Maher, Larry Berman, and Jerry Uelsmann. It also includes a biography on Jerry Uelsmann. It tells the audience about the techniques that Uelsmann used. Also, it tells the audience about the talent and skills that Jerry Uelsmann has and which he employs in his darkroom to promote “the alchemy of the photographic process” without the use of any digital related techniques.

“Dream Theatre.” Modernbook Gallery. 2007. 27 April 2008. <http://www.modernbook.com/jerryuelsmann.htm>

It is a website in which a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs is described. The characteristics of his photographs and Jerry Uelsmann’s skill and belief are widely talked about. It takes into account of Jerry Uelsmann’s artistic vision and his belief in using his skill in the darkroom rather than using a computer or any other digital related product.

Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale Group, 2008.

It is an encyclopedia in which a very detailed description of Jerry Uelsmann’s life was given. It states nearly the occurrences in Jerry Uelsmann’s life by year. It is a great source for a biography on Jerry Uelsmann because it talks about his technique, skills, and background information.

“Jerry N. Uelsmann.” Legends Online. 2008. 27 April 2008. <http://pdngallery.com/legends/uelsmann/>

It is a website in which a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s techniques is described. It includes several quotes that Jerry has made. Jerry Uelsmann states that he is a huge believer in post-visualization. Post-visualization is related to “the willingness of the photographer to revisualize the final image at any point in the photographic process.” Jerry Uelsmann believes that if someone find something that works for them, they should not change it or give it up.

“Jerry Uelsmann Alternative, Fine Art.” Profotos. 2008. 25 April 2008. <http://www.progotos.com/educaion/referencedesk/masters/masters/jerryuelsmann.shtml>.

It is a website in which a brief biography is written about Jerry Uelsmann. It talks about the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs. It also includes a brief explanation or description of the roles Jerry Uelsmann has on today. Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs have been reproduced and discussed in numerous national and international journals, books, magazines, and newspapers.

“Jerry Uelsmann.” A Gallery for Fine Photography. 2001. 27 April 2008. <http://www.agallery.com/Pages/photographers/uelsmann.html>

It is a website in which a short biography on Jerry Uelsmann is written. It tells the audience who Jerry Uelsmann is in general. There are a few specific quotes that are stated by other people about him. He was thought as “a major creative force in fine art photography for nearly four decades [and that] he is the master innovator of the multiple image.”

“Jerry Uelsmann.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3404707695.html>

It is a website or database provided by Malden High School. It provides some biographical information about Jerry Uelsmann and what he is known for. It also tells the audience about the characteristics that are found in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs that cannot be found in other photographer’s. Jerry Uelsmann is best known for his composite images in black and white.

“Jerry Uelsmann 2001.” Artists in Residence. 2006. 27 April 2008. <http://www.pasadena.edu/air/uelsm.html>

It is a website in which a short biography is provided about Jerry Uelsmann. It talks about Jerry Uelsmann’s skill and techniques. It also talks about the characteristics in Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs. Uelsmann has been noted for creating “vivid black and white images that utilitize fantastical and poetic juxtapositions to convey the power and mystery of the human imagination.”

“Jerry Uelsmann: Other Realities.” Zonezero. 1998. 26 April 2008. <http://zonezero.com/exposiciones/gotografos/uelsmann/default.html>

It is a website in which the techniques and skill of Jerry Uelsmann are widely talked about. It tells the audience of the ideas that Jerry has about the making of his photographs. He believes that “juxtapositions [can] expand the possibilities of the initial subject matter.” His hope is to amaze himself and “the anticipation of discovering new possibilities becomes [his] greatest joy.”

“Jerry Uelsmann’s Photos Creates a Surreal Reality.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-3951317.html>

It is a website in which the importance or significance of surrealism is discussed. The characteristics of surrealism are talked about and examples of pieces of artwork relating to surrealism are also given. Its “aim was to create strange visual juxtapositions that would confirm the superiority of the dream world inparticular and the subconscious in general.”

Klindt, Steven. Jerry N. Uelsmann. Chicago: Congress Printing, 1980.

This is a book that is written about Jerry Uelsmann and it contains a portfolio of his photographs. It gives a lot of details about Jerry Uelsmann and his photographs. It tells the audience about the roles Jerry holds in the eyes of other photographers. It also tells the audience about his techniques and the characteristics of his photographs. Jerry Uelsmann is a person who cares about every piece of his photographs. He believes that each one of them is “a different picture, all working or reworking an idea or problem [and that] one just came before the other.”

Spielvogel, Jackson. Western Civilization. California: Thomson Learning, Inc., 2003.

This is the textbook for the Advance Placement US History book. It talks about what surrealism is briefly. The characteristics and purpose of this artistic movement are also talked about. The time period when it was first started is also noted.

“Surrealism.” Dictionary. 2008. 28 April 2008. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/surrealism>

It is a website in which it provides a few sentences long definition for the word—surrealism.

Temin, Christine. “Suspenseful Spaces, Juxtaposed Objects.” Boston Globe. 8 October 1997. 28 April 2008. <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=0&did=17154734&SrchMode=1&sid=3&Fmt=3&Vinst=PROD&Vtype=PQD&RQT=309&Vname=PQD&TS=1209396012&clientId=81039>.

It is a website in which information on the characteristics of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs are discussed. Jerry Uelsmann attempts to change “people’s automatic acceptance of a photograph as depicting ‘reality.’” It also talks about the difference between post-visualization and pre-visualization. It is stated that the click of the camera “is just the beginning of a long exploration of materials, techniques, and processes” for Jerry Uelsmann.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Photo Synthesis. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1992.

This book shows photographs that Jerry Uelsmann believes are the strongest work of his career so far. He chooses these photographs based on the two criteria he sets. The first is if they have long-standing appeal. The second one is if they present a record of the expression of his own changing identity. There is also a biography about Jerry Uelsmann.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Process and Perception. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1985.

This is a book written about Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs and techniques. Jerry Uelsmann comments on his own work and tells us about his darkroom experiences. He also tells us the mysterious process in making his photographs. His willingness to share his techniques and skills with other people, unlike the other photographers, is very inspirational.

Uelsmann, Jerry. Uelsmann Yosemite. Gainesville: Florida UP, 1996.

This is a book that is written about Jerry Uelsmann and which includes tons of photographs that he has taken. It shows the portfolio of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs while he was at the Yosemite. It talks about the Yosemite, its history, and its significance. It introduces to the audience how imaginative Uelsmann is as a photographer.

Sellers, Paige. “Poseidon.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 2003. 14 May 2008. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/poseidon.html>

It is a website in which it tells us the meaning and significance of Poseidon, the Greek sea god.


Works Consulted

“Jerry Uelsmann Interview.” Portland Art Museum. 2008. 26 April 2008. <http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/asp/templates/page.asp?pageID=26>.

This is an interview in which Jerry Uelsmann was being interviewed by an interviewer. Also, there is a short biography on this same page that is written about Jerry Uelsmann’s life. It talks about the technique—post visualization—that Uelsmann employed throughout his photographic career. It also includes a brief description of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs.

“Photography.” Dictionary. 2008. 27 April 2008. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/photography>

It is a website in which it provides a few sentences long definition for the word—photography.

“Uelsmann’s Montages Pioneering.” HighBeam RESEARCH. 2008. 27 April 2008. <http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4262912.html>

It is a website in which it tells us the meaning and significance of photomontages. It tells the audience the characteristics of photomontages. It also gives the reason to Uelsmann’s frequent use of it.

University of Louisville. Advertisement. ARTnews November 2007: 109.

This is an advertisement that I find within a magazine during the first day of my research. I found a quote in there that is related to or reminds me of Jerry Uelsmann’s style of photographing. It advertises Frederick Hart’s new book, called “The Complete Works.” The image on this book’s cover page is similar to that of Jerry Uelsmann’s. It is in black and white and it is an image of an aging hand.

A Lesson Before Dying: Book Cover




Monday, April 14, 2008

Jerry Uelsmann: Description of Artwork

This is the last quarter of my senior year. As a final assignment, Mr. Gallagher, my English teacher, wants us to write a fifteen-page research paper. This research paper is based on an artist. As a first step, I was asked to choose an artist who I am interested in and who have artwork that is able to attract my attention the most. Mr. Gallagher has given us a list of artist in which we can choose from. After roaming through the pages and artworks of these artists, I decide to choose the last name on the list—Jerry Uelsmann. He is a photographer who creates unique pieces of artwork. His photographs are motivating and inspiration. Most of his photographs are related to nature in some way. The unrealistic, and yet, real images in his photographs has caught my attention. I am interested in knowing the method he used in order to create such an effect in his photographs. Now, I am onto Step Three, where I must choose one to three pieces of his artwork. I must then try to describe them to the best of my ability and to make my reader see what I am seeing by painting a replica of the image with my own words.
I have only chosen one piece to write about because I can find a lot of information on this single piece. This confirms the declaration that “an image is worth a thousand words.” The piece that I choose does not have a title. It shows the image of a rectangular room that does not have a roof. We can only see three sides—two long and one short—of this room. The readers face the shorter wall. Because there is no roof, the sky can be seen. The sky is overwhelmed with clouds that range from light gray to dark gray. The clouds are puffy. The sky and the room take up a forty-sixty proportions. At about one inch away from the top and one inch way from the left side of the photograph, there is a sun-like object that casts blinding-white light. On the bottom left corner of the photograph, there is a door. The doorway is totally black. On the wall that faces the readers, there is a painting of a couple standing in front of a curtain. In the painting, they appear to stand on a balcony. Also, on that wall, there is a rectangular door. A light is hanging off from the top of this door. It is turned on and the light is white. On the right-hand side wall, there is a fireplace. There is a clock-like image above the mantel. It is circular and it is made up of two concentric circles with a point in the center. The clock is white; the light of the sun-like object has cast its light onto the clock. Near the bottom left hand side of the photograph, there is a table. On the table, there is a stand, which holds several sheets of paper. The paper on the top of the stand is filled with words and pencil marks. The stand and the paper are tilted by approximately sixty degrees Northwest. The table has six legs, three on each side. Two of the legs are connected on each side. There is a long white candle on the table; it is placed into a metal candle holder. On the top of these sheets of paper, there is a little white note. It is rectangular and it is the only object in the whole photograph that is actually white—pure white. And a person-like figure is standing on the white note. The person is a miniature. He is dressed in a black suit. A room-length carpet spreads on the room’s floor. The carpet has abstract patterns on it and it has a white embroidered border with black dots. In the fireplace, there are a few objects. However, since the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify what the objects really are. Four blocks of wooden log are lying on the floor on the right hand side of the fireplace. They lie horizontally against the fireplace. Three of the logs have the same size while one of them is very narrow and flat. The flat and narrow log lies farthest away from the fireplace. On this side of the wall, there is a framed painting of a female character that is hung approximately half a inch above the black cabinet. On top of the cabinet, there is person-like figure dressed in white. She seems to be holding a brown teddy bear.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at this photograph for the first time is the cloudy sky and the sheets of white paper that is on the stand. In real life, there would not be a house that is open sky. However, in Jerry Uelsmann’s unrealistic photograph, there is. The reason the paper caught my attention is that it is white and that there is a note, that is whiter, lying on it. A miniature man dressed in black is standing on the note. This fascinates me and fills me with wonders. Because the photograph is in black and white, it is difficult to identify the identity of an object in the image. Therefore, the colors—black and white—plays a major role in Uelsmann’s photographs. The painting on the wall that faces the reader does not seem to be a painting. The couple seems to be real; they appear as if they are really standing on a balcony in the room. This is the strange part about the painting. A balcony supposed to be facing the outside with the curtains behind them. However, the balcony faces inward instead of outward. This is very interesting for me to research about and to explore. How does Uelsmann manage to do that. After carefully viewing the entire photograph, I find something interesting about it that is also similar in the other photographs that Uelsmann has taken. There are faces of different people in the photographs. In the fireplace, there are two faces—one of a man and one of a woman. The woman’s face is smaller in size compared to the man’s face. The sky is filled with faces—large and small in sizes. On the carpet that is on the floor, there appears to be an image of a lady at every corner. She appears to be wearing a crown. The only face that is actually large enough in size and specific facial expression is the face of a man who lies at the bottom right hand corner of the wall facing the readers. It appears to be sad and angry. It has beard hanging from his chin and he appears to be an elder.

*Note: all the person-like figure has been given a pronoun of she or he because she or he appears to be a female or male, although I had not specify

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Winter Break: A Thousand Splendid Suns


Throughout the book, Mariam experiences changes in her relationships with Jalil, Rasheed, and Laila. Before he age of 15 (or specifically before Nana’s death), Mariam was a cheerful girl who believes that “she was [Jalil’s] little flower” (4). When she was around Jalil, she “did not feel at all like a harami” (5) like Nana said she is. However, after Nana hangs herself, she feels completely different about her parents. She believes that Nana had not been lying about Jalil’s cowardness. She believes that Nana had not been ling about Jalil’s cowardness. She feels that Jalil’s inability to accept her into his house when she comes to his house is a proof of Nana’s accusations. She thinks that she is responsible for Nana’s death, because Nana had tell her that she’ll “just die if she goes” (36) and find Jalil.
With her marriage to Rasheed in Kabul, Mariam is further disgusted at Jalil’s cowardness—his inability to speak up and tell his three wives about Mariam’s distaste for the marriage. In the end, she hates her father (although she still lingers to his image sometimes). The last things ever said by Mariam to Jalil is “Don’t come I won’t see you…I don’t want to hear from you. Ever…It ends here for you and me” (50).
In the beginning, Mariam was glad that she will be sleeping in a different bedroom from Rasheed because of his regularity of “sleeping alone” (55). She thought that she would live a happy life with him. Afterall, he had been gentle to her sometimes before their first making of love. She had feel “prized by his protectiveness…treasured and significant” (74) when he asked her to wear the burka. However, later on, after losing her baby and inability of having a baby, Rasheed had become tough on her. He never talks to her and he makes her work like a maid and beats her whenever he feels like it.
Laila has brought a change into Mariam’s life when she first came into the house. She disliked Laila because she thinks that “Laila steals [her] husband” (202). In the end, she knows that Laila only marries Rasheed for the sake of Aziza, her baby with Tarif. They became friend. This is when Mariam feels love once again. In the end, when she plead guilty of killing Rasheed, she is to be executed in front of a crowd. She “wished for so much in those final moments…and yet it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace” (329). She feels happy that she is to leave the world as “a woman who had loved and been loved back [and that] this was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate beginnings” (329).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Subject with Difficulty



English is the subject that I had the most difficulty learning. There are many factors that contribute to this. Like the vast majority of immigrants, I am not a native English speaker. The first language I was taught was Cantonese and I did not start learning English until I was nine years old. Fortunately, I was still linguistically impressionable enough to pick up the language through conversations and intense study. Unfortunately, English is a complete 180 from the language that I was brought up in. There is not a specific rule for the usage of English that remains universal, but there are always exceptions and irregular forms. For example, when the subject of a sentence is plural or a non third-person, the verb does not end with an “-s.” Chinese is much simpler; it does not matter if the subject is singular or plural, first, second, or third-person. Furthermore, I have to learn a brand new way of writing and reading as well. To go from Chinese to English is the closest you can get to completely restructuring your whole thought process. The complexity of its rules is not unique to the English language, but it is still considerably difficult to memorize. After all, learning a new language should be difficult, In order to improve my speed in reading, I read books whenever I have free time. But because I am an extremely methodical person, whenever I read any book, I read it very slowly, pausing every now and then to concentrate on the details and nuances. I study closely the relationship between subjects and predicates in clauses. When I have problems, I checked both the English-Chinese dictionary and the English dictionary as well, but always using the latter as the primary source. Even just by using the dictionary constantly I was able to memorize the alphabet and learn pronunciation, but more importantly, study the organization of words and how to appropriately place vowels in words—Chinese does not have vowels. By reading frequently, I was able to read much faster and still manage to comprehend the book well. Also, by taking English as a Second Language classes for a few years during elementary school, my writing skill improved dramatically. At the same time, I am very careful to distinguish between schoolyard slang and informal speaking with formal English and proper rules of syntax and semantics. Just like in science, impurity has to be distinguished and not be mistaken as fundamental elements or properties. The only problem that remains is my ability to speak fluent English without an accent. I am, however, constantly trying to improve on my speaking skill by listening closely to how native speakers pronounce words and observing the way they move their tongue and use their throat.

Act 2 Scene 2

On lines 206-208, I thought that it was interesting when Polonius said, “How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on.” The word pregnant seems to have a hidden significance. Polonius is saying that Hamlet is happy but he is attaining it through madness or not righteous way.

Hamlet said to Polonius that if he walks out of the madness he is in, he would walk “into [his] grave” (205). This is important because at this point, we realize that there is a reason for Hamlet’s madness for Ophelia. He is stating that he is going to die if he returns to the normal “him” and discontinues his plan. His plan might be to revenge for his father’s death, he would be so painful that he would rather be dead himself.

There are two lines in which words are repeated three times. This is strange. In line 191, “words, words, words” and in lines 214-215, “except my life, except my life, except my life,” words are being repeated. Why do they repeat three times? Is there a significant behind this? Hamlet told Polonius that he “cannot take from [him] anything that [he] will not more willingly part” (212-214). It seems to be that the secret plan that is on his mind is more than just to revenge for King Hamlet’s death. It seems that he wants to uphold the relationship he has with Ophelia. It sounds like Hamlet is telling Polonius that he is not going to be able to take his daughter away from Hamlet. How could Hamlet be so confident about this?

On line 184, Hamlet told Polonius not to let Ophelis “walk I’ th’ sun.” The sun is often referred to as the truth. Hamlet is implying that Polonius knows the truth about King Hamlet’s death, but did not say anything about it. He is telling Polonius not to let Ophelia know the truth about her father’s guilt.
Also, Hamlet says that “conception is a blessing” (184). He is telling Polonius that his “daughter may conceive [and so he should look to ‘t” (185). This answers my previous question about the repeating words. I believe that the secret plan is to be able to marry Ophelia because Ophelia is bearing his baby. Could this be true?

Video Critque: 3:1 Hamlet's Soliloquy (Laurence Olivier)

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act Three Scene One can best be portrayed through Laurence Olivier’s performance. Throughout this speech, Hamlet experiences many different sensations. I believe that Laurence Olivier is best in showing these emotions. The sound and camera effects, the setting, and the portrayal of Hamlet have significant influence in my decision.
Music is being played before the start of the speech. The music’s change in volume and speed reflects the situation Hamlet is in and the “shocks” (line 61) he experiences in knowing the truth behind his father’s death. Hamlet is working “against a sea of troubles” (line 58). He is arranging and executing a plan in order to reveal the shocking deeds King Claudius has done in order to gain his position at the throne. To him, this is a dangerous action. The reason for this is that he will be killed with “slings and arrows” (line 57) if he makes a single mistake in his plan.

The increasing volume and speed in the music that is being played demonstrates the feelings Hamlet experiences at the time. Also, the music sounds fearful and seems to push towards a sense of confusion. Hamlet is “suffer[ring from his] outrageous fortune” (line 57). His fate is outrageous because his mother marries his uncle, who is the assassinator of his father. His knowledge of this makes him feel as if he has a duty to revenge for his dead father. However, at the same time, he does not want to do so. He wants to live happily with Ophelia and pretends to know nothing. He is ignorant of the choice he should make—whether he should revenge for his father or not. He does not know if he should “be, or not to be” (line 55) the one who revenge for his father and creates a situation of dismay for all the people living in Denmark, including himself. This “is [a] question” (line 55) to him.

The camera plays a major role in creating this sense of ignorance. The camera creates both the colors of light and dark before the beginning of the play in order to show Hamlet’s reflection of his actions, whether they are right or wrong. He balances the positive and negative effects his vengeance would have on everyone in Denmark. He knows that he is able to “end” (line 59) King Claudius’ power and his “heart-ache and natural shocks” (line 61) “by opposing” (line 59) him and executing his plan. At this point in Olivier’s performance, he takes out a knife and stares at it. This action makes me feel as if Hamlet wants to suicide because he does not want to make the decision he is forced to make. Then, he closes his eyes and says a few more lines before he opens up his eyes again and concentrates them on the sky. He hopes to stop dreaming about his father’s “death” (line 65) every time he sleeps. On the other hand, he knows that “calamity [will last] so long [a] life” (line 68) if he kills King Claudius. At this point, Olivier shows fear in his eyes while he is talking. If King Claudius dies, a new king will be put on the throne. Since Hamlet is the assassinator, there will not be anyone proper to put on the throne. With this, Denmark would be in a state of confusion and will not be good to everyone in the region. People would “grunt and sweat under a weary life” (line 76) if he succeeds in killing the king. Then, Olivier looks as if he cannot believe how the future will be like. Hamlet does not want “to bear the whips and scorns of [the] time” (line 69). Next, Olivier looks around the cliff as if he is searching for the existence and appearance of law. Hamlet feels intolerable for the “law’s delay” (line 71) in finding out King Hamlet’s true death. Lastly, Olivier looks innocent and disappointed. Hamlet does not want people to despise the “love” (line 71) between Ophelia and him and to say that the reason he has a relationship with Ophelia with the purpose of overthrowing King Claudius.

He is afraid of dying and getting punished for killing King Claudius. He is afraid that his “conscience [will] make [him a] coward” (line 82); he worries that his preoccupation for the people in Denmark will make him stop in his vengeance. At this point, Olivier drops his knife, thinks for a brief moment, turns around and seems like he does not want to face the audience and appears to be despising himself. Hamlet does not want to lose his “native hue of resolution and enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard” (lines 83-6) by revenging. Hamlet is “dread [of the life] after [his] death [in the] undiscover’d country, from where no traveler returns” (lines 77-9). He does not want to be put into a place where he sees people who he “knows not of” (line 81).

The setting of Laurence Olivier’s performance highly motivates people into feeling the way Hamlet feels in his state of thought. Hamlet is experience both high points and low points. He does not know the action he should take with his knowledge of his father’s true death. Locating himself on a cliff, where he is able to see the ocean with turbulent waves, Olivier is able to demonstrate this state of confusion in Hamlet’s mind. Hamlet’s struggle in his mind is like the waves in the ocean, moving up and down at a constant rate.

1:2 Hamlet Soliloquy (1996)

In Hamlet’s soliloquy, he expresses his sensation to events that have happened and ideas about the world. Shakespeare employs a few simple techniques to demonstrate Hamlet’s emotion. Throughout this soliloquy, Shakespeare uses metaphor and repetition to demonstrate Hamlet’s dissatisfaction with his mother, Gertrude, his frustration towards the standards in the lawless society, and his dislikes of King Claudius. With straightforward speech, he is able to show Hamlet’s hatred toward his own cowardice in not speaking up for his dislikes of his uncle, King Claudius.

Shakespeare makes use of foreshadowing in the first few lines of the soliloquy. Hamlet describes King Claudius as “sallied” (129). It is another word for solid. A person who is solid does not have feeling for anything. This seems to foreshadow Hamlet’s acknowledgement of the truth behind King Hamlet’s death—his uncle killed his father. He further says that Claudius “would melt” (129) and “resolve itself into a dew” (130). This foreshadows that Claudius would lose his position as a king. Sun is referred to as the truth. Therefore, when the truth (sun) arises, Claudius (dew) will evaporate and disappear.

It appears that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death even from the very beginning. He compares the “world” (134) to “an unweeded garden” (135). This garden is filled with weed “that grows to seed” (136). The world is filled with people who have extreme desire for “rank” (136) and power; this is the reason for the world to be “unprofitable” (133) and “weary” (133). He is tired of living in a world that does not have a “canon” (132) or law that prosecute the act of “slaughter” (132). The world is like a prison to him in which people do not have feelings for each other and would just do anything in order to survive and to gain power over other people.

King Hamlet was “so excellent a king” (139) to Hamlet that he feels betrayal from his mother. Gertrude “married with [Hamlet’s] uncle” (151). He does not understand “why” (143) Gertrude betrays his father when his father is only “two months dead” (138). He relates the word “frailty” (146) to his mother and women as a whole. He believes that Gertrude should “have mourn’d longer” (151) for his father’s death. His mother’s “unrighteous tears” (154) causes his anger and distaste. To him, Claudius is nothing “like [his] father” (152). Claudius is disrespectful to his brother by marrying Gertrude and placing her onto “incestuous sheets” (157) with “dexterity” (157).

Hamlet knows that the relationship between Claudius and Gertrude “cannot come to good” (158) but he “hold [his] tongue” (159) because he was afraid of Claudius. He hated himself for such cowardice. His “heart” (159) breaks, but he dares not speak his will.

Tom Phillips: Explicating A Humument: Page 263


On Page 263 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates that adolescents are beneficial to the society. He believes that only the younger generation is going to create a better future. The older generation is not going to understand the ideas of the younger generation; they belong to a different world. This is the reason Phillips believes that our future depends only on the adolescents. Phillips intelligently enhances this belief with text from A Human Document, images with variation in color and shapes that create imagery, and symbols.

The work of art on Page 263 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument is made up mainly of three different colors—green, yellow, and white. By combining these colors, various shades of green—light green, yellow green, green-blue, dark green, jade green, and pine green appear. Green takes up about seventy-five percent of the painting, yellow takes up about fifteen percent, and white takes up about ten percent. Seeing the painting for the first time, one can immediately think about a banana. The pelt of a fresh banana is green and it is not to be eaten until the pelt turns yellow. With this, one is able to realize the significance of the colors Phillips used. Yellow is symbolic of death and maturity while green is symbolic of growth and adolescence. With green covering nearly the whole painting, Phillips shows that the world consists mostly of youngsters who helps the society grows.

Colors play a major role in helping Phillips to develop his idea. In order for yellow to remain yellow, it should not be combined with green. By mixing it with white, it appears nearly the same. By combining it with green, it becomes a different shade of green and is no longer yellow. Similarly, in order for elders to remain “yellow,” they cannot accept any hints or ideas of “green.” Phillips believes that elders can never understand the ideas of youngsters. Therefore, they do not have any roles in improving the society.

The shapes and their placement in the painting have noteworthy implication. After carefully analyzing the painting, one realizes that it looks like a tree. The base of the tree is covered with yellow grass. It is symbolic of the elders; they are the bases in families. The trunk is made up of slabs of green that do not have apparent shapes. It is symbolic of adult who have ideas of both the elders and the youngsters, but who do not have the power to move towards neither direction. The top of the tree is covered with leaves with different shades of green. About one-half up the page of the painting, the leaves move away from the squared rim of the paper. The leaves shape like youngsters who are moving without an apparent direction and without restraint. The leaves are symbolic of youngsters who have different ideas and are free to move around. The “colors” that the liberated youngsters have are able to help them to create a better world. The uncertain movement of the leaves symbolizes the state of the future. The elders positioned themselves at the bottom of the tree. There, their roots are stuck to the ground or the square rim of the paper and it is difficult for them to move up to where the adolescents are. This is the reason the members of the older generation will never understand the members of the younger generation.

Tom Phillips uses words throughout the painting in order to further expresses his principle. The phrase “people part [from] people” implies the separation of youngsters from elders. In the painting, this phrase is placed at the point where the colors—green and yellow—separates. This shows the importance of the placement of images in the painting and the use of colors. Adults move “apart from the [hold] of [the elders]” because they feel that their lives are repeating over and over again. They want to be different and to create something new, something that is not a “habit.” Their paths are “the lonelier parts of the paths” of all the people of different ages because they are alone and that there is no one there to support them. The youngsters listen to their parents and understand their history, they want to move away from who they were and create something innovative. They work “against [the] memory” of repeated labor. These youngsters are those who will help to create a better future because they are going to create something new to their history.

Phillips believes that the younger generation is the only age group who is able to create a difference in the world and that they will improve the future. To him, this belief is like “a text [that is] to [be] trust.” The reason for him to illustrate leaves with assorted shades of green that move out from the squared rim of the paper is to show the unexpected future that the younger generation creates and that it is going to expand from its border. One experiences great emotion by seeing this painting. He or she is able to feel as if he or she is one of those leaves that move around and out of the holds of his or her parents. He or she feels that he or she is able to create something that will forever furnish the world. The most appealing part about this painting is the leaves. Phillips’ illustrating of the way the leaves move out of the squared rim and are not obstructed by any means is motivating. The everlasting color of the leaves in the painting is able to fill one with feelings of anticipation for the future.

James Joyce Passage Explication: Darkness

James Joyce uses darkness as a symbol of maturity and happiness in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. When a person is mature, he or she is able to make the right decision. When a person is happy, he or she is able to show it through his or her actions and speech. Throughout the novel, Stephen proves the relationship between darkness and maturity and happiness. James Joyce uses many different literary techniques: imagery, diction, time reference, repetition, setting, and contradiction.

Father Dolan punishes Stephen for not writing his theme during his Latin lesson. The reason Stephen does not write his theme is that he has broken his eyeglasses and so, he is not able to read and write with accuracy. He is exempted from doing the work with the permission of Father Arnall, his Latin teacher. However, he is still punished. As a result of such unfairness, he decides to go to the rector of the school to report to him about it.

In order to get to the rector’s room, he must wait until “the dinner was over” (60) and “walk fast up the staircase and [through] the low dark narrow corridor that led through the castle” (60). Dinner is when people eat at night; the time period resembles darkness because it is dark at night. The narrow corridor resembles darkness because it is dimly lit. The repeated usage of the words related to darkness creates fear in Stephen. Stephen uses triple the times to walk through the corridor than it supposed to be because he is afraid. The setting during which these events are taking place shows the relationship between darkness and these events.

Before entering the corridor, he thinks about all the positive and negative outcomes that would occur as a result of his meeting with the rector. He thinks that “the rector [might] side with the perfect of studies and think [that] it was a schoolboy trick [and that as a result] the prefect of studies would come in every day [to punish him because] he would be dreadfully waxy at any fellow going up to the rector about him” (61). The word waxy is used to describe the physically mature prefect of studies. Normally, adults do not get waxy over things as often as children do. However, the unjust perfect of studies is shown to be like a child. Stephen thinks that since “the fellows [who encourage] him to go would not go themselves, they [might have] forgotten all about it. [If this is true, it would be] best to hide out of the way because [he was] small and young [so he might be able to] escape” (61) the perfect of studies. The people who encourage him to go but do not go to the rector because they are afraid and they are only children. Stephen thinks that he might be able to escape the perfect of studies if he pretends that nothing has happened. However, by being able to think so much all at once and to able to make a right decision in the end, Stephen shows that he is mature.His decision in meeting with the rector has a positive result; the rector promises that he “will speak to Father Dolan [and that he would] excuse [Stephen] from his lessons for a few days” (61). This makes Stephen feeling happy and so he “walks faster and faster excitedly” (62). It takes three pages of reading in order for Stephen to get to the rector’s room. However, it only takes up a third of a page of reading for Stephen to come out from the rector’s room. This is significant because it shows how dreary and slow it is for Stephen to go into the rector’s room and how quick, simple, and joyful it is for him to come back out.

At Cork, Stephen “pored over a ragged translation of The Count of Monte Cristo [in the] evenings” (67) whenever he has free time. Just like any adult or a curious youth in the process of growing up, he relaxes himself by reading things he like, but not necessarily helpful. He thinks about “the figure of the dark avenger for whatever he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange and terrible” (67). Sometimes, Stephen would “build up on the parlour table an image of the wonderful island cave out of transfers and paper flowers and coloured tissue paper and strips of the silver and golden paper in which chocolate is wrapped” (67). As a child, Stephen often thinks of something strange and terrible as being a dark figure. A cave should be dark and has earthly colors. If Stephen is still immature in his thinking, he would build a cave with something else other than colorful papers he saved because he would have thought that the cave is terrible. Such contradiction between his belief as a child and his belief during the night shows that Stephen has undergone maturity. After “breaking up the scenery” (67), he would come to think about “the bright picture of Marseilles, of sunny trellises and of Mercedes” (67). The cave is symbolic of his growth. After breaking it up, it would have nothing more to think about except for Mercedes.

Frequently, when we encounter the word, darkness, we associate it with something negative. Loneliness and fear are often connected to the word, darkness. However, in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the association is positive. James Joyce creates a new meaning to the word; darkness is a resemblance to maturity and happiness.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007


The passage Jessica has chosen is also one I would have chosen to talk about and to share.


“They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death”(345).


Indeed, although they have not been married for a long time. The time they had spend in thinking about each other, even after Fermina marries Dr. Urbino and during Florentino’s affairs with different women, is so lengthy that makes them feel like they are old married couple. They are indeed wary of life. They have been through many things throughout their lives being together and being separate. They supposed to be together in the beginning of the book. However, due to Fermina’s disillusionment, they separated. They are wearied of the way they have to be separated and to be back together in the end. They lose many time and chance to be together. The close they come to death, the older they get, and the higher the understanding they have of each other and their relationship. They did not or were not sure of their relationship throughout the book. However, in the end, they understand and realize that they are destined to make up one whole. This quote really moves me in its language and the voice is so demanding that I can actually feel how they are feeling at the moment.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007

The following passage is very strong. It creates so many images and questions inside me.

"We men are the miserable slaves of prejudice, he had once said to her. But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about”(329-330).

Before a woman sleeps with a man, she will look over everything about the man to see if the man actually is worthy of her love. If she sees something negative about the man, she will say no to him and destroy their relationship. If a man is bad and is unworthy, she would not think about anything else and would just “dump” him. She would not consider the happy days that they have had together.

I believe that this is true about all women and even men. Both men and women are the miserable slaves of prejudice. Once they are seen as unworthy, the will be isolated from their beloved. Sometimes, people give chance to other people who did something wrong. However, when these people are related to them by love, they do not hesitate to separate themselves from them. They worried that they will be hurt and that they do not want to be hurt.

Still, there are those who would fall into these traps. I know someone who likes a boy who takes drugs. This boy is kind, but the only problem with him is that he likes almost every girl he sees and that he lives a “bad-boy” life. He smokes and he drinks. This person I know is almost the exact opposite; she works hard in school, and she had not had a boyfriend before. She falls into the trap of loving him even though he is unworthy of her love. I believe that there are many different types of women and men in the world and that each one of them thinks differently.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007

I completely agree with Jessica when she said that Florentino Ariza almost hoped that Dr. Urbino had not die. He is used to the carefree lifestyle he has without owning Fermina Daza physically, but instead, thinking about her mentally. He seems like he does not want this to change. Also, with the death of Dr. Urbino, his ability to renew his relationship with Fermina will be easier. He may have thought that this is not challenging enough and that the hope and desire he chases after for so many years will be gone forever. His hope of being with Fermina will be gone forever if he reunites with Fermina.

I agree with Jessica when she said that Dr. Urbino’s death is quite ironic. He die in hopes of saving something he despised, a parrot. The parrot is like a companion to him. He teaches it how to talk and they share more time together than he does with his wife.

Florentino Ariza is in many ways like a child. He sleeps in his mother’s bed when he is in a state of solitude. This is an act to help him relieve his pain and resolve his problems mentally, although not physically. Also, the way he has affair with many women is another childish act of being disobedient and to show his love towards Fermina.Like Jessica, I wonder why the Florentino’s driver’s name has never been mentioned throughout the book. And since it has never been mentioned previously, why does Gabriel Garcia Marquez mention it near the end of the book?

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007

I do not agree with Jessica when she said that Florentino Ariza has been decent throughout the book with his endless love affairs. It is true that he has a feeling of emptiness without Fermina Daza. It is also true that he hopes to live his normal routine life without always thinking about Fermina. However, by having relationships with endless women does not agree with me. Also, not only in this part of the book has he take it too far in his relationship with a fourteen-years-old girl but also in previous incidents.

Only because America Vicuna has almost a blood relationship with Florentino Ariza, he takes advantage of this. He takes her out of school when he is pleased. This passage also shows the haughtiness and disobedient of human beings, rather they are young or old. Both Florentino Ariza and America Vicuna disregard other people’s advice at not being too close with each other.

Another time when Florentino Ariza went too far is when he accidentally leads to the death of a woman. The name of this woman is Olimpia Zuleta. The following passage helps to support what I said.
“Six months after their first meeting, they found themselves at last in a cabin on a riverboat that was being painted at the docks. It was a marvelous afternoon. Olimpia Zuleta had the joyous love of a startled pigeon fancier, and she preferred to remain naked for several hours in a slow-moving repose that was, for her, as loving as love itself. The cabin was dismantled, half painted, and they would take the odor of turpentine away with them in the memory of a happy afternoon. In a sudden inspiration, Florentino Ariza opened a can of red paint that was within reach of the bunk, wet his index finger, and painted the pubis of the beautiful pigeon fancier with an arrow of blood pointing south, and on her belly the words: This pussy is mine. That same night, Olimpia Zuleta undressed in front of her husband, having forgotten what was scrawled there, and he did not say a word, his breathing did not even change, nothing, but he went to the bathroom for his razor while she was putting on her nightgown, and in a single slash he cut her throat” (217).

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007

With the passage noted by Jessica, I relate Fermina Daza to one of those Afghanistan women who wear their burka to cover themselves up and hide themselves from the eyes of the men. However, this is not the reason for Fermina Daza to wear a mantilla. She wore it in order to protect her from the stench and germs of the corpses that are laying everywhere.

Before responding to Jessica’s blog, I do not know the meaning of the phrase coup de grace. This is because I do not take French. After reading it, I understand that it means stroke of grace. I just want to say Thank You to Jessica. It never occurs to me that Fermina speaks French. However, now that I realize her knowledge, I am able to see Fermina’s intelligence and her distinction from other people around her. This is one of the many reasons that creates her fame among the social group she is in. She is an intelligent woman with distinct characteristics. I agree with Jessica that many people in the book may have underestimated Fermina. They thought that she becomes wealthy and has the fame she has only because she married the wealthy and well-famed Dr. Urbino.

In the passage, the officer said, “Even God improves His methods” (252). It does not surprise me when the officer uses “His” instead of “his” because this is how most people refers to God in writing. This is a religious part of the book that refers to God’s place among the society. This quote refers to how God kills people through an epidemic instead of through the hands of other people. God is improving his methods in killing people. This is in a way saying that God likes to kill people and wants people to die off. We are improving with our technology and God is improving in his way of killing off people. What supposedly can kill off a person at a time can now kill off a bunch of people at a time, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez calls this improving. This really catches my attention. Is Marquez saying that God has no feeling for its people.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 26, 2007

Like Jessica, I find it interesting the way Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes Fermina Daza’s sense of smell. The way she smells her clothes to see if they are dirty and find a lost child by her sniff is very interesting. When I read this passage, it creates a feeling in me that Fermina is like an animal. However, I do not think that Dr. Urbino believes this to be true, as Jessica had. The following passage helps to reinforce my belief.

“For this occurred after she interrupted his afternoon reading to ask him to look at her, and he had the first indication that his hellish circle had been discovered. But he did not know how, because it would have been impossible for him to conceive of Fermina Daza’s learning the truth by smell alone. In any case, for a long time this had not been a good city for keeping secrets. Soon after the first home telephones were installed, several marriages that seemed stable were destroyed by anonymous tale-bearing calls, and a number of frightened families either canceled their service or refused to have a telephone for many years. Dr. Urbino knew that his wife had too much self-respect to allow so much as an attempt at anonymous betrayal by telephone, and he could not imagine anyone daring to try it under his own name” (247-8).

I believe that Fermina is sure that she is in charge of the family and the house because only she has been able to manage the house perfectly. However, she believes that she is just like a maid, who serves her husband and who has complete power over the house.In this passage, the technology has advanced to indoor telephones. The positive and negative sides of telephones are seen. The positive side is that people are able to communicate more frequently and with ease. The negative side is that it allows anonymous call, which can be dangerous. This is important because it shows the defect of the thought-to-be-perfect technology.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 12, 2007

I agree with Jessica that the word “fairy” has symbolic meaning that demonstrates Florentino’s similiarity with a winged creature that fly around everywhere. Florentino Ariza lives an unstable life and that he never stays in the same place for too long.

When I first read that passage in the book about the “secret society,” I did not really understand its meaning. Thanks to Jessica, I do understand much more than I did. I do no think that the people from the secret society are all like Florentino, in the sense that they are all struggling to find their soul mates. Some people might be like that. However, I do believe that there are other reasons as well. There are those people who like to disobey the morals of the society. There are also those who just like to waste their time to wander around. Still, there are others who just want to “devastate” themselves in order to release their emotional problems.

As a dream, Fermina wants to have a love that is romantic. However, the truth is that she is married to a doctor who worries more about his patients more than he does to his wife. Doctor Urbino thinks that she is happy because she is having everything that she wants and that she “came to be the women most loved [and] most catered to” (221). This is not the love Femina seeks, but the fact proves that she must stick to it. She appears to be the happiest woman in the world. But the fact is that, she is only a “deluxe servant” (221). She serves his husband in all he wants and never actually have the chance to do what she likes—owning various pets.

Did Fermina become pregnant after about a month? (TO JESSICA)Urbino if I am Fermina Daza. It is true that her relationship with her husband “dims” as time went by. However, the moment before Doctor Urbino’s death and the moment they married, their determination in having a desirable life with each other is so high that it is not possible for the love to just leak away as Fermina had said it has been. Also, I am the type of people who he more rational. Leaving him if my children would just leads to pain in everyone li

In my opinion, things were different after Fermina’s marriage to Doctor Urbino. Her life is much more leisure. In the beginning, people criticize their marriage because Fermina comes from a lower social class. However, time proves to these people that Fermina is much appropriate and suitable for Dr. Urbino.

As a respond to Jessica’s question, I would not leave Doctor ves. Without Fermina, Doctor Urbino would not be able to leave physically and mentally. By leaving Doctor Urbino, Fermina has no where else to go. Also, if I married someone, this person must be someone I love. Since I loved him, I would not leave him just because I serve him like a servant more than a wife, because I would feel that it is my duty and that I am glad to do anything for who I love. Also, Doctor Urbino loves Fermina even until the day of his death. I would not be able to leave someone who loves me more than I love him. Time can devastate a love relationship but it can also make it sprout. The following passage strike me emotionally.

“He was aware that he did not love her. He had married her because he liked her haughtiness, her seriousness, her strength, and also because of some vanity on his part, but as she kissed him for the first time he was sure there would be no obstacle to their inventing true love. They did not speak of it that first night, when they spike of everything until dawn, nor would they ever speak of it. But in the long run, neither r of them had made a mistake” (159).

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 9, 2007

I do not think that Florentino Daza has realized that his dreams for Fermina Daza are too ambitious. In fact, I believe that he is so stuck up with it that he cannot seem to get rid of it. He understands as a fact that Fermina is not going to be with him for the time being so he tries to keep himself busy from feeling lonely through random women he meets on the street.

I do agree with Jessica with what she thinks about the phrase “furtive hunter” (174). Marquez is trying to say that Florentino tries to conceal his love affairs and that he does this in order to avoid public sentiment and further damage to his emotional state. However, I have another review toward this phrase. By being a “furtive hunter” (174), it means that he is not paying for his love. His love is not paid for; he sleeps with ladies without paying them. To Florentino Ariza, love that is not due to love but to money is not something he favors. He does not just choose random women on the street to be his mate for the night. He chooses those that he believes love him and that they would do it out for love and want rather than money.

“He rejected her from his live, because he could not conceive of anything more contemptible than paying for love: he had never done it” (182).

I like how Jessica analyzes the words “little birds.” The women he chooses is indeed like birds, which stay in a nest with him for a few moments and then decide to fly away. Also, the word “little” shows how immature the women’s minds are.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 9, 2007

I like the way Jessica talks about Florentino Ariza’s love is like a fire that will burn out if he did not do anything to it and that it would become a dark state of loneliness. It is true that Florentino Ariza’s dream and hope are based on Fermina Daza and that they are only imaginary because they are unreachable. However, I believe that the love and feeling Florentino Ariza has for Fermina Daza is so “magical, true, and romantic.” However, a frequent question often arises in me. If Florentino loves Fermina so much, why would he have relationships with other people? The following passage relates to this.

“No sooner did he leave his office at five in the afternoon than he began to hunt like a chicken hawk. At first he was content with what the night provided. He picked up serving girls in the parks, black women in the market, sophisticated young ladies from the interior on the beaches, gringas on the boats from New Orleans. He took them to the jetties where half the city also went after nightfall, he took them wherever he could and sometimes even where he could not, and not infrequently he had to gurry into a dark entryway and do what he could, however he could do it, behind the gate” (175).

I understand that he has been trying to recover himself from the wound he has due to his broken up with Fermina. He tries to forget her by having relationship constantly with other ladies. However, is this the right way to forget something?

Love in the Time of Cholera: Dec 4, 2007

I do agree with Thespina about the atmosphere of the quote. It made me long for love too. The intriguing love between Florentino and Fermina is romantic. Although it is true that the routine lives brings boredom into their lives and causes them to break up in the end. However, the process is so romantic and so unbelievable. The way Florentino never gives up is the thing that causes emotion inside me. It is true that the title does not seem to match up with the events in the beginning of the book. However, as the story moves on, we can see signs of love moving in. It is more than a description of two people growing old together and who depend of each other. The twists in Marquez’s story are so interesting that it make me want to read on and on without stopping.

I love the part when Dr. Urbino falls and dies. I like it because he is finally able to express and show his feeling for Fermina. The imagery in the passage is so strong that the image stays in my mind for so long. I can feel tears pouring from my heart when I read this passage.

“She dropped the tasting spoon and tried her best to run despite the invincible weight of her age,, screaming like a madwoman without knowing yet what has happened under the mango leaves, and her heart jumped inside her ribs when she saw her man lying on his back I n the mud, dead to this life but still resisting death’s final blow for one last minute so that she would have time to come to him. He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath: ‘Only God knows how much I loved you’” (43-4).