Tuesday, June 4, 2013


A rhetorician of times past said, that to make little things appear great was his profession. This was a shoemaker, who can make a great shoe for a little foot.—[A saying of Agesilaus.]—They would in Sparta have sent such a fellow to be whipped for making profession of a tricky and deceitful act; and I fancy that Archidamus, who was king of that country, was a little surprised at the answer of Thucydides, when inquiring of him, which was the better wrestler, Pericles, or he, he replied, that it was hard to affirm; for when I have thrown him, said he, he always persuades the spectators that he had no fall and carries away the prize. —[Quintilian, ii. 15.]—The women who paint, pounce, and plaster up their ruins, filling up their wrinkles and deformities, are less to blame, because it is no great matter whether we see them in their natural complexions; whereas these make it their business to deceive not our sight only but our judgments, and to adulterate and corrupt the very essence of things. The republics that have maintained themselves in a regular and well-modelled government, such as those of Lacedaemon and Crete, had orators in no very great esteem. Aristo wisely defined rhetoric to be "a science to persuade the people;" Socrates and Plato "an art to flatter and deceive." And those who deny it in the general description, verify it throughout in their precepts. The Mohammedans will not suffer their children to be instructed in it, as being useless, and the Athenians, perceiving of how pernicious consequence the practice of it was, it being in their city of universal esteem, ordered the principal part, which is to move the affections, with their exordiums and perorations, to be taken away. 'Tis an engine invented to manage and govern a disorderly and tumultuous rabble, and that never is made use of, but like physic to the sick, in a discomposed state. In those where the vulgar or the ignorant, or both together, have been all-powerful and able to give the law, as in those of Athens, Rhodes, and Rome, and where the public affairs have been in a continual tempest of commotion, to such places have the orators always repaired. And in truth, we shall find few persons in those republics who have pushed their fortunes to any great degree of eminence without the assistance of eloquence.
Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, Lucullus, Lentulus, Metellus, thence took their chiefest spring, to mount to that degree of authority at which they at last arrived, making it of greater use to them than arms, contrary to the opinion of better times; for, L. Volumnius speaking publicly in favour of the election of Q. Fabius and Pub. Decius, to the consular dignity: "These are men," said he, "born for war and great in execution; in the combat of the tongue altogether wanting; spirits truly consular. The subtle, eloquent, and learned are only good for the city, to make praetors of, to administer justice."—[Livy, x. 22.]
Eloquence most flourished at Rome when the public affairs were in the worst condition and most disquieted with intestine commotions; as a free and untilled soil bears the worst weeds. By which it should seem that a monarchical government has less need of it than any other: for the stupidity and facility natural to the common people, and that render them subject to be turned and twined and, led by the ears by this charming harmony of words, without weighing or considering the truth and reality of things by the force of reason: this facility, I say, is not easily found in a single person, and it is also more easy by good education and advice to secure him from the impression of this poison. There was never any famous orator known to come out of Persia or Macedon.
I have entered into this discourse upon the occasion of an Italian I lately received into my service, and who was clerk of the kitchen to the late Cardinal Caraffa till his death. I put this fellow upon an account of his office: when he fell to discourse of this palate-science, with such a settled countenance and magisterial gravity, as if he had been handling some profound point of divinity. He made a learned distinction of the several sorts of appetites; of that a man has before he begins to eat, and of those after the second and third service; the means simply to satisfy the first, and then to raise and actuate the other two; the ordering of the sauces, first in general, and then proceeded to the qualities of the ingredients and their effects; the differences of salads according to their seasons, those which ought to be served up hot, and which cold; the manner of their garnishment and decoration to render them acceptable to the eye. After which he entered upon the order of the whole service, full of weighty and important considerations:
               "Nec minimo sane discrimine refert,
               Quo gestu lepores, et quo gallina secetur;"

     ["Nor with less discrimination observes how we should carve a hare,
     and how a hen." or, ("Nor with the least discrimination relates how
     we should carve hares, and how cut up a hen.)"
     —Juvenal, Sat., v. 123.]
and all this set out with lofty and magnificent words, the very same we make use of when we discourse of the government of an empire. Which learned lecture of my man brought this of Terence into my memory:
         "Hoc salsum est, hoc adustum est, hoc lautum est, parum:
          Illud recte: iterum sic memento: sedulo
          Moneo, qux possum, pro mea sapientia.
          Postremo, tanquam in speculum, in patinas,
          Demea, Inspicere jubeo, et moneo, quid facto usus sit."

     ["This is too salt, that's burnt, that's not washed enough; that's
     well; remember to do so another time.  Thus do I ever advise them to
     have things done properly, according to my capacity; and lastly,
     Demea, I command my cooks to look into every dish as if it were a
     mirror, and tell them what they should do."
     —Terence, Adelph., iii. 3, 71.]
And yet even the Greeks themselves very much admired and highly applauded the order and disposition that Paulus AEmilius observed in the feast he gave them at his return from Macedon. But I do not here speak of effects, I speak of words only.
I do not know whether it may have the same operation upon other men that it has upon me, but when I hear our architects thunder out their bombast words of pilasters, architraves, and cornices, of the Corinthian and Doric orders, and suchlike jargon, my imagination is presently possessed with the palace of Apollidon; when, after all, I find them but the paltry pieces of my own kitchen door.
To hear men talk of metonomies, metaphors, and allegories, and other grammar words, would not one think they signified some rare and exotic form of speaking? And yet they are phrases that come near to the babble of my chambermaid.
And this other is a gullery of the same stamp, to call the offices of our kingdom by the lofty titles of the Romans, though they have no similitude of function, and still less of authority and power. And this also, which I doubt will one day turn to the reproach of this age of ours, unworthily and indifferently to confer upon any we think fit the most glorious surnames with which antiquity honoured but one or two persons in several ages. Plato carried away the surname of Divine, by so universal a consent that never any one repined at it, or attempted to take it from him; and yet the Italians, who pretend, and with good reason, to more sprightly wits and sounder sense than the other nations of their time, have lately bestowed the same title upon Aretin, in whose writings, save tumid phrases set out with smart periods, ingenious indeed but far-fetched and fantastic, and the eloquence, be it what it may, I see nothing in him above the ordinary writers of his time, so far is he from approaching the ancient divinity. And we make nothing of giving the surname of great to princes who have nothing more than ordinary in them.

Final project passage     

Words, words words words words words.  Let me name off a few. These are a few words. That last sentence had absolutely no meaning at all, it won’t sway an opinion it won’t evoke emotion nor will inspire the masses.  It has no eloquence, no grandeur or great wisdom.  Throughout history words have been used in countless ways in even more countless combinations.  Though Montaigne did not hesitate to explain the evils and lies that words have been used to create and how words have been used to control, oppress and trick the masses, keep them beneath the educated.  However, what he failed to realize is that he himself with his many essays and letters used words for absolutely no reason, just like the second sentence of this passage, he simply wrote his thoughts as they came and by doing that with no goal or end in mind what should be viewed as a great philosophical insight could be viewed as the meaningless ramblings of a lonely man that held no real technical skills.  I will be the last to say I agree to such a statement however it is quite easy to see why so many are put off and bored or sometime aggravated by his essays.  

He explains the importance of word placement and how you pronounce each word, which is key to persuading someone with words alone, this is true, but he neglects to mention why you must you words alone, spoken word, why not the written word? Well that is obvious the following two sentences are no different to an illiterate man when on a page of paper. The cat drank the milk. Hay, gag flour pencil banana. In fcat wehn it cmeos to us raednig stidues hvae swhon taht as lnog as all ltrtes are pesrnet in a wrod and the frist and lsat ltrtes are crrocet we can slitl raed the snetcne pfrcelty.
Though in his essay Of the Vanity of Words focuses on the lies words have formed I would rather gear my mind to the counter opinion of the good and truths words have brought when in the hands of a truly great man with command of their mind.  
Martin Luther King Junior used words of peace, of harmony and understanding to rally a people and give them the strength to fight for equality, to stand against the world that seemed to want them kept under the heels of others.  And he himself was inspired by Mohandas Gandhi, who was once hailed as the man that ‘fought the tyranny of the British Empire with words, and won.’
They used the beliefs they held sewn into every word they spoke to strike the meaning of each phrase deep into the minds of those that followed them and opposed them, they did not want to control, they wanted to guide and lead their people to a better state in life free from the control and lies of another’s words and actions. 
Words are used to up lift people from their lows when they feel like the world is falling down around them, they let us confide secrets to others to relieve burdens from our shoulders, they allow us to create bonds and connections with those around us.
The words we speak help us and others define who we are to others that may not be able to see the truth just by looking at us.  They define the poor man as a philosopher, the casual man as an artist, the business man as a father. 
Without words to speak and release our feelings, both good and bad, we live in a mute world without explanation, open thought, discussion and connection.
‘An eye for an eye and the world goes blind’
‘To be or not to be’
‘Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything’
‘Think not what your country can do, but what you can do for your country’
‘I have a dream’
‘Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.’
These are the quotes that rise to the forefront of my mind. They stand there powerfully and meaningfully.
To craft words into a statement that sticks into the minds of others and resonates with a meaning is something I’ve meant to do forever, and I’ve tried many times but it never seems to stick.
‘When one makes war over a fool’s petty joke, he turns himself a fool.’
‘Words are only nonsense sounds, until you give them a meaning.’
‘To forbid a word is to forbid knowledge, so I say this, fuck.’
Words are versatile, malleable, they can be used as a weapon or as a shield, they can bring people together, and drive them apart.
Revolution starts with an idea spread to others through a voice carrying the words of wise men.
Words are craft music that touches our hearts and stirs the greatest emotions from the depths of our beings.
Words give hope, joy, despair and sorrow.
How we use them is what truly matters, they define us, and our words that remain here forever after, passed down whether we know it or not are the proof that we exist.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Edgar Allen Poe: Eldorado

Edgar Allen Poe ‘Eldorado
Eldorado, the fabled city of gold, could be fortune or glory.
‘Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a Song, In search of Eldorado.’
Could be converted to:
With Archaic cheer, a great knight, through both day and night, traveled far, singing a song, seeking paradise.
‘But he grew old- This knight so bold- And o’er his heart a shadow Fell, as he found No spot of ground, That looked like Eldorado.’
But the great knight aged, and a shadow hung over his heart, as he died he found spot on earth that could be called paradise.
‘And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow- “Shadow” said he, “Where can it be- This land of Eldorado?”’
And as he died, he met a shadow, he asked where paradise could be.
‘”Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,” The Shade replied,- “If you seek for Eldorado!”
Over the horizon it replied, ride on if you seek paradise
Eldorado, I feel is meant to represent paradise, heaven. Which he only finds in death.
Pilgrim Shadow, is most likely the grim reaper or the personification of death.
The shift appears after the first passage, going from brave valiant knight on a quest to old, broken dying man, struggling to find peace.
Title revisited: I now feel that the title is an allusion to paradise or the ultimate peace that we all seek, riding through the dark road of life to reach.
Theme: A dark poem, I feel that is theme is that we can only reach paradise by riding through the dark valley of life, boldly and bravely.

Poetry, Edgar Allen Poe, 'Annabel Lee'

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe
Title: The name he uses to speak of his love, as this is a love poem about his love for her.
Paraphrase: This poem is very straight forward in his word use and easily understandable however there are several choice sentences that need some explaining
“But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee- With a love that the winged Seraphs in Heaven Coveted her and me.”
Now there is only 1 other women he speaks of saying that she is coveted or loved by Angels in Heaven, or is loved more than love itself, which is Lenore, most famously mentioned in ‘The Raven’. This has led many to believe that they are one woman in the same.
‘But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in Heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea Can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee:-‘
Here he is stating that no matter what separates them, whether it be heaven or hell, life or death, wise men or their elders cannot separate their love, and keep them apart.
He uses ‘sea’ as a representation of hell, as he quotes “the demons under the sea’ as for him this world is oh so close to hell, without his love.
There is no true shift in this poem, the entire time he is declaring the strength of their love and how nothing can come between it, it is a rare example of Poe’s poems not having a shift, whether small or large, in tone at some point, and is oddly upbeat for his style.
Title revisited: No new opinions
Theme: The strength of a love so strong, true lovers cannot be separated, even by death, for the one alive will come tumbling after.

Poetry: Edgar Allen Poe 'The Raven'

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Title: The title The Raven, is a direct mention of the Raven Poe ‘encounters’ in the poem, the raven, a bird that was often associated with tragedy, sorrow, and death in Poe’s time on Earth, it personifies the three main emotions the poem has Poe experiencing.  The tragedy of his love ‘Lenore’s’ death, the sorrow that followed her death, and the feeling finality of her death brought to him.
Paraphrase:  ‘Eagerly I wished the marrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore- For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- Nameless here for evermore’
This passage is the most overlooked passage in all of Poe’s writing, if you do not understand it, as most overlook it, you don’t get the true meaning of the poem.  The first sentence ‘Eagerly I wished the marrow’ is plainly stating that on this dark night, he is wishing for the morning.  ‘Vainly I had sought to borrow, From my books Surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore’ This statement implies that no matter what he has done to distract himself, and seek a reprieve from his sorrow for losing his love, nothing has succeeded, as she is still fresh in his mind. The final sentence ‘For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- Nameless here for evermore’ show just how he saw her, a woman, so beautiful, so rare, a name given by the angels of heaven themselves, is gone now, and will be forgotten forever. 
‘And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before’ So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating “ ;Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my my chamber door;- This it is and nothing more’
Not actually speaking of a real visitor, which could be hinted from his purposeful misspelling of the word, but of the Raven at his door, or the realization and epiphany that will lead him yet farther from his Lenore, so he passes it off as a fleeting moment, an unwanted intruder to his life, telling himself, that’s all it is, nothing more.
‘On the marrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.” Then the bird said “Nevermore”.’
This is one of the most important sentences in the poem, notice how he capitalizes Hopes, like you would capitalize the name of a person, this is connecting back to his love Lenore, who was died in the night, flown away by morning you could say.  The Ravens repetition of ‘Nevermore’ does not allude to his own life or death as many believe but to the fact that he will never see Lenore again, feel her, hold her. 
To clear up I will explain what quoth means when in the play it repeats ‘Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore” quoth basically means ‘quotes’ it is used when a character is repeating one word or statement again and again without saying anything between repeats. Quoth is used in this poem because all the Raven says is Nevermore.
Poe uses Hopes to replace his love Lenore several times in the poem, reflecting how her and the love they had was the only thing keeping him moving on and feeling alive, without her he is hopeless to his dark mind as it shows him horrors in the night.
Darkness is used several times to describe the room he is in which in truth is simply the image he chooses to project his own mind as, and in that darkness there is fear, but still the fleeting feeling of his Lenore, so it offers both a curse to him, and a nostalgic peace, sitting in the lonely cold dark.
 In The Raven Poe can be described as being hopeless, distressed, and slowly falling deeper into despair as he fights against the truth that he will feel his Lenore, to quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”
Roughly half way through the poem, after the Raven’s appearance, Poe moves from not just sulking in his own sorrow at his Lenore’s death, but to actively fighting against the truth that the Raven speaks with but one word ‘Nevermore’ he curses the bird, calling it a prophet of evil, he now openly refuses to accept its word, and the truth of Lenore’s death, and thus the Raven over his chamber door refuses to leave, for ever more.
Title Revised: No new opinions
Theme: the darkness of our own mind after tragedies is often more comforting then the truth’s we are forced to accept.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five People you meet in heaven, essay prompts and important passages (incomplete)

More important passages to come, my computer shut down in the middle of typing so I lost the file. Will be up tomarrow.

Important passages: 
Page 2, line 1
At the time of his death, Eddie was a squat, white haired old man with a short neck, a barrel chest, thick forearms and a faded army tattoo on his right shoulder. His legs were thin and veined now, and his left knee wounded in the war, was ruined by arthritis. He used a cane to get around. His face was broad and craggy  from the sun, with salty whiskers and a lower jaw that protruded slightly, making him look prouder than he felt. He kept a cigarette behind his left ear and a ring of keys hooked to his belt. He wore rubber-soled shoes. He wore an old linen cap. His pale brown uniform suggested a workingman, and a workingman he was.
This passage is the first description we get of Eddie, and it is very important to the entire story as it not only explains his appearance, but the pain from arthritis and as we go one after his death he is less affected by these physical ailments till later on in his journey. It also introduces some of his past, war wounds, tattoos from the army. With just this paragraph we learn who Eddie is. A former soldier, an old man who’s age has long since caught up with him, and a working man.
Page 3, line 18
Children liked Eddie. Not teenagers. Teenagers gave him headaches. Over the years Eddie figured he’d seen every sort of do-nothing, snarl-at-you teenager there was. But children were different. Children looked at Eddie-who, with his protruding lower jaw, always seemed to be grinning, like a dolphin-they trusted him. They drew in like cold hands to a fire. They hugged his leg, they played with his keys. Eddie mostly grunted never saying much. He figured it was because he didn’t say much that they liked him.
This passage introduces an important fact for later on with the fifth person Eddie meets in his journey through heaven. Children trust him, he enjoys children, but not teenagers.
Page 4, line 8
A story went around about Eddie. When he was a boy, growing up by this very same pier, he got in an alley fight. Five kids from Pitkin Avenue had cornered his brother, Joe, and were about to give him a beating. Eddie was a block away, on a stoop, eating a sandwich. He heard his brother scream. He ran to the alley, grabbed a garbage can lid, and sent two boys to the hospital. After that, Joe didn’t talk to him for months. He was ashamed. Joe was the oldest, the first born, but it was Eddie who did the fighting.
This passage shows an important fact that would guide Eddie through his entire life and shape him into the man he was now. Eddie was a fighter, always had been always would be, facing the odds and coming out on top. However it also shows the first event that caused the eventual rift and consequent separation between he and his brother, who in their adult life had a less then loving relationship.
Page 8 line 12
As a soldier, he had engaged in combat numerous times. He’d been brave. Even won a medal. But toward the end of his service, he got into a fight with one of his own men. That’s how Eddie was wounded. No one knew what happened to the other guy. No one asked.
This passage further serves to continue the development of anxiety in the reader, we know by this point who Eddie is, what his life is like, and what it may have been like in the past, we know about certain events in his life but we don’t have details and tis passage gives insight into his old war wound, but is still vague enough to keep us reading to learn more.

Essay prompts
1973    Dickens’ Hard Times:  Explain how the author’s presentation of details is intended to shape the reader’s attitudes toward the place he describes — Coketown and the caves.  Give specific attention to the function of word choice, imagery, phrasing, and sentence structure.

This prompt matches ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ written by Mitch Albom well. Albom also uses very precise wording when describing the different ‘heaven’s’ that Eddie visits throughout his journey, his wording often matches or reflects the lesson that Eddie must learn in that portion of ‘heaven’ to move on  and accept his life and himself. Often Albom gets very detailed, especially while describing how Eddie crawls through the trenches of war when he meets his old Army Sargent, showing not just the struggle in life, but also the struggle of accepting that all was not as it seemed in life.
1972      In retrospect the reader often discovers that the first chapter of a novel
or the opening scene of a drama introduces some of the major themes of the
work. Write an essay about the opening scene of a drama or the first
chapter of a novel in which you explain how it functions in this way.  In
your essay do not merely summarize the plot of the work you are
In Albom’s the novel every major theme and lesson that Eddie learns is revisited, clarified and restated in different context to show his state of ‘enlightenment’ as he finally comes to accept not just his actions in life, but the actions of others in his life as well as the significance in the role he played in life, not as a soldier, husband, son, maintenance worker, but simply as ‘Eddie’.  Also the first chapter alludes to his life as well as every lesson he must learn on his journey through Heaven.
1986 Some works of literature use the element of time in a distinct way. The
chronological sequence of events may be altered, or time may be suspended or
accelerated. Choose a novel, an epic, or a play of recognized literary merit
and show how the author s manipulation of time contributes to the effectiveness
of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
In Mitch Albom’s novel time is of varying speed and relevance, the first chapter of the book it on a timer, ticking away and constantly reinfoming the reader of how much time Eddie has left to live, building suspense in the reader, making us almost impatient. However after he dies he is told that ‘You may have died a moment ago or 300 years ago, here time has no form or meaning’ so we quickly change from a definite time of how long he has to live to the indefinite eternity he may spend learning his lessons through heaven, however he has all this time because he needs to learn to accept himself and his life, so no timer is put on his journey.


So today I got on to check my email and the google team sent me this-

Hi Brady,
Someone recently tried to use an application to sign in to your Google Account - brady.redman123@gmail.com.
We prevented the sign-in attempt in case this was a hijacker trying to access your account. Please review the details of the sign-in attempt:
Friday, April 12, 2013 10:27:30 AM UTC
IP Address:
Location: Changsha, Hunan, China

If you do not recognize this sign-in attempt, someone else might be trying to access your account. You should sign in to your account and reset your password immediately.

I have taken steps to secure my account from future attemps but seriously. Why is China hacking me!? Thoughts from my fellow viewing students.
Also I think this proves the importance of having a secure account and password (good thing I changed my password after Ian visited last!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

AP test practice test section 1

  1. B
  2. A
  3. C
  4. E
  5. D
  6. D
  7. E
  8. C
  9. E
  10. C
  11. D
  12. B
  13. A
  14. C
  15. A
  16. A
  17. C
  18. A
  19. B
  20. B
  21. E
  22. E
  23. A
  24. E
  25. E
  26. E
  27. D
  28. C
  29. A
  30. B
  31. D
  32. B
47. B
48. C
49. B
50. D
51. C
52. C
53. B
54. B
55. D
56. D
57. D
58. D
59. D
60. E
61. E