Lulu Fisher
Despite small alterations in its form, William Wordsworth’s “The Solitary Reaper” retains its function as a ballad. Typically, ballads are composed of quatrains with alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter and a rhyme scheme of ABCB. Instead, “The Solitary Reaper” consists of four octaves, eight-line stanzas, with lines that are for the most part in iambic tetrameter. And while the first four lines of each octave retain the ballad rhyme scheme, the last four lines are two couplets. Functioning as a ballad, “The Solitary Reaper” is a narrative: the speaker of the poem tells of a lone girl whom he witnesses reaping the season’s harvest. Though he never approaches the stranger like the wandering narrators of most Wordsworth’s ballads, he fixates on the song which she sings and he overhears. It is the girl, the solitary reaper’s, song that provides the basis for the rest of the poem.

the rest of 'Reaping Emotional Meaning' )
Lulu Fisher
30 September 2011 @ 06:34 pm
William Wordsworth’s lyrical ballad “We Are Seven” addresses the notion of death—more specifically, as seen in the opening stanza, the way in which children, simple and attuned to the feelings of being alive, perceive death. The remainder of the poem, as characteristic of ballads, takes the form of a narrative. The narrator, after posing the initial question, relates his encounter with an eight-year-old girl. Though he only asks to know how many children there are in her family, her answer is so perplexing they engage in philosophical discourse that is deceptively simple and childish.

the rest of 'To Be Is Being' )
Lulu Fisher
So, it took watching 71: Into the Fire a third time for me to actually collect my thoughts and manage to organize a coherent and un-biased response. (The first time, I was too busy crying through most of it and even more well after the closing credits; the second time, I was crying even before the sad parts came up because I knew when they were.) I still cried like a baby the third time. Just saying.

2k words: into the spoilers )
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Lulu Fisher
04 May 2011 @ 06:39 pm
Dear K______,

In three of the modern variations of Little Red Riding Hood—James Thurber’s “The Little Girl and the Wolf,” Roald Dahl’s “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf,” and the film Freeway starring Reese Witherspoon—the female protagonist is armed with a gun which she eventually uses to kill the wolf/attacker.  The fact that all three protagonists are prepared for the encounter serves as proof of Thurber’s moral: that little girls are no longer easy to fool.  These versions of the Little Red tale, then, indicate how folklore adapts to and reflects the time in which it is produced.  None of the three stories has retained the didactic or precautionary lesson found in older variations that warn young girls to remain on the path lest they be “eaten” by “wolves.”  The implication, of course, is that modern young women are already aware of the potential threat posed by men and have therefore fittingly ensured their own safety by carrying firearms on their person.
Thurber’s Little Girl, Dahl’s Little Red, and Vanessa in Freeway represent more than the clever and well-informed girl.  By protecting themselves, they become their own heroes (or rather heroines), making woodcutters and police officers obsolete saviors or “good” male figures.  Furthermore, the gun is undeniably a phallic symbol--Dahl’s Little Red goes so far as to draw the gun from her underwear.  Marked by their confidence, assertiveness, and trigger fingers, these three girls prevail against the male threat by taking on masculine characteristics.  What’s more, in all three adaptations, the girl protagonist shoots and kills the wolf/man while he is disguised as her grandmother.  (In fact, Vanessa shoots her “wolf” on two separate occasions.)  Thus, on the one hand the young women in these stories succeed as a result of their masculine behavior and weaponry, while on the other the male sexual aggressors are thwarted and ultimately killed dressed in women’s clothing, that is, emasculated.
Though the stories indeed empower young women, the message of gender is a muddled one: women win if they are masculine, but men lose if they are feminine.  This message is especially insidious, considering Dahl’s story was written for children.  Nevertheless, all three adaptations manage to approach the issues of sexual violence and female obedience that make older versions intimidating with a fair amount of humor, albeit of the dark sort.

So long, and thanks for all the fish,
Lulu Fisher
Lulu Fisher
30 April 2011 @ 01:21 am
Did I really just read a 500-page novel in four days?  And before that, a 200-pager in a day and a half?  What has my life come to? At least both books were enjoyable enough.  Though I almost wish I could be ashamed of all the reading I do for school.  At the same time, it gives me an excuse to ignore people.

I go too far...I am remarkable (when it comes to spoilers) )
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Current Music: Ludwig van - Quatuor 14
Lulu Fisher
16 April 2011 @ 01:54 pm
How can the Edwardian A Room with a View be toe-curl-inducingly disgusting and corset-swooningly romantic at the same time? I let the novel have it in my critique, a move I should've planned out better considering it was assigned because my (totally awesome) British professor actually likes the book. Not that I don't like it. I'll probably read it and watch the movie numerous times in the future, each time (probably) feeling both grossed out and wooed. Come on. Daniel Day-Lewis as Cecil? Rockstar. Besides, A Room with a View and A Clockwork Orange now have me listening to an obscene amount of Beethoven, which comes in handy when I'm trying to drown out the obnoxious elevator music played at Glazers.

spoilers as always )
Current Location: Glazers
Current Music: ludwig van
Lulu Fisher
I've just finished playing catch-up with my schoolwork (read: forced myself to stop writing and/or reading fanfiction for a single day) while on a caffeine high. And even five hours ahead of time. I shouldn't feel so accomplished, considering the work should've been done weeks ago, but Jupiter smite me: I'm smug. I managed to watch and read an eclectic combination of British stuff, and provide some meaningful commentary. I'm posting the criticism not to show off (it's honestly not the best work I could've done), but to recommend all three works. Have at it.

Current Location: Glazers