Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poe, Browning, Hamby, and Hoagland

For the readings assigned for this week I found that there were two pairs of similar things in each of the writings.  In “Ode to American English” by Barbara Hamby and “America” by Tony Hoagland, each of them has something to say about America, but both of the views that the authors have are very much different.  Both “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “My Las Duchess” by Robert Browning describe each of their narrator’s murders that take place in the writing. 

In “Ode to American English,” Hamby goes on and on and on some more about all of the things that she misses about being back home in the United States while currently in Paris.  Within her rant, she explains some of the more-normal things she misses like Cheerios or comics, but also some interesting things that one might not want to miss.  This is explained when she says, “hip-hop stereos shaking the windows of my dining room like a 7.5 earthquake.”  You get the idea that she loves everything about America even some of the not so great things within it.  Then in “America” Hoagland describes how both a student and teacher feel concealed within a society where everything forced upon us from the media and corporate businesses.  This land of trapped America that Hoagland is taking about is quite different from Hamby’s “everything’s great” America. 

The two other writings were mostly connected on the fact that the narrator of each commits a murder and to some extend gives their reason for the murder.  In “My Last Duchess”, Browning explains how the Duchess is so praised and looked out after and he does not seem to like it.  “She rode with round the terrace – all and each would draw from her alike the approving speech.”  In context, I felt he was mocking her for doing that all day and wanted to stop it.  In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor was somehow greatly offended by something that Fortunato had done. As revenge, he felt the need to murder him in quite a strange way of enclosing him behind a wall down in a cellar.  Even though strongly vowed for revenge, he gave Fortunato multiple opportunities to escape his fate.

Although all four of these works were not connected together in some way, each had another writing that shared similar points to be discussed.  

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