Thursday, February 18, 2010


I really enjoyed visiting the MASC today. I had never been there before and I was not really sure what to expect, I had literally no idea what I was going to do or see there. However, once there I thought that it was so interesting. I loved looking at all the old books, it really was like looking back on history. It was so cool just to flip through the old books and look at what was the popular entertainment a long time ago. I really liked looking at Henry James's Italian Hours book. It was all about Italy and James wrote down his thoughts about the many different places in Italy where he visited. The pictures in the book were beautiful and both words and text made me want to go to Italy. I also really liked the Chatterbox book, it really reminded me of a modern day magazine. It's interesting to think about how people in the future will look back on our books and our magazines. I really enjoyed the MASC a lot; I enjoyed learning about the history of the books and I wish I could maybe figure out how I could connect my major, Public Relations, to something about the history of books and things like that. I just really enjoyed today and I hope that I can go back to the MASC in the future!!

Daisy Miller

Even though this is a late blog post I decided that I still should write a blog about Daisy Miller. I found the conversation that we talked about in class very interesting about comparing our college society with the society that Daisy Miller lived in. I find it interesting that in modern days in Pullman walking home at 10:30 a.m. in a party dress is comparable to Daisy walking with both Winterbourne and Giovanni at night. Then I thought how we moved on to justifying the walking home in a party dress and the walking with Winterbourne at night is interesting too. Basically, it’s ok to walk home at 10:30 am if you’re in a relationship and it’s ok to walk with Winterbourne if you’re engaged to him. For someone who isn’t in a relationship, this doesn’t really make sense to me; it’s not really fair that people are punished for choosing not to exclusively date one person but I guess that is what today’s society and Daisy’s society looks down upon. I feel bad for Daisy though because she really was being pure and innocent the entire time though others thought she was not. She was just a pretty little flirt but she still had a tragic end. I wonder why Henry James decided to end the book that the way he did, it’s a very interesting ending to choose. I guess James just wanted to show off the character of Winterbourne a little more…he wanted to show how easy it was for Winterbourne to move on and get over Daisy. It’s a sad ending but it really is life and life happens like that…it’s not a perfect ending tied up in a bow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Behind a Mask"

Louisa May Alcott's "Behind a Mask" was an interesting read. At the beginning I was confused because there were so many characters being introduced but after a while, I really started to like it. I thought that Jean Muir was an interesting character because she was so different for her time period. She lied, she drank, she charmed everyone around her, and she was impersonating a 19-year-old while being a 30-year-old. I know that after the discussion in class today, a lot of people did not like her and I'm not saying I do, but I think she is a very interesting character. She seems modern to me though she puts on a "perfect woman" front. She takes the idea of masks to a whole other level. . . she masks herself differently for every character in the book like we were talking about. She reads to Sir John, is a sister to Bella, ignores Gerald, tames the horse for Edward, and makes the perfect cup of tea for Mrs. Coventry. She just knows what appeals to whom and uses it to win everyone over and that is a modern trait. Though she is deceiving, it makes the book that much more interesting and modern. This semester we have read books that have characters who are very similar to each other and have a modern flair: Zenobia in "The Blithedale Romance", Joaquin in "Joaquin Murieta", and now Jean Muir in "Behind a Mask." I'm interested to see what character will continue this cycle as we go on in English.
I really enjoyed the presentation on Louisa May Alcott too. It was interesting to see how she didn't even like to write the children books but she liked to write the thrillers. I really like that about her and I feel like I can relate to that too. I've started to read "Little Women" but I didn't like it so I had to stop. It was kind of bland and I much rather liked "Behind a Mask." I can't wait to see what we read next!!