Thursday, April 15, 2010

House of Mirth: Paper Issues, Edith Wharton, and Stephanie

I am still kind of conflicted about what to write about for my second term paper. I really want to write about House of Mirth because I really enjoyed reading that book and I felt that I could write about that passionately. I have been researching a lot about a topic to chose and I think I have narrowed it down to writing about how Edith Wharton and Lily Bart are similar. I'm not sure however if that would suffice for a lengthy paper.
After doing some research, I stumbled upon Hermione Lee's new biography Edith Wharton. The copy at Holland/Terrell library was taken but I looked it up online and read a few passages and it really interested me. Edith Wharton was a very interesting person. I learned that she was always a very talented writer and at 15 wrote her first novel. While reading, I kept thinking about my little sister, Stephanie. Stephanie is 17 and is pretty much what you would call a genius. She has been reading since I can remember and has been writing since kindergarten. She recently finished her first novel entitled "Cole Black" and I have read this work of fiction. It is fantastic. Stephanie and Edith are very similar. They both are smart and they are driven to make their own ways through this life. If we lived back when Edith Wharton did, Stephanie would have been right there with Edith Wharton: writing, critiqing, learning from everyone else. She would have been able to make something of herself and she would have been able to forge a new path for women. I wish I wish i was more like my sister and Edith Wharton in this respect...they are both fiercely independent women and they seem to know what they want out of life. They both will not stop until they get what they want and are extremely passionate about writing their dreams on paper.
Overall, I really am not sure what I will write about but I am really not that worried. Edith Wharton, because of this class, is one of my mentors and inspirational people in my life. I greatly look up to her and I know that I will figure out what to write about. Inspiration will hit me and I will continue to be in awe of strong women like my sister and Edith Wharton...women who I aspire to be like.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lily + Seldon and Sarah + ?

I have really enjoyed the House of Mirth so far. I have always been fascinated by the 1920's and the time around that period. Ever since I read the Great Gatsby in my junior year of high school, I have just been enfatuated with the glitz, glamour, and sparkle of what was going on during the '20s. The book also really reminded me of Gossip Girl. . upper New York, caddy "friends", money, love. .it's just really interesting.
The talk in class today hit really close to home. So often we question potential relationships with people. We are fearful of rejection because we don't know how the other person feels. While reading about Lily and Seldon and what they could have been when they went for a walk was just really frustrating. We as the reader can see that they could work together and both would no longer be alone but the two of them can't see that because they don't know how the other is going to react. They are both scared of rejection from the other person when in fact the other person is not going to reject them.
We have all been through this in life. We get scared when things get intimate because we are embaressed, we don't know if we are doing things right, we don't know how the other person feels or what the other person is thinking. Seldon and Lily both, I feel, are doing all the things that we do in a situtation like that. They are weary of what might happen if something goes wrong, if another person comes into the picture, and then they may feel like the idiot. It's life and life just happens sometimes.
Seldon and Lily are so frustrating to me because I know what it is like to be in their position. I always over think, overanalyze, never knowing how the other person is feeling. Do they feel like I do? Did I do something to turn them off? Why didn't I say something when I could have? Having been hurt in the past for not acting, I have a quote that I know always turn to when I'm too scared to take the leap and I think that this quote is relavent for Seldon and Lily:
"Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens."
I hope that Seldon and Lily are both strong enough to figure out what THEY want, not what they think the other person wants. Because in the end, wouldn't it be better to be embarrsssed temporarily and really figuring things out or would it be better to hurt and wonder over the other person for the rest of your life? Sometimes I just wish I could take my own advice. . .maybe I will this time.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today in class, we watched the silent film Greed based off of Frank Norris's novel McTeauge. Greed was a very interesting film, I thought that it really did closely follow the book which is pretty unlikely in a film. It was interesting the see it without any dialouge, it made me pay attention that much more. I think that if someone watched Greed and they had not watched the film, they would not have known was going on. By reading the book McTeague, I better understood what was going on throughout the film and it was even nice without dialouge too.
The scene in the desert was really interesting and it was also really stressful for me as a watcher of the film. I felt myself getting thirsty while Marcus and McTeague traveled deeper and deeper into the desert. Even though it was filmed 90 years ago, I felt like I could be trapped in the desert as well which is absolutely amazing. I just felt really uncomfortable, I know that I would not want to be stuck in the desert like McTeague and Marcus were!
Overall, I really did enjoy the film a lot. I thought that it was a good way to end the unit of McTeague and the film allowed me to understand the book that much more. I look forward to read the House of Mirth!