Putting your Best Foot Forward to Ending Domestic Violence

It starts with a kiss and may end with a fist.  It begins with a hello, but may end with a “hell no!!” The first touch may be a warm hug, but ends on the cold floor. This may seem exaggerated, untruthful, or simply unrealistic, but its not. Domestic violence is a real issue and it needs to be known.  We see films, read articles, or witness our own loved ones getting abused by the people they turn to.  Some of the questions that we ask ourselves are “What do we do to help?” and “How do I do this without getting to involved?” Well, look no further for those answers because there is plenty to do to stomp on domestic violence.

Logo for Walk a Mile in her Shoes

Building Awareness

Domestic Violence is the establishment of power and control over a person in an intimate romantic relationship with the use of threats and violent acts. In order to change this type of behavior, we need to start acting, listening, and engaging ourselves in each others lives before it becomes to late. If you have never witnessed or have been a victim of domestic violence, consider yourself blessed.  This topic is important to speak up about because it’s happening.  In today’s society, many people have this impression that women are the only ones facing this nightmare. Well, this isn’t at all true.  Men are victims too, but are always being looked at as the monsters in the relationship.

According to a Huffington Post article, 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic ” 1 in 4 women get domestically abused by their partner along with 1 in 7 men within the United States.  

This proves that not only are women being affected, but men are too. It’s time to join together to stop the fists from flying, the warm greeting turning into demands, and the hugs we love turn into us laying alone on the floor. Fortunately, many people have taken the necessary steps to making a change in this behavior.

An organization called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a foundation that advocates domestic violence awareness where men dress in woman’s heels to walk a mile for domestic violence awareness. Stated on their website, “you can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”  is a quote that many still use and appreciate today. Now, many schools are being introduced to this organization and have started to make their steps towards ending domestic violence.  Reported in our school newspaper, the Longwood Rotunda, is an article discussing the third annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes that happened on Longwood campus this past month.  Cody Slaughter, a Longwood student who participated in the event stated, “hard as hell,” to describe his mile in heels. Though the walk may have been painful, these men thought about the pain these women go through when being mistreated, and decided to make a change.

Don’t Blame the Victim

Many people believe that if someone were to be getting mistreated by their partner, that they could easily recognize and leave the situation. Friends and families of victims tend to not think about the decisions and outcomes that could arise when a victim continues to stay with their abuser. Unfortunately, many start to blame the victim, making them feel like the stupid and wrong one in the relationship.

According to the textbook written by Julia T. Woods, Gender Lives, it covers the construct “blaming the victim” which is defined as  putting all blame on a victim in a domestic abusive relationship, because they aren’t be as active as they should to stop their partner from harming them. For example, a girl is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend and her friends notice.  They approach their friend (victim), trying to explain to her that they are concerned for her, but she continues not be active about changing the way her relationship is going.  The victims friends then put blame on her because she isn’t be proactive about the situation. Many friends of victims will misconstrue “being active” to “being scared,” therefore, will fault the victim.

Thankfully, Walk a Mile in her Shoes is here to help women and men who are victims of domestic violence understand that they aren’t the ones to blame.  Men join the walk to stomp on this behavior while women encourage them to represent relationships as not a dangerous situation to enter.  Blaming someone who is in a domestic abusive relationship won’t stop the harm from happening, but only make the victim feel more enclosed in the act.

Lets Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk

I am fortunate enough to have never witnessed or  have been in a domestic abusive relationship.  Many people don’t think about long term affects domestic violence has on a person.  If a victim remains in a relationship like this, it could result to long term damage, including death of the person. While currently being in a serious romantic relationship and discussing this topic so heavily, puts  more awareness into my everyday life about domestic violence.  My partner and I have both supported the Walk and Mile in her Shoes because we have both been surrounded by this topic all of our lives, even though it hasn’t directly affected either of us. The overall importance of this topic is to be aware of our surroundings.  Look out for one another.  Don’t point figures and put blame on someone who is facing this awful nightmare.  Lets all stop domestic violence and put our best foot forward everyday to ending domestic violence.

12
Apr 2016
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Feeling Comfortable In Your Skin and Your School

I remember the first time I began looking for the college of my dreams. So much went into this search.  Where is it located?  How big is the school? Involvement opportunities? Are the students and faculty welcoming?  These questions rushed through my head just like they did for thousands of other students applying.  My parents and friends would always say to  me, “Stop stressing. You will make the most out of where you go.” But what if that wasn’t the answer for everyone?  Some kids on the other hand may feel as if the questions they ask themselves during their search for their perfect University may be left unanswered.  These are the students who face society from a whole different playing field where no question is easy to ask, and no answer is ever predictable.

Many colleges are forming LGBT communities for their students.

LGBT Students Finds Their Home at Longwood

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community is formed by a group of people who may be looked at differently to the rest of society, but to them are just being themselves. When attending Longwood, it was interesting to see a community of its own such as LGBT students.  I never realized until discussing in my classes how much gender norms are always being tested and pushed to the limit. I am a heterosexual female at a four year University striving to get a degree just like many others. I got involved heavily on my campus, joined a sorority that helped me form lasting friendships, gained hands-on experience through my major, and even found myself in a relationship my last semester of college.  I wouldn’t say these accomplishments came easy all the time, but compared to some, it was a piece of cake.

Recently at Longwood University, a student found an organization that accepted them, for them. Beasa Dukes,a Bigender student, was accepted into the fraternity Phi Mu Delta.  Beasa looks at hir (general neutral pronoun) identity as not being male or female, but having masculine and feminine traits. In an interview for the schools newspaper, The Rotunda, Beasa states, “To us, it’s still another day in the fraternity. It hasn’t changed essentially much, other than how we look on campus. But within the fraternity, it won’t change much. ‘B’ (Beasa) is still seen as another brother.”  Beasa exemplifies how important it is for her to just wanting to be accepted for who she identifies as, and Phi Mu Delta has given her that comfort.

Universities Opening up to LGBT Community

Many students like Beasa want to find a place where they can be open about who they are.  Senior, Ethan Jackson, a transgender student who attended Indiana University found his home as well. In the article, Consider College Options Carefully as a Transgender Student  Ethan states, “I was looking for whether or not the community surrounding the university was accepting and kind of liberal.”  Ethan decision of attending Indiana University allowed him to receive the college education he deserved without being ridiculed by his peers.

Not only is Indiana University the only school opening its doors to LGBT students and expanding their polices, but also Mills College located in California and Mount Holyoke College found in Massachusetts.  These schools are giving students the opportunity to feel more comfortable with themselves.  Program director, Luca Maurer, who works for The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services at Ithaca College serves as a resource for students who are in the LGBT community by ensuring they are receiving the academic guidance they need to succeed along with services to help them feel comfortable in their own skin.

Your Identity is Your Identity

It is intriguing to think of the variety of ways people define gender and how people get categorized within society.  In Julia T. Woods textbook, Gender Lives, a construct that is discussed is queer performative which is the combining of the queer theory and and performative theory.  Those who are classified as queer performative don’t follow the “normal” gender norms.  They do what they believe in and don’t follow the culture values that are established in society. For example,  someone could dress masculine but loves to take ballet classes.  This demonstrates that a person can be masculine and feminine while still feeling like they are part of society.  This construct was established so people like Beasa and others who face this divide can reassure themselves that they are no less than anyone else, but express themselves in a more unique and open way.

Being Yourself

Coming from a very conservative family where it is looked down upon to like someone of the same gender or go against the typical gender norms, I respect Beasa and many other students who apart of the LGBT community for expressing themselves.  We all have our values that have been ingrained in us since we were young, so why not just let people live the life based on what they have been taught. The less hate we do on people not following the “typical” gender norms, the more positive outlooks many would have on society.  Be yourself.  Don’t change who you are, but be the positive change that you want to see.

Check out this video of a student from Mills College expressing her experience as a transgender women.

25
Feb 2016
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Intro to my Life

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Taking a senior head-shot for my resume

Hello!

My name is Nicole Persons and I am a Senior Communication Studies major.  I am from a small town in Nokesville Virginia which is location in Northern Virginia (aka NOVA).  When attending Longwood University, I instantly wanted to become involved on campus.  I first began going through sorority recruitment where I found my home away from home in Alpha Delta Pi.  From there, I met life long friends that pushed me to become involved on our campus so I am now serving as a general body member in Longwood Ambassadors, Order of Omega, and Lambda Pi Eta.  Not only did I go out into the Longwood community to become involved, but for two years I was the Director of Social Enrichment and Risk Management chair for my chapter.  The people I surround myself with everyday are the people who pushed me to become an active leader on campus.

I am also growing everyday within in my major.  I have gained a lot of experience while being a part of the COMMunity.  Looking back on undergrad, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience with this major.  One assignment that really helped me step out of my comfort zone, experienced making real world decisions, and overall helped me become better with my  communication was in Dr. Hostermans Organizational Communication course.  During this course, he assigned me as the group leader where I was in charge of three other students during the planning process for a non-profit event.  For this assignment, it was my job to make sure all work was being turned in on time, effectively working together as a team, and communicating efficiently with the non-profit owners and any companies we were using for our potential event. I was able to have the opportunity to interact with a variety of companies around the Farmville area as well as in the Richmond area.  At the end of the course, the non-profit organization we were assigned to awarded us with third best event which was a huge accomplishment for our group.

What is great about not only my sorority chapter but Longwood as a whole, I truly believe that we have a very accepting, unique group of students and faculty here.  When growing up, I wouldn’t get teased, but asked all the time by the guys why I had large arm muscles and that they were jokingly saying that they were “terrified” I would beat them up since I had larger muscles. It made me feel insecure at times because I was always told that females should be petite while the guys are big and strong. I had larger arms due to being involved with  cheerleading almost all throughout high school as well as a lacrosse player.  Due to having more defined arms compared to other girls,  I felt like I was not meeting the expectations of a female because of the way the guys would talk about my arms. Now, in college, many guys find it attractive to have arms that are toned compared to the guys I was surrounded by in high school.  I have accepted me for me along with learned that “the normal” is different for everyone. I want to get from this class a sense of understanding why there is much categorizing and labeling just because of the way a person presents themselves or the activities they involve themselves with.

25
Jan 2016
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The changes from book to movie: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games book was a huge hit to many people and told a story so different than others.  This book became into a movie to display the action from the book right before their eyes. When most people read a book that is made into a movie soon after, they realize the differences between them which could lead to good or bad opinions later.  Since I have read the book and seen the movie, I have realized that I am more of fan towards the book because of the changes I have found in the movie but still enjoyed the movie and what it brought to the audience.  Some of the big changes that I interpreted to be different when comparing the movie and novel is the Capitol, the games, and after the games have ended.

When I was reading about the Capitol in The Hunger Games, I did not expect what I saw in the movie at all.   While reading the book, I did not imagine the Capitol to look the way it did and see the people dressed the way they were.  I imagined the people in the Capitol too look like normal, cleaner, well dressed people like the others in district.  Instead, we see everyone with painted faces, crazy colored hair, and everyone is dressed in a strange outfit.  I think that this type of style depicts individuality because the Capitol can dress however they would like and express their personality however they want to.  The people who are in districts are not privileged this way because they are not wealthy enough to afford the clothes the Capitol has so should be treated differently.

There is many obvious differences that I came upon when reading the book and watching the movie when dealing with the actual games.  In the book, the games to me are in much more detail and have more effect on the readers than the movie does.  One part of the movie that I noticed was completely different in the book was Katniss trying to find water right after the tributes were released.  In the book Katniss is in dire need of water and it takes her a very long time to retrieve some but in the movie it is as if she instantly finds some once she leaves the cornucopia.  This difference actually plays a huge role with the audience since when reading the book; Katniss is being described as if her body is slowly giving out on her when she says, “Fatigue is beginning to settle on me” (166).  The book displays more in depth how Katniss is feeling when just beginning the games then the book does.

A time that I thought was different between the novel and book that really affects the audience is the love affair between Katniss and Peeta.  In the beginning of the book, Haymitch makes them put on this act that they each love each other and later in the book, they begin to really stretch this act when they kiss in the cave.  After the games, Katniss and Peeta fight on the train on the way back home, debating on where there love was true or not.  Peeta realizes though that she does not love him back, it was all part of the show.  In the book, none of this was displayed to the audience; which were kind of left hanging on a limb just like Peeta when Katniss says that she just wants to forget.  The “love” between Katniss and Peeta is important because it is what keeps them together through the games and makes them rely on one another even more.  With this love breaking at the end of the games in the book and novel, it gives the impression to me of selfishness towards Katiss that this was the only way she would be able to survive; the attention from Peeta.

Reading the book and watching the movie actually cleared a lot of foggy parts for me such as how the Capitol looks, visually seeing how Katniss handled herself in near death situations, and how Katniss’s and Peeta’s feelings panned out.  Both the novel and book clarify one another in some way. Though the novel gives more detail; the movie does a good job with showing how every character is feeling.

27
Apr 2013
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The Representation of Women in the 20th Century

There are many representations of women no matter where you go or who you meet.  Everyone has their viewpoint on what a woman is and how they should act.  We see differences between how women are represented in I am Legend written by Richard Maheson and Parable of the Sower written by Octavia Bulter. Females are looked at different depending on what time span the author (s) are talking about. We notice how women begin to act differently when looking at both stories and how present themselves as people.

Parable of the Sower is a story that is more familiar to us than most since it is set in the 20th century. Though we aren’t familiar with the apocalyptical setting they are in, we notice the way women are treated and how it is relatable to our lives since they have much more range of freedom like we do today.  Lauren Olamina, the main character in Parable of the Sower, is a good representation of how women are looked at today such as independent, strong females that can handle just as much as men can. Laurens father would take her and other kid’s old enough target shooting to prepare them for any incident that could occur. Keith would always complain about how unfair it was that Lauren could go to target practice but he couldn’t. “Lauren’s a girl and you let her go. You always let her do things.  I could learn to help guard and scare off robbers…” (89). Keith is a boy and is younger then Lauren but still gets more privilege than he does. We compare how Lauren is treated by her peers and also family to how women are seen as in I am Legend. The female vampires in the book are nothing but objects that are used to get people outside of their safe zone so they become a vampire as well.  Robert Neville, the main character in I am Legend, is always being taunted by these vampires since that is their role of being a female vampire. We see how different these two types of women can be and start to compare the change that occurred between the two different types of writing.  Lauren is someone who is independent and working towards leaving the horrible situation she is in while the vampires are constantly trying to get all humans to the dark side.

We see women change from seductive women to classy and helpful between I am Legend and Parable of the Sower.  When talking about the vampires, their image is looked as un-classy girls who don’t respect themselves.  They are out to do one thing and that’s to get Robert Neville.  Lauren shows that there is more to life then degrading yourself.  Lauren has hyperempathy syndrome, a disease that is “supposed to share pleasure and pain” (12).  This causes Lauren to feel others pain but also others people’s pleasures.  She loves sex because it brings her the most pleasure and since her world seems to be crashing around her, sex is the one thing she looks for when searching for some happiness.  Though she finds pleasure in this, this does not stop her from growing into a mature, independent woman who has responsibilities which are to keep her family on their feet.  She became such a role model not only to her brothers but to a young girl, Amy Dunn. Lauren helps Amy out by bringing her over to her own house to bathe her since no one else did.  She would also try to educate her by teaching her the alphabet which then leads her to learning how to spell out her name (33).  This shows that there more to Laurens life then what pleases her while the vampires in I am Legend, just crave one thing; satisfaction.

These stories show a transformation in writing of what a woman were then in I am Legend and what they seem to be now in fiction stories based in the 20th century.  Luckily, as time progressed, the authors that created the two books I compared didn’t continue degrading females but showed the potential that they truly possess.

30
Mar 2013
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The Transiton of the Feminist Movement

Both the stories, Jody after the War and A Boy and his Dog both seem to be focusing on the women more than the actual story after the war.  The war has played a significant role in the woman’s lives that affected them greatly. There is a noticeable trend between both women in the stories, Jody from Jody after the War and Quilla June Holmes from A Boy and his Dog.  These two girls are being portrayed as objects but not in the same formality. Jody is mentally affected by the war, constantly scared all the time and continually is having nightmares which causes her to live in fear.  She has her boyfriend, Paul, who is always comforting her in any way he can. In A Boy and his Dog, the war killed off a good portion of all women so the population is mostly male with a few females in some places. Vic, or Albert, as his dog Blood would call him, finds Quilla June Holmes and takes her to an empty warehouse to rape her since the numbers of women are so low.  Whenever a girl is spotted, they instantly feel the urge to have sex with them. Jody is represented as a prized possession by Paul while Quilla June Holmes is being looked at a victim who is only good to please Vic which then leads to a noticeable transition between Quilla Holmes, Jody and Ma from Grapes of Wrath with the Feminist Movement becoming much sighted.

Jody has brought much happiness to Paul’s life that he appreciates her more and more every day, “Jody was imprinted in my mind the first time I saw her” (117).  After the war, Jody began to have horrid nightmares every night involving different situations.  Whenever she is having a nightmare, Paul is always there by her side trying to comfort her as much she will allow him too.  Another came upon Jody and Paul and Jody wakes up screaming in terror. Paul comforts her, laying a gentle kiss upon her face. (121). Jody is representing a different type of object than Quilla Holmes in A Boy and his Dog.  She is being used as an object to help boys become satisfied with them.  Vic has a dog, Blood, who can telepathically communicate with his owner.  He can trace out any female that may be wherever he is.  Vic takes home Quilla Holmes to rape and use to help out his struggles of not being sexually active in over a month.  The war demolished most of the female population.  Every time a war strikes, this is what usually happens.  Paul only knows this because of his dog would not regularly be able to sniff out girls as often as would before the war struck (342).   The women in A Boy and his Dog are all looked at as items that signify something other than women hood.  They are either used to make babies to build up the population or are very well fit women who know guys want a part of.  The women in Topeka, known as the underground city is, where the babies are created to build up the female population.  Though “objects” is used in two different terms with both females, they are still considered objects by the way they are treated even if they are depicted in another way.

Comparing these two short stories and The Grapes of Wrath, you see how different the Feminist Movement has changed.  In these short stories, we see the women either being used for purposes that no women should be put through by force like in A Boy and his Dog or getting treated as important but having the struggle to conquer fear such as Jody in Jody after the War. Ma in Grapes of Wrath starts off as someone who helped out where she could; doing her daily “women-like” activity.  We labeled Ma in the beginning as your typical housewife but quickly switch to leader of the family.  Women are looked at with much more respect in Grapes of Wrath than in these two short stories which shows how the Feminist Movement has changed with time.

22
Mar 2013
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The Children of the Nuclear Age

In Beyond Armagedon, we see the affect a nuclear war has done to society and to civilization in general with the detailed evidence of change with nature and people.  In the two short stories, Tomorrow’s Children and  Day at the Beach, mutation is the main occurrence amongst all living life forms which is what is making society the way it is. What makes the comparison between these two stories so unique is that both authors incorporated mutated children but made the mutation affects different.  In Tomorrow’s Children, the author, Poul Anderson, uses multiple children to show the spread of mutation within many families but Carol Emshwiller, the author of Day at the Beach, has pinpointed one family with a child named “littleboy.”  The difference between the children in one story and “littleboy” in the other is observed with the way the United States has been affected by the war. That contributes to their physical appearance, their actions, and also the acceptance of society towards these children. We ask ourselves after we notice the dissimilarities why these authors decided to use two different types of mutations to describe the after effect of the war but may be answered with a clear observation at the end result.

A war has struck the United States and has caused chaos among the citizens of this country in both stories.  Thousands died in the story Tomorrow’s Children and everything that ever once was something is now destruction.  Hugh Drummond, a pilot states, “Not much of a Capital, the little town huddled in a valley of the Cascades, but the waters of the Potomac had filled the grace of Washington. Strictly speaking, there was no Capital” (148). With the war hitting the United States head strong, radioactivity from the bombs were going to cause major issues within society.  This happened in the Day at the Beach as well but the authors sets the setting occur four years after the war instead of a more recent time such as two years in the other story. We aren’t told much about other people except for a family with a son, littleboy, who is different from most 3 year olds.

The radioactive chemicals from the bombs that were let off during the Mega war took full throttle and left the survivors in a dangerous situation with chemicals that will cause society to change in a mental and physical matter. After the war in Tomorrow’s Children, over half of the births in the country have been defective births and that was prewar ratio (164). Drummond and General Robinson witnessed more than one occurrence of mutated children throughout their time dealing with the aftermath of the war. There was a moment where they heard a noise, “one of the babies began to cry.  It has two heads” (154). This defect is an example of what type of physical attributes a child had during this time period that shows an affect from the radioactive chemicals.  Another situation was a birth of a new baby boy who has limbs of tentacles (171). These examples differ from Day at the Beach, because Littleboy does not have extra limbs or tentacles but shows a different form of mutation which is genetic from his parents since they conceived him after the war was over. He has a lot of black hair that hovers over his eyes and extends down so far that no one’s knows where exactly it ends.  He was a pretty thin boy but looking at him he looked fairly strong (100).  This is certainly a sign of a defected child who is experiencing for what it seems as evolution which contrasts from Tomorrow’s Children since they are a familiar type of mutation we see in births today.

We notice how certain mutations can affect a child’s behavior.  The differences between the two stories are the amount of detail the authors gives us about how each child reacts to the mutations. In Tomorrow’s Children, all the mutants are very young, mostly newborn or have died because of how bad their mutations became.  Littleboy shows an altered affect that is not seen in cases of mutated children that we see today. He is growing differently, as if he is older than his age when it comes to physical appearance.  When we talk about how he is doing with speaking, he lacks the abilities to say words other than “Aaa.”  Littleboys resembles a chimpanzee in a way with the nosies he makes and how he acts around his parents.  He will dangle from his mother and then “he nuzzled into her neck in way she liked. “Aaa,” he said again, more soflty, and bit her just above the collar bone” (100). The comparison with an animal and littleboy is similar since animals tend to bite even if it is not intentional and this is exactly what littleboy did.    The children in Tomorrow’s Children are very dependent on the adults.  Though they are typically newborns that are being mentioned, mutations like the ones these children possess need extra caring while Littleboy in the other story is very aware of his surrounding and if something uncomfortable happens, he removes himself from the situations.  When the three men came on the beach were littleboy and his family was, little boy was all eyes, watching the moves people made in a crouched position (104).  With both of these stories, it is clear how much of a difference the authors made for each story with the different actions that come from each child.

Between both stories, acceptance towards the children can go either way.  In Tomorrow’s Children, Drummond assures General Robinson that there is no other safe place to go and no matter what, there will always be mutants and they will continue to keep growing in population (170).  While in Day at the Beach, the mother always refers back to her Saturdays by saying, “A day like today we’d go to the beach” (98).  She would attend the beach before she had Littleboy was even born and before this world crisis happened.

We compare and contrast what the effect of this war has done to the people mentioned in both stories and we wonder why these two authors chose completely different paths of mutations to tell stories on how the world turned out in their imagination. Anderson took the direction of talking about mutation in a sense that we would be familiar with but twisted it into a “new world” society by calli,g the new humans “Earthlings.” but Emshwiller went back centuries farther bringing back evolution by focusing on this one particular family which shows could be the start of something new as well.  No matter what type a mutation someone had during their time, there will be a new generation of a whole new type of human.

15
Mar 2013
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When the Vampires Tookover

In the book I Am Legend, society changed drastically for the character Robert Neville from going to a normal everyday life years before to being on his own, fighting against people he once knew. His life changed from when the plaque struck and he lost everything he once had; his wife, daughter, and humanity.  The community has changed from going to a normal society to fighting off vampires and became a new society that he could not further live on to know.  Neville was alone and had no one to turn to. His only defense was his courage and strength which meant he had to kill off all the vampires in order to stay alive. He fights vampires without any thought of what the consequences might be and learns the hard way of not following the advice given.

Robert had to kill off vampires as they crossed his path in order to stay alive.  He did this to people he didn’t know, people he did, and his own family.  His daughter died and had to be put into an entire field that was used now only used as a pit for dead bodies(13).   He came across people he used to be friends with and even coworkers such as Ben Cortman.  Every day Ben would call his name for him to come outside and Neville was put into a dangerous situation trying to get from his car to his house. Neville became aggressive with Ben and “jerked up his right fist and felt it drive into Cortman’s throat” and also “grabbed Cortman by his long, greasy hair and sent him hurtling down the driveway until he rammed his head on into the side of the station wagon” (34).  He feared of dying because he did not want to his end his life this way but did not realize that not all of the vampires were fully dead.

From afar, Robert sees a person who was outside during the day and notices it to be Ruth, the only human he has seen since Virginia passed. He chases her down and brings her back to his house and does everything he can to take a sample of her blood to see if she was infected by the plague.  Her blood was different than most and from the beginning she didn’t want it done in the first place.  She tells Neville she is leaving in the morning and before he knows it, he is knocked out cold.  When he awakes, he finds a explaining what was going to happen if he stayed and gives him pills to help him die quickly and painlessly.  These pills are what kept her and others from having them turn into full Vampires.  Neville did not take her advice and was captured by what is now called the new society. “Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed” (159).  He learned the hard way by not taking Ruth’s advice in the beginning so decides to take the pills because he knows his life will end anyway.

There is a new society that occurred in I Am Legend and also the Grapes of Wrath.  In both stories, the Joad family started off with nothing and had to work their way into finding what they needed to survive.  This is exactly what Neville did as well but unfortunately had to do it all on his own.  What I noticed though in the Grapes of Wrath, Ma started taking the lead in everything the Joad family was getting into which I believe made them more successful than what they would have been if Pa kept the lead. In I Am Legend, Neville thought he was doing the right thing by killing off all the vampires but really was destroying a society that was taking over.  The new society had to step in and stop Neville from his mass destruction.  Neville did not understand at first what exactly he was doing wrong but then soon came to realization that he couldn’t keep killing all of these vampires because by him doing so, he was killing off the society that needed to be there to help mankind.  In order for this to happen, Neville had to leave this society himself.

 

02
Mar 2013
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The Feminism Revealed in the “Grapes of Wrath”

American modernism has been used in different literatures for centuries and a big part of this modernism is feminism.  Women for centuries and even today are known as the “weaker-links” in today’s society but today they are looked at from a different view point.  Back in the 1900’s, women were known as the people who took care of the household, cooked the food, and made sure everyone in the family was satisfied.  This is what a typical housewife or mother does but they do more and sometimes it is unrecognized.  In the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck shows a clear transition with one of his characters, Ma, from being the typical housewife to transforming into the leader. It all began with the family leaving for California Ma standing up for the preacher, when the family tries to split up, and Ma putting herself second in every situation.

Ma is perceived as the person who does the womanly jobs in the house and that’s all she is worth.  No one realizes how much more of an opinion she has until she speaks up before departing for California.  Pa didn’t think he was going to be able to squeeze the preacher into the car or have enough food to feed another mouth.  Ma does not agree with Pa and states, “I have never heerd tell of no Joads or no Hazletts, neither, ever refusin’ food’ shelter or a loft on the road to anybody that asked. They’s been mean Joads, but never that mean” (102).  This is a prime example of how Ma opens up and expresses how she feels about the situation.  This is the part where Ma has noticeable change in her behavior which makes her who she is at the end of the story.

The Joads begin their journey down Route 66 where they meet the Wilsons when they stopped for the night to sleep on the side of the road.   They notice that grandpa is ill gives him a tent to sleep in.  Grandpa progressively gets worse and worse and passes away.  Both the Joads and the Wilsons bury him together. These two families travel together for two days when all of the sudden the Wilsons car breaks down.  Pa wants to continue on the trip without Tom and Casey since they offered to fix the Wilsons car.  This is where Ma intrudes and makes sure that it is done her way.  “I tell you, you got to go.  We made up our mind” says Pa, but Ma thinks otherwise, grabs a jack handle and starts to swing it and says, “On’y way you gonna get me to go is whup me” ( 168-169).  Ma demonstrates boldness and leadership by telling Pa what is going to happen with their family and also the Wilsons.  Ma progressively starts to gain the respect she deserves and everyone is starting to realize who the true leader should be.  The whole entire family looked at Ma in a completely different perspective.  They all were aware that she held the power (168-169).

Ma never stops developing her leadership role.  Throughout the story, it only becomes more noticeable.  Towards the end, when Rose of Sharon is in labor, Ma is dealing with many different obstacles.  At this point, the family is no longer with the Wilsons and has met the Wainwright’s.  Grandma and Casey passed away, Connie left Rose of Sharon alone and expecting a baby any day, and the family is living in a box car.  Horrible rainstorms have taken over and Pa is trying to build a makeshift dam to keep the water from coming in.  During all of these situations, Ma put herself second every time.  There was a time where Ruthie got in a fight with another girl and Ma handled it all on her own.  She also took care of Rose of Sharon, as for Aggie, when she was in labor. Ma states, “We’re a-getting’ outa here. Getting’ to higher groun’. An you’re comin; or you ain’t comin, but I’m takin’ Rosasharn an’ the little fellas outta here” (450).  At this moment, no one argued with her, everyone did as she said.  Ma has proved that women are more than what they do in the kitchen.  Ma became more of a leader than Pa could ever be.  American Modernism shows that women stay in the house and cook and clean, but there is more to it.  Ma has proven that not only can she cook and clean but be a leader as well.

22
Feb 2013
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When the 500’s met Yankee

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08
Feb 2013
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