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Mrs. Dalloway and Feminism

  Original Title of the Paper: External Perceptions and Feminist Judgments of Women’s Choices Through the Lens of Mrs. Dalloway             On the surface Clarissa Dalloway is a conformist and a seemingly vapid socialite whose main concern in life is staging an excellent party. But in Woolf’s use of the stream of consciousness technique, we are let in on Clarissa’s secret internal world. Clarissa is not just running errands for her party, she is also having an internal existential crisis. At the same time Woolf shows the juxtaposition of Septimus. He is Clarissa’s opposite in many ways, male vs female, younger vs older, working-class vs upper class, etc. Septimus’ psyche has been damaged by the hardships of life (in his case war), which Clarissa has actively tried to avoid experiencing. However, both characters are examples of the gap between the external and the internal. Externally Septimus is young, healthy, and able-bodied, but internally he is non-functional. Externally Clarissa

Feminism Through the Looking Glass

Feminism is “a simple concept” in that, at the end of the day it is just “about taking women seriously and respectfully” (Parker 152). With Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: and, Through the Looking-Glass written within the timeframe of first-wave feminism when women still could not vote, Carroll, undoubtedly, lacked any concept of the term or even the idea of feminism. However, he does write an unapologetically plucky little girl, relatively untouched by societal pressures regarding women’s behavior which could easily seem like a feminist figure at first glance. Alice does display bravery, intelligence, and strength. She stands up for herself and makes manifest the fragile autonomy of an unrepressed girl before a patriarchal society imposes too many rules and expectations upon her ‘proper’ feminine behavior. However, upon further inspection of three main female characters within Alice's Adventures , Carroll is clearly not, in fact, writing feminist characters. In the end, Car

Deconstructing Alice

Since all my time is taken up with school, I'm going to be posting some of the things I'm being forced to write for my courses. Several of these will be applying different literary criticism techniques to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: and Through the Looking Glass. This was assigned - for the record I hate this story and am no fan of Carroll. __________________________________________________________________________________             Our concept of reality, especially as it relates to language, involves definition through difference. We develop the meaning of words/things largely via the perceived gap between it and another word/thing. Deconstruction holds that any word, all words, in fact, have a “multiplicity” of meanings and that there is actually “a ceaseless play of language” at work (Parker 87). And rather than destroying meaning, Deconstruction actually “gives it many meanings” (Parker 88). The main thing Deconstruction is attempting to destroy, is a binary vie

Places in Motion - Reading Response 3

Places in Motion: The Fluid Identities of Temples, Images, and Pilgrims by Jacob N. Kinnard. Thoughts on Chapters 6 - 8 The very first thing I thought of when reading about the supplanting of one ‘holy’ site over another was Mexico. When I traveled in Mexico a few years back I went on several tours, including one of Mexico City which highlighted the Templo Mayor (an Aztec temple); part of which rests under the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. Also, on a tour of Puebla, the Great Pyramid of Cholula has the Iglesia de Nuestra SeƱora de los Remedios sitting atop it. As I understand it, from tours I’ve taken and books I’ve read, placing a Catholic site on top of a previously pagan/indigenous site was a routine thing in both the Americas and Europe. I believe in European history it was referred to as the Interpretatio Christiana (Christian reinterpretation). I also seem to recall reading somewhere that something was found under St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican which was probably

Places in Motion - Reading Response 2

Places in Motion: The Fluid Identities of Temples, Images, and Pilgrims by Jacob N. Kinnard. Thoughts on Chapters 4 & 5 I was most struck this week by what Kinnard refers to as “the “museumizing” of the temple complex” (pg 119), especially via the UNESCO World Heritage Site determination process. The mentality of imaging there is an “original” state to which the otherwise “active and fluid place” of the “living temple” (pg 118) should be returned, and then subsequently frozen in time to be “preserved” like an insect in amber, is mind-boggling to me in relation to an active religious site. Even if it were a genuinely disused archaeological ruin, the idea of ‘returning’ it to some imagined original form could be problematic – but in light of the current usage of this site I cannot comprehend how altering what is there currently could be anything other than destructive to how it is being used. I was particularly provoked by what Kinnard called “the ambiguities of preservation” (

Places in Motion - Reading Response 1

Places in Motion: The Fluid Identities of Temples, Images, and Pilgrims by Jacob N. Kinnard. Thoughts on Chapters 1-3 The thing which struck me most from these chapters was actually where Kinnard discusses the blurred identities of the Buddha/Vishnu footprints around Bodhgaya and Gaya. I was especially intrigued by the part on page 78 where he mentions asking Bodhgaya pilgrims over the course of years regarding the origin of the footprints. He explained that when asked whether they were the footprints of Vishnu the pilgrims would answer ‘yes’, but they would do the same if asked if they were Buddha’s footprints. Kinnard noted the same person looking at the same image would see “two interwoven or overlapping identities.” As if to say that the footprints were, for those pilgrims, holy (and meaningful) regardless of their origin. And, in fact, they might even be doubly holy if attributable to both figures. Or as Kinnard wrote, “[w]hy limit oneself to one or the other when one can hav

The Ethics of Eating Meat - Animals and Society Class Discussion

Q: After reviewing the course materials for Weeks 6 and 7, discuss the concepts of moral equality and moral recognition. How do they impact the treatment of animals and people? What are the ethics of keeping animals in captivity and killing animals? How do animals become meat? How does the consumption of meat establish borders between classes, races and genders? What are some of the ethical questions surrounding the consumption of animals?  Photo by Christopher Carson on Unsplash A: Moral equality is the principle that all people have equal human rights – or that at least is the way it should be; the ideal. Moral recognition is the acknowledgement that there are differences between various groups of people (different genders, races, beliefs, behaviors, levels of intelligence, etc.), but the ideal of equality should still be applied; the differences should not merit different treatment.  However, this idealized equality – which we still struggle to apply to all people – is most defin

Animals and Society Class - Discussion 4

Q: How has the question of humanness/what it means to be human changed over time in human thought? What roles do animals play in human thought? Why is it important to look at animals according to Berger? Why is important that animals cannot “look” back at us in the same way? How do you see Banksy’s installation The Village Pet Shop and Charcoal Grill and/or Sirens of the Lambs challenging the way we use and socially construct animals? How does the installations question the way we may look at animals in our daily lives? A: The concept of humanness is nothing more than a social construct. And where a living being falls on the scale of perceived humanness has always been determined by those with the power to do so (mostly white European men, historically). While the definition has broadened over time it has not necessarily deepened. True, it now includes women and non-white ethnicities most of the time , though obviously animal terms are hurled towards these groups as slurs even to this

Animals and Society Class - Discussion 4, Zoos

Q: How are zoos an example of classifying and categorizing of animals today? What role might culture have in their approach to education and entertainment of their videos? Or in the kinds of animals they have? How might zoos reinforce ideas of charismatic megafauna? Provide examples to support your answers. A: Zoos classify and categorize animals in the literal sense of often having like animals grouped together in close proximity; e.g. a reptile house, an aviary, a section for insects, etc. However, they also categorize them by popularity to some extent. The factor of “charismatic megafauna” comes into play in choosing which animals to keep, and where to house them. But it isn’t fair to say that zoos only house those animals we love to see. Zoos do work to be educational about the intrinsic value of every animal they display – plaques and videos will try to convert you to the merits of scorpions – but most of the visitors probably didn’t come for the scorpions. And zoos know this.

Animals and Society Class - Discussion 3

Q: Prompt: How are animals biologically classified? What are the categories? How were animals classified by Aristotle? How is the medieval bestiary or the Physiologus an example of a sociozoologic scale?   A: The system for biological classification created by Linnaeus in 1735 was a way of grouping animals together based on observed physical traits. Groupings were formed based on things like the way an animal was constructed (e.g. vertebrates/invertebrates), reproduction was accomplished (e.g. mammals/various non-mammals), or what it ate (e.g. carnivore/herbivore). The categories are: phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, species.   Aristotle believed strongly that all animals, and all other life for that matter, were inferior to humans. He constructed a “scala naturae” or “Great Chain of Being” which was a hierarchical invention of fixed categories; placing human beings at the pinnacle of his ever ‘ascending’ scale, which started with insects. His opinion became the autho