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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

Course Correction, please

I'm a month into my MA English Lit degree and to let you know how it's going ... I'm already shopping for a different program to start in Fall. Casting no aspersions on the program, the school, the professors, or the other students (all of which/whom I adore) this is very much not for me.  I feel a bit like I'm losing my mind - the stress, the workload, the lack of direction of statements like 'make a substantive post of what you found interesting' when I found it all too tedious to be of interest - is sucking the life out of me. I honestly can't figure out how I'm getting good grades so far - I have no idea what this crap is, what I'm supposed to do with it, or why I'm doing it.  I feel utterly lost, and that every word I write in these courses is BS. This is just too theoretical and I can see clearly that, for me, this is going to kill my love of reading in general and literature specifically. There is, after all, such a thing as picking someth

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 Señora 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

It got much worse

After my last post things got even worse in the form of a fire which destroyed the house where my parents were living and killed three of our dogs. Since then I've been back on Zoloft, my mom has been in the hospital (and a nursing home) trying to heal a broken femur, and my dad moved in here. It's been one of those moments when the entire boat of your life capsizes, leaving you treading water and unsure of how you even ended up in that situation.     That's about all I can manage to say about these past four months right now - I'm not a person who processes feelings contemporaneously - I shut down and go into survival mode (resorting to whatever coping mechanism carries the day). This house here has been coming along, slowly but surely, and I started my final undergrad semester last month - it consists of a required public speaking course and the capstone course. The capstone is covering sacred spaces and places of pilgrimage (instructor's choice) so anticipate (or