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Wisdom Sits in Places (I of III)

This is the first paper I handed in for my “Language and Culture” class. I found it an interesting window on what the professor expected. I was really worried about it, before handing it in, for several reasons. Firstly, I had no real idea of what the professor expected in a good paper. Secondly, it…

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Symbology in “The Women of Brewster Place” (II of II)

Naylor’s image of ‘Man’ is symbolized by all her developed male characters. Invariably, they are the doers and accomplishers in the story — and they always destroy what is around them. Thus for Mattie we have her father, the leader of the family, who also beats his daughter (almost to death, when she won’t tell…

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Symbology in “The Women of Brewster Place” (I of II)

Book authored by Gloria Naylor. Book review originally written in 1996 for an English Writing & Composition class Initially, Gloria Naylor’s book The Women of Brewster Place seems to be stories of various women struggling under the inequities of poverty and racism. However, due to her use of symbology, thoughtful study can reveal a deeper…

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Review: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston (I of III)

Originally posted December 2005 Credits: for my book club, who once again chose something fascinating I wouldn’t ordinarily have picked up. Synopsis This is the story of Janie, a black beautiful woman in the 1930’s. Told in flashback to a close female friend, she relates her childhood and three marriages. In doing so she also…

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“Dance of Death” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (II of II)

A dog amongst adoring sheep Unfortunately there was one other aspect of this book which I found profoundly irritating, and that was the almost feudal assumptions it made about people and their places in society. The women who appeared in the story were all supposedly intelligent, self-sufficient, and educated — yet ultimately they were all…

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“Dance of Death” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (I of II)

Originally posted May 2006 For the first time I’ve gotten a book club book which I found disappointing. I was surprised, since the book was part of a recommended series by a couple of authors who’ve worked together previously, so you’d think by now they’ve had gotten it right. However, as I noted already, I…

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Why I don’t like Jackson’s “The Two Towers” (III)

Advertising & Emotional Manipulation An interesting sidenote: studies have shown people look at advertising for only seconds at most, unless the ad somehow catches their interest. If the ad can do that, you look at it longer, and are more likely to remember the brand name. This means advertisers must pack a great deal of…

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Why I don’t like Jackson’s “The Two Towers” (II)

Women and War in History Historically speaking, this is nonsense. Women have been warriors throughout the ages, both in cultures which honored them, and in those which tried to suppress them. If the subject interests you (and I always encourage research), please read through the Women Warriors section on the fascinating web site GenderGap. There’s…

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Why I don’t like Jackson’s “The Two Towers” (I)

Originally posted March 2004 Credits:Thanks to Bob and George for thoughtful reasoning and feedback. src=”http://rcm-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/rcm/120×240.gif” >width=”120″ height=”240″ border=”0″ usemap=”#boxmap-p8″ alt=”Shop >at Amazon.com”>Please be warned there are spoilers in this review. I noticed in the paper today how many Oscars were won by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, which were based on J. R….

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Review: “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King

Book review originally posted June 2004 With thanks to Guthrum, oddly enough, who showed me loving horror didn’t mean you were one. ;-) King has actually written two books here. One is a surprisingly candid review of his memories of childhood and young adulthood. The other is about the craft of writing, and it is…