New Member Post

Hello everyone. I writing in quickly because I was excited by a post. The idea of an English major has been ringing in my ears for about 4 years now but it wasn't a brilliant idea until I saw the combination of creative writing AND history along with it.

I began eating up the English and literature classes my community college offered online and ended up back with psychology classes and now am finally ready to go back to on campus classes for more.

I'm currently in the middle of feeling nervous about getting stuff together for an apartment or dorm on campus but my excitement to be on campus is SO full I'm a bit worried for myself. This has turned into brief moments of self soothing pets to reassure myself that I am okay. XD

Anyway, I am sure you all will see me here to comment on others post but I am open to new friends here on LJ (add me) as well as on aim. Feel free to ask for that information.
Me 2014

Are we in a dystopian society?

I continue to be disappointed with the human species and I see no end in sight. We are not capable of being much more than we are in a physical sense... there is no X-man, no Superman, no Incredible Hulk in our physical future. We are, like it or not, a mass of flesh and blood, unable to keep ourselves focused on anything for an extended period of time because we always worry about what someone else has and why don't we have it. Our core is not that far away from this veneer of success and "good will" we exhibit- at our core we are nothing more than animals and that is the extend of our physical interaction. We don't like someone's politics or skin color or religion... we as animals can kill them and not be remorseful about it because in the end it's all about maximizing our survival. Animals do not experience guilt- they only want pleasure for themselves. And we are animals.

So lately I've been thinking about the progress of the dystopian film/novel genre and how it relates to the human condition. Humans are good at creating things to enhance their ease of life... we no longer have to pick cotton by hand, or bale hay or have horses to take us from point A to point B. Yes, we humans have created technologies that help us "progress" down the path of the human condition. But does this increase in technology simply give us more pleasure or does it help us become more human? And what is it to "become more human?"

I look at a film like Fritz Lang's Metropolis and I see man as slave to the machine... a world built upon the ideas of superior science, but the world cannot survive without a subclass of humans working like animals to keep the illusion alive. In the 20s, this was evident in the way human labor was used in the factories... inhuman conditions, low wages, wretched living conditions. Fast forward 25 years to George Orwell's 1984 and man is still living in wretched conditions but the gap between worker and elite is not only more evident, but it is seemingly embraced by the poor who are "content" to live in their own world and the elites come to their world only for things like prostitutes or real alcoholic beverages... a brief glimpse of an old world where people were perhaps valued as more than cogs in a machine but less valued for their human qualities in 1984. Fast forward another 25 years and the film The Planet of the Apes shows an upside down world where even the human elites have been ousted, man himself has been ousted as the ape has taken over. But as one looks at that film, the apes seem to have taken the characteristics of man, so is it really that much of a change? It only goes to show that man and ape are at the core animals who instinctively attack and kill in the name of some sort of god. While the film is amusing in the sense that men are herded like animals it really doesn't look at an alternative elite (apes) as being any better than humans were... in fact the apes have regressed to perhaps a Middle Ages way of existence.

Two more modern takes on humans being in hellish conditions are The Terminator films and The Matrix films. In The Terminator saga, man has been taken over by technology and desperately tries to survive in a bleak future where they are hunted down and eliminated because the machines are self aware and completely able to take care of themselves. Man is just a bad memory, a step in the evolutionary path toward machine dominance. But alas there is the hope that with the leadership of a nondescript human John Connor that the superior machines can be defeated (yeah right). And in The Matrix, man is reduced to the lowest of the low... just "energy" for the computer program known as The Matrix to survive. Human have their electrical energy sucked out of them as they reside in vast hatching rooms, all the while living in a fantasy world unless some enlightened rebel selects them to take a pill and see how the world really is.

They don't call these books and films science fiction for nothing. The ideas are from the minds of men and in all these examples, man is seen as a victim, never seen as the rot cause for the problems. But man IS THE ROOT CAUSE for these problems, just as he is in 2017 in the here and now. Instead of trying to create a world where everyone helps each other to succeed, we are now seeing a President who wants to isolate the United States, the voodoo of religion still being the root cause for the majority of global conflict and the subtle difference in people being reason enough to kill each other so that humans can be safe and content. But this is the human condition... we don't want to share... we want as much as we can get instead of trying to help others rise up and thus bringing everyone up in the process.

Humans are easily manipulated and humans with power over the means of production will use their power to stay in their comfortable dominance forever. The human condition is nothing more than an animalistic condition with some tech thrown in for good measure. This is why I really believe we are part of some sort of superior intelligence's experiment (or maybe extraterrestrial game show) because how we treat each other MAKES NO SENSE. We are not "human" - we have not earned the right to be called humans. We are simply animals who have no idea how to make the evolutionary jump to humanity. But is that truly a jump?


Hello, fellow English lovers! My name's Erica and I just joined this community after a two-year long hiatus from LJ (I can be quite forgetful) so I thought I'd pop in.

I'm currently attending my third year of school at a liberal arts college in New England as a English major with a concentration in Creative Writing; I plan on graduating with my Bachelor's in '15 and am currently undecided as to whether or not I want to add a History minor. My two favorite hobbies are, of course, reading and writing.

I am very open to conversation and any questions someone might have for me! I hope you all have a wonderful summer! 
  • Current Mood
    awake awake

*happy face*

Ladies and gents, I thought I’d let you know that re my „oh my god thesis aaarrrggghhh” entry, it was helpful and thank you if you commented. My idea has been accepted, and now that it has, I’ll write it here.

Taken from the email I sent a day or two ago, written as is:

[...]  poetry in heavy metal lyrics, plenty of it about. Specifically I would use Iron Maiden's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem and song itself), as the song was written around the poem. I would begin with this and widen it out to not only other songs and bands in the heavy metal genre (Nightwish, Sirenia, et al), but also other poetry and poets (Chaucer, for example).

Andrew said he’d take it on; he’s a Coleridge specialist, and a musician to boot, so I hope he can see what I would mean to do with this or how I came up with it, if you see what I mean. (Didn't expect a response this quick.) I probably won’t be this happy six weeks into writing and researching the thing but for now, I feel I could explode with happiness.

I don't think it sounds too out there. we’ll see! Tell me what y'all think. 

  • Current Music
    Tarja Turunen
I am the best

Switching majors

Hello all, new member. Dehlia, 24, current sophomore.

So I'm wondering if I'm just completely nuts for doing this or maybe on the right track. I guess I'm looking for people who are or were in the same situation as I am and could offer some feedback?

I'm 99% sure I want to switch from journalism to English. Essentially, writing is always what I've wanted to do. However, I decided awhile ago that maybe journalism was the more "logical" approach to finding a career.

Yet, I find that it's actually eating my soul. I hate it. I hate reporting, I hate interviewing people, I hate the legalities, and I spend all semester wishing I had the free time to read and write more. It all accumulated into a full-scale meltdown just prior to this Fall semester starting, because I would pretty much rather die than sit through another one of these classes.

This is not even counting how I've never felt I was in the right place within these classes, and never really jived with the people there.

I dropped the J-classes I was planning to take in favor of some English Lit. courses to feel it out and get an idea before I take the plunge into officially changing.

So is it totally silly of me to make this transition? I'm aware of the consequences. I know I'll have to take more classes and probably graduate later than originally thought, I know that it's not some magical portal into writing stardom. In fact, I'm quite content with the idea of living as a copywriter and maybe self-publishing on the side, or going on to teach later in life.

Has anyone here made the successful (or at least felt better about life since) transition from one major into English?

(no subject)

I have a thesis idea. It's a bit out of left field. How do I write the proposal so that it sounds good- regarding detail and stuff? I'm terrified of writing it because if it's shot down, I have nothing else.

Any ideas? Ta, all.

the REAL method of a thesis...

While doing a paper on my research so far, there was a part that involved stating the method of our research. Well, for all the blather I wrote there here is the real, daily, method:

* get up
* coffee
* procrastinate: play on internet
* coffee
* read
* procrastinate: solitaire (have to get my win percentage up!)
* coffee
* read
* write a bit
* have a nap
* coffee
* write a bit more
* go for a walk to clear my head
* get distracted by something pretty on tv
* go to bed

Great short stories or poems

Hello, I'd like to share a few short stories (or maybe poems) with a friend trying to practice her English, do any of you have some ideas as to what I can recommend? Preferably well-known stories, or stories with some cultural/historical significance to them, as well as she's interested in great works of literature and writers.

For example, she loves Edgar Allen Poe, but the vocabulary makes it a little difficult to understand without diving into a dictionary every other minute ("The Cask of Amontillado"). Something like "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway is a little better, as it's just a few pages long, is written with very basic descriptions and dialogue, but it still has a deeper meaning and cultural importance. Any short story suggestions you can give though, high or low register, well-known or unknown, are more than welcome and very appreciated.

Personally, I recommend "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. As well as "La Parure" (The Necklace) and "Allouma" by Guy de Maupassant (especially if you're trying to learn French). Thanks in advance!
Punctuation Saves

Antony and Cleopatra Essay Help?

Hi all,
I've spent the last two weeks on an essay about Enobarbus (from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra), but I can't seem to reconcile my ideas into a coherent whole and I'm superfrustrated, so I'd really appreciate any advice/thoughts from the community! My thesis has gone through several iterations and I'm not satisfied with any, but I've narrowed it down to two so far. Essentially, I think the parallels between Antony and Enobarbus speak to the relationship between love and death/destruction, but I'm not sure what these parallels say, or what the relationship between love and death is.

Essay OutlineCollapse )

If anyone has any insight at all, I'd really appreciate it because at the moment, I feel like I'm fumbling in the dark. Thanks for your time and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Edited to fix borked HTML.

T -17 hours, MAN THE TORPEDOES, AHAHAHA, oh god.

Ladies, gentlemen, people who probably have PhDs and therefore know more than me, I come again.

Can someone please explain, in as simple language as is possible:

“This paltry age’s gaudy livery, I love it not.” and aestheticism. What is Oscar Wilde saying here, why? What is he rejecting? Royalty’s finery? (Couldn't be that. excuse the stupidness, my brain is fried with fear.) There was a feeling of tiredness, a need for change, but why? (I'm hoping that I'm asked to explain my feelings on the “there’s no such thing as an immoral book...” quote, that’s a fantastic one, and everyone knows the famous “wallpaper” quote, but that won’t appear.)

Here’s one I boggle at: “What is the meaning of ‘reflection’ and ‘shadow’ in Plato’s thought?  How does the mirror function in representing vanity and sin in medieval visual representations?” I just... WTF, what has Plato to do with this?

What movements are found under modernism and name names. What. I wasn't there for these classes but these questions may come up... hopefully my professor will be kind to me! (probably not but one can dream, eh?)

How do you understand Woolf’s principles of literary psychology in view of the statement “life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of the consciousness to the end,” I would be tempted to say that all life is a stage when confronted with this one- and who said that, I don't remember. I have no idea what that quote even means never mind what she was referring to in it.

Has anyone read Orlando? I have no idea how it was different to Mrs Dalloway or To the Lighthouse... authorial goal? Someone kindly enlighten me?

I'm not sunk yet. Nearly there, though, there are questions on either Finnegan's Wake or Ulysses (both Joyce) and I've never read either, but I know what Ulysses is about.

ETA: this was for an exam. I have a retake. I don't see what Plato has to do with a thing here. I was asking for general, simple pointers, not asking for homework help... specific answers are needed here and I thought "well, perhaps this lot might be able to help a bit, someone's bound to know more than you". I think I was wrong about FW, I think it was actually Portrait, which I will read. 

  • Current Music