Breaking tradition: Stories about induvidualism and pessimism

In the stories the «Sea Change» written by Ernest Hemmingway and «Evelyn» written by James Joyce both stories takes time and is written in the same period of the early 1900 both being modernist short stories. Therefore it is only natural that we compare the two stories and look for where they differ, and where they are similar. I will go over: Its themes, writing style, mood, writing style, modernist traits, and talk about Hemmingsway signature style, the «Iceberg» style.
The themes of the story are different. The story of «Evelyn» is one of a woman wanting independance, but is struggling with leaving everthing behind in order to acheive this. This conflict is portrayed as two voices in Evelyns head that battle for dominance for her actions. In the «Sea Change» the story is about two people breaking up. The cause being that the woman is leaving her former husband for a woman. Both share similarities in the fact that both were controversial topics at the time. Homosexuality and the freedom of women. This also play into one of the traits of modernism which is to reject tradition, and the celebration of induvidual breaking free. It also has the modernist trait of pessimism which is shown in the stances people around the main characters take which is rejecting the choices the main characters take. The man in «Sea Change» calls homosexuality degenrate and wrong. Evelyn is doubted by her closest. Its a pessimism in how the authors think that society wont change. A typical modernist trait.


Both moods are tense. Which is suitable since the topics and themes they take up is quite serious for its time. The style of writing is different in both stories. One is a story of a woman battling her inner concience and thus has little dialogue. I would say this kind of writing is best used to portray the inner struggle a character faces. I would compare it to text we read earlier called «Telltale Heart» which has little dialogue and is a story told by madman not seeing his actions as mad. The «Sea Change» story is written with much dialogue and goes away from unnessacary details such as eyes, clothes, and locale. All you need to know is that the MC’s are at a bar in Paris arguing. This is menat to force the reader to focus on the dialogue since thats the only interesting thing that you could focus on.
My favorite of the two would be Erenest Hemmingways Sea Change. The «Iceberg» writing style is one of my favorites because it dosen’t yell out its message. It leaves much of it in background not showing all the information, but just enough for the reader to figure out its message for themselves. Of cource that leaves the message up to interpitation and can be misunderstood. However by not spelling out the message the reader will feel more rewarded once they find out the message, thus leaving a greater impact on the reader.

This is just to say: A good storyteller can make the mundane exciting

When me and my group dicussed the poem «This is just to say» we all commented that it was rather strange. It’s content isn’t deep, it dosen’t exactly say anything. It was something new, unlike something we’ve ever read before. Trying to explain the poem without reading it is quite hard, so here it is in full.

«I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold»
The poem is mundane at face value. There’s no denying that. The whole poem is just about an apology for eating plums that wasn’t his. But what makes this so good is how its structured.
When you tell a story have access to tools that no one else has. Exaggeration, oversimplification, comparisons etc. Thats because only we know how that story went, and how we tell that story can affect the enjoyment our audience has. And thats what William does so masterfully by splitting up the parragraphs into 4 by 4 verses. By letting each line sit on the edge of a sentence the reader is compelled to read further. To uncover the mystery this message has. He changes the normal into something mysterious by simply changing the structure, and format.
My favorite is of cource the one we discussed in detail. The poem «This is just to say». The ability to make something we think of as mundane something much more wonderful. By changing the structure of it in a poem William makes it seem more mystiacal, and wondurous while not exaterating it’s content as you would in a story. Thats why I deem it to be my favorite.

Poem 288 Theme: Fame The cost of being a somebody

In the poem 288 written by Emily Dickinson the poem speaks about Fame, the yearning for it, and the cost that comes with fame.

The poem twists the meaning of the word nobody into a positive one by using line 4 in paragraph 1 as such “Don’t tell they’d advertise – you know!” This subverts expectations that the word Nobody is supposed to be a negative one instead of a positive. She is trying to express that anonymity is not a bad state of being. That once you’re known, you can never come back. We can see her thoughts in paragraph 2 line 3 and 4 “To tell one name- the lifelong June – To an admiring bog” She is tryin to say that fame is like a bog. That it sucks you in and can never escape.

The “Somebodies” she speaks of in the poems are people that we recognize in society. People like Elon Musk, Robert Downey Jr, and unfortunately Donald Trump. They are people who have accomplished great feats such as getting rich, gaining regocnition for their abilities, and becoming a political leader of their country. A “somebody” is someone who has massive influence currently or has made an impact on history.

I would sum up Dickinsons message as appreciate anonymity as long as you have it as if fame is inevitable. In her line of work as an author or poet fame is often unavoidable. Mostly because of the 4th line in paragraph that I mentioned earlier. Back then the concept of self-publishing was nothing more of a pipe dream. In order to be published you must put in hours of work since the concept of a computer was a century too early for them. Entertainment at that time was more limited than the ocean of ways we can entertain us today. So a good book often became popular.

I would say I agree with Dickinsons interpretation of fame. Fame puts you in the public eye on a grand scale for all to see. They put you up on a grand pedestal for all to see. A pedestal that will bring in all to see once it falls. You live under extreme pressure to perform when you’re under everyones eye. Your victories, your failures, your breakdows etc. They are all there in the public eye to see. Think of what that will do to a person. Being under the public eyes at all times. Ever heard of the child stars that go off the deep end in adulthood like Kevin Mcallum and Micheal Jackson? They were put under such pressure at such an early age, never being able to experience the simple existence of anonymity. Something of which would come back to haunt them later in life. The pressure will eventually get to you. No matter what you tell yourself.

Pride and Prejudice: A window back in time

Pride and prejudice, written by Jane Austen released 28th of January 1813 in the Victorian era of England. The book takes place during said time and is focused on the main character Elizabeth and her family.

In the story we see multiple messages. “Marry for love”, “Don’t let others dictate your life”, and “Look at the person, not the status”. But I argue the most important one is “People can change”. In the start of the movie we see Mr Darcy as the pompous, snobby, and all around giant condescending asshole. This is what contributes to Elizabeth swearing to hate Mr Darcy for all eternity. But when Mr Darcy is rejected by Elizabeth at his manor and gets verbally shut down by Elizabeth who states, “that he is the last person that can bring her happiness”, he goes some self-reflection and decides to do some good. He mends a marriage with his foster brother and Lizzie by paying an extremely large sum, and pushes his friend to marry Mary.  This secures Elizabeths family future and makes sure that the 5 sisters will not end up on the streets once Collins eventually throws them out. Darcy presents himself before Elizabeth once again and states his proposal once again, but this time with a more modest tone then at his manor. While his words alone probably wouldn’t be enough sway Elizabeth, what he has done for her family however does. “Words without actions are meaningless” and Elizabeth have seen his actions.

A novel of manners, definition “A recreation of a social world with its customs, values, and mores of highly developed society”. By definition “Pride and prejudice” is a novel of manners. It perfectly depicts Victorian nobility and its norms with many characters. Mr Darcys aunts depicts the nobility’s refusal to marry for love but rather for economical gains and status. To marry a lower house would be scandalous. Throughout the book there is this obsession with money with multiple characters babbling on about “20000” pounds a year when mentioning Mr Darcy. This can once again be seen with the books central conflict being around marriage. You shouldn’t focus on love, but rather the money. Something that is quite contrasting to Elizabeth’s values.

We all have our favorite characters within stories. Often its usually a main character such as Elizabeth or Mr Darcy. However, my favorite SECONDARY character is the mother of the 5 daughters, Mrs Bennet. While she is used as a comic relief for most of the movie, acting as the erratic and uncompromisable mother who desperately tries to marry off her daughters. While the constant push to marriage can be seen from todays lens as commanding and tyrannical to her daughters, but from a Victorian lens its seen as natural. Women cannot inherit. That is law in Victorian England. And if the family dosen’t have a male heir, the inheritance goes to the closest male relative, in this case Mr Collins. Her worry for her daughters marriage is natural if the future that awaits them if they don’t being a life on the streets. As she says in one of the final scenes “When you have 5 daughters, marriage is the only thing you can think about” seems natural.

As for why this book is still so popular and relevant in today’s times, I would say is due to the books time period. Recently I have noticed a certain nostalgia for the “Old times” trending around. Wild west, middle ages, age of exploration etc. This yearn for older times is most likely stemming from an individual taking romanticized books about said era as fact. Want to sail the 7 seas and explore the world? Sikes! Have fun dying of polio you seasick fart! Want to experience the grand middle ages? Sikes! Have fun getting murdered by looting soldiers! Want to experience the grand 60s? Better not be born black then. It’s a window to former time that few can recreate. Mostly because the book was written during said time.

The Tell-Tale Heart: A beat of irritation

The title Tell-tale heart is one that tells us something of the characters main motivation and the thing that eventually dooms him. When he is in the dark room alone with the  old man the thing that tells him that he is alive is his beating heart. When the old man is finally dead his heartbeat comes back to haunt then protagonist. While the officers are searching the manor for any signs he still hears his heartbeat in his head. He hears it beating, despite the old man being buried beneath the floorboards. And when he can’t take it anymore he confessed to his crimes, or in other words. He told them of his crimes. The heart forced him to tell them his crimes.

The opening paragraph is what I would describe as the words of a madman. What makes this so great is that the protagonist does not believe he is mad, but rather ascended into a higher state of being despite what the others say. His actions of murder is rational to him. Because when a madman can rationalize their horrible actions, are they really the actions of a madman? Or they the actions of a rational human being? It all comes down to the perspective of one person. After all, someone believes that a certain Austrian mans thoughts were that of a misunderstood genius.

Horror is a sort of thriller that has many incarnations throughout the ages. The realistic ones involving deteriorating minds descending into madness, or a serial killer hunting people in dark alleys, maybe even a scary dentist with a very detailed tale of a tooth being pulled out. Maybe you’re into more fictional horror? Maybe the tale of a dead serial killer murdering kids in their dreams are for you? The tale of rich white people seeking to put their brains into black bodies so they can reach a superior state. Fictional, non fictional. In the end it dosen’t matter. Because each one of the stories has tense moments that pumps up adrenaline. Something thats rare in this modern world of convenience.

Age of Enlightement: A retrospective

Age of Enlightement: A retrospective.

During the weeks where I have been learning about the period known as the enlightenment, the period in the 1700 that brought about the abolishment/reform of monarchies, questions about the position of women, and spreading of knowledge that are one of the cornerstones of the modern world.

What I liked the best about the Enlightement was the liberal revolutions during the period that made Britain a contitutial monarchy during the “Glorious revolution” and made America a nation. It’s this time period that made several constitution such as the French one and of cource ours. This period of modern history was when people had the ability to vote… as long as you were a man, owned property and were quite wealthy. Despite its early flaws reforms came and went until we have the constitution that we have today. This period is the official start of democracy and the end of feudalism (for the most part).


What I liked the least was the art section of the enlightenment. Look I get what importance they had for showing the thoughts of the enlightenment during a time when cameras weren’t literary everywhere, but did they have to make it so unclear to interpret it? For example the picture you see above “An experiment on the bird in the air pump” is quite famous for representing the enlightenment. There are several things to note here. The two young girls can represent women in this era one looking away from the knowledge while one looks head on with a wary look. The assistant in the corner is moving the cage, a sign that the experiment could be over or a sign that they won’t need it anymore since he is removing it. The fact that you have to take so many things into consideration before even looking at the picture is frustrating to me since unless you have all that knowledge you’re interpreting it wrong.

My question to you dear reader is whenever or not the questions of the enlightenment could be relevant today. Is the sentiments that are centuries old still relevant today.

Increase in Norwegian budget thanks to Chinese Investors


In the latest turn of events, the Norwegian parliament has accepted the billion-dollar investment from the Chinese security company Pootah to secure Norwegian borders and increase the respect that the Norwegian prime minister yearns for.

The chairman landed in Oslo last evening accompanied by his lovely pets Heung Konk, Jīngjì xue, and the ever growing pup Mínzú zhǔyì. The chairman exciting the massive Boeing adorned with the image of his lovely pup Minzu. Two nearby workers laughing about the vanity of the plane before being bitten by Minzu and chased away.

However a catastrophe involving the dog Heung Konk disrupted the event as he tore off his collar and ran off. Staff surrounded the dog before the Chairman tore through the circle and violently started beating Heung for disobedience.

After minutes of beatings the chairman went back to the podium to finish the interview. Questions regarding Heungs violent beating were met by loud snarls and barks by Jingji until the reporters gave up. With nothing more to answer, the chairman left the airport with a limp Heung being dragged along by the collar.

The Renaisance and Myself

Renaisance. To reinvent. That is the definition of the word Renaisance. During this period the world of art and litterature were once again flourishing under a new age where new thoughts and ideas were expressed through the mediums of art, stories, and poetry.

That’s the beauty of the human mind. It’s always searching for answers. Whenever its about how a thing works, or how a person thinks, or how we as a collective are. The endless search for knowledge and the things we learn from it. For example during the time that i spent listening to lectures and other students analyses I learned of the

What do I like best about the Renaisance? The way that people can express themselves through different mediums. Have you ever had something you wished to explain, express, or show but you can’t due to others not understanding your viewpoint. Then the medium of storytelling and art is for you. There is no single way to view art. Every viewpoint is different based on political views, class and social standing. Therefore art and stories can have nearly unlimited meanings. Of course the author has the last say on the matter, and there will always be a common consensus. But

The thing I like the least about the Renaisance? The need to read litteary works intended to played on a stage. This is mostly a school related thing that has irked me since middle school. Why do we need to read the script instead of performing it/seeing a performance of it? The story is not a novel that has been set from one viewpoint but rather a third perspective outside the of the characters. It actively hurts the experience of watching the play and can negatively impact the students opinion of the play as a whole. There are generations that grow despise the medium of litterature simply due to the bad experience in their school years. Think of the ages of lost poets and novelists simply due to one bad experience.

My question to you dear reader is this. Are we in a new Renaisance? Are we in a world where we seek new ideas to reinvent the status quo?

Hamlet: The establisment of an opening


The first act of Hamlet is an establishment of what will come to pass. A story of grim darkness. How is this set? With the establishment of the mood of the room.  With the first act starting at midnight on the castle walls it sets the mood for the rest of the play.

In the start of the play Barando challenges  Francisco by boldly stating “Who’s there?” in the cold night. This challenge is made to establish a tense feeling around the castle making the guards seem on edge during the night watch in case any invaders or assassins sneak in at night.

But consindering the time in which Shakespeare lived in without the convenience of scenelights and filming cameras, he can’t set the scene with visuals alone. To set the scene he makes the characters comment on their surroundings, such as Barnardo commenting that “Tis now struck twelwe” and Francisco saying “tis bitter cold. With these lines Shakespeare establishes the surroundings efficiently with the resources he had available.

An Introduction to Me

The name’s Gard Leira, a professional lazy person with an interest in English.  I chose to study English culture and literature in order to gain a greater understanding of the literary works of old and the cultures that encompasses the English speaking world.

My expectations to this subject is a greater understanding of analysing and understanding literary texts with the context from when and where the story was written. As for why is to fully understand the magnitude a story will have in context. I’m pretty sure opponents of the apartheid regime wouldn’t be popular in the government considering the fact that they referred to them as traitors. Stories written during that time about racial inequality would be more controversial then than now with open racism against colored in SA on the decline.

I simply wish to be exposed to universal classics of literature during the semester.

My favorite book is “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  Why it is my favorite is that it kicked off my interest of fantasy and sci-fi, in other words worlds alternate form our own in culture and history. Tolkien took great care to create these races from real world myth. In fact the fictional launguage of Elvish has connections to Polish, Latin, Finnish, and Welsh. And that’s just  That is why it’s my favorite series. Because Tolkien took time to think of his world. Introduce new elements few if not none have managed to replicate. That is why Lord of the Rings is my favorite. As for my favorite book in the series. It would be “Return of the king”. It offers a satisfying conclusion on the whole series and ends character journeys by letting it end on a high note.