Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beijing Bicycle: countryside and city life

Courtney Chatters Professor Steven Wexler ENGL 495 12 May 2014 World Text Analysis Essay: Beijing Bicycle The film Beijing Bicycle explores the modern-day Chinese lives through a meaningful story about two Chinese young boys who are at a disadvantage in terms of what they want or need to be considered at a higher standing within their changing society. The film is based around a poor teen Guei from the rural side who has came to Beijing to find work and a student Jian who comes from a working class family in the city. Guei’s bicycle is stolen from him and was sold to Jian and this event in the film becomes connected by the bicycle’s metaphorical importance and meaning. This analysis of the film Beijing Bicycle discusses the different cultural contexts of the story and some of its graphic features in modern-day China as represented by the bicycle’s symbolism. Its purpose was for getting around, but the Beijing bicycle becomes symbolic of the identities of Guei and Jian as Chinese boys who seem to lack certain privileges in society. The boys project their perception onto the bicycle and the persistent battle between the two could also symbolize their struggle for their place in society. Beijing Bicycle incorporates issues pertaining to the development in modern-day China. For example, the film shows class contrast. More specifically the film shows the distinction between higher and lower class and the countryside and city life, "Perhaps the most momentous specification of this opposition between the country and the city—a shift into another register, which does not guarantee that the proponents of each term remain ideologically committed to the same position when they change floors, so to speak—is that between planning and organic growth. . . . . . .[Edmund] Burke’s thunderous denunciation of this hubris affirms the power of time, of slow growth, of culture in its etymological sense, and therefore seems to come down firmly on the side of the country." (Jameson, 48) Guei migrates from the countryside to the city of Beijing, where he stands out from the city people, who are placed above him in a higher social and economic class. Jian loses his sense of self worth in the perception he has put into the bicycle, as well as Guei. I think it is something they both incorrectly think will make them a part of a higher importance in their globally growing society. Even when Jian's bicycle is taken away from him, the more privileged and educated girl from his school simply suggests that he can always just get a new bicycle. David Harvey makes the point that "Education sustains hierarchies: the flood of middle management and managerialism into labor itself requires education, drives the expansion of the proprietary sector. Changes touted as major democratizations of education but the dynamics of education stick someone more firmly to a commitment to selfmanage what has been lost to a stability of a labor market." (Harvey, 12) We find out that Jian cannot afford such an expensive asset and he stole money from his family just to have the bicycle to maintain of level of important and respect amongst his peers. I really enjoyed the film Beijing Bicycle. It is a great film to portray how China has come to power but this power has affected the people of China. China's globalization had divided it's countryside and city people and had made class distinction more noticeable making power struggles more apparent. Works Cited Beijing Bicycle. Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai. Perf. Cui Li Bin, Zhou Xun, Gao Yuanyuan, ad Li Shuang. Sony Pictures Classics, 2001. Film. Harvey, David. "Cultural Space and Urban Place." POWERPOINT. Web. 7 May 2014. Jameson, Fredric. "THE POLITICS OF UTOPIA." New Left Review 25. (Jan-Feb 2004): 35-54

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I write this poem for you Because you asked me to Your light it shines so bright, I know that it is right I trust I have a friend until the very end A treasure to behold To me you are like gold

Red Balloons

I am a child Crayons, stick figures, and cartoons My young imagination runs wild free like floating red balloons I am a child sometimes I am right and sometimes I am wrong Teachers yelled, "In line please children" single filed
 Yet, I grew up to be out of line, very strong I am going to miss you like a child misses their blanket No more green goblins, no more pink princesses I am an adult now, I will make it in this world my agility is my most prized possession Age comes and responsibility grows A strong will will always anchor me below Courtney Chatters

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Poetry analysis: Wilfred Owen

Courtney Chatters Professor Steven Wexler Engl 495SEM 10 February 2013 Poetry is not my favorite form of literature. To be honest, I have struggled a great deal throughout my college career trying to analyze and understand poetry in previous classes. Being an English major it is impossible to escape poetry, so it is very important for me and other students to find a way that helps us better analyze and understand poetry as literary works. By knowing who the poet is and when the poem was written can help us, as readers of literature better comprehend what is being said or conveyed. I have taken into account that all literature is written in a cultural, social or historical context, and understanding one if not all contexts adds to the comprehension of poems.With that said, in a prior English class where the course was solely based on poets like Carl Sandburg, T.S. Elliot, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth I learned how helpful it is for me to have historic knowledge about the poet as well as the time that the poem was written. I understand a piece of literature much better by looking at it specifically in its historical context. Personally, I believe knowing the historical context of a poem helps to understand it more. Knowing where the poem came from with regards to a time period and the purpose it was written for can provide a thorough understanding of the piece of poetry. Knowing the historical context of a poem can make it easier to analysis and to understand the meaning of a literary work. "Anthem for Doomed Youth" was written by poet Wilfred Owen in 1917. Owen was also a soldier during World War 1. Owen's poem is one of many works of war poetry actually influenced by the writer’s own personal experience in war. With this background knowledge of the poet, we can be conscious as we read of the historical importance of the poem. Owen exposes the reader to the real terrors of war, and ". . . . filled himself with sympathy for the dead soldiers and hatred to this unjust war. Through the title of this poem, it is clearly seen that Owen just sang the anthem for the innocent young soldiers. He thought the First World War brought the youth generation into its doomsday, and brought sufferings to people. The pity for thousands of dead soldiers and the hatred to this war were accepted naturally as the theme of the “Anthem for Doomed Youth”." (Hang 60) Throughout the poem we can see the real difference in the expectations and thoughts of the soldiers in war. "Anthem for Doomed Youth" is composed in the standard form of a Petrarchan sonnet, but it uses the Shakespearean sonnet rhyme scheme except for lines 11-12. The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG but the rhyme scheme of Wilfred Owen's poem is ABAB CDCD EFFE GG. The first line of the poem illustrates the "Doomed Youth" dying "as cattle." This simile is showing how the soldiers were killed and no more significant than cattle that are led in to be slaughtered without compassion. Wilfred Owen uses figurative language, imagery, metaphors, similes, and other poetic devices to convey his message. He mainly focuses on the theme of death, using emotional language to distress the reader, and cause the reader to sympathize with the situation and circumstances of war. The alliteration "rifles' rapid rattle" (line 3) is another poetic device to stir up harsh feelings to get the horror across to the reader through language. Also, in the first stanza Owen tries to convey the sounds heard in war from the weapons “guns” “rifles” and “shells.” In the last stanza, Owen writes "Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall." (lines 10-12) In these lines Owen depicts the families’ responses to learning about that their loved ones dying in the war. All that the families can do really is grieve over the sad and devastating news of the deceased soldiers. The poem’s historical origins, vivid imagery, and realness evokes thought provoking views on wars, which we can acknowledge and appreciate even today. Work Cited Hang, Guo. "A Simple Analysis of Artistic Conception in" Anthem for Doomed Youth"." Sino-US English Teaching 4.4 (2007): 59-64.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Poetry analysis: rough draft

Poetry analysis: Historical Background - How knowing historical background of the poem as well as the poet helps me better understand the poem, better analysis the entirety of the poem line by line. -William wordsworth's poem "The World Is Too Much With Us; Late and Soon" was composed in 1802 which was in between the time period of The Industrial Revolution from 1760 to about 1830