Friday, October 29, 2010

Thesis Blog

1. The weak statement is statement A. The author just makes a generalized statement as to what he or she is writing about.  There is no real claim examining the pros or cons.

2. The weak statement is statement A. The thesis statement is to generalized. We might assume that the author is stating his or her own opinion.

3. The weak statement is statement B. The thesis statement does not make any claims. Everyone knows that young people are targeted by the jean industry. What are you trying to state in your paper? 

4. The weak statement is statement A. Whoever has read Othello knows it is a play about love and jealousy. The thesis does not support any claims.

5. The weak statement is A. Although statement A is longer and goes more in depth with information about the punk rock group Minor Threat, the author is also stating his or her own opinion, and does not have any claims. In a thesis statement we should stay away from using the words me. You do not want the thesis to make a generalized statement.   

My thesis:
           Tim O’Brien’s biography helps to analyze the meaning behind the marvel of his storytelling, as he writes the novel “The Things They Carried,” based on truth and fiction. 

I believe that my thesis statement is a strong because it is specific to the essay I am writing. I will be able to find evidence to prove my thesis statement. To make it stronger I am deciding to change “truth and fiction” to become “truth or fiction.” This can help me explain whether or not Tim O’Brien’s novel is really fact or fiction. It can also be strong, because it can be arguable. People will be able to agree or disagree with my thesis once I support my claims with evidence. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Source Evaluation

Janis E Haswell. “The Craft Of The Short Story in Retelling the Viet Nam War: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.” The South Carolina Review 37.1 (2004): 94-109. Humanities Module, ProQuest. Web. 19 Oct. 2010.  

            This article is tells me about the craft of Tim O’Brien’s novel, “The Things They Carried,” and how it retells the stories of soldiers’ in Vietnam. It explains how the “The Things They Carried” is a thoughtful and reflexive sequence of stories with violence and carnage of war. I will use this article for my third essay, because it will help me to analysis Tim O’Brien’s biography and will help me to interpret the novel and what the meanings are behind it. I believe that this source is creditable, because I found it on Proquest, a creditable research database through the schools library. It has given me a creditable citation and the person who has wrote the review is credited as well.

Martin Naparsteck, Tim O'Brien
Contemporary Literature
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Spring, 1991), pp. 1-11
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
Stable URL:

The article consists of an interview with Tim O’Brien conducted by Martin Naparsteck. Naparsteck asks O’Brien questions about the books he has written and the meaning behind all the stories. The main important parts of the interview I would be using in my essay are in pages 7-11. I have decided that I want to approach my third essay by doing a biography on Tim O’Brien. I really enjoyed the novel, “The Things They Carried,” and I believe that the interview can help me to interpret and understand the true meaning of the story. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mid Session Letter

                                                                                                   October 13, 2010
Dear Mrs. Cline,

This semester seems to have gone by very fast. I still can’t believe that we are almost half way through the semester already! I am now counting down the days till Christmas, and of course Christmas break. I have really enjoyed taking English 102, especially having you as my instructor. You have made English 102 very easy for me to understand, and so much more interesting by including, blogging, discussions boards, and reading material that has caught my attention. I love knowing we can express who we are in our writings.

My biggest challenge thus far in the class has been writing the essays, especially the poetry of witness essay. I wasn’t very familiar with analyzing what a poem truly meant. I have always been a good writer, but there are always those times where I tell myself “I can’t do this.” I have improved in my writing with every English class I have taken. Literary analysis was something very different from any writing I have done before. I have never had to analyze so much in my life. It has helped me change the way I assess a text or passage. It allows me to look for a new understanding of the text, and find the true ideas that might be expressed in a passage. My biggest success thus far has been the ability to understand the readings. The stories have been so interesting, and it keeps me wanting to read more and more. I’m not a very big reader, so that fact that I enjoyed the stories you have picked out amazes me so far. I have also seen that I have been growing more and more through my writings this semester. I’m not only writing an essay just summarizing a story, but I have challenged myself to analyze the meanings and concept of a text. I am now interested to learn more about literary analysis.

I have really enjoyed the readings in class thus far. Huze and O’Brien have really captured my interest. Most of the stories they write are very relevant to what is going on with today society. Although, O’Brien’s story is about the Vietnam War, it shows us the true meaning of what war is really like, and what soldiers in today’s war might be going through while in Iraq. My favorite reading had to be “The Sand Storm.” Even though Huze wrote with such harsh words, it allowed me to really envision the stories of each man. I can’t wait to start reading the “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I hope it captures my interest as much as the previous readings have.

My goal for the second half of the semester is to keep doing my best, while improving my writing. I will always have room to grow and I hope that my writing shows that in the upcoming essays. I also hope to be able to become more comfortable with writing and understand literary analysis. I would like to accomplish my goals, and to gain a final grade of an A. I know it will be hard work, but I am ready for the challenge.

Jessica Mulberg

Friday, October 1, 2010

Summary vs. Analysis

Tim O’Brien’s short story, “On The Rainy River,” occurred during the summer of 1868.  In the beginning of the story O’Brien says he has never told anyone this story before.  One month after Tim O’Brien graduates at Macalester College, he receives his draft notice on June 17, 1968 to fight in the Vietnam War.  O’Brien was now drafted into fighting a war, without the knowledge as to why.  The young O’Brien took a modest stand against the war.  He felt as though he was better than to fight the war.  O’Brien states that he is, “too smart, too compassionate, too everything.  It couldn’t happen.  I was above it” (O’Brien 41).  As O’Brien goes on in his story, he tells us that he believes his life is just aimlessly “collapsing towards slaughter” (O’Brien 43).  While in mid-July he begins thinking about making one of the hardest decisions of his life.  Fleeing for Canada and walking away from everyone, and everything he knew.  He worries about what the consequences of his action could bring him.  He would lose the respect of his family and community.  O’Brien ultimately decides to head straight west along the Rainy River, which separates Minnesota from Canada, or in O’Brien’s case, one life from another.  On his journey O’Brien pulls into an old fishing resort called the Tip Top Lodge.  At the lodge he meets an old man named, Elroy Berdahl, who changes his life forever.
In the story, “On The Rainy River,” develops the theme of guilt that Tim O’Brien feels, while opposing to fight in the war.  He goes back and forth throughout the story, examining what his true reasoning was for leaving.  O’Brien shows us the different struggles not only he had to make, but the idea that other soldiers like him had to make the same moral decision to fight or run.  O’Brien’s guilt starts to take a toll on him, as he starts to think to himself more and more about his decision.  Does he choose to live and let live, or does he choose to fight, but knowing the fight is for something he does not believe in.  O’Brien shows us his true feelings about the war, and the moral believes he has for the opposition of fighting.  O’Brien tries to ask us questions to make us all see the difficult decision he has to make.  “What would you do?   Would you feel pity for yourself?  Would you think about your family and your childhood and your dreams and all you’re leaving behind?  Would you feel like dying?  Would you cry, as I did?” (O’Brien 57).  O’Brien allows us, the reader, to make our own opinion as to what made him decide to leave.  O’Brien finally decided he needed to go back home and fight.  O’Brien states, “I survived, but it’s not a happy ending.  I was a coward.  I went to the war” (O’Brien 61).  O’Brien reveals to all of us how a young man, turned Vietnam soldier, makes one of the hardest decisions any of us might ever have to make.

O’Brien, Tim. (1990). The Things They Carried. First Mariner Books, 2009. New York. Print.

Here is a poem that I really enjoyed reading called, "Soldiers," by Stevie Sch: