Over the course of several months, as a class ad on my own time, I have read four book length texts and several sample writing pieces. After finishing each book length text, we were assigned to write an analysis. This course has helped my writing develop, become stronger, and helped me figure out a writing process that works best for me.
When I first started this course, my writing was on the weaker side. I struggled to get my thoughts to flow. As the semester had progressed I have become more in tune with my writing skills. I have bettered my writing skills and though it is still not as good as I would like it to be, it has improved significantly. My writing skills will continue to only get better as I progress through my college career.
This course has helped me find a writing process that works for me. Before this class, I use to not brain storm or write a draft unless it was a required process. I now know that these things benefit my writing because they allow me to get all my thoughts out at once and allows me to work through the kinks that come with a rough draft. I never really wrote my drafts on paper either. I have found that writing my essays longhand benefits me in the long run because it allows me to be more familiar with what I am trying to write about and the ideas I am trying to convey.
All my writing shows improvement compared to my high school writing. My strongest piece of work from this class would be my analysis for Heidi Shrek’s Creature. In this analysis, I offer an insightful look to Asmodeus’ character and the true meaning behind his character. As a reply to the line “I’m going to open my mouth very wide and then you look in there. I think you’ll be surprised by what you see“(9), I state, “Asmodeus was most likely trying to show Margery that if she kept sinning, Hell would be where she would spend her afterlife.” Maybe Asmodeus was just weird or maybe my statement “As the readers, we never find out what the sin was but if it was bad enough it would’ve gotten Asmodeus’ attention and would explain his interest in her.” Proves that Asmodeus was really the devil. Asmodeus states, “Yes, if you poke it in the belly, the arm, the fingernail, or the eye it always lets out a little squeak – eek – or sometimes a shrill cry. Sometimes my brothers and I, we all gather around, pick up one baby and blow air into it like a balloon and then we play catch with it” (9). Which goes to show that he had devilish intentions. I feel like this analysis was my strongest because I spent a lot of time on my longhand writing of my rough draft. The longhand writing of this rough draft benefited me because I was able to write all my thoughts down and then slowly cut out what I no longer needed. My writing process for this analysis was my longest time spending on the before part of the analysis process. I spent a lot of time editing through my drafts to get a good mixture of opinion and textual evidence.
This course has benefited me a lot. I believe if I would have waited to take this course I would have really suffered in my classes this semester. I took very writing intensive courses this semester and English 131 has helped my writing skills better which in return has helped me in all my other papers for the fall semester. I have been able to apply what I have learned in this course to my other courses and that has allowed me to succeed to my full potential as a student.
Bost, Sierra. “Asmodeus, the Devil or just Weird?” The Life of a Uni Student, 1 Oct. 2017, sierrabost.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/asmodeus-the-devil-or-just-weird/. Accessed 29 November 2017.
Shrek, Heidi. Creature. Samuel French, 2011.
Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004.
Erik Larson’s book The Devil in the White City has a dual plot line following Daniel Hudson Burnham and H.H. Holmes. In this book we get to see the unfolding of Chicago’s World’s Fair and the serial killings committed during the fair. As the fair progresses through creation and then through allowing guests to attend, we follow the killings H.H. Holmes commits. H.H. Holmes is eventually caught by the end of the fair and Burnham was successful with the output of the World’s Fair. Larson’s two-point perspective of these historical events creates a unique narrative to nonfiction.
Lucas, Jane. Peeling Away the Window Dressing of History. WordPress, 2017. https://janelucas.com/2017/09/26/peeling-away-the-window-dressing-of-history/. Accessed 29 November 2017.
The blog post Peeling Away the Window Dressing of History offers an inside look to the book and the history behind it. Though Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad is a work of fiction the history behind the book is very real. Lucas focuses on Cora’s time at the museum in South Carolina to focus on how even though it is a work of fiction there is truth behind even the smallest details of the book. She portrays that well in her writing by stating “Readers witness Cora’s reflections knowing them to be the observations of a fictional character but realizing as well that that the tableaux vivant of the Museum of Natural Wonders are as fictional as the novel, itself. Cora is not a historical figure, but her plight parallels the harrowing experiences of real-life fugitive slaves.”
Lucas, Jane. Saint Wannabe’s Spiritual Journey. WordPress, 2017. https://janelucas.com/2017/10/02/saint-wannabes-spiritual-journey/ Accesses 29 November 2017.
In this blog post Lucas talks about Margery Kempe’s spiritual journey after she claims to have seen Jesus in purple robes. Though Margery still has a lot of secrets and no one knows much about her, we still follow her through her journey. Lucas states, “Like religious devotion itself, following Margery on her spiritual journey requires a leap of faith—one that can feel like Hell, as Creature shows.” Not everything will be easy to go through but if you have faith you will be alright.
Lucas, Jane. Through a Glass Darkly: “Girl at the Mirror” and Grover’s Corners. WordPress, 2017. https://janelucas.com/2017/11/20/through-a-glass-darkly-girl-at-the-mirror-and-grovers-corners/. Accessed 29 November 2017.
In this blog post Lucas talks about the comparisons between Wilder’s Our Town and Rockwell’s Girl at the mirror She talks about how Emily from Our Town and the girl in the mirror are most likely going through early adulthood and are very confused about not only the world around them but themselves. Lucas talks about how in Our Town Emily is the striking image of sexual innocence and how the Girl at the mirror portrays the sexual innocence we all held at some point. She goes on to make connections to recent events about sexual predators in our society and how we never really say anything for the young women going through the sexual harassment which can start at any age for a woman. Our Town may be meant to paint the perfect picture of America but that is far from it paints. As Lucas states, “The same innocence may prevent us from seeing Our Town with real clarity, the way that Emily only truly sees her twelfth birthday when she revisits it after death.”
Shrek, Heidi. Creature. Samuel French, 2011.
Creature by Heidi Shrek, follows the life of Margery Kempe, a loving wife and mother. In the script, it shows her battles internally and externally as she tries to find what is right for her. In the prologue, we are showed Asmodeus tempting her and her reactions to his temptations. The script gives the reader an opportunity to dive into the world that Margery lived and gives a slight insight on the time that the script is written in.
Whitehead, Colson. Underground railroad. Sphere, 2017.
Colson Whitehead’s Underground railroad follows the life of a slave girl named Cora. Cora, after enduring enough on the plantation, runs away with her friend Caesar to escape the chains of slavery. While in South Carolina, they take fake names and try to live as normal of a life as possible. Not long after they have settled into the life they have started, Ridgeway is hired to bring them back to the Randall plantation. Continuing to run further North after escaping a few run ins with Ridgeway, we see Cora reach freedom.
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1983. Harper Perennial, 2003.
In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town we get to experience what a small American town is life. Throughout the play we see two childhood friends acknowledge their budding romance and a short time after, George and Emily get married. Emily later dies during child birth, leaving George to mourn and care for their baby.