Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


1. What is the significance of the information Douglass provides about the early years of his life?
2. What does he mean, on p.238, when he describes the first whipping he witnessed as, “the blood-stained gate”?
3. What have you learned from reading this narrative that you didn’t already know about slavery in America?
4. Explain the significance of literacy for Douglass?
5. How does Douglass feel about Southern Christianity? Why?

Pop-Up Makerspace

Last week I attended one of the Art-a-Thon event and it’s similar to an arts & crafts workshop. There was a whole table dedicated to origami, building legos, making clay, and even some fabric you can work with. In addition, there was even a 3D printer in one corner of the room and a computer powered by a pie (weird but interesting). Upon walking in, I went straight to the crafts table to make origami and after a while, I decided to check out the other things in the room. That’s when one of the students there let me try on a Google Cardboard headset and it was very cool because it allowed me to experience some virtual reality scenarios. For example, riding a rollercoaster or swimming in the ocean. It felt like I was actually there and before I know it, an hour passed by and the event was done. I had a good time!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

1. In Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry,” he states that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World.” What do you think he means by this?

2. Compare Shelley’s attitude toward nature with that of Wordsworth. What do these two Romantic poets seem to share and where do they differ in their relationships with the natural world?

3. “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?,” the concluding line of “Ode to the West Wind” is one of Shelley’s most frequently quoted lines. What do you think it means?

Marathon Reading of Frankenstein

I showed up expecting to be read to but  I was taken by  surprise when the Dean, upon completing the  introduction, asked me to read immediately after him! Well, I could not just say no to him so I took a deep breath and remembering to enunciate clearly and project to the audience, I started to read. Mind you all this was being recorded and pictures were being taken, for the Ticker no doubt.  What else can I say? I love the book and it was thrilling to read in front of an audience. I  really enjoyed hearing the various different reading styles that everyone else brought with their reading of the work and would most certainly attend another event like this one.

William Wordsworth

–In what sense does “Tintern Abbey” offer readers a “religion of nature”? What are some of the specific ways in which nature works as a substitute for traditional religion?
–Why do you think Wordsworth gives “Tintern Abbey” such a precise and detailed sub-title? What is the significance of this poem’s full titile?
–In the final portion of “Tintern Abbey,” the speaker turns to his “dear friend.” Who is this friend and what role does he/she play in the poem?
–“Composed upon Westminster Bridge” and “The World Is Too Much with Us” are both sonnets. Why do you think a poet might choose to work with such a highly structured form?
–Describe some of the ways in which Wordsworth’s poetry conforms to some of the features of Romanticism that we’ve discussed. What evidence can you find to illustrate this?

Marathon Reading, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

 Today, I attended a great event, which is Marathon Reading. Marathon Reading, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was one of the events from ART-A-THON that was held by The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.  Professor Hershinow progressed this event. She was pretty nice and attentive.

 Since I had never experienced of attending reading event. I was quite excited! I participated in reading like one page. Many people could take their turn to read the book. It was very nice to read the book with other people’ voices. It helped me to concentrate on reading. If I have a chance next time, I would love to go to the reading event again.


William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience

1. Blake describes innocence and experience as “the two contrary states of the human soul.” What do you think he means by this?
2. Compare the mode of creation described in “The Lamb” with that of “The Tyger.” How are they similar? How are they different?
3. In “London” the speaker says he hears “mind-forged manacles” (line 8) What do you think that phrase means?
4. What differences do you see between the two “Chimney Sweeper” poems?
5. The introductory poem to Songs of Innocence refers to a poet/singer/piper who composes “…happy songs,/Every child may joy to hear.” To what extent does this line describe the poems in Songs of Innocence?

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

1. What aspects of women’s lives does Wollstonecraft seem interested in changing? Why?

2. Wollstonecraft quotes Pope’s famous line “Whatever is, is right.” How does she interpret this line? Does she agree with Pope?

3. Do you think women are still raised to be “pleasing”? Why or why not?

4. What does Wollstonecraft have to say about marriage? In her view, what would allow a woman to be a good wife and mother?

Rousseau, The Confessions

1.  What is the narrator’s purpose in writing these “confessions”?  How do you know?

2.  For Rousseau, what is the relationship between feeling and thinking?

3.  How does Rousseau describe his childhood?  What significance can we draw from this description

4. Why do you think Rousseau chooses to include the anecdote about stealing from his employer?

5. Using your own language, how would you describe the narrator, given his self-presentation in The Confessions?

Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Man”

1. Pope describes the purpose of his poem as “to vindicate the ways of God to man.” What do you think he means by this?

2. Choose one metaphor that Pope uses to describe the universe and explain its significance.

3. What would it mean to believe that “whatever is, is right?” How would that affect one’s outlook or behavior?

4. According to Pope, what place do human beings have in the universe in relation to other creatures?