Link to YouTube video.

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Thoreau

Robert Keit
May 4, 2011
English 162W
Professor Zino

In the essay, Walking by Henry David Thoreau, themes of civilization and wilderness is brought up. Nature is a main idea that Thoreau brings up throughout the essay. Tuan mentions in the epilogue about place and “Routine activity and standard performance do not require analytical thought” (Tuan 200).Thoreau brings up this idea when talking about walking and how it should be an enjoyed activity instead of how it’s usually treated without any thought. As Thoreau says “Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return–prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms” ( Thoreau 261).
In regarding wilderness and civilization, Thoreau tries to fund the middle ground between civilization and wilderness, “Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness” (Thoreau 268).He also tries to draw a connection between Greek and Christianity .By saying that the Greeks called the world “Beauty,or Order”(Thoreau 287),he explains how other cultures saw the world and draws parallels between his opinions and other historic explanations.

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Arizona

Robert Keit
Professor Zino
English 162W
April 9, 2011

The story This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona by Sherman Alexie and the Tuan chapter Attachment to Homeland both have to do with personal space and place that is meaningful to a person as well as the place that one’s home means to them. In the story, the characters Victor and Thomas both travel to Victor’s late father’s home. On the way there, Victor has memories of the Indians to feel the attachment to their home lands and are attached to it both economically and spiritually.
Tuan mentions that “Religion could wither bind a people to place or free them from it”(Tuan 152).This quote can be used to describe the situation that Victor and Thomas are faced with. In the story, Thomas tells Victor a story about two Indian boys who try to become warriors (Alexie 476) The way the story describes and explains their adventure, it is refereeing to their space that binds them to the reservation and how the boys continue to gravitate towards it.
Throughout the rest of the story, Thomas and Victor travel throughout the Indian reservation in hopes of trying to go to Arizona to spread Victors’ ashes. They finally are able to make a deposit and fly there. Even though they feel so attached to the reservation they are able to free themselves for the sake of Victor’s father. This is similar to when Tuan says “The worship of local gods binds a people to a place whereas universal religions give freedom”.(Tuan 152)Thomas and Victor become free to help Victors father.

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The Lottery-Religious themes

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Robert Keit                                                                    March 27 2011

English 162W                                                           Professor Dominique Zino

In the Tim O’Brien short story The Things They Carried and the Tuan chapter Intimate Experiences of Place, both deal with places and spaces that a person might feel an attachment with and feels intimate towards. Throughout the story, the narrator mentions what items, or emotions, the soldiers are carrying, and how this affects them. The protagonist, Jimmy Cross, carries with him a pebble that his girlfriend, Martha gave him. Other items that the soldiers carry are guns, letters and photographs. Cross is the leader of this group of soldiers and feels a duty to protect them

The thoughts of his life back at home distract him and one of his soldiers gets shot on his watch. Cross feels that he is responsible and is stricken by grief. He wants to detach himself from his outside possessions. As Tuan states, “Intimate experiences, whether of people or of things, are difficult to make public”(Tuan 147).This is similar to how Cross reacts to the death of one his subordinates and wants to delete any past experiences he had about Martha out of his memory.

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fianle finale copy

Robert Keit                                                                                            Professor Dominique Zino

English 162W: Literature and Place                                                  March 19, 2010

Concepts of place and space shape the narrative-point-of-view in The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. The ideas of spatial freedom in the chapter Spaciousness and Crowding in Space and Place The Perspective of Experience by Yi-Fu Tuan play and important part in the story (Tuan 51).By following the deterioration of the freedom of movement of the protagonist of The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa, the reader will be able to understand these concepts of spatial freedom, constricted space and acts of submissiveness throughout the story. Third-person narrative allows the reader to understand the broader perspective of the rest of the characters and their thoughts, feelings and reaction to Gregor’s situation.

The Metamorphosis is told in third-person narrative which tells the story of Gregor Samsa and his life after turning into an insect. Third-person narrative allows the reader to “view” the entire story unfold. First-person narrative is also in play, to help illustrate the thoughts and feelings of Gregor. In Gregor’s family, he was originally the family member who brought home money. He worked as a traveling salesman and rarely was able to partake in the activities that he wished to do.

Narrative point-of-view comes into play when Gregor’s father loses his temper with his son( Kafka 310).The father uses a cane to beat Gregor back to Gregor’s room, “His father, hissing like a savage, mercilessly drove him back. But Gregor had no practice in walking backwards; it was a very slow process”. By showing Gregor’s lack of control over his body movement, his father easily dominates him and he is forced to act submissive. Throughout the rest of the story, Gregor becomes submissive to the rest of his family members, and eventually, cannot move on his own and loses the privilege of ‘personal space’ all together. This is further explained by Tuan when he explains about how a limited range of movement is related to the decrease in freedom, “An old person moves about with increasing difficulty. Space seems to close in on him” (Tuan 52).Because Gregor is having difficulty moving, let alone moving backwards, he has no choice but to allow his father to impose his will on him.

Third-person narrative is able to illustrate the  development of Gregor’s family while he is locked in his room. Third person narrative shows what his family is doing and how they are reacting to his current situation. A first-person narrative would be very limited just focusing on Gregor’s Point-of-view within the confines of his room. To help create an income, Gregor’s family rented out rooms in their house. To store the families stuff to make room for tenants, they store it in Gregor’s room. Soon, his room becomes a waste disposal (Kafka 324).All of his original possessions are taken from him and he becomes ‘below’ the rest of his family. To show how his family doesn’t even consider him a member of the family any more, they hide Gregor’s presence from the tenants almost as if they are ashamed of his existence. The sister, Grete has started taking up a job, as is becoming irritated at Gregor’s existence, “But even if his sister, worn out by her job at the store, has gotten tired of taking care of Gregor as she once had, it wasn’t really necessary for his mother to take her place so that Gregor wouldn’t be neglected” (Kafka 324).This is able to illustrate the slow break-down of the Samsa family because they are not feeling obligated anymore to take care of Gregor.

The father is also struggling with his job and the added burden of Gregor, “As soon as the clock would strike ten, his mother would try to wake his father with soft words of encouragement…his father badly needed his rest since he had to be at work as six in the morning (Kafka 322).Mr. Samsa’s life is starting to deteriorate because his job requires him to wake up early. He has trouble staying awake throughout the day and after coming home, does not want to do house chores, which are required because of the boarders.

To show how Gregor’s family is trying to forget his existence by locking him in his room alone, his mother tells her daughter, Grete , “ ‘Close that door, Grete’, so that Gregor was back in the dark, while in the next room, the women wept together or simply stared at the table with dry eyes”(Kafka 323).Tuan mentions that being confided in a limited space is another aspect of the limits of movement reflected in the limit of freedom, “An infant is unfree, and so are prisoners and the bedridden. They cannot, or have lost their ability to, move freely; they live in constricted spaces” (Tuan 52). This quote is able to exactly describe Gregor’s entire situation and how it is making his life miserable and slowly killing him.

In a narration of Gregor’s passing, which describes his mental and physical state, is done in third person, as well as in first person. “It was true that his entire body ached, but the pain seemed to him to be growing fainter and fainter and soon would go away altogether…He recalled his family with deep emotion and love” (Kafka 329).This is similar to how Tuan mentions that being confined in a closed space is the ultimate form of lack of freedom and imprisonment.Gregor is confined in his room and is unable to move under his own will,which is a physical confidment.He is also trapped in his new body which is cuaing his life to become miserable.His family is confined to the home because of Gregors situation and the consent attention the house needs.Thery also ignore Gregor,which in a way,also confines him in his his own body.  In the third-person narrative, the reader is able to go inside Gregor’s mind as he thinks of how his life played out in the time he was an insect up to his final breath.

The Metamorphosis does not end with Gregor’s death. Instead, the story narrates the life of family after he dies and develops their characters. Third-person narrative allows the reader to understand the broader perspective of the rest of the family and how they cope with Gregor’s death, after which they become very successful and happy. “Leaning comfortably back in their seats they discussed their prospects for the future, which on closer inspection seemed to be not so bad, since all three of them had jobs” (Kafka 331). Originally, Gregor was the only family member who had a job and during the episode of him as an insect, the family’s freedom was limited along with his as they tried to cope with his existence, which they tried hard to ignore.Grete is able to become financially stable,as well as her parents.They purchase a family automobile,which was something that they never done in Gregors lifetime.Gregor’s death was like a burden lifted from them, allowing them to become free due to his death.

Bibliography

Kafka, Franz The Metamorphosis, in  An Introduction to Fiction; Kennedy,X.J,and Gioia, Dana, editors. Pearson United States 2010

Tuan,Yi-Fu Space and Place:The Perspective of Experience; Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota Press,1977

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The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Robert Keit                                                                      Professor  Dominique Zino

English l62W                                                                 March 19,2011

In the Ernest Hemingway story The Snows of Kilimanjaro, the character, Harry, who is a writer, deals with an infection from a thorn puncture. He contemplates his life as a writer as he slowly and stubbornly dies and realizes that he wasn’t really good at his job and did not have a fulfilling life. He has flashbacks and thinks about his failed relationships and how he only lived for the moment. He thinks that he is rescued by a plane, but in reality, he’s dead.

Harry’s experience after death and while he is dying is similar to what Tuan says about time and space in the chapter Time in Experiential Space. When he says, “Subjectievely, however, space and time have lost their directional thrust under the influence of rhythmic sound”(Tuan 128).This is similar to when Harry has no more time,and no more space, because he is unable to move because of his wound and his life span is running out.

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The Fall of the House of Usher

In the story, The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allen Poe and the chapter ‘Architectural Space and Awareness’ in the book Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, both deal with aspects of the awareness of space in the home. Space is giving metamorphic sense in that it is a reflection of mental state of the current occupant.

In The Fall of the House of Usher, the narrator visits his sick friend, Roderick Usher. There, the narrator is horrified at the current state of the home and the horrid, supernatural images that he witnesses. The narrator feels depressed inside the home. These feelings can be interpreted as a reflection that the occupant, Usher, is currently going though.

In regarding the hometown mentions that how illuminated the interior of the home is can be a reflection of the occupants, “a third example of how architecture can educate people’s awareness and conception of reality is from the domain of the illuminated interior” (Tuan 110).As the narrator describes some of the interior of Usher’s room, “Dark draperies hung upon the walls. The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered (Poe)”.

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The Lottery

Robert Keit                                                                                                          Professor Dominique Zino

English 162W                                                                                                    March 8 2011

The short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, is about a small American town of about 300 citizens who have a yearly ritual that is called the Lottery. The townsfolk’s draw papers from a black box and the person who gets the paper with a black mark gets stoned to death. The person is sacrificed to help insure a plentiful corn harvest. In the in the chapter Mythical Space and Place, Tuan mentions that spaces can have mythical properties associated with them. Tuan mentions villages in other societies that practice this same tradition. The diagrams that Tuan draws on page 94 and 95 are similar to how in The Lottery, the space that is cleared for the victim is considered sacred and acts as their deathbed.

Tuan mentions that in Western societies, people tend to be ignorant towards neighboring towns (Tuan 88).This is similar to when Mr. Adams and Warner exchange dialogue during the lottery process,  “’…that over in the North village they’re talking of giving up the lottery’.’Pack of crazy fools’” (Jackson 250).The symbols of the names of characters and the symbols of the box could be symbolic as well. the color black being a symbol of death and how the mark on the paper is black and the box is black.

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final version of Essay #1

Robert Keit                                                                                                          Professor Dominique Zino

English 162W: Literature and Place                                                                March 6, 2010

Concepts of place and space shape the narrative-point-of-view in The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. The ideas of spatial freedom in the chapter Spaciousness and Crowding in Space and Place The Perspective of Experience by Yi-Fu Tuan play and important part in the story (Tuan 51).By following the deterioration of the freedom of movement of the protagonist of The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa, the reader will be able to understand these concepts of spatial freedom. Third-person narrative allows the reader to understand the broader perspective of the rest of the characters and their thoughts, feelings and reaction to Gregor’s situation.

The Metamorphosis is told in third-person narrative which tells the story of Gregor Samsa and his life after turning into an insect. Third-person narrative allows the reader to “view” the entire story unfold. First-person narrative is also in play, to help illustrate the thoughts and feelings of Gregor. In Gregor’s family, he was originally the family member who brought home money. He worked as a traveling salesman and rarely was able to partake in the activities that he wished to do.

Narrative point-of-view comes into play when Gregor’s father loses his temper with his son( Kafka 310).The father uses a cane to beat Gregor back to Gregor’s room, “His father, hissing like a savage, mercilessly drove him back. But Gregor had no practice

in walking backwards; it was a very slow process”. By showing Gregor’s lack of control over his body movement, his father easily dominates him and he is forced to act submissive. Throughout the rest of the story, Gregor becomes submissive to the rest of his family members, and eventually, cannot move on his own and loses the privilege of ‘personal space’ all together. This is further explained by Tuan when he explains about how a limited range of movement is related to the decrease in freedom, “An old person moves about with increasing difficulty. Space seems to close in on him” (Tuan 52).Because Gregor is having difficulty moving, let alone moving backwards, he has no choice but to allow his father to impose his will on him.

Third-person narrative is able to illustrate the  development of Gregor’s family while he is locked in his room. Third person narrative shows what his family is doing and how they are reacting to his current situation. A first-person narrative would be very limited just focusing on Gregor’s Point-of-view within the confines of his room. To help create an income, Gregor’s family rented out rooms in their house. To store the families stuff to make room for tenants, they store it in Gregor’s room. Soon, his room becomes a waste disposal (Kafka 324).All of his original procession are taken from him and he becomes ‘below’ the rest of his family. To show how his family doesn’t even consider him a member of the family any more, they hide Gregor’s presence from the tenants almost as if they are ashamed of his existence. The sister, Grete has started taking up a job, as is becoming irritated at Gregor’s existence, “But even if his sister, worn out by her job at the store, has gotten tired of taking care of Gregor as she once had, it wasn’t really necessary for his mother to take her place so that Gregor wouldn’t be neglected” (Kafka 324).This is able to illustrate the slow break-down if the Samsa family because they are not feeling obligated anymore to take care of Gregor.

The father is also struggling with his job and the added burden of Gregor, “As soon as the clock would strike ten, his mother would try to wake his father with soft words of encouragement…his father badly needed his rest since he had to be at work as six in the morning (Kafka 322).Mr. Samsa’s life is starting to deteriorate because his job requires him to wake up early. He has trouble staying awake throughout the day and after coming home, does not want to do house chores, which are required because of the boarders.

To show how Gregor’s family is trying to forget his existence by locking him in his room alone, his mother tells her daughter, Grete , “ ‘Close that door, Grete’, so that Gregor was back in the dark, while in the next room, the women wept together or simply stared at the table with dry eyes”(Kafka 323).Tuan mentions that being confided in a limited space is another aspect of the limits of movement reflected in the limit of freedom, “An infant is unfree, and so are prisoners and the bedridden. They cannot, or have lost their ability to, move freely; they live in constricted spaces” (Tuan 52). This quote is able to exactly describe Gregor’s entire situation and how it is making his life miserable and slowly killing him.

In a narration of Gregor’s passing, which describes his mental and physical state, is done in third person, as well as in first person. “It was true that his entire body ached, but the pain seemed to him to be growing fainter and fainter and soon would go away altogether…He recalled his family with deep emotion and love” (Kafka 329).This is similar to how Tuan mentions that be confined in a closed space is the ultimate form of lack of freedom and imprisonment. In the third-person narrative, the reader is able to go inside Gregor’s mind as he thinks of how his life played out in the time he was an insect up to his final breath.

The Metamorphosis does not end with Gregor’s death. Instead, the story narrates the life of family after he dies and develops their characters. Third-person narrative allows the reader to understand the broader perspective of the rest of the family and how they cope with Gregor’s death, after which they become very successful and happy. “Leaning comfortably back in their seats they discussed their prospects for the future, which on closer inspection seemed to be not so bad, since all three of them had jobs” (Kafka 331). Originally, Gregor was the only family member who had a job and during the episode of him as an insect, the family’s freedom was limited along with his as they tried to cope with his existence, which they tried hard to ignore. His death was like a burden lifted from them, allowing them to become free due to Gregor’s death.

Bibliography

Kafka, Franz The Metamorphosis, in  An Introduction to Fiction; Kennedy,X.J,and Gioia, Dana, editors. Pearson United States 2010

Tuan,Yi-Fu Space and Place:The Perspective of Experience; Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota Press,1977

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