martes, 30 de noviembre de 2010

Assignment #3: Post Modernist Literature

BOOKS: Le Carre, J. The Russia House (Britain,1989-novel)
Chatwin, Bruce the Songlines (Britain, 1986-travel novel)

Compare and contrast the 2 post modern works over the semester
with 2 of the other 4 works you have read.

The Russia House: It has some similar characteristics with the Quiet American, it is a spy novel, but in this case it talks about another world that is a quality of the post modern literature. Both novels talk about certain political tasks. It doesn't have similarities with the Victorian era because that sort of literature was more focused on the good and bad guys, post modern literature has the same kind of guys but it shows the reality. In this book everything is based on very important information that contains political matters and the person who was in charge to make a manuscript was the owner of a publishing company. In the other four books information wasn't the center of the main story, it was only the thoughts that people have at that moment.

The Songlines: It has similarities with the Victorian era that is located in natural sets; however the diference is that the songlines novel is a combination of fiction and nonfiction. This novel is about a trip that the author made for a year where the Australian aboriginals have an important role in life. They believe that their Ancestors walked as they sang the world into creation, moving from one geographic feature or group of people to the next. According with the main theme this kind of literature show us the reevaluation with the past. There are lots of differences in this book because this is more futurist and maybe unreal instead that it talks about the real world.

viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2010


BLOG ASSIGNMENT #2: Modernist Literature

1. Which two readings did you choose?

- Greene, G. The Quiet American (Britain, 1955-novel)
- Hammett, D. The Maltese Falcon (USA, 1930- novel)
2. Compare (3) and contrast (3) the reading you completed with the ppt. on Modernist culture and literature.

The Quiet american: The novel is set in Vietnam, the war really happened it was the French indochina's war. It has a free direct speech about America (USA), the author expressed his political thoughts in the novel. In the novel the author expressed the change with the traditional thoughts and moralities and in the book it is shown with the main character. He was involved with a young escort and he was married in his country.
The Maltese Falcon: The main character is an individualistic person before the death of his co-worker. There is another thematic in his novel, this is the breakdown of social norms because Spide is a detective and as a lawman he supposes to be a correct man but he wasn't, he was involeved in an extramarital relationship and in a crime. The speech of the author is ironic and bitter, there is a kind of consciousness in the novel.
3. In your opinion, do you feel the readings you completed are very good or excellnt examples of modernist literature?

In the quiet American, the author showed par of his life in the book. Most of the themes were based on his experience; some critics said that the novel was a prophecy because that really happened some years later. I think this book is a good example of modernits literature.

In the case of the Maltese Falcon I liked the irony in novels because the author can say what he wanted to express in a different manner. I love detective's novels, I thought I just liked when everything was right, but with this novel there was little change with my likes I sitll like the other kind of novel but I just add this other ones. this novel is also a good example of modernist literature because it shows the reality of the societies.

4. Would you recommend these readings to your friends and / or family? Why / why not?

when I chose these books it was just because of their names, I did not think that they could be good books, but more than that I liked how they showed us a reality about the last century til now. I recommend these books to people who is not depress because it shows the ugly truth of the societies.

jueves, 16 de septiembre de 2010

Assignment # 1 Victorian Literature

Answer the following questions:

1.- Which 2 readings did you select form the list?

a) Irwin, W. (1820) The Legend of Sleeppy Hollow.

b) Poe, E.A. (1841) The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

2.- Using these readings, compare (3 examples) and contrast (3 examples) the works with the ppt. presentations on Victorian Literature and culture given in class.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

- Irving W. used in this tale the names of some characters and places that he already knew.

- The soldier ghost is a headless horseman whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball during the revolutionary war.

- The village is a peaceful place and people share the characteristic of good people they were pacifists, hardworker, church goer, protestan etc. the same as in the Victorian Era.

- There were a thought against immigrants. In that period they were in peace with others countries, but inside of it existed a lot of conflicts with the colons.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

- Poe was a journalist so he knew how the newspapers worked and how was the emphasis of the headlines of the newspapers of that period.

- Mr. Dupin is a character who has the features of the time he was a literate person who lost part of his fortune.

- The description of the places and people 's job which are described corresponding to the people of that time.

- In the case of the story there weren't losers but the good people who resolve the mysteries.

3.- Do you feel that the readings you completed are very good or excellent examples of Victorian Literature? Why/ Why not?

Literature resembled the culture in the Victorian Era. In my opinion The legend of Sleepy hollow represents a great part of the society in that period but it was just fiction for his readers. In the case of the Murders in the rue morgue it also shows the realism with the characters and their jobs, also the places are shown as they were in those years. Both books are good examples of the era.

4.- Would you recommend these readings to your friends and family? Why / Why not?

I am not a good reader but when I read I love mysteries books. I recommend these two books to all of them who loves mysteries and fictions books and who think that they can resolve the enigmas by themselves. I have a special person to recommend the works of Allan Poe that is my sister, she loves mysteries books.

lunes, 28 de junio de 2010

Shakespeare and Early Modern English

1. Define and explain, The Great Vowel Shift.

The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in the south of England between 1450 and 1750.The Great Vowel Shift was first studied by Otto Jespersen (1860–1943), a Danish linguist and Anglicist, who coined the term. The values of the long vowels form the main difference between the pronunciation of Middle English and Modern English, and the Great Vowel Shift is one of the historical events marking the separation of Middle and Modern English.

2. Name 5 dialects of Modern English.

New Zealand English - Philippine English - Singaporean English, - Canadian English -Cameroon English -Jamaican English

3. One of the problems with Early Modern English was a lack of uniformity in spelling. Which 2 people (1-English, 1-American) helped establish standardized spelling?

The British Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was published in 1755 and it was influential in establishing a standard form of spelling and the American Noah Webster did the same in America, publishing his dictionary in 1828. Public education increased literacy, and more people had access to books (and therefore to a standard language) with the spread of public libraries in the 19th century.

4. How many countries in the world have given Modern English official status?

There are at least 56 countries

5. The most recent statistics show that approximately how many people speak Modern English as a:I. First language? II. Second Language?

First Language: 309 – 380 million
Second Language: 199 – 600 million aprox

6. When was Early Modern English spoken?

It was spoken at the end of the Middle English period the latter half of the 15th century to 1650.

7. How are the use of Pronouns different between Early Modern & Modern English?

In Early Modern English: Two second person personal pronouns (thou, the informal singular pronoun, and ye, which was both the plural pronoun and the formal singular pronoun). (Thou was already falling out of use in the Early Modern English period, but remained customary for addressing God and certain other solemn occasions and sometimes for addressing inferiors.)
Like other personal pronouns, thou and ye had different forms depending on their grammatical case; specifically, the objective form of thou was thee, its possessive forms were thy and thine, and its reflexive or emphatic form was thyself, while the objective form of ye was you, its possessive forms were your and yours, and its reflexive or emphatic forms were yourself and yourselves.
In other respects, the pronouns were much the same as today. One difference is that my and thy became mine and thine before words beginning with a vowel and letter h; thus, mine eyes, thine hand, and so on.
In modern English, we can see the disuse of the T-V distinction (thou, ye). The use of auxiliary verbs becomes mandatory in interrogative sentences and the rise and fall of prescriptive grammarians.

8. Which language families does Modern English belong in?

Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Anglo–Frisian, Anglic.

9. Name 4 worldwide uses for modern english.

United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, United States of America.

10. In your opinion, what was the greatest influence on the spread of modern english around the world? Why?

Nowadays the English Language is one of the most important languages because if you know English you can probably work everywhere and you can earn your money to do whatever you want so probably that's why know this language is an advantage because is one of the most popular languages around the world.

11. There has been a lot of controversy over the true authorship of Shakespeare’s writings. Which 3 people are also candidates as the possible authors of Shakespeare’s plays?.

The 3 candidates as the possible authors of Shakespeare’s plays are Francis Bacon,Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere.

12. - Briefly explain The Oxfordian Theory.

The Oxfordian theory is based on the authorship of many plays, and poems that are attributed to William Shakespeare. Oxfordians thought that many works belong to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of The Oxford because of his reputation as a concealed poet. There are similarities between Oxford’s biography and events in Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets and longer poems as well as the language.

13.- Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, which according to the Folio Classification, fall into 3 categories. Name the 3 categories.


14. - In which town was Shakespeare born?

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon.

15. Which famous London theatre (built by actors, for actors) is connected with Shakespeare's plays?

- The Globe Theatre

16. Even though Richard III is the most performed play, Hamlet is Shakespeare's most famous play. In your opinion, what does this portion of Hamlet's famous soliloquy mean:
To be or not to be, that is the question;(…)

Hamlet has the internal fight if to live or to die given the pain he feels at his father's death/murder, and his mother Gertrude's hasty remarriage to the murderer. In this soliloquy, he wonders if it is nobler to bear his grief, or to take action.

17. Name 5 post-Shakespearean artists whose work was heavily influenced by the writings of William Shakespeare.

George Steiner, Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, Charles Dickens and Herman Melville’s.

18. Which of Shakespeare's plays are included in The Wars of the Roses series?

Richard II; Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; Henry V; Henry VI, Part 1; Henry VI, Part 2; Henry VI, Part 3; and Richard III.

19. Shakespeare wrote most of his works in blank verse composed in iambic pentameter. What is blank verse & iambic pentameter?

Blank verse was Shakespeare's standard poetic form, and this is composed in iambic pentameter. This meant that his verse was usually unrhymed and consisted of ten syllables to a line, spoken with a stress on every second syllable.

20. Name 4 actors from Shakepeare's original company.

Richard Burbage, William Kempe, Henry Condell and John Heminges.

21. What were the Wars of the Roses (1377-1485)?

The War of The Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival branches of the Royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York (the "red" and the "white" rose, respectively).

22. - Why was this war called the Wars of the Roses?

The Wars of the Roses had got its name because the houses of York and Lancaster. Both had a rose in their royal badges. The White rose for the house of York and the red one for the house of Lancaster.

23. - What were the names of the 2 houses which fought in this war?

The house of Lancaster
The house of York
(The "red" and the "white" rose)

24. - What prompted this civil war of the houses of rose to begin?

Following the early death of Edward III's heir apparent, there was a series of wars between the descendants of two of Edward III's younger sons: the Duke of Lancaster and the Duke of York because they wanted the throne of England.

25. - How did the war end?

After many battles a period of comparative peace followed, but Edward died unexpectedly in 1483. His surviving brother Richard of Gloucester first moved to prevent the unpopular Woodville family of Edward's widow from participating in government during the minority of Edward's son, Edward V, and then seized the throne for himself, using the suspect legitimacy of Edward IV's marriage as pretext. Henry Tudor, a distant relative of the Lancastrian kings who had inherited their claim, overcame and defeated Richard at Bosworth in 1485. He was crowned Henry VII, and married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, to unite and reconcile the two houses.

26. - Which Kings of England were participants in the wars of the Roses?

House of York
Henry IV (1399 - 1413)

House of Lancaster
Edward IV (1461 - 1483)

miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2010

Middle English

1. Approximately when was Middle English spoken?

Middle english was spoken between the late 11th century and about 1470.

2. What were the major factors which led to the development and the spread of Middle English?

The major factors which led to the development and the spread of the Middle English was the printing press and the variation of the Northumbrian dialect spoken in the southeast Scotland was developing into the Scots language.

3. Match the following Old English words with their Anglo-Norman equivalent:

A. Pig = Pork
B. Cow = Beef
C. Wood = Forest
D. Sheep = Mutton
E. House = Mansion
F. Worthy = Honourable
G. Bold = Courageous

4. Compare & contrast the structure of nouns, pronouns and verbs, between Middle English & Modern English.

Nouns: The strong (e)s plural form has survived into Modern English.
The weak(e)n form is now rare in the standard language, used only in oxen, children and brethren; and it is slightly less rare in some dialects, used in eyen for eyes, shoon for shoes, hosen for hose(s) and kine for cows.
Verbs: The first person singular of verbs in the present tense ends in (e)
(ich here - I hear), the second person in (e)st (þou spekest - thou speakest), and the third person in Eþ (he comeþ - he cometh / he comes) ("þ" is pronounced like the unvoiced th in think) Pronouns: The first and second person.
Pronouns: In Old English survived into the Middle English largely unchanged, with only minor spelling variations. In the third person, the masculine accusative singular became HIM. The feminine form was replaced by a form of the demonstrative that developed into SHE, but unsteadily HO remained in some areas for a long time. The lack of a strong standard written form between the eleventh and the fifteenth century makes these changes hard to map.
The overall trend was te gradual reduction in the number of different case endings: the dative case disappeared, but the three other cases were partly retained in personal pronouns, as in he, him and his.

5. How is pronunciation different between Middle English and Modern English?

In general, all letters in Middle English words were pronounced. the silent letters in Modern English come from pronunciation shifts, which means that pronunciation is no longer closely reflected by the written form because of fixed apelling constraints imposed by the invention of dictionaries and printing. Therefore KNIGHT was pronounced (kniçt) with a pronounced k as the gh as the ch in German Knecht, not (nait) as in Modern English.

6. What is the Chancery Standard, and how did it come into effect?

Chancery Standard was a written form of English by the government bureaucracy and for other official purposes. it come into effect because of the differing dialects of English spoken an written across the country at the time , the government needed a clear and unambiguous form for use in its official documents. Chancery Standard was developed to meet this need.

7. Who wrote the Canterbury Tales?

Geoffrey Chaucer.

8. Describe the medieval pilgrims who journeyed from Canterbury to London.

The pilgrimage was a very prominent feature of medieval society, they believed that each relics had miraculuos powers. Also Pilgrimages also represented the mortal journey to heaven through the struggles of mortal life.

9. Why did the pilgrims take this journey?

Canterbury was a popular destination within England. Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been killed in the Canterbury cathedral by knights who had misunderstood Henry II's order during a disagreement between him and Becket. Miracle stories connected to his remains began to spring up soon after his death, and the area became a popular pilgrimage destination. For that reason they wanted to find the holy blessed martyr.

10. It is thought that some of the stories in The Canterbury Tales originated in Italy. What was the name of the Italian book and who wrote it?

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

11. The Canterbury Tales is considered an extremely important book, both in terms of English Literature & in the history of English writing. In your opinion, why is this book so important?

It is important because the book show us the root of english and its changes.

12. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is:

a. A collection of German folk tales, similar to Grimm's Fairy Tales.
b. A collection of Japanese ghost stories, similar to Kwaidan.
c. A detailed explanation of the proper etiquette & behaviour for all knights in Medieval Europe.
d. A medieval romance poem, with Arthurian themes.
e. None of the above.
f. All of the above.

13. Who is Sir Gawain?

Sir Gawain is a knight of King Arthur's round table.

14. What is the challenge that The Green Knight proposes to the Knights of the Round Table?

The Green Knight offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day.

15. What is the similarity between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Irish tale of Cúchulainn?

The earliest known story to feature a beheading game is the 8th-century Middle Irish tale Bricriu's Feast This story parallels Gawain in that, like the Green Knight, Cú Chulainn's antagonist feints three blows with the axe before letting his target depart without injury.

16. What is the importance of the pentagram/pentangle in the poem?

The pentangle on Gawain's shield is seen by many critics as signifying Gawain's perfection and power over evil.

17. How are numbers used to symbolize events in the poem?

The poet highlights number symbolism to add symmetry and meaning to the poem. For example, three kisses are exchanged between Gawain and Bertilak's wife; Gawain is tempted by her on three separate days; Bertilak goes hunting three times, and the Green Knight swings at Gawain three times with his axe. The number two also appears repeatedly, as in the two beheading scenes, two confession scenes, and two castles. The five points of the pentangle represent Gawain's virtues, for he is "faithful five ways and five times each". All five of his senses are without fault; his five fingers never fail him, and he always remembers the five wounds of Christ, the five joys of the Virgin Mary. The fifth five is Gawain himself, who embodies the five moral virtues of the code of chivalry: "friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy, and piety" All of these virtues reside, as the poet says, in the "Endless Knot" of the pentangle, which forever interlinks and is never broken.

18. What is the significance of Sir Gawain's neck wound?

During the medieval period, the body and the soul were believed to be so intimately connected that wounds were considered an outward sign of inward sin. The neck, specifically, was believed to correlate with the part of the soul related to will, connecting the reasoning part (the head) and the courageous part (the heart).

19. Which actor played The Green Knight in the film adaptation, Sword of the Valiant?

The actor who played in the film was Sean Connery as the Green Knight.

20. In many ways this poem is, in the modern sense, a soap opera. Compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with a modern Chilean teleseries.

viernes, 4 de diciembre de 2009


To: English Director
From: Jeannette Ulloa Toro
Date: December 4th, 2009
Subject: Ideas for the Common Room

The purpose of this report is concerned with your petition about the common room for English students. I did my investigation looking for a comfortable room for us and I considered the following: I did a statistics about how many people are studying English in the university and I did a questioner about what they want to have in the room.

The most convincing argument in favor of the common room is the statistics and the requests that my investigation throws. I realized they are at least 100 people, and their requested are that they need a big room with comfortable coaches, with a lot of light in it, a quiet place, a coffee machine, and some tables, considering that the amount is significant and their schedule in some cases is the same.

I recommend using the room 482 located in the eighth floor. I would recommend the eighth floor because it is one of the quietest places in the building and one of the biggest room. I would suggest to put some couches around the room, a coffee machine in the corner, a soda machine, and also a snack one, the tables required can be round and small and we can put it in the center of it. We also can decorate it with cultural stuffs to give an abroad environment.

There is no doubt about their needs and their petitions are not so much. I think this project is going to work without any problem students will be thankfully with this.

Yours Faithfully,

Jeannette Ulloa T.