Elementary

December 17th, 2011

Cover Letter

Posted by sasha in Uncategorized

Dear Reader,

This is an analysis of, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” a Sherlock Holmes short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This website represents a semester’s worth of work for English 170w, Introduction to Literary Study.
“A Scandal in Bohemia” is a unique Sherlock Holmes story where the famous detective breaks out of his machine-like and focused temperament for a moment, and manages to be defeated by Irene Adler. Not only has Holmes never been bested by an enemy, this is the first time a woman has been an equal to Holmes. There’s a lot to analyze in this story, and there are a lot of different ways to do it. I added a few pages to the website to describe more about the setting of the story and the context. The story takes place in England during the Victorian Era, and a country called Bohemia is mentioned a few times. In terms of revision of the site, I tried to connect previous assignments to the story. I tried to analyze the story in different ways, and the results can be found in the different pages.
I’ve faced different challenges while working on this website, as well as discovering strengths. While revising the website, I’ve covered the learning objective, “develop and use strategies for improving writing and critical thinking through recursive practice, self-reflection, and the process of revision.” I think this learning objective covers aspects that I’ve had difficulty with and did well with. I’ve had the most difficulty with the learning objective, “effectively using web-based technologies,” but handled revision well. When it comes to revising using web-based technology, it combines something I’m good at, and not so good at. I’ve worked a lot on using technology, since I’m not very tech-savvy. There are lots of things I need to work on to fully understand the Digital Humanities, but I think I’ve made some important steps.
A website presents information about a short story in a different way than a final paper can. A website can really encompass different things. I had several different ways of interpreting stories here – I had a Wordle interpreting the story under Digital Humanities, and a Powerpoint interpreting the story in a Freudian way. Each of the assignments shows a different way of seeing the story, while in a final paper, it’s only realistic to include maybe two types of interpretation before tying it all together. I have images, graphs and a presentation. A website is much more visual than a final paper, but it’s also been a huge amount of work.
A hope this website gives a few different views on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” as well as shows the amount of work and revision I’ve put into my English 170W class. I’ve learned so much about literary theories. From the writing I’ve done in this class, I’ve taken away better critical thinking skills that I will definitely apply to future classes in the English Major, and even anything else I read.
I hope my website clearly shows the steps I took- the steps anyone can take – to analyze any work of literature. I hope the theories are clear and simple, and that the site is easy to navigate. As Sherlock Holmes says, I hope it’s all, “elementary.” : )

December 17th, 2011

Bohemian Research

Posted by sasha in Uncategorized

This is the Writing Part from Web Wednesday 11/16

While doing research for, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” there wasn’t much that I could find about Sherlock Holmes and his relationships with women. I thought it was interesting how Holmes is thought to be a logical and rational man, so he therefore has nothing to do with women. As readers, we accept this. So it’s strange when we read the story and find that he acts a bit more tenderly towards Irene Adler. The idea that he might be interested in her is a bit shocking to Holmes followers. That in itself is strange. You’d think you’d be able to find more research about Holmes and his relationship with women, even more information about how Irene Adler is a femme fatale, completely on par with Holmes. I only really found one article that really delved into the issue. Am I searching incorrectly? It boggles the mind, actually. I think I need to try a few different databases. Where are the arguments being made that Irene is a feminist? Is her behavior strange for a woman in a detective story? I can only find facts about her as a character. There aren’t many arguments being made out there, unless my searches aren’t complete. I think I’ll try to research characteristics of Irene Adler. Maybe I’m being too general. I’ll try to do a search for, “psychology of revenge” or something and see where it takes me. Or…is that putting my own interpretation into the research? I should be researching objectively, so I don’t side with one of the arguments I find just yet. I should read them all and then come to a conclusion about Irene Adler’s place in Sherlock Holmes’ mind…

December 17th, 2011

Mania in the Marriage Plot

Posted by sasha in Uncategorized

This is the Writing Part from Web Wednesday 11/30

The Hannas’ house was a hundred-year-old Tudor. . . . Inside, everything was tasteful and half falling apart. The Oriental carpets had stains. The brick-red kitchen linoleum was thirty years old. When Mitchell used the powder room, he saw that the toilet paper dispenser had been repaired with Scotch tape. So had the peeling wallpaper in the hallway. (74)

New Critics look for the meaning of a literary work by looking solely at the literary work. They look at the text’s structure, and they try to find, “tensions and conflicts” in the writing that resolve into the meaning of the piece. In this selection from, “The Marriage Plot,” we can see the theme of, “mania” through the conflicts found in it. The house is old and sturdy, however, it’s falling apart on the inside. It denotes mania through the use of words that demonstrate something falling apart from the inside-out. Eugenides’s word choice is key to the development of the theme. The Hannas live in a house that only a wealthy family could afford, but it is slowly deteriorating. Small details are coming apart, and are held together flimsily, either by Scotch tape, or its not fixed at all. Like the manic Leonard, Madeleine couldn’t tell he was falling apart from the inside out, since he seemed so strong and sturdy from the outside. This passage reflects Madeleine’s perception of Leonard. It’s just reversed, as Leonard’s perception of Madeleine’s house. The mania stays the same. It’s like looking into a literary mirror…

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