Rooms and Home is So Sad

Our firsts poems this year were Rooms by Charlotte Mew and Home is So Sad by Philip Larkin. Both poems deal with to different meanings of the word “rooms”. Mew used experiences to describe the security of a room and how we all spend lots of time on our rooms. How every room is personal and especial. On the contrary, Larkin described desolated rooms and used voices to conclude that despite the changes home is home. However, both conclusions give the same message.

What does home mean to me?

Home is not a house nor a building. Its is not the place you live in. Home is the place where you feel loved, comfortable, safe, happy. Where you can be yourself, where no one will ever judge you, where you will create lots of memories. Home is a place which you can go back thirty years later and will still feel the same, because in that moment it was your place i the world. It is like, for instance, when you love a song. You will hear it ten years later, and it will still give you the same feelings it gave you when you were ten years younger.

I love walking down my street and start remembering all the memories I have in each place and I can certainly  imagine myself going back after I grow old to the places I appreciated the most. Where i laugh, cried, hug, suffer and love.

How was my school year according to literature?

This year I learnt a lot about literature. I could notice that it was easier for me to analyze and understand a poem by myself. When I started having literature in Senior 1, I could not understand a bit the first time I read a poem. Eventually, it became easier and easier. But this year was particularly easy for me.

This year I have learnt a lot about Virginia Woolf as we also saw her in Literatura. I found her writing very interesting, compelling and meaningful. Nevertheless, my favorite topic these year was War poetry since I liked very much the way the poems we read were written. I found it wonderful how the two poems and the story were about the same topic, how excruciating war was, but  so different at the same time. They all tackled war in different points of view.

Although my favorite topic was war poetry, the activity I enjoyed the most was making the essay of the Hollow of the Three Hills and Harry Potter, since that series is my favorite of all times.

I took my a while to think what I disliked the most and sincerely I could not really think of some poetry of prose which I did not enjoyed at all this year. Of course I found some parts that bored me a little, like some parts of The Destructors. But at the end, I enjoyed either the story itself or the message it carried. I do not regret reading everything we have read this year.

I consider that the e-portfolio is an excellent way of learning since it gives us freewill and makes us exploit our creativity. Literature is a subject which I do not really need to study hard since when you pay attention to the class, it is sufficient for you to understand. I cannot think of another way of learning since the way we use now is very useful for me. However, I would like to see movies!

Ode on Melancholy is a poem that reflects the author’s feelings about the word melancholy. The main message of this poem, what the author feels when he is melancholic, is that higher the sadness you feel, higher the happiness will be afterwards.


For this poem I chose another feeling present in the daily life.


Ode on Jealousy


Her anguish was reflected in her eyes.

The eyes,

the portals of the soul,

a machine of the truth.

Eyes that do not let you fool anyone
or pretend.


Her eyes mirrored a huge hatred.

It seemed as she was not enough

Like she could not reach the top.

In his eyes, she became unseen


When had it happened so fast?
she thought.

How?

A lot of meditation had to happen
so that she realizes that,

the more he walked away,
the more satisfying was going to be for her to get him back.

The moment he realized the error he had made,

he would go running to her arms again.

Her arms, protective as a shield and comfortable

as an old lucky shoe.


She did not want to wait for him
but after a while,
she would eventually forgive him.

An epic love like that could not be lost
only for jealousy.


Jealousy
was not so bad after all.

War poetry: The Death Bed, Soldier, Rest! and Dulce Et Decorum Est

The Death Bed is a poem about a soldier in World Word Two who was wounded during battle.  Sassoon’s aim was to prove that soldiers are hurt as much as in war even if they do not die in the battle field. In other words, veteran soldiers suffer equally in their homes after war than if they had passed away in there. He tackles death, and makes the readers feel disorientated about whether the main voice is dead or alive.

 

“Soldier, Rest!” is another war poem written by Sir Walter Scott whose aim is to protest the whole meaning of war. Scott criticizes the causes and consequences of it. He concludes that it is even better to die than to live after war since living as a veteran is that bad. Moreover, he also emphasise that it is better to die in war than to fight. According to Scott, war is the worst fate.

Dulce Et Decorum Est starts talking about how the soldiers lived in the trenches. They were dehumanized because they were so exhausted that they couldn’t even see the gas bomb that had fallen besides them. Furthermore, the poem shows an inside of how difficult was to survive in the war by showing a reaction of the soldiers when a bomb was thrown at them. Thirdly, Owens shows his feelings towards war, and how he was very traumatized because of the events. Lastly, Dulce Et Decorum Est shows a criticism to the church and the government, that made kids go to war compulsory

I found a Ted Talk that could make me understand how war is really the worst fate and brings nothing but misery to the soldiers, their family and the society.

https://www.ted.com/talks/janine_di_giovanni_what_i_saw_in_the_war/transcript

“One day you’re living your ordinary life, you’re planning to go to a party, you’re taking your children to school, you’re making a dentist appointment. The next thing, the telephones go out, the TVs go out, there’s armed men on the street, there’s roadblocks.”

In my opinion, Scott is right to portray war not as the ultimate solution, but as the worst event it can occur. War not only damages soldiers badly, but also hurts society, the environment and the relationships between the countries. In the ted talk it is described how war changes your whole life and daily routine. War affects soldiers, citizens, society and nature.

I made a movie with my friend Lola Villegas Argento with the help of Martina Ibarbia that aimed to portray how friends and family are lost during battle. Furthermore, the movie shows how the families of war veterans suffered.

https://youtu.be/aO1iiIz3t_s

The Lady in the Looking Glass A Reflection

The second story we read is ‘The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection. This story is written by Virginia Woolf. Virginia crytizeses society in the 19th century. She complains about the fact that if a woman did not get married and take care of a family she is isolated and a ‘spinster’. Because of this, the main theme of this story is ‘role of women in the 19th Century’. This story is full of symbols and comparisons to describe how still she was in the outside and chaotic in the inside. For example, she sees her reflection by a mirror, which symbolises the self-perception. It stands for a complete picture of the self, a self realisation.

 

This poem took me to ask myself if I knew me, if I would be surprised about the person I would see in my reflection. I believe that most teenangers do not know themselves, that is why it is so difficult to choose a career at the age of eighteen. As a teen, you do not think about the future, you think about superficial meetings or new objects to buy. Although I do not consider myself like this, I do know it is a reality. Anyway, I want to believe that there is a world beyond superficiality.

By thinking about this, I remembered a movie called Wild Child. This movie is about a girl that was sent to a boarding school in England since she did a wild prank to ruin all of her father’s girlfriend’s belongings in front of her friends.  In the boarding school she began being miserable. However, at the end she could understand the importance of friends, family and caring. She realized that she had an excellent family and new friends that loved her. Plus, that her relationships were more important than superficial objects. She became a moderate and decent young child.

Lastly, she describes how the ‘hole’ in her heart was fulfilled.

The trailer:

https://youtu.be/WNDJMos8h-0

 

It think that every teenanger ends up understanding what the protagonist of Wild Child understood, but everyone at their time.

The Hollow of the Three Hills

Our first story was ‘The Hollow of the Three Hills’. This story is gothic. Because of this, it reminded me to my favorite series of books which are called ‘Harry Potter’. Harry Potter is a gothic story too.

Gothic novels were written to develop feelings of fear and terror in a reader.

To begin with, Harry Potter is a gothic story because of its setting. Harry Potter is set in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is an ancient castle full of dungeons and secret passageways. Castles are very important in gothic literature because the scene of the story would transmit the readers a spooky feeling.    Moreover, Harry Potter’s central theme is death. Voldemort’s main aim in life is to beat death. It was his goal live forever, to be immortal. Voldemort was a very powerful wizard who everybody feared. To fight it, he set out to create Horcruxes which made him almost immortal.                                                                                                           One day, he wanted to kill the Potters. When he approached to kill Harry, his mother Lily sacrificed to save him. This created ancient magic and protected Harry from a terrible curse which would have kill him immediately. This cursed is ‘Avada Kedavra’        This unfortunate incident, defined Harry’s life too. He had to escape from Voldemort wanted to kill him until he was 17. After trying to kill Harry and failed, Voldemort was very weak, he was barely human. But fourteen years later, when he gained strength again because of a curse that his vassal did, he attacked Harry in every chance he had.

In addition, The Hollow of the Three Hills has a spooky story too. It deals with a woman who has a shameful past. She tries to run from her problems but comes to find out that no matter how big or small a problem is, trying to run from it will only make the problem follow. She felt so guilty about what she had done, abandoned her family, that she did not care to die if it at least would give her the chance of seeing them for the last time.       Lastly, The Hollow of the Three Hills has a gloomy setting too. The setting, as the title describes, is between three hills. This setting is very scary and dark.

In conclusion, because of its setting and main theme of the story, the astonishing and breathtaking Harry Potter book series and The Hollow of the Three Hills are gothic.  

The Destructors

Hi! I’ve been working with Martina Ibarbia, Milagros Mendez and Rosario Vago on these questions on “The destructors”

Rite of passage

  1. An object of desire
  2. Trespassing (Defying authority)
  3. “Dare/Challenge (Construction of identity)
  4. The mischief (it should be owned up and dealt with in a mature way)
  5. Atonement (Confesion and regret, acceptance)

 

Answers:

1.The desire of the kids is to destroy Mr. Thomas’s house, and the reader can notice this when it “reads: “ ‘We’ll pull it down,’ he said. ‘We’ll destroy it’.” And “ It’s proposed that tomorrow, and Monday we destroy Old Misery’s house.”

2. The kids defy the authorities (authorities being the owner of the house, their parents and the law) when they enter “Old Misery’s” house without any kind of permission. “Blackie climbed the door into Misery’s garden.”

3. Trevor wanted to prove that he could be more than just another member of the gang. He wanted to show that although he came from a high class and had a fancy name, he could still be like the others, in fact he believed he could be the leader of the gang. “ ‘I don’t want to pinch anything’ T. said. ‘I’v got a better idea.’” , “‘It was the end of his (Blackie’s) leadership’” and “ T. was giving his orders with decision” show us that the idea T. had allowed him to prove that he could be a great leader.

4. The kids show no kind of regret after being caught by Mr. Thomas, we can see this when they lock him in the loo and intend to leave him there over night. “‘There’s nothing personal,’ the voice said. ‘We want you to be comfortable tonight’” and “‘You wouldn’t be comfortable, not in your house, you wouldn’t. Not now’”.

5. The kids don’t confess or show regret with actions after destroying Old Misery’s house. “‘ What do you mean, boy?’ but the footsteps receeded.” After the disaster the kids made at the house, they left, leaving Mr. Thomas aline the whole night in a garden loo.

  • Find quotes to prove the following themes:

 

  1. The individual affected by the social crisis. (Post war).

  • “‘I got some chocolates’ (…) The gang were puzzled and perturbed by this action and tried to explain it away”. The kids don’t trust the man, they seem to believe that too much kindness isn’t normal in people, so they choose to find an explanation to why somebody would do this extremely rare gest and make it go away. There is no trust in society either, every day there are less persons willing to do an act of true kindness towards the other, so when we do receive one, we find ourselves puzzled and can not believe it.

 

  • “‘Let me out’ he called, and heard the key turn in the lock. ‘A serious crash,’ he thought, and felt dithery and confused and old.” The man is clearly affected by the problem the kids are causing, although he hasn’t done anything to them or anyone else. We can see this in society, bad things happen to people that haven’t done anything to deserve it (As in war: horrible deaths just because they tried to save the country).

 

  1. The aftermath of he war: How destruction leads to more destruction.

  • “‘we’ve done enough anyway.’ ‘Oh, no, we haven’t. Anybody could do this’ (…) ‘We’ve got to finish.’ This quote shows how they had the chance to stop and leave the house, but they decided the destruction they had caused wasn’t enough. If they had already got there, why were they to stop? They found no answer to this question and kept on destroying. People often find that the damages that they have caused arent discovered or caught, so they keep on doing what they’re doing at higher risks and causing more destruction to society.

 

  1. The evil nature of man.

  • “‘I don’t mind you playing round the place Saturday mornings. Sometimes I like company.’ (…)  ‘Let me out’ he called, and heard the key turn in the lock. ‘A serious crash,’ he thought, and felt dithery and confused and old.” The kids tricked Old misery into the loo, even after he told them they could come over on saturdays and play in his garden. We can see how evil the kids are even after the old man offered an act of kindness.

 

  1. Loss of compassion (as a result of war).

  • “His eye lit on the remains of a bath and what had once been a dresser and he began to laugh. There wasn’t anything left anywhere.” The man’s home had been destroyed along with everything he cared about and had to listen to a man laugh about the misery he was left in. This man that helped him get out of the loo had a significant loss of compassion.

 

  1. Class struggle.

  • “There was every reason why T., as he was afterwards reffered to, should have been an object of mockery- there was his name (and they substituted the initial because otherwise they had no excuse to laugh at it), the fact that his father, a former architect and present clerk, had ‘cone down in the world’ and that his mother considered herself better than the neighbours.” We can see how the kids had to replace Trevor’s name for “T” because they would otherwise laugh at it all day because it was a rich person’s name. Trevor was at a higher social class and his new friends mocked him for it.

 

Symbols:

1. Mr Thomas’s house: this house was a symbol of strength and hope, that was the only thing that survived the war.

2. Mr Thomas and the children: they represent the fragmented society, on one hand, Mr Thomas conveys the goodness that survived the war, and the children the damaged part of society, that lose all hopes.

3. Old Misery: this name was how the kids called Mr Thomas, it conveys the impossibility of seeing good in people and kindness, that how everyone must be buried in misery after war.

4. Money burning: it symbolizes what the kids wanted, they were so affected by war, everything they wanted was to destroy, to take away people’s belongings to put them in the same position as they were.

5. The debris of the house: it symbolizes the ruins of war, how destroyed was London town.

6. The laughter of the driver: this showed the lack of compassion people had, the destroyed society after war.

BLOG ANSWERS:

2) I believe that the theme of this story is lack of compassion, cruelness, destruction, war and society. We can see the lack of compassion and cruelness when the kids lock Old misery in his own loo and destroy his house, without thinking for a second that they were ruining his life, we can also see it when the man in the truck laughs about the destruction of a home and a life. Destruction is presented in the house, Old misery’s life and the kid’s childhood and innocence. The society is shown as a wrecked one, because the innocent lives of the children have now become into souls of evil and with no place for feeling anything but anger and desire of destruction, who will grow and will be the future of the society, while the owner of the truck laughs at a life getting ruined with not a little pity for the man in order to even try to control himself and show some respect in front of a destroyed home. All these can be compared with war and the pain and destruction it causes: lovely lives destroyed along with territory, in such cruel manner

 

4)  The story is set in London since London was extremely damaged after World War Two. The story complains about the consequences of war. Firstly, because it explains how war destroyed every house placed there. Secondly, because it affected people emotionally. In the story, the children did not trust that something good could happen and wanted to destroy the only house that survived the war. The story does not tackle the causes of the war since it is placed after the war.

 

7) At the end of the story, the gang ended up destroying the whole house. When Old Misery was able to escape, he was devastated because of the destruction of the house. We believe that the author ended the story in that way to prove that nothing good could stand after a war.

 

8) At the end T. Reaches his goal. Old misery cannot escape the loo all night and only gets out when it’s too late. In the morning, a man came to get his cab from the car-park in front of the old house, and began to drive away not knowing what effect it would have. The car came to a jolting as if being pulled from behind, resulting in a disaster. The house falling in pieces to end having debris all over the place.

 

9) yes, it is true that on a deeper level the story is about delinquency, war, and the hidden forces which motivate our actions because it is strange to see some kids of 9-13 years in these kind of situations.

 

10) Ibelieve the destruction of Old misery’s house was more senseless than the destruction brought about war. The war had an aim, citizens fought together as brothers for the well being of their country, they gave their lives for their people, while what the kids did with Old misery’s home had no sense or aim, their only target was to destroy, and they took a life along with it.

 

11) Nihilism means the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless. The gang actions of the story demonstrate a kind of nihilism since the same protagonist are the ones who reject any belief or faith in something good. Plus, they do not have moral principles either. We can assume that because they destroyed the house of an old man who did not deserve what happened to him.

The Hollow of the Three Hills

Setting: 1800 during autumn. Area is secluded and enclosed by three hills. The surrounding forest is decaying.

Point of view: 3rd person

Themes: Regret, Guilt, Shame, Remorse, Sorrow, Grief, Dolefulness, Death, Dishonored, Betrayal

Mood: tension, grief, suspense

Characters:

  • Young woman, main character. She is described as a lady and graceful, but pale and troubled. There is foreshadowing in her description by saying that she is pale meaning that she is already dead. She is desperate and her guilt is killing her, she abandoned her son betraying her family and now he is dead. She made a treaty with the witch and gave her life to listen how her family was. “it is a place mortals cannot see” , if she is there it means she is dead and will not survive to tell this experience. She died still feeling guilty by her son`s death, “(…) left her child to die”.
  • The witch insultingly described as “the other” is and old woman. Wrinkled, shrunken and decrepit. She speaks old English and represents death, “withered crone”. “here has been a sweet hour’s sport!”, she does these treaties all the time, she takes lives all the time.
  • Her parents also appear, talking about her daughter feeling betrayed and embarrassed because of what she had done, and also mourning the loss of their grandchild.
  • Her husband, who is also angry at his wife accusing her of being unfaithful and mourning the loss of his child.

Summary:

A young woman seeks the help of a withered hag to learn what has happened to her parents, husband and child whom she abandoned to commit sin. She finds that her parents are-broken hearted, her husband distraught and her child dead. She herself dies on the spot.

Home is So Sad

Comment closely on how the writers of ‘Rooms’ and ‘Home is So Sad’ deal with the double meaning of ‘rooms’ in the poems.

 

The poems ‘Rooms’ and ‘Home is So Sad’ deal with two different meanings of ‘rooms’ in the poem. On the one hand, the word rooms in the poem by Charlotte Mew symbolizes security, comfort, privacy and having your own space where you can be just yourself with your thoughts. On the other hand, rooms in “Home is So Sad” are described at the beginning as empty, abandoned, desolated and unhappy.

 

To begin with, the poem “Rooms” written by Charlotte Mew tackles with a woman who uses places to describe romantic relationships. She describes each of the relationship as a room and explains how they affected on her life. During the poem, she enters different rooms. The poem deals with sadness mixed with happiness, since she remembers her worthy relationships but at the same time they are not there anymore. We can see this when the author uses the word “I remember” showing the readers how nostalgic the tone is.

Mew tells us about many relationships. “The room in Paris, the room at Geneva”. In spite of the fact that they were good memories, Charlotte makes clear that everything ended. “Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.”.

Contrarily, in the last stanza, Charlotte Mew confesses the readers the relationship that she still misses. With bitterness, she remembers this relationship more than any other she had. “But there is the room where we (two) lie dead”.

Charlotte Mew, by writing about her most precious relationships of her life, wanted to symbolise how we spent most of our lives in rooms. Mew pointed out and described what was important and special to her, but she made clear that most, or some, of the experiences that we really enjoy happen in our rooms. Each one of us, as different from one another as we are, has a room with its own experience and background. Therefore, rooms are so powerful that can show our identity.

 

On the other hand Philip Larkin, instead of describing important relationships of his life, writes about a home that was abandoned by their previous owners. With disappointment, he compares the previous house with this new modern building.

To start with, the title of the poem transmits the readers the main theme and message. By using alliteration, ‘So Sad’, readers can understand the importance that message being conveyed. The word sadness quickly transmits to the readers a feeling of loss, fear and nostalgia.

During the poem, while the writer describes how the house is ‘shaped to comfort of the last to go’ the voice realises how home will always be home, and there is no place like it.  ‘You can see how it was’. The voice comes to the conclusion that the rooms might be different, but they give them the same sensation that they did before.

Just as Charlotte Mew, Philip Larkin leaves us a message. Every house is individual and special to the owner, he misses his old house as much as Mew misses the memories of the relationships she enjoyed in those rooms. Anyhow, Larkin teach us one other thing too. No matter how changed the house is, the previous owner will always feel comfortable there, since it is home.

 

Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. Both of the writer conveyed the same message about what home means. However, Mew uses experiences to describe the security of a room and how much time you spend on it while Larkin describes desolated rooms and uses a voice to conclude that despite the changes home is home.

 

Rooms by Charlotte Mew

Charlotte Mew biography:

  • Born: November 15, 1869
  • Death: March 24,1928
  • Mew’s life was largely unhappy.
  • Two of her brothers died in infancy and another in boyhood, and a brother and sister were committed to mental hospitals at a young age.
  • Mew and her sister Anne vowed to remain childless so as not to transmit what they believed to be a family disorder.
  • Sexually repressed
  • She was poor
  • She commited suicide

 

Room symbolism:

Room can be a symbol of captivity and brutality. On the other hand, it could symbolize security.  

 

Activity 1:

Questions:

  1. The life of turn-of-the-twentieth-century British writer Charlotte Mew was full of tragedy from beginning to end. Mew was born in London in 1869 into a family of seven children; she was the eldest daughter. While she was still a child, three of her brothers died. Later, another brother and then a sister were committed to mental hospitals in their twenties where they would spend the rest of their lives. That left only Charlotte and her sister Anne, both of whom, because of the history of mental illness in their family, decided never to marry so they wouldn’t pass the traits on to their children. The traumatic issues Mew grappled with during her childhood—death, mental illness, loneliness, and disillusionment—became themes in her poetry and stories.
  2. K
  3. We begin with the poetic voice immersing us in a nostalgic look back at the relationships that have played a part in her life. These are positioned as things that have slowed her heart, which could be taken as a negative, but that I would suggest represent love progressing from something fiercely passionate to a more sedate and comforting emotion.

    Relationships are imagined as rooms, I’ll explore why in the next section. In each room there seem to positive memories, but her nostalgia is disturbed from the realities of the problems within the relationships that brought them to an end.

    The final four line reflect on the final relationship or room that is much more substantial than those of memory. The poem becomes personal as ‘we’ are addressed telling us that this is meant for this lover. Although she talks about them being ‘dead’, I think this is meant to represent the end of the emotional turmoil of seeking love and rather represents the finality of the relationship – no chance of adding another room to her house. Within this relationship we have flashes of the passion that was a precursor to a deeper love, but it is the stability and security of the relationship that is really focused upon.

    1. “Rooms where for good or for ill, things died”
    2. “Through every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again”
  4. The opening of the poem is deeply nostalgic, with brief flashes of forgotten joy mingled with remembered bitterness. However, these diametrically opposed memories are quickly washed over with reason that stems from the joy of having a secure, stable and fully realised loved. The last four lines are a happy recall from nostalgia to the joy of today.
  5. The theme could denote how we spend our lives essentially in rooms, and each room has its own experience and background which ultimately shapes our identity and future. Alternatively, and in addition, the rooms we spend our time in could eventually shape our personalities and identities and therefore the word rooms is used as the setting or context in which we spend the majority of our lives.  Moreover, the tone of the poem is nostalgia (“I remember”) and sorrowfulness mixed with joy, its something the author misses and remembers. Something thats no longer there, something that had died.

 

Activity 2: