Outline

December 1st, 2010

This is a tentative outline of the fourth essay.

I. Introduction

a.general statement of wilson’s piece containing many several ideas.

b. Focus in on how the dichotomy of the comfort zone and labyrinth is one of her most dominant.

c. Introduce Disponzio and Gorky text note that these pieces either cover both parts of the dichotomy or one of them.

II. WIlson

a. Discuss first how the comfort zone is traditional a land filled with fixed identity and structure( one paragraph)

textual evidence on how Wilson’s mother wore traditional clothes and sought places of certainty such as the park which promised domestic harmony and stability.

b. paragraph on the labyrinth and how it entices Wilson and its pleasing to her.

mention the reptile house and how it was a nightmarish thing to her but still so irrestibile.

c. one paragraph on how the labyrinth contains anonymity to those who enter because of the promiscuous crowd.

d. Note how Wilson and her mother enter labyrinth but how her mother is jostled and in search of peace and stability.

II. Disponzio

a. one pargraph identifying the comfort zone of the community centered around Christopher Park and how they want traditional moral values which is disrupted by the possible installment of the sculpture.

b. Identify the labyrinth which is George Segal’s sculpture and the bohemian supporters because they do not have traditional consistent values with textual evidence.

c. A paragraph on how after Disponzio’s text was written the sculpture was placed in the park. As a result the comfort zone was mixed with the labyrinth. However in Wilson’s text they remain separate.

III. Gorky

A. Identify how Gorky writes only about the labyrinth in its worst state. How he is disgusted that the people are enslaved creatures.

B. Discuss the crowd being transformed into this mindless mob that try to draw people into it. As opposed to Wilson who perceives the crowd as promiscuous and indiscriminate to those who enter.

IV. Conclusion

Flights of Creativity

November 27th, 2010

The film Man on Wire was a movie that focused on something I did not expect. I have never watched any documentary that focuses on a man being so daring to tight rope across the World Trade Center. Seeing Philippe take on the challenge with such bravery and excitement was truly admirable. Additionally, to see him not swayed or moved by any obstacles in his way in order to achieve his dream was truly a sight to see. However, there was one idea that I noticed about the movie review that struck me as soon as I read it.  I did not notice it in the beginning but after looking over the review once more, I realized how critical the idea was to the film. The idea that I am referring to in the film is that the movie occurs during a time where safety was present and the World Trade Center was standing.

After viewing the film, I looked to see that the documentary was created in 2008.  To me, this was what struck me about the idea of safety. To produce a film after the World Trade Center was destroyed gave me an alternate perspective on New York City during Man on Wire 1974 setting. I thought to myself about how peaceful the city must have been for them when Phillipe tight roped the towers.  There was no threat of terrorism at all; there was only an enjoyable spectacle of one man walking on a thin rope.  It was a relaxing and tranquil time for those New Yorkers. There was no fear of loss for them because the atmosphere was so safe and secure. When I kept viewing the film, I thought about how serene the area was.  It was such a contrast to what I feel today.  Although I am from New York, there is always an anxiety I feel when coming into the city. I do not know if 9/11 is the cause of it, but I do not have that feeling of security.  The people documented in the movie looked and felt more secure than the New Yorkers today will ever feel again.

That is how I interpreted the movie review’s discussion of the notion of safety.  As I look at the present New York’s notion of safety, I wonder if we feel safe at all.  With the tragic event of 9/11, do we wonder if we can ever feel secure again? and is it even possible?  Personally, I found that something like 9/11 to happen right near a place I live in startling. Honestly, I  think many New Yorkers who see this film would be jealous of those who lived in a time where they knew they were safe and the Twin Towers stood still. I know I envy them because there notion of safety and the city overall will always be different from what I know now.  Safety for the New York community during Man on Wire was a definite; yet, when I look at safety in New York now, it is something that I hope to achieve each day. The destruction of the towers to me symbolized the loss of safety and created a different view of safety for me. This view of safety is one that might not even occur each day for me. It is something that leaves me anxiety and fear because I am now in a New York, as Art Spiegelman entitled, that is in the shadow of no towers.

Through the Eyes of Wilson

November 20th, 2010

The comfort zone is a place filled with traditional values and fixed identities.  It is a place of homogeneous structure, tranquility, and serenity.  It is a place that Wilson describes as a scene of “rural life” and “domestic harmony” (2).  The comfort zone has no abrupt changes in its society. There are fixed rules and social codes that everyone abides by in the society.  If one enters the comfort zone and desires to oppose these social codes, he or she is expelled from the comfort zone.  Expulsion from the bourgeois class occurs because these groups of people do not desire change.  They have standards which they expect everyone to conform to and obey. In a way, men and women need to fulfill a certain criteria in order to achieve acceptance in the bourgeois society. How can one be sure that this occurs? One must view Scorsese’s “Age of Innocence” to capture how structured the comfort zone truly was.

The Age of Innocence is a key example of a film that exposes viewers to the behavior of the bourgeoisie.  One example of bourgeois behavior is seen by the character May Archer who represents a traditional  bourgeois woman.  She is a character who does not break away from societal customs and is complacent in her role as a woman in 1870 New York.  She fulfills her roles as a bourgeois wife such as going to the opera and constantly being at the side of her husband. She does not desire an independence of her own as opposed to the woman in the labyrinth. May depends on her husband and does not work on her own. She would usually stay at home and whenever her husband was out, May would patiently wait for him as a faithful spouse.  May did not bother to join the city crowds and enter the disorder that the labyrinth provides. She was very traditional in all aspects. Similarly, Wilson’s mother behaves exactly like May does.  They both wear their traditional attire and seek constant moments of tranquility.  May also attends parties not because she wants to, but because it is the custom of the society that she abides by.

One main example of how May takes on the role of the bourgeois wife is when she knows that Newland has cheated on her.  Most likely  women in the labyrinth that experienced this circumstance would break free from her husband.  They would not hesitate to leave their cheating spouse. Although May Archer had a knowledge of her husband’s cheating ways, she decides to stay in her marriage because it upholds bourgeoisie life.   People in the bourgeoisie life looked down on divorce because it involves change and turbulence.  It ends the stable traditional marriage of the comfort zone. That is why May refuses to divorce Newland. She holds in the pain of Newland’s infidelity once again to uphold the ways of the comfort zone.

Wilson was someone who analyzed both the comfort zone and the labyrinth.  Through films, readers of “Into the Labyrinth” can see what Wilson means about the tranquility of the comfort zone or the turbulence of the labyrinth. For example, the film ” The Age of Innocence” exposed viewers to the tranquility and domestic harmony of the bourgeois class. We see the traditional customs of a society that is predictable and uniform.  There is no fear in the comfort zone because there is nothing unpredictable or different.  If there was any change by anyone of anything, then it would be immediately expelled. These ideas are seen through May Archer. She dresses and acts traditionally in all aspects of her life as the typical bourgeois maiden. When it comes to take a stand as to rejecting her husband or accepting him to obey the norms, May chooses to accept him despite his cheating ways. She does this to remain accepted in this age of innocence and not destroy the comfort zone.

Wilson Explanation

November 13th, 2010

Irruption (v.)- to rush in forcibly or violently,to undergo a sudden upsurge in numbers, and to erupt.

Before I started to analyze Wilson’s quote, I needed a definition of the word irruption to get a feel of what she was trying to say. Wilson was discussing in in the later part of her passage about the crowd of the city. According to Wilson, the crowd is a key feature to the city.  It is composed of minorities and different groups of people which some writers think will destroy “the democratic republics of the New World” (7).  In other words, when a crowd is in a democratic government, they are given more freedom to express their own opinions. Yet, each person in the crowd has different opinions and creates disagreement in societies because each group wants their idea heard.  The crowd is something that brings anxiety and indifference to the city. It leaves people feeling nervous and worried about what to expect in the city which is why Wilson adds the crowd to a feature of the labyrinth.

Wilson mentions the crowd to introduce another discussion on woman.  She mentions how the urban crowd has been incorporated with woman and is “increasingly invested with female characteristics…in feminine terms” (7). The urban crowd has now had a sudden upsurge of woman in the city because the crowd “offers woman freedom”  and liberation(7).  The crowd is a place where woman are on their own and indifferent.  For instance when Wilson and her mother went to the labyrinth, they became part of the crowd. The crowd was indifferent to her and did not care about her personal issues. They were on their own and independent but now part of the crowd.

Why does having women being a part of the crowd become such an issue? Wilson states that “the male-female dichotomy…a conception of city…pertaining to men” is the answer (9). In other words, the city has been centered around male ideals and beliefs for so long that anything different would show disorder. However, as time progresses, woman have become more involved in the city and more importantly, the urban crowd.  As woman take part in the urban crowd, their desires are now expressed.  The city is no longer structured around male perspective any longer. There are more ideas being fused with the city.  As a result, disorder comes about in the city and problems occur. Thus woman, as they differ from the male perspective become the “symptom of disorder” and a “problem” in the city(9).

Besides being female, how are women compared to the mythological Sphinx.  The Sphinx in mythology created chaos and disorder in the land of Thebes when she arrived.  Wilson creates this parallel to the woman in the city.  They create disorder because as mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are against the male city. In addition, as the woman become part of the crowd, theorists compare them to the Sphinx itself. ” It is necessary to “arrive at a solution…by their psychology” or to be “devoured” (7).  If people do not succumb to the crowd they will be devoured by them. In terms of the woman, those who could not answer her riddle which Wilson calls ” female sexuality…lost nature” would be devoured by it (7). This is why Wilson compares women to the Sphinx, because they are a disorder and differ from the norm in society.  There new independence is different from traditional lifestyle in a comfort zone and if they are not figured out,  they can devour the victim just as the Sphinx does.

Dichotomous List

November 10th, 2010

Wilson’s essay ” Into the Labryinth” is a piece filled with so many motifs and themes.  Even the first beginning pages of her essay incorporate several motifs about the London city.  These several ideas and themes all revolve around the dichotomy of the comfort zone and the labryinth. In other words, each motif either applies to the comfort zone of the bourgeoisie class or to the turbulence of the city.  Overall, despite the numerous motifs in Wilson’s writing, each one could be narrowed down to the category of the comfort zone or the labryinth(city).

The comfort zone refers to the suburban bourgeoisie middle class.  As seen through instances in history, the bourgeois class was always known to desire tranquility and stability in their lives. Wilson refers to these motifs as she recalls how her mother mingled into the city labyrinth. As Wilson’s mother went to the city in her traditional “veil…corsage”, the city crowd kept pushing her as she was walking (1).  Her mother was a member of the bourgeois class thus walking in the labyrinth was too turbulent and unstable. As a result, her mother desired to reunite herself with ” a lost tranquility” after experiencing the city(2).  To find peace she went to the park and saw  the “lines of trees”(2).  Seeing tamed nature allowed Wilson’s mother to regain the serenity of her comfort zone.  It was something she was accustomed to after mingling in the mysteries of the city because the park was ” a memory of the rural life” for the stable bourgeois class (2).

The park was so significant to Wilson’s mother because it allowed her to have a feeling of safety.  It was something that was predictable in her life because it did not involve constant change.  The bourgeois life was stable and consistent with no rapid changes.  Wilson’s mother went to the park because it was a place she knew that was consistent. Additionally, parks were a contribution to bourgeois domestic harmony. In other words, the park with “spring blossoms” was not disruptive to the bourgeois life(2). It was a feature that was common to the traditional and respectable life of the bourgeoisie. In addition, parks and other things were homogeneous to the middle class life. It was  something that was uniform, unchanging, and would always remain the same in the bourgeois comfort zone.

The uniformity of bourgeois lifestyle was created so that the middle class can have a reassurance of safety.  The reason that there is no incorporation of “salons…cafes”and other labyrinth features is because it involves change and inconsistency.  The bourgeois class resorts to the dullness of parks  because it allows them to have security and more control of their life.  In addition, reassuring dullness allows the bourgeois to never dive into the unpredictable labryinth in any way.

Reassurance is also the reason why the middle class resort to fixed identities in their society. If there is fixed roles in the society, then there is no need for instability in a society.  This is a perfectly seen in “The Age of Innocence”. Newland Archer had a fixed role to play in his middle class society and could not change his ways.  If he tried to change his role he would be expelled from the middle class. The film also shows how the middle class would not even mingle with other social classes and genders. They would only fill their roles and associate with members in their social class in order to maintain the comfort zone that they desired.

Entering the labyrinth is a direct contrast to the bourgeoisie comfort zone.  One main feature that the labyrinth offers is anxieties and pleasures. For instance, as Wilson’s mother entered out of her comfort zone she felt “vulnerability” mixed with “fear” and “…suspect pleasure” (2 and 3). This is one of motifs that the labyrinth promises.  It leaves anxiety for those who are not accustomed to it.  Those who go out of their comfort zone into a land filled with change are only left feeling anxious and worried.  Those who enter do not know what to expect because the city is ever changing.  Because of this unpredictability, people who enter the labyrinth only feel vulnerable and exposed to the different life of the city. Although people are afraid to go to the labyrinth, it is still attractive, appealing, and enticing because of its “serpentine paths” and “pleasure” (2).  It may leave people anxious and afraid but the labyrinth leaves others with pleasure and enjoyment..

Another feature that the labyrinth has is the crowd.  Wilson refers to the crowd as promiscuous because the city crowd is indiscriminate and indifferent. For instance, when Wilson’s mother enters the crowd she enters a “vast yawn of indifference” and is only “insignificant” (2). When Wilson’s mother enters the crowd she no longer has an identity as she would in the rural area.  She is now anonymous and only part of the crowd.  She is insignificant because the crowd is indifferent to how well-known she is. Although the crowd is ambivalent to other issues in city society, it does not matter about who the crowd is in the society. Yet, Wilson’s mother’s  identity is ambiguous and is  always unknown as long as she joins the crowd of the labyrinth.

Once an individual enters the labyrinth, he or she has entered the place of the other.  The term of the other in Wilson’s essay has multiple meanings.  One meaning is that the other is anyone who is not a member of the bourgeoisie middle class.  The labyrinth includes all these groups of people including bohemians and artists who parallel the labyrinth itself. These are people who create ideas that go against the typical customs of society.  Their ideas are ever changing and unstable just like the labyrinth itself.   The labyrinth is always in constant motion and change just like the bohemians. The labyrinth will never be the same with the “serpentine paths” and will always progress and advance(2).  The labyrinth in this way is heterogeneous and will never have a uniform way of life as the bohemians in it as well.  Since it is always changing, the labyrinth can never be solved and will always remain a mystery.

The comfort zone and labyrinth will always remain different from each other.  In order to have a comfort zone, change can never occur.  It is a place that is traditional filled with people of a fixed identity.  The labyrinth is a place filled with people that are indifferent and take pleasure in forbidden desires such as “hanging” and “lunatics” (2). Although some people feel anxiety and fear from the labyrinth because of these things, in the those pleasures are enticing.  The comfort zone is stable and consistent as opposed to the fluid change of the labyrinth. In the end the labyrinth is a place that is unique and can not coexist with the comfort zone. There differences are too great and will always remain that way.

Gorky’s Passage

October 31st, 2010

Maxim Gorky, as he journeyed through the city of New York saw nothing but “insignificant and enslaved creatures” in this “monstrous town” (7).  Personally, I was in wonder as to how could New York be such a disgusting town but more importantly why are the people in it considered slaves and insignificant beings?  From this section of the passage, the audience is instantly exposed to the stance Gorky conveys in his passage.  He believes that New York indeed is “The City of the Yellow Devil”(7).  As an audience, Gorky presents us with many issues about the flaws New York has as a city. He is in direct opposition to the American dream people hold onto.  Immigrants who turn to Ellis Island  for hope and opportunities and “The American god” in the Statue of Liberty, are definitely in for a surprise when exposed to Gorky’s passage.

Maxim Gorky begins his discussion of the flaws of New York by establishing a setting that is centered around the American dream.  The word choice that Maxim Gorky uses reflects the opinions that he has about New York City.  As the Statue of Liberty stands around “insignificant land”, readers begin to wonder how much the city has changed and advanced.  Based on the quote from Gorky, New York has changed drastically, to the point where the idea and embodiment of Liberty on Ellis Island is insignificant.  New York, according to Gorky, no longer stands for this ideal any longer but has drastically changed.  As the immigrants pass by the statue all they notice are “sirens…angry whistles…ocean waves grimly against the shore”(8). The overall atmosphere of the scene is gloomy and disappointing for the immigrants because they traveled to New York for hope, change and opportunity.  So far they receive nothing but anger  which ruins the ideal experience they thought they would receive in New York.

Many things have replaced the liberty that New York once stood for.  First is the city’s desire for gold or the Yellow Devil.  Unfortunately it was gold that “awakened…and animated” the city but in the end it “sucks his blood and brain”(9).  New York has become centered around money and greed as the only means to achieve a decent life. In order to achieve this, everyone in the city is consumed by work to gain gold.  This is one of the downfalls people in the city have.  For example, on a Sunday “people do not work…because of this many faces were downcast…yesterday had a simple…meaning”(33).  New Yorkers are driven so much by obtaining gold that whenever they do not work, they have no idea what to do with themselves.  The city has been transformed into a monotonous lifestyle in which people “find idleness staring them questioningly” and do not know what to do (33). This is the thesis of Maxim Gorky, the idea of how New York has been broken down into realms of boredom because everyone has a thought of pursuing the Yellow Devil.  They have nothing else to think about and have no other goals to achieve. Even when people desire to see shows for entertainment, they relish at taking sticks and poking at monkeys and wasting the gold they earned that day (30).

To me, Maxim Gorky’s voice seems to be one that is disappointed in what New York has transformed into.  He despises the city’s monotony but mainly how it is a city of glory to so many people. In reality this is a city that has been accustomed to “veiling the squalid rags of poverty” and filled with insignificant people (17).  This city has disguised its flaws and true problems of poverty.  Moreover, its inhabitants have been hypnotized to just constantly work for gold and to do nothing else.   Yet, we think we have our individuality within this city but in reality do we really? Many people think we are an individual in society but Gorky definitely does not agree with that statement.  Everyone in New York is working for gold and money which raises the question in we really have an opinion? In the end are we just enslaved and insignificant overall? Gorky has made his opinion through his writing piece and has effectively conveyed it to his audience to judge themselves how New York has changed.

Focusing on Gorky’s reading one can see what his perspective on New York is.  He takes on a position that is against New York’s subjugation of the masses and how they strive to pursue money for personal gain. He is in favor for a city to not have a monotonous life, but one that is  exciting and not centered around work as seen by his reference to gold as the Yellow Devil.

His voice is one that is of a disappointed observer.

The support that Gorky uses does not come from anecdotes but he incorporates cause and effect analysis with supporting evidence.  One example is how he discusses how New Yorkers work so much in pursuit of gold that when they are off, they are clueless when it comes to other activities.

Gangs of New York

October 26th, 2010

The audience that takes part in viewing Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York should be prepared for a drastic contrast to his  Age of Innocence. When viewing the film, the audience should notice how Scorsese develops characters that are in constant conflict.  Each character is developed in order to experience a conflict within themselves and external conflict with the outside society.  For example, in the film Gangs of New York, viewers should be prepared for characters who will portray the explosive external conflict between races and the sad internal conflict within themselves as they face closure with the loss of others.  Keeping this in mind, this film is not only layered with several conflicts but it is a representation of America in the mid- nineteenth century. In other words, the racial prejudice and riots that explode in the film refers back to the xenophobia America once had of different races.

The audience should also begin to view the irony and motifs that Scorsese designs in his production. For example, the film instantly begins with an encounter among people in Paradise Square.  The irony of Scorsese using this location as the beginning setting for violence enhances the overall tension within New York during this time.  The savagery that exists within the film makes one in disbelief  that America during this time was so violent; moreover, the film makes one also amazed at how much disunity occurred within New York. The savagery of Bill Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he enjoys cutting up live people is grotesque but ultimately leads to the epic and suspenseful conflict between Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Bill Cutting for Cutting’s killing of Vallon’s father.

Yet the one leading motif that Scorsese incorporates within his piece is his use of blood in the film.  What begins as the blood of gang members on the white snow of Paradise Island to the immense layers of blood left at the Draft Riots in the film, blood presents great significance.  The audience should take note of the contrast in the beginning of the film.  This pristine white seen in Paradise Island shows America before it became integrated with immigrants.  However with the gang fights, the blood is mixed with the snow showing how the immigrants needed to fight to be mingled with the Protestant Anglo-Saxon society.  The significance of blood should be noticed in the movie especially in the struggle between the minorities and the majorities to create the diverse New York that is today.

There are many stories that circle around the film Gangs of New York. The first is the plot of the movie in which Amsterdam is struggling  to seek the revenge  for his father’s death by killing Bill Cutting.  Yet, as an audience we should also notice the second meaning that Scorsese is desiring to convey.   This meaning is mainly the role that race and prejudice had within American society.  Additionally, the audience should notice how classes are being manipulated and exploited for economic gain. These stories combine to form the melting pot that America is today.  All these stories become uniform within the movie when the Draft Riots are portrayed. All the issues will boil over into pure violence as a result of the several problems that are in the movie but overall the “flawed masterpiece” will be enjoyed by the audience (website).

Summarized from Philip French in The Observer entitled Scorsese paints the Town Red.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2003/jan/12/philipfrench

Luc Sante

October 24th, 2010

Bohemia(n.)- A community of persons with artistic or literary tastes who adopt manners and mores conspicuously different from those expected or approved by a society (website).

In order to fully grasp what Luc Sante is conveying in his passage, I researched the concept of bohemia.  Once I saw this definition, I realized why New York is a bohemia and how this term is applicable to previous writers that we discussed. Luc Sante’s piece allowed me as a resident of New York to perceive it in a different way.  I realized that New York indeed went through a constant transformation regarding the “vices and lures…proffered to the lower classes” (IX). New York in the past promised the poor an abundance of opportunities to draw and attract them to the city.  Unfortunately all that occurred was disposing of them into slums using them only for the work force.  Indeed, New York has transformed itself and evolved into a city where bohemians exists  and can create controversy within the city.

Bohemian New York allowed me to categorize so many writers within our college writing course.  I  think of Disponzio’s quote of “Acceptability is achieved through conformity” which referred to majorities conforming to ideas in order to receive acceptance (Disponzio 206). Immediately the bohemians reject this concept, they do not need to feel this need of acceptance within the urban setting.  Their expression of ideas is their priority, but one can wonder how much more controversy this causes within a society.  As seen by Disponzio’s piece, George Segal expressed his ideas to create a sculpture centered around homosexual liberation.  He rejected the societal norms of the majority and immediately controversy erupted within the society. To me, this is the risk of having bohemians within New York.  The risk is that there is always that unfortunate possibility of controversy  within a society and a damage to the urban community.

Bohemian New York paves the way for controversy to occur.  As Sante stated in his piece at one point “artistic life in New York…settled into the social order” (321).  There were no problems over any issues  because all fields of work including art conformed to the social order.  The masses of New York were complacent and silenced their own voice and opinion.  However writers such as Henry Clapp, who is famous for his “In Gold We Trust” pull away the communal setting (Sante 320). In other words,  bohemians  state comments that oppose city structure and therefore cause disunity and disagreement.  I wonder how Kriegel would characterize the bohemians based on his elaborate graffiti piece. In a way those who use graffiti to express their individual voice can be categorized as bohemians.  They are going against societal norms to express their own separate ideas. How will this impact our community as a whole? With bohemian New York present, can the urban community ever completely exist? Moreover, can the community of New York ever be the same as it was when aspects of society settled into the social order? I wonder these things now after reading Sante’s piece.  I think about part three of the syllabus involving community and disunity.  With all the separate ideas flowing throughout society, I hope we will still be centered around a communal setting, although disunity hangs its head around our society. Hopefully the questions that I have thought about in the blog never have the answer no to them.

Thesis

October 12th, 2010

The motif suspension is used in Mumford’s, Whitman’s, and Whitehead’s piece which enhances the writer’s city experience and provides them with an identity.

I. Introduction

a. General statement about the city experience.

b.  Generally state about how suspension contributes to the city experience.

c. Elaborate about the suspension motif and what it does. Incorporate thesis.

d. Closing statement.

II. Mumford

A. Identify where suspension appears( i.e 841-*844)

B.  Note the contrast between his ferry ride and his approach to the bridge.

C. Incorporate how the ferry also provided a means of suspension.

D. Develop a discussion on his epiphany on the bridge and elaborate as to how the motif functions as a resolution to his ambiguous lifestyle.

E. Note how suspension and imagery are intertwined in the writing to make the piece enjoyable.

III. Whitman

A.  Discuss how the motif of suspension appears for Whitman not only on a physical but spiritual level.

B. Keep developing previous discussion and narrow the focus to the thesis.

C. Discuss how this motif also functions as bringing clarity to Whitman’s life and also a spiritual connection

D.  Imagery and suspension correlation.

IV.  Whitehead

A.  Immediately note the contrast between Whitehead’s concept of suspension to previous two writers.

B.  Incorporate how Whitehead intertwines suspension with personification of the bridge.

C. Personification with suspension allows the protagonist to further her journey to the other side.

D. This develops to her identity and her desire to journey. Suspension leads to her city experience.

V.  Conclusion.

A. Closing statement.

B. What can be said about the city based on the motifs.

C. How do motifs apply in this situation.

D. Frame the essay overall and avoid repetition of the essay.

Draft Analysis

October 6th, 2010

Lewis Mumford’s piece on the Brooklyn Bridge exemplifies the significance of suspension to the city experience. In the beginning of his passage, he favors the ferry as the only means to enjoy the New York experience.  Specifically, he is thrilled by the “uncertainty and adventure…the tide…dodging other boats” that the ferry provides (841).  For Mumford, the ferry enhanced his city life to the point where he was intimate with the “sea and sky and the wide sweep of the city”(841). In other words, the ferry allowed Mumford to feel close with the city; he is able to view New York on a deeper level, one that is more intimate and affectionate. The way that Mumford can enjoy and perceive the city in this way is seen through his suspension on the ferry.  Since the ferry is a “great turtlelike creature”, it is a mode of transportation that is slow and languid( 840).  In addition, the ferry allows one to be above water which creates this phenomena of suspension. As a result, suspension creates a feeling of gravitation towards the city as one is being pulled and drawn to the “towers” and “golden pinnacles”(844).  This feeling of suspension paves the way for Mumford’s idealistic city experience.

As Mumford develops his passage, he focuses on how suspension made him live in complete ecstasy of the city.  Idealism of the city in Mumford’s point of view came as he walked on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Mumford begins with an opinion that the bridge “is depriving us of this primal source of recreation” and a hindrance to glorifying the city for all its worth (840).  Yet, his opinion drastically changes one “twilight hour in early spring” in which suspension is a contributing factor to his identity and idealistic experience.  Mumford’s suspension on the bridge is evident because he is “sweeping over the rivers from New Jersey”(843).  Due to suspension, he is not only hanging above the rivers, but he can see “the sunlight spread across the sky forming a halo”, an image he had never seen before.  Being suspended on the bridge allows Mumford to see the city in a different perspective, it allows him to glorify and view the city like never before.  In fact, suspension contributes to an epiphany that Mumford never witnessed, one “above all others”(843).  ” The world…opened before me…demanding something of me” briefly describes the impact Mumford had that March day.  Suspension paved the way for clarity in his life, giving him a sense of identity in this immense city.  All this followed him one day being suspended and hung on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The motif of suspension in Mumford’s passage functions as the resolution to his ambiguous life.  Mumford at first, is one who needed “to go farther in search of enlivening change” (840) . He was in search of himself and could not come to a means of who he was.  However, as he steps on the bridge “all the confusions of adolescence dropped” and he achieves his identity.  Mumford’s life becomes clear to him due to that once in a lifetime experience on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Suspension in his passage paves the way for Mumford’s gradual transformation into his manhood.  As suspension occurred for Mumford he was no longer confused but more enlightened as he began to  enter manhood.  Mumford’s universal idea of suspension has not only functioned as the cause of his manhood, but it is the cause of other motifs.  Suspension in the passage develops the motif of identity; the clarification of Mumford’s adolescent ways which results into a knowledge of who he is in the world.   Lastly, the motif of transformation develops from suspension because being suspended  became a factor into sculpting who Mumford is currently in his life.

Mumford crafts suspension in a way that it is involved with other elements in his passage.  Specifically, the element of imagery becomes intertwined with the idea of suspension.  In other words, Mumford is able to develop his motif effectively through his constant use of imagery.  He is able to be suspended on a bridge that has “spidery lacing of cables…great stone piers” which shows how elaborate the bridge is in appearance(841).  “Honeycombed with lights…a dazzling mass against the indigo sky” is another example of imagery that Mumford uses as he is suspended on the Brooklyn Bridge (844).   This example is very vivid and it is used to describe just what occurred for him during his suspension.  He also uses imagery with suspension to draw attention to the reader to the message that he is conveying.  Combining these two elements makes his work more enjoyable and allows the reader to be more attentive in the idea that suspension is critical to the ideal city experience.


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