Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Frankenstein, the modern Prometheus!

Dear Readers,

I recently read Frankenstein in my AP ENGLISH class, and I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery found within the novel. I have included an essay below that I wrote for my AP English class discussing Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, through the characterization and treatment of the creature, expresses the idea that society possesses a superficial and judgmental view on individuals. Often, society hates and fears what it is not comfortable with and it creates an expectation that everyone should look pleasing and act a certain way.  This unrealistic expectation molds people regarding how they look and act, therefore posing the question, how does the creation and maturation of the creature reflect on society’s characteristics, regarding lack of acceptance, as a whole?
Although the creature possesses moral strength and incredible knowledge, he only is noticed as a monstrous creature, unworthy of kind treatment.  The novel shows him ardently seeking knowledge, through reading works such as Paradise Lost and studying mathematics and the sciences. However, credit never becomes awarded to him for this desire for progression, and he slowly becomes involved in murderous acts, seeking revenge on humanity for his unjust and judgmental treatment.  This lack of recognition for the power of mind that he possesses becomes a reflection for society’s disregard for the significance of knowledge.  Because of this, the creature begins to doubt his kind and progressive nature, and turns instead to acts of violence, implying that society’s sawed views can carry a negative influence.

The creature, largely at the beginning his creation, is abhorred for his frightening appearance.  From the moment that Frankenstein gives him life, Frankenstein only sees him for his exterior qualities, and abandons him to fend for himself.  This causes the creature to hate his creator and hate himself, because he only sees himself as a monster.  His self-worth becomes diminished, as he believes from the beginning that he possesses no importance.  Frankenstein, instead of seeing the potential and great knowledge in his creation, only focuses on his deformed body, and immediately is disgusted with the creature.  This lack of love, acceptance, and inability to see past exterior flaws exhibits those exact qualities regarding society’s view and focus  on those different that the ideal person.
Near the end of the novel, the creature shows himself to the family he has observed and learned from.  He first appears to the blind father, who accepts him and takes him in, giving him shelter.  Later, the children arrive home and chase the creature from town, disgusted by his horrifying and disgusting appearance.  The old man, blind to the creature’s appearance, values him for his intellect and in general as a human being.  The children only see his physical form and do not take time to learn of his character, immediately hating and deciding to fear him.  These varying treatments reflect two aspects of society; those individuals who possess love and acceptance for everyone despite flaws, and those individuals who place judgment and hatred for anyone different from what they are comfortable with.  The way these characters in the novel treat the creature upon first meeting him possess a direct correlation to society’s judgmental and ignorant focus.

            Throughout the novel as a whole, the creature’s only judged quality becomes his outward appearance, never his desire for progression or how he ardently seeks for greater knowledge. The creature’s lack of recognition for his knowledge, why his creator abandons him, and how the family treats him, causes him to eventually seek revenge and turn to violence.  Hatred, judgment, and fear follow anyone who sees him, reflecting how society only values outward appearances and looks.  This fact assists the reader in feeling sympathy for the creature, because of the lack of love and acceptance he is shown, exhibiting the ignorant and superficial way individuals view others.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The "lost" daughter that was "found" by Brianna Crampton

Dear Reader,

It seems I have been lost....not literally, but metaphorically! Lost like Persephone from her mother, Demeter. How many of you are familiar with that myth? I love this story for many reasons. I find it so enduring, especially since it represents an allegory for the different seasons of life. Back to being lost....I have been creating a mosaic for my mythology class, and guess what I selected as my subject? You are correct, Demeter! I have been "lost" in creating my mosaic. This myth focuses on the love between a mother and a daughter, and the fact that  once Persephone is taken from her mother, by Hades, Demeter is no longer able to function. She refuses to allow anything to grow, and consequently the Greeks begin to perish.

 As soon as Persephone is returned to her mother, life returns to the earth; unfortunately, while Persephone was in Hades, she was offered three pomegranate seeds, which she ate. If one eats the food of the dead then they are required to stay in the underworld. We are now faced with a serious dilemma. Persephone has eaten the food of the dead, which means she is confined to Hades; yet, what about mortals? If Demeter is without her daughter then she will refuse to let anything grow; consequently, life will cease to exist. Zeus finally settles the problem. He states that Persephone will remain in Hades for three months out of the year since she ate three pomegranate seeds, the other months she will remain with her mother. This, of course, is how the Greeks explained the seasons. When Persephone is in the underworld, nothing grows, as Demeter mourns for her daughter......WINTER!  When plants begins to rise to the surface, Demeter is anticipating the return of her daughter, and life begins to return to the earth,,,,, SPRING! When plants are in full bloom and the earth laughs in flowers it is SUMMER! Finally, when the leaves begins to fall to the earth, and the flowers wilt, Demeter grows sad, as she knows that her daughter will soon leave her for the underworld.....FALL!

The Greeks were unable to explain the world around them, so they created gods that controlled every aspect of the known world; this helped them live a less frightening existence.  It also proves how incredibly creative the ancient Greeks actually were.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Apologia by Brianna Crampton

Dear Reader,

Have you ever considered the meaning behind the word "Apology?" Most individuals hear that word and they naturally think it refers to an  "admittance of guilt." I recently  read "The Apology" created by Socrates and recorded by Plato, and I was impressed with Socrates's ability to defend his choices. Basically, this amazing piece of literature is a DEFENSE of the charge that he had corrupted the youth of Athens, by helping them to question the questions. He wanted the youth to think for themselves. He chose to die, because he would not refute his belief system.   I was inspired to write my own "Apologia," where I defended one of Socrates's quotes, " The Unexamined life is not worth living." Let me know what you think of my defense.

by Brianna Crampton

"The unexamined life is not worth living" represents a valid and logical statement. In order to truly exist, one must actively examine his life. If an individual does not think about how he wants to live, then he gives up those decisions to others; consequently, becoming like an animal, or even a machine, in that he has no self, and no agency to act independently. An unexamined life has no "author." To live a meaningful life doesn't one need to claim it as their own and actively "author the rest of the story?" This is why the unexamined lif is not worth living. Every individual has aspects to their existence that need examination and hopefully change for improvement. One most realize that if they exist without seeking change and improvement, then they become stagnate. If one fails to reflect upon his life and values, and just exists to "go through the motions," or "follow the crowd" then that life is actually not owned by that individual. Such a person is not a true agent until they stop and question what drives them and what actions reshape their character. Isn't living about being conscious, and isn't consciousness about examining ones choices and the consequences that follow? A life full of reflection and reevaluation leads to growth and discovery, and the more one "knows the more he realizes that he does not know." Individuals must question for growth, and then evaluate the answers to the questions. Constant examination of one's life adds meaning and worth to it; consequently,making an examined life a better one.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reach for the green light, even if you can't touch it! by Brianna Crampton

Dear All,

When you hear the words "green light," you probably think of something associated with traffic, right? Or maybe you are reminded of the childhood game "Red Light/Green Light."  Either way you think of something in motion. So, what about the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan's dock? Have you ever considered the meaning behind that light? Does it relate to motion? What do you think?   I am so glad that my junior English teacher asked us to read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Through reading this amazing piece of literature I feel that I am in motion. I have learned to perceive, and not just see, what Fitzgerald meant with his green light, and the many other symbolic choices he created throughout the text.  I value you this work of art because it makes you think!

  • "The Green Light"...The green light located at the end of Daisy's dock represents the hope that Gatsby has that the relationship he and Daisy once had will be renewed and begin again  
  • "A single green light,minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock." The Great Gatsby, Chp. 1

  • "Daisy Buchannan"....An actual Daisy, as in the flower, doesn't last very long. This is why florists rarely use or combine them with other flowers. Daisy "doesn't last" long with Gatsby. As soon as she realizes Gatsby could lose his wealth as quickly as he has gained it, she "wilts" on him, and decides to return to Tom. She stays "open" to him, as long as the prospect of his money "buzzes" around you.
  • "The king's daughter, the golden girl." The Great Gatsby, Chp.  1
  • "What do we plan....What do people plan? 
  • "Her voice was full of money." 
  • "They were careless people." 
  • There’s something in that voice of hers….
    The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain
    ‘Her voice is full of money,’ - See more at:
There’s something in that voice of hers….
The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain
‘Her voice is full of money,’ - See more at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"I am WOMAN; hear me ROAR!" Welcome to Antigone! by Brianna Crampton

Dear Reader,

How many of you are familiar with the drama  entitled  "Antigone" by Sophocles.? I love this story, because I think individuals who stand up for what they believe in, even if they stand alone, are so amazing.  What are you willing to do for others? What are you willing to do for your own integrity? If each person had half the fortitude of Antigone, then we would definitely have less problems in the world. I wonder if Sophocles created her based on someone that he actually knew, or perhaps she is his concept of the ideal woman? INTELLIGENT! CONFIDENT! PRO-ACTIVE! CARING! HONEST! I admire her so much. This is the power of literature. We can connect with imperfect characters, and through their cathartic (I learned that word in my Mythology class) moments, we want to become better ourselves. Catharsis, by the way, is a Greek term that means to purge of emotion. So, when we experience pity and fear through Antigone's choice to bury her brother, we make a connection to ourselves. Would we do the same for our family members? I know that I would!

Allow me to give you a basic plot summary....

 Antigone has spent time caring for her aged father, Oedipus, who experienced a horrible fate. He learned that he unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. Upon learning this, he decided to punish himself, by taking away his sight. He poked out his eyes with the belief that he had "never truly seen, even though he had sight." 

 Antigone takes care of her father until his death, at which time she returns to her city-state of Thebes to find it in chaos. Her twin brothers have been arguing for the throne, and they have killed each other. One brother, Eteocles, has fought for Thebes and the second brother, Polyneices, has fought against Thebes. Her uncle, Kreon, has now taken the throne and he honors Eteolces with a proper burial. Polyneices's body, on the other hand, is left to rot in the streets, because Kreon does not believe he should be honored when he was fighting against Thebes. Kreon decrees that if anyone attempts to take care of Polyneices's body, that they too, will perish. Antigone tells Kreon that he is a fool. She reminds him that the "laws of the gods" are worth more than the "laws of man," and that she will take care of her brother's body, even if it means she will die. She buries Polyneices, and is placed in a dungeon, where she chooses to take her own life. 

This drama really pertains to the value of family over authority. Antigone knows that her brother's body needs to be cared for, and she also knows that breaking the laws of the land, or rather Kreon's laws, will cause her death. She chooses the "higher law," by taking care of her brother's remains. 

These are some of my favorite lines from the drama:

  • "I transgressed your law, Kreon, but not the laws of the gods. Their law is the law of justice. The unwritten laws of heaven are not of today or yesterday, but of all time."
  • "Behold me, what I suffer. Because I have upheld that which is high."
I highly recommend you read this exceptional piece of literature!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Welcome to "Pursuit of Perocity" by Brianna Crampton

Dear Reader,

My name is Brianna Crampton, and I love to read and write! I thought that blogging would be a valid way for me to share my love for literature. I am so fascinated with this art form, that I wanted to share my passion with others. You're probably asking, "Why is literature an art form?" or even better, "What does "Perocity" mean?" I hope you enjoy my title. "Perocity," by the way, means "intelligence." So, if you were to translate the title of my blog it would be; "THE PURSUIT of INTELLIGENCE," and what better way to strengthen a mind than through reading and writing.  Back to my initial question, "Why is literature an art form?" Well, the answer is quite creates change in peoples lives. It causes us to consider different perspectives. It cause us to feel emotions based upon the characters that we encounter. Literature is not a science, but an art that gives us the ability to improve. Have you ever considered language as a power? What would happen if I magically turned off your computer right now, and as soon as you attempted to turn it back on, you realized that you could no longer read or write? What would happen? Could you function? We rarely consider the art of reading and writing as powerful, but they are...two powers that can make us want to improve, at least for myself, anyway.

These are some of my favorite quotes about the power of literature: 

  • “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”  Terry Prachett
  • When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”  Maya Angelou
  • “Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”Cassandra Clare
  • “From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.”  Betty Smith