Geena Arocho
a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog
 
 
Video
Posted on May 21st, 2011 at 4:28 pm by geenabeth and

Walking/Time and Space
Posted on May 5th, 2011 at 1:23 pm by geenabeth and

Geena Arocho

English 170

Walking/ Time and Place

Henry Thoreau’s “Walking” he talks about how he goes on walks out in the wilderness to experience nature. He just gets up and goes to get away from the village and all of the things that occupy his mind. In Tuan’s chapter “Time and Place” he describes how people in life settle into having routines. They no longer take the time to notice the places they pass through on a daily bases. Thoreau tries to defy these routines of everyday life by going on walks in the forest that don’t have any exact path. Thoreau agrees with Tuan that people create these routines where they encounter the same places all the time.

Tuan describes how people set into routines. “They settle into a routine of home, office or factory, and holiday resort (Tuan 182).” It is like a circle. There is a place to go, and the place to return to. In Thoreau’s “Writing” he agrees with Tunas idea of people having routines. He says “Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at even the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is but a retracing of our steps. Thoreau goes on walks to escape the routines, and experience places, and take the time to feel the place he is in.

Thoreau describes that how sometimes when he is on his walks his mind wonders and thinks about all the things he has to do for work. He takes these walks to get away from those thoughts. So when he finds himself thinking about them he feels as though he is not in the wilderness he is walking in. His body is, but his mind is not. “In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is,-I am out of my senses (Thoreau 264).” People often experience this. We can be somewhere but don’t even take the time to notice where we are at because our mind is somewhere else. You are not truly experiencing a place. Tuan says that a person’s “experience and appreciation of a place is superficial (183).” Even if a person constantly goes to a place or pass through it every day as part of their routine, they may not even pay it any mind, or give deep thought to that place. It is just part of their routine they have become so accustomed to. “In time we become familiar with a place, which means that we take more and more of it for granted (Tuan 184).”  

Thoreau thinks people should go on walks and just let go of their thoughts and truly experience a place “absolutely free from all worldly engagements (Thoreau 262).” Time is constantly moving in life, and Tuan says that “modern man is so mobile that he has not the time to establish roots.” People are constantly moving with time. People need to slow down and pause and take time to notice the places in their lives and truly experience them.

Attachment to Homeland
Posted on April 14th, 2011 at 1:26 pm by geenabeth and

Response- Attachment to Home Land/ What it Means to say Phoenix, Arizona

            In Tuan’s chapter “Attachment to Homeland”, he talks about how people are attached to their homelands and how it is a center. People become attached to their homeland through emotional ties and their memories. In the Story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie, the main character Victor must travel to Phoenix Arizona to get his father’s ashes and return them home.  In order to get there he had to take with him his old friend that he had lost touch with. His friend Thomas is a story teller, and while on their way to Phoenix Victor remembers the time he used to spend with Thomas when they were young living on the reserve.

            Victor is a Native American who lives on a reserve. It is his home. His father left this homeland and died out in Phoenix Arizona all alone. When both Victor and his old friend Thomas go to get his father’s ashes they feel as though there is no life out there. They do not find any animals, and end up accidentally killing the one animal they see. They both felt like the animal committed suicide by jumping in front of the car. For where they were at away from their homeland seemed dead and empty to them. “Victor looked around the desert, sniffed the air, felt the emptiness and loneliness and nodded his head (Alexie 480).” They were bringing Victors fathers ashes back to the homeland where memories of him remained. In Tuan’s “Attachment to homeland he describes a homeland as a “mother, and it nourishes; place is an archive of fond memories and splendid achievements that inspire the present (154).” The father died all alone, and no one had even known of his death till days later from the smell. No one there knew of him or had any memories of him. He was not in his home land.

            Thomas tells Victor a story about his dad. It was a certain story that only him and Victor’s father shared. One time when Thomas was young he left the reservation to go to the center of the city to Spokane Falls and Victor’s father had found him and brought him back to the reservation. Thomas told Victor he would spread his father’s ashes at the place his father found him, and into the waterfall. He tells Victor, “I’m going to travel to Spokane Falls one last time and toss these ashes into the water. And your father will rise like a salmon, leap over the bridge, over me, and find his way home (482 Alexi).” Thomas is attached to Victor’s father through his memory of him. He remembers how Victor’s father helped him to find his way back home, so Thomas wants to help Victor’s father to find his way back home as well through the land. Tuan explains how people “become strongly attached to a natural feature because more than one yoke ties them to it Tuan 158).” Being Native American’s they are very attached to the land. They feel that there is life in it. The land is full of memories, and that is why Thomas chooses to spread the ashes in the waterfall, because that is where he remembers forming this memory with Victor’s father. Victor’s father can travel through the waterfall and find his way back home, the way that the father once helped Thomas to get back home.

The Fall of The House of Usher/Architectural Space ttand Awareness
Posted on March 17th, 2011 at 12:32 pm by geenabeth and

In Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Fall of the House of Usher”, the home of Roderick and Madeline Usher creates a kind of atmosphere and awareness of space. It affects the people that are inside and enter this architectural space. Tuan writes in “Architectural Space” that, “building is a complex activity. It makes people aware and take heed at different levels. Architectural form is an environment for man. (106). In Poe’s story the narrator of the story goes to visit this home and becomes aware of the space he has entered. In the beginning of the story the person describes how the house looked from the outside. He uses dark gloomy words to describe this place. He thoroughly describes the house using many detailed words. When he entered the home he saw things that he was used to seeing in side homes, but in here he felt different. “While I hesitated not to acknowledge how familiar was all this –I still wondered to find how unfamiliar were the fancies which ordinary images were stirring up (Poe).”

The house was described as antique looking. It was falling apart and had cracks in it. It was crumbling. The home belonged to the visitor’s childhood friend. His friend and his twin sister lived in this house, and they both have been to be suffering mental conditions and were going mad.

The mental health of the individuals living in the house was crumbling, just like the house itself. Both Roderick and his twin sister Madeline were falling apart. Their family line was coming to an end. Roderick talks to his friend and tells him,  “I shall perish thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost, I dread the events (Poe)”. Roderick was talking about his family line the Ushers. They will disappear and so will their home that they lived in. It’s slowly perishing with them.

The visiting friend was aware before he even entered the house that it was a sad place. Tuan idea of architectural space tells how the construction of an architectural space can heighten a person’s awareness of what may be happening inside the home, and the people who occupy that space. “Constructed form has the power to heighten the awareness and accentuate, as it were, the difference in emotional temperature between “inside” and “outside”. When the visitor enters the home he is aware of all the gloomy feelings this home gives off, even though it may have been familiar, because it was like any other homes decorated with paintings and tapestries.

The Lottery and Mythical Space and Place
Posted on March 10th, 2011 at 12:48 am by geenabeth and

In the short story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson is a story about this small village and their tradition. Tuan helps in “Mythical Space and Place” to describe how people have different traditions they hold to, and how things have different meanings for different people, and these traditions help shape a place.

The tradition in the short story “The Lottery” the village people hold this lottery every year. Throughout the story the reader doesn’t really know what the lottery is for, as the people are accustomed to it, and go about their day as usual. Then at the end it turns out that getting g the lottery isn’t a good thing as it may have been expected. The lottery chooses someone to be stoned. They do this tradition because they believe it will lead to a good harvest season. A villager in the story said, “Lottery in June, corn be heave soon” (Jackson 251).

The people of this village created their own mythical space that was shaped their tradition. They were not connected to outside villages that were leaving the tradition. They see nothing wrong with their tradition and they go about their days as normal because the tradition of stoning someone for prosperity has been going on for so long and they believe it to work. They feel that the other villages are foolish and what they are doing is what is right, because they are in their own mythical space, where this stoning of a person is what is the right thing to do. Tuan describes mythical space as “an intellectual construct. It can be very elaborate. Mythical space is also a response of feeling and imagination to fundamental human needs” (Tuan 99). The people of the town felt that they still needed to hold on to this tradition of stoning one innocent person because it helped protect the village and kept order and brought them food and good things.

Paper 1
Posted on March 8th, 2011 at 3:09 am by geenabeth and
Cathedral
Posted on March 3rd, 2011 at 2:10 pm by geenabeth and

Geena Arocho

English 162

In the short story “Cathedral”, written by Raymond Carver, the story is told from the husband in the story’s point of view. In the story he meets a blind man who is his wives friend. The husband gets to know the blind man and in the end is able to see how he “sees” things. The husband thinks of the blind man differently at the end of the story. The blind man is not how he expected him to be. This blind man didn’t need any help with getting around. He didn’t let his disability handicap him much. He still had a sense of space and place and knowledge of space.

                The blind man never asked for much help, and seemed quite comfortable in the house. He would even tell the man’s wife that. He seemed to know where he was. The husband was surprised at the blind man when he would pass him the cigarette to smoke, he was surprised at the way he held it, and had no trouble.  In Tuans Space and Place he talks about how people really don’t rely on site much and don’t realize this. They unconsciously learn series of movements. “Visual cues are of primary importance, but people are less dependent on imagery and on consciously held mental maps then they perhaps realize.” “They lean a succession of movements rather than a spatial configuration of maps.” (Tuan, 70)

                Tuan say’s that people are capable to “perform complex acts without the help of mental or material plans.”(Tuan, 68) The blind man learns to get familiar with new places quickly so he is able to feel comfortable in new spaces and make it into a familiar place. “When space feels thoroughly familiar to us, it has become place.” (Tuan, 73)

Rough Draft paper 1
Posted on March 3rd, 2011 at 1:24 am by geenabeth and
Space and Place Ch 5./ The Metamorphosis
Posted on February 17th, 2011 at 1:00 am by geenabeth and

Space and Place Ch 5./ The Metamorphosis

In the short story “The Metamorphosis” written by Franz Kafka, a man named Gregor awakes to find that he has transformed into some kind of bug. Now Gregors life has changed and he must adjust to it. He sees things differently now. The place Gregor once found solitude in has now become as a prison to him.

Gregor was locked up and confided to his room now because of his condition. His space becomes limited now. He could no longer move freely about his home or out of it anymore without being a disturbance to the rest of his family’s space. He has lost his freedom. In Tuans “Spaciousness and Crowding” he says, “Spaciousness is closely associated with the sense of being free. Freedom implies space; it means having the power and enough room in which to act.” (pg.52) Gregor could no longer act and do things as he did before.

Gregor, in order to create more space for himself, begins to climb and crawl on the walls. It was a kind of space in his room that he had never really thought to use that way when he was human. The ceilings and walls became a new space to him.

Also the way Gregor viewed the clutter of things in his room changed. At first it seemed as though all the things took up his space so moving everything out would create for him a larger space, to be able to move about more freely. But as the things in his room were beginning to be taken out he felt the opposite. Franz writes in his story “they were cleaning out his room, taking away from him everything that he loved; already they carried off his chest, where he kept his fretsaw and his other tools; now they were trying to pry his writing desk loose.”(Pg. 319, An Introduction to Fiction) Loosing the things that connected Gregor to his human past made him panic. His fretsaw was something he loved and part of a hobby he did in his spare time, his free time. He feels that he is loosing that and loosing himself. Tuan writes how space can mean different things to people, depending on how they view it. Such was in his example where spaciousness can be viewed as “a symbol of opportunity and freedom” but to another “despair rather than opportunity; it inhibited rather than encourage action.”(Pg. 56, Space and Place) taking the stuff out of Gregors room seemed as though it would give him more space and opportunity to move around, but it really only bought him despair, to see that this is his new life confined to this small space compared to how he viewed this space before his metamorphosis.

The House on Mango Street
Posted on February 10th, 2011 at 1:59 pm by geenabeth and

Space and Place ch. 3 / The House on Mango Street

            The house on Mango Street is a short story about a young  girl discribing her home. It is writen from this little girls perspective. She does’t seem very happy or proud of where she lives. She remembers her past homes and describes them. She makes it seem like her new home on Mango street is an improvement from her previous home on Loomis street, but still, not what she imagined it to be.

            In Tuan’s Space and Place, he talks about how children connect to places and become attatched. It all depends on age. And also how children only remember certain things form their childhood. “For the bright and dark landscapes of our early years tend to fade while only a few landmarks suck as birthdays and the first day of school remain.”The little girl from the short story “the House on Mango Street” remembers her past homes and how she didn’t like them. She wasn’t proud of them, yet they were her homes. She was connected to them. When a nun walking by that saw her playing outside asked her where she lived in one of her previous homes, she responded, “there”, in a kind of way to detach herself from the home she wasn’t proud of. She didn’t develop good feelings to the place that was her home. She knew it wasn’t a home to be proud of. The way the nun responded back to her like in a shoking way showed that to the little girl.

                The little girl describes her fantacy home as great and big. She points out, one without a fence. She wants to expand her living space. The homes she lives in she does not have her own personal space. She lives in a small place and shares a room with all her siblings. In “Space and Place” tuan talks about how a baby in a crib will not reach out for a toy at first beyond his crib, until later on, it realizes that it can go beyond the crib, that it will try to reach out and grab the toy on the outside. The fence in the girls home shows how she feels her space is limited. She imagines a home without a fence, and space to explore beyond her home.