LR #8


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 27, 2014

When looking at the poem “Between Two Wars” was very interesting. With a title like that, the last thing a person expects to read is “honey sweetened chocolate.” The poem goes from talking about losing beautiful women and trying to find them, to all of a sudden talking about the judgment of people. Who is management? Why is the person all of a sudden be judged as lost, mad and immoral? And after the judgment, it leads straight into death and coffins. This poem is confusing and hard to understand but I love it. Its imagery allows for so much room for the mind to wander.

LR #6 Tortilla Flat


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 20, 2014

When looking at chapter 1 of Tortilla Flat, the first theme I found was loyalty, which is mostly the case for Danny. Danny had loyalty to his grandfather which earned him the land, and then there was the loyalty to his friends.  He feels loyalty to not leave his poor friends behind and to pay his debts to those he cares about. Chapter 2 helps show this when Danny and his friends all move into the nice house, where they eat and drink, and fall asleep at. Chapter 3 shows a little of Pilon’s selfishness through out the chapter. He uses Danny’s house, doesn’t pay rent and then places the debt onto someone else. Again in the next chapter, Pilon is just worrying about himself. Danny is involved with a women and Pilon does not want that because a man with a girl wants to buy her things, and that cost money which Pilon owes Danny for rent. And as soon as rent is brought up, Pilon gets angry, walks away, finds money, and then will probably buy wine and drink it again. Chapter 5 is a major screw up for Pilon when they leave a candle burning and through a series if unfortunate events, end up burning down the house and sleeping in the woods to avoid Danny.

LR #5 Ferlinghetti


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 17, 2014

“I am waiting

for forests and animals

to reclaim the earth as theirs

and I am waiting

for a way to be devised

to destroy all nationalisms

without killing anybody

and I am waiting

for linnets and planets to fall like rain

and I am waiting for lovers and weepers

to lie down together again

in a new rebirth of wonder…” (pg 2, Ferlinghetti).

This is a strong statement because it goes against the growth of people. It instead supports the fact that animals, and forest are the things that are actually in control on the earth. Every part of the earth was originally controlled and owned by nature, and nature will hopefully one day become a bigger part of our decision making, and hopefully nature will reclaim the earth. The last part I took literally; a wish that everyone can live together without hate, and people will help each other.


“I am waiting

to get some intimations

of immortality

by recollecting my early childhood

and I am waiting

for the green mornings to come again

youth’s dumb green fields come back again

and I am waiting

for some strains of unpremeditated art

to shake my typewriter

and I am waiting to write

the great indelible poem…” (pg 4, Ferlinghetti)

This statement by Lawrence Ferlinghetti spoke strongly to who I am as am in individual. Even though I am only in my early twenties, I feel a sense of getting old and I want to let loose every once in awhile to still act like a teenager who has no worries, just like when I was a kid. But when thinking of my childhood, I think of getting up in the morning to play sports and walking out and seeing nature all around me. No housing developments yet, no paved road, just our house and nature. The last part I took as writing a life story, rather than a literal poem. I am waiting to look back at the poem/story that I hope will be an amazing and indelible.

LR #4 The Maltese Falcon (2)


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 14, 2014

“The boy walked over and stood close to Spade, a little in front of him, but not directly between Spade and the door. The boy’s right hand was inside his coat over his heart. The corners of his mouth twitched. Spade essayed his sixth step. The boy’s leg darted out across Spade’s leg, in front. Spade tripped over front. Spade tripped over the interfering leg… The boy drew his right foot far back and kicked Spade’s temple… he tried to get up, could not, and went to sleep” (pg 130).

The boy has a lot of confidence in himself, and he is finally able to best Spade. Even after being shown that Spade is the alpha male in the chapter before when Spade was able to grab, toss around, and disarm the boy. But when the boy gets a chance to take a little revenge on Spade, he does so with eagerness. The “mouth twitch” makes it seem like the boy was trying to hold back a smirk like he knew he was going to knock out Spade, so is Spade the alpha male he portrays himself as?


“Spade pulled his hand out of hers. He no longer smiled or grimaced. His wet yellow face was set hard and deeply lined. His eyes burned madly. He said: “Listen… You’ll never understand me… When a man’s partner is killed he’s supposed to do something about it…” (pg 213).

Though Spade may not want to, and he may truly love this woman, he feels an obligation to turn her in. It was not just some thief that she killed but in fact killed a good man, a good partner. Spade starts the disconnection from her by starting with the extremities (hands), then moves deeper and deeper into his soul till the decision was made.

LR#3 The Maltese Falcon


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 12, 2014


The story of Detective Spade makes me think of an adult version of Sherlock Holmes. There is affairs, murder, and gun violence. The story of Detective Spade starts the suspense by killing off his partner and admitting to the readers that there was an affair. And though they leave that part right there, they continue with the theme of sex by adding a relationship between Spade and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the initial client who faked her name and real motive for following this suspicious character Floyd Thursby. The cops like in Sherlock Holmes seem kind of behind a dumb witted, always looking for reasons to blame Spade. But Spade, though a little sarcastic and confident has a reason to be. He smart and though he may not seem like much and doesn’t like guns — like Sherlock Holmes– , he can fight and knows his way around a gun. Spade is the definition of a confident detective.

– Kyle Volk

LR#2 Hetch Hetchy Valley


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 9, 2014


“Garden- and park-making goes on everywhere with civilization, for everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul.”

When reading this line, I felt that John Muir is making a sensible argument for trying to keep Hetch Hetchy Valley, he is not attacking people for ruining the land but is just letting people know his opinion. By not attacking, he is not making people be on the defense about building homes but people also need nature. Nature gives “strength to body and soul.” Muir is making it seem that even though we need to build, we need to make sure to not just use it as a tool but we see it as a necessity for our survival.


“That any one would try to destroy such a place seemed impossible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing for Hetch-Hetchy is its destruction. These arguments are curiously like those of the devil devised for the destruction of the first garden — so much of the very best Eden fruit going to waste; so much of the best Tuolumne water.”

Here I found that Muir is making his final and strong point in his argument towards keeping the valley. Here he is going more on the offensive then the last quote. Here Muir is making a final attempt to tell people that destroying this park is wrong to do. To support his points and make his argument stronger Muir uses words such devil, first garden, Eden, and the phrase Eden fruit going to waste. Muir is no longer just making it an argument but a sin against God. If you vote to destroy the Valley than you are being a part of a plan that the “devil devised” against God and God’s first garden – Eden. Muir’s argument is a strong argument to end the essay with and is placed perfectly.


– Kyle Volk

LR#1 Joaquin Murrieta


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 8, 2014

three fingers

The story of Joaquin Murrieta was a very interesting story, I found that it could almost be made into a movie. The way the story is told makes Joaquin Murrieta a proud Mexican hero of the Mexican-American people; a young orphaned man heading to America in search for gold. He came from Mexico in search of the “American Dream” and found that with the riches came a title of outlaw. But he wasn’t just any outlaw, he was a “Robin Hood” type outlaw, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Towards the end of the song, a reader can tell that Murrieta ended up getting his riches when it states that he has a “silver platted saddle.” He wasn’t rich enough to have a gold saddle because he shares his wealth, but he was still well off with his “silver platted saddle.”

– Kyle Volk

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