Blog 10: Fin

Blog 10: Fin

I commented on Matt’s and Cody’s vlog.


Blog numero nueve (sp?) It’s nine okay.

Visual Rhetoric: (wordpress inserted it at the bottom of the post)

This ad for a foundation by Maybelline is a case of visual rhetoric. The minimal text on the page draws the eyes to the make up coming off in a perfect line looking thing that shows that this make up is really good at matching your skin tone. A female audience is being addressed here in many magazines and TV commercials. They show a very beautiful woman the product and having a very even skin tone. Women who have problems with theirs will see this as a means of becoming more comfortable in their own skin. It also shows which problem areas it covers best so it appeals to an older audience, especially since the product is called “The Eraser”. The reason behind communicating that this makeup will make you look really good visually is that there’s physical proof that the makeup works (or so the ad promotes). In this case it’s much better that we have a visual instead of a verbal piece of evidence because we SEE that it works and we’re not just reading what the company has to say. The constraint with using a visual with an ad such as this is that you can’t really describe how the product works or how you can find your perfect match in color, but even that isn’t much of a constraint in this case.


“Smells like palm trees, sunshine, and freedom.”

-from the Old Spice Fiji deodorant


The text is written on the cap of the deodorants and is all capitalized and the words get bolder after the word “like”. This is a really good marketing strategy; it’s funny and describes pretty well what the deodorant smells like. The benefit to using text to describe the scent instead of a visual is that it allows us to remember our own memories of what palm trees and sunshine and freedom feel like. This sensation will turn the scent into a way to remember those extremely fond memories. The limiting factor is that it might not be a totally accurate description of the product and that might influence how someone of the people are affected by the text. With mainly a male audience the deodorant ads are seen on again both the TV and in magazines. The minimalist text foes along with what we were talking about with the Axe commercial, it offers a really great desire to want to be like that smell like this because who wouldn’t want someone who promotes a free, paradise-like life. In that way it appeals to women who see the ad as well. Image


8 is my favorite number so I’m kinda excited. Also, no one else has posted this yet so I have to wait until tomorrow to post a comment. (edit: I posted a comment to Carrie’s blog.)

Genre Discussion

We know that rhetoric is a way to communicate ideas persuasively, but we really never talked about how genres could be considered rhetorical. Definitions of what a genre is give a pretty bland explanation about the classification of a piece of literature. What I think we can do is say that genres can be considered rhetorical devices in the way that they connect with the reader and challenge the opinions of the reader. The different subject matters shown in separate genres all show the same plotlines, boy meets girl, girls likes boy, boy doesn’t like girl until some big moment of euphoria where he sees how great she is, and various other generic plots. The way in which the characters deal with the situation in the separate genres reflect the “assumed opinions” of the genres. Now I say “assumed opinions” and I’m not sure if I’m thinking too into what a genre could be or what kind of influence the author’s opinions have on the storyline. What I mean by the assumed opinions is that certain genres seem to put off this attitude towards the situations I mentioned earlier. The trend right now that I’ve seen in genres is that there’s the unknown girl who likes the more well known boy and I could go on but I think you understand where that goes. The different genres handle this situation in separate ways, young adult gives the fru fru lovey version where love prevails, and sci-fi gives the hard core woman who doesn’t need a man to help her but gets him anyway, and the true science books give you hard core facts about pheromones. Any way you look at it just seems like the genre is trying to get the audience to deal with globally recognized simulations  in the way that it thinks they should deal with it. I’m probably way off, but I just thought this could be an interesting take seeing how literature has a pretty extreme effect on the opinions of the reader.

Blog #7



So the first comment I’d like to elaborate on is about how I was affected by Grendel. The project we did for that class came around a time where I was challenging religion in my life. I was trying to figure out exactly what everything meant to me because I was worried I was taking on the same beliefs as my parents and friends and I wanted everything I thought to be something I believed in on my own. I found a lot of parallels with Grendel in his search for meaning. We seemed to be on the same path of investigation in everything around us. Grendel wanted to know his purpose in creation and I was looking for a way to figure out why life is the way it is for me. The path that Grendel and I were on left us at a fork in a yellow wood though, and I took the path more often traveled. Here is where the story of Grendel became “both heart-breaking and soulfully inspiring”. It broke my heart to see a character I had come to love losing his sanity over the questions and motives he had in life. I did however become inspired by his misery, and decided that I could find the answers to my questions through patience and letting things run their course as they should. This is actually some of the advice that Grendel gets from the dragon in chapter six. That’s essentially why I found the book so inspiring and confusing and why it’s still one of my favorite books.


The second comment I’ll address is the one about a misunderstanding later on in the essay. I wasn’t trying to give off a tone that suggested that fantasy was unsophisticated or that it didn’t bear deeper meaning; I was honestly having a hard time reading the material again. I figure now that the reason behind these feelings is that I was still reading the same books I read as a kid. I wasn’t exploring any new fantasies that could have brought me back to the genre in a timelier manner so I guess I thought that the experience wasn’t as genuine as it used to be. This goes on to another comment at the end of the essay about how “the older [I] got the more [I] felt that it wasn’t okay to read fantasy, until [I] discovered a valid argument for why it actually is okay to believe, or love, something fantastic.” I think what happened was that as I was growing up I lost a lot of connections with my fantasy books and it took newer material and a desire to want to be in the fantasy genre again to actually feel like I could love and believe in the fantastic. 


Sorry about all the grammatical errors in the essay! I’m trying to work on it but grammar was always my worst subject. :/

Blog #6


MLA citation:

Merrill, Robert. “John Gardner’s Grendel and the Interpretation of Modern Fables.”American Literature. 2nd ed. Vol. 56. Durham: Duke UP, 1984. 162-80. Print.

I found this source from the JSTOR catalog website (not sure if that’s the technical term for it). I searched the terms Grendel and existentialism, and I plan on checking the book out some time today.

The essay tells about the different interpretations one can make in Grendel dealing with nihilism and other philosophical viewpoints. It also gives an in depth analysis of Gardner’s reasoning behind the story. The author talks about Gardner’s attacks on other authors that he was associated with at the time and also how

“Gardner’s literary credo is unabashedly traditional; for him art is good ‘when it has a clear positive moral effect, presenting valid models for imitation, eternal verities worth keeping in mind, and a benevolent vision of the possible which can inspire and incite human beings towards virtue.’”

Along with more analyses of the characters and actions in Grendel, the author also shares a standpoint on the reasons Gardner’s intentions have remained hidden from the readers of his works. 

Technology, Fetishism, and Lord of the Rings

In class last week we had a really intense discussion about how the ring represented technology and we also talked about how we felt about the article “Is Google making us stupid?” I think we were getting pretty heated about this topic and I think we need to go back to it and really focus on what we were talking about.

First off, I’d like to make my stand point blatantly clear: I think that technology has given us many short cuts, but I do not think that it has made us stupid or lazy. The technology we possess as a generation and as a nation is absolutely astounding, there are people working in the mag lab who are LISTENING to different atoms colliding with each other.  How could you categorize an entire population as lazy when such fantastic discoveries are being made in this century?

Any way, enough on that subject. What about the fetishism discussed in the philosophy book? My biggest question is how did someone even think of that!? It’s a great theory and yes I see some circumstantial evidence that may support it, but it’s such an abstract thing to wrap my head around. Especially the little blurb about the spider representing the fear of castration in males, Freud really got me there. Being a girl I guess I’m on the other side looking in, boys may think that not having a penis would be scary, but I definitely don’t represent the women who have penis envy.

It may be just me, but I think that that theory read just a little too far in to the story. Who would think of that? I really would like to know what you all thought of that theory in particular and where you thought the idea for it came from in the text.

Oh, and I commented on Sam Bartz’s blog.

Blog #3: Literary Devices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring

 1. Allusion: A figure of speech in which an author refers an event, other literary piece, or place by passing reference.

      “’A mortal, Frodo, who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness’ (Fellowship of the Ring, 46).”

       This is spoken by Gandalf when he is teaching Frodo about the history of the rings of power. I believe this to be an allusion to a future event in Frodo’s destiny. It seems that he is referring to what Frodo might possibly go through, as though he is mentally preparing the hobbit for what evil is to come. The audience can read this and feel a pull to know more about how the ring’s power works and how Frodo will handle such a burden.

2. Imagery: The author uses words and phrases to create a mental image for the audience.

      “The hobbits sat in shadow by the wayside. Before long the Elves came down the lane towards the valley. They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes. They bore no lights, yet as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about their feet. They were now silent, and as the last Elf passed he turned and looked towards the hobbits and laughed (Fellowship of the Ring, 78).

       This is a general description of the elves as the hobbits make their way to Crickethollow. The words that Tolkien uses to show how the Elves have an aura about them creates an image in the mind of ethereal beings. It is easy to imagine the gracefulness of their strides and haunting presence in the moonlight. Tolkien does an amazing job of painting a mental picture for the audience for such essential characters in the story so far.

 3. Foreshadowing/Synecdoche: Alluding to future events through indicative words and phrases/ using a part or fraction of one thing to describe the whole thing.

      “The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. (Fellowship of the Ring, 35).

        This is a poem sung by Bilbo as he makes he way out of the Shire and particularly his town. The audience can perceive this as a foreshadowing of what may lie ahead for Frodo. The poem itself sounds just like the plot of Frodo’s destiny and it intrigues the audience to ask questions such as: What similar road will Frodo travel? Who will he meet along the way? The “pursuing it with eager feet” quote is almost ironic because the hobbits seem to be tired of walking early on in the journey but they still pursue the goal to destroy the ring with as much vigor as ever. 

Blog #1: Rhetoric, Invention, Critical Thinking, and Fantasy.


Drawing from what I remember from my AP language class in high school, I still refer to rhetoric as an appeal to logos, ethos, and pathos. It’s a way for the author to draw attention to certain aspects of the literary piece that they want highlighted. I believe that rhetoric is what’s beautiful about writing; it’s the application of different literary devices in a way that pulls the reader into the story or issue at hand. 


Based on what we’ve discussed in class so far, invention seems to be what the author creates when they write. How they develop the story and intertwine the literary devices they decide to use invents an image or idea in the reader’s head. Being able to float in both bad and good ways, invention, in my opinion, should be very important to writers. If you invent the wrong idea in your writing you could either create a paper that really offends one group of people, or you could lead people to believe something completely opposite from what you wanted them to believe. 

Critical Thinking:

I still agree with the article that this isn’t a skill that one person can be taught. Being able to think critically is a really difficult way to thing. It’s taking past knowledge, new knowledge, and welding them together into a knowledge that you can use in application to various situations. For example, being a physics major requires me to throw away my inhibitions about what I used to think physics was. It also requires me to look at a problem in every possible way to try to see the reason behind the problem and how I could possibly attack it to find a reasonable answer.


Fantasy is everything beautiful about writing and reading. It’s a whole different world that you can enter where the make believe that you keep hidden in your mind all day is free to explore without bounds. To me, fantasy is a genre that gives us a break free from daily life, a place we can escape to when we’re dealing with rough situations. Fantasy doesn’t discriminate; it allows us to be who we wish we were and often times helps us cope with issues in ways we couldn’t in our physical world. This is what I’ve picked up on throughout my life, but in class fantasy seems to be a bit more tamed in a way that it represents a way that the author can connect with the audience. It makes the connection more vulnerable and real because the feelings created when reading a fantasy piece far surpass any emotional ties to a non-fiction piece.

In Relation to One Another:

The first thing that comes to mind is the similarity between fantasy, rhetoric, and invention. They are used to create each other and they just seem to coincide with one another. We can find rhetoric in fantasy, writers invent fantasy when they write, and we can dissect fantasy to find the rhetoric and come up with an idea about what the author wanted us to be thinking or feeling. I think critical thinking comes in from a far left field, but it is still connected to the other three categories. Critical thinking, I think, is more applied to discussing the meaning behind what an author says or is trying to say. It’s like the genius cousin that everyone hates. It isn’t as free hearted as the other three can be at times, but it’s still a connecting factor that can link all of them together.