featured comments on blog #2

I enjoyed the way that blogger #2 recognized the fact that Lois was reminded of Lucy through her paintings. I think that along with reminding her of the good times Lucy and Lois had when they were younger, the paintings also coincide with the sadness Lois feels now that Lucy is gone. Both the happy and the sad sides of the remembernce of Lucy play very important roles in this story. As I was reading the story by Margaret Atwood I believe I focused more on the sad memories Lois had as opposed to the positive ones of her friends. I think it helps to understand both sides thoroughly, though.

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“Time in Experiential Space” vs. “Death by Landscape”

Nicole Esposito
March 24, 2011
Professor Zino
English 162 W
In the story “Death by Landscape”, the main character, Lois, is confronted with the fears she had from her childhood of the wilderness. It is when she is hanging up artwork in her new home that have the same theme of wilderness, that she is reminded of her past. She lost her best friend in the woods when she was younger. Lois and her friend Lucy were 13 at the time. They were at summer camp and ventured off to find a lookout point at the top of a cliff. They left their fellow camp group to do so. When Lucy veered off from Lois to find a spot to go to the bathroom, Lois heard a loud scream. From that day forward Lois never saw her friend again. Not even the police could find her. Her camp counselor Cappie blamed the whole situation on Lois and told people that Lois pushed Lucy off the cliff.
Years have gone by now and Lois is still haunted by what happened to her friend. She will never find an answer as to what happened. Lucy’s incident is just a thought in her head now. It is too late for anything more to happen with the case. “The greater the distance the greater the lapse of time, and the less certain one can be of what has happened out there” (Tuan 121). This quote correlates perfectly with “Death by Landscape” because it proves that what happened to Lucy is far gone. There is very, very little hope in finding out what went wrong that day because so much has happened since then. There are so many variables that took place from the last time Lois saw Lucy until present day where Lois is in her big house overlooking Lake Ontario.
While Lois sits in her living room looking out the window and all the trees surrounding Lake Ontario, she can see the trees blowing in the wind; “…The willows of Centre Island shaken by a wind, which is silent at this distance, and on this side of the glass” (Atwood 116). This is yet another statement showing how distance faults one’s thought and conclusions of what is actually happening. It is possible that there is a great, big storm outside of Lois’ window, with cracking winds and thunder, but Lois is not able to hear anything from inside her house, so her description of what is going on is just trees blowing in the wind. In retrospect, this is a smaller version of what is happening with Lucy’s case. Lois is too far gone from that day to really know what happened to her friend.

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Nicki Esposito
March 15, 2011
Professor Zino
“The Fall of the House of Usher”
In the story of “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator, who is unknown, arrives at his childhood friend’s house, Roderick Usher. Roderick had sent his dear friend a letter stating that it is imperative that he come see Roderick because he was feeling very ill. When the narrator arrives at the house he notices how glum the house looked. Although it was a very unkempt house, with much deteriorating stones and a crack down the frame of the house, the narrator was very surprised to see it standing strongly in its condition. Upon walking into the room he sees a very pale and visibly sick Roderick. For the next couple of days the narrator stays at the lonely house of Usher to keep him company. His very sick sister dies while the narrator is staying at the house and they bury her under the house. Roderick suffers from great fear because he believes that his sister is haunting him because she was buried alive. In the middle of the night Roderick wakes up the narrator to tell him that his sister is still alive. Suddenly she appears behind the door of his bedroom and attacks Roderick and kills him. The once sturdy, yet decrepit, house split in half and crumbled to the ground.
I believe the house stood as a symbol of Roderick’s comfort. It was the house that he had lived in for a very long time with his family (although many of his family members had died). It was an architectural establishment that supplied him with everything he could need. It put a roof over his head, he had a warm bed, and he had his sister with him. Although the exterior and interior of the house was gloomy, this could have been how Roderick and his late-family wanted it to be. Tuan states, “Historically, interior space was dark and narrow. This was true not only of humble dwellings but also of monumental edifices… Architectural drawings and relics show that interior space was elaborated together with the fenestration of light… The light-flooded interiors of Baroque churches and halls were further efforts to explore the possibilities of a major and enduring concept of space” (Tuan 110).
It is possible that the way Roderick’s house let in light had a lot to do with how he wanted to live. He had a dark house with “vacant eye-like windows” (Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”). This means that the windows did not let in much light. They were a bit too small for the house. This was the way the house was constructed yet, for some reason, the Usher family was fond of it. All in all I believe that the Usher family was so dismal because that’s the type of people they were and that they picked their own fate in a sense. They were drawn to the dreary architectural structure of their own home, which had set their fate for them.

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featured blog

I was able to enjoy reading the first blog on our featured blog list for the mere fact that i felt like the writer was speaking rather than writing to a crowd. This is the same characterstic that I enjoyed about Le Guin’s writing style. The blogger also wrote about how he/she felt while reading “The Lottery”, which I find very insightful. We all read the story and we all know what happened but it is interesting to see how my peers felt and what was going through his/her head while reading the story. Then I can compare it to what what I thought while reading “The Lottery”.
I feel that the argument made in the first post was a very strong one. It correlates to Tuan precisely. By giving the black box a meaning of death, the townspeople fear the black box, but in 2012 in Bethpage, Long Island, no one is afraid of any black boxes because there is no given meaning behind it for us.

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“Mythical Space and Place” and Young Goodman Brown”

As Goodman Brown goes off into the unknown of the forest, he kisses his dear wife good-bye. He is a bit nervous as to what he will find in the forest since he has never been to a witch’s Sabbath. He meets a strange man along the way, whom poses as the devil, that lures him further and further into the forest. At certain points Goodman Brown wants to turn back home to be with his innocent wife, but the stranger won’t let him. After meeting other townspeople in the forest, that are also on their way to the witch’s Sabbath, Goodman Brown finally arrives to the festivities. To his surprise, his no longer innocent wife is at the Sabbath. At the last minute Goodman Brown tells his wife, “Faith! Faith! Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked one!” but it was too late (Hawthorne 428). Before you know it, Goodman Brown is standing in the forest by himself wondering if all of what had occurred was just a dream. He went back home to his wife, but things were never the same. He died years later, after living a sad and untrusting life.
Tuan states that mythical space is part of the unknown. “Factual errors abound in the unperceived field. This unperceived field is every man’s irreducible mythical space, the fuzzy ambience of the known which gives man confidence in the known” (Tuan 87). After Goodman Brown saw his wife at the Sabbath partaking in the witch’s activities, he was distraught. Once everything disappeared, he didn’t know if he was making up what he had just saw. Like Tuan said the “fuzziness” is what makes up mythical space.
Was it possible that the people did disappear? Tuan also says that “[The body] is an accessible object whose properties we can always observe… This perception of an analogy between human anatomy and the physiognomy of the earth is widespread” (Tuan 89). So no, it is not likely, but somewhat possible, I suppose, according to mythical space, that right before Goodman’s eyes, this scenario just disappeared in front of him.
Unfortunately, whether it disappeared or not, the situation of what happened to him took over the well-being of his life and ruined all that he had with his used-to-be perfect wife. He died a sad man years later and it was all due to this one experience.

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final draft of essay 1

Nicki Esposito
March 7, 2011
Professor Zino
English 162
The narrator of the story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” spends a great deal of time describing the town that he/she lives in. It is described to us as a place the narrator has an obvious attachment to and that is very dear to her heart (assuming the narrator is a female, of course). The form of writing used by the narrator is not so much of an explanatory style, but more like a conversation. The narrator tries very hard to make us believe in Omelas, whether it be positive or negative thoughts, by using concepts of “space” and “place”.
In the beginning of the story, it seems as if the narrator wants us to believe Omelas is a town of glory and happiness where everyone dances around with friends and family in festivities. “In other streets the music beats faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and singing” (Le Guin 242-243). Between children running around and the adults dancing with cheerful music, the narrator makes Omelas seem like a very desirable place. It seems as if she is trying to persuade us that life in Omelas is fabulous and that everyone should come to experience all that Omelas has to offer.
As we read further, the narrator begins to speak about a different side of Omelas that we, as readers, have not seen yet. She tells us that not everybody is happy all the time. “They were not simple folk… But we do not say the words of cheer much any
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more. All smiles have become archaic” (Le Guin 243).
The narrator starts to play a bit of devil’s advocate later on in the story. As she explains Omelas further, she makes it seem that she does not want her readers to think Omelas is this over the top, extraordinary place to live. She wants us to know that there is more to this town than children laughing and adults drinking and dancing, having the time of their lives. “But even granted trains, I fear that Omelas so far strikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells , parades, horses, bleh. If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don’t hesitate” (Le Guin 244). She is so desperate to make us, her readers, believe that there is a dark side to this town that she leaves it up to us to decide what goes on in Omelas. The orgy may not have ever happened, but to her, she is happy knowing that we think an orgy did take place, only because it brings the once-thought-of high status of Omelas down.
It is because of the way the narrator speaks to us in this story that we become so involved. It is almost as if we are in this predicament of loving Omelas or hating it. We, as readers, get this feeling that we have to choose whether we like the town that she has described and whether she has convinced us enough one way or the other. The only reason why we are put in this position is because obviously we cannot go to Omelas ourselves. For all we know, Omelas could be completely made up. It’s as if we are blinded in this situation, and it is only through the narrator that we can feel like we have been to Omelas before. “ It is possible that the blind man who can hear but has no hands and can barely move lacks all sense of space; perhaps to such a person all sounds are bodily sensations and not cues to the character of an environment” (Tuan 14). By not
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being able to physically be in Omelas, we lose the sense of “space” and “place”, but make up for it with the narrator’s point of view.
The narrator continuously speaks to us like she is trying to make us feel the same way she does about the town she lives in. As her readers, we lack the sense of place that she is experiencing. It seems she feels a bit discouraged because it is hard for her to put into words for us what this town means to her. “Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How describe the citizens of Omelas?” (Le Guin 243) Although she struggles, she does get her points across.
The final downfall of Omelas comes later on in the story. The narrator gives us one last chance to believe in Omelas. She says “Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No? Then let me describe one more thing” (Le Guin 245). She then tells us about the young boy that is trapped in a dungeon in the basement of a beautiful building in Omelas. The boy is obviously neglected “it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops… The door is always locked; and no body every comes, except that sometimes… the door rattles terribly and opens, and a person, or several people, are there. One of them may come in and kick the child to make it stand up” (Le Guin 245). The strangers that walk by the boy and stare don’t do much for him. They either go back above ground and live the lives they had been living, knowing the boy in the dungeon is less fortunate than them, or they walk away from Omelas all together, unable to handle the responsibility of the unjustifiable situation.
The narrator once again puts us in a predicament because while reading, we think to ourselves how immoral the people of Omelas are, or if they are possibly doing the right
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thing by leaving the boy in the dungeon. No matter which side we choose, it is because of the narrator and her language that we have gotten so captivated in this story. Although we are put in a situation to choose whether we think the people of Omelas are wrong for keeping the boy trapped in the dungeon, it is not out role to play in this story. The fact of the matter is that the narrator has used such illustrative language to make us feel as if we are really there, in Omelas, battling this controversial experience.
Although we don’t have the upper hand, like the narrator, to see and feel Omelas, we get to understand it as best we can with such circumstances. The narrator makes us able to see the children dancing and hear the music playing and the swallows calling. “Given sight and the power to move and handle things, sounds greatly enrich the human feeling for space” (Tuan 14). The writing in this story gives us such a detailed description that it makes up for the lack of us actually being there.
The way the narrator describes the story of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” really helps the readers understand a different dynamic of the story. By giving us a sense of what she experienced in her “place”, we were able to see a side of Omelas that an outsider would not usually be able to. She used language to help us get a taste of the way Omelas felt, looked, and smelled. It is very interesting to see how by describing Omelas to a tee, like the narrator did, we have such a greater insight on what Omelas is actually about.

Work Cited Esposito 5

Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977. Print.

Le Guin, Ursula K., “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. An Introduction to Fiction. eds. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Boston: Longman, 2010. Print.

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response – cathedral

Nicki Esposito
In response the the second featured blog, I happen to enjoy the way he/she wrote this entry. I find that it was very personal to the reader because the blogger was not telling a story as if it were an overview of what happened, or what they were thinking, but seemed to be more of a conversation that they were having with their reader. He/she wrote this entry as if they were convincing us to believe the correlation between Tuan and the short story “Cathedral”.
This writing style is a lot like Le Guin’s style of writing which happens to be the story I have chosen for my paper. Seeing how both authors writing style’s are so similar and how the narrative point of view was so vital in “Cathedral”, helps me to better understand how narrative point of view connects to “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas”.

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essay 1

Nicole Esposito 1
March 1, 2011
Professor Zino
English 162W

In the short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, we read about a joyous town with much chaos and cheerfulness. The first half of the story describes in great detail a parade that is taking place in the center of the town. There is many people enjoying the “shimmering of gong and tambourine” (Le Guin 242), watching horses that had “manes braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green” (242), and listening to the “music winding through the city streets” (242).
The second half of the story, surprisingly, is a darker and more mysterious side of Omelas. Le Guin describes to her readers the dreadful room “in a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas” (Le Guin 245) where a young boy lives. Unfortunately, this boy is kept in a tiny room, where “the floor is dirt, a little damp to the touch… about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room” (245). The boy is about 10 years old although it seems that he is only about six. The boy has been neglected, under fed, and left in terrible conditions. The child sometimes begs for someone to let him out of this tiny room, yet those who pass by ignore his wishes. They simply open the door a crack just to see this strange creature in such an unheard of environment and then walk away.
Throughout Le Guin’s writing, she refers to the boy as “it” This portrays a sense of negligence and desertion towards the boy. It is as if the boy means nothing to the people of Omelas, which could be because they are too busy with the upbeat life that takes place upstairs

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from this room, in the heart of the city. The townspeople are so caught up in their own lives that there is no time to worry about this boy whom has been abandoned in this dungeon of a room. They may come down and visit him and feel sorry for a few moments, but their guilt is freed once they look away from him and walk back into their day to day lives.
This sheltered child has no mother to grow with and has absolutely no sense of stability. As Yi-Fu Tuan states in the book Space and Place, movement beyond the mother or the immediate vicinity entails risks in which the baby is not ready to cope” (Tuan 23). This boy did not even have the chance to create the relationship with his mother that is necessary for a child to have so he can grow and mature eventually. It is because someone, whether it is a person from Omelas, or even his own mother, locked him up in the dungeon, that he does not get to experience the world and develop like a normal human being. It is because of the place that he is currently in and lived in for years that he has the mind of a baby. He is scared of things like the mops, for example, because there is no one to teach him that the mops are harmless. He is more or less comprised of animalistic behaviors. Even if he wanted to, he would not be able to escape the dungeon because he has been so sheltered all of his life that he would not even know where to begin.
Another interesting point that Tuan has made about children growing is the relationship they make with objects. He states “… and he is not slow to defend what he considers to belong to him. Much of the child’s combative possessiveness, however, is not evidence of genuine attachment. It arises out of a need for assurance of his own worth and for a sense of status among peers” (Tuan 32). This poor child does not even have any personal possessions to form

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bonds with and be attached to. To not understand what it is like to call something your own and to not be able to defend something of your own becomes a problem in a developing child. The

people from Omelas did not put any toys in the room for him to play with and learn from, but then again, there are no peers taking anything of his away so that he can fight for custody of his belongings. Therefore, he has yet to defend himself. He must struggle a great deal seeing all these unfamiliar people walking by (assuming he knows what people are) and not being able to form any sort of relationship with them at all.
Besides not having relationships with the people that walk by him and stare, he does not have a mother to nurture him. This can cause an impressive amount of problems, for not having a mother can be very detrimental to a growing child. Tuan also believes that a child must have a mother to support him. He states, “A child is adrift – placeless – without the supportive parent” (Tuan 29). According to Tuan, this child lives in a “space” in the world. He does not feel at home in this dungeon, and he never can because he does not have the emotional, physical and psychological support of his mother. There is no familiar place in which he can call his safe haven in this 3 x 2 dungeon he resides in. Even if he did break free from this room in the basement, he would not know where to go or what to do with himself, because he has no spatial ability. All he has known for his whole life is this dark and dirty room that is filled with mops and dirt. If he were to break out he would suffer from unbelievable culture shock.
Spatial ability is what you are born with that makes you inept to the world. For example, if one would drive to a street that they have never been to before on the other side of the world, that person would still recognize the “space” as a street because of the familiar elements of it: the tar, the sidewalk, the houses on either side, the cars parked along the edges, etc. In a young

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child, there is a mind capacity to understand that all of these components make up a street and soon the child will not have to name everything to figure out what the street is.
Unfortunately, the boy in this story never had that chance to learn about everyday things like normal children have. If he were to walk outside after all of these years in the dungeon, he’d be completely lost. That would be a very scary and possibly life threatening situation to put the boy in, especially if he were to do it alone, without a mother.
Tuan’s thoughts on spatial ability are that “spatial ability is essential to livelihood…” (74). He believes that without having these experiences, the boy has not learned what is essential in life. He has not learned how to interact with people, “spaces” and “places”. He is only linked to his small area in which he stands in everyday and knows nothing more. He has not exercised his thoughts any further then to think of that room with dark corners and dusty, dirty floors. He may recognize a mop, but that is all. His brain would have a hard time recognizing the rest of the world. It would be extra hard for him at this age to get thrown into the craziness of the world by himself, or even with someone guiding him, for that matter. Living in this “space” could have possibly ruined him permanently.
Throughout the story we have learned that the boy living in the dungeon has missed out on some very important milestones in his life that make people who they grow up to be; having a mother, recognizing different “spaces” and “places” as a young child, and having possessions to call his own. All of these situations that he did not experience have caused setbacks in his life and are all due to the “space” in which he inhabits. If it weren’t for the dungeon which he has been living in for the longest time, he could have led a normal life doing things that children need to do to initiate a healthy start to life.

Work Cited Esposito 5

Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Tuan, Yi-Fu.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977. Print.

Le Guin, Ursula K., “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. An Introduction to Fiction. eds. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Print.

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Featured Blog Comments – 2

Nicole Esposito
February 21, 2011
Professor Zino
English 162W

In reference to the first post, I thought that the blogger made some very interesting points. I was intrigued that they used the title “Metamorphosis” itself to tie spaciousness into their explanation. It was such a good point to use to affiliate Kafka’s work into our short stories, yet no one else brought it up during class, to my surprise. I think that this blogger did a great job on their post in general because they used an abundance of direct quotes from Tuan and Kafka, which drew me in more while reading. Also, by relating a previous chapter of Tuan’s to “Metamorphosis”, shows that the blogger really took a decent amount of time to create this blog and put a lot of effort into it.

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“A&P” and “Spaciousness and Crowding”

Nicki Esposito
February 15, 2011
Professor Zino
English 162W
The story “A&P” is relatable to the chapter of Tuan’s “Spaciousness and Crowding” because throughout the story the three girls in bathing suits’ presences were felt in the A&P – especially by Sammy! From the moment the three girls walked in the store, heads turned and eyes stared at them. For one, it was because they were in bathing suits in a supermarket and for two, they had a presence about themselves that in a sense crowded the A&P. Like Tuan said about the shy pianist in a corner of a large room, “Immediately the pianist feels spatial constraint. Even one more person can seem one too many” (Tuan, 59).
I feel that even in a large enough store, with others mulling around, the girls crowded the room and crowded Sammy.
Like we spoke about in class, it was obvious that Queenie and the two other girls were very out of their element and did not belong all that much in an A&P in their bathing suits, because they weren’t following the dress code of that store or most other stores. Not only that but they weren’t even close enough to a beach to be dressed in nothing but their bikinis – yet they did, and didn’t find anything thing wrong with their appearance to others. Tuan states “Alone one’s thoughts wander freely over space. In the presence of others they are pulled back by an awareness of other personalities who project their own worlds onto the same area” (Tuan, 59). It seems that the girls knew what they were doing by grabbing everybody’s attention, but were not going to change the way were dressed in their own space (before they entered the store) for someone else’s space. Therefore, Queenie had no problem walking around with her head held high, not looking around at anybody, and only being concerned with herself and her posture. These girls had a very strong presence about them and in fact did crowd, what seemed to be a large place, the A&P.

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