March, 2017

Honors Exam Strategy

So for the exam I was looking at two texts for each category.


Affect (Brennan)

-The Mark on the Wall

-The Yellow Wallpaper


Historical Context:

19th Century

-Dickinson (poems)

-Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urn”



Short Story

-The Tell-Tale Heart

– Bartleby the Scrivener


I’m debating with my secondary materials so….this is really all I have right now.


A midnight summers dream consists of connecting plots that are joined by the wedding celebration of the Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta,

The play revolves around four lovers who become entangled with the scheme concocted by Oberon, king of the fairies to get his wife Titania to give up her changeling child so he could use the child as a knight. Upon arriving to the wedding Titania informs Oberon that she will be staying in the forest right outside of Athens. Oberon instructs his servant Puck to prepare a magical juice that derived from a flower called “love-in-idleness”, which turns from white to purple when struck by Cupid’s arrow. When the concoction is applied to the eyelids of a sleeping person, that person, upon waking, falls in love with the first living thing they perceive. His intention was to use the mixture on Titania in hopes that she would fall in love with an animal of the forest and thereby shame her into giving up the little Indian boy.

Hermia, who is in love with Lysander resists her father Egeus’s demands to marry Demetrius with which he has arranged. Egeus is enraged and invokes an ancient Athenian law before Duke Theseus, whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father, or else face death, however Theseus offers Hermia another choice: lifelong chastity while worshipping the goddess Artemis as a nun.

Helena is in love with Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander have escaped to the same forest in hopes of eloping. Helena, desperate to reclaim Demetrius’s love, tells Demetrius about the plan and he follows them in hopes of killing Lysander. Oberon observes this and orders Puck to spread some of the magical juice on the eyelids of the young Athenian man. However, not having seen either men before mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, thereby administering the juice to the sleeping Lysander. Trying to figure out if he is dead, Helena wakes Lysander and he immediately falls in love with Helena. Oberon sees Demetrius still following Hermia and is enraged. When Demetrius goes to sleep, Oberon sends Puck to get Helena while he charms Demetrius’ eyes. Upon waking up, he sees Helena. Now, both men are in pursuit of Helena. Hermia is at a loss to see why her lover has abandoned her, and accuses Helena of stealing Lysander away from her. The four quarrel with each other until Lysander and Demetrius become so enraged that they seek a place to duel to prove whose love for Helena is the greater. Oberon orders Puck to keep Lysander and Demetrius from catching up with one another and to remove the charm from Lysander so Lysander can return to love Hermia, while Demetrius continues to love Helena.

Peter Quince and his fellow players Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Robin Starveling, Tom Snout, and Snug plan to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke and the Queen.

Quince and his band have arranged to perform their play about Pyramus and Thisbe for Theseus’ wedding and venture into the forest, near Titania’s dwellings for their rehearsal. Bottom is spotted by Puck, who transforms his head into that of a donkey. When Bottom returns for his next lines, the other workmen run screaming in terror: They claim that they are haunted, much to Bottom’s confusion. Determined to await his friends, he begins to sing to himself. Titania, having received the love-potion, is awakened by Bottom’s singing and immediately falls in love with him. She lavishes him with the attention of her and her fairies, and while she is in this state of devotion, Oberon takes the changeling. Having achieved his goals, Oberon releases Titania, orders Puck to remove the donkey’s head from Bottom, and arranges everything so Helena, Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander will all believe they have been dreaming when they awaken. Puck distracts Lysander and Demetrius from fighting over Helena’s love by mimicking their voices and leading them apart. Eventually, all four find themselves separately falling asleep in the glade. Once they fall asleep, Puck administers the love potion to Lysander again, claiming all will be well in the morning.

The fairies then disappear, and Theseus and Hippolyta arrive on the scene, during an early morning hunt. They wake the lovers and, since Demetrius no longer loves Hermia, Theseus over-rules Egeus’s demands and arranges a group wedding. The lovers decide that the night’s events must have been a dream. After they exit, Bottom awakes, and he too decides that he must have experienced a dream.

In Athens, Theseus, Hippolyta and the lovers watch the bands performance and afterwards, Oberon, Titania, Puck, and other fairies enter, and bless the house and its occupants with good fortune. After all the other characters leave, Puck “restores amends” and suggests to the audience that what they just experienced might be nothing more than a dream.


This relates to the article by Maurice Hunt because during the time of her reign, Queen Elizabeth never had any romantic relationships. She was known as the virgin queen having no successors to the throne. This could be an explanation why the claims made by Hunt are so speculative. The claims of this play being an allegory of real life true events taking place at the time are so speculative because there was no claims of Elizabeth ever having any relations with anyone. He also says, towards the latter half of the essay, that the reason for Shakespeare having two strong female characters in the play is because of Mary Queen of Scotts and Elizabeth I were in a constant battle regarding who was the rightful heir to the throne… There a bunch of other things you could use for this in the essay but remember it’s all SPECULATIVE! Good Luck all !

Homi Bhabha

Main Takeaway from Homi Bhabha:

Interested in:

How can we understand post colonial culture?

We should conceive of a persons identity and how it effects theories of post colonial culture

Bhabha argues against the idea that an individuals identity is based on fixed factors like education, gender, and race

Instead individuals can only be described through cultural hybridity—the mixture of culture influences which shape a human and effect their identity 

To see an individuals real self one must look past their logical contradictions and taboo’s that come from this mix, instead one must accept inner conflict inherent to humans

Post colonial cultures in particular are extremely complex—mixing cultural and linguistic imitations of the colonial power with preexisting traditional customs 

Post colonial theories should focus on hybridity and cosmopolitanism, if instead theories are based on studying separate and unequal cultures then they will misunderstand post colonial culture

Theories of post colonialism that do misinterpret culture in this way may further discriminatory practices.


The things in bold I would argue are the most interesting points for Homi Bhabha so I’ve compiled quotes that could easily be worked into an essay for the Exam. Hope these help!

(1) “That whole week Baby Kochamma eavesdropped relentlessly on the twins’ private conversations, and whenever she caught them speaking in Malayam, she levied a small which was deducted at source. From their pocket money. She made them write lines –‘impositions’ she called them – I will always speak in English, I will always speak in English. A hundred times each. When they were done, she scored them with her pen to make sure that old lines were not recycled for new punishments.

She had made them practice an English car song for the way back. They had to form the words properly, and be particularly careful about their production” (36).

(2)”Chacko told the twins though he hated to admit it, they were all anglophile. They were a family of Anglophiles. Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history, and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away. He explained to them that history was like an old house at night. With all the lamps lit. And ancestors whispering inside. ‘To understand history, ‘Chacko said, we have to go inside and listen to what they’re saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smells the smells” (52).

(3) “Chacko said that the correct word for people like Pappachi was Anglophile. He made Rahel and Estha look up Anglophile in the Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary. It said Person well disposed to the English. The Estha and Rahel had to look up disposed …. Chacko said that in Pappachi’s case it meant Bring mind into certain state. Which, Chacko said, meant that Pappachi’s mind had been brought into a state which made him like the English” (52).

(4) “Chacko came home for a summer vacation from Oxford. Her had grown to be a big man, and was, in those days, strong from rowing from Balliot. A week after he arrived he found Pappachi beating Mammachi in the study. Chacko strode into the room, caught Pappachi’s vase-hand and twisted it around his back, ‘I never want this to happen again’ her told his father. ‘Ever’” (48).


The important fact here is that the contamination of the colonized is not their admiration for the English or their efforts to imitate them, but their inability to belong to neither the culture of the colonized nor that of the colonizer and they experience an identity problem. Thus, they gain a hybrid identity, a mix between native and colonial identity, neither fully one nor the other.

All of these quotes someway or another fit into Bhabha’s hybridity theory. So, if you’re brave enough to write about this theory, hopefully these quotes can help you! 

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