October 28, 2007
For the mapping assignment I choose to map 'The Lightning is a yellow Fork" by Emily Dickinson. When I first started my mapping, I tried to just start out by making something in iMovie, which turned out to be highly unsuccessful, due both to my lack of knowledge of how to use iMovie, but mostly because I didn't have a direction to follow. I plan to post what I made that first time, so a contrast can be made between the two clips, because it is interesting to see, even for myself, the progression that I made. After realizing that my approach was the wrong one, I needed to start out with a new strategy.
When I tried again to do my "Mapping," I sat down with "The Lightning is a yellow Fork," in front of me and wrote down all of the ideas that came to mind next to each line of the poem as I read. Below I share all of my thoughts, what I did in my map, what I tried to do and couldn't, but most importantly the thoughts that the poem invoked in me and my justification for making my map as I did.
I should also explain that if there was one important realization I came to, it was that my map of the poem might make complete sense to someone else, or no sense at all, so this is the best way to describe how the poem should be mapped as I see it.
The Lightning is a yellow Fork
The Lightning is a yellow Fork
From Tables in the sky
By inadvertent fingers dropt
The awful Cutlery
Of mansions never quite disclosed
And never quite concealed
The Apparatus of the Dark
To ignorance revealed.
When I read the poem, I immediately see two different parts, both physically and in the meaning of the poem. At first the focus for me was on the title and the first part of the poem, 'The Lightning is a yellow Fork.' I kept focusing on this, and thinking that this was just a poem about lightning, mostly because thats what it said in the title. Not until I read the 2nd part of the poem, and thought about what was being described did what the poem was about surface. The 'Lightning' is something that we see here on earth, it comes from the sky, and is 'dropt' onto the earth, and can literally function as 'Cutlery,' cutting through anything that it comes in contact with. But this isn't the only thing the poem is about, the more important part is where the lightning comes from. Who's fingers' are dropping this lightning from the sky?
The 2nd part of the poem describes this. The mansions never quite disclosed and never quite concealed is something that we can see, but don't know a lot about. The 'Lightning' is the 'Apparatus of the Dark' 's revealing itself, the apparatus is what is dropping the lightning, it is what is up in the sky.
The map starts out showing lightning, coming down from the sky. The poem is that the lightning is a yellow fork, since this is the color that is traditionally attributed to lightning. For this reason I chose lightning that had a purple hue to contrast the color that we normally associate with lightning. The subsequent pictures are of a cloud that looks like a table, ie 'tables in the sky,' or where the lightning comes, and a hand that looks as if something has slipped out of its fingers. I felt that the picture of the table was excellent to describe where the lightning comes from, because with clouds they are looked at with a sort of mysterious aspect, since we can't see anything except what is on the surface, and certainly cannot see what is on the top fo the clouds, very similar to looking at the bottom of a table, if you were much smaller than the table. The next picture is another bolt of lightning that is striking through the sky to one point, possibly 'forking' something. Once again I chose a picture of lightning with a color other than yellow.
After this is a picture of the earth that is slightly hidden, its not completely revealed and is also hidden by the words. The picture is looking at the earth because this is where the controller of the lightning is coming from. The 'Apparatus of the Dark' is shown in the next picture, fittingly a picture of a nebula which to many can be imagined to be a creature out in space, in a sea of darkness. the final picture is one of the human with the brain exposed, and in place of the brain is a starfield, this ties the apparatus of dark back to the 'ignorance' to which its being revealed.
October 21, 2007
Toys or Tools?
The discussing of the 'Toy' oven brought several thoughts to mind. We discussed in detail whether or not the oven was a toy, or something more. Many factors can be looked at when trying to determine whether something is a toy or not, and an equal number of results can be found when considering what the object is used as. You can obviously look at tangible considerations, who is the object being marketed to? What is the purpose behind its design? How will the object be used? Who is going to be using the object? Of all the factors that can be used to determine whether the object is a 'Toy' or not, I think the most interesting is who the 'Toy' is marketed to and for what purpose, specifically in the time period of the Cold War.
Not to get too far off topic, but just as a History refresher: Shortly after WWII, the Soviet Union, not the United States, were the first country to launch something into space. In the United States an immediate sense of panic ensued: How could the US be so far behind the Russians technologically? The result of this was a renewed emphasis in schools on math and science, with the hope that the more that students studied these fields, the quicker the US would be able to produce scientific minds that rivaled the Russians.
Back to toys.
The result of this in the toy industry was the churning out of 'toy' rockets and 'play' chemistry sets. Although these objects were marketed as being toys, their ultimate purpose was to get children interested in sciences. With this new interest in science, children's attitudes were completely changed towards what a 'toy' could be. This vantage point is interesting to me, because the definition of a 'toy' in this case can have more than one definition.
In the case of the oven, the same can be said. For many young girls an easy bake oven was just a toy, something to play with during the day. But why was this object chosen as a toy? Could it have been to get young girls interested in cooking, and making it seem like something that was fun? I can remember having two toy lawn mowers as a child, and loving to go outside with my lawn mower that did nothing more than blow bubbles while my Dad was using the real mower. Could this mower have been marketed to young boys to get them interested in mowing a lawn at a young age? The difference between the oven and the toy mower is that with the oven, it is actually functional. The mowers only purpose was to look like an actual lawn mower, and to blow bubbles, whereas in the oven you could actually bake something. This is what makes the oven so hard to classify. Some children used it only as a toy, but others looked at it from the perspective that the food they were making was important (and who am I to say it wasn't?).
When each factor that could define whether the oven is a 'Toy' or not is examined, it becomes increasingly more difficult to classify the object, and also seems unfair that it can only be placed in one category because depending on the individual it can serve many purposes.