Wednesday, November 30, 2011

With songs written by slaves as cole said, there was little to be found online, this is what I could find:

Sweet Chariot Spirituals


Songs of Freedom

Surprisingly for me there was however a lot of songs about slaves written by abolitionists including this list of civil war related songs:

Library of Congress Civil War Sheet Music

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving was published in 1820 and has since been seen as a classic piece of American fiction, almost two centuries later acclaimed film director Tim Burton turned it into a motion picture opened with box office success. Although the two projects share a name and the film was based on the short story, the adaptation was taken with much liberty. In the original piece of writing Ichabod Crane was the small town's school teacher and music teacher. His role in the community was vital and he was also the town's source of gossip. Ichabod, although lanky and presumably awkward was an integral part of the community. In the later film however, Ichabod's character is not an established member of the Sleepy Hollow's society, but the opposite, an outsider. Instead of the familiar school teacher who divides his time staying with the various families of the quiet town, Ichabod arrives from New York as a constable sent to investigate the murders of the headless horseman. Interestingly, the information about Ichabod's mysterious life is show through colorful flashbacks during the film. From a viewers standpoint the mystery of his past builds intrigue in the plot as well as his character. His role in the town aside, the Ichabod portrayed in the film shows little similarity to Irving's. Described as: "tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weathercock, perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield".  Contrastingly to awkwardly thin, almost fragile appearance of the written Ichabod, in the film Johnny Depp plays a constable with enough charm and looks to win the heart of the daughter of a wealthy farmer, Katrina Van Tassel. Another interesting change in Ichabod's character is his fate at the end of the story. The cinematic Ichabod, climactically solves the murders, unveiling the manipulator of the horseman's ghost. Ichabod returns to New York as not only a hero but hand in hand with Katrina. The book's end is not quite so fairy-tale like. Ichabod, unable to both win the heart of Katrina or solve the murders, is returning home when night when he himself is killed by the headless horseman. The whole incident is not a string of ruthless killings but rather still a piece of folk-tale or a prank of some sort. All in all both adaptations were entertaining, however I'd have to say that I preferred the original writing. Although not quite as eventful or dramatic and not complete with a happy ending, I liked the shadows left surrounding the horseman, and Ichabod's death, and I like the magic and mischief that the town and the legend retain throughout the story. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Digital or Print?

Both pamphlets were well written and made strong arguments. While print books serve their purpose I was persuaded to side with digital. Although the pamphlet on print books did a great job of highlighting the personal connection to a hard copy of a book, it seems that technology is advancing past that. Although their arguments were not completely reflected of the other they did match up in many places. The accessibility of textbooks and novels around the world shared through the internet was a strong argument compared to the sharing of print books between friends. I enjoyed both, but find myself leaning towards the digital readers in this case.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America

"Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs" (Franklin).

Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America spoke of lesons that not only Americans could take from the Native Americans, but that humans should all take from each other. What struck me what the respect the Native Americans had not only for each other but for all people. As the writer, you remained honest and more importantly open. To not only observe or use the customs of another culture but to embrace and hope to learn from them is a surprising and pleasant outcome. The illustrate the image of a group of people who remain so civilized without the perils of greed and power was refreshing. And proving of the pure intent of the human race. I also enjoyed the narrative driven by not only your opinion but the simple experiences of Native Americans and Americans alike. The regard of both you as a writer but specifically the Native people and perhaps the lack of in the rest of society was both alarming, yet, reassuring knowing that the possibility of such does exist.

Monday, September 19, 2011