Brit Lit Discussion Posts

John Lock’s theory of sensation and reflection

A leaf: something so small yet one can miss so many details with just a glance. If held to a source of light, one can see all of the intricate veins inside of it. The edges of it are rigid, but not pointy. They’re smooth bumps that encase the entirety of the leaf. It’s smooth to the touch on top. The bottom is still smooth, but the veins are easily felt through the bottom rather than the top. It’s delicate; one could easily break the leaf in half and destroy it. Upon breaking the leaf in half, one can smell the natural earthy scent the leaf has inside. There is a faint moisture inside of the leaf when broken.

Leaves make me think of summertime when I was a child and played outside every day. They bring a comfortable, happy feeling. Most common leaves are enjoyable to the touch. They remind me of the bigger role they play. Leaves provide life to plants through photosynthesis, which provides oxygen and food and shelter. They come in all shapes and sizes yet play an important role.

John Locke’s theory that through sensation and reflection are how we learn ideas is absolutely true. Through physical sensation, we are able to really understand things around us. In our textbook on page 2617, Locke concludes that readers can use “their own perceptions and memories” to learn about objects in the world around us. This statement is true because each person feels a different way towards objects depending on their personal memories with that object. For example, the leaf I found reminds me of happy summer days as a child while someone else could think of working outside for hours on end through the painful heat of summer. On page 2618, Locke says that we can observe the world around us externally, through “sensible objects, or the internal operations of our minds.” Through reflection, we are able to appreciate and understand the world. Sensation and reflection help in many different ways, like writing and in conversations and scientific understanding.


Unit 3 Discussion

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is a Children’s story that has survived many years of societal change yet remains so popular. A major theme is the importance of childlike wonder being part of our lives, or at the very least our younger years. In the story, Wendy explains that “young and innocent” (Barrie, pg. 157) can continue to fly and drives home the importance of being childlike when you can be. It also has a theme that continues to resonate with children in modern day society, which is that growing up is scary. Peter exemplifies this theme when he meets Mrs. Darling and says “no one is going to catch me and make me a man” (Barrie, pg. 151). This phrase allows children reading or watching the play to understand that it’s normal to feel scared about growing up. By observing Wendy grow up in the Afterthought, it’s shown that growing up isn’t really as scary as it may be at the time. The last theme and reason for this story is still popular today is the mixture of the real world and the fantastical world of Neverland. It expresses the healthy nature of imagination as a child and that we can easily run away from the real world in our own minds. Neverland expresses common fantasy aspects most children come to dream about such as fairies and pirates, making it easily enjoyable for children.


Unit 4 Discussion

                When reading “Glory of Women” by Siegfried Sassoon, it is very apparent what his views are on war. He uses imagery of how the women back home almost idolize the idea of war and soldiers when in reality is a hell in itself no one should have to endure. He uses imagery such as “blind with blood” and “trampling the terrible corpses” and criticizes the women who don’t do anything to that extent yet still feel entitled to judge when “British troops ‘retire’”. The graphic nature of war poetry alienates anyone who hasn’t experienced the same circumstances and forces the reader to understand the frustration soldiers go through on the battlefield and when they return home to civilian life. The trauma found in war poetry can actually be artistic, as it can be explained in more abstract language and paints a picture in the reader’s head of the horrors faced. I do not agree at all with anyone who doesn’t accept war poetry as artistic literary text because it is a topic foreign to so many and has a way of bringing awareness to how PSTD occurs due to horrific images personally seen. They serve to inform, enlighten and in a sense connect with others that are clueless about what really happens in war.

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