Mr. Blandings’ Dream House and Aunt Jemima

The end of Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House filled me with a rage I did not anticipate. The Blandings’ maid Gussie ends up saving the day with a slogan for Mr. Blandings’ WHAM advertisement without knowing it, saying “If you ain’t eating WHAM, you ain’t eating ham!” The movie then ends with an advertisement of Gussie’s photo with her slogan under it. Thanks to Gussie’s work, Blandings is not fired and he and his family can continue to live out their American dream in their beautiful new home.

Continue reading “Mr. Blandings’ Dream House and Aunt Jemima”

Similarities Between the Beginning of Dominion and Passover

I thought something really interesting about the beginning of “Dominion”, at least the parts that we read Tuesday,  was that it reminded of the holiday Passover. I am not sure if I would have made the connection without Passover being on my mind right now because the holiday begins this Monday. For anyone who doesn’t know what Passover is; it is, in simplest terms, the story of how the Jewish people left Egypt after being an enslaved people for hundreds of years with the help of Moses and G-d.

Part of what made me think of this section as the story of Passover was when Jasper got rid of Ould Lowe by making him sink to the bottom of the body of water. For me this reminded me of the part of the Passover story where Moses, with G-d’s help, was able to split the sea and led the Jewish people away from the approaching Egyptian army. When the Jewish people were safely across Moses let the sea become one again, trapping the soldiers underneath the sea and killing them.


When Jasper killed Ould Lowe he was able to truly start his new life, just like once the Egyptian soldiers were gone the Jewish people could begin their new lives for the first time without being an enslaved people.


For anyone who wants to read more about the story of Passover here is a link:

Circling Back To/With The Dirge

Beth invited me to “loop back” to the conclusion in my Dirge essay and unpack it more on the blog, so in this post I am both circling back to the Dirge essay, and circling with it, as I explore the Dirge as a navigational tool that true to its etymology, provides direction through the often non-navigable crises of grief and loss in general. I write that the root “direct” “suggests that [the dirge] is grounded in the struggle of navigating the “liminality” of loss in general – the intangible “state of betwixt-and-betweenness” as author Joseph Roach discusses in Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (37).” I contend that considering the etymology of the word “dirge” and its roots in direction, our course may “feel like a dirge” in that it is often a somber commemoration to the loss that is associated with the housing crisis, but outside of that lament it is also our map to help us navigate the crisis and the concepts surrounding it.

I think it’s important to explore the dirge within the context of this post and the act of circling back to old content. With Beth’s direction (see what I did there), I was reminded that it’s not only permissible but often necessary to circle back and revisit what may be “in the past.”  Continue reading “Circling Back To/With The Dirge”

Dream Houses

It’s funny to me how something can have slipped entirely out of your memory, and then the barest hint of anything related to it can pull the whole memory to the forefront of your mind.

I’d completely forgotten that I’d ever seen Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House before, and I didn’t realize it when Dr. McCoy said the title of the movie out loud. I actually remembered it when I saw the actor who played Bill Cole in the opening scene. Continue reading “Dream Houses”

Wages & Real Estate

I made a few calculations after we watched part of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House on Friday. I was suspicious while we were watching this because there were a few factors that lead us to believe that Mr. Blandings and his family were getting badly ripped off, but the numbers didn’t seem to add up (literally). So we haven’t yet seen the remainder of the movie, and I haven’t attempted to look ahead because I want to make some predictions for the movie, or else point out some inconsistencies in case I’m wrong.

Here are some numbers to consider, with today’s equivalent in parentheses: Continue reading “Wages & Real Estate”

Reinvigorated Revisions: Colonial and Frankenstein-esque Experimentation Upon Economics and Enslaved Peoples

I had planned upon revisiting this abandoned draft after beginning A Mercy and realizing that the novel took place in colonial America, but yesterday’s class reinvigorated my desire to finish the post and push it out, as we have just finished A Mercy and it’s not quite too late to post it.

In my other English class about modern western drama, we had read George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” a play that examines a bet between two professors of phonetics, Higgins and Pickering, to produce a civilized woman from the ‘guttersnipe’ Eliza. The play is meant to be a comedy with an underlying social commentary. Continue reading “Reinvigorated Revisions: Colonial and Frankenstein-esque Experimentation Upon Economics and Enslaved Peoples”

How important are specifics?

I think it’s fair to generalize and say that for the most part, people like to know specifics of a situation. Details are used to enhance a narrative and immerse the reader in the story. Specifics in literature allow for plot to move forward and led us to all too familiar, inevitable “have you read quiz?” in English classes throughout middle/high school. Teachers can create questions that ask students to recall details and specifics to show that they are doing the assigned reading for homework and are comprehending the work.

But if we really think about it, how important are specifics? And what does their inclusion/exclusion mean for the bigger picture? Continue reading “How important are specifics?”