Create 5 annotated bibliography from the your choice out of 6

Humanities

ENG 125

Question Description

Create 5 annotated bibilography from any of the 6 sources below. Please follow the format below. Has to be exactly like the example below for full payment. Must use MLA formatting

Please find an explanation and sample annotated bibliography below. The example presents C through A- level annotations. The last two samples are the best of the four examples but they both can be improved for clarity.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?
Clarify 2 Points from the beginning

Decide which format you should use to identify your sources in your bibliography. For this class we use MLA formatting. Determine what kinds of information your annotation should emphasize.

Summary v. Evaluation

Summary is a brief, neutral statement in your own words of the thesis or main argument in the source.

Evaluation is a judgment of the source generally assessing its accuracy, reliability, or relevance in relation to your research question

Your Goal
Read critically. Convey clearly your understanding of the source (I provided your sources in Course Materials section) and how it relates to the essay you are writing (Essay 3)

Recommendation
For best results combine summary and evaluation in creating your annotated bibliography


Sample Annotated Bibliography

Miller, Jacqueline T. “The Writing on the Wall: Authority and Authorship in Chaucer’s House
of Fame.” The Chaucer Review, V. 17, No. 2 (1982): 95-115. Web.

Miller discusses the hierarchy of dreams, the effect of dreams on the authorship, and the influence of Macrobius’ commentary on much of the dream vision literature of that time period. She sets out to “investigate the concepts of authority and authorship around which medieval dream theory centers, and then to examine the ways in which Chaucer's exploration of these concepts informs and may help to explain one of his most popular yet baffling dream visions, the House of Fame” (Miller 96). This will be useful to my overall project because House of Fame is a dream vision, and I think it’s helpful to explore the medieval concepts of dream vision, and it is particularly relevant to the theme of authority that is resonant in House of Fame.

Ruggiers, Paul G. “Platonic Forms in Chaucer.” The Chaucer Review, V. 17, No. 4 (1983):
366-381. Web.

Ruggiers claims that the poet can convey knowledge to an audience though he has no conscious knowledge of what he teaches. He spends most of the article discussing Platonic Forms and how they’ve influenced Chaucer’s writing. A technique that Chaucer often uses is that in which he describes the fact that he is uncertain of his knowledge except that he knows that he may have read it in one of his books, or learned it from someone much wiser than he. This technique coincides with the ideas that Ruggiers puts forth in his article.

Teske, Roland. “Augustine’s Philosophy of Memory.” Cambridge Companion to Augustine.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.

Teske explains Augustine’s idea of memory and its similarities with the holy Trinity, which is another element that will be particularly helpful to the formation of my thesis. Augustine says “These three are not three lives, but one, nor are they three minds, we speak of in relation to itself, but when we call it memory, we speak of it in relation to something else” (155). Augustine seems to realize his belief in the Trinity through his analogous approach to memory. The idea of the Trinity shows the Christian idea that of an omniscient God who is the beginning, middle and end, likewise memory amalgamates past, present, and future images or ideas in a human mind. Chaucer plays with memory in House of Fame as well, and this is how he deals with his problem with time.

Zieman, Katherine. “Chaucer’s Voys.” Representations, No. 60 (1997): 70-91. Web.

Zieman discusses Chaucer’s voice in his retelling—translation of course—of Virgil’s Aeneid, and how he recreates it poetically. She asserts in her article that “Virgil’s Aeneid is not an arbitrary choice of source…when Chaucer chooses to Virgil as his initiating source, then he invokes not only a canonical text of a Latin auctor but also a text that has been defined as constitutive of literary language itself” (81), which implies that Chaucer’s use of an established authority somehow qualifies his work because he successfully re-tells the story using a poetical technique that he invents which seems to turn into itself as it is reflective of him remembering what he will say—recitation. This is particularly fascinating because it calls attention to Chaucer’s clear obsession with time, and his use of past works in his—then—present work puts him in a space between the past and the present which is not clearly definable.


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A Black Athena in the Heart of Darkness, or Conrad’s Baffling Oxymorons ANDRÉ VIOLA UNIVERSITY OF NICE Joseph Conrad has been widely criticized for his portrait of the African woman who appears toward the end of his African novella. Most commentators consider her exclusively as the embodiment of the savagery inherent in the continent, and thence they pronounce an aggrieved or enraged condemnation of the novelist for having written such a Eurocentric and misogynistic portrait. Undoubtedly many of his feminine portraits, in particular of “native” or “mixed-race” women, are open to criticism. Our general contention, however, is that the case in point is different, and we will consequently often have to run counter to current generalizations about the character. For instance, in most accounts of the novella, the African woman has become Kurtz’s mistress, although the word never appears in the text. This status, considering the conditions then prevailing and the clichés circulating at the time, may well be what Conrad had in mind. But precisely, it is significant that he should have refrained from writing the word, as if perhaps he did not want to evoke the stereotype. Thus, the African woman does not explicitly figure on the famous list of Kurtz’s possessions: “My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my—,” nor in Marlow’s echo of it (Heart 116, 147). In a very perceptive article, Gabrielle MacIntire observes that in Heart of Darkness women have no names, being reduced to the status of men’s appendages, or, as one might say, to mere possessive cases: Marlow’s aunt, Kurtz’s Intended, the company’s two women, the accountant’s laundress.1 But MacIntire neglects to point out that the expected phrase, Kurtz’s mistress, is never to be found.2 Conradiana, vol. 38, no. 2, 2006 © Texas Tech University 164 CONRADIANA After having labeled the African woman as mistress, most critics then proceed to pile on her derogatory qualifiers, for which Conrad is seemingly to blame. She is “the savage woman” throughout an article by Johanna M. Smith titled “Feminine Criticism and Heart of Darkness”; and in a study of the literary image of the “femme fatale,” Rebecca Stott writes that “the savage mistress [. . .] becomes an emblem of death” (Smith 182ff; 130–31). Abdul JanMohamed, intent on exposing the Manicheism of some writers, bluntly calls her a “dark, satanic woman” (90).3 Even the verb used in MacIntire’s evocation of the character— ”She struts along the riverbank”—has slightly disparaging overtones and does not seem to correspond to Conrad’s intentions, since “strut implies a pompous or theatrical affectation of dignity” (emphasis added; MacIntire 260; Webster’s 797). So the task ahead of us is a delicate one. No doubt prejudiced about the preconceptions we think we detect in a majority of interpretations, we would like to offer a reading of veiled connotations—not all of them perhaps intentional—which to our knowledge have not been fully exploited. And since the paragraphs devoted to the character do not present a static portrait but a kind of compressed drama, we will in the main follow the successive stages of its unfolding (Heart 135–36). As has often been noticed, a first cluster of connotations centers around the evocation of a war goddess, both on account of some of the character’s equipment (“brass leggings,” “brass wire gauntlet,” and “helmet”) and of her whole attitude (“proudly,” “she carried her head high”) (Heart 135).4 If we add the somewhat dignified “draped,” it is difficult not to think of a goddess from Greek mythology, and the name of Athena immediately comes to mind (Heart 135). Yet, contrary to Athena, the African woman carries no weapon, which may give a first hint as to Conrad’s intention not to foreground the aggressive properties of the character. She is no Kali, no Durga, who sow death and destruction in their paths. This is why the African woman, walking “with measured steps,” is nearer to Athena than to swift-footed Artemis, whose career is notoriously strewn with corpses (Heart 135).5 Now our reading hypothesis also rests on the composite personality of Athena, which was made up of surprisingly contradictory features. She was indeed the goddess of war, not above setting one hero against another in a fight to the death—sometimes to satisfy her own spite—but she was also the goddess of wisdom, protectress of the city and of domesticity, although herself a fierce virgin. As a matter of fact, this constitutive duality shows that she descends V I O L A — A Black Athena in the Heart of Darkness 165 from the archaic mother-goddess, who seems to have been the unique and entirely self-sufficient deity of prehistoric man, and therefore combined life-giving and death-giving attributes. With the arrival of the socalled Indo-Europeans, it is generally accepted that the cult of the mother-goddess reigning supreme was gradually superseded by a new one. The Indo-Europeans brought with them their thunder-throwing god, whom the early Greeks adopted as Zeus, although initially he had some difficulties getting his predominance acknowledged. Hence his countless quarrels with Hera, his swallowing of Athena’s mother (Metis, i. e., good-counsel), followed by his giving birth to a daughter with the help of a male god alone, thus establishing his complete mastery even in those aspects of life linked with the feminine. As has been noted by the well-known mythographer Joseph Campbell, male gods giving birth are a clear token of the triumph of patriarchy: “[i]n the patriarchal cosmogonies, for example, the normal imagery of divine motherhood is taken over by the father [. . .] as the woman gives birth from the womb, so the father from his brain” (157). Ann Baring and Jules Cashford concisely summarized the process: “‘Mother’ Nature is depotentiated, and her birth-giving powers are taken over by the male” (335). This momentous shift in the history of mankind took of course millennia to be achieved. So when Marlow declares that “the women [. . .] should be out of it. We must help them to stay in that beautiful world of their own,” he is registering a stage in late Victorianism, but he does not realize he is also alluding to an age-old conflict (Heart 115). In this cosmic reshuffling of power, the figure of the ancient goddess split into various subordinated ones, and half the qualities Athena was granted were those traditionally considered as male. This definitely suggested that, to achieve real greatness, a goddess must possess male virtues. Accordingly, in Aeschylus’s play The Eumenides, she can declare: “But for marriage, I am always for the male, / with all my heart, and strongly on my father’s side” (qtd. in Baring and Cashford 337). The Medusa myth is a perfect illustration of Athena’s siding with men, since she sports on her aegis the gorgoneion, the head of the Medusa. Perseus had given the gorgoneion to Athena after she had helped him slay the creature, which came to represent the negative emblem of archaic femininity. As Robert Graves commented, “the myth [. . .] is descriptive of the breaking of the Argive Triple Goddess’s power by the first wave of Achaeans, figured as Perseus, ‘the destroyer’” (245). Indeed, the African woman’s “fringed cloths” may be a reminder of the aegis, which, either as a shield or a supple goatskin, was bordered by a 166 CONRADIANA fringe of hissing snakes originating from the severed head of the Medusa (Heart 136). But the African woman has disciplined her hair into the neat shape of a helmet—she may be wild-eyed, but she is not wild-haired—while the boar tusks that rendered the Medusa’s face frightful to behold are only indirectly present through the brief mention of elephant tusks. Of course Conrad did know about the myth and used its full force elsewhere when he wanted to convey a disquieting image of femininity. Three examples quoted by Bernard C. Meyer show that all gradations are possible from the “writhing flames” of a coiffure, through a glimpse of Aïssa’s face (“the slender spikes of pale green orchids streamed from amongst the boughs and mingled with the black hair that framed her face”), to an explicit recoil in front of a character, “exactly as if she had seen Medusa’s head with serpentine locks” (299). In reality, the portrait of the African woman suggests a later stage in the myth, the one alluded to in Sigmund Freud’s short text “Medusa’s Head.” Freud calls this stage “apotropaic” in the sense that the destructive power of the aggressor has been warded off, overcome, and finally turned back on one’s enemies (213).6 It was the very role devoted to the Medusa’s head on Athena’s aegis, and this prompts Baring and Cashford to ask, “Is it perhaps the quality of self-disciplined awareness in Athena that can transform the terrifying face of instinct into a protective shield?” (341). Similarly in Conrad’s text, the image of the Medusa has been tamed, has lost its horrific character, just like the so-called “attack” on the steamer which “far from being aggressive [was] in its essence [. . .] purely protective” (Heart 107). On the contrary, what is foregrounded is a sharp and paradoxical contrast in the adjectives attributed to the African woman. Indeed, although in such a piece of elaborate writing one would expect the ternary rhythm of periodic prose, binarism prevails, a binarism based on a string of oxymorons. The first terms of the paired qualifiers—”wild,” “savage,” “wild-eyed,” “ominous,” as well as “barbarous”—clearly suggest a stereotyped portrait, typical of the popular fiction of the time, but the second elements in the pairs altogether reverse the general impression (Heart 146). So, if Conrad wanted to shock the reader into the realization that an African woman could also be “gorgeous,” “superb,” “magnificent,” and “stately,” he does not seem to have succeeded (Heart 146). Thus most critics either completely overlook those positive terms or take exception to the portrait, like Maggie Humm for instance, who finds that both aspects betray “the fear and desire of the observing white male” (182). V I O L A — A Black Athena in the Heart of Darkness 167 Observation, no doubt, is always distortion—even in the so-called exact sciences—so the least we can do is to try and observe all there is to be seen. For instance, in the sentence that follows the oxymorons, there is an ambiguity—probably a deliberate one—as regards the adjective pensive. If it is to be attributed to the wilderness (“pensive forest”), it must have been as provoking for the average Blackwood’s Magazine reader as the “pensive” cannibal chief (Heart 133, 103). If it is to be attributed to the African woman, it contradicts such typical definition of her as being “superb but mindless” (Cox 46). It may also apply to both, in which case it considerably alters the whole picture, thus paving the way for our interpretation of the end of the passage. It should be added that in this sentence, the assimilation of the African woman with the wilderness in its tenebrous and passionate aspects is presented as Marlow’s speculation,7 and the use of modality (“seemed,” “as though”)—admittedly a recurrent trait of Conrad’s style—points nevertheless to a lack of full authorial sanction (Heart 136).8 The next paragraph opens with a close-up of the African woman’s face, on which Marlow distinguishes “a tragic and fierce aspect of wild sorrow and dumb pain” (Heart 136). The emotions of sorrow and pain, unexpected as they may seem, raise in fact numerous and significant echoes. Thus Marlow had mentioned before the “desperation” of the son of the murdered chief, the “impotent despair” of the mangroves, the “cry [. . .] as of infinite desolation,” the “complaining clamour” and “mournful uproar,” the “note of desperate grief” issuing from the forest, as well as “the stress of desperation” which prompted the attack on the steamer (Heart 102, 105, 107). In other words, at the moment when the Europeans have come to take Kurtz away, the emotions on the woman’s face epitomize the feelings of a continent and of its inhabitants realizing their powerlessness in front of this foreign intrusion. Yet, not every reader will necessarily notice the presence of those emotions in the text, as the following commentary reveals: “Marlow does not guess at inner feelings or, indeed, any possible facial representation of such feelings only her ‘cheek’” (Humm 182). On the contrary, Marlow does try to construe what he sees on her face, and this he tentatively describes as “half-shaped resolve” and “inscrutable purpose” (Heart 136). Those two cryptic phrases appear at first to belong to “one of Marlow’s inconclusive experiences” deplored by the frame narrator, and they are generally not commented on (Heart 51). But they prove crucial for a complete understanding of the text, since they unmistakably suggest that the African woman is not pure savage instinct, that 168 CONRADIANA some sort of debate is taking place in her mind. The text does not reveal the real nature of the debate, but simply records its termination when “she stopped as if her heart had failed her,” a clear indication of her decision not to carry out her “half-shaped resolve,” not to bring her “purpose” to its completion (Heart 136). Now the substance of those two phrases is a matter for conjecture. For our part, we like to propose the hypothesis that, being now in command (she “shouted something” and the Africans immediately took up the shout), she had deliberated whether or not to order an attack on the boat in the hope of keeping Kurtz in the inner station (Heart 146). But her heart failed her when she realized the attack would lead to a bloodbath, since the Africans had no firearms. The decision is not due to fear, as she “did not as much as flinch” when Marlow pulled the whistle and the other Africans fled in terror (Heart 146). In short, she showed the same quality of “restraint” Marlow had admired in the cannibals (Heart 105). The Europeans, for their part, betray a sore lack of it: not only Kurtz—he “lacked restraint,” “a soul that knew no restraint” (Heart 131, 145)—but also the Russian trader who is quite ready to shoot her, and the crowd of pilgrims who will soon be opening gunfire (Heart 147). Although restraint in a war goddess may appear at first a somewhat paradoxical feature, it was quite in conformity with the Apollonian/ Dionysian dichotomy in Greek mythology which allotted to Ares the role of the un-reflective, un-restrained god of war. Numerous clashes are recorded between Athena and her impetuous counterpart, out of which she always came victorious. Thus for Baring and Cashford, “the myth of Athena explores above all the quality of reflection, and her stories often compose a meditation on the value of thinking something through or seeing beyond the immediate response to an event [. . . t]he quality of restraint is the value she embodies” (345, 339). As the African woman is now standing still, Marlow can describe the surprising impression her eyes make on him: “She looked at us all as if her life had depended upon the unswerving steadiness of her glance” (Heart 136). This attempt at maintaining a visual contact with the Europeans might be understood as an appeal aimed at having Kurtz given back to her, and in the process, the African woman’s somewhat symbolical portrait becomes partly humanized. This pleading glance cannot be more in contrast to the petrifying gaze of the Medusa or to the impact of Nina’s eyes in Almayer’s Folly: “She [. . .] fastened her eyes on his in one of those long looks that are a woman’s most terrible weapon” (171). In addition, the African woman’s insistent look is followed by a sudden throwing V I O L A — A Black Athena in the Heart of Darkness 169 up of her arms above her head. This gesture may signify that she is taking her cue, not from a supposedly intinctual earth, but from a more reflective heaven, just as one could perhaps fancy, in the background, Athena raising her arms to invoke Olympian wisdom. It becomes now easier to understand in what sense the text calls her a “tragic” figure (Heart 136, 160). The term signals that she has reached the very stage when the hero of tragedy realizes that he is trapped by the situation, that he is being defeated by forces stronger than himself. In a later paragraph of the novella, this term will link the African woman with the Intended, each woman, in her own way, having been betrayed and deprived of power.9 Moreover, Conrad adds an explicit allusion to her “powerless charms,” flatly registering the fact that Africa was not in a position to repulse European invasion (Heart 160). Indeed, at the end of the paragraphs under scrutiny she vanishes into the dusk, and the evening shadows that quickly spread, “gathering the steamer in a shadowy embrace,” are but a mock menace to the well-armed Europeans, contrary to this completely gratuitous prophecy: “The savage mistress will bring down in death with her outstretched arms as easily as she will bring down the twilight” (Heart 136; Stott 131). Her disappearance from the scene reminds us of Marlow’s statement about women being “out of it,” not because like his aunt or the Intended, who have been kept away by society from the main currents of life, she has no notion of reality, but because the balance of power is not in her favor (Heart 115). Consequently, it would not be totally incongruous to sense elegiac undertones at the end of this passage, as Marlow is certainly not rejoicing, overtly or covertly, at the disempowerment of Africa, and more particularly of the African woman. We have thus far presented a different angle of vision on the African woman, but it is manifest that for the novelist the character is not a purely admirable figure of resistance. The whole context implies, although it is never stated, that she most probably partook in witchcraft and may even have assisted Kurtz in his “unspeakable rites” (Heart 118). One should perhaps also consider the fact that twice she is noted to move toward the left, which is supposedly the side of regression. On the other hand, the positive connotations we have underlined clearly indicate that Conrad could not satisfy himself with an unreservedly negative picture of Africans.10 At the time, he had of course no idea he was entering the perilous waters of what would become a disputed issue of postcolonial literature, namely representing the other. We saw that many participants in the debate consider that Conrad is to blame 170 CONRADIANA for having offered a stereotyped image of African savagery. Alternatively, if the hypothesis concerning Athena is correct, other critics would then accuse him of a eurocentric bias for having introduced in an African context a figure highly symbolic of the “civilized” West. But all things considered, this never-ending controversy is perhaps inevitable since the simple fact of putting pen to paper always exposes a writer to being extolled or censured. In Conrad’s creation of the African woman, we have tried to show that he kept his pen under control and wrote a carefully weighed portrait, based on strict oxymorons and instinct with meaningful implications. And yet, Greek mythology could have provided him with unbounded possibilities for sensationalism. He did use mythology in many passages of his works, including the end of the novella when Marlow is faced with another representation of femininity, the Intended. Immedi ...
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