Tag Archives: ENG3080

The Floating Woman

They were all my slaves.

They all knelt before me with pure adore.

If they had the ability, they would probably send me to the peak of Mount Chomolungma, then my head would stick into the clouds and I could literally occupy the highest status in the world.

I was aggressively beautiful. My eyes like shiny amber, my lips like dewy rose petals, my skin like white jade, my hair like soft Chinese silk. They chased after me no matter how rude I treated them, which always makes feel high.

I am now drifting in the dusty air under the grey cloudy sky, like a ghostly balloon. I look down to the ground. No one notices me except for him – one of my chasers but never my slave. He is chasing me with a look of anxiety, running across the river of traffic.

My heart sinks but my body keeps floating.


I met him at a summer dusk.

The sun was in a desperate orange, dyeing the clouds fiery red. It looked quite delicious, like an orange cake with strawberry jam. Thinking so, I took a bite on the dessert sent by one of my chasers. They always held me so high that I feel like walking on the clouds. I thought I’d better have some water.

Scarcely had I had this thought, he offered me a glass of water.

I had a glance of his pale face. He was young and skinny, with a pair of delicate, sky blue eyes, and a look of nervousness. He didn’t dare to take one glimpse at me closely. He escaped from me silently.

He was so shy that I never had a chance to communicate with him successfully. Even when we got familiar, it was I speaking and him listening. I tried to ask him about his information but I failed. He would not say anything.

Before long, I figured out that he was mute.


This afternoon I was sitting in a sofa enjoying my nap. What woke me up was the scream of the crowd.

Oh, the root of this chaos was the fact that I had become a balloon-like creature and started to float out of the window.

I said nothing. I was incredibly calm and indifferent.

I saw people running away from me – now a beautiful monster I suppose – but the pale boy who always carries a terrified facial expression stayed. Then he moved, not away from me but towards me. He made gestures but I don’t know sign language.

I floated out of the window to somewhere farther, I was not sure where.

I float upon trucks; trucks raise ash and dirt; he makes his way through the dust.

My heart becomes heavier and it sinks deeper, like an anchor sinking to the sea bed. This boy truly loves me, I think to myself, not because of my outer beauty but because of my inner spirit.

My body start to gain weight. I land on a very green grassland with wild flowers blossoming.

My boy runs towards me. I feel so joyful! I want to rush to him, hold him tenderly and tightly.

No, not yet. There’s one thing that is not quite right – I cannot move.

Oh. I become a stone statue.

Questions about “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” for study and discussion

1. Do you think that “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a work of magical
realism? Are there any conventions of the genre that it doesn’t seem to obey? Is there
another genre designation (such as children’s literature) that might be more appropriate to this particular Garcia Marquez story?

I think it is magical realism because it sets in an everyday context. 
2. How would you characterize the community where Garcia Marquez’s story is set? Is
there anything about the townspeople’s attitudes that is ambiguous or unclear?

It is a community of ignorance, dumbness and illiterate. They do not have sympathy nor do they care about others. The townspeople’s attitudes towards Pelayo and Elisenda are unclear. 
3. Explore the differing uses of imagery in Marquez’s story. Why do you think Garcia
Marquez used such vivid, gritty descriptions in this story? How do his descriptions affect
your impression of the townspeople, and of the angel himself?

Because he wants to leave a deep impression on the readers. His descriptions give me a picture of the townspeople’s ignorance and the angel’s weakness and strangeness. 
4. Does ritual and superstition play a role in the story? Discuss.

Yes, but only a little. Although there is a Father in the story, and the story mentions about Roman Catholics, the townspeople care little about those religious issues. They toss stones on and play with the angel. 

5. What affect does the combination of magical and ordinary details have on the reader?

Gives the reader a peculiar sense and cause reflection on their own lives. 

6. Compare and contrast the differing portrayal of the spider woman and the angel. Is there a wider purpose behind this contrast? How can the two be read as representing different approaches to literature?

Similarity: 1. they are both abnormal and inhuman. 2. they are both played with by the townspeople. 3. they are both exhibits. 

Difference: 1. the spider woman has less human-like appearances. the angel is more like a human. 2. the spider woman answers questions and tells a story of her moral punishment. the angel does not communicate with anyone, thus his story is unknown. 

wider purpose: reveal humanity

the spider woman: fable

the angel: myth

7. How does the story comment upon humanity? Who is human in this story and who isn’t? What qualifies someone as human?

Humanity: stupid, selfish, curious

Human: the townspeople, the Father, the couple

Inhuman: the angel, the crabs, the hens

Human qualities: 1. speak a human language. 2. communicate with other people. 3. do not have wings or any strange appearance. 

8. Can you interpret any moral or underlying message in this story? Explain.

If one day you fall to disaster, do not give in to the difficulties. Try hard to fly again. 

About Magical Realism

(1) Answer questions and write a “summative haiku” for “The Book of Sand”
(2) Write one (or two) original “magically realistic” haiku (a summative haiku for a story you have not yet written)

The Book of Sand discussion questions:

1. Borges writes that to proceed “more geometrico” is not the right way to begin, but nonetheless he leaves this as the beginning of the story? Why might he do this?

Those geometrico analogies can help the reader comprehend the following plot: there exists a book with countless pages.

2. What surprised the narrator most when he first examined the Book of Sand?

(1). the book has no beginning nor ending; (2). the characters in the book are unreadable.

3. Why couldn’t the narrator find the first and last pages of the Book of Sand?

Because there are always pages between the cover and his fingers.

4. Why doesn’t the bible seller haggle about the price of the Book of Sand?

Because his real purpose is to get rid of the book.

5. Why does the narrator stop going out of the house?

Because (1). he is absorbed in the book, (2). he fears that the book will be stolen.

6. Why does the narrator come to regard the Book of Sand as monstrous?

(1). the book prevents him from going outdoors and engage in social activities. (2) the book destroys his sleep.

7. Why does the narrator decide to “lose” the Book of Sand in the library?

Because he wants to get rid of it, and he hope no one can find it ever.

8. What sort of theme(s) does Borges explore in the story?

Mortals should not ask too much about the mysterious world.

9. What might the book of sand symbolize? Could it be a metaphor or analogy? For what?

Supernatural phenomena. Metaphor.


haiku on The Book of Sand:

The man disguised in grey

Comes with a shadow of seduction

Craze and terror


Another haiku:

On a sandy road

I drift like a ghostly balloon

Trucks flash by, rumbling

If H. naledi buried their dead, would this constitute social symbolic behavior? Why or why not?

Yes, this would constitute social symbolic behavior. Several guesses: 

  1. Death was viewed as a certain kind of reborn. Buried dead could make their way to the underworld. 
  2. Maybe the buried dead was enemies of another group of Homo naledi. They were thrown into the cave so that their ghosts will be trapped in that cave and would never return for revenge. 
  3. Maybe the Homo naledi was afraid of the revival of the dead so they buried them to avoid terror. 

My haiku

Scent of soppy wild grasses

The gloomy leaves reach out for spring

Colorful centipede kisses the dew





Splash of water and ink

The misty hills float in the distance

Cry of blood —— cuckoo-koo




A mini-biography of Yosa Buson

Yosa Buson (1716-1784) was born in a wealthy family but he chose to leave in pursue of art. He apprenticed to several haiku masters and he was also greatly influenced by Chinese poems. His experimental poems have been called “Chinese poems in Japanese,” and two of them contain passages in Chinese. He was a master in both haiku and haiga. A very important event in his life was that he spent three years (1754–57) in Yosa, Tango province, a region famous for its scenic beauty. His style is ornate and sensuous, rich in visual detail.

Reference: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Buson

Summary & Response of “The big fight over Coexist”

The post named “The big fight over Coexist” written by Phil Edwards mainly discusses the history of the logo “Coexist” and the development of its meanings. “The big fight over Coexist” refers to the fight over its ownership and its real implications. The logo was invented by a Polish artist Piotr Mlodozeniec in 2000, consisting of three religion symbols. It soon became popular on the Internet. Since 2005, some changes have been made to modify this logo and “Coexist” starts to have commercial profit. At first this logo was designed to participate in a contest, later it was used to make money, but now it has deeper ethical denotation on a worldwide scale.

After reading this post, I come to realize that the signified can be comprehended from diverse dimensions. Since the world is changing rapidly, the cultural context also differs in different time periods. With the trend of globalization,  different cultures and social groups have to learn to coexist with one another harmoniously. The big fight happens not only over the logo “Coexist”, but also happens over human existence.

My blogger brand

Color: My brand consists of red, purple and orange, which leaves the reader an impression of romance and adventure.

Contrast: The color of the brand and the white background have strong contrast.

Repetition: This is a drawing of a piece of red cloud, which coincides with my blog name.

Others: The end of the cloud stretches down, indicating that it comes from the earth, specifically, comes from people’s imagination. This is another repetition with my blog introduction.

Analysis of 8 principles of logo design

Image result for logo

  1. Alignment: The image and the words are placed in the middle of the logo so that the audience may feel comfortable when looking at it. Also, neat alignment makes it easier to read. 
  2. Hierarchy: The image of the warrior is the biggest and is placed higher than the words. The word “Spartan” is bigger and placed higher than “Fitness”. When I read this logo, I see firstly the Spartan warrior, then the word “Spartan”, then “Fitness”. Therefore my impression to this institution will be like this: It is a fitness club which can help me become as strong as a Spartan warrior, which was the best in the Greek world. 
  3. Contrast: This logo consists of red, black and white, which catch the reader’s attention immediately. Red image and black words are very prominent on white background. 
  4. Repetition: The style of this logo is consistent. The logo, the font and the colors are all very simple. Simplicity also corresponds with the Spartan way of life. These signifiers try to convey the principle of this fitness club: your fitness is our only goal. 
  5. Proximity: The warrior image, “Spartan” and “Fitness” are closely related to each other. 
  6. Balance: This logo is asymmetrical. There is only one warrior facing left. Maybe it wants to emphasize “the best”, “No. 1” so one warrior is enough. 
  7. Color: White means simplicity, red means energy, strength, bravery and honor, black means elegant and efficiency. These impressions are positive for a fitness club and will attract customers. 
  8. Space: There is much blank space on this logo. Again, it creates a sense of simplicity and tidiness.