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Hon11 Class Notes

Page history last edited by Russell 9 years, 8 months ago


Notes on Freud's presence in characters from "Psycho"






Id = impulse to steal the money in order to be w/ Sam; her smirk and happiness of turning against the perv

Ego = Act of preparing to return (calculating the money to re-pay) is rational/logical; trading in the old car for new one w/ state plates = difficult to pursue

Superego = M’s decision is based on guilt she feels through N’s suggestions (“Everybody goes a bit mad sometimes”); desire to marry Sam and be “respectable” meets society’s norms; thoughts while driving – the first ideas/conscience; shock at seeing boss = superego giving her guilt (she didn’t do what she said she would)


Id = Mother personality when she kills out of jealousy; N peeps on M; act of killing Arb; kills mother and her lover

Ego = Acts to cover the murders – sinking the cars, cleaning the scene; decision to kill Arb; puts mom in fruit cellar (logical temp solution); moment of hesitation after peeping on M; weighting the coffin

Superego = Domineering personality/controlling; berates him, telling him he can’t do anything correctly;


Id = N tells him not to go to the house, but impulsively chooses to do so

Ego = rational, logical in pursuing the facts r.e. M; info-gathering; checks ledger

Superego = feels pressure to update Lila; dissatisfaction of situation (what I’ve done isn’t good enough)

Sheriff – like Tiresias

  • ·         Provides the truth to the audience and to Sam/Lila
  • ·         Does not provide info at first … instead waits to reveal; similar to T’s hesitation
  • ·         Info he gives about the mother is rejected
  • ·         L and S nevertheless disbelieve and go to the motel themselves







Random notes and thoughts:

  • ·         Marion’s Id = when stole money
  • ·         Marion’s Superego = guilt/desire for marriage/white slip
  • ·         N’s insanity = due to imbalance of the 3 areas
  • ·         M’s Ego = logical swap of car to avoid pursuit
  • ·        Police Officer = Superego (caution: recall that the Id and Superego are both equally irrational. But the Superego is irrational in the way of morality/conscience.)
  • ·         M’s Ego = decision to return to Phx
  • ·         N’s Superego = mom’s domineering voice in head
  • ·         M’s Superego = imagines the voices/guilt
  • ·         N’s Id = inability to let go of mother






Id = Decision to steal money; when she smirks at the thoughts of the others coming after her

Ego = Switches cars to avoid pursuit; decision to return (also Superego – guilt and the need to make amends)

Superego = guilt/frustration when calculating $; guilt for meeting w/ Sam and desire to be married (no more meeting in secret)


Id = As the mother, she/he is ultra-jealous and impulsively kills; inability to let go of mommy; kills mom to keep her; kills mom’s lover

Ego = Disposing of the bodies and cars; the lies he creates to cover the murders – cold, calculated, logical, rational; N’s mind, as the mother, tries to justify the killing

Superego = Nagging of the mother; preserving the body to avoid the guilt of the murder


Id = Isn’t satisfied, so goes back to the hotel and up to the house

Ego = Logic to call Lila and tell her what’s going on; fact-finding

Superego = Pushes Sam, Norman, Lila, attempting to make him (out of guilt) reveal something

Sheriff – like Tiresias

Link to Tiresias:

  • ·         Knows the history of the death of the mother
  • ·         Neither S nor L believe him, like disbelief of T by O
  • ·         Provides audience w/ truth
  • ·         Withholds info until absolutely necessary
  • ·         The law/authority like T as voice of Apollo
  • ·         Heightens the intensity of the searchers w/ the new info (just like O became enraged and was pushed further toward the truth)
  • ·         Asks them to stop searching on their own, like T tells O to stop pushing


Id =

Ego = Calm, cold, calculated, asks them to check their own recollection of events (“Are you sure you saw an old woman in the window?”). Forces Sam to think rationally. Recommends following the rule of law. Tells them to leave it to the law.

Superego =

Police Psychologist; he is like the messenger by giving the “whole story”


Ego = Gives all the rational explanations for why N acts as he does


State Patrol Officer


Marion’s Boss


Rich Home Buyer




Notes on the presence of tragic components in Acts I-III of "Macbeth" (from 10/25-26)



Imitation – mimesis (imitation of life – a dramatization)

M is supposed to put on the show of a “flower” but “be the serpent under ‘t” – imitate cordiality

Guilt felt by M mirrors/imitates guilt we feel when we’ve done a wrong

Muthos – plot

Centers around the desire for power and M’s rise to the throne – all centers around the country’s kingship

The weird sisters set up the entire plot

Anagnorisis – recognition/discovery

Does B’s suspicions surrounding M “count” in this category

Perpeteia – reversal

Macbeth becomes a “man” by planning the murder of Banquo, whereas before, Lady M had provided the bloody plans

Lady M begins to feel guilty (really?) and tries to talk M out of committing any more murders (hmmmmm)

Act I M’s soliloquy illustrates a reversal of commitment multiple times (this is called vacillation)

Lady M calls on the spirits to “unsex” herself – yep. Obvious.

M’s rise from lower level thane to King

Fleance flees (how clever) = reversal of M’s fortune – his first plan that hasn’t gone well; indicates a move the other direction

Hamartia – flaw or mistake by the central figure

When he sees B suspects him, he makes the plans to kill B and F – what is the flaw or mistake? Ideas: Thinks he can get away with anything; believes killing others will “tie up” loose ends; does not trust in anyone – suspects everyone; paranoia; greedy/selfish of the power he has; inability to see clearly right/wrong (or doesn’t want to)

How can D’s sons think that if they slink away they will not be suspected? Duh, boys! (Error of judgment?)

Catharsis – purging brought about by pity/fear

Extreme emotion is brought about through the progression of power-hungry acts of M (eventually you’ll purge them for your catharsis)


Peripeteia – reversal

When D is king he feels he can trust everyone; when M is king he trusts no one

M is normal at the start, yet after the killing begins, his madness begins

King Duncan falls from the throne to death

M moves from Glamis to King, and is doomed to fall

Roles of gender – the woman takes the lead w/ the plan and M follows; she is brave, he is a sissy boy; that whole “unsex me” thing

His morality still rules him before he commits murder; afterward he murders at will

Memesis – imitation

M struggles over the decision to kill Duncan – this reflects struggles we face in moral dilemmas

After he kills Duncan he immediately feels remorse – an overwhelming panic

Hamartia – mistake or flaw

Believes that killing D will make all problems go away – I mean, what more could you want than to be king? – then becoming king leads to more probs/behaviors, and Death

M – has a “chink” in his moral fabric that allows him to accept immoral acts; a weakness in character that allows his wife to influence him; every time he commits an act, he loses more of his sanity/humanity

King D puts too much trust into the original Thane of Cawdor, and then puts too much trust to M (as thane) – leading to his downfall

Muthos – plot

The series of events is a logical chain – one thing leads to another; in this case, Duncan’s death

Everything in the play centers around the throne

Anagnorisis – recognition/discovery

M realizes that what the witches prophesied could be true – he’s Cawdor, and maybe kingship is coming??

After seeing the ghost of B, he recognizes that he will have to continue his bloody habits in order to maintain his position


M experiences this when he loses all self-control at the sight of Banquo’s ghost – guilt


Ripe Figs


Write sequel moving from fall to spring (focus on Babette and new "ripening")

An outstanding response to this prompt would:

Once again tie the next “chapter” in Babette’s development to the preparation of a crop or an aspect of nature – flower, fruit, veg, just as her maturation was tied to the ripening of the figs in the first story. A clever author would also notice smaller details in the original, like the sugar cane at the Bayou is sweet, and her reward for waiting patiently is a sweet reward. Lastly, the contrast between the behaviors of Maman and Babette are key to the success of the first story, emphasizing B’s impatience early on. Another contrast would make this response of high quality. Perhaps B is the patient one now?

Write a letter from Babette at Bayou-LaFourche to Maman (telling about what she's done, and how she's grown)

An outstanding response to this prompt would:

Consider whether Babette realizes the value of being made to wait for the figs to ripen. If she does not have a certain level of self-awareness, then she is not as “ripe” as the first text would lead us to believe. In the letter, B should explain to M the value of being made to wait, and a clever author would have B explain how this new realization – the attribute of patience – has helped her in a new, recent situation. The letter should recall the first period of waiting, the value of that experience, and relate how that experience has helped (or hindered) her in another setting, like her journey to the Bayou or in her stay with her cousins.

Be Babette as an older woman writing her memoirs. What does she say about Maman?

An outstanding response to this prompt would:

Create a “voice” for the adult B – you sound like an adult who is writing a serious memoir. The tone isn’t informal, but personal. A memoir is not a diary, nor a journal, but still a personal reflection that tells the reader what you gained from experiences in life. In this case, the author should have Babette reverently reflect on her experiences with Maman. UNLESS you’re weird and you think the values M gave her through the lesson were useless or misguided, in which case you’ll fail. This is because the whole point of the story is the value of maturity, which is often gained through patience. This response is similar in that you should reflect on the initial experience, state what value was in it – what you gained – and then relate the value of patience gained to other experiences you have had in your life since the time w/ M. Perhaps you’re trying to teach the same lessons to your own children.

Write a narrative based on your own experience in learning a lesson on patience.

An outstanding response would:

You can’t just tell a story here. You need to explain what force was the “Maman” figure. In other words, the force that caused B to learn was M and her restriction – M made B wait. For your narrative, what was the force that caused you to wait. How was it that you came to learn about true patience. The outstanding response will not only tell a story about waiting, but will also provide a true explanation of how the experience changed and matured you. This is key. The mediocre response will only skillfully tell a story about waiting for something but will not clarify how that waiting translated into acquiring patience or maturity.

Write a response about how Chopin uses natural imagery in "Ripe Figs."


An essay is different from a quick paragraph-style response. In an essay you get a whole paragraph in which to make an introduction that contains the following elements:

Catchy “hook” to get the reader prepared for your main point

A thesis that clearly states the direction and main focus of your paper

An overview of the main points you will be making – quick synopsis of the body paragraphs


In a paragraph response or timed write, you don’t have time for that, so it’s not necessary. What you want is one or two sentences that provide the thesis or main point of the response. Often this sentence or two is combined with an overview of the main points, if you have more than one point to make.


The quality response here will not only mention that Ch uses natural imagery, but it will also explain how – which is to say, where does the imagery occur, and how does it affect the story?


Strategy for your intro here: Turn the prompt into your thesis. At the very least:

Author last name

Text title

Any relevant character names

The point you’re making


Formula intro statements:

In Kate Chopin’s story “Ripe Figs” the author uses natural imagery to emphasize the maturation of the main character Babette.

The maturation of the main character B in Chopin’s short story “Ripe Figs” is emphasized through the author’s use of natural imagery.



Assume the reader has seen the text, but has not noticed the things you have noticed. Therefore, you don’t need to do extensive summary – just enough to remind the reader of where you are in the story. You DO need to give direct quotes.


Ch’s brief story may at first seem like a simple vignette wherein a child is forced to wait for a trip to visit cousins; however, the child’s waiting results in growth and maturity, and this growth is emphasized by the author’s use of natural imagery. The natural element in the story grows along with the child. At the beginning, the main character B is told that she must wait for the figs to ripen before she can go visit her cousins. Her godmother, who already has the attribute of patience, is the one who imposes this restriction. The godmother’s patience and deliberate nature are emphasized through the use of simile such as when Ch describes her as “patient as the statue of la Madone.” However, Babette, like the unripe figs, is immature, and she is described as “restless as a hummingbird.” In fact, like a hummingbird, Ba can hardly contain herself as she waits for the fruit to ripen on the trees. The text tells us that daily she “danced out to where the fig trees were in a long line against the fence.” This contrast helps emphasize Babette’s immaturity early on. Yet finally, after “warm rains came along” Babatte’s demeanor changes. When she discovers that the figs are ripe, she presents them to her godmother on a “dainty porcelain platter,” and waits for her godmother to speak. Although the godmother believes the figs ripened quickly and Ba makes the comment that she feels she had to wait, it is apparent that with the ripening of the figs – with the passing of time – Babette has changed. She is no longer the careless child who is “restless as a hummingbird.” She is now somewhat deliberate, like her godmother, as evidenced by her formal presentation of the ripe figs to Maman. Chopin’s parallel between B and the figs helps the reader see the ripening or maturing of the young girl.


Quality essays and paragraph responses will not be heavy on summary and paraphrase, but on the student’s interpretation and explanation of those parts of the text. The reader has read the text and doesn’t need to be told again what happens. The reader only needs enough to set up the student’s comments.


The Story of an Hour

How does Chopin's use of imagery and symbol parallel the experiences of the protagonist Mrs. Mallard?


For this response, you need to notice that there are multiple cases of natural imagery that all relate to Mrs. Mallard. That means that you would need to investigate them one at a time, and the magic number is THREE. It may feel like you’re saying the same thing again and again, but in truth, the elements of nature she experiences out her window are unique to different elements of her “rebirth” and emergence as a free woman. Here we go:


Trees aquiver with the new spring life: Allows you to talk about the symbolic importance of spring as a season of new life and new beginnings.

Delicious breath of rain: Allows you to talk about the symbolic importance of water and cleansing along with baptism and a new life.

Countless sparrows twittering in the eaves: Allows you to discuss the symbolic importance of freedom of flight and how songs indicate happiness.

Blue sky … clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west: Allows you to talk about how clouds are a natural barrier to sight, and the blue sky is open opportunity/future, and the position of the clouds are important as the west is a symbolic ending


Expectation: small set of sentences (or small paragraph) per natural element.


Main point should be something like:


In Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” the author makes use of imagery and symbol to emphasize the re-emergence of the protagonist Mrs. Mallard from a life of repression to a life of freedom.


Imagery discussions are quick: All you need to do w/ the quote is tell us what kind of imagery is used: visual imagery, tactile imagery, auditory imagery, etc. because it appeals to Mallard’s sight, touch, hearing, etc.


Symbol discussion is the big discussion b/c there, you can take the quote and directly relate it to her condition:


When Mrs. Mallard sits in her chair in the upstairs room, one of the elements of nature she experiences is “the delicious breath of rain … in the air.” This tells us that rain has either passed or is approaching. In this case, the rain has passed, as Mallard has already experienced a “storm of grief” (paragraph 3), and the rain clouds, we are later told, are piling “one on top of the other in the west,” indicating that they have passed by and are now leaving. Mallard breathes in this freshness and it also tastes delicious, so the rain has a positive association as opposed to negative. For her, the rain has washed her clean from the past “repression” in the marriage with her husband, leaving her ready for a new beginning. In addition, rain and water can indicate a kind of baptism. With baptism comes an new identity and new life. Such is the case with Mallard, who, now without her repressive marriage, is free to experience life as she pleases, and she “prays for a long life.” The natural imagery of the rain helps the reader see that Mallard has been washed of a past life and is beginning anew.



"Ripe Figs" reading questions


  1. Babette shows characteristics typical of a young girl. She is anxious and impatient as she waits for the figs to grow. She is described as "restless as a hummingbird," a creature that never seems to stop in one place. In addition, she daily dances out to the trees as opposed to walking. Although she seems calmer and mature when she brings the fruit platter to her godmother, overall our impression is of a young, excited girl.
  2. The author paints a picture of a patient and wise godmother. As B dances out every day and is restless, MN waits "as patiently as the statue of la Madone." We should notice the contrast in personalities - MN is more mature and willing to wait. She is also poised and intelligent. Chopin tells us MN sits "in her stately way," and Chopin's diction with the word "stately" provides us w/ the image of a refined, poised, deliberate woman who carries herself with purpose.
  3. Chopin employs simile with the phrases "patient as the statue of la Madone" to describe MN and "restless as a hummingbird" to describe B. In addition, she uses contrast in the way the two main characters view the passage of time - MN thinks time passes slowly whereas B feels it passes slowly. Chopin's diction, such as the choice of the word "stately" in the previous response also helps her characterization.
  4. Chopin employs a bit of irony when she states the ripening figs had "nothing to do" w/ B. In truth, B cannot go to the Bayou until they ripen, so the figs seem to be the key to B's freedom. Yet the figs simply mark when B moves from being a child into the next phase of her life. Therefore, this slightly ironic statement reveals that the figs stand for B's maturation.
  5. Because the story is focused on B, it is her story, and it is the story of her passage from child to hte next chapter in her life. MN makes B wait so that she is "ripe" for the journey to the Bayou. Overall, it is a story about waiting until one is ready. 


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