All posts by Mairely Rivera

Marriage proposals

In his play, Anton Chekhov has Ivan Lomov boasting and trying to show off his inheritance to Natalya before proposing to her. This is before they start to argue about who owns the oxen meadows next to the Stepanova’s birchwoods. Ivan letting Natalya know about the land he owns is a bit similar to people today buying big, shiny diamond rings and finding expensive places to propose at to let others and their partner know that you have valuables to offer. I think that Chekhov is saying that marriage proposals are usually just a way for people to show off and let others what they have even if it’s just your partner. In the end it’s all about boosting one’s egos and feeling like “The man”, demonstrating the performative aspect of marriage proposals, especially public ones.

Chekhov demonstrates this idea of “Symbolic gendering” by having Ivan ask Natalya’s father for her hand in marriage. I think that “The Marriage Proposal” is outdated with its execution; however, it still does a good job at demonstrating the gender roles of marriage proposals and how they should be. Instead of using land and livestock to convince your partner to marry you, men use rings, trips and specific places to show that they are “worthy” of a “Yes!”.

What does Thanksgiving mean ?

I don’t usually get excited about thanksgiving because I don’t have a big family, there’s 3 of us & we usually stay in watching tv and eating all day every year. Generally, the holidays make me feel sad and isolated, there are days where I feel “jolly” and thankful but not for too long. It’s usually a time of year where everyone is stressing over money, especially with black Friday being the day after thanksgiving. It’s ironic how we’ve dedicated a day to being grateful for what we have and the very next day we’re fighting others for toys and whatnot on sale. The articles that appear in “What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?” by the New York Times are so relatable and are a good representation of how many oof us feel during the holidays.

To me, Thanksgiving is a time where I’m able to relax and get a break from both school and work. Those around me and in my neighborhood use this time to get together with close friends and family, create new memories and enjoy each other’s presence, something they’re not able to do too often. Even though my family and I don’t do much for thanksgiving we still make sure we make lots of food, sometimes we make turkey and other years we make traditional dishes like Pernil(Roasted pork), potato salad, rice and beans. We like to trade plates of food with neighbors, this is our way of showing thanks and still connecting with others when we don’t want to have big house parties. When I’m older I want to start getting together with my close friends and members outside of my intermediate family, this is something I have not have the pleasure of doing as a child.

Final Reflection

Over the course of this semester, I’ve realized a lot about myself as a writer and the type of student/person I am. If I could describe my writing style in one word, it would be “Authentic”. I like to write how I speak; I usually like to stay away from “big, pretentious” words when I write because of this. I would like whoever is reading my writing to feel as if they know me on a personal level and feel comfortable, not have to try to decipher what I’m saying. These past 15 weeks have not been easy, but I would like to think that I do my best, nonetheless. I’ve learned to be more patient with myself, I’m still young and learning as I go, so I shouldn’t be hard on myself because I choose to focus on what I personally feel is more important, not what others say is important.

My top two favorite writing pieces from this semester would have to be our poetry analysis essay and our “Where I’m from” assignment.” I really enjoyed learning about Natalie Diaz and getting the chance to analyze some of her poems, more specifically her “They don’t love you like I love you” piece. This poem of hers was about her mom’s advice to her about love and being careful with who you fall for which evoked some strong emotions in me. Our “Where I’m from” assignment allowed me to reflect on my upbringings and appreciate my surroundings more. I don’t always get a chance to just relax and look at what I have and the people around me with all the craziness in my everyday life.

I would say that my biggest challenge this semester has been trying to balance both my school and personal life all at once. I feel like there were times where my personal life would get in the way of my learning and no matter how aware I was of this; I rarely did anything about it. I’m sure that as college students many of us feel the same way. We have those moments where all we think about is our future and doing good in school, but then there are other times were we just want to live-in the moment and deal with the consequences later.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not perfect and never will be, therefore I need to be nicer to myself considering everything I’ve been through. Many of us are stuck living our everyday lives for others, trying to impress and outdo the next person. I’m slowly trying to outgrow this mentality. I am allowed to make mistakes and not feel bad about it, take mental health breaks and decide when I want to finish MY goals, “Because this is my first life.”


I think that in a way Frankenstein is projecting how he feels about himself when he looks and thinks about his creation. He feels like he himself is the monster for having created such a thing. Part of his growing disgust in it stems from the fact that he knows he has killed William and knows that he’s the one to blame for it. Throughout the monster’s plea for Frankenstein’s help in making him a partner of the opposite sex, he switches up a lot, going from understanding back to disgusted and unwilling to help. Even before the monster killed William, if he had created a more “Normal” looking subject he most likely would not have fled and abandoned it. Frankenstein would’ve been trying to show the whole world what he created and try to monetize or gain fame from it.

Throughout the creature’s plea Frankenstein acknowledges that it can articulate its feelings and thoughts in a “normal” manner. However, it’s always its looks that throw him off at the end. He admits that its “Tale and the feelings he now expressed proved him to be a creature of fine sensations,” (Chapter 17) But when Frankenstein “Looked upon him, when I saw the filthy mass that moved and talked, my heart sickened, and my feelings were altered to those of horror and hatred”. (Chapter 17) This shows how he is just being ableist and judging his creation based on its looks. The value he puts on the monster is based on the outside, not on what it is capable of doing, saying or feeling which is far more impressive than just focusing on its appearance. 

“This is what it means to say Pheonix, Arizona”

Because of colonization, the lives of Victor, Thomas and most of those who live on the reservation, have been predetermined in a way. Many Native Americans like Victor and his parents rely on alcohol to keep their minds off of the fact that they might never have a life outside of their reservation. Victor’s father would even hit him when he was intoxicated out of frustration because he feels as if he has no control over his own life. Thomas himself has told Victor that his father “Wants to buy a motorcycle and ride away. He wants to run and hide (Paragraph 15)”. As we continue to read the story, we see that this kind of behavior rubs off on Victor. One day when they were 15, he got drunk and beat Thomas up without a reason. However, in the movie “Smoke Signals”, we see that this incident occurs on the same day that his father abandoned them, which reflects back to the way his father treated him when he would get drunk. In the second paragraph of “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”, the narrator points out that most of the residents had no money but the “Cigarette and Fireworks salespeople”. This reveals what most of the locals would spend their money on to keep themselves distracted. These examples show us how colonization has created setbacks for not only Victor but those around him and like him as well. Not only has it made living difficult but in the movie, we see how Victor feels as if he has to be strong and serious all the time so others will take seriously. He tells Thomas that Indians aren’t supposed to be smiling all the time and he has to “get stoic”. Victor feels as if he can’t be vulnerable because he’s Native American and wants others like him to embody this idea as well.

Feminism in Ichiyo

We know that Ichiyo would write stories having to do with the real situations the women of her time would go through. However, I think that the female character in her story can also represent her relationship with writing. Ichiyo always struggled with wanting to produced work that was perfect in her own way or publishing what she could for money. As head of her household, she usually felt like she had to think about how her decisions would affect her family, just like Oseki had to do when she contemplated about leaving her husband. If she only published her writing when she found it to be perfect, she and her family would be at risk of poverty. She would have had to find a husband, become a rich man’s mistress, or resort to prostitution. Because women had little to no power and usually very minimal education as well, these were the things they normally would have to resort to in order to support themselves and their families.

Marxism in the Thirteenth Night

In The Thirteenth Night by Higuchi Ichiyo, Oseki Harada was not only a woman in the eighteenth century, but her and her family were considered “low ranking” before she married her husband, Isamu. If Oseki did not have these two factors holding her back it would’ve been easier for her to leave her marriage or to not have married out of need in the first place. The only reason she feels the need to stay in her unhappy marriage is because she feels as if it’s her duty to provide for her family. The only way she’s able to provide for them is through the opportunities and security her husband provides. Also because of her status, her husband sees her as uneducated and weak, perhaps if her family were in a better position before he would not be treating her the way he does. However, if Oseki had came from a wealthier family Isamu would’ve found another women and family in need to continue his abusive ways. Furthermore, when Oseki runs into her past love interest, Roku, she learns that maybe she did make the right decision marrying Isamu. The Roku she knew before in her teenage years is not the same Roku she met that night. Through the lens of Marxist theory, Roku and Oseki’s meeting foreshadows that these two will go on to continue their dissatisfying lives. Even if they were to run off together Roku has nothing to offer to Oseki and her family at this point. Maybe she felt optimistic about the encounter before she started to ask him about his life and what he’s been up to, but after revealing he’s living in a rooming house and has lost his wife and daughter she has lost all hope of a different, better life than she’s living now.

Chopin and Race

I believe that the authors race does matter when their narrative deals with racial issues in some instances. Usually, the opinions of POC are ignored by other races but their own, people are more inclined to believe a person and listen to what they have to say when they can relate to them. Chopin’s critique just helped grab the attention of those who look like her, something black people that lived in that time period probably had difficulty doing. In addition, when a person writes about the racial injustices they’ve endured, that entices people who relate to them to listen and speak on their experiences to continue to spread these ideas. When determining whether the authors race has any importance depends on the issues that’s being brought to light or the audience you’re reaching for.

Since this story was written in 1892 it can be assumed that this story was written by Chopin for her white counterparts. Not many white Americans were writing stories that regarded racial differences in these days because they either still agreed with certain ideas or were scared to be outcasted. Because of this Chopin’s race played a big role in the reason why Desiree’s baby was such a success.

Writing as activism

I believe that in this day in age writing can still be a viable form of activism. I see it every day on social sites such as Instagram and Twitter. Writing is not only about books and news articles but also blogs and social media posts which spread like wildfires all over different sites. Considering that this generation is very big on internet communities and are always on their phones, I think it’s the most effective way to get this generations attention as well as to motivate us to join different movements. An example of this that I have seen was last year when the Black Lives Matter movement started to gain a lot of attention on social media. Teens and young adults all over the country were sharing their opinions on the matter and using these platforms to meet up in real life to protest. Because of all the bloggers and posts that were all over sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, even people who knew nothing about this movement or did not care about it before joined the conversation bringing more attention to it.