Friday, March 29, 2013

SPOTTTS Precise: Fundamentalism





How does the author's use of rhetorical and poetic devices emphasize the meaning of the work as a whole? Please do not forget to post and respond to two of your peers' SPOTTTS.

Fundamentalism

                        By Naomi Shihab Nye b. 1952
 
Because the eye has a short shadow or
it is hard to see over heads in the crowd?
 
If everyone else seems smarter   
but you need your own secret?
 
If mystery was never your friend?
 
If one way could satisfy
the infinite heart of the heavens?
 
If you liked the king on his golden throne
more than the villagers carrying baskets of lemons?
 
If you wanted to be sure
his guards would admit you to the party?
 
            The boy with the broken pencil   
            scrapes his little knife against the lead   
            turning and turning it as a point   
            emerges from the wood again
            If he would believe his life is like that   
            he would not follow his father into war

43 comments:

  1. Within the poem Fundamentalism the usage of rhetorical effect and structure allow for the meaning of the work as a whole to be introduced, with such a meaning relating towards societal/religious oppression. Through the implementation of rhetorical questions the poet forms a list of sorts. However, when inferring deeper towards the text one can realize that the list is a guide. The guide displays exactly what one has to believe in regarding the acceptance of their religion. In order to accept fundamentalism (the acceptance of one’s religion as the sole truth—which often disregards other interpretations of religion as mere folly) one must not see beyond themselves, they must find a single way to satisfy their lives, and be sure they hold a secure spot within their society. (Refer to lines 1-2, 6-7 and 10-11). Such a title merely enforces the aspects of oppression within one’s society/religion. Furthermore, the structure of the poem also contributes towards the meaning of the whole due to the questions leading towards a literal shift within the poem (changing structure). Consequently, the structural shift introduces a young boy and claims that “if he (the boy) would his believe his life is like that/ he would not follow his father into war” (line 16-17). This quote enables one to see that the young boy does not believe in the oppression and closed-mindedness which his society is buried upon, causing him to delve into “war” with his father. All in all, the structural shift emphasizes each rhetorical question presented beforehand and allows for the image of oppression to be highlighted.

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    1. Emilia you stated "In order to accept fundamentalism one must not see beyond themselves". Wonderfully worded, do you also mean that one must not dream big an accept an unsatisfying spot in society?

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    2. In an essence that does support what I claimed. Through rejecting any and all outside influences one would merely stay within their destined spot in society. So, yes, I would also mean that one shouldn't dream big as to avoid any distractions from their role within society.

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    3. Brianna RodriguezMarch 31, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Emilia, I agree with your comment of the list is a guide to insure the beliefs of the boy. In a way, the boy is using those questions as a guide to “set and stone” his beliefs. So, I would agree with you when you say that the guide displays exactly what one has to believe in regarding their religion. All in all, the guide is there for the boy to oppose, his opposition indicates the shift and further acknowledges his beliefs. Through this, the reader is able to conclude the societal/religious oppression, as you mentioned.

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    4. Emilia besides fundamentalism beginning a religious movement,how did you get religion from the poem? I saw it more as a lifestyle than religion.

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    5. Good Afternoon:

      Overall, I sincerely enjoyed reading your post. Your post demonstrates a comprehension of the poem as well as an understanding of the SPOTTTS format. Nonetheless, as your English teacher--and a mighty good one if I don't say so myself--I must provide you with feedback.

      In terms of your assertions and/or debatable claim, it appears to lack clarity. For example, I might have framed it as such:
      Within the poem--Fundamentalism--Naomi Shihab Nye ingeniously uses opaque rhetorical questions and irregular structures to reinforce the dangerous effects of immoral societal and religious constructs on impressionable youths.
      This new claim does the following:
      * describes the referenced noun--opaque rhetorical questions and irregular structures;
      * describes the action of the author--ingeniously uses;
      * clearly states the meaning of the work as a universal truth--to reinforce the dangerous effects of immoral societal and religious constructs on impressionable youths.
      These revisions do not only provide clarity--but they also help in establishing your persuasive tone and distinct voice.

      Moreover, try to find other ways to transition your readers through your argument other than constantly using adverbial conjunction. Consider: subordinate clauses which can help you place emphasis on a particular idea or concept. Other transitions may include: Participle phrases, Adverbial clauses, Transitional Phrases. If you find other ways to transition readers through your arguments, it will help you make your style less predictable.

      Although I am excited to see that you have incorporated parenthetical interjections, occasionally you may have used them inappropriately. Do not forget that any word, clause, or idea placed in parentheses can be omitted; make wise and purposeful use of parentheses.

      ANYWHOOOO....Great Post!!!! I will give you extra credit if you revise and re-post since you did not wait until the last minute to post (like some of your peer will do). I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

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    6. Emilia, your paragraph has strong points but it is important to identify the theme just stating it makes the paragraph weak.

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    7. @ Kristo: I got fundamentalism as lifestyle through Fernando mentioning it was a religious movement during class and then looking information up on the internet.

      @Adaleyci: You are definitely correct with my understatement of the theme. I should have went more in depth towards explaining/analyzing it overall. Thank you for the feedback!

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    8. Emilia i agree with you i think that in the poem when the kid mentions if he knew how life is into war he would not of followed his father because he was not open minded. I believe that people who are not open minded miss the realistic point in life. For example in the poem not knowing how life at war is, mislead the boy into living that type of life.

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    9. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 31, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      I do like your post Emilia, however I also agree with Krystal that I saw it more as a lifestyle that the speaker was talking about. I never really tied it all back to religion. However I can see how maybe it would all correlate to a specific religion depending on whatever that would be.

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    10. I must agree with you Emilia as I as well as many of our peers, believe that the overshadowing of the societal beliefs stopped the little boy from becoming who he really wanted to be. Although out of curiosity, as the poem focuses on the boy, what happens to the girl --does she end up following the societal beliefs-- or does she realize the own words she mention to the boy?

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  2. The poem, Fundamentalism, by Namoi Shihba displays the use of rhetorical and poetic devices -such as parallelism and Imagery- to bring forth the overall meaning of the poem, traditional pressure. Throughout the poem, questions are stated and seem to be directed towards the boy. Basically questioning the boy and forcing traditional religion upon the boy. If the boy were to figure out his life would be accepting tradition, the boy would want to follow his own destiny. The title Fundamentalism is a form of Christianity and encases the poets subject of Fundamentalism itself. Some of the tones-contemplative and satiric-help reflect the poet's attitude. Contemplative, due to the last stanza that states, "He would not follow his father into war" (Line 17). Satiric, because of the questions that are a form of weakness when directed towards the boy. Towards the end of the poem -with the questions unanswered- the boy seems to fall away from traditional religion.

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    1. Brianna RodriguezMarch 31, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Miguel, I feel that your assertion of the boy having religion forced on him is interesting. I felt that is was not necessarily forced but as a reminder. He is not as accepting of the religion as others within the religion. I think the rhetorical questions are used to question fundamentalism and to assure the boy of his beliefs.

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    2. I am a bit confuse on what you mean by tradition. I can infer some ideas; however, I am not certain if it is correct with what you want. Did you mean the tradition of men going out and protecting and providing for their families?

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    3. Miguel:

      There are several grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors that actually inhibit the reader's comprehension. Thank you for answering all the questions outlined in the SPOTTTS--but--your response fails to persuade or present a tangible argument.
      Please consult my feedback to Emilia and make the appropriate revisions. I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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    4. Due to Nye's Palestinian heritage and the context of the poem I cannot help but feel that "Fundamentalism" doesn't refer to Christianity but Islamic beliefs of religion in general. Moreover, I am confused on what you mean when you say "questions that are a firm of weakness" please explain.

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    5. Re:
      In the poem --Fundamentalism-- Namoi Shibba establish the use of rhetorical and poetic devices --such as parallelism and imagery-- to allude the reader the overall theme of the poem traditional faith. As Shihab states the questions, it is evident that the questions connect to the boy. The process of the questioning go unanswered leaving the reader to ponder. Following the punctuation a brief description of the boy's actions occur that leave insight of the boy's possible future life. With that stated the title Fundamentalism can help infer that one cannot dream big and must conclude their life to a simply and stressless life. The end of the poem suggest that the boy ends up with an open-mind and denies his religion. Concluding why the questions are unanswered. Yet with the vigorous tones --contemplative and satiric-- they allow the poet to express her overall attitude being hopeful that overtime Fundamentalism pollutes itself with modern open-mindedness.

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    6. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 31, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Miguel I found that your statement of the boy having traditional religion forced on him, was interesting, but in my case I never felt that anything was being forced onto him. I saw it more as the speaker trying to persuade the boy to really question if this lifestyle was really one that he wanted.

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  3. Brianna RodriguezMarch 31, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    In the poem “Fundamentalism,” Naomi Shihab Nye places rhetorical devices—point of view and structure—in order to demonstrate the association of religious and society’s concepts of thinking. Through the poet’s use of rhetorical questions, there is this form of negotiation—interestingly the questions are not immediately answered—which then reveals that the speaker is speaking to a boy. Through this point of view one can conclude there is this question of what traditionally is accepted through religion. Ideologically, religion constantly contradicts the acceptance of societal views. Thus, revealing the theme of the poem: question of religion. The author reveals this theme by presenting the reader with the stanza in lines 12-15, in this stanza there is a shift that causes the reader to realize the boy’s unconventional view of religion. Additionally, the structure contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole by the use of author’s indentation of the boy’s actions. Lines 12-13 reveal a type of interjection of the thoughts the speaker has of the boy. “The boy with the broken pencil/scrapes his little knife against the lead”, this reveals the unconventional action the boys commits that suggests his opposing views of religion. Shihab uses the word “broken”(line 12)—separate or not together—in order to reveal the boy’s own belief of religion. This highlights the boy’s separate view of fundamentalism, which is not commonly accepted by those who follow the religion. Overall, the author uses the point of view and structure to expose the opposition of a boy and traditional societal views of fundamentalism.

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    1. Brianna:

      Thanks for the post. Next time, please consult my responses to other students to ensure that you do not make the same mistakes.

      In terms of your response, try to find other ways to transition your readers through your argument other than constantly using adverbial conjunction. Consider: subordinate clauses which can help you place emphasis on a particular idea or concept. Other transitions may include: Participle phrases, Adverbial clauses, Transitional Phrases. If you find other ways to transition readers through your arguments, it will help you make your style less predictable.

      Also, please try to add more descriptive language to make your claims clearer. Read the following advice provided to Emilia:
      * describes the referenced noun--opaque rhetorical questions and irregular structures;
      * describes the action of the author--ingeniously uses;
      * clearly states the meaning of the work as a universal truth--to reinforce the dangerous effects of immoral societal and religious constructs on impressionable youths.
      These revisions do not only provide clarity--but they also help in establishing your persuasive tone and distinct voice.

      I am not sure if I agree with your interpretation of lines 12-13. Please elaborate when you say: "This highlights the boy’s separate view of fundamentalism, which is not commonly accepted by those who follow the religion." Your response is not clear.

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    2. I agree on the theme interpretation you gave. The poem does question religion and how it affects those who follow certain ideas and principles. However, please elaborate on how the rhetorical questions are a “form of negotiation” to have a better understanding.

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    3. Like Daniela I agree with your interpretation and how it question religion. As well as religion what else can it question? Life? Culture? Society? As for the rhetorical questions I believed that they are simply questions that only a supernatural being or God can answer fully.

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  4. In the poem, Fundamentalism by Naomi Shihab Nye, reveals rhetorical questions to a young boy who wishes to follow his father. The poet begins with general questions to indicate the doubts of the life style the young boy will have to take if he does follow his father. Moreover, Nye uses “if” to establish a conditional statement in order to show the boy’s future can change “if” he wishes to change it. The poem is separated into two different stanzas; the first stanza is use to provide rhetorical questions to the boy. While the second stanza is use to directly provide a background of the boy to the reader. Additionally, the turning and turning of the pencil indicates that there is a future for the boy; he does not need to follow his father into war. The pencil is constantly turning which indicates the days passing by—the future—of the boy and the boy has found a method to fix – to change— the broken pencil –his life. The boy only needs to understand that there is another lifestyle other than following his father into war.

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    1. Kristo:

      I think you have misread the text. Is the speaker really talking to the young boy--AND--are the questions really for the boy? If so, how do you know the poet posed these questions strictly for the young boy?

      Moreover, please consult the SPOTTTS document to make sure that you have addressed all components and read my comments to the others so far in class.

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    2. I felt that the rhetorical questions were the steps the boy was going to take in order to follow his father. There are also more than two stanzas; were you referring to the shift in Nye's structure and purpose?

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    3. I agree with Chris i felt that the rhetoric questions were the steps the boy was going to have to take in order to follow his father. Although their is a shift which introduces the "if".  

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    4. I enjoy your interpretation of the pencil as I viewed it a little different although I am glad you had a different point of view. As possible with the conditional statement "if," do you believe that because the questioning towards the little boy is conditional he could possibly change his path in life, after recognizing words of wisdom?

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  5. In the poem "Fundamentalism" Naomi Shihab Nye employs a repetitive use of rhetorical questions and situational irony that depicts a religious path that is forced upon a boy. Nye utilizes rhetorical questions for most of the poem in order to essentially list the different steps the boy needs to take in order to be apart of the "Fundamentalism"--or religious path bestowed upon him--; nonetheless, Nye does not appear to agree with the boy's path and she employs situational irony to show that the boy has the tools necessary to start his own path he just does not believe he can. Moreover, Nye structures most of the poem into stanzas of 1-2 lines; She then breaks the structural pattern and indents the next two stanzas and makes the 7th stanza twice as long as the rest this is due to the purpose change in the poem; the first 6 stanzas were depicting how to be apart of the "Fundamentalism" while the last 2 were describing how to break away. Throughout the poem Nye questions the ideas of the boy's religion she realizes that the boy himself may not agree with his path; however, he cannot break away because his religion is all he knows.

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    1. Wow! Great response. I feel you have answered all of the questions in a manner that does not sound formulaic.
      However, where in the poem does it even state that the boy has chosen this "path"? I would also like to hear your thoughts on the diction and reference to various archaic people, items, and situations.

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    2. Interesting how you analyzed the rhetorical questions in the first six stanzas as the steps to Fundamentalism. I have to agree on how you concluded the boy’s innocence to understand that he has the answer to change in his hands; yet, he is blinded by his religion.

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    3. Nye uses words such as: villagers, heavens, and king to display the archaic nature of the religion. Her choice of diction shows that she feels that the customs are outdated and old fashioned. Now the poem never specifically said the boy was going to follow a specific path; however, it never said he was going to defy the religious path he was already on. Some believe that the boy changes his path at the end when Nye asks "If he would believe his life is like that/ he would not follow his father into war" (lines 16-17). However, that is an epiphany that Nye has not the boy; the boy has not come to that realization himself (yet).

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    4. Nice work in explaining the use of archaic language. I don't think I've read any of the posts (including my own) that included the analysis. Although to be fair, your analysis of the language was not included in your original post and only after Mr. Rogers asked you to do so. But despite that, it was still nice to read your analysis on it.

      - Kiet

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  6. Name of poem: Fundamentalism
    Poet’s Name: Naomi Shihab Nye
    S = Subject: The subject in Fundamentalism is religious/ gender/ societal oppression.
    P = Paraphrase: Sentence 1: Is it because you just do not believe in yourself or are there just many obstacles in your way? Sentence 2: Is everyone else missing the big picture or am I just looking to deep into this? Sentence 3: What if you never had this problem how would your life be? Sentence 4: Is god the only one that has the answers to my questions? Sentence 5: How would life be if you where superior to normal citizens? Sentence 6: What do I have to do in order to be accepted/equal? Sentence 7: Is there a purpose to life/ how can you find it? Sentence 8: If there was a purpose to life one would not be quick to loose it.

    O = Occasion: A person is questioning if there is a purpose too life
    T = Title: Fundamentalism is a movement that stresses the reliability of the Bible—relating back too the purpose of life.
    T = Tone: Philosophical,
    T = Theme: Is there a purpose to life/ how can you find it? If there was a purpose to life one would not be quick to loose it.
    S = Speaker: A boy third-person point of view

    Précis
    In the poem “Fundamentalism” by Naomi Shihab Nye, Nye uses a repetition of rhetorical questions and situational irony that questions the purpose of life. Nye makes use of rhetorical questions throughout the poem in order to make the reader question society, religion, life and its purpose. Nye ironically speaks of finding the purpose of live but in reality the purpose of life can be to find its purpose. The structural repetition of rhetorical questions is purposeful and symbolic to the many questions one may have about life. The indentation in the seventh stanza represents a possible answer to the questions of life since the boy’s actions make a ”point” at the end of his pencil symbolizing that one creates their own purpose or point in live.

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    1. Please revise and follow the sample emailed to you on Friday.

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    2. In the poem “Fundamentalism” by Naomi Shihab Nye, Nye uses a repetition of rhetorical questions and situational irony that questions the purpose of life. Nye makes use of rhetorical questions throughout the poem in order to make the reader question society, religion, life and its purpose; for example in the last couplet “If he would believe his life is like that he would not follow his father into war”. The boy has to choose to stay and find his own path-- purpose -- or follow his father into war where he may lose his life and never find its purpose. Nye ironically speaks of finding the purpose of live but in reality the purpose of life can be to find its purpose. The structural repetition of rhetorical questions is purposeful and symbolic to the many questions one may have about life. The indentation in the seventh stanza represents a possible answer to the questions of life since the boy’s actions make a ”point” at the end of his pencil symbolizing that one creates their own purpose or point in live.

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  7. The poem Fundamentalist by Naomi Shihab Nye, demonstrates the oppression held within a strict set of ideas in religion causing generation after generation to follow in to the same paths, just as the speaker wishes the boy “would not follow his father into war” (line 17). Through the author’s use of rhetorical questions the reader can infer the boys lack in comprehension as to how fundamentalism has affected his ancestors and is to affect his future. The imagery starting in line 12, in which the boy sharpens his pencil correlates to the boys innocence in understanding how “his life is like that…a point [can emerge] from the wood again” (line 14-15) as in a new life can arise from his path. The author illustrates how society falls in to the same path through their own responsibility because people choose to follow and teach the same beliefs generation after another. The sudden shifts in stanzas associates to the speakers attempt to teach the boy how “to speak over heads in the crowd” (line 2) in order for him to have a different path to follow than war.

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  8. Naomi Shihab Nye, in her poem “Fundamentalism” suggests that the role of culture throughout time has not changed and what is valued in a family is tradition rather than the importance of living life based on one self’s opinion. Shihab first begins to unfold her idea by asking rhetorical question to emphasize the disagreement she has toward “Fundamentalism.” Additionally, the author uses structure pattterns such as, shifts to support the tone of the passage, unsettled. The imagery in the poem evokes the author’s realization of a boy’s complicated life as a son of a person in a war. As Shihab says, “The boy with the broken pencil scrapes his little knife against the lead- turning and turning it as a point- emerges from the wood again.” Because “Fundamentalism is also the title it supports the message the author is trying to convey. Fundamentalism is a form of strictly obeying the beliefs of a group or organization. Although, the speaker of the poem illustrates the tradition of the family, it is through the use of literary techniques that suggest the speaker’s annoyance of the expectance of the family to overall create a theme of, “repeated history.”

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    1. Your arguments differ from most posts here. Whether that is a good or bad thing, however, depends on the person reading your post. Unfortunately, I would have to say that your post leans more towards the latter. Though your arguments are unique, I don't think you have developed your arguments well enough or provided enough textual support. You also seem to have at least one grammatical/structural error. I'm referring to the sentence in which you state, "Additionally, the author uses structure pattterns such as, shifts to support the tone of the passage, unsettled." If you were to remove the part that says "shifts to support the tone of the passage", you would be left with, "Additionally, the author uses structure pattterns such as unsettled"; that doesn't seem to make any sense. Or maybe I just fail to see what you're attempting to convey in that sentence. Oh yeah, and you have three "t"s in "patterns". Three T's. God help us all...

      - Kiet

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  9. In the poem Fundamentalism, written by Naomi Shihab Nye, the speaker examines the folly of strict religious practice through rhetorical questioning. The poem itself is meant to be enlightening. Even the purposeful structure is crafted in a manner to mimic a moment of teaching and learning. The series of rhetorical, thought-provoking questions effectively characterizes the speaker as someone of higher wisdom (not to be confused with knowledgeable). In the poem, the speaker converses with a boy who can be inferred as being keen, at first, to the notion of fundamentalism. The rhetorical questions are relatively simple to answer but are the kinds of questions often overlooked or ignored. This ties back into the notion that this poem is meant to teach and provoke thought in order to expose the fundamentalism's flaws. Lines such as "If you liked the king... lemons?" (lines 8 and 9) and "If you wanted to be sure... party?" (lines 10 and 11) are asked to make the boy appear sheep-like -- only being able to follow his shepherd instead of going against the grain. However, the questions are not meant to insult but rather to dissuade from fundamentalism. The shift in structure and point-of-view after line 11 serves to provide a resolution and may also symbolize the shift in the boy's thoughts. The lines "The boy with the broken pencil... wood again" (lines 12-15) establishes an image of contemplation as the boy's action of scraping his pencil seems slow and methodical; giving the impression that he is thinking deeply about the rhetorical questions presented to him. In the end, the boy relinquishes his previous notions about fundamentalism and follows a different path as shown by the lines "If he would believe... father into war" (lines 16 and 17). The speaker, throughout the poem, guides the boy onto a different path without explicitly telling the boy to do so. Though the poem's primary focus is to expose the folly of fundamentalism, it can be seen universally as examining the importance of teaching youths not to blindly abide by the codes of popular beliefs.

    - Kiet

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  10. In the poem fundamentalism written by Naomi Shihab Nye the poet expresses a religious practice through the rhetorical questioning. The poet uses rhetorical questions throughout the poem to explain what the by needs to be part of in order to be part if the "fundamentalism". Moreover the poet uses "if" as an example of what the boys future can be. Furthermore, the poem's shift also contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. The structural shift introduces a boy and mentions that "if he would his believe his life is like that he would not follow his father into war"(lines 16-17). This quote emphasizes how clossedminded the boy is within the society he lives in. This causes the boy to follow hisffahers footsteps which is going to war.

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  11. Great job Kiet! Overall I like that you used transitions and punctuation to establish your voice. Your arguments are explained thoroughly, I have no complaints once again great job.

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  12. In the poem 'Fundamentalism," by NaomiShihab Nye the poet illustrates the societal expectation of gender roles. The poet explicitly covers the point of view of a female as she speaks to a male about the expectations, about what life could truly mean if he were to uncover the purpose of his existence. As known, men were expected to fight in the war. Nye mentions,
    The boy with the broken pencil
    scrapes his little knife against the lead
    turning and turning it as a point
    emerges from the wood again
    Although society expected the male to fight in the war, there was a deeper meaning to his life than just war. A life begins to emerge so do preferences and purposes for the existence of one another. In today's society woman are expected to be the stay home mothers as males g out to be the provider of the family. Nye believes that there is no true "stereotypical" function to every human. Moreover the human itself must find their purpose or their desire to live or to do as they wish in a life that is provided for them.

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  13. Esperanza ElizarrarazApril 1, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    In the poem "Fundamentalism" by the poet Naomi Shihab Nye B, the poet uses a series of rhetorical questions to question the path of a boy's life to persuade the boy into considering if that pathway is really one that he wants to find himself a part of. Through these rhetorical questions, it becomes apparent to the reader that the poet disagrees with "Fundamentalism" and she is trying to open up this boy's eyes into choosing a different path for himself. In the fourth stanza, she asks him "If one way could satisfy the infinite heart of the heavens?". This question was very powerful because I thought she was really asking him, if there was only one path to take to get to where you want to be. However she was implying that this is not true, there is more than one path that one could follow and it most definitely does not have to be one that is forced onto you. The poet is not explicitly telling the boy to go against Fundamentalism, but her questions do create food for thought and they serve to make the boy consider his options. In the seventh stanza, it seems to that there is a shift in the tone when the boy is sharpening his pencil and he just keeps turning it and turning it. This methodical active relates a pensive tone to the reader and it seems that the boy is contemplating what he has been told. When the poem ends, it does not seem to say what the boy decided on. However it is certain that the boy was presented with different ideas, and now it is his choice to make exemplified by the last stanza which is a rhetorical question, just like the others. The poem's main focus is to expose the importance of not shutting off the options that each person has and to relate that it is okay to go against the norm in search of personal fulfillment and bettering.

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