Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: Marilee Hyde

I was born and raised in Seattle/Shoreline. I was married for 27 years and was divorced 5 years ago.
I have two children although my son died when he was 6 months old from SIDS. My beautiful daughter is also here at Evergreen, she is in the Science dept. and is going to Ecuador with Heather Heying for the winter quarter.
I spent the last few years on Whidbey Island caring for my father until his death this last February. This left me free to pursue my own goals and dreams which begin here at Evergreen.

Marilee G. Hyde Winters Bone Close Reading

Marilee G. Hyde
Eye of the Story
Close reading review: Winters Bone 2/25, 2016

Winters Bone
I was going to compare the book to the movie but as the schedule has changed and people won’t have viewed the movie at the time of this review I must find something else to talk about.
I originally bought the movie sight unseen, I was looking for Jennifer Lawrence movies and I really like thrillers. I didn’t know it was based on a novel until the ending credits. I usually like to read the book first, but I have learned to like movies for themselves, and not in how they compare with the original inspiration.
I shall instead concentrate on the author’s use of language, and Ree as the heroine. The story takes place in the Ozarks. Those of us who were born in places like the Pacific Norwest, and come from a securely middle class home often sneer at the accents and “folksy” way of speaking and behaving. They are victims of stereo types as surely as any. They are referred to as “hillbillies,” and the term “Deliverance” is often used when speaking of these people.
Deliverance was a thriller written in 1970 by James Dickey. It was, like Winters Bone, adapted by the author and the director into a 1972 film. It was considered a landmark novel and is considered one of the 100 best 20th century novels.
Deliverance took place in the North Georgia wilderness while winters bone is located in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Both are remote areas that have been inhabited for decades by the same families that often intermarry and remain an enclosed society.
I particularly noticed the use of language the author of Winters Bone used. It was crude and yet poetic, for example, page 48, where the driver of the delivery truck who stops to give Ree a ride says he wasn’t supposed to give rides but jeez, that wind, that wind sort of blows the rules away, don’t it?
On page 49 the author notes that the old part of Hawkfall seemed ancient and a creepy sort of sacred. I find that although the language perhaps makes the characters sound ignorant and unsophisticated it is a window into the lives of people who do not exist for us. People so poor they don’t eat regular meals, shoot most of their food, and process it themselves, just as they did in the last century and beyond.
Their lives seem so bleak and joyless; it would seem they have a lot of children because they don’t have anything else to do. In Ree’s community having a regular mainstream job is rare, they all make illegal drugs in order to make money, and they use the drugs themselves to forget the horrible things they had to do to get to the top of the heap. In the society they are trapped in, the people see no alternative to the lifestyle they inhabit.
Ree has had to grow up too soon. Her mother is mentally ill and can no longer take care of the family. It has forced Ree to shoulder all the responsibility of raising her little brothers. She dreams of getting out of the town they are in, but knows she cannot leave her little dependents. She seeks to train them to care for themselves, but when she finds out her father has let her down and possibly lost the very house they live in; she finds the moral courage to try and bring her father to acknowledge his responsibilities. When she starts knocking on doors for help she is told on page 56 “That’s sure a bad boat you been left in…” Once again a poetic way of saying she is in some kind of shit.
The hierarchy of the community is the same as the previous century, there is a patriarch, and in this novel it is Thump Milton, who is the highest authority. The underlings become annoyed that Ree is not being deterred by the people in the line, up the food chain. She is trying to get to the head man but there are rules and Ree is trying to bypass them. She understands the rules, how I don’t know; it must be something you learn from the very beginning. At some point it becomes clear to her that her father is not just missing, he is probably dead. Her acceptance of this is disturbing to me. She is showing the most basic of instincts, survival and the survival of her young ones. Ree wastes little time on grieving for a father who let her down more often than not. When the women who tried to put her in place, i.e. beat her up, come to her house to take her to her daddy’s bones, Merab says “…we need to put a stop to all this upset talk about us we’ve been havin to hear.” To which Ree replies “I aint said a thing about you.” and the answer to that is “we know, everybody else has.” Page 180.
This exchange proves that her fears have been confirmed. Her father is indeed dead and the only thing left is to prove it in order to save her house. Ree understands the pecking order in the community, but she has also determinedly stood her ground in order to prevail for her mother and brothers. She is now the bread winner and must do everything she can to continue their survival.
In conclusion, I find that Ree is a heroine to be admired. She knows she is in an impossible situation and longs to get out of it. But her sense of duty and responsibility, both admirable characteristics, are strong in her and she seeks to find peace for herself as best she can. For example, using the soothing nature sounds on her iPod to help her meditate. One feels hopeful that things will turn out alright, that her brothers will grow up well and not in jail. I would like to think that eventually she is able to leave that town behind with a clear conscience and join the army or do something worthwhile for herself. To live a life that is hers and not living so others can live.

Marilee G. Hyde Week 9 Journal

It is hard to think about next quarter when you are trying to finish the current one. My brain is about ready to explode. I Skyped with the daughter yesterday, she is back in Quito for the day and night but then off to parts unknown today. I had to interface with her dad about her ticket and other such matters. He is such a guy, he sends her cryptic messages, when he sends them, so she is unsure as to whether things got done. She only has internet for small windows of time, so I try to make the messages short and clear, Yes your ticket was changed to the right date. Yes your father is buying you your ticket. I don’t know why he can’t be clear with her. Oh well, Mommy the Middleman.

Marilee G. Hyde Week 8 Journal

Having trouble keeping everything in my head this week. I do the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth on Wednesday nights. I go to Touchstone half-way house with a group of students. We hang out, help with homework, play games etc. with the boys. I connected with a 16 year old boy right away. He wanted to find a job, do well in school etc. I helped him with interview skills, looking for jobs, that sort of thing. This was his last week, he is getting out and going home. I don’t think his home life has been very stable that is why he got into trouble to begin with. He is a very sweet and loving boy, I think if he can get some support and guidance he will do well. I will miss him, but I am glad he is on the straight and narrow.

Marilee G. Hyde Week 7 Journal Entry

Well, a busy week. My daughter is visiting the Amazon, I had my conference with Sam on my project and on Tuesday I received my confirmation that I have been admitted into the IPLS program. This means that on July 6, I will be leaving for Argentina. I am immediately overwhelmed at all that must be done.

I can’t believe how fast the quarter has gone. I look forward to reading and watching everyones projects. I don’t write poems so I have nothing to share here in that way. I consider it an all time low if people really want to read articles about the evolution of Kim Kardashians face. Just sayin’.

Almost done with Winters Bone. I wanted to get it done early so I can go back and figure out what I am going to write about for my close reading. I was going to compare the film and the movie. I have the movie in my collection but since we flipped seminar days I am not presenting on Friday after all so when I give my close reading we will not have seen the film. Bummer. I was going to compare and contrast. Oh well I am sure I will find something.

Marilee G. Hyde Journal Entry Week 6

We got into groups on Friday and talked about our projects. I am really glad I have both writers and media people looking at my stuff. I received some really good ideas for my paper. I will be showing Adderley “From Here to Eternity” on Sunday. I know a lot of people haven't seen it but it really is a landmark film. I haven't read the book, but I probably will someday. I skyped with my daughter the other day she is leaving her host family and is off to the Amazon. I made her promise to take pictures. She can't find her bankcard, this is so like her. She has lost more credit cards and bank cards, she just can't keep track of them! I looked it up and there is a Western Union in Quito, so I told her not to worry. It is absolutely pouring here! I was going to do some more errands after work but I was afraid I might melt, after all, I did in the movie!! Lets see who gets that reference!!

Marilee G. Hyde Movie Review: Nine Muses 2/11/2016

Marilee G. Hyde
Eye of the Story
Movie Review February 5, 2016

The Nine Muses

Calliope was the muse of epic poetry Clio was the muse of history.

Erato was the muse of love poetry. Euterpe was the muse of music.

Melpomene was the muse of tragedy. Polyhymnia was the muse of sacred poetry.

Terpsichore was the muse of dance. Thalia was the muse of comedy.

Urania was the muse of astronomy.

I originally decided to do this movie review because I really liked the title. I subsequently looked it up to read some reviews, just so I would have an idea of what we were going to see. I was a bit disappointed in that the reviewers didn’t seem to think much of it. Of course it was only two different analyses, when I looked again later I found some other appraisals of the film that were more enthusiastic. I must say I don’t agree with the original reviews I read. I enjoyed it very much. I will discuss a couple of areas that I appreciated the most. Disclaimer: when I watch films I am ruled by emotions. I see and feel more than I see and analyze. I often enjoy a film for itself, not how close it is to the book or how accurate it is historically. I consider films an entity unto themselves not in contrast to others. As Jonah pointed out, and it is my thought as well; sometimes a bird flying is just a bird flying.
The Nine Muses are the daughters of Zeus and the maiden Μnemosyne. I liked the use of each the nine muses to represent a different aspect in the film. A caption with one of the Goddesses names and then the music, images and quotes that mirrored that particular muse’s specialty would follow. I started noticing a pattern after Polyhymnia the muse of sacred poetry. The music was indeed on the sacred side with “let my people go” and Leotyne price singing in her timeless and inimitable voice “sometimes I feel like a motherless child.” I thought the use of relevant quotes, music and images to emphasize the nine muses made the film cohesive in a way that was intriguing. I believe it made the quotes chosen to have a bit more significance, rather than looking at the quotes as being random choices. Sometimes I didn’t see the significance of the images and what they were supposed to represent, but as a whole it conveyed to me the same meaning, foreign people in an even more foreign land.
I knew in advance that the film was about immigrants from different British Commonwealths making their way to Britain, but it was almost about immigration itself not just about a given group of people. The traveling motifs made that journey obvious. I started writing down all the modes of travel I noticed such as cars, boats, airplanes trains and of course walking.
The images of the people doing different jobs was very interesting because it showed mostly factory, assembly line type jobs which were often the only kind of jobs immigrants could get until they could save up to start their own business or settle enough to learn a different trade.
Intertwined between the found footage were the vistas of Alaskan landscapes. I personally enjoyed looking at the mountains and the snow covered trees. When I re-watched the movie for some reason it was only in black and white, I don’t know if it was the machine I was using or what, but I wondered if I had imagined the color the first time. I understood the bleak white snowy views were probably supposed to represent the cold of the environment, and the U.K in general, but also the frosty reception that immigrants often receive when moving into an unfamiliar place. Many immigrants are hoping for a better life but often find that it does not live up to their imagination.
Somewhere in the middle of the film I noted a clip of horses running. It was shown three times, fairly close together with the manes floating in the motion of their movement. I thought this might represent freedom in general, but also could be considered another mode of transportation.
The last element I wanted to talk about is the interesting use of the people in the colored parkas. We have speculated in class about what they could be representing. I was reminded of the little girl in the red coat in the film Schindlers list. Whenever you saw the little girl she was the only spot of color in the whole scene, very much like the parka people. It was especially poignant in that when they showed a field of bodies in the film you could see the corner of the red coat amidst the corpses. This was I thought, a very heart-rending means of getting the point across. The people in parkas were doing something similar in my opinion. They were a direct contrast to the whiteness of the landscape, but they were also mostly looking out at the vastness of the scenery. Occasionally they were walking but when they were in front of you the faces and hands were obscured to look blank. This could represent any race of people, nonspecific. People who leave the only home they have ever known for whatever reason, and are between homes. They can’t really go back, they are no longer in familiar territory, but they don’t yet belong in the new place of their choosing. The old adage that you can never go back is true more times than not.
Sometimes the blue, yellow and black coats were walking as though on a journey but as they looked out toward the hills I rather fancifully thought of the musical Finnian’s Rainbow. Throughout the film they sang about “How are things in Glocca Morra?” in the end Woody turns to Sharon and asks her “Where is Glocca Morra?” and she responds “well you see, it’s always somewhere….over there” That is what I see. The people in the colored parkas are looking at home. Their old home, a new home, it doesn’t matter. When you have left the place of familiarity, often your birth place, for some other land; you don’t really belong anywhere anymore. Some who immigrate never feel at home where they settle. Home is always somewhere over there. An elusive concept that some never actually realize.
In conclusion, the director is from Ghana and this is probably some of his feelings and impressions of when he himself immigrated, although he was only four at the time. We can speculate and attach meanings to our hearts content, but unless you have experienced leaving your home for a new place it is just that, speculation. I, however, having moved no less than seven times in the last six years, can relate a little better than most, to the struggle of fitting in and finding a place to call home.

Marilee G. Hyde Week 5 Journal Entry

I was so wrapped up in finishing the scholarship applications last week, I forgot to add my journal entry. Oh well. Started the Movie Sunday’s with Adderley, we watched three features. Humphrey Bogart in “Casa Blanca” was our classic drama, “Tampopo” was our foreign film for the week and we finished with dinner and “We’re no Angels” with Humphrey Bogart again. It’s a comedy if you haven’t seen it. This weekend we are honoring both Chinese New Years on Monday and Mardi Gras on Tuesday. So the first feature will be Elvis Presley in “King Creole,” this was filmed in New Orleans. “Hero” with Jet Li will be our foreign film, its a Chinese history film. We will finish with the comedy, Humphrey Bogart in “African Queen”. These are all good movies to show genres. Besides, Adderley hasn’t seen a lot of classics and foreign films so this is fun for me!!
My daughter in Ecuador sent more photos. Apparently they had Guinea pig for dinner! I am including the picture of her and a classmate holding the little skulls! I know, gross, but honestly this is the kid who fought her uncle for the duck brains in China, so I just take it all in my stride. kirstin Cuenca Ecuador

Marilee G. Hyde Week 3 Journal Entry

My daughter left on Tuesday with her program "Evolutionary Ecology: Across Latitudes." About 30 of them went to study in Ecuador for the quarter. She sent pictures and emails and should be now on a bus to a different place"a
Spent my one weekend a month in Seattle where all my friends are. We do Dim Sum on Sunday and then watch movies all day. I told them about some of the movies we have been watching in class. It is nice they are all interested in what I am doing.
Almost done with the scholarships, they are due on the first of February so I want to turn them in this coming week. It will be a relief to get them over with and onto the next thing. I looked up the movie we are seeing in week four. That is the one I am writing about. Unfortunately the review I read didn't like it! So now I am looking forward to viewing it for myself!

I personally enjoyed Mr. Ransom on Friday. He was very honest and very amusing! I read the stuff that was on the canvas, and I have to say I found his stories very engaging. It's a good thing I have no intention of making writing my day job! It is really only this quarter that I have learned what the heck finding your "voice" is! That is NOT the way we were taught. When I was in K-12 they were trying to formalize your writing and take the informal and not very professional voice OUT of your writing.

Looking forward to Week 4!!!!!

Marilee G. Hyde Week 2 Journal

I can’t believe we have already finished week 2. I am endlessly trying to finish the scholarship essays as they are all due at the end of the month. I have had a hard time with this, but a handout my adviser gave me entitled “Style: the hidden agenda in composition classes or one readers confession” by Kate Ronald hit a chord with me. She said in the 1960’s and 70’s kids did not learn the same way they do now. The focus shifted in the 1980’s from organization and correctness to generating ideas, appealing to audiences, and developing a “voice” in writing. Which makes complete sense as I was in school in the 60’s and 70’s left college in 1980 and did not go back until 1994. So the concept of “voice” in writing was unknown to me until I started here last quarter. My teachers kept saying they wanted me to find my “voice” and all I could think of was What the H**l?

So in generating these different essays following the prompts the scholarships ask for, I was pretty much writing the same thing. My adviser was getting a little frustrated I think, even when I thought I had changed it to what he wanted, apparently I was STILL not giving him what he was trying to communicate to me. I was a little upset by the last go-round of comments to the point where I was a little pissed (ok a lot pissed) and I started writing. Now I didn’t just say “give me the money bitch” which is what my friend thought I should say, obviously that would be a disqualification in the extreme! But I did start trying to communicate my goals, needs, whatever the prompt asked for in a totally different manner. Not so formal which was the advice of another peer who read the essays. Obviously from the same school of thought I came from. Anyway I sent in the first essay that had the drastic rewrite and the overwhelming YES!!!! I got back was gratifying! Ok, maybe I am getting the hang of this now! The sad thing is, I am writing for ten different scholarships. I am emotionally exhausted and getting writers cramp and carpal tunnel!

One of my past instructors told me when she ripped my paper to shreds last quarter (at my request) that she thought my schooling had somehow failed me when it came to understanding even the basic principals of writing. I think that was kind of her instead of saying I was an ignoramus and a crappy writer. But I honestly learned more from her paper shredding then I ever have so there might be something in her assessment.

Anyway, I expect to learn a great deal from this quarters work and isn’t that the whole object of the game? To learn? To know more when you leave than when came in?

On a sad note, one of my very favorite actors died this week. R.I.P Alan Rickman died at 69 from cancer.

Week One Journal Entry

Today we were discussing some different paragraphs in seminar. In particular we dissected the sentence "grapes of wrath". While most people think of John Steinbeck's novel, others of us thought of the song. What song you say?? Why the Battle Hymn of the Republic! I was dismayed to find that Sam and I were the only ones who knew the words! When I was in School we sang it pretty regularly, both in choir and in grade school. Perhaps others of you knew it but pretended not to??? So for you youngins' who haven't had the pleasure, here are the lyrics to the song.

Battle Hymn of the Republic
by
Julia Ward Howe
1862

Howe submitted the lyrics she wrote to The Atlantic Monthly, and it was first published in the February, 1862, issue of the magazine.

First published version
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal";
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free*,
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

© 2023 Eye of the Story
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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