Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Escape the Box


We have spent the past week and a half discussing questions surrounding identity. As part of those discussions, we you have read several stories, listened to music, performed poetry, written in journals, and created identity collages to express your own unique cultural identifiers. We have also discussed various examples of "the box," which is a metaphor for any obstacles or barriers that might isolate, frustrate, enclose, or sometimes protect someone from a larger world.

Think back over everything we have read so far for this unit ("Theme for English B," "High Yellow White Trash," "Black, White, and Jewish," "Those Who Don't," "Sylvia's Story" from National Public Radio, "Alone and All Together," and "Two Kinds"). your task now is to write and post a comment in this forum in which you describe a connection between TWO of these works, focusing on the role of "the box." Think about how different characters face similar or different challenges. Think about similarities or differences in the kinds of disguises characters wear. Do you think these characters will escape from their boxes?

When you have made a connection between two works, write a post describing that connection. Make sure to mention specific characters/narrators, and to be clear about how the "boxes" they experience are similar. Your post does not have to be long; three or four sentences is plenty. You should feel free to respond to your classmates' posts, as well as to ask your classmates questions.


*** Remember to use your first name and "Doyle period ___" when you sign your post. Also, if you choose to respond to what another classmate wrote, please do so in a respectful manner.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story "high yellow white trash and " Slyvia's story"
they are the same because they both have parents(mostly the mother ) that don't except them for who they are . In 'high letter white trash'' her mother wont expect her just because she doesn't want to be like her . Instead she wanted I think to be like her father more then her mother . In ''Sylivia's story" her mother was upset with her because sht wants to be a lot of different things . Her mother wanted to Sylvia to be like her . They are similar because in the story the mothers are the ones that wont expect each of the girls for who they are . So I think that it will be kinda of easy to escape the "box" because most of their life they were kinda of pushed away . So in a way they kinda did escape the box.
-Kimmi

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am comparing "Black, White, and Jewish" and "High Yellow White Trash."

In Black, White, and Jewish, the girl's parents are divorced, and so she has to get over that and escape from the box that her mother built up for her; where she would live in her community, and stay there. But she wants to be more like the other girls in her school.
And in High Yellow White Trash, the girl lives two different lives, when she is with her father, she is "black" and when she is with her mother, she is "white".

Both of the girls in these two stories are trying to push themselves away from the "box" that their parents had set up for them. And both of them tried very hard to become like the other kids in their classes. I'm not sure if they escaped their "box" but they did try.
-Jen
Doyle
Per. 8-9

4:46 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

The Story "High Yellow White Trash" and "Slyvias Story" and "Two Kinds" are all very much alike. they are all similar because there mothers don't seem to accept them. In high yellow white trash, Her mother wanted her to be a "white girl" but she really wanted to be a "black girl". Slyvia wanted to be something that was different than most mexican girls, and her parents (mainly her mom) wanted her to be the typical "mexican girl" but Slyvia wanted to be an "american girl". and in "Two Kinds" her mom wanted her to be "special" and "different", a genius. they all wanted to be out of the box there parents wanted them to be in.
-Ellen

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marwan
Doyle, period 8-9


The two works I will write about are “Sylvia’s story” and “two kinds”. In both of these stories the main characters are trying to get out of the box, which is created by their parents not letting them do what they want. In “two kinds” the disguise that she wears is that she is a good piano player, and in “Sylvia’s story” the disguise is that she is American and not Mexican. I think that the character in “two kinds” will escape the box, but Sylvia has less of a chance because her mother insists too much. The way that the boxes are similar is that their parents generate both of the boxes.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Sam 0 said...

I think that "Theme For English B" and "Silvia's Story" were similar. In both stories the main characters are trying to get a good education. In TFEB, he is trying to escape the box that African-American people in that time don't go to good schools. In SS, Silvia is trying to escape the box of staying in the community and not going to college. The person in TFEB has already gone to college so he's really out of the box. I think Silvia will get out of the box since she's so focused on it.

Sam 0

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amos ,Doyle period

I made the connection between "High Yellow White Trash" and "Black, White and Jewish" because in both stories the main character is trying to escape from part of their identity. In "Black White and Jewish" the girl try's to get deeper into some parts of her box leaving her black part of her identity out. In "High Yellow White Trash" the girl changes very much after her parents divorce. She gets closer to her father and the black part of her identity trying to avoid the white part of herself. But even though she attempts to "lock some of her identity out" she just can't get rid of it.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the two stories, Two Kinds and High yellow white trash, one similarity between the two stories was that the mothers in both stories seemed to want more of their children. For example in Two Kinds the mother of Jing-mei always wanted her daughter to find some kind of prodigy, while in High yellow white trash the mother always wanted her daughter to hear classical music and be more white, but in real life you can't just be what your parents want you to be. Another connection between the two stories was that the mothers of these two children wouldn't really listen to what their children had to say, because in Two Kinds the mother just slapped her child and said "your're just not trying you hardest," while in High yellow white trash the mother would just scorn or say that whatever child said was rebellion or ungratefullness. The last similarity between these two stories was that when the children talked to their mothers their mothers just said they were ungrateful for what they had. In both stories though in the end both children put down their foot and said that they wanted to be who they wanted to be, finally they had escaped the box.
~Cameron

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of the two stories we have read, "Black White and Jewish," and "High Yellow White Trash," are two with a lot of connections. Those two stories are connected because in both of the stories, the parents get divorced. In both, the girls live with their mothers. The girls are trying to "escape the box" in ways where they act one way in one group of friends and another way in another group of friends. They act this way so the friends will like them. In "Black, White and Jewish,"the girl learns how to cope with being half African American and half Caucasian, which was probably a very difficult thing to do in the 1950's and the 1960's. In "High Yellow White Trash," the girl learns how to act in different groups of friends. That is how the two girls "escaped their boxes."

Maddie period 8-9

8:23 PM  
Blogger doglover said...

Well I think i agree to all the comments people have made. I would have to agree that "High Yellow white Trash and "Sylvia's story are alike, but not really the same. I think in "High Yellow White Trash" The girl is biracial. Her father is black and her mother is white. So she try's to balance both parts. Then again people call her names such as zebra, mulatto and more. So she feels she wants to be one. Not both just one. Then in the middle of the story she starts to form into someone she's not, and she pretends that she's all white and she tries to act like it. Saying things that "white people say." Same goes with "Slyvia's story" She's Mexican, but she want's to be american. Celebrate the american holidays, talk like an america, look like an american etc. So both of these people deep down don't appreciate who they are. So the point is that "escaping the box" for them would be, being something there not. Because no matter what you'll always be who you are. She just wants to fit in with everyone else. So being something there not is escaping the box and facing people such as there moms, and how they don't except them. I wouldn't say they escaped the box a lot though.

-Tiffany
Doyle
Per.3-4

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to compare "Theme for English B" and "High Yellow White Trash."

In "High Yellow White Trash," the author has a white mother and an African American father. She feels trapped in a box because she doesn't know how to figure out who she is. When she is with her mom's family she uses a "white girl disguise" and feels uncomfortable. She feels more relaxed with her Dad but still out of place.
In "Theme for English B", the author also has trouble figuring out who he is even though he is not mixed race. He also feels pressured by white people and culture.
Everyone seems to feel limited by their race no matter what it is and by the way others expect them to act. I wish we could escape those boxes but I'm not sure it's possible.

-Rachel
Doyle period 3/4

9:47 PM  
Anonymous sam 1 said...

I am compering black white and jewish and hywt.

In both she wants to be someone else then who she is. They are both about a biracial girl with divorced parents. The two parents re both fighting over hat she should be like and she has to choose one. She also tries to fit in with society.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Gregory said...

I will compare "Black White and Jewish" and "High Yellow White Trash"

The first thing I realized is that both stories are about a Half Black-Half White Child with divorced parents who tries to fit in to society. In both the child has to choose between white society and Black society, yet neither accept her because the child is still part of the other race. Also the dad in both stories is Black, and the mom is white.

-Gregory

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Someone :O said...

I think "High Yellow White Trash" and "Sylvia's Story" have a connection. I think they have a connection because the main characters are both in a box that there moms have made them. In "HYWT", her mom is trying to keep her in the more "classy white" box. The girl (I think) is not trying to escape that much, but when she spends time with her dad in the more "ghetto" parts of town, she picks up more improper English. Her mom doesn't like her using this English, or reading African American Women's magazines, because she is trying to push her daughter down into the more classy, white way. In "Sylvia's Story", Sylvia is trying to escape the box that her mom has made for her, too. Her mom is trying to make her into a "typical" Mexican woman, who does the cleaning and cooking and other chores. Sylvia is trying to get out of that box, because she doesn't want to be a typical Mexican woman, she wants to get a job, and do other things than chores for her husband and family. I think these are both linked because both their moms want to keep them in a box of being a "typical" person of their cultures, but they don't want to be.

Julian
Periods 3/4

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I am comparing “This American Life: Sylvia’s Story” to “High Yellow White Trash” because there is a story of two children searching for an identity outside of a box (or boxes, as is the case with “High Yellow White Trash,”). There are also parents who want them to stay within their respective boxes. Sylvia is searching for a way to find herself the American “box” while keeping roots in the Mexican-American “box” she grew up in, despite the struggle with her family, who fights with her so she can stay in the Mexican box. The author of “High Yellow White Trash” is trying to find herself in between the Caucasian “box” and the African-American “box” while keeping roots in both boxes, despite the fact that both boxes want her to be a part of one or the other. I feel that this expresses a similarity in how both struggle to find an identity in two boxes while keeping peace with both boxes.

Alex, Doyle 8-9

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the storys all are realted in a way. alot of them are about racial problems such as in "high yellow, white trash" the girl is biracial and has problems with her family. Another common thing between the stories is the concept of the "box." An example of this is in "two kinds," the girl the story is stuck in a box because her mom prevents her form being who she is and forcing her to be someone shes not. these are both common things the alot of these storys.
-Frank

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In "High Yellow White Trash" and "Alone and All Together", both of the main characters are being judged because of their race. In "High Yellow White Trash", the main character is viewed as a 'white with defects' while Libby of "Alone and All Together" is a 'raghead' or 'sand nigger'. Their box, essentially, is the way people are judging them or stereotyping by their race. There's not much they can do about that, except to see the good in themselves, prove others' stereotypes false, and hope the others can learn, OR simply stop caring what society thinks and be happy with what they have. At the same time, the main characters aren't the only ones in the box. In "Alone and All Together", Sally and other Muslims and Arabs are also in the box with the main character, hated by some of society. In "High Yellow White Trash" the main character also has a sister who's in the box as well. But there are the friendly blacks, who are caught in this box of racism as well.
In both of these stories, the main characters gravitate towards their race other than white (Libby towards Arabic, and the other towards the black). Also, in both the parents are divorced.
-Julia
Ms. Doyle periods 3-4

5:29 PM  
Blogger miles said...

I think the best two stories to compare are "High Yellow White Trash" and "Sylvia's story". I like they are similar because both of their mothers don't except them for who they are and who they want to be. In High Yellow White trash her mother wants her to act more like a white person, and make her listen to a certain style of music.


And in "Sylvia's story" her mom wants her to be just like all the other mexicans, and doesn't want her to go to college because most mexicans only go to school to get a girlfriend/boyfriend.

I think it is good that they are both trying to "escape the box", because if you don't like the the box why would you want to be in it?
-Miles
Doyle
per. 8-9

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made a connection between "Sylvia's Story" and "Two Kinds". I have found that both mothers in these stories have not been letting their dauters live their lives as they have wished. Even thought that the situations are diferent (Sylvia is being held back and Ming is being pushed)both are terible. In fact I bet that the two girls would have loved to swap lives, for a while. But after living diferently for a certian amount of time they would realize they really have great lives as it was and would want to switch back.
Rex
Doyle Period 3-4

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sylvia's Story and High Yellow White Trash have a few similarities. Both girls are stuck in their own box. In Sylvia's Story, her mother is trying to make her take Mexican dancing classes and to listen to Mexican music while she prefers to listen to her own music and do her own thing. In High Yellow White Trash the girls mother and father are divorced. The girls mother wants her to listen to classical music and to act like a white person rather then hanging out with her dad. Yet, her dad wants her to hang out with him. This is like Sylvia choosing between the mexican lifestyle and the american one. Being in a box makes life extremely difficult for both of them.

Louis • Doyle • Period 8/9

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Marissa said...

I am comparing "High Yellow White Trash" and "Black, White and Jewish"

In both of these stories, the narrator is a biracial girl struggling to discover which part of her to accept. In High Yellow White Trash, the story is about Lisa Page, a biracial girl whose African-American father and Caucasian mother divorced, and it feels to her as though her white and black sides have been divorced as well. When Lisa is at her mother's house, she embraces her white side without much enthusiasm, but she feels more at home when she is with her father and adjusts back to who she feels she is. In Black, White and Jewish, the girl is also biracial with a black mother and a white father who are divorced, but she doesn't feel any connection toward one particular part of her until Bryan Katon, the boy she likes, tells her he only likes white girls. So she starts to lean toward her Caucasian side, making sure Bryan only sees her with her white grandmother or stepmother. In both of these stories, I feel as though the two girls are stuck between two boxes, and they are trying to decide which box they belong in and which they want (or need) to escape from. I think neither girl really succeeds in escaping her boxes.

-Marissa
Doyle, Per 8-9

6:32 PM  
Blogger Kassim said...

I think that the stories "High Yellow White Trash" and "Sylvia's Story" are very similar because they are about a girl trying to escape a world which they either dislike or feel they don't belong in. When Sylvia tells her mom she wants to go to college and be educated she gets the same response that Rebecca gets when she tells her mom she refers to herself as african american. They did escape the box and Rebecca is now free and she does not have to worry about the world telling her her race. And Sylvia also escaped the box because she is going to become a visual/sound effects person.

Kassim
Ms. Doyle's Class
P. 3-4

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to compare the story High Yellow White Trash and Slyvia's Story.

I think that in both stories the girls were having trouble escaping the box. Their mothers were both trying to make them stay with in thier religion/nationality, and did not pursue their dreams. In Slyvia's Story she is Mexican and nobody in her family was educated. They the believd in having a family at age 18 and the women staying at home all day and the father working. Slyvia did not want this. She wanted to go to coledge, become educated and have a good career. Her mother held her back. She wanted her daughter to be like her and be scared of the world like her. In Hich Yellow White Trash, the girl was half black and half white Her parents got divorced when she was young (around age 11). White flight started in her area. It was not untill she was 13 that she understood that people didn't like how she was too loud using improper English. They didn't like her lisening to jazz music, etc. Her Mother started to agree. For example, she wanted to subscribe to a magazine called Essece and her mom got mad and asked why she diddn't want to read Glamor insted. Over time she started to lean more towards being black and liked that side better. Her mother did not except this.
I think that even though both girls strugled alot in both stories they will both end up escaping the box in the end, but it will be very hard.
-Maria 2

7:06 PM  
Blogger Loren said...

loren
hum 8-9
Ms.Doyle

Comparing of Sylvia's story and two kinds.

I believe the 2 are the same 'cuz they both have a mother that wants them to be something they don't want too be. In Sylvia she wants to becomes something her mom doesn't want her too be, while in Two kinds she wants to be herself and not this wanna be prodigy. X-(

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Escape the Box

“Sylvia’s Story” and “Two Kinds” are similar. They are similar because both their moms expect a lot from their daughters. The moms confuse their dreams for their daughters, with their daughters’ dreams for themselves. Both of their moms expect more from their girls that is possible to be expected. In both stories it seems that both girls feel that they were placed in the wrong family because they march to their own drums. Also, both of the daughters rebelled. Both girls did eventually escape the box.

-Stacy
Doyle
Per 8/9

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am comparing "Black, White and Jewish" and "High Yellow White Trash."

In High Yellow White trash, the girl in the story lives two totally weird and different life's. And the girl in the story mainly wants to escape the box that her mother made for her. I personally think that it took a lot of "unwanted" self confidence and sole to be true to her self. And also she wants to fit in with the other girls at school.
In Yellow White Trash, the girl is living two lives, when she is with her father on the inside she is "black". but when she is with her mother on the outside she try's to act "white".

Both of the girls in these two stories are trying to push themselves away from the "box" that their parents had set up for them. And both of them tried very hard to become like the other kids in their classes. I'm not sure if they escaped their "box" but from my point of view they did try quit hard.
-marina

8:29 PM  
Anonymous JACK 1 said...

The stories HYWT and Black White and Jewish are connected in many ways. In both, the main character is trying to be a different person then what they actually are. That's because they're trying to make someone like them, or they're trying to make someone hate them. In both stories, the main character never made it out of tthe box by the end.

Jack 1
Doyle
Periods 3-4

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that there is a connection between "Two Kinds" and "Sylvia's Story", because in two kinds the mother is telling her what to do with her life (to be a prodigy, and get rich). I think that is kind of selfish, because she is using her for money. In Sylvia's Story the mother is also controlling her by saying what she should be, and also being selfish because she thinks that since her mother raised her like that that now the daughter has to do it too. To me I think that in two kinds she is so set on not being something amazing that she decides her own fate, and puts herself in another box. In Sylvia's story i think she can break out of the box, because she is taking chances on it.
-Logan

8:48 PM  
Blogger Aurielle said...

Aurielle
Doyle
period 8-9

I am comparing "High Yellow White Trash" to "To Kinds". The morals of both stories are; to be yourself, and to live by your own standard. In "High Yellow White Trash" Lisa's mom didn't really to be who she really was, which was a bi-racial person. In the narrative, "To kinds" Amy's mother wants her to be the person that she never was.In both of these stories, the mothers do not want their daughters to be trues to themselves, by putting their daughters in a box of expectations.

11:21 PM  
Blogger THE Cole said...

I'm comparing the stories high yellow white trash and Sylvia's story. In both of the stories their mothers created a box for their daughters and the daughters are trying to escape it. In high yellow white trash her mother is pushing her to be white while she just wants to be black. In Sylvia's story she wants to escape the box by becoming successful and getting married later. Her mother wants her to do it her way and get pregnant early and live as a housewife.

-Doyle Per 3/4 Cole

10:13 AM  
Blogger Kori said...

I found a Connection between "High Yellow White Trash" (HYWT) and "Sylvias Story". Both wanted to be there selves but Sylvia couldn't escape the box, and Lisa didn't know who she was. Lisa was you could say living a double life. She didn't know to "act white" or to "act black". she had her own little box with herself and her mom built an outer box around that by not excepting her when she was "Acting black". With Sylvia her mother wanted her to be a traditional Mexcian girl and go to Mexican dances and have children at a young age, while Sylvia wanted to be herself and animate. In both stories the mother built a box around the main character and neither could escape it the way they wanted to.
-Korbin Ms. Doyle per. 8-9

2:54 PM  
Blogger McKenzie said...

In "High Yellow White Trash" and "Black, White, and Jewish", both Lisa, and Rebecca are a mix of Black and White. Both of them are trying to be only one half of what they are, Lisa is only really seeing the black side of her. Rebecca is trying to be all White instead of what she really is black becuase she likes this boy Brian, because he doesn't like Black girls, and somehow she is okay that he doesn't like Black girls.
-McKenzie Doyle per 8-9

6:52 PM  

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