Wuthering Heights
Mere Christianity
Madame Bovary
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Crime and Punishment
The Forgotten Garden
These Is My Words
The Help
Ella Enchanted
Princess Academy
The Goose Girl
The Kite Runner
The Great Gatsby
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
The Giver
A Wrinkle in Time
Lord of the Flies
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ender's Game

Friday, June 3, 2011

working draft: boo radley, harper lee, and creating an online presence

I apologize for the extremely rough draft; this is more of an outline with ideas and quotes. Good organization is still in the process; I'm open to any ideas!

Boo Radley
    * "I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside." (Lee 259).
        - Compare to Harper Lee (see second quote)
  Personality, physical description, actions as seen by everyone else
    * "Jem, naturally, was Boo: he went under the front steps and shrieked and howled from time to time. As the summer progressed, so did our game. We polished and perfected it, added dialogue and plot until we had manufactured a small play upon which we rang changes every day." (Lee 43). 
    * "That is three fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford," said Miss Maudie grimly. "Stephanie Crawford even told me once she woke up in the middle of the night and found him looking in the window at her. I said what did you do, Stephanie, move over in the bed and make room for him?" (Lee 51).
        - Very quickly, descriptions and stories transform into new stories. Jem, Scout, and Dill in reality had not idea what had happened in Boo's life or what he actually did or looked like, but because of the stories circulated around the community by those who actively engaged in conversation with their neighbors, the children had a skewed perception about what was going on.
    * "Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were blood-stained-- if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." (Lee 14)
        -Compare above quote to what he really looks like: "I looked from his hands to his sand-stained khaki pants; my eyes traveled up his thin frame to his torn denim shirt. His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin, almost feathery on top of his head." (Lee 310).
  Is there a problem? 
    * "What Mr. Radley did was his own business. If he wanted to come out, he would. If he wanted to stay inside his own house he had the right to stay inside free from the attentions of inquisitive children, which was a mild term for the likes of us. ... What Mr. Radley did might seem peculiar to us, but it did not seem peculiar to him. Furthermore, had it never occurred to us that the civil way to communicate with another being was by the front door instead of a side window?" (Lee 54).  
    * "Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad." (Lee 320).
        -Authors are writing books that aren't being recognized because they aren't marketing them well enough, especially over the internet. Furthermore, when we enjoy a piece of work, we have the opportunity to say something, find their website and contact information and send them an email. Are we letting authors without those things go unappreciated because other forms of communication are just too time consuming?
    * "even from the first, when Boo is most terrifying, he is not an alien totally removed from their lives: Boo is closer to them than they first suspect. He is from the first metaphorically kin to them, a part of them even before he enters their minds and imaginations, and he has lived on the street with them for as long as they can remember. He is always there, near them, in a house that at one time was white and not unlike their own. In befriending Boo, the children are confronting a hidden part of themselves." (Johnson 85).
Harper Lee
    * "Nelle Harper Lee 'comes from a generation of writers who never appeared on Oprah, people who were fairly private. And as we've made stars and personalities of our novelists, we can't understand why anybody would want to keep their private lives private. Everybody wants to be on TV.' --Professor Claudia Durst Johnson." (Madden 21).
        - This is one particularly common point of view. The majority of our community has their own Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blog, and other websites which are seen by some as exploitation. But why not use those resources for good?
    * "It was like being hit over the head and knocked out cold. You see, I never expected any sort of success with "Mockingbird." I didn't expect the book to sell in the first place. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers, but at the same time I sort of hoped that maybe someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected." -Harper Lee(Madden 162). 
        - This quote came from Lee's final public interview.
  Who is she? 
    * "If you want to know what's in her heart, in her consciousness, then go open the book. The truth is, you just open that book and you just start pulling things from it that you spent a lifetime thinking about." - Rick Bragg (Murphy 60).  
    * "I once referred to Nelle Harper as being conservative, and she corrected me. She said, "I'm not conservative. I'm independent." - Reverend Thomas Lane Butts (Murphy 70)
    * "A lot of people think that she's recluse, which is absolutely untrue. She's a person who enjoys her privacy like any other citizen would. She's not reclusive; it's very different from that. She's open, she loves to be around people and associate with people. She does not like to be exploited by people. And she does not like to have her works exploited for profit by people." - Reverend Thomas Lane Butts (Murphy 71).
    * "For Harper Lee, her novel rolled out beautifully, it sold beautifully, it took on a life of its own, and its success had very little to do with the fact that she had to be out selling it. The book stood for itself. It would be nice to have that kind of a culture today, but we don't anymore." - Adriana Trigani (Murphy 184).
  Is there a problem?
    * "She may not grant interviews, but she is still singing away via her 1960 masterpiece." (Murphy xiv). 
    * "Reverend Thomas Lane Butts... has been a friend of Lee's for more than twenty-five years. ... 'She has controlled her own destiny. She doesn't have a PR person. She doesn't need one. I think she has led a happier life and certainly [a] more contented life because she has chosen how she relates to the public.'" (Murphy 10).
    * "'Maybe for Harper Lee there was nothing else to play," James McBride said. "She sang the song, she played the solo, and she walked off the stage. And we're all the better for it. We're very grateful to her for the amount of love that she's given us.'" (Murphy 41).
Online Presence: Personal Branding [specifically for authors]
    *When you don't create your own online presence, someone else will do it for you
    *Create a website domain with your name or the name of the book.

Bibliography [not complete]
    Johnson, Claudia Durst. "The Danger and Delight of Difference." To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries.
    Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird
    Madden, Kerry. Harper Lee: A Twentieth Century Life.

[Dear Readers, I'm looking for some kind of research that shows the results of not having an online presence. Have you heard of any authors who have had a harder time marketing their books because they didn't have a strong online presence, such as other people creating websites in their names?]

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