Monday, August 16, 2010

Final: Aimee Bender's Ultimate Truth

Stephan Topf
English 436
Prof Wexler

Final: Aimee Bender's Ultimate Truth

Aimee Bender is known, at least in her circle, as an experimental writer known for her fresh reinterpretation of language. Yet where she leaves off and the reader picks up becomes somewhat of an ambiguous struggle at times. Running motifs, floating symbols and loose metaphors string together a highly colorful narrative of various short story's. Though meaning, at times, may be apparent, there exists below the surface more then what is overtly stated. Even when a reader has 'nailed down' the meaning of her stories, there lies a wealth of possibilities if one were to delve even deeper. Her use of Viktor Shklovsky's idea of 'defamiliarization' and seeing meaning through the lens of Sartre and Derrida, the potential for 'lips' in the short story "What You Left in The Ditch" allows it to both simultaneously exist as an external metaphor for loss as well as being an internal objective correlative for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). More specifically, this is how Sartre's idea of freedom of the reader exists within the Reader Response theory and how it's bound directly to Derrida's deconstruction principle of signifier/signified.

Lips as an external metaphor for loss is immediately seen in Aimee Bender's story as the reader is told that the main character "Steven [had] returned from the war without lips" (Bender 21). He had returned from the war less then he had been when he had left. Mary (his wife) explains it as though "that bomb... took the last real kiss" (Bender 21) and compares it to the young man at the local market that "had always had lips but now they seemed twice a large" (Bender 22). Bender amplifies the sense of loss through juxtapositioning the focus of Mary's infatuation and his 'lack' of loss. Equally she uses words like "so young, so new" and constant highlighting of grinning and smiling immediately with ways that Steven has changed since he came back: the clacking of his now alien disc/lips when he talks through the use of dashed speech. not only does she use these overt markers, she uses overt character reactions that show how the metaphor should be taken. Mary states out right that she "really really miss[es] lips" (Bender 27) and her specific reaction is to "tr[y] not to shatter" (Bender 24). There is even a moment of double loss where Mary digs a hole (symbolic of emptiness) only to fill it with Stevens sweaters that she knitted and then bury those (also indicative of personal loss in an attempt to fill the emptiness). All these have a sense of loss that is pervasive through the text. Aimee Bender threads cause and effect through out side by side with specific details associative of this idea.

Yet she goes one step further with her version of "lips". Where most stories are about the person directly involved in the war and their experiences surrounding the issue of war and then a return, Aimee Bender takes an objective view through the point of view of another character. Instead of using direct interiority through Steve, we get traces of what is going on through Mary. Bender even takes a step back, dropping the typical bat used to beat the reader over the head with the trauma's associated with active duty in war and especial for someone involved in a military related injury. She elects not to force it down the readers throat but instead uses subtlety and Viktor Shklovsky's "defamiliarization" technique in order to present this possibility. It is in this way that Bender "makes the familiar seem strange by not naming the familiar object" (Shklovsky 1). Here the familiar is PTSD, instead she uses lips as the objective correlative signaling the emotional connection linked with the psychological aspect. To those unfamiliar with PTSD in any form whether military trauma or other forms, this disorder may be unfamiliar at the start but those who are familiar with it would only see traces and the skirting of details associated with and the thing itself viewed from a fresh perspective. First it would be sensible to look at the familiar way of looking at this disorder before seeing how it becomes defamiliarized. DSM-IV-TR describes in detail the many aspects of PTSD, yet the main focus of familiar traits would be summarized as being "exposed to a traumatic event...[and] is persistently re-experienced in one of the following ways: (2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event..." (DSM 219). Bender does weave moments in that point towards this exact definition. Steve, upon returning from the war, "twitch[es] with nightmares. He never used to" (Bender 25). As well as times when Mary comes home only to "watch him twitch [while] taking a nap...want[ing] to...enter the nightmare and be in there with him, to fight the demons...[but] all she saw...were sweaters" (Bender 30). Now it may be argued that these are almost too specific, that there is no need for an objective correlative within 'lips', however this is not the case. Bender's metaphor of loss within 'lips' is tied directly to the association with PTSD. How she does this is quite simple, in fact the key is in the final part of each specific moment. Tying in the previous discussion of the metaphor it is clearly seen that "he never used to" and "all she saw..were sweaters" are both linking the traits of PTSD with the metaphor contained within 'lips' both to what he came back differently as (lack of lips/ having nightmares) and to the example of the hole and the sweaters. Once this connection is established, every 'defamiliar' description of lips and the surrounding metaphors all serve to build into the objective correlative itself without her ever having to mention anything beyond these two exact moments. She essentially binds an external metaphor for loss with negative capability to that of the internal objective correlative of PTSD.

With the specifics out of the way and the 'how' of the dual layer explained, theory is able to be injected into the 'why' of it's ability to exist in this fashion. This allows from the shift from Aimee Bender to that of the reader. Sartre argues that in the Reader Response theory two freedoms exist: that of the writer and that of the reader. Yet this freedom is not 100% but a type of freedom. Limitations on freedom can still be freedom. For instance freedom can be defined as free will yet this free will, in the aspect of writing, can be limited by multiple factor that may in fact only be self imposed (ie: society, success etc..).
This limitation for writers and reader comes through the double bind shared between them and comes down mostly to that of responsibility and consequences. This is how freedom works for Sartre. Even if you chose to limit yourself, it is through your freedom that you chose this. How does this relate to the potential of 'lips' to be interpreted in abstract ways with multiple meanings? The one idea shared directly between Sartre and Derrida is that there is "no fixed meaning" (Sartre 1196) in language, written or otherwise and that "it is our presence in the world which multiplies relations" (Sartre 1199). This multiple existence comes from the freedom allowed in Reader Response and is furthered through Deconstruction who's existence as a theory is bound to the prior. Writers can write anything they want and mean specifically what they intend but because there is both a "distinguishability that does not exist within the word" (Derrida 1684) and a "malleable unity of this concept... by difficulty of translation (Derrida 1703), there exists an arbitrary element within language that allows reader to make their own meaning. Signifier/signified is distorted further through translation and isn't language nothing but a constant translation of strings of morphemes? Just as Reader Response is bound in a dialectic dualism with Deconstruction so is the freedom within reader/writer. The writer creates and the freedom they have is in the way they present. The readers freedom is in the experience. Sartre argues that a writers text "even if it appears finished... can always change" (Sartre 1200) in much the same way that reader looks at words that 'appears finished' but can have multiple meanings. Literally, for the writer "the future is then a blank page, whereas the future of the reader is two hundred pages filled with words" (Sarte1201) which again comes down to double binds, in this case infinite vs limited and reader vs writer. Again it isn't that there ARE multiple meanings, more that there is a POSSIBILITY of multiple meanings that exist. One can arbitrarily define something but even Derrida, who bases his signifier/signified idea on the basis of the concept 'arbitrary' sets out limits to trim down the 'randomness' through other ideas such as traces and sufferance. So freedom exists through readers response but 'meaning' or lack thereof exists through Deconstruction. As previously noted, Derrida has the idea that signifiers and signified are, as Sauccer states, arbitrary but on top of that because language is in a constant shift, no actual meaning can be forced on any words. Also because language is shifting, many words have multiple context or meanings and that through translating or even speaking, these loose meaning. Therefore you're not able to fully explain the meaning of anything, you can only attempt to persuade meaning similar to rhetoric. These fluctuations make it so binary opposition can exist. An easy example can be seen in the Japanese language in the specifics of arbitrary. If a single Kanji character is taken as the base, at any given time it can have anywhere from an average of two to five meanings by itself. Yet when put next to another Kanji character the two for a binding that likewise take on multiple possibilities just through those two. Further meaning is then extrapolated only in conjunction to other surrounding Kanji combination around that bound pair. Meaning here is ever shifting much in the same way that Derrida show that Pharmakons multiple meanings has similar shifts and that ""the translation by "remedy" can thus be neither accepted nor simply rejected" (Derrida 1716). These example are present in all language. What Sartre begins Derrida finishes and is apparent in Aimee Benders writing. Meaning is like the word "lips" in the story, its meaning is lost and can only be explained through persuasion and possibility.

So now that the word 'lips' has thoroughly been exhausted, so what? It's just one word. What is the importance? On the simple level, using this logic, one can extrapolate from her book untold layers. Each word blooms into a flower, each petal giving the whole even more color then before. Whole story's take on new depth. This is the simple answer. But on a far more extreme scale, ultimately it comes down to freedom: freedom to interpret, freedom to envision what possibilities exist that may not have been intended, freedom to translate.... because these freedoms exist it allows all literature to have a life more complex than can be thought of. It isn't giving the power to the reader, in fact It is still limited... it does not mean that there is meaning, it simply postulates that there are layers that may exist beyond the surface of the words. What it does is remove power from both the reader and the writer and places it between the two interstitially so that the threads woven between the two bind them. This bind, like the possibilities of multiple meanings being woven into one word, elevates rather then destroys. Though Derrida believes meaning does not exist, it isn't that words are being destroyed, rather they are given untold potential to go beyond the boundaries that scholars have tied to them over the centuries.

Bender, Aimee "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: What You Left in the Ditch" New York: Anchor Books, 1998. Print

Sartre, Jean-Paul "Why Write "Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010, 2001. Print.

Derrida, Jacques "Dissemination "Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010, 2001. Print.

Shklovsky, Viktor "Art as Technique" Webprint.

American Psychiatric Association:("Quick Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria" DSM-IV-TR) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Last One

Typically these discussion have been directed to be how a theory applies to a video, yet in the case of "Orientalism", the ideas that Edward Said postulates on are such that they go beyond many of his possible original intentions. Take the video of the "New York Mosque" issue for example. Said may argue that "Orientalism is not a mere political subject" (Said 1875) yet the political agendas of the worlds governments are where this concept essential now lie. Now some may say that the power of the scholar can supersede that of any thing else but when the assembly line that is media, society, individual is controlled by a government a sole author may not be up to that type of power structure. The core of Said's arguement that IS true to his theory is when he states that "orientalism as a Western style for dominanting, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient" (Said 1868). This statement, at it core, describes the United States. Okay, so who is the United States (since some may need overt definition of possible vague terms). Well, that would depend on the context. In this case it would easily define the ruling government class, media and general society and would obviously exclude individuals that oppose this ideology. Said may not have intended his theory to apply so strongly to the political realm, yet it is the political realm that has the biggest effect on Americans in our current day and age. And for those who scoff at the notion that main stream media is controlled by the government, any low level research will easily prove this (and so I wont waste my time here attempting any persuasion to this degree). So what does this idea of "Orientalism", government, and this video have to do with anything? Well, it can be argued that this is the exact embodiment of how our Government and Media conduct itself on a day to day basis and its effects of how "we", as Said describes as, "dominating, restructuring" etc... the "other". Simply this, issue of the Mosque in NY is a concentrated effect of "Orientalism". How so? Simple. The government has focused its "orientalist" policy on the middle east fullfilling in every way the quote previously given by Said. (I won't get into conspiricy theory's over 9/11) Yet no one can argue that an event transpired on US soil that gave the government and media a way to dominate, restructure and have authority over sections of the middle east. Not so? Look at the war. It fulfills every aspect of Said's reasoning behind this. But the mosque itself shows how Orientalism effects both the society targeted as the other and that of the society perpetuating it. Orientalism allows for a control mechanism to be put in place to control two society for the price of one. Want to create violence and deep seeded hate in two societies? Orientalism as a political policy is your answer. Make the US hate "the other" and in turn make them hate the US even more. Force that wedge even further by making it so a whole race of people are condemned through continuous media exposure. So why would a people hated so much by the US want to even meet half way and discuss why it may not be seen as a way of extending a hand to bridge the gap of hate when "we" have already shown "ourselves" to never negotiate with "terrorists". Maybe the reasoning behind the mosque (as stated again to bridge this gap of hate) has been decided to be forced down the throats of a people unwilling to listen. It comes down to "Orientalism" halting any way of compromising even being an option. It is a response that creates a reflection that reflects a never ending effect between the "West and the east".

Said, Edward. "Orientalism"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Class Presentation

As far as my contribution goes, I created and helped present an activity in the form of a Mad Lib. This was done focusing on Derrida's "Dissemination". In conjunction with the activity I prepared a discussion briefly on how this applies to a specific aspect of his theory and then to further this by going into historical context as well as possible applications of this theory. Below are my expanded notes for the class presentation although actual discussion may have varied. The Mad Lib was done with the first four stanza's of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Raven".

The easiest way to explain the mad lib is that it is an oversimplification of Derrida's ideas on signifier/signified, that way its understood that it isn't an exact representation but more of a possible example. Derrida has this idea that signifier and signified are, as Sauccer states, arbitrary but on top of that because language is in a constant shift, no actual meaning can be forced on any words. Also because language is shifting, many words have multiple context or meanings and that through translating or even speaking, these loose meaning therefore you're not able to fully explain the meaning of anything, you can only attempt to persuade, kinda like rhetoric's. These fluctuations make it so binary opposition can exist. The mad lib is an example of arbitrary word shifts and a possible way of explaining language shift in an accelerated fashion. Examples of how it specifically relates: in the introduction of Derrida there is mention made about trace. The way this works is that the signifier can illicit any numbers of signified that might not normally match it. This stems from 'trace' connections in past derivations of language which allow for the shifting of meaning to occur. This moves into DifferEnce vs DifferAnce. Originally the pronunciation was the same and the only way to discern the meaning was through writing. So verbal and even contextually it wasn't always obvious, hence meaning is fluid. Language changed and differAnce was pronounced differently to allow for distinction to occur.

Derrida (French speaking parents/Jewish decent) work on this idea of Deconstruction started post World War II (1949) in France. And after that came the Algerian war (54-62) for independence from France, where french nationalism was in constant flux. His initial frame work for what he would later continue was published in the 1960's. Dissemination was published in 1972 after some time in Harvard.

He thought structuralism was limited but had good basic principles that he decided to go beyond. He wants to break everything down to the basic principles, essentially destroying the privileged binary (hierarchy and creating a balanced continuum) He doesn't want to exclude meaning but to allow for multiple aspects to emerge. It's a type of new enlightenment. Believes that old 'truth' isn't working so break things down in order to build it back up the right way

It also is new way of criticizing literature and political institutions The rise of deconstruction happens after WWII and in Derridas personal life the Algerian war, so its criticizing the the literature, philosophy and social/political structure that allowed this these instabilities to happen. Writing, philosophy and government were flawed are what actually allowed wwii happen so this response to this


To make people see a new way of thinking. That more possibilities exist. To destroy narrow mindedness of and/or through binary opposition possibilities. Everything we do is about translation. It really is a way of being able to restructure things that have so far failed to work previously. It also allows literature to transcend meanings that have preceded in the past. In the aspect of the political realm it allows for change to occur without any 'textual' change.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Simulacra (post 5)

Simulacra and Surrogates

The issue of Simulacra seems to be multifaceted and dense almost to a point where it disseminates into an ambiguous state that the idea itself seems to create. Yet breaking it down filters out what can be viewed as 'additional' components. To do this, the simplest way would be to start with a basic question: what is simulacrum? Hyperreal. Too easy? But then what is the core importance of it? To Baudrillard it is truth. But the issue of hyperreal vs mimetic blurs that line of "truth". The clip for Surrogates and the movie itself exemplifies this issue. The first place to start would be by understanding how Jean Baudrillard views the separation of real from hyperreal and follow the line of thinking from there.

First, it is viewed that "the generation by models of a real without origin or reality" (Baudrillard 1557) is the hyperreal; at its basic is the replacing of real with the simulacrum. But the hyperreal takes it one step further, it by having "the territory no longer preced[ing] the map, nor survives it" (Baudrillard 1557). In the case of Surrogates, people are replaced by their robot selves who go out and experience life for/with the controller. The 'real' human is replaced by the 'hyperreal' robotic counterpart. Yet the simplicity of this is re-ambiguated through the idea of simulation vs mimetic, where mimetic is 'feigning' realness wherein simulation "produces 'true' symptoms" (Baudrillard 1558). This, interlaced with the idea of replacing the real, leads to the question of 'truth'. If simulation is all but producing the source, then is it still 'true'? The controllers lead true lives and experience real situation in so much that their Surrogate is the direct gateway, yet since they themselves are not there in flesh and blood, does this negate these experiences as being 'true' experiences? Baudrillard would say that simulation decays truth and that the "lack of distinction is the worst for of subversion" (Baudrillard 1559).

In the movie further truth is distorted by the fact that this hyperreal preceding the real creates built in reactions that aren't original since they wouldn't have existed without the preceding simulacrum. The idea that Surrogates come free of risk so that the controller may experience what they wish without fear creates a built in unnatural reaction that would not normaly occur without this simulacra present. Likewise if the simulacra is removed, as with Bruce's character at a certain point, the overwhelming reaction of fear and negative emotions are in direct relation once again to the source or hyperreal. The final point is realized [spoiler alert for those who have not seen the movie] in what he coins as his fourth phase of hyperreal when the controllers are severed from their Surrogates. The cycle of simulation breaks down with the drive to return to the authentic, real truth.

Baudrillard, Jean. "The Precession of Simulacra." Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010. Print.

Monday, August 2, 2010

(A)lways (B)e (C)losing

The above clip is a re-enactment of Glengarry Glen Ross originally with Alec Baldwin. (The steel balls prop and the very end make it worth watching)

Glenngarry Glen Ross is the epitome of Marxist Criticism in regards to Capitalism ideals. From start to finish, a flooding of many aspects becomes nearly overwhelming, each moment of speech a biting rhetorical reinforcement of Marxism. Yet one of the most forefront becomes that of Fetishism (not the Freudian idea) "which attaches itself to the products of labour... and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities" (Marx 665). He further describes them as having similar functions to that of religious fetishism "having magical or divine power...[seeming to have] a life of their own" (Mark 665).

This is readily seen in the interactions of Baldwin's character with the others in the office. Yet in order to explain the fetishism in the surrounding commodities, it must first be understood that it is broken into two parts; the obvious fetish characteristics and also identity. This fetish/identity are of a bound nature. The fetish aspect is that the items Baldwin present, that of the car, the watch and in a more base aspect, money, all are imbued with characteristics beyond that of simply the material that they are made of. The component composition become component ideal in so much that Baldwin connects the worth of his watch against the worth of the workers car. It is suggested that because the monetary value of the watch out weighs the monetary value of the car, the watch then becomes a stronger talisman within a capitalistic society. The watch symbolically represents a type of power that is not matched by the car.

In a similar capacity, these fetishism relate to identity. Capitalism boils everything down to nothing more "than naked self-interest... of egotistical calculation... [where it] has reduced...relation to a mere money relation" (Marx 659). And the character of Baldwin shows just that. When asked "What's your name" he responds with "I drive an 80 thousand dollar BMW. That's my name." These inanimate objects become the person, or in an another sense the persons identity is elevated through them. Family life, morality, none of this is of any consequence in the capitalist ideal. It simply boils down to, what do I have and what do you have. Commodity is identity. Commodity is power.

Marx, Karl. "The communist Manifesto", "Capital, Vol1". Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010. Print.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Freud's Perspective

Although this youtube video is a comedic representation of 'modern' fetish, in actuality it contains some sharp insight into Freud's work in "Fetishism" and possibly extends the argument beyond what was originally intended. Most of his theories are based typically on the male aspect of the respected argument as is work on fetish's. Yet though lacking in a female counterpart, due to the fact that there are a few previous relevant theories that do have a basic ground work in both male and female aspect, 'Fetishism' can be extended into what Freud may have argued as to how it may have been applied in the case of women. Much of the fetish idea has its roots in the Oedipus/Electra complex as well as castration anxiety/penis envy. These set up a dualistic transition to fetish in that the fetish stems from these two sets of ideas as well as them showing how a possible female application, from Freud's perspective, is possible.

The Oedipus Complex is the focal point that eventually leads to the possible outcome of fetish development. Since none are free from the fact that "the oracle laid the same curse upon us...[and] it is the fate of all of us..." (Freud 816) to go through this complex everyone must deal with the same initial shock of realization that accompanies this stage of life. Freud sets out a female counter part in this stage as being the Electra Complex. One of the outcomes, which is in direct relation to fetish's, is castration anxiety, in which the young boy, after repressing his desire for the mother and identifying with the father, has a moment where he is fearful that he will have his penis removed by his father. The female aspect that Freud theorized was penis envy. Here instead of fearing that the father for castration reasons, the daughter envies the father for having what she lacks; a penis. These are obvious simplifications, yet they are the keys that lead to the basis of fetish and that is that "the fetish is a substitute for the penis...for the woman's (the mother's) preserve it from extinction" (Freud 842). This is only the case for males as it is through the repression of the shock from the lack of a mothers penis that leads to a possible development of fetishes. These fetishes become the outlet for the repression. In the case of a female, Freud might be seen to agree with an argument that a female fetish develops out of repression of knowledge that she lacks a penis in which the father has. For males it is a repression of anxiety of a possible loss and for females it maybe be a repression of desire for what she doesn't have or in a sense, fright of castration becomes the fright of being incomplete turning into a desire to gain what is missing.

So where does the video come in? Here it is seen a male fetish vs female fetish as well as showing that female fetishes' do exist. A lot relies on typical male dominated stereotypes, but that's all the better from a Freudian perspective. The husbands 'fetish' is quickly seen as represented by the immediate, uncomplicated (idea wise) leather outfit, which Freud might argue is an equivalent to "the last moment in which the woman could still be regarded as phallic" (Freud 843). But more specifically this is an object oriented choice, which is the basis for a fetish. However, the wife's 'object choice' is vastly different. Her fetish is emotionally oriented around her husband crying. This easily matches Freud's idea of penis envy and the power involved. Her choice here is a situation in which the male 'authority' is 'castrated' and thus she gains sexuality through a power reversal dominance. The wife's emotional memory trigger leads her to substitute the lack of power/penis for this fetish. Again this is a Freudian outlook on how 'Fetishism' extends to the possible female perspective of fetish (ie: this is a disclaimer. These views are not those of the author [me] and are not intended to offend any possible readers...yada yada :)

Freud, Sigmund. "The Interpretation of Dreams", "Fetishism". Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010. Print.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blog 2


Days. Or had it been months now? He couldn't be sure. Things were... different here. The flow of time didn't feel like the concept he held in memory. Fah! Memory. He cursed that as much as everything else fickle in this place. But he had gotten used to it, or as much as one could here. Senses adjusted to a degree to change, adapting to things that would normally have his brain screaming that they shouldn't exist in such a fashion. Yet his eyes never managed to block the wrongness. The color seemed to have drained out of reality. There were still traces of it here and there but for the most part it seemed that luster and hues were muted to a bare glimmer. All that survived were murky grays and dusty browns. Even white seemed faded, if that color could be said to. The only untouched of the spectrum was black, which actually seemed to thrive as if all that was drained only served to channel directly into energizing it further. He had thought it wise to give wide berth to spots where shadows seemed more then they should be. Now, however, he clung close to the ancient trees that lined the path he took. The corporeal whispers deep in the surrounding mist made discretion a well suited choice. He sighed. He reminded himself that there were most likely things worse then this place, where ever here was. A tickle of memory made him think that following that instinct, as he always had, was better then flinging himself head long into the long spaces in between the paths despite his belief that continuing on was futile. He couldn't remember what had come before this but he would continue on for as long as he was able to. Survival seemed all he been reduced to. And that's all it took for him to continue on through wisps of fog. Allowing himself to be swallowed whole. Allowing himself to be endlessly spit out somewhere else. Never into what came before. Never into clarity. Never into an end.

Some early theorists argue that sublime is, if not a thing of beauty then, a thing of awe, greatness or a thing that is elevated above all else. So in the case of the above narrative, would it be considered something of the sublime? To some it may not be, yet to Edmund Burke description it would undoubtedly meet the requirement. 'Trees' establishes a mood that "excite[s] the ideas of pain, and danger" and since it "is in any sort a manner analogous to terror [it] is a source of the sublime" (Burke 459). And that is where 'Tree's' exists, in the idea and threat of these ideas. It stands on the precipice, the possibility of terror. Hidden with in the ambiguity is a foreshadow of 'things worse then this place'. Burke sees these principles as "the most powerful of all the passions" (Burke 458) more so then those that are pleasurable yet since this in a form that a reader may take a step back and experience it safely for themselves, that buffer between the reader and the possibility of pain or terror can be a source of pleasure in itself. It is this aesthetic distance that allows the reader to enjoy the sublime aspect that are "dark and gloomy, rugged and negligent" (Burke 460).

Burke, Edmund. "Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful" Ed. Vincent Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2010. Print.