I really liked Claudia’s approach to mapping “the walk” to get on top of the “Holborn Hill” which was the highest point of the city. It made me realize the symbolic reason why people were executed there for the entire city of London to see. All her point tied together the most and complemented one another. All the points were about places that people were mistreated. An improvement could have been bringing in more direct quotes.
Akintude’s presentation made you feel the experience of Newgate prison with thorough research on what exactly happened there. I liked that in the explanation on the map he begins firstly by stating a quote directly from the will. Secondly, Whitney’s opinion on the ethics of the prison was stated, and that she does not agree with the cluerly the people endure, nor the judges attribution to the “criminals”. Thirdly, he gave valid historical facts that is was built in the 12th century by King Henry II and stood until 1902, and stayed open for 600 years. Another important fact he mentioned was in “Between 1790 and 1902, over one thousand people were put to death at Newgate Prison”. He gave just the right amount of information with little details like what actually happened inside on the walls, which was very shocking to hear. Most of the presentation was filled with imagery and he explained her attachment to the prison very well. An improvement could have been more connection between the two location because one was about markets and food, and the other was a very unethical asylum and prison.
I also liked how Sara began questioning her reason to visit yet another prison, known as Bedlam (originally Bethlehem). In her presentation she explained it is mysterious how she ended up there since it is miles away, and with no money how could she afford to make that long trip. Sara also made me question if she was visiting a family member or friend she had strong relations with because she wouldn’t make the long trip for no reason. These mysteries would not be clear by just close reading. Only after everything is mapped out can we see if there is a place mentioned in the text that is an outlier. An improvement could have been mentioning more prisons and hospitals.
Sanjida did very good research on the Steelyard Passage and her knowledge on the economic status of the merchants that lived there, described as “the epitome of wealth”. It made me also question why Whitney was going there since she describes herself as very poor. She brings up the perfect quote from the text directly “And handsome men, that must not wed except they leave their trade. They oft shall seek for proper Girls, and some perhaps shall find”, here I think she is expressing her desire to find a man. I did not do research on this place, so I would have no idea that it is this exclusive bar, only the elite go to. It made me sympathise with Whitney more and understand her as a person, because she was most likely going there to try to make friends, have a good time, and meet “handsome men”. Also Sanjida mentioned this was a place for mostly men, and it was an act of rebellion which I agree with. An improvement could have been mentioning Whitney and her behavior in a different local business, one for the poor.
I enjoyed Tuka’s presentation because she analyzed the literature very well through close reading. She was able to realize the “left” and “right” sides, which represent the good and bad. The different sides of London made me understand Whitney more and the position she was placed in. Through my analysis of the text the contrast of the poor and the rich was also found but Tuka added more great information and evidence. I feel like we all did one big collaboration and that we all see a clearer picture now of her life. I’m glad Tuka’s great analysis was given in the beginning of the presentations because every presentation after I was looking for which side the place was from St. Paul’s Cathedral. An improvement could be further analysis on the two economic sides and why she kept mentioning both, maybe she wasn’t trying to divide but rather bring together the sides.