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Emma B.
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In light of all the discussion over the recent viral Kony video and all the related information, I wanted to discuss the effect of the simplification of the issue that is present in the main video. First of all, as much as I sincerely wish this was not the case, I do believe that simplifying an issue down to where there is a clear right and wrong and very little grey area is necessary if one wishes to truly get young people motivated to support and help a particular cause. If there is no clear right and wrong and there... Continue reading
One element that I found particularly clever and interesting about the movie Dead Man is the naming of the characters William Blake and Nobody. As minor as this may seem at first, I believe that the names of these two characters adds greatly to the movie as a whole. For instance, William Blake's name obviously holds significance because it draws comparison between the character and the poet (also named William Blake). The fact that Nobody actually mistakes him for the poet adds to this even more, comparing the two later as Blake begins to speak through his gun and references... Continue reading
In class today, we were discussing the concept of what being "serious" really is and what it means for a person to be "serious," and I thought it was a particularly fascinating topic. Beyond even the definitions and concerns in the novel, I'm curious as to what everyone thinks it really means to be "serious." In the novel, seriousness seems to center around maturity and acceptance of the way the world around you works. Personally, I believe that whether or not a person is "serious" is so much more than that. I believe it involves how you react to events... Continue reading
This label, "Made in China," seems to be placed on the large majority of American possessions. Ever since I was a little kid, I have noticed the label and used to make a game out of trying to find which of my possessions were not made in China. There were always very few, and as I grew older, I began to realize what that actually meant. Despite having always known that most of American goods are made under poor conditions in other countries, I have (like most Americans) never done anything about it. I continue to buy goods that I... Continue reading
One question that has been discussed in class is whether or not Marlow is a reliable narrator. Personally, I think this is a very interesting question, because I believe that the answer is simultaneously "yes" and "no." I feel that the dominating answer depends on what criteria you base reliability on. From the viewpoint of Marlow as a human being recalling a part of his life, he is very reliable compared to most people. He is remarkably accurate on certain details and seems to have an unusual lack of emotional or opinionated bias on many elements of his story, which... Continue reading
When we were asked to think of a contemporary example of a tragedy, the first thing that came to mind was the movie Leon: The Professional. The movie centers around a young girl whose family is killed by a corrupt police officer who was involved in a drug deal with the girl's father. The girl, Mathilda, was getting groceries when her family was killed, so she survives only by walking to her neighbor's apartment until the corrupt officers leave. While the girl was unhappy in her family, her brother's death strikes her hard. She then realizes that Leon, her neighbor,... Continue reading
After Lear's incident with Cordelia, and he goes to live with Goneril, his relationship with Goneril (and subsequently Regan) immediately begins to go downhill. By the time he leaves Goneril to go to Regan, he is clearly upset with his two supposedly-loving daughters. However, I wonder what exactly he is upset by? Is he just upset because he believed that these were the two daughters who loved him most unconditionally and are proving to not love and respect him as they had claimed? Or is me also upset because he is beginning to realize the mistake he made in his... Continue reading
In class, we watched a few interpretations on ways to play the character of King Lear, and it made me think about just how much room there really is for interpretation in these characters, especially Lear. Even simple things, such as where someone is standing in a scene or the tone of a line, can drastically effect the undertones and progression of the entire play. This confuses me a bit on the part of Shakespeare himself, because I wonder why there are so few real directions, and if he really meant for so much interpretation to be possible or whether... Continue reading
In class, we were discussing Edna's suicide at the end of The Awakening, and the main debate seemed to be whether her suicide represented giving up or freeing herself. I just wanted to elaborate on this because I found it to be a very interesting debate. Regardless of which side you take, I think everyone can agree that we wish she didn't have to kill herself, but I think that her suicide was not really presented as giving up. By drowning herself instead of killing herself in any other way, Chopin draws in the symbolism of the water as a... Continue reading
Having finished Light in August, I feel that one major element of Faulkner's writing that struck me throughout the course of the novel was how easily he transitions between countless points of view for telling the story through. While this did confuse me at times, I thought that overall it was a style of writing I had never seen so excessively used before yet was still really intriguing. In doing this, I think Faulkner effectively makes a statement as to how much perception, point of view, and personal bias and opinions play a major role in how things play out... Continue reading
One constantly reappearing theme in the life of Joe Christmas in Light in August is the element of race. He appears mostly white, but is still part black, and this plays a major role not only in how people react to him, but also in how he reacts to others. This is where I was most intrigued. He clearly is not really sure how to treat his racial predicament. On page 225, Faulkner demonstrates one such moment of uncertainty and change in mentality, saying that "sometimes he would remember how he had once tricked or teased white men into calling... Continue reading
When I read chapter 6 of Light in August, one paragraph in particular stood out to me, and at first I couldn't tell why. Then I realized that the paragraph reminded me of one of the central concepts in The Tempest Tales from over the summer. This surprised me, and I was not fond of this element in The Tempest Tales, so I was initiall unsure of why I still liked this passage in Light in August. The passage is on page 143, when the matron is discussing Christmas to Mr. McEachern for the first time. She says: "We force... Continue reading
In watching the movie Trust, I've noticed that there is not one clear character who entirely embodies Meursault in The Stranger, yet I get the sense of Meursault throughout the movie. At first, I thought it was possibly just the way the plot progressed, but now I'm noticing that it is more likely that almost every character in the movie seems to demonstrate certain definite elements of Meursault while none of them perfectly embody him. Perhaps Matthew is the closest character to Meursault, although even he is not completely like him. While Matthew demonstrates the same insistence on honesty and... Continue reading
Imagine sitting in a prison cell, not completely sure how the intricacies of the judicial system work, and recently condemned to death for a murder you did commit, yet through a trial that seriously misrepresented you. With little to entertain you and plenty of time to think about the tragic fate awaiting you, you are left to simply live in your own mind. As you contemplate your iminent death, what is it that bothers you? The idea of losing your life so shortly? The knowledge of all that you never got to do in life? Or is it the specific... Continue reading
Meursault seems to generally have a very apathetic tone that lacks all emotion, even bordering on pessimism at times. For instance, when Marie said she'd like to go to Paris and asked Meursault what it was like, he responded by saying "It's dirty. Lots of pigeons and dark courtyards. Everybody's pale" (23). His negative opinion of Paris is made more striking and confusing because Paris is usually seen as a romantic and beautiful place. This aspect of his personality is also demonstrated through his apathy towards the idea of marrying Marie, his passive attitude towards the abusive tendencies of both... Continue reading
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Sep 6, 2011