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Brian Abarbanel
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At the beginning of the play, the chorus members were in all white, and after the intermission, the chorus members were all in black. Why did this happen? Traditionally, white represents purity and innocence while black represents evil or depression. After thinking about the play, this seems to be fitting. Before the intermission, Orlando got to meet and become very close with the Queen. He was also in love with the Russian princess. Additionally, most of Orlando's time was spent either eating or skating. He seemed to be very innocent and happy throughout the entire first half of the play.... Continue reading
In addition to all of the class issues, there are also political and intimate issues surrounding the Untouchables. For one, Velutha is not wanted to be in the Communist marches because he is an Untouchable. Next, Ammu has an affair with Velutha, which is almost unheard of. As the in-class AP quiz suggested, "Social rules are more powerful than love." This type of thing is unjust, considering the huge disadvantage Velutha has been given.
I think that this is just a very very very weird occurrence that explains Estha's strange and withdrawn behavior from that point onward. On a side note, this is another example of how Estha and Rahel are connected. Rahel felt that the Orangedrink Lemondrink man was not to be trusted even though Estha never told her about the molestation. Yet again, these twins are shown to be connected in an almost magical way.
In Chapter One, Estha notices two things at Sophie Mol's funeral, the pivotal moment in the novel. She notices that "Sophie Mol was awake for her funeral... lying in a coffin looking up" (Roy 7). I realize that this means that Sophie Mol's eyes were open during her funeral. Isn't it customary for the deceased's eyes to be shut during his or her funeral? Why were Sophie Mol's eyes open? This seems to be a foreshadow for the cause of Sophie Mol's death. When the eyes are shut during a funeral, it is meant to symbolize eternal peace. Maybe Sophie... Continue reading
I agree, their "oneness" is very interesting. For example, when the family went to go see The Sound of Music at the theater and the Orangedrink Yellowdrink man violated Estha, Estha felt dirty, and Rahel kind of felt it too. Later that night, when Rahel said goodnight to Baby Kochamma, Estha, and Ammu, she felt sad. She felt sad because she knew that the Orangedrink Lemondrink man did something to Estha. As twins, Rahel and Estha can sense each other's feelings without explicitly knowing.
I would agree that the book is really confusing, but similar to Beloved and Heart of Darkness, the changes in the time the story is being told make the book more interesting. By starting with Sophie Mol's funeral, the pivotal moment in the book, the reader is already drawn into the story. From there, Roy unravels the story behind Sophie Mol's funeral, which kept me interested in the book. I must admit, however, it took a while for the storyline to make sense.
Why did Amy help Sethe? It seems to me that Amy could have easily just kept on walking, knowing that it would be incredibly dangerous to help a runaway slave escape slavery. Amy is not an abolitionist, rather, she is just a normal white girl traveling to Boston for some velvet... I believe that the reason Amy helps Sethe is because she feels her pain. Sethe is a slave and Amy is an indentured servant. Although they have different titles, the two are extremely similar. In my American History class, I remember learning that indentured servitude was formed in a... Continue reading
I think that Sethe is referring to when memories come back to haunt you (a rememory). When she first talks about it, it seems as though she is referring to how Beloved has come back to "haunt" her, but she broadens it to places like Sweet Home. No matter how hard she tries to repress her memories, some of them will always come back. As Sethe phrases it, "Where I was before I came here, that place is real. It's never going away. Even if the whole farm--every tree and grass blade of it dies' (Morrison 43). Some memories will never die out...
That's a really good point! I always thought that there were no chapters either because she did not feel like putting chapters in or just because she could. In this light, Morrison's deliberate omission of the numbers helps defeat the stressing of "normal" timelines in many other books.
So what causes people to change? Is it age? Trauma? Stress? In the case of Heart of Darkness and Dead Man, it is setting. At the beginning of Heart of Darkness, Marlow moves from the whited sepulcher that is Europe (brussels) to the savage jungle. Similarly, at the beginning of Dead Man, Blake goes from a civilized part of America (Ohio?) to the savage West. In both cases, the main character leaves "civilization" for "savagery." This change in setting gives the main character the opportunity to change. Just like Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, Blake goes from not being able... Continue reading
Who is the real Mr. Kurtz? Is he just a heartless imperialist? Or is he really a sweetheart? I believe that Kurtz was an honorable man who fell victim to his "id," or urges. On page 103, Marlow states that "Both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying fame, of sham distinction, of all the appearances of success and power." In other words, Kurtz, even on his death bed, looks back on his time in the jungle with both disdain... Continue reading
On Page 73, Marlow gives us insight as to what Mr. Kurtz is really like. He talks about how Kurtz could not stop saying things like "my ivory" or "my station, my river, my--- everything belonged to [me]." Everything belongs to Kurtz? This is the attitude of a person who knows what they want and will do anything they can to get it. Maybe this explains Kurtz's attitude? He is willing to exploit the Congolese to get HIS ivory. I believe that this is why Kurtz does not want Marlow's steamboat to come and meet with him. Kurtz does not... Continue reading
The big idea that really stood out to me in the books this semester was identity. What forms it? Why is it important? etc. In Light in August, it was Joe Christmas who was struggling to find his identity, in King Lear, it was Lear who was struggling to find his identity when his power was taken away. However, in both of these cases, the character struggling with identity based their identity on what other people thought of them. Christmas thought he was black because that is what he was told, and Lear was originally defined as a king by... Continue reading
At the beginning of the play, King Lear was not a virtuous man. He gave away a kingdom to his two evil daughters, Regan and Goneril. He then banished his only good daughter Cordelia and his loyal advisor Kent for poor reasons. Everything in Lear's life seemed to be about him and only him. This changed, however, when Regan and Goneril banished Lear from his own kingdom and left him to fend for himself. Living in near poverty changed his once egocentric personality. He realized how it feels to be in poverty and swears to help the poor in the... Continue reading
Who is really the fool in King Lear? If you ask me, it is not the character "The Fool," but King Lear. Lear believes that power is something that comes with who he is. Maybe it is because of his genetics, parents, personality, etc. He has always been called "King" and he has always been treated as one. Everyone always treats him with respect and even speaks in a more proper language when around him (i/e p.7 versus p.9 with Gloucester). Because of this belief, Lear acts as if his power could never be taken away. He goes on to... Continue reading
From the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet has been obsessed with having her daughters get married to a rich man. When the rich Mr. Bingley comes to Hertfordshire at the beginning of the novel, Mrs. Bennet talks of nothing except of the possibility that one of her daughters might marry him. Mrs. Bennet makes this obsession clearer when she states, "If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield...and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for" (Austen 11). At first glance, I thought that Mrs. Bennet was stuck... Continue reading
In Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet is obsessed with having her daughters get married to a richer man (such as Bingley). As she states, "If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield...and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for" (Austen 11). It seems as if her life goal is to have her daughters get married. Why is this? It could be that since she is in a relatively "lower-middle" class, she is wanting what she thinks is the best life for her daughters. In her eyes, living well is... Continue reading
In Light in August, Joe Christmas and the entire town of Jefferson believe that black people are all savages and brutes. However, when Christmas is labeled as a murderer and he is on the run, black people are the only people that help him. When Joe hadn't eaten for days, all he could remember was that the last meal he had was that he "smelled and saw negro dishes, negro food" (Faulkner, 335). The last time he ate, he was given food by black people. Later, when all other people ran away from him, the only person who was nice... Continue reading
Why does Mr. McEachern want to adopt a child in the first place? He does not seem to be the type of person that would want to deal with children all day. He is cold, stern, and he is constantly gone for religious purposes. Additionally, Mr. McEachern beats Joe Christmas after giving him tasks that are impossible to complete for someone who has had very little education (such as Christmas). It seems to me that if he were to go out of his way to go to an orphanage to adopt a child, he should have a good reason to... Continue reading
In addition, when I think of Hightower, I think of a church steeple. This is significant because Hightower is a minister, so he is related to the church steeple. Also, Miss Burden's name could also signify that she is the town's burden. The whole town does not like her because she is a yankee and is suspected of having interracial relations.
I think that the town was angry with Hightower after his wife cheated on him because they blamed him for not putting in an effort to uphold their relationship. The town knew that Hightower was aware of his wife's actions so they faulted him for ignoring the fact that anything was wrong. Hightower was consumed in his work ever since Hightower moved to Jefferson. Throughout chapter 3, Faulkner never once mentioned a time when Hightower and his wife's relationship was going well. All he ever talked about was Hightower's sermon about his grandfather. All in all, the town faulted Hightower because of his inability to maintain a relationship with his wife.
I agree that Jean is pulling Marie and Matthew together (although not on purpose). Jean would love nothing more but for Marie to stay away from Matthew. However, by being so mean, Jean is bringing Marie and Matthew closer together because nothing brings friends together more than a common enemy. My freshman year, one of my future best friends and I could not stand the way one of our classmates acted around us, and we became friends as a result. Thus, (even though she did not mean to) Jean brought Marie and Matthew together by being their common enemy.
Maybe being single and pregnant is just a cliche way of trying to characterize a woman as naive or stupid. However, in both Trust and Light in August, Lena and Marie both use people to get what they want (like Lena using Mr. Armisted for transportation and shelter). They realize their situation and use it to their advantage. So maybe both Trust and Light in August are playing on what we thought we knew (that a woman who is single and pregnant is naive/stupid)? This, in itself, is fairly controversial. I wonder what other types of misleading stereotypes we will run into in Light in August.
In my opinion, Hartley may have been trying to show that in order for someone to become an existentialist, they would have to go through a drastic change. I am not saying that it is necessarily realistic for all of these changes to happen at the same time. I am saying that it was interesting to know how someone could become something as radical as an existentialist. In The Stranger, Camus never tells us why Meursault becomes an existentialist. There must have been a drastic change in his life (like in Truth). I find it interesting that someone like Meursault (who is in a society where everyone seems to share the same values) could be so radically different than anyone in his society. It would have been nice for Camus to tell the reader what caused Meursault to be an existentialist because it would have made the bizarre story a little more relatable.
In The Stranger, Meursault's radical existential beliefs were a shock to everything I thought I knew. All of my values were challenged by Meursault's complete lack of interest in certain areas. I understand that Meursault is an existentialist, but how did he become an existentialist? One is not just born an existentialist in a society where it is frowned upon. I thought that everyone, such as me, grows up with the same values that they were raised with. After reading the Stranger, I was left to question how someone like Meursault could be so radically different than everyone else in... Continue reading