Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Humument Explication

page 24

On page 24 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates process of the human mind by scattered motions, single repetition, different sizes, and isolation. Each of these techniques draws the eye to a certain point of the page. Within the page are darks and lights to emphasize certain key areas. The overall design of the page simulates what a human brain would do in order to transfer information as well. Each portion of the page is just as important as the next; they each play a key role in the overall meaning of the page itself.

Upon first glance, my eye immediately shoots to the very top of the page. The pattern of darks and lights stands out very clear. The words in the dark boxes are unreadable, yet the ones in the lighter boxes are easy to read. If each of the lighter boxes are connected, the words and sentences make sense. It is as if the dark boxes do not matter. The words talk about “fear and struggle,” “hard work,” and “invention.” Each of these words describes what the human mind goes through. The mind starts with struggles but uses hard work to end up with some sort of invention or idea. That is the process. Next, my eye noticed words that were not horizontal like usual. Towards the middle of the page is a set of words written vertically. These words seem to be the credits of some piece of work. This also follows the brain idea. Within the brain are inspirations found throughout others. Ideas are not always brought up on their own. Outside sources need to help at some point or another. This is expressed through the credits that are rolling down the brain into what I thought was the center of the brain. The center to me was the one large box towards the bottom of the page. Inside was the word “Work” repeated twice. These words are the only two repeated throughout the piece. Hard work is the center of everything, including the mind. It was as if everything was falling into hard work to have it completed. The isolation of the words gives emphasis about how important hard work is for the brain to process anything. Underneath the box there are small curvy lines. These to me, were the nerves waiting to transfer the information to the rest of the body. The whole structure shows how the human mind functions and what is needed for it to function correctly.

The title of this page is a key in the representation of the piece. The title is, “A Human Document.” This provides information that it is indeed coming from a human and that the mind is the control of all humans. The fact that the title isn’t specific on which human, it shows that all humans are alike in a way. Their brains function in a step process that eventually allows information to be sent out to the rest of the body. A document is allowed to be changed. The human mind is the same way. Nothing is concrete. Changes are allowed to be made when necessary. The interpretation of the title is that one human made it. This shows that there was an understanding of how the human mind works. The fact that color was not added demonstrates that the each human mind does what it needs to and that is it. It is up to the human itself to add his or her own color to be unique. The title creates a stable analysis that shows that it is in fact a work of the human mind. Although nothing is concrete, the mind continues a process until it completes the informational task that it is designed to complete.

Within this page are ideas that a much more complicated than the images on the paper. Each of the images is simply and easily placed. Each is placed in a specific order though. The order continues to demonstrate how the human mind works and what is needed in order for it to be complete. The top of the page is unorganized as if it were scattered thoughts. Then, in the end, the ideas are placed into one organized box that interprets all of the data into a complete thought. Hard work is the main theme of this page. Nothing comes without an effort put into it. In the human mind, hard work is necessary for scattered ideas to become a whole. This page promotes the idea of organization and time to complete a task. Everything is in an organized manner and continues to fall into place as the eye wanders from the top of the page to the bottom. Without the idea of human self expression, every mind would just continue to follow this process and nothing unique would come out of it. Everyone has a common workplace, their minds. In the human mind, things become a whole and work together. Without the process demonstrated in this page, nothing would fall into place.

On page 24 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates the use of organized structures to get a point across. He uses a form of size differences and isolation as well to emphasize certain key components in the brain function. Although some words are not able to be read, if the other words are connected they do indeed form a complete thought. This shows that not everything has to done according to plan and that things can be changed around to become something new. The human brain uses a strict routine when establishing information, yet things still may be altered. That is just how the human mind works.

"Having a Coke with You" Explication

In the poem, “Having a Coke with You,” Frank O’Hara demonstrates the idea of true love through the use of references to art and foreign lands, dragged out tone and sentences, and descriptive diction. O’Hara uses these techniques to show that true love is the object of his desire and is not willing to let it pass by him. The poet uses these unique methods in a way that is also easy to understand and completely connects with the title itself. The overall message of this poem is that love possesses a power to withstand even the temptations of beautiful places, and even the most enhanced and brilliant art on the planet.

Throughout the poem, Frank O’Hara demonstrates his knowledge of foreign lands and cultures. He begins his poem with this line, “is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne”. This immediately introduces beautiful places around the world. As the poem persists, the poet continues to state that something is more fun and beautiful then anything in the world. That something is love. O’Hara also shows his knowledge of the arts. He writes, “I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world.” After that, he begins to name pieces of artwork and their artist. This provides an enhanced effect upon the reader. It gives imagery so that the reader can actually think of just how beautiful the work is, yet remember that the narrator’s love is stronger. This is where the title comes into mind. Sharing a beverage is part of a date of some sort, which provides evidence that the narrator is indeed comparing all of these places and artwork to his love for another.

Immediately while reading this a first time, it is obvious that very little punctuation is used and the sentences seem to just drag on. This technique brings up the idea of a stream of conscious narration. It is the thoughts of someone flowing out of their heart without the need or care for grammar. The listening of this poem adds emphasis to the dragged on type of tone. The poet speaks as if just thinking it off the top of his mind, like a diary of some sort. The effect that this has may be minor, but is very import. It shows the aspect that the love is true, rather than something just made up. It came from the heart and the grammar just was unnecessary to just get the point across. The tone and manner that the poem is presented shows that the idea of true love is something important to the narrator and is something that he can talk a lot about without needing to stop, even for punctuation.

Diction is a major technique that O’Hara uses to get his point across about true love and not letting it get by. He uses many descriptive words to describe the affection of the love. He uses words such as “fluorescent orange” and “secrecy smiles” to show the true brightness and care that his love contains. These words not only characterize the love and affection, but bring together imagery as well. The use of colors and smiles paint a picture that affects readers of all ages. The diction used by Frank O’Hara is not only descriptive, but fairly simple as well. He uses easy to understand language that helps the overall connection between the narrator and the reader. This connection leads to trust, allowing what the narrator has to say to be listened to by the reader. The soft-spoken words add to the idea that love beside all is most important.

In the poem “Having a Coke with You,” Frank O’Hara uses different and unique techniques to keep his idea that love is the narrators choice overall in the reader’s mind. With his knowledge, diction, and lack of punctuation O’Hara captures the reader’s mind and expresses his love above all else.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Dead Man Walking" as if I were there. (page 39)

I was later told that Patrick Sonnier had the hardest time adapting and forgetting what had happened. One of the trusties had told me, “He just wouldn’t eat or sleep much around here. The memories completely took over his thinking process.” It came to my attention that even after he had been arrested, he tried to commit suicide. I was guessing that it was to take himself out of his misery.

Although he seemed sincere, I couldn’t tell if I should allow that to take over. The picture kept flashing in my mind as if I were actually there. I could see the poor couple kneeling on the ground praying for their mercy. Although he did not actually do the shooting, he acted as an accomplice. This had happened before as well. This wasn’t his first offence.

The hardest part is listening to his side of the story. He repeated to me, “I didn’t touch her. I did not rape Loretta.”

Pat told me about him and Eddie’s plan. They figured out a way that they could hopefully stay out of trouble. They both planned to say the other one did the murder, so the real murderer was never found out. He had seen the gun while being arrested and was afraid of the police. In Eddie’s confession, he said that he had committed the murder so the kids could not identify him. He didn’t want to go back to Angola. He had done well last time he was there, but he just didn’t want to go back again.

He said he was arrested in 1977. The death penalty had just been reinstated. He said that if he had known he could have gotten the chair, he never would have confessed. Patrick Sonnier really has me tied up. He is innocent of murder, yet he confessed to it.

Patrick speaks quickly, never looking up for any of my reactions. His words just seem to flow right out of his mouth. He doesn’t try to keep repeating that he is innocent. He told me once and that was it. I thought a man on death row would be much more timid and trying to prove his innocence. He has no hatred towards his brother which also surprised me as well since he actually committed the murder that Pat is paying for. About a week before his execution, Pat will have to face the Warden and ask for permission to see his brother before he dies. I cannot imagine being in this situation. I am stunned at this point.

As I was talking to Pat, all I could hear in my mind were the words that the chaplain had said to me. He said, “These people are the scum of the earth, and they’ll try to con you.” Although I was aware of that statement, something about Patrick Sonnier brings me closer and closer to him.

"Dead Man Walking" soundtrack lyrics

1.) "Seventy Times 7" Brand New
Back in school they never taught us what we needed to know,like how to deal with despair, or someone breaking your heart.For twelve years I've held it all together but a night like this is begging to pull me apart.I played it quiet, left you deep in conversation.I felt uncool and hung out around the kitchen.I remember I kept thinking that I know you never would,and now I know I want to kill you like only a best friend could.Everyone's caught on to everything you doEveryone's caught on to.As if this happening wasn't enough I got to goand write a song just to remind myself how bad it sucked.Ignore the sun, the cover's over my head.I wrote a message on my pillow that says, "Jesse, stay asleep in bed."So don't apologize. I hope you choke and die.Search your cell for something with which to hang yourself.They say you need to pray if you want to go to heavenbut they don't tell you what to say when your whole life has gone to hell.Everyone's caught on to everything you doEveryone's caught on toAnd everyone's caught on to everything you do (And I can't let you, let me down again.)Everyone's caught on to (And I can't let you, let me down again)So, is that what you call a getaway?Tell me what you got away with.Cause I've seen more spine in jellyfish.I've seen more guts in eleven-year-old kids.Have another drink and drive yourself home.I hope there's ice on all the roads.And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,and again when your head goes through the windshield.And is that what you call tact?You're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back.So let's end this call, and end this conversation.and is that what you call a getaway?well tell me what you got away with.cause you left the frays from the ties you severed when you say best friends means friends foreverSo, is that what you call a getaway?Well tell me what you got away with.Cause I've seen more spine in jellyfish.I've seen more guts in eleven-year-old kids.Have another drink and drive yourself home.I hope there's ice on all the roads.And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,and again when your head goes through the windshield.Everyone's caught on to everything you do (And I can't let you, let me down again)Everyone's caught on to (And I can't let you, let me down again)And everyone's caught on to everything you do (And I can't let you, let me down again)Everyone's caught on to (And I can't let you, let me down again)

2.) "Look After You" The Fray
If I don't say this now I will surely breakAs I'm leaving the one I want to takeForgive the urgency but hurry up and waitMy heart has started to separateOh, oh, ohBe my babyOh, oh, ohOh, oh, ohI'll look after youThere now, steady love, so few come and don't goWill you won't you, be the one I always knowWhen I'm losing my control, the city spins aroundYou're the only one who knows, you slow it downOh, oh, ohBe my babyOh, oh, ohOh, oh, ohI'll look after youIf ever there was a doubtMy love she leans into meThis most assuredly countsShe says most assuredlyOh, oh, ohOh, oh, ohBe my babyI'll look after youIt's always have and never holdYou've begun to feel like homeWhat's mine is yours to leave or takeWhat's mine is yours to make your ownOh, oh, ohOh, oh, ohBe my babyOh, oh, oh

3.) “Hold On” Good Charlotte
This worldThis world is coldBut you don'tYou don't have to goYou're feeling sad, you're feeling lonely, and no one seems to careYour mother's gone and your father hits youThis pain you cannot bearBut we all bleed the same way as you doAnd we all have the same things to go throughHold on if you feel like letting goHold on it gets better than you knowYour daysYou say they're way too longAnd your nightsYou can't sleep at allHold onAnd you're not sure what you're waiting for, but you don't want to know moreAnd you're not sure what you're looking for, but you don't want to know moreBut we all bleed the same way as you doAnd we all have the same things to go throughHold on if you feel like letting goHold on it gets better than you knowDon't stop looking, you're one step closerDon't stop searching, it's not overHold onWhat are you looking for?What are you waiting for?Do you know what you're doing to me?Go ahead...What are you waiting for?Hold on if you feel like letting goHold on it gets better than you knowDon't stop looking, you're one step closerDon't stop searching, it's not overHold on if you feel like letting goHold on it gets better than you knowHold on

4.) "Slipped Away" Avril Lavigne
Na na, na na na, na naI miss you, miss you so badI don't forget you, oh it's so sadI hope you can hear meI remember it clearlyThe day you slipped awayWas the day I found it won't be the sameOooohNa na na na na na naI didn't get around to kiss youGoodbye on the handI wish that I could see you againI know that I can'tOoooohI hope you can hear me cause I remember it clearlyThe day you slipped awayWas the day I found it won't be the sameOooohI had my wake upWon't you wake upI keep asking whyAnd I can't take itIt wasn't fakeIt happened, you passed byNow you are gone, now you are goneThere you go, there you goSomewhere I can't bring you backNow you are gone, now you are goneThere you go, there you go,Somewhere your not coming backThe day you slipped awayWas the day i found it won't be the same noo..The day you slipped awayWas the day that i found it won't be the same oooh...Na na, na na na, na naI miss you

5.) "In The End" Linkin Park
(It starts with)One thing / I don’t know whyIt doesn’t even matter how hard you tryKeep that in mind / I designed this rhymeTo explain in due timeAll I knowtime is a valuable thingWatch it fly by as the pendulum swingsWatch it count down to the end of the dayThe clock ticks life awayIt’s so unrealDidn’t look out belowWatch the time go right out the windowTrying to hold on / but didn’t even knowWasted it all just toWatch you goI kept everything inside and even though I tried / it all fell apartWhat it meant to me / will eventually / be a memory / of a time when I tried so hardAnd got so farBut in the endIt doesn't even matterI had to fallTo lose it allBut in the endIt doesn't even matterOne thing / I don’t know whyIt doesn’t even matter how hard you tryKeep that in mind / I designed this rhymeTo remind myself howI tried so hardIn spite of the way you were mocking meActing like I was part of your propertyRemembering all the times you fought with meI’m surprised it got so (far)Things aren’t the way they were beforeYou wouldn’t even recognize me anymoreNot that you knew me back thenBut it all comes back to meIn the endYou kept everything inside and even though I tried / it all fell apartWhat it meant to me / will eventually / be a memory / of a time when I tried so hardAnd got so farBut in the endIt doesn’t even matterI had to fallTo lose it allBut in the endIt doesn’t even matterI've put my trust in youPushed as far as I can goFor all thisThere’s only one thing you should knowI've put my trust in youPushed as far as I can goFor all thisThere’s only one thing you should knowI tried so hardAnd got so farBut in the endIt doesn’t even matterI had to fallTo lose it allBut in the endIt doesn’t even matter

6.) "How To Save A Life" The Fray
Step one you say we need to talkHe walks you say sit down it's just a talkHe smiles politely back at youYou stare politely right on throughSome sort of window to your rightAs he goes left and you stay rightBetween the lines of fear and blameAnd you begin to wonder why you cameWhere did I go wrong, I lost a friendSomewhere along in the bitternessAnd I would have stayed up with you all nightHad I known how to save a lifeLet him know that you know bestCause after all you do know bestTry to slip past his defenseWithout granting innocenceLay down a list of what is wrongThe things you've told him all alongAnd pray to God he hears youAnd pray to God he hears youWhere did I go wrong, I lost a friendSomewhere along in the bitternessAnd I would have stayed up with you all nightHad I known how to save a lifeAs he begins to raise his voiceYou lower yours and grant him one last choiceDrive until you lose the roadOr break with the ones you've followedHe will do one of two thingsHe will admit to everythingOr he'll say he's just not the sameAnd you'll begin to wonder why you cameWhere did I go wrong, I lost a friendSomewhere along in the bitternessAnd I would have stayed up with you all nightHad I known how to save a lifeHow to save a lifeHow to save a life

7.) "What I've Done" Linkin Park
In this farewellThere’s no bloodThere’s no alibi‘Cause I’ve drawn regretFrom the truthOf a thousand lies[Pre-Chorus:]So let mercy comeAnd wash awayWhat I’ve done[Chorus:]I'll face myselfTo cross out what i’ve becomeErase myselfAnd let go of what i’ve donePut to restWhat you thought of meWhile I clean this slateWith the hands of uncertainty[Pre-Chorus][Chorus]For what I’ve doneI start againAnd whatever pain may comeToday this endsI’m forgiving what I’ve done!!![Chorus]What I’ve doneForgiving what I’ve done

8.) “I Will Remember You” Sarah McLachlin
I will remember youWill you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesRemember the good times that we had? I let them slip away from us when things got badHow clearly I first saw you smilin’ in the sunWanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the oneI will remember youWill you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesI’m so tired but I can’t sleepStandin’ on the edge of something much too deepIt’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a wordWe are screaming inside, but we can’t be heardBut I will remember youWill you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesI’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to looseClinging to a past that doesn’t let me chooseOnce there was a darkness, deep and endless nightYou gave me everything you had, oh you gave me lightAnd I will remember youWill you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesAnd I will remember youWill you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesWeep not for the memories

9.) "Watch The Sky" Something Corporate
I'm lost at sea, The radio is jamming but they wont find me,I swear its for the best And then your frequency is pulling me in closerTil I'm home.And I've been up for daysI finally lost my mind And then I lost my way.I'm blistered but I'm better and I'm home.And I will crawl, theres things that aren't worth giving up I know.But I won't let this get me I will fight.You live the life you're given with the storms outside somedays all I do is watch the sky.This room's too small, it's only getting smallerI'm against the wall, I'm slowly getting taller here in Wonderland. This guilt feels so familiar and I'm home.And I will crawl, theres things that aren't worth giving up I know.But I won't let this get me I will fight.You live the life you're given with the storms outside somedays all I do is watch the sky,Somedays all I do is watch the sky.I think I, I could use a little break, today was a good day.I think I, I could use a little break, today was a good day.It's a deep sea on which I'm floating. Still I sink to think that i must...Crawl, theres things that aren't worth giving up I know.When you can't bear to carry me I'll fight.You live the life you're given with the storms outside somedays all I do is watch the sky,Today was a good day, today was a good day.

10.) "Waiting On The World To Change" John Mayer
Me and all my friends We're all misunderstood They say we stand for nothing and There's no way we ever could Now we see everything that's going wrong With the world and those who lead it We just feel like we don't have the means To rise above and beat it So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change It's hard to beat the system When we're standing at a distance So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change Now if we had the power To bring our neighbors home from war They would have never missed a Christmas No more ribbons on their door And when you trust your television What you get is what you got Cause when they own the information, oh They can bend it all they want That's why we're waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change It's not that we don't care, We just know that the fight ain't fair So we keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change And we're still waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change One day our generation Is gonna rule the population So we keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Dead Man Walking" project Metacognition

This project was one that I actually enjoyed doing. It brought out the creative side of me as well as the artistic. I take AP art as well, so I love these types of projects. I read the novel “Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean for my independent reading book. I thought it was an outstanding book, but bad personal timing for myself. My friend had died Sunday morning so it was kind of hard to write think about a book related mostly towards death. I made it through it fine though.

First off, I chose to write a page as if I were actually there. I used page 39 because it showed the true nature of one of the murders, and what actually runs through the mind of a murderer. There was pretty simple language, but it got an intense point across. I loved how at the end of that page, it goes from the murderer telling his story, to the chaplain saying that all of the inmates will try to con you. That really caught my eye and was a main reason for me choosing this page. It was pretty easy for me to write as if I was there because I basically would have had about the same reaction that Sister Helen did. She was basically stunned and didn’t know what to say. I would guess that my reaction would have been pretty similar. I found that this writing process really put myself in the novel and got my emotions working. It was a very interesting way of writing.

Next, I created a soundtrack for my novel. Each song has a specific meaning and reason for me putting it there. My first song opens up with an angry tone and fast-paced music. This really showed the intense murder that occurred and the emotions felt by the victims’ parents. The emotions were also felt by Helen before she actually got to know Pat. I felt like that song really hit the nail on the head. My next song was chosen because it talks about taking care of someone. This is what Helen was doing for Pat. She was there to look out for him and make sure he was holding up okay. The beat of the song and more relaxed. This also goes foe my third song, it’s all about holding on when times get tough. My fourth and fifth songs were for after Pat died. Helen thought that all her work done was for nothing, and she missed him. The next two songs focus on the acceptance of the crimes committed and the chances of survival. If there was a way to keep them alive, Helen would try it. The eighth and ninth songs talk about remembering the ones lost and the relationships that were built. It also focuses on fighting and never giving up, which is one of the themes throughout the novel. The final song, talks about people doing whatever they can to change the world. This may include getting rid of the death penalty and other forms of murder and injustice. I thought it really had the same tone as the end of the novel.

Last I created a new cover for the novel. I wanted to go in a complete different direction that the one the original cover went in. The first cover was neat and a photograph. I wanted to create my cover as if an inmate made it. That is where the rips on the front come in. Inmates didn’t get many items that they could work with. That is why I went for the rugged, unorganized look. I used bold colors on the front and spine to create the strong and fearless side of then men. On the back, I decided to add a splash of color to the background to show the deeper part of the soul. Both inmates that Helen was an advisor to really had a soft side and indeed was humane. I decided to make the back and front show both sides of their personalities. I really thought that the contrasting sides would work really well together.

This whole project really got me thinking more and I feel that it was one that I enjoyed.

Hemmingway Metacognition

This paper really was a bit difficult for my own writing style. Although aware that it will “broaden my horizons,” I struggled to find the hidden Hemmingway inside of me. Whenever I have written a short story of some type, I always seem to choose something related to Poe. He is my inspirational writer. I felt as if I would never be able to transfer from writing like Poe, to writing like Hemmingway. I then thought of an idea. I decided I wanted to somehow combine the two writers, while still following the real instructions behind the assignment.
I began by making a chart listing all of the similarities and differences between the two writing styles. I realized that although Poe is at times, very descriptive, he does it in a short way. Hemmingway also writes with short sentences. Although Poe doesn’t really add conversation into his work the way Hemmingway does, I knew that I could somehow insert it inside my writing. I came to the final conclusion that I would write a story similar to Poe’s “A Tell Tale Heart,” but write it in the style of Hemmingway. I was very unsure about how to go about doing this, but as I started writing it became more and more natural.
I really thought that my first draft was rather well written. Then we had peer evaluation in class. Both Cynthia and Kayla told me that I just needed some more back and fourth conversation throughout my writing. I got a bit nervous when I heard this. It was hard to have conversations when most characters in Poe’s writing tend to be anti-social. So I continued to think. As I was thinking, I figured out that in my head at that exact moment, I was arguing with myself trying to figure out what I could do. Then it hit me. I could have my main character, who remains unnamed, have conversations with not only the female character, but himself as well. This gave me the opportunity to imply the difficulty that readers may have when reading Hemmingway’s writing. It is sometimes confusing to figure out who is talking at the moment. Once I read the final draft, I knew that the style was much more similar to Hemmingway’s than it had been before. The fact that someone else read my paper and told me how to improve it really helped me in my thinking process.
I feel as if I do need more work on mocking the style of others, but I feel like this really was the first step. It was a large step as well. I really believe I was able to mock his style better than I would have been if I had not taken this class. Combining the two writers seemed almost impossible at first, but once I sat there and broke everything down it came pretty quickly to me. I was able to pick up on both Hemmingway and Poe’s strong points, and somehow create a connection between them. In the future, I hope to be able to take two completely different styles that have nothing in common, and somehow make a relationship between them. Mocking styles is very difficult for me, and I would really like to improve and be able to mock any style given to me.
This whole assignment opened up my way of thinking, and I feel as if I am thinking beneath the surface rather than above it like I used to.

Hemmingway, the next Poe?

Sometimes, I sit and wonder to myself why I feel the way that I do. Others ask the same question to me. The answer is questionable, but the questions remain unanswered. I sit in the darkest corner of my room; the walls seem to sweat with every thought that runs through my mind. I retrace my steps and replay the horrid memories of that night over and over again. Not once does the story change, or even affect me in any way. I fight with myself, should I believe it, or was it just a spectacle of my own imagination? The duality of my mind begins to take over, processing its own information inside my memory. Although I am unsure of what exactly happened that night, it went something to this nature.
It was a crisp winter’s night. The moon in Spain always seems just a bit brighter than anywhere else. I opened the window. The smell of alcohol flooded my nose. As I tucked my dear to sleep, I pondered, will we be forever in love? Her feelings seem to be fading by the day. Mine remain just as strong as they ever were. I would never let her leave. I gently kissed her forehead and proceeded to the door. She moved slightly, and the sound of the moving sheets ran through my head. It was the sound of leaves falling off a tree as the seasons change. I didn’t know what to think anymore. The sound became more and more irritating as it replayed in my mind. I did not want to see the leaves change colors, which was the sign of them to fall. I slowly proceeded up the creaking stairway to my bedroom. It was my own sanctuary. I reached into a drawer for my black masking tape. I ripped off seven large pieces and began taping them around the border of my only view to the outside. That single dreadful window. Next, I reached for the paint. It smelled of oil as I opened the cap. The color red, poured out of the container into my pan. I then began to stroke the color over my window. The sound of paint spreading eased my pain. No more would I see the leaves changing, no more would I catch a glimpse of that one leaf falling away from the tree. She would forever stay with me.
“No more falling, no more pain.” I repeated to myself.
“I can’t see them, but is it still happening?”
“No, it can’t be. Nothing will fall within this house.” The slightest of sounds caused a slight panic within my chest.
My mind followed every sound of the room, stalking each corner as if it were alive. That is when I lay my head down, and began to rest. My body lay still but my mind continued racing. No longer could I deal with this pain. In that one corner of my room laid a single leaf. Laying there it began to crumble. I heard it mumble “No more.” Right then I knew she would leave. This was the only way to prove my love. I went to her room, and reached my arms around her. She awoke in a panic not knowing what was occurring.
I repeated to her, “It will all be over soon, it shall be okay.”
“Why are you doing this?!” she cried.
“I love you, always. It will all be over soon.”
“Leaves will never fall, we will never crumble.”
“Leaves?! Crumble?! What are you talking about?!”
“Leave me alone!”
Her screams could be heard throughout the hallway. No one, except that crumbled leaf could hear her. I dragged her toward the bottom of the stairwell. There I fought with myself.
“Why, why am I doing this?”
“Will she leave?”
“Yes, of course she will. I need her.”
“Is this the only way? What else is there? Nothing.”
I continued to hit her until the floor matched my half painted window. There was still a pulse. Her heart, beating. The sound was not to be avoided. It continued to beat repeatedly.
“She will be mine”, I thought to myself.
“No matter what.”
I started breaking down the stairwell, making room for the beating of her heart. Inside is where she lay now, covered by the boards. She laid motionless, one in the same with the leaf. The noise is still heard. The crumbling, the beating. The noises very much alike. What belongs where? The question remains still.
I lay still, thinking to myself. The mirror catches a glimpse of light reflection from the window. Unpainted is one corner. The paint can was left emptied on the floor. With my shirt, I quietly walked to the bottom of the stairway. There I wiped the blood of my beloved. No more was the window left unpainted. The corner was now filled in. In the mirror is where I look now, often thinking of my life, as my eyes which were normal, now proceed to beat with the sound of her heart.
Sometimes, I sit and wonder to myself why I feel the way that I do. Maybe insanity takes over? Or maybe, in complete saneness, I shall continue my love for her through the beating of our now single heart.
I repeat to myself, “No more.”
“No more.”
“No more.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Setting and Theme Analysis of "IND AFF"

In the story, “IND AFF” Fay Weldon demonstrates the comparison between her secret passionate life with a professor of hers, and the historical assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand through the setting in which it takes place. The narrator creates a struggle within her mind on whether or not to end the relationship between her and her married professor. She relates her struggles with Princip who was the assassin of the Archduke. The opening description of the setting helps create an understanding of what the narrator’s emotions were. The setting ties directly to the theme, since both crimes of passion had occurred in the same exact locations.

Fay Weldon opens up her story by describing the beautiful location in which the story takes place. The location is Bosnia, Yugoslavia. She sets up foreshadowing by how the story will end saying, “This is a sad story. It has to be. It rained in Sarajevo, and we had expected fine weather.” (Weldon, 201) This shows that the story shall open up with a promising mood, yet end with a diminishing ending. During the forbidden love that was occurring, everything was fine. Towards the end was where the guilt had come in. She had to make a dramatic decision whether or not to end the relationship. Weldon also writes, “It couldn’t possibly go on raining forever. Could it? Satellite pictures showed black clouds swishing gently all over Europe…” (202) The idea of a storm comes into mind, rain is a symbol for purification and refreshment. After everything was said and done, she could get on with her life and begin as a new person. After every storm there is a new beginning, and she was waiting for hers. The realization of a new beginning is set up ironically due to them being located in the same place.

Weldon relates the narrator’s realization to the process of Princip dying within his prison cell. She decided to base her life off of logic rather than pure emotion. She uses this through the realization of Princip’s life. Princip had made a horrible decision by murdering the Archduke and his wife. He was put into jail, and forever lived and died with the feeling of guilt inside of him. The narrator and her professor were in the exact same location as where Princip had committed his crime. The narrator came to the realization that she did not want to base her life off of guilt and live a life that was not meant for her. The weather really acted as a compass for the narrator’s life. As rain fell, she realized that this was not the life for her. The purification process had begun.

The narrator and her professor Peter visit a café together located near the assignation markers on the ground. They discussed present and historical events together, including the assassination itself. Peter has never quite decided who he would rather be with, his wife or the narrator. Without Peter making a decision, the narrator decides that their love is nothing more than a mere “inordinate affection.” She wants to live her own life and start fresh. Although feelings are there, she knows that she must move on and not follow the steps that Princip did that just lead to his death. Weldon writes that “Second chances are rare in life: they must be responded to.” (205) Although Princip took that chance to fire at the Archduke (having missed the first time); the narrator knew that her second chance would not be taken lightly. She decides to leave Peter and end any relationship that they had ever had. She is beginning a new life that is not based on guilt and lies. The ties that were once binding her down are now the broken. It was once said, “In order to be free, one must be chained.” The narrator is a living example of that. She was once bound down with the idea of her being a mistress, but now as the ties are broken; she may now be herself and move on with the life that she wants to live.

The setting and the theme of “IND AFF” are directly related to one another. The narrator’s life and Princip’s life were occurring at the same location in different time periods. Outside a café in Yugoslavia, both characters got the second chances that they needed. Princip was able to try and shoot the Archduke again while the narrator was able to end a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be. It was as if the spirit of Princip itself had given the narrator that once chance to seize the opportunity that she was looking for. She came to a realization and began her own purification process of breaking away from a not so great situation. Within this small town, two non-related events directly ended up coinciding with each other, settling the idea of realization into effect.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Red Carpet" Characterization Paper.

In the story, “The Red Carpet,” Lavanya Sankaran writes about the everlasting shift in characterization of one of the main characters known as “May-dum.” Sankaren uses contradictions, cultural conflicts, and sympathy to show just how much her character actually changes as the story progresses. May-dum is characterized as a well off snob of some sort, but as the story continues, she starts to relate to Raju. Only at the end, we find her back to her old ways based on the caste system. She demonstrates that she feels higher and better than the people around her. Little does she know Raju is there for her no matter how powerful she is or feels.

Sankaren uses contradictions throughout her writing to show that even though May-dum changes, she ends up in the same place as where she had started. In the beginning of the story, May-dum is a high class woman who believes that she should get everything her way. She doesn’t like the car that was brought for her and believes that the red carpet was tacky. May-dum is like that for most basically the entire first part of the story. As time continues, Raju actually feels comfortable around her and Sankaren writes, “Before he knew it, he was telling her everything: all his hopes, his dreams…” (Sankaren, 8) This shows that the author is trying to change the personality of her character to be a bit more kind to her worker. She is creating a bond that would never have been imaginable from the snob that was introduced in the beginning of the story. Sankaren creates a changing character by making May-dum go back to her old ways at the end of the story. She leaves Raju and goes off with her friends. The fact that there is contradiction of the character’s personality shows that sometimes people do not change, and that society is always creating a circle ending up exactly where it had started.

Lavanya Sankaran includes social conflicts within her writing that exist today. Cultures are not educated on each other, so sometimes the way another acts may come as a shock to someone of a different culture. Raju thinks of May-dum as someone who dresses very inappropriately, but the thing is, he doesn’t understand that where she comes from it is okay to dress the way that she does. His religion and culture are much different than hers. Sankaran includes this to show that sometimes social conflicts are key to understanding someone from a different region as another. May-dum’s character does not change due to a conflict. She continues to dress the way that she would like to. The fact that she covered herself up when she met Raju’s family shows the tension that is between religions. People strongly influence one another, and sooner or later people begin to change as their environment and the people around them change. Although May-dum’s character itself returns back to normal, there is still the evidence that at one point, social conflicts made her give in and be something she was not for a short period of time. Sankaran develops her characters based on the environment that is around them, as people and places change, so do her characters. It is exactly how things run in society today.

Sankaran grasps resources to give detail to her characters that some people wouldn’t recognize. There is always the idea of sympathy for a character. As an author, she breaks down moments to create a mood where sympathy is felt for a certain character at a certain time. It gives the character a true quality for itself. May-dum is brought up as an expensive and high spending character. The thing that creates the sympathy is that Sankaren does not express anything about her character’s family. She seems well off, but the fact that she secretly befriends her worker, Raju, shows that inside, she is lonelier than she may appear. When a friend of May-dum appears in the story, she drops what she is doing with Raju to talk to her friend as if Raju is nothing but an employee of her. It creates a mood that makes the reader feel, in a way, bad for May-dum. Reading this applies a moral to the story. Sometimes the people who seem happiest on the outside are the people who lack something on the inside. May-dum is the perfect example. Sankaran develops a character that at one point the reader may feel sorry for, but once she continues to leave Raju, the mood changes back to maybe not liking that character.

Sankaran develops a character that changes as the story progresses. Within each character shift, comes a new mood. She uses contradiction, cultural conflicts, and sympathy to show how her character changes and the characterization of it each time. She uses moods and personality to get her point across about her characters. Within her writing is a style that creates an interesting character that is never in one way predictable.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Point of View: "Miss Brill" story

In the short story “Miss Brill,” the stream of conscious narration creates an insight into the mind of the main character as her thoughts begin to cross the line from sanity to insanity. Katherine Mansfield uses details, isolation, and corruption of the mind to show the overall meaning of the story itself. Each of these creates a deeper understanding of what the author is actually trying to say about the society that we live in today.

Mansfield’s attention to small details creates a picture in any readers’ mind. There is never a moment where confusion may take place. Each sentence is thoroughly thought out before it is added to the story. Opening up the story, Katherine Mansfield immediately introduces a sentence or two that shows exactly where Miss Brill is and what it looks like. Mansfield writes,
Although it was so brilliantly fine—the blue sky powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins Publiques—Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur. The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a feint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting—from nowhere, from the sky. (Mansfield, 33)
Right away, the reader can see that Miss Brill is a higher class woman, or at least she believes that she is. This is created through the imagery of a woman sitting in a beautiful area with a fur coat over her body. Mansfield makes her writing very personal as if she is actually there, in the mind of her character. She uses phrases like “Never mind” to connect to the reader on a more personal level. This opening paragraph brings across the idea that Miss Brill may believe that she is too good for everyone else around her. It does not state that she is sitting with anyone else. This creates the idea of isolation from all others.

Miss Brill seems to separate herself from everyone else around her. Everyone in the park is said to have come in pairs, but not Miss Brill. She sits alone as if that fur coat was her partner. Mansfield gets the point across that her main character bases everyone on their clothes and feels like she is the only high class person around. Ironically, Miss Brill is the one being rejected. Towards the end of the story, Mansfield says that a young couple is sitting in the park talking about Miss Brill. They say,
‘But why? Because of that stupid old thing at the end there?’ asked the boy. ‘Why does she come here at all—who wants her? Why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home?’ ‘It’s her fu—fur which is so funny,’ giggles the girl. ‘It’s exactly like a fried whiting.’ (36)
Miss Brill was actually the outcast. Although she was telling herself that she was the only one who was decent in her society, she was rejected by the people due to how she dressed and acted. The meaning behind this is to show that society will reject people based on looks, and that many people are extremely judgmental to others around them. The stream of conscious narration helps to explain the fact that she realizes that she is the outcast and she no longer believes that she is better than everyone else. Her mind is now shifting from one way of thinking to another.

Katherine Mansfield creates a not so stable mind for Miss Brill. Right in the beginning of the story, Miss Brill takes out her fur coat and begins to talk to it. This is how Mansfield sets the mood for the rest of the story. It is as if the fur is her only friend and it is the thing that she talks to. Within her mind are things that a normal person would not think. The thing is, her old age must be taken into account. Often with aging, peoples’ minds begin to wander in places that other minds do not. At the end of the story when Miss Brill puts her fur away, she believes that she hears it crying. This is how Mansfield shows that her character as, in fact, crossed the line between sanity and insanity. It was stated earlier in the story that this Sunday was like no other. This was the day that Miss Brill would put the fur away for good. She realized that she was the outcast and that the fur was one of the reasons. Miss Brill started to feel as if her identity was dying along with the fur. Mansfield creates option with her writing. Some readers may feel as if it were the fur that was crying, while others may take it as Miss Brill crying herself. Although there is option, it is hinted that the fur is crying as it is going inside the box. Miss Brill is seen as a character that is really not completely there in her own mind. This creates a way that Mansfield can show some people that those who believe that they are truly happy can sometimes be the unhappiest after all.

Katherine Mansfield uses her own technique to show that her main character, Miss Brill, is actually not stable in her mind. She is shown to be insane throughout the story. She is isolated and corrupted, and the use of detail also adds to it. The story talks about the idea of rejection in a society, and the use of detail also adds to it. The story talks about the idea of rejection in a society, and how it is taken sometimes. It just goes to show that sometimes the people who think as highly of themselves as Miss Brill, can crack under the influence of people rejecting them. One person’s opinion can lead to another’s downfall. That was the life of Miss Brill, and she clearly wasn’t accepted from her environment as much as she had wished. Katherine Mansfield creates a new meaning to the definition of the word insanity.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Final Summer Essay: Anaysis of the use of a quest in "The Remains of the Day"

In the novel, “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” Thomas Foster writes about the actual meaning of a quest or a journey. The novel “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro is a prime example to what Foster is discussing in his opening chapter. The entire novel is about the protagonists’ journey that he embarks on in order to meet with one woman.

The Remains of the Day” is about an English butler named Stevens who embarks on a journey to find an old worker of Darlington Hall. Stevens was a butler he can remember. It is basically all he knows and lives by. From his proper manors to his sincere language, he is seen as the “greatest butler.” All throughout the novel, Stevens talks about what it takes to be a “great butler.” He has never lived outside of the walls of Darlington Hall, so everything that he encounters on his journey relates somehow back to his profession.

According to “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” basically every trip is considered to be a quest. “The quest consists of five things: (a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there.” (Foster, 3) Thomas Foster also states that the state reason for a quest is never the real reason. The real reason for someone to undertake a quest is always for self-knowledge. Although the real reason is hidden, the quester makes it easy to realize it when the end of the quest is found. The reaction gives away a lot of information about what they are really thinking.

Stevens’ journey has all of the qualities needed for it to be considered a quest. First off, Stevens is the quester. He took it upon himself to embark on this journey for his own intentions, whether good or bad. His journey is to go meet with a previous Darlington Hall employee, Miss Kenton, due to the lack of service that is there now. There used to be feelings between Stevens and Miss Kenton when they had both worked together for Lord Darlington. One large disagreement has made it so they haven’t spoken in a while. Stevens has told everyone he is going for pure business. Deep inside, he is hoping for closure, or maybe for sparks to flare up again. Even though he will not admit it at many times, he misses Miss Kenton and what used to be. Hope is what makes Mr. Stevens continue on this long journey.

Stevens’ journey did not run as smoothly as he had planned. This was his first time actually seeing the English landscape, and noticing what the outdoors has to offer. Everything was new to him. He was often unsure of which way to go. Car troubles occurred as well. At one point, Mr. Stevens had to sleep in a foreign town due to his car having difficulties. He met new people, who weren’t as highly ranked as the people he was used to. They basically looked up to Stevens as a hero of some sort. The journey was a long process for Stevens and he knew that giving up was not an option. He was experiencing a whole new life that he could not see from inside the walls of Darlington Hall.

Towards the end of the novel, Stevens finally reaches his goal. He finds Miss Kenton. Although his hopes are high, it does not go as well as he had hoped it would. He found out that Miss Kenton is already happily married and is not coming back to Darlington Hall. Reading the context clues proved that there were once feelings between the two of them. When they finally met with each other Miss Kenton said to Stevens, “But that doesn't mean to say, of course, there aren't occasions now and then- extremely desolate occasions—when you think to yourself: 'What a terrible mistake I've made with my life.' And you get to thinking about a different life, a better life you might have had. For instance, I get to thinking about a life I may have had with you, Mr. Stevens. And I suppose that's when I get angry about some trivial little thing and leave. But each time I do, I realize before long—my rightful place is with my husband. After all, there's no turning back the clock now. One can't be forever dwelling on what might have been." This was a huge blow to Mr. Stevens. For the first time he had said that he wanted to breakdown and cry. He realized that greatness wasn’t everything. He wanted to just be happy. Although Mr. Stevens did not get Miss Kenton to come back, he found a new meaning to life and learned a lot about himself during this journey of a lifetime.

The purpose of adding a journey like the one in “The Remains of the Day” is to show that everyone has goals that they want to achieve. No matter what trip is taken, there is always a desired point. It can be considered as a quest of some sort. Although the times will get rough, it is the challenges that will make the people stronger. Mr. Stevens did not think of it as him going on a quest, but at the end of the novel he learned that there is much more to life than what is shown looking through the windows from the insides of Darlington Hall. The element of a quest, as shown in “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” establishes a more meaningful task of finding self-knowledge rather than just taking a trip for a set reason. A meaningful quest often makes the ending that much more worth it. The characters grow as time goes on, and purpose of adding it makes it that much more clear.

Summer Reading Posts: "Things Fall Apart"

Post #1: I also noticed the continued use of dehumanization throughout part one of the novel. The people are often treated or given animal-like qualities. Achebe often uses terms such as "roared" to get his points across. One other thing I realized is that women basically don't have many rights at all. They get beaten if they do things wrong and they rarely ask any questions. They keep everything inside, in fear of getting beaten for speaking up. It was said that, "No woman ever asked questions about the most powerful and most secret cult in the clan."(88) I really found it interesting how much the people depend on each God. After the accidental death by Okonkwo, he had to leave the land and only return in seven years. That was because he murdered a female. It really showed how they are not used to using technology that would be easy used in today's times. I wanted to know what would have happened if he had killed a male. Would he had ever been able to come back? I find the rules of the clans very difficult to keep track of, but very interesting to learn about as well. I am very eager to know the future of Okonkwo since he is forced to leave the clan. Will people try to locate him, breaking the rules, or will he just be forgotten until his return in seven years?

Post #2: I agree with all three of you when you said that the second part is very ironic. Okonkwo is always the stronger of the men and believes that men rule over all. The fact that he is exiled isn't enough, but he is sent to his mother's land as well. That just shows that sometimes things happen and you cannot always be the tough man that you are so set on becoming. I agree with Angel when she used the quotes where Uchendu asked Okonkwo all those questions, and he did not know the answers. It really did show that he is still a child in people's minds and he isn't this great person that he thought he was. I also really concentrated when Uchendu said, "You think you are the greatest sufferer in the world? Do you know that men are sometimes banished for life? Do you know that men sometimes lose all their yams and even their children?"(135) That really must have struck Okonkwo's ego. He came into the new clan expecting to have everyone feel bad for him and help him. This isn't the case, people understand what he is going through but also know that people are going through much worse then he is.The new religion was quite a suprise to me. Throughout the beginning of the book everything was based on this one religion. No one ever disobeyed it. If they had, they were punished according to the religion. Now, a whole new religion is emerging that they are unfamiliar with. It relates very much to the title "Things Fall Apart" Right when Okonkwo murdered the female, everything began to go downhill. The religion was supposed to have failed long ago due to them being put into the "Evil Forest," but now that it hasn't people are becoming much more skeptical of their religion.The course of Okonkwo's exile has really gone by fast. I was not expecting it to be time for him to return already. I am very anxious to see wether this new religion completely takes over the one that has been built upon for such a long time. I also find it very ironic that the white man who everyone kind of looks up to now has the same name as our principal. It just adds to the irony.

Post #3: When i began reading the third part of "Things Fall Apart" I noticed that Okonkwo is becoming very upset with the white men. He is planning on returning and earning back his rightful spot. Also there was a reference to the title right away. Okonkwo says, "He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart."(176) This really shows the meaning of the title. When the new religion emerged, the old one is beginning to be wiped out. People such as Okonkwo are not ready to give up their religion and say that it is beginning to fall apart. Akunna made a good point on page 179. He was saying that the other Gods are false. He said that if you put a face on a piece of wood and call it a God, it is still only a piece of wood. I believe that this religion is better then the old one because the older one is very aggressive and hostel. There are way too many rules and many innocent people die due to them. Schools, churches, and hosptitals were being built. There was also a stable government emerging. I do like the new religion better, but I feel as if the people of Umuofia are better off with their own religion. The white men have no right to try to take over a place that was doing fine on their own. Okonkwo is sick of what is happening to his land and is ready to try to fix it. He is very angry with the fact that so many men are converting to this new religion. Okonkwo also refers to the men in Umuofia as becoming "soft like women."(183) It really shows the inequality between men and women in the clans.I understand what the missionaries are trying to do, but in a way i feel as if they shouldn't have intruded on a clan that already had a set religion. Also the demasking of the spirit stood out to me as what is going on in the society. The old religion is being demasked and turned into something it is not supposed to be. I found it quite ironic that it happened. The white men are basically torturing the leaders until the fee is paid off. I thought they were trying to bring a better society into place, but now i know that they are just trying to take over everything and control all the lands. I agree with Angel when she talked about the strike to Okonkwo's ego. Eventually he kills himself, and Obierika knows that it is the commisioners' fault. Okonkwo always followed the rules of society and was completely against the evil. So it is pretty ironic that in the end, Okonkwo becomes one of the "evil bodies." In my mind he died for what he believed in and shouldn't be considered evil. The society believes otherwise, and "Things Fall Apart."

Summer Reading Posts: "The Remains of the Day"

Post #1: My first thoughts on this novel were all about the narrator's way of life. He is very much confined inside the walls of Darlington Hall as jlam09 had said. He doesn't know much of anything around him. With every topic that seems to be brought up in discussion, he somehow relates it back to Darlington Hall. Stevens has his mind set on what his trip is for (to see Miss Kenton) that he really doesn't take the time to be himself.I really wanted to comment on the fact that we were not given much information on Steven's past life, before Darlington Hall that is. We know all about how he has worked at the Hall for many years and knew Lord Darlington himself. Yet, we really do not know much about Steven's OWN personality. It is as if his personality lies within the walls of Darlington Hall only. I do agree with kavsgojsw1 on the topic of dignity. Stevens always makes sure he looks proper and uses the correct language when associating with others. I still think that he really bases himself way too much on being correct in society, and not enough on getting to know his inner self and actually being his own person. I really just think he doesn't feel comfortable with real relationships with other people. He feels very uncomfortable around people and isn't too sure how to act. That is where the idea of dignity comes into place. He knows how he is supposed to act around people considering his standings. That is all he bases his personality on. I find it kind of aggravating that he isn't his own person in a way. My prediction on the following parts of the novel is a bit undecided. In a way i feel as if Stevens won't actually find Miss Kenton but will learn a greater lesson instead. I also feel as if maybe he won't change and will stay conformed with society. He may just find Miss Kenton and say exactly what he needed to and that is that. I would really like to see other people's idea of how they think the novel will end.

Post #2: Stevens' journey so far wasn't what i would call, "a walk in the park." Nothing seems to be going his way. I truely believe his nerves are getting the best of him. He may play it off as if he is calm and collected, yet everything he interacts with relates back to Miss Kenton and Darlington Hall in some shape or form.Stevens continues to talk about his "turning points" with Miss Kenton. The interesting part is, out of all the ones he explained, they all seemed to be his fault. He overreacted about Miss Kenton trying to brighten up his room, and he definately overreacted about her wanting to know what book he was reading. He seems to want things his way only when he is around her. In my opinion, he was being so dramatic when Miss Kenton was tired. He canceled all the meetings over cocoa, just because she had a long week and was tired one of the nights. I mean come on, he does seem to talk alot. I would loose my attention towards him too. I just finished reading the "Day three evening" section of the book and I found the people in the village to be kind of odd. Who is this Mr. Lindsay character they keep talking about. They say he proved he wasn't a gentlemen, but how? Also, they are treating Stevens as if he was a hero of some sort. I wasn't really sure why. I feel the whole village is a bit sketchy.I am really interested to see how the rest of the book turns out. Does anyone have any feelings towards the people in the village? i would really like to know.

Post #3: The final stretch.. Well overrall I did enjoy reading this novel. The end of Stevens' journey really tied everything in. Dr. Carlisle seemed as if the subject of "dignity" really didn't interest him at all. While he was discussing that topic with Stevens, on the ride to the Ford, he seemed as if he was trying to change the topic. Also when asked about his definition of dignity, he completely ignored Stevens and started talking about how nice the Ford was. I think it may have been because dignity comes in so many ways and his view of it may cause that peaceful ride to turn into some form of argument. Also, Mr. Cardinal and his view on the meetings was somewhat odd. He truely believed that the intentions of the meetings were bad. I was a bit confused about the actual meaning of the meeting. Can someone please explain their view on if Mr. Cardinal was right or not. The meeting with Miss Kenton wasn't what I had expected. They didn't really seem to have the connection I thought they would until the end. Miss Kenton had tears in her eyes, and Stevens had stated earlier that his heart was breaking. Also, the way that Stevens opened up with a complete stranger really surprised me. It is really not like him to do that. He is a very confined man and doesn't often open up. The man was right though. It was related back to the title, "The Remains of the Day." It is true, stop looking back on the past like Stevens always did. It doesn't help the future at all. You still have the rest of your life. Like they say, "The evening's the best part of the day." One last thing, I do believe he is a new man and he will soon start to be himself and stop trying so hard to impress others. I do believe he will be able to say simple sentences and just express how he feels after the experience he had on this journey of a lifetime.

Summer Reading Posts: "One Hundred Years of Solitude"

Post #1: Okay so to start off. These names have to go. I wish they were just a bit more, you know, NORMAL? That would probably help a lot.Anyways, on to the book. First off I wanted to say that this book really must be read symbolically for the most part in order to fully understand. I completely agree with Kevien about Amaranta's symbolic meaning. Love always has twists and turns, and so does Amaranta's "love." It is as if the author is trying to have love speak as if it were human. It represents a sort off chaos that really intrigued me.Also, I really wanted to comment on gypsyloo. That quote on page 13 really caught my attention as well. I think the statement is very true. I mean, it's not a home unless it is permanent. What other way is completely and utterly permanent besides death? Not much I would say. I do also believe it is foreshadowing as well.This society is basically insane. As paul_in_a_nutshell said, the society was in a way, a perfect society. The love however, completely opposite. Everyone is dating everyone and it is quite unbelievable. I would say that this is all organized chaos.

Post #2: I wanted to immediately comment on babaloo's post. So the idea of fate and reusing names is a huge sort of theme to the novel. Once the name is chosen it is foreshadowing what the fate of that child is. Also, everything seems to relate to time. I'm thinking that it is a major theme? Once someone dies, it is like it is forgotten. It is as if it is just a continues cycle. The one thing I am curious about, what if the cycle is suddenly ended for some reason? What will happen?I also feel like before the war, the past was focussed on. Now, it is like the past just repeats itself all the time. Maybe even without the people even noticing. Can it somehow symbolize something on the lines of the "circle of life?"I found it interesting how allthatjazz_07 said it was like a "curse." That ties in to the theme of fate. I didn't realize that a book that is so repetitive can be completely different at the same time. Ironic huh?

Post #3: As more and more people died, the title became that much clearer. Solitude was becoming more and more realistic in this society.I also completely agree with steph113 about Ursula. While reading this, i made the connection with the bible as well. She was the only one who stayed true to herself and did what she felt was right. She didn't give in to the temptation that led everyone else to their downfall. If she had given as as adam and eve did, she would have probably had the same downfall.Finishing this novel really made me think about my last blog. When Colonel Aureliano Buendía died everyone kind of just forgot his heroic deeds he did. It is related back to the theme of time. Everything was forgotten, and the past actually became the past.Overall, i really enjoyed reading this novel. It teaches a lesson that following your heart and doing what you believe in is the overall key to success.