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June 2, 1910

After you finish the section what meaning do you see in the threads that constitute the paragraph on the second page beginning “If it had been cloudy.” Okay to cheat by seeing if someone else’s blog provides a good explanation for something you didn’t get. Thank the person in a comment. And credit the person in your own blog. This, in short, can be highly collaborative.

Reading the sentence “if it had been cloudy” and rereading that whole section and the next page makes me realize that Quentin seems to reminiscence about the past, and Caddy a lot. The line itself doesn’t make sense because a person would normally look out the window if the weather is nice to enjoy the effect the sun is having on the surroundings. No one would really look out the window if it’s foggy because there really is no point in staring at a blur of clouds. I looked at Caitlin Machicote’s blog and her take on how Quentin is actually depressed and how he is really the one suffering from an psychological illness and not Benji. I totally agree on her view of how Quentin should be looked at as more of the black sheep of the family then poor Benji should. As I continued to read Quentin’s section I also realized that Quentin seems a little to obsessed with Caddy and the life she has chosen for herself. He seems to be contemplating his life, and then he randomly brings her and what she has done, did, or doing with her life back into his thought process. “A lane turns off beside the orchard. The third boy slowed and halted. The first went on, flecks of sunlight slipping along the pole across his shoulder and down the back of his shirt. “Come on” the third said. The second boy stopped. Why must you marry somebody Caddy. Do you want me to say it do you think that if I say it won’t be. “Let’s go up to the mill” he said. “Come one.” The first boy went on” (pg. 122) In this sentence there is a scene that is completely unrelated to the one in his mind taking place. Why does he care so much that Caddy is getting married and to who. As her brother shouldn’t he already realize the type of person Caddy is and when she wants to do something she will do it. I feel like he lets thoughts of her envelop his life a little too much. Reading Caitlin Machicote’s blog about how he seems to want it to rain on Caddy’s wedding day so that it may destroy the wedding also helps me think this way.

Choose a passage in this half of Benjy’s section, about the length of a page, for illumination

There were many sections in the book that I found confusing even after reading the whole novel. The section I found most confusing of all was Quentin’s section, which I got at some parts but other parts didn’t really make sense at all. I understood that there was a little girl who followed Quentin around everywhere, and she continuously ate his food and wouldn’t leave him alone. But we discussed in class that mostly everything that William Faulkner mentions in the book, The Sound and the Fury has some type of foreshadowing to a later event. Even after finishing the book I didn’t understand why Faulkner included this girl in story and what her role in showing Quentin’s character was. The last section which was Jason’s section shows what a cruel person Jason turns out to be. He seems to have no patience for anyone and is ready to whip his seventeen year old sister for skipping school. “What are you going to do she says?” she says. You wait until I get out this belt out I’ll show you, I says, pulling my belt out.”(pg.184) these lines surprised me, and made me wonder why Jason seems so angry all the time. Throughout his narration in the story he’s always angry and never really ever friendly to anyone, even beating up one old man. Where does all his anger come from and why?

For Benji’s part, I was confused in the novel when Benji seems to be crying a lot because there is man named Charlie with Caddy. Is it because Benji is jealous of this man and he is afraid that this man will take Caddy away from him? There is another part in the novel, when Benji begins to chase after a group of girls. Does he do this because he thinks one of them is his sister Caddy and he wants to tell his sister that he doesn’t want her to leave?

At what point did the book come alive for you.

The point in the novel that became alive for me was when the children Quentin, Caddy, Jason, T.P, Versh and Benji were all playing around, having fun and trying to figure out what it was their parents were doing inside the house. This happens on page 40 “Lawd they’ll hear us. Get up” T. P said, “Get up Benjy” quick. He was thrashing around laughing and I tried to get up. The cellar steps ran up the hill in the moonlight and T.P fell up the hill, into the moonlight, and I ran against the fence and T.P ran behind me saying “hush up, hush up” Then he fell into the flowers, laughing, and I ran into the box.” As I was reading the book these are the pages were the book began to make a little more sense to me and I could understand more of what was happening. Although I had to read these pages a few times again, I understood that the kids were trying to peek into the house and their parents wouldn’t let them because their grandmother’s funeral was taking place. The kids think that there is a party taking place that their parents aren’t letting them in on. “They ain’t moaning.” Caddy said. “I’ll tell you it’s a party. Are they moaning Versh.” T.P even proclaims that he saw Mr. Jason come up with two hands full of soda water. Caddy, as the strong-willed leader that she is demands to be lifted up into the trees to see what is taking place. I don’t understand what causes Benji to cry though after she is lifted into the trees and comes down.

Benji is a character that I feel bad for in the novel because even though I am glad he had a character like Caddy who loves him so much, there are characters like Quentin and Jason who seem to despise him as much. Benji’s own mother seems very loving to him, but there are times in the novel when I am surprised at the way some people talk to Benjamin. Like in one instance Luster tells Benjamin “Hush up. Come on back here.” He came and caught my arm. “You old Looney” he said. “You want me to whip you.”(pg.8) it’s not Benjamin’s fault that he is the way that he is, and he probably even doesn’t know he’s moaning when he is. There are many instances like this in the novel, and I feel the family should be a little more enforcing when it comes to showing Benjamin more respect.

Persepolis

For your blog write about some sequence (a frame to a page) that interested you. Where relevant, remark on the interaction of the drawing and the text.

While finishing up the book Persepolis I noticed that as the book progressed to the end the book got sadder and sadder. Iran declares that they are in state of war after Marji and her family return from their vacation in Spain and Italy. Things go from bad to worse. Iraq bombs Iran a number of times and Marji begins to lose a number of people that are dear to her. There are two instances which I found particularly heartbreaking. One of these was on page 125. In these pages Marji’s uncle needs to go through open heart surgery because he keeps getting a heart attack from the noise of the bombs. However, the service he needs is not offered in Iran and it is offered overseas. The hospital is giving the wife a hard time for authorization for a passport, and ironically the director is the wife’s former window cleaner. “All that creepy window washer had to do to become a director of the hospital was to grow a beard and put on a suit! The fate of my husband depends on a window washer!”(Page 121) On page 125, the last frame which had the lines “three weeks after these events uncle Taher was buried. His real passport arrived the same day….he never got to see his son” were one of the saddest to me. It was such a cruel twist of fate for Marji to experience. Another one these moments were on page 142, when Marji loses her Jewish friend Neda. While Marji is walking past the house where Neda lives she sees its remains. She also sees something that looked like a hand with a turquoise ring on it sticking out. “I saw a turquoise bracelet. It was Neda’s. Her aunt had given it to her for her fourteenth birthday…The bracelet was still attached to… I don’t know what….” (page 142) The last frame on the page was completely black accompanied by the lines “No scream in the world could have relieved my suffering and anger.”(Page 142) This blank expressed Marji’s emotion and anger very vividly to me and I was able to, being the only black frame in the book, see how much this loss affected Marji.

One of the frames in the book that I liked was on page 149, the last frame. In this frame Marji is getting ready to leave her parents and move to Austria for a better education. In the frame she is surrounded by people she loves and who love her and they are all hugging her. She says “I never realized how much they loved me. And I understood how important they were to me.” I like how even though Marji’s life has so much trouble in it she knows she is loved and she has people she loves.

Islamic Revolution of 1979

The cause of the Revolution in Iran was because the country was revolting against the modernization and replacement of Islamic ideals in place of Western ones. The ruler of Iran at the time was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, he was known for his harsh rule, and no adherence to Iran’s constitution. Many people in Iran saw Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as a leader who catered to western wishes and caused political corruption in his own country. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi suppressed political uprising through SAVAK or secret political police. In the book Persepolis they gave an example of how the girl heard about in the news how a theater burned down with people in it, and how the gates were locked a few minutes before. The police just sat there and watched it happen, and attacked anyone who tried to go and help them. The fire men came thirty minutes late but the damage was already done. The media blamed it on extremists but everyone knew that it was actually the Shah.

The opposition was lead by Ayatollah Khomeini. In April of 1979, after a national referendum, Iran was declared an Islamic republic following Islamic law.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Revolution
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/islamic_revolution/islamic_revolution.php

Ernest Hemingway

For your blog: intermittent reflections on and examples of what makes Hemingway Hemingway

While reading The Sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway, I noticed that Hemingway likes to describe to the reader every detail of the narrator Jacob’s life. Most authors don’t do this unless the casual action that is done has some importance that might affect the plot later on. For example in chapter 4 Brett was leaving Jacob’s house and there is a line which describes Jacob saying his goodbye and then climbing into bed. “I went back upstairs and from the open window watched Brett walking up the street to the big limousine drawn up to the curb under the arc-light. She got in and it started off. I turned around. On the table was an empty glass and a glass half-full of brandy and soda. I took them both out to the kitchen and poured the half-full glass down the sink. I turned off the gas in the dining-room, kicked off my slippers sitting on the bed, and got into bed.” (Chapter 4, last few lines of chapter) Hemingway writes about Jacob seeing an empty glass and a glass half full of brandy, and throwing it out. He then goes to sleep. I feel like this has really nothing to do with the story and that Hemingway could have simply wrote that Jacob went to sleep with Brett swirling around in his mind. Hemingway does this throughout the chapters, mentioning things that don’t really have a purpose in the story. I am not saying I dislike Hemingway because of this but I think this it is one of the unique things that make Hemingway, Hemingway.

I also noticed that Hemingway talks about drinking wine, rum, “pernod” or brandy almost every two paragraphs. The characters are always drinking; they do not go a day without having a drink at least twice a day. I do not understand how a person can function properly if they drink so much but these characters besides having some jealousy problems seem pretty normal. In the chapters I read so far, it also seems that Hemingway only regards men capable of having their hearts broken and not women. Brett is portrayed as a women who as broken many hearts including Robert Cohen’s and Jacobs. “Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing” (Chapter 14, first page) Brett seems to be the object of everyone’s attention when the characters go out to places, but there isn’t any mention of a man doing any harm to a women so far in the novel.

The Waste Land #2

Reading the Waste Land in class was a little more helpful in understanding the poem then reading it alone. But from what I understood, when discussed in class was that the poem seems to have points that differ from one other but the poem itself doesn’t seem to have one single point. In class we talked about how the month of April is mentioned in the first line of the poem and the reason might have been to point out the resurrection of Christ. And in the fourth stanza London there is a line which says “A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many” and how this might be a reference to Dante’s purgatory in which people are not living or dead. I don’t see how these concepts have anything to do with one another. We also talked about how T.S. Elliot was like an anti-feminist and against women doing anything besides getting married, he shows this by the lines “What you get married for if you don’t want children?” (line 164) During the same paragraph T.S Elliot seems to horrified that “Lil” performed an abortion and wants everyone to feel the seem way. I think it’s interesting the way T.S Elliot says many different lines and there are hidden meanings behind those lines but I think the points that he makes really have nothing to do with one another. Maybe I am reading the poem wrong but it seems that way to me.

The Waste land

My first impression of the waste land was that it was a very confusing poem. Not only do the paragraphs seem to have no correlation with one another, but the sentences within the paragraph don’t seem to be in junction with one another. In the first paragraph T.S Elliot talks the season’s winter, summer, fall.  He finishes off in the beginning of the paragraph with summer by saying “Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee” but towards the end of the paragraph goes back to winter by saying “In the mountains, there you feel free.  I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.” I feel like this gives the reader a kind of jumbled picture of what the writer is trying to portray in his poem. I feel like every poem paints a type of picture for me in my mind that I can go to and try to paint better with every stanza but this poem doesn’t really do that.

The line “And would it have been worth it, after all” is a line, just by reading it, a person could figure out what the poem will generally be about. The Poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is about an indecisive man who is in love with a lady but is so insecure about himself that he can’t bring himself to talk to her. Throughout the poem the speaker is in a constant state of warfare with himself about the way he looks and whether or not things will go as planned if he actually gets the guts to talk to her .“Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair- [They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]” In this line the speaker shows his insecurities by thinking the ladies present will probably make fun of his thinning hair. The poem to me is sad because he asks questions like “And would it have been worth it, after all” and “Do I dare disturb the universe?” because these statements are all about taking risks in life which should be taken. Because it could have been worth the speakers time to talk to his love, and for all he knew she might have actually loved him back. The poem ends with the poet taking a walk on the beach by himself; old and alone, and when I look back at the statement “And would it have been worth it, after all” I feel more strongly than ever that it would have been better than the situation he is now. He would have been able to look back and say for what it was worth he did try but he can’t. And he seems to realize this with the lines “Till human voices wake us, and we drown.” Almost like he is drowning with regret.

Lapis Lazuli

Choose one of these poems that particularly interested you and write in your blog about what you discovered and enjoyed about it from reading and thinking about it some more.

The Poem that I found the most interesting was the poem Lapis Lazuli. Lapis Lazuli was written during world war11 in Europe. In Lapis Lazuli I think it’s interesting the way Yeats constantly using the word “gay” to express happiness when he and the people he is living with at the time are in such a stressful atmosphere. They are living in fear of “bombs” being dropped on them.  He also talks about how the plays at the time are so busy finishing their acts that none of them even stop to weep for the destruction that could be taking place. “If worthy their prominent part in the play, do not break up their lines to weep. They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;” (Lapis Lazuli) Yeats constantly uses the word, and I think the reason he might be doing it is to try and calm the people down. The people must all be very worried for their future. In the ending lines of the poem he begins to talk about the marble statues made of Lapis Lazuli. He gives the reader a very peaceful scene when describing them talking about birds, longevity, and melodic instruments which have a soothing effect. “On all the tragic scene they stare. “One asks for mournful melodies; Accomplished fingers begin to play. Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes, Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.” (Lapis Lazuli) Life around the people may be tragic but maybe finding solace in the natural things of life like music, and nature can help bring peace in their hearts to the nation at the time.

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