Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Good and The Bad

This semester the class read many works that were very good and some that even after discussing them in class I felt indifferent about. The first three works of the semester I really enjoyed. The obsolete man was a very good video and the first two stories out of the anthology were very good. Honestly after that most of the stories chosen from the anthology did not interest me that much. All of the poems chosen this semester were very good. I did not understand all of them and had trouble when reading them for the first time, but they did all bring up very interesting discussions and by reading several poems from one author I could really get into the insight of the author. I believe that the novels chosen for this class did allow the class to view several different types of literature that all fall under the category of contemporary literature. I enjoyed reading Sula, Atonement, and the Watchmen. The only novel I did not enjoy was Streetcar and I am really not sure why. I guess I just never got involved in the story. My personal favorite was the Watchmen and my only regret is that we did not have more time to discuss the novel. My suggestions for the class would be to remove Street Car and the anthology from the syllabus. I think a few short stories from the anthology would be nice to read such as Rudy Elmenhurst and Man from Mars, but as a whole the anthology was not a great collection of stories.To fill this gap I would add an adventure story such as a Clive Cussler novel or Harry Potter book that involves a little more imagination and a different perspective on contemporary literature.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Comics for Kids

I can’t say that my anticipation of reading the Watchmen was at quite the level of Burtan, but I was a little more excited about reading this book than most I start. I am not much of a reader but I guess because I read a few comics as a child, this book interested that part of me. As I began reading the book my view of comics was very similar to Burtan’s. I was immediately drawn into the story and at the same time turned off by the format. I believe as a child it was easier to skip around and read because of how quickly a child’s mind can be distracted. We have all been trained to read a novel and stay focused and it became a challenge to break this habit. I also agree that reading the novel was exhausting. Many times I found myself stopping, not because I was tired of reading, but because my mind needed to catch up and take a break as it attempted to keep up with everything going on. In the end the story did entertain me but I believe my favorite part was going back into the story after reading and picking out pieces we discussed in class. The depth of the story amazed me and for a genre I had always related with childhood this new type of comic created a new joy for reading. I completely agree with Burtan about the fascination with reading the novel and the feelings experienced while reading. I believe that many of my initial feelings about the novel were based on the comic book readings of my childhood. After reading the Watchmen my views on comic books have changed and can see how it may soon be a interesting part of contemporary literature. It was an exciting story and a type of novel that with a little more practice I could see myself truly enjoying.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The title Atonement is very appropriate for the novel because many of the characters in the novel struggle with atoning for their past actions. The character that most obviously wants to atone for her actions is Briony. Throughout the story she tries to do the impossible and make up for sending Robbie to jail. In the end she finds out it is impossible for her to correct what she has done so instead she tries to give them their happiness through her writing. Another character that tries to atone for her actions is Lola. Although she does not do anything wrong directly she is horrified by what has happened to her in her childhood and tries to fix things by marrying the man who raped her as a child. A character that isn’t obvious is Robbie. His atonement isn’t for something he has done but for who he is. He never feels he deserves to be with Cecile because of his class and status. His atonement can be seen in the war when he becomes a leader and takes control of the situation. This gives him a status level that he has never experienced and one that he feels is capable of reaching Cecile and is deserving of her. The only characters in the novel that do not try to atone for their actions are Cecile’s parents and Paul Marshall. Its almost as if this sense of trying separates the good from the evil characters. Although many of the characters commit sins, it is those that try to atone that make up for their mistakes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Little Too Strange

So far this semester I have read many stories that I really liked and those I did not like at all. For my free post I wanted to talk about two of these stories. My least favorite story is "The Decent of Man". This story is just a little too strange for me and I believe Boyle is simply expressing problems he has with others views. It does make the reader think and is a great piece of work to analyze, but is not interesting enough to keep the reader interested. Boyle very clearly expresses his dislike for the ideas of Dawin although in my mind his way of doing it is very ineffective. My favorite piece of work this semester is "The Man From Mars". Just like in "The Decent of Man" the story expresses dislike, but instead of the ideas of Dawin the story expresses dislike for those who are not open to other cultures. Atwood gets this point across in what I feel is a very effective way. The short story contains many themes that the reader can relate too and the story does not incorporate any crazy ideas, such as a woman having sex with a monkey. I do understand the purpose for each of the two works but I also believe that although all writing has a place in postmodern thought, some types of writing do not appeal to all audiences.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fire and Light

The only thing familiar to me is the bright light, knowing I’m alive. The artificial sun beating down on me makes me hot. Heat from the inside as well heat all over. I fall off again loosing sight of the light loosing sight of reality. The light shines again but this time fleeting. The room is bright but the light is fleeting, the light of day. Everyone is safe now, well everyone else. I did a good job why me why me. The light comes again the good light, knowing I’m alive. I feel my skin but everything my skin feels is hot. Everything that I touch everything that touches me is hot, why me. Thoughts race through me, is this real, is it me, will I still be me. I fade again with the light. I cough again deep cough hard to catch a breath. Light is all around me but the light I need is too far. I’m all alone no one is here to save me, I was here to save and I did. I did a good job why me why me. I fall and reach for nothing, reach for the air I cannot breathe. Falling further down where there is no hope of waking up. I switched, I brought them out and brought me here, why me, where there is no hope, until the light came again. The wonderful light, knowing I’m alive. Familiar shapes above me, I am not alone, not anymore. The hand that saved me touches me. Still burning but a good burn, knowing I’m alive. I did a good job. They did a good job, why me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stella's Song

Although not all of the lyrics fit Stella it is very obvious how this video fits with her character. She would never be a person who would cheat on Stanley but I do think she feels reassured when he hits her. It lets her know that he can protect her and in someways lets her know he cares. She really does feel that the only reason he gets so mad is because he cares about her and doesn't want to lose her. The end of the song really fits when it talks about them making up and making her his own. When Stanley makes up with Stella that is exactly what happens he makes sure she is his and they both know they want to be together.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Better Blanche

Although both actresses are playing the same character. They each perceive her in their own way and both bring out different parts of her character to the screen. I believe Jessica Lange shows the confident/cocky side of Blanche very well although she misses out on who I believe Tennessee Williams wrote Blanche to be. Although in this clip she is acting out a weaker moment it seems like she is trying to show too much confidence and not giving the viewer a real look at Blanches true character. This weaker and self consience side can been see though Vivian Leigh's performance. Leigh captures both the confident front that Blanche puts up and lets the viewer see the weaker side that hides behind the front she puts on. I believe this is who Tennessee Williams meant for Blanche to be and it is this weakness that he refers to in his quote. Although she does show some weakness it is this weakness in his eyes that makes her strong and a person that is to be admired.