Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week 6 Blog

Considering I have been unable to attend the past two classes due to being sick, it has been very difficult for me to try to decipher the meaning of the entire book. From what I can gather so far, it seems as if The Crying of Lot 49 is a huge satire. Although I can't exactly figure out what exactly it is making fun of.

This chapter emphasized a lot on the Tristero symbol. It was first seen when Stanley Koteks was drawing it at his desk and then later on the ring that Mr. Thoth's grandfather had apparently cut off an Indian he killed. I feel like this symbol should have great meaning, but instead it seems to be a mystery that Oedipa can't seem to figure out.

This is similar to the rest of the story right now. The story seems to have no plot, and jumps from character to character without fully developing each. But, each character has a name that describes them.

Oedipa is constantly faced with information and and imaginings but I don't think she is able to distinguish which belong with which.

Overall I am pretty confused with whole plot of the book. I almost think there is no defined plot.

In the beginning of the chapter, on page 65, the hymn sung:
 "High above the L.A freeways,
And the traffic's whine,
Stands the well-known Galactronics
Branch of Yoyodyne.
To the end, we swear undying
Loyalty to you,
pink pavilions bravely shining,
Palm trees tall and true."
It seemed so odd to me that a group of workers would have a songfest, especially to a familiar tune. It seems as if the song binds the group together and makes them all work towards one goal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 5 Blog

In Fences, August Wilson uses conversation and tone to portray the story as well as set the scene.

The diction used in Fences is key to the entire play. It allows the reader to truly get a feel for the scene, time period, and personalities of the characters. While reading, at times it was difficult for me to understand what each character was saying, but once rereading the line, it became more clear. At times this was bothersome, but looking back, without such strong diction, the play would not have such deep meaning. Often plays just have each character speaking a few lines then moving on to the next. While reading this play I found it so easy to read the play smoothly and truly understand when each character was chiming in. Troy and Bonno would interrupt one another, yet it was easy to hear the voices and the conversation.

It was interesting to watch each character develop simply through their conversation. Troy's character unfolded quickly. His hostility, yet bluntness was so evident. His words created anger inside of me to see how he treated his family as well has his thoughts and ideas. I simply wanted him to give his son a chance, and speak kindly. I normally do not enjoy plays, and it is hard for me to understand them, but Fences allowed me to truly become involved.

As of right now I am unsure of the meaning of Fences or where the title comes into play, which is something I was looking for in the first half. Also, there seems to be many mini conflicts rather than one large one. One main conflict is the tension between Troy and Cory. On page 58 Cory says, "Just cause you doesn't have a chance! You just scared I'm gonna be better than you, that's all." I think this one line is so powerful to the entire play, and will be interesting to see Troy's reaction.

Although the characters do not seem to be well educated, each paints vivid pictures with their words. Troy explains how he has fought with death, and gives personification to death. "I done seen him, I done wrestled with him." (page 12)

Although not very many difficult vocabulary words, it is more interesting to define the diction. For example, when they talk about gambling, death, war, and jail.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 4 Blog

In the second part of The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses simple dialog and vivd, yet simple descriptions of the characters' actions. 

The first half of the play is used to set up the background; whereas, the second half is filled with emotion and where the climax arises. It seems as if Tennessee Williams changes tones within the first and second half. I was more intrigued and interested in the second half. Each character was revealed more closely. The beginning seems as if it is a roller coaster inching towards the top, and the second half races down hill. 

Jim enters the scene and affects each character. Amanda's nagging and attention to detail increases exponentially. She is in a constant frenzy to make everything perfect and appealing to the eye. It's revealed that she is so focused on what others think of her daughter rather than true happiness. I think this could also be related to the time period of the play. On page 52 she says, "This is the prettiest you'll ever be," insinuating her lack of confidence in her daughter. Laura's entire outlook on life and herself is altered by the words spoken by Jim. He tells her she is pretty and encourages her confidence. Tom seems to be a completely different story within the play. His character doesn't entirely fit in with the story line, which I think is intended by Tennessee. He is trying to figure out life and on page 61 he says, "Im tired of the movies and I'm about to move." His character is mysterious and deep.

I really enjoyed Jim's sweet words to Laura. He gave her the nick name Blue Rose in high school, and as he got to know the real Laura he stated that blue although blue was wrong for roses, it was perfect for her. 

beleaguered- to surround with military forces.
jonquil- a narcissus, Narcissus jonquilla,  having long, narrow, rushlikeleaves and fragrant, yellow or white flowers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week #3

In Delmore Schwartz's In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, the story of a young man and woman is unveiled as their child watches. 

As I read the short, my attention was captured instantaneously. It is first explained as a silent picture, allowing the reader to wonder if the son is simply relating a movie to his parents, or if he is truly even at a movie theatre. The short seems to be written simply, but when looked at closely it is overflowing with similes, beautiful imagery, and comparisons. For example on page 473, "now coming to their full green and the time when they will enclose the whole street leafy shadows," and on page 476, "The moment before they somersault, the moment when they arch their backs so beautifully showing white veins int he green and black, that moment is so intolerable." Shwartz's language is written beautifully that engages the reader full on. Each line is filled with simplicity as well as in depth language. 

While reading In Dreams Begin Responsibilities I almost felt as if the short was written in a style similar to bullet points. Several quick points are made and the facts are thrown to the audience, while others are elaborated on. The ones more in depth seem to be important to the child, even if the reader does not fully understand. 

The child is overflowing with emotions concerning different points of the "film". When the grandfather ponds his father's character, or when his father walks away from his mother at the fortune teller. These little instances create uproar in the child's emotions. I think the child is looking on back on his or her parents' story and their gut is turning over has he or she can see the calm before the storm. Near the end of the short, the child cries out, "Don't do it! It's not too late to change your minds, both of you. Nothing good will come of it, only remorse, hatred, scandal, and two children whose characters are monstrous." It seems as if the child has had so much built up emotion and anger for the life his or her parents gave, resulting in a plea for help and a cry out to go back in time.

exaltation- to raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.;elevate
mirth- gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter