I wasn’t sure if you wanted us to blog about the second half of the novel or the first section in which Benjy narrates. I am guessing you wanted us to blog about Benjy’s section in which he narrates. I chose two parts in Benjy’s section, the first page I chose was page 4. In this page Benjy reminisces about Caddy unhooking him from the nail in the fence after Luster unhooks him from the same nail 26 years later. The thoughts of Benjy continue on to page five were he mixes up his past thoughts with the present. “It’s too cold out there” Versh said”, mean while it is in the beginning of April. This shows how Benjamin can not separate the past from the present and this it what makes this first section so difficult to understand. I also noticed how even though Benjy is 33 he is still making the same mistakes as when he was 7 years old, this shows how he never grew up mentally at all and he is still the same mentally at the age of 33 as he was at the age of 7. I also noticed on this page it jumps from Luster taking care of Benjy to Versh taking care of him, this confuses you of Benjy’s age and may symbolize that Benjy doesn’t even realize the separation of time or a difference in his own age.

I also chose page 40-41, on this page towards the bottom Benjy again remembers the past. “Benjy, Caddy said, Benjy. She put her arms around me again, but I went away.” on this page and the next page following I noticed how the Compson’s answer to dealing with Benjy is to simply leave him alone and not to worry about what is wrong with him.On  page 41 Benjy narrates many times his mother telling Caddy to leave him alone, and being told to be quiet and shut his mouth by Caddy. But also on this page is Caddy making an attempt to find out what is wrong with Benjy but her mother tells her to leave him alone. I think Benjy shows on this page why he appreciates Caddy so much and how the rest of the family treats him. Caddy actually tries to help him and talk to him unlike the rest of the family.

I hope I blogged about the correct section which was the section where Benjy narrates.

The Sound and the Fury

October 25, 2010

We were asked to blog about when the novel came alive to us, but for me the novel never came alive. I before I started reading the novel I was sure that the last class when you clarified the names of the characters would help, and that maybe the novel was not that confusing, but I was definitely wrong. Once I started reading the novel a bunch of names were thrown at me, and I was automatically confused. I later found out that the characters in the begining of the novel were the Compson’s   slaves. So I guess if by alive you mean makes sense or understandable, then I guess this is when it came alive for me, but if you mean enjoyable to read then  it never did this.

One thing that I did come to understand from the novel is that Benjy is looked after by the slaves most of the time. Benjy is more like a burden on the family rather than part of the family. it seems like he is closer to the slaves rather than his own family and because of his mental disabilities his family doesn’t mind him being closer to the slaves and more family like with the slaves. I also found it interesting that because he has a mental disability he is put with the slaves, it hints that him and the slaves are on the same level of intelligence even though the slaves do not have any mental disability.

I hope that the next half of the novel will be clearer and not as many names will be thrown at me, and I will actually beable to follow the story better.

Persepolis

October 21, 2010

Althought the asssignment was to pick one frame or page that interested me, I picked a one frame then another frame later in the novel. My fisrt frame was on pg.8. I could not find a picture of this fram online , so i will describe it. In this frame God is holding Marji in his arms and the backround is black, so there is nothing in the frame except Marji in God’s arms. This illustrates Marji’s relationship with God, but also illustrates how safe she feels at home and she is protected. In the begining of the grapic novel Marji has a close relationship with God and she has religion which she greatly depends on.

The next frame that interested me was on pg. 71. In this frame Marji is floating through space alone and the text reads “And so I was lost, without any bearings… What could be worse than that?”. The fact that this frame takes up the whole page is why it was interesting to me. By taking up the whole page Satrapi is saying that this is a huge part of the story, and it was to me because it shows not only Marji’s loss of faith but also her security. he is no longer safe and she is now alone far from every one and the text and illustrations show this.

The reason these two frames interested me was because they relate to each other and show that this is not just a grapic novel about the Islamic revolution, but also about religion, security, and faith. It is also interesting because after Marji is floating in space on pg. 71, after she officiqally lost her faith and trust in God, she goes on feeling as though she is alone for the rest of the novel, and God never holds her again nor does she have long conversations with him as she once used to. With out the illustrations I feel like you would not be able to draw these conclusions but that is what makes  the novel so good. The words nor the pictures could last on their own in the novel, and it showed me a new form of literature which people should embrace.

The Islamic Revolution

October 18, 2010

The Islamic revolution was mainly started because of the westernization or trying to westernize Iran.  Marji and her family strongly oppose the Shah which were trying to westernize Iran. Marji’s family opposed the total westernization that the Shah wanted to impose but also did not want the total censorship and extreme views of the Islamic religion imposed on them. When the Shah lost power the new prime minister imposed the strict laws concerning the Islamic religion such as no pork, women must wear veils etc, this is seen in Persepolis when Marji must start wearing the veil in school.

The whole Islamic revolution in  my opinion seems to have been started by the United States and other western powers such as England trying to westernize Iran and convincing the Shah to do so. Even in the graphic novel they express that the United States has some influence in the revolution, when they mention that the Shah learned their torture techniques from the CIA, this shows that the Shah was so concerned with being westernized that they even Westernized their form  of torture. This lack of security during the Shah towards the removal of the Shah left a soft spot in Irans National security and resulted in Iraq invading and starting a war. That is all the information I found on the Islamic revolution.

P.S.:

It is amazing that besides Wikipedia and other sites were information can be altered, there I could not find any published information about the Islamic revolution. All I found were blog like entries and wikipedia information but no factual information. This had me thinking, is our internet censored, and because of the United States involvement in the Islamic revolution is that the reason why there is no published copy written information on the revolution. I did find this website but not sure how trust worthy it is it has different information than wikipedia and other sites came across.

http://www.iranchamber.com/history/islamic_revolution/islamic_revolution.php

The sun also rises 10-19

October 14, 2010

Although Hemingway is known for his short and direct sentences that do not give to much information, i couldn’t help but notice the  sexuality in the novel. Throughout the novel Jake and Robert are after Brett and she is a woman that is wanted by many other men in the novel including the count and Bill. What first caught my attention was the fact that when we first encounter Brett in the novel she is described as “She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s “. Is Brett wanted so much by men because she is in her own way masculine as well.  The fact that she plays around with guys heads and is not desperate to get married like Frances gives her a kind of masculine and male personality, not only that but her name in itself “Brett” is more of a male name than a common female name. She also teases guys in the same way that Jake teased Georgette in the beginning of the novel. I wonder if this is a hint of homosexuality, is Brett liked simply because she acts like a guy as well as does her hair like one and has the mind set of one.

What also interested me in the last of these chapters is that the person who wins Brett’s affection is the bull fighter. “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters”(18). This was said by Jake to Robert to make him feel better about his mundane life, but it also made me wonder about Jake’s fascination with bull-fighting. i think that Jake is not living his life to the fullest and he enjoys bull-fighting because it is something he is scared to do as are many people, just like he is scared to live life to the fullest. And this is the reason why Brett likes the bull-fighter so much, because he lives life to the fullest unlike the many guys in the novel that are after her heart.

This was my first Hemingway novel so I decided to read the novel first before I do some research on Hemingway. After reading The first chapter I realized that Hemingway uses understatement a lot and I learned later this is what he is known for. the first sentence of the book Hemingway uses understatement when he says “Robert Cohn was once a middleweight boxing champion of Princeton”, he then  goes on to say that he was a good boxer. Another example of Hemingway’s use of understatement is “In his last year at Princeton he read too much and took to wearing spectacles”. Hemingway throughout the book uses understatements and sarcasm and only describes things as being good or not good. One use of understatement that bothered me was on page 14 when Robert is talking to Jake and asked him if he was sore and Jake simply answers no, the lack of information and short sentences has me wondering what happened that Jake would be sore about. I must admit that this bothered me and I  think Hemingway put this in the beginning on purpose and uses understatement to keep the reader interested.

I also noticed the references to sexuality, I am not sure if this is something that Hemingway is known for but I cant help that Hemingway wants to make his characters as masculine as possible. For example Jake only tells Brett that he loves her and needs he, but when hes around Robert he acts like he needs no woman in his life and he puts on a front, he doesn’t even want to discuss Brett with Robert and ends the conversation. I also see Robert as kind of a womanizer as he has a fiance but yet is interested in Brett and leaving Paris to explore and meet different women. But like I said I am not sure if Hemingway is known  for his sexual references and portraying extreme masculinity in his characters.

The Waste Land Reading # 2

October 3, 2010

After reading The Waste Land for the second time I was not sure if I understood the poem now because of a second reading which included foot notes or because of the class discussion and Prof. Gross helping in interpreting the poem and putting me on the right path to understand this lengthy and difficult poem. I believe that it is because of Beverly that I now understand the poem and I think that even with the foot notes I would still feel illiterate when it comes to The Waste Land. So to be totally honest what I took from the second reading of The Waste Land was the same as the first reading which was confusion. I think that I only understood it more because it was explained to me after the first reading. I feel like the only way I would understand this poem on my own is if i read every piece of literature that Eliot refers to in the poem, and understand fully the terms he uses when he uses different languages, because although they are explained in foot notes I still feel that I’m missing something or something is left out because I am not fluent in the language. So after reading the wasteland for the second time I no longer feel totally illiterate, but feel like I would not have been able to understand it on my own and now when I read it I understand it because of the class discussion, and that if there was no discussion and just a second reading then  I would still feel illiterate when it comes to this poem.