Politics or Not?

November 29, 2010

Before reading  chapeters 7-14, I told my self to not be bias and to try and read the book as if it was written by Barack Obama and not President Obama or Senator Obama. And I found that this is impossible and he makes it very difficult.

“”I’d pronounce the need for change. Change in the White House-Change in Congress- Change in the mood of the country-Change won’t come from the top, I would say, Change will come from a mobilized grass roots”(133). This is how Obama makes it difficult. Lets look back at his 2008 presidential campaign, his slogan was “Change” and what does he discuss in his Chicago chapters “Change”. I then became totally convinced that this book was written to support Obama’s political agenda.

In Chapters 7-14  Obama focuses on portraying himself as a normal person that wants to just improve the community and is not in it for profit.” ‘Hey, didn’t I promise we were gonna make something happen?” (186). This quote is said after Obama is determined to draw community members to support programs being built in the poorer part of Chicago. This just seems so political, he shows that he made a promise and kept it unlike typical politicians and was “Changing” the community.

The only way the novel would not be portraying his political agenda in my opinion is if he never was a politician and just did community organizing as an author or writer. Because other wise there is always some political agenda, as he says in I believe chapter 8 or 9 when he is talking to Marty about a reverend Marty says its all politics, “he’s just a politician with a collar”. So if he was never Senator Obama or President Obama, I would have read this novel completely different and it would be about a young black man trying to better a community rather than a young black politician, starting his political career early. And I think that if he never was a politician I would enjoyed the novel much more rather than thinking, “Man, he bullshits very well”.

Blog Comments.

November 22, 2010

I commented on John Stippell’s blog as well as Caitlin Machicote’s and Maggie’s. All were great blogs.

This is probably the hardest blog yet because I am forced to pick between 10 great stroies that influence each other, if I had the choice I would pick all of them but since I cant decide on just one I will pick two. The two stories that were my favorite were “Drown” and “How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie.”. These two stories were my favorite out of the ten and it was a hard decision.

I chose “Drown” because of the Junot Diaz, in my opinion, shows his style of writing the most in this story. Before reading it you would just think that it possibly could be about somebody drowning, but after reeading it you realize it is about somebody drowning but water is not the cause instead it is life and memories. Diaz in this story unveils that the narrator’s friend Beto molested him when they were young and although  the Narrator wants to make it seem as if the sexual assault had no affect on his life it is evident that it has. He indirrectly compares his life to the life of Beto’s , and mentions how Beto is in college and he is selling drugs trying to help his mother with the bills. He is drowning from the memories of his life as well as his present life, he is slowly dying and cannot breathe. I liked this story because not many male writers, or men in general would admit to being sexually assaulted by another man. And Diaz makes the similarities between him and his character that one could think he himself is the narrator.

“How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”, once I read thje story it instantly became my one of my favorite stories out of the ten and is a reason I love the novel so much. One line in this story really stuck out to me and it was, “Tell her that you love her hair, that you love her skin, her lips, because, in truth, you love them more than you love your own”. This unveals the narrators insecurities which is what I love about Diaz he lays it on the table good or bad. But I loved this story because it shows the insecurities that many hispanics have that they dont always mention. And he expresses the truth in that each girl depending on the color of her skin or where shes from determines how you treat  her and how you portray yourself because you are self concious, and ashamed somewhat of your culture as is the narrator. The main thing that I realized is whether it is a “Browngirl, blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” the narrator is never himself thats the only common advise he is portraying in dating. And I love that he is willing to let the reader see that.

The relationship between Faulkner and Hemingway has been in my head since we finished “The sound and the Fury”, but then I started to read “Drown” and read the story “Aurora” and then I found one similarity between Diaz, Faulkner, and Hemingway. This one similarity was the infatuation or love for one particular women in each of the novels.

I will first talk about Brett. In”The Sun Also Rises”, Brett is constantly on another characters mind since the other characters are all men. Brett is the typical tease, she is loyal to no guy, and all her friends are guys probably because if she had female friends she would steal their boyfriends or husbands. Jake the narrator is in love with Brett but only shows his affection to her in private because he does not want to be like every other guy chasing Brett. Although every man wants Brett it is not clear to the reader why. All Brett does is tease and use, she breaks hearts all the time and even when Robert or Jake have another woman all they can think about is Brett. She comes off as an unattractive bitch to the reader but to every man in the story she is the best women they have ever met. She is promiscuous and not loyal so why would every man want her.

Next is Caddy, Caddy in the novel “The sound and the Fury” has three brothers all of which are obsessed with her in a kind of sick way. Like Brett, Caddy is promiscuous and is always on somebodies mind through out the story. Caddy is able to leave the Compson household and try to succeed but through a man’s success not her own which is very similar to Brett because they are both using men to survive. Caddy’s brothers are strangely obsessed  with her and her one brother Quentin is obsessed with her in a sexual way. Caddy like Brett is mentioned through out the novel and always on somebodies mind.

And lastly is Aurora. Aurora is a Heroin addict and the narrator is in “love” with her or what he thinks is love. Even though Aurora  hurts him over and over he still believes the words she whispers into his ear and he still believes that the time they spend together is real. The only time she sees him is when he has cigarettes to give her or when shes tired of getting high, he even catches her kissing his friend and drug dealing partner. So why is he so infatuated with her.

The same question is asked for each girl in each novel which is why are the other characters in the novel so obsessed with them. And I think I realized the answer, which is they want these women because they ccant have them, and they know that the women are not going to change their ways. Faulkner, Hemingway, and Diaz show the power of beautiful and desired women that are inescapable in each novel.

Style of Junot Diaz

November 11, 2010

Before I go right ahead and anwer the question for todays blog which was to describe Junot Diaz’ writing style and the voice of the narrator, I just want to say how much I fell in love which the novel. I want to thank Beverly for leaving the cannon and having us read this novel.

The reason I fell in love with this novel is because of Junot Diaz’ writing style, his writing style is simply “real”. He hides nothing he doesnt hide trhe characters faults or embarrissing moments, he lays it all out there for the reader to see and this puts us in  the story. One of the first things I noticed was in the first story titled “Ysrael”, in this story the narrator and his brother Rafa board a bus and go looking for the  town “freak”, but while on the bus the narrator is sexually abused by a grown man. This showed me that Junot Diaz hides nothing from the reader, because the young dominican narrator I assume is portrayal of himself, how many men would let people know that they were sexually abused by another man. Never does Junot Diaz hide the fact that his narrator, who seems to be him, does drugs, is scared of his own father and insecure.

Another thing about Junot Diaz is that he is some what ashamed of his culture and especially his physical characteristics compared to that of his lighter skined brother. This is another instance if his writing style which I desribe as “real” in that he doesn’t hide the feelings he had as a child and lets us see his faults and insecurities which draws me in and makes me love his brutally honest writing.

The narrator I suppose is supposed to be a some what fictionous version of him. I say some what ficti0nous because there are so many similarities betweeen him and the description of the narrator but yet the book is of fiction genre so I am not sure what is fiction or what is not but the similarities are there.

Once again I want to thank Professor Gross for having this novel as part of our assigned reading. I love Junot Diaz’ writing style and can some what relate to his life experiences and  insecurities as I was also once teased for having “african” type hair and being hispanic. And although we were only supposed to read the first for stories I skipped ahead and read “How to date a browngirl, blackgirl, whitegirl, or halfie” because the title caught my eye.

April 8, 1928

November 7, 2010

The final section of the novel was kind of a big let down. I expected something more exciting to happen to Benjy besides getting hit by Jason and whimpering. I say kind of because this section actually wasn’t all that horrible after I thought about it for a couple of minutes and it turned out to be my favorite section of the novel.

In the final section Jason, after stealing Quentin’s money, he finally gets a taste of his own medicine and his money is stolen from his lock box. This was interesting because Quentin is accused of stealing the money and running away, but when Jason calls the police they are hesitant and do not believe his accusations. This is one thing that made the final section enjoyable because Quentin gets her money which is rightfully hers and Jason gets what he deserves, it is kind of like karma.

In the final section Luster and Benjy go to the cemetery and this is when Benjy begins to whimper because Luster brings him a different way than he is used to. To stop the whimpering Jason strikes Benjy and slaps Luster for bringing him a different way. This showed that even after having the money he stole, robbed from his safe, Jason still doesn’t learn his lesson and is still the nasty man that he is and he will never change.

The end of the novel portrayed one thing that caught my attention the most and that was the fact that Quentin got away. Out of all the Compson’s she may e the one with a real legitimate chance to be successful and learn from her families mistakes. But I think that Faulkner leaves the part about Quentin leaving open to  the readers imagination because Quentin can either run off and be successful or be promiscuous and fail in the same way her mother Caddy did, after all Jason is accusing her of running off with a man.

April Sixth, 1928

November 4, 2010

After reading this section I felt like the Compson family created a monster and a criminal out of Jason. 

Jason’s situation is understandable and his anger towards his family is also understandable. He is the youngest mentally abled of the Compson children and he grows up to be bitter and angry because his sibling’s actions affect his life and how much he can succeed in life. The Compson’s can not afford to send both sons to college so they decide to send Quentin and in turn Jason is left with no college education or even any college experience.And because of Caddy’s promiscuity Herbert Head takes away the job he offered Jason because he find out that he is not the father of Caddy’s child. So because of his sibling’s actions Jason in turn suffers and must work at a Farm shop, and his opportunities are gone.  

This is what was clarified in Jason’s section, and what was clarified is why he is so bitter and nasty. Because of his older sibling’s mishappenings or in Quentins case just being older and going to college, Jason turns to steasling his nieces money that Caddy sends, and wants to make everyone around him miserable. This is shown when he burns the tickets to ashow that luster wants to see, even though he had no reason to burn them he wanted to make some one elses life miserable and keep them from experiencing life as he believes Caddy and Quentin kept him from experiencing things.

It is safe to say that the Compson family is a family full of misfits and that every child has their problems, but I think Jason’s isssues rose from being the middle child and never having similar experiences because of his family. And his actions are just how he shows his feelings and even though their wrong and hurtful its how Jason thinks and feels like the world is a damned place and he is stuck because of his family.

June Second, 1910.

November 1, 2010

In this section of “The Sound and the Fury”  Quentin kills himself.  So this helped me interpret the meaning in the paragraph starting with “If it had been cloudy”. The meaning I got out of this paragraph was that misery loves company, Quentin could not look out the window because it wasn’t cloudy, and more importantly  because it was not cloudy on Caddy’s wedding day.

I think that Quentin is so miserable with life and himself that he cant even stand to look out the window unless the sun is covered by clouds and the sky is dark. Quentin also makes the reader think that he wants the weather to be nice for Caddy’s wedding, but I took it as Quentin hiding his true feelings, which is that he does not want Caddy to have a nice wedding and wants some one else to feel sad and miserable as he does.

I also took a peak at Caitlin Machicote’s blog which states that Quentin could have a mental problem,and that Benjy is not the only Compson with a mental disease. I believe this may be true and that Quentin may suffer from depression but unlike Benjy’s situation it is not something that his family could tell he has nor are they embarrassed about it.