Sunday, November 30, 2008

Semester Reflection

This semester, my favorite work that we have read was probably the Watchmen. It was so interesting and unique to read a graphic novel, even though i don't usually like comic books. It was so captivating to read and got me absolutely pumped to see the movie.

My least favorite work was Atonement. I thought it was overall a depressing story and it was pretty boring as well. I would like to see that removed from the curriculum. I really enjoyed the Tupac poems and think that they should take the place of Atonement.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I had the same sort of mindset as the author of this article. I have never been into comic books and I have never been into any of the superheros or the movies that come out about them, but after reading it that has changed. I am now incredibly excited to see the movie, and watching the preview in class only confirmed my thoughts that it will be a phenomenal movie. The fact that the book works in the current events of the cold war era is very cool to me, and the plot is so deep and interesting that I was drawn right in as soon as I read a couple of pages. Overall I am very impressed with the intricacy of the plot as well as the illustrations, which really help with the experience of reading it.

This will definitely be a motivator in reading additional graphic novels in the future.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The word atonement is a huge part of the novel for more than one character. The most obvious is Briony, as it appears that writing the novel about Robbie and Cecilia's story is her way of atoning for testifying that she had seen Robbie raping Lola, essentially sending Robbie to jail. Though Robbie's death likely would not have changed regardless since he would have probably gone to war anyways, she did almost singlehandedly send him to jail (though Lola had a lot to do with it as well). For this reason, I feel like nothing could ever atone for Briony's actions, especially an explanatory story.

In the beginning of the book, it seems as though Robbie is trying to Atone for being the son of the Tallis family's maid. He has graduated college and plans on becoming a doctor, obviously a far more prestigious and respectable position than that of his mother. Unfortunately, he never gets his atonement due to the actions of Briony.

Cecilia may be trying to atone for being from the Tallis family by ceasing all communication with them after what has happened to Robbie. She never really gets her atonement before she dies either.

The running motif in this book seems to be failed atonement rather than atonement. Perhaps that should have been the title instead...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Favorite Character

My favorite character so far is Sula. While she is very disliked by her whole community, I like very much the idea that she didnt care what anyone thought of her. That is not as if to say that I am at all like her or even want to be: she dies at an early age with no love in her life. I just have a tremendous amount of respect for her ability to live such a long period of time with such a terrible reputation.

I also really admire her uniqueness. I especially like the part of the book where she cuts off the end of her finger to scare away the bullies. It is unbelievable to me that she has the ability to inflict such intense physical pain to herself to avoid something that, granted, is probably much worse. It really takes the reader back to that time period when we see the extent to which people would go to get themselves or their friends and families out of trouble (we also see this when Eva allows her leg to get cut off by the train).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stream of consciousness

Plot of the beginning of the movie "The Departed" through the eyes of the narrator of Donald Barthelme:

Colin shot his gun at the dummy and barged into the room. Billy Costigan was running some laps around the track to get in shape. After they graduated the academy, Colin went into a car with Frank and is presented a gift. Colin became a sergeant in the Massechusetts police. Billy joined Frank's gang to try to help the police.

Frank just killed some other gangsters, but he got away, as he always did.

Billy knocks someones teeth out, but Frank tells him it doesnt matter. Billy is a good person but he is trapped in the gang by the police.
Colin is the snitch! He tells Frank all the police business!

The Psychiatrist is in love with both COlin and Billy. She gives Billy the drugs he needs, even though she doesnt want him to have them. THey go out to coffee.

Colin and the psychiatrist are moving in together. Colin doesn't know what she's been doing.

That is the extent of my summary.

I found this assignment extremelly difficult. It is really hard to portray this narrator without either doing drugs or being crazy myself, which leads me to believe that Barthelme was either a brialliant author or was, in fact, on drugs or crazy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Song that fits a character

I chose the song "How I Could Just Kill a Man" by Rage Against the Machine to describe Eva, specifically when she decides to kill her favorite son Plum. It is very difficult for the audience to grasp how Eva could kill her child, just as a lyric from the song states: "Here is something you can't understand, how I could just kill a man!" Also, the manner in which she kills her son (burning him to death) is very violent and seems like a brutal way to kill someone, especially since the reason she does it (supposedly) is based on love, to put him out of her misery. The song is also very violent sounding, so I feel as though the song fits very well.

Rage Against the Machine - "How I Could Just Kill a Man"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Streetcar Named Desire

I believe that Vivien Leigh does the better job of portraying Blanche in the 50's version of the video. First of all, she seems like an overall better actor. Her acting got me far more interested in what I was watching than the 1995 version did. Second, and most importantly, it seemed to me that she really captured Blanche's personality, with her descent to eventual madness and her flirtatious ways. In the beginning of the video, it is evident that she is trying to make Stanley jealous, even though she has no logical reason to draw the interest of such a dangerous and angry man. Of course, as soon as Stanley starts to become aggressive Blanche becomes very timid and has the expected reaction of a woman in fear.

Leigh also does the best job of acting out the quote by Tennessee Williams, "I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really." It is quite clear in the 50's version that Blanch is on the verge of "hysteria", as she completely fabricates the story of an old boyfriend asking her on a cruise of the Caribbean, and makes it very believable that she is going crazy.