Thursday, March 28, 2013

"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" Post 10

The novel that our class is assigned to read this semester is  “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon. It goes through the journey of two young Jewish cousins in New York City around the time World War II. Joe Kavalier is from Prague, a city in the Czech Republic, and must leave his family behind to start a new life in America because the Nazis are starting to take over Europe at this time. Joe is maybe 19 at this point and has an interest in escape magic and drawling. After he gets to America he meets his cousin Sam Klayman (Clay) who is a small worker for large company. Sam has the idea to start making comic books after Superman was released, saying it was “the next big thing.”  So Sam convinces Joe to partner with him on the comic books and they come up with their crown jewel The Escapist, a man with the power to help others via the skeleton key, who is known to beat the crap out of Nazi’s in the comic books. The story goes on to revel their climb of the comic book industry; falling in and out of love and the sacrifices that are made for loved ones. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"We Real Cool" and "Harlem"

There are two poems that we have read this semester that are from the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement in the 1920’s, and both reflect the ideas and actions from that period. There is “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “Harlem” by Langston Hughes. I’ll start with Brooks who uses the repetition of the word “We” at the end of each line. There are four stanzas each containing two lines. Brooks says the inspiration for this poem came when she saw boys playing pool in a bar on her way to school one day. She said she wanted to write it from the perspective of the boys, being that they thought they were “cool” for skipping school and going against the institution of the man. In Hughes’ poem he uses repetition of sounds, similes and alliteration. The main idea of the poem is the idea of a “deferred dream” or a dream that is forgotten or left behind. A dream could symbolize the goals or aspirations of man rather than literally a dream one has while sleeping (could be seen as both I guess). Hughes’ then continues to describe different possible ways man can dream, does it fester and stay on a mans mind driving him mad, or does it just leave as if it had never been conjured by mans thoughts. Both poems sort of go together in a funny way, because it makes me wonder what happened to the dreams of the boys who were skipping school and playing pool instead. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Rape of the Lock

Our latest assigned poem is “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope. By just looking at the title I thought this poem would have something to do with a man picking a lock or something, but it’s far from that. The plot of this poem is a story of a woman named Belinda who goes to Hampton Court for a lavish party. A baron is after Belinda because he wants a lock of her hair; he sees this as a prize to be won since she is fair and beautiful. During the party the Baron tries three times to cut the lock and on the third he cuts it off. After she realizes her hair has being cut off Belinda wants revenge because her honor has been tarnished. A women tells Belinda to let it go and have good humor but Belinda goes and demands that the lock is returned. The baron refuses saying the lock will be kept in a diamond ring and will be worn on his hand forever. After they disagree she goes after the baron trying to get her hair back, but in the end the lock has been lost in the argument.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do not go gentle into that good night.

In my 102 class we have recently started reading and reviewing poetry. Poetry can be difficult to read at times, because sometimes the writer’s message doesn’t come across clear. Besides a few miss reads here and there I genuinely like poetry (maybe more than stories) and I have written a few of my own pieces. The piece I will be discussing for this post is “Do not go gentle into that good night.” by Dylan Thomas. With every verse there is one central idea that ties them all harmoniously, and that is the motif of death. There are six stanzas all with the same rhyme structure, which in turn helps each to blend together. There are also two lines that are repeated on and off again “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” and “Do not go gentle into that good night.”  These lines suggest that Dylan’s view on death should be something men do not just willingly accept, but rather “rage” against the light. The light is a symbol for life and the good night or darkness is the symbol for death. There are 4 archetypal men that Dylan expresses; the wise, good, wild and grave. Each of these men acts differently towards death, almost as if going through a set of steps or motions particular to dying.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Glass Menagerie

Our first play of the semester is “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. I really had no idea what the play would be about, but after reading his bio in the Lit Reader I saw he wrote “A Street Car Named Desire”. I had watched the movie in my Junior AP class (which was in black and white). Both plays definitely have a style that only Williams could conjure.  I thought all the characters were unique but all shared one quality in common, they “manufactured illusions”.  For Tom it was the adventure that he craved. Amanda wanted to relive the part of her life when she was a young woman at Blue Mountain being courted for marriage. Laura, who is very weak, does not know much of the outside world due to her shyness and condition and creates a world in her glass and record collection. The end of the play is an emotional twist, because Tom finally does leave the apartment after a fight with Amanda and it leaves the reader with the decision of judging him harshly for abandonment, or accepting that he needed to find his own path in life and it was a push to make his mother realize she needed to do the same.