April 6th, 1928

I was interested in hearing Jason’s view of things. So far in the novel we have gotten such a negative depiction of him, and he was only seen through the eyes of other characters. I thought that maybe by reading his section, I could get to see where he is coming from, and maybe even find some sort of compassion towards his character…

However, after I read this section, I realized that wow…Jason’s character is even more worse than I imagined.  He is the epitome of the “angry young man”. On one hand, it may seem like his bitterness towards life  is justified. Once his father died, he was automatically thrown into supporting the family, and as a result of  the demise of Caddy’s and Herbert’s marriage over Miss Quentin, also lost a potentially good job.It’s always a frustrating thing when things in life don’t go the way we planned them to. But I find that there is an evilness to his character that makes it hard to sympathize with him on any aspect on his life. I think that the  fact that he’s stealing money from his own sister is just deplorable. What’s even worse is that Mrs. Compton is completely oblivious to this.

At this point, if I had any ounce of the sympathy for Jason, it was diminished when he burned the tickets to the minstrel show in front of Luster. I don’t know how else to describe his character other than evil, or devilish. He has no compassion or regard for anyone but himself, and he doesn’t even care who he has to step on to get what he wants.

I must admit though, my favorite part was when Miss Quentin and the man in the red tie let the air out of one of his tires.

June 2nd 1910 “If it had been cloudy”

I was more than a little perplexed as to how to explain the significance (if any) about the statement of “If it had been cloudy”. Upon reading my other classmates blogs, I found Caitlin’s to propose the most interesting of arguments. It has to deal with the question of sanity, and where it lies in the Compton family. Though Benjy is seen as the one who is physically and mentally unstable, it appears that though the other members of the Compton family are physically stable, they are all just as mentally or even more so mentally unstable as Benjy is. Quentin is now appearing as the outcast in the Compton family, a role that up until this point in the text seemed to be awarded to Benjy.

This passage sparks further curiosity in the fate of Caddie. Quentin holds on to some  significant attachment to her, whether or not Caddy herself even realized it is unknown.  But it’s definitely interesting to see just how protective he is of Caddie, even if it’s to the extreme. I think there is a much deeper meaning to his behavior than just him as  a overly protective sibling.  I think it shows just how tormented his character really is- again contributing to the idea that Benjy is not the only one to suffer from mental instability. I actually think Benjy may be the lucky one after all, because at least he has someone to look out for him.

Another observation that I found interesting from Caitlin’s blog is the idea of that the parents’ neglectfulness is the primary source for all of the mental chaos in the Compton family. I definitely think there is some truth to that, judging by  Quentin’s  unusual protectiveness of Caddy, and also their passiveness to Caddy’s promiscuity.

Benjy and Caddy

At this point, I’m very interested in learning what happened to Caddy. From what I can tell from the second half, Benjy seems to have a strong emotional connection to his memories of Caddy,at least that is clear.His memories and flashbacks predominately involve her, and it seems to allude to a significant time in Caddy’s adolescence. I don’t know why Benjy thinks of those moments in particular, but it seems as thought he and Caddy had a special kind of relationship.

It seems as though Caddy was very protective and cautious of Benjy’s emotions. She washes out her mouth when Benjy gets upset that she’s kissing Charlie. At the end, she holds Benjy while they both fall asleep. It seems as though she has great sympathy towards  Benjy’s welfare, and so far  that’s something that I think Mr and Mrs Compton lack.

So now I am wondering what ever became of Caddy.If she really loved Benjy, why would she leave him, knowing that he was attached to her? If she really cared about him, would she have stayed?

The Sound and The Fury

“April 7,1928  first half.   blog: at what point did the book come alive for you.?”

I think that’s a funny question, because even though I am well into reading this story, I still don’t think it has come alive for me just yet. I mean,I  get the general idea of the plot so far (at least what I think it is about) but I am still waiting for the moment when the story finally comes together for me.

There is so much to be confused about when reading this book. Not only are we constantly being brought back to a certain place in time, we are given the perspective of someone who isn’t mentally stable. Not only that, but we are also dealing with characters who possess the same names. As a reader, that’s quite a tall order.

However, I think Faulkner is definitely brilliant in the way he is able to portray each character so well, especially in the case of Benjy. Benjy’s perspective would essentially be quite unclear, since he is does not possess the mental capacity to process logical thoughts. This is effectively translated to the reader, as we are left feeling just as confused.

Persepolis

The frame that I found most interesting was the depiction of the “Class photo” where all the girls in their veils are illustrated sitting in the same exact position. While one might think they all look the same, I found it interesting that the only thing that is similar in the frame are the veils and body positions.Everything else is different. It seems as though Satrapi made the decision to deliberately make each girls facial expression distinctive from the others. Also, each girl seems to have their own hairstyle that’s different from the others as well.

I think this is symbolic of individuality. While it may seem like the veil wearing and posing in the same position might represent a form of unity, Satrapi’s illustration seems to point out that we are all not the same, and therefore, we cannot all live our lives the same way.

The Islamic Revolution

Iran’s Islamic Revolution : The Three Paradoxes

By: Abbas Milani

from a section entitled “The Claim To Power” :

The Islamic revolution was in a sense a replay of Iran’s first attempt at a democratic constitutional government, one that took place in the course of the “constitutional revolution” of 1905-07. At that time, a coalition of secular intellectuals, enlightened Shi‘a clergy, bazaar merchants, the rudiments of a working class, and even some members of the landed gentry came together to topple the “oriental despotism” of the Qajar kings and replace it with a monarchy whose power was limited by a constitution (mashruteh).

Indeed, the new constitution emulated one of the European models of a liberal-democratic polity – one that allowed for elections and separation of powers, yet had a monarch as the head of the state. In those years, the most ideologically cohesive and powerful opposition to this new democratic paradigm was spearheaded by Ayatollah Nouri – a Shi‘a zealot who dismissed modern, democratically formulated constitutions as the faulty and feeble concoctions of “syphilitic men”.

Instead, he suggested relying on what he considered the divine infinite wisdom of God, manifest in sharia (mashrua). So powerful were the advocates of the constitutional form of democracy that Nouri became the only ayatollah in Iran’s modern history to be executed on the fatwa (order) of fellow ayatollahs. For decades, in Iran’s modern political discourse, Nouri’s name was synonymous with the reactionary political creed of despots who sought their legitimacy in Shi‘a sharia.

In a profoundly paradoxical twist of politics, almost seventy years later, the same coalition of forces that created the constitutional movement coalesced once again, this time to topple the Shah’s authoritarian rule. Each of the social classes constituting that coalition had, by the 1970s, become stronger and more politically experienced.

Nevertheless, they chose as their leader Ayatollah Khomeini, a man who espoused an even more radical version of sharia-based politics than the one proposed by Ayatollah Nouri. While Nouri had simply talked of a government based on sharia (mashrua), Khomeini now advocated the absolute rule of a man whose essential claim to power rested in his mastery of sharia, and for whom sharia was not the end but a means of power.

In the decade before the revolution, some secular Iranian intellectuals like al-Ahmad – imbued with the false certitudes of a peculiar brand of radical anti-colonial politics – paved the way for this kind of clerical regime by “rehabilitating” Nouri and offering a revisionist view of Iranian history wherein the clergy emerged as leaders of the all-important, over-determined anti-colonial struggle. It mattered little to these intellectuals that some forms of anti-colonialism – like that of Nouri and his later cohorts – were rooted in pious xenophobia and not progressive nationalism.

Source: http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/iran-s-islamic-revolution-three-paradoxes

The relationship between Brett & Jake,Robert & Mike

The relationship between Brett and Jake,Robert, and Mike is extremely amusing. Here is a woman that all three men are crazy about, yet in between them lies an everlasting conflict. It seems to be that on the surface, Brett is extremely independent. She does what she wants, without any influence or approval from a man.She also has little care for the feelings of Jake, Robert and Mike.Emotionally, however, she does. When she asks Jake if he still loves her and he tells her that he does, she sees his feelings for her as a safety net.

I think all three men seek an emotional commitment from Brett. I think that they think if they did, it would be that much easier to control her behavior.However, in a way, Brett’s independence makes her dominant because whenever the men try to control her, they fail at doing so. Brett wanted Romero, and there was nothing Jake could do to prevent her from that.

Hemingway “The Sun Also Rises”

First off, after reading something as detailed as “The Waste Land” it really is a relief to read a work from someone like Ernest Hemingway.  It’s like reading something from the other side of the spectrum.

That’s not to say that Hemingway isn’t just a detailed and vivid. It is already becoming clear to me while reading “The Sun Also Rises” that it is in the style and structure of the language that make it so effective. I know that Hemingway is known for his minimalist approach in his works and this novel is no different. So far the characters rarely say more than just a few lines to each other at a time. Though it may seem like it’s short and sweet, what makes it so brilliant is that Hemingway intentionally uses these short phrases in order to reveal a whole lot more about the story and the character only by just a few words.  What a contrast this is to a novel such as “Heart of Darkness”.

However, I do feel that it’s even more effective using this style because it leaves a lot to question and to decipher about the protagonists of his stories,like Cohn.I don’t know why, but I just find it more appealing to read something that’s not one idea drawn out into a million different phrases.I think I’m going to to enjoy the rest of Hemingway.

The Waste Land PT 2

After last weeks class discussion, I was able to at least somewhat understand the general outline of what Eliot is trying to convey. However, that doesn’t mean I am not still left confused by the end of this poem.

I am beginning to understand that all of the speakers and situations described in the poem all have something in common. The subject of Love, or lack there of.The way that this is portrayed in the various situations makes me begin to question Eliot’s intentions of this poem. Is he trying to convey an overall negative idea about love in our lives? Or is he portraying these situations as an example for how we should NOT live our lives when in the presence of love?

I could be wrong but I think I would get a better understanding of where he’s coming from if this poem wasn’t so complicated. If there weren’t so many characters and situations. Maybe it’s on purpose as a way to represent all of humanity, but I just feel like it would be easier on the reader if he focused on only a few subjects.

The Wasteland

I admit that  “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”  made me interested in T.S  Eliot’s poetry. There seems to be this universal idea that his poetry is not so well-liked by many people. Personally, after reading “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”, I  really could not understand why this man’s poetry could be so disliked. Then I read “The Wasteland”….

I could read this poem 20 times and still not understand it in it’s  entirety. In fact, as I write this, I’m not even sure I know the overall concept of the poem.  The version I read came with footnotes, which I thought would help, but it did nothing but lead me to even more confusion. In each part, there appears to be a different speaker, in a different time and place, so it is hard to pinpoint any sort of continuity in the context of the poem. As if that’s not confusing enough,there also seems to be phrases in different languages in each section of the poem. I’m still not really sure what idea T.S Eliot is trying to convey by writing this poem, or why the poem is even titled “The Wasteland” , but I figure that it must be something brilliant. Otherwise, this would have been an easy read.

I would really like to understand the greatness of this poem.

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