After yesterday’s lecture I had a few new thoughts on the comic in general.
Looking at Dr. Manhattan, aka John, the comparisons between him and Superman are very visible. I liked how the lecturer said that Superman is your friendly neighbor. He will always help you, because that’s what he does. Dr. Manhattan on the other hand seems indifferent to what happens to humanity. And unlike Superman, Dr. Manhattan seems more alien in comparison to the other characters of the novel.
The lecturer also mentioned that because the book is a comic, one would think it would be easier to read than the other novels (for example Nietzsche). That is not the case. My senses were assaulted by the numerous colors of the comic. It is true that a comic is a different media and when your reading it you get sucked up trying to keep the images and information given to you in order. So much is happening on every page that reading the comic in one sitting seems unimaginable.
The repetition of images and phrases are scattered all over the novel. Once you notice one you begin looking for them everywhere.
Superheroes like the Comedian were fascinating to me. Can you even call a man like that a hero?
Rorschach honestly disturbed me. Just by being in the comic his character felt threatening, even more so than the Comedian. Maybe it was his mask or maybe it was how he just broke into people homes to have chats.
I found it particularly interesting that Okonkwo treats the women in the novel with such disdain. At first I thought that the maybe he had some issues with his mother, but it turned out that his issues were with his unsuccessful father. I thought it was surprising that Okonkwo came to the conclusion that women are silly and weak, because of his father was compared to them. I don’t know why I found this interesting, maybe because I am a girl and didn’t particularly like Okonkwo’s treatment of his wives, especially his reasoning behind it.
After attending yesterday’s lecture, I noticed that although Okonkwo see’s women as weak beings, he is comforted by the memories of his mother. This son Nwoye, who knows that “it was right to be masculine and violent” (53), still prefers his mother’s ‘foolish’ stories to his father’s stories of violence and bloodshed. It appears as though the men act all high and mighty and better than the women, but still they have an appreciation for the women who birthed them.
Okonkwo says that he is worried his children don’t resemble him (66). He says Nwoye has “too much of his mother in him” (66) when we know that that is not the case. Nwoye has too much of his grandfather in him, and yet his father blames his first wife, as if her femininity had made her son less of a man.
Okonkwo wants his sons to be more masculine, but they lack the spirit. But his daughter, Ezinma, who “Okonkwo was specially fond of” (44) “has the right spirit” (66) even though she is a girl. Her father claims, “If Ezinma had been a boy [he] would have been happier” (66). It is ironic how he sees his daughter as possibly being more manly than his sons, although he still holds on to his disdain for the female sex
In Eliot’s novel, The Mill on the Floss, Tom, seems to have his own opinion about fairness and justice. Almost from the beginning Tom seems to be child-like and stubborn in his responses to situations concerning his sister Maggie.
After finding out that his bunnies are dead and his sister openly admits to not feeding them, Tom claims to not love her and when she clings to him he shrugs her off. In this situation his anger is understandable, however his response to his sister is cruel.
When Tom steals two pastries for himself and Maggie, he asks his sister to pick one fairly (one has more jam than the other). When Maggie ends up with the pastry containing more jam, she attempts to give it to her brother. Tom, being stubborn, eats the smaller of the two and later watches Maggie finish the bigger pastry with open anger. He calls his sister greedy, and runs away. This seems to be an overdramatic response to the situation, which leaves his sister alone and confused.
Another situation involves Maggie knocking down his card house. Tom claims it was not an accident on Maggie’s part and remains detached to his distraught sister. He also orders his sister away when she follows him and Lucy to the pond and later slaps Maggie for shoving Lucy into the mud.
Maggie’s actions can understandably cause anger, however, her brother seems to overly punish her by taking away his affections.
The Yellow Wallpaper is a poem designed to “save people from being driven crazy” according to Charlotte Gilman.
I remember reading this poem in my grade 10 English class. My teacher at the time loved unsettling literature and picked out this poem specifically to watch her students react to it. Before we began to read it she told the class to pay attention to the creeping woman, and not just the wallpaper. She told us that according to one interpretation of the poem, the narrator (I don’t believe we are given her name) commits suicide at the end of the poem. The narrator claims she was “securely fastened [by her]/ well-hidden rope” (Gilman) and that when her husband John finally gets into their bedroom he faints “right across [her] path by the wall/ so that [she] had to creep over him every time!” (Gilman). This could be a description on her body swinging over his after hanging herself. The narrator’s husband says his wife had a “slightly hysterical tendency” (Gilman) and disregards her condition until it is too late. The yellow stains found on both the narrators clothing and her husbands was probably the narrator herself getting them dirty as she was creeping around the room.
I still feel strange every time I read this poem.
Charlotte Gilman claimed that she herself almost went mad and that a specialist in nervous diseases had almost pushed her over the edge. Gilman decided to write this poem in order to help others suffering from a similar disease.
After reading this poem I feel as though I probably shouldn’t spend so much time in my room (my walls are yellow too).
Yesterday’s lecture made me both intrigued and skeptical of some of Wordsworth’s ideas.
I decided to reread a poem from the “Lyrical Ballads” in order to see if Wordsworth could pull me in a direction that he seems to believe he can lead me to. I read “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” and noticed a few key things I missed during my first reading.
First, Wordsworth did move me. I tried to notice what I was doing physically while reading the poem. An example of this was during pages 5-6. I started to feel sleepy. This was the part of the poem where the marinere had just shot the albatross and the crew is stuck at sea with no wind and no more drinking water.
Second, the rhyme scheme of the poem was very calming and I can see why Wordsworth believed that he could keep his audience from going savage torpor while reading it. There is (at least I thought) a very therapeutic element to reading something like this.
However, I still can’t understand why Wordsworth believed he could ever install in me his experiences from life just by having me read his work. I can’t even begin to understand his thought process in order to come to that conclusion. I do agree with the lecturer, Miranda Burgess, in that I find the idea interesting but highly unlikely.
In general I feel that Wordsworth is the type of person I would want to go grab a cup of coffee with just to see how his ideas form through social interaction.
Rousseau’s argument concerning the natural man’s motivation struck me as interesting. He argues that without pity the human race would have long since died out. We need self-preservation, obviously, no need for further explanation. However I found the mention of pity to be unexpected. Why would the natural man be motivated by pity of all things? What does pity provide him/her with that would cause them to die out if they did not possess it?
I don’t know why but for some reason I started to think about Silence of the Lamb. Hannibal, the cannibal, has no pity, remorse, or empathy. Not a good characteristic traits. If a human being has none of the qualities (pity, remorse, or empathy) the likely hood that they are possible psychopath’s increase. I don’t know what this has to do with Rousseau, but that is what i imagined. Naked, hairless, natural man running around viewing everyone else as a possible rivals.
What exactly would humanity be like without our ability to feel pity? Rousseau thinks we, as a race, would die out and understandably so. I don’t really know. Scratch that, i have a thought. Rousseau explains that the woman has a capability above those of other animals. She can physically pick up and carry her offspring. If she had pity she would grab the child when in possible danger in order to save it. If she had no pity wouldn’t she leave the kid for the predator and save herself due to self-preservation? Okay, yes the race would die out.
When I first picked up Hobbes, I wasn’t initially worried. I had (miraculously) survived Plato, so I didn’t think Hobbes would be an issue. If you had previously talked to me about Plato’s Republic you would know the extent of my hatred for that particular philosopher. Unfortunalty having to read and than look up definitions in the Leviathan is slightly annoying, but it does make sense as to why the book is written in such as way. The quote “thee being nothing in the world universal but names; for the things named are every one of them individual and singular” (p17) places Hobbes in stark opposition to Plato. As soon as Robert Crawford said that Hobbes was agitated by Aristotle, and by extension Plato, I knew that if I didn’t love Hobbes already I definitely loved him now!
Hobbes’s theory is understandable (In my opinion. At least after the lecture). The book is about us wanting desperately to be alive, according to Crawford. And this surprisingly makes sense. As long as our government doesn’t outright kill us, or place us in the position of imposing death, why go against it when we created it? Logic, I missed you. Every point in the book is connected leading to the end. Obviously I didn’t notice until lecture, but by going back and rereading bits I saw it.
This particular part stuck out to me in the lecture:
The story about when Persian kings died, it was a custom to leave the people without law or king for 5 days.
This explanation clicked Hobbes’s points in my brain and all of a sudden it began to make sense.
(From the moment I opened the book and saw the name Adolf I thought Hitler! I don’t know why. Adolf is a perfectly wonderful name. Every time I see the name Joseph, I don’t think Stalin! )
After Blanca’s mother dies her father slowly begins to lose his sanity. He was once a praised student, a genius. Everyone thought he would make something of himself, but life isn’t perfect, and he ends up in poverty with a sick wife and a naive daughter. Erwin’s way of coping with wife’s death causes him to go back into his high school years. He travels back to a time where all of his dreams were still possibilities, and his talents were recognized and favoured by everyone. Erwin is so ensnared by his delusions that he becomes blind to the abusive life of his daughter. Eventually, he disappears. Presumably, he is dead.
Blanca, who starts the novel through narrating her present life, slowly travels back into her past, alternating between her narrations. As the novel progresses, she begins to narrate only about her past. She was a genius, who had opportunities at her disposal. However, as her past catches up to her present she begins to lose her sanity, burning down churches and even giving herself up to the authorities. During the ending of the novel, Blanca becomes entrapped by her need to lose her fear. As she travels to Vizhnitz she ends up getting beaten and raped, but has little consideration to these horrific events. Blanca is unable to realize she has approached gendarmes (giving herself away) claiming that they remind her of her high school janitors.
This is not what I imagined when I began reading this novel. First, when I had picked up the myth, I had assumed that Kreon was a wise, fair, and understanding king; he proved to have none of these qualities. Instead, his ego and stubbornness caused quite a few unintentional deaths. However, it wasn’t like you couldn’t tell what was going to happen. In every ancient myth that I have ever read, you never mess with a prophet. When Tiresias is accused of being a liar and money lover, all hope for Creon just died. Although, he is a king, he is not a very good one. A good king is known to listen and not just command.
I was surprised that he showed so little sympathy for Antigone.
Unfortunately, Creon’s timing isn’t that great, and he ends up with a dead niece, a grief-stricken, suicidal son, who kills himself and a grief-stricken, suicidal wife, who also kills herself. Wow…
I didn’t see this as a possible outcome until the end, when Creon rushes to free Antigone.
Throughout the whole myth, I was wondering what it would feel like to be Antigone. Her mother is her mom and grandmother; her father is her dad and brother, and her brothers, Eteokles and Polyneices kill each other!
She only wants to give her brother proper burial rights and is sentenced to death because of it. If you think about, the maids from The Penelopiad, don’t get their burial rights either, and they haunt Penelope and Odysseus for centuries because of it.
Book X begins with the banishment of poets from the city with Socrates giving reasoning to his claim. Poets are ‘imitators’, “whose product is third from the natural one” (597 e pg.268). Those who write poetry act as though they know all about what they are discussing, however they know nothing at all. If Homer truly understood what it was that he was claiming, cities would be better governed, wars would be won due to his ‘knowledge’ of warfare and generalship (and yet Homer has never been credited for improving a city or helping at war). In addition Socrates claims that poets imitate the negative aspects of the soul, “that part of the soul that is forcibly controlled in our private misfortunes and that hungers for the satisfaction of weeping and wailing, because it desires these things by nature” (606 b pg. 277). Poetry persuades us to feel emotion for fictional characters, which eventually will leak into our own lives, and can’t be held back when we begin to suffer, turning us into the shameful characters portrayed on stage.
With the discussion of souls completed, Socrates moves on to the immortality of the soul. He claims that all souls, just or unjust, are immortal because (according to his argument) the only thing that can destroy a soul is what is bad for it. The souls of the unjust can’t die through the actions of injustice, because the souls own evil and badness is not enough to destroy it, therefore it is immortal.
Throughout the conclusion of both the novel and argument, Socrates once again tells us a story about the virtues of being a philosopher. Through the myth of Er, he explains how being a philosopher allows us to choose just lives, claiming that “if someone pursues philosophy in a sound manner when he comes to live here on earth…it looks as though not only will he be happy…but his journey from here to there and back again won’t be along the rough underground path, but along the smooth heavenly one” (619 d, e pg 290). Basically, become a philosopher or get tortured. Lovely.