Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite and Not So Favorite Readings

Over the course of this class, we have read many works of literature. My favorites would have to be The Watchmen and The Indian Uprising. I really liked The Watchmen because it was a whole different kind of reading. Instead of having only words do the talking, The Watchmen included pictures to go along with the words. I liked The Indian Uprising because of the stream of consciousness style of writing. It left me wanting more because I was unsure of what was happening. I didn't like Atonement. I just didn't care for the plot of it and wasn't very interested in it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


After reading the posted article, I had no choice but to agree with what the author was talking about. Her experience of reading Watchmen was much like mine. Although I never felt any sense of anxiety or nervousness, I was uncertain of what reading a comic book would be like since I had yet to read one. Much like Burtan, I was at first confused about how to even follow the sequence of events from frame to frame, but I eventually learned its pattern. Also similar to Burtan, I was admittedly hesitant about reading a comic book because it is, after all, a comic book. I thought they were reserved for nerds and creepy old men who lived in their parents' basement. Apparently, that is not the case. I too enjoyed the story and was left with a plethora of images and thoughts. I am no longer hesitant about reading different types of literature. Even comic books can prove to be beneficial reading material. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008


In the novel Atonement, I don't think that there is any character who achieves atonement. The actions of so many characters in this story are entirely selfish and just plain wrong. Paul Marshall started this whole whirlwind effect by raping Lola and is the person who should ultimately be blamed. He never atones for his actions and faces no repercussions because he becomes so powerful by the end of the story. Lola could have righted the wrongs set in place by Briony and Paul, but she never does. I think she had to have known who raped her. Briony should have never made a false accusation about claiming to know who it was that raped Lola. People might say that she simply wanted to be more adult-like and become involved in the actions of her older sister. However, a sign of maturity is taking responsibility for your actions and Briony clearly does not know how to do that. She never atones for her wrongdoings. Even if she eventually felt guilty about it, she never does anything of significance to set the record straight. I think part of the reason she became a nurse for soldiers is because she felt guilty about sending Robbie away to fought in the war. I believe she eventually realizes the severity of her actions, but still never addresses the issues she has created. She causes Robbie and Cecilia to never experience true happiness with one another by having Robbie sent away. Sure, the setting may have contributed to the lack of atonement, but I cannot feel sympathetic towards Briony. What she did was downright evil and there is no possible way that I could feel sorry for her when she never resolves the problems she herself created. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Free Topic

After reading "The Indian Uprising" by Donald Barthelme, I was left with a loss of words and was very confused. However, his style was very interesting. It was indeed difficult to understand due to his stream of consciousness style, but I was intrigued by it. Some critics have branded his style as meaningless academic postmodernism, implying something negative. But what's so wrong with this style?  Whether or not Barthelme intended there to be any significance to this story is beside the point. Stories are written for entertainment. Even if the story does in fact have no point to it is in itself, insignificant. All that matters when reading a story is whether or not you can find enjoyment in it. I was able to find this enjoyment and could therefore appreciate what Barthelme was depicting in his story. 
People argue whether or not Barthelme is a madman or a genius. In my opinion, he is a little bit of both. In order to write something in that style requires both a hint of insanity and brilliance. Barthelme was able to write an entire story from an obscured and uncertain point of view while still keeping you drawn to what's happening. Even though I was unsure of what exactly was happening in the story, I kept reading it. I really like how he writes and I, myself had a lot of fun writing like Barthelme in our last blog topic. While many people will still categorize his writing as meaningless garbage, I will always have an appreciation for the way he writes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'll Be the One to Show You the Way

It's three in the morning and I have just heard a knock on my door, or at least I think so. I'm still in that half awake, zombie-like stage where I am uncertain of what's really happening and whether or not it is a dream. I lay there for a few more minutes hoping it was all in my head. As I start to doze off into unconsciousness, I hear what I think to be another bang on my door. Again, I tell myself it was just my imagination and attempt to fall back asleep. This time I cannot even begin to fall asleep. I get up to smoke a cigarette to try and calm my nerves about this mysterious knocking. Alas, I am naturally all out. I head back to bed and tell myself to deal with it, but there is again a knock on my door. I can no longer deny the fact that these knocks are real. I head to my door to explore the situation and realize what's going on. I have dealt with this many times before. It's her again. I beg and plead for some peace and quiet and maybe just a hint of privacy, but she won't allow it. She once again insists on invading my space and engaging in meaningless babble, hoping that it might one day turn into something more. I tell her I don't see it like that. She complains. I try to avoid her until she comes back having done something for me. This time she had promised to fix one of my shoes, as it's zipper had recently broken. I let her in, and I, in turn exit. I tell her I am in no mood for talking and that I am going down to the lobby to drink enough to put myself asleep. Hopefully this cold shoulder technique will someday work and let me be alone for just a brief period of time. I am just eighteen, but could easily pass for twenty-one, especially being that I am beginning to bald. Age doesn't matter though when you've got my status. Being larger than life with girls coming to my room at every hour of the day isn't exactly a problem in my mind. I've got a flight to Japan tomorrow. We have another show. It's always the same with these plane rides. Fly for seemingly endless amounts of time and get off to thousands of shrieking fans. I myself don't mind it, but I think it's beginning to take a toll on my ears. I return to my room and she is still here. She knows of my flight and tells me to remember what we promised each other. She always makes a point of bringing this up whenever I go away. I don't see her like that, but she insists on it. I go along with it walk her to the door. We say our goodbyes and I show her the way out just like I have done countless times before.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Song Choice

The song I chose is "Fluorescent Adolescent" by Arctic Monkeys. I chose this song for Blanche because it describes her sexual history. The lyrics talk about a "whorish" character who chose men much like Blanche did. A few lines in particular describe Blanche pretty well: 

"You used to get it in your fishnets
Now you only get it in your night dress
Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness
Landed in a very common crisis
Everything's in order in a black hole
Nothing seems as pretty as the past though"

These lyrics relate to Blanche in that she was at least partly, a sexually driven character, not unlike many people though. She had a very confused and messed up life, but tried to make it better. Although she used to be wealthy, she no longer does and however hard she tries, she is stuck living in her newly found existence. This are just a few lines from the song, however the rest of the lyrics describe her pretty well too.

The music video is pretty funny....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Streetcar Named Desire

After watching the two video clips, I think that Vivian Leigh did a better job of portraying Blanche. She was panicked and helpless much like Tennessee Williams intended her to be. She was in a state of hysteria and was clearly going crazy. The way Leigh portrayed Blanche was just how I thought she should look and act. Overall, I think that Vivian Leigh did a great job portraying Blanche.