The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham

The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham is a great novel in my opinion. It occurs in the future but it focuses on prejudices, intolerance and torture, issues that exist now and will always exist as long as we do. I believe the novel has a very important message for readers today. In the novel, The Chrysalids, and in reality presently, many human rights are being violated. First off, child abuse and torture is a major factor in the novel. Secondly, the intolerance towards the women of Waknuk, and how they are treated. Lastly, the deportation of people to other countries around the world, and other area’s of Labrador.

The first issue that is a major concern in the novel, is the torture and abuse towards David, and other members in the novel. Every minute in the United States, children are physically and sexually abused, murdered, maimed, and emotionally scarred. David, the narrator of the novel, has encountured this abuse more than once. David is tortured numorous times, by his father, Joseph Strorm. This brutality would continue, until Mr. Strorm received the information he demanded. It would continue on for hours, until David could not handle it anymore, until the answers Joseph Strorm wanted, were beaten out of of him.

No child, anywhere in the world, should have to experience such cruelty. Over 67% of children with disabilities are induced by physical abuse. These numbers are very shocking, but what is every more unbelievalbe is the fact that these children are suffering in silence. Today more and more children are being abused, physically, mentally, and even emotionally. The most pitiful part of it all, is that this abuse is being done by the people the childs parents or close relatives, the ones that are supposed to love and nurture the child, not abuse and torture the child.

Another human right being abused in the book, is the intolerance towards the opposite sex. The women of Waknuk, are too familiar with this sitution. Women in Waknuk are not aloud to work outside of the home. The men believe their rightful place to be, is in the home. Cooking, cleaning, having childern, and keeping the house is complete order. This exact thing is happening around the world, even in our own communities today, as we speak. But I believe this intolerance is most severe in a country called, Afghanistan.

Women in this country annot attend school, have no right to work, cannot have male doctors only females attending them, and have even been ordered to stay in the home. But if they do choose to go out, they cannot show their faces in public, go outside the house alone, wear certain clothes, or even wear shoes that make a clicking sound. Women can not walk alone even in their own neighbourhood without the fear of being stopped, beaten or detained particularly by the religious police as suspected moral offenders. This is because there are more constraints placed on the behaviour of women than men.

For instance they are not allowed to go anywhere, or leave the country without a male guardian or his written consent. Lastly, the human right abuse being violated in the novel, is the free will to move in and out of a country, and the will to live where you see fit. In the novel, The Chrysalids, if you are born with the slightest abnormality, deviation, or even a special power, such as Davis and his friends, think shapes, you are sent away, and exiled to the Fringes, as a mutant. If you do not leave immediatly to the Fringers, or return once you have been sent there.

The people of Waknuk have a right to, shoot and even kill you, if you decide to break the rules. This same issue is happening today in many countries around the world. For example, Thai women are being trafficked to Japan. Trafficking people means the illegal and highly profitable recruitment, transport or sale of human beings for the purpose of exploiting their labor. It is a slavery like practice that must be eliminated. The trafficking of women and children into bonded sweatshop labor, forced marriage, forced prostitution, domestic servitude, and other kinds of work is a global phenomenon.

Traffickers use coercive tactics including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force, or debt bondage to control their victim. Also, as I said earlier, the women in Afghanistan, cannot leave the country with out a male guardian or his written consent. The novel, The Chrysalids, by John Wyndam, as you can tell, has many human rights abuses. I have only explained a few of these abuses in the novel, but their are considerably more in the book.

Unforuntly all these abuses will continue to reoccur, in our world, as long as we are around. Even when people are the same race or the same religion there is prejudices, intolerance and torture. If you do not act or look a certain way, you are deemed different. To be different is to be hated. To be different is to feel inferior to those who deem themselves normal. What people don’t realize is that we are supposed to be different. We are not supposed to be mirror images of each other. If that were to happen, what kind of world would we be living in today?

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

Arrowsmith is a classic American novel written by Sinclair Lewis. Lewis wrote this book in the early 1900’s as a current outlook on the world of science in that time. The main theme it focuses on is commercialism and its effect on science. During this time period there were many advances in the field of medicine; everyone was racing to find the cure to deadly diseases and then patent it and profit off it. Helping humanity was more of a business than a service to the human race as doctors and institutes became more and more capitalistic.

Like a business trying to maximize its profit, many doctors and scientists cut corners and guessed at many hings so they could get their products or methods on the market as fast as possible. However, there were a few scientists who stayed strictly devoted to their science, not letting money, glory, and success corrupt them. Scientists such as this despised commercialism and held contempt against the other doctors and scientists who fell into that system of capitalism. The book follows the life of Martin Arrowsmith, a scientist who is torn between pure science and commercialism.

He wants to be a true scientist but he is pushed into commercialism by everyone he meets, except for a select few. Among the few is Max Gottlieb, who is Martin’s model for everything a true scientist should be. Gottlieb is a bacteriologist who is completely against the capitalist values of commercial doctors and scientists; he devotes himself religiously to his science, and he believes in being completely thorough and not guessing or accepting things without completely understanding them. Terry Wickett, a disciple of Gottlieb’s, holds all the same values and attitudes as Gottlieb toward capitalism and commercialism.

He helps Martin break away from commercialism, and become a true scientist. Another person who greatly helps Martin in his life is his first wife, Leora Tozer, who stands by and supports Martin no matter what. She devotes herself to Martin as much as Gottlieb devotes himself to his science. She supports him in whatever decision he decides to make, she helps and comforts him in his times of need, and she remains completely loyal to him at all times, even when he is not completely loyal to her.

The story starts with Martin Arrowsmith as a medical student at Winnemac University, where he was first introduced to commercial science and pure science, and made to choose between the two. It is here that Martin first meets Max Gottlieb, who was professor and the university and head of the bacteriology department, and becomes completely in awe of him. His classmates mock Martin for his choice in idol, because they see Gottlieb as somewhat of a failure in life, simply because he is poor and not very high standing or recognized in society, which is actually what Gottlieb prefers to be.

A few of Martin’s classmates that have a significant effect on his life are Ira Hinkley, Angus Duer, and Clif Clawson. Ira Hinkley is a humanitarian, self-righteous reverend who later becomes a missionary in the West Indies. He is studying medicine for he purpose of helping humanity and gaining glory for himself along the way. Angus Duer is a social climber who is studying science more for the sake of obtaining the inherent respect held for doctors and scientists.

He does all the methods and techniques with a cold precision but only because he was told to do them, not because he wants to understand why things are the way they are. Clif Clawson is completely centered on making money and being successful. He went into medical school solely because he would be able to make a lot of money being a doctor or physician. The university essentially teaches students how to make oney from their knowledge through commercialism, even more than the actual medical science itself. The following passage is part of a lesson that Dr.

Roscoe Geake, who is a professor in the university, gives to his students. “Knowledge is the greatest thing in the medical world but it’s no good whatever unless you can sell it, and to do this you must first impress your personality on the people who have the dollars. Whether the patient is a new or an old friend, you must always use salesmanship on him. Explain to him, also to his stricken and anxious family, the hard work and thought you re giving to his case, and so make him feel that the good you have done him, or intend to do him, is even greater than the fee you plan to charge.

Then, when he gets your bill, he will not misunderstand or kick. ” Martin is constantly being pushed towards the commercial side of science and away from Gottlieb and pure science. Almost everyone in the university is trying to persuade him to do the same as them and become a practical doctor who works for profit, instead of a poor scientist who works for years before producing even the smallest discovery, which may or may not help anyone. Eventually he gives in and leaves Gottlieb to receive is doctorate and become a physician in Wheatsylvania, North Dakota, the home town of his fiancee, Leora Tozer.

In Wheatsylvania, Martin is presented with the life of a commercial physician, and he becomes appalled with it. He learns that being a physician is more like trying to make it appear as if you are helping people than actually doing it. He finds that their main skill is not actually healing the patient, but dealing with the family after they failed to save the patient. They glorify their failure by saying they did all they could and more, and they spread the blame around as to not detract from their respectability. A physician in a neighboring town named Doctor Winter gives Martin this advice.

In a crucial case, you better call some older doctor in consultationnot that you need his advice, but it makes a hit with the family, it divides the responsibility, and keeps em from going around criticizing. ” Disgusted with this, Martin tries to be an honest physician, but he gets heavily criticized by all the other physicians and the entire town. The other doctors criticize him for not asking them for advice and splitting fees, and the townspeople think he is some hotshot doctor who believes he is above everyone else, and cares or no one save himself, which is ironic because he is the only one who is truly trying to help them.

After a while Martin decides to leave when he receives an offer for a job in a medical institute in the city of Nautilus where he is led to believe he will be free to research whatever he wants. In Nautilus, Martin works in a medical institute under its director, Dr. Pickerbaugh. Dr. Pickerbaugh supports the idea of pure science and research and allows Martin freedom to research whatever he wants, but only to a certain extent. After Martin has been working a while Pickerbaugh becomes impatient because so much time has passed and

Martin has not produced anything, so he begins to push Martin to publish his research and let the world know what he does. So once again Martin finds himself being pushed toward commercialism. Pickerbaugh wants him to publish so that the world may benefit from his work, and also so that glory and fame may come to Martin and the institute, which leads toward profit. After a few years Martin decides to leave after receiving a letter from Max Gottlieb asking him to work with him in New York. Gottlieb is working at the McGurk Institute in New York under director Dr. Tubbs, who has granted Gottlieb complete freedom in his research.

Dr. Tubbs is a social-climber completely driven by commercialism. Everything he does, he does to profit himself and the institution. When Martin comes into the institution, Tubbs grants him the same freedom as Gottlieb. He is free to research whatever he wants for as long as he wants, and so Martin returns to Gottlieb and meets Terry Wickett. For a while everything goes well until Tubbs learns about Martin’s research and tries to get him to publish. Martin is researching and experimenting with what could possibly be the cure to many of the deadly diseases at the time, such as tuberculosis and the Black Death.

He refuses to publish because he has not finished the research and to publish right away would be straying away from pure science and towards commercialism again. Tubbs wants Martin to publish not because it would help humanity, but because it would bring fame and fortune to the institute. In commercialism, everything is a race to discover and produce something and then patent it and take the credit. We see this when another scientist in another institute publishes the same discovery on which Martin is also working.

Tubbs is severely disappointed with Martin for not publishing sooner so that he could receive the credit and ecognition, and he tells Martin to start working on creating other cures and publish them quickly. However, Martin decides to continue research on his current project and see if the other scientist missed or overlooked anything, which is approved by Gottlieb. Throughout this entire time Gottlieb is helping Martin stay true to science and protect him from success.

In the following passage Gottlieb is telling Martin what it means to be a true and authentic scientist. To be a scientistit is not just a different job, so that a man should choose between being a scientist and being an explorer or a ond-salesman or a physician or a king or a farmer. It is a tangle of ver-y obscure emotions, like mysticism, or wanting to write poetry; it makes its victim all different from the good normal man. The normal man, he does not care much what he does except that he should eat and sleep and make love. But the scientist is intensely religioushe is so religious that he will not accept quarter-truths, because they are an insult to his faith.

He wants that everything should be subject to inexorable laws. He is equal opposed to the capitalists who t’ink their silly money-grabbing is a system, and to liberals ho t’ink man is not a fighting animal; he takes both the American booster and the European aristocrat, and he ignores all their blithering. Ignores it! All of it! He hates the preachers who talk their fables, but he iss not too kindly to the anthropologists and historians who can only make guesses, yet they have the nerf to call themselves scientists! Oh, yes, he is a man that all nice good-natured people should naturally hate!

He speaks no meaner of the ridiculous faith-healers and chiropractors than e does of the doctors that want to snatch our science before it is tested and rush around hoping they heal people, and spoiling all the lues with their footsteps; and worse than the men like hogs, worse than the imbeciles who have not even heard of science, he hates pseudo-scientists, guess-scientistslike these psycho-analysts; and worse than those comic dream-scientists he hates the men that are allowed in a clean kingdom like biology but know only one text-book and how to lecture to nincompoops all so popular!

He is the only real revolutionary, the authentic scientist, because he alone knows how liddle he knows. “He must be heartless. He lives in a cold, clear light. Yet dis is a funny t’ing: really, in private, he is not cold nor heartlessso much less cold than the Professional Optimists.

The world has always been ruled by the Philanthropists: by the doctors that want to use therapeutic methods they do not understand, by the soldiers that want something to defend their country against, by the preachers that yearn to make everybody listen to them, by the kind manufacturers that love their workers, by the eloquent statesmen and soft-hearted authorsand see once what a fine mess of hell they haf made of the world! Maybe now it is time for the scientist, who works and searches and never goes around howling how he loves everybody!

Because of his research of a cure for the Black Death, Martin is sent to the West Indies where there is a serious epidemic of the Plague. He travels there with Leora and another scientist named Gustaf Sondelius, and meets with his former classmate, Reverend Ira Hinkley, who is now a missionary and doctor in the West Indies. Once there, Martin is faced with the extremely difficult decision between science and humanity. At this point, his research and tests on the cure are not complete and it is not certain whether or not the cure will work.

However, Hinkley, Sondelius, and everyone else who knows he has a cure are pushing him to distribute it among the masses. Here he faces the question on whether he should immediately distribute the cure with the fairly large possibility of failure, or if he should withhold it until his tests are complete and he is certain on whether or not it will work. He has a dream where he gets in a car crash, and he has to choose between his science and the lives of others. “Shrieks, death groans, the creeping flames.

The car turning, falling, plumping into a river on its side; himself trying to crawl through a window as the water seeped about his body. Himself standing by the wrenched car, deciding whether to keep away and protect his sacred ork or go back, rescue people, and be killed. ” Martin chooses to continue his tests and be certain that the cure will work, as the population continues to be ravaged by the Plague. During this time, both Hinkley and Sondelius die of the Plague. Martin keeps up his work until Leora contracts the Black Death and dies.

In his grief, Martin gives in and distributes the experimental cure to everyone. After the epidemic dies out, all the people of the West Indies label Martin as a hero and a savior, despite what the people thought of him when he withheld the cure. However, he feels hat he betrayed Gottlieb and his science. It seems that commercialism often disguises itself as humanitarianism or uses humanitarianism to justify itself. It pushes you to act quickly and hopefully without any of the certainties demanded by science.

For example, the main reason Sondelius went to the West Indies was to find glory and fame, rather than the saving the lives of thousands of people. However, he used humanitarianism as a way to try to persuade Martin to distribute the cure. When Martin refused, Sondelius called him a monster and claimed that Martin was not willing to help the suffering population, nor id he care about the hundreds of thousands of people dying from the Plague. What is ironic about this is that this pure science tends to benefit humanity more than commercialism science in the long run.

The notion that one significant improvement over a long period of time is better than a series of failures and half-successes is drowned out by the propaganda of commercialism. Pure science produces methods and medicines that are certain. They have been thoroughly tested and proved to be successful, as opposed to the medicines produced by commercial scientists. While they produce more, they are not certain as to what effect hey will have. They hope that if their product works in one situation, it will work in every situation.

However, commercial science does have positive points as pure science has negative points. While pure science is more certain it is also much more long term. Commercial science gives immediate care and help, despite how much it may actually help. Pure science is presented as something that looks toward and works for the future, while commercial science deals with what is happening at the moment, but commercialism hinders pure science so much that, in effect, it may be bringing about the destruction of its own future.

Around the World in 80 Days

The themes of this novel are calmness and persistence. These two themes are exemplified by one character, Mr. Fogg. Mr. Fogg is always calm in the novel not once in this novel does he show any anxiety or nervousness. Mr. Fogg, under a prolific amount pressure of losing a wager of twenty thousand pounds, remained very tranquil never once to lose his state of mind. The second theme of this story is persistence, shown by Mr. Fogg. Mr. Fogg never gives up on wager of a prolific amount of money, precisely twenty thousand pounds. As the odds turn against him he remains on his path and does not give up.

His persistence in the end pays off and Mr. Fogg wins his wager, on who The Reform Club will pay. But did he really achieve a goal by making this unbelievable trip around the world in an astonishing eighty days. Setting: This novel takes place in the late 1800s, approximately 1872. Mr. Phileas Fogg lived at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens. As the story progresses on and one tiny wager is made, a trip around the world changes the setting of this novel many a times. Some of these settings are London, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, and New York.

Clearly though one the most important settings was in the Indian forests, which were passed through, in order to pursue to Kandallah. The Carnatic and the Mongolia were also key settings to the novel. Plot: In the 19th century, a man by the name of Phileas Fogg, made a wager that he would be able to travel the world in approximately eighty days. At the time of his wager he was looking for a servant. He found a servant by the name of Jean Passepartout. These two came to the understanding that Fogg was the master and Passepartout was just a man.

His master told Passepartout that they were leaving immediately to travel around the world and told him to pack a carpetbag. Then new means of funds were given by The Daily Telegraph, who decided that the trip had a shot. Then a detective by the name of Fix sent a telegram to the commissioner saying that he found the robber and needed a warrant immediately, if not sooner. As Fix boarded the Mongolia, Passepartout approached him. He asked fix where he could get the passport of his master visaed. As Fix looked at the passport with intent, asked him if this was his passport, but Passepartout replied that it was his masters visa.

As Fix left, he rushed himself immediately to the consul and told him he had good belief that his robber was on the Mongolia. As they were talking two men interrupted, Passepartout and his master, Phileas Fogg, Fogg asked the consul if he could have his passport visaed to prove he used the Suez. After this Passepartout however tells Fix all he knows, therefore making it certain to Fixs assumption that points to Fogg, as the robber of fifty-five thousand pounds. Luckily for Phileas Fogg, and his wager, that the Indian Ocean and Red Sea were partly in his favor.

While on Malabar Hill, Passepartout had a little too much curiosity and when he started to go back to the station he was beaten by priests, but was able to hit two of the adviseries and broke free. Even though he ended up losing his shoes. They ended having to make their own transportation to Allahabad, so they went out and Fogg offered to pay a sum for an elephant for transportation paying up front two thousand pounds for the animal. A Parsee offered his service, which proved to be a great help in their journey to Allahabad.

As they went on Kiouni stopped suddenly, and the Parsee heard a noise and went to check he came back and said that a procession of Brahmins were coming their way and if possible if they did not see us. They realized she would be burned alive so they, with generosity, said that they would come to her aid and do the best they could to save her life. Passepartout was the one to save this woman in the smokiness of the dark. So they left immediately. They reached Calcutta at seven in the morning therefore giving Fogg approximately five hours. Upon his arrival at Calcutta he, Passepartout, and Aouda were taken by an officer to become prisoners.

Fogg admitted that he took her from these wretched priests, but now in return he wanted the priests to confess they were going to burn her alive. They were both sentenced to prison for a week. Fix was happy because this gave him more time to receive the warrant he needed to arrest him on English soil, but he turned blue when Fogg offered bail, and for two thousand pounds Passepartout was returned his shoes and left immediately with his master. As they went on the Rangoon Passepartout felt it necessary to aid the crew in any way possible.

Then they were able to catch the Carnatic as it was delayed a day because of technical difficulties. When they went to reserve four cabins the clerk informed them the boat would be leaving this evening so Passepartout would tell his master at once, but Fix convinced him into sharing drinks and Passepartout soon passed out not informing his master. The next day the master asked a captain of a ship if he would take them he said sure, after Fogg told him he would offer them a hundred pounds a day and two hundred more if he were to get there in time.

Mr. Fogg after a long journey said there was a fire on this boat in order to get the attention of the steamer. Both Aouda and Fogg were reunited with Passepartout on the General Grant because Passepartout hitchhiked with a bunch of clowns. When the General Grant pulled into the bay of the Golden Gate Fogg had neither lost nor gained a day. When they pulled in Fogg found out that the train, leaving for New York, was not until six o clock at night.

When going from San Francisco to New York snow and herds of buffalo, which were on the tracks stopped them. On one night a man by the name Hitch, stood and said that Joe Smith was a martyr and that his brother, Hiram was also a martyr. He asked any others who dared to contradict him, but none cared to bother. In the end Phileas Fogg forgets his watch is setback twenty-four hours, but fortunately Passepartout remembers and they rush to the Reform Club enabling them to receive their wagers. Aouda makes him the happiest man in the world.

Call of the Wild, by Jack London

Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild, we follow a dog named Buck through his journey through the Klondike. We experience a transformation in him, as he adapts to the cold, harsh land where he is forced to toil in the snow, just to help men find a shiny metal. Buck seems to almost transform into a different dog by the end of the book. In this essay, I will go over what Buck was like, how and why he was forced to adapt to his new environment, and what he changed into. When we first met up with Buck, he lived in the Santa Clara Valley, on Judge Millers property.

He was the ruler of his domain, uncontested by any other local dogs. he was a mix between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Shepherd dog. He weighed one hundred and forty pounds, and he carried every one with utmost pride. Buck had everything he could want. Little did he know, he would soon have it all taken away from him. One night, while the judge was away at a raisin growers committee meeting, the gardener, Manuel, took Buck away from his home. Buck was then sold, and thrown in a baggage car. This would be the beginning of a new, cruel life for Buck.

On his ride to wherever he was going, Bucks pride was everely damaged, if not completely wiped out by men who used tools to restrain him. No matter how many times Buck tried to lunge, he would just be choked into submission at the end. When Buck arrived at his destination, there was snow everywhere, not to mention the masses of Husky and wolf dogs. Buck was thrown into a pen with a man who had a club. This is where Buck would learn one of the two most important laws that a dog could know in the Klondike. The law of club is quite simple, if there is a man with a club, a dog would be better off not to challenge that man.

Buck learned this law after he was beaten half to death by the man who had the club. no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t win. Buck was sold off to a man who put him in a harness connected to many other dogs. Buck was bad at first, but eventually, he learned the way of trace and trail. Buck had to learn many things if he was to survive in this frigid land. He had to learn to sleep under the snow, and to eat his food as fast as possible so as not to have it stolen. At about this point in the book, we see Buck start to go through a metamorphosis of sorts.

He transforms from a house dog to a more primitive, savage version of his former self. It was as if hundreds of years of knowledge, learned by his ancestors, were dug up and brought out. Buck proceeded to lose all the fat in his body and replace it with muscle. Buck was no longer Judge Millers pet. He was a machine of survival and triumph. Most Southland dogs like him ended up dead because of their inability to conform. Buck was born to lead the team, but one dog would do everything possible to try and keep him down. This dogs name was Spitz.

Spitz was white wolf dog who was a proven champion in confrontation and was as crafty as they come. It was clear that he and Buck would not work well together. When dogs have confrontation in the Klondike, only one survives. This was because of a law called fang. The law of Fang is such that, when two dogs fight and one is knocked to the ground, that is it. The rest of the spectators will instantly pounce on the downed dog and make quick work of it. All of these unspoken rules had turned Buck into the Best dog to ever roam the Klondike. Buck did eventually fight Spitz and send him to his death.

After all of the transformations and cruelty he had been through, you would think that Buck would never be able to trust another human. He was being starved to death by a gold seeking group who had not brought enough food for the dogs. When Buck could finally not move another step, a man from the group started to beat Buck. As the blows grew less and less painful, and he was fading farther and farther, Buck knew he was dying. While Buck was being beaten, a man named John Thornton came forth and took Buck from his attacker. The man nursed Buck back to health, and from that day forward, Buck lived for that man.

Buck loved him with all his being. After being with this man for quite some time, Buck started to hear a call from far away. He started paying more and more attention to this call. He went out for days at a time searching for its source. This call was the call of the wild. He had a will to go off and be with other dogs. He felt the urge to be free from man and catch his own food. One day, Buck finally left for good. He was excepted by a pack of wolves who treated him like a wolf himself. And so the transformation was complete. Buck had changed from a dog, to a beast of nature.

The novel Brave New World

The novel Brave New World is like no other in fantasy and satire. It predicts a future overpowered by technology where the people have no religion. Has Huxley written about a degrading way of life or has he discovered the key to a perfect world that should be called Utopia? This essay will show that upon close analysis the way of life in the novel is justifiable and all the precautions that are taken are needed to preserve their lifestyle. This essay will also show that however different and easily looked upon, as horrible as their lives seem to be, in actuality it is better than ours.

The first argument that would contradict the fact that Brave New World is a Utopia is the government overpowering the world, causing the loss of freedom and liberty in the people. Before judging their lives the reader must ask himself one simple question: Is it really that bad? Obviously no it’s not. In the novel, the people don’t have to worry about having a job. One must remember that being born and raised in Utopia, one does not know what freedom is and therefore does not know what is missing.

Freedom leads to happiness, and if one already possesses happiness, then there is no need for freedom, especially if your government is making sure that all your needs are satisfied. Religion plays an important role in people’s lives. It represents our principles and values. Religion guides us, gives us something to believe in and a set of rules to live by. However, who is to say that one hundred years from now people will still believe and practice religion? Mustapha Mond when referring to the Holy Bible says that they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God Now (Huxley, p. 7).

Mustapha Mond is saying that with the evolution of time the need for religion has disappeared and has been replaced by the worship of another God who is Ford. They basically live a fulfilled life and then they die. Also thanks to their conditioning they do not fear death but accept it as a way of life. That alone is a task that our world still has not been able to accomplish. In our world we must go through the ritual of the funeral. After one has died, his family must go through an enormous task of planning, organizing and dealing with the death of their now gone loved one.

In utopian civilization, the people are isolated from one another, divided into five different classes. The classes range from the Alphas, the Betas, the Gammas, the Deltas and finally, the Epsilons. The members of each class are ranked according to their mental capacity and physical appearance. During the D. H. C. ‘s lecture to his students he tells them how by depriving certain embryos of oxygen will affect their stature. The lower the cast, the shorter the oxygen. (Huxley, p. 13) It seems unfair that even before you are born, your future is already written out for you.

However upon further study, one will realize that this sort of precaution is necessary. In our world, one has to face racism and stereotypes because people feel threatened by what is different. This conditioning is how the utopian society eliminated the problem. First of all, each class is conditioned to love their ranking and to realize that everyone is important and is indispensable to the society. The i! mportant thing here is that the lower classes are not jealous of the superior classes but even believe that their work is too tiring for them.

The mental inferiority is very important for the survival of the utopian society. If the lower classes got too smart they would want to move up in life and that would ruin the stability of the society. Another precaution taken to prevent chaos to the society is the restraint of history, culture and art to the utopian civilization. According to our views, these things are unquestionably important and we would go as far as saying that we could not live without them. But for these people, they are insignificant.

Education to us leads to knowledge and for us knowledge is power and power runs the world. However for them there is no need for education because they do not need power. Power will not get them any farther in life then what is already written out for them. The only kind of books in Brave New World accessible to the public are reference books. Books with opinions and emotions are non-existing. This discretion is needed because those types of books could challenge the hypnopaedic propaganda served to the people.

The hypnopaedia was given for a reason, it is the tool used to stabilize the society. If stability is threatened so will be the utopian world. Of course some will say that they will miss their families and relationships and most of all, love. But the people in Utopia once again have never experienced any of these. They were brought up in conditioning centers and feel that parents and family are primitive. The mere sound of the word annoys them. Mother, he repeated loudly rubbing in the science ; and, leaning back in his chair, these, he said gravely are unpleasant facts; I know it.

But then most historical facts are unpleasant (Huxley, p. 23). In our world, parents pass on to their children their own values and principles. What they may become as a result of their upbringing could be doctors, lawyers, accountants, robbers, rapists and murderers. In the utopian society everyone is raised and conditioned the same way abolishing the bad apples in our society. Monogamy is discouraged by the utopian society and considered improper Four months of Henry Foster, without having another man — why, he’d be furious! if he knew… (Huxley, p. 40).

This restrains peoples from getting too emotionally involved and putting their loved one’s needs before the society’s. In the utopian society, everyone belongs to everyone else. One might easily point out that these precautions are too extreme. But one thing that can not be ignored is that in Brave New World there is no war, no diseases and no old age. For people in our world that would be utopia. In the utopian society, you’re so conditioned that you can’t help doing what you ought to do (Huxley, p. 244). Thanks to their conditioning, nobody even considers fighting.

And if ever anyone gets angry or depressed, there is always soma. In our world soma would be seen as a drug and should not be used. Nevertheless as one of their hypnopaedic quotes says, they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol(Huxley, p. 53). That statement proves that once again values are what changes one’s views towards situations. Our alcohol is their soma except for the fact that soma has no side-effects. There are only three characters in the Brave New World that do no like their lifestyle. Bernard Marx is an alpha-plus and therefore should be living the good life.

But even though his mental status is that of an Alpha-plus, his physical appearance is similar to that of an Epsilon. They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle—thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate ( Huxley, p. 46 ) He quickly becomes an outcast and does not get along with the opposite sex. Bernard criticizes the utopian civilization until he discovers John the Savage in the savage reservation and introduces him to society. Bernard then becomes somewhat of a celebrity and quite popular among the ladies.

At that point, Bernard is always bragging about how many girls he has slept with and stops his complaining about the utopian life. All this proves that if someone hadn’t made that mistake, Bernard would not have become an outcast, women would have liked! him and he would have liked this world. Bernard Marx is an exception of bad conditioning, his life should have been different from the start. Helmholtz Watson also does not like the utopian civilization. The problem with him is they let they him get too smart. That led him to want a better life, a dream he felt was unobtainable in Utopia.

Once again, if his conditioning had been done right and his intelligence had been controlled, he would not have had a problem with his world. Finally, the third character unhappy in Utopia is John or better known as the savage. As a matter of fact, he should not even be considered as an unhappy civilian because he was not raised in the utopian civilization but in the savage reservation. He does not like it because he was not conditioned to be happy with who he is. In the savage reservation, he learned about God, religion and freedom, all things which are not taught in Utopia.

His values are different from a utopian’s. For instance, he beats himself with a rope to get a good harvest, which proves that a person can not judge others through his or her own values but through theirs. In conclusion one can clearly see that human beings can adapt to anything. The question is: do we want to adapt to a society like Utopia? This is a world that one can not help but be happy, a world that replaced not destroyed religion, a world that even eliminated racism and stereotypes. It is a world where you only possess knowledge you need, where everyone has the same values and principals.

Finally here is a world with no war, no disease and no old age. This question seems difficult to answer at first. Let’s rephrase this question. Forget adapting, is this a world you would want to be born in? That changes everything because you can no longer judge by your own values, principles and standards. You now have to picture how much you would like it if you were born there and followed the same treatment as the others. It was best said by Mustapha Mond at one point. The key to happiness is enjoying who you are and what you do.

Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut’s novel

Critics often suggest that Kurt Vonnegut’s novels represent a man’s desperate, yet, futile search for meaning in a senseless existence. Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, displays this theme. Kurt Vonnegut uses a narrator, which is different from the main character. He uses this technique for several reasons. Kurt Vonnegut introduces Slaughterhouse Five in the first person. In the second chapter, however, this narrator changes to a mere bystander. Vonnegut does this for a specific reason. He wants the reader to realize that the narrator and Billy Pilgrim, the main character, are two different people.

In order to do this, Vonnegut places the narrator in the text, on several occasions. “An American near Billy wailed that [Billy] had excreted everything but his brains… That was I. That was me. ” This statement clearly illustrates that the narrator and Billy are not the same person. The narrator was the American disgusted by Billy. Vonnegut places the narrator in the novel in subtle ways. While describing the German prisoner trains, he merely states, “I was there. ” By not referring to Billy as I, Billy is immediately an individual person. I is the narrator, while Billy is Billy.

Their single connection is that they were both in the war. Kurt Vonnegut places his experiences and his views in the text. He begins the book by stating, “All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true… I’ve changed all of the names. ” Viewing war as a senseless act, Slaughterhouse-Five allows Vonnegut to express his feelings on the matter. Through Billy Pilgrim, he is able to indicate his views. Many things which he viewed as senseless acts were very violent. “[The two scouts] had been lying in ambush for the Germans.

They had been discovered and shot from behind. Now they were dying in the snow, feeling nothing, turning the snow the color of raspberry sherbet. So it goes. ” The narrator describes what happened and how it occurred. The imagery is very strong. The reader can imagine the snow slowly being dyed with the color of blood. Therefore, readers can picture a slow agonizing death. By ending with the statement, “So it goes,” the reader is enticed. The narrator states this when he finds that there is no need to continue describing the horrific brutality.

The imagery used in the preceding sentence was strong enough. Kurt Vonnegut does not want to glorify war. The narrator made a vow to O’Hare’s wife, in chapter one, that the story would not do this. “… I give my word of honor. I’ll call it the children’s crusade. ” In order to do this, Vonnegut makes the main character a simple man. His name is Billy Pilgrim. His mission is to avoid anything that requires action or responsibility. This causes him to avoid finding meaning in his life; he regards the world as chaotic. The senseless act of war causes Billy to begin his search.

Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next. ” Time traveling symbolizes Billy’s search for meaning. When an event is too difficult for him to handle, he travels in order to escape his fears. In chapter five, he is not only abducted by aliens, but he is also a prisoner of war. The two transpired at different times, but there is an obvious connection between the two.

In both cases, he is taken against his will. Since being captured by aliens is only a fantasy, it makes the fact that he was abducted by the Germans only more traumatizing. Time traveling hurts Billy. He always avoids his fears, and never confronts them. His fantasy life causes his real life to be more terrifying. “Billy’s will was paralyzed by a zap gun. He was hauled into an airlock. ” At this point, Billy had been captured by the denizens of Tralfamadore. This experienced can be related to the Germans capturing him, during the war.

Billy Pilgrim was packed into a boxcar with many other privates… Germans were securing the hasps on the car doors. ” In both cases, he is a person taken against his will. The Tralfamadore experience was peaceful. He knew it was going to take place, and therefore, he could handle it with ease. On the other hand, when the Germans captured him, he was not ready for it. When this unexpected occurred, he was terrified. His fantasy had made the real experience only worse. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim does find meaning.

This occurs, when he is abducted by the Tralfamadores. The aliens tell him that there is no such thing as free will. “All time is all time. It does not change…. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber. ” As the alien stated this, Billy felt inspired because now he knew that things were beyond his control. He could not change the past or the future. With this information, Billy begins to learn about the future. “I, Billy Pilgrim will die, have died, and will always die on February thirteenth, 1976.

Billy is in fact right with this prediction. Realizing everything is planned out, Billy ends his search for meaning. He understands that he can do nothing to stop the senseless acts, which take place. Like the Tralfamadores, he must try to concentrate on the good moments and not on the bad ones. He could do nothing to stop them or to change them. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five suggests that a man can not change his fate. Any attempts to change the past or the future are meaningless. Therefore, there is nothing to search for, and the search for meaning is futile.

Captain John Yossarian

Captain John Yossarian is the main character of Joseph Hellers 1961 satirical war novel, Catch-22. Hes a bombardier in the Army Air Corps 256th bomber squadron and he suffers from an intense fear of death. Catch-22 is a mysterious regulation that traps its victims in a web of circular reason. Basically, if theres a rule then theres always an exception to it. For instance, Catch-22 says that no one is allowed to read Catch-22. It always creates circumstances where, when things look fine, Catch-22 appears and ruins everything.

Catch-22 keeps Yossarian in the war because his Colonel continues raising the number of missions he has to fly before he can be rotated Stateside. From the beginning of the book, Yossarian stands out as beeing different from the others, he doesnt care about the war, and hes not interested in risking his life. In addition, his contemporaries think hes insane and they do not understand why he believes that people are trying to kill him. Yossarian is both a member of his squadron and alienated by it (Sparknotes).

Throughout the novel he carries with him the badge of being different. Though he lives and flies with his fellow airmen, he is constantly identified as an outsider. His Assyrian name strikes people as out of the ordinary because no ones ever heard of it before. For instance, the egomaniacal Colonel Cathcart becomes distressed every time he hears the name. Heller writes: Yossarian- the very sight of the name made him shudder. There were so many esses in it. It just had to be subversive. It was like the word subversive itself.

It was like seditious and insidious too, and like socialist, suspicious, fascist and Communist. It was an odious, alien, distasteful name (220). Adding to Yossarians difference is the fact that he just doesnt care. He doesnt care about the war, or the enemy, or his duty, or parades. When he becomes fed up with the war, he simply invents a medical problem such as liver pain, or seeing everything twice, and retreats into the hospital. He says that, All he was expected to do in the hospital was to die or get better, and since he was perfectly all right to begin with, getting better was easy. 75)

As a result, he spends as much of the war as possible in the hospital. On bombing runs, Yossarian is so petrified by flack, antiaircraft guns, and exploding planes that he devotes all of his attention and energy to avoiding the danger. Hes known for making his pilot fly in wild banking, diving, climbing, and rolling maneuvers in order to avoid enemy fire. Heller writes, Yossarian did not give a damn whether he hit the target or not just as long as they never had to go back (130). When his pilot asks, Yossarian, did the bombs hit the target?

Heller writes, What bombs? Answered Yossarian, whose only concern had been the flak (367). Yossarian does not risk his life to save others. He says, I used to get a big kick out of saving peoples lives. Now I wonder what the hells the point, since they all have to die anyway (89) Through the whole novel his primary goal is to avoid risking his life whenever possible. The system of values around Yossarian is so skewed that this approach seems to be the only truly moral stance he can take, if only because it is so logical.

Because Catch-22 makes life so irrational, and asks people to risk their lives for reasons that are utterly unimportant, like bomb patterns, Yossarian seizes the one truly logical idea, that he should try to preserve life, his own life (Sparknotes). Additionally, everyone thinks Yossarian is insane. Catch-22 keeps Yossarian in the war because concern for ones own life proves that he is not really crazy, and to get out of combat a person has to be crazy. When Yossarian is wounded in the leg and interviewed by a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist believes Yossarian to be crazy because the official medical records list him as a soldier named A.

Fortiori, who is in the hospital for a stone in his salivary gland. When Yossarian insists that he is himself and that he has an injured leg, the psychiatrist disagrees, because paperwork is always correct, and labels him insane. A. Fortiori is sent home and Yossarian goes back on duty. Ironically, many of the men in Yossarians squadron are insane, but cannot be removed from duty until they ask, and they never ask because theyre crazy. The most distinguishing feature that isolates Yossarian is his unyielding belief that people are trying to kill him.

When he explains that thousands of people hes never met before are persistently tying to kill him, people respond that the enemy is trying to kill everyone. It makes no difference to Yossarian, who takes the war personally. He explains, The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart (402). Yossarian comes to realize that every time he goes up, his only mission is to come down alive. The war takes on an intensely personal meaning to him, and he becomes almost paranoid about his own impending death (Bellmore).

He says: There were lymph glands that might do him in. There were kidneys, nerve sheathes and corpuscles. There were tumors of the brain. There were fertile meadows of epithelial tissue to catch and coddle a cancer cell. There were diseases of the skin; diseases of the bone there even were diseases of the feet. There were billions of conscientious body cells oxidating away day and night like dumb animals at their complicated job of keeping him alive and healthy, and every one was a potential traitor and foe (206).

In the end, Yossarians insistence on self-preservation forms a conflict within him. Though he has previously decided to keep himself safe at all cost, he still cares deeply for his friends and hes greatly disturbed by their deaths. Throughout the book Yossarian is haunted by the death of an ambiguous man named Snowden who died in Yossarian’s arms on a mission over Avignon. Snowdens chilling death brings Yossarian to the conclusion that life is nothing more than a contest against death and that he should do everything in his power to stay alive as long as possible.

However, when Yossarian is finally offered the choice of his own safety at the expense of the rest of his squadron, he is unable to choose himself over his friends. Yossarians concern for others confuses the straightforward common sense of self-preservation, and creates its own Catch-22: life isnt worth living without a concern for the welfare of others, but a concern for the well being of others endangers ones life (Sparknotes). Ultimately, Yossarian is incapable of choosing, and he simple runs away from the war. Because Catch-22 makes all the rules unfair, Yossarian decides that the only reasonable thing to do is not to participate.

Flowers for Algernon

In this story, the intelligence of a mentally challenged man is greatly enhanced by neuro-surgical treatments. He forms an attachment with a mouse named Algernon who has already undergone this same treatment shortly before him. Charlie is asked to keep a dairy and the novel consists of his daily reports. As his intelligence grows Charlie becomes more aware of his status. He soon develops into a “super genius” and finds he is just as isolated and lonely (if not, more so) as he was before the treatment.

I felt that I could “see” the characters develop before my eyes, especially the “young” Charlie who haunted the “older” Charlie while he was in his genius state. Daniel Keys was able to make the people (pepul) come alive by painting their portraits with Charlie Gordon’s words. I don’t remember when I have read a book that incorporated so many interesting ideas and concepts into the actions of one person. Also, it seems to me that Charlie was right when he wrote, “Ironic that my intelligence doesn’t help me solve a problem like this.

He was referring to a moral decision he had to make about one of his co-workers at the bakery. Charlie’s intelligence put him into just as much of a disadvantage as did his retardation. He never could fully relate to or understand Alice Hannigan, though he did know that he loved her. Unfortunately, she loved the retarded, yet compassionate, sensitive, and good-natured Charlie. She just couldn’t have the best of both worlds… his intelligence and his simplistic yet beautiful outlook on life. Charlie felt a strong connection to Algernon because he had undergone the exact same operation (opershun) as he had.

He felt sorry for him as he was constantly taunted with food as a reward for solving a puzzle. Charlie felt that he too was being treated somewhat like guinea pig in a science lab and he wanted to take special care of Algernon–he was “a special mouse” to quote Charlie’s words. This book, along with being a fictional story of a retarded man and the operation that gave him the intelligence he always dreamed of, is about Charlie relating to Algernon and a romance between him and a woman named Alice, who loved him as he was before.

Some people Ive spoken to about this novel had commented that Charlie caused his own loneliness. How can that be? He was mentally challenged at the start of the novel and, after his treatments, he did not have the time we all have to develop social skills. He is not at fault here. But, he also discovers that it is only temporary and he has to deal with his upcoming return to mental retardation (as what happened to Algernon). As I sit down and think, I realize that there is another issue that should arise whenever discussing the novel.

It concerns the ethics of the researchers who provide the treatment. They convinced a mentally challenged man, who clearly doesnt fully understand what is happening, to undergo a treatment that had only been applied to a single laboratory mouse! These same researchers also performed the treatment when their understanding of neurochemistry and neuroanatomy is clearly deficient (as Charlie later shows in the novel). In my opinion, they are actually the villains of the tale!

At the end of the book, Charlie realizes that the retarded boy who lay hidden inside his sub-conscious deserved a chance to live his life… although it may not be on the same intellectual level as others in our society. Maybe the operation shouldn’t have even been performed in the first place? Maybe the nurse was right when she said that we should simply appreciate what God gave us and live our lives to the fullest? Maybe we shouldn’t try to change what seems as if it was meant to be?

I’ll leave you with one final quote from the book that pertains to this question: “Who’s to say that my light is better than his darkness? ” It refers to whether or not a “genius” lifestyle is in fact any better than a “retarded” lifestyle. Well, is it any better? Could it possibly be worse? Ahhhhh… I leave you with that question to contemplate. In closing, this is a great story and provides much insight into our dealings with others, how different people look at the world, our interactions with the mentally challenged, and in bioethics. I highly recommend it.

Arthur Koestler: ‘Darkness at Noon’

‘Darkness at Noon’ is the second novel of a trilogy, which revolves around the central theme of revolutionary ethics, and of political ethics in general: the problem whether, or to what extent, a noble ends justifies ignoble means, and the related conflict between morality and expediency. The theme of the novel relates to the ever-present predicament faced by the leaders of any political party or revolutionary movement, from the slave revolt in the first century to the Old Bolsheviks of the nineteen thirties.

Revolutionary ethics or the issues faced in revolutionary movements are timeless, and as an incentive to writing his novel, Arthur Koestler was troubled by this theory, and also by the regime of terror that was governed by Stalin this century. This issue of whether a noble end justifies ignoble means is the revolutionary predicament that Koestler refers to, and was the question that he aspired to resolve. Darkness at Noon is a fictional account of the truth behind the Stalinist State at the close of the infamous Moscow Show Trials in 1938, where forty-eight of the fifty-four on the executive of the Communist Party were dead.

All members of the party knew that Lenin and Trotsky had been the real leaders of the Revolution and consequently they did not accept Stalin as the successor to Lenin. So accordingly, as Stalin was aware of the aspirations against him, as he consolidated power it became more dangerous to have known Lenin. The result of this was that over 70% of the Seventeenth Party Congress, which was held in 1934, had been arrested and executed; in Stalin’s opinion, these people had outlived their usefulness.

Through the thoughts and actions of the main character, Nicolas Salmanovitch Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik, the Soviet politics between 1917 and the Stalin era were outlined. The party’s transformation disturbed Rubashov, as a member of the party, but he did not wish to be expelled, so he continued to work with the Party against his conscious. Rubashov did everything that was asked of him, and therefore in essence he was a loyal Party member. The fault of Rubashov, however was that he attempted to modify his convictions to fit with the tasks that were required for him.

Rubashov’s problem was that he was a part of the old guard, whose past ensured that they could not exist in the transformed Stalinist Party. Rubashov now imprisoned as a scapegoat for the party faces an intellectual dilemma; while looking at his selfish and immoral actions of the past he feels that he deserves to pay regardless of his false persecution. So through Rubashov’s intellectual dilemma, Koestler expresses the feelings that he too felt during his time as a party member.

In the chapter entitled ‘The Grammatical Fiction,’; Rubashov contemplates this question of his guilt, and decides that he, and all of the Old Guard are guilty, ‘although not of those deeds of which they accused themselves. ‘ (p. 205). They are responsible for the manipulation of the truth, and deception of their followers (in expediency to the Party). Rubashov, as a loyal follower of Marx and Lenin, realized that his utopia could no longer exist, and that the Party no longer represented the interests of the Revolution or the masses.

Now, as Rubashov understands his fate and the fate of the party, he is haunted by guilt. However this guilt does not correspond with his accusation, as he is accused of ‘counter-revolutionary agitation on behalf of foreign power and of participating in a conspiracy to murder No. 1 (Stalin)’. Rubashov, being forced to confess to his false crimes, does so as duty to the revolution but moreover as he feels that he has done wrong and deserves to pay. His accusers have no proof but insist that the acts of conspiracy against Stalin are the only logical consequence of Rubashov’s opinions.

Rubashov is therefore forced to confess, as innocent as he may be he confesses nonetheless. Gletkin, who was the main interrogator to Rubashov, uses sleep deprivation and a glaring light to obtain the confession. However Gletkin does not resort to cruder methods of torture, rather to convince Rubashov, with his loyalty to the party, that it is his duty to confess; as his confession is for the will of the revolution, or expediency to the cause. Rubashov had threatened Party unity and in doing so endangered the Revolution.

So hence Rubashov must condemn himself to send a message to the people: that any form of deviation from the Party is a criminal act. This however does not represent the reasoning behind Rubashov’s motives; to Rubashov, confession was his only means of redemption. Rubashov, only half convinced of Gletkin’s reasoning, now had a desire to be punished for his acts against conventional ethics. He feels that he is guilty for putting his own personal goals against morality, the way that he was dishonest to himself by putting self-preservation above humanity.

To whichever standard Rubashov holds himself (it is unclear generally), he felt that he had failed, and consequently he must pay with his life and his reputation. Rubashov realized that it was not possible to put expediency above morality and conform to conventional ethics. Rubashov and accordingly Koestler concluded with his opinion that on the broader scale and also with the Stalinist State that noble ends is not justified by ignoble means. Koestler tackled the theme of revolutionary ethics, and decided that ethics in revolutionary movements do not comply with conventional ethics.

The novel Our Guys

The novel Our Guys, written by Bernard Lefkowitz, is a very dynamic story about the heinous actions of a dozen middle-class athletes, from a small New York suburb, against a defenseless mentally handicapped girl. Lefkowitz describes a brutal gang rape involving a baseball bat and broomhandle, which took place in this unsuspecting town, by these upstanding young group of boys, as the town would describe them. Lefkowitz looks at the incident which took place and then examines the “jock clique” sub-culture that allowed such atrocities to happen, and spawned the scandal to cover it up.

The town of Glenridge is at the surface not any different than any other surburban American town. Like most towns it has its “cliques” and the “jocks” are at the pinnacle of the town. Idolized by the students and a sourse of pride for the entire town, however the Glenridge boys were not like most high school athletes. The “Jock clique” formed at a very early age,and invaded their surroundings taking over where ever they went, whether it be school, games or around town, protected by the “boys will be boys” attitude held by the rest of the town.

The boys started showing signs of beligerance as early as elementary school, with a common ignorance for authority. The group was later easily passed through middle school to relieve the teachers of another year enduring the “problem” class. Once in high scholl the boys became the leaders of the school, andpride of the town. In Glenridge sports were valued higher than academics, turning these young men into heros, and everyone else into nobodies. There was not anything anyone could do to derail this movement, nor did they try to. Glenridges attitude towards women was very outdated.

Women were regarded as mothers and wives, their jobs weere to make the men of the town happy. They were treated as objects and rarely held positions of authority-there were not any women mentors, therefore everyone lokked up to their fathers and saw that men were the supreme beings. Most of the boys did not even have any female influences other than their mothers; infact only two of the boys involved had sisters, Bryan Grober and Phil Grant. Thes boys were raised in dressing rooms by males and taught to respect the institute and brotherhood of a team.

That if they respected their sacred bond they could do anything. Nothing was more important than the team or eachother. The Jocks of Glenridge were very much protected by the town and their parents. When the boys caused destruction or resorted to delinquency, money would simply change hands with out involving the law or the media. Everything was always taken care of and kept very low profile. The parents of these “jocks” were also very respected within the community and refused to believe their children had any sort of problems.

When Kevin Scherzer’s problems were brought to the attention of his parents they simply denied the existence of a problem and dismissed the situation. When the school wanted to take disciplinary actions against Kevin, the Scherzer’s would not allow it. The parents played a major role in the deliquency of these young men, however they were not alone. The other students acceptance and adoration of the “jocks” behavior is as much to blame as anything else that led up to this behavior exhibited by the “jocks”.

The “little mothers”( as they were referred as) were treated with disrespect and as sexual objects. They would repeatedly engage in acts of voyeurism. They would also willingly fellate any member of this group, and some would even go so far as “making a train” or other acts of group sex with “our guys”. Many of these girls were referred to as “trained seals” and were proud of their titles. (p. 147) There was never any complaints made and as the boys got older the more deviant they became.

The Leslie Faber rape took place in the Scherzer’s basementon the afternoon of March 1, 1989. During the trial the defence attorneys did everything they could to try and potray that Leslie faber was a willing participant and actually enjoyed, if not the acts performed, her inclusion to the “cool group”. The defence portrayed Leslie as a “Lolita”(p. 362) and that her seduction was to great for the boys reject. They even mentioned the fact that “we’re talking about sixteen year-old boys with hard-ons, what weree they supposed to do when faced with overt female sexuality? ” (p. 212)

Leslie’s personal life was dragged through the mud for the entirety of the trial, leaving the jury to decide whether she had the capacity to refuse sexual advances and demands. Leslie’s entire life history and character were put on trial, eventhough none the sexual histories of any of the defendants was ever discussed. The defendants character was never was put to scrutiny, nor was their records of sexual deviance and general lewd conduct ever introduced at trial. It seems the everyone involved felt more inclined to protect a bunch of gang rapists, rather than a seventeen year old mentally handi-capped girl.

The community even stuck behind its hometown heros showing overwhelming support for the jocks and condemned the Faber’s and their cause. Through out the trial the defence council openly manipulated Leslie every way they could have. They attempted to confuse her and make her contradict herself, hoping perhaps, to make it seem as though she was making the story up. Their efforts however, only made the prosecutions case stronger by showing how vulnerable and eager to please Leslie really was. Through the entirety of her testimony, Leslie trade sides and versions of her story to suit whom she wanted to please.

This allowed the jury to see the real Leslie, her true personality, moreover the jury was able to definitively conclude that she was unable to refuse the sexual advancements of the defendants. The prosecution in this case did a superb job trying this case. Theere case faced a trmendous amount of adversity. The lack of physical evidence and support from the community, along with the fact it took three weeks to even be reported. This case was a turning point for the community of Glen Ridge. Finally the “jocks” had been given consequences and Leslie Faber’s rights had been made the priority over the towns reputation and that of its citizens.

This story exposed an age old sub culture and gave it attention. This time it was a group of tightly knit high school athletes, within a tightly knit town. Lefkowitz looked beyond the surface to find out what was at the root of the problem. He found that these boys were a product of there environment, and that sociologically speaking, men will do just about anything so long as they feel they are protected by a team mentality. He draws a paralell between masculinity violence and deragatory demeaning attitudes towards women.

Lefkowitz clearly accomplishes his goal of exposing not only what this group did, but also by sending a warning to others about the consequences of allowing athletes to do as they please. However he does not do a good job of being non-partisan. He leads his readers to believe the only group of people who would do such things are “jocks”. This bias is not true. The newspapers report that University fraternities, and secret societies are as likely, if not more likely, to commit these very same acts. He also leads the reader to believe that all athletes and athletic teams are similar.

The impression he leaves about the majority of teams and their members is prejudicial and unfair. It is very unfortunate and disheartening that members of a community that were so highly reguarded, would commit such acts. It is even more disturbing to hear about the scenario leading up to the rape, and the community which produced these troubled young men. It is more important to look at why the events took place rather than who committed them, because ultimately the only innocent person involved is the victim, a mentally handicapped young girl, named Lesli Faber.

The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman

In the novel The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman, there were many different stories about JanePittmans life. In the movie there were not as many stories as the novel, but they were still quite interesting. The novel and the movie had many similarities and differences. Some of the similarities were very noticeable. Just from the beginning, in both the movie and the novel, Ned carried the two rocks that made the fire for Jane and Ned. Ned then moves away and writes Jane, but the letter doesnt reach Jane for a whole year. Albert Clevoue shot Ned in both. Joe had to pay colonel Dye for getting him out of trouble with the Ku Klux Klan.

Colonel Dye was selfish and asked for money as “interest”, most find him just greedy. Once Jane and Joe moved away, Jane had a couple of dreams that Joe would be killed by some horse, so she went to a hoo-doo. Sure enough, Joe was killed by a horse. Later, a boy was born, and they called him “The One. ” His name was Jimmy. They wanted him to become a preacher, but he didnt want to. Differences that were highly noticeable were that in the novel, the interviewer was a teacher that anted her information for his class and in the movie, it was a magazine reporter.

When Albert Clevoue died in the novel, the chariots of hell came for him, and in the movie, you dont even hear of his death. In the novel, it was a black horse that killed Joe Pittman, and the movie, white. In conclusion, the novel had more, described the stories more thoroughly. One might find that the novel is much more enlightening than the movie, but it takes more time to read the novel than it does to watch the movie! All in all, The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman was a fine novel.

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

This entire novel takes place in England between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, two homes on the English moors. There is a distance of approximately two miles between the two homes. The moors are vast open lands that may stretch out for miles at a time. Due to location and climate, there is usually a heavy fog present on the moors during the night. This presence adds dreariness and confusion to the already complex feud occurring between the two families living in the homes. The exact period of time was never precisely established but the general time period is suggested by the setting.

The use of horses for transportation back and forth between the two homes was maximized as there was a consistent flow of news between the two families. The use of candles being taken “upstairs to bed” also suggests an early time period. The actual duration of the book takes many years, approximately sixty, due to the spreading of the story over three generations. One chief character was Heathcliff. The entire story was written around Heathcliff and yet he wasn’t really the main character. Heathcliff was adopted off of the streets at a very young age. Neither of his foster siblings cared much for him at first.

Eventually, his sister grew to like him and his brother grew to hate him. As the years passed, Heathcliff’s brother Hindley continued to scar him emotionally and his sister Cathy grew to love him with such a passion that when Cathy and Hindley died in their middle ages, Heathcliff vowed to take revenge on Hindley’s son and to not rest until he lay in the ground beside Cathy. There were many instances in the story where one was compelled to feel sorry for the way Heathcliff was constantly barraged by Hindley’s acts of contempt. However, no matter how much damage Hindley did, there was no one to blame for Heathcliff’s mannerism but

Heathcliff. One example of Heathcliff’s psychological turmoil was when Cathy died. He bribed the cemetery caretaker to open Cathy’s grave after the funeral services had passed. On doing so, Heathcliff kicked one side of the coffin in so that the dust and dirt could be free to intermingle with the body of Cathy. He instructed the caretaker to close the grave and to repeat the same ordeal this time with Heathcliff’s coffin when he died. Another chief character was Nelly, the secondary narrator. (Secondary because she tells the majority of the story within the dialogue of the primary narrator.

Nelly was the only person that was present at the beginning of the story and lived to tell the see the end of it. Nelly was an important character because she was the one that raised most of the children in the story. Although the children may not have turned out the way Nelly would have liked, she still played an important part in shaping the lives of the characters and in turn the course of the story. The most important event of the story, I believe, was when Heathcliff died. With Heathcliff dead, along with Cathy and Hindley, there was no one remaining who wished to seek revenge upon nother.

Hindley’s son Haerton eventually married Cathy’s daughter, Cathy. And as most stories go, the two lived happily every after at Wuthering Heights. I would strongly recommend this book to another reader. The book is well written. It is easily read due to the manner in which the text flows. There is no need to tear apart the sentences in order to follow the story as you would in reading, for instance, Lord of the Flies. All in all the book had a good storyline, a wonderful cast of characters, a pleasant ending, and is definitely a classic piece of English Literature.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

“The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham is an entertaining yet plausible story. It compels the reader to think about human nature and our attitude to the world around us that we often take for granted. The setting of “The Chrysalids” is several hundred years after a nuclear war. What is left of civilization is a few small towns here and there all over the countries of the world. The population is by the leadership what the “true image” is apparently meant to be.

If you are not of the true image then you are sent to live in the fringes. Many people and animals are born with birth defects caused by the nuclear radioactivity that is still present from the nuclear destruction of previous years. The population that is considered of the “true image” are cruel to the “freaks” or “mutants”. Some of the people in the novel are also very bigoted like David’s father. He thinks he is the king of the castle and can’t be wrong.

If he says something it should happen like where he has an argument with the inspector about the giant horses or when he burnt that families cat because it didn’t have a tail eg “It is your moral duty to issue an order against these so called horses!! ” Various people including David’s father all agree that deviants are from the devil and should be castrated or thrown out of society. Another thing is that people are forced to agree with the laws and if they don’t they are also thrown from society where they would either be killed or spend the rest of their miserable lives in the sloughs of the fringe people.

Their attitude towards the world is OK I suppose. They don’t really use that much of the worlds resources in Waknuk or any of the other little towns around. They don’t need to think about how much longer the supplies of these materials are going to last because all that they are using at the moment is trees, which they seem to have plenty of, and water which they get from wells and rivers. There food they grow or hunt and cook and bake things over open fires I would assume.

But then on the other hand it looks like the people on this other place where they take David, Rosalind and Petra are past the technology of today’s society and therefore I would have to assume that they only use what is necessary as well because they seem to have more advanced flying contrivances and should have overcome the problem of petrol usage etc. In conclusion it can be seen that in Waknuk etc. they are very primitive and will not go forward.

An Analysis of Cry, the Beloved Country

In Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country two characters, Absalom’s girl and Gertrude, show the how society in Johannesburg is as a whole. Absalom’s girl symbolizes how girls her age are mothers and have even become divorced several times before. On the other hand Gertrude, Kumalo’s sister, illustrates the qualities of a young woman who becomes corrupt from Johannesburg’s filthy system of stealing, lying, and prostitution. Both of them show the ways of Johannesburg as a whole.

When Gertrude is first found, by Kumalo, she is seen as a ragged and dirty person making her living as a prostitute. When Kumalo sees this he thinks of how she could have a much better living if she came back with him. This is, in essence, the same thing that Kumalo and the blacks are trying to do to Johannesburg. These people are trying to fix the corruption that has taken place in the city.

Gertrude, like many others who have come to Johannseburg, or who were even born there, were brought to a world where corruption is the key to living. This is the only way to make a decent life and so they stoop to the lowest levels possible, cheating and prostitution. And just like the rest Gertrude can’t be saved from what has become. Even though Kumalo tries to save her and the city of Johannesburg from what it has become it is known that once they have become what they have it’s impossible to change them back.

Absalom’s girl, on the other hand, symbolizes how the society gets into many difficulties at a very young age. This girl has already had several husbands and has a child. Like the rest of the population of Johannesburg she has been confronted by something she is not ready to face. Because of the way of life in this city her choices, along with many others, is half chance. Even though it seems to be the right thing it isn’t the same outside of the city.

Symbolism is also shown through Absalom’s girl to Absalom. Many people, in Johannesburg, have spouses who make a living by doing many bad things including stealing. Also, a great number have lost someone because of what they do, either by death or by getting arrested and prosecuted. Either way the people are taking a risk and it is shown by what happens to Absalom.

In a land filled with hatred the way of life of Absalom’s girl, along with Gertrude, was considered normal to most. These ideas are imprinted into their heads now and can’t be changed, even by Stephen. Change can’t be in grasp if the people involved don’t know any way of making a better life than through what they are doing. If all these people know is stealing and prostitution than when you give them new ideas it does not interest them.

Even though Gertrude and Absalom’s girl accepted the invitation to change they still didn’t change. Changing is even beyond their own power because unfortunately this new idea of life has been engraved in their heads. Gertrude and Absalom’s girl, symbolized, represent everyone in Johannesburg black or white.

The novel Mrs. Miniver

In Mrs. Miniver, a novel of about 300 pages, Jan Struther writes about the simple and fulfilling life of Kay Miniver and her family as they go through the struggles of WWII. Struther shows Mrs. Minivers optimism and vitality despite the effects of the war on her family. A narrator, who watches the family through dialogue between the family and other characters, tells the novel. Mrs. Miniver is often alone admiring something and commenting to herself. Her spirit and good will are shown in events with her family before the war, during the war when her family is separated, and after the war when they reunite again.

Struther shows Mrs. Minivers gaiety and liveliness in light that she is oblivious to the impending war that will deeply affect her life. Mrs. Miniver and her family have the same troubles and pleasures like many other families. One of these pleasures is the day that their new car is scheduled to arrive. The family is excited and is anticipating the beautiful color and design of the car. Christmas shopping is the next event for Mrs. Miniver. Like most other mothers in Oxford, she has waited until the week before Christmas to do her shopping thus getting stuck in long lines with aggressive people.

Realizing she will have yet another busy year, Mrs. Miniver decides it is time to invest in an expensive engagement book. This precious diary will hold all of her memories and events for an entire year. To give it away is impossible, to lose it is disastrous, and to scrap it and start a new one entails a laborious copying out of all the entries that have already been made, thought Mrs. Miniver about the process of buying one. These three ordinary and simple events lead into the first day of spring.

Here, she would find herself thinking, is where I end and the outside world begins. It was exciting, but divisive: it made for loneliness. Her spirit and vitality remain even as the war becomes closer to reality. Even though Mrs. Miniver and her family are separated during the war, her hopefulness and merriment are established. The war has come, and the family must go and pick up their gas masks. We ought to have got one for Teddy, Toby replies as they receive their masks. The family is now separate.

Clem has gone off with his AAB, and Vin has been sent up to Quern. The childrens day school has been evacuated to the west country, and the maids have gone down to Starlings to prepare it for refugees. Mrs. Miniver, staying at her sisters flat, has signed on as an ambulance driver and has still been optimistic. For even if none of them was killed or injured, and even if their house did not, after all, attract one of the high-explosive bombs, one couldnt send away, or replace the notches on the nursery door-post where they had measured the children every year.

Through it all, Mrs. Miniver still finds time daily to write Clem and Vin and tell them how the rain has stopped or how Toby has learned to say a new word. She knows that one day the war will be over, so she will keep her cheerful nature for tomorrow and the day after. The reunion of the Miniver family displays her faith and perseverance as she has survived through the war and is ready to continue life again. The family settles down for Hogmanay tea and flapjacks as they relay their stories while they were apart.

This was the cream of marriage, this nightly turning out of the days pocketful of memories. It gave you, in a sense, almost a double life: though never, on the other hand, quite a single one. After the holidays, life returns to a normal routine, as the family takes a stroll down to Aunt Hettys house by the river. Mrs. Miniver has an attribute of taking very ordinary things and making them extraordinary and suddenly important. She ponders how far a mile really is and how mud feels between her toes in the summer. Mrs. Miniver decides to take her first plane trip to Scotland.

After her fears are gone, she realizes the best part about flying that no one has ever told her is, you may suddenly find a rainbow arched across the tip of your wing, as though you had caught it in passing and carried it along with you. Her realization of this simple concept shows her exhilarating personality. In the last chapter of the novel, it is time for Mrs. Miniver to make out her annual Christmas list. As she reads through all of her past lists, she realizes No, she could not possibly throw them away: they contained too much of her life. On this note of happiness and closure the novel ends.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Duddy’s obsession with land lies within his grandfather, Simcha. When Duddy was small, he spoke those unforgettable words to him, “A man without land is nobody. ” When it seemed as if nobody cared or respected him, Simcha did. Duddy did not receive the same kind of love from his father or uncle as Lennie did. When Duddy comes back from work at, he asks, “Why [Max] didn’t answer any of [his] letters? ” He replies he wasn’t “one for letters. ” “But Duddy remembered that when Lennie had worked as a camp counsellor one summer his father had written every week.

He had driven out to visit him twice. “(pp. 104 & 105) Duddy did not have the same kind of affection and devotion Lennie and Max shared. The same situation came from his uncle, Benjy. At first sight, Benjy described him as having a “thin crafty face, the quick black eyes and the restlessness… the grain so shrewd and knowing, all made a bad impression on Uncle Benjy. ” (p. 61) Benjy supported Lennie, giving him money for his education. With the exception of Simcha, he had no other parental support which is the reason why Simcha words had such a great effect on him.

Duddy gains what he had wanted in its acquisition, respect. Everyone except Simcha, Mr. MacPherson, and Uncle Benjy thought he was going to be a nobody. He wanted so much to prove them wrong and he has. We may say he has gained self assurance, restating the fact he was a somebody important. Since his days at Fletcher’s Field High School, he ran a gang based on respect, not friendship. Things do not change when he becomes an adult. Virgil is just one of the people Duddy uses to get money for his land.

He feels no grief for hurting his so called friends because he has never experienced true friendship. His purchasing of land would push him into higher step in society. What he gains is nothing compared to what he loses. Duddy has lost his innocence. No longer is he the pure and naive boy as before, but now a corrupt, immoral man. Duddy has chosen a life without conscience or goodness, beginning a life with no morals and corrupt “friends. ” He does not think twice to people he has hurt which displays the deterioration of his character.

He has traded morality for destructive materialistic values. Simcha believed in him but now looks at him in shame for he knows the respect he will gain is shallow. The strangers who respect him look at his money, not at his heart. To Simcha, money is not everything. He has lived a life based on respect but for character, not riches. Simcha’s words have impacted Duddy’s life but not in the way he wanted, never like this in his darkest nightmares. There is no more respect towards Duddy in Simcha’s eyes but in this twisted world, respect from the overall public.

Duddy knows of Simcha disapproves of his actions but at the end, he does not care, he thinks everything will be all right. This is the kind of person he has turned out to be. Someone who does not understand what is wrong from right. His conscience feels nothing, not even for the person who truly supported him from the start. If this is how his mind works for someone he loves, it frightening to think how his treats someone he hates. He loses the meaning of respect and decency and gains a numbness to corruption. Simcha’s ironic words gained Duddy land but made him a heartless criminal.

Voyager Out By Katherine Frank

Katherine Franks novel A Voyager Out tells the life story of Mary Kingsley. She talks of her childhood, her young adult life, and her traveling life. She wanted to tell the world what this woman explorer did for Africa. Mary Kingsley had a famous family, many of whom were writers. Mary herself wrote two books. In her books however, she leaves out a lot about her life. A lot of what Katherine Frank had discovered came from Marys letters to friends while traveling. Some people who were the recipients of her letters found it odd that she put so much into her correspondences.

In one case, she wrote a ten-page letter to a friend. His response to her was that she was wasting many of her good stories that could be published on a letter. Her response was to write him a six-page letter. She loved writing. She also loved her voyages to Africa. Part of Mary Kingsleys reason for loving her travel abroad came from her childhood life. Mary was born the daughter of a high-class man and his cook. George Kingsley was a writer and came from a family of writers. He did not produce much however. He left a lot of his works unfinished, and many others unstarted.

Because he did not do much in is lifetime, it has been said that his greatest gift to the world was his daughter. Her mother, Mary Bailey, was the innkeepers daughter. Four days after her father and mother were married, Mary Kingsley was born. If her father had not married her mother, Mary would have been bastard child of a destitute domestic. Mary would have only been able to lead a life of servitude herself. Oddly enough though, most of her young life was lead in servitude. Mary lived a long life of isolation. During her adolescent years, her mother was her only female role model of what a woman is supposed to be.

Her mother was sick most of he time and therefore Mary had to take care of her and the household chores. While her father was off on one of his many voyages, Mary Bailey had the front windows of the house bricked closed. The house was kept dark and stuffy. Growing up like this made a normal childhood almost impossible for Mary Kingsley. Part of her mothers illnesses came from constant worry about George. He went on many trips overseas and partook in many heroic adventures. He would write home to his family about his adventures and this caused his mother great grief.

Because of the grief this caused Mary Bailey, George stopped writing of his eroics to her, and instead wrote of them to his daughter. Mary Kingsley had to become a self-sufficient person. With her mother being bedridden and her father being overseas, Mary grew up on her own. Being a girl, Mary was not given many opportunities at an education. The only education she had paid for her was a class in German. Most of her education came from reading her fathers books. She taught herself Latin, Physics, and Chemistry, which was an unusual curriculum for even the most erudite governess (24).

Mary and her father had similar reading interests and were therefore constantly fighting over books to ead. They were both interested in reading the same book at the same time. George had a volcanic temper (27) so he was usually the victor of the fights. There was one instance when Mary decided to leave home for a small vacation. Mary had never been away from her home so this was a new experience for her. Only a short time into her trip, her mother became ill and Mary had to return to take care of her mother. After staying at her mothers bedside for quite some time, Mary Baileys health improved so Mary decided to finish her vacation.

While gone this second time, Mary Bailey had a stroke and Mary stayed ome with her mother from then on. Mary was never able to leave the home for a long period of time without her mothers condition worsening. Her father became ill and was bedridden for a while as well so Mary was taking care of both of them. George did eventually recover and so Mary was back to only having to take care of her mother. One night that George was feeling particularly well, he went to bed never to awaken. A month and a half later, Mary Bailey died as well. Mary felt her mother died because she no longer had anything to hold on to.

The death of her parents was somewhat a relief to Mary. She was finally free to be on her own. For the rest of Marys life, she dressed in black from head to toe. Part of this was out of mourning. After a while, however, the black clothes became accustomed to her. The hardest part of her parents death was having to sort through their personal things. She had to go through their old letters and personal papers and decide which things to keep and which things to throw away. While sorting through her parents belongings, she found her parents marriage license and her birth certificate.

This is when Mary realized just how close to being a bastard child she was. She already felt like an outsider in her family, and this only added to that feeling in her heart. Mary knew she had to get away. She wanted to travel to some of the places that she read about. A family friend suggested that she travel to the Canary Islands. The idea thrilled her. Unfortunately, Mary still had to look after her brother Charley. She felt that it was her womanly duty to look after her brother. She did not mind it actually. The only thing that bothered her was that her travel plans centered around his travel plans.

Every time Mary was ready to leave and thought that Charley was oo, his plans would somehow change or get put off. This gave Mary plenty of time to get ready for her voyage to Africa. She was told many times by many people of all the diseases that were awaiting her. This did not deter Mary though. She felt that she was ready for anything. She did, however, realize the risk that was involved, and therefore wrote a will before she left for her travels. On her journey, Mary brought with her two diaries, one for scientific information, and the other for her own personal thoughts and psychological findings.

She did not have a lot of money so she traveled light. Most white eople who traveled to Africa brought with them an entire entourage and hired African porters to carry their luggage. Mary did not want to set herself that far apart from the Africans. She traveled by trading goods and this helped her immensely while traveling. She felt that the Africans related better to her as a trader than they would have if she had come in empty handed. When the Africans saw that she had something they wanted, they would welcome her into their home. She lived off of food that the villages provided for her.

Marys mode of transportation for this first voyage was the ship The Lagos. While aboard The Lagos the issue of death came up many times. Many of the people aboard had stories of many white people who died making similar trips. The diseases that caused many of the deaths affected the white people so greatly because of the fact that the whites immune systems just were not able to handle the new climate and bacteria that the Africans had grown accustomed to. While aboard the ship some of the passengers died. At each new place that The Lagos stopped more and more deaths occurred. Still, Mary was not discouraged.

While on this first voyage Mary discovered the sickening prejudice of miscegenation. Mary was a strong defender of polygamy as well. Another unusual thing that Mary did was noting in her two books the physical beauty of the African. Because the African wore little or no clothing, it was probably the first time Mary had seen a naked body other than her own. She was probably the first white person many of these Africans had seen so it was a trade off of firsts. Mary had to deal with a lot of new issues in Africa that she had not even dreamt of while she was back in England, but she used this to learn and grow.

When Mary did finally return to England, she found it dull and lifeless. She was bored in England and missed Africa. To help ease her homesickness Mary redecorated her flat. She hung many African paintings and other artwork that she brought home with her. To add to the pseudo-Africa, she kept the temperature in her flat turned up so that the heat was like that of Africa. While in England helping her brother, she decided to write. It was through her writing that her imagination was able to return to Africa. She wrote of the people she met while in Africa and the various tribes she came across.

Most of her writings were about the scientific aspect of the tribe. There was also a personal touch that she put in her writings. Mary did not like being back in England and was excited to be able to return again two years later. She spent the remainder of her time in England preparing for her next voyage. For this next voyage, she had more money available to her because her publisher really wanted her to write about these people. Even though she had the extra money, she decided not to travel any more luxuriously than she had the first time.

She felt that traveling as a trader really helped her to connect with the people. She did not want to set herself above the people she was there o get to know. Even though she could afford it, she did not bring tinned food and other travel aids. She thusly decided to travel light. When others heard that she was traveling light they asked her to bring things to their loved ones for them. Mary, the nice woman that she is, could not say no. She ended up having a lot of luggage because of the many care packages she was bringing to various parts of Africa.

While in Christianborg Mary discovered just how bad the white mans death toll was. She was being given a tour of the Christianborg cemetery and she noted two wooden hoods covering empty graves. When she asked what these were for, she was told that they always had two graves dug ready for the white man to die. She was rather shocked at this revelation, and did not at first believe the necessity for these graves. The tour guide told her that just a few days past two men died before noon and then two more died later on in the evening. Mary wrote about this in her books. She wrote a lot about death in her books.

As a matter of fact, most of everything Mary wrote about had a motif of death or beauty. Part of Marys interest in death had to do with the fact that he was largely responsible for taking care of the ill that she came across. She never went anywhere without her medical bag. In one case she volunteered to take the night shift of sitting up with an ill man. She was used to sitting up at night with her mother so it was no big deal to her. She made sure though that no matter what time she was up to, she took an eight-mile walk. Sometimes she even took the walks while the person was asleep.

She took the walk in order to keep in shape as well as to discover new parts of the land. Helping to cure others was her skill in life. She worked so hard to make the diseases she was told bout before her first journey into something that the people could overcome. She never put her health into her mind. She was always more concerned with the wellbeing of others. She loved doing the good deeds that she did, even when they were not the best condition. Marys finally voyage was to South Africa. When she arrived there she was told that her job would be to help the Boer prisoners of war.

Although the task was not pleasing, Mary accepted the duty. The conditions that she worked in were deplorable. The hospital was filled with about 200 wounded men in need of care, and only one doctor and three nurses. Mary was rather busy with this task, and fortunately for her, over time the hospital got a few more doctors and nurses, and even a few male orderlies. Mary wrote letters to friends describing the conditions at the hospital. Typical Mary always added humor to even the saddest of letters. One of Marys final letters never got mailed to its recipient.

The letter told of the stench, the washings, the enemas, the bedpans, and blood (295) that she had to deal with every day. Those were the things that Marys entire life consisted of. She began her life by taking care of her ill mother, crusaded all of her life by elping Africans and British who were overcome by sicknesses found in Africa, and then later died from being surrounded by diseases all of her life. She always took care of others, never worrying about herself. One day she began to feel the same symptoms that she had for so many years treated. She tried to keep silent, not wanting anyone to see her weakness.

Finally, it was impossible to hide the fact that she was sick. Marys final days were spent in bed. She woke up one day with an intense stomach pain. She was rushed into surgery performed by one of the doctors she worked with and had become close to. He was convinced hat the surgery had fixed her problem, but Mary knew better. She knew herself well enough to know she was dying. She only had two dying requests. The first being buried at sea rather than in a cold tomb that was waiting for her back in England. She felt that she should be buried in the Cape of Good Hope where she spent a great deal of her time.

Her second request was hard for her friends to fulfill, but out of love for Mary, they did. Mary wanted to die alone. She wanted to have her final peace. She needed this. Her friends left her be. When she slipped into a coma, they returned to her bedside and waited. In order to fulfill Marys request to be buried at sea, her good friend and fellow doctor also requested a military burial as well. She would not have permitted this because of how humble she was. Many people felt that this military burial was the only thing appropriate for a woman who did as much as she did.

Her funeral was filled with many solemn speeches and final words. Mary would not go out that way, however. She always had to add that bit of humor to everything she did. When her casket was thrown overboard, it was not properly weighted and therefore did not sink. Her coffin bobbed up and down in the water for a while as her final goodbye. An anchor was eventually tied onto the casket and the body of the great Mary Kingsley sunk into the water where she rested with the beauty of the coral and pearls and other sea creatures surrounding her.

Now for the opinion part. The book was great. Mary Kingsley was an extremely interesting woman. She did many great things for those who not many wanted to help. However, the book was not easy to read. The book was rather repetitive. Mary was born, helped the sick, went to Africa, helped the sick, people died, she left Africa, went back o Africa, helped the sick, people died, left Africa, went back to Africa, helped the sick you get the point. It was a little bit difficult for me to pick out the important details to share with the class in this report.

I did not want to bore the class with the same thing over and over. Yes, I realize that Mary led an extremely wonderful life, and therefore all of the details of her life should be considered important. However, some of them were rather boring. Mary did a great deal of thing that should be looked up to and respected. I do respect this woman that I have never had the chance to meet. The things she did were extremely courageous. She put other peoples lives ahead of hers. Never once did she stop and say, This could be dangerous to me.

She was always willing to go above and beyond. It gives me a great example of a way to lead a selfless life. I am not saying that I want to go to the extremes that Mary did, but I think that I could definitely learn a lot about helping others by following her lead. We all can. Mary crusaded to help those who did not get help from others. She was a strong woman who did what she believed was right, not what others thought was right. She was a pilgrim of some sorts. She began what others eventually followed. Because of her, many others were willing to help those in need.

I would recommend this book to any of those looking to find their own inner strength. Reading of this womans adventures gives a great deal of motivation to get out and do something. If you are one of those who is thinking of going out and helping others and crusading for justice, this book would do a great deal for you. However, this book needs to be read in one sitting. If you read bits and pieces of this book at a time, it takes too long and therefore drones on. That is the trap that I fell into. I read chapter by chapter and it felt as if I was rereading the same part of the book over and over.

Part of the difficulty in the reading might come from the fact that the book was written about someone from that someones own books. Confused? Mary wrote a few books and lots of letters. She even wrote her fathers book for him. The research that the author of The Voyager Out based her writings on was Marys own writings. A lot of the book therefore was secondhand, and some was firsthand. At times it was hard to tell whether the information was gotten from something Mary erself said or from an assumption Katherine Frank got from reading Marys writings.

Another difficulty I found while reading the book was that most of Mary Kingsleys family was named George, Charles, or Henry. Most of them also had one of those three for middle names as well. The females were named Mary and Charlotte. In order to keep this tradition alive, many of the men married women named Mary or Charlotte. Mary has a cousin Mary, her mother is Mary, and she is Mary. Her Uncle Charles did a lot, but her brother Charley was lazy. While reading I found myself having to reread in order to find out who was being alked about at this time.

For a good portion of my reading I was reading about Charley thinking that her uncle was the one being referred to. I had to reread almost an entire chapter once I discovered it was her brother. The audience of the book is most likely those who are already interested in doing similar deeds. The book is not so much a call to action as it is a remembrance of this great woman, therefore most of the readers probably already have some knowledge of what Mary did based on their own experiences. I think if the book had been written more to persuade others to get involved it would have been more nteresting.

Because the audience is assumed to already be interested in what Mary did, I am sure most of the readers did not get bored of the repetition of what Mary did throughout her life. In general I am glad that I read this book, although I am extremely glad that I am done with it. If anyone else would like to read it, great! I would encourage you to go out and gain knowledge of what this woman did to help the sick in Africa. It is a truly touching story. If, on the other hand, you have other things to do, other tests to study for, or parties to go to, I would suggest doing that first.

Comparing The Pact and Memoirs of a Geisha

In the novels The Pact, by Jodi Piocoult and Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden there is a strong reflection of life and its negative aspects. Not only do both novels involve a female whos life is controlled by those around her, but the girls are also controlled by a desired conception of themselves that they feel they have to achieve. The predominant ideas that exist in both works are those concerned with ones personal will to live a certain way and to achieve goals that are believed to grant success. Both stories involve a female who, through out her life, endures the pain that sometimes comes with the bleak reality of our world.

The childhood traumas and the severe pressure exerted upon each of the woman causes them to suffer; However Sayuri, although, she is deprived of her individual freedom, uses her situation to its full potential where as Emily can not deal with the pain and has a mental breakdown. Both Sayuri, in Memoirs of a Geisha and Emily in The Pact suffer through a childhood trauma. Sayuri, begins her life in the small town of Yoroido, Japan, where she lives with her family and knows herself at this time, as Chiyo; her name does not change to Sayuri until years later.

Sayuri is dealing with the deterioration of her mother who is ill with cancer, and is preparing for her death, while her father is a quiet, distant man who neither knows Sayuri or her sister, Satsu. It isone afternoon when her father, with out confronting his wife or children makes a deal with a significant man to sell his children. Sayuri is taken to see a lady who inspects her in appalling ways to find out if she is suitable to be sold. Sayuri soon finds herself on a train leaving Yoroido, where she will be separated from her entire family and transported to a far town called Gion.

Years later, while being treated as a slave in an Okiya, a Japanese Geisha house in Japan, Sayuri is still traumatised by what happened to her. I couldnt stop thinking about Mr. Tanaka. He had taken me from my mother and father and sold me for slavery. He sold my sister to something even worse (Golden, 82). Sayuri never sees her parents again, for she receives a letter some time after she had been taken informing her that her parents had past away. Sayuri is left in an unfamiliar world alone, and sees no hope for a brighter future. It would have been enough to know that my father had died, or that my mother had died.

But to learn in a single moment that both my mother and father had died and left me and that my sister too was lost to me foreverat once my mind felt like a broken vase that would not stand. I was lost even with in the room around me (Golden,103). With these experiences, it makes it difficult for Sayuri to see anything positive in a life that has only offered her sorrow. Emily Gold in The Pact also under goes a devastating childhood experience. When Emily is very young, she is raped by an employee of Macdonalds restaurant when she goes to use the bathroom there one afternoon.

Emily never speaks a word of this incident to anyone. As hard as she tries to forget about this occurrence, and put it behind her, it is too difficult. The memories of the rape haunt her when she is making love to her boyfriend, Chris. Instead of her seeing her lovers hands touching her, she envisions the dirty paws of the man that abused her years ago. Everything was sharper. She could smell his black breath, feel the course hairs on the back of his hand, see her own face staring back at her. She was wearing something with an elastic waist; it snapped back against her hips.

There were the familiar sensations of his fingernails scratching at her. His palms grinding up against her nipples, the burning between her legs. But this time there was more. The droning whirr of what? -bees? The tang of disinfectant. And the unmistakable scent of a kitchen, of something being fried in grease (Picoult, 175). Emily has visions of the rape in her dreams and in reality. This makes her feel dirty and worthless and she begins to wonder why she cant feel secure with anyone, including her own boyfriend, the guy she grew up with.

Because of this traumatising experience, Emily has lost her trust in people and is now self conscious and afraid to be touched by anyone else. It is manifest that Emily and Sayuri experience some brutal incidents in their childhood, and also clear that these occurrences effect them still years later. Both Emily and Chiyo are pressured and controlled through out their life by those around them and by their own personal ideas of life. When Sayuri is sent to live at the Okiya, it is made clear to her that the only way she will be successful in life is if she becomes a well-known Geisha.

If she does not succeed , her life is doomed. As soon as she arrives at the Okiya, it is made quite clear what is expected of her. If you work very hard, and obey everyone around you, youll grow up to be a geisha yourself one day. But you wont make it as far as next week unless you listen to mother and I very closely, and do exactly as you are expected to do (Golden, 40). At this point, all of the doors of dream and opportunity are closed to Sayuri as she is forced into something, that she does not particularly want to do, but would prefer it to being a slave for the rest of her life.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, the world that is entered is one where appearances are paramount; where a girls virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where woman are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. Sayuris life, when she is taken from Yoroido to Gion went through the dramatic change of belonging to her, to being owned by those around her who are more powerful in terms of wealth and status. As Sayuri gradually becomes more successful as a geisha, she no longer has control over, even, her own identification. Mahema, an experienced geisha, becomes her geisha sister.

This is when Chiyos name is officially changed to Sayuri. As Sayuri gets older, she is told that it is time to lose her virginity. Love, in her case is not an issue, but it is the man who pays the most amount of money, that will take away her innocence forever. Instead of Sayuri ever getting married, she will be assigned to a danna, a man who will support her financially. Once Sayuri is linked with her danna, there forms a karmic bond that will last a lifetime. Although Sayuri dreams of being together with a man she has loved for years, she is forced to be under the control of Nobu, a wealthy businessman.

Sayuri, once with him, is never allowed to be with anyone else. When Sayuri express her feelings to Mahema that she wants more than kindness out of the man she is going to spend the rest of her life with, Mahema immediately reprimands her. I thought we all wanted kindness. Perhaps what you mean is that you want something more than kindness. And that is something you are in no position to ask (Golden, 296). Sayuri feels the sorrow when Mahema explains this to her. She can not imagine spending the rest of her life with someone she has no feelings for.

Sayuri explains to Mahema that there are things she has always dreamed about, and Mahema’s response upsets Sayuri further. Youre afraid that after Nobu has touched you, all youre dreams can never be? Really Sayuri, what did you think life as a Geisha would be like? We dont become geisha so our lives will be satisfying. We become geisha because we have no other choiceYoung girls hope all sorts of foolish things, Sayuri. Hopes are like hair ornaments. Girls want to wear too many of them. When the get older, they look silly wearing even one (Golden, 297).

Through Sayuris life as a geisha, she is unable to make the decision who she will lose her virginity to, she is unable to even approach the man she loves let alone be with him, and her opportunities and chances for accomplishing her dreams are diminished into nothing. The only choice I can ever make is what kimono I will wear (Golden, 313). Sayuri spends her life in Gion, serving for wealthy men, and practising to be, how others want her to be. Emily in The Pact is also controlled by those around her, and by a perception of herself that she feels she must portray.

Through out Emilys life, both her and Chriss parents force the idea the one day Chris and Emily will be together, get married and have children. Emily knows nothing different than to be with Chris, because that is what everyone wants. It was clear that Chris loved her; of course hed want to make love to her. And certainly it was right-for Gods sake, shed been hearing her name linked to Chriss since before she could speak (Picoult, 141). Emily is so used to being told that her and Chris aregoing to end up together, it is as if her believing anything else is wrong.

Emily begins feeling, as their relationship becomes more serious, that what she and Chris has doesnt feel quite right. This frightens Emily, because she is violating the perception that everyone has created for her. If she isnt with Chris, she will disappoint everyone. When Emily becomes pregnant, everything good starts to disintegrate. Emily begins to view herself as a failure. She had spent her entire life being what everybody else had always wanted her to be. The perfect daughter, the budding artist, the best friend, the first love.

She had been so busy meeting everyone elses expectations, in fact, that it had taken her years to remember exactly why it was all one big farce. She was not perfect, far from it, and what you saw outside was not what you were really getting. Deep down she was dirty, and this was the kind of thing that happened to girls like her (Picoult, 202). The fact that Emily gets pregnant destroys her. She is unable to tell even Chris who is the father in fear of what her might think of her. She is unable to tell her parents, because she does not want to break the image they have of her.

Consequently, all the pressure and control deprives Sayuri of her individual freedom. However, she is still able to use her situation to its full potential. Emily, on the other hand, can not deal with such pain and has a mental breakdown, which in the end leads to suicide. As soon as Sayuri enters Gion she has two choices: to work hard to become a successful Geisha, or not to work hard, and suffer. She chooses to work hard to be successful. Despite this choice, Sayuris life does not belong to her anymore. She will do what she is told by those around her. And she will work not to attain love, or satisfaction, but to attain money.

At the beginning of the novel, Sayuri is looking back at her life when she begins her story. She comments in the opening paragraph: The truth is, that the afternoon when I met Mr. Tanaka Ichiro really was the best and the worst afternoon of my life (Golden, 1). Because Sayuri becomes a geisha, she learned that life has to offer some good things, but also a lot of bad things. Through this she learned to appreciate the wonderful things that much more. Although Sayuri never doesget to be with the Chairman, the man she wants to be with, she thanks him for what he gave her.

I wasnt thanking him for the coin, or even for stopping to help me. I was thanking him forwell, for showing me that something besides cruelty could be found in this world (Golden, 114). Although Sayuri goes through unimaginable emotional pain, she is still able to hold on to the pleasant things she can find, and make the best of them. Sayuri looks at her options and realizes they are slim, and decides to make the best of herself with what she has. You must be very proud, Mrs. Nitta, of how well your daughter is doing. Her fortunes have surpassed expectations! Wouldnt you agree? Golden, 297. Sayuri works so hard to become successful, that she surprises even the bitter, strict mother of the Okiya. Sayuri gains so much respect, that she sees decisions being left to be made by herself, instead of someone else. The years when Sayuri lives in Gion, are the years of the great depression, followed by the Second World War. It is clear that many suffered in Japan. If Sayuri had not been taken from her poor town in Yoriodo, she would have died. Gion, however, is one city, that for the most part, in the midst of all the traumas, and misery, still has some light shine on it.

While most Japanese lived in the dark valley through all the 1930s, in Gion, we were still warmed by the sun (Golden, 333). Although, when Sayuri is taken away from her home town, she lost her whole family, and her entire childhood, the move entitled her to many luxuries and experiences she would never of been able to endure if she had still lived in Yoroido. Becoming a geisha, in one way closes up all of Sayuris opportunities, but on the other hand, opened up an entire world of experiences and visions that would change her life. It is clear that Sayuri in the end prospers from all the suffering she goes through.

For Emily, the pain is too hard to deal with and her confidence is too low, she simply can not handle it, and she eventually ends up killing herself. Emily takes one look at herself, and sees how her life is treating her, and ultimately thinks that being dead would be better than being alive. Emily is too confused with in herself to deal with these problems. She is unaccustomed and unprepared for change due to the fact that she has such a set vision of herself that she must display. When she realizes that life is not always how you plan it to be, she does not know what to do.

Before Emily becomes pregnant, she expresses her fear of change. I wish things could stay like thislike nowforever (Picoult, 209). Death seems to totally preoccupy Emily. He realizes that this was Emily now, that the only time she seemed happy was when she was planning the way she would die (Picoult, 281. ) Life is no longer something Emily enjoyed. To her, it is an annoying phenomenon that only offers her problems. Her depression seems to be noticed by others around her, as if she is silently letting out a call for help. Emily paints a picture of a free form skull, with storm-clouded eye-sockets and a lolling tongue.

She entitles it self-portrait. It is evident that Emilys vision of herself is one of a girl who has failed and sunk to the darkest failures possible. She sees herself as a mentally dead person, whose body is still participating in a futile life. Emily eventually ends up killing herself in desperation for some peace and hapiness, and in an escape from her problems. Sayuri and Emily are both forced to endure ruthless and painful circumstances for a time in their life. Sayuri, although often unhappy, deals with her struggle and becomes a better person because of it.

Emily finds her life too distressing and unbearable and gives up trying to improve her life. Both works are very similar in that both women suffered childhood traumas. Sayuri is taken away from her family, and sold. Emily goes through the terrible experience of being raped. At a young age both girls experience negative circumstances, thereby altering their view of life. Both Sayuri and Emily are also controlled by others and by a perception of themselves. Sayuri isunable to make any of her own decisions, until she becomes one of the most successful geisha in the history of Japan.

Up until then, those around her control her every move, and make all of her decisions. Emily is pressured and controlled in that everyone has made for her a pathway through life, in which she is to walk. She has a perfect image laid out for her. When Emily violates this image by getting pregnant, and by continuing to let the haunting memories of rape destroy her relationship with Chris, she is scared, and feels she is failing. Emily suffers a mental breakdown. The contrast between the two stories is evident: Sayuri deals with her situation, by taken advantage of the positive opportunities she has, she makes the decision to become a geisha.

She sees all of the negative aspects, yet does not let go of the positive ones. Emily, on the contrary, lets her unpleasant experiences be a cause for her destruction, instead of making her stronger. The Pact and Memoirs of a Geisha are both worth while novels that allow us to become aware of reality. They are good comparable novels because we can see one alternative of dealing with lifes conflicts, which is ending them by ultimately ridding yourself of existence, or the other alternative, the one Sayuri took, which is realizing what positive things life still has to offer in a time when suffering is weighing you down.

The novel, “Cry, The Beloved Country,” by Alan Paton

Discrimination against people who are different can be identify in every country around the world. People of every sex, color, religion, and in this case, ethnicity are tormented. In the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s apartheid was an emanate injustice throughout the land of South Africa. Apartheid was the government’s rigid policy racial segregation between white Europeans and black natives. The official goal of apartheid was to establish laws that would isolate these groups in most activities, especially in education, employment, housing, and politics. The word apartheid means apartness in Afrikaans, one of South Africa’s official languages.

This inequity caused great conflict between the races. This conflict can be seen through the experiences of Steven Kumalo and James Jarvis, the main characters in the contemporary novel, on which, this paper is written. Both Steven and James have their own different views of apartheid. The character’s views of racial segregation in the novel, “Cry, The Beloved Country,” by Alan Paton, are reciprocated, resulting in new views of the black and white seclusion. Steven Kumalo struggled with both public and private feelings toward the whites who imposed the apartheid upon his people.

Steven Kumalo is an old, God-fearing, Zulu pastor from the rural valley of Umzimkulu in the countryside of South Africa (Brutus 361). He is beaconed to the large and over-populated city of Johannesburg to help his ailing sister. It is in the big city that he first publicly and privately realizes his feelings of apartheid. “He sees the condition of the black majority in white-ruled South Africa”(Claiborne 311). Kumalo sees how the natives are not allowed to enter “white only” restaurants, buses, schools, and even churches. His private reaction to this injustice is disbelief.

How could the minority have the right to ban the majority, if anything, he believes it should be vise-versa. Yet, publicly Steven displays himself as unaffected, and shows that he is optimistic that the injustice will be overcome and both whites and natives will live together in harmony. “Kumalo prospects nonviolent change in South Africa”(Mitgang 311). When he finds his sister, she has become a prostitute because she is unable to support herself and her son. Obviously this resulted from the apartheid, to overcome it, Steven easily influences her to commit to change her evil ways, nonviolently.

One day in Johannesburg and already the tribe was being rebuilt, the house and the soul restored”(Paton 63). Still there was much more to be accomplished because there are thousands of natives in the same situation as his sister. In a conversation with Theophilus Msimango, a fellow pastor, Steven discusses his thoughts on how he believes the natives can overcome the apartheid. Some of us think when we have power, we shall revenge ourselves on the white man who has had power, and because our desire is corrupt, we are corrupted, and the power has no heart in it. But there is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love.

Because when man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it, I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating (Paton 70-71). Steven still sustains his optimism, but he cannot help but think that the racial change will be difficult. James Jarvis has his own public and private feelings toward the black natives, but his feelings are much more passive than Kumalo’s toward apartheid.

Jarvis also lives in the Umzimkulu valley, where he lives with his wife and owns a farm. His only connection to the “city life” is his son, Arthur, who lives in Johannesburg and sends letters to his parents periodically. In his letters Arthur informs his father of his involvement in the black community. Arthur is well known for speaking out against apartheid, and for opening a Boy’s Club for young natives to help better their lives. “It had been his wish that his son, the only child that had been born to them, would taken it after him, but his life was his own, and no other man had the right to put his hands on it”(Paton 163-4).

Jarvis does not understand why his son chooses to help the natives, but he does not question it because it is his own life. Jarvis holds a very narrow minded view toward the natives. “White men defend interests of the white. Black men defend the interests of blacks”(Jamba 313). This statement is most definitely not true, it just provides another example of what kind of attitude is preventing desegregation. James’ only relation to native people is through his farm. “And there was another system whereby a native could get land from the farmer, providing that he and his family gave so much labor each year to the white farmer”(Paton 163).

So, in fact, Jarvis really looks at natives as servants living off his land, to whom he owes nothing, especially respect. “I’m not a nigger-hater, I try to give’em a square deal. But the natives as a whole are getting out of hand”(Paton 183). Jarvis ignorantly directs this statement toward the natives who are starting to stand up against apartheid. Little did Steven and James know that a single action would change both of their views forever. Steven’s racial views are taken through a very rough time of transition.

Another way Steven tried to rebuild the “tribe” was by finding his son, Absalom, from whom he had not heard from in several months. When Kumalo did find his son, in jail, his transition began. “And yet again, and the fear smote him as griev-ously as ever, that he should kill a man, a white man”(Paton 119)! Not only the fact that his son shot a man made him upset, but the fact that the man was white infuriated him because it did not help the cause of trying to rebuild the tribe. “The dead man was well known for his interest in social problems, and for his efforts for the welfare of the non-European section of the community”(Paton 104).

Ironically, the man murdered turned out to be Arthur Jarvis, he had dedicated his life to helping the natives, and his life was ended by a native, this very fact created great controversy (Tucker 395). “It is strange how we move forward in some things, and stand still in others, and go backward in yet others”(Paton 95). Arthur’s death by a native is a prime example of how things to go backward for the natives, because just as they were starting to move forward, this created another racial barrier. At this point Kumalo starts to loose his faith, especially after his son is sentenced to death for the murder.

There are times, no doubt, when God seems no more about the world”(Paton 105). Steven feels that God has turned his back on his cause and is no longer there to help guide him. “Sometimes it seems that I have no more courage”(Paton 96). Kumalo almost gives up the cause because, now, there is no point in continuing, because it seems the barriers are too great. Jarvis’ feelings are also sent through a transitional phase caused by the death of his son. The premature death of his son provokes many ideas in James’ head. “Who knows for what we live, and struggle, and die”(Paton 94)?

James, too, finds it ironic that his son devoted his life to a cause, and the cause seemingly took his life. Not only does his son’s death muster hatred inside him toward natives but also fear. “, we do not know. We shall live from day to day, and put more locks on the doors, and get a fine fierce dog, and hold on to our handbags more tenaciously”(Paton 110); because the crime was committed by a native, it is thought, by the whites, that now native crime will increase. “we’re scared stiff at the moment in Johannesburg. Of crime? Yes, of native crime”(Paton 173).

This creates an even thicker “force field” of prejudice against the natives. At his son’s funeral James is confronted eye to eye with his “enemy”. “The black people- yes, the black people also- it was the first time he had ever shaken hands with black people”(Paton 182). Yet another ironic moment, black people come to pay their respects to Arthur, whom they know fought for their equality, and James is forced to realize this fact. , that black people are also mourning the loss of great man. Now Jarvis’ new public feeling start to emerge.

What really changes his private feelings toward natives is when he finds an unfinished paper started by his son titled, “The Truth About Native Crime. ” Our natives today produce criminals and prostitutes and drunkards, not because it is their nature to do so, but because their simple system of order and tradition and convention has been destroyed. It was destroyed by the impact of our own civilization. Our civili-zation has therefore an inescapable duty to set up another system of order and tradition and convention (Paton 179). His son, after his death, has brought up new ideas that James had never thought about before.

These ideas cause James’ private feelings to change Somehow, through his pain, Steven does not give up hope in the idea of abolishing apartheid, this is what grants Kumalo his new understanding of the racial problem. “For fear impoverishes always, while sorrow may enrich”(Paton 140). This quote is perhaps the most meaningful in Kumalo’s development of new feelings, it explains that if he is not afraid and keeps struggling to rebuild the broken tribe, and mourns the horrible lose of his son he can gain a new understanding of the apartheid that he did not have in the beginning. he father loses his faith and ultimately finds it again”(Mitgang 311).

Through his determination to make a difference, Kumalo gained his faith back after his rough time of mourning for his son. “a story steeped in sadness and grief but radiant with hope and compassion”(Mitgang 311). The future holds great hope for Kumalo and all other natives for desegregation as along as they do not lose their faith, as Kumalo almost did, and as long as they continue to strive for equality. Jarvis also gained a new availing public and private views toward the native people.

After he read his son’s manuscript, he realized that perhaps if the whites helped the blacks they could live together in harmony after all. “Whites didn’t think they could understand blacks”(Jamba 313). His son granted him an understanding of why the natives act the way they do, because they had no other choice. James’ enlightenment causes him to want to help the natives, comparable to what his son did, by providing food for the poor, and building a new church for Kumalo and the people of the Umzimkulu valley.

Umfundisi: I thank you for your message of sympathy,”(Paton 295). This letter in return to Kumalo’s from Jarvis shows Jarvis is not a narrow minded man anymore, but was able to forgive Kumalo, and in turn forgive Kumalo’s son for the murder. “Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end”(Paton 105). Nevertheless, much work was needed to be done by all people in South Africa to help rebuild the broken tribe so that everyone can live in harmony together.

In conclusion, the characters initial racial feelings go through a transitional phase, the end result being optimistic for the future of South Africa. Racial injustice is still seen everywhere across the globe, and will probably remain for eternity. The only thing anyone can do to help break down racial barriers is to make one little change in the way they look at someone who is different. Because after all, every little bit helps, and a great deal of little bits creates a great bit. If there was a great bit, the world would be a better place for anyone of any ethnicity, religion, color, or sex.

A book report on A Voyager Out

Katherine Franks novel A Voyager Out tells the life story of Mary Kingsley. She talks of her childhood, her young adult life, and her traveling life. She wanted to tell the world what this woman explorer did for Africa. Mary Kingsley had a famous family, many of whom were writers. Mary herself wrote two books. In her books however, she leaves out a lot about her life. A lot of what Katherine Frank had discovered came from Marys letters to friends while traveling. Some people who were the recipients of her letters found it odd that she put so much into her correspondences.

In one case, she wrote a ten-page letter to a friend. His response to her was that she was wasting many of her good stories that could be published on a letter. Her response was to write him a six-page letter. She loved writing. She also loved her voyages to Africa. Part of Mary Kingsleys reason for loving her travel abroad came from her childhood life. Mary was born the daughter of a high-class man and his cook. George Kingsley was a writer and came from a family of writers. He did not produce much however. He left a lot of his works unfinished, and many others unstarted.

Because he did not do much in his lifetime, it has been said that his greatest gift to the world was his daughter. Her mother, Mary Bailey, was the innkeepers daughter. Four days after her father and mother were married, Mary Kingsley was born. If her father had not married her mother, Mary would have been bastard child of a destitute domestic. Mary would have only been able to lead a life of servitude herself. Oddly enough though, most of her young life was lead in servitude. Mary lived a long life of isolation. During her adolescent years, her mother was her only female role model of what a woman is supposed to be.

Her mother was sick most of the time and therefore Mary had to take care of her and the household chores. While her father was off on one of his many voyages, Mary Bailey had the front windows of the house bricked closed. The house was kept dark and stuffy. Growing up like this made a normal childhood almost impossible for Mary Kingsley. Part of her mothers illnesses came from constant worry about George. He went on many trips overseas and partook in many heroic adventures. He would write home to his family about his adventures and this caused his mother great grief.

Because of the grief this caused Mary Bailey, George stopped writing of his heroics to her, and instead wrote of them to his daughter. Mary Kingsley had to become a self-sufficient person. With her mother being bedridden and her father being overseas, Mary grew up on her own. Being a girl, Mary was not given many opportunities at an education. The only education she had paid for her was a class in German. Most of her education came from reading her fathers books. She taught herself Latin, Physics, and Chemistry, which was an unusual curriculum for even the most erudite governess (24).

Mary and her father had similar reading interests and were therefore constantly fighting over books to read. They were both interested in reading the same book at the same time. George had a volcanic temper (27) so he was usually the victor of the fights. There was one instance when Mary decided to leave home for a small vacation. Mary had never been away from her home so this was a new experience for her. Only a short time into her trip, her mother became ill and Mary had to return to take care of her mother. After staying at her mothers bedside for quite some time, Mary Baileys health improved so Mary decided to finish her vacation.

While gone this second time, Mary Bailey had a stroke and Mary stayed home with her mother from then on. Mary was never able to leave the home for a long period of time without her mothers condition worsening. Her father became ill and was bedridden for a while as well so Mary was taking care of both of them. George did eventually recover and so Mary was back to only having to take care of her mother. One night that George was feeling particularly well, he went to bed never to awaken. A month and a half later, Mary Bailey died as well. Mary felt her mother died because she no longer had anything to hold on to.

The death of her parents was somewhat a relief to Mary. She was finally free to be on her own. For the rest of Marys life, she dressed in black from head to toe. Part of this was out of mourning. After a while, however, the black clothes became accustomed to her. The hardest part of her parents death was having to sort through their personal things. She had to go through their old letters and personal papers and decide which things to keep and which things to throw away. While sorting through her parents belongings, she found her parents marriage license and her birth certificate.

This is when Mary realized just how close to being a bastard child she was. She already felt like an outsider in her family, and this only added to that feeling in her heart. Mary knew she had to get away. She wanted to travel to some of the places that she read about. A family friend suggested that she travel to the Canary Islands. The idea thrilled her. Unfortunately, Mary still had to look after her brother Charley. She felt that it was her womanly duty to look after her brother. She did not mind it actually. The only thing that bothered her was that her travel plans centered around his travel plans.

Every time Mary was ready to leave and thought that Charley was too, his plans would somehow change or get put off. This gave Mary plenty of time to get ready for her voyage to Africa. She was told many times by many people of all the diseases that were awaiting her. This did not deter Mary though. She felt that she was ready for anything. She did, however, realize the risk that was involved, and therefore wrote a will before she left for her travels. On her journey, Mary brought with her two diaries, one for scientific information, and the other for her own personal thoughts and psychological findings.

She did not have a lot of money so she traveled light. Most white people who traveled to Africa brought with them an entire entourage and hired African porters to carry their luggage. Mary did not want to set herself that far apart from the Africans. She traveled by trading goods and this helped her immensely while traveling. She felt that the Africans related better to her as a trader than they would have if she had come in empty handed. When the Africans saw that she had something they wanted, they would welcome her into their home. She lived off of food that the villages provided for her.

Marys mode of transportation for this first voyage was the ship The Lagos. While aboard The Lagos the issue of death came up many times. Many of the people aboard had stories of many white people who died making similar trips. The diseases that caused many of the deaths affected the white people so greatly because of the fact that the whites immune systems just were not able to handle the new climate and bacteria that the Africans had grown accustomed to. While aboard the ship some of the passengers died. At each new place that The Lagos stopped more and more deaths occurred. Still, Mary was not discouraged.

While on this first voyage Mary discovered the sickening prejudice of miscegenation. Mary was a strong defender of polygamy as well. Another unusual thing that Mary did was noting in her two books the physical beauty of the African. Because the African wore little or no clothing, it was probably the first time Mary had seen a naked body other than her own. She was probably the first white person many of these Africans had seen so it was a trade off of firsts. Mary had to deal with a lot of new issues in Africa that she had not even dreamt of while she was back in England, but she used this to learn and grow.

When Mary did finally return to England, she found it dull and lifeless. She was bored in England and missed Africa. To help ease her homesickness Mary redecorated her flat. She hung many African paintings and other artwork that she brought home with her. To add to the pseudo-Africa, she kept the temperature in her flat turned up so that the heat was like that of Africa. While in England helping her brother, she decided to write. It was through her writing that her imagination was able to return to Africa. She wrote of the people she met while in Africa and the various tribes she came across.

Most of her writings were about the scientific aspect of the tribe. There was also a personal touch that she put in her writings. Mary did not like being back in England and was excited to be able to return again two years later. She spent the remainder of her time in England preparing for her next voyage. For this next voyage, she had more money available to her because her publisher really wanted her to write about these people. Even though she had the extra money, she decided not to travel any more luxuriously than she had the first time.

She felt that traveling as a trader really helped her to connect with the people. She did not want to set herself above the people she was there to get to know. Even though she could afford it, she did not bring tinned food and other travel aids. She thusly decided to travel light. When others heard that she was traveling light they asked her to bring things to their loved ones for them. Mary, the nice woman that she is, could not say no. She ended up having a lot of luggage because of the many care packages she was bringing to various parts of Africa.

While in Christianborg Mary discovered just how bad the white mans death toll was. She was being given a tour of the Christianborg cemetery and she noted two wooden hoods covering empty graves. When she asked what these were for, she was told that they always had two graves dug ready for the white man to die. She was rather shocked at this revelation, and did not at first believe the necessity for these graves. The tour guide told her that just a few days past two men died before noon and then two more died later on in the evening. Mary wrote about this in her books. She wrote a lot about death in her books.

As a matter of fact, most of everything Mary wrote about had a motif of death or beauty. Part of Marys interest in death had to do with the fact that she was largely responsible for taking care of the ill that she came across. She never went anywhere without her medical bag. In one case she volunteered to take the night shift of sitting up with an ill man. She was used to sitting up at night with her mother so it was no big deal to her. She made sure though that no matter what time she was up to, she took an eight-mile walk. Sometimes she even took the walks while the person was asleep.

She took the walk in order to keep in shape as well as to discover new parts of the land. Helping to cure others was her skill in life. She worked so hard to make the diseases she was told about before her first journey into something that the people could overcome. She never put her health into her mind. She was always more concerned with the wellbeing of others. She loved doing the good deeds that she did, even when they were not the best condition. Marys finally voyage was to South Africa. When she arrived there she was told that her job would be to help the Boer prisoners of war.

Although the task was not pleasing, Mary accepted the duty. The conditions that she worked in were deplorable. The hospital was filled with about 200 wounded men in need of care, and only one doctor and three nurses. Mary was rather busy with this task, and fortunately for her, over time the hospital got a few more doctors and nurses, and even a few male orderlies. Mary wrote letters to friends describing the conditions at the hospital. Typical Mary always added humor to even the saddest of letters. One of Marys final letters never got mailed to its recipient.

The letter told of the stench, the washings, the enemas, the bedpans, and blood (295) that she had to deal with every day. Those were the things that Marys entire life consisted of. She began her life by taking care of her ill mother, crusaded all of her life by helping Africans and British who were overcome by sicknesses found in Africa, and then later died from being surrounded by diseases all of her life. She always took care of others, never worrying about herself. One day she began to feel the same symptoms that she had for so many years treated. She tried to keep silent, not wanting anyone to see her weakness.

Finally, it was impossible to hide the fact that she was sick. Marys final days were spent in bed. She woke up one day with an intense stomach pain. She was rushed into surgery performed by one of the doctors she worked with and had become close to. He was convinced that the surgery had fixed her problem, but Mary knew better. She knew herself well enough to know she was dying. She only had two dying requests. The first being buried at sea rather than in a cold tomb that was waiting for her back in England. She felt that she should be buried in the Cape of Good Hope where she spent a great deal of her time.

Her second request was hard for her friends to fulfill, but out of love for Mary, they did. Mary wanted to die alone. She wanted to have her final peace. She needed this. Her friends left her be. When she slipped into a coma, they returned to her bedside and waited. In order to fulfill Marys request to be buried at sea, her good friend and fellow doctor also requested a military burial as well. She would not have permitted this because of how humble she was. Many people felt that this military burial was the only thing appropriate for a woman who did as much as she did.

Her funeral was filled with many solemn speeches and final words. Mary would not go out that way, however. She always had to add that bit of humor to everything she did. When her casket was thrown overboard, it was not properly weighted and therefore did not sink. Her coffin bobbed up and down in the water for a while as her final goodbye. An anchor was eventually tied onto the casket and the body of the great Mary Kingsley sunk into the water where she rested with the beauty of the coral and pearls and other sea creatures surrounding her.

Now for the opinion part. The book was great. Mary Kingsley was an extremely interesting woman. She did many great things for those who not many wanted to help. However, the book was not easy to read. The book was rather repetitive. Mary was born, helped the sick, went to Africa, helped the sick, people died, she left Africa, went back to Africa, helped the sick, people died, left Africa, went back to Africa, helped the sick you get the point. It was a little bit difficult for me to pick out the important details to share with the class in this report.

I did not want to bore the class with the same thing over and over. Yes, I realize that Mary led an extremely wonderful life, and therefore all of the details of her life should be considered important. However, some of them were rather boring. Mary did a great deal of thing that should be looked up to and respected. I do respect this woman that I have never had the chance to meet. The things she did were extremely courageous. She put other peoples lives ahead of hers. Never once did she stop and say, This could be dangerous to me.

She was always willing to go above and beyond. It gives me a great example of a way to lead a selfless life. I am not saying that I want to go to the extremes that Mary did, but I think that I could definitely learn a lot about helping others by following her lead. We all can. Mary crusaded to help those who did not get help from others. She was a strong woman who did what she believed was right, not what others thought was right. She was a pilgrim of some sorts. She began what others eventually followed. Because of her, many others were willing to help those in need.

I would recommend this book to any of those looking to find their own inner strength. Reading of this womans adventures gives a great deal of motivation to get out and do something. If you are one of those who is thinking of going out and helping others and crusading for justice, this book would do a great deal for you. However, this book needs to be read in one sitting. If you read bits and pieces of this book at a time, it takes too long and therefore drones on. That is the trap that I fell into. I read chapter by chapter and it felt as if I was rereading the same part of the book over and over.

Part of the difficulty in the reading might come from the fact that the book was written about someone from that someones own books. Confused? Mary wrote a few books and lots of letters. She even wrote her fathers book for him. The research that the author of The Voyager Out based her writings on was Marys own writings. A lot of the book therefore was secondhand, and some was firsthand. At times it was hard to tell whether the information was gotten from something Mary herself said or from an assumption Katherine Frank got from reading Marys writings.

Another difficulty I found while reading the book was that most of Mary Kingsleys family was named George, Charles, or Henry. Most of them also had one of those three for middle names as well. The females were named Mary and Charlotte. In order to keep this tradition alive, many of the men married women named Mary or Charlotte. Mary has a cousin Mary, her mother is Mary, and she is Mary. Her Uncle Charles did a lot, but her brother Charley was lazy. While reading I found myself having to reread in order to find out who was being talked about at this time.

For a good portion of my reading I was reading about Charley thinking that her uncle was the one being referred to. I had to reread almost an entire chapter once I discovered it was her brother. The audience of the book is most likely those who are already interested in doing similar deeds. The book is not so much a call to action as it is a remembrance of this great woman, therefore most of the readers probably already have some knowledge of what Mary did based on their own experiences. I think if the book had been written more to persuade others to get involved it would have been more interesting.

Because the audience is assumed to already be interested in what Mary did, I am sure most of the readers did not get bored of the repetition of what Mary did throughout her life. In general I am glad that I read this book, although I am extremely glad that I am done with it. If anyone else would like to read it, great! I would encourage you to go out and gain knowledge of what this woman did to help the sick in Africa. It is a truly touching story. If, on the other hand, you have other things to do, other tests to study for, or parties to go to, I would suggest doing that first.

The novel Nineteen Eighty Four

In Canada, we have the freedom to do almost anything. In the novel Nineteen Eighty Four, there is no freedom. Although there are no laws in Oceania, there are consequences to doing thoughtcrime. The consequences are used not for punishment but for the limitation of people who may perform a crime in the future. There are many differences in our society today and the society that of Nineteen Eighty Four. In our society today, we encourage thinking. Even in schools, children are taught to express themselves in any way possible.

Story writing, acting, or even art, there are a variety of ways to achieve that while n Oceania, children are taught to spy on their parents to see if they are having thoughtcrimes. Thoughtcrime is a word in Newspeak that controls any individual thought. One cannot think on his or her own. He or she can only think what the government tells or allows him or her to think. If they are ever caught with thoughtcrime, he or she would be vapourized. Freedom of speech is limited due to the fact that thought can lead to the destruction of the government. Speech is also restricted due the Newspeak.

Newspeak limits the words one can use to eliminate thoughtcrime. Without words, one cannot fully express themselves. The people of Oceania do not have the freedom of expression like we do. Without thought, there is no expressions of any kind, which makes him or her a goodthinker. A goodthinker is one that knows naturally, without thought, how to behave or act according to the government. In society today, there is freedom of expression everywhere. In magazines, on televisions, on people themselves and even communication. People express themselves through their clothing, while in the book, everyone wears the same thing.

There is no freedom of expression hatsoever. In both magazines and television, people express their opinion all the time with no fear of being vapourized or the fear of the consequences the community of Oceania has to face. Today, people will protest against the government for what they believe in. For example, teachers protested Bill 160 in the streets against the government. There would never be public protests against the government in Oceania. History is important for one to know of what has happened in the past and learn from it. We are able to learn history through books, videos and even from people.

History for the community of Oceania is constantly changing. The workers of the Ministry of Truth, rewrites history without complaint. Records are changed to better suit the present. People are so naive that they would believe anything the government says. For example, one day they can be at war with Eurasia, and the next minute they are at war with Eastasia. The people of Oceania, are not living with any human rights. Without freedom, they are no better then a caged animal. There are just puppets that the government controls. Everyone should be entitled to freedom in order to live a happy and full life.

The novella, “Good-bye, Columbus,”

Diversity is an attribute that is seen among people, situations and cultures. Everyone has encountered different situations at one time or more during their lives that has either been pleasant or upsetting. Certain novels written in the 1950’s to the present show signs of multiformity very clearly. In regards to culture, people are placed in unusual situations where their diversity is shown. Throughout the novella, “Good-bye, Columbus,” written by Philip Roth, conflicts are seen as far as social status among families.

This novella was not diverse in the written aspect, in fact I thought of it as easy reading. “Sure, I should serve four different meals at once…. I should jump up and down twenty different times? What am I, a workhorse? ” (Roth 4) The reactions in Brenda’s house differ because they have a maid and Brenda’s Mom doesn’t have to pick up a finger. Neal and Brenda’s families are obviously placed in different social brackets and this adds to the conflict that the relationship is not equal. From the readers point of view, the tie that Neil feels toward Brenda is one of physical attraction.

She dove beautifully and a moment later she was swimming back to the side of the pool, her head of shortclipped auburn hair held up, straight ahead of her, as though it were a rose on a long stem. ” (Roth 3) He sees her only as a beautiful woman and allows that to get in the way of actually realizing the true reasons for her actions. Brenda on the other hand is using him to be her “slave. ” This is seen with all her actions that show that she honestly does not care about his feelings, his wants or desires. “We’ll be right back,’ Brenda said to me. You have to sit with Julie.

She finds Neil very accommodating in fulfilling her needs. Neil is constantly being thrown into predicaments for the first time, such as Brenda’s country club, where Neil is viably not accustomed to being. “My next question was prompted by a desire to sound interested and thereby regain civility; it didn’t quite come out as I’d expected- I said it too loud. ” (Pynchon 13) This couple has a strange relationship in how it functions throughout situations where other characters are constantly commenting on the social differences between two families.

Even though the difficulties, ironically, the social differences are not the reason for their break-up at the end of the novella. The Crying of Lot 49, written by Thomas Pynchon has a similar theme running through it regarding the social aspect of diversity. The characters in the novel have unique names in that they have different meanings. For example on page 85 there is the introduction of the character named Koteks, which can be thought of as a feminine products.

Oedipa has a conflict with how she approaches the situation she is placed in when she is informed that she is the executor of her ex-boyfriend Pierce’s will. Her life follows a ver sequential set of events in the beginning. Then, after Oedipa attempts to locate the attorney who is supervising the will, her life takes a different turn of events. She finds herself in this alternate society where nothing is how she remembers life as being. “Last night, she might have wondered what undergrounds apart from the couple she knew of communicated by WASTE system.

By sunrise she could legitimately ask what undergrounds didn’t. ” (Pynchon 124) This is extremely different world can be thought of as factitious. The diversity in The Crying of Lot 49, is a slightly different form, it is seen as an entirely different world as the one we think of on a regular basis. The underground mail system functions on its own without anyone knowing anything about it. This proposes the question of whether it is completely a solipsism in Oedipa’s mind. She is an outcast in her society and is trying to investigate about the underground mail system.

Her diverse world that she lives in is completely not as society tends to portray daily activities. Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale, My Father Bleeds History, written by Art Speigelman, creates a society that a present generation has never been exposed to. The novel itself is not diverse in its reading but extremely diverse in its presentation. The Holocaust forced an alternate way of living that ran parallel to an average lifestyle that may have been taking place in another part of the world. The diversity that is evident throughout the Holocaust can not be compared to any other situation.

The horrendous lifestyle that people who lived through the Holocaust are familiar with is very vividly animated in the art that was drawn in the book. “The Germans intend to make an example of them! The next day I walked over to Modrzejowska Street and I saw them. They hanged there one full week. ” (Spiegelman 83) The images are graphic but the words have more of an impact. It is a revelation to any reader who did not live through the period or ever hear stories about the difficulties that people suffered in order to save their own lives.

Therefore I arranged for us a very good hiding spot- in our cellar where it was coal storage. ” (Spiegelman 110) The diversity in the style of presentation that Art Spiegelman chose to relay his father’s story attracts the attention and can relate to a reader of any age. There were several different types characters and they were expressed throughout the novel as animals. The Jews were mice, Germans were cats, Polish were pigs, and the French were frogs. The comic book style shows the reader in many ways, how the characters react, feel and also sets the scenes extrodinaraly well.

The sketches depict the exactness of the bunkers and chambers that became the homes of those who fought for their lives. The author can tell an entire story in few words but with the same detailed structure as any novel. These novels all portray life and life’s struggles in different ways. They all pose different situations, resolutions and meanings to the reader. Even though all the situations were different, ironically they all were written during the time period after World War II. The novels can all be tied together in some way as the protagonist struggles to solve his or her own problem, as diverse as the problems may be.

Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers

In the beginning, Lovey and her best friend, Jerry, are watching the Shirley Temple movie before they go to church. They never get to see the end because they have to go and leave. They make up the endings and cry in the middle of the pastor’s sermon. On Lovey’s birthday, Jerry would make her a gift certificate from the toy store for $500. Lovey is very embarrassed to be speaking pidgin English. She doesn’t tell anyone, not even Jerry, how she is ashamed of how she talks, looks, or even where she lives. Lovey secretly wants to be haole, but she knows that she can’t. Everyone in her class has a very hard time speaking proper English, and the teacher yells at them for not being able too. Lovey has a hard time in math class and gets teased for being Japanese.

It’s as if the rest of the students expect her to be smart just because she is Japanese. Lovey is supposed to write her own obituary for her English class. It gets her thinking about death, and consequently she thinks about it all the time. Lovey dreams and fantasizes about being haole. She thinks up of the perfect house with all the trimmings. She wants to marry a haole so she can have a haole last name. Lovey makes haole friends so that she can sleep over their houses and eat their food. Her father says that she is crazy for wanting to be friends with haoles, and that she should stop. Lovey and her family do many things together.

They sit on the back porch picking fleas off of their dogs, squeezes blackheads off of her mothers back, count all white cows, sing war songs, and pick macadamia nuts for extra money. A normal Sunday afternoon would be their Mother smoking Parliaments on the porch of their house, grumbling about white hairs, and Lovey picking fleas off of their dogs. Lovey and her sister, Calhoon, goes to their Aunt Helen’s on Saturdays while their mother sews leis or cashiers at the Lei Stand for extra money. They watch the old crazy ladies stand behind the fence, muttering to themselves. Lovey wants to become pregnant ust like her neighbor Katy is.

She secretly dresses up and acts like she is pregnant. Her mother tells her that it is hard because there is a lot of pain that comes with labor. Lovey’s mother gives her an at home perm. It’s called a Toni Perm, and it gets messed up bad. Lovey comes out with an Afro, and Calhoon teases her about it and calls her an Oompah Loompah. Lovey is given rabbits to breed and take care off. She loves them very much, but one day the cages are torn open by wild dogs that kill all the rabbits. To make Lovey feel better, her father plays home movies, and Calhoon threatens to kill the dogs with their athers gun.

Calhoon never lies. She tells Lovey one day, while they are out hunting, not to shoot the Japanese blue pheasant or it will haunt her. Calhoon and her Father both have the ghost eye. They can see ghosts in their house and are drawn to them. Since Lovey killed the bird, she now is awakened by a ghost that bothers her in the middle of the night. Lovey’s father bought a cow to raise so that they could kill it, and eat it. Calhoon and Lovey get to attached to it and name it Bully. One day, the kitchen smells of wild meat. Their father is cooking hamburgers. After the first bite, none of them can finish ating it.

They realize that it is a Bully burger. Pages 85-116 Everyone at school tease Lovey and Jerry for being friends. No one understands what they are to each other. They do have many things in common and are the best of friends. Lovey and Jerry play Barbie together, and Jerry steals Barbie clothes from his rich cousin, Ingrid. Jerry’s brother, Larry, goes into Lovey’s room one day, and marks up the Barbie and cuts her hair. Lovey is devastated and they swear to get even. Halloween comes, and they go trick-or-treating at the rich peoples houses on Reed’s Island. They give out real chocolate, and lots of candy.

Jerry finds a bag full of marijuana in Larry’s shoe box under his bed. He brings it over to Lovey’s and they decide to roll it and sell it so that they can get money to buy more Barbies that Larry had messed up. After they had sold all the dope, the go over to Wigwam to buy all the Barbie stuff. They run home and stash it in the back of Lovey’s closet. The next time that they go over to Jerry’s house, Larry is there with his friends and they want to know where their dope is. Larry and his friends beat Jerry and Lovey up for taking it. They laugh at how much they bleed, and blame it on each other. Pages 118-180

For the first time, Lovey has gotten her period. She is very scared that everyone can tell that she has it. She doesn’t want anyone to know, because she will be teased at school. Lovey’s teacher French-braids her hair everyday. She loves her teacher very much. She spends her school days with her, getting her lunch, taking role, and then she even starts to sleep over her house, and do the chores. Jerry and Lovey go there almost everyday, helping out around the house. One night, the teacher tells them about God. How in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses says only 44,000 can live on earth after God destroys the planet.

She wants them to be one of the 44,000 that live. One night they hear the teacher laughing hysterically with a green glow coming from her room. They get real scared and run home in the middle of the night. Lovey’s mother gets mad because now they are both scared of everything. She puts Lovey on a plane to Molokai to live with her grandmother for a while so that she can forget what has happened. Grandmother does her best to pass the time for Lovey, but she doesn’t know that Lovey is still scared of her teacher. She doesn’t sleep until the sun comes up the next day, that she hears little men laughing.

Lovey tells Grandmother one day, and they go to the church to talk to the reverend. They pray for her. Lovey and her father have a new moneymaking idea, to pluck feathers off of dead peacocks and to sell them to the feather lei makers. They go on long drives together, and her father tells her stories of when he was young. She enjoys these times very much because he would have never told anyone these stories unless they were in such circumstances as that. He talks about his house back in Haupu and how he misses it. He would like to go back there with Lovey and climb the mountain. Pages 183-276

The town has a carnival, and Lovey and Jerry go together. They each don’t have very much money, but win a Coke bottle. They see Larry and his girlfriend, Crystal, in the games area, and ask her if they could carry around some of their stuffed animals. She says ‘yes’ and they get a big pink bear, and a snake that Lovey wraps around her neck. When they see girls from their school, they shake up the Coke bottle and dump it on them from the top of the Ferris wheel. Lovey doesn’t understand why Jerry wants to be friends with Lori, a Japanese girl that hates her. She is a popular snob with no respect for anyone.

He doesn’t now, and just shrugs. Lovey and Calhoon take sewing classes in the bottom of the Singer basement. When Lovey makes clothes and wears it the next day, Gina makes fun of it. Lovey wants to give up, but her father tells her that you can’t win if you quit. So, she tries again, and Calhoon and Lovey work very hard to make a pair of patchwork denim hip-hugger bell-bottoms for her. It looked like real store-bought ones, and Gina could not say a thing about it. Lovey feels real proud. At the end of the year, they have a grad dance that Jerry and Lovey go to. They both have been trying their hardest to become popular.

Jerry keeps insisting that Jenks likes her, even though he doesn’t show it when they are at school. He is real nice to both of them on the weekends when they are at the beach, but because he is popular, he doesn’t even give them a nod at school. When the dance comes, Lovey waits in anticipation for Jenks to ask her to dance. She got all dressed up, but he never does. Until the last slow dance of the night. They dance together and Lovey is happy. Lovey’s father goes on a three day hunting trip with his friends. They go out and hunt goats near the lava flow. When he comes back he has blown out his eyes.

He can’t see, and he’s scared. Father is still mad at Lovey for burning Calhoon when they were at the incinerator. He is so depressed and sad that Lovey can think of only one thing to do. She borrows some money from Katy, and buys a plane ticket to Kauai. She gets a cab there and goes to Kipu. She fills a ziplock bag with dirt, and then goes back to the Big Island. She fills another ziplock bag with dirt from their backyard. Lovey’s mother is really mad at her. No one knew where she went, and they were all worried about her. They take her back to her father’s hospital room to explain herself.

She tells her father where she was, what she has done, and why. He is so happy that they all forget that they were worried about her. The dirt is so that when he dies, he will be buried in dirt from two places. His home in Kipu, and his home in Hawaii. When he is buried like that, he will know that he is finally home and at peace. The Main Characters Lovey Nariyoshi- A young girl living in Hawaii. She has a sister named Calhoon, and a best friend named Jerry. She is an outcast at her school, and is teased constantly. Lovey wants to be someone she isn’t. She always fantasizes about being haole or popular.

Jerome (Jerry)- Lovey’s best friend, they spend all their time together. The one person that keeps Lovey happy and together. He has a brother names Larry that always picks on them and hurts them physically. Jerry and Lovey are the best of friends, they love each other to death. Hubert (Inky) Nariyoshi- Lovey’s father. He is her inspiration, and what she tries to imitate. She always tries to please him, and be just like him. Hubert loses his eyesight and becomes depressed. Lovey remembers him telling her that he wants to be buried in dirt from his house in Kipu and his house in Hawaii.

She gets him happy y going to Kauai and getting the dirt as he wanted. He loves her very much. Throughout this whole book, Lovey is wishing that she is haole. She occupies her time by thinking what her life would be like if she was white. I think the author is trying to tell us that we should accept our life just as it is. To strive to make it better, but also, not to have unrealistic dreams. In the end of this book, I think Lovey finally gets the message from her father to stop trying to be someone your not, and to just be yourself. That is what this whole book is about. To be who you are, not someone that your not.

The Playground of The Gods

Cathy Spellman’s, The Playground of The Gods is an exuberant novel which deals with murder in a remote tropical paradise but can further be read as an illustration of man’s ignorance and invasion of nature. “Do it big, or stay in bed. “( Larry Kelly). These are words that Thoros Gagarian lives by. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world and when picking his private paradise, only one place on earth could serve his needs and fantasies. This place is Mora Utu-The playground of the Gods-a green jewel in the placid blue expanse of the South Pacific, the most luxurious and seductive rivate preserve anywhere on the planet.

Once his prized-possession has been found, Thoros immediately ships the island natives to a different island and brings in his construction crews to hurriedly build his paradise in order to have it ready for a celebratory visit by 12 of his close friends. In the introduction to the story, Cathy Spellman makes clear the notion that the protagonist, Thoros Gagarian views himself as an indestructible god. Her descriptions of his haste purchase of his Island paradise shows a man for whom their is no boundaries. His arrogance is further displayed in his building f his compound.

Spellman’s voice of reason comes from a spiritual Mexican couple who are Thoros’s servants. They not only warn but predict of many consequences to the ignorance to which nature is being shown. Nature will not permit alteration on such a scale. (Emilio, 114). However, these warnings are ignored by the men who do not appreciate a bizarre servant couple speaking of things which money can’t buy and power can’t control. This is when Spellman’s utilization of irony comes into the picture. A member of the party catches a tropical fever, yet he can’t be cured because he tree which possesses the antidote was destroyed in the creation of the facility.

This is followed by a serendipitous chain of events which is climaxed when an immense typhoon hits the island and takes two of its visitors as its sacrifices. “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. “(Ingersoll). This statement indicates the underlying theme of the novel. Man’s ignorance regarding nature is a fatuous fault, for which he will have to face the consequences. Whether it be in the near future, or impending on him till the moment where he realizes that his ignorance has not come without its price.

In The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

When studying a novel it sometimes helps to look at the language used in a specific passage. In the novel In The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, this approach is extremely helpful. It will help you better understand the characters and give you a clearer idea of what the author is trying to say. Within the novel, the passage entitled “The Skating Scene,” where Patrick observes the loggers skating late at night, is stylistically interesting. By looking at metaphors, symbolism and diction, we can gain a better understanding of the characters and make connections within the scene and then to the novel as a whole.

In “The Skating Scene” many metaphors are used throughout, making is very poetic. One very powerful metaphor seen in this passage is: “This was against the night” (page 22). This emphasizes the light and dark imagery found in this passage. Ondaatje points out that for Patrick day is work and night is rest, however, he sees the loggers skating and having fun at night. They are going against what Patrick has been taught. In a way they are showing him a new side to life and he is transfixed. This sense of excitement is also shown in the pace of the passage.

As the loggers are skating the pace gets faster, and then starts to slow down when he goes back home to his routine life. By going against the night, the loggers are essentially breaking the rules: “Their lanterns replaced them with new rushes which let them go further past boundaries” (page 22). This idea of going past boundaries reminds us of a part later in the novel. Patrick goes past boundaries when he sets fire to the Muskoka Hotel on page 168. Instead of being an observer like he always is, he actually steps in and goes “against the night.

By comparing Patrick in “The Skating Scene” to when he goes to the Muskoka Hotel, we can see how he grows and changes throughout the course of the novel. Another powerful metaphor in this particular scene is: “And a moon lost in the thickness of clouds so it did not shine a path for him towards the trees” (page 20). This metaphor again emphasizes the light and dark imagery in the scene. Even though there is no path for Patrick to follow, he still finds his way to the skaters by travelling towards the light from their lanterns. He is attracted to the light much like a moth is.

He is also like a moth in the way that he likes the darkness and in the way that his character seems to ‘come out’ at night. The fire he sets to the Muskoka Hotel and the attempted bombing of the waterworks both happen at night and are both examples of things that are unlike his character. Metaphorically speaking Patrick is a moth. Symbolism is also something that is seen quite often in this passage. Skating is a symbol that represents freedom. When you are skating, you are in control of what you do; you are free to do and try whatever you desire.

During the day, the immigrants work for Harris, helping to build his dream and getting paid poorly for it. They follow orders all day, and now at night they finally have a chance to be free of the rules. This idea of freedom can be related to Caravaggio who, while in jail, has to follow strict rules and whose freedom is restricted. The only way to get his freedom back is to escape, so that is what he does. For the loggers, the only way to escape and have some feeling of freedom is to skate at night.

Specific phrases used to describe the men skating shows that it is like a dance. “One man waltzing with his fire” (page 22), “each step seemed graceless and slow” (page 21), and “they could leap into the air” (page 21), are all characteristics of dancing. Dancing is another example that represents freedom, which is perhaps why Ondaatje makes the parallel between skating and dancing in this scene. The loggers are also symbolic in this passage. To Patrick the loggers represent a life that he wants.

There are ten of them and one of him, which can be seen as a small community. Patrick wants to be a part of this community where he would have friends and feel a sense of belonging: “He longed to hold their hands and skate the length of the creek slowing down through cut rock and under bridges and into town with these men…. ” (page 21). Patrick decides that after seeing the skaters he wants a change in his life: “To the boy growing in his twelfth year, having lived all his life on that farm where day was work and night was rest, nothing would be the same” (page 22).

Ondaatje uses this quote as a means of foreshadowing to show the reader that Patrick’s life is going to change throughout the novel. Not only is Patrick jealous of the skaters because they are having fun and going “against the night,” but they seem to possess magical powers too. The diction in this passage supports this idea beautifully. Ondaatje uses words like “haunted house” and “coven” to remind us of witches.

The way the loggers are described gives a sense that they have magical powers too, for example, “…. ey could leap into the air and crash down and it would hold the,” (page 22), “When they collided sparks fell into the ice…. ” (page 21), and “their lanterns….. let them go further past boundaries” (page 22). Personification is also used to show that the skaters have magical powers: “A tree branch reached out, its hand frozen in the ice, and one of them skating under it” (page 21). The idea of witches and magic reminds us of a quote on page 93. Patrick talks about Clara and says “ Something about her cast a spell on me…I don’t know what is it.

It seems that Patrick is fascinated with people who possess these magical qualities. It is evident that by doing a stylistic analysis of a passage, we can get a better understanding of characters and make connections within the passage and then to the rest of the novel. This is certainly the case with “The Skating Scene” in Michael Ondaatje’s In The Skin of Lion. The metaphors, symbols and diction he uses in this particular passage clearly show that he is truly a brilliant writer.

Foreshadowing of Death in Moby Dick

In Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, a recurring theme of death is seen throughout the book. A coffin appears at the beginning of the book and at the end of the book, Ishmael sees a large oil painting that foreshadows and represents many things and events that follow in the book, and Fedallah makes a prophecy talking about hearses and predicts Ahabs death. Ishmael stays at The Sprouter-Inn, whose proprietor was a man named Peter Coffin. In the end, Ishmael clings to a coffin for over a day until rescued by another boat. The picture Ishmael sees contains many things seen later in the book, such as a whale and a horrible storm. Fedallahs prophecy of hearses and hemp prove to be true.

Moby Dick begins and ends with a coffin. At the beginning of the book, Ishmael talks to Peter Coffin, the proprietor of The Sprouter-Inn, for a place to stay. He does not have any open rooms so Ishmael is forced to room with Queequeg whom he does not meet until after he goes to sleep. When Queequeg walks in, Ishmael says, “Landlord, for Gods sake, Peter Coffin! Landlord! Watch! Coffin! Angels! save me!” (Melville, 23)

This quotation foreshadows the event later in the story when Ishmael will again need a coffins help. In the epilogue, it is described, the coffin life-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, fell over, and floated by my side. Buoyed up by that coffin, for almost one whole day and night, I floated on a soft dirge-like main. (Melville, 552) In both situations, a coffin rescues Ishmael.

Ishmael studies an oil portrait in The Sprouter-Inn that foreshadows and symbolizes many things that are seen later in the story. Melville describes the picture,
“The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship
weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated
whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling
itself upon the three mast-heads.” (Melville, 11)

The fist example of foreshadowing is that the painting is an oil painting and the whale hunters try to get the oil from the whales. The hurricane foreshadows the great storm which Ahab refuses to turn back from. The ship represents the Pequod and the three masts represent the three days to try to capture the white whale. The whale represents the white whale which Ahab searches for. And the whales act of impaling itself anticipates the whale being harpooned and the death of everyone on the ship except for Ishmael.

Fedallah makes a prophecy regarding Ahabs death and of other things which will all become true. Fedallah says, two hearses must verily be seen by thee on the sea; the first not made by mortal hands; and the visible wood of the last one must be grown in AmericaHemp only can kill thee. (Melville, 478-479) Fedallahs prophecy proves to be true. On the third day of the chase, Moby Dick is spotted with Fedallah on his back. Ahab then says, Aye Parsee! I see thee again. Aye, and thou goest before; and this, this then is the hearse that thou didst promise. But I hold thee to the last letter of thy word. Where is the second hearse? (Melville, 545) After the whale fatally wounds the ship, Ahab realizes that the ship was the second hearse. Ahab throws one last harpoon at the whale, but the rope became caught around his legs and he was hurled into the water and hurled to his death, which makes Fedallahs entire prophecy true.

In Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, there were many things that foreshadowed death for later in the story. Ishmael studies an oil portrait of a ship in a hurricane attacking a whale, which is a microcosm of Ishmaels journey in the story. Fedallah made a prophecy about death that becomes true. And finally, the novel ends in death for all but Ishmael, who lives because his friend Queequegs coffin serves as a buoy, which emerges from the sunken Pequod.

Moby Dick, or The Whale: Book Report

I.Author Information

Herman Melville, was born in 1819, in a very “good” neighborhood in New York. Many influences on Melville’s works were European literature, experiences in his travels, and tragedy in his life. Melville was born into the time when inspiring works of American literature began to emerge. Yet, European heritage in literature still had a strong hold on American writers of the time. Other contributions by Herman Melville were his narrative poems, and writings of other sea journeys.

II. Setting

Moby Dick is set in a time when whaling was a very well known trade, it was made popular because of the dyer need for oil for lamps. The time of the journey was started on a cold December day, where he enters with a carpet bag on his shoulder at the shipping port of New Bedford, and finds a room at the Spouter Inn with a massive South Sea Islander named Queequeg. ” What a pity they didn’t stop up the chinks and the crannies though, and thrust in a little lint here and there. But it’s too late to make any improvement’s now. The universe is finished the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago.” The setting, over all, suggests a rustic, hard seamens life on the open ocean, it being very hard on a man, but very fulfilling.

III. Character

Characters in this classic novel are very unique, in physical, emotional, and mental aspects. Ahab is a one-legged man, feared by most of the crew, he is the Captain of the Pequod, and he has sworn death on Moby Dick, the great white whale, whom left Ahab with only one leg. Emotionally and mentally Ahab is a scared man, from his last encounter with Moby Dick, he seemed like a man very determined in his ways, willing full, and moody. The characters of this work have many impacts on the feelings in the book, Ahab is the strong force, while Ishmal, the narrator, is the understanding compassionate man of the Pequod.

IV. Plot

The plot of Melville’s work is very distinguished in all perspectives of the novel. The exposition is set at the beginning when Ishmal sets forth on the journey on the whaling ship, the Pequod, with Captain Ahab. In Ishmal’s talking of the whale, and Ahab’s craving to put death to the great fish, the narrative hook is created. As the sign ups for the Pequod are occurring the action rises as the would-be crew members hear the name of the captain, “Ahab”. As the ship sets out on the water to sacrifice the “great whale”, Moby Dick, the climax is reached when the altitude of the “chase” begins.

The action falls as Ahab plunges th last harpoon into Moby Dick, and the rope grabs Ahab by the throat and both are pulled into the depths of the sea as the Pequod sinks. In the Revolution Fedalah’s prophecies are fulfilled, and it was not the whale seeking Ahab, it was Ahab’s evil seeking the whale. One of the many conflicts in this classic was having Ahab as the Captain, this is re! solved though through the crew learning to coupe with the strangeness, and moodiness of the determined old man. Another conflict is encountered between Ahab and the whale, which is resolved when the both parish, this is conflict that most stands out in one’s mind after reading Moby Dick.

V. Theme

Many themes are represented through the setting, plot, and different situations created by the characters of Moby Dick. A “life lesson” learned by reading Moby Dick is that life is like the sea, in that in life men have fears they must overcome to gain a fuller understanding of life, just as Ahab, and his crew, had to overcome there fears to understand more of the presence of Moby Dick.

VI. Evaluation

Positives in this novel are prominent in the philosophy of Melville, and it’s aspects which can be inferred in man’s continual struggle with himself in this universe. This novel has influenced my attitudes and beliefs on the destiny of man and has shown me that there is more than one view of every object. It showed me that I need to be open minded and examine things from more than one viewpoint.

The Scarlett Letter and Moby Dick

Two distinguished authors, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, were the only two anti-transcendentalist novelists. They focussed their novels on limitations and the potential destructiveness of the human spirit rather than on its possibilities (The American Experience 301). Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Melville’s Moby Dick, are tales of sin, guilt, obsession and destruction. From out of both of these anti-transcendentalist novels, various similarities arise between the characters. Mainly, Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter and Captain Ahab from Moby Dick, stand out as the most related, prominent characters of the novels. Both Chillingworth and Captain Ahab are portrayed the same way in their respective novels and perform similar actions, which lead to their ultimate destruction.

In the areas of the meanings of their names, their corresponding authors’ descriptions, and their character type, Chillingworth and Captain Ahab are alike. The names of these two characters are appropriate to their characters. Roger Chillingworth’s name seems to be from the word chill, a synonym for fear and coldness of the heart. Chillingworth makes it a point to instill fear within Reverend Dimmsdale. He is notorious by Hester for having a cold heart. “What does Chillingworth want from Dimmsdale? Revenge…exposure and public humiliation” (Neilson 274).

Indeed, Captain Ahab’s name seems to come from biblical times. King Ahab of Israel was an evil man, who spent his time at war with neighboring countries. In Moby Dick, he is at war with the whale as well as other shipmates. He declares, “What do we do when we see a whale?…Lower Away, and after him!” (Melville 321). These two men, strategically modeled after their names, take on the role of the villain in their own worlds. The severity of both their characters is shown throughout each of the two novels. In The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth, force Hester to reveal the man that she sinned with. He uses his authoritarian nature to instill fear within her. “Thou wilt not reveal his name? Not the less he is mine…” (Hawthorne 73).

He promises to avenge the man who wronged him by sleeping with his wife. Throughout the rest of the novel, Chillingworth aims to destroy Arthur Dimmsdale, the man who slept with his wife. Similarly, in Moby Dick, Melville uses Captain Ahab as the evil character. When Ahab encounters another ship that says that they have seen Moby Dick, they immediately take off. He is also asked to help find the other Captain’s son who is lost at sea, but is determined to catch Moby Dick, so he turns the other captain down (Great Books, MD). This shows Captain Ahab’s cruelty to other human beings as well as his evil nature. Additionally, the descriptions of these two men are similar. In Moby Dick, Melville describes Captain Ahab as an evil harmful, destructive looking man. He has an made completely from ivory, and a cruel severe, domineering face (Great Books, MD).

Similarly, in The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth is portrayed given bitter face, which instills fear in all around him. “A withering horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and…all its wreathes intervolutions in open sight” (Hawthorne 58). Altogether, Chillingworth and Captain Ahab are created as similar characters. The villainous characterization of these characters are parallel to their names, and their features reflect that personality.

These two characters interact with other characters similarly, become obsessed with revenge and are eventually destroyed. In Moby Dick, Melville describes how other characters doubt him and his ways. Starbuck, a shipmate, states, “Vengeance on a dumb brute!…To be enraged at a dumb thing…seems blasphemous” (Hawthorne 324). Others including Ishmael were afraid, they could not comprehend that an obsession could be so powerful, it could take over a person’s life. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Chillingworth’s wife speaks to him about how he used to be a sensitive man, and now, he has turned into a fiend. She is afraid for her lover Dimmsdale, as well as her and Pearl’s lives, because this man could do something irrational (Great Books, SL).

Coincidentally, both the two characters become obsessed with revenge. In the Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth sets his life goal to find and the man who committed adultery. Once he finds him, Chillingworth tries to make Dimmsdale’s life a living hell. Hawthorne writes, He now dug into the poor clergyman’s heart like a miner searching for gold; or, rather, like a sexton delving into a grave…” (Hawthorne 125). Likewise, Captain Ahab, become obsessed with killing Moby Dick. Ahab believes that the whale is evil and must be stopped. He declares, “That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and…I will wreak that hate upon him” (Melville 324).

Consequently, the two obsessions of the two men eventually lead to their ultimate destruction. Chillingworth devotes his entire life to finding out and torturing the man who wronged him. When Dimmsdale, the adulterer, confesses and dies, Chillingworth has no purpose for life after this event. “This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit…of revenge… and when left with no further material, had no reason to stay on the earth to do the devil’s work” (Hawthorne 255). Similarly, Ahab get so involved in the pursuit of the whale, his safety is overlooked. He gets caught on a harpoon line and pulled under and above the water. This man’s reason for living was eventually the cause of his death (Great Books, MD).

Overall, the characters that interact with each of these two men have to same response towards each of their obsessions. These obsessions, the sole purpose for their living was in the end the source of final destruction.

Based on the way the characters were created, and their actions and interaction with other people, the characters Roger Chillingworth, and Captain Ahab are similar. The two men have names built surrounding their evil nature and their physical description. Moreover, the way other characters interact with them, is similar. Others do not understand why they are so obsessed.

This obsession for revenge, in both characters, lead to each of their final destruction. It is a great mystery how why the two novels are so closely related and have similar characters. Perhaps the two authors shared a special friendship in which they both emulated each other’s writing. How ever this may have happened, these two novels were quite possibly the greatst pieces of literature of their time.

Moby Dick: Symbols To Draw Attention

Often in great works of literature, symbols are incorporated to add depth. These symbols make it more interesting to the reader by making connections from one idea to another. Herman Melville depicts a great number of characters and symbols in his 19th century novel Moby Dick. Melville uses symbols to develop plot, characters, and to give the reader a deeper interpretation of the novel. (Tucker) The author successfully uses the symbols of brotherhood, monomania, isolation, religion, and duality to make his book more interesting to its readers.

At the beginning of the novel, the characters Ishmael and Queequeg are introduced. Ishmael is the narrator of the story. He is also a merchant seaman who signs up for a whaling voyage to see the world- and the only crewmember to survive and tell us the story. Queequeg is a tattooed cannibal from the South Seas. He is courageous, as well as kind-hearted. (Cavendish) After becoming friends with Ishmael, he also signs up for whaling and becomes a harpooner.

Melville chose to depict brotherhood as a symbol in a couple different ways. In the hotel room before boarding the Pequod, Ishmael and Queequeg share a room together, where they both sleep. One such morning when Ishmael awakes, he recalls:

How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg- a cozy, loving pair (Melville 68).

This closeness that Melville creates conveys that the relationship between these two characters is a close one.

In the chapter A Squeeze of the Hand, brotherhood is addressed yet again. The crewmembers of the Pequod cut the blubber out of the whales to make it liquid again. While their hands are in the blubber, they meet, as if everyone is holding hands. Ishmael states, “I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget(398)” This is significant because of the importance of comradeship. This situation was used as an excuse to be closer to people then a normal situation would normally allow. This chapter is contrasted to the previous chapter to that of isolation, which will soon be addressed.

Yet another symbol of brotherhood in Moby Dick was when Ahab split his wooden leg jumping back onto the Pequod. Ahab depended on the carpenter to make him a new leg, therefore partly bonding and making a friendship.

Ahab’s monomania grows increasingly as the story moves forward. While on the ship, Ahab addresses his crewmembers with a doubloon, which symbolizes the act of drawing everyone into the vortex of monomania by Ahab. He uses this coin to focus everyone’s attentions and goals into finding Moby Dick.

However, the coin incident is not the only symbol that Melville uses to display Captain Ahab’s monomania. As they are sailing, the Pequod passes various ships along their journey. Upon meeting with these ships, Ahab asks them if they’ve seen a white whale, and refuses to help them because he is afraid that it will interfere and delay the process of capturing Moby Dick.

Because of Ahab’s monomania, in the beginning of the novel Ahab isolates himself from the rest of the crewmembers until they are out on the sea. During the early stages of this novel, Ahab avoids bonding with anyone else, which can be found when at the dinner table. All the mates are silent, and they must leave in the reverse order from which they came, with the third mate having to leave first; the harpooners eat last. It is because of this order that demonstrates how Ahab tries to isolate him and his crewmembers. ” In the cabin was no companionship; socially, Ahab was inaccessible. Though nominally included in the census of Christendom, he was still an alien to it. Ahab’s soul, shut up in the caved trunk of his body, there fed upon the sullen paws of its gloom! (156)”

Away from the concept of monomania is Melville’s use of duality in Moby Dick. This duality adds a twist that makes the story more interesting and keeps the reader in suspense as to what other symbols in the book might have dual meanings.

Because of the nature of this novel, various things symbolize duality. For example, the color white is commonly associated with such things as wholesomeness, pureness, cleanliness, honesty, innocence, and goodness. However, it is ironic how Herman Melville decided to make Moby Dick white, seeing as though the whale is seen by Ahab as evil, bad, and mean- the opposite of what most people associate the color of white with.

The concept of duality can also be expressed when talking about Queequeg’s coffin. As the journey went on, Queequeg progressively became weaker, and drew nearer to death. The carpenter was called upon to make Queequeg a coffin, expecting that he would be dying very shortly. However, Queequeg recalled some duties that he had to fulfill, and that he couldn’t possibly die then. ” at a critical moment, he had just recalled a little duty ashore, which he was leaving undone; and therefore he had changed his mind about dying (455)” Since the coffin was made for death in the first place, it is ironic how it is used as a life boat for Ishmael in the end of the story. At the end, it represents life and survival- in the first place it was made to symbolize death and life coming to an end for Queequeg.

After describing the character of Queequeg, Melville tells of his religion in the chapter The Ramadan. During Queequeg’s Ramadan, he worships his god with Yojo, a black wooden doll, for one day. Melville writes:

There sat Queequeg, altogether cool and self-collected; right in the middle of the room; squatting on his hams, and holding Yojo on top of his head. He looked neither one way nor the other way, but sat like a carved image with a scarce a sign of active life (96).

This chapter introduces and describes a different religion, trying to make the connection between Christianity and Queequeg’s religious practices.

Herman Melville successfully uses the symbols of brotherhood, monomania, isolation, religion, and duality to make the readers of this book interested and thinking about what important symbols are added to complete this novel. (Tucker) The author uses a number of symbols to develop plot, characters, and to give the reader a deeper interpretation of the novel. In the 19th century novel Moby Dick, Herman Melville describes a great number of characters and symbols. Symbols are often incorporated in many great works of literature to add depth. These various symbols make it more interesting to the readers by making connections from one idea to another.

Works Consulted

Cavendish, Marshall. Great Writers of the English Language: Exotic Journies. Volume 9. New York. 1989.
Tucker, Martin. Moulton’s Library of Literary Criticism. Volume 4. Frederick Ungar Publishing Company. New York. 1967.
Various authors. Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Volume 5. Salem Press. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1983.

The Surprising Moby-Dick

Moby Dick was not the novel I expected. I was under the impression that it would be about seafaring and the whale Moby Dick. Instead, Moby Dick is a story about Captain Ahab’s obsession. There is very little in the story about the revenge itself, just about Ahab’s monomania. Out of 465 pages, only forty-two of them deal with the actual battle between Ahab and Moby Dick.

The novel places very little emphasis on actual seafaring. Ishmael never even steps on a boat until page seventy-four. Even when the ship finally leaves port, the mention of anything involving sailing or the life of sailors is kept to an absolute minimum.

There is, however, plenty of emphasis is on whaling, the anatomy of whales, and their behavior. The book goes into great detail describing the whalers of Nantucket, and gives in-depth explanations of the different types of whales, quoting several outside sources in the process. The narrator mentions the awesome size of the sperm whale, and how few books even try to describe it. He also shows great respect for people who go whaling, and describes the camaraderie that forms between them. This is an annoying inconsistency in the novel, since Ishmael (the narrator) tells the reader that he has never been on a whaling ship before, and has never seen a live whale.

The first twenty-three chapters focus on Ishmael’s thoughts and actions. He introduces the reader to whaling and describes the Pequod. After the ship sets sail, he seems to vanish from the story. At certain intervals, however, he plays minor roles, and it is Ishmael that survives to tell the story.

From chapter twenty-four onward, the novel is almost completely about Ahab hunting for Moby Dick. He has the blacksmith construct a special harpoon, made from the finest iron, and soaked in the blood of the three harpooners. The forging of the harpoon is somewhat ironic, since the rope attached to that same harpoon is what drags Ahab to the bottom of the sea.

Despite Ahab’s apparent madness, he still seemed able to reason clearly. He carefully and methodically located the region of the sea that Moby Dick is most likely to be in (an almost impossible task, considering the size of the Earth’s Oceans). When he first set sail, Ahab’s original plan was to hunt only Moby Dick and ignore other whales. Once he realizes that his men will abandon him if they do not make some sort of a profit while at sea, he encourages them to hunt other whales and boosts the morale of the crew.

Ahab is definitely the hero of Moby Dick, but he is a tragic hero. Everyone in the novel who knew Ahab prior to losing his leg considered him to be a great man, and one of the finest captains ever. After the loss of his leg during the first battle with Moby Dick, Ahab’s tragic flaw appeared. He was obsessed. He wanted revenge, and nothing else. Ahab considered Moby Dick to be the embodiment of all that is evil. This monomania is what sent the Pequod halfway around the world to the Pacific Ocean, where Ahab (and almost everyone else on the Pequod) died.

Ahab becomes focused on his one view of the whale. Ahab’s preceives the whale as the embodiment of evil. The whale’s white color lends an ambiguity to the image of the whale as evil.

The great White Whale, Moby Dick, symbolizes many different things. The first thing it represents is Ahab’s anger. The whale’s body is deformed, as is Ahab’s. The whale is driven by animalistic rage, mirroring the anger in Ahab. Ahab thinks Moby Dick is a monster, but it is really Ahab who has become the monster. The whale serves as a scapegoat for Ahab’s miserable existence.

Another thing Moby Dick can represent an unreachable goal. He is a legendary whale, and the object of a wild and exciting chase through three oceans. And, despite the efforts of the Pequod, they never defeated him. The whale was a goal that no one could achieve, but people still destroyed themselves trying.

One odd thing about the novel is that despite all the pain, death and destruction Moby Dick has caused, I do not consider the whale to be evil or monstrous. In fact, I was almost happy to see the whale turn on his hunters and destroy them. I cannot fully appreciate all the feeling about whales that the novel attempts to create.

When Moby Dick was written, whales were thought of as dumb brutes. They were found in large enough numbers that people hunted them endlessly, and never worried about killing them all. Whaling was an admired profession. People needed whale oil for their lamps. Spermaceti oil was used to make perfume and other cosmetics.

In today’s society, things are radically different. Whales are thought to be just as intelligent–if not more intelligent–than humans. Some scientists believe they have a complex language, something not mentioned in the book at all. Whales are an endangered species, almost hunted to extinction. In fact, many countries have outlawed whaling. Most people consider whaling to be cruel and inhumane. The Japanese are despised worldwide for continuing to hunt them. Television programs portray them in a positive light. Whale are mammals that nurse their young and breathe air, just like human beings. They are not giant fish. Today’s children are taught to respect whales, and are taken to aquariums to be educated about them.

After the invention of the electric light bulb, whale oil lamps were no longer used. Modern cosmetic products contain no spermaceti oil. Their manufacturers proudly make claims that no animals were harmed while making the cosmetics.

The real “dumb brutes” in the novel are not the whales, but the whalers. They are uneducated about the true nature of their prey. In a sense, Moby Dick was simply exacting revenge for the centuries of pain and death mankind has inflicted on whales.

In the time of Herman Mellville, man’s dominance over nature was idealized. Today, we are taught to respect and preserve our environment. This different frame of reference makes it very difficult to appreciate the symbolism in this novel. The main focus of the novel, however, is on obsession and its destructiveness.

One of the most important elements in a great literary work is universality. The main idea of the novel (destructive obsession) is universal, even though the symbolism is not. Moby Dick was clearly a great novel, although it was nothing like what I expected.

Herman Melville And Moby Dick

I. Biographical Insights

A. The culture this great author was a part of was the time in American history where inspiring works of literature began to emerge. It was also a time when American writers had not completely separated its literary heritage from Europe, partly because there were successful literary genius flourishing there.

B. Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819, he was the son of Allan and Maria Melville. During Hermans childhood he lived in the good neighborhoods of New York City. In 1832 Herman suffered tragedy when his father died after trying to cope with the stress of debts and misfortunes. After a short time in a business house in New York City, Herman determined he needed to go to sea. He spent years traveling on a variety of ships, including whaling ships.

C1. Melvilles perspective on life is that God created the universe with an infinite number of meanings and man is always trying to determine one specific meaning. D2. The lessons that Melville is likely to weave into his writing are 1. An exposition on whales and the whaling industry. 2. A commentary on the universe and human destiny. 3. Thoughts about God and Nature.

III. Characters

B. The protagonist in this book is Ishmael, a Christian, schoolteacher and part-time sailor. Ishmaels role in the hunt for Moby Dick is to interpret what is happening. He discusses his reasons for going to sea and interprets and looks for understanding a number of reasons for any specific action where other characters only understand one reason.

C. It is hard to say what changes take place in Ishmaels personality, since he is the narrator he doesnt talk about himself, he only talks about what he sees.

D1. Ishmael befriends Queequeg who is a cannibal. Even though Queequeg is very ugly Ishmael sees that Queequeg has an honest heart, great honor, and a lot of courage. This friendship had a positive influence on Ishmaels behavior because it taught him not to judge on outward appearances. E2. Another relationship that was very short was the relationship between Ishmael and Captain Ahab. For the first few days aboard the Pequod Ishmael always saw Ahab in the shadows. When Ishmael finally saw Ahab he had shivers run through his body. Ishmael felt Ahabs attitude of determination, dedication and hatred towards Moby Dick in Ahabs appearance. This relationship was a negative relationship because Ishmael now feared Ahab and did not want to become friends with such an evil person. F. The conflict that Ishmael experienced was that he saw how Ahab was such an evil man and that Ishmael was a good natured man and did not want to be corrupted by Ahab. To resolve this conflict Ishmael stayed away from Ahab.

Representative Passage on Imagery and Figurative Language Yonder, by the ever-brimming goblets rim, the warm waves blush like wine. The gold brow plumbs the blue. The diver sunlong dived from noon,goes down; my soul mounts up! she wearies with her endless hill. Is, then, the crown too heavy that I wear? this Iron Crown of Lombardy. Yet is it bright with many a gem; I, the wearer, see not its far flashings; but darkly fell that I wear that, that dazzlingly confounds. Tis ironthat I knownot gold. Tis split, toothat I feel; the jagged edge galls me so, my brain seems to beat against the solid metal. Chapter LV

A. The details being used to make us feel like we are watching a sunset is that it says the warm waves blush like wine. The gold brow plumbs the blue. The diver sunlong dived from noon,goes down; my soul mounts up!

B. The similes the author uses are the comparison of the colored waves of the sunset to wine. I believe that when the author is talking about the Iron Crown of Lombardy he is talking about the sun. When it says Is, then, the crown too heavy that I wear? he is talking about the sunrise as the sun first starts ascending. I think that noon is where it is says Yet is it bright with many a gem; I, the wearer, see not its far flashings;. I also think that Tis ironthat I knownot gold. Tis split, toothat I feel; the jagged edge galls me so, my brain seems to beat against the solid metal. means he wants to take off the crown signifying sunset.

IV. Symbolism / Allusions D. The objects that are representative of larger ideas are Moby Dick who is a symbol of all of the things in the universe. The color of the whale being white could mean so many different and conflicting things that it cant be narrowed down to one meaning. The coffin that was turned into a buoy that saved Ishmaels life could suggest that the meaning of any object lies in the beholder of the object not the object itself. The place that is a representative of a larger idea is the sea. The sea represents a mans life, it symbolizes the fears that a man must overcome in life in order to gain a fuller understanding of life. B. The sea is a constant presence throughout the novel. As the sea is constantly in the background of the scene.

C. References to previous literature are outlines on the Sperm Whale, but the literature he is referring to do not have name of the works only the names of the authors. I know of only four published outlines of the great Sperm Whale: Colnett, Huggins, Frederick Cuviers, and Beales.

E. Representative Passage on Tone and Authors Philosophy

What a pity they didnt stop up the chinks and the crannies though, and thrust in a little lint here and there. But its too late to make any improvements now. The universe is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago. Chapter II A. The metaphors Melville is using indicates the condition of man and about mans uncertainty in the universe we live in. His tone is that of questioning man choosing his own destiny through his own actions. Melvilles attitude is that of Mans absolute insignificance in the universe. There is nothing Man can do to improve the present state of the universe once he has acted on his decision.

F. Aspects of his philosophy which can be inferred is Mans continual struggle with himself in this universe. The vastness of the universe and mans place in it is difficult for the average man to comprehend. At best he can just figure out one meaning, but there could be more.

I. Evaluation

F. This novel has influenced my attitudes and beliefs on the destiny of man and has shown me that there is more than one view of every object. It showed me that I need to be open minded and examine things from more than one point of view before I judge the object.

G. In this novel one of the authors goals was of indicating the condition of man and about mans uncertainty in the universe we live in. Melville also shows the reader about Mans absolute insignificance in the universe.

H. I believe the author was very successful in achieving these goals. Herman did a great job of representing objects with things of deeper meaning. Throughout the book you are shown Mans insignificance in the universe by the relationship of the crew to the ocean. You are also shown of how a Mans decision once executed cant be changed, an example of that is when Captain Ahab throws the spear into Moby Dick. The spears rope got wrapped around Ahabs neck and when the whale dove Ahab went with it. There was nothing Ahab could do to escape.

I. The topics in this novel are very true but an adventure loving reader will read this book and focus on what went on rather than what the novel was trying to say. This book could be significant to a reader who wants to know about Mans relation to the universe. The difference this novel will have on society is that it will help a person find their relation to the universe.

Moby Dick By Herman Melville: The Characters and Plot

There are numerous characters in Moby Dick, but only a few of them have any impact on the story. A common sailor named Ishmael is the narrator. The book, however, focuses on Captain Ahab, the one-legged commander of the whaling ship Pequod. Ahab has sworn to kill the gigantic whale Moby Dick, who took away his leg. Starbuck is the first mate of the Pequod. Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo are the three harpooners. The story begins with Ishmael becoming restless.

He decides to go out to sea on a whaling ship. In the port of New Bedford, he meets and shares a room with a harpooner named Queequeg. The two of them become close friends, and agree to ship out together. The day after they reach Nantucket, Ishmael begins searching for a whaling ship preparing to leave harbor. Out of three ships ready to leave, he chooses the Pequod. The owners of the ship, Captains Peleg and Bildad are excited to hear of Queequeg from Ishmael and gladly let him join the crew.

They are told the captain of the ship is named Ahab. Peleg and Bildad say that he is a good man, but because of some strange illness, he is confined to his cabin. On Christmas day, and with Ahab still in his cabin, the Pequod sets sail in the Atlantic. As the weather begins to warm up (several months after leaving port), Ahab is finally seen on deck. The strangest thing about Ahab is his leg. Instead of flesh and bone, he has a white ivory peg leg.

As the weeks wear on, Ahab starts to become friendlier. One day, he calls the crew before him. He tells them that the sole mission of the Pequod is to kill Moby Dick. Moby Dick is a gigantic sperm whale with a crooked jaw and a deformed forehead. He has never been defeated, and has attacked and sunk entire ships. Ahab admits he hates Moby Dick for taking his leg away, and wants revenge. The crew agree to this challenge, and swear to hunt him down.

The only who is not excited about hunting down Moby Dick is first-mate Starbuck. For many months, the Pequod sails South, through the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa), and into the Indian Ocean. Along the way, they kill and drain the spermaceti oil from every sperm whale they encounter. Each time they meet another ship, Ahab begins the conversation with “Hast seen the White Whale?”. Finally, after entering the Japanese sea, the Pequod encounters a whaling ship named the Enderby. The Enderby’s captain had just recently lost his arm to Moby Dick.

Ahab becomes so excited at the news that he breaks his ivory leg. The ship’s carpenter builds him a new one. Once reaching the waters around the equator, the Pequod meets another whaling ship, the Rachel. They had seen Moby Dick, and had become separated from one of the whaling boats during the battle. Ahab refuses to help them look for the missing men. At last, Moby Dick is spotted by Ahab. In the first day of fighting, the whale is harpooned many times, but escapes after smashing Ahab’s boat. On the second day, the whale is harpooned again, but still escapes. On the third day, Ahab’s harpoon pierces the whale, but the rope catches him by the neck and Moby Dick drags him to the bottom of the sea. An angry Moby Dick rams and sinks the Pequod.

Only Ishmael survives, and he is rescued by the Rachel. My Response Moby Dick was not the novel I expected. I was under the impression that it would be about seafaring and the whale Moby Dick. Instead, Moby Dick is a story about Captain Ahab’s obsession. There is very little in the story about the revenge itself, just about Ahab’s monomania. Out of 465 pages, only forty-two of them deal with the actual battle between Ahab and Moby Dick. The novel places very little emphasis on actual seafaring. Ishmael never even steps on a boat until page seventy-four. Even when the ship finally leaves port, the mention of anything involving sailing or the life of sailors is kept to an absolute minimum.

There is, however, plenty of emphasis is on whaling, the anatomy of whales, and their behavior. The book goes into great detail describing the whalers of Nantucket, and gives in-depth explanations of the different types of whales, quoting several outside sources in the process. The narrator mentions the awesome size of the sperm whale, and how few books even try to describe it. He also shows great respect for people who go whaling, and describes the camaraderie that forms between them. This is an annoying inconsistency in the novel, since Ishmael (the narrator) tells the reader that he has never been on a whaling ship before, and has never seen a live whale.

The first twenty-three chapters focus on Ishmael’s thoughts and actions. He introduces the reader to whaling and describes the Pequod. After the ship sets sail, he seems to vanish from the story. At certain intervals, however, he plays minor roles, and it is Ishmael that survives to tell the story. From chapter twenty-four onward, the novel is almost completely about Ahab hunting for Moby Dick. He has the blacksmith construct a special harpoon, made from the finest iron, and soaked in the blood of the three harpooners. The forging of the harpoon is somewhat ironic, since the rope attached to that same harpoon is what drags Ahab to the bottom of the sea.

Despite Ahab’s apparent madness, he still seemed able to reason clearly. He carefully and methodically located the region of the sea that Moby Dick is most likely to be in (an almost impossible task, considering the size of the Earth’s Oceans). When he first set sail, Ahab’s original plan was to hunt only Moby Dick and ignore other whales. Once he realizes that his men will abandon him if they do not make some sort of a profit while at sea, he encourages them to hunt other whales and boosts the morale of the crew. Ahab is definitely the hero of Moby Dick, but he is a tragic hero. Everyone in the novel who knew Ahab prior to losing his leg considered him to be a great man, and one of the finest captains ever.

After the loss of his leg during the first battle with Moby Dick, Ahab’s tragic flaw appeared. He was obsessed. He wanted revenge, and nothing else. Ahab considered Moby Dick to be the embodiment of all that is evil. This monomania is what sent the Pequod halfway around the world to the Pacific Ocean, where Ahab (and almost everyone else on the Pequod) died. Ahab becomes focused on his one view of the whale. Ahab’s preceives the whale as the embodiment of evil. The whale’s white color lends an ambiguity to the image of the whale as evil. The great White Whale, Moby Dick, symbolizes many different things. The first thing it represents is Ahab’s anger. The whale’s body is deformed, as is Ahab’s. The whale is driven by animalistic rage, mirroring the anger in Ahab. Ahab thinks Moby Dick is a monster, but it is really Ahab who has become the monster.

The whale serves as a scapegoat for Ahab’s miserable existence. Another thing Moby Dick can represent an unreachable goal. He is a legendary whale, and the object of a wild and exciting chase through three oceans. And, despite the efforts of the Pequod, they never defeated him. The whale was a goal that no one could achieve, but people still destroyed themselves trying. One odd thing about the novel is that despite all the pain, death and destruction Moby Dick has caused, I do not consider the whale to be evil or monstrous. In fact, I was almost happy to see the whale turn on his hunters and destroy them. I cannot fully appreciate all the feeling about whales that the novel attempts to create. When Moby Dick was written, whales were thought of as dumb brutes.

They were found in large enough numbers that people hunted them endlessly, and never worried about killing them all. Whaling was an admired profession. People needed whale oil for their lamps. Spermaceti oil was used to make perfume and other cosmetics. In today’s society, things are radically different. Whales are thought to be just as intelligent–if not more intelligent–than humans. Some scientists believe they have a complex language, something not mentioned in the book at all. Whales are an endangered species, almost hunted to extinction. In fact, many countries have outlawed whaling. Most people consider whaling to be cruel and inhumane.

The Japanese are despised worldwide for continuing to hunt them. Television programs portray them in a positive light. Whale are mammals that nurse their young and breathe air, just like human beings. They are not giant fish. Today’s children are taught to respect whales, and are taken to aquariums to be educated about them. After the invention of the electric light bulb, whale oil lamps were no longer used. Modern cosmetic products contain no spermaceti oil. Their manufacturers proudly make claims that no animals were harmed while making the cosmetics. The real “dumb brutes” in the novel are not the whales, but the whalers. They are uneducated about the true nature of their prey.

In a sense, Moby Dick was simply exacting revenge for the centuries of pain and death mankind has inflicted on whales. In the time of Herman Mellville, man’s dominance over nature was idealized. Today, we are taught to respect and preserve our environment. This different frame of reference makes it very difficult to appreciate the symbolism in this novel. The main focus of the novel, however, is on obsession and its destructiveness. One of the most important elements in a great literary work is universality. The main idea of the novel (destructive obsession) is universal, even though the symbolism is not. Moby Dick was clearly a great novel, although it was nothing like what I expected.

Wuthering Heights: Short Review

According to the editor Currer Bell, the novel Wuthering Heights may seem rather crude and unintelligible to those who know nothing of the author. Strangers who are unacquainted with the setting where the story takes place, or who are unfamiliar with the customs of the time may also look at Wuthering Heights with a critical eye. “To all such Wuthering Heights must appear a rude and strange production” (Bell 5).

Readers may feel that the manners, language, and the very dwellings of the characters are somewhat “repulsive” (Bell 5). People who are perhaps calm and collected will “have no idea what to make of the rough, strong utterance, the harshly manifested passions, the unbridled aversions, and headlong partialities” (Bell 5). Many people have been taught carefully to observe the evenness of language and manner, and it is these people whom the roughness will shock.

The entire novel is regarded for its rusticity. “It is moorish, and wild, and knotty as the root of heath” (Bell 5). However, Currer Bell insists that this is exactly the way the novel should be. The author was a product of these wild and rustic moors, and it is quite natural that she writes about what she lived in. “Her descriptions, then, if natural scenery, are what they should be, and The author herself was not a very social person. She looked upon most people with benevolence, but there were very few instances where she interacted with them on a personal level. However, this did not stop her from accurately identifying the ways, language, and family history of most people. “She could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic,and accurate; but with them she barely exchanged a word” (Bell 6-7). Her imagination was dismal yet powerful.

Still, there are certain examples in Wuthering Heights that bring a sort of brightness to the other dreary aspects of the novel. The character of Nelly Dean is an example of tenderness and compassion. In the character of Edgar Linton one can see a sense of constancy and thoughtfulness. Also, “some glimpses of grace and gaiety animate the younger Catherine” (Bell 8). Even the first Catherine possesses strange sort of beauty in the midst of all Heathcliff possesses only one characteristic that shows he is in fact human. It is not his love for Catherine, which is wild and fierce, but it is his, “rudely confessed regard for Hareton Earnshaw- the young man whom he has ruined; and his half -implied esteem for Nelly Dean” (Bell 8).

If it weren’t for these mere examples, we would look upon Heathcliff as a child purely of Wuthering Heights was a novel formed out of poor materials with simple tools, yet it reflects an amazing sense of power. There was no model for it except the visions of the author’s mind. It took time and effort, but the novel took on a human form and there it stands dark and mighty, radiating a sense of strength and charm.

Madame Bovary: Short Review

Gustave Flauberts Madame Bovary tells the story of a womans quest to make her life into a novel. Emma Bovary attempts again and again to escape the ordinariness of her life by reading novels, daydreaming, moving from town to town, having affairs, and buying luxurious items. One of the most penetrating debates in this novel is whether Flaubert takes on a romantic and realistic view. Is he a realist, naturalist, traditionalist, a romantic, or neither of these in this novel?

According to B. F. Bart, Flaubert “was deeply irritated by those who set up little schools of the Beautiful — romantic, realistic, or classical for that matter: there was for him only one Beautiful, with varying aspects…” (206) Although, Henry James has no doubt that Flaubert combines his techniques and his own style in order to transform his novel into a work that clearly exhibits romanticism and a realistic view, despite Barts arguments. Through the characters actions, especially of Emma Bovarys, and of imagery the novel shows how Flaubert is a romantic realist.

Flaubert gives Emma, his central character, an essence of helpless romanticism so that it would express the truth throughout the novel. It is Emmas early education, described for an entire chapter by Flaubert, that awakens in her a struggle against what she perceives as confinement. Her education at the convent is the most significant development in the novel between confinement and escape. Vince Brombert explains “that the convent is Emmas earliest claustration, and the solitations from the outside world, or through the distant sound of a belated carriage rolling down the boulevards, are powerful allurements.” (383)

At first, far from being bored, Emma enjoyed the company of the nuns; “the atmosphere of the convent is protective and soporific; the reading is done on the sly; the girls are assembled in the study” are all primary images of confinement and immobility. (Brombert 383) As this chapter progresses, images of escape start to dominate and Emma begins to become more romantically inclined.

In romantic fashion, she seeks her own, individual satisfaction, she is necesarily doomed in Flauberts eyes. Complete love he envisaged as aspiration, outgoing rather than self-centered. But he made Emma, from the very start, seek only a personal profit from any emotion, even from a landscape. This is what romanticism as she knew it in the convent invited her to desire. In facile, romantic novels the lover and his mistress are so much at one that all desires are held in common. Any romantic girl, Emma for instance, will then suppose that a lover is a man who wants what she wants, who exists for her.

Nothing in Emmas character led her to doubt this, and nothing in her training could teach her otherwise. This, perhaps the most commom and most serious of the romantic illusions, is at the core of Madame Bovary and helps to keep the book alive. (Benjamin 317)
We see this when Emma is seduced by Rodolphe who believes that all woman are exactly alike and love the same way. Unfortuntely for her she sees only illusions as to how romantic Rodolphe is and when he leaves her to return to his old dreary lifestyle his existance as an exhilarating and exciting personality is in Emmas mind and imagination alone.

Madame Bovary: The Tragic Love Triangle of Yonville

Gustave Flubert’s masterpiece, Madame Bovary, was first published in 1857. The novel shocked many of its readers and caused a chain reaction that spread through all of France and ultimately called for the prosecution of the author. Since that time however, Madame Bovary, has been recognized by literature critics as being the model for the present literary period, being the realistic novel period. It is now considered a novel of great worth and one which contains an important and moving plot. In addition, it provides a standard against which to compare the works of writers to follow. It is nearly impossible to truly understand modern European and American fiction without reading, Madame Bovary.

Charles Bovary, the only son of a middle-class family, became a doctor and set up his practice in a rural village. He then married a women who was quite older then himself. He was unhappily married to her saying that “Her dresses barely hung on her bony frame”, This coming right before her death. Upon his wife’s death, Charles married an attractive young women named Emma Roualt, the daughter of one of his patients. Emma married Charles with overwhelming expectations. She thought marriage would be filled with three things, “bliss, passion, and ecstasy”. Emma had a character that was 1) dissatisfied 2) adulterous and 3) free spending. For a while she was excited and pleased by her marriage, but overwhelmed by her new life, she quickly became dissatisfied. As a result of her dissatisfaction she became mentally ill.

For the sake of her health the Bovary’s moved to a new town, Yonville, where their daughter was born. Emma’s unhappiness continued, and she began to have romantic feelings toward Leon, a young law clerk. After Leon left the town in order to attend law school. Emma’s boredom and frustration became more intense after Leon left. She began to forget her role as a wife and mother. Charles tried many times to please but none of his efforts were successful, and she did not value or understand Charles’ love for her. Finally Emma had an adulterous affair with Rodolphe, a local land owner.

Upon realizing Emma’s intentions of an affair with him he states that he is “Gasping for love”, and this wins her heart over. Rodolphe then leaves for a period of six weeks and Emma then becomes seriously ill again. After her recovery, Rodolphe returns and the only explanation for his actions is “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. She then runs across Leon in Rowen and began to resume were they left off. In order to afford the trips to Rowen to see Leon and satisfy her own needs, Emma spent her husbands money freely and incurred many debts. She kept this secret from Charles and managed to obtain a Power of Attorney, so that she would have full control over their financial affairs.

Eventually her unpaid bills went long overdue and judgment was obtained against the creditors. She owed a vast sum of money, and the sheriff’s officers arrived to confiscate the family property. Emma tried frantically to raise the money and finally turning to Leon, but he was unable to help, nor was he willing. She even tried to get back Rodolphe, by saying “I stayed with you, because I couldn’t tear myself away…”, he would have no part of her anymore and unwilling to help. Out of shame and despair of herself, she poisons herself to die. Shortly afterwards, now a ruined and broken man, also died, leaving their daughter to a life of poverty.

Madame Bovary – For Lack of a Better Man

Gustave Flaubert presents one extreme side of human life many would very much rather think does not exist. He presents a tale of sensual symbolism within the life of Charles Bovary. Madame Bovary is the story of Emma Bovary, but within the scope of symbolic meaning, the make-up of Charles is addressed. It is representative of deep sadness and a despondent outlook on life whose many symbols are, at times, as deeply embedded in the story line as a thorn in a callous heel. The elements making up the very person of Charles Bovary remain excruciatingly evident, haunting his every move.

Symbolic of his yearning for inner fulfillment, Charles Bovary presents to be a man in search of an unknown sensual satisfaction. It is no wonder, with the detailed writing the French government attempted to censor Flaubert when Madame Bovary was published in 1856. Although the vast majority of theorems penned revolve about the life of Emma, the character of Charles requires examining.

In the opening scenes, Charles Bovary is seen entering a favorite dive of escape, an escape from the realities of life. The cafs he frequented appear as dirty public rooms (Flaubert 834) housing his passion for the game of dominoes. His obsession and pleasure from this simple entertainment are exposed as Flaubert describes Charles entrance into the den of dominoes. [His esteem] was beginning to see life, the sweetness of stolen pleasures; and when he entered, he put his hand on the door handle with a joy almost sensual (Flaubert 834). What, other than a profound uneasiness within his personal life, could bring about so explicit a pleasure from the entering to a dark, dank room?

Charles life as a student of medicine is one of avoidance. His lack of sincerity and devotion is shown via the mother hen role, which his mother took in excusing his inadequacies. His insincerity and hypocrisy is indicative of one with no foresight. He lives now, exists now, and thinks now, not of what is to come, but of what is now. The author explains how he grew passive toward his presumed goal: medicine. In the beginning, he would miss one lecture in a day. Then, the next day, he would miss all lectures. Eventually, because of his inner thirst for self-satisfaction, he would become idle to the point he would give up work altogether (Flaubert 834).

Charles is a grown man. He is a student of medicine. Yet, he has his mother making justifications for him. She excused him, threw the blame on his failure on the injustice of the examiners, and took upon herself to set matters straight (Flaubert 834). Is it no wonder, with a character flaw such as this maternal control, later in the story adultery and betrayal would plague his marriage? On the one hand, there is Charles who is excused and exhaulted by his mother. His father, five years later and on learning the truth, expresses how he could not believe that one born of him could be such a fool (Flaubert).

Conversely, there is Emma. Emma has her decision made on her behalf by her father the day of Charles last visit before the engagement. Flaubert represents the affirmative answer to Charles alleged proposal by the banging of the shutter as her father turns and walks toward the house. She is, we can only assume, ready to be the wife of a doctor, it making no difference his lack of expertise as a physician, not to mention his lack of masculinity.

Charles is a pitiful sight to see. His rebellious nature toward the attaining of the goal of physician, as obviously prescribed by his parents, is directly related to Flauberts rebellion toward France in relation to enforced censorship. The mandatory overseeing of literature, and limitations thereof, are of prime importance when digesting Madame Bovary.

The many symbolism methods commonly referred to within Madame Bovary are still obviously there. There is the wedding in the pasture where Emma is forced to stop to remove litter from her dress. The obstacles of her future happiness lie beneath her fringe. She is said to stop to raise the hem of her dress, and carefully, with her gloved hands, to pick off the wild grasses (Flaubert). Her happiness falls by the wayside. The plaster priest falls and breaks symbolic of Charles future failures in his wonderful world of medicine. Furthermore, this is directing the reader toward the eventual demise of the marriage.

Nevertheless, it is the continued usage by Flaubert of sexual innuendoes and expressive words that bring one to realize France may very well have been correct in its attempt to censor. To understand an author is to read between the lines, then draw conclusions. My conclusion is that Flaubert uses specific scenes to symbolize his flamboyance toward being bawdy. Sometimes she would draw; and it was great amusement to Charles to stand there, bolt upright and watch her bend over her paper, with eyes half-closed the better to see her work (Flaubert 856). The better to see her work? Perhaps in the eyes of a creator, ones cleavage can be considered work.

Although it is talent that allows a writer to use and coordinate symbolic meanings within his works toward a specific goal, the plainspoken truth is more easily ingested and digested. There is merit in the skilled stating of ideals, symbolism in place, without making ones audience uncomfortable. However, within the pages of Madame Bovary lie a continuous excess of implication, insinuation, and suggestion.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: Review

The novel Madame Bovary was written by Gustave Flaubert in 1856. Flaubert was born in 1821, in Rouen, France. His father, being a doctor, caused him to be very familiar with the horrible sights of the hospital, which he in turn uses in his writings. In this novel, Charles Bovary, an undereducated doctor of medicine has two wives in his life. The first, Madame Dubuc, died. Emma Rouault, his second wife, after many affairs commits suicide. The doom of Charles and Emma’s marriage is described by an elaborate connection of symbolic relations. The relationships of the shutter’s sealing bang, Emma’s long dress that keeps her from happiness, the plaster priest that conveys the actions of the couple, the restless greyhound, and Emma burning her wedding bouquet are all images of eternal doom to the couple’s marriage.

Charles Bovary first met Emma Rouault when he was on a medical call to fix her father’s broken leg. Not long after his arrival Emma catches his interest. Her actions satisfy his hearts need for a young, fresh mind and body. The old widow that he is currently married to dies of chagrin. Charles is sadden by this but his mind stays on Emma. After frequent visits to her farm, even after her father’s leg was healed, Charles gives a thought about if he would like to marry Emma but he is uncertain. Her father sees Charles’ interest in his daughter and takes it upon himself to engage the two. He waits until Charles is departing and then confronts him about the engagement. As expected Charles accepts the marriage and the father runs to the house to receive Emma’s acceptance. This was to be shown by the opening of a shutter door. “Suddenly he heard a sound from the house: the shutter had slammed against the wall; the catch was still quivering” (Flaubert 21). The sound that the shutter makes is the beginning of an end. The bang seals the never-ending doom of the couple’s marriage (Turnell 101).

Emma’s wedding is a special occasion. It is held in the far off pasture of their farm. After all the guests arrive the wedding procession proceeds to the pasture. As they walk “…she stopped to raise it [her dress], and daintily, with her gloved hands, to pick off the wild grasses and prickly thistles” (Flaubert 23). Her dress is symbolic of the obstacles to her happiness. She is at her wedding and she has to stop and pick grass and twigs off of her dress. The fact that she is suppose to be happy at her wedding and she is not, is the obstacle. Another example Flaubert gives mentions how Rodolphe “without slowing down, leaned across whenever it happened, and pulled it loose…” (Flaubert 137). By helping her remove her dress from the snagged stirrup, he was clearing the obstacle and was able to make Emma happy. Unlike Charles who simply stood by and waited at his wedding. Emma’s dress is an obstacle with her lovers (Turnell 103).

The plaster priest, first seen in Tostes in Emma’s garden, is symbolic of the pride of their marriage and later the deterioration of their religion. As she examines the garden for the first time she notices the plaster priest posed reading the bible. As time goes on the plaster on the priest starts to flake off, showing the demoralization and fragileness of her religion (Turnell 103). The foot of the plaster figure also breaks off over time. This is symbolic of the future failures in Charles’ medical practices. The plaster priest continues to be a symbolic figure in Charles and Emma’s lives. Emma becomes depressed due to her failing attempts to be accepted as high class. Charles, showing concern with Emma’s health when she begins drinking vinegar and coughing from the depression, arranges a move to Yonville. The plaster priest falls off the cart and “…shattered into a thousand pieces…” (Flaubert 76) at the arrival to Yonville. This event foreshadows the doom of the end of their marriage (Turnell 103).

While in Tostes Charles receives a greyhound from a patient. Emma has previously seen pictures in the convent she spent her childhood in, of high-class people walking their greyhounds. Due to that Emma is always seeking to be considered high-class, especially after being invited to the ball unknowingly just as the high-middle class representative of her community. She thinks the ownership of a greyhound will enhance her social status. One day as she sits under a pavilion, allowing her dog to roam aimlessly, she begins to think of how bad her marriage is and how she wants out. “‘Oh, why did I ever get married?”‘ These are the first thoughts of the marriage’s damnation. As the greyhound wanders through the park it symbolizes the restless heart and mind of Emma. Emma becomes depressed when she finds out that she is not invited to the ball this year. The depression is so deep that Charles has to move them to Yonville. The greyhound runs away on their way and pushes Emma’s depression over the edge and she continues the thoughts of a doomed marriage (Turnell 103).

At the beginning of their marriage Emma and Charles come back to his house. Charles has not taken “the other bride’s bouquet!” out of his room until “She looked at it.” He then takes it to the attic. Emma sees this and automatically thinks of what will be done with her bouquet. As Emma’s thoughts drift away from Charles and her marriage to him, she finds herself pursuing other affairs. These affairs led her to the end of her marriage. She burns her wedding bouquet. This symbolizes the end of their doomed marriage. The ashes that fly into the air are compared to black butterflies, which takes upon itself a mortifying image of the delicacy of Emma and yet her dark, unrelenting urn to end the horrible marriage that she is trapped in (Turnell 103).

These symbolic relationships represent Charles and Emma’s doomed marriage. Flaubert shows that from the day he made them meet until death does them part they are doomed and will not succeed in love or happiness.

Works Cited

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. 1857. Trans. Lowell Bair. New York: Bantam, 1981.

Turnell, Martin. “Madame Bovary.” Flaubert: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Raymond Girauld. Twentieth Century Views. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1964. 97-111.

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

This book is definitely a novel. It has all the elements of a true love story. It has a lovesick woman, who has her head filled with notions of a life that will live on happily-ever-after. It is made complete by the death of the heroin. The outside world is a major influence on this novel. It may be that it is romantic because it was written at the earliest stages of the romantic movement. It also helped revitalized the movement. It gave future romantic writers a model with which to follow.

Romanticism at that time believed that the universe was not a machine; that nature and humanity were connected; that feeling was as important to humanity as reason; and that society along with individuals could change and grow uncontrollably. Most young girls are blinded by fantasies of love and adventure, but Emma is more concerned with them than most. Being raised in a convent and having many opportunities to read, her head was full of dreams of undying love and adventure. To Flaubert there were two defects in romanticism.

One was the people that joined it but really did not understand it. Then there were those that only joined the cause because it was a way of hiding the reality that they lived in. This novel is also symbolic. Throughout the story many different examples of symbols are used. One such example is Emma’s repeated dreams of travel and their ironic parallels. These are symbols of her romantic visions and their answering reality. The viscount and his cigar case are symbols of a romanticized aristocracy. Throughout the story the color blue is used as a symbol for happiness.

This story is told first by a narrator. The narrator is said to be one of Charles old classmates, but he is gone by the middle of the chapter. Being the narrator he adds intimacy, authority, and immediacy. Using him as a narrator is practical to the point that he knows all about Charles. In the beginning of the book it is important to the story plot to know as much about Charles as possible, because he will be to main object of Emma’s dissatisfaction with her unromantic lifestyle.

Charles’ classmate is eventually phased out as the narrator because he could not add anything more to the story. In chapter five the reader starts to take the point of view of Emma’s consciousness. This is the first time the reader can see exactly what she is thinking. At this point in time we can see she is beginning to become disgusted with Charles. The major point of view that is shown throughout the story is third person omniscient.

Madame Bovary is both orthodox and unorthodox in its story plot organization. Some scenes scattered throughout the book are told through the use of a flashback. One such flashback is when Charles describes his parents. He tells about them in an earlier time and place. Also, Emma tells the reader about some of her memories of the convent and also about her father’s farm. Another flashback that occurs often in the book is when Emma has her spells of religious enthusiasm, and when she does this she reverts back into an earlier mood or character.

Gustave Flaubert’s characterization of Emma is very eccentric and complex. It is almost to the point of being confusing. Through his mastery of language, Madame Bovary can be interpreted as a brilliant example of romanticism. Emma’s sentimentality is learned at a very early age, because she was raised in a convent. Throughout the book her tendency toward her dream world was also started in the convent. She constantly searched for the mystic and the unusual rather than the real world. She spent all of her time dreaming of the extreme romantic view of knights in shining armor and being queen of an old castle.

She shut out the dull routine of everyday life because it hurt her to see her life as it really was. After her marriage to Charles, she still continued to dream of her perfect romance filled life. When she saw that marriage was not all that it was suppose to be, rather than trying to love her husband more, she spent all of her time and energy chasing dreams that would never come true. She was never satisfied with her life and was always trying to change it.

Longing for romantic satisfaction, she tried many different things to keep herself occupied and happy, but she soon became bored and moved on to something new. This endless search made her so tired that she eventually became sick. In some of her final attempts to achieve this romantic happiness, she commits adultery. The first man’s name is Leon. Leon is exactly like Emma. He never finds emotional happiness and in a short time he leaves Emma. Emma then meets Rodolphe and she is ready to give herself away to him as soon as they meet. Rodolphe is a womanizer.

He understood right away that Emma was tired of her husband and wanted to have an affair. He is only interested in seducing her and when he leaves her for six weeks, it only makes her want him more. Then there was also Lheureux. Emma, like all romantic characters she had read about, was also suicidal. In her reading, which was at the height of the romantic movement, it was typical for young men and women to kill themselves because their “true love” had left them. Flaubert revealed through Emma weaknesses of the sentimental and literary romantic.

Madame Bovary is iconoclastic because of its attacks on the social middle class. Flaubert illustrates that the middle class of his time was full of typical middle class conventions and myths of progress. In doing this he showed their weakness and stupidity. He also shows the fact that some of his characters cannot seem to be able to communicate with each other. Through these ways, Flaubert’s novel could be set in anytime and anyplace, the only things that would have to change are the costumes and some of the dialog.

In Madame Bovary, Flaubert is portraying a phase of French life around the time of the romantic movement. In Madame Bovary he depicts a life of a typical young lovesick girl through Emma. At the height of the romantic movement all girls dreamed that their lives would be filled with the stuff from the story books. When many of these girls found that their dreams would never be like any book they had read, they could no longer live with themselves knowing they would never be happy. Like Emma, these young girls would often kill themselves rather than face the world without love.

Throughout the novel Flaubert uses many different styles. One of them is his use of repetition. All of Emma’s three loves are the same and therefore show repetition. For Emma all of them in the beginning of their relationships are filled with illusions. With all of them she later tries to hide their shortcomings and excite their passion for her. She finally goes through a period of rationalism, and realizes that everything she had dreamed them to be was in her head.

The way in which Flaubert creates a mood with his description of a particular event, is also a very evident type of style. This style is evident in Emma’s first disillusionment in part one, chapter seven, her walk with Leon in part two, chapter three, and also in her suicide attempt in part two, chapter thirteen. Another style of Flaubert’s is the use of two different actions at the same time to create effect. Some examples are when Emma and Leon’s first conversation is going on and at the same time Homais and Charles’s conversation is going on. He also used a style called contrasting episode. One such event was Emma’s wedding opposed to the La Vaubyessard ball.

Madame Bovary is Flaubert’s most typical and most popular book and it gave its author fame posthumously. In this book he combined the longing for the ideals of romanticism and the objective outlook of realism. This book brought Flaubert and the French novel into a higher level of development. It served as a model to later writers of the romantic period and set the tone for all romantic writing. Flaubert said that the basis of his character Emma was non other than himself. Most of his critics, however, say that most of Emma’s character was based on pure imagination and nothing more.

Bibliography

Draper, James P. World Literature Criticism: 1500 to the Present. Detriot: Gale Research Inc., 1992.
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: the brilliant modern translation by Lowell Bair. New York: Bantam Books Inc., 1972.
Gustave Flaubert. 2001. On-Line Internet. 16 August, 2001. AvailableWWW:http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jb.guinot/pages/accueil.html.
Magill, Frank N. Mauter Plots: Comprehensive Library Edition. Vol.2. New York: Salem Press Incorporated, 1983.
Thorlby, Anthony. The Penguin Companion to European Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1969.

Gustave Flaubert and Madame Bovary: Comparisons

We would like to think that everything in life is capable, or beyond the brink of reaching perfection. It would be an absolute dream to look upon each day with a positive outlook. We try to establish our lives to the point where this perfection may come true at times, although, it most likely never lasts. There’s no real perfect life by definition, but instead, the desire and uncontrollable longing to reach this dream. In the novel Madame Bovary, it’s easy to relate to the characters as well as the author of this book. One can notice that they both share a fairly similar view on life, and that their experiences actually tie in with each other.

Emma Bovary dreamed of a life beyond that of perfection as well. She realizes that she leads an ordinary and average life, but simply does not want to abide by it. In the novel, Emma meets a pitiful doctor named Charles Bovary. The first time they meet, Charles falls instantly in love with her. They begin to see more and more of each other until Charles asks Emma’s father for her hand in marriage. They end up getting married and everything goes fine, just like a normal couple, for awhile. They did things with each other, went out, and were extremely happy.

Although, this love and passion for life shortly ended when Emma’s true feelings began to come about. We soon come to realize that “the story is of a woman whose dreams of romantic love, largely nourished by novels, find no fulfillment when she is married to a boorish country doctor” (Thorlby 272). This is completely true because Emma really does get caught up in her reading. She wonders why she can’t have a flawless love as well as a flawless life, just as the characters do in the novels she reads. Once Emma becomes fed up and realizes that he is “a sad creature” (Flaubert 78), she begins her little quest to find the right man through a binge of affairs and broken hearts. The author of Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, was born in Rouen France (Kunitz 280).

He grew up in a rather wealthy and prosperous family as a result of his father being a successful doctor (Kunitz 280). This could easily relate to the fact that Charles Bovary was a doctor too. During Flaubert’s younger years, he was alone most of the time. He didn’t have any friends and normally spent his days in solitude. This gave him time to focus on his literature (Flaubert i). Since Flaubert’s academics and knowledge of literature were released at such an early age, it is explainable to see how his profound talent was released (Flaubert i). He began to write plays at around the age of ten. These were in-depth, romantic plays that adults would learn to appreciate (Kunitz 280).

At that time Flaubert focused his attention on the study of History and the writings of numerous romantics as well (Kunitz 280). Flaubert was later sent to an intermediate school in Paris to further strengthen his academic standings (Kunitz 280). Upon completion of that, he enrolled into law school but found no interest in it (Thorlby 250). This allowed him to do some drifting, while taking the time to realize that literature would be his destiny (Kunitz 281). Although all of this schooling and work helped Flaubert become an extremely talented writer, he thought writing to be one of the most difficult things (De Man xi). He wrote very slowly in fact, while reflecting on his painful life experiences. It took over five years to perfect his most famous novel, Madame Bovary (Thorlby 272).

Although some people, as well as I, believe that Flaubert based the character of Emma Bovary on himself, he was very unhappy with the subject of the book upon finishing (Thorlby 272). Maybe Flaubert figured her character to be too provocative and heartless. Otherwise, he might have simply reflected upon the theme, and thought it to be uninteresting. In 1856, the novel Madame Bovary was actually condemned as being pornographic. This was a result of Flaubert’s eminently honest and descriptive themes. He, along his publisher were charged with offending public morality and went to trial, but were soon acquitted (Magill 616).

This publicity obviously helped bring the book out into the public while establishing popularity and praise. Sure, Flaubert was probably disappointed when this negative publicity about Madame Bovary. But, he realized that criticism could be ignored and his objective is “to understand humanity, not to explain or reform it” (Magill 616). By reading Madame Bovary, it’s easy to notice that Flaubert is a perfectionist. In fact, he sometimes rewrites his books 3-4 times to establish perfection. When he finished Madame Bovary, he said, “C’est Moi,” meaning in French, “that’s me” (Kunitz 281).

This could symbolize the incredible comparison between Flaubert and the character Emma Bovary. Although Flaubert detested the thought of being famous, his work titled him France’s most renowned writer (Magill 617). According to Sainte-Beuve, Flaubert’s scenes were “pictures which, if they were painted with a brush as they are written, would be worthy of hanging in a gallery beside the best genre painting” (Kunitz 281). In 1846 Flaubert met the poet Louis Colet, who became his mistress. Although he admired her, he couldn’t “find the ideal love” (Kunitz 280). This could symbolize the comparison between Flaubert and Emma as well.

Along with Louis Colet, Flaubert had a few more adulterous relationships too. But, when his work became too important, Flaubert gave up everything to devote himself to his writing. He even broke off his affair with Mme. Colet because got in the way (Thorlby 272). Flaubert soon became a pessimist and basically had a cheerless view of life (Magill 617). He became the victim of nervous apprehension and depression (Kunitz 282). Flaubert frequently felt with drawled from society and longed to commit suicide (Kunitz 282). It’s plain to observe that Flaubert was an idealist that dreamed, just as the characters in his novel did. “These perpetual conflicts,” writes Troyat, who has been listing some of the paradoxes in Flaubert’s life, “made him a profoundly unhappy man” (Kunitz 282).

Emma would sit on the grass into which she would dig the tip of her parasol with brief thrusts and would ask herself, “My God, why did I get married” (Flaubert 108)? Flaubert was the same way, deliberating whether marriage was one of the biggest mistakes to have been made or not. “Madame Bovary,” writes A de Pontmartin in the correspond and, “is the pathological glorification of the senses and of the imagination in a disappointed democracy.” “It proves once and for all that realism means literary democracy” (De Man ix). Emma and Flaubert are very ordinary middle-class people, with banal expectations of life and an urge to dominate their surroundings.

Their personalities are remarkable only for an unusual defiance of natural feelings (Flaubert 152). People even say that the myth surrounding the figure of Emma Bovary is so powerful, that one has to remind oneself that she is fiction and not an actual person (De Man vii). By reading this book, and accurately analyzing the author’s significant events, one can plainly conclude that Flaubert actually did tie in those events with the theme of Madame Bovary.

Madame Bovary is a creation of one’s conscience which can only be explained through the eyes of another. It’s about love, hate, and destiny, while holding every true emotion in the context as well. “Something in the destiny of the heroine and of the main supporting characters, as well as in the destiny of the book itself, surrounds it with the aura of immortality that belongs only to truly major creations” (De Man vii). And it is fair to say that Madame Bovary is a true creation, at least one in the eyes of Gustave Flaubert.

Works Cited

De Man, Paul, ed. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary: Backgrounds and Sources, Essays in Criticisms. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1965

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. New York, New York, 1964

Kunitz, Stanley J., Vineta Colby, eds. European Literature (Authors) 1800-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of European Literature. New York: The H.W. Wilson Co., 1967

Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Long Fiction: Foreign Language Series. vol. 2; New Jersey: Salem Press Inc., 1984

Magill, Frank N., ed. Cyclopedia of World Authors. New Jersey: Salem Press Inc., 1958

Thorlby, Anthony, ed. The Penguin Companion to European Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1969

Moll Flanders, Madame Bovary & The Joys of Motherhood: Compare

Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood are three novels that portray the life of woman in many different ways. They all depict the turmoils and strife’s that women, in many cultures and time periods, suffer from. In some cases it’s the woman’s fault, in others it’s simply bad luck. In any case, all three novels succeed in their goal of showing what a life of selling oneself short is like through the eyes of a woman.

In Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, a woman, Moll is simply trying to get by and is given a wonderful start because she was born in a prison. Moll Flanders leads a life full of crime and prostitution because she feels it is the only way she can survive. She becomes do dependent on theft that she steals even when she does not need any more luxuries. In Moll Flanders, the reader at times feels bad for the main character because she really has no luck when it comes to husbands or life in general. Yet at other times we resent the fact that she leaves her children and continues stealing for no reason.

Moll Flanders is somewhat ambiguous because the reader does not know whether to feel sorry for Moll’s disadvantages, or feel hatred for her irresponsibility. Moll is somewhat portrayed as ignorant, in that she does not know that what she does is wrong. E. M. Forster wrote that \”A nature such as hers cannot for long distinguish between doing wrong and getting caught.\”

Although there are time when the reader feels bad for Moll and feels that she simply does not know better, there are times when Moll admit that she is doing wrong. However, Moll feels no sympathy for the people she steals from. Even after she stops stealing for some time, she being again without remorse. \”Thus you see having committed a Crime once, is a sad Handle to the committing of it again; whereas all the Regret, and Reflections wear off when the Temptation renews itself\” (184). Moll understands that the crimes she commits are unjust, but she blames temptaion for her delinquency.

The most direct reason that the reader feels sympathy for Moll is because she eventually feels guilt. \”I had the weight of Guilt upon me enough to sink any Creature who had the least power of Reflection left, and had any Sense upon them of the Happiness of this Life, or the Misery of another\” (218). At this point in the novel Moll was not yet repentent, but she did realize her fault. She mostly felt guilt not for the crimes she committed, but for the mere fact that she was caught. After frequent visits from the preist at the prison, Moll is enlightened. \”It was now that I felt any real signs of Repentance; I now began to look back upon my past Life with abhorrence\” (225).

In this novel, the woman is extremely independent, yet she feels the need for a husband in her life at almost all times. Moll continually does things that shock the reader, but we tend to sympathize because of the overall scenario and we ourselves might make some of the same choices she made. \”Whatever she does gives us a slight shock – not the jolt of disillusionment, but without bitterness or superiority. She is neither hypocrite nor fool\” (Forster). Although she tries to put up a front that she can survive through unmoral acts without feeling guilt, she comes to a realization that she is repentant and that there isn’t a way to deny that.

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is the portrayal of a young woman who strives for romance. Throughout this life-long struggle for happiness she ruins the lives of both her daughter and her husband. She participates in numerous affairs and creates an enormaous debt that her husband and child are left with after she commits suicide. In this novel the reader feels no sympathy towards the main character, Emma Bovary. The reader sees Emma as a naive woman with unrealistic veiws on life and love. Emma sells not only herself, but also her husband and daughter, because she creates a situation so unbearable for herself, that her family is left to deal with it.

Emma’s problems begin when she is at the convent and she learns about romantic ideals from novels that she reads. She comes to believe that these storybook romances occur everyday in everyone’s lives. Albert Thibaudet wrote that \”Mme. Bovary is not a sensuous person; she is above all a ‘romantic’, a mental type, as the psychologists would call it; her fault stems from an unbridled imagination rather than from a lack of control over the senses.\”

Her wants for love, luxuries, and overall attention from everyone causes her to do irrational things. A minor example is when Emma was still in the convent. She would concoct little sins so that she would be able to stay in confession and have the attention ofd the priest for longer amounts of time. \”When she went to confession, she invented little sins order that she might stay there longer. . . The comparisons of betrothed, husband, celestial lover, and eternal marriage, that recur in sermons, stirred within her soul depths of unexpected sweetness\” (25). Emma felt guilty pleasure from acts similar to this one and didn’t see how her behavior could be considered unjust because, after all Charles was blind to the damage she was causing.

She sold herself and eventually her possessions because she continually borrowed money to buy unneeded things that she could not afford. She created such an excessive debt that her and Charles’ home and all their possessions were taken from them. Even after all that, Emma knew that Charles would forgive her: \”Step aside! This rug on which you are walking is no longer ours. In your own house you don’t own a chair, a pin, a straw, and it is I, poor man, who have ruined you\” (222). Even after this shocking realization Charles forgives Emma, and Emma replies by saying \”Yes, he will forgive me, the man I could never forgive for having known me, even if he had a million to spare! . . . Never! never!\” (222).

Emma is simply an evil person who over dramatizes anything that involves love and romance. Moll, on the other hand, had much more difficulties in her life yet it seemed that she didn’t complain as much about them. Where as Emma is simply unhappy because of the husband and social status she ended up with, and doesn’t realize that she still has her entire life and that she can create happiness for herself. Instead she decides to find some kind of escape. With both of her lovers she tried to leave Charles and her daughter permanently, but neither succeeded. \”Take me away\” says Emma \”carry me off! . . . I beg you!\” (139). In the end the only escape she can find is her death, which is why she commits suicide.

Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood is another view on life through the eyes of a woman. In this scenario, the woman is convinced that the only way she can achieve self worth is through the production of children. In this novel the reader feels quite sympathetic toward the main character. Her situation seems extremely odd and unconventional compared to today’s customs, because at many times she was somewhat condemned for not having children.

In this book, the main character Nnu Ego literally sold herself to keep faithful to the long lasting traditions. Her husband Nnaife paid a bride price for her: \”Did I not pay your bride price? Am I not your owner?\” (48). This should seem disturbing to the reader, a price was paid so that a man could have a wife and produce male heirs.

Nnu Ego was always taught that a woman’s only purpose in life was to produce children. \”She had been brought up to believe that children made a woman\” (219). So, when he first child randomly died, she thought that she lost all her self worth. \”They all agreed that a woman without a child for her husband was a failed woman\” (62). This affected Nnu Ego very much emotionally, she even attempted suicide.

Nnu Ego came to the realization that the only way she could give her life any meaning would be to have a child. She lowered her standards when it came to her husband and figured that as long as she produced a child, happiness would come to her life. \”O my dead mother, please make this dream come true, then I will respect this man, I will be his faithful wife and put up with his crude ways and ugly appearance. Oh, please help me, all you my ancestors. If I should become pregnant\” (44-45). The reader feels superior sympathy for Nnu Ego because after all she went through and suffered from to produce children and raise them to be happy, she was abandoned by them in the end. Still, Nnu Ego did everything in her power to give everything to her children, and \”The joy of being a mother was the joy of giving all to you children\” (224).

These three previously mentioned novels all consisted of three extremely different woman selling themselves in one way or another to achieve some sort of self worth or ultimate happiness. Although the situations and acts of the characters were considerably different, one must feel some sort of sympathy to these woman. Not only did they lower their standards, but they also went to extreme lengths to achieve a happiness that in most cases never came.

Works Cited

Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. W.W. Norton & Company, New York: 1973.
Emecheta, Buchi. The Joys of Motherhood. Hinemann, Oxford: 1979.
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. W. W. Norton & Company, New York: 1965
Forster, E.M. \”A novel of Character\” from Aspects of the Novel. Harcourt, Brace, New York: 1927.
Thibaudet, Albert. \”Madame Bovary\” from chapter 5 of Gustave Flaubert. Gallimard, Paris: 1935.

Symmetry of Narrative in Flauberts Madame Bovary

Over the span of the XIX century, Europes socioeconomic and political reality was transformed by unprecedented changes in technological development.  Urbanization and the emergence of the middle class redefined the social stratification of most European countries.  These dramatic changes did not go unnoticed in art, and particularly in literature.  The idealistic individualism of the romantic era gave way to a movement referred to as realism.  This new wave of literature focused on the observations of everyday contemporary life and attempted to portray it with an almost scientific objectivity.

Gustave Flaubert was one of the foremost writers of the realistic tradition and his novel Madame Bovary became one of the most celebrated works of the time.  Through the use of the free indirect discourse and a changing narrative point of view, Flaubert attempted to keep a level of detachment from his characters and thus to portray reality in as objective manner as possible.  Despite the fact that Madame Bovary is the main character, the novel begins and ends with the point of view of Charles Bovary in order to convey the sense of objectivity characteristic of works of the realistic movement, as well as to reveal a series of ironies inherent in the main characters.

Over the span of the XIX century, Europes socioeconomic and political reality was transformed by unprecedented changes in technological development.  Urbanization and the emergence of the middle class redefined the social stratification of most European countries.  These dramatic changes did not go unnoticed in art, and particularly in literature.  The idealistic individualism of the romantic era gave way to a movement referred to as realism.  This new wave of literature focused on the observations of everyday contemporary life and attempted to portray it with an almost scientific objectivity.

Gustave Flaubert was one of the foremost writers of the realistic tradition and his novel Madame Bovary became one of the most celebrated works of the time.  Through the use of the free indirect discourse and a changing narrative point of view, Flaubert attempted to keep a level of detachment from his characters and thus to portray reality in as objective manner as possible.  Despite the fact that Madame Bovary is the main character, the novel begins and ends with the point of view of Charles Bovary in order to convey the sense of objectivity characteristic of works of the realistic movement, as well as to reveal a series of ironies inherent in the main characters.

Flaubert, like all other realists, wanted to be as objective in his writing as possible.  Certain literary methods allow the author to portray the world he or she creates in a somewhat detached manner.  One of the techniques used in Madame Bovary is referred to as the free indirect discourse.  It involves the change from the linguistic form typical of a direct quote of a characters words or thoughts, to that characteristic of indirect speech.  This method of writing allows the author to present events as the character would have experienced them, as opposed to interpreting them as an omniscient narrator.

Through the use of the free indirect discourse, the author reveals the novels world through the subjective point of view of its characters. In Madame Bovary, the narrator describes only things seen or experienced by the character whose point of view is being expressed at the time and the nature of this description is subjective to the manner in which the character experiences his or her world.  As the point of view switches between the characters, the reader is presented with a series of subjective perceptions, a synthesis of which depicts a theoretically objective reality.

One of the main problems inherent in this subjective technique of description is that of the readers misinterpretation of the intended meaning of the novel.  If Flaubert had shown the world of Madame Bovary entirely through the eyes of Emma, the reader would be bound to eventually accept her interpretation as a correct one and begin relating to her.

Furthermore, the reader would likely assume that Emmas point of view is reflective of that of Flaubert.  Not only would this be detrimental to Flauberts intended effect of objectivity, but more importantly, the continuous implicit criticism of Emma would go unnoticed.  To prevent this from happening, the author had to describe the events of his book through the eyes of more than one character.  It is understandable, therefore, that Emma is first shown through the eyes of Charles Bovary.  The reader gets slowly acquainted with her, as does Charles, and can judge her more accurately when the point of view becomes hers.

The first physical description of Emma is crucial to the readers opinion of her nature: “Charles was surprised by the whiteness of her fingernails.  They were almond shaped, tapering, as polished and shining as Dieppe ivories.  Her hands, however, were not pretty  not pale enough, perhaps, a little rough at the knuckles; and they were too long, without softness of line” (Flaubert 898).  This passage is an example of free indirect discourse, since Emmas hands are described as Charles sees them.  However, the flaws described by the narrator cause the reader to recognize Emma as a peasant girl, not the bourgeois princess she will later see herself as.

Through passages such as this one, Flaubert ensures that the reader will judge Madame Bovary with a certain level of objectivity when the novel switches to her point of view.There is a second, more symbolic reason for the structural frame of Madame Bovary.  The book is not just a story of Emma, but “the history of every woman like her in just such a world as hers, a foolish woman in narrow circumstances; so that the provincial scene, acting upon her, making her what she becomes, is as essential as herself” (Lubbock 80).  Since Emma Bovarys character is a direct product of her environment, a thorough description of that environment is essential to a full understanding of her personality.  This is where the role of Charles Bovary comes in.

Flaubert uses him as a symbol of the shallow, simple world into which the idealistic Emma was born.  The reader is constantly reminded of the inanity of the pitiful, albeit good-hearted, officer de santé.  His characteristics are the quintessence of the provinciality that Emma so despises.  If one accepts Charles as a symbol of Emmas environment, it becomes clear why all her adulterous experiences occur indirectly because of him.  It is due to Charless medical practice that Emma is invited to the ball at which she first meets the Vicomte.  It is also Charles who decides to move to Yonville, which results in her acquaintance with Leon.

She would not have met Rudolph had it not been for the fact that Charles treated his servant.  In other words, Emmas life is constantly unknowingly determined by her husband, which symbolizes the extent to which her experiences are shaped by the world she rebels against and her dependence on it.Having understood the relevance of Charles Bovary, one can explain t…..he reasons for the use of his point of view at the beginning and end of the novel.  The reader is introduced to the provincial reality, embodied by Charles Bovary, by an anonymous narrator distinguishable by the authors use of the pronoun “we”.

This narrator represents the external reality of which the provincial world is a small part.  When the point of view switches to Charless, he introduces the story of the dreaming, idealistic woman who continually tries to escape the provinciality he symbolizes.  Despite her constant attempts at escaping this reality, Emma never gets far from it.  It is not until her death that she recognizes the futility of her escapism, when she finally realizes that the only person who truly loved her was Charles.  After the end of Emmas story, the book switches back to Charless point of view, in other words to the perspective of the provincial world which she was so desperate to run away from, yet with which she was so deeply interconnected.

Finally, after Charless death, the point of view once again returns to the external reality, in the form of the omniscient narrator.  This symmetrical structure of the narration is reminiscent of the cycle of human idealism. Another reason Flaubert uses Charless point of view at the beginning and end of Madame Bovary is to reveal two very ironic elements of the story.  The first of these is the fact that despite their obvious incompatibility, the personalities of Charles and Emma share a number characteristics.  One can find the traits of a dreamer and an idealist in Charles, though not one that is as hopeless as Emma.  He dreamed of running away from the dull life of his parents house, just as Emma dreamed of escaping the dullness of her fathers farm.

Charless ideas of marriage were nearly as idealistic as Emmas: “Charles had envisaged marriage as the beginning of a better time, thinking that he would have greater freedom and be able to do as he liked with himself and his money.” (Flaubert 895)  He was as disappointed with his marriage to Madame Dubuc as Emma would become with her own marriage to him.  Unfortunately for Charles, just as he decided that his relationship with Emma fulfilled his ideal, she concluded the opposite.  Another example of these parallels can be found in a later scene during which Charles and Emma sit beside each other in bed, daydreaming (Flaubert 1016).

Charles is imagining the wonderful future they will have together, while she is imagining the happiness she will find after running away with Rodolphe.  Both are relying on another persons feelings and both will experience a great disappointment.  These ironic similarities could not have been possible if Flaubert began the novel with Emmas point of view.  Charless simple version of idealism was predominant in his youth, thus the reader must follow his early development to become aware of it.  If Flaubert had begun with Emmas point of view, the reader would not be able to get acquainted with the idealistic side of Charles, since by the time he met her, his ideals were slowly starting to get fulfilled.  As well, the narrator would obviously not have been able to use a flashback sequence, since that would have broken the conventions of realism that Flaubert set out for himself. (Sherrington 114-116)

The other irony presented by the author relies entirely on switching the focus of the narration to Charles after Emmas death.  As he is obsessively mourning her passing away, he begins to take on her personality traits: “To please her, as though she was still alive, he adopted her tastes, her ideas: he bought himself patent leather shoes, took to wearing white cravats.  He waxed his mustache, and signed  just as she had  more promisory notes.  She was corrupting him from beyond the grave” (Flaubert 1115).  This passage presents one of the greatest ironies of Madame Bovary: the fact that Charles was probably the easiest man for Emma to change to her liking because he was the only one who loved her unconditionally.  It shows how absolutely blind she was to his devotion, since she looked for her empty ideals elsewhere, while the person who was the most likely to fulfill them was at her side all along.

At the same time, Charless adaptation of Emmas ideals shows his complete blindness to her lies and sets him up for the final pain of seeing through them, which in turn will cause his death.  Charless unawareness of his wifes deceit and her oblivious ignorance of his forthrightness result from their idealistic natures and shows once again the ironic parallels between their personalities. (Sherrington 116)Flauberts fascinating technique of changing the point of view of the narration allows the reader to explore the personalities of the characters in a very intimate way.

The author allows the reader to enter the mind of the characters presented and gives the reader the privilege of seeing the created world through their eyes.  This style makes the form of the novel just as meaningful as its content, since the importance lies not only in what the characters see, but also in how they see it.  By opening and closing the novel with Charles Bovary the reader can explore the provincial world Emma is born into and get a more accurate understanding of her behaviour.  The reader is able to judge Emmas vision of herself and her surroundings in a more objective and accurate way.  This unconventional way of beginning and ending the story is absolutely necessary to convey the authors message accurately, while staying true to the objective goal of French realism.

Works Cited

Flaubert, Gustave.  Madame Bovary.  Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces.  Ed. Maynar Mack et al.  6th ed.  2 vols.  New York: Norton, 1992. 2: 889-1120.Lubbock, P.  The Craft of Fiction.  London: Jonathan Cape, 1961.
Sherrington, R. J.  Three Novels by Flaubert: A Study of Techniques.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.

Madame Bovary: Critical Analysis

The story starts as we see Charles Bovary entering a new school in the town of Rouen in France. People laugh at him because he isn’t sure what to do and how to act. He is the son of a doting mother and a very strict father. Charles isn’t sure what to do with his life and therefore does as his mother advices him; to go to medical school. He fails at first because he didn’t work for it in class, but the second time he does and he passes the exam and becomes a doctor in the town of Tostes. He is well liked in town because people see him as a hard working man. Because he is still single and his mother thinks he shouldn’t be, she arranges a marriage only for the money with an ungly widow, Heloise Dubuc.

One day Charles is called to a farm because someone has broken his leg. On the farm he meets Emma Rouault, the daughter of the farm owner. He likes her very much and keeps coming back to her father to check up on his leg, even after his leg has fully healed. They get on very well and they dicide to get married, even with protest of his former wife which dies soon after because of a stroke. They arrange a huge wedding and loads of people are invited to it. They party on for days and days and there’s food enough for a whole army. Because his practice isn’t where the farmer lives, they return to Tostes.

And this is where are the misery starts for Emma. When Charles is out in the country for house visits, Emma just sits at home doing nothing. All she does is read, watch the rain and she used to play the piano, but quit because she feels that nobody listened to her anyway. She hoped to get the love from her husband in the same way that the main characters in the novels she read get love, but that doesn’t happen. She is bored to death. She is starting to get irritated by Charles’ way of living and the way he behaves sometimes.

One day they go to a party of the maquis and there she meets the life that she wants to live. She doesn’t want Charles to dance because she feels that it would embarras her and instead dances the night away with a Viscount and meets all the rich. When they return back home, she becomes even more miserable because she misses all those things now. Charles notices this and talks with another doctor and together they conclude that a change of scenery might be good for her and they decide to move to Yonville. At the time that they move, Emma discovers that she is pregnant.

In Yonville, life isn’t that much different from the life she’d lived before, but now she meets someone who is interested in the same things as she is; Leon Dupuis, a clerk. Emma is now close to giving birth to a baby and she is hoping that it’s going to be a boy so that he can be strong and free, but her hopes are lost when it turns out that it is a boy; Berthe. As time passes, Emma continues her life and finds out that she is in love with Leon, but they don’t start any relationship. Eventually, Leon moves to Paris to study there and Emma is again left in misery.

Rodolphe meets Emma and she really is attracted to her, but in a sexual way; he thinks that Emma is beautiful. He manages to talk Emma into seducing her and it works. Emma starts to get more and more interested in Rodolphe and they start spending more and more time togeter, for example, they go to the agricultural show together. Emma starts meeting him in secret and he even comes to their house where they make love. Rodolphe decides that to keep the love going, he should leave for a few weeks and that’s what he does. And it seems to work, because after six weeks, Emma can’t wait to see him again.

One day when Emma decides to go back to Rodolphe, she passes passed by Bines, who knew that she had nothing to look for over that side of town because Rodolphe’s house was the last one there he knew that she wasn’t supposed to be there, so she just made a story and she hoped that he would fall for it. Now everytime that Charles and she were somewhere and Binet was around, she would started acting rather strange and Charles definately noticed it. But Charles thought that it was just again related to her so called illness.

Because Charles wants to keep up with the latest ‘technologies’ in these days and because Emma encourages him to, he buys himself a book about how to cure club-foots and finds it really interesting. He has this friend called Hippolyte and he has a club-foot, so he decides to give it a try on him. But it fails miserabely and he fears for his good reputation. Another doctor later has to be called in to amputate Hippolyte’s leg.

Madame Bovary is in real money problems now, and because she can’t take it all any more and because she really loves Rodolphe very much, she wants to run away with him. Rodoplhe isn’t too sure about this and tries to first make her think decently about it and when she says that she’s curtain, he decides to stretch the date that they are planning to leave as much as possible. He runs away from her and decides not to show up as planned, so he writes her a letter explaining why she shouldn’t run away and why he also isn’t going.

So, Rodolphe writes her the letter, which he has great difficulty with. He asks Girard to send it to her together with some fruit, and when she reads the letter, she’s so shocked and saddened that she becomes incredibly ill and almost dies of this. The only thing she can do now is rest.

Slowly she starts feeling better, but she’s still too weak to do anything. Again, as before, they still have the same bills to pay. This is because Emma always had to have the latest of the latest and she never paid on the spot, but she always put it on the bill and that bill was never paid. And now the medicaments also have to be paid for…

Charles thinks that a trip to the theatre would do Emma good, because she’s now strong enough to walk on her own feet. Emma really loves the play and she constantly keeps on imagining that she is the main character and that she just could fly away. When Charles goes out to talk to someone and comes back, he says that Leon is also in the theatre. After the play, they all go out for a drink and they talk about how everything’s going and of course, Emma’s health. Leon mentiones that there’s another performance on in two days. Emma would love to go, but Charles says that he has his work waiting at home and that it’s not possible for him to stay there. Leon makes an offer that Emma can stay over here for two days and stay with him in Rouen. Charles thinks about it and finally agrees to it.

Leon is finally back again with Emma and they talk about their sorrow and sadnesses and share it with eachother. They decide to meet up the next day again at the church. The next day, Leon is there first and he decides to check out the church. When he enters the building, the priest comes up to him and asks him if he wants to have a tour of the building. Charles says no. Later on, Emma shows up and again the priest comes up to her with the same question. Leon says no again, but Emma says that she would love to. He gets really annoyed with the damn tour and calls a cab and takes Emma with him.

Many hours later, they stop in Beauvoisine district and Emma steps out and enters the inn. Once in the inn, she get the word that she has to go to Monsieur Homais as soon as possible. So she goes there and they tell her that Charles’ father has suddenly died. What has to be done now, is that all of the will has to sorted out. They need a good lawyer, but not an expensive one and so they decide to call upon Leon. He offers to go, but she says that it would be better that he keeps on eye on the business and that she’d rather go on her own. So she leaves for Rouen for three days.

She of course has the time of her life in Rouen with Leon and they live their lives in Hotel de Boulonge.

Emma still thinks that she doesn’t see Leon often enough and so decidedes to take up the piano and will now (or at least she says) take private lessons in Rouen.

She visits Leon more often, and when they part again for the week, she’s already longing for the next Thursday that they will meet again.

One day a man comes to their house and he gives her a letter from Monsieur Vincart of Rouen with a bill of 700 francs. She said that she would pay it next week. The next day she gets another letter from Maitre Haring saying that she has to come to Monsieur Lheureux to pay all of the bills that she never paid for. He wants the money now, but of course she doesn’t have it. She was given a piece of paper that said that she had to pay the money (8000 francs) within 24 hours otherwise all of her belongings would be sold until the sum reached.

Of course, she wasn’t able to pay all of this an the next day, when Charles went out, gentlemen came in and took notes of all the things in her house. She didn’t want this to happen, so she went out to Maitre Guillaum. He was quite friendly and was willing to pay the money as long as he could have her as a prostitute. She didn’t want this and quickly ran out. Now the only one that was left was Rodolphe. She came into his nice house with loads of expensive stuff and when she asked for the money, he said that he didn’t have it. She was so incredibly angry, that she just took something, threw it away, ran out of the house all the way to the pharmacist’s shop, stuck her hand in a pot of blue stuff and swallowed it. Charles had no clue where the hell she was hanging out and went looking for her. He couldn’t find her and when he came back home, there she was laying on her own. She wanted to be left alone to let the poison work in slowly. And it did. She started feeling really sick, throwing up like a maniac and getting weaker and weaker. Charles called all of the best doctors and even he himself could do nothing. After a few hours, he passed away.

They finally prepare for the funeral. She got burried and Charles’ sadness was unmeaserable. People started ignoring him at all costs, he had no friends left. One day, Berthe wanted to play with him, she gave him a friendly push and he fell to the ground; he was dead.

Plot Overview

Madame Bovary begins when Charles Bovary is a young boy, unable to fit in at his new school and ridiculed by his new classmates. As a child, and later when he grows into a young man, Charles is mediocre and dull. He fails his first medical exam and only barely manages to become a second- rate country doctor. His mother marries him off to a widow who dies soon afterward, leaving Charles much less money than he expected.

Charles soon falls in love with Emma, the daughter of a patient, and the two decide to marry. After an elaborate wedding, they set up house in Tostes, where Charles has his practice. But marriage doesn’t live up to Emma’s romantic expectations. Ever since she lived in a convent as a young girl, she has dreamed of love and marriage as a solution to all her problems. After she attends an extravagant ball at the home of a wealthy nobleman, she begins to dream constantly of a more sophisticated life. She grows bored and depressed when she compares her fantasies to the humdrum reality of village life, and eventually her listlessness makes her ill. When Emma becomes pregnant, Charles decides to move to a different town in hopes of reviving her health.

In the new town of Yonville, the Bovarys meet Homais, the town pharmacist, a pompous windbag who loves to hear himself speak. Emma also meets Leon, a law clerk, who, like her, is bored with rural life and loves to escape through books. When Emma gives birth to her daughter Berthe, motherhood disappoints her, and she continues to be despondent. Romantic feelings blossom between Emma and Leon. However, when Emma realizes that Leon loves her, she feels guilty and throws herself into the role of a dutiful wife. Leon grows tired of waiting and, believing that he can never possess Emma, departs to study law in Paris. His departure makes Emma miserable.

Soon, at an agricultural fair, a wealthy neighbor named Rodolphe, who is attracted by Emma’s beauty, declares his love to her. He seduces her, and they begin having a passionate affair. Emma is often indiscreet, and the townspeople all gossip about her. Charles, however, suspects nothing. His adoration for his wife and his stupidity combine to blind him to her indiscretions. His professional life, meanwhile, takes a severe blow when he and Homais attempt an experimental technique to treat a club-footed man named Hippolyte and end up having to call in another doctor to amputate the leg. Disgusted with her husband’s incompetence, Emma throws herself even more passionately into her affair with Rodolphe. She borrows money to buy him gifts and suggests that they run off together and take little Berthe with them. However, Rodolphe has grown bored of Emma’s demanding affections. Not wanting to elope with her, he leaves her. Heartbroken, Emma grows desperately ill and nearly dies.

By the time Emma recovers, Charles is in financial trouble from having to borrow money to pay off Emma’s debts and to pay for her treatment. Still, he decides to take Emma to the opera in the nearby city of Rouen. There, they run into Leon. This meeting rekindles the old romance between Emma and Leon, and this time the two embark on a love affair. As Emma continues sneaking off to Rouen to meet Leon, she also grows deeper and deeper in debt with the moneylender Lheureux, who lends her more and more money at exaggerated interest rates. She grows increasingly careless in conducting her affair with Leon. As a result, on several occasions, her acquaintances nearly discover her infidelity.

Over time, Emma grows bored with Leon. Not knowing how to abandon him, she instead becomes more and more demanding. Meanwhile, her debts mount daily. Eventually, Lheureux orders the seizure of Emma’s property to compensate for the debt she has accumulated. Terrified of Charles finding out, she frantically tries to raise the money that she needs, appealing to Leon and to all the town’s businessmen. Eventually, she even attempts to prostitute herself by offering to get back together with Rodolphe if he will give her the money he needs. He refuses, and, driven to despair, she commits suicide by eating arsenic. She dies in horrible agony.

For a while, Charles idealizes the memory of his wife. Eventually, though, he finds her letters from Rodolphe and Leon, and he is forced to confront the truth. He dies alone in his garden, and Berthe is sent off to work in a cotton mill.

Analysis of Major Characters

In Emma Bovary, Flaubert uses irony to criticize romanticism and to investigate the relation of beauty to corruption and of fate to free will. Emma embarks directly down a path to moral and financial ruin over the course of the novel. She is very beautiful, as we can tell by the way several men fall in love with her, but she is morally corrupt and unable to accept and appreciate the realities of her life. Since her girlhood in a convent, she has read romantic novels that feed her discontent with her ordinary life.

She dreams of the purest, most impossible forms of love and wealth, ignoring whatever beauty is present in the world around her. Flaubert once said, “Madame Bovary is me,” and many scholars believe that he was referring to a weakness he shared with his character for romance, sentimental flights of fancy, and melancholy. Flaubert, however, approaches romanticism with self-conscious irony, pointing out its flaws even as he is tempted by it. Emma, on the other hand, never recognizes that her desires are unreasonable. She rails emotionally against the society that, from her perspective, makes them impossible for her to achieve.

Emma’s failure is not completely her own. Her character demonstrates the many ways in which circumstance rather than free will determined the position of women in the nineteenth century. If Emma were as rich as her lover, Rodolphe, for instance, she would be free to indulge the lifestyle she imagines. Flaubert suggests at times that her dissatisfaction with the bourgeois society she lives in is justified. For example, the author includes details that seem to ridicule Homais’s pompous speechmaking or Charles’s boorish table manners.

These details indicate that Emma’s plight is emblematic of the difficulties of any sensitive person trapped among the French bourgeoisie. But Emma’s inability to accept her situation and her attempt to escape it through adultery and deception constitute moral errors. These mistakes bring about her ruin and, in the process, cause harm to innocent people around her. For example, though dim-witted and unable to recognize his wife’s true character, Charles loves Emma, and she deceives him. Similarly, little Berthe is but an innocent child in need of her mother’s care and love, but Emma is cold to her, and Berthe ends up working in a cotton mill because of Emma’s selfish spending and suicide, and because of Charles’s resulting death.

We can see that Emma’s role as a woman may have an even greater effect on the course of her life than her social status does. Emma frequently is portrayed as the object of a man’s gaze: her husband’s, Rodolphe’s, Leon’s, Justin’s-even Flaubert’s, since the whole novel is essentially a description of how he sees Emma. Moreover, Emma’s only power over the men in her life is sexual. Near the end of her life, when she searches desperately for money, she has to ask men for it, and the only thing she can use to persuade them to give it to her is sex. Emma’s prostitution is the result of her self-destructive spending, but the fact that, as a woman, she has no other means of finding money is a result of the misogynistic society in which she lives.

In the novel, Madame Bovary, Charles represents both the society and the personal characteristics that Emma passionately despised. He was somewhat incompetent, lacked intellegence and imagination, specifically when it came to romance and intimacy. In one of the novel’s most revealing moments, Charles looked into Emma’s eyes, as she hoped he invisioned her inner soul, he murmers something about seeing his reflection in her retina. Charles’s perception of his own reflection is not conceit but merely an immediate response that excludes any romantic connotation.

That moment established his inability to combine love and romance. Instead, he viewed life literally and never instilled what he saw with romantic inference. Instead, its the physical aspects of Emma that delighted Charles. Narrative focus on his point of view allowed us to visualize most every detail of her dress, skin, and hair. But when its came to her aspirations and depressions, Charles was unable to comprehend. It appeared that he was physically repulsive or actually hideous looking thru Emma’s eyes.

Charles is the most moral and sincere characters. He truly loves Emma as he forgives her even when he finally recognizes her infidelities. He does everything he can to save her when she is ill, and he gives her the benefit of the doubt whenever her lies seem to fail her. Literal-minded, humble, free of temptations, and without aspirations. As the story goes, opposites attract. Emma and Charles cannot be more opposed. While Charles was sincere, moral, humble and loyal man, Emma was a lying, cheating woman that holds very little guilt for what she has done.

Although, there were episodes where, out of guilt, she exhibited love and caring for Berthe, her daughter and Charles, it was short lived and she quickly reverted to her life of deception. Emma’s downfall was that she allowed herself to be a victim of circumstance. In Rodolphe’s letter to Emma breaking off the affair, he claims that “fate is to blame;” Later when Charles meets Rodolphe after Emma’s death, he, too, rationalizes that “fate willed it this way.” In a sense, they are right. Fate or chance, or more precisely matters of social and economic class, certainly do play a role.

After all, it is not a function of Emma’s will that she was born into a middle-class family; nor is it her fault that her lovers abandon her. It is even possible that her romantic, idealistic nature is a result of fate, and that Emma can’t control her actions because she can’t control her own identity or her natural inclinations. But there are two other factors that contribute to Emma’s downfall. The first is Emma herself-an agent making her own decisions. Emma chooses to marry Charles, she chooses to take lovers, and she chooses to borrow money from Lheureux.

She also chooses to commit suicide, proving in a final act that she has power-if only a negative destructive power-over her own life. The second factor that contributes to Emma’s downfall is the men around her. Charles contributes to Emma’s Downfall as his inability to satisfy her creates a real trap for Emma in combination with Rodolphe’s jaded heartlessness and Lheureux’s greedy scheming. Although she makes her own choices, these men severely limit the options she has at her disposal. Charles and Rodolphe’s claim that fate is to blame is too easy an excuse, both for Emma and for themselves.

Charles was sympathetic in his own way. Although, sticking with Emma thru thick and thin, until her death, he didn’t have the comprehension of what Emma truly needed. Although they communicated verbally, they didn’t communicate well intimately. If Charles could have tapped into his inner person, maybe things would have been different between him and Emma.

Theme of Guilt in Lord Jim

Conrad’s guilt theme in the novel Lord Jim is shown directly through the main character, Jim. “Jim’s spiritual odyssey explores the theme of guilt”(Kuehn 35). Jim is a strong character at heart, but he is overcome by the forces that guilt put on his mind. Jim is a man controlled by his fear. He dreams of becoming a hero at sea and his dreams are repeatedly shattered. He is therefore flushed with guilt.

Throughout the novel Jim’s guilt haunts him and prevents him from becoming reestablished as a clean person. Early in the novel Jim finds guilt when he is at sea. The sea engulfs a boat nearby and everyone aboard the ship Jim is on dives overboard to rescue people. Jim hesitates and is told by the captain that he is too late. Jim missed the chance of becoming a hero and is therefore struck with guilt. This incident however is a small mistake that Jim encounters. His next failure is the primary focus of guilt in the novel.

Jim is injured while at sea and has to remain in a hospital in the Middle East. After he is well enough to head out to sea he is offered a job aboard the Patna. The ship is dark, gloomy, and aged quite a bit. When out amongst the raging tides the Patna crashes into a small ship. Jim runs about the ship searching for the rest of the crew. Jim finds the mates and they tell him that the ship is sinking. Jim begins to worry about the eight hundred pilgrims that are sleeping in the cabin below.

Jim knows that there are not nearly enough small boats for all of them to fit in. The rest of the crew decides to take the boats and leave the pilgrims to sink with the ship. Jim stands by the edge of the ship where the others are jumping down to the boats. The other officers call for him to jump and abandon the pilgrims. Jim made his decision. “So, in response to a call to a dead man, Jim jumped into his “everlasting deep hole” but the call was to a part of Jim; that’s why he jumped. It was a part of himself that he feared to acknowledge”(Haugh 62).

“Jim does not choose to jump; he is a vessel that is filled with what happens to him until experience overflows and spills out, and the squall within him and the sea outside him become the same”(Ash 158). The thought of leaving eight hundred pilgrims to die greatly effected Jim. Upon jumping off the boat Jim’s entire life and future plans are influenced by the guilt that can’t be forgotten. All events associated with the Patna directly impact every aspect of the book(Ash 153). After jumping Jim hears voices of the pilgrims that torment him until later when he finds out that the Patna made it to shore and all of the pilgrims survived. Jim refuses to associate himself with the other officers.

He first denies his guilt and claims the others were guilt stricken. While in denial Jim thinks about swimming back to the ship and warning the pilgrims. He then thinks it over and starts to wish that the Patna will sink and all of the pilgrims will die. Jim tells the other officers in the Patna that they are the guilty ones and he didn’t desert the ship. He claims that the officers made him jump. The officers tell Jim that he is “one of them” and is just as guilty as they are. Jim then thinks of himself as one of the other officers and feelings of self-betrayal come over him (haugh 62). Robert Kuehn states that “ The actions happen so inevitably that it is hard to blame Jim”(Kuehn 38). The blame put on Jim shouldn’t be as much as the other officers because it did happen quickly and Jim wasn’t leading the abandoning of the ship. Jim was merely a follower that didn’t belong with the others. Although Jim is unable to account for his jump from the Patna he denies the fact that he felt fear (Saveson 102).

Jim confronts his guilt when being put on trial for abandonment of the Patna. The other officers ran away to another country so as to not be put on trial. Jim is finally done denying his mistakes. By going to court and facing the town people and the judge with the truth, Jim dissociated himself from the other officers who are seen as cowards (Kuehn 39).

Bibliography:

Curle, Richard. Joseph Conrad: A Study. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968.
Orr, Leonard and Ted Billy. A Joseph Conrad Companion. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999.
Kuehn, Robert. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Lord Jim. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice hall, 1969.
Mudrick, Marvin. Conrad: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall,
1966.
Haugh, Robert F. Joseph Conrad: Discovery in Design. Norman: University of Oklahoma
Press, 1957.
Saveson, John E. Joseph Conrad: The Making of A Moralist. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1972.
Ash, Beth S. Writing In Between: Modernity and Psychosocial Dilemma in the Novels Of
Joseph Conrad. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Nabokov’s Lolita is a book that deals with obsessive lust and bloody violence, the real horrors of which are often masked by the beautiful, clever language of the novel. Indeed, Humbert’s early job as a perfume salesman mimics and evokes this masking and sweetening aspect of language. Sudden, horrible death occurs frequently in Lolita, but the book is better served if we study it as an experiment in language and the way words are used to treat the book’s horrific subjects.

Identifying the sudden deaths of the work is not difficult. Beginning with Humbert’s mother, whose famous death by “(picnic, lightning)” is mentioned in Part One, we learn of the sudden if not unexpected deaths of Annabel, Charlotte, and Quilty, and even those of Humbert and Lolita. We also see lots of sudden loss in the novel, with Valeria’s surprising announcement that she is having an affair and Lolita’s sudden disappearance on the second road trip. Usually, the deaths are treated casually, as seen most poignantly in the parenthetical mention of his mother’s death. Humbert seems emotionally dissociated from many events in his life.

The sudden moments of great interest in the novel all indicate the strong presence of fate and random chance. Charlotte is struck by pure accident when a car swerves to avoid hitting a dog that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Humbert’s loss of his mother to lightning is nothing more than a random act of bad luck. The general tendency of the novel is to indicate that, as Humbert himself points out, chance is a major factor in life and in death; in some ways, this truth diminishes the tragedy that accompanies loss, because we know that nature is fickle and random.

Lolita can be viewed as a novel about sex and murder, but better as a novel about the liberation of desire. Humbert is a man who essentially gets what he wants in this book. He wants to get married at the beginning, so he marries Valeria. He wants to make love to Lolita, so he marries Charlotte to get near her and eventually succeeds. He wants revenge on Quilty, so he murders him.

In each part of the book, we see what Humbert wants and how he goes about getting it. We learn in exquisite detail his inner drives and motivations. He has a clear vision of what his body craves and will do virtually anything to get it, short of physically raping Lolita. The book takes us through all his inner desires, both echoing and manipulating Freudian theories regarding psychological exploration. But it is also a narrative written by a frustrated murderer in his jail cell, reflecting back on how he found freedom in satisfying his urges, be they to have sex or to do harm to others, two of the most basic human instincts.

Lolita is divided into two parts. The first deals with Humbert’s growing lust for his stepdaughter and ends with the beginning of their affair; its fundamental action is the sex between Humbert and Lolita. The second deals with the loss of Lolita and the hunt for Quilty; its fundamental action is his murder. Thus, we have the act of creation in part one juxtaposed with the ultimate act of destruction in part two. Between these two great and intensely personal acts lies a flowery narrative studded with some of the best puns, word plays, allusions, and some of the most beautiful writing to be found in any English novel.

In these middle sections the book’s fun, clever tone overshadows the more distressing events, and reveals perhaps the most fundamental theme of Lolita: language, and the ability of language to reveal and conceal simultaneously, to be beautiful and hide the truth within the folds of its beauty. Humbert, the first-person narrator, presents the action of the novel, bloody or lovely, through a glowing, magnificent prose that allows him to talk his way out of almost any situation. At times, he can even convince the reader that his lust for Lolita, a young girl, should not be abhorred.

Humbert drops all sorts of ideas and clues (including false clues) everywhere, some of which have meaning and some of which just cannot be understood in any definite way. His language is designed to tell his story while presenting himself in the best possible light. Any reader will do best not to ask what every incident in Lolita means, but rather how those images, characters, and situations are created. As much as it is a story about the events that make up its plot, Lolita is also a story about how that plot is related through language.

Lolita: Movie Analysis

Lolita is one of the most unconventional literary classics of the century. Lolita is a twelve-year-old girl, who is desired by the European intellectual Humbert Humbert. As the narrator of the story, Humbert chronicles his abnormal childhood, adolescent experiences, and an adventure in a booming American as a European tourist and pedophile. But it is key to realize his first heartbreak as a boy manifests into his desires for nymphets. This point is made clear in both the novel and movie. I will show that the movie Lolita, is a solid rendition of the novel of the same name.

Now some critics might see the novel as something more than I took it, like a contrast between the modernistic character of Humbert Humbert against the post-modern Americans that he encounters. Forget all that, I honestly thought the movie to be a convincing love story. On the surface level it was about an obsessive man and his love for nymphets, who met Lolita, the object of his desires. There were differences between the movie and the novel, yet I felt some scenes were left out of the movie that did not hurt the story at all. Also, some scenes were added which actually strengthened the story line in the movie.

I bet professional critics say the new version of Lolita did not measure up, well I loved it. Dominique Swain was awesome (a little hottie as well) and she perfectly played the character of Lolita. She may have even been more manipulative in the film version. An example of this was when Lolita was toying with Humbert as she rubbed her foot all over him in order to get a raise in her allowance and be able to be part of the play. You could not be much more sexual, manipulative girl than Lolita was! On minor change was that Lolita was twelve in the novel and fourteen in the movie. This was simply done to make the relationship a bit more accepting in the viewer’s eyes. I don’t believe it harshly affected the story at all.

In both works, Lolita was just a manipulative girl who had no idea what life was about. She was almost sucked into the porn business by a pathetic man who she worshipped as a Hollywood star. Plus, she handled Humbert perfectly in setting her escape to live with Quilty.	Humbert was also played brilliantly, yet I felt there was more longing in the novel Humbert, though we were still able to see his burning desire for nymphets and Lolita in general. It was intriguing to see how far he would go just to be with his love, and what was priceless was his reaction and facial expression as Lolita would play with his emotions. To me, Humbert was far more trashy a character in the novel, than he was in the movie. In the movie, he kept his distinguished professor demeanor, while in the movie I lost all respect for him.

Charlotte was yet another strongly played character, but really all we needed from her was to be an annoying and intrusive mother. Just like the novel we realized how much she disgusted Humbert. She was just an obstacle She was just an obstacle for Humbert to overcome in his quest for Lolita. It was better that I felt more of a jealousy from Charlotte toward Dolores in the movie, which added fire to the story. Quilty was really too much of a main character in the story. He just had to be the typical famous scumbag that tried to use Lolita as a toy. He was also as pathetic as in the movie as he was in the novel, and I was glad to see him get it in both. I believe he was introduced earlier in the move, in the scene where Lolita ran into him as she pet his dog. This was done to strengthen the story because we got to see and realize that Lolita was growing a desire for the Hollywood star.

The scenes that were removed from the novel had little effect on the feel of the story. For example, there is a long drawn out scene where Charlotte is returning from camp and Humbert is panicking in his decision to stay or leave as the car approaches. You didn’t need this because you knew he was going to stay and pursue his Lolita. So in the movie it was simply just Charlotte returning and the next thing you know they are married. That’s just cutting out the crap, and when you’re a director who want to make a good movie from a novel, you must realize what is crap and what is important subject matter.

Another deleted scene was when Humbert leaves the room after killing Quilty and all his guests are there. To be honest with you, this scene confused me in the novel and I’m glad it was left out. The scene made no sense, and the dialogue between the character was a waste of time. The movie ending was better, just him in his depressed and tormented emotional state as he drives down the road to absolutely nowhere. One last deleted scene was that of the stranger (Quilty) coming in to play tennis as Humbert was away. This scene was meant only to get Humbert nervous about losing Lolita, and without it in the movie we still realized he was overprotective of his treasure.

I want to discuss some more ways that I thought the movie was an improvement to the novel and also discuss some scenes that were added that strengthened the story. One of these was the scene where Lolita ran up the stairs to give Humbert a goodbye kiss before she went to camp. This scene was excellent because you began to see Lolita toying with poor Hum and that kiss could have killed in because he wanted so much more. The visual aspect of Lolita touching Humbert as the camera zoomed in on the them touching just added more to the entire story.

It gave you more of a sense of how that felt to Humbert as his desires for Lolita grew. Then we had the part with the swing outside as Charlotte and Humbert are sitting and he is making the swing glide past the door so he can see the dancing Lolita. This was funny because it made you see Humbert kind of trying to get away from Charlotte on the other end of the swing in order to catch a glimpse of his desire singing and dancing. Dolores’s retainer was a nice touch that added to the immaturity of Lolita. The retainer made us see her as nothing but a brace-faced retainer wearing kid. The scenes when she took it out to either kiss him or eat were quite funny.

Other imagery that was excellent was when the cigarette was still burning after Charlotte was hit and killed. This made me realize how fast the ordeal had happened. The smoke was not even gone, and poor Charlotte was dead. On the other hand, one funny scene was when Humbert was driving down the camp road and he was in ecstasy as the director kind of blurred the background to make it appear as kind of a nymphet land of his dreams as little girls run everywhere. One quick scene that made me laugh was when Humbert was in the hotel and he walked by a bunch of priests as they looked at him. It was ironic because I knew what he was about to do with Lolita that next morning. These are just some of the visual experiences that I thought strengthened the movie.

Like I said, there were many scenes added and deleted, yet I think this movie was a wonderful visual experience. I loved watching it and would without a doubt see it again. The director did a sweet job in turning the novel into an excellent movie. I’m sure you can tell I thought Lolita the movie was without a doubt in the spirit of Nabokov’s novel. I’m not sure he would like the changes but I did.

Radical Feminism in Like Water for Chocolate

There are many different definitions of feminism. Some people regard feminism as the idea that women deserve the same amount of respect that men deserve. There are the other schools of feminist thought that hold women superior to men. Yet another believes that the gender roles controlling women are artificially created and not innate knowledge, and thus men and women are equals with only history the determining factor and how gender equality is established.

There are clear feminist overtones in Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Esquivel pointes to a more radical definition of feminism in Like Water for Chocolate. The story focuses on mostly female characters that assume the gender roles typically associated with men. Esquivel presents these strong female figures in such a way as to make the reader begin to question any preconceptions previously held about the capabilities of women.

Feminism has been a concept long thought about. Generally dealing with the idea that men have historically been thought of as superior to women, the feminist philosophy contends that men and women are equal and thus deserve equal treatment. Esquivel makes it clear that all the women characters are not dependent in any way to any men. This independence of men that she creates is a key to understanding the feminist nature of the novel.

Early on with Tita’s father dying we see that now Mama Elena is charged with the care and protecting of her family. At this point Esquivel has already created the first independent strong female character. Mama Elena goes on, for better or worse, attempting the best she can to raise a family in the tumultuous time of the Mexican revolution. She struggles against her rebellious daughter in her own attempt to keep her family’s heritage and traditions alive.

Not only does she raise a family but she also runs the ranch on which the live and on derive their sustenance. Early on in the novel we see that Esquivel presents a character that deserves the same amount of respect normally giving to a male character in this same role. By placing this normally male role in a woman Esquivel questions the typical role of the woman in a home of just raising children by bestowing additional responsibilities.

We see elsewhere in the novel the strength in Gertrudis, Tita’s sister. Gertrudis escapes the ranch after reacting mysteriously to one of Tita’s recipes. She runs away with a rebel soldier, works in a brothel at the Mexico-Texas border, and eventually returns to the ranch as a general in the revolutionary army. Here we witness the creation of a second strong female character. When we first see Gertrudis we see just another female character. But after her return we find that she has become a leader of in the revolution. Again Esquivel takes a potion that is typically male associated and fills that role with and equally respectable female character.

There is then the focal character, Tita. Tita is the pivotal character in defining Like Water for Chocolate as a feminist novel. Tita more than her mother, is the glue that holds her family together. It is she that cares for the ranch and feeds everyone. Tita is the one who ensures that everything goes to plan. After her mother becomes paralyzed, even with her hatred towards her she still continues to care for her.

Tita is the strongest feminine figure in this novel. She continues to strive for what she wants form life and stops at nothing to get it. Through Esquivel creates a sense that Tita is not someone who you would want to get in the way of. Esquivel does this in such a way so that readers come to love and respect the character of Tita as opposed to seeing her as a selfish demanding woman.

Like Water for Chocolate takes an intriguing look at radical feminism. Most importantly, through the portrayal of Elena and, Esquivel takes an approach at shows that although she fits a feminist roll, she does not need to be liked. Elena is opposed by the more endearing and lovable characters like Nacha, Gertrudis, and Tita. With these characters we see Gertrudis make a leap forward and size power as the head of a revolutionary army. Tita of course finally fights her mother and begins her life anew with her own wants and desires.

Works Cited

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.

Critical Analysis: Like Water for Chocolate

An oppressed soul finds means to escape through the preparation of food in the novel, Like Water for Chocolate, “A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies,” published in 1989, written by Laura Esquivel. The story is set in revolutionary Mexico at the turn of the century. Tita, the young heroine, is living on her familys ranch with her two older sisters, her overbearing mother, and Nacha, the family cook.

At a very tender age, Tita is instilled with a deep love for food for Tita, the joy of living was wrapped up in the delights of food (7, Esquivel). The sudden death of Titas father, left Titas mothers unable to nurse the infant Tita due to shock and grief. Therefore Nacha, who [knows] everything about cooking (6, Esquivel) offers to assume the responsibility of feeding and caring for the young Tita. From that day on, Titas domain was the kitchen (7, Esquivel) Throughout the novel, food is used as a constant metaphor for the intense feelings and emotions Tita is forced to conceal.

Laura Esquivel uses magical realism, symbolism and conflict to postulate the idea that family tradition can hinder love but love surpasses any obstacles.

Upon the birth of Tita, her mother flooded the kitchen table and floor when her water broke. The fluid had turned to salt and had to be swept up off the floor. This type of thing happening in the real world is not going to happen. The fluid turning into the salt was definitely a magical realism element. The mysteries of cooking are treated in Like Water for Chocolate. The magical realism has the definition of being magical and unreal. The love that Tita had for her sister’s husband upon their marriage and throughout the time of their marriage lives.

Tita’s love never changed. It was the magical way Tita felt in her heart about the man she loved and the way she kept quiet to keep her mother happy, and not to hurt her sister’s feelings about the love she had for Pedro. Love is magical any way one looks at it. Tita turned all of her feelings into cooking. The magical way of love that Tita felt went into the cake batter. As she mixed it she cried and the tears dropped into the bowl.

The cake was baked, and people who ate it reflected each one’s feelings toward each other. The cooking had a mystical power that seemed to have some magical realism involved because of all the strange happenings due to the cooking.

The inner feeling of a person that has a boundary or threshold inside of them ready to ignite was what happened to the shower when Tita’s sister was in it. The threshold of the inner feelings of this girl was exploding. During her shower, the inner feelings of passion exploded, and flames from the passion that she was feeling caused the shower to catch on fire. In the excitement of the burning shower house, the girl ran out of the shower without any clothes, not even a towel. The magical realism was all the passion the girl had inside her that just erupted like a volcano. Tita’s sister ran out of the shower while it was burning.

At this time, a man riding a horse bareback came riding up and picked Tita’s sister up kidnapping her. The fact that she had no clothes on was unreal itself. However, a person has to wonder where this man came from, all at once, at the right time to pick her up. It’s as if the passion that the girl felt seemed to call out to this man to come and get her at this point and time. The magical realism was here in the fact that it was magical, yet it seemed so real.

Symbolisms of heat and fire infuse the novel as expressions of intense emotion. Because heat is the medium that causes food to undergo chemical change, substantial waves of it are present at many of the moments when food is being prepared. In the science of cooking, heat is a force to be used precisely; the novel’s title phrase like water for chocolate refers to the fact that water must be brought to the brink of boiling several times before it is ready to be used in the making of hot chocolate.

However, the heat of emotions, cannot be so controlled. Heat is a symbol for desire and physical love throughout the text: in Gertrudis’ flight from the ranch; Pedro’s lustful gazing at Tita in the shower; and the post-coital death of Pedro, among many other instances. The inner fire of the individual constitutes an important theme in the novel, and much of Tita’s struggle centers on cultivating this fire. These uses of fire point toward a duality in its symbolism, as a source of strength and a force of destruction. The coupling of death and desire that occurs when the love between Tita and Pedro is freed epitomizes this duality.
(Smith, Joan).

The conflict between Tita and her mother is the novels central point of emphasis. Throughout the novel Tita strives for love, freedom, and individuality, and her mother stands as the prime opposition to the fulfillment of these goals.

Like Water for Chocolate – Movie vs Book

Laura Esquirels, Like Water for Chocolate, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet filled with mouthwatering recipes. It has become a valued part of American literature. The novel became so popular that it was developed into a film, becoming a success in both America and Mexico. Alfonso Arau directs the film. After reading the novel and seeing the movie, I discovered several distinct differences between the two as well as some riveting similarities.

The novel begins with the main character, Tita, being born on the kitchen table. “Tita had no need for the usual slap on the bottom, because she was already crying as she emerged; maybe that was because she knew that it would be her lot in life to be denied marriage Tita was literally washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor” (Esquirel 6). Although this is included in the film with tremendous accuracy, the movie begins with a different scene.

The movie opens with Titas father going to a bar to celebrate the birth of his daughter. On the way a friend informs him of his wifes, Mama Elena, affair with a man having Negro blood in his veins. The terrible news brings on a heart attack killing him instantly. In the book, this information is not given until the middle chapters. As the novel continues, another character is introduced, Gertrudis. Gertrudis, the older sister of Tita, is the first to rebel against her mothers wishes.

Wanting to escape the securities of home, Gertrudis is overwhelmed by her lustful passions. A soldier, not too far away, Juan, inhales the aroma of her desire and heads her way. “The aroma from Gertrudis body guided himThe woman desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside herGertrudis stopped running when she saw him riding toward her.

Naked as she was, with her loosened hair falling to her waist, luminous, glowing with energy, she might have been an angel and devil in one womanWithout slowing his gallop, so as not to waste a moment, he leaned over, put his arm around her waist, and lifted her onto the horse in front of him, face to face, and carried her awayThe movement of the horse combined with the movement of their bodies as they made love for the first time, at a gallop and with a great deal of difficulty ” (Esquirel 55).

This imagery is tremendous. Every sense that Esquirel touches in this passage is illuminated in the movie with perfection. Its as though Arau took a picture from Esquirels mind as she wrote and cultivated it to film. Later in Esquirels novel, Rosalio announces to Mama Elena that a group of soldiers are approaching the ranch. Mama Elena picks up her shotgun and hides it under her petticoat. She meets the revolutionaries, along with two other women, at the entrance of the home.

Mama Elena warns the soldiers not to enter the house. The Captain of the bandits sees the grit and determination in Mama Elenas eyes and agrees not to enter. However, the regiment does manage to round up some feed before leaving. In contrast, the movie at this point agrees with the revolutionaries entering the ranch, but disagrees with the rest of the events, possibly to add some action. First, Mama Elena confronts the bandits but with only one other lady by her side. Secondly, after a verbal confrontation, the rebels proceed to rape the lady friend, beat Mama Elena unconscious, and throw her in the lake, killing her.

According to the novel, Mama Elena doesnt die until later in the book, from a drug overdose. “At first, Tita and John had no explanation for this strange death, since clinically Mama Elena had no other malady than her paralysis. But going through her bureau, they found the bottle of syrup of ipecac and they deduced that Mama Elena must have taken it secretly. John informed Tita that it was a very strong emetic that could cause death” (Esquirel 135).

Soon after Mama Elenas death Gertrudis returns to the ranch. In Esquirels tale Gertrudis rides up on a horse at the head of the revolutionary soldiers. Tita finds out that Gertrudis is in charge of the troops. Unaware of her mothers death, Gertrudis has come back to show Mama Elena that she has triumphed in life. However, despite some parallels, the movie shows Gertrudis returning to the ranch in a car. Undoubtedly, giving the audience a greater sense of the prodigal sisters success. Believing her mothers death would release her from the shackles of tradition, Tita began reaching out to Pedro, her Romeo, whom Mama Elena had forbid her to see.

Nevertheless, Esquirel allows Mama Elena to continue nagging Tita from beyond the grave. “See what youve done now? You and Pedro are shameless. If you dont want blood to flow in this house, go where you cant do any harm to anybody, before its to late”(Esquirel 199). Tita responds by telling Mama Elena she hates her and to leave her alone. With these words Mama Elena disappears forever. Esquirels description of the ghost is vague, “The imposing figure of her mother began to shrink until it became no more than a tiny light”(Esquirel 199).

Unlike the novel, the movie does a great job of adding a certain mystique around the ghost. The ghostly clone of Mama Elena, created by the Arau, adds a thrilling touch by using the human element of fear. Toward the end of the novel, Tita and Pedro are finally united in the throws of passion. The descriptive nature that Esquirel uses leaves a perfect picture of the surroundings, and inhales the reader into believing himself to be a peeping tom.

“The silk sheets and bedspread were white, like the floral rug that covered the floor and the 250 candles that lit up the now inappropriately named dark room. Pedro placed Tita on the bed and slowly removed her clothing, piece by piece. The striking of the brass headboard against the wall and the guttural sounds that escaped from both of them mixed with the sound of the thousand doves flying free above them” (Esquirel 243).

Araus interpretation incorporates all of Esquirels eloquent artistry in perfect harmony. Araus vision brings Like Water for Chocolate to the climax which Esquirel had intended, leaving the audience in awe. Other differences, not discussed above, include Tita being shown in the movie as an average looking woman. The impression that the novel leaves is a woman that is breathtaking to the senses, a goddess. Of course, this opinion is subject to personal taste. As someone once said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Another striking difference between the movie and the book is that both are developed by different sexes.

This obviously could effect the compare and contrast views of this paper. For example, being male, I found that the two images that left the greatest impression were of sexual nature, Gertrudis making love with the soldier, and Tita being intimate with Pedro. The different views of the sexes may also be the answer to some of the contrasts between the movie and novel. For instance, the death of Mama Elena. Esquirels version fits the emotional death, suicide, geared toward the female audience, while Araus shows a more sexual and violent death, extinguishing the male desire for action.

In conclusion, I found the novel more entertaining than the movie. The reason the movie fell short in expectations is because Esquirel does a great job in allowing the reader to draw on their imaginations. However, Arau is able to capture this imagery occasionally throughout the movie. Furthermore, most of the changes added to the movie were grand, which added to the thrill and plot of the story. Overall, both are memorable and deserve their legacy.

Like Water for Chocolate Book Report: Traditions

Does your family have any traditions? Do you eat certain foods for certain holidays? Traditional values and family are important in many cultures, but they seem to play an especially important role to Mexicans (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia). One of the most important parts of their culture is food. Much of Mexicans daily routines and traditions revolve around the ritual of preparing the food and eating it (Mexican Cuisine and Cooking). In Laura Esquivels novel, Like Water for Chocolate, the food (recipes) and tradition are the main part of the book just as they are the main part of the Mexican tradition.

Esquivels novel is very different from most books. Her novel incorporates recipes into the book in order to tell a story. These recipes, however, are not only formulas, but they are memories and traditions being passed down from generation to generation. Each chapter begins with a new recipe, and these recipes are used to tell Titas life story, the main character and narrator in Like Water for Chocolate.

Tita becomes the focus of her family. This occurs because she is most closely connected with food preparation. This closeness to the food is seen from the first scene in the book where she is born. Tita made her entrance into this world, prematurely, right there on the kitchen table amid the smells of simmering noodle soup, thyme, bay leaves, and cilantro, steamed milk, garlic, and of course, onion. (Esquivel 5-6). This shows Titas connection to food which grows through out the book. Tita prepares certain dishes for special occasions and at different times of the year.

Not only does Tita prepare certain dishes for different occasions, but Mexicans also prepare different dishes for certain occasions. For example, a tradition for a wealthy Mexican family is what is called a country gathering. This is a gathering of family members. At this gathering, they began with a breakfast of fruit, eggs, beans, chilaquiles, coffee, milk, and pastries. They would then go out on horseback after their typical breakfast (Lomnitz and Perez-Lizaur 187). Some of the holidays that they make special dishes for include: Dia de la Candelaria, day of the dead, and Christmas.

Dia de la Candelaria is the day that marks the end of the Christmas season. On this day, it is a tradition to eat tamales and drink atole, a drink that goes with tamales and is made from cornstarch. This is not the only part of this tradition but it is what most Mexicans think of when they think of this day. The traditional Christmas Eve meal is usually turkey and other Mexican foods that go with it (Mexican Culture). Different dishes are also used for events such as pregnancy, sickness, marriage, and almost any event that could happen in a persons life.

In Esquivels novel, the recipe that is made in each chapter is selected based on what happened in the chapter. Tita prepares turkey mole for Robertos baptism (65). Then later on in the novel to help Titas sickness, Chencha prepares ox-tail soup to cure what no medicines had been able to cure (125). For marriage, Tita prepares a certain kind of wedding cake with icing and a certain filling. Tita takes her time in preparing each dish and makes sure to follow each recipe or formula carefully.

However, following the recipe may not ensure the dish turns out as it is intended to. Esquivel seems to believe that in the recipes, there are more than just tangible ingredients; there is something more to the recipes that is intangible. These intangible ingredients consist of love, patience, sorrow, and hate all of which are feelings that Tita has throughout the novel. These extra ingredients cannot be seen by just looking at the dish. They can only be seen when the meal or dish has been eaten. For example, the meal that Tita prepares with the rose petals. She prepares this meal with passion and love. However, this is not seen until Gertrudis gets in the shower and a soldier, Juan, smells the aroma that is coming from her.

The aroma from Gertrudis body guided him. He got there just in time to find her racing through the field. Then he knew why hes been drawn there. This woman desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside her. A man equal to loving someone who needed love as much as she did, a man like him. (55)

This is a direct effect from the extra ingredient, passion which she felt for Pedro, that was added by Tita unconsciously. This new element gives the food a whole new meaning, one that only Tita and Nacha, the family cook and nanny, understand. A prime example of a character that has no familiarity with food preparation is Rosaura, which is seen when she tries to cook for the family. She follows the recipe exactly (as Tita would), however it tastes bad:

There was one day when Rosuara did attempt to cook. When Tita tried nicely to give her some advice, Rosaura became irritated and asked Tita to leave her alone in the kitchen. The rice was obviously scorched, the meat dried out, the dessert burnt. But no one at the table dared display the tiniest hint of displeasure, not after Mama Elena had pointedly remarked: As the first meal that Rosaura has cooked it isnt bad. Dont you agree, Pedro?.Of course, that afternoon the entire family felt sick to their stomachs. (50-51)

The sickness that the family felt was that of the hate in she prepared the meal with. The hidden ingredients can also be seen in the meals that Tita prepares for Mama Elena. The ingredients that Tita subconsciously adds to her food are partial done through Nacha.

Nacha might only be a cook and nanny to the De la Garza family, but she plays a much larger role as mother to Tita. Nacha is much more of a mother than Mama Elena could ever be to Tita. Through all the years that they spent in the kitchen, Tita was building a strong relationship with the food she prepared. This was more of an experience than anything else was for Tita. Susan Lucas Dobrian goes on to further explain this idea in her article Romancing the Cook. She describes the meal preparation:

The kitchen becomes a veritable reservoir of creative and magical events, in which the cook who possesses this talent becomes artist, healer, and lover. Culinary activity involves not just the combination of prescribed ingredients, but something personal and creative emanating from the cook, a magical quality which transforms the food and grants its powerful properties that go beyond physical satisfaction to provide spiritual nourishment as well. (60)

The meal preparations that Dobrain describes are also linked to Nacha, Titas mother figure.

Tita gets her great cooking skills from Nacha, this is there way of passing down the recipes from generation to generation. The recipes in Like Water for Chocolate are kept in the family. Tita then passes the recipes to Esperanza. Esperanza then passes them to her daughter who puts them in the book. The recipes that are passes down from generation to generation are also what tell us the story of Tita.

The recipes are taught to the next generation. However, they are taught not only to be followed, but also how to know the different qualities of the ingredients that go into each dish. This is only something that can be passed down from generation to generation. In the book, The Mexican Elite Family, Larissa Addler Lomnitz and Marisol Perez-Lizaur state, Her cooking is famous for the old-style Mexican recipes she uses, inherited from her mother and grandmother. She will share these recipes with no one but her own daughters. (97). This is a prime example of how Mexicans value food and the traditions they have within their blood family.

Throughout the book, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, food plays a main role, but not only does it play a main role in the novel, it also plays a large role in Mexican culture. The novel carries many of the culinary traditions that Mexicans find very important in their culture. Mexican women play a big role in domestic life and must know how to prepare food. The ability of Mexican women to create dishes (for every occasion) is one that has become a great tradition in Mexico. A tradition that I wish would be a part of the culture of America, because it seems to be something that makes Mexican families closer (something Americans need to learn).

Works Cited

Dobrain, Susan Lucas. Romancing the Cook: Parodic Consumption of Popular Romance Myths in Como Agua Para Chocolate. Latin American Literary Review. July-Dec. 96: 55-66.

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. Trans. Carol and Thomas Christensen. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Lomnitz, Larissa Adler and Marison Perez-Lixaur. A Mexican Elite Family, 1820-1980: Kinship, Class, and Culture. Princton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1987.

Mexican Cuisine and Cooking. Inside Puerto Vallarta Travel Magazine: Puerto Vallarta, Mexica.

Mexican Culture. <http://mexicanculture.about.com/culture/mexicanculture>.

Mexico. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. 2000 ed. Microsoft Corp, 1999.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Book Report

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, written by DH. Lawrence was first published in 1928. The novel follows around the protagonist of the story, Lady Constance Chatterley. The story is about how this woman, who is trapped in a loveless and almost sterile marriage, finds emotional and physical love with the games keeper of her husbands estate. As a story about the relationships between men and women, I find this book a very nice read, but with Lawrence also using this novel as a way to show his readers the evils of machines and capitalism, at times I find it lacking.

Lawrence has two main themes in this book; first, the relationship between men, women and how they find love; second, industry vs. nature. Both can be discussed to show how they are used to conveniently establish the relationship theme but not the secondary theme of industry vs. nature.

The main theme in Lady Chatterley’s Lover is that of the relationship between men and women. Lawrence shows the readers how you must have emotional and physical love, together, in order to have complete love. Through the example of Connie and Clifford’s marriage, Lawrence shows the reader that though there is an emotional love between the two, neither is fulfilled. Their relationship can best be summed up by a quote directly from this book, Time went on. Whatever happened, nothing happened. (19) Neither Connie nor Clifford have a great love for the other, they seam to be just friends who live together.

The idea of a strictly physical love is shown briefly through Mellor’s and his marriage to his first wife. Though the two had a stable marriage based on physical love, it eventually deteriorated to the point of them living separately. Bertha rejected Mellor’s when he started to show tenderness towards her. Both examples are used by Lawrence to justify that though some marriages/relationships start out well, without the combined physical and emotional fulfillment of both people there can be no true love between them.

The idea of complete love is shown through Lady Connie and Mellor’s relationship. Lawrence shows through these two how love needs to have emotional and physical aspects to be possible. Writing about their evolving relationship and showing how both aspects are started and evolve, he gives us the idea of what he thinks real love is. Lawrence shows how their true love and eventual marriage escapes class lines and the industrial world the author despises. In one of the more descriptive sex scenes, Lawrence wants to show that two people who are in real love have no shame.

This theme is also used to try and validate Lawrences second theme in the book, industry vs. nature. Lady Chatterley’s marriage with Clifford is based in the industrial setting of Wragby mansion. The marriage between these two characters revolves around this setting and is therefore shown by Lawrence to be a fake marriage since it is not set in a true natural setting. It is based in an industrial society and therefore corrupt. On the other side, Lady Connies relationship with the games keeper, Mellors, is started in the natural setting of the woods surrounding Wragby.

As the story ends there is a hope that these two will be married and it will be a true marriage because it has both the emotional and physical aspects of love and that it was started in the woods, in nature. I understand why Lawrence tried to use the relationships to justify the nature aspect of industry vs. nature, but I do not agree with it. The natural setting that Lady Chatterley and Mellors met is very romantic and ideal, but I think that if they had possibly met somewhere else, perhaps the mining town, their relationship could also have developed to the point that it was at the end of the book.

The second theme in this novel, industry vs. nature is a theme that Lawrence should not have tried to show in this novel. He never gives clear reasons for the industrial aspect to this story. It is all shown in a negative light. From having Clifford being the thoughtless owner of the mines who cares nothing for the workers, to Lawrences own description of the mining town and the workers themselves, he gives a complete negative view of industry as a whole. This does not work for me in this novel because he never tells or shows the whole aspect. By this, I mean he never shows how all view industry. He does not show how the workers themselves feel about how they live.

I believe that he tries to show in this novel how he felt about mining towns and those who work there and expects the reader to also despise industry as a whole. The first theme works in this novel because Lawrence shows very different aspects of what some of the characters feel on relationships. He shows the good and the bad and lets the reader draw the conclusion that Lady Connie and Mellors relationship is a true one. He does not do this for the industry vs. nature theme. He only shows the negative and forces the reader to choose the nature side of the theme.

I agree with the words of Pablo Neruda, who said Lawrences work impressed me because of the poetic quality and certain vital magnetism focused on the hidden relationships between human beings. (93) This novel does give great insight to the working of relationships between men and women. Lawrence does a convincing job of showing the reader what it takes to have fulfillment from a relationship and what a person must sacrifice to obtain it. With this in mind, I find it difficult to see why anyone would want to consider censoring or banning this book.

In 1959, Lady Chatterleys Lover was tried in the United States Federal Courts on the charge that it was obscene and therefore should not be published in the United States. The main points the prosecution used in this trial was that the book was: one too frank with the descriptions of lovemaking; that it celebrated adultery and finally, that obscene words, the prosecution though immoral and because of this should be basis alone to have the book banned. The lawyers also objected to Lady Chatterleys involvement in adultery and also her choice of her last lover, Oliver Mellors. Their main argument was that if people were to read this novel it would lead to their social and moral deterioration. The Judge for the case found the book not obscene enough to ban and allowed the publishers right to distribute the novel in the United States.

I agree with this judgment. After reading this book, I found none of it obscene and did not feel as if I was on the road to moral deterioration after reading it. There are also many critics who feel this way as well. As Anais Nin states in an excerpt D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, He gives us in Lady Chatterleys Lover an honest picture of all aspects and moods of physical love. But he writes neither scientifically nor for the sake of pornography. (107) She believed that to understand the story and the ideas that Lawrence was writing about the reader could not be afraid of the words that were written or the philosophy that was used.

Katherine Ann Porter wrote in her essay, A Wreath for the Gamekeeper that, I object to his misuse and perversions of obscenity, his wrongheaded denial of its true nature and meaning. (PG) She objects to how Lawrence uses words that many view as obscene. I think that anyone that reads this novel and views it as obscene is not really reading the book. I think any open-minded individual can take how Lawrence uses the language and descriptions and find it justified. Lawrence did not use these words and descriptions as a way to incite lust or lustful thoughts into readers, but as a way to show that love is not shameful. The way he uses his words, whether they be classified as obscene or not, shows that any act or word given in love is not shameful, no matter what their dictionary meaning is.

Adultery was another reason why people tried to have Lady Chatterleys Lover banned. Edith Sitwell wrote in her book, Taken Care of: An Autobiography, Nobody seems to have thrashed Mr. Mellors, the adulterous gamekeeper, which is what he deserved. (109) What I find amusing is that most critics never talk about Lady Constances first lover, Michaelis, and seem to only be fascinated by Mellors. This is most likely due to the fact that not only did Lady Connie and Mellors have an affair; they also were from different social classes. I think that is what got people the most upset. By not writing about Michaelis, critics condone that affair because both were from the same social class.

I find that more obscene than them even having the affair. Preaching that adultery is wrong but then condoning Lady Chatterleys first adulterous affair because they were from the same social class is ludicrous. Instead of harping about why the affairs should not have happened, people that gave poor reviews for the novel should have tried to reason out why the affairs happened. Neither Lady Constance nor Oliver Mellors were in true marriages. So from Lawrences viewpoint, they were not having an adulterous affair. Taken in that context, I see nothing morally degrading about their relationship.

In fact, I see nothing in this book that would give anyone the idea to have it banned. Im sure that if I had read this book in the 1950s, or earlier, I might have been slightly offended. I do hope that I would have had the open-mindedness and intelligence to see past the views of a few people and find out what the book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it. I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would feel, I think, that this book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it.

I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would fell, I think, that this book is not intended for children or young adults. I disagree. In todays society, most children already know more about sex and naughty words then what this book writes about. Children will probably not understand the themes involved in this story and they can certainly find more obscene descriptions of love or lovemaking. If they choose to read the book later on in their teen years, this could provide one way to help explain to them the difference between sex and love. Limiting and censoring books in just a way for some to keep others ignorant.

Works Cited

1.Bloom, Harold (Editor), Twentieth-Century British Literature Volume 3. Chelsea House: New York, 1986.
2.Bryfonski, Dedria and Hall, Sharon K. (Editors), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Volume 2. Gale Research Company: Michigan, 1979
3.Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterleys Lover. 1928. New York: Grovers Press, 1959.
4.Neruda, Pablo, Luminous Solitude, Memoirs. 1976. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Volume 3.
5.Nin, Anais. Lady Chatterleys Lover D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. (1932) 1940. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Vol. 3.
6. Porter, Katherine Ann. A Wreath for the Gamekeeper. Encounter. 1960. Included in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 2.
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