Friday, February 7, 2014

Class Consciousness- Goodbye, Columbus

Chapter 1
The division of class is a huge theme in the book, Goodbye, Columbus. Those from Newark want nothing to do with the rich class in the suburbs and vice versa. Those in the suburbs look down to the people in Newark. Neil drives out of Newark "past Irvington and the packed-in tangle of railroad crossings, switchmen shacks, lumberyards, Dairy Queens, and used-car lots" (8). Neil is describing the streets of Newark and how they are not as nice as the ones in Short Hills. Then he continues to say, "It was, in fact, as though the hundred and eighty feet that the suburbs rose in altitude above Newark brought one closer to heaven..." (8). The suburbs rise above Newark, showing who has power. Clearly Short Hills is above Newark, physically and in social class. The city does not want them to interfere with their life style, as the suburbs do not want the city interfering with them. The suburbs refuses "to share the very texture of life with those of us outside" (8). This is showing that the suburbs want the people who live in the city to stay in the city. They do not want to share their wealth with them in any way. The poor stays the poor, and the weathy stays wealthy. Lastly, as Neil drives out of the city, he says how "the map of the City Streets of Newark had metamorphosed into crickets..." (8). Neil wants to be out of his life in the city. He wants to be one of the wealthy people in short hills of the high class. As he goes out of the city, he hopes that he can maybe leave that life behind him and convert to the different class and style of life. 

Chapter 2
On page 26, Brenda explains to Neil what her family thinks of money. She says that money is a waste for her mom. "She doesn't even know how to enjoy it. She still thinks we live in Newark." This clearly explains the difference between classes. Brenda's mom doesn't even appreciate her money and that is stereotypical of the upper class. She then continues to say how she thinks we live in Newark and that kind of offends Neil because that is not what how it is in Newark. Brenda gets what she wants while Neil doesn't. Neil is a part of the lower class and they appreciate the money they have.  

Chapter 3
Niel is at the Patimkin house all alone with just Julie. He decides to explore the greatness of the house. He is shocked by how nice it is. It is polar opposites with the house he lives in in Newark. He walks down into the basement. It was a comforting basement with a coolness that the rest of the house did not have. He was not surprised at "the pine paneling, the bamboo furniture, the ping-pong table, and the mirrored bar that was stocked with every kind and size of glass, ice bucket, decanter, mixer, swizzle stick, shot glass, pretzel bowl- all the bacchanalian paraphernalia...as it can only be in the bar of a wealthy man who never entertains drinking people..." (41/2). The basement is super nice. It has everything a wealthy family would have. Neil enjoys this aspect of the house and I believe that his character enjoys seeing the differences between their two families. Neil would never have any of this in his house and he knows that because he is not the upper class as the Patimkin family is. He sees a tall, old refrigerator with an ancient presence and it reminds him of his house in Newark. Until he opens it and sees every fresh fruit and vegetable. No longer did it remind him of Newark. But it just shows the more differences there are between the classes and how distinct people can see them in their every day lives. 

Chapter 4
Neil has been invited to go on a week long vacation with the Patimkins. Aunt Gladys does not know how she feels about that because she does not want the food to go to waste and she does not want to lose Neil. If Brenda were going with Neil, I would think that her parents would not care about the food or anything else, because they know she will come back due to their life style. That life style represents the upper class and they have a different family dynamic than Neil's family. Neil lives with his aunt and uncle and his parents live in Tuscan. This confuses Brenda, on page 49, because she could never think about leaving her parents right now because they nurture her very well. Aunt Gladys lets Neil go on vacation and Neil thinks about how he had come a long way since that day she said "fancy-shmancy to him on the phone (57). Their lives are different and both Aunt Gladys and Neil understand that. 

Chapter 5
In chapter 5, Neil is staying at the Patimkin's house. As he is unpacking his clothes, Ron is in the room. "I have one shirt with a Brooks Brothers label and I let it linger on the bed a while.." (63). Neil makes sure that Ron can see his nice, brand labeled clothes. Brooks Brothers is a very nice brand of clothing and he wants to make it clear to Ron that he is able to be a part of their "upper class" life style. He wants to conform to them and leave his "lower class" life style in Newark, as we have seen other times in the book like chapter 1 as I explained before when he was first leaving Newark for the suburbs. He wants to make it clear that he wants to be a part of the Patimkin's and their rich way of living. By letting his Brooks Brothers shirt linger, Ron can know this. He is basically showing Ron, "oh look, I can have these fancy clothes too." Later, when Brenda and Neil go running, Neil thinks, "She meant, I was sure, that I was somehow beginning to look the way she wanted me to. Like herself" (70). Neil is dressed just like Brenda, in khaki bermudas and sweatshirts, sneakers and sweat socks, and by this, he is showing her, just like he showed Ron that he wants to be like her. He wants to be in the upper class. This is showing that Neil is starting to conform to their society and life style, he is becoming like her. He wants to be in it. 

Chapter 6, 7 & 8
The Patimkin wedding is just around the corner and Harriet, Brenda, and Mrs. Patimkin have a lot of shopping to do. Because they have a lot of money, the wedding must be elegant, where as if a less wealthy family was getting married they would not spend so much money on decorations and everything else. Brenda tells Neil, "we're going to New York today. Shopping. She's going to buy a wedding dress. For after the wedding. To go away in" (85). I thought this was very interesting because usually people have one wedding dress. But since the Patimkin's are a big part of the upper class, not only does Harriet need a wedding dress, but another fancy dress to wear after the wedding to go away in. This would not happen in the lower class. The life styles are very different and their weddings would also be very different. 

At Mr. Patimkin's shop, he controls his workers all day with little break. He shouts at them and gives them directions. "People did not sit at Patimkin Sink- here you earned your money the hard way, standing up" (92). The workers have to work very hard to earn their money. They work all day as well. Most of the workers are negroes of the lower class. They work hard for their money where Mr. Patimkin, the owner, does not work hard. He is a part of the upper class. This is showing how people in the lower class have to work harder and longer for their money. People of the upper class do not, a lot of the money comes from fancy business jobs, where they sit at a desk all day or from family. It again proves how different the lifestyles are of the upper and lower class. 











Props- Goodbye, Columbus

Chapter 1
1. The suburban phone book (4). 
2. The dresser (4). 
3. Brenda's glasses (7). 
4. Golf Balls (8). 
5. Brenda's tartan belt, white socks and white tennis sneakers (11). 

The suburban phone book is the most important object in this chapter. The difference between social classes is a huge theme in the book. There is a big difference between the rich suburb of Short Hills and the city of Newark. There is a huge class divide within the life styles. They have completely different life styles and they do not care to interact together. The book shows this because Neil's mom treats it like a piece of junk. She does not want to take the time to find it because she never uses it and it is just another piece of junk in her house of clutter. This shows how she does not care about the other social class and she just focuses on her own life style in the city. 

Chapter 2
1. Bermudas
2. White polo shirt
3. Tennis sneakers
4. White socks
5. Twin oak trees

The white polo shirt is most important here. It was supposed to be Brenda's "casual" outfit for dinner, but it is nicer than anything Neil usually wears. He thinks it's interesting how that is what she wears around the house, but that is her culture she lives in. The higher class always has something nice on and is very put together. 

Chapter 3
1. Pale cement lions 
2. Expensive books
3. Gaugin reproductions
4. Brenda's dress
5. The Patimkin's three color photo-paintings. 

The color photo paintings are quite interesting to read about. They are professionally painted pictures of their family and they are vital to their house. Brenda's family wants these fancy paintings around their house. It shows the upperclass in them and it shows the nice family dynamic they have. I think they are significant because Neil looks and observes them and wants to know more about their family. 

Chapter 4
1. The pool at the country club
2. Library
3. Cherry pits
4. Suitcase
5. Desk

The library is very important in this chapter. Not only does Neil explain that it is his favorite place to work, a lot happens between the black boy and the French art books. The library is significant beause it represents Neil's life. He does not have a fancy job, representing how he is a part of the lower class. Furthermore, Brenda asks many questions about his work and he answers honestly and how he enjoys working there. Mr. Scapello and the little black boy have also been looking in the same art book by Gaugiun and I think that it is foreshadowing that something is going to happen between the three of them.  

Chapter 5
1. Brooks Brothers Shirt
2. Old fruniture
3. The hundred-dollar bills
4. The running track
5. The grapefruit

Objects four and five correlate together. Neil and Brenda have a new routine of waking up in the morning, eating some grapefruit and going to run on the track. Firstly, I think grapefruit symbolizes the wealthier class because it is a fancier fruit. You would not see many poor people having a nice, juicy grapefruit every morning, maybe grapes or canned peaches. Furthermore, I think that the running track symbolizes Neil and Brenda's relationship. They are in love and they have found one more thing that they like to do with each other. Their relationship is growing long and strong and I think that this running is making it even stronger. 

Chapter 6, 7 & 8
1. Automatic Dishwasher
2. Diaphragm
3. Silver patterns
4. Synagogue
5. Wedding dress and brides maid dress

The most important item here is the diaphragm. Neil has oddly asked Brenda if she will buy one and she does not want to in the slightest bit. They had their first big fight over it because Brenda does not want to lie to a doctor or be embarrassed. She does not feel as if she has to buy one. She ends up getting one with Neil's company to make him happy. She loves him and wants to do anything for him. Little did she know they would continue to fight about the diaphragm after it was bought. Their second biggest fight was again over the topic of the diaphragm and it ended up ending their relationship.



1. Columbus Record
2. Wedding
3. Champagne
4. Light Bulb
5. Hotel Room

The Columbus record is very important. It is Ron's most important record. It symbolizes his college football career. Neil has always been interested in the record because he has listened to it from other rooms and heard Ron talk about it and then he had a dream of it. Him and Columbus are similar because they both took voyages into a new world as I mentioned in a parallel.  The book is named Goodbye, Columbus because Ron listens to this record and has a dream about it. It is a very important aspect to the novel. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Goodbye, Columbus Parallels and Contrasts

Chapter 1
Contrast:
"Once I'd driven out of Newark...It was, in fact, as though the hundred and eighy feet that the suburbs rose in altitude about Newark brought one closer to heaven..." (8). 
Explanation: Neil's family lives in Newark compared to Brenda, whose family lives in the suburbs. The suburbs was something that contrasted Neil's life. It was nice, and above the city of Newark by all means. Brenda's family clearly has a lot more money and has nice family meals compared to Neil who does not have fancy family dinners or eat nice meals every day. He had driven out of the city with "...packed-in tangle of railroad crossings, switchmen shacks, lumberyards, Dairy Queens, and used-car lots.."(8). The suburbs are completely different from where he lives.

Parallel:
"Is he having his fixed?" "Why are you so nasty" "I'm not. I'm sorry" (13). 
"Why don't you have your eyes fixed" "There you go again" "I'm sorry" (15). 
Explanation: Brenda does not like when Neil asks if she is going to have something "fixed". It seems as if Brenda gets frustrated with Neil when he says stupid comments. Neil can be very sarcastic and Brenda does not like this. It comes up many times where Brenda gets mean and snippy at Neil when he asks if something is going to be fixed. This is important because it says something about Brenda's personality- she is firm and sticks with her own opinions. She also will not put up with Neil's "smart-ass" comments showing that she may think she is above him. 

Chapter 2
Parallel:
"This is all very fast" (17).
"Actually we did not have the feelings we said we had until we spoke them... to phrase them was to invent them and own them" (19). 
Explanation:
Brenda and Neil like each other very much. Within 18 hours they had many feelings for each other. They both knew it was very fast and they agreed on that even though not much has  happened, their feelings have developed very fast. Since it is so fast, the feelings develop through when they say them out loud, according to Neil. He speaks his feelings and then he sees that what he talks is how he feels. 

Contrast:
"None of us ate together" (4). 
"We did not eat in the kitchen; rather, the six of us... sat around the dining room table..." (21). 
Explanation:
This explains the two contrasting lives between Brenda and Neil. Neil's aunt never makes anyone the same meal and they never eat at the same time. They do not have fancy dinners around the dining room table unlike Brenda who has nice, family dinners every night. Her family eats together around a nice table and they eat the same thing. They have nice dinner conversations and do not rush to leave the table. This again demonstrates the idea of class classification. The lower class represents Neil and the upper class represents Brenda. 

Chapter 3
Parallel:
"I'm not her slave" (15).
"You have to sit with Julie. Carlota's off" (38). 
"I felt like Carlota..." (40). 
Explanation: 
At the pool, Niel asks Doris to hold Brenda's glasses. She responds by telling Niel that she's not her slave, but implying that Niel is and that Niel will do anything for Brenda. Now, Niel was told by Brenda to babysit Julie when they took Ron to the airport. Niel feels uncomfortable and he feels like Carlota, the Patimkin's maid. He does not like the feeling of being bossed around like the family does to Carlota and he does not know what to think of it. He will do anything to make Brenda happy as Doris points out. But, he does not want to be the slave, like Carlota is. I think that he may worry whether their class differences will damage their relationship. 

Contrast:
"He wants canned peaches, I have a refrigerator full of grapes I have to get rid of..." (6). 
"...it was heaped with fruit, shelves swelled with it, every color, every texture, and hidden within every kind of pit. There were greengage plums, black plums, red plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches, long horns of grapes, black, yellow, red, and cherries..." (43). 
Explanation:
On page 6, Neil's family is having dessert. They usually have canned fruits or fruit their mom needs to get rid of. And she worries about getting rid of them because she does not want her food going to waste. This is opposing the Patimkin's fridge due to the fact that the fridge described on page 43 is not their primary fridge. This one is in the basement. Clearly they are not worried about wasting food or getting rid of it. Neil was shocked with the amount of food there was. It was more than he ever had in his house and he never has had so many options. It is again, the completely different lifestyle they live. 

Chapter 4
Parallel:
"Paul Gaugiun. He was a Frenchman" (37). 
"...and finally headed up the long marble stairs that led to Tahiti" (47). 
"Is the book back?... The Gauguin" (58). 
Explanation:
The Gauguin is a book that Neil has in his library. It is a book of art pictures painted by this french painter, Gauguin. Every day when the black boy comes into the library, he looks through this book. Tahiti is a place in French Polynesia and it was described as a place in the hallway. It makes me think of if there will be a later connection in the book between the library and France. Furthermore, every day the black boy looks at this book and suddenly, a white older man wants to check it out. It is interesting because it is the same book out of hundreds in the art section. Again, I start to wonder if there will be a connection of these two characters with Neil in the middle of them at some point. 

Contrast:
"Did I sound nasty? I didn't mean to... I'm sorry" "Stop apologizing" (17). 
"Why do you sound nasty again? Do I? Yes. I didn't say I was sorry" (51). 
Explaination:
Neil and Brenda have been seeing each other every night. They have become really close and Neil has started to love Brenda. She is one of the only people he cares for, so therefore he wants to make her happy. Before, he didn't really know how to act around her so he would apologize for his actions when apologies were not needed. Now that they are closer, and more comfortable around each other, he does not apologize and he continues on conversation. 

Chapter 5
Contrast:
"I'll be driving a---a tan Plymouth" (8). 
"...I had still been awake when the Chrysler had pulled out of the garage..." (69). 
"...we had driven the Volkswagon..." (70). 
Explanation:
Class differences is a big theme as this book, as mentioned many times before. There are many different aspects to distinct between the classes, cars being one of them. Neil drives a very old Plymouth and did not want to tell Brenda what year it is because he will be embarrassed about it in front of her. His car does not compare to her nice cars, like Rons Chrysler or the Volkswagon. You can tell how wealthy you are by the kind of car you drive. The Chrysler and Volkswagon are newer and better cars, showing how Brenda lives a wealthy life style

Parallel:
"I can't even think of her as my mother. She hates me" (25). 
"'Oh Mother!' and Brenda was crying. 'Why the hell are you like this!'"(65). 
Explanation:
From the beginning of Neil and Brenda's relationship, Brenda told Neil she did not like her mother and that they have  never gotten a long. When Neil is staying at their house, Brenda and her mom get in a huge fight and Neil finally sees what she is saying when Brenda says they do not get a long. Neil feels very bad because he feels as if he is the reason for their fight. Brenda says that is not the case and that her mother is chaotic and again that they always fight. 

Chapter 6, 7 & 8
Parallel:
"...I was somehow beginning to look the way she wanted me to. Like herself" (70). 
"...the outside who might one day be an insider" (94). 
Explanation: 
Neil has spent a lot of time at the Patimkin's. Not only is he in love with Brenda, but he wants to be a part of their family. He wants to be accepted and not looked at as some one who is below him, class wise. Throughout the book, he has become more accepted into their family and more accustomed to their lifestyle. When he went running with Brenda on page 70, he was wearing the same clothes as her showing how he is  conforming to their society. Then on page 94, Neil is picking up silver patterns for Mrs. Patimkin and when he is at the store talking to Ron and Mr. Patimkin, he wishes that he was a part of their society and lifestyle even more. He feels that every day he is more and more accepted. 

Parallel:
"...and the Negesses moved slowly down the shore and began to throw leis at us and say 'Goodbye, Columbus... goodbye, Columbus... goodbye...'" (74). 
"'Till then, goodbye, Ohio State, goodbye, red and white, goodbye, Columbus... goodbye, Columbus... goodbye'" (105). 
Explanation:
Neil is listening to Ron's Columbus record. He has never listened to it directly but he has heard it from his room before, on page 74, and then dreams about it that night. When he hears it, he thinks about it closely. In my opinion, "Goodbye, Columbus" is symbolizing Neil's voyage to the new world, just like the voyage Columbus took. Neil has been on a journey the whole summer to be a part of the rich Patimkin family. Neil gets the benefactors from the Patimkin's just as Columbus did from the King. They take these voyages to get riches and what they want. Neil is just like Columbus in this situation. 

Contrast:
"I was not joyful, but disturbed, as I had been more and more with the though that when Brenda went back to Radcliffe, that would be the end for me... There'd been no hints of ending our affair from Brenda..." (75). 
"I think Brenda was crying too when I went out the door" (135). 
Explanation:
Brenda went back to school and Neil decided to go visit her. They got in their second largest argument in their relationship and that was the end of it. Neil had walked out on her and he did not think he could love her again, at least for a long time. It was shocking to him because he wanted them to get married and he wanted to talk to her about it when he came to visit. But just the opposite happened. 

Contrast:
"'I love you,' I said. 'I do'" (54). 
"I was sure I had loved Brenda, though standing there, I knew I couldn't any longer" (135). 
Explanation:
The end of their relationship had come. They both admitted how they loved each other and after saying it they realized the past tense they used while saying it. It was an expected ending to readers but shocking to Neil and Brenda as I mentioned before. They may have once loved each other but after the fights, they do not anymore. 




Friday, January 10, 2014

My Own Pictures

This picture was a picture I took this winter break while on the island of St. Thomas. My uncle to the left is walking out of the water with my two younger cousins. They were playing in the water and having a fun time. The picture is interesting because there can be two main subjects- my uncle and his kids, or the boat in the back right corner. Both are interesting because they are not centered and are in opposite quadrants. When I first look at the picture my eyes go to my uncle and his kids due to the silhouette shape of their bodies and how it seems like they are moving. Also, the three of them are in the foreground while the other subject, the boat, is in the background. Lastly, we get the rule of thirds in this picture because of the line of the clouds, then the horizen, then the shape of the waves. All in all, I think it is a cool picture.  
This is a picture of my beautiful dog, Snickers. Snickers is laying on my kitchen floor. It is intriguing though because she may be centered, but she is pushed very far back into the backgroud. While I was taking the picture, I got down all the way to  her level, to see the angle she sees from. We have the rule of thirds in the picture because of the lines of my kitchen floor. Also, I think it is interesting how far back in the picture you can see. We view my front door, and it looks like Snickers may be sitting close to it, but she is not. Further more, the colors in this picture all blend in together which almost gives the image a type of "vintage" effect. I think the different shades of brown gives off a warm feel to the image. Dogs are warm and so I think that these colors could represent that. 

This is a picture I took in St. Maarten of my brother and my dad parisailing.  To me, the subject is the parisail with my dad and brother attached to it. Others may think that the mountains are the subject, but I do not. First, I see the parisail all the way in the background and my eyes follow the green rope that leads up to it. We can barely see my dad and brother in this picture. I think it is interesting how they are more in the background while the mountains are the foreground. Also, I think the picture gives off a relaxed or happy feel because of the vibrant colors. The ocean blue looks very pretty and it mixes well with the green of the mountains and the blue sky. The parisail sticks out in the sky making it look like they are past the mountains, when they are not. 
I took this image over the summer when I was in Canada at a friends house. The main subject is the trampoline with the people on the trampoline and then the people on the paddle board. The image strikes me because the subject is not in the center which makes you want to see what is in the center. When I see the picture, I seee the direction of the water and the lines within the water. I think it gives offf, again, a relaxing effect because it suggest that the water is calm. There is also the rule of thirds between the skyline, the other islands and the lines in the water. Overall, I think it is a great picture because not one spot of the picture is empty. Every spot is filled with something pretty a viewer can look at. 
This is a picture I took right outside my house on my sidewalk because I saw a rainbow in the distance. The trees closer to me almost make an arc for the rainbow and right in between them you can see the rainbow off the right. This picture has very vibrant colors because it was fall and all of the leaves are falling and changing colors. Also, the rainbow is vibrant which just puts a positive effect onto the color of the grass and the trees. Lastly, I took this picture in November, and since the rainbow is off to the right, that is the end of the rainbow, the bottom. To me, the ending of the rainbow means the ending of the colorful, fall season, just in time for winter to start. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

More Parallels, Contrasts and Questions- The End of The Road

Page 161-184
Parallel:
"The town had been abandoned years ago but they walked the littered streets carefully..." (150).
"...leading out of the looted and exhausted cities, hopeless messages to loved ones lost and dead" (180). 
Explanation: McCarthy uses descriptive words to show how important these dead cities are. They describe the world around them and how everything is dead and dirty and covered in ash. He wants us to see how these cities are abandoned. I think it is really interesting how he uses repetition in different ways to make us see how the cities are different, but essentially they are the same because of the abandonment.  Lastly, these lines connect along with more lines throughout the book because the boy and his father walk through a dead world as they try to find light in the south. 

Contrast:
"The boy never looked back at all" (174). 
"The boy kept looking back" (50). 
Explanation: Page 174 is the first time that the boy does not continuously look back after seeing a person or a group of people. They left the old man that they helped on page 174. It is also the first time they helped someone, instead of walking right past them, like the man who was struck by lightening on page 50. The boy has a big heart, he is always looking to help everyone. But the dad on the other hand wants to be selfish and always wants to keep looking, not caring about anyone else but him and his son. It was very interesting to see how they finally helped another person. It could maybe suggest that they have hope that they are going to survive and they want to share their faith with other people finally. 

Questions:
- Why did they help this old man but no other old man earlier in the book? Why does the dad still not want to help him, only the boy?
- What does the coughing suggest? Is the dad sick and does he not want to tell his son? Why? 
- What does the boys bad dream say about their future? 

Page 185-210
Parallel:
"Dont lose heart, he said. We'll be all right" (177). 
"And you can't give up. I wont let you" (189). 
Explanation: As the father and son are reaching the end of their journey, they struggle more and more every day to survive. The father does not want him or the boy to lose faith, as shown on page 177. He tells the boy to not lose heart, which essentially means to not lose faith and that he cannot give up. This connects to the line on page 189. It is very important that the father and son continue their journey to the south in order to survive. They will die if they stop now and the father knows that. He tells the son many times not to give up and it encourages the boy to keep going. As long as the boy is alive, then the father will be. His son is his motivation to continue. Neither of them will give up. 

Contrast:
"What would you like for supper? he said" (140). 
"We're almost out of food. We have to keep going" (197). 
Explanation: Page 140 was right after the father and his son found the house full of food. They felt rich and luxurious, like they had all of the food in the world. It was a message from God telling them that they are going to survive and they need to keep striving. But then on 197 along the road, they are almost already out of food. It is crazy how fast the food went and they have to go back to being the hunters for food. In these harsh, apocalyptic times the father and his son struggle to survive because of the little food they have. And then once they find some, it's already gone. 

Questions:
- What is McCarthy referring to on page 196 when the father states, "there is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground" ?
- Why is the boy having more and more bad dreams? Are they symbolic? How? 

Page 211-230
Parallel:
"He's planned to leave but the rain was justification enough to stay" (155). 
"All the while it continued to rain" (212). 
Explanation: On these pages the rain is symbolic. In the first house of food that they found, they stayed a few days but the father wanted to keep moving along the road through their journey. In this second house on page 212 where they find food, again the father does not want to stay that long because we wants to continue on. Both times it begins to rain when he wants to leave and keep walking. The rain justifies him to stay. I believe that the rain is a symbol of faith. The rain is telling him that they should stay for a long time because it is dangerous on the road and they can have shelter, food and sleep in these houses. Faith is a big theme in the book and therefore rain is just another way to tell the father to keep safe and stay in the house. 

Contrast:
"Is it blue? The sea? I dont know. It used to be" (182). 
"He could see the disappointment in his face. I'm sorry it's not blue, he said" (215).
Explanation: Throughout the journey they have been trying to get to the south and get to the sea. The boy had high hopes of what he imagined the sea would be like. He is a young boy and he had never seen the sea before. The father tells him that it used to be blue and that is what he hoped for. When they get to the beach on page 215, the boy is sad because the sea is gray and murky, covered in ash. It is just another way of telling how this new world is no world of color. Everything is gray and dark. His wish of seeing the blue sea did not come true and his thoughts were not the same before and after. 

Questions:
-  What is the importance of the boat? Why would the man swim all the way out when it is so cold?
- Does the dad know what is going to happen at the end of their journey? I feel as if he can sense things that will happen, is that true? 

Page 231-259
Parallel:
"I am going to die, he said. Tell me how I am to do that" (175). 
"Every day is a lie, he said. But you are dying. That is not a lie" (238). 
Explanation: We do not know what disease the father has yet. My guess is tuberculosis because he has coughed up blood. He has known for a while that he is not doing well and that he is going to die. He repeats it many times because he knows it and it is vital to their journey. If he dies, the boy will not survive which would be the end to the story. The importance of the mans repetition is because he is having a realizartion and he is trying to hide it from his son. 

Contrast:
"He fell into a dreamless sleep" (250).
Explanation: Throughout the book, dreams have been a big theme. I believe that the father uses dreams to escape the horrible reality he is living through. He needs an escape route from the present. This is compared to how the boy has nightmares because he is so young that he never really lived before the apocalypse and does not have any "happy thoughts" to escape to. Now on page 250, this is the first time where we see the father sleep without dreaming. I believe that it means that the conditions are just getting worse. He is getting sicker, the boy is getting sicker, and there is no escape route for him. He cannot leave this harsh reality he is living through. 

Questions:
- Is the father going to die? How?
- Why did the  boy get sick?  

Page 260- END
Parallel: 
"You have to talk to me" (77). 
"You have to talk to me, he said" (261). 
Explanation: Whenever something does not go the boys way, he does not talk for long periods of time. At the end of the book, they were robbed. And although they did not kill the theif, they took their stuff back. The boy was very upset because it was basically killing him and he never wanted to kill anyone. When he gets upset because they cannot help someone, he doesn't talk. It is his own way of telling his dad that he is mad and that he is almost rebelling against him. 

Contrast: 
"You said you wouldnt ever leave me" (279). 
Explanation: The father said that he wouldn't ever leave his son. His son was his whole life and he was the reason he was still alive. The father dies and it is very tragic for the son. He was lucky enough to find a new family he could travel with, but his dad died right in front of him in his arms. The whole book the dad was carrying their fire. Now the tables have turned and the boy has to take care of himself and carry the fire himself. It is different than the whole book. Throughout the book, the boy had to take care of the father more and more. Now that he is dead, the boy has to mature and take care of himself, something he's never done before. 

Question:
- What's going to happen to the boy?
- Is this new family safe to be with? Why?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parallels, Contrasts and Questions: on our own- The Road

Page 73-93
Parallel: 
"They went on. The boy was crying. He kept looking back" (50).
"The boy would not stop crying and he would not stop looking back" (85). 
Explanation: The boy is scared, but he wants to help. On page 50, he sees a man fall to his death because he was struck by lightening. He wants to help him and go back and do everything he can. On page 85, he believes he saw a little boy behind a house. He wants to go back and help the little boy because he was alone. He wants to get him to walk with him and his father. When his father says he cannot help these people, he cries and cries and keeps looking back. He looks back to see how much further away he is getting from these hurt and lonesome people. It is interesting that in this harsh time a young boy is so willing to help everyone. He wants to, and it is important to recognize because it is a big part of his personality. 

Contrast:
"The boy didn't answer. You have to talk to me. Okay" (77).
"He tried to think of something to say but he could not" (88). 
Explanation: Throughout the journey, the boy has gotten very tired. Aside from the fact that he is emaciated, he is absolutely exhausted and he does not talk much anymore. On page 77, the father finally tells him to please talk to him because he is worried about him. The son is all the father has and he wants to make sure that he is okay. He wants the boy to continue talking to him because he has talked to the boy the whole time. Then on page 88, the father was out of words to say. The exhaustion hit him and he was at a loss of words and felt dull and numb. It contrasts what he said earlier because he is now doing what he told the boy not to do. The journey is getting harder and harder and they have to pull through and stay strong. 

Questions:
- What is the building they found? Does anyone live there? Is it dangerous? What does it suggest about the progress of their journey?
- Will the son try to find the little boy? Who is he? Is he a hallucination? 

Page 94-118
Parallel:
"Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war..." (92).
"Chattel slaves had once trod those boards bearing food and drink on silver trays" (106). 
Explanation: Throughout the entire book, we get notions of a theme of the past vs. the present. McCarthy adds many different ideas and thoughts about the past to his novel. Whether it is of the idea of greek mythogy, or here, he adds ideas about slaves. It makes us wonder if history is repeating itself in the book. McCarthy makes it clear that the world is going back to how it was hundreds of years ago. It is an interesting theme that he adds. It comes up many different times giving the book a different twist than most novels. 

Contrast:
"He came up with a longhandled spade and hefted it in his hand. Come on, he said" (109). 
"For the love of God will you come on, his hissed" (111). 
Explanation: First the father is telling his son to follow him like nothing dangerous is going to happen. The dad is worried, but not that worried that their life is in danger. On the other hand, the boy is really scared, sensing that something bad will happen. After they open up the latch, they see many dead or emaciated bodies. These people are going to go after them and they want their help because they are going to get killed. Then on page 111, the dad becomes terrified knowing that him and his son have to run. They are in great danger and it is a complete personality shift, even in two pages. 

Questions:
- Does the dad keep hallucinating? 
- Are these people in the basement real? Are they hallucinations? Who are they? 

Page 119-135
Parallel:
"Because we're carrying the fire. Yes. Because we're carrying the fire" (83). 
"And we're carrying the fire. And we're carrying the fire. Yes" (129).
Explanation: This is one of my favorite lines in the entire book. It almost makes me happy. This line is important that it is repeated because to me it means that they have hope, and that they are carrying themselves to the south. They are carrying survival and hope. It is important that they keep going and they have each other and that is the only reason that they do not want to die right now. They are carrying each other's light and having hope to survive.

Contrast:
"He had to concentrate to stifle the cough and at the same time he was trying to listen" (112). 
"He was coughing and it got worse and it woke the child" (125). 
Explanation: For a long time, the father would try to keep himself from coughing. In my opinion, he did not want to scare the boy by him being sick, but I am not really sure why he did not cough when he had to. Finally on page 125, he coughed, and he coughed very loudly. It's significant because their condition is getting worse and they are coming closer and closer to death. They were well off with food and sleep at the beginning of their voyage and now they are in danger. The dad coughing just shows their danger and how they may not survive. 

Questions:
- What is the significance of the father coughing or not? What doe it say about him?
- Will they continue to be lucky and find food? like the apples?

Page 136-160
Parallel: 
"Blessed. He began to believe they had a chance" (114). 
"This is what the good guys do. They keep trying. They dont give up" (137). 
Explanation: Through the dangers of the journey, the father somehow remained positive. He always looked ahead of them into the light and really did not want to believe that they are going to die. He believes that they have a chance and that they cannot give up. On page 137, they find a house and he is telling his son that everything is going to be okay and that maybe with this house, they will get lucky. Sure enough, they did not give up and they got very lucky with finding food and shelter with the house they found in this next section. It is repeated how they do not want to give up because the father has always had hope and always will have hope. 

Contrast:
"We've got to eat" (108). 
"Crate upon crate of canned goods... What would you like for supper?" (138 & 140). 
Explanation: The father and his son were blessed by God. They were able to find enough food to last them a very long time. On page 108, the boys are walking along the road starving. They had not had any food or sleep in days and they are beginning to think that that was the end of them. They were starving and did not know what to do. On page 138 in this new house they see, they find a fully stocked kitchen with many canned foods and a stove for them to cook. They are overjoyed and it is so nice to see how they have gained back their hope. I believe that the father thinks they are now going to survive and that they will make it down to the south. 

Questions:
- Whose house is this, with all of the food?
- Did God give them this food?
- Is it real? We have talked about the idea of dreams vs. reality in the story, is this a dream or is it reality?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cormac McCarthy's Literal World

Cormac McCarthy creates a new world in his novel The Road. It is not your typical fantasty world that people usually create. In fact, it is the opposite. He portrays this new world with interesting, descriptive words throughout the pages of his novel. He uses many compound words, some that he even makes up. He makes up these words and uses incorrect punctuation possibly to display how this new world is destroyed and disorganized. But most importantly, he portrays this world as a dark, gray world after the harsh apocolypse has happened. "Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before" (3). There are very few times when it is sunny outside, or even light during the day. The world is very dark, and always dark. Dark because of the apocolypes and the ashes, but also dark because of the danger the father and his son are in throughout their journey down the road to the south. As readers, we know how McCarthy is trying to portray this dark and gray world because of the amount of times the words "dark", "gray", and "ash" come up on each page. "Dust and ash everywhere" (7). He repeats himself as the narrator many times most likely to get his point across, that this world is gray, always. And he successfully does get his point across because the readers do know how this world is supposed to be. Furthermore, since the world has been destroyed, the father believes that him and his son can start over in the south. He believes that they can create a new world again in the south where it is warm and maybe even light during the days. "With  the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and studied the country to the south" (4). The father realizes that he has a long journey ahead of him with his son. He is willing to make this journey with hopes that he reaches this new world where he and his son can live peacefully and safely. Success and safety are their goals and in order to fulfill them, the father and the son need to change the dark world that McCarthy has described for the readers.