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. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Picture it!

On page 50, we get a scene of the man and the boy encountering another male along the road. This man has been struck by lightening and is slowly falling to his own death. Both the father and the son watch him and all the father wants to do is keep on walking. 

"They went on. The boy was crying. He kept looking back." These short fragments are critical for a movie scene. They demonstrate quick action and many shots, instead of a slow long take. On the first fragment, the camera would start with a long shot of the road ahead of them. It would then quickly cut to a closeup of the crying boy on the second fragment. It would be a closeup to show his facial expression and then we would be able to decipher his feelings. Again the camera would cut to another long shot of the road behind them on the third fragment. This shot would be from the boys point of view as he keeps looking back to see how far away they are getting from the man they just saw die. All three of these shots would be quick and precise. They would all be taken at the same angle because no one here has any sort of power. 

"When they got to the bottom of the hill the man stopped and looked at him and looked back up the road." This sentence would be broken up into two shots. First we would see a quick medium shot of the man. It would be taken from the top of the hill and therefore it would be a low angle shot because we would be looking down at him. Next, it would cut to a medium shot of the man, to show his surroundings with boy next to him. In the same take, the camera would turn to the boy from the man's point of view so we can see the boy's face and the camera would then turn to the road in front of them again from the mans point of view. This will allow us to see what they are seeing and what they are walking towards. 

"The burned man had fallen over and at that distence you couldn't even tell what it was." Here, we would start by seeing a medium-long shot of the road behind the man and the boy. The take would slowly keep zooming out and drawing the focus and camera away from the man they just saw die. The camera would keep moving further away from the man because the father and his son are walking further and further away from him. 

"I'm sorry, he said. But we have nothing to give him. We have no way to help him. I'm sorry for what happened to him but we cant fix it." This shot would be a medium-closeup, over the shoulder shot of the father. We would look over the son's shoulder and see the father talking to the son while they continue walking and he says this. Then when the father says, "You know that, dont you?" the shot would cut to the son as another medium-closeup, over the shoulder shot so we can see the son's facial expression. 

"The boy stood there looking down. He nodded his head." While starting from the same medium-closeup, over the shoulder shot of the boy, as he nods, the camera would zoom in towards his face. This zoom would tell us that he experienced a realization and that he now knows that he will not be able to help this man he just saw die. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dreams and Reality

After reading the first part of The Road, there are many themes that have already become present. Dreams are portrayed as hallucinations or mirages to the man. They draw the man away from the terrible reality he is stuck in. The man and his son are traveling on a long road in order to escape the scary, dark world after the apocolypse. Because they struggle to survive, the father's dreams are the only positive aspects of his life. His dreams are forcing him to find a happy place while walking down a cold gray road hour after hour. Many of his dreams are of his wife. "In dreams his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy...her smile, her downturned eyes" (18). The fathers dreams are of color and happy thoughts. They take him away from the world he does not want to be stuck him. His dreams take him back to when he first got married to his wife, a very happy and different time in his life. "From daydreams on the road there was no walking" (18). He daydreams while he walks through the dead world and the dreams make his world livlier. These dreams are not only a very important aspect of the novel, they are a very important aspect of his life. They represent how he feels about his life, before the world ended. He had a good life, and now his life is survivng and keeping his son alive as well. They make contrast in the book and allow us as readers to read into the man's thoughts. 

The man and his son are opposites in this book. They have opposite personalitys with very different thoughts. While the father dreams of colors and happy thoughts, the son has nightmares. These nightmares represent their daily terrors as they try to escape this harsh world. Because he is a child, this is not the normal life the son would expect to live. He is young so he never really was able to do activities that most children. All he has are memories of the gray world he lives in. The boy will not be able to escape the world with past memories and his nightmares represent that. The boy tells his father, "I had a bad dream" (36). He continues by saying what it was. "I had this penguin that you wound up... And we were in that house we used to live in and it came around the corner but nobody had wound it up and it was really scary" (36). The boy repeatedly has bad dreams, his father just tells him to go back to bed and that everything will be okay. These nightmares could represent that everything might not be okay for the boy, he is young and scared and cannot think positively. Both dreams and nightmares of the boy and his father represent their fate in this scary world. Dreams are very important for both of them and different ways and they are very symbolic for readers, laying out the rest of the novel.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Road- Parallels and Contrasts

Page 15-31
Parallel:
"A single gray flake shifting down" (16). 
"The wet gray flakes twisting and falling out of nothing. Gray slush by the roadside" (16). 
"Beads of small gray ice strung along the light-wires overhead" (18). 
Explanation: Although the word gray is repeated many times, the part that surprises me is that gray snow is repeated so many times. Snow is white and it is very symbolic that McCarthy keeps repeating how this gray snow and ice is falling from the sky. Literally, the snow is gray because it is mixing with the ashes. But McCarthy is trying to make readers see how the world is gray and sad, how the man and the boy are left in the dark about the rest of their lives. 

Contrast:
"The city was mostly burned. No sign of life" (12). 
"Inside the barn three bodies haging from the rafters..." (17). 
Explanation: Throughout the whole beginning of the book, there is no sign of life besides the man and his son. The world has essentially ended and they do not know if there is any more life. On page 17, we as readers see our first sign of life, although the people are not living. It is still an important detail because it contrasts the cold, dark, lifeless world the man and his son have been walking through. McCarthy may want to portray to readers that maybe there is more life on the plant currently and it leaves us wondering. 

Page 32-53
Parallel:
"They'd piled a mat of dead hemlock boughs over the snow and they sat wrapped in their blankets..." (31). 
"The raw dead limbs of the rhododendron twisted and knotted and black" (39/40). 
Explanation: Throughout the book so far, these are plants that the man and the boy have camped in while in the mountains. Both of the plants are poisoness and it makes me wonder why they are always sitting in poisoness plants. Not only are the sitting and laying in them, they are eating them too. Also, it's not just one poisoness plant, but many. It really makes me think about what McCarthy is trying to tell us here. There are many ways to interpret it but I think that these plants are symbolizing the poisoness world the man and the boy are currently living in. There has been an apocolypse and there is no sign of life within miles of them. Their world is essentially over and there is a big possibility that they die on this journey to the south. I think it is interesting how the poisoness plants are surrounding them during this destroyed time in their life. They're lives are in danger, essentially making them poisoness. 

Contrast:
"Everything was alight" (31). 
Explanation: On page 31, we get this really striking line saying that the world was lit again. Up until this page there was no sign of light, everything was gray, black and dark. The snow was gray, all of their materials were gray and the days were gray as ever. This is the first time we may even see the word "light" and it really contrasts with the whole beginning of the book. It may even symbolize that the boy and his father are recieving hope from God and that they are going to make it through this hard, dangerous time. Then on page 32, McCarthy adds, "The nights now only slightly less black" (32). Although only slightly, the nights are less black and it gives readers hope that the nights will continue to get less black. I was excited when I read the line on page 31. It gave me many thoughts about how the book is going to play out, about if they are going to survive. 

Page 54-73
Parallel: 
"She was standing in the doorway in her nightwear, clutching the jamb, cradling her belly in one hand" (53). 
"I wish I was with my mom" (55). 
Explanation: Up until page 55, the mom was a dream of the fathers. She was in a flashback, no one had every spoke of her. On page 53, she has a hand on her stomach because she is pregnant with the son who is traveling with the father. It is very important to notice because that was a time when the world was normal and the whole world was not dead. Then on page 55 the boy wishes he was with his mom. It was the first time that he brought her up and it is crucial to notice how he also wishes he was dead, just like she did. It is a parallel between a mother and son relationship. 

Contrast:
"The boy was crying. He kept looking back....I'm sorry for what happened to him but we cant fix it" (50). 
"The boy was frozen with fear... The boy was terrified" (61). 
Explanation: When the man and the boy encountered other people, the boy had very different reactions. First on page 51, he was intrigued by this man who was struck by lightening. He couldn't keep his eyes off of him and he wanted to help him. He was not scared because he did not want the man to die and his father insisted on walking still. On page 61 when a group of men encounter them, the boy was absolutely terrified while running with his dad away from them in the woods. The dad knows they have to be on their own and cannot interact with anyone else, because they can be extremely dangerous. The boy had different reactions, and although different situations, it says something about his personality. Firstly, it shows how he has gotten more and more scared throughout the book. Lastly, it shows how he is willing to help people and doesn't want to run away from all scary situations, like his does in the one on page 61. 


Those important questions- The Road

Page 3-14
- Why was there an end to the world?
- On page 13, why did Cormac McCarthy decide to make the whole flashback story one paragraph?
- Why don't we get a true identity to the man and his son?

Page 15-31
- On page 15, why did McCarthy decide to use the word choice of making the dark autistic? How can the dark be autistic?
- Who is the woman that is repeated in the mans dreams and who he keeps thinking about?

Page 32-53
- Why are all of the plants they sit on or eat poisoness? What does it suggest about their journey?
- If the world has ended and everything and everyone is dead, why is the man so persistent about getting to the south? Is it solely for the weather?
- Why isn't the country called "The States" anymore? Is it suggesting de-americanization?
- Who is the other person, the man struck by lightening?

Page 54-73
- On page 56 in the father's flashback, what is the mom talking about with the gun? Has she killed someone? Who was she saying was going to kill her?
- Who are the people trying to kidnap the father and his son?
- Why has everything become more dangerous all of the sudden?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Double Indemnity vs. La Confidential



These shots from Double Indemnity and LA Confidential are very similar as well as different. The shot of Phyllis is more of a close up while the shot of Lynn is more of a medium closeup. We cannot see her whole body, but we see more than her face, which is different than the shot of Phyllis in Double Indemnity. Both shots are focused on each women's frightened expression and look of despair. When you first look at the shots, your face is immediately drawn to their facial expressions. Both shots are over the shoulder shots, which brings up a very important aspect to each picture. The camera is looking over the men's shoulders down to the women. The men have a great deal of power over the women in these shots. They are standing over them, while they are scared, very clearly demonstrating how much power they have because of the women's mistakes. Both of these shots are taken in very vital, emotional times in each movie. 
In Double Indemnity, this picture was taken moments after Phyllis shot Walter and right before Walter shoots Phyllis. Phyllis demonstrates here what many woman character demonstrate in movies, the infamous quote that says, "you do not know what you have until it's gone." Phyllis shoots Walter, and then continues to tell him how much she loves him and how she is just realizing it. She has a scared, almost desperate look in her eyes as she looks at Walter. A desperate look for him to take her back. But all he says right in this moment is, "I'm sorry, baby." He then shoots her. 
In La Confidential, Bud has just found out that Lynn has slept with Exley. He is furious while storming over to Lynn's house. He tries to hold in his anger but he cannot. He hits Lynn, the one thing that goes against every moral he has. He has always been very against abusing woman because of what his father did his mother. He disobeyed his own rule. Lynn in this shot is terrified, crying. She is scared of Bud and holds on to the wall after getting hit, showing that all she wants to do is get away from him. She looks at him as if he is a monster while Bud powerfully stands over her. Bud again storms away after, in shock with what he had done. 
Power is a very important theme in both movies. These shots are not only over the shoulder shots, but high angle shots over the women's head, again demonstrating how much power each man has over the women because they have committed something wrong. Since we have been talking about power all year, it is very important to see in each shot in every movie who has the power, and how that power is being executed. The power is being executed here by having Walter and Bud look over the scared Phyllis and Lynn. 

Journal #5: Identity

What is identity? Everyone thinks of their own identity in a different way than other people would think of their own identity. The dictionary states that identity the condition of being oneself, not another. But how do people know how to even be theirselves? Therefore, the overall question is how do we construct our identity. It may or may not be a simple task. Some people have more obstacles in their personal life than others and that plays a big role in their identity. For the most part, people change their identity as they become older.
In Stitches, David did not find himself as a person until he was older, and even then he was still exploring his exact personality. He had to run away from home in order to figure out who he was. His parents did not help with his search because they treated him poorly. They never told him that he had cancer as a child because they were the people who gave him cancer. They experimented on him. 
On page 39, David was still a child in the hospital. He walked around and found a fetus in a jar. He looks at him, terrified. He does not quite understand why there is a person-like figure in the jar. It is interesting because we read from left to right, and the first picture on the left is a very close up shot of davids eyes, and we see that he is looking at the jar to the right. He looks scared and like he is going to cry. We can really see his feelings in his eyes. David feels closed off from society, and a normal boy's life throughout his childhood and feels a connection to this fetus in a jar who is as well closed off. 
On page 309, we have a parallel to this scene on page 39. David as a teenager goes back to the hospital up to the room where the fetus in a jar is. As a mature man now, David sees this fetus differently than he did years ago. Oppositely from page 39, the fetus is in the left frame and David is looking at him from the right. You can still see fear in David's eyes as he is inching away from this fetus. But you can tell that he has come to a realization about his identity. Unlike the fetus, David has now grown and developed into a person who has found himself. He now has a perspective of the person he is and see how the person he was as a child was very similar to the fetus. He thinks of how they were both science experiments, but David was able to shut that out of his life and come to a realization of who he is. In life, distance is key. Everyone needs distance in their relationships to really realize what they are thinking and who they think they are. David needed to distance himself from his parents as a teenager to see now that he is not this fetus, this science experiment. He is an artist, an independent and mature man who knows where he wants to go in life. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

"I Was Fifteen" Words, or Lack Thereof

Throughout the novel, there are pages that have many words, few words, or no weirds at all. But it's interesting. It does not matter if the page has no words because it is so clear what is happening in the plot. Each action, reaction and feeling is so delicately drawn to each and every detail that we do not even need words to read the book.
Within this section of the book, David goes to talk to a therapist. Weirdly enough, the therapist has a rabbit head. This rabbit is essentially the same rabbit that is in Alice in Wonderland. While the book has many references to Alice in Wonderland because of the connection between her childhood and David's childhood, this is by far the biggest connection. Alice talks to the rabbit about her problems and that is what David is doing to this rabbit. This rabbit even has the same watch that the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland has. I find the whole connection very interesting and I really enjoy the way both stories are connected.
On page 255, the therapist says in a very close up frame, "your mother doesn't love you." He then says, "I'm sorry, David. It's true. She doesn't love you." These words stick out on the page. The shots only show the two characters eyes and then these bolded, hurtful words. David finally breaks down as we see directly after the rabbit says these words. On page 257 and 258, we get play by play frames of David going down to lay on the ground and grasping the therapist's leg. Once he is in that position on 258, we get a close up of his face, and the bright, white tear he sheds. We do not need words on these two pages to understand what David is doing or how he feels. We can simply read the feelings from the pictures. We see how upset he is. We see how he is torn apart.
The greatest aspect to graphic novels is this aspect of reading pictures. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to read pictures, rather than words. David Small does an excellent job telling his life story and making his feelings and actions very clear with pictures.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"3 1/2 Years After the First Diagnosis" Shots

Reading a graphic novel to me is almost like seeing a movie cut up piece by piece. Shot by shot. We can view each frame as a shot because we can see the type of angle the shot is at, if it is a close up, medium or long shot, and how many people we see in each shot. The novel is beautifully drawn and we can read the novel like we can watch a movie.
On page 164, we get a very nicely drawn frame of the surgeon putting a mask on David before his surgery begins. The surgeon says to count backwards from 100 in order to put David to sleep. If this frame were to be a shot in a movie, the first thing I would notice is that it is a low angle shot. It is a medium shot as well. It is taken from David's point of view looking up at the doctors. It seems as if he is most focused on the doctors hand and mask about to touch his face. This is because the hand and mask are bigger than the doctors face. Because of the very low angle shot, this image really captures David's feelings and point of view even though we cannot see David in my opinion. The angle is very interesting because I like seeing the way that the narrator is seeing. It makes us read the book almost as if we are David. The very next frame is just a picture of the mask, but again as if David was looking up at it. It is a very close up shot of the inside of the mask which I find very interesting because it is like action is coming right off of the page. The mask moving closer, and closer to David's face. I am intrigued on how low of an angle this shot is and I enjoy it very much.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"I Was Eleven" Size and Shape of Frames

In the graphic novel, Stitches, the frames are different sizes and organized differently on each page. Some are further apart, some are closer together. I believe that each shot is significant in its own way. The size of the shot is significant as well. The novel is very meaningful, representing the life of a young boy who struggled and it is important to view each frame with a purpose and see that each frame has a meaning.
On page 116, the largest frame is at the top and it is a rectangle. Under it are four more square, smaller frames. The largest frame on each page are usually the most important frame in the picture. That frame usually has the most action and sets up the scene for the rest of the page. Whether the largest frame is at the top or bottom, your eyes are always driving it first, which tells me that that frame must be the most important on the page. On page 116, at the top is a frame of Mrs. Dillion shaking David saying "Betty, come in here. Quick!" Mrs. Dillion's mouth is wide open and David looks terrified. The facial expressions really showed me what was happening in the frame, and then what was happening during the rest of the page. The largest frame sets up the actions and feelings for the rest of the page. The smaller frames are usually showing the reactions and feelings to the largest or most important frame on the page. On page 116, Betty rushes in and the smaller frames are showing her facial expressions and reactions to what Mrs. Dillon has to say about the growth on David's neck. Furthermore, the large shots on each page usually have more than one person while the smaller shots usually have no more than two people in the frame. I still think the smaller frames are interesting because they are usually close-ups and really show each characters feelings.
When the frames are the same exact size throughout the entire page, like they are on pages 138 and 139, I believe that each frame is equally as important and it usually shows one quick action or feeling of one character. On 138 and 139, Betty is examining a car and then getting into the car. No shot has any more significance than the other and therefore, I believe that not one of the shots is more important than the other.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"I Was Six" Foregrounding and Backgrounding

The novel, Stitches, is drawn beautifully. Each image is shaded in a special way and has its own deep meaning. Some images have many people or objects in it, some only have a few. Some have words, some do not. Within the image, some objects or actions are more important than others and it is emphasized in either the foreground or background. On page 44, we see an image of David getting smacked in the face by his own father. David had left his shoes at the hospital and his parents are mad at him because they do not want to waste money to buy him new shoes. This image was the first thing I looked at on the page because not only is it the biggest image on the page, it is very graphic, showing something that is very frowned upon in today's society. When I first look at the image my eye is drawn to the bolded words, "WHAP!" My eyes then go right behind the word and I see a hand slapping David's face. There are many hands in the image suggesting that he was slapped across the face multiple times. There is fear and sadness in the boys eyes and I feel bad for him as a reader when I look at this picture. I am almost scared for him. In the foreground is the word "whap" and the hand that is the most white and the closest to the boys face. I think the author wants our eyes to go to that foreground first to really see the action that is happening in the image. It is the most important action in this frame and therefore, it is in the foreground- what our eyes are drawn towards. In the background is the David's face along with the other hands that become darker in color and further away from his face. This is the background because we first need to see the action of the slapping, and then we see his reaction. Don't get me wrong, the background is also very important because we see the harsh life that David lives. We see the fear in his eyes, and the abuse he recieves.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The After Life



This shot of Agatha is a medium shot. We can see her surroudings as well as more than just her face. It is a triangle shot also. She is almost sitting in between the reflection of Dashiell and Arthur. Therefore, it is a three-shot. This shot is from the cameras point of view, a third person point of view. It is simply showing the pre-cogs life after being pre-cogs. When you first look at the shot, your eyes are drawn to Agatha. She is the main character in this shot and the light is on her. The lighting is sunny and bright suggesting that the pre-cogs are at peace. Also, all of the colors are earthy colors, like beige, suggesting happiness whereas dark colors may tell sadness or that something bad is happening. We see that she is looking down at something and as we look closer we see how she is looking down at a bookmark, a hollogram of her mother. The hollogram is the only thing in the picture that leads the pre-cogs back to their "old" life in the pre-crime lab. She wants to remember her mother and the hollogram shows that she misses her. At this time at the end of the movie, the pre-cogs are living in a cottage out in the middle of no where. They are free. They have stacks and more stacks of books in their cottage. They are reading books to suggest that they are having a peaceful life and that they are happy. To me, the whole entire shot just reads "peace". Their cottege is like their paradise, their happily ever after. They will not be bothered anymore and can live a happy and healthy life. The fact that they are reading books in the year 2054 is very symbolic because it is not futuristic to read many books day after day. It is suggesting how the movie is showing an anti-technology movement. The technology failed for their whole pre-crime experiment and now the movie is showing how they are back to books, rather than high-tech computer systems. I really like the ending. It is a typical Speilberg, "hollywood" ending, but it makes me happy to see how the pre-cogs lives are going to turn out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ahoy

I feel as if everyone has seem the famous Pirates of the Carribean movie series, right?
Well not everyone. Up until yesterday, I had never seen a Pirates of the Carribean movie. Being 17 years old, most people think that is crazy considering the first one came out in 2003. Finally, I saw the first one. And I have to say, I was quite impressed. Between the action and the compassion between the characters, I really enjoyed it. I think the way Jack Sparrow is portayed is excellent. The weird looking, sarcastic, yet serious pirate intrigued me to actually think about what his mindset was during the duration of the movie. Although I was laying on my couch, I felt like I was in a movie theater setting where the movie really catches your eyes. I did not want to get up to take breaks, just like in the theaters. Nor did I want to fall asleep, which may easily happen on my couch. Each shot was taken excellently in the way that I wanted to be in the movie, and in the way that the action looked phenomenal. You might ask why I never saw it before? Well, to be honest, the trailer did not make the movie look as good as it actually was. The trailer is everything because most people do use the phrase "reading a book by its cover" in movies. It is something that moviegoers have to overcome. The trailer is not everything and I enjoy that I learned that.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer 2013 Movies

Movies in Theaters:

  • We're the Millers
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Internship
  • The Purge


Movies at Home:

  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Batman Begins
  • The DaVinci Code
  • Angels and Demons
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Ted
  • Step Up: Revolution
  • 42
  • Minority Report
  • Shawshenk Redemption
  • Django Unchained
  • Identity Theft
  • Jack Reacher
  • Risky Business
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Lion King
  • Pitch Perfect
  • Bridesmaids
  • This is Forty
  • Mean Girls
  • Bring it On
  • Billy Madison

Oedipus Vs. John Anderton


1. Oedipus is not responsible for his own fate because his fate was set for him from the beginning. The oracle told Laius he would be killed by his son, who was Oedipus. Oedipus would never murder his own father on purpose. On his journey to Thebes he came across a group of other travelers and murdered them in self-defense. One of those travelers just so happened to be Laius.
2. At the beginning of the play, Oedipus demonstrates many traits that make him a good king. He anticipated his subjects' needs by being one step ahead all of the time to take care of the plague in Thebes. He is confident and he means well. His confidence is what makes him excel in acting before his people have to ask him. There is a dangerous side of him acting swiftly though. He sometimes acts too abruptly which is a bad quality for him as a king. His life then becomes out of control. His life falls apart. By the end, Oedipus is showing poor qualities to act as king.
3. Oedipus is considered the quintessential tragic hero, but his tragic mistake was that he was so concerned about the murder of Laius that he forgets about his duties as king of Thebes. As he keeps investigating, he realizes he is the only suspect to the murder. He did not leave the case unfinished and devoted a big part of his life to it. He told and threatened Creon about what would happen to the murderer when in fact his did not even realize it was him that could be banished.
4. Both Oedipus and John Anderton are saviors to their cities although each work takes place many centuries apart. Oedipus' fate was to kill his father and to marry his mother. John's fate was set up so that he would kill someone named Leo Crow. John supports Oedipus' notion of destiny. Both characters are told that they are going to kill someone and they both do everything they can in order to change their destiny. In the pre-crime lab, John sees from the Precogs that he is killing this man Leo Crow. He has to do all he can in order for him not to kill. This is similar to how Oedipus was told to kill his father. Both are also set up by their corrupted political leaders who have not been caught for the murders they committed. John realized his destiny was also to find out who killed the woman the Precog, Agatha, was seeing in her dreams. John solves the crime only to see that the head of the Pre-crime department had killed the woman who was Agatha's mother. Oedipus connects to this by discovering the truth about the oracles prediction that he would murder someone. He needed to solve it in order to protect the corrupt political world.
5. The eyes are a symbol throughout the whole movie, Minority Report. The Precogs use their eyes to see the murders that are going to happen in order for the pre-crime team to stop them. They see into the future and have helped the city of D.C be murder free for six years. Furthermore, the Precog, Agatha, repeats "can you see?" to John throughout the duration of the movie. She is trying to make John see the truth about Lamar the entire time. John Anderton, the main character, gets his eyes replaced after being set up for murder. He uses these new eyes to help him catch the person who is setting him up. He also uses his old eyes in order to help him as well into the pre-crime offices. Most importantly, the eyes are a significant symbol for the culture of the world in 2054. Everywhere anyone goes their eyes are scanned in order for the government to see where each person is. Each person is identified by their eyes. That brings up the point that the government is always watching with technology generated "eyes" to see everyone.
6. The working class in the year 2054 is almost the same as the working culture is today in 2013. As technology is more advanced in the future, it is also advancing today in our contemporary American culture. In 44 years, the United States will be taken over by technology. Technology will continue to effect every persons lives. The culture will change because of the great changes in technology. We need to prepare for these advances and how much culture would change because of them. Changing technology in order to prepare for future events changes each individuals fate because individual people will be changing the technology which changes their lives and everyone else's lives.