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 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
"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.

"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
"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). 
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. 

"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). 
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
"I'm not her slave" (15).
"You have to sit with Julie. Carlota's off" (38). 
"I felt like Carlota..." (40). 
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. 

"He wants canned peaches, I have a refrigerator full of grapes I have to get rid of..." (6). 
" 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). 
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
"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). 
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. 

"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). 
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
"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). 
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

"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). 
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
"...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). 
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. 

"...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). 
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. 

"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). 
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. 

"'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). 
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.