Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reynold's Painting

Here is a close up that I found of what Mrs. Lloyd is writing in the painting, which is the beginning of Lloyd after closer inspection.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

McTeague: Fin

            After talking about the “Habit” article yesterday in class it really got my mind going on other instances of habit, or at the very least repetition in the story (which there is plenty in the style of Norris’ writing).  I saw the last chapters of the story to be a repetition of parts of the story.  Cribbens could be a repeat of the charlatan that taught him to be a dentist, whom but the mule seemed to be a parallel of Trina.  Only the mule not only has the money, but life giving water.  The mule also started out normal, and then ate some loco weed which made it go crazy, which is like Trina minus the loco weed.  There is contrast however.  The setting for example is the exact opposite of the bustling, populated Polk Street of San Francisco, instead being set in the lifeless, desolate area of Death Valley.  Another thing that sets these instances apart is the thing that they are after from the mule/Trina.  With Trina, it is a purely monetary gain in the form of the cash she won in the 1800’s Powerball.  In the case of the mule on the other hand, it is an actually, physically important canteen of water, which if they did not get it, death for the both of them would surely follow.  Their actions are the same with McTeague killing Trina, and Marcus conversely killing the mule.  The results are the same as well, with it spelling doom for the men, the final act being much more terminal.    
And just a side note, I found it to be very poetic the way the book ends with the two handcuffed together.  They seemed to be inseparable no matter what they do, and them being finally physically tied together at the end is perfect in my mind.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just For Fun Post: Moby Dick

I was surfing the waves of the internet today and found this.

Wish I had found this when we were reading the book but it is cool nonetheless.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why so much Choppin'?

I only have time to post this before I go work so I have to make this brief!  I was trying to find a concrete reason for Frederic's choice of Chopin for Celia to play, and after a quick look through Wikipedia, I came across something about Chopin that was interesting.  There is a section in his Wiki that mentions his national pride for his home country of Poland.  At the time they were occupied by the Russian Empire, and he wrote Revolutionary Etude in memory of the unsucessful 1830 uprising.  Not sure if this is important at all but I would like to see what you guys thought about it and if you can make any more connections.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moby Dick: Fin

Well we finally completed the American epic Moby-Dick.  Many questions were answered, but some still linger.  Particularly, in my case, what would have happened if Ahab lived?  Sure, there was the prophecy, he was not the most likeable character in the book, and if there is anyone on the ship who could be considered a villain and should die it needed to be him, but could he live after he did what he planned on doing?  Would he know what to do with his life?  Did he see no way out of this prophecy he felt compelled to fulfill? If he didn’t do it, he would die of shame, if he died doing it was a noble death and it was going to happen anyway.  His obsession with vanquishing the white whale never saw past actually killing him.  He never talks about what he plans to do afterwards, and it is drawn out later in the novel that he really did not have much to go home to.  Sure he had a wife and kid, but he hasn’t been on land for the majority of the last 40 years of his life.  Does he have any life goals or aspirations other than the cold-blooded murder of Moby-Dick?  He doesn’t care about money or people, or any other minor hobbies like scrapbooking.  The whale is his life, and without the whale, does he have a life?  Does he have any other purpose?  His revenge has consumed him, and he has found himself to be the monster he so diligently tries to extinguish.  Thoughts?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post Four: Moby Dick

Ishmael as a character is starting to confuse me a bit.  In the first part of the story he is obviously in every chapter and does something in every chapter.  Now it seems he has morphed into a silent observer and lecturer about the inner workings of the whaling industry and whales in general.  He has become a character that reminds me of Zampano in the book House of Leaves.  Zampano is a character who has a deep, researched based (even though it isn't real, read the book to understand what I am talking about) way of looking at everything, and justifies his ideas with footnotes upon footnotes upon references, which it seems Ishmael is becoming.  But even though they have all this "research" to support their ideas, they are still as far as you know, embellishing and possibly lying.  I just found this an interesting way for the writers to convince you that this is all real and possibly happening.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post Three: Moby Dick

One thing that because more and more apparent to me as the novel progressed was that Melville definitely read a bunch of Shakespeare before writing this novel. 
              In the chapter, “Sunset,” Ahab has a stirring soliloquy.  It first starts out with stage directions that establish the setting like in a play.  Then it is essentially a beautiful poem.  No one in the story so far speaks like this and there is no way that Ishmael could have heard this so this exit from reality is an interesting twist in the narrative.  But it also does a great job strengthening Ahab’s character.  Revealing in even greater detail his dedication and obsession to, “dismember my dismemberer.(143)”  If I was to ponder a reason for Melville doing this, it would be because it lifts Ahab onto a plateau beyond a normal character.  It simultaneously digs deeper into his character, but also allows him to speak and think on this much higher level of ability.
            It maybe not exactly a soliloquy, but the speech that Stubb gives after they hit the water to go after the first whale of the voyage made me think only of Shakespeare.  He takes no breaks in what he says, and neither does the writing shift its focus on anything else other than when he pulls his knife out and threatens to place it in their mouth like a horses bridle.  It is just him talking and inspiring the men on his boat.  And it is inspiring indeed.  The language he uses and the way he uses it brings the Bard of Avon to mind.  “Ragamuffin rapscallions,(182)” was a particular phrase that stuck out to me.  And the before mentioned threat of shoving a knife in the rowers mouth is very creative.  But his focus on the pulling and the biting throughout is fantastically raw and captivating while maintaining this beauty of how it is spoke, something that I always have attributed to Shakespeare.