Saturday, December 29, 2007

Honors English 10

This is my English Honors 10 blog, here I will be answering homework questions and doing other assignments. Throughout the summer I read a very interesting novel by Chinua Achebe called Things Fall Apart, As I read this novel I understood what true values where and the extent that people would go to honor them, As well as African culture. We've also read Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and I have also gained a bit more insight into the problem's of fitting into society and gender roles by reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. We have also read Night by Elie Wiesel and are currently analyzing The lord of the flies by William Golding.

Vocabulary (Night)

Prostrate: lie face downward to lie flat on the face or bow very low, for example, in worship or humility
Interlude: intervening period of time: a relatively short period of time between two longer periods, during which something happens that is different from what has happened before and what follows
Reprieve: stop or postpone somebody’s punishment: to halt or delay somebody’s punishment, especially when the punishment is death
Rations: fixed amount allocated to an individual: a fixed and limited amount of something, especially food, given or allocated to somebody or a group from the stocks available, especially during a time of shortage or a war
Dysentery: disease of the lower intestine: the disease of the lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or parasites and marked by severe diarrhea, inflammation, and the passage of blood and mucus
Robust: strong and healthy: strong, healthy, and hardy in constitution
Quarantine: isolation to prevent spread of disease: enforced isolation of people or animals that may have been exposed to a contagious or infectious disease, for example, when entering a country
Apathy: lack of enthusiasm or energy: lack of interest in anything, or the absence of any wish to do anything
Humane: compassionate: showing the better aspects of the human character, especially kindness and compassion
Grimace: expression on face contorted twisting of the face that expresses disgust or pain
Nocturnal: at night occurring at night, as opposed to during the day
Livid: furious very angry
Pious: devoutly religious; acting in falsely moralizing way talking or acting in a falsely, hypocritically, or affectedly moralizing way
Interminable: seemingly endless so long and boring or frustrating as to seem endless
Wizened: dried up: looking wrinkled, shriveled, or dried up
Morale: the general level of confidence or optimism felt by a person or group of people, especially as it affects discipline and willingness
Infernal: extremely annoying or unpleasant; relating to underworld relating to hell or the underworld; diabolical in nature: so wicked or cruel as to be worthy of hell
Refuge: shelter or protection a sheltered or protected state safe from something threatening, harmful, or unpleasant
Oppressive: dominating harshly imposing a harsh or cruel form of domination
Expelled: to compel somebody to leave or give up membership in an institution such as a school, political party, or club; to push or drive something out with force

Questions (Night)

1. Wiesel’s childhood home is Sighet in Transylvania2. Cabala is a kind of occult theosophy or traditional interpretation of the Scriptures among Jewish rabbis and certain mediaeval Christians, which treats of the nature of god and the mystery of human existence. It assumes that every letter, word, number, and accent of Scripture contains a hidden sense; and it teaches the methods of interpretation for ascertaining these occult meanings. The cabalists pretend even to foretell events by this means.

3. When young Wiesel spoke of the truths of the world he was talking about faith and understanding of god and his word as well as the devotion to god that he felt existed in everyone. What Wiesel was ignorant of when he thought of these truths was the cruelty that can exist in many humans.

4. Moshe the Beadle was significant because he too had high beliefs in god and when he was deported his devotion to god was crushed because of what he saw, Moshe had no reason to survive but he didn’t give up when all seemed lost he went back to Sighet and he tried to save the people but they didn’t believe him. Moshe signifies what happened to most Jews concerning the loss of his beliefs and way of life. Moshe explained to Wiesel that, as he said “Man questions God and God answers. But we don’t understand his answers. We can’t understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!” he also explained to Wiesel that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer and that man raises himself toward god by the questions he asks him. When Moshe comes back to warn everybody he tries especially hard to convince Wiesel I believe this is because of the innocence that Moshe saw in Wiesel and the devotion that Wiesel had in his beliefs and god.

5.When Moshe comes back to warn the people they don’t believe him from how Wiesel describes their attitude towards Moshe it seems to me as if they are trying to protect themselves from the horrifying truths that are unraveling their world.

6.Madame Schachter was a wife and a mother, she eventually went out of her mind and began prophesizing, trying to warn the Jews she was traveling with of their fate. Madame Shcachter was in many ways very similar to Moshe the Beadle, both Moshe and Madame Schachter had the best interest in mind for their friends. They both knew what was going to happen but neither could make a big enough impact to save those whom they cared about from a tragic fate.

7.The passage on pg 32 is a very moving passage, the fact that someone could turn another’s dreams to dust and deprive them of the desire to survive and live in success is so sad. And that a child so young as Wiesel was introduced to such a harsh reality at such a young age that he begins to believe that living is a condemnation is horrifying.

8. Wiesel's theology changed considerably since he lived in Sighet to the time when he was welcome into Auschwitz, he used to devote himself to god and believe in him without a doubt, but as he continued on his journey he sees things that make him change his mind and lose faith. the rest of the novel makes up this passage, he no longer believes in god, his existence doesn't matter to him and even when the liberation occurs he is still, spiritually speaking, trapped.

9. Wiesel’s understanding and belief of god changes as he goes through different periods of his life that influence him greatly. He seems to be most angry with god and the circumstances he is in when he is interned in Birkenau (reception for Auschwitz)he has no feelings of anger of any emotion at all at the end of the novel when he is liberated but he no longer cares.
In page 1 he shows much devotion to God and His beliefs
In page 31 he is rebellious to the belief that God is almighty
In page 63 he has disgust for the control that God has over the minds of others
And in page 87 he announces that he no longer believes in god


11.From the content of Night it seems to me that the horror he experianced could not be explained to the extent that he felt they needed to be so that the people could grasp the tradgedies that occured to these Jews.

12.Night is a memoir of a tradgedy of the disgusting cruel kway that many people treated Jews in this timan and how much people suffered because of their beliefs.

Journal ( Night)

log 1
pg 4
"Moshe had changed. there was no longer any joy in his eyes. He no longer sang. He no longer talked to me of God or of the cabbala, but only of what he had seen. People refused not only to believe his stories but even to listen to them."
"You can't understand. I have been saved miraculously. I managed to get back here. Where did I get the strength from?I wanted to come back to sighet to tell you the story of my death. So that you could prepare yourselves while there was still time. To live? I don't attach any importance to my life any more. I'm alone. No, I wanted to come back, and to warn you. And see how it is, no one will listen to me. . . ."
I was impressed when I read these quotes not because of the persistence that Moshe put into trying to get people to believe in him but because of how the people of Sighet treated Moshe when they realized he was telling them something that didn't please them. I was amazed at how after all the years that his neighbors and friends had known him and cared for him that only now when he told them a truth they did not want to hear or believe did they treat him like a madman, only now did they begin to wish he would leave them be, only after he came back and they saw what had become of Moshe and what they knew in their subconscious would become of them. As I read these things and saw how everyone turned their backs on him and refused to believe him it struck me that if this was how they treated a life long friend how would they treat strangers when they were in despair? would they even care about the fate of others or would they only care about their own welfare?

Log 2
pg 9
"When the three days were up, there was a new decree:
every Jew must wear the yellow star.
Some of the prominent members of the community came to see my father-who had highly placed connections in the Hungarian police-to ask him what he thought of the situation. My father did not consider it so grim-but perhaps he did not want to dishearten the others or rub salt in their wounds:
"'The yellow star? Oh well, what of it? you don't die of it . . . "'
(poor Father! of what then did you die?"
The yellow star might not have killed their body or made their heart stop beating but it did start the process of dehumanization. Because of their religion, because of their beliefs they were forced to stand out, they didn't know this but in standing by and putting on a smile as their assassins maltreated them they were actually letting themselves be known as less than humans. That the world could stand by and watch as this happened to people they had known, that they could support the slow death of the souls of children is incredible. The death of Wiesel's spirit and desire to live happened long before his actual body started giving out as did many others who had no other reason to live but to keep food in their stomach.

log 3
pg 23
"she continued to scream, breathless, her voice broken by sobs. "'Jews, listen to me! I can see a fire! there are huge flames! It is a furnace!"'
It was as though she were possessed by an evil spirit which spoke from the depths of her being."
Madame Schachter screamed this relentlessly throughout the transfer and often the young men in her cart had to hit her, gag her, and nearly kill her so that they could calm their own hearts which were racing with fear, at first they pitied her and tried to calm themselves telling each other that she was thirsty and that was why she kept talking of a fire devouring her, however they soon grew tired of hearing her screams and staying awake for the rest of the night because of their nerves so they began beating her more often. Madame Schachter was misunderstood and ignored much like how Moshe was misunderstood and ignored. She did speak from the depths of her being but she spoke not out of evil but out of the truth she wanted to tell the Jews, because she wanted to save them.

log 4
pg 25
"We had forgotten the existence of Madame Schachter. Suddenly, we heard terrible screams:
"'Jews, look! look through the window! Flames! Look!'"
and as the train stopped,we saw this time that flames were gushing out of a tall chimney into the black sky. Madame Schachter was silent herself. once more she had become dumb, indifferent, absent and had gone back to her corner. We looked at the flames in the darkness. There was an abominable odor floating in the air."
This passage is so full of emotion that I almost feel as I'm there watching this happen, as the realization of the passengers of the train realized that the person they had treated so horribly, the person whom they'd called crazy and whom they'd pitied and said was possessed by evil spirits had actually been trying to help them and now as they realized their fate it was too late to go back and try to make everything right, And now that they saw their mistake and felt their fear of this inferno and the horror of their actions in not believing the people who had tried so hard to save them.

log 5
pg 31
"For the first time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for?"
This revolt, this doubt first occurred when he is introduced to the furnace were they burned the people and where they tossed babies in the air as target practice, where Wiesel first saw the pleasure that humans can have in the harm of others, in the torture of those they thought weaker, This doubt and revolt of God's justice would stay with him and that is what struck me the most, that another human just as imperfect as the next could think that they have the RIGHT to take away the faith of a child so innocent as Eliezer was. That those people could think that they are superior enough to be able to judge and hate people who did them no harm.
It makes me want to hit something

log 6
pg 32
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into Wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall if forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as Go Himself. Never"
Every time I read this passage it just about kills me.
Every line here makes me speechless, I have no idea how to express the sorrow and pain that I feel coming out of myself for this young boy who's very soul was murdered, whose life ended on that painful day. I wish, really wish that he hadn't had to go through that to show the world the horror of the murdering of innocent people, people who did no harm to anyone. . .
I just hate that I couldn't help him

log 7
pg 63
'" What are You, my God,"' I thought angrily, "'compared to this afflicted crowd, proclaiming to You their faith, their anger, their revolt? What does Your greatness mean, Lord of the universe, in the face of all this weakness, this decomposition, and this decay? Why do You still trouble their sick minds, their crippled bodies?"'
This passage really caught my eye because of the anger and the resentment that is towards God that Wiesel makes known through it, and because of the difference in his faith that had occurred to him over the time period in which he was treated as if he had no soul as if he was just a body empty of a spirit and desire to live. I was surprised at the change that had happened to his faith. He went from being so devoted he wanted to study the cabbala at a very young age and he wanted so much to understand the truths of God however as soon as he saw the murder in the eyes of his assassins and he saw the cruelty and horror that existed in the world he began to hate God's ways and the way people bowed down to God even in the position that they were in.

log 8
pg 65
" Once, I had believed profoundly that upon one solitary deed of mine, one solitary prayer, depended the salvation of the world.
This day I had ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was without man. Without love or mercy. I had ceased to be anything but ashes, yet I felt myself to be stronger than the Almighty, to whom my life had been tied for so long. I stood amid that praying congregation, observing it like a stranger."
This passage reminded me so much of the way Siddhartha had felt when he said that when he had stopped searching he had begun finding, in the same way the strength that Wiesel had
hoped to find in prayer and faith for when he was young he had now found by not hoping and only trying to survive. This strength he describes and says he has in him only because he had cut off the tie he had had with God and his beliefs seems so strong and powerful as if the only thing that had been holding him back was something of a fear of displeasing God and when he got rid of that fear he also got rid any personal restraint he had owned.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Journal (The Bell Jar)

log in 1
pg 4
Esther begins by telling us her troubles and she says that one of those troubles is Doreen, Doreen is beautiful but she is a bit irresponsible and what I noticed is that even though Esther believes herself to be plain and ugly and not very attractive she says Doreen singles her out from the others right away. I want to know why? is it because she doesn't look rich and she'll appreciate what she's given? or that she wants more out of her life than just a husband, kid, and a home? was it that she can tell Esther has smarts and will become something in life? or just that Esther has more to worry about than if her outfit and pocketbook will match tomorrow? and then Esther says one of her troubles is Doreen but she wont say why, why is Doreen such a trouble, in the way she is described she's not so harmful only reckless and rebellious. How much trouble can she cause from a distance? If Esther is really wary of her she'll stop talking to her.

log in 2
pg 8
Why the laughter warn her? When the guys looked at Doreen and her and she said "the laughter should have warned me" I understand the type of laughter and why it should have warned her, but why didn't it? what was the reason that she decided to walk out of the cab and into the club? was it curiosity? or just that she didn't want to have any regrets? or was it simply that she didn't want to go to the party? her willingness to give up something she thinks is worthless for something she thinks is better whithout the knowledge to judge interests me.

10- 22-07
log in 3
pg 17 ch 2
there are three types of women in that society, the whore, the good wife, and the spinster who spends her life alone with her cats. Doreen is a whore. This was obvious because she slacked in her work and had no crave for knowledge so she was not a spinster, she was too different to be a good wife and she would most likely be put into the category of a whore because the way she was with lenny was not proper at all. So if Doreen was a whore then what category did Esther fit into? she wasn't a good wife like Becky and her friends and she wasn't a spinster, and if she didn't fit into them then they don't exist because categories are like sections and every person should be able to fit into them, maybe if they had an outcast category everyone would fit.

log in 4
ch 2 pg 22
In this page Esther says quite clearly that she made a decision about Doreen it was that she would watch her and lister to what she said, but deep down she would have nothing to do with her. Deep down, I would be loyal to Betsy and her innocent friends. It was Betsy I resembled at heart. There are two things that catch my eye here one was that it was very mean what she was doing to Doreen in not being a good friend and if it was Betsy she resembled at heart she would have helped her along with been content to fit into the roles that society placed in front of her.

log in 5
ch 3 pg 26
This page expresses Esthers need to not be stereotypical, to stand out and do her own thing whether it is considered right or not. This page is one of the various examples of these actions that show how independent she wants to be. Here she says how she never wants to get married mostly because of how horrible the life of a wife is and the duties that come along with it consisting of being pretty, cleaning, being content with being completely dependent on your husband with no means of surviving if something were to happen to him.

log in 6
ch3 pg 34
I found it very interesting not only how her class dean regarded her as an expirament but also how she tricked all of her teachers and used her intelligence to get out of the situation. With the class Dean I was astounded at how easily they lapped up her story, it was as if they were much more eager to believe her other than acknowledge her brilliance in the plan. And as for the brilliance in her plan it really was brilliant and luck was in her favor as well as persuasiveness since she had not only already done the first year that was required but she also got a straight A in it as well.

log in 7
ch 4 pg 44
Her sickness seemed so disturbing I cannot imagine how horrible it must have felt. There was also some great imagery in this piece such as the following " the sickness rolled through me in great waves. After each wave it would fade away and leave me limp as a wet leaf and shivering all over and then I would feel it rising up in me again,and the glittering white torture-chamber tiles under my feet and over my head and on all four sides closed in and squeezed me to pieces." To me the way it was described I would have dreaded the limp leaf feeling more than the great waves because it seems as if you can only wait it out and you can do nothing to fast-forward it.

log in 8
ch 4 pg 48
I would really like to know who would want to kill a lot of girls all who work hard and are the future of many things? was it some man who thought girls shouldn't be working hard and learning to be independent, was he scared when he poisoned the meat? scared that these girls could make even better choises then the choises of men? Scared that the future of important things that make differences in the world could be affected by the studing that these girls do? and Did they believe that maybe all the unknown these girls were bringing to society couldn't be good so the world would be better without them?

log in 9
ch 5 pg 55
The Fig tree is such a weird symbol, I can hardly understand it at all it speaks of a fig tree that grew on a green lawn between tehe house of a Jewish man and a convent, and the Jewish man and a beauiful dark nun kept meeting at the tree to pick the ripe figs, until one day they saw an egg hatch and their hands touched and afterwards the nun stopped coming to pick out ripe figs instead an old mean-faced catholic kitchen maid came out to pick them and she was very strict that they would both get the same amount. Anyway I think the point of the story is that sometimes things happen that seem like miracles but just one small mistake can send them rushing away and the things left behind seem as if in chaos.

log in 10
ch 5 pg 60
I have a question regarding the quote on this page "oddly enough, things changed in the house after that, The seniors on my floor started speaking to me and every now and then one of them would answer the phone quite spontaneously and nobody made any more nasty loud remarks outside my door about people wasting their golden college days with their noses stuck in a book." First of all might that sudden change of attitude be due to the part that Esther might be moving on to serious relationships and that might mean becoming a good wife which is something that those girls I believe respected. Another thing is if she wanted to study to be smart and to have a good education what was wrong with that? and what else could she do with her golden college days weren' t girls supposed to be pure?

log in 11
ch 6 pg 65
" The woman's stomach stuck up so high I couldn't see her fceor the upper part of her body at all. She seemed to have nothing but an enormous spider-fat stomach and two little ugly spindly legs propped in the gigh stirrups" Here she seems to be daring to say that a woman's purpose in life isn't to have an identity, a meaning, a remembrence at all her soul purpose in life was to have children, and that she was just an object, something that could be reused if only the drug was available, And that the only reason men even needed women was that they needed then to bear other little children otherwise they would be worthless.

log in 12
ch 6 pg 72
Esther said that once she would have gladly accepted buddy's proposal of marriage, but that was before she found out he had a double life and she decided a man who didn't have the honest guts to admit straight off to everybody how he'd slept with that waitress and face up to it as part of his character didn't deserve to marry her. When I finally figured out how hypocritical it had been of him to have sex with some waitress that wanted him while acting the innocent school boy who wanted to be a doctor and have a good wife and kids with everyone he respected. It really annoyed me how he did this and I had to agree with Esther about her decision.

log in 13
ch 7 pg 74
I was really struck when I read this quote It made me really wonder about who Esther was, anyway here goes "This Constantin won't mind if I'm too tall and don't know enough languages and haven't been to Europe, he'll see through all that stuff to what I really am." So here she's hoping, really hoping that this man will be the man she's been looking for, the man who doesn't care about stereotypical behavior and will accept her for who she is, of course this is only a fantasy, dreams that stretch on forever a dream that keeps her searching, however what really caught my attenttion is when she said that he would see through all her faults to her real self but this lead me to my original question who is she really?

log in 14
ch 7 pg 77
Esther finally confronts her problems and realizes that if she never decides what she wants her opportunities will shrivel away and not be available anymore the following quote explains it better " From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor.... I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because i couldn' tmake up my mind which of the figs I would choose.I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and , as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet." the final question is can she make a choice?

log in 15
ch8 pg 94
When Buddy proposes to Esther she gets very defensive because she recalls the time when he laughed at her for wanting two things at the same time, she refuses him because she feels as if she'll never have a place in life, as if no matter what the two things she wants won't be able to fuse well. "'Neurotic, ha!"' I let out a scornful laugh. "'if neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."'

log in 16
ch 8 pg 97
The thing that changes her mind and makes her want to go down the slope is the idea that she just might die, and while she's going down she feels a rush of scenery, air, mountains, trees people, the students, the experts, she feels everything but in a flash and she says that that is what it must be like to be happy. As for what I think of this, I think happiness can come from various places depending on who you are, what your personality is and all of that stuff. Her happiness comes from feeling a deep sense of attatchment to nature and no sense of attatchement at all for her fellow humans.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Journal (Catcher in the Rye)

log in 1
pg 8-9
Several things caught my attention throughout these pages, first I noticed how he said "people never notice anything" my first question towards a comment like that would be do you really know enough people to make that assumption? and in saying that does he mean that he does notice things? another thing i noticed was that he was very hypocritical or another way to say it is he isn't very honest. For example in pg 8 his teacher told him that life was a game with rules that you had to play along with he agreed vocally but he disagreed to himself and the same thing happened again on pg 9 the same teacher told him he thought his parents were great people and he agreed again but then he said to himself that he thought the word 'great' was phony and he hated it, these conversations made me want to judge him harshly it seems to me that he is the only 'phony' person.

log in 2
ch 1
The first thing that caught my attention when I first read through these pages was how he described that everyone seemed to have very different values than others, for example he got kicked out of about three different schools yet he doesn't mind while others would be getting very stressed, when he said that the school football game was very important yet he wasn't there to see it, and he always seems to say things in a brutally honest way as if that was the way of life and there's nothing that can change it while others try to cover up reality. The way he explains things makes him seem as if he isn't really going along with the roles of society, it's as if he doesn't care and he's only a part of an audience watching a movie. Something else I noticed was that the author didn't seem to have any specific way of writing. He would begin to describe something then he would change the subject to something that was not connected to what he was first saying at all. He didn't seem to have self-control or any order at all over what he needed to say and everything he told the readers didn't seem to have a point at all. This whole way of writing confused me, once I had observed this and noticed how strange it was I started to think maybe the point of the novel wasn't what his character was doing it was how he was doing it and how the author was describing it, Is that the reason it was considered a great novel? because of the way he wrote it? or am I just trying to get anything I can out of this novel?

log in 3
pg 14-16
When I first read through these pages the respect I had for Holden as a human being really lowered. I hated how he first said he completely detested phony people like his headmaster Mr.Haas however later he proceeded to tell his readers he was an excellent liar and he is always lying too. Does that mean he also detests himself? He is such a hypocrite,and in writing these thing he also tells me that most humans not only hate liars but are also liars themselves. It gets me so angry how he is always, unconsciously or consciously, talking about people like himself as if they were trash. He is such a phony person he seems to put on a mask over himself whenever he's near anyone he respects. Maybe if I knew why he does that I would have a better understanding over his actions, like in the novel Things Fall Apart when I understood why Okonkwo was doing what he was doing, however not being able to know and have that knowledge of the reason behind the action really gets to me.

log in 4
pg 20-24
It really surprised me how much he talked about Ackeley and Stradlater, he got into so much specific detail, while he clearly didn't adore his time with them, that I started to wonder if they would be important characters later on. He spends so much time thinking about them and how sloppy their habits are, it's almost as if he's obsessed with things that seem so unimportant. But it's not only on his roommates that he spends a lot of time talking about he also spent a lot of time explaining things that didn't seem to make any difference whether they happened or not. His personality really bugs me, I don't understand why he's always 'horsing around', or why he's always cussing, smoking,drinking, and picking fights when he doesn't really care. I can understand why he doesn't respect people who not only lie to the world but also to themselves but if he hates frauds why is he a fraud himself?

log in 5
pg 36
As Holden waits for Ackeley to get ready to go to the movies with him I noticed that Holden got a snowball and packed it and was about to throw it at a car but because he noticed how clean it was he didn't feel like ruining it's beauty, and he did the same thing with a hydrant. He kept packing it and packing it but he didn't want to throw it, until he had to throw it out because the bus Driver made him. But what i would like to know is what would he have done with that snowball? would he have kept it until it melted or would he have kept packing it unable to ruin the beauty of the things around him. And then when the bus driver didn't believe Holden wasn't going to throw it at anyone so Holden chucked it out Holden said something very interesting he said "I told him I wasn't going to chuck it anybody,but he wouldn't believe me. People never believe you" I have noticed very often that Holden makes many general comments whenever he speaks of society as in he speaks of society as a whole with no exceptions. That really irritates me.

log in 6
pg 39
When Holden started to describe Allie's baseball mitt during this page I thought that it was just going to be another long descriptive piece for someone who wasn't even going to take up much space in the novel. But as I kept going I realized that Allie was one of the few people who Holden had really loved and not judged, Holden doesn't seem to admit it to himself but Allie had meant a lot to him, when he lost him, when Allie died a part of Holden most likely died alongside his brother. And in his pain and rage he had not only broken all the windows of the garage he had hurt his hand most likely for life, It's a pain that doesn't go away it only slowly ebbs until It seems as if his hand had never not had the pain. As for Allie's left handed baseball mitt it seems very important yet the reason for that importance hasn't come to me yet.

log in 7
pg 40
During this piece something caught my attention that I hadn't noticed before when Stradlater came back from his date with Jane Gallagher he asked Holden if he had finished the composition for him. What struck me from this piece was that even though It was Holden that was being kicked out of the school it was actually Stadlater who was the one cheating to pass, and even though Holden was not passing most of his academic classes he did notice most of the world around him while Stadlater seemed to live life in his own bubble, not thinking of the others around him. Another thing that caught my attention was how when Holden wrote about his brothers baseball mitt as Stradlater's composition he wanted to explain to others how important his brother was yet when Stradlater came and read it he didn't understand the situation and he was very insensitive so Holden tore it up unable to bear Stradlater's ignorant remarks about it.

log in 8
pg 43-47
During this section Holden gets into a row with Stadlater, It begins because Stadlater fooled around with one of the few girls Holden cared about I wouldn't have originally wrote about this if it were any other fight but what really got to me here was how willingly Holden was to fight for her respect even while he was conscious that Stadlater could easily beat him up, that might have something to do with the fact that Holden has nothing (he cares about) to lose while Stadlater does, and after the fight Holden seems to get so exhausted as if all of his anger had gotten him tired. He reminds me of an old man who's gone through so much yet he never seems to learn from his experiences or he learns something that won't benefit him in society. Another thing that strikes me is how his pain seems to have no control over him, as if it doesn't matter to him how much he gets hurt as long as he gets hurt over his beliefs this thought hit me when he went to see Ackley and he was still bleeding yet he didn't care and he talked as if nothing had happened and his bleeding didn't matter to him. The way Holden acts is so hypocritical yet so honest and real that he makes me hate him but like him at the same time.

log in 9
pg 52
Holden is rich. This is a part of Holden's life that just didn't seem important until I thought about it just now. If he's so rich it must be hard on him and all the other rich guys who've been born into that role, and I don't mean it in a sarcastic way because the pressure of a male to become a success, carry on the name, and keep a good reputation is huge. Most people think that people who have a lot of money have it easy but I don't think they do. It's this role that society has tried to push on to Holden that he's trying to get away from, I imagine that's why he doesn't mind getting kicked out of all of his private schools, and why he runs away so suddenly he is trying to get away from the pressure to become a person he does not want to be and find the role he fits into. That is what this novel is about, it is about a boy trying to find the true way to escape society and the roles that are pushed upon them, not about Jane, or the pimp, or his sexual life although those are important pieces of his life it's about his finding his way.

log in 10
pg 58
Holden lies a lot. I realized that from the beginning but as I read on it seemed more and more obvious not only that he lies a lot but also that he's conscious of it and he doesn't really care about the effect it might have on people's lives. Take this page for example he says quite clearly " Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once i get started, I can go on for hours if feel like it. No kidding. Hours." Maybe he lies because he thinks it doesn't matter if he lies about things that don't matter when the society is lying to each other every day about things that are very important. Even when people don't know it they lie to each other and themselves, Ackeley most likely lies to himself and everyone else when he says he brushes his teeth he probably lies to himself when he says that he hates Stadlater for his personality when he it is likely that he dislikes him for what Stadlater said about keeping himself cleaner.

log in 11
pg 67-68
Holden really cares about his sister, Pheobe, even though she's only ten she seems to be the only person who can understand him. This unconditional love he has for his siblings is so strong they must be some of the most important people of his life, and I have an idea of why he appreciates them so much, the main reason that stands out when I think of how much he loves his younger brother and sister is that they are so young that they haven't been influenced by society so their innocence is unstained and they are truthfully honest, this theory of mine is only supported by other things that I have noticed for example when he came home after running away from school he first looked for his sister he found another girl she was also young he took a liking to her because she was so polite when he tightened her skates for her and asked her is she wanted to go with him for some hot chocolate but she said no. The conversation they had didn't seem one between strangers just one between nice people.

log in 12
pg 73
There are a few things that struck me while I was reading through these pages. First of all Holden goes to this really corny club and he keeps thinking it's just about the corniest place but he doesn't want to leave, and when he sees the three women that are sitting in the table next to him he asks them to dance even when it's obvious he dislikes them and they're stupid. He really likes the blond one because of the way she dances he tries to have a conversation with her but she really doesn't care, what really struck me during this part was how obviously uncomfortable he was talking to them yet he didn't want to leave them. Here's a quote from Holden saying that he liked the blond just because she was pretty "That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."

log in 13
pg 78-79
When Holden describes how Jane cried when her stepfather came asking for cigarettes it really moved me, It made me wonder if he had ever hurt Jane, Holden says she was beautiful, and with him being drunk all the time I wouldn't be surprised if that was why Jane didn't want to talk to him. If that wasn't the reason that Jane had started to cry I would have to say my second best guess would be that she was tired of how much he drank and didn't care about her and how her family was falling apart. This is only my guess but I would say that she was hurt by him in some form or way and she didn't know how to deal with it. It's so sad how she didn't know how to tell Holden what was wrong so she had to keep her silence and deal with her pain, without the comfort of knowing how it would all turn out or even if she would someday get to tell someone and get that burden of her chest.

log in 14
pg 81-83
Holden gets very interested about the ducks and during this section he asks the taxi driver if he knows where they all go during the winter, the taxi driver doesn't know but what I thought was so interesting about this piece was how persistent Holden was about the matter he really wanted to know where they went It seemed interesting to me how much he thought about them so I started thinking about why he was thinking about them and I came up with the idea that he wanted to know if they knew on instinct where they were going, if they had their whole lives planned out with no doubts, because his own doubts by know must have been overwhelming. His confusion about his role in life had him reaching for the nearest similar situation for help, but the taxi driver didn't know what happened to the ducks he said it didn't matter, this didn't help but Holden still wanted to know he needed a guide.

log in 15
pg 94-96
When Holden explained why he wanted the prostitute to come up to his room I didn't even think he was thinking about what he was doing, but when I came to the part where he didn't want to do anything with her and he just wanted to talk I got confused, why would he get so depressed, was it because he saw what society had done to such a young girl? It was depressing in a way but couldn't he have thought about the pain that had been brought upon the girl before he ordered her like a pizza? he was so depressed about the horrible life the girl held and had to live and how she was brought up to be so rude, he even got depressed about how normal she must look to other people when she did every day things and then she had to live a different life at night just so she could get by and survive. The way society had made the event of selling the body into something that could seem normal was very sad and indeed depressing.

log in 16
pg 101-102
Once I read through this piece what I didn't understand was when the pimp and the prostitute came back why didn't he just give the man the extra five bucks instead of getting hurt over something that could have been easily just a small argument. All he had to do was give the man five dollars more so that they could both go away he had mentioned before that he was loaded so money couldn't have been a problem but instead he chose to fight (or at least struggle) for what he thought was right. This incident really opened my eyes to the extent Holden was willing to go just to get a bit of justice, to how far Holden would go just to open the eyes of society and to show them a bit of reality. These thoughts that came to me helped me to understand Holden's reason's for the things he did even if for awhile his actions stumped me.

log in 17
pg 106
I got confused during this piece when Holden calls up a girl named sally to go out with her just because he thought she was "good-looking" even when he said he used to date her he said that he once thought she was intelligent until he found out she really wasn't, and he called her a phony and she gave him a pain in the butt because she was so conceded but he still wanted to go out with her and he didn't really mind all of the flaws she had but he still pointed them out.
And when she says "grand" he states to himself that he hates the word grand because it's so phony but he's always saying words that seem just as phony or he'll say he hates something and not soon after he'll do the same thing. He's very hypocritical and he says he hates society but isn't he the part of the community that makes up the society?

log in 18
pg 108
I don't understand why the suit case scenario was so important to Holden? why did it matter if the nun's had cheap suitcases? They were nun's they must have had more important things to spend their money on rather than suitcases. why did he have to notice such a thing? that kind of mind is the mind of someone who has been trained by society to naturally notice the value of things and the financial status a person has. These pages made me truly realize how attached Holden was to the things that were considered "normal" even while he tried not to be Holden would always be support the ideas of the society subconsciously even while he hated them with an intense passion.

log in 19
pg 117
So Holden hates actors. I can semi see why however I'm still confused. He likes actors that are more like people than actors and he hates people who know that they're good actors so they're not good actors at all. He's very confusing yet I can see his point, I also hate it when people act like if they know they're really good and by knowing they're really good it completely makes them horrible and cancels out any real talent they might have owned. I've had various encounters with people like this and my conclusion is that they can be very self-centered and conceited and the only way to deal with that type of people is to try to stay away from them. They're personality completely ruins any compliments you might have had for them and they can really ruin a day.

log in 20
pg 121
I got very interested in what Holden had to say about the indian museum during this piece, I was especially curious about what he had to say when he talked about how the wax statues would always stay in their spot's never moving and never changing always doing the same thing and the only thing that would ever change would be the person themselves, something would be different as in their clothing or the experiances they went through and any other changes that would affect a human being. Holden seemed very intent on expressing how much the statues never change and never would they would always be doing the same thing, I think that's the part that keeps Holden attatched to that museum.

log in 21
pg 132
What I would really like to know right about know is what was Holden thinking when he asked sally, a girl who by the way he thought was stupid and a phony, to come with him to vermont or massachusetts leave everything behind and not look back and only look forward to a life of being married to some guy she didn't like and being a housewife. Seriously what was he thinking? was it another one of those things you had to do when you where in the right mood? I mean I know he wanted to get away from society and all of it's influences but he could have at least asked a girl who he could actually live with, someone maybe like Jane or a girl he actually admired and loved.

log in 22
pg 137-138
This particular piece interested me because of the way Holden intensified the role of the drum player in the orchestra, this drum player sounded so insignificant yet full of power at the same time. His small role in throughout the whole thing made it so much more important when he actually made a sound. And even while the audience most likely didn't pay any attention to him Holden and his brother, Allie, did. He stood out to them for his tiny role in such a big deal. this man had a great impact on Holden, this man's role in the orchestra to me seemed to say that no matter the size of the action it would always be a part of the orchestra and a big one too even if it didn't seem like it at the moment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My memories, My life

Elisa Garcia
Mrs. Bosch
English 10 Honors
16 August 2007

My memories, My life

There are many people who acknowledge that their memories have shaped and continue to shape their lives. Memories are very sacred values, they give people experience from their past actions and wisdom for the future. Memories can also contain horror, disaster, and disgrace and they may not seem to be very useful but having those memories makes it so much easier to be humble and appreciate what has been earned or given. People are always learning and changing because of their memories. Memories do shape people’s lives whether if it’s in a way that is valued or not the memories shape, mold and form people into the people they become. I became who I am to this day by learning from my experiences and I know not what the future holds in store for me. Like some others I have planned my future, what I want it to be like and what I hope will happen however the experiences I may encounter may change my perspective and my life forever. There are many things which could be affected by memories, my education, career, even my family. Experiences are always changing people and memories are always affecting decisions they make. I believe that my memories are and will also affect my present and future. Ands that’s why I believe that Memories have shaped and are constantly shaping my life.
Memories are always shaping my life in a way that seems very complicated, each memory seems to affect every decision I make. And yet every decision I make is based on a memory which has affected the way I think. Experiences and memories will always be changing me whether they are my own or someone else whom I know, the memories will affect me and even those around me. I know that my memories have most likely already influenced my decision to go to college and become a veterinarian whether these decisions are influenced through my family, or what I have seen, heard, or watched, I know that my final decision to try to succeed in my life was not taken on my own, my memories helped too. My memories have had a great deal to do with most of my decisions in my life already, they have changed the way I think about my future education and in a way that I believe is better for me. A single memory could destroy or create a person’s entire future depending on how it is viewed. Memories have indeed shaped me and will continue shaping me into the person I will be until death happens to take it's toll.
Another way that my memories constantly keep shaping me in until my death is my career. My life is constantly being changed from what I want to happen to something that’s different but I can live with too. These memories that affect me neither necessarily help me nor make me unhappy. I know that my memories have most likely already influenced my decision to go to college and become a veterinarian whether these decisions are influenced through my family, or what I have seen, heard, or watched, I know that my final decision to try to succeed in my life was not taken on my own, my memories helped too. They have changed me in a way that cannot be changed back. Experiences and memories are facts about life that a person can’t avoid. They can change a person from being kind and gentle into a very rude person and vice versa. These memories that change people are not always a certain person’s experiences, these changes can also come from reading a tragic death in the newspaper to any sort of subject that stands out.
I know that my memories will always be changing my perspective on life, politics, religion, relationships, my family, and my future just to name a few and most likely I will always be changing my opinions on these subjects because of different experiences and memories. I will always try to learn and experience certain values of life and I know I will be judged by many on what I believe however people change their opinions sometimes even overnight maybe even because of one experience that puts them in a position they’ve never been in before. Each time I am put in a position like that I know that I will try to remember what I have learned and keep it in mind always so that in the future I can fight for something I believe is justified. My memories have always had a great deal to do with my life, and I know that it will keep being that way, they have shaped me into the person I am proud to be and the person I will become in the future.

Memories not only supply me with experience for the future, a good career, but they have also affected the way I see my family. The memories I have with my family are very loving memories and I have learned to appreciate them throughout the years, when I was young I thought everyone had such a big caring family as I grew I learned the truth was very different and that not everyone was as lucky as me. Had it not been for my memories of my family compared to the families of friends then I know I would not be the same person I am this moment. I am proud to be known as the wild but respectful girl of the gallegos family, and every memory that I have of my family I keep and cherish with me. I know that I when I grow up I will always remember the day my grandma chased my little brother around the house with her shoe trying to spank him and I also know that I will laugh every time. I also know that just for the reason that I remember it that it will in some way shape me into the person I have become.
Memories will always be shaping me whether it is appropriate or not, shaping me into the person I will become. My memories will not only shape me but they will shape my future and the future of the people around me, they change me through people, actions, television, and stories, and they will most likely continue changing me for the rest of my life. These memories that change me now and will continue to change me are of vary from very different subjects, and they all teach me values of life. My memories have shaped me into the person I am now and will most likely keep shaping me for the rest of my life.