Friday, April 4

Well, this year was fun

I stepped into the class this year as someone who hated reading and thought brevity was the soul of wit. I didn’t really think that reading could be that rewarding of an experience. That has completely changed this year. The books we read really made me think and opened my mind to a lot of different ways of thinking. My problem was that I didn’t find authors and books that made me think.

I really got into the concepts of nihilism because of Camus “The Stranger.” It really made me rethink what was important in the world. It was really interesting to see who I associated with the characters in the book. It is a book I will have to go back to once I am older and can look at it again. It was a book I actually enjoyed, which led me to look for different sort of books outside of English class. The book was really deep and had levels that I could get into and enjoy.

Mersault was a really interesting character that showed me how not to be care free. I try to keep in mind that sometimes people get wrapped up in things that really don’t matter. I don’t really care or want much in the world. Mersault showed me a stunning example of how that can make a messy situation. So the story and content gave me a reason to look into nihilism, but the main character let me see the possible downfalls behind it. I’ve sort of melded nihilism into a view that nothing matters, except for what you want to matter.

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was an interesting read for me. It really was a style of book I didn’t encounter before, and I missed a lot of the point of it at first. A lot of what I got out of it came from the discussion. It is a book that I will need to reread to understand what I could really get out of it. The fact that I feel a need to reread a book is really new for me, because I never wanted to take the time to find deeper meaning in a book.

My most solid piece of writing came from The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was the highest point for my writing, in many senses. It was by far the longest English essay I had ever written, and will probably remain that way. It really made me keep getting more and more specific until my ideas went from one sentence, into a paragraph being needed to convey that same idea in the best way. It was also one of the most original pieces I think I’ve written, from a thesis stand point, and it was down with some very interesting points and evidence.

Hamlet was the most rewarding read I’ve ever encountered. It has to many philosophical conversations that could derive from it and brings new light on the human mind. I’ve also never related to any character is literature more than Hamlet. It really help me deal with some stuff, and showed me how to not be in emotional lunatic about the situation. There is more to life than wit and justice, but that means you have to keep yourself real.

These books have spawned huge papers that I couldn’t have thought were useful or possible before. I have a more mathematical mind that like quick one answer problems. This class really expanded my mind to how to write a paper, and why length becomes important. It has really taught me how to develop an idea and how to make it clearer. My paper have been getting more and more focused since the beginning of the year. I missed the point of explication.

My appreciation for literature has grown so much. I really though reading was a waste of time. I really couldn’t get into words, words, words. It didn’t make my mind dance like math did, and seemed too unspecific to really explain anything. I’ve learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover, it a literal sense, as well as from reading a story and picking out meaning. There are so many layers in good authors that you need to take time and think about what is happening and what is really trying to be said.

Slow Down Mr.Barrio

Raymond Barrio is a master of phrasing and allusion. He uses this to suggest that the meaning in life comes from having dignity in what you do. You have to live for your own dignity in order to be a real person. Sometimes, it may take doing something that isn’t normally nice, but in the end if it brings good into the world it is worth it. The first paragraph is phrases very interestingly. It using very choppy and robotic sentences. Sometimes there are even one word sentences. Barrio is using this to mirror the workers he is describing. They are working not as people, but autonomous robots like the workers. He may be suggesting that the reader may also be turning into a robot by making them talk like one. The phrasing is meant to suggest the nature of the worker, in their robotic state, braking the flow of the paragraph with one word sentences.The one word sentences show a progression that the workers are going through. The workers all started off entering their jobs to provide for their families. They become “trapped” (1) in doing this work because they need to keep their families going. They lose a sense of what makes them human and living only to survive another day like an “animal”(1). They begin to get physically stronger, but lose their thinking from lack of use, and become a “brute”(1). They keep getting more brute like until they have no needs other than the core human needs and become a “beast”(1) form of what they once were. They become “savage”(1) and lose every trace of humanity until they “wreck”(1). They keeping living as a wreck until they become a “predator”(1) because that is the only life they’ve known. They were always treated a certain way so they pass on. The one word sentences suggest the growth of an animal doing the work, not a man.The next paragraph moves up to two word sentences as the new minimum, but only with “the”(1)’s or “a”(1)’s . This is also used to mirror the workers, but this time Emmanuel more specify. The sentence structure grew and evolved just as Emmanuel as a character does. He is begins his first act of rebellion, even if it was an accident, when he “blacked out”(1). These two simple word sentences mirrors Emmanuel’s growth into a person. The second paragraph also suggests that the work Emmanuel and the other pickers are doing is seemingly point less and “endless”(1). Sisyphus was a man who endlessly pushed a rock up a mountain. Emmanuel also had endless work that grow into a “mountain”(1). Barrio may be suggesting that the lack of dignity in Emmanuel’s work leads him to do an “endless”(1) unimportant job.Again there is a build up of phrases in the third paragraph. There are still two word sentences, but the simple words are replaced with more descriptive language. The language also moves to a higher level using words like “zenith”(1). The maturity behind the writing grew as each paragraphed shifted. One of the following lines mentions a convenient character name, and lead to another convenience in names. The antagonist Robert Morales is finally mentioned by name. His name suggest that he is moral less, by only repeating the last letter. This may lead one to look at Emanuel’s name. He has been demoralized to be only used as manual labor, which sounds like Emanuel. These facts may lead one to think that Barrio is trying to tell us that “men are built to experience a certain sense of honor and pride”(2), which Barrio literally says at the end of this passage. The aforementioned devices further this point the Barrio was trying to tell us. For a person to be a person they must have pride and dignity

Thursday, April 3

Marriage, a societal acceptance for giving into animal lust

In the poem The Wedding Dance In the Open Air, the poet William Carlos Williams uses word choice to suggest that marriage makes giving into one’s carnal desires socially acceptable. Williams had a group of poems based on some of Bruegel’s because of how Bruegel made each painting’s uniqueness not the focus of the painting. One’s eyes are first drawn to something that could be found in most paintings, rather than what makes it stand out. You have to look for what makes each one unique. In the painting, The Wedding Dance In the Open Air, there is arguably nothing to suggest that it is a wedding, aside from the title. The first sentence of the poem starts of with a phrase that some might find contradicting, “Disciplined by the artist,”(1). This is because the arts have been closely associated with the acceptance of ones human desires since the beginning of arts. The Greek and Roman god of theatre was also the god of wine. The artists create though instinct and express themselves by their own desires rather than societal norms. To say that people are “disciplined by the artist”(1) is a unique choice. The title suggests the music is for a marriage. Marriage is a societal norm, a very structured binding of two people. Williams’ combination of a highly structured word, “disciplined,”(1), and a instinctual word, “artist,”(1), suggests that marriage is a way for us to give into our human desires, but still be viewed as moral in society. “Holiday,”(4) suggest that the day William is describing is a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, or assessment. The day Williams is describing does not have to have any rules or regulations. This, again, is someone’s marriage day. This is the day that, if one believes in Christianity, is the first time that you are socially able to give into carnal desires, without any punishment or any dirty looks. On a normal day, not a holiday or after you are married, this act that binds a marriage is frowned upon in average society. Marriage makes these acts less dirty from a societal perspective. The crowd is becoming so consumed by the moment that they are becoming “riotously gay,”(5). This marriage day is growing to the point that it is riot like. Riots are an unrestrained outbreak, as of laughter or passions. That is to say that people are being uncontrolled by society, even though it is a day of marriage, which is as an act itself is meant to be very controlled by society. The crowd sees the marriage as a way to give into their own uncontrolled passion. The marriage made their merriment acceptable “Doxies,”(7) is a very contradicting word but goes along with this concept . It’s definition is either religious views, or an immoral woman. Either definition could be applied here. The people could be well anchored in their religious views, or it could be a comment on the women. The comment about religion would show their love to order, while the comment about woman would show a more animalistic view on woman. This concept could be applied to a view marriage. It is filled with order and righteousness, but inevitably leads to what, otherwise, is unclean. “Breeches,”(18) leads us to other ideas that support this conclusion, especially after looking up the definition of the word. “Breeches,”(18) has many different and interesting definitions such as riding pants, the lower portion of the human trunk, and the part of the firearm behind the barrel. Riding pants could be chosen by Williams to make us think of horses, which is an animal. Animals aren’t bound by society and look at intercourse in a different light because of it. On the marriage day it is acceptable to give into these animalist desires. The lower of portion of the human trunk is basically where all of the lust that marriage allows takes place. The firearm behind the barrel creates an image that is very suggestive in nature. “Breeches”(18) also leads one to think of the word breaches. Breach means to brake through. Marriage allows us to brake through societal standards and give into carnal desires. This concept that marriage makes intercourse socially acceptable is interesting, although the poem doesn’t suggest if it is a logical or illogical look at relationships. Williams wants point out that marriage creates a moral freedom for physical attention. He wants to let you see this and make your own decision on whether or not it is logical. Whether or not it is logical is your choice, but the fact that marriage is a way to be socially accepted and still be carnal is undeniable, and suggested throughout this poem

Life :(n)____________

Camus uses the lack of emotion, then the explosion of emotion of his character Mersault to explore the importance, or rather lack of importance, of finding a meaning in life. Camus had some interesting views on life and was quoted as saying “For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.”(Camus). This quotation shows one of the view that Camus was trying to express in his writing of The Stranger. This view is that trying to explain the awesome nature of the universe is a sin. Mersault is a character that is used to express Camus’s ideas, rather than a mirror of a true person in his lack of emotion, and eventual overload of emotion. The first passage takes place after Mersault murders the Arab, and after he is questioned by the police. He is now being questioned by the magistrate. The magistrate was curious why Mersault “hesitated before,”(68) he fired his “second shot,”(68). Mersault believed that the magistrate was “wrong to dwell on it, because it really didn’t matter,”(69) which suggests that Mersault didn’t have a higher purpose of firing the shots. The bigger picture in Mersault’s case was that Mersault felt like he “was the criminal,”(68). He didn’t feel any need to repent like “a man must repent,”(68) to the magistrate’s God because it was “ridiculous,”(68). The magistrate asked Mersault if he “believed in God,”(69), but Mersault “said no”(69). Mersault didn’t see a purpose in repenting, because he knew he was guilty. He saw the magistrates belief was so strong that “if he were ever to doubt it, his life would become meaningless,”(68). Mersault the magistrate’s meaning in life came from his belief in God, and his relationship with God. Mersault didn’t want anything to do with the magistrate’s view and belief in God. Therefore Mersault was trying to stay away from finding any higher meaning in life. The magistrate even goes as far as to ask if Mersault wanted his “life to be meaningless,”(69) to which Mersault said “it didn’t’ have anything to do with him,”(69). Mersault is literally saying that the magistrate’s building up of emotion had nothing to do with Mersault, himself. Camus wrote this exchange in such a way that suggests the magistrate quest for a meaning had nothing to do with him, and thus meaning had nothing to do with Mersault. As the magistrate grows in expressing his meaning, Mersault reacts by being less involved. The magistrate grew to “screaming irrationaly,”(69), which Mersault responded by being even more removed from the conversation by “not really listening to,”(69) to the magistrate. Mersault even became complacent and “made it appear as if,”(69) he “agreed,”(69). He became more and more removed from the magistrate. The magistrate is an official from the court. The court is part of government, and government is often to used to represent the established rules and laws. The magistrate is very religious. As the magistrate, which is the culmination of the established laws and religious views at this point in the book, becomes more intense Mersault became more removed. Mersault removes himself from the established belief of religion. Religion is the search and ,arguably, the science of a higher purpose. The character Camus created kept removing himself from the concept of religion. This continued until finally the magistrate “fell back into his chair,”(69) and this representation of religion and order removed itself from Mersault. During this whole exchange Mersault remained emotionless , as he did through most of the book, until he came across an actual deliverer of this religion and bigger purpose of life. The only emotion that Mersault shows is in front of a religious man. There is also a figurative “tying of a bow” in having Mersault connections with religion be the place he was originally sentenced and the moments before that sentence would be carried out. There is also a opposite reaction the second time. Mersault goes from no emotion to being so emotional that “the guards were threatening,”(122) him. The outburst of emotion that Mersault expresses is created by Camus in order for Mersault to help him create his message of the unimportance of a higher purpose. This passage take place when Mersault is visited by the chaplain on the eve of his execution. Most prisoners used this time with the chaplain to repent and find a place in their God’s heaven. Mersault however chooses another route. The chaplain is trying to convince him to repent, but Mersault “started yelling at the top,”(120) of his “his lungs,”(120). Although, he doesn’t “know why,”(120) something “snapped,”(120). This inability for Mersault to even know why he reacts the way he does shows that Camus didn’t want Mersault to have a higher meaning in what he was about to say. Camus wants Mersault to be a character without a higher meaning. Mersault doesn’t want the chaplain to “waste his prayers,”(120) because they would be in vain because Mersault believes there isn’t a place that they go to, or even if there is he didn’t believe in it. There was no higher purpose to Mersault. Mersault thought that none of the chaplain’s “certainties was worth on hair of a woman’s head,”(120) because there wasn’t any evidence of his God, yet the chaplain believed in him so strongly. Mersault even goes as far as to say the chaplain was “living like a dead man,”(120) which suggest that dedicated your life to a spreading a higher meaning in life made you no better than a corpse. The next part of the passage Mersault becomes more introverted about what he was feeling. He begins to realize his fate, and understand that he is soon to become a dead man and in some people’s eyes become “emptyhanded,”(120). He however saw the bright side in having a “hold on it as it had a hold on,”(120-121) him. He enjoyed the fact that he could grasp the fact he was going to die, and that he was “sure of his life,”(120). He didn’t live for a bigger purpose. He lived for the here and now. He also says that “nothing, nothing mattered,”(121) in life because there is no greater purpose or meaning in life. We all should go about life doing what we want to do, not live by some father figure telling us how to live, like we find in religion. This large moment finally comes in the presence of a religious person shows that the concept of religion is important to the story. Religion is one of the many ways people attempt to find meaning in this life. Camus uses Mersault to suggest that there is no meaning in life, especially though an organized religion. The more religion pushed toward Mersault, the less he paid attention and accepted it. Mersault felt there was no meaning in life other than the physical needs of the moment.

Red Shift Explication

In the poem “The Red Shift” Ted Berrigan suggests that the original concept of American beliefs, such as acceptance, originality, blind justice and guidance, are being lost through his use of symbols and word choice, such as the “tree in winter streetscape”(3) or “Calvados”(10). Berrigan has a tone that is very aggressive that shows he doesn’t like where the American way of thinking is going. Throughout this poem the pace quickens and the lines lengthen to express a quickening of the speakers thought process and change of mood. The poem changes from expressing what the physical world, into what the speaker feels, which ends up being mostly anger based emotions. The beginning is setting the stage, but the choices Berrigan makes for the speaker to see pushes the reader to think the setting suggests something more through symbols. The first frame starts to establish time and what the speaker looks like. The time, “8:08 p.m.”(1) seems too specific to be a random choice. It is a palindrome which, because of it’s ability to be read forward and backward the same way, may suggest that people always return to their original state, or they move as far backward as forward. This original state that Berrigan is referring too is our original tribe based hunting groups. People try to leave this animalistic state through government and thought. Also, is you tip the numbers on their sides they end up having an infinity symbol on either side of a circle, or a zero. Zero in math terms is the origin. Through the application of the definition of origin as the ancestry, we can infer that no matter how you perceive things, either left to right or right to left for writing purposes, that we are no where near our origins. The next description is of himself and what he is feeling from his surroundings, again through word choice and symbolism you can extrapolate that there is a larger meaning. The speaker describes an “indefinable ample frame,”(1) which tell us he is a big guy, but not for any reason other than he eats too much because he is indefinable. This again is a comment on the new American lifestyle. During his time the obesity problem in American wasn’t as drastic as it is now, but it still existed. “February,”(2) is a month that is during the winter time. Winter time is often used to symbolize death, and in this case to the original American way of thinking. The “fierce arabesques”(2) are snow flakes due to their decorative nature and their “ballet” downward from the sky. The snowflakes symbolize people and their individuality. How they are “on the way to tree in winter streetscape,”(3) suggests they are simply dancing their way to death. Trees in winter look like they are dead, and the buildings and streets themselves look very inorganic and not alive. So, the way the snowflakes move to death, as do people and their originality. The speaker moves into his own mind, and then a memory, which is rich with symbolism and word choice. “The Calvados”(10) is an apple brandy. Apples are a very American food, through the stories of Johnny Apple Seed and the acceptance of the apple pie as the national desert. However the Calvados “is being sipped on Long island now/twenty years ago,”(10-11) which suggests it isn’t being sipped on now. So the American way is not being enjoyed as it was. The man is “looking at a smiling attentive woman,”(12) who is a symbolic mix of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice. This can be deduced because both of these women are wrapped in cloth. The speaker “would have never thought,”(13) he’d “be here , nothing / wrapped up,”(13) because he isn’t wrapped up like either woman is. There is also reference to a New York City street later in the poem, “6th / and Bower”(20-21) pointing towards the Statue of Liberty as an acceptable symbol. “Love, children, hundred of them, money, marriage- / ethics,”(16-17) are all things that these women represent a hope for in this new country. The speaker then mentions that his “pretty girl, nineteen, who was / going to have to go,”(21-22). I think he is speaking from another person, almost quoting them. It could be from a business person who knows blind justice and liberty couldn’t make him the most profit. Also the age of the woman shows she is just barely in adulthood, which mirrors American in how it is a young country compared to most of the world. This concept of the death of the American dream is an important one. If Berrigan writing this poem makes someone realize this downfall, then they might act to change it. We all believe that we are in the most free and most accepting nation in the world. Berrigan proposes that we might be losing our original beliefs as a nation

The Green Rose

Stephen Dedalus’s dichotomous view on woman was created by his highly religious upbringing. Subconsciously he is questing for the impossible combination of nurturing mother and pure virgin, like the Virgin Mary, who only exists to Stephen in his Christian teachings. His encounters with woman are affected by this instilled view. As the book progresses, Stephen loses connection with his faith, which also stops his search for the perfect woman.

Stephen looks at moral woman as either virgins or mothers, but throughout the book is looking for the combination of both. He looks to his mother figures as one who nurtures, but also the person who tells him right from wrong. In the first section of the book he knows that “his mother put on the oilsheet”(21), which shows he understands that she is the one who keeps an eye out for him when he needs to be cleaned up, nurturing him because of his youngness. Later his mother tells that “O, Stephen will apologise,”(21) for something he did, which implies that Stephen has done something wrong. This helps spawn his first poem and artist expression. His mother also “encourages his artist expression by playing the piano”(Henke 318). This makes little Stephen “dance”(21). Dancing is very closely associated with sensuality and thus suggests some oedipal longing. At this point Stephen doesn’t associate sensuality as sinful, but he is later made to apologize for something that isn’t made clear. A young mind could associate the necessity for the apology with the movement that was sprung from his mother, causing Stephen to repress his feelings later in life.

Dante is a different, but equitably motherly source for Stephen. Her role is on the nurturing side, but more on the training side of the word. Stephens first introduction to politics was because of Dante, although he wouldn’t have understood it at the time. She “had two brushes…for Micheal Davitt and …for Parnell”(21). The fact that he remembers the names of the politicians that Dante would have told him shows that he already associates the political names with Dante and will continues to do so later in life. She also is part of the forced apology later. She gives him the possible punishment should he not apologize, which is having “the eagles…pull out his eyes,”(21). Again the woman stimulates his art.

Although woman are seen as nurturing and teaching, Stephen sees men, at least in the beginning of the book, as the people who one must be followed and listened to. This following comes from the religiousness of his family again, as well as the social structure in Ireland, and most of the world. The man leads the house and is in charge. The church he would have been going to since an early age told him about the Virgin Mary, which would have made little Stephen look for her in the females, namely Dante and his Mother and later Emma the other girls of his imagination, in the ways he pays attention to them in the first section of the book. He is taught that priest are leaders and even gets to the point that thinks that one of the Fathers “knew more than Dante because he was a priest” even though Stephen knows“ Dante was a clever woman and a wellread woman.”(24) At this point in his life he is accepting everything he is taught.

Somewhere in his mind he still associates learning with woman because as soon as he “heard Father Arnall’s voice…all his eagerness passed away”(25) for his math work. This could be taken as his first form of rebellion, although not conscious and not even slightly realized by Stephen at the moment. After this loss of eagerness Stephen begins to think about the colors of roses. Roses are very closely associated with woman. So, Stephens mind set switches off from work because of a man’s voice, then his mind wanders into thinking about woman.

One of the things he mentions is about a “green rose”(25). He thinks of roses of many different colors, until he get to the green rose. This thought of a green rose is caused when he “remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place.”(25) The thought of the green rose is only brought to Stephen’s attention through another’s art. This green rose is also something Stephen knows “you could not have”(25) but for some reasons still thinks it is “somewhere in the world,”(25). This could be Joyce showing the artist who wrote the songs quest for the green rose, or a quest for something impossible, is just as in vein as Stephens subconscious quest for the Virgin Mary. The green rose could be an allusion to Mary through its purity, because the a green rose would be purely green, or Joyce may be using green’s association with immaturity, but also fertility, because Mary was a virgin mother. Stephen could be fascinated with the green rose just because he subconsciously knows that he and the song writer are both aiming for the impossible.

Only slightly after this rose day dream Stephen longs “to be home and lay his head on his mother’s lap”(25-26). He wants to be with his mother and be nurtured by her. He wants to return to being a child, almost to the point of wanting to be fetal because of where he wants to place himself. He understands that “he could not: and so he longer for the play and study and prayers to be over and to be in bed.”(26). He wanted everything else of his day to be done with so he could be in bed and sleep. In his dreams he could control what was going on, and therefore do whatever it is that he liked to, which at that moment would have been to be at home with his mother. This is another form of rebellion, because he doesn’t want to pray.

The next day he is made fun of for kissing his mother, which caused a question in his mind. He was made laughing at for both answers, which created a huge ripple in his mind. He couldn’t decide “was it right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother”(27). He actually did kiss his mother goodnight, because that was what he wanted to do, and was brought up to do. This also would subconsciously change how he treated woman later. If it was wrong to kiss his Mother even on the cheek, then how could he imagine of going any further with any other woman? The boys making fun of him came from the church’s beliefs, because they were brought up to follow them. Although they didn’t condone bullying, they didn’t like any sort of physicality toward woman before marriage.

Soon after winter vacation came. At Christmas dinner the main discussion was over the issue of the priest “turning the house of God into a polling booth.”(41) Dante was offended by this statement because she believes “any man calling himself a catholic”(41) should follow what the priest suggests. The fact the character dispute the correctness of the combination of church and state shows that it was an issues even then. Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Casey believe that the church should be used to “pray to our Maker.” The males in the situation, who Stephen was always taught to follow is questioned at this point An even bigger and wider idea was brought up by Dante, who taught Stephen and was his first glimpse into politics. Dante sees the church as the people who “must direct their flocks.”(41) This concept of the church goers as a flocks suggest that people who attend church are birds, and not free thinking human beings. She sees the church goers, and therefore herself, as beings who need someone to tell them what to do, and she finds it in the God the church preaches about.

The conflict between male and female is a maturing point for Stephen. He needs to decide whether he should follow the sex who he was taught to follow, or the sex he has learned from and was first introduced to politics. This conflict is also the first time other people have questioned religion. This is another step towards Stephen’s open rebellion against religion. There is an interesting transition from the topic. Mrs. Dedalus brings up food, but at the same time puts “down her knife and fork.”(41) The knife and fork hold a violent connotation to them. Knives were always used as a weapon before it was a utensil, and the fork resembles a miniature pitchfork or trident. So, Mrs. Dedalus put down the aggressive “weaponry” in order to bring the peace. This is good for Stephen to witness because it shows that his mother is still trying to protect and keep him safe. He is starting to see that people don’t’ have to strictly follow what they are told, because Dante, who is suppose to listen to men because she is a woman, isn’t just accepting what the men say.

The topic of discussion was then brought to food for a moment, then quickly shifts back. Food is a very primal thing that every creature looks for. The topic shifts from a very thought driven need, to the physical need. Then the religious topic gets brought up again. This quick change suggests that one may try to cover up the mental needs with the physical, but the mental needs are much more important to everyone as people. Dante believes that the church was right to be against the leader because he “was a public sinner.”(42) The suggests that Dante believes the church leaders couldn’t have sinned because she wouldn’t follow them. Mr. Casey then brought up that “we are all sinners and black sinners”(42). These opposing views on who should lead suggests another topic of discussion. Should our leaders be thought of as perfect or thought of as people who have sinned like us? There is also more reason for Stephen to question his faith because the leaders in his world may also be sinners who shouldn’t be followed.

Stephen visits the chapel with his uncle Charles, while Stephen‘s faith is still . Uncle Charles “would often pay a visit to the chapel.”(66) The way Joyce phrases that is interesting. He uses the word “pay”(66) as if it is something that uncle Charles owes to someone. It suggests he may not be doing it fully by choice. It’s almost as if Charles is just following the flock, like Dante suggested at the Christmas dinner. The height of the font where they are getting the blessed water is also very meaningful. It is “above Stephen’s reach,”(66) which suggests that Stephen hasn’t grown enough to fully understand religion, but also would make him feel like he doesn‘t belong there. If he can‘t do it himself, how could he feel accepted by it? This might cause more thoughts of rebellion. He is being brought along by an adult who believes it. This concept of belief being passed on is suggested in how “the old man would dip his hand and then sprinkle the water briskly about Stephen’s clothes” (66). The concept that children are brought along and marginally forced to observe religion until they accept it. This could be suggesting that religion isn’t something one can chose. Its also interesting that Stephen didn’t get hit with any of the water, just his clothes. This could suggest that for Stephen religion is something that he wears on the outside, but doesn’t believe, which we find out is true by the end of the book.

The next image is of uncle Charles and Stephen kneeling. Uncle Charles kneels “on his red handkerchief.”(66) Handkerchiefs are used to wipe sweat from your head, or to wipe your nose. Depending on how uncles Charles uses it suggests different thing. If it used for sweat, uncle Charles is presenting his sweat because of hard work before his lord, or if it is used to wipe his nose, he is presenting his sickness. Either way it is presenting uncle Charles as just a human before his lord. He thinks he needs to show his lack of godliness to feel closer to god. Stephen “knelt at his side respect, though he did not share, his piety”(66) This again suggests that Stephen is showing religion on the outside, but doesn’t believe it in his head.

The bible the uncle was using is interesting. It had “catchwords…printed at the foot of every page”(66) Dictionaries also have the catchwords. The parallel brings up the way religion is going. Religion has become too much of a science for people to look for meanings in life, like people look for meanings in a dictionary. Religion’s focus changed from faith to science, even though religion isn’t suppose to be a science. None of this is something Stephen enjoys in a faith.
n the nights Stephen would read The Count of Money Cristo. He would imagine himself as the Count and imagine the scenery on his table and live his life through the count. For some reason he was “sadly proud,”(67) of refusing his made up woman character. He is sad because somewhere in his mind he wants to be with her, but proud because he is doing what religion has told him was right. He encounters this woman only through his thoughts because religion has created two forces against him having a real woman, one is the fear of making a woman impure, and the other is his quest for the perfect, which in his mind is the Virgin Mary.

Rather than making a woman impure Stephen ends up having sex with a prostitute. This is justified in his mind because they are already impure and don’t’ have a chance of being his perfection. They have already committed sins of the flesh so immaculate conception couldn’t be possible anymore. This is also another open form of rebellion for Stephen, although he does feel the need to repent at this point of the book. Part of this need to repent is also shows that he is looking for a real life Mary to be his mate. His sin, which had covered him from the sight of God, had led him nearer to the refuge of sinners. Her eyes seemed to regard him with mild pity; her holiness, a strange light glowing faintly upon her frail flesh, did not humiliate the sinner who approached her. If ever he was impelled to cast sin from him and to repent the impulse that moved him was the wish to be her knight(102).

Stephen is looking to be the Virgin Mary’s “knight”(102) and he compares confessing his sins on her name to “the savour itself of a lewd kiss”(102). Every woman he encounters for real is a mother figure for him because the girls he is attracted to he becomes afraid of, because of his fear of making them dirty, and the fear that church has in stilled in him, that physicality is wrong. He creates this fake world because the real one would create sins. As he loses connection with his faith he becomes more accepting of the physicality between him and woman.
As a open rebellion against the church he refuses to take part in “easter duty”(211), which is also slightly because he is starting to accept that his mother could not be pure. He is older and understands better that his mother isn’t perfect. This realization made him want to rebel, although one knows that your mother is someone you will always have to follow and have in your life. The fact that he would argue with his mother about doing it shows that Stephen is beginning to want to leave the nest and start his own life with a new female force and is finally coming into his own views on faith. Stephen tells Cranley that he “will not serve that in which” he “no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church”(218). Little Stephen has realized that to be in the place he desires he must leave.

The big finale for Stephen’s love life is when he meets up with “her”(223) although he never tells us who she is exactly. Prior to this journal entry his encounters with woman were all made up when it came to having feelings for them. Stephen has matured enough to even touch her, which is a big step. When they “shook hands” she became as real as real can be, there is no way a figment of your imagination could shake your hand. He even says that he “liked her today. A little or much?”(223) he didn’t know, but either way he finally encountered a woman for real, only after he rebelled against the church and therefore rebelled against Virgin Mary. The reality of woman can now be shown to Stephen.

Blog for Hamlet's Soliloquy

This one was the most effective in my humble opinion because of the thoughtfulness of the setting, actor choices, as well as audio and visual decision made by the director. The overall effect made one feel like you were witnessing a man that truly wasn’t positive he wanted to be alive.

The first moments of the scene set it apart from the others, and made the other two really difficult to compete with the choices made in the film. The first thing it shows is the water. The water was already used earlier. In Act 1 scene 4 Horatio is trying to convince Hamlet to not follow the ghost that seemed to be his father. One of the reasons was that Horatio thought the ghost made lead Hamlet “toward the flood” (49). The camera then begins to tilt toward to reveal that there is a cliff. This is another reference to the same speech Horatio was giving Hamlet; he didn’t want Hamlet to be lead to a “dreadful summit of a cliff” (49). This speech continues to describe how Horatio is concerned that might get drawn “into madness” (49). The reason this is a good speech to make reference to is because this was the moments before Hamlet talked to his dead father, whose death festered within him and is one of the main reason Hamlet is contemplating suicide. Still before any words are said, the back of Hamlet’s head comes into view. Then the camera zooms in onto it. This is a really effective choice because it shows that we are beginning to hear what is going on in Hamlet’s mind, not how’s he acting around other people. Then there is a cut to the front of Hamlet, then back to the water. This is an effective choice because it is showing that Hamlet’s mind is crashing a rushing around like the water.

The music also added to the vibe that was trying to be shown. The first few notes are really slow, controlled and lamenting, which also describe Hamlet throughout his speech. The first notes are also played by violins, which are often associated with sadness. Strings also have the ability to make noise without using breathe; making them less alive sounding depending on how you play them. The waves beating across the cliff can also be heard. The waves are constant, like the pressures that he is being put through at the moment. The waves are creating a chaos in the sounds one can hear. There is a dichotomy created between the random rushing of the waves and the focus of the strings. Next enters in a low brass notes, with a slightly harsh tone. It is another interesting choice. The feel of the music quickly switches to a more hectic pace, mirroring the pace of Hamlet’s thoughts.

The acting was highly effective also. The choice of pace for the words was highly effective for the Hamlet that is suggested by the other elements of the film. Every word is controlled, direct and sad with slight suggestions of anger. This tone is mirrored by the music, as I mentioned before. This Hamlet doesn’t feel crazy at this point. His sadness is apparent, but he seems very controlled with his words, although the way this portion was filmed shows his thoughts are rushing an chaotic.The choice for when the words were spoken and when they were simply heard added a cool texture to the overall piece. Hamlet begins speaking about sleep and this makes the words of simply heard, although the actor is no longer mouthing them. It shows how he is slipping more into his mind, and into a more dream like state. What snapped him out of the talking in his head to the real world was thinking about dreaming. This connect back to act 2 scene 2 when Hamlet says that he “could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space-were it not that I have bad dreams”(68). Hamlet associates dreams with a negative feeling and fears what dreams would come should he be forced to dream forever.

This combination of effects made this segment the most effective. There is many references to early parts of the play. There are also suggests of character made by the elements surrounding the character. The actors portrayal is very clear and really focused. This is why I believe this is the most effective clip.