February 16, 2014


It has taken me a long time to read this book. I have to say there are so many thoughts running around my brain I'm having trouble picking a direction. I feel this book would need a lot of research to really do a well analyzed writing on it. This is something I can not do right now.

So for 1984 I'll say, I need a second read.

January 19, 2014

Star Wars Love

The Courtship of Princes Leia
Dave Wolverton
I don't see Star Wars as a lovey dovey type story even when it is all about relationships. For that I am thankful. This story shows a large range of just how love is found. The book starts out with a contrast between Han and Isolder and their love for Leia. Isolder is obviously a foil for Han to highlight his maturity. I probably can't get away with calling Han mature since a major part of the plot comes from him kidnapping Leia but lets ignore that bit for now.. Contrasted to Han, with much of his life is a struggle for financial gain, Isolder has everything he needs. Isolder, despite not knowing Leia, professed his love for her right away. Yet the only thing the two have in common is their duty to their people. Han does state his love for Leia after a slow growth of affection. This leads to the most important contrast. Isolder saw Leia as the perfect Queen Mother, strong but kind, he could only love her in that limited view. Han, by contrast, love Leia for who she is. The plot does a very good job of showing the readers this.  Both Han and Leia give consideration to each other throughout the story. Even with all the possible relationships this commitment is not see elsewhere, even by those who are not lovers but have other relationships.

Luke and Teneniel's potential relationship is intriguing but obviously not one that would work. Teneniel has strong and fast proclamations which is far from what Luke needs. Rapid change has left Luke wounded. His quick attachment to Obiwan and his subsequent loss had a strong impact on Luke. This loss isn't the only one that happened in a short amount of time after uniting with an individual. The current loving relationship that he has is with Leia. It would be slow to form but unyielding in strength.

(Sadly this was meant to be uploaded in August but do to time restraints my writing has taken a back seat.)

August 19, 2013

A Sense of Self

It is amazing to see how two people with such similarities as those found in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Johnson and Quicksand by Nella Larsen can have such distinct personalities from each other. The child hood and even the events of later life correspond greatly in the Ex-colored man’s and Helga Crane’s life from their family and even who they associate with. Despite these similarities the Ex-colored man has a naivety that doesn’t dissipate and Helga Crane would hold an escapist need and dissatisfaction.
                Both the Ex-colored man and Helga Crane both had white, absentee fathers. These fathers play a strong role in the lives of both these individuals. The Ex-colored man’s father supported his mother despite the fact they would not marry and he would later go to marry another. The love his mother felt for his white father also allowed her to deeply love her son. She shared her time with him and made the Ex-colored man her focus and would give him the skills that would lead him through life, his music. Her love, I believe, also kept her from marrying another. Crane would not have this caring home life. Her mother did not lavish her attention on her daughter. She would marry again for financial stability. Crane’s stepfather would resent her and would lead to Crane’s critical view of the world. She had no place at home and would struggle to find one elsewhere. The Ex-colored man would be more at ease in wherever he went. He would have the advantage of looking white and was in a position to change his status because of this.
                The Ex-colored man has a different perspective, a white perspective, compared to Helga Crane. They both have the same parental background but the color of their skin changes their opportunities. The Ex-colored man can choose to ignore the race problem if he wanted to but Helga is submerged. This is most evident by the two rich individuals in the stories.  The Ex-colored man, through the Rich man’s employment, is taken away from the very place where the Ex-colored man would need to question his place and the race question. In Europe his music was what mattered, not if he was a black or a white musician. The Rich man himself need not question his place in a world with white power do to him being a white power. Crane’s rich friend Anne would not allow for this avoidance. Anne herself is black and very much involved in what is called the race question. Talking about race is her main topic because of this she can never place race aside and gain true equality. She judges others of her race for who they associate with and in what manner. This leads to some of Crane’s dissatisfaction.
                The dissatisfaction both these individuals felt would come from the inequality blacks have in society.  The Ex-colored man, despite his ability to appear white to others, could not escape his unfulfillment. He knew who he was, a musician, and played black music. His conflict was to have the safety of having white skin or fulfill his needs to play and gain recognition for it. His children would be the deciding factor of choosing to live as a white man but this required the denial of his race. His ability to take an active part in gaining recognition for blacks that would allow him to find his place in the world was taken by putting his children first. It was a high price to pay. Helga Crane also felt dissatisfaction do to her place in the world but I feel this is less because of her color. I believe Crane had expectations well beyond equality. She expects a very particular person and full acceptance of her. This probably wouldn’t happen even with equality in place. She would not have acceptance from her family, either black or white, and she had very little tolerance for those in her life. Both these characters would suffer for their lack of place in the world.
                The race question is not one easily answered as the Ex-colored man and Helga Crane would find. It wasn’t just about making your way, both managed to find work and friendly people to guide them, but it was about finding satisfaction. When a large part of the population is set against you and the other part unambitious it results in inner turmoil for both these characters. Even with a life time to search and the ability to travel and start anew these issues of who you are is not easily answered.

August 08, 2013

We Are All Choking

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

What to say about social commentary? For someone this book is true and too close to home, ok for more than someone. For the rest it isn't something we can relate to with just the details but strip those away and it, whatever it is, fits everyone. It really does. Victor is a man who needs sympathy but can't get it, nor does he feel like he should get it, and needs a good reason to get it. Oh God the monkey and the chestnuts it's almost too much yet it remains a great way of looking at power. Celebrities, politicians, they are all asses if you know what I mean. They may not all fall into that category but the point is you don't know if they do or not. No matter what, chestnuts in the ass or not, they have to look, act, be some way. We assign them notes even if they are not true. To top it all off we want that ourselves. Victor doesn't even know what he would want out of being that person, he doesn't have the right word.

Really the point of the story is obvious. All the characters are drowning.

I wish I could say more about this story but I'm really not sure what. Either way Palahniuk is very good and bringing the parts of society that tend to get ignored into a book.

June 10, 2013

Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov
A play written in 4 parts

Much of "The Cherry Orchard's" adaptations would be written as tragedies but really it is a funny play. Ya people die at the end and they lose everything but the small moments are what counts. If you do have the right humor you can see where a guy who works his way to riches, but comes from a slavery background, buys the home out from under the owners of his family is funny. Extra points if the girl your taking it from was super sweet to you and you loved her for that. Extra, extra points from him coming home to a dead body on his porch. The rest of the stories humor come from its slapstick presentation. Humor aside what is "The Cherry Orchard" about?

In "The Cherry Orchard" even happy memory's took on an anxiety and disconnect. The characters longed for the old days in an unhealthy way. They made themselves sick on it. Their very ideas are altered out of reality by the way the characters think things should be. Music shows the flow of memory within the play. The first sounds of music is a loan piper in the early hours of the morning. This reflects well on the winding down conversation into a time of sleep. Yepikhodov's playing seem to come most strongly during times of serious or sad topics, such as the history of slavery in Russia's history. The waltz played by the orchestra allows for more one on one interaction between the characters. Later they would stop playing to highlight the need for attention to be placed on Lopakhin's news about the cherry orchard. The soft music they start to play after fits with Liubov's pain.

Liubov's personality is reflected in Dunyasha. She works herself up and gets very emotional. She wants to get married but isn't sure she even wants to marry Yepikhodov. Liubov would have all her troubles come from a man. Dunyasha, in her attempt to act like an upper class individual, fails to see how that life really works. Liubov isn't happy and does not know how to do anything for herself. She is stunted. Lopakhin, who knows what it is like to come from slavery, fails to provide kindness, something he was shown by Liubov, when he gained his fortune. Even if the cherry orchard was cut down he could have offered to keep the house for Liubov. There is also Firs to consider. He really got stiffed.

The string breaking to me means a break in the tension. The subjects are too much and need a change. However these changes are a time of confusion, no one knows what to do. This would be why the characters mistake the sound for others. The moment is being seen differently and their actions do not reflect their needs. The moment is all about ideals rather than what they can do. That is partly why it is a sad sound they are missing part of the moment. The other reason it is a sad sound is because their is a parting in that moment of change.

May 29, 2013

Quote #1

"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor" -Albert Einstein

In a way quotes have been tailored to be a truth themselves. They have been selected out of all possible comments as those worth saying and as having enough elegance to be worth repeating. These words are the highlight of the lives of the best and brightest. They are the words of truth as these people see them. The truth has come in only the messiest of ways the voices we listen to for truth have gained it through hardship. There are many ways how a truth is found. Take archeology as a starting point. All of our history often comes with digging in the dirt. Forensic science is how courts learn the truth of a crime. These unpleasant truths come with many an unpleasant smell. We know who uncovers the truth but who are the tailors?

May 23, 2013


Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I already know this is a book I will need to return too. I can only begin to talk about the inclinations presented in this book. Consciousness, the awareness of self and others, is the main concept within this book. The question is the effects of this consciousness but I feel this isn’t the important view point. It is more important to ask what we will do with it. Consciousness is here, it is not going away. The first bit I needed to reconcile with myself is my wondering if the Underground Man really is conscious. Obviously part of him has to be. He sees too much in himself and others to not have awareness; however what are its limitations? The limitations to me are he does not address the possibility of changing thoughts and actions. The Underground Man will stay the same by his own demands but what does this mean for the reader? Nothing, seeing as the Underground Man states, in the end, we are all underground. You have to make of that what you will.

Limitations are the best way to talk about what the underground is. Consciousness only allows us to see what our situation is. Consciousness does not tell us how to change the situation or our perceptions. In this case, yes, we are all underground. Is there a way out? The enlightenment brings with it the belief that the more we learn, the more we observe of the world, and the better we’ll be. I’m siding with the Underground Man on this one that the concept is flawed and will not work. There will always be an Underground Man, which is how the system works. To be alive is to adapt and often this comes from some weird goof, something that can be good or bad, who knows that isn’t too important.

Another way out to consider is books. Lisa was the first to bring up books and it comes at a key point, while her perspective was changing. Books are the best way to see the world through another person. It expands our view farther than we can. Lives and ideas are changed through words. At the same time the Underground Man was not changed, only Lisa. With her we do not know to what extent she was changed. The most important piece would be not that she changed, but the fact she would have changed because of someone else. The prostitute is the only redeemable person within “Notes from the Underground.” This is remarkable seeing as she is not in an admirable position. No one would like to be her and in her spot in life. At the same time we want to live with youthful hope and openness. The cruelty and carelessness of others is something to be rejected. Even the Underground Man knows we do this and calls it out as he speaks with us. What makes her so different? For one thing she is in a lowly position and has no filter. By this I mean she is not in a place to ignore others. Because of this her reactions gain an admirable quality. The dignity she shows is the last thing she has to lose.

The Underground man also clings to what he is at risk of losing as well. His view of himself is the only thing he regards. How he looks to others and his superiority is what his focus is on. He cannot see others without forming an opinion they must hold about him. He cannot see others only versions of himself in them.