Friday, May 23, 2008

Reflection Paper


English class has always been one of my favorite courses at school. This year my English class was different than any class I have ever had before. I have always loved to read books, ever since I could read. One thing that changed when I entered Mr. Gallagher’s class was the type of novels I read.

The first book that we read in class, which was called The Stranger, was unlike any other book I have read before. Most books that I have read have a positive outcome or a positive outlook even if there are angry, sad, or depressing parts. The Stranger had a different outlook than I had ever seen. It was very pessimistic and negative. From reading that book I learned that it is a good thing there are novels that aren’t just optimistic because the real world isn’t always happy. There needs to be novels with much different perspectives because that’s the way the world works in reality.

One book that I read for an independent reading project really fascinated me. I really enjoyed reading On The Road. I really liked the style of Kerouac’s writing. The interesting events and fast paced movement kept me hooked. I liked doing the project on this book because Mr. Gallagher made some really cool assignments. I got to write like the author and create my own filler chapter for the book. That assignment was my favorite because I loved the book and style of writing and it made me feel like I was right in the setting with the characters. On The Road was another type of book and writing style that became new to me this year.

Out of all the fascinating books I read all year, there were two that I will never forget. For the summer reading assignment I read a book called The Kite Runner. This was one of the best books I have read in my whole life. The plot and setting kept me guessing at times and also shocked at times. There were so many important lessons in this book. I also really liked this book because it addressed real problems occurring in the Middle East. I liked learning about the culture and think it was important that I also learned about their hard times. I will never forget this book. I’m very interested in the Middle East now and I think it would be pretty cool to read more about their history and culture.

The other book that I will never forget is called A Thousand Splendid Suns. I read this book for my winter break reading assignment. I loved the book as soon as I started reading it and now it is one of my all-time favorites. The things that I learned from reading this book will stay with me for the rest of my life. The events are so powerful that the reader feels affected by them. That how I felt after reading this book and I felt as if the characters were real and I wanted to reach out to them. The characters and their stories are unforgettable to me. The fact that the book related to a real crisis in the world kept my attention even more. It was so interesting to read about the affects on the other side. I have only ever heard about the affects in the U.S. I’m glad I got the chance to read this book.

The last book that I read in Mr. Gallagher’s that I’ll never forget is called A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I have never read anything as hard to understand as James Joyce’s writing. I learned a lot from this book, despite the fact that it was very hard for me to interpret. It had many hidden messages, symbols, and so much deeper meaning. I learned about phallic stages, motherly attachments, and even religion and art. This was one of the hardest assignments I have ever had to complete because we were assigned an eight page paper on this book. I had to use techniques like explication to complete it. I won’t ever forget this challenging book.

Before Mr. Gallagher’s class I had never used explication before. I have improved on my explication skills and connecting skills a lot this year. I have also had the chance to read so many great books this year that are unforgettable to me. I will never forget some of the messages, lessons, and memories of those books. I have also improved on my writing skills since last year and I now know how to set up a research paper. I learned a lot of great stuff this year and I’m glad because I think it will be very useful to me in college.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Descriptive Writing: Small Woods Where I Met Myself and Dream Theater

The first piece of work, by Jerry Uelsmann, that I decided to write about is called Small Woods Where I Met Myself. The first thing that catches my eye in this picture is the figure standing in the middle of the woods that has no reflection. The fact that this figure has no reflection indicates to me that it is possibly not human. It could be a ghost or it could be a person looking at himself in this picture. The title can be a symbol that the middle figure may be looking at himself and therefore has no reflection because these are "the woods where he is meeting himself". The figure is not similar to the others in the picture. It looks as if it may be in motion because one leg is bent and the figure is at an angle more sideways than the other one. It is hard to tell if this figure is a woman, or if it is even a human. The only thing possible to see is the shape of the body.

There are two other figures standing in what appears to be woods and the two of them appear to be women. The first person on the left side of the picture is standing, slighty slouched, behind a small tree. This person has a whitish glow behind her which could mean that it is nighttime in the woods. Her face does not have much detail and only appears to be dark. Her reflection looks the same as she does standing there. She looks similar to the other figure standing on the right side of the picture. These two women appear to be wearing the same clothes and their hair and bodies have the same shape. The only differences are that the one on the left is just standing slightly closer and her face has no detail. The facial detail can somewhat be seen of the woman on the right. She appears to be looking straight ahead as if she is staring at something. Her shadow also appears to be the same as her profile. What these omen are looking at cannot be determined because all the eye can see is their reflection. The reflection could be on water but its hard to tell. The colors are black an white, with different shades of gray and such. The shadowy glow behind the figures is brighter and matches the reflections. The use of the brighter light shadow behind the people is used to indicate that its nighttime. Everything is perfectly reflected in this picture except the figure in the middle, which makes this picture quite interesting to look at and think about.



The second picture I'm going to describe is called Dream Theater. The first thing that catches my eye in this picture is the two hands on top of a book. The hands appear to be a faint transparent white. The book under the hands could be a bible, which would make sense because the transparent hands could belong to God. They could be the hands of some spirit or supernatural figure. The book could also be something else, like a dictionary and the figure could be trying to figure out what is going on. This figure could be looking at the person in the middle of the picture and maybe judging it or trying to understand the situation.

The person in the middle of the picture appears to be walking farther and farther into this structure of columns neatly placed together to make an arch at the top. The columns look like they could be an entrance to a church or it could be something else. The structure looks like it is older because of the architecture. The person could be walking into a church and this could be their judgment day or the person could be walking out of the building and towards the hands. Something that I find interesting about this person is that it is a dark solid color. The hands are a light transparent color. This could symbolize a separation of purity and impurity.

The next thing that caught my eye is the crow sitting in the middle of the ground. The crow could symbolize darkness, sorrow, or loss of some sort. Both the crow and the person are black, meaning that they could have some similarity symbolically. Its interesting that it stands in the middle of the hands and the person. The part of ground next to the crow that appears to be either missing, or it could be a part of a table where the hands and book rest.

Something that I find interesting about the building is that the top is obscured by clouds. The clouds could be a symbol of loss and death indicating that a loved one is gone. The clouds could represent heaven because white can represent purity. The clouds don't take up the whole top part of the picture, there is only a few of them and then just the dark night sky. The clouds light up the inside of the building where the person is walking and emphasize the dark figure. The clouds are white and greatly contrast with the night sky. They stick out because the color doesn't belong in the setting.

Both of the pictures are very interesting and have many interesting characteristics about them. In The Small Woods Where I met Myself, I think that the figure in the middle with no reflection is the most eye-catching and mind-puzzling part. It could be something unreal or a human being. I think it makes the picture interesting because it makes a contrast of reality and fiction. I think all the colors and symbols in the Dream Theater picture are fascinating. The crow and the person identify with each other in the fact that they both appear dark. The hands are white and transparent and are similar to the white clouds on top of the building. I find both of these pictures interesting to look at and to interpret because they have a lot contrast and are different from most artwork I have seen before.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns: Miriam's Great Change


When the book starts, the first character to be introduced is Miriam. In these first chapters Miriam is young and innocent. Miriam has a lot of love for her parents, but she soon finds out that one of them does not feel the same. Miriam’s father, Jalil, is more concerned about his reputation than he is about her. Miriam makes one big mistake and she receives many harsh and undeserved consequences. Miriam was very happy before, but after many tragic events she becomes very depressed. At this point in the book Miriam is very upset and undergoing many harsh realities. She never wants to see her father again.

When Miriam moves in with Rasheed she is living with a stranger. Miriam cries a lot over her life and Rasheed is unsure of why she is upset. As Miriam starts to accept her life and what it has become, something huge comes up. Rasheed wants children and Miriam is devastated to find out that she is infertile. Rasheed gets angry at Miriam for her problem, which is not something she can control, and they barely speak anymore. Miriam feels hurt and neglected.

Jalil comes to see Miriam at Rasheed’s house one day, but Miriam will not come outside. Miriam still has bottled up feelings of anger and sadness due to her father’s previous neglect to her. A letter is left for Miriam, but instead of reading it she tears it up. Miriam feels that her life just keeps getting worse and worse. She doesn’t understand why life seems to be treating her so badly. However, Miriam doesn’t know that life will soon become better for her, soon enough.

Laila comes into Rasheed’s house at first as a shelter for her medical needs and lack of parents. Laila ends up marrying Rasheed. At first, Miriam is angered and jealous towards Laila. Their relationship starts out rocky, but they actually end up becoming very close. Laila is able to have children and Laila’s daughter, her first child, bonds very well with Miriam. Laila also has a second child, a baby boy. Miriam cares for both Laila’s children very well because she sees them as if they are her own, the children that she could not have herself. Miriam and Laila became very close over the years at Rasheed’s house. They help each other do chores and handle the children. They sit out together in the backyard and drink tea. They even try to run away from Rasheed. After a long and humiliating return to Rasheed’s house, Miriam ends up killing him. When Miriam knows she has to confess about her sin, she undergoes her biggest change in the book. She is scared to be executed and no longer feels pain and depression over her life. She is instead grateful and happy that her life has been fulfilling. She is happy that, after all her suffering, she has helped loved ones and had a purpose in life. She is grateful for her life before she gets executed, which is a huge and hard change for anyone to make.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Women that Faced the Death Penalty

The death penalty, or capital punishment, is opposed by many people in our country. Many people have been killed over the years by electrocution, lethal injection, a gas chamber, or, in much earlier years, hanging. We hear about many men facing the death penalty because it is not as common for women. However, there are cases of women facing the death penalty. In our country, there have been fifty women executed since 1900. Out of those fifty women, I decided to write about three: Aileen Wuornos, Wanda Jean Allen, and Frances Newton.

Aileen Wuornos of Florida was sentenced to the death penalty for killing seven men. These murders were not her first crimes though; she had a record including grand theft auto, armed robbery, and assaults. Wuornos confessed to her murders, pleading self-defense in the case of her first victim. Wuornos spent a lot of time in jail and went through many interviews. In one of her last interviews Wuornos was asked if any of her other victims, besides Richard Mallory, were murdered in self-defense. When she thought the cameras were off she told him that some of them were but that she could never tell anyone and would just have to go for her execution. Aileen went to her execution willingly. She declined her last meal and her last words were: "I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I'll be back." Aileen Wuornos was executed on October 9, 2002 by lethal injection, after 10 years in prison and on death row.

Wanda Jean Allen of Oklahoma was sentenced to the death penalty for murder. Wanda Jean Allen killed her girlfriend Gloria Jean Leathers, who she met in prison. Although this is the crime she was recognized for, she also plead guilty to the manslaughter of Dedra Pettus in 1981 and sentenced to four years in prison. Dedra Pettus was Wanda’s roommate and when Wanda was serving time for Dedra’s murder she met Gloria. The two were said to have had a turbulent relationship and question of self-defense was brought into play at trial. Wanda did not want to confess and tried her best to make it seem like self-defense. However, the self-defense was ruled out and Wanda was sentenced to the death penalty. Unlike Aileen, Wanda was not ready to die. She plead not to be killed, but her pleads were denied. Evidence was later found that Wanda had minor brain damage, but this did not affect anything. Wanda had to stay on death row and she remained there for twelve years. On January 11, 2001, Wanda Jean Allen was executed by means of lethal injection.

Frances Newton of Texas was sentenced to the death penalty for murder. Frances Newton killed her husband, her son, and her 21 month old daughter. Frances took out $50,000 dollar life policies on her two children and the day after she filed insurance claims she was arrested for capital murder. Her record prior to the murders consisted of a probated forgery conviction. Frances was scheduled to be executed on December 1, 2004, but was given a reprieve of 120 days to look over forensic evidence. After the reprieve, two appeals were turned down and Frances stayed put on death row. Newton had very few words while she was in prison. Although Newton did not do much protesting herself, many other people contacted the governor to ask that the execution be stopped. Despite all the attempts for a cease to Newton’s execution, it remained scheduled to take place. Newton had no lasts words and she denied a final meal. On September 14, 2005, Frances Newton was executed by lethal injection.

All these women committed murder. Some committed worse crimes than others, but they all took the life of others and were forced to pay for it. I found that murder appeared to be the worst crime committed and therefore the crime resulting in the death penalty. Aileen had a history of crime and Wanda had been jailed for killing once before, but Newton did not have a violent history. Newton’s murders were found to be cold-blooded and extremely harsh by the public, but the public still fought for her execution to be stopped. Newton was the last women to be executed in the United States. Both Wanda and Frances killed a partner or child. Aileen killed random men while practicing prostitution. Research shows that almost half of the women on death row either killed their partner, their children, or both. Research also shows that women are significantly less likely to receive the death penalty than men. Victor Streib said in his research, “Women [are charged with] roughly 10 to 12 percent of the murders in the country. They get about 2 percent of the death sentences and get less than 1 percent of the actual executions.” The reason why I wanted to research this subject is because of the fact that women are much less likely to face the death penalty. I wanted to see what kinds of crimes were committed and how these women went through their death sentencing. This topic is very interesting to study and I enjoyed writing my research paper on it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blog Posts on: Madame Bovary


So far I have enjoyed this book. I like the way it is written and translated. When I was reading the beginning of the book I was a little bored with it. I wasn't sure why the author put in the part about Charles' parents' history. When Charles became a doctor and married the widow he seemed unhappy. But when Charles met Emma the mood changed, and I also started getting more interested in the book.To answer Meagan's question, (After she and Charles attend this dance, everything Emma sees is in a different perspective. How do you think that altered her?) I think that when Emma experienced a new lifestyle she realized that hers seemed boring in a way. Emma wants change and when she sees how all these people live, she wants to live the same way. She wants to go places and do things, not just sit around at home. She wants to do something different than what she is used to and bored with. It is not about money, because she has enough, but it is about excitement and change. She is almost rebelling a bit from when she was an "angelic" child.Now that Emma wants change and is bored with her life I have become a little confused. She has a good husband and a nice house. Charles is a doctor and together they have money and are content. She was passionate towards Charles when they were married, but now she doesn't feel the same. Now she wants change, and I am confused because she waits until now to express her feelings. So a question I have is: Why does Emma just now realize that she wants change in her life? If she thought her life was not exciting, why didn't she go somewhere different or do something exciting before she settled down and married Charles?

In response to Meagan’s question, (Emma clearly has feelings for Léon, so why does she push them away when she has the opportunity to leave? She tries to put him out of her mind, and she leaves the feelings all behind. Is she feeling guilty or just bored again?) I think that Emma does not want to realize her feelings for Leon because she may end up regretting them. She is not sure if there will be consequences for her actions. I think she is afraid to act upon her desire because she is unsure about the outcome.A passage that I think fits well for my reasoning is, “Sometimes, however, this hypocrisy became so repugnant to her that she was tempted to run away with Leon to some faraway place where she could begin a different life; but then she always felt as though some dark, mysterious abyss were opening up before her.”(94) Emma is scared of what will happen to her. If she sins, she may fall into this mysterious abyss.I think Emma knows that her desire is to leave Charles. But Emma knows that if she leaves him it will be a sin. She hopes for a new life and she has strong feelings for Leon. But she can’t leave Charles. She is a little torn. She says that she basically hates Charles, but if this is true she should leave him. So my next question is similar to Meagan’s, is Emma only afraid to leave because of her consequences, or is she also afraid because some part of her still has love for Charles?

I don't really understand why Emma intends on staying with Charles if she is unhappy and will upset Charles by being so cold towards him. Emma shows no affection for Charles and he does so much. He works very hard and provides a good life for Emma , but its not enough for her. Emma is never really satisfied, for as long as I have read so far. I don't think Emma will ever really be satisfied.Emma seems to think that she is supposed to have more out of everything. "Emma was steadily growing more capricious and hard to please." I think she feels as if the world owes her. She is not happy and doesn't treat others as cordially as she should. Emma feels like she is better than some others and that she does not belong where she is. But I think that Emma knows that if she tries to leave, and have a different life, she will upset Charles and some others very much.I think that Emma has no real reason for hating Charles. She uses it as an excuse for her unhappiness. She hates the fact that Charles loves her so much because she does not love him back. He is happy with her and she cannot understand it. I think she doesn't want Charles to love her so much because it would give her a reason to leave him. Now that Emma is pregnant, would she leave Charles is she had a chance? I wonder is she would be happier when her baby is born, or will she still be miserable?

Since Emma is so focused on her own suffering, I don’t think she will pay much attention to her baby. She seems to not care about anything but getting money and living the “good life”. I think Emma’s baby will represent another obstacle in her life holding her back from her true desires. It is another obstacle holding her back from escaping her sorrow. A mother should love her child with all her heart, but I don’t think Emma is capable of that. In my opinion, Emma would not be a good mother.I think that Charles would be a good father. He has so much love for Emma, someone that does not even feel the same. This indicates to me that with his child loving him so much, he will love and take very good care of her. She is a part of him and partly his creation. I think he will love her very much. I think having a baby may cause Charles to realize how cold Emma is being towards him and help him figure out what is going on with her. When the baby is born and growing up, I don’t think Emma will take as much notice as she should. I think Charles will want to take good care of his child, and will when he can, but he works and cannot always be home. The baby’s mother will be home with her and should take good care of her, but I think Emma will only push the baby away. I don’t think Emma will bond properly with her child like a mother should. Another reason I think Charles will have so much love for his child is the fact that his father was not so good to him. I think this could encourage Charles to set a good example and be there for his child. He will be the best father he can be. But I wonder what will happen if Emma leaves him. How would Charles react? How would the baby react when she grows up?

In part two, I think Emma's love affair becomes very complicated. She meets Rodolphe and believes she will escape her miserable life. I think it is dumb that she believes that they will runoff and be lovers because she is already married and has a child. Emma just seems desperate to be loved, but doesn't want to accept that her life will prevent her from it.When she meets Rodolphe, his motives are not what she believes them to be. He sees her beauty and he wants to have her, but not forever. When Rodolphe starts seeing her he has no intention of moving away with her and her daughter for a better life. I do not think Rodolphe loves her, it is lust. Rodolphe doesn't want to settle down, especially with someone that is married and has a child. On page 113, it says, "He had a great temperament and a shrewd intelligence; furthermore, he had had a great many mistresses and was a good judge of women." He does not really want to be with Emma.Some of Rodolphes thoughts foreshadow that he will leave her. He thinks to himself, " Poor Woman! She's gasping for love like a carp gasping for water on a kitchen table. A few sweet words and she'd adore me, I'm sure of it! She'd be affectionate, charming....Yes, but how could I get rid of her later?" Rodolphe's motives are wrong and he manipulates Emma. But then again, she has a false hope that a "prince charming" is going to come sweep her off her feet and rescue her. I'm not sure what Flaubert thinks about love, but in the novel he makes it seem so unpredictable. Its always changing for Emma because she is never truly satisfied. But I wonder if these are examples of real love, or are they just examples of lust and desperateness?

I think that Emma's love affairs are pointless. She will get pleasure, but she will always be married and have a child. I think Emma will continue to have love affairs because she will never be content with her life. She will always want more. She wants to live the "good life" very badly, just like a teenager in high school wants to fit in. It will only be short-lived. I think Emma is dumb for thinking that Rodolphe loved her. It makes me feel a little sorry also though, because of the way he left her. I don't think that Emma is dumb for loving Leon though, because he does love her back.I'm surprised that Leon comes back into the novel. Even though it is coincidence to the characters, it was planned by the author. I am curious as to why Flaubert brings back this character. Both Leon and Emma feel old flames when they see each other. After all the conflict with Rodolphe, I thought Emma might give up on trying to find another lover, but now that Leon is back my thoughts have changed. She has her heart set on finding someone that will love her the "right way". I think Leon can be that man, at least for a while.Even though Leon has come back, I don't think Emma will be with him in the end. I think that now that Leon is back in the area, but not living in Yonville, Him and Emma will pick up where they left off. I think Emma may try to go see him sometimes, and they will have their alone time, but it will be different than Rodolphe because Leon actually has love for her. I don't think her relationship with Leon will end the way her relationship with Rodolphe did, but I can see some similarities in that she will secretly be having an affair with him.I think that Leon does love Emma. When they see each other, they feel something from their past. At the opera their old feelings surface. I think they will pick up where they left off. However, the way it will end makes me curious. I don't think Emma will end up with Leon, but you never know. So, some questions I have wondered about: How will their affair end? ill Charles catch on? And if he does how will he react? And lastly, How will Emma react if Leon leaves her?

Something from part two that I would like to talk about is Emma's sickness. None of the other characters understand what has really happened to her. After Rodolphe left her, she became very depressed. She wouldn't eat, drink, talk, walk, or do anything. She felt helpless, like her whole world came crashing down. I was surprised at how long Emma seemed to be "sick". It was a mysterious situationto all the other characters, but to Emma it was ery clear.I do think that Emma loved Rodolphe. Her reaction was very rash. She allowed herself to be very vulnerable, therefore Rodolphe took adavantage of her and manipulated her. I was surprised by how attached she really was to Rodolphe. When she recieves his letter and goes to the attic, she wants to die. At one moment in the attic, Emma wanted to commit suicide. On page 179 it says, "She glanced around her, longing for the whole earth to crumble. Why not end it all? What was to stop her? She was free. She leaned forward, looked down at the pavement and said to herself, 'Go ahead! Go ahead!'" When I read this, I was very surprised. I could not believe that Emma really thought her life was bad enough that she would want to commit suicide.When this whole situation happened, I was a little confused because I was unsure why Flaubert put this into the book. When Emma was "sick", Charles took such good care of her. She just could not love Charles in the way which she desires to seek love. So, after thinking about this whole situation, I wanted to know why Flaubert put this in the book, What is the significance, Why did he have Emma act this way?

think that the prediction by Michelle, that Emma will commit suicide, is very good. Many things in the book foreshadow it. Emma pretty much starts off her marriage being miserable. Then she carries on her life in a state of depression. Emma is never truly satisfied. She is unsure of what she really wants in life, becuase when better things come to her she still finds them unsatisfying.Emma recieves many acts of kindness from others, but she is still not really happy with anything that anyone has to offer. Charles does so much for her. They move to a different city. They have a child. Emma gets very "sick" and depressed because of Rodolphe, and Charles trys his best to keep her healthy and happy. Emma believes her life is over when Rodolphe, the best thing in her life at the time, leaves her. I think that even if Rodolphe had not left her, she would have ended up unhappy. When she has suicidal thoughts after Rodolphe goes, it foreshadows her fate in the end of the book. She already shows thoughts of suicide and signs of depression.Emma thinks that she needs so much more than can be given to her, but the truth is that she just doesn't want to accept anything thats good for her. Emma has plenty of nice things and she knows a lot of great people but Emma strives for the high life. However, once she would actually make it there, she would look for bigger and better things still. So, I wonder why Flaubert makes this the fate of our character? I havent finished part three yet, so I am also wondering what will become of Charles and their daughter?

When I finished part three, I was really surprised with all the crazy stuff that happened all at once. I was unsure why all these terrible events happened at once, but then again it was building up to the climax. In the beginning of part three, Emma is continuing her affair with Leon. One day that she has gone to visit him and comes back, she finds out that the pharmacist has apparently called for her. This is a part I would like to discuss because two things about it intrigue me.When Emma goes to see the pharmacist he barely even notices that she is there. He is too busy yelling at Justin about going into his sacred depository. When Homais finally notices Emma, he forgets to say what he is supposed to in a polite way and just throws it out: elder Monsieur Bovary has died. It seems like Emma thinks about this for a few moments and may even feel bad, but then it seems as if she doesn’t really care that much.The first thing I would like to talk about from this part is Emma’s reaction to the news. She doesn’t seem to care too much. She is thinking of other things. When she comes home, she does not console Charles the way she should. This makes me feel a little frustrated because Charles always tries to console Emma to the best of his abilities, but she does not do the same for him. Charles is wrong in thinking that Emma feels so sad and is rejecting him due to her sadness. It is Charles’ father that has died, but he is still trying to console Emma. It shows how much he really does love her, but she doesn’t seem to care.Now I would like to talk about the pharmacist. I want to make a connection between this part and the ending of the book. In this part we see that Homais is a hothead and seems to only really care about himself and his “science”. I feel that Homais is very self-centered and arrogant. I personally dislike his character very much. I think that Homais thinks that he is better than everyone else. Homais has a lot to say about other people and subjects, like religion and money, but he seems to think that he can do no wrong. In the end of the book, Homais seems to not really care about Emma’s death. He is more interested in being recognized by these famous doctors. He is only thinking of himself and how he can benefit from the situation, even though it is a tragedy. I’m not sure why Flaubert decides to focus on Homais in the end, but I do know that there is a connection between Homais and Emma. Emma always wanted to be on top and be the best with the best; Homais already thinks he is one of the best.

After Emma's death, Charles is very sad, but he seems to be the only one. Flaubert does not focus on Charles as much as I thought he would after Emma's death. Flaubert focuses more on Homais and the townspeople than he does the main characters in the end. After Emma's death, a few things happened that surprised me, but some event I had expected to occur.Something that surprised me was Felicite's rudeness. I could not believe that Felicite would steal all of Emma's wardrobe. Felicite seemed like a nice and caring person. To steal from someone shows great disrespect. Felicite stole from the dead, that implies to me that she is both disrespectful and coldhearted. She does not care how this could affect Charles' state and does not care that she has disrespected the dead. She shows dishonor to Emma, even if she is dead. I was not surprised that not many of the townspeople still cared much about Emma's death once everything was over. They all have lives of their own and they must live them. Charles thinks that because he still mourns over Emma, others should also. This is not true, Emma was not a big part of their lives like she was in Charles'. He wants to talk to people about her and try to remember her, but the other people are thinking about their own problems and don't really pay much attention. Charles should gop on with his life, but he can't because he doesn't want to. His depression and drawn oput reaction to Emma's death does not surprise me; I expected him to react this way.

Charles' death was not a shock to me. I figured that he would die in the end. He finds out about Emma's affairs and her secret life, and it makes him even more depressed. When he realizes what had been really going on throughout their marriage, he becomes more sad than anything else. He finds out that the love of his life apparently didn't feel the same. I thought it was strange that when he saw Rodolphe, he was not very angry, he just seemed sad. I think that this was the beginning of the events that led up to his breaking point. When Charles started to do things like Emma, I knew it could only turn out worse. He signs promissory notes, borrows and handles money that he does not have, and trys to sell all he has for money. Charles does not dare to touch Emma's things though. He wants to preserve some of her for himself to have, because he can not see her.When Charles stops leaving the house, it indicates to me that he would soon die. He is in a great state of depression. He brings Berthe to the cemetary every night to try and keep the memory of Emma. This is very unhealthy for both of them, even though Berthe may not know what is going on. It is very unhealthy for Charles' depressed mind. Charles becomes worse and worse and stops paying attention to everyone. When he dies, I was a little confused because I was unsure of the cause. I think he comitted suicide also, but was that the way he died?

Something in part three that agitated me was the lack of attention for little Berthe. I feel that it is unfair to her that her parents, and not many others, paid very little attention to her. She was not well cared for. Her father shows her attention towards the end, but it is because she is all he has left; all he has left of Emma.In the last chapter there is a quote that bothers me a little bit because Berthe is left in the dark about what is really going on. "The next day Charles had Berthe back to the house. She asked for her mother and was told that she had gone away on a trip and would bring her back some toys." Then Berthe begins to forget about her mother. I think it is cruel to not tell Berthe what really happened, even though she is young, because she will have to find out about it later anyways. She is expecting her mother back, with toys for her. Little does she know that soon enough she will never see her parents again. She deserves much better.Another quote that made me think was, "It pained him, poor man, to see her so shabbily dressed, with her unlaced shoes and her smock torn from the armhole to the waist, for the cleaning woman took no care of her." It is sad that the cleaning woman does not help in taking better care of Berthe, but it is even more sad that her own father doesn't. Its interesting because Charles is the one that is supposed to be taking care of his daughter, not the cleaning woman. Berthe's mother never really paid much attention to her and she ends up committing suicide. Later on, she finds her father dead. They never gave her very much, but now she really had nothing. There was nothing left to be given to her, all money was spent and everything was gone. Berthe ends up poor and living with a distant aunt. She has to work in a factory to help support the family. Nobody was very good to Berthe in life, and she deserved so much more.

When I read the Biography Skethch and some of the first essay, I see many parallells betwen Flaubert and his lifestyle and the book. Charles and Emma don't have a happy ending to their life, and it doesn't seem like Flaubert did either. Flaubert was short on money, like Charles and Emma. He was probably not as happy with his successes in life as he thought he would be.Flaubert was said to make the first blow to romanticim with "Madame Bovary". I'm not sure if he really was the first to do it, but he deffinitely did make a blow to romanticism. It talks about affairs, hardships, and tragedy caused by love. Love causes both of the main characters to commit suicide. The book shows that loe is not always sweet, and it does not always have a happy ending. Love can be very harsh and it can trigger people to do ver rash things.I think it was good that Flaubert wrote the novel the way he did. Whether it was the first blow to romanticism or not, it is good for people to see a different side of love. It shows a little more reality because love can really cause these kinds of tragedies, and people should know that. Some may think that this book may seem harsh, but I think it is good that it is written this way because people need to see more than just happy endings. Showing different ways of love and different outcomes is good for people to read about. Even though events like the ones in "Madame Bovary" were more uncommon in earlier times, they are becoming more and more common in modern life. People should see different sides to views and ideas; it can help expand their knowledge and give them more light into many different experiences that can occur.

Monday, March 24, 2008

On The Road: Filler Chapter


After we returned the car we weren’t sure how the Cadillac owner would react. I don’t think Dean really cared much anyway. After all, nothing could get in the way of our kicks. Chicago was a grand city with crazy clubs. In the afternoon we decided to sleep for a while and recover from the night before. We were not going to, but we decided to go out for some kicks on our last night in the city. We would get on the road in the morning and take a bus headed east. Eventually we would get to New York. We went to Anita O’Day’s club again and this time we also had many beers.

Out of nowhere Dean shouted, "God has arrived again!" and sure enough there was George Shearing walking into Anita O’Day’s club. George looked tired, but ready to play some music. He played the piano for a long while, with a few choruses and his amazing chords. He kept playing until he couldn’t play anymore. He left the stage and took a seat at the bar. Dean and I went over to have a drink with him. Dean shouted , "Hot Damn!" We were in Chicago, getting our kicks, talking to George Shearing. Chicago was great.


There were the same young bop musicians and an even bigger crowd than the night before. We walked around outside the club and tried to pick up some girls off the street. With no luck we went into the club again and got some whiskey. The music blasting out of the horn and the other instruments made me want to join them. There was skinny Chicago kid again, ready to jump and blow on his trombone. At intermission I went out for some air. The night was young and so was the city. When I went back inside Dean was getting his kicks with some more beer. I told him to come outside with me.

Outside on the sidewalk Dean spotted one of the prettiest young girls we have both ever seen. She was thin and average height with long blonde hair. I told him to go pick her up. "Go talk to her Dean", I said. But he didn't do it. When I asked him why he just said, "I couldn't do it man." It was strange to see Dean scared to approach a girl. It was as if he had fallen in love with her in the five minutes that he was watching her. I decided to go ask her to join us for some drinks. And sure enough she did. We went back inside the club and got some more beers. She was having fun and Dean started easing up. He started talking to her about all kinds of things. I was sure that he would get in with her before the night was over.

While Dean was picking up the young blonde, I decided to look for a girl of my own. I went for a walk. The streets were so alive and lit up. It reminded me of New York and I actually missed the "Big Apple" a little bit. I smoked a few cigarettes and thought about some things. I thought about going back to New York. Our return to New York was really going to be something. I thought about traveling more, to foreign countries like Italy or Mexico. Someday Dean and I could probably make it to South America if the road would allow it. I wondered happily as I stumbled back into the club to hear the loud and crazy music in the club. I sat next to Dean. His girl wasn't there. I wondered what went wrong and so I asked him. He simply said that she would be back later.

We talked about New York and Frisco. The beautiful Frisco and all the ood times there. We talked about Denver and all of our history there. Dean's father was there and he wanted to find him someday. Many memories were in Denver and we wanted to hold on to them. This deep conversation had both Dean and I sweating. We smoked a few cigarettes and had some beers. Dean started talking about Old Bull Lee. We wondered where he was. If he was getting his kicks and if he was with his girl. It was just Dean and I now. I wondered if we would ever see any of our good old friends again. My aunt thought they were all idiots, but I knew that they were all good people. Even good old Dean, the mad-man.

Another intermission and back outside we went. Surprisingly, dean's girl actually came back. She came over and started talking about music and I don't know what else. I wasn't really paying attention. The music started up again and Dean started shouting things like "Yes!" and "Hot Damn". He was sweating and yelling and happy all at once. For a moment I thought Dean was mad again. He started talking about his father and then about Camille. We started musing about Mexico and decided that one day we drive there. Dean shouted, to nobody in particular, "The road can take us anywhere!" Then he said, "C’mon, let’s go man", and off we went.

On The Road: Explication


On the last page of the book On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, there is a very meaningful and important passage. The passage reads: "...all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty." This passage is both very descriptive and powerful. In the passage the author is suggesting that there are things in life that will always be unknown, but there are memories that will never be forgotten. He also displays the fact that every place is different from another.

In the first part of this passage the road is the subject. This part of the passage is very important because the road is a main symbol throughout the book. With these words the author is expressing the feel of the road. The road is always going and can seem endless. It makes up all of America. People dream on this road about life and love and everything. It allows people to feel free to think and wonder. It fascinates those who drive on it because it has them guessing where it will take them next.

The next part of the passage is about Iowa. This part is significant because it shows that all the states are different and unique. The author is trying to express that no two places are the same. In Iowa, "they let the children cry". All places have their own ways that make them unique. Normal is defined differently for all locations. What seems normal in one place can be absurd in another. Kerouac is showing how different everywhere can be.

In the following part of the passage the author refers to God. The stars in the sky tell the reader there is a clear night sky and that it is peaceful on this part of earth. Stars do not appear in busy places like cities. This also refers back to the fact that everywhere is different. The words, "God is Pooh Bear?” can suggest that God is interpreted in many ways because every person can see Him in his own way. Maybe the children are young and innocent and like Pooh Bear, so this is why he is referred to as God. Age and even location can affect personality and nobody is the same as anybody else.

The next part of the passage the night is becoming full. The phrase, "the evening star must be drooping", can represent the sky starting to change. Once the stars are gone the sky becomes darkness. This is when most people sleep. The night can represent peace for everyone, whether they are sleeping or not. The night is unique to every area and comes at different times in different areas too. The author is showing some of the many diversities of the world.

The night is unique to every part of the world. Night and darkness can symbolize old age and death. This last part of the passage expresses thoughts about old age and about memories. Everyone will grow old, but memories are not forgotten. Although close friends may not stay with each other for their whole lives, the times they spent together are never forgotten. This ending shows how close Dean and Sal really were. Sal is thinking of Dean and remembering the times they had together. People go their separate ways and everything eventually comes to an end. Memories make everything more worthwhile and happy to remember when one is close to the end.

All the different lifestyles and places in the world make memories once experienced. Experiencing another ay of living is something one cannot forget. Traveling with friends and making memories out of all the good old times is something one should cherish. Although there is always an end, it can become more pleasant with happy memories to reminisce about. Diversity is beneficial for one to experience. Every person and every place is different and unique in its own way. Kerouac is telling the reader that there are many differences in the world, but that the differences will not hurt a person. Experiencing different things can create memories that should be preserved because everyone must die, but everyone should have fun times, hard times, and best friends to remember.