Acceptance

Lauren’s exaggerations, lies truths come to a conclusion in the part four of the book which is the recovery.  She invented characters, she changed her name, created situations where she becomes the center of attention ” I decided I should submit an interview like that to the campus news paper. I said my name was Juliette Epstein.” (172) Too many lies that makes the truth seem as a lie too. ” Six weeks later, “The Cherry Tree” came out in print. The interview did not come out in print. Of course, no one called.” (174)  For a moment I believed she send this interview to be campus news paper because it sounded so real, but it was one more lie.

     The narrator tries to warn the readers about the college counselor she went to see about her being unable to adjust to college life. “I handed him Dr. Neu’s paper. He read it, and he look at me. In my opinion, he read it very, very quickly, like maybe thirty seconds, a minute tops, so keep that in mind.”(175)  That phrase “so keep that in mind” tries to preset in the reader’s mind a wrong idea about the psychologist and what ever happen out of that meeting  the reader have to support the narrator’s point of view and reaction. Regardless of her intentions to support her reaction I was so surprise when the psychologist unmask her and confront her. “This, he said, this paper, he said, is not real”(175) if the paper is not real, so the person who wrote it. I feel that the entire book is one big lie.

     The truth can’t be hiding forever, Lauren becomes part of an AA group and again just like the situation with college counselor she was confronted with reality and force to tell the truth and accept that her illness was a big lie and that she always wanted to be the center of attentions. “In a way, this memoir is like my fifth step. I am not an alcoholic and I may not really be an epileptic either.”

Lying Part 2 The Rigid Stage

If it wasn’t for the narrator that tells the story of her life when she was young and the struggle of her illness, the protagonist of the story could be easily be Anita, her mother.  Lauren build this story around her mother “My mother believe that will, not love, was what made the world go around, and I agree.” (27) This phrase clearly tells the influence of the Anita on her daughter Lauren.  As it was mentioned in class there are parts on this novel that can be related to short stories read before like for example “Two kinds” by Amy Tan where the mother forces her daughter to learn to play piano, but she refuses her mother’s  wishes. In this story the situation almost the same with the only difference that Lauren wants to make her mother happy ” “Spin,” she would shout, and I did it. The more It hurt, the better I was.” (28)

Lauren can recognize a seizure before it happens, she can also imagine things as she goes through the process of a seizure. “and the smell came, bad like a sewer when it’s open” “and the ski was falling on me as I sank below the surface of the pond and I saw the boy down there in the murk” A difficult task to believe whether her situation is real o just part of her imagination.

Her father is the only one who supports her and give her advice when she is feeling sad about her illness. There is a parable he uses to raise his daughter’s spirit. ” And the rabii, who was a wise men, shrugged and said , sickness is sickness. The sun is the sun, laughter is laughter and tears just tears. There is never a need to make more of God’s world than what it is.”(38) Interesting though, full of good advice and positive messages to make Lauren feel better after what happen at the funeral home.

 

 

Lying: Part 1

     Hayward Krieper wrote the introduction of this book suggesting to “learn to tolerate” and to tell that “this book requires courage, along with an open and flexible mind” This gives a clear idea of how unreliable the narration would be, starting from the beginning of the book.

     The article from a textbook sets the mood of how interesting o boring the text is going to be.  Describing the stages of the so called “Classic grand mal attack” no surprise to find out that the book is divided into four stages a clear example of foreshadow of what the coming chapters would be about.

     Stage one is the Onset: where some of the drama of this unreliable narrator can be anticipated. To make this assumption stronger Chapter 1 contains only two meaningful words “I exaggerate” that questions whether the narrator will tell the truth o just tell lies. Before letting the reader go into the next chapter the narrator put two words in an entire page for a reason, to plant dough in the mind of the reader.

     The second chapter is the answer to the two words mention in the first chapter; it is full of exaggerations and metaphors “I have Epilepsy. Or I feel I have epilepsy.” (6) She is questioning herself and making the reader whether she is telling the truth or not, and for what purpose she manipulate this uncertainties. The strong character that her mother is over her father is an exaggeration compares them to objects.  Textual evidence about the lies throughout is numerous for example Anita lies about her job, her new house, and about her knowledge about playing piano.  

Lolita’s voice.

The scene I want to invert into Lolita’s voice is the one about Humbert leaving his room’s door ajar as a trap to catch Lolita. This scene can be find on section 11, page 48.

Saturday: My mother is not home and Mr. Humbert just walked into his room, his door is slightly open again. As I pass by his room for the unknown number of times I saw him writing and this crazy idea about going in there without being invited came to my head. As I was walking towards his room this nervousness gripped me. I opened the door without knocking. He looked surprise and his reactions was like he was waiting for me. Once in there I did not know what to do, so I was just wondering around while he kept on writing. Eventually I reached his desk and my curiosity lead me to some pages filled with nonsense words written in a very small letters I could not understand.

My Humbert is such a nice person to be around, it is nice to have an older friend. I feel like I can trust him. He makes me feel confident.

My stubbornness for trying to understand his writing kept me next to him. He was quiet all the time. It was a surprise when I felt his arm around me. I did not how to react, and I thought it was ok because he lives under the same roof as I am, and I consider him my friend. I even sat on his lap to continue trying to decipher what he wrote. I did not have the courage to see at his eyes but I knew he was looking at me. I wanted to run out of that room, but something kept me there until the loud noise of Louise’s voice telling my mother who just walked in about a dead animal in the basement. Louise’s story drag me out of there.

Lolita (34-97)

    Continuing with the reading about this intriguing and disturbing memoir, Lolita is introduced to us in such an unexpected way. Humbert after checking out from a “very expensive sanatorium” (#9) went looking for a place to “spend a studious summer” (#10) in some small town in the New England countryside. He felt cure and with energy to work, but it looks like his destine put him in the path of the “enigmatic nymphets” (#10) is he was offered a teaching job with the McCoon’s daughters. The enthusiasm on his voice changed when he learned that one of the kids was a twelve year old girl. His emotion can be noticed by the repetition of two words “perfect, perfect” (#10)

    He fantasies about his new student and the subject besides French which he calls “Humbertish” (#10) His illusions and speciation’s enormous that he thought that it was his fault that the McCoon’s house got burned. The circumstances changed and his future in Ramsdale was uncertain. His disappointment made him think about leaving the town without telling anyone. His ideas changed when he saw Lolita in “the Piazza” (#10) He spends a lot of time describing her. It is really disturbing to imagine a male of that age looking at an innocent little girl and describing her with so much love in his voice. He even ask himself why he cares so much about a simple child “a mere child! –excite me so abominably?” (#11)

Lolita (1-34)

To understand a book you must read from cover to cover said to me a professor once, and so I did when I opened Lolita’s front cover.  Foreword is the introduction with a short explanation of the who and what of the story.  This gives the reader a better sense of what the show is going to present next.  John Ray Jr, PH.D is a fictional character who is in charge of editing a manuscript whose author died in jail before his trial. In his will he asked for his lawyer to make possible the publication of “Lolita or the confession of a White Widowed Male” (P3) only after his death.  John admits that there is not much change to be made and that the text should be left untouched to maintain the author’s originality. John does not say why the author was in jail, but tells that “Humbert” (P3) was a pedophile.  Even though his writing is horrific John says that it is beautiful and persuasive and anticipates that the script will become popular and will give parents advice on how to be more vigilant about the future of their children.

The name Lolita is the first word of this story which represents something important to the author in this case Humbert, the narrator and main character plays around with her name. He admits that Lolita was not his first pedophilic experience and that he was a murderer. He describes his childhood as being healthy and happy and about his European background.  His family appeared to be of means, his father is absent most of the time and there is not much description about his mother only that she died in an accident “picnic, lightning”(#2) this expression represent how distant he was from his mother, and also how  he dislike the figure of an adult female. His aunt Sybil from the mother side of the family is the one who cares for him after her sister passed. He likes her despite her tough attitude and rules. This is another important fact about his youth. The presence of female figure are predominant more than the male figure for instances this could also be another reason of his behavior later on in the story.

Annabela Leigh a twelve-year-old girl appeared in the story on the summer of 1923. Humbert and Annabel were only friends at first then their friendship turned into juvenile love. Their adventures to have sex are numerous, but they never consume their love. Sadly few months later she died of typhus. He is traumatized after this event and this leads to a severe changes in his behavior towards his adulthood. He admits that “Lolita began with Annabel” (#4). Annabel memories follow him for more than twenty years later until he finally let go of her when he met Lolita.

Humbert talks about adult female admirers, but he dislike most of them. He questions society and in an indirect way makes the reader also question the laws and traditions when he believes that it is biased that an adult man can love a girl of seventeen but not one of twelve. This ideas are so bizarre and typically of a person with mental problem. A nymphet is how he calls a girl between the ages of nine and fourteen, he describes them as not necessarily beautiful but with a essential sexually quality.

He marries Valeria because she acts like a child and his obsession with nymphets worries him and he wants to live as a normal man. His marriage fails, again because his true nature forced him to dislike adult women, and also Valeria’s affair with the taxi driver. This situation showed some of Humbert hidden characteristics. Mental hospital are normal places according to his description, he goes in and out figuring that his illness is cure. After some time he finally arrives in the States to face again his twisted sad reality.

Ursula Le Guin. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In this story I was brought to a perfect town, where all of the residents appear to be happy and prosperous, the weather is perfect, music is great, and life is great. We then find out that there is a catch. In order for this town of so many residents to continue to be perfect in all aspects, one life must be tormented and treated with inhumane cruelty. In this instance it is a young individual who according to the narrator could a boy or a girl around the age of six who is mistreated, fed a single meal and grease, kept in a dark, moist, stinky room in a locked basement. No one is allowed to say anything nice to the child and is never to be set free, but to remain like this for life. All of this to kept society at its best.

Once being open to the truth, most of the people of Omelas are initially surprised and revolted, but are ultimately able to come to terms with the fact and resolve to live their lives in such a way that the suffering of the poor child is worth it. However, “Each goes alone, youth or girl, men or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields” no one knows where they go. The story ends with “The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.”

The plot simple consisting of the narrator trying to convince the reader about the true existence of the city of Omelas. The point of view is of a person who lives in an imaginary Utopia who cannot see into the minds of others. The description of the characters is limited. The setting plays a major role in this story as it is what the story is about. The majority of the story tells of the town and the permanent rules that govern it. The tone of the story is joy, guilt, and misery.

As a personal note I can say that after reading the story a few times I was so into it that when my eyes went through the part where the narrator describes the suffering child I felt anguish and I almost felt what that poor kid was going thru.

 

The Yellow Wallpaper (1899)

Narrator: A mentally ill woman, whose name maybe Jane

Point of view: The story is told in first-person narration, focusing on her own thoughts, feelings, and views.

    The narrator begins to write her journal by describing the beauties of their temporary home. She describes it in emotional terms as a “colonial mansion” and as a haunted house and wonders how they were able to afford it, and why the house had been empty for so long. Her feeling that there is “something queer” about the situation.  She is suffering from “nervous depression” and of her marriage. She complains that her husband John, who is also her doctor, makes worse both her illness and her thoughts and concerns in general.  To get better she required avoiding any physical activity that she do, and she is especially forbidden from working and writing. She feels that activity, freedom, and interesting work would help her get better and tell us that she has begun her secret journal in order to “relieve her mind.” Her description is mostly positive, but distressing elements such as the “rings and things” in the bedroom walls, and the bars on the windows, keep showing up. She is mainly bothered by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom, with its strange, formless pattern, and describes it as “revolting.” Her thoughts are interrupted by John’s attitude, and she is forced to stop writing.

    After some time in the summer house, the narrator becomes good at hiding her journal, and therefore hiding her true thoughts from John. She continues to desire for more stimulating company and activity, and she complain again about John’s denigrating, controlling ways. She mentions that John is worried about her becoming fixated on it, and that he has even refused to repaper the room to avoid supporting the ideas. The narrator’s imagination has been awakened. She mentions that she enjoys picturing people on the walkways around the house and that John always discourages such fantasies. As she describes the bedroom, which she says must have been a nursery for young children, she points out that the paper is torn off the wall in spots, there are scratches and gouges in the floor, and the furniture is heavy and nailed in place. Just as she begins to see a strange sub-pattern behind the main design of the wallpaper, her writing is interrupted again, by John’s sister, Jennie, who acts as housekeeper and nurse for the narrator.

    The narrator tells that her family has just visited for the 4th of July celebrations, leaving her more tired than ever. The narrator is alone most of the time and says that she has become “almost fond of the wallpaper” and that her primary task is solving the pattern on the wall paper. As she be becomes more obsessed about the imaginary person that she sees living in the wall paper.    

    Before long the wallpaper dominates the narrator’s imagination. She becomes private, hiding her interest in the paper and making sure no one else examines it so that she can “find it out” on her own what the markings meant. John thinks she is improving. But she sleeps less and less and is convinced that she can smell the paper all over the house, even outside. The imagination makes her believe that a woman is trying to get out from the wall paper. She suspects that John and Jennie are aware of her fixation, and she resolves to destroy the paper once and for all, peeling much of it off during the night, and the rest during the day in order to free the trapped woman

    At the end of the story the narrator goes insane and thinking that there are a lot of creeping woman around her and that she also came out from the wall paper.

Amy Tan. Two Kinds

When I read anything I always look at the title and try to understand the meaning of it and along the reading I also try to find where it is mentioned, like in this case “Two Kinds”.

The American Dream is a phrase that is or used to be an inspiration or a reason for people from other countries to come to the United States and make some of their dreams a reality like in my family’s case the idea was to come here to work hard, save money, build a house and buy a car back home, then go back.  All that became a reality except for one thing they never went back.

That is why this I relate to this story, and can tell how dedicated parents are towards their families success, like in this story where the mother draws an imaginary world inside her ignorant and young daughter’s mind until she realizes that everything her mother told her was not true and that she will not do what her mother told her to do any more. She believed she was not a genius which in the eyes of her mother she was. Maybe the mother was a frustrated old lady who could not make her dreams come true when she was youngster living in China, but instead she had to abandon her life to come to America where she redid her life. The story does not mention the reasons why she left China?  Even-dough at some part in the story is mentioned that the twin babies died.

I think the daughters reaction towards her mother’s desire for her to be someone important is understandable because I personally when I was at a very young age my parents wanted me to play a sport that I did not like, so much that one day I told my parents I hated that sport and that I will never practice it again. Until one day I realized the mistake I made. The did not wanted me to be a professional on that sport, they just wanted to see me practicing. Like in the story the daughter maybe realized that she can play the piano, but her number one fan was not there anymore to listen to her.

 

Gish Jen. Who’s Irish?

Who is Irish?  This question got me thinking before and after I read the story. I am trying to figure out what is the author purpose of asking that question, and to whom is she directing it.

This is very realistic story that include regular everyday activities, personal dilemmas, and duties inside a household where cultures clashes at each other due to its differences.  The opening sentences of the story tells how critical and judgmental the grandmother is towards the behavior of her granddaughter named Sophia. Being from another country in this case from China “Meanie” that’s how Sophie calls her grandmother, describes Sophie as a smart kid, but also that she is different from her and her daughter Natalie, she says Sophie is wild outside and the Chinese heritage hidden inside.

Meanie describes herself as having a strong personality that even gang members were afraid of her. I think her youth was not easy growing up in China where in those years people struggle to survive and step ahead in life. I believe that id what drove her to be a very hard working woman together with her husband who die probably before Sophie was born.

Natalie is “fierce” like me says Meanie she has an important job in the bank now. She goes on and on about how her daughter is successful, but there is someone that makes her offset.  John is her son in law, he is lazy and a male chauvinist. Even dough the grandmother shows a strong character she suffers to see her daughter work so hard while her husband is at home or at the gym. Natalie supports her husband behavior I guess because she loves him very much and love blind her of reality or maybe she is afraid of a divorce. The last one made her decide between her marriage and her mother.