Lying, Part One

When reading part one of Lying it made think if everything the narrator says can be reliable. “Epilepsy is a fascinating disease because some epileptics are liars, exaggerators, makers of myths and high-flying stories” (6). After reading this I said to myself, so when is she lying? How do I know if everything she says is just a lie? How far can she be trusted with what she says? Does she just want attention? I can already see that reliability is going to be an issue just like there was with Humbert and his writing. The narrator then goes and tells us more of her sickness which is epilepsy and how this sickness often starts with strange smells that are bad or good; her having the good smell. It was kind of interesting learning further of this sickness I didn’t really know about and how it can cause this odor smell and other things I wasn’t aware of.

The narrator sounds as like she wants to make her parents happy but more to her mom but due to her sickness she really can’t do it. She believes her mom deserves the best and from what she says her dad doesn’t achieve that. Her mother seems the dominant in the relationship that whatever she says goes and her dad just has to go along with it. I feel that also the narrator doesn’t get the most attention that she wants especially from her mother. “Some time during the night my father must have told her… and so I waited, but she never appeared to nurse me that night, and this is a grudge i still hold” (20). After her first seizure her mom was nowhere to be found and when her dad told mom about it she seem not to give it importance like she should’ve have. The narrator wants more attention towards her due to fact that she suffering from this sickness and I feel that when she exaggerates thats the reason that she does it. She wants more attention from her parents but for the most part her mother.

Lying : Part One

In the introduction we are asked to have an open mind when reading the novel and that it what I set my mentally to when I began the story.

Chapter 1 consists of two words, “I exaggerate.” (3) Already the narrator is implying that we should question their reliability in regards to what she says. It’s also kind of ironic that she is stating that she exaggerates yet uses two simple and straight forward words to do so. It kind of comes of as a warning, like we cannot proceed reading until we are made aware of her exaggerations.Through the first section there are several instances where the narrator comes of a lying. “I have Epilepsy. Or I feel I have epilepsy.” (6) At this point I was wondering alright well does the narrator have it or not. We also see her exaggeration take place when she describes her mother and father, “my father even smaller, so he was the size of a freckle, she higher than a house,” (5) She uses a metaphor instead of a simile to compare the two. We know that those statement cannot be true.However for some reason it doesn’t feel like a comparison more like that is what solemnly saw and believes. She states “just for the sake of the story let’s say she even licked her lips a little bit.” (22) This makes me wonder, will the narrator always give me a heads up when she is saying something “just for the sake of it” and am I going to have to sit and decipher as to what is a lie and what is reality. Something which I doubt it’ll succeed in being that one of her many symptoms of epilepsy is sigh and smell distortions.

I’m also trying to figure out what role Anita (Lauren’s mother) plays in the novel. I am well aware that she has power and authority over what happens. “She was such a big women with a big voice” (17) When Lauren felt like she couldn’t see, all that was needed were her mothers words telling her she was wrong and she could truly see, for her to obtain her sigh back. I keep getting the feeling that Anita is unhappy in her marriage. When Lauren sneaks a peak into the bedroom she sees how boring her parents are when they sleep. Anita also makes a notation while they are sitting eating dinner at the hotel. “‘A man should have thunder,’ she said, glaceing at my father” (17) I also keep getting the feeling that Lauren feels this need to want to please her mother and be important to her. I cannot figure out whether Anita as a  mother is loving or not, her actions contradict each other. I also noticed that Lauren might get her exaggeration and lying from her mother. Either way the idea of her is an interesting topic that I will be following along the novel.

Lolita’s Nymphets

The narrator, Humbert, is real descriptive in his choice of child preference. It’s not just the way he describes them physically; but how he describes them to be irresistible nymphets, as they don’t realize their own “fantastic power”(17). They’re not the most attractive child the common eye would pick out. They’re just based upon the discovery of an “artist…a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy”(17); someone with a never ending mind cycle, whose thoughts just go on and on and on. Being “lone voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane”(17) if every girl-child were a nymphet. I believe nymphs were mythical creatures who seduced sailors, voyagers, into falling for them. They were beautiful creatures with beautiful gifts, such as singing, etc… In Lolita we see that the narrator falling for them every time; a time like at “pubescent park”(21).

I feel his choice of “nymphets” are based upon Annabel’s death, directing his belief on what could be“Lolita” being the incarnation of Annabel. This must be the cause of his lustful eye towards girl-children. Humbert states, “…[Annabel] haunted me ever since-until at last, twenty-four years later, I broke her spell by incarnating her in another”(15). He describes Annabel sort of like his soul mate, in whom every time they had a “tryst”(8) they were always interrupted. The link, that bond, that supposed consecration was always interrupted; and permanently interrupted by Annabel’s death. Humbert’s perfect girl, was in the form of Annabel in which he would always remember as a child.

Side Note: Lolita is a real dictionary defined book. The narrator(Humbert) comes from a English major background, so that must be the reason why.


Lolita (PGS 1-34)

From the start of the novel, the narrator (Humbert) lets us know about his “francy prose style” (#9) Through out the first section I noticed that Humbert likes to play with words. Specially when he is trying to say Lolita’s name, breaking it up into syllables. I though this would be some information to hold onto thorough out the novel so that I could better understand him as a character.

In the first section Humber identifies himself as a murderer and addresses the readers as “ladies and gentlemen of the jury” (#9). I feel like at this point Humbert is stating that we are going to start judgement on him because of everything he is about to write in regards to his life and Lolita. I feel like through sections 1-4 Humbert is trying to convince or put forth that he had a very normal upbringing, “happy, wealthy child in a bright world” (#10) The introduction of Annabelle in section 3 just increases to his innocence as a young man. Trying to suppress the “paroxysm of desire” (#12) and then having to deal with his first love dying four months later. I felt some sympathy for him at this point. Which might be something he wanted the reader to feel. His mother dies when he is three, “picnic, lightning” (#10) as be blandly describes, Annabelle dies, and his governess (aunt) dies. He also talks about being exposed to the sexual world at the age of 13 through some movies and pictures. So I feel at this point the reader is just asking okay, what happened to this child that made him into the murderer that he is presenting himself as today. He tends to express himself as someone who was always loved by the people in his surroundings which i found relates to him knowing that he is being judged. He was loved by the workers in his father hotel, by the schools kids, and by women when he got older.

I also noticed how Humbert when playing with worlds uses relations to mythical and fairy tale things. The biggest example being the creation of the term “nymphet” (#18) when i looked up the world nymp it states that it is a mythological creature. But then it also gives Humbert’s definition which i found interesting. His play with words eventually gave an English world his personalized meaning and then through out the reading he says things such as being under a “spell” when talking about Annabelle’s love. He also makes reference to “enchanted island of time” (#18) and to the goddess “voluptas” (#21). There is also a relation with gardens that I noticed through out the reading. When he is first finding out about sexual things “decorous and purely theoretical decorous talk in the rose garden of the school” (#11), then when he was sneaking around with annabelle “after one wild attemp we made to meet t night in her garden” (#12), then later on he describes how he is at the park he states “ah, leave me alone in my pubescent park, my mossy garden” (#21) Maybe this just emphasizing that fairy tale land

This is really a difficult read I was glad I got to comprehend what was going on(ofcourse after reading it over like twice. But i suggest dictionary app right next to you as you read jotting down words you don’t know. I feel like its important to understand all of Hombert’s descriptions and choice of words so that we can better analyze what he is trying to get at with certain things.

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.

The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The yellow wallpaper was a very interesting read. The many different entries that she was able to write during the three months that she was in that house showed the downward spiral her mind underwent while being in that horrid room as she described it.

At first i was confused in what was her true condition, why was she sick? What was wrong with her? And what really caused her so-called condition. As a “High standard” physician i feel that John, her husband was very ignorant to what truly was wrong with his wife. After i read the story a second time i noticed that she had given birth and was going through something to this date known as Post Pardon Depression, but during the times that the Yellow Wallpaper was written i can see why it was not hold accountable as a possible reason for her condition.

There is a line in the story from the first page when John assures family and friends that there is really nothing wrong with his wife but that she has a temporary nervous depression, a slight hysterical tendency. This part when he mentions this really bothered me, because when the narrator spoke about her personalities and how she was as a child it shows that she really has a very vivid personality and a strong imagination .

She is kept very isolated and treated as a mental patient kept in a very depressive room and not allowed to do any type of work or exercise, kept with with a very strict prescription for each hour of the day, a person with just nervous tendencies would not undergo such a heavy amount of pills and medication.

Her heavy interest with the wall paper at first i thought that she was just describing how she felt with the way she is being treated. But with every page i continued to read i noticed that she was becoming a part of that wall paper that she saw herself in. The last few pages were the most frightening  to read, there i saw her go completely insane, she became a part of that room and the image that was painted was a bit off but i thought she was going to hang herself, or at least she was in such a form that even her husband John could not process what he was seeing.

i felt that at the end with what she went through she felt liberated at last but her husband deemed her crazy. She closed the story by telling her husband “I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you cant put me back!” This is her saying she is free, and with those words she tried to let John know what she has been feeling all of this time and what he and Jane has been putting her through. John of course didn’t see it this way and to see his wife become that which he tried to hard to “cure” her from caused him to faint.

It was a very fun piece to read, to see how she was turned into the very thing they were trying to cure her from.

The Yellow Wallpaper…Huh?

There is one line in this short story, which is used to describe the wallpaper, that describes how I feel about this reading. “You think you mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it tums a back somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples upon you, it is like a bad dream” (pg.5) By this i mean that this read was really confusing, and just when you think you have an idea of what might be going on, something different happens and you loose the grasp of that idea. I had to read it multiple times, on my last try I decided to break down the reading as we do in class and try to grasp elements of fiction as I went along.

I understood that there is a women who according to her husband, and any other physician, might be suffering from some type of nervous condition. I believe that the husband thinks that the nervous condition is coming from writing and allowing her imagination to run wild. He says that ” my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies,” So he brings her to this summer house, while they do renovations in their own house, so that she can “relax and enjoy the air” as that seems to be his cure. From the beginning you see that the narrator is place in a setting created to strip her down of her true self. The windows are “barred”, she has a beautiful view of the outside, yet has to endure the “hideous” wall paper as if trapped, she has a husband who is telling her what to do even though she has in-sign on what truthfully might make her better. She says “Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” We already see the relationship between the husband and wife. The last questions shows how she feels helpless.

To me the concept of the wallpaper to me is a way of the character describing herself. She begins to describe the wallpaper as “dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when follow the lame uncertain curves for little distance then suddenly commit suicide — plunge off at outrageous angles destroy themselves in unheard contradictions.” This here is probably how she views her condition and how following the wrong treatment might lead to self destruction. The last line probably how she feels about all the thoughts in her mind contradicting themselves with what people tell her. She eventually starts to see a women behind the wallpaper and at times it looks like the women is trapped by the wallpaper. Even though now there is literally a women, I feel like she is still the wallpaper. To me the significance of her ripping the wallpaper at the end so the women can come out, is her ripping away her own barrier. The barrier being the believe that she needs to trap her imagination and stay away from writing and of listen to her husband’s every command.  She rips the (wallpaper, the barrier) so that her true inner self can emerge.

At one point she says “lay there hours trying to decide where that front pattern and the back pattern really did move together or separably.” My above statement proves that maybe by the the front patter she means the image she has to maintain( the barrier keeping her true self inside) and the inner patter which eventually becomes a person, in her true self (the women) she is hiding inside.

It was interesting trying to decipher a deeper meaning, even though the text it’s self was of a women over coming her mental problem. The ending of her crawling, I have no idea what that’s about, just picturing it I imagine one really crazy person.