Author Archives: Hamiltonc92

This is it?

After I finished reading the “The Handmaids Tale” by Margaret Atwood I was shocked about how it ened with so many questions unanswered and when they were it just brought on more questions. An example is when Nick comes in to get Offred with the member of the Eyes and tells Offred that they are part of the mayday. ”I expect a stranger, but it’s Nick who pushes open the door, flicks on the light. I can’t place that, unless he’s one of them. (293) I asked myself was Nick part the of eye all along or was he actually part of the resistance force. Was any of his interactions with Offred legit or was he just spying on her for the government?

When reading the final chapters of the story  acknowledging the belief of the Commander on what he obtained from the republic and Gilead and what he wants in the relationship with Offred had me bewildered.

Offred and the commander is having a conversation and the commander was speaking about why he created Gilead. This paragraph alone “I’m not talking about sex he, he says. That was part of it, the sex was too easy….. You know what they were complaining about the most? Inability to feel” (210).He wanted to bring about some sort of idealistic view of sex that had no real world application. He wanted to have sex pure of sinful thoughts based on his religion and somehow it would create a morally honest sex culture in this society but it didn’t workout that way at all.  Another cliffhanger at the end of the story is the relationship between Offred and The Commander. From the previous chapter it looked like the The Commander cared about Offred but when she was being taken away by the Eyes they seemed to turn on her worrying that she would betray them. ”Bitch, she says. After all he did for you (294). Before it looked as if Serena Joy was the one who called the Eye on Offred. But after you see the way they both react to her getting taken away they seem to be scared that they would talk about all the rules they broke. This makes you question who call them or if Nick is actually part of the mayday and there to safe Offred. 

Throughout the entire story we are told that the sole purpose of the handmaid is to bear children and nothing more. They are basically stripped of everything and the commander says the line ” the sex was too easy” (210). “The inability to feel” (210), what he helped try to fight against is exactly what he got in the end because he did not really understand how people in society view sex. The lines “Kissing is forbidden between us. This makes it bearable. One detaches oneself” (95) literally says that she has to remove her feelings entirely just to get the job done. So it shows he couldn’t have known how disconnected this job that the handmaidens would have made them to the people that they work for.

The Oppression Games

 

In “The Handmaiden’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood the Republic of Gilead expose  women to oppression wherever they go and it is reinforced by certain individuals who would benefit from their oppression, basically the government wants women to be mindless, thoughtless beings who are essentially slaves. One quote that shocked me was that how even women can profit off of rape instead of helping others thru there issues.”Its Janine, telling about how she was gang-raped at fourteen and had an abortion.” (71)In this society when something happens to a woman is it always the woman’s fault? The reaction of Aunt Helena answers this question when she asks this question. ” But whose fault was it? Aunt Helena says , holding up one plump finger” (72) everyone in the crowd agrees and repeats “Her fault . She did” (72). 

 

To further the point of oppression Offred is treated just like a sex object, a human flesh-light in chapter 16 by the Commanders. “I do not say making love, because this is not what he’s doing.” But interestingly Offred does not consider this rape as she chose to be Handmaid and she seems fine with this life. “Nor does rape cover it: nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for” (94) What’s interesting is how she believes this is not rape at all, just a job to do. Why does she not see that society is raping her of her future, free will and respect by having a job that requires you to be a slave.  She even tries to stay on the positive side of things. “At least he’s an improvement on the previous one, who smelled like a church cloakroom in the rain” (95) We see how the sex is her duty is not allowed to intimate with each other. “Kissing is forbidden between us. This makes it bearable.” (95)This shows something into the mentality of the Commander’s as they tell her that the job she has is a privilege but treat her like a prostitute in the street before they go home to their wives.

But what interests me the most is how Offred has a flashback of the past where time where more normal to our everyday life like homework. “What’s your paper on? I just did one on date rape” (38) Offred’s flashback shows the past how it was like and what moments she took for granted which in this dystopian state is probably something more common than a paper for class. We see how she jokes about this topic of women’s issue because she believes the world is trying to be a better place for everyone. “Date rape, I said. You’re so trendy. It sounds like some kind of dessert. Date rape.”(38) With this these quotes we see the shift in the country of Gilead has become one that tried to fight for women’s rights to one that batters and oppresses woman to the point where they can not be anything but what the country needs. With everything going against woman how can one change the country when the natural fundamentals of revolution is being choked by an authoritarian rule over the land.

A Dismal Future

The first 2 parts of the The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is confusing , it is a first person point of view  so far, so any info gathered is from the main characters perspective only. But i understood why. It shows us the perspective of the main character, Offred, she remembers the time when she had her own free will and that she had her freedom. “I hated to waste them and would stuff them in under the sink, until the day would come when there would be too many” (Atwood27) .

The U.S.A. became this authoritarian country land now named Gilead. In this place the ruler and leader is called the Commander and he regulates everyone life by making them either officers in his command or slaves of varying degrees. The clothes she wears represents her status and job in society and is the only clothes she can wear”Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which define us. The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breasts, the sleeves are full. The white wings too are prescribed issue; they are too keep us from seeing, but also from being seen.”(8) This is reminds me of a nun in red that has on blinders that not only stops you from seeing but others from whistling or harassing you.

The society Offred lives in uses colors as a code for status in this society “black, for the Commander, blue, for the Commander’s wife and the one assigned to me, which is red.”(9) When Offred describes a woman named Rita she describes her color “She’s in her usual Martha’s dress, which is dull green,like a surgeon’s gown of the time before.”(9) This shows that there will be more examples of color’s representing status in this society but what interests me is that hen the angels are mentioned they had a very different description “They were objects of fear to us,”(4) We don’t get a description of the Angels but of it made her feel. Why is there no description of them. Is it just a rank  do they have color schemed at all?   Something i noticed about her name which i just noticed about her name, its Off-red and she wears all red everyday which represents her wanting to be different from the fate society put her in.

Offred is afraid of almost all people surrounding her. Especially the Commander’s wife and even the young guardians, ” The young ones are often the most dangerous, the most fanatical, the jumpiest with their guns” (20). “She is always prepared for the worst, and is always reminded that she might not survive, ” Not all of you will make it through. Some of you will fall on dry ground or thorns. Some of you are shallow-rooted.” (18). I understand why Aunt Lydia made her memorize this, what the Martha, Rita, said about the wife of the Commander “Stillborn it was. Or, stabbed her with a knitting needle, right in the belly. Jealousy, it must have been, eating her up..”(11) its possible that they are very much expendable properties of the government and because of this are not as valued or privileged as they were taught.

 

Loneliness is a silent killer

Introduction

Humans are social creatures, its because of this we as a species survived for so long, but what happens when an event or situation causes isolation to many people? When people experience extreme isolation they start to break down mentally, start to exhibit weird behavior  Mental health is  something many people take for granted, especially when in dire need of help and in lesser cases temporary isolation brings mental epiphany of oneself. In Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel these themes of loneliness and Mental Health are touched on in varying degrees. 

Paragraph 1

When discussing loneliness there are many examples to point to because of the situation the characters where put thru. In the very beginning of the book the character named Jeevan was left in the theater after trying to resuscitate a man.  “His phone vibrated in his pocket. He stopped to read a text message from Laura: I had a headache so I went home. Can you pick up milk? And here, all momentum left him. He could go no farther. The theater tickets had been intended as a romantic gesture, a let’s-do-something-romantic-because-all-we-do-is-fight, and she’d abandoned him there, she’d left him onstage performing CPR on a dead actor and gone home, and now she wanted him to buy milk.” (11) This quote shows the anger that this isolation brought him and also the pain of trying to be closer to someone you love being nonchalant about your efforts. Laura, Jeevan’s girlfriend temporarily isolated him, which brought him confusion, anger and shock.

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To discuss Tyler would be to discuss many of the Themes in the story and how many characters intertwine with him. ” I should have pulled her back from the edge. But it had taken everything he had to stay back from the edge himself, and what could he have done?” (261). Tyler is so lonely that he develops a disturbing obsession with the new testament. He had a absentee father and a enabling mother who did not bother give her son attention, even when it seems that he desperately needs it. He had none around him who he could call a friend or loved one who could just keep him in reality of the situation he is in.

Reflection

I will focus on the themes of loneliness and Mental Health and try to convey the connection to each other. The characters are affected differently when faced with the end of the world. With this we can accurately show how themes treated created weird and unique situations that pushed people to either contemplate life and purpose or show how damaged they have become.

When its all said and done

 

In the interview with Francois in year fifteen that Kirsten was giving she is asking him a unique question, then answered “When you think of how the world’s changed in your lifetime, what do you think about?” “I think of killing.”(265)  We see that Kristen has killed people before to survive.Themes of death creates the intensification of the value of life, even the will to murder. Death shows our urge for our life to have purpose, to follow a higher power.

In the entirety of the the novel we see the affect death has on every character and even the setting, but the characters are affected physically and  psychologically.  François has noticed right after the interview that the symphony’s stories are the very similar. “Everyone else died, I walked, I found the Symphony. Or, I was very young when it happened, I was born after it happened, I have no memories or few memories of any other way of living, and I have been walking all my life.”(266) all the people who survived have had the same experience of walking and searching with death all around them. Each time death stared them in the face and they found purpose in the group and keep on the move because staying still is like death.

The survivors often wonder about why they survived they Georgia Flu, the gangs and other things and other people have died who had just the same amount of chance. Survival can move people to search for a higher power and some people far away from these ideas. Religion had a lot to do with the motivation of certain characters like Tyler and Elizabeth,  Elizabeth’s mental state has withered away from seeing the state of the world, Tyler on the other and is getting entrenched in the new testament. Elizabeth never had a chance cause the only person around couldn’t even help himself. ” I should have pulled her back from the edge. But it had taken everything he had to stay back from the edge himself, and what could he have done?” (261). Tyler the Prophet is a complex character because not much is said about him until the end of the novel, when you find out he is Arthur’s son it adds that complex layer of connections, Tyler being Arthur and Elizabeth’s child. What was the purpose for being the prophet? I guess his purpose was to find/create a purpose  because he was so into the idea of being “the light” and spreading “the light” that i think he lost the point, his purpose was supposed to fulfill him not keep him.

The story concludes with a theme that was lacking within most of novel, the theme of hope. Hope and purpose goes against the themes of the earlier parts of the book which is Death and Existentialism, with this we see that the Symphony develop positively as we move thru the book towards its end.  “but it is possible that somewhere there are ships setting out?” (Mandel 332) This quote show s that people all over are setting off to reconquer the land that was once theirs with hope of a new and positive life.

Life needs to be appreciated

When i was reading reading parts 4, 5, and 6 Station eleven i realized how much items people possessed before the Georgia Flu and the general appreciation for . It’s the little things we miss. There are several instances where we see people at their most vulnerable moments, moments where they realize just how small yet intrinsic they are to the clockwork that is humanity, moments where these people realize just exactly what it is they will miss about life moving forward. There are several references to the objects that characters in station eleven will miss I believe it’s a show of how meaningful things can become to us when they become attached to a certain emotion or memory.

There are many aspects of life and the the life of others that most people take for granted. “It was incredible. I almost want to lock the door behind us.” That’s what it would have been like, she realized, living in a house. You would leave and lock the door behind you, and all through the day you would have to carry a key” (Mandel.199). Kirsten is wandering out in the world with her symphony without a home, most people before the Georgia Flu had the luxury of actually living in a home.

In the first half of the reading,for the traveling symphony  to survive comes gains strength and comfort from each other to be stronger as one group. This is because surviving as a group is essential because people seem to be more in competition with each other instead of just helping each other. In the reading the group is trying to find time of when time was easier to live “we are always looking for the former world”(Mandel.130) they are looking for signs of life, signs of people who are left, and when day to day life wasn’t hard to live. In other words, life before the flu. This shows me that there is still hope because it symbolizes their motivation to find and understand the life that people lived before the Flu.

There is a sense of security attached to the objects that people have in our lives, these things reminding us that certain things in life are constant, and it is the withdrawal that shows the painful reminder of what once was. In the interview with Kirsten and Diallo, Kristin points out that “…it seem[s] like the people who struggle the most with it are the people who remember the old world clearly […] The more you remember the more you’ve lost.”(Mandel.195) Slowly, we begin to realize that these characters miss more than the objects,  it’s about feeling attached to those objects that they don’t want to ever forget. Also something interesting in this interview.

When Clark was interviewing Dahlia about Dan and she described how she thinks that Dan doesn’t like his job, she said “but I don’t think he even realizes it. You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.” So he just seems to be moving through life without much clarity on his future.

The dragon is dead

In “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Madel, in this part of the story different characters are being focused on, Kristen. I loved the fact that kristen was basically like te new main character it felt as if te torched had been passed to her by jeevan in the first act.In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” focuses on the experience of Kirsten, who was the girl in the play of King Lear, where Arthur Leander died of a heart attack.  In her part of the story, twenty years has passed since the epidemic. .“Now she walked in sandals whose soles has been cut from an automobile tire, three knives in her belt. She carrying a paperback version of the play, the stage directions highlighted in yellow. “Mad,” she said, continuing, “fantastically dressed with wild flowers.”(Mandel 35) I like the fact that she is carrying a weapon for some strange reason, it reminds me of Mad Max, Terminator or Book Of Eli where people just have to be tough in order to survive. The setting of the world is a post-apocalyptic time where the the fundamental knowledge of machines is rare and far apart, only a very few people can use technology and understand it fundamentally.

Kirsten meets an inventor named Mito, “In Traverse City, the town they’d recently left, an inventor had rigged an electrical system in an attic. It was modest in scope, a stationary bicycle that when pedaled vigorously could power a laptop, but the inventor had grander aspirations: the point wasn’t actually the electrical system, the point was that he was looking the Internet.” (Mandel, 38)    Mito’s goal is to get access to the internet. The Internet has all the info on everything, a documented recording of human history, entertainment and power.  Mito wants to reinvent all the tech from before the epidemic so he could control and manipulate anyone or thing. Mito’s impresses me because i thought for a fact that most people would be doing what he is doing now but from what i’m reading most people can’t or won’t learn anything more than just how to survive in the situation they are in. He is basically the key for human civilization to recover so we can jump back and regain our knowledge. He reinvents the tech he found in the internet, he will recover the info in the internet so humanity can progress and move past the state they are in.

Finally when Kirsten met the Prophet it was clear that he was in a doomsday cult, “Quickly,” the conductor said. “Harness the horses.” “I thought we were staying a few days,” Alexandra said, a little whiny. “It’s a doomsday cult.” .  (Mandel, 62) The conductor knows this groupis nothing but problems,”The conductor stepped back.Absolutely not.”(Mandel, 62)The cult beliefs in human sacrifices. They wanted to kill her and her friends. This reminds me of plenty of video games where peole go insane or belief in crasy things to justify hhorrible actions toward others our themselves that creates very intense senarios.

 

Eye Of The Storm

This story is the most straight forward story we read this semester and i loved it.   I thought this story was about a play but instead its about what happens at a play;The main character in this play dies of a heart attack. The man that died is a actor named Arthur Leander in a play called King Lear by Shakespeare.  Even the way it was described while trying to act was for some reason to me beautiful to even picture in my head“He cradled his chest like a broken bird” (The Theater 1,3)  It introduces many characters and shows their emotion and parts of their personality in a very fluid manner that i really enjoyed. I love how they introduced Jeeven Chaudhary as this reluctant hero on a hero journey, almost like he was chosen to be there.“but in the first row of the orchestra section a man was rising from his seat.”(The Theater 1,3)I know this is a typical hero cliche to have a hero type come to try and save the day reluctantly but it was great because of the way the stage was described in was symbolic of a tragedy going to happen with the plastic snow constantly falling, it represents bleak situations and death. The other actors reactions were captured while  The crowd reaction was typical but what interested me was Jeevens relationship with his girlfriend.

She just is not a support for Jeeven as they get into dont see each others perspective on things. Its obvious that Jeevan and Laura don’t see eye to eye. They do not have good communication with each other, which shows how unhealthy and incompatible their relationship is. Jeevan and Laura’s relationship is not a good one at all. Jeevan and Laura don’t get along clearly. For example, “It was still possible at that moment that Arthur was acting, but in the first row of the orchestra section a man was rising from his seat. He’d been training to be a paramedic. “The man’s girlfriend tugged at his sleeve, hissed, ‘Jeevan! What are you doing?’” (The Theater 1,3). Laura should not be upset with Jeevan over his decision to help. She should know if she lives with him about his aspiration to be a paramedic. She should understand why he ran up to save Arthur when everyone saw that there was something off about the situation at hand. After all of that, seeing someone that he spoke to once in the past in an interview in his old job die right in front of him Jeevan discovered Laura went home without him. Why would someone do that to anyone if they weren’t already ready to leave from the beginning because she probably did not care to come in the first place. “His phone vibrated in his pocket. He stopped to read a text message from Laura: I had a headache so I went home. Can you pick up milk? And here, all momentum left him. He could go no farther. The theater tickets had been intended as a romantic gesture, a let’s-do-something-romantic-because-all-we-do-is-fight, and she’d abandoned him there, she’d left him onstage performing CPR on a dead actor and gone home, and now she wanted him to buy milk.”  By chapter 3, Jeevan gets info of the impending disease by his friend, Hua, a medic who works at Toronto General Hospital. Hua described the flu’s fast, widespread contagion based on what he witnessed in the hospital. People who were infected got worse and died in a short time. Hua told Jeevan to evacuate the city or to stock up on food and stay safe at home. Jeevan planned and prepared to stay with his brother Frank, who’s wheelchair-bound and lives in a 22nd floor apartment. Jeevan called Laura to warn her but she just wants to know where she has been.

Technology didn’t save us from the war

In this story “There will be soft rains” by Ray Bradbury is an amazing story i read 2 years ago in English 1.  It shows the comfort that technology can bring to people lives and how it can ruin the lives of many with crippling effects on the environment and wildlife. Plus the most disturbing realization of all is that there are no people around in this story. “Today is August 4, 2026,” said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, “in the city of Allendale, California.” (1,2) Within this quote we get a lot of info on the setting in this story, the story takes place in August4, 2026 in Allendale California which is an actual county in California. Also this is a story in the future in a “Smart House” that has automatic settings determined by the time in the day in every paragraph in the story which gives us the exact time frame from which this    names of people who don’t show up in he story at all because they have either left the house or died outside, because the house is abandoned with no one to shut it down it keeps running on each day until it finally runs out of energy or breaks down.  But what i find interesting is how the narrator personified the objects in the house and the “animalification” of fire burning the house down, as if it was a predator hunting down prey.“The fire backed off, as even an elephant must at the sight of a dead snake. Now there were twenty snakes whipping over the floor, killing the fire with a clear cold venom of green froth.”(4,2) the narrator makes sure we picture fire as an elephant moving away from snakes and show the green froth as twenty snakes which came from the house robots who maintain the house, they obviously used some sort of futuristic fire repellent. My only wonder is why the house was completely abandoned if it worked perfectly also wha happened outside that would warrant leaving everything behind without a trace or clue of the past owners except the name of the married people, status in family. But i did have an idea on why they might have been gone, in this quote,”Today is Mr.Featherstone’s birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita’s marriage. (1,2)” This could mean that the family simply is not home at this time because they are celebrating the anniversary of the parents but died when they got causght in whatever was outside at the moment like nuclear weapon attacks or which would explain why the house was so empty, or at least what i thought at the beginning until reading later when the narrotor mentioned the dog i realized that life outside of the comfort of this house was harsh and cruel.

class notes 9/19/17

Class notes 9/19/17

 

Christopher Hamilton

 

Continuing The yellow wallpaper.

Group discussion on writing.

Writing

  • We discussed the narrator is talking as if reading a journal
  • Whenever john is mentioned in changes the tone of the writing language
  • The writing is self expression of the main character
  • John is so controlling it threatens her to the point where she hides her writing.
  • She writes so much it exhaust her but she won’t stop cause it’s the only thing she controls and it makes her comfortable.
  • The story is written in first person but almost in real-time even tho this written down almost as if reporting the very scenes of the main character daily life.

Word Definition

Hysteria comes from the word uterus.

Hysteria-exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people.

Allusion-an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Illusion-a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.

Impertinence- lack of respect

Contemporary- Something popular now in this time. Ex.Fake news

Wier Mitchell is an allusion and used as a threat by John to get her to do what he wants to do because he will implement the rest cure.

Queer

 

2 page is firsttime wallpaper is noticed

The nursery room is dull and uncomfortable

3rd paragraph down the room where the wallpaper was described

Wallpaper in the room was very unattractive to her, it even stopped her from writing briefly.

She felt confined in the room

Bared mirrors in the nursery represents Jail or prison for 

The paper and wallpaper became personified through her attraction to it.

She begins to see figures that anger her in the walpaper

Impertinence- lack of respect