Author Archives: Heder Pastuizaca

“August 2026: There WIll Come Soft Rain”

This article is about an horrific event that transpires in the future, “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) written by Ray Bradbury tells us a story about the near future and the devastating power of a nuclear war, because what else can “radioactive glow” (Bradbury,1,10) mean if not the aftermath of war. After all, many life forms still seem to co-exist around the big house in the middle of the city. However, there isn’t much leftover. So, who was left to take in the remaining scenery of a once full city?

The author, Ray Bradbury describes to us a magnificent scenery inside the house, “In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs Sunnyside up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees and two cool glasses of milk.” (Bradbury,1,2), giving us an insight into the family’s daily morning routine, and how big the family is, a house that is self-automated and goes about daily chores. However, Bradbury explains that the house is empty, “But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels. It was raining outside. The weather box on the front door sang quietly: “Rain, rain, go away; rubbers, raincoats for today…” And the rain tapped on the empty house, echoing.” (Bradbury,1,5). Giving the reader an understanding that no one will ever take advantage of living in such a home. No more children running around. No more parents leaving for work. It is all gone and no one is here to witness this spiritual scene. To capture it in its entirety, before it too goes away.

Even though the house itself is empty, we get a glimpse of a creature entering the house of automation. Out of many creatures, the loyal companion of man enters the house, and now we finally have someone to admire the beauty that is the house that still stands. However, the author has a different plan in mind, “It sniffed the air and scratched the kitchen door. Behind the door, the stove was making pancakes which filled the house with a rich baked odor and the scent of maple syrup. The dog frothed at the mouth, lying at the door, sniffing, its eyes turned to fire. It ran wildly in circles, biting at its tail, spun in a frenzy, and died.” (Bradbury, 2, 8), yes, the dog passes away, the last living creature to take in the beauty of the scenery but blinded by hungry it only saw fire through its eyes and couldn’t hold on to life any longer.

We were witness to the passing of the dog, but the greatest tragedy is yet to come. Bradbury lets the reader know in one sentence, “The wind blew. A falling tree bough crashed through the kitchen window. Cleaning solvent, bottled, shattered over the stove. The room was ablaze in an instant.” (Bradbury, 3,12). Thus, ends another life is lost, the building goes down screaming in a frantic yell, “fire!”, the robots scurry around frantic to eliminate the threat, but to no avail. The only thing left standing is one wall, just one, and it will be the most beautiful, picture perfect scene to be witnessed. “Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is…” (Bradbury,4, last), and now it is over, there is no one left.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin is a short story that shares a view on an ideal society and the narrators revelation of the secret behind this perfect world. The narrator shows us in this quote the beauty of Omelas and its people, “The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved.” (Le Guin, page 1 paragraph 1) and “In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and the singing.” (Le Guin, page 1 paragraph 1). The narrator uses imagery for the reader to understand how beautiful Omelas is to the citizens of the wonderful city, red roofs and painted walls, moss-grown gardens, a shimmering or gong and tambourine. This allows us to see Omelas alive and wanting to visit this place.

However, behind this utopia of society there is a dirty secret to why the city is prosperous. In the text, we have the narrator instructs us where to go to discover the truth behind this ideal society, this perverse utopia that continues without any care for the price. The location for this truth is in a basement under a beautiful public building, (Le Guin, page 4, paragraph 4) one of the many buildings in Omelas or in a cellar of one of many spacious private homes (Le Guin, page 4, paragraph 4). In this space under a building lies the reason for the city of Omelas success, trapped in a room filled with cleaning supplies lies a child of about ten years old. This child isn’t even able to be identified as male or female because it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect (Le Guin, page 4, paragraph 4). We don’t know how he/she has stayed alive all these years, the narrator describes it as so, “It is so thin there are no calves to its legs; its belly protrudes; it lives on a half-bowl of corn meal and grease a day. It is naked. Its buttocks and thighs are a mass of festered sores, as it sits in its own excrement continually.” (Le Guin, page 5, paragraph 1). This child barely given any resources to stay alive, and the worst part about this is that the society, they all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. (Le Guin, page 5, paragraph 2) and they know, the people of Omelas, that their livelihood depends wholly on this child’s abominable misery (Le Guin, page 5, paragraph 2).

All in all, at least the city of Omelas has some citizens that will not stand to live on their entire lives on the misery of any one human. The narrator shows us the resolve of some of the people of Omelas, “They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman.” (Le Guin, page 7, paragraph 1). At the end of the story we have a revelation that some citizens will not stomach this form of utopia anymore and they leave the city of Omelas walking into the darkness and never turn back, even thou in any society there will always be humans that are repressed and treated as trash and inhumane for the sake of a better life for those with power. This will never change, so was the alternative better? Having one person suffering or an entire city, state, country or nation suffering together?

The Yellow Wallpaper

The short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1899) is about a female protagonist that suffers from a mental illness that worsens over time due to the lack of outside stimuli. She is married to a physician and has a child with him, they move to a mansion like home for three months, to give her some space and a change of scenery for her to rest and get better in health. Her diagnostic is: “temporary nervous depression…hysterical tendency” (pg. 1, Paragraph 8) This piece of literature was published in the late 1800s, in this time diagnosis for illness of the mind were not so easy to identify such as: obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. This is one reason why the wife of John the physician wasn’t “properly” taken care of, however in this point in time he is doing the best medically for his wife. He constricts her life to, “take phosphates or phosphites – whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I well again.” (Pg. 1, paragraph 10) to keep her calm and well rested and free from stress by isolating her from the world as much as possible. In order to cope with isolation, she leads her to focus on the house and she speaks about it in her journal entry as to keep her mind busy. She speaks about the different aspects of her home, the details she expresses makes the house almost welcoming. Except for one small detail, which eventually leads to a mental breakdown.

In the beginning, the narrator speaks about the house and all its details, however when it comes to moving into a room to sleep in, her husband neglects her input because he knows what’s best for her. They end up in the room upstairs with a magnificent view but one small detail that will lead to her mental disorder to worsen. There is a yellow wallpaper in that room and according to her, “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.” (page 2, paragraph 8-9) shows us the discomfort she feels with this piece of paper. She confronts her husband about this, in which he responds with, “I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies.” (page 2 paragraph 23) Meaning he will not change the wallpaper for her saying, “after the wallpaper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on.” (page 2 paragraph 24) As I was reading this, it reminded about the prose poem “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid in which the girl was given a set of restrictions and rules to follow just like the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, was restricted from going outside, to vist family, and was restricted to the confines of her room. As time progresses, the yellow wall paper becomes something more, a form of outer expression for the narrator, she says, “The front pattern does move — and no wonder! The woman behind it shakes it!” (page 7, paragraph 20) “Then in the very bright spots keeps still, and in the very shady spots she takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard.” (page 7, paragraph 22) “And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads.” (page 7, paragraph 23) These observations that the narrator writes down in her journal entry, expresses the sanity in which her mind is in as of now. For me the bars represent the prison she feels trapped in because of the isolation she is kept in by her husband, the woman she speaks of that is creeping around is a depiction of herself, and the many heads could be the breakdown in her mental state.

Girl

As the story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid is told, we see the narrator talks about different aspects of a how a woman should behave in life. She is being taught the right way to go about her “duties” in the house, as a woman, and is being prepared to live with her own family that she will eventually have. This story in essence is being told for young girls to understand how to behave in society and how it was in the old days.

Even though the story has a protagonist, the story really resonates with the world today. Representing all young girls who are constantly being told to act a certain way or how to live their lives by societies standards. The “person” telling the young female how to live her life is a representation of society and how the world views females that don’t follow the norm. In the story, the quote, “try to walk like a lady and not the slut you are so bent on becoming;” is repeated differently three times, which in itself shows how controlling society is on the bringing up of females. These quotes, “but I don’t sing benna on Sundays and never in Sunday school;” and “don’t squat down to play marbles – you are not a boy;” can be interpreted as what girls should behave in public and what activities they can and can’t do, because of gender.

Of course this is only one interpretation, another way to see the story is through the eyes of a parent taking to her child about how the world will evaluate and criticize you for the better or the worst. To avoid this at its best is to behave and follow rules that the world has placed as the norm so that you may grow up right and be happy. The parents only want whats best for their child, to grow up a rightful woman, so that she is someone respectful that is worth marrying. Fearing that she will become a “slut” is the reason why the parents are telling her these things to lead her down a correct and righteous path.  However, I think you can only be happy if you are true to yourself.

At the end of the story, the quote, “but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread? ; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?” i didn’t really understand it very much but after looking at the lines before the end of the story, I began to understand that it refers to a man choosing a girl. The right girl that followed the rules, and if a guy doesn’t pick you its because she isn’t perfect.

When reading the quote, “don’t squat down to play marbles – you are not a boy;” it made me think about the standards society put on men as well and how society doesn’t really tell boys how to live their lives. The story is one sided, but it is to be expected because the story is about how young girls should live their lives not how people should live their lives, both males and females.

 

Introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Heder Pastuizaca and I am 21 years old. This is the first time I am using OpenLab and the first time I am blogging. I am a transfer student and a computer systems major,  I don’t know much about computers besides what the average person knows. I hope I get to learn more about computers here than in my previous college.

I enjoy biking, sports (including soccer, handball or volleyball), not that I am good at them. I have a fear of heights but I recently went hiking at Bear Mountain with some friends.

 

View from the top

I wish to not have the fear of heights so I could properly enjoy the view that I captured that day.

I wish to have a career that deals with computers and be able to move in the world of intelligence gathering and cyber security because everything is being connected to the internet and we are becoming more vulnerable.

Currently, I am working as a bar back at a local lounge/club in Queens called SL lounge, been working there for about two years now, very grateful that they have been very flexible with my me and my time in college for this long.

I think a strength I have is my very extensive imagination which should help in a class that deals with writing within the realm of fiction genre. I don’t write well for a college student, i enjoy reading but if i read for anything other than a read, I can’t enjoy myself very much and it becomes a chore.

What I enjoy most about reading is that reading can transport you to a different universe and time period at an instant, I enjoy that writing can be anything you want it to be, and I enjoy that critical thinking is another form of learning how to read people in real life.

I dislike that writing has to have fancy words and proper words and sentence structures, partly because when writing gets graded it is never good enough, I don’t like to force read something I don’t enjoy and I don’t have an opinion on critical thinking.

My favorite genre to read is action, adventure, sci fi, and a bit of drama, even though I don’t have a favorite text.

My sense of literature/fiction is a form of writing that allows the reader to envision a form of writing that takes imagination rather than a simple google search in order to understand the text given to them.

This course will probably help me improve my communication skills and should improve my writing skills, I don’t see this course helping me in my major besides learning how to write better when writing a report or writing a mail to a superior.

I expect to have a lot of fun in this course and be able to learn how write a little better than before. Of course this is my first time blogging so I hope I do better each time.