Author Archives: Kina

Really..that’s how you End!

The Handmaid’s Tail by Margaret Atwood

Oh My God! why the cliff hanger? I assume that the author wants us to come up with our own conclusion as to what happened with the characters. I guess the author wants us to believe that “Frederick R. Waterford” [306]  and his wife “Thelma” [309] were the people that Offred was talking about. That “Luke, Nick, Janine, and Moira” are “pseudonyms” [306]. All of this I get, and understand that this is part of the information that the author has chosen to give us, but why not tell us what happened to the narrator. Why leave up to us to contemplate what had happened to her.

I was sad when new Ofglen told Offred “She hanged herself” [285]. When Offred had asked about the old Ofglen. it was horrible to find out what “Salvaging” meant. They make announcements about salvaging the day before it happens. Offred said “It was announced yesterday. They tell you only the day before.” [272]. Also Offred made it clear that “This is a district Salvaging, for women only. Salvagings are always segregated” [272].  There were loop ropes in “front of the first row of cushions.” [272]. After reading this I figured that some one was going to be hanged and on page [273] Offred said that “two Handmaids, one Wife”. Which let us know that if a Handmaid or a wife going to be hanged they invite all of the females in the district to watch. If it was a Commander or a lower ranking man then they would have called all of the men in the district.

However, on page [278] There was a man that two of the Guardians dragged up in the circle of the Handmaids. Offred said ” Between them they half carry, half drag a third man. He too is in a Guardian’s uniform, but he has no hat on and the uniform is dirty and torn.”  Aunt Lydia said that he “has been convicted of rape..He has disgraced his uniform…His partner in viciousness has already been shot” [278]. It was even worst to find out that the “woman was pregnant and the baby died” [279].

I figured that this was a message to all of the women there, but mostly the Handmaids. Aunt Lydia wanted the Handmaids to finish beating that man to death even though he was clearly beaten and drugged. Then come to find out Ofglen said to Offred “Don’t be stupid. He wasn’t a rapist at all, he was a political” [280]. I believe that Aunt Lydia use that poor man to lore out the others who was a political like him. I think that when Ofglen rush to stomp him to death Aunt lydia knew she was one of the political.

I really was enjoying how the story was going, but when the black van came for Offred and Nick jumped out of the van to get her and used the the secret code “Mayday” and said “Go with them” [293] and she was lead out of the house, I thought by the next page it will speak on where they have taken her. But, no, It just went way into the future. Then we find out that she was making voice recordings of what had happen to her.

But, We are stuck with her leaving the house and we are forced to guess what else had happened to her. I assumed that she was freed for a little while in order for her to be able to record her life in Gilead on tape, but that is only an assumption. I believe that the author left the ending open like that so if she wants to, she can go back and write a sequel to the story.

 

Wait…What?

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

In the Night chapter, Offred is in her room thinking about what had happen earlier in the evening when the commander invited her to his study. I like the way she had described how she felt standing in front of the commander’s door. How she explained what “to want” means. When she said “To want is to have a weakness” [136]. And how she was curious as to knowing what was his weakness.

I found it interesting that his “weakness” was a part of what make us human. What he wanted was something that, up until now, I had not pay attention to, was the same thing  that Offred wanted; he wanted human contact. He wanted human contact that was not dictated to him. I had not realized that in this world the men loses a lot too. It is funny how this new world have taken away freedoms from both men and women. I think that he miss having a female friend to talk to. He wanted a woman’s company other than for procreation reasons. But he also, miss some thing as simple as a real kiss. It was nice to see that he said “Hello” to Offred when she walked into his room. Offred had thought to herself that saying “Hello” was “the old form of greeting” [137] that she haven’t heard in a while. To her, by him saying the simple word as “Hello” “seems out of place, comical even, a flip backwards in time, a stunt.” [137]. Then she realized that she “can think of nothing appropriate to say in return” [137].

By him inviting Offred to his room, we get a glimpse at what type of man he is. I believe he miss they way things were. I feel this way because when had asked Offred to play Scrabble with him and then he told her to “go home” and asks her if she will “be all right, as if the stairway is a dark street.” [139]. It like he wishes that he could go back in time where such things as seeing a woman off to her house, were the norm. then when Offred was about to leave he say to her “thank you…For the game…I want you to kiss me” [139]. When she gave him a peck on the lips, he he smile in a sheepish way and say “Not like that,…As if you mean it” [140]. His reaction to her first kiss is telling. It is as if he really miss having  a real kiss. It has me asking myself, does he love his wife? I guess that mates are chosen and not picked freely. So, if that is the case, then by his actions, This life is not fully geared to make men happy either.

It seem like this new Government only wants procreation and nothing else. I guess this is some what of keeping people inline with the rules and to not want to go against their oppressors. It also separates everybody, by having a color coded hierarchy way of life. But, now that this  happen, I feel like Offred, it is a comical situation. Here is a man who is head of the house hold and is allow certain freedoms, as reading, writing, and having a job, only wants something so simple, as wanting “To be played with, to be gently kissed” [144]. I understand how Offred wanted to laugh when she went back into her room. It is funny how men can create a world that is so cruel to live in and take away all of the simple joys that makes us human. To make laws that oppresses a whole gender and then at the same time want to break these laws by sneaking around. It is funny. Offred saw the Commander’s weakness. I hope that she realized that she has the same weakness and uses her new found power over the Commander wisely.

Class Discussion #8

“I agreed with Imani when she said

“Another piece of evidence that the lack of freedom is like an elephant in the room is that these women are under watched 24/7. When they’re allowed outside they MUST walk in pairs , not in a group, but pairs, the have guardians ans angels who watch them and Aunt Sara and Elizabeth and on page 18 the narrator refers to Nick as an Eye. She literally paranoid wherher if he’s part of the Commander protecting the girls , lack of freedom .

I agreed with this because as I was reading this I was thinking of the exact same thing. It is sad that these women who are Handmaids are force to live with a married couple only to be use as a baby machine. Then to have to deal with the fact that the Wife of the house does not welcome them and that they have to constantly worry about their life living with these people. Offred had a family of her own and it is a shame that she is not allow to raise her own family but to be en-slave to another family only because she can bare kids. It is also sad how the women have a bunch of people that are hire just to spy on them. The Handmaids even have to worry about it each other. Freedom In this world is very limited and Imani talks about this in her blog. This is why I pick Imani.

Living in a World with No Freedom

 

I was replacing this.

I know A Few Things, But I Have One Question

In The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

It seems like Ignorance is bliss In the Republic of Gilead. I have come to realize this on page [8], when Offred says “I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There’s a lot that doesn’t bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last.” As if, the sign of intelligence in women is forbidding. I know that Offred, herself, did not said that thought is forbidding, but her saying “Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last” [8]. Let’s me know that In order to survive women must not think, but to just do what is told to them.

As, I continue with this story, I had realize that they don’t allow women to read. Instead of using words in signs, they only use pictures as signs. Even their coins are nothing, but mere pictures to show what they are used for.This is shown when Offred is listening to Rita while she tell her what she must get from the store and When Rita is through with the list of things, She hands Offred the money. Then Offred says “I take the tokens from Rita’s outstretched hand. They have pictures on them, of things they can be exchanged for” [11]. I assumed that the reason why signs with words are replaced by signs with just pictures, is because words can inspire thought which can create the need to overthrow the government that is now Controlling Gilead.This reminds me of what I have learned about the Reconstruction Era. In the Reconstruction Era, slaves where freed and a short time later the Freedmen Bureau had helped ex-slaves to build up schools to educated themselves. Ex-slaves where learning how to read and educating themselves. The southern whites were against ex-slaves learning how to read and becoming educated, because, they felt that by doing so, they would lose even more control of ex-slaves and their own property. In Gilead, that is what it seem like they are doing.They are treating women as property and to keep the women in her place, she can no longer be educated.

It seem like the Government of Gilead wants to turn their women into mindless thoughtless beings who will only do what they are told.To add injury to this insult, all of the citizens of Gilead Uniforms are color coded. As, to say, you are what the color of your clothes represents. I think that all of women colors represents some type of servitude job and can determined everything you do in life and how you should be treated by others. Even something as small as to walking out of the front door or the back door of a house can be determine by the color of a women’s dress. Offred Is a Handmaid and her dress is red. She leaves out the back door to go shopping.

The one thing that slip pass me when reading this story, is, when does the Commander comes into Offred’s room? I understand that she is not suppose to read and there is evidence of that inside the story. I get that she is not suppose to think and I understand why thinking is forbidding, but it seems to skip over when the Commander is with her. I assume that he is with her at night when she is dreaming about her past. I feel this way because on page [52] Offred says “I wanted to feel Luke lying besides me. I have them, these attacks of the past, like faintness, a wave sweeping over my head….They also serve who only stand and wait. Or lie down and wait.” It is like who is she waiting for? Are her dreams being use as a way to keep her mind off of what is happening to her body? Or, maybe, he had came to her when she was dreaming about her daughter? The reason I say this is because when she dreamed of her daughter, her daughter started crying in the dream. Then Offred says “we come apart, my arms are held, and edges go dark and nothing is left but a little window” [75].The whole dream is sad and I wonder is it sad because he is there with her. The part where her daughter and she “comes apart” is that when everything ends? However, On page [37] Offred says “The night is mine, my own time, to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet.” But is it really hers or does it belong to her in spirit. Whereas she can fly outside of her body into her own little world.? I guess as I continue on reading they might make it clear as to when the Commander is suppose to see her.

Related image

Red

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

In this story, chapter one in particular, amazes me on how laws and the life of women can change in an instant; from being free to do what one wants to having to say “we weren’t allowed out, except for our walks, twice daily, two by two” [4]. How freedom can be snatched away by other human beings who, like all humans, should know better. To constrained a group of people and lock them up in a gymnasium against their will and the only thing  that they can do in defiance is to “learned to lip-read….watching each other’s mouth. In this way we exchanged names, from bed to bed”[4].

In Chapter two, I see that the color red is significant. They way the narrator talks about it is intriguing. Because, when she is putting on the red gloves, she “pull them onto my hands, finger by finger” [8]. It is like she is slowly transforming from her true inner self to the color red itself. Red is becoming her fingers. The shoes are red, these are her new toes and so is her dress, which becomes her new body.

It is as if red is her only identity now since in chapter one her name was nothing more than a mere whisper among lip-readers. The color red is louder than a whisper and it doesn’t make a sound. Red makes her seen. The color red defines her. Red is the mark of her status in this new world.

Once she puts on her uniform, she is less than the woman she was outside her uniform. In this uniform she is a machine. She cannot think. She is even more restricted now and have to follow a set of rules. She is not even a person. Her white head veil blocks her sight and keeps her from being seen. As if the only important thing to see is the color red and her body. Her body, because she is a handmaid and her main job is to bear children.

Her red outfit screams that loud and clear. Her red outfit is “the color of blood” [8]. But, blood is the only thing that the handmaids don’t want to see. The leaders of that new world wants the handmaids in red, but if they have their periods and is not pregnant then they are in trouble.  The narrator is no longer an individual. She is no longer her own woman. She is now red. Red is now she. Red is the color of her umbrella.

Red, is also, in her new name Offred. Red is so much of who she is in the beginning of this book. I wonder, will she make the color red her friend and use this color as a way to survive this terrible time in her life. Also, if she lives to see the end of this way of life, would she frame her red outfit and use it as a reminder to herself of how she once lived as a color and how precious life and freedom are. Will red become her favorite color?

Survival Isn’t All One Needs: Memories Are Necessary.

Introduction:

The word Survival can mean many things to many people. In Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, surviving was not equal to living. That surviving was some how less than living. With this Idea in mind one would have to ask; What does it means to survive Isn’t living, alone, proves one’s survival or is there is more to it? In Station Eleven, we are lead to believe that there is more to living than survival. That just merely surviving isn’t living.

Paragraph 1

Station Eleven’s story is all about doing more than just surviving. One of characters, Kirsten, have the words “Survival is insufficient…tattooed on her left forearm” (120). The traveling Symphony have words on their lead van that say “Because survival is insufficient” (58).The meaning of these words are part of the theme and tone that is set through out the book.Which helps us, the readers, to understand why some of the characters held on to some of the things that they use to help them live in the new world that surrounds them. For, example, the Traveling Symphony and Shakespeare’s play.

Paragraph 2

The Traveling Symphony were a group of actors and musicians who migrates from town to town to put on shows by acting out Shakespeare’s plays. They do this to give the the town’s people something good from the past. Because of the Traveling Symphony moving from town to town, it seems,that the ability to be able to entertain others and to travel is more important than to just live. By, holding on to the theater arts, it has giving Kirsten and the rest of the traveling group a reason to live. Acting gives them something else to think about instead of being constantly focus on all that was taken away from them 20 years ago.

 

 

Reflection

I am just starting out with this essay. I am currently making an outline to help me along with this essay. I am thinking and re-thinking about the title and thesis for this essay, wondering if I should change anything. It has been awhile since my last English class to this one, so I am a little rusty on writing a well written essay. I am nervous and willing to see this through.

Station Eleven is like Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily ST. John Mandel

Well we are at the end of Station Eleven and I was thinking, since our professor is really stressing for us to try not sum up the chapters, that maybe I can talk about how some of the characters and events that happens in the main story reminds me of the events and people in the imaginary comic book, that was written by Miranda, who is a character inside the story. The few people that I am going to talk about are Clark, Robert, Arthur, Miranda, Tyler,who is also the prophet, and Georgia Flu. I guess that it is safe to say this is only my opinion and by no means am I saying this is the way it is. This is just how the main story reminds me of the comic.

Clark:

For the first pick I chose Clark. To me, Clark reminds me of Dr. Eleven because like Dr. Eleven, he had someone that he really cared about that died. He is some what of a leader at the Severn City Airport. I do know that the story has not mention him as a leader, but I assume that he is some one of importance because in the book it did mention how he has a favorite armchair “from which he could see almost the entire tarmac” (276). Clark’s favorite armchair is in the museum which I believe acts like an office to him. In Miranda’s comic, Dr. Eleven’s office has a big window that is a “wall of glass” (87) that shows “dark rocks and high bridges”.  Just like how Dr. Eleven’s ship is like a small mechanical Earth with Earth like things in it to remind every body on the ship of their past. Clark has a museum that has electronics, pictures, and even a motorcycle to remind everybody at the terminal of their past. Clark, just like Dr. Eleven, both spoke to their imaginary version of the people that they lost. I guess you can say ghost. Clark did this on page (240) when he said “what a terrible time that was,”….”to an imaginary Robert”….”Awful”,..”.Imaginary Robert agreed.” Then on page (330) Dr. Eleven “is visited by the ghost of his mentor, Captain Lonagan.”

Robert:

In my opinion, Robert is like Captain Lonagan, in which both were hardly mention throughout the story and both of them were kind of killed off  and seen as coming back to talk to their friend as apparitions.

Arthur:

I see him as Luli. They are both mentioned throughout the story and they have been part of some of the character’s life in one way or another. Just like Luli, Arthur is remember by the people who knew him or read about him in magazines. Luli is remember by being Dr. Eleven’s dog in the comic and Its funny because Kirsten has articles about Arthur and have the Dr. Eleven comic books that mentions Luli. Another thing that they have in common is Clark. Clark saw Miranda’s dog who name is Luli at the dinner party that she and Arthur had. (91) Plus, both Arthur and Luli had belonged to Miranda at some time. They both die before Miranda.

Miranda:

Is Like a God, some what, because she created a comic book called Station Eleven that foretold of a destruction of a imaginary Earth and how people of that Earth was effected by an unknown Alien civilization that had captured it. Then something parallel to that story happen to the lives of the people in the main story. Both the comic and the main story speak about what happen in the future after the Earth’s destruction. In the comic book it says “This is all a thousand years in the future.” (83) and then in the main story “Twenty Years After” (35).

Tyler:

Tyler who is also known as the Prophet is a prophet who carries around with him (as we later find out) a page from “Dr. Eleven, Vol. I,  No. I: Station Eleven, the first page of Station Eleven” by Miranda. He even quoted some of the words from the comic book. He believes in some of its message. This is also why I considered Miranda as  godlike because later on after she died she had two people to carry her comics around and one person even lived by following some of its ideas.

Georgia Flu:

Is like the Aliens that have taken over Dr. Eleven’s real home. Just like the aliens in Dr. Eleven, the Georgia flu is like “A hostile civilization from a nearby galaxy” (83). The Georgia flu is just a mutated version of the Swine flu which is the “nearby galaxy”. It is funny that on page (235) we see “Tyler…Cross-legged on the floor nearby, killing space aliens on a Nintendo Console” That takes me back to Hua, Jeevan’s friend working in the hospital trying to fight this unknown string of the flu. and then on page (236) “Tyler groaned softly; he’d suffer a setback in the alien wars.” Which is what happen to the characters of the main story, they were dying because of the Georgia Flu. This to me is another small detail that made Tyler the prophet. Little did he know that his game was showing what was happening to the world around him.

I know that there are some more similarities that I missed out on between Station Eleven the main story and the imaginary Miranda story, but again this is all my opinion if anyone else want to add on feel free.

Doors to Imagination

Why Write:

Writing, is for me, a way to express myself. I can put down on paper what I would love to say out loud, but it may come off as an insult or something unbecoming. I use writing as a way to escape this world and travel to unreal places. Places that I can go to without judgement and  rejection. Where I can be a hero or make up one that looks like me and can be accepted by the character’s heroic acts. With writing, I can jot down all of my thoughts in tangled sentences without  worry about punctuation, and grammatical errors.

Writing is a way for me to express, and open myself in a vulnerable way to myself. I think writing helps you to know yourself better.With writing I can see my thoughts on paper. I can tell what kind of story teller I’am. If  I’am  writing for my own eyes, I can tap deep within myself and give my dark inner thoughts words that it can use for me to see just how dark I can be and to make peace with myself. Writing gives me that best friend that is way better than my best friend. If I have something to say I can always count on a pen or pencil and paper to jot down my immediate thoughts. Writing never has to be “called over” because writing is just my thoughts that I can put down on paper.

 

Image result for pencil and paper

Writing also helps me sort through ideas that I may have for a project. Sometimes writing helps me put my priorities in order. I really love to write, but mostly I love writing on my own terms more. I hate having to be force to write, especially if it is on a project for a class about a topic that is boring.

I believe that writing opens the door to imagination. For me, I like to think up different worlds or monsters in my head and write them down on paper. I love that freedom that writing gives to me. Writing will always be my mistress. I will always have love for it. Writing will always be a part of my life that I will hold dear.

So, to sum up why I write, I write because it is the only thing that is purely me. I love doing it and it keeps me in check with myself. It lets me look back on myself. Like when I was younger I kept a diary, now, I can look back and see my thoughts on things when I was younger and see how I think differently about them now. Writing is my friend, my enemy, my lover, and my life. Because of all these things is the reason why I write.

Image result for pencil and paper

Sleepwalking: wanting to escape/slip away

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

We are reading chapters 4,5,6, but page (163)  had struck a cord with me. What had caught my attention was when Clark was interviewing Dahlia about her boss Dan and while describing how she believes that her boss 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.” This made me think about the characters in the book a little bit more. Characters like Clark, I don’t think that he had ever even realized himself, how much he hates his job. At least not until he talked with Dahlia and she mention “sleepwalkers” and at the end of his interview with Dahlia he was “thinking of what Dahlia had said about sleepwalking,”… “and a strange thought came to him: had Arthur seen that Clark was sleep walking?” (164). I believe that Clark needed that eye opener to his own happiness like when he asked himself “when had he last found real joy in his work” (164).

I wanted to see if there any other characters in the book that may not like his or her job. Then chapter 5 had helped me with that when it start off with Jeevan Chaudhary. While reading this I got the feeling that Jeevan was just sleepwalking in all of his previous jobs. I don’t think that he was fully unaware of how he felt about his job, but he was just going through the motions just to make a buck. On page (167)  the narrator said “Jeevan had been working as a paparazzo for some years and had made a passable living at it, but he was sick to death of stalking celebrities from behind sidewalk planters and lying in wait in parked cars, she he was trying to become an entertainment journalist, which he felt was sleazy.” That’s why in the beginning Part 1 of the book when Jeevan jumped on stage to save Arthur it was the thing that “jolts” him awake from the “drudgery” of work. He found something, on the day of Arthur’s death, to give him joy in the work he does. I believe that “sleepwalking” happens even in our society. I feel that I do it too. I love working in the library, but I love my second job a lot less. I feel like I just go through the motion at my second job, almost robotic like.

However, I do look for things that can give me little escapes from living such a mundane life. Just like I think Arthur does when he feels uncomfortable about something, He acts. Page (211) gives an example of what I mean when Arthur was telling Miranda that his friend Victoria “had published the letters he’d sent her.” (210). He was drinking tea and by reading this I can tell it was uncomfortable having to tell Miranda that she might be in the book. So, when he said “I treated Victoria like a diary.” He “lifted his mug, blew on the surface of his tea, and returned the mug very deliberately to the table. There was a studied quality to the movement, and Miranda had an odd impression that he was performing a scene.” As we know that this is not the first time people accused Arthur of performing. On page (112) Arthur’s childhood friend Clark had thought that he was putting on a performance in the restaurant where they meet at to eat. I believe that it is some kind of escape mechanism from awkward situations.

It is just like how August and Kirsten was talking about “A parallel universe” when they were looking through the magazines on page (201) when August say “It would’ve been you in those tabloid pictures”….”he said, picking up the parallel-universes theme.” i believe this was their way of giving themselves a break from the reality that they have to face each day. This was their escape to other universes. Their imaginary escape.

I feel that in order to find out what really makes us happy we have to ask ourselves are we happy. We have to look at our own lives and see if we are just “sleepwalking” our way through it and if so, is that really living?