Author Archives: Taisha Rivera

Technology will take over…..eventually

It’s insane how today I was actually speaking about how some people will one day lose their jobs and be replaced with technology that can do the job for them, and here goes a story about the future. I did find “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” to be a tad bit sad, it is a story that is taking place in the future inside of a home that takes care of itself. It is the ONLY home that seemed to have survived a nuclear blast. But, it is not like any modern home, this home is completely automated and regardless of what occurred during this time, it continued to run on the schedule that it was built upon, completing all house duties on its own. Page one, paragraph 7-8, “Nine-fifteen, sang the clock, time to clean. Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their mustached runners, kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust. Then, like mysterious invaders, they popped into their burrows. Their pink electric eyes faded. The house was clean. Ten o’clock. The sun came out from behind the rain. The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing. At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles.” The part of the tiny mice cleaning after the mess that was made sort of reminds me of something you would see in a Disney movie, except that these are robotic and do not sing. It isn’t too far from what mankind has created so far as of today. There are some cleaning products that do its job on its own by the push of a button. When it states that the home stood alone in a city of ashes, it was so easy to imagine the environment and how it was left after this nuclear incident, although this may not totally relate in a way it does, after 9/11 every block in the area was covered with smoke and ash and therefore I Imagined this home surrounded by dust just as shown in photos of how lower Manhattan looked after the terrorist attack. This house was clearly so self-sustained that it survived a nuclear blast.
There was a part in this story that broke my heart where it states, “Until this day, how well the house had kept its peace. How carefully had it inquired, “Who goes there? What’s the password?” and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats, it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia. It quivered at each sound, the house did. If a sparrow brushed a window, the shade snapped up. The bird, startled, flew off! No, not even a bird must touch the house! The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly. Twelve noon. A dog whined, shivering, on the front porch. The front door recognized the dog voice and opened. The dog, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud. Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience.” Page 2, Paragraph 12-15. The humans that lived in this home are clearly dead, it seems as though many humans are gone and what is left are animals that have been hurt and traumatized.  It’s interesting how an altar was mentioned and religion, who was going to pray if everyone is dead? I believe this was set for people to imagine the animals looking out for help from humans, just as how some humans sometimes pray to a god in time of need. In this case, religion was now “useless” since there were no longer any “gods”.  The part with the home opening its doors for the dog was very clear to imagine as well. I imagined it as what a human would do for its very own, protecting its dog from danger or just welcoming their pet back home. Even without any humans left, the home still knew its responsibility as a caretaker, not only for the people that once lived there but for the dog as well. This family dog was unfortunately injured by the nuclear blast and did not last, and yet again, the house took care of what needed to be done. At this point, I still asked myself how these animals survived and humans didn’t. Towards the end when the house begins to say a poem, “There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white; Robins will wear their feathery fire, Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn Would scarcely know that we were gone.” I feel as though this is a HUGE connection to how no human survived this nuclear yet, ANIMALS DID! It’s as if it’s saying that after humanity has been destroyed, nature will continue to prosper. Amazing. 

a false home

Omelas is a utopian society near a shimmering beautiful sea. A utopia is a society in which everything is perfect or made perfect for its citizens. The way the story opens up it seems as though it would be a happy toned one. The people of Omelas are celebrating a summer festival which involves games and horse riding. Even the horses were portrayed as happy, “The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without a bit. Their
manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils
and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the
only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own.”(Paragraph 1). But, it was no happy place at all. There was misery hidden under this “happiness” in which their society believed in, There is a child locked and forced to live in a cage in its own filth. “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. They all know that it has to be there. Some
of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness,
The beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children,
the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their
harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies depend wholly on this child’s abominable
misery.
This is usually explained to children when they are between eight and twelve, whenever
they seem capable of understanding; and most of those who come to see the child is
young people, though often enough an adult comes, or comes back, to see the child. No
matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are
always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought
themselves superior to. They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the
explanations” ( Page 5 ) I feel as though the child’s suffering is some sort of lesson for the people in this society, to show how precious happiness can be and limited. It also shows how awful their justice system was, this child is in a cage showed citizens the true meaning of unhappiness, horrified to the point where some never returned. Happiness in their society could not have existed without this child’s misery. Omelas was nowhere near perfect which is the opposite of what a utopia is imagined to be.

Madness

Once again, a story that catches my eye! This story is filled with so many emotions and it shows how little women’s voices were heard years ago. The narrator is clearly neglected by her husband, he lacks communication and does not allow her to make her own decisions. This story reminds me so much of, “Girl”, due to the fact that the young girl’s voice was never heard as well. For example, at the very beginning of the story, the narrator states, “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression — a slight hysterical tendency — what is one to do? My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing. So I take phosphates or phosphites — whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas.” In other words, the narrator has zero power over her own life. it appears that she is dealing with a mental issue that causes her to be nervous constantly and in my opinion, it sounds like severe anxiety. But, instead of having her keep herself busy in order to distract herself and support her in fighting whatever it is that she is dealing with mentally or physically, her family and husband would rather restrict her from doing what she loves or having any freedom at all to make her own decisions. I can only imagine how she must have felt. I believe her feelings of loneliness due to always being bossed around must have made her mental issue even worse, she must have thought there will be no escaping it, ever. As much as she disagreed, she could never say what she really once wished to. This would not be anyone’s ideal type of marriage.
Apart from having her activities limited, I feel as though the narrator is not only trying to fight away her mental illness on her own but, is also fighting against her own emotions. She clearly knows what is best for her and what would make her feel happy once again. “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad. So I will let it alone and talk about the house.” This shows how she was talking to herself and there goes her husband’s voice in her head… reminding her of what he thinks is best. Her husband has controlled so much of her life that she cannot even continue to finish processing a thought without remembering “wise” words her husband has implanted into her brain.
As I continue to read through the story, the narrator slowly continues to worsen. “I always fancy I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but John has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies and that I ought to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try. I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me” that only thing that could the narrator sane would be to write once more. It’s what would free her from her issues, and make her feel free from all of her worries.

Response

At the beginning of this short story, I was shocked at how intense it already became through the narrator’s way of speaking. It was clear to me that it was a mother or a caretaker teaching a young girl how to do daily chores correctly without missing any steps. Many people may have read this story and thought to themselves what a cruel way of speaking to a child this may have been, but one must always remember that everyone is taught things differently. Some parents are extremely strict and others are very easy going. This story was very interesting because it shows the love she has for the child in such a different way, although it was tough love, the mother wants the child to become responsible. The narrator clearly demonstrates that she wants nothing but the best for the young girl, to be able to accomplish things on her own without depending on anyone as she gets older. The narrator wants her to learn how to be wise and independent. I’m not sure when this story is taking place but, I believe it must have been many years ago due to the fact that it was mostly just telling a young girl how to live and not a young boy as well. In that case, this may have been how many girls had to live back then, it’s a bit scary because does this mean the young girl would never be able to experience what it’s like to make her own decisions instead of being told what to do step by step with every action she must take? Would she ever experience the fun every child must have before growing up? The way I imagined this story in my head is that the young girl must have felt trapped in her own home, and afraid of not doing her chores correctly the way her mother expected her to do them. I also pictured the mother forcing her beliefs of what a woman SHOULD do into her daughter’s brain, but never hesitated to think of what her daughter would rather do differently and still manage to get things done the right way at the end. Some of the information being told to the young girl may have been beneficial but I believe the rest must have been very overwhelming and unnecessary, to have to wake up every day being told instructions on how to live your life. For example, I believe any young girl would not know what to think or say when a mother like the narrator explains to them how to make their own at home medicine to have an abortion, every culture is different but this isn’t the type of information one should be teaching their children, especially not at a young age. Towards the end of the story, I came to realize that the mother never considered what other options may have been better to teaching her daughter the ways to live, and never considered to hear what ideas her daughter may have had. This could have led her daughter to either becoming just like her mother when she is an adult or not being as social due to never being able to speak her mind.

Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Taisha Rivera but, I prefer to be called Ty (pronounced tie). This is my second year at City Tech and I am currently studying to become a Radiologist. I’m a huge reader but, I do not just read anything, I’m super picky with the books/short stories that I choose to read. I’ll love any book that sucks me in just at the beginning of the story, I believe that’s one of the best things about reading, getting lost within the book until you realize how far along you’ve gone without taking a break from reading.  I enjoy traveling, road trips and especially long drives accompanied with good music and good people. I also enjoy being surrounded by nature, although I’ve lived in the city my whole life, I hope to one day leave the state and be surrounded by fresh air, all the time!! One interesting fact about me is that I’m a crazy cat lady. I love all animals but, I’ve always been a cat mom♥. My weakness in English classes have always been speaking out loud in front of a class, I’m beyond timid when it comes to sharing my comments or answers. I’m also not great at writing papers when it comes to a topic that does not interest me. I would still try my best but, if I’m given a topic that catches my eye, I can write an awesome essay! My strength in English is that I enjoy reading, I’m very good at analyzing and annotating. I look forward to seeing how this class helps me grow as a writer.