Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Ch.3

Parallels / Contrasts:

One Parallel that comes up is the idea of eating a candy bar in the alley. Neil says he though about leaving the Patimkin house and going back to where he "might even sit in the alley and break candy with my own" (40). Neil is just a little uncomfortable with Julie and he wants to be somewhere where he knows he belongs and knows he will be comfortable. The first time he had gone to the Patimkin house he had thought of "Aunt Gladys and Uncle Max sharing a Mounds bar in the cindery darkness of their alley, on beach chairs..." (9). In this passage Neil is comparing the life he has in Newark to the life the Patimkin family has.

A contrast in this chapter is based off the same quote on page 40. Neil is unhappy at the Patimkin house and he wants to go back to his house. When he first went to their house, however, he remarked at how perfect it was saying that driving to the suburbs brought one "closer to heaven" (8). When he first sees Short Hills he thinks the place is perfect but now he seems to long for his life in Newark.

Rubber Bands
Gauguin Painting
The Whisky bottle in the Patimkin's basement
The Stool Martha Winney fell off
The Fruit in the Fridge

I think the most important prop would be the stool. The stool symbolizes the dead end job that Neil is stuck in. He realizes his greatest possible achievement is to be head of the Reference Room at the library and he doesn't want to be stuck there forever.

Class Consciousness:

The reader gets some class consciousness as Neil walks through the Patimkin house and notices everything they have there Neil notices the huge amount of fruit in the fridge at their house he also notices the "freezer big enough to house a family of eskimos" (42). Neil is noticing the small things that make his life different to the Patimkin's life. I think it is the small things sometimes that make one jealous of another person.

Insights / Truths:

One moment of insight for Neil is when he takes some fruit from the Patimkin fridge and Julie "peeked to see if they [my hands] were empty" (44). Neil realizes that he is not really welcomed at least by Julie. It seems as though she does not want him in her house and that she is really judging him harshly.

Meaningful / Confusing Passsages:

I was confused by how upset Julie got when Neil beat her in ping-pong. I was also confused by how rude Neil was to her. I think Neil had just never experienced winning like that and that he needed to beat Julie to feel good about himself. I also think that Julie had never experienced a loss like that before.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Goodbye Columbus ch. 2

Parrallels / Contrasts: 

The Patimkin nose is brought up again. This time Neil says "Brenda's old nose fitted him well" (28). Neil is still interested in the nose problem. In Chapter one he was asking a lot of questions about why Brenda had her nose fixed. Now he noticed Mr. Patimkin's nose and he seems to like it. I think he is still confused as to why she had hers fixed.

The biggest contrast is the contrast between how Neil's family eats dinner and how the Patimkin's eat dinner. In Neil's family Aunt Gladys makes a different meal at different times for everyone in the family. Neil says:  "Aunt Gladys, suppose tonight we all eat dinner together" (4). Neil wants the whole family to eat together like a normal family would because his family eats at all different times. However, at Brenda's house he notices that: "We did not eat in the kitchen, rather, the six of us... sat around the dining room table..." (21). Brenda's family eats like a family would. That is what Neil had wanted his Aunt to do for his family.

The Basketball
Brenda's au naturel dinner clothes
Brenda's Glasses
The Oak "sporting-goods" trees
The Phone

I think the most important prop this time would be the basketball. In this chapter we learn how sporty Brendas family is and the basketball makes Neil realize how serious they take their sports. Brenda's family always seems to be playing sports or talking about sports in this chapter.

Insights / Truths 

In this chapter Neil realizes how much of an outsider he really is in the Patimkin family. At dinner Mrs. P calls him Bill a couple of times and Neil says: "I feld for quite a while as though four inches had been clipped from my shoulders" (22). Neil is overpowered by everyone in the family. He feels as though he is not even there and that he is not part of this family at all.

Meaningful / Confusing Passages:

I think Neils game basketball game with Julie is a very important passage. When Brenda asks if he let her win he says: "I think so, I'm not sure" (29). Sports are so important that everyone in the family lets Julie win. They even let her take shots more than once to try to teach her basketball. This shows how much time they spend teaching sports and doing sports.

Goodbye Columbus Ch.1

Parrallels / Contrasts:

Neil seems to be very awward whenever talking on the phone with Brenda. He says:"I launched into my speech" (7). and the first time he calls he says "My voice was two octaves higher than a choirboys's" (5). Neil seems to know that it is a little awkward that he is calling this girl now. The first time his voice is very high which probably means he doesn't really know what to say, however the second time he launches into a "speech" where he does know what to say, but it is still very awkward.

The most obvious contrasts in this chapter is the contrast between the Short Hills and Newark. Neil says "It was, in fact, as though the hundred and eights feet that the suburbs rose in altitude above Newark brought one closer to heaven" (8). He literally describes the suburbs as heaven. He is describing them as idealistic and perfect. It is as if he is thinking about how much he would like to live here. He then goes on to think about his aunt and uncle as they are "sharing a Mounds bar in the cindery darkness of their alley" (9). Here he is describing life in Newark as a much less idealistic place. He describes the surroundings as cindery which is very different than heavenly.


Some props that could be used would be the glasses, the phone, Neil's car, the Short Hills phone book, the whirring fan at Neil's house.
I think the most important prop would be Brenda's glasses. They are mentioned more than once in the book. Neil uses them to remind Brenda of who he is. They could be a symbol of Neil seeing someone he likes and wants to pursue.

Insights/ Truths: 

I think the passage where Neil drives up to Short hills is insight for him because he is getting an insight into a life unlike his own. He talks about how the people regulate the amount of moisture allowed to touch their skins and they don't share their lives with anyone.

Meaningful / Confusing Passages: 

I think the passage where Brenda talks about her nose is very meaningful. She talks about how she had her nose fixed saying: "now i'm prettier" (13). I think this shows just how different her life is from Neil's because brenda is a very pretty woman yet she still felt the need to get her nose fixed because she thought she could look better. This is something completely new for Neil.

Monday, January 13, 2014


This is a photo I took while in Trier Germany. This is the Burg Elz castle. I cropped the photo so that the castle itself is on the left half of the frame. This adds the effect of having the hills and trees in the background. Having the hills take up almost half of the picture they become a part of the castle and the landscape rather than just being in the background. We also get a sense of scale because the castle we can see rises above the hills. 

This second photo i took in Wildrose, Wisconsin from my dad's friends house on the river. (Please excuse the snow effect, I have no clue what google did to the picture of how to get rid of it.) In this picture we can see the river creates a kind of frame for the tree area with the footsteps and the dock. You can also see the trees going off in the distance making on feel like they are in a small part of a large forest. 

The third photo was taken in Wilmette by the St. Francis church. In this picture the subject which is the fallen street lamp is on the bottom part of the picture, leaving the street and parking lot to give the viewer a look at the surrounding area. The road horses also create a frame for the fallen street lamp. 

The fourth picture was taken at the very start of the Joe Bonamassa concert at the Chicago Theater. The subject which is the performer standing next to the drum set is at the very bottom left of the image. The rest of the picture one can see fog and an ambient blue light trailing across the rest of the frame. 

The final photo was taken while skiing at Granite Peak. The picture shows my dad and a friend of his at the top of one of the runs. They are are on the bottom right of the frame which gives the viewer a sight of the town below which seems to appear right of the edge of the mountain, making the run and ski lift seem light a very steep drop. One can also see a lot of the sky which makes lightens up the picture. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Creating the World (if five days)

Big Themes:

Memory is a theme that is brought up in the book The Road. I believe memory is used because it is something for the man and boy to think about since their is nothing in their lives now except for survival. The man has a lot of memories. One of his first memories could very well be the happiest passage of the book. The man is remembering being at the lake by his uncles farm. He describes a beautiful scene of a lake and trees and a boat. He ends this passage by saying "This was the perfect day of his childhood. This the day to shape days upon" (13). Even though the scene described in his memory is very happy it comes after the man says "You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget" (12). I think that this means that the father wants to forget his perfect day with his uncle because it makes him sad. It makes him remember how life used to be. Now however, the man and the boy really have nothing  to look forward to. I think the boy also doesn't like these memories. When the man tries to take him into his childhood home the boy is very scared and really wants to leave. I think for the boy these images are creating another world that is strange and mysterious to him and that he doesn't like.

The World of The Road:
The World McCarthy has created is very bleak and dark and sad. One of the passages that really caught my attention was in the very first paragraph of the book where McCarthy says: "Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray than each one that had gone before" (3). This being one of the first sentences of the book really sets the tone for the whole book. You get a sense that this is bleakness and darkness beyond anything we could imagine in our life today. I think one good way McCarthy created this world through his writing was with sentence fragments and a lot of space between each paragraph. McCarthy says "Barren, Silent, Godless" (4). With these short sentences without any action or subject give a sense of being broken up. The Space also helps with that.

My Creation:

"He walked out through the woods to where they'd left the cart. It was still lying there but it had been plundered. The few things they hadn't taken scattered in the leaves. Some books and toys belonging to the boy" (70). I see this scene as a single shot from the mans point of view walking out of the woods. I would see a long level shot on the cart lying in a dirt road surrounded on all sides by a pitch dark forest. The camera would then zoom in slowly in on the cart and then to a few individual things that had been left behind by the people who ravaged it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Double Indemnity vs. L.A. Confidential

Double Indemnity shot #49
L.A. Confidential shot #91

In the shot from Double Indemnity we get a close up of Keyes bending over to help light Neff's cigarette while Neff bleeds out waiting for the cops to come. In the shot from L.A. confidential shot we see Ecksley shooting Dudley Smith in the back while they wait for the cops to come. This is a long shot of Dudley and a close up of Ecksley's gun in the corner of the screen. The DI shot is important because for the whole movie Neff has been lighting cigar's for Keyes and now the tables have turned. We now see Keyes towering over Neff after he has caught Neff. These shots are similar because they are both the pivotal scene in the movie. We see the bad guy in each film caught at this moment and get what they deserve. Both Neff and Smith thought they were in the clear and going to get away with what they had done.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's a Bird Section 5

Fate vs. Free Will

In this graphic novel, Steven is obviously fated by Huntinton's Chorea. Although he is unaware as to whether or not he will get it, he still feels fated. I believe that is where the fate stops. It is his choice to become a recluse and refuse to answer calls. It is his choice to tell Lisa that he does not want children. However he does so because he feels like there is nothing left for him to do. He is haunted by the words his father said "...because if we'd known about the goddamn disease we'd never have had David and Steven in the first place!" Steven lets this hit him close to home and when he tells Lisa he doesn't want children I think he is turning into his father a little bit. Steven is battling anger for what his father said and for feeling the same way. Much like Oedipus, Steven was born and after his father learned about Huntington's Chorea, he realized he should not have children. Much like when Oedipus' father learns about what his son is supposed to do, he tries to get rid of him.