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.