Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Misery in Waiting for Godot and Death of a Salesman

The theme of misery is continuous throughout both Waiting for Godot and Death of a Salesman.

In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon say multiple times how they want to end their lives because they feel like they are doing nothing. They also have no motivation to leave because they are waiting for Godot the entire time when in reality he would never come. Gogo constantly tells Didi that he wants to leave and that maybe they should not be friends anymore. These fights show just how bored and miserable the two are because Gogo never actually leaves and when he would threaten too, he would come back. The theme of misery isn't just physical though, it's mental.

In Death of a Salesman, Willy spirals downwards after Biff finds out that his father had been cheating on Linda. This part of the book starts the main "miserable" part because Biff was going to go back to school in summer to take math so that the could graduate but after he found out his father cheated on Linda, he refused.Biff went into this hole where he just wanted to be shirtless and on a farm in the midwest. Willy considers Biff's failure in business as betrayal of his expectations. He didn't want to go back and graduate high school or even be successful in the way Willy wanted and always hoped he would. Likewise, Willy was miserable. He ended up killing himself because of how miserable he was after Biff, his favorite child, found out he cheated on Linda. Willy said this about Biff which shows just how miserable Willy was about where Biff was in his life, "How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it’s good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!" 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Seeking Truth/Validation

The Importance of Being Earnest VS Waiting for Godot

Throughout both plays, the main characters aim to find out what will happen to them. By what will happen I mean the truth or some sort of validation. 

In both plays, the way they start could have been completely different than where the characters were in the end. The pictures above show the confusion, or for a better word, mystery. 

The Importance Of Being Earnest

In the Importance Of Being Earnest is a play that shows the characters constantly seeking validation that they could continue on with their plans. More specifically, when Jack and Algernon were both being Earnest, they would talk to make sure they had their plans figured out so that they would not sabotage their personas. Not only were Jack and Algernon seeking validation, but so were Gwendolyn and Cecily. They were both proposed too and then found out their loves were lying to them so in order for them to decide if they want them back they look for the truth.

Waiting for Godot 

In Waiting for Godot, the entire play is spent waiting for validation. Vladimir and Estragon spend what seems like their entire lives from the beginning of the play waiting for Godot to meet them. This entire time, they put faith and trust in the fact that Godot will come, but does he?

Endings in regards to truth and finding/getting validation

In the Importance of Being Earnest, Jack finds out that he really is Earnest which is validation to him that he is who he has been saying he was the entire time. Also, Gwendolyn and Cecily got their answers in the truth and ended up with Earnest and Algernon. This play had a very happy ending, unlike what you see in Waiting for Godot. Vladimir and Estragon have their trust betrayed by Godot when he never comes to meet them. They spend the entire play being miserable and even suicidal at points because they are in this isolated area waiting for Godot, who never arrives. The difference between the two plays in regards to truth and seeking validation is that in Earnest, the characters got exactly what they wanted/were seeking while in Godot, Vladimir and Estragon ended up not even leaving the area they were in when Godot didn't show up, ending on a low note.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Importance of Being Earnest

Memes that describe situations in the book

All of these show both how interesting and how funny the play is.

The first meme relates to when Gwendolen and Cecily were talking and Cecily intentionally gave Gwendolen bread and butter after she specifically said she wanted cake. For someone who doesn't know Steve Aoki you might not get the reference to him throwing cake so i'll explain that. He is a Dj and at every show he throws cake into the audience. I thought it was funny to use because Cecily basically threw the cake at Gwendolen while she said she didn't want it.

The second meme is more basic in the idea of the two Earnest's. Both Jack and Algernon pretended to be Earnest throughout the book. In the end, Jack ended up actually being Earnest and Algernon had to come clean and use his real name.

The third meme relates to when Jack and Algy were talking after they were busted. I thought it would be funny to make a meme about when Algy was eating muffins because this part just shows how funny the play is. As Algy is stress eating a lot of muffins, Jack brings up the fact that he couldn't possibly be eating right now and after saying that he joins him.

The fourth meme goes back to when Lady Bracknell was talking to "Earnest" while he was still Jack in the beginning of the play. It's a reference to how Jack said he was found when he was little, in a handbag at a coat check, and how Lady Bracknell reacted in a funny but also kind of sarcastically rude way.

All of these memes are both funny and show the characteristics of the characters, the first with Cecily and Gwendolen being rude, the second with the men lying, the third with comedy, and the fourth with being over protective of Cecily.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Seamus Heaney Poems

Songs that relate to Heaney poems

To me, music has always been a way to express how I feel. If i'm happy, I listen to upbeat music. If i'm sad, I listen to more quiet and acoustic-sounding music. I'm going to explain why a few songs remind me and relate to specific Heaney poems and how I see the relationship. 

Mid-Term Break

This poem is about the narrator losing his brother. He is trying to keep himself together by not showing emotion but clearly he is going to be upset just like the rest of his family and friends are. The narrator also mentions that he is "embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand" which once again shows he doesn't want people feeling bad for him. To me, the song Lay It All On Me by Ed Sheehan captures that feeling of wanting to help others and not him or herself. The first few lines of the song relate the most for me: 
All alone as you look through the door
Nothing left to see
If it hurts and you can't take no more
Lay it all on me
Also, these lines bring back the idea of the person trying to deflect his or her own emotions in my opinion, which is a meaning shown in the poem as well.

Personal Helicon, Death of a Naturalist, Limbo, Blackberry-Picking

All of these poems bring back memories of Heaney's childhood. They all have a theme of nature as well. In all of these poems, Heaney recounts being a child that likes to play outside with animals,pick berries, and just be a kid.

This might be the most interesting song choice I could have thought of but when I think of my childhood, I remember watching Spongebob Squarepants with my cousins. The Campfire Song Song brings back those memories when we used to all sit around the TV during winter break and play board games while watching Spongebob and singing along to all of the songs (especially Campfire Song Song). The song itself is light-hearted and fun, reminding the listener of camp as a child, sitting by the campfire, playing music, and everything Heaney tried to talk about just in a different time period when he would play outside as a kid. Another song that relates to these poems is We Are Young by F.U.N. This song, like Campfire Song Song, talks about being young and living like you did when you were younger. Although the two songs I picked around directly about nature, they both give you a feeling of being young which is what these poems are all about.

Bog Poems (compare and contrast)

The bog poems are mostly about specific bodies found inside the land.  The Bog Queen ,Punishment, The Tollund Man, The Grauballe Man, all talk about specific bog bodies. Unlike the poems that talk about specific bodies, Bogland talks about the actual land and Ireland's history.

Since almost all of the bog poems are about bodies I can't really find a song that talks about dead bodies so I will continue to talk about Bogland in more depth.

As I mentioned earlier, bogland is the only poem from the bog poems that doesn't talk about bog bodies. It talks about Ireland, it's history, and even makes a comparison between the US and Ireland. Heaney is clearly very patriotic and even curious to go deeper into the history of his beloved Ireland.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Mercy

A Look Into Jacob Vaark

A Mercy is set in the 1690's, a time period where owning slaves was normal and women were still not treated equally. Of all of the male characters, Jacob Vaark was the most interesting to me because of this "weak spot" he had, but also the tragedy of dying without achieving what he spent his entire life trying to achieve. The novel mostly takes place at Jacob Vaark's farm in Maryland. 

 Here is a picture of a farm from the 1690's.

First: Vaark's "Weak Spot"

This is an orphanage closest to the time period.

Jacob Vaark has this "weak spot" for orphans and abandoned children and young adults. This weakness is due to his own experience when he was younger. Vaark was abandoned by his mother and after being in an orphanage himself he developed this want to take care of other orphans and abandoned children/young adults. He got his large farm (120 acres) from his uncle. 
 This picture represents Vaark feeling abandoned and therefore having a weak spot for abandoned and orphaned others.

We see this first when he frees a raccoon that was trapped. 
 We see it again with Sorrow,who was an orphan given to Vaark after being rescued, and Lina, who basically managed the house for Vaark and Rebekka. 
This represents the river where Sorrow was found and rescued.

Not only does his weakness show with his slaves/workers, but also with Rebekka who was an orphan herself! His own wife was an orphan which made him love her and give her "Mercy" as well.  Lastly, we see this when Vaark takes Florens. Florens was abandoned by her mother when her mother decided to give her up instead of going as a slave to Vaark. Because of this, Vaark felt bad and instantly took Florens in. 

For Vaark, taking these "slaves" who were abandoned or were orphans was him doing good deeds. 
The story of Vaark shows his "Mercy" from start to finish because he always thought that his good would lead him to a better life and in a way, maybe even save him from dying...

Second: Vaark's Tragic Ending

Jacob Vaark spent his life trying to acquire wealth and a family. 

As shown before when I explained his "Mercy", Vaark was not a bad man. He was introduced into the slave owning business by D'Ortega, who was the complete opposite personality-wise, but had the wealth Vaark desired. One reason Vaark hesitated getting involved with D'Ortega was because he didn't want to compromise his ethics and morals by owning slaves. While that is not what Vaark wanted, in the end he did purchase Florens which was one was that his life did not go as planned. 

Along with going against his morals in a way by purchasing Florens, a second way his life did not go as planned no matter how hard he tried was being able to have a family.Vaark had Rebekka brought over to marry him from England  and they had children. They had four children but all of them died, three before getting to age 6 and the other by getting kicked in the head by a horse. The closest person to a child that Rebekka and Jacob ever had was Sorrow, showing that no matter how hard Vaark tried to get this family he always wanted, he didn't end up having one. 

The third and most interestingly upsetting tragedy of Vaark's life was his attempt to have an enormous house. Throughout his life he worked on two and started working on a third house. Each house was bigger and more grand than the last. He wanted to have a huge house to share with his family, which as I explained earlier he never really had. Once he contracted small-pox, he was just starting the construction of his third and final house, a house he died in but was not finished when he died. 

The life of Jacob Vaark was a series of unfortunate events because although he gained wealth and a huge amount of land, he never got the two things he really wanted, his enormous house and a family. This shows the reader that no matter how good you are to others, you may not get what you want in the end.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blood: Family or Murder (Posts 5 and 6) Acts 1-5

Shakespeare uses the word "blood" in multiple ways throughout Macbeth. It is referred to many times as its usual use, blood, helping the reader visualize the murders in great detail. But, it is also used to refer to family. The literal sense of blood. At other times, it can even be interpreted as sort of a curse word or word to express anger. One example would be "Which smoked with bloody execution", saying who did this execution. Bloody in that sense is used in a negative way. Along with those, blood is used to describe how intense the murders are, so whether they are clean or dirty, taking a lot of work or less work. An example of it being used in a casual manor, not exactly negatively but in a different way, would be,  "We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return". In that way, it could either be murderous instructions or seen as a casual word because the British use the word casually in both negative and positive ways. A third example that shows blood being used in a family way would be, "The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp'd;" This has blood being used as family. Overall, Shakespeare used blood in three different ways, all of which can be seen throughout the play. 

Key for post
Sentences or phrases with the word "blood".  
Paraphrase of sentences or phrases.
Pictures: ways the word is used

Duncan: What bloody man is that? 
Who is this bloody man?

Sergeant: Which smoked with bloody execution
Who did the execution 

Lady Macbeth: Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
Stop the movement of my blood

Macbeth: We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
We still think what we want, but we teach instructions of death

Macbeth: When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
When we have marked them with blood

Macbeth: And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business which informs
This to mine eyes. 
My blade produces blood, it didn't before. There is no such thing: if what I want is murder.

Lady Macbeth: They must lie there: go carry them; and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
They must be lying there. Go get them and smear blood on their bodies.

Macbeth: Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?
Will Neptune's ocean clean the blood from my hand?

Macbeth: The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp'd;
Your father's side of the family is stopped.

Lennox: Their hands and faces were an badged with blood
Their hands and face were covered with blood

Macbeth: Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood
Here lies Duncan, his skin covered in his royal blood

Banquo: And question this most bloody piece of work,
To know it further
And question this bloody murder, and know who did it

Donalbain: There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.
The daggers are in their smiles: the closer they get to the blood, the bloodier they are.

Ross: Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage
You see, the heavens, troubled with acts men do, and threaten his stag

Clean vs dirty murder


Who Killed the King?

Part I: Duncan's death in a picture and an explanation that shows why everything was drawn the way it was.

This sketch shows Macbeth killing Duncan and Duncan lying in a pool of blood. It also shows the bed with the two knives to represent when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth blamed the guards for the murder of Duncan. Another interpretation could be Macbeth with the two knives because he killed not only Duncan, but also the two guards in order to ensure they were to blame for Duncan's death. Either way, the sketch portrays Macbeth as a murderer, a true statement since he killed the man laying in blood, Duncan.

Part II of the post
Duncan's death from the point of view of one of the two guards (in modern english).

 I was standing guard by the door, my usual nightly position. The King had just gone to sleep and everyone else seemed to have gone to bed as well. I turn and see Lady Macbeth walking over to us with drinks. She usually comes to us with our one drink a few hours early but I guess she was late today. The other guard didn't want his drink but I drank mine. All of a sudden I felt paralyzed. I could see everything around me but couldn't move a muscle. A few minutes later I see lady Macbeth walking over. Something about this didn't seem right, but I couldn't move or even get my lips to move to speak to her. Next thing I see is Macbeth walking over in a rush. He looks like he's just done something very wrong. He has his hands behind his back so I can't see what he is holding. As he walks towards me I try to stop him but can't get myself to move. Then, I see them. He is holding two huge daggers. I hear slashing noises and about five minutes later I see him walk out with blood all over him and the two daggers. He leaves. Duncan has just been murdered and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to save him. I have let down my King. I just stood there and about an hour later Lady Macbeth came running past me with the daggers. She walked out in a different outfit and clear of all the blood and daggers.