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Piecing the Puzzle

As I read through pages and pages of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” I find myself treating it like a puzzle. There are 1000 pieces to this puzzle, some pieces fit right away but others I have to keep trying and trying. All I know is that the further along I get, the more eager I am to complete it. What I found most interesting about this book  is that  I wasn’t confused because of  the language being “too difficult” or the story being “boring,” ( it is far from it) it was the different names and dates being thrown at us that had me at a gaze.

Although many question why Faulkner chose to write the book this way, I believe he did it purposely. Rarely do we read a book that is so confusing to us that we want to stop reading it. But the key element is that we won’t stop reading it because we want to surpass this challenge. (Who likes an unfinished puzzle!?)As we get further into it we begin understanding who is who, what date we are in, etc., and then it suddenly all starts making sense…

A moment that really came alive to me is when Luster, Caddy, and Benji were playing in the water. During this scene I got to see how much Caddy means to Benji. Although he seems oblivious to everything else, the idea of losing her would kill him. I also saw how Caddy acts like a grown up, she loves a challenge, and dislikes being told what to do. Did I mention she is 9!!! On another note Luster is trying to portray being an older brother but this scene made me think contrary. He is teasing Caddy by telling her  that she won’t take her clothes off because he knows she will.  Hmmmm… well I am eager to know how this relationship evolves because this is far from brotherhood.

Persepolis

Persepolis was a wonderful surprise for me because I didn’t know what to expect. I have read numerous amounts of novels in College but reading it in  it as a comic strip was totally new to me. Little did I know that this powerful novel had more to offer then black and white sketched figures.

-This novel introduces us to cultural change in society,religion and faith, but also teaches us about being aware of ourselves.

There are many frames throughout this book that caught my eye but I have  to say that pg. 71 got my full attention. This frame is symbolic in different ways. I found it very interesting to see how large it was in size, unlike the other frames.  I believe that it was done this way purposely  to show emphasis on Satrapis’ lonliness. The illustration depicts Satrapi floating in space with her arms wide opened. She seems lost and helpless, with a gaze of confusion.  And the frame reads just that “And so I was lost, without any bearings… What could be worse than that?”  Her faith which was once the most important thing in her life is no longer there. We know this because she is questioning it. She knows that nothing can be worse than the feeling of  being alone,  then feeling like  “God forsaking you.” At this point in the novel we know that things are different. She no longer has the relationship with God like she used to and she is aware of this. This frame is very touching to me because it shows change, a new stage in life.

Ernest Hemingway

What makes Hemingway, Hemingway? Well this can be answered in different ways but if I could describe him in one word it would be straightforward. Hemingway writes to the average man. He doesn’t take us the this make believe world filled with unicorns and flowers but brings us to reality. Don’t get me wrong,  I personally enjoy reading fiction because it’s my escape from the real world, but after a while it can almost become cliche. Hemingway’s descriptions are  direct and straight to the point. Although some may argue that  he lacks information in his sentences because they are so short and specific, its about the quality and not the quantity.

Although we have been taught to not associate the poet with the poem or the author with the book I believe there has to be some association with the two. Hemingway being involved in World War I allowed him to see the world in a different way. He saw the harsh reality that many others did not and I think this is what influences him in writing the way he does. Ernest Hemingway will  always be characterized for his understated sentences and short stories but he has learned to get the most from the least. And like the saying goes ” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” (Da Vinci)

“The Sun Also Rises”

The first thing I found to be interesting and different about “The Sun Also Rises” is the introduction. It begins with the narrator Jack-Barnes not describing himself but rather his friend Robert Cohn.  You would automatically think that Jack and Cohn are the best of friends but Jack finds his friend to be pathetic, ignorant, and inexperienced. I want to emphasize on Cohn’s “inexperience” because I believe that’s what bothers Jack most about him.  Jack fought in World War I and lived the most traumatic experience which not only affected him physically but emotionally. Since his “friend” Cohn did not fight in war, he did not live the harsh reality of War and the aftermath.

Jack tries to hide his insecurity and his problems with his masculinity by hiding behind the shadows of the other characters. He sees flaws in everyone, he seems helpless and bored, things easily disgust him, yet he is living in the same routine they are.  Jake tries to paint a picture like everyone around him has problems but in reality, he is the one with the biggest of them all.

Ernest Hemingway does a great job introducing us with different characters and takes us from one place to another constantly. Whether it be from a restaurant to a bar, or from Paris to Spain, Hemingway has us in a new setting every chance possible. What is interesting about this though is that even though we meet new people we don’t know much detail about them. Everything is partying, drinking, money, sex, etc. We don’t hear about the aftermath of the war,or about love, commitment, or most importantly Stability.  A lot of this is lacking and I am eager to find out why?

We do know though that Jack Barnes is a veteran of World War and works as a journalist in Paris. His friend Cohn is also a writer but is very different than Jack. Although Jack wants to make us believe that Cohn and him are very close friends, we get the idea that this isn’t completely true.  I believe that Jack views him as a coward because  Cohn has not been through what he has been though. This makes me think twice about their “friendship,” if there is any at all?

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

“And would it have been worth it after all” (line 99) is a very powerful line because it really questions the value and importance of having to do something. Having said that, I do not think that this poem is easy to understand and only after reading it over several times I have come to comprehend it better. To me, this poem screams out self esteem issues. Prufrock is full of insecurities which is why he doesn’t approach girls. He feels surrounded by this upscale class of people which he cannot relate to. Which is why he is constantly asking himself if it would have been worth it. He sounds doubtful in this question which tells us he doesn’t believe it would have made a different

” With a bald spot in middle of my hair-”

” I should have been a pair of ragged claws- Scuttling across the floors of silent seas”

” Shall I part my hair behind?”

These quotes are all examples of how self conscious Prufrock is . Not only is he concerned about his balding but he even wishes he was a sea creature in the silent seas because he wouldn’t have to be dealing with his “human” problems.I really got frustrated with Prufrock in this poem because I really wish he would stop stressing and questioning himself so much and just get the courage to ask the girl 0ut. He is so concerned on his physical appearance instead of focusing on the right way to approach her. I really question why T.S Eliot chose to write this poem the way he did. I believe it’s because poetry always takes us far away from reality and allows us( through text) to do things we may not be able to do in real life.  Yes the poem is very long and yes the poem can throw you into a puddle of confusion but if we really try to relate to it, we may find out that we have a little tiny bit of Prufrock in us.

“An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” by W.B Yeats

After reading “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” by W.B Yeats several times, I found myself not only understanding the poem but actually enjoying it. We know off the bat that the motives for which the pilot is flying in the war is not because of the love he has for his country, nor because he hated the Germans. He didn’t want the attention or the fame either which many that are at war actually enjoy. This leaves the reader wondering what is the purpose for the pilot to fly? Surprisingly enough, the reason is for the joy of flying. The pilot knows that there is a great possibility of him dying but he finds the joy to be completely worth it.Yeats could have chosen to write this poem differently and place the pilot as a hero, who is flying and fighting for his country but that was not Yeats’ purpose or intention. The poem takes another direction by allowing the “hero” to become a regular man and showing us a side that many may not want to admit. I believe Yeats may also be sending the reader  a message that many people fighting in war are not fighting with their true strength or for the “right” reasons but just because….

What reading means to me..

Reading to me is an escape from the real world. It allows me to take on a new character each time. Whether its a romantic novel or poetry, I become one with the text. The greatest thing about reading is that each person can interpret a text differently based on their imagination. Most importantly, you can read something that was published years ago and still be symbolic years later. As cliche as it sounds, my love for reading began at a young age. My mother, being a teacher, was always persistent on having me read books. I remember going to the library every month and borrowing lots of books of every topic. I also remember how excited I would become when they had book fairs in my school and when we would receive “Scholastic News” once a month. Reading has and will always be an important part of my life because each reading is a new adventure, a new journey, a new escape,….. my escape. 😉

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