Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beloved (Sethe)

She was certainly a character who went through plenty of emotional up's and down's throughout the story. Not only was she reflecting on her days at Sweet Home when everyone was together, but she was on the run making here escape with everyone else in the group. Reading about the condition her body was in when Sethe met Amy was rather disgusting I must admit, but that what the slaves went through to try and achieve freedom I'm sure was worth it to them. During Denver's early years and the beginning days of there home at 124 Sethe seemed to be somewhat stable emotionally until Paul D. enters her life because all the memories of 124 come back to mind especially because she don't know what happen to Halle. At first she seemed like she didn't really have much interest in Paul D. until having sex the first time seem to change her thoughts about the idea of having a man around again. Everything seemed to be going great with them for a while like having sex regulary until Beloved entered the story then their relationship seem to go backwards in a hurry. It was evident that Paul D. didn't like Beloved and Sethe becoming very defensive of her caused them to not last much longer not to mention what took place in the shack. I do wonder if it would have made a difference if Sethe would have told Paul D. up front that Beloved was her daughter because I thought maybe his frustration came from this strange girl who wondered up and all the sudden she's more important than him. As would turn out though Paul D. was right about Beloved because she drove Sethe to her death bed or near it by the way the last section of the story implied. I never read that Sethe died only inferred it, but I think Beloved drove Sethe to the break of insanity, depression or guilt for leaving her behind those many years ago. I never did really understand the parts about her being jail and I thought I read a few times she killed a child or children of her own; therefore I was sure if I maybe misunderstood or misread those parts. If that was indeed true than that really makes me change some of my opinions about her.

Beloved (Paul D.)

At first when Paul D. entered the story my first impression was that he might a vagrant or some kind of bum or something, but I was wrong he turned out to be a good guy after all. I think given the path it took for him to get to 124 I could understand why he seems a bit reserved at first about letting his emotions take over. I thought he done what he could do to prove to Sethe that he really wanted to be at 124, but at the time it looked like Sethe wasn't sure if she was ready to love again yet; however she did come around some and invite him to live with them at 124. I thought it was interesting the things that unfolded between Beloved and himself. There was just something about her he just didn't like the moment she came into the house; however I guess he had some mixed feelings towards her maybe thinking there is something peculiar about her. His conflicted feelings towards Beloved definitely caused some friction between them which led him to sleep in the shack for a while. This was where I thought the story made a bizarre twist when Beloved was sneaking out to the shack to force herself on Paul D. which put him in a most uncomfortable position. I not saying what he did was right, but that is certainly an unpleasant position to be in as a guy when a lady is practically throwing themselves at you its definitely hard to say no regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, with what happened in the shack and the friction in their relationship led him to leave 124 and strangely ended what they had started prematurely. Given what happened in the shack I thought his feelings towards Sethe were sincere and he really cared. At least at the end their paths crossed again once Beloved was gone, but it looked to be probably according to the last page or two.

Beloved (Baby Suggs)

Baby Suggs the mother-in-law was very important part of the story I thought because she seemed to be guiding light and wisdom that Sethe needed to get her through some difficult times. Throughout the story there was continuous mentions about her during and after she had passed. Being a former slave like most of the characters were she worked and sacrificed for own children as well as eventual grandchildren not only at Sweet Home but other places like the Garniers's place an other's as well. Sethe was technically married to her son Halle so after he went away to never be seen again Baby spent a lot of time with Sethe and the children. It was my understanding that Baby put forth the money for the home at 124 and helped Sethe to that 80 acres of land into a loving home. I was kind of confused about the haunting that were mentioned because I didn't know for sure if it was Baby Suggs spirit haunting the place or someone else that part kind of lost me along the way. Baby Suggs was traveled lady who suffered through the rigors of slavery and never gave up hope of owning some land and being free to do with it as she pleases. She seemed a good mother-in-law because Baby appeared to be supportive and helpful to Sethe at Sweet Home and 124. I think during Baby's time at 124 she was probably the backbone or the inspiration that kept the family going during tough times and she was obviously a loving mother to her own children.

Beloved (Denver)

Looking back at Denver I drew some my own impressions about who she was or what she was like. She seemed like a daughter who loved her mother very much and really cared about her feelings or emotions. I think Denver's emotions may have became somewhat confused when Beloved came into the household because it looked to me like more of the attention may have been focused on Beloved more than herself. I know her emotions shifted back and forth during the story because at first she thought that Beloved was the one that was chocking Sethe; therefore for awhile Denver had a close eye on Beloved every time Sethe and her were together. She seemed very skeptical of Beloved for a while until she found out Beloved was her sister then her attitude towards her seem to change dramatically for the good. She suddenly went from being skeptical of Beloved to being protective and even at one point thought Sethe might kill Beloved even. Of coarse,there were moments when the three of them seem to gel together and enjoy each others company too. I didn't think Denver was ever all that comfortable during the time when Paul D. lived with them either. This was probably hard to understand at first for Denver having Beloved and Paul D. now living in their home neither of which she new very little about at first. I noticed her attitude towards Beloved changed again toward the end of the story when she saw what Beloved was doing to her mother mentally and physically destroying her. I thought it showed a great deal of love and strength for Denver to go out to find work to help take care of Sethe and bring some food into the house. The haunting's were obviously difficult to deal with during her younger days, but it seem like Denver learned how to deal with it as she got older. I believe she may have been the most emotionally stable character in the story with the exceptions of her being cautious or scared at times.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

T.C. Boyle

This was a interesting story the author had me believing that Maddy had been killed, but at the end it was like not so fast just kidding. After reading the story I was wondering who the speaker was I didn't know if the story was written based on personal experience of Boyle's or was it just the husband speaking. I was surprised the ending turned out with Maddy being okay because most stories I've read when the parents go through those kind of emotions the end result is usually tragedy. Not being a parent myself I can't relate to what it would be like to get a phone call like that saying your child has been in a accident, but I'm sure it's news no parent ever wants to hear. I'm sure most parents worry when their kids are gone, but at the same time I know parents don't get much alone time when children are around so its probably welcome moments for them. I imagine parents kind of dread the day when their children are old enough to go out without them and probably worry a great deal,but I believe that all one could do as parent just let them go and hope they come home safe in one piece. After all, you can't keep children locked the house just because of fear that something terrible is going to happen to them because that's just not logical to do. Some people may consider it selfish of parents to react the way Maureen did at the end, but I think it's only our human nature because your glad it's not your child that died; however we always feel a sense or remorse for those whose experience the pain of losing a family member. I wasn't really sure what the reference to the meteor was I'm assuming it meant that any given moment some traumatic phenomenon could happen and wipe us all out; however that may be the wrong interpretation of the authors intent.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Martin Espada

These poems were certainly politically based in context especially "Bully". With the references to Roosevelt I thought from a historical aspect Latin Americans might have a certain level of anger towards Roosevelt because during his presidency he was constantly getting involved in affairs in that region. This poem could also represent immigration to some extent because of the second and third stanzas. "The Skull Beneath the Skin of the Mango" was a little bizarre in context, but still easy enough to read. I thought this poem was focused on the economic stranglehold America had put on Latin America as businessmen found it profitable to establish commerce in some of those countries. I suppose the poem is really implying how America has bullied there way around Latin America imposing there will wherever they see fit. I wondered if the "Mango" was interconnected to El Salvador because I thought maybe that is the cash crop of the region. Not knowing the history of Latin America well I wondered if the "skulls" represented the bodies of people who may have been opposed to American involvement in the region. After looking at some of his other poems the general theme I gathered was immigration, and economical imperialism the US had in Latin America.

Adrian Louis

Just as Alexie wrote about Indian culture so did Louis. The difference between them was Alexie focused more on the past life of Indian culture; whereas Louis focused more on present day life. In "Dust World" I thought this one based on modern day life on a Indian Reservation in South Dakota because of the reference to "badlands". I wondered if this poem was based on his own experience mainly because the use of first person, but the way it's segment leads me to believe this poem is talking about different segments of his life. "Without Words" seems to be his account of how his people and Indian cultures are decomposing across America because the white had taken everything from them including there pride and dignity. "Looking for Judas" at first glance seeing the word "Judas" in the title its easy to assume this a spiritual poem, but in reality "Judas" is a metaphor for trader because of his betrayal of Jesus. I thought this poem was about how the white man has betrayed Native Americans all these years which is most certainly true in most accounts. How can you not feel for Native Americans and everything they have lost after all they were here first and we have taken almost everything there is to take from them I would blame them if there bitter still even today.