Monday, November 21, 2011


I do not think the movie really captured how I imagined Rosedale or Gus Trenor for that matter!! (Gus on the left, Rosedale behind-- me thinks)

If the title didn’t make it clear, I cried in the end, but ALSO, I cried the third to last chapter when Lily says good by to Seldon. OMG Lily’s life!

On the one hand she was always on this moral verge, right? I mean she, wouldn’t marry for love, and only would marry someone with money, thus giving up that opportunity to be happy, but at the same time refused to do anything immoral to fulfill her other goal. So many miss opportunity, almost always because of Seldon, whether it be because she chose him over the other, or because she feared being thought badly by Seldon. However at the same time she was ruining her opportunities for Seldon, she could never let herself marry him, or even continue any relations with him beyond friend! Despite how all the horrible upper societies women talked about her, she held strongly to her morals. She wouldn’t have an affair with Gus Trenor, she wouldn’t get back at Mrs. Dorsett by agree to marry George Dorsett (which, I’m just putting it out there, sounded REALLY good after Bertha totally fucked her over for her personal ambitions), she wouldn’t even consent to blackmail Bertha (so that she could marry Rosedale), which honestly I just saw as a leveling of the playing fields! Bertha was such a TWAT!!!!! (I’m refraining from further profanity).

Ok, so Lily is constantly fighting her morals, and her mother’s and societal pressure to be with a man who has money, and will adore her. She has everything at her fingertips, but can never grab any of it.

This situation, Lily and Rosedale ironically reminded me of my beautiful host mother who I adored in Peru, who was dating a fat, drunk man, who appeared to be wealthy. My host sister hated him, and honestly, I couldn’t have agreed more with her sentiment. Thankfully I have news they are no longer together however, at the time it was really hard to appreciate why she was dating him! When I was there I asked her, and her response was that he is sweet, and it’s hard to find a single middle-aged man in Peru (her husband was 22 years older than she and died of cancer, but she was sooo in love with him!). Anyway this drunk, redface, socially awkward, large man reminded me of Rosedale (not that he was drunk). 
The beautiful ladies of my Peruvian family! (Marissa on the left is obvi American too)
Beautiful host mother Marjua, annnnd.... you know who.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If only you knew how right you are, Kanye: GOLD DIGGER

The social world that ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lily is in is of particular interest to me. Firstly, I want to mention her ability to seemingly maintain her social status, even after her father is ruined. She is indeed only a gold digger without necessity to climb socially. Of course her treatment within this upper crust social realm is different than what it would be if she were wealthy again, but still she is invited to the same parties, and has the same companions, as presumably she would have even if she had money. Her calculative cunning is surely what maintains her in this upper crust social realm, but maintaining her status socially is also what pressures her to be a gold digger.

The next thing I want to mention in relation to this social realm of hers, is that in reading the first several chapters I find myself pleading with her to maintain her relations with Mr Gryce, and to not fool around and waste time with a man she knows she will not marry. YOU GUYS, this is not my position on marriage, and I imagine is not the modern woman’s position on marriage. The difference being that a modern woman can “make” herself, and can make money, and the woman from the 19th century is not likely able to “make” herself without money, or marriage into money. As I was reading, I could feel the desperation and pressure that society puts on her to marry wealth, and I felt myself completely sympathizing her. I was taken a back when I felt turmoil over her choosing a walk with Selden over Gryce! I just wanted to hit her over the head for ruining up all her cunning courtship with Gryce! But lets be clear, in the modern day I cannot sympathize with a gold digger, but in my first moment of reading chapter 6, I was upset that she chose to take a walk with the man she seemingly loves, over the man that would benefit her the rest of her life. WEIRD. 

I love the palpable sexual tension between Lily and Seldon here!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What if there had been no money???

It’s weird to me that the most important event in the book, is when Trina buys the lottery ticket, which of course she wins. Because this event was the foundation of the plot there after, I wonder if the characters were actually the characters they became, I wonder if they hadn’t won the money would Trina have still been a hoarder, if she would have grown into this pleasure of saving every penny possible. Really up unto this point we are given no indicator that she is such a crazy person. Was it actually the money that changed her, would she have actually been a docile and loving wife had she not won the $5,000 dollars?

Every important event after Trina wins the money happens because of the money. Marcus resents McTeague and feels in the right of that money, he then proceeds to ruin McTeague’s profession, because he resents him. The McTeague’s become “destitute” without his profession, but only “destitute” according to Trina, because of the money. McTeague becomes resentful of Trina because she takes all his money, and built him up to sophisticated preferences, for which he is not “capable” of affording anymore. His resentment he then took out by biting Trina’s fingers, which is what led to those fingers being removed and her having to find a new profession.

They've got money in their eyes!

Please excuse the shortness of this post. I had most of this written this weekend, and forgot to finish it before my surgery! So my last few lines were written on the after effect of anesthesia…. So they might be a little looney haha.

I’ll probably make another post, because I want to talk about the weirdo ending!!  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let There be Novocain in Their Future!

It’s been interesting doing readings in 372 and this class at the same time because I the topics overlap quite a bit at times. This week I was reminded of an article we read last week call “Science and Culture”, calling for the increase importance and value of science in Education in 1880, much like Whitman 25 years earlier in his poem collection Leaves of Grass. This fundamental call for reform of education, and desire for science to grow as a part of culture made me think of McTeague when we were talking about the slow progression of medical professions during this time.  Medicine is very much like science, while we currently associate medicine to being the result of scientific study, it seems in both this book, and my other 19th century readings medicine and science were much like a guessing game.

These guessing games of science and medicine it seems had similar associations to things like palm reading now—sort of arbitrary, but some people believe in what they can’t see.
This looks like of like a blond haired brute, but maybe a little too humorous? 
McTeague’s profession of dentistry surprised me a lot, because while I understand medicine wasn’t prominent, I hadn’t given the profession of dentistry much thought, until McTeague. We are constantly reminded of his lack in brain power, and are told in the beginning of his path o being a dentist as something he stumbled upon, not something that was hard fought for.

These just make my mouth hurt looking at them! imagine if they were extracted with out Novocain!
He pulls your teeth with his hands?!!! This proclamation of pride from Marcus, as if to legitimize his friend’s practice as one of the best!!! What I want to know is when did people realize that you needed education to be a dentist? When did it become more about the easiest way to remove a tooth, than the ability to do it with your hands because you have brute strength?! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


As I mentioned in class today what I found most interesting about the end is how often it made me think of the end of several of the other stories that we’ve read for the class.
Notably The Blithdale Romance and Transcendental Wild Oats.

In my mind there were a lot of different character parallels, and different ending parallels, and parallels that of course are more reminders and not exact replicas of the scenarios we’ve read.

I was very reminded of The Blithdale Romance when Zenobia and Pricilla and their man friend go to town at the same time as Coverdale, specifically when Coverdale is observing their secret group through the window and speculating their purposes, much like Theron as he follows Father Forbes and Celia go to New York together. And of course to further parallel this scene both Coverdale and Theron confront the secretive party, and both with very ill reception, as they have both becomes outsiders to these intimate groups.

Also, not only this scenario I see parallels between Zenobia and Celia, they both are intelligent, exotic: Celia with her flowers in her hat, and Zenobia with the flowers in her hair, and of course beyond the flowers their looks are very unique. Though in the end it seems parallels can be draw between Zenobia and Theron, when they both go quite crazy, and obviously would have been an even further parallel had the author ended with Theron’s suicide— but still, for both these characters to reach almost the same point in “betrayal” and then out casting from the party they admired most!

Also, as I mentioned I saw a lot of parallels to the end of the Transcendental Wild Oats, to the end of Theron Ware. Abel and Theron both reach this pathetic state, which as the reader we imagine no return from, but in actuality are then pushed on their way by the two strong women in their lives. Of course Abel does come to his “finding Jesus” moment, but we never actually see the recovery of Theron, so I can’t make any parallels there.   
But an even cuter Parallelism 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Did he pull a Michael Jackson?!

Whenever people saw the title of the book that I was reading they all asked me the same question, “how can he be an EX-colored man—did he pull a Michael Jackson?”. And of course, until this morning when I finished the book, I couldn’t answer the question, because throughout the book (with the exception of the beginning) he does identify and is identified as black. So when I finally did find out how he can be “ex-colored” man I was surprised, but not in a bad way.
Michael Jackson literally peaced his black folks... the narrator just never corrected people's assumptions. Really it looks like the only thing MJ didn't change was his eyes, UM also, who adds a butt-chin? I mean they are lovely natural, but I didn't think it was a trait people sought. 

I really enjoyed the reality of his story. The narrator definitely didn’t end heroically, but he admits to the shame that pushed him to creating his white fa├žade: “I knew that it was shame, unbearable shame. Shame at being identified with people that could with impunity be treated worse than animals” (90). I liked that it was a story about a normal quasi black man trying to survive in his world, where a black man could be burned at the stake if a group of white men decided it. We know about the few individuals that stood up for the African-Americans when they had no one. But if someone had a chance to leave, to not be forever condemned by a label, wouldn’t we all choose it?

It seems easier for him as well, because it’s not as if he grew up in a huge black community. Of course he had “Shiny”, but really it seems there are not other African-Americans in his childhood. He is surrounded by his mother’s clients who I perceived were well off white women, and his mother too never identifies in a black culture.

James Weldon Johnson. He's pretty light, and mustachie
He doesn’t face the moral dilemma of leaving his friends and family for a white culture, since it seems his whole life he was never part of one culture, and never united with one color. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Great Expectations

Moby Dicks looks satisfied and frustrated all at the same time!

It was a good question in class what we thought about the ending of Moby Dick. Of course the reasonable side of me knew that Ahab and Queequeg would die and Ishmael obviously lives, and how else would the book kill off both Ahab and Queequeg without killing everyone off??? But a part of me held on to the hope that the foreshadowing was a fake out, that it wasn’t leading to the ultimate demise of the ENTIRE ship!

The important question here is, could Ahab have turned around after his touching conversation with Starbuck???
I want to scream YESSSSSS, but really what I know is that while I would have been happy to no end, I think if that would have happened I would have been ill satisfied with the result. We needed to see the ending we did. We needed to see who would win between Moby Dick and them. Yet, should we all have known that Moby Dick would win? That this mythical creature was not to be destroyed by some ship, that whale is bigger than man, and if they have a vendetta against man, it’s obviously who loses.

So if we were only to conclude this epically long book with three chapters of Moby Dick and the TOTAL destruction of the ship… did we need every single one of the 500 pages?
What was the point I guess is what I’m getting at. Paglia would said that it’s some sexual protest, and that maybe it’s more of a story about the masculine journey and not about the climax. Maybe it’s an establishment of Melville’s anti-woman literature… Whether or not it is actually some sexual protest I do agree with Dr. Campbell’s interpretation of “The real honeyed crotch in which we all drown is the womb-tomb of mother nature”. I can see the honey crotch as the sea, where everyone sits at the masthead and feels lost in eternity, where everyone is literally lost at sea.