Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Today in class we discussed birth control in connection with the section of "The Wasteland" in which Lil complains that abortion pills have caused her to look older. I found this article by Margaret Sanger online that outlines why women should use birth control. Her arguments are sound and well organized. She asserts that leaving either abortion or abstinence as the only options for women is cruel and unhealthy. Also, she argues that it is not fair for the children whose parents are not ready to raise them or do not want them.
I think Eliot evokes a controversial issue of his time by including this reference to abortion pills. Lil's state of mind and appearance seem to be as gloomy and ominous as the rest of the characters and descriptions in the poem. Why do you all think Eliot included this detail, and do you think it is significant to the poem as a whole?
We were debating today in class about the two Middleton plays Eliot references: A Game at Chess and Women Beware Women. I decided to research them both to set things straight. A Game at Chess opens up with an actual game of chess that is supposed to be an allusion to the relationship between
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Sibyl tells Aeneas in Book 6 to seek the golden bough, which is sacred to Proserpina (Persephone), the queen of the underworld. His acquisition of the golden bough allows Aeneas to travel through the underworld safely to meet his father, Anchises. I think it is interesting that the Golden Bough connects to the Sibyl, who is a prophetess similar to Madame Sostris in Eliot's "The Wasteland."
Perhaps Frazer calls his work "The Golden Bough" to link the mysterious talisman type object symbolizing life in midst of death with his ideas of magic and religion. In Book 6, Vergil creates an epic simile comparing the golden bough to mistletoe, considered a magical plant because in the dead of winter when everything else appeared dead, mistletoe still flourished. The “golden bough" that still flourishes may stand for magic, since Frazer discusses the infallible nature of magic in the excerpt we read today. Or perhaps the “golden bough” represents something else. What do you all think?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Now that we have read both Heart of Darkness and The Hollow Men, I’d like to talk about Apocalypse Now. I highly recommend watching Apocalypse Now; it is a brilliant movie that truly displays the pensive, solitary side of Modernism. Apocalypse Now transfers the story of the
There are many other similarities between the two works, which ones are most striking to you guys?
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Yesterday in class, I mentioned that the movie Fight Club was in many ways like Freud's studies of the conscious and subconscious. Freud essentially breaks down the structural model of the life into the id, ego and super-ego and in many ways, the protagonist of Fight Club, Tyler Durden represents all three parts of this physic apparatus. In the movie, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton play different parts of Tyler Durden's consciousness. Brad Pitt represents the id, the subconscious, the part of us that seeks pleasure at all costs and has no morality. Like suggested in Notes From the Underground, Brad Pitt’s character find pleasure in pain and thus develops a fight club in order to achieve this delight. Also, Freud explains that the id is where man’s aggressive nature originates and in Fight Club Durden’s aggressiveness is definitely unleashed. Ed Norton’s character embodies the super ego and ego of Tyler Durden. The ego is responsible a person’s defensive mechanisms, self-control and reasoning and, Norton’s character exemplifies all of these characteristics. In the movie, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton’s characters co-exist and often Norton questions and reprimands Pitt’s destructive behavior. There are many situations where Tyler Durden’s dual personalities (the id and ego) conflict with each other. For example, in one scene, Ed Norton is driving his car with Brad Pitt and they dispute speeding and allowing their car to crash. Norton’s character reasons that he could ruin his car and possibly die while Pitt’s character simply seeks the thrill and pleasure of pain resulting from the car crash. According to Freud, the super-ego strives for perfection and is involved with society’s expectations of values and morals. Tyler Durden demonstrates his super-ego when shopping for Ikea furniture. In the film, Durden yearns for an ideal living space because he wants people to be impressed by his creative style and therefore meticulously searches throughout Ikea catalogs for the perfect furniture. This instance demonstrates Durden’s super ego because he wants to both impress society and strive for perfection.
What do you all think about all this?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I also was reminded of the yin yang symbol when I read this quote in the Zarathustra excerpt: "The body is a great wisdom, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd." It appears as if Nietzsche is saying that the body is both a follower and leader; the seemingly disparate parts of the body come together to form "a great wisdom".
Can you all find any other similarities between Nietzsche's works and literature and concepts we have discussed?
Monday, February 7, 2011