Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Goodbye Columbus- End


On page 85 Carlota is described about herself cleaning up and it says she is "bumbling, twisting, and shaking" (85). This goes nicely with a description of her on 77 when she is described as
"I had felt a kinship with one who like me, had been partially wooed by the Patimkin's (77).  This goes nicely together because it helps to re-enforce how neil feels about Carlota. he doesn't describe her as a servant but a kinship as a family member and he speaks highly of her working unlike anyone else in that house.

On page 89 neil is given the opportunity to drive the car when Mrs. Patimkin offers to  , " take the volkswagen" (89). This parallels the Volkswagen scene earlier when he is in trouble for driving his car next to the volkswagen. I really like the combination of these two scenes, because it combines the peoples car with a rather discriminatory practice of him not being able to drive the car to him having the opportunity to drive the car, with the common element being the peoples car.


Neil says as the narrator at the beginning of chapter 6, "So we would be with each other until the sumer's last moment" (75). This does not necessarily contrast with one specific quote, but the idea contrasts because as one couple comes together the other must separate. This idea of starting and ending seems to coincide nicely with the seasons and how the hot passionate summer is giving way to the cooler less established fall.

There is a nice contrast on page 82 when Brenda yell back at Neil says "all you're thinking about is about an end for us"(82).  Then later on that same page brenda comes back with " that's why I let you stay with me, that's why I let you sleep with me in my own house" (82). This is a nice contrast in what the two of them think about each other and helps to show Neil's insecurity about Brenda and how he is worried about losing her. His concern with losing her is related to him being unable to stay in the society he has become accustomed too.

Walking Stick
Pith Helmet
High Heels
Yellow Pages
Wire fence

I feel the most important prop is at the beginning of chapter 8 when Neil is finally back from his summer dream and he is standing in cold Newark. He describes a wire fence in front of him and the signifies that he is gone from the large wooden fences of Short hills, and he is now back to the practical if not ugly wire fences of Newark.

On page 76 Neil shouts back at Julie, " Why? Do I sound like I've got on dirty underwear" (76). This is a nice class distinction because Julie has a made a large fuss about underwear before this point and his is Neil's way of shoving that back in her face by showing that he deserves to be there along with her and asking if he sounds like a guy without clean underwear.

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 5


On page 62 brenda tells Neil, " Once Harriet gets here it'll be so chaotic you can probably stay two months" (62). This compares nicely to Neil's house where Aunt Gladys needs to go through every night preparing four different meals a day, and Roth does a nice job of suggesting that some family occurrences transcend class and chaos when other family is present seems to do this.


Brenda and her mother are in the midst of a shouting match when her mother says: " You ought to learn what a days work means... Because you're lazy"(64).  However when Neil talks about Mrs. Patimkin he says she was, "Disastrously polite to me" (21). This suggests that there is a split in the personalities between people when they are speaking to guests and when they are speaking to their family. this level of two-facedness is re-enforced by Neil saying that it is disastrous for her.


Brooks Brothers Shirt

In this chapter I believe the most important item is the Brooks Brothers shirt, because this is Neil's way to fit in with Ron and to fit in high society. This seems to be a pathetic way that Neil's is trying to accomplish this, but none the less seems to be important to Neil trying to fit in.


On page 61 when Harriet and Ron's wedding is being introduced to Neil Julie says, "There's going to be huge wedding" (61). This sentence seems like Julie being her normal snob self, but I really like Roth's use of the italics in this situation. The Italics suggest that the emphasis is not put on the wedding but rather a dig towards Neil that his family could not afford the size of that wedding furthering the idea that he should not be there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 4


On page 14 Neil  is seen "holding Brenda's glasses" (14), and then when they are in the pool together Neil, " found her glasses on the chair beside me and held them in my hands" (53). This is the fourth time Neil is at the pool and holds brenda's glasses I believe that he does this, this time in order to return to that original moment of bliss that he has when he first met Brenda, and he wants to re-associate with his original feeling that he had when he first met her. 


On page 49 he states that his parents live in Tucson, which is in great contrast to the complete overbearing personality and livelihood of Brenda. Neil has a complete different lifestyle in terms of his parents because his parents are always gone from his life, whereas Brenda's parents are always in her life and are not going anywhere.


Big brown Book
Diving Boards
Blue Suit
Huge Soup Bowls

In this chapter I believe the lights to be the most significant, because they play with his sight like the glasses have in the past. In this chapter the way that the lights are incredibly low set a very nice mood for him and brenda, and how he cannot see Brenda and this works on not only a physical level, but on a deeper metaphorical level, where he cannot see the relationship he has with Brenda cannot last because they are from such different worlds.  


When Neil is talking to aunt Gladys he goes a little to far and states, "Aunt Gladys they don't live over a store" (57). This is a shot taken by Neil to his aunt in an effort to show how brenda and her family are so much better off than he is that there is no way to have a conflict with him staying over. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 3


On pages 43 and 45 there is a  parallel in tones from julie that give an accurate representation of the difficulties that Neil faces in Short Hills, because he needs to deal with people like Julie. She starts," You better wash that down or you'll get diarrhea" (43) and then when they are playing basketball Julie continues,"You're a cheater she screamed at me You cheat" (45). This kind of attitude from Julie shows the uphill battle neil faces as he enter the culture of Short Hills, because he has to put up with the snarky and cynical attitudes of people like Julie in this culture.


On page 30 and 31 there is a nice contrast between the two streets that Neil is looking down. On Washington street when he looks down he sees a library and the Annex which, " was a brick building old and vine covered" (30). opposed to looking down broad street where he sees "a grimy windowed bookstore and a cheesy luncheonette"(31). This helps to further the idea that Neil is right between two clashing worlds, where he is faced with the old traditional world of washington street with its classical brick building covered in high class Ivy of Short Hills, opposed to the world he currently lives in Newark like broad street where there is grime and a dive restaurant where he can eat. this dichotomy helps to echo the crossroads that neil is facing in his life.

8.5X11 Print
Egg and pepper sandwich
Lion statue
Oriental Vases

Dethroning the glasses two chapter run as the most important i believe the most important prop is the bench. I believe this is the most important, because Neil sits on this bench at the crossroads between Washington and Broad street which I believe to be the most significant passage of this chapter because it shows exactly the difficulty Neil is facing when he is with Brenda. He must face an identity crisis when he is between her and his true identity in Newark.

On page 32 there is a clear distinction of class between where Neil is from and the culture he is being immersed in he sees the cub and: " the stairs were an imitation of somewhere in Versailles, though in their toreador pants and sweater these young daughters of Italian Leatherworkers" (32). This shows how this culture just attempts to imitate those of the classical world in France and other older world cultures. This identification suggests that there is such a difference in the culture where Neil comes from that he notices all the details about these peoples clothes, because it is so new to him.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 2


The beginning of this chapter starts oddly similar to the beginning of the novel when Neil is, "holding Brenda's glasses" (14), this parallels the start of the book because in the beginning of the novel Brenda asked Neil to, "Hold her glasses"(3). This parallel structure suggests that the relationship between them could be seen as a servant and her master. That he is supposed to be subservient to Brenda when he is in her presence or in the country club.


When Neil is watching Brenda eat their family eats "heavy and methodical and serious" (22), this is opposed to Neil's family where, "none of us ate together" (4). This contrast between the two families helps to show the true difference in societies that Neil and Brenda come from. In Brenda's family they all eat together regardless of what any of them want, as opposed to Neil's family who never eats together and is always split far apart from each other.


Black tank suit
Big Blue Umbrella
French Dressing
Twin Oak Trees
The Volkswagen
Basketball Court

For this chapter I feel the French dressing is the most important prop, because it helps to show the difference between dinner in Short hills, and in Newark because in Newark they have fuzzy oranges and green cheese. However in Short hills they can afford the luxuries of different kinds of salad dressings.


On Page 26 Brenda says about Julie " Money is a waste for her. She doesn't even know how to enjoy it. She still thinks we live in Newark" ( 26). This suggests a clear difference in the class of Short hills who apparently know how to enjoy money with their nose jobs, and piercings. Opposed to the people of Newark who use their money for far more practical aspects such as food and clothes for their families. This difference in classes helps to further the gap between Neil and Brenda

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Goodbye, Columbus Chapter 1

1. Parallel

The parallel I found is about vision on page 3 when Neil takes Brenda's glasses she "looked foggily"(3) into the pool, and later in that same chapter Neil watches brenda on the tennis courts, "all I could see moving in the darkness were her glasses"(10). This suggests that Roth is setting up one of the large themes in this story to be sight and how certain people and things are viewed in society and by the people in this society where Neil and Brenda live.

2. Contrast

On page 9 it states that Aunt Gladys and Uncle Max are spending this hot summer night on their front porch whereas on page 8 when Neil is driving through Newark, "where no one sat on the stoops" (8). This suggests that a divide between the communities that Neil and Brenda and how in Neil's community people will sit outside on nights like this, but in Brenda's neighborhood they stay inside because that is where climate is controlled and more comforts exist in her neighborhood.

3. Props list

suburban phone book
cold chicken
plain seltzer soda
War and Peace
Mounds bar

I believe the glasses are the most important prop, because they deal with Brenda's sight, and the metaphorical significance of Brenda not being able to see takes many issues into account. This could help show that she can't see how Neil comes from a far humble home that she does or any of the other people in her community

4. Class Consciousness

When Neil is going through the food in his house, it shows the food that he still has in his fridge, "Velveeta turning green" and " navel oranges growing fuzzy jackets down below" ( 7). This language helps to show the economic situation that Neil's family is going through. Brenda would never see this type of food in her country club, or in her house. The language here suggests a large divide between the economic situations of Brenda and Neil.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


For my blog I decided to take a slightly different approach to the frames I took five shots, because I tried to tell a story through the frames.

This first frame shows our subject beginning his trial to flip this obstacle in font of him and I chose to put his knees, back, and particularly his hands on the thirds line towards the left to indicate that he is at the beginning of his journey to try and flip his obstacle.

I used this second frame to concentrate more on the tire, and how the difficult part of his journey is nearing completion and I tried to keep his back and knees on the initial column line to show how he has progressed from a flat back and crouched knees all the way to standing erect and on the right column I tried to show the tire and how it has progressed from flat on the ground and to further in the frame.

 The third frame tries to show how he has not completed his journey even though the most difficult part of his journey is complete, but he still must complete his task and so that is why he is positioned earlier in the shot and on the second column line  I tried to show his elbows locked out to show the progression he has made from the previous two shot where he is still imparting upward force onto the tire.

The fourth shot tries to show his final push in an attempt to complete this obstacle and that is why on the second column line I tried to show our subject pushing to complete the journey and giving one final effort to push this tire over. His elbows are bent like the earlier shots where he is imparting his force on the object.

The final and fourth shot is meant to show our subject's face on his column line, where he is looking down on the tire and I put our subject early in the frame at the position he started at, but with the tire flipped in order to show the progress he has made throughout the course of the five shots.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Road: Memory

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy uses the idea of memories to show hwo difficult it is to forget the past, but how necessary it is for the maiun charecters to leave the past. On page 25 the Father and son both return to the Father's house, "The boy stood looking at it. The peeling wwoden clapboards were largely gone from the lower walls for the the firewood"(25). Intially the boy is scared to enter the house but the Father insists on it, because he is clinging to the past and does not want to leave any of his memories away. The boy does not want anything to do with this house and he is exteremly tentative to enter the house. Then as the Father goes thorugh the house partially reliving his old memories and having a great sense of nostalgia, but as the boy goes through the house he gets a very different perspective on the house, " The floor buckled from the rainwater, in the living room a small animal dismembered and placed in a pile"(26). The boy manages to see the house for what it is, a dilapidated, barely standing building that is of no use to the family on their journey south, an after the full tour of the house the Father has a simialir realiztaion about the house in response to should they have gone to the house the father responds, "It's alright. We shouldn't have come" (27). This shows that the Father has made a realization about their journey that the son has already realized. This suggests that the Father realized that this journey was fairly selfish and was a cling to the past, and it will not help them in the future and their future travels. The fact that the father wanted to finally leave his past behind him and never return suggests that in this new world there is no room for previous memories. Similarly on page 56-58 the McCarthy uses the story about the mother committing suicide as another memory that must be forgotten by the Father in order for him to push forward her final argument is described as' "She was gone and the coldness was her final gift"(58). This suggests that this made it easier for the father to let go of the mother, and push on with boy. This could also suggest that only through leaving his wife, mentally and physically, could he forge on with his boy in an effort to live and hope for a better future. McCarthy uses memories to show how difficult it is to forget the past , while simultaneously it is crucial to forget his connections to the past world so he can survive in the new world.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Coca-Cola Scene

The middle passage on page 23 would make an excellent scene and I hope to create this scene by first setting up a high angle long shot of the father and the son entering the room in tattered clothes and finding a tipped over dented and destroyed Coke machine. The entire room containing the machine is in complete squalor with old clothes, rain damage, and metal scraps lying thorough out the room to help show this room has been ransacked and many people have come to the room before. Then I would have a POV medium shot from the boy watching his father take the Coke can out of the machine and the maintain the same shot as the father approaches with the Coke can but as the father approaches the son the Coke can come into focus and the father begins to move out of focus. This will help to show how foreign the Coke can is to the son and the Coke can keeps all of the boys intrigue and focus. The I would shift to a high angle close up on the can when the father opened the aluminum cap and the switch to high angle medium shot of the son where the son jumps back a little bit, because he is afraid of what the can has just done, because it was completely unknown and will help to show that this truly is a new concept to the son. Finally I would have a high angle POV shot from the father onto the son taking his sip from the coke and watching his son smile after he drinks the coke for the first time. This will show that all the fathers attention is on the son and all that matters is the son's response to Coca-Cola, and this will have a Holly-wood type ending with the son's face smiling about the Coca-Cola.

The role of the Father

The father creates a distinct new world for himself and his son. First is the new world that is his own and devoid of all parts of previous society. On page 23 the father gives the son a coke "he leaned his nose to the slight fizz coming from the can and handed it to the boy"(23). Here the father tries to create his new reality with out Coca-Cola. This is the last Coke in existence and instead of preserving it for future generations the father chooses to have the son drink it and give him the happiness rather than attempting to preserve that idea from the past for the future of their desolate society. Second when he returns to his old house he says "It's all right. We shouldnt have come" (27). This suggests that the Father wants to eliminate all of his past life and parts of past society. This was his childhood home and he says that he should not have returned even though that house contained some of the happiest memories that he had in his entire life. If he wants to leave his childhood home forever then he could be comfortable leaving all of his memories behind him and continuing to move forward. Then, when the Father refers to how the world ended " I dont know exactly. That's a good question"(43). The father definitely knows how the world ended but he chooses to not tell his son about the end of the world. this suggests that he does not want his own son to know about the end of the world, because in this new world the father wants to create a fully new reality and world, that would avoid any connection to the end of the past world. Since the father did not tell the son the news of how the world ended the world. this could also suggest that the Father does not want the burden of knowledge to fall on his son, so this could suggest that the father does not want the idea of this reality to live on. The father creates a new reality for his son and himself, as devoid of any connection to the world of the past, because he does not want to revisit the loss and atrocity of the whole world.

Parallels, Contrasts,Questions, and Friends

Pages 3-31


1. Mccarthy goes out of his way to mention the tarp used to cover the man and his son. Is Mccarthy using the tarp as a metaphor for something much more than just a physical cover?

2. For what seems like a very small detail in the plot, Why does Mccarthy devote so much time for the Coca-Cola scene when in actually it is very short and the boy doesn't react to the Coke very much?

Contrast: On page 19 the narrator refers to the Man watching the Boy when he says,"It was the first he'd seen the boy smile for the first time"(19). Then on page 25 when when the boy is having the coke the boy says "I'm scared. Don't you want to see where I used to live? No"(25). This exchange on page twenty five suggests a change in the boy's outlook on their situation and that the boy can become happy by the simple act of sliding down the hill, but when the father wants to cling to the past that happiness leaves and turns to fear.

Parallel: On page 3 the opening scene in the book states "When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of night he'd reach out to touch the child beside him"(3). Then on page 15 a similar scene appears "He pulled the tarp about them and he lay awake a long time listening"(15). This suggests that the father is extremely protective over his son and so protective that even when they aren't awake he is looking out for the safety and well being of his son.

Pages 31-53


1. Mccarthy seems to go out of his way to mention the lack of god in this society. Why does he bring this idea up so much in his story of the Father and Son?

2. When describing the world to his son, Why does he describe the roads as "Our Roads"(42)?

Parallel: On page 38 when the boy is described around a very beautiful pit of water it is finally described as "The boy walked out and squatted and laved up the dark water" (38). The on page 47 there is a fire raging with life, but after it ends "Then it was all dark again" (47). Here Mccarthy suggests that no matter the beauty in nature that still exists in this post-apocalyptic world without fellow human life to share it and keep the idea and memory of these events furthered.

Contrasts: On page 50 the Boy says "Can't we help him Papa?"(50). Then on page 51 the father says "There's nothing we could have done"(51). This contradiction helps to show the gap between the innocence of a child and what the Man has lived through that would prevent him from helping a person in need. This shows one of the disconnects between the son and the father.

Pages 53-73:


1. During the fight scene Mccarthy seems to focus on the belt of the marauder. Why does he devote four separate times to the Man's belt?

2. On the late pages of the section the father tells the boy that the father needs his help to guide him back to the campsite. Why is the first time that the father is leaving trust in the boy to help them and help their cause?

Contrast: On page 67 there is a contrast with the father, " He wiped blood from his face and held him"(67).  Then later on this page he tells his son " It's okay, he said. It's okay." (67). This shows how the father will put his son over absolutely everything in the Man's life. He is so devoted to his son that he will put his son over even his own safety.

Parallel: On page 61 when the boy is alerted to the existence of the new men when  , " The boy froze with fear"(61). Then on page 62 "They both froze"(62). Mccarthy suggests with the idea of being and fear tied together. this could explain why they need to go south for the winter, because the freeze is associated with fear and they try to escape that in order to escape the fear.

Pages 73-93:


1. Why does the group leave the shopping cart when it was crucial to them in the first part of their journey?

2. Why does the Father choose not kill the dog, but will not stop to help other people that need their help?

Parallel: On page 75 The father is told to be stroking the boy's hair and, "Gold Chalice, good to house to god"(75). Then on page 77 the father says that "I was appointed to do that by god"(77). This parallel suggests that the Father is a deeply religious man and that he could a part of some higher power on a quest to preserve his son and humanity, and that is partially his reason for living. One of the few ways he can survive in this planet is a very religious goal to be a good father to his son.

Contrast:  On page 81 when the Father and the Son inspect the abandoned town they describe it as "Darkness and Cold"(81) to ideas that do not really sound very comforting. Then on page 89 when the Father and son are peering over the distance the say " He got a fire going and walked out to the edge of the wood lot and stood looking over the countryside. the dead fields. A barn in the distance"(83). This contradiction is the distance between coldness and darkness to fire and what is a barn. The Cold and darkness suggests that there is very little hope to none at all, but the fire could show passion and hope, in the form of a barn, that there is other people out there that would be willing to help out the father and son and further the progress of humanity like the father could be trying to do.

Extra Credit Compound Word Poem

The Game

Picked off

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Shot Comparison

Here are the two first shots of the Femme Fatales in Double Indemnity and L.A. Confidential. It is very important to notice the important distinction between the two women, Phyllis Dietrichson on the outside is the clean and moral women while having an evil inside, while Lynn Bracken is immoral on the outside while having a clean and moral inside, and their first appearances show their true personalities The first difference to note is how they are dressed. Before we know anything else about them we see Phyllis in a towel and nothing else while Lynn is dressed in a full jacket and hood giving the appearance of a nun. Very few women will come to the door wearing nothing but a towel when a complete stranger comes to the door and it shows how her morals are quite loose. On the other hand Lynn is wearing a over jacket in the style of many religious women and nuns. This reflects her sense of true morals so much so that she appears as pious and straight as a religious woman. After addressing their clothing choices for their first scene it is important to know their setting which is going to reflect how they are perceived by society, because that is where they are seen going. Phyllis is in a beautiful $30,000 home where she lives in luxury with her own maid and appears like she is a woman who comes from high society and a high class person. Lynn is inside a dingy liquor store which reflects the way society sees her a prostitute society sees her as a loss class individual who sells her body for money, but that is not reflected in her true personality. Third it is important to see how they are placed in their scene. Phyllis is in a medium long shot which is also a low angle shot. This helps to show how Walter and society perceives Phyllis as a distinguished woman with a large amount of influence and power and the viewers are meant to look up to her initially. While there is a close up of Lynn where she is on the same level as her viewers. This is meant to show that Lynn is no better than any other person that officer white encounters on the street and the audience has no reason to look up to her based on outside appearance. The first appearence of the two leading women from Double Indemnity and L.A. Confidential help to show the complete contradiction between the inner and outer identities of Phyllis Dietrichson and Lynn Bracken. 

Zahra's Paradise: Parallels and Contrasts

Section One:

Parallel: On page 13 there is a small river teaming with life and surrounded with lush plant life and on page 30 there is the same river next to a picture of scotch being poured into a glass, which Miriam drinks profusely and seems to make light of the whole situation. This parallel of picture shows how people like Miriam cope with situations like this and find their peace with the situation. It also shows how there is an artificial solution to a very real problem which is very similar to what the Iranian government is doing to their people. The government like Miriam cannot sustain this behavior for success in the future.

Question: Why does Zahra's Paradise begin with such an awful and gruesome scene?

Section Two:

Contrast: On page 55 there are two consecutive frames that contradict each other. Both surrounded the Ayatollah Khamenei. In the first picture Khamenei is standing over every other Iranian and he is the unquestioned leader in the frame. In the very next frame there is Khamenei who is surrounded by men arguing and it is even difficult to distinguish him from the other men. This contradiction helps to show the difference between reality and what the government presents to the people. To the public the government presents one united font that is supposed to go unquestioned by all the citizens of Iran, but in reality the government and leadership of Iran is in full chaos and there is very little organization at the top of the country. This contradiction shows the difference between what the government wants the people to see and how the government actually operates.

Question: What is the difference between the Imam, Khamenei, and Akmhedinejad

Section Three

Parallel: On page 7 there is a picture of puppies being forced into a bag and on page 124 there is the same picture next to the police car with the young men from the hospital being taken off to be executed. This shows the innocence lost of the country of Iran and how awful these actions truly are. The young men taken off in the police car is just as deplorable as killing a family of defenseless puppies and how awful the actions of the government are towards there own people.

Question: Why on page 90 does Amir and Khalil show a picture of Khamenei and Akmhedinejad touching like God and Moses?

Section Four:

Parallel: On page 172 Mansoor calls all the prisoners he killed, dogs and on page 172 there is a picture of puppies being killed by a shovel slammed down onto them. This helps to show how completely immoral people who will kill helpless individuals for their own selfish gain. This will eventually lead to the downfall of the country because the country will not be able to kill off their youth forever or else it will cease to exist.

Question: What is the significance of the number 309?

Section Five:

Contrast: On Page 211 Zahra defiantly refuses the offer of martyrdom and actively yells at the man that offered it to her, but on page 172 when the coroners office rudely rejects her she walks away defeated. this shows that the government can push even the most docile people too far before they rebel against the authority in the country. This will absolutely cause the overthrow of the government of Iran, because the power of the nation is not in the abusive government, it is in the rebellious people.

Question: Why at the end does Zahra shout out "am I not Zahra and is this not my paradise?"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Zahra's Paradise: Fate vs. Free Will

In the final section of the book Zahra exercise her free will in two very distinct situations in the final scenes. The first is on page 211 when Zahra asks the two government men "Have you no shame? Did your mother's raise you to kill your brothers?" This is the first time in the novel where she exerts her wants and desires on the other people in the novel and shows that even she can rebel against the government. The second part of the section that Zahra exercises her free will is on page 221 when she stands above the grave and call to the people of Iran " No one will be forgiven until there is justice" and from this picture she stands over her fellow Iranians and challenges them to overcome the power of the government and fight for justice not only for her son but for the people of Iran. This is the first time in the entire novel where Zahra imposes her will on a group a people and challenges them to change the government and change the abusive corrupt government they are subjected too. Just like in Minority Report at the end just like John Anderton, Zahra seems to be the one in power while the government official who was supposed to stop them was pushed into a grave. This is symbolic of the poeple overthrowing the corrupt government like in Minority Report how John Anderton overthrew the abusive pre-crime. In Zahra's Paradise Zahra exercises her free will by rallying her fellow Iranians and standing up to the government officials.

Zahra's Paradise: Who am I?

In section four of Zahra's Paradise, Sepideh goes through an identity crisis when she catches her man Mansoor abusing and killing prisoners. On page 174 she runs to the top of a bridge and takes her locket and throws it into the lake. This shows her shedding her past identity, because she cannot live with the idea that she was with someone who could be that abusive towards young men that did absolutely nothing wrong. Which is like page 196 when Zahra first hears the news that her son is dead and there is no chance she will ever see him again. She walks into Mehdi's room and takes the glass of milk she had been keeping for him ever since he disappeared. This finally shows her coming to terms with the fact she lost her son and is not sure what to do now that she knows her son is gone, because she has lost such a large part of her life. In section four of Zahra's paradise Zahra and Sepideh struggle with identity crisis because they find it difficult to face their own realities because they were living in disbelief.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zahra's Paradise: Frames

The use of frames in this section goes a long way to establish the mood of this scene. On page 104 there is a very free form almost cloud of a frame around the entire page that signifies the main charecter is having a drea. Not a nightmare though the frame also helps to communicate the dream is very peaceful because it appears soft much like a pillow. On page 116 there is a border that helps to establish the formality of the situation and explain hopw well Mrs. Ardalan lives. When she has one of the clerics over is seems like a placemat is covering the page. This helps to show that all of her reality is covered and cut off because of who she is and she will never be able to return to a state like Zahra or the narrator because of the luxurious lifestyle she has lived. On page 127 there is a clear shift on the frames from rounded edges to sharp edges right after Mahdi is thrown in jail. This shift helps to show that the severity of the scene has changed rapidy when the prison guards threaten but eventually do not rape him. The frames in this section help to set up the mood and give extra plot details from all of the scenes that they surround.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Zahra's Paradise: Words, Words, Words...

There are a few frames in this section of the book that the words dominate over the illustrations in the farm. On page 65 one of the storeowners is explaining the protests when he says, “ our schools have turned into war zones”. Here this shows just how awful and gruesome these government responses are to the protests. That something as peaceful as an institution of learning with the addition of government and it goes beyond what the illustrations can do in order to show how violent these protests could have become. There was a newspaper on page 69 that says China sells Iran more Anti-Riot Gear which helps to show how the government is consumed with these protests and will put all of their efforts towards stopping the rebellion rather than working with the people to further progress in Iran. A storeowner on page 71 says “They (the government) can shut down all they want. But there’s not stopping the peoples press”. This helps to show that no matter what the government does to the people will always have the true power of the nation. These words in the novel sets up the conflict that surrounds all of the events in the novel but helps to reach the underlying cause, that there is a true power struggle between the current government and the people of the nation of Iran. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zahra's Paradise: Images

In the first two chapters of Zahra’s paradise the different size of frames really shows the significance of each of the scenes while they are looking for Mehdi. By far the largest frame is the two page shot of the protests on June 15th 2009. This image contains so many intricate details the author wants the reader to take account of. One being a sign in the foreground of the picture which is partially obstructed so that all it says in large black letters it says “where is my” the ambiguity of this helps to show that people are looking for so many different things from their government including but not limited to freedom and rights. Another detail is that there are less than 10 policemen working there and there are more than 3 million people in the street to show the power the people can have in their large numbers. Compared to the very little power that the government can have over its people. Throughout the beginning of the novel facial expressions dominate the illustrations in particular one of the shots on page 28 is a close up of a doctor, and this after he sees armed guards come in and take many of the patients away for either imprisonment or death. He says “I thought this business of body snatching was done only in Iraq”. Then the close up on him shows a completely disconcerted expression with his eyebrows elevated and half a cigarette in his mouth a long with one bead of sweat that drips down his face all show his emotions far better than his words ever could. In foreground of this shot is the doctor shaking and in the background also explains how horrifying the situation can become. A police wagon drives into the darkness, which works as a metaphor for the people in the police wagon. Just as the wagon is disappearing so are these people never to be seen again. Quite a dark reality for four years ago.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Evils of Technology

This scene occurs right at the end of the movie when all the loose ends are being wrapped up. John Anderton is reunited with his wife and they are expecting a child and all of Pre Crime has been abandoned. This shot is a long shot with three characters, the Precogs, all relaxing and reading book in their cabin after they have been removed from Precrime. It is from a third person point of view and meant to give a happy and peaceful ending for the Precogs. The Precogs have all been removed from Washington DC and are now living out their lives in a rustic cabin somewhere far away from the rest of society.  The first rustic condition is that in 2054 there are no monitors, screen, or electronic devices used for entertainment the Precogs are reading books. This shows that all of the digital entertainment can be destructive for the greatest of minds, so this scene is set up with the Precogs reading books and using their intelligence rather than blankly staring into a television and this break from technology is a productive use of their time. The second important detail is that all of light in this scene is naturally coming from the sun. This shows how people will be much happier with less artificial items in their lives and need natural items to become truly happy. Throughout the movie Agatha has been creating artificial truth and now all of this natural light shows her shift towards the actual and natural truth. This is the first time where Agatha is truly content and she is made content because all she needs to do is read books and enjoy the wilderness for the rest of her life. The third important detail is the gas lamp that is located next to Agatha. This supports the film’s notion that too much technology will eventually lead to the downfall of our freedoms. This is the only time in the movie that Agatha is completely free from all oppression and responsibility and the only way that Agatha could ever become free of all the pitfalls of society is to abandon technology and live far more rustically. The crew of Minority Report uses this scene to show how an abandonment of technology returning to a more natural way of life will bring people more happiness than having people’s lives overcome with technology and advancement. Technology is a useful tool in society but if it takes over people’s lives it can become a rampant evil in society.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Movies I saw this Summer

Movies I saw in the Movie Theater

1. Star Trek: Into Darkness

2. Despicable Me 2

3. Monsters University

4. 42

Movies I saw on DVD

1. Jurassic Park

2. Star Wars Original Trilogy

3. Goodfellas

4. A Few Good Men

5. The Dark Knight Trilogy

6. The Shining

7. Glory Road

8. Friday Night Lights

9. The Natural

10. Hoosiers

Lit and Film Summer Reading Questions

1. Oedipus is mostly responsible for his own fate, because Oedipus is responsible for all his actions except his original exile. When Oedipus was born Laius an Jocasta heard the prophecy that Oedipus would kill Laius and sleep with Jocasta, so they decided to banish him from the kingdom and ordered that he be kept as far away from the kingdom as possible. Oedipus cannot be blamed for this action in his life, because he had absolutely no control over this. However he can be blamed for all of the other actions in his life. He should be blamed for killing his father on the road. He should be blamed for this because he took that action under his own will and he made that decision alone.  Whether or not this was done through self-defense Oedipus took the life of Laius and he should be blamed for killing his father. From that point on he takes his own fate into his own hands.  Oedipus defeated the curse and married the queen. Oedipus is responsible for these actions because he married the queen and he accepted the throne in Thebes. This action is his own responsibility because every action he committed was under his own will. Finally Oedipus’ own need to find the truth caused him to eventually take his own eyesight. If Oedipus heeded the shepherd and the queen then he would never had realized the all that he had done. Oedipus’ quest for truth caused him to seal his fate and take his own eyesight. Oedipus is mostly responsible for his own fate, because every action he took was under his discretion. However Laius and Jocasta decided the event that preceded all the others.

2. Oedipus is an excellent leader and a poor leader, because he is supremely confident in himself.  Oedipus rules incredibly because his supreme confidence causes his subjects to trust him completely. Oedipus’ confidence leads him to defeat the curse of the sphinx. This victory ensures that his people will hold him in the highest regards for setting them free, and so when his people are in dire need of assistance there is only person they turn to and that is Oedipus their king.  Oedipus is an excellent leader because his confidence in himself leads to the freedom of his kingdom and the complete trust of his people. Oedipus is a poor leader because his supreme confidence leads him to making rash decisions that eventually lead to his downfall.  The Prophet Tiresias is almost unquestioned in all that he knows. However Oedipus accuses Tiresias of lying to his people. Oedipus having ultimate confidence in him and what he knows as the truth causes this. When Oedipus accuses Tiresias it not only sets a chain of events that causes Oedipus to take his own eyesight, but it also causes Oedipus to lose some of the faith in their king.  At that point his own citizens question his decision-making, and this causes them to lose confidence in their king. Oedipus is both a great leader and a poor leader, because he maintains supreme confidence in himself. 

3. Oedipus’ ultimate mistake is when he attempts to question fate. When Oedipus questions Tiresias he questions the truth, because Tiresias is a prophet, which means he knows everything there is to know in society. Since Oedipus decides to question fate this causes him to go on a quest for the truth. This causes Oedipus to discover that he actually killed his father and slept with his mother. If he never had questioned Tiresias then Tiresias would never accuse him of killing his father and sleeping with his father. Which causes Oedipus to try and reveal the truth and eventually leads to his mother committing suicide and Oedipus taking his own eyes.  The decision to question Tiresias is ultimately what leads to Oedipus’ downfall.

       4.  John Anderton supports Oedipus’ notion of destiny because of how he follows the pre-cogs completely. In the first scene of the movie and throughout most of his career Anderton believes completely that the pre cogs are correct and they are infallible. In the first scene of the movie Anderton infiltrates a house to prevent a murder that has not happened. Because of the precog prediction Anderton believes that this man will murder his wife so he puts him under arrest anyways. This completely supports the idea of in-escapable fate because just how Oedipus cannot avoid his fate these people cannot avoid their fates and John uses that to throw these people in Jail. The next scene is when Anderton is in the apartment along with Leo Crow. John was always going to be in that room, but he was never going to be the murder of Leo Crow. Even after seeing his own future he still succumbed to his fate by being in that room when Leo Crow was gunned down.  This completely supports the idea that his fate was in escapable because even the man that knew his future still did nothing to change it. John Anderton completely supports Oedipus’ idea of fate because John enforces fate and even he cannot do anything to change his own fate. 
         5. Eyes reveal an incredible amount about the characters because the truest part of their identities is with their eyes.  The precogs particularly Agatha, whom has her eyes closed most of the time, reveals herself to John when she opens her eyes and jumps out of the pool.  She reveals herself to John only when she opens her eyes out of the pool in the temple, where she manages to show John the murder of Ann Lively and leads John to realize that Lamar Burgess was the actual murderer of Ann Lively. John Anderton reveals himself through his eyes because when he surgically removes his eyes and has them replaced he believes that this will change his identity. However when he returns to find the truth at pre-crime he can only return to Agatha after he uses his eyes to open the doors.  This is a very symbolic moment because he can only return after he comes back to his own identity in order to clear his name and to expose the truth. Eyes also expose quite a bit about society, and the quote that best shows this is when John meets a blind man on the street. This blind man says, “ In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king”. This quote explains their society because it shows the stranglehold that precrime has on Washington D.C. In that quote society is blind, they cannot see their future and cannot predict what their next action will be. Precrime has one eye in that they can see the future and are able to predict how the people of society will act, so all of society is the complete mercy of these beings and the precrime unit. Eyes show quite a bit about the identity of people in society and the way this society is structured. 

6. This movie says that the future of society is fairly dark because the police and the law enforcement seem to be taking away freedoms, because they arrest citizens who have yet to commit a crime. America is dangerously heading towards this type of a future. The action that the NSA takes against “private” citizens is appalling. The government knows entirely too much about a single person because of online and telephone records that are dangerously approaching a big brother Orwellian nightmare.  America is heading towards a country where Americans will be stripped of their rights and privacy to a point where the government will arrest them based on crimes the have not even committed.  However preparation dictates future events because it dictates where people’s attention and future is headed. A lot of preparation will put a person in a very good position to determine their own fate, but there are still actions that are out of the individual’s control. Preparation will never entirely determine someone’s fate because there are always circumstances beyond that person’s control, but preparation will mostly determine the future actions of an individual.