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

glasses
suit
suburban phone book
cold chicken
plain seltzer soda
bread
carrots
potatoes
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.

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