The thing in Confessions of a Mask that was really starting to make me wonder about the narrators sanity is his fascination with death. As we talked about in class we do have to keep in mind that this is the narrator looking back at his life telling the story. So therefore his thoughts about the meaning of things in his childhood are colored by his experiences and thoughts currently in his life. What really concerns me is his obsession with death from a very young age. I think he wasn’t very happy so death seemed like a better option. When he was talking about playing war with his cousins and he was playing dead he said “There was an unspeakable delight in having been shot and being on the point of death. It seemed to me that since it was I, even if actually struck by a bullet, there would surely be no pain…” He doesn’t seem capable of feeling anything. He looks at death as this wonderful thing and doesn’t even seem to think that he would feel any pain, maybe because he feels he isn’t capable of feeling anything. That’s really sad. Knowing the fact that the author killed himself and the fascination that the narrator in this book has with death almost seems like the author was trying to say something about himself through this character. Perhaps the author also was strangely fascinated by death and expressed it the only way he knew how, through a character in one of his books.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
As I began to read A Season of a Migration to the North, I was struck by one passage. It is where the narrator has just arrived home and says, “…I heard the cooing of the turtle-dove, and I looked through the window at the palm tree standing in the courtyard of our house and I knew that all was still well with life.” (4) It was that feeling of coming home and everything was as it had always been. It gave the narrator a sense of security for home to feel the same when he got back as it was when he left. It’s like the feeling whenever you’re away from home, or after you’ve moved away, to come back and see things functioning much as they always have; it can give a sense of security.
I feel like this relates to the overall feeling that I seem to be getting from the novel that colonialism changes something that was wonderful in ways that are not good. It takes away from the greatness that was always there to impose what the people conquering in their ignorance feels is better. This also plays to the conundrum that we touched on in class that yes, there were things that the British brought to the Sudan and other countries that were improvements, but at what price and was it worth what they lost in the process?
Monday, October 24, 2011
So I was really caught by what Alsana was saying about looking at something close up. This was when the three ladies were talking about Samad and Archie being in the war. Then the first thing said in the next chapter was talking about the same concept of looking at something straight in the eye. Well the rest of the conversation preceding that was focused quite a bit on the fact that Alsana doesn’t want to get to know her husband better, she would rather he be a stranger. It’s ironic that the person said it is better to not look closer at the men they have married is the one that says to look closely at something to learn the truth of it. Those two ideas are in complete juxtaposition to each other. Apparently as much as Alsana truly believes what she is saying about not wanting to get to know her husband better, she seems to naturally want more than that. Perhaps she started to look closer and get to know him and didn’t like what she saw? It fact it seems to allude to that as she says she liked him better the one time they met before they were married and the more she got to know about him, the less she liked him. So to me it seems like she wants to know him better and have a closer relationship, but it didn’t go well when she tried, so she now sticks firmly to the fact that it’s better to not even try and to even go to the extreme of keeping them out of all parts of her life that it is possible to do.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
As we were talking in class about how appearance is such a strong theme in Wide Sargasso Sea, it got me thinking about how that people choosing to get married to someone too much based on appearance is still a large problem today. How many times do you see people fall for each other based on all the superficial attractions and not take the time to figure out if there is anything else to that person and if they are compatible in that way. It makes me wonder if the divorce rate would decline at all if more people stopped looking at the artificial and got to know each other and made sure there was more that we were attracted to then just the outside appearance. Referring back to the books, since most of Jane Eyre it talks about how Jane was particularly beautiful, does that mean that the experience of marrying Bertha based solely on appearance has taught him to look beyond the physical appearance and see the inner beauty in Jane? It seems to be part of his journey in becoming a better person that eventually allowed him to end up with Jane and “live happily ever after”. It also leads me to wonder if he had met Jane before he went through the experience with Bertha if he would have considered her as a potential mate as he wouldn’t have been overcome with her beauty like he was with Bertha.
Monday, September 19, 2011
There have been several references in the footnotes about parallels between Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte’s life. It was noted that Lowood was patterned after the school she attended and that Helen Burns was thought to be a representation of her sister that died of consumption. Also we have mentioned numerous times in class how Bronte was a governess as well so that she has some firsthand experience. These factors combined made me wonder how much of the rest of the story reflects Charlotte Bronte’s life as well. In fact when I looked into it, there is a picture on her Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Bronte) page of the first edition of Jane Eyre and it calls it an autobiography. To me this could simply be the fact that the voice of the novel is Jane Eyre herself telling us about her life, but alludes to the fact that there are at least pieces of the story that are derived from Bronte’s own experiences. There are also several references to some of her other works that say she took experiences from her life that she used to build those novels as well. I find myself wondering as I read each part of the novel if it has something to do with Bronte’s life. For example did she have a Mr. Rochester?