Sunday, December 9, 2012

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

1. This novel is about a black woman after the emancipation's relationships with three different men, each of which treated her differently, and how she grew as a person because of them.

2. The theme of the novel is about how men and women, although different creatures, are made to exist in harmony.

3. The tone is one that is repressed. Janie, the protagonist, oftentimes yearns to be free but stays quiet inside her own mind instead of speaking against the men repressing her.

1. Every time the author uses characterization it is through Janie's point of view. In which case, most of the male characters are idealized. The first husband treats her like a worker, the second treats her like a statue, and the third finally treats her like a person. The flaws are outlined in the first two while the third one is portrayed as the perfect man.

2. When Janie is being described the voice becomes a lot softer. Not unsimilar to when you look in the mirror you make yourself see the better  parts of you.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

Janie is a dynamic character. Through her different relationships she goes from innocent little girl to jaded woman to someone who has freed themselves. She changes her entire persona at least three times.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

1. A Christmas Carol is about Ebenezer Scrooge, a nasty older gentleman, who gets a second chance to turn his life around after a supernatural intervention at Christmas time.
2. The theme of the novel is the theme of Christmas time. “Good will to all men.” Except, in this case, the notion of good will to all men is carried over all throughout the year. That is what makes a decent human being.
3. The tone of this book is one of hopefulness. Even the most nasty of sinners can turn their life around if given the correct perspective change. This was one of many Christmas themed books at it’s time period and the reason we still read it is because of its universal message. The tone is also similar to how someone would tell a story to a child, so it has a very simple pattern.
4. The name “Ebenezer” in itself is a symbol. An Ebenezer is a turning point in someone’s life, and Scrooge’s character has the biggest 180 turn in literary history. Also, the narrator’s diction is personal because it sounds like a person talking to you. They even use “As I was saying…” as part of the storytelling technique.
1. The characterization in this book is very direct. One of the first quotes about Scrooge is he is “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!...self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” That does not leave a lot of characterization to be desired as the campy character is displayed right from the get-go.
2. The diction and syntax is the same whilst talking about characters.
3. Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character because the whole point of the story is that he changes his evil ways and carries the spirit of Christmas with him all year round.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1. Brave New World by Huxley is about a dystopian society where there are no parents, no morals, and a very strict cast system. The alphas keep the lesser castes in check by drugging them with a hallucinagin called “Soma.” The book also illustrates a society that exists outside of this world, and then demonstrates what happens when the worlds collide.
2. One of the themes of this novel is that humanity is frail and subject to fall. It can also be said that the government can control the masses through a combination of drugging and brainwashing. Also, it displays how beautiful chaos is and how if we try to control every aspect of our humanity we will lose it.
3. The tone of the novel tends to be trying for shock value. Huxley describes second grade aged children experimenting sexually, and then goes on to have characters react to it as if it is not an unusual thing. It is, in fact, expected. Also, many things, including the title of the book are references to Shakespeare.

1. Whilst getting to know the different caste systems, Huxley will use flashback to show why the character is the way it is. An example of this is Lenina, and when Huxley describes her inner thoughts and her remembering things that have happened in her life. Another direct example is when they talk about how the factory workers are taught that books are bad from a young age so they are never educated. Once the savage is introduced, his character is mostly expressed through small quotes he says throughout visiting the “Brave new world” such as “I want to be myself. Myself and nasty.”

2. When focusing on setting Huxley focuses more on inner monologues in characters. To describe characterization it is mostly dialogue based.
3. The savage is a dynamic character in the sense that once he is introduced to the world outside of the reservation he will never be the same. Whatever innocence he retained growing up away from the assembly line life has been turned into resentment for what humanity has become.

4. After reading this book I felt very similarly to when I had finished reading Animal Farm. These characters represent a real problem, but at the same time they are so separated from our reality that it is hard to find them feasible.