All posts by Bella A.

Almost is Never Enough

“‘Grovie,’ said Etienne, ‘are we still integrated? If he doesn’t come back? Hops a freight somewhere or something?’ ‘Ask your father,’ said Grover. ‘I don’t know anything.'” Page 192.

From the beginning of the story, the characterization of Grover, a major character, is that he is a very intelligent boy. It is established that he has more academic comprehension than the rest of his peers. He uses big words and can answer any question that his friend’s throw at him.  His friend Tim asks him what integration means. After he explains what integration is, Grover makes the conclusion that their school is integrated due to Carl, an African American student and member of the friend group, attending their school.

Unfortunately, the adults, which also included Grover’s and Tim’s parents, did not want to reside in an integrated society. The adults made awful phone calls to Carl’s parents, used “dirty words they got so angry with kids for using” (Page 188), and trashed their front lawn. These uncivilized acts eventually lead to Carl to keep a low profile and gives an indication that he might just leave the town altogether.

The characterization of Grover and the racist events that happen to Carl and his family tie together. Grover is so confident in his intelligence that he never doubts himself or the information that he studies. This was no different when he came to the conclusion that his school was integrated and there was nothing that the adults could really do about it. As it turns out, the conclusion the Grover made was wrong. What’s interesting is that this one answer that he got wrong impacted the way he portrays himself. Never once has Grover ever said that he didn’t know anything.

This may be because Grover is so used to the answers being concrete, permanent, and rational. Definitions of words will always stay the same, math has a set of rules that people abide by, and the correct answers will never be considered incorrect. Because of this mindset, it is understandable why Grover is so shaken by everything that happened to Carl.

What is Art, Really?

“It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.”  (Page 4)

In the beginning of the novel, the identity of Dorian Gray is explained by Basil, a character who is infatuated by Dorian. Basil speaks nothing but praise of this character and rambles on and on of how inspirational this man is.  At first, it would seem that Basil wanted to capture the beauty of Dorian Gray in the portrait he painted. After all, Dorian is the subject of the painting. This, however, is not the case. Instead of trying to portray Dorian’s winning personality in a painting, Basil puts his own “soul” into the painting. At first, Basil’s motive of the painting does not make any sense. Why would one draw their own personal feelings when it is not the subject of the painting? Dorian is not the embodiment of Basil’s feelings, so why draw him in the first place? This train of thought is expected when thinking of art rationally. Basil did not mean this in a literal sense. He meant that he was painting what he felt instead of what he saw. Dorian was simply inspiration physically as well as emotionally.

This concept of being able to put a “soul” in a painting is rather intriguing. One cannot see a soul. In fact, it is a bit odd that Basil will not show his picture of Dorian because he is worried others will see his soul in the painting. No one knows what a soul looks like. Even if Basil’s soul was in the painting, it is not something anyone could see. There may be, however, a different implication  Basil’s use of the word “soul”. As stated in the passage, he is afraid of people seeing the secret that is in his soul. This statement is rather vague and leaves the implication that Basil is more than intrigued by Dorian Gray’s personality and dashing good looks. It is possible that Basil is hiding a crush and is afraid it is shown in his painting.  Maybe that is what is meant by putting his soul into his work.

 

Everlasting Admiration

“Candide, petrified by this speech, answered him, ‘My Reverend Father, all the generations in the world make no difference. I rescued your sister from the arms of a Jew and an Inquisitor. She owes me a great deal, she wants to marry me. Dr. Pangloss always taught me that men are equal, and I am certainly going to marry her.'” Chapter 15 Page 71

This passage can be divided and analyzed in three different parts. The first part is the claim Candide makes that Cunegonde owes him a debt to marry him. The second is that although a “debt” exists, the desire to be married to one another exists between the two lovers. The third part is the conflict between the idea of nobility and the equality of man. First of all, the fact that Candide claimed that Cunegonde owes him a great deal is ridiculous. The only force that drove Candide to save Cunegonde was his own love. No outside force made him perform the two murders. Cunegonde does not owe Candide anything. She did not ask him to do her any favors. The act was motivated by his own love, not the other way around. Despite the outrageous claim of a debt needing to be paid, the love between the two characters is very pure. It outlasted time, ignored social customs, and dissolved the remembrance of misfortunes that both characters had to endure. Candide’s and Cunegone’s desire to be together despite all those factors is admirable.

Evidenced by the selected passage, the existence of nobility and the statement that men are created equal clash against each other. Equality tears down the idea of nobility and the existence of nobility makes people question the equality of man. It is a vicious cycle. Because of the different social class that Candide and Cunegonde are in, the clashing ideas are constantly interfering with their happiness. Whether it is a nobleman proposing to Cunegonde or Candide being banished from the castle, the two conflicting ideas are the main source of the couple’s problems. If they would have been in the same social ranking or if the idea that all men are equal was accepted in this plot, Candide and Cunegode would have been able to live out their happy romance.

Test Post- Bella

“His beloved came to meet him on the steps, and how beautiful and lovely she was! She was wearing the new white neglige when she received him, and he believed that he had never yet seen her looking so attractive. In this way she was first using the gift of her absent admirer in the arms of her present one, and with true passion she lavished upon her darling the whole wealth of her caresses which nature suggested to her and which art had taught her; and is it necessary to ask her if she felt happy and blissful?” Page 45.

I find that this particular passage relates to the list that was compiled in class in two ways. First, the existence of the character’s feelings towards his love is undoubtedly romantic. As said in class, romance is found within youth. The writing in this text proves that romance can be a theme in modern literature. Second, the use of language shows that the characters are agile. They feel emotions with large amounts of energy. The relevance in the characters agility is that their energy is considered both modern and youthful.