Monday, April 14, 2014

....................Waiting for Title Ideas (Analyzing Godot)

Some might read "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett and be confused and puzzled, or mostly, left with the reaction of eyes narrowed and foreheads furrowed at the contemplation of the strange absurd play with no visible meaning. However, the play, defined as a tragicomedy, to me fulfilled its literary classification. Samuel Beckett surely revealed the tragic fate of our two not-so-heroes, and maybe symbolically illustrated the tragic existence of humanity. As I looked around the room at my peers deep in reading, chuckling at some witty wordplay, it struck me that the play was so tragic, it was humorous. I know, that is weird, tragedy, funny? But hear me out. "Waiting for Godot" is a comedy to me, because it connects with the ambiguity that is the world. The play moves in a circular plot, from Act I to Act II, it always starts with dialogue between Vladimir and Estragon, goes to the introduction of Pozzo and Lucky, and then the boy. Always waiting however. And reoccurring talk of waiting. Unlike other plays, which move in a linear path, "Waiting for Godot" moves circularly, or not even. The plot makes it seem like a giant plate of spaghetti syntax. The world doesn't move in a straight line, as much as people would like to argue. People make the path to a goal, in the end, however as life progresses, the path of the goal also changes. Some may stop and sniff the flowers, wander off the path to explore life even further, stop and rest, the world may set a linear path but life decides on the spontaneous path of the journey. That's why its funny, the play is a manifestation of one's quest for purpose, and the tragic delays, even if it is our own shackles, that hinder us.

Vladimir and Estragon, their repetitive behavior, one part tragic and one part comedy, is set in a setting that is only described as a country road, a rock, and a tree. The characters that are introduced have no idea for their meaning and only know to wait for a mysterious figure known as Godot. Even Pozzo and Lucky question or are causes for questions of existence. The play always goes back to waiting for a purpose and for something to happen. But that's just it. When you are waiting for something, just like how I am waiting for something smart to post on my blog, nothing happens. Yes, I might be thinking of what to type, but in that time that I wait, my blog remains unfilled with my analytic word play. Nothing happens in the plot, because all they do is wait.

Referring to my big question, how does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves, when referring to "Waiting for Godot" I can say that the absence of an external source at the beginning contributes to no views of purpose at all. Media is good when found in a happy medium like everything else. Too much and you have no ideas of your own, none at all, and there is nothing to mold your thoughts. Vladimir shows the effect of outside sources towards the end though. When the boy comes back, Vladimir questions the validity of Godot. The media, in the form of Boy, helps him to form new thoughts. Estragon does not count as he seems to be a part of Vladimir, like co-dependent creatures. "Waiting for Godot" helps answer my big question, by helping to illustrate that sometimes media is needed, or else we are left waiting for something new. Like how i'm waiting for a good conclusion.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beloved Big Question

"It's not everyone's father, its your father" Tony Morrison on Beloved. The novel of Beloved as I interpreted, is not wholly a novel on the cruelty of slavery, but a novel on love, pain, and sacrifice in human nature, of which slavery is only an angle.
The big question of how media shapes the view of the world of themselves, can be answered somewhat through the seclusion of media, or interaction in general, from 124. Beloved is a novel of a mothers view and a mothers guilt and the pure primal instinct of it. The story is about a young female named Sethe, living in a house haunted by her murdered baby alongside her still living daughter, Denver. The novel explores the supernatural, with Beloved, coming back in a physical manifestation to extort revenge on her mother, along with the natural, slavery at the time and the horrendous life that came along. In the story media is rarely prevalent in the house of 124. When Beloved appears, Sethe without any outside perspective can symbolically reveal the own innocent perspective conceived through ones own emotions and experiences. She dotes on Beloved and does anything in her blood to please her, or maybe to make up to her for causing Beloved's death. She does not see any other perspective, one can say that the character interactions are a sort of media for that time, an outlet for other ideas/opinions. Sethe and Beloved, Beloved and Sethe, two interactions without outside influence, that illustrate how the media can shape the view of others and themselves, and without it only what has and what is create that perspective. An example of media changing views, is the dilemma of Paul D, a fellow former slave of Sethe's from Sweet Home. Paul D comes to 124 to try and create a life with Sethe and Denver, warming up to a life at 124 and establishing an intimate relationship with Sethe. Perspective soon changes, as only it can, with the introduction of media. The media in the sense is a newspaper, given to Paul D by a former slave named Stamp Paid, that changes his views on Sethe and brings their intimate relationship to a close. The media outlet, detailing Sethe's murder of her own baby child, answers the big question by shaping Paul D's view of Sethe. Whereas before without the unbridled illumination, Paul D had feelings of affection, and some can say love, for Sethe. With media, it has shaped Paul D's vision, disturbing his previous feeling and proving him unable to stay with Sethe, despite previous experiences or emotion he could have felt.
Media has an important role in emotion and guilt, and can help change perspectives as seen in Beloved.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man  by Ralph Ellison, the book was one of my finest reads in English study history. The perspective of the narrator, given no name, helps reveal and uncover not only the plague of social discrimination African-Americans felt, but the plight of those that are beat down, taken advantage of, non-influential, disposable, and more importantly, invisible. Instead of seeing the book through the eyes of an African-American in a time of social discomfort, the way it was written, I view the book through the eyes of a normal man, indefinable by skin color or race, who is run over by the social system of the time and rid tirelessly. Trying to fit in, to make a difference, the man is ultimately invisible as the games the other play have no sight for REAL change, hence the invisibility of true equality. Sure, there are other African-American themes that help promote the perspective of the narrator as one for justice for his race, but the narrator had a more true purpose, to promote equality for everyone, regardless of color. He got screwed over through the brotherhood, who secretly wanted to destroy the black community of Harlem, while the narrator was tricked into thinking he was making a difference. The Sambo doll, though a disgusting stereotype of the African-American, by burning it, symbolically, I view it as a casting away of all stereotypes, regardless of race. The narrator is relentlessly jumped by stereotypes throughout the book, like Sybil's brute fantasy of him, while he had no time for that mess. 
Through the want of being invisible, his wish is that his identity should not be indiscernible on outward appearance and perpetrating stereotypes , but through his individual impact on society. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wuthering Heights Big Connection

In my last post, I emphasized how the media was an important part of society, and how it served as the lens for our perspective and our ideas. The media blinds while informs, and through the act of providing information shapes the person and what they become through fed intelligence. The big question of how media shapes society and our view of ourselves is evident in Wuthering Heights, or more specifically the lack of media. The nature of humans and the nurture of the characters through the untamed nature is shown in Wuthering Heights, as they have no contact to the outside world throughout the book except for the relationship between the Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The media in it's large role of providing information on how society should function through the use of conforming and norms are non existent in the story. Wuthering Heights reveals how media shapes our views of the world and ourselves by providing a barbaric connection to which we can compare our experiences, similar to a control group in science. Wuthering Heights is an untamed environment trapped in passion and uncontrolled emotions. This untamed passion can be revealed through the thoughts of the late Catherine Earnshaw, who selfishly decides to play with the feelings of Edgar and Heathcliff,"Well, if I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend--if Edgar will be mean and jealous, I'll try to break their hearts by breaking my own. That will be a prompt way of finishing all, when I am pushed to extremity!" (Bronte 107). If their was media in the time, she would most likely, knowing her passionate nature, watch many shows on love and the such. The media would shape her views by providing her with the negative image of a selfish destructive woman, (Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Simon Cowell's Ex-Wife/Booty Call/Baby mama) and instead mold the image of never giving up after one's love and the idea of true love, (Cinderella, Majority of Disney movies, Pitch Perfect, Bieber, etc) that is deeply ingrained in the fantasist minds of the many teenage girls of a Hollywood age. The lack of media in Wuthering Heights helps illustrate how different a world with media can shape our view of the world and ourselves. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves?

How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves? The media in the ever growing world of technology plays a pivotal role in our view of the outside world, as in most cases it is our only view. I like this question because as society grows more secluded, more satisfied with the dimly lit screen that becomes the sun of their world, social networking and media sites are the only way that they get their information and news. It is saddening yet at the same time scary, that the media could be biased and therefore hinder all perspectives on a topic. This question resonates with me on a personal level too. The media in recent days has revealed that the U.S government will strike Syria with missiles. It is not a question of when, but that they will do it with utmost certainty, today. The media, how do they shape our view of the world? They illustrate that the missiles are a sort of disciplining tactic, to push forward a forced diplomacy. It is to show that we, the Americans, "ain't messing." This military intervention, well it affects me more than others for I have friends and family that are enlisting in the air force and army. I heard from a friend yesterday that the soldiers in the military were requested to write their will. The implied message, it makes me scared for my family and friends. The media doesn't show this part, this consequence of the strike. People stationed in the middle east, they are prepared to die, they seem like they are preparing for a war to strike. The media shows that we are punishing Syria for chemical warfare on the people, however they do not show that soldiers are preparing for war. The media shapes how we view the world more than anything, but how does it also blind us while providing us vision?

The symbolic metaphor of media blinding us while providing us vision, it is similar to Oedipus and the motif of eyes and truth throughout the whole story. The media of today, how it shapes our view of the world and ourselves, are the eyes of Oedipus. Oedipus sees only what he wants to see. His perspective, his denial of the truth that he is the killer of his father, shapes his view that he is the hero king of Thebes battered by lies and clouded obstacles. It is only by gouging out his eyes, or turning off the media, that he finally finds truth and all perspectives on the view of the world and himself. To first hand see for himself the real truth in the world, he had to stop relying on one sense, or one perspective, and learn the world through all senses, or all perspectives.