MeaganGemperlein: August 2009 Archives

Nothing comes from nothing

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"Memory. Symbol. Pattern. These are all three items, more than any others, separate the professional reader from the rest of the crowd."


Finding patterns in literature and associating them with other literary works makes me think of another comment someone told me before, "Nothing comes from nothing." Ideas are recycled and used over again in millions of different ways. The patterns and symbols are just put in different settings and situations to make them seem new and different. In that sense, no story or idea is "new" or "original". Professional readers can see these patterns specifically because, obviously, the more story stories and novels they read, the more patterns and symbols they can see.

Tick Tock...Boom

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"Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang"

The pendulum, although it seems obvious, can be taken as a metaphor for time the Prince and guests at the ball have left before the Red Death comes to them. At every hour when the clock stops to chime, every person stops what they are doing and seems fearful. Although they are in this place to escape the Red Death, it seems that they know it will affect them or someone they know sooner or later. The pendulum swinging and the chiming of the clock is the one piece of reality in the fantasy and carefree environment of the ball.  

Everything is not what it seems

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"Among them, quivering to and fro between gloom and splendor, appeared faces that would be seen next day at the council board of the province, and others which, Sabbath after Sabbath, looked devoutly heavenward, and benignantly over the crowded pews, from the holiest pulpits in the land."


At this "evil gathering" it becomes apparent that all people who are attending are not just people in the community that are considered "evil". People that Goodman Brown knows on a personal level and who hold respectable roles in his community are present. It seems that he is very surprised that people he thought were upright and attend the Sabbath regularly are participating in acts of "evil." It could imply that people do not act in ways that show their true selves. Some Christian people could have bad intentions deep down inside. Or it could be looked in a totally different way to mean that bad things can happen to anyone, even people who seem to lead very wholesome lives. It would seem that bad things happen to bad people, but that is not always the case. 

September 2009

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