He's Blind for a Reason, You Know

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Chapter 22
He's Blind for a Reason, You Know

I liked this chapter a lot. I read Oedipus Rex when I was in high school and I loved it. Everything that I read in this chapter was something I already knew though. When dissecting the work when I first read it, I was told to look for all the references to sight and lack thereof. There is always a second and deeper meaning to blindness.

When Foster mentions that some authors bring in a blind character to make the point more obvious it all started to click for me. The fact that most people do not close read literature and if you want to make a point you're going to have to take all of your readers into consideration and go with overkill. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.


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portfolio one

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Blogging is hard for me to keep up with, but after looking deeply into my work I think I have finally got something for my portfolio.

Coverage: Tom Joad is the man

Timeliness: the roaring twenties

Interaction: comment to ashley

Depth: the roaring twenties
Flo Rida and Marilyn Manson

Discussion: comment to ashley

comment to ashley

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To read Ashlye Pascoe's original statement click here

That's an interesting point you make about the rain. I forgot about the Foster reading saying that rain was always a symbol for something. It's funny how different we both view the rain though. In general, I see the rain as a symbolism for something bad, in the sense that they sky is grey, it's cold outside, and there is not much you can do about it. On rainy days, I am usually cooped up in the house all day wishing I could go outside and do something. (I always think of the "Cat in the Hat" when the children are bored with the rainy day the Cat comes and stirs up all sorts of trouble.) That doesn't mean I disagree with you entirely. I can see where you might be positive about it. I mean in the end of the "Lion King" the rain brings new life after a huge fire.

Tom Joad is the man

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I found chapter 28 of "The Grapes of Wrath" thrilling, especially on page 563 when one hears of how Ruthie reacts when someone grabs her box of Cracker Jacks. She spills about all that Tom has done and how is hiding now. This was stimulating for me because you can see how the characters throughout the book have transformed especially Tom Joad, who has become a man trying to take the future into his own hands. By the end of the chapter one can see how Tom calms his mother's fears about him dying in the workers' movement. The small amount of hope that he gives mother is the most influential thing he does throughout the whole work.

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One part of the "Grapes of Wrath," that I found appealing was in chapter 20 when Tom is told about Floyd Knowles, and how he must "bull-simply" when he stumbles upon the police. How one must ramble and convince the police that you are just a blubbering fool and unthreatening.
This small part was humorous to me because how often do we do this in our own lives? I know that I have pulled the "I don't know what you are talking about" card plenty of times, to get myself out of trouble. Throughout high school, pretending that I didn't know when that we had homework; and even to get myself out of trouble saying that I didn't know that I was breaking any rules by staying out later than my curfew. To be honest, sometimes this works, and I found is pretty exciting that the concept could be found in a classic literary work.

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Flo Rida and Marilyn Manson ...

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I found the whole concept that there is only one story ever written intriguing. At first I had a hard time sitting down and realizing that it was true, but towards the end of the chapter there is a reference to music. "One of our great storytellers, country singer Willie Nelson, was sitting around one day just nooddling on the guitar, improvising melodies he'd never written down, never heard in quite those forms. His companion, a nonmusician whose name I forget, asked him how he could come up with all those tunes, "They're all around us," old Willies said. "You just reach up and pick them out of the air."  This I found inspiring because if you think about it there are a lot of newer bands that are just putting a new twist to classic songs. I know that two opposite artiest, Flo Rida and Marilyn Manson, have both redone the song "you spin me right round." That is just one example of how the music industry is reusing its resources to create a new sound. This concept can be applied to stories, and when you think about it makes perfect sense.

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does it relate?

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I found this book interesting because it can be easily related to everyday people in everyday situations.  The fact that the characters remain mainly nameless, makes it easier to relate these characters to people in our own lives.  Though the desire for freedom is a very humanly attribute, it can be applied to any time period, which includes our modern day and age.  Obviously we don't have to face as many of the same problems had to back then (we aren't forced into marriage and we have the right to vote) but there will always be a longing for freedom.

When Helen reaches her breaking point, having her child, she is clearly only thinking about freedom. However she does become mentally unstable and ruin all her chances of freedom as well as her life in general. This is just one example of how people let their desires fog their cognitive abilities. I know that there have been times in my own life were I have let my wishes block my judgment; nothing to the extreme of killing someone, but still the same concept.

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what does this mean?

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How to read literature like a professor:
other classmates blogs

"... in general a symbol can't be reduced to standing for only one thing." Page 98

I found this chapter interesting but not that helpful. Everything that the author spoke about, I already knew. That symbolism has many different meanings and that there is not "right" or "wrong" answer. It all depends on who the reader is and what they are thinking.  It all depends on you and how you feel about the passage.  

portfolio checkpoint practice

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Course page
I am just starting to understand all of this computer stuff. It's a bit complicated but I'm starting to get it now.

the roaring twenties

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America is the land of hopes, dreams and freedom.  In the 1920's America was the beacon of

wealth and opportunities.  They call it the American Dream.  Fast fame and fortune waits on our shores, as well as plenty of moral corruption to obtain it.  That is one of the themes in The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby illustrates the typical American Dream.  In the novel the characters depict the want and need for wealth and social class.

After World War I and Americans feel they needed a little pleasure in their lives.  That is what exactly they did; they spent money on good times and lost their overall morals in life.  Not only did Americans latch on to the ideals of fortune and pleasure, but foreigners as well.  Immigrants came to the country seeking fortune thinking they could ultimately become all what they wanted to be.  That's the American Dream, leaving your past behind and starting anew, becoming what one always dreamed of and obtaining wealth.  Gatsby believes in the American Dream to the point he believes he can win love with money as well as anything else he desires.  That is where Gatsby is corrupted by the need for wealth.

The losses of morals in The Great Gatsby are tremendous.  The "Roaring Twenties" was the age of jazz, flappers, bootlegging and other illegal activities.  They believed in having "a little" fun which turned into wild partying and liquor.  There were no cares in the world at this age, to those who had money; "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..." (188).  Jay Gatz fell into this corruption when he felt a need for wealth to gain the love of Daisy Buchanan.  He became an illegal bootlegger, a gambler, as well as a con artist.  Gatsby is not only involved in criminal activities, but he also throws lavish parties that show more of the morality of the time period.  People in the beginning of the parties are happy and have a generally good time then, towards the end of the night, they get drunk and spouses fight over items of little importance. 

Not only did Gatsby fall to the moral corruptions of the Twenties, but so did Tom and Daisy Buchanan.  Daisy has no respect for life or objects, along with the fact that she lets Gatsby take the blame for her killing Myrtle Wilson.  Her husband is similar to her also, he only see's skin deep and does not judge by personality, and has no regard for human life.

In the end, Gatsby struggles with the fact he cannot obtain what the ultimately desires and that the American Dream is unattainable.  Not only is the idealism of the American Dream shown throughout this novel, but also the corruption of morals through the "Roaring Twenties".