May 02, 2006

Final Term Paper

Truth and Lies and a Psychoanalytic Literary Study Because Haddon uses a character that's hazy and confused view of the
world allows him to consider an uninhabited, impassive world as a heaven. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time challenges the separation between utopia and dystopia. Haddon's dramatic power; shows the strain between the truths, as Christopher relates it, and reality, as the reader perceives it. This in fact forces the reader to re-interpret categories such as "special and "normal", since the book presents a blurred world of normal people through a distorted lens.
Christopher the protagonist, living in a utopia is in an unknown distorted world. His mind is logical yet the world is full of haunting aliens (Apollo Space Missions) that plan to enter his logical mind. Haddon tells us that "He walks up and down the streets at 4a.m pretending he is the only person in the whole world" This is where the utopian society ends.
Christopher is a genius at math, and loves maps, timetables and facts. He does not know what it is to tell a lie, no matter how bad of a situation he is in. He is also incapable of voicing and / or comprehending jokes. Why is it that normal everyday things disturb Christopher , such as the colors yellow and brown? We know the he detests yellow because of custard, bananas, double yellow lines, yellow flowers, sweet corn, and hay fever, and brown because of dirt, gravy, wood, Melissa Brown, and poo. It is the unfamilar setting which causes him to go into an overload of thoughts. Or simply groan and hide his face.
This could possibly be labeled as Hysteria; definition: It is a diagnostic label applied to a state of mind, one of unmanageable fear or emotional excesses. The fear is most often on an imagined problem with that body part (disease is a common complaint). People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to the overwhelming fear. (BOOK; Mark S. Micale (1993). "On the "Disappearance" of Hysteria: A Study in the Clinical Deconstruction of a Diagnosis". Isis 84: 496-526.)
The most intricate experience throughout Christopher's journey in finding the killer of the dog is not just finding out WHO killed the dog, but what happened to his mother?
According to Sigmund Freud, that unconscious feeling conflicts over repressed wishes and they have a tendency to manifest themselves in dreams, parapraxes also known as "Freudian slips", and symptoms.(Scharnberg, Max. The non-authentic nature of Freud's observations, Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1993 ISBN 91-554-3122- 4) Christopher, the narrator and protagonist warned us that this "WILL
NOT BE A FUNNY BOOK", (Haddon) but we all know that in fact is funny in parts. We are able to see view points on the irony of life in the eyes of a world seen by a very logical person.
A lot of credit is awarded to the author, Mark Haddon. He could have chosen any character to reveal the events that happened in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime". Instead he choose the not so ordinary Christopher. We follow him on this emotional rollercoaster, where we get a sense of sympathy, vivid details, and love (that we probably would not have seen otherwise). If we would begin to think like Christopher, we would acknowledge relationships, parents, and life situations.
Christopher likes the idea of a world with no people in it. [Haddon p. 2]; He contemplates the end of the world when the universe collapses. [Haddon p. 10-11]; He dreams of being an astronaut, alone in space. [Haddon p. 50-51]; Christopher reveals to us the dream when,
"A virus has killed all the people who look at one another's faces when they talk; the only survivors are special people like me, who like being on their own and who are as shy and rare as the okapi in the jungle in the Congo." [Haddon p. 198-200]. The Freudian Pretensions say that, "One shall prove that there exists a psychological technique by which dreams may be interpreted and that upon the application of this method every dream will show itself to be a senseful psychological structure which may be introduced into an assignable place in the psychic activities of the waking state."( A paper read at Columbia University, April 19, 1915, at a Joint Meeting of the New York Branch of the American Psychological Association and the New York Academy of Sciences, Section of Anthropology and Psychology. Freud, Sigmund, "Die Traumdeutung;" Three editions, 1900, 1909, 1911; Franz Deutike, Leipzig und Wien.) This quote represents death and the sensation of prejudice. In this
dream Christopher is revealing a feeling of hatred towards "normal" people.
Which displays that he is uncomfortable being surrounded by others who make a mockery, and jeer at people different from them.

Where does everyone look while on an elevator with strange people? That's right they either show a pseudo interest in the carpet on the floor of the elevator, or they take the conceited approach and look at themselves in the reflecting walls. Christopher is reflecting on his own life and what he knows is that he is comfortable in similar surroundings. What do these passages say about his relationship to other human beings? What is striking about the way he describes these scenarios? The evidence speaks for itself.

The exponents of Freudian interpretations today are medical men associated with the practice of so-called "Psychoanalysis;" which means that they are more concerned to apply Freud's ideas for the treatment of nervous ailments than to cultivate pure psychology. An examination of the methods they exemplify in individual practice and in the large literature of the psycho-analytic movement shows sufficient reason, in my view, why the psycho-analytic theory of dreams should still be greeted with skepticism. Psycho-analysts tell us that repugnance for the subject-matter has delayed acceptance of their essentially sexual interpretations. (The Freudian Pretensions, Scientific Method in the Interpretation of Dreams by: Lydiard H. Horton)

Going to London must have been an awfully scary trip. Being on a train is like being cooped up in a house, only you're moving. He also hates strange people, he does not understand visual details, and he certainly will be in an unfamiliar surrounding. If we were autistic we would have the same outlook and feeling about the world around us. As Christopher slips into his Sherlock Holmes mode, (since he likes "The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sherlock Holmes") in recording the investigation of his mother, he realizes the importance of life. As the reader feels trapped inside Christopher's mind, still remaining unemotional, the thoughts and feelings motivate us.

According to neurologist Oliver Sacks, Hans Asperger, the doctor whose name is associated with the kind of autism that Christopher seems to have, notes that some autistic people have
"a sort of intelligence scarcely touched by tradition and culture -
unconventional, unorthodox, strangely pure and original, akin to the intelligence of true creativity" (Book: An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks, NY: Vintage Books, 1995, pp. 252-253).

This intelligence is shown in the story when the author goes into detail talking about Christopher's incredible ability to solve mathematical problems. He is remarkably skilled and knowledgeable at math and science. He can tell you all the prime numbers up to 7,057. He is a mathematical savant and likes prime numbers. He thinks that prime numbers are similar to life, they are logical but even if you spent all of your time thinking of how to figure it out, you will never reach a full understanding. A prime number, is a number that is divisible only by two integers-itself and one. As Christopher remarks, "prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away" (Haddon 12), which reminds me again of how Christopher wants only people like him to be in the world. The "special people" are the prime numbers, and the "normal people" are the patterns.

It is hard to give a description of a story such as this one without resorting to particular cliches: "I laughed, I cried," etc. Mark Haddon portrayed a protagonist view on utopia by using Christopher's unique outlook on life, without turning him into some weird robot, or generated person. Christopher gave the story great insight and humor as well. The humorous innuendos aren't geared toward him; but at real life situations. The relevancy between real life and Christopher is that we haven't experienced the worlds he has. We are able to see, (because of him) how "prime numbers, and patterns", relationships, and interaction with the world have affected the readers.

"Although the book is character-driven, it also contains a rich plot. It is a murder mystery, a road atlas, a postmodern canvas of modern sensory overload, a coming-of-age journal and lastly a really affecting look at the grainy inconsistency of parental and romantic love and its failures. It is a cross-generational novel, very neatly walking the line between adult literary fiction and young adult." Nani Power; Washington Post Review.

Posted by SarahLodzsun at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

Media Fast

Almost nearing the end of my second year here at Seton Hill, As I try to finish all my homework, study for finals, and pack up to go home. Today I noticed is the last day of "TV Turn-Off Week". The phrase "Media Fast" speaks for itself. It is like not eating during lent, or before a dreaded blood test. Except this time NO MEDIA, this for some people may be harder to resist than food. From personal experience I can't go anywhere without seeing headphones, i-pods, or some piece of technology gripped in someone's hands. To be frank, this week was not at all difficult for me to try to keep from watching television.

Some people, my dad for example, thinks media (more than TV) is no good for us. However; when my sister comes home from dance or cheer practice, she takes a shower and sits on the chair to watch TV, and wait for dinner. Sometimes I can laugh because she will be told to help with dinner and she doesn't want to. I also believe that TV is sometimes over- rated. I mean you cant go anywhere without hearing people talk about the best or worse performers on American Idol, the so-so apprentice on The Apprentice, and the hottest person on those reality shows. I grew up in a pretty active family that likes to be outdoors, so I think for the most- part, it has rubbed off on me. I used to watch TV a lot before coming to Seton Hill, but now I really don't have a chance to watch TV. I am either at class, cheerleading practice, games, work, or doing my class work. My roommates and I have digital cable in our rooms, but that really doesn't change the fact that TV should be watched all the time. I do have to say that in my suite, our computers and laptops are the devices that are used the most. When it comes time to go home for a break, I still don't watch much TV. I work seven days a week, no matter what.

Disregarding the use of my computer for class-work, I rarely used technology this week. Except on Saturday, and Sunday; we had cheerleading try-outs and we had to watch a try-out video, as well as practicing with out music. Oh yeah and the use of my CD player in my car. Speaking of music, I love it. I like to listen to music, on my i-pod, on the radio, and CD player. But other than try-outs this week I really didn't listen to music THAT much.

TV Turn-off Week could not have come at a better time. I was to busy studying for tests, doing homework, and reading, to have time to watch TV. Also, we were fortunate that we had nice weather to play ball, or simply lay in the grass to catch up on some rays. Because we all know that rainy days are the devils advocate for the use of media and technology. Although, I did hear that this weekend, the campus was showing a movie (A sort of drive-in setting I guess). Apparently not everyone was supporting the week with no TV. Saturday and Sunday night I went to a party, where we had a cookout and a bon fire. You can bet that there was no TV use there.

To make a long story short, I think that being away at college helped me to get through this week of "media relief". There are many other pastimes that someone can do to take up their time instead of being the norm, a couch potato. One could also do some studying. I know that not everyone on campus is an A+ student. I hope "TV Turn-Off Week" was a success, and I would think that people would have decided to take advantage of the nice weather. Maybe the lack of media and TV usage would open their eyes to more stimulating activities.

Posted by SarahLodzsun at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

Portfolio 2

This is my second online blogging portfolio. In El150 we read numerous plays, articles, novels, and sonnets that intrigued alot of discussion not only on the blogs, but in class as well.

Continue reading "Portfolio 2"
Posted by SarahLodzsun at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)


I really enjoyed this play. Edson portrayed a great character study and it was by far the best read yet. I was intrigued how well Edson lead her life, and gave vivid examples of her journey "quest" of battling cancer. I could only wonder how she felt the day that she found out she has an insidious stage IV ovarian tumor. This play gave such detail to the intersection and dosages of medicine and treatment, the combination of VIN and HEX, IV's and catheter's, and not to mention the tubes in every oriphus.

In this play warning lived an isolated life. Margaret Edson's "W;T" ties in really well with one of our other texts we read in EL150. Vivian's tells us about Donne's sonnets( "Death Be Not Proud") and the importance of Donne's crafty punctuation and i compared this read to Truss's "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." Vivian uses Donne's sonnets to comfort her and helped her to try to control this deadly battle. To me Vivian almost seems non-humanistic. Which i feel has alot to do with the metaphysical sonnets by John Donne, and salvation anxiety.

Susie: "But what happened in the end?"
Jason: "End of what?"
Susie: "To Jonh Donne. Does he ever get it?"
Jason: "Get what?"
Susie: "His salvation anxiety. Does he ever understand?"

I would like to hear from another english major. What do you feel is the life and death of an english major? Could it be this play W;T?

She points out the importance of the lowercase "death" over the capital "D," again making death less powerful, alot smaller. Edson also describes in telling us that the comma is nothing but a pause, which seemed to me that the pause was the difference between ones life and death. "Nothing but a breath--a comma--separates life from life everlasting," says Ashford, whome is Vivian's professor.

Posted by SarahLodzsun at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

Bowers Academic Article

The part passage that presented me with the most amount of understanding of Bowers opinion of Caesar was on page 525, and a quote that read. “And yet the drama takes it audience inside Caesar’s complex youthful paternalism, a paternalism that integrates personality and power within a gamesphere where Caesar makes the rules and the only thing disallowed is losing.”

Bower stated “Shakespeare had some interest in stressing Octavius’s control and responsibility”, or why would he be a character in the play. Caesar’s plan was “win at all costs; losers die.” It is told in this article that the need for power and control was what everyone in the story was after. Bower stated that “power is exercised rather that possessed.” Power is rarely controlled by one main character in this story, which one may wonder and say that another character was powerful, not Caesar. Being powerful is doing more than just ordering people around, and thrwoing your money in their faces.

Posted by SarahLodzsun at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

Diamond Age 2

This book is made for decades to come, futuristic generations, and a technological revolution era. This book so far has given us examples of society today, such as the type oc car you drive, where you live, what you wear, and who your friends are. For me this quote put my thoughts into a sentence.

"Because I dont want to live that us, the things that the Atlantans do---- dressing up in these kinds of clothes, spending years and years in school----are irrelevant. Those pursuits wouldnt help us make beautiful things, you see."

"In your Primer you have a resource that will make you highly educated, but it will never make you intelligent. That comes from life. Your life up to this point has given you all of the experience you need to be intelligent, but you have to think about those experiences. If you dont think about them, you will be psychologically unwell..."

This part of the book really shows how the "Constable" is trying to play an important role in life and with that it shows Nell that he truly cares about her, and only wants the best for her. I think that the Constable is really trying to tell Nell to go with her gut instincts and what she feels is right;opposed to always listening to Primer. If Nell were to gather the pieces of information about true life, she would realize that there are alot of different perspectives on the world and how to live life.

Posted by SarahLodzsun at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2006

April 27, 2006