Final Project

Image result for gabriel marquez

Image result for colombian banana farms

 

Isabell Allende’s “Solitude” in House of the Spirits

Isabell Allende’s House of the spirit and Marques house of the spirits have obvious similarities and connections. Both novels tell the stories of Latin American families over a period of many years. House of the spirits has many of the same plot elements and similar characters as those in 100 years of solitude. Contrary to what many reviewers believe, House of the Spirits does not just copy elements from 100 Years of Solitude in a way that diminishes the book. House of the spirits uses these similarities openly and Allende uses them to compliment the theme of the novel. Allende uses similar elements from 10 Years of Solitude to emphasize not only the solitude of south America, but also the solitude of women specifically. She extends the solitude and isolation to the struggles of women as they fight and deal with the problems they are presented with. As 100 Years of Solitude showed the total isolation of Latin America, House of the Spirits showed the loneliness and isolation from the world ruled by men that the women in Latin American experienced.

The most obvious similarity in House of the Spirits that is taken from 100 Years of Solitude is in the plot format. Both novels tell the story of an extended family and its members for almost a century. This is the first noticed and most obvious similarity a reader would notice between the House of the Spirits and 100 years of Solitude. The way Allende uses the same format to tell the story of the Trueba family as House of the Spirits does she creates the parallel between the struggle of all Latin America to the struggle of women.  It shows the connection that the Latin American women should have with the men after the struggles of their past. The isolation and mistreatment of Latin America as a geographical area is similar to the struggles the women experience in Allende’s novel. The village Macando suffers through years of isolation and they learn to stay together to survive and become stronger. The women in House of the spirits do the same to cope with being ignored.  The village creates their own world and society not connected with the rest of the world. Clara and the other women band together, past down stories, and retreat into silence to stay strong. The similarities show the same struggles that the men and women of Latin America both suffered in the past. The similarities Allende uses show that the women have experienced that same experiences yet they are still faced with the same problems from the men.

Another similarity taken from 100 Years of Solitude is between Marques’ Ursula and Allende’s Clara. The similarities between them are not only in their characteristics but also the role that they play in keeping their family and those around them stable. Ursula’s influence became obvious after her death as the family and whole village of Macondo ascend into chaos. Clara also held together the Trueba household and the house itself. After the deaths of the matriarchs the families lose their stability. The importance of Clara and the women are made the focus of The House of the Spirits. Marques does not fail to show the importance of Ursula. The other male citizens in Macondo do not notice Ursula because they are focused more on JAB, but Ursula has influence over the women and convinces them not to leave. Women in House of the Spirits also have great respect for Clara (and Blanca) and in many cases they affect the lives of the men around them. Allende builds on the importance of Ursula with Clara, and shows how important the women truly are to their families and society.

The common plot elements, characters, and themes that Allende takes from 100 Years of Solitude are used successfully to support Allende’s themes. Allende has her own story to tell, but she takes the elements from 100 Years of Solitude to builds off of them in House of the Spirits. The smiliarities between Macondo and the Trueba  family bring together the isolation that Latin America ahs experienced along with the women in House of the Spirits. She uses the similarities between Ursula and Clara to show the importance and value of women as people and as a part of society. The similarities taken from 100 years of Solitude do not diminish Allende’s work, instead they show how she masterfully shows the struggle of women in Latin America.

 

Jenkins, Ruth Y. “Authorizing Female Voice and Experience: Ghosts and Spirits in Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and Allende’s The House of the Spirits.” Melus19.3 (1994): 61. Literature Resource Center. Web.

Allende, Isabel, and Michael Moody. “Una Conversación Con Isabel Allende.”Chasqui 16.2/3 (1987): 51. Web

 

Gabriel Marques: Taking the Past and Making it the Present

Gabriel Marques was born in 1928 and was raised by his maternal grandparents.  His life, and works would be affected by his grandfather’s military service, his grandmother’s mythical stories he heard growing up, and the poor conditions many Colombians were living in around him would lead him to write showing the difficulties they faced. The past military exploits in Colombia were reflected throughout One Hundred Years of Solitude. Many of the magical stories in 100 years of solitude could have been derived from fairy tales Gabriel Marques, and many other South Americans, heard growing up. The history and stories that Marques grew up hearing would later help him create his great novel (Finnigan 263) 100 Years of Solitude took events from south America’s past and magical elements and made them relevant to present times. Marques’ work used these things to show that what had happened in the past was still relevant at the time he wrote 100 Years of Solitude.

The story of the Buendia family and the village Macondo were used to tell the story of Latin America’s history as a whole. From the conquistadors to the 1928 plantation strike and the communist control of Latin America governments and their removal, all were apparent through the story of the Buendia family and Maconda (Pasoda-Carbo 80) Marques rendition of Latin America’s history was condensed in a way that showed how relevant many struggles throughout their history still were. The Buendia family suffered from re-occurring struggles. The last child of the Buendia family was affected by incest in the form of a pig’s tail, the same problem that they feared would afflict the first child of the Buendia family. For many readers the history of Latin America, and the isolation it suffered, was made apparent by 100 Years of Solitude. It took a problem that people within Latin America were aware of and told the story in the novel. It not only told the story to those who were aware of it, but also to those in the rest of the world who were not aware.  The way Marques highlighted the biggest struggles that Latin America suffered throughout history made their isolation and suffering noticed by the rest of the world.

Marques voice, in the form of the 3rd person narrator, told the story of the Buendias and Macondo. The narrator is assumed to be reliable, so the story he tells is assumed to be accurate. Because of this, Marques is able to tell the story of South America through the stories in the novel and the narration of south America appears reliable. The reliable voice of the narrator further increases the truth of the parallels between the two stories Marques is really telling. The power of Marques narrator is apparent in the fact that his version, in 100 Years of Solitude, of the uprisings on the banana plantations were assumed to be the true events (Ronan). Marques story was so powerful that it changed the way the readers viewed the history of Latin America.

The magical realism throughout 100 years of solitude not only made it a more interesting story, but also connected Latin America’s past too what it was currently experiencing. Much like Marques grandmother once told him fairy tales with lessons still applicable to his life, Marques told the story of Maconda with magical elements to present issues still applicable to present Latin America (Finnigan 264) The very thin line between what was real and what was magical allowed the reader to determine what was not just part of the story, but also part of Latin America’s story. Some parts of the story that appear magical to the characters in Macondo do not to the reader, because the reader knows that they are technological advancements that Macondo is not aware of. Marques used this, not as he did true magical realism, to show how isolated the people are from the rest of the world.

The way Gabriel Marques told the story of Latin America through Macondo and the Buendia family made it more relatable to many of the people who read 100 Years of solitude. The power of story showed the struggles of Latin America, and the power of Marques reliable narrator made the parallels stronger between the stories. The magical realism, and what appeared to be magical realism only helped Marques show the isolation of Latin America.

 

 

 

Ronan, McFadden. “The Reliability Of The Narrator In Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children And Gabriel Garcia Marguez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude.” Opticon1826 5 (2008): Directory of Open Access Journals. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

Finnegan, Pamela May. “Vicente Leñero: The Novelist As Critic, And: García Márquez: 100 Years Of Solitude, And: García Márquez: The Man And His Work, And: Borges And His Successors: The Borgesian Impact On Literature And The Arts (Review).” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 2 (1991): 280. Project MUSE. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

Columbus, Claudette Kemper, –. “The Heir Must Die: One Hundred Years Of Solitude As A Gothic Novel.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 3 (1986): 397. Project MUSE. Web. 27 Nov. 2016

Posada-Carbo, Eduardo. “Fiction as History: The Bananeras and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Journal of Latin American Studies 1998: 395. JSTOR Journals. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

 

 

Hanging Tree Road

 

When I got home for spring break this year, I decided to go fishing at Hanging Tree Creek. After loading my cane pole and tackle box into my truck, I drove alone across town to the bait shop to buy minnows. The bait store was in the old part of town out towards the lake; the houses around it were dirty and needed new paint jobs, and many of them had an old trailer in the back yard that was probably at some time used to cook meth. After getting my minnows in an air filled plastic bag, I drove five miles out of town to Hanging Tree Road. The road sign was missing, as it often is, probably stolen by some high school students skipping class. I turned down the road and put the truck in four-wheel drive to get down the worn and rutted road that is always in bad shape due to people repeatedly driving through it after a rain. Looking at the tracks, I wondered how many of the drivers had ever actually fished at the creek. Most people who go to hanging tree go there for other reasons. The road ends right in front of the creek so I pull of onto high ground to park before I reached the bank. There was only one other truck there, and an old man set in the back watching the creek run. I had seen him a few times before, his grandkids had grown up with me and I had played high school football with his grandson. Looking downstream, I see two brothers that grew up, and still live, across from the bait shop laying in the bottom of johnboat with old shotguns waiting to poach a turkey.  I walk the other way towards the old man and he looks up and nods without speaking so I nod back and go on. He, like most of the people you meet at the creek fishing, didn’t seem to want to say much. I walk down to the deepest pool in the creek, put on a minnow, cast it out into the water, and lean back onto the tree trunk in the shade.

When the fish are biting, it’s easy to think about fish. When the fish aren’t biting, it’s nearly impossible to think about what happened at Hanging Tree many decades ago. The fish aren’t biting. The hanging happened, as far as I know, in the 1940s. It’s hard to say for sure because people around here don’t like to talk about the details of the lynching. There are still some old timers around here that know exactly what happened, but they get real quiet when you ask about what happened.  The run down houses I passed on the way hadn’t always been that way. In the early 1900s those houses were where the black families lived in town. They say, the houses were once clean and well-kept and the community there once had their own stores, restaurants, and parks. In the 1940s, two black men were accused of raping a white girl. Many of the white people in town didn’t feel the need to wait for their guilt and punishment to be determined the law. The group turned into a lynch mob and went and got the two men from their homes. The mob threw the men into the back of pickup trucks and drove them outside of town. The men in the trucks weren’t the only ones in the mob at that point, and the lynch mob had grown into a procession of cars. They drove towards the lake and turned off on a dirt road that headed to the creek; they drove down to the bank and stopped at the first decent sized oak tree. They hanged the men from the tree on a branch jutting out towards the creek. The lynch mob drove back into town and stormed the houses on the black side of town. They threw furniture into yards and pulled people out of their houses. Before they left, they told them that any black man left in town the next day would meet the same end that the two men had earlier.

The next morning the houses were all empty, and there was not a black family left in town. Over time, poor whites unable to pay their rents moved into some of the abandoned houses because they had no owners or rent to pay. Other houses were taken by people in town and sold, without deeds, to people moving in to town. What had been the black part of town became the roughest neighborhood in town.

Over time the legend of the lynching grew, and the road and creek were both named after the hanging tree, As the tree grew its branches stretched out over the creek and created a deep shaded pool. A few years after the hanging, kids from the high school tied a rope on the branch that the men were hanged from and it became a tradition to swing from the rope into the water. The sign that said Hanging Tree Road had to be replaced every few months because teenagers started stealing the sign as a souvenir to hang in their room. At night, groups would drive out to the hanging tree to build a bonfire, tell ghost stories, party, and swing from the tree.

Some people still have a disturbing sense of pride about what had happened there. It was never a coincidence that people from town go out to the hanging tree, they go because it is the hanging tree. No one will ever really know who was in the lynch mob, because those who were there are never going to say. But there is no doubt that most of those people never left, and that many of the people who went to swing from the tree or steal the road sign are likely their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Almost eighty years later they still go.

I looked up from the pool at the big tree shading me; there were rope marks worn into the branch over my head from people swinging into the pool. Or, as some people liked to tell the story, the marks were burnt into the tree by the two men that were hanged that night. I wonder how the old tree has managed to live so long; it has survived on the constant water the creek offers from countless floods.  Looking back down at the shaded pool, I know it’s the best spot to fish on the creek, but I decide that I’m not going to catch any fish today. I grab my pole and walk back up the creek bank, as I pass the old man he’s still sitting in the back of his truck. I head up the worn and rutted road, past the bare sign post, and drive into town away from Hanging Tree Road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Categories Uncategorized

Lessons Learned

This project was very multidimensional and allowed me to apply multiple theories. It allowed me to apply the theories we learned in class into the research for the project. At times I was using different theories without even knowing. Since my project focused on the influence of social media on the music industry I focused on the ideas of digitalization, identity, community, shared experience, distributed networks, connections and interaction. I believe a project like this benefits a new media student a lot because it encourages them to apply what they have learned about new media into a project. Therefore, while creating the project they gain a better understanding of the concepts. I think it is important for students to apply what they have learned in class because it further expresses their understanding of what they learned in the class. A downside of this project is that it is difficult to narrow what type of project you want to do, that will encompass the class. It could be that a student has a great idea, but it won’t completely express their main points of the class. It can also be limiting to a student who is not as passionate about media because this project requires a lot of effort. I also think that students who are very passionate about media will enjoy it more, while others will try to do the minimum required.

Like I stated earlier the research for this project really encouraged me to apply the ideas and theories we discussed in, which is evident in the ways I analyzed and engaged with my sources. I think the research for this project gave me a better understanding of the course because I was viewing it through the lens of the music industry. Therefore, it enhanced my interest in the project. Specifically it helped me understand how new media influences our daily lives because it revolved around the concept of social media. And social media is something that is constantly present in our daily lives.

Danah Boyd’s article “Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace” was very important for my project because it discusses the purpose and influence Myspace had on users and those apart of the music industry. It provided groundwork of understanding to the initial impacts of social on the music industry. Further, it allowed me to draw on the interactions that occur with fans and musicians. In the end it was very beneficial when used to analyze different pieces based on consumption, interaction and beginnings of social media within the music industry. Another piece that was important in the construction of the argument of the project was Nancy Baym’s piece The new shape of online community: The example of Swedish independent music fandom. This piece was the very base of the project because I spent significant amount of time discussing music fandoms. It also provided examples for the section in the project that talked about independent artists’ interactions with social media. Baym’s piece was easy to apply broadly in the project, but also specifically in subsections of the project.

Based on my experience with this project I think that new media specifically social media is shifting into a powerful role within society because of its economic and cultural influences. I think in terms of the music industry, social media will either become the backbone of the industry and can either change it for the better or worse. While social media is great for reaching a large audience, it promotes the idea that in order to be a successful artist you need to have a large audience and be a people pleaser. Therefore, while it can open the door for artists that would normally not have the opportunity to break into the music industry, it allows opens the door for anyone. So I personally think it lower the standard of the music industry. Yes I think it is amazing that so many smaller artists are getting a chance, but what about when they do get discovered and realize that they need to conform to the new norm of social media in order to remain relevant. They run a higher risk of losing themselves in social media. In the end only time can tell, as well as how the music industry decides to react to social media.

The most important lesson I learned from this project dealt with group work. I decided to have a partner for this project, but quickly learned that I would be doing the majority of the work. Therefore, an important lesson I learned it the need to be more clear and assertive when working within a group. I also learned that I need to take more time and think about the project and if id be better off doing the project on my own or with a partner. I feel that if I had known sooner what I wanted to do my project on I would have chosen to do it alone because my topic is something I am very passionate about. I learned that I need to stand up for myself more and not let people walk over me because in a project setting it ends up with you doing all of the work. I keep calling it my project because my partner was absent for the majority of of it, so yes I am still bitter, but I have learned from it. I am proud of my project, but I think it could have been so much better if I had worked on it by myself because I would have narrowed down the topic more and not had to do my partner’s part last minute. In the end other than having problems with my partner I really enjoyed this project because it provided me with the liberty to research a topic I love and apply my schoolwork.

 


Categories Uncategorized

Media Analysis #1

Recently over break I attended a concert of one of my favorite bands, The 1975. I have always been the type of person who is passionate about music, but especially live music. So whenever I get the chance to go to a concert I try to enjoy every second of it. One of the main reasons I enjoy going to concerts is because I enjoy their “liveness”. The Dead Media Archive defines liveness, as “the absence of writing” but a place where “encoding and decoding [are] happening simultaneously”. When I talk about liveness in terms of concerts, I define it to be a presence that is spatially and temporally live. The Dead Media Archive goes into detail defining the differences between different types of liveness, including the one that will be focusing on more. Concerts are temporally live because they are only live for a short period of time. They are also spatially live because you have to be present in the location the concert is occurring. Both of these are important components of liveness because “there is an uncertainty to liveness” (Dead Media Archive). The uncertainty is evident in the differences between performances because “a performance one night may be longer than the next; a performer can make a mistake or intentionally cause problems” (Dead Media Archive).

Here are a few examples from my concert I attended. I arrived at the venue 4 hours before they would be opening the doors, and during this time I spent it with friends as well as interacting with other fans. I think that once you are waiting in line for a concert, the concert experience begins. Therefore, not everyone who is waiting for a 1975 concert will experience the same things as other. For example, there were fans that camped out the night before, so their experience before and during the concert were completely different from mine. An example of the uniqueness and uncertainty of liveness was clear in how Matty (lead singer of the 1975) addressed the audience. There was a moment between songs where he took the opportunity to ask the audience to take a few steps back because there were too many passing out and with no room. First of all he normally doesn’t have to ask audiences to do that, but the amount of fans that were passing out was incomparable to their other concerts. Another example had to do with a song they performed, Milk. They normally don’t play this song live, so the change in the set list added to the unique aspect present in liveness. There were multiple examples of liveness within this concert, but these are a few that closely fell with the spatial and temporal liveness.


Categories Uncategorized

CI Final Project: Axolotl Analysis

Julio Cortazar is a very popular South American author who has the theme of essentialism running through many of his short stories. Not only this, but he frequently comments on the boundary – or lack thereof – between humans and their environment. He does this by having the characters of his stories interact so intimately with animals or other objects that the line between them blurs indefinitely. His short story “Axolotl” is a prime example of all of these traits, and through the analysis of the narrator’s experience with the axolotls, I argue that Cortazar’s purpose for writing this story was to display that existence can’t be labeled simply.

In order for Cortazar to show that existence isn’t simple, he must first add layers of complexity. The first layer he adds is getting the reader to believe that in this world, and possibly their own world, being and consciousness belongs to all things. This is essential to the overall meaning of the story, in that “Cortazar thus retrieves the ancient idea of a fully sentient universe, where consciousness is not limited to man alone but is an essential attribute of the creation…” (Bennett 62) He first does this by having the author describe the axolotls. They’re described as humanlike, and the narrator is obsessed with that fact and the animals themselves. It’s almost as if he sees much of himself in the axolotls. He beings to research them more and learn everything he can about them. Once he has this knowledge and shares that with the reader, he relates them to humanity in a physical, emotional, and historical context. What stands out the most to the reader is how he describes their minds, as this is the most surprising and new aspect of the story for the reader. However, he introduces the idea of the axolotls being conscious slowly. He first starts by just describing them physically, then moves on to deeper and deeper detailed descriptions of their minds and thoughts. Through these observations and his descriptions of the axolotl’s behavior, it seems to the reader as if the axolotls are actually consciously making decisions inside the tank in which they live. This may sound impossible, “but the tale’s power derives from its recognition and subsequent obliteration of absolute distinctions.” (Bennett 58) The reader originally begins reading the story with a firm set of beliefs that he or she may believe to be true indefinitely, such as humans are conscious while everything else is not. However, one of the main goals of the story is to get the reader to second guess these beliefs so that Cortazar has a completely open mind to speak to. He seeks to destroy these firm beliefs in entirety and is actually quite successful. That is the first wall he must break down in order for the meaning of the story to be heard, and he even had a plan B in case the descriptions described above were not convincing enough. Just in case the reader didn’t necessarily believe that the axolotls were conscious beings, Cortazar takes it a step further so that “… consciousness seems clearly located in the axolotl, for the narrator speaks… from the tank, from among other axolotls.” (Wight 62) At this point, there is no denying that the axolotl has consciousness because the narrator has become one and is now narrating the story from the perspective of an axolotl, displaying being in something other than a human.

The second layer of complexity that Cortazar must add is the breaking of the barrier between humans and their surroundings. He first does this by creating a character that has the basic characteristics of a human, but is just slightly more complex. However, the fact that the narrator starts the story off as human is extremely important. However, from the very beginning of the story, the reader can sense that there’s something a bit off about the narrator. All that the audience knows about him is that he comes to this aquarium every single day to stare at these axolotls. The audience can hear his thoughts, as he addresses them directly, but he never really speaks out loud in the story. However, the narrator really only develops as the axolotls develop as well and “ironically, the greater the narrator’s preoccupation with the axolotls, the more he begins to resemble them, spending hours motionless by their tank.” (McNab 21) This is just the beginning of Cortazar trying to parallel the narrator and the axolotls, making them seem as one. As the story goes on, Cortazar uses this connection in order to blur the line between the narrator and the axolotls so much that they eventually merge together literally. This is essential to the meaning of the story in that Cortazar is trying to destroy this feeling of ‘otherness’ that humans often feel when interacting with something that isn’t another human. He is trying to get society to recognize and pay more attention to their surroundings by making the surroundings more important. He gives the surroundings, in this case the axolotls, an essence of being that yearns to be investigated by the narrator. “In other words, essence does not constitute epistemological truth; rather, only through acknowledging the existence of things can their true reality be known.” (Harris 9) This is ultimately one of the goals of this short story, for this ‘true reality’ to be known so that people can recognize their surroundings more accurately. However, what stops people from doing this is that same feeling of ‘otherness’ or separateness from the world. This is why it is so significant that the narrator becomes an axolotl – this instance completely defies the idea of the ‘other,’ and instead creates a feeling of togetherness or of being ‘one.’ He does this by showing “significant being is neither specifically ‘other’ nor restrictively human, but derives from the mutual consciousness formulated between the axolotl’s silent visual awareness and the human narrator’s capacity for language.” (Bennett 62) In this way, the axolotl and the narrator each have essential parts to being, and they work together to become one full conscious. Once the narrator recognized his environment to its full capacity, he was able to be reborn into that environment as something that was more fitting to his essence. Thus, this completes the idea that there really is no ‘other’ and that humans are one with their environment.

Finally, the third layer of complexity is what Cortazar intends for the reader to take away after finishing this story. By establishing that all beings have a sentient, conscious mind and then removing the barrier between humans and their environment, he has allowed for a deeper interpretation and study of societies surroundings. Cortazar is almost asking the reader to take a closer look to the things surrounding them and to treat them with care. The way the audience looks at the story is similar to the way that Cortazar wants us to look at the world. “The important considerations, then, are not what happens but the implications of the process and the result.” (Bennett 58) The result in the narrator’s case was getting so close with his surroundings that he became them. While this wouldn’t happen in real life, Cortazar is dramatizing what it would feel like to be that close and in touch with one’s outer surroundings. The possible implications of this are that people could have a better understanding of what goes on around them, leading to a more peaceful relationship with nature. For example, if all of society were to have a greater understanding of animals and what they feel or think – if they even do – it would most likely be more difficult for people to treat animals, such as house pets, with disrespect. If people start to think of animals and the ‘other’ as our equal, or even just similar to us, it could have numerous beneficial effects for the relationship of humanity and others. However, even if every single person were to read this story and this essay, the intended effect in this general positive direction would be minimal “for though axolotls think like humans, humans refuse to think like axolotls.” (Wight 63)

In my overall opinion, the short story “Axolotl” could be interpreted many different ways. There are many different interpretations already floating around and debates about what certain things in the story mean and where certain aspects came from. However, I believe this interpretation has some merit. While it’s never explicitly said, Cortazar definitely encourages a close relationship with humans and their environment as this is not only a theme in Axolotl but in many of his other short stories as well. The narrator seeks to understand the axolotl as intimately as one can know oneself. The only effects that could possibly come off of this is that the narrator has a greater understanding of the axolotls and thus would know how to treat and interact with them. If this were to be applied to all of society, perhaps global warming could be better understood, animals could stop going extinct, and the overall interaction between human and earth could be more pleasant. If only people would try to think like the axolotls.


Categories Uncategorized

Magical Realism in: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

magmage

Nic Cappellini

Freshman CI

 

 

Magical Realism In: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude

Sources (4): http://webster.austincollege.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=12252444&site=eds-live&scope=site

http://webster.austincollege.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=96540177&site=eds-live&scope=site

http://webster.austincollege.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=101682828&site=eds-live&scope=site

Research piece: The genre of magical realism played and still plays an important role in the political and economic structure of postcolonial Latin America. Although magical realism has been a major writing style within Latin American, the term itself was not introduced until recently. Magical realism is defined as “a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin America that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction”. This style of writing creates an excellent medium for authors to interpret both sides of colonialism; those who were ruled and those who ruled. Take in mind that at this time, the Latin American world, more specifically Colombia was dominated by the oppositions of governments. For the next few decades, Latin America would begin to reform and rebuild what was left of their government. What makes magical realism unique is the fact that it can be interpreted a number of ways. This leaves its readers left to determine what is real and what is fiction. This type of writing is extremely specific and must follow certain criteria in order to uphold its function. Magical realism was developed by Alejo Carpentier, a writer from Cuba. After being introduced, this type of writing spread throughout the world and all “new” Latin American writers incorporated it into their works. (Edison 2) The purpose of magical realism is to relate to real events with popular beliefs or fantasies. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, there are many instances of magical realism. Marquez draws a parallel between the citizens of Mancado and those who run it. The reader will realize after the last few chapters of the book, that most of the city’s leaders are characterized as outlandish and erratic. This is a great example in which the author expresses his opinion about his country’s leaders and socio-economic system.

One large event comes to mind that completely segregates the citizens from the government. On December 6, 1928, 47-2,000 banana plantation workers were massacred for protesting harsh working conditions. The workers were thought to have been under communist influences, so in order to eliminate the problem, the Colombian army was ordered to kill any protester. In the novel, the same event occurs and many citizens of Moncado become distraught. Ten years later, Jose Arcadio comes back to Moncado and nobody in the town seems to remember the tragic event. This may seem absurd, but looking at the perspective of Colombian citizens at the time, it seems extremely plausible. Magical realism in this part of the novel is the question of whether the massacre occurred or not. The reader is left to judge whether this event actually happened or if Jose Arcadio is just making it up because he is crazy. It is hard to think how much power and influence the government must have had in order for the citizens to forget events such as this. The purpose of magical realism in this scene of the novel adds confusion in order to dismiss the horror of the actual event. Magical realism has been used to undermine some of the treacherous ordeals Colombians were facing at this time.

Magical realism is interpreted differently in North America due to its secular culture and different form of government. Many American authors view magical realism as an invasion of fantasies into a realistic story. In fact, this style of writing is misinterpreted most of the time around the world because this type of writing perfectly ties itself to Latin America’s historical journey. This type of writing is extremely beneficial because it has allowed Latin American authors to relate to the people around them who find themselves as products of the unstable Latin American governments. Texans may be able to relate to this by reviewing the Classical Western genre created in the South. At an earlier time, southern people were able to relate to their everyday experiences by reading about the life of cowboys and Indians. Although most of the stories that were created in Western genre were fiction, there were key elements in these stories that sparked some truth. This is the same way magical realism applied to people of Latin America and this creates a large bond between the authors of these books and the people who read them and are moved by them. Overall, magical realism helps create a fictional yet realistic boundary between the people of Latin America and those who ruled over them.

Thematic Analysis

The book One Hundred Years of Solitude is an excellent medium of magical realism, because it gives plenty of perfectly illustrated examples representing the chaotic governments during this time in Latin America. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most critically acclaimed authors at his time because of the vagueness of his work. Before diving deeper into some of the more thought provoking examples, a basic setup of magical realism must be explored. In one instance, Remedios, the beauty, is suddenly lifted up into the sky by a force that is unknown. Marquez describes this force as a magical wind indirectly, by drawing attention to the powerful light of the sky and the violent flapping of the sheets that were being hung to dry. At this time, Ursula is watching calmly and wishing that Remedios would not have taken her sheets with her. The inclusion of everyday details falls seamlessly into the narrative making the reader believe that the event is actually happening. The author even mentions what time of day it is to add to the magical reality that Remedios is flying off into the air. There is something more important underlying in this scene and it deals with Remedios and her beauty/innocence. Remember that Remedios is viewed as the most beautiful girl in Moncado and has all the men in the city drooling over her. Yet, they still keep their distance and watch her in pure awe. In a sense, she is magical symbol herself because she is unrealistically beautiful, she walks naked everywhere she goes and seems to wander aimlessly. Remedios represents the unattainable, the “one that got away”, and this is clear to see when she begins to fly off into this sky. This is not directly solely towards men but towards all audiences. The author in this moment is defining all of humanities “unattainable” goals or ambitions as facets of imagination. This is motivation for the Latin American people at this time, because most of them had lost hope of ever reaching a stable point economically. Remedios also represents society’s false expectation of what women or men should look like physically. The ideal that men or women should look a certain way in order to achieve happiness started long before this time and continues to hinder present day societies (i.e. The United States).

The mystery of Melquíades and what he represents is the largest source of magical realism in the novel. Melquiades is a gypsy who frequently visits the city of Moncado with other gypsies as well. The author draws a parallel between the town and their belongings and the gypsies and their “magical inventions”. This is important because it stresses the relationship between foreigners and the natives and how they view each other’s cultures. For example, a small town in Africa would view our skyscapers and telephones as magical belongings because they have never been exposed to those types of items.

Personal Narrative

My life began with a normal amount of information about my childhood and the daily struggles I would deal with. For some reason I can remember everything and anything that occurred to me ever since I came out of the womb. I was born in the month of February in the year almost 2000. I watched as my mom and grandmother took care of me on a daily basis. After a couple of years, my grandmother left me and my mom had to start sending me to magic tricksters who always had different inventions every time I went. There was a sort of eerie feeling I got as I watched the people handling me tinker around with these items in front of my face. I always wondered why they needed my attention, they acted as if it was in order to feed their life sources. Later on I began to hangout with my cousins more often and was eventually sent to attend a private school with them. During my earlier years of private school I did not “behave” and this was probably was due to a lack of structure. Both of my parents were never together and one of my family members told me that I occurred on accident, which really didn’t hurt my feelings, it just really made me curious.


Categories Uncategorized

Thematic Analysis: Feminism and Sexism in The House of The Spirits

o-pin-570 large

Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits explores the themes of feminism and sexism and how each ideology influences the characters. These themes go hand in hand to develop the story and the characters while also giving the novel itself a mind of its own. The women are very central to this novel because they portray some of Allende’s characteristics and they also show the perception of women during the timeline of the novel. That perception is emphasised by the role of sexism in the novel.

The theme of feminism is very central to Allende’s author’s voice. It highlights her ideologies and beliefs. The unapologetic use of sex as a theme adds to that. Nivea for instance was an activist and could be considered as one of the very first women to openly fight for women rights. She utilised her wealth and social power as a tool to bring awareness to issues that she was passionate about. This is a huge contrast to some of the things that the men in Macondo with power and wealth did. Nivea’s actions and her passions influenced her daughter Clara and later her granddaughter Blanca. These women are women who had quiet power. Their powers were not tangible; they were supernatural and attached to their personalities because of this their power were used for good deeds because they were good people.

The feminism wasn’t just portrayed through activism. It was also portrayed through the way the women held themselves and pulled through challenging times. Ferula would not be considered as a feminist based on her character and her actions but one must acknowledge the strength that she possessed. Even though she appeared meek at times and had a crazy and harmful martyr complex, she could pull through a lot of things on her own when Esteban basically abandoned her. That is the quite power I mention. These women didn’t need a man to take charge and take control of things for them because they were highly intelligent and able to do things on their own and be successful at what they did too. Transito for instance, despite coming from a very hard life managed to become a very successful woman in her own right. These women who were to some extent treated as beneath the men turned out to be extraordinary women and far better than the men and they redefined what a woman was in their society.

This is where the sexism comes in. Considering women activist and feminism were appearing and fighting for rights, of course sexism was taking place and having a huge influence on the way society operated. Characters like Esteban represented that. He was perhaps the most influential male character in the novel, he had a lot of power, wealth and he was well respected for the most par and he was also the perfect and most poisonous balance for the femininity presented in the novel. His role, no matter how unagreeable, was very vital. The negative was the fact that he notoriously abused his power and wealth. He was famous for abusing and raping some of the females in Tres Marias.

Although that was so, the focus is on the sexism that he portrayed as a character. Esteban, in simple terms, viewed women as a source of his pleasure and thus subjected and treated them per that belief. His acts of violence against women and his family came from his deep sense of loneliness and from how miserable he was. He abused his power and was very forceful because of that to fill up that emptiness. The presence of Alba later in the novel brought a calm to his life but prior to all that, he imposed a lot of gender roles in the lives of the women around in. The most notable one being the instance where he leaves Ferula no choice but to look after their sick and dying mother. His view of women is underlined when he states that he was basically glad he wasn’t born a woman. He acknowledges that women are in a sort of captivity based on the roles that are pushed on them by society. Ferula’s freedom was limited because she was a woman and had to stay home and take care of her mother.

Some of the roles parallel people in the world Allende lived in. Characters like Clara and Nivea and Esteban were not just figments of her imagination because we as readers could see within them people we could identify as being quite like them in terms of their way of thinking and their behaviours. This further enhances the novel and makes it quite an engaging read.

 


Categories Uncategorized

C/I Research Piece: Magical Realism in The House of The Spirits and One Hundred Years of Solitude

house-of-the-spirits one-hundred-years-of-solitude-cover ce2955b5-5e22-43a3-a869-10b6a692ae90

Magical realism in literature is a mode in prose fiction often associated with postmodernism and characterised by a mixture of realistic and fantastical elements. Literatures that utilise this technique are set in the real world but the trick is that the fantastical elements present in the novels are considered as mundane parts of daily activities. Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, and Isabel Allende use magical realism in their respective works to criticise and bring awareness to political issues that affect their person and their people.

Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits is a politically charged novel that mixes personal narratives from Allende’s own life and the lives of other Chilean citizens in a time of political chaos with fantastical elements. These fantastical elements serve as a safety net of sorts because it softens the harsh realities hidden within the novel.  Characters such as the Poet and the Candidate/President are obviously real people who played the same roles as the real ones did. The figure of the poet was in fact Pablo Neruda and the figure of the candidate was Salvador Allende, Allende’s cousin (once removed). The events that happened in regards to these figures in the novel happened in real life, the poet and the candidate both died and their death was a political statement that basically ended the democratic process in the novel. Their roles then became the point of real and fantastic merging.  We must note that the candidate did not meet his end in real life like Allende described in the novel and that is acceptable because magical realism is a technique that sometimes allows the distortion of history.

The distortion of history is also very present in One Hundred Years of Solitude. In fact, the very opening sentence of the novel brings our attention to this. The creation of Macondo is very biblical and cannot be explained per our knowledge of the history of the world. Macondo then becomes a metaphor for Latin American communities because of its isolation. There is a lot of myth, distortion of history and ambiguous reality present in the novel which makes time in the novel more of a passing thought. The ambiguous reality is found in the deliberate omission of certain historical events in the novel for instance, the insomnia plague that almost brought Macondo to its knees which forces us to acknowledge the correlation of time and memory. The plague brought about a loss of the history of Macondo itself and the fantastical element in this is the collectiveness of the loss of memory. The plague also made us aware that reality isn’t absolute because of difference in perspectives. The magical realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude breaks down the effects of colonialism and modernisation because of colonialism and gives a very well formed opinion about it while also talking about postcolonial reality. The political events in the novel mirror political events that happened in Colombia. By using magical realism, García Márquez could criticise certain political decisions made in his country and reconstruct the history of Colombia. By mixing magical beliefs and fantastical elements with concepts and actual happenings that were present in his own world, he could create Macondo as a great representation of what colonialism does to a nation.

Even though both novels use magical realism and talk about politics, they are still very different. Some of the women in The House of The Spirits are the ones with fantastical/supernatural powers. The Mora Sisters, Clara, and Rosa all have some sort of fantastical thing about them. The Mora Sisters can be considered as the three Fates in Greek mythology because of the similar roles they play. Like the Fates, the Mora sisters dealt with destinies and futuristic things. Rosa had an ethereal beauty about her that made everyone question her whereabouts. Her power in this case was in her beauty and her ability to leave any man transfixed and in love with her without even trying. Clara had supernatural abilities that could be used physically. Her telepathy and her clairvoyance was a great asset to her and her family.

One Hundred Years of Solitude on the other hand had men with fantastical/supernatural powers. Melquíades for instance was able to come back from the dead and predict the history of the Buendia family. Jose Arcadio Segundo was also somewhat fantastical in the sense that he was the only survivor of the Banana Company Massacre of 3000 people and he was the only character who could remember that the massacre happened. The fact that that was so goes to show how reality isn’t absolute like we think it is. The massacre was real to Jose Arcadio Segundo because he lived through it and he woke up in a sea of dead bodies to add to that but it wasn’t real to the people of Macondo because it wasn’t their reality and they had no recollection of such an event happening.

Both Allende and Márquez used magical realism as a tool to bring up political issues that affected them and discuss its effects but their techniques differed in the sense that the characters who held fantastical roles were opposites because of this the magical realism gave their works different meanings. Allende’s magical realism has a feminine touch to it while the fantastical elements in Márquez’s work could be found in both the female and male characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Edison, K. Thomas Alwa. “The New Trends In Latin American Bloom “Magical Realism” In The Novel Of Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years Of Solitude – A Postcolonial Study.” International Journal Of Multidisciplinary Approach & Studies2.1 (2015): 1-5. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Ahmad, Mustanir, and Ayaz Afsar. “Magical Realism, Social Protest And Anti-Colonial Sentiments In One Hundred Years Of Solitude: An Instance Of Historiographic Metafiction.” Asian Journal Of Latin American Studies 27.2 (2014): 1-26. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Hart, Stephen M. “Magical Realism In The Americas: Politicised Ghosts In One Hundred Years Of Solitude , The House Of The Spirits , And Beloved.” Journal Of Iberian & Latin American Studies 9.2 (2003): 115-123. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Allende, Isabel, and Magda Bogin. The House of the Spirits. New York: Everyman’s Library, 2005. Print.

 


The Story of Me: C/I Creative Piece

I am in love with love poems and sad songs

I pour my heart out through words I thought I buried years ago

In the tomb of my heart

Along with all the hopes and dreams I carry

I watch the words pour out of my fingertips

And wonder why they are so eager to escape

When there’s nowhere to go

I am pieces of quotes from my favourite books

and lyrics from my favourite songs

I am held together by late nights watching SNL

and the sweet and bitter taste of black coffee

I am anxious most of the time and I panic about little things

and I cry over little things

like the death of my favourite characters

and like breaking my own heart by wanting what I know I can’t have

I have this tendency to fall apart suddenly

and sometimes I just stare into space thinking

about all the things that went wrong in my life even though I know it’s bad for me

Sometimes I just lose myself in the middle of class

and go deep in my own head to escape

I get scared and I tremble when people talk too loudly

I’m always trying to help someone

especially when they’re sad because I know how deep sadness cuts

and it hurts me the most when I fail to save a soul

that’s not to say that I believe myself a martyr

and in those moments when I’m deep into focus racking my brain to find answers and solutions to people’s problems

I am most myself

I am who I’m meant to be

and in those moments, I find myself

I am haunted by the past and I’m afraid of the future

So, when uncle Kwame asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up

I couldn’t help but panic in the back seat of his small car

There is a chance that I might be an insomniac but who knows

I give my all and my best

I expect nothing from people not even my family and friends

Or so I like to say

and I give more than I get

It’s the only way I know to love

And I laugh about things like death

and then I cry because a soul was lost and I wasn’t able to help him

and then I pray for that soul and then mine

Like when grandpa died and I didn’t know if I was to be happy

That he finally found peace or to cry about the fact that I would never get to see him

Sitting on the veranda and telling us stories

And I think the saddest thing in life is to lose yourself

and I have this bad habit of not trusting because of my fears

I have the tendency to run from the good things in my life

because I’ve grown closer to all the bad things

and it’s hard to believe that there’s something better out there for me

and I have so many insecurities about myself

I run from who I am because I think it’s so much

better than facing all my demons

and I bare my soul to all kinds of people

hoping that someone can understand who I am

some nights I hope that you can understand

Some nights I get tired of being so much and so little at the same time

I am forgetful and quick to laughter

I am unnecessarily sarcastic

Sometimes I think it’s a defence mechanism

My friends insist that I am cold and unfeeling

But I beg to differ because I am warm and I feel everything

I feel so much sometimes that I cry and laugh at the same time

I am obsessed with cooking crazy traditional dishes

that make my mom think I’m a walking hazard

I am very bad at drawing but I can’t help myself

Because sometimes it’s the best way I can express myself

I fill my days with ridiculous twitter memes and sad Tumblr quotes

Because my laughter ends with tears anyway

I am in love with anime and art and I have dreams of teaching and travelling at the same time

I keep a diary so I can swim back to shore when it feels like I’m drowning in my thoughts

Or I just need someone to talk to because of course my Diary is a person trapped in a book

I think my head is a dangerous place but I love the thrill so I visit often

Especially at night when the silence is violent and sleep is nowhere to be found

I write poems about things I don’t know much about

Like losing a child, death, love, romance

And like falling in love with the wrong man and being in abusive relationships

I guess I am now pieces of the characters from books I read

Because they show up in my poetry and become the most intimate parts of me

Sometimes I think I am Peregrine Storke of The Story of Awkward

Because I find myself fighting things I love

Like food, family and friends

And sometimes I am Amaranta of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Living in self-imposed loneliness

Because there is something sweet about loneliness

And sometimes I am like Alba of The House of The Spirits

Strong, brave and more than capable of taking on the world

I am pieces of the strong women in my life

Like my Meme who never allows life’s curveballs to stop her from moving forward

Or from baking delicious treats

Like my aunt ma Mo who despite everything she has been through

Remains strong and graceful as always

And like my mother who taught me from a young age to never forget who I am

And to never forget that all things are possible if I believe in God

I keep a scrapbook filled with pictures of my family

So that I have them with me whenever I feel alone

Because I am deeply sentimental

I am still discovering pieces of this forest I call myself

So I am yet to find the hidden creeks and mountain peaks

And yes I write too much

And yes I read too much

And yes I know more than I should

But that’s just who I am.


Final Project

Research piece

Andrew Blackwell

Duffey

11/29/16

Women have played such a huge role in our history, yet many times they are put down saying they can’t do this or that, and that they should be limited to only doing house work, well in House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende, women suffrage is a huge part of the novel. another big part is women among the social hierarchy and classes. Women for the longest time couldn’t vote or do much of anything other than being housewives. Basically just bearing children and cleaning up. That is ridiculous! Finally no more than just 100 years ago women can vote and have jobs that men have. Even now there isn’t any equality among the social hierarchy and not even women in the workforce have equality. Women typically get paid less than men and are under appreciated as they can do many things men can’t do or things that men can’t do as well as them in general. Many people in todays society view women in a vast spectrum than they did 100 years ago. Some people view women in a respectful manner, others in a way like women are lesser than them, some see women just as sex symbols, but women are the gem of society, they do amazing things and have scaled the hierarchy in such a small time frame. Not only are women more efficient in certain jobs, but they provide life to the world, something so valuable and often looked over. Women are one-of-a-kind, and men still treat them like crap, what stems from this? Ignorance. We are ignorant to the fact that women are our equals in every way, as the Gospel Transformation Bible states in Genesis 2:23-24 “then the man said, ‘this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This truly is a perfect example because it shows us that man and woman were created equally and in God’s image, yet we treat our equals as inferiors, how dare we. What kind of society do we live in where we procrastinate and treat each other as enemies. We were made for each other, literally, we as humans should take compromises because its a good way to keep an open mind. The treatment of women nowadays is horrendous, but fear not because chivalry is not dead. As depicted in the House of the Spirits, women are viewed as lesser on the social scale and that they should leave the work to the real men. The book is a great example of survival and perseverance of women. The women throughout the novel are truly remarkable because they are able to survive so much crap throughout the novel. A clear example of this is when Esteban rapes a woman even after he is married to Clara, and if Clara talks back to him, he hits her really hard. Men are abusive to their equal halves throughout the book, women aren’t given the respect and credit they deserve, but women finally when after Esteban’s family tree dies out and some order is restored. Women’s suffrage is one of the if not the biggest problems brought up in the book because its something that is still occurring today, so that is why I focused so much on it, it is incredibly important in our history and in present day.

References/Cites:

  1. Industries, E. (2016). EBSCOhost Login. . Retrieved from http://resolver.ebscohost.com/openurl?sid=EBSCO:mzh&genre=article&issn=10884610&ISBN=&volume=11&issue=1&date=20080101&spage=79&pages=79-92&title=FACS:%20Florida%20Atlantic%20Comparative%20Studies&atitle=Telling%20%28T%29He%28i%29r%20Story%3A%20The%20Rise%20of%20Female%20Narration%20and%20Women%27s%20History%20in%20Isabel%20Allende%27s%20The%20House%20of%20the%20Spirits&aulast=Smith%2C%20Kathryn%20M.&id=DOI
  2. Shen, H. (2016). Why women earn less: Just two factors explain post-phD pay gap. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19950
  3. Chapell, B., & Ortlund, D. (2013). ESV gospel transformation bible (TruTone, saddle/navy, trail design). United States: Crossway Books.
  4. Banerjee, N. (1978). Women workers and development. Social Scientist, 6(8), 3. doi:10.2307/3520130

 

Thematic analysis

The House of the Spirits shows a very real perspective of suffrage, poor vs. wealth, and power/corruption. These are just an handful of the themes throughout the book. What grasped my attention the most is how much money and power corrupted Esteban’s good nature so to speak. This is such a relatable thing in today’s society because everything now-a-days is about getting rich. I say to hell with that, money doesn’t buy you happiness, if it does, its merely temporary. Back to Esteban, the wealth corrupts the good, kind-hearted intentions he had for Rosa before she died. The book really shows us the power struggle he has which leads him to his crude actions towards others. In chapter 3 page 107, the text states, “Clara’s impudent and nonchalant sensuality was also not enough for him. He wanted far more than her body; he wanted control over that undefined and luminous material that lay within her and escaped him even in those moments when she appeared to be dying of pleasure. His hands felt very heavy, his feet very big, his voice very hard, his beard very scratchy, and his habits of rape and whoring very deeply ingrained, but even if he had to turn himself inside out like a glove, he was prepared to do everything in his power to seduce her.” (pg. 107-108). This shows us how much he has changed, from his habits to his personality, a good man turned rotten. He lets his desires control his thoughts and actions and becomes greedy. However, I believe that the “good” Esteban is in him at heart and we see this partially through the next chapter. All in all we are exposed to the reality of the desires of the world that all of us face in everyday life. While these desires may not be similar to Esteban’s, not to be cliche, but money is the root of all evil. Why do people blame objects as being evil? People are the ones responsible for evil acts. In all honesty, people are evil, money isn’t. If you’re having trouble following me, people are the ones that act, money is an object that people idolize to an almost dangerously obsessive amount, a clear example is Esteban. Money didn’t cause Esteban to rape women or hit women, he is just an outright evil person. We blame our misbehaviors on objects so often because we as humans don’t want to believe we have bad intentions. Don’t get me wrong we all aren’t evil, we have evil desires though, rooting from various things in our lives. The best example of a root problem is when Esteban changes after Rosa’s death and after he gets wealthy, so much corruption and pain is brought into his life after one incident occurred, but it’s Esteban, he is an evil person with evil intentions and he is blinded by his wealth to even see that other people around him need help. House of the Spirits was by far my favorite book because of the truth it had behind many of its characters, showing us that there are sick people like Esteban out there and it’s insane how we blame things rather than the person, people need to take responsibility for their actions. This book does such a fantastic job about bringing up so many real life problems, like power and corruption, suffrage, and wealthy against the poor. These are just a few themes the book has to offer.

Creative Writing piece

It’s summer time in North Carolina, you can tell because the blue berries are perfect to pick from the bush, the clear blue sky is beautiful and crisp cool air is softly breezing through your hair. Finally, I’ve been waiting for months to see my grandma and grandpa, I wonder how much they’ll tell me I’ve grown since I last saw them? I run with open arms to greet my grandparents so happy to see them. I remember thinking “this summer is going to be perfect”, hanging out with my brothers and grandparents is going to be awesome. Then reality struck, someone I loved so much was ripped right out of my world. I was so eager to play baseball with my grandpa the day we got there and he was excited to play with us. I remember him throwing the ball and me and my brothers running around the makeshift bases in the acres of land we had out in rural North Carolina. Pitch after pitch, smile after smile, the sound of laughter as you run the bases after hitting a deep ball. What happened next was something none of us could have foreseen. My brother Eric was up to bat and my grandpa pitched it just like he did the last time Eric was up, but this time the ball was hit right back at my grandfather. My grandpa tried his best to dodge the screaming line drive, he jerked his head to the side and it appeared that he dodged the ball. Then, he stumbled holding his head as if he was hit and fell to the ground, I ran so fast and told my mom what happened and she called an ambulance. We spent the next 8-12 hours in the hospital as my grandfather was hooked up to all these machines. My parents finally let me go and see him in his room. As I enter an all white room, all I hear is monitors beeping and crying. My grandfather was alive but unconscious. I talked to him as if he could hear me and said “sorry” a dozen times and the last thing I said to him was “you’re gonna be alright, I love you so much.” Little did I know that would be the last thing I said to him that day. He passed away June 7, 2007 from a brain aneurysm. I was filled with guilt for the longest time and so was my brother Eric because he thought he hit my grandpa with the ball causing the aneurysm (but it was from him jerking his head too fast). I have questioned myself for the longest time saying why did we have to play baseball that day, if we didn’t play baseball that day maybe he would have been there for high school graduation or my oldest brother’s wedding and it saddens me to think about the what if moments. I told my grandma about what if we hadn’t played baseball that day and apologized. I’ll always remember what she told me, “He was doing something he loved doing when he died, he was playing with y’all, he loved y’all so very much.” After that the guilt died down but the pain was too real. It’s been 8 and a half years since he passed away and there isn’t a day that does by where I’m not thinking about my grandfather, he served during Vietnam and was my role model as a child. I can see it right now, my grandfather laughing in his recliner as I sat by his side and we watched re runs of old Nickelodeon tv shows. Rest in peace Randsom Thompson, you are missed. This doesn’t have any corresponding themes relating to House of the Spirits other than suffrage. As a family it took a while especially for my mom and me and my brothers to mourn the loss, thinking it was our fault that day, but in a way, we all experienced suffrage that day because I asked so many questions about why this and why that but never took a step back and reminded myself that he wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than playing with us even if he knew it was his last day. He was a loving man, and I will always remember him for that.

 


Categories Uncategorized
css.php