Author Archives: geborgeson

About geborgeson

I'm 24 and was born and raised in Fairbanks. Currently working full time and trying to finish up my degree in computer science.

Week 15

My view of the main character changed drastically throughout the movie. As she sets off to prove her sons innocence she may seam overbearing but very caring for her son, doing all that she can to provide for them. As the movie goes on and we learn of her attempt to murder her son I started to see hear overbearing nature as a guilty conscience for what she had done. It’s possible she even caused his brain damage while attempting to poison him. The way she also tells her son to seek vengeance and to worse on to others that take insult him shows how she created the explosive anger in her son. By the end I felt the mother was truly being motivated by her own pride and couldn’t bear that people thought her son was the murderer, even if he truly was.

This movie portrays a lot of injustice. Even Jin-Tae who in the end helps the Mother begins by taking advantage of her. The rich officials treat her as a child, refusing to deal with her or listen to what she has to say. At the beginning of the movie the Mother sets out to bring justice for Ah-Jung’s murder. By the end she’s finding justice for herself, willing to do anything for her own sense of justice.

I believe the needles represent the Mothers own guilt. Throughout the movie the Mother is talking about the meridian point, the point that loosens the muscles of the heart so you can forget. I believe that the Mother carried the guilt for murdering her son, using the needles to try and forget what she’d done. The irony is that the needles will continue to remind the Mother of exactly what she’s trying to forget. The fact that the needles serve as a reminder of her guilt  is exemplified when as she tries to go on a tour to relax her son returns her needle case to her; reminding her of the murder she committed to save her. We see the mother use the meridian point on herself by the end of the movie, but I doubt this is the first time the Mother has used this point on herself. And I doubt its the last time she will have to use it to try and forget.

Discussion 14

The beef and jell-o in the story  both serve as  a reminder of culture and reality. Silva’s surreal hold on the Yellow Woman is broken when they are caught with the stolen beef. He becomes less a spirit and more of a person when she sees this and even starts to think of him as a vagabond Navajo.  The jell-o also serves as a reminder of what her current culture really is, and makes her miss her traditional culture.

While reading “in Camera” I was infuriated with the Father. The hypocrisy that she shows in this culture is tremendous. First the Father praises Leila’s  heroism as the crowd cheers for her accusation of the king, but is quickly reminded of the “shame” she has brought him and is soon cursing her. It shows how her Father doesn’t truly feel for his daughter, only what shame or honor she may bring him.

The title quickly introduces us to the theme of the story.  It serves to tell us how that when we face death it changes us. The senator who had a loving family and wife easily succumbs to temptation when faced with his own mortality.

Lesson 13

1. The relationship between Gregor and his family is centered around their economic dependence on him. When his father’s business failed it was up to Gregor to take on the responsibility to provide for his family. Gregor sacrificed for years and provided selflessly for his family. While Gregor is forced to provide for his family his father is mostly unappreciative. Gregor’s father urges him to work immediately, while he spends his days lounging about. When Gregor is transformed Gregor’s father is more concerned that he wont be able to enjoy his retirement years anymore rather than Gregor himself. Even his mother and sister eventually abandon any hope they had for Gregor. This abandonment shows how even though Gregor provided and cared for his family, their love was never truly reciprocated.

2. In the first section of The Metamorphoses Gregor awakes to find that he’s been turned into a cockroach. His first thoughts or of how could he have overslept for working, showing how important his work was to him and providing for his family. Soon his family and company are concerned for his health. By the end of the scene everyone knows the truth of Gregor and his family quickly turns to despair as they realize Gregor cannot continue his work, or provide for them.

During the second section of The Metamorphoses the family tries to cope with the change in Gregor. They all find hard jobs to provide for the family. For a while his sister is kind and tries to help, and his mother still cries for her lost son. His father finds work and quickly forgets of Gregor, wishing to be rid of the bug as soon as possible. We see during this period that as the family becomes less dependent on Gregor they become more irritated by the cockroach that now is Gregor.

During the final section of The Metamorphoses Gregor reveals himself to the household for one last time to hear the sound of his sister playing the violin. The tenants that have moved in to help the family provide or aghast and insist to move as soon as possible. The family upset Gregor over the incident no intend to ‘get rid’ of him. Gregor who was the only one who appreciated the music his sister played, died shortly after realizing that he was only a burden to his family. Soon after his passing his family is able to move on, to pursue their own dreams, a chance that Gregor never had.

3. Regardless of wheather the Requiem was released before or after the purges that took place during Stalin’s reign it is a truly influential piece of literature. During the preface when one of the women confronts the narrator and asks her to describe  what had happened her says it all. We cant forget about the terrible abuse and huge losses these people went through.  Akhmatova uses biblical references to compare the sons and mothers to show what sacrifice they had taken here, a sacrifice that should not be forgotten.

4. I believe we should interpret the last lines of the Torso of Apollo  as a plea  to find inspiration in all things. The example of the Torso of Apollo  shows us how a mere  piece of stone has been given immeasurable value because someone crafted it with such beauty. It was the artisan that found inspiration to carve this piece of art and make something wonderful out of a piece of rock.

Lesson 11

I don’t believe that Tartuffe is actually anti-religious. While the play does point out a lot of issues with clergy and how they can abuse their power its true purpose to teach men the issues of hypocrisy. To further this claim Cleante warns Orgon not to be angry at the truly pious men, but at the hypocrite Tartuffe for taking advantage of their worth.

There are major differences from Dantes version of Satan to Victor Hugo’s portrayal. For Dante Satan is the embodiment of evil and seems to be a mindless monster. In Victor Hugo’s Ex nox Facta est we see a different portrayal of Satan pertaining to his fall. This version of Satan is much more humanlike, showing remorse, “the rebel then knew regret.’ Satan in this portrayal certainly undergoes a hero’s journey during his fall; he starts with his transformation from angel to demon. By the time he reaches the end of his journey he has completed his transformation by allowing himself to be consumed by anger and resentment of his punishment.

I thought the difference in imagery from the Silesian Weavers and The Village Saturday was interesting. When reading the Silesian Weavers you can tell that Heine is taking on a very utilitarian point of view of society, while Leopardi seems to take a very individualist approach. I enjoyed the message of The Village Saturday, it painted a nice picture of society, and warns its reader take advantage of the time given to you. The Silesian Weavers gives a different look of society, in which its people are abused and mistreated. But both leave the reader with the call to seize the day.

Lesson 10

  1. I believe that at its core politics doesn’t change much, and for that reason I believe that a lot of Machiavelli’s texts do apply to today’s politicians. When power and influence is at stake I believe a lot of human nature takes over. Machiavelli gives examples of this in his chapter of ‘Why Men Are Praised or Blamed.’ He talks about how a prince with only good qualities is desired, but due to the human nature it’s simply not possible. So a good prince should ‘hide’ his vices from the public to retain authority. I feel like this is reflected in politics quite often. Politicians paint a portrait of themselves for people to see but when we get behind these ads often the real picture has been skewed.
  2. I believe this has such symbolic value because it doesn’t seem to matter what culture you’re a part of; it’s generally accepted that men have short hair and woman have longer hair. Everyone understands this symbol as an attack on the status quo. Sister Juana cuts her fair in prudence to show that she is dedicated to learn more, and to learn it faster, then any man. I can’t think of many works that I have read that have dealt with woman’s hair, but I’m reminded of the musical ‘Hair’ when thinking about this. It’s the 70’s and hippies are being ridiculed and criticized for letting their hair grow long, like a woman’s. To the same affect these ‘hippies’ are growing their hair out as symbolic attack on the status quo. They don’t believe what society is telling them, and stand out to show they don’t believe in the current status quo being set by our culture.
  3. I believe in this story the song is the upcoming battle the warriors are about to participate in. I really understood the flowers to be the people of the tribe that they want to take captive for sacrifice. To me it’s as if the Mayans are comparing battle stealing a bouquet from your neighbor’s flower garden for your sweetheart. Referring to the princes as being poor I believe this is really a type of trash talk, the reader doesn’t believe the other prince has the power to protect his people from coming battle.

Lesson 9

Girselda is being tested by her husband to  prove her worth. Gualtieri  is persuaded to take a wife by his vassals  and puts his new wife to his test. He feigns to kill their children, divorces her, and even makes it appear to take a new wife. But Grisalda is patient and Gualtieri sees how loyal she has been and rewards her so.

The frame for the Decameron and The Thousand and One Nights is very important. In Thousand and One Nights the stories are being told like parables for people to learn from. To try and change the kings mind and make him realize his errors. The Decameron felt more like a drama to me.  With each story teller trying to distract themselves from the plague around them.

In the story Laustic the nightingale symbolizes the love between the wife and the other knight. While its free the lady is happy and is able to love the other night through their windows. When the husband murders the nightingale it not only represents the end of the lovers but of the ladies hopes or fantasies.

Lesson 8

I believe Dante learned the power of heaven during his trip through Hell. The fact that Dante was exiled due to his political believes plays a huge role on Dante’s ability to reflect on the evil people commit in the name of politics. Its why Dante keeps running into people that he knew on earth now in Hell, most of them political figures.  Its the journey through Hell and the interactions with these characters  that shapes Dante and teaches him what it mans to be a pious man. His journey that started for love of Beatrice is what lead him to a love for God as well.


Lesson 7

I don’t think that Shahrayar’s madness is a special case by any means. Many people, not just men, are hurt by acts of infidelity. This is just like Madea’s madness caused by Jason’s betrayal. But, the way that Shahrayar regains his sanity is something that I found interesting. When Shahrayar regains his senses by the realization that others have it worse it makes his suffering easier.  Recognizing someone else has it worse than you to feel better about yourself sounds really insensitive and much too human at the same time.

Animals in the vizier’s stories appear to be simple and favor a certain human characteristic; the ox is hard working, the mule is clever, and the rooster is a misogynist. The animals in the daughter’s tales have much more personality and are more human. The wife, cursed to be a deer because she desired to be the center of attention; brothers forced to take the shape of dogs because they were not loyal to their brother. The way the merchant uses the advice of the animal to beat his wife shows how men favored obedience, and try to defend this by portraying it as a part of nature.  The daughter uses the animals to invoke sympathy and empathy.

I think the penalties are very appropriate to the sins committed in the inferno. The idea that the souls are doomed to life their sins for an eternity in the afterlife seems like great poetic justice. The first few layers of hell don’t seem particularly scary at first either. While the gates to hell certainly are despairing, and the mindless souls doomed to chase their banner endlessly is cruel. Limbo on the other hand seemed less cruel and more reserved. The circles up the 4th circle all seem to fit the punishment, primarily living the sins you committed for an eternity. I think that violence or wrath is the greatest sin is very true, and to life out an eternity of violence seems like an appropriate end.

Lesson 6

I found Rama more interesting than other characters because he was supposed to be so virtuous. It’s clear that Rama holds himself to a higher plane because he takes his dharma so seriously. When Rama is so accepting of his banishment it seems quite un-characteristic of a hero. Most people expect Rama to fight for what is his, or act fool heartedly like Achilles. But, Rama accepts his karma and begins his adventure in exile. It becomes clear that Rama is not infallible, as he is fooled by the demon Maricia and loses control of his emotions by the loss of Sita. It’s not till Rama is returned to his senses by Laksmana that he is able to focus again on his dharma and begin his pursuit of Sita. This return to his senses is much like Achilles when he realizes he needs to put his pride aside and fight for his people. Rama’s loss of senses is very similar to the reaction of Kausalya at the news of Rama’s departure. Much like Laksmana helps Rama return to his senses, Rama helps Kausalya return to her senses, by reminding her of her to duty to dharma. What’s important in all of these scenarios is that it’s the idea of dharma that returns all of these characters to their right state of mind Its dharma, or the hero’s sense of duty, that helps the hero prevail and do what they must. This would help the Hindu religions re-affirm the idea of karma and dharma to the people of Hinduism and motivate them to follow their own dharma.

Arjuna’s struggle and Achilles struggle are very different in nature. Arjuna struggles with the reality of killing kin and the evil that it invokes. Achilles acts foolishly over an insult and struggles with his own sense of pride. This does lead to a similar result as both heroes refuse to act. To Krishna this inaction is the worst possible outcome. Whenever you are left with inaction you are not pursuing your dharma, and therefore not achieving a higher existence. This holds true for both heroes. As Achilles is able to see past his pride and chooses to act he fulfils his heroes call. For Arjuna he is able to accept battle and moves to action knowing that by fulfilling his dharma he is fulfilling his own heroes call.

Lesson 5

Christianity and Islam are very similar in their beliefs of Heaven and Hell. Both believe that if you lead a righteous life and are true to God that you can ascend into Heaven. Or if you are wicked you are punished to Hell. The biggest difference between Islam and Christian beliefs of Heaven and Hell is how someone may enter Heaven, and how they are rewarded. For Muslims the highest spot in Heaven is reserved for Muhammad, and that based on your good deeds you will be rewarded better or worse than others when you enter Heaven. This also means not only do you have to accept Allah into your life, you also have to be practice the teachings of Muhammad and exhibit them in your everyday life. The more you are able to reflect the prophet the higher level of Heaven you can achieve. This in contrast to Christian belief that it’s important we praise sinners who repent and accept them and praise them, just as a shepherd praises the return of his lost sheep.

The idea of a virgin birth caused by God would be appealing to a Greek audience as they were very accustomed to half-gods or even demi-gods, and it brought the idea of a Christian God into the physical world at the same time. The three shepherds who are visited by the angel would also give the Greek audience a more direct link to divine power they desire, making Christianity that much easier to accept.

I believe the fact that God accepts even those that have sinned into his heart very important to the people at the time. They were no longer looking for answers to everyday things that the Greek and Roman gods could give but rather a spiritual answer. The fact that Greek and Roman gods squabbled about human events made them seem very mortal in their own sense. Being able to accept an omnipresent God into their life would serve to strengthen the people’s relation to God because no longer are peopling about invoking God’s wrath, but rather seeking his guidance. Making it easier for people to trust in and God and practice his teachings.