Author Archives: gpetrie

Discussion 15

  1. How does your view of the main character change throughout the course of this film? What does this movie say about its the themes of motherhood and justice? And what do you think the mother’s small tin of acupuncture needles symbolizes?

At the very beginning of the video I thought that the main character, the mother, was a little over protective of her son. However, after he got arrested she did what any mother would do and tried many different options in order to prove her son’s innocence. Then as the movie continues I started to think she was a little crazy. My overall opinion of the mother stayed pretty consistent through out the later part of the movie. She was a mother who just wanted to protect her kid, and although crazy she just loved him immensely.

When considering the themes of motherhood and justice in this movie I think it was showing that the definition of justice depends on your relation to the accused. A mother’s love for her child is so great that sometimes even if their kid did something wrong they believe that it is their job to prove that they didn’t. Sometimes even the facts will not convince them that their child is guilty. I think that’s exactly what happened in this movie. The mother could not/ would not believe that her child could kill the girl.

I think that the small tin of acupuncture needles that the mother has is a symbol for the bad she’s done. The conversation of her illegal use of them is mentioned at the prison when her son brings up the fact that she tried to kill him when he was younger. Then her son finds the tin at the junkman’s house and brings it back to his mother.

Discussion 14

  1. In this story the common element that the stolen beef and jell-o share is that they are a symbol for time periods. The jell-o is a symbol of the present. In the story it says, “My mother was telling my grandmother how to fix the jell-o’ (1211). The fact that her mother is having to teach her grandmother how to make the jell-o and not the other way around is what hints at the  jell-o being a symbol for the present. The stolen meat also represents a time period however, instead of representing the present it represents the past. Meat has been around for many centuries and like in many stories including this one it represents the time when times were much simpler.
  2. I feel like her father is a coward and is humiliated. He chooses in several different instances to not stick up and/or speak up for his daughter. I think as a father even if your child makes a mistake or you don’t agree with what they are doing you should attempt to protect them. In the story her dad originally sticks up for her but then he stops because he starts to realize that he could be ridiculed. If he wasn’t a coward he would have kept standing up for her and protected her from getting beat and raped.
  3. The title “Death Constant Beyond Love is important because it is saying that death is inevitable and although people say that love concurs all, it in fact can not concur death. In the story the Senator is only given approximately 6 months to live, soon after he falls in love with a young woman. Although his love for her is able to make him somewhat forget about his death that will be coming soon, he can’t escape thinking about dying.

Discussion 13

1.Gregor’s relationship with is family is not very good. He is kind of like the annoying one in the family. I think this is shown by the fact that he turned into a cockroach. Out of all bugs he turned into a cockroach, one of the most annoying bugs in my opinion. His relationship or lack there of with his family is demonstrated in the interactions between his family members and himself when he is a cockroach. For example in the story his sister says, “…and so I will merely say: we have to get rid of it’ (973). Although at first she gave him food and tried to look after him, end the end everyone wanted Gregor gone. I would say the relationship between his father and Gregor is one that was very prominent in the story. In the story his father is constantly trying to get rid of Gregor in ways that demonstrate that he is the person in the house that holds the power. I think this symbolizes that Gregor’s dad feels threatened by him and his coping mechanism is to try and prove his place on the power ladder.

2.The first central event in the story tells about how Gregor is afraid of losing his job and how his family doesn’t really get along that entirely well. The second part is centered around his actual metamorphoses and what happened while he was a cockroach. The third section focuses on the fall of Gregor and the “rise’ of his family. In the second event it really shows how weak Gregor is in the situation. He can’t feed himself and so his siter has to feed him. He also can’t work which means he can’t make money. This is what leads to the strengthening of his family though. Because he can no longer be the provider for the family they start to learn how to provide for themselves and in the end become a better and stronger family.

3.I find Akhmatova’s Requiem as a political protest was not effective for trying to persuade people one way or another during Stalin’s rule solely because it was not published. I do think that it has been very effective in giving an example for the people after that time and has made an impact in history.

4.I think we should interpret the quote as being a hint as to how as individuals, we should try to be in the world. Everyone can benefit from changing their lives, even if there is just one thing in their life that they change. This change also sparks other people’s ideas and thus creates advances throughout society and the world.

Discussion 11

  1. I don’t think the play Tartuffe was anti-religion but it did point out the corruption within the church. It was a comedy that pointed out the hypocrisy that was within the Catholic Church. However I think that in general (not always) when someone publically points out the flaws of an institution, then that institution, especially churches as a whole, become very offended. Then their defensive is to say that the person just doesn’t believe in God and/or religion.
  1. Hugo’s Satan is a heroic figure because he goes through a journey that is similar to “The Hero’s Journey’ that we learned earlier this semester. I found it kind of interesting that this poem made the journey of Satan like a hero instead of some horrible creature or person that just appeared. The picture of Hell that is in Hugo, is more simplistic in the description where as, in Dante the author describes many different levels of hell.
  1. Heine’s poem A Pine is Standing Alone and Leopardi’s poem The Infinite both talked about loneliness. The first line of Heine’s poem was, “A pine is standing lonely’ and the first line of Leopardi’s poem was, “This lonely hill has always been so dear.’ That brings up my next comparison, which is that, both poems talk about nature. Although the second poem I mentioned was lengthier, the first poem used more “fluffy’ words to describe the scenery. By fluffy I mean not as simple, and everyday use words. I found an interesting comparison between the two poems I selected to write about was that in the poem, A Pine is Standing Alone, the scenery is described as a certain place on the globe. The poem has lines like “in the North’ and “Far away in the Eastern land,’ both of which give the reader an idea of where the trees are relative to the globe. In the poem, The Infinite it does not give so much direction in the description of the scenery, it adds a little bit more of a mystic feel to the poem.

Machiavelli, long hair, and flowers

  1. I think that Machiavelli’s pattern of contrasts between political ideals and realities apply today. He thought that the best kind of ruler was one that was what I think of as being a perfect type of person to lead a society. However he also talks about how it is nearly impossible to find someone with all the characteristics of being the perfect leader. I think that people today definitely want to believe and expect for every leader to be perfect and get everything done they say they will, and never do anything that others don’t agree with. However, at the same time people are people and that means that every leader is not going to meet the expectations of every person.
  2. I have not read many important works that place importance on woman’s hair but growing up with two younger sisters I did read fairytales and such where hair was of emphasis. In many Disney movies and books the princess most always has long hair. At the most basic level in most cultures long hair is symbolic to being a woman. Also most women know that the healthier you are and keep your hair to be, the longer it gets. So that being said it is also a symbol of living a healthy lifestyle, it shows that your body is being properly nourished.

  3. I had a hard time deciphering what “flower’ and “song’ meant in the song. I think that the flowers represent the warriors because in the song it says, “Sacred flowers of the dawn are blooming in the rainy place of flowers…’ To me this line gives a hint that the flowers symbolize the men getting ready to go to battle and this is why I said I think that’s what the term “flower’ means. I think that the term “song” symbolizes the battle that the warriors are getting ready for.


  1. I think the initial reason Griselda is being tested by her husband, the King, is because he finds the idea of testing her amusing and fun. However, later the reason becomes that he wanted to make see if she would stay loyal to him in any and every situation. In the beginning of the story when he is talking about marriage with his friends he says, ‘My friends, you are pressing me to do something that I had always set my mind firmly against…’ ( 1357) From this quote we can see that he was skeptical about getting married in the first place. I think that when people are skeptical they feel the need to test whatever or whomever they are skeptical about, and that is exactly what Griselda’s husband did. He tried to make it like a joke at first but it had more meaning to him than that. To his surprise Griselda “passed’ all his tests, I must say they were pretty horrific in my opinion, and for this he took her back so to speak.


  1. Both the tales told in the Decameron and The Thousand and One Nights were meant to pass the time. In The Thousand and One Nights they were meant to pass time in order to keep the King from having time to kill someone. In the Decameron the people were telling tales to pass time in order to keep people from thinking about the black plague. I think that in both cases they sort of worked. The relationship between the tale and the teller is very important because I think it helps give meaning to the tale. When a tale has more meaning, more people listen and reflect on what the tale is trying to tell them.


  1. I think that the nightingale represents joy. In the story the wife talks about how she loves the songs of the nightingale but what she is really talking about is staying up to look across to her neighbor. However, I think the nightingale was a representation of the joy she felt when she thought about being in love with the knight. Towards the end of the story it says, “The lady took the tiny corpse, wept profusely and cursed those who had betrayed the nightingale by constructing the traps and snares for they had taken so much joy from her’ (1204). When her husband killed the nightingale he killed the hope of a relationship with the knight that she had. The knight buried the bird in a gold casket because he wanted to preserve the joy that she brought to him even though he could not have her.

Dante’s learning

I think that on Dante’s journey through Hell he learned that there is more to Hell then just fire and bad people. There is an order to it and a system in how everything works there. The nine levels of hell categorize the people that end up there. On a more spiritual level he learned just how much every action you make in your life will affect you in the afterlife.

While reading about the journey I learned about the different levels of Hell, so I would say Dante’s learning and mine were similar. I always just thought of Hell as an unpleasant place where people committed the worst sins went after they died. Before the reading I hadn’t really thought about what would qualify as a “bad enough’ sin to get you sent to Hell. It brought up the question to me, “Does Heaven work the same way?’

1001 Nights

1. In general most people hold value in trust so when they think their trust with someone has broken they get angry. This is just what Shahrayar did, he got angry when he found out his wife was cheating. I think that underneath the macho male ego is truly frail. I think that in societies where men are expected to be the macho ones (between women and men) that (most) men spend so much time trying to act macho that when they get home the façade goes away and they are actually frail human beings. In relation to the story, I think that going through a problem, especially with your wife, and still having to be the king for a community of people would be very difficult. Being frail would not be an option and therefore at the end of the day it would be very likely that they would break down.

2.  In The Tale of the Merchant and His Wife the author uses animals that are males and seen as dominant. Thus, reinforcing the idea that is in the story, which is men are mighty and powerful and women should be quiet and do as they are told. This is different than the Merchant and the Demon because in the Merchant and the Demon the Demon is a woman and she “controls’ the men.

3. I think that most of the penalties dealt in Inferno were appropriate. I think that Hell is an ugly place and that people who get sent there did not just make a mistake or two, they did something(s) horribly wrong. There are some people who commit sins that are unforgivable and they should suffer more than just getting what they did to someone done to them. On the other hand there are a large sum of sins that people commit that they don’t need done back to them in order to understand what they did wrong or just simply be punished in that way for.


1.  I think that the fact that Rama is portrayed as a “virtually perfect man’ does not make his character less boring than other heroes. I think that the author does a good job at showing specific examples of Rama doing the right thing when faced with a hard decision of whether to do the right or wrong thing. For example in the headnote it says, “Faced with disinheritance, Rāma sees clearly that a son’s highest duty is to honor his father’s word, even if it means giving up his kingdom’ (725). This gives good depth to the character and I think that is what makes a good story. Shortly after this quote the author talks about how Rāma was not only doing what his father wanted but also doing it to honor Dharma. This is a way of showing that he wasn’t born perfect; he was constantly working on doing the right thing to stay on a righteous path. His mother shows this same attitude when Ramā is exiled. She is very sad and obviously does not want it to happen but she accepts that he must go and she puts her feelings out of sight, so to speak. This is an example of the Hindu belief that one should look to Dharma in every situation and do things that will lead them (or stay) on the path to Heaven.

2.  Arjuna is afraid to fight because he does not want to fight his own people, “his family’ ans he says in line 37 of the poem. He does not think that fighting them would give him a victory, or any sort of happiness. His dilemma is much different than that of Achilles because he was really selfish and did not care who he killed. He just didn’t want to be in war because he was afraid of losing. Krishna tells Arjuna that he needs to do be detached and do it for honor not for himself. Medea wasn’t following a code when she killed her children; she was just doing it for revenge.

The New Testament and The Koran


1.The Islamic perceptions of Heaven and Hell are much the same of the views of Christianity and Judaism. Christianity and Judaism put importance on belief in religion and repentance when you sin. Whereas, with the Islamic religion they put importance on those two things as well as the belief that you must do good things in order to make up for committing sins. Also the Islamic belief does not guarantee that you get into heaven even if you repent. In Christianity and Judaism you are guaranteed a place in heaven.


2.I think that the element of the virgin birth is the most prominent of the elements in the narratives that are culturally familiar to a pagan audience. The Greeks liked Jesus and his stories because they were very familiar with stories of people who were half human and half God.


  1. I think that the emphasis on human repentance changes the relationship with God because it shows that a person is really committed to the religion. I think that a person who never sins knows no different than that, but a person who has sinned and can identify that he/she did something wrong and then ask forgiveness is a very notable action. I think that in Gilgamesh and the Iliad the focus was on revenge and the God’s did not move the focus away from that and instead to forgiveness.