Author Archives: jajawoods

Option Week-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?

My view of the mother changed slightly throughout the course of the film. In the beginning of the movie, which she is just a normal mother trying to protect her son and trying to do anything that she can in order to prove that he is innocent from the murder charges that he was arrested for. She quickly gets herself involved in looking for the real killer and trying to solve the case. When searching for answers, she meets the old man which she is then blinded from the truth when he tells her about her son. After she gets mad at what she hears and murders the old man and burns down the junk yard, I think she then feels very guilty of her actions and the fact that she thinks her son murdered the girl. I think that the box of needles represents that guilt and that she is hiding from her life in a way because she wants to forget and after she uses them she starts to dance like nothing is wrong.

Devi; Marquez; Saadawi; Silko

1. What I got out of the story is that both the Jell-O and the beef represent time in the story. When she gets home the Jello-O comes into the story and is talked about in and is meant to be more in the present of times rather than the beef. The beef was meant to represent the past when the tales of the past were being told. Both of the foods are symbols that were mentioned to represent something more than just food.

2. To be honest, I did not like him as a character in this story and surely would not want to have him as my father. There were multiple times in the story where he would not stand behind what he would say and also was not fully there for his daughter. He was a hypocrite and a pitiful person. The way he would change his actions towards her depending on what kind of thing she did was the determining factor on how he felt about her.

3.  The importance of the title  “Death Constant Beyond Love’ is that death is going to happen no matter what to a person. So when a person is in love or loves someone else, death will happen. The senator is told that he only has a certain time left to live which then he falls in love with a younger women. This right here represents the title that even though he fell in love, it cannot out due the fact that he is going to die.

Kafka; Rilke; Akhmatova; Lorca; Xun; Mahfouz

1.) Gregor’s relationship with his family is unsatisfactory. Gregor’s father appears short tempered and hissing like a wild man when he first discovers Gregor has changed into an insect. He is immediately outraged and disappointed instead of feeling sorry or concerned for him. His family seems at to do what they can for him, in regards to feeding and caring for him, out soon find him more of a nuisance and give hime less care and concern.

2 a.) The first Central Events of the metamorphosis of Gregor is when he awakes and discovers he has transformed into an insect. He feels normal otherwise, its just his physical appearance has changed. He reflects on his current life with the very few friends due to the traveling that his job requires. He dislikes his job but only keeps it to support his family, feeling trapped.

b.) The second event is that when he can no longer take care of himself, such as feeding himself. His sister must bring food to him everyday which takes away his independence. Slowly loses his humanity and starts developing insect-like needs, such as hiding, crawling, and food preferences. Her families disgust over his appearance changes their feeling toward him.

c.) The third central event where Gregor is injured because of the apple thrown at him by his father, leads to the family leaving the door to his bedroom open. He then hears what his family has been doing about the household finances since Gregor can no longer work to support them. They have sold off jewelry, hired a cheaper maid, and taken in 3 borders to help with the bills. Gregor becomes isolated as he’s family, sympathy is diminished. His family has lost any interest or concern for him. Gregor reflects that his family can no longer tolerate him and he dies. The weakening of Gregor results in the strengthening of family. Since Grete is now a grown woman and can get married and get a good job to support the family. They cannot house Gregor to take care of and can get a smaller more affordable apartment.

3.)  I believe Akhamatova’s poem, “Requiem” would have been effective had it been published during Stalin’s Rule. It would have brought out the political injustices mad to millions of men during this period in history. Because of the poems explicit depiction of malher’s despair regarding her son’s well being. It is however a piece of literature that has great meaning to people who have lived throughout and will continue to live through political persecution. The entrance of the pain and suffering of people due to human cruelty is something that we all should not condone and fight to overcome.

4.) The famous command at the end of Archaic Torso of Apollo should be interpreted by showing how the author wants the audience or reader to step back from being an observer and look at oneself -evaluate one’s own life and future, and come up with a plan moving forward.

Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

1. There is sort of a reoccurring theme to these questions about the reading our class is going over and basically what I am recognizing is that these stories have plenty of morals to them. Felicite always had good intentions when going about her life. She was always a good person and always had faith towards God. Although she does not really appear to be a saint, she always tried to be a very warm person with good intentions. Compared to Madame Aubain, they both had to deal with deaths of people very close to them. Madame Aubain’s husband died and she had to deal with that. They are different because Felicite was a more loved filled person all around as for Madam Aubain’s intentions may not have been that nice in order to provide for her children.

2. In the poems that I’ve  read about women, she is always described as a very amazing and beautiful human being with such an elegance to her and then something bad after that or along with it. He also describes them in a way to be very sexy and more as an object in some eyes. So, I guess in a way it is contradicting. With men, he describes them as weak in the mind with only intentions to gain satisfaction.

3.  Chidam and Chandara and Rama and Sita are very different from each other. Rama and Sita have a very loving and dedicated relationship to where they want to do anything they can for each other to keep one another happy. Chidam and Chandara have almost the exact opposite of a relationship from Rama and Sita. They are constantly fighting with each other and they are both very conniving. Selfishness is a very good word to use when describing why the relationship is how it is.

4. I chose the poem, “The Rose Tree.”  In this poem, which is about a tree who grows.  Joy makes the tree shake its leaves. Yeats is telling his beloved not to look into the mirror, or only for a little while, because a dangerous image grows there. All things turn to barrenness and mirrors hold the image out of tiredness. In those frightening places the ravens of unresting thought fly, and make one’s eyes unkind.

Tartuffe; Romanticism: Heine, Leopardi, Hugo

1.) I believe that the play Tartuffe is not anti-religious but instead is an attack on religion. The play’s title, “Tartuffe,” means hypocrite.  In 1664, when the play was written the Catholic Church as strong and disapproved of it because they felt it undermined the church. The main self righteous hypocrite character is a criminal posing as a holy man. He outwits a wealthily parisian man that was once an aid to the King. The idea that a man like Tartuffe could deceive an intelligent man so easily makes you think about how some religious leaders in the past have conned people out of money and their life savings. The play uses humor to get the audience to laugh at this scenario that could so easily happen back then and even today.

2.) Hugo’s Satan is a hero in the respect that the poem follows the characteristics of an epic hero as in the Hero’ journey. Hugo portrays Satan as a lonely hero, cast out of the world and as he falls to Hell, loses his angelic wings that are replaced with bat wings. He goes through a transformation and trial and in the end becomes the leader of Hell and evil doing. This entire poem describes that fall of Satan, unlike Dante’s Satan, where Satan’s life is described in detail after his descent to Hell. One pictures Satan as a hideous but in Hugo’s poem, Satan is pictured as more human-angel that lost his wings.

3.)  I was drawn to the poems “The Infinite’ and “To Himself’ by Giocomo Leopardi. Both poems have a lot of imagery and connect thoughts and feelings through nature. “To Himself,’ he is talking about love. He  says he wants to give up on his desire. Both poems are speaking to desire and the heartbreak it can cause. I think all of this is a form of despair. In “The Infinite,’ Leopardi is talking of his yearning to see things that he already hasn’t. He wants to go out an explore even if he dies in the end.  The wind that speaks to him and is an image of being alive and living life.

Petrarch; Machiavelli; Native America; De La Cruz

1.  Granted that Machiavelli’s own historical context is remote, how far does his pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities apply today?

I think his pattern of  contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities really do apply to today’s world. Now is a good time to talk about this since elections are going on and you can see examples of this all over the media. There is a lot of negative energy put into elections in order to make the one person look better than the other. Sometimes, this method does work and sometimes it doesn’t but the success rate of this approach does not make it right. According to Machiavelli, he describes the perfect ruler in such a way where saying anything bad about him/her would be a lie. The ruler would respected and known as a person who was true to his people. This kind of political leader just isn’t common these days, and people are okay with that kind of campaigning. It is okay as long as the people are happy with their leader which also isn’t that common these days either.

2.  Sister Juana de la Cruz cuts off her hair to force herself to learn more quickly, although she knows that among young women, “the natural adornment of one’s hair is held in such high esteem.’ Finally, she enters the convent (where woman had their heads shorn). What other works have you read that emphasize the importance of a woman’s hair? Why does it seem to have so much symbolic value in such a range of cultures and times?

Sister Juana de la Cruz chooses to cut off her hair if she did not learn, and she wouldn’t of if she learned more quickly. There are a lot of stories in which hair represents not only a form of power but other characteristics also. In the bible and the story of Samson, the power that his hair possessed made him feel more whole and a sense of strength. When it was cut off, he lost all of that and felt very weak. Another story is Medusa in which her head of snakes represented evil and was to show fear.

3.  Bear in mind that the Aztec warrior’s highest duty is to bring home live captives for sacrifice. Give the Song for Admonishing a careful reading and decide–without researching the entire Cantares Mexicanos–what possible meaning might be assigned to the figurative terms “flower’ and “song.’

I think it all has to do with sacrificing to the Gods. The term ‘song’ is a way to give the proper sacrificial thanks if you will in order to do it correctly. The warriors were their flowers and wanted to do things right for the Gods in order to praise them correctly.

De France; Decameron

1. In Decameron’s “The Tenth Story on the Tenth Day,” Griselda is being tested by her husband Marquis Gualtieri. He wants to test her faithfulness and dependability. She proves her sainthood  by allowing her husband to push her out of her home and leave with nothing. She even does nothing when he tells her that he has killed their two children and taken a new wife. She proves to her husband that she is strong and humble and in the end is taken back by the husband.

2. Comparing the frame tails in the Decameron and The Thousand and One Nights, one sees two different reasons for which the tales are being told. Each story builds on another story. The Decameron tales were told by seven women and three men who flee to the hills above Florence to escape the Black Plague. They take turns telling each other stories about love, intelligence, and the human will. The theme of the tales is the struggle between life and death and the joy and despair of the human struggle to attain happiness and preserve life. Through the story telling, the share pleasure in the face of death. The importance of having these ten characters tell the stories is that during this time period women were held in a lower social standing than men. Using women to tell the stories, it proved that women can tolerate more adversity than men and are more lustful and more cunning. The author uses these stories to show women are the good vs the men that are evil. In “The Thousand and One Nights,” the purpose of the story teller being Schehererzade, King Shahryar’s wife is to save her own life by entertaining him for one thousand and one nights. Through the story telling death is warded off. Schehererzade convinces the King to not only not kill her but prevents him from killing any future wives. Her cunningness and strength is reflected and characterizes women during that period of time.

3. In Laustic, the nightingale symbolizes love and the dream to be free and live life the way she wants. When the husband kills the bird, this symbolizes that this love and the chance to be free will never happen. She then knows that is will never happen and that the chance to live the way she wants has no likelihood. Also, when her husband kills the bird it puts an end to the knight’s dream too and he must accept it that it will never happen.


I think that Dante learned a lot throughout his journey through hell, the main point being sin. In his journey through hell, he discovered all the terrible ways someone who has sinned will live the rest of their time. All the different types of suffering that go with the type of live that you lived and what sins you committed with the nine levels creates a fear for Dante that he has to think about and change the way that he lives the rest of his life. Dante came out with a new outlook on life, that is for sure. For me, I did not learn anything that I didn’t already know. I saw that this story creates a fear of hell for Dante that influences him to live differently then before. Which it should, no one should want to live a life full of sin and end up in hell.

One Thousand and One Nights; The Inferno

1. To understand Shahrayar’s madness, one must have lived during this time period where there was great male dominance. Does Shahrayar’s murders made sense to me? Well, personally I would never do this if I ever got cheated on. Obviously, Shahrayar’s tremendous male ego was the reason he could commit murder after murder just to protect himself from being cheated on again. He would rather kill his wives after the first night than give his wives enough time to cheat on him. Shahrayar was making everybody else pay for something that his first wife did to him. Male ego’s in mocho societies could be frail but in this case I believe Shahrayar went to the absolute extreme.

2.  In the story of the Merchant and His Wife, it is thought that the merchant’s wife is in control  when the merchant overhears the dog and the rooster it reminds him that being the man you have much more physical power than a women.  In a sense, the man should be the one with power telling the wife what to do.  In The Tale of the Ox and the Donkey, this story is about trying to save someone when the real thing that happens is that they steal their position. This can happen in a lot of situations in life, whether it is in the workplace or on a sports team, or pretty much anything where there are more than one position higher and lower.  The Merchant and the Demon is relevant to that of the Merchant and his Wife, where the demon has all the  control over the merchant.

3. In this story, Dante  creates an imaginative  correlation between a soul’s sin on Earth and the punishment he or she receives in Hell.  The Sullen choke on mud, the Wrathful attack one another, the Gluttonous are forced to eat excrement,  homosexuals must endure an eternity of walking on hot sand, and those who charge interest on loans sit beneath a rain of fire.  This provides many of Inferno’s moments of spectacular imagery and symbolic power, but also serves to shine light on one of Dante’s major themes and the perfection of God’s justice. This texts states the infinite wisdom of divine justice. The punishment in the story is perfectly given due to the sin that they have committed. I believe that is that is the right answer to this question.

The Ramayana; The Bhagavad-Gita

1. Rama was heroic to his people because he lived his whole life by the rules of Dharma, which promotes living a righteous life. I believe Rama was more interesting than other heroes because he was constituently tempted by evil and always chose the path that may not have been the easiest but in the end followed the rules of dharma. Throughout the story, he had to make decisions that were based on his beliefs and not take the easier rode. Two indications that showed Rama had to strive to perfection, were when he killed the crow that he thought harmed Sitka, his wife, and when he distrusted his wife when she was kidnapped by Ramana. Rama made her prove her purification to him before he would take her back. Kaushalya, Rama’s mother, also showed moments throughout the story that she had to strive to make the righteous decision in times of turmoil. When Rama was dethroned and had lost his right to be King, she fell down to the earth and sobbed. According to Hindu believe, she should have supported her husband and not question his decision. The story Ramayana is a perfect example of how to lead a spiritual life and how to fulfill one’s duty or dharma. Throughout the story with the intense drama, love story, and strategies to defeat evil, it gives lessons for humans on how to live a spiritual life.

2. Decisions, a strong theme here in both of these stories. Arjuna is faced with a choice in which he must fight and could possibly kill his family and relatives or to not fight and abandon his duty as a soldier. In the story of Medea, she has to make a decision in which what is her duty and what she believes that is necessary. Medea thinks that she must have revenge. Her self-seeking decisions are based on her ex husband and she must get back at him. Arjuna thought process is how to fight without killing anyone of his relatives and to keep the honor of being a soldier.  The code of behavior in the The Bhagavad-Gita is a code based on doing the right thing in order to become more spiritually whole. Arjuna would end up fighting, he had to fight because it was evil and that was his code. In the end the good would prevail anyways because death is the attainment of heaven.