I took a nice visit to Horseshoe Valley today. My school likes to plan annual events for everyone every year, although I typically decline to participate in formal dances, cadet balls, movie buses, school spirit events, etc. However, this year was an exception. Most of the school went to Kissing Bridge, but I decided to go to Horseshoe Valley instead because of two reasons (i) I was too lazy to bring in my passport. (ii) I prefer travelling with a smaller group.
Anyhow, it was quite a long drive, about 2 hours and a half I’d say. The first hour and a half was spent getting my rental equipment on, finding a locker and trying to pass some “ski tests”. I ended up not doing any and instead I just skied on the green and blue-leveled hills, with my handy dandy friend’s half-ripped blue sticker. Although he stopped skiing with me at noon, just after we had lunch.
It was a pleasantly nice experience, considering that I only had two days of skiing practice in my entire life. I did however lose control on the blue-leveled hills due to the steepness of the hill; swerving with limited success, and so I decided to fall down on the side. It really does suck falling on the side, since you’re like a flattened squirrel on the road limping up. Anyhow, I stood up and continued down the slope. Blue is just slightly out of my league due to my lack of control, however green is a bit too easy.
Anyhow, overall it was a good learning experience for me. Not much to think about.
Well, I did have an asian girl asking me how to stop with an inverted V shape knee-position. She fell quite a few times and I did manage to help her up. Nothing of notability though. 100-second lineups, 25 second to 2 minute downhill skiing. Not bad. Not bad at all. The boots weren’t as uncomfortable as the ones I wore the first time I went skiing. The food was the same as always, junk food. However, there was a lot of elementary kids there and middle-schooled kids.
The two works that I will compare/contrast are:
1. Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
2. Title of the second work (author, title): Fahrenheit 451
What is it about your independent novel that intrigues you so far? What is it about the story that drew you to this text? Why are you choosing this book. Write at least one full paragraph.
The most interesting thing that I’ve noticed so far with my independent novel is the initial descriptive paragraph at the beginning of the book; the author paints a concrete image appear in my mind with highly descriptive words. These pictures make me feel as though I am within the novel itself, for example the passage “With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history…” makes me think as though something has already happened. This vivid image of books and houses burning with the sky set ablazen red gives me a sense that this book will be something about censorship, something about overpowering control or a desire for vengeance, or about restricting knowledge and free-thinking.
I’m naturally drawn to this text because I can make inferences along the way as the author keeps me in suspense with imagery and metaphors; a dystopian science-fiction novel usually raises questions about sociopolitical issues that are applicable in today’s modern society by making references to the ongoing changing state of society. These ideas formulate the basis for developing awareness about how these issues might be potentially problematic if we let them be. Certain thematic premises are ubiquitous in dystopian science-fiction novels such as government control, the lack of critical thinking and spawn of unanimous conformity, the issues of technology and privacy, the geopolitical issues of inhabiting other planets, people of different social classes collapsing, the ethics of cloning, resource distribution, catastrophic events, which all reflect on some part of human nature. As far as I can tell, the story of the book drew me in because of the awkward pointers being posed in the dialogue between Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan. The smell of kerosene and the firemen themselves seem to be the antagonists of society, given that the fireman asks her why she isn’t afraid, and judging from the initial reference at the beginning,e it would seem that firemen burn books and houses. There’s a law against reading books and a law against driving slowly; in addition, drivers tend to overlook the natural scenery. Advertising seems to be a prominent aspect, and the fireman seems to be at unease, or unhappy in one way another. It’s just interesting to be able to try to come up with some kind of idea about what the book is trying to unfold, or tell.
I also chose this book because it is scientific-fiction literature, I am particularly interested in knowing about how possible hypothetical scenarios of future societies will shape our modern world, or is an aspect of criticism toward the modern world.
Write two paragraphs in which you discuss one of the primary themes and/or conflicts of noteworthy comparison between your two works–that is, propose a point of comparison/contrast for both works, and discuss how both might relate to it. Keep in mind, these are still early formative ideas and may or may not be part of your final project. This should be a fairly well considered response even though your ideas may be in the formative stages!
I think the main thematic premise between the two books is power and control. In the novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest, McMurphy attempts to rebel against the preconceived notions that society attempts to emplace on people. The fact that the patients were unable to adapt to the surrounding landscape, had lead them to become segregated from the rest of society. McMurphy fought for the freedom of the patients, that is, he fought against all the authority figures in the Ward who were representative of society’s unwilling attitude to accept such people for the very fact that they were dissimilar.
In parallel, Fahrenheit 451 challenges the embracement of ignorance by society. Books are being burned, houses are being destroyed, people seem to be partaking in dangerous activities without reasoning or cause, proper protocols are being ignored in favour of quick treatments, etc. The protagonist seems to be mirroring McMurphy, but in a different light. He seems to take pleasure in doing his job, but lacks an intrisinic awareness of what he’s doing. He doesn’t feel happy about what’s he doing. The people around him seem to be unquestioning, and he feels unease when the girl confronts him. There seems to be a distantness in his consciousness when he looks at the mirror, being unsure of who he is. Perhaps Fahrenheit 451 is hinting about the evermore present modern lifestyle (in the futuristic setting), where people are controlled by media, but without questioning. If this is so, he might be one of those people who challenges, like McMurphy, against the people who are responsible, or the society itself for becoming rather so unfond of themselves.
One of the first things I noticed at my school was a lack of social integration. Although there are many people of diverse backgrounds, from different parts of the world, everyone tends to self-segregate themselves into homogenous groups based on two factors. The first factor was the perception of ethnicity and race, although one might not be Chinese, the more asian one is, the more compatible one is with the Chinese group. There seems to be three levels of integration, the first is the ulterior layer.
The following diagram describes this.
This is the most superficial layer and is mostly associated with just being acquainted with one another in class. The people don’t actually hang out with one another, and they don’t meet each other often with the exception of being in class. The second layer is the inside group, its akin to being familiar with the group, but you’re still treated as an outlier. One might participate in activities together during formal occasions, or associate during free time, but the relative closeness is weak.
In order for one to be within the most inner core of the group, one must satisfy two conditions. The first condition entails being ethnically related in some manner. The second condition required one to be able to speak, write and read the native language of the group. It seems as though the people who lack the confidence or the ability to communicate in English, combined with an unwillingfulness to communicate in English seem to be the most likely attracted to these homogenous groups, whereas the ones who are able to take the initiative to speak English or learn English by various methods such as watching films or reading AP textbooks are more successful in establishing relationships with diverse people.
However, those who satisfy the former condition or the latter condition, but not both due to factors such being raised in a western society, cultivated by different values, and living with little knowledge or no knowledge of their native language and social customs are not capable of attaining membership within homogenous groups. Rather, they are attracted to the greater majority who can speak English, and they also have the ability to establish relationships of diverse people.
When you look down at the dining hall, from a bird’s eye view, you will witness that each group will self-segregate themselves accordingly. The white people with the white people, the asians with the asians, the lowest of the social groups with the lowest of the social groups (that is innately identifiable upon first glance). Some groups communicate more, while others don’t. Some are simply groups because they are the outliers. It is hard to become attached to a homogenous group without satisfying both conditions, because there is a sense of “awkwardness” due to fact that it’s not possible to relate or talk to such a table of people without establishing some secondary-linkage relationship to a member of that group who is able to speak in English. In any manner, the most that you get out of being within the group is on the associative level.
Its slightly saddening, but nevertheless I understand the compulsion to limit oneself. Consider that in most cases, the asians don’t share some interests with white people unless they are born as the North-American second generation offspring of Asian immigrants or later. Its slightly stereotypical to see that most of the asians are taking the AP classes with the exception of biology and that people from various countries such as Russia, India, England, Rome, Italy, etc are taking higher-level maths than the grade they are in. In addition, the higher-level english classes tend to be mostly composed of white females and white males who most resemble like upperclass offspring. Not everyone here is a candy daughter of an amazing actress or proudful son of a CEO, but in some level it may feel like it. Point in case, the outliers who have little association with minority groups at our school tend to associate with more diversified groups, the established homogenous groups of significant population cluster themselves and the lesser established homogenous groups do band together, but in addition to the other homogenous groups. (i.e. Japanese, with some Chinese and Korean; Korean with Korean; Chinese with Chinese).
There are also two extra layers of separation. The upper bound grades and the lower bound grades. This barrier is less pronounced in the minority groups and homogenous groups (that are not the majority). Grade 9s and 10s seem to have various relationships that are distinct and uncharacteristic of those of Grade 11s and Grade 12s. A certain level of contempt and looking down is present within the seniors, it also follows that the socio-functional structure of our school reinforces these falsified socio-expressions by burdening the Grade 12s with more responsibilities, making them exemplary role models and giving them more privileges. The school tends to overlook distinct and unique individuals who don’t share certain commonalities with other groups, but are able to handle things on their own.
Unfortunately, I can’t make a judgement whether all the above said is good or bad. Certainly social cohesion is an innate attribute or aspect of social groups that is required in order to establish a certain level of trust, and thereafter capability of sharing experiences and living together in some form or way. On the other hand, its reluctance to take consideration of the strengths of other individuals of other groups and its innate weakness as a social entity in various other factors make it notable, and perhaps even deemable that there is more than to what meets the eye.
I might also post some thoughts on homework too.
“When the doctor escorts Blanche out of the house, Blanche delivers her famous line: “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Why does she say this? Do you think that this departure is a defeat or a victory for Blanche?
Is the resolution of the play a defeat or victory for Stanley and Stella?
(In other words, do the characters sustain their values, even if the ending is not pleasant?)
Defend your answer.”
She says this because she thinks the doctor is some sort of princely savior to her. This parting remark reflects her true nature. She is a needy, insecure character who needs to be treated with pompous compliments, proper respect and noble gestures. She seeks kindness from strangers, because she is unable to stand for herself. She has lost her husband, she has debased her reputation by participating in illicit activities, and mostly of all, she has lost everything. In response to such a dire situation, she attempts to manifest a projection of outwardliness towards others in a futile attempt to make others closer to her. This behavior is characterized by a need to express a longing for someone, somebody to take care of her. However, her overzealous attempts instead result in distancing herself from authentic people like Mitch. Blanche chooses not to be open and honest about her feelings, this results in a discordance between her and Mitch. Mitch is a character who seeks an individual who is equal to him, someone who can stand with him, someone who he can be proud of being with, and that is partially due to the fact that he has a wailing mother who he wants to take care of.
Blanche is highly dependent on others, as a result she tries endlessly to bewitch others with limited success. She uses prostitution in order to keep herself alive, but as the days past, she becomes more fragile with time. As her charm dissipates more and more, she becomes more desperate, more pretentious, more obstinate with her actions. We can see the progression of her dementia, her rejection of the reality. In the end, she ends up finding no one. Mitch rejects her. Stella drops her for Stanley. Stanley waves her good bye. Ultimately, I would conclude that this is a defeat for Blanche. She is trapped in an endless past, and her guilt does not subside. She is unable to adapt to the changing landscape around her. The reality which she faces is always warped into fantastical contrived fantasies, a form of retreat at the very least.
In the end, Stanley and Stella choose to stay with one another. Stella continues with this abusive relationship. Her motives are not clear. She might feel compelled to stay in this relationship because of the consequences that ensue otherwise. She might be psychologically attached to Stanley, because the violence instills a sense of hopelessness from leaving such a relationship, in the same manner that hostages begin to act in accordance with criminals after a certain period of time. She might prefer this risky type of person, who is simple and forceful because she desires an escape from the gracious-fulness and falsity of being noble and proper. Or there might be a sense of unwanted stigmatization for leaving such a relationship, given that women were seen to be only submissive to their husbands. Either way, Stella faces a loss of her sister. She doesn’t want her sister to be hurt, but she also loves Stanley. I would conclude that its a victory for Stanley and Stella on one hand with the success of their relationship, but given that she makes a remark about being unable to forgive Stanley for his actions, it can also be seen as a defeat.
Boredom is a cause for serious concern in the modern world. Everywhere you look, every corner you turn, every movement you make, you will see people attempting to alleviate this condition through mindless activities that have little consequence in this physical world. From hitting a ball with a metal stick in hopes of it reaching a hole, to smashing buttons on the keyboard in agony, to jangling around in the parking lot acting like a fool in front of your friends, it is the ultimate state of deprivation. A sense of unprecedented need to do something, to occupy oneself in spite of being, that is to satisfy the need of non-passivity.
As you gaze down on the watch, looking at the time, you find yourself standing in the midst of the world. The light changes momentarily from red to green in an instant, the cars whoosh past you without a second thought, people all around you seem to be walking aimlessly in all random directions, a sense of insignificance sets in, as if you were a dot or an ant in the entirety of the universe. The colours of the sky begin to dull, the taste of the soda pop begins to taste bland, the clock starts to slow down in a moment’s response, the cries heard from all the babies begin to subdue, a stillness, an indecisiveness, an inexactitude creeps without resolution.
Such indefinite magnitude of finite sequentializations. The recurrence of all things, that is the repetition, the habitude, the inexplicable designations of a point in time and space. People begin to wander off, distant away in little packaged worlds set distant apart by oceans and oceans of crested waves, overseeing nothing but voidness itself, an emptiness that persists, remaining concrete and abstract simultaneously. The state of being, the state of breathing, the state of feeling starts to become numb with absoluteness. Clear and visually perceivable figures begin to blur incessantly, the quotidian cycle of social interaction reaches its critical limit.
Friends, family members, brothers, sisters, cousins, teachers, parents, daughters, sons, kings, queens, politicians, corporations, survivors, soldiers, doctors, lawyers and all alike. Is it a tiredness that manifests itself by feasting on a notion of undesirability of the current state of the world, or is it intrinsically linked to a profound realization of nonconsequence of current state-of-being? Its satisfaction is only temporary, for its postponement of actualization situates in every activity that is not of itself, but for itself. Is it because of the result of limitations and impositions caused by an evermore needy world? The impulsion to check for the banalities and trivialities beyond one’s scope of view becomes an increasingly common aspect of our lives. The suspension of arbitrary limits becomes an element of self-identification. Boredom subsequently subsides when one becomes engaged in existing of itself, the expression of its projection onto the world as a means of internalizing what is not and what is is.
I’m currently a grade twelve student at a private school. During my spare time, I like to log my thoughts somewhere, someplace. I just thought that this site might be suitable for me, if I don’t turn out to be too lazy that is.
This is my fifth year as a freely thinking human. I have tried with all my might to avoid people in general, I dislike social interaction but I like social discourse. There is often very little to talk about in real life. I lack any possibility of caring for things that have no baring. These things typically are located within the human physical realm, which includes cars, clothes, the weather, pets, what people are doing on a saturday night, pop music, idols, teachers, courses, school, etc. I might talk passionately about some of these subjects and they might have some level of consequence on me, however my interest in such banane things are minimal at the very least. Any conversation that entails a great deal of thought will certainly provoke me to respond in an engaging manner. All comments are welcome.