Walter White is Based of the Characteristics of King Lear

The personality of King Lear is based on the fact that he is a King. He enjoys the powers and responsibilities as well as getting to rule over others. As shown by his response to Kent, Lear does not do well to people contradicting his rulings. 

Walter White is a power hungry man who, like Lear, fears of losing family, money, and power and decides to start making meth. He becomes fixated on gaining power and being the best which harms his home life. Like Lear, White does not do well when people contradict him and this tends to happen often. His reaction is matched to Lear’s, White wants them out of the picture if they don’t agree. 

Once both Lear and White start to lose power they will do anything to get it back. Because of their position of power they also have people trying to take them down or take some of their power. For Lear this is his own daughters Goneril and Regan and for White (without trying to spoil much) this is the people he works for. Lear realizes the loyalty of his youngest daughter Cordelia, but was he too late to see this like White was? Without spoiling the end of Breaking Bad, I will say that it also ends in a tragedy. Throughout the season many people find themselves backstabbing people you thought they trusted and going against each other.

Mac Miller Foreshadowed His Own Death in “Come Back to Earth”

“Come Back to Earth” by Mac Miller, is the first song on the Swimming album. This 13 song album covers Mac’s many different emotions as he enters a new chapter in his life. A new and different approach from his previous two albums GO:OD AM and The Divine Feminine where he sings about lust and lavishness in life and his girlfriend at the time Ariana Grande. While the entire album is composed of swimming and self-care metaphors, because it is the introduction song to the album it highlights these focal points all within 3 minutes. This song expresses the desire for self-acceptance through an episode of depression. 

The swimming metaphor is presented in the verse, “And I was drownin’, but now I’m swimming/ Through stressful waters to relief”. These two lines represent Mac Miller metaphorically regaining the ability to hold his head above water now and stabilize himself. “Stressful waters” represents life around him, while “relief” is supposed to be self-acceptance. In reality, the “relief” Mac Miller is speaking about is using and abusing drugs. Using the word “swimming” implies that he is en route to somewhere/something and in this case is a better mindset that he is actively working, or swimming, towards. But just because he says he is “swimming” doesn’t mean he actually is, following the previous metaphor he writes, “And what I won’t tell you/ I’ll prolly never even tell myself”. This line is Mac Miller writing about how deeply hurt he is but also a refusal to recognize it. Then after in the bridge he says, “They told me it only gets better” which is what everyone tells people with depression but also people who just went through a breakup. The tone of his voice conveys that he does not trust what these people are saying and that it is going to hurt like this forever. This tone is further echoed in the chorus. 

The chorus of the song, “My regrets look just like texts I shouldn’t send/ And I got neighbors, they’re more like strangers/ we could be friends” is evident of the personal insecurities he feels with depression. Mac Miller and Ariana Grande’s split is influential to the first line of the chorus because this album came out only two months after their break-up. These regretful texts are being sent to either Ariana or his drug dealer (or both). The end of the chorus, “I just need a way out of my head/ I’ll do anything for a way/ Out of my head” is about how he is using drugs to escape his emotional issues sinking him further into a depression. Unfortunately, this chorus is a foreshadow to his death the following month.  

The album’s beats cover up the simplistic yet depressing lyrics about Mac Miller’s relationship with himself and his outlook on life. Even though “Come Back to Earth” is the shortest on the album, it ultimately sets the stage for the story of the album which is Mac Miller’s journey to self-acceptance despite substance abuse and emotional setbacks. 

The Weight of Potential Regret

While reading Exit West it had a lot of similarities to the short film “La Loteria”. In “La Loteria” a man who just won the green card lottery must decide between going on his own and marrying his girlfriend so she can come with. Within the short 8 minute film, the couple grapples with their emotions for one another as they approach the date of their wedding. Ultimately, the two decide to get married so they can go to the United States.

Similarly, in Exit West Nadia and Saeed have to figure out if they should marry (65). Nadia, being put on the spot, must figure out if (or how much) she loves Saeed. Nadia ends up staying with Saeed and his father after the death of his mother, which leads to her and Saeed leaving together. At this point I think that Nadia has to convince herself that she is in love with Saeed so that she will not disappoint him or his father. The idea that she should not be with him would be too catastrophic to their current situation, and this is why she stays with him. Once they get to Marin, Nadia and Saeed both recognize that there are no repercussions if they were to separate at this point. Much like “La Loteria” their upcoming move is what is keeping them together not their love for each other.

Sun as Foreshadow to Murder

During the sixth chapter the diction about the sun foreshadows Meursault’s murder of the Arab man. At the beginning of the chapter Meursault says “The day, already bright with sun, hit my like a slap in the face” (47). Meursault is then on annoyed at many little things that are going on around him like Raymond’s outfit and then there is a mention of the Arabs watching them get on the bus. Then on page 52, “The sun was shining almost directly overhead onto the sand, and the glare on the water was unbearable”. Soon after they encounter the two Arab men but because of the use of the word unbearable and that Meursault does not heavily denounce the sun yet is foreshadow to the the men escaping. On page 55 Meursault says, “By now the sun was overpowering. It shattered into little pieces on the sand and water” and when Meursault takes Raymond’s gun to head to the beach, “There was the same dazzling red glare” (57). Meursaults language about the sun becomes more and more intense as he nears the murder. Then during the scene when he is fighting the Arab man he describes personifies the light as cutting into his forehead and the light is crashing down on him, cutting and stabbing into his eyes (59). This intense, vivid imagery about the sun foreshadows Meursault shooting him. The sun plays a role in foreshadowing Meursault shooting the man but could also play a role in killing itself.

And Exit I Shall

For my summer reading book I chose “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” by E. K. Johnston. The story is split into 4 parts each surrounding a the main character Hermione Winters and the trauma she endures at summer. Johnston is able to create a new world in her writing but is unable to enchant, which Nabokov says is the most important part of storytelling. I also think that for the simplicity of the plot Johnston does not take the story anywhere new (or make better than nature). The message of the writing is the most important part but her writing does not add anything to the meaning, it just relays it. Johnston’s writing lacked a lot of imagery which was another reason the book was unable to enchant. I think imagery is really important in captivating an audience. Much like Sydney, I also chose it just because of the cover so I have no one to blame but myself for reading this book. I think if Johnston was to add a plot twist it could’ve made this read a lot more enjoyable and I defiantly should read the back cover of things next time I decide what book I’m going to read.

The Bird Passage

On page 80 of the reading I thought that the second paragraph on the page regarding the birds singing was particularly interesting. As Jeff’s body begins to ascend, he talks about how the birds “were manifesting as the earth’s bright-colored nerve endings, the sun’s descent urging them into activity…”. The imagery in this line is very intense and is an interesting animal to chose in a seemingly futuristic world. I’m also curious about the significance of this passage to the overall meaning of the story. I think that the bird’s are a symbol for parts of the reading when Abnesti is able to manipulate the participants feelings. At the end of the passage when it says “that bird’s distinctive song… an accident of brain chemistry” is a connection between the drugs that they administer and the feelings it produces similar to that of a bird and it’s song.