When i started reading God Of Small Things, I immediately noticed Roy’s altering use of language and specifics in his writing. Especially his comparison of almost anything and everything with nature. I was curious as to this style of writing and I found a word I think accurately describes Roy’s literary ability to incorporate nature and how it challenge societys rule and customs: ecocriticism. Broadly speaking, ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment. There are many events or significant places that represent this relationship, as well as give a deeper meaning to things in nature that may otherwhise go overlooked. For example water. The river had a very important meaning in this novel and served a physicall represntation fo a “boundary” one must overcome in order to cross it. Another example is the garden in which Baby Kochamma took upon herself in creating a whole world for herself and find pride in.

The title of this novel, being “God Of Small Things” has a bit of a two sided meaning when it coems to Roy’s portrayal of nature and its meaning thorugout the book. In this wirting, nature is definitely more so seen as the “small things,” while society, class, gender is all more seen as the “big things,” which is why we end up understanding why Velutha is the “God Of Small Thing,” because of his appreciation and commitment to the small aspects of nature and environment that surrounds him.

Fear of Women in Power

In class my group chose to focus on the motif of women being presented or seen as animals and even monsters. We found several moments in the play where male characters seemed threatened by seeing the women in power and thus had to characterize them as “monstrous.” This motif represents the theme that women are not respected equally even when in the same position with the same power as men and don’t receive the same respect in any way.
I found this theme present in the New York Times article “Nasty Woman: Why Men Insult Powerful Women.” Trump speaks down to several women in high power, calling them “emotional” or “angry” after simply standing up for their campaign as every other powerful male figure does. The article speaks of many politicians even years back who have made remarks about women that were so unnecessary but got played off as and were accepted simply because it was coming from powerful men.

I found these two sources very relatable to one another with their descriptions of powerful men having the ability to call women names and describe them in offensive ways. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Albany tells Goneril that she and her sisters are “tigers not daughters,” while in the middle of an argument. Despite anything Goneril has done, it is still extremely inhumane for Albany to refer to the King’s daughter as an aggressive mammal. Lear himself speaks about his “pelican daughters” later in the play, which clearly represents the power he believes he owns over them and the threat he feels of them taking over his kingdom.

Shakespeare uses this imagery and comparison to ferocious animals as a way to portray Goneril and Regan’s lack of power and cruel treatment received by every other man in the play.

Can’t Stop The Poetry

Justin Timberlake is a 40-year-old pop/disco song producer has sold over 88 million records worldwide. One specific song Justin created, was for the movie ‘Trolls’, named “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” This song was created solely for the idea that people were going to dance to it, which is clearly shown in the lyrics and diction he uses. Starting with the title, Justin gives the listener a sense of excitement and anticipation for an uplifting song with that “feeling” that you can’t stop, that everyone has experienced before or can understand what he is talking about. The title itself even has an exclamation point at the end. I’m not sure what else could explain a more excited and dancing feeling than that.

The first few lines of the song resemble a poem in several ways already. In lines 2 and 3 of the song he says:

I got this feelin’ inside my bones

It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on

Justin Timberlake’s use of the word “wavy” to describe this feeling is extremely specific and fits right in with the wave of emotions this feeling is giving you. He uses the idea of having the “feelin inside my bones,” which we know isn’t actually inside his body, but how the feeling is so strong. He also uses “electric” as an adjective to describe this feeling, which we can infer means it is in a way loud and expresses a powerful emotion.

The next few lines, incorporate more important and detailed diction which gives us an even closer idea of this feeling he explains. Lines 6 and 7 say:

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet

Now Justin attributes sunshine to the feeling and the idea of it being “in my pocket,” meaning the feeling is with him. Sunshine is usually used to mean happiness or light, which is exactly what I think he is trying to describe in this “feeling.” Again he describes the “good soul” in this feet, which we know isn’t literally in his feet but shows us how the rush of emotions is rushing from his bones down to his feet.

Finally, Justin uses lots of repetition in his song, whether it’s repeating lines such as “just dance, dance, dance” or repeating entire stanzas, he does this in order to really get the idea of a happy and uplifting song and feeling into everyone’s minds while listening to his song.

You Can’t Unlove

In Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West, he spends a quality amount of time discussing and showing Saeed and Nadia’s relationship in different ways to the reader. He does so in a way that makes us feel what they are going through and understand their emotions. While their connection begins very deep when they first start, there are factors that come into play that seem to distant their love for one another. Saeed develops as a character but also as a lover throughout this novel, going from being “certain he was in love” to considering his options of leaving. The two characters strive to keep their relationship fresh, promising to try to speak kinder to one another and distract themselves from reality, but as time went on even this began to fade.

When Saeed and Nadia started spending days apart from one another, taking time to do individual tasks, they seemed to have deeper connections and enjoy their time together more. This slowly led to them slipping away, just like many others during these hard times of war. Towards the end of the book, it is revealed that both characters moved on and found new significant others with whom they found love again. I understand how both in books and in the real world this happens, but in their case, we are clearly shown when they meet again 50 years later, their love will always be present, even in the slightest way. Basically, this is showing us that once you fall deeply in love with someone, in this case, Saeed and Nadia, their love will fade and maybe even get hidden by the presence of fresh relationships, but when they meet again they remember their experiences and feelings they once shared.

Expression Of Awareness

Meursault is characterized as an insensible and emotionless character. As we have seen in many examples throughout the book, this characterization is supported by his actions and thoughts. However, in the second part of the novel, Camus begins to reveal a bit more into Meursault’s internal conflict and reasoning. His awareness of topics can be very easily misinterpreted and I believe that he is misunderstood in many situations. From the first part of the novel, Meursault doesn’t seem to have weighted opinions on matters, but in part two when he is experiencing life in prison, he seems to be more aware of his surroundings and to details. This may be a factor that is simply revealing in his character, or that developed from his shift to life in prison, but in many instances he finds himself “noticing” things he previously wouldn’t have seen.

I think that Meursault’s way of interpreting events such as his mothers death is simply different than the stereotypical reactions one would have, and this seems so out of the ordinary to the judges and courtroom. The judge characterizes Meursault as “calm” because he didn’t cry at his mothers funeral. I understand how this may seem insensitive from the outside but everyone processes events differently and the fact that it was such a big factor in his case seemed unfair to me.

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To Care or Not To Care

I think our initial exposure to Meursault begins and influences our perception on his character throughout the first six chapters. As we can tell, he is presented as a pretty odd character who doesn’t seem to feel or express many emotions at all. The few times he speaks up or develops relationships, they are out of the ordinary and pretty strange. In the first few lines of the novel, we can already see Meursault’s neutral feeling towards rather important matters. When reading the telegram about his mother’s passing, he immediately follows with “that doesn’t mean anything”(3), something one would normally have very differently feelings about.

Not only with his mother’s death and whole situation, but also with other characters and events does Meursault reveal his careless side. His interactions with Raymond support his characteristic of emotionless and different. When Raymond invites Meursault over for dinner, he accepts to stay, however, not out of excitement but because he “didn’t have any reason not to please him”(32). These examples just make his character so impersonal and don’t allow us to connect with him as a person or have any feelings associated with him.

Even more specifically and evidently is his relationship with Marie. Once again we are presented with his lack of effort and internal feelings even when he is around her. It is obvious that he enjoys her presence and activities they partake in, which complicates my view on their relationship when he is faced with the idea of marriage. His response to her sort of proposal is simply “It didn’t make any difference to me”(41). This somehow doesn’t surprise me because of how he’s been describes earlier in the book, but I see a little but of a problem if they are together and he has no feeling about marriage. Similarly when Marie asks if he loves her, his generic response comes to “it didn’t mean anything”(41).

I think that Meursault is an interesting character with still lots to still discover and unravel, but so far Camus efficiently projects him with an uninviting attitude and extremely neutral feeling towards basically anything that occurs to him or to others.