The Big Reveal

During one of our group presentations for Drive Your Plow, one of group D’s discussion questions was if Janina being the murder to be expected, along with if it was hinted at throughout the novel and what it says about her character.

In my opinion, at first it wasn’t very obvious, as the book immediately began with Big Foot’s death, so their was no reason to suspect her, although her constant remarks of how he was a horrible person make it seem that it was hinted at in hindsight. I didn’t expect anything until the presidents death, due to the commandant’s death seeming like a hunting accident and not murder. The immediate change of setting to the point where everyone knew that he died and with her asking what killed him, along with providing the scientific name of the beetles that she used is what made me sure that she is the killer. One fin al thing was that after returning from jail back to her house, she is fascinated by a video of a stag attacking a man, and ‘watches it over and over’.

Her being the killer when throughout the novel she preaches about saving and protecting life make her a major hypocrite and make me believe that she values animal lives more than humans to an extent. She also seems to have some psychological issues, referring to herself as the, ‘tool of the animals’ and justifying her murders with the fact that their horoscopes said that they would die. Regardless that her victims are responsible for the death of her dogs, taking life in order to protect others is never the correct answer. Also, as concerned Janina is for protecting animals and not hunting she never provides an alternative means of find food. Despite her being a vegetarian, I’m sure that her diet isn’t sustainable for her whole town or even the world. Finally, she seems to have no problem with animals eating animals, so why humans? We are animals as well so shouldn’t we be just as entitled to hunt as other animals?

The Freedom of the Lego Movie

‘The Lego Movie’, starring Chris Pratt is a movie about an construction worker named Emmett who tries his best to be ordinary and fit in with his peers. His job as a construction worker reinforces that role, as anyone who has built Legos knows that you must always follow the instructions. This film uses comedy to display how constantly following the rules, or doing what is expected of you is boring and makes you an uninteresting person, while the ‘master builders’ or those who can create something out of nothing with just a simple idea, are idolized for their abilities by society.

This film follows Aristotle definition of comedy, with Emmett starting off the movie with no status what so ever, and ending the film as a master builder and the savior of his town. Additionally, his path is quite noble, as he sacrifices himself in order to save his friends in time of need, and is somehow mystically brought back to life. In the end he defeats the antagonist and reunited with his friends as a hero, signifying his massive increase in status. While all this is adds to the film being perceived as a comedy, the decision to make the story Legos as well as appealing to a much younger audience is a genius way to push the message that it’s oaky to disregard societal norms and systems that we have in place ,and to ignore the ‘instructions’ and find your own way in life with your own original idea is heroic.

The Ignorance of Peter Griffin

Seth McFarlane’s ‘Family Guy’ is a show, as the name suggests is about a family who lives in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. It is one of the longest shows still airing with 21 seasons with season 1 airing in 1999. The main character, Peter Griffin, the father of this family is known for his white shirt and green pants, along for being quite stupid and fat, embodying the average american perfectly. This ignorance and coming to conclusions far too quickly, lead to disaster consequences are used to criticize the american population as a whole for drawing conclusions far too quickly. A great example is when Peter and his Family end up visiting the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which Peter doesn’t fully understand, having to be corrected by his talking dog Brian for somehow mistaking it for the location where AIDS was contracted for the first time. After being corrected, he asks is someone from Iraq was responsible, to which Brian responds that multiple people of different nationalities are responsible. Peter then says, “So what you’re saying is that we need to invade Iran?”. This segment criticizes the American population for their long term response to 9/11 along with how we were convinced that we needed to wage war with Iran, which lead to the death of millions of people who had nothing to do with those terrorist attacks. Through stupid, dumb humor, Family Guy is able to convey darker themes about America and its citizens.

The Good and Evil of the Baseborn

Throughout King Lear, I found Edmunds character to be the most enjoyable throughout the play. His cunning nature and ever evolving plans to rise in a society where birth means everything is extremely enjoyable. Additionally, his reasoning for his course of action isn’t justified, but it is understandable to the viewers as to why he choses his path. I’m sure most people would be angry a if they heard their father say he had ‘good sport in his making’. Since Edmund desires his fathers power and has no honorable way to attain it, his path in the play is the only way for him to gain that power. Unlike Regan and Goneril, who will eventually attain their fathers power when he dies, Edmund will never receive anything from Gloucester, which means that unlike the daughters, if he wants power, he must seize it for himself, which is exactly what he did. While I hate how he nearly caused the downfall of the kingdom and nearly kills his brother, I admire how he tries to pave a way for himself to be successful no matter what. medieval society is one where your birth determines that station you will fulfill for the rest of your life, and because he is baseborn, his station won’t allow him to amount to anything. Along with many other characters, motifs and themes, in the play Edmund rebelling against this society shows and critiques that flawed system set in place that nearly causes Britain’s downfall.

Passengers “Let her Go’

Let Her Go, by Verily Passenger is a song about himself, and the regret and remorse that he feels after breaking up with his girlfriend, realizing the value and purpose she had in his life now that she is no longer in it. The speakers audience in this piece is us, the listener, cautioning us to value all that we hold dear, and not recognize this value after we lose something.

Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Verily Passenger expresses his remorse by comparing losing her to the changing of the seasons and the change from night to day, or just a candle burning out. Comparing the change in his lifestyle to something as dramatic as the seasons changing ques the listener in (and probably his ex too) how important she was to his day to day, and as we make changes in our lives when the seasons change, his life most definitely underwent great change.

Well, you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
‘Cause you loved her too much, and you dived too deep…You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day, you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

Verily obviously believes that the end of the relationship was his doing, using phrases “everything you touch surely dies” makes him seem like a plague or ailment, unable to help and only causing pain and despair. Additionally, his line where he “dived too deep” insinuates that he may has lost his girlfriend when he tried to take their relationship to the next level, which she wasn’t ready for.

Overall, the theme of aching loss in this song can be translated over a plethora of other things despite the artist writing it about his girlfriend. Loss is universal so can be applied universally, and as this song is about wallowing in loss and not finding a way to change it, listen to something else if you want to be proactive about losing something.

Is Meursault actually happy??

In Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger The central theme is express heavily through the nihilism of Meursault the main character, who believe that accepting that life is meaningless due to the randomness of the universe is how one unlocks true peace and happiness. However, unless he is with Marie, he never seems happy.

Throughout the book, Meursault is a monotone, carefree individual who really cares about anyone, including himself. I mean, he probably wouldn’t have killed someone if he was thinking about the repercussions. Only during his physical relationship with Marie does he seem to find enjoyment in anything, and he doesn’t seem to like talking to her. Her physicals traits are the only part of her mentioned, so we know literally nothing and what type of person she is, not even when her birthday is or what’s her favorite food, or just something basic. Even when he was in jail and wanted to feel a women body, even said that he never thought of Marie in particular and that any women would suffice(77). I know that this guy is beyond weird, but he never finds anything but her enjoyable, not even the fact that he has found this secret that no one else knows. I just have to question if the way that he lived is worth it.

Hypocrisy, and Destruction of Binaries

In The Secret Woman, The main character a doctor lies about going to a ball to his wife Irene. Although his purpose in unknown, we can assume he is there most likely to cheat on his wife, a concept and idea that leave him with no qualms or guilt, except he refuses to remove his costume for fear of recognition. As seen in the story due to his assumption that as a man, he is the dominant member of their marriage binary, and such things don’t matter to him. However, he runs into his wife later on, who also said that she wasn’t attending, makes no such effort to conceal herself or shows no shame mingling freely between different groups of people. Her husband, despite being on the dominant side of the MALE/female binary, is still fearful and refuses to expose himself to others while his wife, is free to do as she pleases, when in his eyes she should be in his position. As previously mentioned, his actions at the beginning of the story receive no hostile language or tone, Irene is compared to various animals as her freedom to be with who she choses is considered monstrous.

Application and Anti-thesis of Benjamin’s theory

Benjamin’s argument about ‘mutual recognition is valid and applicable especially as we continue to develop and grow as we age while freud believes that we only see in black and white and identify others by their differences and not their similarities, which causes division and prevents unity.

Our relationship with our parents is a great example of mutual recognition at play, especially in the stage of life we are in right now and beyond, as we are neither children nor adults. Due to this, the original adult/child or parent/child relationships that Freud believes in are being shattered as are parents are able to see and recognize us as nearly equal human beings with our own agendas and preferences. Benjamin’s Theory of humans psychology and human behavior is extremely enlightening and encouraging to groups who are in the submissive role of a relationship by giving them agency and making them realize that their current position is the result of them giving up the equal standing that they once held.

I believe that the theory for the most part is accurate but there are some relationships that don’t really fit. African slaves and their masters for example, or white colonists and native Americans because they never had equal standing due to guns and more advanced weapons giving the colonists and major power advantage that they exploited against the native peoples. However this is  a truly enlightening theory and, if applied correctly could revolutionize human history and culture. Although the requirements for this line of thinking are heavy and neither group of people may not want to give or take what they have, this application of recognizing others could revolutionize humanity.