Since the beginning of the year, we have been talking about stories and how they relate to us, each other, and the world. There is one quote from The God of Small Things that I think ties the book into the whole year. “…because kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably” (218).

I think that the part of the quote that talks about wanting to hear the same story again speaks to this book. Although the book has very dark parts and isn’t the happiest book, it is still very well written and many people, including myself, would want to read it again.

Furthermore, I think the part that says, “The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably” is very important and truly does speak to all good stories. I interperate this as no matter whats going on in the world around you, if you pick up a good book you can get lost in the story and forget about reality for a bit. The book sort of takes you under it’s wing and takes care of you while you escape reality. I think that this can also apply to movies or tv shows, becuase they too are stories.

With everything going on in the world right now, I have found myself choosing my favorite stories and inhabiting them quite comfortably. Although it is important to stay aware of whats happening, I think it is equally important to lose yourself in a great story.


I found it interesting to research orientalism because it isn’t the same as how most people define racism. When thinking of racism, most people associate hate with it. But orientalism is sort of the opposite of that. Orientalism is more of badly placed and odd admiration. It depicts Arab and Asian culture as exotic, yet still pegs them as the “other”.

In my various classes, we have had multiple units on racism towards African Americans. It has been covered in history classes, English classes, and even biology classes. But my classes have never talked about racism toward any other group of people. It does make sense to focus on racism towards African Americans because of the terrible history of slavery and Jim Crow laws in the U.S. But I think that we need to expand the conversation about racism toward any group. Racism towards Muslims increased after 9/11, but I have never had any discussions about that. And now with COVID-19, there is an increasing amount of racism towards Asians, yet there haven’t been any discussions about it. I can see how people could dismiss orientalism as being nice or being fond of a different culture. Because people usually associate racism with hate, and orientalism is sort of the opposite, many people might write it off. Despite this, orientalism is still racist, just in a different way.

Before reading GOST and doing my own research about orientalism, I didn’t know much about it. After doing research, I realize that orientalism is more common than I though, but I just didn’t notice it before.

“I Like Me Better”

The song “I Like Me Better”, by Lauv, is a love song. And similar to most love songs, the lyrics are very poetic because the artist is trying to convey their emotions in the best way possible. “I Like Me Better” is about young love and how they make each other better.

One of the first lines in the song is “To not know who I am but still know that I’m good long as you’re here with me”. Lauv starts the song talking about how he doesn’t really know who he is. Finding yourself is something many people struggle with, and it can be daunting. Lauv then goes on to say “but I still know that I’m good long as you’re here with me”. Lauv is saying that having this other person with him is comforting and reassuring.

The chorus of the song is mainly the repetition of the words, “I like me better when I’m with you”. Lauv is saying that his partner makes him a better person, and he likes this about them. This is a big part of love, and one that will often get over looked. Your partner should make you a better person. Whether it’s in the form of you being inspired by them, or they make you try new things to help you grow. An important part of a relationship is to help each other.

Lauv’s song, “I Like Me Better” is poetic through the meaning behind the lyrics. Lauv turns an inportant part of a relationship into a love song that is very poetic.

The Murder of an Innocent

At the beggining of this unit, when Mr. Heidkamp gave us the questionaire, there was a question about the murder of an innocent person. The question was along the lines of “Can the murder of an innocent person be justified?” I answered that no, it could not be justified. I could not think of a situation in which the murder could be forgiven or justified. After reading Beloved, my opinion has changed.

When we got to the part about how Sethe murdered her child, I was very surprised and had to reread it to fully understand it. At first I thought it was totally wrong and it was insane that any mother would kill her child. Then, after reading on and thinking about it more, my opinion began to change. Slavery was the worst thing that this country has ever done, and we can’t truly begin to understand the conditions and how severe they were. Because of how awful slavery really was, Sethe was helping her child by keeping it from slavery. Death was a better option that needing to grow up a slave. In the end, Sethe made a true sacrifice to keep her children safe, and because of this, the murder of her innocent child was justified.

The Ending of Exit West

My first thoughts after finishing Exit West was that it was a sad ending. After thinking about it more I thought maybe it wasn’t so sad because both characters found new relationships that they were happy in. Furthermore, Nadia and Saeed ended on good terms and even talked after their breakup.

I think that the ending was supposed to be happy, but I still can’t help feeling sad about how it ended. I feel like I was there with Nadia and Saeed through their relationship and everything they went through. So when the part came that they ended things with each other, I couldn’t help but be upset. I had just read a couple hundred pages about their relationship and I thought that they were such a good couple and I was sure they would make it. I think that although this ending is sad in some aspects, it is most realistic. A lot of people date and break up and its completely normal, but it can still be sad when it ends.

If Meursault is an existentialist, then he is missing some of the key points

What I got from the discussion on existentialism was that the true meaning of life was life itself, that everyone could decide how they live their own lives and what else they would give meaning to. I would argue that Meursault has existentialist qualities, but he lacks some that are very important.

By killing the Arab, Meursalt doesn’t give the Arab the chance to have a meaningful life. If Meursault believed that life was important, then I think he would have restrained himself. How I see it, an existentialist would understand that other peoples lives have value, even if there is no value to the existentialist. Furthermore, at the end of the book Meursault says, “But everybody knows life isn’t worth living.” (page 114) If Meursalt was a true existentialist then he would have found meaning in the fact that he was alive.

The Cook in “The Cariboo Cafe”

In my class period, Mr. Heidkamp posed an interesting question about the narrators of the story “The Cariboo Cafe”. From what I remember, he explained that how he thought that the girl’s perspective and the woman’s perspective fit together because they were both illegal immigrants and they both drove the story along. He then said that he didn’t see the purpose of the cook in the story. We didn’t end up answering this question, and ended up moving on.

I would argue that instead of the cook being unimportant, he had the most important role in the story. Without the cook, the story would have an entirely different ending. To begin with, the cook noticed the children right away when they came in with the woman. He noticed them because the young boy reminded the cook of his son. Without this connection, the cook most likely wouldn’t have payed much attention to the trio, let alone remember them. The cook described how he had many illegal immigrants eat in his cafe before, and so three more wouldn’t be that out of the ordinary.

The next, and most important part, is that the cook was the one to call the police. Because he made his own connection with the little boy, he remembered him when he saw the missing children poster. He then made the decision to call the police, which he was unsure about. If the cook hadn’t called the police, then the story wouldn’t have ended with the fight, and death, of the woman. If the cook had decided against making that call,
we don’t know what would have happened to the children. They could have never seen their parents again, or they could have found their way back to them with no harm coming to anyone. But in the end, the cook was the deciding factor of how the story would end.