A Bromance Rom Com

 Love You, Man is a 2009 American comedy film starring Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, and Jason Segel.  Peter Klavern (Paul Rudd) proposes to Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones) and realizes he has no close guy friends that he can choose to be his best man. Peter then goes on a quest to get a best friend and enlists help from his fiancé and brother. Along the way he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) and they become best friends. Of course there is drama that strains Peter’s relationship with Zooey and later with Sydney but in the end everything works out which is why this movie fits Aristotle’s definition of comedy.

The whole movie is about an ordinary person who is trying to find a guy best friend. I think that it is normal for people to try and find a new friend. There are also many societal norms associated with weddings like having a best man, so Peter was just trying to fit in which is something that ordinary people often experience. This fits Aristotle’s definition of comedy because at the end of the movie the audience is pleased with the outcome of Sydney and Peter becoming best friends. All of Peter’s family members do not believe that he will be able to get a guy bets friend because the closest people in his life are his parents, Zooey, and some female acquaintances. This resembles Peter’s stance as an underdog in the comedy.

This romantic comedy helps us understand societal norms and constructs. People expect that by the time that you are an adult you will have at least a few really good friends that you have probably known since college. It also demonstrates the expectation that at a wedding there will be a bridal party. Peter fell victim to this societal norm because the reason he had to find a best friend was because he needed to find a best man. Peter did not not choose to have no bridal party but instead did everything in his power to fit in. The movie does not teach us that it is fine to live a life that is different than this but rather that this is expected from young adults. However, since there is tension between Peter and Zooey and Peter and Sydeny the movie shows its audience that it is human nature to go through rough patches and those that love you will be there to lift you up. Friendship and family are important aspects to a human’s survival in society.

Wait, There Was No War?

In Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog, a spin doctor and a hollywood producer fabricate a war in Albania to distract voters from a presidential sex scandal two weeks before the presidential election. They create a theme song, fake footage of an orphaned girl running through a village on fire, and a POW narrative for someone who they later find out is a convict. The war is a success because the public believes it the entire time even after the CIA tries to shut down the operation and their attention is taken off of the sex scandal. The president wins his re-election and the public believes that the war in Albania ended.

The whole movie is an example of dramatic irony because the American public in the film does not know that the war is fake. Only the audience is aware that Albania is not actually at war with the U.S. A specific example of this dramatic irony is when the orphaned Albanian girl runs through a village of burning buildings to get to safety. This girl is actually an American actress who was hired by the producer to create footage from the war and demonstrate how Albania is being affected. The public believes that this footage is live from the war but in reality it is happening in a TV studio. This specific moment emphasizes the message that the movie is trying to get across, the American public will believe anything that they see in the news. The public is so naive that they believe anything that the government advertises as being true and anything that they see on TV and on the internet. The government made up a war and the public was convinced that people in Albania were dying, even though many people do not know where Albania is more much else about it.

The movie is a parody to today’s society because people still put a lot of trust in the media and believe everything they see in the news. Whatever the government says the people believe since Americans have a large sense of blind patriotism. The movie shows how political leaders can abuse their power and how the American public will not do anything about it. The media is able to exploit the opinion of the people and it is still happening toda

Another Ed Sheeran Song

Ed Sheeran’s song “Eraser” from his Divide album, conveys the experience of a struggling musician. The story explains the difficulties that can come with this career choice like family jealousy, financial problems, and the standard that musicians should be happy because they are following their dreams and it was their choice to be ‘impractical.’ This musician has gone on a journey to get to where he is now and in order to cope with all of the stress that comes with it, he used alcohol and drugs to numb and erase all of the pain away.

In the first verse Sheeran sings,

"And when the world's against me is when I really come alive." 

Sheeran uses hyperbole to explain how the speaker feels under all of the pressure he is feeling. Obviously the whole world is not against him, it is an exaggeration, but this shows how stressful the industry can be. I think that the emotions that occur when life is just not going the way you want it to and bad things keep happening is a relatable experience to many. This hyperbole also shows the strength of alcoholism. Stress can spark a desire to drink drink more which explains why the speaker uses it as a coping mechanism. I think that this can also be a use of personification because the eraser becomes alive when there is more stress. When the speaker becomes overwhelmed those are the best times to use the pain eraser.

Sheeran uses a lot of metaphors to describe his journey,

'To be caught up in the trappings of the industry
Show me the locked doors, I'll find another use for the key
And you'll see" 

Sheeran compares locked doors to the journey he had to overcome to get to where he is now. When he says “I’ll find another use for the key,” he explains all of the different situations in which he had to find a different way to accomplish his end goal. He could not just unlock the door with a key he would have to kick it down or something in order to take steps positively impacting his career.

In the final chorus Sheeran sings,

"And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser
And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser
And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser
And I'll find comfort in my pain eraser"

Sheeran uses repetition to demonstrate how difficult it was to live with this situation and how much alcohol helped him through it. Since he repeats the line four times, I think it represents how he needed to reassure himself that his life was going to get better and that he would eventually be a successful musician. However for the time being, this was going to be how he got through daily life. Repeating it convinced himself that it was an acceptable action to take part in. The repetition helps tell the story because it shows how he struggled through the experience and how he could only rely on himself and alcohol.

Sheehan uses hyperbole, metaphors, and repetition to convey his story of a drunk and struggling musician who ends up being successful but with the help of no one but himself.

Why Can They See Color?

Color is a motif throughout Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I think that color has many different meanings in the book. It often symbolizes very specific things such as how the color red represents the traumatic experiences of the past and the desire to forget them. More importantly, I think that it is intentionally used to demonstrate the transition into becoming a complete human being.

Color shows up a lot after Baby Suggs’ and Sethe’s escapes and during the characters present life. Color represents emotions which is important because even though slaves can have emotions it shows how they are not valued because they are not treated as people. They are not able to have emotions or other human behaviors because they are not treated like them. When describing Baby Suggs death Sethe says “…pondered color her last years. She never had time to see, let alone enjoy it before…I don’t believe she wanted to get to red and I understand why because me and Beloved outdid ourselves with it” (237). Even after they escaped into the north there was still a possibility that they could be caught and taken back into the south. Even if this possibility did not occur they were treated differently because of the color of their skin. I think that she is able to see more color as she approaches death because she is starting to become the most free version of herself, a soul. She is no longer lesser than anyone because what divided her, her body, is no longer there. You are able to see color when you reach freedom because only then are you able to have emotions.

Foreign People Who Are Not Foreign to Each Other

“In this group, everyone was foreign, and so, in a sense, no one was” (106). After Saeed and Nadia travel through the door and arrive in Mykonos, they realize that there are not many people from their country. However there are a lot of migrants. This line spoke to me because it describes part of the migrant experience. Saeed and Nadia have to quickly learn how to adapt in order to survive. There are many people in the human refugee camp with the intent to survive and eventually get out of it.

This is something that all of the migrants are able to share, they carry the same experiences. The migrants are connected through many different aspects but the most prominent one is that they are all from different countries. They are still foreign to the natives of Greece but within the migrant community they are not out of place from each other because they are all experiencing the same thing and are all from different places. They are brought together since they are all so different and come from different backgrounds.

All of them posses these qualities and are able to use it as something that unites them instead of separates them. I think this line effectively shows the migrant community which is an important aspect in the book. Hamid demonstrates the migrant life and it is different than what I expected. I thought that migrants would be living very independent and individual lives and although this can sometimes be the case, there is a community full of people who possess similar experiences. I thought that this was very interesting and made me reconsider how I think of migrants. They live a very difficult life that is constantly fluctuating and full of worry. Migrants do not have it easy but there are other people with similar situations which should be seen as a positive thing.

Nadia and Saeed may be some of the only people they encounter from their country during their migrant journey. Everyone in this camp is foreign so they are not foreign to each other.

Existentialism in the Trial

I think that one of the most interesting parts of The Stranger, is the trial. The main focus of Meursault’s trial is how he reacted to his mothers death, not that he killed a man. Meursault is being convicted since he is an existentialist, he is living how he wants to instead of following societies constraints. Killing a man is unimportant to his trial even though that is the only crime that he committed.

I think that this is a very interesting point because it shows how society views those who do not fit into its norms. If you do not follow the societal norms then you will be punished which is why Mersault is executed. He did not cry at his mother’s funeral and after it he went to watch a movie with Marie. When someone who is supposed to be important to you dies, such as your mom, society expects that you mourn for a long period of time. Everyone is supposed to be sad when an immediate family member dies and while I agree that this is a very sad time I think that everyone has different relationships with their family. I believe that family, friends, and happiness are some things that do give a meaning to life however existentialism does have a point in that everyone has an individual way of living life. I think that a valid question could be whether Meursault was wrongfully convicted since his trial was primarily based off of his feelings towards his mother. I think that this is also something to be considered in our justice system. Do societal norms have an impact on how people are tried? I am unsure on the answer to this questions but I do find it interesting that Meursault’s entire trial was about his mother instead of the fact that he killed a man.

A Search for an Elephant and a Deeper Meaning

The ending of the Elephant Vanishes left me unsettled. I do not believe that the elephant simply vanished however, Haruki Murakami did not leave us with much to interpret. While I read this story I was continuously on the search for a deeper meaning. Since there was no satisfying ending I tried to look for something that would put me at ease.

I think one of the main themes in this story is balance. The author brings it up in two ways, the size of the elephant and the keeper at the end of the story and in the narrator’s life.

Balance also plays a role at the end when the keeper and elephant are described as being the same size. Physically they are balanced because they are the same size. I think this balance helps the elephant and keeper achieve mutual recognition. Aside from being balanced physically they have a relationship different than most that allows them to think of each other differently. The narrator almost describes this as an intimate relationship where they are able to communicate with each other on a different level. The keeper does not believe that he is superior to the elephant and ending the story with them as the same size reduces the differences between them leading them to mutual recognition.

The narrator’s life is all about balance. His profession is selling kitchens and his sales pitch is about how they need to be balanced. He goes to work, reads the entire newspaper, and observes the elephant. The elephant vanishing brings excitement to his life and becomes all he can think about. Someone in my class mentioned that in Japanese culture everyone wants to fit in. You want to conform instead of sticking out.

Since I was searching for a deeper meaning I think this is an interesting point. The author may be attempting to relate this to society and the desire to fit in. This story is not like any other story that I have read, an elephant vanishing into thin air is a pretty dramatic and unique event to occur and story to write about. With that in mind I think that it is very important that the author made the narrator’s life so consistent because he represents society and the elephant represents breaking out from the conformities of society. Although Murakami may have intended for the story to simply be about a vanishing elephant, this is a much more satisfying ending.