Beloved Is A Mess That You Have to Clean Up

Beloved tells the tale of Sethe and Denver and their life after the legal extinction of slavery. This book also offers the ability to take the perspective of several other characters that come into contact with Sethe at some point in her life. Flashbacks occur whenever something significant is brought up and it happens quite often. These flashbacks give the reader the puzzle pieces required to form the proper timeline of when everything occurs and at what point in someone’s life does it happen to them. However, these flashbacks create what seems like a small room filled with more toys than the room itself can hold. It’s overwhelming at times the further you read into the story and the reader is forced to clean this messy room into perfection. The story is complicated when read without much thinking, but if you read closely, you begin to realize and gain the skill of when a paragraph is talking about the past or current present. For serious readers, this is a skill required to successfully read and understand this book. Beloved starts the story in two places, one post slavery and the other during slavery. Toni Morrison does this so that the reader gains a better understanding of why everything happens in the present with our characters due to what life was like in the past. Without this, the story told in the present would leave a lot of questions unanswered, furthermore, taking the fun out of this different yet unique adventure.

The flashbacks serve more as that to wolves as a keystone species in Yellowstone park. If you remove the essential component, everything around it will soon begin to break apart. That’s why this book is so unique, so special. It takes historical events and instead of focusing on the bigger picture of the issue, it takes a close up view on how it has affected people in communities and/or families. These flashbacks only serve to explain to the reader what our characters went through and did during the times of slavery. The only frustrating thing is that the flashbacks are broken up to pieces. Whether the past be shown in little paragraphs or entire chapters, if you’re able to recognize between the past and present, then you successfully cleaned the what seemed like the impossible room.

Beloved is a roller coaster of emotions; but that is what makes it so good. Only when you understand the entire story will you realize how much life Toni Morrison gives all the characters in the book. Each one has an important role that adds to the vibe that Beloved displays. It’s a book I will always enjoy reading and cleaning up after.

Exist West: An Immigrants Traveler’s Guide

Exist West is a tale featuring two people who are trying to survive in a world outside of their own. In the beginning, their city is under control by a corrupt government and war is about to commence. Tensions is spread throughout the city as people begin to move out due to fear that they might die. This is the time when we’re introduced to Saeed and Nadia, our two main characters of the book. When Saeed and Nadia meet for the first time, Saeed asks Nadia if she wants to go on a date with him. She eventually says yes after declining him a couple times. They both loved it and Nadia began to grow a liking to Saeed. After her date, Saeed and Nadia formed into a relationship and that’s when the story begins to take off and grow more intense.

From their time dating in the city we begin to see some character development, get a taste what kind of person Saeed and Nadia were. Saeed was a man led by faith and religious morals. Not to mention that he was very caring and worried for the protection of Nadia who, at the time, was living by herself. Nadia was seen to be very cautious with men around her and preferred to live on her own. She even said that she wore her “all-concealing black robe” so “men don’t f*** with [her]” (16-17).

After Saeed’s mother’s death, Saeed and Nadia decide to leave their country. This was because of the continuous deaths that went on and the new harsh rules that were enacted. Saeed’s father forced them to leave while he stayed. After failing on multiple attempts to bring the father with them, Saeed and Nadia left him behind and went through a magical door that transported them to the country of Greece. That’s where their new life began.

Ornos
By Jerry Artis

One could say that this book serves as a immigrant travel guide and the process and hardships that immigrants have to face when entering a new country. When Nadia and Saeed entered through the door, it was like they were leaving their old lives behind and receiving new ones, symbolizing that in some scenarios you have to forget who you are and become reborn to get where you want to get in life. We not only see this in immigrants but also in people native to the land. Celebrities have sometimes had to do not so good things to get become famous. Political leaders have had to make bad choices that they knew would hurt just to keep themselves in power. Based on certain situations a person can be split into two. One that’s naturally them and the other, their fake persona.

Saeed and Nadia obtain new lives, living among others just like them. When time was longing and resources were depleting, both of them went into town seeking aid. Nadia was able to get help along with being able to find a way to escape their current location, Mykonos. Saeed and Nadia then agree to leave their new home and travel through the new doorway. Leaving their new lives behind again, the two arrive in London in hopes for a better life compared to the previous two.

They’re journey to a better life give us a type of representation of what it’s like in the shoes of an immigrant. The continuous journey of traveling, encountering officers, potential burglars, and other dangerous people along the way. The book is telling and showing us how hard an immigrants life is when they just want to be happy and live a good life.

What’s So Interesting About The Stranger?

Meursault walking along the beach.

The Stranger is a book that stays true to its name. The reader follows a man who goes by the name Meursault and throughout the book we see Meursault respond to certain events in a peculiar manner that we wouldn’t deem as “normal.” Meursault is shown to have close to zero emotions on anything. It’s the way he acts and responds towards people that make him such a frustrating character.

Story begins with the death of Meursault’s mother. He explains to the reader that he never felt a deep connection with his mother. Of course he didn’t want her to die but he quickly accepted the fact that there was nothing he could do about it. He also didn’t seem to care all too much about her death. He never cried nor felt any pain compared to the other residents at the mother’s home. His interactions with the workers there were also quite unusual. He never wanted to see his mother corpse to see her one last time and his attention was toward the sunlight a lot of the time.

After his return from his mother’s funeral, he meets Marie again and begins to “date her” one could say. However, their conversations are quite strange to say the least and in my honest opinion, I don’t view relationships in that sense. Meursault goes out with Marie but doesn’t love her. You can see this throughout several of their conversations. On page 41-42, Marie questions Meursault asking him “do you love me?” Meursault showing no emotion says that he “didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t love her.” It’s this conversation where he reinforces his commitment to not showing any emotion towards anything.

So the questions still rises: What’s so interesting about The Stranger? The only thing I could comprehend is that we follow a man who doesn’t act normal in any sense that we can imagine. He’s the stranger in his society and people don’t know how to deal with him. That’s why the reader gets so frustrated with his actions throughout the book. We don’t understand why Meursault does the things he does and that’s why this book is so interesting. We don’t know what his next move is gonna be because he doesn’t act “human.”

This book forces us to think in a different way about human interaction and the way of thinking of a single person. This book is so interesting because it frustrates us, it shows us different ways of interactions, and it forces us to question society and how weird we are to others.

The Stance “Bloodchild” Has on Gender Roles

After reading through the story for the first time, my mind was filled with questions such as: “What did I just read? Why did T’lics have children by implanting Terrans (Humans) with eggs? Who make a story like this?”

The story sets us up in this unknown society on an unknown planet where Terrans (Humans) and T’lics (Aliens) live with one another in peace. We’re given some backstory as to how the Terrans and T’lics eventually came to be living with each other. They both, at one point, hated each other. Terrans would shoot to kill T’lics while T’lics would assassinate the Terrans at night. However, after years of fighting each other, both groups came together to discuss peace between the two groups. New laws were set among both groups and that leads us back into present day in the story. We follow Gan throughout the story as he discovers the truth about T’lic implantation. Gan was chosen from the day that he was born that he was going to be a NT’lic. NT’lic were designated Terrans that would host and give birth to Grubs, T’lic babies. One thing that struck me was that they typically only went for males.

After analyzing the story a second time, it came to my mind that this story experiments with gender roles. The story introduces this new land where men were giving more births than women just so that the T’lic population could continue to increase. You begin to realize that T’lic seem to have more control over the Terrans. It’s hidden in the words, but each species has a specific role that they’re expected to carry on throughout their life. Besides the point of survival, you come to a generalization stance where you wonder if T’lics only keep Terrans alive because they can be used.

T’lics saw it that men were either expected to have children with other Terrans or give birth to Grubs. For women, they were expected to have more children in order for T’lics to choose who would be the next chosen one to give birth to Grubs when they got older. T’Gatoi, the T’lic that lives in Gan’s home, states in the story that they actually prefer women to birth Grubs because they had more fat in them; however, they choose men so that women can have the ability to birth their own children. T’lics use Terrans only for the mere benefit that they implant their eggs inside of them and have them give birth to the next generation of T’lics.

This story plays with the idea about gender roles in our society and questions: What would happen if men obtained the ability to give birth? Octavia Butler does a good job diving deep into this idea while also telling a story like no other.