Orientalism is defined as a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Arab peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S. This is a very backwards view as it makes our way of life better. There is no way to judge whose lifestyle is “better.” It is purely subjective. There is no way of determining whose is better and it is selfish to think that there is. We need to broaden our horizons on culture and be willing to accept everybody’s backgrounds and ways of life. This is what makes America great.
Arundahti Roy’s God of Small Things is a novel of great detail that multiple times left me speechless. Roy makes the words leap off the page with her twisting of time and figurative language. Though I did not have too many similarities with the characters, I found it very easy to relate to their conflicts and emotions. I attribute this level of buy-in to the book to Roy’s ability to relate all situations to the human condition. That said, the book is very dark at times, leaving characters feeling insignificant. The book is very aware of itself and it makes the reader squirm. Arundahti’s book kept me encapsulated the entire time and though it was rather dark, it was well written and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. The characters’ wants and desires are simple like that of most humans. The book takes simplified desires and makes them seemingly unachievable. This in itself is dark. There is no worse feeling than having a goal be out of reach.
“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Guns n’ Roses, is a poetic master piece when broken down and analyzed piece by piece. The song stresses the novelty familial relationships and has a religious undertone to it.
Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door
Mama put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That cold Black cloud is comin down
Feels like I’m knockin on heaven’s door
These lyrics paint a picture of a man (possibly a cowboy) who is down on his luck, and contemplating doing the unthinkable. He feels worthless as though he is a dead man walking, and maybe even contemplating killing himself. In addition, the soulful guitar playing in the background allows for one to be swept away into their own thoughts of life, and what is important to them. All in all, I would defend this song as poetry and I would recommend it to anyone in need of a good vibe session.
After reading Beloved I was prompted to go see the movie Harriet in theaters, and it was spectacular. I enjoyed the movie and the book for different reasons. The movie centered around Harriet Tubman who was a runaway slave who helped free slaves through the under ground rail road system. The movie had an overall positive vibe to it as it centered around a heroic black woman who refused to allow slavery to win. Beloved on the other hand, had a much more direct focus on the evils of slavery, and had no real light side to it. It left me feeling dark at the end of it as opposed to the movie Harriet, which had a much more against all odds “success story” vibe to it. With that said, the book was not worse because of its different tone. It brought up a low point in American history and offered a slave perspective that was not rags to riches, but rather rags to rags with a hint of paranormal activity. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movie and would recommend them to audiences wanting an empowering true story, or a new perspective.
While reading Exit West, I could not get over how oddly similar the idea of the magical doorways was to the Disney movie, Monster’s Inc. In Exit West, the immigrants are seen as these so called “others” who come through these doors and reek havoc and bring chaos. In the movie Monster’s Inc, the Monster’s are seen as scary entities on the other sides of the doors. In both cases, the predispositions about both the immigrants and the monsters are false. In both cases assumptions are made beforehand, and are not backed by evidence. Saeed and Nadia are very similar to Mike and Sully. Saeed and Nadia are misunderstood by the people who want them out of the mansion. Mike and Sully on the other hand both want to fit in in a world that does not like monsters, while at the same time balancing an impending energy crisis. The magical doors appear in both stories. They are meant to be doors to a new world and new experiences in both stories. With that said, All characters still have a connection to their sides of the doors. Nadia and Saeed both miss their country, and Mike and Sully want to find a solution in the human world to bring back to their side.
The problem with existentialism in my mind is the idea that all life is that nothing matters except for the fact that life is innately valuable. I strongly disagree with this premise as there are gaping holes in such an argument. Surely the life of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. has more value than the life of Osama Bin Laden, or any of the most recent school shooters. If life is deemed valuable for the sake of being a life there is no morality, and with out morals we are no different from animals.
Our yearn to build is what makes us human, and the need to do it together is what puts us above other species. It is the friendships and relationships we form over time that make life worth living, and it is existentialism that deems all of that worthless.
Upon reading “The Secret Woman,” the main question that came to mind for me is was it better or worse that she was not at the party for someone specific. In class, a majority of people were saying that it would have been worse if she was meeting a certain person due to the emotional connection she clearly finds more desirable compared to her husband.
While I do understand this rationale, I couldn’t help but to think that at least in a scenario where the woman is there for someone in particular, the husband knows that her feelings for him were triumphed by feelings for another. I would argue that the scenario portrayed where the woman is simply there for the pleasure of being there, is much worse than an affair. This is, in my mind, due to the fact that clearly her husband is not satisfying her enough anymore, and she is bored. At least in an affair, the woman may still have feelings present. What is happening in the story in my mind with her attendance to the “party” is that she is in need of a pleasure no longer provided by her husband.