The Structure of Society in God of Small Things

God of Small Things is a novel written by Arundhati Roy. The novel unfolds the lives of a family who lives in Ayemenem, a village in southwestern India. The novel follows two characters, Estha and Rahel, twins living with their divorced mother, Ammu. The main event of the novel involves their American cousin Sophie Mol who visits Ayemenem with her mother, Margaret Kochamma. We learn at the beginning of the novel that Sophie Mol drowns in the river by the family’s house. The rest of the novel pieces together the events that led up to her death and the aftermath that ensued, darting back and forth between Estha and Rahel’s childhood and adulthood in the process.

With a street-fighter’s unerring instincts, Comrade Pillai knew that his straitened circumstances (his small, hot house, his grunting mother, his obvious proximity to the toiling masses) gave him a power over Chacko that in those revolutionary times no amount of Oxford education could match. He held his poverty like a gun to Chacko’s head. (14.63-64)

In the novel society and class is shown through characters/parties in the novel. For example the communist movement basically represents the lowest members of society – the workers of the world – looking to break class lines and fight for their own rights, whether it means marching in the streets or taking more violent measures. While Estha and Rahel family is a high upper class in India culture, with Chacko running the pickle factory and having a education. While their family seems wealthy in India, in British culture the would be considered as one of the workers of the world, and be classified as low members of society.

Orientalism In Cinema

Orientalism refers to the Western imitation or deception of certain characteristics and aspects of the Middle East and Asia. The film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an example of Orientalism. The film was released in 1984, and was banned as soon as it was released. In the film the main antagonist is a cult that practices inhumane rituals, such as lowering humans into a lava pit and pulling out the victims heart.

Image result for indiana jones and the temple of doom india cult

This image shows the cult underground performing inhuman rituals.

Another example of Orientalism in the film is when Indiana Jones and his companions are about to have dinner at a Palace. The course of the dinner featured a snake with little live snakes moving around the table to spiders, huge black beetles, and monkey brain soup with eyes floating.

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For desert they are having frozen monkey brains

In the film of Temple Of Doom, the film inaccurately represent the lives of Indians and their beliefs. With the the use of inhumane cults capturing kids and enslaving them, bizarre food items such as money brains for desert. I personally have never noticed the negative portrayal of India’s culture because the first time I saw the film I was a little kid and only knew that Indiana Jones is like a super hero helping everyone and doing the impossible. Unfortunately this isn’t the only film that represents Orientalism because Hollywood is known for it, films like Isle of Dogs and, Dictatorship.

Life Is Beautiful

I never saw myself smile or laugh while watching a film about a tragic historic event that affected so many lives. With Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, a film about a Jewish Italian waiter (Guido) who falls in love with a women, eventually they marry and have a son (Giosue) . Then in turn of events the family is separated from each other and taken to concentration camps. The father focused to protect his son from the horrors of reality, he convinces his son that it is only a game and everyone is playing along. the film is set against the tragic backdrop of the Holocaust, but doesn’t focus on the tragedy. Benigni uses comedic elements, antics and humorous interactions, and physical gestures to bring comedy to the dark event.

Benigni use of noticeable physical gestures, humorous interactions, and antics. Benigni starts the first half of the film more lighthearted and romantic between two characters who eventually fall in love. But the audience is soon reminded that this movie is set in a tragedy under Mussolini and Nazi power.

The first comedic strategy Benigni uses is the interactions Guido has with his son Giosue, who doesn’t understand what’s happening around him. Benigni takes advantage of this and uses the knowledge of a child for comedic purposes. For example in the film, upon arriving at the prison camp, Giosue is confused why so many people are lined up, the father Guido explains that everyone is lined up because they can’t wait to get inside. Benigni is using the interactions between a son and father to express comedy in very tense situations in the film/

Another comedic strategy Benigni uses is Guido’s physical gestures throughout the film. Throughout the film Guido performs a goofy walk while being escorted by any Nazi solider. Guido performs this goofy walk because he knows his son is watching him. Guido needs to act funny to show his son that the situation isn’t serious. There are many physical gestures throughout the film that bring light to the situation.

Life is Beautiful is the perfect example of comedy because it focuses on bringing the Holocaust a very dark event in history into the light with comedic strategies.

Satire in South Park

South Park over the past two decades has evolved into the purest form of satire in television history. South Park has been pushing the limits from the very first day from making fun of celebrities, politicians, religion, and any controversial event.

The four min characters are seen ( Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny) * in no order, with the rest of the characters in the show.

South Park brings satire to the most controversial events in America. For example, in episode “World War Zimmerman,” the death of Trayvon Martin, and George Zimmerman being acquitted from all charges puts South Park to the test with this serious situation. In the episode, South Park satires the Stand Your Ground gun laws in America. Another example, of satire in South Park is when Stan’s little brother has an affair with his kindergarten teacher. In the episode, ” Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy.” The show show uses satire to show the serious issue of child molestation. An example of an celebrity being made fun of in South Park are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The episode ” The Hobbit,” shows the problem of trying to be perfect to match Hollywood’s standard. Also, the episode makes fun of Kanye for having no sense of humor, by making Kanye in the episode have outrageous outbursts. South Park is the best form of satire in television history because they show no limits in making points of celebrities, politicians, and controversial events. Of course, many South Park episodes have been banned on television. Also, China has the whole program of South Park banned.

“Ain’t No Grave” and Beloved

“Well, look way down the river and what do you think I see?”

While reading the novel Beloved, by Toni Morrison. I noticed a connection to one of the scenes in the novel to the song, “Ain’t No Grave,” by Johnny Cash.

There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound I’m gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down Well, look way down the river, what do you think I see?
I see a band of angels and they’re coming after me
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
There ain’t no grave can hold my body down

I found these lyrics to have a strong connection to the novel. The scene that made me think of this song was when Sethe was escaping slavery and taking the river to freedom. “Twilight came on and Amy said she had to go; that she wouldn’t be caught dead in dayIight on a busy river with a runaway.” Amy’s comment on being caught on a busy river was when I thought of the song, ” Ain’t No Grave.” A song about not letting anything put you down and rising above all. I thought of the song because of the line, ” Look way down the river, what do you think I see,?” This line in the song sticks out the most because I can see a connection to the novel. The awareness one has to have when escaping slavery because of the many risks. But then, looking forward and all the possibility of a better life and new opportunity. I think that everyone should give this song a listen because of the strong message it portrays.

‘Till I Collapse

‘Till I Collapse is a song by American rapper Eminem, released from his fourth studio, the Eminem Show, in 2002.

‘Till I Collapse is a song I knew I had to pick for this assignment because of the strong motivating introduction. The song conveys the experience of learning to overcome failure when your at your lowest point. The song lets the listeners know that if you don’t give up and keep trying no matter what, your dreams can become a reality.

Introduction Lyrics:
'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up

But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse

In the first verse of the song, Eminem tells us what living means to him. The introduction to the song lets us know that Eminem means business and is not here to play games. Everyone has their weak moments in life and sitting down crying about it, isn’t an option. Instead you have to believe in your self and fight a tough journey that will better you in the future.

Migration in Exit West

“Exit West” is a novel by Moshin Hamid, it is a story about migration and refugees, focused on a young couple fleeing a brutal civil war. Exit West shows that everyone is migrating and it doesn’t have to be geographically. Exit West teaches us that moving through time and age is a migration of itself.

One passage that stood out to me while reading Exit West, was when Hamid showed a new point of view. The point of view was now of a old women that is lonely because she doesn’t leave her house and only is visited by her granddaughter. The old women states, ” We are all migrants though time.”(209) This sentence caught my eye because I believe everyone can relate to it. Everything around us is changing and no one has control over it.

Meursault and his Mother

The Stranger, a novel by Albert Camus, lives up to the title. The story is about a character that is very alienated from society, from friends, from his lover, from human emotion, and eventually from normal logic. Meursault separates himself from these traits. Meursault shows no emotion to his own mother which leaves me wonders if they had a loving or hatred relationship.

At the start of the book Meursault’s mother has passed away. Meursault’s mother was living her last years in a nursing home which she was put in by Meursault. Upon hearing the death of his mother, Meursault didn’t cry and didn’t look at his mother one last time. Meursault was showing no emotion to the passing of his mother. Many criticized Meursault for not taking care of his mother and just putting her in a nursing home because he needed to provide for himself. After the separation Meursault didn’t put in any effort to see her. All of Meursault’s actions towards his mother shows that they didn’t have a good relationship. But, Meursault could of loved his mother very much. It’s just, Meursault’s strange personality makes it hard for us to understand the relationship they had.

“Bloodline” in Barn Burning

Blood comes up a great deal in “Barn Burning” though usually in terms of the blood shared by relatives. Sarty begins the story, Barn Burning, describing the smell in the store, “the old fierce pull of blood” (108). The pull of blood Sarty feels exists between him ans his father. The bond of blood between him and his father is so strong that Sarty cannot escape. Sarty cannot escape from his family heritage, the physical presence or absence of blood is more related to how the family responds to such bonds.

Sarty faces many challenges in the story where he has to tell the truth or go against the blood of his family. After the court trial, Mr.Snopes is telling Sarty hos important family is, “You’ve got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (110). Sarty’s father Abner is suggesting that Sarty is responsible for keeping his father alive by telling lies for him. Sarty has to keep on lying in order to protect his family’s blood. Sarty soon realizes and makes his decision that he doesn’t want any blood to stick with him. At the start of the book Sarty knows the meaning of the smell of, “the old fierce pull of blood” (108) symbolizes the one-side of how his father views his family’s bloodline.