Past vs Present

Throughout Toni Morrison’s remarkable novel Beloved, the effects that the past holds over the present pieces together the story at 124 using dialogue and flashbacks are used to convey the impact it has had.

Main character Sethe is in a constant struggle to “beat back the past.” However, it will not remain buried, both literally or figuratively. The ghost of her dead daughter haunts her. While she is content with that, Paul D, “the last of the Sweet Home men,” comes to visit her, bringing with him painful memories of slavery. Sethe hates her “rebellious brain” that will leave no painful memory behind, with no room to plan for the future. But with Paul D she is better able to bear the past because the horrors belong to him too. This connection being the reason that their relationship is so sturdy. She hopes that she can learn to trust him. Although, she tells him her worst memory, that of killing her own child to save her from slavery. He reneges on his promise to “catch her” and leaves.

Paul D begins to talk to Sethe about memories of Sweet Home. But he leaves most of them locked up in the “tobacco tin” that takes the place of his heart. After hearing Sethe’s reasons for killing her daughter, his tobacco tin is blown wide open. Memories of the horrors of Sweet Home under authority of schoolteacher (the slave owner) come flooding back. In the end Paul D remembers his friend Sixo’s love for the Thirty-Mile Woman. He decides he wants to combine his story with Sethe’s and make a future together.

Beloved’s memories, revealed in stream-of-consciousness narration, are of dying and being among dead people. When she comes back to life, she remembers her mother’s diamond earrings and a song she sang. She forces her mother to remember. Sethe wants to tell Beloved everything, to make her understand. In this way Beloved helps Sethe confront the past, but it almost ruins her. Through these memories Morrison makes sure the reader does not forget the brutality of slavery.

Traditional American Movies vs Woman At War


After watching Benedikt Erlingssons bewildering Woman At War it became extremely apparent that movies in America, carry a traditional format. There are numerous do’s and don’t that they typically follow in order to get those ratings up and awards won. Although Woman at War taking place in Iceland, brings a new and fresh perspective that we as Americans should follow. 
This film captures the double life of 50 year old Halla, a free spirited choir teacher as well as passionate environmental activist. As her passion for the earth grows, her acts become more bold with the intentions of halting Islandic negotiations with a new aluminum base company. In the midst of her already chaotic life, her past creeps up heaving a curveball that essentially forces her to prioritize. As she faces this internal struggle of motherhood and fighting for her beliefs, she decides to pursue one final mission. 
Erlingssons creates this exotic experience for viewers using his resources instrumentally and geographically along with the incorporation of dramedy. His admiration for Halla is transparent, as are his activist sympathies, as they are scattered throughout and make for an overall thrilling experience. Not only this but the story dissects what it means to look, sound and act like a hero without playing into stereotypical hero and gender roles. Focusing on her roles of activism, Hallas environmental stance is not something you would typically see from a women. 
I personally loved the movie. You never saw what was coming next, which is rare. From start to finish I was left on my toes, especially the ending. I found that the instrumental aspect helped me feel more, which I’m sure was the point. Being able to see the band and singers making their music, and react just as I was, was a different and positive experience. It acted as a break to reflect on what had just happened in the film, but its like you’re sharing it with them as well. I also appreciated the importance of family as it was stressed through those interactions with her sister and cousin. Along with the sacrifice her sister makes and the lengths Halla herself goes through to pursue this dream of motherhood. The humor aspect was appropriately distributed and I found the jokes are easy to comprehend and most importantly, actually funny. Overall, this is definitely something I would recommend and invest myself in watching again.

Is Society Hypocritical?

Society today is all for individualism and expression although there are restrictions hidden within that we fail to recognize. It’s almost as if it is an illusion. Over the years we have made boundaries for what you can and cannot feel. If you don’t feel something similar to what you’re “supposed” to, then you are labeled in a negative way. Yes, as the human race we are similar in numerous ways but no one’s background and experiences are exactly the same, so why do we limit our emotions? We isolate people who feel something real and the worst part is no one even recognizes it.

From the first few paragraphs it is extremely clear that Meursault is not your typical guy. This was based on his attitude and actions towards his mother’s death. Right there the reader plays into society’s stereotypes of what is and isn’t emotionally acceptable. Readers lack that realization that there are various layers to this natural stereotype such as gender roles, age and race. Author Albert Camus confirms this distant pattern with Meursault throughout, as he is emotionally detached from not only his relationships with other characters but life itself. As I was reading, I found myself constantly criticizing his decisions and thoughts. Even in class the next day my fellow classmates were making statements along the lines of “I would have done” and “he makes no sense”. I also felt this way, until part two, when gained consciousness that there is absolutely nothing wrong with how he is feeling. The way he lives isn’t ideal but he makes it work. With the lack of knowledge we have about his past, we as reader can’t assess why he’s so detached. Overall, we need to learn how to accept that sometimes our emotions are just out of our control.

Foreshadowing the Future in “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

Everyone believes in something, and everyone has a dream: winning a state championship in track and field, passing that super complex math test, or resolving world hunger. But when these dreams come true, they’re not all we thought they were cracked up to be. In Gabriel Márquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” the townspeople all believe in angels; they have no trouble accepting that that’s what the old winged man is. The complication is that this angel does not meet the towns stereotypical expectations for him. In fact, he doesn’t look like the conventional angel, speak the language or fly. This conducts the townspeople to eventually accept the fact that their beloved wishes would not be granted by the angel in the way that they thought, essentially forcing them to face the ugly truth of their poverty ridden lives.

When the angel proved to be of no significance to the people they decided to move on to the next attraction that grasped their attention,which in this specific case was the spider woman. This can directly be tied into kindergartners as keeping them on track isn’t the easiest task similar to the townspeople. 

As a society, we have been taught to throw away the things we don’t need anymore. From our early days to our ruthless hallways now, our generation specifically, has been propelled towards this idea. 

I feel as though Márquez incorporated this theme of recycling into the story to target and mock the ways of society, then and now. He does this by using the natural the role of a reader to his advantage as he lightly weaves this idea through the story. This approach isn’t direct yet, readers end up grasping this perspective and overall vain concept from the characters that he is trying to convey.