Judging a Book by its Cover

The saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is much easier said then done. Usually when I am put in a situation where I have to choose from two books, I will most likely choose the book that has a more “aesthetically pleasing” cover. A cover usually associates with what is inside the book, making the cover a preview of the book at hand. When ‘The God of Small Things’ was first placed on my desk, I started making assumtions of what this book could possibly be about before even reading the summary. Now that I have finished the novel I can not help but reflect on what I assumed the novel would be about based on the cover versus what the novel was really about.

The simplistic flowers on the cover are to vague to assume any specifics in the novel. Even after reading, at first glance, the flowers were not a major part nor brought up in the novel. These flowers are symbolic rather then literal.

Farther downstream in the middle of the river, Velutha floated on his back looking up at the stars…he was free to lie in the river and drift slowly withe the current.

When I first saw the cover of ‘The God of Small Things’ I was reminded of lilypads. Lilypads symbolize many gods in different parts of the world and cultures. Velutha is defined as the god of small things throughout the novel. The way that Velutha is floating in the riveris simillar to the ways that lilypads also float on bodies of water meaning these flowers could represent Velutha in a way.

Aside from Velutha, the flowers could represent the small things. In society flowers are seen as these beautiful pieces of life. Flowers are given as a symbol of proudness, a gift and/or love. Flowers are small, cheep and can be found anywhere, but the idea of recieveing and giving flowers feels genuine. Giving small things such as flowers are not necassarly for a purpose of a physical gift but rather a symbol of the love that one has for another. The small things in life can represent the most crucial pieces of life.

Love Within Lear

Like most of Shakespeare’s pieces, King Lear challenges the meaning and expression of love. Especially in King Lear, different characters express love, or what they think is love in a variety of different ways. Specifically at the beginning of the tragedy where Lear is dividing his land between his daughters. The way that Goneril, Regan and even Lear view love is different from the way Cordelia views it. While Goneril, Regan, and Lear define love as what is said out loud, Cordelia sees it as what she feels. In this scene the
differences in how love is expressed cause conflict. The diverse definitions of love are relevant in relationships where love is expressed in different ways by each party. Rather than these differences being seen as an issue, it could be a new way for the other person to look at love or learn how to express love in a new way.

King Lear is one of many examples which prove that love is diverse and unique. Each individual has a different definition of love and how they love themselves or others. Shakespeare brings to life unique types of love in each play he has written. His love stories are not simple, there are sacrifices, jealousy, violence. These love stories are not romanticized, they are realistic. Not as realistic or extreme in the way that Romeo and Juliet died for each other or Goneril and Regan basically fighting to the death for Edmund, but realistic in a way that love is not perfect or easy. There will not always be a happy ending

Don’t You L-O-V-E Poetry?

The song “L-O-V-E” sung by Nat “King” Cole was written by Burt Kaempfert and Milt Gabler. It was the first song released on Cole’s 1965 studio album also named “L-O-V-E”. Over the past 50 years, this song has been rerecorded by hundreds of different artists, appeared in many film soundtracks (including Parent Trap) and sung in multiple different languages. And it remains on millions of people’s playlists to this day.

Perrine emphasizes the distinction between poetry and imaginative literature does not just relate to how lines are arranged and how words connect through rhymes. The real difference between poetry and any other piece of literature is that in poetry, each line is of greater value and powerful language. When reading poetry a reader should feel the power of the complex language and reflect it on one’s own senses, emotions, and imagination. “L-O-V-E” does not have a complex structure or even a mysterious analysis, that does not mean it is not a great piece of poetry. This song does not just show great emotion but makes the listener feel them as well as imagine themselves feeling these ways in real-life situations.

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can

As seen above, this song not only describes the feelings of love, but gives the reader a step to step guide on how to love. This song shows how love between two individuals is very passionate but fragile. Each line gives an important idea to what the whole song is about, and gives love an even more complex definition. The line “Take my heart but please don’t break it” can identify as a metaphor, the breaking of a heart is meant to be on a emotional level so the reader can understand and relate to it. Not only is the language used powerful, it includes rhyming words and is a acrostic poem. This is a timeless piece song or poem, it is diverse and anyone of any age can listen and enjoy it.

Stuck in the Honeymoon Phase

Every relationship has their phases, their ups and downs. This could be in family relationships, friendships and in Nadia and Saeed’s case, romantic relationships. Most couples go through the same stages in their relationships, just the time going through each stage may vary. The ‘Honeymoon phase” takes place at the beginning of a relationship or even pre-relationship. This phase is exciting and new, you are getting to know your partner, you are doing new things together and it is basically impossible to see their flaws. But when the honeymoon stage comes to an end this is where many romantic relationships come to an end. In this Realistic stage, individuals in the relationship start to see the flaws in their partner ,making it easier to disagree and agree with them. Seeing the other person as a whole person outside of said relationship causes a detachment. This detachment leads to a lack of effort and communication, leading to an end in a relationship.

Off the bat Exit West introduces us to a brand new relationship, we get a good look into the honeymoon phase between Nadia and Saeed. From going out to eat all the time, to experimenting sexually and with drugs, they are obsessed with each other. When they moved in together they continued in this phase, they were feeling all love even with a war happening right outside their window. Abruptly things change once Nadia and Saeed decide to leave their country. It is almost as if passing through that door to Mykonos, was like passing through the honeymoon phase into a realistic phase. When they passed through that door, the differences that they had not seen in each other were clear and their flaws were right there, out in the open. What makes Nadia and Saeed’s relationship different is, it can not come to an end.

Sisyphus (AKA Mr.Heidkamp)

As the new school year rolls around students prepare their school supplies and teachers are prepare their curriculum. We all began the year expecting to be informed on the subjects we find ourselves in by the end of the year. And every single year we start back at the beginning, longing to become more educated in more subjects. For teachers their systems are almost the same, starting the year with students uneducated on their specialty, ready to help them become masters by the end. But for teachers this becomes more repetitive, while us students come in ready to learn a new subject every year, the teachers are stuck with the same subject. Each years students are like a photo copy of the last, just with a few name changes.

Sisyphus is constantly met with a challenge that he knows how to complete, but the outcome is not consistent. Along with teachers, when Sisyphus reaches the top of the mountain, like a teacher reaches the end of the school year they, have a feeling of accomplishment. They have gone through the obstacles it takes to get to the end. What keeps them going is the fall of the boulder, the beginning of a new year, refreshing everything they have worked for, for another chance of success. They say Sisyphus was the happiest man, maybe this is why teachers are the happiest people.

Why Her?

Meursault has already been introduced as a rather odd character. I have never read a book told in first person that had the lack of passion, thought process and emotion as this book does so far. Because of Meursault’s lack of passion towards himself as well as others, makes most of his relationships seem one sided. He is there for that person and they are not their for him, he doesn’t necessarily enjoy their presence but they enjoy his. Specifically his relationships with his two male neighbors. When no questions asked Meursault helps Raymond write a letter to his ex and testifies in court for him. Or when Salamano’s dog died, he went to Meursault for reasurance. Why does Meursault’s lack of passion attract passionate people?

Their is one relationship in particular that seems to be the other way around. That is his relationship with Marie. From just these first few chapters Marie and Meursault’s relationship has grown tremendously. It started out as just a sexual relationship, then some pages later they are discussing marriage- “That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said it did not make any difference to me” (41). Yet again Meursault is attracting passionate people. But in this situation some of this passion seems to rub off on him as he thinks to himself, “For no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her” (35 ). Although Meursault describes this scene in a very bland way, he is showing passion without being asked. He is showing passion because he wants to. What about his relationship with Marie makes it different from all the other relationships in his life