GOST Helped Me Rediscover My Love of Writing

I used to love to write fiction. When I was little, writing scary stories or a silly poem could captivate me for hours. However, I learned to hate writing as soon as it became an assignment and teachers gave me a strict template to follow.

I found that the writing of The God of Small Things is different. Roy writes with no constraints on her sentence structure, her timeline, and the point of views she uses, and yet she is praised for her amazing writing. This boundless writing is exemplified in the passage below,

“Steelshrill police whistles pierced holes in the Noise Umbrella. Through the jagged umbrella holes Rahel could see pieces of red sky. And in the red sky, hot red kites wheeled, looking for rats. In their hooded yellow eyes there was a road and redflags marching. And a white shirt over a black boy with a birthmark. Marching (76). “

In this passage, two of the sentences are incomplete, two begin with “and”, and one is in passive voice. These structural issues would be something I would get points off for, that I would be deemed a sloppy writer for, but Roy is celebrated for it. It works.

The passage above also shows Roy’s tendency to over-describe, to ramble on sentences, adding extra clauses, to shove in extra details. I liked this style of writing, so I began to write my own story without bounds, just like Roy did. I experimented with perspective, detail, and incomplete sentences, and I found joy in doing so.

Thank you Roy for helping me make this quarantine a little less boring.

On the train

Years before I read a very profound article on a magazine and it was called “on the train.” The story stated author’s experience on the train of a business trip. Since he came alone, he felt extremely boring about the trip, at last, he decided to make friends with the people on the train to kill the time. His eyes first fixed on a young man on the opposite side of his seat who seems shared a similar age with him. When he was thinking how to start the conversation, the young man opened his phone and started checking the social medias. Then, he looked around and recognized a beauty was sitting beside him. He recovered his energy and tried to speak as gentlemanlike as he could, but after his cordial introduction of himself, he didn’t receive any reply. Then, he saw a black string down her long hair. So she was enjoying the music and tried to separate herself from the carriage, he thought. However, he still didn’t give up, he stood up and walked towards an amiable old man who just like his father. To his surprise, as the old man saw him moving towards himself, he hid his handbag behind him and face his body to the window. This made the author felt very awkward and discouraged. He slightly shook his head and arrived at the back of the train. He lighted up a cigarette and sighed heavily. At the same moment, a little boy came, grasped his pants who can hardly speak but still bravely opened his mouth and asked:”Mr, are the big tall trees over there called oak tree?”

The story itself is very short and precise. It shows authors wish for communicating with people gets discouraged several times. His feeling grows from the initial excitement, to boredness that lets him want to talk to someone, to discouragement and finally to distress. The best part of the story is the insertion of a little boy who just learned how to speak at the end. The author used the radiant boy compare to those indifferent adults to emphasize the problems in nowadays society. That’s a satire towards not only the people on the train who refused to communicate with others but also the wry modern world. It should be a happy thing that the technologies become advanced, but it also become an obstacle between people. We choose to chat with those we familiar with online instead of encountering others in the reality. We watched the horrible news about robbery, theft, and killings on the television and assumed those back lucks also may happen on us. We scared and shook at home and separated ourselves from the whole world. The author used this specific article to tell us that all these behaviors are wrong. We should always be positive, keep a curiosity of the life like the little boy and discovery the beauties in the world. Even though we are scared about, we got hurt in this cruel world, we should never give up our hope like the author who keeps endeavoring and finally find the people that are willing to talk to him.

No matter how dark the world is becoming, the darkness should never get into our hearts.

Alone on the train

Did Nadia And Saeed Ever Love Each Other?

In the story Exit West by Mohsin Hamid shows that in the extreme and deadly city Nadia and Saeed seem to fall in love based on normal reasons for example behavior and looks. As the war increases and spreads further into the city causing deaths you see a change in the relationship between the young couple. The relationship becomes more forced like when Saeed’s mother passes away and no one speaks much it began to set a principle for dislocated conversations and communication. When Nadia promised Saeed’s dad to stay with him she made this promise until they made it to a new piece of land through the doors Saeed meets a prests daughter that he began to like and the same went for Nadia; this shows that even though a war and through a promise neither off the two characters actually felt true love but a need to want to be together only to reach a place for them to be able to find their way and be able to leave each other in separate worlds as they were before they meet .

Why Bloodchild Could be a Major Motion Picture

While reading the short story that my group presented on, Bloodchild. I could not help but picture it as a Hollywood major motion picture or an episode of Black Mirror. Black Mirror episodes take a part of human life and criticize it, by dramatizing certain behaviors that humans engage in, and showing how this plays out in an often not so distant future. Bloodchild is the perfect example of this. One of the most important political issues of this generation is abortion rights. A small group of powerful men are making decisions about something that they will never have to experience. They have all the power, and they are often making decisions, (such as restricting abortion rights), that negatively impact others.

The “Tlic”, the alien life forms that have taken control of humans, restricted their rights to drive, own weapons, and many other basic freedoms. This comes most severely at the expense of the men, who are forced to carry the Tlic’s babies, and have them violently removed at the time when they are ready to be born. Sound familiar? This completely flips the script on one of the most heavy political debates of our time.

Existentialism and its Relation to Isolation

Existentialists value the rejection of standard social constructs as a pillar of humanity, but this conviction can be extremely ostracizing. Unfortunately, while leading an existentialist life may be personally liberating, it is extremely unpopular. Outside of those who share in the existentialist ideology, an existentialist would have quite a difficult time fitting into society. In The Stranger, Mersault keeps everyone at an arm’s distance. He has some friends (Marie, Raymond), but it is very clear to the reader that Mersault isn’t particularly close to these people. The reason behind this is because Mersault’s outlook on life holds him from coexistence. He can no longer understand conventional societal norms.

Existentialism isn’t an ideology for the social. Its lonely, and besides the perceived personal freedom, it could ultimately be unrewarding. It is difficult to judge whether or not existentialism is truly worth the effort. Sure, you may have a new outlook on life, but said outlook immediately puts you on the outside looking in to society. The norms that existentialists reject are pillars of mainstream society. Existentialism imprisons one in their own mind, as they can no longer willingly be apart of a society that contradicts their beliefs. By choosing a path of existentialism, one creates a cycle of rejection. By rejecting societal constructs and norms, society will reject the existentialist right back.

“Groundhog Day” as an Existentialist Film

The movie “Groundhog Day” is about a man, Phil Connors, who has a bad outlook on life. But by some fluke of nature, Phil ends up repeating the same Groundhog Day over and over. At first, Phil is confused, and keeps repeating his actions every day so that they are the same, in case the next day is not a repeat of the last. But then, Phil begins to realize that he can act however he wants and there will be no consequences because there will be “no tomorrow.” He begins to break many social and societal constructs, basically doing whatever he wants because he knows there will be no repercussions. He ends up becoming happier and having a better outlook on life once he begins doing this. He has a new level of freedom that he did not have before.

Image result for groundhog day

One particularly interesting thing about “Groundhog Day” is that it portrays a positive view of existentialism. I think it’s easy for many people to say existentialists are simply pessimistic and refuse to see any good in life. “Groundhog Day” refutes all these statements. Phil begins the movie tied to societal constructs meant to give life meaning. After repeating the same day over and over again, Phil is set free from these constructs. He no longer fears society’s judgement of his actions. And only when he gets this freedom is he truly happy in the movie. Although existentialism is, on one level, about trying to shy away from things we traditionally think gives value to our lives, it’s also about the freedom we can acquire from living without these social constructs.

One other connection that I think must be made here is the connection of “Groundhog Day” and Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus.” Much like Sisyphus, Phil must repeat the same day, pushing his “boulder” up the hill, just for the day to repeat or the boulder to fall back down the hill. But Phil begins to recognize the absurdity of life as he repeats his days, just as Camus says Sisyphus must accept the absurdity of life as he pushes his boulder. Camus says that once you realize how absurd life is, you can find amusement and even happiness in its absurdity. This is why he proposes that Sisyphus is happy, and this is why Camus would also consider Phil to be happy as well.

Existentialism in “Dead Poets Society”

When reading “The Stranger,” by Albert Camus, the vivid exemplification of existentialism in the novel, and its embodiment in the protagonist, Meursault, reminded me of a recent movie I had seen. Meursault’s complete detachment from social norms and societal constructions was reminiscent of the movie “Dead Poet’s Society” by Peter Weir.

In the movie, Robin William’s character, John Keating, plays an English teacher at a rigirous and strict private school. However unlike the other teacher’s at the school, Keating does not believe in textbooks and rating literature on a graph. He tells the students to take the pages of their textbook and rip them out because they are meaningless. He even disregards the societal rules by telling everyone to stand on their desks.

Just like Meursault, Keating’s unorthodox manner does not go over well with the rest of society. The schoolmaster is offended and upset with Keating for not teaching correctly, or in other words, following the social construct of what a teacher should be. As as result he is fired and the kids are assigned a new teacher. The kids of course were engaged and actually cared about the subject when Keating was teacher, so they were devastated when he was fired.

In both works, existentialism is rejected by society, and they are both worse off for it. If only society could understand and adopt the construct-free way of life then everyone would be better of because of it.