Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sea Inside Post 3

The camera movements used in The Sea Inside helped a lot with the message the director was trying to send. When the characters were experiences important sequences/'speeches' in the story the director did an almost similar sequence of shots. He would create an eye-level medium shot while the character started the speech. As the character went further into depth the camera would zoom in to a close up shot. Also he would pan the listeners of the speech to show their reactions. Lastly the director would make a long shot to show both the speaker and the listeners at the same time. The juxtaposition of these camera movements were smooth and gentle, just like the way the characters were talking. This sequence of shots was used numerous times throught the movie some examples being: when Ramon and Javi were talking about Javi's grandpa and his stubborness and noseyness, Ramon and Julia were discussing Ramon's inability to love due to his condition, and Ramon and Julia were talking about getting his writings published. Those were just many of the important sequences that those shots were used. They help the movie watchers focus on what they are saying instead of how the camera is moving. The angle shows that during the speeches everyone had equal say. The gentle juxtaposition gave the effect that nothing was too harsh.

Sea Inside Post 2

There were many differences and similarities between The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. One of the main similarities was that both Ramon and Jean were quadrapalegic. . Another similarity was the way that the men handled their situation. Another similarity was that both patients showed a sarcastic and humorous mood towards their disease. As these to examples are similarities, there are also some differences between the stories. An obvious difference was the fact that Ramon was quadrapalegic for a much longer time than Jean was 'locked-in'. Also another difference was that Ramon showed a desire to die while Jean only thought about it and never came to a conclusion about whether he would rather be dead or not. Thirdly, Ramon was able to talk while Jean was limited to only being able to blink his eye. Lastly an important difference was that Ramon spent a lot of time expressing his hope through his 'flying' while Jean used his stories and memory to express rememberance and embraced the things he did have and accepting his state of being rather than hoping to be better one day. I think that the Sea Inside was more powerful because the plot dealt with death and dying is a very extreme option when it comes to situations and causes the situation to become more intense and powerful.

Sea Inside Post 1

The Sea Inside was a very interesting movie. I thought that the plot was decent but definately intriguing. It was entertaining to me to see the different reactions each character had towards Ramon and how they acted around him during different emotional states. Although it was difficult because of the fact that it was in Spainish and subtitles were used; I think that having to read and understand all the important testimoneys in the movie helped me make sure I understood it completely and forced me to read and listen to it. Also it was neat to see how a family of a different culture handled the situation, it was interesting to try to see how my family would react and handle that situation. I think that it was completely reasonable for Ramon to want to die, his life is not exciting for him and if he wants to go to heaven and have his life better than that is his perrogative. The government should have no say in that if Ramon wants to die and is unable he should be able to because if he were in a condition that he could kill himself he could and have it not be illegal. I believe that Ramon has a legitimate excuse for wanting to die, as in he is not only upset with his inablility to do anything but he is a burden to his family for having to take care of him. I also think that the friends that are helping him are being good friends and helping their friend be happier and live a better life. Friends should want whats best for their friend and deep down they know that this life Ramon had was not making him happier. Overall the story was a very interesting and made me think a lot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Outside Reading Book Final Project

This memoir is a recapping of the life of a young girl’s life growing up with two siblings, an alcoholic father, and dysfunctional mother. Jeannette Walls tells her story and shares her emotions that she feels as she lives a tough day-to-day life. Throughout this memoir, The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls wanted to present the message of the necessity of individual drive and self-sufficiency; She demonstrates this message by the use of imagery, tone, and word choice.
The imagery that Jeannette uses throughout her memoir is a key component in getting the message of her story across to the reader. The first passage that shows imagery supporting her message of the story is when Jeannette is talking about Welch High-School and the description of the kids attending it. “Some of the kids looked as poor as me, with home-cut hair and holes in the toes of their shoes. I found it a lot easier to fit in than at Welch Elementary.” (199). This passage gives the reader a picture that they can put in their minds that describe what the Wall’s kids looked like and how they felt. This shows individual drive because each of these poorer kids need to look after themselves due to the lack of money. Jeannette looks for these kids because she knows that she will be able to fit in better with them. Another passage that shows good imagery comes from when Jeannette is writing about how at school when she was in 12th grade she would sneak into the cafeteria and eat the food. “I could sneak into the cafeteria one everyone had left and dig through the garbage pails. I’d find industrial-sized cans of corn that were nearly full and huge containers of cole slaw and tapioca pudding. I no longer had to root through the bathroom wastebaskets for foot, and I hardly ever went hungry again.” (232). This passage shows just how desperate Jeannette was for food and how hard her life must have been. The imagery in this passage can help the reader picture Jeannette a 17-year-old girl digging in the garbage for a little something to eat. This goes to show how self-sufficient Jeannette was towards getting herself food to stay alive.
The different tones that Jeannette uses throughout her memoir help create a mood that sends the message of the importance of individual drive to the readers. The first passage is when Jeannette is explaining how she was driven to find a place where she felt like she belonged. “I wanted to join some club or group or organization where I could I feel I belonged, where people wouldn’t move away if I sat down nest to them.” (203). This passage’s tone is desperate and yearning. Jeannette wants to be accepted so much and have a reassurance that they would not leave. Jeannette did not receive this acceptance in her home but she uses her individual drive to find this place of acceptance. Secondly, another quote that portrays the author’s message was when Jeannette was recalling an incident where she was ‘raped’ when she was 8. A boy had kissed her and told her that she had been ‘raped’ by him. Jeannette had a hunch that it was not a good thing so she took it into her own hands to find out what ‘raped’ meant for she didn’t know what it was before the boy had said it. “At home I looked up the word in the dictionary. Then I looked up the words that explained it, and though I still couldn’t figure it out completely, I knew it wasn’t good.” (87). This quote has a tone of curiosity and determination. Jeannette is intrigued and is resolute in finding out the definition. This shows how self-sufficient Jeannette was for an eight year old to look a word up in the dictionary because she had an idea that it was a bad thing. The tones used in this memoir are a great help in showing the readers the central idea the author had intended the book to show.
The carefully selected words used in Jeannette’s story help the reader feel the same emotion that Jeannette was during specific events. The loaded words are chosen to send Jeannette’s message across of the importance of self-drive and individuality. This quote was stated in the beginning of the story when Jeannette is describing her apartment she worked so hard for in New York City. Growing up so poor, and having no motivation from her parents to do well and go to college, Jeannette worked very hard to do as well as she did and live a well-off life. “There were turn-of-the-century bronze-and-silver vases and old books with worn leather spines that I collected at flea markets. There were Georgian maps I’d framed, the Persian rugs, and the overstuffed arm chair I like to sink into…” (4). This quote uses lots of description words that show a lot of wealth and class within her apartment. These words help paint a picture of the apartment for the reader. This picture is helpful because it shows the extreme contrast between that and her childhood houses. The next passage was written when explaining the frequent fights that occurred in Welch. Jeannette shares about the most memorable fight that she and her siblings had. “Our most spectacular fight, and our most audacious tactical victory…”(165). This quote helps send the message because it shows that the kids were for themselves when it came to brawls and being self-sufficient in surviving them without getting too hurt. Words like ‘audacious’ and ‘tactical’ give the readers the feeling of how risky the fight was and how dangerous they could be. The word choice used in the memoir helps Jeannette portray her message a lot more clearly.
Many times throughout the memoir Jeannette Walls uses imagery, tone, and word-choice to get her message across about the importance of individual drive and self-sufficiency. Whether it was fighting against the neighborhood bullies, stealing food from the cafeteria, or finding the club that would be the most accepting, the literary techniques used are very important towards showing the message to the readers.

Final Outside Reading Book Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
pg 218-288

This chunk of the book starts off with Lori arriving home from camp and Mrs. Walls coming home from being a student at a unniversity. After coming home both mentioned that they were so much happier being away from the Wall's house in Welch. Mrs. Wall's quit her job as a teacher and as a result there was no steady income. Another important part of this portion of the book that is really important is a falling out between Jeannette and Rex. Jeannette flips out at Rex for stealing money from her for his alcohol. That spring 2 filmmakers from New York City, Ken Fink and Bob Gross, came to school and inspired Jeannette. The Wall's family purchased a car and named it Elvis. Lori is graduating and is moving to NYC she expresses a lot of nervousness. In the Fall of the same year, Lori moves to New York City. Jeannette becomes the editor of the school newspaper the Maroon Wave, and becomes very interested in the idea of college and becomes occupied doing lots of extracirricular activities to possibly give her a leg up in getting a scholarship to college. Jeannette goes to Miss Katona the school guidence counselor and tells her that she would need to move to New York so she could be 'in state' and would have more of a chance of getting into college. Jeannette moves to NYC and lives with Lori, Rex becomes very upset. Jeannette and Lori buy an apartment together in a not so good neighborhood. The Walls' parents come to NYC to live with the girls because they were evicted from their house. Eventually they are forced to leave and they become homeless on the street. Rex and Mrs. Walls make it through the winter but Rex becomes sick and stays in the hospital for 6 weeks. Jeannette marries Eric but then later on marries John. Lori becomes a freelance artist. In the end Rex dies. That was the end of The Glass Castle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week 5: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

pg 197-220

This section of the book starts off with Mrs. Walls becoming a teacher in Davy (a town just north of Welch). She was one of the only legit qualified teachers in the area. She taught reading in the elementary students. Jeannette shares her memories of going to the bank on her mom's paydays. Jeannette becomes concerned about her orthedontia and the look of her teeth. She takes a trip to the library to check out a book about orthedontia. Jeanette attempts to make her own set of braces. She uses a wire hanger and rubber band to close the gap in her teeth while she sleeps at night. Also Jeannette starts working at her school newspaper, The Maroon Wave. Miss Bivins was one of the teachers that ran the school newspaper and was also one of Rex's favorite teachers from when he was a student at the school aswell. Rex's cigarette and alcohol addiction gets worse and he is lowering down to asking his children for money to buy cigarettes and booze. Jeannette goes to a bar and meets Robbie. Jeannette and Robbie dance for a while and develope some chemistry. Robbie told Jeanette he had an apartment above the bar and invited her to come up. She knew he was a creep and decided to leave with her father who had won some money at the bar. Rex disappeared for a while after that incident. He came back a later and invited Jeanette to go to a bar with him but she said no. Jeannette had a fetish with getting a watch. Mr. Becker was the owner of a jewelry store. Jeannette visited him often and knew that she would never be able to afford anything so she resorted to stealing. She felt so horrible that she felt she had to return it to the store but without anyone noticing.

I think this story so far has been like really entertaining and super fun to read. Its totally thrilling to watch Jeannette grow up into such a lovely young woman. She has so many qualities that are so great. I think that this story is still kind of boring at points because sometimes it’s like ‘BAM!’ exciting but sometimes its out of this world boring and I fall asleep, but right when you least expect it the story flips and it gets entertaining. As I indulge myself further into deeper analysis of this memoir I come believe that it is more a story of personal relationships and understanding of life’s deepest hardships. Jeannette has suffered so much and gone through so many tough obstacles in her life that I admire he strong personality for dealing with such issues. She is so brave to bear with her alcoholic father and be there for him even though it is not mutual he is not always there for her. This book is difficult for me to read occasionally because it is real and I can relate to Jeanette is so many ways and it’s hard to believe that she went though so many hard times. I predict that Jeannette will become frustrated with her father and leave him and go on to college on scholarship.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 4: Post 2

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

pgs 149-196

In this portion of the book it starts off with Mrs. Walls going back to Pheonix leaving the kids at their petifile grandma's house to see if they could go get any of the belongings they left behind. Once the parents returned Grandma Erma said that they needed to move out because the kids were extremely rude and bad. So the Wall's family moved out and into a small house in Welch. The family tried to make it as 'homey' as possible. The family got to know the people that lived in Welch and the kids got to meet a lot of new friends. Jeannette tended to get along a lot better with the boys in the neighborhood and spent a lot of time playing football and games. Also Jeannette tells the readers that there was a lot of fighting in Welch. Not just with enemies but to fit in. The fight that she tells the most about was "the Battle of Little Hobart Street" against big bully, Ernie Goad. Jeannette mouthed off to Ernie and that started the fight. Brian and all of the other kids on Hobart Street joined the Walls kids to defeat Ernie. Jeannette talks about how the weather was changing and the changes that the kids adapted to while living in Welch. The following chapter is about how Rex disappears a lot more often and how he was 'looking for a job' when really he was spending more and more time at the local taverns. Jeannette starts school and is teased relentlessly. With Winter approaching the Walls family had to find ways to keep the house warm without speding too much money on coals or heat. Each kid pitched in on chopping wood for fires because Rex was never home. The next chapter is about Grandma Erma dying. Mrs. Walls claims it was suicidal but Rex denies it. The Walls family went to the funeral although none were very upset. Also another important part of this portion of the book was that Mrs. Walls took to taking a job at the local school.

Week 4: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

In "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls the tone of the story is solemn and meaninful with lots of morals. "When Dad went crazy, we all had our own ways of shutting down and closing off, and that was what we did that night." (115). This quote made an impact on me. It makes me very grateful for having a sober dad. Especially since this passage occured on Christmas, it makes me sad to think that on such a happy holiday Jeannette had to celebrate with a drunk dad that did horrible things like light their Christmas tree they spent a fortune on. This quote makes an impact on the story because it is only one of the many rules that Jeannette had to follow as a kid in order to live with a alcoholic father. She says that everyone has their way of shutting off. This means that everyone in their family adjusted differently when their dad, Rex, was under the influence. It's sad to believe that Jeannette in esscence had two dads, a sober and a drunk. She had to learn the personalities of both and how to get along with both which wasn't easy.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Diving Bell and Butterfly Journal

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby was a very interesting and intriguing story. Although very difficult to interpret it kept me entertained. I'm not sure if I would recommend the story to others. I thought that it was incredibly boring. Their was no plot and it switched from the prospectives of the 'butterfly' and the 'diving bell' without any hints. The stories he told and the thoughts he recorded were very difficult to decipher and it took me a long time to interpret what he was saying in a literal manner. Also I thought the story was very difficult to follow because the chapters were not related to each other at all. All of the stories he told were really random and had no correlation to the previous chapters nor the upcoming chapters. I think that it is really amazing that Bauby was able to write this book. It was one of the reasons that kept me reading; just because of the fact that he blinked it. I felt bad not reading it because he put so much time and effort into it. It shows so much character and determination of Bauby to finish the book and not give up. I was thoroughly impressed. My favorite part of the book was when he described what it was like to live in the hospital being a quadriplegic. This was my favorite part because I thought it was really interesting to learn about and to figuratively experience what it would be like. And how drastically your life would change. My least favorite part was when he talked about the future and his predictions. It was extremely metaphorical and hard to understand. Also I think it was hard to understand because I would never be able to understand what he is thinking because I could never imagine what it would be like to be paralyzed. Overall it was not my favorite book but I definitely found it interesting enough to hold my attention.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 3: Post 2

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Overall Summary:
So far in this story there are some things that I like and dislike. I really enjoy the fact that it is fast pace and doesn't stick around on one subject for a long period of time. And I also like that every chapter you feel like your getting to know more and more about the characters. I don't really like the fact that there is no climax and nothing to get excited for. It is really generic and hard to make predictions on what is coming up. The story makes me very appreciative of my life and everything I have. Not just tangible items but a loving family and a sober dad. I think that it is so unfortunate that Jeanette has had to go through and meet so many horrible people that treat her so terribly. In the upcoming chapters I predict that the Wall's family will move out of their grandparents house because of how vile it is and Rex will get a job. So far the story relates to my life because I am kind of like Jeanette in the sense that I am very self taught. I like to do things on my own and I work hard for the things I acheive. I feel like we are similar in the fact that we don't ever want to hurt others so we often keep things to ourselves in order to protect other people. I really am enjoying this book and I am looking forward to seeing how it ends up.

Week 3: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. pgs. 102-148

This section of the memoir starts off with Jeanette sharing with us about the gypsies living in their town. The next chapter is about the Walls' family's trip to the zoo. Rex climbs into the lion cage and almost gets arrested. Rex loses his job and the Walls family is poor again. Jeanette's mom resorts to stealing in thrift stores and Rex finds a way to rig getting money out of the bank. Rex resorts to alcohol more and more often in this section. Christmas was a disaster because of his drunkeness; so for Jeanette's 10th birthday she asks him to stop drinking. He is sober for a small while until a family trip to the Grand Canyon goes wrong. The family decides that it is time to move to Welch to live with their grandparents. The kids meet their weird grandparents for the first time and aren't pleased. The house is gross and the grandma is a pervert. The kids are enrolled in school in Welch. All three kids are bullied a lot but they don't say anything to their parents.

Author Biography:
Jeanette Walls was born in Pheonex, Arizona and traveled to various cities in the southwest region. Her and her family finally settled the city of Welch, West Virginia. She grew up there and ended up going to Columbia Universtity's Bernard College. She graduated with flying colors and then worked for New York magazine, Esquire, USA Today. Currently Jeanette is working for She has had many TV appearances including the Today Show and PrimeTimeLive. She is now living in Virginia and is married to a writer John Taylor.