Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gambling within House of Mirth

I think the gambling within the book House of Mirth was a very interesting theme. The book on a whole can be seen as a gamble. This would be due to Lily gambling that she can get something better then what she has at the present moment. However she keeps losing her gambles and ends up losing everything. She went all in for a better life and lost due to not playing the game right. Within the book small gambles can also be seen. There is the basic theme of plain gambling, such as for bridge. This goes to show that when people get money they like to spend it in any manner they wish. Lily in this manner is gambling money she does not have and is always do this to try to fit in with her "friends." Lilys social life is also a gamble. The people she picks to see is a gamble that will affect how her friends see her. She picks to see Selden rather then going to Church to meet up with a possible husband. Another gamble that she takes with friends is not becoming friends with Rosedale. Both of these actions with friends were gambles and Lily lost them. Rosedale will not marry her and Selden will also not marry her. There is also the gamble that Lily took with the letters that she bought. She should have used these letters to gain her way back into society. However she did not take this gamble and in the end did not win the ability to go back. There was also the gamble Lily took with the sleeping meds. She gambled to take more cause she was tired. And totally lost cause it killed her. This whole book was a gamble and lily lost everyone. She should have learned but didn't and died due to gambling.

House of Mirth

Well I can honestly say this was by far the worst book we read within this class. This was due to the manner in which it was written. This book was written to show how the upper class society viewed certain issues and how they treated their everyday life. Why this book was so bad was because nothing actually happened within this book. The main character Lily spent the whole book trying to find her way to fit into society. She was presented many options to get in with society however she did not take these options because she feel that she can do better. However the rest of the book is spent upon her downfall. Which is the slowest and most pointless downfall of any of the books we have read this year. Lily just falls out of grace with the people she is hanging out with. These people also take advantage of her. While Lily is falling she has the ability to save herself however she does not. The book finally end with her death. A highly anti-climatic end to the book. The death is easy to see coming cause she has already suffered her death in society, which was her life. So it can only be seen that she will die herself. This book does a good job of showing how the upper levels of society work and they used to act in their everyday life. However it was a very slow book that i think could have been written in about half the length.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Greed vs McTeague

I found the movie Greed to be very different from the book McTeague. This was not due to a change in the story or the characters that were used within the movie. I found this difference to be from the added images that were put into the movie. There was also the music that was added. I will get to that in a second though. For the images the first one that i didn't like that was added was the funeral that happened during the wedding. This set up too much how the end was going to happen. Why would a funeral be added. This was too much, it showed that everyone that was at the wedding was doomed. Which is true but i did not like how it was done. There was also the second bird. This kinda made worked as a symbol for the family, but it was not part of the book and i felt should not have been added. The other main images that were added were all the cats. The cats were a major part of this movie to show when Marcus was involved. There was too much added imagery which led to the viewers mind being shifted to think certain things about the characters. Then there was the music. The music that was added changed the story. It added a different feel and made certain parts more dramatic then they should have been. Overall though i would say that Greed covered the book pretty well, with a few minor problems due to over acting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The dull dentist

I rather enjoyed this book. I was not too sure about this book when i started it. This was due to this book starting with the dentist and just talking about how dull he was and how he was having a hard time getting work. However the book picked up once he met his soon to be wife. Once his wife wins the money that's when the book became rather good. His wife turned into a very frugal person. She began to take money from her husband just to keep it even when they were beginning to live in poverty. There were two other themes within this book that i found rather interesting. These themes were macs old friend feeling like he was cheated out of tje winnings because he gave up on his girl. The other theme wa the beast that was within him. This beast was always close to coming out. This beast ended up doing him in in the end. Marcus feeling he was cheated is alos what ended up doing him in the end. All prople within this book ended up paying for the beast that was within mac. And all of this had to do with people being greedy and were then killed by the beast.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This book was a very interesting book. The book presented many issues that were abundant at the time and tried to show a different perspective that would allow for the reader to see the issues in a different manner. The one drop theme was brought up throughout the book as the story revolved around Iola and how she was sold to slavery. I think the book tried to show that the one drop thought was outdated and in very poor taste. It says a few times that had people not know the they had the one drop they thought Henry and Iola were white. There was also the constant theme of trying to prove that blacks were just as equal as the whites within the book. This was done by having the black characters either debate with whites to show that they were on the same intellectual level. This was done with the doctor and Robert did it a few time. Also there was the Uncle that would not leave the white family because he was a man of his word. By him doing this he is showing the they are honorable and that they should be considered equal with the whites. There is also the theme of the black characters within this book having to band together and not marring outside of their group. They gathered together because its how the people felt comfortable and thought it was the only place that they would fit in. Then there is the cant marry with whites. This is a thought that they should not have been considering because they were trying to be seen as equals. This is a very thought provoking book. Only knock on it was that it was a slow read due to all the talking back and forth.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I found the one blood drop theme in this book to be very interesting. This is a constant theme through the book. The "Fake" Tom has many stereotypes that happen to him and that are said about him even before he finds out that he 1/32 black. From the start the show the "original" tom to be strong, courageous, and of good health. Then they show the fake tom as weak, sickly, and not able to get along with people. It is later shown in the book that fake tom falls into a few different stereotypes. He likes to gamble. Not only does he like to gamble but he does not know when to stop. As he is constantly getting farther into debt. He then resorts to stealing to try to pay back his debt. Only to incur these debts again. Roxy later says, after she has told him that he is part black, that his black blood is leading him to be a coward. This is the only reason his is a coward because he has such a noble family in her point of view. Later fake tom also commits a murder. All of the stereotypes that are shown in this book due to being black still tend to show up in certain part of the US and in pop culture. Blacks are still stereotyped as people that gamble, steal, and murder. When all people do these things. I just found it interesting how the theme of one drop seemed to have so much sway over the actions that fake tom does throughout the book.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Fall

For the fall in the "Rise of Silas Lapham" i did not see this as a bad thing. The Fall had good outcomes in the end for the characters. By this I mean they no character within this story lost everything and was destroyed. Some examples will follow these statements. Irene during this fall had a positive outcome. Do to Corey being in love with his sister Irene had to grow up fast. She started out as a child that was just truly childish. After this event she grew up and learned that she can get over things and how to be more helpful with certain things. Silas's wife actually lost nothing in this i feel. This event caused her to stress and lose her "lavish" life style. Once this event was over she moved back to what she married into and had a happily married daughter. I would say she was the least affected by this even. Penelope had a hard time when she first found out about Corey. From this I would say she learned that all things can turn out well and there is no point stressing over things that are out of your control. Plus she married into a very wealthy family and got a loving husband. Silas lost all of his funds and his new life style but he learned that he can be very happy just by being a very ethical person. He was too ethical from my point of view, but he did what he thought was right. Out of this whole thing Silas just moved back to his farm where he can live a relaxed life, and also he felt so proud that Corey was taken in by the other paint company upon his recommendation. All of the characters within this story had a hard time, but it turned out for the better in the end. They all got learn that life is hard but can still be good no matter what it throws at them. Plus if you really think about it they didn't lose anything besides the ability to spend more money then they know what to do with.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Rise Of Silas Lapham

The social class difference portrayed throughout this book is a very prominent part of the book. Also how the NEW money is shown verses the OLD money. Silas is being foiled by Bromfield as a way to show old vs new. Silas has worked very hard to earn all of his money. It has said multiple times throughout the book that he doesn't even take vacation. And that the older he gets the more he works to try to earn money. Whereas Bromfield has never worked a real day in his life. His is lazy, and when his father asked him what he would like to do for work he said "I would like to travel." Another difference between these two men is how they view each other. Bromfield looks down upon Silas, but at the same time is interested to meet him because his on is so involved with him. Silas doesnt like Bromfield at the start, yet he very much so wants to meet him. Shown as once they meet Silas is very keen on meeting him again. Another old vs new money thing is how their money is spent. The old money is more conservative and is so used to having money they dont even have to think about how much money they have. They just buy things that fit into their lifestyle. The new money is the opposite. New money is not conservative, doesnt know how to spend their money well, and is so not used to having money that they brag about their wealth. The class difference is also shown in the areas the men live in. How their daughters act and are educated and also where they send there family during the summer months. Little side not if people think NEW vs OLD money is not an issue anymore and class doesn't matter. They should go to certain parts of Boston or upstate New York or as a matter of fact most places on the east coast. Because these things still very much exist.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Behind the Mask

I found the book, Behind the Mask by Alcott, to be a very boring read. Within the first chapter I knew how the whole book was going to turn out. The story didn't leave much for the reader to try to figure out on their own. Due to this i had no real interest to find out what happened to Muir throughout the story. Within the story Jean Muir is portrayed as an actor that can get all she wants from the people around her. She is very observant and can find peoples weaknesses and twist them to her own little gain. There were only two parts of the book that i found interesting. The first being that she was of such an old age. I didn't see this coming. I thought she was just a young women of the lower class that was trying to get her way and work up the class system. When she reveals that she is an older women that is just hiding behind her makeup and fake hair i was a little surprised. Side note this reminded me of a horror movie The Orphan, in which an older women hides age and looks to get her way. The second interesting thing was how Muir was presented as such a strong woman. Muir is presented in a very feminist light. Where she can get what she wants from men and can do thing on her own. It's almost ironic that Muir is shown as such a strong woman, who is trying to change her class and show that class is not important, and that her ultimate goal and way to achieve this class change is to get married. By her getting married it almost defeats the purpose of showing her as a strong woman throughout the story. Overall it was a boring read and a predictable book, but had a few interesting points that appeared throughout the text.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The portrayal of ethnicities within Joaquin Murieta

Within the book of Joaquin Murieta the ethnic groups of Americans, Chinese, and Mexicans are all portrayed in very different fashions. Most of the differences in the portrayals has to do with the ideals of the cultures and how people saw these different ethnic groups at the time. The Chinese are portrayed as hard working people, but outcasts and lower then everyone else. Which allows for Joaquin to do as he wishes with the Chinese because the Americans do not care what happens to them. The main portrayal of ethnicity's comes from the portrayal of the Mexicans and Americans thou. The Mexicans throughout the story are referred to as savage and very rough people. A couple of examples of this are how three fingered jack and the second husband of one women are described. Three fingered jack is described throughout the story as a blood thirsty man that will kill anyone just because he likes to. There is one point in the story where he says that he just likes the smell of Chinese blood. The second husband is said to be a grizzly of a man. This portrayal of the Mexicans in this way has to deal with some Americans thing that Mexicans were savage people and not as civilized as themselves. Throughout the story the Americans are portrayed as fine and graceful. All of the people that are working for the American law are portrayed as stand up men, and very righteous people. These people are very worth of the American ideals. The American women are also shown as very fine people. Rosalie is described as a beauty. Overall the Mexicans are portrayed as very savage people, which is how some Americans viewed them at the time. The Americans are shown in a very good light even though they did terrible things to Joaquin.

Joaquin is different in the portrayal sense. He is described as a fair skinned Mexican and is said to be a very noble person. I think the difference in his portrayal is due to Joaquin trying to emulate the American ideals. He tried right from the get go to fit into all the American ideals, but was forced by the Americans to become a "savage." He is shown as a noble character because he tried to be American, whereas his fellow Mexicans are only in America as bandits.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Coverdale's one-sided narrating

My thoughts on the The Blithedale Romance were that the book was a unsatisfying read. the book was solely presented from Coverdale's point of view which led to a skewed representation of each of the characters within the story. Due to the one sided narrating by Coverdale each character became a reflection of what he thought that he saw withing each character. At the same time, this one sided narrating led me to feel that Coverdale was presenting this story as an outside observer and was not truly interacting within the story. There are a couple of examples that help to show the Coverdale is telling the story from an outside view. "The idea of presenting myself before my old associates, without first ascertaining the state in which they were" and "Had it been evening, I would have stolen softly to some lighted window of the old farm-house, and peeking darkling in" (206 and 207). By him saying this he is saying that he would rather view the people he has narrated about from a distance rather than interact with them as a normal character within a story would. Another example that shows Coverdale as an outside viewer is when he is up in his hidden tree. "Even where i sat, about midway between the root and the topmost bough, my position was lofty enough to serve as an observatory" (99). Not only does this quote show him as an observer but helps to show that he has presented the other characters within the story from this point of view. I also think that this tree represents how Coverdale is/feels as a person. This tree is like his "Ivory Tower" from which he can judge all. How Coverdale judges the other characters is due to this feeling that I got that he perceived himself as better (more knowledgeable) then the other characters. Coverdale presents the story like a fly on the wall. He is there but he has no true interactions within the story and this leads to the story being told from a very one-sided and self-centered view. This one-sided skewed representation led for me not to like Coverdale as a character, but also cause for the book to be an unsatisfying read.