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.