As I Lay Dying is a 20th-century masterpiece. The book is ranked 84th among the top 100 novels according to The Modern Library. So this book is a big deal, being ranked with The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Tess of D’Urbervilles, A Tale of Two Cities, and a personal favorite: The Road (don’t ask me how). So far I am not disappointed.
As I Lay Dying takes effort to read because of how Faulkner decided to craft the book: the constant stream of consciousness, the use of unclear pronouns, the odd motifs and themes such as wood, but particularly the already evident contradicting opinions of the speakers. We, as readers, must choose who to believe and must pick apart the story. “It means three dollars,” I say. “Do you want us to go, or not?” Pa rubs his knees. “We’ll be back by tomorrow sundown.” (Faulkner 28). Darl’s attitude during this is neutral at best, but could also come off as a feeling of neglect or carelessness towards his near-death mother. Cora in the chapter after describes Darl as the one who cares the most about his mother and is the most admirable, but she also describes Jewel as selfish and cynical. We have read from Jewel that he cares immensely about his mother, Addie, and through contextual clues we know so far that Jewel is the most similar to his mother.
Both are described as quiet and conserved, however, most importantly, both Addie and Jewel are the only ones compared to wood. “Under the quilt she makes no more of a hump than a rail would.” (Faulkner 7). Comparing someone to a rail is very peculiar and thus deems significance. An odd comparison is used for a reason and serves a purpose. The earliest rails were built from wood, a strong but yet malleable material, being able to support the heaviest of loads but will eventually give. Steel, in time, overcame wood in the most common material used in the crafting of rails, which is more durable and luxurious (Perhaps this denotes her social class standing.) Jewel is also often compared to wood, “Still staring straight ahead, his pale eyes like wood set into his wooden face.” (Faulkner 1) Because of how wood is only being compared to Jewel and Addie I theorize that there is something more and something special about their connection. Jewel seems to be Addie’s favorite child according to Cora’s chapter and because Jewel is very different from the rest of his family, except for his mother, I theorize that a tragic event might have occurred when he was younger, or he is a bastard child, or she reminds him of someone she once loved. But there is something fishy going on here and Faulkner has done a great job so far keeping me reading.
Canucks update: The Canucks broke the Canadien’s 9-0 win streak whilst also breaking their own 4 loss streak!
In Tess Dei D’urberville I have definitely noticed a reoccurring idea of justice and fairness– particularly how unfair and unjust life is. Tess is sent to some pedophile’s house and forced to work as a servant not according to her own volition, but rather because her father discovered that he was of “opulent” blood and decided to go lavish away all his family’s royalties (See what I did there, I used three different synonyms for money in three different ways). Tess faces consequences that are not her fault and plenty of them, but I just don’t want to spoil.
Essentially Tess lives life facing the poor decisions that others have made. This theme is prominent throughout Tess Dei D’urberville, and as we all know, literary themes are used to reflect and exemplify ideas in the real world. However many of my own principles contradict with the theme presented in Tess Dei D’urberville. I know there is quite the time difference but for discussion’s sake I disagree with life as an unruly and unfair dictator. I have lived my life believing in the idea of you get what you deserve and if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. I am not going to go off on a spiel on how Tess deserves what she gets because it was written to emphasize the point of how life is unfair. But I understand how some things happen at the wrong moment and at the wrong time and it can seem uncontrollable like how Po was chosen to be The Dragon Warrior. Po was at the Jade Palace at the wrong time but it was no accident… there are no accidents. (RIP Master Oogway 0:00:00-0:42:36) But Po proved himself and eventually deserved the title of The Dragon Warrior. To me there are coincidences we can choose to capitalize on and there are mishaps where we have decide how to deal with them. There are always a few extreme unlucky events that happen in one’s lifetime, but for the most part we get what we deserve.
In Tess Dei D’urberville many of these extreme events occur for our heroine and this emphasizes life in medieval England and how unjust life back then was. But the world has changed drastically and took the problem of injustice and nearly purged it. A once massive issue, highlighted in Tess Dei D’urberville, is now something of the past… just how the Canadiens became something of the past when the Canucks smoked them! Haha roasted!
Daily Canucks update: 3-5. Lost to Detroit Red Wings yesterday 10/24/15. I still believe in us though!
“All the world’s is a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” This quote is adopted from Shakespeare’s poem, All the World’s a Stage. An interesting poem about going through life with a certainly depressing tone. People are described to be just playing a part on one big stage, playing roles to best fit where they are in life, and with no larger purpose but to simply live. People go through seven chronicles of their life: First the infant, then the schoolboy, then lover, then soldier, then justice, then old-age, and finally death. Each one of these is a role a person plays in life and the final role ends with death, denoting the depressed tone throughout the poem.
But why is a world with love and honour (sorry mispelled it, honor) and filling food and babies described in such a sad tone. Because people are always putting on masks and playing different roles just to please each other with no other outcome than death. If the world wasn’t a stage though, if the players living in the stage didn’t wear masks, if people were to be their authentic selves without acting on stage, then people would be no longer depressed but they would be joyful and moreover would live in a greater sense of reality.
Shakespeare wrote All the World’s a Stage for the play As You Like It and since it was recited by a man who lived for sadness but at the end withdrew from this lifestyle and moved in to a happier state, we can assume that the melancholy fellow had an epiphany or an awakening to a greater sense of reality. He might have been right but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that it was a poor way to live and Shakespeare emphasized this when he had the melancholy fellow reject this lifestyle. Shakespeare thinks we should live life authentically and so should you if you want to get married in a quadruple wedding and get wed by Thranduil!
p.s. Sorry didn’t upload this Friday but just added the Canucks update today.
Despite how the entirety of Dante’s Inferno is a vindictive literary piece to cook his enemies’ geese and how it might be proof enough that he is one banana short of a bunch, I will attempt to medically diagnose Dante as bonkers (which I believe is the formal term for someone of his condition). Firstly, I will analyze his decisions and then contrast him to someone who is picture-perfect normal, I believe I fit that description.
Now, we know that Dante is infatuated with a woman named Beatrice. The etymology of the name Beatrice is a cut of an unusual figure. Bea, is a town located in the Aragonian region of Spain with a precise inhabitance of 38 people. But that is only half of the meaning. The well known meaning of “Trice” is the second half of the puzzle. The trice, obviously the 36 foot-long trimaran sailboat developed by Dick Newick, sported a revived multi-hull design. This design included 3 hulls, and this is our answer to the meaning of trice: 3. So, as we know 38 people live in Bea and trice means 3, the only logical conclusion here is to use mathematics to solve our dilemna: by dividing 38 by 3 we get 12.66, an irrational number. The irrationality of 12.66 conflicts when we compare that to the perfection of my own, picture perfect, rationale. Therefore, Dante’s love for Beatrice is irrational and is a “bonkers” reaction to have and Dante’s own cognition can’t hold a candle to my own!
But in the same league it’s just not cricket. So I must go the distance to further prove that Dante is bonkers through the use of pathos! Dante comes across three, innocent, cute, fluffy kittens, one black, one orange, and one gray (not to mention it but Dante hates kittens… and puppies). And Dante scorns them and sneaks by them (post note, the kittens are starving) and he doesn’t even care to feed them. It is like cookies, cookies can be made from many different ingredients: flour, flowers, chocolate, ginger, rye, tea, Russian tea, fortunate futures, nuts and graham. All these ingredients can still form that mint condition taste we all get when a cookie is consumed. And only non-bonkers people like cookies, and There are amounts of shoes to back this data up. But Dante hates kittens, and bonkers people hate cookies, therefore the only sane conclusion to make is that Dante hates kittens, puppies, cookies, ice cream and happiness- which is a very bonkers thing I might add.
I believe I have now logically proven that Dante is bonkers through the use of non-fallacious methods. Therefore I will leave you with one question that sums up my entire argument: If Dante wasn’t insane, then when travelling through Gehenna why didn’t he wear a Hel-met?