I'm a reader, a traveler, a people-watcher, a pseudo-intellectual philosopher, a student journalist and blogger. Visit hannahscribbles.wordpress.com to read my fiction, dreams, rabbles and rants.
- member since February 6, 2009
Hannah S’s last login was Thursday, July 5, 2012.
Interestingly enough, the movie "Finding Forrester" is based on J.D. Salinger and the book under discussion in the movie (I think it is called "Avalon") is "Catcher in the Rye." I don't want to say too much because I do not know where you are in the book and I don't want to give anything away.
It is a great example of stream of consciousness writing with an unreliable narrator (i.e. can we trust Holden's account of events?). I don't want to say more because I may ruin things for you; let me know when you are finished and I will talk about it further.
Baalzebub, another name for the devil, is Hebrew for Lord of the Flies. He is symbolized by a pigs head. In the novel he is fear; in fact, the only one who fully understands (after all fear is the lack of knowledge) is Simon. He is the one with the potential to dispel all of the fear; and he dies for his knowledge: very much like Jesus. Simon is the Christ figure in the novel (remember all of the children gathering around him and taking the fruit from him).
I heard you bought Heart of Darkness. It is one of my favorite books. I can't wait to hear what you think.
It is interesting to see how Piggy is ignored because of his appearance, while Jack and Ralph--both incompetent as leaders--are looked to for guidance because they are attractive.
Also, looking back to our earlier discussion of innate good or evil, this book paints a clear Hobbesian picture of savagery and horror arising in the absence of societal restraints.
Ironically, the boys are rescued by a navy ship (it is during World War II) that has a large gun mounted on it: the adults are reenacting in the larger world (and on a larger scale) what the boys just lived on the island.
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is actually a straight forward narrative about a group of British school boys stranded on a south pacific island with no adults. You could probably read it in an evening, but it is very good and very well written with lots of symbolism.
Next time I see Lynn I will send "Lord of the Flies" and "Heart of Darkness."
Did you read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"?
I am currently reading "The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz for a reading group at my school, but with the play I am directing (Opens early March) it may be the first book I do not finish for the group.
I think the white served two purposes. One, it made it different than traditional blindness, and thus gave it a more confusing tone (i.e. maybe our vision will come back) but I also think there was a sense of irony there. We say we saw the light when we come to understand something, but when they see the light, they are plunged into the unknown. The answer to this question may become more clear if you read his follow-upnovel (excerpt of which is at the back of Blindness).
your next book should be "Lord of the Flies." It explores much of what we have discussed regarding evil and innate human nature.
I can give it to you if you need it.
I didn't take it as any significance other than that she was being oportunistic in wanting to stay with her husband. (I would do the same if it was my wife being taken away)
I don't recall the scene you are talking about. I would have to read it again and see its context to know for sure. However, there is always a desire to protect those that we can put a face and personality to. That is why those that are trained to kill are trained to dehumanize the opponent, the less we know the more they can be treated like animals instead of humans (assuming a difference exists)
I think it is more an enlightenmenmt/ intelligence issue. Fear can blind us as to what is the most productive thing to to. We don't always act in our best interests when we are afraid (just think about deadly stampedes at night clubs and sporting events).
There can be few things as frightening as losing our sight. We use sight to keep ourselves rooted in place and time. Without it it can be very disconcerting (to say the least).
I do think your passage is very important, it is fear that is the motivation behind many of the events in the novel.
Your observations hold true, the asylum becomes the microcosm of the world and the Doctor's Wife acts as her moral compass. There is one caveat, however, and that is the Doctor's Wife is not truly sighted since she can only act in-as-much as she does not reveal her sightedness. What is the point of a moral compass that doesn't point true north?
I do think you are on to something when you say that they lose "morality and truth." Truth becomes somewhat subjective when you cannot see as a means of establishing proof (look at the disastrous attempts to apportion food fairly). In fact, many of the characters don’t know they have been cheated out of food and seem to be OK in their ignorance. Morality is lost completely. If we look at this through the eyes of Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher, (I tend to see a lot through Hobbes' eyes) we can say that the Asylum is a microcosm for the world, but a world with no rules and no laws (they can not even relieve their bowels in a civilized manner). Hobbes, in his book “Leviathan” said (and I am poorly paraphrasing here) that without societal restraints such as law and courts and police and rules, we—the human race—would descend into an everyman for himself savage war. (Have you read “Lord of the Flies” or “Heart of Darkness”? Both of these books explore that very idea in great detail).
So the world of blindness is a world (albeit an artificially created one) that has removed our one tool for assuring justice—our sight--and has descended into savagery. We see this descent very early on when the Samaritan who helps the First Blind Man steals his car. And we see it in the complete injustice…
Before I continue, have you finished reading the book?
I was looking at your book shelf and I noticed that you have "The Dante Club" on your TO READ list. It is on my nightstand in que.
What did you think of the Tolkein books? Lynn is a huge fantasy reader but she hated them. I love them; I have read them nine times.
I like "The Giver." I have not read the sequel.
You do have good taste in books.
I am reading "The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao" next for a group at school. Lynn said you just finished reading it. What did you think?
Jodi Picault is a NY Times bestselling author. She wrote "My Sister's Keeper" and "Nineteen Minutes" (which I believe is being made into a movie). She is a terrible writer and I was very angry that I wasted the time it took to read "My Sister's Keeper."
Anyway, I would be happy to discuss any questions you may have about the book--you're reading "blindness" right? (the movie comes out tomorrow on DVD)
But let's get something clear from the beginning if we are to discuss literature together: despite the fact that I am an English teacher--and despite what most of your teacher's wanted you to believe--I do not have all of the answers. Literature is messy, and hard, and often ambiguous; and that is what I love about it and why I love talking about it. So be prepared for me to ask you as many questions as you may ask me.
I will talk books any time, any place. So never feel funny about asking or telling or challenging or contradicting me.
So let's talk "Blindness."
Hello Hannah (through Lynn). It is a pleasure to cyber-meet you. I was very excited to hear that you have almost perfect taste in books. It is nice to see someone reading something other than that Jodi Picault garbage. I will send a friend request and then we can talk about all those books we have in common.