Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 1-3 Prompt

In The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay demonstrates through the characterization of Pisskop and the Judge, that hatred and resentment are still existent in South Africa and affect the way people treat each other. In the beginning of the novel, Pisskop seems to be getting bullied for no particular reason. The first time the Judge is introduced in the novel is when Pisskop says, “When the Judge and his council of war had all pissed on me, they left.” The Judge and his council obviously have not interacted with Pisskop and have simply chosen to judge him. If this is the first interaction given to the audience, the Judge has not even given Pisskop a chance. This first encounter has clearly expressed through the hatred of the Judge that such feelings still exist in South Africa.

Pisskop’s proper upbringing was encouraging him to stay hopeful about his situation, and keep faith. He had not done anything wrong, however, he states, “The Judge ordered that I be beaten up in only a little time.” The Judge and his followers would like to cause Pisskop as much pain and harm as they can. Pisskop had not even known them for long, and they already feel it necessary to make him feel miserable. They obviously have no sympathy for his feelings, as they still see him with resentment because of his culture.

Pisskop approaches his situation with a surprisingly open mind and a strong sense of faith. However, being bullied by the Judge and his followers seems to knock his original self esteem down. After listening and recognizing what the Judge is saying, Pisskop sadly states, “More serious trouble lay ahead of me for sure. I was a rooinek and a pisskop. I spoke the wrong language. And now I was obviously made differently. But I was still alive, and in my book, where there’s life, there’s hope.” Although Pisskop is developing a low self-esteem, he is holding on to some of the hope he had when the novel began. The actions and misbehavior of the Judge are effecting how Pisskop sees himself as a person, when it is most likely a misconception anyhow. The Judge holds anger and resentment for Pisskop, and it is beginning to affect him. Bryce Courtenay makes is obvious through The Power of One that anger and hatred exist in the South African society and can completely determine how people are mistreated, judged, but also giving them an even stronger will to overcome the reputation of their culture.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steinbeck Style Episode Opening

Standing in the doorway of my bedroom, the first things to be seen are pictures. Pictures of friends, family, good times, and memories that should never be forgotten hang above my bedside. Old or new, I never want to forget them. These memories lie on a rectangular purple and blue striped wall. There is a shelf of dolls. I do not know why they are still there, but I cannot find it inside of me to get rid of them. A lamp sits on an abandoned dresser along with an old clock, which barely has enough energy for the alarm to go off in the morning. There is a painting of I do not know what, but its colors add creativity. Trophies lie on a different shelf—all from different sports, but all give the same sense of accomplishment. A desk is across from this shelf, with millions of useless items piled on top of it. The only organized article on my desk is a Mac Book Pro, which is taken extremely good care of. There are books in a pile to the right. I do not believe I have read half of them, and yet they are there—keeping me feeling intelligent and giving the choice to escape into a different story if I really wanted to. The dresser of clothes has many drawers, each just as messy and unorganized as the next. But everything has its own place, and everything is found without a problem. In the middle of this disaster zone is a queen-sized bed covered in ten times the amount of necessary blankets for a good night’s rest. The room may seem messy, but it is neat in its own way. Suddenly an orange dart with a black tip swerves into the bedroom, barely missing one of the many pictures hung above the bed. A small, energetic young boy enters the room unknowingly disturbing the peace and silence that was there before. He dives on the bed to catch the dart in his fist. Amazed by his success, he grips it tightly and dashes out of the room as if nothing has happened.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Does Curley's wife get what she deserves?

In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates through the characterization of Curley’s wife that judgment can only lead to unfortunate consequences. From the day she walked into the barn, everyone had their minds make up about her. On page 28, one of the workers said, “Well, I think Curley’s married…a tart.” The men do not think very highly of her, even though they do not understand where she is coming from. They are too quick to judge her, without really getting to know her personality. If they looked beyond her placement in society and bad reputation, they would have found that she was not a bad person. They treated her poorly in a place where she is already discouraged and caused her self-esteem to lessen even more. She confronts Lennie on page 86 where she sadly states, “Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to anybody. I get awful lonely.” The other men avoid her, and she finds herself alone, unable to communicate with her own husband. She is given insight into the life of a typical ranch worker—lonely, mistreated, and trapped. If she was given a chance by anyone in the town, she might have been different and treated them more respectfully in return. She tries to express herself, but her voice goes without being heard, as shown on page 88 when she claims, “Seems like they ain’t none of them cares how I gotta live. I tell you I ain’t used to livin’ like this. I coulda made somethin’ of myself.” Curley’s wife, just like everyone else in their time, had a dream at one point, but it slowly faded away when she thought of how unlikely it was to come true. She, just like everyone else, bought into the unfortunate theory that dreams are unreachable and may as well be given up on. The men she was surrounded with did not understand her story, or how she came to them. If they had, maybe her death would not have occurred and be forced into a shattered future, which she did not deserve. The dreams of an innocent, trapped, young woman might have come true.