After continuously posting for six weeks, I am kind of surprised that I have read so many different world literatures in this month. However, compare to the blog that I have written before, this blog is kind of complicated to use when I tried to change outlook background. Although they provide 116 themes, I only like few of them. Also, the themes the website provided limit the way on how we can set the format of pages which I think is one disadvantage. In addition, I’ve tried to download themes other than using the 116 themes provided, but the steps for setting up are really complicated. I am worried if I click the wrong button, I might end up deleting my blog.
Also, another difficulty I met when blogging is to concentrate on my topic. There were several times I took so long to think how I should relater the reading to my topic. To solve this problem, I tried to keep my topic “living attitude” in mind when I began to read the readings. When I see a point that I think can be related to “living attitude”, I would mark it with pencil.
Overall, I would like to blog again if have the chance, but I think I am another blogging system because I’m still not fully familiar with changing the outlook and page setting on my own. However, I feel this project is really interesting, because I never thought that I would write a blog on all the readings that I’ve read. I can always read what I have written, like reading my diary. Unlike handing in papers to professors and get a grade; the blog helps me to express myself better, because I am not limited on th3e style of writing and length of the writing.
If someone did not have power in the society, it would be really hard for that person to make a living. In the short story “In Camera” by Nawal El Saadawi, Saadawi used very detailed descriptions and created many images throughout the story. I feel this is a very interesting story, because it keeps my attention on reading further and further to get what is actually happening in the story. After I read the whole story, I finally get that the main character, Leila Al-Fargani, got raped and were suffering from the pain afterward.
Leila Al-Fargani had a very strong living attitude even though she suffered in an injustice world. She were taught that she as a woman did not have power to get a better living, but she used her speech and cursed at whoever was rude to her. She was even so brave to tell that “God is stupid,” while God was in the highest rank during that time. I feel the story can tell people who also feel that the world is injustice to continue living, because we have our family to look after us. Like Leila Al-Fargani had suffered and lived in jail, but she still always think of her family members and wonder how they are doing. She did not have the thought of killing herself, which I think is a positive living attitude to learn from.
When I read on the part which the lawyer was doing his job and helping Leila Al-Fargani to plead and also said “God is stupid,” and faced accusation from the judge. That makes me feel the author was living in a society which had a lot of injustice things going on around her, and many problems were caused from political power. However, I still do not get how the whole story relates to “camera” which is the title of story.
After reading “The Barking” by Ingeborg Bachmann, I feel kind of sad for the old woman, Frau Jordan, who had an undutiful son and did not have close family members to live with her at such old age. I think the living attitude old Frau Jordan held was very common to elders in the society today, because the elders in my family also sometimes act like old Frau Jordan. They always would think what benefit their children instead of thinking what are actually good for themselves. Sometimes, they hide their sickness and act like everything is fine.
I understand they do not want to give more burdens to their children, but I do not think it is a right way to release burden from their children, especially health problems. If an elder was sick without notifying his/her children and suddenly died one day, the children might just cannot accept the fact so suddenly and become stress more than ever. Also, it is children’s duty to take care their parents when their parents get old.Also, old Frau Jordan depends on her only son so she did not want to give additional stress to him. She thought it is better not to bother her son and better not to tell him anything, which led to misunderstanding between her and her son.
I think the title “Barking” is very meaningful. First, it shows one theme in the short story which is lack of communication. Few years before old Frau Jordan died; she lived in a house surrounded by dogs’ barking instead of the laughter of her family which shows her loneliness. It is like the communication that she heard the most was the barking from dogs. Also, when Bachmann described the barking story from “great, wild, triumphant howling to a whimpering” at near the end of the story, I feel there is a foreshadowing of the health of old Frau Jordan. Like the barking, old Frau Jordan was becoming weaker and weaker and near death.
Some people would have wonderful family, but some people might not be as lucky as others. In the short novel “Love In A Fallen City” by Zhang Ailing, Liusu lived with people that she did not like. Her family member believed she brought bad luck to them. Therefore, she chose to move out the house and traveled from Shang Hai to Hong Kong. I feel Liusu is living in a poor environment because she has to hear people talk behind her, in front of her, and insult her every day in the house. However, I think her living attitude is still positive, because she made the right decision which is to move out. It can be thought of escaping, but I feel if she talked to her family straightly, it would only increase the hatefulness between them except if she became rich one day. Most people believe escaping is not the right way to solve problems, however, in my opinion, knowing how to escaping is very important. If a person does not know how to escape and push herself/himself too much, it might cause mental problems.
This clip shows parts of the movie version of “Love In A Fallen City,” which I think it may refresh the memory of whoever have read this story. Enjoy! Before I read “Love In A Fallen City,” I have watched the movie of this story. The difference I get from the movie and the book is that I get more about how the characters’ feeling through the book.
“The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright is a very interesting reading, because it is written with slangs. It just reminds me of my first time reading stories with slangs. I remember at that time, I tried to look for word meanings in dictionary, because I thought the words were written in old English. Another reason I like this reading because most parts are in conversation.
I feel “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” suggests the living attitude of a teenager who is in the status of adolescent rebellion. Teenagers who under this status would want to try many new things and go against parents’ will. Dave wanted to have a gun, and he requested his mother for money to buy the gun. After a moment of begging, Dave’s mother accepted to buy the gun, but said the gun was for his father. However, Dave did not do what he promised. Instead, he tried to fire the gun and mistakenly killed a mule named Jenny.
Other than the rebellion of Dave, I also feel during that time, people were divided into different classes depend on their property. For example, Dave who was still attending school has to work for the family in order to have enough money to buy school clothing. On the opposite, Dave’s boss, Hawkin, lived in a big white house. When Dave said to his mother that they must have a gun in their house, I feel people who were poor liked Dave’s family might got treated unequally and badly by rich people. Dave had also thought if he had one more bullet, he would shoot at Hawkin’s house. It shows his hate toward Hawkin. Gun is a weapon and it would cause harm; it also is a self- protector and it would avoid one from getting harm.
Human’s characteristics have both pleasing part and unpleasing part. That affects human attitude toward living. Pleasing parts would make people happy and sometimes worth for others to learn from. However, the unpleasing parts would make people tired of their living.
In “Walking around” by Pablo Neruda, I feel the poet was not satisfied some characteristics of human during that time, and he did not want to continue living under this kind of condition. He wanted changes. I feel during that time, people cared more about their appearance more than any other things, and Neruda did not like that. For example, Neruda wrote in his poem, “I am tired of being a man” as well as “I am tired of my feet and my nails and my hair and my shadow.” Here, he mentioned things that he tired of are all things related to appearance. Therefore, I think in the period the author was living in, people in the society would make up and not showing their true faces.
For this video that our professor show us on Thursday, I feel the video is very interesting. It also supports what I feel toward the poem. There is moment that a lady surrounded by flowers and made poses for camera shot. Also, after the man became like a monster and walk on the street, no one want to be closed with him. That tells me that appearance would affect people on their choice of who to be around with. However, I still did not get why the camera took shot on the cells for several times. There must be some meaning when things repeat again and again.
I feel love always existed between human being. No matter it’s between friendship, family, or couples. If the degree of love decreased, people would feel sad and the living attitude might change as well. Negatively, some people might not think deeply about how they should face and choose to suicide. When I saw this kind of suicide on the newspaper, I often thought they just did not get people to ease their anxiety. I often believe most of suicides are temporarily wrong decisions people made on their mind, but that affects them and their people around permanently. Positively, some people might plan to restart and forget about the past.
In “Tonight I Can Write” by Pablo Neruda, the poet lost his love and chose the positive way. He planned to restart his live after that night he wrote the poem. However, he is still not certain about it. On Thursday, our professor showed us a clip of someone reading the poem.
The video-camera always took shot on the swings. I feel that is like representing the mood of the poet. His mood “swings” like he had to forget about her, but he still loved her; they no longer can be together, but he seemed could not forget about her.
How would you feel when a family member becomes a burden in the family? Mad, sad, compassionate, hate? In “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, the protagonist, Gregor, became a burden for the family after he transformed into a vermin. The living attitude that the family held was pretty positive, because every member worked hard to earn income to support their living. However, the way they treated Gregor was changing from positive to negative.
Although every member had different responses toward Gregor’s transform, as a whole, I feel there was a process on their attitude toward Gregor. At first, the family was surprised and scared. Then, they felt sad and hoped for Gregor to be recovered one day. After a period of time, they were like used to his sickness and lost their hope on him. They worked hard on themselves to earn money. Since Gregor no longer contributed anything to the family and all family members had their own jobs, they were like forgetting Gregor and not caring about him so much. Later on, they even locked him in his room. At the end, Gregor just died in the room.
I admire that the family‘s living attitude of not giving up their living when their family’s main income supporter is sick. However, I really do not like the way they treated Gregor. They ignored him, threw things at him, scared him and locked him in the room. Their attitude toward Gregor really made me feel pitied for Gregor. I do not think Gregor who had contributed to the family so much in the past deserves this kind of treatment when he is ill. Also, his situation reminds me of a popular debate topic “Euthanasia.” While I was reading this short novel, I keep thinking Gregor as a person that gets a strange disease in real society and got locked up in a room in hospital. If a person in real life gets this kind of disease, I think it would be better for the person to get euthanasia. The person gets no more happiness through his life, because he treated as a family’s burden and no one wants to get closed to him even his family members.
After reading the short novel “The Metamorphois” by Franz Kafra, I feel Gregor Samsa’s situation is like reflecting a situation in real life as someone who gets a strange disease and the reactions the person would have when being sick. I feel Gregor Samsa’s situation suggests a living attitude of thinking job is very important. It is really true that in twentieth century, people are living in a circumstance of worrying about losing their job every second. Every adult is living under working pressure.
On the first day of Gregor became an “insect,” he still thinks how he can keep his job other than how he can recover from his sickness. Also, on that day, Gregor did not get to work on time and a manager came to his house to ask for reasons. I wonder is this kind of situation really happened in Germany. Managers come to workers’ houses when they do not go to work on time? However, it shows human beings are living under time pressure as well. I have heard that competition and stress can help a person to improve. I think that is true, but I also feel today’s human being are often over-stress especially people who live in city.
Gregor has “worried about making trains, having bad, irregular meals, meeting new people all the time, but never forming any lasting friendships that mellow into anything intimate” (P,2000). When I read this, I just feel that is so true because I have worried about those things too. I have worrying about being late if a train suddenly runs on local, or if a train comes late. From my home to school, it takes one hour and thirty minutes. To avoid lateness, I would prepare two hours for my traveling. So, if the train runs on local and I still will not be late. But sometimes, when I go out early and suddenly the train runs on express, then I arrive to school one hour earlier. Sometimes I would have the thought of “I can actually have one more hour sleep, why I come to school so early!!! “ I just feel although everyone is having dissatisfaction and living under pressure today, but we still have to continue our living because we have family around and we have to support them.
After reading this short novel, I did not get a happy mood although at the end the family was like refresh and ready for a new start. Maybe my mind is still on stressful life that Gregor got, like living under stress, lack of family’s care, getting weird disease and unfortunately did not recover and died.
After reading the short story “Upstairs In A Wineshop” by Lu Xun , I feel it is showing human’s living attitude of losing future direction after his/her pervious planning couldn’t be achieved. Also, I see the living attitude of hiding and lying in this short story.
Between the conversation Lu Xun had with his friend, Weifu, I see how Weifu was in a situation of losing future direction on his loveand living. He did not want to struggle for anything anymore and just wanted to let time pass by. Just like he said, “I don’t know anything anymore. I don’t even know what tomorrow’s going to bring, or even the next moment…”(P, 1938).He was lost on his future, but he did not want to plan for future anymore. He had planned for future before, but future did not go the way he had planned so he gave up planning. This is a very usual situation for human who experienced failure, and lose their self-confidence and become decadent. However, in my opinion, planning is very important. Without planning, life would become worse and really make a person become lost. Although I have not experienced as much difficulties as Lu Xun’s friend, I think the sentence “human grows from failure” apply to everyone on every age group.
Also, I see the living attitude of lying and hiding to fulfill parent’s desire. When Weifu could not find his brother’s skeleton, not even his hair, he just placed the dirt where his brother’s body had lain into the coffin and moved to where his father was placed to fulfill his mother’s want. This is one example Weifu hid a truth. In addition, when his mother had requested him to send flowers to Ah-shun, the lady he loved, but she died. He gave his flowers to Ah-shun’s sister to avoid his mother from questioning him. This is another example of Weifu hid the truth from his mother. I believe everyone had tried at least once lied to their parents. Lying is usually considered as a bad thing to do, but sometimes, it is necessary. In Weifu’s situation, his mother is old, and I think it is better to lie to her and hide the sadness from her.