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Final Project

Research piece

Andrew Blackwell

Duffey

11/29/16

Women have played such a huge role in our history, yet many times they are put down saying they can’t do this or that, and that they should be limited to only doing house work, well in House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende, women suffrage is a huge part of the novel. another big part is women among the social hierarchy and classes. Women for the longest time couldn’t vote or do much of anything other than being housewives. Basically just bearing children and cleaning up. That is ridiculous! Finally no more than just 100 years ago women can vote and have jobs that men have. Even now there isn’t any equality among the social hierarchy and not even women in the workforce have equality. Women typically get paid less than men and are under appreciated as they can do many things men can’t do or things that men can’t do as well as them in general. Many people in todays society view women in a vast spectrum than they did 100 years ago. Some people view women in a respectful manner, others in a way like women are lesser than them, some see women just as sex symbols, but women are the gem of society, they do amazing things and have scaled the hierarchy in such a small time frame. Not only are women more efficient in certain jobs, but they provide life to the world, something so valuable and often looked over. Women are one-of-a-kind, and men still treat them like crap, what stems from this? Ignorance. We are ignorant to the fact that women are our equals in every way, as the Gospel Transformation Bible states in Genesis 2:23-24 “then the man said, ‘this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This truly is a perfect example because it shows us that man and woman were created equally and in God’s image, yet we treat our equals as inferiors, how dare we. What kind of society do we live in where we procrastinate and treat each other as enemies. We were made for each other, literally, we as humans should take compromises because its a good way to keep an open mind. The treatment of women nowadays is horrendous, but fear not because chivalry is not dead. As depicted in the House of the Spirits, women are viewed as lesser on the social scale and that they should leave the work to the real men. The book is a great example of survival and perseverance of women. The women throughout the novel are truly remarkable because they are able to survive so much crap throughout the novel. A clear example of this is when Esteban rapes a woman even after he is married to Clara, and if Clara talks back to him, he hits her really hard. Men are abusive to their equal halves throughout the book, women aren’t given the respect and credit they deserve, but women finally when after Esteban’s family tree dies out and some order is restored. Women’s suffrage is one of the if not the biggest problems brought up in the book because its something that is still occurring today, so that is why I focused so much on it, it is incredibly important in our history and in present day.

References/Cites:

  1. Industries, E. (2016). EBSCOhost Login. . Retrieved from http://resolver.ebscohost.com/openurl?sid=EBSCO:mzh&genre=article&issn=10884610&ISBN=&volume=11&issue=1&date=20080101&spage=79&pages=79-92&title=FACS:%20Florida%20Atlantic%20Comparative%20Studies&atitle=Telling%20%28T%29He%28i%29r%20Story%3A%20The%20Rise%20of%20Female%20Narration%20and%20Women%27s%20History%20in%20Isabel%20Allende%27s%20The%20House%20of%20the%20Spirits&aulast=Smith%2C%20Kathryn%20M.&id=DOI
  2. Shen, H. (2016). Why women earn less: Just two factors explain post-phD pay gap. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19950
  3. Chapell, B., & Ortlund, D. (2013). ESV gospel transformation bible (TruTone, saddle/navy, trail design). United States: Crossway Books.
  4. Banerjee, N. (1978). Women workers and development. Social Scientist, 6(8), 3. doi:10.2307/3520130

 

Thematic analysis

The House of the Spirits shows a very real perspective of suffrage, poor vs. wealth, and power/corruption. These are just an handful of the themes throughout the book. What grasped my attention the most is how much money and power corrupted Esteban’s good nature so to speak. This is such a relatable thing in today’s society because everything now-a-days is about getting rich. I say to hell with that, money doesn’t buy you happiness, if it does, its merely temporary. Back to Esteban, the wealth corrupts the good, kind-hearted intentions he had for Rosa before she died. The book really shows us the power struggle he has which leads him to his crude actions towards others. In chapter 3 page 107, the text states, “Clara’s impudent and nonchalant sensuality was also not enough for him. He wanted far more than her body; he wanted control over that undefined and luminous material that lay within her and escaped him even in those moments when she appeared to be dying of pleasure. His hands felt very heavy, his feet very big, his voice very hard, his beard very scratchy, and his habits of rape and whoring very deeply ingrained, but even if he had to turn himself inside out like a glove, he was prepared to do everything in his power to seduce her.” (pg. 107-108). This shows us how much he has changed, from his habits to his personality, a good man turned rotten. He lets his desires control his thoughts and actions and becomes greedy. However, I believe that the “good” Esteban is in him at heart and we see this partially through the next chapter. All in all we are exposed to the reality of the desires of the world that all of us face in everyday life. While these desires may not be similar to Esteban’s, not to be cliche, but money is the root of all evil. Why do people blame objects as being evil? People are the ones responsible for evil acts. In all honesty, people are evil, money isn’t. If you’re having trouble following me, people are the ones that act, money is an object that people idolize to an almost dangerously obsessive amount, a clear example is Esteban. Money didn’t cause Esteban to rape women or hit women, he is just an outright evil person. We blame our misbehaviors on objects so often because we as humans don’t want to believe we have bad intentions. Don’t get me wrong we all aren’t evil, we have evil desires though, rooting from various things in our lives. The best example of a root problem is when Esteban changes after Rosa’s death and after he gets wealthy, so much corruption and pain is brought into his life after one incident occurred, but it’s Esteban, he is an evil person with evil intentions and he is blinded by his wealth to even see that other people around him need help. House of the Spirits was by far my favorite book because of the truth it had behind many of its characters, showing us that there are sick people like Esteban out there and it’s insane how we blame things rather than the person, people need to take responsibility for their actions. This book does such a fantastic job about bringing up so many real life problems, like power and corruption, suffrage, and wealthy against the poor. These are just a few themes the book has to offer.

Creative Writing piece

It’s summer time in North Carolina, you can tell because the blue berries are perfect to pick from the bush, the clear blue sky is beautiful and crisp cool air is softly breezing through your hair. Finally, I’ve been waiting for months to see my grandma and grandpa, I wonder how much they’ll tell me I’ve grown since I last saw them? I run with open arms to greet my grandparents so happy to see them. I remember thinking “this summer is going to be perfect”, hanging out with my brothers and grandparents is going to be awesome. Then reality struck, someone I loved so much was ripped right out of my world. I was so eager to play baseball with my grandpa the day we got there and he was excited to play with us. I remember him throwing the ball and me and my brothers running around the makeshift bases in the acres of land we had out in rural North Carolina. Pitch after pitch, smile after smile, the sound of laughter as you run the bases after hitting a deep ball. What happened next was something none of us could have foreseen. My brother Eric was up to bat and my grandpa pitched it just like he did the last time Eric was up, but this time the ball was hit right back at my grandfather. My grandpa tried his best to dodge the screaming line drive, he jerked his head to the side and it appeared that he dodged the ball. Then, he stumbled holding his head as if he was hit and fell to the ground, I ran so fast and told my mom what happened and she called an ambulance. We spent the next 8-12 hours in the hospital as my grandfather was hooked up to all these machines. My parents finally let me go and see him in his room. As I enter an all white room, all I hear is monitors beeping and crying. My grandfather was alive but unconscious. I talked to him as if he could hear me and said “sorry” a dozen times and the last thing I said to him was “you’re gonna be alright, I love you so much.” Little did I know that would be the last thing I said to him that day. He passed away June 7, 2007 from a brain aneurysm. I was filled with guilt for the longest time and so was my brother Eric because he thought he hit my grandpa with the ball causing the aneurysm (but it was from him jerking his head too fast). I have questioned myself for the longest time saying why did we have to play baseball that day, if we didn’t play baseball that day maybe he would have been there for high school graduation or my oldest brother’s wedding and it saddens me to think about the what if moments. I told my grandma about what if we hadn’t played baseball that day and apologized. I’ll always remember what she told me, “He was doing something he loved doing when he died, he was playing with y’all, he loved y’all so very much.” After that the guilt died down but the pain was too real. It’s been 8 and a half years since he passed away and there isn’t a day that does by where I’m not thinking about my grandfather, he served during Vietnam and was my role model as a child. I can see it right now, my grandfather laughing in his recliner as I sat by his side and we watched re runs of old Nickelodeon tv shows. Rest in peace Randsom Thompson, you are missed. This doesn’t have any corresponding themes relating to House of the Spirits other than suffrage. As a family it took a while especially for my mom and me and my brothers to mourn the loss, thinking it was our fault that day, but in a way, we all experienced suffrage that day because I asked so many questions about why this and why that but never took a step back and reminded myself that he wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than playing with us even if he knew it was his last day. He was a loving man, and I will always remember him for that.

 

Blog Posts #4-6

This is a big one folks, let’s talk about the three important things on our minds: the Italian  movie, The Postman, 100 Years of Solitude, and Pablo Neruda (specifically his poems). Let’s start with 100 Years of Solitude, fantastic book, also very sad and depressing so thanks Patrick for the great read and the emotional upset from the ending when the prophecies are coming. In all honesty I was like no, don’t die please. Well enough of the awful commentary, the main thing that resonated with me was when the banana plantation moves in and the workers go on strike because they are angry from the inhumane way they are being treated. Then the unforeseen happens and thousands of them are brutally massacred by the army which sided with the plantation owners. They then dispose of the bodies by dumping them in the sea like they were nothing. After the bodies are dumped that’s when 5 years of ceaseless rain begins, which creates a flood that sends Macondo into its final decline. This also relates to The Postman (Italian movie) when Mario and the others in the crowd are gunned down at the riot when Mario only wanted to share his poem dedicated to Pablo Neruda. Why do we only read sad things? I’m not sure, that was a rhetorical question. Another thing that grasped my attention was when Crespi proposes to Amaranta who cruelly rejects him despite her love for him which leads to him committing suicide. This also leads to Amaranta burning her hand badly, she then wears a black bandage that she wears until she dies. The meaning behind the black bandage is the fact that it shows that she is mourning someone’s death. Another example is the Little Gold Fishes. These fishes that Col. Aureliano Buendia has initially represent his creative nature, I could even go as far as to say that this creative nature extends to all Aurelianos. However, these fishes become more significant later, marking the ways Aureliano himself has affected the world. This also ties into his seventeen sons, which are also given a fish, which in turn represents the affect that his sons have on the world. However, in other cases or even other instances the little gold fishes are used as passkeys when messengers for the Liberals use them to prove their allegiance. Also later, many years later, the little gold fishes become collectors items so to speak, merely relics of a leader or was somewhat great and had an affect on the people. This kind of attitude disgusted Aureliano because he recognized that people were using him as a figurehead or someone who was of great importance, a mythological hero that represents whatever they want it to represent, well in a way I guess. Basically in the end Aureliano begins to understand that the little gold fishes no longer represent him in the symbolic way they once did well not in a personal way which leads him to taking the action to stop making the new little gold fishes and instead melts down the old ones over and over repeatedly. Another big thing is when the Gypsies start showing up with these magical and weird innovations and technology. The people see these new magical things as foreign objects as mysterious things, for instance navigation technology is strange to them, even ice a common commodity in today’s world was a foreign object to them. Basically when the Gypsies came in to town, they brought a lot of new things with them. A huge thing in the book was the Bible which was quite relevant, there were many biblical references, like at the beginning of the novel, Macondo is in a sense like the Garden of Eden which represents that the town has a feeling of innocence. This would best be illustrated by saying the town was at its prime just like Garden of Eden before sin entered the world after Eve ate from the tree. So basically, the author used quite a few biblical references, which allowed the book to give a widened perspective on how the town was depicted, so having previous knowledge about the Bible helped tremendously with being able to understand the Biblical references throughout the book. This basically concludes my post, I got the most out of the book than I did the movie and the poems, but the banana plantation part really stuck with me because of how tragic it was and how people can forget the things in history like that, and you’re right, we often can forget these tragic events because of time and how scattered the truth can be at times. We need to be more aware of these events and not let them be lost to time as some of these events have.

Blog Post #3

House of the Spirits has the the bomb, what a crazy ass book with some deep meanings and themes. Yeah what a crappy way to start a blog, I can see a ton of ridicule saying do this and that. My response is thank you for your input it is greatly appreciated. Now that is out out of the way let’s begin. Comparing the Lady in the Attic and House of Spirits, women are really oppressed, which is really f*cked up. Yeah I said it, a lot of ridiculous things occur in these two works. The woman in Woman in the Attic is trying to get way from an exlover and the in other one the book, the lover is trying to get close to the sister of his deceased lover. Something that really sat with me was how women are viewed as almost crazy when in reality they are what keeps society going. Men need women in their lives but we are too damn stupid to realize that they’re so important to us. We need women in our lives. No wonder Ivan was a baller, he wanted more and more women but for the wrong purpose. You know what they say ball hard fall hard. I swear I just made that up. Although it’s probably on the internet somewhere. I thoroughly enjoyed the film cause it helps me learn more Spanish and it was also interesting. Jokes aside although I actually am learning new Spanish words including the bad ones (Thanks Patrick) it gives me a new piece of culture that I didn’t previously have. Both the book and film helped me realize that women are a necessity to us and that we don’t give them as much praise as they deserve, we can learn a lot form books and people. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. 🙂

Blog Post #2

So, another blog post. The House of the Spirits and the Spanish film Volver express similar themes, characters, and magical realism. A good example of this is innocence, Paula and Clara can be described s innocent in terms of their upbringings. Paula was innocent up until she murdered her “father” because he was trying to rape her. Clara blames herself for the death of Rosa because of her magic abilities/powers so she limits her use of what is her full potential. In both the film and the book, women are suppressed in the sense that, they have less rights than men and are constantly barraged by pre conceived notions and high expectations. Another common theme throughout the book and film is wealth v. poor, in Volver, the family is on the brink of poverty and earlier in the book, Esteban used to be poor with good intentions, to provide for his soon to be wife, after he became wealthy he became a completely different person with a completely flipped set of values. This relates to the film in the sense that this poor family was so desperately trying to survive on what little they had, but in the film what they wanted the most was each other aka their mother. The suffrage of women is a very apparent thing in the book and film and it is depicted in various ways throughout both of them. One depicts women’s suffrage more descriptively than the other but they are both still trying to get the same point across. Solver was an excellent film and what made it so unique was that it depicted real world problems in such a real manner. The film gave us insight of the third world struggle of poverty and life among a society with strict rules against women saying they can only do this and that. I am excited to finish the book and I hope to be able to draw more connections to both films and literature that we work on throughout the semester.

House of Spirits Blog #1

What’s up it’s ya boy Andrew coming at cha with another blog post. That’s right, Im back! The House of the Spirits is fantastic, it shows us, the readers a perspective of suffrage, poor vs. wealth, and power/corruption. These are just an handful of the themes throughout the start of the book. What has grasped my attention the most is how much money and power corrupted Esteban’s good nature so to speak. This is such a relatable thing in today’s society because everything now-a-days is about getting rich. I say to hell with that, money doesn’t buy you happiness, if it does, its merely temporary. Back to Esteban, the wealth corrupts the good, kind-hearted intentions he had for Rosa before she died. The book really shows us the power struggle he has which leads him to his crude actions towards others. In chapter 3 page 107, the text states, “Clara’s impudent and nonchalant sensuality was also not enough for him. He wanted far more than her body; he wanted control over that undefined and luminous material that lay within her and escaped him even in those moments when she appeared to be dying of pleasure. His hands felt very heavy, his feet very big, his voice very hard, his beard very scratchy, and his habits of rape and whoring very deeply ingrained, but even if he had to turn himself inside out like a glove, he was prepared to do everything in his power to seduce her.” (pg. 107-108). This shows us how much he has changed, from his habits to his personality, a good man turned rotten. He lets his desires control his thoughts and actions and becomes greedy. However, I believe that the “good” Esteban is in him at heart and we see this partially through the next chapter. All in all we are exposed to the reality of the desires of the world that all of us face in everyday life. While these desires may not be similar to Esteban’s (because he is in some deep sh*t if I may say), not to be cliche, but money is the root of all evil. Thanks for tuning in. 🙂

This Definitely Won’t Waste Your Time…

Like it says, you came here to see something interesting, having value, something that isn’t a waste of your free time. Well, you chose well, today I went to class and created this new website, I write things that are relatively boring that may catch your attention at times. Oh boy, I see it now, people coming to my site to read the crap I post. Now to get to the heart of the subject, what you came here for, something interesting. Sorry, I’m out of time. Eh, I’ll figure out something interesting to talk about next post. Glad I didn’t waste your time.