My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Book Club Scribes, Day 3 (May 4)

Friday May 4th 2007
Catcher in the Rye
Chapters 11 and 12

Holden must feel really empty, he is trying to hard to fit in with his own perception of himself
Why is Holden attracted to Jane?
She seems real and down to earth. She isn’t fake.
He can relate to her.
At the beginning of chapter 11 Holden talks about his sister and then at the end he is discussing the 3 women in his life are his comparisons of all the women in his life fair?
Jane and Phoebe are the only women he truly has respect for.
After Holden talks to Lillian, why does he leave the club?
He felt that she only wanted to talk to Holden to hear about his brother.
She didn’t care, and that is what Holden needed the most
Holden tries to be neutral with everyone; he can say something horrible about a person but then always neutralizes it with something nice?
Why does Holden move around a lot, whether it is in narration or physical
Jane is the first person he has been the first person he can connect with
If Holden moves around a lot, he may figure that there is no one else to miss him
Why did Holden say he would choose to play his piano in the closet?
He thinks it may make life even more miserable
He takes no credit and takes no blame
Holden likes to stand out and be different
He want to form is own opinion and not go along with the masses
Would you be a celebrity if you had the chance?
In the same way, how do you think about Holden’s brothers choice of life?
Pg. 87 Holden says , “I’m always saying ‘Glad to’ve met you’ to somebody I’m not glad at all I met” How does this reflect his character?
It is ironic how he hates people who are fake and thinks it is phony, but that he still does it anyway.
Describe the ducks and the fish in Holden’s pond. What could they represent? Is Holden a duck or a fish?

Tortilla Curtain: Ch.7-8 Syllabus

Opening Activity: “Such Great Heights” by Postal Service
· How does Boyle present the American dream in Chapter 8, and what are his views and opinions of that dream based on how he portrays it?
o American dream is to be so high up that other people are jealous
o All four are humans with ups and downs in their life
· Why at the beginning of the chapter does the author use the word “haunting” to describe the relationship between whites and Mexicans?
o The Mexicans are running from the whites. It is a haunting relationship because they never really have any personal contact.
· How does the supermarket scene portray the Hispanic dream of success in America? What does the dream entail?
o You have to, often times, work hard once you get here and it is survival of the fittest. Once your goal is achieved it feels good.
· What is the significance of the age difference between America and Candido?
o Youth symbolizes Naivety.
o People hate her (America) for no reason. She didn’t want to make them mad.
o She represents innocence as well.
· How does Candido fit in with the stereotype of a normal Mexican man? How does he not fit in?
o Stereotypes say drunk and poor, which he is. But he also cares a lot for America
· When it starts to look like the have hope, why does the author choose to tell the story from America’s point of view?
o America represents hope. Writing from her point of view it shows that the hope is there and that there is hope for her and Candido.
o America’s point of view is a lot more sympathetic than Candido’s.
· Is there significance that the statues America is paid to clean are Buddha?
o Give a foreign feeling into the book?
· What is the significance of the fact that the man who rapes America is both Hispanic and white?
o What side of him spurs him to commit the crime?
· What is the symbolism about the lizard shooting blood out of its eyes for defense?
o It symbolizes the Mexican people who commit crimes but in committing them, simply feed the fire of hate against Mexico. “Gravy for the predator.”
· What different things seem to suppress or set back the American dream in the chapter, and what are the costs of striving for that dream?
o People in general
· What is your definition of success?
o Power
o Reaching your goal
o Content with where you are

Bell Jar Scribe

After eating two cookies, Dan stole a third and tried to eat it. Jessica and Emily enforced strong opposition and his rebellion was crushed.
Discussing Chapter 6
Dan: Esther seems indifferent to life
Jess: Disagrees. She isn’t understanding Esther’s intentions.
Dan: Esther doesn’t understand what “sex” really is. She sees birth and death, but she has no interest in Buddy when he tries to seduce her.
Emily: Esther is slowly disintegrating; as she sees the wonders in life, her own life seems to be falling apart.
Jess: Emily and Dan are so psychotic.
Emily: Esther seems to be repressing all of her natural instincts and desires (like Freud.) Rather than maintaining equilibrium, she has overreacted, and her subconscious thoughts surface and push her toward insanity.
Dan: Disagrees. He thinks that Esther is influenced by fear and society. She is afraid to have sex with Buddy because she is afraid of sex.
Dan: I win. (he is confused).
Emily: Esther sees what society wants her to be, but she doesn’t want to be like that. She is afraid to be who she really wants to become, and she represses her own desires, thoughts and wishes. Because she is repressing her “soul” to such a great extent, she is unable to be herself, nor can she be what society wants her to be.
Dan: She sees life and considers it torture.
Jess: She idolizes who she wants to be, but she doesn’t know exactly what that is.
General consensus: We aren’t quite sure what the main point to the book is yet—we just have glimpses and bits.

Catcher in the Rye Scribe
What makes you feel awkward? How does it pertain to catcher?
- Jen: guys talking about what goes on in their minds (sex, sex, sex)
o Thinks we SHOULD be comfy talking about it, but we aren’t
- Kyle: girls discussing feminine problems in front of him
o Disgusting, don’t want to hear about these types of things
o Catcher: he discusses things that people often don’t want to hear

Who determines what is normal and what is not?.....

How Holden’s affection for his sister contrasts his view of other people in the book?
- Jen: his sister is one of the only people who actually believes in him
- Kyle: sister looks up to him, Holden craves to be an idol for her

- way to fool people, makes him feel more mature
- makes Holden himself a phony b/c he is trying to be someone he is not
- drink away his troubles

What is Salinger trying to say about adult life?
- People are filling their lives with emptiness
- Same with Holden, but he knows this, he recognizes his loneliness every chapter
- Holden is not improving himself

Catcher in the Rye Scribe
Discussion Questions:

Why did Holden tell Jane about Allie but not anyone else, what kind of a connection do they share?
They had an 'intimate' relationship, beyond physical
Why does Jane resist Holden kissing her mouth while she lets him kiss her entire face?
She wants the relationship to stay where it is, she is satisfied without them being physically intimate
Why does Holden never tell her his true feelings for her?
Because he's a boy
Not enough courage
Embarrassed because they aren't on the same level (like in Spiderman and Gatsby)
Because he's 'yellow'
His moods are an excuse
Why does he harshly judge people while still trying to hang out with them? (for example, the cab driver)
He's lonely
Searching for another Jane (like in Gastby)
"If I were a piano player, I'd play in the goddamn closet" (84 Salinger). Why does he bring people down to bring himself up?
Still searching, for someone who can provide conversation
Is he jealous?