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 Scripts: Day 1 (May 1)

The Bell Jar Syllabus
Pages 1-28 (Chapter 4)
(Notes on Author’s life) defines a Bell Jar as:
Bell jar n. A cylindrical glass vessel with a rounded top and an open base, used to protect and display fragile objects or to establish a vacuum or a controlled atmosphere in scientific experiments.
How does this definition fit with the first four chapters of the book and the main character?
Can we relate this definition to the author at all?

What are your overall opinions of the book so far?

Song Lyrics!


How is “Elly” stuck in a bell jar or connected to a bell jar?
* Society is looking in on her, but never really apart of it. Great Gastby
* Pessimistic book
* She had the American Dream
* Nick and Gatsby versus Doreen and Elly

Define friend in this society?
* Can we have friends in this society

First page: Rosenburgs and their significance
* The author was slightly obsessed with death
* Foreshadowed

Was she enlightened by society or has she been cut off because of it/
* She has been opened too much by it. She knows too much and she is going crazy.
* Ignorance is bliss
* Daisy wants her daughter to be a ‘fool.’

* Elly is more of a sensory person than an actual person. Though she is a main character, she is fading into the background.

o Comparable to Emily Dickenson

We also listened to “Slow Cheetah” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
We are going to annotate it and discuss it next time we meet

The Catcher in the Rye
May 1, 2007
Chapters 1-6

Main points of discussion were as follows.

What did Holden’s red hunting cap represent? What about Allie’s bright red hair?
v Collectively, it was decided that Holden valued his hat so much because it reminded him so much of Allie’s red hair. It was a way for him to hold on to his brothers memory.

Why is Holden so obsessive over small things and little details?
v Holden focuses on details and unimportant characteristics because it is small and it has little effect on him. He focuses on things that are small, because he knows the pain of loosing something very big and important (his brother, Jane, school).
v Holden finds flaws in people to keep from loving them. In Holden’s life, he looses what he loves

Is Holden a reliable narrator?
v He is reliable in that he says it like it is. Black and white.
v Then again, he always seems to try to verify himself to his audience.
v Salinger writes him as being juvenile-sounding. He sounds sincere, yet a bit aloof at times.

How does Salinger draw the audience into the book so well?
v Salinger touches on matters everyone can relate to.
v His narrator, Holden, is so sincere and true that you can’t help getting involved in his life.
v He makes the audience pity Holden, and want him to do well.

Why is Holden so cynical and jaded?
v He puts on a cynical front to deflect others. As much as he doesn’t want to get involved with others at the risk of getting hurt, he doesn’t want others to see within him.

Tortilla Curtain Scribing
Focus Question:
How does the relationship between Candido and America the character symbolize the relationship between Hispanics and the country of America?
America is the hope for Candido, the only thing he has left, and he clings to her with everything.
America is strong and independent, youthful and pregnant, symbolizing new life.
Her name is America, so she definitely symbolizes our country.
She is pretty, and the idea of coming to America is attractive to Hispanics. She keeps him alive with her hope.
What parts of society does each character represent?
Delaney: Hypocritical environmentalist. He lobbies for change but pawns off a Mexican with $20.
Kyra: symbolizes America because she provides for Delaney. She’s like a desperate housewife, appearing good but falling apart on the inside.
Candido: hopeful lower-class people with no plan, waiting for success to find him.
America: the American dream, the people who have already found success, others aspire to be her.
What are the similarities and differences between the struggles of Candido and Delaney?
Their wives are more successful than they are.
Candido tries to make his wife’s life better, and Delaney wants his life to be better through his wife.
What is the significance of Candido’s dependence on America?
He’s down and out, like other Mexicans, and she rescues him. He depends on her.
Will the relationship between Candido and America turn out?
America will abandon him or become illegal.
Why does America not regret coming north with Candido?
She loves her husband.
She’s exploiting him to get what she wants, which is to come north.
Maybe she’ll get frustrated because she has opportunity and he’s holding her back.
Does she love him? We don’t know, but we think so.
How do Candido and Delaney fear each other?
There’s a language barrier.
Delaney’s afraid of the law coming to get him. He’s also afraid that his perfect world will be tarnished by this Mexican man.
The American dream:
Success, job, family, house, escape from bad conditions… as defined by Candido.
Good environment, good family, comfy lifestyle…as defined by Delaney.
How are Delaney’s and Candido’s meeting symbolic?
America runs down Hispanics with their wealth and power, their machinery.
It’s still Candido’s fault for walking in front of the car.
They both see faults in the other one, but not in themselves.

Book group: Farewell to Arms

Ch 1-10

Opening activity:what should love look like?
-Like a cycle-never ending
-Like a cootie catcher-only the person who made it knows what’s inside-the only people who know what love is are the people who are in love.
-Like a cookie-fragile and delicate

Why did Henry tell Catherine that he loved her?
-She wanted him to say it. He wanted to make her happy.
-Did they really have love-with them and with the society?
-Why does Henry only love Catherine when she isn’t there?
Wanting something you can’t have
He seems to really love watching her, but denies actually loving her.
She knows that he doesn’t love her.
Does Catherine love him?
She uses him-just to have someone for the sake of having someone.
Why is Henry afraid to open up to people?
He describes scenery, but nothing to do with how he feels.
Trying to fill the role of a “man” in war
When he meets Catherine, she tells all about her life and her past, but he simply tells her that he has never been in love
She is so open, but also concealed.
Confused on what to do
During war you have to act on impulse, not thinking about anything…so does Henry take that approach to Catherine?
Don’t really know if the narrator is reliable
So reluctant to say anything
Doesn’t seem to have an explanation for anything
Can you make close friends during war? Does Henry have any?
Someone you can sit and talk to, but you don’t really want to since one or both of you are going to die soon anyway.
You might have a close friend at first, but if they die, you would be really reluctant to be close to anyone again, knowing the possibility of death.
How is death in war compared to death in real life?
You don’t stand out, you become just another number.
Might be why Henry decided to join the war in the first place, since he doesn’t want to stand out, just wants to blend in.

Catcher in the Rye Scribing
Focus for today: Individuality and uniqueness
The "people shooting hat" is his wall tat he hides behind. he is alienated from other people. He shoots people figuratively - he holds contempt for them.
Song: Armor for Sleep Lyrics.
In the song he is waiting for a girl.
and in the book he is finally interested in something. he shows interest.
Holden finds faults in others because he doesn't want to let anyone in. he likes being his own individualistic self.
he doesn't want to get to close to pwople. they might go away. he is callous toward people.(his brother died) He hides his emothions Were he and his brother close?
Is he a trustworthy narrator.
this book is his thoughts and its true to what he is thinking
but is his perspective on others a little skewed because of the events that he has had in his life Has Spencer played by the "rules of the game" all his life?
Probably ,and that is why he is giving Holden this advice?
Maybe he was kind of like Holden when he was younger Why does Holden have Gray Hair?
Gray indicates distance or being emotionally detached
Are his parents Rich?
What kind of relationship does he have wtih his parents.
Because he is priveledged and put in all these Prep schools he needs a way to let go of the pressure.
Does he blame his parents for his brothers death?
If his parents move him from school to school do they really care about him?

The Tortilla Curtain

Is Delaney a racist?
· He is not a racist because he is a product of his environment.
· The society that he lives in is racist and he just fits in.

Since Delaney is involved in recycling, will he be brought back to America and Candido?
· Eventually America might go to cross paths with Delaney because she is looking for a job.
· Delaney might come across Candido because he works near the recycling plant and goes there often.

Is this story really about illegal immigration or separation of the rich and poor?
· It is more about the rich and the poor of society.
· Americans separate themselves from people different from them.
· When America was walking to try and find her job location no one talked to her or attempted to help her.
· Everyone she passed on the street gave her dirty looks and she was scared that someone was going to turn her in.

Do you think that the book is foreshadowing anything?
· I think that maybe Candido might be caught or something like that.