Hottest Day of the Year

When I heard of this movie, I was curious on why it was called “Do the Right Thing”. Most movies are a fight between good and evil and doing the right thing and wrong thing so why would a movie be stating the obvious. Since I haven’t finished watching the movie, I still do not have the answer to this questions. As the movie started, I was struck by the passion of the woman dancing. Women are usually presented as proper and poise people; however, she was very fierce and passionate. Her face and body language made me assume that she grew up or was living in an area where women had to be fierce and stand up for themselves.

I also wondered why the movie kept emphasizing that it was a hot hot day. They repeated this idea and made sure that the audience was aware of this. The reason why they might have repeated that it was a hot day is because hot is symbolic to anger. From what we saw in the movie, there is already much racism between white men and black men. This is very apparent inside the pizzeria.  The man in the pizzeria saw that the pictures on the wall were all of white men and he openly said that they should put pictures of black men on it. Racism was openly acknowledged instead of quietly put into action and when black men felt that they were being put down, they tried to do something about it.


Linda Manchery

Ironic and Hazy

Richard II was a harder play for me to understand. The speech was difficult especially because I am not used to reading Shakespearian plays. Some scenes in the play that really stuck out to me was when Richard II banished both Mowbray and Bolingbroke so abruptly. I did not understand why he made this decision.

What I found ironic was how Richard II plotted against Gloucester and then how many people including Bolingbroke plot against Richard II. This could also be regarded as foreshadowing because what happens to Gloucester seems to happens to Richard II. Again, as with Don Juan, I am not sure whether to classify Richard II as a hero or as a villain. They both have attributable qualities; however, their main roles in the plays are not reputable. This quality of their character makes their role classification hazy and it is up to the reader to determine whether the main character is a hero or a villain.

Clever Ambiguity

From the very beginning, Don Juan surprised me. I could not figure out how a man could use women to such an extent. It was interesting to see how he twisted his words to Sganarelle and made it seem as though he was in the right. Sganarelle is a very humorous and sarcastic character. His reaction to Don Juan is often very sarcastic but he is also forced to be loyal for fear of his life. Sganarelle’s character is that of the audience because the audience also sees the true nature of Don Juan.

If this play was written today, it would be very unbelievable for Don to seduce a woman so quickly; however, in the time of Moliere, loyalty and the promise of marriage was very sacred and often unbreakable. I also felt sympathetic to Pierrot because he seemed to have sincerely loved Charlotte. However, the way Pierrot described her love for him foreshadowed that it would be easy of Don Juan to seduce her. Finally, it was amusing to see how Don Juan persuaded both Charlotte and Mathurine to believe that he loved and would marry both women. Even when he addressed both women he was careful not to mention anyone’s names and was very ambiguous.

The Highline-The Poetic Snake

The Poetic Snake 

A poetic snake whisks far within

The quietness of its might creeps steadily in

Far and narrow its body swerves

Ready to attack the noise of the world

Above it the towers of metal

Below it the bustle of men

Around it an unnatural shutter

Inside it the wind of the earth

Harmony binds the two levels of thought

The city seeps its life into it

From within it enjoys the serenity received

Timeless is its bond with man

By Linda Manchery

Love, Pursuit, Pain

When I listened to the “Because the Night” I heard the passion in Smith’s voice. However, her voice also had a sense of agony that sort of scared me. Whenever she said the word “love”, I felt like this. This is ironic because love is supposed to be something that is good and pure; however, in this song love seems like an animal. The song starts off slowly and begins to build up after the first stanza. After reading about Patti’s life, I feel more able to recognize some of the emotions in her lyrics and voice.

“Chelsea Hotel” reminded me of a country song made for New York. This song talks about a woman much like the women in “Just Kids”. Most of the hotel’s occupants were trying to be legends and they often used each other to help build their career. The singer says “I need you, I don’t need you…I don’t even think of you that often”. These lines make me wonder because I am not sure whether the man actually loved the girl in the song or if he had initially used her in building his career.

“Just Kids” shows a wide range of emotions and stories. These two songs do a good job in capturing some of the main scenes in the memoir including love, being in the hotel, and pursuit. One feeling that reflects all three pieces of art is pain. In the book, both Robert and Patti go through a lot of anguish while “Chelsea Hotel” talks about the loss of a potential love. Finally, “Because the Night” does talk about love but this love seems forced and selfish because it is described as “hunger, fire, and lust”.

– Linda Manchery

“Just Kids” – A True Experience

I was not sure what to expect when I saw the cover of “Just Kids”. As I looked at the cover page and the back page, I thought that this book would be about a couple’s relationship. Only after I started reading did I realize that it would be about much more. I always find it interesting when authors use their own life stories and experiences when writing a novel. It makes the story more personal and gets me to think, “Wow, this really happened”.

Something else that made me think was when Patti stole from Stephanie has experienced her first feelings of sin and guilt. Though Patti was not responsible for Stephanie’s death, Patti felt a lot of guilt because of it. In the same way, when Robert felt that he was homosexual, Patti felt that she was somehow responsible for his way of thinking. Later she realizes that she has no control over the events that happened.

This book seemed really appropriate for our class “Arts in NYC”. The theme of this book centers around living on art and the struggles that are associated with it. The will power that these young artists had was incredible. For the most part, they disregarded all physical pleasures to pursue their love for art. When they finally had enough money for two sandwiches, I felt a sense of amazement because I myself had lost hope that they would be able to make a living. Leading this type of life is hard and during the scene before Hotel Chelsea, the two main characters seem a bit lost in where they are and I am looking forward to see how their lives are going to pane out.

– Linda Manchery

Anew Each Time

The Arrival reminded me of many different things. The pictures, at first, startled me but then as I began analyzing them, they made more sense. The drawing of the dragon tails at the beginning of the book symbolizes the darkness and dangerous area that the family lives in. They are surrounded by these dragons and need to escape as soon as possible. Even though there were no words, I could feel the emotion of the characters through the pictures. When the mother wiped her tears, I could feel her sadness in the main “crying” picture and by those surrounding it. I even felt a sense of compassion when the father took the suitcase as the daughter tried lifting it.

When the father gets to the city, he goes through a “security check”. In the one picture of the man opening his mouth wide, I can also hear the “AHH” sound that he might have made. In the city, everything around the father is new. The pictures of the city are very weird and unusual. The language used in the pictures is foreign and seem unable to decipher. Even the animals look weird. This must have been how the father felt when he came to America. He did not know English and everything he saw was different than that in his homeland. The way the author portrayed the girl working in the factories was interesting. I like the way he showed her anguish, sadness, and frightfulness as she was put to work, began to work, and ran away. The playful nature between the old man and the young boy could be seen as they ate and passed the food to each other and to the father.

By portraying the story of this book by pictures, the author has succeeded in capturing what many authors cannot through their writing. Usually we use our imaginations and try to form a picture in our mind of what is happening in a book. Here, however, we are given the picture and our minds have the full freedom to write the story. Though the book will always contain the same pictures, the stories can change from reading the book the first time to reading the book the second time. Finally, it can also change from reader to reader because each reader will bring his or her own personal experience or opinion into the story.



Lost-A Mass of Souls and Words

I am glad that Adams wanted to achieve a majestic feeling to the music when he started writing it. When I think of the aftermath of death, I think of a heavenly presence-something different than the loud and busy lives of today. After reading through the passage I understand why Adams would link the papers falling from the towers with the “congregated” souls that one would imagine in a large cathedral. The papers falling can also symbolize the number of souls that were lost (or fell) from the towers. These souls can float like the souls in a cathedral. The sense of awe and of something mystical would take control of a person as they stood in the cathedral or outside the towers watching them fall.

I also like the fact that the piece had limited words. Emotions can be said by words, but sometimes, only the language of music can truly express it. Adam’s lack of words in the piece remind me of how many Americans were also at a loss of words when the twin towers fell. The surprise and amazement we felt was not of goodness but of concern and of panic. Yes, we watched the towers fall in amazement but during and after the event everyone was still unable to answer the simple questions of “how” and “why”.

Forgetting Worse than Remembering?

Rieff says that “remembrance is humanly necessary”.  This aspect of human thinking makes personal loss almost unbearable. Rieff makes it seem that we need to forget the events of 9/11. So why is it that even when we want to forget we still take part in memorials like the tenth anniversary of 9/11 that Rieff mentions? I believe it’s because when you are deeply connected to a person, losing that person creates an empty emotional space in your mind, a hole in your heart.

Memorials, though they remind you of your loss, allow you to have the satisfaction that even though that person is not in your life anymore, you have not entirely forgotten them. And maybe forgetting them is worse that remembering them because forgetting them might mean that they did not really mean that much to you. Does entirely forgetting your loved one and the way they died suggest that they did not make an impact on you life?