Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Refelction: Catch 22

 Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning.

Catch 22. What a book. I would say this has to be some of my favorite writing. I love a good satire and Joseph Heller just seems to take command. While laughing my way through, I can't help but truly think about what it's commenting on. Brilliant. I think the only way for you to understand what I am saying, is to read it-- so I will leave you a little taste of Heller.

"He woke up blinking with a slight pain in his head and opened his eyes upon a world boiling in chaos in which everything was in proper order"

"'Because I'm the people I buy them from,' Milo Explained. 'I make a profit of three and a quarter cents apiece when I sell them to me and from me. That's a total profit of six cents an egg. I lose only two cents an egg when I sell them to the mess halls at five cents apiece, and that's how I can make a profit buying eggs for seven cents apiece and selling them for five cents apiece. I pay only one cent apiece at the hen when I buy them in Sicily.' "

"There was no way of really knowing anything, he knew, not even that there was no way of really knowing anything"

Up Nest: Crime and Punishment

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Reflection: Of Mice and Men

When I think back to the first time I read Steinbeck I remember not liking it that much. This was probably because I was in grade 8 and we were reading The Pearl for an assignment. I can't remember the novel that well, but I can remember being overcome by a repellent feeling that I had while reading it.

Ten years later and I had that same repellent feeling while reading Of Mice and Men, but this time I was able to identify what this feeling meant. I think Steinbeck enlisted in me a range of emotions that I do not always want to deal with on a day to day basis. It's hard to face the idea of good people doing bad things, or the innocent being tormented by the more intelligent. As an animal lover I couldn't help but see the connection between Lennie and the animals that he wants to pet, and this tore at my heart. I think Steinbeck is a wonderful author who touches on themes in only 100 pages that other authors aren't able to hint at their whole lives (and not for a lack of trying).

Up next: Catch 22

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Reflection: Middlemarch

When I first began this novel I was obsessed with Downton Abbey-- so I convinced myself that this book would be a lot like Downton, even though this novel is set well before the 1900's . While this book was not a look at the lives of the rich and the poor as Downton Abbey is, they could easily take plotlines from Middlemarch (as they seem to be doing with Jane Eyre). Regardless of its likeness to a popular television show, Middlemarch surprised me by being a novel that was both romantic while being aware of the ups and downs that come with love.

This novel is not a romance novel between a couple-- instead it is a collection of relationships that allows the reader to analyze what makes a good companionship and what makes a bad companionship. This in-depth dissection is precisely why Mary Anne Evans chose to write her novels under the male pseudonym George Elliot, because it allowed her to stray from the usual constraints that were placed on female writers in the 1860's and 70's. Middlemarch is an epic without the epicness. It is a beautiful tale of normal people during a political time. It is a true insight on how the "middle"men cope in such a big world with so many other "things" going on.
Up next: Of Mice and Men