Kakos' 6th Hour

Reactions and comments from my sixth hour Honors American Literature class.


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 Scribing, Day 2 (May 3)

Hannah Seiler absent
Lindsay Strait
Tori Strobel
Book Club
Catcher in the Rye

What is Salinger trying to portray about teenagers with the way that he describes the characters?
o Indecisive
o They think they know everything
o Don ‘t care (school)
o Lazy

Why do they repeat?
o Prove a point (part of text)
o Personality

Why so interested in Jane? Why does he say he will go down and say hi but doesn’t?
o Likes her
o Surprise
o Caring for her
o Missed her
o Brother/Sister
o Doesn’t know what else to say
o Not good enough
o Thinks he doesn’t really know her anymore

Why does Holden get annoyed at people then doesn’t mind them?
o Annoyed is an act
o Actually likes the people but little things annoy him

How will Holden do in New York?
o Do pretty well
o Street smarts
o Knows more about life than school
o Can make friends easily

What does New York symbolize for Holden? The Reader?
o Freedom
o Escape from reality
o Sanctuary, safe
o New beginning
o Exotic
o Big change of plot
o New beginning

Why does he keep annoying Stradlater?
§ Just interested in Jane
§ Stradlater is more annoying him
· Gave Jane the time
· Just met that night
§ Doesn’t fight back when Stradlater is on top of him
· Passive

Does Stradlater care about school more than Holden?
· He cares but he is lazy
· Finds other ways to get it done
· Holden is way smarter and interested but doesn’t care at all

Why doesn’t he exactly remember the night he left?
· So furious
· Blind rage
· So many things happened back to back
· Focus on leaving not the process

· Jane will come back into plot
· Make actual friends
· Blow all his money? Live off the city?
· Not responsible
· Robbed?
· Job?
· What will make him go home? Will he?

A Farewell to Arms
Opening Activity: Song "O Valencia"
The song was very interesting and was about a man who holds his dying wife in his arms. This song relates to A Farewell to Arms because there are things that are holding both relationships back. It also shows how the difference can be between two lovers, and how one may want to get married and the other doesn't want to.

Catherine doesn't want to be heartbroken and she is not confident about herself. Catherine wants to know if he told other woman that he loves them and he says no even though he lied about it. He lies because he really doesn't love her and going to leave her. On the other hand she knows he is lying and he did this to prove to her that he loves her. We also talked about how love is strongest when its not your choice and your feelings are so strong for the other person you can't stay away. This relates because it shows that Henry may not want to love Catherine, but he has no choice. Many people think that Henry's love is so false and he will leave her once she starts to carry to much baggage.
Hemmingway shows that humans are so self absorbed and brag about anything that involves an accomplishment. This is shown when an unknown character is just thrown into the book and he shows all of his metals and leaves.
I think when Catherine compromises to much with Henry and does this to keep him close and not have her heart broken. Rank is important to Hemmingway and he feels is represents power. Humans will never escape rank because people judge other people all the time.
The issue of marrying comes forward and she never wants to get married and this we believe foreshadowing.
We believ that the Meyers are not authentic people and the only person in the story in Catherine because she is the only one that stays true to her love and follows her feelings. The Meyers can be authentic sometimes because she really does care about the soldiers and helps them out but she talks about people behind there backs. Mr. Meyers is very false and has issues with manners and telling people things straight up.
Closing Activity: Hemmingway's Quotes
We found that Hemmingway is a confident guy and doesn't doubt himself. He reveals this in the story because he is a strong personality.

Scribeness: The Catcher in the Rye
Andie, Sarah and Aubrey
A large portion of time was spent making PostSecrets from Holden’s point of view. During this, it was decided that Holden is searching for something, though it was disagreed upon what for.
The point was brought up that Holden goes into great detail explaining the personal habits of those close to him. It could be because he has a very detail-oriented person and is directly linked to/reveals his gift in English, which is the only class he is good at. He could be looking for a distraction for the monotony of his life.
Does Holden have character? Sarah believes he has little or no character and is searching for some. I think he has a lot of character and has no goals for which to apply himself. His biggest concern is to find entertainment. Sarah and Aubrey believe that the hunter hat is a symbol of his search for character. I think the hunter hat is a symbol of his uniqueness and was put there by the author as a device for character development and because Holden’s character requires him to be captivated by it. Aubrey doesn’t think that J.D. Salinger would put this into the story without a reason, and Sarah agrees because this novel is classic and good authors don’t put anything unnecessary into the story. I believe that it could be meaningless since it is written for Holden’s point of view and his personality requires him to obsess briefly over things and bounce between foci.
Does Holden have morals? Aubrey believes Holden does have morals, which are shown by events later in the book. Sarah does not believe Holden has shown any morality thus far. I believe that it is too early to tell since he has not been in any situation yet that has been truly morally challenging.
Concern was brought up that this book would turn into yet another hero’s journey and that a character without character was going to go on a journey to find himself by the end, facing challenges on the way.

The words that flowed from the inner labyrinths of our ears: The Bell Jar
Once being informed that Sylvia committed suicide soon after the writing of this novel, our group became obsessed with death, and the catalysts in her demise.
The poet Robert M. Wilson wrote that "poets are more likely to commit suicide. You're better off numb," about being a sensitive soul. It was said that Sylvia... or Esther... doesn't feel attached to her life, and often feels silent. We also came to an agreement that it's better to feel real emotion, such as sadness, or heartbreak, over feeling nothing, or feeling "numb" because at least what you are experiencing is real. We wondered if perhaps she bottled up her emotions for the sake of her art (the poetry). Life could have been easier on her if she didn't hold back so many feelings, yet she continues to restrain herself.
Her father also died when she was young, which could have contributed to the unavoidable emptiness that consumed her. She speaks little of her parents, and from what she has said, her mother sounds unsupportive of her life's dream to be a writer.
She appears to be indecisive as well, and we feel that in her future that could rob her of options or opportunities. Without windows of chance, would she have a reason to live?
The Rosenbergs fascinated her, and she observed their deaths in detail. Alexa made a connection to the Virginia Tech shooting, and told us that the shooter apparently wrote gruesome stories, and perhaps wanted to commit this crime in order to observe what true death really looked like. It was also suggested that she might have wanted to analyze the deaths she has known because death is a person's last communication to the world and in a "wonderful death" she could become immortal.
One last question plagued our minds: Did someone purposely poison the girls?

The Catcher in the Rye

First, we discussed the motifs that appear in the book and how they relate to the prior books like the Great Gatsby. We discussed the falsity of love and how it is deceptive.

Then, we talked about how Holden is like Gatsby in his search of love, however Gatsby strived to achieve his dreams whereas Holden was kicked out of Pency because he “didn’t apply himself” of strive to achieve anything.

Next, we talked about how objects like the red hunting hat keep reoccurring throughout the novel, and the importance that these objects play in the scheme of the plot. We also discussed how it might represent Holden’s individuality.

We then discussed the significance of Holden’s interest in the ducks in central park. We came to the conclusion that they show how he is truly a kid inside even if he tries to act like an adult all the time. It also shows that change isn’t forever and that it is a cycle.

Closing Acting: We talked about how these specific motifs played a large role in the book and we thought that the reason for these motifs is because the add a unique underlying voice, or niche for the reader to hang onto.


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