I find myself intensely disliking the narrator, but this may be the reaction that the author is looking for. We, as a species, have an inherent repulsion to weakness. Our genes have programed us to survive, and the weak members of the herd are weaned off as the powerful members thrive. However, this broad spectrum of survival does not apply to humans as abrasively as it does to other species. Our brains (bbbrraaiiiiinnnns) allow us to break free of some of the survival restrictions that were placed upon us at our earliest development. The narrator is someone to be nurtured rather than shunned. He should be looked upon with calm understanding and treated with respect. He should not be treated kindly because he is going through puberty, or becoming aware of his sexual orientation, or unsure of who he is, he should be cared for because he is a human being that has the same feelings and range of emotion as anyone else. This does not mean that he should be coddled and have excuses made for him, this would be to treat him differently from everyone around him, singling him out, lifting him above others. He should be regarded as an equal to any other human and treated as such. That being said, I still think he is kind of whiny and irritating.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Why is the Narrator making everyone so uncomfortable? In a broad sense, we all go through puberty, we are all curious about death, and we all have had moments when we are positive that our sexual excitement is inappropriate. The idea that the author is writing from a child’s point of view with an adults intellect is important. If we were all able to express the ideas we formed, as well as images we desired as children we would all have made the adults surrounding us glance around and shuffle their feet. I do however, believe that it is important for us to remember the pure, unabashed, imaginative thoughts of our childhood. Too often are we stifled by what we believe others may think of us. This is not to say that I believe that everyone should act upon their base desires, that would be disastrous, there would be sex and murder all over the place. I am mostly just opening the door to the idea that we have turned our desires into what we think are solitary, disgusting, unnatural thoughts. In reality we all have the same base instincts, it is how we, as adults, react to these instincts that makes us connected individuals.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I read the Yukio Mishima's biography mid way through the first reading assignment. I became very agitated throughout the rest of the reading after I had learned about Mishima's ceremonial suicide. The book and narrator took on different tones, the blood lust of the protagonist became more realistic, more bothersome than it had been before. I began to wonder if it was truly the narrator's “Inherent deficiency of blood [that] had first implanted in me the impulse to dream of bloodshed” (92) or if Mishima was writing what he knew, his own personal blood lust. Perhaps this is Mishima's attempt at an outlet for his gory desires, “But my heart's leaning toward Death and Night and Blood would not be denied” (21). I admire someone who is willing to die for a cause, I admire their complete faith in their beliefs. However, I also become impatient with these individuals, believing that one can do more for a cause with diligent work over time rather than one passionate outburst in a single instant, denying one's self from future furthering of a personally important cause. This topic has strayed from direct discussion of the book, however I think it is important to understand an author's mindset in order to truly understand the message that is being conveyed through the story.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I loved the discussion of cigarettes and those who smoke them, on page 242. “Because there was never enough money and there were never enough fags. You had to become an expert in bumming, cadging, begging, stealing fags.” As a previous smoker, I understand the complexities of bumming a cigarette--If you aren’t careful, you can lose friends. What really struck me though was the intricacy involved in such a minor matter. The options of who one can be in the simple act of bumming a smoke are numerous, you can have a forgettable face, able to snag a cig. from the same person more than once, or “blow a week’s pocket money on twenty, give them out to all and sundry, and spend the next month reminding those with fags about that time when you gave them a fag” (242). One can also share the smoke once it’s been filched, which leads to even more choices that have to be made, halves, thirds, saves, and/or butt. These choices only relate to cigarettes, think of the choices that have to be made every day, with every object, “should I have coffee today? Decaf or regular? Hazelnut or vanilla? Should I sit at home or take it with me? I just had my teeth whitened, should I have tea instead? Our lives are filled with choices, and decisions. As adults we have learned to filter some of the options, for me having coffee in the morning is no longer an choice that has to be made, it is a habit, I don’t care what flavor just give me my damn coffee. But as a kid they whole world is riding on new decisions. Through this view of cigarettes it is easy to see why Millat is in a constant state of change, how overwhelming.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I am working with the idea that Rushdie is creating his novel in a format that mimics the ever important sheet. The “large white bedsheet with a roughly circular hole some seven inches in diameter cut into the center…(stained too, with three drops of old, faded redness.)” (4). Aadam is only allowed to see his future wife Naseem seven inches at a time, an elbow here, a slightly blushing buttock there, which in time allows him to create an entire woman. Midnight’s Children is our sheet, the plot being Naseem’s “shy, but compliant” (23) buttock . We get tantalizing glimpses of the whole picture, piece by piece, Tai, the stinky, ageless, boat man, or Padma, the woman named after the goddess of dung. Each of these characters, or body parts, works to further us toward the ultimate unveiling. Just as Aadam revels in the torture and ecstasy of his minute glimpses of Naseem, we, the reader mimic his feelings of frustration and pleasure in the small, slow, circular plot revelations. The reader may come to be irritated with the novel, just as Naseem becomes an irritant to Aadam, but one still has to grudgingly respect the Reverend Mother for her power and creativity.