Thursday, November 10, 2011

the Red convertable

Henry and Lyman were brother that lived on a reservation.  They shared a old red convertible with each other.  But now Henry owns all of it.  Lyman got his money for through various jobs.  He seemed to be lucky when it came to earning money.  At first he shined shoes in the American Legion Hall.  Then he sold spiritual bouquets for the mission.  The nuns at the mission let him keep part of the money.  Then he started to wash dishes at this restaurant then became the manager, then owning it.  But after one year as owner it blew down.  They saw the car with a FOR SALE sign in the window.  They immediately bought it.  Henry and Lyman drove may places in that old car.  The details didn’t matter to them.  But they do remember this place in willows.  They laid under trees and meet a girl called Sussy.  She needed a ride to her home in Alaska.  Her home was welcoming and they didn’t want to leave.  The family put them up and feed them.  The kids could ot get over the fact that the brothers didn’t look the same.  They had the same mother.  Soon they left that place and went down through Spokane, Montana along the Canadian border until they got home. It was at that point that the army remembered Henry and took him.  After sending two letters the enemy caught him and there he stayed for three years.   For the government the war was over, but for Henery it was still going on.  He didn’t come back the same.  He was quieter then usual, always moving around, never sitting still.  He was put under a spell  by the  TV. Lyman and his mom talked about sending to the doctor but they might keep him.  So Lyman decided to mess up the car to reach his brother.  It worked,  but in the end they drove it to the river and Henry went under the current.  So Lyman made sure the car followed him down the river. 

     When the story first started out I did not understand the beginning.  “ we own it (the car) together until his boots filled with water on a windy night and he bought out my share.  Now Henry owns the whole car and his younger brother Lyman (that’s myself), Lyman walks everywhere he goes.”  When I got to the end I understood it.  It kind of acts as a framing device for the story.  But the brother aspect of the story is interesting.  We learn  a lot about Lyman because he is the narrator, but not as much about Henry.  We learn that he was laid off from a job and that he is quiet and “built like a brick out house” with a big nose that was sharp as a hatchet.  After that we lear about the effects the war had on him, that he watches television with his had griping the chair or he became a loner.  He became jumpy and mean.  I do wonder why we don’t learn that much about his personality until after he is affected by the war.   I wonder what was actually on the television that made him keep his attention there for so long?  It also seemed like that brothers loved wondering.  They knew they had a home to go back to and their mother did not seem that too shook up about it.  I don’t think they cared where they went as much as they cared about the journey and the people they meet.  I think the reason why Susy stood out to them was because she had a family and they enjoyed their time there.  The Ending was sad, because Henry came to the realization that he won’t be normal again and he decides to commit suicide. Lyman sends the car in after him be

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

E.B White

Charlotte and Wilbur were alone in the Barn.  Wilbur’s safety was guaranteed and Charlotte was happy with this.  Wilbur asked why Charlotte was so quiet.  Charlotte said that she likes to sit still and that she’s always been rather quiet.   She was tired but peaceful in knowing that the success in the ring (which was also her success) helped to make sure that Wilbur would have a long life.  But she knew that her life was almost done and she would not make it back to the barn.  Willbur asked why Charlotte did all these things for him, such as saving his life.   “You have been my friend” said Charlotte, “That in itself is a tremendous thing.  I wove my webs for you because I liked you.   After all, what’s a life anyway?  We’re born, we live a little while, we die.  A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess with all this trapping and eating files.  By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that”  She then told Wilbur that she wasn’t going back to the barn, that is was to e her resting place.   Wilbur wanted to stay, but Charlotte talked him out of it.  Wilbur raced around the pin, searching his head for ideas.  Finally he decided to save Charlotte’s babies, but the egg sac is up near Charlotte and he can’t reach it.  Willbur runs to get Templeton to get the egg sac. “So It’s old Templeton to the rescue again” said Templeton.  Wilbur begs Templeton to help, but he feels in appreciated for all the times that he has helped Wilbur with the dump.  Wilbur promises Templeton first picks in the slop from now on and Templeton saves the egg sac.   Charolette’s family line survives because of him.
            I think asking about the purpose of one’s life important, whether or not you find the answer is up to you, but you can also make a choice about it.  This is most likely the case for Charlotte.   Through the line, “After all what’s a life anyway?  We’re born, we live a little while, we die.”  It is kind of a nihilistic way to look at ones life, but she is not a nihilist though, since she finds a purpose.  It might be that Charlotte, (if she was a human) is an atheist.  In regards to her death, she doesn’t make a reference to any god or spiritual element.  She is just happy that she was able to make a friend and help to save his life.  There also the topic of being unappreciated.  Templetion has done a lot for Wilbur, but almost never gets  a thanks.  I almost questioned if he would get Charlotte’s children, but in the end he rescued them.  But you would also have to ask what woud have Wilbur done if he didn’t?  Pigs are know to eat almost anything.  Would have Wilbur eat him if he didn’t save the children?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The School!

Everything they tried to take care of died.  The latest thing they took care of was a plant.  The school figured that it should be a part of their education to learn about the root system.  There were 30 kids, so there were 30 dead trees in the ground.  It was pretty sad; having a bunch of little kids just staring at the ground, wondering what went wrong.  It probably had something to do with the soil.  But before that it was the snakes.  The snakes were left in the school during the strike, and the boiler was turned off, so the kids knew what to expect.  Before that was the herb garden.  They probably over watered it. Then there was the fish and that was expected.  But no one expected a puppy.  The Murdoch girl found it under a Gristede truck.  She was afraid that the puppy would have been run over by the truck.  They named the puppy Edgar, after the teacher.  The kids found this amusing and the kept the puppy in the closet. It too also died, but I made sure that the children didn’t see it.  I gave it to the custodian.  Then there was the Korean orphan that the children adopted through the Help the Children program.  But then the child died.  His name was Kim and the kids felt pretty bad about it.  They felt as thought something was wrong with the school.  Then 9 parents passed away and we had the tragedy with Matthew Wein and Tony Mavrogordo.  Then one day they asked the teacher, where did they go and he said nobody knows.  They said “Is death what gives life meaning?” And he said “no life is that which gives meaning to life.”  Then they said “isn’t death, considered as a fundamental datum, the means by which the taken for granted mundanity of the everyday may be transcended in the direction of…..
It was at this point in the story that I came to the realization that these kids might not be normal.  With the many deaths surrounding the school, I was with the teacher in the thought that it was just a series of very unfortunate events.  But then the children showed an intelligence that wasn’t expected of them.  But it never says what grade they are in.  Yes, they are called children in the story, but most teachers in grade school call their students children.  As a whole the story is morbid, but bot gory or scary.  You just get an overall sense that something might be wrong.  That the children might be unnatural or advance might throw off the reader.  The Author plays with the sense of development, but the children ask questions about death that any child would ask, only with bigger concepts.  The reason we find it off putting because they use terms and concepts that they should know and are asked to be show these concepts, like sex.  In it’s most basic form, it is the fear of big words in a way.