I’m Not Dead!

I’ve been a little absent from this blog (even though I’ve only made like three posts), but I assure you. I’m not dead. I’m a little backlogged with work from school and whatnot but I’m gonna try and repost one of my reviews from my old blog maybe tonight. I’m feeling Basket Case or Parents.

I would ask what you guys would prefer but honestly, I don’t know who reads this. I frankly don’t care if you, the person reading this right now, are perhaps the one person to ever read this. I find these posts therapeutic. It brings a sense of importance to my important film ramblings and all of my chaotic nonsense that runs through my head. I’m hoping it allows me to organize my thoughts on film and helps me ground my arguments as to why I hate certain films, etc.

So, I don’t really have much else to say, but I should include a photo. So here you guys go:

gnomo copConfused? You should be. It’s the Spanish poster for this piece of shit movie called A Gnome Named Gnorm from the 90s. I highly recommend you guys check it out. I also reviewed this movie with a group of friends in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECcsWvuJBUI

Check out that channel and subscribe if you want to!…okay, I’m done with my plug…have a nice evening.

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Part Four of the Poetry Analysis Trilogy

We’ve reached the end of our epic saga, our fine adventure, our sprawling journey. There have been rough times and there have been great times. Remember when we found that Disco Worm and he attacked me? Ahhhh….that was great. Well anywhos….it’s finally time for the last blog post. The last post for classwork assignments that is. I’ll probably start ranting in my own ways about the next book I’m reading on another post. This last poem is from the Renaissance period, and I’ll say, it’s quite delectable.

“St. Crispin’s Day Speech” by William Shakespeare from Henry V

What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Yes, yes. I know that was a bit of a read. And for those of you who are not used to reading Shakespeare (if there are any of that kind reading this blog), I know that was a doozy. Don’t worry. I’ll explain. The connection between this and Slaughterhouse-Five had to do with two themes. There was the theme of social class and how it affected the soldier’s day-to-day lives in the novel. The other theme had to do with the same theme seen in the contemporary poem selection, “The Rule”. This can be found in my earlier posts. Have fun.

Form: Any basic Shakespeare nerd knows that everything he did was in iambic pentameter, that is unless it was in prose. If that was the case, it wasn’t in iambic pentameter. Yes. Mmmm. A few lines do, however, break the natural flow of things. “The fewer men, the greater share of honour.” This is to emphasize this part of the poem/speech. It is a moment that should be paid closely attention to, because it begins to illustrate the theme of the poem/speech.

Imagery/Figurative Language:

“Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’ “

This imagery in this quote supports the idea that to die or be maimed in battle is a thing to be proud of because it allows you to be part of a bigger cause and to not have died or be wounded in vain. Everyone is equal and everyone is together. To display a scar from battle would be to show that the said soldier is proud of his collaboration with soldiers and his cause.

Music/Sound: The rhythm of the poem/speech is that of “da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum”. Any extra syllables within the rhythm signify a great moment that could mean a change in tone or perhaps emphasize a certain aspect or theme within the poem. It is supposed to have such a rhythm to keep things flowing throughout the poem/speech as a whole.

Theme, Target, Title: The theme of being marked for death by being a soldier is prevalent throughout. This also correlates with the theme of social class within the war itself. Once a soldier is marked for death or is injured, ranks do not matter, everyone is equal to the other. This is similar by comparing it to the point in Slaughterhouse-Five where Billy and several other soldiers who do not care much for him are severely injured. As a result, they all have a unique bond that keeps them alive until they are separated into their work areas in Dresden.

Emotion: The emotion expressed within this poem is one of courage. It unites all social classes together in dark times and it brings everyone to the point where it is almost a comforting thing to die in war. This is most likely due to the fact that people will die in company and not be alone; this will allow them to not have many fears in the war, and therefore unite everyone not only by being marked for death, but just by having the company of each other.

I’d like to point out that this last post has taken me the longest to do. While I have been trying to complete this post, I have watched four Youtube videos, read an entire article about Bladerunner, posted on Facebook three times, helped my sister find a tee-shirt, eaten pizza, and talked to my mother about various things that vex me and destroy my self-esteem. It would appear as if my subconcious does not wish for this post to be completed. Well take that, brain! Ha! What are you going to do now?

Well, this is the end. My only friend, the end. Ha I quoted a Doors song. That’s a first for an online blog post. But now I have done it. There must be so many things in store for my brain and quoting blogs in the future. So long. You will never hear from “School Assignment Me” again.

There’s Always Money in the Blog Post

No. No there isn’t. I’m doing this for free. No payment is involved. That was merely a reference to one of my favorite shows, Arrested Development. If you don’t like it, go home. If you’re already home, find something better to do like….well go lick your cat or something.

Here is the third part in these poems of misery and woe. It is from the Modernism period. It is entitled:

“During the Second World War” by Charles Reznikoff

During the Second World War, I was going home one night
along a street I seldom used. All the stores were closed
except one—a small fruit store.
An old Italian was inside to wait on customers.
As I was paying him I saw that he was sad.
“You are sad,” I said. “What is troubling you?”
“Yes,” he said, “I am sad.” Then he added
in the same monotone, not looking at me:
“My son left for the front today and I’ll never see him again.”
“Don’t say that!” I said. “Of course, you will!”
“No,” he answered. “I’ll never see him again.”
 
Afterwards, when the war was over,
I found myself once more in that street 
and again it was late at night, dark and lonely;
and again I saw the old man alone in the store.
I bought some apples and looked closely at him:
his thin wrinkled face was grim
but not particularly sad. “How about your son?” I said.
“Did he come back from the war?” “Yes,” he answered.
“He was not wounded?” “No. He is all right.”
“That’s fine,” I said. “Fine!”
He took the bag of apples from my hands and groping inside
took out one that had begun to rot
and put in a good one instead.
“He came back at Christmas,” he added.
“How wonderful! That was wonderful!”
“Yes,” he said gently, “it was wonderful.”
He took the bag of apples from my hands again
and took out one of the smaller apples and put in a large one.
 
I found myself thinking of the common phrase in Slaughterhouse-Five, “So it goes.” This phrase always follows the description of one dying or suffering a miserable experience, yet while in this one, it is the opposite. It will make more sense in my explication.
 
Form: The form is clearly that of a narrative poem almost told in prose. There are only two stanzas and it is very easy to read. This also may be a reason why it was easy to connect to Vonnegut’s novel. Both are structured very similarly in style. This is perhaps done to show the simplicity of things and how they can always happen. Whether it is death, or survival.
 
Title, Target, Theme: The title is “During the Second World War”. This title has a lot to do with Slaughterhouse-Five due to the fact that a majority of the story takes place during World War Two and the tension filled build up to the firebombing of Dresden. There is no necessary target other than the reader because a story is being told and nothing else. The theme relates to a recurring theme in Slaughterhouse-Five. The theme in this is that to survive war and be a survivor in general is “wonderful”. This relates to a mirrored theme in Vonnegut’s novel. To be a victim of violence or to die a severe and painful death is a part of life. “So it goes.” Each piece of literature has a single thought to conclude an event. It shows that war is structured the same all around, just the outcomes are different. And just because the outcomes are different, it doesn’t mean the way they come to be is different, in fact they are more similar in nature than thought.
 
Music/Sound: The “sound” or mood of the poem is given through several words in the last stanza. “Grim”, “dark”, “lonely”, “wrinkled”. These words depict the feeling of the loss of something or the opportunity cost for someone or something’s survival. The old man is wrinkled and grim looking despite the fact that his son is all right. He perhaps looks this way because he knows that it came at a great cost. The word wrinkled echoes through to the apples as well. Everyone has found an apple every once and a while where the skin has began to wrinkle up and wither away. These types of words create a slow, withering, dying feeling throughout the poem.
 
Imagery/Figurative Language:
“He took the bag of apples from my hands and groping inside

took out one that had begun to rot”
This imagery is very reminding of the soldiers and various people involved in the war removing bodies from the destroyed towns, villages, and battlefields. While the apple is just an apple in the imagery, it is rotting, and the image of rot can only evoke a mindset of death and decay.
Emotion: A bit of melancholy feeling is given off by this poem despite the somewhat cheerful ending. It ends with the old man taking out a weak apple and replacing it with a bigger, stronger apple. It is almost as if while survival can be wonderful, someone or something suffers in order for the other to survive.
 
One more.
 
I just want to let you know, good luck. We’re all counting on you.
 
I don’t know why I wrote that either. I think I am slowly going insane. Wheeeeee!

There is No Poetry Analysis, Only Zuul

So now it is part two of my four part demise. Here is the contemporary poem.

“The Rule” by Shail D. Patel

Discipline. Free will
Doesn’t mean freewheel.

But what about Eros? Let
Eros harrow whom he will.

I have sipped my sip
And poisoned the well.

I am well pleased with my thirst.
I know my thirst no evil.

You’ll die of thirst, Shail.
If  the salt sea wills.
 
Well golly gee willy that was short. Okay so basically I feel that this connects to the book in the way that Billy has essentially accepted his own fate because he has seen his death by becoming unstuck in time. In this poem, the major theme seems to be accepting that everything that is, simply is, and it cannot be changed.
 
Form: Each section is only two lines. I believe that this is because it is merely a statement of what is and what will happen, These things are not described in great detail, because they will be detailed enough when they happen.
 
Title, Target, Theme: The title is “The Rule” and it could very well follow with the theme that once something is, it is, and it cannot be changed. This is a rule within itself that does not allow change unless time and the universe say it will change.
 
Music/Sound: The sound or flow of the poem is rather short and abrupt. If one were to read this poem aloud, he or she would be surprised at how quickly the whole thing is over with. Each line is short because it is not stating an event, but more so a manner of what is.
 
Imagery/Figurative Language: There is not much imagery here, but there is a reference to the Greek god of love, Eros. This reference could possibly mean that love will encompass whoever it finds, but it will only do so with the will and power of a higher authority. This could possibly insinuate the idea that time and Fate and the universe are the only real factors in determining change.
 
Emotion:The emotions expressed within this poem are rather flat and monotonous. This also comes across as intentional as the poem is not intended to bestow emotion in the reader but rather thought. It is this way of thinking that allows the reader to understand and comprehend the poem as a whole.
 
Yay! Another one. Take it away…Bil–you know what? I’m sick of Billy. He’s fired.

I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

I am back to make my first of the last four appearances on this blog of doom and hatred. Well I may actually use it later to post about my opinions of literature, but it will never be stricken with the assignments of school ever again. Now I have to do posts about poetry relating to the themes and whatnot of Slaughterhouse-Five. So here is the Romanticism poem I found:

“War is Kind” by Stephen Crane

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

      Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
      Little souls who thirst for fight,
      These men were born to drill and die.
      The unexplained glory flies above them,
      Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—
      A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

      Swift, blazing flag of the regiment,
      Eagle with crest of red and gold,
      These men were born to drill and die.
      Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
      Make plain to them the excellence of killing
      And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
 
Connection: This poem relates to the novel in two ways of theme. There is the theme of knowing one’s fate and being unable to change the future because it is set in stone. The other theme is that of the destructiveness of war. Both themes are present within this poem as war is told to be something pleasant because the people it claims were meant to die. The overall violent nature of war is displayed because of the mere fact that it is killing people. In fact, the speaker may be corrupted by war to the point where he or she believes the entire concept of government sponsored violence is okay.
 
Explication: See the following thingies.
 
Form: If one looks closely, the poem has form. Each stanza that does not begin with “do not weep” is indented. These stanzas describe the horrors of war and what the said “maiden” should be weeping about. The “do not weep” stanzas having normal form means that it is a common occurrence for one to urge a sorrowful human into feeling okay with war because it is natural and a born right.
 
Title, Target, Theme: The title is meant to show that war can be seen as a person who does not wish to harm people or cause destruction and merely wants to exist. This adds sympathy to the subject of war itself and does not create so much lamenting when thinking of it. The target is the “maiden” and all weeping “maidens” out there in the world. It is supposed to create the message that war is worth crying about and it is not kind by saying that it is. It is done in a way of reverse psychology by making it seem like the speaker is being brainwashed into thinking that all of this violence is okay because it is a natural right.
 
Emotion: The emotion being expressed in this poem is clearly that of gloom or remorse. Perhaps it is the emotion of one who is frustrated with his or her mistakes and he or she is trying to justify actions that could be viewed as morally wrong. It is all done with major contrast in between stanzas. While one stanza addresses the actual violent nature of war, the other reinforces the idea of war by saying that all war is good in the end. It is a never ending game of ping pong, with the opinion bouncing back and forth between the speaker and the reader.
 
Music/Sound: The words that Crane chooses to create a soundscape for his poem are seen mainly within each indented stanza. Words like “booming”, “drill”, “blazing”, and “swift” not only create actually sounds within the mind, but stimulate the mind into seeing the powerful and glorious violence of war.
 
Imagery/Figurative Language: Important imagery appears in the second stanza. Not necessarily the fourth stanza though, because some of the imagery introduced in the second stanza is so haunting that it overlaps into the fourth stanza and certain phrases are repeated.
      Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—

      A field where a thousand corpses lie.
This line holds a lot of power within its words because the last line is derived from second to last line, and the last line holds such a powerful presence that it repeats at the end of the fourth stanza. The imagery here is clear. There is a huge great battle field, and the battle can almost be seen as epic or godlike, similar to ones seen in Greek epics. This imagery leads to the horrifying, yet mesmerizing image of a field filled with corpses. Only a battle of godlike proportions could cause such a catastrophic amount of casualties.
 
And uhh…That’s it for this post. Take it away, Billy!
 
I don’t know why I wrote that. And I don’t know who Billy is either.

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

Well here we are, at the very end of my section posts for this educational project.. But don’t you worry. I haven’t left yet. There’s more to come. And yes. I’m groaning too. But it’s all right, because it will be fun! It will be educational! It will be filled with literary insight! Right. With that, let’s get started on the beginning of the end.

Summary:

Billy, of course, is trapped in Dresden. He is technically a slave, working in a factory under the guard of German troops. He then travels forward to when he is on the plane that crashes and damages his brain. Did I mention that Vonnegut mentions that earlier in the book? Oh, I guess not. Well, Vonnegut mentions earlier that Billy is on a plane that crashes and “damages” his brain. Billy is not necessarily damaged, but people think he is because of his strange condition in the hospital. Instead he is silently thinking up ways to start spreading the message of the Tralfamadorians. While he is in the hospital, his wife, Valencia, panics and dies of carbon monoxide poisoning while driving to the hospital. This death is caused by the crash she was involved in that tore off her muffler pipe, and she kept driving. Billy misses his wife’s funeral. Billy’s son comes home. Billy’s children visit him in the hospital. So it goes. Finally, Billy travels back in time to when Dresden is firebombed. It is horrific, but Billy and a few hundred prisoners survive the bombing. They then are taken with guards to wander about the ruins, until they are locked in a stable. They wait to be let out of the stable every day until one day, they find that the stable is unlocked and WWII has ended. YAY.

Theme:

I believe the theme of the final section to be that of mental strength. Billy has finally come to terms with the fact that he knows his life is unstuck in time and he sees the world the way a Tralfamadorian sees it. This somehow guides him throughout the rest of the novel, as his unfortunate misadventures are not nearly as dreadful as they could have been. Everything has taken a stronger and lighter outlook on life and that can most likely be attributed to Billy finally using his wits and becoming the man he knows he is in the future.

Symbol:

 The red traffic light. While Billy is walking down the street of Dresden, he begins to feel around in his pockets for the strangely shaped objects. He wants to know what they are. Right as he actually feels them, He has stopped because the traffic light was red and his group does not wish to cross the street. This is a symbol of warning. Whatever these objects were, they are most likely from the Tralfamadorians and they are not meant to be known, as was already told to Billy. His further fascination with them and the light turning red is a surefire sign from the universe that he cannot and should not go down such roads of fascination. (Vonnegut 192)

Quotes:

“It was Fate, of course, which had costumed him – Fate, and a feeble will to survive.” (Vonnegut, 193) This quote not only means that he is just in a misfortunate situation, but that Billy has also been “costumed” or granted with the gift of being unstuck in time. It is that gift that allows Billy to keep pushing onward.

“Billy, knowing the plane was going to crash pretty soon, closed his eyes, traveled in time back to 1944.” (Vonnegut 198) Billy knows everything that happens now, he shares an omnipotent power with the narrator, or Vonnegut. This allows him to accept things as they are and almost come off as wise to the reader.

“The true things were time-travel.” (Vonnegut 200) This quote struck me the most because in a way it is also talking about the true man Billy Pilgrim is. Throughout the book he has been feeble and hiding and pathetic, but time travel has changed him. The statement of time travel being a true thing makes the entire persona of Billy through travel and adventure all the more powerful.

Devices:

Metaphor- “On his palm rested a two-carat diamond and a partial denture.” (Vonnegut 194) Billy takes these out of his pockets when in Dresden. These are the two objects he has been feeling in his pocket. He grins. Despite all the trouble that could have been. He has been guided by two things worth value. This is a bit of a revelation for Billy, as he now knows that things are definitely better than they could be.

Setting- The slaughterhouse for pigs is now a shelter for the American prisoners of war. (Vonnegut 194) It is interesting to use the slaughterhouse as a place of shelter for the prisoners. It gives off the effect that all of the soldiers are actually just cattle and pigs being slaughtered for the masses. They are only seen as an effective and helpful factor in society by the Germans, so this setting is fitting.

Anecdote- “Speaking of people from Poland: Billy Pilgrim accidentally saw a Pole hanged in public…” (Vonnegut 198) The strange and random anecdote is in style of Vonnegut being random. I believe it was almost as if Vonnegut was reminding the reader that he or she is reading a Vonnegut book, and that everything has a twisted meaning, or little to no meaning at all.

Personification: “…Billy didn’t get to see Dresden do one of the most cheerful things a city is capable of doing…which is to wink its lights on one by one.” (Vonnegut 201) The personification of Dresden creates a feeling of sadness when the entire city is bombed. It adds more sympathy to all of the inhabitants. The city itself is being killed, almost as if it were a giant living being.

Metaphor within a Metaphor: Howard W. Campbell Jr. (Introduced by Vonnegut on 206) Howard Campbell has covered himself with a multitude of colors and various emblems for his Nazi uniform. He explains every single one because each color and shape is a metaphor for something he believes in. This is a metaphor within itself because it shows how vain the Nazi party were and how war can bring out the worst of men.

Response:

I was very satisfied with the end of Slaughterhouse Five. I realize that all of my analytic posts may be literally nothing but nonsense because I could just be an idiot and Vonnegut may be a genius. I may just not understand his works enough yet to get the full message of the book. But what I did get from it is that Vonnegut wanted to show how there isn’t just a war to make a man a soldier, but everyone is a soldier due to the constant battles in life. Whether the battles be with family, friends, prejudice, idols, enemies, there is always a war. And life is scary. No man wants to enter that mental warfare with life. But every person who lives has lived through the battle and continues to fight the war. You can see the growth and appreciation increase in Billy as he progresses throughout the novel. At first, he does not wish to be anywhere; Billy is feeble minded. As the novel progresses, he becomes unstuck in time. He sees that life does in fact get better if he gets through the situations that Billy finds himself in. And he eventually overcomes his fear and feeble-mindedness too escape in the end and finally be free of all of his self-inflicted burden.