Sunday, February 21, 2010

class journal

So far, I have been able to tolerate and understand all of the books we read, and obviously there are some books that I will like more than others. However, thus far, I cannot stand Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Not only is it particularly boring to read, but often times I do not fully comprehend what is actually going on and what exactly is Faulkner’s message. Although, I cannot take fully blame Faulkner for writing such a strange and boring novel; I am probably at some fault for not reading as closely as my teacher says we should all be.
It is kind of ironic that at first I was looking forward to reading Faulkner’s story over The Great Gatsby. Well this was mostly because of the fact that the chapters in As I Lay Dying were only a page or two long thus I would be more able follow along and perhaps easily digest the material since the passages would be broken up. But we all know that this is not the case. For example, there was that one particular chapter told from Dewey Dell’s point of view. Apparently in this chapter, there was a quasi sex scene that the entire class had just overlooked, so this only leads me to believe that there are many other hidden secrets and messages that are overlooked as the book continues on.
In my opinion, The Great Gatsby is a more enjoyable and an easier to understand novel. First of all, there aren’t a ridiculous amount of main characters that are all introduced within the first chapter. So instead of being confused about who’s who whilst reading the first chapter of As I Lay Dying, I was (gasp!) able to follow along with the actual plot of The Great Gatsby.
One thing that I do not like about The Great Gatsby are the little cliché bits. For example, at the end of chapter one when Nick sees a mysterious figure that is most likely Gatsby, and this mysterious figure is doing something mysterious and creepy, and then when Nick looks away for a second, the mysterious figure vanishes (seemingly into thin air I might add!). To elaborate, I am mostly talking about the way that Fitzgerald seemingly over exaggerates Gatsby’s mysteriousness. Realistically, no one knows of or is acquainted with anyone as weird or mysterious as Gatsby nor does anyone know of an individual that randomly vanishes into thin air. What I’m trying to say is that this kind of stuff only happens in movies
As I read The Great Gatsby, I am beginning to feel as if some character development is missing in the story. Already through chapter three and I still do not have a strong sense of what Jordan Baker, Daisy, Tom, or Nick’s motives are. There have been some hints about how Baker is dishonest and somewhat arrogant, Tom is racist and arrogant, Daisy is unhappy, and Nick is judgmental and maybe honest. However, I am still unsure of their motives.

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