Sunday, February 21, 2010

In-Class Entry 2/22/10

This past week in class we started doing character lists for all the main characters in each novel that we are reading. There are probably six to eight for each one. We had to get as many physical and emotional descriptions of each character as we could with supporting quotes as well. I have an ominous feeling that we will be using these lists for a writing assignment later on in the semester after we finish reading each book. I found it very difficult to get a lot of physical descriptions for the Bundren family in As I Lay Dying because of the tough level of diction and complex syntax of the author's style. I find it very hard to concretely follow the plot line in the novel because as a reader, the perspective is constantly being changed every three to five pages. The back of the book, which according to Mr. Glenn I should never have read, said that it is the story of the Bundren's taking their mother Addie across the Mississippi countryside to bury her, however as of now, I cannot really see where the story is taking me. I'm not really diggin' Faulkner's style too much either. The complexity of his sentences and structure just make everything too hard to comprehend. It seems to be the epitome of this "modernistic" style that we keep talking about- filled with long, run-on sentences and stream of consciousness with a theme or message that doesn't really jump out at the reader, but left to be inferred by him or her.
Today at church there was an interesting sermon that I feel is quite worthy of an AP discussion. The main point of the message was to "Don't say don't, say help." It was discussing the thin line between good and evil, right and wrong, and purity and sin. Instead of just simply saying "don't" do something bad, the sermon taught the audience to ask for help from God because when a behavior or action is something that you "don't do," it only makes that person feel a stronger desire to do just that. There were even direct quotes from the Bible supporting this idea. Verses were read that said people only became familiar with sin after it was publicly made illegal by law. Putting the "dont't" label on something bad is actually fueling the behavior that it seeks to mend. Therefore, it would be a much more effective to instead ask for help from our Savior in attempt to alleviate people of their sinful behaviors such as lust, selfish ambition, debauchery, hatred, etc. This very much relates to my paper that I wrote about adultery. One of the main points that I at least attempted to make in the paper was how jailing people for adultery could in fact fuel the behavior that it is seeking to reprimand. This may sound a little weird but people would be getting punished for taking the victim's life emotionally, however when that person is locked up, it does the exact same thing.

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