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Geek Love

I just wanted to talk about the relationship between Oly and Arty. I find it fascinating how this family dynamic is. Everyone really is so different and there are no similarities between any of them. They really are like their own little circus. I think it's interesting how you really can't feel a brother-sister vibe between any of them, except maybe Chick between everyone else. I'm convinced the only reason you feel that is because he looks normal. The relationship between Oly and Arty is so strange. Arty just can't stand anyone and really has it out for everyone. He is terribly bitter towards everyone, everything, life in general, except Oly. He is tolerant of her for some reason. Their relationship seems to step beyond a brother-sister affection though and fall in to a sort of mother-son relationship or even romantic relationship. Oly comments how at the dinner table, Arty wishes he could sit next to Iphy, but how Oly wants to be the one to sit next to him. Then, at one point, she's rubbing oil on his fins and snuggling up next to him. Then, she's the one cutting his food. She comments how deep and strong her love and affection is for Arty. Every time it seems like their relationship crosses that line, it crosses a brother-sister line. I think about my relationship with my brother. He is younger than me and I do have an affection for him, but we have abrother-sister relationship. We tease eachother and make fun of eachother, but we laugh and have a good time. Also, we'd stick up for one another, and I know he's a protective brother. I dont' see that relationship with Arty and Oly. You see a relationship that has the potential to become something more. I wonder if that is the case, becuase they don't really have any brother sister qualities. Each child is insanely different from the next and not one is like the other. It's almost like they're a set of individuals who make up a team, as opposed to a family. My brother and I have tons of similar qualities, physical and emotional. It was just an interesting twist to really look in to their relationship and to sort of compare it to a normal brother-sister relationship.

Geek Love

I'm about halfway done this book now and I think it's fascinating at the almost normalcy of this family. They have their problems. Arty is constantly grumpy and mean. The twins are just like any pre-teen/teenage girl and Oly is clearly the misfit (as if they're not all misfits of some kind). They do deal with regular things. I mean they work, share bedrooms, share chores, etc. While reading, I kind of put aside their "specialties" and am just reading it like it is a family with regular problems and affairs. To be quite honest, Chick seems to be the strange one. He appears relatively normal, except his ability to do things with his mind. I mean he looks normal and it appears he really doesn't fit in with the family, despite the fact that his parents love him, sometimes it seems like more than the rest of the children.

I still can't decide if I actually LIKE the book, but I am getting through it. It's just very different than any book I've read. I think it's interesting that this is the second book this summer that I've read about the circus and I can't help but compare it to that. I read Water for Elephants and that book really goes into detail about the characters and develops them. This book, I feel like really describes Oly, but that's it. I felt like Water for Elephants was really realistic about Circus life and this one is not. Maybe it's because I'm looking at it from the "freaks" side as opposed to the "normals" in the circus. I'm getting more of a "family drama" theme from this book than a "circus" theme. It definitely keeps my attention, but I really haven't fully developd a reaction to it.

Geek Love

I am still on the fence about the book. It is interesting and completely different than any other book I've ever read. I wondered why that is and it hit me that this book is different. Not different as in fantasy, or science fiction, it's real, believable fiction. It was really pretty neat how Dunn explores the life of a bonafide "circus freak". I mean you go to the circus and you see these wild people and you look at them as things, not humans. It really captured  my attention to unlock the emotions of the people in this family and see them as whole. They have thoughts, fears, worries, emotions, feelings. I love reading through the eyes of Oly. She's different but she's so centered and calm and has come to terms with her differences. I know nothing like this would ever happen in real life, especially the whole part about the mother using drugs and playing with radioactive chemicals. Nothing like this would ever fly in the real world, but to separate yourself from it and look through the eyes of others, especially "freaks". Maybe in reality, the "freaks" find us "normal" people strange and don't understand why we all have hair, one head, one set of arms and legs, no tail, etc. Maybe they have their own little society and cliques. I wonder what  a Siamese twin would have to say in real life, or a small, dwarfed, albino. I like how Dunn chose to take this perspective. It really opens up a whole new world. 

Assignment 3

I am exploring the unique way that the graphic novel form complicates the story. I think initially it was difficult to read because I have read story books as a child, but am not accustomed to reading and "watching" novels at the same time. I think reading a graphic novel really helps the story come to life. The reader is able to put an actual face (what the author wants you to see) to a name and to put emotions and facial expressions to a character. You cannot get that if you read a regular novel. I felt like I was reading and watching a movie at the same time. It's definitely a new style of reading, however, I'm not sure I would be able to adjust to permanently reading like that. I also think it does take some of the mystery out of reading a regular novel. The whole book, pictures, characters, scenery, it puts everything out there for you.

It is nice to have the artwork in the novel. I think it enhances the character's development because it shows them doing things. For example, the reader was able to see the look on Dreiberg's face when Rorschach had broken in to his apartment, see the fear in his eyes and see how calm, cool and collected Rorsccah was. It also helped to visualize that enormous structure that came up from Mars. Describing it just wouldn't have done it justice. I think having the artwork really puts things in to perspective and puts them in black and white. Not having artwork, however, would all the reader to use their imagination, which isn't a bad thing either. More often than not, the reader's imagination shows a better image than what is drawn on the page.

According to a German Literature website, the graphic novel is considered a comic book, however, it is intended for mature audiences. The website also goes in to detail about how readers must read what is in the text balloons and look at the pictures to put together a fluid plot. The reader cannot just read or just look at the pictures and have a full, comprehensive understanding of the plot.  That never crossed my mind. What  would the story be like if there were descriptions, and settings and the author had to delve in to the minds and emotions of the characters to be able to make them appear real so that the audience could get a better grip of the story wtihout the pictures? This "story" is known as a graphic novel, so really could it be turned into a regular novel? I wonder if it would have been as successful as this. I am also curious to see how the movie pans out. Will the movie correlate with our reactions to the graphic novel. People always say the book is better than the movie, but will that be the case, considering it was kind of like a movie and book in one? 


Alternative Assignment

Idealism is definitely lost in the Watchmen. It can be seen in almost each individual in the story. In Rorscach, he begins the story as totally unparalleled and unruly. He has instilled fear in everyone and has prided himself on that. Everyone thinks that he's a ruthless killer, and that's the way he wants to be portrayed. He goes on to say later in the story that he wasn't really Rorschach until the dress that was made for Kitty Genovese and he later found out she was murdered. He became Rorschah in his own mind. That he was reality. I thought that it was interesting how he lost that sense of idealism once his fake Rorscach identity was stolen and he was found out to be this 5'6, 140 lb, lanky red headed kid with a hooker for a mother. As a boy, he was terrified by seeing his mother and the reader is mean to know that he was never loved by her. Then the day when he's walking down the street to go to the store for his mother, the reader can deduce that he's trying to please her to hopefully be loved, but is already hardened by his childhood and the bullying that he's the shy, quiet, unpredictable type. From that point on, he knows he's put on this earth to kill, whether it be right or wrong. It usually is for protection, but maybe he's protecting himself from letting anyone in because he'd been hurt so badly as a boy. Hr protects himself by killing and wearing a mask to have the power and control he never had as a child. Even in prison, when unmasked, basically made naked, he still has that hard shell. His "reality" is shattered, but he still keeps up his image.

Dr. Manhattan is another character who's idealism changes thorughout the story. He goes from being a regular guy to being just about radioactive. Initially, he began his life as a normal human being, to having these "powers" so to speak. Because he never ages, feels anything,and can teleport, people hype him up to be something special. It seems though like his idealities never really change. I don't think ever sees himself as a super hero. He can see the future and it appears that when Laurie is with him on Mars (where he escapes to after they break up), his view of life begins to change. He tells her that he has no purpose being on earth because she was his only connection to the outside world, and that he almost doesn't really know or care to know if the world is coming to and end because he will never go anywhere or change or die. He just is.  I think he learns to live with being a "freak" and realizes that he cannot save the world, nor does he want to. He seems almost content to be living on Mars. He does change though, from being a regular, average guy, to  being this wild, blue radioactive super human to finally realizing that despite all his extra abilities, he does not want to implement them for any reason. '

It seems as though back in 1977 the Crimebusters were the heroes and everybody looked for them to save the world. As the story changes and the characters develop and some are killed, it seems like all of these "superheroes" have these internal struggles that they try to work through at the reader's expense. I would say that the idealism changes throughout the story because the characters eventually break down and learn to deal with their personal problems and it seems like they care less for the safety of the world and more the safety of their own well being.

Geek Love

So as I started to read Geek Love a few days ago, I really didn't have any expectations because I had heard so many things. People were saying how strange it was and twisted. I'm only about 15-20 pages in, but interestingly enough, it's relatively normal. One thinks of circus freaks as not having feelings and not really qualifying as people, because they're on show, display. I went in to reading this story with an open mind. What I'm finding is that it is pretty close to normal. These "circus freaks" are given feelings, thoughts, hopes, emotions. Oly is becoming a very developed character. I think it's pretty cool that she has become ok with her hump and "abnormalities". In fact, she tells Miranda that she wouldn't change anything about herself. I think it will be interesting to see how the author develops the rest of Oly''s siblings. Are they as "normal" as her or do they have "circus freak" tendencies? Reading this story made me think of the book, Water For Elephants. In that story, the author focuses on the normal people and their lives, with minimal mention of the circus freaks. There is no character development so it is just assumed that they're weird. I like in this story you get to be on the other side.


After really working through the story in class, I thought about what else I could pull from  it. I decided to break down the colors of a few different characters and try to analyze what, if anything, do they mean. Starting with Dr. Manhattan, who's blue. I looked up the meaning of blue and it means tranquility, love, peace, acceptance, comfort, loyalty, security. I think that it's interesting that i means that because  in the story, that's all you see Dr. Manhattan feel, is love towards Laurie. He cannot feel the hot, cold, see light or dark. I think it's interesting that his color means love and that's the only thing you do see him feel.  Next, Rorcshach is always in a brown trench coat and brown hat. I looked up the meaning of brown and it means natural, stable, organic, approachable. It offers a sense of wholesomeness and order. I thought that that was quite ironic because everyone is terrified or Rorschach and thinks he's going to kill them. He's a killer, a little psychotic. Maybe Moore puts him in brown to give off that wholesome feeling, but inside, he's a crazed killer. It sounds like he began as wholesome as a boy, but unfortunately is not like that anymore.  The third character who's color I wanted to talk about was the comedian. He's wearing red and white stripes on the left shoulder and blue with a white star on the right. That is an interesting choice of costume because wearing the American flag, he should be a protector, patriotic when in reality, he's a cold blooded killer. He tried to rape Sally and he kills people without thinking twice about it. It's an ironic choice of costume

watchmen part 2

as i'm reading further into the watchmen it is getting much easier to read and get used to the  type of writing style, but it is still odd to me to have pictures while i read. i'm so used to reading novels without pictures and developing the images in my head that to have them given to me while i read it is sort of a relief. i also am surprised at why it technically is considered a "comic book" it is mildly pornographic. i did not expect that to be the case. at ine point, blake tried to rape sally. it really is a twisted book. i am also curious as to why some of the characters are given simple names like sally and john, while others are given much more complex names like rorcshach. is it supposed to mean something like rorschach is much more of a complex person, hence the name, while the other characters are referred to as ed or john. i'm really having a tough time digging deep in to this kind of story to provoke thoughts of any kind. i am not really in to graphic novels, however, i've never read one before, but these seem so cut and dry to me that it is  hard to really reach in to it.

watchman chapter 1

i wanted to comment on the beginning part of the watchman, chapter 1. i noticed that there was a smiley face in it covered in blood and i looked up the definition of smiley face and with it, i noticed that there was a group called the "smiley face gang" and they left a trademark smiley face wherever they murdered someone. i wonder if that is supposed to be a take on that. the definition of smiley face is to express humor or delight, initiate humor. i thought that having the smiley face was kind of ironic because death is not associated with humor. it is sick and twisted. maybe the person or persons who did it wanted it to be that way.

i also wanted to comment on rorschach. immediately it made me think of the ink blot test and i wonder if the author used the name rorschac to associate with the ink blot test. the ink blot test is to determine personalities in people and if they have psychotic tendencies or not. the rorschach in this story, it seems, that everyone is afraid of him and thinks he will kill. also, i noticed his face is covered with something so that no one can see his true identity. i wonder if that relates to the ink blots themselves. i took a look at a few of the ones used in the inkblod test and there really is no one true identity. there are common items that people assume it is, but not one true answer. it has no true identity and as far as i can tell now, neitherdoes the rorschach in this story.

Assignment 2

In, "Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You", a couple of the common themes is loss and tragedy. The Jeepster has lost his freedom,and his mind so to speak, Aimee has lost her life, Emile had lost everything he once owned. The setting of this story really sets the tone for loss and disappointment. Nothing is cheerful about the story whatsoever. It begins by describing the horizion like blood, and talking about the possible outcome of the journey the Jeepster is on, "Light pooled above the horizon like blood and red light hammered off the hood...the highway glittered like some virtual highway in a fairy tale or nightmare." Righ off the bat, the reader can tell that the Jeepster is up to no good. A setting won't be presented in a negative way if the story is supposed to be positive. It's interesting that the word "blood" and "nightmare' was used in the beginning because Aimee was shot in the story and her face would not be revealed at the viewing because it was bloodied. It also seems like throughout the entire story, the Jeepster's life and travels have all been a nightmare, especially at the end.

Another part of the story where setting really emphasizes the theme, love, is when Aimee pulls into the front yard. It's described as being a, "battered green Plymouth...muddy yard....the dragging stutter of a faulty wiper blade", yet a spider "strung a triangular web from the pocrch beam and in its ornate center a single drop of water clung gleaming like a stone a jeweler had set." The part of the setting that describes the negativity of the car really emphasizes the negativity of the situation. The reader can tell that Aimee is not good news, and is a sad situation, however, the beauty of the web strung by the spider looking like "a stone a jeweler had set" really shows the internal struggle that the Jeepster is feeling. At the end of the story, Aimee's life was lost, but the Jeepster's love for her never wavers.

In "Riding the Doghouse" a common theme is innocence. In the beginning of the story, the setting starts off with a storm. The narrator talks about his son, sleeping, innocently, "Thunder rolls in the distance; rain washes down the roof, drains from the gutters. Soft, but distinct from teh storm, I hear his breath, a tender pattern that lacks teh stain of worry." The narrator relates the innocence of his own son to himself as 12 year old boy and the description of the setting while's he's sleeping depicts that. Also, it seems as though the storm outside, "trapped between midnight and dawn...surge of electrons excites the air; my ears hum. There is a violent crash"... relates to the storm within himself as a 12 year old boy, struggling to stay that little boy his father knew him as and the man he wants to be (trapped between midnight and dawn/trapped between a boy and a man). Also, the "surge of electrons" could relate to his sudden surge of rebelliousness when he turns the CB radio station.



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December 2008


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