Archive for September 2011

  4 comments

I knew nothing about Frankenstein when I started reading the book.  As I read, it continued to get more interesting.  I loved the mystery aspect of it.  It was fun not knowing what was happening with the monster and what was going to happen next.

My favorite character was the monster.  I didn’t picture him as a hideous creature though.  I pictured him as a cute animal that didn’t fit into human society.

  

I liked hearing his story.  He was easy to sympathize with.  Everyone has a point in time where they don’t fit in.  We can all relate to that.  I thought it was very sad when the monster tried to make friends with the blind man.  I think it would have worked out if the son hadn’t walked in and beat the monster.  I think that the symbolism or the message here is very obvious.  Sometimes the people who see the most are the ones who are blind.  (I don’t remember where or who that quote is from).  The people who are blind can’t judge the outward appearance of others.  I think that is a major flaw in all humans.  Everyone is judgemental.  It’s just human nature.  We have all experienced this, and that makes it easy to relate to the monster’s situation.  I think the monster had a lot of hidden potential behind his strange exterior.

 

As I continued to read the book, people kept dying off.  It seemed like every time I turned the page someone died.  I was very upset when Henry died.  I liked him a lot, and I felt like he should have lived.  What I found weird was that I wasn’t upset by Elizabeth’s death.  I thought I would be, but I expected it.  When the monster said that he would be there on Frankenstein’s wedding night, it was completely obvious.  Apparantly it wasn’t obvious to Frankenstein.  I thought he was really naive to think that the monster was going to kill him.  He should have stayed with Elizabeth the entire time in order to protect her.

I was very disappointed by the ending.  It seemed like everyone was dead at the end.  There really wasn’t anyone to feel sorry for anymore.  The monster was a murderer, and Frankenstein basically let his friends be murdered.  By the end, I found no reason to like either of them.  The monster was no longer cute and innocent to me.  My mind finally saw him as a hideous creation at the end of the book.

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Posted September 30, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

Uncanny   1 comment

The exact definition of uncanny is difficult to find.  The dictionary describes it as something that deals with the supernatural.  Freud describes it as something which is secretly familiar, but has undergone repression and then returned from it.

Freud’s interpretation is intriguing.  How often have you seen, heard, or even smelled something that reminded you of your past, but you can’t remember exactly what it reminded you of?  This happens to me all the time.  Most of the time it is with smell.  Certain smells trigger something in my brain, but I can’t figure out what it is.  When I was in Elementary school, I dreaded going to school.  My mom let us watch TV in the morning to take our minds off of school.  I used to watch Winnie the Pooh or Timon and Pumbaa.

 

Whenever the ending song would play, I would get a sick feeling in my stomach because I knew it was time to go to school.  Recently, I watched Winnie the Pooh with the girls I babysit, and I got that same feeling when the song played.  It took me a while to figure out why I was feeling sick, but once I did, it made me laugh.

I think that uncanny is such a weird word.  It describes a feeling more so than an actual thing.  It’s one of those words that most people use often, but don’t really think about what it means.  I was surprised that Freud could write so much on such a small word.  He had a lot of good points though.

One point in particular was his point about differentiating what is real from what is fake.  He said that often people say something enough times to where they start to believe it as truth.  This is why lie detector tests are not always accurate.  Some people have actually convinced themselves that they are telling the truth, so much so that a lie detector test doesn’t work on them.

Some people can go their entire lives believing whole-heartedly in a lie.  This really makes you think about what is actually real in our own lives, and what is just something that we have forced ourselves into believing.

Posted September 23, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

Frankenstein’s Beginning   2 comments

I found Frankenstein’s story to be fascinating.  I love psychology, and the first seven chapters are all the background of Dr. Frankenstein and how he came to create a monster.  In my psychology class in high school, I watched a video every Friday on serial killers.  We called them Friday Freaks.

Aileen Wuornos- Friday's Freak

I loved learning why they became who they did.  Many of them had unhappy childhoods or had poor relationships with their parents.

Frankenstein’s beginning is quite different.  He had a happy childhood.  He had a best friend and a “girlfriend.” He also had a loving family.  He was happy with having a few close friends and being indifferent to the rest of the world.

Even though he did not become a monster, he did create one.

I have not read or seen Frankenstein so I am basing my opinion on the first seven chapters.  I have no knowledge of how the story ends or where the characters end up.

What led Frankenstein to create a monster was his personality.  He went in to college not looking for new relationships.  He knew he already had all the close relationships he needed or wanted.  He was only going to college to study science.  He was fascinated with the way the body developed, the way it worked, and the way it decayed (which is a little creepy).  As he immersed himself in his studies, he slowly shut the rest of the world out.  He became isolated.

Even though Frankenstein thought he had everything he needed, he still felt the need to create another human.  I think his subconscious was telling him that he needed to be social.  He needed that human interaction that he was ignoring.  It seems to me that Frankenstein wanted a friend, and instead of trying to be friends with a real person, he decided to create one.  He wanted the perfect friend.   This is something that every human needs.  We need social interaction, and I think that when Frankenstein saw what he had created, he realized that a creation cannot replace a human.

  

Posted September 23, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

Pocahontas vs True Blood   3 comments

While I was watching True Blood for the first time, I could not help but notice the similarities between Pocahontas and Sookie. 

It sounds crazy given the differences between the two shows.  However, in both shows, the main character is a strong, independent woman who is just a little different from what everyone else deems normal.  They are also both fearless characters.  They go places and talk to people when everyone else is too afraid.  They also don’t listen to their family and friends when they tell them to be careful.  They both have friends that tell them to stay away from the “strangers.”  Pocahontas has Nakoma to tell her to be careful and to watch over her.  Sookie has Tara.

Also, in both movies, the main character is accepting to the “strange” people when no one else is.  Pocahontas makes friends with an Englishman.  Sookie makes friends with a vampire.  Not only do they befriend them, but they also risk their lives to save them.  Sookie saves Bill’s life when she beats the drug dealers away from him.  Pocahontas saves John Smith’s life when her father tries to kill him.  They both stand up for what is right, even when it could endanger them.

I haven’t seen the later episodes of True Blood, but it seems like Sookie is falling in love with Bill.  This compares to Pocahontas falling in love with John Smith.

 

They also both have another admirer.  Pocahontas has Kokomo.  She could marry him if she wanted to, but she chose John Smith.  Sookie has Sam.  He is very in love with her, and she does not return the feelings.  Both of these admirers take it upon themselves to protect their loved ones.

Even though I love Pocahontas, I hated True Blood.  I thought many of the scenes were inappropriate and not necessary.  Without those scenes, I think the show would be more likable.  I don’t like watching people get beat up, and I also don’t like a lot of blood.  Overall though, I thought that the show was interesting.  I liked the scenes without violence or sex.  I don’t think I would watch it voluntarily, however.

Posted September 16, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

The Evolution of Monsters   2 comments

“All culture is ultimately nothing but a compromise formation, a reaction to something terrifying, radically inhuman dimension proper to the human condition itself.”

I think this quote is saying that monsters stem from actual fears.  Culture is what is taken for granted.  For example, in the Constitution, it says that all men are created equal.  However, because of the time period in which it was written, we know that our founding fathers meant all white male property owners are created equal.  But as we progressed over the years, the Constitution’s ammendment was extended to include woman and all races.

This same idea can be applied to “the evolution of monsters.”  In “Monstrous Origins,” the author says that the first monster was a giant.  He says that this giant is the product of nostalgia.  He also goes on to say that a childhood without giants is a dreadful thought.  But that’s where we are today.  Most children are not afraid of giants.  Even having monsters in the closet or monsters under the bed is a rare occurrence in children’s lives.  Today children are scared of the metaphorical monsters; they are afraid of evil humans.  Movies with monsters and Disney villains still scare children, but that isn’t their number one concern when they are lying in the dark at night.  They are afraid of being kidnapped.  I was deathly afraid of this as a child.  I never wanted to sleep in my own bed, especially not in the dark.  Kids are also afraid of school shootings and murder.

Over time, our idea of monsters grew into a more intelligent view.  Just like with the Constitution, our way of thinking has matured.  We are now afraid of things that have happened rather than things that could happen.  Often, the scariest movies are the ones that are realistic.  The fear of giants stage is pretty much gone.

Posted September 16, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

Beowulf   3 comments

People have described Beowulf as the perfect hero.   He was able to defeat all of his enemies.  He had perfect strength and scared even the feared Grendel.  He also showed his bravery and perseverance.  He was not scared of anything, or at least he didn’t show it.  He also never gave up.  Even after he had been bitten in the neck, he kept fighting the dragon and ended up winning.  He was also very respected.  His companions were willing to follow him to the ends of the earth.  Wiglaf risked his life to try to save his beloved hero.

However, at the beginning of the story, Beowulf was very cocky.  He told everyone that he was the only person who could defeat Grendel.  He went into the fight thinking that he would win.  He was doing it for the glory.  He even refused to use weapons.  He was also willing to risk the lives of his companions by telling them to leave their weapons behind as well.  Also, it said in the poem that Beowulf stood and watched his follower get eaten, just to see how Grendel operated.  Beowulf did not step in to save his friend.  He just watched.  After the fight, he told the king that he was sorry that the fight did not occur somewhere where everyone could have watched.

When the time came for Beowulf to defeat Grendel’s mother, he was different though.  He told his followers to watch over his friends if he didn’t return.  He also covered himself in armor and took a sword that had never failed in any battle.  He was obviously aware of the danger he was about to encounter.

The last battle was the battle that I think showed Beowulf as a perfect hero.  He did not seek danger; it found him.  He saw what the dragon was doing to his city, and he planned his attack.  He only fought to save his people.  Before he challenges the dragon, he said good-bye to his men.  He knew that there was a chance that he might not come out alive.  As he fought the dragon, the dragon bit him, but that did not stop Beowulf.  He knew that he could not let the dragon go.  He kept fighting.  I think this is when he is most respectable, and Wiglaf saw that, too.  He went in after Beowulf, and he helped him slay the dragon.

I think that Beowulf was a perfect hero at the end.  I don’t think this because of his incredible strength or his victory against Grendel.  What made that clear to me was his ability to grow and change.  He did not stay as the cocky young man that sought to kill Grendel for glory.  He grew and matured into a perfect hero who risked his life to save his people.

Posted September 9, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized

The Green Monster   2 comments

I was intrigued by the Greek mythology stories that I read this week.  One in particular was Hercules’ death.  In this story, Hercules is traveling with his wife, and they run into the centaur, Nessus. He kidnaps Hercules’ wife and tries to rape her.  Hercules shoots the centaur with an arrow.  While Nessus is dying, he tells Deianira (Hercules’ wife) that if Hercules ever cheats on her, that she should rub the centaur’s blood on Hercules, and it will work as a love potion.  Hercules will then come back to her, and they will live happily ever after.  A few years later, Hercules rescues a damsel in distress, and brings her home to take care of her.  Deianira thought that Hercules was falling in love with this new woman.  She decides to use the love potion.  She pours the centaur’s blood onto a vest and gives the vest to Hercules.  When he puts it on, his skin begins to burn and melt away.  He orders someone to make a fire, and he jumps into the fire and kills himself.  Deianira realizes too late that the centaur tricked her.

 

I found this interesting because it makes me think about jealousy in a whole new light.  Everyone gets this overwhelming feeling of jealousy at some point in their lives.  We all try to avoid it, but it is unavoidable.  In the end though, being jealous only hurts ourselves.  We end up losing the people we love because we were afraid of losing them.  It doesn’t make sense.  People are just so afraid to trust one another.  Deianira obviously didn’t trust her husband, or she would not have taken the “love potion.”  What is interesting is that Deianira trusted the monster who attacked her more than she trusted her own husband.  She was blinded by jealousy.  It has this incredible power over people.  Hercules was the most powerful human in the world.  He could defeat monsters, such as Cerberus, the three-headed dog, yet jealousy was what ultimately defeated him.

 

What we need to take from this is that we need to trust the people that we love.  We need to recognize when jealousy is trying to defeat us because just as Hercules can be defeated by the green monster of jealousy, so can we.

Posted September 2, 2011 by heffner14 in Uncategorized