Euro Lit: Read chapters 8-12 of Candide and complete chapter reports
Honors 9: Review your notes, re-read "Harrison Bergeron" and do a theme analysis (A comes back to A but is not longer A...remember those 3 questions?), start reading/do study guide for Grapes of Wrath
Friday, April 4, 2014
Steinbeck, Grapes, and Depression –
· Nobel prize for lit., human condition and how man can change the human condition
o Born in Salinas, CA Phys. Sci. @ University of CA. Naturalism – Based on Darwin’s theory, Man vs. Nature.
· In Dubious Battle – Takes place during depression, Union organizer as protagonist, follows migrant workers, growers want to exploit the workers
· Hobbes – Leviathan, precursor to Darwin, human nature is dog-eat-dog, have to sign social contract after brutish birth
· Rousseau – Opposite to Hobbes, man is born as a “noble savage”, and it was society that corrupts human nature.
· Steinbeck thinks that both Rousseau and Hobbes were right, the subject of most of his literature, all out for ourselves in society.
· G of W – WWI, farms destroyed in Europe, U.S. is breadbasket of the world. Plant fencerow to fencerow, make the most of your land. Farmers would take loans to buy land and implements post WWI. As Europe recovered, Farmers find themselves with large debt and a decreasing demand. Demand got lower and lower, farmers had to produce more and more.
· Great Depression – Black Thursday, stock market crashes. Value of the U.S. is cut in half in one night. Great drought is occurring simultaneously in the Midwest. Farmers are dispossessed of their farms due to banks foreclosing. Migrant workers head to the west coast, growers post fliers advertising jobs by the hundreds, workers show up in the hundreds of thousands. This is done to exploit workers now dubbed “Oakies”. Feds try to help with homeless camps dubbed “Hoovervilles.”
· Dust Bowl – Farmers planting in straight rows, easier for wind to pick up dry topsoil, sift it, and turn it into a dust cloud.
· Route 66 – Mother road
· Intercalary chapters that are contrapuntal, against point, oscillating between subject.
· 5 layers –
o Family struggle to survive, Joad family
o 2. Migrant’s struggle to survive
o 3. Nation’s struggle to survive
o 4. Mankind’s struggle to survive
o 5. John Steinbeck’s personal engagement
Discussion on H.B. –
· Competition is good for society, @ end of novel, we feel sad, mad, and scared. If we don’t find out what we need to fix in our society, it could become like Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s society in 2081. Genre of this piece is satire, making fun of some aspect of human nature and society in hopes of improving it. Satire uses irony, all lit. devices are used ironically in satire.
· Why doesn’t George want to know? – Ignorance is bliss, consequences to not being ignorant. Crab bucket mentality, society wants to drag down individuals.
· Two paradoxes: Predetermination vs. free will – Born the way we are, have the freedom, for the most part, to change who we are.
· Freedom vs. Happiness – “Happiness”, George is “happier” not knowing, freedom comes with responsibility.
· Harrison: Homeric hero
o Arete – “…Now watch me become…” (123)
o Hubris – “I am the Emperor…I am a greater ruler…” (123)
o Ate – Breaks laws of gravity and motion (124)
o Anagnorisis – No anagnorisis.
o Nemesis – “were dead before they hit the floor” (124)
o Harrison is not average, better than everyone – bigger, smarter, more athletic. Seven is a prime number – nothing fits into it.
o Harrison is different than what society wants, symbol of individuality. Cannot make people shorter, Harrison will always stand out. No matter how hard society tries, Harrison will always be different.
· Individual vs. Society!
· Ext. Conflict Question – Can the individual overcome the conformity inherent in society
· Harrison is fourteen, why? – Change, rebellion, Harrison acts excessively: Commands musicians, snatched musicians, waved them like batons, and slammed them back into their chairs.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Harrison Bergeron Discussion Day 2, Honors, Period 4
· Denouement made us feel sad/angry that Hazel can’t remember her son’s death, and that the parents wanted to forget.
o Pg 124 “forget sad things”, forget the fact that their son was just shot to death
§ “I always do” they don’t have a choice, they’re so handicapped that it interferes with their memory
o Are George and Heather “blissfully ignorant”? No, because they forget everything. They’ll forget their happiness and what they’re blissful about, cannot control their memory/feelings.
o (p 119 3rd paragraph) Hazel has “perfectly average intelligence”, too dumb to remember son’s murder. She isn’t handicapped, everyone else is handicapped down to Hazel’s level of intelligence (p 120). She can only think in short bursts.
§ Why is Hazel stupid? “having no mental handicaps” (120) Hazel is naturally this stupid, naturally she can only think in short bursts.
§ Hazel bears “strong resemblance (p 120)” to Moonglampers. What’s the significance of this? Hazel controls Harrison, Moonglampers controls other people. Hazel would make a good handicap general.
§ (p 121 middle) Hazel doesn’t want to disturb society and cause competition. Hazel would approve Harrison being killed. (situational irony)
· Why doesn’t George remember Harrison’s death?
o George wasn’t there when son was shot because he was getting a beer.
§ Beer = self-chosen handicaps, methods to escape reality
§ TV = boob-tube. Makes you stupid. Also see drugs, alcohol, etc.
o Crab-bucket mentality, fear of being different/speaking out. The people are pulling themselves down w/ self-imposed handicaps (beer/TV)
o Satire = ridicules human behavior/society with the intent to improve it. Satires use irony. Every lit. device in HB is ironic.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Harrison Bergeron Notes 4/1/14
· A version of communism in the story
· Having any big differences is bad
· You can tell when people are not equal from the handicaps
· The average intelligence is set so low by the government so that there is no rebellious thought or questioning about what is going on. (or not possible planning to overthrow the government)
· Pg. 119 (very last line) “George was torn with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.”
· The government didn’t start this society (self-perpetuating government)
· Handicaps may have been for the government, instead of the people
· Pg. 121 “You wouldn’t like that would you?” Talking about when society was competing with each other.
· People of average intelligence are unable to question society because they are too stupid to do so
· TV=symbol for somethin’
· Multiple amendments=striving for perfect society, but unable to achieve it (utopia=dystopia)
· Pg. 120 (near top) Hazel is envious of George’s handicaps, even though the handicaps are there to bring her equality
· HOW DID IT MAKE YOU FEEEEEEEEL?