Thursday, April 26, 2018
English 9 Honors The Flash Notes 04/26/18 • Today’s assignment: o Re-read The Flash multiple times, and know the material well. o Check the blog notes below and flesh out your own notes. o Prewrite the essay (60 minutes). o Write and bring a hard copy of your thesis statement and topic sentences tomorrow. • The story is a didactic allegory: A simple story with a greater symbolic meaning. • Point of view: First person, forcing the reader into the speaker’s shoes and making the reader become the protagonist. Calvino chooses it since he thinks it would best display the theme of not conforming. • Symbolism: o The point of view and the speaker are symbolic of the reader. o Making off amidst the angry crowd o Uniforms o The laugh o The flash being swallowed up o The crossroads • “I” has learned from the experience of having and losing the flash, and hopes to regain that understanding of nothing. • The story tells us to think outside the box, to break the rules set for us. • Character: o First change: “It happened” • “It happened… In the middle of a crowd… Started to laugh… Desperate to share…” • Other people inspire our flashes of inspiration. o Second change: “I stood there, lost” • “I” loses the flash out of intimidation from the crowd, herd mentality, and crab-bucket mentality. • “The laugh died in my throat… My great revelation had been swallowed… Impulse…” • “Impulse” is a natural human reaction, an instinctive response. • “I blushed, ashamed… ‘I’m sorry…’ ‘I’m sorry…’” • The “angry” crowd o Third change: “Hope” • “I” “Instinctively” hopes that the flash will return, out of our human nature to be self-surpassing. o “I” sees reality in a different way than everyone else, undergoing a paradigm shift. • People are afraid of the unknown, and a change in paradigm is considered one of the most threatening unknowns for society. • Homer thought that the number one motivator of human thought is the fear of death. • Sophocles stated that the ultimate motivator of humanity is the fear of the unknown. • Plot: o Protagonist: “I” (the individual, the reader) o Antagonist: The crowd (society, crab-bucket mentality) o External conflict question: Can “I” keep the flash and share it with others? o Setting: In the street, “in the middle of a crowd” • We depend on people for our inspiration, and the crowd inspires “I”’s flash. • The story is at a crossroads, which is symbolic of the decision that “I” has to make. • Can “I” avoid conformity? No. • Can “I” learn from the past and not conform? Yes. o Internal conflict question: Can “I” avoid being intimidated out of the flash by “I” or the crowd? • Will “I” succumb to conformity? o Climax: “I said nothing…” o Internal conflict resolution: “The laugh died…” o External conflict resolution: “Made off amidst their angry glares…” o Denouement: “I” is now “instinctively filled with the hope” that the flash will come back so that “I” can understand nothing once more, this time not succumbing to conformity. • The Denouement changes the story from past tense to present tense to future tense, showing that “I” has changed and learned from the past. • Irony: o The story is the shortest story we have read, but has had three changes over the course of the story. o The crowd both inspires “I” to have the flash, but also scares “I” out of the flash. o “I” scares “I”’s self out of the flash before the crowd gets the chance. o It is ironic that it is human nature to conform. o The crowd desires happiness over freedom. o All the things “I” saw as natural were man made. o Society needs individuals with new ideas in order to function and improve, but they are scared of those individuals since with them comes the unknown of what will happen next. • Calvino includes examples such as posters, monuments, etc. Why? o All of the “absurd” things “I” sees are human-made objects, representing humanity’s self-surpassing nature that we accept without question. o We accept and conform to the idea that these human-made objects are necessary. • The crowd “sized me up”. Judging “I” for not fitting society’s one-size-fits-all mentality. • The myth of Theseus tells of how Procrustes would measure and size up those that stayed at his inn, stretching the guest if they are too short or chopping off limbs if they are too big. One size fits all. • “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.” – Salvador Dali o “I” experiences confusion along with clarity and ecstasy during the flash. • “I” tries to spread that feeling amongst the crowd. • “I” is both a negative example of the theme by being intimidated out of the flash by the crowd before the crowd intimidates “I” themselves. o “I” is also a positive example of the themes, having learned from the loss of the flash and hoping to have the flash once again. • Freedom versus happiness: o Markwardt chose to be unsuccessful. o George chose to dumb himself down with beer and TV. o “I” chooses to conform at the cost of the flash’s freedom. o The crowd chooses the happiness of the known world over the idea that the world around them is wrong. • We have to be able to imagine something that we do not know yet. • Paradigm thinking • Can one be a non-conformist if no one conforms? o Society does require some conformity to function. Where do we draw the line? • Understanding nothing; o “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” – Socrates • Everyone other than Socrates believed they knew what reality is, but Socrates said that he did not really know what reality is. • Socrates went around to these wise men, and asked questions as to what they thought they knew. • All knowledge begins in wonder. • If you think you know the truth, you won’t bother looking for something else or accept a challenge to your reality. o “I” knows that “I” does not know the reality of the world, and that “I” is unable to know reality. • The only thing we can be certain of is our minds. All other things are uncertain. o In order to understand nothing, we have to understand everything, because all things have originated from nothing. • Heidegger tells of how nothing is an integral part of being. • Archimedes had a sudden flash, shouting “Eureka!” when thinking of a way to measure the king’s weight. • “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein because you need to be able to imagine that you are wrong and be able to question things.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
English 9 Honors The Flash Notes 04/25/18 • Today’s assignment: o Re-read The Flash multiple times and know the material well. o Check the blog notes below and flesh out your own notes. o Prewrite the essay as needed! • What changes? o “I” has the flash. o “I” loses the flash. o “I” regrets losing the flash and wants the flash back. • What makes it change? o Having the flash: “It happened” suddenly, in an instant. “I” has an epiphany. • “I” is a social being, “desperate” to share this new understanding with others. o Losing the flash: the crowd makes “I” lose the flash when trying to share with others, as the crowd intimidates “I” out of the flash with their questions of “So?” • “Sized me up” • The crowd rejects the idea that their world is wrong • The crowd is scared of new ideas and change, because they are happy with the way things are currently. “All is as it should be.” • The crowd doesn’t want others getting ahead of society and being better than the rest of the people in the world. • The crowd is “Angry” at “I” for even suggesting that something might be wrong with the way things are in the world. o Hoping to regain the flash: having “the hope” that “I” will have the same understanding of nothing. • The narrator regrets being intimidated out of the flash, even when apologizing for suggesting to others that the world around them is wrong. • “Instinctively I’m filled with the hope” that the flash will come back to “I”. • The emotion in paragraph seven is hope that “I” “instinctively” has to experience that understanding of nothing. • “I” now believes that conforming to society is not something to do, and wishes to have that flash again even if society will despise that insight. • “I” acts as a positive and negative example of the theme, as “I” loses the flash out of intimidation by society’s influence but also learns from that experience and wishes to have the same understanding as before. o “I” learns from the mistake they make by being intimidated into conformity. • Plot: o Protagonist: “I” o Antagonist: The crowd (symbolic of society) o External conflict question: Can “I” keep and share the flash? o Setting: A crossroads in a street, in the middle of a crowd that is “coming and going” • The story must be in the street to inspire “I” to have the flash, and to intimidate “I” out of keeping the flash. • The story is set at a crossroads to represent the choice that must be made by “I” between allowing the flash to be lost out of intimidation or to hold onto that insight and share it with others. o Internal conflict question: Will “I” be able to avoid being scared out of having and sharing the flash of insight inspired by the crowd? o Exposition: • “I’d never realized before” • “Accepted… Accepted” o Climax: “I said nothing” “The laugh died in my throat… Ashamed” • “I” anticipates that the crowd will not accept the flash, and that they will ask “so?” • “The laugh died in my throat… Ashamed” o Denouement: “I” has learned from the past and become a positive example of the theme, and will not conform the next time the flash happens. • Irony: o Ironically, before the crowd can even intimidate “I” out of the flash, “I” loses the flash out of herd mentality: “My great revelation had been as it were, swallowed up again”. • “I” loses the flash before the crowd gets a chance, as “The laugh died” in the throat of “I” and “I blushed, ashamed”. • While we fear alienation because of our existence as social beings, being liked by others inspires us. • The speaker is tormented by the inability to share the flash with others. • Diction/refrain: o “Accepted” represents the speaker’s conformity to the world around them. o “I” says “I’m sorry” twice out of intimidation from the crab-bucket mentality of the crowd. • Point of view: first person o The point of view allows the reader to experience the flash as well by providing a recounting of the experiences and emotions felt by the speaker. o The reader is able to feel the same feelings as the speaker does during and after the flash, and by feeling those feelings, we are able to feel the theme. • Those feelings are more immediately felt, as we are able to make ourselves the “I” in the story. • “I” is meant to represent everyone who reads the story. o “I” is genderless, ageless, and undefined. o Although having the story be in first person can make the narrator unreliable, Calvino is able to characterize the speaker and the story more effectively.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
English 9 Honors The Flash Notes 04/24/18 • Today’s assignment: o Re-read The Flash multiple times. o Check the blog notes below and flesh out your own notes. o Prewrite the essay segments as needed. • How we feel, a review: o We feel loneliness because no one around the speaker listens to the speaker. o Confusion towards the positive nature and negative nature of the speaker’s knowledge of nothing. • The confusion of the speaker seems to be between both negative and positive. • Negative: “It tormented me…” “This did not calm me down…” The having of the epiphany, but the inability to share it with others torments the speaker. o Humans want to be liked and want to share with others, but the speaker cannot share the flash with others and so conforms to the crowd in order to have a mutual understanding. • The speaker wants society to see the flaws in the society itself. • The speaker seeks the mutual understanding of nothing with those around him. o The speaker does not want to be an outlier. • Positive: The speaker laughs, because they understand nothing. • A comes back to A: o What changes? • The speaker gets the flash. “It happened” suddenly, at the very beginning of the story. • “I” loses the flash. “My great revelation had been as it were, swallowed up again…” • The flash could have happened before, and disappeared before. • “I” wants the flash back again. • I sees I’s self. o What makes it change? • Society makes the speaker have the flash, and forget the flash, as the speaker’s flash happened “in the middle of a crowd”. • Society is afraid of the unknown, and is happy with what they have already. Ignorance is bliss, and the crowd does not want the world around them to be questioned. o The crowd employs crab-bucket mentality, asking the speaker: “‘so?’” “’I’m sorry… I’m sorry’” • The flash happens in the middle of a crowd, because the speaker is desperate to help others understand the flash. o We are social beings, and we want to better society by sharing our ideas with others. • The speaker laughs when he experiences the flash. • The speaker questions himself, and loses the flash by • Out of a desire to surpass his self, the speaker learns from his mistakes, and regrets letting go of the flash, hoping that he can find it again. o In what way does it change? • The flash happens suddenly, in much the same way as an epiphany. • The speaker begins to question the world around him: “until then I had accepted everything” o Why does the author have it change this way? • Plot: o Protagonist: The speaker, “I”. • “I” is the individual. o Antagonist: “Crowd”, or society. o Conflict: The individual vs. society. Or is it? • Big picture thinking: o The key word of the story is “instinctively”, as it indicates that it is part of human nature to want to know our selves. • Knowing nothing is tied to our self-surpassing nature. • The confusion and desire to experience the flash again is part of human nature, a desire to know everything about our selves. o The crossroads in the story is a symbol of decision-making, similar to the crossroads in Oedipus. • The speaker has an epiphany, but the society around him prevents him from expanding upon that epiphany. • The speaker wants to experience the understanding of nothing, as the knowledge of nothing is freedom. o The people around the speaker think everything is fine, as shown by their believing everything around them is proper. • The speaker has to make the decision between letting conforming to society’s worldview or pursuing the understanding of nothing. o “I blushed, ashamed…” o The speaker questions if he is the one in the wrong, indicating that he conforms to society. o The people around the speaker shut down the speaker out of a desire to maintain the norm and prevent the transcending of what they know. o The speaker chooses to be shut down by society, listening to the disbelief in his flash of insight. • “The laugh died in my throat…” the speaker realizes that he should not have let himself forget the flash. • “Hope…” “I shall grasp….” • The speaker’s identity is unknown, and is representative of the individual.
Monday, April 23, 2018
English 9 Honors The Flash Notes 04/23/18 • Today’s assignment: o Re-read The Flash multiple times and know the material well. o Check the blog notes below and flesh out your own notes. o Prewrite as needed. o A • Inveigle: 1) to win over by wiles; entice. 2) to acquire by ingenuity or flattery; wangle. • Writing advice: o Do not begin sentences with words such as but, because, etc. • Words and phrases such as however, on the other hand, and consequentially, can be used to join one sentence with the preceding sentence. o A clincher sentence should end the explanation of the paragraph’s topic and tie back to the original thesis statement without simply repeating the thesis statement. o The title of the story (and the intro paragraph in a full Monty essay) should fit in with what you touch on in the conclusion paragraph. • Mitleid: The German term for pity, or “suffering with” others. • The Flash notes: • Calvino was a fabulist, and The Flash is a didactic allegory. • Magical realism: When things happen that defy the laws of physics within a real-world setting. • How does Calvino’s story make us feel? o Unsettled, suspicious of our surroundings and searching for something wrong. o We feel strange that the speaker wants to experience the flash of knowing nothing again. o We feel odd at the instantaneous nature of the flash o We feel loneliness because no one around the speaker listens to the speaker. o We feel confused about the enlightenment that the speaker experiences. • The speaker cannot explain what he experienced fully. • If everything is wrong, what is right? • The confusion seems to be somewhere between positive and negative for the reader. • The speaker experience negative and positive confusion: “it tormented me…” “Hope…” We feel that the speaker is “desperate” to explain the experience. • The speaker has had an epiphany and is desperate to experience that epiphany once more. • The story of Siddhartha shares similarities to the flash as both Siddhartha and the speaker in The Flash have an epiphany, and how others cannot share that epiphany. o We feel lost about the ideas that the speaker has, and how the speaker says that everything around them is wrong. o We feel like the understanding of nothing allows the understanding of everything. o What does it mean to question everything? • Didactic allegory: A simple story with a more complicated meaning.