Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chapter 4

Parallel - "No. Worse. I don't know why I stay with them."(50)

This parallels to earlier in the book where Neil is unsure why he still puts up with work at the library.

Contrast - "Do you love me Neil?"(51)
"I'll sleep with you whether you do or not, so tell me the truth."(51)

These statements contradict eachother just based on the nature of their meanings. The first one is about love. Love being a commitment to the other person, and wanting to establish a long lasting relationship. Brenda says that line, but immediately afterwards says the second quote. The nature of the second one makes the relationship seem like a fling to her, making the conversation a bit awkward for me to read to be honest, since she is blatantly lying about her love, if she is willing to do the second statement.

Props -
-The art book
-Cherry Bowl
-The fruit Aunt Gladys gave to Neil
-The couch where Neil and Brenda lay on - The place where they seem to make love the most often, probably the most imporgtant prop in the chapter.
-Uncle Max's Plate

Class Language - Neil referring to the boy who liked Gauguin as "the colored boy"(50).

Meaningful Passage - The conversation between the colored boy and Neil on pg. 60 showed the effects of racism on the boy. He reacts a bit exaggerated to Neil's questions because he thinks Neil judges him based on his color, as most of the white society does.

Chapter 3

Parallel - "I felt a deep knowledge of Newark, an attachment so rooted that it could not help but branch out into affection." (31)

This relates back to the conversation he had with Brenda, where Neil got offended by the way she talked about Newark. It seems he feels a personal connection to the city, so when she seems condescending towards the city, he feels like she is being like that towards him as well.

Contrast - "Though in their toreador pants and sweaters these young daughters of Italian leatherworkers, Polish brewery hands, and Jewish furriers were hardly duchesses. They were not Brenda either..."(32)

He is comparing the girls he sees while working at the library to Brenda, and gives a large contrast in his views of them. He does not view them as anyone of high class stature, while with Brenda he views her as more upstanding and elegant.

Props - 
-Art Books
-The "huge weeping willow"
-Patimkin TV
-Fruit at the Patimkin's
-Ping Pong Set - Most important as Neil realizes he enjoys winning a lot, and makes the game more intense than it has to be. He has become like Brenda, or at least realized he shares her love and intensity for winning.

Class Language - On pg. 37, the man in the library talking with Neil about the art pictures tells him, "He don't take pictures like no colored men would. He's a good picture taker..."(36) A very racist comment, to say the least, as the man is saying the artist has some good pictures based majorly on the fact of his skin color.

Meaningful Passage - On pg. 46, Neil describes making love to Brenda for the first time as "though I'd finally scored that twenty-first point."(46) I took this as a bit of a permonition or foreshadowing that he compares this moment to getting with the person he supposedly loves to winning a sports game. It could be foreshadowing that their relationship is just temporary because of this comparison.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chapter 2

Parallel - "Brenda among them was elegantly simple..." (14)
"right from the start she was a practical girl." (7)
Paralleling to what Neil described about Brenda in Chapter 1, how she is a practical girl. In Chapter 2, she is described as being simple, echoing the first description of her from Neil.

Contrast - "The next day I held Brenda's glasses for her once again, this time not as a momentary servant but as an afternoon guest." (14)

Contrasts to the time when he first held her glasses, where Neil felt momentarily like a slave.

 Props -  Brenda's Sunglasses (14) - Neil seems to make this object very important as it is connected to the relationship he has with Brenda. He relates how he feels to Brenda, to how he feels when holding her sunglasses.

Class Consciousness - "I could not shake firmly from my elephant's brain that she-still-thinks-we-live-in-Newark remark." (26) Class judgment, as he felt talked down to by Brenda when she made the remark, since she is wealthy and does not live In Newark, while Neil does.

Language - "I did not want to voice a word that would lift the cover and reveal the hideous emotion I always felt for her, and is the underside of love." (27) In short Neil says this entire time he has lusted after Brenda. While I'm not really sure if he confuses love with lust here, Neil is openly admitting to the reader he lusts after Brenda.

Meaningful - Using the quote from the "Language" section, the passage clarifies to the reader the feelings that Neil feels towards Brenda. He seems to be confusing love with lust, or has possibly realized that he loves her, but a definite part of it has to do with him physically lusting after her.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chapter 1

Parallel: "I'm...Dark" "Are you a negro" (7)
"What does your cousin Doris look like?"
 "She's dark-"
"Is she-"(12)
Basically say the same thing, only the second conversation is about Doris, while the first one is about Neil.

Contrast: "right from the start she was a practical girl."(7)
"Her passion for winning a point seemed outmatched by an even stronger passion for maintaining her beauty as it was."(10)
He calls her practical at first, but later Neil describes as basically obsessed with her physical looks, contradictory statements.

-Brenda's Glasses- Definitely the most important as that is how Neil initiated a conversation with Brenda, talking about him holding her glasses.
-Tennis Racket and Cover           -Phone Book         -Phone        -Stone that Brenda kicks

Class Consciousness: Brenda asks Neil if he is a negro, as well as Doris. Brenda is white and during the time period of the novel, racial inequality was a common occurence. Also Neil's description of Newark, makes it sound like it is a poor area, or at least more poor than the area where Brenda lives.

Language and insights/truths: When Neil asks Brenda why does she "always rush the net after dark", he makes a unique connection with her. Brenda even tells Neil that not many people would even notice this, showing Neil is a distinguished individual when it comes to Brenda.

Meaningful/Confusing Passages:
1. Why would Brenda accept a meeting with a complete stranger? Is it something acceptable or normal during that time?

2. What social class is Brenda in?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Section 12

Parallel - pg. 259 "He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one."

Very early in the book, the father says the son is the only thing he is living for. This brought up again, except the son says it himself, showing the son is exactly how the man imagined him to be.

Contrast - pg. 259 "The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared."

For really the first time, the father is taking off this tough persona of his towards his son and expressing how he truly feels. Earlier throughout the book he constantly urges his son to keep going, when he himself has doubts of their survival and sometimes just wants it all to end. This is a contrast to that and instead he is finally honest with his son.


1. Does the son think his dad was lying about being the "good guys", based on what he says on the top of pg. 268?

2. Does the father die of an illness other than his infected wound, as on pg. 272, McCarthy writes, "He spat into the road a bloody phlegm." I would assume a serious leg injury, even if infected, would not cause you to cough up bloody phlegm, so does he have some kind of other problems?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Section 11

Parallel - pg. 234 "They went on in the perfect blackness, sightless as the blind.... I know. Pray for lightning."

It's a bit of a stretch but I connected this to the bible when Jesus healed the blind man and allowed him to see again. Here the man and son are as good as blind, like the old man in the bible. Both involve Jesus or some kind of divine intervention, and need a light source to see.

Contrast - pg. 241
"I'd like to see it.
 You mean shoot it?
 We can shoot it.
 For real?
 In the dark?
 Yes. In the dark."

Before the son was very frightened by the gun, but here he seems a bit joyful in being able to fire it. Granted it isn't the pistol, but its still a gun able to kill someone.


1. Why is the son almost joyful at the chance of firing the flaregun, even though it can kill someone the same as the pistol, which he was scared of holding?

2. On pg. 245, the father tells the son "We don't work on your lessons any more." This is after he asks him to write the alphabet. I'm wondering, could the boy have been home schooled by the father before the apocalypse in the story occurred?
Section 10

Parallel - pg. 219 "He remembered waking once on such a night to the clatter of crabs in the pan where he'd left the steak bones from the night before."
Paralleling the current time to a past experience, pre apocalypse.

Contrast - pg. 217
"Can I go swimming?
 You'll freeze your tokus off.
 I know."
A fairly light hearted and even comical conversation between the man and his son, something that contrasts to their normal conversations, which are very grave and sometimes depressing.


1. Why was the boy crying on pg. 218?

2. Is "her" on pg. 219 the man's wife?