Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Anthem essay, i turned it in, but what do you think?

How should I interpret the word ego?

In the beginning of the book, Anthem, by Ayn Rand, I didn’t know exactly what to think. Since we had to take notes for this book, I looked back at my notes early on. My notes say, “Chapter 1: regarding the cover- I don’t know what the light bulb means. I think it will signify something very rebellious.” How I was accurate is a mystery to me but, looking at the cover now, the light bulb seems just like discovering an idea. When I read the first few pages, I was introduced to the character Equality 7-2521, and became certain that that the numbers 7-2521 were a statistic important to the rest of the book. I realized later, that I was mistaken, but it was very much apart of my thinking throughout this book. What I was not thinking of while reading was the “forbidden word.” And what I did not realize was how this word was the central element to this book. Ayn Rand managed to seamlessly use plural pronouns such as “they” and “we” in place of the word “I.” Her use of the word ego on the last page left me wondering, how should I interpret this word?
Anthem is interesting because Equality’s story is about being rejected for his individualities. For his intelligence, he was placed in the Street Sweeper position which is the equivalent of putting an honors student in the lowest possible class. Rebecca had said that, “Those who were more able were put in lower positions.” The reasoning behind that was that the Councils wanted to suffocate individuality. The ideal society in their minds was a collective society based on the fact that they believed individuality caused disruption and overall dishonest, untrustworthy people.
When the Council was eliminating ego, it believed that it removed everything bad and egotistical from the world. By forcing the brothers to live in order, with expectations that had no leniency, the brothers came to live in fear. Whether the brothers realized this or not, they were never happy; Union 5-3992 and International 4-8818 were some of those who realized this,[AV1] even if it was subconsciously. It seems to me like those who were rejected, were the ones still relating to the Unmentionable Times. And in my notes, I say, “pg. 23- Life is so perfect that it is flawed. Council of Scholars doesn’t know everything. Like in Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, where she created a perfect species, the Council too feels they are doing the same with the brothers.” My notes and especially Union and International’s crying in the night remind me of the fact that no community is happy, unless they can accept the imperfections. One can strive for perfection, but nothing is ever seamless.
Even the government is not perfect. What I realize more so now is that the Scholars do not know much at all. They are na├»ve, as Jillian said, due to the fact that, “The Council isn’t the smartest [AV2] because they are brainwashed into believing that collectivism is the only way to live.” That was a pivotal moment in my brain, because then the rest of novel fit together. The Council leaders were put in their positions because they would continue the traditions of their leaders before them. What I don’t fully understand, is why do they seem to write off individuality as something that makes nations tumble? It made it confusing for me, seeing as I live in a society that embraces it.
Equality and Liberty began to embrace individuality when they learned from each other the ideas previously forbidden to them. Their first understanding came at this moment when everything was perfect until they couldn’t find the right word to express their emotions:
“‘We love you.’ But then they frowned and shook their head and looked at us helplessly. ‘No’ they whispered, ‘That is not what we wished to say.’ They were silent, then they spoke slowly, and their words were halting, like the words of a child learning to speak for the first time: ‘We are one… alone… and only… and we love you who are one… alone… and only.’ We looked into each other’s eyes and we knew that the breath of a miracle had touched us, and fled, and left us groping vainly. And we felt torn, torn for some word we could not find’” ( 86-87).
This quote shows their sense of self or, more so, their meaning of I. When they stumbled to say I love you, I didn’t pay near enough attention. And I realize that this is the moment when I should’ve paid close attention to detail. If I had really read this passage, that is when I would’ve thought, you need to say I. That moment was the start of their realization that they had an ego and that they wanted to use the word I. But they couldn’t get there, not until they made that breakthrough. Like the last puzzle piece that you can’t get to fit just right, until you turn it over. They were turning and adjusting that puzzle piece long before, but they really turned it over on pg. 95 saying: [AV3]
“I AM. I THINK. I WILL. My hands… My spirit… My sky… My forest… This earth of mine…… I am a man… I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them… I am done with the monster of ‘We,’ the word of serfdom, or plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: ‘I’” ( 94-95).
This was jubilation. To be free from burden, from force, from strict ruling, must be the most freeing experience alive. Maybe it is like in those moments, when a song just matches every emotion in your body, and you sing full-heartedly without that worry that someone can hear you singing off tune. Or, maybe it isn’t some experience you can relate to. I know that I can’t yet relate to it, even though I feel like I understand it. The ability to say I for the first time, must be overwhelming. And I manage to say it all the time, without even getting the meaning.
In the story of Anthem, it wasn’t about statistics at all. It is about collectivism vs. individualism, and how extreme both cases are. But when reading this story, and especially looking back, I realize that it is about being both egotistical and being,“‘… one… alone… and only…” (87) Contrary to what Emma had mentioned which was: “Ego is kind of selfish. I think that it is the word ego from Latin because it sounds less rude”, I think that being egotistical can mean that Equality shows both traits, but not necessarily in a bad way. Some words now have different meanings or usages then they did decades and especially centuries ago. To be egotistical is not necessarily a bad thing, it depends on who you are and your situation. Ego is used in this book as something sacred, something untouchable until you decipher the words of the scrolls from the “Unmentionable Times.” Ego to me is to know yourself, and to let it surge through your body, as everlasting freedom.

[AV1]make it fluent, right now it is incredibly rough

[AV2]tie it back to the beginning of paragraph

[AV3]change

Monday, October 20, 2008

Antigone Exploratory Essay Rough Draft 1

The way that our lives have been established, we have right and wrong, good and bad, and as we get older, these black and white lines get smudged in. Not because it is allowed all the time, but because us children, teens and adults begin to question it. Everyone has a little rebellion in themselves. It is shown in Antigone and just society all around us. But I honestly wonder if just because someone is older, declared an authority, does that mean that we should automatically listen or respect them?
Society, in this world, has order, class and a very adaptive generation. There are repeating factors in destructive and successful countries. There are always the latest currencies, a governmental system and different things that everyone either follows or decides not to that makes most of our cultures up. I realize that respect is wanted by most, me included, but do any of us really deserve it? I get that a lot of people want respect, desire it even, but it isn’t always reciprocated. I honestly can say that I don’t give my little siblings near enough respect all the time, and my friends do the same with their families. I haven’t heard of any family that is completely happy, that is completely getting along. It’s not always because it is a bad family, but because respect isn’t a reoccurring thing. But even if it isn’t reoccurring, is it because the disrespected have been disrespectful to someone else? Is it justified when he started it first? Or is it some bad circle, a thing that won’t stop, or really can’t stop until someone admits that they are wrong. It is a required aspect of life, or a demanded one that isn’t always followed? I’m not really sure at the moment, but maybe tying everything into the play Antigone could help.
Antigone, translated by Paul Woodruff and originated by Sophocles, it is an interesting Greek tragedy that causes controversy and questions in the end. Antigone is a strong willed, independent young woman who endures not only the death of her two brothers, but the ruling against one of them, while the other is sanctified. She was determined from the start to bury Polyneices, saying
Go on and be the way you choose to be. I/ will bury him. I will have a noble death/ and lie with him, a dear sister with a dear brother./ Call it a crime of reverence, but I must be good to those/ who are below. I will be there longer than with you./ That’s where I will lie. You, keep to your choice:/ Go on insulting what the gods hold dear. [71-77]

Antigone essentially defied Creon, deciding that he was selfish and cruel. And he was very rude and disrespectful. But he felt that only the leaders should be respected; those who were below you were there for a reason. So when Haemon and Antigone both have their turns at trying to fight him, he cut them off without hearing a word. The chorus on the other hand, were very understanding. They understood that everyone had a voice, and that Creon would be smart to listen. If Creon had listened to both his son and future daughter in law, he would’ve still had a family. Because his whole family, both those who would’ve been so and those presently, killed themselves by stabbing or hanging themselves. It really was only because Creon wasn’t ready to be a ruler or to return some respect. And if that isn’t a slap in the face, I really don’t know what is.
But the Creon in my life would have to be my father. In every teenager’s life, there is always one person that just bugs them. Usually an adult, they could be the pushy parent, the annoying aunt, or whatever else there could be. My dad is that person that I quarrel with. Not because we are totally different, but because we are exactly the same personality wise. While I do have aspects of my mom, my dad pretty much rules my personality. And while that sounds like it could be good, all we do is clash. About “bed times”, waking up, computer, TV, phone, curfews, and pretty much all that I am interested in. No matter what, we end up yelling. First because he was mad at me, then because I apparently, “am not allowed to raise my voice back at my parents”. Whether it is because of frustration, being mad, or just being completely upset, I have to stay within a level vocal range. I even have to make sure to smile through my work at 9 in the morning when I was planning to sleep. The reason that he is my Creon is because he doesn’t give me nearly enough respect. He considers my opinions maybe suggestions that he doesn’t need to take. But really, if he listened, we could have a lot more of a peaceful home. Now I know that I am not perfect, but neither is he. I have asked earlier on, even though my dad is older, my authority, why does he get to order me around, delegate his work to me and my brother, when I feel he doesn’t deserve it. Sure he is a good father and all that junk, but he isn’t letting me or my brother enjoy our teen years with him. He has always seen more of my mother in me than himself. But he doesn’t listen, and he doesn’t give the rest of my immediate family near enough respect (with the exception of my 6 year old sister, aka his little princess). But that is truly beside the point. He doesn’t put other perspectives into mind. He is stubborn, strong willed, and he won’t change. He doesn’t listen to my immediate family, but somehow he listens to my cousins. They all apparently think he is cool, that he is funny and all this other stuff that I just miss. Maybe he’ll show me someday, but maybe by then I’ll be sick of him. Whatever the case, I still will have to respect and listen to him. That or I’ll have to become a really strong actress.

By looking at the lives represented, I really do realize that respect is necessary. While I don’t always agree with respecting every single person, I guess it is a necessary part of keeping life in order. I’m thinking that I always new that, but almost wish that there was more of it. I mean if everyone got enough respect, our lives would be so much better. So do we need to respect other people? No, but life would be a whole lot nicer if we did.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Richard Wright's Black Boy paper

Intro:
“I could, of course, forget what I had read, thrust the whites out of my mind, forget them; and find release from anxiety and longing in sex and alcohol. But the memory of how my father had conducted himself made that course repugnant. If I did not want others to violate my life, how could I voluntarily violate myself.” pg. 253 In Black Boy, an autobiography by Richard Wright, the struggles are shown in finding an identity while living through losses and beatings of all kinds. Richard truly had an innocent life as a small child. He was curious, stubborn, and just wanted to grow up. But once he did, he learned and realized what life is like living with racism and misfortune. Through reading numerous books, he found the truth in life; becoming more insurgent internally, and more aware and understanding of the life around him. Richard Wright’s autobiography isn’t a lesson plan, and once we can feel our rawest emotions, that huge impression, we will begin to understand. This isn’t like a textbook; it was meant to be read with each struggle. Throughout the whole book, you see his transformation from a little child with only enough understanding to suffice his imagination to a young man with more knowledge than most of the whites, and definitely more than the other Negroes.

Friday, September 5, 2008

i am not in my top english class

i am in the average one.

am i happy with it?

no.

will i go to the higher level next year

most likely

because i am inbetween.



i do not possess that secret

the one that gives some kids just the beauty of writing

i write okay

not mediocre, but not far from that either.

i wish i could though.



i am the best student in my average class.

it is apparent the way i am chosen to always read

they admire me for being so good

so they will move me up.



my english classes are rollercoasters

first i am top of my average class,

and then i get moved up to 'smart' english

only to be jerked back down again the next year.



is it fair?

hardly.

because i need an inbetween class

the level just for me

where i am among those smart students

the ones who'll go onto Harvard and Yale

cause without it,

my high school years will be like a rollercoaster,

loop-the-loops and corkscrews

when all i wanted was to make it up that steep incline

before i go go down fast

ready to write.

not even a dent

books

tons and tons

millions and millions

but i'll only read a few of them.



don't get me wrong

i love to read

the books that just suck you in

so you're up to 2 am on a school night

not even aware of the time.



i love it.



i am not a book nerd

not even the slightest

but that cozy feeling

the one where you curl up next to a fire

lounge under an umbrella at a beach

just wow...........



i will read dozens of books a year
the long novels, the short ones
but i can promise you
i'll never make a dent in the piles of books in this world

Friday, August 22, 2008

untitled

i'm told that life is a whirlwind
to live every moment that you have
i've tried to listen, but will things really change?

i've looked back to my past
and have realized how fast it's gone
how my sister used to be one
but now she's six without any time gone.

it's like my life goes from slow to fast motion
0 to 60 with just a little push on the pedal
for seconds can pass in minutes
and life can just go too slow
but when i reflect,
it's like a day had passed in a minute.

my life will go second by second,
or appear in year by year
i'll try to live it up
but life passes too fast to live up every tear.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Help

You sit there
Wide eyed, just scared
Your mouth is clenched shut
Your arms are crossed
You will not talk
But that’s okay.

You have eye witnesses
Your key to redemption
Your only hope
Your only chance
You have no other option
But this is fine.

For although we seem against you
We will be here
We’ll fight for you hard
W'll fight till the end

Hold On

Near
Far
Any place that we fall
I just want you to know
That I’ll never let go.

I’ll hold on as long as I can
Gripping your fingers as tight as I can
I promise to never let you go
So quit your crying
And hold on too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The New Elle

Can the show be great?
Laura Bell Bundy danced across the stage
Singing, belting and just making us laugh.
Her last show was finished perfectly.I’ll miss her so.
Now Elle Woods is played not by Laura
Bailey is now Elle Woods.
She did the best of the two,
She truly did great
I may see her there
There singing and being her bubbly self on the stage

The singing and being her bubbly self on the stage
I may see her there
She truly did great
She did the best of the two
Bailey is now Elle Woods.
Now Elle Woods is played not by Laura
I’ll miss her so
Her last show was finished perfectly
Singing, belting, and just making us laugh,
Laura Bell Bundy danced across the stage.
Can the show be great?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Her Last Time Up

Pink gleams!
People scream
We all cheer and clap
To a crazy extreme.

She stands there
Looking in an invisible mirror
We stand up giving her a standing ovation
That she so deserves after 2 years
Even before she spoke her first words.

The bright pink dress
The blonde curly hair
Laura Bell Bundy
The Elle Woods we adore.

The Curtain Opens

The lights dim
The crowd hushes
Music starts playing
There’s electricity in the air
We all anxiously stare
Waiting to see the first human
The is the sorority house
There is Serena, Margot and Pilar.

Untitled

I liked the coming darkness
The way it creeps up
Enclosing you
Wrapping you like a blanket
Lights shine in the distance
The mood overhead
You sit there waiting
For something to stir.

An animal scurrying along
An owl hooting somewhere not too far off
And two teenage girls sitting on top of the world
Telling their stories of vacations
Talking about everything they can
Waiting to get wrapped into that dark blue blanket.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Notebook

When you look at this
What do you see?
Do you see something perfect?
Or it is just intimidating…………

As you flip through the pages
Without anything there
Is it perfection?
Or is that when
Ink fills it up?

When you open a notebook of some kind
Is it that you see possibilities?
For poetry, and lyrics, and emptying your heart on a page…
Or is it a boring class in the beginning of the year?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rule

Ha!
Can I laugh in your face?
Can I just get crazy?

What?
Do you have a problem?
Do I need to stay smiling?

No!
Do you think I should listen?
Do you want me to stop?

Why?
Is there a reason?
Do I need help?

Please!
Should I listen just ‘cause you’re older?
Is it possible for me to rule my world?
Am I entitled to my own feelings?

Are you really that special, when all you cause is pain?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm There

I’m a shoulder to cry on
A person to laugh
To help you understand things
Give you advice you’ll never take.

A rock for comfort,
Just a call away
I’ll run to your house
Even in the middle of the night.

I am a support
I’ll come root you on
Just give me a second to prepare
Before your monstrous car arrives

Thursday, July 10, 2008

emotion

How can I say this
You two are exactly alike
Except one of you keeps quiet
And the other lets it slip out.

You read each others faces
With an exceptional ease
But you get mad when one of you
Can't keep that poker face.

You two are best friends
It's just plain obvious
But since that title
You've spoken your mind.

I love you to pieces
I really do
But if those little things affect you
It'll hurt you in the end.

trying my best

i wish i knew that person
it would make it easier
i only know your side
so i hope that i am right.

it isn't like it's easy
to play love guru on the phone
i want to see your face again
hug you when you cry.

i can only help so much
but i will only do my best
it's not like i have done this myself
you've kept me busy enough.

Hey People

Hey, I'm Madeleine.
some people call me Maddie, and a few people have called me Mad. Are there any new nicknames you can come up with? (besides Madster courtesy of Noodle) anyhoo, i started this blog after I realized that almost all my friends have a blog of some sort. I decided, hey, i'll make one. so..........um...........yeah.

I am finally starting High School!!!! I'm 14 years old, my birthday is 10 days after CHRISTMAS (no, my birthday is not January 5th like everyone assumes.......it's January 4th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I really don't know why everyone forgets December 31...........

anyways, i'm random. i talk way too much. i laugh constantly. i love my friends. i give great guy advice even though i've never had my own boyfriend. and i have great funny people in my life.

i like to write, but it doesn't always sound too smart. 'cause I kind of write the way I talk. you'll get used to it though. please check out the other blogs, some are insanely hilarious, some have amazing writing. you just have to check it out.