Sunday, February 23, 2014

Goodbye Columbus, ch.3

Parallels:While Neil is in the Patimkin household, He feels out of place and like he is not at the same level as the rest of the Patimkin family. In likeliness to the help, it is assumed of him that he will do things without question as if it was, in this case its babysitting Julie while the rest of the family is out. " I felt like Carlota; no, not even as comfortable as that" (40).Neil is supposed to be a guest and yet he feels as though he is not treated as one and has responsibilities assumed for him. " I would have poured myself a drink- as a wicked wage for being forced into servantry-"(42).

Okay now I'm going to be sneaky and write another parallel that I found interesting but it's almost a contrast in a way as well because we will see it from the perspective of a poor colored boy versus the wealthy Patimkin family.
On page 37, we have the scene with the young lion tamer boy looking at the large Gauguin book. Gauguin's style in his paintings tend to use a lot of rosey pink tones and cheery colors, and yet at the same time "they ain't no yelling or shouting here, you could just see it". The images are peaceful and colorful. Again on page 42 Neil sees the three colored photo- paintings of the Patimkin children, all painted in a matter much like Gauguin, "smothered back of gobs of pink and white". It is as though the Patimkins are "living the fucking life", the life that has no shouting or yelling.

     - Cement Lions
     -Miss Winney's stool
     -Gauguin book
     -Fruit: This stood out as the most important prop to take not of in this chapter. In chapter one, Neil talks about fruit and how he loves it and his Aunt Gladys is always worried about fruit going bad in the fridge ( therefore wasting food as well as money) . Things are different though at the Patimkin household where they have an entire large refrigerator swelling with solely fruit. They don't need to worry about it spoiling. Fruit is like a symbol of wealth here, as well as luxury.

Class Consciousness: The scene on page 35 might be one of the most racist scenes I've read in memory... When John McKee is talking about the colored boy in the library who is in the art section to look at the Gauguin books, he assumes the worst of him because he is black. He refers to the blacks as THEY and acts as though there is no way that a black person could love or appreciate art, as if thats out of their capacity.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Goodbye Columbus ch 2

Parallel: On page 14 and 15 Neil is referred to as being like Brenda's slave / servant. "The next day I held Brenda's glasses for her once again, this time not as momentary servant" Neil says this as if he had previously been one for her and that she has authority over him. When he asks his cousin Doris to hold Brenda's sunglasses, she snarkily replies "I'm not her slave" as if that was his role.
Contrast: Brenda's family appears to have no big issues or problems but in Brenda's eyes she says " I think every conversation I've ever had has always wound up about my parents and how awful it is, it's. universal. The only trouble is they don't know it " meanwhile the family is happily playing tennis(26).
-sun glasses
-pool chairs
-milk silverware vs.meat silverware ~ the only reason that anyone would get ,mad about these two things mixing, or even having separate silverware, would be that they keep kosher, therefor implying that they are Jewish. It's interesting too because they are not open about it at all.
Class consciousness: while Neil is eating dinner with Brenda's family, he feels out of place in a way I would describe as being a little kid sitting at the adult table for the first time during thanksgiving. Page 22, " I felt for quite a while as though four inches from my height, and for good measure, someone had removed my ribs and my chest had settled meekly in towards my back.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Goodbye Columbus ch.1

 Parallels: On page 13 Neil and Brenda are talking about her family & nose jobs when he asks about her father and says " is he having his fixed" "why are you so nasty?" "I'm not. I'm sorry". This is a touchy subject for her and it makes her seem insecure; despite her edgy attitude. Again on page 15 Neil asks Brenda "Why don't you have your eyes fixed" " there you go again" "I'm sorry". Whenever Neil brings up "fixing" things Brenda puts her guard up.
Contrast: While Neil is talking to Brenda on their first "date" He asks her  on page 10+11 "Is that where you go to school?" "No. I go to school in Boston" "Boston University?" "Radcliffe." This really pisses Neil off because it is not something in his character to understand being so illusive and vague, he would just simply say he went to Newark Colleges of Rutgers University. this could be due to one of two things I think: A) due to his lesser income growing up school is a bigger deal/ accomplishment vs. Brenda who may not have had to worry about finances and college was very normal for the people she knows in her close circle. B) they are just two very different personalities.
-Fresh fruit vs. canned fruit (referenced)
-Tennis Racket
-Brenda's Glasses: this is a really important prop referenced numerous times and it was the identifying characteristic of how Neil met/ noticed Brenda. He is always stuck holding them for her because she doesn't want to deal with them. I think it's too early to call it a symbol but I can see it potentially developing as one as the book goes on * things to keep in mind: vision, perception, windows, eyes
Class consciousness: Theres a lot of contrast between the environments Brenda and Neil live in, Brenda lives in like "Kenilworth" while Neil lives in "Skokie", with college named streets and well manicured lawns versus gravel ally ways and dairy queens. So there is a separation of economical classes. Also whenever Neil says he or someone is "dark" she immediately assumes that they are black (negro) and she is quick to jump to this conclusion but the way she asks is very hesitant and"tip-toe-ey" so there is some racial tension on Brenda's half. Also she's referred to as always wearing very crisp white clothes which have their own connotation as well.