My Son the Fanatic

TASK ONE

1. What prevents Parvez from communicating directly with his son?

 

Parvez communication with Ali fails because he finds that Ali has been giving away his belongings, and when he tries to talk to him, Ali strongly resists to his ideas.

 

  1. What is Parvez’s dream for Ali’s future? 

Parvez works really hard in order to pay for Ali’s education. He believes that the education is extremely important, he wants Ali to be successful and have a better life than him. He also wants Ali to adapt to the English society and get married with a typical English woman.

 

  1. How would you describe the personality of the following characterize:Parvez: He is Ali’s father and one of the main characters. He is a hard working man, who had worked long hours to afford his son education. He loves the English culture and world. He also believes that everyone should improve upon all the opportunities that life gives you.

Ali: He is the protagonist of the story. He is an idealistic and sincere man. He believes that many Muslims are oppressed around the world. He wishes to add a little grain of sand to improve the lives and opportunities for muslim people, he is a muslim and he can be pretty extremist. 

Bettina: She is a prostitute, friend of Parvez, she is a good listener. She encourages Parvez to communicate with his son, she begs Ali’s father to be patient with his son.

 

4.  How would you describe the following relationships?

A) At the beginning of the story Parvez starts to discover that his son is not like he used to be before; he stopped using his guitar, he started to be interested in other things that his father didn’t like or accept.

B) At the end of the story the bond of brotherhood that they had before is completely broken due to the lack of things in common. Ali has an extremist way of thinking and acting, he can’t separate religion and routine, and Parvez is very disappointed and he reacts in an extremist and violent way also.

C) Parvez finds a lot of confidence in Bettina. She is his lover but she is the one that is more aware of the things that are happening to him. She is the one who gives him advice and the one who listens to him.

D) Parvez and his coworkers used to tell their problems and they tried to help one another, but it was very difficult for Parvez to tell his problems because he was afraid of the critics that he could get. This shows us how we tend to talk about other problems to overshadow ours.

E) Parvez and his wife didn’t have a relationship at all. They didn’t share things, they didn’t talk, but they didn’t fight. It was like a neutral relationship.

 

  1. What advice does Bettina give Parvez?Bettina gives a comprehensive advice to Parvez. He thinks that the attitudes that Ali has are part of a phase in life that everyone goes through. She says that he should go with and understand him.

 

  1. What memory from Pakistan haunts Parvez? Parvez has a bad memory of Pakistan. He decided to move to England for more opportunities, better education for his son and for a new life. The flashback that the story provides is when he fell asleep in the temple while praying. This is something that it is not allowed by the religion, so they put him a rope to keep him awake. This made him feel humiliated and it was also what provoked a bad image about religion to him.
  2. What rules does Ali criticize Parvez for breaking? Ali critizes Parvez for drinking alcohol, eating food that is not allowed and the relationship he mantains whith Bettina.

 

  1. Why does Parvez like England?

 

Parvez likes England because it is a capitalist country which has an important role in the global functioning. It is also a developed country and it is part of the Western countries which are the most globalized and known ones.

 

  1. Why does Ali hate London?

 

He hates London because it is a city in which the muslim religion is not completely accepted, they tend to be judged. Also, it is located in a country that does not follow this religion or the koran, as most of the eastern countries do. In addition, most of the muslims blame the western countries, including England, for all the conflicts that they are transiting.

 

  1. What was the “last straw” that led Parvez to violence?

 

Parvez entered to Ali’s room and he ignored him, he did not even look at him. Also, he had found him praying. This made Parvez go mad and start hitting him.

 

  1. What does Ali mean in the last line of the story?

 

By asking, “Who’s the fanatic now?”, I understood that he wanted to transmit that his father was the fanatic one, because by kicking him, he became an extremist. As he showed that he could not accept that his son had different thoughts and beliefs. So, in my opinion, they both were fanatics, Ali was a fanatic of the muslim religion and Parvez was a fanatic of the customs of the Western world.

 

TASK TWO

Evening in Paradise

Before reading the poem, do research on John Milton.

Image result for paradise lost

-What kind of writer was he? Explain.

ohn Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English metaphysical poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

A Metaphysical poet was any of the poets in 17th-century England who inclined to the personal and intellectual complexity and concentration. Their work is a blend of emotion and intellectual ingenuity, characterized by conceit or “wit”. Metaphysical poetry is less concerned with expressing feeling than with analyzing it, with the poet exploring the recesses of his consciousness. The boldness of the literary devices used—especially obliquity, irony, and paradox—are often reinforced by a dramatic directness of language and by rhythms derived from that of living speech.

Milton’s poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime

-He wrote Paradise Lost. What is it about?

The free-verse poem tells the story of how Satan tempted Adam and Eve, and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

-Now, read the poem and say what you understand from it using your own words. (work on vocabulary)

Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad;
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale.
She all night longer her amorous descant sung:
Silence was now pleased. Now glowed the firmament
With living Saphirs; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o’er the dark her silver mantle threw;
When Adam thus to Eve: “Fair consort, the hour
Of night, and all things now retired to rest
Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive, and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumberous weight, inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle, unemployed, and less need rest;
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heaven on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
Tomorrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.

John Milton (1608-1674)

vocabulary

sober livery – plain clothes;
clad – dressed up in;
slunk – crept quietly;
descant – melody sung above another song;
firmament – heaven;
Saphirs – sapphires;
Hesperus – another name for Venus (the planet);
repose – a state of rest.

The poem talks about Adan and Eve’s experience in paradise. It also includes the rivalry between God and Satan.Nature is very present in this poem, he speaks about “evening”, “twilight”, “light” and “dark” among others. Most of the lines show a comparison between evening and paradise. He also mentions how perfect is God’s creation. He is trying to tell us, readers, how we should live our lives.

TASKS

  1. Milton describes night as a peaceful moment which we use to rest, to be at peace. Night, for the writer is as heaven, because in heaven we are at peace, resting. Heaven is paradise, it is the perfect place. So his idea is to compare the evening, the time in which we rest, with heaven, where we also rest forever, and we are in peace.
  2. SEMANTIC FIELD: “DAY/NIGHT – “twilight” “moon” “dark” “wakeful” – NATURE – “nightingale” “grassy” “bird” “nests”- “JEWELS”- “sapphires” “glowed” “Hesperus” “brightest”. QUOTE TO PROVE THIS.

3. Personification is used to give more vivid descriptions and for the poem to be understood easier by the readers. “Silence was now pleased.”

Also, Milton’s uses of imagery provide vivid descriptions that bring the subjects he speaks about, alive.

Enjambment is used as well, with the purpose of catching the reader’s attention so that they keep on reading.

4. I believe that it could be used for a funeral as well, because the whole scene describes heaven and how peaceful is to rest in “paradise” and since this is what he thinks that happens when we die, it could be used for a funeral. Also, we all die, no one escapes from death, so it is a natural scene as well. I would say that there are two points of view for the “peaceful” part. A funeral can be a peaceful scene, because the one who dies is “in peace” but the loved ones of this person are not in peace because they may be suffering for the loss.

5. “fresh morning” “light” “night” “slumberous” “moon” “repose” “labour” “sleep” “lie” “risen” “eyelids” “lie” “retire” “heaven”.

Song of Myself

DEMONS MEANING

“when the days are cold” – things are dark and depressing
“the cards all fold” – everyone has given up
“the saints we see are all made of gold” – there isn’t anyone truly good left
“when your dreams all fail” – life is getting hard and things aren’t happening
“and the ones we hail are the worst of all” – the people who have the most influence are the people are the worst (famous musicians, etc.)
“the bloods run stale” – nobody has passion anymore
“I wanna hide the truth, I wanna shelter you” – he wants to hide the terrible world from someone he loves
“but with the beast inside, there’s nowhere we can hide” – we can not escape from the bad feelings we have inside
“no matter what we breed, we still are made of greed” -there is no way of escaping from greed

“this is my kingdom come” – this is my reality, i realize that now, and this is as good as it’s getting

“when you feel my heat look into my eyes, it’s where my demons hide” – The real version of us hides inside, and demons hide inside as well. Our demons define our personality as well.

“don’t get too close, it’s dark inside” – we are afraid of other people getting too close and discover our darkest demons.
“when the curtain call is the last of all” – people are fake and pretend they are okay
“when the lights fade out all the sinners crawl” – the people are full of demons just like everyone
“so they dug your grave” – everyone is just waiting for you to fall too, because they know you will
“and the masquerade” – like I said before, everyone is just fake

“will come calling out at the mess you made” – if you commit a mistake, they will be there to criticize you.
‘don’t wanna let you down, but I am hell-bound” He doesn’t want to let the person down but he is already hurt inside
“don’t wanna hide the truth, know this is all for you” – he doesn’t want to hurt her but he knows that the best for her is to acknowledge the reality.
“they say it’s what you make, I say it’s up to fate” – our fates have the control no matter what we do.

“it’s woven in my soul” – his demons are a part of him.
“I need to let you go” – she’s innocent, and he doesn’t want to ruin that and since he’s stuck with his demons forever, he needs to separate himself from her
“your eyes they shine so bright, I want to save that light” – he wants to preserve her innocence
“I can’t escape this now” – again, he thinks he’s stuck with his demons forever
“unless you show me how” – here’s the note of hope in this song. He thinks he’s pretty much stuck like he is forever, but whoever he is talking to is so innocent and ‘her eyes shine so bright’ that he thinks just maybe possibly she might be able to show him the way out. (: happy ending

Railway Networks

 

You have to do some research on the development of the railway network in Argentina (as influenced by the English) in the 1800. Provide also a map of the network at the time. (You can/should establish a comparison with the network nowadays and/or with the network in England in the 1800).

Your due date is: Wednesday, 22nd.

The importance of foreign capital in the construction of the Argentine railways is perhaps overstated, with initial construction of the network beginning in 1855 at first with Argentine finance, which continued throughout the network’s development. The Buenos Aires Western, Great Western and Great Southern railways (today the part of the San Martín, Sarmientoand Roca railways respectively) were all commenced using Argentine capital with the Buenos Aires Western Railway being the first to open its doors in the country, along with its Del Parque railway station.

Following the adoption of liberal economic policies by president Bartolomé Mitre, these railways were sold off to foreign private interests, consisting of mostly British companies, in what would be the first of many acts where the ideological climate of the time would define the fate of the Argentine railways. These sales also included Argentina’s first railway, the Buenos Aires Western (by now 1,014 km long), which was sold in 1890 to the British company New Western Railway of Buenos Aires for just over 8.1 million pounds (close to £500 million in 2005 money. This sale, and others that came after it, was heavily criticised at the time for being far lower than the actual value of the railway, and prompted many anti-British protests.

In the years that followed, there were numerous cases of undervalued sales to British investors, including the 1,000 km (620 mi) long Andean Railway, which provoked much anti-British sentiment in the country. By 1910 the network had been monopolised by British companies, owned by large finance firms such as J.S. Morgan & Co. in London. Nevertheless, major development of the Argentine rail network occurred up to this period and the Argentine state also played a large role, financing ferrocarriles de fomento (development railways) in rural areas not attractive to private interests, while the Argentine State Railway had a 9,690 km (6,020 mi) network.

By 1914, the Argentine rail network attained significant growth having added 30,000 km (19,000 mi) to the network between 1895 and 1914, which positioned the country as having the tenth largest rail network in the world in that year, at a point where the country had the tenth highest per-capita GDP in the world. Its expansion accelerated greatly due to the need for the transport of agricultural products and cattle in Buenos Aires Province. The rail network converged on the city of Buenos Aires and was a key component in the development of the Argentine economy as it rose to be a leading export country. However, with the advent of the First World War, then subsequently the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression, the rail network of the country experienced a much lower rate of growth after this period and had mostly ground to a halt by the beginning of the Second World War.

Ensayo sobre los cuentos de Juan Rulfo

Escribir un ensayo argumentativo en el cual se justifique la relación de los cuentos de El llano en llamas, de Juan Rulfo, con la narrativa característica de los autores del boom latinoamericano.

Presentar al menos 3 argumentos.
Utilizar citas pertinentes.
Analizar ambos cuentos leídos en clase.

Ensayo

El boom latinoamericano es un fenómeno que surgió entre los años 60 y 70. Las narraciones que se escribieron durante este fenómeno fueron redactadas con una identidad que posee ciertas características propias del boom. Juan Rulfo, fue uno de los escritores más famosos durante este acontecimiento, dentro de sus obras, podemos encontrar “El Llano en Llamas” que contiene distintas historias que poseen las características de este fenómeno editorial latinoamericano.

 

Para empezar, en los cuentos “nos han dado la tierra” y “la noche que lo dejaron solo” específicamente, podemos notar que los dos cuentos están situados en un escenario bastante parecido. Esto se debe a que los autores del boom, elegían escenarios característicos de latinoamérica. Los autores, en este caso, Juan Rulfo, eligen escenarios rurales, llenos de naturaleza. Por ejemplo, el cuento “nos han dado la tierra” narra la historia de un grupo de personas que están en busca de una tierra que el gobierno les prometió, para llegar allí, debe caminar por un territorio rural y lleno de naturaleza, “Después de tantas horas de caminar sin encontrar ni una sombra de árbol, ni una semilla de árbol, ni una raíz de nada, se oye el ladrar de los perros”. En “la noche que lo dejaron solo” también trata sobre un grupo de personas que están escapándose de unos soldados, y toda la historia sucede en el exterior, en una zona rural y la naturaleza está muy presente durante todo el transcurso de la historia, “mientras el terreno estuvo parejo, camino de prisa. Al comenzar la subida , se retrasó”, podemos observar que los escenarios de ambos cuentos son muy parecidos.

 

En segundo lugar, los dos cuentos cuentan con la presencia del estado. Tanto en “nos han dado la tierra” como en “la noche que nos dejaron solo” el gobierno está presente, en el primer cuento comprendemos cómo este grupo de personas está en busca de un territorio que el gobierno les prometió, pero al fin y al cabo este territorio, para su decepción, no era lo que habían acordado. En el segundo cuento, los protagonistas están escapando de unos soldados que trabajan para el gobierno. Esta esa una característica del boom latinoamericano, los autores que escribieron durante este fenómeno incluían en sus textos los gobiernos característicos de latinoamérica. Estos eran generalmente opresivos, ya que en aquel momento predominaban los gobiernos militares y dictatoriales, “Mi mayor dice que si no viene de hoy a mañana, acabamos con el primero que pase y así se cumplirán las órdenes”, esta cita pertenece a “La noche que lo dejaron solo” y demuestra la injusticia y la violencia por parte de aquellos gobiernos. Los sucesos políticos de aquel momento, formaban parte de las narraciones escritas durante el boom.

En tercer lugar, los textos pertenecientes al boom latinoamericano, describen la situación socioeconómica del continente en aquel entonces, que de hecho sigue siendo igual en la actualidad. Los textos están escritos en un contexto de pobreza y marginación social. En los textos de Rulfo podemos entender que los protagonistas no viven en buenas condiciones. En los dos casos están sufriendo de calor o sueño. En el caso de “nos han dado la tierra” los protagonistas caminan durante días y días a temperaturas elevadas, por un desierto, en busca de un territorio que al final no era lo prometido. A través de esta cita, del cuento mencionado anteriormente, “las palabras se calientan en la boca con el calor de afuera” podemos imaginar el calor que estaban sufriendo. En el otro cuento también entendemos que los protagonistas deben caminar, con sueño, durante días, escapando, “El sueño le nublaba el pensamiento”. Esto es característico del territorio latinoamericano, en donde una gran parte de la población vive en condiciones poco dignas, y deben hacer grandes esfuerzos. Donde la pobreza predomina, y hay mucha gente excluida ya que la economía empeora, o solo beneficia a la minoría.

En conclusión, los textos de Rulfo están relacionados al boom latinoamericano ya que poseen características propias del fenómeno editorial.

 

Marie Antoinette

Finish watching the movie “Marie Antoinette”, by Sofia Coppola. (The link was provided by Alina in your Facebook group).

Then, answer the following questions and post them in your blogs:

  1. Marie Antoinette is sometimes referred to as “The Teenage Queen”. What attitudes in the movie can show that?

During the movie, we can see how Marie has a very childish attitude, she was not serious. She partied, drank, shopped non stop, she also cheated on her husband. She was also rebel, she did not like to follow the rules at the court, this is very typical of a teenager.

2. After her first child is born she shows many changes in her attitude and lifestyle. How? Provide examples. Why do you think that happens?

She moves to the country side to raise her new child. She wants to educate her as a princess and she wanted her daughter to be surrounded by nature. Her behavior was better even though she behaved as a child once in a while. I believe that she wants to be a good image for her daughter, that is why she changes.

3. Some historians have often suggested that Marie Antoinette’s behaviour helped encourage agitation in the people at the beginning of the Revolution. Can you find any instances in the movie that confirm or deny this claim?

Her behavior helped encourage agitation in the people because she liked expensive things and lived surrounded by luxuries. The money she spent on this was the people´s money, so they obviously did not like to see her spending and buying luxuries.

4. Towards the end of the movie, we see a more mature woman. How does she show she has somehow stopped being “The Teenage Queen”?

She stopped being the teenage queen because she became more mature, when the king was being taken, she stayed with him and supported him instead of running away. This shows she stopped being selfish and started caring about her husband and family.