May 20, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Classics: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson is a bit of a creepy lady. Her stories, ranging from the chilling The Haunting of Hill House to the short story The Lottery (which I believe everyone should read). I wanted to talk about my favorite Shirley Jackson work We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I was recently reintroduced to the story after my American Gothic class last semester and fell in love with it all over again.


Synopsis (from the back of the book):


ALL IS PEACEFUL AT 
THE BLACKWOOD ESTATE – 
UNTIL A MURDERER STRIKES


Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods – until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible nigh. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.


(using the Penguin Books edition)


This novel epitomizes the unreliable narrator. The entire story is seen through the eyes of young Merricat Blackwood, a young lady who has been extremely affected by the death of her entire family, save a half-crazy/senile uncle and an older sister. Merricat’s mental state, however, is obviously not completely stable. At eighteen years, Merricat acts like a twelve year old. Her sole companion besides her remaining family members is a cat named Jonas and their occupation is cleaning the old house and burying their treasures away in the ground.


Merricat loves routine. She goes into town every Thursday to collect the groceries, run errands, etc, and she likes it that way. However, when the estranged cousin Charles appears and begins to change things in Merricat’s way of life. Charles essentially moves into the house, believing that he, as the surviving male cousin, should be treated as the man of the house. Merricat doesn’t agree.


For the first half of the novel, the underlying question of whodunit is irresistible. I sped through the first couple of chapters so quickly to uncover who on earth committed all of those ghastly murders. I didn’t suspect Constance, as the rest of the town had – her manner is much too pleasing, especially the way she acts with her senile old uncle. But who would do such an act?


I hope you’ll read it to find out ; )

Posted May 20, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , ,


May 19, 2012

Reading Diary: Autobiography of Mark Twain

Holy schmoly, this book is huge. Have you seen this book? I could use it as a weight…


Anyways. 🙂
So far I have pretty much just skimmed the first few chapters and the UC Press’s acknowledgments/findings/etc. My favorite so far is the pictures.


I feel photos in biographies are completely and utterly necessary. How else can you fully experience what the focus of the biography experienced, saw what they did? It also allows the reader to see the subject more fully, like how they interact with people, their facial expressions and body language. Clemens’s images remind me something of Albert Einstein or Back to the Future guy. Fluffy white hair, giant mustache and a mischievous air about the somewhat tall, proud man in the images. He had no problem letting his personality shine through, from the image with his cowboy hat on in the backyard to a later photo shoot of him reading the paper in his bed (I wonder how that one came about….)


There is also a photograph of Samuel Clemens posed with Helen Keller from 1895. I wonder how they knew each other. What did they think of one another? Two of the greatest minds of the age and I never realized they had met.


I can’t wait to read more of this giant book (I can’t get over how big it is!). Unfortunately, my shift ran long so I didn’t get around to the reading I had planned for today but hopefully I can get some reading done tonight!

Posted May 19, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: ,


May 17, 2012

About Me

So you know my name is Ellen, but I figure you deserve to know a bit more!


My parents read me every story under the sun when I was a child; in fact, half of our pets are named after storybook characters!


I am an amateur photographer. I prefer black and white film, but I wouldn’t say no to a digital camera. =] I don’t have a lot of time to tinker with my camera during the semester, but I’m hoping to get out there armed with my camera this summer.


I am a Starbucks addict.


My grandpa bought me my first Harry Potter novel. He is the one that really inspired me to read.


I am an amateur wino and a wannabe foodie, but I am just as happy with a Big Mac (my mom is going to be worried about my eating habits when she reads this… )


I’m a fourth year lit student. Even though I am asked “What are you going to do with that degree?” all too often, I am so happy I went with English Literature as my major. I love reading and I love seeing what others decipher from the same text I read.


My favorite Shakespeare play is The Taming of the Shrew.


I love to organize and clean.


I could easily watch The Office for hours on end.


The library is my favorite place. It’s filled with books! For free! It’s my favorite place to spend time.




I’m so excited about this blog, I hope you all enjoy it! Since this is my first venture into the world of blogging, I ask your patience while I learn.
<3 E

Posted May 17, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags:


May 16, 2012

On My Shelf

I love the library. It makes me so happy to be surrounded by so many books! (Nerd Alert =] ). I picked up a few books today to start my summer reading off with, and I wanted to share them with you!








(From left to right)


Post Grad by Emily Cassel – a novel based on the screenplay and recent movie.
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht – highly recommended by my co-workers and on the Lucky Day shelf at my library.
Autobiography of Mark Twain – enough said.
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
Plain Speaking: Conversations with Harry S. Truman by Merle Miller – a Dad recommendation
Making the Corps by Thomas E. Ricks – another Dad recommendation. He said he read it cover to cover within a week.
The Search by Nora Roberts – I love Nora Roberts like my grandma loves Danielle Steel.
Abandon by Meg Cabot – Meg Cabot became one of my favorite authors with her amazing series The Princess Diaries. I will read anything by her.
Inferno by Max Hastings – a book I picked up for Dad for last Christmas. He loved it so much, he handed it back to me (this is a good thing in our family =] )
Cold River and  Kiss the Moon by Carla Neggers – on my last vacation, the hotel I stayed in had a few New York Times bestsellers lying about the room (which I loved because I had forgotten to bring a book…) and once I picked her novel up, I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read either of these, so hopefully they are as good as the others I have read so far!
One Day by David Nicholls – Amazing movie and so far, an amazing story. I identify with Em and I can’t help but cheer for Dex.
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – a random grab from the Lucky Day shelf. From the plot description, it looks like a version of The Illiad.
Bridget Jones; The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding – impossible to not love <3
Overbite by Meg Cabot
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulker – I read my first Faulkner story this last semester and fell in love with his style of writing. The Sound and the Fury has it’s reputation for being a bit of a heavy read, but since it’s the only one on my shelf like it, I bet I can manage it 🙂

Posted May 16, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags:


March 21, 2012

Review: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Spell Bound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: March 2012
Hardcover: 336 pages
Source: Library
Links: AmazonGoodReads
My Rating: Four Stars

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

I feel like I know Sophie Mercer better than my best friend.
She’s a smartass, well-versed in my favorite language (sarcasm), and cracks inappropriately bad jokes when she’s nervous. Despite her own view of herself as a potential monster, she does the right thing and is an amazing friend. You’ve gotta love this girl.

The character has been consistent throughout all three of the series, and each book is amazing in it’s own right. I loved Spell Bound for the simple reason that the plot continuously kept me guessing. Not just once or twice, but I had no idea how on Earth she was going to get herself out of this mess alive. Normally, I can guess the ending of books like these, but Sophie and Rachel Hawkins constantly surprised me.

I loved the relationship between Jenna (the pink-loving vampire sidekick) and Sophie. Technically, in the world of the Prodigium, both of them are outcasts. Jenna is the only vampire in the entire school and Sophie is a demon. Yet their humanity is brought out by the other….kind of along the lines of ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, etc.

The love triangle comes to a climax in this book (thank goodness – I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but as they go, the Hex Hall one isn’t bad). There is a huge event in the end of the book that pretty much decides who Sophie will go with, but I’m wondering who she would have picked if that event didn’t occur… (gotta read it to find out!).
As to the plot, it kept me guessing once again. I was shocked at the ending. Sophie and Rachel Hawkins together kept pulling tricks out of their sleeves that continuously changed the story and kept me enthralled. I can’t decide if I want to go over the plot or just skip the spoilers…I’ll skip. 🙂 I want you to read this!

In the end, this is an amazing end to a spectacular series. I carried each book around with me, trying to sneak moments to read at work and while I was cooking dinner. Sophie is an enchanting character with a smart mouth, which makes us love her all the more.

Posted March 21, 2012 by Ellen in the canon talks, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , , ,


February 1, 2012

The Grey

Grey is a fascinating color if you think about it. It’s not quite dark but not quite light. It’s smack dab in the middle between black and white, between evil and innocence. It’s a hesitant color, unsure, wavering. The theory behind the color grey is the basis for the protagonist Ottway in the new film The Grey. The film appeared to me from the previews to be a typically Hollywood thriller/horror, but this blew my expectations out of the water. It is much more focused on human relationships and our own personal psychological hangups. Ottway is stuck in the grey, the inbetween. The threat of the wolves is real enough, but the film focuses on our own mortality and how we cope with the cards life deals. (To be fair, I discuss many topics that occur within the film…or more commonly known, SPOILER!)

The Bare Bones:
          The film follows an oil drilling team whose home bound plane crashes into the unforgiving Northern wilderness (presumably Alaska). The crash survivors must deal with a territorial pack of wolves as well as their own injuries, both physical and mental.

The Common Threads:
          Man vs Man: – the few hand to hand combat events that occur stem from fear (excluding the opening scene at base camp, which is the product, presumably, of alcohol). Diaz challenges Ottway (Omega challenges Alpha) as a result of his unacknowledged fear as they reach the apparent safety of the treeline, occuring moments before the Alpha wolf is heard to stop a rebellion within his own pack.
          Man vs Nature – Nature gives the survivors no breaks. From blizzards and storms to freezing temperatures and, the biggest threat, the wolves, she is unmericful to the men. One man, Burke, succumbs to nature’s dangers as the air is too thin for him to breathe, causing not enough oxygen to reach his brain. The wolves as well are a constant terror because, as Ottway theorizes, they are either nearby their den or within their hunting range.
          Man vs Himself – the overarching theme of the story. Ottway is constantly at odds with his memories, especially the constricting pain of the loss of his wife. He even contemplates suicide, but stops at the sight of a wolf. All of the survivors of the plane crash and subsequent wolf attacks have skeletons in their closet and as the film progresses, their secrets are revealed.
          Spirituality – Faith and religion is a bone of contention among the men. Some firmly believe in God while others, like Ottway, claim they don’t. Ottway appears, as he so often does, to be in the grey zone, the inbetween. He confesses that he doesn’t believe in God but wishes he does. Whatever your beliefs, it cannot be denied that Ottway is in desperate need of a guiding light in his life. This is even more apparent when he screams to the sky, demanding God prove Himself then and there. He turns to faith blindly, as so many of us do, in moments of deep desperation, screaming out in frustration that God fix the problem then and there. Unfortunately, for him and for us, that rarely occurs.
          Death – In The Grey, death is everywhere. It is the only constant the survivors learn to count on. It is my belief The Grey is a tale about a journey of learning to accept death. Ottway has a head start on the rest of the group, stemming from his background of his wife’s death. This event enables shim to calm the dying man in the wreckage of the plane, making death sound almost like a long lost friend welcoming the poor soul back home. Ottway’s journey ends when he realizes he has stumbled into the wolf den itself and the black Alpha is glaring down at him. The words of his father’s lyrical death poem repeating in his head as he faces down his own death in the form of the giant Alpha wolf.

Oddities:

  • the wallets – the wallets are interesting. Ottway decides to collect the wallets from the deceased to give to the families, vocalizing his belief (hope?) that they are going to somehow get out alive. The wallets seem to contain the men’s entire lives within a few inches of folded leather, especially photos of their loved ones. I was intrigued when Ottway opened each wallet, carefully, reverently, and examind the contents, then placed each one of the ground in the den, forming a sad pile. He then opens up his own, repeats the process, then prepares for his battle with death. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the symbolism of the wallets. I know it means something, but it continues to elude me…
  • Ottway’s broken gun – the symbol of the beginning of the journey. All the skills Ottway once utilized in base camp must be refreshed to fit their current situation…without the help of the most useful weapon aboard the plane. 
  • “Don’t be afraid” – Throughout the film, there are many flashbacks to Ottway’s wife stroking his face and whispering this simple phrase. It is not until later that we discover why. However, she represents his guardian angel, staying with him throughout all the frightening moments, the calming presence in the back of his mind, whispering constantly, “don’t be afraid”. I suppose one could go as far as to compare her to a representation of God – always with him, calming and protecting him. Maybe her memory is when he feels closest to faith.
  • The Black Alpha – Death – black. Big mean wolf that wants to kill Ottway = black, therefore = death
The Final Straw:
          Our psyches are much bigger threats to our survival then enemies with sharp teeth and claws. This film is an incredible journey about spirituality, survival, and coming to terms with death. Go see it!

Posted February 1, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags:


January 25, 2012

Water for Elephants


“That’s the reality of getting old, and I guess that’s really the crux of the matter. I’m not ready to be old yet” (Gruen 110).

Water for Elephants contains two overarching story lines – young Jacob Jankowski’s coming of age/love story  alongside the tale of his 93 year old self’s struggles against his aging mind and body as well as the many stigmas that elderly people face in society today, such as being “filed away like some worthless tchotchke” – the feeling of being forgotten, that one can no longer carry water for the elephants (13). The second story line deals with age differently – it is a record of a young man learning to make his way after everything in his world collapses without warning. I was particularly drawn to the character of August – his obvious psychological problems help define younger Jacob’s life, but August also represents two other things: how marriage was viewed in the 1930s and how mental disabilities and psychological problems were dealt with. 
I was constantly fascinated by the phrase “water for elephants”. So many different characters throughout the novel employ the phrase, but they all allude to the same meaning.
The Bare Bones:
          Water for Elephants switches between 23 year old veterinarian Jacob Jankowski’s journey with the Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show on Earth in the early 1930’s jazz age, Prohibition-ruled America to seventy years later in an assisted living home as he deals with his own aging and the loss of his dear wife, among the many other problems he faces. 
Common Threads:
  • Man vs Man – Young Jacob is constantly at odds with his boss, the equestrian director August Rosenbluth, whether he has done something wrong or not. August has it out for him, partly because he realizes Jacob is in love with his wife, Marlena, and partly because of August’s suspicious nature. Older Jacob gets in two major confrontations. The first being at the beginning of the novel when Jacob is seated across from McGuinty, a retired lawyer who claims he carried water for the elephants (!). Jacob confronts him and the whole situation escalates until Jacob is wheeled back to his room. The second confrontation comes at the end of Jacob’s journey, which involves a circus boss, a cop, and a glass of whiskey. 
  • Man vs Nature – This theme is not prominently featured in this novel. Nature presents herself in the form of the weather and in the animals Jacob tends to in the menagerie. One could argue that Rosie the elephant embodies the theme of man vs nature (aka August vs Rosie) but I believe that Rosie’s part goes deeper then just a face off with August.
  • Man vs Himself -Jacob is constantly fighting with himself. Don’t stare at Marlena, don’t make August mad, don’t let them mistreat the animals. His memories of his lost parents are a sharp pain for him at the beginning and constantly plague him in dreams and thought throughout the novel. His good Samaritan side and sense of common decency (which seems to be a rare thing in those days) also presents problems for him as he can’t help but integrate himself in conflicts. Older Jacob has conflicts with himself in a different way. He can’t come to terms with aging. His narrative is filled with constant references to his uncertainty with aging. Jacob is still disappointed that none of his five children offered to take him in after his wife passed away, but the gloom lifts when the circus plants its tent a few blocks from his home.
Oddities:
Uncle Al – the selfish, controlling, manipulative, and self-serving ringmaster of the Benzini Bros. What, exactly, does  Uncle Al represent? He is a wonderful villiain; just add a long mustache for him to twirl and he’d be set for a Disney movie. However, can he be compared to Uncle Sam? And following that train of thought, to the government? Food for thought.
Camel – the man falls ill from drinking too much is called CAMEL. I enjoyed that 🙂
Rosie the elephant and Rosemary the nurse – both connect to Jacob in a way no one else can, both changing his life in drastic ways. Is it any wonder their names are so alike?
August Rosenbluth – “‘You’ve seen it. When he’s happy, he’s the most charming creature on earth. But when something sets him off…’ She sighs., and waits so long I wonder if she’s going to continue. When she does, her voice is tremulous. ‘The First time it happened, we’d been only married for three weeks, and it scared me to death…I called my parents and asked if I could come home, but they wouldn’t even speak to me” (Gruen 271). August is an extremely interesting character. His relationship with Marlena is easily classified as abusive, but no one (until Jacob) lifts a finger to help her because they are married and she is technically his property. 
The Final Straw:
I loved this novel. I knew of the book’s reputation, yet I didn’t expect much. What I read blew all my expectations out of the water. Rosie’s character was so endearing, especially her love for gin and ginger ale. There is so much to explore in the novel, I wish I had the time to explore it all : )
Gruen, Sara. Water for Elephants. North Carolilna: Algonquin, 2006. Print.

Posted January 25, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: ,


January 18, 2012

The Hunger Games

Society is never portrayed well in literature. From Dickens to Oscar Wilde to today’s more recent authors such as Ian McEwan, society is the cause of all sorts of problems. However, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games   series shows a much more intense take on the future society of the decimated leftovers of America, now called the country of Panem. At first, I was reluctant to read Ms. Collins’s novels, unsure if I could face the harsh and grim future of her post-apocalyptic world. The idea of the Hunger Games itself repulsed me, yet I couldn’t put it down. The stories behind the Hunger Games were so enticing, I kept reading to know the stories of the revolution (known in the story as “the Dark Days”). The protagonist, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, however, was the most intriguing element of the entire series. Her stubborn nature, her dependency only on herself and her best friend Gale, and her love for her little sister endeared her to me. 


The Bare Bones:
          In a country of constant terror, the ruling Capitol forces each District (12 in all; District 13 is all but nonexistent) to contribute two contestants for the Hunger Games – a girl and a boy, between the ages of 12-18. These contestants, called tributes, are shipped to the Capitol to be trained and released into the arena to fight for their lives. In District 12, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister, Prim’s, place as tribute. Now all she has to do is kill the 23 other tributes to return home alive.

Common Threads:

  • Man vs Man – On the surface, this novel is full of man vs man. The Capitol ruling over the Districts, the Peacekeepers (Panem’s national police) versus the people, the tributes against each other, especially the Career tributes against those from lesser districts, and Katniss against her mother. Man versus man is one of the most prominent themes in the novel. 
  • Man vs Nature – Katniss is not unfamiliar with nature – in fact, she spent most of her life running around the wild forest that lies next to the Seam, her home region of District 12. However, the arena in which the Hunger Games take place is not exactly the nature Katniss knows. Poisonous bees, dangerous and quick wildfires are among the dangers Katniss and the other tributes have to face.
  • Man vs Himself – Katniss’s biggest enemy is herself. Well, okay, maybe not her biggest, but the war within herself does present a lot of problems. Katniss can’t forgive her mother. When her father died, her mother withdrew into herself and into her grief, letting Katniss and her little sister, Prim, to find their own way through their own sadness. During their goodbye session before Katniss is shipped to the Capitol, she and her mother have an argument that leaves Katniss sad and sets the mood for the trip. Katniss also has to deal with her instinctive distrust of people. It continually hinders her throughout the novel.
  • And finally, society! Society is shown in two different ways in the novel – how District 12 and its people are portrayed, and then how the world of the Capitol runs. Thinking on this very topic brought up a few questions:
    • Why do the districts allow their children to essentially be hauled off and slaughtered, all in the name of ‘fun’? (hence the use of “Hunger Games“)
    • Why does the Capitol see this as entertainment? Surely a society as progressive and advanced as this wouldn’t allow such a tragedy to occur annually? Why do they enjoy such barbaric entertainment?
    • Within Katniss’s own district, there is a line between the ruling class and the lower class; yet, when faced with the Capitol or Peacekeepers, the line becomes a little more blurred, and the district ruling class blends in with the lower class. Is this a parody of society today? Or a warning of what we might become?
Oddities:
  • Mockingjay: a creation of the Capitol’s comes back to haunt them. Foreshadowing?
  • President Snow: snow = white –> white = innocence –> but President Snow does not = innocence.
  • Why does Katniss’s mother and father remain nameless?
  • Cinna: why does he pick District 12? He obviously has the skills to choose any district he chooses.
  • The fashions in the Capitol only serve to set the ruling class farther above those living in the Districts – the ‘lower’ class, if you will.
The Final Straw:
          I couldn’t help but fall in love with Katniss. The moment she shot her arrow at the Gamemakers’ table, pinning the apple to the wall, I knew I was with her for the long run. I was sticking with her through thick and thin. 
          I found the author’s view of future society intriguing; how we, the country of freedom and democracy, came to that. Her view of the future for America is amazingly bleak, but it suits the landscape of her novel to a tee.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. Print.

Posted January 18, 2012 by Ellen in the canon talks, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , ,


December 29, 2011

Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

Every New Year’s Eve at my work, we hold a huge party for all of the members and this year’s theme is “The Phantom of the Opera”. This little paperback book had snuck to the back of my bookshelf, slipping from my mind. I had completely forgotten the masterful work of Gaston Leroux.

Reading through the first few chapters last night, I felt shivers run down my spine as I read about the Ghost taking his seat at the retiring managers’ dinner table. The descriptions of his appearance…ah. It is a bit frightening if you allow your imagination to sink fully into the book. 
I enjoy the Phantom, as creepy as he is. His character is such an interesting, complex combination of psychological profiles that reflect mostly from his insecurity stemming from how he was treated at a young age, and how those few first years created the man that wrecked such havoc in the opera house in Paris. 
I also find it interesting in how long he stays within the walls of the Opera. Only having Leroux’s descriptions to go by, I can merely imagine the secret trapdoors and huge echoing basements meant to store the scenery and props of the opera. Why does he stay inside these walls? Wouldn’t it have been better for him to escape it all, to leave it all behind?
The story of love within this novel is amazing. Parental/familial love, unrequited love, obsessive, and romantic. Christine experiences sympathy for her kidnapper, identifying and pitying his sad life, the complex name which escape me right now…i’ll remember soon.
I can’t wait to keep reading this story, hopefully soon I will have more to write for you! 🙂

Posted December 29, 2011 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , ,


June 16, 2011

Middle Earth

Wow.

Just finished his biography. I am stunned. It took him more then a decade to create that story. There is so much more that went into it then just writing down what came into his head. He created languages. I don’t know about you, but I can barely speak Spanish, a language I studied for the three requisite years in high school, plus one extra (don’t have to do it in college now!), let alone CREATE a language.

Middle English, for those who haven’t seen it, is nothing like the English we speak today. To me, it looks more German in it’s form. Tolkien was an expert in that as well, and had a basic understanding of Icelandic and other such languages as well. I am fascinated by Elvin for some reason, possibly because it was the most mentioned in the biography out of all the works he created.

His life as a professor was interesting as well. How he managed to balance his lectures, etc along with writing one of the world’s more well-known series of books amazes me.

The capacity of his imagination must have been enormous. Just some of the names befuddle my simple mind, like how on earth did he come up with such things? And what about the themes of the story?

Why did he choose to discuss the battle of good and evil as his base storyline (although every possible basic theme, like man vs man and man vs himself can be found in his works)? And why a ring? Is it just because a ring is a  general piece of jewelry or does it represent something more? Tolkien is noted in the biography for wanting to avoid all conventions of allegory in his stories (probably to give the critics a harder time, hehe) but with the times in which he wrote (a la World War II), it is hard to not draw a comparison between Mordor and Germany.

A lot of the questions about these works that are floating around in my mind are trying to find the answers within the biography, but since we are in the age of the “death of the author,” I cannot look there for my answers. I have to find them in the works themselves…which are still on hold at the library….

Patience is definitely not my virtue. Hehe.

Posted June 16, 2011 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , ,