Introduction to Final Project

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Well this is our final official class blog post where we get to talk about what our final project is. The type of project that I have decided to do is an extended blog post. What I hope to accomplish with this project is to analyze how the movies Blade Runner and Total Recall can be related to Linda Nagata’s, The Bohr Maker. I think I have decided that I am going to break the project up into three different topics all analyzing these three sources under the topics. Somewhere in there I’ll add in a clip from one of the movies and specifically break down certain aspects of these mediums. The first section will be about what cyborg is and means within, The Bohr Maker, Blade Runner, and Total Recall and how they differentiate from one another and what similarities they all have. The second section will be about the character Nikko from, The Bohr Maker, and how he is defined as a human and how his character relates to Roy’s character from the movie Blade Runner.  I will also find specific clips that relate to the class and to these three different sections and add them in to clarify these different sections. The third section will be about the relation of memories, how they are created, how it is determined what memories are real and not real, and how characters within these movies and book attain their memories. The genre that I have chosen to incorporate is science fiction and cyberpunk. I have always been interested in science fiction novels and movies so I thought it would be fun to analyze this genre on a more personal level and see what I find. 

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The Differences Between Cultures

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I chose this picture because I thought it encompassed the differences and diversity of people that represent Mexican culture and because it also represents the Mexican feminist movement. 

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This week’s blog post assignment was a reflection of both the works of Gloria Andalzua’s, “La Frontera/Borderlands,” and Ana Castillo’s, The Mixquiahuala Letters. Both of these texts encompassed many different themes and ideologies of the Mexican culture. Although I enjoyed reading both of these works, it was definitely hard for me to relate with the pressures of what is expected from a woman and how being educated is not really a part of those expectations. Both of these Chicano literary texts have been influential in bringing fourth how women are oppressed and not allowed to be equals to men within Mexican culture and how it is also important for women not to rise above or be more prosperous than men.

The path that I chose to read was, “For The Quixotic” and I chose this path because quixotic means impractical within a pursuit of ideals. I do not think I am a cynic and I definitely am not a conformist so that left me to choose this path which I did enjoy. I believe the author made this path seem rockier than others. Other letters were probably left out of this order because it would clash with what the author was trying to accomplish setting them up in a specific way to tell the story differently.

Letter Seven really stood out to me because I could instantly see the connections between “La Frontera/Borderlands,” and The Mixquiahuala Letters. Through Andalzua’s description of her experiences with her family and the influence of acculturation between American and Mexican cultures it can be easily related to what Teresa experiences in, The Mixquiahuala Letters. Letter seven was significant to me because I think it illustrated well what is expected of Mexican women in their culture. Teresa at one point states that: “When a woman entered the threshold of intimacy with a man, she left the companions of her sex without looking back. Her needs had to be sustained by him. If not, she was to keep her emptiness to herself” (35).  This is a perfect example of women having to solely devote themselves to their husbands and ignore the other important aspects of their lives such as friends. This can be related to what Andalzua states in her text about how she did not “fit” within her culture because she wanted to be educated, was lesbian, and did not want to be married: “Nothing of my culture approved of me” ( 38). This quote clearly states how Andalzua just being herself as a human being, not even as a woman, was not good enough for her culture. Another similarity between these two texts was the expectation of marriage in the Mexican culture and if a woman gets divorced or chooses not to get married she then becomes a “bad woman.” One of the main themes that I noticed between both of these texts was how frequently it was reiterated what was expected of women.

This is where I found it difficult to relate to the texts because I was born and raised in American culture and I do not feel  these kinds of expectations within my family  American culture itself that I have to get married. I enjoyed reading both texts and liked learning about what is expected of women in different cultures and so that was appealing to me. Other than that the texts were alienating to me only because I have never felt the pressures that these women do to get married and act a certain way being a woman myself. My family also has never pressured me in any way to get married and are more accepting of who I am and what I want to do with my life than I feel the Mexican culture would be. Along those lines if I do get married it would be about love not anything that would be forced because my parents expect me to be a “good woman” and be a housewife with five children. They would be happy with anything I did so that cultural boundary and difference did not allow me to fully understand what these women were going through even though I tried to empathize with the readings and characters and really put myself in their shoes I will never really know what it is like.

All in all I enjoyed this letter because I thought Castillo’s language was very illustrative and I liked how she used art and painting as a giant metaphor for describing Alicia’s life during that point in time. With this use of language it created a clear picture of what Teresa was trying to depict to the reader.

These two pieces of literature have been fun to read and it has been interesting to learn more about the Mexican culture on a more personal level.

 

 

Parking Spaces Just for Women?

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I was hanging out with the boyfriend the other day talking about class and he mentioned to me about how in Germany they were designating parking spaces for cars just for women. Being that this is relevant to the class I thought I would share this information.

These new parking spaces would appear in Germany, and the parking spaces themselves would larger, so it would be more accessible to mothers with large strollers and well lit. Although it would separate genders and the parking spot would be labeled with the female sign, I do like the idea of making sure parking spaces are well lit, especially at night and being a woman. This is a controversial issue as well because men would have also get their own parking spots but they would be more narrow and the spot itself would force men to reverse their cars into them as well. If the reason for making these spots is safety I understand that, but shouldn’t they just make parking lots with each space having better lighting above it? I feel like that would create less stress. Anyway something interesting to think about, below is the link to FOX news reporting on the parking spots.

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/07/12/town-introduces-easy-parking-spots-for-women/

 

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What Is Real?

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She cowered in his rancid bed and whispered: ‘I want to go home,’ for the only solace she could envisage was to pretend this bitterest of disappointments was itself a dream and that, when it grew light, Buzz’s dark, strange body would revert to the familiar shape of her husband for she had often pretended the one was the other, anyway. Buzz covered his face with his hands and allowed her to dress herself and wander off alone through the dark streets, a fragile, flimsy thing whose body had betrayed both their imaginations. 95

This passage takes place near the end of the book right after Buzz and Annabel have had sex. It describes what is taking place inside Annabel’s head and how she and Buzz are both disappointed that their sex fantasies with each other did not play out the way they wanted. It also describes how Buzz wouldn’t look at Annabel as she put on her clothes and didn’t bother to walk her home, instead she ran through dark alleys alone at night. Both are guilty because it was not what either of them expected or wanted but Annabel is much more disturbed by the outcome and does not know how to deal with what has just happened rationally.

 The language that is used in this passage is dark and places the perfect picture of what Annabel feels like inside and out. When Annabel is wandering off alone at night, I believe that Carter was using this imagery as a metaphor for Annabel also wandering the labyrinth that constructs her mind. She was lost, scared, and very much alone. The tone that Carter achieves at this point in the book is haunting and unsettling and is conveyed through the language using words such as: dark, rancid, disappointments, bitterest, fragile, betrayed, strange, fragile, and flimsy. All of these words are uncomfortable which is how Annabel feels throughout the entire novel being  that she is afraid of things around her. The last sentence of the passage describes Annabel as an object stating she is not a female, or human being but a “thing.” This is a huge statement on how disgusted and disappointed Annabel is with herself and a symbol of Annabel’s weaknesses, and her fragility because she is so unstable.

 

I decided to choose this passage because I thought it was significant in the aspect of how Annabel constructs her own reality. This passage important in the entire novel because it says point blank how Annabel copes with the world around her, and how she has been able to create the world she so lives in herself  by mixing dreams and reality with one another so she does not have to tell them apart. She is a child in a woman’s body and does not want to take responsibility for her actions. Her gauge of reality is so far gone so she uses this escape tactic because it helps her accept her actions and the world around her that she does not fully understand. It is also important because her attempt at getting back at Lee was not as wonderful and glorious as she thought it would be. It was real, it was raw , and I believe she was very much hurt at how much dissatisfaction she got out of this act instead of  happiness and that bothered her. Annabel also being described as a thing at the end of the paragraph can be related to class discussions of women being possessions, property, and not even recognized as a functioning human being. She is a troubled girl who is weak emotionally in the book, but she still has self worth being that she is a person.

The Happy Housewife

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From the poems we were able to choose to analyze I picked, “Woman Work,” by Maya Angelou. Her poem was the most relevant to the topics discussed in class to me. This poem reminded me of one of the themes carried out through bell hooks’ works, which is the happiness of women. The poem is about how a housewife takes care of the children, cleans the house, cooks meals for the family, and has little time for rest. She is a housewife and still works hard and proves the misconception that just because she is a housewife does not mean she does not work or is unhappy. Hooks sheds a light on what the happiness of a woman is and how she can either be happy being a housewife or working amongst men, it only depends on what the individual is able to achieve given her circumstances and the community that she was born into.Hooks also points out that the “more” that  most women want out of life instead of  being a housewife comes from mostly what the educated white woman wants, not what all women would be happy with. In the very last line of  Angelou’s poem it states: “You’re all that I can call my own,” which I interpret as whatever is expected of her she does no matter how hard  it is because she does it out of love and this is what makes her happy. It can be seen through the writings of both Angelou and hooks that the happiness of a woman depends on the individual and her happiness can be measured by the goals she has set out for herself and how she has achieved them in life. 

First post entry!

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 I am very much enjoying this Women in Literature class and am excited to get into some really interesting discussions about women and their place in society and how that has changed. I’m also ready to gain a better understanding of the struggles women have been through in order to be able to have the ability to write and speak freely and be accepted in society. What I would like to accomplish in this class is to understand the lives of women writers and what they have been through personally and how they have been discriminated against as being non equals to men. Also I would like to understand on a more global level, the differences between how women are treated and have been treated in America compared to the social structures and how women have been and are treated in other countries. Overall I like this class, enjoy the readings, and am ready to learn more about how women are and have been  discriminated against for so long and how women have been able to gain the equality they deserve.