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Blood Meridian 2

Dear Ms. Westfall,

Last night I finished Blood Meridian and I honestly have no idea what happened and the only thing I know for certain is that it is acceptable to kill everyone and everything and spitting can be regarded as an answer to a question. Many parts of the book were, for me, difficult to understand because their philosophy or perhaps reasoning and his style of writing went over my head (I also don’t have a very large knowledge of the Bible), but the ending really just blew my mind and I can only come up with possible theories as to what happen. I suppose we’ll never really know though and this is just one of those books that we are really supposed to formulate our own opinions as to what happened. Unfortunately, I didn’t grasp many of the messages that were supposed to be sent during those long convoluted passages and arguments with the judge. There were several times when the dialogue had underlying meanings that the characters understood but that I completely missing and I also had a hard time understanding their train of thoughts and their motives. I don’t know if that’s my fault as the reader or if that confusion was intentional (which very well could be the case because the point of view is so ambiguous and switches so much).

One of the main keys to the whole book is really the judge, but what exactly the judge is or what he stands for is really unknown to me. What I can conclude is that he is the embodiment of the violence of man. Perhaps he’s “war” like one of the riders of the apocalypse, an angel of war, an angel of death, or maybe he is the devil.  However if he is all of these things then why is he so calculating, educated, cool, calm, and collected, and why is he called “the judge”? He’s making judgments on some things? The only thing that was clear to me was that he was trying to, in a way, take the kid. He wanted the kid on his side and he battled the priest on this. At the end when he sees the kid for the last time he says that the kid was a “disappointment” and I think this is because the kid sided with the priest rather than the judge. I also wonder as to why he’s always naked, why he’s hairless, and why he can do magic. I feel like those are all also important aspects of his character that can give us hints as to what his purpose is, but I’m not really sure where they’re leading us. I think a lot of the passages where I got confused also involved the judge and maybe it’s because we saw those things from the point of view of the other riders who also didn’t really know what was going on, because we can get insight on some things but not on the judge and his actions.

One other thing I think about the judge is that he’s managed to do to Glanton what he wants to do to the kid. He’s sort of using Glanton as a puppet of war and destruction. Glandton never really does anything without consulting the judge first and the judge speaks for the group a number of times when Glanton is really the “leader”. The judge is behind the scenes running things and the judge is letting Glanton take all of the credit for all of this destruction. We’re shown several times that the judge orchestrates certain things then puts the blame or credit off on someone else so that no one really knows the judge was ever there. The judge sort of uses the imbecile as well but I’m not sure what purpose he serves.

The judge’s enemy seems to be the priest who the kid does eventually side with. Throughout the book we get a few instances of the priest warning the kid not to do certain things whether they involve the judge or not and I think the priest is the foil to the judge. So perhaps it’s a sort of thing where the judge and the priest are the little figures on the kid’s shoulders that we see in cartoons trying to influence him. However Tobin is an “expriest” not a real priest so he doesn’t seem to have the power to completely be the light of an angel or anything like that. It was never really clear to me why the expriest says for the kids not to do things like helping the man set his arm or helping the judge kill the horse but now I think Tobin just wanted to keep the kid away from violence, but I could still be wrong. Tobin also adds to the large theme of religion and guidance by religion, but as I said I don’t know much about the Christian faith besides the basics. It also didn’t make sense to be because these are literally the most unholy men you could ever think of, so why are they so worried about religion? I’m not really sure what part religion plays, but I know it’s got to do with the outcome of the kid and other things that I can’t really name.

Finally there’s the kid. Of course he’s still a very ambiguous character but we do get more insight on his character later on in the book. I wouldn’t say that he has a “soft side” per say, because he will do what he needs to do to stay alive, but he doesn’t ever inflict violence on others unless it’s absolutely necessary. We see it when he doesn’t kill the man in the desert with the broken hip or when he stays with Shelby when Shelby’s horse is hurt. However we see time and time again that the kid is really one of those characters that has an enormous will to live. We see literally everyone he comes into contact with die pretty quickly and these are clearly hard places and times to live in because not only will the environment and diseases kill you, but people are killing other people left and right. I think this is really important to the ending, because I don’t think the kid died at the ending—it’s hard to kill the kid. Also if the judge would have killed the kid, why would he be naked, and why wasn’t the death described. Every single other gruesome death was described in excruciating detail but we only get the reactions of the men who see what happened. Therefore in my mind one of two things could have happened. Either the judge is some sort of vampire that sucks the life out of people or he violated the kid in some other way either sexually or otherwise. I did think it was interesting that the kid only ran into the judge after he murdered a child, something that the judge had done a few times earlier in the book.

As far as lenses go I think this book is very Jungian but you can probably also play with the gender role a little bit. For Jungian this book follows a good structure of dragon battles, but the hero cycle of the kid is debatable. I think the fact that he didn’t side with the judge means he completed it but I could be wrong (I just like the kid so I’d like to think he’s a hero). There’s also a lot of religion and universal themes of survival and good vs. evil.

For gender you could mention that there was almost no women in the story other than the women who were raped and pillaged continually and the women who bathed the imbecile. I feel like they’re kind of important but I don’t know why. I think though that maybe there were no women in the story because maybe women aren’t influenced and affected by violence like men are. There’s also that potential homosexuality at the end.

You could also get a little Freudian with the fact that the kid had no mother and an abusive father and a little socioeconomic with the killing of others for money and almost constant poverty.

Even though I probably didn’t really understand the book I really enjoyed it. I also hear that a movie for this book is in the works and I’m interested to see how that’s going to turn out.

 

The honors program at McGehee is really unique and I personally believe very successful. I think it’s really important that we get to pick our own books because we get to pick books that suit our own personalities and if we pick a bad book we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. If you pick useful and good books (which you really have to because of the supervision of the teachers) then you will be very will off in the years to come because you’ll learn from those books and you’ll develop good habits. I mean I mad a 4 on the AP English exam with no real “AP course” and by just being in the honors program for so long. I’ve also always go to have a book because now it’s just sort of something I always do.

Work Cited

McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print.

Blood Meridian 1

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I’m currently about halfway through Blood Meridian and I’m not really quite sure what to make of it. There are a lot of contrasting aspects to this book. The starkest contradiction is the large amount of gore versus the author’s lengthy elegant passages and descriptions. The author’s style is extremely descriptive and almost poetic at times when describing the landscape, a character, or a particular scene, which I like a lot. All of this beauty really catches you off guard when he also goes into extreme detail about someone’s head being blow off or scalping Indians.

I like his style though it’s very interesting but definitely on the tougher side. I’ve got to keep a dictionary next to me when reading, a Spanish translator, and I’ve got to reread a lot of passages because sometimes things can get a bit ambiguous as to who’s speaking or what they’re speaking about. This is one of the other contradictions that I’ve found. He’ll switch from a lengthy and in depth description to a scene where it’s difficult for me to tell specifically what is going on. A lot of that is sort of like know between the characters or unspoken truths, and I think definites and specifics are switched out for more cliffhanger conversations and scenes to let the reader fill in a lot on their own. But I also think all of that really adds to the edge of the book. There’s a strong tone of mystery and danger. Every which way these characters turn there’s a snake or heat stroke or someone trying to stab them and all of the uncertainty in not only the dialogue but also in character traits and fight scenes really adds to this.

My final contradiction lies in the plot. There is always a lot of action going on but I’m not really sure how or even if the plot is moving at all, which seems like a contradiction to me but it might not be. The books “protagonist” seems to be the kid and usually a book will follow a character’s progression. This definitely isn’t the case here and at this point the kid id just wandering around Mexico defying death left and right. So I’m not really sure where this book is going to end. Of course I’m fairly sure the ending is going to be pretty ambiguous.

As far as lenses go the one I’m most inclined towards is Jungian for obvious reasons. This is maybe not a typical tale of adventure but it certainly has many of the elements of an adventure story.

At any rate I’m excited to see where this goes.

 

 

Work Cited

McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 2

Dear Ms. Westfall,

I’ve recently finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and I was a little disappointed with the book. It started out very promisingly. David Eggers has a very distinct and entertaining style of writing, which was really nice. It started out with his parents’ death which was all very succinct and had a good story and showed promise of a good plot of these kids moving past this tragedy and making something of themselves. However the tragedy is never really moved past throughout the entire book (and maybe this was his intention to show people how hard the whole thing was). His parents death is talked about on nearly every page, and while extremely sad and heartbreaking it really did get old after a while of lengthy lamenting.

Because of this continual returning and his physical returning to Chicago towards the end I felt like the book really went nowhere. He never really changed as a person and he never really accomplished anything other than keeping Toph alive. I guess I was just waiting for him to become the hero but he never did.

I also felt that after a while he started to become more and more self-absorbed. In the beginning he was more humble, I supposed because he had just started but towards the end he just started to become whiney and what started out as funny and sarcastic melodrama started to turn into real melodrama.

At any rate one of the things he laments on the most is the idea that youth is both horrible and beautiful at the same time. You can do anything while you’re young and the young feel as if they are immune to death. When you’re young you can start any business, go anywhere, and live free. He advocated for all of these things seeming to agree with the notion that the youth could and would do anything but then also continuously trashed them for their naivety and essentially their youth. He continually makes fun of and criticizes the idealistic and visionary young artistic people that he sought to fit in with and be one of. Obviously he does this because he is writing at a later date in time but I think he also does this because he was not immensely successful. He never becomes a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs or any kind of influential literary mind. He questions this continually and the answer is right in front of him the entire time. He and all the people he surrounded himself with had the ideas and had the brains they just never wanted to put in the effort. Or they were not dedicated enough to put in the effort for more than a couple of years. What they didn’t realize is that, yea some people get lucky and become famous but most don’t. They have to work for their fame.

I find the whole thing very Jungian and Freudian. It’s sort of like the story of the unsuccessful hero. It’s the story of the underdog but at the same time they don’t succeed. I guess you could also get biographical as well and ask “why didn’t he write a fictional story with a hero?” because there are very large parts of the book that are blatantly fiction and he doesn’t strictly follow his own life. You could argue from Freud’s standpoint that this whole book is a result of the loss of his parents and the result of a drunken father. He never had a father figure and this morbidness comes from that, because if you’re going to make up other bits of the story why not give it a more successful ending? Or at least end in a different spot then he did. You could also argue from the Jungian standpoint that it is a stereotypical tragedy. This family was torn to pieces by disease only to become more torn apart by everyday stress, more death, and failure.

This all coming from someone who enjoys sad books. In the end what really saved the book was his writing, his style, and the amount of his own voice he puts into the novel. That was the only thing that made any of the stories or the novel as a whole interesting, for me at least.

Work Cited

Eggers, Dave. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Print.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 1

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I’m currently reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers and I’m really enjoying it. Since this is a memoir about his life or structured as such it really gives Eggers an opportunity to let his voice shine through in the writing and he’s really funny. He often times goes off on imaginary trains of though and become really long, convoluted, and that also reach astronomical levels of fantasy. I really like these streams of conscience even though they’re sometimes hard to follow. His writing reminds me a lot of David Sedaris as well.

So far the book has been sort of bittersweet. It begins with the loss of both of his parents to cancer. He gives a good bit of the beginning of the book to this incident and he stresses how much of a monumental turning point it is for his life and while it is sad his tone and style make everything seem more reminiscent and appreciative of his parents for being who they were rather than him laminating or mourning over them.

I see this whole part of the book as very Jungian, simply because it follows that traditional and timeless sort of story. First parents tragically die and the children are left to fend for themselves in the big wide scary world, but instead of crumbling and breaking down they make something of themselves and go on to success. Their parents’ death is the crossing of the threshold that the children need to take their lives in directions that they never thought possible. It’s a timeless sort of story really and I think Eggers really plays this up. He takes long passages and uses a very important tone to describe how his life has changed and how his younger brother’s life is going to change.

Eggers and his brother have a very strange relationship. Everyone is sort of like outsiders to them even their own sister and they have a bond that really seems to keep everyone out. They are always on a crusade against the world and their entire life seems to be an inside joke between the two of them. This aspect of brothers and family seems very Jungian as well.

Eggers, as a young man, also seems on a crusade to change the world. He’s very idealistic and a bit naïve and I think as an author he is highlighting a lot of his younger self’s flaws and mistakes, which sort of makes his character even more entertaining.

At any rate I’m really liking it and I’m interested to see where things end.

 

 

Work Cited

Eggers, Dave. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Print.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I’ve recently finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and was the ending a doozy. Of course it turns out Harriet was alive the whole time and her brother and father were psycho, Nazi racists and killers that Blomkivst and Salander expose. However I felt that after the mystery had been solved and the killers exposed the book went on for far too long. Yes the reader needed to know about the state of Mikael’s affairs in the news industry but this wrap up didn’t need to go on for another hundred plus pages. There was also the problem that the book didn’t get started until about three hundred pages in. It was also very odd how very dramatic and powerful scenes such as Mikael being tied up and almost killed in a basement were very under exaggerated. But I still liked the book and it was still a good mystery.

Of course I was saving women’s role in the book for this letter since it is arguably the biggest aspect of the book. Just about every single woman in the book (except for Erica Berger) is at some point subjected to some form of physical, sexual, or mental abuse by the men in her life. There’s the obvious Harriet who was sexually abused by her brother and father and there’s Salander who was abused by her caretaker. There’s also a lot of hinting of something that happened to Salander when she was younger which has made her the way she is but unless I missed it this was never revealed. But then there is also Cecilia who is verbally abused by her father and Harriet’s mother who ignores everything her husband and son does to her daughter. It’s interesting how Mikael and Berger are almost the exact opposite to these people. Mikael is a sensitive and caring person and how Erica is a powerful executive. So I don’t think that the author is trying to say that all women are helpless and must run from their abusers but I think he’s just saying that it happens a lot. There is also the little statistic at the beginning of every section of the book giving a statistic of abused women in Sweden. So maybe he’s just saying that people are crazy and too many women are abused.

This could also lead to how these abusers and crazy people become crazy. It seems obvious that Martin Vagner became the way he was because of his crazy, Nazi father however Salander disagrees and seems almost offended by this when Mikael says this. This is another thing that suggests that Salander had a broken and terrible childhood and home and this brings up the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture. Salander is an extremely strong willed person and has obviously not become a rapist but her childhood has affected her. The author is probably also commenting on Swedish society about not only teaching children not to abuse their counterparts but also about corruption in general.

At any rate I thought it was a good book with a good story but I’m not sure if I’m going to read the sequals.

 

Work Cited

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Trans. Reg Keeland. New York: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2009. Print.

 

 

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 1

Dear Ms. Westfall,

As of now I’m about halfway through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson. It lived up to its reputation of being slow in the beginning of the book, but things have really started to pick up. As of now there’s two plot lines going on one focused around an up and coming financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist and the other is centered around a troubled but brilliant personal investigator named Lisbeth Salander. As of now the two stories have only come in contact with each other through minor characters in minor ways but I have a feeling they are about to collide and Lisbeth and Mikael are going to team up soon. These two parallel plots remind me a lot of 1Q84 by Murakami and the books are written in very similar styles especially since they’re both a bit long winded and take a while for the plot pick up (1Q84 more so than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and they’ve both been translated which gives the book a strange sort of rhythm.

As of now the three main motifs that have been brought through the book are the act of investigation, big business, and the idea of family. Blomkvist is an investigative reporter for a self-run magazine and now he has been assigned to do his best to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vagner. Investigation and research take up his entire life. At the beginning of the book he is on trial and found guilty in court because he wrote an article that contained false information and accused a prominent businessman of corruption. Because of this instance he took a small hiatus from his magazine and is now working to find Harriet Vagner’s murderer (someone who is supposedly in her own family).

Similarly Lisbeth works for a security company and is a freelance private investigator. She is apparently the best in the game and if there is any dirt to find out about anyone she can find it. At any rate both the investigations of Lisbeth and Mikael are the major focuses of the book. Because of this major themes of corruption and morality come into play. These shaky morals are shown to must exist in both big business and in family. In the book it is essentially shown that you cannot have family or big business without major corruption. Lisbeth, Mikael, and the Vagner family all have extremely unpleasant and questionable moral lives and motives. And every business so far from the ones that Mikael investigates to the one that mentors Lisbeth have proven to be guilty of corruption and violation of a number of things.

This highlight of the flaw of the human nature is a very Jungian/Freudian thing to bring up. It fits into the Jungian lens because it’s something that can be found in an infinite number of stories told over time throughout the ages. It’s a general human trait and something that everyone can identify with. Everyone has a family and family dynamics and everyone must at some point deal with corruption. These ideas are Freudian because one could come to understand that people become corrupt and immoral because of their family members. They grow up with and learn from their evil families and become what their families were.

At any rate the book is going really well and I can’t wait to see what happens.

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Trans. Reg Keeland. New York: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2009. Print.

 

Cat’s Cradle 2

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I’ve recently finished Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and while the ending was starkly morbid compared to the rest of the book I thought it was a fitting message and it really sent Vonnegut’s meaning home. In the end Hoenikker’s invention ice-nine (it turns all water into a solid at room temperature) ends the world in a horrible Armageddon and as far as we know the only survivors are the narrator and a few of his companions. The story is ultimately a criticism of big aspects of society like ignorance of humans, religion, science, and technological advancement.

Science is really the main criticism here and everything else sort of branches off of that. Through the story he’s essentially saying that science is as equally beneficial as it is destructive. He’s also saying that no matter hat scientists will always be exploited and the human race really can’t handle much of the technology that’s being created. His example for all of this is Felix Hoenikker the scientist he starts out researching. Felix is the epitome of an obsessive scientist. He only cares about finding truths, discovering new things, and advancement and development. He doesn’t care what his findings are used for or what they could potentially do to the human race, hence the creation of the atom bomb and ice-nine, which is what eventually ends the world. Felix is infinitely innocence, naïve, uninterested, and emotionless but he’s such a genius he’s got the ability to end all of humanity. However he does break his stereotypical mold when he hides ice-nine instead of give it to the military. Unfortunately this secret does not die with him as his children find ice-nine and use it to try to buy themselves happiness. Unfortunately his children are equally as naïve as he is and their ice nine falls into the wrong hands. All of this is extremely ironic. For this one person who feels so little to be able to influence so much is incredible, and the Hoenikker children’s search for happiness just symbolizes that humans will never be content and can’t handle the things that are being developed.

Contrasting these scientific themes are the themes brought about by religion and Bokonism the religion created by Vonnegut. Bokonism is one huge paradox of lies and extreme truths. Bokonism’s sole purpose is to help people give their lives meaning and to help them forget about all of their pain and suffering. However it does not allow them to escape that suffering so they ultimately continue to live miserably, but they believe they have a purpose so they are fooled. Everything in Bokonism is just backwards and confusing logic that tries to provides symbols and truths. Bokonism is essentially a symbol for all major religions except for the fact that Bokonists do not focus on God but on other people. However Bokonism isn’t in a negative light in the book like science is. I think that the symbol of Bokonism is both criticizing organized religion but at the same time saying the humans shouldn’t focus on God but their relations to each other.

At any rate it was a really fantastic book. The whole idea and the creativity of the plot are just really awesome.

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. New York, NY: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1998. Print.

Cat’s Cradle #1

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I’m currently reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and it’s very interesting. It’s the story of an author named Jonah who is researching Dr. Hoenikker, the father of the atomic bomb that was dropped during WWII. But this is also the story of how his research for Dr. Hoenikker brought him to become a Bokononist (a religion) and how this story basically changed his life. Now Dr. Hoenikker is a made up person who is beyond eccentric. In the story he is dead and Jonah must talk to his children who are equally as comical and eccentric as their father. Bokonism is also completely made up by Vonnegut.

I’m pretty sure the book is either an allegory or a satire. I think he’s made up Dr. Hoenikker to represent and make fun of intellectuals and Bokonism to make fun of religion. Dr. Hoenikker is dead, and we only know what we know about him from the stories of others, so we never get a good look into his character other than the random stories people tell about him. From those we’ve learned he is literally the most ADD nutcase, but of course he is brilliant. He’s an absolute genius and before he died he left a small chemical compound that could freeze all of earth’s water supply and completely destroy the world. I think this is going to be very important with themes and of course the plot because his three children have split up the chemical compound among themselves and are currently holding it. So I think Dr. Hoenikker is not only representative of eccentric brainy types but he is also a representation of how those men are exploited. Just like Einstein’s work was actually exploited in real life to create the atomic bomb, Hoenikker’s work was constantly exploited by military types and governments to be used as weapons. This is why I think the book is a satire of war. Of course a lot of Vonnegut’s novels are satires of war. He fought in World War II and I’m pretty sure he’s anti war, but here he’s saying no proper knowledge and research can be done without it being ruined by higher ups that are just trying to destroy something.

But all of this symbolism is hard to come across because of Vonnegut’s style, which makes it that much more of a good satire. He’s very funny. The writing is dry and curt and the details and examples used to explain things are really strange but it makes the book that much funnier. The dialogue is really enjoyable as well people everyone is always cutting to the chase and being really frank with each other. He’s just got odd details everywhere. Like Hoenikker’s children: one is a midget who ran away with a Russian circus midget, the other is his daughter who plays the clarinet but who’s practically a giant, and the other is an eccentric wood carver who has become the Major General Architect of the island of San Lorenzo. I think it’s really fun and just really entertaining.

I really can’t wait to see what happens because I’m pretty sure it has to do with the apocalypse.

 

 

 

Work Cited

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. New York, NY: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1998. Print.

1Q84 #3

Dear Ms. Westfall,

 

I finally finished 1Q84 and the ending did pick up a little bit but the writing was just still really lengthy and drawn out which made it just difficult to finish. The plot did have a few good plot twists and the book had a happy ending. Overall I still found the characters a little annoying and it wasn’t and dramatic and crazy as I was expecting but I think that’s because it was so lengthy and I’d been anticipating the climax of the book for so long. I found out that the book, when I was first released in Japan, was split into a trilogy and each book was released separately, which would definitely account for the length of the novel, but I still feel like things could have easily been condensed and shortened.

Aside from all of the Jungian, Freudian, and gender roles in the book structuralism plays a big role. The fact that Murakami decided to split the two timelines and begin to emerge them as sort of separate realities gave the book a very interesting twist. The two different plots and the timing of them diverging add a lot to the plot as well as the themes of magical realism, love, fantasy, and destiny that are strong in the book. This connection between the different elements of writing and language falls very well under the formalist lens. There is also a ton of foreshadowing and a ton of small details and key words that the characters repeat that also falls under the formalist lens.

All in all I thought it was an interesting book, but a little too long.

 

Work Cited

Murakami, Haruki. 1Q84. Trans. Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. Print.

 

1Q84 Reading Letter #2

Dear Ms Westfall,

 

I’m currently a little more than halfway through 1Q84. Since its nine hundred twenty pages long I think I’m going to have to write a third reading letter on it. At any rate things have definitely began to pick up. The plot has begun to thicken and things are starting to heat up although I’m still waiting to find out what’s going on and what the point of the story is. So far there’s just been a lot of political commentary and a lot of judgment of society has come into play.

One of the main characters, Aomame, is a huge women’s activist but she supports women’s rights in an extremely unconventional and illegal way. Her and another older lady have both experienced tragedy in the form of losing a loved one to spousal abuse. They’ve dedicated themselves to removing these abusive husbands, sons, and fathers from this world. In other words Aomame is an assassin who targets abusive men and the woman she is working for finds these men and pays Aomame to dispose of them in inconspicuous ways. This plus the prejudice against men Aomame has bring up a lot of strong gender role themes.

Aside from this blatant killing of men, there is a lot of sexuality in the book. This sexuality is a blend of the gender role lens and the Freudian lens. There is this prominent theme of abusive men and there is a mix of submissive or overly strong women in the book and the affect these women’s fathers had on them. Aomame did not have a strong relationship with her parents because they were a part of a religion that was more like a cult than anything else and she disagreed with them. Fuka Eri is dealing with the same problems and Tengo had a father that was far too strict and close-minded. This could lead to many of the character’s oddities that they deal with in the book. Aomame is usually only attracted to men who are old and balding, Fuka Eri pretty much doesn’t speak anymore (for reasons unknown but most likely because of something that happened in her childhood with her and her parent’s cult), and Tengo also has a problems becoming intimate with most people.

Aside from the sexual aspects of the Freudian lens, the dreamlike aspects of the story fall under the Freudian lens too and once again sort of blend into the Jungian lens. Fantasy is starting to pop up more and more and things are beginning to become more muddled with reality.

As for the style of the writing, I think the translation of the text has made the writing less lyrical and beautiful. The style is sort of mediocre and even annoying at times and I’m pretty sure it’s the translation, because the other novel of his that I’ve read, The Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was very differently written from this one. At any rate many of the passages are very descriptive and picturesque. He’s really shooting for realism with is such a strong contrast to the magical elements of the story and of course that just makes things more interesting.

I really can’t wait to see what happens in the end and I really hope I have time to finish it.

 

 

Work Cited

Murakami, Haruki, Jay Rubin, and Philip Gabriel. 1Q84. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. Print.