Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 6-8

" How would I ever come to know her, I wondered, for as she slept I felt I knew no more of her than what I coulde see in a photograph." (118)
"These were the goddesses, and if I were Paris I could not have been able to choose among them, so microscopic were the differences. Their fates had collapsed them into one. Only Brenda shone." (96)
This parallel shows the lives of the girls who live in the rich and prosperous neighborhoods. Throughout the book, Neil always talks about how people get things "fixed" in order to look more beautiful. This is seen when Brenda gets a nose job in order to hide her imperfections and differences. By the end of the book, Neil realizes that all the girls are identical to each other due to trying to look like the set image society sees as "beautiful." Neil questions his relationship with Brenda when he states, "I felt I knew no more of her than what I could see in a photograph" (118). Neil is comparing Brenda to the rest of the girls of Short hills who look and act identical. After several months of dating, it seems that Neil only is able to remember the outward appearance of his relationship with Brenda.

"Mr. Patimkin looked at his cigar. 'A man works hard he's got something. You don't get anywhere sitting on your behind, you know... the biggest men in the country worked hard, believe me. Even rockerfeller. Success don't come easy..." (93)
"I got more brains in my pink than Ben got in his whole head. Why is it he's on top and I'm on the bottom! Why! Believe me, if you're born lucky, you're lucky!" (117)
This shows the contrast between Mr. Patimken and his brother, Leo. When Mr. Patimken and Neil talk, he tells him about his past life and that if he works hard, Neil will be able to become successful. Later when Neil talks to Leo, Leo tells him the sad truth that the "American Dream" is all about luck and connections.

1. Diaphragm
2. Lights
3. Temple
4. Letter

I think the Diaphragm was a very important prop in these chapters. Ever since Neil has dated Brenda, I think he feels empowered due to his class and having less money than Brenda. In order to feel more in control of the relationship, he asks Brenda to buy a Diaphragm. At first Brenda refuses because she does not want to embarrass herself or her social status. Neil takes this as an offense and feels Brenda always has to have it her way in their relationship. By the end of the book, Brenda decides to buy the diaphragm. In the end it turns out this Diaphragm, an object of control and power for Neil, is the cause for Brenda's and Neils relationship to end when her parents find it in Brenda's clothing drawer.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 5

"When's the last time you lifted a finger to help around here?" "Im not a slave... Im a daughter." "You ought to learn what a day's work means.... You're lazy, and you think the world owes you a living." (64-65)

"Money is a waste for her. She doesn't even know how to enjoy it. She still thinks we live in Newark." (26)
This parallel shows the moms view of Brenda's behavior and lifestyle. Since both Brenda's parents grew with nothing and worked their way up to success, they want to teach and raise Brenda in the same lifestyle. Brenda believes that her mom is always jealous of her, but in reality, she doesn't want Brenda to have the behavior where she is able to get whatever she wants due to her parents wealth. This is why Brenda's mom always complains when Brenda buys too expensive clothing or feels entitled to money. This is seen when Mrs. Patimkin sates,"You ought to learn what a day's work means... You're lazy, and you think the world owes you a living." This quote parallels when Brenda says her mom doesn't know how to enjoy money. The mom, again, wants to teach Brenda the reality of the world past Short hills and show her a real life style that isn't surrounded by wealth.

"And my father's taking Ron in the business-- but he's going to have to start at two hundred a week and then work himself up. That'll take till October."
"I thought he was going to be a gym teacher." " He was. But now he has responsibilities." (61)
This shows how the people of Short Hills and other wealthy and prosperous neighborhoods encourage and almost force their children's choices and paths in life. In the beginning, Ron wanted to be a gym teacher, a job he loved. However, by the end, Mr. Patimkin encouraged and showed Ron into the way of Business. This is because a gym teacher or librarian is seen as an unsuccessful job in the view of the Patimkens and other rich families. This is why Brenda states that he "was going to be a gym teacher,, but now had responsibilities. This is a contrasting decision and view of Ron because of the influence of his parents.

1. Three Hundred Dollar Bills
2. Old Furniture
3. Newark
4. Natives
I think the three hundred dollar bills are very significant in this chapter. This shows Brenda's lifestyle and opinion on money. Brenda has always gotten whatever she has wanted and because of it, does not have a clear view of the working world. Brenda does not appreciate money and is willing to rip up three hundred dollars in order to rebel against her mother when she tells Brenda that "she does not appreciate money or work. Instead of Brenda accepting the truth, she chooses to lash out and blame her mother. This happen many times in Brenda and her families relationships as well as Neils. Whenever Brenda does not get what she wants, she blames the other person and uses the excuse of "being nasty." In reality this is because of Brenda and how she has been influenced by money.

Social Class-
A storeroom. Of our old furniture. From Newark." (67)
"I wanted to find it and tear it up in little pieces and put the goddamn pieces in her purse! If it was there, I swear it, I would have done it!" (69)
We see Social class in this chapter when we see the Patimken's old furniture from Newark locked in a dusty old room. I think its interesting that the Patimkens choose to keep there old furniture from Newark. It shows a part of their life they do not want to give up. This is why Brenda always says, "her mom still thinks were in Newark." I also think the furniture shows the Patimkens heritage and past life. In the beginning, Mr. Patimken came from the poor working class. He became successful because of his hard work and devotion to his job. The old furniture gives memories and shows Mr. Patimken of not only his past life, but his hard work in order to create "the American dream" for his family. It's also important that Roth included the old furniture to show that the Patimkens are unable to give up there life in Newark. This is why the parents have a clear view of the working world and money unlike Brenda who grew up a free lifestyle . This contrast is seen when Brenda talks about ripping up three hundred dollar bills in order to prove a point to her mother.

Chapter 4- Goodbye Columbus

"But then why should I worry about all of that: the library wasn't going to be my life." (61)
"John McRubberbands was in his last years at Newark State Teachers Colleges where he was studying at the Dewey Decimal System in preparation for his life work. The library was not going to be my lifework, I knew it" (32)

This shows the contrast between the lives of John McRubberbands and Neil. Since Neil has been with Brenda, he has realized that he wants to do something more with his life than being a librarian. Neil looks at John and realizes how his life is worked around the library and does not want to fall under the same path. This is why he always tells himself "the library wasn't going to be my life." I think Neil also admits this to himself to prove to not only himself, but Brenda and her family, that he will be successful and have a chance with Brenda in the future. This is seen when Neil tells Brenda, "I'm a liver" after she questions his plans for future life. Neil wants to embrace the present with Brenda and remember the memories he shared with her.

"He don't tale pictures like no colored men would. He's a good picture taker... look, look, look here at this one. Ain't that the fuckin life? (37)

"It's okay I'm not in school. I ain't supposed to be in school." (60)

This shows the culture discrimination of the African American race. The little boy is so used to being looked down upon that even he thinks the black race does not have any potential for success. When we first meet the boy, he admits that "blacks are unable to take good pictures." He then admits later in the novel that "blacks are not supposed to be in school." The boy has grown up in a world were blacks have been ostracized and judged that now even he believes in these stereotypes.

1. Marble
2. Tahiti
3. Garden of Fruit
4. Glasses
5. Games
6. Bird
I think games was an important concept in this chapter. When Brenda and Neil were in the pool, they played different games were they challenged their love for each other. I think this was important both figuratively and literally in their relationship. These "games" showed Brenda's and Neil's commitment towards each other. In the beginning, the couple tested their trust in each other. They both dove into the pool and rose the question of fear and survival. By the end, Neil realizes his love for Brenda and finally admits to her" Please, no more games.. I love you, I do." (54). This was the first time readers were able to see that Neil could not live without Brenda.

Social Class-
In this chapter, viewers see the interactions between the little African American boy and Neil. Again, Roth makes it clear through his writing the distinction between the black and white race. This is seen when the little boy assumes, because of his race and previous experiences, that blacks are seen as criminals. This is why the boy states, "Look, man, I ain't doing nothing wrong. I didn't do no writing in anything. You could search me." (59). It's important for readers to also notice the dialect of the black boy. Roth makes it very distinct the intellectual difference between Neil and the black boy through the characters tone. By making the boy say "ain't and "no nothing wrong" we are able to tell that the boy has grown up in a family where education is not important. This again draws the clear distinction between the white and African American race.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 3

"I felt like Carlota." (40)
"I would have poured myself a drink-- just as a wicked wage for being forced into servantry..." (42).
Again, this shows how Neil feels lower and ignored compared to Brenda's family. Neil describes feeling like Carlota, The Patimken's maid and servant. Roth makes sure to make many parallels and contrasts to Neil and Brenda's family to show the class difference between the two families. Throughout the book, Neil has always does tasks for Brenda such as holding her glasses; however, this is the first time to admitting feeling as a "servant" or lower to Brenda. This shows Neil's attraction towards Brenda and how he will do anything for her attention.

"Before I'd even reach them Ron stepped forward and shook my hand, vigorously, as though he hadn't seen me since the Diaspora" (38)
"Nobody had as yet said a word about me. I treaded unobtrusively as I could, as a third party, unintroduced, will step back and say nothing, awaiting the amenities." (20)
In the beginning when Neil met the Patimken family, they seemed to ignore and tower over him almost as if they more powerful due to their wealth. This is a contrast to the second time readers see the interaction between Neil and Brenda's family. The family almost seem to accept him as "Ron shakes his hand vigorously" in a friendly matter.

1. Lion
2. Marble
3. Art book
4. Sporting goods tree
5. Fruit

I think the specific detail of marble is an important "prop" for readers to notice. The word marble is brought up multiple times in third chapter describing the floor and staircase of the library. I thought it was interesting how Roth decided to use the word choice of marble of all words. Marble means "shining stone" and can represent wealth. Marble is interesting in that it also has many uses and is made though the metamorphism of rocks. I think Roth used marble to also show the lives of the rich families of Short Hills. Marble is made from rock but can made into items rich and beatiful. The first time marble is mentioned, Roth states, "I watched the hot high-breasted teen-age girls walk twitchingly up the wide flight of marble stairs that led to the main room. The stairs were an imitation of a staircase somewhere in Versailles..." (32). I think its also important that these stair cases are an imitation of a piece of art. With money, everyone wishes to have fake artificial beauty such as "high breasts" and "fixed noses." The marble signifies how the rich are able to change and have this outward artificial appearance of beauty.

Social Class-
Social Class is brought up many times in this chapter. This time, we see how the people of Newark treat people of color. When the little boy walked into the library, immediatly people speculated that he would mess up there books because of his race. This is seen when the librarian states, "Those are very expensive books.. You know the way they treat he housing projects we give them. They throw beer bottles, those big ones, on the lawns. They're taking over the city" (35). From this very start, we see how the boy was ostracized and judged because of his color. The librarian makes it seem as if the little boy is an animal who is unable to control himself. I think this is why when Roth describes the little boy with terms that make him seem as an animal or incompetent. This is seen when Roth makes a huge importance of the boy's dialect and outward appearance, overall making him seen as an outsider. Social class is brought up again between Neil and the Patimken family when Julie accuses Neil of steeling. Roth states, Julie was looking at me as though she was trying to look behind me,  and then I realized that I was standing with my hands out of sight. I brought them around to the front and, I swear it, she did peek to see if they were empty" (44). This show show the Patimken family does not trust people who are of lower class or not equal to them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 2

"Nobody had as yet said a word about me. I treaded unobtrusively as I could, as a third party, un introduced, will step back and say nothing, awaiting the amenities." (20)

"It was a pleasure, except that eating among those Brobdingnags, I felt for quite a while as though four inches had been clipped from my shoulders, three inches from my height, and for good measure, some one had removed my ribs and my chest had settled meekly in towards my back." (22)

This shows how Neil feels like an outsider compared to Brenda and her rich family. On page 20, Brenda's family completely ignores and almost looks down upon Neil because of his social class. Neil even describes feeling "three inches" smaller from Brenda and her family because he is lower and is not as powerful as the rich families of Short Hills.

"Well, for God's sake," she said, "i'm not going to hold them. Put them down. I'm not her slave." (15)
"I didn't care for anything but Brenda... do you want your sunglasses." (17)

In chapter 2, it seemed Neil struggled to keep his identity and true feelings and not cave for Brenda and her family. Throughout Brenda's life, Brenda has gotten whatever she has wanted. Neil say's he will do anything for Brenda and her happiness. This is contrast to how her cousin feels. Neil's cousin will not change her identity for anyone which is seen when she says, "I'm not her slave." Not only does Neil act as Brenda's "slave," but so does Carlota, the Pimtakin's cleaner. Roth makes this very apparent to readers by referring to Carlota as a "Unsommoned spirt."

Golf Balls/ Sports-

I thought that the Diamond was a very interesting prop to use. Diamonds represent wealth and luxury. Roth uses Diamonds to described the bump on Brenda's nose that she got removed. In this passage, Roth states,  "I knew Mr. Patimkin would never bother to have that stone cut from his face, and yet, with joy and pride, no doubt, had paid to have Brenda's diamond removed and dropped down some toilet in Fifth Avenue Hospital. I thought this was a good word to use for Brenda's nose job. Diamonds show someones wealth and are seen as important. By getting a nose job and comparing it to a diamond it shows the wealth of the Patimkin family and how they are able to foolishly spend money on artificial beauty. This again shows the class difference between Neil family compared to the Patimkin family.

Social Class-
Throughout this chapter, we are able to see the social class difference between Brenda and Neil. This is seen multiple time in the chapter such as on page 20 and 22 where Neil feels as an outsider compared to Patimkin family. We also see the difference when Roth describes the Patimkin's wealth. The patimkin are able to spend "diamonds" in order to artificially be more beautiful. Brenda even says about her mother, "Money is a waste for her, she doesn't even know how to enjoy it. She still thinks we live in Newark." (26) This exclaim Brenda makes directly shows people in Newark do not have any money to spend on luxury items such as the ones stated in the second chapter at Brenda's house..

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Goodbye Columbus- Chapter 1

Parallels and Contrasts-

"It was like the fluttering of wings, tiny wings no bigger than her breasts. The smallness of the wings did not bother me-- it would take an eagle to carry me up those lousy hundred and eighty feet that makes summer nights so much cooler in Short Hill than they are in Newark" (14).

"There were two wet triangles on the back of her tiny-collared white polo shirt, right where her would have been if she'd had a pair" (11)

This parallel shows Neil comparing Brenda to an angel. This is significant because readers are able to  see how Neil feels about Brenda. By comparing Brenda to an angel, readers know that Neil will do anything for Brenda's happiness even if it means reforming to her social class or driving up to Short hill to see her.

"The darker it got the more savagely did Brenda rush the net, which seemed curious, for I had noticed that earlier, in the light, she had stayed back, and even when she had had to rush, after smashing back a lob, she didn't look entirely happy about being so close to her opponenet' racket" (10)

"Where lights were on but no windows open, for those inside, refusing to share the very texture of life with those of us outside" (8)

This contrast shows the savageness of Brenda. In the day, Brenda hides her true emotions, but at night, when it's harder to see, she expresses them. This is seen literally when Brenda attacks the ball at night when her opponent has a harder time seeing and anaylyzing her moves. This shows the personality of Brenda figuratively. Brenda hides her true feeling and only opens up when people cannot see them. This contrast is also parallel to the one on page 8 where neil describes the people in Short hills. In this passage he states how the neighbors hide in there houses and refuse to share there true feeling with the people on the outside, the people who are different or outsiders to Short hills. This again, shows how people hide there true feelings from other people and allows readers to see the behaviors of the rich, Brenda and her family, compared to the behaviors of the poor such as Neil.

War and Peace-
Golf Balls-

I think glasses is the most significant "prop." In the very first passage, glasses was brought up in the very first page and was the reason for the interactions between Brenda and Neil. I think glasses could represent the theme of hiding your identity. Just as stated in the contrast, Brenda only showed her true emotions at night when her opponent "could not see them." Glasses do the same thing. Glasses allows someone to see more clearly. I think the glasses could symbolize truth or clarity as seen in a person.

Class Consciousness-

In this chapter, there was many instances were class difference was referred. In the very first passage, we are able to see the different lifestyles of Brenda and Neil. This is seen on page 8 when Roth describes, "Once I'd driven out of Newark, past Irvington and the packed-in tangle of railroad crossings, switchmen shacks, lumberyards, Dairy Queens, and used-car lots, the night grew cooler." Roth provides a transition from Newark, a town of poverty and work, by stating, "As though the hundred and eighty feet that the suburbs rose in altitude above Newwark brought one closer to heaven." From this very line, readers are able to see the class difference between Newark and the suburbs. Roth compares the subub to heaven and makes it seem more powerful by making it "100 feet rise in altitude."
When Roth describes the suburbs, it is completely opposite to Newark. Roth states, " I was driving past long lawns which seemed to be twirling water themselves, and past houses where no one sat on stoops, where light were on but no windows open, for those inside, refusing to share the very textures of life with those of us outside." (8) In the suburbs, people stay inside and exclude themselves from people who are different from them, such as Neil who is poor. People stay inside in there cool air conditioned house, which is completely opposite to Neil's family who sit outside at night.

We also see class difference when Brenda and Neil talk about schools. Neil says in responce to Brenda answer, " For an instant Brenda reminded me of those pug-nosed little bastards from Montclair who come down to the library during vacations, and while I stamp out their books, they stand around tugging their elephantantine scarves until they hang to their ankles, hinting all the while at "boston" and "new haven." (11).