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).

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