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..

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