Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goodbye Columbus Chapter 3

Parallel-
"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.

Contrast-
"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.

Props-
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.

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