When I started reading the selections for my group’s reading group, I was excited about the prospects of reading fluff (not used in a degrading way…just not academic writings). I wanted to do some pleasure reading that I abandoned back in September. And the selections delivered. In fact, I was slightly disappointed when I finished them (in one night!). I am going to touch on each of the readings briefly with some of my initial thoughts.
This was the first piece that I read and I REALLY liked it. I have a soft spot for graphic novels, so I try to read them whenever I have the opportunity. This particular story brings up a lot of questions for me. What was under the bridge when the boys were watching the lanterns? Did they forget their past lives? How much of this should I take at face value? I am excited to talk with others about this story (not to mention the illustrations!)
This was the next story that I read. I’ve read only one of Thurston’s books (Their Eyes were Watching God) when I was in high school. I don’t remember too much about it, so I was interested in reading something else by her. This story was very provocative. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started and it stayed with me long after I finished it. I have a similar experience when I watch Mad Men. I believe it is because this story (and Mad Men) address women’s rights, roles and oppression; something I feel very passionate about. The characters in Sweat are very well constructed. In fact, I was surprised by how excited (and a little pleased) I was when Sykes died. I look forward to hearing my peers discuss the characters and the imagery.
Another snake story! I was wondering if there was an animal theme in our stories. This one was fun. I reminded me a little of the film Closely Watched Trains with its obvious reference to trains but also the surreal story line. I like the idea of a snake communicating through the use of Morse Code. One thing that I found somewhat disturbing was the image of a rattlesnake lapping up milk. Kind of gives me the chills.
I’ve read a number of legends and fairy tales. This particular story follows similar paths. I was happy to see a female heroine that didn’t follow in the traditional steps of princesses and helplessness. However, I didn’t feel like the characters were all that developed. I really didn’t care that much about them, so when some died I didn’t care too much. However, there is a lot in this story in terms of cultural values and themes to talk about. I want to hear what others got out of it.
I am really excited about this assignment and I sort of wish we did this more often in classes.