“I stood there for a minute feeling especially fat. I mean, I always feel fat, but sometimes I feel like a boulder. And I just stand there, letting it happen because I'm a boulder and that's what boulders do.” Owen Birnbaum’s life has been tragically altered due to the death of his parents. The result of this accident, is an eating habit that causes him to mentally call himself a boulder, one of the most meaningful symbols in the novel. Throughout Slob by Ellen Potter, there are a series of big and small symbols that identify significant parts of Owen’s life.
In “The Quarry” one of the main ideas of the short story is tolerance and in the story, it shows how tolerance effects our society as a whole. When Johnny Day first starts his climb, a big Indian man comes and tries to help and stop Johnny Day from
Steinbeck uses the character’s effect on others to show oppression. In a conversation with George and Lennie, George says, “‘Jesus, what a tramp,’ he said. ‘So that’s what Curley picks for a wife’” (Steinbeck 32). This conversation shows what affect Curley’s wife has on George. The impression that she is a “tramp” shows the kind of oppression that Curley’s wife faces. In another conversation between George and Lennie, George tells Lennie, “... You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out” (11). This displays Lennie’s affect on George and how it can be degrading to Lennie because he can’t help the fact that he has a mental disability. This can prove that Lennie is being oppressed by George. The effect on the other characters help the readers see the oppression that the characters face.
There comes a point when things lose meaning after doing them for so long. It becomes more like following directions to bake a cake. Everyone in the village was accustomed to collecting rocks on this day just as "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones..." which only lead to "...the other boys soon followed his example..." (Jackson). Bobby Martin, and many before him, fell victim to following examples without knowing why. Jackson emphasizes on the gathering of rocks in a sort of primal essence. The village had no other alluring forms of entertainment. During the time period that this story takes place, children followed in the footsteps of the parents in everything. A baker had kids that became bakers, a banker had kids that became bankers, a farmer had kids that became farmers, and so on and so forth. It is arguable that they didn’t know any better since they were never taught anything
Peter found that to live in this hostile world, it was better to conform with society and, as Jerry accused him, 'make sense out of things and bring order.'; Both the men's acceptance, however, led to the isolation of the individual, where Jerry felt alone not by choice, while Peter, even though he lived according to the rules of society, still managed to isolate himself because he lived in a household of females. He achieved his sense of satisfaction with the world by coming to the same part of the park to read. 'I've come here for years; I have hours of great pleasure, great satisfaction. And that's important to a man.';
The sentence “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” (par. 74) shows that the villagers didn’t care about the box or the ritual, but they did care about the tool that would be used to kill somebody. The author is trying to tell that the villagers didn’t find pleasure in the ritual, but they did find pleasure in using the rock. Although the villagers find the ritual to be long and boring, they find pleasure in using the rocks to murder one of their family members or friends. The villagers find pleasure to be more important than the ritual itself.
The Miller's searching through their neighbor's apartment is symbolic of their search for meaning in their own lives. Because they are not satisfied with the way they live, they project the Stones life onto their own, to the extent of pretending to live in their apartment, if only for one moment.
'Stone Mattress' is a collection of short stories by Margaret Atwood that all have a very similar recurring theme. Though the four short stories analyzed are unrelated, they all examine the evils that exist in in modern society. Through this collection of short stories, both realistic fiction and fantasy, Atwood sheds light upon the evils that all people are capable of. Upon reading the short stories, the reader is able to connect with the characters, as the scenarios and characters are are relatable and engaging. The realistic fiction pieces within the novel such as The Dead Hand Loves You, Stone Mattress and The Freeze-Dried Groom narrate characters in situations that could very easily occur to anybody. It is no doubt that the internal dialogues
Many individuals is faced with the decision of conforming or choosing personal desire, and it is not an easy decision. It is hard because being shunned by others for being different is not a good feeling. Choosing to conform over personal desire, often leads to loss. On the other hand, personal desire is what sets others apart and gives them joy. In the poem, “The Jackhammer Syndrome”, Al Purdy discusses the good and bad memories he has experienced. He goes through his memories of when he had fun and made mistakes, but he reflects on what he could have done better. The author of “The Jackhammer Syndrome informs against choosing the welcoming joy of conformity over the long-term gains of personal desire. Making the decision to pursue conformity over personal desire may seem easy at first, but if the choice is to conform, the joy it gives will not last. Making the decision to pursue conformity over personal desire Conformity may seem to give joy at first, but it does not last. When Al is playing pool with his brother, he wants to win badly, but losses. However when he did not care to win, Al wins! Conforming can lead to loss but personal desire has much to gain. If the choice is to conform, personal identity may be lost. In my life, I recognize several instances in which I found several similarities between Al and myself. I have made decisions that were not always good ones such as swimming across long distances with friends.
Lizzy shuddered. It was cold in the cave. She rolled over, idly wondering whether she was awake – it was so hard to tell, lately. A chill ran up where her skin touched the freezing floor. No wait, not floor. It was the metal, she remembered. That was all it was to her now, metal, even though once she had craved it; had needed it. No more. Just metal. She yawned and turned again. Her movements spread out her hoard over the cave floor like gravel. She would have to get up soon, she knew, but not yet.
Jerry is one of the main characters in the short story, Through the Tunnel. Jerry is an eleven year old, English boy who is trying to become more independent, but still wants to please his mother. Throughout the story he struggles through getting through the tunnel because he looks up to what he considers men passing through the tunnel. He tries everyday and never gives up. He also is looking for his mothers appreciation and approval at times. At the end of the story, Jerry feels that he has accomplished some things such as holding his breath for about three minutes, however he still has to work on the strength for traveling through the tunnel. Overtime Jerry finally felt that he had enough courage to jump off the rocks and swim
The idea that human activity is governed by a higher power, resulting in a lack of personal agency, is also explored in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Even before they arrive at their picnic spot, the convoy from Appleyard College seem to be greatly affected by Hanging Rock. Mathematics mistress Miss McCraw seems mesmerised by the monolith, speaking quietly and ‘almost nostalgically’ (Green 11) about its creation:
The events one goes through in his or her life often shapes the person he or she becomes. The challenges faced early in life work to strengthen one’s personality and enable them to live and flourish. In the novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier the reader learns about the many obstacles Ruby has had to face while growing up. These hardships added to the person that she became and made her strong enough to face the obstacles that come later in life. In being faced with many obstacles in life Ruby was able to learn from them, become a stronger person and therefore survive.
Porter reminiscences about his childhood experiences and how he and other boys were to strictly follow a set of rules that make a man a “man.” No crying or acting weak in front of other men, for instance, would be idealistic for a strong man. Porter even recalls meeting a teen football player who was deeply saddened and wanted to express his emotions. The teen, however, was in front of his guy friends at the time and he just could not express any emotions in front of them because he would seem weak and girlish. Peer pressure and conforming to society has pressured the boy into falling into the trap once again. The teen learned to be tough since everyone else was tough and did not cry. This story is similar to Pollitt’s statement on how “people aspire to what is possible and conform to what is necessary.” The teen aspired to become a strong man but knew he had to conform to society in order to do so. Pressures from other kids and parents play a huge effect on stereotypes. The teen, if he did not conform to society, would be considered an outcast. People ccannot handle the fact of being called an outcast or abnormal.