Monday, December 20, 2010

Final Project

Oskar & Eli by Sara Nesbitt
I wrote this song as a third person's perspective of Oskar and Eli's story.

Oskar & Eli

It was a thursday night

the first time he met her

the girl with the brown hair and black eyes

and pink sweater

he knew there was something about her

that was different

she told him they couldn't be friends

but he didn't let it

stop him

he kept pursuing this girl

who called herself eli

he wanted to save her

but didn't know how to set her free

he taught her a secret code

just for themselves to know

what they were saying

and he didn't know why

but she always asked could she come in

let me in

let me in

let me in

let me in

he hesitated the first time he heard the truth

about eli

but he didn't want to imagine

what life would be without her

the boy and the girl in the end

they lived happy

The End by Sara Nesbitt
I wrote this song from Hakan's perspective.

The End

it's something i cannot explain

the silence hides all of my pain

i'm all alone there's no one here

i can feel the end is near

i think that this could be the end for me

it feels like the end

and i think that this could be the end for me

it feels like the end

i lost it all i had no more

i couldn't face what lay before

she opened up and let me in

all i had to do commit a mortal sin

i think that this could be the end for me

it feels like the end

and i think that this could be the end for me

it feels like the end

i'm trying my best to breathe but i can't find the air

it seems hopeless, i have done too much that i cannot repair

i always thought with her was where i'd always stay

but now it's too late there's no future where everythings ok

no nothing is ok

it will never be ok

i think that this could be the end for me

it feels like the end

and i think that this could be the end for me

i just want this life to end

i just want this life to end

please just let it end

All I Need by Sara Nesbitt
I wrote this song as a conversation between Oskar and Eli. Oskar's parts are italicized, Eli's are bolded and when they're together its bolded and italicized.

All I Need

Am i alone in this world

is there anyone out there

does anyone know the way i feel

does anyone care?

i've been so long in this world

with no one to share

does anyone know the way i feel

does anyone care?


you might be the only one

who understands me

no one else can see the world

just the way i see

just let it be

you're all i need

they hate who i am

everybody hates me too

but i don't even know them

you know me and i know you

i promise that i'll never hurt you

i'm not afraid of you


For my final project in this class, I decided to write and record a series of songs that I think reflect the novel Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I wanted to write a few songs through the eyes of what I thought to be some of the important characters of the book. The characters I picked to focus on were Oskar, Eli, and Hakan. I chose these three characters because in the first theatrical adaptation of the novel, these were the characters that were focused on. I had said in my proposal that because I saw the film, I had a visual component to rely on when writing my songs. While I was writing them, I literally could see images from the movie play back in my mind as if I was watching a music video. Having seen the film really helped me in the writing process. In the end, I wrote a total of three songs; one from the point of view of Hakan, one from the point of view of both Eli and Oskar, and one from a third person's perspective of Eli and Oskar's story.

The first song, entitled 'Oskar & Eli' is basically an overview of Oskar and Eli's story. What really started me on this song was the line about the pink sweater. This sweater is an important part of the book, Eli is wearing this the first couple times her and Oskar see each other, and it's this piece of clothing that links everything together for Oskar and makes him realize who Eli really is. So I took pieces of the novel that stuck out to me as part of their story and strung them together to make 'Oskar & Eli'. It starts out with their first meeting, which was on a thursday. The book described in great detail what Eli looked like so I included parts of that description in the song. Oskar knows there is something different about this girl and she tells him they can never be friends but he continues to see her. I mentioned in the song when Oskar heard Eli and Hakan arguing, he said he would save her but he didn't know what he could do to help her, after all he was just a kid.

I wrote the second song 'The End' about Hakan. I wanted to try to put into words what his character may have been thinking towards the end of his human life. He couldn't speak to anyone and he didn't want to so I tried to put myself in his place and in his situation and think how hopeless he felt, he just wanted to die so his pain would end. He did what he did to himself for Eli, but he wanted it all to be over.

The last song, 'All I Need' I wrote as a conversation between Eli and Oskar. I'm the only one singing on the track but I wanted both of their voices to be heard. They were both these lonely kids until they met each other and they found a friend in on another. The first verse is Oskar talking about being alone in the world and wondering if there is someone like him out there. Then it's Eli saying she's been in the world a long time but alone as well. The chorus of the song represents both of them saying that the other is the only person in the world that understands them and see things the way they do. The second part of the song is another conversation between the two but this time Oskar is comforting Eli because she is unsure of herself and she's understandably self-conscious of who she is. Oskar reassures her that they have each other and that's enough.

I really enjoyed working on this project because I love writing music but I've never really been given the opportunity to do something like this. Personally I think I did a pretty good job of doing what I set out to do with these songs. It can be difficult, there's only so much you can put into a song without it becoming something that is overworked. I like the songs as they are, without knowing what they were written about. I think if I could change anything, I would try to put a little more of the story into them, like more specific pieces of information. I think I also would try to write a song for a character that didn't play as big a role as the three I chose. I think another character would have been more challenging to write for.

For this project, I did what I normally do when I write a song. I started out with the music, either for guitar or piano. Once I had a general idea of what I wanted the music to be, I started figuring out the melody of the song. After I figured that out, I decided which character, or subject would go with what piece of music. Then I sat listening to the music and humming the melody while thinking of the first line. Once I had one line, I had the whole song set up for me. I then wrote out key pieces of information that I wanted to include in each piece and developed a song from there. I generally revise as I go along, line by line. I'll sing a thought, or a possible line and if I like it I'll write it down. If I don't then I keep singing until I find something that I like. I wrote each song from beginning to end, revising as I went, but once I came to the last line, I was done. Nothing from then on out was changed in the song. I was then able to record the songs and add in harmony and other things to make it how I wanted it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Course Reflection

I have to say this course was nothing like I had originally expected it to be. I didn't realize that the focus of the course would be on the vampire novel and at first I was a little disappointed. But once I started reading the books assigned to us, I changed my mind completely. The only books I had read about vampires was the Twilight series so all I knew were lovey dovey vampires who sparkled in the sun. This course definitely broadened my view and reminded me of what the vampire started out as.
If I had to take this class again, I would most certainly take more time on my blog postings. The times that I sat down and carefully planned out what I wanted to say and picked out lots of quotes from the novels, I was really pleased with my work. It was easy for me to forget about the reading for the week or the comments I was supposed to write. I think if I would have stayed on a steady schedule it would have been easier for me.
I'm not finished with my final project yet but I'm excited every time I work on it. I love to read and sometimes I like to write about what I read but I truly love being creative. I'm really glad that we were given the opportunity to do a creative project. It gives us all a chance to create something with the medium that we're best at. I have never been able to create music like this for a class and I'm so excited that I get the chance to do it now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Literary Criticism

I believe John Calhoun to has one main point in his article, Childhood's End: Let the Right One In and Other Deaths of Innocence. He argues that corruption in children is in part cause by the adults or lack there of in their world. He argues that “parents and other adults are supposed to protect children, and their potential failure to do so can be a potent source of horror: for both children and adults” (Calhoun 27). Children have become the focus of many horror films over the years and Calhoun believes the subjects of these movies are not entirely at fault for their actions and that their parents or other adults in their lives must hold a lot of the blame. He believes this to be true of Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist and he says “the parental—and by extension, the state—mandate to shield children seems to have utterly broken down” in the novel (Calhoun 27). The novel takes place in Sweeden in the 1980s where “few residents seem to venture outside, or have contact with their neighbors, and they certainly aren't watching out for the local children” (Calhoun 27). He goes on to calls the adults in the novel “useless or worse” including Oskar's “divorced working mother” who “is often absent, and at best ineffectual” (Calhoun 27) and his “alcoholic father, who uses the occasion of the boy's visit to drink himself into oblivion” (Calhoun 27-28). Also in this category of useless adults in charge of children is Eli's 'father' Hakan who “is a poor provider and fails as definitely as the other film's other adults to offer a stable haven” (Calhoun 28). It is assumed by the author that “without effective religious or parental guidance, Oskar is left to his own devices, and savagery naturally rises to the fore” (Calhoun 31). Calhoun also believes that “so many fingers in both the novel and film seem to point to a lack of adult supervision as a culprit... if parents stayed together, if mothers didn't work outside the home and fathers provided a strong moral and physical presence, then the family's failure would not become the state's failure and kids wouldn't have to turn to a gang, a sexual predator, or a vampire for refuge” (Calhoun 31).

One passage I found interesting while reading the article was third paragraph on page 28 starting with “James published”. Children to me are innocent and frail but they were not always seen this way. Calhoun quotes David R. Shaffer's Social and Personality Development, “at about age 6, children were dressed in downsized versions of adult clothing and were depicted in artwork as working alongside adults” (Calhoun 28). It was after reading this that I was reminded of how children used to and in some places still have to go to work on a regular basis and don't get to have a regular childhood. These are the children that have really, truly lost their innocence, something they probably were never privileged enough to have.

Another passage I found interesting started with the second paragraph on page 30. It was interesting to me that people were outraged and thought the horror film's with children as subjects were sick. What was happening onscreen was not real and was not actually happening to the actor. Would they have felt the same way if it had been an adult woman who was “masturbating with a crucifix?” (Calhoun 30). It's strange to me that the only thing brought up in the article is the fact that people were outraged that a 13 year old actress was part of it. What about the fact that she was masturbating with a crucifix? Was that not thought of as wrong, that this girl was playing with a symbol of God? I guess it could be justified with the fact that this girl was possessed by the devil but then again she wasn't really, she was an actress who was simply acting.

After reading the article, I have to agree and disagree with author Calhoun. I used to believe children to be “innocent creatures” and while some of them still are, there are those like Oskar that have someway or another lost their innocence (Calhoun 1). When we first meet Oskar in Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist, he is correctly identifying heroin in front of his class and he attributes this knowledge to the fact that he's “read a lot and stuff” (Lindqvist 8). I read quite a lot myself in my younger years but at thirteen years old I had no idea what heroin was let a lone what it looked like. And while I can agree that some of Oskar's problems may stem from a broken home, I don't believe it's his broken home that has done him the most harm. As a young boy, Oskar keeps a scrapbook, a collection of articles about murders and the people behind them. One of his dreams is “to see someone executed in the electric chair” (Lindqvist 18). He plays a game with himself in which “he [is] a dreaded mass murderer” who has “already slain fourteen people with his sharp knife” (Lindqvist 21). This game is about the only think that makes “Oskar [feel] almost happy” (Lindqvist 22). But Oskar hadn't become this person until his fifth grade year when “he had become a full-fledged target” by bullies and his classmates “called more and more seldom to ask him to play” (Lindqvist 15). In the novel, Jonny is one of Oskar's more hated enemies. This I believe is the fault of Jonny's broken home. He “already had two younger siblings” and an older brother, Jimmy, when his “mom had met some guy” and then “their youngest little sister was born” (Lindqvist 236). The house was crowded and because “there was sort of no room,” “Jimmy was not home as often” (Lindqvist 236). Since their dad “left when Jonny was four,” the only male figure Jonny had in his life was his brother. Jimmy hung around some “sketchy” people and stole money from his mother (Lindqvist 235). Jimmy can be a violent person and this is where Jonny gets it from. It makes perfect sense for him to pick on someone like Oskar so he can be like his big brother. I do agree that a broken home can negatively affect a child's life as evident with Jonny, but I don't think Oskar's parents are to blame for his troubles.

Calhoun, John. "Childhood's End: Let the Right One In and Other Deaths of Innocence." 2009: 27-31. Web. 8 Dec 2010.

Lindqvist, John. Let The Right One In. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2004. Print.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let The Right One In

This by far is my favorite novel we have read this semester. I found it so easy to get sucked into the story and into the characters in it. I think part of this may be because I had seen the swedish version of the film in class a couple weeks before starting to read the book. But part of me is surprised because I thought the film went on forever and I found myself wanting it to be over but I'm sure that's mostly because it was the last class of the week and I just wanted to be done. The novel is somehow different for me. However, so far in the book, not much is really different from the Swedish version of the film. Some of the story lines with some of the characters were removed from the film, like Tommy and his group of friends, along with his mom and her relationship with the police officer Staffon. Because I had seen the film ahead of time, when I'm reading, I have a clear vision of what the characters look like. It may not be exactly what Lindqvist saw the characters to be but I see them now as they are in the film. I think the relationships Eli has with Oskar and Harkan are very different from each other. To Hakan, Eli was an adult, his equal, his beloved. “He had looked into Eli's eyes and seen an ancient person's knowledge and indifference... Samuel Beckett's eyes in Audrey Hepburn's face” (Lindqvist 108). She was not a child to him, at least her soul wasn't. He lusted over her child like figure “but did not have to feel guilt for his desire; his beloved was older than he” (Lindqvist 108). Eli was all Hakan had to live for. Oskar on the other hand saw her differently. She was his friend, the only true friend he had. He could count on seeing her almost every night outside their building where they would talk. He felt protective of her and wanted to keep her safe. Eli was the kind of friend Oskar hadn't had lately, not since elementary school. Eli also felt protective of Oskar. She told him to fight back those that hurt him so they wouldn't do it any more. If he couldn't do it alone, she promised to help him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final Project Propasal

I have decided for my final project to is to create a series of songs to go along with Let the Right One In. I have not read the whole book yet but I did watch the movie a couple weeks ago in another class and I think I understand the emotions of the characters. What I'm planning to do as of right now is to write some songs from the different characters points of view, mainly from Oskar and Eli's. From seeing the movie I have a visual of what some of the scenes look like so I will write songs that I feel will go with a scene from the book. I hope to get their emotions across in the songs that I will write.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with the Vampire 2

I generally liked reading this story. There were some areas of the novel that seemed a bit slow but the rest of it was pretty good. I was kind of surprised by the ending. The whole novel revolved around the struggles and the hard times Louis went through as a vampire and yet at the end of it all, the boy wants to be just like him. This was not what Louis had set out to do when he started the interview. He wanted people to be aware of the trials and tribulations he went through in his long life. He lost the people he cared about, his brother, mother, Claudia, as well as himself. If I conducted an interview with a vampire, I believe I would have been terrified the entire time I was there. Because I understood and could sympathize with Louis about the story he was trying to tell as a reader, had I been the interviewer, I do not believe I would have reacted the same way the boy did. I think that story would have scared me straight and I would appreciate the life that I have as a human being. To me I think the boy was more like LeStat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with the Vampire

I really enjoyed the reading this week. It was nice and a change of pace to hear the story told from the vampire's point of view rather than the 'victim.' This is one of the differences between Louis and the other vampire's we have read about. The reader gets to hear how Louis felt, how he was affected by his change and how it was that he was changed. Louis also seems gentler than the others we have read about. While the boy has been “visibly shaken,” he is still able to talk calmly with Louis and carry on a conversation with him (Rice 26). He's not in fear of his life while he's talking to Louis. All the other vampire's we've read about have only wanted their victim's blood and nothing else. I think our concept of the monster is complicated with this novel because we want to feel sympathy for Louis but at the same time all we've known about vampires is that their cold, dead, blood sucking monsters. It's hard to change ones opinion of something that's been engrained in our mind for so long.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Force of Habit

One topic I was thinking about writing in my blog last week was the similarities between the vampires and Robert Neville. I know I had discussed how Neville was a hero in my opinion, but I have read my peer's comments and thought back to this topic and started to rethink my original claim. It occurred to me while I was reading, this week and last week, that Neville shares some qualities with his blood sucking enemies. Both Neville and the vampires of Matheson's novel are creatures of habit. Neville has lived alone fighting off the vampires by himself for quite awhile and his day to day activities turn into a daily routine of “carrying away of bodies, the repairing of the house exterior, the hanging of garlic” (Matheson 50). “After breakfast he threw th paper plate and cup into the trash box and brushed his teeth” which Neville saw as his “one good habit” (Matheson 23). While he stayed cooped up in his house at night because of the vampires outside, the monotony continued. “Every night it was the same. He'd be reading and listening to music. Then he'd start to think about soundproofing the house, then he'd think about the women” (Matheson 19). He would try to break up the routine but in frustration he'd give up almost immediately. “He'd go to bed and put the plugs in his ears. It was what he ended up doing every night anyway” (Matheson 21). Once in bed, “his mind spoke the words it spoke ever night. Dear God, let the morning come. He dreamed about Virginia and he cried out in his sleep and his fingers gripped the sheets like frenzied talons” (Matheson 22). Day after day he did the same things and more than the vampires, he realized “monotony was the greatest obstacle” (Matheson 111). Neville never realized how much alike him and the vampires were. He would ask himself “why didn't they leave him alone? Did they think they could all have him? Were they so stupid they thought that? Why did they keep coming every night? After five months, you'd think they'd give up and try elsewhere” (Matheson 20). Neville thought they were stupid but they were just doing the same thing he was doing. They were trying to survive and the way they knew how to do that was to do the same things every day. Part of their survival comes from “staying inside by day” (Matheson 27). Neville goes out during the day and hunts and then spends his nights inside. The vampires are the exact opposite of that; they spend their days inside while their nights are spent “outside on the lawn, [their] dark figures st[and] like silent soldiers on duty” 'hunting' him (Matheson 22). Lastly when Neville goes out to collect the bodies the next day of the vampires that were sacrificed, “they were almost always women” (Matheson 23). The vampires in Matheson's novel are just as habitual as Neville is.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What makes a hero?

“What do you think of Robert Neville as our 'hero'? Is he a hero at all?”
At first when I read this question, the answer that came to me immediately was no, Robert Neville is not a hero. I thought, who has he protected/saved other than himself? I guess I could say that he was his own hero but not anybody elses. But then I started to think about what it is that makes a hero. To me, a hero is someone who is brave in the face of imminent danger. A hero is someone who is strong and never gives up. And lastly, although not always successful, a hero is someone who tries to protect others. And when I thought about what it takes to be a hero, I decided that Robert Neville is in fact one of them.
Robert Neville is brave. Day after day, Neville goes “from house to house... us[ing] up all his stakes” by killing all the vampires he can find before sunset (Matheson 28). There were times when he would “ha[ve] to go to the burning pit everyday for weeks at a time” to dispose of the ones that died in front of his house (Matheson 26). He has even had to face those that needed his blood; those who's “need was their only motivation” (Matheson 23). Even when “a sound of helpless terror filled his throat” at the sight of the vampires “in front of his house, waiting,” he fought through them and made it into his house alive (Matheson 42). Which is why I consider him to be a man who never gives up.
Robert Neville is strong. Because of this germ, or bacteria that infected the town, Neville lost his wife and daughter. And while he often questioned “why not go out” and give himself up to the vampires to end his suffereing and “to be free of them,” he refused to give up. He knew “be[ing] one of them” would have ended the pain for him but it wasn't an option (Matheson 29). He vowed to “kill every mother's son of [the vampires] before [he would] give in” (Matheson 30). He also hoped that there were “others like him [that] existed somewhere” (Matheson 30).
Robert Neville is a protector. While his wife and daughter, Kathy were still alive, he tried his best to take care of them. With dust everywhere from the storms, Neville built “a tent over Kathy's bed to keep the dust from her face” (Matheson 53). When his wife first got sick, he would order her to “'go back to bed'” so that she could get her rest and get better (Matheson 54). After they died, he searched fro answers to his questions about vampires so that one day he would be able “to cure those still living” (Matheson 87).
At first glance, I did not think that Neville was a hero. However, with everything that I believe to be characteristics of a hero, Robert Neville, in my opinion is one after all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dracula Meets Wanda

The online artifact that I chose was a video I found on YouTube called Jim Carrey – Dracula meets Wanda. All I did was type in Dracula and this was one of the videos that came up. I chose to do a video for my online artifact because I am a visual person and being a film student, I enjoy watching other peoples work. I chose this video in particular because I often tend to lead towards humor and comedy. What I've read of Bram Stoker's Dracula so far isn't funny at all, its serious so I thought this video would be a nice contrast.

In this sketch from the show In Living Color, Jim Carrey portrays Dracula, while Jamie Foxx plays Dracula's victim. The video starts out with dramatic music in the background which misleads the viewer. But as soon as the blanket is pulled off of Wanda, the comedy aspect is revealed. The whole time the two of them are talking, Wanda does not react as though she is in the midst of a blood sucking vampire that could kill her at any moment. She's actually concerned and maybe even a little embarrassed that her 'face' isn't on. But even though she is aware of what he is, she is willing to be his eternal partner.

More comedy ensues when Wanda turns the lights in the room on and Dracula sees who he has been pining for. He is then very anxious to get away from the situation he put himself in. Here the roles have almost been reversed; the vampire wants to leave, while the 'victim' is trying to convince the monster to stay. Dracula then tries to kill himself with a stake to the heart so he can avoid a life with Wanda. Wanda stops this and tells him to kill her instead. Dracula sees this as his chance to get away and lets the sunlight in so he ultimately burns up. Still oblivious, Wanda assumes she was just too hot for Dracula who in turn burned up at the sight of her.

Jonathan Harker, the victim from Stoker's Dracula reacts very differently to the situation he is put in, being trapped with some kind of evil creature. Where Wanda may have acted embarrassed and concerned about her appearance, Jonathan “think[s he] must have been mad” because “[he] behaved much as a rat does in a trap” (Stoker 32).

In the YouTube clip, Jim Carrey's Dracula does not try to hid the fact that he is a vampire. Stoker's Dracula, on the other hand, tries very hard to keep this a secret and Jonathan is in the dark for quite some time, not realizing exactly who it is he's been staying with. He's still not sure why “all the people at Bistritz and on the coach had some terrible fear for [him]” (Stoker 32). He doesn't know why they gave him “the crucifix,... the garlic,... the wild rose,... and the mountain ash” (Stoker 32-33). He hasn't figured that out yet but he's scared.

The video clip and the book show very different interactions between the vampire and his 'victim'. In Jim Carrey – Dracula Meets Wanda, Dracula comes to Wanda because he loves her. He has traveled many many miles just to be with her forever. In the book Dracula, Dracula is just out for blood; he needs it to survive. But both Draculas want their 'victims' to themselves. When three young women attempt to 'kiss' Jonathan before Dracula gets to him, the vampire becomes angry and possessive of his guest. He shouts to the women, “How dare you touch him, any of you? How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me!” (Stoker 43).

It is very soon after this incident that Jonathan is given a clue as to his future life. He was told to write three letters, “'the first should be June 12, the second June 19, and the third June 29.'” It was this that told him what “the span of [his] life” was going to be (Stoker 45). He feared for his life unlike Wanda who didn't seem to care what happened to hers.

I like the contrast between these to works; Jim Carrey – Dracula Meets Wanda is comedic while Dracula is dramatic and serious. The two are completely different from each other but display two different perceptions of a famous tale.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Norton & Company, 1996. Print.

"Jim Carrey - Dracula Meets Wanda." YouTube. Web. 10 Oct 2010. .

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I very much enjoyed the reading of Carmilla this week. It was one of those stories that I couldn't put down until I finished it. It was easy enough to understand and I liked learning about the mystery of Carmilla as the story went on. One thing that stuck out to me while I was reading, was the reaction of the victims after they had been bit my Carmilla, or Mircalla. Apart from the Twilight book series, I have never read any other Vampire novel. Because of this, the only picture I had in my head that would happen after someone was bitten was a body writhing in pain, screaming for help from the extreme burning sensation they were feeling. The way Le Fanu wrote it was very different. Before bitten by the vampire, the victim experiences things I would have thought would come after. It seems the mere presence of Carmilla also know as Mircalla effects the person she takes an interest in. First of all, the girl will “lose her looks and heath” but no source of the illness can be found (Le Fanu 304). Then they are “visited by appalling dreams; then... by a spectre, sometimes resembling Mircalla [Carmilla], sometimes in the shape of a beast, indistinctly seen, walking round the foot of [their] bed, from side to side” (Le Fanu 304). After this all has happened, the victim experiences sensations, “one, not unpleasant, but very peculiar” that “resembled the flow of an icy stream against her breast” (Le Fanu 305). I'm gonna throw out my opinion that this is from the cold body temperature of the vampire. This is when the bite actually takes place. The victim feels “something like a pair of large needles pierce [them], a little below the throat, with a very sharp pain. A few nights after, followed a gradual and convulsive sense of strangulation; then came unconsciousness” (Le Fanu 305). Both Laura and the General's daughter experienced the exact same occurrences, but Laura did not die from them like the General's daughter. I would have thought being bitten by a vampire would have come with a lot more pain and suffering than what was described in the book. Unlike the Twilight series, the girls were not in complete agony after they had been bitten nor did they feel a burning sensation. While it's quite terrible that the General's daughter died, what she and Laura both went through seemed somewhat peaceful. While reading, I did not get the sense that Laura was in a great deal of pain nor was she suffering. She seemed blissfully unaware of what Carmilla was and what she was doing to her. I think the love and the attraction blinded Laura and did not allow her to figure out what was happening to her until the General filled in the blanks. Overall it was surprising to read about the process one of Carmilla's victims goes through before and after being bitten by the vampire.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

For this weeks blog I'll start out by responding to comments made on mine from last week. Wuthering Heights would be a very different story, with a very different mood if it was being told by Heathcliff, instead of Nelly. If Heathcliff was telling the story, I would think it would be a much more bitter tale rather than a love story. We would only get to see his point-of-view and how he felt about things. With Nelly, she knew both of the people involved in the relationship and she talked to both of them so she has a better, non bias look on what happened. If Heathcliff had been telling the story, we may have looked at Catherine as a cold hearted woman who was horrible to Heathcliff once she returned from the Grange. Instead Nelly tells Lockwood that Catherine really loved Heathcliff but the Linton's had money and had been very kind to her while she was recovering. Lockwood and Nelly are important parts to this novel. To me they represent two different periods of time, Lockwood being the present, and Nelly being the past. Lockwood comes into this world and meets Heathcliff who is rude, and doesn't seem to care about anyone but himself, and without Nelly, this would be our only impression of him. But then Nelly takes us through their past and we, the reader, begins to understand how Heathcliff became the person that he is in the present.

This week, as suggested, I watched one of the film adaptations of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The version I watched is the most recent one I believe, Peter Kosminsky's Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, made in 1992 starring Ralph Fiennes (most of us know him as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter) as Heathcliff, and Juliette Binoche as Catherine. This film adaptation was different than the novel. For starters, Nelly and Lockwood were in the movie but they weren't narrating the story. Lockwood was only seen or mentioned in the very beginning of the film and the very end. The narrator of the film is Emily Bronte herself. She comes across Wuthering Heights and three graves and decides to write a story about it. In the beginning, its as if she is writing the novel as we see it unfold in front of us. She will say what the characters say before they say them. Actually seeing the characters and how they acted made me feel differently for them. When I read the novel, I disliked Catherine and the way she treated Heathcliff like she was better than him. I also felt sympathetic towards Heathcliff because I knew his heart had been broken and that is why he was acting the way that he did. But watching the film I felt differently, the opposite actually. I disliked Heathcliff because he seemed really evil and ruthless and horrible towards everyone. Catherine was dainty and seemed weak to me. I felt bad watching how Heathcliff treated her and everyone else. It was strange to me how differently I felt between reading the novel and watching one of the film adaptations.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wuthering Heights vs. Fried Green Tomatoes

Even though I had read this novel before in high school, I found it difficult to keep track of all the characters. I had to write them all down and look them up in my notes when I would come across them in the book a second time. I was very pleased and excited to apply something I had learned about in another class to this novel. Two things that I wanted to write about were the narration style, and the relationships in the book. The narration style of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was interesting for me to rediscover. I had forgotten about the two narrators from the last time I had read this book a few years ago but remembered as soon as Mr. Lockwood started asking Nelly about Heathcliff's past. Coincidently I found this style of narration to be very similar to a movie I had screened in a film class last week, Fried Green Tomatoes, which is an adaptation of the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. I found the two narrators from Wuthering Heights to be comparable to two of the main characters in Fried Green Tomatoes. I believe Mr. Lockwood to be similar to Evelyn Couch, who's stories both take place in present time. The second narrator, Nelly and the film's Mrs. Threadgoode's both take place in the past. Mr. Lockwood and Evelyn Couch represent the 'real world'; they are from present times telling their experiences through their eyes as they see it unfolding in front of them. Nelly and Mrs. Threadgoode are the storytellers in both cases. They are telling a story of something they experienced at one time but not in the present. They both are giving sort of a history lesson to the other narrator while at the same time filling us, the audience, in as well. Both works go back and forth between the past and the present. The relationships in both the book and the film were similar as well. Each story told in the past focuses on the relationship between two people, in Wuthering Heights its Cathy and Heathcliff, and in Fried Green Tomatoes its Idgie and Ruth. Each pair is introduced to each other at a young age although they react differently. In Tomatoes, Idgie liked Ruth upon meeting her only to dislike her years later and then ultimately end up together. In Heights, Cathy did not like Heathcliff when she met him for the first time. In fact when “[Cathy] learnt the master had lost her whip” as he was taking care of Heathcliff, she “spit[] at the stupid little thing” and “refused to have it in bed with [her]” (Bronte 34). They eventually carry on a love affair only to break up and marry other people even though they still loved each other. Even after her death, Heathcliff still longs for “[his] heart's darling” and wishes for her, Cathy, to come “once more” (Bronte 26).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Vampyre

This weeks reading was difficult for me to get through. The sentences were very long and complex and at times hard for me to understand. One part that I understood right away and found interesting was the beginning of the story where the vampire is being described. “His peculiarities caused him to be invited to every house; all wished to see him, and those who had been accustomed to violent excitement... were pleased at having something in their presence capable of engaging their attention” (Polidori 7). At first this struck me as odd. If this guy was a vampire then why weren't people afraid of him? Vampires, when first created at least when portrayed on film, were visibly different than normal people, and not in a good way. I just watched the movie Nosferatu, which is the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, in another class. The Vampire in the movie, Nosferatu, is facially deformed with a rather large nose, dark eyes, pale skin, and claw like fingers. This is what I expected to read about in The Vampyre. Instead I was reminded of the effect Edward Cullen has on girls and women today. Even though he is a fictional character, there are people who “wish[] to see him” and if he was real, i'm sure he would be “invited to every house” (Polidori 7). People seem to have this fascination with him because of the way he looks, or rather the way Robert Pattinson looks portraying him in the movie, and the way he acts. The ladies particularly seem taken with him just like the women in The Vampyre were taken with “the vampire”. Many women “attempted to win his attentions, and gain, at least, some marks of what they might term affection” (Polidori 7). They would do anything to get him to notice them like one Lady Mercer who “threw herself in his way, and did all but put on the dress of a mountebank, to attract his notice” (Polidori 7). I was surprised at how similar this description and reaction were to the vampire entertainment of today. Today's portrayals of vampires are genuinely good looking, buff men and women who want to be loved like everyone else.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The only vampire i'm really familiar with is Edward Cullen from Twilight. I'm not obsessed like so many other girls but i guess his sparkly skin is cool.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Forever-Chris Brown (cover)

I really like this video because i like this song and i think this guy is amazing and i love the guitar part.

Free TV online

I don't go to many websites but i go here to watch shows that i've missed on tv.

New York, New York

I'd really like to see New York. I hope to be involved in film someday so i'd like to live there.

About Me

Three interesting facts about me:
-my major is film
-i work at a hardware store
-i play piano, clarinet, and guitar

I signed up for this course because i love to read and haven't been able to with any of my other classes.
I'm not sure it's my favorite but a novel i really enjoyed was The Lovely Bones. I like how the reader got to see this family and their struggles through the eyes of their dead daughter/sister.
I really like mystery novels. When i read i want to not be able to put down the book and thats how i am with mystery novels. I want to know the ending therefore i can't put it down until i do.
When i read a book, i want to be taken to a different world. i want to be able to see the setting and the characters and hear what they sound like.
I have taken english classes throughout my entire school career. I tested out of english so i didn't have to take any courses in college but i have by choice taken two creative writing courses. This will be my first real english class in college where i have to read and write about what i read.
I think this class will be different just because we're focusing on one type of novel rather than studying several genres.
The only knowledge i really have is the twilight books. So i don't know what kind of perspective that gives me.
I'm already on facebook and myspace. I've had to keep several other blogs for a couple different film classes so i'm somewhat familiar with it. My experience has generally been positive. There are times when things don't work but that's to be expected with technology.