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.