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Thread: Literature class books that you enjoyed aned did not enjoy

  1. #51
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    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Wow...that's a comforting thought...
    I know. Scares the heck out of me too.

  2. #52


    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. M View Post
    Though not related to literature, I'm curious to see if you believe this extends to law as well. I've been fortunate enough to meet several US Supreme Court Justices, and one of them (Scalia) makes a similar argument for the U.S. Constitution. He rejects the "living Constitution" rationale for framer intent at the time of ratification. For example, the death penalty was permissible in 1789, so it cannot be considered cruel and unusual punishment because it wasn't then. He sees everything in Constitutional Law as if it was frozen in time in 1789 (or the date of the ratification of the Amendments).

    I agree with you that the artist's intent is of course relevant, but I disagree that it is the only valid interpretation. For example, a photograph of the Twin Towers taken in 1980 has a much different meaning now to the viewer than the original intent. History, personal and otherwise, changes the way everything is viewed.
    Although I can see the possible problems with Scalia's position, on the whole I would agree with him. To me, the "living Consititution" is largely a fancy concept designed to open the barn door and let lobbyists edit the founding fathers to serve their special interests. I trust Thomas Jefferson and the Jeffersonettes more than I trust people with $200 haircuts that get paid to make tobacco seem harmless, try to disarm law-abiding citizens, or keep gay people from getting married.

  3. #53
    Resident Snot-Nose Array GZA's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    I did not enjoy Romeo and Juliet.

    I'm not going to really get into it, but essentially, I didn't think it was bad, but that it did not live up to the amazing potential of the story. The main reason it fell flat of what it could have been is the fact it takes place over four days. That is simply way to fast for it to make sense, and to really create good character development, especially in terms of relationships between characters (particularly Romeo and Juliet). The fact that they meet one night and get married the next morning is absurd (and don't tell me "it was the times", because either way its still stupid). There is no way to build a strong, enjoyable relationship between these characters to warrant a marriage in one night. Had this taken place over a month, it would have been much better. Hell, even two weeks and I'd be more satisfied.

    I also found Romeo to be rather annoying. I very much admire Shakespeare's decision to make him how he is rather than some macho guy, but he still totally lacks charisma, and is impossible to enjoy or even respect on a basic level. I can't even remember the exact aspects of what he did and said that makes me think this, but I remember when I read it that I thought he, like most of the play, did not live up to potential.

    Look at what the basic story is; two young people from opposing, yet similar, families fall in love with one another and decide to get married and live on despite the harsh climate surrounding them. In one fight between the families, the man kills and is exiled from his family and his love. He and his love are broken, and want nothing but to be together. They arrange to meet and escape together. The plan gets mixed up and the man gets the impression his love has died, and kills himself, then the woman sees her love dead and kills herself, and the families come together.

    That is, in essence, a good story, a very good story, but I felt that condensing it into four days made it rather stupid, rather than tragic and deep. I don't like how young Romeo and Juliet were. I know thats when a lot of people got married back then, but they still come off as very young and foolish, and after teachers responding to my opinion by saying I'm "too young to understand the deep, complex emotions involved", I can really just see that most people who read Shakespeare probably let other people do a good deal of the thinking and intepretation, and thus don't fully develop their own opinion. These teachers should remember that I, and every other student in that class, am older than Romeo and Juliet, and that many of the students have had "deep" and "complex" romances as well. I quote "deep" and "complex" because they don't actually describe R&J or teenagers. Even if it is a play about the folly of young love, they are still way to stupid and moronic to be interesting and it still takes place way to fast to make any sense. They may seem very intelligent and mature in their words, but in their actions that are not, and they seem extremely emotionally immature. If they weren't, they would never have gotten married after one meeting.

    There were some things about Romeo and Juliet I did. As I said, the basic idea of the story is great, even if I think it was not handled proporly. I also liked the whole Rosaline and Paris situation. I liked how Romeo and unsuccesfully chasing Rosaline and it was bumming him out, and I like how at the beggining of the play he was thus acting out of his usual character his friends know. I like how Paris is the love for Juliet that is approved and encouraged by her father, and I also liked how Juliet's father was such a jackass. I also liked the way some parts of it were written. At it's best, it is simply beautiful writing, but when it is not at it's best it doesn't always seem particularly special, and it certainly isn't always interesting to read. A more direct approach would have done wonders at some points where a character takes a rediculous amount of time to describe or say something that should be fairly simple. These are also often the times where I did not find the language as interesting to read. But, it has many great moments of short passion, and those lines are the best.

    "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
    Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
    who is already sick and pale with grief
    That thou her maid art far more fair than she."

    "Death lies on her like an untimely frost
    Upon the sweetest flower of all the field."
    Last edited by GZA; 10-09-2007 at 05:06 PM.

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