Beauty The Great Gatsby~ F. Scott Fitzgerald Interpreter of Maladies~Jhumpa Lahiri Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty~Nancy Etcoff
The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott Fitzgerald • Fiction – events in novel affected by events in author’s life • Follows main character’s (Gatsby’s) life during the period 1945-1950
Thoughts • Simplicity of writing style • Use of metaphor • Society v. self • Importance of character development • Use of author’s life as part of plot development • Concept of time
The Author “ The Great Gatsby is a classic- a novel that is read spontaneously by pleasure-seekers and under duress by students. A popular classroom fallacy holds that classics are universal and timeless. Literature has staying power, but it is subject to metamorphosis. Every reader’s response to a work of fiction is determined y his or her pre suppositional bias, beliefs, experience, and knowledge”– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Interpreter of Maladies: Stories • Collection of short stories that, as a general rule, dealt with Indians of different generations and cultural values • Either on the mainland or overseas • Nine stories in all, each with uniquely different characters, plots, and situations
Group Thoughts • Short stories that did not seem like short stories • Lahri’s writing style: observer, not a narrator • Revelation of truths/sense of realness: not all stories end with happy endings • Feeling of familiarity/ Being able to relate
Excerpt: When Mr. Pirdaza Came to Dine • "Finally, several months later, we received a card from Mr. Pirdaza commemorating the Muslim New Year, along with a short letter. He was reunited, he wrote, with his wife and children. To celebrate the good news, my mother prepared a special dinner that evening, and when we sat down to eat at the table we toasted our water glasses, but I did not feel like celebrating. Though I had not seen him for months, it was only then that I felt Mr. Pirdaza's absence. It was only then, raising my water glass in his name, that I knew what it meant to miss someone who was so many miles and hours away, just as he had missed his wife and daughters for so many months. He had no reason to return to us, and my parents predicted, correctly, that we would never seen him again."
Excerpt: Three Continents • "In my son's eyes I see the ambition that had first hurled me across the world. In a few years he will graduate and pave his way, alone and unprotected. But I remind myself that he has a father who is still living, a mother who is happy and strong. Whenever he is discouraged, I tell him that if I can survive on 3 continents, then there is no obstacle he can't conquer. While astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly 30 years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."
Survival of the PrettiestThe Science of Beauty • “This book is an inquiry into what we find beautiful and why—what in our nature makes us susceptible to beauty, what qualities in people evoke this response, and why sensitivity to beauty is ubiquitous in human nature” • Nancy Etcoff
Includes thoughts on: • Evolutionary Signifigance • Scientific Studies • Cross-Cultural Opinions • Non-Physical Traits • Comparisons Between Beauty and Ugliness
Our thoughts • It isn’t so much a “beautiful text” but rather a text about beauty • Covers such a wide range of beauty it feels like nothing is left out • Could not tell it is by a women- not in 1st person and presents information as truth without adding personal opinions • Dealt with things we (mostly) already knew or thought about beauty but it explains the origins and reasons for these opinions • Did not question our personal thoughts towards beauty but helped to make them clearer • Pertinant to our lives, how we see ourselves, how other people see us, how we see other people • About physical beauty and seemed so different from our discussions of both science and literature