Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am Legend


For this blog, I will be talking about the novel “I am Legend” By Richard Matheson. “I am Legend” is about a man named Robert Neville who lives in a world full of bloodthirsty creatures who only come out at night. He hopes that he is not the only surviver and tries to find more uninfected people. To start off this blog, I am going to talk about the author, Richard Matheson, what happened so far up to page 183, then go on about how the previous books we read were from supernatural points of view, yet in this story, it is more biological then supernatural.

Richard Matheson was born in New Jersey on February, 20, 1926 and is still living. Richard is of Norwegian decent and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He went into the military and was in World War II. After the war ended, in 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Richard Matheson got married to Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952 and has four children.

Richard Matheson made his first short story in 1950 named “Born of Man and Woman”. This story is about a child being beaten and neglected and finally taking up for himself. Richard Matheson published his first novel in 1953 called “Someone is Bleeding”. Richard Matheson also wrote several scripts for the hit TV show “The Twilight Zone”.

During the beginning of the book, we get a basic overview of Richard Neville's day. Working, eating, whatever else, then sleeping, during the night. During these pages, a multitude of things happen. Richard is planning on soundproofing his house from these nocturnal creatures, growing of the garlic, etc. This all seems to go well until he goes to his wife's (virginia) burial ground and after visiting her crypt, realizes that it is only three o'clock in the afternoon, yet he soon realizes that his watch is actually broken and that he left the garage door open. When he gets home he arrives to an angry mob of bloodsucking creatures waiting for him and he manages to beat them off and safely gets back into his house. After time passes, he gets his house back in order.

During the reading pages, One question that he had on his mind was the effects of certain things to these vampires. One good example is that Richard was wondering why does garlic, sunlight, and crosses effect zombies and why do you have to stake them in the heart to kill them. He conducted many experiments on how this works and is still baffled.

In the previous stories, Vampires were more magical and supernatural. Yet, in this story, these creatures developed from bombings that happened. Richard's wife and kids became infected and now Richard lives alone. During the story, they say that the United States have won the war yet his family thinks that the United States haven't won the war, the insects have. Insects were carrying diseases from the dust that was in the air and were infecting people with contagious diseases.

Overall, this part of the book is very good and I am ready to write my next blog about the ending of this book. This book is also very unpredictable. It does not give off as much foreshadowing so you would have an idea of what is going to happen next and that is what I like about the book so far. This book is not like any book that I have heard of before because when I think of vampires, I think of Legends, yet in this book this “new age” is kind of taking over and I believe that they are going to eventually get Richard.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dracula part two


For the past two weeks, we have been reading the book “Dracula” and for this blog, I'm going to talk about the book “Dracula”, and the author of the book Bram Stoker.  Dracula is a very good book and it is very recommendable.

The author of “Dracula” is Bram Stoker. Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born November
8, 1847. He was born in Ireland, Dublin to be exact. During his childhood years, Bram was a very sick child and during his sickness his mother would tell him stories which could have influenced his latter writings. In 1864, Abraham “Bram” Stoker enrolled in Trinity College: Dublin. Stoker got married to Florence Balcombe in 1878. His first book was “The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland” and was published in 1879, the same year that he had one son named Noel. Stoker wrote eighteen books. He died in 1912 at the age of 64.

“Dracula” was a very good book. Even though I basically understood what happens in “Dracula” by logical sense. Yet when you read the novel you go into further details which is why I like the book. Further details include the three women that were hunting humans like Dracula were, that, one setting scene in story actually took place in an asylum, etc.
“Fear for me! Why fear for me? None safer in all the world from them than I am,'
and as I wondered at the meaning of her words, a puff of wind made the flame leap up, and I see the red scar on her forehead. Then, alas! I knew. Did I not, I would soon have learned, for the wheeling figures of mist and snow came closer, but keeping ever without the Holy circle. Then they began to materialize, till-if God have not take away my reason, for I saw it through my eyes-there were before me in actual flesh the same three women that Jonathan saw in round forms, the bright hard eyes, the white teeth, the ruddy colour the voluptuous lips. They smiled ever at poor dear Madam Mina; and as their laugh came through the silence of the night, they twined their arms and pointed at her and said in those so sweet tingling tones that Jonathan said were of the intolerable sweetness of the water-glasses:-
Come, sister, Come to us. Come! Come!' In fear I turned to my poor Madam Mina, and my heart with gladness leapt like flame; for oh! The terror in her sweet eyes, the repulsion, the horror, told a story to my heart that was all of hope. God be thanked she was not, yet, of them. I seized some of the firewood which was by me, and holding out some of the Wafer, advanced on them towards the fire. They drew back before me, and laughed their low horrid laugh. I fed the fire, and feared them not; for I knew that we were safe within our protections. They could not approach me, whilst so armed, nor Madam Mina whilst she remained within the ring, which she could not leave no more than they could enter. The horses had ceased to moan, and lay still on the ground; the snow fell on them softly, and they grew whiter. I knew that there was for the poor beasts no more terror.” pg.-317 chap.-XXVII

This is my favorite segment of the book because it shows how these ladies who are trying to get to this man but can't because of the kind of protection the man has around him and Madam Mina. These paragraphs also have lots of descriptive language because you can actually imagine this happening. When I read this, I imagine a big fire, dead horses, three woman trying to get to this man that are making small sounds of laughter, a sick woman inside a ring, etc., and this is why I love this book!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dracula part one


Reading Dracula was very interesting. People usually know the story of Dracula where Dracula kills people then Dracula gets killed. Yet in this novel “Dracula By: Bram Stroker”, it goes into deeper detail than we would usually know. For this blog, I am going to talk about what has happened so far in this story.

During the beginning of this book, Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula where he can close off a deal of selling an estate in London. As he takes several nots for his fiancee, Mina Murray, he encounters strange things. The innkeeper's wife at the hotel that Jonathan is staying in gives him a crucifix that goes around his neck:

“Just before I was leaving, the old lady came up to my room and said in a very hysterical way.
'Must you go? Oh! Young Herr, must you go?' She was in stuck an excited state that she seemed to have lost her grip of what German she knew, and mixed it all up with some other language which I did not know it all. I was just able to follow by asking many questions. When I told her that I must go at once, and that I was engaged on important business, she asked again:
'Do you know what day it is?' I answered that it was the fourth of May. She shook her head as she said again:
'Oh yes! I know that, I know that! But do you know what day it is?' On my saying that I did not understand, she went on:
'It is the eve of St George's Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway? Do you know where you are going, and what you are going to?' - pg. 12

This old woman is trying to say that everything that is evil is going to have its full power. After this quote it say that the old lady begged on her knees for him to wait his journey out and start in a few days.  This quote gives of some forshawdoing by saying Do you know where you are going, and what you are going to?'.  It says that something is going to happen and that where he's going my not be the smartest idea.  Yet when business is done then it needs to be done and yet he continued on his journey to Count Dracula's residence.

When he arrives at the castle, he has dinner with Count Dracula and talks about various topics like the evil spirits that are in Transylvania. The next day, Jonathan notices that there are yet no mirrors in this castle and shaves with a pocket-mirror', when Dracula comes to join him however, Jonathan realizes that Dracula is not seen in the mirror and Dracula throws out the mirror. During that same day, Dracula warned him that he mustn't sleep in any other chamber than his own, yet despite his warnings, one night Jonathan goes out and falls asleep in another chamber he is awakes and sees three women and Dracula burst in.

When I was in my room and about to lie down, I thought I heard a whispering at my door. I went to it softly and listened. Unless my ears deceived me, I heard the voice of the Count:-
'Back,back, to you own place! You time is not yet come. Wait. Have patience. Tomorrow night, tomorrow night, is yours! There was a low, sweet ripple of laughter, and in a rage I threw open the door and saw without the three terrible women licking their lips. As I appeared they all joined in a horrible laugh, and ran away.
I came back to my room and threw myself on my knees. It is then so near the end? Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Lord, help me, and those to whom I am dear.” - pg. 52

At this point in the book, Lucy has died. I think that Lucy has become one of Dracula's victims, and Mina finally gets a notice of her death. Jonathan has suspicions of who did it yet falls into a deep sleep and seems to forget what happens. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Carmilla Part 2

Good Evening everyone,

This book was very good. This book “Carmilla” was very interesting to read because this is one of my first vampire novels to actually breakdown and read one fully instead of skimming the back and putting it back on the bookshelf. “Carmilla” was new to me because I now the basic things about vampires like garlic, sun-light, being immortal, etc., but “Carmilla actually went into further details than usual stories about vampires. For this blog, I am going to talk about the essay “The Vampire in the House: Hysteria, Female Sexuality, and Female Knowledge in Le fanu's 'Carmilla.” By Tamar Heller. Then go on about the book.

The essay “The Vampire in the House” is was a very 'intriguing' piece of writing to read. To start off, I would say that this essay was very hard to read because I could barely follow it. Yet when you catch on to what they are talking about then you understand what they are talking about. For example:

“One may ask, of course, whether a genteel young Victorian girl could have recognized homoeroticism if she had seen it. (Queen Victoria, after all, reportedly refused to believe that such a thing existed.) “Carmilla” still predates the emergence of a clearly defined category of lesbianism by several decades. Nonetheless, it is worth remembering, as Sara Putzell-Korab reminds us, that, even in the presumed heyday of the “female world of love and ritual,” there was some anxiety about close relationships between young women. This anxiety sprang from a fear, even if as yet only partially articulated, of the sexual implications of suck friendships, while also belying a wariness about the formation of emotional bonds that might hinder a girl's entry into the world of heterosexuality (Putzell-Korab 180-85”

“Such an attempt to be a detective – as the apparently passive heroines of female Gothic try to do-threatens to decenter the authority of male medical detectives. Laura's attempt at detection is most visible in the comment where she wonders whether Carmilla is a boyish lover, but an even more revealing moment where her desire to know wars with her desire to cover up is a perplexed comment on her “trembling” response to Carmilla's “hot kisses”: “Are we related? What do you mean by all this? I remind you perhaps of some one whom you love; it you must not, I hate it; I don't know you-I don't know myself when you look and talk so (292).

These two examples are telling about the story Carmilla in the relations to lesbianism. One strong point in this novel is lesbianism. Carmilla and Laura in this story seem to have a “connection” and Laura thinks that she might be in love with Carmilla yet, it turns out that Carmilla is actually a vampire and was drinking/sucking Laura's blood almost every night hence the drained feeling of Laura in the morning and to Carmilla, Laura was just another person that she could victimize.

In the ending of this book is very good. At the end, 'Carmilla' now known as 'Mircalla' has finally 'died'. This book overall would be a 9 out of 10 because of the ;dfakdalfd in this novel This book overall would be a 9 out of 10 because of the foreshadowing in this novel. During the book, the novel gave off that something was going to happen and that something was wrong with Carmilla because of her unusual habits like sleeping most hours of the day, etc.