Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Carmilla pt. 1

I definitely see how the characters are sexually frustrated in this novel. First when the girls are talking she says, “I did feel, as she said, ‘drawn towards her,’ but there was also something of repulsion. By her saying this it shows that she is confused as how to feel to another woman. She thinks that she is beautiful and she really has feelings for her but is confused because it is a girl liking a girl. I do not think that the girl is repulsed because she does not think she is that Carmilla is beautiful and nice, she is repulsed because she does not think that it is normal or accepted to like another female. When they began talking about death they say, “But to die as lovers may—to die together, so that they may live together. Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don’t you see—each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structure. So says Monsieur Buffon, in his big book in the next room.” I think that this means that it is hard to become the person that you will be. You have to pass through the rough times to get through to the good ones. Also, after Carmilla kisses her she says, “’I have been in love with no one, and never shall,’ she whispered, ‘unless it should be you.’” And then she goes on to say, “I live in you; and you would die for me, I love you so.” This is where they finally show their true emotions and put behind the thoughts that two females loving each other is wrong. Also, she keeps thinking about how beautiful Carmilla is and how soft her skin. I believe that at the beginning of the novel both these characters are very sexually frustrated but towards the end of part one, they begin to reveal their true selves and except who they are.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wuthering Heights pt.2

To say that I was disgusted with this book is an understatement. I say this because of all the hatred and suffering that this book brought. During the first half of this novel I thought the things the Heathcliff and Catherine did to each other were bad but it got worse. How Heathcliff and Linton treated Nelly and Catherine* were just miserable. Here I thought that the novel was going to end on a good note with Linton and Catherine* falling in love and having a better marriage than both of their parents. But No! Heathcliff had to go and belittle Linton and corrupt him. By Heathcliff talking down to Linton, Linton starts to hate himself. For example, “Papa talks enough about my defects, and shows enough scorn of me, to make it natural I should doubt myself. I doubt whether I am not altogether as worthless as he calls me, frequently; and then I feel so cross and bitter, I hate everybody! I am worthless, and bad in temper, and bad in spirit, almost always; and, if you choose, you may say good-bye: you’ll just get rid of an annoyance (page 245).” I think that Heathcliff is just doing this to get back at Catherine. He is driving Linton crazy so that he turns angry and takes it out on Catherine*. He also is forcing Linton to marry Catherine* so he gains control over the Grange. Heathcliff really wanted this so he could show off the power that he had over Edgar and gain more control. Heathcliff obviously did not need anymore land since he has Wuthering Heights but he figured that it would be another stab at Catherine.

Now that I am done reading this novel it makes me wonder why it was referenced so much in the Twilight Saga. I mean there is not a couple in this book that was a wonderful romance or anything like Edward and Bella. Maybe it was because both stories are sort of tragedies. I think that they are similar in the sense that Heathcliff and Catherine love each other but the fact that Heathcliff does not have money keeps them apart. And in Twilight Bella is human and Edward is a Vampire, but in this case they did not let the obstacle get in the way of their love. In the Twilight Saga Bella is the one who really loves this novel and Edward hates it because of how selfish the characters are (as I also believe). So thinking about Twilight and Wuthering Heights I think about other similarities. I think about the love triangle that is in both. I think about how when Edward leaves Bella she goes to Jacob and wins his affection kind of how Catherine runs to Edgar when Heathcliff leaves. No matter the fact that Jacob could be better for Bella and maybe Edgar was better for Catherine, both these stories show how love rules all.

Catherine*- Catherine and Edgar’s daughter

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wuthering Heights Pt. 1

So when I started reading Wuthering Heights I was completely confused and did not know what was going on. I kept pushing through and began to get interested once Nelly Dean began discussing the history of Catherine and Heathcliff to Mr. Lockwood. There are a few quotes within the first part of the book that stood out to me. The first one is on page 29 and it says, “He got on the bed, wrenched open the lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrollable passion of tears. ‘Come in! come in!’ he sobbed. ‘Cathy, do come.  Oh, do once more! Oh! My heart’s darling! Hear me this time, Catherine, at last!’” This is Heathcliff’s cry to Catherine. At this time in the novel I did not know the relationship that was held between these two characters, but then after the background was told by Nelly I began to understand the very unhealthy relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. I referred to their relationship as unhealthy because of the fact that they were so in love yet they liked to hurt each other so much. And it was not like they did not know the hurt they were causing, they did! So far the impression that I get from both Heathcliff and Catherine is that they are selfish. They are selfish towards each other and to the people around them. For example on page Catherine says, “’Oh, I will die,’ she exclaimed, ‘since no one cares anything about me. I wish I had not taken that.’ Then a good while after I heard her murmur, ‘No, I’ll not die—he’d be glad––he does not love me at all—he would never miss me!’” I also feel like through out the story Nelly has been put in the middle of everything and has to be the peacemaker. She gets turned to for answers from every single character. I think this could be to show how much people in these days relied on their caretakers/servants. I also think that maybe this is to show how much Nelly cared about everyone and she just wanted them to be happy, make smart decisions, and live in peace. For example when Catherine was thinking about starving herself to death she wanted Nelly to persuade Mr. Linton that she was really going to do it so she could get sympathy from him, and in response Nelly says, “‘No, you forget, Mrs. Linton,’ I suggested, ‘that you have eaten some food with a relish this evening, and to-morrow you will perceive its good effects (pg. 120).’” By Nelly saying this to Catherine I think she means that Catherine is being foolish for wanting to starve herself for attention and sympathy and saying that by eating she will feel better and not act like she has been acting. So far I think that this novel contains a whole lot of drama and love triangles. I also think that Heathcliff and Catherine are both very childish for how they are acting and they are foolishly hurting people around them that really do love them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Giving up The Ghost

Giving Up the Ghost by Nina Auerbach really interested me. It was interesting to see a compare and contrast of the different ‘types’ of Vampires. I am always interested in seeing how different authors do different thing with the personalities of the vampires and other things. During her essay she quotes, “The first use of vampire the Oxford English Dictionary records, in 1734, defines them as ‘evil spirits’ who animate the ‘bodies of deceased persons.’ Folklorists use vampire interchangeably with revenant or ghost.” When I personally think of vampires I too think of something evil. I also believe that most, if not all the older texts about vampires also portray vampires as strictly evil. However today’s vampires are seen to be better overall and less evil. If you look at the True Blood series where the vampires find a synthetic source of food (blood) so that they do not have to feed off humans, and this makes them look like they are not a threat. They have interactions with humans and even sexual relationships. A vampire today is defined, according to, as “a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.” This definition says nothing about being evil or being a ghost. So why is this? Why did the definition change so much? Why does the old definition say specifically that they are evil and the new one just says that they are ‘commonly believed?’ I think the change in the definition is due to the wide variety of depictions of vampires. Also, it seems that they think that this definition most closely fits the stories about these vampires and the behaviors show. I think that this definition is a little out dated still. All of the books I have read so far about vampires, which are mostly the modern ones, none of them have the vampires sneaking into sleeping people’s rooms to suck their blood. I do, however, agree with the fact that it is a reanimated corpse. In everything I have read they are all dead and do not have heartbeats. I also do agree that the vampires are preternatural or exceeding what is normal/supernatural. But then again I think anything outside of human/animal life is supernatural. While looking up the definition on there is also an additional definition that says, “A woman who unscrupulously exploits, ruins, or degrades the men she seduces.” I thought that this was a little odd to see this. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I just think that the first thing that struck me as odd it that it said women. When I think of vampires I think of men. But I guess they can be women too. Although this definition does not refer to the supernatural vampire they share the same qualities. A supernatural vampire is thought to ruin and hurt and use its victims which are similar to the women that this definition is referring to.

The Vampyre

While reading The Vampyre by John William Polidori a few things stood put to me. First, during the “Introduction” it was said that, “A stake was driven entirely through the heart and the body of Arnold Paul, at which he is reported to have cried out as dreadfully as if he had been alive. This done, they cut off his head, burned his body, and threw the ashes into his grave. The same measures we adopted with the cor[p]ses of those persons who had previously died from vampyrism. Lest they should, in their turn, become agents upon others who survived them.” Reading this excerpt it made me think of how vampires nowadays are portrayed to “die.” So this story was written in 1819 so it is pretty much ancient. It says that to kill a vampire you have to stake it, then cut off its head and then burn and bury it. So how does this portrayal affect the portrayal modern day writers’ use? Well, in the Sookie Stackhouse books (True Blood) and in the Vampire Diaries series to kill a vampire all you have to do is stake it and it turns into dust. So there is one part of Polidori’s ideas. In the Twilight Saga, to kill a vampire it has to be ripped into pieces by another vampire and then burned. So this is also a take on Polidori’s story. It is crazy to think that ideas from stories that are almost 200 years old are still used today. Another thing in this story that caught my eye is when Lord Ruthven made Aubrey swear not to tell what he truly was. When I first read this conversation I really did not see any big deal about it but then at the end of the story I see its significance until this happened, “He began to speak with all his wonted warmth, and to congratulate her upon her marriage with a person so distinguished for rank and every accomplishment; when he suddenly perceived a locket upon her breast; opening it, what was his surprise at beholding the features of the monster who has so long influenced his life.” This makes me wonder whether Lord Rithven’s whole plan was to get shot on purpose so that Aubrey would make the oath and not be able to say anything about the true identity so that he could take his sisters life. I guess the reason that I think this is because most vampires in stories are made to look like they are bad and deceiving.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Edward Cullen is one of my favorite vampires. The scene in New Moon where he says good-bye to Bella makes me cry every time. When I read this book and get so into it I feel almost as if Edward is leaving ME! I think that in the books the romanticism that he has is what makes me love him. Some people think he is cheesy or a stalker but I see it as he is old fashioned and in love and very poetic.
Perez Hilton Celebrity Gossip is my favorite website to visit. It gives me the celebrity updates and is very humorous!

This is my favorite You Tube Video. It is the infamous "Charlie Bit My Finger" video. I love this video because it always makes everyone laugh. Its impossible not to. I can remember when my sister first showed this video to my dad and I and how hard my dad laughed and how her wanted to watch ti again and again and that is why I love this video.
My Favorite Place
The best place I have ever been was to Las Vegas. I traveled there in June 2009 and fell in love. When  we first planned our trip everyone wondered why I was going since I am not 21 but there was so much to do there. I love to shop and Vegas has plenty of it. All of the shows and flashing light are what makes it my favorite place and I cannot wait to go again at the end of this month!

About Me

Hi, My name is Stephanie and I am a Sophomore with an intended major of Industrial Engineering. I took this course only knowing that it was titled Introduction to the Novel and knowing how much I read I figured it was a good idea. When I saw that it was all about Vampire Novels I was so exited. I love Vampire Novels. I have read the Twilight Series, the Sookie Stackhouse books, the Blue Blood series, and The Vampire Diaries Series. I really enjoy books that are a mix of everything. A little adventure, romance, suspense, and humor. When I read a novel I expect to be drawn into the story and feel as if I am a character in it. This is my first online English class but I think that I will like this more because I feel that I can speak more easily since I am a shy person. When taking an online class I feel that everyone feels more comfortable talking about their thoughts because you do not have to compete with anyone to share your opinions and also you do not see anyone your talking to so everyone can feel comfortable to share their opinions without worrying that people will think they are dumb. Also, taking an English class like this that has a specific topic will be fun since other people in this class will have the similar interests I have. I cannot wait to being reading these various Vampire Novels. When I first saw the topic of this class I was in the middle of reading Interview With A Vampire so it was kind of ironic that we are reading that.
Three Interesting Facts:
1. I have a one year old tan tabby cat who thinks he is a dog
2. I have a tattoo of a Koi Fish that I got matching with my sister and it reminds me everyday that I am strong and determined and can accomplish anything
3. I may only be 19 but I act like I am 35 (so my sister says)