Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final Project

For my final project I want to write a short story about Ruth's point of view in "I am Legend." I want to begin by showing how much Ruth hated Robert Neville for killing her wife. I want to ho how she prepatred to start spying on Robert and how she felt when she was first with him. I want to show how she began to really love Robert and trust him and show that she now knows that he didn't really want to hurt people he just wanted to survive. While reading this part of "I am Legend" I felt so engaged with both characters and knew I wanted to do this. I mainly wanted to do this so the people who did not feel so engaged maybe can feel that by seeing how I see it. I think that it will be very interesting to do this and am very excited. I have never written a short story so I hope it goes well and I get my point across.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with a Vampire pt 2

According to Wikipedia “postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the rejection of objective truth and global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, and motivations; in particular it attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus female, straight versus gay, white versus black, and imperial versus colonial. Postmodernism has influenced many cultural fields, including literary criticism, sociology, linguistics, architecture, visual arts, and music.” I think that this explanation is interesting. When I first saw the word I tried to think of what I thought it mean. I tried to break it down by thinking that post means after the fact and modern is the latest styles, attitudes, or practices. So when I put it together I just basically thought of it as the future. And in a way, I think, this definition kind of fits. I mean the role of language is ever changing and right now it is very important and always has been and I think always will be. When reading Ryne T.’s blog about the same topic I thought it was interesting how Ryne compared the idea of straight vs. gay and comparing them to Louis and Lestat. I definitely see how this compares. In all the other vampire novels we have read in class and most that I have read outside of class the act of sucking blood has only happened to women. So what is this saying; is it trying to be different? It is trying to make a statement? Is it trying to make vampirism look more appalling by using two men?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with the Vampire Pt. 1

So for my blog this week I would like to discuss how the Vampire turned into a vampire. On page 12 he begins by saying, “Well, he drained me almost to the point of death, which was for him sufficient.” Here the Vampire describes how Lestat begins the process of turning him into a vampire. The way that Lestat drains him completely of blood first in one sitting is different from the way we have seen in previous novels. In “Carmilla” and “Dracula” the vampires slowly took blood from their victims and this caused them to also turn into vampires. Then on page 14 he begins to talk about how he felt during the change. I thought this was cool because although we saw this change in previous novels we never saw it this in depth. The first thing that he talks about is his heightened senses. He says, “He stepped close to my bed and leaned down so that his face was in the lamplight, and I saw that he was no ordinary man at all. His grey eyes burned with an incandescence, and the long white hands which hung by his sides were not those of a human being. I think I knew everything in that instant, and all that he told me was only aftermath. What I mean is, the moment I saw him, saw his extraordinary aura and knew him to be no creature I’d ever known.” I think this is very interesting. The Vampire saw things in a whole new light. This I have seen in many modern vampire stories. A lot of the vampires that are shown today can smell better, are stronger, and can hear better. In the novels they talked about more physical changes the victims had and not the mental ones besides the nightmares.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am Legend Pt 2 (Online Artifact)

      The online artifact I found that coincides with “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson is an archive created by John David Scoleri. Within this archive John Scoleri interviews several people, including himself, about the novel “I am Legend.” I find his interview to be very interesting and well thought out. One of the first things that Scoleri bring up is the opening sentence of the book. It goes, “On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when the sunset came, and sometimes they were in the street before he could get back.” Scoleri says that this caused him to be “immediately enthralled” and I agree. I think that this first sentence really sets the mood for the entire novel. I think that it shows the fear that Robert Neville had for these vampires. I believe that this may show an underlying message about how the author feels about this “other species.” I say other species because it may not be a vampire that the author may have a hatred against some other person or thing.
        John Scoleri has a list of four phrases that stood out to him in the novel. The first is, “The watch had stopped.” I remember exactly when this quote was used. I definitely think that this was another “mood setter” in the novel. Like the first quote I showed it shows Robert’s fear of the vampires. Another phrase that causes Scoleri’s “hairs on the back of his neck to stand up in anticipation” is “In a week the dog was dead.” I do think that this caused anticipation but more sadness. When Robert Neville found the dog and finally got him into the house he finally had a moment of hope that he would not be alone. I think that this has a deeper meaning. I personally think that this could relate to Robert’s mental state. At first he begins completely loosing himself, drinking until his was numb, but then he tried to regain control but as soon as he almost had all his control back he loses it again just like that. The last phrase that Scoleri uses is the last line of the novel which is just simply, “I am Legend.” I think by using this as the ending Richard Matheson is saying that Robert Neville accomplished what he was put on earth to do an also he did all that he could to fight against the evil.
      John Scoleri then goes on to talk about his overall thoughts about the novel. He says, “As I closed the book, following Neville’s realization and acceptance of his fate, the last line still lingering; I realized that I had experienced something amazing. I had been whisked away to a small house on Cimarron Street where I was one with Robert Neville; behind his boarded up windows I experienced his fears, his triumphs and his losses. Richard Matheson showed me just how captivating a book could be.” I completely agree with John’s statement here. The way Matheson used words to shape the setting and set the mood was amazing. He could play with people’s emotions through Robert. I think that the author really wanted the reader to feel involved. By showing the ups and downs in Robert’s life he is showing the ups and downs in everyone’s lives. By Ruth deceiving Robert and breaking his heart it related to all the hurt and lies that our world has. In this novel overall Matheson is really just trying to relate with people. He is trying to show that Robert Neville is just a person and when put into an unfortunate situation we can adapt and conquer all.
      On this same website there was an interview conducted via email with Richard Matheson himself. The first question that the archive asks is “Critics performing analysis of I Am Legend often say it is a metaphor for the spread of communism, especially since it was written during the height of the cold war; is there any validity to such claims, or are they merely reading things into the novel?” and Richard’s response was, “I don't think the book means anything more than it is: the story of a man trying to survive in a world of vampires. If people want to assume it later, that's up to them. It has been said that a writer is entitled to an interpretation of his work that people choose to give it.” I personally never saw the metaphor for communism until I read it here. I can see how the vampires can be thought of as the communists and the mutated vampires that appear near the end can be thought of as more rational communists. Or the people who just went along with it because they we supposed to or forced to.
      Another thing that Richard Matheson says that kind of adds to what I was talking about earlier is “I didn't realize until many years later that my "theme" was one man against insuperable odds. It's true though.” And this relates back to how I talked about how I thought that he was using the main character to show the struggles that people go through everyday. No matter how well off anyone is there will always be something that they cannot completely conquer that is insuperable. Richard Matheson then is asked whether he thinks that Robert Neville is a monster and his response is, “Neville was not a monster to me. He was trying to survive, no more. It was an irony that, in the end, he had become the legend, the feared one. I don't believe that the young woman who provided him with the poison regarded him as a monster, merely as a total anomaly in the new society.” I definitely think this is ironic. All the time that Robert spent preparing himself and his house to be “vampire-proof” when at the end the vampires are the ones who feared him. It was not really the original vampires that we afraid of Robert because they were not intelligent enough to know that he knew ways to kill them. But as the race mutated and became more aware of their surroundings they began to realize that they should fear him.
      All in all I thought that this novel was very interesting. While I was reading the novel I was sucked into the story and did not think of anything but what was going on. After I finished the novel I thought about similarities between Robert Neville’s life in the book and people’s lives today. Although today we are not being surrounded by vampires were being surrounded by other insuperable things like the recession. So although this novel was written back in 1952, Robert’s life can still be compared to our lives today in 2010.