Archivos de la categoría ac2014

Unseen Essay

We had to work in pairs in an unseen essay practice. I was with Cata. The following is our essay.

How do the writer’s words make you feel about Robert and the way he behaves towards Colin and Mary?

In the following essay I am going to analyze how the writer’s words make readers feel about Robert and about the way he behaves towards Colin and Mary.

Firstly, I will mention and describe the writer’s descriptions towards Robert. It says that Robert was a “…squat figure…”, “He was shorter than Colin, but his arms were exceptionally long and muscular.”, “…The backs covered with matted hair.” This descriptions give us an uncomfortable impression, likely of a bouncer, a violent person. Not someone with good intentions. A sense of insecurity, intimidation fills the atmosphere.

Secondly, I will analyse the way Colin and Mary react to him. As Robert wants to take them to a good place he knows to eat, he gets very excited and starts to make the tourist couple feel uncomfortable. He grabs them and pushes them. Colin here “…[tries] to detach his wrist without appearing violent.” As Robert doesn’t seem to understand “Mary [speaks] to him as to a child. `Robert, let go of my hand´.” In a moment, since Robert was really excited and didn’t actually understood Colin and Mary didn’t want to be treated that way, “Collin pulled Robert to a halt and jerked his hand free”. After this, Mary and Colin walked “…distanced from Robert.”

Finally, we can see how the writer’s descriptions and the way the couple reacts, creates a feeling or atmosphere of tension. We can notice that through the following quotes. “…trying to detach his wrist…”; “…Robert began to pull them back down the street.” That action gives tension to the atmosphere, being controlled, being forced to do something. In a moment Colin gets angry and said to Robert in an almost violent way “`And you’d better let go of me too´” so Robert would let go of Colin’s hand. Also, it mentions nearly to the end that they were dragged to an “..alley…”. This is a very intrusive place to be, more with a person who you don’t know. Tension appears there again. It appears a lot throughout the text.

In conclusion, throughout this essay you could notice how the writer makes the readers feel about Robert by describing him and the actions he gets involved and the conversation that holds with Colin and Mary. Very tense, intimidating and uncomfortable.

Essay “A Horse and Two Goats”

The most important theme in “A Horse and Two Goats”, and in fact the central theme of Narayan’s work, is the clash of cultures. Do you agree?

Clash of cultures is the central theme of the story “A horse and Two Goats” but it has small themes which have to do with it. In the following essay I will name and explain all the themes in the story which are related to clash of cultures.

The first theme I will explain is colonization or consequences of colonization. The story is set in India, after the independence from Great Britain. When India was colonized she lost her dignity, her culture and her past. This brought huge consequences to the times of this story. For example, the fact that the American goes there to visit and thinks that Muni should speak English because everyone there does. “”…can’t you understand even a simple word of English? Everyone in this country seems to know English.”” Muni doesn’t speak English due to the fact that he is from the old school and when the British came to India he was old and didn’t mind to learn a new language. He also had the intention to retain his language and identity. But the people who had talked to the American might have been young and could have time to learn the new language.

Disappearance of Indian culture is the next theme. As you can see after the British came, they took away the Indian culture, or forgot it, and metaphorically, digged the Indian past. It’s seen in the story when the American buys the horse and takes it away to the USA when the horse had a very strong importance for the Indian culture. “…”This is our guardian […] a horse called Kalki. This horse will […] trample down all bad men”…”. Then, Muni started to tell stories related to this statue which means a lot to his Indian past.  But only we readers can know that. Not the American because he doesn’t understand. So there is where irony appears as a theme, although it is also a tone throughout story.

Contrast of cultures is another important theme. It consists of the differences that we notice on the American and Indian cultures when the conversation takes place. One difference could be the religion. Muni has a very complex religion with a lot of stories and Gods. “Muni was still hovering on visitors of Avatars…”. Avatars are Gods for the Indian religion. The american never talks about religion. Maybe it’s not that important for him. Then we have the marriage differences. Muni had married at a very young age and, of course he didn’t chose his wife. “He was told on his day if wedding that he was ten and she was eight.” The American also had a wife but, of course, he chose her and they married at a conventional age. So here we get to know the theme related to love. In the story it says that “They had lived in each other’s company since they were children.” But now, his wife wasn’t putting up with him very much lately.

Finally I will explain the Clash of Cultures theme which partially consists of the differences of both cultures when they meet. No one of them can understand a thing. Both, the American and Muni are talking about different things. “The man said “I come from New York”…” “…Muni shrank away […] perhaps he was trying to present a warrant and arrest him”. No one of them could understand. This theme, Clash of Cultures, includes all the themes named before. It includes the Consequences of Colonization because in the colonization the cultures also meet; it includes Disappearance of Indian Culture since when this cultures meet, the horse, which represents Indian past, is taken away; It includes irony because the characters don’t know what they are saying but we, readers, do; it includes contrast of cultures because in their encounter of cultures you can notice the differences and it includes love, because the two cultures have different ways of understanding it and living it.

In conclusion, the story deals with a lot themes which have to do and are related to the theme Clash of Cultures.

Astrologer’s Day Analysis

In our Language class, we had to write another analysis of the story An Astrologer’s Day but this time in pairs of two. I was with Cata. The following is our analysis.

Characters:

  • Astrologer: The Astrologer is a middle aged man. He says to be an Astrologer but he just pretends to, so he can get a little money for his family. He carries a secret with him. This secret is something that happened long before, when he was young, in another town. He escaped from that town and lives with his wife and child.

 

  • Guru Nayak: The Astrologer’s client. Also, middle aged man. He is in a journey, looking for someone who did something to him once in his early times. He also escaped from his native town to look for this person. He is amazed with what the Astrologer says to him.

Plot

The story begins with a description of the Astrologer’s life, telling details about it. It says that he works in a street full of other vendors. He isn’t trained to be an astrologer and has little knowledge about astrology. One day, after work when he is about to go home, he sees a man close by and hoping to make him a client, he seduces him to start a conversation. The man says that he wants the astrologer to tell him something about his future. The astrologer tries his tricks about talking marriage or money but the man wants specific answers. He says he would give him two times what he asks for if he is satisfied with the answers. The astrologer realizes that this man which was supposed to be stranger was a man he had knew some years ago. He tries to cancel the challenge and insists him on taking his money back but the client isn’t happy with this. After a little discussion, the astrologer surrenders and starts to tell facts about this person’s past. For example, that he has been stabbed and left as dead. He also guesses his name, Guru Nayak. Guru gets amazed by his knowledge and confesses that he is looking for the person who had killed him. Before the session is over, the astrologer tells his client to travel in the opposite direction for two days, there he would be safe. He also told him that the person who stabbed him, had died crushed by a lorry. Nayak gives the astrologer some coins and feeling happy and satisfied he continues his journey. Later, the astrologer comes home and tells his wife that the man he thought he had killed, was alive.

Ironic elements.

When the Astrologer insists the stranger to sit and talk to him. He doesn’t know that this man is the one he almost killed and he is wanting to talk to him when if this person realized who the Astrologer was, he would  be in big trouble. Also it is ironic when the stranger insists on that the Astrologer must prove if he really can see the truth. The Astrologer can’t guess the truth but at this part of the story he already noticed who this man was. The ironical fact is that a gambler and a murderer, who is ignorant of his own future has become an astrologer.

Setting in place (justifications- quotes)

The story is set in India. I noticed that since R. K Narayan was himself Indian and most of his stories are set in India. Also because the Astrologer wears a turban, very Indian. I noticed that because of the currency that is used there in the story, Rupee. Also, in the story appear words in italics which are in italics because they are in other language, Urdu. For example jaggery and pyol. In the Story is also described a road full of sellers and trade. That happens a lot in India, India is known for its commerce above being known for its many languages.

Themes

  • Irony of fate: Since the Astrologer knows something that the client doesn’t when he is pretending to guess about his life.
  • Religion and blind faith: Because since the Indians believe in this acts of fate, they are drowned into hearing and believing what the Astrologers say even though they don’t know if it is real or fake.
  • Crime and guilt: This is theme is connected to the idea that the astrologer is his early times committed a crime and he felt guilty for all his life.
  • Human greed of revenge: This theme has to do with the fact that the client, Guru Nayak, had been stabbed long time ago but he is still looking for the person who did this and wanted to find him and kill him. Even though a lot of time had passed.

Recording Reported Speech

For our Language class we had to hear a recording of Pilar in active voice. We had to report it. Here are my reports.

Pilar apologized for arriving late and begged her mom to don’t punish her. She promised her mom not to do it again. She explained why she arrived late. She admitted she had never been to such an interesting party before. Pilar claaimed that she had learnt the lesson.

For the next task, I had to create my own recording with a dialogue in active voice. Here it is.


Record and upload voice >>

Quiz: An Astrologer’s Day

Today un Language we discussed the story we read, “An Astrologer’s Day” and   answered some questions Pilar copied. These are my answers.

1) The Astrologer was an Indian man. “His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermellion…” His eyes were placed in the middle of his forehead and they had an abnormal gleam. He weared a turban around his head. He was a standard man with a wife and a child to feed. He wasn’t a bad man. He had escaped from his birth town because of something he had done in his young years. He had mostly killed a man. But one day working, he found out that he hadn’t killed him. He told this man to travel to the north 2 days and never come back and never told him that he was the one his client was looking for. I sympathize with him because as the almost-death happened many years ago, it wouldn’t be useful to tell him. And also because he was looking for him. So it was okay.

2) In the story I can find some ironic elements such as when the Astrologer insists to the stranger to sit and talk to him. He doesn’t know that this man is the one he almost killed and he is wanting to talk to him when if this person realized who the Astrologer was, he would  be in big trouble. Also it is ironic when the stranger insists on that the Astrologer must prove if he really can see the truth. The Astrologer can’t guess the truth but at this part of the story he already noticed who this man was.

3) The story is set in India and I noticed due to the fact that the writer is Indian, the description of the place in the story. “A variety of trades and occupations…” And because of the strange words like “palmyra” (which, by the way, it’s where Indian people write), “cowrie shells”, ” dahlia stalks”, etcetera…

4) Gleam: A brief beam or flash of light.
To be well disposed: disposed to be kindly, friendly or sympathetic.

Paraphernalie: The articles used in a particular activity; equipment
To look careworn: showing the effect of grief or anxiety
To feel piquedfeeling of wounded pride.
BluffTo impress, deter, or intimidate by a false display of confidence.
To hoot: The cry of an owl
CherootA cigar with square-cut ends.
To mutter a few incantationsthe chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.
To peep:To look through the key hole of a door spying
A punch of: [what your hand can hold] of
Jaggerya coarse brown sugar made in the East Indies from the sap ofthe date palm
Pyol: porch