Once you have read both The Artificial Silk Girl and Goodbye to Berlin, you will detect some similarities in how Doris and Christopher experience Berlin’s streets, people, weather, cafés, apartments, fashion, poverty, language, culture, and political climate. You may also notice that each character undergoes a change through his or her observations of their versions of Berlin. For this post, find two passages (one passage from each novel) to close read carefully and between which to draw connections. Close reading requires paying attention to diction choices, tone, syntax, punctuation, among other things. Your post can be as long as you need, but no shorter than two grammatically clear and logically developed paragraphs. Your post must make a claim about how you are connecting the two passages written by two different authors, with two different narrators, with two different experiences etc…
Posts are due by Thursday 3/13 by 9am.
For essay two, I decided to write about Millen Brand’s The Outward Room and The Artificial Silk Girl, written by Irmgard Keun. I want to discuss the relationships that each woman has with the men in her life. Harriet finds John, who ends up taking care of her and two fall in love. Doris, on the other hand, has issues keeping relationships and often gets treated very poorly by the men in her life.
I think it would be interesting to dissect the relationships that Harriet and Doris keep or can’t keep, and discuss why the author made it that way. It would also be interesting to talk about if the story would be less effective if Harriet and Doris were placed within the opposite story, because I think the way the two women were created affects each story as a whole.
The two films we have screened in this section – Manhatta and Metropolis — lend themselves nicely to comparison. Manhatta is an American film that frames industry and work in a positive nature, and Metropolis is a German film that frames it in a negative nature. Both movies also use a lot of the same camera angles and focus on a lot of the same topics. A good number of shots in both movies are filmed from a high angle to show the scope and size of the buildings. Both movies also have a lot industrial imagery — specifically steam — and have similar soundtracks. Why is it that two movies that are so similar are framed so differently?
Right now the best answer I can come up with has to do with the cultural differences between America and Germany. I need to do a bit more research to be sure, but if I had to guess right now I would have to say that Americans embraced industry and saw work as a good thing, and Germans were struggling economically and saw industry work as a bad thing. I would like to read more of Artificial Silk Girl before I lock down on a topic, but this one seems fun so far. The only major snag i am coming across is coming up with a concrete argument.
Blog #4/Essay #2
I have decided to write my essay on Brand’s, “The Outward Room” and Keun’s, “The Artificial Silk Girl.” Both books are written by authors who lived during the Great Depression and both reflect feminist perspectives. While both characters are female, the stories take place in different countries and the women have very different views on their roles in society. Perhaps this is because one is written by a man and the other written by a woman.
I would like to explore the similarities and differences of these two characters in terms of the women’s movement of the day. How did the woman’s movement of the 1930’s shape the lives of these two characters and how does it reflect back to today’s society? I would specifically like to examine the roles Harriet and Doris play in the workforce, in the home, and with the men in their society.
For my second essay, I am going to explore John Steinbeck “Making a New Yorker” and Millen Brand The Outward Room. These two stories are about the main character who wants to live in New York City and then narrate about the main character life in the city. Both writers are men writer who write about the same city, but their work are different due to they convey their writing in different point of views, different continuity, and different ways of solving the main character depressions.
Firstly, even though the writers are men, they choose to present their writing thought different point of view. Steinbeck narrates the story thought a guy first-person point of view, I. Brand describes his work thought a woman third-person narrative, she. Secondly, the story narrates continuously from the beginning to the end, so the reader does not get confused. Steinbeck conveys his story from 1925 to 1936; he does not write back and forth. Similarly, Brand separates his work in three parts based on the main character name that change in each period of times. Lastly, both main characters have the depression period. Steinbeck piece is a man disappoints with the city, people, work, and love, so he goes back to his hometown and start write a novel until become a successful person. Brand piece is the main character is insane, but when she finds a love, she does not death anymore because she can feel and know what is going on.
In my second essay, I would like to explore the idea of anonymity in cities using Millen Brand’s “The Outward Room” and Steinbeck’s “Making of a New Yorker”. While reading Steinbeck’s piece, I was drawn in by the process of becoming part of the whole city instead of one person. This is very clearly stated when the main character realizes he now belongs in New York. ”The Outward Room” also highlights points of Harriet being just another person, and her feeling of being unknown is the best gift she could have been given. Here in the big city, no one knows her story or separates her from the rest of the people on the train, even though she has just escaped from a mental institution.
These pieces both show how being anonymous in the city really shows that they have become a part of the whole, which I think is a really interesting idea. The main characters are anonymous in different ways, which is something I would like to contrast and relate back to the idea of individuality. I have not yet decided what I will specifically research for this topic, but I have been wondering how many people really do just go to New York and stay now compared to when these pieces of writing were set. Individuality and anonymity are contrasting ideas that are very connected to the idea of life in the city.
In my second essay, I am going to compare, “The Outward Room”, Millen Brand and “Metropolis”. Firstly, I will focus on “Death” from two stories. In The Outward room, Harriet always talks about death because she feels she has nothing after her brother died. Even though she’s alive, she suffers from her depression. In contrast, Metropolis, is the story that compare two classes of people: boss and workers. “Death” in Metropolis shows the workers that work hard all the times with struggling. In the film, the workers got highest pressure from working, then they died. Moreover, the Freder’s tower changes to be a place likes a hell. The worker sacrifice themselves to the death.
Secondly, In Great Depression Era, Women have to work to get money for taking care children and family. In The Outward Room, Harriet fined a job while John was working, because she wants to help him. In contrast, the workers work hard in Metropolis, then they try to change their life to be better.
Thirdly, I like the word “Meditator” and “Therapist”. In Metropolis, “Meditator” is someone who can help or change the inequality of two classes of people. In contrast, “Therapist”, in The Outward Room is Dr. Devlin, who want to help Harriet from her sadness. Moreover, John is the person that can take care of her and bring her to life. Finally, Maybe I will add more about “Earth’s surface” in Metropolis and “darkness” in The Outward Room.
For the second essay, I have been thinking about writing a sort of Marxist paper comparing Metropolis with another work we have read in class concerning the the relationship between the bourgeois and the proletariat. As of right now, I would not be able to tell you the purpose of the paper beyond the explication of this relationship, nor would I even be able to tell you which work I would use to compare to Metropolis, as none (as far as I can recall noticing, and there is a good chance that I am wrong) in particular have stood out to me as being as much of a commentary on the bourgeois/proletariat relationship as Metropolis–besides perhaps those portraying wage laborers, like Brand’s novel (in the form of Harriet closer to the end) or perhaps the Work, Labor, and Socialism “propaganda” piece (and, even then, if only because this bourgeois/proletariat relationship is central to communist/socialist philosophy).
The major point that I would wish to explicate in this paper would be the idea of the workers (the proletarians) as representing the hands (or the means) of society and the bourgeois as representing the head (or the mind, the center for innovation and thought) of that same society–as based upon the idea of the tale of the Tower of Babylon as told in Metropolis, where (and I am paraphrasing, as I did not get enough time to write down the entire series of quotes) the brains that conceived of the tower could not build it, for the task was too great, so they hired hands to build it for them, but the hands that built knew nothing of the dreams which had inspired the tower, and the tower fell due to this disconnection. Perhaps I could also go into the idea which Metropolis offers as a solution to this disconnect: the mediator between the head and the hands–the heart–and show what the heart, the mediator and the solution, may be in the ideals of the socialism article (or any work which we have read and which pertains, though I must spend more time and thought in assessing what this may be in the other piece I would choose); but perhaps going into this idea of the heart is unnecessary, and perhaps I could fulfill an explication paper without mention of it, by simply explicating the Marxist intentions in each work.
For my essay I am going to compare Steinbeck’s “Making of a New Yorker” and Djuna Barnes’s “The Hem of Manhattan”. The main points I plan to focus on are how Barnes’s attitude towards the city and its inhabitants is extremely stand-offish and the contrast of Steinbeck’s accepting view of the city- he gets hurt by it but still tries to work with it so to speak. Both of their perspectives are reflected in the settings of the pieces. Steinbeck walks throughout the city and experiences affluent areas, construction crews, etc and he finally feels accepted by the city in a less affluent area. While he loves and actively engages the city, Barnes looks at the city from the outside. She views it from the perspective of a tourist and although she looks at many of the same things as Steinbeck, she views it with detachment and more derision.
I would like to perhaps discuss how gender and background changes the way they write, especially because they are both writing about the same city in the same time period. I think that I need help narrowing down my topic because gender and background are very broad ideas and mean different things to different people. However, I think that I could do quite a bit of “light research” on these topics. I think I need to narrow it down to one aspect of gender or background though and then compare that to their settings and attitudes.
For my essay, I plan to write about and discuss F. Scott Fitzgerald’s My Lost City and John Steinbeck’s Making of a New Yorker. Both of these pieces discuss the lives and times of young men struggling to find a place in New York City, and then ultimately considering it to be their home. These pieces are also connected through their mentioning of Dick Whittington. In my essay I plan on digging into these writer’s minds and pasts to discover why they were so troubled by their New York experiences.
I also plan on comparing and contrasting the two pieces. I want to find out more about Dick Whittington as well so that I can incorporate his story into my paper.I hope to show the reader that the first impression that one gets of place could end up drastically changing based on personal experience. I want to discuss how men and women act at the age that the characters are in these stories, and how that could have affected the protagonists’ view of New York City.