Prompt #1

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<My life in one picture>

Maggie/18/Running Start student/Photographer/Dog enthusiast. I attempted to write fiction in 6th grade in order to cope with bullying, but I found that writing caused me more harm than good and I was unable to complete anything I was satisfied with. My thoughts are too disorganized to be able to order into a novel-type format. I am too much of a perfectionist to enjoy writing. I’ve always loved the Harry Potter series, and anything written by John Green. I read Great Gatsby last year after seeing the movie and absolutely loved it. I don’t read a lot as I fill my time more with photography or friends. When I read, I tend to be drawn to online articles particularly discussing feminism or political topics. I try to educate myself. I do enjoy fiction, but I don’t often indulge in it as I don’t make time or know of a lot of books I want to read. I am drawn to books that are unique, not dealing with cliché themes like unrealistic teen romance.

I am most confident about analyzing the text. I am a highly logical person, so it is easy for me to rip apart novels and find connecting ideas. I might struggle at first to realize the themes, but once I am set on a theme, I will have no problem finding evidence for it. I am not always sure what symbols mean; I can recognize that certain objects are significant, but I cannot always tell what they symbolize. I am most concerned about relating style to themes because I have never really studied literary styles or been interested in them. I think fiction is unique because you can take it anywhere; you can write about whatever you want and you can completely create your own world within your stories. I especially liked what Bret Anthony Johnston had to say when she discussed fiction: when someone writes about what they know, “[they are] giving preference to the facts of an experience, the so-called literal truth, rather than fiction’s narrative and emotional integrity”. Johnston is claiming that the most important part of fiction is the story, rather than the writer. I think that by writing outside of oneself, one can discover empathy for the subject of their writing. Fiction takes us outside of ourselves and allows us not only to create, but also to understand a world different from our own.

Carver’s story involves four friends (Mel, Nick, Laura, and Terri). Mel and Terri have been married for four years and Nick and Laura have been married for a year and a half. Over gin, the friends discuss the meaning and implications of love. Terri argues that her ex-husband, Ed, loved her despite abusing her and that love looks different to everyone. Mel argues that Ed did not love Terri, and love is never violent. Laura and Nick both try to remain open-minded, saying that they cannot judge a situation that they were not a part of. Mel attempts to describe the sensation of love by saying:

“Physical love, that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other person’s being, his or her essence, as it were. Carnal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day-to-day caring about the other person…the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, you might say, is that if something happened to one of us– excuse me for saying this-but if something happened to one of us tomorrow I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory”.

He identifies three kinds of love 1) physical love: attraction, or the beginning of love (eros), 2) love of a person’s essence: soul love (phileo), and 3) sentimental love: lasting, everyday love for a partner (pragma). Physical love is simple, it is easy to attain and as Mel says, easy to replace if it is lost or fades. Soul love is also replaceable; through connecting deeply with another, one can achieve this. Pragma love—a partnership—is harder to attain as it takes time to build.

I think the author means to say that love is not one thing or another. It is different for everyone, and each individual will perceive love uniquely. There are also different kinds of love and relationships will look different based on the structure of their love.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. -Ann Landers

 

-M

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