Act 6 Literature Blows My Mind


In the novel “Visiting time” the main charter, Luke Slater. Luke tries to be a good man, goes to church, takes care of his wife and has a proper job. However, flashbacks in the middle of the story tells how he witnessed how his own son got murdered. He couldn’t foresee it or stop it happening, but a part of him probably blames him for it. Now, motivated by his anger, he plans to kill the murderer when he meets him in the prison. He has very carefully how he does it and every second until he meets the murderer he thinks about doing it. But when Luke finally meets him, something in his head snaps and he doesn’t do anything that he has planned. They meet and the murderer tells how he regrets what he did and Luke listens to him.

What Luke planned to do wasn’t wise or legal, but her feelings told him that he would had to do it. But even deeper feeling told him not to do it because a revenge is never an answer. When he met the murderer his deeper feelings took over and he didn’t kill the murderer. Eventually, when meeting was almost over, he realised that the psychological scars left in the murderers mind are much deeper than anything physical injuries he could do to him. I think he did the right thing, and he got even more revenge this way than he could have got by killing him. He wouldn’t have been any better person than the murderer either.

A Cask of Amontillado is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in 1846, and it’s one of Poe’s many stories where a character is buried alive.

A Cask of Amontillado is told from the perspective of the murderer. Prior to the story beginning he has been insulted by his ‘friend’ Fortunato, and he decides to take revenge by luring him to a catacomb and then leaving him there to die after he has laid bricks in the way of the entrance.

It would seem that the narrator of the story, Montresor, is insane. He doesn’t seem to have a very clear motive for his crime apart from being insulted, and in the end he does not seem to regret his deed at all.

Poe’s writing is exquisite but not necessarily easy-to-understand. It might take a reread or two to get to the heart of this story – when I first read it back in primary school I had no idea what had just happened, and back then I read it in Finnish!  Poe weaves a sense of terror masterfully, alternating between descriptive text and dialogue. He uses some now-uncommon words and his 19th century writing style is interesting. The story truly draws you in, and you’ll probably be thinking it when you go to sleep the next night.

Image: Harry Clarke’s Illustration for the short story, visited 29.5.2011

Happy Endings. Or Are They?

Never have I read a short story quite like Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood. It was a very different and unique story. Atwood tells several tales of different types of relationships; the beautiful, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. In “Happy Endings”, the reader can basically create the story they like, although the ending will always remain the same.

Atwood described “A” as the perfect love, “B” is John using Mary for his own selfish pleasure and ego gratification. Whether it be John is an abusive jerk or John is a married middle-aged loser having an affair with the young and fickle Mary.

It seems to suggest that ultimately, there are no happy endings. Eventually, John and Mary will die. That is the true ending.

A man goes to a fishing trip with his pals in a short story called “So Much Water So Close To Home” by Raymond Carver. They find a dead body by the river as they hike. They decide to do nothing, not yet as they’re in the middle of nowhere. They just get the girl off from the water. The men don’t seem afraid at all, they just drink whiskey, eat good food and go fish. Isn’t it disturbing when you know there’s a corpse nearby and you just have fun? play some cards?

After the trip as they go home and call the police they get suspected, and I don’t wonder at all! They’ve waited some three days until they call the police about a dead girl?! The main character, a man called Stuart gets home and right away his wife starts to doubt if he’s connected with the murder. They act as man and wife do but they’re silent. Don’t say what they think. Stuart seems like an empty person, like he doesn’t feel much about anything. And his wife she also seems like she’s near of a nervous collapse, like she’s afraid of everything. She goes to the girl’s funeral despite she doesn’t know the victim. And only now she gets to know that the killer has been caught. An old lady tells her. And I think the wife still doesn’t believe. The story leaves the reader an open ending…

Who really did it? Is the wife never going to believe her spouse? What is going to happen on their lives?

The picture from:

http://www.google.fi/imgres?imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_Vr7-6oypGc/TcazL7TOlhI/AAAAAAAAAHU/WtRpyPzvMEY/s1600/water-footprint.jpg&imgrefurl=http://liltsu-liltsu.blogspot.com/2011/05/picturetime.html&usg=__iQbTOHFTJkg1EL7RiO0QIRxAxCI=&h=294&w=468&sz=12&hl=fi&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=ZfAhyNdfvCguTM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=215&ei=ESXiTerkMJCr-QbvqLGEBw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwater%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dfi%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dcom.ubuntu:en-US:official%26biw%3D1600%26bih%3D978%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=142&vpy=112&dur=650&hovh=135&hovw=215&tx=181&ty=118&page=1&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&biw=1600&bih=978  (May 29th, 2011)

Short story from:

http://www.nyx.net/~kbanker/chautauqua/carver.htm (May 29th, 2011)

Horror may not be the best genre for Stephen King’s short story called “Graveyard Shift” (1970). I don’t think you can say a short story which has horror only in 2 paragraphs out of 14 a horror story.

Even this picture is more horrifying than this story.

The story tells about man called Hall who works at Gates Falls, Maine as a picker-machine operator. In the beginning the story doesn’t tell exactly what is the place where he’s working and it also has a poor description of the workplace. The first image of the work place I got was that it was some kind of mine underground. But later I found out that it is some kind of old mill and it has several storeys and basements. The beginning of the story is little bit confusing. I don’t know was it the language or what but for me it was sometimes hard to follow-up the story line. The language is some kind of slang so that made it harder to understand. the text has also plenty of spelling mistakes. I think the writer didn’t use proofread option in his computer.

The story begins from the third floor and towards the end workers end up into sub-sub-basement, the basement which lays under so-called sub-basement. Most of the workers are on holiday so the boss ordered some of the men to clean up the basement while the holiday. The first sub-basement has disgusting odour and there are thousands of rats down there. Some of them are enormous compared to “normal” rats we see in our garages which brings some horror to this story. Hall discovers a trapdoor to basement under the sub-basement. Nobody knew it was there. The “bravest” men, Hall, Wiconsky and Warwick, enter into the lowest basement. There are even bigger rats and bats there which guarantee that those three men will end up dead in no time. The most of the horror of this story is in that part where three men are attacked by even bigger rats and a few… Bats? I have no clue can you call them bats because they have a body and a tail of a rat but the wings of bat. In the very end the rest of the men are also walking to their death entering the sub-basement’s basement. The writer doesn’t want to tell us what happens to rest of the men but ends the story just when they’re entering the basement. this adds some more horror to this horror-poor story.

All in all this story is a poor attempt to create a horror story. I won’t recommend it to anybody. Better luck next time!

So cute but so deadly

Story: <http://englishitis.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/graveyard_shift_stephen_king.pdf>

Pictures:

<http://ficdn.fashionindie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/rat.jpg>

<http://roberthood.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/red-eye-home-planet.jpg>

The Colourful Life of Calum McCall (2007) is shortly written story about man’s entire life. I’m not hundred percent sure but I think the idea of the story is that when this Calum was young boy his life was colorless. He tried to find out the reason, but his parents and teacher didn’t attend to his thoughts at all. Finally the “grey” life changed to colorful when he first time fell in love.

Years later he married and had his first child. One day his son saw something in the sky, pointed it with his little finger but Calum couldn’t see anything. He decidet not to do the same mistake his parents did, so he did everything to find out what his son saw in the sky.

I have never red this kind of story in English so it was hard to understand and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the whole meaning of the story. But it was interesting to read something different this time.

Story: http://englishitis.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/calum_text.pdf

Picture: http://media02.hongkiat.com/colorfulwp/Rainbow_Ocean__by_Thelma1.jpg

Edgar Allan Poe‘s The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story published in 1843. It tells the story of an unnamed character who insists on his sanity after taking the life of an old man with a blind eye. The story builds an intense atmosphere as the reader follows the main character’s plotting and planning of the murder until the moment of action.

Everything starts as the main character begins to feel disturbed by the old man’s blind eye, which he refers to as the “vulture eye”. He can’t escape from it, since the two of them live in the same household. Not much is told by the relationship of the two characters. The old man feels like a father figure to the main character, which confuses even the main character himself about why he has his murderous feelings. The eye gradually becomes an obsession to him.

Despite the fact that the main character acts as the narrator of the story, the reader doesn’t really feel empathy towards him. Well, I didn’t anyway. The way he carefully plans the murder makes you think that he’s someone intelligent and precise. He makes sure no one would ever find out about his terrible deed and he acts normal even after the incident. He becomes very cunning, deceiving and cruel in his insanity. It’s very ironic how the main character’s guilt, the one thing he never really showed during the beginning of the story, became his end.

Sources:

http://www.literature.org/authors/poe-edgar-allan/tell-tale-heart.html

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