Thursday, October 9, 2014

Freeing the Virgin (ESSAY)

I bought and annotated a copy of Welcome to the Monkey house if you want I can bring it in and we can discuss some more or I can take a picture and update this blog with it so you can see I did step one. For step two most of that is just noted in my text but the main topic is the shift in voice from dark humor and satirical to something vile and twisted. My questions are Why does Vonnegut change voice? Why does he switch from dark humor and satire to a complete seperate style? Is Vonnegut's point to create empathy for a rapist? Does he want us to understand the sacrifice emotionally Billy the poet is making through his actions simulatiousy with the sacrifice Nancy makes with her body? Is this right Is this Justified?

Reading this was dark, I chose this story and specifically this part because it entails a great technique that is incredibly difficult. In a mattter of sentences Billy the Poet transforms from a rebel to a rapist. It's shocking, the story is no longer funny, the champange joke no longer matters we are sitting there, stunned that this author would take us somewhere like this. Challenging our reasoning, then he asks us to empathize, to understand the emotional burden of Billy, he has done this countless times, and the woman are all happier for it but the weight of his actions is on him. He doesn't have love, no one has ever chosen to give their body to him. He must take it. His intentions are pure, he's invoking a sexual revolution and in revolution there are casualites but is this the way to do it? Vonnegut creates a character in this story that is filled with depression, regret. And with a duty, a burden often to heavy for him to bear. Yet he believes his actions are justified. Salvation/sexual freedom that can only be obtained through a violation. It's so personal. I was deeply effected by this writting, to go from laughter to something so deep and seedy, to be emotionaly vulnerable and unprepared to feel taken advantage of even by the author. You trust him to continue to make you laugh and instead he drops you from a ten story building. 

This is  pure free writing, I didn't look at my notes writing this so my ideals might be jumbled but I think I've stumbled on something, the idea that not only were the characters taken advantage of but the audience it's self was violated. A trust between author and reader was questioned when we no longer were given something to laugh at and yet were now questioning our own values and morality. This is a truly amazing piece and I'm excited to continues studying and working on it. 

Vonnegut is a true literary genius. 

1 comment:

  1. Kayla,
    These are really great close reading questions! Keep going; I am intrigued to see where this takes you...