Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To Wander

A point was made in class yesterday that “heightened reality in fact says something about reality”. I agree with Doug’s point that Hernandez uses a unique style that, when examined closely, acts as a signifier of human nature: the tendency to jump from one thought to another, to speak in response rather than always in a complete thought—the disjointedness of our communication with one another is so easy for us to understand, and yet presents itself as muddled and confusing in this medium at first glance.

When I thought more about the idea and the fact that I could do it, but not understand it, it reminded me of how my mom and I talk to each other when we really get going. I spent last semester abroad, and this past summer at the shore, and then this semester back at Loyola…so as a result the time I do spend at home is all the more important. I walk in the door, and take a seat at the kitchen table after hugging my mom and dad, and we start filling each other in on what we have missed. I respond to what my mom says; as I think of something else, and start another topic, she remembers a different story she has to tell me. As we attempt to make up for lost time, we jump around from topic to topic. When my dad or younger sister, Lizzy, enters the conversation, they have no idea what could have prompted us to talk about what we’re discusses. And yet, we precede for hours as if it’s logical that we touched each subject.

McCloud notes that the Western idea is to start with a goal…to converse with an end in mind, to have a start and finish. The Eastern trend, contrastingly, wanders—which is what the Manga style demonstrates; it illustrates the style that my mom and I talk in. A lot of what we have read this semester follows that trend—whoever introduces a topic leaves it open to discussion. The style of the authors, as well as the presenters in our class, has left open-ended questions that are meant for us to explore about what we are reading. This last work by Hernandez is the epitome of the idea of the class--we have to work through what we are reading to identify the signifiers and signified that we are presented with. The story illogically, at times, (during the train scene, or when Temper’s wedding is referenced) depicts events that are explained later. It is not the details of how the climax was reached, but rather the relationships (Amy and Temper, the people of Heaven and the sisters that were separated) along the way that solidify the meaning of the story. It exemplifies the pattern of reality, and its unpredictability—and yet, when the details are revealed, still leave the reader in question. As Anzaldua points out, the creative have the responsibility to communicate their ideas, and as students, we have a responsibility to examine this points and explore what they signify.

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