October 13, 2006
Monika's Quote Commentary on Dora
â€śHe that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his finger-tips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore. And thus the task of making conscious the most hidden recesses of the mind is one which it is quite possible to accomplish.â€? (pg 69)
This quote is part of Freudâ€™s discussion on symptomatic acts (acts which people often do unconsciously, but which are significant expressions of the unconscious) after he notices Dora fiddling with her reticule. In the first sentence the word â€śmortalâ€? emphasizes the fact that in undeliberate exposure of the unconscious is a natural thing, so much so that it is an unavoidable fact of life for all mortals. The word mortal is powerful here because it conveys something all-encompassing and all-inclusive, namely something that needs only the requirement of being mortal to occur. The second sentence derives a lot of meaning from the word â€śchatters.â€? Usually when someone is chattering, he or she is casually talking and not paying much attention to what they are revealing. This helps to describe Freudâ€™s ability to see â€śchatterâ€? when the personâ€™s â€ślips are silent.â€? The word â€śbetrayalâ€? makes the reader think that we are not in control when it comes to hiding our unconscious and can be betrayed by our own selves. The last sentence shows Freudâ€™s confidence in his abilities to unmask these hidden thoughts by acting like a detective and putting together all the small clues and actions which a person shows which consequently serve to betray his or her unconscious thoughts.
October 06, 2006
Monika's Oedipus Quote Commentary
â€śIf I could, I would have walled my ears so they heard nothing,
I would have made this body of mine a wall.
I would have heard nothing, tasted nothing, smelled nothing, seen nothing.
No thought, No feeling. Nothing.
So pain would never reach me anymore.â€? (pg 87, line 1801)
This quote is part of Oedipusâ€™ response to the â€śLeaderâ€™sâ€? questions about why he made himself blind. Repetition plays a very powerful role in this quote. By repeating the phrase â€śI would have,â€? in a set pattern and the word â€śnothing,â€? potent emphasis is given to Oedipusâ€™ misery, internal regret, and unwillingness to witness his actions. Oedipus is telling his audience that he would do anything to escape from the reality that he was forced to create by the gods. The beginning of this verse starts with â€śIf I could, I would have,â€? which tells the reader that he would have done whatever was in his own power to mentally shut out the consequences of his destiny and in a way take back control of it. His quote also conveys a sense of his own powerlessness because by saying â€śIf I could, I would,â€? we understand that there was nothing he wouldnâ€™t have done to regain control. The fact that even at this stage Oedipus would be willing to physically hurt himself in order to get back control of his life shows how determined he is to be the sole writer of his own life story. One question that comes to mind is why Oedipus feels so responsible and guilty for his actions that he feels such enormous and unbearable pain (which he would do anything to escape from) while at the same time knowing that he is not directly responsible for what he did, because if there was any way possible to do things differently he would have.
September 22, 2006
Monika's Commentary on "Murders in the Rue Morgue"
"Our seclusion was perfect. We admitted no visitors. Indeed the locality of our retirement had been carefully kept a secret from my own former associates; and it had been many years since Dupin had ceased to know or be known in Paris. We existed within ourselves alone." (pg 401)
This quote nicely explains the narrator and Dupin's mutual enjoyment of their shared isolation. By using the word "perfect," the narrator conveys that their state of social isolation was something that they had wanted and planned out. The next sentence "We admitted no visitors," reiterates the fact that the state of their seclusion was by choice. As well as creating an image of a restful hideaway, the word "retirement" tells us that their hideaway leaves them a sense of peace and quiet away from the busy world which (perhaps) allows them to engage in their mental analysis of the mysteries occurring around them. Finally, the last sentence suggests (and is proved in the story) that both men enjoyed taking in observations and internally analyzing them.
September 18, 2006
Monika's Quote Commentary
"I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound." Poe, Murders in the Rue Morgue
This quote concentrates on the distinction between ostentatiously complex things and those that are more authentically profound. By making the beginning complex and elaborate sounding and then explaining that he is not writing a treatise (in this way acknowledging his complex language), Poe is further defining the difference betweent that which seems to be profound and that which actually is profound.