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Lecture 8

ENGL 2103 Lecture 8: Crackpot (Pt. 2)

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Carleton University
ENGL 2103
Henderson Jennifer

Crackpot by Adele Wiseman (Pt. 2) Hoda’s Maturation: The dominant society is about the denial of the body, racism, imperialism: what would it mean to be reconciled to this society? Pg 338-9 Gothic: Monstrous and preverse The first lines of the novel focus no the physical deformity o the parents: hunchback, blind, obese What is society’s response to physical otherness? Similar to Frankenstein: even the child already has a word of judgement Irony: There is not irony in Frankenstein but there is in Crackpot Irony: discrepancy between what Hoda can see or understand and what we can understand as a reader The reader and the narrator are a few steps ahead of Hoda: can make it humorous or sad How Hoda matures is that she pretends not to understand social conventions in order to say what she wants: becomes a figure who exposes social hypocrisy by pretending Hoda’s Obesity: Weisman resists the idea of the individual transcending his body: Hoda is comfortable in her body Idea in society of a bound self Crackpot: title suggests that she is open to others, in her work and with their feelings. She is able to leap into the consciousness of another being Pg 103, 42: “gro…” an attribute given to Hoda’s physical appearance Pg 42: teacher holds up a square they knit that Hoda does wrong Pg 40: “holding away of the self” Grotez (art term): that which is characterizes by distortions, disturbing oddness (gargoyles) Radicalization of Hoda’s family to support the disgust about them Bildungsroman and Judaism: Diaspora - a dispersed people: people that don’t have a specific territory, not rooted in any territory People are bound by tradition and ritual: storytelling, religious rituals Because her family is diasporic they have to remember who they are through storytelling: Pattern of shattering and reintegration: the marriage story, when Hoda opens as she has a baby, at the end of when she has sex with Morgan (1st time getting paid) Translate a Hebrew myth into English Epigraph: Ties us into the Kabbalistic myth of creation Spiritual and epistemological context for events in the novel Will we see a moment in the novel where fragmentation is overcome? Where the pieces are put back together? Diaspora and the Family Story: Hoda tries to bring up the story in “English school” Offers the story of how her family knows the world: sees it as a gift It is rejected and deemed inappropriate Terms of Narrative: 143: storytelling exercise Direct discourse: when a character’s speech is presented directly in quotation marks Indirect discourse: when the narrator presents the words the character is speaking Comment: narrator comments on the events or how the character feels Representation of consciousness: narration attempts to represent the consciousness of the character R of C can be broken down into 3 forms Interior monologue: not filtered by a narrator, a character’s thoughts voiced directly but not spoken out loud Psychonarration: the narrator is in the foreground, the narrator provides observations about a character’s psychological state that belongs to a language that can’t belong to the character Free indirect discourse: between interior monologue and psychonarration, it is hard to say whether it is the narrator or the character that is speaking (suitable to a novel that is about a cracked consciousness). Feeling of an interior monologue (style matches with the character) but it’s not in first person - feeling of merged consciousnesses Pg 111-112: Hoda is in a barter arrangement with a butcher, she gives him a hand job in exchange for meat scraps “future miracles and future everyday things”: suffering is a gift or moment of renewal. Honda tries to translate her father’s way of seeing things to an everyday basis Effect of movement between narrator and Hoda: produces irony, an unevenness between what we see is going on and what Hoda sees or understands is going on The pronoun “it” is used repeatedly: representation of the Hoda’s consciousness, the lack of a name for a thing or event since Hoda doesn’t understand it “sweethearts”: Hoda’s fairytale language Social Hypocrisy: We don’t want Hoda to be the recipient of anyone’s charity This makes us go along with her rational that her sexual acts are a trade or a gift W
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