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ENG215 Notes - The Resurrection Plant.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Sarah Caskey

Prathayini Paramanathan ENG215 Notes The Resurrection Plant: -author allows us to look at issues in a different way -story is set in the cold war era -it captures male hierarchy where the strength of males is a privilege (gym class), which is parallel to Will's world in Traplines -p 459 "Dad struck oil...": the setting displays a sort of isolation; the colors are “colorless” colors… they’re not bright like those from Nova Scotia (greens and blues) -Colin moves from one place to another; he feels exiled in the new place -he sees the new landscape differently, as it’s unfamiliar to him; it might be totally comforting to a nativeAlbertonian, but Colin perceives it differently -his mom approaches the transition by immersing herself in elements that are familiar to her such as listening to her record collection and looking through her hat collection -she also feels exiled like Colin, but she goes through her familiarities (things that are meaningful and personal to her) to adapt -Colin wants to find his place in an inhospitable env at the local hs where male hierarchies define indis within his peer groups -this challenge also relates to his desires to be Jewish despite anti-Semitism by his locker mate -his desire to find his roots in an inhospitable env is a metaphor -how does the author set up male dynamics and hierarchies? -p 417 "Scott Miller was not a Zionist, but he read...": indis are labeled according to how they look physically, their presence or lack of athleticness, their sickness such as asthma, and their family backgrounds and families -harsh, cruel names are used amongst Colin’s peer group -there is opposition bw the way the gym teacher conducts his class and the way sci teacher conducts his class; different dynamics -p 419 "Get off the mat. Whistles...": the class is devoted to physical strength; matches happen bw the strong and the weak; there are winners and losers -p 419 “Who backed up the losers?”: the gym teacher enjoys physical strength, and questions who backed up the losers; it’s considered an offense to lose and to back up the loser; the gym teacher likes to divide the boys as winners and losers -his name is Mr. Hardright, which associates extremism; his green track suit and moustache are connotations to Hitler’s look, and portrays him as militant -in contrast, the science teacher, Mr. Duke, proceeds the class by questioning, experimenting, and exploring the topic -Tedd is marginalized in science class; he dn fit into this dynamics where as Colin and his friends dn fit into the dynamics of gym class -this is an example of body vs mind, physical strength vs intellectual knowledge -Tedd has weights in his locker; he’s associated with physical strength -Colin and his friends make references to reading; they’re associated with intellectual knowledge -the long shadow of the Holocaust falls onto this story, and goes into the aggression amongst the boys; Tedd feels aggressive towards Colin and his friends -after WWII, Colin’s mother leaves Germany to put the horror of Nazism behind her Prathayini Paramanathan - p 416 "After Hitler was gone...": Colin is struggling with his mother’s past as a survivor of the Holocaust, her Jewish identity, and his identity (of how he conceives himself and his Jewish heritage) -his parents converted to Christianity to avoid persecution during WWII -Colin wants to make claims on his Jewish identity despite not having a Jewish father nor being raised as a Jewish -p 418 "I could be a Zionist you know...", p 420 "What’s this about you being kind of Jewish?" -p 421 “‘I want to be Jewish,’I said finally…": what do you make of Colin’s mother’s response? she brushes it off as a childish thing -“To be warm is so not complicated”: to become a Jewish is a complicated process -she dn engage with Colin in a bigger dialogue about what he said -it’s up to Colin to try to figure out his identity -the story is interesting, as Colin is puzzled and looks into the complexity of his identity, and Tedd claims his heritage and looks into it too (he hangs a Nazi flag in his locker) -p 415 “My locker partner was Ted”: the author adds complication for Tedd’s defense in hanging up the flag; it was to express his familial heritage, as it was his grandpa’s flag -there is tension bw the two boys, as the explore their heritage -the way the story examines WWII reminds us of the resurrection plant where, which grows only in hospital envs; what distinguishes the plant is where it lives and how it copes with the env -it is found in Texas in desserts; most plants would flourish in such envs, but this plant thrives -it absorbs water and grows rapidly; but, when the soil is try, it goes into a state of dormancy, as it cannot hold water -its functions are reduced and the plant appears to be dead; it can remain in this state for years -it can unfold through rehydration; thus, it has the ability to return from the dead -the plant symbolizes
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