마음껏 책을 읽으며
아낌없이 커피를 마실 수 있는 날이 왔으면.
사실 그런 날들이 얼마전까지 있었다는 건 안 비밀.
마음껏 책을 읽으며
아낌없이 커피를 마실 수 있는 날이 왔으면.
사실 그런 날들이 얼마전까지 있었다는 건 안 비밀.
(Due to the lack of discussion, following article is highly dependent to the “Paradise Lost” written by John Milton.)
Think of an evil character. What does he/she/it reminds you of? Ego? Dark? Is there actually a lucid, absolute way for a man to distinguish good and evil? To give an answer first, yes, there is. The Bible. The absolute, sincere, loving words. Personally, reading through Beowulf and Paradise Lost, I think the concept comes quite accurate and persuasive, though the subject of each pieces has a different tone of elaborating the good and evil.
First off, Beowulf rather shows the method what we nowadays call the ‘black and white‘ method. The good, the ones who ‘seem’ to care for public welfare, OBEY the one and only king. The evil, one who is different, who follows his instincts, perhaps the one with the creativity. It is clear that the concept of this story has exact set of era, but surely, it is applicable to our lives. I would say, that the good and evil here is more of a matter of outer appearance/ social relationships. On the other hand, Paradise Lost shows the definite evil, and proves the reason why evil is distinguished as evil. Evil, the weakness, constantly proves why its being is left weak by saying how ‘pleasantly they avoided serving, left out feels great, and being isolated is a great chance due to the opportunity to make their own community yet they are all left out and in pain from the withdrawal. Its ego is keep arguing how gracious they are to be by themselves, but the tone and diction Milton put for the evils show the fatal pain in them.
Though it is hard to understand what both authors are doing to elaborate the evil, it is clear that mankind always struggle to distinguish between good and evil. Whether it is right or wrong, appears in term of introvert or extrovert, it’s our curiousity what brought us here to crave for justice and the right answer, and to follow Christ. Thus, I would say no man has absolute answer to an absolute answer, we will find our way to live life and keep ourselves close to Christ, the righteous one, if we constantly ask ourselves how to deal with this issue.
Crime and Punishment
“~but at almost the same moment his face suddenly assumed a serious and preoccupied air; it even became as if veiled with sadness, to Raskolnikov’s surprise. “
There are various ways to describe one’s emotion, faces, atmosphere, etc. Out of all those common ways, Dostoevsky uses “assumed,” “air” to show the abrupt change in the atmosphere, rather than saying “Porfiry kept his poker face and had serious tone of accusing.” Moreover, it is quite interesting that he used the word “veiled” to add the dark and gloomy tone within Porfiry’s facial expression. This leads readers to actually picture the scene, than to rush through the descriptions. Furthermore, semicolon smoothly prolongs the description of Porfiry’s change then leads to Raskolnikov’s reaction towards the beginning of the accusation. Personally, I think if I am Raskolnikov, listening to Porfiry with sudden change like this quote, I would freak out. It gives the readers chill of how cleverly Dostoevsky can allude the readers of what Porfiry is doing with his tone and dictions to make Raskolnikov confess his crime and illness.
“~but at the last minute his face abruptly assumed a artistic and enthusiastic air; it even became as if his enthusiasm was burning to the core, to the judges’ surprise. “
It was interesting for me to learn that a single quote could change the whole atmosphere even before the readers read about the reaction towards it. Somehow the way of the description adds the dramatic taste to the scene. I don’t if you have recognized the set of my imitation, but this is a quote describing the scene of the film, “Billy Eliot.” I described the extreme tension at the audition using “enthusiastic” and “burning”.
*Question: Why would this quote be impactful in its dramatic taste comparing to the others? :O
Last summer, I tried ” Brothers Karamazov,” and as a typical, normal, naive high school student, I did not get Dostoevsky’s literal strength at first. I tried hard to finish the novel, but to be honest, I found it very difficult and harsh by its basis of the nature. Nature that brothers Karamazov is sharing has unique perspective of human being, but it was too violent for me to read all-English that summer.
This fall, I started reading the Crime and Punishment, a bulky novel written by the exact same author. (I hoped that the harshness of the nature would be less than the previous try.) At this moment, where I finished the entire novel, I would say the nature of the novel is nothing lighter and purer comparing to the Brothers Karamazov; although the setting by itself contains common crime with 2 female victims. However it is true that the justice and the message that Dostoevsky is trying to share with his readers are lot clear than that of Brothers Karamazov’s. All three parts of the novel follows Raskolnikov, the main character and the murderer, like a camera, hinting social questions and sharing the weakness of the shared justices. Interesting part is that it never argues about one specific kind of justice, but rather gives the readers a choice of their own to survive and be righteous. In my opinion, (though I barely know about his writing style except the Crime and Punishment,) such illustration comes from his background, especially from his late childhood. Dostoevsky had to leave his hometown at his early childhood, along with his siblings. He went straight to the army school, and spent his teenage years there, serving and surviving in such restricting area of Russia. According to his biography, his set of justice could be divided into two parts. After his mother and father’s deaths. Early years of his life, his view was rather towards Christianity, due to his kind mother, who always taught him to sacrifice and give love. Few scholars mention that this is the basis of his Christian characteristic in his novels. After his mother died with severe disease, Dostoevsky and his brothers had to move in to the army school, leaving his father’s hands. Though Dostoevsky found himself misfit in the school society, he kept his early idea of justice, and kept on developing his literature lessons. Years passed by, he received the news that his father got murdered by his beloved servants for his injustice. For Dostoevsky, such news was more than to be furious, questioning the justness of the justice he believed and kept sincerely. Moreover, this event is known as the impression of Dostoevsky to change his justice and the mean of crime, where in farther future, that he used greatly in his novels, especially in Crime and Punishment. Thus, it seems that more than other authors, Dostoevsky himself greatly applied his own life experiences to observe human being and its justices. For me, he is the first author to actually not argue one specific justice/idea, but rather to observe and suggest various/double edged characteristics of humans, the righteous and the evils.
Talking of his writing method, all the backgrounds, characters, settings, events, and even the quoting are tightly set too. For example:
[“Beat me? How can you! Beat me-Lord! and even if she did beat me, what of it! Well, what of it! You know nothing, nothing…. She’s so unhappy; ah, how unhappy she is! And sick… She wants justice…She’s pure. She believes so much that there should be justice in everything, and she demands it… ….”
Regardless to what Sonja does for her livings, she is the character who is neat and calm about mostly everything. However, this quote shows her character bursting out for the first time, towards Rodya’s insult of her step mother. Although the readers all know that Katrina Ivanovna beats her regularly, Sonja is trying to defend her, and is reasoning with Katrina’s issue and personality. But because she is so angry and nervous, Dostoevsky intentionally put exclamation points, various ands, and ‘…’to express her emotion towards Rodya’s insult. These devices automatically put the readers in her shoes, and lead the readers to how Sonja is trying hard to love her and to protect her. Thus, the use of ” -Lord!” or “Ah,” from the first half not only show her offended feelings directly in her character, (especially of her religious character,) but also give real and humane tone of her voice.] Overall, it is not so hard to find his genius tricks like that throughout the novel. As a writer myself, I know how hard is to control over the right timings and right incidents of any events. Such arrangement shows how he thoroughly went over his writings.
Nonetheless, why is it so hard to understand his justices and ideal society in the novel? Shouldn’t it be easier for one to understand if it was studied and explained thoroughly? My answer would be that it is because we are trained too frequently to find one specific lucid answer from each novel. Especially the readers whose first language is not English, have that desire to analyze whole connotation and to receive one definite answer. Well, is that right? Maybe what Dostoevsky wanted suggest to his readers is to stop looking for one right justice, but to actually find the righteous point of each belief and to keep it with steadfast attitude.
Crime and Punishment
“Nearly dead to begin with, but in a faint, breathless, pale, Katrina Ivanovna jumped up from the bed (on which she had fallen in exhaustion) and rushed at Amalia Ivanovna. But the struggle was too unequal; she was pushed away like a feather.”
Until this chapter, when it comes to the character Katrina Ivanovna, the details of her personality, her backgrounds, her emotions were either indirect or very vague. Throughout the chapter where she leads the ceremonial carnival, and especially throughout this specific quote, the readers could observe her anxiety of the social position, clothing, reputation, etc. Personally, this quote is a brilliant one line that could explain her condition, as well as her anger towards the landlady. Dostoevsky uses dictions such as “nearly-dead”, “faint”, “pale”, “breathless” to describe the weak, ghastly standing lady. The readers could picture it enough of picture where the sick lady is reaching to another lady with anger. On the other hand, Dostoevsky implants little attention in the second half of the quote, describing her failure, using “feather” as a metaphor. Rather than “But the landlady pushed back, and Katrina fell.”, “feather” depicts detailed picture for the readers.
“Almost crawling on the ground to begin with, but in a slow, breathless, yet enthusiastic, the championship ball flew towards the fence (on which everyone at the field waiting beside) and ran over the fence. But the whole vision was too crowded; the ball vanished like a magic, with hundreds of hands waving to get it.”
I tried to capture the moment where everyone at the stadium is staring the last ball at the last round of the championship. Seems dramatic, because the ball seemed end up on the ground but is making it through the fence, scoring for the team. Then, the sight of the ball is lost in the mingles arms and hands to grab ‘the ball.’ All of this happens in the slow tempo to the quick tempo.
Crime and Punishment
“Beat me? How can you! Beat me-Lord! and even if she did beat me, what of it! Well, what of it! You know nothing, nothing…. She’s so unhappy; ah, how unhappy she is! And sick… She wants justice…She’s pure. She believes so much that there should be justice in everything, and she demands it… ….”
Regardless to what Sonja does for her livings, she is the character who is neat and calm about mostly everything. However, this quote shows her character bursting out for the first time, towards Rodya’s insult of her step mother. Although the readers all know that Katrina Ivanovna beats her regularly, Sonja is trying to defend her, and is reasoning with Katrina’s issue and personality. But because she is so angry and nervous, Dostoevsky intentionally put exclamation points, various ands, and ‘…’to express her emotion towards Rodya’s insult. These devices automatically put the readers in her shoes, and lead the readers to how Sonja is trying hard to love her and to protect her. Thus, the use of ” -Lord!” or “Ah,” from the first half not only show her offended feelings directly in her character, (especially of her religious character,) but also give real and humane tone of her voice.
“Die for the chocolate? How can you! Die for-Goodness! and even if she could die for it, what of it! Well, what of it! Boys know nothing, nothing… She’s so stressed; ah, how stressed she is! And starving… She wants satisfaction….She loves chocolate. She loves so much that there should be chocolate in everything, and she demands it…”
I tried to capture the moment where a girl defends another girl of the fact -the fact that every girl would want to deny it but possibly true- that girls could die for chocolate. Moreover, I intentionally used the word “Boys” to implant the angry tone when the opposite gender is stating with the stereotype, but without an effort trying to understand. Also, I used “hungry” and “satisfaction” to provide the just reasons for chocolate.