Monday, April 14, 2008

Adult Female Sexual Organs

Adult Female Sexual Organs by Wangechi Mutu is an interesting collage which addresses the female body, appearance and a female’s overall role in society. When first glancing at this collage the large red lips stick out and seem to be artificial. The woman’s actual face is natural and is looking ahead, but her lips seem to not only be artificial but seem to be holding her or blocking her from reality. Also, lips are essentially the part of our body which allows us to form words and speak. The artificial lips may suggest that she is unable to speak or find truth in her life. The lips are a deep red which looks like the women has put lipstick on. These lips seem as though they were done by plastic surgery and this woman only did this to conform to society and feel “beautiful”. Other than her eyes the rest of her face seems to be covered in duck tape. This also suggests that she has had other surgery in order to fit in with society. The woman’s eyes seem to be sad and she seems to be lost. Also, there is a magazine clipping of a Caucasian model and she seems care free and happy. The face of the African woman and the model are completely opposite. This suggests that women in Africa or on other eastern countries are influenced by western countries and the images of society. In America the ideal women is thin and she is composed of perfect body parts. Women all over the world see those images in these magazines and in the media and want to become them. There is something missing from these women’s lives and therefore they feel pressured from media and society and try to change themselves. This woman’s whole head, except for her eyes are covered with duck tape and than peeking through is a “beautiful” model or rather what society deems as acceptable beauty. The fact that the woman’s eyes are not covered suggests that she knows that this is not the correct way to feel beautiful. She sees the truth but society and media, represented by the large lips are preventing her from speaking. Another small detail which caught my attention is the paper in which the collage was made on. The paper is ripped in some places and looks old. This suggests that women who are facing poverty or who are lower middle class try to find comfort in transforming their bodies and making themselves the “perfect” female. There is also a white spot on the woman’s face or rather on the duck tape. The color white is often associated with purity, virtue and virginity. The fact that there is very little white on the woman’ s face may suggest that she is giving into society’s standard and is no longer virtuous. Also, this may suggest that this woman is caught between being the pure virginal woman or the sexually attractive woman. It also appears that there were traces of other white spots but they disappeared into the duck tape. The woman’s head is also huge and is almost cartoon like. This may reveal that this woman’s natural characteristics or shape is rather large and therefore not acceptable in society and therefore she must get surgery.

Another interesting part of the collage is the title: Adult Female Sex Organs. In the collage there are no visible sex organs except perhaps at the bottom of the women’s neck there is, what looks like an organ sticking out. The rest of it is covered by the duck tape. This is interesting because female sex organs other than used for pleasure and used to procreate and bring children into this world. The fact that this women’s “sexual organs” or sexuality is covered by duck tape, which represents society, suggests that women’s sexuality is suppressed in society and they are never allowed to truly express themselves. They are stuck trying to hide or cover their sexuality and instead are transforming themselves into the “ideal” women. Sex and beauty are two things which are beautiful and pure, but society has changed this for women and gives a false perception of sex and the purpose that it serves for females.
The color scheme in this collage seems to be rather dark. The only images which are bright and cheery is the model and the artificial lips. This suggests that the only things which bring this women or women in general, joy is being “beautiful” according to society’s standards. The part of the female sexual organ which is visible is in black and white and ahs no color. Also the woman in the collage looks as if she is of African decent. She appears to have beautiful dark skin which is covered by duck tape. This suggests that women’s pleasure from sex is not accepted in society and there is no reason for it to have any color. Women are expected to be beautiful and pure yet there sexuality must be hidden because they must be virtuous. Also, there is a blue sky in the article clipping but it is covered by the duck tape. This suggests that the sky which is naturally pure is blocked from this woman’s world. The sky holds the sun, moon and stars and give of natural light. This woman is not able to have this natural beauty and truth due to society and the standards that they have set.

Overall this woman seems to feel sad and unhappy with the changes that she is making. She does not have a voice and her sexuality is obviously lost somewhere. She is looking ahead perhaps to fins the truth which she has been stripped of. This collage suggests that female sexuality has been suppressed and this has caused women to be confused with their identity. Women are faced with this dichotomy, sexual whore or pure virgin. There is no room for women to be sexual and respected in society. Women need these artificial lips and perfected body parts to be seen as beautiful sexual objects, which causes their true “sexual organs” and identity to be lost and unnoticed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Joyce: Journal Entry

“Art thou pale for weariness of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, wandering companionless among the stars that have a different birth and ever changing eyes that finds no object worth constancy”.

This poem is the one that Stephen alludes to more than once throughout the novel. This poem reveals that Stephen is loosing his innocence. He has gazed down on the Earth and realizes that the world is harsh and tragic and sometimes lonely. Stephen has lost his innocence and realizes that like the moon he is forever changing and always loving different things and is not always constant with his feelings and emotions. Also, the moon represents that maternal figure that Stephen is longing for and needs in his life. This poem s allowing him as an artist to avoid his maternal threats and forget about his sorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2008

On Demand Writing: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Mariam is an amazing character and hoes through many changes throughout the book. In the beginning of the book, when she was younger Mariam saw herself, “reflected in the brown of Jalil’s eyes,…her face blazing with excitement, the sky behind her”(20). Mariam loved her father even though he left her as a harmai. Eventually Mariam’s mother commits suicide and Jalil marries her off to Rasheed. After she gets married the “bus pulled away” and “she did not look back to see him receding, to see him disappear in the cloud of exhaust and dust”(51). Now, Mariam is disgusted with Jalil and realizes that he is a dishonest person. After her poor marriage Mariam grows hatred for Rasheed and remembers “how women like us suffer, how quietly we endure all that falls upon us”(82). She realizes that Rasheed is making her suffer and she does not deserve it. Once Rasheed marries Laila, Mariam becomes jealous and upset with her, but eventually they from a bond. Mariam bonds with Laila’s baby and after sometime they would look at each other and “in this fleeting wordless exchange…know that they were no longer enemies”. They are now like sisters and Mariam has someone to love her. One day Mariam is holding Aziza and “her eyes watered. Her heart took flight. And she marveled at how, after all these years of rattling loose, she had found in this little creature the first true connection in her life of false, failed connections”(226). Mariam has never truly been loved and she finds truth in Laila’s baby. Hosseini writes that “two sprouted new flowers sprouted in her life”, revealing that Laila and Aziza are two beautiful people that she will grow relationships with.
Later on in the story Laila and Mariam try to escape but get caught and this leads Rahseed to be more strict than usual and causes him to attack Laila and try to kill her. Mariam will not have this and she kills Rasheed. This “was the first time that she was deciding the course of her own life. And, with that, Mariam brought down the shovel. This time she gave it everything she had” (30). This is a major turning pint in Mariam's life. She kills her husband for the only two people who have ever loved her. She realizes that she can’t let people control her and she must stand up for herself. Mariam is than jailed for her actions and as her mother said, “a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman” (323). Mariam, while in jail looks out at “children playing a blindfolded game”, revealing that there is truth in their game. They were singing a rhyme which Mariam remembers form childhood with Jalil, “Lili birdbath sitting on a dirt path, minnow sat on the rim and drank, slipped and in the water sank”(366). In this passage it seems that Mariam realizes that she was that bird who wanted the drink of “water” or love in her life but she always “sank” or never had these things. Now she realizes before facing death that she will be free, as a bird is, of all her worries and that she has experienced love. She entered the world as a “weed” and “yet she was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian., a mother. A person of consequence at last”(329).
Before her execution Mariam realizes these things and although she struggled through life, in the end God guided her and after reciting the last words of the Koran a man tells her to kneel down and to look down. And for “one lat time, Mariam did as she was told”(329)., suggesting that death will bring Mariam to a better place where she will continue to be loved.