Monday, March 31, 2014

Discussion Leader chapter 12-14 book 2

1) In chapter one we learn a lot more about Mary Hepburn, additionally there are some flashbacks involving Mary's past. Who is she, and what is the importance of her character? Additionally why was the author writing about Marys flashbacks, what does it symbolize?

2) Why was Roy looking for ivory-billed woodpeckers? and where was he searching?

3) What does James and Mary's love symbolize? It it realley true love, or do you think there may be a chance James is mentally unstable or confused?

connector- chapters 12-14 book II

On pages 293-295 in this section, Trout talks about the war, and how he had dealt, mentally, with those things. When feeling no remorse, he sought asylum in Sweden.
   This section made me think of how sometimes we hear on the news about how a team of soldiers in another country killed  a large group of innocent people. Trout talks about how he was supposed to keep a secret, that his platoon had killed 59 women, and it made me think about how I've heard (supposedly) about that happening among our army as well.

Passage Discussion: Ch. 12-14

"Do people still know that they are going to die sooner or later? No. Fortunately, in my humble opinion, they have forgotten that?" (Ch. 14)

The idea of not knowing of one's eventual demise is extremely intriguing to me. How different do you think we would live our lives if we were unaware that consciousness would not go on forever? Do you think anything would change? Would we live life more adventurously or humbly? Consider these questions as if nothing else about the human condition is altered: we are the exact same except lacking in the knowledge of our mortality. How would that impact individuals or societies, if at all?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Summary: Chapters 12-14

     In the final chapters of Galapagos, Leon Trout ponders how Mary and Captain von Kleist's relationship might have been rekindled, reveals that that is to become of the story's remaining protagonists and recounts the manner in which he came to Sweden following his service in the Vietnam War.
     In the story's twelfth chapter, Trout discloses the names of the six Kanka-bono women: Sinka, Lor, Lira, Dirno, Nanno and Keel. It is later in this chapter that an aged Mary Hepburn, eighty years old for the sake of minutiae, visits the Captain, who is now afflicted by Alzheimer's disease and whom Akiko has nursed for the last several years.
     Upon Akiko's departure to see to her four year old son, the derailed Captain seizes Mandarax from Mary's old hands and proceeds to chuck it onto the slope of the island's shoal. In Mary's effort to retrieve her prized possession, she and Mandarax are eaten by a great white shark.
     In his months subsequent the Vietnam War, Trout was sent to Bangkok, Thailand for "Rest and Recreation", where he came upon a private physician, a fan of his father's science-fiction, much to Leon's dismay, who urged him to seek treatment for his syphilis in Sweden.

Late: Passage Discussion: Chapters 5-11 (Book Two)

1.     "Mary could make Akiko laugh about the ridiculous love affair, if you could call it that, she had had with a widower named Robert Wojciehowitz..He drove up to her house while she was mowing the lawn. He made her shut off the mower, and then he blurted out a marriage proposal..Mary would describe his car to Akiko, and make Akiko laugh about it.." (Pg. 240, Lines 1-20)

2.     "He said snarlingly, "I am not a man. I am simply not a man. I will of course never bother you again. I will never bother any woman ever again." (Pg. 242, Lines 25-27)

      It was much to my surprise to read of Mary Hepburn's seemingly callous behavior toward her coworker, Robert Wojciehowitz. Mary was likely to have been overwrought after the death of her husband, though her loss does not serve to justify her lack of empathy in her dealings with Mr. Wojciehowitz. I feel that we've an obligation to juxtapose Mary's interactions with Wojciehowitz, a man who was deeply afflicted by her rejection, as is illustrated especially well in the second excerpt, with her compassion for James Wait, or 'Willard Fleming', a nefarious charlatan.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Word Master: chapters 12-14 book 2 (the end)

Guten morgen...Wie geht's es Ihnen: German for "Good morning, how are you?"

mootsubject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.

enumerated: mention (a number of things) one by one

shoal: linear landform completely within or extending into a body of water

lugubriously: looking or sounding sad and dismal