Spotlight

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We watched the movie “Spotlight” in class this week. I am going to answer two question from a worksheet I got and sum up briefly what I learned from this film. And also conclude how I liked/disliked it.

6. What is the main conflict and how is it resolved?

The film follows the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team. “Spotlight” is the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States. They start off by investigating a small case of a priest molesting a lot of children. But the investigation is bigger than they thought, there was not only one priest. So the movie’s main conflict is about investigating cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priest. The way this case was resolved was by finding evidence and talking to victims, getting hold of documents that reveal that this has been an issue before, but never taken seriously, because nobody wants to go against the church. But by trying to publicise the findings, people will open their eyes and actually do something about it for a change.

9. Describe a lesson from this movie that viewers can apply to their own lives.

When you are having trouble deciding what position to take on an issue of public concern you have to think and make your own decision. There are so many people out there trying to hide an issue from the public because it will affect them in a bad way. This movie thought me that even though it might make you lose faith in something as strong as religious belief, you should do what is right for the public concern. There can be a lot of good sides in a person, but if that person got a big rotten apple, that rotten apple might hurt people, make them suffer, or even make them suicidal, it’s a big issue. It is better to speak up and share it, it might lead to a better communication between people because people will finally know the truth, remember it and learn right from wrong.

When it comes to deciding what position to take in relation to family and friends it can be very tricky. The only woman in the spotlight team had trouble with her family because her “nana”, was very religious, they stopped having a close bond, but she still went on publishing the story. If I were in a position of stopping people ruining/ killing innocent lives or keeping a close bond with my family I would choose the first one. A family is close, and you love them, but sometimes you can’t take their side if something big is going on and you have a way to stop it. You might ruin the bond forever, but knowing that you did the right thing, should make you feel proud. You can’t always depend on their support all the way through life. That may not be easy, but if your strong your family and friends might understand later in life that you actually made a change for the better.

#Metoo is a campaign that we relate to after watching this movie. The “Me Too” movement spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. It followed soon after the public revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. It started out with one person being accused of like in the movie,  but little did they know that this campaign would help a lot of people coming out about other events. This campaign has probably saved a lot of lives, people lived their lives after a molesting or sexualization that it’s their fault, that people who have more power can just do whatever they like. We have known about this, but kept silenced, because it’s an event that you want to hide because you don’t want to make a scene, you overthink and might end up with thinking it was all your fault. But like in the movie this is a public concern and this can’t keep happening. Me too is helping a lot of women and men talk about uncomfortable situations that they could not help prevent. And the society is opening their eyes and finally speaing openly about this theme. By speaking up people gather together, they share events that they never thought of sharing, speak to other victims and learn that they did nothing wrong, the society did something wrong, and this has now made this campaign a beginning of a new time, where people will be heard and believed. This is actually saving lives, and it’s important for everyone to know about.

What I learned from the movie was that we can make drastic changes by just acknowledging the problem. I really liked this movie because it made me believe that publicity is one of the best resources we have. The news is an important part of our daily lives. If we read the news daily, we will find out what is happening around the world. We can’t live a life without acknowledging that our world is not perfect, but we can make it better by slowly changing it. The movie has a strong meaning behind it, not just for the victims of the church, but for everyone in the world who has been exposed to uncomfortable situations. The movie was great because every viewer can relate in one way or another to a situation similar to this.

 

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Florida shooting – different information

 

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The school shooting at Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida is one of many school shootings that has happened this year, and we are only at the end of February. In class, we have gotten an assignment to choose two articles about this shooting and compare the two in terms of what it reports and focus on, the language – for who is this written, and possible opinions or views shining through.

I have chosen an article from CNN and one from The La Times. CNN focuses on the reveal of Trump’s deepest flaws and on the data we already have to have stronger gun laws. The first article is about Trump’s bad job as a president, and that he lacks compassion for others. “The fact that Trump needed a written reminder to show sensitivity, curiosity, kindness, compassion, courage, and conviction is a pathetic and ultimately unsettling sign that even after a year he can’t quite do his job”, it said in the article. The other one is about the data we already have but don’t use revolving the gun use. Most politicians that support gun use are saying that “we lack data” to oppose the strengthening gun laws. “But there is no lack of data. Our organizations, GVPedia and the Gun Violence Archive, have amassed the relevant research, facts, and data — and it all points to the need for legislative action on gun violence”.

The language used in these articles is pretty easy for the rest of the people to read, it is short and simple to read. The opinions written in these texts are criticising Trump’s work as a president and the most powerful people’s way of brainwashing the people on the safety of gun use.

 

Sources:

CNN article

The LA Times article

 

 

 

Homework for Wednesday Feb 7th.

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I have now read chapter 10 of The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I am now going to comment on the different conflicts which can be seen in the novel.

The first thing I am going to comment on is the conflict between Changez and the American. They are strangers to each other, and there is always suspicious and tension. The American is always alarmed that something will happen, and he has looks of concern and worries while listening to Changez. Changez does not ease the conflict between them either, he always speaks in a way to make the American react. We know that the relationship between Christian and Muslims are not good. So the conflict between Changez and the American might be an example of a conflict between trust.

The second conflict I am going to comment on is the conflict between Changez and the United States (New York). He is working and living in New York at the time, but his background is from Lahore in Pakistan. And so far in the book, he struggles with his identity if he belongs to New York or Lahore. He moved to New York to get an education and a good job for his family’s sake. He went to Princeton and got a good job. But after 9/11 he started to question his loyalty and where he belongs. He is lost in all of his unanswered questions.

The third conflict I am going to comment on is the conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson). Jim applied for this job with high hopes of realizing the American dream. He was getting good and was always praised by Jim. But in this chapter, he lost all focus on work and couldn’t help his team. He was only focusing on Pakistan, his family, and Erica. And one person, Juan-Bautista, who wasn’t pleased for having them there probably saw an opportunity in ruining the work through Changez. He made all the emotions shine through and make him certain that he was in no state to work. Or as it turned out, he sort of quit his job, his assignment and the trust and relationship between him, Jim and Underwood Samson.

The fourth conflict I am going to comment on is the inner conflict between Changez and himself. As we now know in chapter 10, Changez is struggling. He does not know where he belongs, and if Erica even likes him anymore after what he did. He is also struggling with his own identity. He said that he could become Chris for the sake of Erica, but was he too fragile to give his own character a try. You can’t win life by becoming someone you’re not. He is as we now know, lost, trying to figure out what he wants in life. And for realizing what he wants, he’s losing everything he builds. His job, his friends and the love of his life.

The last task I am going to do is commenting on two specific quotes from chapter 10, from a conversation between Juan-Bautista and Changez:

“Have you hear of the Janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”

In the first quote here, Changez is vulnerable and the one person who wants to sabotage his team’s work sees an opportunity in Changez. But by saying these things in front of Changez who is not mentally stable right now was not the right thing. Changez is from Pakistan but moved to New York when he was 18. But he might relate to this story/fact that he tells him. He moved to realize his dreams, but was he to shallow? He might have related to being great and losing loyalty to his own civilization.  And now he wondered who he is going to turn to if a war breaks out?

“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”

In the second quote, he realizes that he is not who he thought he was. And that his loyalty was with the enemy of one the neighboring countries to his hometown, Lahore (Pakistan). I know Changez well enough to know that he thinks he is a traitor. A simply foolish man who didn’t realize that he was being used, tricked and lured to work for America when his family and country needed him the most.

Practise

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We are working with literary devices in class, and in this blog post, I am going to practice. We have task 1-5, and I am going to answer all of them individually.

The first task is the setting: The Reluctant Fundamentalist takes place in a cafe in Lahore in Pakistan. We do not know what year it takes place, but it is definitely after 9/11 because the attack is mentioned early in the book. But the setting so far has taken place in a cafe for only a day. The reason why the author uses this particular setting is probably to make you wonder why he is there when the story takes place in New York.

The second task is the plot: The inciting incident in the book is when 9/11 takes place, we don’t know if the book would have been different if that attack didn’t happen. But we do know that the atmosphere around Muslim men and woman would not have been so weird. Changez might have married Erica and just be the quiet nice man with high hopes of the American dream. The main conflict in the book for me is when Changez is sort of forced to chose where his loyalty is. He wants to choose Pakistan, because of his background, but he also wants to keep his job and live with Erica. But when a war might break out, and he is frustrated on what to do.

The third task is the characterizations and characters: The main personality traits of the protagonist is a flat character but also a round character. He tells us personal stories about himself, but we don’t know what he might not tell because he might leave out some important information. So I came to a conclusion that he is in the middle of both a flat and round person. But what we do know is that he is a dynamic character, because of all the changes he’s going through throughout the book. We also have Erica, I would call her round but also a dynamic person, because of how she is returning to her depression over her dead boyfriend Chris, and we know just a few details about her personal life.  The American is a static and flat person, we know little about him and he has had no change what so ever throughout the book so far. The last person I am going to mention is Jim. Jim is an example of a static and flat person, we know he is helping Changez at work and we know he doesn’t change much. So the characters who actually change are Changez and Erica, because of their negative struggles in life. Changes do not always have to be good, Erica is struggling with her health and Changez is struggling over loyalty now.

The fourth task is the narrative style: The narrative style that’s predominant in this book is first person narration because the story revolves around Changez and Changez is talking about himself in I person. The author achieves personal thought and feeling by using this first-person narration so we understand his feelings and thoughts while reading the book. If the book had a different narrator like the third person objective narration it would not have been the same. We would only know the observer’s observation on what he saw and heard, it wouldn’t be personal anymore.

The fifth task is the theme: The themes of the book I think is love and change versus tradition. The ideas about the themes raise emotions and questions around if change is always good.

 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – chapter 7 and 8

Bilderesultat for the reluctant fundamentalist characters

We have now read chapter 6,7 and 8 and I am going to answer some questions about these chapters. I am first supposed to imagine that I am Changez and write a personal diary entry about the atmosphere in New York after 9/11:

I laughed when almost 3000 people died! I went home to New York, but it wasn’t the same. Everyone was scared or sad because they lost someone they loved. And everyone was shaking. I myself saw all the flags, American flags hanging everywhere, and I could feel and see the security become more strict. I have heard of people, foreign people, beaten almost to death, and for myself, someone has tried to sabotage me for a long time now. I am a little bit angry that America declared war on Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the neighboring country of Pakistan. Should I even be mad? I live here, I am a Princeton graduate and have a good job. But I can’t help but notice that New York has changed after 9/11. The atmosphere of living on top of the world has faded away, but it will come back. This atmosphere is probably just for the time being, weird for me and other foreigners.

Next, I am going to talk about what Erica said about Chris, how Muslims were treated in New York, how Jim said one gain power and what Changez meant when he said: “I was Chris and she was with Chris”.

Erica is still not over Chris you definitely notice in these chapters. She has lack of sleep and has trouble eating. “When Chris died, Erica felt she had lost herself; even now, she said, she did not know if she could be found.” She is becoming sick because he was probably the first and last love she wanted. Erica has a strong clear voice and speaks with emotion when she talks about Chris, he was her home, as she mentioned before. As for the Muslims, they didn’t have it easy after 9/11. “Cabdrivers were being beaten to within an inch of their lives.” They were beaten, the FBI was raided mosques, shops, and even people’s houses. Some men were also disappearing. Changez also felt the change, someone was trying to sabotage his life, because he as well is a Muslim, but he is in a higher rank than the poor Muslims, who did not graduate from Princeton or has a well-paid business job. And according to Jim; “they try to resist change. Power comes from becoming change.” What I understood of what Jim said were that you should become what some people are against. He probably meant that Changez should become more successful so people could not mess with him anymore. I am now trying to figure out what Changez meant when he said ‘I was Chris and she was with Chris.” Erica is still heartbroken from losing her loved one. And Changez told her to imagine him being Chris while having an intimate scene. And he realized under the act that he had turned into Chris just for Erica and that Erica didn’t think of him as Changez anymore. He could not understand why Erica loved him so much that he can’t make love in the same way to him. Changez did something he might regret, but he was selfish and wanted Erica for himself, but understood that he really can’t compete with a dead man.

The last thing I am going to write about is the support that claims that Changez is changing in his loyalty and becoming more patriotic to Pakistan.

In chapter 7 he learns about the attack on the neighboring country of Pakistan, and he felt angry. Afghanistan was Pakistans neighbor, our friend, and a fellow Muslim nation, Changez first thought. And he had to sit down to calm himself. But in chapter 8 he started off by talking about America as living in a film about the second world war, because of the war. He was also encountered in a parking lot, made fun of because they thought he was an Arab and had a few moments of murderous seconds. He was also under suspicion from Jim that he was acting weird. He tried his best to cover up his loyalty as he said in the book. He then thought about the worst scenario he could think of. He even started to worry that his home, Pakistan would be next. He became afraid of his own country, but he tried not to think about that too much. Changez is definitely changing his loyalty and becoming more patriotic. Because his home is as you know, Pakistan. And you know how sick and weak Erica became with her home (Chris) disappearing from her life. Changez does not want to lose his home as well because he knows how that would change his life forever.

 

The Twin Towers Attack

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In class today we saw a documentary on 9/11 and then we read a text from the New York Times the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the city. I’m writing a short summary of this, including my own thoughts and impressions.

First, we saw the documentary, for me, it felt unreal. First, you could see one jet crashing right into one of the towers. But, not soon after another jet crashed into the other twin building. And then one of the twin towers collapsed, everyone ran for their lives. You could see from the tower that was left that people started to jump. It was either die of flames, smoke or jump, either way, they died. Not soon after the other tower collapsed as well. It was really horrifying,  It was like a nightmare in real life. I can not imagine how to act in a situation like that, almost 3000 people died, that is a lot of people.

I also read a text about some eyewitness accounts from a city in shock, this was published the day after the attack. People told how it was to be inside the building, how it was when the buildings collapsed and how they escaped this day by not showing up to work. Everyone was still in shock, of course. “Some Trade Center workers blessed their luck at being late for work. Kathleen Dendy, 50, had gotten her hair cut and so never got to her office at her usual 8:30. She worked on the 99th floor.”, this was one of the lucky ones who escaped the horror because if she went to work that day, she would have been dead. So after reading this text I really felt the pain and the fear that they felt, but I could not relive the experience the ones who actually were there faced. People after the attack must have been in shock for several days and some might have needed some help mentally to be able to get on with their lives.

Source:

Twin Tower, eyewitnesses thoughts

102 minutes that changed America

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Bilderesultat for the reluctant fundamentalist

We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist. And I am now going to comment on certain points about this book.

The impression of the story so far is that it is a little weird. In the beginning, I didn’t understand what was happening. And I still don’t understand all of it, but I am trying to read it more than one time if I don’t understand. What I like about the book is how different it is from other books I have read. The thing I disliked is the author’s way of writing, I still don’t understand who’s talking in the book, like is the American talking now or Changez?

Changez is from Pakistan and is very religious, and the group he is traveling with are very different. They are huge money spenders, talks about beaches and alcohol a lot and disrespect the elders. And the way Erica goes topless at the beach attracts his glaze, and it makes him a little bit uncomfortable. But he didn’t say he didn’t like that because he was attracted to Erica. He was so in love with Erica that he wanted to not describe her as the rest of the group because she actually seemed to understand and talk to him. But, his opinion on them is that they are so different from them that he in a way distance himself from them. “But you told us”, they would say to Greeks twice their age, before insisting things be done their way. He called them Europeans, he made a difference between them.

When Erica asked how Pakistan is like, he said that was many things, from seaside to desert to farmland stretched between rivers and canals. He told her that the valleys were higher than the tops of the Alps. He said that alcohol was illegal for Muslims to buy, so he had a Christian bootlegger who delivered booze to his house.

When Changez said that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability”, the group was shocked. He explained that he was joking. He just tried to enlighten the mood a little with a joke. Changez was just joking with a little bit of self-irony, or he might actually have meant it. He killed the mood because in the text it said that “Erica alone smiled; she seemed to understand my sense of humor”. The rest of the group went silent, but Erica continued and the mood went back to normal because she attracted the attention to herself.

So I have mixed feelings about the book. But I have only read 2 chapters so far, maybe it will get better or I will hate it. We’ll see because I have to read the rest of the book as well.