Sunday, January 24, 2010

Joaquin Murieta

Joaquin Murieta is a courageous outlaw who hides his true identity behind a mask of violence and revenge. He began his adult life by moving from Sonora Mexico to California in pursuit of an ambition fired by a preconceived judgment upon America and it’s citizens. He set out from his home country with his faithful wife to make his fortune as a miner. A series of unfortunate events involving much prejudice from American men towards Joaquin, lead him to abandon his noble attempt to make an honest fortune and turn towards a life of robbery and murder. His true identity never failed to reveal itself, however, in many small, but obvious ways. While his courageous and ruff actions earned him the respect and faithful obedience of his comrades, the love he shows for his wife remained unwavering and the purpose behind his questionable behavior always continued to be the main focus of his excursions. Joaquin desired revenge for the many wrongs that were done to him and his wife. He also desired to build the fortune that he would have gained from his hard labors, had they been permitted. His plan, once he reaped his revenge, was to settle back in Sonora and live out the rest of his days in peace with his wife. Joaquin’s feeble attempt to avoid unwanted violence portrayed to me, not weakness, but rather that he truly desired only his rightful revenge. Many statements that Joaquin made referenced the fact that he did not enjoy murdering the innocent, but it was often necessary in order to protect himself and his gang and a requirement to fulfill his goals. Joaquin claims on page 50 that he is “driven to [his actions] by oppression and wrongs.” I take this analysis one step further to Three-Fingered Jack who’s foul, villainous character seems to be a foil to Joaquin’s noble personage. I was interested in why Joaquin permitted such behavior in his band of followers. It seemed that such a man would seem appalling to Joaquin, yet he allows Jack’s actions with only a small tug on the reigns every now and again. I realized that this atrocious man is a very convenient tool for the leader of a large group of bandits. Having a man that kills without a conscience spreads fear not only among those outside his gang but within it as well. Everyone that works for Joaquin understands Three-Fingered Jack’s devotion to his leader and therefore realizes the foolishness of even contemplating rebelling against his beloved chief. I am sure that Joaquin also recognizes the benefit of utilizing Jack’s affinity for killing towards his own means of revenge. Joaquin can kill less personally while gaining fear and respect at the same time. Through my analysis of Joaquin Murieta I have found him to be a spectacularly able leader and a man of great and noble character. I believe him to be wise and courageous in all of his endeavors as well as brilliantly lighthearted and witty when it comes to life and his occasional misadventures.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Blithedale Romance

I found Miles Coverdale to be the most intriguing character within The Blithedale Romance. That is not to say that I liked his character, on the contrary, I believe Mr. Coverdale to be perhaps the most unreliable narrator in history. He is given the lead role within this book and one would think that with that role would come a certain responsibility to accurately and consistently portray the happenings of the tale. I found it infuriating that Miles Coverdale was so absorbed in his own world that he failed to give an appropriate narration of the happenings within Blithedale until, that is, he found the lives of those inhabiting the farm to be more captivating than his own varying thoughts and ideas. However, even after his sudden interest in the story in which he was relating, Miles Coverdale remained to be an untrustworthy story teller. I felt as if I couldn't rely on his version of the details and therefore found myself critiquing his every observation and judgment of the others within the book. Mr. Coverdale is an overdramatized poet incapable of living his own life. He chooses instead to prey upon the lively stories of others through acts of unsuccessful voyeurism and loosely spills out his observations into a ballad in which everyone but himself has a significant role to play. Hollingsworth was the leading actor, Zenobia, the beautiful, proud, and evil seductress who's tragic end becomes the climax of his tale, and Priscilla developed into the desirable Snow White or Cinderella. Despite his obvious attempts to portray his selfish invasions into the privacy of those around him as actions of pure concern, the reader can easily see that his intentions are for the sole purpose of gaining an interesting story. Miles Coverdale understood that he was a bore and that he was too cowardly to attempt to live his own life. Instead, he intoxicated himself with the story of those around him who do dared to live and he secretly desired tragedy and catastrophe upon them because only then would he have something to really write and think about.