Life

The Chaotic Chronicles (Issue #3)

Intro

Welcome to the third issue of the Chaotic Chronicles, which revolves around what’s been going on in my chaotic life. I intend to publish these weekly if possible on Wednesdays and will do my best to keep it interesting. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Below I will list what I’ve been up to recently!

#1: Jade-tinted glasses

Recently I learned that the opposite of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses is seeing it through jade-tinted glasses. It is also a play on the word “jaded.” Personally I think that seeing the world through a veil of soft green would be better than seeing red, but that’s just me.

#2: Spotify

I helped my mom set up a Spotify account for my little sisters. They can now listen to whatever random combination of songs they want. They love “America the Beautiful” for some reason especially, and even know most of the lyrics. They are ages 5 and 2.

#3: Pokémon Oreos

My mom ordered these phenomenal Pokémon-themed Oreos. They are limited edition and I am surprised we even managed to get any. I love Oreos and Pokémon was my childhood so I was thrilled to have them. Apparently they are selling for outrageous amounts now, but I have to say, they were delicious.

#4: Netflix freaking out

Netflix did not want me to watch Ouran High School Host Club. It did everything in its power to stop me. I clicked on it and there was no result the first few times. I tried searching it and clicking it again and it brought up Episode 7 of Sex Education. The next time I clicked it, it brought up Scener. I don’t know what was up with that.

#5: Tech issues

After my dad installed a new antivirus program on my computer, I was no longer able to access my account on my computer. I ended up logging in with the “other” account. As a result, I lost all of my favorites, was logged out of everything, and my dad had to find my files for me.

#6: What I am watching

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (the original series)
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • The Owl House
  • One Piece
  • Attack on Titan
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
  • Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense
  • Fairy Tail
  • The Dragon Prince
  • My Hero Academia
  • Fruits Basket
  • Wandavision
  • Violet Evergarden

#7: Current Projects

  • Creating a blog post about The Princess Bride
  • Working on Paralogue 4 for my novel-in-progress
  • Teaching my little sister how to read
Anime, Shows

A Dark Anime Featuring An Unbreakable Sibling Bond

Spoiler-Free Anime Review:

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Season 1

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Intro

Demon Slayer is an anime I watched because I heard people say it is better than My Hero Academia. I actually like it less than My Hero Academia, but that’s only because I prefer more light-hearted anime in general. Demon Slayer is, in fact, really fascinating and enjoyable to watch.

I watched the first half of the season with my dad and siblings and ended up watching the rest alone at college.

Warning: Even though this review does not have a significant spoilers, it does describe some plot details from Episode 1.

Background

Demon Slayer Season 1 was released in 2019, and is based on a manga series of the same name. It was written by Koyoharu Goutuge. It can currently be watched on Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.

Summary

After Tanjiro’s family is slaughtered and his sister is turned into a demon, he studies to become a demon slayer to avenge his family and cure his sister.

Pros

  • Complex characters
  • Engaging combat
  • Demons are unique and have various skills
  • Great intro and outro
  • Catchy music
  • Taisho secrets
  • Attractive animation

Cons

  • No specific cons

Observations

  • It is a bit gory

Review

Characters

Tanjiro Kamado is the main character. He is a kind young man who sells charcoal to support his family until their untimely demise. His sense of smell is impeccable, significantly affecting the storyline believe it or not. He can pick up the smell of blood from far away or tell that a broken object was knocked over by a cat. He also can understand birds. He is extremely hardworking and loyal.

We barely get to know Nezuko Kamado before she is turned into a demon. She struggles with a violent side at times, but her connection to Tanjiro is heartwarming.

Zenitsu is generally cowardly and kind of pervy. Unlike in some anime, he is scolded for his behavior frequently and luckily doesn’t do anything as invasive as, for example, Mineta from My Hero Academia. There is more to him than meets the eye, however.

Inosuke is strong, socially inept, insensitive, and stubborn. Yet he is also quick to forget a grudge or even why he was angry in the first place. He is annoyed by Zenitsu’s weakness and Tanjiro’s kindness.

Combat

The combat in Demon Slayer is multi-layered and complex. Breathing technique is a huge component in an individual’s capacity to fight. Demon slayers master various forms to learn to attack, often related to the elements. Those who cannot kill demons by beheading them resort to other methods such as poisons. There is also something called the thread that Tanjiro can see, which shows him when there is an opening.

Demons

Each demon has a different specialty and many have different blood demon arts. The one depicted above, for example, is nicknamed the Arrow Demon and can redirect movements and launch opponents. Another interesting one is the Drum demon, which can perform different attacks by beating various drums embedded in its body.

The demons almost all have tragic backstories because they were once human before the traumatic event of being turned into demons.

Intro

The Demon Slayer Season 1 intro not only is a great introduction into future events in the first season, it also has great catchy music. It is well-made and intriguing.

Outro

The artistic design of the outro is beautiful, from the vibrant flowers at the beginning to the rendering of Nezuko shown above.

Taisho secrets

The Taisho secret at the end of each episode provides more insight into characters and is a fun way to tease about the next episode.

Animation

The animation of Demon Slayer is beautiful and terrifying. I especially liked the eyes of the characters and the design of the demons.

Conclusion

I would say if you don’t mind shows being a little bloody and violent, and you like anime, then you will probably like this show. Definitely recommend for ages 13 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Books

Study Guide: The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

Cover of The Sound and The Fury

Study Guide:

The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

Trigger warning: Suicide

Intro

This article was co-written by P. A. Wilson and Ashley Ostrowski.

We read The Sound and The Fury in the class 20th Century American Novel at Grove City College (GCC). Dr. Messer taught the class, and we would wholeheartedly recommend taking that course for anyone attending GCC.

Background

The Sound and the Fury was published in 1929 by William Faulkner. The action is centered around a single family in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County where most of Faulkner’s writings are set. Originally, Faulkner wanted to use several colors of ink to make the chronological shifts in the novel less confusing, but it was not at that time possible to publish a book that way. Faulkner described his book as “a real son-of-a-bitch…the greatest I’ll ever write”. Most college students would agree with at least the first part of that assessment.

Q&A

What makes this novel so difficult to read?

The reason that this novel has a reputation of being hard to understand is partially due to the beginning. The story begins from the point of view of Benjy, a character with a severe intellectual disability.

I ran into the box. But when I climbed onto it, it jumped away and hit me on the back of the head and my throat made a sound”

Benjy

Benjy has no notion of time, so the story continually shifts from past to present without much warning. If he hears or sees anything that reminds him of past events, his thoughts will launch back into the past.

One way to figure out the time period of each part of Benjy’s section is to pay attention to who his caretaker is. If it is Versh, Benjy is in his early childhood. When you see the name T. P., Benjy is in his middle teens. Luster cares for Benjy at age 33.

Quentin’s section is almost the opposite of Benjy’s, as he’s methodical and logical. The section is almost scholarly and academic. That makes it almost as hard to read as Benjy’s.

Jason’s and Dilsey’s sections are easier to read.

What is unique about Faulkner’s style?

  • Changes from present to past memory are indicated by italics
  • His questions aren’t ended with question marks
  • Faulkner doesn’t always use:
    • Complete sentences
    • Quotation marks
    • Apostrophes in contractions

What is the difference between the various perspectives and levels of awareness for the characters?

Benjy is the least aware. His understanding of things is almost entirely viewed through basic sensory perception. He doesn’t reflect on his actions and the actions of others. Sometimes one of his senses will remind him of the past, for example, when Luster tells Benjy to crawl, Benjy is reminded of a time with Caddy.

“Wait a minute.” Luster said. “You snagged on that nail again. Cant you never crawl through her without snagging on that nail.”

Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through. Uncle Maury said to not let anybody see us, so we better stoop over, Caddy said. Stoop over, Benjy. Like this, see.

Benjy’s section

Who is the most unpleasant character?

It’s a toss-up between Mrs. Compson and Jason. We agreed that Mrs. Compson is one of the worst mothers in literature. For example, she wears mourning black after she finds out that Caddy was kissed by a guy. She is a hypochondriac, which is not her fault, but she is also melodramatic and always feeling sorry for herself.

Nobody knows how I dread Christmas. Nobody knows. I am not one of those women who can stand things. I wish for Jason’s and the children’s sakes I was stronger.”

Mrs. Compson

Mrs. Compson doesn’t act like a mother to her children and gets angry when Caddy tries to play surrogate mother to Benjy. She is unpleasant because she is always complaining and often passive-aggressive.

I know I’m nothing but a burden to you…But I’ll be gone soon. Then you will be rid of my bothering.”

Mrs. Compson

Jason is the other unpleasant character whose perspective we are forced to endure for a fourth of the book. He is sadistic, racist, sexist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic. One time he cuts up Benjy’s dolls, and another time he leaves the gate open so that Benjy escapes and gets into trouble. He treats the girl Quentin (Caddy’s daughter who is named after her deceased brother Quentin) like trash and steals the money that Caddy is sending for her. He is constantly bitter that he was supposed to get a job at a bank through Caddie’s fiancé, but when the arrangement fell through he did not get it.

From the first line he speaks, Jason is a discordant nuisance in this book:

Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say.”

Jason

He is evidently sexist, as the quote below makes apparent:

Yet they [women] try to make men believe that they’re capable of conducting a business.”

Jason

How does Faulkner utilize biblical imagery?

Caddy was forbidden to climb a certain tree by her father. When she disobeys him, a snake slithers out from under the house. This parallels the acts of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis of the Old Testament.

Versh: Your paw told you to stay out that tree.

Caddy: That was a long time ago.

What is the significance of Caddy’s muddy drawers?

Our teacher made the distinction between earthy and dirty. Earthy is a word with healthy, natural connotations, while dirty has the implication of corruption. Earthy is a word that makes more sense to associate with Caddy. Her drawers got muddy from her playing outside. Caddy is not corrupted; she is a healthy young girl.

“Just look at you…It done soaked clean through onto you.”

Dilsey

How does the theme of parenthood affect this novel?

if I’d just had a mother so I could say Mother Mother.”

Quentin

Mrs. Compson fails to be an adequate mother figure because of her supposed illness and her irritating personality. She is aggravated when Caddy tries to play mother to Benjy, but Mrs. Compson does not act like a mother toward him. Quentin laments that he does not have a close mother figure who he can rely on as well.

Mr. Compson is an alcoholic and nihilist who can not sate his children’s emotional needs because he is so hopeless himself.

Does Faulkner accurately portray mental illness?

We’re not psychologists, so we can’t say for sure whether or not Faulkner portrayed Benjy’s character with accuracy. We also don’t know the name of the mental illness that Benjy has and other people don’t seem to either, except that it is generally regarded as an intellectual disability. We don’t know these things, but we do know that Faulkner portrayed Benjy’s character with a great deal of sympathy and care.

Did Quentin commit incest?

When we took courses in college, our teachers did not believe that Quentin committed or should have committed incest. Quentin tells his father that he and Caddy did it but his father doesn’t believe him. His father does not follow the Southern code of sexual morality that Quentin wants to hold onto. Quentin is appalled by his father’s disregard for morality and he wants to cross a line to make his father care. One of our teachers believed that Quentin wanted to admit to committing a sin so grave that he would be cast out of the family. Even if we think that Quentin may have done something like this, there isn’t evidence that Caddy would have agreed.

Why is Quentin so obsessed with clocks and time?

Quentin is obsessed with the chivalric past, which he sees through rose-tinted glasses. He recognizes the past as a better time for the Compson family. As a result, Quentin abhors change, but he is more disturbed by mechanical time, a human construction based off of the concept that time is measurable, and made necessary by the human desire to control and rationalize the abstract.

Near the beginning of his narrative section, Quentin suddenly breaks his watch by smashing the glass and ripping off the hands; afterwards, he is aggravated by its continual ticking which is unhindered by the loss of its hands. Time is not something physical or personal that he can suspend or defeat through force, it is above and beyond his control. The watch by its existence suggests that humans are able to in some way control time by quantifying it. Quentin demonstrates that mindset by his attempt to destroy the watch, aware that anything man-made can usually be destroyed by man, but forgetting that the mechanical watch is not synonymous with time itself. He finds that the passage of time is inevitable even if he cannot see a clock, or if none of the clocks in the shop he visits are set with precision, but continues in his delusion. “I was in time again, hearing the watch” Quentin muses. Eventually he fully recognizes that mechanical time is not the same as natural time, and attempts to remove himself from both through suicide.

Why was Quentin’s suicide not depicted in the novel?

We’re not sure, but we have some theories.

  1. Quentin is already suicidal, so showing him do it wouldn’t add anything to the story.
  2. Faulkner may have wanted to be careful about the issue. People are often very careful about how they depict suicide now and there are often trigger warnings and such when it is depicted.
  3. It may have been an artistic choice on Faulkner’s part to let us find out about Quentin’s suicide through secondary characters. Part of the nuance of The Sound and the Fury is the portrayal of wildly different perspectives and characters.

Why was Benjy renamed?

Benjy was originally named Maury after his Uncle Maury but after his parents found out that he had an intellectual disability, they renamed him Benjy.

Why was Benjy castrated?

Jason left the gate open and Benjy got loose and chased some girls. His parents thought he was going to rape them, so they castrated him.

Why was Benjy’s pasture sold?

We will swap Benjy’s pasture for a fine, dead sound.”

Quentin

Benjy’s pasture was sold to get money so that Quentin could go to Harvard to restore the family name.

Why was Benjy acting up at the golf course?

The golfers kept yelling “caddie” and it’s important because Mrs. Compson wouldn’t let anyone say Caddy’s name after Caddy left her daughter behind. She didn’t want young Quentin (Caddy’s daughter) to learn about her mother.

How does this novel handle race?

The text does use the n-word occasionally, unfortunately. The last section in the book focuses on Dilsey, the African-American servant of the Compson household. She is portrayed as the most morally grounded and admirable character in the entire book.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this study guide. We may be making more in the future! If you have any feedback or questions, leave a comment. What did you think about The Sound and the Fury?

Life

The Chaotic Chronicles (Issue #2)

Intro

Welcome to the second issue of the Chaotic Chronicles, which revolves around what’s been going on in my chaotic life. I intend to publish these weekly if possible on Wednesdays and will do my best to keep it interesting. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Below I will list what I’ve been up to recently!

#1: Covid Testing

After feeling very sick at work and going home early last Monday, I was required to take a Covid test. I had to call off of two days of work because I was awaiting results, which took until late Friday to arrive. (I have Wednesdays and Thursdays off). Luckily, I tested negative so I was able to go back to work on Saturday. It felt good to be back.

#2: Inspiration4 Launch

I watched the Inspiration4 launch on Youtube last week. It was amazing. This was the first all-civilian mission to orbit the Earth! That’s right–no trained astronauts were on board. They launched and landed safely after the three day mission. And what’s even cooler is that the rocket is reusable, the parts of it having come back to Earth intact as planned. The crew was made up of four individuals thought to be representative of leadership, hope, generosity, and prosperity. My dad went to see the launch in person in Florida. Learn more at this link.

#3: Got Stardew Valley

My family bought Stardew Valley for the Nintendo Switch. Can’t wait to try it out!

#4: My First Instagram Poll

I tried my first instagram poll recently in order to get the next few blog articles I am writing planned out.

They will be:

The Princess Bride

The Legend of Korra

Mechs vs. Minions

My Italian Bulldozer

Keep in mind that I have articles already scheduled until December, so these will be extra articles.

#5: What I am watching

  • Fullmetal Alchemist (the original series)
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • The Owl House
  • One Piece
  • Attack on Titan
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
  • Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense
  • Fairy Tail
  • The Dragon Prince
  • My Hero Academia
  • Fruits Basket
  • Wandavision
  • Violet Evergarden

#6: Current Projects

  • Co-writing a study guide for The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner with Ashley Ostrowski
  • Creating a blog post about The Princess Bride
  • Working on Paralogue 4 for my novel-in-progress
  • Writing a biography essay of a local librarian
  • Teaching my little sister how to read