Scene in Goodbye Lenin

In one specific scene near the beginning of the film Alexander is walking with a protest group to promote, “the idea of walking without borders.” The protest group wants East Berlin to be connected with the West. Right from the start of this scene everyone in the crowd with Alex is wearing dark shades of clothing and no one’s shirt or colors seems to stick out to the audience. While Alex is protesting with the large crowd his mother on the other hand is sitting in a cab trying to get to a specific location but is forced to get out of the cab as the protestors and officers have taken up the streets. The protestors start getting more and more angry and things begin to get out of hand. While Alex’s mom gets out of the car, Alex is getting arrested by the police. When Alex sees his mother from across the street in a red and white outfit she immediately faints. Alex tries to help save his mother but the cops drag him into the large vehicle and then the car immediately drives away. Alex is forced to watch his mom lay helplessly there as he drives away into the distance.

This one scene shows an importance of love and how love is portrayed in the film. As the audience I was able to see two different types of love in this scene that was being displayed by Alex’s mother. The reason why Alex’s mom fell into a coma was not only the fact that she did not want to see one of her children being arrested but it was also seeing her country ripping itself apart that sent her over the edge. Alex always saw his mother as being connected with the East Berlin and once East Berlin began to destroy itself from the inside that was when he knew how fragile his mom’s life really was. In my opinion Alex’s mother loved her country dearly and she always tried to remain loyal to East Berlin as that was her home. However, by seeing two of the most precious things in her life being taken away from her all at once she was unable to take it all in at and because of it she fell into a deep coma. This scene is about love because without love in a person’s life, human beings begin to lose strength not only physically but mentally too. Overall, as Alex’s mother dies their country dies with her too.

However, while this scene shows Alex’s mother losing two of the most precious things in her life it does also show a transition of who Alex will love in the future. At the beginning of this protest scene Alex is eating an apple and he begins to choke on it. While he is choking on the apple a woman in the crowd comes up to him and starts patting him intensely on the back. Alex coughs up the apple and is immediately mesmorized by this woman. He essentially is speechless when he sees her. When the protest begins to get more out of hand that is when Alex and Lara are separated from one another. This brief encounter shows a transition of who Alex will begin to spread his love to as his mother’s love slowly dies with the falling of East Berlin.

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Unanswered Questions

Kazim Ali is an American poet who was born in 1971. The two works that he wrote that I will discuss are the poems, “Drone” and “Hymn.” “Drone” was written in 2016, while “Hymn” was written in 2012. In this blog, I will discuss the lines that resonated with me, what I thought about each poem, and how human beings (that are no longer with us) make lasting impressions on others.

In “Drone” a line that was powerful to me was “Do Strangers make you human.” This line stuck out to me because strangers make other human beings feel insecure about themselves. I think that not knowing a person can be daunting because people want to connect with others but without trust they cannot do that. When reading this sentence aloud, “Do Strangers make you human.” it sounds like a question but Kazim Ali puts a period at the end of that sentence. What I believe Kazim Ali is saying is that how many people over a persons lifespan do they actually remember? Also how did this person who made a lasting impression on someone else make them feel and why did it stick with them?

I believe that the overall message of the poem “Hymn” was saying that many people never do something worth living for. The lines in “Hymn” that I really fixated on were, “My heart is nickel, unearthed, and sent.” And “Who will I be next and in that life will you know me.” I believe that Kazim Ali is getting at the point that so many people come and go but not many people discover something hidden about themselves and share it with others. It feels as if they are just waiting for the next life to come and then they will begin their search for someone to understand them.

“Hymn” for me sounds like a child praying for their father to be ok, but at the end of the poem it does not seem like that will be the case. As it says, “Mine this awful empty night. Mine this unchiming bell, his unanswered prayers.” The fathers unresolved prayers did not seem to have a positive response as Kazim Ali makes it seem that once the father past away, the author took a, “road out of town” to take their mind off of losing their loved one. I found it to be quite interesting that the first two lines of “Hymn” start off with a personal perspective and for the last two lines he gives another firsthand point of view to finish his poem. In my opinion, I believe that Kazim Ali had a direct experience with losing a loved one and trying to find a positive way to deal with it.

Overall, I believe that Kazim Ali’s main overarching question about life is that through the usage of these two poems, other people can make us feel so many different ways. However, ultimately how did these people make us feel while they were alive? With that being said I think it is the way that people treat each other feel that will leave a lasting impression on others that will make them feel unique and special at a certain moment in time.

(B 5)

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Unanswered Questions

Kazim Ali is an American poet who was born in 1971. The two works that he wrote that I will discuss are the poems, “Drone” and “Hymn.” “Drone” was written in 2016, while “Hymn” was written in 2012. In this blog, I will discuss the lines that resonated with me, what I thought about each poem, and how human beings (that are no longer with us) make lasting impressions on others.

In “Drone” a line that was powerful to me was “Do Strangers make you human.” This line stuck out to me because strangers make other human beings feel insecure about themselves. I think that not knowing a person can be daunting because people want to connect with others but without trust they cannot do that. When reading this sentence aloud, “Do Strangers make you human.” it sounds like a question but Kazim Ali puts a period at the end of that sentence. What I believe Kazim Ali is saying is that how many people over a persons lifespan do they actually remember? Also how did this person who made a lasting impression on someone else make them feel and why did it stick with them?

I believe that the overall message of the poem “Hymn” was saying that many people never do something worth living for. The lines in “Hymn” that I really fixated on were, “My heart is nickel, unearthed, and sent.” And “Who will I be next and in that life will you know me.” I believe that Kazim Ali is getting at the point that so many people come and go but not many people discover something hidden about themselves and share it with others. It feels as if they are just waiting for the next life to come and then they will begin their search for someone to understand them.

“Hymn” for me sounds like a child praying for their father to be ok, but at the end of the poem it does not seem like that will be the case. As it says, “Mine this awful empty night. Mine this unchiming bell, his unanswered prayers.” The fathers unresolved prayers did not seem to have a positive response as Kazim Ali makes it seem that once the father past away, the author took a, “road out of town” to take their mind off of losing their loved one. I found it to be quite interesting that the first two lines of “Hymn” start off with a personal perspective and for the last two lines he gives another firsthand point of view to finish his poem. In my opinion, I believe that Kazim Ali had a direct experience with losing a loved one and trying to find a positive way to deal with it.

Overall, I believe that Kazim Ali’s main overarching question about life is that through the usage of these two poems, other people can make us feel so many different ways. However, ultimately how did these people make us feel while they were alive? With that being said I think it is the way that people treat each other feel that will leave a lasting impression on others that will make them feel unique and special at a certain moment in time.

(B 5)

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Kazim Ali’s Unanswered Questions

Kazim Ali is an American poet who was born in 1971. The two works that he wrote that I will discuss are the poems, “Drone” and “Hymn.” “Drone” was written in 2016, while “Hymn” was written in 2012. In this blog, I will discuss the lines that resonated with me, what I thought about each poem, and how human beings (that are no longer with us) make lasting impressions on others.

In “Drone” a line that was powerful to me was “Do Strangers make you human.” This line stuck out to me because strangers make other human beings feel insecure about themselves. I think that not knowing a person can be daunting because people want to connect with others but without trust they cannot do that. When reading this sentence aloud, “Do Strangers make you human.” it sounds like a question but Kazim Ali puts a period at the end of that sentence. What I believe Kazim Ali is saying is that how many people over a persons lifespan do they actually remember? Also how did this person who made a lasting impression on someone else make them feel and why did it stick with them?

I believe that the overall message of the poem “Hymn” was saying that many people never do something worth living for. The lines in “Hymn” that I really fixated on were, “My heart is nickel, unearthed, and sent.” And “Who will I be next and in that life will you know me.” I believe that Kazim Ali is getting at the point that so many people come and go but not many people discover something hidden about themselves and share it with others. It feels as if they are just waiting for the next life to come and then they will begin their search for someone to understand them.

“Hymn” for me sounds like a child praying for their father to be ok, but at the end of the poem it does not seem like that will be the case. As it says, “Mine this awful empty night. Mine this unchiming bell, his unanswered prayers.” The fathers unresolved prayers did not seem to have a positive response as Kazim Ali makes it seem that once the father past away, the author took a, “road out of town” to take their mind off of losing their loved one. I found it to be quite interesting that the first two lines of “Hymn” start off with a personal perspective and for the last two lines he gives another firsthand point of view to finish his poem. In my opinion, I believe that Kazim Ali had a direct experience with losing a loved one and trying to find a positive way to deal with it.

Overall, I believe that Kazim Ali’s main overarching question about life is that through the usage of these two poems, other people can make us feel so many different ways. However, ultimately how did these people make us feel while they were alive? With that being said I think it is the way that people treat each other feel that will leave a lasting impression on others that will make them feel unique and special at a certain moment in time.

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“Connection”–Generational Keyword

The keyword of my generation is “connection.” Through technology, we are able to connect with anyone else in the world that has Internet access. Interactions that take place through the Internet are not the most intimate—you can’t hear what a voice sounds like or look into a person’s eyes, which are two really beautiful aspects of human interaction. However, through social media, we are able to share articles, photos, thoughts, and interests.

Almost everyone I know who is considered a “millennial” has at least one form of social media, which proves how connected we are or can be. The other day I commented on my roommate’s Instagram post while in bed across the room from her, and could have just said it to her in person. But the amount of connection and interaction really depends on how much time and effort a person puts into their presence on social media.

A question that I have is, is it possible to make intimate emotional connections through social media? If we are constantly connected through the Internet, then real emotional connection has to be possible, since we are plugged in almost all the time. “We” in the previous sentence only includes those of us privileged enough to have Internet access, but I would say that connection definitely applies to us millennials in the Dickinson community and other communities of higher education.

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My Generational Keyword

I think that my generation can be defined by the word contact. New technologies such as the internet and texting allow people to have constant contact with other people and sources of information. We are in far more frequent contact with our friends, family, and acquaintances than would have been normal in the past. For example, we text people to tell them if we are running five minutes late or we text people ten minutes after having seen them, which was not possible before cell phones. Our contacts on our phones are a vital part of our ability to communicate, as we wouldn’t remember anyone’s phone number without them. We also compulsively seek physical contact with our phones and electronic devices.

I originally chose the word connection and changed it to contact because connection implies depth and understanding. We feel the need to have contact with phones, social media, texting, and the internet as a whole, but this contact is compulsive and superficial rather than thoughtful and extensive. We also have a certain degree of control over what and who we come into contact with. We read articles shared on Facebook by our friends that reflect values we already hold. We can block people who we do not want to have contact with. The internet is so vast than many things can only be accessed by directly searching for them. I do not think this is unique to our generation. People for many generations have read newspapers that expressed views they agreed with, avoided people they do not like, and only read a few carefully selected books in a library. But it is possible that our generation takes these tendencies to the extreme. It is difficult to determine if new technologies and greater contact with the world are creating a set of traits in our generation or simply shining a brighter light on already existing traits.

I also realize that my choice of the word contact and its association with technology limits the extent of what I consider to be my “generation.” It excludes people who do not have access to such technology or choose not to use it. It assumes that all people use technologies in the same ways. The act of choosing a keyword for a generation is both a vague and limiting task, and I find it hard not to fall back on existing notions and stereotypes about millennials.

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Summer, Ántonia

XIX

The sky was my solace–the summer sky stretched across the world. A transparent canvas, yet vivid in its blueness, too light to label by the saddest shade. The heat would only intensify those colors, and I could run under it, the sky, for eternety. If I didn’t want to lie on the grass and stare into it at the same time, then, I even might have.

But I could never sit still, then. I had to do something. I had to make myself useful, not just to the people around me but to myself. When the one person to whom you don’t have to prove your value no longer exists, you have to find the next one. After papa’s death, I was then looking for that exact person.

And this person could not be mama, who was already devoted to someone I couldn’t deny. It couldn’t be Ambrosche, who had never yet been to the place where I stood then. It was either Jimmy, or myself.

How to explain? The boy who had taught me the tools with which to find my place in this inevitable, beautiful yet unwelcoming world. He was young and he was childish, quick to take on a disapproving eye whenever I did something we considered, without much doubting, to be “manly.” Young. Green, but not innocent.

But so was I. As children running under the same summer sky, in the early morning, with warm fingers wet with the dew, I wondered. Every moment of the gayness, the happiness that I showed everyone was mine, yes, and true to my nature. But as bright as lights were, there was a certain marsh of sadness simmering quietly underneath that I didn’t recognize, but feared, and wished to confide in someone else.

So when I told Jimmy that night something that I didn’t think I was saying before I did, I was actually testing these waters. Could they be shared? Could opening the door to this pool of melancholy enable me to face it myself?

But to him, despite his bookishness, summer was just the summer, and the things on his mind were fixed. He didn’t catch my hint, but instead, pointed at something that I, then, hadn’t realized was there. Hadn’t realized that someone had put it there, inside me, before I was capable of identifying it. Something I was raised to know as the truth.

“Why, jst like this; like yourself. Why do you all the time try to be like Ambrosch?”

The frankness to me now is endearing, and I wonder what I would have said if he’d asked me the same question five, or ten years after. When I realized how the marsh was not below somewhere, but it was up to my chest. When I realized that what I was seeing then, underwater, was actually the question he had asked. That all that time, that weight of sadness was something I wished to be able to ask myself, freely.

But then, my arms were tied without me knowing. It was easier, easiest, to say that to turn to Jim Burden–the center of my endless desire to give everything I have, and the endless desire to take everything he had. The bookish boy who was trying to find himself, yet without seeing himself in it. How he was always thinking, and yet, was always one step short of being thoughtful.

It was eaiser, then, to tell him. “If I live here, like you, that is different. Things will be easy for you. But they will be hard for us.”

Who did I mean by us? Did I mean my family, or in truth, was that unconscious puddle inside the water sending its subtle hin that in truth, it is me as an individual, and thereby everyone as themselves and alone.

But I was young, and I was grieved without knowing that I was. So that summer night, I just turned to the sky to rest my mind.

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Chapter I

An endless train, I wondered if we were ever going to reach our destination, Black Hawk Nevada.  I felt so alone.  Mama and Papa were already so scared about our journey.  A new unknown place, with new people, a new language.  Mama and Papa couldn’t speak any English, and the only thing that I knew in English was our destination, our new home, Black Haw Nebraska.  I looked outside the window and took in the scenery.  There was an endless amount of land around me.  The fluffy white clouds rode in the pale blue sky, being slowly driven by gentle breezes towards the southwest. They reminded me of piles of pillows. I began to imagine faces and shapes within them. The blue of the sky, where it could be seen between the clouds was paler near the horizon and slightly darker higher up.  The soft green grass, which sloped gently to the left had been mown a few days before and new blades of it were thrusting skywards, each blade trying to outdo it’s neighbor and get the greatest share of the sunlight. I wanted to remove my worn and unpolished shoes and my brightly striped socks with a hole in one toe and run across the soft grass. The feeling of it under my bare and tender feet would be like running on a rich luxurious carpet.  I was ready, ready to start my new life.

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The Shimerdas, IX, by Ántonia

The first time it snowed was wonderful. The white changed everything and it felt like a new world. On the second day, Jim came by in a wood sleigh pulled by horse. Yulka and I ran out to him. I wanted to go into the snow more than anything in the world. We started going and going and it felt like we went forever. After a while it became cold but we didn’t care. I would have frozen solid to see all the things I saw that day.

After a while we turned back. That is when the sun went away and it became terribly cold. The wind picked up and nearly blew us off the sled. Finally we got home and sat by the fire. It was hours before I was warm again. Next winter I will do it again, but with maybe warmer clothes.

Everything I thought I knew about the outside changed that day. Under the white of snow nothing was the same. I feel it will be a long time before I see things the way I did before.

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VII: Antonia

I don’t know why Jimmy always talked to me like I was stupid. Momma used to say that it was because he “wasn’t raised right,” but Momma said that about all the Americans. She only let Jim teach me to read because it pleased Poppa. Back then, it was one of the few things that still made him smile. I read better, ran faster and worked harder than Jimmy anyways. I don’t think that made him very happy.

One day, after I felt particularly bad for my little friend, I decided to let him have a victory. We were running to Peter’s house to borrow some sort of tool for Ambrosch. I can’t remember what it was called, some odd American term. After Peter gave us the tool and his famous Christmas melons to bring home, I wanted to stop and see the prairie dogs. I was always puzzled by these animals, burrowing deep into the ground. I couldn’t picture if the holes were straight, crooked, or zig-zagged through the tough soil. I was digging faster than Jim, as usual, but I didn’t seem to notice the the thick, striped snake slowly slithering towards my ankles. In Bohemia, there were snakes much larger than this, but I never saw one so large in Black Hawk. I didn’t realize the screech that came out of my own mouth, but instead of easily killing the snake, I let Jimmy be my hero. He stabbed the snake on top of the head, reaching from the front. I obviously knew this was a poor tactic, but I didn’t want to cut him off, not this time. I tried to contain my amusement as Jimmy turned pale and frightened; and I thoroughly convinced him I was frightened. I bragged about Jimmy to everyone we saw that day, although my family winked at me after I told the tale.

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