Scene 101-103

By Neta and Natalie

  1. Conflict in a scene usually results from the differences between what different characters want.

Laurie has plans to make money and have a good time. Joe wants to stay and enjoy the night with both girls while Carl is not very interested. Anna is depressed and unamused. She’s very uncomfortable around people seeing that she locks herself in the bathroom for a long time. The source of conflict is the contrast between what each character wants.

  1. For a scene to maintain dramatic interest, it must be rich in subtext. Subtext refers to what is being communicated underneath the literal surface meaning of what is being said. All conversation contains subtext.

Both Carl and Joe are expressing their opinions on prostitutes and are demonstrating their lack of respect for them. Carl is also nonchalant and not very expressive. Both men seem to be embarrassed by onlookers and ashamed of the act that they’re with prostitutes. Laurie is trying to be impressive by insulting the woman and speaking different languages. Anna appears to be uncomfortable and scared of the people staring at her. She expresses her fear of religious opinions on her lifestyle and the hatred involved.

  1. I find this novel quite funny. I think Anna is a funny character. Parts of this novel make me laugh out loud.

“Well, the woman!’ Laurie said. ‘She’s looking at me. Look, pretty creature too isn’t she? My God, she’s got a face like an old hen’s. I’ll say my bit of Polish to her in a minute.’(102)

This might be funny to some people because of Laurie’s sarcasm and lack of care for the scene that she’s making.

  1. The way Anna describes people and objects and places veers frequently into the grotesque or the cartoonish. She paints a very particular portrait of her world.

Is anything described in a cartoonish or grotesque way in this scene? If so, cite it. Explain exactly why you find this description cartoonish or grotesque.

“But I was thinking that it was terrifying (…). And slowly, slowly you feel the hate back starting…” (103)

She describes the people as creepy, hateful, sadistic and deceiving. She says they have glassy eyes and heads that don’t turn. She describes them as these dark human beings that find enjoyment in her pain and watching her suffer.

  1. For me, the most delicious part of this novel is Anna’s personality. I love her. I could listen to her talk about anything.

“He put his hand on mine and smiled. He had very nice teeth. His nose looked as if it had been broken some time.” (102)

She’s hyper focused on the details while being detached from the actual situation. It’s almost as if she’s not connected to her body and experiences depersonalization. The remark about the teeth is a reminder of Walter’s comments about her teeth in a previous chapter.

  1. The particular place that Anna finds herself tends to heavily influence her mood and her disposition.

How does Anna describe her surroundings in this scene? Does she personify her surroundings in any way? Does she attribute a particular color or mood to it? Does she focus on any specific objects? What greater symbolic meaning might lie behind these objects?

She doesn’t really describe her surrounding a lot but she gives a good description of how she feels in the environment. The mood is very dark and as if there’s a fog over reality. She feels different and judged and like all eyes are on her. The bathroom is her only escape. When she’s there, the music seems to make her lose track of time in a weird disconnect from what’s going on in the real world. She feels comforted by the music in a numb way.

  1. Anna describes things in very particular ways. She tends to combine different senses to produce a sense of place rich in imagery.

Highlight one moment from the scene where Anna focuses on a particular sense, or a combination of senses. How does this emphasis on sense imagery give us greater insight into the conflict inherent in this scene?

“But I was thinking that it was terrifying (…). And slowly, slowly you feel the hate back starting…” (103)

In this part she focuses on the senses of sight and touch and there’s very strong imagery of being burnt alive and a hellish sort of world. This gives us insight into how Anna views the world as a hostile and dark place while her counterparts are just having fun and oblivious to her and the cruel facts of life.


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