Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

by Kahlil Gibran

The Promise

When pain arrives side by side with your love
I promise not to flee
When you ask me for my life
I promise not to fight

I am holding a cup in my hand
By God if you do not come
Till the end of time
I promise not to pour out the wine
Nor to drink a sip

Your bright face is my day
Your dark curls bring the night
If you do not let me near you
I promise not go to sleep…nor rise

Your magnificence has made me a wonder
Your charm has taught me the way of love
I am the progeny of Abraham
I'll find my way through fire

Please, let me drink water from the jug
This love is not a short-lived fancy
It is the daily prayer, the year-after-year fast
I live it, like an act of worship, till the end of my life

But then, a tree
Blessed not with fruits of your bounty
Will be dry wood for fire
Even if it drinks the ocean

On the wings of the Friend, fly o my heart!
Fly and look upward
For high on the peak of presence
Earthlings like you will not be let in

Others praise God at the time of affliction
You stay awake day and night
Steady, watchful like the wheel of the firmament

Time to stop speaking of the Friend
Jealousy won't let me scatter the perfume to the wind

translation from Rumi's Divan by Fatemeh Keshavarz

Sunday, July 18, 2010

evaluating characters in drama....undeniably pleasurable

Characterization is the means of a writer to describe, reveal or develop a character for a reader. The writer uses many techniques to bring out the characterization of a character through the use of language. A writer’s use of language is by the application of imagery, metaphor, simile, and other kind of figurative language which are also used by the writer in the text to portray the characters’ traits besides using the dramatic devices such as humour, foreshadowing, irony, pun, suspense and slapstick. Thus, the writer uses application in his description of narrational voice, presentation of the character’s action, speech and thoughts to reveal the characterization of the characters. Besides that, often remarks and comments by other characters and how other characters act, react, think about him will also throw light on his personality and character traits. The use of language in Gulp and Gasp Drama by John Townsend in defining characterization in the play is beautifully displayed. John Townsend uses some of the combination of the techniques mentioned above to dramatically bring out the characterization of Rose, Percy, Lord Septic and Crouch.

Character and characterization in Gulp and Gasp (based on the Drama by John Townsend)

Characteristics: Poor and humble
Textual evidence:
She lives in poverty and sells flowers for a living. The hardship that she is going through made her lead a simple, humble and homely life. When she came to sell the flowers at the railway station, she has not eaten for 3 days and she is greatly hoping to earn some coins. Her house is in a very poor condition and the attic room has dry rot.
Characteristics: Blind and innocent
Textual evidence:
Rose is blind due to the flames at the match factory owned by Lord Septic. She has to lead a hard life as she lost her eye sight. Though she is blind, she is honest in earning money for living and her deed of working as a flower girl reflects her innocent attribute.

Characteristics: Hardworking and strong determination
Textual evidence:
She is hardworking and strong determined as she is willing to take all the trouble to walk all alone and sell the flowers at her own risk. She wants to save up for an operation on her eyes.
Characteristics: Caring and devoted
Textual evidence:
She cares for her sick mother, so she sells flowers in order to pay for her mother’s medication and treatments. She is a devoted child who looks after her ailing mother although she is blind.
Characteristics: Optimistic
Textual evidence:
She is also optimistic as she never gives up in her effort to earn money to treat her mother and for her eyes operation. She is a person who is always hopeful and expects the best in all things.
Characteristics: Smart and efficient
Textual evidence:
She discovers the identity of Lord Septic, accuses him of victimizing her and threatens to expose his crimes by showing a courageous spirit to fight for her rights. Besides that she is also quick in finding out about Percy’s background and gives moral support to him to regain his family fortune. She helps in unraveling the mystery of the key in order to tie up all the loose ends.
Characteristics: Romantic
Textual evidence:
Her romantic admiration towards Percy is revealed through her speech: “Oh, Percy! You’re my hero. My knight in shining armour. My good knight.” She also said, “It could be the key to my heart!”

Characteristics: A helpful orphan
Textual evidence:
Percy’s mother was killed on the railway line and he became an orphan living in poverty and hardship. He was found in the litter bin at the railway station, wearing a purse containing a key bearing the initials, NSL. He went through a poor life without realizing that he is actually the rightful heir to Gatsby Gold. Although he is an orphan, he is a selfless and helpful. He helps Rose to pick up her flowers which is thrown by Crouch, and rescued Rose from being killed by Lord Septic when she is tied on the railway tracks by Crouch.
Characteristics: Generous
Textual evidence:
Although he is poor he is sympathetic towards Rose and he really wish he could give her some money when he first meet her at the railway station. When Percy came to know that he is rightfully the heir of Gatsby Gold, he willing to share his gold with Rose.
Characteristics: Intelligent and resourceful
Textual evidence:
Percy is quick in thinking as he managed to stop the train before it runs on Rose. He is smart enough to dab his bleeding nose with his pants until it become dark re. then he climbed up the gas lamp at the far end of the station and put his pants over the lamp.The train driver thought it was a stop light, so his pants brought the train to a halt.
Characteristics: Kind hearted and humble
Textual evidence:
Percy is willing to share his wealth with Rose although he is an aristocrat. He propose Rose as he is willing to marry her out of love . He willing said that half of his wealth is for her, so that she can pay for the operation to regain her eyesight and pay for her mother’s pills to make her well again.Besides that he wants to buy a home and marry Rose and be her life partner.
Characteristics: Brave and fights for justice
Textual evidence:
He grabs Crouch by his color when Crouch treated Rose badly. He rescues Rose from being killed by Lord Septic and he manages to chain him and his servant so that they cannot escape from their evil deeds. Finally the villains are left to their fate as the police are approaching the track.

Characteristics: Cruel and greedy
Textual evidence:
Lord Septic is a cruel owner of the match factory where Rose worked. . When she lost her eyesight due to the fire in the factory, he did not pay her for the damage. Besides that he treats Rose like a beggar and chases her form the railway station. Although he is rich, he want more and more wealth, he seeks more power and willing to kill for it. He wants to be the richest man and wants to find the Gatsby Gold.
Characteristics: Hot tempered and egoistic
Textual evidence:
He grabs Rose by the wrist and demands Crouch to tie her up. He takes control of the situation and he said that no one ever tells him what to do
Characteristics: violent
Textual evidence:
He creeps from the shadows and mercilessly hits Percy on his head with his stick.Then he slams Percy against the locker. He commands Crouch to tie Rose with the rope to the tracks as he hears the train coming.
Characteristics: Selfish
Textual evidence:
He did not keep the match factory safe because it would cause him money. As a result there was a fire out break which has caused harm and trouble to the poor workers who earn their living working in the factory. He even has no respect for his wife and calls her a nagger and he confesses that he married her wealth as she own a gun factory.
Characteristics: Evil in nature
Textual evidence:
He threw away the Gatsby Kid in the litter bin without any sense of humanity. He mistreats his workers and is very rude to Crouch, Percy and Rose. He is impatient and ill-mannered as he plans to sack the driver and everyone if the train does not arrive.
Characteristics: Rude
Textual evidence:
He is rude and uncouth in language and he looks as though he lacks breeding although he retends to be someone from upper crust. His rudeness is revealed from the way he talks and treats Rose, Crouch and Percy

Characteristics: Subservient
Textual evidence:
Crouch is a servant who is so devoted and submissive towards his master. Lord Septic. He gives too much respect to his master. He is dim-witted as he simply agrees with whatever his boss say and instructs.
Characteristics: Bully
Textual evidence:
He bullies Rose and throws away her tray of rose across the platform. He has no sense of humanity although he knows that Rose is poor and blind.
Characteristics: Coward
Textual evidence:
He is actually feeble has he confesses that he is just following orders from Lord Septic and he doesn’t want to be blamed for the evil acts he did.
Characteristics: Grovel
Textual evidence:
He has no self dignity and grovels for a living. He grovel at Lord Septic by saying that he is such a great man and he has a big lordship. He even grovels at Percy by saying “By all means, sir. Anything you say, sir.”
Characteristics: Power crazy
Textual evidence:
He enjoys the time when he is given power to chase Rose from the railway tracks. Thus he is also power crazy like his master.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Much of your pain is self-chosen

"Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears."

when love........

"When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth......

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself."

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully."
~kahlil gibran~