Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside: Post 3

There were many different scenes where the camera technique gave me as the viewer a greater understanding of the film. One very good example of this would be when the camera zoomed up on Ramon’s hand and Julia’s hand. The significance of this shot explains the condition that Ramon is in. During this scene, Ramon is telling Julia that for him, five feet is an impossible journey. While he is saying this, there is an extreme close-up on the two hands lying next to each other, not touching. Another example of film technique would be Ramon lying on the bed and everyone looking down on him. The people that are in power or are angry at the time are always standing up and the viewer is looking down on Ramon. This gives the perspective that Roman is weak and powerless. When Julia is there she is always at the same level that he is. She is usually sitting in a chair or on his bed side so that she doesn’t seem overpowering to Ramon. Although this may seem very subtle to some viewers, if you pay attention, it is very clear what the director is trying to get across.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Sea Inside: Post 2

The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly have both similarities and differences. One major difference is Ramon’s ability so speak. This allows much faster and easier communication than blinking out every letter. With faster communication, Ramon can easily give his family and friends quick information without any misunderstandings. If he had to blink out each word like Bauby had to, information could be easily misunderstood. The main similarity between the two was that both were quadriplegics who had fully functional minds. Although Bauby actually had a syndrome, he and Ramon were “trapped” inside their bodies. Neither of them could move their arms or legs. To me, the most depressing part of all this was that they both could communicate. Although this may seem like a good thing, I think that to be able to think like a normal person but be unable to communicate would be the worst thing. These are the main similarities and differences in the two stories.

The Sea Inside: Post 1

Throughout the course of this film, I had many different reactions. I think that Ramon’s request to should one that is honored. To me, I think that if you are in that condition and have been suffering for as long as he has, you request to die should not be that surprising. People in the movie think that he should not be allowed to request for death because it’s against the law. To me, I think that this law should be changed. It is unreasonable because the people who make these laws are not in that condition. I think that the quadriplegics should make this law. They are the ones who are having to suffer because someone in the opposite case is preventing them from caring out their will. Ramon’s eventual actions just show how strongly he wanted this to happen. Having suffered for around 28 years, it was a relief for him to pass away. The friends, who were a part of his suicide, show how passionate they are about Ramon’s request. If I were put in that situation, I would do the same thing by helping out a friend if they were in the same state as Ramon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Final Section Summary


In the final section of this book, Dave learns the fate of many things in his life. The first one being that he doesn’t make the cut for the Real World. Although he has a great interview and shares many of his deep stories with the interviewer, he is not chosen. He may view this decision as a bad one, but for the overall well being of Toph and the connection with his family, it was a good outcome. The second event that Dave learns about fate in is his magazine Might. He and his crew try to pull off a stunt that could either make or break his magazine. Their plan is to fake the death of a celebrity so that they have the final interview with him. This way their magazine will get a lot of publicity and be seen in the news. For Dave and his crew, this is a fabulous idea that ends up blowing up in their face. As soon as they make their first copy, someone in the media gets a hold of it and immediately calls Might magazine for more information. Words gets around to his family and to others who are associated with him and they are forced to back down from their plan. The celebrity is Adam Rich and unfortunately he does not come out very well in the public’s eye. They view him as someone who as just tried to get his name in the media again. When things are all straightened out, Might magazine is no more.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Part 5: Summary


In the fifth section of this book, Mr. Eggers interviews for a spot on MTV’s The Real Word. The majority of the section is revolved around the interview that he has with a person from MTV. The woman asks many questions, trying to get a look at what he is like. The questions consist of everything involving his parents to his childhood. As the reader, I get a look at some of the things that he has not described yet. When he goes into the interview, he has mixed reactions. He thinks to himself, what if I actually make it? To him, he believes that he can be the tragic person of the group. Because of his hardships, he thinks that he’ll make a good candidate for the show. The stories that he tells to the interviewer are all based around how hard his life was for him. He tells stories about his parents dying and taking care of his brother. Unfortunately he does not make the cut for the show. The interviewer lets him now how close he was to making it, but a man named Judd beat him to it.

Personal Reaction

My personal reaction to this section is a good one. I think that this interview was a way for Mr. Eggers to tell the reader some details about his life that he couldn’t find a way to fit into the story otherwise. The interview gives some key facts about his life that let the reader piece some things together not only about him but the other characters in the book as well. When he actually decides to go to the interview, he believes that this is kind of a joke. A bunch of people that he works with were talking about it at work at he decides to go in and give it a try. For me, I think this is fate. Although he doesn’t make the show, he gets the opportunity to share his story. For him, getting to share his story is the most important thing to him. That is why he chose to interview for the show. He wanted to share his story of hardships with the American viewers. I don’t think that he would have made a good person on the show because he really isn’t that unique. He stories are not that interesting to most viewers. Some people on that show are very unique and have stories that you can’t help but listen to.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Section 4: Part 2


In the fourth section of the book, Dave Eggers shows a little more of her emotional and personal life. He describes what it is like for him to have to leave his little brother home with a babysitter. He is constantly worrying about the things that could happen to him. While this is going on, he has to have a social life as well. Although he never actually goes back to check on Toph, he always debates it. Also in this section, he and a girlfriend of his get robbed while sitting on the beach. Six Mexican kids took their clothes and supposedly stole his dad’s wallet that he uses. They called the police and filed a report. Later that night when he got home, Toph was ok and his wallet was sitting on the dresser where he had left it before he went out that night.

Section 4: Part 2

Section 4: Part 1

1) “No, I tell her, little Jason isn’t dead, he’s fine now, pulled out of his coma a week ago. And naturally I took away Toph’s gun privileges, and of course beat him within an inch of life, so zealously that something snapped in his leg somewhere , a tendon maybe, and he fell to the floor, squealing like a pig, couldn’t get up, had to be taken to the emergency room” (Dave Eggers, 138 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius).

To me this quote is something that reflects his desperate need for attention. Of course, none of this is true, but he tells these stories to women to get there attention. He wants to make the women feel bad for him and show sympathy for his situation. This quote is one of the confusing parts of the book because some of his stories that he tells could be realistic. Although this one is a little far fetched, sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s kidding or not.

2) “He is not dead. He will live. Everything is normal. Normal, normal, normal. Good. Good. Normal. Normal. Fine” (Dave Eggers, 164 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius).

In this quote, he is trying to convince himself that he brother has not been killed by the babysitter. Whenever he goes out he has these images and has to continue to convince himself that his brother has not been hurt. Although nothing ever happens, he always imagines that something is going to. I think that this is only foreshadowing to what is going to happen eventually. One day he is going to come home to exactly what he imagined.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I have many reactions on this unique memoir. As a person who is very “book ADD,” I found this book a little bit hard to follow at times. Towards the beginning of the book it was hard to tell whether he was dreaming or not. Some of the times he would be actually recalling a memory that he had once had, and other times he would be dreaming of something that he wishes he could do. Also, the “hidden message” that I felt like I was suppose to get, didn’t really hit me like I thought that it would. Sometimes I felt like there is something I should be getting out of this chapter and it never came. Although I really enjoyed the overall message, I really wanted to understand what he was trying to get across to me as the reader. During some parts of the book I was really interested and wanted to continue reading, while other parts I really wanted to stop. I think that some of this has to do with none of us have any idea what he is going through. The tiniest imperfections or the slightest memories may jump out at him because of the time that he has on his hands. Being stuck in a bed for the rest of your life, you might start remembering some details you never thought possible. After I finished reading this book, I felt extremely privileged to be capable to even talk or walk. As cheesy as it sounds I really began to appreciate the big and the little things happening in my life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s waking up in the morning and brushing my teeth, or eating that delicious hamburger, I really have begun to think that I could be like Jean-Dominique Bauby and be stuck in a bed for as long as I live.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Section 3: Part 2

So far in this book I have many reactions. To me, it really feels like he stresses the not-so important aspects of his life so far. Maybe these little details are important to him and stick out in his mind, but so far the events that have been focused on the most are very small in comparison to some of the events happening. I think that the books strengths are the ability to keep the reader reading. Some people like to call this a “page turner.” While I read, the weakness that I have been noticing is that the author likes to jump around a lot. Whether that is back in time are in a day dream, there is a lot of jumping. In my case I have never experienced anything this dramatic. I have a huge amount of respect for Dave Eggers because of the courage he must have had during these times. He has been fully capable of taking care of his little brother while managing his own busy life as well. I can barely manage my school life with my sports life. It just amazes me how he does this. So far I cannot really predict anything at the moment. With all the jumping around in the middle of the page, it is really hard to catch any foreshadowing. I do think that this is a technique that he uses to keep you reading. I am really enjoying this book so far and look forward to continuing.

Section 3: Part 1


In the third section of this book, the author describes what it was like to live alone with his brother. Together they had to overcome many obstacles, such as cooking, getting Toph to school on time, and for him, having a social life. He and Toph finally got settled down in a very small condo/apartment. They learn the very basic parts of living alone. They have to take care of themselves, and Dave (the author) must learn to balance Toph's needs with his wants. When its a Friday night and he wants to go out drinking, sometimes Toph comes first. Every now and then, friends and family come to visit and participate in the cleaning.
In this section, two fears of his are brought into focus. Whenever he goes out for his social life, Toph is always left with a babysitter. Although he has had numerous babysitters for Toph, every time he worries that something is going to happen to Toph. He gets himself worked up over nothing and always debates whether or not he should turn around and go back. Although he never turns around, he always visions very descriptive images of what is going to happen to Toph. He convinces himself that this will happen anytime he leaves the house. The second fear that is shown in this section is his fear that the child protection agency will come and take Toph away from him. Whenever he thinks about this, he always goes on a “cleaning frenzy.” During this phase, he makes many trips throughout the house picking up anything and everything that’s on the floor. This section of the book reflects his fears as well as his newly acquired “parenthood.”

Biography on Author

Dave Eggers grew up close to Chicago and went to school at the University of Illinois. In 1998, he founded McSweeney's. McSweeney’s is an independent publishing house in San Francisco that puts out the quarterly literary journals. In 2002, Eggers opened up a facility called 826 Valencia which is a writing lab for young people in the Mission District of San Francisco. Along with the openings of these facilities he also teaches writing to high school students and runs a summer publishing camp. With the help of his workshop students at his high school, Eggers edits a collection of fiction, essays, and journalism called The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is also the co-editor of the Voice of Witness series of oral histories. He normally writes about art and music for magazines, including Frieze, Blind Spot, Parkett, and Spin He also designs work that has been featured in many magazines, including Print and Eye, Area: 100 Graphic Designers, and Reinventing the Wheel. In 2003, his designs for his company McSweeney's were featured in the National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and in the California Design Biennial. Along with these great achievements, he has received numerous awards. Some of them are, National Magazine Award for Fiction finalist in 2004 for “The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water", Independent Book Award in 2003 for “You Shall Know Our Velocity!”, Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2001 for “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.” This is only a fraction of the many accomplishments that Dave Eggers has experienced is his lifetime.