Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 15: 12/8-12/14

Song of Soloman

Last Paragraphs:
Milkman started out as a egotistical, self-centered brat, but through the book, he changes. He becomes compassionate and he finally knows himself by the end of the novel. One of the biggest things I got out of Milkman's dynamic characterization is the importance of letting go and dealing with the cards you were given. For Milkman letting go was the only way he was able to fly. And if you take out the metaphors of this simply, one must let go and be true to themselves in order to truly be free in their own life.

Does Milkman really fly at the end?:
Whether Milkman actually flies or not at the end is left up for the reader to decide and personally, I don't think he actually flies. I think he dies truly knowing himself and what he believes in. So in this case he is truly free when he dies and thats why he is able to "fly" now.

On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eigbner
Initial reaction:
When I first saw the title of this reading I didn't think it would literally be about someone dumpster diving but I was surprised when it really kept my attention. I like how the author not only used humor, but also gave a lot of real life situations that are very relatable. The one that stuck out most to me was his part on trash from college campuses. He said college campus dumpsters are usually the best because college students mindlessly get rid of things that can still be used. This is very relevant because it calls college students out for how wasteful we can be. He also added a funny side note that says, "I am horrified to discover the kind of paper that now merits an A in an undergraduate course."

Personal aspect of going through someones trash:
This was one of my favorite lines in the reading, "But my strongest reservation about going through individual garbage cans is that this seems to me a very personal kind of invasion to which I would object if I were a householder." I never thought about how personal trash can be. You would think it wouldn't matter if someone went through the things you are discarding, but why does this make one uneasy? I think it the judgement we think will come out of it. Judgement isn't something easy to take from others and if they are going through your stuff it will only be that much easier for them. I also think this can be very personal because they will be able to make assumptions about what kind of person you are.
Another thought I had was just the act of wasting can be very personal. I always consciously have environmental needs in mind, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect. When I'm studying for a test and have endless amounts of scrap paper, I always recycle it, but if someone was to go through my trash they would probably think I'm a crazy person from all the scribbles. Not only things I write, but also what I eat is very personal to me. If I knew someone was going through my trash, I would be more conscious of what I eat just purely based on my wanting others to think I eat healthy all the time and my own desire to always be healthy. If someone went through my trash now they would see that I have eaten way to many oranges that a normal person and that chocolate is a daily food for me.

This reading made me think of a blog I read a while ago about the idea of being a minimalist in all aspects of your life. The reading touch one the fact that one could live off of what they find by dumpster diving. This would be living off whatever people throw away. You virtually make non of your own trash and live off the bare minimum. The idea of being a minimalist is something I think everyone should strive for, but in this consumerism world we live in, it can be really difficult. I for one am always one to clean out my closet and room of the stuff I don't want and donate it, but I'm definitely not living a minimalist life because I like fashion too much to limit my wardrobe. I don't think I could ever live a truly minimalist life, but its something to always keep in mind and try to limit the clutter that can so easily consume your life.

After thinking about being a minimalist and the dumpster diving reading, I thought about Milkmans character and the "shit" he had to give up to "fly." We talk about this a lot in class, but thinking more about clutter vs. a "free" lifestyle made me revisit Milkman. Not only does he lose material goods like the idea of being a minimalist, but he becomes a minimalist in his thoughts too. He gives up his toxic friendship with Guitar, his mis-shappen love with Hagard, and his obsession with what he deserves. When he loses these things, he is finally able to fly and be completely free.

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