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  • Danae Nobrega

    7/20/17

     

    Throughout the book, the Magistrate questioned the authority and values of the Empire. But as the story progresses, he transitions to the very kind of person that the Empire […]

  • KSHEHATA wrote a new post, AIM Blog #4 4 days ago

    I am glad that this book is starting to pick up pace. In this part of the book, the magistrate decides to take the barbarian girl back home to the barbarians. He picks up some people to go along with him, but he […]

    • Good observations about karma. There does seem to be something to the fact that the magistrate must endure the same indignities that he did not prevent the barbarians from facing.
      Interesting theories about his relationship with the girl.
      And, as always, great GIF use.

  • Reading these first two chapters of “Waiting for the Barbarians” were so difficult. It reminded me of reading the first few books of The Odyssey. The context of the story is unclear and the dialogue and more imp […]

    • Great GIF use in this post. The one from The Dictator (I think) is especially on point (he even has sunglasses on!). Very nice analysis of the Magistrate’s complicity in the crimes of the empire. He might not have been the one doing the beating, but he bears some of the guilt of what happened. I agree! His relationship with the girl is very confusing!

      P.S. Don’t worry. I was informed about what is going on. I hope you are feeling better!

  • The narrative by the magistrate in Waiting for the Barbarians”, to me, is very sporadic. He seems to always bring up different memories and experiences throughout the book, like when he talks about the hunting w […]

    • I like your analysis of the materiality of the book. Very interesting. What did you make of the art on the cover?
      Nice discussion of the magistrate and the girl’s relationship and the reasons why it changed during their journey.

  • Ivan Sanchez

    As mentioned in my previous blog, I didn’t feel bad for the Magistrate but now that the book is hitting the ending, I realize the character development and acknowledge that the Magistrate has c […]

    • Like you said, the magistrate faced the most character development throughout the book. He went from turning a blind eye at the treatment of the barbarians, to changing his mind, to getting treated that way. It’s interesting to see that even as an old man, in the end, he is unsure of the person he has become and does not know if he took the right path in life. I like that you connected his lost feelings to your own. At your age it is expected of you to still be figuring out who you are. At his age, not so much.

    • Your use of textual evidence in this blog post is great. You do a very nice job of charting the magistrate’s character development (better late than never,
      I guess!). You very effectively demonstrate how his attitude toward the barbarians and himself shifts throughout the course of the novel. (Your Breaking Bad GIF cracked me up. That is one of my favorite moments from the show!)

  • Pretty interesting book if you ask me… I do not know how to feel about this book.  I still don’t know where these Barbarians are. HOWEVER, I see that in the last two chapters, I was faced with many conf […]

    • I love the conversation between Mai and the magistrate about the girl. It is the first time that we get her perspective on the relationship, and I think that’s interesting. She is not just a surface after all. I like how you also connect this conversation to the theme of truth, which reoccurs throughout the novel.

  • At the end of the book, there is an interesting shift in the Magistrate’s character and the way that he now sees himself. At this point, we can say that the Magistrate is lower in society than the Barbarians. He w […]

    • Great close reading of the end of the novel. You do a great job of picking up on similarities in the descriptions of the Barbarians and the magistrate. There is definitely a debate to have about how much he has really changed. Have his experiences in the prison, at the mercy of the Third Bureau allowed him to truly empathize with the barbarians, or is he just responding to his current situation, and once things are good again, he will go back to being complicit?

  • Shawn Moore

    Waiting for the Barbarians

    Blog post #2

     

    The ending of this book was also hard to read and I could barely understand it. In this next chapter the Magistrate who is now in jail mind start […]

    • You are correct that social hierarchies exist all around us (some of which we are very aware of, some of which we are not). What about the torture do you think has causes the magistrate to change his mind about the girl? Is it only his pride? Or is he understanding something new about the empire?

  • Finally being let out of prison, it was easy to understand why the magistrate was cautious about his own release. Based upon how he was being treated in the prison, there is not much of a logical explanation as to […]

    • Great observation about the actions of the soldiers. I definitely want to talk about that in class, especially how it connects to Coetzee’s interest in fear and its connection to government power. Also interesting is your observation about how easily the Magistrate was released. Why do you think that was?

  • After a better analysis of the book in class I didn’t feel so lost about reading the rest of the book. In fact I feel glad that its over to be honest. Despite it being confusing to read I’m glad we did read it […]

    • I’m glad that you got something from the book, even if it wan’t your favorite reading. 🙂 Very nice analysis of the prejudice of the townspeople and their assumptions about the barbarians. I agree that seeing Joll defeated was a very satisfying scene.

  • Continuing from chapter 5 Of waiting for the barbarians by by J. M Coetzee, I read about a girl apparently being raped by a barbarian and the only way they could tell he’s a barbarian is from his “ugliness”. Lik […]

    • Lots of great analysis here. I like your observations about the “ugliness” of the barbarians. We will definitely be discussing that passage in class! It is also interesting that you point to the idea of old men not being about to “mark” the girls with whom they have sex. That seems to relate back to our discussions this week about torture and how the barbarian girl’s body has been marked.

    • It is interesting to see how the views of the magistrate completely shift once he is in the shoes of the barbarians. He now sees the damage that turning a blind eye has caused because he is now getting treated the same way. It’s liked that popular quote, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” In his case, it is freedom and identity.

  • After another try at reading “ waiting for the barbarians” by J.M Coetzee the book actually began to got a bit more interesting. With the story being told by Magistrate, I believe I left off discussing the jou […]

    • Great use of reaction GIFs! I especially like your observation about the karma of the magistrate’s treatment in the novel. When he had the power to do so, he did nothing to improve the treatment of the barbarians, and now he is suffering from the same treatment himself. What effect does that treatment have on him?

    • I found it interesting that in order to get the magistrate to see what he is turning a blind eye to, the author ensures that he gets treated just like he allows the barbarians to be treated. Not to mention the fact that he takes advantage of the girl and gets imprisoned because of her. Karma is definitely working its way around the magistrate.

  • In the 5th and 6th chapter of Waiting for the Barbarians, we see that town people blame barbarians for everything. They say that barbarians have dug tunnels and that they rape their girls and murder them. We also […]

    • I really like your observation that the barbarians are being used as scapegoats. There is almost no evidence that they are the ones actually committing those crimes. Excellent analysis of Joll’s missing glasses!

    • I like that you note that the barbarian girl has no name. Throughout the novel she is only known as barbarian girl. I agree that her namelessness signifies a lack of identity for the girl. For many outsiders that is what it is like; being identified by the group you belong to rather than as an individual.

  • Waiting for the Barbarians to its very last page is still very hard to find a good person to sympathize with, however the events are oddly satisfying. I say this because i feel like everything that the town ends […]

    • I am glad that even though the novel was a challenge that you were able to get something out of it (even if that was not necessarily enjoyment). You do a nice job of summing up what appears to be Coetzee’s message about imperialism and its devastating effects.

    • This theme of colonization is so relatable today and to our history. The negative impact that colonization has had on the barbarians is extremely similar to the lives of those who have been colonized, such as Native Americans. Taking someones land and treating them as less is dehumanizing and I agree that Coetzee tells the story of those who have been impacted beautifully.

  •        In the novel, “Waiting for the Barbarians” by J.M. Coetzee, the Magistrate develops this inexplicable attraction towards the barbarian girl. He admits to being a womanizer and does seem to sleep with a lot […]

    • Good questions about the magistrate’s relationship with the barbarian girl. I agree that it is one of the most confusing aspects of the book. I like your suggestion that part of the magistrate’s attraction to the barbarian girl is because of his guilt and his desire to understand the empire. What do you make of the fact that in doing so, he acknowledges that he is actually more like Joll than he might want to admit.

  • Already coming in with the knowledge that Waiting for the Barbarians is an allegory, I began to ponder about similarities between the events, and structure ,of the society within the book and out. Getting to the […]

    • I love the connection that you make to 1984. The two novels do have a lot of thematic parallels, like their interest in government power, authoritarianism, and the truth (both have also become super politically relevant). Glad to see you also using some of the vocabulary that we went over in class. 🙂

  • Sometimes one hears a false statement so many times that often that “rumor” becomes the truth and many times people are so ignorant that the truth can be right in front of them, but they won’t notice it . […]

    • I love that you are picking up on the idea of rumors here, and how it connects to the idea of the truth. All that we seem to know about the barbarians comes from rumors told by the empire. Good observations about the magistrate. Like most human beings, he is inconsistent and illogical. However, he probably does not deserve to be dehumanized the way that he has been.

  • After unexpectedly liking Y: The last man, going straight into this book was kind of a struggle. Ill be honest at the first read I had no idea what was going on. I sort of had an idea but I wasn’t sure if I had […]

    • I am glad that our class discussion helped you to better understand the novel. It be a challenging text; thanks for sticking with it! There does seem to be something like karma at work here. The magistrate was complicit in the treatment of the barbarians and now he is receiving similar treatment.

    • I too found it interesting why they threw him in jail. If the barbarians are so much less than them, and are “savages”, then why are you throwing them in jail? To imprison and abuse them shows fear. It shows that they are not just sickened by them but they are also scared of them. Scared that they will take their place and overthrow the empire.

  • By just looking at the title of the novel, Waiting For The Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee, to me, the use of the word ‘barbarian’ references to a group of people w ho are usually being opposed for different rea […]

    • I love your use of the Achebe quote. It speaks to one of the interesting motifs in the story: the silence of the barbarians. Practically everything we know about the barbarians comes from the representatives of the empire. Good connections to Between the World and Me and Diary of an Oxygen Thief. The agency and autonomy of female bodies, female bodies of color in particular has a difficult history in this country.

    • I like the connections you made with the way magistrate referee to women. It seems that no matter what book or story we read, women are still seen as less by the men in the story. I also like the personal connection that you made with not only your parents with but also with your previous relationships. The sad truth is that most girls and women today are till taught that their body is not their own. That too in a way is dehumanizing.

  •  

    What a cliffhanger. I never thought a comic book could be so interesting. Being that this was the first comic book that I read i was really drawn in by the pictures and the way the author laid out the […]

    • Love this GIF here. What do you think of Yorick’s relationship with Sonia. Are we able to understand and sympathize with his actions?

  • Shawn Moore

    Blog Post #3

    This week we started reading the book Waiting for the Barbarians. I found this reading very challenging with the author’s choice of vocabulary and also the way the author goes a […]

    • I’m glad that our class discussion helped you to better understand the book. It can be a challenging read, no doubt about it, but I hope that you are finding it interesting and rewarding!

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    The challenging read of the week is, Waiting for the Barbarians, by author J.M. Corzett that illuminates the themes of colonialism, racialism, nationalism, as well as other themes that can be related t […]

    • I love your very thoughtful analysis of identity in this novel. Your observation that Coetzee does not give characters names or identities as a way to reflect the ways in which the barbarians have had their identities’ erased, new ones being forced on them by the empire, is very insightful. In class tomorrow I hope we can talk about the ways in which the barbarian’s identities are created and imposed by the empire.

  • Waiting For the barbarians
    So we finished reading Y: the last man and I thought we would have a break but nope. Boom we had to read another novel and the worst part?! It has no pictures. Looking at the front of […]

    • No break during the EOP summer program. 🙂 I am glad that you are finding some interesting elements in the book. I agree that the magistrate’s relationship with the girl is confusing! Your observations about his inability to see her are astute: he can only see her through the lens of empire.

    • I find it interesting that you believe the magistrate deserves his imprisonment. Since it seems that he returned the girl only to make himself feel better, you would think that had he not been imprisoned, he would have begun to make some serious changes to the way that the people and soldiers treat the barbarians.

  • The Magistrate is a very conflicted character. We see numerous times how he battles with his emotions about the Barbarians, especially when the Barbarian girl comes around. We also see him take on a paternalistic […]

    • Very nice job of discussing the conflicted nature of the magistrate’s approach to the indigenous people. He does seem to be interested in their well-being, but that does not mean that he’s not racist. In fact his paternalism is a form of racism because it suggests that people cannot take care of themselves. Bravo on the Darth Vader GIF!

  • The end of the book was definitely unexpected because there were so many unanswered questions left. The magistrate never got his happy ending because it seems like he will never see the barbaric girl ever again […]

    • Once again, you do a nice job of considering the magistrate’s character development throughout the novel. He does seem to have a shift in perspective and he does seem to empathize with other people more readily than he has in the past (although that does not mean that he does not still harbor some of her previous prejudices). I agree that the book’s ending is not as satisfying as some might hope (although the title does give us fair warning about what is to come!).

  • I’m Waiting Too

    “Waiting For The Barbarians” … Interesting book actually. The content and structure of this book are far different from what I grew used to from Y: The Last Man. In this very book, there are no […]

    • Glad to read that you literally can’t put the book down. 😀 The book can be confusing to follow, especially because of the way in which Coetzee weaves his themes together. You do a really nice job of discussing the use of torture in the book–the reason for its use and the effects that it has on the tortured, the community, and the state. Happy reading!

  • I believe that the journey of bringing the barbaric girl back to her family is more for the magistrate than for her. The reason for that is because he didn’t even ask her if she wants to go home. Instead he just […]

    • Good analysis of chapter 3. I like your observations about what the magistrate learns from the journey and how it contributes to his character development. I agree that we can view this journey as not only geographic but also ethical. This journey does a lot to change the magistrate’s world view and develop his character.

  • Ivan Sanchez LFTB Post #1

    First things first, this book is very confusing and the main character Magistrate is very hard to relate to and like. But with that being said I enjoy the suspense and action from the […]

    • I love the images that you have included here (the torture instruments are especially ominous). You also do a nice job of exploring the role reversal that the magistrate undergoes. He does move from a position of power and privilege to one of oppression. Perhaps this experience will help him to see what an “a-hole” he was being before. 🙂

    • I’m glad that you find the magistrate’s downfall to be a sense of karma because I somewhat did too. Though his feelings did eventually shift, it was too late for him to do anything about it. He could have made great improvements to the treatment of the barbarians when he still had the power. It’s a great example of how the mighty can fall.

  • In the Chapters 3&4 of the book Waiting for the Barbarians, Magistrate goes to return the girl back to the Barbarians. He does not actually do it for the girl, but for himself. He wants to make himself happy that […]

    • Love your use of the image of Stewie. Very funny! Good observations about the Barbarian girl. We did not talk about it in class, but the magistrate seems to be preoccupied with issues of purity and cleanliness (he asks both Joll and Mandel about how they can torture and feel clean).

    • The fact that the magistrate could not wait until the weather was better to return the girl shows just how much this was eating away at his conscience. To make his own soldiers as well as himself suffer through the harsh condition of the winter implies that he really wanted to feel good about himself.

  • Chapter 3 and 4 of Waiting for the Barbarians saw the development of the relationship between the barbarian girl and the magistrate. It was interesting to see her so comfortable with the group. I was surprised to […]

    • Yes. It does seem odd that the barbarian girl would initiate sex after she has been so uninterested in his erotic advances while living with him in the town. His lack of focus and interest might relate to something that we discussed in class: although he is still starting to see her a bit better, he continues to do so only through the lens of the empire. He still does not truly see who she was before the empire marked her.
      As you read the next section, you might want to take note of how the magistrate’s sex drive seems to mirror the amount of power he has in his community.

  •        The use of allegories is a recurring theme in the novel, “Waiting for the Barbarians” by J.M. Coetzee. They often appear more than once, which is how one can infer that it serves a deeper purpose. However […]

    • Great analysis of Joll’s relationship to the truth (and I absolutely love the image you have included here). Although Joll professes to be in search of the truth, he remains willfully blind to it. He does not want, as you note, the truth, but rather some version of his truth.

  • The is a perfectly good reason for the title of this post, but first of all i feel the necessity to say that this novel was all over the place to me, and had a way of letting the reader think deeper into what […]

    • You are absolutely correct that the book provides us with few characters to sympathize with. We are forced to identify with the magistrate, mostly through the use of first-person narration, but as we have discussed in class, he is, at best, problematic. I love your observation about how it is only he has lost his power and his privilege that the magistrate rebels against the empire.

    • The townspeople do not have individual thoughts. It is scary that even the kids are taught to be cruel to the barbarians because they are outsiders. This is a great example of how our society works today. Children often develop the ideals of their families. For example, the persistence of racism in the 21st century is primarily due to this.

  • This week in Aim  we started to read “waiting for the barbarians” by  J.M Coetzee. From the cover I  thought I was going to enjoy the book automatically but I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong it does pick up just a […]

    • I love your use of GIFs here. You are not wrong to be baffled by and a little pissed off at the magistrate we are kind of forced to identify with him because he is our narrator, he is not a very likable character. Nice job of tracing the idea of blindness in this novel. It is very easy to turn a blind eye to injustice, especially if it is not directly affecting you.

    • The Basketball Wives gifs are great. It’s interesting that you see blindness as a recurring theme in the novel. Not only is the girl physically blind, but so is the magistrate and the rest of the characters for that matter. The magistrate may not be legally blind but he is (but not really) blind to the treatment of the barbarians by the guards and more importantly the Empire.

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    Waiting for the Barbarians is an interesting novel, but is very tough to read! In the beginning the reader is introduced to something called Colonialism “the policy or practice of acquiring full […]

    • You did not read it wrong; the magistrate and the girl have sex during their trip. Interestingly, she initiates it. We will have to talk about what exactly changed between them. Good analysis of the torture scene. This is an example of public Othering. I too am struck by the way in which children are implicated in the torture. We will talk in class today about the reasons behind the kind of torture that we see taking place.

  • Shawn Moore

    111566828

     

    What a cliff hanger. I never thought a comic book could be so interesting. Being that this was the first comic book that I read i was really drawn in by the pictures and the […]

  •   

     Okay, so umm… What did I just read? So much just happened that I don’t even know where to start… Like, honestly.

           I just finished reading the last half of “Y The Last Man” and I DO NOT know h […]

    • I love your use of GIFs in this blog post; they do a very effective job of conveying your response to the graphic novel. Nice work.
      You also do a good job of developing your voice, but I would like to see a little bit more analysis in these posts. I love that you brought up the issue of race in the graphic novel. What kind of racism do you see? How does it seem to effect Agent 355? What does Dr. Mann’s attitude seem to be about her race and ethnicity?

  • After reading the first 130 pages of  “ Y: the last man” I honestly couldn’t wait to read the rest. The journey out of Boston kicks off with Yorick finally doing something resourceful. He trades the moto […]

    • I really like that you point to some of the contradictions in Victoria’s logic. Of course, she would justify the murder by suggesting that the woman was supporting the patriarchy, but such reasoning doesn’t quite work. As is true of much of what Victoria says, it is based on faulty logic.
      Great observation about Yorick and his attempts to fulfill the “masculine” role of protector, even though 355 is clearly much more competent.

  • Entering the second half the of the book I started looking for answers to the many questions that I had come up with from the first half of the book. Where will they decide to go? Will Yorick be happy with the […]

    • I really like your theory that Hero was a terrible shot because the was resisting Victoria. That is actually in keeping with a research that shows that human beings actually resist violence (only about 20% of soldiers actually fired their guns during WWII; that study caused the army to change its training to make people more efficient killers). I like to think that Hero presented herself as a terrible shot, until she was too broken to fully resist Victoria.

  • Ivan Sanchez

    Just like everyone I was surprised at the ending. I’m not completely clear who the three characters are, but it’s very confusing how the two men are not dead. The ideology that the Amazons are bas […]

    • It is interesting that the novel puts us in the same position as Yorick: We are expecting Hero to turn out to be on his side, but she does seem to be completely brainwashed into hating her brother. She is a pretty tragic figure in all of this.
      Your point about the term rapist is important, because it shows that language, whether directed at men or women, is important. We need take care about the kinds of words that we use because they have the power to hurt.

  • The second half of Y: The Last Man seemed to spark some questions about the reasoning for some of the characters’ actions. Along with this, is the question of how Yorrick’s sister became part of the Amazons and […]

    • Sonia is an interesting character. She does seem to have chemistry with Yorick (their bonding over David Bowie lyrics is compelling enough for me), but her decision to reveal the truth about Marrisville is questionable. She does betray the confidence of all of the other women in the town.
      Hero’s character also brings up the question of loyalty. Why do you think her loyalties shifted from her brother Yorick to Victoria and the other Amazons?

  • It is hard to alter someone’s thoughts or to make her understand something when she is brainwashed. In the book “The Last Man” by Brian Vaughan, Hero, Yorick’s sister, tries to find and kill the last man even th […]

    • I like that you make connections between the graphic novel and contemporary gender norms. Sonia’s choices in the story are interesting, and I look forward to talking with you in class about them. She does seem to be too trusting of Yorick, although I do buy their chemistry and connection. What do you make of Yorick’s actions after Sonia puts her trust in him?

  • The book “The Last Man” by Brian Vaughan, starts off by a really normal day. Where Beth was in Australia and was talking to her boyfriend Yorick. Yorick’s mom is a representative and as it usually happens in the g […]

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  • Blog Entry #2

     

        Resuming from where I had last left off in “Y: The Last Man” I found myself more transfixed with the climaxing action throughout the graphic novel, and the interesting techniques of whic […]

    • Interesting theory re:Beth as mother nature. Is there any evidence in the text so far to support your claims. You might want to think about how she is represented when we first see her; the significance of the aboriginal symbols on the one cover we analyzed; and the significance of Yorick’s dream/nightmare about her. The text, as it stands now, seems like it might support that reading. (Although I am not going to spoil how the story pans out ;).)

  • Welcome back to the second and final blog on “The Last Man” by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Josè Marzár, Jr. For starters the ending of this comic book was shockingly pretty heart warming and even to some […]

    • It does suck that our law somewhat implies that women and men are not equal. Look at our unequal pay, for example. It’s harder to make changes in society when our own governing systems are not enforcing these rules. Like it is mentioned in the book, women seem to always be at a disadvantage even when they go to jail. As for Hero becoming the next Amazon leader, she definitely has it in her as sad as situation may be.

    • I really like both your (and Emily’s) comments about the institutional sexism in our society. It is that kind of systemic sexism that is especially nefarious (just like systemic racism) because it is so difficult to see and root out.
      Good discussion of Jennifer and Hero Brown. I won’t spoil Representative Brown’s actions (although I will say that she has her reasons, though I’m not sure how compelling they are), but we will talk about Hero in class. Her interactions with Yorick are heartbreaking.

  • Sarah S Mensah
    Aim 2
    07/11/17
    Y:The last man

    Continuing from where I left off in the book I found out interesting stuff. I found out Dr Mann is American by nationality and Japan, Chinese by ethnicity. I […]

    • It’s cool that you got to make a personal connection to the reading. I also like the connection you made to your psychology class. The Amazon women seem to be victims of brainwashing because justifying a killing is not a normal thing to do, even if it may be the end of the world. The Amazon’s are a textbook definition of a cult and it is scary to see them inflicting pain on their fellow women rather than banding together to try and get through whatever is left of the world.

    • Great analysis in this post! I second Emily’s comment about your assessment of the Amazon’s as a cult. I also love your attention to language and the way that it is gendered in the story. I love the line “Man, you chop wood like a girl,” because of how loaded that line is.
      Your observations about Yorick are also great. He does start this story very much as a boy, and part of this story is about him becoming a “man” (whatever that means…).

  • Blood is thicker than water. This is a well renowned phrase that has been recycled throughout generations and will remain relevant to the societal expectations in place, in regards to family. However, in “Y: The L […]

    • Hero’s first kill was a turning point for her character in the story. I agree that the loses it once she killed that first person. After that I began to wonder if Hero would have tried to help her brother had she not killed that woman. Though Victoria’s words were influential, it was the actual action of murder that seemed to create a new Hero. It is crazy to think that someone named Hero would become a villain.

    • Great close reading of Hero and her dialogue. The dehumanizing use of the word “it” to refer to her brother is so important (she is linguistically objectifying him). Your observation about her “sisters” is also so important. They have become her family.
      I like that you included a picture of Patty Hearst. It speaks to the idea of Hero being brainwashed by the charismatic Victoria.

  • The latter half of this graphic novel had my emotions scattered. Let me start of by saying reading this novel is not like a reading a book, but more like reading the subtitles off of a silent movie. In this […]

    • I was also shocked at Hero’s feelings towards seeing her brother. Imagine if suddenly all the men died and you hear that the only one to survive happened to be your brother. Killing him would definitely not be the first thing to cross my mind. Radical is definitely the best word to describe the Amazon’s. I find it interesting that you believe Victoria has had a very negative experience with men which is why she joined the Amazons. I too thought so when reading.

    • Let me just start by saying that I loved the visuals in your blog. You put them to excellent use.
      As you note, and Emily commented as well, Hero’s actions can be difficult to understand. But I think your observations about brainwashing do help to understand her behavior a bit. Victoria seems to be very good at manipulating the women who have been made desperate and vulnerable because of the gendercide. I agree that she is a completely hatable character.

  •   Ironically  I found myself overly jubilant to continue reading “ The Last Man” by Brian Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and José Marzan Jr. We left off with Yorick in search of his sister, hero, alongside with Dr.Man […]

    • I thought the most interesting thing when reading was that the ex-convicts were the nicest group of individuals to Yorick. You would think that they would also treat him the way the Amazon’s did, but no. Instead they showed him kindness and compassion and even tried to protect him. This book definitely has a strong sense of irony in the way that roles seem to reverse from the way that they are usually depicted in society.

    • Great use of GIFs in this blog post. They very effectively convey your reactions to the story.
      I love your observations about Yorick’s development throughout the first book. When the story begins, he is very much a boy, but we see him start to develop into a “man” (whatever that means within the context of the novel…). I love his last line in the book “You know, for half a second, I was stupid enough to think this last boy on earth gig might be fun.”

  • Patriarchy- “a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family and descent is traced through the male line”. In other words, the men is the superior power and the fem […]

    • Great analysis of the current day relevance of the patriarchy. It is still very much an issue in contemporary society (the political cartoon you posted reminds me of the recent senate committee on health care, which included no women).
      You also do a great job of discussing the androcentrism of the novel. I love your use of voice in that section to demonstrate the absurdity of focusing on the one man (instead of the billions of women).
      A bit more discussion about Marrisville might have been interesting. How do these women defy the patriarchy and gender norms?

  • During my second read of the Y: The Last Man, I took notice of the stereotype that was repeatedly brought up about men. At this point in the book we are all aware that Yorick is the last man on Earth. Therefore, […]

    • I’m glad that you pointed out that most of the women expected Yorick to get with all of the women for procreational purposes. When we look at our society today, men are not usually called out for being with multiple women. Not to mention, women are mentioned as weighing Yorick down, something that generally has a negative connotation. And now in this dystopia, it seems like that is the one standard that still applies.

    • Great discussion of the sexual stereotypes Y: The Last Man explores. As you (and Emily!) note, there is a sexual double standard in our society. We expect women to be monogamous and men to be promiscuous (spreading their wild oats). It is interesting that Yorick largely rejects that.
      I also like your observations about Sonia’s assertion of her sexuality. The woman knows what she wants and is not afraid to pursue it! This to is an inversion; women are expected to be demure and coy about her sexuality, not direct, blunt, and assertive, which is what we get from Sonia.

  • In the second half of The Last Man, I found Yorick’s description of his sister, Hero, to be ironic because Yorick thinks of her to be this caring person and even compares her to Florence Nightingale. Florence N […]

    • I also found Hero’s name to be fascinating. In the beginning of the book she was an EMT, living up to her name. But now, you could probably argue that in her mind she is doing the same thing. Instead, her new act of heroism is to rid the world of the remnants of men even if it means killing her brother. As readers we think she’s crazy but in her own mind it can almost be justified.

    • Your observations about the lipstick are really interesting. Overall, I love Pia Guerra’s art in this book, but I absolutely hate the lipstick. In comic books, lipstick is used to gender characters, but it is not really necessary in this one (and in fact it is a bit absurd; it suggests that the world might be falling apart around them, but these women don’t neglect their lipstick. It’s silly, really.).
      Great analysis of Hero, I love your discussion of her name and her connection to Florence Nightingale.

  • To the very last page The Last Man has not failed to disappoint. The first half of the graphic novel was amazing, and intriguing, yet the second half of the novel managed to be even better than its predecessor, […]

    • The plot truly did thicken. Yorick’s fling with Sonia was one thing I did not see coming. At first he was so bent on finding his girlfriend who he says he loves dearly but the moment he meets another girl, it is almost as if that plan flies out of the window. It is interesting to see that even though he is the last man on Earth (maybe), he is still acting like what people consider to be a stereotypical guy.

    • I really like your discussion of Marrisville. That section does so much to undermine stereotypes, not only about women, but also about people who have been charged with crimes. The women of Marrisville offer and interesting contrast to the Amazons: both are communities of women, but their structure, priorities, and ideals are very different.
      Sorry for all the cliffhangers! They tend to be a trope of serialized storytelling, an attempt to get you interested in the next story. Glad to hear it worked!

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  • I have to admit, I was pretty excited about reading a graphic novel to start off our class, and I wasn’t disappointed. We’re first greeted by an interestingly-zombie-like shot of dead men on the floor, ind […]

    • Glad to hear that you are enjoying the story so far. Your observations about the chaos that the world has fallen into is very interesting. As we noted in class, while this does demonstrate the ways in which certain institutions in the world continue to be dominated by men, it also does render women weak and incompetent.
      The issue of survivor’s guilt does come up frequently in the graphic novel. Yorick, especially, seems to suffer from it.

  • The short story A Sorrowful Woman by Gail Godwin has various instances where traditional gender roles were opposed. The mother plays an opposite role from a traditional mother who is very caring towards her kids. […]

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    The short story A Sorrowful Woman by Gail Godwin has various instances where traditional gender roles were opposed. The mother plays an opposite role from a traditional mother who is very caring towards her kids. However, in the story, the woman seems to dislike her kids very much. Not only does she plan an opposite role, but her husband does as…[Read more]

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  • The fight for equality of both sexes has been going on since the beginning of time. Although there has been a significant change in the roles that women play, the way that women are viewed in society is still one […]

    • Very good analysis of the graphic novel. You do a great job of exploring how the novel challenges stereotypes associated with masculinity and femininity. We do tend to associate violence with masculinity, and, as a culture, do not expect women to be violent. This is just one of the gender norms the novel challenges.
      You also do a nice job of talking about sexual double standards and slut shaming. It is very interesting to see women being the ones to engage in the slut shaming (which I think is reflective of real life); it is women who are policing those gender and sexual norms, not men.

    • The double standard shown on page 31 definitely caught my attention as well. It seemed surprising to me that a woman would call another woman a whore, yet not point out that if the woman is “wrong”, then wouldn’t the male be as well? I agree with you when you say that the novel touches upon major issues, because these are problems that have yet to be addressed in our society today.

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  • The first 130 pages of this graphic novel have been a whirlwind. It depicts a world consisting only of women, while all the males or Y chromosomes species have died out, except one man and one monkey. The world […]

    • Good discussion of the graphic novel. While reading your observations I was drawn to an interesting juxtaposition between the garbage girl and Amazons. As you note, in the one instance we have a character who has paid to have her breasts augmented; in the other, we have women who have removed one of their breasts. It might be interesting to consider the social significance of breasts in our society, and how they relate to femininity, objectification, and sexualization. What does the decision to alter breasts (in very different ways) say about these characters?

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