Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Diary of a Chambermaid Reveals Lack of Values

The novel is a very accurate representation of the French society in 19th century. The main character is called Celestine and she is a chambermaid that spent all her life cleaning in people’s houses. The book is written in the form of a diary, where the woman shares all her observations about the people she meets and the place she works comparing it with old ones. Her character is unique due to the fact she acts elegantly, with a style of a Parisian and takes care of her look, even of her job as a cleaning lady. She illustrates many stories about her experience in life, where more attention is paid to stories about sexual relations and seductions. This is due to the fact that her father died, her mother prostituted, so she was traumatized and matured in her early teenage year. An interesting point of view is how she does not judge people about their temptations. Even she shows understanding and support because according to her this is just a physical need. When she goes to the last destination- village where she works at one mansion (which owners are Lanler’s family), she realizes how different people are than from the ones from the big city. She is astounded by the lack of style and the over-weight among all women. Her detailed observations rise up her memories in order to make connections with the rest of the places she has been. The character has a pretty high self-confidence and often feels free to criticize her superiors. The most often themes she comments on are hygiene, and the pettiness and the stinginess of the mansion’s owners. A problem that all the time concerns Celestine is how even of all the money her superiors owe, they are people either with no moral qualities or “owners” of dirty humiliating stories. At the end she marries the coachman of Lanlers- Joseph and goes back to her home town at the seaside. The chambermaid feels happy with her husband working in a cafĂ©, but still readers can observe that her life continues to be devoted to the physical and primitive emotions and feelings.
The amazing fact that makes the novel even more fascinating and obsessing is that it is base on true story. It was actually written by the real Celestine R. but she looked for some help in Octave Mirbeau to polish it. The kept structure of a diary makes the book more interesting because it gives more authenticity. The chambermaid as being the narrator makes her a character that is closest to the reader. The woman may be a cleaning lady, but she has style and with this extraordinary personality the author wants to stress on the lack of it among the rich high class families. As well, the novel reveals how money does not really matter, because all of the represented wealthy people are unhappy, either they are alone or if they have partners, they do not live on good terms with each other. In conclusion, the whole book as a collection of different stories representing the experience of a chambermaid deal with the lost souls and moral values of people.

Paralysis In Irish Society

James Joyce was an Irish author that sought to reveal the real situation in his country. Through his book Dubliners he wanted to show the Irish society and its main problem- the paralysis of all individuals. Joyce chose this theme in order to prove that Dublin’s citizens, no matter whether they are young or old, high or low class, they are all united under the characteristics of being incapable in changing their lives and following their dreams till the end.
The stories included in Dubliners show all aspects of standstill among the society. Joyce used characters with different positions in life, so that he could make all citizens realized that their everyday problems and dilemmas are exactly the ones represented in the short stories. The piece of writing “Araby” has the purpose to reveal paralysis among children. The main character, a young boy, is highly attracted by a woman, so that he decides to go to the bazaar in Araby in order to buy her a present. When the boy arrives there he understands that he would look funny and foolish in the eyes of his love that was not familiar with his feelings. His words “I knew my stay was useless,…., then I turned away slowly and walked down,” (p.35) reveal the lack of the character’s ability to be brave and show his attraction. This end of the story is used in order to introduce the boy’s last decision as his standstill, because the young gentleman is afraid of taking the next step, so he stays paralyzed.
The Irish author succeeds to express the theme of standstill among Dubliners not only through children, but as well through people from all ages. In his story “After the Race”, he represents Jimmy, the main character that loses his money in a cards game. Jimmy is young and has his money from his father, so somehow he does not really knows how difficult is to amass wealth. He used to spend it in car races, but now it is all gone. The revealing of the character’s thoughts “He knew that he would regret it in the morning, but at present he was glad of the rest, glad of the dark, stupor that would cover up his folly” (p.48) proves the theme of paralysis through the fact that he lives for the moment and does not want to do anything in order to change his waste of the wealth. Even though Jimmy soberly realizes that there will be consequences in the morning, still he prefers to enjoy the night and not to worry about tomorrow. This way of thinking effectively reveals the character’s standstill and lack of desire to change the situation in order to make his future better, so as a result he accepts to live with the idea to leave the things the way they are.
In opposition to most of his stories, where there is no gradation in the character, Joyce used his trial story to reveal that some of the Dubliners dare to analyze their life and think over it. “The Dead” is a piece of writing where Gabriel, the main character, at the beginning is presented as someone that exists just for pleasure and not for reaching soul enrichment. Later on, when he finds out about his wife’s ex-lover who died for her, Gabriel starts speculating on his aimless life where he did not show any bravery to prove himself as a worthy person. The character realized that just existing without a purpose and without a person to share excitement with is a pointless life. Then Gabriel finds out he is a shadow because his being could be equal to death. The snow at the end of the story symbolizes how it covers and hides all these people in Dublin that did not reach any deep soul development, they were just living their simple boring every-day routine. “The Dead” reveals the paralysis of Gabriel who understands that it is too late to change his life, so that he will not even try too, but on the other hand the main character at least realizes the present standstill and spends time thinking over it.
Dubliners is a book which James Joyce wrote in order to represent all these problems of the Irish society of not being capable to go through the next step of changing their life, so they prefer just to be some paralyzed individuals. The author’s writing effectively shows the standstill as a main theme building his stories and as well he succeeds to reveal the readers the real situation in Ireland.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dubai Story

A lot of positive memories emerge from my mind when I think of my visit to Dubai, which was the most impressive, exciting and amazing trip I ever had. I cannot believe that when my mother asked me whether I would come with them or not, my first answer was no. Thanks God, I changed my mind later on, because I would have missed one of the best modern human achievements in the world.
At the beginning of April 2009, when my spring school holiday had just started, I left the country with my family and some of our friends on a family vacation. Due to the fact that there was not direct flight from Sofia to Dubai, we had to take a plane from Istanbul, so first we traveled to Turkey and then an exhausting flight of almost five hours to the United Arab Emirates followed. Even though the whole traveling was tiring, it was luxurious as well. When I entered Emirates’ plane, this is the airline of United Arab Emirates, I was fascinated by the nice cozy environment and by the affable air-hostesses. On the back of every seat, there was a TV screen with over three hundred channels, where the latest movies were offered as well. The service was on a high level, so I was already impressed by United Arab Emirates before I land there. Finally, we arrived and when we entered the airport building, I felt like I was in some palace. All the walls and the floor were covered with snowy white shiny marble, there were beautifully painted and decorated with gold pillars. In addition, there were huge palms and plants inside the building which were like the cherry at the top of the airport’s luxurious interior. We took our luggage and we took a taxi to our hotel. During the driving, my mother informed me that inside our hotel there is a shopping mall. As most women, I liked this, but actually I did not have any idea what we were talking about. We got at the place where we were going to stay for the next week, we threw our suitcases in the suites and went for a dinner in some park full of oriental restaurants and clubs. There for first time I tried the best salad ever. It is called “Tabuleh” and it is made of parsley, small pieces of tomato and some special Arab spices. Since then, this is one of my favorite salads. On the next day, we visited the so called inside hotel shopping centre. Actually, the place was so huge that everyday we had a walk there when we had free time around the hotel and everyday we found something new. Inside the mall, there were shops of all the famous fashion designers and as well the brilliance was present there as well. Around every place for rest such as bars and restaurant, it was full of plants and fountains. For another time I was impressed, and still this was one small part of what we saw in Dubai.
The famous built islands in the shape of palms were an amazing human proof of capabilities and creativity. The one we visited was called Palm Jumeirah and there we saw fascinating hotels which had their own aqua parks, jungles around their lobby bars, aquariums with different animals, shopping malls and every other entertainment a human can imagine. The highest building in the world is also placed at this city. It is called Burj Dubai, which means Dubai Tower and its height is 818 meters (2,684 ft.) In addition the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab is another unique creation of architecture and engineering. There were thousands of skyscrapers which reminded me of New York, each one with amazing architecture, but still some were in process of developing.
The most adventurous experience I had there was the safari. We spent one whole day devoted to life in the dessert. We got on the jeeps, without knowing what was expecting us. The drivers were totally insane. They started the powerful engines and began to climb the sand hills. Then, the vehicles were moving up and down the mounts, on the tiny top so that we felt like we would turn over. Honestly, I was scared, but for sure not the only one, because the boys sitting next to me were screaming together with me, holding each other tight. After this adventure, we fetched up in a camp where camels, oriental food and dances expected us for the whole evening. We enjoyed the dinner, the show and the clean air, away from the skyscrapers and the traffic jams. While I was taking pleasure in sitting on the sand under the clear sky in the middle of nowhere, I though how wonderful is Dubai. The people there succeeded to combine nature and civilization in unique and impressive way.
When I came back to Bulgaria, I realized that the United Arab Emirates were a fascinating country, where the main goal was to create distinctive world that would impress all people on Earth.
Here is some additional information for Dubai.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Dessert Called Love

She loved him, but she loved him so much that it was burning and killing her inside of her body. She could not believe he left her here in the middle of nowhere, because the world without him was like a dessert, like Sahara.

The guy’s name was Francois, he was from Switzerland and she was Isabelle, but she was a pure beautiful French girl. He was a senior and she was a junior in a famous English high-school in Paris. . How did they meet? He was the one who made the first step. Francois started writing her messages on the worldwide famous Facebook. She was impressed, because he was one the boys that every girl at school wanted and she, on the other hand, was not one of those popular students that everyone wanted to be with. On their first night out, he succeeded to bring her at his place and then her first real passionate kiss followed. She was not one of those types of women that were giving out themselves, but as if he was some magician that enchanted her and she fell right into the wolf’s paws. This kiss was the beginning of the best thing that happened in Isabelle’s life, but as well the most painful one. Everyday she heard different girls to state that Francois was hitting on them and this made her to freak out, because she knew it was true. She could not live with the idea that while she was home alone, he could be fondling another woman the way he did with her. After four months, everything was over.

After a week of permanent crying, she decided to talk to him. Isabelle proposed the idea of just making love, without being in a relationship. He accepted. They started seeing each other again and again, and then once when he was all over her and she felt his breathe, she realized she loves him. She had to accept this “friends with benefits” relationship and listen about his affairs just because she needed to be close to him. The months passed away and the summer came. He had to leave France. Francois spent his last night in Paris with Isabelle. It was already five in the morning and he had to leave. Her heart was going to explode. Standing on the door, hugging him and feeling his beat for last time, she realized she would not see him again. He left her there with all the pain inside of her fragile body. He left her there alone, in the most romantic dessert ever- Paris. The door closed, she started crying, and then she screamed “I love you”, words she never said out loud before, but he was gone.