Today we talked in class a lot about the perspective of the speaker in Mary Borden’s collection of stories in “The Forbidden Zone”. I don’t want to talk much about this because we talked for a while in class about it and some other people (like Jordan in her post here and Jamie in her post here) have already extended this discussion onto the blog. I will, however, post the pictures of the drawings my section produced on the board today. I’m curious as it if there were any other perspectives that you saw the speaker holding in any of these stories that were different than the ones talked about in class. I personally saw the speaker as an onlooker or witness to the events, almost as a distant storyteller, which makes sense being as she is telling us these narratives in a very story-like way.
One thing that really struck me as I read through the selection of work for today was the personification of things like the town and aeroplanes. The planes, in particular, caught my attention because they are the machines that are doing the destroying (unless you argue that man is the machine and the planes are just their way of executing but that is a whole other idea) but yet their characterization is almost childlike. They seemed like toys to me, in some really odd and warped way. What do you think this personification is doing in this work? What is the purpose of it? Did you even notice it while initially reading for today?
Another thing that I really liked when it came to Borden was her style. We talked a little bit about her sentence structure and what that was doing in the pieces, along with the repetition. Not to be repetitive, but I really loved the repeating. The four paragraphs that we read aloud in class today (pages 23 & 24) had a sort of systematic repetition happening there. In the first paragraph, in the first few sentences, one work from the first sentence would be repeated into the second, and from the second another word would find its way into the third and so on. This choice of subtle repeating seemed like it was trying to lull the reader or pull them through the paragraph. The lulling also happens towards the end of the first paragraph as sentences begin to establish a rhythm and rhyme to them. How do you see these poetic devices working in a non-fiction piece? Where there any other patterns that you noticed while reading? Or where there any other stylistic choices that Borden made that you think should be recognized here that we missed in class today?
I know some of these questions can be more analytical and maybe you need something easy to think about since we are just out of midterms week, so I will leave you all with this: out of all of the stories we read for today, which one was your favorite and why? Or, if you don’t want to be too specific, or don’t have a favorite, how do you feel about Borden in general? Do you enjoy this type of reading more or less than the novels and poems we have already tackled this semester?