Monday, May 17, 2010

Slumdog Millionaire

From rags to riches: The boy from the slum becomes a millionaire after going through life’s challenges and obstacles. A typical story line in the movie industry but portrayed in different concepts, story lines and meanings. The 2008 movie, Slumdog Millionaire, written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Danny Boyle, portrays the three musketeers, Jamal, Salim and Lakita from their young age to their adult lives. The movie Slumdog Millionaire shows us capitalism, ideology, history and culture through different scenarios with its actors and actresses.

The three musketeers always and forever. Jamal who is the youngest brother and the oldest brother Salim, live in the slums of India and are on their own after their mother’s death at a very young age. Lakita is also a street child whom Jamal invites to stay with them when he sees her standing in the pouring rain. The story then takes off from that scene and the three of them are off to search for a better life together. However, as they go on, the reality of the slums takes over their camaraderie and it turns into every man for them selves.

Maman, who is a gangster, picks up Jamal, his brother Salim and Lakita and takes them to an orphanage where he uses them to beg for money. He goes as far as blinding the children so they can be worth more in the begging process. The kids are fed and see that the hurt children are being loved and attended too so they think they are in a better place and that Maman is a “saint.” Once they realize what is going on and Jamal is going to be the next child blinded, all three of them flee and only the brothers make it on to the moving train while Latika is once again captured by the gangsters and is turned into a prostitute whose virginity is valued very highly monetarily. These gangsters have this ideology where they will live the good life and be well off financially if they use these children and corrupt them. The brothers go on together and start charging for tours at the Taj Mahal pretending to be tour guides, working as dishwashers, and stealing purses to get money out of them. They are well off and work together but Jamal’s mind is always on Latika and wondering where she is and if she is alive. They go back to the slums and find out that Lakita is working for Maman as a prostitute and go and help her escape.

The film really takes on a western and eastern point of view. As Jamal and Salim are pretending to be tour guides to an American couple traveling to India, the kids steal the tires from the tourist’s car and their belongings. As they head back and see what condition their car is in, a guard throws down Jamal and starts to kick him in the head. The American couple runs to the aid of Jamal and he says “You want to see a bit of the real India? Here it is!” To which the American lady caresses Jamal and says “Well here’s a bit of the real America son,” and hands Jamal a hundred dollar bill. This film to me brought attention to the slums and how the “real India” is. Watching it, I was appalled at what went on in the slums, the orphanages, and the interrogation of a street child who was winning this game show because all of the answers were there through his experiences as a slum dog.

The culture and the society that these kids live in shaped their lives and their future. Theses slums were norm to their lives, and they knew no different. They wished for a different life, but knew that was just another fantasy and no reality. Globalization, ideology, and capitalism all also have a role in how the slums of India are portrayed in this film. “These two interrelated processes are linked to a host of cultural and political transformations that redefine the relations between the West and it’s others. The image of a unified globe dispenses with the notion of an outside…nations have become increasingly open to the flow of capital, even as they remain closed to the movement of the poor” (Coronil, 368). Just as in the film, politics and culture played a key fact in these kids’ lives from the slums. The poor stay poor while the rich get richer…unless they are lucky enough to win on a game show.

Eventually, they all escape and go on their separate ways but destiny brings them back in the end. Their separation is a result of reality and as they get older, circumstances and destiny leads them to different parts. Salim, who was always the “leader” of the three and who was always the one figuring out ways to make money, went back to work for one of the biggest gangsters in the slums. Salim was always putting money before anything and anyone and even went as far as selling his brothers prized autograph of an Indian actor. He put himself first before anyone, although he did take good care of his brother throughout the film. Jamal goes on to be a contestant on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and ultimately becomes a millionaire and through that show connects with Lakita on the last question about “The Three Musketeers.” Lakita ended up with the gangster that Salim was working for and had lost hope of ever seeing Jamal.


Coronil, Fernando. "Towards a Critique of Globalcentrism: Speculation on Capitalism's Nature." Public Culture 12.2 (2000): 358. JSTOR. Web. 3 May 2010.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coyote Ending

Long ago, when man was newly come into the world, there were days when he was the happiest creature of all. Those were the days when spring brushed across the willow tails, or when his children ripened with the blueberries in the sun of summer, or when the goldenrod bloomed in the autumn haze.

But always the mists of autumn evenings grew more chill, and the sun's strokes grew shorter. Then man saw winter moving near, and he became fearful and unhappy. He was afraid for his children, and for the grandfathers and grandmothers who carried in their heads the sacred tales of the tribe. Many of these, young and old, would die in the long, ice-bitter months of winter.
Coyote, like the rest of the People, had no need for fire. So he seldom concerned himself with it, until one spring day when he was passing a human village. There the women were singing a song of mourning for the babies and the old ones who had died in the winter. Their voices moaned like the west wind through a buffalo skull, prickling the hairs on Coyote's neck.

"Feel how the sun is now warm on our backs," one of the men was saying. "Feel how it warms the earth and makes these stones hot to the touch. If only we could have had a small piece of the sun in our teepees during the winter."

Coyote, overhearing this... pulls out a deck of cards and fanned them expertly. Distracting all of the other "people", the fire slowly died and then, so did the "people". Because as we all know, you can't live without fire.

The Beginning

Here is a powerpoint presentation about The Beginning of Greek Mythology. Enjoy...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Late at Night"

It is late at night
The moon is oh so bright.
The stars are shining
Such pleasant dining.
He looks her in the eyes
And says his goodbyes.
This was unexpected
She felt neglected.
Words go unspoken
As her heart becomes broken.
She holds back her tears
As she reminisces through the years.
He was her love
She hears a mourning dove.
The night came to an end
As she lost her best friend.

"So Soon"

You left so early
Not thinking about what you would leave behind.
I miss you dearly
The pain I cannot hide.
Not a day goes by
That I don't think of you.
I hope that one day
I will reunite with you.
Your pain is gone
My pain has grown
Wondering why you left so soon.
Losing you was like losing a piece of my heart
I've lost myself and I don't know where to start.
It's like a dream I can't get out of.
I question God all the time
Why he had to take you at this point in our lifetime.
I want you to come back
And put my life on track.
I love you and I miss you
I wish this were untrue.
Time will heal all wounds is what they say
That is wrong with what I'm feeling today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Flying Japan"

One by one we line up
Nervous as we head up
We speak amongst one another
As we take little steps up.

Looking at the blue sky
We go up the stairs.
Our destination is what we want
The wait & anticipation is what we don't want.

Will we survive?
Will we prosper?
Will we appreciate?
Will we go?

An unfamilar destination
Going on strangers land.
This is what we fought for
Flying Japan.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson

A child is born, a life is lost. You come into this world knowing one day you will die. You will not know when you will die and or how you will die however one day it will happen. In the poem, Because I CouldNot Stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson, she writes about death coming to get her while usingmetaphors,alliteration, and personification amongst other styles to get her idea across.

The first line of the poem starts off “Because I could not stop for Death (1) and it sets the idea of the poem from the start. When death is coming it cannot be stopped and throughout the poem she is getting closer to death but she does not fear it. She knows this is a natural process that is going to happen one day or another to any one person so instead of fearing it she is embracing it. Patrica Engle wrote “It is simply not her nature to stop for Death. She realizes that she cannot recognize Death's power over her.” Dickinson uses death as a metaphor to portray that death is feared yet she is so calm when it has come after her. “And I had put away/ My labor, and my leisure too, / For his civility” (6-8). As people we fear death and we wish it would not happen, but Dickinson is saying that she put aside her life, her work, her leisure because death came in such a kind way.

“We passed the school where children played” (9) symbolizes a life filled with life. The woman noticing the scenery around her as she is being led by death can mean either she was too busy caught up in her whole life and never noticed the simple pleasures of a child playing or the “fields of grazing grain” (11). The woman is too caught up in her daily life and work to realize that it is time for death. She has a date with death that happens to be very cordial. Dickinson uses personification to describe death giving “Death” the male role. “He kindly stopped for me” (2) informs us the reader that death is a male. In the poem death is portrayed as being a gentleman that is very courteous and cautious in coming after this woman. “We slowly drove, he knew no haste” (5). In this line, the reader can assume that they drove slowly because death has her already and the woman is already in the hearse which drives slowly followed by the funeral procession. Now that she is dead, she goes slowly opposite to when she was caught up in her daily life and not being able to enjoy the simple pleasures life had to offer her.

The poem consists of twenty lines in the form of six stanzas which have four lines, making the poem a quatrain. Starting with the first line there are eight syllables in the sentence and the second sentence has six syllables. Throughout the poem this pattern remains with eight syllables then six, eight, six. The tone of the poem has an eerie feeling which gives the reader an insight on death. We usually do not sit there and think of when death will come but after reading Dickinson’s poem, you paint the picture of death and imagine the scenery she is in while death carries her off toward eternity.


Engle, Patrica. "Dickinson's Because I could not stop for death." The Explicator 60.2 (2002): 72+. General OneFile. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.

Theodore C. Hoepfner American Literature, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Mar., 1957), p. 96 Published by: Duke University Press