Monday, November 29, 2010

An Excellent Beginning

This semester I have attended so many great literary events that have broadened my mind and my interests. We are lucky to have these opportunities that allow students to grow and learn outside the classroom setting. I have learned to reach out and explore new things that I normally wouldn’t. They have inspired thought and encouraged me to attend more in the future.

I attended a performance of The Pillowman by a gifted group of actors from The Poisoned Cup Players. This theatre company is a completely student-run. I was astounded by the amount of talent that these students displayed in their acting and the creativity of the show. The Pillowman is a dark comedy about a writer Katurian Katurian whose gruesome stories are suspiciously similar to a string of child murders that have occurred recently in the town. Katurian’s grim imagination was caused by hearing his younger brother being tortured throughout his childhood. After he found his brother, Michal, he killed his parents and became his brother’s guardian. The torture caused Michal to have mental disabilities or to be as Katurian says, “slow.” The play takes place at the police station where a police officer and a detective question Katurian. They are convinced he was the murderer because the three murders are exactly like the ones in three of his stories. When they left him alone in the room with his brother, Katurian found out that Michal was the one who committed these crimes. Since he knew they were both going to be executed, Katurian decided to kill Michal in a more humane way while he was sleeping. He killed his brother the same way he killed his parents: suffocation using a pillow. Katurian tried to take the blame for all six of the murders, but the detectives didn’t fully believe him. When they asked how the third child died, Katurian answered incorrectly and was forced to admit that his brother killed the children. Though Michal acted out two of Katurian’s most violent stories, the third story was a pleasant one with a happy ending. Katurian didn’t expect this, so although it blew his cover, he was happily surprised that his younger brother acted out his favorite story. The police officer shot Katurian but saved his true meaning for living: his stories.

The main character, Katurian, reminded me of Shane in Jack Schaefer’s novel, Shane. They both have endured troubling experiences in their past that shape they way they are now. Shane protects the Starretts and treats them like a family he probably never had. He risked his life several times in order for them to live peacefully and without controversies. Katurian killed his brother so he could die in peace rather than be scared and confused. He proceeded to take the blame for all the murders because he knew his brother did not mean any harm. They were both heroes who tried to escape their past but it regrettably caught up with them.

This semester I found that the best things I’ve done are things I wouldn’t ordinarily have done. I thoroughly enjoyed events that I have attended for this class. For example, seeing Measure for Measure was a once in a lifetime experience because the American Shakespeare Center performs their plays in a much different manner from other theater companies. However, I may not have gone if I didn’t require a literary event for the blog. Now I know that it is better to “seize the day” and experience life to its fullest.

These events have lived up to and beyond my expectations. They have been enlightening and informative. I was nervous for the museum trip but I found that there was no need to be. It was a pretty simple procedure and so many friendly people helped us out. I had never heard anything about The Pillowman and had no idea what it was about. The play was so interesting and exciting that I am still raving about it to my friends and family (two weeks after I saw it). The Global Oneness Banquet opened my eyes to the issues of poverty that are very prevalent in today’s world. The lecture on Social Justice in Education by Dr. Noguera informed me about the problem of the huge gap between social classes and education. I feel more well-rounded after attending these events and writing a blog on them forces me to reflect and appreciate what I have just learned and experienced.

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