Part I (Identifications)
The Main Street
a.) The Jolly Seventeen. Jolly Seventeen is a social club at Gopher Prairie with members ranging from fourteen to twenty-six and composed mostly of young married women. More than a social club, Jolly Seventeen determines and judges what is acceptable or not at Gopher Prairie. Those who get in are considered elite and thus are deemed worthy of attention and favor. In the case of Carol, her membership is not enough for the members to receive and acknowledge her. To be a member at Jolly Seventeen is to act, think, and speak according to the values of the club. Carol was rejected at first because of her unconventional opinions (e.g. treating maids as equals) and open-mindedness but when she turned silent, she was soon accepted by the group.
b.) Village virus. Village virus is a label that points to the tendency of those living in a town or a village to accept the town or village for what it is. Those afflicted with this virus finds satisfaction in their village or town life. They have settled into the rhythm and pace of the town/ village quite nicely thus their hesitance to initiate or support change. In one of their conversations Guy Pollock tells Carol that he caught the village virus causing him to be less ambitious and desirous of change and of a greater/better life.
c.) Vida Sherwin. Vida Sherwin is one of the characters in Main Street and who is a friend to Carol. Vida works as a high school teacher at Gopher Prairie and who later marries Raymond Wutherspoon out of fear of spinsterhood. Vida is an important character in the novel because she shows the ambitiousness of Carol’s vision for Gopher Prairie. Although she does not counter Carol’s viewpoint entirely, she believes that Gopher Prairies cannot undergo the dramatic changes Carol wants for the town. Vida in a way understands that dreams are always bigger than reality.
a.) Frank Crawley. Frank Crawley is one of the characters in “Rebecca.” He is a friend of Maxim as well as the narrator. Throughout the narrative, he remains a true supporter to the couple, helping the narrator with her affairs at Manderley and defending Maxim when he was tried in court for killing Rebecca. Although in the narrator’s eyes, Frank is a good person, the mysteriousness of Frank’s character lends doubts to the narrator’s perception. Favell discloses that it was Frank who pursued Rebecca and not the other way around. In “Rebecca,” it is difficult to gauge the truthfulness of every character’s account. Frank may be good to some extent but also has his own share of darkness.
b.) Jack Favell. Jack Favell is another character in “Rebecca” and is portrayed for the most part as villainous. Jack is Rebecca’s cousin but despite their blood affinity, Jack agrees to a sexual affair with Rebecca. Aside from this sinful relationship, Jack is also portrayed an alcoholic and an opportunist. Suspecting that Maxim killed Rebecca, Jack tried to blackmail Maxim not out of love or care for the deceased Rebecca but out of greed or lust for money.
a.) The Golden One. The Golden One is a female character in “The Anthem” and the love interest of Equality 7-2521. Although she remains mostly the object of affection of Equality 7-2521, it is through her that Rand expresses her philosophy of and about women. Rand sees women in idealizing terms thus Golden One’s exceptional beauty and Equality 7-2521’s unequivocal adoration of her.
b.) The Council of Vocations. The Council of Vocations is responsible for assigning jobs to every individual in “The Anthem.” This job is more or less permanent thus preventing people from making choices. Once the job is assigned, the individual can no longer complain or choose another job. The Council of Vocations has to do the choosing but does not extend that power of choice to the people.
II. Short Answers
a.) Why is Mrs. Bogart dead set on ruining Fern Mullin’s reputation?
Mrs. Bogart is very traditional and believes like most of the inhabitants of Gopher Prairie that the old ways should be kept. When Fern Mullins first came to Gopher Prairie, Mrs. Boggart was critical of her because in many ways she resembles Carol in their non-conservative attitude and disposition. Among the things Mrs. Boggart dislikes about Fern is Fern’s manner of dressing, which she thinks is too provocative for a teacher and for a woman in general. Mrs. Boggart also disapproves of Fern’s easygoing nature and friendliness, which to her are marks of an indecent woman.
b.) Choose one character from “Main Street” who behaves in ways that are unethical and immoral.Briefly describe the troublesome nature of this person’s actions.
Maud Dyer. Despite being married, she does not hesitate flirting with other men such as Erik or entering into forbidden relationships such as the one she had with Kennicott. Her indifference and lack of repentance or regret make her immoral behavior even worse. She does not feel ashamed in front of Carol or the least bit uneasy with her infidelity. She sins against her husband and also to Carol and God.
a.) Towards the end of “Rebecca”, what does the narrator mean when she says, “I had listened to his story and part of me went with him like a shadow in his tracks. I too had killed Rebecca, I too had sunk the boat there in the bay.”
With this passage, the narrator admits to her guilt for keeping her silence about the murder of Rebecca by her husband and for deriving some form of benefit from the discovery or disclosure. When the narrator found that Maxim killed Rebecca out of anger and spite, the narrator did not show any disgust over the deed. Instead what she felt was release, a sense of freeing from all that she endured at Manderley. What troubled Rebecca prior to Maxim’s confession was the thought that Maxim still loved Rebecca and that Rebecca was too good, too perfect (in terms of beauty, wit, and charm) to beat and surpass as mistress of Manderley. To know that Rebecca was not as perfect as she thought she was and that Maxim was never in love with her gave Rebecca that power and sense of identity she had a hard time asserting for herself as a second wife. Maxim murdering Rebecca was a good news for Rebecca thus her participation in the cover-up. By helping Maxim hide the truth and for the benefit the truth gave her, Rebecca had moments of guilt. In her mind, she was as much a murderer as Maxim and none the less worse.
b.) The narrator of “Rebecca” states, “I am a between-maid…in lots of ways. That’s why I have so much in common with Clarice” (143). What does it mean?
A between-maid is a maid who performs various chores for different household workers (cook, butler, and the housekeeper). The narrator likens herself to a between-maid because between-maids do not have an identity of their own since their duties are connected to the main departments in the house. The narrator has difficulty asserting herself as mistress of Manderley because of her own share of insecurities thus her assumption of varied roles in the estate. She acts with humble submission in front of Mrs. Danvers and a dutiful wife to Maxim. Through most of her stay in Manderley, she remains tentative in executing her duties and responsibilities as mistress of Manderley.
a.) What are the sins of the dystopian culture described in Anthem?
The sins recognized by the dystopian culture portrayed in Anthem are the sins to act individually or against collective action and to think thoughts not known or recognized by others. In other words, all the sins have to do with establishing a sense of self which is prohibited by the collective system in the Anthem. There can be no self because the dystopian culture represented in the novel implements absolute collectivism.
b.) Briefly describe the attitudes toward scientific and technological innovation promoted in Anthem.
Although technological innovation is recognized by the dystopian culture, there exists strict regulation over the process. Scientific /Technological innovation has to be done and agreed upon collectively. A technology discovered and developed by one person is unacceptable. When Equality 7-2521 discovers light/electricity, he wanted to share it with others which proved to be his undoing. Rand believes that a technological discovery should be valued for itself and not for any other outside purpose. The bad consequences of Equality 7-2521’s attempt to share his discovery prove that scientific discoveries are valuable in themselves and not for anything else. The practical purpose of these discoveries is not the prime motivation for the search for truth or knowledge; it is the truth or knowledge itself.
III. “Anthem” by Ayn Rand as Reviewed by Carol Kennicott from “Main Street”
The “Anthem” is a celebration of the individual. This is how Carl Kennicott would sum up the book by Ayn Rand. An individualist herself, Carol would see a lot of herself in the protagonist, Equality 7- 2521, who, amidst the dystopian culture he was raised in, is trying his best to assert his individual self. Carol would approve of most of the efforts of Equality 7-2521 to break free from the oppressive and determinist environment he grew up in. Carol values individual choice and thought having undertaken actions deemed by most as unconventional. Despite the disapproval of the people in Gopher Prairie, Carol continues to advance ideas that are deemed too modern by the town. The individualism of Carol stems from her recognition that she is her own self and that she has the ability to effect groundbreaking change. With an individualist mindset, Carol would surely see the theme of individualism in the novel as one that is not only necessary but fundamental. Although Carol is, in her own right, an individualist, she believes in promoting change in others. In other wo...