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About the Cover This issue’s cover, entitled “The Anatomy of Public Speaking,” was a submission we received from Jeff Lau. A third year Computer Science student minoring in Visual Arts at Sixth College, Lau is also the Art Editor at the UCSD Guardian. Lau says about this work, “My biggest fear is public speaking and I wanted to depict the nauseating feeling right before I get in front of a crowd and talk. The butterflies represent the beauty of speaking but because of the fear of public speaking, they are never shown to the public.”

• • • • Editors’ Note • • • • • • • • • Dear Reader, Has it really been a whole quarter since the New Inklings (and The Quarterly Quill) began? We have been thankful for all of the support from our fellow literature enthusiasts, right here at UCSD. We are so grateful to publish such talented writers, and we can’t wait to put your work in our spring issue. Find out how to submit here. Or, you can write a letter to Lemony Snicket or Wooster and Jeeves by emailing us at newinklingsucsd@gmail.com with the subject line, “Help Needed from [Character Name]”. Looking forward to seeing your work in a quarter! Sincerely, Jacqueline and Nilu


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WINTER 2014

Monthly Reads Our officers pick out their favorite books that they encourage you to pick up for every month of the quarter.

January The Dark Tower series by Stephen King for your New Year’s resolution This New Year, overly ambitious readers should challenge themselves to push their page count beyond four thousand. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is a collection of eight books that weaves an interesting mesh of genres together: the American Old West meets horror meets fantasy. Protagonist Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as the Gunslingers. With the goal of finding the Dark Tower, the supposed meeting point of all universes, Roland traverses a world being ripped apart at the seams by war and unexplainable events, such as glitches in time. A film adaptation is currently in the works, and promises to be an exciting adventure for literary connoisseurs. Monica Csikesz Creative Editor

Dark Tower image from DeviantArt Book covers from Momentum Books Australia


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February the best love stories for Valentine’s Day ejudice Pride and Pr ten by Jane Aus t of ce is the heigh di ju re P d an de ory At its core, Pri sten crafts a st u A e n Ja ; re tu of romantic litera h, who is one et b za li E ed am g of a woman n usehold, longin o h et n en B e th five sisters in dle class. caping the mid es f o es p o h in to marry pears bleak, ap e ag ri ar m of wealthy The prospect ents against m g d ju en h w ship of however, It is the court e. is ar cy ar D timeless gentlemen that weaves a cy ar D d an ce. Elizabeth high for roman s d ar d an st ts novel that se

e ll a C h r is t ia n G Director Social Media

The T im by Au e Travele drey r Niffe ’s Wife negg What er do yo ud

and o o whe ut of n you time, childh landin keep falling ood b g nak edroo in street ed in m or , vuln i n y o t ur erable he mi Henry ddle o to the DeTam f t he world impai ble is ’s thr rment b e o a r t n wit , a g s? causes h chr enetic him t o n m oo invo utatio time. luntar n wh When i i l c y trav h he me Clare el thr ets th Abshir o u e g h e, pro love o strugg blems f his les to l i a f rise a maint e, s they ain a h ealthy face relatio nship. J

March

aime Outr A r a m b u l each o L e ad er

celebrating the luck (and literature) o’ the Irish The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

If you’re looking for a thought-provoking, witty, and suspenseful read this March, pick up Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. In his first and only novel, Wilde tells the story of a vain young man who wishes that a painting of him would grow old in his place. With a startling descent into materialism and hedonism, Dorian discovers that along with his age, his many sins are transcribed onto the face of his portrait. With stunning prose and fascinating characters, Dorian Gray will keep you intrigued from start to finish.

Portrait narrates, in high aesthetic fashion, Joyce’s emotional, cultural, and artistic maturation. The protagonist, Joyce’s fictional alter ego Stephen, writhes beneath the oppressive, philistine culture of subjugated Ireland, eventually rejecting it to pursue his creative aspirations abroad. The novel is a vital mainstay of modernist literature and will galvanize readers to “forge in the smithy of [their] soul the uncreated conscious of [their] race,” or at least provoke empathy for the cause.

Hailey Sanden Managing Editor

Et han DeSon Academic Editor


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8Consume to

DEATH by Devon Munos In Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert reveals how far a person will go once poisoned with the insatiable hunger produced by a consumer society. Emma is proven the ultimate victim of consumer society by the voracious need she develops to buy things, the way she views and becomes viewed as a commodity in relationships, and because she is eventually consumed as she attempts to satisfy her desire.

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A

consumer society seeks to tempt the public to

spend money on stuff that will make the buyer appear more desirable to the rest of the social order. However, it is impossible to ever reach a peak and attain everything, so the population drowns in their attempt to compete. Gustave Flaubert reveals how far a person will go once poisoned with the insatiable hunger produced by a consumer society in his novel Madame Bovary. The main character, Emma, begins her life as a naïve girl that grew up in a convent, but once she begins reading romantic novels she begins her path as a consumer. Madame Bovary is never satisfied with the things she buys and does not believe that she ever has enough. She is only granted temporary pleasure through her purchases and cannot grasp true contentment. Flaubert critiques the modern world in which everything from goods, to people and relationships are viewed as commodities. Once we have been corrupted by material possessions it is hard to ever go back. In Madame Bovary, Emma is

WINTER 2014

proven the ultimate victim of consumer society by the voracious need she develops to buy things, the way she views and becomes viewed as a commodity in relationships, and because she is eventually consumed as she attempts to satisfy her desire for stuff and gain happiness. Emma begins her life innocently, unaware of the outside world until she is tainted by romantic novels. She gains unrealistic views that lead her to fall into the depths of a consumer society. Emma was introduced to these impractical models by the old maid in her convent: “She told stories, gave them news, ran their errands in the town, and on the sly lent the big girls some of the novels…They were all about love, lovers, sweethearts.” Emma’s attempts to project her unreasonable view of life and love into her life. Flaubert critiques these romantic texts because women create disillusioned beliefs that are not conceivable in the real world. Emma is disappointed that her life does not live up to the idealistic standards of what she reads; “Before marriage she thought herself in love…and Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words bliss, passion, ecstasy, that had seemed to her so beautiful in books.” When Emma realizes her husband, Charles, is not the knight in shining armor she wished for she is devastated. She hoped for an all-consuming love but is faced with the stark reality of marital life. Eventually though, Emma is granted a taste of the fairy tale life she searched for when she is invited to a ball given by the Marquis d'Andervilliers. She views the high class women she sees as the princesses in her novels she always wished to be: “They had the complexion of wealth, that clean complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the shimmer of satin, the veneer of old furniture, and that well-ordered diet of exquisite food maintains at its best.” After Emma physically sees some of the extravagant things she read about, she never stops trying to achieve the life these women possess. She grows even more unsatisfied with her life and wishes to


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do everything possible to change herself. Emma uses the ultimate consumers’ tools to gain what she wants—“She subscribed to La Corbielle, a women’s magazine, and the Sylphe des Salons. She devoured, without skipping a word …She knew the latest fashions, the addresses of the best tailors, the days of the Bois and the Opera.” Magazine advertisements show the public what they do not have and convince them that in order to become the finest in society they must buy these items. Emma becomes a consuming machine and purchases clothes and furniture to imitate the women she saw from high society. No matter how much she acquires though she is still discontent with her life and must find something or someone else to fill the innumerable voids she feels. Emma falls further into consumer society when she has affairs with men who only view her as a commodity. This book takes place in a market town where everything in it is driven by materialism. Emma is seduced by her first lover Rudolphe at the market while awards are given out for top livestock and goods; “‘Did I know I would accompany you?’ / ‘Seventy Francs!’ / ‘A hundred times I tried to leave; yet I followed you and stayed…’ / ‘For Manures!’ / ‘As I would stay to-night, to-morrow, all other days, all my life!’ / ‘To Monsieur Caron of Argueil, a gold medal!’” Flaubert parallels the selling of farm animals and produce with Rudolphe’s coaxing of Emma. He views her just as one would view a sheep before purchase. Rudolphe likes the way she looks, how she acts, and he thinks she will be easily herded into his bed. When society views capital goods as everything, then even relationships are seen as commodities in their value. Madame Bovary is an indictment of the modern world where everything is for sale. As Emma has her first affair outside the surrounding nature changes and the woods become rotten as her character is coarsened and decayed. Unfortunately, Emma is too wrapped up in the

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concept of her actions to notice anything; “She repeated: ‘I have a lover! a lover!’ delighting in the idea as a second puberty had come to her…Then she recalled the heroines of the books that she had read…she saw herself among those lovers she had so envied, she fulfilled the love-dream of her youth.” By having an affair, Emma has reached the romantic ambitions of lovers in books. She is in love with the idea of romance, not the actual qualities of the men she is involved with, so her relationships do not succeed. With her next courtesan, Leon, Emma becomes further interested in the quantifiable aspects of her romance then she interested in him: “They stayed at the Hotel-deBoulogne, on the harbor; and they lived there behind drawn blinds and closed doors, with flowers on the floor, and iced fruit syrups that were brought to them early in the morning.” Emma and Leon must celebrate their affair in a grand hotel with flowers and sweet deserts in order to be more like the amorous characters she imagines in her reading. She also believes that their affair is so ardent that it is not adultery but true love. Leon sees Emma as perfect because of the fine details about her such as her beauty and the lace clothing and attractive things she has. Eventually, however, their romance also fades as Emma loses her charm and makes Leon claustrophobic. As the ultimate consumer, Emma devours Leon’s love until nothing is left. Soon, Emma realizes that she has expended everything she has in her life until all that remains are the bills.


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Finally, all of the choices Emma has made to try and make herself happy have come to haunt her and become her undoing. She becomes overwhelmed when she steps out of her fantasy life and faces the reality of her actions. When her mother-in-law severely criticizes her monetary exploits—“Couldn’t you do without a carpet? Why did you re-cover the arm-chairs? In my time there was a single arm-chair in a house, for elderly persons…Everybody can’t be rich!”—Emma sees that there is an end to how much she can borrow because she is not actually wealthy. She learns the hard way that the money that was loaned to her must be paid back, and is overwhelmed when she sees how much her lavish lifestyle has cost her. Nothing Emma bought was ever enough. Rather than give up, or be satisfied with her life, she just bought more. Emma finally recognizes the seriousness of her financial condition when she receives a notice to pay eight thousand francs. Emma uses every avenue she can think of to pay off her debts, including selling herself as a sexual commodity. All of her attempts fail and her extravagant purchases are taken from her. Seeing her life as doomed, Emma chooses the most romantic ending she can imagine: “‘Ah! it is but a little thing, death!’ she thought. ‘I shall fall asleep and it will all be over.’” Like the greatest love stories, Emma decides to end her life by suicide. She has projected her life into fantasy but she does not die the graceful death she imagined—her

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demise is drawn out and painful. Just as all of Emma’s other romantic ideas were unrealistic, so is her suicidal death. Her life was condemned to end tragically because of her consumerist mindset that she could not relinquish. After entering consumer society, Emma is never able to escape and give up her disillusioned dreams of life. She is the ultimate consumer through the extremes she is willing to go through to achieve her goals, not considering the cost necessary to get what she wants and never satisfied by what she has. Emma is unhappy in her marriage because her husband is not the Prince Charming she expected, and her affairs are no more successful because she only sees her lovers as commodities. Ultimately, Emma must face the reality of her actions, and pay back the loans she was given for her excessive possessions. She is unable to come up with enough money to pay back her debts and she realizes that she will now be exposed for her ridiculous expenditures. Emma, having given up on her insufficient life, decides to die in the most romantic ending, suicide. Emma’s death, like her life, is not how she imagined it. No matter what she bought, she could not fill the void she felt. Emma believed that she was a consumer, but eventually she was consumed. Devon Munos is a third-year Literature/Writing major in Muir College.


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Failed Heroes’

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Failed Identities by Hailey Sanden ! Starring characters of Frankenstein, The Natural, and Brave New World, this essay takes a look at what makes a protagonist fail to make an impact on their society. ----------------------------------------------------------------

I

n literature and in life, individuals remain in a

constant state of change. As readers, we often expect characters to change who they are, what they believe, or how they act. We expect them to change their identities. An “identity” in mathematics is a value or operation that leaves an object unchanged. An “identity” in literature is the embodiment of self. How people redefine themselves over time can sometimes prove to be highly unsatisfying to observers looking for a happily-ever-after. Characters do not always go through the positive transformation that the audience hopes for. In fact, the identities of the protagonists in Huxley’s Brave New World, Shelly’s Frankenstein, and Malamud’s The Natural act much like mathematic identities, in that they leave their societies relatively unchanged. John, Frankenstein’s monster, and Roy Hobbs can be viewed as fatally flawed heroes—their greatest shortcoming being their inability to influence their world positively. These protagonists share several characteristics that contributed to their failure to improve upon their societies. Common among these characters is the belief that the world had somehow wronged them, causing them to pursue self-centered goals obsessively. In Brave New World, John the “savage,” is born into a society that instantly shuns him

because of his mother’s promiscuous behavior. He suffers a great deal of neglect as well as physical abuse. This caused his early conceptions of society to be negative, but that did not stunt his desire to be a part of it. Still, the other boys on the reservation “shut [him] out of absolutely everything,” and later, in the “civilized world,” John is treated like a sideshow freak. This complete rejection only increased John’s determination to prove he was a noble human being. After his disillusionment with the civilized world, John’s desire to be an individual trumped his desire to fit in, and he soon became obsessed with replacing the World State’s seemingly corrupt values with his own. This is evident through his reaction against soma distribution at the hospital, as well as his eventual rejection of Lenina. John’s flaw is that he centers his view of the world on himself, and is close-minded and sometimes hostile about other people’s views. Because society made him feel weak and immoral, John developed an almost manic obsession with being strong and noble. In Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster possesses physical deformations that cause him to be rejected by society. Primarily, the daemon seeks affection and acceptance, or as he describes “the wants which were forever alive in my own bosom.” However, after repeated rejection, he devotes himself to “eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.” Seeking satisfaction through selfish pursuits is a large part of the daemon’s identity. This drive to find satisfaction in any way possible quickly possesses him, and paves the way toward his eventual failure to achieve his goals, or to influence his society.


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In The Natural, Roy Hobbs is literally shot down in his prime, and is not able to reach the major leagues until he is 34 years old. He is ambitious even before the shooting, but having a late start only intensified his desire to prove to society that, regardless of his age, he is “the best there ever was in the game.” He also constantly seeks material gratification, the big three being: records, money, and sex. In fact, it’s his out-ofcontrol libido that usually leads to his downfall (first with Harriet Bird, then with Memo Paris). Hobbs is too fixated on material gains to achieve anything outside of baseball. The way that society treated Roy, John, and the Monster played a large role in developing their self-serving personalities. By receiving little or no support or unconditional positive regard from their societies, they learned to make decisions that only helped themselves. After all, why would you do anything to help a society that has wronged you so deeply? These flawed heroes also possess an inaccurate or conflicting view of themselves, resulting in poor decision-making and frequent vacillation. Because they do not know how to identify themselves, the choices they make are consistently inconstant. In Brave New World, John initially exhibits some level of learned helplessness—the idea that he could never be good enough to be accepted—because of the ostracism he receives from his community. He grew up feeling that “people were so beastly and unfair, and…he was only a little boy and could do nothing

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against them.” This very negative self-concept follows him to his death. When John discovers that he is still rejected in the civilized world, he grows more confused about his identity because he realizes that he is “alone, always alone.” Without knowledge of who he is or where he belongs, John turns to desperately maintaining his self-suffering identity, inflicting pain on himself in his unhappiness, and isolating himself at a deserted lighthouse. He wants to be a strong, noble individual, but is also instilled with that sense of “unworthiness.” This confliction manifests itself in John’s inconsistent actions: he kneels before Lenina and begs to be worthy of her, then pushes her away and screams that she is a whore when she makes advances before he can vacuum her room. John doesn’t know who his is or where he truly belongs, and the impossibility of getting what he wants and simultaneously acting idealistically pulls him in two different directions. Frankenstein’s monster struggled with a similar identity crisis. The daemon wanted to believe that it was in his nature to be good, but was unable to resist the temptation of turning to evil. He constantly asks “Who [am] I? What [am] I? From whence did I come?” He is thrust in to a world that does not want him, and he constantly struggles to discover who he is and what his purpose is. When he doesn’t find answers, he turns to violence. Like John, uncertainty about his identity led him to make poor decisions. Even Roy has trouble identifying his self. He has an inflated ego because of his “natural” talent and is concerned solely with personal acquisition. However, at times he is trapped between his shallow desires and more wholesome, realistic ideas about his future. In short, he is trapped between Memo and Iris. This conflict ended with his choice of temptation (Memo) over what was more pure and natural (Iris)—after reading Iris’s love letter, he “crumpled the letter and pinched it against the wall.” Roy could have benefited society by playing an honest game despite bribes to throw it or by choosing to make


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changes in order to be a good father the child borne by Iris, but he gave up both opportunities. Roy, the daemon, and Bernard are all unsure of who they ought to be, or who they want to become. They have two parts of themselves—the noble and the selfserving, the good and the evil, the reckless and the responsible—that are in constant competition with each other, and these conflicting identities prevent them from working towards a definite goal. Without having confidence in their own identities, they had no hope of influencing somebody else’s. Yet another common thread found in these characters is their poor or forsaken moral values, which led to their own self-destruction. John’s failure to live up to his high moral standards further eroded his self-esteem, and eventually resulted in his suicide. John saw himself as an individual, but, throughout the course of the text, came to realize that his morals frequently prevented him from getting what he wanted— particularly Lenina. In the final scene, John takes part in an orgy that breaks out in front of the lighthouse where he decided to reside in solitude. This final transgression pushed him over the edge, and he took his own life. In Frankenstein, the daemon also forsakes his learned moral values. His decision to be “evil,” and to murder two members of Frankenstein’s family caused him to become so disgusted with himself that suicide seemed the only solution. He became “polluted by crimes, and torn by the bitterest remorse,” because of his moral transgressions. Similarly, Roy makes a decision that he regrets and that ends up destroying him. His choice to throw the final game stems almost entirely from his lust for Memo, and he does not realize the mistake he is making until it is too late. When news gets out about the bribe and a young fan asks Roy to “say it ain’t true,” he “wanted to say it wasn’t, but couldn’t, and he lifted his hands to his face and wept many bitter tears.” Ultimately, because Roy stands for nothing outside of himself, he destroys his career and his reputation, and lets

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his fans as well as his future child down. These characters have neither the strong moral base of a true hero, nor the devotion to destruction possessed by typical villains. Not only does this make them completely un-influential, but it also endows them with a deep dissatisfaction with themselves that drives them to depression and despair. It takes a certain kind of person to change the world for the better. It has a lot to do with how they view themselves, and a lot to do with how their world views them. It has everything to do with their identity. Such a person must be selfless, firm in their convictions, and morally sound. When an individual possesses the opposite of these characteristics, it is only natural that their personal impact on their society be non-existent at best. However, the works discussed above show us that not all protagonists have to be self-actualized, and that not all heroes have to know success in the traditional sense. Heroism is often depicted as a courageous action taken in pursuit of an idealistic goal. But what really makes a hero a hero is facing a struggle; and the truth that we can easily ignore is that not all struggles end in success. Failing in a struggle does not make one a villain, it only makes one a failed hero. These failed heroes—these Johns and Monsters and Roys—can sometimes be the best role models of all. Through the construction of these characters, authors allow us to pick out the elements of their identities that led to their failure to become who they wanted to be, or their failure— blaring failure, in the cases above—to have a positive influence on their societies. In truth, the greatest lessons come from observing others as they struggle with their foibles. After all, what better way is there to learn than from other people’s mistakes?

Hailey Sanden is a first-year Literature/Writing major and Law and Society/Biology double-minor at Warren College.

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Phantasia by Ashley Atkinson Created with the same seed same sequence of method born in Wales to Norwegian parents in Northern latitudes legendary half-human half marine creatures

Advice for Underclassmen by Marisa Kanemoto I want to sit down with every student, their yellow schedules, a list of courses and arbitrary checks their preconceived notions of success and tell them: some nights assignments seem endless but time marches on regardless; about Saturdays lost to standardized tests, when all you want is breakfast; how to balance your schedule to survive; that sleep is a necessity but I want them to understand life exists outside the bounds of perfect numbers in rows a fact too easily forgotten

Illuminations inform dance across the dark Rockies skies so powerful in his art that his blood was magical a quantity related to molar concentration this is what an Icelandic poet told me Recognizing a local craving for an absurdly magnificent and never-before seen side of revelry highlights that all-too-common male fear of female intellect tends to encompass things like beauty the passing of light through different layers of atmosphere Stellar scintillation and the tail of a fish


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SHADOWED SECRET by Ashley MacIntosh

“T

hey say that the reason she wears that

choker is to hide a scar on her neck.” Emily glanced up from the table she was wiping off to see her coworker Diana standing behind her, arms crossed, eyes narrowed the way they always did when she glimpsed the slightest hint of a fresh bit of gossip. Following her gaze, Emily’s eyes landed on another waitress working their shift, a shorter girl with long, sleek black hair fanning over her face. When she turned to move to another table, Emily could see the item that had attracted Diana’s attention: a lacy black choker thick enough to call a collar, covering the expanse of her throat. “What, already got your claws hooked into the new girl, Diana?” Emily asked. “Please. Don’t try to pretend you’re not curious about it either, after yesterday.” When the new girl walked in on her first day wearing that choker, the manager’s face, usually as stiff as one of their starched uniforms, had bent into a frown, his stubbly beard trembling like an earthquake about to hit. Under her pale gray gaze, though, he spluttered to a halt after only a few words. Unsettlingly lacking color, her eyes looked through a person rather than straight at them. The waitresses on their shift avoided her as much as possible, moving like planets in orbit around the sun in the limited universe of the restaurant’s main room. “Well, if I had a scar,” Emily reasoned, “I’d hide it too, so people don’t stare.” “It’s not just any scar, though,” Diana said, leaning in conspiratorially. “I heard it’s a rope burn—all the way around her neck. Like someone tried to strangle her once. Or hang her.” Emily moved away to toss her rag in a wash bin. “Yeah, right,” she said without looking up. “Who gets hanged in this day and age?”

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The reply was a sudden crash that seemed to shatter Emily’s breath. Gasping, she turned to see Diana not right behind her, like she thought, but standing over the new girl, inside the bubble of space that no one else seemed to want to breach. Diana held an empty tray. Glass shards lay on the floor around their feet. The new girl’s hair hung dark and heavy, dripping water. “I’m so sorry!” Diana exclaimed a little too loudly, bending over the girl, eyes wide and hand over her open mouth. “Here, let me help you dry this off! It’s the least I can do!” She reached around the girl’s neck for the clasp of the choker. The new girl shrieked, the sound a knife cutting off all conversation in the room. “No! Don’t touch it!” She jumped back from Diana’s hands and stumbled out of the room. Emily saw only a pair of wide gray eyes as the girl brushed past without touching her. The room held motionless, like someone had hit the pause button. Diana was the first to move, walking toward Emily. A small smile twitched her lips despite this disappointment. Emily, in that moment not wanting to face Diana, turned to follow the new girl. She found the girl in the staff bathroom. Pushing open the door, she saw the girl trying to hold the choker between paper towels with trembling hands. The girl started visibly at the squealing of the door’s hinges, which in the small space seemed as loud as an engine roar. The girl’s face turned toward her, and she saw swollen eyes, trembling lips—and a smooth, unblemished neck. “There’s no scar!” Emily blurted out. She covered her mouth with both hands. The girl paused in replacing the choker, her mouth dropping open a little. “Huh?” They stared at each other. Emily giggled softly. Seeing the other girl flinch away, just slightly, she held out a hand. “Sorry—I’m Emily. What’s your name?”

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WINTER 2014

Speaking in Tongues by Ellen Zacarias

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A

letter came in the mail today. It was a plain

white envelope that had been repurposed from its former role as a greeting card sheath. Well, maybe it was whiter once. Because it was a faded sort of white, with slight little stains that came from insect pee, guinea pig pee, coffee, whatever. By the way my name was written,“Mrs. Uriel Zacarias”, I knew who had sent it right away. When I was ten, I met Mrs. Doyle at the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Beach after I had begged my parents to let me have piano lessons. I had been listening to classical music on a CD that my mom had received in the mail for free and wanted to replay or even create that sort of beauty on my own. The beginning piano class had about seven to ten people in there, some teenagers, some younger than me at around seven. She was a woman around her fifties, with curly brown hair and bright green eyes. She liked me because I was quiet and practiced a lot, but after a couple of years she moved away from the Imperial Beach area so she stopped teaching at the Boys and Girls Club. But I still had her information, so in middle school, I wrote her a letter, and she wrote back. Soon enough, private lessons were arranged at her house. She lived with her husband and her parents, and quoted Bible passages every few sentences she spoke. I had been fairly religious myself before, but she inspired me to be more religious in my Christian beliefs. Naturally, I was shy and usually avoided doing such things. But own passion for God was contagious for me at a time when I was curious about religion. She would bash the public school system for banning praying, the reading of the Bible, etc. She subscribed to fundamentalist Christian magazines and shared them with me. My parents weren’t very religious themselves, but they

approved of my interest because it kept me away from drugs and promiscuity and the Bible preached obedience to parents, which was also a Confucian value. She was a lot gentler on Judaism than the “pagan” religions, probably because her family was Jewish. She prayed for her elderly parents a lot. She told me that the Jews would have a place in heaven as well, and cited some Bible passages to back up her claim. Even at my most religious phase, I wondered why Mrs. Doyle was so devout. She told me and my mother about how her family had “warned” her against marrying her Vietnam-vet husband (she was his fourth wife), sometimes when he was well within earshot. She had gone through a phase when she wasn’t religious, but didn’t reveal much about that time. All I knew from her unreligious period was that she admired Hemingway as an author, and was disillusioned when she realized he had committed suicide later on in his life. And she probably married John during this period. I had joined a Lutheran church, but she recommended that I go to a Church of Christ. She drove me there one day. It was a small little church on 10th Street in Imperial Beach. We went in. The pastor was a woman, which surprised me because fundamentalist Christians tended to be wary of female leaders within the Church. She looked like Rosie O’Donnell. The service was what I expected from a church, until I realized I couldn’t understand the prayers that people were uttering. It sounded foreign and strange, but beautiful. Mrs. Doyle was also engaged in such a manner of prayers. A member of the church noticed the stunned look on my face and sat next to me. “What is this language, Hebrew?” I asked.


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“They are speaking in tongues,” replied the church member. She was plump, and her blond hair was cropped short. “It is the Holy Spirit speaking through them. Would you like to speak in tongues? We can teach you if you like.” Her pale blue eyes were piercing. “Maybe later,” I said, looking around. Most of the people, like Mrs. Doyle, had their eyes closed and were raising their arms to the sky while speaking in tongues. One guy had his eyes rolled back in his head and was screeching the Holy Spirit like a megaphone. The blond church member told me that I needed to relax and let go in order to speak in tongues, but I couldn’t relax. The clashing voices of the Holy Spirit blended to produce this discordant melody that disconnected with my own spirit, which felt like it had been pulled out from me in front of everyone and torn into shreds. I crossed my hands in my lap and sat very still, watching and listening. After the tongues speaking, the pastor went on with her sermon about homosexuality and the sinfulness of modern society. She told a story of when she went to Britain and saw a muscular, broad-shouldered black man prancing out of a clothing shop in a dainty, pink dress and mocked his voice with its intonations that we normally associate with female speech patterns. After that day, I spoke little about religion, as Christianity and its many disagreeing denominations cast doubt in my mind. Taking AP World History in tenth grade also helped me see the history of humankind from a more distant, less Eurocentric perspective, as I learned about civilizations that formed and bloomed for hundreds, thousands of years without contact with Judaism or Christianity. I did humor Mrs. Doyle though, when she would talk about her faith. When she asked me about why I stopped going to the Church of Christ, I blamed the fact that the pastor was female, and Mrs. Doyle would nod sympathetically, but offer to recommend a different church. I declined. In time, she caught on. When I returned

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from a volunteering trip in Taiwan, she asked, “Did you tell your new friends about Christ?” “Mmm, no,” I replied. “Did you tell anyone about Christ?” I shook my head. There was a pause. Then, “Are you still a believer?” I hesitated before saying no. The enthusiastic gleam in her eyes faded. Her voice was cold and hard. “So, they finally brainwashed you, huh?” She meant the school system. I chose to stay quiet at the time, but sometimes I silently chide myself for not saying anything, for not turning the tables on her and her fundamentalist magazines and 7000-year old Earth. But arguing with her would have solved nothing. She had clung onto her faith despite several hardships for decades, possibly even a quarter of a century. Having a petty fight with a teenager would not have shaken her religious faith. She was a molded and baked piece of clay that had stood for decades, and I was an ugly, little chunk of raw clay that had been thrown into a bucket of water. Both of us had made up our minds, but pitting my newly found unfaith against her longheld faith would have been like blowing on a brick house. I opened the envelope. Inside was a pretty bookmark of a flower photo, a little piece of stationery, and a yellowed religious tract. I tossed the religious tract in the recycling bin and opened the stationery, which showed a short note written in blue-inked cursive that flowed and sprawled wide. Dear Mrs. Zacarias, Wishing you blessings from God on your birthday! Love in Christ, Mrs. Doyle

Holding the bookmark and envelope in my hand, I went over to my desk and began to write a thank-you letter. The tract remained in the recycling bin.


18

!

THE QUARTERLY QUILL

WINTER 2014

Books at Divergent the

Following the success of The Hunger Games, Lionsgate has taken on another young adult dystopian adaptation: Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. Divergent is staged in a future so plagued by war and instability that what is left of society has been divided into five “factions” which each live by a different virtue. When sixteen-yearold Beatrice “Tris” Prior discovers that she possesses of Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (intelligence), and Dauntless (bravery) and is therefore “divergent”, she chooses to transfer to the most dangerous and unforgiving faction — Dauntless — in order to hide from those who believe that divergence is a threat large enough to warrant her murder. Although Roth didn’t write the screenplay herself, she was involved in the film and has assured readers that it is fairly true to her novel. The only prominent rift between the book and the upcoming movie is the dropping of Uriah, Zeke, and Cara. Although they play an important role in Tris’s journey, leaving these characters out will allow the film to focus more on the many other rich and dynamic characters present in Roth’s novel who will be making an on-screen appearance. Furthermore, it was announced that fanfavorite Uriah would be in the next installment, Insurgent, which has already been greenlighted for production. Perhaps one of the most sensitive elements of adapting popular novels is selecting a cast that readers are able to accept after having pictured the characters in their mind. Fans have been receptive of Kate Winslet playing the shady antagonist Jeanine Matthews. Tris will be taken on by Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Descendants), whose chemistry with Theo James, who is slotted to play opposite Woodley as her stern-butsecretly-sensitive love interest, Four, is palpable. With plenty of action, romance, and just enough hype, Divergent certainly has the potential to gain traction as a Hunger Games-caliber franchise, and will likely be a movie worth seeing, whether or not you’ve read the books. Hailey Sanden


THE NEW INKLINGS

VOL 1, ISSUE 2

the Movies Winter’s Tale A!

heartbreaking romance and a magical horse (one who walks

backwards, no less!) — it’s a perfect recipe for a stunning fantasy hailed as the modern Great American Novel. This adaptation of Mark Helprin’s bittersweet fairytale follows the adventures of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), who has been down on his luck for much of his life: Abandoned from infancy, he grows up into a life of petty crime, falls out with a gang leader (Russell Crowe), and embarks on a relationship with a dying girl (Jessica Brown Findlay). But things seem to finally look up for Peter when a beautiful white horse, Athansor, becomes his guardian angel from 1916 to the present day. Since the 700-paged novel is quite the epic, audiences cannot expect to see every aspect of the source material captured on screen. However, in the hands of Oscar-winning screenwriter Goldsman, with his repertoire ranging from the fantastical (I, Robot) to the poignant (A Beautiful Mind), his “passion project” will still capture the essence of Winter’s Tale’s magical and captivating universe. Jacqueline Kim

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters

Fearless, tough, and protective, Rose (Zoey Deutch), is all you could ask for in a best friend — if you were the last vampire in your royal line like Lissa (Lucy Fry) and someone was trying to kill you. While an incredibly strong fighter, the one weakness Rose has is for her off-limits mentor, Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky). The adaptation of Vampire Academy seems just as thrilling as Richelle Mead’s book. Mead has reassured fans that trailers featuring Rose’s snark are a marketing ploy to attract new, and to set this film apart from other vampire flicks. Mead promises that the same balance of humor, romance, action, darkness, and friendship in the books will be kept on film. Phew. Fans can also relax knowing that the major plot points all appear to be covered in the adaptation. After all, Rose’s mouth gets her in trouble as often as her fists do, and we would hate to see any of that left out. Deutch does an impeccable job of portraying Rose’s fiery, impulsive personality. This film will keep the audience on their toes as they watch Rose guard Lissa, try to keep her hands off Dimitri and struggle not to get kicked out of the academy while doing so. Devon Munos

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Winter 2014 Issue  
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