10 thoughts on “English 328 (Blog #2)

  1. My favorite passage from the Popol Vuh is this passage because it demonstrates some major themes :

    “‘We’ll just turn their very being around with our words. So be it, since they have caused us great suffering. They wished that we might die and disappear—we, their younger brothers. Just as they wished us to be slaves here, so we shall defeat them there. We shall simply make a sign of it,’ they said to each other. ” (105).

    The lineage aspect is continued with the hero twins, whose origin was written right before this. They say they “shall defeat” their older brothers using trickery, although they are using some less-than-honest tactics. The battle between light and dark is seen through the stories, light always prevails. The ends justify the means and the twins are on the “good” side, so it is just.

  2. “And this was when their grandmother burned something, she burned copal before the ears of green corn as a memorial to them. There was happiness in their grandmother’s heart the second time the corn plants sprouted. Then the ears were deified by their grandmother, and she gave them names: Middle of the House, Middle of the Harvest, Living Ears of Green Corn, Bed of Earth became their names.” (p. 139)

    I chose this passage because it reinforces Mayan beliefs and traditions. First, this is one of the first instances of burning resin, thus potentially providing an origin and an explanation for why burning resin was so important. The corn growing after Hunahpu and Xbalanque’s deaths cements the significance of corn, presenting it as a symbol of life physically (a source of food), and mythologically (the cycle of life and death). Finally, by giving the corn names, it reinforces the importance of names and memory.

  3. “Again there comes a humiliation, destruction, and demolition.
    The manikins, woodcarvings were killed when the Heart of Sky devised
    a flood for them. A great flood was made; it came down on the heads of
    the manikins, woodcarvings.
    The man’s body was carved from the wood of the coral tree by the
    Maker, Modeler. And as for the woman, the Maker, Modeler needed the
    hearts of bulrushes for the woman’s body. They were not competent, nor
    did they speak before the builder and sculptor who made them and
    brought them forth, and so they were killed, done in by a flood” (pg. 71)

    I chose this passage because I found that it showed the willpower and strength of the Mayans. Even though there is still a lot of European influence, there is still a Mayan foundation in what they believed and also the way they think. I think it’s fascinating how they thought the creation of humans came to be and even how the world was created. I think this passage is just really interesting to read and the historical context makes it even more interesting.

  4. ” And this became a simulated head for Hunahpu. His eyes were carved right away, then brains came from the thinker, from the sky. This was the Heart of Sky, Hurricane, who came down, came on down into Bat House. The face wasn’t finished any too quickly; it came out well. His strength was just the same, he looked handsome, he spoke just the same.” (127)

    In this quote specifically, it is intriguing how it is spoken that Hunahpu’s face is changed and carved into to make a perfect icon, taking gifts and special attributes from high positioned beings. With Hunahpu’s head snapping off and instantly dying, this was a way for people to remember him and certainly a tradition maybe for the dead.

  5. “The deer left its tail in their hands. When they grabbed the tail of the deer along with the tail of the rabbit, the tails were shortened…ever since the rat’s tail got caught, there’s been no hair on his tail and his eyes have been the way they are since the boy’s tried to choke him.”

    These are my favorite succession of short sentences from the book, on page 110 and 111. I really enjoy small details like these in creation stories where it tells of specific animals or aspects of life and how they got to be like that. That is a deer and a rabbit have a short stubby tail because when the boys caught them and the animals were running, they simply left their tail behind. And that the reason’s rat’s tails are hairless was because they were once burned. I think the details about very small aspects in life and how they came to be life that is a really cool addition to any story.

  6. “Name now our names, praise us. We are your mother we are your father. Speak now:
    Newborn Thunderbolt, Sudden Thunderbolt,
    Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth,
    Maker, Modeler,
    Bearer, Begetter,'”(67)
    I picked this quote because I like the cadence of the word choice. This one in particular shows how different fluency can be. Once I understood how to read this book correctly, I went back and re-read some of the first passages. I enjoy this passage because it shows the trial and error the Gods go through for their own appreciation. This is the beginning of a much larger story and I like the seed that is planted in this passage. This opens the door to other creations.

  7. “The first men to be created and formed were called the Sorcerer of Fatal Laughter, the Sorcerer of Night, Unkempt, and the Black Sorcerer … They were endowed with intelligence, and they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. When they looked, instantly they saw all that is around them, and they contemplated, in turn, the arc of heaven and the round face of the earth … [Then the Creator said]: ‘They know all … what shall we do with them now? Let their sight reach only to that which is near; let them see only a little of the face of the earth!… Are they not by nature simple creatures of our making? Must they also be gods?”

    This passage is my favorite because of the depth in the creation of the first men. They are described as all-knowing and understanding of where they are and who they are, their existence is then questioned by the one who created them; “Must they also be gods?” Just this question alone creates confusion among men and god, are the men created too powerful because of their knowledge? Did the creator give them too much knowledge, as they are no longer simple creatures? Then the creator considers taking away what they have already seen, which then causes more conflict because they have already seen too much.

  8. “Just as they wished them to be slaves, so they themselves were brought low. One Monkey and One Artisan were lost then, they became animals, and this is now their place forever.” (108)
    This is my favorite passage because I like how it represents the same justice that is dealt to so many other characters in the Popul Vuh by further solidifying the message that self magnification leads to destruction. This instance in particular is interesting to me as well because rather than be destroyed, the brothers are turned to animals, and forced to suffer just as they once made their younger brothers suffer.

  9. Of the text that I’ve read so far, I would have to say it was when the hero brothers spoke of their older brothers and how they “‘Just as they wished us to be slaves here, so we shall defeat them there. We shall simply make a sign of it” (105). Here, they discuss how they plan to turn on their captors and punish them for their crimes (though not quite in the legal sense, more of a philosophical transgression). They proceeded to do so as they have been seen to act, using trickery to deceive them due to their inability to fight them outright. Though the hero twins use trickery, I find it interesting because it reveals the differences between European and early American definitions of honor and chivalry differentiate. Englishmen loved to see swordfights and awesome battles, despising the man who prefers the cloak and dagger. Americans, however, seem to have enjoyed tales like this, rooting for the character who partakes in what the Englishmen seem to have disliked.

  10. “Don’t be fainthearted. We’re here. We know what our grandmother needs to be told. We’ll set you up under the corner of the roof right away.” (111).

    I chose this passage because it showed how kindhearted the brothers are in helping anyone, or any creature. It’s especially by the thought of how they gave the rat food and shelter to help it out and knowing what their destined for. I also felt like this was a perfect way of giving the story a rising action with the brothers’ fairness.

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