Doors

A boy goes in his room at 9 PM
He says his prayers and rests upon the sheets
His eyes close as he floats away in dreams
They open as the clock strikes 12 AM
He feels a sense of panic in his soul
He gets up to go walk and clear his mind
He stops dead in his tracks his face now pale
The door in which he entered is not there
The wall continues right on past the frame
The boy bangs on the wall three times and more
Nobody comes to save him from this room
Eventually he stops hands drenched in blood
Time does not exist within the room
The clock is stuck at 12 but never strikes
The body stuck at 12 but mind still aged
He never urinates or sleeps or eats
He simply sits and stares into the wall
Time is gone but madness settles in
But then one day as if it all a dream
The door appears; the boy runs out and cries
He hops into his parents bed and weeps
A nightmare was all you have seen they claim
The boy knows better than to trust in this
He’s older than them now and wiser too
Eternal soul trapped in a younger boy
To carry on the weight of what they’d seen
To never sleep again
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Doors Explanation Post

One of the most horrifying elements in House of Leaves is the idea of missing space. The house is bigger on the inside than the outside, so I thought it would be interesting to write a tale about a room that exists outside of the boundaries of space and time. This room had to be inescapable to add to the horror of it which is where the idea to remove the door came from (admittedly inspired by a similar scene in House of Leaves). Also, putting a child in this room and having his mind age separately from his body is another way of creating spacial dissonance. I chose to write the poem in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter) to add a literary reflection of the lack of consistent structure within the novel and the house within it.

Reflecting, Wondering, Seeking

I stare at my image in the basin’s reflection,
A sacramental pool has never been so muddied,
Reflecting the state of a soul so uneasy.
My gaze strays toward the rood upon which He was sentenced ,
His eyes full of sorrow, but toward whom I’m unsure,
Wondering what true intent lies in His grandeur.
I view the many faces that surround me each week,
Heads buried wherever they can avoid finding light,
Wondering if is this is enough for their life.
I dare to look into the face of my creator,
What do I owe to you? Jubilance or misery?
Do I even know you, stranger conjured from voices?
Do they even know you, he who can be seen no more?
Reflecting, wondering, seeking.

Explanation Post – Seeking, Wondering, Reflecting

     A common theme explored throughout Frankenstein is the concept of creator versus creation. Frankenstein sees the creature as an abomination of nature (and his original intentions) while the creature sees Frankenstein as having abandoned him in a world that fears and rejects him. I took this theme and, in an attempt to empathize further with the creature, applied it to my personal views on God and religion. The poem takes place in a Catholic Church.
     The first 3 lines are about me looking at my reflection in a pool of holy water and contemplating my increasing moral dissonance from the values of Catholicism.
     In the next 3 lines, I look at a crucifix as my thoughts shift toward the figure of Christ and his true feelings toward God asking him to sacrifice his own life.
     The next 3 lines show me looking at the parishioners and reflecting on the true intentions of their religious practices.
     I turn to look at the Eucharist in the next 3 lines and seek to justify the balance between the good and evil God has allows into life.
     The last 3 lines conclude the poem by questioning the existence of God and pointing out the danger of not questioning what you’ve been told to believe.
     My intention to empathize further with the creature was successful. I understand his anger and confusion toward the intentions of his creator as I have experienced similar struggles myself. The creature’s views toward Frankenstein reflect the millennium old struggle between humans and “God.”

Monster vs. Brother: Color and Other Recurring Narrative Strategies

Cult Classics Blog Post 1 Corrections

One of the most intriguing mysteries readers may find themselves pondering while reading “His Face All Red” is the ambiguity surrounding when the murdered brother is the beast, and when he is himself. Emily Caroll uses a number of storytelling devices to facilitate this narrative vagueness including recurring phrases, color selection, and the specific placement of visual indicators.

The poem opens with a dark-red tint coloring the image in the panel. It is revealed to us that this is not the narrator’s brother, and that he had killed his actual brother. We cut to see a goat, a victim of the beast, covered in blood, another occurrence of red. The narrative flashes back to reveal information about the town and the characters, establishing that the narrator is feeble and the brother has all he desires. In referencing the beast’s emergence from the woods, the narrator claims in a parenthetical aside “most strange things do.” Following that, the narrator and his brother go into the woods to hunt the beast. When they locate it, the narrator hides while the brother confronts the wolf off-panel. This is when the dark-red panel shading returns for the first time since flashing back, flooding a panel while the brother kills “the beast,” which turned out to only be a wolf. The dark-red hue returns once again when the narrator makes another parenthetical aside to claim that the villagers would only be grateful “to him (brother).” There is another red flash as the narrator murders his brother off panel. He emerges from the wood, dragging his brother’s corpse behind him with his face covered in blood. This is an occurrence of the dark-red color existing inside the narrative of the piece. The narrator returns home a hero and comfortably slips into a guilt free routine, until his brother emerges from the woods unharmed. Here, there is a return to the phrase “most strange things do,” once in reference to the beast and now in reference to the brother. The panel now tints dark-red whenever the brother is in frame. The narrator cannot sleep and has dreams of his brother’s red, bloody face. In a last attempt to reconcile reality from delusion, the narrator returns to the hole he buried his brother in and finds his corpse with his face still red. The corpse turns and looks the narrator dead in the eyes, and the poem concludes.

The proposed theory, as substantiated by the above evidence, is that the beast became the brother while the narrator was hiding. The narrator uses the parenthetical aside, “most strange things do” to describe the beast’s emergence from the wood, and uses it again when referencing the brother’s emergence. This is a deliberate literary inclusion to indicate the beast’s presence. After the brother returns as the beast, he is seen almost exclusively through a dark-red tinted lens. This is not the only occurrence of red being used to signify the beast throughout the comic. Red blood covers the face of the beast’s first victim, one of the brother’s goats. The screen also flashes red at the deaths of both the wolf and the brother, suggesting that they were also victims of the beast. They both appear with their faces covered in blood. Red is traditionally used in literature to indicate aggression and intensity. The panel turns red during the second parenthetical aside. Essentially, the beast became the brother when the wolf was supposedly killed, using the wolf as a distraction. After the brother/beast is put back into the hole, most likely serving as a lair of some kind due to its return later in the comic, he emerges and returns to the village transformed as the brother. His panels are largely tinted red throughout his encounters with the narrator. When the narrator returns to the hole at the end of the passage, the red returns as he goes further down the hole, only to find the monster, face covered in red, still waiting for him.