Author: ssa375

Teenage Brains: Temporarily Out of Service

During our class discussions, we have come to the conclusion that there are not many adults in the story. The author had focused on the world of teenagers. This is probably because adolescents are known to take chances and sometimes irrationally take decisions. The characters continuously take chances and try new drugs without thinking of the consequences. In the video below,  Dr. Adriana Galván explains how the teenage brain functions. She also implies why teenagers are more likely to get addicted to a drug at a young age.

This video, perhaps, justifies the choices the teenage characters have made. Do you think the characters (who were affected by the STD or addicted to drugs) are to blame? Are they responsible for what has happened to them?

Witchcraft in Africa !

For most people, the idea of witchcraft is absurd. However, the novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow depicts how traditional societies in Africa believe in witchcraft and use it to understand the certain events such as the spread of diseases and sudden deaths of individuals. An obvious example would be Refentse’s mother who was tortured, shunned and murdered by her own community, based on sympathetic assumptions.

The following video, outlines how witchcraft (today) is perceived and handled in several African countries. Laws have been placed to limit and control black magic. Also, organizations that aid witches who have been chased out of their own communities are in arranged to facilitate change.

Will the belief in witchcraft fade away? Does witchcraft suggest the weakness of people and the government towards the plague? 

The Changing Experience of Time

   In the book The Culture of Time and Space, Stephen Kern explains how certain technological, artistic, cultural and medical currents shape the experience of time and space. One of the chapters in this book focuses on World War One. He describes how the perception and experience of time change for the soldiers. With the development of the Standard World Time soldiers had to wear watches in order to be at the right place and time. As they were on the battlefield, soldiers lost track of time. The soldiers believed that had to overcome the present to live in the future, which was a reconstruction of the past. The pace of the war has also changed because of technological advancements. Everything was faster; soldiers were moved to the battlefields quickly, and they were given advanced weapons to protect themselves.

   The novel Pale Horse, Pale Rider depicts these ideas clearly. We see Adam wearing a hand watch as military equipment. He also, explains that his mother doesn’t  him to become a pilot because it is more dangerous. His mother does not recognize how fast military technology changes, and in fact it was both physically and psychologically safer for her son to serve as a pilot. Furthermore, we find Adam trying to get through his present situation with the army, so he could have a peaceful future with Miranda.

    Throughout the novel, we see how the concept of time changes for Miranda in parallel to her emotions. When they did not think of the plague or the war (when they perhaps “isolated” themselves) time seems to be longer. Later, when the doctor and interns take Miranda to the hospital time moves fast as she is nervous and uncomfortable. We also see a significant change in the experience of time, at the very end of the novel when Miranda is depressed and seems to have all the time she wants but nothing to do.