§ 22 – Meaning, Ritalin, and Conformity

Thanks v. much to Brian Cochran + summary writers + wallace-l for catch-up week this week (beginning Aug. 4).

Will add more to this post as the week progresses.

Some words and phrases:

-squeezing my shoes
-the rotating foot
-childhood’s end

-information vs. experience dichotomy (discussed in prev. post)

-nihilism
-apathy (this word is not in the text)

-delusions and self-deception
-shame
-meaning

-norms and expectations, conformity and nonconformity
-Ritalin and Obetrol

-choice
-circumstances
-heroism

-memory
-subdivisions: the accident (fragmented body), branches of the IRS, the “wastoid” protag.’s self vs. the protag’s self post-accident
-“frame” (p. 170)

-the § 22 protag. is possibly one of the people in the elevator with DeWitt/Glendenning in § 19 (see top of p. 193).

 

 * * *

Meaning

-“Meaning” : ongoing translation/interpretation to understand the unreality, which contributes to the incongruity between protag’s childhood “wastoid” self, and post-accident self:

“People who are, as the substitute father said that final day in Advanced Tax, ‘called to account.’ Meaning we are talking about almost a special kind of psychological type, probably. It’s not a very common type–[…]but the thing is that the sort of person of this type who decides that he wants to enter the Service really, really  wants to …” (176)

“Frame”

 “–I was in the paralyzed shock of the totally busted kid, and I sat there paralyzed, unable to do anything and yet seeing each frame of him coming in with horrible focus and clarity–and him standing there at the edge of the few stairs down to the living room […]” (170)

This objectivity, and detachment happens in traumatic moments, when Obetrolling, and when in Advanced Tax he notices that this type of profession and learning requires one to work while being split (not those exact words, will locate page this week). This sort of objectivity can be achieved naturally (if I can use that word!) w/ cameras and film.

The detachment has grown from something that began w/ a traumatic experience to something that has been internalized as an enjoyable experience (e.g. while Obetrolling), and later as a job in the Service. (So nonconformity is actually conformity, as mentioned by the protag. himself, and disc. in Glendenning and the elevator, § 19)

This detachment is also made concrete in the:
-$5 shopping in divisions
-The IRS’ subdivisions
-The accident and father’s fragmented body

(Worms!)

Knowledge and self-deception 

-E.g. His mother’s birds
-What I found interesting is that the protag. constantly mentions that he knows, that he is aware, and reminded me of things I thought I’d have to note (e.g. how he’s been “primed”), but the very fact that I can see that he knows these things allowed me to see how much what he didn’t know affected him (unconscious). Intend to develop more about knowledge and self-deception.

Ritalin

… tbd.

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