61 Matching Annotations
1. Sep 2015
2. www.newyorker.com www.newyorker.com
1. Elbows and legs, people trying to get out of the way and then out of the room.

So did anyone actually survive this? (Other than that adminstrator and the assistant?)

2. makes my heart lurch in a hopeful way

Been there, done that.

3. He pleads with whoever Jo Ann is to pick up the phone.

Whoever Jo Ann is.. she speaks like most of these things are happening to someone else and I this line makes me think that maybe she feels that way, too.

4. Gang Lu looks around the room with expressionless eyes. He’s sick of physics and sick of the buffoons who practice it. The tall glacial German, Chris, who tells him what to do; the crass idiot Bob, who talks to him as if he is a dog; the student Shan, whose ideas about plasma physics are treated with reverence and praised at every meeting. The woman who puts her feet on the desk and dismisses him with her eyes.

This is basically the explanation we get for his motivation.

5. We are in this together, the dying game,
6. He stares at each person in turn, trying to gauge how much respect each of them has for him. One by one. Behind black-rimmed glasses, he counts with his eyes. In each case the verdict is clear: not enough.

When I read this originally I thought in my head "sounds like he is going to kill all of them." "there is no way that is where this is going right?" "no, that's not what's happening here."

7. Unimaginable, really, that less than two months from now one of his colleagues from abroad, a woman with delicate, birdlike features, will appear at the door to my office and identify herself as a friend of Bob’s. When she asks, I take her down the hall to the room with the long table and then to his empty office. I do this without saying anything, because there’s nothing to say, and she takes it all in with small, serious nods until the moment she sees his blackboard covered with scribbles and arrows and equations. At that point her face loosens and she starts to cry in long ragged sobs. An hour later I go back and the office is empty. When I erase the blackboard finally, I can see where she laid her hands carefully, where the numbers are ghostly and blurred.

This foreshadows the shooting and gives us this solemn feeling.

8. Before I leave the building I pass Gang Lu in the hallway and say hello. He has a letter in his hand and he’s wearing his coat. He doesn’t answer, and I don’t expect him to. At the end of the hallway are the double doors leading to the rest of my life. I push them open and walk through.

This was a very interesting paragraph. No one realizes what is going to happen next. As the reader you do not even realize that she had this decision to leave and he is making the decision to kill people and himself. This made me go back and remember that she said something to him and that the rest of her life is really changed once she leaves those doors.

9. Chris’s picture.

This just makes your heart hurt for her. I felt like I was there with her crying. I was so sad for her and what she was going to endure next.

10. We’re breaking each other’s heart. I draw a picture of her on the blackboard using brown chalk. I make “X”s where her eyes should be.

Her love for her dog is a main theme in this story and it's sad to think that she has thoughts of its death on a regular basis.

11. “You can decide how long she suffers.”

I felt so sad for the dog. I didn't want her to suffer more. It is such a hard experience to go through when you want your animal to be with you forever.

12. Gang Lu no longer spends his evenings in the computer lab down the hall, running simulations and thinking about magnetic forces and invisible particles; he now spends them at the firing range, learning to hit a moving target with the gun he purchased last spring.

Right here, the writer is implying the tragedy that is going to happen in the near future.

13. The New Yorker Store

Who wants to go shopping?! :D

14. I’d grab her long nose like a gearshift and put her through all the gears

This is a cute little game she plays with her collie in a happier time. I love this.

15. Just in case. It won’t hurt to be braced.”

"Prepare for the worst, hope for the best."

16. my husband

she refers to him as "her husband" but later on in the story changes it to "ex-husband" i thought that this may show how she feels toward him before and after the incident.

17. good descriptive

18. I realize it took courage for him to come to the house when he did, facing all those women who think he’s the Antichrist

Very powerful word choice, I can't imagine anyone who would see someone being called the Antichrist as anything but sinister and serious.

19. He’s going to kill himself. You yourself should not be too sad about it, for at least I have found a few travelling companions to accompany me to the grave.

Beard makes the audience think Gang Lu is going to commit suicide.

20. And then I weaken and say what I really want: for her to go to sleep and not wake up, just slip out of her skin and into the other world.

This seemed like it was a really hard thing for the main character to say. She loved this dog and did not want to let her go. But in reality, she knew it would be best to put her out of her misery, and to move on in her life.

21. He’s going to kill himself. You yourself should not be too sad about it, for at least I have found a few travelling companions to accompany me to the grave.

Heavy foreshadowing, important information reader know is going to come into play later but don't know how yet. Chills.

22. I’m fine about the vanished husband’s boxes stored in the spare bedroom.

I feel like she doesn't really care that much about these relationship, but she is still holding on to little hope to make this relationship work.

23. The Milky Way is a long smear on the sky, like something erased on a blackboard

Nice use of figurative language

24. Click, dial tone, rewind.

Good use of imagery.

25. I have the distinct feeling there is something going on that I can either understand or not understand. There’s a choice to be made.

This is a very interesting concept.. I suppose this refers to the saying 'ignorance is bliss"?

26. The Midwest is very brown

Gives a sense of tone.

27. she drops like a shoe onto her blanket

Good imagery for sound but so sad that it's talking about an old dog.

28. carrying zucchini

what the heck was the point of the zucchini?

29. She’s always been older than me.”

I know people say dogs have wise eyes, and I feel like she sees her dog as being this 'sage' being, her support and comfort.

30. a small bronze box from Africa with an alligator embossed on the top, a big piece of amber from Poland with the wings of flies preserved inside it, and, once, a set of delicate, horrifying bracelets made from the hide of an elephant.

the use of descriptive language evokes the feeling of horror at the thought of the present that is made from the hide of a sacred animal

31. Guys whose own lives are ticking like alarm clocks getting ready to go off, although none of us are aware of it yet.
32. Trump and Obama: A Night to Remember

Oh man, what could've possibly happened?!

33. Holy fuckoly,

34. The Milky Way is a long smear on the sky, like something erased on a blackboard.

Very good imagery. Reminds me of my astronomy class.

35. No matter how much you miss them. They never come back once they’re gone.

This was a great metaphor the author used. She was describing her squirrels that once were in her spare bedroom, but you could tell the hidden meaning behind it. She was referring to her friends that were shot and killed.

36. summoning me from a great distance as I row my boat through a dim, complicated dream. She’s on the shoreline, barking. Wake up. She’s staring at me with her head slightly tipped to the side, long nose, gazing eyes, toenails clenched to get a purchase on the wood floor.

This helps us connect to the author, so many people can relate to a dog waking them up or something appearing in their dreams that is in reality

37. “I’m not letting it, that’s why,” I tell him. There are stacks of manuscripts everywhere and he has all the pens over on his side of the room. “It just is, is all. Throw me a pen.” He does, I miss it, stoop to pick it up, and when I straighten up again I might be crying.

This is sort of a character development. We can see just how hard letting go of her collie is for her. She is letting it go on. She has the power to put the dog out of her misery, but she is making excuses to keep the dog.

38. He wants me to reassure him that he’s strong enough to leave me,”

This line got to me; the emotion it evoked, hatred, anger, loathing is just a glimpse of what Jo Ann is feeling in the story. This line shows character strength and growth to me.

39. the constant barrage of paper hypnotic and soothing

the use of the descriptive words, draws you in and engages your mind, bringing forth images of cathartic works.

40. The Labrador, who understands English, begins howling miserably.

The dog obviously doesn't understand English, but this is a way to show that her and the dog have a connection

41. My friends think I’m nuts.

I kinda agree

42. Most Popular

This is the most popular right now. Apparently.

43. It’s November 1, 1991, the last day of the first part of my life.

When reading this part of the story, i was confused and also ready to see what else she had to say about this day. She was able to make the story a lot more interesting with that one simple line.

44. “If it’s plasma, make it in red,”

I love that she interjects her non-physicist opinion to try to make it comprehensible to herself and to annoy Bob.

45. Gang Lu stands up and leaves the room abruptly; goes down one floor to see if the department chairman, Dwight, is sitting in his office. He is. The door is open. Gang Lu turns, walks back up the stairs, and enters the seminar room again. Chris Goertz is sitting near the door and takes the first bullet in the back of the head.

This transition to the story was a bit sudden and confusing, why did Gang Lu suddenly go on a killing spree?

46. In a few hours the world will resume itself, but for now we’re in a pocket of silence.

This is a powerful statement. It is a good reminder for everyone to take a break from life and relax.

47. He’s hip in a professorial, cardigan/jeans kind of way.

I can picture this guy from this sentence alone.

48. She is Pavlov and I am her dog.

good use of metaphor

49. The face of love.

I love how Jo Ann Beard refers to the dog as "the face of love", it shows the dog's innocence in the story.

50. For instance, that my vanished husband is neither here nor there; he’s reduced himself to a troubled voice on the telephone three or four times a day.

51. The Fourth State of Matter

It's a reference to plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter.

52. Gang Lu works on a letter to his sister in China.

Jo Ann understands Chinese?

53. Currently he is obsessed with the dust in the plasma of Saturn’s rings. Plasma is the fourth state of matter. You’ve got your solid, your liquid, your gas, and then your plasma. In outer space there’s the plasmasphere and the plasmapause. I avoid the math when I can and put a layperson’s spin on these things. “Plasma is blood,” I told him. “Exactly,” he agreed, removing the comics page and handing it to me

Beard incorporates the importance of the title of the piece

54. “I’m weary,” I say, in italics.

Descriptive use of words that really makes you imagine a person speaking in italics

55. the husband

Why is it THE husband and not MY husband? She uses this several times, what happens to the possessiveness?

56. And for an instant I saw myself from their vantage point across the room—Jo Ann—and a small bubble of self-esteem percolated up from my depths.

This is the first time she actually says her name in the story.

57. I imagine it as a place of stillness, where the particles of dust stop spinning and hang motionless in deep space.

While reading, this really hit me. I felt that it shows her emotional state now, that she's kind of suspended in the feeling of loss and grief.

58. Guys whose own lives are ticking like alarm clocks getting ready to go off, although none of us are aware of it yet.

59. Space physicists

"astrophysicist"

60. She totters on her broomstick legs into the hallway and over the doorsill into the kitchen,

dog has wooden prosthetic legs

61. the dog on the blanket

I find it interesting that she never gives the collie a name. She always refers to it as "the collie" or "the dog on the blanket"