A Humument : Page 10

On page 10 of Tom Phillips' A Humunent, Phillips suggests that humans often wonder about the future when it comes to matters of love and relationships. He divides the page into charcoal and dark grey sections that take the shape of rectangles. There are scattered words, phrases and sentences that are in black print with white as a background that move from left to right as you go further down the page. He portrays the way humans have either a positive or negative outlook on love which he does through contrasting lighter shades of grey with darker ones, and putting his text in tiny areas of pure white, which represent hope.

To begin the page, Phillips creates a pattern of smaller and larger rectangles where the larger ones are charcoal, almost a light black, and the smaller ones which border each larger rectangle are dark grey. He inserts tiny white text boxes into the surface of the page with little phrases and words in them. The dark rectangles represent the negative feelings humans have when it comes to love. The lighter rectangles represent the doubtful and neutral feelings that are neither good nor bad, just grey, that people feel about love. The area that the larger rectangles take up is more than that of the smaller rectangles and the text surrounded by white. This may give the page a negative vibe. It brings to mind break-ups, games and relationships with bad layers and ends. However, when first-looking at the page, the white overrules the dark colors surrounding it. Hopeful thinking comes to mind. The white boxes represent a ray of light in a relationship. Even though the text boxes have a strong presence, they do not overwhelm the eye which can't help but notice the doubt and negativity also on the page.

What makes the page more specific and personal is the character Phillips assigns to it. The character starts by describing the beginning of the relationship from his viewpoint. "You in / mine, / fused" (lines 1-3). To him, he and she are "fused" like two pieces of metal soldered together. He feels they are inseperable and one. He goes on to describe how strong the love is. It is so strong that he has proof of it. Phillips writes "in witness of my love for you, every page" (line 4), which he creates so that the character can persuade the reader that he is truly in love- that every page of every book will prove it. After this line, there is an area where there is no text at all. It is full of charcoal and grey rectangles as the eye travels down the page until another text box appears. The character seems to be concerned about the future of the relationship when he "foresees a book which" (lines 5-7). He stops at "which" because he feels all the feelings of love at that moment. He experiences the negative, neutral and positive and cannot carry on elaborating on the book until he is sure of what to say after "which"- a challenge may humans have with relationships. He finally decides when he says "which, / might / disguise / name" (lines 8-11). Here, Phillips gives the character a skeptic trait, making him doubt and question not only what the "book will foresee", but what he is saying as well. Once again he is torn between a decision and can't pinpoint exactly what is going on in the relationship to decide what will be "foreseen". He feels doubtful and that she is in disguise, or that she is hiding something from him. Therefore, Phillips places the word "disguise" on top of a dark grey rectangle. However, on top of the charcoal triangle is a very alone and blunt "name". Here, the character feels negatively about the relationship. he considers a significant 'other' who is to be "named"- maybe someone intruding the relationship from her end. The word "disguise" also gives me the impression that the character's lover is a woman. The choppiness of the phrases and clarity of the words gives me the impression that the charcater is a man. The next words are leading from the dark grey rectangles to the charcoal rectangles which show how the character at first is doubtful, then becomes convinced that there is something sinister just out of his reach. "admit / explain / perfectly indicate" (lines 12-14). These lines bring to mind a scene that is very familiar to most lovers. He accuses, she "admits" and tries to "explain" but all he hears is words that "perfectly indicate" how hurt he is. This represents the climax of the relationship which leads to the end. It symbolizes the decline from bad to worse.

At the end of the character's tale and at the bottom of the page is the only white text box in any corner. This text box was put there by Phillips to suggest that no matter how dark situations can become, there will almost always be a tiny corner of hope. The character continues, "mention / convince / might," (lines 15-17). These lines start out on the charcoal rectangles but he presents possibility, "might", and ends up on top of dark grey triangles. In between discussion, "mention", and possibility, "might", lies "convince". The character has changed his mind after discussing it and being convinced that there is a possibility of the relationship's survival. The final lines are tricky. The character says "most completely, change" (lines 18-19). This could refer to a negative change made from the "fusion" he used to feel with her, or a positive change made from the doubt and fear he experiences when he is contemplating the relationship's future. The only known fact is that the last lines start on a charcoal rectangle and end on a light grey one and are exactly lined up at the corner of the entire page, as if they are exiting and have find the way off of it.

Phillips' simple techniques of repetition and clarity, as well as his contrasting of colors for the purpose of extracting emotions suggest that no universal emotion brings out so many others in humans, as does love.

Middlesex Blurb

Middlesex is a breathtaking adventure through time and place beginning in Detroit circa 1960 all the way up to Germany 2001. The story weaves in and out of secrets, mini-tales and eventually all pieces together at the end. It goes far back in time at some points and the setting constantly flip-flops back and forth from present to past. It tells the intriguing, unique story of Calliope Stephanides, a hermaphrodite like no other. Suffering from 5-alpha-reductase deficiency syndrome is what makes Callie unique from other girls. Scientists, however, didn't need to uncover a guilty family secret like Callie did to find that out. Once she does uncover it, the she becomes a he, and after that, you'll have to see.

Middlesex Filler Chapter: Book 1.821

"Maybe here people won't be killing each other every single day." ... <----- BOOK 1.6

God, to this day I can't imagine what my grandparents were thinking, feeling, nothing. I would've definitely pissed my pants, one way or another. Love is said to conquer all, but what about my DNA? These thoughts and questions have become a part of my daily routine. Some people struggle, experience crazy things and emerge saying "It made me stronger and better." I know better. My life is a scientific question mark. What I'm wondering is why this question mark appears every time I look into a mirror. I can say I miss the old days, though. The days when I had no idea that I would have no idea what I am in the future. Recalling my childhood is like reading someone else's diary. It's foreign. I can relate but can't directly feel or re-experience anything. Honestly, I couldn't care less anymore. I'm just smooth sailing. And now I'm just lying. I don't know what my problem is. Especially with Julie. I want her. I think I could make something out of it if I wasn't so scared of her reaction to my undescending testicles. My strange, pain and pleasureful sexual experiences are also at fault when it comes to my shyness. If I had grown up a normal guy I would be able to respond to girls better and be more open. If I had grown up a normal girl, I'd probably be a lesbian, which in a way, I was. My parents didn't help either. Chapter 11 was a pain in the neck when I was a teenage girl and now that I'm a grown balding man, he remains a pain. Let me just tell you, this transition’s only slightly easy if you pretend it's not a transition. Otherwise, you're screwed. Back to my grandparents- wait, just a quick question...WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH AND MARRY YOUR BROTHER? It's cool if you would, and it's cool if you wouldn’t but keep in mind that one day you'll have a granddaughter/son who makes money growing up by being a scientific guinea pig. Don't forget that. My poor grandparents had no idea they screwed up my DNA. But you have the power to control your future and prevent that from happening in your family. So, off the boat and welcome to New York City yiayia. My pappou missed Bursa. You could tell by the look on his face. He missed waking up and seeing Mount Olympus on his doorstep. My grandmother had all she ever needed with her. All she wanted were to keep my grandfather and her silkworms with her at all times to feel as safe as possible. It's not fair, you know? She gets comfort for a lifetime but from my moment of birth I've never felt true comfort around me or within myself. It's not even my fault. If I had a nickel for every time I paid for someone else's huge mistake I would have an enormous nickel. I remember reading the report the scientists wrote about me. They observed my behavior, my speech, my body language and took a hell of a lot of blood. I remember it said "The girl has always sat to urinate like other girls. However, blood tests confirmed an XY chromosomal status." It was like saying, "Callie, I know you feel like a girl and look like one even though you're tall and flat. I know you were raised and convinced you were a girl. But your blood says boy so guess what? Rock beats scissors. Welcome to manhood. How comfy and cozy were those villages back then in Asia Minor? How could you not find anyone that you had to be so desperate as to shack up with your brother? Talk about chromosomes. That's like swapping chromosomes with your family members. I can understand but I just don't want to. I can understand how love can make things okay and can provide comfort and true happiness, and I believe it's the only thing that can. But, just because I understand it doesn't mean I feel it myself and it most certainly doesn't mean that I'm okay with what happened. I'm a man now. We don't forgive and forget easily. Or is that women? Wow, this is confusing. ...