Illiterate Babies #2: Brendan Hall & Barnes, Sean Johnson, Justin Stewart

Brendan Hall​

1. Marxist lens

2. Old man and the sea

3. “The Politics of Bojack Horseman.” The Political Science Club, 11 Sept. 2017,  

4. The article described how the Netflix series, Bojack Horseman, was able to show how wealthy people can struggle with an existential crisis. Their wealth typically plays apart in Bojack's questioning his existance due to having extreme amounts of material possessions and still feeling worthless. This relates to the marxist lens because that point of view questions whether or not humans are worth what they are able to make materialistically. Bojack Horseman's character illustrates how damaging a luxurious lifestyle can be due to his status giving him acess to afford his drug/alcohol addiction. Santiago and the old man are a direct contrast to Bojack's characterization which is why I thought it would be important to discuss. While Bojack has the ability to anything he wants he never feels fully fufilled, which leads to his depression. On the other hand Santiago and the old man are lower class, but more mentally stable due to their shared interest of fishing.

Brendan Barnes

1. Your lens for Podcast #2: Marxist Lens

2. Your Novel: The Old Man and the Sea

3. Your selected companion article, in MLA format: Hurst, Alexander. “The Ugly, Illiberal, Anti-Semitic Heart of the Yellow Vest Movement.” The New Republic, 7 Jan. 2019,

4. This article was about the yellow vest movement. It started off by talking about how a comedian named Dieudonné, sold the yellow vest on his website and they had “Chant des Partisans,” on them. Then people then formed groups and they all had the yellow vest, 

Sean Johnson

1. Your lens for Podcast #2:


2. Your Novel:

The Old Man and the Sea

3. Your selected companion article, in MLA format:

“Sweden Has a 70% Tax Rate and It's Just Fine.”

4. 100 words explaining what this article was about, and why it provides additional insight into both your novel and the selected literary lens. (Your write-up can include one direct quote from the article.) 

This report is just a general idea of what marxism is and how it affects people as well as how they react to this. In this situation the U.S. is attempting to enact a 70% tax for the rich, people with much wealth are reported to be " freaking out". This shows their attachment to their money, though there is evidence in places like Sweden that these taxes are highly beneficial and are not as bad as they may have seemed.

Marxist Lens
  1. The Old man and the Sea
  2. “I Will Always Stand up Against Injustice”
  3. This article is basically a summary of an interview that a reporter named Franziska Tschinderle and they were interviewing a guy named Max Zirngast who spend 3 months in a turkish prison.  He then talks about his experience in prison. He talked about how he was Isolated from the other prisoners and he said when he gets out, he wants to get his life back together. This relates to "The old man and the sea because Santiago once was considered the best fisherman in town until he went 84 days without catching a fish. He wants to get his life back together by catching the biggest fish of them all.

Comments (12)

Tylier Driscoll (Student 2019)
Tylier Driscoll

They start off with a basic plot of the book and start with the Marxist lens. For the most part, this podcast is comprised of two conversations. The first one is about the food chain, which separates the classes in the book. The podcast goes to a quote where the animals are eating each other and the complexities of it all. The second one is speaking on materialism and the idea of perfection. Which they draw a connection to celebrities, humanism, and necessity. I liked the analyzation and discussion of the quotes in this podcast. I feel like they also did a great job with the casual introduction.

Deja Winfield (Student 2019)
Deja Winfield

I really like that they brought the feminist lens into the discussion. and the discussion on the Marxist lens as a representation of the food chain as well as social class. their podcast feels like a normal conversation it's natural and their little jokes make it funny.

Sarah Berg (Student 2019)
Sarah Berg

How do they use the literary lens? - Marxist lens - the book uses the ocean and sea creatures as an analogy for social/economic classes - jellyfish represents material wealth and beauty that is "false" - turtles are well off in the food chain, and are resilient but can still get hurt, like celebrities that are less relatable and receive less empathy than most people - Feminist lens as well - the ocean is treated as a female and referred to with female pronouns, it also is degraded and disrespected when the man can't get anything out of it

What did you like about the production of the podcast? - the conversation was natural, they didn't seem to disagree on much, but they still went back and forth in their analysis of the book and built on each other's points

Ariana Flores (Student 2019)
Ariana Flores
  1. It was interesting how they addressed the relationship between beauty and materialism, because it was a conclusion I don't know if I would have come to if I had read that passage about the jellyfish. The part about the fisherman trying to control the sea was really interesting because if you think about the sea as a woman, he does appear to be trying to find himself through her. However, she is also rebelling against him in a way by not giving him what he wants.

  2. The beginning felt welcoming and there was a genuine friendly dynamic between you guys that created a natural flow. The jokes and jabs at the book also aided in lightening up the atmosphere.

Leah Bradstreet (Student 2019)
Leah Bradstreet
  1. They use the Marxist lens to show the major points of the novel. They use themes to break the book down. They also use the lens to form opinions about the book and what the characters' ideas might mean.
  2. I liked their casual tone throughout the podcast. They do a great job of explaining their book. A great back and forth conversation with a lot of back and forth. Their use of direct quotes worked wonderfully to create a new theme. They choose one main lens but also add in a little bit of another which worked to further their ideas of the fisherman.
Ashley De La Cruz (Student 2019)
Ashley De La Cruz
  1. They used the Marxist lens and incorporated specific words and standards, such as "beauty" to apply it to this lens. Also, connecting it to ideas that we have about others, without "going beneath the surface."
  2. I really liked that you guys brought up different themes and connected it to outside topics. I also liked that the conversation went along smoothly and everyone spoke up to bring in new ideas.
Boubou Magassa (Student 2019)
Boubou Magassa
  1. They compare the social class into the food chain saying "The food chain is Marxism". Compares how people don't try to find similarities between each other, but instead hurt each other when they are in different classes even though they both human.

  2. It was well edited and was fun and uplifting. They used mostly marxism and played with a little feminist lens. The way you talk about the book makes the viewer wanna come back for more.

Amaris Ortiz (Student 2019)
Amaris Ortiz
  1. They use the Marxist lens to analyze the food chain and compare it to social classes.
  2. I like how it wasn't cut up. It seemed like the conversation just flowed naturally between all of you and didn't require a lot of change.
Carolina Ortiz-Lugo (Student 2019)
Carolina Ortiz-Lugo
  1. The use of the Marxist literary lenses was helpful for the listener to understand the book they were reading and the deeper meanings that they saw in the writing. Additionally connecting it to the real world and the was things can still be today.
  2. I like the enthusiasm that is always present in the podcast, I might have said this before but it actually makes me want to listen to it and interested in what they have to say.
Meymey Seng (Student 2019)
Meymey Seng
  1. They use the Marxist lens by relating it to a system of a food chain that is used in the book. They take this into the actual meaning of a food chain in the book which are the social classes. People are compared to being fish at bottom of the social class and bears at the top.
  2. Something that I like about the production of this podcast is that they commented on one another's statements. Along with that they invite one another to talk.
Catherine Long (Student 2019)
Catherine Long
  1. They used two different lenses, the Marxist and the feminist lens. Diving deeper into different sections or quotes of the book to relate it back to those lenses.
  2. I like that the podcast felt very natural, it wasn't heavily edited. The conversation flowed and they had everyone jump in to get a chance to talk.