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a complicated kindness (Nomi)
Transcript of a complicated kindness (Nomi)
By: Keegan Amy & Merissa Prine
Throughout the book "a complicated kindness"
we learn a lot about the main character, Niome Nickle,
also known as Nomi. Nomi, is a teenage girl with a very
difficult life living in a Mennonite community called East Village.
Angel vs. Devil
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There would now be yet another part of myself that would not know what was truly going on. (Page 141) We choose this quote for a few different reasons. The first is that Nomi loves children and by taking this she shows how much she loves Travis, furthermore it shows rebellion to her community because sex before marriage isn't allowed. By using this pill it allows her to do it without consequences. It also represents her body as a whole because she's been tricked into a lot of things, and she doesn't know how or why. Just like the birth control, it tricks her body and she doesn't know how and why it works how it does.
I lay on my bed remembering conversations and agonizing over things I’d said or hadn’t said until I heard my dad coming back upstairs and going into his room to his own large bed. We took turns lying on our beds, sneaking out at night, driving around in the dark, and pretending certain things existed just beyond our reach. (Page 148) This is a sign of two things. One it shows how much Nomi and her father are the same. It shows how they deal with things and their hardships. It's also a sign of the freedom, especially Nomi's. Her car give her a way to leave town, leave her life that she doesn't want. In the end of the book she dreams of driving away,and that sounded okay for her, without the freedom of a car,she wouldn't be abole to have those thoughts.
It’s sad but I don’t know what I’d do without my cigarettes. I’ve tried to quit. I’ve tried to switch to cigarettes that have less tar, but I don’t think I’ll ever quite forget the feeling I get from a Sweet Cap. They’re my brand. It’s hard to explain but it feels good to own something, like a brand. When I go to the store to buy cigarettes oh there, I see my brand on the shelf, and it’s comforting. This your brand? the cashier will ask, and I’ll say yeah, those are mine. It’s like some people with their TV shows, the way they say I gotta get home for my show. Like it’s theirs. Like the way my dad owns Hymn Sing. I was always envious of people who had a show, something to do at the same time every day. Like my friend who got heck. Having a show, getting heck. What punctuation things like TV and punishment could bring to a disorderly life. That’s what my Sweet Caps do for me. They’re my commas and periods, and they’ll probably be the end of me as well. I’ll try to quit when I’m forty. Who wants to smoke after that. Really, who wants to live after that? At forty, I’ll have worked for approximately twenty-three years chopping heads off of chickens. It’ll be time. (Page 85) Nomi says so much in this quote. For one she justifies how her smoking isn't much different then Ray and his needing of Hymn Sings or A person and their need of T.V. shows. In this quote it also shows her direction of her life. She thinks she'll live to forty quit smoking and then die, and that will be her life story. Good childhood, crappy teenage life, and then 23 years of killing chickens. No wonder she's so depressed, her life behind her was great. Her life that she plans for the future is terrible. I think anybody with that thought would have a terrible view on life.
Being seasick at sea isn’t the same as being homesick at home. (Page 78)Nomi doesn’t feel like she belongs anymore. Being seasick happens because you not used to the rocking of the water. Homesick is being not used to your surroundings, when you’re at home you should feel comfortable, and Nomi doesn’t feel that anymore. She feels this because without the missing pieces of the puzzle (Trudie and Tash) it can't be complete. If she had them she feel together and apart of something. She and Ray are lone pieces of a puzzle, except Ray has a school community to depend on... Nomi has nothing. The two don't also see eye to eye on things, hence the pieces aren't beside each other.
I may be a disappointment to Menno Simons but I would like him to know that I have carved, out of the raw material that he has provided, a new faith. I still believe that one day we’ll all be together, the four of us, in New York City. pg. 91 Nomi is rebelling against her religion by making her own religion. She has given up on the Mennonite community. She now thinks that even though her family has committed sins they will one day be together happily, but not in heaven. She says New York City which makes me think she’s going to try and reconnect with her family. She believes that once they are all free of the Mennonite community they will be able to be happy. The american bill represents her hope to make it together in New York. The ring represents the the unity of the family once they are together in NYC.
"Everything my mother did after that night when she stoned her brother`s house and called him really bad names seemed mysterious and troubling. I think now I`d call it grief. It`s hard to grieve in a town where everything that happens is God`s will. It`s hard to know what to do with your emptiness when you`re not supposed to have emptiness." (Page 173) The Mouth and what he stands for have become Nomi's enemy. And because of God and the concept of everything is in his plan no matter what. It confuses her. Makes her dislike what that means and in turn, dislike her Uncle. This causes the rebellion of not going to church any longer, or practicing the ways of the anti baptist.
The Devil and Angel on her shoulder are there to represent the struggle between good and evil, she wants to do what is good in the eyes of God, she even tries to continue to pray, but the thoughts that concern this are over powered by not being able to understand how these things work out. The devil is all the rebellion in her life, and she has a constant battle between what's right and wrong.
The red feathers represent the slaughter of chickens that are mentioned throughout the book. These represent her future in Nomi's mind. She doesn't like the fact that what's left in her life is killing them. But she also doesn't think that there's any other option for her to get out of it. She really wants to die before she gets to that point.
We chose to use a reflection in our presentation because we feel that it is a very important aspect of Nomi's life. Nomi, copies the things her sister has done throughout the book with no real explanation of why. She is mirroring her sister. We have come to the conclusion that Nomi does this because she doesn't know who she is yet and really has no one to go to about her problems. Nomi is forced to try and act like her sister so then she will at least have a vague idea of who she is and where she fits into the world.
As the backbone is what drives the character, we've come to the conclusion that Nomi has really no drive, other then the hope to be reunited. To show this we've bent the back made it almost broken, like spirit and drive. The use chess pieces are used because, drive is all in the head, you need you mind set on something to have drive. Just like a chess game.
We choose to have a shadow in the background of Tash because Nomi thinks that Tash is better then her, and now Nomi is doing what Tash did when she started to rebel. Stop going to church, stopped following the rules on clothing, and eventually got shunned by the community and then left. By the end what does Nomi do, gets kick out and then thinks about leaving.
I went back into my bedroom and knelt at my bed the way I did when I was a kid. I folded my hands and pressed the top knuckle joints of my thumbs hard into my forehead. Dear God. I don’t know what I want or who I am. Apparently you do. Um... That’s great. Never mind. You have a terrible reputation here. You should know that. Oh, but I guess you do know that. Save me now. Or when its convenient. We could run away together. This is stupid. What am I doing? I guess this is a prayer. I feel like an idiot, but I guess you knew that already, too. My sister said that God is music. Goodbye. Amen. I lay in my bed and waited for that thick, sweet feeling to wash over me, for that unreal semi conscious state where the story begins and takes on a life of its own and all you have to do is close your eyes and give in and let go and give in and let go and go and go and go. (Page 100) Nomi really realizes how stupid she believes her religion is. She can't understand why she's doing things the way she is, she kind of understands it's Gods plan for her to feel the way she does, why does he make her feel this way, she wants to be saved from it. What is she being taught, to her absolutely nothing. I think she brings up Tash because its one of the only good things that she can remember what Tash says about God.
The different foot positions on our body bio
represent how Nomi is trying to stay with the
Mennonite culture but it's hard for her to stay
with it. The black feet are planted firmly on the
ground to show how Tash's rebellion was so strong.
She knew exactly what she believed and that was that
God didn't exist. The white on the other hand shows
how Nomi is trying to stay clean on the crosses but it
becomes increasingly difficult for her as time goes by.