I feel that both the works that we have read so far are great introductions to the course. Khan's biggest dilema is that he cannot travel to the cities that Polo describes. I believe after reading the novel that they are in a sense fragments of Polo's country and he incorperates them within each city he tells Khan about.
They are both very ironic characters: Khan cannot travel to the cities that Polo describes, and Polo has seen a beautiful version of Italy (during his childhood) that he is determined to claim, but cannot because the city has changed dramatically. Khan talks about the ability to control his dreams, whereas Polo has no problem making up fantastic places in his mind to entertain Polo. What the reader does not realize until the second half of the book, in my opinion, that they are all just bits of Italy that Polo is remembering from his youth since he, his father, and uncle all left for a long period of time.
I can realte to this in my own life. My family and I go to the Hamptons every summer. We have friends that stay on the same block we do. I remember going out there when I was 11 or 12 and something had changed. Our house was the same, but the streets were renovated with new shopping malls, and did not look like the original town. Nowadays, I still look at the changed areas of the shopping centers, and new additions. I cannot helpbut feel like Polo in trying to keep something alive in my memory that I know will never be the same again. In Polo's case he gets thrown in prison when he gets back to his homeland, but it will never be like it once was. The fact that he gets thrown in jail is an interesting idea to me because I believe he is also trapped mentally of what he recalls his home to be like, and as a result experiences great nostalgia.
The characters within the Black Ranbow are also feeling the hurt of memory. This stuck out me right at the very beginning during the running scene. The discussion of when "they" used to be here, and how the narrator claims he is stuck but "can leave anytime" it is also an idea of being restrained by memories. He is remembering a time before when his city was different, and now how it is extremely different. His daughters being away, gave me a thought to how they are nop longer living with their parents (and are thus, out of the area) but also the fact that they got to leave, andhow they do not feel trapped like their father. Black rainbow is a perfect title because when something is colored black it blocks everything out, and is also absent of bright colors. Black also gives me an idea of dark, and unwelcoming, as opposed to the ROY G BIV rainbow you learn about in grammar school.