The Power of Corruption and the Corruption of power

*SPOILER ALERT*

Does Napoleon seem like a good leader to you? What were the positive and negative rules or events that were made by his decisions? Napoleon did many things that made no difference from what Mr. Jones did in the past after the Rebellion. The book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell has a very powerful, meaningful theme: Power corrupts when one possesses it. (Adjectives out of order)

This theme affects the story from the beginning to the end. In the beginning of the book, it starts off with Mr. Jones taking care of the farm and all the animals obeying him. (Participial phrase) After the Rebellion, everything changed. Snowball and Napoleon and the other pigs started guiding the other animals with their knowledge. They made the Seven Commandments that had seven rules the animals must follow. When Napoleon’s dogs chased Snowball out of the farm, he had all the power. All the animals listened to him, especially Boxer. ‘Napoleon is always right,’ (70) Boxer was very loyal to Napoleon, he would always say that Napoleon is always right even when he was lying to the other animals. (Infinitive Phrase) Throughout the book, George Orwell shows several points of how Napoleon tries to get more power. In the end, the farm corrupts. “It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back!” (52) When the pigs had control over the farm, they kept most of the food for themselves because they thought that they were the most important members and without them, there wouldn’t be a Rebellion. Their theories were not fair, they had a lot of food, but they did not make their own food, and had a large amount. “But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.” (129) Because of the power that Napoleon had, he could do whatever he wanted without thinking about the opinions of the other animals. This wasn’t good because the farm started falling apart. Napoleon changed all the rules and the hopes and dreams they had in the beginning with Old Major. The other farm animals dreams and hopes was to live on the farm without humans and live like animals. Napoleon changed their dreams and made it the opposite. “‘You have heard then, comrades,’ he said, ‘that we pigs now sleep in the beds of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, surely that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a place to sleep in.’” (80) This quote was when Napoleon was arguing about how he wasn’t breaking the rules and he was right. Animals were not supposed to sleep on beds, but Napoleon was changing the rules. (Participial phrase) Any animal in “Animal Farm” who had the power and control over the farm and the other animals, will use that power for the wrong purpose and using it for their own.

“It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case of whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse.” (111) “It was a pig walking on his hind legs.” (132)

Napoleon slept on beds, started drinking whisky, and learned how to walk on their hind legs! (Absolut Phrase) The two quotes show us that Napoleon isn’t using his power the right way and he’s abusing it. The other animals don’t realize it until the end of the book. “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (139) On the night when all the pigs and the other human farmers, Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, were playing cards and drinking beer, the other animals finally understood. (Appositive Phrase) Wearing clothes, drinking beer, playing cards, and talking to humans weren’t allowed, but all the pigs were breaking the rules. (Gerunds) They couldn’t tell the difference between animals and humans. The animals were acting like humans. (Action verbs-action) Comparing this to the beginning, nothing changed when Mr. Jones was here. They never got rid of the humans and lived like animals. (Action verb-Passive)

Throughout the whole book, it always relates to the theme: Power corrupts when one possesses it. That’s why this theme is so powerful and important. Everything Napoleon does is for himself and not for the farm. He posses the power and uses it for the bad. The consequence of that is, the farm starts to corrupt and falls apart. (prepositional phrase)

 

 

 

 

 

The Burning Phoenix

“He got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the phoenix never had, we know the damn silly things we just did.” (Bradbury 165) “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, is unlike any other book. The story of this dystopian society can be good or bad in different point of views. A man named, Guy Montag, is a fireman, who is hired to burn books. Sounds outrageous in our world, but it is an ordinary job in Montag’s society.

In the beginning of the book, Montag is a normal citizen. He has a wife, a job, and a house. His neighbor, Clarisse McClellan and her family, is known to be weird and strange. Towards the end of the book, after Montag realizes that the society is not what he thinks it is like, and after he kills his Captain Beatty for making him burn his own house. “ ‘Something the matter, Montage?’ ‘Why,’ said Montage slowly, ‘we’ve stopped in front of my house.’ ” (113) Montag runs away with a few books. Along the way, he plants some books into some other fireman’s home to tell them that the society is not what they think it is like and to tell them to read the books to find out that what they are doing is wrong. After the society realizes that Montag has gotten away and has murdered Beatty, the society attempts to chase Montag and catch him, but with the help of Faber, Montag goes into the river where the Mechanical Hound can not track his scent. “ You’d better head for the river if you can, follow along it, and if you can hit the old railroad lines going out into the country, follow them.”(134) Montag listens to Faber’s instructions and follows the railroad track that leads him to Granger’s current camp site. When he arrives at the campsite, Granger introduces himself and everyone else in the camp. While they were talking, bombs from the sky started dropping at hitting their city. Granger explains to Montag about all the things they have been doing the past few years after they had escaped the city. Granger gave Montag a very important lesson about their society. “But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like were doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did.” (165) They learned that books are very important because, without it, we won’t know the past and the history. As the story ends, and the city is gone, Montag and Granger’s team go back to the city and a new society has begun.

The resolution of this story has not ended, enough though the author ended the story; the author ended it when they were going back to fix their society, to make it better. But that’s not the end of it. The end of the story should be after they create a new community and started a new society again. Ray Bradbury, ended the story with a “cliff-hanger”, it lets the reader imagine what happens next. So we can use our imagination and visualize what kind of society will they create. In my opinion, I’m not satisfied with the resolution of this book. I personally think that the book could have a better ending; by finishing it with how they rebuild their town after it was bombed and ruined. All in all, the book was a worth reading book and I learned more about Dystopian Futures.

Dare to Be Different?

Stargirl is different but perfect in an unusual way. “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli has a very important theme in the book. From beginning to end, it’s all about being yourself. Stargirl is known to be weird, strange, and goofy, but that’s who she is. Stargirl doesn’t need to change her personality because she’s proud of who she is. Above, are 8 songs that represent the theme in “Stargirl”. As you scroll down, there are explanations for each song to explain more about how the song relates to the theme.

 

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

 I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down, ohh, no
So don’t you bring me down today
(Aguilera 5-9)

“She wore no makeup, and her eyes were the biggest I had ever seen.” (Spinelli 5)

I chose this song because Stargirl is not like any other teenage girl in Mica High School. Students would hate her and think she was fake because she is unordinary. She didn’t wear makeup like the other girls, dress differently, and they would bully her. However, she was always friendly, forgave them, and stayed positive.

 
Believe in me by Demi Lovato

Cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways (Lovato 12)

 “ ‘ Why can’t you be normal? ’

‘ Why do you wanna be so different? ’

‘ Yeah—is something wrong with us, you gotta be so different?’ ” (67)

People would call Stargirl, weird. She had a weird name, weird style, and a weird personality. But Stargirl is perfect to herself, she didn’t mind how she looked, she only cared about what she thought of herself and not what other people think of her.

 

Confident by Demi Lovato

 (Ah ha) What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being

What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)

What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being

What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha) (Lovato 18-21)

 “ Several times in those early weeks of September, she showed up in something outrageous. A 1920s flapper dress. An Indian buckskin. A kimono. One day she wore a denim miniskirt with green stockings, and crawling up one leg was a parade of enamel ladybug and butterfly pins.” (10)

Stargirl is a very confident teenage girl, she is confident enough to dress the way she wants and not care what other people think about her. She is confident by doing all the weird things she does, singing and dancing in public, and cheering for the other team. No one in Mica High School had the confident to dress or be who they truly are.

 

Brave, Honest, Beautiful fifth harmony by Fifth Harmony ft. Meghan Trainor

 Cause you’re brave

Yeah, you’re fearless

And you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful (Fifth Harmony ft. Trainor 21-23)

 “Beautiful”

“Unusual”

“Interesting”

“Different”

“Regal”

These words will come later from the parents lining the walk. For now, there are only stares as she makes her way from the entrance to the ball.” (169)

This song describes Stargirl throughout the story. She is brave, fearless, and beautiful. She’s not scared to express herself, she shows everyone that she different and who she really is. The song fits the life Stargirl has.

 

Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld

(I love me)

Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else

(Hey)

Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else

(I love me)

Can’t help myself, no, I don’t need anybody else

Anytime, day or night (Steinfeld 9-15)

“She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school.”(15)

 When Stargirl was in school she didn’t have any friends. Later on in the story, she only made on friend Dori. Even when she had a friend, everybody hated her. The popular girl, Hillari showed hatred through out the book. The whole school hated Stargirl when she cheered for the other team in a basketball game. When everyone hated her, Stargirl still continued to be positive. She loved herself and didn’t care if people disliked or liked her.

 

Change your life by Little Mix

You’re not the only one so let them criticize (Little Mix 5)

“ ‘You must’ve come from, Mars or something…’ ”(66)

When Stargirl was on Hot Seat, Hillari said that she came from Mars. Every girl and boy in Mica High school criticized Stargirl. Towards the end of the book, Stargirl changed. She became a normal person, dressed like a normal person, and changed to her original name, Susan. But even after she changed and won the competition, she went back to Stargirl again. During the Ocotillo Ball, She wore a bright yellow dress and instead of wearing an orchid around her wrist like everyone else, she wore a sunflower.

 

Brave by Sara Bareilles

 Honestly I wanna see you be brave (Bareilles 13)

“The girl was picking up her ukulele. And now she was strumming it. And now she was singing!” (5)

“ And singing. It was ‘ Happy Birthday’. When she came to his name she didn’t just sing his first name, but this full name.” (9)

I think that Stargirl is brave in many different ways, she was brave enough to express herself, dress the way she wanted to, and sing “Happy Birthday” to people on their birthday. If she didn’t know who you were, she would somehow know your birthday and sing “Happy Birthday”. In my opinion, Stargirl is a brave girl and does many optimistic things to cheer people.

 

Shake it off by Taylor swift

 Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off (Swift 9-10)

“We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past “weird” and “strange” and “goofy”. ” (11)

Everyone thought she was weird and strange. She would sing “Happy Birthday”, bring a mouse to school, always be happy, cheer for the other team, and dress weirdly. Everything that she does will be criticized by someone, but at the end of the day she would shake it all off. She doesn’t mind what people say about her, doesn’t care what they say behind her back. Stargirl keeps moving on and stays positive.

 

Sources: 

Book:

Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. New York: Knopf, 2000. Print.

Lyrics found at: 

“Genius Is the World’s Biggest Collection of Song Lyrics and Crowdsourced Musical Knowledge. Join Us.” Genius. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

 

Survive for Your Family

**SPOILER ALERT**

    “ Wanted By The Republic File no. 462178-3233 ‘Day’ Wanted For Assault, Arson, Theft, Destruction Of Military Property, And Hindering The War Effort, 200,000 Republic Notes For Information Leading To Arrest” (Lu 1)

Wanted, Running, surviving, hiding, not being caught by the Republic, and taking care of my family without them knowing I’m alive. Day, the main character in the novel Legend by Marie Lu, is a 15-year-old teenager living in the lakes in Los Angles. Day doesn’t have a life like an average teenager, he lives in a dystopian republic and the most wanted person in the Republic. “ ‘Really, really try. I swear it, ’ ” I say. And I know, because of Prim, I’ll have to” (37) A well-known famous book, Hunger Games has the same connection with Legend in different ways. Although one is a boy and the other is a girl, a clear theme emerges. Day and Katniss Everdeen have to survive for their family.

After Day escaped the Labor Camps, he told his older brother, John, that he saw still alive. He didn’t tell his mother because she would worry about him and the Republic might integrate her about Day. “ ‘I won’t hurt you,’ I whisper in his ear. ‘Tell me where to get the plague cures.’ ” (29) When the plague started spreading and Eden got the plague, Day was determined to steal the cure from the hospital and save Eden. The whole family relied on Day to save Eden, even when his mother and Eden didn’t know he was alive. Day had to take care of his family by stealing notes and food. “ ‘ Then you must be responsible for stealing sixteen thousand five hundred notes from there as well.’ ” (167) He had to survive to keep his mother and brothers alive. When Day’s mother was killed and his two brothers and Day got caught by the Republic and was in a cell. He never thought about saving himself, he only thought about saving his brothers “If I can escape, I still have time to save them. I can still use my arms. And I have one good leg. I could still do it…if only I knew where they were.” (195) Day only had one good leg, he was locked up, and there was no possible way of escaping. Instead of telling himself to give up, he still continued to save his brothers, risking his life for theirs. He knew that Eden didn’t deserve being a lab rat, and John being locked him in a cell when he passes his trial. Day knew that he deserved being executed, but he couldn’t let John and Eden suffer for doing nothing wrong. “ ‘ Well, don’t kill them,’ he murmurs. ‘ They didn’t do anything… and Eden…he’s not a lab rat, you know’ He’s silent for a minute.” (199)

Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games has the same goal as Day in the arena, win the games and go home to Prim and Mother. “And it’s not me. It’s Primrose Everdeen.” (Collins 21) When Prim’s name was pulled from the ball, Katniss volunteered as tribute to save her sister. Ever since she got on the train to the capital, her one and only goal was to win the games for her sister. “ ‘Don’t let them starve!’ I cry out, clinging to his hand.” (41) She knew that without her, no one was going to find food for dinner or take care of her sister. “I remember how I promised Prim that I really would try to win and I feel like a ton of coal has dropped on me.” (106) Katniss didn’t have any confidence of winning the games, she knew that she couldn’t make it, but she had to try her best to come home for Prim and her mother. The thought of Prim always came to her mind, “Will they take their few belongings, or send my mother to prison and Prim to the community home, or kill them?” (103,104) Everything she did would always make her think of Prim and her mother, and she would never stop, even when she’s in the arena surviving. “The thought of Prim having to watch that keeps me doggedly inching my way toward the hideout.”(220)

When you are in a situation knowing that you will die before the sun comes out, that is when you believe and think of the impossible. Day and Katniss knew that they couldn’t survive. He knew that he would have bullets in his chest after 4 days in his cell. She knew that she would never win the games and die in the arena. Day and Katniss made the impossible, possible. The thought of their family made them survive and strong. Saving Eden’s and John’s life and going home safe to Prim and her mother were all Day and Katniss thought about. Day after day, night after night, never stopped surviving for them. “ ‘Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.’ ” (304)

 

Books:

Lu, Marie. Legend. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike, 2012. Print.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Hyperlink:

“Daniel Wing.” Legend Marie Lu Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.”Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Primrose “Prim” Everdeen in The Hunger Games.” Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

 

Love Before Blood

This is the third book of the Mortal Instruments series. If you don’t understand or you don’t want to know the ending, read the first two books.

*SPOILER ALERT*

“I fought so hard to bind Downworlders and Shadowhunters together, to protect the Accords. I thought I was chasing a sort of dream—something most Shadowhunters could hardly imagine. And now you’ve made it concrete and literal and real.” (484 Clare) Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, werewolves, faeries, and warlocks, all in one book. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare blends the themes of love and family in such a way that it leaves the reader hanging on because the book is unpredictable. A family doesn’t necessary mean you have to have the same blood. Your family members will always love you no matter what happens.

“‘I knew then that Jocelyn would never come back to me, because of you. You are the only thing in the world she ever loved more than she loved me. And because of you she hates me. And because of that, I hate the sight of you.’ ” (608) Valentine was Clary’s father but he never acted like a father to Clary. He hated Clary and never cared or loved her before.“ ‘I know that Lucian Graymark is like a father to you.’ ”(677) Luke is not her biological father. However, he was always there for Clary. When she was sad or alone he was always there. Most importantly, when she needed protection he was there to protect her, like a real father. Not only was Valentine the worst father anyone could have but Jonathan (also know as Sebastian) was the worst brother you could ever ask for.“ ‘ I’m telling you this so you won’t feel bad that you were taken in. Clary, you’ve met Jonathan. He just never told you his real name, because he was posing as someone else. Sebastian Verlac.’ ” (509) In the first two books, Clary and Jace feel in love, but they found out they were siblings. That information was false, however, they found out in the third book. Jonathan was her real brother, but nobody knew because he was posing as someone else, Sebastian Verlac. Jonathan is a despicable brother because he was on Valentine’s team of destroying all the Shadowhunters. Take Alec Lightwood for an example, Alec was a brave brother. He would risk his life to save his little sister and brother, “ It seemed strange that Alec, only a year or two older than Isabelle, was heading off to fight in a war, and the rest of them were going to stay behind. ” (539) Alec is nothing like Jonathan because he is a liar. He laid saying that he was Sebastian and helping Clary find Ragnor Fell. Valentine and Jonathan are both at the bottom of the list of being a true family member. Neither of them love or support their family. Valentine is a selfish father because Jocelyn left him to protect Clary, so he hates the sight of Clary. Jonathan does not have any affection for his mother or sister. All of the things they did was selfishness and no affection for Clary, Jocelyn, and all the other Shadowhunters around the world.

Whenever you wonder if your parents love you or not, ask this question to yourself: Do they care about you? Do they worry about you? Do they miss you when you are not at home? If you are not sure, predict what will happen if you hurt yourself. Will your parents run to you and ask if you are okay, or will they leave you on the ground and walk away. If you compare Valentine and Luke, Valentine would leave you on the ground but Luke will run to you and pick you up. You see the difference? A family will always be strong if you love, support and show affection to each other, and know that it is love before blood.