Category Archives: Humanities

That Troubling Injun Joe

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Murder of the Doctor is the talk of the town for a few days. Suspicion sits saliently like toxic fumes resting above Sawyer’s town. In the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, the rising action and climax bring the heat. Muff Potter and Injun Joe were the only people who were known to be there that night. Nobody thought that Huckleberry and Tom were sitting silently in the shadows. They saw Injun Joe murder the poor Doctor, but everyone put the blame on Muff when they found his knife, the knife that killed the Doctor. Though the accusations were false, he gets sent to prison. At the trial, Tom cannot stand the fact that an innocent man is suffering for the nefarious act performed by Injun Joe. Filled with confidence, he tells the story of what he saw on the night of the murder. While Sawyer speaks, Joe cleverly escapes the courtroom. Tom, fearful and scared, worries that Joe would murder him. Nothing happens for a few days, and Tom soon forgets about all his concerns. A few nights later, Tom and Huck are hunting for treasure, when a disguised Injun Joe catches their eye. Under his arm is a chest of money which the boys are keen to find. The next day, Becky’s parents arrange a picnic for all the young kids in town. When all the kids headed back from exploring the cave near the river, Tom and Becky never made it back. The two kids lost inside the cave soon discover Injun Joe was also inside the same cave. Terror strikes through the two, how would they get back?

In my series of tweets, I was hoping to portray the desperateness in the kids voice. I hoped to portray the sense of two kids lost in a cave then discovering they were with a murderer. It follows the story line of Tom and Becky first getting into the cave, then getting lost. Another tweet describes discovering Injun Joe was hiding out in the cave. After all that trauma, the tweets continue with Tom and Becky tweeting together, praying for the best.

Back to the Good Old Days

Pirate ships and adventures off to islands along the Mississippi River, nobody could take the venture out of Tom and his loyal friends. In the book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, a story unfolds about the interesting life of Tom Sawyer. Tom lives with his foster Aunt Polly and a young boy named Sid. Packed with audacious adventures, Tom with his best friend Huckleberry Finn tackle adventures we only dream about. Living in a small town in America, many think it’s boring; however, Tom and Huckleberry don’t live by stereotypes. Through using certain phrases to describe their daily lives, we figure out the tone of the text.

Throughout the text, there was a very patent nostalgic tone. Growing up in the 21st century, lots of the ventures Tom Sawyer went on don’t occur in our daily lives today. But, because the sense of family and reckless fun was a common experience when we were younger. When reading the book, you feel like you’re reading an autobiography of an older man writing about his young self. Though Twain didn’t write this book based on his own childhood. It makes us remember the days when we thought we had met our soul mates at the ripe age of ten in Sunday school: “ ‘You only just tell a boy you won’t have ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that’s all…’” (Twain 49). Remembering the first time we ever had a crush, confessing to them was the hardest part. Often the dialogue between two friends was very casual, the grammatical errors, the slang, the tone. Because of the contrast between the formal narrative text and the carefree dialogue made the whole thing very nostalgic. Another thing Mark Twain did to remind us of our childhood was using lines like “all the ‘rot’ [health magazines] contained about ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how to get up… was all gospel to her…” (75). We all experience a time in our childhood, when magazines become our best friends. Taking every quiz in the whole magazine until we find out if we’re a snicker doodle or a cinnamon bun, paying attention to those health magazines. We all felt at some point needing to listen, and really wanting to live healthier. Sometimes our parents would tell us everything in there was a lie, but kids never listen. He knows what buttons to push with trying to remind us of our childhood. This novel expresses many tones, but the main one would have is the nostalgic tone.

Another tone I found quite often was humor. Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer very satirically. Being only ten years of age, Tom Sawyer was young and immature. Filled with mischief, he envies Huckleberry Finn’s lazy lifestyle and freedom. As the novel progresses, we see Tom Sawyer mature, making better choices. How Twain narrates Sawyer growing up was bursting with humor. I found it all light-hearted especially when he uses phrases with words like “Auntie, I wish I hadn’t done it – but I didn’t think” (Twain 118). When I read this line, all I could think of was all the times I had ever said this exact phrase to my parents. He uses phrases like these sporadically throughout the book, making me chuckle at the immature excuses Tom makes to get out of trouble. Dripping with humor and nostalgia, Twain finds a good balance and writes a great childhood tale of two friends.

Overall, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, showed a great deal of nostalgia and humor. Reading the book with bring you immense joy and longing at the same time. Laughing at the satire used in certain scenes to describe the daft behaviors of immature kids, longing the feeling of foolish fun. Certain phrases are so important to setting the tone of the whole adventure.

A Changed Voice from the American Revolution

Hello, my name is Elias Smith; I’m a 14-year-old young man from 17th century America. Born into a family of British colonists, we migrated to a new country to begin a new life. Currently in Boston, there is a revolution occurring around me. As a young man living through a revolution, my life is pretty great so far. King George the third is such a great leader; he is going to bring this country greatness. In the beginning of this year, I have begun to write journal entries about my life in America, to hopefully inform future readers about my lifestyle. How great life in America will be!

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As always, all revolutions bring change. In the American Revolution, lots of things changed, but some also remain constant. There was a new government system, peace, and independence from the British crown. America started including presidents into their governing ways. The new government kept the continental congress; but because they no longer had one supreme ruler, they made a presidential organization. In the peace treaty between USA, France, and Britain, America received the east of the Mississippi River, south of Canada, and north of Florida from France. Finally, one of the most obvious changes was freedom from under the British rule; nonetheless, just because they had independence and freedom, didn’t mean everyone was equal and received all the rights human deserve. There were still social classes, where rich, white, religious men were put at the top of the food chain, and black people and women were on the bottom. Another racial rule that was kept the same was rights. Black people still didn’t receive their equal share of rights. Also, women didn’t get rights to freedom of speech until later on; but even modern day women in America still don’t have their full rights. Though the American Revolution brought some good change, some things will always remain the same.

 

 

Toppling Top Hat of Information

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In this blog post, I wrote about two different styles – textbook vs. novels. I compared the two excerpts, one from Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, another from “American Revolution” booklet. When comparing these two literary pieces, I noticed difference between sentence structure, language use, and the overall voice the author uses; however, they also have similarities in the way they write. The two passages I picked out were two view points of the Coercive Acts during the American Revolution. The novel is written at the time of 1943, during the second World War. Forbes was born and raised in Massachusetts, so she was very informed about all the events that occurred during the American Revolution. Though written in third person, her writing is written in the tone of a patriot. The booklet quote that I chose was written in a less opinionated tone, and was also written in third person.

Selfish to Selfless

An arrogant apprentice that loses it all during a horrific accident has a change of heart when he realizes what is truly important in life. In the book Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes, Johnny, good-natured yet haughty, is a character who develops greatly throughout the novel. Set during the American Revolution, his character starts out vain, but soon changes. Dialogue and the narration gives us big hints about his new and improved character.

The book starts out with Johnny as a big deal in the Lapham household. Everyone – including himself – knew he was one of the best silversmiths in Hancock’s entire Harbor. Looking at his appearance – skinny and frail – you wouldn’t expect such a conceited attitude; however, never judge a book by its cover. Mr. Lapham was not afraid to express his feelings towards Johnny, “ ‘One trouble with you is you haven’t been up against any boys as good as yourself… You think you’re the best one in the world” (Forbes 34). Even others could tell, he clearly thought he was someone of great talent; however, Mr. Lapham was always very supportive and nurturing to Johnny, the whole family was. That is until he burnt his hand horribly and was unable to be a silversmith. He became invaluable and a bother to everyone apart from the head of the family. Alone and desperate, Johnny goes door to door, anywhere he could, trying to find someone who would take him in as an apprentice.

 

As the book progresses, Johnny turns to a new leaf, he matures and learns from Rab. Because Rab and his family took him in, they taught him to become a better person. After Johnny goes to court with Mr. Lyte, he realizes who his real friends are – Cilla, Issanah, and Rab. Cilla and Issanah fought for him in court. Since Johnny was an “expansive, easily influenced” (108) character, Rab effortlessly taught him to count to ten before speaking his mind, so he wouldn’t say anything he would regret. Johnny accepts the job as the delivery boy for the Boston Observer and becomes a great horseback rider. A British medical officer offers Johnny the job of being the delivery boy for them, and Johnny acts as a spy for the Sons of Liberty. The youngest Lapham daughters become servants for the Lytes, and all these events react significantly on Johnny’s character. Learning a great deal about life, Johnny’s view of the war complicates: “But we are still fighting for ‘English liberty’ and don’t you forget it… Only English colonies are allowed to taste the forbidden fruit of liberty––we who grew up under England… Upholding the torch of liberty–which had been lighted on the fires of England” (236). Johnny realizes that the ideas that fuel the rebels to fight for liberty come from the British. Their successes are due to the moderate English government. Even under the British, they had some freedom of speech and had weaponry.

 

Johnny Tremain’s characterization in this story is something to admire. He changes for the better, and in the end becomes a mature, selfless man. He realizes men should not fight for the pleasure of power, but for individual independence, the right to “stand up on their feet like men” (266). We all have a lot to learn from Johnny and Rab.

 

 

 

Looking In Elizabeth Bennet

 

Elizabeth Bennet’s Diary

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For the book Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, I wrote a short diary in the perspective of Elizabeth Bennet. In this diary, we see why we shouldn’t be trusting of our prejudice. With the development of the book, we begin to face a new side of Darcy, a much warmer side. Jane and Mr. Bingley were happy as ever. But what book is complete without at least a few barriers? A close family friend – Mr. Collins – enjoys a visit at the Bennet’s, in hopes of finding a partner for life. He soon catches interest in Elizabeth; however, Elizabeth has her eyes on Mr. Wickham, who accuses Darcy of mistreating him, which causes Elizabeth to dislike Darcy even more. To her mother’s dismay, Elizabeth declined Mr. Collins request. He doesn’t dwell for long and moves on to Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte. Whilst all this is happening, Mr. Bingley brusquely leaves returns to London, leaving Jane heartbroken. Elizabeth realizes this must be the doing of Darcy and Mr. Bingley’s mother. Jane is left feeling unwanted by Mr. Bingley through letters and visits to Caroline – his mother. Shortly, she realizes Caroline never cared for her.

For a change of location, they visit Charlotte, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Kent and Rosings Park. Mr. Darcy soon joins the party and confesses his undying and astonishing love for Elizabeth. He gets down on one knee, and asks for her love and hand in marriage. She had rebuked him for his previous actions – intercepting the lovebirds, treating Mr. Wickham unfairly, and acting arrogant towards her – leaving him in shock. He defends his actions in a letter explaining Mr. Wickham’s forfeited inheritance and how Mr. Wickham had tried to elope with his little sister so he could take her fortune. Defending himself against the accusation of Jane and Bingley, he simply states her families want of property and how Jane was not in love with Mr. Bingley. This time he leaves Elizabeth in shock.

After we discover all this information about Lizzy’s life, we can see how developed her character is in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth realizes that though she is intelligent, some things aren’t determined by intelligence but by experience. We also experience change in Mr. Darcy’s character. He is able to let Elizabeth know about the things she misjudged him by. Through a letter he sends, we learn so much about everyone in the book, and their character.

Hidden Beneath the Surface

Set up at formal balls, with fancy gowns, and foremost dates are normal for the Bennet family girls of 19th century, Longbourn, England. With the many characters introduced in the novel Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, dialect is an important aspect to understanding characters.

Elizabeth Bennet, intelligent and quick-witted, was positively the most sensible of the five sisters. Others often overlooked the second born child because of her sister’s beauty; however, her humbleness is what draws others in: “‘She is a great reader, and has no pleasure in anything else.’ ‘I deserve neither such praise nor such censure,’ cried Elizabeth…” (36). In this passage, we learn a little more about Elizabeth, or as others call her, Lizzy. Her humbling spirit is just one way to distract others from her devilish personality. Though well read and sharp, she isn’t sweet as sugar. Living with high standards requires a lot of effort – being elegant, poised, and looking spectacular – such pressure and really affects a person, such as Elizabeth. Masked under her beauty and icing, hides a lot.

Another example of Elizabeth’s persona was what others considered her ‘bad side’. Not only was she intelligent and witty, she was sometimes rude, snappy and judgmental. Elizabeth was constantly turning down marriage proposals due her judgmental nature, “Miss Lizzy—if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband at all… and so I warn you… I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children” (106). Her mother deals with a lot, having 5 daughters and all. Trying to set up bright futures with a perfectionist attitude is hard enough without a rebel in the making. Lizzy, though smart and modest, needs a shot of empathy in her soul. Still learning to be sympathetic of others, Elizabeth has a long road ahead of her.

In conclusion the Bennet family is an interesting one, most fascinating being Elizabeth. Gossip throughout the novel supports us when understanding characters. As pressure intensifies, attitude develops, who knows what’s bubbling in the pot, waiting to be served.