1. The Happy Couple

Source: giphy.com

Winston Smith, the protagonist of Orwell’s 1984, is approached by the young and radiant Julia. The two of them start an affair, and for once, Winston begins to live happily. Julia is Winston’s Juliet and the similarity in the names may not be a coincidence. The affair shows that people are motivated by their sexual desires, as it holds the power to grant happiness even to the bleakest of situations.

 

2. A Life of Sex Over Life Itself

Source: giphy.com

Near the end of the second third of the book, Winston essentially gives up his life in exchange for sexual intercourse with Julia. He lets down his guard and is ultimately caught by the Thought Police, supporting the idea that sex drives one’s life.

 

3. Risk of Prostitution

Source: giphy.com

Winston recalls when he spent lots of his money for a night with a prostitute. Even after realizing that the woman is much older than him, he continues to do it just as he would with anybody else. This supports the idea that Winston’s sexual desires can override his sense of reason and morality.

4. Recognition of a Sexual Drive

Source: tenor.com

Ingsoc, the party ruling all of Oceania, is no pushover. It recognizes the pleasure derived from sexual encounters and realizes that such gratification may ruin the imposed fear of oppression, leading citizens to rise up and rebel. Ingsoc ultimately resorts to the re-education of all women through the creation of the Anti-Sex League to consider sexual intercourse as not an act of satisfaction but a task for the party.

5. Recognition of a Sexual Drive Pt.2

Source: tenor.com

Winston’s wife, Katharine, is a member of the Anti-Sex League. Before Katharine was relocated, Winston recalls, to his utter despair, that their intimate activities were for the most part one-sided and that Katharine would stone-heartedly say “our duty to the party”. This shows that the party’s assessment was accurate and that people naturally desire intimacy.

 

6. Your Love is God, But I Hold Your Life

Source: giphy.com

After Winston is caught and sent to the Ministry of Love (the department of interrogation and torture), he is physically and mentally abused for weeks at a time until he is left broken inside and out. He confesses to all of his crimes except for his love for Julia, his partner in his affair. Winston is almost released from the department with his secret, but after accidentally revealing that he is still in love, he is extensively tortured. This shows that people value love over their own lives.

Soviet 1984

January 8, 2018

In the novel, 1984, George Orwell creates Oceania, a nation that directly parallels that of the Soviet Union.  In the world of 1984, it is quickly established that the setting at which the story is set, Airstrip 1 of Oceania, is run by the government system of Ingsoc, or “in its [older] form – English Socialism” (33), whereas the Soviet Union utilizes communism. Socialism and communism are very similar in their concepts, where both systems’ products are used for the common good. The similarity of the systems of government highlight the two nation’s similarities as a whole. Besides government, Oceania and the Soviet Union have their own forms of propaganda. The Ministry of Truth of Oceania controls the flow of information through records: “Chosen lies would pass into permanent records and become truth” (41). The Ministry of Truth of Oceania is comparable with the Soviet Union’s agitprop, political propaganda used to spread communism and to provide popular media an explicitly political message. The usage of propaganda by both nations emphasize the control of information flow, an important part of both systems of government. Furthermore, both nations have cults of personalities. Citizens of Oceania revere Big Brother, while the Soviet Union worshiped Joseph Stalin. In the end, Oceania shares many similarities to the Soviet Union, such as its government system, its usage of propaganda, and the evidence of a cult of personality.

Aspiration in the Iceberg

November 13, 2017

In “The Boy in the Iceberg”, all of the elements of the plot are present. In the exposition, Katara is portrayed as an aspiring waterbender, revealing her conscious concrete goal. This goal helps form the major dramatic question: will Katara find a way to help her learn to become a waterbender? However, in her path, there are many obstacles. An example of an external conflict is the lack of teachers or mentors to help assist her, as she is the only waterbender in the entire village. Another example of external conflict is the disagreement of the priorities with her brother, Sokka. Her brother argues that defending the village and training the young are more important than learning an unpredictable skill, while Katara argues that a new skill can boost morale and provide useful in the future. In addition, the internal conflict of doubt is revealed as her brother’s viewpoint is seconded by one of the village elders. The resolution of the problem appears the siblings meet Aang, a mysterious boy trapped in an iceberg. After a few “icebreakers”, Aang offers to take Katara to the North Pole to help her learn waterbending, but Katara ultimately refuses. With that, we learn that Katara does find a way to help her learn, but she refuses the option.

Link: https://www.watchcartoononline.com/avatar-book-1-water-episode-1

Worst of Fathers, Sons Alike

November 8, 2017

Would you know the feeling of despair? Of a simple mistake causing your world to crash down around you? This interpretation of “Ordeal by Cheque” by Wuther Crue depicts Lawrence Exeter Sr. as a foolish yet warmhearted father, whereas Lawrence Exeter Jr. is depicted as a cold, unforgiving son. {SPOILER ALERT}In the exposition, Lawrence Exeter Sr. does not provide enough attention to his child, forming a distant relationship. In the rising action and climax, Lawrence Sr. tried to make up for his mistakes with gifts of all kinds, which only fosters a spoiled child. Finally, Lawrence Jr. falls, debt-ridden, with still a negative image of his father.

 

Lawrence Exeter frowned. He would soon become a father to a son. Moreover, he would become a senior, whilst his son, a junior. The faintest of smiles flicked on his face for a brief moment. “Lawrence Exeter Junior,” he thought. “Now isn’t that a name to behold.” A joy, truly so, but with too much work. The least that he could do was to buy some clothes for the baby. Mrs. Exeter would surely handle the rest.

 

Soon afterward, it came to the eventful day. The couple held each other tight for days and nights, waiting together for the fateful moment. Dr. McCoy – a family friend – often entered, the two parties exchanging warm smiles. But when nobody was watching, Lawrence would feed his wife pudding that he had snuck into the hospital. The two would smile at each other, a reminder of their younger days of juvenile jubilation and mischief. Eventually, the child arrived. The baby cried in his mother’s arms, and Lawrence joined in quickly. A bundle of misfortune, truly; Mrs. Exeter was no more.

 

Lawrence Exeter Sr. tried the best that he could, balancing his job and his sweet child. Young Larry spent most of his childhood playing and studying in his father’s office. Despite the palaces of books and plethora of toys, he couldn’t help but feel lonely. Would you know the feeling of despair? Of agonizing solitude? Sure, there was the family butler who would tend to his meals and education, but he could only make up for so much. A few lonely years later, Larry was sent to the Palisades School of Boys. It was a boarding school, to help him socially and intellectually. With his son sent away, Lawrence Exeter Sr. began to feel his guilt crawling on his back. Perhaps he had been too cold at too young of an age. When Larry came back the following summer, his father provided him with a bicycle to show his kindness. A bicycle. Looking up, Larry sent an expression with such visible disappointment that even Lawrence Sr. could feel the spite. And it continued with the years to come. Every year that he came home, his father would gift him with something new. One year it was a filthy mongrel. Another, a disgusting coat. In time, Larry had grown cold and distant from his father. But Lawrence Exeter Sr. had grown irritated at his son’s behavior. With a bit of paperwork, Larry was transferred to Columbia Military Academy. He had told himself that the discipline could teach him to love. He was only feeding himself more lies.

 

Soon, it would be his son’s 18th birthday. Larry, now Lawrence Exeter Jr., had spent his entire life distant from his father. Hoping to make things right, he spent extra time selecting one last gift. Finally, he settled for Larry’s favorite car – a Cadillac. In retrospect, a foolish choice. After giving Larry a quick call, he waited, watching the window whilst fiddling with the keys absentmindedly. As a cab pulled up, he virtually bounded downstairs to greet his son. Lawrence tried to meet his son with a hug, but in what only seemed to be a moment, he was gone, along with the keys. And just like that, the car had vanished too. Tears began to stream down Lawrence’s cheeks and he slowly crumpled to the floor. His son had left without a word, without a smile, without anything. At this point, he didn’t care for praise or respect. He just wanted his son back. Meanwhile, Larry spent the next few days cruising the city. Even when he crashed the car, the thought of his father never occurred to him.

 

Once Lawrence Exeter Junior had been sent to the university, his father began to fret. Years without a companion had made him hollow, unemotional even. In retrospect, young Larry’s childhood might have been better if his mother was there for him. As a cold draft strutted in, his world seemed to lose just a bit of color. Could his family’s problems have been fixed if his wife was there for him? Blinded with regret, Lawrence Exeter Sr. set out to find a new consort, one who would accompany him and restore the warmth which was lost with his late wife. Eventually, he found Miss Daisy Windsor. A radiant, young woman to behold, truly so, but he knew that she would never fall for him, as he was no longer in his prime. But with a simple slip of the wallet, she was his. He took her to France for a romantic honeymoon, and a few years later, he bought an extravagant mansion to accommodate for their needs. Following a long discussion, Lawrence ultimately decided to provide his son with the only thing that he had left: money. After all, with his son now in the real world, he deserved a head start. Giving Larry yet another call when he came back, Lawrence Exeter Sr. sat a little more pensively, knowing that it was potentially the last time that they would meet. It was a snowy day, When Larry arrived, he provided his son with a check of massive sums. For once, Larry returned the hug with a warm smile, and the two parted ways.

 

As Lawrence Exeter Jr. was leaving, he realized the errors of his ways. He had forgotten that while he himself was growing older, his father was growing older as well. His cold, stone glare that he had remembered was merely just a weak excuse of a smile now. Tsk. His father was nothing more than a senile old man. He didn’t matter. The future was now, that clearly Lawrence Exeter Sr. wasn’t going to help him. Moreover, he had provided him with a check of astronomical proportions. Who was going to let that go to waste?

 

Over the years, he began to develop a tendency to spend. First, it was mere chocolate and sweets, but ultimately, he was buying elegant gowns for nearly all of his friends. But with his tendency to spend came great misfortune; as he spent more and more, his funds began to deplete. Eventually, he turned to his old college friend, Tony Spagoni, for aid. Little did he know at the time that Mr. Spagoni was connected to something greater and that the money borrowed would come back to stab him in the back.

 

For once in his life, Larry reached out to his father for advice. He was reaching his late 20s, and desired something else in life. Lawrence Sr. only smiled and told him that money was the solution. With a bit of work and a bit of dough, Larry quickly wed to the woman of her dreams, Miss Flossie Wentworth. But his aunt, realizing Larry’s maligned ways, quickly sued him, forcing him to borrow more money from Mr. Spagoni. At this point, he realized that he was in big trouble. He had barely managed to pay his first debt, with weekly payments. Over time, his payments grew smaller and smaller, until the eventful day.

 

They came for him, with guns, with terror, with violence beyond his comprehension. That night, he woke up to the splintering and destruction of his door. A shrouded figure revealed himself to be yet another member of the mafia who had come to collect his debt. But he needed no introduction: he was Peter Ventizzi, a Mafioso of higher rank, often mentioned by Tony. When Larry tried to refuse, Peter beat him, demanding the money. After much effort, Larry barely scribbled a check of meager proportions, and by handing over the check, he handed over his life. He didn’t even hear the sound of the gunshot when he collapsed to the floor.

 

Lawrence Exeter Sr. rushed to the hospital. Dr. McCoy had called, claiming that Larry had been shot. Lawrence sat at the bedside, tears rolling down his cheeks. It was déjà vu. It was like his late wife. But this time, Larry’s eyes were shut, without a care in the world. A coma. Lawrence stayed a few days, holding his hand tight, hoping for a different result. He began to pray, he did everything in his power to try and save his son.

 

For naught.

 

 

Third-Person Limited Reinterpretation:

The man bore a smile and bade the officers in. He bade them search, his voice firm, without hesitation. He explained, rather, confessed that the scream reported by the neighbors was none other than his own in a dream. The old man that they had been informed of was allegedly out of the country. Though initially dubious, their doubts began to fade as he led us through the house. It seemed as though the officers were touring the house, rather than scrutinizing. At times, it became hard to consider the man a suspect. When the officers had finally reached the alleged victim’s quarters, all was orderly. Not a sign of struggle, not a sign of the victim, not a sign of guilt. The man was, without a doubt, innocent. Bringing in chairs, he reassured all of them with such warm demeanor and we had rest. For once, they were at ease.

 

After reading the passage above, I created my own interpretation using a third-person limited point of view opposed to the original first person. From what I understand, the officers who have come to investigate the house were evidently unaware of the crimes that the man had committed. They only came due to a “scream reported by the neighbors” (Poe 123). Additionally, the officers do not have a reason to suspect the man; the only reason why they are after him is that fact that his neighbors reported him. This is shown when the officers begin losing their doubt: “At times, it became hard to consider the man a suspect” (Poe). This quote explicitly shows that the officers are quickly convinced.

Not to Despair but to Hope

September 10, 2017

Have you ever imagined what it’d be like to be poor? In a world full of opportunity and whites, Arnold Spirit, or Junior fights for his own share of hope. In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary a Part-Time Indian, Sherman 

Alexie portrays a dynamic character whose thoughts are reflected by his actions. In the exposition of the story, Junior is unable to save his pet dog because he cannot afford to send him to the vet: “It sucks to be poor” (Alexie13). The quote shows us that he is upset due to his lack of privileges. This point is reinforced as Junior says, “Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor” (13). His viewpoint on poverty is far more powerful than pessimistic, as he sees poverty as a curse and that only. After a talk with a teacher, Junior comes to a realization that he “had to add [his] hope to somebody else’s hope. [He] had to multiply hope by hope” (43). This quote marks the first steps of him becoming a dynamic character, as he changes from his life of accepting poverty as it is, to eventually leading him to transfer schools at Reardan High School. Phrases such as “I want the world to pay attention to me” (6) and “I wish I were magical” (7) suggest that Junior has dreams and aspirations to hopefully come out of poverty. These quotes ultimately suggest that Junior is a dynamic character, through his hatred and hope to escape from poverty.

 

Angela, Ashley, Nicky, and I created a magazine based off the different minorities and our trip to Pingyao. Not only was this a valuable experience for me in terms of collaboration, but I learned about the CARP method of formatting. The CARP method of formatting helped our group create visually appealing infographics, maps, and the entire magazine itself. But in our efforts of creating an aesthetic piece, we were not aware that we all had very different styles in creating our pieces. It was extremely difficult collaborating with our team in a way for all of us to have a similar design, and for all of us to compile our design in order. If I were to do this entire project again, I would have determined the roles and the layout of the magazine far beforehand so we wouldn’t have to rush near the end. The concept of the magazine was not only an assignment, but also a lesson. I not only learned how to utilize CARP in order to create visually appealing projects, but I also realized that collaboration is a very important aspect in projects. This project benefitted my learning in many different aspects, as well as giving me the opportunity to create to my liking.

Rotting corpses, moans of pain. The Holocaust was a dark and miserable time for many, especially a certain group of people in the time period, the Jews. They were hunted down, and to people today, it was described as a genocide. Naturally, this ruined the lives of many, despite the fact that many were innocent. In Paper Hearts, by Meg Wiviott, the overarching conflict is none other than surviving against the setting, the Holocaust, which tramples and regulates the lives of Zlatka Sznaiderhauz and Fania Landau.

The prominent overarching conflict affects every single character, as they all take place during the
Holocaust, where Jews such as Zlatka and Fania are placed inside concentration camps. The viewpoints of
the Germans are quickly determined: “Yellow Triangles, Jews, were the majority. But Jews were given the smallest, poorest portions” (Wiviott 79). From this quote, we can see how Zlatka and Fania suffered dreadfully in their paralyzing prisons. During the reign of Adolf Hitler, concentration camps such as
Auschwitz were created primarily to detain Jews. Those who disobeyed were “[taken] to Block 25”, a euphemism for death by gas chambers (98). By being trapped in
concentration camps, both Zlatka and Fania fight against the test of time to survive the Holocaust. The external conflict is determined as (Wo)man vs. Society, as they want nothing more than to survive, in an everyman for themselves sort of sense.

Though Zlatka and Fania cannot do anything massive, their solution to this massive conflict was by spreading hope. As Fania’s birthday approaches, Zlatka decides to construct a birthday card. As seemingly small a measly card may seem, it is “an act of defiance, a statement of hope, [and] a crime punishable by death” (Prologue). Though this doesn’t solve the problem as a whole, it can serve as a spark towards ignition, or in this case rebellion. This is similar to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, where the pin of the Mockingjay was extremely small, but eventually led to revolution. Zlatka notes the severity of the action by saying, “Simple things [bring] great risks” (258). A small action or object symbolizing hope is simply rebellion towards a regime, such as the Capitol in Panem, and the Holocaust during World War II. The birthday card is the Mockingjay in Auschwitz. Even though the problem of regime and captivity remains, hope and a resolve to survive is provided, or in a sense, a step towards to the problem being solved.

In Paper Hearts, by Meg Wiviott, the Holocaust regulates and ruins the lives of Jews, including Zlatka and Fania. Though the two protagonists don’t directly solve the problem, they stir up enough hope to help them survive through the conflict. In a land of hatred and contempt, the only thought in your head would be to survive. If you were in the place of Zlatka or Fania, would you have been daring enough to create a birthday card?

 

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(Armin Rodler <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/55010357@N02/34342479355″>Krakau HDR 23-04-2017 (5)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>)

I, Spy

March 31, 2017

 

This month, I analyzed both the book Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began, by Lucille Recht Penner, and My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier. In these two sources, I carefully compared how they mentioned spies, and I determined many similarities and differences. The tone in both the resources varied, as the tone in Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began is objective and informative, whereas in My Brother Sam is Dead, the tone is more skeptical and confused. Along with this, the perspectives differ. The picture-book, Liberty, had an objective/informative tone, so the most suitable perspective would be third-person objective. The novel, My Brother Sam is Dead, is based off a boy’s development in the war, so the perspective is first-person. Though there is a sense of contrast between the two sources, there is also a sense of similarity. Both books regard the same subject, and in doing so, use the same level of diction. The low diction is consistent throughout both sources because both of the books target a generally young audience. The two books both address spies, but each source has its own sense of style, with differences and similarities.

Made in Canva.

The American Adversary

March 28, 2017

Long ago, the colonists and the British lived together in harmony. But everything changed when the colonists attacked. Only the Parliament, the British supreme force, could save us. But when the world needed it most, it failed us. I, Oliver Piers, have a premonition of disaster and destruction. Born a silversmith’s son and into a family with fortune, I seek to maintain my family’s fortune. To accomplish this, the land of America can’t be plagued with the pestilence of a pointless civil feud. Will this small riot lead to a revolution?

Though the massive movement of the new nation amended America, many matters stayed the same. King George III, our lord and savior, was replaced by George Washington, a vile alleged emancipator. America had become independent and without the sanctuary of the British. But as time was told, a multitude of notions remained the same. Had we really achieved freedom? The leadership of our country was different, but if you thought about it, seemingly same. Though major men had their disputes for power, many other people were cast aside and were abhorred. As for the slaves, the British didn’t live up to their deal; millions of them were still treated derogatorily and without rights of their own. The same could be said for women: their words meant no more than a drop in a bucket. Though we became independent and entrusted a new leader to steer us to prominence, our circumstances were generally the same, mainly towards the slaves and the women.