Dear Children of the Future

November 20, 2017

Dear children of the future,

I sincerely apologize,

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us,

Because we wrecked this priceless planet,

This remarkable world we live in.

 

I mean, for instance,

You might not have a name for it anymore,

That vast, desolate wasteland,

But I’ll have you know that

It was once called the Congo Rainforest,

A breathtaking place with trees and rivers,

But I’m guessing you don’t know much about that either.

Well, let me tell you about trees–

They spiral up to the sky with glistening leaves,

That catch the sunlight and the rain,

The light fractures through them

As though through a kaleidoscope

So, I’m sorry to have to tell you that…

We tore them all down.

 

When I was a child, I was told that,

That while we may not know why we’re here,

We’ll make a difference while we’re still on this earth.

But now it seems like that change might not be for the better,

Because, if we continue down this path,

There might not be an earth left for us to make a difference on.

Because we were so caught up in all the money that was to be made

That we forgot about what was really important.

 

Dear children of the future,

If you even exist,

I sincerely apologize,

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us,

Because we didn’t listen

When we were outright told that

Humanity is cutting down its forests,

apparently oblivious to the fact

that we may not be able to live without them.

Multimedia Characterization

October 26, 2017

 

In the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, the protagonist, has many different conflicts throughout the story–man versus man (him and Draco/him and Voldemort), man versus supernatural (him versus the other magical creatures that want him dead–but the one I focused on was man versus society. I classified Harry versus his family as man versus society because it was more than one person that he had conflict with. Through the book, his family tries to prevent him from using his magic that he inherited from his parents, but he eventually managed to overcome them and made it to Hogwarts.

 

I used http://ifaketext.com/ to create my fake text messages.

Hermia Unraveled

October 20, 2017

The magazine cover shown above is my characterization of Hermia from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. I attempted to show both angles, negative and positive, that could be interpreted from her speech. She could have been seen as defending her right or just being disrespectful when talking to Theseus about Lysander and Demetrius. Similarly, her trust in Helena could have been due to being young and foolish, but she also may have been a trusting friend. I also added Helena’s fairly jealous point of view with quotes for each point. I made this multimedia post using Piktochart.

Build, Break, Bend, Shape

September 29, 2017

 

In a world where having more than two children is prohibited, Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin is a third. Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game takes place in a relatively dystopian future where humans are at war with an alien race that distantly resembled bugs, appropriately named buggers. Down on Earth, the International Fleet is rounding up intellectual prodigies from a very young age, bringing them up to their ‘Battle School’ to train them to become the next commander that will lead the fleet to victory. Ender, only six years old when he is first introduced in the book, is being monitored to see if he is qualified enough in characteristics and intelligence to be amongst the other children who were chosen as humanity’s last hope. Nonetheless, his time at Battle School changes him from the compassionate child he was at the beginning into a war-hardened soldier with genocide weighing on his shoulders. Throughout Ender’s Game, we grow and learn alongside a boy that changes and develops into his own, unique person- truly a dynamic character.

 

In the beginning, we see that Ender downright loathes the methods that the teachers use, such as Graff singling him out on the shuttle: “Why had he done to Bean what had been done to Ender by commanders that he despised?” (130). When one student is preferred over the others, it pits them against each other and creates resentment, making it harder for them to be seen as potential leaders or friends. Yet, despite knowing firsthand what this does and how it feels to be on the receiving end of such treatment from both peers and the superior, Ender finds himself doing the exact thing to Bean when he is given command of Dragon Army: “Ender reached down and grabbed the front of his uniform and shoved him into the wall” (129). Furthermore, as a testament to his sometimes doubtable morals, being a killer like Peter, was never Ender’s intention- in fact, he was terrified at the thought of it. After breaking Bernard’s arm on the shuttle, Ender reassured himself by saying, “I am not a killer […] I am not Peter” (27). Thoughts of Valentine, his kindhearted sister, helped him fight against becoming ruthless and alike to his older brother; although, he has a vicious streak that reappears frequently, brought out by his time at Battle School: “Ender’s figure burrowed into the eye, climbed right in, burrowed in and in” (51). Additionally, Ender is wary but determined to help humanity fight against the Buggers that had already attempted an invasion of Earth: “He thought of the films of the buggers […] death and suffering and terror” (20). He continues on with his training and studies, but Ender gradually becomes weary and sick of their games: “’All games, from beginning to end, only they change the rules whenever they feel like it.’ He held up a limp hand. ‘See the strings?’” (182).

 

Ender is sure of himself and is highly analytical in understanding the world and those around him. This is one of the only things that are consistent about him during the story. He goes through many transformations into different versions of himself, personality traits and thought processes being, minor and major alike, altered by his experiences along the way. Segregating humans from others creates a sense of solitude that, in the setting that the children were working in, can lead to possible leadership and/or command roles in their future. Whether or not Ender realized this during his time at Battle School is unclear; however, he has still changed considerably in his action from the isolated, little boy he was as a launchie, still wet behind the ears. Ender was never eager to hurt someone, but he progressively became less affected emotionally when he did. By the end when he completely wipes out the Buggers, Ender is blank, empty, for a while- understandable, considering the fact that he had committed genocide. However, he pushes past it and sets out to make things right by finding a new home for the Buggers to colonize instead of simply breaking down like he did when he killed Bonzo. He knows of the IF’s manipulations, but he plays along with the game for the sole purpose of saving mankind from annihilation. Eventually, he becomes fed up with them controlling every aspect of his life. They broke him down from who he was and used Valentine, the only person he loved, to piece him back together just long enough for them to accomplish their own means. Ender was collateral damage that happened to be caught up in the crossfire and that changes him in such noticeable way, it’s hard to argue him as a static character.

 

It’s such a learning experience to be able to learn and grow together with a character so fluctuating as Ender. Ender takes actions later on that he would never have dreamed of initially, believing them to be cruel and unjustified. He turns more aloof and emotionally distant in order to overcome obstacles obstructing his path, but no in such a way that he loses the person he used to be. He also is stretched to limits that are emotionally and mentally straining, to the limits of human capability, damaging him perhaps permanently. The challenges he faces become a reality for not only him but the readers too as they become lost in the conflicts illustrated.

 

You can read Ender’s Game online at this link: Ender’s Game PDF.

Chess Master-Sama

August 28, 2017

 

Waverly, the protagonist from “The Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan, was an intelligent character, who’s personality was akin to my own.

She was defiant and stubborn to a fault, shown after she wouldn’t stop talking back to her mother at the market, opting to run away rather than apologize: “[she] knew it was a mistake to say anything more, but [she] heard [her] voice speaking … [she] raced down the street, dashing between people, not looking back as [her] mother screamed shrilly” (Tan 9). Waverly knew she would get in trouble for her words and that she should have simply kept quiet, but she dug in her heels and spoke her mind. Instead of apologizing to her mother afterwards for her harsh words, she ran to escape the situation, being too steadfast to admit she was in the wrong. Waverly was also curious and had a thirst for knowledge, especially once something had piqued her interest. After learning about chess, she wanted to understand how to play, which is why “[she] read the rules and looked up all the big words in a dictionary. [She] borrowed books from the Chinatown library. [She] studied each chess piece, trying to absorb the power each contained.” (5). She was also very imaginative; when Waverly had no one to play chess with, she would plan out battles against fictional foes conjured up by her mind: “[she] drew up a hand made chessboard and pinned it to her wall, where [she] would stare for hours at imaginary battles” (5). Her brother, Vincent, said, “’why is the sky blue? Why must you ask stupid questions?’” (4). He believes that she doesn’t think before talking, thus causing her to ask ‘stupid questions’. He thinks that the answer- it’s a game, it was made that way- should have been obvious by asking ‘why is the sky blue?’ first; she should know that there really is no logical explanation.

Waverly’s emotions and the decisions she makes to act upon those feelings bear a striking resemblance to myself. When I am feeling cornered or misunderstood for what I had meant, I would always find the quickest way out, fleeing from the scene, which is the exact movement Waverly had made in that position. I am too stubborn to apologize when offending someone, intentional or not, and usually end up digging a larger hole for myself, as Waverly had after her fight with her mother. After finding something that I don’t understand in a book or game, I am quick to research the topic for a better understanding. Often times, to alleviate my boredom and simply for enjoyment, I will imagine fictional stories when no one else is around. These are all traits that Waverly has displayed throughout the story.

Amy Tan did a wonderful job of characterizing Waverly and the young girl is relatable to in younger audiences.

 

A River of Conflict

August 18, 2017

 

The poem above is from page four of “The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant” by W.D. Wetherell. It shows the man versus self conflict of the protagonist, the unnamed narrator of the short story. During the climax, the narrator is debating between reeling in the bass and giving up Sheila Mant who he has longed for the entire story or forgetting about the bass in favor of Sheila. He has wanted nothing more than Sheila for the summer, however, when he wasn’t pining away after her, he had spent his time fishing, one of his passions. While yearning for both, the narrator’s inner conflict forced him to make a decision, and he ultimately cut the rope.