That Butterfly

That Butterfly

A ticket to the past, a chance to visit the creatures that once ruled the surface of the Earth, a chance to hunt a living Dinosaur down. In the short story “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury, Eckels was lucky enough to be able to travel back in time and hunt the giant that once ruled the surface of the Earth, a living Tyrannosaurus Rex. Even in real life, every little mistake you made in the past can result in an absolutely different future.

Travis and the safari company knew they were taking a totally inexperienced person on a Dinosaur hunt and that is why they had every small detail set up so nothing in the future would be altered. In the exposition of the story, Eckels was warned to not go off the path that was set for him, then Travis explains: “say we accidentally kill one mouse here. That means all the future families of this one particular mouse are destroyed, right?… For a want of ten mice, a fox dies. For the want of ten foxes, a lion starves. For a want of a lion, all manner of insect, vultures, infinite billions of life forms are thrown into destruction and chaos… Step on a mouse and you crush the pyramids. Step on a mouse you leave your print, like the Grand Canyon, across eternity” (226 Bradbury). Travis specifically told Eckels to mind everything he does in the past and even explains the consequences the death of a small mouse can bring. But however, Eckels does not take responsibility for his actions. The time machine gave man the power to travel back time to explore the unknown. But however, great power follows inseparable responsibility, and because Eckels carelessly killed the butterfly the future changed, the election results changed. Duetscher became president.

The time safari company was extra careful with an explanation of the rules because if the future was altered, they would be the ones responsible for it and to help contain the rules, the importance of explaining extreme consequences of what happens if an accident happens is very important. Eckels does not realize how irresponsibleness can lead to serious consequences. This is shown when the safari team and Eckels finally arrive at the time of the Dinosaurs. Travis orders Eckels to never leave the ‘path’ no matter what happens, “He [Travis] indicated a metal path that struck off the green wilderness, over the steaming swamp, among giant ferns and palms… “It’s anti-gravity metal. Its purpose is to keep you from touching this world of the past in any way. Stay on the path. Don’t go off it. I repeat. Don’t go off. For any reason! If you fall off, there’s a penalty’” (225). Throughout the story, Eckels was told many times so be severely careful, despite that, he still steps off in fear and confusion, and the results of that was the death of a butterfly. When Eckels went back to the future he realizes what he had done and cries, “No, it can’t be a little thing like that. No!” (236). Eckels was shocked that just the death of a small butterfly could change the society he lived in. This is an example of the main theme of the story. The butterfly represents a small thing or maybe a mistake in the past and the dictator president or the signs in the travel company represents the change in the future. In detail, the butterfly can also symbolize a chain reaction called the ‘Butterfly Effect‘, like Travis’s example with the mouse.

And in addition to that, Eckels is most likely a dynamic character for he represents both the protagonist and the antagonist. It varies as the story progresses. In the beginning, Eckels starts out as an innocent man that just wanted to hunt down a Dinosaur, but towards the end when he killed the butterfly and unbelievably changed the election results, he could also be seen as the antagonist. The dynamic change doesn’t define one’s quality, but instead how those qualities change over time. And the change in the story is the lack of responsibility resulting in the death of Eckels.

From all of the above, we can see Bradbury tried to reflect the serious consequences of carelessness and the opposite of that, the importance of responsibility and how it could contribute to a whole different society or future. Bradbury did not just write the story for entertainment, there was another whole purpose. Bradbury tried to communicate that every step matters like how ‘The Path’ can symbolize the right way and falling off in confusion and fear can represent throwing away the responsibility, going off-track.

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Am I a Humanist?

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES by Henry.MA

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The Scar of Humiliation

In Chinese tradition, it is a taboo to marry another man once your first husband is dead, but leaving your own children with your ill mother is adding another deadly sin to your name! In Amy Tan’s short story, “The Scar”, Nuyer (Protagonist) is illustrated as a cold widow who left her children with her sick mother and married another man, despite all the shame and humiliation, deep down she still cares for her children and her mother.

Even though Nuyer came back for her mother and her children, but that doesn’t even out the heartless decisions she made. In the exposition, Popo explains she is forbidden to talk about in the family, “my grandmother told me my mother was a ghost. This did not mean my mother was dead. In those days, a ghost was anything we were forbidden to talk about” (1 Tan). Being called a ghost probably meant that Nuyer did something that put shame to her whole family, that’s why maybe just mentioning her name gives An mei’s grandmother a headache and maybe that something is leaving her family and her husband’s grave to become a concubine. Nuyer can also be seen as a reflective person, she probably didn’t just come back because she still cared for her mother and children. Maybe it was guilt that drove her back to make up for all her mistakes: “I could feel her long smooth fingers rubbing and searching under my chin, finding the spot that was my smooth neck scar (3). One of Nuyers biggest mistake is the fact that she knocked over the soup and almost killed her daughter. The scar on An mei’s is also left a scar in Nuyers heart, something that can never be forgotten or removed. It is Nuyer’s redemption to come back and make up for her past mistakes one by one, from An mei’s scar to leaving what she was supposed to be responsible to her mother. Finally, in the climax of the story, An mei saw her mother on the other side of the room. She [Nuyer] pulled out a sharp knife “and then my mother cut a piece of meat from her arm” (5). Nuyer cut a piece of her own meat because it was supposed to cure her mother. She ignored all the pain and sacrificed herself to try to save popo, which shows she still cares for them and still has feelings for them.

Image citation “Redemption Quotes Images – Google Search | Inspiration | Pinterest | Redemption Quotes, Quotes Images and Quotable Quotes.” Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/378654281141759714/

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My Found Poem

The found poem was taken from page 3 of the short story The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant by W.D. Wetherell. My found poem demonstrates an external conflict of man versus nature conflict between the bass and the protagonist which is the narrator. During the rising action, the narrator is fighting the bass. This propels the whole story forward by showing how much he wants the bass, it is the narrator’s fight with the bass, this is shown in the two-sided effect of both the narrator’s and the bass’s struggle. “every instinct told me to strike back, it jumped, bending the rod, and the tip dancing into the water, tightening the drug”. But unfortunately, at last, the bass is cut loose from the line, the narrator gave up the bass and chose the girl.

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DIY Master Sword

For Oneday we tried to make a gift for our friend. I did this with my partner Jun. we made a somewhat successful sword. First what we did was we had to gather our materials which were foam boards, files, craft knife, and etc. We found an example of the sword making on YouTube and it really did help us a lot. First, we outlined the foam board and then tried our best to get size right.

In the process of making the sword, we encountered many problems that were hard to solve so instead we went around it.

One problem we encountered was the foam board was very hard to cut mostly because our knife was blunt so it was hard to cut through the board, so what we did was we found the box where all the blades were kept and just got a new one.

Another problem we encountered was trying to make the hilt, at first we couldn’t stick the hilt on the blade so we put a ton of hot glue but then Dr. Hill came in and came up with a solution to stick a pencil in and stabilize which worked and solved the problem.

We didn’t have enough time to finish our sword so it was kind of incomplete. Next time if I could change something I would manage our time more efficiently. but overall out sword was pretty good.

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in the future

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