Tag Archives: Theme

Salt to the Sea Themes

In this book, the main theme is that fate is held on your hands not others. This book Salt to the Sea written by  Ruta Sepetya. This book is a historical fiction book, it is about WWII, and there are different sections of the book, separated by different main characters in this story. There are four main characters and four different perspectives. The main characters are Emilia, Florian, Joanna, and Alfred, they all have a very different identity. But they have one thing in common it is that they are all affected by WWII and affected from the Nazi’s.

In World War II, people were determined by their race, religion, sex, and health. At the start of the book, Nazi’s racial prediction of the people’s fate has been internalized by many characters. Joana claims that “Our papers determined our fate.” (p 104, Sepetya). Therefore, it has been proved that individual will to survive is more powerful than the death penalty approved by the state. “He wanted to leave me. His race was his own. Who was this German boy, old enough to be in the Wehrmacht, yet dressed in civilian clothes?” (p59, Sepetya) This is said by Emilia which supports the theme of this book that fate is held by ourselves.

Throughout Europe during WWII, the fate of individuals during wars depends on the specific symbols of their identity – a fact that a lot of people sense of despair and helplessness for many who believe they are doomed to failure. As one of the main characters Emilia. She endured the Nazi murder of her family, rape and got pregnant, and found it difficult to survive. Which resulted in her to become superstitious and she thinks everywhere has hints for her death. Her mother died in childbirth and so she believes that she too will die for giving birth to her child. But later on in the story, these things did not happen and she killed a Nazi soldier and saved her child. Therefore, fate is held in Emilia’s hand, not in other people.

In conclusion, this book, Salt to the Sea is trying to tell the reader and audience that fate is always held in our hands and nobody else can control it. In this book every character survived from WWII had been through a lot and they must take care of their own destinies. “Death, it seems, has a mind of its own” (p135, Sepetya)






The book Uglies written by Scott Westerfeld. Scott Westerfeld wrote several series of the Uglies. In this book, the main characters are Tally, Shay, and government. The main plot of this story is the people who have better looking was treated better. Also, the pretty people created a system that when people turned 16 they would get an operation to turn pretty. The whole setting of this story takes place in a broken down civilization thinking that people with better appearance was the best.

Tally is one of the main characters in this book and her life was ugly. She had to wait until she was sixteen to receive the “pretty operation” when she gets pretty she can be normal and be treated better. Tally is one of the people that was born ugly and wants to turn herself into pretty.  The other main character is Shay. Shay is a person that is satisfied with her look and does not want to turn pretty. Shay wants to rebel against the pretty system, but Tally just wants to become pretty and they became good friends with each other. “You’re all brainwashed into believing you’re ugly”(97, Westerfeld). In this book, it is mostly the social situation that takes control over people. Where Special Circumstances as in control and tried to brainwash the uglies that they were ugly, and when people rebel they would hunt them down and kill them.

The theme of this book is appearance is not the way to judge people, it is the inner beauty to judge people. This theme shows through during conflict, plot, characterization and scene setting. For example, Shay and Tally have a different perspective and opinions of appearance. “What you do, the way you think makes you beautiful” (249, Westerfeld)This quote is said from David at the latter part of the book, in this scene David tells Tally about what is true beauty. It also means that people cannot be judged by the way they look, but by their actions. Tally and Shay at the final of the story where the main plot

This connects to the world today, such as in this book the pretty system is like the government who takes control over people. Also connecting to the past, whites and blacks were treated differently which relates to the book Uglies, where Pretties was as if the white, and the Uglies was like the black. Furthermore, Tally and Shay were like the rebels of the pretty system they were like the people that protested against the white. Connecting back to the modern world, there is a huge difference between the rich and the poor, such as the rich people can do almost everything and the poor are just like the Uglies, who does not have any choice to change, but only to get better and connecting to the story it was as if the Uglies need to have surgery to become as equal as the pretty.





Red Scarf Girl

Red Scarf Girl: Is A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution written by Ji-li Jiang. In the story, Ji-li’s classmate started to write Dazibao to the teachers, and everyone threw away the old school supplies. Everything had changed when she knew her grandfather was a landlord, which had changed her life since then. Everyone avoids her family. Red Guards came to Ji-li’s house and took items from them to teach them a lesson. Soon, her father was arrested and imprisoned for no reason.

A family needs to trust each other, and face difficulties together. The cause of Ji-li to hate her grandfather was because they all lied to her about her grandfather, and no one in the family told her that her grandfather was a landlord until that day. “Until that spring I believed that my life and my family were nearly perfect.”(Ji-Li Jiang,19). In this quote, it explains that Ji-li used to believe that her family had trust between each other, but they kept a secret of her grandfather being a landlord, and her father considered as a rightist. “If Grandpa was a landlord, they could confiscate all his things. But I was not a landlord.”(Ji-Li Jiang, 108)  this part, it shows a lack of trust and help between Ji-li and her family, because she should help and figure out how could she help to her family, instead of complaining that she was not a landlord.


Money behind us.

What is behind the money we spent every day? In the book Naked Economics written by Charles Wheelan. This book talked the basics of economics with a clear understanding, and examples of success and fails of the economy, also about what are the markets and how do the markets work, and also the roles of the government and how does it affect the economy.

In the first chapter of the book begins with a question of who feeds Paris? It first started talking about the markets and how powerful it influenced us. For example, the market price allocates the resources and how scarce the resources are and how markets are self-correcting. In the book, it gave examples of success in the economy and fails in the economy. For instance, the fail of the Soviet socialist economy caused by the bureaucracy of the government controlled the economy. Bad economics is imposed on inferences preferences on an individual who has a different life compared to the rest of the majority.  An example of good economics is that the Coca-Cola company in 1989 had a really bad result, but at the end of 1995 the results were extremely good. Later on, Coke was famous. “We just shaped our hands like the bottle, and people understand.” (3) Douglas Ivester, head of the Coca-Cola and later CEO, he made a decision, to give out free coke to everyone. This is an advertising strategy because everyone knew what it was and what it tasted like and people would buy it. This is the power of the markets.

Why do people kill black rhino? For the same reason they sell drugs or cheat their taxes.” (30) In this quote, it basically is a reason of incentives matter. Black rhinoceros are endangered, because of the black markets started to raise the price of a rhinoceros and correspondingly it makes a vicious cycle. The idea behind this is that the scarcity of resources would affect the value of the resource and that is why a black rhinoceros are endangered because hunters would hunt down them and sell it to the market and make huge money by it. In a result, black rhinoceros are endangered.

The roles of government and how does it affects us as a consumer of the economy. First, the government should not be the only provide a good or service if there is a decent reason to think that the individual part will fail in that role. The government will only be allowed to take attention to things that need to be certainly run by the government. There are things that the government should not be doing because when it arrangements with that, it will be uneconomical and not worth it. The government plays a character, but in the U.S. it is a capitalist society, it is mostly the large and small businesses that control the economy.  Even if the government creates plans and makes a lot of key choices, it is the people they govern that control the economy in the extensive course. They decide to buy, sell, invest, and volunteer and that maintenances the economy.

In conclusion, the economy impacts us in a variety of ways, for example, the global economy, interest and rates, taxation, and inflation. In the book, Naked Economics gives a deeper understanding of the economy and the money behind us, the big power of economics. Also, what character does the government plays behind us and how it impacts us in a positive or a negative way.



Why shall I have a dog?

In A Dog’s Purpose written by Bruce W. Cameron, the main theme is relationships are forever. This book talks about the purposes of a dog.  In the book from the perspective of the main character Bailey, which is a dog says” My purpose, my whole life, had been to love him and be with him, to make him happy.”(165)This is an evidence showing the purpose of a dog. Also, dogs are always loyal to their owners. For example, when Bailey sacrificed to save his owner from the victim. A dog is always loyal to its owner “ I knew who he was: I would recognize that scent anywhere. Unmistakably Ethan. I’d found the boy. ” (277) This is a part when the main character found his original owner, he knows this is Ethan because the scent from his brain never fades away, which showed his loyalty to Ethan.

A Dog’s Purpose

Family, love, loyalty, life, consciousness, existence, mortality, and communication are the theme in A Dog’s Purpose written by Bruce W. Cameron. One of the biggest themes is relationship are internal and forever-lasting. This touching book is about the reincarnation of a beloved dog, and how the main character dog called Bailey reincarnated back to its original owner who is named Ethan. The purpose of this book is to love your pets. Also, this wonderful book talks about a basic question: Why are we here?

In this book is written a perspective of a dog, Bailey and why is he here. He went through 4 reincarnations, and each reincarnation sets as a different character, but the personality of Bailey did not change. He was honest to all his owners. For example, when Bailey was reincarnated as a German Shepard his owner was an American police, at the end Bailey sacrificed himself to save his honorable owner. This piece of evidence showed Bailey was a loyal and honest dog. Also during Bailey’s first “life” with Ethan he learned that his whole purpose is to entertain and comfort his beloved owner and always keep loyal and honest. During the first part of the story, Ethan was injured badly, physically and also emotionally. After spending decades with Ethan, Bailey finally dies of old age, but this life of Bailey he knows his mission and purpose is that why is he here. “My purpose, my whole life, had been to love him and be with him, to make him happy. I didn’t want to cause him any unhappiness now—in that way, I decided it was probably better than he wasn’t here to see this, though I missed him so much at that moment the ache of it was as bad as the strange pains in my belly.” (165-166) This is a phrase from a part of the story meanwhile Bailey was almost released from the reality, he was reflecting himself, in the end, he finally grasps the meaning and purpose of his life.

At the end when Bailey finally reincarnated back his love to his original owner did not change. This time his owners are a sweet couple, but the apartment building does not let the pet in. Instead, the owner of Bailey gave him their mother. The mother had a boyfriend, and her boyfriend abandons Bailey onto the countryside. Soon Bear realize this place is where decades ago Ethan bought him here, he uses the skill when he was still a German Shepard and hunt down the sent and find Ethan’s farm. When he and Ethan reunited, Ethan was already an old man, he was not a little boy, anymore. Ethan decides to adopt him and renamed him as Buddy. As time passed by quickly Ethan was a very lonely, old, bitter, and wrinkled man that lived by the countryside. Buddy soon realize that he should do something for Ethan. He thought he could at least make Ethan more happy, and lively, at least the fate of Buddy or Bailey, or any identity that Bailey had.

Pets and owners have difficulties communicating. Animals could not speak verbally to communicate to humans. People read through body languages and learn from their pets. A dog’s purpose Bailey acts like a normal dog, he is unlike other stories such as Snoopy or Garfield having speech bubbles and thought. Compared, in the story of A dog’s purpose Bailey has a very rich inner monologue, which narrates and guides the audience into his story and life.  Also, pets are not immortal, they have to pass away one day, like Bailey, but they learned what is the purpose of their existence, and the consciousness of their fate. “The scent of death, recognizable to me as any memory, wafted off of Hungry in the dry, dusty air” (10) This is a sentence from the story, where Bailey’s brother dies and he feels the sadness and the emotion, but Bailey does not fear death, and this is also evidence of mortality which is one of the themes in this story. Pets can bring families back together. For example: During the last incarnation of Bailey he found Hannah and brought her to Ethan, and since both of them are already single, they rekindle their romance, and both fall into the river of love.

In conclusion,  A Dog’s Purpose is one my the best book I have ever end. This book is not one of the books that have a schmaltzy ending where the dog dies, or a conflict happens that leads to a despondent conclusion. The differences are that in this book, the dog dies at the start, and each time is reborn as a new puppy, but inversely it includes all the emotional memories of the past life, and the character is eternally reincarnated. The main character of A Dog’s Purpose experienced through all the existence just as we do. Through this book, I learned the best championship is with your pet. Owning a dog or a pet is just like a marriage, your best buddy accompanies you throughout their life. Therefore, connecting back to the main theme: the relationship of infinite love is forever.