Baby Oral Reflection

I focused on sociopolitical global issue of masculinity. I choses the graphical novel American Born Chinese from page 187 to 188. I focused on authorial choice such as characterization, onomatopoeia, and visual metaphors and how these techniques broadly and narrowly connect to the global issue of masculinity. In terms of the good aspect of my oral, I did well on my organization and mentioning all of the bullet points on my outline. I still need to improve on Criterion D because I mumbled and repeatedly hesitated to talk when  answering the questions. Next time, I will try to think of some questions that might be asked during the real individual oral and practice organizing my ideas before bursting out awkward answers. Also, instead of only focusing on the extract, I would try to make more questions of the book as a whole. Also, I need to view the extract a little more abstractly.

Kendrick Lamar Initial Impressions

  • What do these songs seem to be about?
    • The purpose of the songs in Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN is to show himself in his prime, learning from himself and growing as a black man navigating the world and pushing against it when he needs to. DAMN is not intended to be overtly political, but more of a continuation of Lamar’s growth and response to the world around him.
  • What makes these songs unique?
    • The fact that he points out his own faults makes these songs unique. One of the lyrics in Kendrick Lamar’s title song DAMN says, “I got dark, I got evil, that rot inside my DNA / I got off, I got troublesome heart inside my DNA.” Also, Kendrick foregoes his familiarized story structure in favor of blunt and harsh realism. The quiet track is actually the album’s most subtly revealing moment of reflection. And it makes the message clear: Kendrick wishes he could reach a hopeful conclusion, but simply can’t will himself to do so.
  • What are some of the techniques that you notice recurring in the music?
    • I noticed that many of the songs had a unique structure. Most of his songs portray his own experience of doing something in a chronological order.
  • Which song do you like the best, and why?
    • I like DNA the best because the melody of the song is very unique and rhythmically interesting.

Creating Your Own Cartoon

This comic is the flashback to my personal experience of injuring two of my front teeth on the first day of school. Ever since I broke my teeth, I have been suffering from dental treatments for 7 years, which is a hard thing to go through at the age of 10. I wanted to take this opportunity to overcome the biggest childhood trauma.

IB English Creating a Cartoon

Word count: 292

To explicitly take the plot from the incident, I used a specific cartoon structure to organize the story in chronological order: diagonal format. The diagonal panel format dynamically captures the cartoon’s significant moments, which acquires the readers to maintain attention while reading. This format helps the readers to detect the transition between panels.

I also used accent colors instead of coloring the cartoon fully. Since the choice of the color scheme has the ability to affect the reader’s interpretation, I used accent colors such as black, red, and yellow to evoke an emotional response from the readers. Accent colors not only effectively communicate key features of the story but also creates simple yet esoteric atmosphere. For example, the vibrant red from the blood emphasizes the moment’s intensity and astonishes the readers with a sense of nervousness. I used this technique as an effective tool in establishing tone, depth, and drama.

Also, the characterization is straightforward in the cartoon. Some minor characters miss detailed facial features, whereas my facial features include detailed characterization in every panel. This is to demonstrate my outstanding existence as the main character.

Along with these cartoon techniques, the title “Smile” is chosen intentionally to account the theme of overcoming the insecureness of my fake teeth. Particularly, the first page of the cartoon shows a scene where I get my school photo taken, depicting myself taking a photo with a big smile. However, soon, the accident lead to low self-esteem, and I eventually lose my smile. The main idea is to deliver the message “be who you are and don’t change yourself for others.”

In conclusion, different cartoon techniques are used in this cartoon to reflect my personal experience of breaking my two front teeth.

“To Live” Scene Analysis

Zhang Yimou’s 1994 film “To live” is a tragedy that covers the life of Fugui, his wife Jiazhen, and their two children during the end of nationalist rule to the end of the Cultural Revolution. The scene chosen from 48:30 to 50:00 depicts Longer’s execution. In this scene, Zhang Yimou includes various cinematic techniques to elicit the appearance of helplessness and impotence. In the film “To Live,” Zhang Yimou uses filmic techniques of medium shots, camera angles, and sound effects to reveal an internal conflict among each individual during the Cultural Revolution.

One of the filmic techniques Zhang Yimou demonstrates in the film is the usage of medium shots. By using medium shots, the scene emphasizes both Fugui and his surroundings by giving them an equal presence on screen. Since the massive number of people were crowded to see Longer’s execution, the composition is hectic and dispersed, absorbing the existence of Fugui. Though it frames multiple subjects, the viewers’ eyes are leaned towards Fugui. By doing this, Zhang Yimou promotes viewers a feeling of suffocating and frustration, evoking a better understanding of Fugui’s current sentiment: seized with fear and anxiety.

Another effective technique Zhang uses is the camera angle. From time to time, the viewpoint alters Fugui’s first-person perspective looking at Longer, Longer’s first-person perspective looking at Fugui, and vice versa. Indicating an eye-level angle puts the audience on an equal footing with the characters. In this case, Zhang utilizes camera angles to position the viewer to understand the relationship between Fugui and Longer implicitly. It is a fact that if Fugui had won gambling over Longer, then the one being executed would have been Fugui instead of Longer. Also, this effect emphasizes the dramatic facial expression of the two characters. From the perspective of Fugui, the viewers can feel a sympathetic emotion towards Longer due to his struggle against death. Contrastively, the viewers can sense the frustration and fear by Fugui’s explicit facial expressions.

Lastly, Zhang Yimou uses the sound effect to establish the climatic importance of the scene. Instead of attempting to directly show the scene Longer getting shot, Zhang uses the sound effects of guns to stimulate the viewers’ imagination of Longer being shot. In addition, when a person is surprised, urine comes out naturally regardless of one’s intention. As shown in the movie, Fugui relieves himself after watching Longer being taken away by the guards. These internal struggles make Fugui more lifelike and sympathetic. Thus, this scene is particularly thematic because it indicates that Fugui still eagers to live no matter how hard he had struggled.

Each individual take struggles upon oneself. Throughout the film “To live,” the scenes illustrates ordinary people living life under control of government and their gain and loss of it. In the film “To Live,” Zhang Yimou establishes the theme of internal conflicts of people during the Cultural Revolution by using several filmic techniques, such as medium shots, camera angles, and sound effects.








Create Your Own Propaganda Poster

After analyzing the Chinese propaganda posters, our next task was to create our own propaganda poster by implying the techniques we have learned in class.

The application of symbolism, diction, and persuasive techniques in this propaganda poster persuades the general public to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The usage of symbolism is significant in this poster. The slogan color is red, representing an extreme feeling of danger, emergency, and warning. In this case, red indicates a strong sense of danger due to the meaning of the slogan – “Stay Home.” There is a color contrast between the color of the slogan and the background; red is an intense, vivid color compared to black. Using red and black draws the viewer’s eyes to the slogan and emphasizes the words. In addition, the photo of the archetype is inside of a virus-shaped figure, which is the coronavirus. Since the main focus of the poster is COVID-19, coronavirus figures are precisely illustrated in the poster in order to acknowledge the viewers about the topic.

The slogan reveals an informative diction. The letters are centered and bolded, distinctly delivering the audience its message of warning. Since the letters are big and the color is visually vivid, the slogan is the first thing that draws the viewer’s attention. Also, the word ‘home’ utilizes a positive connotation, which appeals to pathos, to inspire the viewers to avoid going outside; in fact, this will give an awareness that home is a safe place to stay.

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