A Doll’s House pre-reading task

Topic 1: Henrik Ibsen

– Find an image of Ibsen.

– Find some information about his upbringing and education.

  • Son of the merchant
  • Left school at fifteen and became an apprentice pharmacist

– Describe the three phases of his dramatic works.

  • Poetic dramas and dealt primarily with historical themes, folklore, and romantic pageantry
  • Dramatic phase (realistic social plays)
  • The emphasis on symbolism

– Explain why he is considered the pioneer of modern drama.

  • Because he went around all of Europe searching for stories and wrote plays about them.

– Explain two literary elements in which he is known to excel and the major theme of most of his plays.

  • Symbolism, dramatic irony, and deception


Topic 2: Norway

– Find and include a map of Norway and its location in Europe.

– Describe Norway’s climate.

  • Marine climate
  • Cool summers and mild winter

– Briefly explain Norway’s government and economy.

  • Constitutional monarchy
  • Mixed economy

– Include information about Norway’s traditional culture.

  • Various sea foods
  • Lefse in Christmas


Topic 3: Gender Roles and Social Classes in the Victorian Era

– List the years included in the Victorian Era.

  • 1837 ~ 1901

– Discuss whether society was patriarchal or matriarchal and why.

  • Strictly patriarchal society
  • Gender roles

– Describe the characteristics of the “ideal woman.”

  • Pure, chaste, refined, and modest

– Explain the societal expectations of each of the following people:

  • Gender is important, but social class is more important. A woman born to the right class will have more opportunities than a man born to the wrong class.

– Briefly explain how the nineteenth-century feminist movement differs from modern feminism.

  • The original feminism is somewhat different to current radical feminism. Women in the past did not have rights to vote (the main focus: suffrage), to choose a job, or even to choose a form life they want to live in. These days, except for some countries where there are still people who cannot go to school, always need to cover their entire body, and cannot choose a job or lifestyle just because they are female, radical feminists in advanced countries like the US, Europe, or South Korea are almost seen as cherry-pickers who argue for more rights. As a result, it has changed the non-feminist people’s perspectives towards modern feminism and also impaired the true purpose and meaning of feminism.


Topic 4: Marriage in the Victorian Era

– Explain whether or not it was a romantic bond or economic institution and why.

  • Women in the Victorian society had one main role in life, which was to marry and take part in their husbands’ interests and business.

– Describe the expectations and responsibilities of women and men.

  • Man: spiritual and a faithful believer; to protect his wife and children
  • Woman: household environment; marry, have a child, and keep a nice household

– Find and include any publications with instructions on how to be a good wife or husband.

  • “A Good Victorian Wife: a life of domestic disciplines”


Topic 5: Realism

– Define the term and describe the characteristics of “theatrical realism.”

  • Realism in Theatre
  • Real people in everyday situation, dealing with common problems, and emphasis on behavior and tough decisions, believable dialogue, common everyday settings.

– Briefly describe some nineteenth-century social, economic, and political influences that may have led to the birth of theatrical realism/modern theater.

  • Its social structure (rise of feminism) as wells as economic and political influences may have led to the birth of theatrical realism.

– Include some titles and photos from plays that are considered “realist.”

  • “The Power of Darkness,” “The Wild Duck,” “The Lady from the Sea”

Am I Political?

I’ve considered myself somewhat political because I’ve been keeping up with current events and talking with my family every dinner about how the world is going, especially in Korea. I don’t quite agree with the results of the quizzes because I always thought of myself to be a bit right-sided, while the results told me that I’m left-sided or neutral. Whenever I read news articles and get to evaluate things, for example, I tend to prioritize the economy first and I always feel like there are too much taxes for the rich that will eventually stop the companies to expand and result in massive unemployment. In general, I believe that the way I see the world might be somewhat biased towards one side. I also realized that the side I choose is different according to what issue it is. For example, I agree with the mandatory health care system in South Korea where people pay taxes every year and get medical treatments cheaper and anyone can be sent to the hospital even if he cannot afford it.

I think being political means attempting to become aware of what is going on out there.

I think every decision we make for more than one person is political. For example, decisions made for a family are political because it affects every single member of this one small community. Obviously, decisions made for a country are political because it impacts every member of this big community.

Although some say politics is for the privileged who rule the country and an individual’s vote would not affect the whole voting procedure, people who don’t care what policies and laws are created and don’t exercise the privilege of voting have no rights to blame the government or the society. This is why we need education. After the French revolution, the leader of the country changed quite often. When one guy comes up and says he is going to give people 5 bread, there is another guy who comes up and calls for 10, then the first guy gets executed. It is important to be aware of what is going on in politics in order to use your taxes valuable.

The political issues I believe to be most important right now are people’s harsh life and the economy due to Covid. I don’t think it is the right period to talk about rights or the environment when numerous people are suffering.

“Bessie and Little Richard the Morning After She Scalded Her Husband” from “A Harlem Family” – Gordon Parks Analysis

Bessie and Little Richard the Morning After She Scalded Her Husband, 1967, Gordon Parks

Word count: 500

Gordon Parks, an influential African American photographer during the civil rights movement, once said, “(photography) was my choice of weapons against … racism, intolerance, and poverty” (The New York Times). In particular, the photograph above is part of his most significant collection titled “A Harlem Family, 1967,” which depicts the harsh life of a black family in extreme poverty. Through the effective use of contrast, composition, and pathos, Gordon Parks addresses the issue of African Americans’ poverty in the US during the 60s.

Parks’ use of contrast and juxtaposition delineates the difference between subjects’ emotional state and highlights the significance of poverty. The facial expression of a mother is dark and gloomy; she is almost crying. As the title reads, she was beaten up by his husband, and the face she has is the result of that action. In contrast, the facial expression of a child is peaceful and innocent, as if he were not aware of what is going on; instead, he is staring at the camera, demonstrating his curiosity, which ironically shapes the scene even more depressed and the problem more severe. African Americans’ living conditions in Harlem street have been a serious problem in the US, where many of them are alcoholic and drug-addicted. Women and children are often beaten by men, not to mention the extreme poverty existing there.

The composition of this photograph, specifically in which the mother and a child are captured using a middle shot, further explores the theme of a black family’s harsh life in poverty. Take notice that the child is on the bed, but he is not covered with a pillow. This trivial fact allows the viewers to realize that it is not the mother who came to make her child sleep; it is the child who came over to console his mother who was just beaten by his dad. Parks also captured both the mother and child’s facial expression and how the mother is covering her face with her arm, attempting to restrain tears and not to convey her grief to her child. The composition used further links to pathos and allows the viewers to empathize with the characters and the characters’ harsh life.

Lastly, Parks uses an appeal to pathos to engage the viewers for more care. The mother is hugging her child despite the physical pain she suffers, which shows maternal love, highlighting a mother’s warmth. Furthermore, not only the child’s facial expression represents innocence, but his pose and the gesture of putting his finger in his mouth also highlight the innocent nature of the child and the family. By having this pathos, Parks effectively portrays the African Americans’ struggles in extreme poverty and pulls at viewers’ heartstrings so that viewers can empathize with the characters of the photo and become actively engaged.

To conclude, through Parks’ use of contrast, composition, and pathos, this piece of photojournalism clearly illustrates the struggles of a black family living in Harlem in extreme poverty and elicits viewers’ attention and actions.

English Semester 1 Reflection

  1. This semester, we have studied propaganda posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Zhang Yimou’s “To Live,” American Born Chinese, and the speeches of Malcolm X.  Looking back, what texts have made the biggest impact on you?  Why do you think that is?   -Zhang Yimou’s “To Live” because it offered not only text or recording, but two things at the same time, which helped me to understand and analyze better, and since it is a Chinese (Asian) movie, I was able to relate myself to it better.
  2. In terms of your skill development, 
  • how has your ability to read and analyze various text types developed over the course of this year so far? 
    • It definitely improved, but I think I should work harder to become better.
  • how have your writing skills developed over the course of this year so far? 
    • It improved more than anything, not only because of English Lang & Lit, but the whole IB program made my writing much better compared to that of last year.
  • how have your speaking skills developed over the course of the year so far? 
    • Speaking is something I lack at most and have concerns about. I don’t like to speak up or present stuff in front of other people, and I think this will be my biggest challenge this year and during the IB.
  1. Of the five Approaches to Learning skills that the IB emphasizes (see next slide), which do you think that you have demonstrated the most growth in so far in this course?  Which do you still need to work on?   
    1. I think I’ve demonstrated the most growth in thinking skills, self-managing skills, and research skills, while I still need to work on communication skills and social skills.
  2. Of the IB Learner Profile attributes that the IB promotes (see next slide), which do you think that you have demonstrated the most growth in so far in this course? Which ones still require development?  
    1. I’ve demonstrated the most growth in thinkers, but still need to work on communicators and risk-takers.
  3. Looking ahead, what goals would you like to set for yourself in this course moving forward? 
    1. The one thing I desire the most to become better at is IO and speaking ability as a whole.

Baby Oral Reflection

The global issue that I focused on is identity, and the extract I chose is from pg. 158 to 160 from American Born Chinese. The authorial choices I focused on are a shift in tone, symbolism, and visual techniques, and I think the preparation including the content went fine, but the main problem was that I was way too nervous and forgot what I was supposed to say during the speech. Since this is not the first presentation I screwed up (this time I exceptionally messed up a lot), I’ll need to practice more and spend more time to fix this problem. Especially for the final IO, the actual one, I’ll finish preparing it like a week before and take more time on perfectly memorizing the script and conveying the information more vividly and etc.

Kendrick Lamar First Impression

It was my first time listening to Kendrick Lamar’s music and his album DAMN. Although I couldn’t understand some of his songs like DNA, I could hear some of his lyrics from some songs like Blood quite clearly because it was almost like him reading rather than rap. One thing I remember is the rhyme, “is it wickedness or is it weakness,” and “you’ve lost your life,” with a gunshot at the end which I was a little confused about. The last song in his album Duckworth criticizes various social issues and ends with a noise that almost sounds like it’s rewinding a song and mentions the past event about his dad’s death, which I think this one should come first and Blood should come at the end or maybe the whole album is going backward. I found it interesting that every song’s title is in a single word as we talked in the class. I think he used this pattern in order to deliver the message more concise, touching, and straight, which I liked the most.

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma video blew up my mind. I already knew about algorithms and how the internet collects my data and recommends me things that are related to that information, but I didn’t really care because I found millions and billions of people doing the same as I do, which relieved me. I also knew about the negative impacts that the internet brings us such as cyber-bullying, revenge porn, or addiction, but I didn’t really care either. The most interesting thing I’ve learned is that a country can attack another country without weapons but which internet and fake news and that internet and SNS even affect the US presidential election at a large amount. I see lots of fake news and biased news on the internet. The one horrible thing I found is that Korean news articles tend to bring fake news about the US presidential election and translates them into Korean, which often sounds like they are true. In fact, when I read the original version in English or try to find what it’s saying is accurate, I often find them to be fake news or taking only a small part from the whole and make it sound offensive. This kind of problem happens because Koreans do not speak English although people are getting smarter and learning new languages these days. I realized that in order to ignore fake news and only read the accurate information, education is needed and has to be improved. Not only that, we all should care about this problem before it gets unstoppable.


My grandma lives in Korea, and the rest of my grandparents already passed away, so I decided to ask my mom and dad. At that time, the elementary school was called 국민학교, meaning the national school, which was named by the Japanese, so it was changed later to just elementary school.

At that time, my parents mostly used pencils and papers instead of computers since computers were extremely rare and expensive, that only some privileged people would have them. There were calculators, but they were not allowed to use it for Math, so they didn’t need one. There were typewriters, which only some teachers were able to use. For messing around, they were beaten by teachers as punishment by long, thick sticks that were made for the purpose of beating.

One interesting thing was that after they finished each exam, the ranking for the test was put on a wall that everyone could see who did well and who did not. Moreover, the classes were divided by grades, which the best student sits in front of the first class while the worst student sits at the back of the last class.

I think technology has more bright side rather than a dark side because it allowed us to develop in many ways. Especially in terms of personal and shared knowledge, people are now able to find out the information they need in a second, which means people are becoming smarter these days, and people are exposed to freedom and equality more than ever.

Cartooning project: Covid-19 Moment

Original version: Pixton (Username: hoon, password: fighting1126) or contact me personally

Word Count: 300

Through framing, diction, and hyperbole, the cartoon teaches us a lesson that we have to stay home to avoid Covid-19 and to avoid spreading the virus.

The close-up shot (monologue) shows how nervous Hoon is, expressed by his facial expression and the black background, indicating the presence of monologue and that the words he says come from his inner thoughts. Middle-shot is used in the last panel, which allows the readers to see the works that he is assigned and how he reacts to them, shown by his facial expression. Framing enables the readers to understand the context and the characters’ emotions more deeply and accurately, which are closely related to the main theme.

The way each character speaks is all different. The way the teacher says shows she wants other kids to stay safe; the way the doctor says shows his attempt to tell the accurate information; the way Hoon says shows his personal reaction, especially by using extreme language such as “holy s***,” which reveals his deepest feelings facing reality. Since diction is the author’s own linguistic choice for the work, it allows the readers a deeper understanding of the context and offers different viewpoints from each character.

Hyperbole is consistently used in the cartoon. The way the teacher sends Hoon home is way too cold that makes it seem she does not care about him, and the way Hoon reacts to the doctor’s response and the amount of work he has to do is also exaggerated. Hyperbole is used to intensify the situation that drags the attention and brings empathy, which the author allows the readers to empathize with how Hoon is having a lonely and fearful moment.

All in all, the author utilizes techniques such as framing, diction, and hyperbole to teach readers how to stay safe and avoid putting others in danger during the pandemic.