Archive of ‘Humanities’ category

The Old Lie “Dulce et decorum est”

Dulce et decorum est is a poem by Wilfred Owen. The theme of this poem is “it is not sweet and fitting to die for one’s country because it is not the truth. Wilfred Owen shows the comparison of the glorious image of dying for your country to the untold truths of the painful, horrible war. The author uses the quote “As under a green sea. I saw him drowning” To describe his allies drowning in the “sea” of toxic bomb. This quote also implies the life of a person drowning in the war. My poster uses the picture of person holding up to the smoke bomb to connect back to the quote. The quote directly shows how horrible war is. Wilfred Owen uses several lines to show the man suffering “He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” This quote reveals the untold truths of being in a war. My poster uses the elements of black and white to show the sad and dark sides of war, it shows a soldier holding up the gas bomb, ready to attack. This connects with my theme because it is not sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.

This poem was actually written to Jessie Pope because of the poem she created years before Wilfred has joined the army. In the poem Who’s for the game, Jessie pope talks about how amazing and glory it is to die for your country. However Wilfred Owen disagrees because he has the experience of being in a war. He then writes the poem of “Dulce et Decorum est” to rebut the glorious image of war.

Poster created in Canva

Which Side Should You Choose?

Everyone has a demon and an angel in their hearts, anytime you make a decision, they both have different opinions. Nobody is born evil, however, the side you choose to be on is what that matters. This short story is about a Rebel that works at the barbershop, trying to give Captain Torres, which is an executioner, a shave. “It’s not easy to kill, I know what I’m talking about” (Véllez 4). These words are from Captain Torres in the short story “The Ladder And Nothing Else” by Hernando Téllez. The protagonists have an internal conflict of whether to kill or not. The theme of this short story is about choosing the light or dark that is in us. 

In the short story, the protagonists faced many times of internal conflict. But at last, he chose to be on the good side and not kill Captain Torres. For example “I am a revolutionary but now a murder. And it would be so easy to kill him. He deserves it? Or does he? No! No one deserves the sacrifice of others make in becoming assassin. (Véllez 3) According to the text. The protagonist is having a very strong internal conflict between the thought of murder or barber. He knows that he is not supposed to kill and that no one deserves to be killed. And tries to hold back his “dark sides.” The protagonist could not keep his thoughts in order and is battling against the good and bad sides in his brain. Another evidence from the short story was “I could cut his throat, so, swish swish! He would not even have time to moan, and with his eyes shut he would not even see the shine of the razor or the gleam in my eye” (Véllez 3) Also, “I’m sure with a good strong blow, a deep cut, he would feel no pain. He would not suffer at all. And what would I do then with the body” where would I hide it? I would have to flee…” (Véllez 4) This thought of choosing between killing or not shows up again and again in the story, which means it is a motif. The fact that the protagonist did not kill Captain Torres at the conclusion, shows that he chose the bright side. Killing is not a good thing to do. In the conclusion of this short story. As he was just going to head out into the streets, Captain Torres turned back and stated “ “They told me you would kill me. I came to find out if it was true. But it’s not easy to kill. I know what I’m talking about” (Téllez 4) This is a big contrast and contradiction because at the beginning, we see this character as a rather “pure” person, now knowing that he was almost going to die from the Barber. However, the quote clearly shows that he probably kills a lot and knows how hard it is to take someone’s life. This can connect back to my theme because the captain in this story chose to become evil. 

 I can connect to this character because I am a person that sometimes have “evil” thoughts, however, I always choose to be one the good side and not let the dark take over. There are always light and dark in our hearts, they have different suggestions for you, and sometimes the dark takes over. However, we have to make the right decisions and always know what side to be on. One of my favorite quotes is: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

— Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Is It Hard To Kill?

  Do you know the feeling of controlling other’s lives on your fingertips? It is probably not the very best experience. “It’s not easy to kill, I know what I’m talking about” (Véllez 4). These words are from Captain Torres in the short story “The Ladder And Nothing Else” by Hernando Téllez. The Story is about a Captain Torres, which is an executioner, going to a barber shop to shave his hair. However the barber is secretly a rebel.  The protagonists has an internal conflict of whether to him kill or not. The theme of this short story is the difficulty of killing. 

The theme of this short story is the difficulty of killing someone. The protagonists faced many internal conflicts. But at last, still did not manage to kill Captain Torres. For example “I am a revolutionary but now a murder. And it would be so easy to kill him. He deserves it? Or does he? No! No one deserves the sacrifice of others make in becoming assassin. (Véllez 3) According to the text. The protagonist is having a very strong internal conflict between the thought of murdering Captain Torres. He knows that he is not supposed to kill someone and that no one deserves to be killed. The protagonist could not keep his thoughts in order and is battling against the good and bad sides in his brain. Another evidence from the short story was “I could cut his throat, so, swish swish! He would not even have time to moan, and with his eyes shut he would not even see the shine of the razor or the gleam in my eye” (Véllez 3) Also, “I’m sure with a good strong blow, a deep cut, he would feel no pain. He would not suffer at all. And what would I do then with the body” where would I hide it? I would have to flee…” (Véllez 4) This thought of choosing between killing or not shows up again and again in the story, which means it is a motif. The fact that the protagonist did not kill Captain Torres at the conclusion, shows that he is still a good man. To take someone’s life, is not an easy thing. In the conclusion of this short story. As he was just going to head out into the streets, Captain Torres turned back and stated “They told me you would kill me. I came to find out if it was true. But it’s not easy to kill. I know what I’m talking about” (Téllez 4) This is a big contrast and contradiction because at the beginning, we see this character as a “pure” person, not evens knowing that he was almost going to die from the Barber. However, the quote clearly shows that he probably kills a lot and knows how hard it is to take someone’s life. This quote also proves my theme which is the difficulty of killing. 

 I can connect to this character because I am a person that always spend a huge amount of time at making decisions. For example, once I was deciding whether to learn the piano or the guitar, both were instruments that I enjoyed. But learning both instruments at the same time was probably not very efficient because I would not have time for both. I was hesitating and thinking of all the things that could happen on both sides. In the end, I chose to learn the piano which is something I do not regret. I have learned a lot of things that were not possible if I learned the guitar and I am happy with my decisions. There are always light and dark in our hearts, they both have different suggestions for you, and sometimes the dark takes over. However, we have to make the right decisions and always know what side to be on. One of my favorite quotes is: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.”

— Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Life Is Not A Wish Granting Factory

“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)” (Green3). Being diagnosed with cancer at 13 is probably not the most ideal life of a 16-year-old girl. When your friends hang out with their boyfriend at the mall, you can only be in the hospital, carrying a big heavy oxygen tank and waiting for another Chemotherapy. Hazel, is, unfortunately, one of those “cancer kids” but is lucky to survive. Because of her cancer, she constantly keeps distances with everyone, knowing that her death will hurt them. Considering that Hazel might be depressed, her mom sends her to support group, at support group she encounters the “light of her life” Augustus, he is also a survivor of cancer, his right leg replaced with a prosthetic due to his osteosarcoma. In the novel “The fault in our stars” By John Green, the two teenagers, both suffering from different types of cancer, meets each other. Hazel and Augustus shows the theme of this story about the suffer through cancer and love triumphs over hardship.

In the book “The fault in our stars” The author uses different perspectives to describe the struggle of cancer. On 215 the main protagonist claims “You get to battle cancer,” I said. “That is your battle. And you’ll keep fighting.” (Green, 216) Diagnosed with a type of terminal form of Thyroid cancer at 13 that has since spread to her lungs, Hazel is a true fighter and battles against cancer. In her lifetime, there had been many times when she was unable to breathe because of water storage in her lungs. In the book, Hazel, Isaac and Augustus, the three main characters are all suffering from cancer. This book always describes the process of fighting against it, even though the three main characters main seem like they don’t have any hope, they don’t let it take cancer take control of their own lives, they try their best and support each other. The pain, however, is always going to be there, according to page 63 Augustus claims “That’s the thing about pain,” Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. “It demands to be felt” (Green 63) This shows that they are struggling with their pain, both physically and mentally.

Love triumphs over hardship, in this story, the two main characters, Hazel and Augustus are both struggling with cancer, but they were able to stay together. Hazel was in the hospital because of lung water buildup while Augustus’s cancer also returns. In each of these situations, they were next to each other and won’t let cancer win them. For example “Well there’s a kid who has hardly left the waiting room since you got here.” (Green, Nurse 108) Augustus was always there for Hazel. And when the other people looked away, he sneaked into the room and just sat beside Hazel. “I just held her had and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died she would never knew that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love, I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar” Augustus truly loves Hazel and wants to let her remember him. This shows that Augustus loves Hazel and wants her to live. When Augustus’s cancer returns, he still managed to keep up a smile for Hazel because he wants her to remember the best of himself. To make Hazel happy again, he tries his best to live longer and fight against cancer. However, Augustus still died. Thinking of Augustus, Hazel explains her pain when Augustus died like a “10/10 from the chart where hospitals let you rate your pain on the scale of 1-10.” She was always saving her 10, but this is the great and terrible ten she had never experienced in her life. At the end of the book, when Hazel discovers that letter he had written to Van Houten Hazel discovers how much he loves her “I love her, I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choice. I hope she likes hers” (Green 313)

Hazel and Augustus gave each other an infinity in the numbered days. Love is stronger than anything, Augustus shows Hazel that staying at home and letting cancer consume her is not the only way of life, and Hazel is like the light that shines into Augustus’s life, bringing the joy back for him. They were always there for each other when they needed it. They won’t let anything bring that down and promised to fight for each other. At the start of the book, Hazel was always staying at home, reading books and spending time alone. But when she meets Augustus she gets happier and finally knows the true meaning of life. I sometimes feel the same way Hazel was feeling at the start of the book, many things will try to bring us down but “the world is not a wish-granting factory” (Green 214) And we should be happy and enjoy our lives when we still can.

The scar that is revealed

In Amy Tan’s “The Scar” talking about the mother is forbidden in the family, mainly because the mother became a number three concubine after her husband has died. The mother in this story lost all her respect and even though she came back, popo still could not forgive her ‘Who is this ghost? Not an honored widow. Just a number three concubine.” (Tan 4) “Wu Tsing who already had a wife, two concubines, and other bad children.” (Tan 3) After so many years of being called “ghost” even her daughter started to imagine what her mother is likely to be as a person, she had a very bad reputation for her child. The mother is considered irresponsible to her family because she left her daughter behind even though Popo made her go. However before her mother came back, An-mei never knew. But when his brother said that her mother was scared away by them, auntie said ‘” You are the son of a mother who has so little respect she has become NI, a traitor to our ancestors. She is so beneath others that even the devil must look down to see her”’ (Tan 2), and also hits him. Popo always called her mother a ghost and if anyone said her name, it would be to spit on their dad’s grave ‘“Never say her name… To say her name is to spit on your father’s grave’” (Tan 1) Mom is often characterized by Popo of being very greedy and disrespectful, Popo also think that she is the shame of the family and she is ashamed of her.
However mom is still a loving daughter to her Popo, when Popo was terribly sick and was almost dying, the protagonist saw her mother trying to save Popo by cutting her flesh: “And then my mother cut a piece of meat from her arm, tears poured from her face and blood spilled to the floor. My mother took her flesh and put it in the soup. She cooked magic in the ancient tradition to try to cure her mother this one last time.” (Tan 5) The mother cut off her flesh and cooked it for her mother, trying to cure her, even though Popo still died at last, the Shou for her mother can be seen and she still loves her mother even though her mother hates her. Because in your bones, you always will love your mother and have Shou for them. From the last part, we can tell that this character is misunderstood in some ways because even though she is being called “ghost” and many other bad things, the mother still shows respect to her family and wants to save her Popo. At, last Popo still died after drinking the flesh soup, But we can already tell that the mother is still a loving daughter to the family. She may not be the best mother, but she is trying to be a good daughter. The mother has different sides that were not discovered by the protagonist before she cut herself.

This character makes some connection to me because I deeply love my family as well, although sometimes have fights and other conflicts with them, but in my bones, I always love my family and will keep loving them. However, the part about eating flesh is where I disagree, no matter how much you love your family, eating human flesh is not a very good way of trying to help. This is not a scientific realistic way of curing and I do not support this type of action.

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