Sunday, May 19, 2013

Overall Stato!

It's a late post, I know, but necessary. Well! I want to assess myself before Preston just tears me apart on where I feel I stand. If I were to put a grade on it, I would say about a C. I am most definitely missing some posts on my blog, and that might be because I tend to bunch them up into one post, or because I've just been losing track. Or a combination of the two. I wouldn't say I haven't been doing ANYTHING. It's not like this class completely slipped out of my mind in the recent semester, but I definitely have not been the most active. And the strangest part about all that, is I'm not ashamed of my lack of "effort". The reason being is that it's been targeted toward other areas, areas I found more important than these. I have a good understanding that in turn my lack of effort will lower my grade, and I'm all right with it. I'm all right with it, because I'm satisfied with what I was putting my energy into(which I don't really feel like publicly posting about). I'm a very private person, I know this, and perhaps that's why this course has been tough for me. I don't feel confident in my work and I don't want to publish it, nor do I want to collaborate. I prefer working alone. This assessment has turned into a rant(as do most of the things I speak about). Point is, I'm willing to take any grade deemed fit as long as it truly is.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Double Orwell


I realize I should have posted these long ago, but not going to lie, I just did them. I have a tendency of reading the books for literature analyses, but then when it comes to actually doing the writing portion, blegh. Here they are though, in all their glory. There is more to come though so stay tuned. I've read The Awakening, Metamorphosis, Night, and I'm currently in the process of reading The Man in the High Castle.

1984 -George Orwell
Setting:
1)    The story takes place in London. It is said to take place in the year 1984, but Winston says there’s no particular way in for sure knowing whether or not that’s true. It has a dystopia theme.
2)    The author uses a few settings, but they never leave the area within Winston lives. The farthest away he ever went was to a forest like place where he met up with Julia.
3)    There is no way in exactly knowing over how long of a period the book took place, but I believe it was about half a year.
4)    The story could not have been told in a different setting. The whole theme was based around dystopia, so if it were in a lively upbeat setting, it wouldn’t make much sense.
Plot:
1)    Then inciting incident is when Winston begins writing in his journal about rebellion and going against big brother.
2)    A lot of the events in the book could be looked at as foreshadowing. The one I picked up on the most was the coral paperweight he had bought, and when the thought police had smashed it, revealing it was a very small fragile piece of coral that could easily be crushed, such as Winston.
3)    I could not imagine this happening to anyone I know, most likely because we don’t live in that kind of society.
Characters:
1)    –Winston Smith: He had always gone along with what the party had said, even though deep inside he knew some events had happened that were said to have not happened, and that what they were doing was wrong. He starts to in a way rebel within his thoughts and his journal. Soon also with Julia and by joining the Brotherhood. He wants to see freedom brought back, and the party taken down. He directly describes himself when speaking with Julia.
-Julia: Julia had always been rebelling against the party, but not in the same way Winston was. She did not actually long for real change, nor did she really care to do anything for it. She simply did because Winston had and she loved him. She is very carefree and is very opinionated. She is directly described many times by Winston when he first sees her and encounters her afterwards.
-O’Brien: O’Brien had worked near where Winston did, and Winston always felt that O’Brien might also be rebelling against the Party. He is confirmed this thought when he goes to O’Brien’s home and speaks to him of the Brotherhood. However, near the end we discover O’Brien is actually a part of the party and works on changing every idea Winston ever had about his rebellion.
Style:
1)    The author uses many metaphors throughout the book, and very complex sentences that are packed with very high vocabulary. It greatly added to the feel of the book and did a great job of describing the setting. The diction was full of many higher level vocabulary words. It gave the book a very sophisticated feel and added to the descriptions. I admit, I used the dictionary A LOT during this book, but now I have expanded my vocabulary greatlyJ.
2)    The author makes very good descriptions, usually about the thoughts and ideas that Winston is having. It also has a lot of events and “action scenes” near the end. I wouldn’t exactly call them action scenes though, hence the quotes. More of…. torture scenes? Very detailed.
3)    I don’t know if everyone took the tone of the book as I did because I got two very different tones from it. Both inspiring and depressing. It was inspiring and reassuring in how Winston had such a drive to rebel, a longing for something more, even though he was living in a society where most everyone were drones. But it was depressing in that no matter how strong his drive was, everything was remaining constant. By everything I mean the party. And that at the end, he was persuaded into believing everything he knew was a lie. It made me wonder if I would have done the same, and I came to the realization that I would. I think everyone would, after so much torture wouldn’t all minds submit to the power creating it? Very depressing, but thought provoking which was enjoyable.
4)    There is a normal amount of dialogue within the book. Just enough to expand on characters’ personalities and show what was happening at a certain event.
Theme:
1)    The main theme I got from the story is hard to put in a category. I felt it had to do a lot with the human mind and ruling powers. In the end I would say the theme is about submission. However, there is a lot that goes with that. How we submit, why we submit, who we submit to. And it’s all within the manipulation of the mind.
2)    I honestly have no idea why the author wrote this book, but I thank him for it. Maybe it was because of the time he was living in with all the war and Russia becoming a communist country. Maybe he wanted to expand on that but at a higher level.

Animal Farm- George Orwell

1)    There is no exact place where the story is at, nor is there a time. However, Orwell did write the book to reflect on the Russian Revolutions that were happened from 1917-1945. The story takes place on a farm.
2)    Orwell doesn’t use a lot of settings, only the farm. Most events happen there and is what the entire book is about.
3)    You can’t exactly tell over how long a period it’s told, but if I had to guess I’d say a little less than a year.
4)    I suppose the story could be told in a different setting. The only problem is that the farm perfectly ties in with the animals, so if you were to pick another setting, the “subjects” would have to go along with it.  Ex: You can’t stick a load of farm animals in an elementary school, you would have to use something related to it, such as a group of students.
Plot:
1)    The inciting incident is when the animals first rebel. They kick farmer Jones out and hold the farm to themselves.
2)    There is a lot of foreshadowing in the book involving the pigs. Many events in which it shows that the pigs were greedy and would end up taking over the animal farm. Ex(s): In the beginning when it’s presumed that Napolean drank all the milk, and when the pigs begin holding their own meetings.
3)    I’m not sure if I could see this happening to America. We try to do our best to let the people be involved with the government, of course it seems as though the government does a lot involving our country, the people do get some say.
Characters:
            1)-Napolean: Napolean represents Joseph Stalin. He takes control of the animal farm and in turn creates a totalitarian government where he is in total rule. He is very greedy, and doesn’t have the good of the Animal Farm in his interests, he cares more for himself. He doesn’t want to share his power with anyone and wants to remain “on top”
            - Snowball: Represents Trotsky.  Snowball has the Animal Farm’s interests at heart. He takes power at first and makes good plans for the Animal Farm, and in turn gains the animals’ loyalty.  He is very intelligent, and has a great passion for the Animal Farm.
            - Big Fat Squealer(or just Squealer): Represents propaganda.  Squealer has a way with words, which is why he spreads the Napolean’s propaganda around the animal. He is also very greedy and wants for the pigs to be the highest class. He gains social and political control in the farm through his way with words
            -Boxer: Represents the proletariat (working class) Boxer is very dedicated to the Animal Farm and proves to be the strongest in it. He is constantly working hard, and never questioning the pig’s motives. He is na├»ve towards their true intentions, and remains loyal to them.
            -Old Major: Represents Karl Marx, father of communism. Old Major is only in the book for a very short period of time, but he is what instilled the animal’s to rebel. He believed every animal should be equal.
            -Mr. Jones: Represents Czar Nicholas II. Mr. Jones was the cruel owner of the animals. He treated them horribly and cared more for himself. He is soon ousted for being this way early on the story, just as Nicholas II was in Russia.
            2) The characters represent characters from the past, so in a way I guess I have to say no, I wouldn’t like to meet them. Even if I could, most were greedy and power wanting. I do enjoy animals though, so if the question could be taken like that, then I would want to meet Boxer, he seems like an awesome horse J
            3) These characters are very realistic seeing as how they are true representations. Some represent large numbers of people (Boxer: working class, Mollie: petit bourgeoisie, etc.)
           
Style:
1)    The syntax was fairly simple, just short sentences to describe a certain situation/event. There were occasional metaphors and similes thrown in there, but other than that, rather simple. Orwell uses very high vocabulary (at least I think so) but he uses it very effectively. I enjoy all the different words I learn when reading his books.
2)    Orwell definitely focuses on character descriptions, especially in this book. They were very important because they were reflecting real people.
3)    I couldn’t quite pick up on any exact tone throughout the book. It would just describe events, facts, situations. But it never actually picked sides. I’m explaining this really weird, but my point is that if I had to pick a tone it would be irony. It’s very evident throughout the book the irony of the situation and Orwell makes that very obvious through his writing.
4)    There is a normal amount of dialogue throughout the story. It’s usually just the animals discussing what will happen next among the farm and making rules and regulations. Most of the talking comes from the pigs.
Theme:
1)    I believe the theme is mainly about corruption. More specifically within the USSR. You could also say it’s about greed, power, and all the other little things that go along with corruption.
2)    Orwell wrote the book to reflect the situation that was currently going on at the time involving Stalin and the people, better known as the Russian Revolutions.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Essays and essays and essays and....

So! My body decided to have the flu and stomach flu during the time period where Dr. Preston assigned 300 essays which blows, but I did three out of the bajillion so yippee! One of each, prose, open, and poetry. I don't feel very confident with them, so I will just be showing them to ze Doctor. The prose was the essay prompt that Preston gave us regarding Lutie Johnson?(maybe that was her name..) and her surroundings. UGH. That essay was a toughie. It wasn't even so much the task, as in analyzing a relationship between two things, but the fact that one was an entire setting and the other a person. It was just so odd, never had encountered anything like that. My open essay was on 1984 and it was another essay in which you speak about the relationship between a character and their setting. That one I didn't find as hard though seeing as how I had read the entire book so there was much more examples to work with whereas with the prose I was confined to a passage. Lastly, was my poetry essay. Yikes, where to begin. Poetry is my downfall, definitely. I have a hard time understanding how to explain certain poetic techniques such as rhyme or different types of verses. I chose the same poem that I did my grid lock on because I felt that throwing myself at a new poem every time wouldn't exactly help me. I knew my problem lied in my understanding of poetic techniques, and not different types of poems. Aside from that I haven't much to say! If you wanna see my essays.... I will probably say no :P But you can try. I have to say yes to Preston, because... you know... he's sort of in charge of grades and what not.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Seventh Reading

I chose the poem Safe Sex by Donald Hall. I also don't have a group, so it's just me.

Safe Sex

If he and she do not know each other, and feel confident
they will not meet again; if he avoids affectionate words;

if she has grown insensible skin under skin; if they desire
only the tribute of another's cry; if they employ each other

as revenge on old lovers or families of entitlement and steel—
then there will be no betrayals, no letters returned unread,

no frenzy, no hurled words of permanent humiliation,
no trembling days, no vomit at midnight, no repeated

apparition of a body floating face-down at the pond's edge


Playing Catch Up

I've had the flu for the past week, so here goes me trying to catch up on all the poetry stuff. Hoorah for effort!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Essay Prompts for 1984

I merely googled "1984 Essay Prompts" and voila! I found some neat ones worth thinking about :)
It's as a microsoft word document, rather than link I will copy and paste (with respect to the author).
The Prompts:

1. Write an essay in which you explore HOW (examples) and WHY (what your examples prove) Orwell uses symbolism in 1984.
 2.  Some feel that 1984 had much relevance at the time that it was written, but now has very little relevance.  Write an essay in which you agree or disagree with the idea that the novel is no longer significant to our society.  Although this prompt requires you to comment and bring in examples for the modern world, the bulk of the essay should focus on the novel itself.
 3. Write an essay in which you explain whether or not Winston is a hero.  Explain your answer with a thorough definition of what a hero is and specific examples that demonstrate how Winston does or does not match the definition.

Here's the loooong link: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Flegacy.mckinneyisd.net%2Fdepartments%2Fcurriculum%2Fsummer-reading%2Fnorth%2F1984%2520Summer%2520Essay%2520Prompts.doc&ei=WEpiUZiDD6erigLZtICYDA&usg=AFQjCNFH0SkzuH17nSn7GwpGymQ4gBdTSQ&sig2=YnwoQaYbLKUKpBRgoxpIrg&bvm=bv.44770516,d.cGE

Saturday, April 6, 2013

20 Literary Techniques in 1984


1) Setting: Oceania, London. Year of 1984(duh)
2) Anagnorisis: The point in a plot where a character recognizes the true state of affairs
                ^Although Winston is somewhat rebellious from the start( what with the purchasing of the journal  and his awareness of O’Brien) the moment he sees room 101 is when he sees the truth behind Big Brother.
3) Repitition: WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
                                BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
4) Vernacular:
                -Speakwrite: machine that writes/documents as one speaks
                -Thoughtcrime: A personal thought that goes against the party or Big Brother and is thus considered a crime(one of the worst)
                - Proles: A member of the working class (short for proletariat)
                - Doublethink: To maintain two separate thoughts/opinions at once, normally contrasting ones
                -Memoryhole: Machine that alters or eliminates documents
                -Newspeak: The official language of Oceania
5) Dialogue: There is much dialogue between Winston and Julia and Winston and O’Brien, but where I found it to be most important was at the very end of the book. The words they exchange here give us a sharper image of the characters they are because they are reaching their end and these are their concluding statements towards one another.
                “I betrayed you,” she said baldly.
                “I betrayed you,” he said.
                She gave him another quick look of dislike.
                “Sometimes,” she said, “they threaten you with something—something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.”
                “All you care about is yourself,” he echoed.
                “And after that, you don’t feel the same toward the other person any longer.”
                “No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”

6) Dystopia: An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
7) Symbolism: There’s lots of this in this book (as in most books) so I’ll just state the obvious. Oceania is a city that is crumbling and decaying to a point of disgust. Walls falling, building collapsing, the threat of bombs at every turn, it’s pretty self-explanatory. This represents the people living in it who are oppressed and forced into this totalitarian lifestyle and as a result begin to crumble and decay into the disgusting “humans” they are. Just as the area did not “ask” for this sick state of being, neither did it’s citizens.
8) Foreshadowing: The constant mention of the “girl with the dark hair” is foreshadowing her role in the story and in Winston’s life. His thoughts of her through a sexual light foreshadow their coming relationship and the “dark hair” symbolically foreshadows her soon to be rebellious influence on him.
9) Irony: Julia wears the red sash, which for those of you who haven’t read the book, is basically an anti-sex waist belt. However, she has a love affair with Mr. Smith and tells him that she has had sex with many other party members as well.
10) External Conflict: Winston has clearly made up his mind about hating the world he has come to live in, so there is no internal conflict, rather there is only external. Big brother and all the party members force him into this hated lifestyle.
11) Flashback: “Uncalled, a memory floated into his mind. He saw a candle-lit room with a vast white-counterpaned bed, and himself, a boy of nine or ten, sitting on the floor, shaking a dice box, and laughing excitedly. His mother was sitting opposite of him and also laughing.”
12) Imagery: “A ray of sunlight slanting through a window fell yellow on dusty tabletops.”
13) Resolution: I say resolution more in a personal way, as in solely with Winston.  It’s when he discovers Oceania defeated Eurasia, and this excerpt basically sums it up.
                “Under the table Winston’s feet made convulsive movements. He had not stirred from his seat, but in his mind he was running, swiftly running, he was with the crowds outside, cheering himself deaf. He looked up again at the portrait of Big Brother. The colossus that bestrode the world! The rock against which the hordes of Asia dashed themselves in vain! He thought how ten minutes ago—yes, only ten minutes—there had still been equivocation in his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat. Ah, it was more than a Eurasian army that had perished! Much had changed in him since that first day in the Ministry of Love, but the final, indispensable, healing change had never happened, until this moment.”
14) Resolution Numero Dos: I prefer the first one(less sad) but I suppose you could look at when he finally accepts Big Brother as the resolution.
                "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother,"
15) Metaphor: “The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could walk,"
16) Third Person POV: The story is told in third person in order to maintain an unbiased view on Winston’s experiences.
17) Paradox: “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence,”
18) Symbolism Numero Dos: "The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal,"
19) Theme: Psychological Manipulation and Totalitarianism
20) Reptition: “ The place where there is no darkness”