Q2: Self and Changing World


Analytical Essay:


We face hardships everyday. We face positive things everyday. The actions, the things we say, the gestures we make, can impact what happens next in our lives. When we are put into a new position, such as a new school, a new job, a loss of a home, loss of a loved one, etc. It's visible to see how much is put on a person mentally. It’s like we’re in a whole new “universe”, dealing with things that seem so foreign to us. Ones mentality begins to change when put into certain environments and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are in a new position, which in fact can better them or destroy them.

When drafted into the war, O’brien was not used to that type of scenery at all. he wasn’t used to the big tanks, the long cold nights, the people with the crazy attitudes. He wasn’t used to having to worrying what will happen next, who will die next. Things such as that was out of the “norm” for him.

The war also put each individual into a position they did not expect:to care for others. Now, often many people may say “what’s wrong caring for others?” Yes, that may be very thoughtful, however, to care for someone during a war, to put them before others.  They shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.” The war was more than just a battle to kill the enemy. It was the battle to stay alive. Most people would just make sure themselves as a person were just okay. “everyman for himself”. However, in the Things They Carried, they made sure they put their friends were safe first, even if that meant sacrificing themselves to do so. The men who thought they were just going to be with themselves, not interact with people, turned out to befriend each other. They saw that they not only had the responsibility to follow the general’s orders, but they made each other a priority, and a responsibility.  Also throughout the whole journey of they were all they had to each other.

Another example of a changed perspective that was given, was the thought of death. O’brien did not expect to meet death so subtly. “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.”

O’brien and his peers went through a lot during the war. They loved, they lost, and they all dealt with it in different ways. However, it is clear to the reader that none of the soldiers were ready for it. They didn’t see Kiowa’s death coming, nor any of the other tragic deaths that followed.  An individual’s mentality begins to change when they are put into certain situations, and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are not used to the new position they are now in.





 

Narrative Essay:


As a child I was born with a genetic trait that caused a bone in my foot to grow in the opposite direction, which lead to complications early on in life and worsened throughout my years. At the age of 12 months I began to take my first steps and started my journey of walking. My mom noticed that once I began  walking I would fall more often than most kids. Fast forward to 4th grade when I first started playing for a soccer team in my neighborhood. After and during practices and games I would feel this abnormal discomfort in my right foot.          Running for a long amount of time would cause my right foot to “lag” or stumble into the other foot. As years went by the problem only increased.

I myself did not fully realize my foot and the troubles it came with till high school. So my parents took me to see a podiatrist freshmen year. He explained a lot of my unanswered questions and told me the problem would gradually worsen. They gave me many options like wearing special funny looking shoes, or getting customized inserts, and the last option I was told about was a surgery procedure that would realign my bone and fix the arch in my foot. At first I was terrified by the sound of surgery... Someone cutting open your foot and breaking bones to realign them was not something I wanted. So they gave me customized inserts to try for a year or two.

Junior year! One of the most stressful years of a teenagers life. Also the year I decided I wanted to get the surgery for my foot out of the way. December 18th the surgery took place and along with that surgery came many personal complications. The whole experience not only fixed my foot but fixed my perspective on everything. I stayed in the hospital for four days and some of the nurses were not particularly kind. I remember pressing a button for help to get out of bed in the middle of the night and a nurse came in but didn’t seem quite thrilled about me calling for assistance and had a poor attitude. After she left and closed the door I laid there and thought, “Wow.. how could someone treat someone like that. What did I deserve to be belittled just because I could not move on my own.” This little experience lead to many more and with each “event” I began to realize more and more about how people act toward people. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean everyone is gonna treat you with care.  


Analytical Essay:


We face hardships everyday. We face positive things everyday. The actions, the things we say, the gestures we make, can impact what happens next in our lives. When we are put into a new position, such as a new school, a new job, a loss of a home, loss of a loved one, etc. It's visible to see how much is put on a person mentally. It’s like we’re in a whole new “universe”, dealing with things that seem so foreign to us. Ones mentality begins to change when put into certain environments and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are in a new position, which in fact can better them or destroy them.

When drafted into the war, O’brien was not used to that type of scenery at all. he wasn’t used to the big tanks, the long cold nights, the people with the crazy attitudes. He wasn’t used to having to worrying what will happen next, who will die next. Things such as that was out of the “norm” for him.

The war also put each individual into a position they did not expect:to care for others. Now, often many people may say “what’s wrong caring for others?” Yes, that may be very thoughtful, however, to care for someone during a war, to put them before others.  They shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.” The war was more than just a battle to kill the enemy. It was the battle to stay alive. Most people would just make sure themselves as a person were just okay. “everyman for himself”. However, in the Things They Carried, they made sure they put their friends were safe first, even if that meant sacrificing themselves to do so. The men who thought they were just going to be with themselves, not interact with people, turned out to befriend each other. They saw that they not only had the responsibility to follow the general’s orders, but they made each other a priority, and a responsibility.  Also throughout the whole journey of they were all they had to each other.

Another example of a changed perspective that was given, was the thought of death. O’brien did not expect to meet death so subtly. “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.”

O’brien and his peers went through a lot during the war. They loved, they lost, and they all dealt with it in different ways. However, it is clear to the reader that none of the soldiers were ready for it. They didn’t see Kiowa’s death coming, nor any of the other tragic deaths that followed.  An individual’s mentality begins to change when they are put into certain situations, and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are not used to the new position they are now in.




Narrative Essay:


As a child I was born with a genetic trait that caused a bone in my foot to grow in the opposite direction, which lead to complications early on in life and worsened throughout my years. At the age of 12 months I began to take my first steps and started my journey of walking. My mom noticed that once I began  walking I would fall more often than most kids. Fast forward to 4th grade when I first started playing for a soccer team in my neighborhood. After and during practices and games I would feel this abnormal discomfort in my right foot.          Running for a long amount of time would cause my right foot to “lag” or stumble into the other foot. As years went by the problem only increased.

I myself did not fully realize my foot and the troubles it came with till high school. So my parents took me to see a podiatrist freshmen year. He explained a lot of my unanswered questions and told me the problem would gradually worsen. They gave me many options like wearing special funny looking shoes, or getting customized inserts, and the last option I was told about was a surgery procedure that would realign my bone and fix the arch in my foot. At first I was terrified by the sound of surgery... Someone cutting open your foot and breaking bones to realign them was not something I wanted. So they gave me customized inserts to try for a year or two.

Junior year! One of the most stressful years of a teenagers life. Also the year I decided I wanted to get the surgery for my foot out of the way. December 18th the surgery took place and along with that surgery came many personal complications. The whole experience not only fixed my foot but fixed my perspective on everything. I stayed in the hospital for four days and some of the nurses were not particularly kind. I remember pressing a button for help to get out of bed in the middle of the night and a nurse came in but didn’t seem quite thrilled about me calling for assistance and had a poor attitude. After she left and closed the door I laid there and thought, “Wow.. how could someone treat someone like that. What did I deserve to be belittled just because I could not move on my own.” This little experience lead to many more and with each “event” I began to realize more and more about how people act toward people. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean everyone is gonna treat you with care.  

Surgery has taught me so much about life and how different life is when you’re restricted from 

doing so much. You can not always depend on people to always be there for you. Sometimes you 

need to push through it and get things done on your own. Also with time things will become easier and 

you begin to adapt to certain situations.

Modelland

Hello, my name is Dejah Smith. I would like to give a 5 star book rating to Modelland By Tyra Banks. This book is great for young teens of any kind.

The book Modelland takes place in a city, and it  follows a teen girl Tookie, who is not the “Prettiest” one. She is known as the “Weird Looking” girl. As a matter of fact she wasn’t even noticed. And being noticed was a big deal in the city she lives in. Modelland is a book fiction book with lots of plots. I believe the books main technique catches many people eyes. It gives hope to young girls who think they are not pretty enough to have certain dreams or be like certain people in the fashion industry. The main thing Tyra Banks wants to make out is Weird is also beauty. Which is the main idea of this book.

¨Have you ever seen her? The girl whose face not even the meanest person you know would describe as yuck but who you’d in a million-no trillion years describe as alluring either. The girls whose eyes are 3 centimeters too far apart and whose mouth is four centimeters too wide. Not that you’d break out a ruler, but when you look at her, it’s enough to say there is definitely something wrong.“  Pg.1

The quote above describes how people will never think that a person who has weird futures will be looked at as pretty, or beautiful. The quote starts off by explaining how it is rare for someone to consider this girl attractive. Then, it goes into her looks. None of them are bad, or ugly. They are WEIRD. Her looks catches peoples attention. This quote is also telling you that Tookie is the main character, indicating  that her looks will soon get her somewhere in life.

“Have you ever seen Tookie De la Cremé?

I bet you have.

Maybe you’ve even met her.

You just don’t remember her.

No one ever does.

For as unusual-looking as she was, Tookie was a Forgotta-Girl, one of the most forgottable girls in the entire world.

But maybe not for long.”

This quotes is an perfect example of how a “weird girl” looks makes her forgettable. But, that may soon all change. After years of being walked passed and unnoticed, Tookie De La Cremé may soon have her chance to show the world what she haves.

Now, this is used in the books main idea because these two quotes come from the first chapter of the book. It gives the reader a clear, detailed understanding of Tookies looks and how she is never acknowledged in school, but something is going to happen that will have everyone knowing her name.

I am not the only one felt Tyra Banks motive was really good. Tookie lives in a world where life revolves around fashion, and people idolize the most fashionable women of all: the Intoxibellas. Tookie has always dreamed of going to Modelland, a school for these famed characters, but because of her "ugly" face and physique, she feels there's no hope for her. Her family pushes to get Tookie's sister, Myrracle, discovered for Modelland.”

This quote is basically telling reader that this books is going to weird and interesting. The made up words with a fairytale is always enjoyment. And it is going to show that there is no such thing as ugly.

think the structure is important because it gives it a spin. What everyone think is going to happen does not actually happen. Also, all of the made up words and magic gives the readers a reason to continue to read on. It also gives young adults pride.

The Outsiders

The book I read was The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. This book is mostly about a boy name Ponyboy gets attacked by a group of Socs, The socs are a group that  the greasers are beefing with and after he decides to come and walk home alone from the movies, they attack him. The author communicates Ponyboy’s outsider status through the mood, tone and wording choice. This technique has a lot of effect overall. It makes the reader feel like they’re in the book as the character. It makes the reader feel that they know that the greasers and the socs don’t like each other. This makes the reader think about many different things like why don’t they like each other, did someone get killed because they didn’t like each other, and many more other questions. The reader influence their understanding by careful looking and understanding the mood, tone and word choice.

His rescuers are his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. The next night, they all go out and go watch a movie with Dally. Darry slaps Ponyboy, which he has never done and then Ponyboy flees. He sees Johnny which is a kid they found in the lot who was beaten up by the socs, then the both of them decide to go to the park. The Socs come to the park and start to attack both of them then they drowned Ponyboy . When he wakes up he is laying next to Johnny and Bob, one of the Socs, who is dead. Johnny had to kill him because he was going to drown Ponyboy and then beat him up after that. They look for Dally so they can get help. He gives them a gun and some money then sends them to an abandoned church. Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny are on their way back home when they see the church they were in was on fire, so they jump into action. They get the kids out but then they wake up in a ambulance. The greasers beat the Socs in a rumble. They found out that Johnny is dying. Ponyboy wakes up in his bed at home.

There are a lot of techniques but there is only one great one. The technique is the quote sandwich is first introduce the idea that the quote will support. Then, your quote and after explain your quote support your idea. This technique is the best to get a quote and explain and its very simple to use.

In chapter 1, ¨WHEN I STEPPED OUT into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.¨ He is leaving the movie house alone and he knows he not suppose to. Page 3-4, chapter 1, “Greasers can't walk alone too much or they'll get jumped, or someone will come by and scream "Greaser!" at them, which doesn't make you feel too hot, if you know what I mean.” He knows the dangers of walking home alone rather than go to the movies with one of his brothers. He could get jumped anytime because he is a greaser and because they don’t like each other. Page 5, chapter 1, “I knew it wasn't any use though the fast walking, I mean even before the Corvair pulled up beside me and five Socs got out.” He knows now that he should of brought someone.. He already knows what is about to go down. Page 5, chapter 1 “I was sweating something fierce, although I was cold. I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back. I get like that when I'm real scared.” The author is trying to makes us feel like we are in the story and or the character. By the tone and the word choice by the author, we can feel it.

Page 5, chapter 1 “I finally thought of something to say. "No." I was backing up, away from that knife. Of course I backed right into one of them. They had me down in a second.” Ponyboy is a smart boys but doesn’t use his head. But he stood up for his self and said something back. Us as the readers could feel this intense moment between Ponyboy and the socs. Page 6, chapter 1 “ I lay there and wondered what in the world was happening people were jumping over me and running by me and I was too dazed to figure it out. Then someone had me under the armpits and was hauling me to my feet. It was Darry.” He doesn’t listen to his brother but he is the only one who comes and sees him laying down. The author is trying to show with his wording to explain what happen and who came basically.

There was any different things said about the book from a reviewer and or a fan. Some people said good things and some people said bad things. A reviewer said, “They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.” The readers will agree with the reviewer because its the truth. For example I have something to back this up from the book, page 4, chapter 1, “We're poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I reckon we're wilder, too. Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while.” The greaser grew up poor. They had to do things they didn’t want to do to stay alive. The robbed, stolen, do wild things, have gang fights. Another example is on page 3, chapter 1, “. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.” This shows that Ponyboy is an outsider by the way he looks.

This structures of the Outsider is very important. It is important because the books starts off very great and then the book doesn’t take sometime to tell the story, it just goes right into it. I think this was a perfect way to start off the book. It makes the reader want to continue to read the book unstop. The structure of all the fighting scenes, when he leaves the movie house, decides to walk home alone makes the book how it is. The scenes makes you feel like they are really outsiders. For example, on page 5, chapter 1 “I was sweating something fierce, although I was cold. I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back. I get like that when I'm real scared.” The author is trying to makes us feel like we are in the story and or the character and like we know what is about to happen. The author communicates Ponyboy’s outsider status through the mood, tone and wording choice as the readers could see.


Q2 Benchmark: The Warmth Of Other Suns

Perspective can be used in many ways in storytelling. An excellent example of perspective being used to show diversity is in The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This book’s use of three diverse perspectives leads to a more accurate conveyance of the massive scale of the Great Migration. The technique used in the book is to switch perspectives to create the feeling of urgency or size. Three protagonists are followed in this tale, exploring the diversity of an event lasting for several decades.

In the first quote I have selected, the narrator reflects on George Swanson Starling’s views on the Civil Rights Act and how it affected him as a middle aged black man, rather than the more commonly portrayed hopeful young man or woman excited for their heavily revised future.

“The revolution had come too late for him. He was in his mid forties when the Civil Rights Act was signed and close to fifty when its effects were truly felt.
He did not begrudge the younger generation their opportunities. He only wished that more of them, his own children, in particular, recognized their good fortune, the price that had been paid for it, and made the most of it. He was proud to have lived to see the change take place.
He wasn't judging anyone and accepted the fact that history had come too late for him to make much use of all the things that were now opening up. But he couldn't understand why some of the young people couldn't see it. Maybe you had to live through the worst of times to recognize the best of times when they came to you. Maybe that was just the way it was with people.” 

Clearly, Starling was coming to grips with the fact that it was too late for the Civil Rights Act to help him, but he was still had a kind of excitement for the future like the typical young protagonist of a Civil Rights era story. The size of this landmark event was not lost on him, and you can feel a real sense of pride in the tone of this quote in particular.

Wilkerson uses the two male perspectives in the book as tools to represent the diversity of even two people who would be classified as the same “type of person” officially. These two men took completely different approaches regarding their new lives in the North, as seen in this quote from the New York Times’ David Oshinsky:

“Both Starling and Foster represent the contradictions of the Great Migration. Starling took a porter’s job on the same Silver Meteor that once brought him north. The life he led in Harlem was richer than anything he could have imagined. But he also knew that the migrants now riding his train would reap the blessings of a civil rights movement that were unavailable to him: history had come too late for the once promising student from the citrus groves. Foster, for his part, matured into one of Los Angeles’s finest surgeons. But his rejection of his Southern roots was so exaggerated, Wilkerson says, as to leave him adrift, nursing ancient wounds, unable to relish the blessings of his life.”

Foster and Starling took two vastly different approaches, leading to two vastly different lives. Foster felt the need to dispose his old live almost entirely, even changing his name once he moves out West. When Starling became a porter on the Silver Meteor, perhaps it was not out of necessity, but out of duty. Later on in the book, he raises money for others in need, contributing the most he can. In doing these two things, he shows a spirit of charity unlike Foster or Gladney.

Ida Mae Gladney, the sole female representative in the book, is a case study of what we imagine an immigrant from the South to be. However, just because her story is typical, does not mean it is not interesting. Mr. Oshinsky reflects on her as well:

“The first of Wilkerson’s three main characters, and plainly her favorite, is Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife from Mississippi. Married at 16, the mother of three, Ida Mae lived to serve her husband, George, whose dire prospects reflected the feudal Southern agriculture that had replaced slavery after the Civil War.”

One of the more poignant parts of Gladney’s portion of the story is when she is with her childhood friend many years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and she sees a cotton plant on someone’s private property, They decide to pick the cotton of their own accord. After trying so hard to avoid picking cotton, she decides to pick someone else’s cotton now that she is free to do what she wants.

Without this frequent change in perspective, the reader would not be able to grasp the size or diversity of the Great Migration. The three unique stories also add a personal aspect to what would normally be an intimidating event to understand.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns. New York: Random House, 2010. Print.

Oshinsky, David. Book Review - The Warmth of Other Suns. New York: The New York Times, 2010. Web.

The Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian; Tone and Mood

Any reader may take a first look at the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, and come a automatic conclusion that it was meant for little kids. The book has an interesting cover to it that can simply throw you off from wanting to read it. It brings a little kid vide to the book, and as you read you can see that the author wanted you to understand the seriousness of it all, but still grasp upon the humor. It was a way of keeping the book interesting, fresh, makes it unique. The book was able to give off a tone that would keep the reader interested, and make sure that it would be able to stand out.


Within the first page of the book the protagonist, named Arnold or Jr, tells us about his birth. We know that he’s a Indian boy living in a society of people that are also Indians. Where they live isn’t the best community, but it was the only place that they could go to because the “whites” didn’t want to live with them. They were thought of as monsters, lesser of a person, and for that they were placed distant from them. Now back to Arnold, we learn that he had excess cerebrospinal fluid and that was stuck all inside his skull. The doctors had to take it out so that he could live a normal life, but the way that he decides to tells us was unconventional. He says “And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast. But weirdo me, I was born with too much grease inside my skull, and it got all thick and muddy and disgusting.” He didn't want to be all technical, boring the reader so he made it seem less of a problem. First he calls it “brain grease,” and that changes the whole mood that you feel about the situation. Saying “brain grease” makes it funny which takes away a lot of the seriousness making it a humorous comment. Also, he says “But weirdo me” like he had a choice to be born the way that he did. The way that the author words what happened is an example of the tone of the story, and that helps to change the mood of the reader. He was making you feel happy and not so much worried about Arnold.


We skip ahead a few pages and we come across another example of a change of tone. On page 26 we have Arnold telling us that is about to start high school. You start to get more information about how his education has been before that. He’s a smart kid, but the school he’s at now within his Indian community just isn’t right for him. He needs to get out of that and go to the school with the white kids because that’s where he could be more of himself. So with him starting high school, he follows that with telling us that he’s like every other boy that likes curves, but he just doesn't go crazy about them like the others. He’s the other boys but doesn't show it much, but what we do get to know is that he masturbates a whole lot. He says “Yup that’s right I masturbate, I admit that I masturbate….If there were a Professional Masturbators League, I’d get drafted number one and make millions of dollars.” That’s something that you could possible expect but you’re just not ready to hear it. It throws you off a bit, but you still are able to get a few laughs about that statement. He says “drafted number one” meaning he does it often and that’s a nasty thought to has in your head. It’s just funny for most readers when they hear that. An unexpected turn of event that just throws the reader off but stills gives them a nice little laugh while reading. It makes sure that you stay invested in the story. Just a good thing to do.


Last but not least we have on page 62 more insight about how Arnold’s life was like growing up. We know that his dad gets drunk a lot when he should be buying stuff for the family, we know that his sister just moved about after meeting some guy at the casino, Arnold’s mom is trying to keep things together with the house, and that his life wasn’t really private within the community. They share within there, and anything that happens like a funeral or wedding, everybody is expected to attend. Also, you find out that you’re fighting a lot. There are many rules about it, but to sum it up you’re basically always fighting every time you run into someone. For Arnold that’s not so swell because he can’t fight. He says, “My all time record was five wins and one hundred and twelve loses. Yes, I was a terrible fighter. I was a human punching bag. I lost fights to boys, girls, and kids half my age.” Maybe he’s emphasizing, but maybe he’s telling the truth. Who really knows, but what you do know is that that’s a crazy number difference. Winning 5, and losing 112 is ridiculous. He shouldn't be fighting but he can’t help it. It’s was the way that Arnold was brought up.


As you go back and think about all those cases, there are clear other options to give that information to the reader, but this author decided to be differently. He didn't want to bore you with the easy way of telling you. He wanted the reader to be focused on the book 24/7 and making those little jokes in between with the serious made it a whole lot better of a book. The author knew that you can’t always be the same. You had to mix it up a bit. Be something different. Be the change that you want to see and so he made it his reality. This book portrays a tone that makes the reader laugh. Makes the reader want to read more. Makes the reader want the book to never so that he or she can vast in its glory.


The Self and the Changing World

Analytical Essay:

Of the billions of people on the planet, all of them have different experiences. Eventually, unfortunate things happen to them. Something as simple as a new, inconvenient class schedule at school, or something as serious as the death of a loved one. When these things happen, some sort of lifestyle change occurs. Maybe, as a result of the schedule change, a student has to wake up earlier. Or maybe, as a result of a spouse’s death, a man has to live without a wife. People can change, but change isn’t easy. All people have and need a coping mechanism in order to survive their changing world.

In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Jimmy Cross is a platoon leader in charge of O’Brien and a group of American soldiers in Vietnam during the war. Cross is still infatuated with a his teenage crush, Martha, from years ago. This quote on page 1 shows his obsession: “he [Cross] would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending. He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there.” Cross is still attached to Martha not just because he can’t help it, but because it’s his way of coping with being a soldier in Vietnam. Each day, their troop wakes up at dawn, walks practically the whole day, then sleeps for a few hours. Day in and day out. It’s understandable that Cross needs to remember Martha to remember what home was like and to remember that if all goes well, he can get back to her.

On page 239, O’Brien explains the importance of storytelling during wartime to the reader: “We kept the dead alive with stories. When Ted Lavender was shot in the head, the men talked about how they'd never seen him so mellow, how tranquil he was, how it wasn't the bullet but the tranquilizers that blew his mind. He wasn't dead, just laid-back.” By telling each other stores, O’Brien and his comrades can, for a little while, escape the war, socialize, and have fun. A good story engages the listener and takes him or her into a different world. Without them, it would be much harder for the soldiers to deal with the gruelling daily routine. Storytelling is another coping mechanism that O’Brien and company utilize to survive the ever-changing war.

On page 33, O’Brien describes the character of Ted Lavender, a fellow soldier: “Like when Ted Lavender went too heavy on the tranquilizers. ‘How's the war today?’ somebody would say, and Ted Lavender would give a soft, spacey smile and say, ‘Mellow, man. We got ourselves a nice mellow war today.’” The tranquilizers make him sleepy and happy but still able to walk, so they’re the perfect mechanism to make the world a little more tolerable. Soldiers in Vietnam, particularly O’Brien’s crew, had to walk miles and miles every day. Without a coping mechanism like tranquilizers, they wouldn’t be able to deal with the drudging routine of war.

Here’s a quote from O’Brien in an interview published in the New York Times: “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is. In Vietnam men were constantly telling one another stories about the war. Our unit lost a lot of guys around My Lai, but the stories they told stay around after them. I would be mad not to tell the stories I know.” Again, the soldiers tell stories to other soldiers so that they can briefly escape the war they’re in. “The harder the situation, the more essential it is,” implies that O’Brien has been in plenty of difficult situations and probably has experience where storytelling was necessary at varying degrees to tolerate and get through the situation. His account confirms that having a coping mechanism, such as storytelling, is necessary to survive a changing world.

Tranquilizers, stories, and even dreaming, are all coping mechanisms. When people go through tough times, such mechanisms are essential to carrying on with their lives. Coping is simply a part of human survival. Change arrives in some form, and something has to be done to adjust to that change. That’s what coping is, and it’s how change happens in a person.


Works Cited for Analytical Essay:


  • Bruckner, D.J. "A Storyteller For the War That Won't End." New York Times Online. The New York Times. April 3, 1990. Web. October 20, 2009.

  • O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.


Narrative Essay:


One morning, two and a half years ago, my dad gave me an ultimatum. He told me that I had to take up some sort of physical activity. The options he recommended were sports and crossfit. I wasn’t a fan of the competitiveness of most sports and I had never heard of crossfit, so I asked him about crossfit. He explained that it was a fitness regimen for all ages designed to increase cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, speed and strength. I thought that sounded interesting, so I acquiesced.

At the time, I was really skinny for my age and height: 78 pounds. For some reason that I still don’t really understand, I wasn’t hungry often. Even when I was, I usually found whatever I was doing more interesting than food. Though I was told by parents that my weight was unhealthy, I had a bad tendency to ignore them. It didn’t seem unhealthy to me - I was never in pain, and except for occasional pangs of hunger, there weren’t any repercussions.

I started crossfit at the Sweat gym on Main Street, just a few blocks away from my house. I went two days a week to get personal training from Jim, who has been awesome throughout the whole session. I was an awkward kid and I remember saying very little for the first session we had because it was new and scary to me.

Over the next few weeks, I learned a lot of techniques and forms. Deadlifts, presses, front and back squats, cleans, jerks, snatches, and so on, became like second nature to me. Still today they’re embedded in my muscle memory. Knowing form sped up the training process - now I was really doing crossfit. Jim started assigning me actual crossfit workouts. They included a strength and a WOD (“workout of the day”) portion. The strength portion was dedicated to getting PRs (personal records) and the WOD portion was dedicated to completing an amount of exercises as fast as possible or completing as many exercises as possible in a given time.

After a month or so, I was gaining weight. Slowly, but surely - as a kid, I was always growing, but it was happening faster now. My dad had to tell me before I noticed, but when I did, that got me excited. I noticed that I was enjoying crossfit more than I used to. Two months after I started, I went to see the doctor for a checkup. I was now above the eighth percentile in body weight. This is about the time when my trainer opened up his own gym on Ridge Avenue, which is where I worked out from then on.

That’s my favorite part about crossfit, or any sort of exercise regimen. The more you do it, the more accustomed you are to doing it, and the better you get at it, and it’s uphill from there.

Soon, summer ended, and I went back to school - my first year at SLA. Things got complicated pretty quickly. When school ended, I had to take the train to the gym, which made my schedule hectic, given that I get out of school at very different times each weekday. I would walk up the hill on Ridge to the gym, then get driven home by parents. Fortunately, I settled into the not-so-routine routine well enough, and eventually, I went to the gym three times a week.

I did this for about a year and a half. I was gaining weight and increasing in body weight percentile, and the doctor told me during a checkup that my resting heart rate was lower than average (which is a good thing). When 2014 came, Jim bought a new gym. It was this huge, spacious building with a high ceiling just a few blocks away from the previous, and much smaller, location. It was also closer to the train station I got off at, so it was perfect. I went a solid three days a week for months.

Unfortunately, in the recent months in junior year, school caught up with me. I’m still doing crossfit, just at a slower pace - two days a week instead of three. But, crossfit has been immensely helpful in my weight gain process. Two and a half years ago, I was 78 pounds and around the eighth percentile for my weight. Now I’m 128 pounds and nearing the 40th percentile. Crossfit has been the perfect mechanism for me to change myself.

Lone Survivor Of The Mood And Tone

 In “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. The main specialty is the mood and tone which make this book stand out.   The “Lone Survivor” book makes a reader get into so many emotions like being on a rollercoaster with every possible mood. The tone of the “Lone Survivor” makes the reader feel that you're ready to flip to the next page, yet you want read over the page you just read one more time; just to double check you didn’t miss anything. This all causes a reader to love a book. The lone survivor makes the reader go through so many emotions in just seconds; one second the reader is cheering, the next second the reader is crying. These emotions get to the reader by going through the mood and tone.  The mood and tone of the “Lone Survivor” is all shown in a way that most books are not; the “Lone Survivor” tells the story by telling quotes of what has been said or done already like a memoir. The “Lone Survivor” is about a survival story that has already been experienced by it’s author; he is just telling you his experience in the best way possible.  


“Lone Survivor” is about a group of 4 navy seals on a mission to kill a captain torrist. Along the way they find more trouble than thought. I am focusing on the tone and mood and how it effects on the reader.  Marcus is the main character and author; he tell us about the mission in a first person sense making so many points of the mood and tone more dramatic. The author's tone is the author's attitude towards what he is saying; making the reader’s mood get set up. The mood of the reader is not only the part of the emotion the reader’s feel; but it is the atmosphere and the vibe that the reader feels.  


The mood and tone of this book makes it so different compared to other books. The reader may be waiting for a sad scene and when it comes it turns out to be something to smile about.  “ Even his goddamned teeth were black. You look like shit man! Fix yourself up! Mikey laughs. I notice that he had been shot on the way down blood pouring out of his stomach. “ This quote shows how the book sets the mood in a way that makes the reader want to read more to see what will happen next. The tone at this point of the book makes the reader see Marcus’s attitude while it is a quote of what he said a while in battle. This makes someone eager to find out what will happen next, will they survive together, or will one bleed to death?  


“Danny, Danny, for Christ’s sake, get that fucking thing working.. Marcus no option now, buddy kill em all.“ This quote makes you run faster to see what will happen next. Over and over this happens in the book making the reader fall in love with the book; because it is making the reader to flip to the next page. The tone shows how they are caught in some type of trouble but are still laughing about it.  “BIG GLOOM (remember, this a series of events)  As if it weren’t bad enough, now it gets worse.  They are surrounded again, shot at, Danny is captured and killed.  They are all wrecked and none of their phones work.” This a quote from Pat Verducci a regular book blogger. Pat V. also shows how he believes that Marcus Luttrell once again is laughing in a serious moment. Marcus gives the reader a sense that makes most readers feel like, it’s ok as long as we are laughing and cracking our jokes everything will be fine. The reader loves that because you know there is a problem but you don’t have to worry about but you still want know how it will be resolved and when; making the reader jump over to the page.


“The story told by Marcus is written in a very conversational tone. It’s almost like you’re sitting in a bar with him as he recounts what happened to him and his buddies. I didn’t even realize that he had a co-author until I read the acknowledgments. That’s how well his voice is carried throughout the book. He’ll tell a story about how an insurgent beat him and then end it by calling the insurgent “a little prick.” He uses some other colorful adjectives to describe them as well.” This is a review by everything nonfiction which is an online book blogger. Which also shows the Marcus tells us his story in such a way to get the reader so interested like the reader is talking to their best friend. The more an author writes in a conversational tone the more the story gets real to the reader. Just like “there is a lot of self deprecating humor.”


Marcus makes the reader run with him throughout the book. He gives us such a tone that makes us want to know more, which also creates our mood. “Tumbling over, feet in the air, sometimes digging the toes of my boots in, fighting for a foothold, any hold would be fine. I rockted straight past that lower pool and kept going, I can’t even imagine how fast I was going, but I could see it was hell of a long way to the bottom, and I could not stop.” Our mood at the moment that we create in our minds by reading what the author gives us; makes us look at the tone and our setting the most. The tone given to the reader in this quote is Marcus is in danger making the reader come to the edge of our seats and making the reader’s eyes go faster and faster over the page. Marcus shows his every effort in the book of him doing his best to survive making the reader more concerned mood.  “You’d have needed a chain saw to pry me off that cliff face. All I knew was, if I fell, I’d probably plummet several hundred feet to my death. Which was good for the concentration.”



Marcus’s tone is like a friendly conversation with your friend. Making his book to come and reach out to the readers. Giving off the mood of being happy, excited, sad, and wanting to know more and more. With Marcus's chatty tone and attitude the mood of the reader will only to think whatever Marcus tells the reader making the reader turn to the next page to the end of the book and love the book in the end.  The “Lone Survivor” is a great way of reading and going through a reading experience. Marcus uses such a great tone and mood that so hard to find but that just makes the reading experience even better for the reader.



Citations:

Corsetti, Emilio. "Review of "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell." Everything Nonfiction. 15 Nov. 2007. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://everythingnonfiction.com/review-of-lone-survivor-by-marcus-luttrell/>.


Verducci, Pat. "Pat Verducci: Screenwriting and Beyond." : LONE SURVIVOR Three Act Structure Breakdown. Blogger, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2015. <http://patverducciscreenwriting.blogspot.com/2013/12/lone-survivor-three-act-  >

Tone of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

                   The Guide to the Galaxy


Douglas Adams book The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy is written from third person point of view from the view of a narrator this is usually done often in a science fiction book this makes the book itself much funnier is a way that can only be described as humorous. I think that the author did this with the story to make it seem like he wanted to make a type of connection with the reader through hummer.


The narrator starts the sentence of the story describing the house of the main character and how it was nothing much to look at and even of it was gone it would not matter to anyone even if one day it had gone just poof. He talks about the only reason that the main character likes this awkward looking home is because he lives in it. He starts of the story trying to be funny and make this humor show in the beginning trying get people to feel it as well and it was clear and noticeable. It had a nice and calming tone and that is the way that he keeps it throughout a part of me in my head is picturing all these voices in my head that he could have and the way that he is saying the story part of me keeps having this thought of him being a character. When you read it you feel as if he is a character in this adventure that they are having and he is just telling them everything that has happened and how they got there to the situation they are in. I feel a that is happening with the narrator because the way that I get the tone off of him is comedic and funny but also as like he is a character.


The tone that is shown that the Narrator uses  use is something I have not seen before while reading and that is why it is interesting to me because  when read I read feels like in a way we are having conversation for example “What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with”the way that he is describing it is like he is telling me its like he is trying to talk to me the reader as if we are swapping stories and discussing characters and what was happening. I think without this the story would be missing a part of its tone that made it comedic and enjoyable.

The narrator uses this comedic tone on a very nice way is the best way to describe it because the comedy he uses is essential for this stories to work because you must have the it you must have the guide the narrator in the story to tell us the story in a way we did not was able to be said and with him added the tone is uplifting funny and very strange in a good way. The narrator brings out the best of the characters and the adventures they get themselves into and that is very good because who doesn't like hearing a voice tell you all these crazy adventures and side stories and how get out them it a great way that the author does it he makes this narrator seem like he is a character and that influences the tone and the characters and how they feel act and what they feel in a way.


I think that this story's tone works as it does due to the fact that narrator switches back from the narrator the book to the narrator of the story his way of doing this leads to this great comedic tone being made and  “The Guide Says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” I used this quote because it shows that one side he is the book and he says it in a ways that is amusing to the mind and that makes the characters seem more amusing as well because they end up taking that drink and that changes how they feel in the story because of the drink and you have an idea of what they feel do to the description the narrator gave and that makes you think wow. I know I thought that because was intense and funny and made me feel like he was giving me advice about the drink I thought to myself afterwards.

I will know be showing some reviews from people that had read the book and this is to show their enjoyment and to see what they thought of the book.” I loved the whole series. It is preposterous, ridiculous, British and just so...unreal. If you want to just not have to think too seriously about anything and just want to escape for awhile...take a chance on this and find yourself somewhere else. I'm only 25 and the first time I read it was ten years ago but it's a quick laugh worth a quick read.” As you can tell she loved this series as much as I did because was a funny crazy unreal book that had good laughs and unreal circumstances its a great book with great theme and tone and if you get chance to read you should.


Book MLA Format


Adams, Douglas. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GAlAXY.New York: Harmony Books, A Division of Crown Publishers, 1980 Print


Persons Review

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)." Barnes & Noble. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy-douglas-adams/1100152883?ean=9780345391803>.

Private ways of style


Sometimes In writing, authors have a way of capturing the reader’s mind and emotions through deep description of each and every moment occurring in the book. They can be descriptive of the setting, where the main character is or where s/he is going, they can be descriptive of the actions/events, what is happening to the character or what will and they can also be descriptive of the kind of person the main character is. In Private the author, Kate Brian, use much description of her character’s surrounding. Her main character, Reed Brennan has been through a series of events through transferring into high school, amidst from struggles of her family. To give readers a clear perfect understanding of what they’re reading the author must write much description of every moment in the book, which will grasps all the book’s feels as along with the reader’s.

From the start, Reed begins to say of her hometown and she discuss in detail the surroundings of herself. She says it in a way that shows feelings in sorrowly boredom way, as if she wanted to be elsewhere wishing that she had better. “Where I come from is gray. The bland, square strip malls. The water in the lake at the center of town. Even the sunlight has a murky quality. We barely get spring and we never get autumn. The leaves fall off the sickly trees early each September before they even have a chance to change, tumbling down on the shingled roofs of the standard- houses, each one exactly the same as the last.” Of this quote, the author uses much detail of describing her hometown. It gave the reader a clear understanding of how her town is. For it said, “Where I come from is gray,” had given the reader a sense that where she lived was moppy and dull. Then she wrote, “Even the sunlight has a murky quality. We barely get spring and we never get autumn,” which is out of the ordinary cause its supposed to happen, so that made the reader feel that since its nature is not normal, then it may be boring because what’s supposed to happen, isn’t happening.

Onward as the reader reads, the author includes more detail of the moment Reed rides to her new glorious high school. “As my dad drove our dented Subaru through the sunny streets Easton, Connecticut, it was all I could do to keep from pressing my nose to the dog-slobbered window. The shops here had colorful cloth awnings and windows that gleamed. The streetlamps were the old-fashioned kind that were electric now, but had once been lit by a guy on a horse toting a pole and flame. Potted plants hung from these lamps, bursting with red bright flowers, still dripping from a recent dousing with a garden. Even the sidewalks were pretty: neat and lined with brick, topped by towering oak trees.” Of this quote, the author is describing just the pathway to Reed’s beloved high school. She has memorized the campus’s map and read everything about the high school itself, so she’s clearly obsessed with it. Then on her way to it she couldn’t help to daze out of her original state and admire the beauty in her surroundings. When in thought of the beauty, “the shops here had colorful cloth awnings”, which gives the reader a sense that she’s comparing her hometown to high school’s city by saying “here” and there it has color, whereas back home there was none. Also by the author describing all things being “pretty” and “neat”, which gives the reader a clear understanding that the pathway is where the rich walketh upon.  



When Reed step foot on the campus she gleamed of joy and awe of the amazement around her but she then also felt as if she were the girl that hadn’t belonged. The girls around her had far more than what she ever could have, such as designer brand luggage, purses, clothing and appearances that were snobby. She then went to the her advisor for her room and schedule. "Her basement office was dark, the walls made of stone and lined by shelves full of dusty leather-bound books. It was lit only by two windows set high in the wall." This quote helps the reader visualize where Reed is going and how the scene is set up gives a better understanding what’s going on because it provides a picture how it would of looked in actual real life. “Her basement office was dark” already starts off with giving the reader a sense that she’s into an office that's going to be where much information of the environment will be mentioned. When she meets her advisor she breaks down the rules and expectations in a “good luck, you’ll need it” tone. “Full of dusty leather-bound books”, shows also that already her advisor has been well adapted to the high school and knows all the do’s and dont’s in a critical form of way.

A story that can truly relate to connecting of how the author can use description the capture the book’s emotion/feelings in from the Russian Sleep Experiment. Of that story it tells of Russian researchers who conducted a study where five prison inmates were placed in a sealed airtight chamber with an experimental gas that tested the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation, for 30 days. “On the ninth day the screaming began. First one subject, then another, was observed running around the chamber, screaming at the top of his lungs for hours on end. Just as disconcerting was the reaction of the other subjects, who began ripping apart the books they'd been given to read, smearing the pages with feces, and plastering them over the mirrored windows so their actions could no longer be observed.” The author  of this story uses visual descriptions of things happened and how the reactions of the character is which establishes the kind of atmosphere or environment for the reader. This affects the reader by the description being in sequence and helping the them visualize each moment occurring, so they feel as if they were the Russian scientists testing the experiment. It also gives them the feels of them being anxious for what’s going to happen next, of the tester’s actions.

Back unto Private, another last example of how the author uses visual details is though Reed’s thoughts has also been said in the sense of smell, to give the reader a not just an emotion of the atmosphere but an experiencal moment of familiar recollection. “Dozen of girls crowded on around the couches and chairs, chatting and laughing. The place was packed and the decibel level was staggering. A thick concoction of perfumes and scented hair products and scented lotions choked the air”. The phrase “dozen of girls crowded on around the couches and chairs, chatting and laughing”, puts the reader in thought that Reed is considered to be alone, without friends watching them the other girls have joy of friendly pleasures. Which also gives the reader an assumption that Reed is antisocial unless spoken to, for she doesn't fit in with the other girls. The author uses the word “staggering”, to clarify that Reed is in astonish of the thick scent of lotions and perfumes were wearing, which puts her down, giving the reader moment of where she is different, unlike the others. For if she were like the others then she’d be used to the scent, but she isn’t.

Wherefore this structure has such an importance to the book because it establishes a knowledge within the reader, which can develop feelings for the main character through the knowing of what's happening as if it were themself in the occurring moments.


The Format Matters

Random Acts of Senseless Violence By Jack Womack is written in first person perspective and in a diary format. This technique gives the story a deeper meaning into it.  Since it is written in first person it's easier to follow and understand the story. The story is also written in diary format making the story more personal . Which makes the reader want to finish reading it. This leads into the reader feeling more connected to the main character because since it is in first person the reader can connect to it in a deeper level. Reason being the reader might of had the same experience as the main character making them feel more attached to them. All of this affects the book overall because it changes the perspective of how the reader should interpret the book. The format of writing in a diary is typically used to to describe how someone feels about their day. A famous example for this type of writing is the book of Anne frank where she talks about the Natzi and stuff. That book did a great job getting the readers attention and setting the mood of the story. Even though most of the readers never experience what she did the author was able to use the emotion fear to connect the reader the the main character. By this I mean that since not everyone experiences the same thing, the author tries to connect the reader to the story by using an emotion everyone has experienced before like fear. I say fear because everyone when they were younger had fear towards something either it being the dark or monsters.

on page 85 The main character name is Lola. Lola is at her friends katherine house. They are talking about how their school day went and stuff. Then they start looking at magazines about clothing. After that they start  talking about what's the worst thing that have ever done in their life. Later on Lola wrote in her diary “We kissed longer and it was nice but that was all. She smiled. How was that? I asked.” This quote connects to the thesis because it engages the reader's emotion. The author uses emotion as a way from him to connect the reader to the book. By using emotion the author makes it easier for the reader to feel more attach to the book. Imagine the author just describe something that you never done before you wouldn't really be able to connect to it. Thats why the author uses emotion when describing something so that the reader has something to connect to. Therefor making the reader want to continue reading to see what will happen next. Also the perspective on how the author wrote it makes it more engaging since is written in first person the reader can connect and focus on the main character instead catching feeling for multiple characters. If it was written in third perspective it would be harder for the reader to make feel linked to the story. Another thing is the format is written in is written in diary form it makes easier for the reader to see what the character is trying to express.

In the book, Random Act of senseless Violence The main character is walking with her group of friends. Lola is walking with Izzy , Jude , and Weezy. They are just coming from the subway going back home. Thats when Weezy starts arguing with Jude about why Lola is in the group. Later on that evening Lola writes in her diary “ Before I knew what was happening she kicked up her foot and knocked the knife out of weez hand. It fell on the sidewalk and the blade broke.” The way the author decided to write this was interesting. The author wrote this quote almost as if it was meant to be a cliffhanger. Giving the reader a different perspective on the book how it slowly changing form a nice cheesy diary to a harcorde vilence experience diary. Thats whats unique about writing in diary format because you don't have to stick to a theme. Since you're writing what you are experiencing in your life which changes each day making the book more interesting. Also they gives the reader options on how they should interpret the book unlike other books that just stick to one theme. ANother thing that the author did is  a good job describing what the main character was seeing. Or if the author said “she saw betty kick up her foot” theres nothing really you can connect to the main character because you can't really put yourself in the main character shoes. When written in first perspective you can put yourself in the main character shoes because it uses “I” so you can imagine actually see yourself as the main character.

In the interview with Jack Womack, the interviewer asked when he started writing the story. Then the question of why he decided to write the story the way he did came up. Jack Womack replied with “I wrote it like it was a diary. Every day would just be a new day. I’d advance the plot like that.” So Jack Womack or should I say the author of the book Random Acts of senseless violence. He decided to write in a diary format so he could have different plots each day. Which made the book more interesting overall because different things occurred also there were different conflicts and solutions.  He also states that every day was a new day making the story easier to follow because everyday theres a new problem the main character faces that she has to overcome. Using this technique makes the reading want to finish the book because with everyday theres something different that happens.  The structure for this book is really key to why a reader would want to read it. Imagine if the author was to tell the story using a different structure it would change how the reader interprets it. If it was written in another perspective it would of made the reader experience worse because they would be confused on what character.They need to focus on and what emotions they should  be feeling. Since is written in first person and also written in a diary format it gives the reader a way to connect to it on realistic level instead of connecting to it just knowing is a fictional story. When its written in diary format the author can connect the reader to it knowing that people in real world write in their diaries every day making it easier  for the reader to connect to the story. Its not just making the character connecting to the story or feeling attach to it. The plot of this story is what really This gives the reader the impression that the book structure ties in really well with the story itself making it unique from other book structure.

The Coldest Winter Ever

When people think of a good story they usually think of interesting characters, a unique plot, and a great setting. But what people fail to realize is that in order to have all of those things you need to be a great writer with a lot of different techniques to enhance the passage. In “The Coldest Winter Ever” the author Sister Souljah used her artistic abilities to give vivid details and descriptions to allow her readers to experience the book with the characters. A author’s skillful use of similes and metaphors helps paint a vivid picture of whatever scene she is writing about and helps the reader picture and connect to whatever she is writing about. It also makes the story more enjoyable. The author’s writing style strongly affects and influences the finished work.


In the book “The Coldest Winter Ever” Winter Santiaga, the main character, is describing Midnight, her crush, while he is playing basketball. Winter say’s ”But what really got me was that black skin. It was smooth and perfect. It laid on top of his bone structure like tight Saran Wrap.” This works because we all know what Saran Wrap looks like when it’s over top of something. It is generally smooth and shiny. This helps us to picture how nice Midnight’s skin and how his bone structure is really defined. Also the use of words like “perfect” and “smooth”  help the reader to feel the same attraction Winter feels as she tell us about her crush. Had she just said she has really nice skin and she likes it the story wouldn’t be the same. But because she put the emphasis on this particular aspect it helps the readers to share the same emotions as her.


In this part of “The Coldest Winter Ever”, Winter is helping the reader get familiar with the setting and introducing the readers to the characters. She begins by telling the readers about growing up in Brooklyn with her family in the projects. Winter then continues on to say,“Chemical warfare is the only way to describe what happens when cheap perfume, body splash, body spray, underarm deodorant, curl activator, hair spray, and pissy Pampers collide.” Sense of smell and memories are closely linked together. One scent can trigger a memory or emotion. Because of this I feel as though it was very smart for sister souljah, or any writer for that matter, to mention all of these different scents. The pampers remind me of annoying crying babies. The curl activator and hair spray and perfume remind the reader of black hair salons. With all of these scents with my own personal memory attached to them I can easily picture what it’s like standing in the hallway that was mentioned.


In this part of the book Winter had assumed that Sister Souljah and Midnight were dating  and Winter grew jealous because she wanted him. Winter finds the letter’s that Sister Souljah and Midnight have been sending to one another and finds out that they were not dating. Midnight only went to her to get his life together. In the letter Sister Souljah is describing why he should change his ways and give up selling drugs. Sister souljah says, “Drugs rob every person, man, woman, and child of their beauty. Drugs turn people into animals who can only respond to instincts. Drugs are so powerful they eradicate the God in both the taker and the giver.”Sister Souljah could have easily just said drugs are bad for everyone. Had she said that it would have erased all of the emotion that is linked to what she originally said. By her using words like rob shows how unexpectedly, forceful, and harmful drugs are to users and their families. By her using such harsh words it helps the reader to feel the same disgust and sadness she was trying to portray.


Goodreads.com is a website where people can read and write book reviews and create reading list. On the website a user by the name of Kay Prime left a review on the website expressing how much she enjoyed the book and how great of a writer the author is. Kay prime said,The voice that Souljah gave Winter is still there. She is well- written, raw and real.” This shows how the character is relatable. The only reason that she feels this way is because when you can picture everything that is going on. When the author uses very brilliant descriptive details it helps the reader to connect to what’s going on. This is especially true when the author makes references to things that you can understand which adds to the “raw” and “real” feelings you get while reading.


Writing is so much more than putting words on a page. Writing is about using your skill set to get creative and write stories with different techniques like similes metaphors, symbolism, and different story structures. A book without descriptive details would be very dull. The writing wouldn’t be as impactful. This also adds emotions and helps guide the tone and the mood of the story.


Works Cited

Souljah. The Coldest Winter Ever: A Novel. New York: Pocket, 1999. Print.

"A Review of The Coldest Winter Ever." Goodreads. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/88631346?book_show_action=false&page=2>.

Kindred Essay

In the time period of American slavery, white slave masters did whatever they wanted to their African American slaves. The master’s feelings about their black slaves was complicated. The masters also could be kind and generous to their slaves and treat them like equal humans. Back then, black and white couldn’t be friends or lovers. In Kindred the main character, Dana, does not call her master, Rufus, master. Rufus also treats her differently than other black slave women around him. But the white men and black women couldn't make their relationship, because of the time period they were in. The author helps reader to understand the emotions by portraying love being love, no matter what difference is amongst the two in the relationship through expressing thoughts and events.  


Rufus is the master of Alice whom he tries to control by making Alice love him, but he know that she never will. Rufus said,“I know you, Dana. You want Kevin the way I want Alice. And you had more luck than I did because no matter what happens now, for a while he wanted you too. Maybe I can’t ever have that-both wanting, both loving. But i’m not going to give up what I can have.” Page(163). From this quote “but I’m not going to give up what I can have”, is Rufus talking about Alice and how he has her in his heart, and is not letting her out of his sight because of the kind of love he has for her. He tries to rape her, sells her husband, and takes her son away from her, just to have full control over her. The problem that Rufus was not seeing is that, Alice is black and Rufus is white. Therefore they could not have a friendship or relationship because the politics during that time period made it difficult for their relationship to be accepted.



Throughout this book Dana show her intelligence and how strong minded she is to Rufus. She also shows Rufus that they do not have a slave and slave master relationship. The way she does this is by calling him, Rufe instead of master, yelling at Rufus, and making demands.This type of behavior Dana shows, is unusual for a slave to show their master. Since slaves were not suppose to talk back or show any signs of intelligence. So their relationship was shown by a kind that was lovingfull which not allowed at that time, and confused Kevin (a different slave) because Dana said, “he didn’t understand the kind of relationship Rufus and I had-how dependent we were on each other. Rufus understood though.” Page(186) For when she says “he didn’t understand” shows that the “he”, represents the politics which were the people (like Rufus’s father) who didn’t allow black and white to be together, couldn’t “understand” the relationship Dana and Rufus had. As well “how dependent we were on each other” shows the love that was between them two, for they were “dependent” being reliable amongst one another. “Rufus understood though”, proving that he had knowledge of the connection of the type of relationship, because of the name calling and affection shown.



In conclusion, Rufus always loved Dana and tried to force his love upon her by control and not giving up on what he already had. Dana showed him that she was much smarter and strong minded, to overcome Rufus and his attempt to control. Also since she wasn’t fully focused on the love he had for her, but instead focused on the love she had for Kevin. Which proves how there wasn’t a both loving relationship among them because of what each had and believed. So, white men and black women can try friendship, and try to get closer to each other, but they can’t because the time period at the time made it difficult. Dana was a black women, and Rufus was a white man and so he try to make friendship between her, but couldn’t because of the situations of how things were (what he did) and also what each individual believed during that time, because based upon the politics of what they lived through it made them think that black were for black and white were white for white, making their relationship difficult. Also any time there is such a large difference in power, there will always be conflict.


The Effect of Literary Journalism

Jared Bauer

January 20, 2015

Jim Yardley’s Brave Dragons follows a Chinese basketball team as they rise up from the cellar of the league.  He first became interested in the Brave Dragons when former NBA coach Bob Weiss agreed to coach the team.   The Brave Dragons are owned by a quirky owner who constantly makes coaching changes, screams at his players for hours, and once even physically assaulted a player.  However, the story becomes about much more than this as it delves into Chinese culture.  Jim Yardley puts himself into the story as character using Literary Journalism.  Jim Yardley’s use of literary journalism puts you into the story Brave Dragons and gives you a realistic perspective into Chinese culture and how it differs from American culture.

One of the major features of literary journalism is storytelling.  You are thrust right into the clash of cultures in the first chapter.  Negotiating the Chinese culture is like a minefield.  Something as simple as eating your lunch can cause an explosion.  According to Tracey, Bob Weiss’ wife, “Bob should not leave his chopsticks planted like fence posts in a bowl of rice because this symbolized death.” (16)  Bob was not versed in American manners let alone Chinese.   This anecdote about eating lunch demonstrates the importance of storytelling, as this same information communicated in nonfiction would lack the sense of immediacy.   

Another major feature of literary journalism is the use of voice.  In Brave Dragons Yardley uses first person perspective to tell the story of Chinese culture.  Jim Yardley was invited to spend the Chinese New Year with the Brave Dragons’ DJ, Ren Hongbing.  The first day of the Chinese New Year is a highly celebrated occasion and is described by Yardley as, “The Chinese equivalent of Christmas and Thanksgiving blended together.” (225)   On the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration there was a fire in the building where Ren lives.  Jim Yardley wants to help the family put out the fire.  “‘Eat,’ Ren said.  ‘This is not a problem.’  I’ll go take a look.’  He closed the door.  I found myself wishing that Ren’s parents had also given birth to Ren Firefighter.  I ate a few dumplings and contemplated my predicament.  I was Ren’s guest, and I did not want to embarrass him or for him to lose face.” (228)  Yardley’s use of literary journalism puts you into his shoes as a character and puts you into his “predicament.”   In China it would be “embarrassing” for a guest to help.  The use of first person perspective was far more compelling to read than a factual story about how the Chinese honor their guests.  

Literary journalism allows the writer to describe scenes and characters in minute detail.  Yardley, when describing the utterances of the team’s African center, uses extreme description.  For instance, the author states, “It was as if they arrived a long moment after they left his mouth, as if the sound were lingering in the air, vibrating, deliberating whether it would coalesce itself into something recognizable.” (90)  Literary journalism is the only medium in which this kind of detail could be applied in a factual story.  The use of description enhances the character Olumide.  After Yardley portrays Olumide’s voice this way, it changes your perspective on him for the remainder of the story.  It gives you the back story for why Olumide’s quotes later in the story are a confusing jumble.  Also, one can now understand that the author at times had to interpret Olumide’s words when it put into the story.   

One of the hallmarks of journalism is the attempt to be objective.  Figurative language classically does not fit into journalism.  However, Yardley is freed from those handcuffs by using the conventions of literary journalism.  For example Yardley writes, “The Liaoning Pan Pan Dinosaurs’ basketball arena is shaped like a whiskey tumbler, squat with rounded glass walls, glowing on this night with intoxicating promise.” (64) Yardley does more than describe the shape of the arena.  He is able to paint a picture of the Chinese obsession for basketball and its promise.  Literary journalism allows Yardley to describe the arena with a metaphor instead of blandly stating it.  

Brave Dragons is more than a story about a Chinese basketball team.  It clearly depicts the interaction between the Chinese and American culture.  Literary journalism is the ideal medium to show this interaction.  It gives the writer the ability to paint a whole picture complete with nuances of character and personality.  Yardley has acknowledged his intent to reveal the conflicts within modern China.  Yardley was quoted by the New York Times stating, “Private entrepreneurship exists in perpetual tension with the state.”  You can see this throughout the story Brave Dragons.  The tension between the state and team is shown in many facets throughout the story.  For instance, the team DJ wants to play various types of music at the Brave Dragon's games.  However, the state sanctions what music is allowed.  Every team in the Chinese Basketball Association must play the same music.  This is microcosm of what happens throughout present day China.            

Prior to writing this story, Yardley was a journalist for many years. Yet, he chose to use the conventions of literary journalism to tell the story of evolving Chinese culture.  Shy of living it oneself, Yardley’s use of literary journalism gives us as realistic of a look into Chinese culture as possible.


Bibliography:

Zengerle, Jason. "China’s Basketball Culture." The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2015.

Yardley, Jim. Brave Dragons: A Chinese Basketball Team, an American Coach, and Two Cultures Clashing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Print.


The Use of Ebonics in Modern Literature

PUSH: The Language of Ebonics


Push. The novel  Precious Jones, who evidently does not live the greatest life. Raped by her father when only twelve years old and suffering the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of her mother, while growing up in the ghettos of Harlem, ¨Push¨ tells the story of Precious from her perspective. Cleary illiterate and not having the best income of education, we see the growth and determination of Precious as she strives for a better life but ultimately, it is her language of ebonics throughout the book that successfully grabs the reader and shows us the true spirit of Precious.

From the first sentence of the book, we can already see the intensity of the life she has already lived. She had a baby by her father. Her baby is diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Precious is currently in the ninth grade when she should be well on her way to twelfth grade. She is also pregnant with her second baby, again by her father. The first  couple of pages also introduces to the reader,  the use of ebonics throughout the book and used by Precious. This allows the grittiness of the novels’ true intent to shine through.  We start to see the true nature of Precious as she reflects to herself. ¨I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don’t exist. Don’t nobody want me. Don’t nobody need me...I wanna say I am somebody.¨ Precious recognizes that she wants to become somebody. And her use of ebonics ushers in a tone of sympathy that the reader feels with her. The reader can recognize that by the way that Precious speaks, she has not received the best quality of care and education that a child her age should have,  but disregarding the way that she speaks, we can see her desire to become successful and it shows us her inner voice.

As the novel advances, Precious is placed into an alternative school by school officials. Hoping that she will gain more knowledge, she is  put into a group deemed fit for someone in her dreadful situation. From there, she meets her fellow classmates who, just like her, are not able to read or write. She also meets her new teacher ¨ Miz Rain¨ who Precious seems to take a liking to. Ms Rain has the students and Precious read. Although reluctant to read, Ms. Rain walks Precious through the steps to read a sentence. ¨I say, ¨A Day at the Beach¨. She says very good and closes the book. I want to cry. I want to laugh I want to hug Miz Rain. She make me feel good. I never readed nuffin’ before.”  To a person with the capability to read, this accomplishment seems juvenile, but understanding Precious’ condition allows someone who has faced a reality completely different, to somewhat sympathize with Precious. Her ebonics ushers in a tone of tenacity and strength of her character which gives her purposefulness. The reader establishes the aspiration and  ambition that Precious has to learn, and this is conspicuous, as Precious fills with joy after reading her first sentence. The reader cheers for Precious as they now want her to triumph.  At this point, the reader starts to forge a sympathetic bond with Precious.

One year later, Precious is still in the alternative school. She is immensely fond of school and is appreciative of the knowledge she has gained thus far. ¨One yr I ben scool I like scool I love my teachr. lot I lern. Books I read, chile care work comprts¨ But not everything appears to turn out for the best. Precious is diagnosed with HIV, which she contracted from her father, who recently died of AIDS. Although, she realizes the complications she’ll have to endure in the future, this doesn’t diminish her hope of  achieving her G.E.D. However, she is also very scared of how she will care for herself and if she possibly has AIDS. She decides to confide to Ms. Rain through poetry.


¨I talk to s_____ wrk tody she gonn get tess for me

(I talk to social worker today she gonna get test for me)

an Abdul (se___ of God) to see

(and Abdul servant of God to see)

see the i

ey see

(eye)

see me

liv

(live)

or

die

poslv

(positive)

or

negv

(negative)

wh? wh?

(why? why?)

must

I li

(lie)

to misel

(myself)

I

must

no

(know)

the truf

(truth)...

IV HIV HIV U an Mi coold hav HIV

(IV HIV HIV You and me could have HIV)¨

The juxtaposition of the ebonics and Precious’ poem creates a voice for the streets. It acts as a roar cry for Precious as her attempt to express herself all through writing. The ebonics and misspelled words symbolizes perseverance of Precious as she tries to the best of her ability to spell the words, meanwhile indicate and reveal her true essence. This opens up a deeper side to Precious because rather than hearing her voice through first person, you hear it as she discloses this information to someone else. This allows the reader to see the vulnerable side of her and dwell deep into the mind of Precious. In return, the reader then feels pity as well as condolence towards her.


Blogs have praised ¨Push¨ for the use of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or ebonics. ¨Sapphire’s use of first-person point of view through Precious deserves high praise. It was as if I was on a phonetic adventure with Precious, and the more that I read, the more her use of language improved. The use of AAVE was prevalent throughout this novel. For example, Precious would use words such as final consonant deletions like “chile” for child, “git” for get, “borned” for born, “sinder” for syndrome (Down syndrome), “wit” for with, “ain’t” as an auxillary, marked third person singulars like “peoples”, unstressed syllable deletion “’cause” for because, and cluster deletions like “muver” for mother.¨ Numerous readers felt as if they could understand Precious more through the ebonics that she spoke throughout the book. The fact that it was spoken in first person also gives the reader a sense of invasion of privacy of Precious, but in a good way. It invades the thoughts of her mind giving the reader a connection towards Precious.

Introducing a form of writing that is not parallel to that of standard English writing can create a beautiful way of  telling a story. In the novel Push, the ebonics  shined a light on the reality of the many lives that people live through all over the world and gave the reader a true insight of the life of teenage girl who wanted nothing more but a better life. Her way of speaking screamed ¨Illiterate!¨ and ¨Dumb ghetto black girl¨ but her mindset spoke ¨determination¨ and ¨hope¨. And in the end, the readers of the book come to love Precious.


Point of View in The Outsiders

Point of view in the outsiders

In many stories authors use perspective or point of view to demonstrate more detailed explanations of scenarios. In the story the outsiders they use this method on the main character, Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy Curtis is a 14 year old who is the youngest member in the gang, the greasers. They used this character to help readers relate to the book. There are three examples in this story that really show that.  

Ponyboy Curtis is a 14 year old boy that is in a gang called the greasers. He lives with his two brothers that look over him, they are also in the gang. He goes to school and lives a normal life for the most part, other than being in a gang. Thats a huge reason that this book is so easy to relate too. Hes is just a teenage that faces the same problems as regular teenagers, hes just trying to fit in. That is why the point of view helps in this story so much, it shows us the regular teenage things, things that you wouldn't see if the story was told in the point of view any other person.

The first quote comes from when Ponyboy and Johnny were hiding in the abandoned church. They were reading the book Gone with the wind when johnny said that dally reminds him of one of the southern men from the Civil War. Then Ponyboy thinks to himself that Dally was so real it scared him. This quote shows Ponyboys innocence through the point of view of Ponyboy, because we hear this in his mind while reading the story. The reason this shows Ponyboys innocence is because he is showing fear, fear of his fellow gang member. Early in the story he says that he feels comfortable with Two-bit, Soda, and Darry, but with Dally he did not, because dally lost his innocence. His innocence made him become scared of this guy who just saw the world as it was and did not fear anything, and without that point of view, the readers wouldn't have been able to portray the idea that Ponyboy feared dally.

The second quote would come in at the end of the story, when after dally called on the phone explaining everything he did, Ponyboy says “I knew he would be dead, because Dally Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted.”  This quote is just supporting the idea of point of view showing the deep opinions of the character that is talking. In this case that is ponyboy, and it is showing exactly what he thinks of the situation. He knew that if Dallas did not want to live anymore, then he would get what he wants. It also just shows us more of the opinions of the main character. It also relates back to the first quote, it is just showing us more and more how Ponyboy feels about Dally, through his point of view. The reader would have not learned all about this relationship without getting into the thoughts of Ponyboy while looking at the situations through his eyes.

The third quote from the story comes when Ponyboy is talking to Cherry about the sunset. “ It’s okay… We aren’t in the same class. Just don’t forget that some of us watch the sunset too.” This shows both Ponyboys innocence and how point of view helps us see it. This quote shows his innocence because being in a gang, you are supposed to be feared and tough, and this quote uses words that are not  so tough, but beyond that, shows the innocence that Ponyboy still has, It shows that he is not just one of the gang members and he still has a good heart, which brings it to the point of view. This is another example of things that we would not see if this story was not told in the point of view of pony boy. This whole part, when he is with Cherry, probably would not even have been heard of because to the other guys it would not be tough, and he would not have told them about it.  

 “I was actually fifteen when I first began it. It was the year I was sixteen and a junior in highschool that I did the majority of the work.” This is a quote from an interview with the author of the book, S.E. Hinton. The question that was asked was “You were a sixteen year-old high school student in Oklahoma when you wrote The Outsiders. Where did you get the idea for the story?” I took the quote because it relates back to the point of view of the story. It is most likely the reason the book is written in the point of view that it is, and is the reason the book is so easy to understand. The author was around the same age as what the main characters age was made out to be, making it easy for them to connect, making the point of view logical.

In conclusion, point of view is a big help in understanding the story and getting a deeper meaning of scenarios by exploring the main characters thoughts as well as words. In the story this was used in the point of view of Ponyboy to help understand the story. His Point of view was used to show his innocence and help us understand the story as proven by the quotes.


"Exclusive Interview with S.E. Hinton." The Outsiders Fan Club. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://theoutsidersfanclub.weebly.com/exclusive-interview-with-se-hinton.html>.

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Puffin, 1997. Print  



Everyday David Levithan

In the book, Everyday By David Levithan,  the relationship between

the protagonist, A, and his object of his affection Rhiannon,  to make the reader feel emotionally attached. The book is written from the perspective of a “person” who never inhabits the same body for more than 24 hours. The interesting part about the way this book is that this person must somehow figure out how to stay in touch with the girl he loves while dealing with the problem of always having to switch bodies. The book’s overall theme is mystery, making the reader wonder what comes next, what body the protagonist will end up in the next day. The book appeals to a teenagers dream of being able to be in their ideal body for one day,but also shows the downside, even nightmarish disadvantage of maybe getting the worst possible body to live in as well. When the body switches, the author is creating a new setting, and the reader automatically tries to figure out why the author chose this body and how it will affect the protagonists’ story.


When you begin the story, the author immediately immerses you in the protagonist’s world, making even the most simplistic elements of a story, like the  backstory pop out. When the author says “sixteen years is a lot of time to practice. I don’t usually make mistakes. Not anymore.” The question that pops into the head of the reader is what kind of mistakes the protagonist has made, and practice for what? In my mind, I also ask the question, what kind of life do you lead when all of it is just “practice”? When you read further into the book, you notice the protagonist starts to talk more about his feelings and past experiences in other bodies when he opens up to Rhiannon. The first encounter between the two of them is by far the most meaningful and important part of the story, because this is where the love story begins.


“I am a drifter, and as lonely as that can be, it is also remarkably freeing. I will never define myself in terms of anyone else. I will never feel the pressure of peers or the burden of parental expectation. I can view everyone as pieces of a whole, and focus on the whole, not the pieces. I have learned how to observe, far better than most people observe. I’m not blinded by the past or motivated by the future. I focus on the present.”


Levithan uses the thoughts of the character to propel the reader into the head of the protagonist as he/she goes through his everyday routine with you. Right now, he is describing himself to the reader and the words he uses, like “drifter” draw the reader in because you never hear characters physical features being described as such. However this is a different story for this character because he is not just a human, he is just a being. This also supports the idea of using the relationship between the protagonist and Rhiannon to evoke feelings in the reader. This is what he’s like before he meets her, which is something I noticed evoked feelings of both interest and nervousness in me at every chapter.


He’s peripatetic and undependable, in as much as he pops up in a new town and a new flesh-and-blood vessel each morning. A. doesn’t have a real name, presumably because he doesn’t have a real existence: he’s not a person, at least not in any conventional sense, but a spirit, switching without choice from one teenage host to the next and, for just 24 hours, replacing its soul and consciousness with his own. Levithan’s novel asks: Can love possibly find a way around that?”


This shows the effect that the use of the main characters thought and their boundaries that they constantly try to push everyday. I chose this quote because it speaks about the emotions evoked when reading this book through the perspective of an ever changing protagonist.


The way the author uses the settings adds a deeper level to the book, not only making you want to know what happens with the protagonist and Rhiannon, but also makes you want to know whose body he’ll wake up in the next day. I think the one body that evoked the most emotion for me was when the author put the protagonist in a suicidal girl’s body.

“I flip to the end, past pages of dosages and special instructions. There are still blank pages at the back but before them is a page that reads DEADLINE, followed by a date thats only 6 days away.”


This is what I meant by change of setting. When David Levithan changes the body that the main character inhabits, he is essentially changing the physical background of the story. Everytime the protagonist goes to sleep he wakes up in a different body, and with each body brings a flood of different experiences which are meant to give the reader different emotions. In this particular body, the author puts the love story on hold and has the protagonist immerse himself in trying to save this body from doing what it wants to do. The girl wants to kill herself so the main character has to decide whether or not to break his golden rule which was not to tamper with other people’s bodies. The author purposely makes a character like this to make the reader feel torn and scared for the girl and what would happen to her after he left her body. The author also shows the reader that the protagonist truly isn’t in control of what bodie he/she inhabits to show in the end that being able to switch bodies all the time isn’t the best thing either.  


Levithan’s use of the protagonist’s emotions & relationships with other characters helps the reader get inside the protagonists head and feel exactly what the author wants you to feel. When A meets Rhiannon, the reader feels uncertain about whats to come. When the story picks up, and the reader starts to get a feel for the character’s life in that certain body, the author switches it immediately, ultimately keeping the reader on his/her toes and eager to read the next chapter. When Levithan decided to use the protagonist’s disposition in a love story themed book, it added a mood of mystery to the protagonist’s profile, because the reader would never know who he’d be next. This book truly challenged the very thoughts of every teenager about their love life, asking the questions of if they could find true love if they looked a certain way and how it would affect the people they loved. This book pulled all of these questions together and at the same time added a creative and different conflict for the main character and Rhiannon to endure, making for a very unique and interesting story. The author sends the reader a final message to the reader that nothing is perfect, especially the life the protagonist leads.










Short Chapters

Short Chapters Are Better For A First Person Story


In the book, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon, he uses very small chapters to break up his work. Sometimes they range from being a paragraph to being more than 10 pages. He does not even use the usual format of how chapters break up the story. He will put the number with no title right below other writing. It doesn’t just use a blank page on the left, then a page on the right with the chapter number and title, then some words underneath going on to the next page. He might just put it in the middle, or bottom, or top. This book is in first person which is very key to using these short chapters. The effect that the chapters had on the first person story, really lets the character decide to break up his story, and it felt a lot more free flowing. It was better to read it like this because you lived each day with him, giving insight on what everything was going on. It made the book faster and I feel like this is a strong new tool for first person stories. The short chapters enhance the first person story, and should be used more.


Early off in the book, he gets to chapter five which was only on the third page. The previous chapter before the fifth one only lasted for five short paragraphs explaining his relationship with his neighbor Siobhan and how she treated him. He says that he likes her and how she takes care of him, and what she reads and draws for him. That is all what that chapter was about. Chapter five, was also very short. It only lasted for a paragraph but it made the book progress through a scene that could be very large. “5. I pulled the fork out of the dog and lifted him into my arms and hugged him. He was leaking blood from the fork holes. I like dogs. You always know what dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.” (End of chapter). This chapter was very concise. It had only a total of six sentences, and it made it very easy to understand what the character thought. This chapter could be a lot longer but it didn’t have to be. The writer captured everything you needed to know about Christopher helping out the dog. If it was a regular chapter that would be long, he would have gone on and on about the dogs blood, not necessary literary elements, and too much of a description.


The short chapters being used by Mark Haddon are very elaborate and enjoyed by many of other readers. In many reviews, they talk about how great of a first person story this is. Christopher is autistic, and many people picked up on this through out the book. It was really good to get the inside look of someone with autism and their inside thoughts. Making the chapters shorter was really well fitting. Also, with how the chapters are numbered which are all prime numbers. Christopher likes to solve puzzles and is very smart with numbers. In the beginning of the book he says “Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” This made the book very interesting on top of the short chapters. I only say first person because this is what comes straight out of a character's mouth and how he wants to tell the story, unlike a third person story where the narrator is only going into detail about the events that take place, and that they have to break it up in to different parts of the story.


Christopher’s chapter numbers were a great way to communicate how he felt about numbers and how much he likes to solve puzzles. He has a great knack for numbers and what they mean to him. The prime numbers really enhanced the story, and same with the way how they were short. It was a great way to really understand someone with autism because I know from friends that do have it, that they really like numbers and are good with them as well. Sometimes, they might talk about one thing extensively or keep it very short. Thats how the chapters were set up, and everything they did was a real masterpiece and put the story together so much better. An online source explains the chapters very well and how they work. “Equally, Christopher chooses to give his chapters prime numbers because he likes them: they mean something to him. He does not choose prime numbers because they have significance for someone else, like his name meaning carrying Christ. Also like him, prime numbers do not fit in with a typical or easy pattern - they are difficult to identify and they are a rule unto no one.” This describes very well of how the chapters play out. The chapters are a representation of him, not just a story. They hold a meaning that relates just to him and no one else. On top of them holding a meaning to what he likes and what he is good at, they are short too which makes it even better. If these went on for a while, the prime numbers wouldn’t be as powerful because he doesn’t get to show an abundance of them if he wrote long chapters which would mean there would be less. Short prime numbered chapters played out amazingly in this book.







Chorus Creates Powerhouse

David Levithan’s, Two Boys Kissing, is centered around two male peers attempting to break a Guinness World Record, by kissing each other for 32 hours straight. They were not to sit down, or break away at anytime; they were a couple at one point, but now they are just peers. They were taking a stand for those who could not stand for themselves. The more interesting aspect of the novel, is it is told from the perspective of a chorus of deceased men who passed due to AIDs; with this unorthodox narrative technique, Levithan creates a dynamic, relatable, heart-wrenching, and eye-opening powerhouse experience for the reader.

To begin with, two friends, Craig’s and Harry’s, along with others’, stories are being told by the chorus of deceased men. A chorus of men means that the immense group of narrators are all speaking in unison. In the novel, the various characters were being introduced, and parallels were being drawn between their story and the men's’ stories. On page 6, Levithan wrote, “We did not have the internet, but we had a network. We did not have websites, but we had sites where we wove our web. You could see it most in the cities. . . Spots in the park, and the bookstores where Wilde, Whitman and Baldwin reigned as bastard kings. These were are safe harbors, even when we feared that being too open meant we were opening ourselves up to attack. Our happiness had defiance, and our happiness had fear. . .” Here is an example of how the author creates the relatable aspect of the novel. They speak about the current state of gay people in society in comparison to when it was their time. The reader gets a sense of how intertwined we are with social media, and how they searched for a place to be accepted or created safe havens for themselves to get away. When the reading the last two sentences of this quote, the reader must immerse themselves in the words written. Levithan centralized the idea that gay people in the past had rarely any place to feel recognized as an equal, and how while they were free, they did not feel whole. The author centralized an exceptionally shocking truth that most readers may not have fully acknowledged until coming across this novel, and it makes their heart ache from seeing such hardships.

Secondly, on the first page of the novel the chorus of narrators introduce themselves, without stating exactly who they are. They invasively explain how they are the reader’s old family members or family friends, how they are everyone in a sense. The following quote stems from the invasive introduction. Levithan writes, on page on, “We are a spirit-burden you carry. . . We try to make it as light a burden as possible. At the same time, when we see you, we cannot help but think of ourselves. . . We were once the ones who were living, and then we were the ones who were dying. We sewed ourselves, a thread’s width, into your history.” Here, the reader is immediately launched into the unorthodox writing technique. Levithan could have just written the novel with multiple perspectives of the actual characters. Yet, by using the narrators as unique as these outside perspectives, sounding as one, the reader’s mind is more open to ideas from the beginning of the novel. Therefore, as the person keeps reading they are immersed in the ideas, such as the quote brings into view, and they will tear through the novel. The men’s wisdom and preachings capture the reader. The quote establishes how once they were us and then they were nothing; this can’t help but make the reader’s think of what comes next for them. In the next few pages, Levithan brings up the following point, “We wish we could offer you a creation myth, an exact reason why you are the way you are, why when you read this sentence, you will know it is about you. But we don’t know how it began. We barely understood the time we knew. We gather the things we learned, and they nearly add up to fill the space of life.” These quotes resonate with the reader. It creates a tugging feeling in their chest, and explosions of thoughts in their minds. This occurs, because they sound incredibly similar and perceptive to most of the reader’s lives, if not all. People desire for anyone to give them all the answers to their questions. Therefore, these are more examples of the realizations and the points Levithan brings into question by using this particular technique. Thus, creating points presented for the reader to remember and to acknowledge, just by using this specific, unique technique.

Lastly, Meredith Goldstein of the Boston Globe, writes for the Book section. She wrote a piece on two up and coming novels, being recognized for possible awards. One of them being, Two Boys Kissing. She writes, “. . .The story is an unexpected nail-biter; you’ll find yourself gasping when it seems that Craig and Harry might pass out before making their 32-hour goal. And you’ll fall in love with the supporting players in their orbit, such as their all-knowing friend Smita and the characters who watch them commit the act from afar, like Neil and Peter, a young couple in love who consider their own romance while watching the kiss online. . . In the beginning, the Greek Chorus feels heavy-handed — or maybe too dramatic — but soon it becomes clear that the tone is just right, because Craig and Harry are, in fact, changing the world.  Some younger readers might miss out on the cultural references, especially more subtle allusions to the AIDS epidemic. Like the best young adult books, this one should be discussed with grown-ups and read more than once.” This excerpt from her review correlates with the central idea of my thesis. Yet, also plays devil’s advocate to the writing technique Levithan chose. It also hones in on the focal point of the novel. Which is the two boys kissing for the lengthy amount of time, to make a statement and to take a stand for the gay community. It presents a synopsis of the characters’ stories focused on in the novel. Goldstein, while tearing the technique to pieces with love, eventually comes to the conclusion it sets the novel apart and creates a unique, note-worthy experience for readers.

To conclude, the narrators really set the tone and harmony of the entire book. And is what has the reader tare through each chapter. If there were to be any difference in the narrative perspectives, it brings into question how the reader could be interested without that unique aspect. Levithan chose to shape his story outside of the box. Thus, created a novel that stands on its own, and has readers captured and engulfed in every word the narrators preach, and immersed in every emotion felt.






"For Esme with Love and Squalor"


J.D. Salinger's short story “For Esme: with Love and Squalor” begins with a man invited to a wedding. His first person narration reveals that he has a wife, and they are unable to attend the wedding in order to see his mother in law. Then, suddenly, the story shifts. The man begins to tell the story of how he met the bride, six years earlier. The short introductory paragraph is one of the only chances in the short story where we see into the main character’s personal life. The story uses the man’s short meeting with Esme, and turns it into the main event. Through creating a vague image of the main character, and giving him very little dialogue, Salinger dehumanizes the central figure in his story’s plot and puts the reader in his position.

The story centers around an unnamed man who we are told at the beginning of the story is a member of the army. As he recalls the tale of meeting the girl whose wedding he has been invited to, the reader gets a sense of nostalgia from his memories about that time in his life. He first sees Esme when listening to her choir sing while on military service in London. The man and the reader immediately get a sense of the importance of this girl. “Her voice was distinctly separate from the other children's voices, and not just because she was seated nearest me. It had the best upper register, the sweetest-sounding, the surest, and it automatically led the way.” Through the eyes of the main character, we see his fascination with the 13 year old girl singing nearest to him. Salinger takes an interesting perspective on the events and puts the reader into the story, submerging them into an unknown man’s life. After the concert he wanders into the church tearoom, where the main stage for the story is set.

Once again, he spots the girl he had seen singing from across the room and tells her what a lovely voice she has. Esme introduces herself and the man is surprised to learn how mature she is for her age. As the two talk, a pattern of dialogue begins to occur. “As security-minded as the next one, I replied that I was visiting Devonshire for my health. "Really," she said, "I wasn't quite bom yesterday, you know." I said I'd bet she hadn't been, at that. I drank my tea for a moment. I was getting a trifle posture-conscious and I sat up somewhat straighter in my seat.” Salinger makes sure that the conversation is not centered on the main character, but rather completely on Esme. The narrator rarely ever responds in quotations to what Esme is saying, and once he does it is simply “No, thank you” and “I’m glad”. The only speaking he does with her is prefacing his words with “I said” and not putting himself into the dialogue. Salinger uses this style to put the reader into his conversation with Esme, and to create a connection between Esme and the reader.

As the conversation between Esme and the main character progresses, the main character tells her more about himself. When she asks forwardly what he did before the army, he stumbles slightly before answering that he is a short story writer. Through provoking questions from Esme, the main character is unraveled and his emotions are laid out. “‘I purely came over because I thought you looked extremely lonely. You have an extremely sensitive face.’ I said she was right, that I had been feeling lonely, and that I was very glad she'd come over.” Through his descriptions of scenery and people, it is not hard to tell that he is an inquisitive man. In his chat with Esme, Salinger displays this deftly. He uses her questioning to pry him open to emotion. Although this may be a fact we as readers could have inferred, it is the first time in the story where he adds how he is feeling. This literary guidance combined with the lack of speaking on his part not only makes it easier to sympathize with all parties, but to slide ourselves more easily into his shoes.

In the last portion of the story, the setting is changed dramatically. After finishing their discussion, and the main character leaves the tea room reflecting, the story shifts once again. The narration switches starkly to third person, leaving the reader lost in the story. The main character, now referred to as Sergeant X, is sitting in his bunker in Bavaria several months after his encounter with Esme. “Staff Sergeant X was in his room on the second floor of the civilian home in which he and nine other American soldiers had been quartered, even before the armistice.” The man we once saw in England is now a traumatized nervous wreck. He talks to his bunkmate Clay (referred to as Corporal Z by the narrator) coldly, and shakes too badly to write his letters. The switch from unidentified first person narration and Sergeant X is about the distance from the reader. The shmoop editorial team at Shmoop.com describes the effect taht the narritive swith has on the story: ““This shift creates something of a sense of alienation and distance – we were used to knowing everything our narrator was thinking, and feeling like we were having a conversation with him, but all of a sudden, we're kind of out in the cold.” The man that the reader has become accustomed to and grown to know has been changed by the war in the form in Sergeant X. The switch between the two leaves the reader feeling isolated from the character that we once knew, as well as the story.

Finally, Sergeant X receives a letter back from Esme. The story ends with a short note from Esme telling Sergeant X how she looks back fondly at their talk together in London. The reader can infer that this note saved Sergeant X’s life, yet remembering the beginning of the story, Sergeant X decides against going to her wedding. The story wraps up in a perfect cycle, completing his main character’s development and furthering the symbolism. Salinger displays a perfect example of how narration and dialogue style can change the perspective of a story. The story written completely in third person narration would have completely different context, and the emotional connection to the characters would not be nearly as poignant. For Esme: with Love creates a deep connection with it’s protagonist by putting the reader in his position.



Works Cited for Analytical Essay:


Salinger, J.D. "For Esmé - with Love and Squalor." Nine Stories. Boston: Bantam, 1964. 38-48. Print.


Shmoop Editorial Team. "For Esmé with Love and Squalor Narrator Point of View."Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.shmoop.com/for-esme-with-love-and-squalor/narrator-point-of-view.html>.


Meaningful Titles: Writing More than Numbers

           Usually, the titles of chapters within books are numbers. In Stephenie Meyer’s novel Breaking Dawn (the fourth book in the Twilight Saga), the chapter titles are used as a tool to communicate the story along with naming the chapters. The book is about a young woman, named Bella, who is about to marry into a family of vampires.  The book is divided into three sections. The first and last are told by Bella Cullen while the middle section is narrated by her friend Jacob. The switching of narrators gives the reader a chance to get to know Jacob primarily during a time when he cared more about keeping Bella’s heart beating than she did.The chapter titles of Breaking Dawn are single words in the parts told by Bella and often entire sentences when Jacob is narrating. The titles summarize the narrator's point of view while hinting at future events. Reading the character’s thoughts towards events before the anecdotes gives the reader a stronger understanding of the narrator, foreshadowing what will happen.
In “Irresistible,” Bella, now a vampire, narrates that her daughter, Renesmee, uses her talent to earn the trust of vampires. The chapter before “Talented” was titled “Irresistible” in order to communicate Bella’s attraction towards her own daughter. When the reader turns the page to see “Talented” as a chapter title, it is first assumed that Bella will continue to describe Renesmee’s talent. Previous chapters had suggested that Bella had no extra talent beyond average vampire abilities. However in “Talented,” Eleazar, one of the vampires who meets Renesmee, informs the Cullens that Bella has a talent as well. Eleazar has the ability to foresee other vampires’ powers.  Bella doubts that she is really talented until Renesmee reassures her. “ ‘Momma, you’re special,’ Renesmee told me without any surprise, like she was commenting on the color of my clothes” (pg. 598). When Renesmee tells Bella that she is “special” in an unsurprised tone, Bella begins to feel “talented.” Bella felt uncertain when Eleazar suggested her talent. Renesmee was who Bella saw as “talented” and “irresistible,” making Renesmee the one who needed to assure Bella before she could believe it. The chapter title summarizes how Bella feels in the moment Renesmee called her special (truly “talented”).
In the chapters told in Jacob’s perspective, he stays with Bella as she is dying and still human. Siding with Bella and the vampires threatens Jacob’s relationship with his own family (who consider vampires their enemies), yet Jacob stays. One of the chapter titles in this section of the book is “What do I look like? The Wizard of OZ? You need a brain? You need a heart? Go ahead. Take mine. Take everything I have” (pg. 329). The sarcasm of Jacob comparing himself to the Wizard of OZ in this chapter title indicates that the situation occurring in this chapter is aggravating Jacob. The chapter title foreshadows that everything Jacob has will be taken from him, including his heart and mind. The words “go ahead” lets the reader know that Jacob will do this willingly. Knowing that Jacob is willing to give what he has away before the events actually occur allows the reader to understand Jacob’s state of mind within the chapter. If the reader had only been given plot, the reader may have never known Jacob was willing to give himself away, and the reader may draw a different conclusion.
In a part of the book that Bella narrates as a vampire, the lives of the Cullens are threatened by a powerful group of vampires called the Volturi. Alice Cullen, who can see the future, has a vision of the entire Volturi coming to destroy the Cullens. When the day Alice foresaw comes, the Cullen family waits for the Volturi in the location the battle will take place. Some hope to negotiate peacefully while others think they have no chance of prevailing. Bella waits with Edward, the vampire she loves. While standing there, Bella communicates her thoughts to the reader by stating, “Edward and I had not had a last grand scene of farewell, nor did I plan one. To speak the word was to make it final. It would be the same as typing the words The End on the last page of a manuscript” (pg. 674). With this statement, Bella lets the reader know that a page titled with the words “The End” will not come until Bella believes she and Edward have “had a last grand scene.” This foreshadows that any chapter that comes before “The End,” the “final” chapter, will be about Edward and Bella. 
The section of the book Jacob narrates focuses on what he believes to be the end of Bella’s life. Jacob doubts he will be able to see her as alive once she is a vampire. The last chapter Jacob narrates describes when Bella’s heart stops. Jacob thinks of Bella ending with her last heartbeat. The chapter is titled “There are no words for this.” Jacob’s statement directly conflicts with Bella’s idea of the end, because Jacob says there will be “no words for this,” while Bella says the story will have the words “the end.” The reader can conclude that Jacob is not able to describe Bella’s end because it is too sad or emotional for him. Jacob imagines death as Bella’s end while Bella pictures ending her life loving Edward. There is also the unrequited love Jacob has that makes losing Bella to painful to describe.
Bella and Jacob’s different personalities come across in the chapter titles. While Bella describes chapters with positive words, such as “Talented” and “Irresistible,” the first chapter title Jacob provides looks at his situation negatively. Jacob is part of the Quileute tribe of Native Americans. Some people in the tribe can transform into wolves. The Cullens and wolves signed a treaty decades ago that prevents the Cullens from biting anyone in Forks, and once Edward makes Bella a vampire, the treaty will be broken. After Bella and Edward get married, the wolves, including Jacob, wait for that break to occur. Jacob describes this as “waiting for the damn fight to start already” as his first chapter title when he begins to narrate. Using words like “damn” and focusing on fighting shows how Jacob is generally more negative than Bella. These differences in language within the chapter titles show the reader the character’s personality. Knowing the character’s personality from the titles before reading a chapter also allows the reader to understand who the character is and predict how they will later react to events within the chapter.

Chuck Wendig, an author of screenplays and novels, wrote a blog post about the importance of opening lines in the first chapter of a book. In the article, Wendig stated, “A good opening line is a promise, or a question, or an unproven idea.” In Breaking Dawn, Wendig’s idea can be expanded to include chapter titles, since the titles are the first words a reader sees before starting a chapter. The promise is a foreshadowed event or emotion the character will have in the chapter. Some chapters are questions from the thoughts of the character (ex., when Jacob says “What do I look like?”). The unproven ideas are the adjectives Bella uses as titles, such as talented and irresistible. These adjectives have not been proven to belong to anyone, yet someone in the chapter will be considered to be that adjective by Bella after it is stated in the chapter title.

If the book had only numbers for titles, some of the character’s emotions and opinions would have been subtly expressed or absent from the story. The chapter titles summarize how Bella and Jacob feel in their parts of the story. This gives the reader a better understanding of the character than plot alone. This structure also makes the reader pay more attention to small details in the books, because even the one word chapter titles in Bella’s sections communicate her thoughts. Though some readers may overlook the chapter titles, Stephenie Meyer uses the titles as a technique for foreshadowing and expressing the characters’ personalities.




Meyer, Stephenie. Breaking Dawn. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008. Print.



Wendig, Chuck. "25 Things To Know About Writing The First Chapter Of Your Novel." Terribleminds. N.p., 29 May 2012. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/05/29/25-things-to-know-about-writing-the-first-chapter/>.

Orphan Train


Q2 Benchmark Project- Writing Styles

Crystal Taylor


In Christina Baker Kline’s book Orphan Train, she uses a variety of different writing styles and techniques to impact the reader’s experience. What makes this book special is how Kline uses point of view in her stories. She writes from two different points of views and switches back and forth between the two. In this story, there are two main characters. There is Vivian, who is in her early 90s and then Molly, who is a teenager. Vivian and Molly are orphans which allows them to connect on another level. Throughout the story, Molly agrees to help Vivian clean out her closet and the more they clean it out, the more Vivian remembers from her childhood and the deeper she travels back into her past. Kline’s unique use of the point of view in the story is very important to the experience of the reader because this allows them to encounter more than one character’s emotions and journey.

The first person point of view, which is written from a character in the story’s perspective using “I”, can be identified in the story when Vivian would talk about her childhood from the past. As she talks about her childhood and trials which she overcame, the reader is able to live through her experiences and know how it feels to lose her family at such a young age, jump from home to home, and have her dignity taken away from her as she got older and older. Although the reader might have not experienced the exact same issues, the point of view allows the reader to feel the character’s feelings because you are reading from their perspective. Having a story written in first person puts the reader in the shoes of the character who is speaking, which is the reason it affects the reader’s emotions so greatly.

The third person point of view, which is written from the outside looking in and when the narrator sees and knows the actions, thoughts and feelings of multiple characters, can be identified in the story when the time period shifts back to the present tense and is more focused on Molly’s feelings and actions. When the story is being told in third person, the reader has the ability to go through a journey with more than one character. Although the third person storytelling is more focused on Molly, the story isn’t based around the feelings of Molly individually. Both Molly and Vivian’s actions and feelings are both expressed in the present day storytelling. The reader is able to experience what the characters are experiencing, which allows the story to be more effective because multiple experiences of the same event are conveyed.

In the story, as Vivian is on the Orphan Train talking to her new friend Dutchy, he says to her “We are headed toward the unknown, and have no choice but to sit quietly in our hard seats and let ourselves be taken there.” Dutchy saying this has an influence on the reader because it makes them feel as if he is talking directly to them. He says “we are headed toward the unknown…”, which instantly places the reader in the shoes of the character from which the point of view is being told from. If Dutchy were to have said “they were headed toward the unknown”, this would have not been as emotional and involving because the reader would not have felt included in the story. Incorporating the reader in the story enables the chance for the reader to relate and connect to the characters.

Julie P, a fan of Kline’s, has read the Orphan Train and fell in love. She says “ I was very impressed with her storytelling abilities, especially how she went back and forth between the present day and the past,  still being able to link together Vivian and Molly's characters.” Julie’s experience while reading the story was also impacted due to the different uses of point of views. Although there was a change in the point of view, Kline still found a way to connect the character’s back to one another. If Kline did not connect Molly and Vivian back to each other, this could have caused confusion for the reader, thus the connections of the character’s was very important.


Another reason Vivian and Molly have such a strong connection is they share many of the same experiences in life. As the story is being told in the present tense and written from third person point of view, it states When Vivian describes how it felt to be at the mercy of strangers, Molly nods. You’re grateful for the slightest hint of kindness, and then, as you get older, suspicious. Why would anyone do anything for you without expecting something in return?” As Vivian is talking to Molly about her past, Molly is able to understand how she feels. She knows how it feels to constantly be taken advantage of, but was oblivious to it because she was so young and naive, and as they both grew older they began seeing how greedy and evil people can really be. This connects back to Vivian’s past and because the story is written from her point of view, the reader is able to go through her life experience with her. So, because the reader knows how Vivian feels, they are also able to understand how Molly felt since they both have the same experiences.

In conclusion, Kline’s book was definitely unique and stood out to many of the readers of it. Without the point of view being written the way it was written, the reader may have only been able to relate to one of the characters. Also, having the point of views switched back and forth from the past to the present keeps the reader engaged and interested to what will happen next. The reader is able to be in one character’s shoes and seeing their views on life, while also viewing other’s point of views and still being able to relate to the other characters. Kline did an amazing job keeping the story entertaining and leaving the reader at the edge of their seat, all while still connecting the character’s to one another made the story effective.


Love Analogies

David Levithan’s book Every Day is told from a teenager that experiences many lives at a time. Throughout the book, the reader experiences the teenagers many lives and follows him in the story. Its hard to keep up with the teenager because the teenager is going experience completely different events every day. This is very crucial to the reader because the reader could get lost at any point of the story. The author tries to put in many different analogies and metaphors of love to help the reader catch up with the story and also have a better understanding.

In the story, the main character is dealing with a lot of love problems. But, the character is in a different body every day. So, the story changes, the events change, and the feelings change from both sides. Its difficult for the reader to figure out how he’s feeling in each body because It changing constantly. “This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.” The author is using a metaphor to show  love compared to writing the real world. In the main characters case, the story is always being rewritten for them. they have many characters to choose from because they are constantly changing bodies. The main character is living in a new house everyday and they also experience a new life which can create new plots. Whenever the main character gets a chance to see her (the lover), the main character tries to make it as if they are never going to leave. But they can’t stay forever. And that is what this quote (metaphor) is explaining to the reader. This builds an understanding of what is going on in the main characters mind and the world outside.

The main character starts to see her more often. To him, it feels like a normal relationship. The main character has been so used to changing bodies that it has become a daily routine. But to her, It feels like a new relationship everyday as if she is moving through time from one relationship to the next. The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations - all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.” This quote talks about their relationship has gone through so many events. From sneaking around to emailing eachother everyday; it has gotten hectic. The universe went through a lot of transitions including evolution. This relationship is in a way like evolution. Using a metaphor to compare the relationship to time and evolution can help the reader understand what has been going on. It also shows the struggles that the main character and her have encountered.

The main character has never met anyone else who has this “curse”. He is the only one known in the book who can change bodies each and everyday. He begins to see everyone else living normal lives. Ultimately, the universe doesn't care about us. Time doesn't care about us. That's why we have to care about each other.” This quote is explaining that the universe doesn't care about anyone and the main character. If the universe had cared, the universe would have not given the main character this curse. The main character had never cared for somebody like they do to this girl. They don’t know their parents or any relatives. So, he wants to care for others and he wants to be cared for. And thats what he got. This quote uses a metaphor to compare the universe to the people. This helps give an understanding of what the main character feels about changing into different bodies everyday.

This book can be confusing. That s what some of the book reviewers thought.

I mean that I did like the book, but found myself frustrated because I was forced to question every single damn thing. There was something about the entire story that suffocated the hell out of me. My head hurt from trying to figure out how all of 'this' was supposed to work.”

This reader has a hard time understanding what was going on in the story and also the overall message of the story. This type of writing can be challenging. The story is like a bunch of different short stories but they all connect. So, it is good that the author decided to include metaphors and analogies. This helps the reader finish the book and know what went on because of the analogies and metaphors.The book could of gone without them but the book would be far too challenging.

In conclusion, this book can be hard to understand. But all of the different analogies and metaphors about love can help the reader develop the main idea of what is going on. Although some of the book reviewers seem to not like the book; having a full understanding of the book can really change the readers mind. The quotes in the story showed all of the main characters feelings and also most of the girls feelings.

Animal Farm

Amanda Bolli

1/15/15

Gold Animal Farm



George Orwell’s book Animal Farm has two different point of views. There is the pigs side and the rest of the animals. It may be hard to understand what certain characters are doing, but there are characters in the book that are easy to understand, and you can follow what they are doing. One example is the horse’s. Boxer has a strong build and can carry a lot but that’s not always a good thing. Boxer doesn’t know he’s a slave. He does know that the pigs Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer are running the farm. You as a reader should see it in all perspectives or the majority of the characters points.

It all started with Old Major's speech. Old major was a prize winning pig. He was wise and thought of the rebellion. That was all in his dream. Well on page 25 the beginning of the 2nd paragraph it says “ During the next three months there was much secret activity.” This is the starting point of planning the rebellion. Every animal had a role to play in it. No one knows when it will happen. It could happen in 40 years or the next day. Point of view is important for this because this is the starting point of where the sides come in. The pigs or the other animals.

The rebellion started and all the animals worked together. They successfully ran out the humans. Now that the farmer is gone, the animals can live a life that they want. So they think. The pigs start to control the work the other animals do. Harder work and longer days.The very first sentence on page 63 it says “ All that year the animals worked like slaves.” The animals are being worked to hard not only are the horses but everyone else except for the pigs. The pigs pretty much rule the farm.

Boxer is being worked way too much. He has a strong build and is very broad. He works way too much and it’s because the pigs know he is strong enough to carry a lot. Everyone warns him but he doesn’t listen.  On page 104 it says,“ A horse’s lungs do not last forever.” Clover is trying to get Boxer to see that he is becoming a slave to the pigs. Also she is trying to get him to see that he is being overworked and that it’s not good for him. Boxer won’t listen to what she has to say.

On http://pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmAnimalFarm22.asp, it says “This point of view allows Orwell to see into the minds of the characters and understand their motivations. As a result, Orwell lets his readers know what the animals do not, for the animals do not understand anything more than they see or hear.” This quote effects the reader by giving them a little bit of a sense of what Orwell wants you to understand in the book. He shows this through the point of view. The point of view of “Animal Farm” is in the third person. Orwell uses a lot of symbolism too. That helps the reader  to understand the plot of the story. Also because it helps with understanding point of view.

On the same website Orwell says "was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into the whole."  He wants the reader to realize that everything in the book are represented by historical events. Orwell uses allegorical parallels with history. Some examples are; Animal Farm- History of russia,animalism- communism, and many more.   

The third person point of view helps the reader to see the difference between what is going through Orwell’s mind and through the characters of the book. The reader will realize that Boxer is meant to work all the time and when he is not need or use less he is to be killed. Now Orwell wants the reader to realize what Boxer feels about himself and what the pigs actually think about him.Orwell uses third person omniscient to help him to get the reader so see feel and focus on what he is writing. It’s a very good skill to have when writing a book.

In the end point of view is important with Animal Farm because you have to have an open mind to everything that is happening. You as a reader should see it in all perspectives or the majority of the characters points. If animal farm was written without point of view it would be a messy. None would understand what is going on. Nor would they understand the plot, the lesson, or who’s telling the story. Point of view give the reader a chance to understand what is going on in the book. It may not always be easy to figure out what point of view the author is writing in. It helps with explaining the plot at times and who is talking in the book. Or who or what the book is about. Being open minded is a good thing to have when reading a book that has two or more sides of the story.

In Revenge, The Plot is Everything

The most important part of the story is the plot and it’s structure since it’s the very thing that gives the story purpose. It give the reader a reason to continue with the story in the first place. The plot also shows the reader what type of book they are going to be reading. Like a revenge plot for example. Average revenge plot structures create a storyline that has the main character betrayed or in some other way harmed by one or more individuals. After that, the main character then seeks justice on the the people that had wronged him or her. They succeed and they live a happy life in the end. However, with books like the Count of Monte Cristo, the author makes the plot a little more complicated. With the book, Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas, the plot structure was so cleverly written, that it creates this storyline that shows how every character is related to one another,or brought because of the important parts they play in the protagonist's, Edmund dantes, quest for revenge, and how they are realistically affected by it .Thus, making the story very unique and the reader doesn’t know what to expect.

For instance, in the book, there is the character Andrea who the count of Monte Cristo , Edmond, had provided for financially, and there is no given reason as to why he would do this, especially when he knows that Andrea is an escaped convict that is just lying to him to get rich. However, he is finally caught and stands before the court, he makes a shocking revelation, that the count told him in disguise, to the court about who  his father is. He says to the judge  “ Yes and since you've asked me for his name I’ll tell it to you: his name is Villefort” (476). To the reader, he or she knows that the count wants revenge on Villefort because of the injustice that he had inflicted upon him. Throughout the the story, the reader find outs that Villefort had child with Madame Danglars, who was the wife of Danglars who also had wronged the count. Now that the purpose of Andrea is revealed, Villefort is now ruined because of his relation to his illegitimate son.

Another example would be Maximilian. In the book, Maximilian is the son of Morrel who was a dear friend to the Count of Monte Cristo and had tried to help the count when his enemies destroyed his life by framing him for something he did not do. The count loves Maximilian like he was his own son, and would never hurt him. However, when he is enacting his revenge on Villefort and his household, and Valentine is dying. Maximilian then runs to the count for help, and tells him “ I love Valentine de Villefort, who’s being murdered at this very moment, do you hear me? And I am asking you and God to tell me how I can save her!”(402). Villefort had put the Count in Prison for many years and now he is enacting his revenge. Now that he realizes that Maximilian has a connection with the Villefort family, he can’t hurt all of them without hurting one of people that he has grown to care for deeply. In the end, the reader sees that the main character is struggling on the journey of  getting justice and vengeance. The reader sees that  the storyline has gotten even more complex because of the Characters connections to one another. In a way both the reader and the protagonist slowly start to realize that revenge storyline is not meant to be simple especially when people who had nothing to do with a few characters past are involved and ultimately effective. Either negatively or positively.   


Lastly, the Nortier is an example because of his past. His granddaughter, Valentine, asks her grand father for help in getting out an arranged marriage her father, Villefort, had had with Franz and his son because she was in love with Maximilian. Her grandfather decides to help them both. On the day that the wedding is supposed to be finalized, Valentine’s grandfather tells Franz about his father and what past he and the Nortier had together. Now, the reader already knows that Franz’s father was mysteriously murdered. When the Nortier has Franz read a story, Franz then says to the Nortier   “You! cried Franz. You, Monsieur Noirtier! Was it you who killed my father?” Yes, said Nortier's eyes” (310). With this revelation, the author’s plot again shows and surprises the reader on how another group of characters are connected, but, this time, in such a tragic way. It  leaves the reader not knowing what to expect now.“A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is - full of surprises.” was what Isaac Bashevis Singer once said and Alexandre does such a wonderful job doing this, which is why it makes this such an interesting  revenge story.

In conclusion, a plot, especially one that has to do a lot with revenge, has to to be something that has to be created in such an interesting way,  in order for the reader to even take any interest, let alone pick up and read the book. And Alexandre Dumas does this throughout his book by using connection between unlikely characters . He does this by using death, Bringing Franz and the Nortier together. Love,bringing Valentine, Maximilian, and even the count together since he is the one who is seeking revenge on Valentine’s Family. And finally, family, bringing characters like Andrea and Villefort together. This is why the plot structure is so important. The plot structure for this book has details that are added, that brings a connection with every character on one level or another in such a creative way. It makes it more than just a revenge book and without it, it would just be a basic story about revenge. It still might keep the reader attention, but not like before.