Hello! The JSHow is back! In today’s episode, we will continue discussing the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. We will analyze chapters 9-19 with various literary lenses, such as the Feminist and Marxist lense.
Evidence: “would not consent to take a fraction more than what was due to her.” (22) “I’ll finish all of them in the island” (60) “Mate, it’s because I thinks gold dust of you-gold dust, and you may lay to that! (75)
Hope you enjoy the podcast and see you all next week!
-Jacobo, Shana, Harlem
The Light is an essay that deals with the many questions that one may encounter while growing up. Who am I? What purpose do I have in this world? Jacobo Pastor describes his personal experience about a time that made a personal experience changed his own identity.
Personally I think that I got to analyze a topic that is very controversial and that no one has really an answer for it, but I would have wished to research a little bit more for others opinions about the topic
English 3/ Mr. Block
February 27th, 2018
Flying in a plane wasn’t a new experience for me, but the monstrous sound of the engines didn’t help me feeling at ease. Swallowed by thoughts of fear, the airplane wings did not look safe at all. The plane that I usually associated with holidays, became an endless tunnel of uncertainty. I did not have a clue of what would come next. I looked over my shoulder and all I could see were my eyes reflected on the window, scared and immature. They were shining as a thousand lamps in a dark room, filled with the anticipation of my journey. As the plane took off, my hands tingled with the idea that a new door was opening. I was leaving my old life and entering the gates to a new world of possibilities. The hope of a new beginning outweighed the pain of leaving my home country. From the airplane, I could see the city lights of Madrid, and felt it was illuminating my new life overseas. I held to that hope like a beacon shining in the dark. Although I wasn’t able to understand the moment, looking back, I know it transformed me and pushed me towards the beginning of my new life. And, together with my new life, it came my new me.
I was conflicted leaving behind the life I knew. My family, my friends, and my culture which created the person I was, were not around anymore. Now I was on my own, without a clear idea where I belonged. It was hard for me to function in a new environment, a country I never visited, and a language I didn’t fully speak. Everyday I looked around on my way to school, and found nothing similar to my home. The diversity of the people, the music I heard on the streets, the slang I didn’t understand. The families I met, the school routines, the food I ate, they all were foreign to me. This was the American culture I grew up seeing on the Tv shows but now, this was my reality. “We know what we are, but not what we may be (Hamlet).” The quote by William Shakespeare crossed my mind repeatedly during those first months. I began to wonder what it meant and if it applied to my life in the US. Who am I, I asked myself. Do I belong here? Is this part of me? Looking back at those moments, I came to the conclusion that everyone knows who they think they are, but they don’t discover their true selves until they experience a life changing event.
A couple months after arriving in the United States, I realized I was changing. As a result of my own process to adapt myself to the reality, my personality was transforming and developing. I grew more confidence and as a result, I took on more leadership roles at school, did more public speaking, and performed some theatre in the classroom. I wasn’t that scared immature young kid anymore. I liked the person I was becoming. It struck me that my old personality was fading, one bit at a time. Those changes took place in a very short time and, they were for good. As Shannon L. Alder, a famous author, stated, “life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of that.” Those changes marked the commencement of my new personality and identity.
Many spend their entire lives searching for their true selves, and many die without finding it. I believe I have been fortunate to find who I am by adapting to my new life. I have discovered the capacity that is in me to learn, enjoy and engage with people and events I would never have experienced back in my country. Although my identity is not complete, I feel my world has become richer and wider, and I have become more open and ready to make the most of what life brings. I now can say that Spain is part of my life and will always be, but Spain did not shape me but predefined myself. By moving to the United States, and opening myself to growing and changing, my identity has blossomed. Only those who challenge their beliefs and conditions, find out who they truly are. I believe I have.
“A quote by Shannon L. Alder.” Quote by Shannon L. Alder: "Life always begins with one step outside of you...", www.goodreads.com/quotes/736100-life-always-begins-with-one-step-outside-of-your-comfort.
Shakespeare, William, et al. Hamlet. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Advanced Essay 2
December 10th, 2017
The Power Of Words
Following the whispers of the visitors, I entered a room filled with all sorts of emotions. Everywhere I looked, I saw the representations of feelings expressed by the many strokes of paint. Those vivid landscapes filled my nostrils, making them able to inhale history and the interesting stories those canvases were able to display. Although I wasn’t capable of understanding the meaning of the paintings, I sensed that some of those pieces were able to transmit better stories than others. I realized that I was feeling more attracted to the art pieces with a better narrative. I realized that artist use their talents with more or less success as we all do when we articulate our ideas and express ourselves.
As I approached the Civil War years part of the exhibit, my mind went back 70 years, to a time I did not witness, but a time that I learned about from the many stories my grandmother used to tell me. Unlike the art, I was able to understand better and relate to those stories. I remember that she explained to me how the Museum used to be a hospital and a refuge from the bombing during the Spanish Civil War. My fingers tingled, uneasy with the idea that I was standing in a place where thousands of people lost their lives over the course of three long years of war and terror. My ears could hear the alarm sirens and the people running to the basement to save their lives. Somehow the old words of my grandmother were making me see what art couldn’t. I saw my mom and sister walking nearby, looking at the art as if they were reading a poem, understanding every single stroke and detail. I wasn’t surprised when I saw my mom lost in her thoughts, as if the weight of past were on her shoulders. I held her arm, and with my sister, we continued talking about the art and life of the southern genius who was exiled in France never to come back.
Lost in the conversation, we made it to the heart of the exhibit, The Guernica by Pablo Picasso. Although I was surprised by its massive size and monochromatic palette, the enormous black, white and grey masterpiece about our war, about any war, did not capture my imagination. I knew the painting was important, but still, I couldn’t get interested in it. I felt frustrated with the idea of not understanding art as other people could. I could see all the details of the artwork but I wasn’t able to express myself. I saw the big bull which Picasso often used in his art to represent Spain. I saw the mother crying, a universal symbol of horror and desolation. I saw a lamp, a vivid portrayal of one of the many bombs. The masterpiece was there, in front of me, and I did not like it. But, how could I say that?
“Jacobo, what do you think? Isn’t it formidable?” My mother stated with teary eyes.
In that moment I made a connection with my art analogy. Just as an artist chooses very carefully their way to make an impact on their audience, I made sure to choose the correct words to impress my mom. I answered, “Mom, I have an ambivalent feeling.”
I have noticed that my mother loved my expression. She looked at me with an enthusiastic interest.
“And…?” My mother asked.
“It is powerful but also so devastating.” I continued, using both my hands to express how big my devastation was.
My mother looked at me with love and approval. I escaped from her reach, making myself busy looking at other details of the painting. I remembered that in that moment, I realized how important my choice of words can be when trying to look smart and profound. I have never forgotten that lesson.
That day I learned that unless you make stories interesting or fascinating, they are just ideas, or thoughts. The storytelling is what matters. Many people believe that there are many shapes and forms of literacy, in my opinion, the literacy I understand best is the verbal communication between two individuals. Literacy has an important role in society, and although it is an injustice for many, the ability to be articulate determines your socio-economic status. Mireille Guiliano agrees with this idea, “Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.” People communicate in many situations, such as in interviews or relationships, and only those who understand that words matter in our society, will have an advantage.
I’ve come to realize that I can not underestimate literacy, and the ability to communicate what I think and feel. Therefore I must be aware of the power of words and effective communication, as they are the keys to my future success.
Works cited: “Bio.” Mireille Guiliano » Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire Q&A, 25 Oct. 2013, mireilleguiliano.com/content/iwomen-work-art-savoir-fairei-qa.
English 3 Water Stream
September 20th, 2017
There I was, standing in a large room as crowded as NYC Central Station, full with people and noise. The room was filled with whispers, the irritating sounds of cameras, and the works of prodigious minds that passed throughout history. Their works were not written in paper, or recorded in stone; but represented in simple white canvas. Those strokes, those layers of multiples colors were able to teach me more than any of my Art History classes. Van Gogh’s, Leonardo’s, and Picasso’s surrounded me. I traveled from hallway to hallway, appreciating every single kind of art. Whether it was cubism or impressionism, those master pieces had a story to tell and they spoke to my senses.
Although my eyes were wide open, the only thing calling my name was The Girl with the Ball. That wasn’t just another painting for me. That Roy Lichtenstein's painting was a family symbol, a piece of history that has traveled with us from house to house, room to room, and country to country. After many years, staring at affordable copies, I couldn’t believe that I was at the MOMA museum, standing next to it. My heart and soul were filled. I closed my eyes like if I was tasting it, and I saw my past flashing right in front of me. The painting was a reminder of where I came from and what I am now.
Artistically this painting doesn’t mean much to me as it does in an emotional way. Many people say that a picture means more than a thousand words, well, this painting reminds me of my childhood and it is difficult to summarize what it represents using plain words. Tilting my face and holding my chin as if I was some kind of art buyer or an artistic figure, I was staring at the painting and feeling transported to my old house in Madrid. I could smell the turkish carpet in the hallway, leading to the painting’s frame. I could hear my grandfather’s wall clock ringing time. I could see the door to my sister’s bright pink room. The thousand dots of the painting dragged me into my old me like if I was looking from a kaleidoscope.
My mind dipped into the colors of the painting. From the yellow surfaces to one of the thousand... no... millions of oval shaped yellow surfaces. I closed my eyes trying to clear my mind but I couldn’t. Those dots were making me turn and spin around, in an infinite dance to the center of myself. The smell was more than just familiar. Looking closely around me it came to my senses that those yellow oval surfaces were the rice grains of a typical Spanish paella. I could see my parents cooking over the flames, that family classic dish. The yellow background of the painting was as intense as the paella’ saffron and the girl’ skin tone looked as a pale as chicken chunks mixed with the shell food represented by her red ball. I was blown away by the realization that the whole art piece made me look back, and rekindle that moment in my life next to my family. It is thrilling how present my past was.
“Jacobo, what’s wrong? You look like you are lost in another world,” my mom said.
“I’m fine, mom. I am just remembering the good old days,” I said with a funny tone.
My mom smiled at me, probably thinking that I was making fun of her “good old days,” as she over used that saying, but she rapidly realized that I wasn’t talking about her at all. In fact, I was making a connection with our family past, our memories, everything that makes us be the way we are. That evidence hit me like a supernova leaving me with a sentimental feeling, strucking and moving me. I tried to explain myself. I tried to let her know how that artwork took me miles and years away from that winter day in New York. She looked at me in the eye and said “I know, Jacobo. It is the same for me. We carry our homeland and family in these little memories that travel with us.” At that moment I realized the importance of our past’s presence in our lives. Many choose to forget their past, trying to live a new life from scratch. For me, that is impossible because in every action I take there is a simultaneous reaction of looking back and recognizing, not only my achievements, but the opportunities that lie ahead. In that particular day, I discovered that just as the works of an artist are represented in a canvas, my past was represented in that piece of art.
The Girl with the Ball
The Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein was drawn in 1961, making it one of his most famous pieces. This painting follows his style of cartoon-like paintings, feeling like poster’s drawings. The piece is currently at the MoMA museum, in New York City.
English 2/ Ms. Pahomov
March 31st, 2017
Breaking the Game
If you were to survive in an unknown environment, surrounded by dangers and threats, what type of decisions would you take? If the strong are battling to survive, why should they waste care and resources on the weak? Would fairness and justice prevail or would fear rule? What type of options would you have when your choices are limited and you lose your faith in mankind? Would you work together as a team or would you fight with one another? What type of leader would you follow? What limits would affect your actions and your leader’s ones? What would you consider a necessary evil or a good action? How does fear influence those situations? The book, The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding starts at the beginning of an unnamed war. A group of English schoolboys, ages six to 12, are being evacuated from their homes when their plane is shot down and crashes on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. From that moment on, the boys need to take all kind of decisions. One of the older boys, Ralph, takes control of the situation trying to organize the boys into a kind of productive, democratic society. Anyone can speak his mind and help the group come to a decision, as long as he's holding the conch, a large white seashell. Ralph symbolizes a civilized society. While Ralph is that, the other leader Jack symbolizes violence and anarchy. This book symbolizes today’s society, where they discover that power can justify any action they take, now matter how cruel it might be, causing disagreement amongst their civilization. The actions and decisions they take will define the way they all live.
Since the first chapters Ralph tries to organize the boys into a kind of productive, democratic society. In their first meeting, when they are establishing the rules that should be followed, Jack brings up the punishment topic. Immediately Ralph makes sure to stop his intentions. "We will have rules! he cried excitedly. Lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks' em-" (33). With just a couple of words, Jack has brought up a controversy between effectiveness versus humanity. Our society balances both of those, trying to get something that can maintain the stability of a civilization while at the same time comforting human rights. Jack believes that being effective is much more important that being humane.
This moment can be related to a famous speech given by Francisco Franco, the first and last Spanish dictator, to all the communist who lost the Spanish civil war and were supposed to surrender and repent. In his speech, he revealed all his power as a dictator with just a couple words, "And those who don't follow as I say will be crashed as worms." Rules are something that should be followed because they support and bring cohesion to society. Just as it is not rational to milk a cow till it gives its last drop of milk, rules should be treated with respect, not because someone is dictating you to do so. William Golding depicts Jack as a dictator, representing the total opposite of what our Western society believes nowadays, where anyone can speak his mind and help the group to come to a decision. On the other side Jack, the leader of the savages, believes that as members of a primitive tribe, death and suffering are natural ways to survive and rule. Following his line of thought, if he is the most violent among the rest he is necessarily the leader to follow.
In the last few chapters Jack took over the whole island with his group of savages, breaking all the rules and agreements the boys had. One of his actions was to steal Piggy’s glasses to make a fire and cook the pig he had just killed. Piggy did not believe that that should be a way to behave. He later convinced his friend and former leader, Ralph, to discuss with him this unfairness. When they get there they had nothing to do, because Jack had an army that will kill for him. “They do what I want,” Jack states. “I am the chief” (179). Jack is also a particular sadist chief. “I don’t know. He didn’t say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up. He’s been” – he giggled excitedly – “tied for hours, waiting” (159), tells Robert about the orders of Jack and his submission to him. Power has corrupted Jack and has made him think that his actions are all necessary. This moment of the book can be related with the thoughts of Francisco Franco. As he once said, “I am only responsible for God and history”. In this quote Franco has also been corrupted by power and believes that as the supreme leader, he would only need to justify his actions in front of God and history books. Both of those quotes make the reader feel that no only power has corrupted their thoughts but also their need for more power. The more actions they take, the worst the next one will be. As temperature rises, their bad actions do too but without a clear result on what those would look like. It’s the fear of the unknown that keeps people scared, because they do not know what will would happen to them.
"It's the things that have crawled out of their own bones and their own veins, they don't know whether it's a beast from the sky, air, or where it's coming, but there is something terrible about it as the conditions of existence.” Said William Golding in a 1959 BBC radio interview describing the “beast” and its meaning. The Lord of the Flies, is literally the head of a pig that has been killed by Jack’s tribe and left as an offering to the island’s mysterious “beast.” What in Hebrew means Beelzebub, demon in English. In other terms, it symbolizes the “beast” that it’s inside in every good man. The boy’s belief in the beast is a tipping point in the boy's' journey from civilisation to base, primitive, human instinct. This is a good indication of the author’s purpose and a direct reference to the growing presence of evil in the characters and their transformation into unhuman beings. The good time was so short, and then human nature starts to assert itself, and their society descends into antagonism, hostility and violence. Only at the very end, we see the young kids back in the story when they are confronted by the presence of an adult- the navy in their rescue. Then is when we came to realize they were only 12 years old buy yet they behaved like the most cruel adults in the real world.
In conclusion, the abuse of power seen in the, Lord of the Flies, gives birth to an inside beast that is nothing more that themselves making them do cruel life decisions just to maintain that power or superiority between other people. The truth about this book and the real meaning that William Golding wants to represent, is to realize that when groups of people are clinging to life, the greatest threat may be not the environment, starvation or dehydration, but the other survivors standing next to them on a deserted town, beach, road, mountain.
Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.
"General Francisco Franco 'El Generalissimo'" General Francisco Franco – 'El Generalissimo' | Spain Dictator | Spanish-Living.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.spanish-living.com/general-franco
"BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Lord of the Flies." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p026bmlj
Http://feastcreative.com, Feast Creative |. "New Adventures." New Adventures. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://new-adventures.net/rebourne/bbc-breakfast-interview--lord-of-the-flies
"La mejor entrevista a Franco." La mejor entrevista a Franco. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.generalisimofranco.com/franco/00H.HTM
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