Blog 29: Citizen Loman and the American Dream

I thought that watching these two works would be a lot of fun because I really enjoy watching films. However, I actually did not enjoy these movies as much as I thought I would. While I didn’t really like the films, I still think that they showed interesting and different perspectives on the American Dream. Citizen Kane and Death of a Salesman both show the concept of the “American Dream” as well as doing so in completely different manners. Charles Foster Kane attempted his version of the “American Dream” by trying to own a business and be successful financially. He came about doing this the wrong way though. He created a newspaper that told stories that were far from the truth of what was actually going on. Unfortunately newspapers sold and he became very wealthy because of it. Even though he knew the newspapers were extremely falsified. Kane might have came about doing it the wrong way but he definitely made a very good living off it. I think viewers are supposed to take away that it is not the end goal of having money (American Dream) that is worth it, it is the journey of working hard that makes you happy. Just like every valedictorian graduation speech says, “Focus on the journey, not the destination!” This is supported by the simple fact that Kane was unhappy when things were handed to him but happy when he was living in the moment (playing in the snow when he was young). I think this is a very important and valuable theme. Biff Loman comes to the realization that he was unhappy just doing what his father was doing to try and get wealthy. Biff feels trapped in Willy’s idea that he can only be successful by being a salesman. In the end, Willy, along with his bad idea of an American Dream, dies. I think this supports the idea that the viewers should take away the idea that it is the journey and people around you who are worth more than the destination. This is relevant in our society today, especially in high school. Sometimes, we get too caught up in the idea of going to college that we loose sight of the little things that go on in high school, just like Willy focused too much on getting rich that he lost everything around him.  After writing this blog, I learned that I liked these films a little bit more than I originally thought I did.

Blog 28: Kane (and Loman)

Overall I thought citizen Kane was  very confusing. I kept trying to figure out Charles Foster Kane but I kept finding myself getting more and more confused. Kane was greedy though he knew he was greedy and admitted to being so. I did not really like Charles as a person. He was almost two faced in the sense that he would say one thing and do/mean another. He forced his second wife to become a singer even though she knew she wasn’t good and so did everyone else. She did not want to sing but continued to do so because he forced her to. The reason I am guessing that this is voted one of the greatest films every produced is just because of the mystery throughout the film, which I will admit was pretty good. The mystery throughout the film was really the only thing that kept me going. Charles Kane in my opinion is a very complex man. He has a quote along the lines of, if i did not have so much money, maybe i would be a better man”. I think this has great meaning. A lot of times people who have a lot of money, translate to people that have a lot of power, and sadly people who THINK they have a lot of power, really push important people in their lives to the side, such as his first wife.  Leland is the most revealing flash back of Kane’s character. This is because it clears up the whole rose bud situation.

Blog 27: Imagism Reaction

 

 

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I think the poem that best represented the concept of imagism was The Dance by William Carlos Williams. I feel like the poem best represents these concepts because it follows the six rules of imagism. The concept of the poem, a joyful dance at a festival, is clear to see. The author is using snowflakes to compare to the people who are dancing around. The author has free range to write about whatever he’d like to, and he does so with writing about the snowflakes. The worst poem to represent the concepts of imagism was The Ivy Crown by William Carlos Williams. I think it was very repetitive with the images, so the imagery was repeated many times. There are also a few terms that are not in common language, including  jonquils and briars which repeated many times throughout the poem. There were a few rules that the poem followed , but it did not follow all six rules of imagism that were given to us. Even though it did not represent the concept of imagism the best, The Ivy Crown by William Carlos Williams is was the poem that I enjoyed reading the most out of the entire list given to us.   I think my favorite part about the whole thing was the overall message behind it.

Blog 24: Huck Finn

We finally finished! I think the novel as a whole was great. I actually liked it. It was way better than I expected. I thought it was going to be like every other boring novel we have read in high school. Thank god it wasn’t. The themes were honestly the best part. Especially, the theme of hypocrisy. We see people like these hypocrites in this novel in real life. They have all these good qualities and seem to be great people. They just have that one quality that is just off. It can be political views or even racial views. throughout the whole novel I found myself making connections to the different themes even without Mr. McGarry. The most reoccurring theme throughout the novel was definitely Southern Romanticism. There were also themes such as coming of age, racism, and many others. I honestly can’t compare this novel to anything I’ve ever read before. It’s so unique because it written so long ago and I thought it was cool to get to read about what it was like way back when. The last couple chapters were very unexpected and interesting. The end of the book creates a lot of emotion and reactions from the audience so for that reason I don’t think I would change anything. Even though this book was written a very long time ago, I think this novel is very relatable to today’s society. Racism is still a very big issue. Also maturity and the development of people throughout a period of time. Overall, I think we can still learn from this book today and apply some of the themes and lessons to our society

AR Book 2 Quarter 3

For my second book I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I really liked this book, and would totally recommend it to others! Also Rainbow Rowell probably has to be one of my favorite authors! So for the summary of the book, it starts out with Park who is a half-Korean growing up in Omaha, Nebraska. Park is a sixteen year old boy who struggles to fit in with others. He would prefer to read comics or listen to music than make new friends, and he is bullied from time to time by his peers. One day he looks up during his morning bus ride to school, to see that a large girl with red hair is trying to find a seat. He doesn’t want to make a target of himself by offering, but allows her to sit by him. In many ways, Eleanor is a target for bullies. She dresses in baggy, boys’ clothes and was large in stature, with red hair. When no one on the bus will let her sit beside them, Park lets her sit with him and a friendship slowly develops between the two. As their relationship blossoms, Eleanor and Park become increasingly distraught over lewd messages that are being left anonymously on Eleanor’s notebook. Over time, we learn that Park and Eleanor have very different lives: Park comes from a loving middle-class home, whereas Eleanor lives in an abusive household with her stepfather, Richie. Eleanor is not allowed to hang out with boys, so she tells her mom that she goes to hang out with a girl called Tina every day after school. In reality, she spends her evenings at Park’s house. They do their homework together, have dinner, and talk about their days. It becomes increasingly apparent that their relationship is blossoming into love. Park makes Eleanor to promise that she will call and write, but when Park returns to Omaha, Eleanor does not read his letters for several months. At the end of the book, Park seems to have moved on from Eleanor when he finally receives a postcard from her. The narrative does not say what the message is, but it does say that it consists of just three words: enough for it to possibly say “I love you.”

AR Book 1 Quarter 3

 

 

 

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So for my first book I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and overall it was actually a really good book! SO the book starts out pretty much like any other book! Cath is a freshman at college, and none too happy about it. Finding herself alone in the world for the first time, without her twin sister Wren by her side twenty-four hours a day, Cath lacks confidence and is terrified of new places, people and situations. Fearing even the simplest of new things, Cath eats protein bars alone in her room rather than find out where the dining hall is. The one bright spot in her college timetable is her Fiction Writing class. Normally reserved for upperclassmen, Cath has been awarded a place on it and is determined to shine. She is already a very successful writer of “fan fiction”, creating new stories and endings for the characters in the famous Simon Snow fantasy series. So Cath is a Simon Snow fan, but really the whole world is a fan of Simon. But Cath being a fan is basically her life, and she’s really freaking good at being a fan. Her and her twin sister, Wren started watching the Simon Snow series when they were only just little kids! It’s the only thing that got them through their mother leaving. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction and of course dressing up like Simon Snow. Cath’s sister has grown away from fandom, but Cath still can’t let go of Simon Snow. Cath is a freshman at college, and none too happy about it. Finding herself alone in the world for the first time, without her twin sister Wren by her side twenty-four hours a day, Cath lacks confidence and is terrified of new places, people and situations. Not only can’t she let go of Simon, she just doesn’t want to! Now that they are going to college, her sister Wren tells Cath that she doesn’t want to be Cath’s roommate. This then leaves Cath alone and completely outside of her comfort zone. Cath then finds a roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words … And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? I personally would recommend this book to others and would definitely read this book again!

Blog 21: Huck Finn Initial Impression

 

 

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Huck Finn, to me, is a surprisingly interesting novel / book to read in general. When Mr. McGarry said we were going to read Huck Finn, I thought it was going to be the most dreadful thing we were going to do in class all this year. In just the first couple chapters of the book, Mark Twain pulled me into the great adventures of one boy named Huckleberry Finn. I do like how in detail the characters, they have certain things about them that either make me like them or not like them. Like Jim I like Jim because of how he is just trying to survive, but I don’t like Tom. I think Tom is an awful character and person. He is just a kid and already trying to steal things and kill people along with their families. Now we are on chapter 14 and I am really in to this story. The way it I going so far Twain does a really good job on describing and creating a good story and always can keep you on the edge of your seat for what might happen next. I am really excited to continue to read the story and go on with the book and finish it because it is a very well written book!

Blog 19: Satire

My experience with satire was actually a good one and satire was pretty interesting. . I enjoy sarcastic humor, It can actually funny at times because of how sarcastic they can be, I think sarcastic humor is the most clever humor. It makes you think but also can make you laugh. I mostly like SNL humor the most. I can literally die laughing to the point that I cry at SNL. The things they come up with is just great and so intelligent. The actors are so good and the directors and writers know what they are doing and execute it perfectly. I’ve heard about Mark Twain before, I’ve heard about him when he was referenced in books that I have read, and also heard about him in The Top 100 Most Influential People documentary I watched a while ago. After I looked up Twain, I found some interesting quotes that I liked from him. Mark Twain did not get much education after he was 17 years old because he had to get a job. He had about 28 books published and a couple collections of short stories. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is obviously his most famous books. In 2010, the book was up to 50 million books sold. His style of writing is described as “knowing a realism of place and language, memorable characters, and a hatred for hypocrisy and oppression. So that’s what I know about Mark Twain and my experience with satire….

Blog 18:Vertigo Reaction

Last week we watched the 1950’s film Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The movie was a psychological thriller about a retired detective who has been hired by an old friend to follow his wife around. I actually really liked the movie from what I saw (I was sick and missed the first 40 minutes).  I liked how this movie really messed with your mind and made you think and put the pieces together. Although I really liked this movie, I absolutely hated the ending. Judy gets scared by a nun and then falls out of the tower window? Like really! That’s so stupid, Scottie should have jumped after her then it would be at least a little more interesting. I liked how throughout the film there was always a new twist and was a completely new storyline. My most favorite thing out of the whole entire film was the plot twists. I usually like plot twists but these were just terrible. I knew that Scottie was going to tell Madeline that he loved her as soon as they were together, there was no doubt in my mind that it would happen. The kissing was even worse, I cringed so many times throughout this movie. The plot twists were very predictable because I knew when Scottie first saw Madeleine and was following her to help out Gavin that he was in love with her. The biggest plot twist I felt was when you saw Judy writing her confession and everything was revealed… Overall I would probably watch this movie again!

AR Book 2 Quarter 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Little Pieces begins with the narrator starting out the story. James wakes up on an airplane dazed and confused. He has a hole in his check, 4 broken teeth and a broken nose. He then finds out he is on his way to Chicago and he got on plane by a doctor and two unidentified men. James then meets his parents who are from Tokyo and when they see his condition, they immediately take him to the family cabin. They then check him into a rehab facility in Minnesota, and during his first few days aren’t very good for James. James’s parents come for a Family Program and he finds out so things he didn’t want too. For example when he was little his parents left an ear infection untreated that caused him to yell and scream. James also found out that his grandfather had a drinking problem, so that makes his parents think all these things made him become of his addiction. Continuing his quest to accept responsibility for his own life James then faces the criminal charges against him in Ohio. He believes that he will have to be in jail for three years, but the sentence is reduced to only three months. James believes that his friend and roommate helped reduce his sentence, but this was never confirmed. James completes his program and prepares to leave the clinic. Before he does, he arranges for Lilly’s program.  This admission triggers a release in James, and he knows he is ready to leave. James’s brother and a friend pick him up at the clinic, and he immediately asks them to go to a bar. His brother and friend are stunned but give in to James’s request. At the bar James has Bob give him forty dollars and orders an entire pint glass full of whiskey. After looking at the glass and smelling the whiskey, James asks the bartender to pour it down the drain. I didn’t like this book at all, I couldn’t really get into it. I thought that by the cover it was going to be a really good book but I didn’t like it all… Don’t read this book! I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone at all!