So far I’ve been liking Huck Finn, from telling seniors that we’ve finally started reading the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and receiving groans, laughs, or any negative reaction, I was a little skeptical if I was going to be a fan of this book. Although we’re just in the very early chapters, I’m fairly enjoying the book. Huck’s story is for sure an interesting one, and it doesn’t seem so cliche or predictable. He already is on an adventure from the start, maybe not the most delightful, adventure seeking experience, but it’s all apart of Huck’s story. I’m surprised that I’ve liked this book from the start due to more books that we read in school I dread, and I could fall asleep reading. Even though the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was written way back in 1883, it truly is a timeless story. Something I like that I didn’t think I would is that the story is written colloquially. Most words are spelled a little wonky, but whenever I read the book silently to myself I get to read it from Huck’s point of view in this kind of country accent that I think he has. I also enjoy that the story is written in first person point of view, with that being said I am very fond of when Huck breaks the fourth wall. I just think that’s neat because of how long ago the book was written. If there was something I would say that I’m not a fan of, it’d for sure be Pap Finn. Mark Twain has done a great job of building this character that is so easy to dislike. Everything about Pap grinds my gears, and I wish that Huck would have shot him, but it shows that Huck has a heart which draws my liking to Huck’s character more and more.
Before diving into Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” I was very skeptical on how I felt toward dissecting the poem. Not going to lie, I was very confused when we first read the poem. It took more than just a couple of times to fully understand what was I reading. I was still learning more and more about the poem as my group was presenting. All in all, taking it line by line, it was much easier to understand the meaning behind Whitman’s words. I was very fond of the poem, although it was a struggle to decipher. I enjoyed how even though the poem was written awhile ago, it is still timeless. It still is applicable to today’s day and age. As you can tell, Whitman is trying to influence those who read “Song of Myself” to become more unified, and generally better society. Other than my own sections, I was drawn to section three. Section three of the poem goes into to detail of the good and bad in the world, and it is supposed to be an eye-opener to readers saying how we are all apart of the same world, even though the world is home to so many different ideas. Since we are all apart of the same world, we are all equal. No one is higher or lower than another, and that’s a great lesson especially in today’s society having people in power and in control. The lesson of all of us being equal is what I took away from section three. I don’t really have any questions or remarks due to our class discussion, but I did enjoy this very long poem overall. At least I can say I’ve read one of America’s most classic and influential poems.
I have always been a fan of psychological thrillers, knowing that we were going to watch one for ourselves in class was in a way relieving. This was an assignment I for sure was more appealed to than the others. So far Vertigo has been an okay film. I have very high expectations for it, and personally, it started out kind of slow. You have to be very tentative during the film, there are lots of things to pick up on. There are lots of symbols, allusions, foreshadowing. Things that typically you wouldn’t consider a big detail in the film is. I understand that the film was made way back when, but I wasn’t a fan of how females were so dependent on males. We’ve come along way in today’s society when it comes to women being independent, but I really did not like the way females were portrayed in the film. Other than that I really enjoy the story of the film, halfway through it seems pretty cliche. You have the spy that retired, and he ends up following a girl in a case that he’s assigned, but he falls in love with her. How cliche can you get? But knowing that this is an Alfred Hitchcock movie, there is nothing cliche about that. Even though so far it’s a cliche storyline, it’s something I’m drawn to. I like how Alfred Hitchcock can let you connect to the characters by drawing the story out hence why I said how the film started out slow. Through the main character’s backstory, we can really understand the way he thinks and his thoughts unlike some of the other characters. Finally, another thing I would say I’m a fan of would be the videography in the film. The editing and the cool effects really tie the film in all together. All in all, I’m really enjoying the film so far and my critique of it would be very positive.
Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was a short story that I was fairly fond of. Not only did it have a message of showing how high society thinks and acts and thinks towards those who aren’t as wealthy, but it was a funny story as well. Since the story was written in colloquial, the reader could really grasp how it was written in first person point of view. Twain is making fun of the anonymous narrator who comes off as the most intelligent person in the story. Surprisingly the person that the narrator who comes off as dumb is the smartest person in the story. The narrator treats Simon Wheeler fairly differently, and “dumbs” it down for him. This drives Twain’s point for the story of how high society treats others differently.
My first impression of Huck Finn was how I was gravitated towards how Mark Twain included himself, as the author, from Huck’s point of view. You don’t really see that in a story, so reading that was something different, but different in a good way. I think Huck Finn is going to be about a story of adventure due to Huck and his uncivilized ways, with someone trying to change that, he only sticks it out for his friend Tom Sawyer. If Huck stays with Widow Douglas than he’ll be able to join Tom again.
I honestly had no idea that the word satire existed until we started this unit, but I’ve always known what the idea of satire was. My favorite types of shows include numerous examples of satire. There’s The Office, SNL, Bob’s Burgers, and the list goes on and on. There are many types of humor, but the type of humor that I’m fond of most would for sure be satirical humor. I may not necessarily use this type of humor, but witnessing it really gets me laughing. A good example of satirical humor would be an episode of Saturday Night Live. There are constant skits about social issues going on, and there is always a funny spin on them. They are pretty indirect, and it isn’t hard to pick up what is going on. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so it’s a win-win for me.
I don’t really know that much about Mark Twain besides that he wrote iconic stories such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” After doing some light research on Mark Twain, I learned that he’s scamming us and his real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. I don’t blame him wanting to have the pen name Mark Twain instead of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, but something intriguing I found was that Samuel was born two months premature, and wasn’t suspected to live. He remained ill until he was around seven years old. It’s interesting to know that he was expected to not live the life he lived.
I can’t fully agree or disagree with the statement “the government is best which governs least.” I disagree in the sense that the government is here to keep the people in control by laws, and not letting everyone do whatever they may please. On the other hand I agree with it in the sense that the government can be in too much control, and try to run the lives of others. The government can try to influence others beliefs based on theirs instead of what is beneficial for the people. The kind of government that commands my respect is the kind that respects everyone, not a government that is trying to perfect the way of living. We are human, and nothing is going to be perfect nor close to it. Civil disobedience makes a difference in a way that people approach protest. It has allowed protests to become more effective in them resulting in being more peaceful. Allowing that gives the protester the higher position.
Reading “Walden” by Thoreau was a whole lot easier than reading “The Divinity School Address.” Giving my brain a break, and reading through Walden was good. Although Emerson and Thoreau are different. One, being all talk and saying how we should live our lives than not doing it. While the other is actually doing what they preach, both thoughts have the same connection with nature throughout. The thought of we is a part of nature nor greater nor smaller. The main idea of the first portion of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” was where are you living? Where are you spending your time to find yourself? Thoreau goes to Walden and spends two years of his life there. Then throughout the conclusion, we see what Thoreau gains from that experience. You could benefit a lot by leaving society to and live in the woods. Even doing that temporarily you can benefit from that. You can find out who you truly are. Who you are when others are not around. Typically people will paint a different persona on when there are others, but can you really be fake to yourself? Not only can you find yourself but you can learn to be thankful for what you have and using the resources that nature gives to you, hence simplifying your life. Thoreau learns how to simplify his life. It’s a word he couldn’t express enough. You can learn what your real necessities in life are. The biggest thing a reader should take out of the material we have read for Transcendentalism is again, we are apart of something so much bigger than ourselves.
My perspective for arguing has definitely taken a 180 and changed over the course of this unit. Having to debate really put me in the position of the proper way to argue. Seeing people who argue in the wrong way, and making a fool of themselves is something that I don’t want to do. If I took anything from this lesson, it’s to back everything up and know what you are arguing for. The way I argued has for sure changed. I would always ramble on and blurt out any little thought that popped into my head. I never really would think about what I would say, and what could be said against my argument. Even watching my peers argue was a game changer. Right after the constructive was read, you knew who did their research and who didn’t. One of my favorite debate’s was the debate of the legalization of marijuana. Alexa was very prepared and backed everything up, and It was entertaining watching her counter-argument try and argue back. It’s crazy to think that we argue every day, it’s a daily thing, yet little do I think of the proper way to argue when I do, but I do think highly of those who are lawyers or on a debate team. Having a proper argument is based more on just emotion and opinion. It’s all about backing up those opinions with facts and not using fallacies.
I was very intrigued when I first learned we were going to be learning about Transcendentalism. It was neat to see a concept based on the term “transcend.” Something that we can grow from or become a better version of ourselves. I also liked how we used can use analogies to make connections with everyday things that we already know to make a better understanding of something we don’t know. Using those analogies were a really big help when it came to reading the excerpts from “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” by Emerson. Reading both of those excerpts were very difficult, and I would constantly have to reread both excerpts numerous times again and again. Seeing the connection of Transcendentalism to everyday life was pretty cool as well. Something that I also was intrigued with was how the topic of nature was connected throughout both of the excerpts. Reading how we are apart of nature. Were not greater nor below it. Although understanding the excerpts was difficult, It didn’t change my interest in the topic of Transcendentalism. My stance on the belief that Transcendentalists that man is naturally good is something that I don’t agree with. I agree with the belief that man is naturally evil. According to religion, we were born out of sin, and not only going by religion people naturally have bad thoughts. People covet and are greedy, which is associated with being naturally evil. We need things such as laws to keep people in a civil matter. I can see how people argue for the belief that people are naturally good. People who aren’t considered religious can argue that we were born pure, and haven’t done anything wrong. It’s all necessarily based on what you believe in
Independent reading is a good skill to have, but do you think it’s a skill I have? No. If I had the motivation and time of day to read for my own enjoyment, then I don’t even know. I have to force myself to sit down and read so I can get the points for AR, but all in all, I support independent reading. Independent reading is a base for very important skills that people use in everyday life.
As a school, I feel like we are taking the right steps to encourage independent reading, We have a plethora of different books that accommodate to the diversity of different interests that the students of BHS have. BHS’s library is also a very comfy and cozy environment. Having to keep reminding students of the benefits our library has and being in the library more often should allow students to browse for much more than an AR book.
Going to the library and picking up a number of different books, I selected the book ‘Release’ by Patrick Ness. It is about a boy who is gay and is faced with the struggles of living with a very religious family. I was drawn to this more than the other books I looked through due to how this book can relate to a friend of mine. I could connect with this book because of that friend, and see how a book can depict her situation, I can receive a better understanding of what she is going through. After reading the first paragraph of “Release” we see that the protagonist, Sam, lives in a strict household. He is getting ready to be going to a going away party. Sam wants to escape this small town in Washington, and my expectations for this book are going to be his journey of leaving Frome, Washington. My initial reaction to the first chapter of “release” was how relatable it was. Being a teenager and living with strict parents was pretty relatable.