Since we have been studying poetry, I have learned a lot about how poems are formed and how authors use certain strategies to convey a particular meaning to the reader. This has helped me understand the recent poems we have read in class and allowed me to analyze the meaning and events that occurred in the poetry. So far, I have liked the selections we have read in class and I do not feel that they were all that awful to read. I feel like the reason for this is that I found the connection that they were really just stories; they were not all sappy love poems or weird poems that are also very hard to understand. The stories they told still included many of the same elements of a short story. They had characters, setting, a plot line, theme, imagery, symbols, similes, metaphors, personification, etc. with added rhyme and scansion. Poems tell their own story to a certain beat or pattern.
On the current selection “Eldorado” by Edgar Allen Poe, I feel that it is an interesting poem with complex ways of telling the story of the bold knight that longed for a luxurious life of wealth and glory. As time past and the knight aged, he continuously came up short on his quest to find the hidden land of Eldorado. This piece has a lot going on throughout but once you figure out the meaning and the events that are occurring, it is a cool poem that is fun to decipher.
A poem that I first disliked was “The Death of a Toad” by Richard Wilbur. I felt this way because of the random and gory demeanor of the selection. Though I found that after reading it a few times, I came to like it better and understood the random but kind of funny plot line about the in-depth description of the toad’s last day of life. Although I found that not all poems are terrible to read, my take on poetry has not changed all that much. I still don’t love reading them and find the nature of them boring, but I guess this unit wasn’t too bad after all.
The difference between my first initial concept for my short story to my current short story is very different. The main difference would probably be the way Josiah acted. I switched his lifestyle a little bit and instead of having him be a cannibal, I changed the six-word short story title of “Kirby had never eaten toes before” to his dog eating the toes rather than Josiah. I made his dog’s name Kirby because I felt that Kirby did not fit the character of the serial killer I was trying to portray. Another aspect that changed would be instead of killing so many people and storing them inside of his basement, he only kills the amount he feels he needs to in order to feel ready enough to execute his big plan.
My thoughts on my story are that it is an interesting mystery murder story that describes a very realistic scenario that could definitely happen in real life. I feel that the things Josiah was put through as a child helps give the reader more sympathy towards his mental illness, but Josiah went a little too far and should have let his emotions out a different way rather than killing people. Although I feel my story has a meaningful concept, I think that the ending of my story could have been a little bit different rather than Josiah getting caught by the police so quickly. It would have been more interesting to have him commit a few more crimes during his mental breakdown.
The reading we have done in class along with my independent reading book have both helped me develop my storyline by showing me how to write in detail about the characters and the setting. Those readings also helped me be more creative throughout my writing process by thinking of a bullet made out of ice so that the police could not track or have evidence on the gun or the gunman. Overall, I am pretty happy with my story.
In my story Pop by Gordon Korman conflict is an element found that I think can be used to inspire the writing of my short story. There are many conflicts within this novel; the major conflict being between Troy and Marcus as they both rival for the quarterback position. Troy is the starter but Marcus thinks he can beat him out, so he does anything he can to prove his worth. The trouble is Troy tries to sabotage his every move. At the beginning of the story, Troy has his teammates purposely drop passes and run the wrong routes all in hopes of making Marcus look bad. Although it initially made Marcus look bad, their coach figured out Troy’s mischievous plan to deface Marcus’s reputation. This conflict continues throughout the plot.
Another conflict between these two characters is that Troy’s ex-girlfriend has taken an interest in Marcus. This doesn’t go over well with Troy who becomes extremely jealous. He begins watching the new couple from a distance and takes on a new vengeance against Marcus which only intensifies their rivalry throughout the story.
This kind of tension or conflict will help allow the reader to create a stronger connection with my developing story which involves a very disturbed character who goes out on a killing spree brought about by jealousy. Many murders will occur with a touch of cannibalism creating interesting aspects of conflict within my story. The protagonist of the story will be pushed to new limits by the antagonist due to their completely opposite lifestyles and personalities. These clashing character traits will help create the right amount of conflict within my story.
Conflict is the perfect element to enhance my story being that it is the main factor in most murder cases. Conflict is the driving force for most instances. Detectives always look for enemies first in dealing with this kind of situation. Conflict is the root of all evil!
In my story “POP” by Gordon Korman, the setting influences the story in many ways. Throughout the story, the characters fluctuate from place to place but have been mainly in or around the same areas so far. The main place they have been in is the typical high school setting; this would include the school building, sports fields, locker rooms, hallways, and parking lots. Another setting that is very prevalent in this story is the community park. These areas are the main focus of the story and the main character Marcus Jordan and his friends/ teammates hang around here the majority of the time.
As you can tell by the title and cover of the story, this book is about football. So it would be common sense to think that most of the story is somewhere football related. This is true because most of the story is on the football field, where Marcus is practicing with his teammates for the varsity team, but the other heavily used place is the community park. The park is the place where Marcus gets in his extra practice with his “personal trainer”/friend, Charlie Popovich. They practice here every day and work on skills together so Marcus can improve upon his quarterbacking skills. His goal is still to make the varsity team.
The next important element of the setting that helps the story flow is the use of the high school building and the team locker room. These major locations influence the story by giving the reader a mental picture of the typical high school athletic complex complete with the basic relatable stereotypical scenery one would expect to find in a football story. It allows the reader to obtain a connection with the characters and draws them into the plotline.
I easily relate to this story because I was in a similar position that Marcus is currently in wanting to earn a varsity spot on the team. I also relate to the setting descriptions as I am a current football player who practices daily on the football field and utilizes very similar daily routines, team equipment, and drill and practice procedures. The author clearly has a good base of football knowledge and makes good use of the scenes he creates making the novel very believable.
Currently in my book POP by Gordan Korman, the humor rate is very low. This is more of a based on a real-life experience type of book; the events are relative to a high school setting. So far I’ve noticed the author using humor to make fun of the main character, Marcus Jordan. Korman uses the other players on the team, Marcus’s crush, and Marcus’s older friend Charlie to make jokes and say things about Marcus. The kids on the team make fun of Marcus about his Junior Varsity record because no one cares about JV. They say that JV doesn’t matter. I have seen this happen in real life sports teams and feel that what they find humorous is a common thing throughout high school sports. Some kids find humor in being mean. Another thing the author uses to convey humor is the relationship between Troy (the quarterback) and Marcus’s crush. He uses people’s comments to make fun of their very on and off relationship which I find to be funny while reading. They say that you can measure their amount of breakups a day on a watch which I find funny because this seems to be how most high school relationships tend to be.
Moving onto a place where humor should be inserted into my book. As of now, I feel that humor should be placed in a spot where there isn’t much happening like when Marcus is just sitting in the park waiting for Charlie to show up for their little makeshift practice type thing. The author could add something to make this part of the book a little more interesting instead of just stating that he is sitting there bored out of his mind waiting to see when Charlie will show up in the first place. An idea I have is that Marcus sees Troy, who thinks he is big stuff, getting rejected by a group of girls. This would show humor because it would show the hotshot being shut down and publicly humiliated. I would find an event like this funny as the reader because the cocky jerk gets a taste of his own medicine.
In my story Pop the author reveals the main character, Marcus Jordan, in multiple ways. You first meet Marcus while he is on a field practicing football by himself. This shows that Marcus is a determined person who wants to be the best he can be at whatever he is doing. Another trait the author uses to portray Marcus is his boldness and ability to stay strong and fight for what he wants to achieve. This is a trait conveyed through a conversation with a player already on the team and the football coach: the player was acting very cocky and trying to beat Marcus down and discourage him from trying out for the team. This then alarmed the coach who came over to see what was happening; the coach asked Marcus what was up and Marcus told him he would like to try out for the team. Coach asked what position and the experience Marcus had playing football. Marcus explained himself and told the coach all of his best qualities and that he had set a junior varsity record for the state at his old school playing quarterback. Coach said he sounded like a very skilled player and would like to see what he could do on the field, but then said he would try to set him up with the junior varsity team next week. This is where Marcus’s boldness was shown; he didn’t like being just overlooked due to the older players being in positions currently. So he spoke up and basically asked the coach why couldn’t he get a shot at varsity if he was better than the varsity quarterback. Saying he shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to show himself. The coach liked his initiative and had him suit up for tryouts. The older players did not like this; they didn’t feel that the new guy should just be able to come and just be a part of the team automatically. This is where the author shows another character trait about Marcus; the older kids decided to sabotage Marcus’s tryout and make him look bad. They dropped every pass, underran routes so it looked like he’d overthrown them. Throughout all of this Marcus stayed cool; he didn’t freak out due to the lack of effort and blatant sabotage. He kept his cool which shows he is a cool-tempered human who can keep his composure when things start to fall apart. As you can see this is a very messed up thing to do, but the coach could tell the other players weren’t giving their full effort, so he allowed Marcus to be on the team but said that due to him being new he would have to work his way up to the top. Marcus was fine with everything the coach had to say.
The book that I am currently reading is called Pop by Gordon Korman. I decided to read this book because it is currently football season and to me, it sounds like the perfect time to read this story. Also, I personally like reading sports novels because I feel like I can connect with them since I play multiple sports throughout the school year (football, basketball, and baseball). So far the book is based on a high school setting with a motivated young kid name Marcus practicing on his own and wanting to try out for the football team. Although, since the football team was very successful and went undefeated last season, the players on the team do not feel that they need any new additions to the roster. From what I have read so far, I think that this book will be a very interesting and inspirational read. The main character Marcus shows up to tryouts even though the odds are most likely against him. He still wants to try to showcase his talents and give it a shot against the cocky players that are already on the team. His chances seem slim because the team only lost four players from the last season and the team already had good backup players that will most likely take over the starting positions this year. That does not stop Marcus from trying his best and giving his all. My initial thoughts on the main character thus far are that he is a hardworking person who knows what he wants and will try and try again until he gets what he believes he deserves even when the whole world seems against him. I personally think that these self-motivating traits will allow him to become successful and he will make the team. I also believe that he will prove the cocky upperclassmen wrong and they will gain respect for him. I am anxious to continue reading and see what happens with Marcus as he tries to obtain his goal of making the varsity football team. Will he do it? What will it cost him?
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