In the book I’m reading, Belle’s Song, it’s set in fourteenth-century England during medieval times. Since the setting is set during medieval times, and that our main character is a girl who likes to read books, the reader can already assume what life was like and what was society’s views were. The setting is important to this story because it’s revolved around medieval times and an unreliable king, which is part of the conflict that Belle’s facing. She also faces prejudice since she’s a girl who’s sharp-tongued and likes to read books. For example, Belle was retelling the worst story she’s ever heard with her friend Walter, while they were riding their horses to Canterbury. While Belle was retelling her story, a cleric behind the two was shocked at how Belle was behaving and whipped her horse, which caused the horse to go berzerk and out of control. Another example was when at the beginning of the story, Belle met a guy who wanted to know the cause of her father’s accident, and in return, she would get silks and ribbons. She answered the guy saying it was her fault and that she would rather have pens and quills than silks and ribbons. He was disgusted and trotted away from her. Another reason why the setting is important is that it introduces us to characters, and in this case, it introduces us to the antagonist of this story, which is Summoner Seekum, who uses Belle in order to find out what Master Chaucer is up to. Another reason why the setting was important to this story is that the King during the time of the book was set was King Richard II of England. During that time there was a rebellion going on against the king, and this reveals one of our characters, Master Chaucer since the summoner thinks that the only reason Master Chaucer was making a pilgrimage to Canterbury was that he was working under the king as some sort of spy, even though he was just going to Canterbury to pray for his wife who was ill. It also reveals that Master Chaucer has been taking private missions in royal services just so he can just live life how it is and doesn’t get all caught up on the rebellion, even though he doesn’t support the king.
The book that I’m reading doesn’t really utilize humor. The only time it does is when the protagonist, Belle, is sarcastic or makes a snarky yet humorous remark, or when Belle is interacting with a character and they’re both talking about another character. For example, the scene where Belle and Master Chaucer, a famous writer, talk about Summoner Seekum, a poet-writer. Master Chaucer was talking about how Summoner Seekum was laughed at by the King as stated, “I think it would also be dishonest not to say that the king laughed with me but at our friend, whose performance, if I remember correctly —and I do— he compared to the brayings of an ass.” To give some context, Belle was talking about how the Summoner is a toad and would sell anybody’s secrets, and Master Chaucer said that the king laughed at his writing, calling it the brayings of an ass. Then Luke, Master Chaucer’s apprentice, made fun of the Summoner’s hat by calling it asslike. Another example of humor that the writer implicated is that on the topic of hats, Belle made fun of Pardoner Bernard hat by saying, ” He’s warbling away, so dignified and holy. Yet by sewing that enormous bulgy thing on the top of that quite fetching little cap, he’s turned himself into a clown.” And Luke replied, “It’s supposed to be St. Edmund’s knucklebone.”
I believe that this chapter has some humorous jokes here and there, and also knows when to implicate humor at the right time, but what I would also think that would make this chapter a bit funnier and dark is when the scene about Walter asking Belle why she decided to join the pilgrimage to Canterbury, the reason why Belle joined the pilgrimage is to pray for her father to walk again, and to have Walter reply something along the lines of having her father walk to Canterbury himself. This would be humorous because obviously Belle’s father can’t walk and would also be a shock because Walter’s character is supposed to be sweet, charming, and caring so hearing him saying something like that would be very unexpected.
The first character that the author reveals is Belle, the protagonist. The author reveals the protagonist mostly through her thoughts and emotions. The first thought that she introduces us with is her talking about a tragedy, which is the tragedy that she went through. From what the reader can gather, she is pessimistic, depressed, careless, and sharp-tongued. The reader can tell she is pessimistic because of the way she acts and behaves around people. For example, she threw six rotten eggs through the window at the inn next door wondering how dare those people can be so happy during Christmas. She also talks about why God chose her out of all people to suffer through this. Belle is also depressed because of the situation that she is in and uses pumice to inflict self-harm on her legs, as stated: ” every time my flesh tore, part of me was horrified, but a greater part rejoiced in the ugliness and the pain because it obliterated everything else.”
The second character that the author reveals is Belle’s father. His role in the story leads up to the main conflict. The reason why is because his disability to walk makes Belle decide to join the pilgrimage to Canterbury, and she hopes for a miracle to happen, that her father will walk again. He is introduced by Belle’s thoughts when she is talking about how her father changed from a cheerful man to a depressed old geezer after his legs were crushed. Belle would talk about how he would sarcastically joke around with her before the incident and after the incident, he would curse at her saying that everything was her fault. For example, he would get mad at her for not cleaning the house or can’t cook properly as a lady should. Belle also mentions that her father used to be outgoing, but later on her father was completely silent when she’s not home. And instead of Belle taking care of the housework, the widow, who appointed herself as Belle’s father’s nurse, took care of those kinds of stuff because the widow thought that it would make Belle feel better.
“He couldn’t stop making funny remarks to save his life. You couldn’t shut up that guy; he always had to get his two bits worth in.”
Two-Bit is the clown of the gang who never failed to make someone laugh. He always have a smart comment to say and talks non-stop, even with the police. He is often being teased for not having a job. He thinks everything is irresistibly funny and is known for stealing. And it’s sometimes hard to tell whether he’s drunk or not.
“I never noticed colors or clouds and stuff until you kept reminding me about them. It seems like they were never there before.”
Johnny is a shy and fragile kid whose parents would beat him up and would sometimes have thoughts on committing suicide. He and Ponyboy have a lot in common and don’t think about fights and rumbles. When Ponyboy and Johnny ran away, Johnny has become more aware of nature’s beauty and it’s a major awakening for him. It also has strengthen their friendship, before Johnny passed away. It’s heartbroken that Johnny didn’t get to witness more of nature’s beauty.
“Sometimes I don’t use my head. It drives my brother Darry nuts when I do stuff like that, cause I’m supposed to be smart; I make good grades and have a high IQ and everything, but I don’t use my head.”
Ponyboy is the youngest of the Curtis brothers and the gang. Ponyboy is often accused by his older brother Darry for not using his head and is fairly quiet around people. He likes to be alone when doing activities and says that it’s uncomfortable when people are around him. He has a dreamlike imaginative personality that separates him from the gang. All the people around him understand that Pony is just the dreamer type that likes to relax and just watch a sunset sometimes.
“He was dead before he hit the ground. But I knew that was what he wanted, even as the lot echoed with the cracks of the shots, even as I begged silently–Please not him…I knew he would be dead because Dallas Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted.”
Dally is violent and impulsive. He was hardened from a tough upbringing and spent three years on the wild side of New York and was arrested at the young age of ten. After Johnny died, Dally was in a mental breakdown. He didn’t have the will to live anymore and was pushed to the edge. Dally would always act tough and didn’t care about anybody but yet he cared about Johnny. Dally knew if he pulled out his gun in front of the police he would get himself shot and that’s what he wanted.
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