Blog #7 “I’m like King Midas in Reverse Here”

My impression of poetry is slightly increasing. It is still one of my least favorite English topics, and I would much rather read short stories. I will not complain though, I find understanding poetry an important subject. Some of the poems we read in class include Eldorado and the march of the dead. The March of the Dead by Robert Service was the poem I chose for my poetry search. I enjoyed both of these poems, I really liked the setting of both of them. The one written about a conquistador and the other written about a war veteran. Poems with these themes, kind of historical, are interesting to me. They make them easy to read, I almost want to say I enjoy it, but I would never admit that.  On the other hand, I hate poems about nature. Robert Frost is a big no-no. His poems are like nails on chalkboard to me. Painful to read. Part of the reason I hate poetry. In middle school, we were forced to read these types of poems essentially ruining everything. Day after day, we would crank these terrible poems out. It was like prison, forever leaving a sour taste of English classes in my mouth.

All in all, poetry is still terrible. The gaping scar middle school left on me will take years to heal, maybe someday in college, I will come to fully appreciate poetry. The damage is slowly being healed though, reader poems I enjoy will only help. Poems such as Eldorado and The March of The Dead, are great examples because their setting and themes interest me. I hope in the future of this class we can do more poems like these. Maybe but doing progressively harder poems, I’ll become more interested in nature poems because ill actually be able to understand them. That is all pure conjecture of course/ I would never admit to enjoying poetry. I will put the effort in to complete my assignments, grades are more important than refusing to do poetry because I dislike it.

 

This picture of Homer Simpson working at the nuclear plant is me when I try to interpret poetry.

Blog #6 “I Don’t Like Tardiness”

My short story has progressed throughout the story making process. In fact, my current draft is far from my original story. The six word short story I chose was, “Goodbye mission control. Thanks for trying.” I originally was going to write the story about an astronaut who goes rogue on a mission and explores the galaxy instead. The whole thing was supposed to be a giant piece of science fiction. My story then moved to: what if the whole thing was a dream? What if this whole climactic story through space, ended with a little boy waking up to go to school. Just a dream about space and adventure. Although I enjoyed this idea, I wanted a more serious tone. With that, my mind wandered to the obvious answer, the soviet space program! My new story would be the same story about the rogue astronaut, but the young boy would wake up in Soviet Russia. His whole dream about escaping, with ground control being a symbol of his oppressive government. This also didn’t make sense to me. People in Soviet Russia idolized their government, they didn’t know about the “free world.” With that, I finally had the perfect idea (in my mind). The story would be about a cosmonaut (Russian astronaut) who saves the world from a giant meteor. The boy wakes up and sees a propaganda poster for the Soviet space program. The whole story is about how the boy aspires to do something great for his country (such as save the world).

Although my story is still a draft, I find my plot to be “good.” I do however want to make some changes to the dialogue, and the way the story is written. I don’t find myself writing like my independent reading book. I don’t like the writing style of that story. As for the Devil and Tom Walker, I would like to incorporate more symbolism into my story.

All in all, making changes to a short story during the drafting process, helps make a better story.

Just some Soviet Propaganda for reference.

Blog #5 “He was a proud Italian explorer! End of story.”

Imitation plays a larger role in story telling than one can imagine. With millions of books published, its hard for authors to not somehow imitate another work. Imitation is probably the most present in themes of stories, as it is difficult for authors to keep creating new ideas. Imitation can often be found in characters and plot as well.  Being used by authors to add more to their stories.  The book I’m reading, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, features a theme of: self sacrifice is sometimes necessary for the greater good. I really enjoy this idea and I would like to incorporate it in my story. The reason I don’t want to imitate characters from my book is because I dislike how the characters are presented, they seem very stock and unoriginal. Also character development from my story seems stale and very predictable. I’m sorry for ranting about my book, but I don’t find it to be good literature (almost done with it). I don’t mind the diction used by the author (mainly because she is a writer and has a better understanding of writing than I do), so I might imitate some of that style into my story. The author’s style of dictation includes a fair amount of dialogue, and I find that to be important in explaining my story.

The way I will incorporate the theme into my story is by altering the plot a little bit. Maybe instead of the cosmonaut going rogue, he sacrifices himself to destroy an asteroid in space and save earth. In fact, I like this idea more because it fits with the end of the story. The cosmonaut gives his life destroying the asteroid. The child immediately wakes from his dream in 1980s soviet Russia. His dream of saving the world was beat into by communist propaganda. “The mighty cosmonaut,” a staple of communistic propaganda.

 

Reminded me of the ideas inscribed in to the people of Soviet Russia, telling them to die for their country.

Blog 4 “You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this”

Setting plays an important role in “The Devil and Tom Walker” because it gives us a better understanding of the time period and beliefs of the story.  Believe it or not, the setting uses a milieu of 1700s Puritan society. A time where corrupt people would use religion to punish or kill people they didn’t like. The Salem Witch trials is a good example of this, people burned at the stake because they were “witches.” In reality they were disliked for not properly fitting into society. Many examples to back up this milieu in the story include: The location and time of the story, Boston area in the 1700s, the peak time and place of Puritan society. The use of words from that time, such as Old Scratch or termagant. Ect…

As for how characters are introduced into the story through setting, the introduction of the Devil is a great example. When Tom enters the dark and gloomy swamp, he stumbles upon a skull in the ground and then the devil emerges from the shadows. The setting of a big dark and gloomy swamp is the perfect place for the Devil to be introduced. The Devil is often thought as a dark and gloomy character, one who brings bad things.  The swamp is something that is portrayed as a bad thing. The author even says this when Tom takes the short cut through it. Setting is also used to portray the high ranking members of the Puritan society. The big swamp trees, symbols of power, are rotten at their core, dying. They have the names of great members of the nearby town inscribed on them, religious leaders, political leaders, Etc… The rotten cores represent how these people were truly corrupt, lying to their follows and embezzling money. The bold powerful look on the outside shows how people perceived them. Many other examples can be found throughout the story, such as the green spectacles on Tom’s desk. They represent Tom’s greed for money.

All in all, setting plays an important part to understanding “The Devil and Tom Walker” completely.

The greed of Tom Walker reminds me of a Madison Avenue business man.

Blog #3 “You Never Had the Makings of a Varsity Athlete”

The book I am reading, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, does not feature much comedy. The book has a more serious aspect, meaning comedy is only used to lighten the darker mood in the book. When comedy is shown, not very often, it usually is a quick joke said by one of the characters. The type of humor is very low, no in depth jokes or comedy due to actions. I personally do not find this funny because the jokes seem like they would appeal to someone much younger than me. Almost as if the book was written for someone that age…  An example of humor in the book is, every time Tris calls someone name that’s insulting. It really isn’t good comedy. I find that these jokes take away from the story. I feel like the author pushes them into the story and it really interrupts the flow of the book. Especially since the jokes are catered to a slightly younger audience. I cringe every time I read them.

I think the book really shouldn’t have any humor. The topic/plot is very serious and comedy takes away from that. Now if I wanted the book to cater to my humor, it would definitely change how the book is perceived. In fact, adding any humor will change the book. So for my hypothetical situation, I would basically turn the book into a Monty Python skit. Everything would be comedy, from all edges of the comedy spectrum. Yeah, it would ruin the book, but who cares! Especially comedy that makes you think, that isn’t always given. An example I could use from the story would be: when the rebel leader Edward is shot to death ( a very serious part of the story), instead of the long monologue about how import he was and blah, blah, blah… The main character is quick with pun such as, “He really was a sun of a gun!” Once again, it wouldn’t fit the story, but it would be hilarious. Instead of injecting a little humor, I would inject a lot, because with this story it’s all or nothing.

This reminded me of Full Metal Jacket because the plot of this movie is very serious but it’s riddled with comedy

Blog #2 “My pizza never hurt nobody!”

The different types of characters in Veronica Roth’s Allegiant allow for an interesting story. Characters are often introduced into the story with a new plot. For instance, the character Evelyn was introduced at the end of the second book. Her sole purpose was to thicken plot of the Divergent story so Veronica Roth could make another book. I personally dislike when authors do this because it seems like they are forcing a plot. In fact, my favorite stories, TV and book, are when the author keeps the same general characters from the beginning. Back to the purpose of this blog, MY PIZZA NEVER HURT NOBODY- The Sopranos. I wish I could write my blog on TV shows. In all seriousness, two characters from the book Allegiant, Four and Tris, are very key characters to the story. They were both introduced in the first book, but their relevance is still upmost.

Tris (Beatrice Prior), the character whose perspective we follow for half of the story,  the brave and selfless hero of the story. When I read about her, I find her very strong willed and brave. It’s very blatant that the author wants us to believe this, it basically told to us multiple times throughout the story. Her role in the story is to play the underdog hero, the young girl who isn’t expected to end government corruption and escape the boundaries of her city.  Tris is always brave and stubborn to the other characters. This effects the plot line because she is so focused on her goal she forgets to slow down and understand she might die.

Four (Tobias Eaton), the characters perspective we follow for the other half of the story, was originally a support character to aid Tris. The author has since made his role as important as Tris.  His purpose in the story is to play the good guy who uses his bravery and intellect to save the city. As I read about him,  he reminds me of James Bond, the cunning and intelligent man. Four is a brave, selfless, and intelligent and the author lets us know this throughout the story. His calmness in the face of danger has gotten him out of trouble many times, thus allowing the plot to continue.

Although these characters seem basic, the story is still quite interesting, and I recommend it.

The character Four reminds me of James Bond

Blog #1 What Happened to Gary Cooper, the Strong Silent Type?

The book I chose to read was Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. This book is the 3rd and final installment of the series, with and extra spin off book called Four. The first books, Divergent and Insurgent, tells the story of Beatrice Prior (Tris). Divergent is about how she finds who she truly is, and Insurgent is about how she fights to change the world around her.  Before I go into detail on why I chose the books, I would like to give some background. All of the books take place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, in the assumed city of Chicago.  All the people living in the city are put into one of five factions: Dauntless (Brave/Fighters), Candor (Honest), Erudite (Intelligent),  Amity (Kind/Giving), and Abnegation (selfless). Tris is special because she can’t fit into one of these factions, she is called Divergent. Divergents like her are killed because they can’t fit the mold of society. Divergent and Insurgent, depict Erudite taking control of the minds of Dauntless fighters to rule over all the factions. As for Allegiant, the story seems to be leading to the climactic end of Erudite.

The reason I chose to read the Divergent series, in general, was because I take a liking to post-apocalyptic stories. Shows such as The 100 and the Walking Dead, are personal favorites of mine. Also, books such as, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Dust Lands, all carry the same effect on me. Another reason I chose Allegiant, is that I enjoy action packed books, although the themes may not be substantial, I like being on the edge of my seat while reading.

The story does a great job of portraying characters emotions. My personal favorite character is Four (Tobias Eaton), he is played as this brave character whose goal is to help other people. The author dedicated a spin-off book about this character, and his upbringing (I enjoyed it more than the original Divergent).  Tris, the most important main character, is portrayed as smart/brave character, dedicated to her cause. The books all have movie adaptions, which do a fair job of portraying these characters.

The post-apocalyptic plot of this reminded me of nuclear fallout, this a picture from the show The 100: