Monday, November 5, 2012

Vocab #11

Affinity- relationship by marriage
Bilious- of or indicative of a peevish ill nature disposition
Cognate- of the same nature
Corollary- A proposition inferred Immediately from a proved proposition with little or no additional proof
Cul-de-sac- a pouch
Derring-do- a daring action
Divination- The art or practice that seeks to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge due to the interpretation of omens
Elixir- A substance capable of prolonging life indefinitely
Folderol- a useless accessory
Gamut- an entire range or series
Hoi polloi- the General populace
Ineffable- incapable of being expressed in words
Lucubration- to study by night
Mnemonic- intended to assist memory
Obloquy- abusive language
Parameter- an independent variable used to express the coordinates of variable point and functions of them
Pundit- a learned man
Risible- provoking laughter
Symptomatic- having the characteristics of a certain disease but arising of a different cause
Volte-face- a reversal in policy

VOCAB # 10!!

WHOOOPS. I forgot to post these last week! Whatever does anybody even look at my blog? NO.

aficionado- A person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime
browbeat- Intimidate (someone), typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words
commensurate- able to be measured by a common standard
diaphanous- Of such fine texture as to be transparent or translucent
emolument- Payment for an office or employment
foray- A sudden raid or military advance
genre- A realistic style of painting that depicts scenes from everyday life
homily- An inspirational saying or platitude
immure- To confine within or as if within walls; imprison
insouciant- carefree or unconcerned; light-hearted
matrix- a substance, situation, or environment in which something has its origin, takes form, or is enclosed
obsequies- A funeral rite or ceremony
panache- A bunch of feathers or a plume, especially on a helmet.
persona- The role that one assumes or displays in public or society
philippic- a bitter or impassioned speech of denunciation; invective
prurient- unusually or morbidly interested in sexual thoughts or practices
sacrosanct- Regarded as sacred and inviolable
systemic- Of or relating to systems or a system
tendentious- Marked by a strong implicit point of view; partisan
vicissitude- A change or variation

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Literature Analysis #2!

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is about an orphan named Pip who lives with his sister Mrs.Joe and her husband. The story begins with Pip at his parents' grave beginning to cry. He is interrupted an escaped convict who puts a knife to Pip's throat. He empties Pip's pockets and steals bread from him. (This is important to the story I promise!) So anyways, one day Pip is sent to play at the house of Miss Havisham. She is really weird and after reading this book I can definitely understand why Helena Bonham Carter is playing her in the movie that is being made. She always wears a wedding dress and keeps all of her clocks set at the same time. Pip meets a really pretty girl named Estella and he falls in love with her even though she is not very nice. He hopes to marry her. He starts working with his brother-in-law who is a blacksmith. One day he finds out that he has a secret benefactor and now he has a lot of money! He assumes that it is Miss Havisham and that she wants him to get married. BUT IT'S THE CONVICT!!!! So I'm going to end this plot summary because I've ruined the majority of the book for all of whoever reads this!  
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
I see the theme as redemption in a way? Just because the convict (Magwitch) looks for forgiveness from God and tries to redeem himself in the eyes of God by giving to others. Also Miss Havisham, she was very mean to Pip and led him to believe that she was his benefactor and then in her dying days she apologizes to him and fears that her wrongdoings will not be forgiven. Even Pip looks for this forgiveness and redemption. He is terrified of Magwitch at first because he is a convict but then later he gets to know him and is sorry about his judgment.
3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
The tone is sometimes dark and gothic and pretty depressing. When Miss Havisham sits in her wedding dress with all the clocks set at the same time. When Estella brutally teases Pip for crying and then laughs at him, but he falls in love with her anyways! Lastly, Pip longs to be a wealthy gentleman and be good and kind and educated and then he realizes he cannot read and longs to learn how to.
4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)
Great Expectations uses a lot of foreshadowing! I can't really include a page number because it is all throughout the book but I will provide one example. When Pip's sister is attacked and cannot speak, she kind of gives signals that make Pip assume who her attacker was. Her attack takes place on page 126 and her signals to Pip happen on 136. Dickens uses local color (real locations in a non-fiction setting.) He has used London in his stories because he grew up there. The setting is stated several times throughout the book. Estella and Pip are foils to each other because they are very different. Estella is very superficial and conceited and Pip just wants to be good. Dickens uses dramatic irony because Pip is speaking about the past so he knows the outcome and the reader does not. Situational irony is also used because the reader and Pip expected the benefactor to be Miss Havisham and it ends up being Magwitch. It is a paradox when Pip goes to Biddy about becoming a gentleman when Biddy is a commoner just like Pip. This takes place on page 140. This book also uses bildungsroman because it details Pip's life from a child to an adult.The relationship between Pip and Biddy is special because Biddy is a confidant for Pip. He confides in her his secret desires to become a real gentleman and marry Estella. Dialogue is used throughout the story as Pip recalls the events. Lastly, this story uses omniscient point of view because Pip is fully aware of what is going to happen and the reader is not
1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?
Direct characterization is used on Magwitch when he steals bread from Pip and is revealed to be a convict. Obviously one would assume he is not a cool guy. Indirect characterization is also used on him when he shows his true personality and his generosity by giving Pip money and repenting for his sins. Direct and indirect characterization are also used on Pip. Direct when he starts acting rude to Biddy and Joe. This shows that this is how he thinks a gentleman is supposed to act and that he has become on. Indirect when Pip is narrating the story and he is mature and finds his younger self to be quite funny. Also when he learns to read in order to become a gentleman and reveals to Biddy that he just wants to be good and a gentleman. My impressions of these two characters changed throughout reading the story. I hated Magwitch and then ended up really enjoying his character. I liked Pip a lot and then didn't like the way he was acting and then I ended up loving his character. 
2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?
Yes. When Pip is having the discussion about the benefactor with the lawyer (Mr. Jaggers), the whole scene is very creepy and the room is described as dark and the office is described as twisted.
3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.
Pip is dynamic! He changes very much throughout the book and finally evolves from a boy into the gentleman that he always wanted to be.
4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.
I felt like Pip is someone I would really like to meet. It is hard to me to say I feel like I've met him. Honestly, it is hard for me to imagine knowing someone so sweet. He is really innocent to me and I hope to meet someone like him someday. When Pip realizes that Magwitch is his benefactor and he admires him, he begins to realize that his "gentlemanly" behavior has hurt the people that he loves. That realization really made me love him because not a lot of people can see themselves clearly and admit that their behavior is wrong.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tools that change the way we think

The tools that we have today have changed a whole generation's way of thinking. When things like computers and smartphones didn't exist, people actually had to think about things and do research. It is hard for me to imagine going to a library with a question when I have a smartphone in my pocket. The opportunities that this generation of technology has are great but are also hurting many of us if we do not use them correctly. I find myself mindlessly scrolling a webpage that has no other purpose but to make me giggle from time to time. This is alarming to me because I could be using the internet for what it is supposed to be used for: to learn. I also find that with a smartphone I have the ability to look at websites when I am supposed to be sleeping. This in turn has caused me to lose focus in school because I am so tired from looking at the internet for hours. Basically, the internet is an awesome tool if you use it correctly. It has provided me with many opportunities when I've actually needed it for something and I couldn't imagine not having these opportunities anymore.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Notes on Hamlet

My thoughts on the play since we began reading have evolved greatly. In the beginning, I totally understood Hamlet's desire to avenge his father's death, especially when his father's GHOST told him to himself. As we reached the end of Act 3, I am feeling somewhat sorry for Claudius...I know that sounds crazy but I don't even care. I know that Claudius is awful and everything and did an awful act, but now he seems like he feels really guilty and I just want him to have another chance to repent. I saw Hamlet as being vengeful in the beginning but now even more so. He didn't want to kill Claudius when he was praying because he wants him to burn in hell!!! That is just not something I can support anymore. I can't really say what I expect because hasn't everybody heard about how Hamlet ends?? Claudius better start being a terrible person again so I can start hating him again.

Who Was Shakespeare?

Shakespeare sounds like a cool guy. I'll admit, I've experienced my share of hatred for his work. This is because I didn't understand and I had a hard time with it. Now that we are reading Hamlet, I have a really clear understanding and I realize that Shakespeare is hilarious. With some research I found out that he was really just a regular guy. He had brothers and sisters, a mother and father, and he got married. Sounds like a normal guy to me. He had twins with his wife and then seven years of his life went undocumented. People call these years "the lost years". I find it really interesting that Shakespeare went from writing comedies in his early career, to writing tragedies or tragicomedies. He wrote tragedies for the later half of his life until he died. I have had mixed feelings towards Shakespeare over the years, but now I am finding real enjoyment in his work.

sources: wikipedia,, shakespeare-info

To Facebook or Not to Facebook?

That is the question. My initial impression of Facebook was that it was basically a safer and better formatted Myspace. As my few years as a Facebook user have gone by, I am realizing that this may not be the case. Ads have continued to get worse and Facebook has pretty much turned into one big advertisement. You even have the option to promote a post so people are guaranteed to see it. You can promote anything you want and that is sort of terrifying. I think there are always many risks with using sites like Facebook and Myspace. Safety online is very important and people are become less aware of the personal things that they are choosing to share. These sites make us think that are friends are seeing something, when really millions of people you don't know could be seeing it too. It scares me that I can't see certain things and I am not getting full information. Seeing what has happened to Facebook, I'm sure that it will crash and burn just like Myspace did. Unfortunately, there will be another site just like it...and another.