Sunday, March 31, 2013

house on mango street analysis

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Esperanza’s Character Analysis

The House on Mango Street

In the book The House on Mango Street in MLA format, titles of books are always underlined., the main character Esperanza, goes from being a young girl with low self-esteem to being a young woman seeking independence. As the reader As readers, the novel allows us to participate in Esperanza’s life as she goes through life changes. Her identity changes, and she begins to change her views on life, herself, and the people that surround her. At the end of the book Esperanza has become more mature and has become more comfortable in her own skin. Good!

Esperanza is a young Latina girl that has no feeling of belonging. Her family has moved a couple of times, so she doesn’t get the chance to get close to people. She grows up with a sister and brothers but doesn’t feel too attached to them because of the age differences and because the boys can’t talk to the girls outside of the home. She has very few friends but none seem to be “true” friends. At the end of the novel Esperanza has done a lot of growing up and has decided not to conform to the stereotypes that are imposed on young Latina girls.

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In the novel, it is evident that Esperanza is a very shy and insecure girl. She feels very uncomfortable with herself and this leads to the uncomfortable feelings that she experiences when she is around other people. Be careful about overusing “very.” In most cases you don’t need it at all. She worries a lot about what others think of her and about the house she lives in. When she is at school, she is scared to tell people where she lives because she is ashamed of her house. Although her house is nicer than the place she used to live in, she does not feel content. An example of the inferiority that she feels can be seen in the chapter called, “The First Job”. Periods and commas are always inside the quotation marks.In this chapter she has begun working and has uncomfortable feelings about lunchtime. Since she doesn’t know anyone, she eats lunch alone because she is too scared to go make friends with her co-workers.

Timidness and fear allow for Esperanza to be very naive to others around her that who desire to cause her harm. Esperanza wants so much to have friends that she does just about anything for them. She even thinks about paying people to be her friends. In one instance in Esperanza’s life, she takes money from her younger sister so she can buy a bike with two other girls and they can share it. These girls didn’t want Esperanza to get in on the deal with them because she was there their friend, but because they were five-dollars short. Esperanza is so na├»ve that she doesn’t see this, comma splice she thinks that the girls want to be her friend.

Esperanza’s naivet� leads to some unfortunate situations of betrayal. Esperanza becomes very excited when Sally invites her to the circus. Esperanza thinks she will have fun because she is told that the circus is such a fun place by magazines, movies and Sally. Esperanza is deceived because instead of going to the circus to have fun, she goes to the circus and is raped when Sally leaves her alone with a boy.

Esperanza’s perception of herself is very negative. Although just about every young adolescent girl goes through a stage when they watch pronoun agreement, you have girl-they feel unattractive, brainless, and insecure Esperanza seems to feel all these emotions in a large degree. She seems so unhappy with her life that at times I thought avoid the “I” statements the book would end with her committing suicide. I think that a lot of the emotions that she is feeling are because she doesn’t seem to have any family support or any positive role models. It is hard to keep your head on straight when your family shines you off, you don’t have any close friends to talk to, and most of the time you hold things inside. She has such a pessimistic outlook on life that she is causing herself pain.

Esperanza comes to a realization that the world isn’t nice and pretty with the help of a music box. She thinks of it as a beautiful box with beautiful flowers painted on it and then realizes that the music box is also deceiving. It is just an old wood box with holes in it. She thinks of the music box as something synonymous to life. She blames herself for being stupid and thinking that life is great when in reality it is not.

Esperanza’s personality is also due to the gender separation that she experiences. Her brothers Kiki and Carlos are close run on sentence she says there their relationship is one of comrades, very different than the relationship she has with her sister Nenny. Esperanza describes her relationship with Nenny as them being playmates; Nenny is “too young to be my friend” (Cisneros 8).” Watch the placement of your quotation marks. The citation is inside the period, but outside the quotation marks. Esperanza is very aware of how alone she is when she compares herself to a “red balloon, a red balloon tied to an anchor” (Cisneros )”. She sees herself different from everyone and thinks she is raised high like the balloon so that everyone can see and judge her. The anchor that is tied to the balloon is Nenny. Esperanza isn’t just Nanny’s playmate but she is also responsible for taking care of Nenny, which she feels, is an anchor that is keeping from making friends.

Though Esperanza is a young girl with low self-esteem, she is still very optimistic of one day having a “house of her own”, one she can be proud of. She decides to fight the war against machismo and be a woman that doesn’t need a man to take care of her. She refuses to neither either tame herself nor or wait for a husband, and this rebellion is reflected in her leaving the “table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate (Cisneros 8).” By doing this Esperanza is maintaining her own power and is challenging the cultural and social expectations one she is supposed to fulfill. She wants to create her own individuality by making the decision to not “ lay (her) neck on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain (Cisneros 88).” Esperanza is not like the typical Latina who grows up in a big city whose goal is to grow up to be a wife and mother. She doesn’t want to fit the typical role instead she wants to become independent from the stereotypes that are imposed on her by Latin society.

Through out the story Esperanza begins by having an “anchor”, and then as she grows up and matures she refuses to have a “ball and chain.” She changes in the story and goes from being a young shy girl that doesn’t belong to a young self-empowered woman. She well not allow herself to fall into society and will fight the war against machismo.

Although through the whole novel Experanza wants to leave her house on Mango Street, at the end we find out that she does want to come back. Esperanza wants to come back and help those that won’t be so as lucky as she is to leave Mango Street. She is aware that she can never leave Mango Street because it is part of her roots and has influenced her dreams and her personality. The fact that she now realizes this shows how much she has matured.



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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HOD

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Examine the context surrounding the period of the late 1800s to the first world war consider the social political and economical conditions prevalent to Europe and in particular England and Belgium . What were the values and attitudes exhibited by the Europeans during this period and reflected in the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Motifs

Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts or literary devices that can help to develop and inform major themes

What are the major themes of Heart of Darkness and how are they supported by motifs in the story?

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Symbols

Symbols are objects characters figures or colours used to represent abstract ideas or concepts

Examine Conrad¡¯s use of symbolism in the novella what do these symbols represent

Due term week 1 Thursday

That¡¯s all exactly what it says on the sheet



English Assignment

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness centers around Marlow and his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, reputed to be an idealistic man of great abilities. Marlow takes a job as a riverboat captain with the Company, a Belgian concern organized to trade in the Congo. As he travels to Africa and then up the Congo, Marlow encounters widespread inefficiency and brutality in the Companys stations. The native inhabitants of the region have been forced into the Companys service, and they suffer terribly from overwork and ill treatment at the hands of the Companys agents. The isolation of the cruelty within the impassive and majestic jungle that surrounds the white mans settlements makes them appear in the heart of darkness.

During when this book is written, Imperialism is an attitude commonly shared and exhibited by the Europeans during this period. Imperialism is the policy or practice of extending national power over other states or areas of the world, often by annexing territory. Term is most commonly identified with 1th century colonialism and the carving of the globe into spheres of influence by the European powers. Colonies in Asia and Africa supplied cheap labor, raw materials, and ready markets for European manufacturing, spurred on by the Industrial Revolution. They also enhanced the image of European powers. Imperialism was also linked to concepts of racial and moral supremacy, rationalized as the White Mans Burden, the so called duty to bring civilization to backward peoples.

Imperialism is at the center of Heart of Darkness. By the 180s, most of the worlds dark places had been placed at least nominally under European control, and the major European powers were stretched thin, trying to administer and protect massive, far-flung empires. Cracks were beginning to appear in the system riots, wars, and the wholesale abandonment of commercial enterprises all threatened the white men living in the distant corners of empires. Things were clearly falling apart.

The major theme of Heart of Darkness is the effect of imperialism and the isolation and obscurity of the corruption. It reveals that corruption is the inevitable result when men have unbalanced control and power, especially power over other men. As Marlow travels from the Outer Station to the Central Station and finally up the river to the Inner Station, he witnesses scenes of torture and cruelty. Yet he longs for evidence that Europeans can

display pure purpose, rational power, and benevolent dominance over Africa and Africans. Marlow can never see the Africans as fully human and he can never bring himself fully to condemn the imperialist project in Africa. By lying to Kurtz¡¯s fianc¨¦ and doing nothing to stop the devastation caused by the imperialism in Africa, he is accepting the inhumanity of mankind to its fellow man and allows it to continue on the Dark Continent. And because of the isolation of the cruelty taken place, Europeans can never see the chaos caused by imperialism.

The story used motifs to develop and inform the major themes. Observation was the most common motif applied. Marlow mainly collects information by observing the world around him and eavesdropping on other conversations. Like when from the deck of the wrecked steamer he overheard the discussion between the manager and his uncle about Kurtz. This presented Marlow with interpretations of events otherwise impossible to find out.

Obscurity is another motif used. The mood of the entire novel is dark and somber. It is night-time on the Nellie when Marlows tale is being told. The darkness suggests the ambiguity of havoc and moral confusion. And in the end, the story ends such that it seems Europeans would never have a clear vision of the Dark Continent.

Symbols are objects characters figures or colours used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Some symbols used in Heart of Darkness include the fog that surrounded the steamer going up the river. It symbolizes darkness and ambiguity surrounding the whole story. Fog not only obscures but distorts; it gives one just enough information to begin making decisions but no way to judge the accuracy of that information, which often ends up being wrong. Marlows steamer is caught in the fog, meaning that he has no idea where hes going and no idea what lies ahead.

However, when the steamer returned from the river, the fog was cleared and the river was running down stream towards ¡®civilization¡¯. This represents the escape from terror, as if the river is there to expel Europeans from Africa altogether.

And the ivory that was hunted by so many men for, it symbolizes the pagan God that is so worshipped by Kurtz and other whites.

Heart of Darkness offers a powerful condemnation of the hypocritical operations of imperialism, it also presents a set of issues surrounding race that is ultimately more troubling.



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Government Control - 1984 and Brave New World - Comparative

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Humans can be manipulated in any way in order to make them behave in a certain manner that suits the needs of others. Comparing George Orwell’s 184 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World it becomes clear that the populous can be manipulated and intimidated into supporting the leader of the government. Fear is a very powerful technique that allows the government to control what a person believes and can cause a person to support something they might not otherwise support. Through the use of technology the government can control its citizens and ensure that they conform with the rest of society. Since technology is such a large part of there society…. . Ignorance is a very important factor in deciding where ones loyality lies. If a populous is ignorant of their surroundings, as in 184 and Brave New World then it will be less trouble to convince the person to gladly support the leader. In order to maintain stability in a totalitarian society, the government forces the populous to support the leader.

Big Brother (the leader of Oceania) and by Mustafa Mond (controller of the World State) use fear as an effective way to gain the support of the populous. In 184, members of society fear Big Brother as a result of reports put out by the Party.

“People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated vaporized was the usual word.” (Orwell, 1).

This fear of being taken away by the thought-police and, the fear of death keeps individuals from having unorthodox beliefs and from committing thought-crime, which results in stability throughout the society and support towards the Party and Big Brother. Mustafa Mond also exerts the same kind of fear in Brave New World. The populous of Oceania has fear that the Mond would exile them for doing something not of the status quo, which is true. When Bernard hears that he will be exiled he pleads for mercy and begs for forgiveness. “’Send me to an Island?’…’You can’t send me.’…’Oh, please don’t send me to Iceland. I promise I’ll do what I ought to do. Give me another chance. Please give me another chance.’ The tears began to flow…” (Huxley, 06). This punishment is given to those who don’t fit in to the society. The lower-castes of society support the Mond, because that is what there conditioning tells them to do. They will always fit into the society since they don’t know anything else. These similarities between 184 and Brave New World show that when a leader influences the populous with fear a stable society and support of the populous is the result .

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Technological advances have allowed the leaders of totalitarian societies to ensure that they have the support of the populace and to maintain a stable society. In 184, The Party harnesses the use of technology to brainwash and monitor its citizens behaviour. Doublethink, a very effective method of brainwashing, is utilized to allow the government to make the populous believe carefully constructed lies told by Big Brother even when they have the contradicting truth in their mind. Since the populous is forced to believe anything that Big Brother tells them, he has their full support and stability in the society is maintained. Rehabilitation is used when a member of society commits thought crime against the Party. Winston Smith, the protagonist, does not support Big Brother at first. Eventually his unorthodox actions are caught. He is rehabilitated and is forced to support Big Brother. Brave New World uses technology differently than in 184 to gain support of the populace. In Brave New World, hypnopaedia, or sleep teaching allows controllers to condition infants so that know they have to support their leader. “[Hypnopaedia]. “The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.” (Huxley, 4). Since sleep teaching allows infants to be conditioned to support their leader, the World State doesn’t have to worry as much about rebellious behaviour. This method of forcing the populous to support the leader is very hard to undo making the society of the World State very stable. However, knowledge still must be decreased in the populous in order for stability to exist.

In both societies, the populous is shielded from a significant amount of knowledge and truth making them increasingly ignorant. The extremity of an individual’s ignorance is based on their ranking position in the society. For example, an inner party member would be permitted to read any type of literature and gain additional knowledge to the past or other areas, whereas an outer-party member would only be permitted to read certain types of literature that have been rewritten in Newspeak to give no insight into anything accept present day Oceania. Newspeak is a new language developed to eradicate unorthodox thoughts by eliminating certain words. Therefore, without being able to express the action of rebellion the populace does not know any better then to support Big Brother. All historical documents and records are rewritten to exclude references to historical events or anything else that could spark an individual to have eccentric feelings towards the Party. The original documents are then destroyed and no record exists.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed � if all records told the same tale � then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the party slogan, ‘controls the future who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past, though of it’s nature alterable, never had been altered.’ (Orwell, 7).

The parties ability to alter the past allows for corrections in Big Brothers speeches that would otherwise be inaccurate. Stability is maintained in that Big Brother is always right and therefore is supported by the populace. Knowledge is distributed similarly in the World State as it is in the Party. In Brave New World, a greater amount of knowledge is given to the higher Alpha and Beta castes. The lower Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon castes become increasingly more ignorant with the Epsilons completely striped of there individuality. The lower castes have no reason not support the World Controller, Mond, since all they are capable of is working and socializing. However, the higher castes have some of there individuality intact which allows them to make decisions on there own. “A society of Alphas couldn’t fail to be unstable and miserable. Imagine a factory staffed by Alphas - that is to say by separate and unrelated individuals of good heredity and conditioned so as to be capable (within limits) of making a free choice and assuming responsibilities.” (Huxley, 0). This proves that higher caste individuals and lower caste individual must both be present in society in order to maintain stability.

If there were no measures in place to force the populous into supporting the leader many individuals in the society would rebel. The totalitarian society would fall apart since the rulers would not be able to control their citizens. Measures such as supplying ignorance to individuals, technologic involvement, and fear are all used together to maintain a stable society were the populous supports the leader. If the society in which we live didn’t have methods to gain our support towards the leader then our society would not function and stability would be lost. Therefore nobody would live happlily.



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Friday, March 22, 2013

Overcoming Tragedy: A Stronger America

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The United States of America would not be the country it is today, or even exist if it wasn’t for the will power of its citizens and the way they recover from their wounds, and move on. There have been many struggles for the people of the U.S. throughout history. The Civil War, World War 1, The Great Depression, World War , The Vietnam War, and most recently, September 11th all are prime examples of cataclysmic events the U.S., and its people, had to endure.

The Civil War was one of the worst events in American history. The war pitted the Confederates and the Union against each other (both of which were American). 48, people are thought to have died in that war. More than half of them were self-enlisted citizens, not true soldiers. America got through this struggle, but only by violence, and bloodshed. After the war there was a period of reconstruction, where America would heal the damage it did to itself. The first thing that people did was to find and bury the bodies that were left in the battlefields. In order to help the American citizens, the government had to help restart the industries that had spent most of their money and products during the war. America would spend over five years rebuilding the cities, towns, and trust of the people.

Eleven years after World War 1 ended, there was a stock market crash. This marked the beginning of the worst economic slowdown in American history - The Great Depression. This was a great test for the citizens of America. Most of the population of America lived under the poverty level, and the government would give free soup to feed these people. Many rich people lost their money as well. This was the event that put people on the streets and created homelessness. Only the courage of the American people got them through this terrible period. Their options were not as many as one might think. One common solution was to work harder and longer, and cut family spending dramatically. Other people chose to move to another country, others, a tragic solution, opted for suicide. Some parents would move into allies, where they slept and could afford food to support their children. These are just some examples of how much sacrifice was needed to keep bread on the table. After years of suffering, Americans finally made it through the depression. After the depression Americans helped stimulate the economy so much, that it entered a thriving period.

Only seven months ago there was yet another tragic event that will go into American history - September 11th. On September 11th, 001, there was a terrorist attack upon the American people never imagined before. Two passenger planes, one was American Airlines and the other was United, were hijacked by terrorists and crashed into both of the Twin Towers in New York City. Not too long afterwards, both of the towers collapsed creating a wall of silt, dust, and concrete that fell upon innocent spectators of the event. This killed approximately 800 people. All of these people, including the passengers in the planes, were innocent � that’s why this tragedy is so difficult to forget. Most people that worked below the floors that were hit by the planes, were fortunate enough to escape, but firefighters and policemen responding to the emergency died trying to rescue others. This was the last event needed to bring America into a recession that we are still working to put behind us. After a month or so of mourning, the President of the U.S. responded to the terrorist attacks by declaring “war on terror” and chasing the Alceada network out of Afghanistan. Air travel in the U.S. is safer than ever, the American pride is higher than ever, and the display of support for the leaders of this country is better than ever. People are purchasing more goods, consumer confidence is up, new home sales are also on the rise, and over time, Americans will help jump start our slowed down economy.

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As true American citizens, we are showing the world how we can overcome crisis, and how we find encouragement in times of tragedy. These were only three examples of events that have tested and shaped the character of the American citizens. America has struggled, and has stumbled, but has never been downed - it still stands tall and proud. Sure there will be more of these events that will test our resolve again, but we are stronger than ever, and one more time we will show the world that America, and the willpower of the American people, will survive.



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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Illustrious Words

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Illustrious Words

Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama in 16 at a sit-in demonstration. He came to the town of Birmingham to help his African-American brothers receive the rights and dreams that they had always deserved. While in jail, he wrote the influential “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. This letter is historical in every sense of the word. From his language and knowledge, to his extensive heartfelt experiences, this man was well-educated and beyond his time. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is an excellent example of influential and groundbreaking literature, written by Martin Luther King, Jr., and is one of the most well-written documents that I have had the pleasure of reading.

King addresses this letter to his fellow clergymen. This is a great way to create an audience and to also speak to the rest of the nation. Throughout the letter, King brings up oppositions and answers these with great eloquence and charm. When answering the opposition that people do not like the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham, King replies, “It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the [African-American] community with no alternative” (704). Over and over again, King brings in an argument against him and shuts it down like it is nothing. This kind of argumentation provides the public with the idea that he is not afraid to face the white world and will someday get the life that he deserves.

Right at the beginning of the letter, King identifies himself and tells exactly who he is and why he was in Birmingham in the first place. By stating that he was the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and that he had affiliated organizations throughout the south, King establishes his credentials and shows that he is a great authority on the topic (70). It especially made me trust him for presenting this information at the beginning. The audience can indisputably see that he has nothing to hide.

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One theme throughout this letter is quite obvious. Definitions and metaphors fill the paper to give understanding and great effectiveness. When opposing to the accusation of using tension and direct action instead of negotiation, King replies

Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. (705)

This metaphor was so strong that a person can actually feel what he was thinking and believe every word he wrote. Martin Luther King, Jr. is extremely good at making metaphors coincide with his argument.

Also, definitions are used throughout the letter quite frequently. One of my favorite definitions was the one that described unjust laws as a code that a minority group must follow because a majority or power group imposes it on them, even though they do not have to follow this law themselves (707). It is nice when someone points out the obvious oversights that everyone knows about, but do not do anything about. This makes the audience really evaluate their lifestyle.

Another common trend within the letter is King’s use of logic and facts to make readers get a feeling of what is going on. He describes Birmingham’s mayoralty election to tell what kinds of people were being elected to govern the racist city. When speaking about Albert Boutwell being elected as the new mayor, King says that he is “a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor (the previous mayor)”, but that he is also a “segregationist, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo” (705). I think that by telling the facts of what is really going on, King positively makes the public understand and listen to the words that he is writing. He has a way of spelling out the truth that some do not want to accept or comprehend.

Although Martin Luther King, Jr. has many effective ways of arguing, his strategy to make us feel like we know exactly what he is talking about, and can relate to his people, is outstanding. He appeals to shared values throughout the letter to establish kindred thinking. I almost felt tears in my eyes when I approached paragraph fourteen. King replies to the people that tell him to “wait” for equality with his thirty lines of sadness and anger (706). He conjures up the feeling of utter despair with phrases like, “…when [we have seen viscous mobs lynch [our] mothers and fathers at will and drown [our] sisters and brothers at whim…then [we] will understand why we find it difficult to wait” (706). I now know how horrible these times and conditions must have been. This man reached my heart with these troubling details. The paragraph was an exceptional way of reaching into the audience’s heart.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote this historical letter to evoke action and create an understanding for people by his amazing words and strengths in argumentation. Maybe later on in my life, I will read a piece of literature that will delve into the deepest parts of my soul and pull out the feelings that I have just recently experienced, but until then, the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” will take this place. Martin Luther King, Jr. sums it up best with, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our feardrenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty” (710). I have a feeling that somehow, this man’s dream might not be too far around the corner.



Works Cited

King, Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Ed Gary Goshgarian and Kathleen Kruegar. Crossfire An Argument Rhetoric and Reader. nd ed. New York Longmam, 17. 701-11.

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