Reading Response 3 – Extended Text.

Script Publication, Fantasy

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author J.K Rowling

The latest story of Harry Potter is a tale of bravery, redemption and time travel. Albus Potter is a young wizard who is the son of the great Harry Potter. Although for Albus this is no honor, he wants nothing more than to be a normal wizard. As for adventure, it beckons him, just as it did his father. Along with being the vast shadow of his father accomplishments, he feels the weight of that those who have fallen at Harry’s expensive. Albus and his closet friend Scorpius will learn the hard way what happens when you mess with time.

An extremely relatable problem that Albus faces is the complications that come friendship. When Albus first broads the Hograts Express, his destiny is changed forever when he meets Scorpius. Scorpius is the son of Darco Malfoy, but there are rumors that he may have a different origin. Some say that before the dark lord fell he created a child and rumor has it that Scorpius is that child. Although Albus us not bothered by this accusation, Harry is torn between ruining his son’s first friendship and protecting him from his horrible past. Another friendship incident in the book which is very impactful to the story is Delphi’s betrayal. Albus and Scorpius trust her t guide them into the past and believe that she has good intentions only to have their trust thrown away and the dark lord almost return. Friendship is an invisable rope which holds us together. All through the previous books Harry and his friends scrape at the edges of death and are pulled through by the tight rope of their friendship. There are millions friendships across the globe, and this drama has taught me that no matter how hard it becomes, a good friend is something to fight for as they do not come along every day. I have face hard times where just having the support of a good friend has helped me get through it.

A significant theme throughout the book which helped me create a connection to the character of Albus, and I found myself reliving his actions in my own life, was the idea of expectation.  Although expectation is usually intended as a good thing, sometimes the pressure can result in failure. Albus experienced this throughout the script, as he is laden with reputations of the Potter name to fulfil.  Albus is plied with expectations and in the end it becomes too much.  He fails the ultimate test when he is sorted in Slytherin House, the disbelief is felt by everyone including the reader, as Albus becomes the first one to enter Slytherin. The bad decisions that Albus makes are in my opinion forced by his need to belong and the weight of broken expectations on his shoulders.  This causes self doubt which spirals him into rebellion in an attempt to earn his worth.  This is relatable to younger modern readers who constantly face the high expectations of their parents, in and out of their school lives.  I have experienced self-doubt and the weight of expectations before entering my mock exams which I had spend hours preparing for and was expected to perform at a high level.  This culminated in me freezing up in one particular important exam, as the pressure of doing well overwhelmed me and ultimately resulted in an unsatisfactory result. Expectation can be a positive force to encourage one to believe in yourself as well as high personal aspirations.  But it can be experienced as a negative force that overwhelms them and causes failure.

Reading Response 2 – Extended Text.

Novel

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

“All the light we cannot see” is a beautiful novel about a French girl who suffered from being blind and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War Two. Marie-Laure has been blind since she was six and she lived in Paris until the invasion when she moved to Saint Malo, a small coastal town in France where her great-uncle lives. Werner, the young German boy, is from a dead-end town and wouldn’t have made it past the mines but he was lucky. He was selected to join the brutal Hitlers Youth academy for his knack in radios. He deconstructed and rebuild radios since he was a boy and learn the art of radio technology and electronics. The enhancing storyline brings you along in their journeys, meanwhile the two different characters work their way into your heart with Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle).

The story is based on acceptance and appreciation that disability can be an ability. The idea that you could be weakened by something like blindness or deafness but strengthened in other compensating ways, creating a new and different experience of life. Throughout the book, Marie-Laurie never sees herself as any less than any other person and believes that her disability can be used to her advantage. Marie-Laure’s father builds models of Paris and Saint-Malo to allow her to navigate throughout the city unoccupied. Sight becomes no longer necessary as she uses her heightened senses of touch and hearing to her advantage and using to escape when the Germans came looking for her. This opened the gate to an independent lifestyle without the constant need for a caregiver and the opportunity to navigate the world on her own. This independence only gradually developed as with her doting father around she relied heavily upon him and it wasn’t until he was gone that she matured and developed in confidence. I have not had any personal experience with a blind person but my sister suffers dyslexia and struggles with reading and writing on a daily basis. But what my family and I have discovered is that she is very creative and has a conceptual mind which benefits her greatly in other areas. I connected to the character of Marie-Laurie and appreciated her struggles but appreciated her strengths even more and the emotional connection I had to her character provided me an engaging and heartfelt experience from the book. 

Personal Reading Number 1 – Extended Text.

Novel

Butter

Erin Lange

The novel “BUTTER by Erin Lange is a story of a lonely obese adolescent in the harsh society of today. This novel highlights the issues today’s society faces using the internet in the wrong ways. An unfortunate encounter with his childhood bully causes him to indulge in a whole pound of butter, therefore earning him the nickname “Butter”. Butter doesn’t have many friends and a lot of time alone but he plans to make history. “Watch as I eat myself to death – live on the internet – tune in if you can stomach it”.

One of the many ideas portrayed in “BUTTER” is the multitude of problems arising with the internet. The ability to communicate instantly and universally creates many different problems including 24/7 bullying and peer pressure. In the novel, Butter sets up his website and opens the gate to bullying and pressure around the clock. He was pressured, insulted, and even encouraged by his peers to commit suicide. Butter is one of the millions around the world suffering from the internet’s harmful effects. The world is evolving so fast, there is no time to establish boundaries and rules. Kids have grown up with parents telling them its bad to talk while eating, never to swear, to eat with proper manners but the world had overlooked the internet, the one sole thing with the worst effects. I have had personal events where I have been affected by the internet, and the lack of limitations and guidance has played a big part in my life.

I feel that I have connected with the character Butter as I too have been bullied about my appearance. In previous years of my schooling people used to call me names and make fun of skinny body as a joke at my expense. This helped me to feel emotionally connected to the situation that Butter was experiencing and this, in turn, caused me to be more engaged in the novel.  Although I have only experienced bullying on a very minimal level the way the kids treated Butter and the way many other kids are treated across the world because of their genetic appearance or for any reason, changed my approach to how I interact online and with my peers.

 

Poem Analysis.

Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.[4]

1). Name one language feature effect used in the poem?

hyperbole

2).

“Colossal wreck, boundless and bare”

3).

Shelly uses hyperbole to communicate the overlying effect of hubris in the poem. The broken man out in the desert tells a story of his life which he led with self-confidence and now he has nothing.

 

 

Speech – Freedom of Speech needs some limitations.

“Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people.” Freedom of speech is an entitlement for every human being, no matter if you’re rich or poor, young or old. As individuals, we are all different. Every person holds a different opinion and it’s their right to express it. We are able to voice what we’re thinking and in the perfect world, others would take in our views, no matter what they think of them, and respect how we think. But there is a limit where our opinion can become just plain negative and insulting. This is why there is going to have to be some limitations on our “freedom of thinking”, no matter how contradictory that sounds.

The sad thing is that in our present society the only answer which is satisfactory to everybody is that we have changed the definition of freedom of speech. We have changed our way of expressing ourselves. Our freedom of saying anything no longer stands. Most people have mental barriers in order to keep things to themselves for the sake of others. Yet we have also become so intolerant, especially on social media. We act as if we are constantly in a furious debate and are so desperate to win. I see this for myself almost on a daily basis, someone takes a disliking to another person’s post and proceeds to leave criticism and disparage others with the belief that only their opinion is right. This sparks a never ending debate with only spreads hatred and hostility which leaves us wondering why we ever bothered to say anything at all. This goes against to the idea of freedom of speech and yet the issue was created by the freedom of speech itself.

Hatred takes energy’, and it’s also unpleasant, so why waste our energy by proving ourselves right to any extent by insulting others. The younger generations are less open minded and feel more insecure expressing their ideas than ever before because of the almost enviable backlash they will receive against their opinion. This is created by the unlimited freedom of speech.

As a society, we need to move forward and accept the fundamentals of Freedom of Speech, respect the opinions of others and live with acceptance. A wise anonymous once said “Freedom of speech is every being’s fundamental right but unfortunately, today, some people are using it to propagandize aggressiveness, intolerance, and enmity. Every person should be given the right to express but before expressing; it’s their responsibility to have set some limits.” These words outline my most prominent point that we need to set limits on freedom of speech but the big question is who sets them? The Government, Police, the individual? There is not one straight answer to this question and as I have been saying this my opinion, it all comes down to circumstance. If the unlimited negative expression is taking place on a social media site then it becomes the responsibility of the site to monitor and ensure the safety of its users. Whereas if the situation becomes face to face, as individuals we need to learn to have limits, a line which we are not to cross. This leads on to the government’s role, they could set some guidelines to clarify any transparency which is left.

I am not arguing that we should revoke the right of freedom of speech. I support the fact that one should have complete ability to voice their ideas and opinions as ideas spark innovation and progress. On the other hand, it is equally wrong to spread hatred, to treat other fellow human beings differently, in the name of freedom of speech. This is why I believe that there is an urgent need for some limitations on how we go about communicating otherwise by allowing free speech we create an opportunity for people with extremist views such as racism to incite violence against minorities leading to the rise of a fascist state, such as the rise of Hilter.

I would like to leave you on a note of J.K Rowling’s words, Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

Lord of the Flies.

Analysis.

The basis of the book, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, finds all of the horrible aspects of society and links it back to original human nature. We follow the group of English school boys as they lose their humanity and minds and we are constantly reminded of our capacity for violence. A prominent example of this in the text is the part where Simon has a fit and believes that the pig head on the stick, recently killed by Jack and his gang of hunters, spoke to him and refereed to itself as the Lord of the Flies. “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill […] you knew didn’t you, I’m part of you. Close. close. close. I’m the reason why it’s no go why things are what they are.” It is highly likely that Golding is conveying that the speaking pig head of Simon’s imagination is representing the moral decay and waking hunger for violence and death of the boys on the island. The Lord of the flies, also known as Beelzebub, meaning the devil.

The continual decay of the boys is shown in two main ways. The first being all of the falling throughout the book, the boys falling out of the sky in the plane, the rock falling into the jungle off the cliff, the parachuter falling into the trees from the sky, the conch falling and breaking and most importantly Piggy falling off the rock and Ralph falling at the navy mans feet. These all emphasis the falling of human kind and civilization. The second is the loss of Piggy’s sight and it comes as loss of reason. Jack takes the glasses in order to a make fire for his feast, disregarding the signal fire which needs to be lit, it represents the transition from reason to savagery.

Allegory

William is linking the small society of the island back to human society in the world and using small scale events and characters to represent larger constitutions in the outside world. The demoralization of the boys because of loss of law and order only barely measure the effects of the same conditions would have on the world.

 

Object Analysis

Fire.

  • How is it described/introduced in the text?
  • How is it used? It is a signal beacon for passing ships as a sign of life on the island in hope that it will come and rescue them. The boys relied on it for any hope of survival.
  • Find quotes where it is mentioned?
  • What ideas does it convey? The fire is symbolizing civilization and the children’s hope of being rescued. Ralph grasps to keep the fire going as he believes so strongly as it’s their only hope. When the fire is disregarded by Jack and his group they are throwing out civilization.

Pig Head.

  • How is it described/introduced in the text?
  • How is it used? It is stabbed by a two ended stick and stuck in the ground by the hunters as a gift for the beast.
Character analysis.

Name: Ralph

Appearance: Fair Hair, Male, Young, Taller than Piggy, Past Childhood, Boxers Body.

Language: “Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things.”

Origins: English Countryside.

Relationships:

  • with Piggy ( intellect and reason ) : cooperative relationship.
  • with Jack ( competitive / rival ) : evil.
Quotes.

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”

“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

“The rules!” shouted Ralph, “you’re breaking the rules!”
“Who cares?”

“The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.”

Quote weaving.

The boys try to establish order but without adults or a higher power they are always “breaking the rules!”. They did everything the “adults would do” yet they still feel into a state of savagery.

Practice Exam. Not Finished.

Question 1: Describe at least one important object in the written text. Explain why that object was important.

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the main theme finds all of the horrible aspects of society and links it back to original human nature, this is portrayed through the important object, the pig’s head on the stick. Throughout the novel, Golding imposes little clues and symbols conveying that as the boys spend more time away from civilization and as they lose their humanity, original human nature comes through and they turn to violence and savagery.

The important object in the text revolves around the idea of the boys living in a small scale society but without rules or laws they quickly descend into savagery, and the pig’s head on the stick is this center of this symbolism. In Chapter 9 when Simon has a fit and believes that the pig’s head stabbed upon the stick, recently killed by Jack and his gang of hunters, spoke to him and referred to itself as the Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the flies, also known as Beelzebub, meaning the devil which is Golding placing a large clue towards the intentions of the scene. The Lord of the Flies goes on to say “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill […] you knew didn’t you, I’m part of you. Close. close. close. I’m the reason why it’s no go why things are what they are.” This shows that Golding is conveying that the speaking pig head of Simon’s imagination is representing the moral decay and waking hunger for violence and death of the boys on the island.

Now and Then.

Ideas.

Morning and afternoon on private land in front of my house.

DRAFT

Then.

The rough underbelly of my shoe brushes against the tips of the pebbles as I make my way across them. They do not move to make a path for me, only sit, still as stone, waiting for their crushing fate. I continue on, past the cold, dull stone chair, iced as if it’s a cake with crispy moss and roots. As my feet reach the edge of the patio, I pause, taking in harsh breaths of freezing air that nips cruelly at my naked ankles. They are left, tingling, blushing a deep red, embarrassed by all the attention. Moving on, I step out onto the white strectch of the recoiling blades of trimmed grass. It suffocates it, blocking all light, a net of white, crisp covering which forms over the hours of darkness before. Their fine blades fail to pierce the coat of white which drapes across the ocean of green. I glance around, previously oblivious to the gentle giants which stand, cowering down at me. They are covered by a layer of frost, much like the grass which I crossed before. Crimson pointed ovals shade the light, and as I walk further, glances of bright yellow flicker across my eyes and face. Blinded, I stumble over the roots that snake beneath me. Sharp sticks grab out at me, but I swat at them and they shrink back into the piles of decaying life on the side of the path. I am suddenly distracted by the plume of mist floating out in front of me, joined by another and another. Desperate swirls of breath fight their way out into the world, escaping my body. My face has gone numb, a timid stream of liquid creeps out of my nostrils. As my hair scrapes on my forehead, I feel so calm. Smells are unable to reach my nose, the air is thin, the sky stretches above me, infinitely still.  

Now.

The pebbles still lay, awaiting me. Only now they are covered in a thin sheet of clear water. They shimmer in the dark, dusty light. Small sections catch my attention as I pass by, beaming a stream of color across me. I pass the same chair as I did only hours before, and it now rests, its true colors coming through the mass of vibrant moss and roots. Pockets of different grays peek through like nervous eyes, cautiously surveying the outside world. Past that, the ocean of green now stands tall, no longer cowering under a sheet of darkness. Each blade has joyously extended their length to the sky. Droplets of the former coating struggle to stay as the heat of the day targets them. Those left, balance delicately on their own chosen blade. In only a matter of hours, the force has switched sides to that of the grass. Once again I carry on, the same giants gather around me, but they are accompanied by smell this time. An early fire has been lit, the smog drifts into the trees, mixing with the damp smell of rotting leaves at my feet. The Giants, enlivened by the sunlight, stand much taller, looming over me with ambition. The elegant ovals descend down towards me, brushing and dislodging others as they continue their desent towards the ground. My footsteps are now accompanied by an oozing sludge of fallen leaves. I trek through, dredging up the deep, dark depths of mixed dirt and sticks. The forest is so full of smells and sights, damp smoke creeps up my body and into my nostrils, filling my head, my throat becomes itchy and the coughs tumble out. My skin is on edge, body alive, trees point towards the sky, now with multiple clouds draping across its expanse, infinitely moving.