The Awakening

I did not particularly enjoy this novel until the end where Edna Pontellier commits suicide. Edna’s decision of drowning herself in the sea makes complete sense to me. She always has a special connection to the sea; the sea is the place where she connects her body and soul together. Responding to the question about whose fault it is that Edna dies, I think it is both Edna’s and the society’s fault. It can be Edna’s fault because she does not seem to appreciate her husband and her children and decides to have affairs. A grown woman should be responsible of her own action. However, it is not Edna’s fault entirely. The way that society is set up also influences her decision. Choices are always limited for women during that time period; women were expected to marry a man and to remain faithful and loyal to her family no matter what happens. Although Edna has a relatively nice husband, she does not love him. Their marriage is described to be ‘an accident’. In this case, I understand why Edna is tempted to have affairs with other men. Her decision is also influenced by the confusion that is caused between her husband’s culture – Creole, that is more open about sexuality than her own background that is a lot more conservative.

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Personal response to the book “The Awakening”, by Kate Chopin

The Awakening is a book we recently read in class. It was written a few centuries ago and as it was first published it was heavily criticized and created a scandal by the society. It was only in 1970’s, due to feminism, when the book was found again and people read it without criticism.

When we read the first couple of chapters of this book I thought to myself, “ohhh I like this book”. It seems like any other romance movie, where the true love meet and stay together forever. After getting deeper into the book, where Edna and Robert spend a long time in each other’s company, I kept waiting for that moment when something will happen between them, as it seems that they are true love of one and other. As the readers we know it is completely wrong and horrible to have an affair and be unfaithful, yet we still want them to take their relationship one step up.

This book seems predictable, as though the readers will know exactly what will happen next, but it surprised me every time. Each time we think A is going to happen, C is happening.  This kept the reading not dull and very interesting. When Robert come back after leaving to Mexico, we expect him to rum to Edna and confess his love to her. Yet the opposite happens. He tells her that he came back because business would have been the same in either place, and he didn’t like Mexico very much. But we know that he does love her. So why does he lie? Why does not Edna tell’s Robert how she feels? I think they are both so scared of what society will think and say that they dong think of their needs and wishes.

I think it was irresponsible and immature, especially immoral for Edna to commit suicide, as her life is not her own, but there are other people in this world whom are depending on her. Her children, even tough her love to them is different from the “mother women”, have only one biological mother, and they are still in the stage where they need her. She lives in a society that yes, is hard and does not expect many things, but she still made choices, and if one makes the wrong choice the circumstances are not going to be easy either. Instead of Edna fighting through these difficulties she takes the “easy way out” outing herself from the circumstances and obligation she has and commit suicide.

To be honest I don’t know whether I like this book or not. I like it because you get shoved into their world, pretending you are a part of these characters’ life. The drama in the book never stops and there is always something new happening. Also, Edna is discovering herself, who she is, what she is and what is her purpose. It may seem as though it is somewhat too late for her to discover these things. She already got married and steeled down with 2 children. On the other hand, reading this book was quite awkward and uncomfortable, as things are left for the imagination. A fair amount of this book is about sex, however, since Chopin does not clearly state this, it is left for our imagination to figure out what happens between the characters.

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The Awakening

“The Awakening” the sensuous novel by Kate Chopin was an enjoyable novel. It was interesting to see the development of the main character “Edna” as she becomes more independent. Her actions become increasingly defiant of what is expected from woman during her time. It seemed to me that this was the most interesting aspect of the novel and not so much the developing relationship between Edna and Robert. Edna’s death did not come as a complete surprise to me. The bird in the cage, introduced at the beginning of the novel, represents Edna’s lack of freedom and the independence she gains afterwards is seen as her “awakening”. It is ironic that her awakening would lead her to take her own life, however it may also be seen as a last act of independence, defying expectations.

The novel seems to be supporting women’s right by displaying women’s lack of freedom, of which is restricted by societies expectations. These are all shown through Edna’s thoughts and it is Edna’s development and newly discovered independence that reflects on the progression of women’s rights within society.

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Personal Respons towards ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin

‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin is one of the better books, which we have read so far in English. I enjoyed the book, since Chopin has a similar writing style as Ibsen. I mean that it is more about women and their feelings in the 19th century, when there were certain rules that divided men and women. I find that this topic is a very interesting one and the way Chopin makes Edna break these rules.

 

Another factor is how the Chopin is certain parts more detailed, during Edna’s awakening. This also happens during Edna’s dinner party, when Chopin blends the real world with Edna’s “fantasy world”. This blend is really well done and very interesting, since the scene becomes really big and fantastic, but in reality, it is small and easily decorated.

 

I also like how Chopin uses the images of Venus and Bacchus. The image of Venus is very clear at the end of the book, when Edna is standing naked on the beach.

“…How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! how delicious! She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known…” (175).

This is when Chopin is using the image of Venus in ‘The Awakening”. This is also one interesting part, since Edna is awoken and realizes that the only way to get out of this world is through death.

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Personal response: The Awakening

I loved and hated “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, it was a very interesting to read the progress and transformation of Edna into a dependent and free-minded person. But, I can not understand why she chose to ‘change’ or ‘transform’ in such a way that she had to sacrifice her family, her beliefs and her personality. Chopin made Edna transform in a very extreme way, it was to allow Edna to find her true self and awaken from the ‘nightmare’ she was living in. But from other character’s perspective Edna was living the dream, she had two lovely children, a beautiful house and a very generous husband. Edna on the other hand, thought that her marriage to Leonce Pontillier was purely an incident and it wasn’t going well. Edna gradually identifies what she wants to become and who she wants to become. Throughout the novel, Edna starts to ‘awaken’ from the ‘nightmare’ she was living in.  Then she started to change her personality, belief and actions to become the ‘New Edna’ a new born person in the world. Even Mr. Pointellier realized her unusual behaviour “but she doesn’t act well. She’s odd, she’s not like herself. I can’t make her out”. The scandalised and immoral actions of Edna and her affairs made her realise this is what she wanted a happy relationship with Robert. It is still shocking how a mother can just abandon her family for her own needs, there is no justification for her immoral actions. Also, all of her actions was very selfish, she only thought about her own needs, wants and she priorities herself in front of family. However, this is what it took for Edna to become the ‘New Edna’ where she took control of her life and made her own choices.

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Creon as Protagonist in Antigone

The word protagonist, or in Ancient Greek, protagonistes, means, “one who plays the chief part.” In Greek tragedies, this was commonly viewed as the first character to actively address the chorus. It is for this reason and relations between his character and the characteristics of a protagonist that I believe Creon is the true main character of Sophocles’ Antigone. According to Aristotle’s Poetics, the four characteristics of a tragic hero, most often in ancient Greek tragedies the protagonist, boil down to position, tragic flaw, reversal, and recognition. In the beginning of the play, Creon is in a station of high power as the king. However, when faced with the problem of Antigone’s punishment, he makes a tragic error which can be blamed on his pride. At this point he hits his reversal and recognition in the span of a few pages, as can be seen in the following quote:

“Ohhh,

So senseless, so insane… my crimes,

My stubborn, deadly—

Look at us, the killer, the killed,

Father and son, the same blood—the misery!

My plans, my mad fanatic heart,

My son, cut off so young!

Ai, dead, lost to the world,

Not through your stupidity, no, my own.”

Creon obviously recognizes he has made a huge mistake, but much too late. His four stages of becoming recognizable as a tragic hero differ him greatly from Antigone and cause me to believe it is he and not Antigone who is the protagonist of this ancient play.

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Epic Similes in The Odyssey

Throughout The Odyssey, Homer uses epic similes to intensify the heroic nature of a certain event to create an aesthetically pleasing image to relay the story as well as to give insights to the nature of characters. This can be seen through an example in Book V, “An octopus, when you drag one from his chamber, comes up with suckers full of tiny stones: Odysseus left the skin of his great hands torn on the rock-ledge as the wave submerged him.” (Book V, Line 443-457) Instead of simply stating Odysseus tore his hands on the rocks, Homer romanticizes the event by comparing the incident to dragging an octopus off a surface. One can almost hear the sound of flesh against rock and see the blood being mixed in the water. Along with this idealized image, Homer subliminally reminds his audience of Odysseus’ problems with the sea; by comparing him to an octopus, a natural sea creature, he proves Odysseus to be not welcome in the ocean. Through his poetic similes, Homer conveys a deeper and more picturesque nature of his characters.

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“What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?”

George Bernard Shaw shows the audience that Raina is not really in love with Sergius thought what she says In the opening scene Raina has a conversation with her mother, Catherine. Raina is doubts that Sergius is the hero. She is not sure that he can even be a hero. If he is not her own hero how can he be a war hero?
When the Man comes into her room and talks badly of her fiancé, as if he was the “blackguards of his army”(p.107)—describing him as the most disgusting and horrible part of the army. Raina does not tell him staright away to watch his words because he is her fiancé, she doesn’t protect him, or protect what others think of him. This clearly shows that she does not really care about what others think of him. Moreover, she does not feel the need to tell him that it is her fiancé he it talking about because maybe she liked the idea that there could be another mysterious man in her life, similar with all the romantic books she reads.  She also allowed the man to flirt with her, and might of even flirted back. In act two Sergius comes back from the war as the “hero”, and it takes a couple of minutes until Raina is shown. And when she does show up, “he drops chivalrously on one knee and kisses it.”(p.126). They are imagining that they both in the middle of a romantic scene in a novel. They think that the way in which the characters act in a novel is the same in real life. I believe that if they were truly in love they would run to each others arms as soon as they heard that they are home and not wait and talk small talk with others, as Sergius did. Like in real life, one cannot be in love with two people. They cannot be attracted to both the fire and the water, light and dark—it must be one or the other. When Petkoff talks about how it was in the war, he mentioned one Swiss he came across, and Raina asks straight away “what was he like?” (p.127). at this point of the play, she might have not realized that she likes him, the Swiss soldier. She should not have asked how he was like if she didn’t want to know. When Raina and Sergius are left alone, they act again, not realizing that the other person is also acting. Sergius says how Raina has “inspired” him (p. 129). Rania’s response to this was: “And you have never been absent from my thoughts for a moment . . . “(p.129). Raina is clearly lying, because when the Swiss soldier was in her room she had no hurry to tell him that she was taken, and that the man he spoke evil of was the same man she was going to get married with. As far as we know, she might have forgotten about Sergius in that conversation.

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What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?

     George Bernard Shaw tells the reader that Raina is not in love with Sergiuous through the words she say. One of the details Shaw gives us is: “… and you kept Sergius waiting a year before you would be betrothed to him. Oh, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back.” (Page 103) This is mentioned in a conversation between Raina and her mother Catherine. The detail is that we are told that Raina has kept Sergius waiting a year before deciding that she wants to marry him. Shaw also gives the detail that Raina’s mother is the one who combines marriage and nationalism. This is to make Raina finally get the idea that she is marrying Sergius. Shaw tends to mix nationalism and romance, since these are the two main things Raina is passionate about. Therefore, Catherine has to tell Raina that if she wants to be nationalistic, she has to marry Sergius even if she does not love him. Another detail that Shaw gives the reader is: “… I am so happy—so proud! [She rises and walks about excitedly.] It proves that all our ideas were real after all.” (Page 103) This is from Raina’s response to Catherine’s speech. This sentence is ironic, since it has two meanings. One is that Sergius is a hero and the other is that Sergius is an idiot, since he led a cavalry charge against machine-guns. Therefore, Shaw leads us with another detail. “Raina. Our ideas of what Sergius would do—our patriotism—our heroic ideals. Oh, what faithless little creature’s girls are! — I sometimes used to doubt whether they were anything but dreams. When I buckled on Sirgius’s sword he looked so noble: it was treason to think of disillusion or humiliation or failure. And yet—and yet…” (Page 103). This indicates that Raina does not have any passionate feeling towards Sergius. Shaw indicates that, the only feeling she draws to Sergious is nationalism and patriotism. Later on, Raina tells us that they only shared these ideas, since they read Byron and Pushkin. This indicates that Sergius and Raina think they are in a novel, when both of them are alone together. Or else they would not have to share these ideas together. Later in act one, Shaw sends an unknown man into Raina’s room. During the meeting Riana only points out Sergious is her fiancé, when this man was insulting him. Another detail Shaw gives the reader in act two is, that Raina asks: “what was he like?” (Page 127) She is asking about the man, who came into her room in act one. The question Raina asks is significant; since no one would ask this about someone, they knew very little about. Which is also another detail Shaw gives the reader about her not loving Sergious.

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What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?

     Raina’s behaviors reveal that she is not really in love with Sergius in Acts One and Two.  One example is her dramatic entrance when she meets Sergius when he comes home from Act Two. Raina chooses her moment to come out when Sergius asks about her, “How is Raina; and where is Raina?” Immediately after Sergius asks that, Raina “suddenly coming round the corner of the house and standing at the top of steps in the path.” This implies that she has been hiding and listening for the right moment to come out, which reveals that she pays more attention to her entrance than actually greeting Sergius as a person. This proves that she does not love him, because if two people are in love, they cannot wait to spend time together instead of planning their entrance. Raina’s behavior of dramatic acting around Sergius furthermore confirms that she does not love him. Raina acts as if she is very keen to see Sergius when she is around him, for example, during their conversation, Raina  “places her hands on his shoulder as she looks up at him with admiration and worship”.  We know that this is all an act as later on, as soon as Sergius left, Raina shows “a perceptible relaxation of manner”. The fact that she loosens up after Sergius left reveals that her real character is not when Sergius is around. This implies that all her behaviors in front of Sergius is fake, and she is not really in love with him.

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What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?

     Raina’s lacking love for Sergius, the man of whom she is engaged to, becomes increasingly obvious to the audience within the first two acts of the play. This is seen when the combination of actions displayed by the characters, such as Raina’s eagerness to help Bluntschili at the beginning play,  indicating a developing affection between the two characters and Bluntschili’s mockery of Sergius’s humours gestures during the cavalry charge,  comparing him to Don Quixote. Shaw uses Bluntschili’s opinions of Sergius along with the obvious unrealistic fantasies Raina expresses, to form an image of Sergius for the audience. With this idea of Sergius implanted in the mind of the audience, it is difficult for the audience to believe that Raina would end up marrying a character with such personality traits. Sergius’s seductive actions towards Louka in act two confirm the audience’s suspicions. During this scene, Louka reveals to Sergius her suspicions about Raina, claiming that she has had an affair. “You making love to me behind Miss Raina’s back, and she doing the same behind yours.”(131) Louka then states that if the gentlemen were to ever return, Raina would undoubtedly marry him. “If that gentlemen ever comes here again, Miss Raina will marry him.”(132) Shaw uses Louka and Sergius’s conversation to foreshadow the future events that will unfold within the play, such as the deterioration of Raina and Sergius’s relationship and her formation of a new one with Bluntschili. Shaw does this by telling the audience about the events that will take place very obviously through the words and conversation of the characters, and thus does so in a more comical manner.

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What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?

     In Act one and Two Shaw uses the stage direction to reveal the true feelings of Raina towards Sergius. Raina looks down at Sergius and doesn’t believe in him, she said “It proves that our ideals were real after all.” (Page 103). This was a conversation between Raina and her mother early on in the play, it shows how Raina does not believe nor trust or think of Segius, hence Raina isn’t in love with him. However, after the incident where he acted a cavalry charge, Raina started believing that all the heroic ideals were true. This reveals that Raina was not in love with Sergius before his calvary charge, since she didn’t even believe in him. Moreover, Raina is a romantic so she believes in heroic ideals such as being noble, brave, patriotic and so when the ideas of Sergius became true she starts believing in him. Raina’s reaction suggest that this is a type of admire and not in love. Shaw uses stage directions to indicate that Raina is not really in love with Sergius. When Raina showed the man the portrait of Sergius he laughed at it and Raina did not seem angry at all. [She deliberately kisses it, and looks straight in the face, before returning to the chest of the drawers to replace it.] (Page 113) Shaw makes Raina seem like she is acting that she is mad but she actually is not. ‘deliberately’ means on purpose or intentionally, so this was just all an act. Also, if one insulted ones fiancee they should have been more angry or even ask them to leave. However, Raina doesn’t she just acts as if she was hurt and angry since the man insulted her fiancee. Hence, Raina is not really in love with Sergius, she is just in love with the ideals that Sergius puts on.

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What details in Acts One and Two reveal that Raina is not really in love with Sergius?

Bernard Shaw gives specific details that Raina is not in love with Sergius. These details are spread out in act one and two. One of the details Shaw gives us is: “… and you kept Sergius waiting a year before you would be betrothed to him. Oh, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back.” (Page 103) This is mentioned in a conversation between Raina and her mother Catherine. The detail is that we are told that Raina has kept Sergius waiting a year before deciding that she wants to marry him. Shaw also gives the detail that Raina’s mother is the one who combines marriage and nationalism. This is to make Raina finally get the idea that she is marrying Sergius.

Shaw tends to mix nationalism and romance, since these are the two main things Raina is passionate about. Therefore, Catherine has to tell Raina that if she wants to be nationalistic, she has to marry Sergius even if she does not love him.

Another detail that Shaw gives the reader is: “… I am so happy—so proud! [She rises and walks about excitedly.] It proves that all our ideas were real after all.” (Page 103) This is from Raina’s response to Catherine’s speech. This sentence is ironic, since it has two meanings. One is that Sergius is a hero and the other is that Sergius is an idiot, since he led a cavalry charge against machineguns. Therefore, Shaw leads us with another detail.

            “Raina. Our ideas of what Sergius would do—our patriotism—our heroic ideals. Oh, what faithless little creature’s girls are! — I sometimes used to doubt whether they were anything but dreams. When I buckled on Sirgius’s sword he looked so noble: it was treason to think of disillusion or humiliation or failure. And yet—and yet…” (Page 103). This indicates that Raina does not have any passionate feeling towards Sergius. Shaw indicates that, the only feeling she draws to Sergious is nationalism and patriotism.”

Later on, Raina tells us that they only shared these ideas, since they read Byron and Pushkin. This indicates that Sergius and Raina think they are in a novel, when both of them are alone together. Or else they would not have to share these ideas together.

Later in act one, Shaw sends an unknown man into Raina’s room. During the meeting Riana only points out Sergious is her fiancé, when this man was insulting him.

In act two, Sergious comes back from the war. Raina waits to appear until they speak about her. This action indicates she seems little or not interested in Sergious after all, since no one would leave someone they have not seen in a long time wait. Another detail Shaw gives the reader in act two is, that Raina asks: “what was he like?” (Page 127) She is asking about the man, who came into her room in act one. The question Raina asks is significant; since no one would ask this about someone, they knew very little about. Which is also another detail Shaw gives the reader about her not loving Sergious.

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Arms and the Man, George Bernard Shaw – the details revealed to the audience, indicating Raina is not really in love with Sergius

Arms and the Man, George Bernard Shaw is a comedy, the plays opening scene is in “late November in the year 1885” (p.101) which is also the time of act one. Act two is in “the sixth of March, 1886” (p.119).
In both of these acts many details are revealed to the audiences, indicating that Raina is not really in love with Sergius. For example:

In the opening scene Raina has a conversation with her mother, Catherine. Raina is doubts that Sergius is the hero. She is not sure that he can even be a hero. If he is not her own hero how can he be a war hero?
When the Man comes into her room and talks badly of her fiancé, as if he was the “blackguards of his army”(p.107)—describing him as the most disgusting and horrible part of the army. Raina does not tell him staright away to watch his words because he is her fiancé, she doesn’t protect him, or protect what others think of him. This clearly shows that she does not really care about what others think of him. Moreover, she does not feel the need to tell him that it is her fiancé he it talking about because maybe she liked the idea that there could be another mysterious man in her life, similar with all the romantic books she reads.  She also allowed the man to flirt with her, and might of even flirted back.
In act two Sergius comes back from the war as the “hero”, and it takes a couple of minutes until Raina is shown. And when she does show up, “he drops chivalrously on one knee and kisses it.”(p.126). They are imagining that they both in the middle of a romantic scene in a novel. They think that the way in which the characters act in a novel is the same in real life. I believe that if they were truly in love they would run to each others arms as soon as they heard that they are home and not wait and talk small talk with others, as Sergius did.

Like in real life, one cannot be in love with two people. They cannot be attracted to both the fire and the water, light and dark—it must be one or the other. When Petkoff talks about how it was in the war, he mentioned one Swiss he came across, and Raina asks straight away “what was he like?” (p.127). at this point of the play, she might have not realized that she likes him, the Swiss soldier. She should not have asked how he was like if she didn’t want to know.

When Raina and Sergius are left alone, they act again, not realizing that the other person is also acting. Sergius says how Raina has “inspired” him (p. 129). Rania’s response to this was: “And you have never been absent from my thoughts for a moment . . . “(p.129). Raina is clearly lying, because when the Swiss soldier was in her room she had no hurry to tell him that she was taken, and that the man he spoke evil of was the same man she was going to get married with. As far as we know, she might have forgotten about Sergius in that conversation.

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The Gods As Psychological Forces

In Books I through VIII of The Odyssey, the gods are portrayed as psychological forces through their actions. For example, Penelope’s first interaction with Athena comes as a dream. This can be interpreted as Athena coming to Penelope to indirectly give her ideas, hopes, and bravery. It is in this fashion that the gods meddle with the lives of mortals. Athena’s indirect directions to Telamakhos, sending him to Pylos and Sparta, also prove her willingness to help man in a psychological manner. These appearances, however, are unpredictable so that Odysseus, Telamakhos, and Penelope can make their own decisions and map out their own fates. It is in these ways that the actions of the gods are shown as psychological forces there to help move along the history of man.

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Psychological Forces Of Gods in The Odyssey

Unlike the general belief that gods dominate all humans and natural powers, The Odyssey records a journey where supernatural forces frequently assist Odysseus and his son, Telemakhos. They act as spiritual supporters for the human race and regularly appear in mortal disguises. In book I, Athena taking camouflage as Mentes, approaches Telemakhos with advice. At the end of their conversation, “Mentes left him as a bird rustles upwards”  (Book I, Page 11, Line 369) enabling him to realize a god had been his guest. The incident gave Telamakhos new spirit and encouragement for the pursue of his father. As a psychological aspect of hope, the gods are prayed to oftenly. For example, in the course of Odysseus’s cruise home, he on numerous hopeless occasions sent his prayers to Athena, Zeus, Poseidon and the river god for rescue and usually new alternative choices were granted to him. The sacred presence of gods provides a small possibility of reversing a doomed destiny therefore associated with hope. Moreover, the existence of Greek gods serves to distinguish righteous and sin. Unethical behavior is severely punished through hardship and death while honesty is encouraged. Over time, humans learn to fear the punishment of justice. Like during the meeting, the crowd gapes speechlessly in anxiety at a pair of eagles, which is recognized as “a deathly omen”, (Book II, Page 23, Line 161). The pair of eagles, as a symbol of Zeus foreshadows the fate of the suitors thus arising fear.

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Heaney on Homer

“When the bard Demodocus sings of the fall of Troy and of the slaughter that accompanied it, Odysseus weeps and Homer says that his tears were like the tears of a wife on a battlefield weeping for the death of a fallen husband. His epic simile continues:

At the sight of the man panting and dying there,
she slips down to enfold him, crying out;
then feels the spears, prodding her back and shoulders,
and goes bound into slavery and grief.
Piteous weeping wears away her cheeks:
but no more piteous than Odysseus’ tears,
cloaked as they were, now, from the company.

Even to-day, three thousand years later, as we channel-surf over so much live coverage of contemporary savagery, highly informed but nevertheless in danger of growing immune, familiar to the point of overfamiliarity with old newsreels of the concentration camp and the gulag, Homer’s image can still bring us to our senses. The callousness of those spear shafts on the woman’s back and shoulders survives time and translation. The image has that documentary adequacy which answers all that we know about the intolerable.”

—from Seamus Heaney’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, “Crediting Poetry”, 1995.

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The Odyssey- Telemakhos

Throughout the beginning of The Odyssey, Telemakhos, being naive and powerless is completely passive to the cruel behaviors of the suitors. It was only after the arrival of Athena in Book I did he begin attempting to fulfill his responsibility as a man and Odysseus’s son.

 

Undoubtedly, most of Telemakhos’s maturation in character is brought by the assistance of Athena. At their earliest encounter, Telemakhos was still positioned under the shadow of his father’s tales of valor instead of making his own decisions. For example, rather than considering his future actions, he stated: “If he returned, if these men ever saw him, faster legs they’d pray for”. Instead of bringing justice to the suitors, Telemakhos, still an immature boy awaits Odysseus’s return. However, Athena aroused his sense of justice when she declared: “A sensible man would blush to be among them”, and by further support and persuasion (with the story of Orestes) guided Telemakhos to his destiny.

 

In Book II The Hero’s Son Awakens, Telemakhos held a meeting during where he rebuked the barbaric behaviors of the suitors. “Expel them (the suitors), yes, if only I had the power, ” Telemakhos said, he showed first definite signs of protest publicly but although he is not absolutely successful, this was his first awakening to his potentials. However, the intention of searching for Odysseus was strongly suppressed by the suitors and Telemakhos, only just demonstrating capability of taking control withdraws back into his unconfident self. During Telemakhos’s helplessness, Athena, disguised as Mentor once again came to his aid. “You’ll never be a fainthearted or a fool Telemakhos, if you have your father’s spirits” reassured Athena, not only did she point him to his future course but she also organized the crew for his journey.

 

With the assistance of a goddess, Telemakhos finally sets sail for news of his father. Only at the start of the journey did he truly become a man. His polite but bold interlocution between Nestor and Menelaos in Book III and Book IV contrasts to his adolescence and despairing impression in Book I, displaying his growth in both intelligence and personality under the influence of Athena.

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The Odyssey- Telemakhos

            In Books I through VI, Homer shows Telemakhos’ slight transformation from boy to man through his actions. When we first meet him, Telmakhos is introduced as, “a boy, daydreaming.” He does indeed treat Athena, disguised as Mentes, to a culturally expected welcome as any polite boy would, but none more than that. Up to this point, he has done no more to rid of the suitors than aspire for them to leave. However with the benefit of Athena’s aid, Telemakhos is inspired to call a meeting, shadowing his father; the last meeting having been held twenty years prior. The title of Book II itself points to the maturing of Telemakhos, being headed, “A Hero’s Son Awakens.” The growing boy shows leadership by calling the meeting, as seen in Aigyptios’ small speech: “Who finds occasion for the assembly, now? … The man has vigor, I should say; more power to him.” After Telemakhos’ own speech and outburst of emotion, many men are shamed and others motivated to help the boy find news of his father. This proves his use of language is much like that of his father’s, making Telemakhos follow even farther in his footsteps. Even after his departure of Ithica, Telemakhos is easily spotted out as Odysseus’ son, which both demonstrates his potential to become a great man like his father and boosts his confidence to think so. Through the first four books, Telemakhos matures quickly due to his uplifted confidence from the positive interactions of others through his journey.

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Y12 HL: first post

Please write one paragraph of an essay that responds to this question:

In Books I-IV of The Odyssey, how does Homer show us that Telemakhos is changing from a boy to a man?

You may discover three or four ways in which Homer does this; I want you to write about only one of them. For example, you may find that Homer uses the motif of green cheese: every time Telemakhos shows signs of maturity, green cheese is mentioned. In your single paragraph, focus on just the one method that you choose to write about; do not write an entire essay in which you analyse all the ways in which Homer indicates that Telemakhos is growing up.

Your evidence must consist of details from the text.

Due: Monday. I will give you tomorrow’s lesson to work on it.

Submit your paragraph as a post on this blog; I have emailed your login credentials to you.

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Politics and the english language

Politics and the english language was one of the more difficult reads we’ve had so far. I thought it was really interesting to read about Orwell’s different opinions and perspectives of writing given that he is one of the most influential writers i’ve ever studied. Orwell’s explanation and reasoning about how societies use of language is continuously become simpler. I agree with Orwell’s opinion here and think that it can be easily observed especially now in our time, with the newer generation using unnecessary abbreviations such as LOL, OMG and so on. I think that this is a great representation of what Orwell means by language continuously becoming simpler. Orwell believes that our civilisation is decadent and our language must inevitably follow. This is an interesting thought.

Orwell opinion of the different uses of politics and the means by which language is used in politics was also interesting. Orwell states that Politics is a mass of lies, hatred, and so on. He believes that this general bad atmosphere is ruing language and it is language that suffers as a result. Orwell believes that if thought corrupts language, then language must also corrupt thought. I like this statement because i have had my own thoughts about this. I believe that there is a strong correlation between language and knowledge and language cannot exist without thought. Because of this and various other reasons, i highly agree with Orwell’s perspectives.

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Some thoughts on the common toad

In this essay, Orwell starts by talking about the returning of Spring, and how the spawning of toad is a perfect example. Orwell’s enthusiasm of nature is shown in this essay. The detailed description of the toad implies that Orwell is very a good observer and has a strong interest in nature as well as things around him.

In this short essay, Orwell emphasizes the power of nature and Spring. “It comes seeping in everywhere, like one of those new poison gases which pass through all filters.” This description of nature shows everyone is equal in front of nature, and that no one can avoids this.

“The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it.”

This is the conclusion of this essay, I think what Orwell trying to say is that some human beings are foolish as they only care about things that do not really matter, or things that are not real such as factories, lies. What people should try to do is to relate to the obvious thing – nature.

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Politics and the English Language – Geroge Orwell

Politics and the English Language was more or less about Orwell telling the reader about people who use dead metaphors, since everyone knew what they meant at that time. Some examples of the ‘dead’ metaphors are ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, no axe to grind, etc.” These were some of the many examples Orwell uses to tell the reader that they should never use metaphors that are being used by other people, since people who do not understand the metaphor might read them in a piece of literature and wonder what it might mean.

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Decline of the English Murder

In this essay, Orwell comments on the some of the murders and also analyses the causes of most of these murders. One think that is particularly interesting is that Orwell generalizes these ‘common’ murder cases and put them into categories.

“The desire to gain a secure position in life, or not to forfeit one’s social position by some scandal such as a divorce – was one of the main reasons for committing murder.” Here, Orwell concludes the main causes of murder, which is usually true. He considers these types of common murders with “no dept of feeling in it.” Later in the essay, Orwell talks about what he thinks is a ‘perfect murder’. This murder does not follow the usual routes of the other common ones. Orwell makes a strong relationship between murders and war. He believes that the public’s reaction to murders is strongly related to the war period, and society.

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Some Thoughts On The Common Toad – George Orwell

I found “Some Thoughts On The Common Toad” was full of nonsense, since Orwell spends 1-2 pages talking about a toad. Why would he spend time on talking about how the toads wake up after they hibernate, when he could talk about something else if the theme was about spring? There are a lot of other examples of what is happening, when spring comes. “If man cannot enjoy the return of spring, why should he be happy in a labor-saving Utopia?” Even though the toad was in the begging of the excerpt does not mean that I did not enjoy the rest of the excerpt. This is quite an interesting quotation, since Orwell asks why shouldn’t we be enjoying life? Orwell is enjoying the spring, since it sort of gives the hope of a new life begins after the long winter.

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Reflections on Gandhi

This is one of the most interesting essays I have read. Orwell had very thought provoking views about Gandhi. First of all, it is obvious that Orwell does not particularly like Gandhi, but it is true that Orwell has certain respects for Gandhi. “For his whole life was a sort of pilgrimage in which every act was significant” This implies that although Orwell might not agree with Gandhi about certain ideas, Gandhi is undeniably an interesting man with unique thoughts. In this essay, Orwell comments on a lot some of the beliefs of Gandhi. Gandhi was willing to let people die instead of giving animal food. “This attitude is perhaps a noble one, but, in the sense which – I think- most people would give to the word, it is inhuman.” This is an example of Orwell disagreeing with Gandhi, he thinks that Gandhi’s belief is sometimes too extreme and irrational. “Close friendships, Gandhi says, are dangerous, because”friends react on one another” and through loyal to a friend can be led into wrong being.” This is a very interesting quote I think, “this is unquestionably true”. We can see that although Orwell does not like some of Gandhi’s other theories, in some occasions Orwell absolutely agrees with him.

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Some thoughts on the common toad

I found this essay especially interesting. Orwell allows readers to catch another glimpse into his personel psychology by expressing his appreciation for spring. Orwell’s reasoning behind his talk of toads was a mystery to me at first. But i think as one continues to read further along in the essay it becomes more clear. Orwell mentioned in the text that toads have never had much of an influence on poets. I think that this really depicts Orwell’s open mindedness compared to other poets and writers. It seems to me that Orwell had the ability to be more creative with his writing compared to other writers, who are narrow minded and are therefore limited in what they write about. I believe that there is a strong correlation between this and Orwell’s observational skills.

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Some Thoughts On The Common Toad

Last week we were reading ‘Some Thoughts On The Common Toad’ by Orwell. This is a short essay talking about how toads are mating in spring and how Orwell favours spring out of all the season. “The point is that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing. ” Orwell implies to us that spring is the best season of all and is trying to persuade the reading to think that too. Orwell uses word choice such as narrow, gloomy and brighter to make us agree with his opinion. All the words mention are descriptive words used to describe spring. Orwell uses imagery of birds to convey the joy and pleasure during spring. I did not really like this essay because it was boring at parts for instance the description of the toad.

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Decline of the English Murder – Personal Response

‘Decline of the English Murder’ by Orwell was a interesting essay, it talks about murder novels and how they are similar. Most of this essay is composed of descriptions of different murder novels. ‘Of the above-mentioned nine cases, at least four have had successful novels based on them’ Orwell suggest that murder novels have the same template in the form of writing. There are also general patterns and links between murder novels stated in this essay. I personally enjoyed reading this short essay because it was quite fascinating to read about murder cases and Orwells ideal ‘perfect’ murder story.

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Decline Of The English Murder – Geroge Orwell

“Our great period in murder, our Elizabeth period, so to speak, seems to have been between roughly 1850 and 1925, and the murderers whose reputation has stood the test of time are the following: Dr. Palmer of Rugely, Jack the Ripper, Neill Cream, Mrs. Maybrick, Dr. Crippen, Sedon, Joseph Smith, Armstrong and Bywaters and Thompson.”

 

It is interesting, how these murders are not been solved. With this quotation, Orwell ponders what was the reason for these murders. He also tells the reader that some of these murders have been written into literature, which means that some were written into plays, novels, etc.

I found it interesting how Orwell, an author is so tied up with murderers. What could be the purpose of him being tied up with murders? Could it be that he gets inspiration?

 

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Reflections on Gandhi – Personal Response

Last week we read ‘Reflections on Gandhi’ by Orwell, I quite like this essay because its about human rights and how one person can make a huge difference on the world. It makes me think that if someone is determined to do something then (s)he can or might be able to achieve it if they tried. I personally admire Gandhi for what he did for society. Through Orwells writing style in ‘Reflections on Gandhi’ it shows that he slightly dislikes or disapproves of Gandhi. “I have never been able to feel much liking for Gandhi” this sentence is another honest and direct personal feeling from Orwell. The last sentence of this essay is quite powerful “how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind”. This sentence is slightly ironic, how Orwell might be stating the opposite. This is a strong way to end an essay, letting the readers not have a definite answer.

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Decline of an english murder

This was a short but interesting piece. Orwell explains the nature of murder and crime stories and as a writer, displays his knowledge and understanding of the readers and what they want in a story. In this case murder stories. Orwell uses real life cases and murders and using the public’s reaction to these murders to demonstrate his ideas. I also think that this piece displays a slight fascination and interest with murder and crime stories. And i think that this is something a lot of people including myself can relate to.

Orwell’s selection of criminals was also interesting and again demonstrated his knowledge of what readers want. His observation of the reasons for these crimes and his ability to make correlations with reasons to different criminal acts, displays a high level of intelligence and demonstrates Orwell’s ability to make good observations and then derive accurate conclusions from these observations.

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“Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell personal response

When Reading “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell I found it that I was very confused at most parts and did not really understand it overall. I agree with Orwell though that scientist for an example, would speak with sophisticated words to sound smarter. In the english language we use words such as “mansions” which is taken from the french or “daja vu” which is also from the french, to sound more posh or sophisticated or smart. Orwell argues that the political writers of modern English prose use vocabulary that are not exact and necessary and the result in a lack of understanding of the subject. This then leads to a lack of meaning and understanding to the public. Orwell implies that to have clear prose the political writer must be interested or understanding of their writing otherwise the writing will be vague and pointless. I found this essay very boring but taught me some things about writing overall.

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“Some thoughts on the common toad” By George Orwell personal response

This week I’ve been reading “Some thoughts on the common toad” By George Orwell, I found the essay strange and quite inappropriate. I found the essay inappropriate because when he talks about watching the toads mate, which ruin my image of spring which was what it seemed like was the theme of the essay. It was inspring though how Orwell talked about how no one can ruin that moment of spring breaking out. However I don’t agree with toads being part of spring as a good thing because I don’t find toads beautiful, new life or peaceful I find them gross, disgusting and weird. Overall I did not like the essay except some of it’s context, I found the essay more of describing something that we don’t usually think about though which was nice to have brought to mind.

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“Decline of the english murder” By George Orwell personal response

I thought when reading “Decline of the english murder” by George Orwell that it was interesting because we was describing the murders and I found it always like it was a detective story, getting all the information before solving a case. I found it that I started to compare our day to back then and discovered that now a days it is easier to find the murderer. While back then they would take such a long time to discover the murderer, Although both centuries are alike and still find the missing murderer by human forces. However now we have technology and chemicals to discover footprints or finger prints etc. I found this essay to lift hope for Orwell in me where I had started to give up on reading his pieces out of boredom.

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‘Reflection on Gandhi’ – Geroge Orwell

Reading Reflections on Gandhi was very interesting, since Orwell has said that he did not like Orwell. With such an introduction it is interesting to read how he reflects on him.

 

 “Close friendships, Gandhi says, are dangerous, because “friends react on one another” and through loyalty to a friend one can be led into wrong-doing,”

 

This quotation is such a bizarre reaction towards friendships. Most people would say that friendships are essential to life, but according to Gandhi it is something that is a blockade towards becoming a saint. Not all people have chosen to become a saint.

 

“No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing that human beings must avoid.”

Now, Orwell says that people have to avoid becoming saints, but is that so that we would not stop interacting with each other? This is an interesting quotation, since he says that obviously have saints to resist temptation, but average people should not become saints.

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Reflections on Gandhi

A few days ago, we read a very interesting piece called “Reflections on Gandhi”. Before reading this piece I didn’t really know who Gandhi was, I knew he was important, yet I didn’t really know why.

I must say ,that, for me, this was the most interesting piece I’ve read so far in “The Orwell Reader”. Even thought it was only seven pages long it made me think about more things then the other essays in this book.

 

Orwell writes about Gandhi and what were his thoughts about him. On top of page 329- “They made a good impression on me, which Gandhi himself at that time, did not.” He didn’t like Gandhi very much yet respects him. I personally think that it was because of Gandhi’s world of view. Gandhi have very extreme points of view, and people either think he is amazing or think that he is crazy, because he really sees the world black and white, I personally am not sure whether I like what he had to offer or not. Some of his quotes were very true and smart, and I liked them, for example:

“In the end deceivers deceive only themselves” -329 paragraph 1 line six from the bottom. This if very true! When we lie or are mean to other people, we are basically lying to ourselves, because one will start believing to the lies they told, which means that at the end of the day they are lying to no one but themselves.

“Love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others”-331 lines 2-3 from the bottom. I believe that when a sentence like this is said, any word added to start and analyze will decrees from the power of the sentence.

“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty”- 332 lines13-15 from top. The essence mean simply means nature, so the nature of being human is that we don’t seek perfection. I strongly believe that this is true. As much as we think we do seek perfection, we don’t. We were wont imperfect, and no matter how hard we try, we won’t reach perfection. This does not mean that we shouldn’t drive for perfection is different thing, but it should be reasonable.
The second part of the sentence is that “one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty”. A simple example for that is if a friend tells you a very importance secret, a secret that will change things, and you promise not to tell. Many times we prefer to stay loyal to someone, so that they can trust us, yet what many do not realize is that sometimes, it is the right thing to go forward and tell the secret. Sometimes with secrets are a matter of life and death situations, and as much as we think that being loyal is important, doing the right thing is as twice as important.

“One must choose between God and men”. Page 332 line 10 from the bottom. We can’t have it all. We can either be committed to God, or we can “commit” to the world, and that is men, as is human beings.be committed to the world doesn’t mean that we are dedicating our life for the world, it means that we live with the world and all the thing it comes with. When one chooses God, there are certain rules and commitments that come with it, and with them comes sacrifices. There will be things that everyone will do, but he or she already committed, therefore they wont be able to do it. Its not that they wont be able to do it physically, it’s that they won’t be able to do it because of the decision they made.
Therefore I believe that one can either commit to the world or to God, not both nor any.

One the other hand, I did not agree with some of the things he wrote. For instance:
Orwell mentioned many times the word Saint. For a Jewish reader, like myself, there is no such thing as a saint. Man and god are not one. God is the superior one, and we are just humans. However, the Christians do believe in saints. It was interesting to read what people thought about saints and what saints are supposed and not supposed to do. The most important thing that I learned from reading about saints. Is that it does not matter if one believes in it or not, or even if they think its complete nonsense, they cannot tell you this is wrong, because it is one’s truth.

 

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“Reflections on Gandhi” by George Orwell personal response

The essay “Reflections on Gandhi” by George Orwell, I found boring and long to read yet again. I found that Orwell is just writing about another day in his life which I find to be exhausting to read. Orwell talks about Gandhi’s life quite a bit through out the essay, and it seems that Orwell did not see Gandhi as a bad man, but more as a character who is unwilling to become to close to anyone, as “Close friendships, Gandhi say, are dangerous….”. “on three occasions he was willing to let his wife or a child die rather than administer the animal food prescribed by the doctor.” This  I  found to be ridiculous if it were necessary to my health, I would force down something I would not have regularly eaten. Although I found it inspiring that Gandhi stood up to what he believed in which was being a vegetarian.

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Reflections on Gandhi

This essay was definitely one of the more interesting and engaging texts we’ve read so far. In this text readers are given new perspective into Orwell’s personality and psychology. Readers gain this new perspective through learning about Orwell’s views and thoughts about Mahatma Gandhi and his cause.Through out the text Orwell expresses his disapproval of the things one associated with Gandhi, which through further research and analysis of Gandhi, i find understandable. What i found most interesting was despite Orwell’s disapproval, he still highly respects Gandhi for his beliefs and i think Orwell believed that Gandhi benefitted this world simply by just being alive.

It was also interesting to learn more about Gandhi himself while reading the text. As Orwell wrote this essay based off of Gandhi’s autobiography, he is able to tell us about different events and commitments Gandhi made through out his life, fairly in depth. For example, Gandhi’s vow to brahmacharya, which goes beyond the commitment of chastity by not only eliminating any act of sexual intercourse within his life but also eliminating all sexual desires. This i found interesting. I am glad to have been able to gain new insight of both Gandhi’s life and Orwell’s perspective of it.

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“Homage to Catalonia”

I feel like “Homage to Catalonia” is one of the less interesting pieces from all the essays we read so far. There was a lot of descriptions about Orwell being in the front line but actually doing nothing. Through this selection, I feel like even though Orwell participated in this war, he did not really approve of it. It seemed like that he was an outsider of the war, and did not belong to a side. I also found traces of him disapproving of war: “there was something of the evil atmosphere of war”, however this is contradicted as he later showed that he was bored of this war with no actual fighting.

We can also see how unorganized the militia was. He mentioned that nothing was ever on time, and everything is always said to be happened “manana”, tomorrow. They had no actual uniform, and the funniest part is that most of the soldiers are not suffering from injuries from the war, but from coldness or the harsh environment.

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Homage to catalonia

‘Homage to catalonia’ tells of Orwell’s experience in the Spanish civil war. Through the piece Orwell very clearly depicts his thoughts towards war and the towards the other events that he was forced to face during the time. While reading this essay i was not as engaged as i usually am while reading a text. I felt my self immersed in my own thoughts and not paying attention to the text. Putting that aside i did find certain parts in the text quite amusing. For instance the militiamen’s recklessness with firearms and their lack of skill on the battlefield. I found it Orwell’s reaction after he left spain interesting. Most would expect as Orwell did, to feel a sense of relief and joy if stuck in their situation and getting away from that. But Orwell’s feelings were completely different, and i found this interesting.

I was disappointed to see that there was no description of Orwell being shot. I was anticipating the event as i think it would have been interesting to read what he thought of the event and maybe try to see how his memories may have been altered or exaggerated in an attempt to try to make the event make more sense to him.

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Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell

“Homage to Catalonia” was an interesting piece by Orwell, but it was a bit boring. I never thought that this would be boring, but I think that has to do with my lack of experience of civil wars. It is also partly hard for a writer to send the emotions through a piece of writing, and especially when it is about war.

I still enjoy reading Orwell and he was an amazing writer, but sadly I could not connect to his feelings through this time and that made this piece not as interesting for me.

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Homage to Catalonia – Personal Response

Last week we read ‘Homage to Catalonia’ by George Orwell. This essay is talking about Orwell’s experiences and observations in Spanish Civil War. Up to now all the essays I read by Orwell, all have something in common. Which is Orwells honest, direct and clear writing style. It is continually shown in this essay, the vivid descriptions of the barracks, environment and clothing. It was interesting to find out antiquated objects used during the Spanish war. For instance: The ‘poron’ the purpose of this object is like a container, so they can keep water in it.  Personally, I didn’t like this essay. It was boring at parts where Orwell was describing the war.

 

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“Homage to catalonia” by George Orwell personal response

Honestly I found the essay i’ve been reading recently which is “homage from catalonia” by George Orwell, very long and boring. I didn’t feel as if anything struck me as interesting or exiting. The essay made me feel angry and uncomfortable because i’m very against war, Orwell proved to me how pointless war is by the way he spoke about the children! Children  who do not know right from wrong nor how to handle a gun because they are too young and are being put into the war as fast as possible because they are losing the real army men. I found this essay disturbing and would not read it again, the essay was too drawn out and I felt like I was just reading a timeline or a history book. I was disappointed with the essay where as I started reading it thinking this was going to be my favorite.

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The road to wigan pier

In this essay Orwell tells of the life of miners and the hardships they go through as miners. The piece was interesting and i found myself highly engaged in the text. Orwell describes to us his experience of going within a mine and witnessing  the life of a miner. Mining is still considered a very dangerous career. Orwell described the mine to be what he expects to be the equivalent to hell. I found this interesting because it gives the reader an insight into Orwell’s perspectives and thought process.

It was an interesting piece and i think Orwell did a really good job of putting the hardships and difficulties of a miner into perspective. Thus, allowing the reader to develop new sympathy and understanding of the people who pursue this dangerous career.

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The Road to Wigan Pier

This selection talks about Orwell’s time as a coal miner. He immediately tells us that it is not an easy job at all. “All those times the place is like hell. Most of the things one imagines in hell are there- heat, noise, confusion, darkness, foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space.”

Reading this selection makes me think about where our luxury comes from. Most of us don’t even think about coal when we enjoy the privilege of using electricity, heating. “The machines that keep us alive, and the machines that make the machines, are all directly or indirectly dependent upon coal.” We often take everything for granted, and we never knew that the origin of our comfort came from this ‘hell’. This selection also makes me think about how unfair life is, some people get to enjoy all the luxury while some people need to do all the hard work to provide that luxury just because they are poor.

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How the Poor Die

This selection mainly talks about the Orwell’s experience in a hospital for poor people in Paris. He talks about how ‘inhumane’ they treat patients in the hospital. During his time in Hospital X, he describes the hospital as “just as in prison or the workhouse”. The hospital is a very poor place with limited resources and lazy staff. “The gravel path was frosty underfoot, and the wind whipped the nightshirt round my bare calves.” Normally, hospital is a place where the sick people are well looked after, and where the nurses try their best to accomodate their needs. However this shows that the hospital does not even provide the basic needs like clothes. “frosty” and “bare” suggest that it is very cold.

When it is Orwell’s turn to get treatment, he instantly felt that there was no say for the patients at all. “A few feeble protests that I uttered got no more response than if I had been an animal.” It seems like the patients were all treated as animals, this might be because of the huge number of patients the hospital needed to look after.

This essay overall shows that the poor were all treated very unequally. Also the fact that most of the patients in the hospital find the horrible conditions almost comfortable further proves that there are even poorer people.

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The Road to Wigan Pier – Personal Response

In ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ by George Orwell it talks about the importance of coal. How coal is the main component of development in a country. It is about the difficulty of mining and horrible conditions in the mine. It conveys the message that we should appreciate the hard work of those miners and not take them for granted. Orwells vivd descriptions of the working conditions of the mine horrifies me. The descriptions of the miners make me sympathies with them. It made me feel how lucky I am. It also made me question whether is it right to let them just sacrifice and risk their lives so we can have a better life. Mining is a manual labor and is essential to our life, but it is seen as inferior and get little credit for their work. It makes me reflect how we should be satisfied and appreciate people no matter their social position.

 

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How the Poor Die – Personal Response

Last week during English we read ‘How the Poor Die’ by George Orwell. It was a very interesting essay, it talks about how the poor die. In this essay Orwell wrote clear descriptions of the hospital layout and daily routines. Also, Orwell writes about his inner thoughts and his opinion towards how people were treated in the hospital X. The description of Hospital X were mostly negative, Orwell seemed to be criticising the hospital, how the patients were treated terribly. The word choice used to describe Hospital X shows that the conditions were terrible such as ‘beds surprisingly close together. There was a foul smell, fecal and yet sweetish.’ Orwell wrote vivid descriptions on how the patient in Numero 27 died with no one being there for him. How that patient died alone without anyone noticing until hours later. ‘This poor old wretch who had just flickered out like a candle end was not even important enough to have anyone watching by his deathbed.’ This sentence conveys to us Orwell’s opinion and feeling toward this patient. The writing style for this essay again is very honest and forward. This essay conveys to us how terrible the conditions were in Hospital X and how people who are sick don’t even want to go to the hospital they rather stay home. ‘a hospital is popularly regarded as much the same thing as prison’, Orwell states that hospitals was a place of torture than a place for treatment.

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How the Poor Died

 

Before reading this essay, by only looking at the title, as I see it, it could mean two things. The first is that someone that was poor and Orwell knew, died, and the other is that Orwell is telling how this stage in his life, of experimenting how it is like to be poor “died”, and that he is back to being him.  Maybe it is about how Orwell got so ill he had to go to the hospital, where he was treated properly and changed to his old life style.

Yet after reading this essay, I realized that these two assumptions were wrong.

Orwell writes about hoe he was ill, and went to the hospital, where for my opinion, was treated like an animal. The doctors and the one future to be, did not care about the human being at all. They had zero interest in the suffering human being, all they cared about is that they were poor, therefore it was not necessary to give them a proper treatment.

 

It was shocking for me to read about how the prisoner that prefers to be back in prison than staying in the hospital.
A hospital is meant to be a place where people feel safe and equal to one another. It might not be a place where people would like and spend their time there, but it shouldn’t be a place where people don’t want to go at all cause.

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“The Road to a Wigan Pier” – George Orwell

George Orwell explains the living of a miner. Throughout this excerpt Orwell tells us how it is being a miner, and how painful and dangerous their job really is.

 

“Here is this frightful business of crawling to and from, which to ant normal person is a hard day’s work in itself; and it is not part of the miner’s work at all it is merely an extra, like the City man’s daily ride in the tube.”

 

In this quote Orwell tells the truth about the way miners work, since he has been down in the mines himself. People forget what miners put them through, when they are in the mines. Coal is a non-renewable recourse, which means that, when we have dug it up it’s gone.

 

“When you think of a coal mine you think of depth, heat, darkness, blackened figures hacking at walls of coal; you don’t necessary think of creeping to and fro.”

 

Here Orwell describes what a “City man’s” illusion of a coalmine is. Miners have to breath the coal-dust everyday and have barely enough money to wash once a week; and they also eat very little. The miners may eat a thin slice of bread with a thin slice of cheese on.

 

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From “The Road to Wigan Pier” personal response

This past weekend I’ve been reading an essay By George Orwell called “From ‘The Road to Wigan Pier'”. I have already read past of it for IGCSE which was “Down The Mine” and since I had analysed it with my class mates back then it made it easier to read. I found this essay interesting because it shows how the real life of a miner is. I find it that if I would describe a miner I would describe what he looks like, However I don’t actually know what they do or how much they actually suffer being in the mines. The miners do not get credit for what they do for humanity which is provide us with electricity and fuel for our cars. I love the way he describes in this essay even though this is not a topic i’m engaged in. I found the quote “When they are black and naked they all look alike.”(pg.150) very interesting because I don’t think Orwell was trying to be racist at all, I don’t even think he was talking about “black people” In general but it seemed as a very strong quote. Honestly I found this essay disturbing but powerful by the words Orwell used.

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How the poor die

How the poor die is a great representation of Orwell’s non-sympathetic writing style,displaying a fair amount of death and suffering. The setting in the hospital allowed Orwell to express his discomfort with hospitals and also allowed to readers to discover or be reminded of their own discomfort with hospitals. Who would likes hospitals? They’re filled with dying a diseased people coughing up they’re sickness. The thing that struck the most was when patient 57 died and Orwell just stares at him, describing the corpse with a fair amount of detail and depicting some sort of fascination with the dead, which i think indicates that death doesn’t bother him maybe as much as it would other people, and i think this part of his personality is greatly reflected in his writing.

 

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Down and Out in Paris and London

This essay talks about the period of time in Paris when Orwell was actually poor. He was so poor at one point that he couldn’t even afford food for a couple of days. It is very interesting to see that in the beginning, he tried to pretend that everything was all right. “But of course you dare not admit it-you have got to pretend that you are living quite as usual.” Even though he only had six fracs at that time, he tried to go to restaurants to buy food and drink, and sometimes go to the barber just ‘to keep up appearance’. He was still not very used to being this poor, being unable to do anything. “Everywhere there is food insulting you in huge, wasteful piles…” He felt ashamed to be poor at this point, that he could not even afford the most basic thing, food.

He kept going like this for so long, but eventually he found a job as a waiter working in a hotel. From today’s point of view, it seems like a terrible job, but from his point of view, he was grateful that at least he got to feed himself again. “I was tired and drenched with sweat, but I felt a new man after a day’s solid food.” This implies that he was pleased as long as there is food for him, and also that he had been starving for a long time.

This selection is very special because it not only talks about Orwell’s own experience, but also people around him, and how they suffer from poverty. Even though at times life is really tough, you can always find a way to survive.

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How the Poor Die – George Orwell

It was interesting reading George Orwell’s essay “How the Poor Die”, since he this time was in a hospital. The interesting part about this excerpt is the way people used to look at hospitals and to be able to compare the hospitals in the 1930s with the hospitals from the modern days. People saw the hospitals as a place were people would die and not saved.

 

“A year or two later the celebrated swindler, Madame Hanaud, who was ill while on remand, was taken to the Hôpital X, and after a few days of it she managed to elude her guards, took a taxi, and drove to the prison, explaining that she was more comfortable there.”

 

With this quote it is ironic, since a prison is assumed to be bad, but a hospital that is worse? That is awful, and especially when a prisoner prefers to be in prison instead of the hospital have a funny and a serious aspect for the reader. It is hard for us to imagine how bad the living conditions were at this time. Not only the living conditions we assume that prisons are an awful place to be, but also hearing this story of a prisoner, who prefers prison instead of being in the hospital is unbelievable. Not only for the reader, but just the way it were back then. It is really hard to believe this story.

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“How the Poor Die” by George Orwell personal response

Recently I have been reading an essay by George Orwell named “How the Poor Die”. Orwell criticized how the poor lacked access to health care, which is still happening in our daily life. I thought it was interesting how brutally people were treated in the hospitals and how if they needed training they did it on the poor without a high power as supervision. I found this essay very interesting and admired the way Orwell wrote in it, how he was very detailed and it was as if you were witnessing all these activities at the hospital in person. Orwell did not seem too please in being at the hospital in france which I found very clear. Honestly this was one of the essays id found readable and I found that so far i’ve only actually liked why I write and How the poor die. However I find his works pretty boring and stretched out, also his essays are very brutal and seem exaggerated.

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Was George Orwell anti-Semitic?

Those interested in this question, which arises in light of some of Orwell’s remarks about Jews in ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ and other pieces he wrote earlier in his life, should have a look at these links:

1. Orwell’s essay on anti-Semitism in Britain: http://orwell.ru/library/articles/antisemitism/english/e_antib

2. DJ Taylor writing in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/aug/13/biography.highereducation

Besides the particular question of Orwell’s own sentiments, one can learn from these pieces a great deal about how common anti-Semitism was in the first half of the 20th century—not just in Germany or Poland or Austria, but across Europe, including France and Great Britain, and in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Understanding how common and widespread it was, we can then make more sense out of the Allies’ relative lack of interest in the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, even after the existence of the extermination camps became known in the West. And then, circling back to Orwell, we won’t be so surprised to find that in his earlier years he made anti-Semitic remarks. Rather we would be surprised if, given his background, he had not been prejudiced against Jews, when just about everyone around him was.

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“Down and Out in Paris and London”

This essay was a pretty long essay. It talked about the “bad days” Orwell went though, the days of living “out of six francs a day”. Orwell wanted to see how the poor people actually lived, what they were wearing and what were they eating. Therefore he decided to leave his money in London and go and experience this sort of life.

When he was living a poor life, looking for a job like any other person, with no experience and no ‘family name’ to help him, he realize how hard it was. After looking for a job for a period of time, and then finding an open job as a dishwasher, the only reason he was given that job was because he was “an Englishmen”.

 

Orwell wrote about “a Jew” three times this essay. The first one was on page 54 at the very bottom.  “The shop man was a red-hared Jew, an extraordinary disagreeable man, who used to fall furious rages at the sight of a client….”” merde! He used to shout, “you here again?”. The second one was on page 58,also at the very bottom. “For the last fortnight he had been living in this roon, together with a Jew, a mechanic. It appered that the Jew owed Borris three hundred francs, and was repairing this by letting him sleep on the floor and allowing him two francs a fay for food.”

The third time, was on page59, fifth paragraph, “besides, the Jew tells me he is going to steal some magnetos from the garage where he works, and he will pay us five francs a day to clean then before he sells them”

These three times Orwell wrote about Jewish people made me feel like he is being a little anti-Jew. Like all the Jews he met were a kind of mad, if it was not being friendly at all, or owing more then one can return back or even if it was to steal to that one could re-sell it after for more money. When reading these three times about jewish people, it made me a little irritated and upset, mostly being because of the simple that I am jewish. It felt like when other people read this book, without knowing real Jewish people they will have this netative point of view about Jewish people.

One of the things that an author tries to do it to change the opinion of people, and I think that this is a classic example. Maybe Orwell did this deliberately and maybe not, but I think that some of the readers that read this essay thought different about Jewish people.

Orwell experiences how it’s like to really be poor, how it is like to going for a day or two with no food at all. Or how its like to be 100% dependent on a job, knowing that if one will have no money to pay rent.

It was very interesting to see what he thought about this whole situation. He said that being poor makes life so mush easier. When I first read this sentence I was like: “what?!?! How does that make any sense?” it is only how when I read the same line over and over when I realized that it actually makes sense. Rich people need to worry about what car they are going to buy or what they will wear to the charity event nest month, and on the other hand, poor people don’t even think about it, all they worry about is how to get through this exact day, they don’t worry about tomorrow, they will worry about tomorrow when it comes.

 

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“Down and Out in Paris And London” by George Orwell Personal response

Recently i’ve read “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell.  At first I wasn’t very engaged in the essay therefore I didn’t understand really what was going on, at first I found the essay to just be another task and I found it boring. However I realized that the essay was about Orwells’ experience with tramps and the poverty  in Paris and London in the 1920’s. He lived with them on equally and suffered the same hardness of the everyday life.

Orwell shows compassion for the  the poor and feels that society is very unfair in their criticism and judgment of the tramps and beggars that went around the streets, which I found inspiring of him. Orwell feels that beggars and tramps have unfair labels and stereotypes attached to them. For example, most people think of tramps as being dirty, disgusting and everything bad. I found this essay a little more interesting because I could see how that could be true and i’ve been in a situation where me and my mother did not have the best neighborhood or much money. This essay was long and a bit boring but I understood the content.

 

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“A Hanging”

A Hanging was a short essay, and it talked about about how Orwell was one of the guards that took a prisoner from the prison to be hanged. I was reading this essay it make me feel sad, especially when the prisoner kept saying “Ram” “Ram” “Ram”, it felt so real. I personally don’t agree with death penalty, therefore I didn’t feel like it was ok to go and hand someone, even they were criminals.

I believe that the reason why Orwell wrote the description so detailed is simply because this wasn’t a normal ‘day job’ for him, it wasn’t something that happened often for him,  therefore it was an event that he could not forget even if he wanted to.

At one point Orwell writes: “one of us would be gone-one mind less, one word less.”(Page 11 4th stanza last lines). I found this sentence very powerful. It was really like life and death dependent on that sentence.

Also, before the prisoner was hanged, there were two things that made us think of the prisoner not as a criminal but as human as everyone else. The first was the dog, when he kept spraying to his god he repeated “Ram” for a while, and the dog “answered the sound with a whine. The other was the puddle, the prisoner did not step on the puddle, and instead he walked around it. These two factors are very human, we do them very naturally., cry to help when we need it, and don’t do something unless we really need to.

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The evidence for your argument consists of details from the text. If you do not refer to details from the text, then your argument will lack supporting evidence and will fail to persuade anyone.

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