The Catcher in the Rye (Part II) – DEAR Entry

Over the past two weeks, I have been reading J.D. Salinger’s renowned coming-of-age novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The novel recounts the protagonist, Holden Caulfield’s transition into adulthood, which simultaneously symbolises childhood. Even though Holden may seem like the iconic rebel, the specific way he behaves is highly impacted by the heartrending death of his younger brother, Allie. Beneath the surface of this rebellious, depressed, phony adolescent lies a teenager who simply wishes to be the “catcher in the rye” – the man who saves children from falling over the cliff in the rye.

“She was right, though. […]

Reflection on Practice Essay

1) From writing the essay, I learnt that my knowledge of the play only extends to an extent, likewise my understanding. There are deeper concepts and knowledge that I have yet to grasp. When composing the essay, I found myself more familiarised with some sections in Act I than in Act III. I believe the number of times required to re-read the play until one grasps a masterful understanding is indefinite, since every time you re-read it, different realisations and explorations might suddenly come struck you, or that you might view the same incident differently. However, in my opinion, several […]

The Catcher in the Rye – Dear Entry

Over the previous days, I began reading The Catcher in the Rye, and although I have only read several pages, I find it rather pleasurable thus far. The novel commences with the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, recounting his story at Pencey Preparatory – a private school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. From reading the opening sentence of the novel, the reader gets dragged into Holden’s world, where they can follow his exact thought processes, as well as the ups and downs of his life. By using first person to narrate the novel, it creates a subjective style from the point of view of […]

Wendy Lesser’s Review on An Inspector Calls

Similarly, Wendy Lesser highly praised Daldry’s production of An Inspector Calls in the same manner as Jeffery Miller had. However, Lesser leads our attention to details that Miller did not pinpoint, which further provokes thoughts and questions within us. “The Inspector himself fills a role somewhere between that of a play-wright and that of a director.” I was somehow enlightened by this statement, since I never viewed Inspector Goole as anything more than an Inspector – a fabricated character. Nevertheless, without the role of the Inspector, An Inspector Calls would only exist as a plain script without a director.

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Jeffrey Miller’s Review on An Inspector Calls

Jeffery Miller highly commended Stephen Daldry’s production of An Inspector Calls, describing it as “more than the removal of dirt and time from an old gem”. In general, I concur with Miller, especially his descriptions of Arthur Birling, Sybil Birling, Sheila and Eric. I believe he accurately employed diction that portrays the characters effectively. For instance, he describes Eric using words such as “spoiled” and “neglected”, provoking the idea that Mrs Birling’s negligence of her son is what resulted in her oblivion to his behaviour and attitude.

However, the Gerald Croft we have interpreted thus far happens to be slightly […]

Jane Eyre – DEAR Entry

Jane Eyre, another grand creation composed by one of the renowned Brontë Sisters – Charlotte Brontë – which recounts the story of the protagonist, Jane, and her progression to adulthood. Through life ventures, she gradually develops both moral and spiritual sensitivity, which guides her to the peak of her life later on in the novel. This novel consists elements of social criticism, and further explores classism, feminism and religion.

The novel is set in northern England, during the period of time between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It undergoes five distinctive phases: Jane’s childhood where she is […]

Thoughts on ‘An Inspector Calls’

Up to this point, I have developed a partial comprehension of An Inspector Calls, which has provoked several thoughts regarding the theme and characters of this play. From reading the first twenty pages or so, I have observed and gained a deeper understanding of the attributes of the major characters.

As a rather provincial and avaricious man, Arthur Birling seeks to take advantage of his daughter’s marriage which would allow him to ascend up the hierarchy and raise his social standings in general, since the Croft family is relatively prosperous. Birling’s avarice is conveyed meticulously to the reader, through […]

A Tale of Two Cities – DEAR Entry

Over the previous days, I have embarked on the course of reading A Tale of Two Cities – a grand creation crafted by Charles Dickens – which is among today’s renowned classics. Written in the mid-nineteenth century, this novel is set in London and Paris, taking place before and during the French revolution.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that […]

Firewall – DEAR Entry

Firewall, a riveting crime novel written by Henning Mankell, consists of a series of eccentric and grisly incidents that sweep across Sweden. The chain of evens begin with the discovery of an inexplicable corpse in front of an ATM one evening, then follows the slaughter of an elderly taxi driver and a murder committed aboard a ferry. When everyone begins to believe that the series of dreadful deaths have eventually come to a halt, yet another gruesome incident occurs – a massive blackout in the city which is caused by a scorched corpse disrupting the connections in a power substation. […]

One Day – DEAR Entry

Unraveled in five parts in alternating point of views and over a span of twenty years, One Day is not just an engrossing but inspiring novel, intricately crafted by David Nicholls. The story evolves around Emma and Dexter, whom one day come together as lovers, then separate, yet they stay in contact. The novel captures the ups and downs of Emma and Dexter’s relationship and visits their lives on July 15th in successive years for twenty years. I particularly liked the distinctive and intelligent format this novel is written in, as it gives the reader snapshots of the characters’ lives, […]

Personal Response to ‘An Inspector Calls’

‘An Inspector Calls’ is truly an intriguing and intricately structured play that raises numerous thoughts, feelings and questions regarding society and the interrelationship between individuals. I personally enjoyed unraveling the twists and turns along with the characters in the play as the storyline progresses. The cliffhanger leaves the audience in suspense, in fact it has taken me by surprise and makes me ponder over the real identity and intentions of the queer ‘inspector’ Goole, who turns out to be a hoaxer. The play further makes me contemplate about the possible chain of events that could take place when the actual […]

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Journal Entry

Written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a daunting novel that gives its reader an insight into the barbarous lives of the Afghans – the discrimination, social inequality, gender inequality, political issues and countless more. It unravels the simple nature of human beings; that life circumstances may alter people’s characteristics, thoughts, and social standings. The book spans a period of over fifty years, from the 1960s to 2003 and focuses on the lives and relationships of two Afghan women – Mariam and Laila. Albeit Mariam and Laila start off being the worst of enemies, after living […]

‘Love (III)’ – George Herbert

On the literal level, ’Love’ can be perceived as a dialogue between a guest and the host of a feast, however metaphorically, it can be deciphered as a conversation between a pilgrim’s soul and God. Two entities are present in the poem – Love and the guest – which Love greets the guest in his house and amiably offers an intimate feast for the two. Feeling sinful, the guest hesitates and as if sensing his hesitance, Love reassures him that he is worthy and inquires if he needs anything. In the last stanza, Love emphasises on the fact that the […]

Wave – Journal Entry

Written by Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave is a heartbreaking memoir that recounts the author’s encounter of a nearly unfathomable tragedy – losing her husband, sons and parents in the 2004 tsunami – with grief. The memoir further narrates the author’s life before the tsunami, as well as her attempts and failures to cope with the event’s aftermath in the following years. The memoir commences with Sonali’s family vacationing on the coast of Sri Lanka on an ordinary day, only to realize that the ocean looked a little closer to the hotel room than usual. Oblivious to the rising waves, her family […]

Odd Hours – Journal Entry

Over the past few days, I began reading the novel “Odd hours”, written by Dean Koontz. The thriller novel is set in an obscure town in Pico Mundo, and the protagonist has the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. While taking a stroll one morning, the protagonist comes across a woman whom he had been repeatedly seeing in his dreams. However, their encounter has been cut short by the pursuit of three strangers, which he is assaulted and nearly gets murdered.

I particularly liked the evocative description of the ocean at the beginning of the novel: “The Pacific was […]

‘Father Returning Home’ – Dilip Chitre

In “Father Returning Home”, the poet employs meticulous diction that conveys the mundaneness in an old commuter’s life and the alienation he undergoes in the present world. In the beginning of the poem, the poet portrays the monotonousness of the old man through depicting his train journey while returning home on one sultry, rainy evening. “Suburbs slide past his unseeing eyes” (3) connotes that the old man rides on the train on a daily basis, which the scenery of the suburbs have become familiar sightings to him. The word “unseeing” conveys the inattentiveness of the old man, since we hardly […]

Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen) – Journal Entry

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine” (page 22). As the opening of Northanger Abbey, the narrator introduces Catherine Morland as the protagonist and begins taking the reader on the heroine’s riveting, labyrinthine and mysterious journey of life. I have chosen this quotation because the openings and endings of novels are usually the lines that convey significant meanings and spark questions in the reader’s mind. In which the significance of this opening is to present the reader to the protagonist of the novel and arouse interest in […]

DEAR Journal Entry – Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Written by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) is one of the most intriguing yet appalling novels I have ever came upon. The novel depicts a dystopian society where every single action of its citizens is being monitored through the use of technology, even their conversations are secretly recorded, unknowingly. Daunting posters of the ruling Party’s seemingly omniscient leader – a figure known as Big Brother – are found everywhere, and often followed with the slogan “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. The official slogans of the party are associated with the indoctrination of its citizens, which they are: “War is peace”, […]

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