PR on A Doll’s House: Love? or the idea of love?

This play put me through different emotions while its events quickly escalated. At first, I regarded Nora, Torvald Helmer’s wife, as a spoiled, selfish, and stupid trophy wife who only wanted money and Torvald as the husband who adores and would do anything for his wife. These assumptions aren’t accurate but aren’t exactly false either.

I’ve been told that watching my reactions to shows, movies, plays, etc is as funny, or even funnier than what is being watched. While watching the play, I remember being completely repulsed at Nora’s squirrel-like actions when trying to get Torvald to do what she wants and rolling my eyes almost every time they interacted before Krogstad started blackmailing Nora.

I never trusted Kristine and it didn’t sit right with me how she just swooped in and took Krogstad’s job maybe even hours after he was fired and was even more suspicious of her rushing to try and persuade Krogstad to retract his letter and seemingly being the ‘hero’ of the play.

I was visibly shocked at Torvald’s major reason for firing Krogstad which was in fact really petty.

The audacity of Nora to openly flirt with Dr. Rank who she knows likes her and then be shocked when he professes his love left me flabbergasted.

And the slap? I was offended on her behalf. His actions afterward disgusted me.
I am almost very sure that each and more of these emotions were shown on my face and would have cracked up anyone watching me.

Yet, I still managed to understand some of the characters’ actions to a certain point. However petty the reason, Torvald had the power to put an end to the blatant disrespect Krogstad showed and so he did. I would too if someone who I went to school with years ago assumes that we are friends and automatically thinks he can be as familiar as he wants. The main problem is that we are not friends. This shines a light on the topic of boundaries and knowing one’s place in the workplace.

Nora and Torvald’s relationship was based on love. Unfortunately, the love wasn’t between them but of each’s idea of the other.

The slap, though unnecessary, served as a real eye-opener for Nora and let her stop and think because, in her mind, the man that she loved wouldn’t react or address her in such a manner. It was almost as if her rose-colored glasses fell away during their interaction and made her realize that she does not know the man she married.

This makes Kristine’s decision to try and stop Krogstad from his continuous blackmail of Nora and still stop him from going immediately retracting his letter very smart and shows her as probably the only sensible character in the whole play.

In conclusion, as I stated earlier, my assumptions were accurate at Nora being a trophy wife and Torvald ‘loving’ his wife but not entirely at her being selfish and stupid and Torvald willing to do anything for his wife. Therefore, this entire play is an emotional rollercoaster that I was not willing to go on but had to to get a good grade and it made me think about some things. The main question is Do you love someone or do you love the idea of what you want them to be?

Merchant of Venice PR

I can say that I preferred watching the play to reading it. I struggle with and therefore do not like or enjoy reading Shakespeare’s works. The plot was interesting but I only found this out after watching the play. Shakespearean language is almost equivalent to a different language to me so I am almost sure that if I had not watched the play, I would not have had the faintest clue what was happening.

The Merchant of Venice

In class, we watched the movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ made in 2004. I preferred this because i have always had trouble understanding Shakespearean texts. While watching the movie, i followed along with the book, kind of acting as subtitles and noticed that there were a lot of omissions from the movie.

I am however quite upset at how Shylock was not given justice and ended up being  punished. With the dissapearance of his daughter and a good amount of his money, he was already fueled with rage and then for Antonio to not be able to pay what he owed and his friends asking him to reconsider and have mercy might have been the breaking point. In my opinion, He should first of all have had a lawyer because his bond had a lot of  obvious loopholes that were later used against him. Shylock should have at least had some compensation when he couldn’t have the vengeance he seeked.

Also, it should be noted that there are a lot of unanswered questions. We see Jessica at the end of the movie, twirling the emerald ring that Shylock was told she had exchanged for a monkey. Was Shylock lied to just to get a reaction and heighten his aanger? Did she trade the monkey back for the ring? And also, Bassanio and Gratiano, would they be as quick to throw away their wives trust again as quickly as they gave away their rings? Would they lie again?. As for Shylock. Will he be able to live a life as a christian, the religion he despised so? And finally, how can they all move on so naturally after stripping Shylock of his dignity and his way of life when all he wanted was justice?

In conclusion, i really enjoyed the movie and i have a lot of strong opinions about it.

My Verdict on bullying

The details of this case are very vague. All we know is that there is a bully and a victim of said bullying. In my honest opinion, I believe that both should be punished; with a harsher punishment dealt to the bully like expulsion or suspension, and the ultimate blame going to the school. I say this because there is only so much an individual can take when it comes to bullying, the victim was bound to react, and it was only a matter of time.

This reaction could have come in multiple forms; reporting the situation to a trusted adult, self-harm, or dealing with it himself. One of the questions we should be asking is why didn’t the victim think he could tell an adult. Where he was being bullied is swarmed with adults who are supposed to have his best interests at heart and with the amount of bullying he is said to have faced, there is no way the teachers or any adult with an ounce of sense didn’t notice. They just didn’t care enough to do something about it and it showed. The way he reacted tells a lot about his school environment because it means he knew nothing would be done about it so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Some may argue anger blinds all reasonings, but anger stems from somewhere. The victim did not just randomly decide that he wanted to do some harm. He had reached his breaking point where he felt justified enough to hurt his bully. The victim must have examined the risks and even if he didn’t, at least he has sent a message across. He can do anything without batting an eyelid if you push him far enough.

Other arguments could be that violence is never the answer and I agree, this is why the victim will not go scot-free. Therefore, I totally believe that even with the 2 boys are in the wrong and should be punished, the school should be the one being sued because, at the end of the day, this happened in their care.

PR: Langston Hughes’ Poetry

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was a black American who was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a movement that involved the intellectual and cultural revival of the african american arts spanning over the 1920s and 1930s and used his poetry to address some serious issues in an almost light way.

He uses free verse a lot, only occasionally has a rhyme scheme and sometimes merges them. This is influenced by a white man called Walt Whitman’s poems (1819-1892). Hughes’ use of the words ‘song’ and ‘sing’ to mean celebration and his tackling topics relating to democracy, freedom, justice, equality, and dignity for all people were also influenced by the same person.

Hughes’ poems had different moods. For example: ‘Let America Be America Again’, starts off with a patriotic rant which is interrupted by someone who we can assume represents every group of people that have been discriminated against (poor whites, blacks, natives, immigrants, etc). This representative goes on a rant of his own that is filled with anger and resentment.

the free?

who said free? not me?

surely not me? the millions on relief today?

the millions shot down when we strike?

the millions who have nothing for our pay?

               ‘ Let America Be America Again’


‘Life is fine’ is a stark contrast; it has a rhyme scheme, organized stanzas, and even sounds like a blues. It is also funny because it is about how the speaker wants to kill himself. Still, things like the water being cold and the building being too high stops him which makes him realize that he isn’t ready to die or give whoever the satisfaction of his death.

though you may hear me holler,

and you may see me cry–

ill be dogged, sweet baby,

if you gonna see me die.

     stanza 8, ‘Life Is Fine’


‘Harlem Sweeties’ is just a light-hearted piece praising black women in a way that would definitely be deemed unacceptable in recent years and has no rhyme scheme or particular structure.

ginger, wine-gold,

persimmon, blackberry,

all through the spectrum,

harlem girls vary-

so if you want to know beauty’s

rainbow-sweet thrill,

stroll down luscious,

delicious, fine sugar hill

Harlem Sweeties

Furthermore, it is not likely that i would revisit this set of poems just because it did not peak my interest.




Personal Response on Candide

Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ is a story based in the 1700s that follows a boy named Candide as he goes through one misfortune after the other, traveling the world just so he can be with his love, Cunegonde. Voltaire, the author, uses this book as a way to criticize or poke fun at different situations going on at the time.

Something I found interesting is the way Voltaire challenges opinions. In the book, the philosopher, Pangloss, believes that everything happens for the best, good will always prevail and we are in the best of all possible worlds. This is otherwise referred to as the belief called Optimism. This is what he teaches Candide and it is funny to me how Voltaire uses the entire book to try and prove that such an opinion is not accurate by putting Candide through a series of unfortunate events. Whatever he didn’t go through, someone close to him went through it and sometimes quite literally rose from the dead just to tell it. He travels the world and gets beaten, watches his friends die, loses some of his friends, kills a few people, gets rich only to lose everything, becomes wanted in some countries, and finds his lost ones just to be with Cunegonde and even after he finds her, she is ugly and he doesn’t want her anymore. Even after all this, Pangloss still insists that it is all for the best while we as readers strongly disagree.

Voltaire introduces a new character named Martin who is a pessimist and Candide is an optimist. Martin has only ever seen the evil of the world and therefore does not expect anything better or different, highlighting that the world was only created to infuriate us. He is a Manichaean and they believe purely in common sense and are taught that the world is unbearably painful and radically evil and should not expect anything less. Martin’s beliefs contradict Candide’s but are proven multiple times throughout the book. This doesn’t affirm that Martin’s way of thinking is correct. Martin believes that men are only capable of doing evil because it is his nature, comparing it to how it’s in a hawk’s nature to always eat pigeons wherever they are but Candide argues:

“oh, but there is quite a difference, for, after all, free will…”

Candide, pg 74

Christianity was not spared from Voltaire’s general mockery. In the third chapter, Candide had run away from the Bulgars and Agars war that he was forcefully recruited for to holland where he ran out of provisions. He wasn’t worried because he had heard that Holland was a rich Christian country and expected to be accepted with kindness as Christianity is supposed to be. Candide asked for bread from an orator who was preaching about charity but as soon as the orator asked if he believed what he believed and Candide didn’t care, the orator rebuked him and his wife poured nasty things on him. This is contrary to everything Christianity stands for, as was most of what went on in the early decades. Another example was in El Dorado, where Candide asked if they had priests who argued and never agreed on anything and the old man with him was quite shocked at such barbarism.

The book still goes on to shed some light on other themes like greed, the extent to which man would go for what he wants, good or bad, immortality, and philosophy, amongst others. Many questions are raised and left unanswered at the end of the book. Particularly why Candide is so insistent on “cultivating our garden” ‘pg 119’. What does that mean? In conclusion, regardless of how intense the events in this book become, it is almost admirable how Voltaire manages to keep to a certain level of lighthearted throughout the story. At the end of the day, t is about a boy who simply cannot catch a break.

“Let Evening Come” Reflection

I realized after reading the feedback from my essay that I still have a long way to go when it comes to my writing.

My most consistent mistakes are using needless words and omitting parenthesis around page or one citations. I understand now that I have to go straight to the point instead of beating around the bush in hopes of making my essay longer and/or sounding smarter when in fact, it does the complete opposite. As for my lack of punctuation for references, I am did not even realize that it is not the proper way to write.

So moving forward, I will try to be conscious of my punctuation and also being more straightforward with my writing. I will be able to achieve all this with some more practice.