Pastiche on Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”

Passage 1

When I found out for certain that this bear concrete slab scattered with pitiful little trees was the courtyard; and that Eric MacKnight, peacefully reading, and also Shawn Jones teacher of the tenth grade, were in the classroom; and that Coen, Adam, Chantal and Alex, students of the aforesaid were also in the classroom; and that the dark, drab corridor beyond the classroom, met with doors and staircases packed with students mesmerized by their cellphones was the hallways; and that the great grey building afar was the dormitory; and that the raging rowdy lane from which the machines were screeching and blaring was the road; and that the bunch of energy in the middle of it all, was Brandon.

Passage 2

A fearless man, all dressed in black, with his eyes covered in shade. A man with a suit and with shades, and with perfectly polished shoes tied to his feet. A man who had been freshly bathed in water, and groomed by scissors, and pressed by an iron, and shaved by a blade; who marched, and smiled, and laughed and was styled; and whose eyes sparkled as he gleamed at me with a grin.

 

 

Antigone Personal Response – Who is the Main Protagonist?

In the play Antigone by Sophocles, there is no clear protagonist, however Antigone is arguably the main character of the whole story. The most obvious reason for this is that the play is named after her. This makes it clear that even if Antigone isn’t the protagonist, she is still one of the main characters.

Another reason that Antigone is the protagonist of the play is that she causes the result of the play. Now, arguably you could say that Creon caused the events of the play because he made it illegal to bury Polyneices. With that view point, you could also argue that Polyneices caused everything because he attacked Eteocles for the throne, and so on. That being said, if Antigone had listened to Ismene and made the decision to let Polyneices be and not go against Creon’s wishes, she would (probably) not have died. In the play, the Messenger says,

“She [Eurydice] stabbed herself at the altar, then her eyes went dark, after she’d raised a cry for the noble fate of Megarus, the hero killed in the first assault, then for Haemon, then with her dying breath she called down torments on your head–you killed her sons.” (p. 126)

Because Eurydice killed herself over her son’s death, and Haemon killed himself in part due to Antigone’s capture and death, this means Antigone created a domino effect of Haemon and Eurydice dying just by killing herself. Because Antigone caused the result of the play, she played a big role in it and was therefore in a lot of the scenes.

Antigone is in many of the scenes, and when she isn’t, she is still a topic of discussion among other characters. For example, in the beginning of the play, Antigone speaks with Ismene for six pages before the Chorus speaks, and then Creon comes into the scene. Although Antigone isn’t physically in this scene with Creon, Creon’s sentry enters the building and begins telling him about how someone (Antigone) buried Polyneices, “The body–someone’s just buried it, then run off… sprinkled some dry dust on the flesh, given it proper rites.” (p. 71). From this quote we can see that although Antigone isn’t physically in this particular scene, she is still being talked about and is affecting what happens in the play.

In conclusion, Antigone is the main character of the play because it is named after her, she causes the result of the story and is in a large part of the play.

Oedipus The King Response

Oedipus the king was an interesting play that really expanded my knowledge of ancient Greek life, drama and religion. The whole plot of Oedipus is very disturbing but was nevertheless interesting to read. The play is unlike anything I have ever read before, and is very different from stories I am used to reading. For instance, the choir is a very memorable part of the play because the meaning of the chorus isn’t always easy to understand, and can be very poetic. The characters in the play are well thought out and each have distinct personalities. Oedipus is a great example of this, because by the way he speaks and acts we can see that he is courageous and mostly polite, but has a very short temper and doesn’t like it when things don’t go his way. He likes to be in control of his life, but as we can tell from the prophecy, it seems that he isn’t.

The language was also quite unfamiliar to me. It wasn’t unfamiliar in the sense that I didn’t know the vocabulary being used, but was unfamiliar with the register (high register). The way the characters spoke to each other was very formal – most of the time – and old fashioned. Namely, people refer to Oedipus as “my king” and Oedipus refers to the people of Thebes as “my children”.

One of the biggest thoughts I had while reading this book is how much politics have changed. In the story, everyone bows down to Oedipus (even after certain people basically tell him he murdered Laius). In modern day, it takes a whole lot less than that to ruin someone’s career, especially a political leader.

The play was surprisingly enjoyable to read, and gave me some knowledge of ancient Greek life and drama. For those reasons, overall I liked the play.

In A Grove – Reflection

In a Grove is an interesting short story that is told unlike most. The tale is told through testimonies and confessions of people involved and related to the murder of a man named Takehiko. What’s interesting about the accounts given in the story is none of them fully corroborate with each other, but rather each of them contradicts another account in one way or another. Although there are some things that we can almost be certain are true such as how Tajomaru took Takehiko’s arrows and sword, there are other actions that cannot be proven. The biggest question raised by this story is who actually killed Takehiko.