Personal Response to Orwell’s Essays


Orwell’s Essays is a book that includes multiple essays by George Orwell. In our English class we only read the following essays: The Spike, A Hanging, Shooting an Elephant, How the Poor Die, Such, such were the joys, and Marrakech (separate handout).  


The essays that I thought were the most thought provoking and interesting to read, were: The Spike, and Shooting an Elephant. In this I will express my personal thoughts on each of the essays we read as homework and in class.  


The Spike 

This story made me think about the challenges of being homeless in London during the 1920’s. The things in this story that I found to be the most thought provoking was the fact that they knew who had been educated and not. Also, the entire concept of the facility was sort of interesting, with the homeless people being pretty much in a prison like facility with food, clothes, and sanitary facilities. But the catch is that they have to do work, which is the same as normal prisons, but you end up being able to leave after a certain amount of time. The Spike also had the Tramp Major who was pretty much the equivalent to a warden. I personally enjoyed this book, it was interesting to read, and was a short read.  


Shooting an Elephant  

This story to me represented an extreme form of peer pressure and wanting to not look like a fool. This beginning thought, mostly stems from the constant harassment of the locals of Moulmein, which is under the British Regime. The most thought-provoking part was when he is deciding about whether or not to kill the elephant or leave it be and left it cool off from its “must.” He thinks about how he will look if he does not shoot the elephant and ends up making his mind to shoot it, because “Orwell realizes that he committed to killing the elephant the moment he ordered that he be brought a rifle.” and that “His entire mission as a colonialist, he says, is not to be laughed at—thus, sparing the elephant is not an option.” Personally, I enjoyed this story because of the imaginative nature of it of like the elephant running rampant among a city in Burma, while the whole crowd of Locals is on a hill watching George Orwell aim his rifle at an elephant on a road next to a rice field, like to me that is an interesting scene.  

English: 2 Pastiches – jack


At that point I realized that this small machine unkept with trash was my car; and that Phillip Pirrip, my father, and Georgiana, my beloved mother, had kicked me out; and that the comfortable, peaceful, compacted, ordinary, spotless, room that I had once lived in, had kicked me out; and that the rural environment near my car, intersected with animals and dirt roads and fence gates, with peaceful farmers driving through it, was where I was living; and that the bright city lights beyond the horizon was my old home; and that the distant place from which the sirens were ringing, was the city; and that the calm, carefree, content human living in the trashed car and singing softly, was me. 



A bold man, all in Vanta black, with a sleek silver pistol on his hip. A man with a black hat, and with black shoes, and with a mask around his face. A man who had been thrown in a car, and tied in the car, and driven by strangers, and punched by strangers, and cut by knives, and shocked by tasers; who cried, and shivered, and shouted, and whimpered; and whose eyes distressed in his head looked up as he got knocked out again by the strangers.  

Personal Response – The Color Purple

This novel is filled with provocative events, ideas, and language that may offend readers. Is it appropriate for a high school English class to study?  

I find that a lot of books I read during English class are boring, and they are all the same, this one started off so horribly, and weird, that it sorts of piqued my interest because not all books start off that way. But that does not talk about the ideas during the books that may offend readers and I still feel as though it should be read in High School English. This is because the story is amazing, I love how this story goes from a horrible, weird, disgusting start to a story that has a nice ending with Celie and Nettie finally meeting together, and Mr.____ (Albert) and Harpo have finally learned how to take on roles inside the house. This story is so good, even though the language and matter may want teachers to not choose this book, and they should overlook these things and still decide to choose this book. 

What is the significance of the novel’s title?  

The significance of the novel’s title is shown at the beginning, middle, and the end of the story. Basically, at the beginning of the story Celie is not able to wear purple clothing, in the middle of the story she sees Shug in a purple dress (which signifies independence) and wants to be like her, and throughout the other third of the story (a bit of the middle and the end) Shug helps Cellie to become more independent and at one point helps Celie create a pants company called Folks Pants Unlimited Company, with Celie slowly becoming more independent and her own person, she makes a pair of pants made from red and purple cloth and gives to Sofia. Then her home at the end of the story is decorated with red and purple decorations, which shows she has become independent.  

Summer Reading: In A Grove by Akutagawa

It makes me think about the effect it has when more than one person knows your shame and the bad side of you, like how it can eat you up inside, ex. In this story the wife doesn’t want both men to share the pain so she kills him, the robber kills him, and he kills himself. I don’t really the know who actually killed him. Why does the wife care so much about shame? Where is the wife now? Why didn’t the wife or the robber take the horse to run away easier? It’s written like a stenographer and probably through all the interrogations they had the person typing this all out, with a new header for a different person and the text they said following afterwards.

Personal Response to The Awakening

The Awakening, a novel written by Kate Chopin takes place in the very early 1900s New Orleans. The main character being Edna Pontellier, throughout the story we can see her struggles and death at the end of the novel. I was left with many questions at the end of the book like “Is Edna a bad person? A bad wife? A bad mother?”, “Is Edna selfish?”, “What is a good marriage?”, and “What obligations do parents have to their parents?”.

For the first question I have which is “Is Edna a bad person? A bad wife? A bad mother?”. I don’t think Edna is a bad person because it seems as though throughout a lot of the story she is mentally unstable, her life is almost at a constant flux of emotions and therefore she is not in the right headspace and if she was I feel as though she would be a better person, and when Mme. Ratingolle was sick she took care of her, despite her and Robert having a very lovey dovey conversation. She is in some form a “bad wife”, due to the fact that she is literally cheating on him with another man, and is very much so in love with another man other than Leonce. She isn’t a bad mother though, she still throughout the story seems to be very loving towards her kids and takes care of them and thinks of them.

For the second question I have which is “Is Edna selfish?”, I do think she is selfish, this is mostly due to the fact she is taking away her pain just to feel good, even though she is scarring plenty of her friends and close family members.

For the third question I have is “What is a good marriage?”, I feel as though that a good marriage is one where both people in the marriage love each other, they keep their distance from each other (so they don’t burn each other out), and neither are financially dependent on the other. For example if the father wasn’t working while the mother has a job, I feel as though it creates a power dynamic in the way that like one feels as though they are doing more and could cause tension between them that would get in the way of other things. That’s why I feel as though it’s good if both parents work and it also helps stop parents being burned out by each other.

For the final question I have is “What obligations do parents have to their parents?”, Some of the main obligations that parents have to their kids are like loving them, supporting them, and the obvious stuff. With the supporting them part I’m mostly talking about like whatever job they choose, whatever stuff they like to do, and stuff like that. The obvious stuff mostly includes like food, shelter, water, and clothes.

Personal Response to Pygmalion

I really enjoyed this movie, it kept me captivated for a lot of it. Unfortunately I slept during some parts but obviously they weren’t that important because I still understood the story. The topics I will talk about is “Language as a badge, emblem, or marker of social class”, “Comedy as a way to criticize society and motivate social change”, “The connections between language and education”, and “Is society today anything like the society we see in Pygmalion?”

Language as a badge, emblem, or marker of social class in Pygmalion is very prominent we can see during the high class party where she is passed off as a duchess, with her new posh accent, she is seen as a duchess than her normal flower girl with her previous accent. Without this new accent she would be seen in a much different light than she was normally. If she had all the clothes, makeup, and look she would still be seen in a different light if she had her original accent, she may be thought as a thief if she had her original accent with all these fancy clothing/look, and probably the opposite if she had a posh accent with poor clothes saying like someone took it. Another example of Language being used in this sense would be Higgins over all thought to him, during parts of the movie I really thought he had somewhat of an ego, and I think this is due to his studies which is Phonetics.

The connections between language and education is very strong in this film, usually the posher the accent the higher the education, and vice versa (the type of accent Ms.Doolittle has) would be assumed to have a lower education or no education.

Comedy as a way to criticize society and motivate social change, I feel as though it is good to have Comedy criticize anything in general and motivate social change. The usually connotation with social change could possibly be more serious and maybe only appeal to older people, if you put it in comedy it can be seen by more people in a different light which may cause others to feel more inclined to motivate social change. People shouldn’t exactly need things to be in a different light to be able to support it, but it helps.

Is society today like anything the society we see in Pygmalion?              I feel as though there is many aspects that are similar like education and  . Education is very similar today, because if you have no education you aren’t seen as poor necessarily, but that is usually the connotation and if anything having a lot of education can make you poor/in debt because of student loans.

Overall I find the movie to be very enjoyable with plenty light-hearted, serious, and sometimes comedic scenes.

Personal Response to The Doll’s House

The Doll’s House is a story based on one of Ibsen’s friend her name is Laura Kieler and the part that is based on her is Nora and Torvald she had something similar happen where she took out an illegal loan to save her husband.

My thoughts on the Doll House, I think the story was very good and usually kept my attention for a lot of it, I’m not very good at staying on track with books but the movie really was good it kept my attention without me feeling bored. So that’s good but here are the reasons why I feel like it kept my attention for such a long time without getting distracted. Even some parts of the book did this as well.

First thing being that there is almost always something happening in the story, for example, when Mrs. Linde comes back to Nora’s home after Krogstad put the letter filled with the bad things Nora did. Mrs., Linde says that she used to have a relationship with Krogstad so she could go talk to him, and while that is happening Nora is trying to stall Torvald from looking in the glove box, this is one of the first ways the story keeps my attention. It is small ways that Nora is trying to stall Torvald, you can really see her emotion and how she is desperate for him not to see the letter in the letterbox.

Second things being the emotions in the story, to be fair I can only read emotion sometimes in the book but in the movie it conveys it a lot better which should be what a movie does but besides that the Emotions to me play a big part in how you interpret something some of the emotions that stuck out the most and convey the most is especially when Nora learns the truth about her marriage with Torvald while she is calm, with no expression, you can really feel this emotion of like realizing something bad about something you care about.

In all this book and movie are very nice. This is something I could read in my free time without falling asleep.


Personal Response to The Merchant of Venice

Throughout this play, we see so much un-reasoned hate towards Shylock and his people, the people that hate shylock and his people are prejudiced towards him. People that are prejudice are usually prejudice because of generalized hate for something and do not have actual hate towards it or they actually have some prejudice against someone. With the first part about that about generalized prejudice, is that people hate others because of what others are doing which isn’t a good mindset, but I do think this actually happens and is something very real. An example of this is when Shylock enters the courtroom in the movie we watched that he gets spat on, called names, and looked at as if he is an alien. The generalized hate / generalized prejudice is from the people doing the weird stare and not saying anything, and then the people that are spitting on him and calling him names have actual prejudice against him.

With this prejudice against Shylock and his people, I feel as though there shouldn’t be revenge The first being why it isn’t justified, this is because the odds were stacked against Shylock to begin with, this is shown when in the story from line 345 to 361 on Act 4, Scene 1. The summary of what happens here is that Portia says that if you shed any blood from a Christian under venetian law that you will be put to death or in prison. So even if he tried to to take the pound of flesh he would shed blood and this pound would be his revenge for losing his money, and in this it isn’t worth it meaning it’s not justified to do so because he would just die or go to prison. Also with not taking revenge, in my opinion I feel as though its more powerful to give mercy in hope that they are nice to you back especially if they are mean to you, which could decrease prejudice and possibly form a bond (which is kind of unlikely).

The last question being Is it possible to be both rich and good, or does wealth inevitably corrupt us? I feel as though with this you need to define what good means because are you good if you donate to charity? if you volunteer every weekend at a homeless shelter? if you are nice to people? if you have never sinned? the word can have many meanings which makes the question almost impossible to answer, but lets say what makes you a good person if you are kind to others and have a big positive impact on the world (without the direct cause of money ex. planting 100 trees in the forest over a week by yourself or with others.) with this meaning now here I feel as though it is possible for someone who is rich to be good. But with the wealth inevitably corrupting you, it depends how you get your wealth, like if you are an owner of a chain of a loan lending company with lots of interest, then the more money you get the more corrupt you get because you are taking it from the people that need it the most, because they can’t go to a bank, in turn you are taking money from very poor people, and in turn it is immoral to keep running this business. But if you are like Khan Academy which like helps people learn things and is a free service, and gets a lot of donations which in turn increases wealth (after like all taxes and other expenses) then in this case wealth wouldn’t inevitably corrupt you. This relates to The Merchant of Venice, most of the people in the Merchant of Venice are not kind at all to Jewish people which in turn (in that aspect) every rich Christian in that aspect is not good, and wealth in the story is usually only by Christian people (I think) so this means that no one in the story is a good person in any aspect.

Letter to Langston Hughes

Jack Bradshaw

1939 Sooke Rd, Victoria,

BC V9B 1W2

January 11th 2021

Langston Hughes

Dear Langston Hughes,

I really enjoy your poetry and I think that it is filled with plenty imagery and emotion. I feel as though these poems were my favorite, Ballad of the Landlord and Life Is Fine.

With ballad of the landlord I could feel his emotion and just his overall anger/annoyance getting stronger throughout the poem with certain sentences and phrases.

“What? You gonna get eviction orders? 

You gonna cut off my heat? 

You gonna take my furniture and 

Throw in in the street?” 

With Life is Fine I could see more of a rollercoaster of multiple strong emotions like sadness, depression, and clarity in a way.

“I came up one and hollered! 

I came up twice and cried! 

If that water hadn’t a-been so cold 

I might’ve sunk and died.” 


“I stood there and I hollered! 

I stood there and I cried! 

If it hadn’t a-been so high 

I might’ve jumped and died.” 


“So since I’m still here livin’, 

I guess I will live on. 

I could’ve died for love– 

But for livin’ I was born”

My questions for these poems would be: Are these experiences based on your on experiences? If not then, How do you get these experiences? Is there a lot of draft poems? What is your process in making these poems? Is it a more creative process that comes naturally or is it like sitting down and making poems for a couple hours?

All in all I enjoyed these poems and to me they gave me a very open point of view of the injustice and racism people of color would receive during the 20th century.

Thanks for looking,





Personal Response to Candide

Candide is a book written by Voltaire, in this story it shows the globe-trotting misadventures of Candide during the 18th century while searching for his love and losing people a long the way and reconnecting with them or finding them again later on in the story. Witnessing tragedy, and causing tragedy is something Candide experiences often.

One of the global issues that I see during Candide is War and Violence. Candide is set in a time of huge violence and wars due to this there is plenty imagery, stories, and scenes of war. Some of the scenes and stories take a toll on certain people and how it shapes them.

“‘Mademoiselle’, the old woman replied, ‘you are not aware of my pedigree. And were I to show you my bottom, you would not speak as you do but would immediately abandon your claim.'”

This is talking about how the old woman’s misfortunes from being a princess to a slave in morocco to escaping a mound of corpses to Constantinople where they are supposed to defend against the Russians.

Then during the time the Russians were trying to starve the soldiers inside Azov, the soldiers thought because they had no food they would eat the woman inside but there was a imam that said it would be beneficial to eat one buttock from each woman instead of killing them. Then she worked from inn to inn in Russia, then she became a maid to Don Issacar where then she was appointed to dear lady Cunegonde.


Reflection of Questions about Sophocles Antigone

My question is 2. Who is the protagonist (main character) of the play? The main character of the play is Creon. He is the main character because he is the catalyst in many ways, just like Antigone. When he is the catalyst the things he did includes: leaving Eteocles body unburied which turned into Antigone burying it and getting in trouble which turned to being exiled into a cave, once her soon to be husband found out, he went over to the cave, which then he realized that she had killed herself then once Haemon (soon to be husband) saw this he killed himself as well which turned into deep sorrow and loss for Creon, then once Creon’s wife heard about her son’s death, she killed herself too, which then caused more pain for Creon, in turn banishing himself. So in reality Creon is the catalyst, and it is solely him that brought it upon himself.