PR The Awakening

When we started reading this book in class, I wasn’t really a fan of it but over time it really felt like a powerful and thought-provoking novel. Cate Chopin did a really good job in exploring and describing the social and psychological constraints placed upon women in the late 19th century. As I read the first few chapters, I did not really know how to think about Edna as the main character. Her character felt incomplete, maybe even like a child on it’s journey to grow up. Early in the book we can see how Edna becomes increasing disillusioned with her role in society and begins to question the traditional expectations placed upon her. The book raised a few questions for me such as, who Edna really is and what are her goals?

Right at the beginning of the novel we get involved in Ednas struggles to fit into her role as traditional woman in the 19th century. Throughout the book, Chopin skillfully explores themes of female sexuality, gender roles, marriage, and social class. She depicts Edna’s struggles to define her own identity, to break free from societal expectations, and to pursue her own desires and passions. One sentence I won’t forget and especially a sentence that shaped my opinion about Enda is as follows

“I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear; it’s only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me.”

This sentence or statement feels to me like an expression for her growing sense of self awareness and desire for personal fulfillment and independence. Although I highly doubt that’s something a woman should be thinking and feeling about her role as a mother. For me it feels like Edna’s character is well developed but, doesn’t fit in a mother role. I have observed and feel that Edna’s personality is on par with a 25 year old. She has never had independence and other key experiences in her life and yet she is a mother, how can that be?

Overall, Chopin’s novel was groundbreaking in its time, and it remains a powerful statement on the importance of individual freedom and self-expression to this day. I really liked the beginning but got confused throughout the end and I am not happy with the ending. The way the book described Ednas journey and her growing sense of  awareness (her awakening) is really well portrayed. I can emphatize with all the stages she goes through on her journey to get a fully grown adult, as she physically is.

PR Pygmalion

As I first read the book, I felt kind of thrown back in Time. The characters and the way the book was written was traditionally old. The way the character talked with each other and the etiquette was lovely. I really liked the way, how detailed the sceneries where described (at the beginning of Act II).

The Play also has an intriguing way to describe the social hierarchy in Edwardian England. Since the beginning of the book we followed the growth and integration of Eliza in the high-society Englands. Her journey from the lower class as a flower girl to the upper class as a lady is pictured as a often humiliating and difficult experience. Shaw the Author uses Eliza’s transformation as a way to critique he unfairness and destructive of class distinctions and the imitation they impose on individuals (Eliza). The book raises many questions about past society and todays society. In more than 150 years there are still some defects and missing constructions such as gender roles and power dynamics between men and woman. Throughout the play, Higgins treats Eliza as an object and project to be molded  and shaped according to his desires. Elizas eventual assertion of her own independence and rejection of Higgins’ control ,challenges traditional notions and highlights he importance of an individual autonomy.

Lastly, Pygmalion is a thought-provoking and entertaining play. It lets us get a picture into the social and cultural dynamics of the early 20th century Englands.It is a wonderful book due to Shaw’s clever writing and appealing characters, and its topics are still relevant to readers today.

PR “The Merchant of Venice” play

Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is a challenging but simple play to understand. In the play are examples  from everyday life examined, including justice and mercy. You can clearly see in the play, love is determined by money.

In the play, the main character and rich Venetian merchant Antonio borrows money from the Jewish money lender Shylock to assist his friend Bassanio, in taking care of the stunning and affluent Portia. But at one point, Shylock demands a pound of meat in court, as leverage in the event that the loan is not paid back and Antonio’s ships are lost at sea and he is unable to repay the loan.

The themes of selfishness, money and love are demonstrated through the example of the Bassanio and Portia couple, friendship is demonstrated through the example of Antonio and Bassanio, revenge is demonstrated through the example of Shylock and Antonio, and justice and mercy are demonstrated through the example of Portia and Antonio. Justice and kindness are also brought up in the play as the characters struggle with the effects of their choices and judgements.

All in all, I really liked  “The Merchant of Venice” because it is a controversial play that gets readers to consider the moral effects of their choices and the difficulties of human nature.

“The Merchant of Venice” Personal Response

I personally, really liked the movie. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. They both have similar language (old English)  and similar ways to talk.

Early Modern English is used in the movie because it is based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name, “The Merchant of Venice.” It was more difficult for me to understand some of the words in the play.

However, I am very disappointed in how Shylock was treated unfairly and ultimately punished. He was already filled with rage due to the disappearance of his daughter and a significant percentage of his money, so the fact that Antonio was unable to pay his debts and that his friends begged him to show mercy may have been the beginning of the end. He should have, in my opinion, had legal representation from the start because his bond had numerous, obvious flaws that were later used against him. When he was unable to exact the retribution he desired, Shylock should at least receive some sort of compensation.

Overall, I thought the movie was good, and the book’s extended and ancient vocabulary helped it fit in the 16th century. This play taught me a lot about the lives of Jews and regular men in that age.

PR Langston Hughes

After reading the selected poems written by Langston Hughes, I can say I really liked the way the author wrote verses that incorporated how African American people talked. I enjoyed how he promoted equality and condemned injustice against the African American culture. All his poems have a message and a deeper meaning. From all the selected poems I read, I especially remember the poem called “Negro”. For me it is the for me it is the scariest but also the most direct poem he wrote.

After analyzing the art piece, he wrote, I think he reflected the history of Afro-American people very well in this poem. All the suffering they endured and all the deeds they accomplished. He lists all the great achievements of theirs. From Caesar to the Egyptians and from there around the world and still a slave after all. He describes the events in a most aesthetic way, if I may put it mildly. All the things he had listed were in fact huge buildings or huge distances that his people had covered. He communicates so much suffering and so much sadness with so few words. For me, this poem was a masterpiece and I’m happy to gain so much new knowledge from it.

You can clearly see Langston Hughes DNA. in this poem. It has no rhyme scheme. In fact, the speaker avoids the use of rhyme almost entirely throughout the poem. In other words, the poem is written in free verse. He starts and ends the poem with the same phrase as in the beginning and all the phrases starts with a personality or a job like worker, singer, victim, and “negro” all this relates to African American people.

PR. The issue of life

The issue of life

After reading the Odyssey, I was fascinated by the journey Odysseus must take, only to find back home. Every time he nearly found back to finish is journey, he fell back to zero. Several times, the Gods tried to thwart his plans and put rocks in his way. After all the years, all the sacrifices he gave and all the people he saw dying he finally got back home to his wife. The absurd amount of time it took him makes me question, does he fulfilled his live purpose?, did he achieved full experience of life? . Well, he went through heaven and hell after 10 years of war to find out that his mother past away during it. What is the purpose of life if you take it from others?. The problem with questions like that is, they don’t have a universal answer. Every human being has to ask themselves what their purpose of life is, and Odysseus purpose was to get back to his beloved wife at home. If you would ask me what my life purpose  is, I couldn’t give you a clear answer, I didn’t achieve anything significant yet. Questions like that demand much life experience. I want to finish my personal response with a quote from Dalai Lama: “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

As I read the essay of “Paradise ad Death” by Eric Macknight, I realized how many opportunities Odysseus had, to run from all the trouble and all his problems and every time he faces his problems he escapes close from death. After reading the essay  by Eric Macknight, I have a new perspective about all of Odysseus adventures and apart from that I reflected his decisions and adventures with my own live.

The essay is very well written. I like the simplicity of the sentences and the way he used quotes out of the book. “Paradise and Death” by Erik MacKnight  showed me how many mistakes I made while writing essays and now I know how to provide them. The essay has many good examples and very good quotations out of the book. Over all, I really liked the essay.

Personal review

In my opinion the chapter was not as good as the last one we read. The story wasn’t good, and it was way too much trouble and to much happened in that time period. Also, some characters had again only a small introduction.

The most important and iconic part for me was the ‘burial’ of Polynices body. The conversation Antigone and Ismene had and all the consequences they must deal with. I love the act of respect they do to the body of her brother.

Something the author did well was the the scene etching with most of the characters. The way you can fell the emotions of Creon and you can understand the decisions they made.

One time I was a bit confused, at the end where Creon wants to exile himself, I can’t understand why. I mean exile yourself wouldn’t solve the problems. If I could step into the story, I would change his decision.

In my opinion the most interesting character was Antigone, because I could understand her reactions and her feelings. As I mentioned my favourite part is the burial of Polynices, there u can see what kind of a person Antigone is. Unlike her sister she didn’t fear the consequences and knew the price she must pay for that what she did.

What I learned from this reading was, that everything you do has consequences and can affect others. You should be careful what you say. Not every hero where’s a cape and not every person with a cape is a hero.

Personal response: Oedipus

As I read the book, I realized that Oedipus isn’t a real god. He makes mistakes like humans and I think thats the reason why I like him. I like the book even if it is a bit confusing to read. The whole story with Oedipus and the riddle showed me that the future is inevitable.

I also liked how drastic Oedipus reacts, as he found out that he killed his father and married his mother. The whole book is on one clearly threat. U can barely feel the anger and the emotions from Oedipus.

All the dialogues are a bit confusing and the actions of some characters are a bit strange. My big Question is, why the mother of Oedipus reacting this dramatic, after she found out?. I mean she knew the riddle and didn’t even thought about it as she married him.

if I could change One thing it would be the role/character of the mother. She just doesn’t fit right. in the book. I would change her behavior, her actions and her appear.

But all in one, I think this is a good book with a good story.

Blog Intro

Hello, my name is Lennart and I am from Germany. I love literature and history. I am new to Brookes and as far I can tell, the english lessons with Mr. MacKnight are funny and exciting. For this school year I want to learn new things, For example, about Ancient Greece.