When I started reading the play I got extremely bored and lost all motivation I had to read it since I do not enjoy this kind of novels/stories. After several days without reading it I realized that it is an assignment I am supposed to complete so I re-started my reading.
It ended up being impossible for me to understand the play, find it entertaining and remember the important parts. Some nights I could not sleep because of insomnia so I started reading the play and next thing I know is that I had fallen asleep. The one thing I found interesting was that during the first appearance of Krogstad, Nora became really nervous about him and that made my imagination fly thinking of how big of a situation it could occur because of his presence in the house, it turned out that all my expectations ended up in disappointment
The Merchant of Venice, a play wrote by Shakespeare that has been adapted for movies and new versions have also been created, is a story that involves racism, segregation, religion and lying.
The Mechant of Venice starts by presenting you two characters, Bassanio and Antonio, Bassanio asks Antonio for money to help him go and get married with a rich lady named Portia, Antonio tells Bassanio that he wants to help him but he does not has the money at that moment but once his trading ships come back he can pay him. In that moment both Antonio and Bassanio go with a jew named Shylock to ask for a loan and Antonio confidently says that it is no problem for him to pay Shylock back. Getting closer to the end of the play, Antonio’s ships wreck and he is not able to pay back so he was going to give a pound of his own flesh to Shylock if not for Portia, that disguised as a doctor of the law and succesfully defended Antonio in the court.
This play made me reflect about today’s socciety and how much this situation happens, people ask for a loan thinking they can pay it back but in the end they can’t, interest increments the amount they own and they end up in debt for a long time or even for the rest of their life, sometimes their debt goes down to the next generation. Asking for a loan is not wrong but you need to make sure you are able to pay it back in time and that the interest will not be a problem.
The Merchant of Venice also has other situations such as segregation and racism against jews, the christians have them in ghettos and they constantly suffer from injustice. We know about this because of Shylock’s speech when talking with Solanio and Salariano, Shylock spoke strongly about justice, revenge, mercy and discrimination.
This play involves a great amount of problems that are still ongoing till this date, it does not give a clear solution but it gives a great idea, mercy is the answer, because if everyone was fair and used justice to judge, everyone would be guilty.
Langston Hughes was one of the most important writers during the Harlem Renaissance (period of time when African Americans had a big involvement and evolution in artistic and cultural activity), he did a big amount of well written poems that had always a deeper meaning and value that it could be appreciated at first sight.
During the time that was spent in class reading the poems wrote by Hughes it became obvious how he used knowledge about different periods of time and situations that happened to african americans to write his poems, this way teaching people about everything that his race has gone thru and was still going at the time. In his poems there are a lot of times when the use of imagery is extremly well used creating a bigger impact on the readers mind.
In my personal opinion, one of the best poems that were wrote by him is “The South”. In this poem he speaks about the civil war that happened in United States of America, 1861-1865, and the causes of it. He mentions how the south can be very beautiful but it is not since there is the existence of slavery and racism while in the north slavery had already been abolished making the north far more beautiful than the south.
Langston Hughes poems are all worth analyzing since they all speak about different situations that African Americans had to overcome to get to where we are by today, it could easily be said that all his poems are masterpieces.
During Chapter 5 of Outsmart Your Brain, Daniel Willingham speaks about different problems people tend to come across when reading a textbook. When reading a textbook, the majority of people have issues connecting the different ideas that are to be found in the paragraph they are reading, this causing misinterpreting the real meaning of the text. I have been reading books since I was 7 years old and I never had the problem of connecting the ideas or meanings of the text when it is in spanish, when it is in english I have issues to connect some ideas or to give an explanation or reason as to why something is happening.
Using Willingham’s methods and recomendations seems to be a great way of improving my understanding of textbooks and my quality of reading. The best thing I can improve on inmediatly is note-taking; on Candide for example, my notes where mostly about the meaning of words and sentences, not about characters, situations and places.
When I got my essay back I was surprised by the amount of mistakes I had made since I had the feeling of having done a good job on the paper. All of my mistakes were either gramatical or structural, these kind of errors happen all the time but are possible to avoid by proofreading and analyzing everything that is said.
I learned that it is not only important to focus on what is said, but to also pay attention on how it is said. The most important thing I can do to improve is to stop summarizing and start analyzing.
Antigone, just like Oedipus the King, was another really good story involving Greek mythology. It all started by a conflict between two brothers, fighting for the throne, that ended with a war where they killed each other at the end. Creon assumed the throne once again and declared that Polyneices was a traitor and he shall not receive a proper burial while Eteocles, the second brother, was buried with all honors possible.
The story continues with Antigone burying the body even when the consequence for that was death, once she got caught doing it she did not even tried to deny what she had done. What I love about this story is that it shows how even between a family problems can and will always be found. The story can also make you feel sentimental, this because of how the two sisters talk with each other, how Antigone is not afraid of death since she thinks it will eventually come at her and talks about it like is the most common thing in the world, how Haimon and Antigone never had the chance to marry each other.
While the story is ongoing we can clearly see how Creon and Oedipus have really close similarities in their character, talking about how they always took precipitated decisions and almost never took time to think about the consequences of their actions, both of them were also really stubborn; the only place where I could clearly see a difference between them was while they were talking to Tiresias Oedipus did not take his advice and even offended the prophet while Creon actually took his advice but it was too late to change anything.
Reading Antigone made me think on why we value life so much and are afraid of death even more. I came to the conclusion that what we are scared of is not dying, what we are afraid of is that we do not know what comes after death. Antigone also made me remember about the mexican army motto, it translates to: “If death comes, welcome it with open arms”
I found this book interesting and really enjoyable to read, I read it before but I kept learning new stuff while I was reading it again. It has so many plot twists that are imposible to expect combined with the end is what it makes this story the most famous tragedy of the ancient greek.
I really like Oedipus, speaking about the character, the particular reason for this is that you can talk about him over and over again but never come to a complete resolution in the matter of him being a good or a bad guy. He did good things for the people of Thebes but he also killed his father, he did not know that it was his father and the killing part is also completely wrong being seen from a point of view of this era but during that time it wasn’t that strange to hear about somebody killing each another guy only because of a little disagreement. Oedipus is also really short tempered and hotheaded often making assumptions and ending in bad terms with people.
The story in general is completely unpredictable but very well plotted giving everyhting sense as to how and why it is happening, it never goes out of the path making it really easy to understand but it does not makes you feel tired of reading it, this way it makes it a really good way of learning and being entertained for a good amount of time
My name is Rodrigo Arrigunaga Gonzalez, I am from Mexico and I love playing soccer. My hopes for this year are to win the soccer tournanment at the end of octuber and my expectation is to have good grades.