All posts by Will D

“In a Grove” Response Blog Post (WDolan)

This story is sad, but it covers multiple global issues. Problems such as some men’s desire for women, inability to understand other people’s cultures, and the meaning of life. I was intrigued by the authors idea to include a medium to interpret the last thoughts of the murdered man. I wonder whether she wanted to spark confusion or questions about whether the medium was credible or accurate.

WDolan_Reflection on My Writing

My writing has changed since September as I have learned to be more specific when explaining the points I have brought up in the assessments. I think I have strived to be become a better English writer because I became extremely annoyed by the first two weeks of the teacher constantly telling me I was not being specific enough. I have also been able to present my ideas in logical order and build the intensity better than the beginning of the year.

 

To improve the quality of my writing, I need to think more critically to gain a 360 degree perspective of all aspect of the stories or texts I am reading. I need to increase my vocabulary and not let my bias interfere with the facts or approach of a story. I find that making shorter and simpler sentences is easier, meaning I no longer feel the need to use sophisticated words to make my assignments “sound better”. 

WDolan The Awakening Personal Response

In Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”, the reader learns the story of a woman named Edna, who grappled with the ideas of being a wife living a traditional life, being self-reliant, and free-willed individual. Edna represents the idea of teleology. She has reasons for why she has many affairs, but does not necessarily know about the causes in which they arise. However, seeing how this is frowned upon in the story, it seems society follows more consequentialist principles.

In the beginning of the story, I had the impression that Edna was selfish. It seemed she wanted whatever she liked and was not considerate of other people’s feelings. On page 136 she says: “To-day it is Arobin: to-morrow it will be someone else”. This may seem selfish, but when an individual is unhappy, their feelings are valid. However, they are not always right. Was Edna justified to end her life and leave her children? Was it better for them to not have a scandal caused by Edna inflicted on them? Her final thoughts are about people she cares about. She thinks of Robert, (“There was no human being whom she wanted near her except Robert…” pg 136), and her children. Despite this, it does seem she realizes all the positivity within her life has been stripped away from her, once she was abandoned by her family. Did she really love the ones she was surrounded by? Or were they obstacles and preventing her from having other affairs?

I think it is important to debate Edna’s appreciation of her partner. I am not sure I would refer to them as family since they aren’t married and she has many affairs. On page 81, Madame Pontellier suggests that Edna may be more united if Robert stayed around longer. However, Edna responds with “Oh! Dear no! What should I do if he stayed home? We wouldn’t have anything to say to each other”. Did she respond this way fearing that if Robert stayed home, it would interfere with her freedoms? If this is the case, I would find her response reasonable since women were not given much freedom during this time frame. Her marriage appears to be a type of imprisonment for her. Therefore the only ending available to Edna is death. This relates to an earlier topic discussed about paradise and death. Edna would love to have everything she desires and have other individuals behave the way she deems appropriate. However, if she were to receive all this, her life may have become a mini paradise, and she would still not be satisfied, because she cannot alter the perfect nature of her life. This creates a kind of death within her life, which may have lead to the same ending of the story, where Edna takes her own life.

In summary, the book has many symbols, amd metaphors throughout, adding to its complexity. The book appeals to one gender over the other, because, in my opinion, the romantic scenes were too graphic. It provides excellent insight into what the earlier developments of feminism looked like, and how the story shaped the future. I learned about other people’s perspective on the meaning of life, and what makes their lives important.

WDolan “Doll’s house” Personal Reponse Act 3

I enjoyed ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen immensely. I think the title of the play was fitting as Torvald continuously manipulated Nora like a doll and treated her as a child or non-human inferior creature.

I liked Nora, as I thought she represented the qualities of strong women. I sympathized for her since she has been treated as Torvald’s possession throughout the entire story. He calls her ‘treasure’, ‘skylark’, ‘sweet tooth’, and so on. However, I was intrigued by how she was so blunt about leaving her children. I did not know whether to think of her as an irresponsible mother, or someone who has been through enough pain and deserved to live a free life. I do not like Helmer because he is manipulative and he suggests throughout the play that Nora is stupid and that he loves her for her attractive appearance.

I thought the ending was disappointing because it was so abrupt, and Nora willingly left her children behind. However, Nora’s desperation and confrontation with Torvald Helmer felt realistic because she knew he would not want her to leave. One question Act III raised for me was: ‘In what sense does Helmer’s attitude reflect society in the past and present?’ 

In conclusion,  I gained more perspective on the social structure and expected behavior from women within that time frame. Women seemed taken advantaged of for their appearance rather being respected for their qualities.

WDolan_Letter_To Langston_Hughes

Langston Hughes

January 11 2021

William Dolan

Student

Brookes Westshore

1939 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC V9B 1W2

Colwood, British Columbia

 

Dear Mr. Langston Hughes,

I am writing this letter to tell you how much I enjoy your poetry. I especially found  “Ruby Brown” and “Negro” to be interesting and thought provoking.

My questions for you would be; How do you start your poems and what influences your ideas? What poet inspires you the most. What is your idea of blues poems? What blues structure do you prefer? What emotions do you think they should create? What is your favorite form of poem? I noticed you use multiple structures, topics, and moods throughout your works.

I found it easy to experience the mood you may have been feeling when you wrote “Ruby Brown”.  The emotion I encountered was joy and sadness.

“She was young and beautiful
And golden like the sunshine
That warmed her body.
And because she was colored
Mayville had no place to offer her,
Nor fuel for the clean flame of joy
That tried to burn within her soul

However with “Negro”, I felt emotions that included sadness, frustration and empathy. In the poem, you talk about black people’s contributions from the continent of Africa, to the country of America. Unless you take history, readers may not know what you mean by:

“The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
They lynch me still in Mississippi.”

Did you initially question whether the vast majority of people would know what this means? What mood were you experiencing while writing this poem, and how do you view the world? Should more art like your poetry be included to promote different perspectives to make a better society?

I enjoyed your works and their creative content. They have benefitted my education about the arts and my heritage.

Thanks, and best wishes,

William Dolan

WDolan Response to Candide

My chosen global issues are beliefs, values, and education. Candide represents these global issues as he follows ideas implanted in his head by Dr. Pangloss. He refuses to turn away from those values even if they are not for the better good.

Candide is a scornful novel that mockingly explores the evident unpredictability of our lives,  religion, and optimism, thinking that everything occurs for a purpose and that each of us produce our share of luck to make a lasting happiness.

How do the chosen global issues tie into Candide? They address the main elements communicated within the story, and reflect some of the elements included within a real historical timeframe which was the Enlightenment. In society today, we have ideas implanted into our minds either by visual media or governments that tend to create a vision for what the future or present should look like. Based on our education, there are many values and belief’s we follow. Candide’s education by Dr. Pangloss is what influenced his beliefs, values, and education.

In what way are the ideas presented in Candide an example of how we should be vigilant when it comes to caring for those we love? Do Candide’s values reflect our tendency to be unforgiving and full of hatred toward those who hurt us? Should we be more optimistic when it comes giving people a chance to redeem themselves from their mistakes? Should society be more critical towards the ethics behind politics, the treatment of women, religious knowledge systems, and corrupt power of money?

Although Candide may have a comical approach towards the principals of optimism, It has many underlying properties that reflect a better society. I think Candide is an important read for individuals, since it allows people think critically around the comical aspect of the story. Individuals can reflect on the global issues mentioned in the story and add the values into their daily lives.

WDolan_Odyssey_Reflection

The Odyssey is an epic poem written by Homer, taking place in ancient Greece. It focuses on the ten year struggle of Odysseus returning home after the Trojan war. During Odysseus’ battles with mythical creatures and the wrath of the gods, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus fight to hold off suitors, who want to marry Penelope, and behold the throne of Ithaka.

The Odyssey should be given credit for its mass amount of geographical information, and use of an attention grabbing theme. It involves a hero and who is trying to make his way home to his family, and throne. The from uses dactylic hexameter, which is a form of rhythmic tempo within poetry. It includes 6 foot lines where every foot has either a long syllable followed by two short ones (this is called a dactyl), or just two more long syllables (this is called a spondee). The first four feet can either be a dactyl or a spondee, and the fifth is usually a dactyl.

I found the Odyssey interesting for it’s form and use of suspense. Many detailed parts of the book seemed like they could have been left out to keep the reader engaged in the action. It took a long time to reach the end goal, and the ending was ruined by the potential of another war. The interruption of Odysseus’ reunion with his family seemed unnecessary to me. The repeating of the characters traits such as: “grey eyed Athena” was irritating. It’s inclusion of themes such as seduction, paradise, death, and temptation were fascinating as they reflect the problems of modern day humanity. The idea that there may never be a paradise that can satisfy every individual therefore being a form of death within itself was engrossing.

In conclusion, the Odyssey is not a horrible book. However, it is not something I would recommend to readers (especially millennials) as it is very extensive, and doesn’t seem to have enough of a connection with the modern world.

WDolan English Paradise and Death

There are many things I learned about the Odyssey from the ‘Paradise and Death’ literary analysis.  There is a restless dissatisfaction with the pleasures of paradise and the inability to fully experience every fantasy life in paradise brings.  I observed and made note of how the author starts explaining the meaning and significance of the title right at the beginning.  This is a great tool for writing, as it is important for the reader to gain a summarized approach to the literary analysis first, to keep them engaged.

I learned about the main aspects included within the definition of death in the Odyssey. I liked how the author explains the meaning of each word included in the title. He begins with paradise, and then debunks his points with contradictory comments about death. I was amused by the way he was debating with himself about his previous mentions of paradise and death, and making sure to look at all viewpoints on the topic he was analysing.

The author also mixes the theme of paradise and death by mentioning how certain aspects of death do not exist without paradise since paradise is a form of death within itself. He references how Odysseus is in paradise when he sees his mother, but is really dead since she vanishes when he goes to hug her.  This situation strongly references the story of Sisyphus, and how every time he rolls the rock to the top of the hill, it suddenly rolls back down the hill, causing Sisyphus to start over again. I re-learned how good writing requires extra emphasis on important points, to persuade the reader to believe the statements you make. A great example of this is when the author returns to the subject of how death requires paradise, and writes about how living in the past is a form if death within itself, since we would not be able to experience other pleasures in the future.

I learned how Odysseus takes Penélopê for granted since she is mortal. He also uses Kalypso as a sort of medicine for his feelings, and would not be “so dissatisfied” with her if Penélopê was immortal. This then transitions into the thought of a paradise where we can love anyone we want.

I observed how paradise and death were linked again through the mentions of how to live forever would be to not live at all, and how paradises are a form of death when they pretend adversities don’t exist.

I liked how the conclusion mixes Homer’s world with our current world, and how human nature has not changed over the course of 2000 years. All paradises have their conflicts and forms of death. Our modern world contains pleasures such as technology, but when used offensively against others, it causes a physical and mental death.

English Blog Post September 27th 2020

My chosen question is:

 Does Antigone match Aristotle’s description of a tragedy?

 

There are many elements an author has to cover in order to make a successful tragedy. In order to write in the  correct form for a tragedy, you need the information as follows:

  • Play must have catharsis (purification and exclusion of emotions)
  • A tragic hero
  • A change in destiny within a character
  • Must be poetic
  • Needs to take place in a single day
  • Obtain in one location
  • All events are required to be closely related to one other

There are many components writers ought be aware of when creating a tragedy, but the main focus is to exhilarate two emotions: Pity and Fear.

Within the words pity and fear, you may be able to understand why tragedies occur in on place, or develop in one day. If a character (i.e the tragic hero, or protagonist) is afraid of meeting their fate, they may not want to leave their current location.  If a character is pitying a loss over someone committing suicide (which happens frequently in tragedies) then they may also commit suicide to add more drama to the play.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways to write a play. This  comprises of the theme, location, etc. The most important element for a tragedy is to keep the structure the same as Aristotle’s definition.