Response to Byerman

Byerman’s analysis needed some work. With jumbled arguments and no clear goal, his report appeared fraudulent, as if he himself didn’t know what he was arguing. He consistently took parts of the text and over analyzed their significance, sometimes even changing the plot entirely so his argument would fit. For example, when he talks about Nettie leaving after Mr.____ attempts to rape her, which is untrue, it makes that argument flimsy. Furthermore, the oscillation between the use of Sofie instead of Sofia is a clear sign that his essay was either poorly produced with little editing, or he is clueless and he wasted his time and ours. The points he attempted to make were interesting (eg. the fairytale) but even after reading the book I fail to see any connection. I’m glad I read this after otherwise I would be very confused what messages to look for.

Antigone Personal Response

Death, and our relationship with it, is a major theme in Antigone. We as a society possess a duality of attitudes towards death: acceptance and denial.

This scenery perfectly fits the common theme of the play. The way that the tomb was a symbolic reflection of how we as humans perceive death was so complex and well-woven into the story. Antigone’s death wish, such as this exert from page 88, “I gave myself to death,/long ago, so I might serve death (pg.88)”. Further, from page 89, “Commit cruelty on a person long enough/ the mind begins to go (pg. 89)”. The death wish possessed by Antigone is confronted by Antigone herself, and observed and reported by Ismene. Given Antigone’s apparent death wish, her imprisonment in a bridal tomb is fitting, yet ironic. The bridal temple ironically ties itself to the line from page 88. Antigone has been wedded to death. Further, Antigone’s suicide is representative of everything Creon wants to avoid. He wanted her to abstain from death, and be forced to live in misery. However, with her suicide, she officiates her vow to death, within her bridal tomb. This ironic, yet accepted and desired death shows the fearlessness of Antigone. She aligned herself with death, and became content with the idea of life simply ending. The embracing of death is contrary to conventional human nature. The acceptance of death while youthful is courageous and enlightened. Further, this symbolizes one half of the duality towards death: acceptance, the contrarian, yet brave, attitude. The ultimate acceptances are Antigone finding a way to hang herself in an inescapable prison. This action symbolizes two things: the relentlessness of time and eventual death, and 2), taking one’s own life is the ultimate acceptance and embracing of death. This was why I love the setting and scenes of this play, they are symbolic of character’s attitudes towards themes and tones of the play. The scenery forces Antigone to show her true colours and allows us to see how courageous and wise this young girl truly is. Antigone’s courage evokes a few questions, such as, How do personal or cultural experiences shape how we perceive death? Why do we fear death? And, can true satisfaction be achieved, if we refuse to believe that everything is temporary?

The second, more human, side of duality when faced with death is Creon. Whereas Antigone shows an almost inhuman acceptance of death, Creon showed a fear of death. An example of this is on page 125, “harbour of death, so choked, so hard to cleanse!-/Why me? Why are you killing me? (pg. 125)”. The second half of the tone towards death is denial, and this is a shining example. Creon is both terrified and confused at the prospect of simply no longer existing. Death to him has always felt like a far off concept, a fate that he has sealed for many, but he had never been truly affected by the waves of grief. We all know death is the only certainty in life, but we seem to acknowledge it when it’s on our doorstep. We as a society tend to not think about others suffering, until we experience our own. It is nearly impossible to fully empathize without our own experience. This feeling of fear and helplessness that Creon feels is a fundamental part of the human experience. Further, the inability to empathize with something we haven’t experienced is humbling and humanizing for Creon’s previously overly-prideful character. This humanizes Creon in a way that allows me to sympathize with him more than I would with the courageous heroine, Antigone.

Reading Antigone had helped me understand some flaws I didn’t even know I had, and has pushed me to address them in a more serious manner. Anyone who knows me will tell you about my infamous stubbornness. My pride can also go unchecked at times. Before reading Antigone, I never really considered the consequences of the unconscious biases that stem from pride and stubbornness. It sometimes makes it difficult for me to take constructive feedback. This prevents me from embracing a growth-oriented mindset, and materializes as a large obstacle to personal growth. However, after reading this text, I will look into ways to self-regulate my stubbornness and pride, and how to whittle away at biases and fallacies that have taken root because of these oversights.

Oedipus Personal Response

Imagery is an underrated aspect of Oedipus the King. The sequences of vivid and thought-provoking imagery were both disturbing and fascinating. The perfect balance between engaging the reader and painting a visual representation of the story is my favourite feature of this play. My favourite exhibition of this is on page 186, “Cased in armour, Apollo son of the father/lunges on him, lightning-bolts afire!/And the grim unerring furies/closing for the kill(p. 186)”. My interpretation is that I believe this passage to be a metaphor for the tragedy that Oedipus endures. The tragedy first begins when he calls for the persons responsible for the murder of Laius to be ostracized in the kingdom, but unwillingly unleashes his own people’s fury on himself, almost uncanny as to how Apollo seeks to handout justice concerning religious law. This beautiful, haunting, and ironic imagery perfectly fits the tome and theme of the play, in which a seemingly human man, seals his own fate in an attempt to brutally rid his people of suffering. By threatening violence and exile in the name of royal and religious justice, he not only permanently loses the support of his people and gods, but also unleashes the unrelenting desire of his people, and his gods, for justice. This ironic, tragic, and unknowing twist is the best moment in the play. This play is full of small, cryptic-yet-imaginative summaries and metaphors of the play. This subtle foreshadowing kept me engaged as a reader, and prompted me to take a genuine interest in the story.

Another aspect of the play I loved is the variation of diction and variation of the formality of language. One example is a subtle passage of alliteration on page 231, “She was afraid–frightening prophecies”(pg. 231). The reversal when Oedipus unearths the truth of his birth is an intense scene, and the emotional climax of the play. This Shepard’s seemingly simplistic beg for mercy is the quotation that propels us into the most intense and emotion-packed part of the play. This repeating “f” sound in this quotation evokes fear and helplessness, the same emotions overwhelming the Shepard. This fear, defeat, and helplessness mirror what begins to weigh on Oedipus the moment he hears the Shepard’s news. The reason I love this part so much is that the torture victim, the tragic hero, and myself all were experiencing the same emotional distress in unison. This seems almost like a fourth-wall break to me, in the sense that at this one point I was fully immersed in this scene, and all of its grimy details.

The theme of being blind to truth, even though it is in front of your eyes is one myself, and many others, can relate to on a personal level. A few years ago, I had mysteriously misplaced my wallet after leaving it on my bed. I turned my family home upside down looking for it, but to no avail. I then, and this is something I still have guilt about, began accusing one of my siblings of stealing it. This turned to a screaming match, but after I stormed off to my bedroom, have a guess as to what I saw on the ground, poking out from behind my bedside table. I felt horrible, a combination of guilt and shame for berating a loved one for something they didn’t do. The arc from confusion, anger and frustration, and finally, guilt and shame. I had failed to see what was right in front of me, literally. This is the strongest personal connection I have to Oedipus. The confused accusation, the unrelenting effort to unearth the truth, and finally, the weight of guilt on my shoulders. The shame Oedipus feels is so great, that he must gouge out his eyes and exile himself. I didn’t feel like this was necessary, but the feeling of embarrassment, and wanting to disappear to escape from these awful feelings, was something that was all-too-real for me.

Who am I?

Hello, my name is Tristan Boxshall. I am from Canada, born in Vancouver and raised in Victoria. However, my entire family is English, just in case you are wondering why I constantly get teased for being “British”. I play a variety of sports including: tennis, volleyball and basketball. I have a strong passion for music and play the piano, along with cello and saxophone. This is my third year at Brookes, second year with Mr. MacKnight in English. Trust me two years feels like an eternity. I have one goal for this year which is to hand everything in on time. Ironically I have already failed as I am writing this post 5 days late. So I restate my goal and expectations, starting next week I will hand everything in on time and whenever possible I will try to be ahead of the work load as well as take the extra steps to prepare myself for classes. English is a hard subject and I often fell behind on assignments and posts last year which is why I am even more driven to do my absolute best this year. I am dreading the year ahead because I have heard it is a lot to handle and yet I am looking forward to the new friends, new learning and new experiences that come along with it.

Hello! – Summer

Hello, I’m Summer I’m 16 years old. I was born in Victoria and have lived here my whole life. My dads side of the family is French and German and my moms side is from Poland. I have a younger sister named Asia and she is in grade 9 at this school as well. Some things I love are horses, baking/cooking, hanging out with friends and spending time with family. I have loved horses since I was 5 years old and they are now a huge part of my life. A few years ago I bought my horse named Brave and I love to spend my free time with him.

This year in English I hope to improve my writing skills.




Millie – Introduction

Hello, my name is Millie. I am 15 years old, and am in my first year at Brookes. I left my parents and three younger sisters in my home town, Creston (pop. 5500 people).

Some things I like to do include: Playing piano, (or any other instrument,) writing songs, reading, doing crafts, and listening to music. This year in English I hope to read as many books as possible, and learn more about ancient civilizations. I am excited too see how much information I will gain over the school year.

Class blog Intro

My name is Aimé Berenice Padilla Camarena, but I prefer to be called Aimé. I was born in León Guanajuato, Mexico, and I have lived there for my whole life. León isn’t a very big place and you cant’t really find a lot of things to do, except going to the shopping mall. This is my first time being in a whole different place than my home town and I am really happy about it.
I enjoy spending time with my family and my friends, taking a walk with my dog, playing tennis and reading.

For this class I expect to read very interesting books and stories, improve my english skills in writing, speaking and reading. I also expect to be better at organizing myself and being more responsable.

Introduction – Lada

Hello, my name is Lada and I am 16. I am from Ukraine and I enjoy quite a few things, but my favorites are drawing, painting, listening to music and writing. My favorite thing to do after school is spend time with my doggo ( her name is Yummy).
I hope to learn as much from this year as possible, I want the new knowledge to stay in my long term memory as well))
I am exited to participate in this English class because this is one of the subject that I enjoy.


Hello, my name is Leeland. I was born in Vancouver and now live in the greater Victoria area. Things I enjoy doing include computer stuff, video games, coding, and messing around with electronics. While relaxing or on long car journeys, I also enjoy reading. My favourite book is Dune by Frank Herbert. For physical activity, I enjoy sailing, both in big and small boats. If I am in the mood to roll my ankle, I will do some trail running. My goal this year in English is to improve at writing, understanding, and comparing texts. I think this year will be difficult, I think, and I am not looking forward to it.

Introducing Aristotle Chang

First of all, I am one of the remaining original student of Brookes Westshore (5th year) along with Michael Penn for DP1.

Hello, my name is Aristotle Chang. I am Canadian as I am born in Vancouver (BC Children hospital, which I love apparently, cause I go there on a almost yearly bases and lived there for a few months.) However, my parents and ancestors are all of true Taiwanese decent. My only true hobby is hunting. This includes fishing and generally all types of sea creature in the West Coast. Not only do I catch them, I eat them. This includes, crabs, prawns (ebi) (EAT RAW), claims, oysters (kaki)(EAT RAW), sea cucumber, sea urchin (uni) (MUST EAT RAW. COOKING IT IS A WAR CRIME), horse barnacle, kelp, snails, and much more. I have also gotten my firearm license earlier this year and I hope to go out and hunt for elk in this year’s hunting season if possible (I have yet to get my hunting license, but I may hunt with my father who is in possession of one.) Other then hunting, I like doing all sorts of activities and is love learning random things (though I may not remember all the information). I guess I also play video games quite a lot, read a lot of manga, and watch some anime.

As for what I hope to do in English this year, take notes and not die.

Introduction – Ana Carolina

Hello! My name’s Ana Carolina, I’m 17 years old, and I’m from Mexico. I do many things on the daily, but just enjoy a few. Reading is something I’ve become passionate about this year, especially memoirs and poems. Something I cannot live without is music. I love listening to any music genre and I know a few songs on piano too. Doing exercise almost everyday is something I’ve learned to enjoy, and that I’m grateful for now.

My first and foremost expectation and hope for this year is to fill my brain with as much knowledge as possible. I would like to focus more on the historical, social, and cultural contexts of the books that we read in class because they can reveal a lot about them. I also look forward to improve my reading comprehension this year and go more in-depth with the analysis of the characters we read about. I’m excited of this year overall, because I know I’ll leave with a bunch of knowledge that I will forever cherish.

Class Blog Introduction

Hello, some of you may know me already, for those who don’t, my name is Taylor. I was born in North Vancouver and moved to the island when I was 5. I love to surf, play volleyball, read, watch movies, and of course, listen to music. Some interests of mine are economics, business, formula 1, and marine biology. I like all genres of music, but my absolute favourite era is anything from the 50’s to the 90’s. My favourite artists are (in no particular order) Elvis, Queen, Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, and a bit of Run D.M.C. My favourite movies are Top Gun (the original one), Days of Thunder, Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption, Blue Crush, and Gleaming the Cube.

My expectations/ hopes for this year are to improve my reading comprehension skills and to read more in general. Last year I really struggled with understanding some of the concepts we studied without the use of my laptop. So I hope to focus on that this year!


Hello, my name is Mahad and I am Canadian but my parents are from Pakistan. I enjoy playing sports like basket-ball and cricket, I also enjoy listening to music and talking to my friends. I am expecting to learn the same things as last year but at a greater extent. Things like efficient writing and poem analyzations are familiar to me but I am hoping to improve even more this year.


Hi, I'm Yare, I'm 17 years old, I'm from Mexico, what I like to do the most is watch Netflix, be with my family and friends, go to parties, do extreme things, play volleyball and have fun doing whatever. My expectations for this course are to have a better reading comprehension, to know how to read more fluently, to find passion in reading, to find books that I really like and are interested in.

Hello Class Blog! – Montana

Hello! I’m Montana Avila-Piloyan, or Monty, I’ve lived in Canada the majority of my life, however, both my parents are immigrants who met here in Victoria! My dad’s from Nicaragua, and my mom’s from Armenia, and they both had an odd mess of a child, which is me! The eldest of three, I’ve become incredibly interested in film, storytelling, theatre, choreography and music, essentially all of the arts. I’m a semi-professional dancer and love to play volleyball, and my dream is to become involved in movie-making! Much of my enjoyment can be found in English, making it one of my favourite subjects!

I really hope that we read a lot of plays this year, as I’ve surprisingly not read that many. I hope we get the chance to do creative writing as well and have the chance to talk about what makes good stories. I expect myself to be pushed this year, and currently, I’m mentally preparing for that, but I also know that the challenging nature of English will enhance my understanding, and overall benefit my knowledge for the future.

Class Blog Intro

My full name is Wing Lam, Chung, but most of people here address me by my English name — Semvia. I was born in Hong Kong, a place in Asia where is filled of skyscrapers so I found it weird when I just arrived here. I came to Canada 2 years ago, since grade 9. Studying in another country is a fun and precious experience which I would never regret I made this decision. I play volleyball a lot so I guess it can be said as my interest(?), but I do hate it at the same time. I also play other kinds of sports like basketball and badminton, although I am not amazing at all these. Other than sports, my favourite thing to do is to do nothing or just go on my phone.

In DP1 English, I expect I will learn to analyze texts and write efficiently. I also hope my organizing skills can be improved by the end of the year. Apart from those, using language is also a category that I have to work on. These are my expectations of the coming year.

Class Blog Intro

Hello fellow students and Mr. Macknight. Most of you know that my name is Aneesha. For those who don’t, I look forward to meeting you in the future. I was born in Rhode Island but have lived most of my life in Victoria. One of the best things about Vancouver Island is its natural beauty. This is why one of my favorite things to do is to go on walks with my dog. Another pass time of mine is to listen to music, mostly hip hop.

Regarding DP 1 English, my expectations are to learn new things and to read interesting books.  My hopes are that by the end of the year I improve my writing skills. Specifically, criteria D because I struggled with this in MYP 5. I will try to approach DP 1 English with my best effort.

DP1 End of The Year Reflection

This year was my first year actually learning how to analyze English literature. I have to say, it has been a great challenge for me. English is my second language, and I only started using it daily to communicate with people last year, so being in a class with everyone that is fluent in English creates a lot of stress and expectation for me. I would always set standards and compare myself with my classmates, but I always feel that I am far behind them. At the beginning of the year, I had a lot of trouble reading the texts, and I thought that it was not very easy and took forever to read them. I noticed that my reading speed was much slower than my classmates, but I thought the books I read were interesting. Later on, as more books I read, I noticed the time I needed to finish a chapter was much faster, and I think my analytical skills have improved, and I can detect different clues in books.
For all my assignments, I have always spent a lot of effort on it, and sometimes it might even take hours to finish a personal response or a simple daily reading journal. And every time I get really stressed and unmotivated on it, I think that I would need to make it as perfect as possible to match with my classmates, so I often stress myself out a lot and end up handed in the assignment late. Also, I get frustrated because of all the hours I have spent on different assignments, but my teacher has never marked any of them…
Other than that, I have gained much more knowledge on a different world and social issues. I have learned the most about Feminism and gender inequality. As a man in the society, I have never thought of the hardships a woman has to go through, but through this class, I have gained a much better perspective. I would say the begining, I did not understand the main idea of the different literature, for example I would always disagree with what the main female character does like Nora. But after reading The Awakening, I think I have gained a much better perspective and finally see the bigger picture.
Anyway, I have learned a lot this year, and I look forward to next year’s English class.

DP1- End of year reflection

Something that will stick with me would be to use points instead of comas. Also, that a well written piece of literature will raise questions and not answer them, that be in a movie, a play, or a book. I also learned how to quote, and that the points go inside the quotes in American english.

I look forward to finding a piece of literature that would raise questions and have no one to help me answer them, or someone to tell them to, in that moment I’ll remember my amazing english teacher, Mr. Macknight.

Year End Reflection

DP1 English A was quite an adventure for me and it surely has exposed me to a variety of literature works that all provide unique viewpoints, stories to tell and expanded my perspectives as a whole.

In the way that Mr. Mac Knight has always constructed his class, literature has been less about the right analysis but more of a conversation between everyone in the class. “It’s not about messages, it’s about the questions.” He often says, and that has been something that changed the way how I think and approach with books or with any literary work. Although I have not fully embraced the fact that literature raises questions not giving answers, it often feels fresh to see the multitude and vast amount of topics to discuss in even just a book or short story. For example, A Doll’s House when read, can often be thought as a push to feminism and women’s right due to how evident Nora presented herself towards the end of the story. However, it is not everything, as we would often see how the story would raise questions about what does it mean to be a human? How does the husband and the wife works together to form a healthy, happy marriage? Is love alone ever enough? Questions like these would leave me feel in awed of how literature can be so insightful.

But to the main dish: did I enjoy it 100%? Well as with anything in life so far, (except for learning Psychology) I would say it is somewhere in-between. It has always been refreshing to listen to listen to the same topic but in different ways of explaining and understanding. On the other hand, sometimes some topics on certain books go rather deep for me that it can be hard to comprehend. I think this has shown how cultures can affect your point of view and understanding of something.

To wrap up this school year, I would like to put a small gratitude for Mr. Mac Knight: thank you for having always answer everyone’s questions in class and have us dig deep into a topic to understand its root, it has been a trip that was not only about improving my English, but also understanding how to approach and analyze pieces of writings.

Now for dessert, I will have a small cup of milk before packing up my stuffs, get ready to leave tomorrow, meet my family and fly back to Vietnam.

It has been a good year and I’m hoping to see everyone again.

Year-End Reflection

What I will remember the most from DP1 English is that literature does not answer question, it raises questions. Also how to analyze readings and to pay attention to details in readings.

What I learned in DP1 English that I think will stick with me is how fun is to learn literature if you ask questions.  And to read more if I want to continue to improve my english.

DP 1 Year End Reflection

This year English class has been a lot of fun and has taught me so much. From this year I think what I will remember most is the importance of asking questions and realizing that the best literature raises the most questions. I think what will stick with me most from this year is the information on analyzing a piece of literature and everything that you should pay attention to when reading, watching, or listening to a piece of literature.

English DP1 Year-End Reflection

This whole school year has been an interesting and novel experience, and although English class is usually my strongest subject, my DP1 Literature course presented quite a few new challenges and ideas. Examining works of classical literature and poetry gave me the opportunity to internalize techniques and styles to implement in my own writing projects, not to mention several works (namely Candide, The Merchant of Venice, and A Doll’s House) being extremely enjoyable and memorable reads in their own right.

End of year reflection

What I think that I will remember most from dp1 English is Mr. MacKnights sometimes funny and always witty jokes. What I will remember academically however was our criticisms and analysis of the texts which we read. Reading analytically will consistently help me progress as a critical thinker in the future.

I have learned how to analyze and criticize a text and make my own ideas more concrete, as well as relating them to the text. I have also learned how to better read and create a deeper understanding as I read.

End year of Reflection

End year reflection:

This year was an amazing year, English lit DP 1 was a great year. Each class was a great and I always looked forward to each class. It was never boring but it was enjoyable even though sometimes I fell asleep in some classes, I did enjoy going to English classes. During the time I had in English lit DP 1 I learned that not to be to quick to judge a character without reading more into the book. One of the books that I loved to have read was The Awakening By Kat Chopin. It was one of the most interesting books that I have read out of all the books that I’ve read so far. In all honesty I thought that this English would be more boring and about how to write a paragraph and where to put punctuations and all of that stuff. I wasn’t expecting to have to read books and reflect about them this year, actually I wasn’t expecting to even read as many books as we read this year at all.

This English class was wonderful and I enjoyed going to and being in the classes as well. Being in this class I’ve learned some new things and read books that I would have never heard of, or looked for in a book store. The books that we’ve read this year where great to read to enjoyable to me. I hope that next year and was as amazing as this year was.

Year-End Reflection


This year in DP1 English, I learnt the importance of perspectives and the importance of looking at the same situation from different points of view. Asking questions was another important thing that I learned was necessary because, most likely, someone else has the same question. I also learned how to make claims using direct text evidence. I also learned how to properly use quotations and put them in smoothly when writing. I think the most memorable thing we did this year was the Shylock’s speech performances that we did and actually being that character. Another memorable film we watched was a dolls house, and I found it really interesting to read the play and compare it with the film and how Nora and Torvald were characterized. I will also remember Ben’s jokes that I did my best to try and understand. 

English DP1 Year-End Reflection

This year in English I learned to set up my quotes better. I also learned how to write assertions, topic sentences, and how to think globally. I will remember Mr. MacKnight ignoring Ben’s jokes the most as I do not remember much from the pieces of literature that we read.  I Found that I understood the books and plays that we also watched as movies much better than the boring books that we only read.

Year End Reflection

The thing I will remember the most from DP1 English Lit is struggling to complete the tasks I got. I haven’t really improved at this which is unfortunate. And I likely won’t improve in the future due to personal preference. 🙁

Over the course of the year I learnt the importance of spark notes and how it is helpful but will get you 0/12 on a quiz. I also learnt what depression feels like after doing my IO, I’ve recovered though.

Overall year was cool. I liked the movies.

Thanks Eric.