“The Darling” Commentary by Trevor

Olenka is a simplified character whose only personality trait is that she needs emotional gratification. Page 3, “she said with perfect sincerety”. When in a loving relationship, she acts blissfully and does not find any fault in her situation. Her position is black and white, in a relationship she is perfectly happy, however when alone she is completely sad.

This simplification of Olenka speaks into the fear and depravity of love and idea of dying alone. Reducing Olenka’s character to joy and despair gives the idea of life being pure joy or despair, based on relationship status. When in the relationship, Olenka is singularly content with her partner, an unparalleled relationship to that of any other. This exclusivity of emotional connection also speaks to the fleetingness and irreplaceable sense of love.

Therefore, “The Darling” is a disturbing recount of the fated destruction of Olenka’s wellbeing, how she her whole life grapples against her sense of desperation.

Art – By Trevor

Mr. MacKnight, your argument seems rationed. However, in my perspective of the topic and the questions it raised, I see areas where your ideas become incomplete and are unsupported by pertinent explanations.

You claim art does not exhibit responses to the question “What does it mean?”, instead it contains “wise” knowledge: who are we?, where are we?, what are we doing?/what should we be doing? However, what is the difference between these two “knowledges”? Is it not wise to try and find meanings in art? Don’t those meanings contribute to answer, if not allow us to ask in the first place, the questions that encompass all other questions?

I believe all questions are the same, however we have divided them into a hierarchy. First are the literal questions, e.g.; Where am I? In Victoria, of course. Then we can take a cultural and geopolitical scale of the question. The answer could be: Victoria in Western culture Canada, where I coexist with different ethnic groups, first nations, and live in a democratic country enabled by great thinkers before me who enlightened and shifted society to where it exists today. One more step out, we ask; What events created this world and what justification there is for them? Some people believe they are superior to others, however other people believe we are all born equal. The injustice calls activists to find passion in changing the world to fit their ideals, making the world “a better place”. The unreplicable beauty of nature, sensation, and the elusive nature of time, cause artists and philosophers to either express, or rationalize the world. Plato talked about the experiences of the world as characters that define it and those that create experience, like goodness, beauty, sameness, and so on. He believed people’s minds are separate from the world, and we have free will. Modern science does not exactly corroborate this idea, and what turns out to be the ‘experiences’ of the world are merely figments of imagination. Moreover, beauty is something we feel, but beautiful things are composed of the same material as ugly things, they just appear beautiful. Goodness is arbitrary, and morals are something abstract created by humans to keep society alive. But we feel these things, regardless. We enter a hypocritical world of truth versus reality, where many people believe the world was made for different reasons. Be it Genesis, the emergence of Gaia from Chaos, or the Big Bang Theory. Therefore, being part of this realm, shouldn’t we ponder whether all questions have significant implications in the world? Why should we strive to dig deep into big questions, when truth falls apart? When I wrote about the idea of  truth versus reality, aren’t all questions addressing reality? Therefore we should question if the person who is asking them, is reflecting on the world in their own form of inquiry?

Can we justify that the Big Questions raised are more introspective, and revealing about the world? Within the Big Question itself lies another, and although I believe there is delight and humour to be had investigating it, I doubt any pertinent explanation exists. I believe people ask questions on a level that applies, and aligns with their idea of existence. Although I cannot back up my theory, it is more inclusive of the different ways other people think of the world. On the top level of question hierarchy, aren’t answers more tangible, applicable, and able of giving a clear idea or description of the world? Where would fiction be without it, sci-fi, and fantasy? Don’t people spend their whole lives writing fantasy, and sci-fi? Big Questions, although universal, are the dead end of thought, where above it are the unlimited combinations of creative ideas.

What is so important about big questions? If it is analyzed, and used to apply toward your worldly perspective, then yes, there are many iterations of Big Questions. Art, as a part of this world, (inherently, if not expressly) demonstrates them. However, can’t we appreciate art for the value of stimulation, and how we react to it? Can we appreciate “merely” looking at art, choosing not to assess how and why it makes us feel a certain way? If we have assessed art enough times, can’t we predict how it will make us feel? Can we reach the “dead end” of thought asking: in that way, why do we feel?

VPirani_Reflection on my Writing

Throughout the year, my literary analysis has matured. I’ve understood the main ideas and noticed small key factors to pointing out key elements that are the causation factors for the rising action, climax, and falling action.

In the first few blog posts, I submitted this year, I continuously failed to connect the title to the actual contents of the literary summary I would ramble on and on without getting straight to the point, misleading the reader. Now, in my blog posts, I tend to struggle with properly writing the titles (if they should be in italic or between ” “). I still do have a bit of trouble with making my sentences too wordy or confusing, but it has definitely improved.

I feel as though I have gained much knowledge on literary analysis, although I still have much more to learn in proper punctuation, targeted analysis and interpretation of the literary piece. There is also the contextualization and how the reader could understand the authors writing.

Overall, I feel quite confident in my capability to improve. My attention and focus have definitely increased, it is not where I’d like it to be, but it most definitely will be for next year.

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”. 

Reflection on Writing 2020-2021

In comparison to September, I believe that my writing has improved. Generally speaking, I think that my ideas and insights have remained fairly consistent. However, the structure of my writing is now better suited to amplify those ideas. This year, we primarily focused on literary analysis. Though we did this in previous years as well, it was never as much of a focal point in our courses. Therefore, to keep up with this analytical content, I had to adapt my writing. In my first few blog posts of the year, I tended to use several short paragraphs, which I now consider to be incomplete and underdeveloped. Often, these paragraphs did not contain assertions, nor the required substance to support any claims. Though these paragraphs weren’t necessarily bad, their style was incompatible with their content. They would be much better suited for contexts like newspaper articles or novels, as I generally wrote them for a wow effect rather than for analytical purposes. Throughout the year, I believe I improved on these grounds. I began writing with the goal of being clear, concise, and analytical. I prioritized the structure of my writing, ensuring that I always used assertions, and consistently supported them with relevant information and quotations. Following this structure has truly helped me write in a manner that compliments my literary analyses, which has benefitted my analytical thinking, as well.

Going forward, I’m hoping to work on my unclear and awkward expressions. This is a challenging error to correct, as there is no simple solution for it. Often, I tend to cram several ideas into one sentence, and I believe this is a primary cause for my awkward writing. In the future, I am going to proofread specifically for this error, in hopes to recognize and correct it. Regardless, I am aware that this will take time and patience, since it can be difficult for me to see these errors in my own writing. One of the best things I believe I can do is continuously exposing myself to good writing. Whether that is through novels, scholarly essays, class handouts or even through my classmates’ blog posts, this is an excellent way to learn. For me, reading is the most enjoyable and rewarding way to absorb good writing techniques and ideas. Therefore, I am looking forward to doing so this summer.

Overall, I believe that my writing has improved, and I am incredibly eager to keep progressing. I strongly believe that everyone’s writing skills have room for improvement, as writing is ever-changing and nonlinear. As we reach new experiences in our lives, we gain more knowledge, perspective, and insight. Though this means that improvements may happen slowly, it also means that they will be inevitable if you keep pursuing growth. Moving forward, I hope to continuously apply what I learn to my writing, in order to improve its quality.

Reflection on my writing 2020-2021

My writing has not drastically changed compared to the beginning of the year. My thoughts and beliefs align in many of my posts. One of the most prominent aspects I stand for in all my posts is women’s empowerment. I need to work on translating my thoughts into clear phrases and expand more on them.

At the beginning of the year, I focused on the plots of books and wrote my blogposts about the environment and situations the characters were in. Whereas recently, I started focussing more on the characters and how they feel, why they are the way they are. The way there are moulded into society, Etc.

I like most of my blog posts. Even though they might be unclear or lacking in some aspects, they helped me improve my writing throughout the year. To further develop my writing, I plan on reading and throughout the summer.

Reflection on my writing 2020-21

Compared to the start of September, my writing improved slightly. I feel that I am able to use the language better. It has been hard for me to convert thoughts into words. But now, I write less awkwardly.

As a result, the organization of my paragraphs are clearer. I used to just follow a strand of my logic and write freely. I never considered how structurally clear it is for the people reading it because my writing would (of course) make sense to me. Now I take the habit of creating a small outline before I start.

I still think I have a long way to go in terms of “translating” my thoughts into words. Oftentimes I write awkwardly because I can’t convey my thoughts directly. When I read my old posts, they are unfamiliar as if like I never wrote them. There’s no other way to improve my writing other than to read more and write more. I will write casually as a habit from now on.