Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vocab Week #10

aficionado - noun a serious devotee of some particular music genre or musical performer; a fan of bull fighting
browbeat - verb discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate; be bossy towards
commensurate - adj. corresponding in size or degree or extent
diaphanous - adj. so thin as to transmit light
emolument - noun compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment (usually in the form of wages or fees)
foray - noun an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence); a sudden short attack; verb briefly enter enemy territory; steal goods; take as spoils
genre - noun a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique; a kind of literary or artistic work; an expressive style of music; a style of expressing yourself in writing
homily - noun a sermon on a moral or religious topic
immure - verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
insouciant - adj. marked by blithe unconcern
matrix - noun mold used in the production of phonograph records, type, or other relief surface; the formative tissue at the base of a nail; the body substance in which tissue cells are embedded; a rectangular array of elements (or entries) set out by rows and columns; an enclosure within which something originates or develops (from the Latin for womb)
panache - noun a feathered plume on a helmet; distinctive and stylish elegance
persona - noun (Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world; an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
philippic - noun a speech of violent denunciation
prurient - adj. characterized by lust
sacrosanct - adj. must be kept sacred
systemic - adj. affecting an entire system
tendentious - adj. having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
vicissitude - noun mutability in life or nature (especially successive alternation from one condition to another); a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Literature Analysis #2 Lord of the Flies by William Golding

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

 -This novel is about some private school boys who are stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash and are driven insane causing them to fight against each other in order to survive. I don't think that the author's intention was to send the message that people go crazy after being isolated for so long, but that society can fail without the help from a higher authority. Some people have thought that this book almost resembles the tale of Jesus Christ. I completely agree with this accusation of having to do with a religious underlying meaning to this novel because there is too much evidence imposing it is has religious imprecations.

 2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

 -I believe that the overall theme of this novel is that you can't give into temptation and innocence. As the boys give into the temptation of Jack they lose their innocence and become savages. This theme develops over the course of the story as we see on or two boys go over to Jack's tribe and leaves Ralph's. Little by little Ralph's tribe is completely gone leaving him and Piggy by themselves, making them outcasts and trying to maintain their innocence they wind up having some fatalities. The theme of temptation is also shown when we read about Simon talking to the Lord of the Flies and saying how there is evil in everyone, but Simon chooses to omit that temptation, but in the process of telling everyone he is killed in the process.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

 -The author's tone throughout the novel is very somber, I never found myself being happy for the boys but waiting for the next thing to go wrong in their story. Things never got better for them, it was just one bad thing after another. Because the author had a somber, gloomy tone it made me expect the worst to happen, even though I didn't know what exactly was going to happen I would eagerly skip to the next page and think to myself How could it get any worse than this? And then someone would die and I was shocked every time even though I expected a sad event.

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

 -Ambiguity: The author makes it uncertain to us that the story has an underlying meaning about the religious story of Jesus Christ, but if you pay attention to the small details and want to learn about the true meaning of The Lord of the Flies a whole new door opens. Golding wanted people to take the seriousness of his book into consideration by leaving random hints (e.g. the title, Simon, talking pigs head) so that we could understand his interpretation.

 -Apostrophe: The talking pig's head is directly addressed by Simon during the rising action of the story even though it is an inanimate object, but it is significant because we are making a connection between a human boy and a disgusting, rotting pig head about the severity of the things that will happen to the boys if they do not keep their innocence. Because these two characters in the story come into communication we either assume Simon is an insane child or that he is learning the real meaning behind the reason they are there through an apostrophe that comes to life.

 -Contrast: In this novel Golding uses the contrast between good (Simon, Ralph, Piggy) against evil (Jack, the Lord of the Flies, the Beast). Between these characters is where we find our contrast because for one character there is an opposite. For example Jack and Ralph are completely different characters while Simon and the Lord of the Flies are also complete opposites. By having pairs of characters that are opposites helps us define the sides of who is good and who is evil.

 -Imagery: The description of the pig's head was my favorite of Golding's use of imagery because I could perfectly imagine this grotesque, rotting, stinking pig's head talking to me and making me want to puke. I think that his imagery was perfect for this specific scene because to vividly put this in my imagination amazes me because a lot of the time author's want you to imagine how their books would appear in your mind, but Golding had a specific idead of how he wanted me, as a reader, to interpret this disgusting pig's head.

 -Magical Realism: I know this is kind of a stretch, but hear me out. Since everyone isn't religious I think that there is an aspect of magical realism in the novel, but only in one part: the conversation between the pig's head and Simon. Making the pig's head come to life and have it actually talk to Simon is magical because obviously pig's don't talk to you everyday especially if they are just a severed head, and we make that connection between good and evil.

 -Metonymy: The title of this book, The Lord of the Flies literally means Beelzebub (or Satan). Golding uses this to his advantage because most people probably wouldn't first realize this because you know that the title has something the will be in the story and most people will just be like, "Oh, it's just that nasty pig's head," but really it has underlying meaning in which Golding takes advantage of by using metonymy by changing the name in a literal sense.

 -Symbols: Simon (Jesus Christ), the pig's head (Satan), all of the other boys (Jews). They relate because as Simon is trying to tell all of the boys about the Lord of the Flies and tries to make sure they all connect they kill him by accident ruining their only chance at peace in their society. This symbolizes Jesus Christ trying to tell the Jews that the only way to save their damned souls is to accept his words as truth, but they don't listen to him and kill him.

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

 -Two examples of direct characterization is in the beginning of the novel when they talk about Ralph as the oldest and leader, and Piggy as the social pariah of the group who no one likes. An example of indirect characterization would be when the boys are deciding a leader and you see that Jack gets upset that he doesn't win showing a characteristic of jealousy. Another example would be when we realize all the kids don't really which indirectly characterizes them as ignorant and irresponsible. The author uses both approaches because it's boring to just describe a character through one sentence when you can try to develop a character throughout the course of a story.

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

 -The author's syntax and diction does not change when she focuses on a certain character.

 3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

 -Ralph is a static character because he starts out as the leader type and maintains that persona (not role) as a leader throughout the entire novel. He is a flat character because his persona doesn't change and Ralph doesn't change like the other boys do into a horrible person but instead he keeps his innocence.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.

 -If there was nay character that I particularly felt I had met it would be Ralph because I feel like he and I are relate-able in the sense that he wants to be a leader and hates to see the people he cares about most go down the wrong track. I would do the same thing by trying to keep everyone together in a good mind set.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tools That Change the Way We Think

      Finished my paper. Spell Check. Grammar Check. This was probably the first thing most of us remember using that changes how we were actually going to say something. I never realized that it wasn't me who was writing , but now somebody else putting words into my mouth. Search engines like Google and Yahoo! both demonstrate changing our way of thinking because I never asked them to search for me, don't get me wrong I like that sometimes I can't remember something my friend told me to look up and boom, it's there because I only typed in half of what I was saying.

      Another thing that constantly changes what I mean to say is autocorrect, we've all had that incident where you mean to say something and you wind up sending your mom or dad a really awkward text message and have to explain tho them how autocorrect ruined your pure message. For instance:
Lets be honest, this is probably similar to something that has happened to you before. This isn't mine personally, but I can completely relate to this in the sense of crap I don't why I wrote Obama instead of finals, what the heck autocorrect. This can be entirely embarrassing because autocorrect sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Notes on Hamlet

Being a Teacher's Aide for DP last year means that  kinda sorta already read Hamlet and know everything that is going to happen, but I'm going to try to come in open-minded about the play. I really enjoyed DP's interpretation of Hamlet last year and I hope that reading it a second time through will give me an even better understanding of the book. Hopefully I can find some underlying themes or puns that I didn't see the first time through.

Who Was Shakespeare?

1. Yahoo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare

Wikipedia is always one of the top results for pretty much anything you type into google, yahoo, or practically any search engine. I learned the basics of Shakespeare: his life story, birth and death, and basically his background. Something I did find interesting was that he had influenced Charles Dickens throughout the course of his writing, I would have never guessed that Charles Dickens even needed to be influenced. 

2. Yahoo: www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/merchant/shakespeare.html

- At this website I found that they mention that someone else could have written Shakespeare's works such as Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere. This made me laugh due to the fact there was a movie about this same accusation, it's completely ridiculous to think this in my opinion. Overall this website had good information about leading up to Shakespeare's life.

3. Yahoo: news.bbc.co.uk/.../shakespeare/newsid_3539000/3539058.stm

- After getting past all of the theories on who Shakespeare supposedly was I stumbled across this one about Shakespeare's life as a theatre performer and how that affected his works as a play write. I learned how Shakespeare used many foul words, I was also enlightened to find their meaning. Highly recommend visiting this website to find some great Shakespearean puns that I have never seen before.

To Facebook or Not to Facebook

When I first decided to join Facebook was when I was in 8th grade because all of my friends had them, not being very technologically savvy I had no idea how to work it so I gave up on the whole thing. However, the more and more my friends eagerly asked me to go on the more and more I went on until I realized that my life has revolved around Facebook. I have become completely captivated by Facebook and I will never be the same again. I remember my mom telling me how I shouldn't post too many pictures because she didn't know who was looking and I was thinking to myself Gee mom only my friends, duh. Now I know that I can't just post whatever because let's be honest, everyone who has a Facebook can be hacked and traced.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vocab Week #9

abortive - adj. failing to accomplish an intended result
bruit - verb tell or spread rumors
contumelious - adj. arrogantly insolent
dictum - noun an authoritative declaration; an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
ensconce - verb fix firmly
iconoclastic - adj. destructive of images used in religious worship; said of religions, such as Islam, in which the representation of living things is prohibited; characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
internecine - adj. characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides; (of conflict) within a group or organization
maladroit - adj. not adroit
maudlin - adj. effusively or insincerely emotional
modulate - verb vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves); adjust the pitch, tone, or volume of; change the key of, in music; fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of; vary the pitch of one's speech
portentous - adj. of momentous or ominous significance; puffed up with vanity; ominously prophetic
prescience - noun the power to foresee the future
salubrious - adj. favorable to health of mind or body; promoting health; healthful
touchstone - noun a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
traumatic - adj. psychologically painful; "few experiences are more traumatic than losing a child"; of or relating to a physical injury or wound to the body
vitiate - verb take away the legal force of or render ineffective; make imperfect; corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
waggish - adj. witty or joking

Monday, October 8, 2012

Vocab Week #8

abeyance - noun temporary cessation or suspension
ambivalent - adj. uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
beleaguer - verb surround so as to force to give up; annoy persistently
cataclysm - noun an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
debauch - noun a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity; verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
eclat - noun brilliant or conspicuous success or effect; ceremonial elegance and splendor; enthusiastic approval
fastidious - adj. giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness; having complicated nutritional requirements; especially growing only in special artificial cultures
gambol - noun gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; verb play boisterously
imbue - verb suffuse with color; fill, soak, or imbue totally; spread or diffuse through
inchoate - adj. only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
lampoon - noun a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way; verb ridicule with satire
malleable - adj. capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out; easily influenced
nemesis - noun (Greek mythology) the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance; something causes misery or death
opt - verb select as an alternative; choose instead; prefer as an alternative
philistine - adj. of or relating to ancient Philistia or the culture of the Philistines; smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values; noun a member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century BC; a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
picaresque - adj. involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
queasy - adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety; feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit; causing or able to cause nausea
refractory - adj. temporarily unresponsive or not fully responsive to nervous or sexual stimuli; not responding to treatment; stubbornly resistant to authority or control; noun lining consisting of material with a high melting point; used to line the inside walls of a furnace