The World is Small, but the Feels Are Large

Almost all novels (or any other pieces for that matter), create feelings that each person connects to, something they can understand. So much so, that is almost changes a person. I feel most connected with the novel  Salt to the Sea  (written by Ruta Sepetys), as the desire to help others but remain blended in and hiding from everyone else overruns the desire to be in society.

This story follows four teenagers running from the horrors of World War II. They are all from four separate places, with four separate stories. They become so immersed in the war, and have to make some risky choices. One thing that really caught my attention, was that they weren’t just running from the people after them and the constant fear of being caught; they are running from their past and the things they are trying to hide. In each introductory chapter, they each have a starting line that foreshadows into what they are running from. Joana, a nurse from Lithuania, claims that “Guilt is a hunter.” She has this guilt of leaving her family behind to get killed and tortured that she is carrying with her, while also carrying the burden of trying to help everyone she sees that is in need.  Florian, the mysterious, blending in teen with a secret of epic proportions, says that “Fate is a hunter.” He has a prized art piece from when he forged art pieces unknowingly for a man working for Hitler. This fate leads him to keep his identity a secret, and keep all events of the past to himself. He is determined to get where he is going, even if it means he has to leave people in the dust. i identify most with these two characters, and connected in a way in which I know I have that desire to help and can’t watch people struggle, but I also don’t want to share much about what happened years ago, or share much about myself in general. This gave the text meaning for me, as the connection not only with each of these two characters, but having their connection between each other as I have with a select few other people came for me in a similar way. Florian chose to open up to Joana, because he felt that he could trust her. the same goes for me, as only a small few know enough about me, making it easier for me to build upon that trust.

closed doors

The words on each page develop a reaction that change the course of the emotional roller coaster that I was on while reading this book. i felt the anguish and pain from each part, to a point of where it would “guarantee the pages keep turning” with the “slowly revealed back stories.”  The reactions of the developing relationships really had a deep reaction time and connection for, almost to where I had to force myself to put it down because i needed time to evaluate what had happened. The way the author uses delicate detail and releases their ” individual backstories slowly and with care.” create a feeling of affection and warmth between the not only the characters, but between a reader and the characters. I got so immersed in the emotions of each character, that i felt like one of them. i felt like I was somewhere that I could finally somewhat understand what they were going through, even though I could never fully comprehend the audacity and dangers  of these situations.The writing fully envelopes the disaster if WWII and the unknown tragedy that characterizes what it means to be unsafe, even when safety seems right in front of you. it made me realize the need to fully look at a situation, look down beneath the surface for the possibilities of more than what is before me. The writing fully exemplifies the ” forgotten, or absorbed, or reclaimed”. This gave me a reaction of pity and guilt, for something that i didn’t even do or experience. This just goes to show that and author can have a much further impact than  just a good story, or just “good or bad” emotions.

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Overall, the story that Ruta Sepetys makes you forget that it is a work of fiction. It feels like this could have happening, or actually is happening as I read it. Even though I could never imagine the pain and anguish that the people encountered, i can relate to the relationships and backstories. this creates not only meaning to the text, but meaning for me as a reader. For those wanting a connection, to feel the emotions this has to offer, i highly suggest this to you.

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Why Can’t It Just Be?

When it comes to social media’s impact on language and communication, is there a concrete negative or positive impact? In our society, people have become accustomed to the language of social media, but are they really being helped or harmed by it?

I think that there is both a negative and a positive impact to our society on language and communication through the use of social media. There isn’t a concrete answer because we follow through the process of adaptation. We can still use our words we use with each other and language and communication skills of years past, however we learn to communicate and adapt to language as years move forward in time. For example, when we communicate with one another, our words are “more malleable than formal writing,” and ” the mass audience afforded by social media is a recipe for rapid change.” (Jon Reed, How Social Media Is Changing a=Language). We are clearly adapting, but still hold on to what we know from when we begin to learn in schools and simply coming across words or language we are unfamiliar with.

On the oppositions, the positive side might say that we are more interconnected, and have more communication with each other than years before. People in businesses are even experiencing this, learning more about their coworkers through the use of social media. As we continue to move through society we are “going to be exposing more about ourselves online in our careers,” (Randi Zuckerburg).

Social media

However, along with the negative impacts, people are becoming more isolated. They are living off by themselves, meeting people online and more likely to not even know the people in their own neighborhoods. People don’t talk to each other when they are sitting right next to each other. The positive and negative impacts are evident, being “electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.” (Dan Brown).

On the positive spectrum, people are using the forums of social media to express their creativity and innovations. It creates and effective form of communication for artists and innovators to change the way society looks at things in their world. This is demonstrated by the mass use of Pinterest, a website that allows people to share their ideas, currently having “70 million users” and “2.5 billion page views per month” (Cendrine Marrouat).

On the negative side, this could also be an issue, because more innovative and unique ideas are becoming less and less creative. The amount of communication has cause people to not create, but copy the work of others. This negatively impacts our society into thinking that we don’t have to be creative, just copy the work of others.

Although society has become accustomed to the ways of language and society, it may not be a concrete negative or positive thing. What can’t it just be?

Sidney Spears, Sophomore Student at Franklin-Simpson High School

 

 

 

 

To Persuade, Or Not To Persuade?

In William Shakespeare’s famous play “Julius Caesar”, the use of persuasion and manipulation is greatly prevalent throughout the story. Towards the end of the story, two speeches are presented after the death of Caesar: Antony (Caesar’s best friend), and Brutus (Caesar’s killer). They both use a certain amount of persuasion to attain their audience, yet one is more persuasive than the other. Brutus makes a stronger connection to the audience than Antony.  He uses connections to the audience, uses strong diction, while also delivering it in an effective manner.

First: Connection

Brutus begins by making a connection to the audience demonstrating their need for the strength of Rome. He uses this statement:

“Not that I loved Caesar less, but I loved Rome more.”

He clearly appeals to the people through nationalism, and having the pride for their country rather than praising a man who could have done them wrong. This appeals to the people in way for them to realize that their county would soon be overthrown with an “honourable yet ambitious man”. Brutus makes this clear to the public, convincing them that what was going to happen would be bad had Caesar still been alive.  He is able to persuade these people, because they have the epiphany that they had been blind to Caesar’s actions, and were ready to be lead and appreciated by someone else.

nationalism

Second: Words

He uses a certain diction to appeal to the Romans. He uses this statement:

” Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?”

Words like “slaves” and “free men” have strong connotations to the people. They are said so bluntly that the people really believe and understand what they were being lead into. He then uses the statement:

” as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome,”

He goes back again to the use of the home country and the diction of “slew” and “for the good” to convey too his audience that what he did was for them, not for himself. With this, he fully expresses the desires of the people, which they then realize and are ready to follow Caesar.

good-reasons-brutus-changed

Finally: Present

Lastly, he uses a strong delivery of the words that wrap it all together. He uses the statement:

“If any speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.

He says this in desires to hear the crowd, having a strong delivery of the statement, especially with the pause in between to strengthen the effect of his words. Using the statements listed earlier,  it is clear that he says these profoundly and brazenly. He uses no  shame in his words, even if the regret of murder is strong. The regret is clear in his voice when he talks about killing Caesar.  This not only gets the audience’s attention, but it creates a sense of leadership, persuading the audience that what he did was right.

diction

Both Persuade?

Some may disagree, and say that Antony’s speech was more  persuasive. although persuasive, it does have some flaws that negate it’s persuasion. He uses a lot of emotional appeal to explain his point of view, and also gives some to explain what friendship he shared with Caesar. He uses the statement:

“My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar. and I must pause till it come back to me.”

He uses obvious emotional appeal to attain the audience, almost to the point of redundancy. he becomes so overly emotional that audience doesn’t react in sympathy. One citizen said:

“If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong.”

This shows that even the citizens are aware of what was happening, and that they are unconvinced of Antony’s words.

Overall, persuasion in these speeches, (and any speech for that matter) is strong enough to attain the audience. It all depends on what is used, and how it is used.

Two Halves of the Same Song

When authors write, they take caution in using specific word choice to convey the most effectively, so that they can get the reader to understand a character and their situations. These words, known as diction, display a character’s feelings or mood towards an aspect of life or their surroundings. Tone cannot be conveyed without using appropriate diction, and diction is meaningless without a certain tone or connotation, much like the character Ni-kan in the short story “Two Kinds, written by Amy Tan, who has to discover that tow halves make the whole.

pretty music notes

In the beginning of the story, the audience can see the obvious disdain that Ni-kan now has for her mother, as she caused her to believe she had to be something she didn’t want to be. This leads into the first aspect of life: relationships in Ni-kan’s life. She expresses a bitter tone towards this. She diction like, “lamented”, “sulky”, and “someone I’m not” to convey this bitterness towards her mother. The audience can fully understand her feelings, and can feel the resentment between this pair. This diction succeeds in conveying this bitterness, which then enable the story to shift into a new tone.

As Ni-kan grows, she experiences getting older and has to go through this period of discovering who she is. This leads to the next aspect of life: self-development. She becomes very brazen in her actions, like deliberately not playing well during piano, fighting her mother on everything she has to do, and straight up arguing with her most of the story. This sets of a forthright or candid tone. Ni-kan becomes very honest with herself and attempts to become honest with her mother, trying to determine who she is or wants to be. The diction used to convey this is “I’m not her slave”, “this wasn’t China”, and “the way I am”. These pieces of diction show how she is looking at her life and attempting to move away from the expectations her mother has set out for her. She ends up just making matters worse and putting a halt on her and her mother’s relationship. Her mother just pushes her even harder. Ni-kan eventually blows up and throws everything she has been feeling in her mother’s face, some things that shouldn’t have been said. This leads into the final tone shift, when Ni-kan hs an epiphany.

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After Ni-kan’s mother passes away, Ni-kan discovers something about herself that she didn’t notice in youth. This leads to the final aspect of life: maturity. As Ni-kan goes through her mother’s things, she finds some things from her childhood that changes her entire perspective. This leads her to create a reflective tone for the audience. She is looking back on her past, and realizes that the song she had to play for the piano recital actually had two halves that sounded different, but was the same song. This makes her realize that she could have been two people, the prefect one her mother wanted her to be, but also the person she wanted to be. She could be two halves of the same song. She couldn’t have been one without the other and still have been happy. The diction that conveys this best is “two halves of the same song”, “for purely sentimental reasons”, and “it was a very good piano.” These show, that as she lloks back on her past and is reflecting on it, her maturity makes her realize that she could have acted better. She could have tried to be both to create the whole person.

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As everyone experiences life, they must go through these slight periods of “Who am I going to be?” Since these tones are so well conveyed with the diction used, it creates a sympathetic mood that everyone can connect with and understand. As I have gone through life, I have had to experience who I want to be, versus who others expect me to be. As everyone goes through this life battle, we come to that point in our lives, when we come to maturity, that we reflect on our lives and make these decisions. We become two halves of the same song.

Is It Better to Have a Safe Society, or Free Society?

In our society, people have come to question whether safety is more important than freedom, or vice-versa. In the story The Giver by Lois Lowry, it states “If we were different, people would get envious, angry. Sameness prevents it.” In their society, the people value safety and rules more, as it protects their people from what could hurt them. Balance is harder to achieve than people think, and many opinions get in the way of things that could actually be done about it. Of these opinions, I stand on the side where safety is more important than freedom.As the old saying goes, “You give someone an inch, they take a mile” Restricting how far that inch can go can protect the people for the greater good, even if it means taking drastic measures. When freedom is encouraged, people’s emotions and physical health are in great question, but how might it be such a danger for freedom over safety?

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freedom

How Much is Too Much?

When people know too much, they take every measure they can to a point where it can overwhelm them, or even harm them. In the short story, By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet, the quotes that greatly summarize the story is, “Truth is a hard deer to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you may die.” and “Perhaps in the old days, they ate knowledge too fast.” This evidence shows that people can take in too much knowledge at once. When people know more, they tend to get hurt. An example of this would be in the cases of adoption. In most cases, it is better to keep this knowledge to the parents, rather than telling the kids, unless it is blatantly obvious that they are not their child. If a child knows, they may feel unwanted or unloved. Sometimes it better to keep the truth to yourself, than it is to let someone know about it. That is where safety and freedom come in. You may have the freedom to obtain knowledge and tell someone, but you also have to take into account how this knowledge might affect them. When people have knowledge, they are able to use it against others, causing them harm, or even harm to themselves.

truth

Protection vs. Invasion

When people have freedom, they can use it to hurt other people. In the article Watching You by Patricia Smith stated “Information gathered under Prism has helped foil about 50 terrorist plots, according to NSA.” This shows that surveillance, although a little invasive, can protect people from things that can be detrimental to not only one person, but to many people. When under surveillance, the government is able to look at all things we post, send, or message to one another. A simple Snapchat could lead to a larger terrorist organization that we may not have known of otherwise. Even if it is something smaller, like hiding a secret or starting a rumor, it could severely hurt someone’s self-love or self-esteem, even if it wasn’t meant to. Having the freedom of the use of this technology.and other things not under surveillance. When people are left to their own freedom and choices, they can take these and hurt someone.

surveillance

You Think You Know

People are able to make their own choices and learn more, making some believe that they are better than others, thus hurting someone’s interpersonal emotions. In the novel Anthem  by Ayn Rand, it states “How dared you think that your mind held greater wisdom than the minds of your brothers?”  (p. 71) Even though knowledge isn’t such a bad thing, it leads to a point when a person begins to think they are better than everyone else. They let their opinions of themselves dictate how they think of others.  This then leads to the destruction of one’s self-image, for both parties. The protection of these emotions are limited, as freedom of speech and thought are so available. When people create their ideas of others, they tend to make this idea from the comparison of themselves. When everyone is protected by the same safety, or in the same train of thought, it is very difficult to hurt others or yourself.

Power-Pyramid-Adam-Dodson

Freedom Dictates Choices

Many would believe that there should be more freedom than safety, or an equal balance of both. They think that originality is more important than the idea of safety.  One might feel this way because people wouldn’t be able to make their own choices or be an individual if the government restricted their choices they could make or the things they were allowed to do. Another quote from The Giver makes an excellent point when it comes to choices, “When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong.” Especially in today’s society, people have a tendency to make wrong choices based on how they are feeling. A great example would be the debate on whether abortion should be allowed to be in place. People don’t really know where to stand, or if they do, it is because of the freedoms they are given. If they are not given the power of choice, controversial topics like this may not be such n issue if safety was put over freedom. Safety is normally out of the question once riots over stuff like shootings happen. These things happen because people know of their freedoms, but they take advantage of them. Even though it does limit individuality, it  also limits the amount of danger that could be near.

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In our society, people want and value freedom more than they do safety. This becomes a problem when everyone uses their freedom to overrule safety. If people begin to value freedom too much, will the world even be a place worth being anymore? Is it better to have a free world of anarchy, or a safe world of restriction?

What Does It Really Mean?

In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the archetypes and allegories seem to be overlooked or unnoticed; the deeper philosophical meaning, the heroism, and the journey all seem to be in the background of the story. Others may think that it is blatantly obvious the deeper meaning or what archetypes are present, but many don’t see it. The question is, why?

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What are allegories and archetypes?

The first thing we should probably get out of the way is: What is an allegory and what are archetypes? Archetypes can be either character or situational. Character archetypes are the similarities between characters in different novels, such as the damsel in distress or the star-crossed lovers. Situational are the archetypes that are similar in plot, like the quest of a character or the battle between good and evil. Allegories are the deeper meaning of the story, what it could relate to or reference in the novel. In Lord of the Flies, there are many possible allegorical meanings, being political, historical, philosophical, religious, and many more if you are willing to look and analyze it.

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The Philosophical Side (or sides!)

In this book all of these characters represent a part of the mind. Jack, one of the leads has this thing about hunting and looking for adventure rather than surviving, which then causes him to make some pretty large mistakes. He is the adrenaline that we all have that makes us keep going and do something extraordinary. When our adrenaline rushes, we tend to make those mistakes, but don’t even seem to notice them until the adrenaline has subsided.

” ‘There was lashings of blood,’ said Jack, laughing and shuddering, ‘you should’ve seen it!’ ” (p. 69)

Ralph is the leader of this group. He has to have the courage to make the rules and attempt to keep this group running smoothly. This is much like the part of the brain that tells you when to stand up, when to have gumption in certain situations:

” ‘The fire is the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don’t keep a fire going? Is a fire too much to make?’ ” (p. 80)

The Beast has a large impact on the boys, as they are scared to even go in the woods with the thought of possibly getting attacked by it, even though they know they will have to go after it . This represents the fearing part of the brain that lets you know that you have to go after something, but something keeps holding you back from it.

” ‘I don’t think we’d ever fight a thing that size, honestly, you know. We’d talk but we wouldn’t fight a tiger. We’d hide. Even Jack ‘ud hide.’ ” (p. 124, Ralph)

The littluns in the story are the smallest children on the island. They are all very scared of this beast. They aren’t focused on survival, as they can’t really do much to help anyway.The littluns represent the childlike mindset that we have at times, when we just want to sit in play or even just cry. The art of us that doesn’t want to be an adult for a little while and pretend that nothing is happening out in the world:

“The littluns played here, if not happily at least with absorbed attention; and often as many as three of them would play the same game together.”

Throughout the story, there are all kinds of allegories and representations, it is just what each reader can relate it to, and how they see it as they read along.

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How do they function together?

Throughout Lord of the Flies, there are many different archetypal characters that must interact with one another, and the situational archetypes really make the story.

Character

  • The hero: The hero in this novel is Ralph. He represents that leadership and the guy who is able to “save the day” when it comes to the boys on the island:

” ‘We need and assembly. Not for fun. Not for laughing and falling off the log’ —the group of littluns on the        twister giggled and looked at each other— ‘not  for making jokes,  or for,’ — he lifted the conch in an effort    to find the compelling word—   ‘for cleverness. Not for these things. But to put things straight.’  ” (p. 79)

  • The loyal retainer: The loyal retainer  is always by the hero’s side. That person in the story is Piggy. After Jack leaves,  Piggy chooses to stay with Ralph, and listens to every detail and gives a little advice and guidance here and there for him.

” ‘Do all right on our own,’ said Piggy. ‘It’s them that haven’t no common sense that make trouble on this           island. We’ll make a little hot fire—‘ ” (p. 132)

  • The anti-hero: The anti-hero is the character who kind of switches sides between the good and evil side. The character in Lord of the Flies is Jack. He tries to listen to Ralph sometimes andbe a follower, but for a good portion of the book, he chooses to do what he wants to do in contrary to what Ralph says.

” ‘I’m  going off by  myself.  He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too.’ ”    (p. 127)

teamwork

Situational

  • The fall: The fall is the point in the story when a character falls from a high status to a low status. In this novel, when  Ralph falls from a high moral status to a point when he must protect himself against the hunters.

” He shot forward,  burst the thicket, was in the open, screaming, snarling, bloody. He swung the stake and the savage tumbled over; but there were others coming toward him,  crying out.” ( p 199)

  • The battle  between good and evil:  For almost the last half of the book, Ralph and Jack are fighting between each other, Ralph with higher moral standards, Jack without them. They constantly bicker  and  fight. Towards the end, the real battle begins.

“Roger sharpened the  stick at both ends. Ralph tried to attach a meaning to this, but could not.” (p. 1900

After analyzing Lord of the Flies, you novel can analyze different meanings. Even though it wasn’t one of my  favorite books, William Golding had a great way of writing the imagery and creating the dialogue so that there were so many different meanings that could be conceived. It is easily to overlook them, but if you are willing the look, the archetypes and allegories are real easy to find.

What is considered Simply Southern?

 

In the United States of America, every region has something that is considered specific to that region. Most of the time, it isn’t as obvious as what that thing might be. However, in what is considered the South, people are very brazen when it comes to Southern culture, whether you live there or not. I myself am from the South, specifically the Southern part of Kentucky. I have noticed these trends of Southern culture all my life, I just never took too long to think about it. It wasn’t until later in life, when I was able to explore other regions, that people had this stereotype of what southerners are and how they present themselves. I read books that were set in the South, and was able to realize how much the South is different from other places. From our language to the food we eat, there are many things that are just coined as “Southern” traits, and are easily defined.

South

Racism

Most of the time, when I talk to northerners, they wonder if we are all racist. This comes from our distinct past with slavery. They also see how we segregate ourselves accordingly, even though there are no laws stating that we have to do this. In books set in the South, like The Help by Kathryn Stockett and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, racial segregation is a common topic, especially during these times that they were set in. In The Help the lead antagonist, Miss Hilly, states in the beginning of the book, “ ‘All these houses they’re building without maid’s quarters? It’s just plain dangerous. Everybody knows they carry different kinds of diseases than we do.’ “ It is quite clear what people thought in the days before civil rights. The novels written in these times make it easier to assume that people in the South are racist. There are, however, people who are racist because that is how their family raised them to be. This correlates with the idea that where states where slavery was prominent, they still have a deeper form of racism today.

Ya’ll think we talk funny?

The most common trait that Southerners get mocked and picked at for is our accents, the most common word being “Ya’ll”. For the longest time, I thought everyone used “ya’ll” or “ain’t”. I didn’t know that it was a southern thing until I was talking to my sister’s boyfriend (who lives in Massachusetts). I had said, “Ya’ll need to quiet down before I holler for Mama!” He said, “Did you just say ya’ll and holler?” I told him that I had and he said “I didn’t know you actually those words down there. I thought it was just a stereotype.” There are many words in the South that are not used anywhere else, such as:

  • . Piddlin’
  • Get a whippin’
  • To hell in a handbasket
  • Spittin’ image

And many, many more. There is no limit, as words are made up everyday.

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Some good eatin’!

Another common thing related to the South is our food choice. We are most commonly related to our love for fried chicken and sweet tea. When my dad went to Memphis, Tennessee for a conference with his gaming pals, a girl from California who was part of his clan came too. They went to a very Southern place, with its classic foods. When the waitress came to take their orders, she said, with the thickest southern accent, “You want some sweet tea or RC Cola?” The Californian response was, “What is sweet tea or an RC Cola?’ I thought RC Cola was everywhere. Later that day,  she was really thirsty and hot. My dad was used to this kind of humidity and asked her, “Have you had anything to drink all day?” She said, “Well, no.” He told her, “Our food here has way too much butter and salt for you not to be drinking anything.  It is too hot here for you to be doing that!” It made me think of all of the foods that we have that are just ours. Another thing I can think of, is when my grandmother went to live in Minnesota, she  was making gravy for dinner. The people she had over asked, “What’s that?” She said, “Gravy.” They had never seen gravy before, or even tasted it. It is mind-blowing to me, how these things can seem so common, yet not even common at all!

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   There are many other things that could be considered as Southern, like our religion (Baptist), to our moral values.  Among all the things that are considered Southern, I never thought they were. I just thought that it was a way of life, not a stereotype. It never occurred to me that others don’t do and use these types of things. When you look at the culture of others, it makes you open your eyes and see the simple things that seem so complex to others. I guess you could say, that we are simply Southern.