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Table of Contents Essay #1 – Compare and Contrast – TTTC and SH5

Page 5

Essay #2 – Position Paper Short Stories

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Essay #3 – Frankenstein Essay

Page 11

Essay #4 – Poetry Response – Small Group

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Essay #5 – Compare and Contrast – Whitman and Hughes

Page 16

Essay #6 – Position Paper – Drama Elements – Helen

Page 18

Essay #7 – Othello Literary Criticism

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Essay #8 – “The Pawnbroker” Group Essay

Page 22

Essay #9 – Prose Response

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Essay #10 – Open Ended Question

Page 26

College Essay

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Forward This year, I’ve written essays on various topics. I’ve received grades I’m proud of, and grades that didn’t reflect my best work. The essays this year have challenged every aspect of my writing ability. I have had to change my style of writing and develop my creativity more fully. Writing on passages was extremely difficult for me in the beginning of the year. I rarely did, in my opinion, what the prompt asked. But, luckily I was able to hang on until I had time to improve. Writing in the beginning of the year was the most intimidating aspect of this class for me. I was confused by what the prompt asked. Also, writing for a new teacher always intimidates me. The summer homework I thought would prepare me for the writing in class, but it was a lot harder. Our first essay, comparing The Things They Carried with Slaughterhouse Five, showed me how hard the class was going to be. I didn’t do exactly what the prompt asked, and I showed some obvious weaknesses. I summarized most of the paper, without much analysis. That was one weakness that I finally overcame. Towards the end of the year, I barely summarized at all. There was much more room present in my essays to acknowledge what the prompt asked without the entire summary. Another major problem for me this year was writing a position paper. I was always confused on the idea, even after having it be explained to me. It was difficult for me to “state a position” on a writing topic. I did not realize that I was supposed to do the same analyzing just stating a position. I received a lower grade than what I wanted on this position essay, but I eventually got better. I understood how to make a solid position statement, and that helped a lot. I realized that it was not anything drastically different than what I was doing already. I just had to decide what my position was and then support it. My main strength this year was always providing text support. I never lost any points for


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not supporting my main points. It was difficult to cite the lines in the beginning of the year, but it became easier. It was easy to pick out lines and support them immediately. Also, finding lines to support things like diction, imagery, and syntax, became much easier. Knowing how to describe these aspects, through multiple practices, made the overall position papers become easier. I think my syntax overall became stronger. In the beginning, I was very quick and short with my sentences. I didn’t use much of a variety. I think was afraid in some ways that I would write incorrectly or make a sentence a run-on. But, as the year went on, my confidence grew. I realized that stepping outside my normal style of writing would make my grade higher. I just had to be confident in my writing. It was really hard for me to do this, because I really wanted a good grade. But, I realized that my current writing just was not getting the job done. It did pay off for me to try this new syntax, but it only helped a little. I’m sure on the AP test it will help much more than I think. But, the year went on and the writing got harder, so I had to change more than just my syntax. Once I changed these things, and finally understood the prompt, I was able to write to the best of my ability. Certain topics were easier than others, but as a whole, my writing has improved. Even with fluctuating grades, I feel like my writing has been strengthened greatly. All of my weaknesses played into making my writing stronger. I’m glad that my weaknesses were pointed out to me so that I could change them and spend my senior year getting better at writing.


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1Essay #1 – Compare and Contrast – TTTC and SH5 In the novels The Things They Carried and Slaughterhouse-Five, courage and cowardice are portrayed differently. In The Things They Carried, author Tim O’Brien has an unconventional view of heroism. In contrast, Slaughterhouse-Five author Kurt Vonnegut portrays his idea of a hero through foil and static characters. Both authors ignore the traditional view of heroism. They do this by their characters, perception of death, and view of cowardice. Tim O’Brien uses different types of characters to portray the idea of a hero. Character Lieutenant Jimmy Cross defies the stereotypic hero. A stereotypic hero tries hi/her hardest to save the life of a fellow friend. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross experiences an internal conflict when a member, Ted Lavender, of his troop dies. He feels extreme guilt for the situation. “He pictured Martha’s smooth young face, thinking he loved her more than anything, more than his men, and now Ted Lavender was dead because he loved her so much and could not stop thinking about her” (TTTC pg. 6). Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, unlike a hero, could not save Ted Lavender from dying. He feels that he was too distracted and cannot forgive himself. The hero portrayed here is a lonely man who tried to, but could not save his fellow friend’s life. Tim O’Brien also portrays an unconventional hero through the character, Mary Anne Bell. He describes Mary Anne as someone who, “made you think about the girls back home” (TTTC pg. 113). Stereotypically, a hero is a man who saves innocent lives. In this case, Mary Anne Bell becomes a hero to the men. “She had a bubbly personality, and a happy smile” (TTTC pg. 95). During the war, the men were depressed and they did not have social interaction with many women. Mary Anne Bell brought her bubbly personality to the men and lifted their spirits. She was a hero to the men through the ways that she saved them from the depressions of war.


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In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut’s main character proves to be an anti-hero. Billy Pilgrim possesses the qualities of an anti-hero during this war, World War II. Billy Pilgrim is portrayed as tall and weak from the beginning of the novel. A traditional hero is strong and smart about decisions. Billy Pilgrim does not care about the dangers of war. His actions show that he is not afraid of the enemy in the war. He stands in the middle of a road, after being shot at once. He is giving the enemy another chance to shoot him. This is an unwise decision, but he does not get shot. A traditional hero would find a way to attack the enemy, prevail, and keep his/her troop out of danger. But, Billy Pilgrim continues on his journey, undisturbed of the situation he just experienced. Other heroes that are seen in Slaughterhouse-Five are the Tralfamadorians. They are aliens that take Billy to Tralfamadore. “If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings, “said the Tralfamadorian, “I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by ‘free will’” (SH5 pg. 86). Billy Pilgrim can somewhat connect with these characters because they have studied the “Earthlings” before. The Tralfamadorians help Billy Pilgrim escape from the stress he is experiencing in his life. They are heroes in a way because they save Billy Pilgrim. But, they are unconventional because they originate from another planet. O’Brien and Vonnegut represent a similar view point on death. O’Brien realizes that he cannot feel sorrow for each man that dies, because death occurs too frequently in war. Vonnegut uses a meaningless phrase each time after death presents itself. “All the real soldiers are dead,” she said. It was true. So it goes” (SH5 pg. 159). By using the phrase “so it goes”, death seems more accepting as a part of life.


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Courage and cowardice are portrayed in the novels somewhat differently. In Slaughterhouse-Five, an American soldier asks a guard, “Why me?”. The guard responds, “Why you?, Why anybody?” (SH5 pg. 91). Normally, a hero shows courage at all times and does not verbally wonder “Why me?” But, we see this character ask why, which takes away some courage. O’Brien states, “They died so as not to die of embarrassment” (TTTC pg. 21). This shows that the men already felt like cowards for going to war. This way, they would die courageously so as not to die of embarrassment. Each author portrays unconventional heroes through different characters and strategies. Sometimes, the main characters seem Anti-American in the way they are portrayed. Other times, they simply resemble anti-heroes. In both novels, the men do what they need to do, even if they do not meet the stereotypic hero standards. They are not the general heroes, but unconventional heroes portrayed through unconventional feelings and situations.


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Essay #2 – Position Paper Short Stories In The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka conveys certain aspects of life through the characters, setting, and symbols. He shows the gradual metamorphosis of a man’s deteriorating life by his sudden metamorphosis into a beetle. Each metamorphosis symbolizes the effects of an overworked life. The main character, Gregor, experiences setbacks after transforming into a beetle. Franz Kafka’s purpose of portraying certain aspects of life such as deterioration, uselessness, and insensitivity are seen through his characters, setting, and symbols. Deterioration can happen both physically and mentally, as Gregor, the main character, experienced. Before the metamorphosis, Gregor was a hard-working man. His life was consumed by his constant dedication to work. His mental aspect of life was deteriorating because of the constant commitment to work. This metamorphosis was gradual over a longer period of time as opposed to his sudden metamorphosis overnight into a beetle. Gregor’s room deteriorated as well. Before his metamorphosis into a beetle, Gregor described his room as, “a warm room, comfortably furnished with pieces he had inherited” (pg. 21). Because of his physical metamorphosis, his family morphed his room into, “a cavern, in which he would, of course, then be able to crawl about in all directions without disturbance, but at the same time with a quick and complete forgetting of his human past as well” (pg. 21). Therefore, his room experienced deterioration as well. The symbols in this novella also portray deterioration. Gregor’s father lodges an apple into Gregor’s back. This apple symbolizes the work load that has been stuck on him mentally, and the burden of being a beetle that has also been thrown upon him. Over time, Gregor morphs into a useless member of his family. Before his metamorphosis, Gregor, “had been to use everything he had in order to allow his family to forget as quickly as possible the business misfortune which had brought them all into a state of


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complete hopelessness” (pg. 17). Now, being a beetle, Gregor can no longer work to provide for his family. His family sees this and in turn declares, through their actions, that Gregor is useless. “But even when the sister, exhausted from her daily work, had grown tired of caring for Gregor as she had before, even then the mother did not have to come at all in her place” (pg. 28). His sister, Grete, previously cleaned his room, but now had grown tired of caring for Gregor. Because of the lack of care from his family, the setting changes. His room turns into a filthy, dusty room. The walls become dirty as well as the rest of his room. The room now seems to be useless to Gregor and to his family. A symbol of uselessness is seen when the servant girl leaves. This symbolizes that the family is deteriorating and becoming useless as well. Even with the servant girl gone, Gregor’s family does not take up the responsibility of caring for him. This is foreshadowed by her absence. Insensitivity is perceived when Gregor’s boss arrives at Gregor’s home. As Gregor revealed himself from his room, the manager, “was already in the hall” (pg. 10). Once seen as a beetle, the manager fled the household. No sensitivity is portrayed from the manager. This also shows that the manager has perceived Gregor as useless. Being a beetle requires different basic needs than being a human. But, Gregor’s family does not try to alter the current circumstances of their home to better fit Gregor. The setting does not change drastically, proving that insensitivity is shown through his family. The family does not try to accommodate his needs or make life easier for him; therefore, this proves their insensitivity to their son. The woman who cleans the house symbolizes the insensitivity of the family. Instead of cleaning his room themselves, the family hires a stranger to do the job. Through these situations it can be understood that the family views Gregor as a burden and no longer as a son.


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The Metamorphosis displays aspects of life such as deterioration, uselessness, and insensitivity. Franz Kafka portrays these aspects through his characters, setting, and symbols. The sudden metamorphosis into a beetle proves to be strenuous physically and emotionally. The deteriorating of Gregor’s life that he was familiar with foreshadows the deterioration of the care he receives from his family. As soon as Gregor morphed into a beetle, his family began losing interest in him. Insensitivity from family can be a heavy burden to carry. Gregor, being a beetle, had to carry this burden as well as the burden of feeling useless. He became useless to the human world because of his new body as a beetle. These negative aspects of life are clearly conveyed through Gregor and the situations he struggles through.


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Essay #3 – Frankenstein Essay Throughout the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, tragedy strikes the Frankenstein family. Although Victor Frankenstein brings these tragedies on himself, through the creation of the monster, he is affected deeply. Tragic events that occur are the deaths of William, Victor’s younger brother, Justine, a young friend of the family, Henry Clerval, Victor’s best friend, Elizabeth, his childhood friend and wife, and his father. Throughout all of these tragic deaths, Justine’s death triggered the downfall of Frankenstein’s family. Justine acts as an instrument of the suffering of others through the way she was put on trial and killed. Although Justine was the second to die as a result of the monster, her death was the first that was indirectly intentional from the monster. Her death affected everyone in the Frankenstein family and forced them to go through incurable pain. Justine was blamed for the death of young William Frankenstein. She was falsely found guilty because of a locket found in her pocket that belonged to William. She was set up by the monster that Victor created. He placed the locket into Justine’s pocket while she was asleep in a barn on the night of William’s death. As the monster puts the locket into Justine’s pocket, he becomes an enemy. Justine, having to deal with this pain, feels obligated to turn herself in because she is afraid of going to Hell. This false confession generates pain within Elizabeth. She realizes that Justine is innocent and is devastated when Justine turns herself in. Also, Victor is torn during Justine’s trial after the death of William. On page 50, it describes that “Victor looked and saw the monster, realizing that he was the true murderer”. He knows that Justine did not kill William; that his own creation did. But, he feels that by confessing he will be considered crazy. Victor becomes emotionally distraught throughout this trial. Also through Justine’s conviction, Victor’s father feels the utmost depression. This young girl, Justine, had been with his family for


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many years. He is devastated when he hears that Justine was involved with the murder. Also, his youngest son, William, was brutally murdered by this monster. Mr. Frankenstein was overcome with sadness as he lost his son and was torn apart when Justine confessed. Through Justine’s confession, she inflicted pain on every member of the Frankenstein family. The deaths of William and Justine are the most monumental because these events foreshadow the upcoming pain and murders. These deaths are the instruments for upcoming pain as the story develops. By inflicting pain on the Frankenstein family, Justine also inflicted pain on herself emotionally. She strongly believed that she would not go to Heaven unless she confessed. Others throughout the trial have forced this opinion into Justine’s mind. So, in fear of her salvation, she confessed to the brutal murder. She later regretted this, causing her emotions to experience the highest ups and downs. Justine acted as an instrument of suffering even for herself. Ultimately, because of this confession, Justine was sentenced to death. She was hung in the town soon after her confession. This false confession and pressure from others caused Justine to lose her life. The monster directly killed William and indirectly lead to the death of Justine. By losing two members of the Frankenstein family in such a short time period, the family was torn apart. Emotionally and physically the family experienced challenges in overcoming these tragedies. The tragic vision of this novel includes an intense feeling of regret. Also, it includes dealing with the negative consequences for previous well-intended decisions. Victor intended to create life that was beautiful and beneficial. Instead, he created a monster of destruction. Justine intended to confess to William’s murder in order to save her soul, and in turn experienced sadness and death. Justine contributes to this vision of regret and taking responsibility for previous actions. Justine deeply regretted confessing after she realized that there is no way out of her condemnation. After her death, the Frankenstein family spiraled out of control and eventually


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was killed or experienced death as a result of the monster. Elizabeth was killed by the monster on her and Victor’s wedding night. Victor then remembered all the pain he felt during Justine’s death. Then, Victor’s father died because of heartbreak. His body and mind could not bear the stress that he was enduring. Victor eventually fell ill as well and died while on the ship with his new friend, Walton. Justine’s death set the stage for these deaths. Once the monster figured out a way to kill, he continued this malicious act. Justine’s life and death, although not intentional, paved the way for the monster to continue committing these murders.


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Essay #4 – Poetry Response – Small Group Using literary techniques enhances the quality of poetry by providing more creative insights. In “The Canonization”, author John Donne utilizes literary techniques to convey the speaker’s attitude. The literary techniques revealed in this poem include diction, imagery, and symbols. These three factors join together to convey the heartfelt attitude of John Donne. Using literary techniques helps the reader focus because the poem becomes more creative and interesting. Although primarily it may be difficult to understand, close reading and analyzing bring forth the true feelings in the poem. John Donne’s diction in “The Canonization” adds sophistication and sincerity to his poem. The speaker’s attitude is seen as reflective in line 10 when he says, “contemplate”. This word goes deeper than its average form “think”. By using this word the attitude of the poem quickly is set as reflective and genuine. In line 6 of the second column, the speaker says “mysterious by this love”. By using the word “mysterious” the reader realizes how much this love means to him. This word stands for all of the unknown aspects of love. The speaker does not understand how he can love so much, and although it is mysterious, it is worth it as well. These words help the author effectively portray the attitude of his main character. Imagery appears in this poem as well. In line 4, the speaker says, “my five gray hairs”. This statement appeals to the sense of sight. It is specific by having the detail of “five”. This example of imagery reveals how the speaker views himself in a joking matter with his love. He feels that even if those aspects, like five gray hairs, are the subject of ridicule, he will still love and be loved with the same amount. The next example of imagery is seen in the last paragraph of the poem. It reads, “Into the glasses of your eyes; so made such mirrors”. By appealing deeply to the reader’s sense of sight, understanding what the speaker is saying becomes less difficult. This love has been driven into each of them and is now reflected by the mirrors in their eyes. Their


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mirrors show for each other. The love is reflected back and forth between their souls. This is a powerful image to think of while reading this poem. Imagery strengthens and reveals the speaker’s attitude towards love. He is pouring his heart out into this poem that safely conveys his deepest feelings. “The Canonization” includes effective symbols as well. Using the symbols of the dove and the phoenix represent the sincerity of the speaker’s heart. A dove is peaceful and lovely. It represents love and purity. A dove is beautiful and calm. The symbol of a dove best represents the feelings of the speaker when he loves. He is genuine, calm, and secure, just like a dove. Like a dove he can fly freely with this love. His attitude towards love is seen here by his comparison to a dove. It is free and liberating while being calm and beautiful. The phoenix riddle mentioned in the first paragraph of the second column portrays the mysterious aspect of his love. The speaker and his lover die and rise with this love, just as the phoenix dies and rises again. The phoenix symbolizes the unknown but accepted reasons of love. By using these deeply intense symbols, the reader comprehends the heartfelt message from the speaker. Portraying love in this poem was successful only because of the literary techniques used. Without diction, imagery, and symbols, the poem would lose its sincerity and heartfelt attitude. These three literary techniques are necessary in understanding the speaker’s attitude. They are necessary because the examples come from the heart of the speaker and portray the mysterious but astounding feeling of love. The speaker’s attitude, as seen through diction, imagery, and symbols, proves to be sincere and alive within him.


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Essay #5 – Compare and Contrast – Whitman and Hughes Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes each write about a unique, united America. Whitman and Hughes similarly address the attitude of wholeness in America, but have differing attitudes on the basis of what makes up this wholeness. Whitman does not experience the same obstacles as Hughes due to the time period and issues with race, that arose more during Hughes’ time. The title of Whitman’s poem, “I hear America singing,” and Hughes’ poem, “I, too, sing America,” both acknowledge the fact that each man is a part of America. Whitman and Hughes are joyous about being a vital part of America, but Hughes’ feeling is not reciprocated. Each man understands that America is made up of a variety of people. Whitman uses repetition and symbols to convey his feelings towards America while Hughes uses syntax and metaphors. Whitman and Hughes both address the attitude of wholeness in America. Whitman uses repetition to show this attitude. Whitman states, “The carpenter singing his; the mason singing his…; the boatman singing what belongs to him…; and the shoemaker singing”. This repetition shows what Whitman thinks America is made up of. He believes that varying occupations add up to form America. He thinks that America is unique from these various occupations, but is still whole. Hughes also thinks of America as a whole. He states, “I, too, sing America”. His syntax in this poem proves that he thinks this. It is made up of blunt, short sentences. He acknowledges that he is a part of the whole America. He refers to “America”, not a “divided America”. Hughes understands that America is composed of different parts, but differs with Whitman on this. Both poets, with their wholeness attitude, agree that this wholeness is America. Whitman uses symbols to describe his inspiring attitude and what he thinks America is made up of. Symbols utilized are, “The carpenter... measures his plank of beam, the mason… makes ready for work, the young wife at work, and the girl sewing or washing”. Each symbol of


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an occupation further symbolizes the work that goes into America. He even acknowledges women, who did not have many rights at this time. Each occupation has a duty, therefore they must be hard-working .Whitman thinks that because of these duties and hard-work, that these people make up America. This work displays his inspiring attitude. Hughes disagrees with this attitude. His depressing, lonely attitude is seen through the main metaphors he uses. In the opening of the poem he states, “I, too, sing America”. This can be paraphrased as, “I, too, am a part of America”. He also states, “I am the darker brother”. He acknowledges himself as being different, but still connects himself as a “brother”. He knows that he is unique in the matter of race, but knows that he is still a vital part of America. Also, at the end of this poem he states, “I, too, am America”. Here, he clearly recognizes his left-out, depressing attitude. He is positive that he is a part of America, even though he is not recognized by some others. Whitman is inspiring and hopeful about what makes up America, but Hughes is depressed and lonely. These attitudes seen in the two poems acknowledge the views that the poets have of America. Whitman and Hughes both have an attitude of being whole, but they differ on their attitudes of what makes up America. Whitman continues a hopeful and inspiring attitude throughout his poem because he is optimistic about what America is composed of. Hughes realizes that there are problems with race in America, which causes him to have a contrasting, depressed attitude towards what America is made up of. These attitudes about America show what each man believes in and is proud of.


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Essay #6 – Position Paper – Drama Elements - Helen All drama originates from Ancient Greece, but few translators are able to put these texts into modern text that portray the same story. Rachel Hadas effectively translated the text of Euripides’ Helen. She portrays the universal themes of suffering in war through diction. Hadas incorporates parts of Aristotle’s elements of drama like themes and diction to better convey the prose. Wars inflict suffering not only on those directly involved, but also on those who are distant. In Helen, many outsiders feel the brutal effects of war. Also, even after the war is over, the pain still lingers. Hadas shows these aspects through her unique diction. The sufferings experienced during a war are universal. Wars have taken place all over the world and all throughout time. The pain and devastation that wars bring do not differ a great deal over time. Universal themes during war that Hadas illustrates are the grief of losing loved ones, the role of women, and also the false placement of blame. Helen, the wife of the soldier Menelaus, experiences all of these common themes. During the war, Helen and her husband are separated. She hears rumors about his whereabouts. Teucer, who has a conversation with Helen in the beginning of this translation on page 154, says that, “Word of his death has spread through Greece”. Helen then has to deal with this rumor that her husband and only love has died. She experiences the grief of losing a loved one that war often brings. Helen also experiences the difficulty with her role as a woman. She realizes that she has been forced to come to “this place of slavery”. She would not have willingly chosen to be here, but she has no rights during this time. Her husband is presumed as dead, and she has been promised to a new man. She deals with being stuck in a stationary, powerless position. She recognizes that she was the prize that the men were fighting for. Helen was being promised to different men as a prize. The battle was not about love or her feelings. It was focused on the men and their intentions for her. The role of women in this period of time is a passive and hopeless


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role. Helen had no chance of getting out of these promises before her husband, Menelaus came back. Helen, more than any other character, had to deal with the effects of false blame. In this translation, Helen is blamed totally for the war. But, Helen never made a trip to Troy. The translation says that it was a ghost of Helen. Therefore, everyone who was involved in the war blamed Helen for this tragic war. Helen’s name all over the country was associated with negativity. Even ten years after the war, people still associate Helen with the cause. These themes all place sympathy with Helen. They are all seen throughout time and are still seen today.

Hadas portrays these universal themes through her diction. The specific diction and dialogue seen in the translation expresses the necessary background information and details of the important events. The dialogue between Teucer and Helen serves the role of providing information. This conversation shows specific themes that are seen during the war. The loss of a loved one, the role of women, and false blame are all seen here. Teucer has the specific line that states, “Yes, Menelaus dragged her by the hair”. The word choice of “dragged” used in this sentence shows how powerless of a role women had. Hadas uses this diction to further interpret the events. The word “dragged” symbolizes Helen as a slave not only during her exile, but also to her husband. Although this “Helen” is just a ghost, it is not surprising that she would be dragged by her hair. Women were not as respected as men during this time period. Men possessed all the power in war relations and also in relationships. The dialogue of the Chorus also serves an important role. The Chorus is used to provide insight and background information. The Chorus may be present and talking even when the main characters cannot hear what is being said. On page 160, the Chorus asks questions to help ignite


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insight. The Chorus asks, “Why be so certain he has been shipwrecked? Good things can happen”. The Chorus foretells the reunion between Helen and Menelaus. The modern use of conversation and straightforward dialogue makes the text modern and universal. The universal themes are easily seen and understood through the specific diction and dialogue. Hadas’ translation pulls a story from Ancient Greece and turns it into a modern piece of work. Through this translation, highlighted themes are shown through the translator’s choice of diction and dialogue. The story keeps its same elements but acquires a different tone. More sympathy is given to Helen now that the common themes are easily seen. The sufferings of war have been experienced throughout time and are still experienced today. Hadas effectively utilizes diction to portray the common themes of war including the loss of loved ones, the role of women, and the placement of false blame. These elements make up the modern translation that Hadas composed.


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Essay #7 - Othello Literary Criticism Literature Resource Center - Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. March. 1993. “Race and the Spectacle of the Monstrous in Othello”. 22 Feb 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitR C?loclD=imcpl_indy&srchtp”Race”>. This article provides information on how Shakespeare incorporates the hidden messages of race in Othello. Shakespeare uses different words to refer to Othello as “black”. He uses different word choice as well as characters attitudes towards him. This article analyzes the specifics, like word choice and attitude, that are seen and how Othello is treated differently by certain characters. Also, background information on how blacks were treated is provided. It was rare for blacks to be seen on stage around and before this time. Othello changed the way blacks were viewed in plays. Literature Resource Center – Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. 1987. “Women and Men in Othello”. 22 Feb 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC? loclD=imcpl_indy&srchtp” Women”>. The women and men in Othello are symbolic of the stereotypes put on men and women at that time and in modern time. Most of these stereotypes still exist today. Love, sexuality, and marriage are just a few of the areas that are affected by the traditional roles of men and women. The men in Othello constantly verbally degrade the women, like Desdemona and Emilia. Men, like Iago, Othello, and Cassio, are considered highly respectable because they are men. Othello is treated differently because he is African American. Both men and women face the pressures of society differently because of their social boundaries.


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Essay #8 – “The Pawnbroker” Group Essay In Maxine Kumin’s, “The Pawnbroker”, the images of the inside and outside world are compared and contrasted. She contemplates her father’s journey throughout life. The poem beings and ends with the symbolism of her father’s feet. Her father’s feet symbolize the journey and hardships that one must face throughout life. The inside and outside world come into view for her because of her father’s death. The outside and inside worlds are viewed through imagery and diction. The strongest use of imagery in the poem is Kumin’s use of feet. She uses this image as a symbol of her father’s journey in life. Kumin says in line 7 that “At the end of the day and all day Sunday they hurt,” showing that her father’s feet endured pain from his hard work. Kumin uses other imagery to show her father’s hard work. Kumin states, “On Saturday nights the lights stayed lit until ten,” to describe the workplace and length of the workdays. The images portray a life of hard work that many cannot understand. Kumin repeatedly writes about her father’s feet, as an aspect of the outside world. She uses the words “tender” and “smooth”, in line 4, to describe them. These soft details show that in the outside world, things may seem better than they are. She shifts to focusing on the inside world by plainly stating through a simple sentence, in line 3, that, “Lying down, they were on his mind”. This blunt sentence illustrates that physical aspects of the outside world, like feet, can affect the aspects of the inside world, like the mind. She refers to the material possessions in her life as “secondhand”. This reference to “secondhand” in line 17, is respectable but yet understanding. Kumin understands that her family does not have the sufficient money to continually buy brand new possessions. These “secondhand” possessions only come into


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perception in the outside world. The outside world views status by what one possesses. But, the inside world is able to feel appreciative for these possessions. In line 41, Kumin reflects on her life and states, “Firsthand I had from my father a love ingrown”. The word choice of “firsthand” reflects the priorities of Kumin. She realizes that the inside world is filled with qualities that money cannot buy and aspects that cannot be passed down “secondhand”. Through the imagery of her father’s feet, and the diction she utilizes to differentiate “firsthand” from “secondhand”, Kumin examines the outside and inside worlds. The journey that her father’s feet have traveled illustrates the challenges and joys of life. The imagery used describes the details of her father’s work as a pawnbroker. The diction and imagery both reflect the aspects of “firsthand” and “secondhand” that Kumin experiences. The inside and outside worlds are compared and contrasted through the imagery and diction used.


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Essay #9 – Prose Response George Eliot composed a novel which included orphaned sisters. Dorothea, also referred to as Miss Brooke, and her sister Celia were orphaned by their parents. They each experienced similar situations that influenced and changed their life. Miss Brooke chose to dress plainly, while Celia wore clothes that, “had a shade of coquetry in its arrangements” (line 14). The sisters are portrayed as expressive because of the narrator’s respectful attitude towards Dorothea Brooke. The narrator conveys this respectful attitude through imagery, diction, and syntax. The narrator begins immediately with respect for Dorothea Brooke. Imagery is seen in line 1 that states, “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress”. Even though she dresses poorly, the narrator does not fail to notice her beauty. Describing her beauty as such shows that the narrator possesses respect for Miss Brooke. Also, the narrator shares that Miss Brooke displays biblical qualities in line 8. “The side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible”. To be as impressive as a quotation from the Bible shows a tremendous amount of respect for Miss Brooke. Although her outward dress may be poor, she still carries with it a sense of reverence and solemnity that is seen in the Bible. This sense of style and fashion was influenced by particular events in her life. Line 15 respectfully states, “Miss Brooke’s plain dressing was due to mixed conditions, in most of which her sister shared”. Miss Brooke is given respect here, from the narrator, because this statement acknowledges that unseen or unknown events can influence one greatly. The diction used in this passage strengthens the respect given to Miss Brooke. Line 10 refers to Miss Brooke as “being remarkably clever”. Instead of just “clever” the narrator chooses to add “remarkably”. This adjective reflects a respectful attitude because it compliments her intelligence. Dorothea Brooke was also, “enamoured of intensity and greatness”, displayed in


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line 26. Being filled with intensity and greatness is a respectful compliment of Miss Brooke’s mind. Respect is not only shown through the words that compliment her mind, but also through the words that recognize her hardships. Line 39 reads, “their bachelor uncle and guardian trying in this way to remedy the disadvantages of their orphaned condition”. The fact that they are trying to “remedy” this condition shows that they care enough to try to make Dorothea and Celia’s life better. The respect given to this “orphaned condition” is shown through the specific word choice. Syntax becomes a differentiating aspect throughout the passage. The passage begins with simple, clear syntax and progresses to complex syntax. The first sentence in line 1 reads, “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress”. This sentence is straightforward and short in length. It provides the simple information needed without divulging into too many details. But, the end of the passage finishes with a sentence that stretches from lines 34-41. This sentence ends with background information, a strengthening of respect shown, and also more compliments to the sisters intelligence. Imagery, diction, and syntax display respect throughout the entire passage. The specific ways the narrator portrays Miss Brooke proves that he feels respect towards her. The situations in her life have changed and influenced her along her journey. The narrator can view this and even sees it through her fashion. The attentiveness from the narrator in the aspects of imagery, diction, and syntax shows the high amount of respect given to her.


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Essay #10 – Open Ended Question Laurence Sterne’s comment, “Nobody, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time”, applies directly to Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. Holden experiences this difficulty of balance between his dependence on the idea of surviving alone and his desire for interaction with those he’s loved. These two aspects pull Holden in opposite directions. He cannot deal with the conflicts that arise without being mentally torn. J.D. Salinger gives light to the entire novel by putting Holden in these situations. Holden’s individuality throughout the novel displays Holden’s problem with conforming to society. The fact that Holden struggles with this throughout the entire novel, proves the novel is affected as a whole. It becomes more than just a problem of conforming to society. This long battle signifies that Holden cannot feel functional without feeling independent. His lack of dependence on others is a reoccurring problem that he faces. This shines light on the fact that overall, Holden’s personal past experiences may be influencing him now more than he recognizes. His dependence on the idea of being alone truly becomes the overall outline of the novel. Holden wants to believe that he can survive totally on his own, but this is not achieved. The novel illustrates how one person, like Holden, can have their mind set on being perfectly fine alone, but in reality is just dealing with loneliness. Dealing with his idea to be alone, Holden still thrives for interactions with his loved ones. By calling or thinking of calling Jane multiple times and showing up in Phoebe’s room, Holden shows he truly cares about those he loves. Living alone and wandering around various hotels takes a toll on him. He views coming home early as a sign of weakness, but it is really just


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displaying a basic human necessity. One must have some sort of interaction with others or a form of companionship to survive. This situation that Holden struggles with highlights an important theme of the novel. No matter how independent one becomes in life, there will still be times when dependence on others of the need for interaction is unavoidable. The issues that Holden deals with bring light to the entire novel. His strong feelings about being alone and his undeniable need for interaction contradicts themselves inside Holdenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind. But, this internal struggle sets up the plot and themes of the novel. Both of these influences reoccur throughout the novel. These influences strengthen the novel as a whole by providing struggles and experiences. Holden Caulfield deals with other influences as well, but these two are the main creators of the pulling on Holdenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind.


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College Essay Life is a series of experiences, good or bad. We grow stronger each time we overcome a challenging situation. The experience that has influenced every aspect of my life was the death of my father. By dealing with it, I have become a stronger person and have become dedicated to always working my hardest. When I was thirteen years old, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I saw him struggle everyday just trying to attain his everyday goals. He focused on strengthening his faith during the short time he had left. I watched as he became weaker with each passing day. Still, the reality of losing him never sunk in. The following May, my dad passed away. Seven months was all the time I had in between the time of his illness and his death. Those seven months taught me more than anything in my entire eighteen years of life. It took seven short months for me to realize how painful life can be. I realized he would want me to live my life to the fullest, like he did during his last seven months. It shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have taken the death of my father to make me realize this, but it did. At a young age, I comprehended the importance of trying my hardest at all times. Not a minute should be wasted in the accomplishments of goals and dreams. The strength of my father has carried on since the time of his passing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my mission to be the role model that he was for me. I know that life is full of struggles, and this wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be my last. But, I know by overcoming this, that I am able to overcome any situation. It gives me hope, and it gives me strength. I try not to get overwhelmed and stressed with the unnecessary details of life. Looking at the overall picture helps me differentiate between the important and non important aspects of my life. Every aspect of my life changed the minute my father was taken from me. I changed the way I treated my friends and family. I remember my dad in everything I


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do. The most important gift my father gave to me was his strength. Our family is blessed with a close bond that was no where in sight before his death. No matter what the challenge is, we come together now. Although each day passes on without him, I feel him around me each day in every way possible. My father beneficially changed his view of everything around him during the hardest battle of his life. My attitude towards life, friends, and family was positively changed through a situation that I found tremendously tragic. That=s the similarity between me and my father. We can both discover the positive results of a negative situation and make the results beneficial to every aspect of our life, no matter how much time is left.


Stephanie Gartrell's Writing Portfolio