Forward There is something special when it comes to overlooking a full yearâ€™s worth of hard work and effort. The works throughout this portfolio seemed like just another chore each time one was assigned, but after reviewing them as a collective whole, the perspective is completely turned upside down. After seeing the writings, I realized that they definitely are not a chore, but instead something special that reflects someoneâ€™s character and their unique take on a certain story or piece of literature. Each story shows different emotions and thoughts. The same is true with each essay written on the stories.
The Tale of Edward There once was a benevolent ruler named Edward who had a life that he thought was empty. To most it seemed like Edward had all that he could ask for, and they were right except Edward was missing something that came from the inside. Edward could never quite put his finger on what it actually was that he was missing. One day Edward came across a group that seemed to be preparing for a long journey. Edward found himself strangely attracted to the journey that these men were about to undertake. The journey seemed like something that Edward would enjoy so he decided to go. A few days later, Edward rejoined with the men and left with them on the pilgrimage. Along the way, they were all telling stories about their lives. A ways into the journey it became Edwardâ€™s turn to tell his lifeâ€™s story. Edward started with telling the men about his parents who were queen and king before him. Eventually he moved on to where he was given all that his heart could desire in materialistic items. Edward told the men how he had all the material possessions that he wanted, and he also told them he wanted something else. The only problem that Edward had was that he did not know what it was that he desired. As Edward continued on the pilgrimage, he seemed to become more of a common man instead of a high and mighty ruler. Edward was able to relate to the men in ways he never could before because he looked down on them. Now Edward saw them as equals instead of mere peasants. Edward finally realized what it was that he had been missing all along. Edward was missing friends. Soon after learning this, Edward gave up his life as a ruler, and settled down with his new-found friends for a different life. Many of the stories in the medieval period are about showing morals. In this particular story, the morals are material things will not bring happiness, and never look down on people.
The stories from the medieval period can be applied to todayâ€™s world nearly in the ways they were then. The morals do not change; the stories from the medieval period can give helpful insights and guidelines on life.
Beowulf Beowulf was one of the greatest epics of the Anglo-Saxon period. The characters and adventures of Beowulf personify the culture of the people at that time as did all epics of the time. The Anglo-Saxon period was one of loyal warriors. They believed in fate, and oral tradition was the way that stories such as Beowulf were kept alive. Beowulf relates to all of these characteristics as with many other epics of the Anglo-Saxon period. Beowulfâ€™s life was essentially centered on glory. Beowulf always had to have it; he and he alone would take all glory. Beowulf singlehandedly wanted to rid Hrothgarâ€™s kingdom of Grendel in order to keep all of the glory; Grendel uses no weapons, therefore Beowulf will use none also (ll. 244-248). During the Anglo-Saxon period, glory was most emphasized by stories of defeating great enemies and war tales. Beowulf shows this when he tells Hrothgar about how he ridded all the giants of the land and other glorious experiences that he has encountered (ll. 231-234). Not second, but equal to glory was honor. Beowulf was honorable for the better half of his life. He said that he would fight Grendel with nothing but his bare hands and meant it (ll. 245-253). Honor plays a big role in a warrior culture as in the Anglo-Saxon period. Hand-inhand with glory was honor; glory was truly taken when a warrior was honorable. In order to gain his glory and honor, Beowulf had to defeat evil of all sorts. Beowulf ridded the world of giants and other creatures of evil. Eventually Beowulf came across Grendel, one of his greatest foes, who Beowulf also defeated (ll. 380-381). The basic story lines of all epics in the Anglo-Saxon period were epics.
Towards the end of his life, Beowulf started to become pompous and greedy. At the end of his battles, Beowulf would take great treasures that his enemies had instead of fighting for honor and glory. It is Beowulfâ€™s misdirected views later in his life that astray him and led him to his demise against the dragon (ll. 815-819). The characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon culture are warrior like, leaving life to fate, loyalty, and oral tradition. The only life to live was one of a warrior. Fate chose whether one lived or died. Warriors were loyal to their kings and each other for the most part. The stories of one another were passed down through generations by oral tradition.
Gawain Critical Essay The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was about how a Green Knight came to Camelot requesting an exchange of blows. Sir Gawain said that he was the least experienced and would be the least missed from the round table so he would take the deed. Sir Gawain beheaded the Green Knight in one swift blow. The Green Knight spoke back to Gawain through his bodiless head and told him that he had one year and one day before the favor would be returned. Sir Gawain found the Green Knight, and flinched twice when the Green Knight tried to strike a blow. The third time Gawain did not flinch; the Green Knight struck a blow just barely cutting Gawain on the neck. The Green Knight said that he was done and he forgave Sir Gawain. I agree fully with Victoria Weiss; The Green Knight was very unchristian in the sense that the Green Knight himself used magic after he was beheaded. Knights are supposed to be noble and honorable. Sir Gawain was neither of these; he showed no bravery when the Green Knight struck the first two times. Sir Gawain also took the belt and wore it which was a dishonorable thing to do. The entire story does not go along with the culture of honorability. A knight, in this time, could accept defeat and still be honored, but there was an obvious limit on what a knight could and couldnâ€™t do to be considered honorable. The Green Knight did not follow the ideas of Christianity nor did Sir Gawain.
Diary Project December 7, 1941. There was not a sound to be heard and most were just emerging out of their beds. It was early morning when the postman was delivering the everyday shipment of morning newspapers. The day seemed to start off as any other; with a seemingly outright sense of brightness and glowing, the day looked to be one of the nicest seen to date. Soon, the day started to truly start; people coming out of their houses and starting their daily business, whether it be to work or taking care of their own chores around home. I emerged from my own home to go and retrieve the morning paper. I went back in and prepared for my daily job as a lawyer. The war had never found me because I was the youngest in my family and had to carry on the family name. Work was a place that I had found much solace in and I was headed there now. Not more than two minutes from arriving, I heard a soft hum and it seemed to become more prominent; that is when what looked to be one of the nicest days to date turned to be one of the darkest days I will ever know. I turned up at the sky to find the source of the sound, and find it I most definitely did. I looked just in time to here the gunfire fall like a rain with a destructive force never seen. The bullets tore through everything in the town; windows, buildings, flowerbeds, fountains, all were destroyed in just a blink of an eye. People were being killed, and I was running for my life. Luck was on my side, and I soon found the town hall which had a stone roof. There seemed to be a fiery rain of bullets that struck everyone and everything but me. God was on my side because I finally made it to the town hall. There were a few people inside, as I saw this I hoped more would follow soon, later my hopes were answered with only the deafening sound of the fighter planes swarming like a hive of angry wasps above us. In what seemed like an eternity,
the sounds stopped, and we came out of our cave of safety. We all trekked out to view the damage; we soon after went our separate was helping those who now had to home leftâ€Ś
The Lady of Shallot There were long fields of barley and rye on both sides of the river. There is a road that runs in between the fields that goes to Camelot. People were going up and down the road watching where lilies blow around the island. The island is called Shalott. There is a breeze at dusk. It is creating wave in the river on Shalott. The wave flows to Camelot which has four gray walls and four gray towers overlooking a flowerbed. The Lady of Shalott is silent. Heavy barges are pulled by slow horses towards Camelot on the river. Who sees the Lady of Shalott wave? Who sees here stand? Is she known everywhere? Only the farmers harvesting their barley hear a song that is echoing cheerily from the windy river by Camelot. At night the harvesting farmers are tired. They put everything up and listen to the whispers of the Lady of Shalott. Part 2 She weaves by day and night a web with vibrant colors. She heard a curse will be on her if she stays to look down on Camelot. She doesnâ€™t know what the curse will entail so she weaves her web without much care about the curse. She moves through a mirror that hangs in front of her all year. In the mirror, shadows appear. She sees the highway to Camelot where the river whirls and the village is bustling and girls with red cloaks all move from Shalott. Every once in a while a troop of damsels gather and talk. Sometimes it was a shepherd or a long-haired crimson person going toward Camelot. Sometimes, through the mirror, knights come riding two by two, but the Lady of Shalott doesnâ€™t have any loyal knights.
She is delighted to weave the mirror’s images. On a silent night there is a funeral with smoke and lights and music moving to Camelot. When the moon was overhead, two young lovers that were just wed came. The Lady of Shalott is sick of shadows. An arrow was shot from her bow, and he rode between the barley. The sun came shining through the leaves and shone on Sir Lancelot. He kneeled before the Lady of Shalott. His shield sparkled on the yellow field beside the Lady of Shalott. They glittered free like a branch of stars we see in the golden galaxy. The church bells rang happily as he rode down to Camelot. His armor rung as he rode beside Shalott. The sky did not have any clouds. There were thick jewels in the leather, and the helmet feather shone brightly together. As he was riding to Camelot, under the purple night with bright stars, a meteor fell over Shalott. His war horse rode on gleaming hooves. His long black curls hung underneath his helmet as he rode. He was going to Camelot. From the bank of the river, he looked into the crystal mirror and sang, “Tirra Lirra.” The Lady of Shalott left her web and home. She made three steps through the room and saw a water-lily bloom. She saw the helmet and the smoke. She looked down to Camelot. Her web flew away, and her mirror cracked. She realized that the curse was upon her. The stormy east-wind was blowing while the pale yellow woods were being shaken by wind. The stream was full of waves. It was raining heavily over Camelot. A boat was found still floating in the storm. Down the river, like a seer in a trance, there was Camelot. At the end of the day she lost the chain and lay down. She let the stream carry her away.
Lying in snowy white, leaves fell on her. Through the noises of the night, she floated down the stream towards Camelot. As the boat drifted around the hills and fields, she sung her last song. Her song was one of carol, morn, and holy. It was chanted loudly and lowly until her blood was frozen and her eyes were darkened, turned towards Camelot. She reached the first house by the water. She died singing her song. Under the tower’s balcony, and by the garden wall and gallery, a shining shape floated by. It was dead and pale between the houses. It floated silently. People came out of their houses. There were knights, burghers, lords, and dames. They all read that her name was the Lady of Shalott. Who is this? What is here? In the lighted palace, the sound of cheers died down. The people were scared. The knights of Camelot came. Lancelot moved close and said, “She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, the Lady of Shalott.”
Hard Times Review
Dickens’s piece, “Hard Times,” was symbolic and satirical of the school system then and also now. Throughout the story, he shows how the school system is trying to produce nothing but machines that will compliantly start and end their job each day for all of their lives. He uses characters such as Sissy Jupe, Bitzer, Thomas Gradgrind, and Mr. M. Choakumchild. The students are represented by Sissy and Bitzer. Thomas Gradgrind is the brilliant teacher with the facts that are ready to be poured into the students like pitchers. Mr. Choakumchild is the schoolmaster that makes sure all the students become obedient and start the routine of their job. The students Sissy Jupe and Bitzer are mere opposites. Sissy is addressed as either Cecilia or student twenty. In doing this, the teacher is repressing Sissy’s individuality. Thomas Gradgrind tells her that Sissy is not her name, but Cecilia, instead, is her name. Gradgrind then proceeds to ask her the definition of a horse. She does not have one so Gradgrind asks Bitzer who proceeds to give the proper factual definition of a horse. The reason for this is to show that the point of the school system is to give facts only; nothing else matters. Thomas Gradgrind has a desire to fill all of the students with as many facts as he possibly can. Opinions and other excerpts do not matter to him. Gradgrind favors the students who act in accordance with with this concept of facts only, but puts down the students that do not adopt this concept. His job is also to conform those who do not comply to the concept of being filled with facts only. Gradgrind put Sissy Jupe down by telling her she did not know the definition of a horse. Gradgrind’s second job is to suppress individuality by calling students proper names and numbers.
Mr. Choakumchild is the schoolmaster whose job is to make sure that Thomas Gradgrind is doing his job. Choakumchild is there to bring the students closer to their goal of getting a day in and day out job with the same routine every day. Choakumchild is the direct result of a school system that produces only facts. Dickensâ€™ point was definitely proven in this piece. The school system abolishes individuality. The school system also does not teach everything that is needed to be known in life. They only learn the facts which will take away everything else about them.
Published on May 14, 2009