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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A kidnapped Santa Claus

“A Kidnapped Santa Claus” by L. Frank Baum Reading Questions

1.  Who is the protagonist?  Who is the antagonist?
The protagonist is Santa Claus and the antagonist are the Daemons.
2. What is the conflict?
Santa gets kidnapped by the Daemons
3.  What is the setting?
Christmas Eve and laughing Valley
4.  To what genre would you say this story belongs?  Why?
It belongs to fantasy because the Daemons are the internal problems that become external problems.
5.  What do you notice about Baum’s writing style?  
It's a kind of singsongy writing style. This was probably written for children.
6.  Who are the Daemons?  How are they labeled?  Why are they named so?
The Daemons are all emotions that are labeled by how human emotions are. Envy; hatred; malice
7.  What familiar seasonal elements are used in the story?  What unfamiliar elements are there?
The elves , the time of year and the things that have to do with christmas; the magical creatures, the Daemons.
8.  What are some variations of this story that have been retold in the last few years?
Elf, the polar express, kiss save santa
9.  Are there any parts of the story that help to define Santa Claus as a character?  Does he make any tough decisions or risk something valuable?
He shows bravery, he is forgiving

10.  How does Santa escape the cave?
The Daemon of repentance felt guilty and let him go.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reflection Questions on Poetry II


1.  What is the condition of the statue? The statue is in a poor condition and slowly breaking off.
2.  What is ironic about the boast inscribed on the statue? It says that the man is known as the king of kings and the everlasting mighty king but his statue isn't lasting and is breaking down.
3.  What do you think is the intended meaning of the poem?
   This poem gives the message that everyone and everything dissipates and shatters with/through time.
“The Second Coming”

4.  What is the tone of the poem? Dark; eerie or apocoleptic
5. What object does the poem refer to in the second stanza that has “a gaze as blank and as pitiless as the sun”? The sphinx
6. What does the allusion to “Bethlehem” in the last line signify?
That the devil is born in Bethlehem.
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

7.  What is the tone of the poem? the tone is pleading
8. What does the speaker mean when he/she pairs the two opposites, “curse, bless me”? He means his father could curse or bless him but dnt die.

“The World is Too Much With Us”

9.  How does the speaker of the poem suggest we “lay waste our powers”? we spend so much time spending that we lay waste our powers; we get and we spend.
10.  What powers might that be?
To be one with nature.
“My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun”

11.  What is the tone of the poem?
Mocking and insulting
12.  How does this poem differ from typical love poems?  
It is insulting rather than flattering. It makes fun of the lover.

Monday, November 17, 2014


1.How does the setting add to the meaning of the story: sunset and night, dreary road, gloomiest trees, narrow path creeping through, lonely, peculiarity in solitude? How does this imagery create the mood? How does this mood help us predict the nature of Young Goodman Brown’s journey?
It makes the story have a more eerie impact on the resider. the setting is dark and scary. The imagery gives the reader a dark mood
2.Discuss the significance of "Faith kept me back awhile."
Faith, his wife,  knew what was going on. His belief system prevented him from going on that journey.
3.Why do you think Faith wore pink ribbons? Hint: think of the connotation of colors.
To signify innocence because pink is such a sweet and naive color; mostly what little girls wear.
4.Discuss the significance of the second traveller (sic.), ". . . apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still they might have been taken for father and son." Is he Brown’s alter ego?
The devil took the form of YGB's father because it will make him feel more comfortable.
5.Interpret the description of the staff "which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light." Why the uncertainty?
Because it is dark and he is out in the woods, so his imagination got the best of him.
6. When the fellow traveller states, "I have been well acquainted with your family... I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem. ... The deacons of many a church have drunk wine with me; the select men of divers town make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm believers of my interest," what do we begin to understand about him? Though this character, what is Hawthorne telling us about evil?
He is telling us that everyone is evil. We begin to understand that he will use every reasonable excuse to gain his trust.
7. Discuss the meaning(s): "My Faith is gone!”
He means that he lost his wife, Faith. It also means that he lost his Faith, or his beliefs and hopes.
8.Describe what Goodman Brown saw when he arrived at the meeting – the grave, reputable, and pious people, the chaste dames and dewy virgins, the revered pastor, and that the good "shrank not from the wicked." Discuss the meaning.
They embraced them and the author is trying to say that people are evil. Hawthorne gives a pessimistic view of the human race.
9.The dark figure states, "Welcome, my children, to the communion of your race. Ye have found thus young your nature and your destiny." What do you think this means?
It means that a person is destined to be evil. "Welcome to the life of evil"
10.  How does Goodman Brown treat people the next day? What happens to him? Why?
He becomes disgusted with everyone and now thinks everyone is evil. He distrusts people now.
11."Young Goodman Brown" is a moral allegory. Essentially, an allegory is an extended metaphor using one thing to represent another – a story with dual meanings. Therefore, there is a surface or literal meaning as well as a secondary meaning. In other words, Hawthorne uses this moral allegory to reveal a moral lesson or lessons. Discuss the moral lesson(s) you discover in the story.
Everyone is inherently evil.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reflection questions on masque

Reflection Questions on “Masque of the Red Death”

1.  What is the setting for the story?
There is so specific setting for the story but if a guess where to be made it would be somewhere in the medieval times. The story is mainly in Prince Prospero's castle.
2.  What is the mood instilled in the reader?
The Mood can be stated as somehow creepy or eerie.

Definition of Irony

Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality.

Types of Irony

On the grounds of the above definition, we distinguish two basic kinds of irony i.e. verbal irony and situational irony. A verbal irony involves what one does not mean. When in response to a foolish idea, we say, “what a great idea!” it is a verbal irony. A situational irony occurs when, for instance, a man is chuckling at the misfortune of the other even when the same misfortune, in complete unawareness, is befalling him.

Difference between Dramatic Irony and Situational Irony

Dramatic irony is a kind of irony in a situation, which the writers frequently employ in their works. In situational irony, both the characters and the audience are fully unaware of the implications of the real situation. In dramatic irony, the characters are oblivious of the situation but the audience is not. For example, in “Romeo and Juliet”, we know much before the characters that they are going to die.
In real life circumstances, irony may be comical, bitter or sometimes unbearably offensive.

We come across the following lines in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Act I, Scene V.
“Go ask his name: if he be married.
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.”
Juliet commands her nurse to find out who Romeo was and says if he were married, then her wedding bed would be her grave. It is a verbal irony because the audience knows that she is going to die on her wedding bed.
Fortunato means “lucky one” in Italian.  This is ironic because he is not so fortunate at the end of the story.

 I posted a video on YouTube about how boring and useless YouTube is.
 The name of Britain’s biggest dog was “Tiny”.
 You laugh at a person who slipped stepping on a banana peel and the next thing you know, you slipped too.

Function of Irony
Like all other figures of speech, Irony brings about some added meanings to a situation. Ironical statements and situations in literature develop readers’ interest. Irony makes a work of literature more intriguing and forces the readers to use their imagination and comprehend the underlying meanings of the texts. Moreover, real life is full of ironical expressions and situations. Therefore, the use of irony brings a work of literature closer to the life.

3.  What irony takes place in the story?  List them.
- Prospero means prosperous but he's not in the story
- The locked the castle to keep death away but it turns out it was already in the castle.
The Prince's purpose is to let his guests forget about death, yet the construction of his Imperial suite, with its "sharp turns" and "novel effects" do little to comfort them. 

4.  What significance do colors play in the tale?
- red/black room
5.  What does the clock symbolize? What does the chiming of the clock interrupt?  What does this remind the people of?
The clock symbolizes that time is passing. He wanted to pass the time by partying. The chiming interrupts the party. It reminds them that their time is running out.
6.  Based on what they are trying to avoid, why is it so unacceptable that someone is dressing up like Death?  
It's unacceptable because the people are being mocked and they are scared.
Definition of Style
The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes and it is the technique which an individual author uses in his writing. It varies from author to author and depends upon one’s syntax, word choice, and tone. It can also be described as a voice that readers listen to when they read the work of a writer.

7. In what manner of style does the narrator tell this story?  What does the narration sound like?
The story is written in  1st person. The narration sounds like a fairytale.
8.  What do you notice different from this story’s narrative style and the one found in “Cask of Amontillado”?
 In the Cask, Montresor's tone is proud, it is also in 1st person but the narrator is involved in the story. The narrator in the "red death"is telling us a fairy tale because it has a moral.
9.  What moral might “Masque” be suggesting?
You can't escape death
10.  Evaluate the level of horror in this story.  Are there elements that make it scary, or is the story outdated?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cask Questions

“Cask of Amontillado” Reflection Questions

1. How many characters does Poe include in The Cask of Amontillado? What are
their names?
Three and their names were Montresor, Fortunato and Luchesi.
2. What drink are the French most famous for?
3. Does Montresor have something of great value to him that we might consider to be his treasure? Hint: It is not the Amontillado wine (which is Spanish
anyway, not French, and doesn't really exist-it is merely a trick to get Fortunato
to go down into the catacombs).
His pride and the pride of his French family heritage. Perhaps his devious plot of revenge.
4.  How did Fortunato cause Montresor to lose face in the story?
The third paragraph of the story appears in full below. Read it carefully and try to
imagine how Fortunato might have insulted Montresor.
He insulted him: Montresor's ability to taste and distinguish fine wine.
"He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be
respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few
Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit
the time and opportunity to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires.
In painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of
old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially;—I was skillful in
the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could."

5. Does Montresor seem to have much respect for Italians? Which lines in the
paragraph above reveal his contempt?
No, he called them a quackMontresor does not have much respect for Italians. He feels the French are superior, especially with respect to wine.
6. What was Fortunato's insult?
 We don't know because it won't included in the story.
7. Why does Montresor entertain Fortunato with wines from his collection?
To get him drunk so he can go on with his revenge.
8. In what two ways does Montresor imprison Fortunato?
He fetters Fortunate to the wall of the catacombs.He builds a wall to close Fortunato off in a small corner of the catacombs, where Montresor will leave him to die.
The story, The Cask of Amontillado, first appeared in an anthology of Poe's
stories entitled Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Arabesque comes from the word Arab and refers to ornaments, decorations and motifs in Arabic art, where figures of flowers, fruits and sometimes animal outlines appear in elaborate patterns of interlaced lines. particularly those which have been borrowed by other cultures. Such arabesque patterns are reflected in some of the designs and motifs of the batik of Indonesia and Malaysia.
By analogy, then, an arabesque story is one of intricate design, which is told
through the use of fanciful language. Because arabesque graphic designs sometimes depict fantastic creatures, Poe and others also applied this term to tales that dealt with fantastic or supernatural happenings. Grotesque refers to something distorted, ugly, abnormal, fantastic, or bizarre to the point of being ludicrous or absurd. In a grotesque story, characters are physically or psychologically deformed and engage in actions that may be abnormal or comically absurd.

9.  In what ways is The Cask of Amontillado grotesque? First, which of Montresor's actions are abnormal?
The wall of the catacombs. He builds a wall to close Fortunato off in a small corner of the catacombs, where Montresor will leave him to die. His sick humor  and obsessive plot of revenge.
10. Is there anything grotesque about Fortunato?
Not a physical grotesque.
  • His obsession with alcohol.
  • His drunkenness.
  • His tendency to berate Luchesi (he may have been drunk and may have insulted Montresor in a similar fashion).
  • His manic laughter.
  • He insulting people.
11.  List three examples of foreshadowing in the story.
The jingling of the bells, Fortunato means fortunate ironic because he's not lucky throughout the story; cask: wine barrel or casket
12.  What mood is imparted on the reader?
Creeped out and unsettled.
13.  What is the setting of the story?
Catacombs; During the Carnival in the spring.
Humor Hunt
There are also numerous comic touches that Poe adds to this grotesque tale.
•Fortunato's name means lucky in Italian. This is ironic language play, as he was
hardly the lucky one in this story.
•Fortunato is dressed in a court jester's or fool's garb, complete with striped outfit
and cap and bells.
•The jingling of the bells of the cap in the catacombs.
•Montresor's exaggerated concern for Fortunato's health.
•A joke: Not knowing Montresor plans to kill him, Fortunato says, I shall not die of
a cough. To which Montresor replies, True-true.
•Pun: Montresor telling Fortunato he is a mason. (Fortunato was referring to
members of the society of Freemasons). Montresor reveals the trowel (a tool
used to apply mortar or cement) which he will use to build the wall which
entombs Fortunato.
•Fortunato's drunken condition.
•Fortunato bumping into the dead end of the niche where he will be entombed
and then looking bewildered.
•Fortunato's delirious laughter at the end.
•Another pun: Let us be gone. Montresor repeats Fortunato's words, not saying
that they shall leave together, but that Fortunato will be gone from this life.

Poe and the Short Story
Testing Poe's Theory of the Short Story on his own writing
Many critics consider Poe to be the father of the modern short story. He was the
first writer to define the short story as a distinct literary form. In a review of Nathaniel Hawthorne's anthology, Twice-Told Tales in Graham's Magazine, May 1842, he described his personal theory on how to construct a "tale":

"A skillful literary artist has constructed a tale. If wise, he has not fashioned his thoughts to
accommodate his incidents: but having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique
or single effect to be wrought out, he then invents such incidents—he then combines
such events as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. If his very initial
sentence tends not to the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. In
the whole composition there should be no work written, of which the tendency, direct or
indirect, is not to the one pre-established design. And by such means, with such care and
skill, a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with
a kindred art, a sense of the fullest satisfaction."

How well does Poe follow his own rules?
14. What is the single effect of the story on the reader? Revenge: it is a story about vengence.
15. How do all incidents help Poe to establish this effect? The bad death; murder
16. How does the first sentence bring out the horror of the tale? Tells us montresor is out for revenge.
17. How does the whole story follow a single pre-established design? Revenge

18. Does the reader feel satisfied at the end of the story? If you felt shocked, unnerved or creeped out then that is the satisfied feeling Poe wanted you to feel.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Lottery Questions

1) Through “The Lottery,” what point does Shirley Jackson make about tradition?
  Shirley Jackson is trying to say that tradition is valued by the villagers who practice it but the ones who don't find it strange.
• Identify at least one piece of evidence to support your observation.

2) What foreshadowing clues does Shirley Jackson incorporate into her story? When I read the sentence "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pocket full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones." I knew that it wasn't going to be something good because why would young boys gather that many stones in a village. Its not until later in the story that one would suspect the "winner" will be stoned to death. Also Mr.martin and his son hesitated in the beginning before going up to hold the box on the stool.The names: Mrs.Summers and Mr.Grave.

3) What is the setting for “The Lottery”? Why is that so important to the theme of the story? There was no specific setting and this because jackson wanted to show this could happen anytime. But the story portrays an average New England village on june 27th in the summer. The story seems a bit old fashioned so I predict it is around the 1940s because of the rituals and traditions that the villagers respect and follow.

4) What mood does “The Lottery” instill in its readers? How does it do this?
The mood in the beginning of the story starts off as getting the readers happy and cheerful but as the story went on the mood changed dark and savagely violent. It can be seen through the characters words and expressions.
5) What do we know about when the lottery was started?
We know that there was no specific setting or time stated in the story but it is as old as 77 years because of Old man warner. He's been around witnessing the lottery without being chosen.
6) How do the townspeople feel about making changes to the lottery? How do you know?
I don't think the townspeople want to make changes to the lottery because they didn't even want to change the design of the box that papers are held in. They also said they didn't want to change it.
7) What is the general attitude of the townspeople as they wait for the lottery to begin?
 The general attitude of the people is scared and curious.Deep inside they are as scared and against the practice as anyone would be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Perks of being a wallflower

Why I chose this book: I chose this book because I watched the movie already. I wanted to distinguish the traits of the movie compared to those of the book. People always said the book version is always better than the movie because it has more details and it makes you feel more connected to the subject of the book; you understand whats going on because of the vivid description of the events. I personally enjoy reading books than watching movies; I can get really attached to a book and I believe that without the power of visuals and pictures, the book allows its readers to put to ether the story in a more creative and effective way. When I watched the movie Divergent I thought it was absolutely fantastic, I loved the whole idea but then my friend suggested I read the book so I did. And I can say it was so much more exhaustive and comprehensive; I got to know more about the situation other than having a limited time to understand the subject.Charlie, the nominal wallflower, lives an internal life. He just wants friends and he wants those friends to be happy; I wanted to read more into that situation because he "travels" through that strange course of permeate adolescence. 

The best part of the book: I feel like the best part of the book is reading about Charlie's travels through  the perks of teenage years. The book begins with a very quiet, emotionally sensitive freshmen named Charlie. He's  writing letters to an unknown recipient about his life. He discusses his first year at high school, while confronting with two traumatic experiences from his past: his aunt's death and best friend's suicide. He started out being very innocent but since his senior friends, he starts to drink and smoke marijuana and cigarettes. Throughout the year, Charlie experiences more and more of what high school has to offer. My favorite part of the book is when Charlie, Same, and patrick play the perfect song while in a tunnel and said at that moment they felt infinite. When I was reading the book I felt a sort of connection with them and i think that's what this book does. It gives readers an empathetic conscience which ,in my opinion, makes a person enjoy the book better.

Worst part: My least favorite part of the book would be the format. It honestly has a lot of springy and naive sentences. I don't usually read books with such simple structure but I can say its different not in the worst way. The writing style didn't really work for me.. it was too lacking. In some parts of the book Charlie acted like a little child, he is so naive yet so experienced for his age. I didn't really like how he was was always  crying because it made me feel a little sad yet annoyed. I hate depressing books , but its not that this book was depressing ; it just had depressing tones and lines in it.

I would definitely recommend this book to others because I feel like its a coming of age story that most people who can connect to that would want to read it. Its a very commercial book that many teens who are similar with mature content can connect to.