Natalie Babbitt’s ‘tuck Everlasting’ – a Story of Eternal Life
Have you ever dreamed of living forever, what would life be like if you knew that you would never die? Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting is a classic children’s novel that won her many honors including the 1976 Christopher Award. The successful theme is about a child’s exposure to immortality through a family named the Tucks.
The tale starts off with ten-year-old Winnie Foster running away from her unaccepting parents, she decides to explore in the forest of which her house was surround around. She keeps on running until she spots a young man, who we later find out is seventeen-year-old Jesse Tuck drinking from a small spring. She decides to greet him to get some water herself but Jesse keeps trying to urge her not to without sounding too suspicious. “Believe me, Winnie Foster,” said Jesse, “it would be terrible for you if you drank any of this water. Just terrible. I can’t let you.” Eventually it had the opposite effect on Winnie, and she became uneasy about Jesses mysterious attitude. Not soon after the rest of the Tucks show up to deal with this situation. Mae Tuck decides that they should take her back to their home to tell her about their complicated circumstances so that maybe she’ll understand why it’s important to not tell anyone about the spring or about the Tucks themselves. But what they didn’t know was that the man in the yellow suit from the very beginning of the story had listened to their whole conversation about their everlasting life, and he had a plan. He goes back to tell Winnies parents that he found her and exchange he wants the forest. After the Fosters agree the man in the yellow suit returns to the Tucks home to discuss the deal that he made with Fosters. “The Fosters have given me the wood now,” he said. “In exchange for bringing Winfred home.” The man in the yellow suit planned to sell the spring water to make people immortal which in return would make him rich. After Mae Tuck hears his plan she starts to panic and she shoots the man in the yellow suit with Miles shotgun. He ends up dying on the way to the hospital and Mae Tuck gets the death penalty of hanging. To avoid everyone finding out she cannot die Winnie took her place while the Tucks ran away. As parting words Jesse said that when she turns seventeen she should drink the water and they can live forever together. Time passes on and the Tucks come back to Treegap to meet Winnie again only to find her gravestone. “In Loving Memory, Winifred Foster Jackson, Dear Mother, Dear Wife, 1870-1948.” Then the book ends with the Tucks leaving for their next adventure.
Personally speaking, I feel that Tuck Everlasting was a wonderful book with an interesting storyline. I especially admired Mae Tucks speech about how eternal life isn’t just sunshine and rainbows but to her it is more of a curse.” Can you picture what that means? Forever? The wheel would keep on going around, the water rolling by to the ocean, but the people would’ve turned into nothing but rocks by the side of the road. ‘Cause they wouldn’t know till after, and then it’d be too late.” On the other hand I disliked that Jesse would even ask Winnie to drink the water to be with him. She was only ten-years-old and it was very selfish of him. But it was a relief at the end that she didn’t end up drinking it. Which leads to another reason as to why I appreciated Winnies ending, I feel like the typical happy ending in children’s book would have a stereotypical ending. Like in this case she would’ve drunken the water and lived the rest of her everlasting life with Jesse, which of course wasn’t the case in this fairytale because, she just choose to live a full life. I really think that her decision was very powerful to the storyline just because of her contrastive verdict and it left readers with a wholesome and wise feeling about her.
Significant Ideas in “Just Grace” Book
A cat goes missing. A girl uses her super powers to bring the cat back to a lady she doesn’t adore. She cooperates with the most disgusting boy in her class to save the day.
Grace Stewart, the main character, is in third grade and she loves cats. She has a super-power called empathy, which means that she can tell if people are sad. At her school, the main setting, there are 3 girls in her class named Grace. When she tells her teacher she wants to be called just Grace, her teacher thought she meant “Just Grace,” so the name stuck. Mimi, a minor character, is Grace’s friend at school. Another main character is Sammy Stinger, a boy in her class who she doesn’t like. The third main character is Mrs. Luther, a teacher at Grace’s school and her neighbor. Grace is intimidated by the mask decorations in Mrs. Luther’s house, another setting in the story. But Mrs. Luther owns a cat named Crinkles, who Grace loves. Augustine Dupre, a minor character, is another neighbor who lives in the basement apartment of Grace’s house.
One conflict in the story is between Grace and Sammy, who she thinks is disgusting. He burps, spits, and wears filthy clothes. A second conflict is about Mrs. Luther’s scary masks in her house that Grace can see through her widow and doesn’t like. When she was hanging a mask on a ladder, Mrs. Luther almost fell on her cat Crinkles. Crinkles becomes upset with Mrs. Luther about almost being smashed and is afraid of Mrs. Luther’s orange cast.
The main theme deals with Grace using her power of empathy. The main plot starts when she tries to think of a plan to help Mrs. Luther and her cat get along after the ladder accident. With her friend Mimi, they make postcards with pictures of Crinkles and send them to Mrs. Luther to make her feel better. Sammy gets invited to Mrs. Luther’s house, which makes Grace feel weird, because Sammy doesn’t like cats. She was surprised to see him there again and sees him trying to catch Crinkles, who she adores. Now Crinkles is lost!!! The climax of the book occurs when Grace and Sammy, who she never liked, work together to find Mrs. Luther’s lost cat Crinkles. They found Crinkles together in Augustine Dupre’s apartment and returned him to Mrs. Luther. In the end, Grace changes and realizes that Sammy is not that bad of a friend and likes him more than she did before.
Just Grace is a funny book. One entertaining moment happens when Grace throws up on the day of the talent show. Another hilarious event was Sammy throwing juice on Grace’s shirt on her birthday. A silly part of the book is that Mrs. Luther owns lion poo and Sammy steals it and brings it to school without asking her. If you want to laugh, read this book.
The Use of Symbolism in “My Ántonia” by Willa Cather
In Chapter VII of My Antonia, Cather uses a rattlesnake to symbolize one of the most important moments in the book. At the beginning of this passage, it is well known that Antonia is not only older, but also more traveled than Jim. Because of this Antonia begins to treat Jim as if he is her younger brother rather than her equal, which leads to Jim feeling resentful towards the superior tone she would sometimes take with him. Jim killing the rattlesnake may not seem significant at first, but throughout this story we learn that it holds a much deeper meaning of a transition from childhood to adulthood. Jim was trying to assert his masculinity and by showing both courage and strength while killing the snake he ultimately becomes a real man when he succeeds in winning the fight. Jim is proud of himself, but the fact that the snake is the biggest he has ever seen shows how terrified he was and how important and intense this adventure was.
Later in the book in Chapter XVI we come across a second use of symbolism during Mr. Shimerda’s funeral. Mr. Shimerda was laid to rest in a small plot in a large prairie which years later would become a crossroads. One possible form of symbolism could be that being at a crossroads represents being at an incomplete place in a person’s journey through life. This would then relate to the way that Mr. Shimerda died and how he was feeling at that specific time in his life. The gravesite of Mr. Shimerda is a reminder of what the prairie once was in its purest form. It symbolizes Jim’s longing for the past. One other way that symbolism was used is shown through an older Jims words. He states, “in all that country it was the spot most dear to me” because when all of the land had been cleared for other uses, this plot of land where two roads would meet is the only place where the tall grass still grows and stands in its natural state. The grave is a way of symbolizing something from the old world surviving to see the new world. It is a connection between the two places.
The third form of symbolism is found in Book II, Chapter XIV in the plough. The plough can most simply symbolize farming as a whole and it is used to depict Man’s attempt to live off the land. This is translated through a quote given on page 118, “There it was, heroic in size, a picture writing on the sun.” The word heroic could also be used to describe the farmers who attempted to make their living off the Nebraska prairies and farmlands. Relating to this analysis is another quote that state, “and that forgotten plough had sunk back to his own littleness somewhere on the prairie.” This reminds us that however heroic man’s attempts to farm the land may be, he is still considered small in the bigger picture of the natural world and its beauty.
A Review of the Selected Chapters of Thomas Foster’s ‘how to Read Literature Like a Professor’
In chapter one the author goes into detail about a 16 year old kid named Kip who’s on a trip to the store, although the author considers it to be a quest. The quest consists of a Knight, a dangerous road, a dragon, one evil Knight, and one princess. With basic thinking, a quest can consist of a total of five different things, including a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, and challenges and trials on route, and just a reason to go there. There’s always a reason for the journey that a character or person takes so I do agree with the author in this story. In fact there are some examples I could give that show that there’s always a reason for a quest, like in Shrek when he was getting threatened to get his swamp taken away unless he rescued Princess Fiona from her castle which was heavily guarded by a big, fire breathing dragon. Another example is in Cinderella, when she had to get passed her evil step sisters just to go out and have fun and meet a guy and she did just that and met the guy of her dreams that would rescue her from her step sisters.
In chapter two the author talks about characters who are eating a meal while symbolism is taking place. Eating a meal with another character shows how the character feels toward them and it shows whether or not you like the person/character or not. The author also does state that in the story when people are eating a meal together it’s as if they are saying, “I’m with you, I like you, we form a community together.” I agree with the author in this chapter because I do believe that having a meal with another person/character can show how you feel toward the person you’re having a meal with and whether or not you like them or not. A few examples that I have in mind are from the movie Wonder, when a little boy that wasn’t born the same as everyone else came to school his very first day and everyone looked at him funny except for a few kids and when they sat and ate with him at lunch it showed how much they liked that little boy and how much they cared for him. Another example is Diary of a Wimpy Kid, when no one wanted to eat with Greg and Rowley causes they thought they were weird, and losers and when Greg and Rowley tried to eat with others at lunch the characters would be rude and not let them eat with them.
In Chapter three, the author is explaining how Vampirism isn’t just always about vampires. Vampirism is selfishness and exploitation, it is a characteristic in which a character can represent. How a vampire takes advantage of its prey is the same way of a human doing so, they are both considered vampirism. I agree with what the author is saying in this chapter because it really isn’t about vampires it’s about everything and anything that is selfish and rude not only and not all vampires it can just be anything that is selfish. For example, in the TV show My babysitters a vampire not all of the vampires were bad and for the ones that were they would take advantage of some people just so that they can bite them and turn them into vampires. Another example is in the movie the babysitter, where there is an awful babysitter who invites her teenage friends over and they use the child’s blood for a ritual thing, and they are trying to take advantage of the young kid by taking his blood while he’s asleep.
In chapter eleven, the author is trying to explain that violence is a part of life and not only bad things come from violence. As the author said in the story, violence is one of the most intimate acts between human beings, and he also said to be symbolic, thematic, biblical, Shakespearean, romantic, allegorical, and transcendent. I agree with the author because I believe as well that violence is a part of life and it sometimes just happens for a reason. An example I could is from the movie Ted, in which John and Ted got into an argument after John’s girlfriend broke up with him, and that just sparked up everything as they immediately took out all of their emotions on each other and started fighting. Another example would be from Batman vs. Superman in which they were told to fight each other and the real antagonist of the movie cause bad blood with them and cause them to have the big fight against each other, God vs. Bat.
In chapter twelve, the author talks about the importance of the symbols. He explains how a symbol only has one meaning, and then in which it is not a symbol, it is allegory. An allegory is when one thing stands for another thing. The most common questions that Foster gets in his class is whether or not something is a symbol. I agree with the author because in most cases and sometimes all symbols do only have one meaning. In the movie the Sandlot in which a new kid comes to town and has no friends until a kid named Benny brings him in even though he is a nerd he still becomes part of the group, this movie symbolizes friendship and how a group of friends can connect with anyone no matter what they look like or how they play. Or in the movie Transformers Revenge of the Fallen when Optimus Prime dies and only he can beat the Fallen in a fight but Sam never gives up and he finds the spark to stick in Optimus Primes heart so that he can save him, this symbolizes how close friends will do anything for each other including risking one’s life just to save them.
In chapter 14, the author talks about how America is basically a Christian culture despite the religious diversity. Many cultural artifacts have been have been and were influenced by the Christian culture. It is very good to know the basics of Christianity when you are studying American Literature. It’s good to know who Jesus is and what his attributes are exactly. This includes, being aware of forgiveness of sins, self-sacrifice, and historical data. I agree with the author because most of America is a Christian culture and many people in America were taught to be Christian and were taught what Christianity is. In The Lion King when the king Lion protects his son from the big bad lion it shows how much he cares for his son and it shows sacrifice and love. Another example is in 21 Jump Street in which Channing Tatum sacrifices himself for Jonah Hill because they became such good friends and they broke apart for a while but after that they reunited because of the sacrifice.
In Chapter 26, the author describes irony and after he gives examples of very ironic events. The main topic of irony is it takes place through the chapter and it’s very structural and dramatic. It provides the reader to become more interested in the text. I agree with the author because that is what irony is and what it is used for and I understand what he is coming from when he is saying that. An example I’d use is from Ratatouille when a dirty, little rat can cook very well and he meets a guy who is human that can’t cook but he wants a job so the rat helps him and they become best friends. Another example is from Snow White when she bites into a poisonous apple which was given to her and she dies needing only true loves first kiss to awake her.
The actual term of Beat of a Beat Generation in some way shape, form of fashion refers to the members of the generation that came of age after World War II who, supposedly because of disillusionment stemming from the Cold War, adopted forms of spirituality and the relaxation of social and sexual inhibitions. Although this may be the actual term for the word beat in beat generation as a definition is in fact not a meaning of the unclear word beat. Beat in this article through generation in American society during the war can be described in a man is beat whenever he goes for broke and wagers the sum of his resources on a single number; and the young generation has done that continually from early youth. In common day use, many will say “I am beat” after a long day or week at work, or after doing such a strenuous activity they feel as if they are exhausted to the point they cannot continue. However, in these articles that are being discussed the word ‘beat’ has a similar yet different meaning.
First, in the article by author John Clellon Holmes, he discusses an entire generation during the 60’s known as the “Beat Generation” and gives two examples of actual men who lived during these times and endured the effects of such a rough time in history. Holmes describes the “Beat Generation” as a generation in which these individuals lived in a post war world from which they endured so much through his characterization and point of view as the author. Since the Cold War the author is describing the face of a beat generation as a symbol of forever changing and showing a whole new culture and aspect of everyday American life.
Next, one example of how the author does this to describe the characterization of a beat generation in his expects are in the very first paragraph. The first paragraph of the article was about a concerned eighteen-year-old girl from California the whole mark in today’s world as marijuana legalization, who had been picked up for smoking marijuana and wanted to talk about it. A reporter had taken down her ideas in the lively language of ‘tea,’ and then someone snapped a picture. This was a view apart of the beat generation in which she was part of a whole new culture where one out of every five people you meet is a user, it was a stunning photograph in the 1960s. The author explains her face as pale and attentive with soft eyes and intelligent mouth, there was no hint of corruption.
There was no hint of corruption through the eyes of someone that young at this point of time being caught doing such a thing, this was one generation that was catching up faster than we think to be announced and moving in a fast manner before our eyes. This was in case and in a fact that as the author is explaining that citizens without even knowing it just yet, was being a part of a beat generation. Beat generation in this sense of things happening while in the Cold War through the economy and social aspects, and cultural ones as well. Cultural ones still proceeding today in California where Marijuana is legal and is the first hall mark for its widely use in the State. The teenage girl’s face was a face that could only be considered criminal through a huge effort of justice. You see the only complaint was Why don’t people just leave jus alone? Saying in a way of like hey you can just leave us alone and let us be or you can possibly do what we are doing and join us since in this beat generation there is nothing else top really do a nor focus on in unless it was a war. The author Mr. Holmes went on to say in a way that, that same young girls’ face in a way started a brink and movement in American society since the war showing up in Bronx Courtrooms, and arraigned for stealing car’s.
Then, another example of how Mr. Holmes characterizes the “Beat Generation” in his facets is that he explains that the members have an instinctive individuality, needing no imposed strangeness to express it. They were brought up during bad circumstances of a boring and lifeless depression through at the time a Global War the author explains. He explains it through the eyes of the people at home in his fourth paragraph experiencing the Beat Generation. He explains this by saying that their adolescence of this Beat generation “was spent in a topsy-turvy world of war bonds, swing shifts, and troop movements”. Their brothers, husbands, fathers or boyfriends turned up dead one day at the other end of a telegram. He explains their peace being a cold peace in comparison to the Cold War retrospect of things. He said the generation lived at a pace that kills (to which the war had adjusted them), led to black markets, bebop, narcotics, sexual promiscuity, hucksterism, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The beatness set in later but at this point of time it was too late for the population to see how it came along and how it came along at such a fast pace.
In conclusion, the author clearly did a great job of expressing and I feel personally embodying the article in which it could stand out to readers on how the Beat Generation came along and what it meant for and along with everyday life in American society at the time of wars and after the great depression leading to changes that still occur today in everyday society that war caused from in some type of facet, shape or form. This is important to know because like the author said its challenging faces are worth it and we as Americans should take that in retrospect for that Beat Generation that has come before us in such a way now that it increases and is still steadily growing comping up with that new technology, and social aspects, culture different aspects and differences in American everyday life in today’s life. These simple Central elements of the “Beat Generation” culture that have included a rejection of mainstream American values, experimentation with drugs and alternate forms of sexuality, and an interest in Eastern spirituality of the 1950s and 1960s through its aspects and circumstances.
Review of the Book “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” by Zac Brewer
Vlad is a thirteen year old who lives alone with his overprotective aunt who doesn’t know much about his parents. But there is one thing different about Tod that makes his whole life harder, he is half vampire. He wears tons of SPF 1000 sunscreen, chases after his crush, and even eats regular people food. That is if you don’t count the extra necessities he drinks that his aunt Nelly brings home from work. His closest friend, Henry, actually knows about his…problem, and is very supportive in making sure no one else finds out. All in all, Vlad has a happy life, until he realizes he is being hunted.
This is the biggest conflict throughout the entire book, because it put his life in danger. The entire plot of the book would be a lot more calm, and maybe boring, if he wasn’t being hunted by vampire slayers. One of those slayers even comes out as being a new kid at the highschool, as well as Vlad’s friend. It all starts when Vlad’s teacher goes missing, and they get a substitute named Mr. Otis. Mr. Otis is strange and Vlad can tell that from the get-go. But he had no real proof to say why. Then Nelly invites the teacher over for dinner, as all hell breaks loose as he is hired to kill Nelly and Vlad.
A new problem forms while Vlad is on the run, he realizes that the marriage between his mother and father was illegal on both sides. This is because his mom was human, and father a vampire. The two species clash, especially when one feeds off of the other. There has never been a half blood vampire in all of existence until our protagonist was born. And not everyone is okay with this fact. This puts Vlad in the middle of a war being fought over him. He learns soon that Otis is his uncle who is on his side through all of this, even if he didn’t make that clear. And in the end he ends up saving him multiple times. And, because this is a series, we find out in the fifth book that Vlad is no normal vampire.
The one detail that no one wanted to tell Vlad was that he had much more power than the average vampire and human combined. He is actually all powerful, and prophesied to be the ruler of both the human and vampire world, which comes out to be true. But (less) powerful people want Vlad’s abilities, and the only way to get them is to kill him. But to Diablo, the antagonist, this is a small price to pay for world domination. And with an all out fight to the end, Vlad comes out on top. Yet his is faced with a cliffhanger roble that we well never see solved. He has a great power, mass mind control. And the fact that no one had free will when around Vlad doesn’t sit well with him.
All in all this is a ghoulishly fantastic book that goes into depth on Vladimir Tod’s life. The amount of antics and personalities of each character that is shown is amazing and the only way I I think I could make it better was is I changed the ending. Personally, I hate cliffhangers. Especially when there isn’t another book to solve them. I had wrote it I would’ve changed the ending to a universe where vlad either learns to control his powers without hurting others, of gives it away to the right hands. I think this would have made a much better ending.
How David Wallace Evokes Empathy in The Reader in His Novel Depressed Person
In the Wallace short story “Depressed person”, it is eminent the patient does not have the channel of sharing the emotional pain experienced which intensified horror (Wallace). The depressed has a great expression of self-pity, which undermines her interaction with close friends, especially those she grew with. In addition, the perception of the parents that the case of the depressed adult was a matter of principle happened to be a major impediment that posed a legal ambiguity in addressing the matter. Further, the depression is aggravated by the fact that, the parents had divorced, and none of the parents was willing to take responsibility for the depressed.
In Simpson’s “It takes an ocean not to break”, depression is expressed in a different manner. In this text, the depressed unlike in Wallace’s text is trying to commit suicide while in the former, the depressed is seeking therapy from friends and relatives. The depressed are facing family disintegration just the same situation as with Wallace’s story. The Simpson’s depressed is also different from the Wallace’s in that, Simpson’s depressed person acquired the situation from bad choices he made in the past, unlike Wallace’s depressed person who had no direct contribution to the situation.
It is also noted that the depressed in Wallace’s text, find ways of peacekeeping with others, and find joy where possible, however, the Simpson’s depressed person struggles to do good, and live with others who really need him. This can be noted in the phrase, “….. I wasn’t in therapy to take therapy-lady’s advice. At least not all of it, I was there because I didn’t want to fuck up my kids. That is not true. I was there so I didn’t commit suicide” (Vowel). It is also noted that the depressed person in the Simpson’s, has a specialist to help him recover, the therapy-lady who is committed to helping the depressed to knit experiences to his fabric, however, this is professional assistance is not eminent in the Wallace’s.
The depressed in the Wallace’s got personal issues being given a legal address and not professional therapist is availed to help her recover. The depressed persons in the two texts differ in several ways. For example, in Wallace’s text, the depressed person is unable to express the pain she goes through each day, unlike the depressed person in the Simpson’s text, where he narrates, apologize again and again to an extent of irritating the therapy-lady. Further, it is imminent that, the depressed person in Wallace’s text, has most of the people around her uncaring, such as the parents. This is unlike the situation with the Simpson’s text, where the people around the depressed person are all caring and concerned about his wellbeing.
In the Simpson’s text, the depressed, got into the situation as results of drug abuse, among other bad behaviors. This can be supported by the script, “Lucy says I made a critical mistake on my first day of therapy.” you have to lay all of your Indian shit on the first day, drug abuse, suicide attempts, all the times you got beat up…..”.” (Simpson). Further, it is noted that Simpson’s and Wallace’s choices differ in that, while Simpson’s depressed is never left alone or lonely, the Wallace’s depressed is often left alone and lonely where the therapist could not help. This undermined the kind of pain and healing the respective depressed persons underwent.
Further readings greatly help in understanding the depressed problems and solutions. For example, the Chelsea Vowel’s “Monster: The Residential -School Legacy denotes that, some of the sources of trauma and depression are the cumulative intergenerational wounds commonly referred to as the historic trauma transmission. This source is deemed the worst since very little can be done to alleviate the people from it.
A good example is the residential schools during the old times, which were built to devour the native children, but ended having over 6000 children dying while in the system. The other critical text studied in enhancing the depressed and trauma is the Jeff Barnaby’s Rhymes for Young Ghouls; Arthur Manuel’s “From dispossession to dependency” (Manuel). In this text, it is found that colonialism brought about dispossession, dependence as well as oppression.
The consequences of these aspects brought about by the colonialist affects the lives of the people each day of their lives. For example, taking away of the land, left people with nowhere to farm, a place to settle and hungry. Many died in the course of getting the community land back from the whites. The trauma and depression are imminent with the actions of colonialists. This can be noted in the statement, “It began with dispossession: our lands were stolen out from underneath us. The next step was to ensure that we are made entirely dependent on the interlopers so they can control every aspect of our lives and ensure we are not able to rise up to seize back our lands. To do this, they strip us of our ability to provide for ourselves. “(Vowel). People really suffered from the very acts of the land dispossession.
From the study on pain, depression and anxiety, it was interesting to find out that, some of the pain we face today, has been transmitted to us historically. It was also valuable to determine that, close learned friends can be great assets in times of trouble, however, dealing with them can also be a source of embarrassment where they are unable to help. In conclusion, depression and anxiety can be sourced from within one’s actions, and decisions, or be acquired externally and one has no much control over.
Analysis of the Main Protagonist’s Life in “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews
The definition of a bildungsroman is “a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist”. Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, and Scout Finch are all great candidates, but what about Earl Jackson? Throughout the novel, Me, Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, Earl continuously matures. When the reader first meets Earl (though he is introduced later in the book), he is in a rut. His house is a mess, his family is extremely poor and his siblings are a wild as can be. In the novel, Greg explains “He basically lives unsupervised with two brothers… and they play video games and eat Domino’s pizza pretty much all the time … Meanwhile, downstairs it’s six guys in a house, living it up. Nonstop party! What problems could there possibly be?”. So, Earl lives in a teenager’s dream and an adult’s nightmare.
Secondly, a main feature of Earl at the beginning of the novel is the fact that he has nothing to strive for. Earl’s only goal would be to get out of high school, along with Greg. But, as the novel moves on, Earl figures out who he wants to be and what he wants to do. Earl gives some life-changing advice to Greg to guide him for his future and, as foreshadowed at the end of the novel, Greg takes his advice a goes to do what he desires. Earl defines and helps Greg in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by his coming of age and matureness near the end of the novel. In the novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews in the year 2015, Earl is a part of a family with drugs, alcohol, and craziness. This type of behavior is common during the current year the novel is made. When thought about, Earl has a very tough life. As explained in the novel, Earl is the only one who goes to school every day. Now, this may not seem as much of a feat, but here are the descriptions of his family. “There are no dads in the house – Earls Dad is in Texas and the half Brothers’ dad is in prison…Maxwell and Felix are in one of Homewood enterprising gangs… family’s financial support by dealing drugs… drug dealing and gang activity in the house… Not an incredibly scholarly environment”. So, for Earl to be even trying to get an education is surprising for what he comes from and from what he deals with at home. This information becomes really important for when Greg and Earl are at the end of their senior year and are ready to off to college. Earl’s advice is “You don’t know shit man…this is the first negative that has happened in your life… You can’t be overreacting to it and making big-ass expensive decisions based on it…People die…I’m surrounded by family members doing stupid shit… you gotta live your own life… Care about your own shit before you started doing things for errybody else”. This is the climax of Earl, this is his importance. This life-changing advice affected Greg for the rest of his life and defines who Greg is. Earl and Greg are both halves to one whole in a perfect sophrosyne.
Though Earl’s emotion may not show it, Earl really cares. Either if it is for Greg, or even for Rachel near the end of the novel. In the novel, Earl says to Rachel “You probably don’t understand how grateful I am to have gotten to know you… the odds of that happening normally would be very low.. We don’t travel in the same circles you and me. So it feels like… a blessing to have had you in my life… I admire a lot of things about you…your patience… I would be angry, and miserable… hurtful… and you’ve made me feel, uh, blessed”. This is not the same person that is at the beginning of the novel. He is mature, kind and heartfelt but, how does this affect Greg?
After Earl delivers this speech for Rachel, Greg knows that Earl is telling the truth, but Greg does not believe in Rachel and so this makes Greg sad with himself. Greg is in deep thought about Rachel and how he feels about her dying. And so, when Rachel dies at the end of the novel, he truly understood what feelings he has for Rachel, and Earl helped discover those feelings. So, after Rachel’s death, Greg has missed much of school and is failing his classes. Yet, earl gives even more advice to Greg on his future and he says “You’re stupid if you fail… You’re smarter than that man. You got college and shit to look forward to. Get a job and shit”. Because of Earl’s coming of age, he is able to deliver Greg advice about the future for Greg that really helps him in the future. There are many examples of Earl defining and helping Greg that are because of odd and different situations. One of then include the dilemma with Mr. Mccarthy’s soup. So when advised not to eat Mr.McCarthy’s soup, Greg and Earl eat it anyways and get high from weed supposedly in the soup (it is actually in a cookie that they ate). So, when Greg finally gets the feeling, he falls and gets laughed at. In the novel, it says “ So I fell down … I wasn’t feeling normal… Everyone is laughing… I panicked… Meanwhile, I scrambled out the door into the hall”. Even though it may seem odd, Earl is right there afterward to help and “guide” Greg. Even though this thing seems so little, there are so many little things that Earl does to help Greg.
Another example is Greg’s movies. Greg Gaines’ passion as a young child is filmmaking (and even still today) and Earl Jackson is there every step of the way. He is there every film, good, bad or even films made with lego s. There is a whole page dedicated to all the movies that Earl and Greg wrote. In the novel on pages 126 – 129 lists all of the movies that Earl and Greg have made together and there are a total of eight not including the one about Rachel. Earl really is always there for Greg. Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore are two of the most iconic and even influential characters of all time. Winnie is always looking to just go away with his honey in hand while his best (somewhat depressed) friend is there for him every step of the way. These two literary characters are very similar to Greg Gaines and Earl Jackson. Eeyore and Earl are underrated as characters yet, they define who their best friend is. Earl is critical because of his helpfulness and advice. Earl Jackson’s matureness and advice throughout the novel define who Greg Gaines really is.
Summary of the Plot and Characters from the Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
I read Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. This is a story about a girl with Asperger’s disease, in her hunt closure. After her brother’s death. She tries many things but does not succeed until she realizes closure is not an object, but a feeling. This is a truly inspiring story.
This story takes place in a small town in Virginia. Caitlin, the main character goes to James Madison middle school, where many of the story’s turning points happen. She lives in a town where she knows everybody. A great tragedy happens and the community needs to be brought together again.
The main character in this story is Caitlin Smith In her life things have always been black and white, but now she sees there is something more. Caitlyn is an 11-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome. Caitlin loves to draw and read. The second main character is Mr. Smith, he is Caitlin’s father who helps her with many hardships. Mr. Smith tries his best to be strong with only his daughter by his side. The final main character is Mrs.Brook. Mrs. Brooke is the school counselor who spends lots of time with Caitlin. Mrs.Brooke shows patience while teaching Caitlin about feelings and social activity. As a result, Caitlin ends up making many new friends by the end of the story.
This story begins after Devon’s death. Caitlin’s brother had been killed in a school shooting. Her father is crying because of the terrible things that had happened. Caitlin just stared at a chest, Devin’s Eagle Scout project. It was unfinished. Caitlin had not believed what they had done. This event was the talk of the town. Caitlyn did not like it. She was brought into crowds and people always would talk about it, making everyone even sadder. The next day Caitlin went to her school. Her teacher left after the shooting. SO, she met her new 5th-grade teacher, Ms.Johnson. Mrs.Johnson told Caitlin she would have to talk to Mrs. Brooke during recess and have Recess later with the 1st graders. Caitlin walked around the playground with Mrs.Brooke. She spoke about looking at people while speaking and how to spot a happy person. Caitlin struggled with both of these subjects. She makes a friend with a first grader named Michael. Michael’s mother was also killed in the shooting. Caitlin shows her first signs of sympathy to him. They play every day. Other kids, Caitlin does not like as much. Such as Josh. Josh is too wild for Caitlin, and his cousin killed Devon, Michaels mother and himself. She always avoids him. One day, Caitlin’s class had to read to the younger kids. She really wanted to read with Michael, but she didn’t Josh did. This infuriated her. She screamed very angrily. This made the girl she read to cry. Caitlin was even more annoyed by this. She left to see her father. He took her home. She talked to Mrs.Brooke and she said they needed closure. She then looked up closure in her dictionary. It meant to put something to rest or end it. She immediately thought of Devon’s chest. She needed to finish it. She begged her father he said they weren’t ready until a few weeks later he agreed to. They went to Lowe’s and bought hinges. They soon finished the chest but she still felt incomplete. She did not know how she could make her family and community whole again.
The next day she went to a ceremony. They were remembering her brother. And everyone else who died in the “Virginia Dare Shooting” Here she realized other people had been affected, not just her. She saw her neighbors, her classmates, and her family. She realized she could find closure through fixing her community. She went to an open house for her middle school, Virginia Dare Middle school. She met the art teacher and drew a portrait of him to give to him. He was confused by the lack of colors. “They will only mess it up” she replied. She felt colors were messy and hard to figure out. Soon enough, summer came. They had a community picnic. She saw all her friends, even! She felt safe and happy. She identified her feelings. SHe even saw her art teacher! He gave her a gift, It was a set of colored pastels. She took it happily. She realized life’s colors could be beautiful. She found closure.
I really loved this book. I recommend it to all 6th graders. It has many emotions in it. She navigates herself through a very hard time with her family and community by her side. She walked through a hard situation triumphantly. She is an inspiration to all. This is an amazing book.
The Value of Literature in Digital Medium
I don’t find myself uninvolved reading an old ragged and faded book with the literary work printed on it. The pleasure of reading the printed literary texts specially without any distraction is limitless. I grew up visiting the community libraries and have mostly enjoyed reading the printed material until I discovered the power of electronic texts in the recent years of my life. While print was only the method to express the literary work in the past due to its limiting nature of medium, the electronic format has broken the barriers by making it possible for writers to communicate and express more effectively. The blend of text and multimedia in electronic format can certainly carry the value of literature by forming the creative combination of art and messaging. In fact, digital literature subsumed with technology such as multimedia can be more persuasive and effective to readers than the ordinary print format with only letters and words inked on it.
“Trailing Clouds of Glory” is a print poem that was published in 2012 by Indian American poet Vijay Seshadri. In his poem, Seshadri seeks to mention about his earliest experiences in America as an immigrant. The form of story-telling in the poetry is maintained by structuring the poem in a single stanza. He does not let his feelings get in the way of his narration making him an impartial observer. He uses the metaphor by referring the border patrol as the angel with the flaming sword. He notes the power of this ‘angel’ to wave some people in and wave away others as if to separate goats from sheep. Seshadri notes that the border is not fixed, and it is up to the men with binoculars to decide which side of the border you are on. He does not offer more insight on the border patrol process but moves to a current situation where he notes an undocumented family that did not have a worry on the train with him headed to Manhattan. By moving from his story to theirs, he seems to be laying ground about what the future of an immigrant is where the first experiences show what they think of America and the family depicts years later.
The poem comes at an interesting time capturing immigration as a theme which is a topic that has been hotly discussed by the US government. While it would have been easier for Seshadri to make the poem more emotional, he makes us question border security and the depiction of the American dream. And seeing that this is not a new problem in the country, rather than leap to insane measures to prevent immigrants from crossing over, it would be easier to understand what brings them in the first place and help them come up with their dream which they can take pride in. Seshadri however just observes and does not tell us where he thinks there is a problem or what he thinks is the solution.
It was tough for me to grab the intent behind the creation of e-poem “The Great Migration” by Jason Edward Lewis until I installed the app and interacted with this poem using my cell phone. The e-poem is a combination of texts and moving visual images portrayed on a screen. The words clustered together form an image of a sperm and by use of repetition as well as varying speeds we can see the urgency of the ‘sperms’. The movement of objects on the screen with blue background can be perceived as if they are swimming in the water. The visual indication provided by the movement of sperm-like projectiles on the screen can be interpreted a race for survival where the rest of the sperms veer off and only one is able to make its way for the fertilization.
Some word clusters are in three sentences while others are in two sentences, therefore, giving it a structure of the poems we are familiar with by making us relate these clusters to stanzas. We can, therefore, say that the structure of this poem has multiple stanzas of two to three verses. Lewis, therefore, gives us a familiar thing in an unfamiliar territory, convincing us that the words are not just random and that this is actually a poem like any other just served on a different medium. However, owing to the fact that this is a new medium and we can easily get distracted by the moving words or fascinated by it all and concentrate on other things other than the message, repetition is used to make it possible for the reader to catch up with the words without feeling the need to pause or worse still, having a fear of being left behind.
The poem talks about migration from the very basics during conception and illustrates that life is a continuous journey and everyone has their own path to take. The journey is also meant to change us just as sperms start out as many but only one survives and it does so by fertilizing an egg and therefore changing completely. We each have our own journey to take and we need not worry about the journey of our friends. Ultimately, the hat is important is to embrace our journey and be ready for change when the time comes. This message comes at a great time when things are rapidly changing and people trying to imitate others to see if they will be in the same luck.
In my opinion, I would term this experimental art as it is poetry embracing a new form. This innovative visual interaction with texts and poetry to communicate ideas is different from what is known and seems to have no rules but is more of an experiment of sorts to see if people resonate with the material they are being given and whether this method is effective in communication. To make it simpler to understand, the poet uses a lot of repetition and short sentences to ensure he does not lose his audience.
While the migration from print to non-print digital media is definitely something to consider, the experience becomes fully controlled by the creator with the reader having limited options. Print media allows the reader to imagine and interpret things based on their own knowledge and experiences and paint new pictures in their minds. Non-print media, however, through the subtexts communicates a lot and is able to dictate how we interpret the material. For example, Lewis, through the speed of the moving text clusters, dictated the pace of the poem since one had to read faster in some instances. Shehadri had less control over this and I could read the poem as I deemed best.
Non-print media allows for a different user interaction experience. In Lewis’ poem, we see that it is possible to interact with the words on the screen by tapping them and moving them to a different direction. With print media, the most one could do was flip a page or highlight words. This experience then makes the reader feel as if the words have literally come to life and sparks curiosity as the actions on the words have different effects to the other words. The reader, therefore, becomes a co-creator of his experience and his art through these interactions. These interactions with the words can be seen as a distraction from the key message such that one may be fascinated by this experience and forget to consume the poetry as they play around with the words on-screen.
Previously, e-poems would have been described as audio-books or poems on a blogpost making the interaction experience different. With audio-poems, the reader becomes a listener and the reader can manipulate the message by how they choose to read varying the tone and pace while the reader would have read it differently. Blogs, on the other hand, facilitate interaction with the poet and imposing a laziness of sorts to think as the author can now write and interpret what they meant to say (Muhammad & Womack, 2015). However, Lewis’ form of e-poetry is interesting as it sits so close to the print poems with no audio and visual is not incorporated through images such as photographs or video but rather, using words hence the reader’s creativity is not heavily influenced by the poet, leaving it open to interpretation as it is with print media.
Lewis also seems aware of the fact that the concentration span of people is shorter and although he uses visual interactive media, he makes the poem short and simple. The poem can also be easily understood using the first glance at the screen. Just by the images of the clusters of words arranged to form sperms swimming across the screen, the reader knows that ‘The Great Migration’ speaks to the journey of reproduction at first glance. This is similar to print media whereby the first sentence has to spark an interest and communicate to the reader. It is for this reason, Shehadri begins by stating that he is an immigrant something that makes the reader curious to know what he is talking about.
Literature is demystified using such mediums for e-poetry and this could be more effective if created While Lewis makes sure that he does not try and incorporate other media such as audio and video, the visual images of sperms created by the words make one interpret the poem in a limiting manner whereas if it were written as plain words, one would have been at will to wander as they had wished in response to the words they read. Poetry is therefore made simple and limited probabilities hence fewer speculations on the different meanings derived from the work of art. Art, therefore, becomes objective using such mediums as opposed to subjective and as a result, one cannot learn from it a great deal since they are unable to interpret the art from their perspective.
In conclusion, the change to non-print media is inevitable. As with every change, there are ups and downs. While the structure of the poetry may still be in stanzas, the visuals communicate more powerfully and the subtexts limit the creative approach that opens readers to various interpretations of an artwork. Readers and creators alike will now have to work within the new structures created by the experimental art and test their boundaries doing as they please in what they think will help them communicate effectively.