Sunday, December 19, 2010

Heather's Perspective on The Great Gatsby

Okay, this blog might be a little confusing, because I can't actually remember The Great Gatsby that well. I do remember that I liked it. I liked it a lot. The main character, Nick, reminded me of someone I know, Nic. Funny, right? I think so. Anyway, this guy is pretty much the epitome of an unbiased third party, which sounds exactly like the Nic I know! I find it kind of ironic that the main character is a third party... Not judging, though, I loved it.
One thing I didn't like about this book was the continued symbolism of the EYES. I guess the first time it was introduced, I wasn't really paying attention to that part, or something, because I was confused about it for the rest of the book. Imaginary followers: they are supposed to symbolize God, sort of judging us when we do things wrong, or something. I think I put something similar to that on my quiz; at any rate, I got a 100. I think.
The title of this book is misleading. Gatsby is not really the main character at all, but he is part of a ridiculous love affair with Daisy, who is married to this Tom character, who is having an affair with a woman whose name I can't remember (which is a shame because you'd think a person should remember the name of a character who dies... oops, did I spoil the end for you? LOLJK, you aren't even reading the book), who is married to, um, another person whose name I can't quite remember (but he isn't important, so it's okay), and who is killed by Gatsby's car, which is actually being driven by Daisy at the time, who doesn't stop because she is scared, and therefore lets everyone in the novel think that Gatsby killed What's-Her-Face-Who-Died via hit-and-run; Daisy, being a sort-of selfish brat, lets Gatsby get killed by What's-Her-Face-Who-Died's husband, and selfishly runs off with her own hubby to Who-Knows-Where. And that basically sums up the plot of the book, minus the whole "bootlegging" deal that Gatsby was involved in (which caused no one to show up to his funeral for fear of people thinking they were affiliated with such a bad person, but let's face it, he was STANKIN' RICH while he was alive).
In case you imaginary readers were thinking, a long sentence like that overwhelming one you read just a bit ago is called a "polysyndeton." They are very difficult to create, and I am afraid that I have provided a poor example, because polysyndetons are supposed to be grammatically correct and I am almost certain that there are a few mistakes in that one. 
^^^THAT sentence, however, was quite a good example, albeit not as long as I maybe would have preferred it to be.
Anyway, back to our book! Well, Gatsby was a little clingy, which irritated me because HELLO, DAISY WAS MARRIED. True, Tom was a jerk and he---
Okay, so What's-Her-Face-Who-Died's husband killed Gatsby while Gatsby was in his pool. He had not used the pool all summer, and it was now September (I think, maybe October). Over the summer, he kept telling Nick that he needed to use his pool, because it was sitting there going to waste, but he never actually used it. Now, Gatsby knew Daisy before she got married. He was a soldier, and he left for war while they were still in love, came back and she was married... Just like a Nicholas Sparks book, except it was written much better and ended with everyone dying instead of the girl calling off the wedding and throwing herself into the arms of her forgotten lover. So anyway, I think that his pool represented all the things that he never got to do with Daisy. All the love they could have had, all the times they never shared, and then he died wallowing in it... Literally, in the pool. And it's appropriate that he died in it, because he pretty much knew at this point that Daisy was about to leave with her husband.
That makes me kind of sad, actually. I think that epiphany was so great that I should just stop right here, especially because you poor, imaginary soul of a reader are probably staring with wide eyes at your computer screen wondering what exactly Heather is smoking.
In truth, I am smoking nothing. I never have (yay!), because drugs are bad. Really, I am just.. Well, it's almost 3AM and I have nothing better to do with my time because I'm not exactly tired and it's Christmas Break. So I am blogging instead of trying to force myself to spend a few hours tossing and turning, attempting to overthrow my insomnia for once.

Insomnia sucks balls, you guys. It really does.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heather's Perspective on The Red Badge of Courage

Hmm... Haven't heard from Savanna in a while. Savannaaaaa, where are youuuuuu??
Ah well. The Red Badge of Courage:
In my opinion, it was written very boringly. There was some cool symbolism, which was... Well, cool. For example Henry wanted a wound to prove to everyone that he was fighting his part: a "red badge of courage." But for the most part, it was basically a hodgepodge of random battles. The battles didn't even have real meaning; he explained nothing about who they were fighting or what they were fighting for. The author just babbled on about the fighting, and the people around Henry being wounded. He said nothing about patriotism, standing up for what you believe in, fighting for your country, etc.
He did, however, talk a lot about fighting for the other people in Henry's regiment. Some patriotism.
Sorry, imaginary followers... My writing is just not up to snuff today. Let's pretend I wrote a great review about the things that I liked and was bothered by in this book, and move on with life.
Heather out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Heather's Perspective on Sister Carrie

Hello, imaginary viewers! =] I know that you've missed me, but have no fear... I will be blogging much more often now that the "new boyfriend" to whom Savanna alluded to earlier decided that he is no longer interested in a relationship.
I find it quite ironic that at this moment, I am blogging the book we read last week, instead of reading the book that we have a quiz on on Tuesday. The irony is increased when you take into account that my research paper for that class is based on the book we're reading (The House of the Seven Gables, in case you were wondering).
I blame my English teacher for my life's problems.
Sooo anyway, the point of me being here. Sister Carrie was one of those books that looks totally innocent. I picked it up, thinking "this is going to be one of those 1800s stories where the main character gets a job and buys new dresses with her money and is super excited about it, but reservedly so because it is the 1800s and showing emotion is improper."
Well, I was partly correct. Carrie does get a job, and she does buy new clothes with her money, but her second "job" (after losing her first due to a cold, if that makes sense to you. It doesn't really to me, but maybe I'm just being close-minded) is, in fact, as a mistress to a man named Drouet.
Interesting turn for this book! I found myself cringing a little at this point, wondering how this book was really going to turn out.
As it continues, the reader gets the idea that Carrie really only likes Drouet for his money. That greedy little brat proves this idea right when she decides she's going to fall in love with Hurstwood, Drouet's friend, who is wealthier than Drouet. Stupid Hurstwood loves her back, though, even though he's married with two kids (which Carrie does not know), and having an affair would lose him his job as well as a family and social status.
So Hurstwood and Carrie run away together, after Hurstwood steals ten grand from his bosses, and they get "married" in Montreal.
Of course the marriage falls apart eventually, because Hurstwood and Carrie are both incredibly stupid. Hurstwood doesn't have a job, and doesn't bother to try and find one. Carrie gets tired of his laziness and becomes an actress. She ends up being promoted several times and then becomes famous. After a while of putting up with Hurstwood's laziness (and ugliness: after a while he stops grooming himself... ewww), Carrie leaves him and becomes roomies with Lola, an actress friend of hers.
The story could have ended here, and I could have rolled my eyes at everyone's stupidity and moved on with my life. But noooo, there has to be more to the book...
Hurstwood becomes a beggar without Carrie's money, and eventually commits suicide. Carrie never finds out. Drouet comes to visit her, trying to win her back, and of course she refuses. The book ends with Carrie saying that she knows something is missing from her life, and she's not sure what it is.
Here are my thoughts on this book:
1) Obviously, I think Carrie is stupid. The sad thing is, she reminds me of myself from a while ago. I choose to not explain this any further.
2) Okay, Hurstwood is a douche, but... he killed himself =[ and then Carrie never found out?! What is this shenanigans?!
3) Drouet is a manwhore. When he was first "wooing" Carrie, I was yelling, "I KNOW THOSE SIGNS! DON'T LISTEN TO HIM, WOMAN! I KNOW WHAT HE WANTS! SAME AS EVERY OTHER GUY ON THIS PLANET!" (only to look up and find that my journalism class was staring at me a little weirdly... Don't worry, though, they're used to random oddities from me).
4) If Carrie doesn't know what she's missing by the end of the story, then she truly is an idiot. It's obvious that she's missing....




Okay, in all seriousness though, she let a bunch of guys take advantage of her in exchange for money and clothes. That should be degrading to even your average everyday whore.
The book was easy to get into, for me, but after a while I facepalmed so many times at the characters' stupidity that I eventually had to admit that the book was dumb.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heather's Perspective on The Crucible

This was one of the few things that we read in AP English that I actually wanted to read all the way through. So I did! And it was great! There were a few parts that drove me crazy, though... Like they spent a million years going on and onnnnn about whatever character was about to be introduced... It was really not necessary. Other than that... I loved it. I'm not much of a "play-liker", for want of a better term (yes, I know it would be easy to reword that but you know what? I don't really feel like it), but this one is definitely worth reading. It's one of the classics that is actually awesome.
On to the characters... Well, Mary Warren drove me crazy. She betrayed Elizabeth by pretending to see a giant bird or whatever, which was really stupid... And as for Abigail, I hope she DIED on whatever stupid ship she decided to run away. That girl wreaked more havoc than a gang of monkeys in a store full of bananas. 
I loved Elizabeth, though. There are two things more important to me, above all else: honesty, and love of family and friends. She possessed those qualities better than any real person I've ever met. When asked if her husband had committed adultery, she couldn't answer because she had to choose between those two qualities. When she did answer, she doomed her and her husband to either hanging or a long jail time, but I respect the way she did it.
As for her husband, Proctor... He did the right thing. And I love him for it. AND he had faith in his wife... He insisted that she would tell the truth, no matter what. That was.. well, cute. Granted, she lied and doomed them both, but who cares? They loved each other.
The end made me want to cry, though. Proctor did NOT deserve to die, and neither did Rachel. No one deserved it. Stupid Abigail killed off a bunch of people doing what she does best: bitchery.
That's all I have to say.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Savanna's Perspective on The Crucible

  Hello again!I'm sorry Heather hasn't written much lately, but she hasn't gotten back to me on blogging either. So, while she has a blast at Night of Joy with her new boyfriend, I stay at home reading articles for AP U.S. History, reading The Scarlett Letter for AP Language, AND working on my concentrations for AP Art 2D. yes, there is such a thing as AP Art. It ROCKS, and I'm one of 9 people at our school picked to take it =D
  BUT ANYWAY! Last week in AP English (aka Language) we read The Crucible. I thought it was a well written, very interesting play. However. I hate, no, I despise and loathe every single character in the book. Aside from John Proctor's wife, who no one (including me) remembers the name of later.
  I do not reccomend reading this play for pleasure, because it is not a fun story. Every single character has a bad quality. Except Proctor's wife. (I'll call her Elizabeth, it sounds right) Firstly, there's Abigail. SHE SUCKS. She's a little lying creeper who wants to steal John Proctor from poor, sickly Elizabeth. (Not like I'm sticking up for John either, that lying cheating unfaithful...)
  There's the reverend, but he doesn't have the courage to stick up for Elizabeth when he knows what's right. There's the judges, but they're obviously idiots for going through with everything the girls say. There's the poor slave Tabitua, (I hope that's spelled right) who confesses but is too dumb to realize that she could have turned Abigail in all along. There's Mary, who could have turned Abigail in, but instead went along with the lies, just like the rest of those smelly girls. There's the townspeople- but hey, none of them helped either!
  So in the end, John Proctor's butt is saved because his wife is prego and she won't be hung. Yet. And you think that it'll all be ok, but then HE gets exicuted too. And so he dies- I'll admit, I did kinda like him, even though he cheated on Elizabeth. He did love her. BUT instead of the ending you expect, ABIGAIL RUNS AWAY AND GETS AWAY WITH THE MURDERS OF WHO KNOWS HOW MANY PEOPLE AND DOESN'T GET HUNG.
  Well. Now that I'm done ripping my copy of The Crucible into shreds, I'll sign off. I hope Heather has something to say on this story... I'll be back next week when I finish The Scarlett Letter. Savanna out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Savanna's Perspective on The Gettysburg Address

 Hi! I changed my font color, I know, I'm sorry for the confusion. But today in AP English we read The Gettysburg Address out together, and reviewed it.
I decided that since the last post was entirely negative, and Aristotle sucks, I'd let you hear me write in a good mood, about none other than my favorite president, Mr. Abraham Lincoln! *crowd goes insane* That's right, he wrote the Gettysburg Address. If you didn't know that... let me ask "Why exactly are you reading an AP English Blog? Are you one of those really bored internet dweebs? Or have you been living under a rock?"

The speech starts out "Four score and seven years ago..."
(yes, this is THAT speech, rock dwellers) Now if you didn't know, a score is actually 20 years, so everyone's favorite prez is actually saying "87 years ago" he just wanted to sound really awesome, which he accomplished well. He's referring to 1776, in which year, the Declaration of Independence was signed. In the beginning he uses the words dedicated and conceived a lot which makes me think that these were probably 2 of his favorite words. Good choice, Abe, dedicated is one of mine too!
Just kidding. He's actually using these words to invoke pathos, emotional response, from his audience. He must have read Aristotle too. He tells about the new country (America, duh) being in a "great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so concieved and dedicated, can long endure."

What he means here is that a nation based on the words "all men created equal" may have a hard time surviving. He was right. This country faces a lot of turmoil for those exact words. Just look at petitions of basically any kind. Back then, it was for African American rights. Now, it's for gay rights. So many arguments have been pulled from these words, yet so many wrongs have been righted because of them.

Lincoln then discussed how no matter what they do, they can not make Gettysburg a more hallowed ground than it already is, because of the sacrifices of American Soldiers on that soil. Then he says "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."

OH THE IRONY! We'll remember Lincoln's words forever, although everyone has forgotten about the other speeches of that day. He tells us that we need to honor the men that died in Gettysburg, and he closes his short speech with what I call a VERY EPIC CLOSING LINE.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we highly resolve that those dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from earth."

If you haven't ever read the whole speech, go read it, because it's an important part of history, and it's GOOD, and besides, it's short. Lincoln is awesome. Those guys in Gettysburg are awesome. Now go appreciate it.

Savanna out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heather & Savanna's Perspective on The Art of Rhetoric

So Savanna and I decided that in order to make this year's AP English class epic, we should blog about some of the books we read. The first blog we're doing together, since we're together right now... =D
The book we were supposed to read this summer was The Art of Rhetoric, by Aristotle. Technically, neither Savanna or I really read the whole book, but we just completed a project on it so we read enough to finish said project.
I, Heather, think that this was the most boring book in the history of the planet, with perhaps the exception of Billy Budd by Herman Mellville. While Aristotle makes some good points about speeches, and audiences of speeches, and the speakers of speeches, I feel that his ranting on and on about every point is completely unnecessary. In our presentation we commented several times about his repetition, which is even something discussed in the book as an element of emphasis.
Our three main points of the presentation are "what makes an audience listen to a speaker or whatever", "pity makes people like you," and "the epiclogue"... excuse me, the epilogue. I'd go further into detail about these points, but I have a strange feeling that a) no one gives a crap, b) no one is reading this anyway, or c)...maybe I just don't feel like explaining every little thing.
Anyway, onward to Savanna about her opinion and analysis of the book.

Ok, so I read... pieces... of this stupid book. And you know what I think? I think it could be about a third of the size it is if Aristotle didn't repeat so much crap "for emphasis". Now put the book in plain english, and you've got a pamphlet instead of a book. You wanna know the basics? I'll tell you everything you can learn from The Art of Rhetoric. Right now. In an easy, numbered list.
1-Speech takes an audience.
2-For the audience to listen, you have to use Common Sense & Virtue.
3-Good Will is the same thing as Virtue.
4-Repeat stuff for emphasis.
5-Pity makes people like you.
6-People won't pity you if they're too happy or sad with their own lives. Find a content medium.
7-Make your audience hate your opponent/whatever you're not rooting for.
8-Make yourself look good.
9-Repeat stuff for emphasis.
10-Don't lie. They won't believe you.Besides, liars suck.
11-Pray that you're lucky enough to find the perfect audience.
12-Use EMOTIONAL PULL. (make em mad)
13-Have an epic closing statement... repeat some of your speech in it for emphasis!

And there you have it. Unless you enjoy reading that puts the general public to sleep, don't read this. I'll just make you a pamphlet.
Now go repeat something for emphasis.Savanna out.