The first semester of the English course in twelfth grade offered me the opportunity to create and work on my own blog that presents my best writing pieces and photos. I was enthusiastic about the assignment. I had the opportunity to write on different topics, some set up by the teacher, others created on my own. I found out more about my style in both analytical and creative writing. I understood my mistakes, and now I hope I have improved. Also I had the chance to meet with a junior in Kentucky and edit each other’s pieces. However, this was a really hard task since they were not as active as we were. Probably that was the only flow of the project, but I feel really proud of my work that I have created with enthusiasm. However, it was not just the writing and the duty… Now that I have completed the project, I can see what kind of person I really am. Every writing assignment or picture posted here shows a piece of me: a hobby, a belief that I have, something about my past, a precious memory… That is why I will not stop posting my writing and my pictures on the blog because it is like a folder, or a photo album that presents who I am. That is why I would show it to my new friends in order to get to know me better, and I will share it with my old friends so that they can recall the wonderful moments we have spent together. Just as my life goes on, my blog will compile my writing samples and pictures in order to learn from my mistakes and remember what I have lived through. Show must go on…

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"We'll Always have Paris" by Ray Bradbury

“We’ll Always Have Paris” is a collection of stories by Ray Bradbury written in 2008. In the introduction to the book the author writes that the stories are inspired by ideas that he loved and wanted the readers also to love them. The characters of the stories are different and present unique characteristics just as the diversity of the citizens in Paris. They are like pieces of puzzle that construct the world.
One of the stories reveals a common problem of the young people. The plot presents a boy and a girl that have just gone too far in their relationship and are afraid of ruining their friendship. However, their special connection can hardly be ruined: a fact revealed in the end of the story with the description of their holding hands.
There is also a story about an old couple that had spent their entire life in their house. Suddenly they both go outside and take a breath of living, however, when they go back home their daily routine is reestablished. The idea of the story is to present the sadness of the end of life. However it seems to be easier to accept when shared with another person.
There were also stories dedicated to ordinary people, those unable to stand for themselves. One of them showed how a person was tortured by another man throwing apples at him, after the death of the latter; the first one did the same to his grave. This showed how effective the rude words and actions could be to one’s life. Another story reveals the life of a homosexual couple where one of the boys was rude and did not respect the other. Despite given a chance to escape with another man who offered his help, the main character refused because of the pain he would cause to his beloved. Both stories showed how society can press those people unable to stand for themselves, so one should be strong and should not succumb to others.
There is a story named “Pater Caninus” that tells about a dog that gives hope to ill people in a hospital. Even the priests believed in the magical influence the dog had over the people. They really felt relief and hope for the future. This optimistic story shows how people and even animals can help each other just by a single act or gesture that shows understanding and love.
All the stories have unique plot and present different parts of life. They reveal how people’s relationships can help or ruin human life. That is why it is important to find the people that can help you live well in the diverse world and can help you overcome obstacles that can meet you at any corner. “We’ll Always have Paris” shows that the world will always be diverse, right now there are noble and evil people, but joining the better side and helping reduce the other will make the planet a better place where some day good will prevail.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Othello's End - Hate Sorrow and Justice

[To Iago] O, Spartan dog,
More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea!
Look on the tragic loading of this bed;
This is thy work: the object poisons sight;
Let it be hid. Gratiano, keep the house,
And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
For they succeed on you. To you, lord governor,
Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
The time, the place, the torture: O, enforce it!
Myself will straight abroad: and to the state
This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
(Act 2, sc. 2, lines: 424-435)

Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy that perfectly presents the image of the best villain – Iago. Apart from being coldhearted, evil, two-faced, and determined to reach his aim, his most precious characteristic is the use of other people to complete his plans. Iago analyzes the possible emotional reactions of the others and is able to control them. His evil plan leads to the tragic end of the story. Iago successfully manipulates the others and succeeds to ruin their lives, but does not fulfill his dream. Lodovico’s words at the end of the tragedy reveal the cruelty of Iago’s evil actions, the pain that is left, and show that justice wins at the end.
In Lodovico’s final speech Shakespeare uses different literary devices in order to express the unseen brutality of Iago’s plan. The metaphor, “Spartan dog” (Act 5, sc. 2, line: 424), expresses the cruelty of the villain’s character. This expression has a historical connotation. The soldiers of Sparta were emotionless; they were described as the perfect warriors. Spartans were trained since childhood to serve their country and die for it; that is why they showed no weakness, no feelings, and no fears. The battle at the Thermopiles reveales that even outnumbered by thousands of soldiers the Spartan men did not give up. This absolute determination to succeed and their emotionless faces made the Spartans the best illustration of emotionless people like Iago. He is also compared to a dog because he is ready to eliminate everyone that can threaten his success. Another expression shows the evil of Iago: “this heavy act with heavy heart relate.” (Act 5, sc. 2, line: 435). The repetition of the adjective “heavy” expresses the extreme pain that an unseen villain has brought in others’ lives. Lodovico’s final speech reveals the hate that he has towards the emotionless villain Iago.
This servant’s inhumane actions leave sadness that is described in Lodovico’s last words. The numerous sighs expressed in the unlimited sorrow due to the end of the lives of Desdemona and Othello. The young couple commits suicide because of Iago’s numerous lies that inspired jealousy in the Moor. Shakespeare describes this evil feeling as “the green-eyed monster” because it makes person behave irrationally. Iago as a villain, who knows the thoughts and feelings of people, inspires jealousy in Othello and watches his evil plan evolving into a tragic story. The Moor’s jealousy leads to the death bodies covering their marriage bed: “Look on the tragic loading on their bed.” (Act 5, sc. 2, line: 426) The metaphorical verb “loading” shows that the mourning has captured all of their lives and will not go away. The tragic sight of the two dead youths forces Lodovico to say:
This is thy work: the object poisons sight;
Let it be hid
(Act 5, sc. 2, lines: 427-8).
According to him Iago’s actions are so evil and tragic that all people there cannot look at what the villain has done. That is why Lodovico orders Gratiano to hide the dead. The evil servant has brought so much sorrow and pain that the town seems to be poisoned: mourning have captured all of it.
Iago brings sadness with his evil actions; that is why the Venetian gentleman pleads for justice: “O, enforce it!” (Act 5, sc. 2, line: 432). According to him Iago has to receive the punishment that he deserves, so that evil can be stopped. All the exclamation points, the sighs and commas show the strong feelings and emotions that Ludovico feels at that moment of great sorrow. He understands that the great evil cannot be erased or fixed, but he wants law to punish Iago. The final sentence of both Lodovico’s speech and Shakespeare’s tragic play is:
Myself will straight abroad: and to the state
This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
(Act 5, sc. 2, lines: 434-435).
Those words show that the evil doings of Iago make every heart of the state sorrowful. Every citizen will remember the tragic story of Othello and Desdemona and the sentence will show that justice always wins at the end.
Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello shows how a villain, as perfect as Iago, can control and manipulate people in order to ruin their lives and fulfill his own dreams. However, even his evil actions cannot put an end to love and good. Justice punishes evil, and praises good. The true love of Othello and Desdemona survives due to the people that will always remember with great sorrow and admire their noble hearts full of love.