Word of the Day

It was quite an ominous day when Mark Williams returned to the town he once saved, the rain began to stop but the dark clouds and fog continued throughout the day. Unlike the first time he came to the town, he was no longer obscure to the people; they considered him a hero now. That’s partially the reason why he had to renounce his title as hero of the town and leave, but now he had a propensity to return to the town whenever he believed his nemesis was in close proximity to the city he had always loved.

After keeping watch for a few day on the town he came across his nemesis, Mark was quite meticulous about how he handle his fights, he wanted to make sure that all the innocent people were safe and out of harms way so he found a way to quarantine his enemy so no one else would get hurt. His nemesis would try to fight back but Mark was resilient and would recover quickly and soon defeated his enemy with barely any scratches on himself, after that day he felt a penchant for the small city and decided to stay there for a while, always watching over it.

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“Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell

4. Orwell develops his ideas through extensive use of examples. Try rewriting paragraphs 5,6,7 or 8 without examples. How does the effect of the paragraph change? (I chose paragraph 8: Meaningless Words.)

In some types of writing, “particularly in art criticism and literary criticism,” you can find a long passage which is “almost completely lacking in meaning,” for they do not “point to any discoverable object.” They will use words that are opposite of each other or contradict each other, by using these they are being “consciously dishonest.”

I found it extremely difficult to rewrite the paragraph without using the examples because for most of them the entire paragraph was filled with examples, he gave example words or example phrases or specific writings. If you don’t have examples you cannot understand the authors point as well as you would if you had examples, in Orwell’s writing the examples contributed a lot to his topic depending on the paragraph. It gave you the ability to relate to his advice and they helped demonstrate his point a little better. With the examples included the paragraph “Meaningless Words” was quite effective and had a lot of wonderful information I learned from, but without examples his message couldn’t completely get across and was more difficult to understand and relate to.

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Richard Rodriguez: “Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” response

3. What does Rodriguez mean by calling Spanish a “private language” (para. 17)? Even if you do not speak more than one language, does your family have what you would characterize as a “private language”?

In his memoir Rodriguez talks about the troubles he had as a child trying to differentiate between his “public language” (English) and his “private language” (Spanish). At home they celebrated their heritage and culture by speaking Spanish and it became a safe place for him, where he knew he could escape from the their society which was dominated by the language of English. As the story goes on his safe place eventually flips around when he has become accustomed to English rather than Spanish. You can see how it has affected the family, with the father not talking because his English isn’t strong enough and the kids become impatient, and the other members and friends of the family becoming insulted by the children’s lack of respect towards their heritage. I belive that Rodriguez shows of the parents sacrifices for their kids by giving up what they have always know (Mexican culture) to adapt their kids to their society today (American culture). In the story, Richard doesn’t really feel like an American citizen until he fully knows the language, which shows that society is built on communication and language. When he finally grew apart from his heritage and “private language” he could finally become like the other members of the society around him.

Losing his “private language” was the climax of the memoir and when things eventually began to change. At his home his family always relied on Spanish to communicate with each other and to have intimate moments with each with Rodriguez relied on so much. Their private language was a way to communicate with each other and make each other feel safe, make their home a place that everyone looked forward to coming home to. A private language is a special language that only a family shares, a language that differentiates your family from everyone elses. For the Rodriguez family it was Spanish because they were one of the only Spanish households in their community, you can see specific examples like when they made up their own language by mixing together English and Spanish.

I do believe that every family has a “private language”. In public most of us speak the same language or are able to communicate in some way, in some universal language that we all know. Wether if it’s by hand motions or the tone of our voices we can all communicate, that’s the “public language”. In each of our homes we have a “private language” its different in every family, it’s the words that you make up, the nicknames you have for each other, or the looks that you give each other that you all know what they mean (sometimes words are not even necessary.) But in every home a “private language” is alive.

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Chapter Twelve: Cry of the Hunters

“He pulled himself between the ferns, tunneling in. He laid the stick beside him, and huddled himself down in the blackness. One must remember to wake at first light, in order to diddle the savages-and he did not know how quickly sleep came and hurled him down a dark interior slope.” (pg 174) What was it that made the boys turn on each other? What was it that made the boys murder Simon and Piggy? Was it the lack of supervision, putting young boys into a situation the are not mature enough to handle yet, the power of government (wanting to be in charge), or even the paranoia of being rescued or killing the beast?

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Chapter Eleven: Castle Rock

“They passed the place where the tribe had danced. The charred sticks still lay on the rocks where the rain had quenched them but the sand by the water was smooth again. They passed this in silence.” (pg 158) When Ralph and his small group pass the place where Simon was killed they see that the “charred sticks” are still there but the rain had washed away all evidence of Simons death,”the sand by the water was smooth again.” This could show the boys that soon all evidence of them ever being there will be washed away almost as if they are being washed away. As if they don’t exist any more.

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Chapter Ten: The Shell and Glasses

” The coarse grass was still worn away where the assembly used to sit; the fragile white conch still gleamed by the polished seat. Ralph sat down in the grass facing the chief’s seat and the cinch. Piggy knelt at his left, and fir a long minute there was silence.” (pg 141) Ralph is remembering when all the boys would work together and they had a chance of getting off this island, now that they had split up into groups their chance is gone. Ralph is remembering when he was optimistic and they had a fire going hoping to be rescued, when Simon was alive. Now Jack’s group is acting as if this is a game and trying to steal and kill Ralph and his small group. Ralph know that now they have almost no chance of leaving this island unless they work together (and that is very unlikely) so he is accepting his fate.

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Chapter Nine: A View of Death

This was one of the saddest chapters for me things just got out of hand and the boys were overtaken by their emotions, it ended up costing Simon his life. At the end of this chapter Golding describes Simon’s body floating away, out to sea as “Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose farther and dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble.” (pg 140) Golding described Simon as a statue, as if he wasn’t a real person. To the boy’s maybe Simon was a statue, they didn’t realize that they really did kill a person. To them this island was just a game they never really understood the seriousness of the situation. They were chanting and dancing and when they heard Simon they killed him thinking he was the beast. It was a mistake but the boys never stopped chanting and playing, they were young boys who were not mature enough to understand what just happened.

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Chapter Eight: Gift of Darkness

“…the sow staggered her way ahead of them, bleeding and mad, and the hunters followed, wedded to her lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood. They could see her now, nearly got up with her, but she spurted with her last strength and held ahead of them again. They were just behind her when she staggered into an open space where bright flowers grew and butterflies danced round each other and the air was hot and still.” (pg 123) This excerpt pairs together sad and beauty; the heart wrenching event of a pig slowly dyeing after being hunted by young boys seems ironic to be paired with the beautiful description of ” ..where bright flowers grew and butterflies danced around each other and the air was hot and still.” Why did Golding have the pig die in such a beautiful place? Was it because now the boys finally get some meat which they have been longing for? But it seems that the hunting became and obstical for the boys because it drew them apart and created tension and anger between them.

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Chapter Seven: Shadows and Tall Trees

“Now the sea would suck down, making cascades and waterfalls of retreating water, would sink past the rocks and plaster down the seaweed like shining hair.” (pg 100)This could relate to the boy situation on the island. Because Golding relates the seaweed to “shining hair” maybe the boys are the seaweed being plastered down is the boys and the sea is the island which is “sucking them down.” Also “sinking past the rocks” could mean that no matter what obstacles that the boys overcome in the end they will be “sucked down.” “Cascades and waterfalls” could show how the problems that they come across are quite large just like a cascade and waterfall is.

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Chapter Six: Beast From Air

“The lagoon had protected them from the Pacific: and for some reason only Jack had gone right down to the water on the other side. Now he saw the landsmen’s view of the swell and it seemed like the breathing of some stupendous creature. Slowly the waters sank among the rocks, revealing pink tables of granite, strange growths of coral, polyp, and weed. Down, down the waters went, whispering like the wind among the heads of the forest.” (pg 95) Golding, when writing this expert, gave the images of the forest human like characteristics. He made it seem like the forest was alive, the boys being paranoid about a creature lurking in the woods. But with these descriptions maybe the creature they are so afraid of is the woods or even themselves. The talk of this “beast” brings a new level of paranoia and fear to the story now not only do the boys have to worry about finding food and being rescued they must also keep watch for a beast. Even though they try to comfort the smaller children and push the fear out of there minds there is still an uncertainty that hangs over the island.

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