Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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

1.  Who is the protagonist?  Who is the antagonist?
 Santa Claus is the protagonist in the story.  The daemons in the story are the antagonist.

2. What is the conflict?
 Santa Claus gets kidnapped.

3.  What is the setting?
The setting is placed in the Laughing Valley and the daemons cave.  It Christmas Eve.

4.  To what genre would you say this story belongs?  Why?
 I would say it would be  a fantasy is because it externalizes internal problems.

5.  What do you notice about Baum’s writing style?  
 It's aimed for kids.  The whole purpose of this story is to teach a lesson.

6.  Who are the Daemons?  How are they labeled?  Why are they named so?
 The daemons are the bad guys.  There is the daemon of selfishness, the daemon of Envy, daemon of Hatred, daemon of Malice, and the daemon of Repentance.  There are named the way they are is because all of their names resemble different kinds of bad emotions and feelings.

7.  What familiar seasonal elements are used in the story?  What unfamiliar elements are there?
 Some of the familiar elements of this story is how Santa Claus still delivers presents on Christmas Eve and how he has his helpers.  The setting is different, the daemons, and the magical helpers.

8.  What are some variations of this story that have been retold in the last few years?
 The Nightmare before Christman, Elf, etc.

9.  Are there any parts of the story that help to define Santa Claus as a character?  Does he make any tough decisions or risk something valuable?
 He forgave them so that shows them that he's a good nature person.

10.  How does Santa escape the cave?
Santa Claus escapes the cave is because the daemon of Repentance sets him free.

Monday, November 17, 2014

1.How does the setting add to the meaning of the story: sunset and night, dreary road, gloomiest trees, narrow path creeping through, lonely, peculiarity in solitude? How does this imagery create the mood? How does this mood help us predict the nature of Young Goodman Brown’s journey? 
  The setting is the forest and it's by a city called Salem.  

2.Discuss the significance of "Faith kept me back awhile." 
  Faith is the wife and it also means the belief a person has.
3.Why do you think Faith wore pink ribbons? Hint: think of the connotation of colors.
  She wore the pink ribbon is because she was inocent

4.Discuss the significance of the second traveller (sic.), ". . . apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still they might have been taken for father and son." Is he Brown’s alter ego?
  That Young Goodman Brown will be evil one day.

5.Interpret the description of the staff "which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light." Why the uncertainty?
  There is uncertainty is because he can't see anything since it's dark outside.

6. When the fellow traveller states, "I have been well acquainted with your family... I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem. ... The deacons of many a church have drunk wine with me; the select men of divers town make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm believers of my interest," what do we begin to understand about him? Though this character, what is Hawthorne telling us about evil?
  Everybody is evil.

7. Discuss the meaning(s): "My Faith is gone!”
  It could mean that his belief system is gone.

8.Describe what Goodman Brown saw when he arrived at the meeting – the grave, reputable, and pious people, the chaste dames and dewy virgins, the revered pastor, and that the good "shrank not from the wicked." Discuss the meaning.

9.The dark figure states, "Welcome, my children, to the communion of your race. Ye have found thus young your nature and your destiny." What do you think this means?
  They are destined to be evil.

10.  How does Goodman Brown treat people the next day? What happens to him? Why?
  He doesn't trust anyone anymore.  He dies as a sad person since he doesn't believe anyone.

11."Young Goodman Brown" is a moral allegory. Essentially, an allegory is an extended metaphor using one thing to represent another – a story with dual meanings. Therefore, there is a surface or literal meaning as well as a secondary meaning. In other words, Hawthorne uses this moral allegory to reveal a moral lesson or lessons. Discuss the moral lesson(s) you discover in the story.
  Hawthorne states that everyone is evil.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Questions on the Monkeys Paw

1. What is the first clue that the monkey’s paw is not a good thing?

When the sarge described the monkey's paw he was very serious.

2. What is the second clue that something is not right about the paw?

He throws it in the fire.

3. What is ironic about the wish? (Something is ironic when the thing that
happens is the exact opposite from what you had expected.)

Every wish has a curse.

4. Why does the mother think the second wish will make everything right?

She wants her son back since he died.

5. Why is the father afraid to make the second wish?

He knows that every wish you make it always have a curse.

6. What do you think the third wish was? Why do you think this?

To make the son go away.  He did this is because he thought he would just come back as a mangled corpse.

7. Why does the story start with the father and son playing chess? Does the father’s strategy at the chess game tell you anything about his personality? If so, what?

The father takes risks playing chess and he also risks while making the wishes.

8.Sergeant Major Morris describes the monkey's paw in this way: "It had a spell put on it by an old fakir,...a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. " What does Morris’ statement mean when you first read it? What does it mean after you have read the entire story? Is his comment significant? If so, why?

I think I do believe in fate is because in some situation, certain things would control peoples lives.

9.Why does Major Morris throw the monkey's paw onto the fire and why do the Whites react so strongly?

He threw it into the fire is because he knew it was cursed.  The Whites got it out is because they were desperate.

10.What happens to Herbert White?
He got mangled and killed in the machines.

11.  What do you think happened at the end of the story? Why does Mr. White beg his wife not to let "it" into the house? What does he mean? What is he afraid of? Who or what was outside of the house?
I think it was Mr. Herbert.  He doesn't want "it" to come in the house is because he doesn't know whats outside.

12.What makes Jacobs' style of writing unique? Read the following passage and think about how he puts his words together to create a mood. Underline words or passages that seem important to you.

"...and a horrible fear that his wish would bring his mangled son before him ere he could escape from the room seized upon him , and he caught his breath as he found he had lost the direction of the door. His brow cold with sweat, he felt his way around the table, and groped along the wall until he found himself in the small passage with the unwholesome thing in his hand."
Fear and shock are definitely the words to describe the mood.

13.How does Jacobs set the mood and/or tone of the story? How does he build suspense? Think about the way he uses silence as a way to create a mood. What does he describe at the end as the husband and wife lie in bed waiting for their wish to come true? 
He's using silence to build up suspense for the knock on the door.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reflection Questions on “Masque of the Red Death”

1.  What is the setting for the story?
It takes place at Prince Prospero castle.  It's around medieval time period.

2.  What is the mood instilled in the reader?
Fear/shocked/ horror

Definition of Irony

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

Types of Irony

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

Difference between Dramatic Irony and Situational Irony

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

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

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

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

3.  What irony takes place in the story?  List them.
 Prince Prospero locks him up in his own castle but in the end he dies.  All the rooms are different color when Prospero didn't realize those were the stages of dying. 

4.  What significance do colors play in the tale?
The colors are all stages of dying from the Red Death.

5.  What does the clock symbolize? What does the chiming of the clock interrupt?  What does this remind the people of?
 The clock symbolizes passing time.  The chimes interrupts the party.  It reminds them that their time is running out.

6.  Based on what they are trying to avoid, why is it so unacceptable that someone is dressing up like Death?  
It's unacceptable is because reminded them that the Red Death is still out there.

Definition of Style
The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes and it is the technique which an individual author uses in his writing. It varies from author to author and depends upon one’s syntax, word choice, and tone. It can also be described as a voice that readers listen to when they read the work of a writer.

7. In what manner of style does the narrator tell this story?  What does the narration sound like?
 It's first person.  It sounds like a fairy tale.

8.  What do you notice different from this story’s narrative style and the one found in “Cask of Amontillado”?
 In the "Cask of Amontillado", we have a narrator that is apart of the story and he is bragging.  In the "Masque of the Red Death", The narrator is just telling the story.

9.  What moral might “Masque” be suggesting?
 You can't run away from death.

10.  Evaluate the level of horror in this story.  Are there elements that make it scary, or is the story outdated?
 The level of horror is 8.  Some of the elements that made it scary is the dark room and the clock.

Monday, September 29, 2014

“Cask of Amontillado” Reflection Questions

1. How many characters does Poe include in The Cask of Amontillado? What are their names?
    They are two characters. Their names are Montresor and Fortunato
2. What drink are the French most famous for?
     They are famous for wine.
3. Does Montresor have something of great value to him that we might consider to be his treasure? Hint: It is not the Amontillado wine (which is Spanish
anyway, not French, and doesn't really exist-it is merely a trick to get Fortunato
to go down into the catacombs). 
       Montresor treasures his revenge.

4.  How did Fortunato cause Montresor to lose face in the story?
The third paragraph of the story appears in full below. Read it carefully and try to
imagine how Fortunato might have insulted Montresor.

"He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be
respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few
Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit
the time and opportunity to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires.
In painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of
old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially;—I was skillful in
the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could."
       The insult might be related to his wine tasting ability.
5. Does Montresor seem to have much respect for Italians? Which lines in the
paragraph above reveal his contempt?
     No, he called them all quacks which means to be a fake.
6. What was Fortunato's insult?
      The insult was never stated in the story.
7. Why does Montresor entertain Fortunato with wines from his collection?
      Montresor uses wine to get Fortunato even more drunk.
8. In what two ways does Montresor imprison Fortunato?
The story, The Cask of Amontillado, first appeared in an anthology of Poe's
stories entitled Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Arabesque comes from the word Arab and refers to ornaments, decorations and motifs in Arabic art, where figures of flowers, fruits and sometimes animal outlines appear in elaborate patterns of interlaced lines. particularly those which have been borrowed by other cultures. Such arabesque patterns are reflected in some of the designs and motifs of the batik of Indonesia and Malaysia.
By analogy, then, an arabesque story is one of intricate design, which is told
through the use of fanciful language. Because arabesque graphic designs sometimes depict fantastic creatures, Poe and others also applied this term to tales that dealt with fantastic or supernatural happenings. Grotesque refers to something distorted, ugly, abnormal, fantastic, or bizarre to the point of being ludicrous or absurd. In a grotesque story, characters are physically or psychologically deformed and engage in actions that may be abnormal or comically absurd.
        Montresor chains him to the wall and then he buried him alive.
9.  In what ways is The Cask of Amontillado grotesque? First, which of Montresor's actions are abnormal?
          It's about revenge and death.
10. Is there anything grotesque about Fortunato?
         The thing about Fortunato that is so grotsque is that he insults a lot of people.
11.  List three examples of foreshadowing in the story.
           -Montresor says 'your happy as I once was."
           -Montresor toasts to his long life
           - The snake that bit his foot is now getting crushed
12.  What mood is imparted on the reader?
            It is a chilling story.
13.  What is the setting of the story?
           The setting is taking place at carnival.  It's taking place in Montreosrs catacombs.
Humor Hunt
There are also numerous comic touches that Poe adds to this grotesque tale.
•Fortunato's name means lucky in Italian. This is ironic language play, as he was
hardly the lucky one in this story.
•Fortunato is dressed in a court jester's or fool's garb, complete with striped outfit
and cap and bells.
•The jingling of the bells of the cap in the catacombs.
•Montresor's exaggerated concern for Fortunato's health.
•A joke: Not knowing Montresor plans to kill him, Fortunato says, I shall not die of
a cough. To which Montresor replies, True-true.
•Pun: Montresor telling Fortunato he is a mason. (Fortunato was referring to
members of the society of Freemasons). Montresor reveals the trowel (a tool
used to apply mortar or cement) which he will use to build the wall which
entombs Fortunato.
•Fortunato's drunken condition.
•Fortunato bumping into the dead end of the niche where he will be entombed
and then looking bewildered.
•Fortunato's delirious laughter at the end.
•Another pun: Let us be gone. Montresor repeats Fortunato's words, not saying
that they shall leave together, but that Fortunato will be gone from this life.

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

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

How well does Poe follow his own rules?

14. What is the single effect of the story on the reader?
        It's going to be horror since it's about murder and revenge.
15. How do all incidents help Poe to establish this effect?
         Montresor buries Fortunato alive at the end.
16. How does the first sentence bring out the horror of the tale?
         Montresor claims that he will get revenge.
17. How does the whole story follow a single pre-established design?
         The story follows the pattern of revenge perfectly.
18. Does the reader feel satisfied at the end of the story?
          I felt startled and shocked

Monday, September 15, 2014

Adrian Rodriguez
Period 5

The Lottery Questions

1. Through “The Lottery”, what point does Shirley Jackson make about tradition?
    In the lottery, they mention that they only follow the whole tradition is because that's the only thing that they know what to do.
2. What foreshadowing clues does Shirley Jackson incorporate into her story?
    In the beginning, all of the kids started to gather many rocks is because they knew what was going to happen in the future.
3. What is the setting for “The Lottery”? Why is that so important to the theme of the story?
    The setting for “The Lottery” is June 27th.  It is important is because it doesn't say any detail what year it was or anything like that.  It also represents that it can happen anywhere
4. What mood does “The Lottery” instill in it’s readers? How does it do this?
    It would instill a good mood once you first started reading.  It did this in the beginning when it said it was a nice beautiful day and how it was all like a normal town.  Then as we progressed into the story , it started seem a little darker as we read.
5. What do we know about when the lottery was started?
    We know that the head of the families, most likely the men, would go up and take a piece of paper from a box and then every individual of the families would take a piece of paper from the box.
6. How do the townspeople feel about making changes to the lottery? How do you know?
    The townspeople don’t matter about making the changes during the lottery.  I know this is because they didn’t say anything to stop making the change. The little they don't mind but they don't want to change the lottery.
7. What is the general attitude of the townspeople as they wait for the lottery to begin?
The general attitude of the townspeople as they waited for the lottery to begin was that they were nervous.
8. What specific evidence in the text helped you determine this?
    Evidence said that the majority of the people stood away from the stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed.  This shows that they didn’t really want the lottery to begin.
9. Is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours that perform “strange” rituals?
    The lottery is not a collective act of murder.  In our society it would be an act of murder.  They don’t know what is right from wrong is because the whole concept of the lottery is tradition and they don’t know why they do it.  They just do it since they’ve been doing it for a really long time.
10. What genre of literature would you classify this story? Why?
    I would choose the genre “mystery” is because they don’t know why they keep doing the lottery each and every year.  They only do it is because they know it’s tradition.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2.  I chose the book Childhood's End for one of my selected summer reading book is because I thought it was going to be an interesting book to pass by time during the summer.  The first time I read the little summary on the back of the book, I thought it be cool to read about aliens trying save us from extinction.  

3.  This book was about these alien ships appearing over city in the entire world just on one day unexpectedly.  Humans called them the overlords.  The overlords came to Earth to save us from extinction since there was so many problems happening at the same time around the world.  They said that they would reveal themselves 50 years later.  After those 50 years were up, they revealed themselves to the world.  The looked like the devil. Then they started taking away the children from their parents is because of their telopathic powers.  They moved them to an island.  Then since the parents didn't know what to do without their children, they started committing suicide.  Then when all of this was happening, Jan was actually traveling to the overlords planet.  After she was done exploring for a few weeks, she returned to Earth and realized there was no one since all f the other kids died on the lonely island.

4.  The best part about the book was when the overlords revealed themselves to the world.  I though that was the best part of the book is because I wasn't expecting them to look like the devil.  It always kept me thinking of what they were going to look like, so I thought it made the book better is because it always kept the reader thinking.  Another reason why I thought the part when the overlords revealed themselves was the best part of the book is because it didn't really seem like everyone was scared of them.  The last reason why this was my favorite part of the book is because I thought it was very interesting that the writer made them look like the devil instead of something that would seem like out of this world.

5.  I think the worst part of the book is when everyone started to commit suicide.  I think that it was the worst part of the book is because all of the overlords work went to waste.  I thought that it wouldn't be the best way to end a very confusing book.  That made it even more difficult to understand why they would commit suicide.  Lastly, I think that it was the worst part of the book is because after all of the overlords work, it was supposed to be a golden age and it ended up being the saddest ending of a book.

6. I wouldn't recommend this book to other students is because I had a rough time trying to understand what was happening during the book the whole time.